Amy Artisan

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Summertime: Blooms, Books & Beverages

**…and we’re back…the web host company was experiencing some power problems earlier today…(7/18)

Due to my work related travel this summer I didn’t do any gardening in my flowerbed or on the back deck. However, I’ve still been able to enjoy some summertime blooms.
While I enjoyed my week back home in Chicago earlier this month I had some blooms in my backyard – the hostas were in full force. Also, the fence was covered with beautiful shades of purple clematis – most of the plants are in my neighbor’s garden; however, one of my clematis vines came back & is entwined with the others on the fence. These July blooms are perfect for Project Spectrum: Purple.

While I was home with the parents in GA this weekend I was able to enjoy the blooms (& greens) of their garden as well. A trip through the garden was a bit of each month of Project Spectrum – including the beautiful “past prime” colors of the blue hydrangeas that I showcased last month.

Since I hit the road last week there has been very little knitting activity. Instead, I’ve done more reading in the last week & finished up 2 very different books.
First up – Last Voyage of the Valentina by Santa Montefiore. The Amalfi Coast in Italy…England…post-WWII…1970s…a lot of different elements come together to tell a story that is a great summertime read. While not as intense, it reminds me of The Shadow of the Wind that I thoroughly enjoyed last summer.
The other book I finished has been an in progress read for a couple of months: Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths by Bruce Feiler. This was a very interesting read about Abraham & the role that he plays in Christianity, Judiasm, and Islam. I definitely learned more about my faith as well as other faiths. After reading this book I’m even more interested in reading Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses.
Blooms & Books are two key ingredients to enjoying summertime. Another key ingredient…beverages, specifically Iced Tea. A new favorite iced tea is Trader Joe’s Pomegranate White Tea – when I was home for the week I constantly had a pitcher of this chilling in the fridge. Last summer I discovered the Lipton Iced Tea to Go – the Green Tea with Mandarin & Mango was quite a refresher when in Greece & I needed to add a little something to the endless bottles of water I was drinking. While grocery shopping with my Mom this weekend I discovered a couple of new flavors & picked them up for a tea break at the desk – the Green Tea with Natural Cherry Blossom is my new favorite, while enjoying it this afternoon the subtle cherry flavor reminded me of slurping a cherry popsicle when the popsicle starts to turn more pink than red. These tea packets are a great way to enjoy tea when away from the chilled pitcher in the fridge.
Even though the past week didn’t contain much knitting progress I went to Hobby Lobby on Saturday to pick up lotsa Sugar’n Cream yarn to make the Mason Dixon Absorba bathmat for my bathroom. Given the size of this project it definitely won’t be a travel project. Also, on a hot Saturday in July I actually picked up a few things for Christmas decorations – past experience has taught me that if I don’t pick it up now it won’t be around the next time I go to the store…hmm, a different take on Christmas in July.


  1. Ahhh, iced tea and summer are a perfect pair! Must check the grocery store for that green tea w/ cherry blossom; it sounds heavenly!

  2. Your clematis blooms are gorgeous! I have a clematis, but I think the soil may be too wet. It’s definitely not thriving. I’ve really enjoyed all of Bruce Feiler’s books. Always interesting and well-written.

  3. Your garden looks like its doing well! Love your clematis, I can’t seem to keep them alive : )

  4. i really want to do that absorba mat too! can’t wait to see how yours turns out… I love hostas they are really pretty in bloom!

  5. Amy, yes, I did visit your site, and I’m sorry it lost the comment. I just wanted to say that you had beautiful flowers, and that I am in agreement that books and blooms and iced tea are some of the best things about summer!

  6. Oh how pretty! Even the hostas (which normally don’t look so fab when they bloom) look great! I love that clematis. Oh, if only I had something climable in my garden. Do brick walls count? lol

  7. Pretty flowers!

    Both those books sound promising. Argh. I keep adding to my TBR list. OTOH, what could be worse than having nothing in the TBR stack?

  8. I have not had the chance to stop by Trader Joe’s yet and look for the Pom tea. Thanks for mentioning it again though! I love hearing your reading recommendations! I so enjoyed _Shadow of the Wind_ a few years ago, so I will check out this book too. I have not read either of Feiler’s books, although I want to… that was something I studied so in-depth in college πŸ˜‰

    Lovely Project Spectrum purples, AMY! πŸ™‚


  9. Your clematis is specatular! After two failed attempts at growing one myself, this year I think I’ve had some success! I also have an amazing morning glory blooming on our rooftop!

  10. sigh i choose to live vicariously through you! I truly don’t know how you do it all but it is amazing to see into your world and how you see everything…beautiful perspective…thank you!

  11. Love the sounds of the teas! I must find some very soon! I know I’ll love them!

    The flowers are gorgeous. I love the colors of summer, even if I hate the high heat and humidity. Where I sit to knit, I can look out and see our colors and those of the neighbors and it’s so soothing for me!

    I don’t know how you balance your reading time and knitting time, but I’m jealous. I must find more balance in my own life. I’d love to read more!

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