Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter means indoor crap

So, generally I do not think of myself as a creative, crafty person. I don't really know how to sew. The extent of my crafting is sporadic needlepoint or embroidery.

However. I am a big believer in DIY if you can and coming up with jerry-rigged solutions where appropriate.

And every year I struggle with where to put our Christmas cards. Generally I've always just lined them up on our mantle behind our stocking holders. But as our family has grown, the number of holders has slowly crowded out the space for our cards. So when I came across a pin on Pinterest about using a fabric covered foam board as a Christmas card holder, I was sold.

Except both the craft store and fabric/craft store said they no longer sell foam board. However, as the salesperson from JoAnn Fabric was walking me back to where they would have had it, had they sold it, we walked by a cork board. Bingo! So I got the largest one they had in stock. Then I picked out some cute, mod fabric which I got 50% off. And then some remnant basic white cotton to provide an extra layer. And then ran home with my purchases, poured a glass of wine, and set about figuring this out.

Most people at this point would be reaching for a glue gun, I think. I don't own one because I don't craft. I do, however, own a staple gun.

So I cut the remnant white cotton into strips and stapled it to the board.

Then it was time to put the littles to bed, so that was the end of crafting for the night. Because a staple gun is a lot louder indoors than outdoors, I discovered. The next day I starched the hell out of the fabric I bought so it was nice and crisp. I then decided to starch and iron the fabric already on the board, which actually worked pretty well.

I then used masking tape to get it lined up correctly. I then staple gunned the hell out of it, pulling the fabric taut.

I then just staple gunned some basic picture wire to the back et voilĂ ! Not bad! I feel like it needs some sort of spotlight though.

I do, however, have to stop using my dining room table for this sort of thing. No good will come of it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Garden Stalker

Whenever I'm out and about, I'm always on the lookout for garden inspiration. I have my favorite gardens on my commute that I try and observe through the seasons. I often wish I had time to stop and take pictures, cause random strangers photographing your property isn't creepy at all. But generally I'm running on a carefully calibrated time table, so that just doesn't happen.

Today, though, I had done time to spare before picking G up from school, so I went for a walk around the neighborhood.

Friday, August 22, 2014

July roundup

Lots going on this month!

First of all, the baby keeps getting bigger. He is now pulling up on everything and cruising all around the house. I predict he'll be walking in a couple months. He's 8 months. So this post is being typed in a rare moment of peace while H takes the kids.

Let's start in the back yard. Our new garden bed is coming along nicely.

Tomatoes without cages. If there is a theme to this year, it's "Oh, crap, I forgot to do that."

However we have pumpkins! By last count, 10 of them 

And a baby watermelon!

Our Liatris is stunning this year 

Here is the Linden, 7 years in. She's getting HUGE! 

Our Annabelle Hydrangea

Check out the massive flower heads. I don't remember them being this large before


The new plants are doing mostly well. 

Daylilies along the front path 

Some of the bushes need a little pruning, but it has filled in nicely here 



In the "yay! look at all the weeds I pulled out!" category

Then the depressing reality of what is left.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Randoms from the weekend

My 3 boys. E and G are talking about what shapes they see in the clouds.
Our nesting pair of hawks. They were flying quite low on Saturday.
No, really. I'm not zoomed in here. They were low.
The Curly Duo chilling in the front yard
C discovers grass
He's a very serious baby.

The rest of the yard

So, we still had a ton of mulch this morning. And we got off to kind of a slow start. While G crashed hard and slept till 8:30, C decided he was going to be up most of the night with...well, who cares? Either way he was up, and so were we.

So at 9am I ran to our favorite local coffee shop and picked up coffee for E and myself. Then I strapped C in the Ergo and continued attacking the mulch pile. I discovered quickly that E and H had only weeded the sand part of the sandbox. So I mulched what I could there and then moved on to the fireplace bed.

And then onward to the front beds. I got about half of the way thru one by the time it was lunch. We also needed to make a trip to the hardware store, so off we went.

Two hours later, C was down for another nap, so we went back to it. E worked on fixing the lawnmower while I continued mulching. Eventually, I finished mulching the entire front.

So that just leaves the rest of the swing set, between the garden beds, and the garage bed.

But, uhm...
I may have over estimated. A bit.

Landscaping the West Fence - Part 3

So, after we removed the sod and transplanted the dogwood, all that was left to do was order some mulch, plant the new plants, and then mulch the bed. Oh, and fill in the transplant hole and re-sod it.

But, you know, this is me. I refuse to make things that simple.

Because, really, all of our beds could use mulching.

Which means they all would need to be weeded.

But that's incidental, right?

So I estimated the size of all our beds and ordered 16 yards of mulch. They said they'd deliver 7am on Saturday. And so they did.

They showed up in a dump truck. Which TOTALLY made G's day. A dump truck. In his driveway. It was like all holidays rolled into one.

Did you know 16 yards is a LOT of mulch? I did, in theory. In practice I had no idea.

Still. So, we set about to work. We had borrowed 3 of my 4 nephews - T, A, and I, plus T's fiance, H. E and H started weeding, and T, A and I, plus G, started working on filling in the hole from the transplanted dogwood. I started planting plants in the new bed while C hung out in his exersaucer in the shade (or, later, slept in the Ergo while I continued working).

Eventually T, A, and I started working on mulching the bed where I had finished. And suddenly, we had a planting bed.

E and H finished weeding the bean bed, the sand box, the fireplace bed. and the front beds. We also mulched the bean bed.

But it was nearing dinner time, so mulching the rest of the beds would have to wait.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Landscaping the West Fence - Part 2

Last night I came home with the kids to find H in the back yard, digging up the dogwood. This is kinda how he operates - he'll be focused on something, like making dinner, and then go "Oh, I'll just do this 3 hour task real quick."

It's like my dad's version of a "half hour job".

So he and G stayed out there (WELL past G's bedtime) to finish digging it up and transplanting it. In his rush, he snapped off the taproot, so we'll see if it survives. He did get a nice large rootball otherwise.

Still, the results can't be argued with. She nicely fits in between our neighbors two shrubs - a lilac and another red-twig dogwood - to create some lovely screening.

Now I just need to get the other plants put in the ground and mulch the bed.

Which reminds me, I need to order a mulch delivery.


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