Thursday, December 27, 2018

Winter Cleaning and Reorganization!

The inside of the metal shed is really coming along.  I should have taken "before" photos.  Over the last couple of years, as I periodically cleaned up piles of debri from rat parties shredding everything, all of the counters had become stuffed with clutter.  I am not done, but I have clean work surfaces.  And last night I found a great plan for constructing a wedging table for ceramic clay!  So easy I can build it myself.  Now... where to put it...

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  One of the reasons a new shed was so necessary to adjoin to the old metal shed before I could use it to work in, is the wild rats!!  They destroy everything.  They chew the plastic off of wiring to electrical items.  So the kiln has never been taken out of it's box.  Not that they haven't been trying to chew into it!  They pulverize styro foam for bedding.  They shred everything for nests and make nests in every nook and cranny.  Like my collection of woven baskets.  And they destroyed the dried armadillo basket my mother gave me long ago.  It is a real armadillo and I used the skin to make surface texture molds for my ceramic boxes. 
  The last step towards keeping them out, was packing the gaps between the walls and the roof with fiberglass.
  There is still a lot of cleaning and re-organizing to be done.  And that is what I'll be doing for Christmas.  
  Not everything you see in the mess outside is garbage!  A lot of it is paper intended for my future endeavor of making handmade lavender infused paper.
  See you next year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Inventing New Ways To Use My Lavender

As many of you know, the sale of my lavender crop is intended to fund the rebuilding of my heirloom upright fuchsia nursery.  But most people have never heard of a lavender wand and everyone on the planet with a lavender bush sells lavender sachets.  I literally give away most of my lavender sachets, I put one in with every order no matter what the order is for. 

Since so few people know that lavender wands exist, they are not searching for them.
So how do I get people who are searching for items, to land in my Etsy shop?
First, as I was trying to figure out how to add a label to my wands so people would know where to get them, I discovered the end caps and realizes that I could turn my wands into pendants.  Yeah!
I have been having a blast making those and it is going well so far.  I am still lost in a pile of other pendants called lavender because lavender is also a color...
Even so, people are liking them and I am hopeful.

And some of you may know that I write a blog called Artisans Of America where I look for and then promote other artists in 16 categories from botanical to wood.  When I am searching for someone new to promote, I come across so many fascinating things! 

Which has lead me to start making two new items with my lavender.  One of them is a bookmark/landyard accessory which if you don't want to use as a bookmark, can be clipped around your rear view mirror like I do with the pendant that I made for myself.  And the other one is a key fob or zipper pull.  It took a while to figure out how to make something that could endure the use that a zipper pull or key fob does.  Most lavender sachets are sold in "organza" bags which are so thin that pulverized lavender comes through the fabric.  So I went with silk!  Then I had to figure out how to attach them.  I can't use the lavender wands for these because I don't think ( I could be wrong ) that the little woven baskets would hold up long with a lot of use.

So here are two examples of my new items:  Lavender Bookmarks and Lavender Key Fobs!

You can find versions of both of these in my Etsy shop Pedricks

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Making A Dream Come True

There has been a lot of progress in helping my sister Phoebe return to her home town of Santa Cruz, California.  She is no longer stuck way up on the rural coast of northern California and the rv trailer is now in storage up north. 
Thank-you to everyone who has contributed to the GoFundMe campaign so far!

Part of what we need to accomplish is bringing the rv and all of her personal belongings down from up north.  She drove down with pretty much nothing and when she arrived last week after driving all the way from Ukiah, the check engine light in her Jeep had come on.
We know that the Jeep needs new brake pads, a tune-up, and the four wheel drive checked.  But now we also need to have what ever is causing the check engine light to come on.  And we are scheduled to bring the Jeep in for repairs to a very experienced and trustworthy mechanic Tuesday morning.

The needed repairs are probably going to be one of the biggest expenditures of bringing Phoebe back home.  She has already begun searching for a job, but she is also going to need funds for a security deposit and first months rent somewhere.  Hopefully within Santa Cruz County if not in Santa Cruz itself.
If you live anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area or the Monterey Bay Area, then you know that $5,000 is pretty much the bare minimum to get her Jeep repaired, put cash down on a place to live, rent a truck strong enough to bring her rv and possessions down from Ukiah, and living expenses while we attempt to accomplish all of this.

Please help us make her dream come true!
Facebook will not allow me to boost a post that comes from GoFundMe, but they will allow me to pay to boost a post from my blog for Pedricks Corner.
You can find a link to the GoFundMe campaign at the top of the right hand side of this blog.
Please click on the link.
Please share like, share, and leave a comment.  Especially if you know Phoebe.
Because liking and sharing posts is how they go "viral" and reach thousands of people.

