Tag: exercise

2023 Goals Mid-Year Check In

2023 Goals Mid-Year Check In

As I sit here mid-way through 2023 with my first official Covid infection I thought I would take some time to look at my progress with my 2023 goals. For 2023 I wanted to focus on self-care and take time to relax every day. I […]

Arboretum in April

Arboretum in April

Recently we went to the Washington Arboretum near the University of Washington in Seattle. We have gone there many times in the past but have not been there for quite some time. We love to walk the trails and learn about the plants from all […]

Oscoey Shop Update #2

Oscoey Shop Update #2

This week we had our second shop update for Oscoey Shop located here or by clicking the link in the top menu of this page. Opening up the shop has awoken the creative side in me I forgot I had. My journey over the past year recovering from massive burnout has been rough and although I still have some ways to got I am doing a lot better. I love all of the things I am selling and using my creative brain instead of my analytical one has been a challenge but I am enjoying the work much more.

 

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

cross stitch pattern
Our rainbow Self-Care Every Day cross stitch pattern.

One of my dreams ever since picking up cross stitching over a decade ago has been to make patterns. Life got in the way and I never even downloaded the software but a little bit ago I took the leap, spent the money and now I have made two patterns finished so far. The first is my Purple Tulip Fields pattern which I have not stitched yet and this Self-Care Every Day one shown above. I have a few more I am still working on that should be released in the next few months. My next few will feature flowers but I am also thinking of doing another version of my Self-Care Every Day pattern in darker colors. Is that something you would be interested in? If so leave a comment below and let me know.

holographic sticker with black background, flowers and a rainbow
Holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower sticker.

Oh man were these holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower stickers hard to photograph! They are dark, holographic and beautiful but they reflect light like crazy. Believe me, in the sun they sparkle fabulously and I absolutely love how they turned out. These and my matching Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards balance with my Brights collection which has the same pattern but in bright, vibrant colors. I really enjoyed making these and I am thinking of what to make for next time. I don’t think the new items will be in time for my May shop update but possibly for the June one.

Matte black postcard
Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcard

Speaking of my Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards, I love these too! The matte black finish on the side you write on is amazing. I used both metallic Sharpies and Pental Milky pens to write on the back and it is very clear to read. I preferred the Sharpies but I write with really large print so I don’t think I could fit very many words on the back. I may look for finer Sharpies and see if those work too. Do you like these? Let me know in the comments.

Tulip field postcard
Orange Tulip Fields Postcard

Another thing I did for this shop update was to lower all of my postcard prices and list my Nature Photography Series One postcards individually in case people wanted to just buy one or two. The five pack set still comes with the super cute mini-sticker pack while supplies last. I love how pretty all of these photos turned out as postcards. These have traditional white backgrounds and can be written on with regular pens. My May shop update will heavily feature tulips from my trip up to the tulip fields last week. I got some really great photos with the overcast sky we had!

 

Purple Tulip Fields puzzle
Purple Tulip Fields puzzle

One item that did not make it into Oscoey Shop this time around was puzzles. I am still trying to find a manufacturer that I love and produces a higher quality puzzle. If you have one and are happy with them please let me know! This sample the photo turned out fabulously but the pieces were very loose to the point that I couldn’t even brush my hands over the top without several coming apart. This would definitely not have passed a pickup test! I have three designs finalized and I’m working on a fourth. My goal is to have puzzles released in June of this year. Fingers crossed I can get everything together in time!!!

 

Thank you for reading about our newest shop update. I am going to aim for one update a month until the end of the year but I may skip one this summer to spend some time with my family. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of in the shop. I am still finding my groove and open to suggestions.

