Friday, September 28, 2012

My balcony garden 2012 - a review

No, this isn't the whole harvest. It wasn't that bad.
Summer 2012 here in Finland was not a good year for the balcony garden - cold and rainy weather with little sun meant sad plants. It's no wonder then that the harvest was also pretty sad this year.

It wasn't all tears and gnashing of teeth, though. I found a few cool new plant acquaintances which will definitely return another summer. As I prefer to look on the bright side of things, I thought I'd look at some of the gardening highlights of the year instead of crying over all the wasted seeds I planted.

I went with pinks, reds and whites as the main colours this summer, with a few spots of bright blue providing contrast.

The seating corner looked much as it has previous years, with the vine and hosta doing quite well in the big planter, and with a gorgeous dahlia providing colour on the little table.

The dahlia was an irresistible shade of bright pink, with darker pink edges on the petals, and it kept on flowering long into September. Oh dahlias, you never let me down, no matter what the weather brings.

The other decoration on the table was a basket planted with a couple of perennial succulents. Getting these two was one of the best decisions I've made for the balcony, for they are perfect for its normal conditions; hot and sunny. They did very well, filling up the whole basket over the course of the summer. I hope they'll survive the winter!

The main flower box was planted with white and blue lobelias, red petunias and a pink-and-red new acquaintance, which Wikipedia tells me is called "Sweet William" in English. It also did very well, as did the petunias. Unfortunately the lobelias didn't last more than a month; victims of the crappy weather, I suppose.

The notables of the other corner, shown in the photo below, were the red tobacco plant (always a good choice, it seems) and a pretty silver plant whose name I can't remember. There was also a mini rose planted with them, but the rose didn't like the poor weather at all and gave up pretty quickly.
On the right, with yellow flowers and huge leaves, grew a cucumber plant which produced the most awesome cucumbers ever. Seriously, I have NEVER eaten cucumbers as good as these. Ever. Definitely one to plant another year!

So there you have it, the highlights of my balcony gardening summer of 2012! If you've read this far, well done. I guess you really like plants!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A shiny new look for the blog!

Well lo and behold, the Morrgan's Creatures blog has a completely new look! What do you think?

Originally I just wanted some of those neat easy-to-share-in-one-click buttons on every post. However, my old blog template was really, really, REALLY old, so getting them to work required a template change. Once I committed to that I decided I may as well do a complete overhaul. It was about time and I wanted to make the blog neater, prettier and easier to navigate.

I may have been a bit silly though. I could have sworn I made a backup of the old blog template before I began the changes, but now that file is nowhere to be found. So, dear readers, I need your help. I have tried to add all the relevant features and links my old blog had, but can't be sure I got it all right.

Is there anything you really liked about the old blog that's missing from the new design? Or maybe there's a completely new feature you'd like to see? If so, please let me know!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Introducing Humboldt the Fancy Bunny

a fancy beige knitted plush bunny or rabbit called humboldt
a fancy beige knitted plush bunny or rabbit called humboldt

Humboldt is a bit of a fancy bunny. He’s the sort of rabbit who would wear a top hat instead of being pulled out of one. However, he isn’t exactly a snob; he just enjoys the finer things in life. Only the freshest hand-picked carrots will do for Humboldt!

Guess how long I have been planning to make this particular bunny? Anyone?

I looked up the receipt for the yarn I bought specifically for this bunny. The yarn was bought in February 2011 and I know I had the vision of a long-and-floppy-eared bunny in my head for way longer than that. Poor Humboldt. He's certainly had to wait for his moment in the spotlight!

Humboldt is available as a pattern via Ravelry (or click here to buy now - no Ravelry account needed) and from my Etsy shop.

Want to see more creature introductions?

a fancy beige knitted plush bunny or rabbit called humboldt

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New in September: Knotwork fingerless gloves

purple fingerless gloves wrist warmers arm warmers

Just in time for the chilly days autumn, I bring you stylish handwear!

It's been a while since my shop last had gloves listed, but now they're here again! I promised new designs early this year and here's the first of them: knotwork fingerless gloves.

They feature the intricate cabled knotwork I so adore, both to look at and to make, originally inspired by Viking and Celtic knotwork. The darker pairs especially have something deliciously gothic about them. All in all, I'm very pleased with this style.

The design would look fantastic as a full pair of mittens as well - if you're interested in a pair, contact me via my Etsy shop!

dark grey gothic fingerless gloves wrist warmers arm warmers

I have more new fingerless gloves to show soon! I spent the summer sourcing lovely new yarns for handwear and have been knitting like a madwoman this past month or so. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tiny Dragons - The 20th Batch

Well, well, well. The 20th batch of tiny dragons is complete, meaning I've made one hundred of the little ones.

One. Hundred.


Shall I continue onwards to 150? 200? I probably will; I still enjoy making them too much to stop, not to mention that I have a bunch of neat colour combos to try out! However, I do think I'll take a little break from knitting and crocheting dragons for now.

But today, say hi to these guys!

From left to right:

#96. Cerise - purple and dark magenta
#97. Sherbert - pale yellow and light purple
#98. Aqua - bright turquoise and teal
#99. Freya - grey and orange
#100. Moira - cobalt blue and indigo

Here's how it works: Every now and then I make a batch of 5 dragons. Each dragon has a unique set of colours and they get a signed hatching certificate with their name, number and date.

When they're ready to list, I post an introduction on this blog like the one above. During the following few days, I'll list them in numerical order in my Etsy shop. Should you happen to spot one you must have, let me know and I can reserve it for you.

Monday, September 03, 2012

What to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

It's already September and the rainy, cold days have arrived. Sunny days are few and far between (have been all summer this year, really), so when the sun was shining prettily this weekend, Mr Morrgan and I went on a spur-of-the-moment trip to the nearby botanical gardens.

Alas and alack, the weather decided to play tricks on us and by the time we arrived at the gardens, the sky was full of dark clouds and the rain was only minutes away (hence the somewhat grey photos).

We would not be deterred, however, and made the most of the outer gardens while we could. When the rain started we rushed into the greenhouses and had a pretty good time looking at all manner of cool, pretty and just plain weird plantlife housed within. Afternoon trip saved!

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