Phoebe is a talented photographer and I would love to help her continue her art.  As I post updates to the campaign, I've been adding as many of her photos as I can.  We are limited to three per update.  You can see them all by clicking on the little camera icon in the lower right hand corner of the main photo for the campaign.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Real Hibiscus Tea - Hibiscus sabdariffa

Most people enjoy hibiscus tea.  Some even know the dried flowers are delicious eaten like dried fruit.  But few realize that the flower used for this is actually "Jamaican Sorrel" or Hibiscus sabdariffa.  I have been wanting to grow it for years.  And this guy is from some seed I bought.  He was the only one that came up, but I have high hopes for him! 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Help Bring My Sister Home

I started a GoFundMe campaign for my sister Phoebe.  She was born and raised in Santa Cruz and would really like to come back home, but she is stuck in northern California where there are no jobs and few places to live.  The area is so rural she can't even make the money needed to move anywhere, let alone back to Santa Cruz.  She has an rv that needs to be towed and stored.  She has a vehicle that needs repairs.  And she has a job offer.
Now we just need to get her here!

Facebook will not let me pay to boost a post that is linked to GoFundMe.
But they will let me boost a post from my blog.

And I have posted a link to the GoFundMe campaign here on the blog.

So I need you to go to my page for PedricksCorner and look for the post about Phoebe and the GoFundMe post. 
Even if you can't donate, you can like and SHARE the post!
Your friends cannot see that you like the post unless you share it.
Please, this is how posts go "viral", it is from people taking a second to share the posts they see.

If you donate, you will see updates to how the campaign is going and I will be certain to post about our success if we are able to get this done.

Here is a photo of Phoebe when she was on the women's swim team at Cabrillo College in 1993.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blatant Bribery - First 10 to complete the instructions win a free Real Lavender Filled Pendant

If you live in the United States (sorry, this is a freebie and I can't afford to ship to you otherwise) and would like to earn a "free" Real Lavender Filled Pendant like the ones shown, then read on!

Here are the instructions:

1.  Write me a note via Etsy to tell me you intend to try for one of the ten free pendants I will be giving away to the first ten people who complete all the steps.

      Here is a link to my Etsy store:

      I also have an EBay store, but that one doesn't count for now.

2.  Then you need to like/follow on Facebook, both the ArtisansOfAmerica page:

      And the PedricksCorner page:

3.  To qualify, you will need to both like and share the next 15 posts to either page or both.  Only posts made by the admin to these pages count.  Not comments or other posts (just in case I haven't done a good job of blocking that).

     Just liking a post only counts as one, just sharing only counts as one, liking and sharing counts as two.  You will need a minimum total of thirty points to win a free pendant.

     Yes, I will be able to see when you do and I will keep track so that the winners can choose which lavender filled pendant they would like to receive.  I will write you via our convo's on Etsy to tell you if you are one of the first ten.  Unless you'd like me to announce it on the Facebook page for PedricksCorner.
      Please be aware that two or more people might want the same pendant.  First response wins.

4.  To earn extra bonus points, Google the term "Lavender Filled Pendant" until you find my pendants on Etsy and then share your results via a convo with me on Etsy or by pinning it to your Pinterest board.  Let me know when you have done this so I can like and follow your Pinterest board.
     You are welcome, encouraged, to do this more than once and I will count each time but no more than once per day.

Why am I doing this?  Because I want to grow fuchsias again.  And this is never going to happen unless I can sell enough lavender to "buy" myself the time to do it.  These lavender pendants have the potential to open my store to a whole new market of customers looking for jewelry.  Specifically, jewelry that doubles as a scent diffuser.  Diffuser Jewelry is actually a valid search term!

Here are a couple of my pendants, they are an entirely new idea.  No one else is making them.  And I will be adding one to two per day to my Etsy store until I have them all listed.  Even Christmas ornaments :)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Timing Is Crucial

The lavender season is winding down and it is time to focus on making fuchsia cuttings so they can spend the warm fall rooting before winter sets in and be ready for sale early next spring!
In order to do this, I need to be able to afford to spend the time and be here to monitor the tender cuttings from upright fuchsias such as the 'Royal Velvet' you see above.

I need to purchase a truck load of potting soil as soon as possible!
And I need your help to do this.

This is the time to be making thousands of cuttings.  Even if you are not interested in buying any of my lavender products, you might know someone who is, so I hope you will visit the Facebook page for PedricksCorner to like and share the new posts.

Here is a link to my Etsy store:  Pedricks
And here is a link to my EBay store:  lavenderwandsandpedrickscorner
And here is a link to the facebook page:  PedricksCorner

Updates to website will happen in a few weeks if all goes well and after I am able to get the cuttings made and planted.

Meanwhile!!  I was able to find Fuchsia boliviana 'alba' seed and it has finally come up.  Looks like I have about ten little babies to coddle into a size large enough to propagate.  I would LOVE to be able to offer live Fuchsia boliviana 'alba' plants to the public again!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Lavender Wands Season Is Going Great!

