This and That: Spring ’14 Edition

Greetings, dear readers!  I hope this post finds you well and happy.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  Today’s post is a small collection of odds and ends – some news, and links to things that I’ve been wrapped up in lately.  Here goes…

Art Supply Drive: Big thanks to the six wonderful souls who’ve donated to the art supply drive that I’m wrapping up.  I really appreciate you!  I’ll be able to teach art journaling to one class of 4th graders next school year.  Thank you for your generosity and kindness.  :]  If you intend to donate but forgot, and would still like to, you may do so quickly, easily, and securely HERE.

Spring Cleaning Fever: Have you ever heard of 40 Bags in 40 Days?  It’s a challenge that folks take part in to pare down their belongings and reduce clutter, by “filling up” 40 bags with belongings in 40 days.  I decided to participate by going through and purging in 40 different “spots” here at home.  Spots included the clothes closet, dresser drawers, bookshelves, the garage, my art supply storage, etc.  I was aggressive with what I decided to get rid of, and probably cleared out about three small truckloads of items – most were donated.  It feels great to have passed along things we’re not using so that someone else can benefit from them.  And it will be less for us to move, too!

Minimalism & Tiny Houses: Along with the purge came some research into minimalism, Tiny Houses, and full-time RV living.  I’m not sure we’ll ever get all the way to any of those things, but the idea of simplifying and reducing overhead in order to spend more time enjoying life sounds really good, so we’re taking baby steps in that direction.

This Girl Needs a Garden: I’ve been longing for a garden for the longest time – but apartment living makes that a challenge.  Enter Square Foot Gardening, which was brought into being by Mel Bartholomew.  I recently purchased his book, and am hoping that our next apartment home has a patio that will accommodate some raised bed planters (with both space and the sunlight needed) so I can give this gardening method a try.  Here are the rings I’d like to grow in my first 16 or so “squares”: carrots, parsley, cilantro, kale, lettuce, red bell peppers, chile peppers, onions, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, zucchini, arugala, and strawberries.  Have any of you tried Square Foot Gardening?  How did it go?

A Crafty & Cool Conference:  I recently attended Craftcation in Ventura, CA.  Craftcation is a conference for creative folks and small business owners – it combines business classes and hands-on classes for crafters and foodies.  I had a wonderful time and learned so much!  I took several classes, including a class for Etsy sellers and hands-on classes on image transfers and reverse appliqué.  The teacher of my image transfers class has a fab book out if you’d like to check it out – Playing with Image Transfers by Courtney Cerruti.

That’s all for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Warm regards,

*Please note: The links above are just for your reference – they won’t generate income for me.  :]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in art, gardening, life in general and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted April 15, 2014 at 10:18 am by Jani Howe | Permalink

    Yes, Melody, I have done square foot gardening! When we first moved to AZ, we wanted just a teeny garden, so we tried 16 s/f, which was 3’x6′. In it, we grew Asian eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, and best of all, OKRA! I love fresh okra and Cajun cooking! Oh, my, the best producers were by far okra and eggplant — I was bringing in some every single day and having to hunt recipes to use it all like mad! The tomatoes did well, and the peppers were OK, not so large as I’d hoped. But everything was delicious! Hope you get to try this one day.

  2. Posted April 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm by Jo Murray | Permalink

    Such an organised post! You are definitely a good candidate for minimalist living. I really would love to declutter…but it’s so HARD…:) Jo

  3. Posted April 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Hi Jani,
    Cool, thanks for sharing your SFG adventures with me. I’m glad you had a positive experience with it! Are you still gardening?

  4. Posted April 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Hi Jo,
    Thanks. I know it’s hard to get rid of things, especially for artists that can see so much potential on how to use things in a variety of ways – from a scrap of foil to larger items. Right? ;] I just thought about what I would realistically use. What no longer suited my interests and tastes. When you get real about what you regularly use and what you’ll actually use in the future it’s a bit easier. Just a bit. :]