Life on several levels...

Much better than on one level, and so much more interesting too! Licia, what are you rambling about.

This is the before photo, keep it in mind as you read.....

So over the past month Ginkgo (that's the other business) has had a project in the works. It's a Redmond based, Microsoft referred landscape design project. Now, I know the basics of the installations, and I am regularly involved in them but the first stages are usually more intense (heavier work) than I wish to or am able to participate in. So I had seem some initial before photos, and I knew what the design drawings looked like, but until I see it in person it's not really "real" to me.

Last week was the first time I participated on this particular installation and I was just awestruck by the design! I'm just amazed by what Mr.Ginkgo is able to do with different levels and spaces in a small area. It's so dramatic. I cannot wait for plants.... the best part is after about 3 years when the garden has had time to mature. It's a good thing I am patient.

Oh, you want to see? I want one of these in my garden!

The previous photo was taken from approximately the same location as the before photo...

We are so busy trying to build the business that we have no time to make one for ourselves. Designing and installing for other people in the Seattle/Eastside area helps us know what we want in our own garden though.

The FRONT page! I was so there thanks to....

Thanks so much to Sandfibers (this is her Etsy store) for making such a beautiful treasury, including me in it, and promoting it so that it made the front page! I got a bunch of views, some hearts etc in the process. So happy to be included and supported!

Mine is 3rd row down, in the middle :)

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

These are some of my favorite chocolate goodies. They are very moist because of the zucchini. They are easy to make in a single large bowl and cleanup is quick if you use muffin cups.

Start to finish about 40-50 minutes, makes 24 cupcakes.

2 cups shredded zucchini (the smaller ones are my favorite)
3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 C cooking oil
2 tsp. vanilla (or more, I don't really measure the vanilla)
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder (dark chocolate is the best in these!)
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
3/4 C milk chocolate pieces (that's chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325. Line 24 regular sized muffin cups with baking cups (highly reccomended), or grease the cups with butter.

In a large bowl stir together shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate pieces. Bake 25 minutes (mine usually go 35 minutes) or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cups and cool completely.

These are great with ice cream! Since the recipe makes plenty of them, I usually make them to bring to parties and keep a couple for myself. AND! There's veggies in there!

First attempt complete....

This is the first attempt at wire wrapping. I got about halfway done and started doing the earring rounds (because there is no such thing as one project at a time) after finding a fun "weave" that I liked. I don't even know what to call these weaves, I'm sure they have a name. I'll have to find a wire wrapping terms website or something.

In any case, this is what I came up with on my first try. It looks like a first try to me also... I'm not sure it is saleable. The second try is just above the photo, and I like it much more so far. I'm using more intricate wraps on the second try, and more components.

EARRING UPDATE: I am keeping the first ones I made, but pair #2 is for sale on my Etsy site.
go buy it! :)

Do I keep them, or do I sell them?

Over the last couple of days I have been messing around with wire. I even bought some since I liked it so much. Usually I am hunched over some seed beads, methodically counting each bead. I realized that with wire wrapping, I can lean back and just weave. It's similar to knitting a simple pattern... no hunching. I like not hunching.

These are the no hunching earrings. I like them, and cannot decide if I should sell them ($40) or keep them for my greedy little self. They are silver plated (because using sterling at this point would be wasteful considering the goofs) with glass pearls. Simple, elegant...

Learning how to wire wrap....

I was just baffled by some of the wire work available on Etsy! There are some phenomenal pieces. I felt inspired to learn. I decided to wing it and create something of my own. There are plenty of tutorials, but I like the challenge of learning by doing it on my own.

So this is what I have so far. Originally it consisted of 4 seperate pieces of 20 gauge wire, and they are all connected by smaller 28 gauge wire. It's just basic silver plated craft wire to start with. I will see later how comfortable I feel using sterling. You know, maybe I will try it when it is so expensive that I have to mortgage my cat.

There is a woman Eni Oken who makes some great jewelry and also offers her tutorials at her website. The Etsy seller who is responsible for inspiring me to twist all these little loops is Magdalena of Magdalena's Atelier who sells thru her Etsy shop.

Check it out, you will be amazed!
Ginkgo Landscape Design
Wallingford Garden Tour 2008

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to have one of our competed designs included in the Wallingford Garden Tour in Seattle. The turn out was very good and we heard that they sold over 200 tickets.

Many people enjoyed the garden and it was great to see the pathways full of people and watch the kids run up and down the curves. They also enjoyed the goldfish that the homeowners had in their water basin.

The plants that most people seemed to ask about were the "Peanut Butter Plant" as it has been called. It is the Melianthus Major, and it has fantastic foliage that smells just like peanut butter. Despite being such a familiar plant, sometimes one can still not place the smell...Also, the Cotinus "Grace" Smokebush was asked about several times as this particular variety is redder in color and has larger leaves. Many people also liked the Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) in the parking strip.It's nice to see a garden at a particular point in time, but the real treat is being able to watch it on a regular basis to see all the facets of it's growth.

What's even better? If you want one, you can have one too.

See the Ginkgo Landscape Design website for more. Don't miss the fun stuff link!