Lavender wands were first created by the Victorian ladies to preserve the lavender from their gardens.  When lavender dries, unless it is picked before it is in full bloom, the flowers fall off of the stems. 
When they weave the fresh lavender into these little ribbon baskets, when they dry out, the flowers are caught in the basket to be enjoyed for many years to come!

Growing long stemmed English Lavender and weaving it into wands is how I hope to finance the rebuilding of my fuchsia nursery.  In the summer, when my lavender is in bloom, this is all I do 24/7 as fast as I can until all the lavender is gone or is too dry to continue working with.

Last year I made over 2,300 wands!  How many will I be able to make this summer of 2018?
If all goes well, and I am able to sell enough lavender wands to enable me to spend time making and monitoring thousands of heirloom upright fuchsia cuttings, then I will finally be able to begin offering young starts for sale again.  Maybe even before winter sets in!

My newest addition to the 30 shades of double-sided sating ribbon I use, is vintage embroidered Jacquard ribbon.  The patterns are not printed on the surface, they are woven in.  I am only using these vintage ribbons on a few of my huge wands.  Out of over 2,000 wands per season and over 35,000 stems of lavender, there are rarely enough stems long enough to make more than about 100 huge wands.  And it has not been easy to even find these ribbons!  Some of them have come from Denmark, and a few of them all the way from Turkey.

So far, I have ten varieties with one more coming from Turkey.  I just hope it gets here in time to be able to use it this season.  The lavender is already beginning to dry out and there may not be any stems left that are long enough.  If you want to get someone something extra special, one of these would fit the bill!

To see all of the others, please use this link to my store on Etsy:
Or this store on EBay:  Lavenderwandsandpedrickscorner

Friday, June 1, 2018

Fuchsia splendens

Here is the smallest of three big Fuchsia splendend attempting to take over and being photo bombed by a Cistus flower with a native California Catalina Mallow in the background.  And you can't see him, but an Anna's hummingbird is vigourously defending all three from the Rufous who just show up for the summers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Crash Course in Dreamweaver CS5.5

I have been working through a "Classroom" in a book for Dreamweaver CS5.5, which although it is not the newest version of Dreamweaver, it is in a language I can handle.  The newere websites require a whole new language!

And although I am learning a great deal, yesterday I decided I had better jump ahead to the portion on how to connect ones website to it's server.  Not as simple as writing a blog!  I gave my pc away and this laptop had never had to connect to the server.  So it didn't have the information I needed and I could not get it to work yesterday before I had to go to my job. 
And this really needed to be accomplished in order to post updates to the website!

Today, I have to thank the tech support at GoDaddy for being patient with me and being awesome at answering my questions.  All these little boxes to fill in and I didn't understand what went where!

The long and short of it is, I was able to make the connection and update the home page for the website.  Now I can relax in my efforts to learn how to upgrade the website, like fixing that banner, and get down to making cuttings!

If all goes well, I get to spend the month of May focusing on making thousands of cuttings, coddling some new Fuchsia boliviana 'alba' seeds into growing (so excited!) and get the field of lavender weeded before it blooms.  As growing lavender and making it into lavender wands is the only way I can both finance this new effort to get the nursery going again and be able to be here to watch over thousands of sensitive fuchsia cuttings as they root!

So if you want to buy heirloom fuchsias such as Rose of Castille, Voodoo, and Sundial, stay tuned and maybe even buy some lavender items!  Thanks!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Can't Give Up!

I do not know how I am going to do it, or if I will be able to do it.
But I have decided that I cannot give up on the hope of growing upright fuchsia varieties for sale.
The number one thing that has stood in my way these last six years has been the necessity of being able to monitor fresh cuttings until they are rooted.

I don't know how many times now, that I have made thousands of cuttings, only to have to abandon them to work elsewhere.

At first, I am going to focus on the old standards.  The basic simple reds and blues that  grow so vigorously.  And a few of the non-hybridized species.

Even this though, is weeks away from being able to happen since it is vital that I tend to the lavender first.

If you are inclined to help in the hopes of seeing me be able to offer small rooted starts again, then please help my other blog get noticed.  And click through to my Etsy store from the Pedricks page
Help me help others to get noticed.  I am not asking you to buy anything.
All I am asking you to do is "follow" the blogs, the twitter, the Pinterest, and the Facebook pages.
Click on the links.  Especially please click on the links to my Etsy store Pedricks

Clicking on links, following, "liking" posts, all of these things strengthen search engine connections and increase the possibility of coming up in a search.  Website analytics literally tell me exactly where each and every click came from and what people were searching for.

In order for me to have hope of getting the fuchsia nursery started back up, I need to have the income from the lavender.  Because then I can be at the nursery to monitor young cuttings and rooted starts.

I also need to rebuild the website for PedricksCorner so it can handle all of the new technology out there.  That takes time and is something I could do and still be here to take care of the fuchsias.