Saturday, September 26, 2015

Living Wall || Phase 2

Earlier in the summer, I posted about beginning the realization of a longtime dream of mine... constructing a living wall.  It started out with a birdnest fern mounted on a tree cross section, and then I mounted some small staghorn ferns to hang on either side across from a big picture window in our living room.  It's a pretty slow process, but adding to the wall is very satisfying - like finding the perfect piece for a gallery wall.

For my birthday in August, I got some Woolly Pocket wall planters to add to the mix.  I've had my eye on these for a while - they've got a nice modern design and address some of the issues that I have always had with indoor plants (particularly those that hang).  How do you avoid water overflow?  How can I mount the planter so that it is adequately supported?  To hang, you mount an anchor in the wall and the planter slips down over it.  I really like this feature, because it makes for easy replanting if necessary... you know, if you're still getting used to the ins and outs and accidentally kill something...  Ahem.  For watering, there is a reservoir on the wall side that you fill and it percolates through tiny holes into the soil.  All of the water is contained, but the roots do not sit in saturated soil unless you just water way too much.  I've found that I need to water less than I anticipated that I would (which wasn't very much to begin with), so that's been something to get used to.  Unfortunately, as I figured this out the string of pearls there in the center became a casualty.  The pothos are doing great though!

I installed my planters at the top of the wall so my vining plants can hang down.  At some point I would like to trellis these across the ceiling or further out on the wall, but it won't be that necessary until I add more to the installation.  Around the time that I was adding this phase, my birdnest fern started to look pretty sickly, and after some research I came to the conclusion that the temperature in the room was just too high for it during the day. We use an energy conservation thermostat and participate in a program through our local utility that basically leaves the house pretty warm in the afternoon.  Since that area is exposed to sunlight more than other parts of the house, it tends to be the warmest.  Sadly, the fern didn't make it, but I plan to get a larger staghorn to attach to its mount and hang in its place.
Woolly Pocket has some other products that I'm hoping to try out, possibly on the back porch next growing season.  Do any of you have experience with wall planters, or recommendations for kinds to try?

**Have you updated your bookmarks to my new blog?  I'm posting in both locations now, but will soon be blogging exclusively at

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My New Web Site is Live! Check Out

After a few years of having a blog on one service and linking to my portfolio and shop from other hosts, I buckled down this summer and consolidated everything onto one domain. You may now find me over at! I hope you’ll have a look around the site and see more about my vision, past work, and everything that has connected in making BromeLeighad what it has become here and now.

Since I’m done importing old blog posts and teaching myself how to use WordPress (phew), I’m hoping to get back on a regular posting schedule with some old projects finishing up and some new ones just beginning! For now my old site and shop will remain live, but in the future I do plan to shut them down and assign the domain to the new blog for those who have bookmarked it before. If you would like to update your RSS subscription or bookmarks, please use I will be sure to let you know once this site is about to be shut down, but in the meantime I will try to continue to post in both places.

Along with this launch, I’ve posted a whole new collection of work in my new shop, so be sure to have a look! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

On My Needles || Imogen Tee

I tend to stick to fairly simple sweater projects, partly because I tend to prefer bold colors over ornate stitching, and partly because I just like the ease of sailing through a stockinette body after a long day at work to help me unwind. The motif on the Imogen Tee pattern is just so pleasing to the eye, however. I believe I first saw it through my Instagram feed and knew that I had to find the pattern. That's how it is with me and knitwear patterns.  There's no wishy-washy indecisiveness of "well, I guess I'll start on this...." It's always more like "THIS!  It without a doubt HAS to be THIS!"  And so it goes, and I end up with 5 things going at once, but at least I'm enthusiastic about all of them.  I digress...

 This design is by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Quince & Co. I opted for Knit Picks Lindy Chain over the Quince & Co Tern. I've had some curiosity about Lindy Chain since it was debuted and decided to try out the Celery colorway. So far, I've not been disappointed. My motif is a little more open than the garment shown on the model. I will need to wear a camisole underneath it once it's done, but I think the stitch definition will pop once it's blocked and it will make a nice, cool, summer sweater. One that I will finish just in time for fall to get here. 

