My latest obsession: Tea accessories (and the Marigold is kaput!)

Though I’m not a proper tea enthusiast, I do like to drink it. Back in the day it was simple Lipton, or, as I hit my teens, whatever variety of Celestial Seasonings teas mom brought home. As a young woman on my own I quickly fell into coffee, preferring mocha, or caramel varieties of that. But in the last few years I’ve come back to tea, in a way.

It started with and went on to Stash brand. All of those were with teabags, but then I got into loose teas, and got a Bodum Assam teapot to use with them.

The last several weeks have found me running around town looking for tea cups. I don’t know why but I found myself wanting to collect them. When I got my first one back in May I realized that the smaller cup size(I was used to using my big-ass coffee mug), would mean I’d have refill the cup a few times to drink the amount I wanted. The Bodum pot doesn’t retain heat well and I wasn’t interesting in those cozies made for it, or making one myself, so I set out on a quest to get myself a ‘real’ teapot. After about 8 different shops I found one!


This Brown Betty-esque pot was just 7 bucks at the Salvation Army store! Since that first teacup and saucer set from back in May, I’ve acquired 7 more. *ahem*. I don’t have a problem. ;)

All together now!

(click through to see the largest photo and get a better view of each cup)

I think I’m going to just get two more sets and I’m good. I hope. ;)

As for the Marigold, well, I’m thinking I should have cut my losses when I had the chance. It seemed to flourish a bit but now the buds have all shriveled up. I keep seeing potted flower plants and wanting to take one home just to have something pretty in the window, but I know, without the proper sunlight, they’ll be dead in a few days. Dammit. Oh well. I tried.

Oh, I forgot to add. The thrift shops goodies also involved textiles! I got a few nice pieces that will become hopefully a few aprons as well as a baby blanket. I haven’t been actually sewing lately because I’ve spent time fighting with that plant, hitting more thrift shops and rearranging my crafting area. I’m still working on the latter and stuffing it up along the way. I’ll get it together eventually.

Til then, Happy Crafting!

Now, where were we?

A few posts ago, I talked about learning that what I thought was a basil plant is actually a marigold plant. I’m over the disappointment shock and had decided to just go with the flow and grow this plant. And then all of a sudden:


Bad butt Cookie knocked my plant off the windowsill and the flowering stem broke almost completely off! I about lost it. Mostly because I’d put off repotting the plant way too long. Perhaps the pot wouldn’t have moved as easily if it were the heavier one I was planning on putting it in. A few gardening friends told me I could likely save the plant so I went ahead today and got the stuff to do just that.

Marigold repotted

Now the marigold plant sits in a much larger pot. I shouldn’t need to move it for a while now.

Marigold repotted

Since this window doesn’t get enough sunlight I was going to get special bulbs to simulate sunlight and keep the plant elsewhere in the livingroom. I did purchase a grow bulb, though right now I’m not sure if it truly will help. If this doesn’t work out, at least someone will get a nice bag of organic potting mix! ;)

Craftwise, I’ve been crocheting a bunch of those Springtime Coasters, and this pattern has taken over as my hurry-up-and-wait/appointment/commute project. I’ve made so many(and I don’t even entertain!) so some lucky friends will be seeing a few land on their doorsteps! ;)

I haven’t sewn in who knows how long. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am NOT going to finish the first iteration of the full dress from Simplicity 2660 with the fabric I started with. I have, however, gotten an urge to make another top like this one:

Simplicity 2618 View A

I plan on using what’s left of the dress fabric to make a test garment(or muslin) of a modified Simplicity 2618 top. When I bought the pattern I couldn’t really tell that the front neckline was pleated. I thought it was gathered peasant-style. I’m thinking, though, that I can simply cut the top as is, gathering the unpleated center area with a drawstring or elastic. It should be easy to do. And if it works out, I won’t have to buy a pattern specifically for that type of blouse.

I want to at least start this project this weekend. The first shirt went fairly fast, so maybe I’ll get to wear it on Monday! :)
That is, if I don’t get sucked into more coaster-crocheting.


Mini-Garden Update

Remember these guys?

Day 10 - Basil

Well, they are now:

Who am I?