 

Have a fabulous day! – Jennifer at Oscoey

 

Links:

Self-Care Every Day Pattern 

Purple Tulip Fields Pattern

Holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower Stickers

Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards

Metallic Sharpies

Pental Milky pens

Nature Photography Series One Postcards

2022 Goals End of Year Reflection

2022 Goals End of Year Reflection

2022 was a year with mixed results for me. As I reflect on my 2022 goals post from March of this year I am struck by how different my year turned out from where it started. I started the year gung ho about my career […]

Garden Update 04.30.22

Garden Update 04.30.22

Welcome to the end of April when our garden starts to take off. We have been celebrating the emergence of our asparagus and planted many flowers and I am super excited for the summer when all of our plants start taking off. I am still […]

2022 Garden Supply Purchases

2022 Garden Supply Purchases

For 2022 we are really expanding our garden and possibly adding in some chickens later in the year. We are garden zone 8b in the Pacific Northwest located in the Seattle area. Our weather is wet a lot of the year and we have been effected by wild fire smoke in the summer. Our last frost date is mid-May so a lot of our summer crops are either planted around Mother’s Day or I baby them with some sort of covering if I get impatient. We did purchase some new supplies as part of our expansion so I thought I would list out what it is we are using. We are not affiliates with all of the companies listed below except for Amazon. Some items were bought at Costco but if I can find a similar one on Amazon I will link it. Enjoy!

 

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

Seeds:

I get most of my seeds from Territorial Seeds. They are a PNW company located in Oregon which is close enough to Washington that a lot of their varieties are bred to grow in our climate. I also have bought some of my rarer seeds from Baker Creek.

 

Click the link below to go to their sites:

 

Territorial Seed

 

Baker Creek Seeds

 

Garden Supplies:

This year I bought several large Birdies beds from Epic Gardening as well as some netting, inoculant and frames from Amazon. We bought our fertilizer from Costco I believe a couple of years ago. Epic Gardening and Territorial Seed both have natural fertilizer listed on their sites but I have not tried them so I don’t know how well they work. The best thing to do for fertilizer is to test your soil and check with your local garden store (not a big box one) to see what they recommend.

 

Epic Gardening

 

Click the picture or the name of the product below:

 

Raised Garden Beds – These ones on Amazon are similar to the ones I bought from Epic.

 

 

Hardware Cloth – We bought this to line our beds with to prevent rodents from digging up from the bottom.

 

Row Cover – This is to help fight the cabbage butterflies that decimated our brassica plants last year.

 

Cloche – These are used to cover our summer crops I planted a little early and protect them on cold nights.

 

 

A-frame plant support – We are using these in the beds for our vining plants to extend the space.

 

 

Inoculant – This helps our beans get a head start on growing.

 

 

Craft Sticks – I use these to label plants. They are biodegradable and break down after about a year or so. The kids also use them for crafting.

 

Seed Starting Tray – I needed more of these. I put the pots or cups inside so I can water from the bottom.

 

Grow Bags – I use these as an inexpensive way to add extra garden space where I can’t necessarily put beds in year round.

 

 

Pruning Sheers – I needed another pair of these. I did buy them at Costco but here are the ones I bought at Amazon.

 

 

The only thing missing from this list is soil. We do a mixture of bags of soil from Costco and if we need more than enough to fill a few pots we will either go pick up a truck load or have some delivered. The best thing to do for soil is ask around maybe in your local gardening group on Facebook and see who has the best soil in your area.

 

We are very excited to see how our garden will do this year and look forward to showing everyone our progress. This week I am getting the large beds in and ready for soil hopefully over the weekend. How is your garden coming along this year?

 

Thank you for reading and happy gardening!

Gardening Update: 04.04.22

Gardening Update: 04.04.22

Hello spring! I am very excited for the garden this year. I have been out in it every day checking things out and seeing what is coming up. One of the beautiful things that has come out of our gardening over the past few years […]

Gardening Update 11.07.21

Gardening Update 11.07.21

A lot happened in the garden since my last post in July which can be found here. We had a large crop of green tomatoes, lots of greens, successfully grew two nice sized pumpkins and many other vegetables. We continued to battle pests throughout the […]

Gardening Update 07.08.21

Gardening Update 07.08.21

The last few weeks have been rough on everyone’s gardens in the Seattle area. There has been no rain and we had a massive heat wave a bit ago with temperatures well over 100 degrees which is super unusual for this area. I watered like crazy during the heat wave, some plants got water three times a day and others twice. Still, several of my plants were damaged and my vegetable output this year will be much smaller than previous years. For instance, I planted about a dozen cabbages and only got small one bug eaten one head of my spring crop. I will be planting more for fall but it was still pretty heartbreaking to see all of my plants either decimated by slugs/caterpillars or burnt from the sun.

