Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stuff I made this week

I feel like I am extra busy these days making stuff for my etsy shop and doing "fun" (for the kids, mostly) things, so I haven't had a ton of time to blog. I will try to put down some of the fun times before June is over! (I'd better hurry)

Before I do that though, I wanted to post some things I've made this week.

This is for my little brother who LOVES Captain America.

Treats for a lunch I hosted today.

Some shirts for the boys for this weekend.

We made sugar cookies as a fun family activity on Sunday.

I got a silhouette cutter (mostly for cutting shirt stencils) but I've done a few fun projects, these are some little notebooks for the boys.

I hope these skirts fit the little baby they are for- I have never met her!

This one has a onesie-bottom attached to it for underneath.

This is a skirt for myself out of some leftover linen I had lying around. I have always wanted to try doing a bias-cut ruffle on a hem, and it worked out okay, but the fabric was none too stretchy so it could have been better.

Nothing amazing, but beats wearing my maternity skirts from the last 2 summers!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Digging in the dirt again

Here is the promised garden post. Don't be sad it's so long, be happy it has 0 pictures of my kids!

Since moving in to our home we have made a lot of improvements to our yard. BUT, this has been the first spring/summer that I am able to help much. Being pregnant really throws a wrench into getting down and digging in the dirt. SO, here I am trying again. I have spent a lot of time digging out grass, transplanting, moving things, tearing things out, thinning, and re-arranging. I still have a lot to do, but it is getting to be a bit more how I want it. I have had several failures and hope to be able to start tallying successes.

The backyard has gone through the most change. The previous owners used the backyard, just a lot differently than we do. They had a dog run with 2 dogs, a fifth wheel, a hottub, a get the idea. We had none of those things and felt a little overwhelmed by the state of the backyard. Gage did a lot of work moving the shed across the yard, tearing out a stone path to put in grass, pulling out 4 huge trees (3 nasty cottonwood, 1 disease-ridden willow) moving lots of rocks, building garden boxes, putting in 3 new trees, and a lot of adding mulch and such to the soil to make it good for more than the weeds that graced the back fence. I did help with some of that, but I'm just now able to help really grooming it this year. We have put in a vegetable garden, a strawberry patch, (then another strawberry patch when we found that one didn't produce any strawberries) a raspberry patch, a huckleberry bush (died) a ton of perennials, some annuals too, and a white peach tree. We were also given 2 trees in Nolan's memory; A flowering crab apple tree from the Auman family, and a Pacific Sunset Maple from my parents. They are doing well and are a nice living reminder of our son. We kept 2 trees that were already there, both flowering pears. We have a lilac and 3 or 4 other bushes from the previous owners as well. We still have 1 spot where it's just dirt/weeds and a lot of weeds in our rocks, but it's looking SO much better already, after just a few years of moving in.

The front yard is a work-in-progress. Most notably, the grass. It is about 1/2 large, round orchard grass that grows at a MUCH faster rate than the bluegrass that's supposed to cover the lawn. We'll maybe tackle that issue this year, maybe not. I have been adding and subtracting from the flower gardens and we'll see. I had to pull out several nice things because they were too full of grass to be saved. They couldn't survive that grass-killing chemical, so out they went! This year on Easter weekend, I bought a little lacy Japanese Maple that I planted in the garden by the house. I also got 2 Coral Bells that have yellow leaves that I really like. Just put in some annuals to color up the "kidney" garden by the road. We'll see how they do.

I have to say I am very lucky to have a husband who will do things like put in sprinkler lines exactly where I need them, rig up watering systems, and whip up a few garden boxes in an evening after dinner. I for sure cannot take credit for the heavy labor of shoveling rocks for hours on end either. (although I did try to help, and the effect it had after quite some time with the shovel was laughable compared to my burly DH) He also makes sure we have plenty of mulch & compost from the dump. (gotta love the dump)

I also have endless amounts of available advice from my parents, who have done this all before and actually know what they are doing. Also the use of a truck. My mom even came over and dug me some holes yesterday! I also have in-laws that would also have tons of great advice if I asked, not to mention a ward full of talented gardeners much better than myself that are so willing to share their knowledge.

I think I have to write a whole paragraph about huckleberries. Probably should be a post of it's own. Here goes. "Smurfberry" muffins are a cherished childhood memory for me. So much that I have done just about everything in my power to replicate that memory for my own children (who am I kidding, I am just craving them for myself) Huckleberry pies, muffins, bottles of deep blue-purple goodness stored in bottles on the food-storage shelves. Just can't put it out of my mind. Did some research. First asked mom where to get huckeberry starts. She bought them at the nursery. Find out they don't have them anymore. Find a huckleberry bush at J & J. Plant it and follow instructions, complete with adding a "soil acidifier" every few weeks. Bush dies after 1 summer/fall. These were not the same type of huckleberries anyway. The ones they grew were annual plants, not a bush like grows in the wild. (new plan- move to Montana and go out to pick them in the wild?) Do some research online. Find out these Huckleberries are of the nightshade family (like tomatoes) and order some seeds. Have 200 seeds, but it's too late to plant them. Wait 10 mos. or so. Purchase an indoor "greenhouse" and start growing the tiny seeds inside. They grow! Into tiny plants. Follow instructions to the letter, harden them outside then plant in my newly created custom-soil made garden boxes. They die! Can't even tell anything was there. So sad, probably more sad than I should be about plants. Go to J & J to get a replacement bush for the one that died. Planted it in the front yard this time with a buttload (yes, it comes that way) of peat moss. We'll see how it does. If it does live and produce berries, I'll bet the birds will beat me to it. How much you wanna bet? Still in search of the nightshade variety of huckleberries. Maybe will call around to more nurseries, maybe will just be depressed and eat some other kind of muffin (until I start to look even more like a muffin myself)

If you've made it this far (I don't know why you would have) here are some pictures to reward you!

Here are some of the front yard:

The blasted huckleberries (starts, then the bush)

And now some of the backyard/garden.

Yes, we're growing peanuts!

And I will have some smurfberry muffins someday, I will!