Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The entry in which I expound on all that stuff...

Yeeaaah, so, I'm back from lunch, caught up on work, and thus it *must* be time to blog.

Last week was simply madness from start to finish. First and foremost, I am now able to announce that, for the first time in 10+ years, my brother and I live in the same town. Woo to the Hoo, y'all! I'm thrilled silly for Mike and I to be here in Knoxville together, even if currently he does not have a kitchen and must therefor be a mooch and eat with us most nights ;) I'm sure it will feel less bizarre that he's here permanently any day now, but for the moment, it's pretty novel to think that instead of being 4 or more hours away, he's just across town. All the time. Every day. CRAZY. It's also pretty nice that the Avondale house (my former digs) has a tenant for the first time in over a year, and that I'm no longer paying the utilities.

In other news, I hadn't yet posted pictures of my last pottery pieces, mostly because I had a couple picked out for presents for my and Matt's mom for Mother's Day. Now they both have their little hand-made-with-love pots, and the complete picture set is up on Flickr. I can't wait to get back in the studio now, I have so many ideas, and the glazing on this last set was really fun and much more creative than anything up to now. And look how great Matt's mug looks! I'm going to have to make a few more!

With the weather warming up here in Knoxville, it was time to say goodbye to all my pansies. The heat was becoming too much, and the plants themselves were getting waaaay too long and leggy for their pots. So, the last two weekends have involved little else but yard work, and even though all the annuals and other plants I've put in are just babies, I had to take their pictures, so that this summer, I can look back and say Look how tiny everything was! and Man alive, these flower beds have filled in! Full set of landscape pictures over at Flickr, as per the usual, but here are a few highlights:
Rusty the Rooster, set up overlooking the hill out back behind the deck. His pot is planted with Cock's Comb, as promised, and some Alyssum spilling out on the edges there. And of course, some hens and chicks at his feet. These should spread and multiply like crazy!

I planted up four big hanging planters with sunny annuals, and added window boxes to the porch railing with shade-lovers, along with some nice hanging baskets of Million Bells Petunias. Can't wait for these to fill in and start looking lush! We got new cushions for the wicker chairs out there, and a little table to boot, so now you can sit and relax on the front porch as well as out back. I love sitting out here and reading the mail in the afternoons! I also planted the bed in front of our hedges with some hostas and filled in everywhere else with some pretty orange impatiens. Matt has no idea how annuals work, and is just going to fall over when these are huge and full of blooms this summer.

I am also just terrible for needing to stick little, um, things hiding here and there, so when you come visit, you should not be surprised if you find a dog butt by the stairs or a gnome peeking out at you ;) We also tried to jazz up the space out front where our big electrical box and telephone lines run--I hate these things, but if you work around 'em, at least you can make it look like you were trying, ya know? So we stuck a little fence up, planted a rose--anything to take focus away from the big green box!

Finally, graduation was this week, and my brother's girlfriend Ryn graduated with her Master's from UT in Speech Pathology. To celebrate, and to test drive my new book (Sunday's got this one too!) The Whimsical Bakehouse, I made some cupcakes--some glorious, girly cupcakes, all pink and frilly and covered with butterflies. And I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. Tons of pictures in the Cakes set on Flickr, but here's a taste (ha ha, taste, get it?). I just loved this technique, and I hope to get much better at it and make them less "coloring book", more painterly eventually. The cupcakes were a nice spongy white almond-flavored cake, with Italian Meringue Buttercream frosting, flavored with raspberry puree. I just loved the color, and they tasted amazing!

Okay, that was a picture heavy post, and Blogger has officially worn me out (I really do wish there were an easier layout method, but oh well...). Hope you all made it through that insane update, and lets cross all our fingers and toes that things are about to slow down and from now on it will be blogging as usual 'round these parts!


KatieKate said...

I must have a cupcake. Surely there is one left over? Somewhere?

And where might Rusty have a brother? Mamma Lowes? Goodnight, he's handsome!!! Your gardening is inspiring... I am in awe of all the colors and combinations and guts! Someday, I a-gonna be jus' like you!

sunday said...

you are amazing, really! I LOVE the cupcakes. I think that technique is way cool as well. I did that with chocolate stars, but mine were no where near your butterflies! Amazing. I love rusty too and all your plants. they are just wonderful!

CortneyTree said...

Thanks guys! Y'all are gonna make me blush!

Katie, you know I will make you cupcakes any ol' time you want ;) Rusty came from a little shop here in town that specializes in iron work, so I don't know if he has a brother elsewhere in the world, but I'll keep a lookout just in case. The girl who sold him to us said the owner goes to Mexico and finds this stuff, so my guess is someone else *somewhere* has imported a few more like him.