 

zucchini plants
Squash Plants

Some of the plants that did not make it through the last few weeks were my squash plants. As you can see they have been decimated by slugs despite my best efforts to deter them. I put new soil here, fertilized and mulched but my plants are doing poorly in general. Last year this area had potatoes and they did ok. You can see that there are a couple of potato plants coming up from some of the potatoes left in the soil. I have planted both zucchini and spaghetti squash here in years past and they flourished but I realized this year when I was watching the light patterns that this area no longer receives the amount of light it did when we moved in five years ago. The trees surrounding it have grown significantly since then and I have lost one of the few full sun areas I previously had in my garden. I am not sure what I am going to do for next year in this area. For now, I planted some peas and installed some branches for trellising but at the moment not much seems to be growing. I will probably plant a cover crop here for fall and mulch extensively. It may be time to cut down the tree that provides shade to part of my garden but I am reluctant to take such an extreme measure. I may just cut it back significantly this year and plant more shade tolerant plants in this spot next year.

 

potato plants
Potato plants under a bush.

Speaking of potato plants, one of my strategies this year has been to plant potatoes all over in my regular garden beds and hope I get something out of it. We had a bunch from the harvest last year and some that started growing in our pantry and I basically just planted them wherever I had a bare patch. I have not been hilling them at all but I may add straw or mulch this weekend to some areas such as the one above to see if I get a higher yield. Last year I spent tons of time, money and energy carefully hilling my potatoes and it really didn’t increase my yield very much. These are in an area I have trouble growing things in front of our large bush. There isn’t a lot of sun and the large bush traps most of the water but these are doing well. I have been watering them on hot days with the hose and it has been enough. They are also crowding out the creeping Jenny which we can’t get rid of. I am not a fan of it and it is spreading all over my yard. It traps moisture and is a slug breeding ground and I am pulling as much of it out as I can.

 

Red Potatoes
Red Potatoes harvested after the heat wave.

A few of our potato plants did not do well in the heat wave so I dug them up and recovered as many spuds as I could. I ended up digging up about four plants and got double the yield shown above. I am guessing it was around two or three pounds worth. We steamed some of them with our single cabbage and they were delicious! I will probably either roast or steam the others for dinner in the next few days. My middle daughter and I love them steamed with butter and salt. She was very excited for the potatoes! I also planted a few more I found sprouted in our garage, probably victims of the heat wave as well and pulled the ones I could find near the zucchini patch. I have a few mid-growth cycle right now so we will have some more potatoes to harvest in about a month or so and then another month out from that. We really don’t eat a ton of potatoes but I do like to have them fresh when I can. I saved some of the sprouted ones which I will plant in two week intervals so we have a steady supply of potatoes for the next few months. I am not good at storing them (clearly since they all sprout) so having a steady stream of plants to dig up is better for our family.

 

Baby Pumpkin
Baby Pumpkin

One plant I had to baby through the heat wave was our pumpkins. They loved the heat but needed watering two to three times a day otherwise they wilted like crazy. Since it isn’t good to get the leaves wet during the heat of the day, during lunch I very carefully watered them with the hose on a super low setting under the leaves. I roasted in the noon sun but it saved my pumpkin plants. I did not see any bees for about a week and a half during and after the heat wave and the pumpkin started flowering in earnest once everything cooled a bit. I had to hand pollinate for about a week and we now have two pumpkins growing. Usually you don’t want more than one per vine if you want large ones but we have had such bad luck this year with pests I am probably going to pollinate one more per vine just to guarantee we get something in the fall. To hand pollinate I took a paint brush and transferred pollen from the male flowers to the female ones. The flowers on my variety of pumpkins only lasted one day so I had to go out there first thing in the morning to pollinate before anyone else had taken all of the pollen. It seemed like there was very little pollen this year. Usually I have enough to pollinate several flowers but we haven’t grown this variety before so I don’t know if it is the variety or the heat.

 

Mammoth Beets
Gigantic Beets forming.