And, after a few days of friends(Thank you Laura and Karen!) telling me, “Umm.. that’s not basil!”, I learned that it, well, isn’t basil. It appears to be italian parsley, as confirmed by yet another friend. (Thank you Maryann!) I was beginning to wonder myself if that’s what it was but it didn’t look quite the same. I guess the leaves need to get fuller to look more like it.

Now, I have to start all over again and try for basil. This time I’m not going with those little tiny pots. I want to get a couple of bigger pots; one to switch this plant to and another to plant actual basil. I’d start off with a section of already-grown basil but I think that’s kinda like cheating. If I do that I might as well just get it at the market! Sigh. Well, back to the drawing board. Now I have to change all my flickr tags and titles to the new name.

In crafting I’ve finished the socks I started back in April:
Emily Socks-Done!

A terrible shot, I know. It’s too damn hot to wear them. I should invest in some sock forms for warm-weather photographing. I’ve just cast on another pair, nothing special. Striped socks in burgundy and turquoise(yeah what a combo!) to use up some leftovers. I miss sock knitting, and as it gets closer to longer-term hot weather I’m not going to want to work on any sweaters. I’ve made note of where I stand with the Basic Black and Heather Hoodie sweaters, and I’m going to put them away til it cools off in the Fall. No guilt!

This past Sunday I went down to a local Flea/Greenmarket I’ve wanted to check out for some time. I didn’t really get to look thoroughly as I had the kids with me and they were whining hot. I did manage to get some nice tea but I forget what it’s called (genius that I am); they’re there every weekend so I will have to go back and get mor- I mean write down the name.

loose tea

I don’t think I’ve ever had tea that had bits of dried fruit it in. It’s a nice blend that smells heavenly and tastes really good. Perhaps at my next post I’ll have another bag a name for it


One Heck of a Week!

It sure has been. There were loads of errands and appointments to attend to but I managed to get in some baking:

Home made pretzels

Home made salt pretzels on the red plate and cinnamon-sugar on the white. As will all yummy creations in Chez Beanknit they didn’t last long. Hubby had found Auntie Anne’s and I figured they were nice, but I could do just as good. Mine were actually closer to those hot dog-cart pretzels in terms of thickness/firmness, but the flavor was closer to the Anne’s.

The process was time consuming as with pretty much all yeast-based baked goods, but the result was well worth the effort. Definitely will make these again in the future.

There was also time for planting:

Day 10 - Basil

This photo is actually of the 10th day since planting the seeds. It’s basil. I have a marigold mini-pot going also but it doesn’t look like it’s going to work. :( There was a bud but the top fell off. How the heck did that happen! I’m hoping the kids didn’t mess with it; they usually give me a report every morning on how the pots are doing. I should do some research on indoor plants.

Growing up, mom usually had plants. She was neither obsessed nor lazy about them, and they did ok. But my livingroom now doesn’t get the intensity of sunlight the kids’ rooms get. Sigh. I’m thinking later this year I’ll invest in a UV lamp so I can have some decent greenery in here. At the very least I’d like to continue growing basil, as well as adding new herbs. Aside from cilantro and parsley, I think basil is the other herb I cook with the most. It’d be nice to have fresh herbs to use without going to the supermarket and paying an arm and leg for half wilted plants.

So, I’m looking at perhaps a few more weeks of this plant in the tiny pot and then I can move it to something bigger!

Once the week’s hoopla calmed down it was time to go hang out with my girls. Rosi G held her housewarming and I think we all had a good time! So much fun I forgot to take any photos(though I found out yesterday I’d left the chip at home so no photos anyway!), but I finally picked up the knitting needles and cast on a sock. All the knitterfriends came through and some of us worked on projects, while chatting life, yarn, crazy-driving husbands, and quilting!

I originally started one pair of socks but quickly remembered I’m not fond of projects that leave a YO at the end of the needle. So I ripped that out and yesterday started on Emily( a Ravelry link, sorry) and haven’t looked back. There will be pic in the flickr once it starts to look more like something. I really need to lay off the multicolored sock yarn because I really do like lace sock patterns and the designs tend to show better on solid colors than on multis. Sigh.

Well that was my week, pretty much. Here’s hoping this next one is even better!