Around the time I began Imogen, I was somewhat hesitant about starting a project right then that required enough attention to follow a chart on every row, but it hasn't really required much concentration. The motif section is very short, so I zoom through the round, slow down a bit to reference the chart, and then pick it up again after a moment or so. As I'm writing this, the project is nearly halfway through the raglan decreases (it's knit from the bottom edge and up) and I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the month.  It will be a perfect addition to my spring capsule wardrobe (have any of you gotten on board capsules too?) and will give me something to look forward to other than, obviously, spring in general.  Until then, I'll be looking forward to fall...


Monday, August 17, 2015

12 x 12 Preview

I'm very excited to be participating in Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition's 12 x 12 Art Fundraiser this year!  The image above is a detail shot of my piece, "Velvet Toothed Polypore", inspired by a fungus of the same name.  See it in the preview exhibition at Bank of Oklahoma's Leadership Square Gallery in Downtown Oklahoma City until August 31st, or catch it at the 12 x 12 event on September 11th at the Science Museum of Oklahoma.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

June Garden

All the rain we've had this summer has really helped the garden take off.  It was a little slow to start, because it was, well, underwater... but after a little compost and some sunshine it's pretty thick!  With whatever space I don't take up with my veggie plants, I like to plant zinnia and cosmo seeds, and also allow all the basil germinate from plants that bolted in the garden last fall.  

Fennel is a new one for me, to grow and to eat.  This bronze fennel is really striking in the garden though, and I'm excited to harvest both seeds and the bulb before long.

My reasons for loving zinnia are pretty much apparent here - there is so much color variation!  Each new bloom is a pleasant surprise with an unexpected hue.

At our previous house, I had a butterfly milkweed plant growing in my flower bed that just randomly germinated in a gaillardia plant I brought home one year.  Every time I drive by that house I'm sad that I didn't bring it with me, along with the purple coneflower that I moved back from Austin with.  Both are huge and nicely established now, covered in blooms all summer long.  Hopefully they are being enjoyed by the new tenants and passersby!  In any case, I planted a few different types of milkweed throughout our yard with hopes of enjoying these plants once again.  The one above is tropical milkweed.

My niece helped me build this herb bed in the spring.  It needs to be weeded, but is otherwise flourishing.

First little pumpkin of the season!  (first one ever, for me)

Last year's oregano made it through the winter and decided to bolt (along with the sage and parsley) this past month.  It's huge and smothering the peppers at the moment, but the flowers sure are pretty (and pollinators are loving them)

Along with the milkweed, I sowed an entire packet of coneflower seeds in a small flowerbed I made on the side of our shed last year.  Nothing came up last season, but I probably had about 8 coneflower plants come up this spring!  They are taking quite a while to start flowering, but are finally starting to produce heads.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Indigo Milky Cap in the Shop + 15% Off Until Saturday

Remember the mystical indigo milky cap?  It's one of the many mushrooms that prompts the phrase "I can't believe that this exists!" to exit my mouth.  Or at least run across my brain, momentarily.  I felt like knitting up a couple of these tonight, and have just added them to the shop!  And it gets better!  There's currently a summertime 15% off sale going on - be sure to use the coupon code "summersolstice" (all one word) at checkout to redeem your discount.  Grab em while they're hot!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Off the Needles || Twenty Ten Cardigan

dress - Old Navy; brown flats - Target, head scarf - thrifted

It feels good to be finishing up some projects again!  Things have been a little hectic around here, and I have a couple of projects going that still need to be shared.  This is one that I finished a few months ago and just recently sewed the buttons onto.  It may finally be worn instead of draping over my studio chair looking pretty!  The pattern is Twenty Ten Cardigan by Veera Valimaki, knitted in Knit Picks Billow yarn in the Turmeric colorway.  The finished garment turned out a little large, but I expected it to be a little oversized since the gauge of the yarn I used was slightly larger than that of the yarn the pattern called for.  By the way, everything I said in my previous post about Billow-- I still mean it.  This cardigan is so soft, and the moss stitch pattern has beautiful definition. I would love to use it again for a different project, especially with all of the gorgeous colors available.

Lastly, I feel like I just need to say something about this wall.  Wow!  Part of me felt like I was standing beside Frida Kahlo's La Casa Azul (or at least I was wishing it was), and the other part was feeling nostalgic for sidewalk chalk from back in the day.  I've been eyeing this building for a while, wanting to get FO photos there and the contrast with the turmeric shade was just right.  

That's the final pattern from my Veera Valimaki project rule of threes!  Which designer should I move on to next?

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