One of the giant varieties of vegetables we are trying this year is these Mammoth Red Mangel Beets. These are traditionally used for animal feed since they get so large but I thought it would be fun to grow them. I am not a huge fan of beets but have discovered that I love eating the greens. I will definitely grow beets again next year if only for the greens. This particular variety forms the beet super slowly and has a 100 day growing period. I was really happy to see the beginnings of a beet forming on one of my plants. I am hoping to harvest one or two by the end of summer just to see how they taste. The rest I will leave until late September or so to see how large they get. Any guesses?

 

baby cucumber
Baby Cucumber on the vine.

Another plant that did well in the heat was our cucumbers. I planted these in a super shady spot that get some afternoon sun in the summer when the days are longer. I purposefully put the garden bed here in the hopes of extending some of my shade loving crops into the summer and so far it is working. My cucumbers are thriving here and I have a few small fruits on the vines. We eat a lot of cucumbers so I am hoping in a month or so there will be a bunch more and both plants will be well on their way up the trellis. The greens I planted in this bed did bolt during the heat wave but I am going to wait until the end of July and try again. I also have giant Kohlrabi in this bed and it is my first time growing that as well. I am not really sure how they are doing. A couple were eaten by slugs and one had an aphid infestation but they haven’t really grown much the past few weeks. I am going to have to do some Googling and see if there is anything else I need to do for them besides wait. I am not seeing any bulbs forming under the soil but I may need to add more dirt around the bases again.  I mounded dirt up around both my beets and kohlrabi when I planted them but some of it has washed away during watering.

 

apples
Apples growing on our tree.

Our apple tree did really well in the heat. I thought for sure we would lose some leaves or they would be burnt but I just watered it when the sun wasn’t on it and not even that much and it did fine. This area is where the water settles from the rest of the yard and I typically don’t need to water it as much. The apple tree got a lot of runoff from the sprinkler and the pool water and I really only watered it once or twice during the heat wave. We did get way fewer apples this year but that is actually a good thing because last year we had way too many and it attracted pests. I do need to go through and thin a bunch but I am still recovering from my surgery last month and limited in how much gardening I can do. Maybe I will be able to get to it next week. The few apples that we do have are larger and much healthier looking than last year. We don’t put nets over our tree but I might try it next year after the flowers have been pollinated to prevent insects from getting in there.

 

Weeds
Weedy area needing attention.

The weeds have gotten out of control in my side yards, strawberry patch and backyard. My goal the next few weeks is to spend maybe 30 minutes a day working on clearing them out. I can’t do much more than that at the moment but hopefully it will help with my recovery. I worked on the the vegetable bed last week and this week but there is so much to do in my yard I probably won’t catch up until fall. I haven’t done much trimming back of the many bushes that grow faster than the speed of light and the ones I did trim have grown about three feet since I trimmed them last March and need trimming again. I did trim the Smoke Bush pictured above after I took this picture. It had grown about five feet out into the “gravel area” that is now choked with weeds. I do want to take this bush out eventually. It grows super fast and weedy and if I remember correctly they are considered a weedy species here. I also have a rather large Butterfly bush I need to remove that is on the Noxious Weed list. I was waiting for it to bloom since the bees are struggling so much this year and they love that bush. I want to replace these non-native species with native ones over time.

 

Red Huckleberries
Red Huckleberries on our gigantic bush.

One bush I forgot to water but should have is our Red Huckleberry bush. I always water it during the hot parts of summer but this year I forgot for some reason. My son picked a bunch of berries off of it earlier this week and I guess they were good but they look super pale to me and I think they still need a couple more weeks before they ripen. The squirrels have been eating the berries though and usually that is our litmus test to see if they are ripe. I will probably water this one and keep watering it over the next few weeks since we don’t seem to be getting any rain this summer. This bush is older and well established so I am not super worried about it but if I can avoid stressing it by watering it a bit I will.

 

My goals the next few weeks are to keep our plants hydrated, weed like there’s no tomorrow and start getting beds ready for fall planting.

 

How did your plants do in the Seattle Heatwave?

Gardening Update 06.20.21

Gardening Update 06.20.21

Hello and welcome to the first gardening update of 2021! This year my goal was to expand our vegetable garden and add in more pollinator friendly plants. My usual spring garden supply budget was much larger than usual because we ended up needing a large […]


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