Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Valentine's Day Craft!

So this little cutie was done last friday. My sister-in-law came up with the idea one day, and it is super cute! Love it! The large heart is out of 1/4" plywood, so it won't be too heavy. The birds are out of 3/4" pine, and then the stick is grapevine from my backyard.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bottle cap charms

This is the second option we are doing at our girls camp this year. We are tying these bottle cap charms onto a chinese cord necklace and every year the girls can add to it, if they want. Or they can take this and attach it to their keychain or their scripture bag. Some of the older girls may not want to have jewelry like that, so there are other options. And it works out to being so inexpensive. The little alphabet letters were run through the printer on shrinky dink paper and then shrunk down and how cute they are. The sayings on the bottle caps were also printed on the printer, put into the bottle cap and then covered with crystal laquer. We punched holes into the bottle cap with the crop-a-dile. That thing punches through anything! Awesome.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nativity Book

This is a book I have been thinking about for several years now, and truthfully, wasn't quite sure how I was going to do it. I have been very frustrated with reading the scriptures on Christmas Eve, because I wanted to do the Nativity, but nobody wants to wait while you find it and also while you flip back and forth between Luke and Matthew. My kids are getting older and they don't want to dress up anymore, either. A friend of mine, Caroline, (her blog is http://www.fuzzypear-caroline.blogspot.com ) who does some amazing books, had the idea to use canvases for the front and back cover, so that is what you see here. The interior pages are simply chipboard covered in cardstock on each side. The binding is accordian style and glued in place. It is a very sturdy book, and we actually used it on Christmas Eve to read the Nativity from. The scriptures are copied right off the online scriptures of the King James version of the Bible off of www.lds.org. In addition to that, there is info. on the wise men, the magi, angels, and all the names that Christ goes by with scripture references, as well as some other interesting details. It really is a keepsake. I am thinking about making it for gifts for my family next year. We will see how energetic I am feeling.

Jean Wallet

This is a little wallet we are planning for the craft at our stake girls camp. It is simply cut from an old used pair of jeans. Measurements are: 7" x 7". For instructions, email me. It is fairly simple and works out to be so cheap. under $1.00 per wallet, depending on what you do to embellish it. And it can look so different depending on how it's done, as you can see in the pictures. The ones above, were done by a friend of mine. Super cute.

We are giving the girls a quarter sheet of images printed on fabric that we ran through our printer before hand. This can be adhered using permanent fabric glue. They can also use stamps with the alphabet to add their initial. Easy. I also discovered that using torn fabric in a strip is so much cheaper than ribbon, and you can change it to distressed with ink. One other perk is that is useful. And all year long, when they use their wallet it will remind them of girls camp. Love that!

My 15 year old daughter made this one for her friend:

Winter Storm Cleanup in the Garden

For the last couple of weeks we have had some pretty constant days of rain and blowing wind. The garden looks terrible. Leaves are everywhere, and weeds are starting to show their ugly faces. So, with Saturday afternoon came some nicer weather and I decided to try to tackle some long overdue garden chores. I mainly worked on the grape vines which needed to be pruned back and the leaves raked and put into the compost bin. That took a little bit of time. I debated on saving the vines and wrapping them into a wreath, but in the end, they ended up in the garden waste pile.

I have been thinking vaguely about purchasing a wood chipper, but I am not sure I will have enough use for it to justify buying one. And, my husband, wasn't too keen on the idea when I mentioned it in passing one day.

The peas, which are "Mammoth Melting" variety, are huge. I haven't really had them get so big that they are tumbling over the supports. I put up some small supports because I usually don't have them grow over about 4 feet. These vines are probably pushing 6 feet right now. I am just starting to get some snow peas off them, and they are very fresh and lovely.

As you can barely see in the bottom of the picture, the broccoli is ready for picking. We have oodles of broccoli right now, which my family does really like, so that is good. Out of the garden, for some reason, I have decided it tastes so much more tender. Yum!

My bell pepper plants really suffered this past month, because for a couple of days we actually had freezing temps. I know! Can you believe it? Anyway, I forgot to cover them and they just look pathetic. I am trying to decide whether to pull them out or not. If you look closely, you can just make out some new leaves that are popping out.

[caption id="attachment_211" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="Bell Pepper - frozen back"][/caption]

Be that as it may, I am starting some others from seed inside under a grow light. YAY! I got myself a grow light! I wanted one for my birthday, but my husband said that if I did, the government would track it and come to check that I wasn't growing marijuana! Right! So, I purchased one for myself a couple of weeks ago.

[caption id="attachment_212" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="New seedlings under grow light on kitchen counter"][/caption]

It is actually working wonderfully. I just put a couple of hooks under the cabinet and suspended it from them with some wire. I leave it on for about 14 hours a day, and after 1 week they were already getting their second leaves. So exciting. I am trying to grow enough extras for my mom and father-in-law also. One day at a time. The only downside to having this light right in my kitchen is that my husband says he needs to wear sunglasses to watch TV because it is too bright on his poor little eyes. :)

Above you can see on the right, one of my brussel sprout plants that I started from seed back in Oct. On the left, the little seedlings are celery. I am trying that as an experiment. I am not too sure they are going to have enough time to grow before it gets too warm. We will see. They are definately slow growers!

My father-in-law is just putting up an awesome chicken coop. Here is a picture of it. It isn't quite finished yet, but when it is, it will be really great. He has about 38 chickens which include 8 babies. On Saturday, we found 2 more hens roosting. I love to see those babies following after the mothers scratching for bugs.

[caption id="attachment_214" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="New chicken coop"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_215" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Baby chicks"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_216" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="This one is a rooster."][/caption]

I am hopefully getting a couple of new hens today from a friend of mine. We had one of ours die a couple of weeks ago and now we have 4 hens. I am not quite sure what happened. It is possible she was egg bound because she had not yet started laying and was due any time to begin. I went out there and she was just dead. So sad. I really hate that, but it is part of having animals. My son always has a hard time.

Other random things happening in the garden right now:

- strawberry plants are starting to set fruit

-lots of carrots (By the way, I had planted some carrots of the variety "Tonda di Parigi" which are small round carrots similar looking to a radish. They are a little sweeter and very good raw. Interesting to taste the difference when compared to a regular baby carrot - "Little Finger" variety.)

-some tomatoes are starting to ripen and for some reason the starter plants that I purchased from the local garden center were labeled wrong and I have 3 cherry tomato plants. (Although, there is no where near the amount that I get in the spring/summer, even with a greenhouse type effect of growing them.)

-the eggplant are still producing the dreaded eggplant. I am definately pulling them out in a couple of weeks. I have just left them really because the little sparrows sit inside the plants and I feel sorry for them.

Happy Gardening!