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Completed Garden Projects

19 May

I caught up on some podcasts and spent part of the afternoon working on the garden projects I linked to on the previous post. I made three small planters and several plant markers. I didn’t have any clay tools, specifically a smoothing tool to make the joints and connecting pieces look clean and professional. Since these are the first ones, I’m giving myself some slack. They aren’t perfect, but I like them anyways.

The plant markers were much easier and looked a lot better because they required less tools. I had a set of alphabet stamps which made the markers especially simple. I made markers for some of the succulents and herbs. I’m already making a list for more to make later. I think they look pretty good! FYI, the Mint marker is really white. The light gave it an orange tint.


Thanks to Say Yes to Hoboken for the planter instructions, and Wit & Whistle for the marker guide!

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Garden Projects

19 May

My summer to do list is starting to get a little out of control. A lot of my early efforts have been happening in the backyard. I’ve got most of the vegetable garden planted and seedlings started in small pots. I cleaned the back patio and got almost all of my new succulents planted! A few crafty projects have popped up that I really want to try. They both involve using polymer bake-able clay.

One is a Handmade Clay pot. The author designed hers in the shape of little houses. It looks fun and easy! Second is making garden makers with the same material. I think it’s time to get crafting.

In other news, several of my succulents are getting ready to flower! I’ll post pictures when that happens. Others are branching off new succulents, like the Hen and Chicks Sempervivums. This photo was taken a few weeks ago and the little babies are much bigger now.
Happy planting!

Succulent Extravaganza!

7 May

A few years ago our landlord gave us a few succulents that they couldn’t take with them on a move. A few years later, our backyard is full of clippings from these original plants, as well as a growing collection purchased at various nurseries, farmers markets and this weekend – the local Succulent show and sale!

I never gave much thought to succulents or cacti. Once they were in my possession and didn’t shrivel and die from lack of attention, I was intrigued. When a branch from the jade plant fell off during a wet and cold winter, I stuck it in an old pot, and miraculously, it lived! It rooted, and is still happily growing away. Plants that can survive with little attention and can easily propagate are right up my alley. I’ve always wanted to be a good gardener, but I’m not. My vegetable and herb garden do OK, but the plants that do best are the mints and rosemary that don’t require constant care and don’t require me to invest in new seedlings every year. I have a small budget and those that cost the least are my friends.

I find succulents to be both cost-effective and rewarding. I’ve been able to get cuttings off my plants and start new ones. They don’t require much water and tolerate the hot California summers. This weekend I gathered up some friends and we browsed the awesome selection at the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society Show. The selection far outnumbered any local plant nursery I’ve been to. The sheer variety was mind boggling and awesome. I found several plants that I had eyed in my succulent books and was super excited to add them to my collection.

Alright, let’s look at some of the goodies!

This last one isn’t new. I got this tea cup from the as-is section at Ikea for a buck, filled the bottom with rocks for drainage, and put a few cuttings in it. I love it. Super simple and looks great.

Anyone else going succulent crazy?

KDVS Fundraiser T-shirt

27 Apr

 

Hey all! My favorite radio station, KDVS, a fantastic community run station is having their annual Fundraiser this week. I designed a shirt for them for their awesome theme, “Your Beacon in a Sea of Sound.” I had a lot of fun developing a nautical themed design. It’s available in a variety of sizes for a $25 donation. Please support this awesome community resource. I do a show on-and-off here and it changed my life when I stepped through those doors 10 (!!!!) years ago. These types of radio stations are dying and need public support. Please help out if you can. There are tons of great premiums to get in exchange for your donation including music packages, gift certificates and more! Thank you in advance!

You can listen to archives from my shows last summer here.

Rain!

14 Mar


Finally…it’s raining! We’re having such a dry spell in California this year. The rain is totally welcome. Speaking of dry spells…yup, another lapse in the blog posting. I’ve been hard at work creatively on new fabric designs, as well as custom button orders.

No one knows busy like two of my office mates (pictured above.) Dora and Orange Puff like to keep an eye on my productivity. And they’re also great seat warmers.

Well, I’ve got to get back to trudging along in the studio. I’ll post some of my new fabric soon! I have some great stuff to share.

Happy New Year!

4 Jan

Wow, we made it. 2012 is here! As much as I love the holidays, I’m glad they’re over and I’m ready to move on to a new year and a new month. I started the year by cleaning my office including cleaning out a daunting closet made tolerable with some Doctor Who episodes. This work week I’ve already clocked in a bunch of time on design and illustration projects. I designed a “time tracker” for myself to be more productive with my time and track my creative projects! I’m not one for resolutions for the new year, but I have made goals for myself and have already started the year organized, on task and in an organized, clean office with my cats.

I hope you all had a great new year and are all ready for an awesome year to come.

