Archive for August, 2019

Garden Update- August

Whoa! Where has the summer gone?! I skipped a July update because there wasn’t a ton going on in the garden. We still haven’t gotten our shed (coming in September!), we haven’t added any more beds or barrels, we don’t have the path done (waiting on that shed), and the beg situation was the same as in June. But August has been a food and flower explosion!

The Dahlias completely filled out their barrel, and I think I’m going to split them up early next year. I wanted the barrels to be full and happy but not overcrowded, and they’ll probably be happier as neighbors instead of housemates.

One single black-eyed-susan bloomed! I crowded these guys too, along with nasturtiums and some other things in a pot. Hopefully this guy will survive the winter and move into it’s own barrel next year- or landscaped ground area!

I planted marigolds in little boxes next to a couple of the big beds and they JUST started blooming in early August. They’re in full force now but I will definitely have to start them in the basement next year and get them out and blooming sooner. They’re lovely!

All of the asparagus plants are doing their thing: sprouting more and more tiny asparagus ferns!

The bean, tomato, and purple pepper bed is going strong. Looks a little thirsty here but I’ll take care of that tonight when the sun isn’t out in full force.

I didn’t check the beans for 3 days and went out to find monster beans waiting to be plucked. For the first time ever, we have enough to go with a meal without needing to buy some extra at the store!

So many little tomatoes!

I left the oregano alone and it flowered! I don’t know if it still tastes ok (I have a bolted lettuce that tastes horrible but looks fascinating) but I’m excited to try collecting seeds.

I added some more lettuce plants, an arugula, and some spinach to the lettuce bed, and removed the kale. Something keeps coming and eating the tops off the new baby lettuce so I think I’m done with that for the season. The spinach and arugula seem untouched though so I still have hope for them. And the cucumbers are doing amazing!

They’re pickling cukes and there are a million of them.

The carrot / broccoli/ green onion bed looks half happy and half sad because we picked most of the carrots already and the onions aren’t doing great.

And there’s a few broccoli heads ready for picking!

I honestly cannot believe how full my veg basket is. Might have to look up a sauce recipe to take full advantage of this tomato crop!

In other news, our grass has NEVER looked nicer. Of course, the year we decide to start eliminating and covering it has to look better than ever. Norm keeps saying it’s mostly weeds, but they’re green!

Next month will include the shed (YAY) and maybe the start of planning for next year!

By special request…

Historically, The Tragic Whale has been my creative outlet. And while I’ve entertained suggestions and occasionally taken on special orders, I’m mostly in this for me. I make what I want, when I want. I develop new items that I think are a good idea and at my own pace. And it’s worked out overall. But if I’m going to continue to grow as a business as well as a person, I need to be open to more of a push than just what I can give myself.

I started with a baby step earlier this year when I introduced PUL-lined bags to the shop. People have been asking for them for AGES, and in true-Kerry fashion, I waited until I was fully ready to explore this new and wild material. Why did I wait so long? I have no idea. It hadn’t previously worked into my “bigger picture plans” and didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time. That was 100% WRONG! The snack-size bags I’m making are selling excellent at events, and multiple people have asked to special order a print they loved in person but with the easy-to-clean PUL as a lining instead of cotton.

Another baby step is to buy fabric with the customer in mind. Why? Because they are the people buying things from me! This is a “Duh, Kerry!” moment, I know. A lot of people are asking about bee fabric, so I started scooping up every one I come across. They don’t last long in the shop and sell even faster in person, so instead of buying more bees after I sell out of all my bee bags, I’m actively seeking it out and consciously picking designs that I haven’t see elsewhere. The idea is that 1) I won’t run out and 2) I’ll have especially fun bees to offer.

My last baby step is to make more in prints I already have / self designed. My shark print is pretty popular and people ask for more size options. And I’m over here like, “Well I *had* that in a small and I sold it. So I don’t anymore.” But it’s MY fabric and the whole idea is to buy more when I need it. Why am I waiting to sell out before thinking about the next bag? I made some shark bags last week, and some sheep bags (which is another frequent request)! And I’m currently working on a restocking list for the designs I’m running low on.

What’s next? Well, these baby steps all come together to form a shift in focus for me. I’m planning to add a Made to Order section to the shop within the next year (probably sooner) where people will be able to select bag size, outside fabric, zipper color, and lining. I’ll only offer them in my own prints, because I can restock on fabric when I run low. I still have to work out some details, such as turnaround time and pricing, but it feels like a natural next step and I’m excited about it!

Have any suggestions? Noticed a change in focus in your life recently? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

August 2019

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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