Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Letter Style

This one was not chalked at all, but was left black and white, but it still looks amazing.

This is the craft we did at girls camp this year. It is a calendar holder for all those calendars the girls get from young women's that sit on the counter or fridge or get lost. It has 2 bulldog clips on the bottom to clip the calendar to and hangs by white ribbon tied in a know. We gave the girls a simple white piece of cardstock and then taught them the basics of "doodling" which they then got to do, and add color by chalking. They all turned out so different and cool!

My girls & I made little boxes and decoupaged paper on them with ribbon and then added a wooden letter to the front. It comes in handy and has been very useful.

This is a sample of the new cursive font that I recently finished. As you can see from the measuring tape, the capital letters measure about 14" tall with the lower case letters measuring between 5 to 6" tall.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

So today...

I went out into the garden and was watering and looking around. I was actually pretty much just putzing around out there with the excuse of watering, and I found a watermelon (sun, moon & stars variety)  and 2 canteloupes (hearts of gold variety)! So exciting. They are, of course, still very small, and have a long way to go, but they are there. I can't wait to watch them grow! The plants have been vining all over the place and last year by this time, I had a large watermelon. It has been kind of a strange year. I am assuming that because last year was so much warmer, the plants grew a little faster than this year. I also am trying a new variety this year..."NC Giant". (I found the seed packet at the local feed store while I was picking up some hay for my daughter's horse.) It is reputed to be known for it's record weights, with a sweet taste. It has just begun vining so it will also be a while before I see anything on it.

I am expecting a delivery of planters tomorrow for my front and back porch. I have some by my front door and about a month ago, we had a very strange kind of liquid seeping from it. We couldn't quite figure out what it was and then my landscaper who owns "Landcraft" (and they are AWESOME) and has been working on my pool/barbeque area, tasted it for me. We determined that it was honey and that night, my husband discovered a hive on the second story of our home that had begun dripping honey down through the wall and onto the front porch, coming out under the pot.


You can just see it there under the eaves. We had an exterminator come out, who said that they were "africanized", as they had attacked them while they were up there, and that they had been there a while. In which case, we would probably have honey dripping off our house for a month or so. Well, they were right. However, the honey did something to the pots at my door, and now they smell like something has rotted in them. So, needless to say, I have to get something else, and that something else, is coming tomorrow. I purchased some square concrete ones and am going to just change everything out into them. I will post pictures when they are completed. The only down side to the whole thing, is that I have noticed a dramatic difference in the amount of bees out in my garden doing their little work. It's always something, isn't it?

[caption id="attachment_139" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Blanket Flower"]Blanket Flower[/caption]

So, I found this little perrenial, Blanket Flower, at the local hardware store's nursery and remembered seeing it in my aunt and uncle's yard down in Tucson. Love it! It is such a pretty color! I have it growing right now by my fountain in my front yard, and it is doing ok, surprisingly enough, in a little pot.

I have some tentative plans to clear a little space by the paver walkway that is leading into the entrance to my garden for my zinnia seeds in the early am. Early because it is so stinking hot, otherwise! And of course, it isn't summer without the zinnas. And they grow like weeds. My mom has some that are doing great and only a couple inches high so far in her front flower beds and one has even started to bloom!

So, until tomorrow...the garden awaits.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's talk tomatoes!

[caption id="attachment_132" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Oodles of Tomatoes!"]Oodles of Tomatoes![/caption]

It has been such a long time since my last post, but I have been so busy in the garden and canning, with everything else, that there hasn't been a lot of time left for blogging! I have canned a total of 28 quarts of tomatoes so far. My family swears they hate tomatoes, and I have to constantly remind them that they LOVE salsa and spaghetti sauce and homemade soup, all of which require tomatoes. They sure have been wonderful to eat as a salad on their own and on a sandwich. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water...

June in the garden in Arizona is HOT, but today was a wonderfully overcast day and only in the 90's. YAY! So, I did a little cleaning up and found a HUGE armenian cucumber! It was so huge I had to cut it in half to get it out from under the topiary I had them growing on. Of course, since it was about 6 inches in diameter, it was just big and pretty much hollow. So, I gave it to the chickens and they have been pecking at it all day!

Apricots are coming off like crazy right now. My in-laws have one tree that is covered. I received a bag of apricots from my sister-in-law and turned them into jam. That will be pretty tasty mixed with some honey and soy sauce and put over some pork to slow cook. Maybe I will cook that on Sunday for dinner.

Clean up in the garden today:

-pulled out the spent zucchini plants

-cleaned all the leaves out from under the eggplant

-fertilized the bell pepper plants (they needed it terribly)

-replanted cucumber (for pickles), melon & pumpkin

-harvested bush bean seeds for next year

-picked all the tomatoes off that were ripe

-harvested all the onions & few carrots that were left

-gave everything a good soak

-turned the compost pile

I can hardly wait for my new planters to arrive next week so I can put some zinnia seeds in them. It doesn't feel like summer to me without zinnias.

I am on the hunt for some comfrey seeds because my daughter wants to grow some for her horse.  I've never grown it before, but if she is interested in it, we will try it...The things we do for our kids.

Until next time, happy growing.