63: Plant Pennants

My bit of green is neither basil nor a pepper sadly, but the spider plant makes for a good glamour shot!
My bit of green is neither basil nor a pepper sadly, but the spider plant makes for a good glamour shot!

Time to start seeds for my garden!  We are about 5 weeks out from my last frost date, and the second annual seed swap party went off without a hitch.  (If you are curious of the first one went, check out the post for Week 6: Seed Swap Goodies!)

I broke down this year about bought jiffy pots (last year’s DIY newspaper pots were a bit of a disaster) but I needed a good way to mark them.  Winter has been dreary, so I wanted something bright and cheery to mark the varieties.  What can be more cheerful than pennants?  I just envisioned them swaying happily in the breeze, marking off my sprouts.

Here's a glimpse of our workspace too - lots of projects going on!  The leftover yellow and black acrylic was perfect for this project
Here’s a glimpse of our workspace too – lots of projects going on! The leftover yellow and black acrylic was perfect for this project

As for color, I decided to use of leftover bits of yellow-topped black acrylic in my stash.  I had originally designed the pennants one inch wide, but we scaled it down to .9 inches to fit better.    They are 1.2 inches tall.

The triangle shape is pretty easy to create in Adobe Illustrator, but I did learn a neat trick for rounded corners.  I prefer rounded corners – lasers can make them pretty sharp otherwise!  Once the shape in Illustrator is highlighted, go under the “Effects” option, then “Stylize” and then click “Rounded Corners.”  You can then pick how rounded you want them!  The laser doesn’t read the effect well, so you have to rasterize the image in order to get a clean line.

pretty-crop

Stack o' mini pennants
Stack o’ mini pennants

Once the shape was in place, it was just a matter of setting the type for identifications.  I used a second, smaller line for further identification, like keeping my 4 types of tomatoes apart!

I shaped the posts out of 20 gauge aluminum – easy to shape, but I don’t think it will weather well outdoors.  I will pick up some 12 gauge wire once the seedlings are ready to go outside.  I played around with a shepherd crook shapes and a simple loop under – the simple loop got Ryan’s thumbs up in the end, so that’s what I went with.

Testing shapes for posts - shepherds crook style and a plain loop.
Testing shapes for posts – shepherds crook style and a plain loop.

The sunny yellow pennants look so happy swinging above the seed pots…now we just wait for spouts to complete the picture!  The acrylic will make the markers durable enough for the elements – I can’t wait to transition them into the garden.

seed-tray-detail

Full seed tray, newly planted, seeing the light day for the first time.  It will be going back inside where it's warm for the next 5 weeks.
Full seed tray, newly planted, seeing the light day for the first time. It will be going back inside where it’s warm for the next 5 weeks.

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