Cool drink for a hot day

7 Aug

Originally inspired by this recipe on Everybody Likes Sandwiches, I’ve tinkered with this recipe several times, always with great results. This time, I used what was on hand,  including lavender and rosemary from my backyard.

Lemonade with Lavender and Rosemary

Simple Syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water)
4 Lemons, juiced
1 Lime, juiced
Several small clippings of Lavender and Rosemary

1) Make your simple syrup. Mix the sugar and water in a pan and boil until the sugar dissolves. You can also flavor it by adding ginger, mint, or whatever you like. I muddled Lavender and Rosemary in it while it boiled, and took them out when the mixture cooled.
2) Pour in your juice (add more for a stronger batch).
3) Pour over ice and add water until it suits your taste. Usually several cups.
4) Toss in extra clippings of Lavender and Rosemary for a beautiful presentation.

Tip: Since it is lemon season and you can score some great deals on large amounts of them, remember that you can always juice them, freeze them in ice cube trays and store the cubes in a bag or container in the freezer. That way if you need lemons during the off-season, you have a ready supply! It comes in super handy for recipes and drinks that call for them. You can simply toss them in cold, or microwave them.

Summer Reading

11 Jul


It’s hard to escape the nostalgia of summer.  It’s leftover from being a kid in school and counting down the minutes to the start of summer, those months of freedom, staying up late, eating junk food, going swimming and spending time with friends. You leave this world in your later teens when you opt to get a summer job, and it continues into your college years and/or the entrance into the “real world” where as an adult you don’t really get a summer unless you have the vacation time. You are most likely still working or if you are like many of us, you are under-employed and trying to find cheap/free things to take up your time while you make friends with your air conditioner.

One of the best things to do over the summer is to catch up on your reading. With a simple library card, you can get books, videos, and audiobooks FOR FREE from your local library! Since it’s the 21st century, most libraries allow you to browse their collection online and you can request materials and go pick them up when they are ready. Since teleportation isn’t available for us yet, take a trip to your local library and check out what’s available. With budget cuts slashing violently into libraries, they need our support and one basic way to do so is to prove their worth by borrowing from them and show their value to the community.

If you’re not into novels, you can check out cookbooks if you’re looking to improve your skills in the kitchen. Are you an artist, or interested in working the right side of your brain? There are wonderful books on sparking creativity and how-to and inspirational guides in all kinds of creative medias. If you’re more of a movie person, there are tons of DVDs and videos to borrow. You can also get audiobooks online and in disc form. Really, the library is a wonderful place and one that is not obsolete in our digital world.

So far this summer I’ve enjoyed some great reads, including Craig Ferguson’s American on Purpose. It’s funny, sad, highly entertaining and insightful. It’s a quick read and gave me a much better view of Craig Ferguson. I never knew he was in punk bands in the magic period of the late 1970s! He’s led an interesting life and made a crazy journey into the entertainment industry. It’s a great read, check it out!

I’ve also been really interested in history, and I’m still working my way through The Story of Britain, which covers Roman rule of Britain through current events. This book is massive and so interesting I ended up buying a copy for my collection. As an American, we are not very educated the history of countries outside our own in school, so it’s been great to read the history of a country much, MUCH older than the infant USA.

Another of my favorite reads this summer is comedian Mike Birbiglia’s book Sleepwalk with Me. Like many people I was introduced to his hilarious humor on This American Life, and have since watched a few of his comedy specials and watched him gain much deserved acclaim as an author, comedian and writer. This is a must read with stories from his life including his well known trials with his sleep disorders and those ever embarrassing childhood experiences.

Are you ready to read?

Launching Klinger Creative

29 Jun


I have a new website, it’s called Klinger Creative. It is my new portfolio website and contains samples of my work as well as contact information. As you may know, I’m an illustrator and graphic designer and currently looking for work! Please check out my website and if you or someone you know needs some custom illustration or design services, send them my way!

Thanks!

Goodbye Readymade Magazine

16 Jun


Readymade Magazine
, that fun inspirational bi-monthly magazine full of great everyday tips and amazing projects, announced that it was being closed down by their parent company.

Readymade is the only magazine I subscribe to, and I always looked forward to the arrival of new issues. It was beautifully designed and full of awesome content and projects that both inspired and boggled my mind. Everything from transforming shipping palettes into furniture, shaping old newspapers into seedling pots and of course delicious recipes for homemade ice cream and great gardening tips.

I think we’re all ready for the economy to turn around and stop crushing everything we love. Magazines and newspapers have had it doubly hard with the rise of the internet and movement to reduce paper use.

I’m not sure what the status is on the equally fantastic Readymade website. I hope they’ll pull a Craft Magazine and keep the website and blog going which also feature great projects, photos and links.

Thanks for the past 10 years Readymade. We’ll miss you. Much love to your hardworking staff and to many awesome future endeavors. I will cherish my back issues.