Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homemade Living Series

Thanks for visiting us today for the second week in our series.
Be sure to pop over to these two blogs today
for more insights on living homemade:

When I was much younger, going into a card store
and picking out a dozen or so greetings was fun.
Then they got expensive.
I figured I could do it myself 
and now I've been crafting them for years.

My friend KK who lives right here in the neighborhood 
is a card-making diva.

She has all the tools needed to make any type of card
for every occasion,
including loads of talent and creativity. 
She is a crafting phenomenon.
She's teaching me to knit and she also sews 
and is a formidable gardener.
Some people just "got it".

She was kind enough to teach me 
what she's learned about card making.

It all starts with the cardstock.
You gotta have the right paper so that the cards stand up 
to the many added embellishments.

A paper cutter helps to keep lines straight
and can be measured to virtually any size you might need.
Most cards have standard dimensions,
so they easily slip right into envelopes.

There are a myriad of stamps available for special holidays or themes.

Her collection includes these letter stamps,
which help with the personalization of cards.

This punch creates a beautiful edge on the bottom of the card.

It really adds a touch of elegance.

For those who lack imagination,
there are books on the subject of card making.

KK also uses her own photographs 
taken around her home and garden.

Most of the time though, 
she uses various patterned paper to fashion just the right look.
She even embelishes with glittery adornments.

One of her favorites is this cute note card with the bold green bow.
She often recycles parts of cards she's received
to use on her handiwork.

The cupcakes as well as the message on this card are actually stickers
that peel off and are easily adhered to the cardstock.

Here is an array of butterfly-themed creations.
The possibilities are really endless.

A woman after my own heart.
Completed cards are organized by color
and stored until needed.
(We both do this with the clothes in our closets too!)

Lest you think you need a lot of equipment to do this craft, 
it's not really necessary.
KK buys all of her supplies on sale and uses coupons to boot,
so she has accumulated a nice stash of tools.

Here are a couple of my attempts.
I use a lot of scraps of paper from my scrapbooking days 
and just decorate them using fancy scissors or a hole punch.
I try to send my mom a card each week,
since she lives down south now.

Recently, friends celebrated a big anniversary,

so I made this little ditty.

Making homemade cards is worth the time and effort.
It's a fun thing to do with friends
and it helps to stir up plenty of great ideas for designs.

When was the last time you sent a card to someone
just because?

These fine bloggers will be posting their creativity next Wednesday:

Little Homestead on the Hill


Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Tidings

Early morning and early evening are about the only times
you'll find me out in the garden this time of year.
We're looking back to measure our progress.
Wanna come along?

This was the original location of Lil' Guy's sandbox.
You can tell by the way the grass is worn away.
We put our first rain barrel here.

We decided to put in a butterfly garden.
Here's how it looked about 4 years ago.

A year or so later, we added 
shasta daisies and gloriosa daisies to the mix.
We also swapped out our rain barrel
when we had to relocate this one from the front of the house
courtesy of the HOA.

This weekend, I took out a lot of the daisies to be used in other areas.
You can see them here on the lower right side of the box,
practically taking over.
We left the milkweed, but added a few other seedlings.

I had started these herbs from seed a few weeks ago.
They needed a permanent home,
as I am attempting to clear the clutter from the patio.

The parsley will be used to attract 
the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies.
They also enjoy dill, fennel and carrot tops.

Basil doesn't attract butterflies as far as I know,
but it sure tastes good in most pasta dishes!

Here's the basketful of daisies removed from the garden box.

I found myself some shade and began to clean 'em up a bit.

They are easily divided and will be much happier with room to grow.

Taking off the dead growth and trimming the roots a little 
will help them get a good start in their new location.

Plenty of room to add a few more things.
All in good time.

I had taken some sweet potato cuttings 
while pruning back the vine on a trellis.

After soaking in water for a week, we had some decent roots.

They were placed in the front of the bed to be used as a border.

You go that way, I'll go this way...

These have sweet lavender-colored flowers when in bloom.
The bonus is harvesting delicious sweets for your supper table.

Here's how our pineapple started out.
It's just a bloom in the center of the plant.

It grows right on these sharp, spiked leaves.
When it's this color, and smells sweet,
you just hold it by the base and twist.

This is the biggest one we've grown thus far.
It was sweet as shu-gah!

Before the veggie bed, the clothesline and pretty much anything else,
we had a solitary rain barrel.
We don't have gutters, 
so it's very helpful to have these vessels to catch
the flood of water coming off of the roof when we get a deluge.

A few years later, we added the square-foot veggie bed,
lots of plants and the second rain barrel.

As you can see, this plumbego took off
and now hides both barrels in the corner.
We don't have a fence, so we wanted to protect the barrels
from the wandering eyes of the HOA.

I will never be without rain barrels again.
They are so handy to have right in the garden.
I use the water in them not only to water plants,
but to do any kind of outdoor cleaning chore
like rinsing dirty hands or pots, 
washing out recycle bins  and a host of other things.

If threatening weather occurs, 
it's good to know we have an extra 165 gallons of water
should it be needed due to power failures or damage to the house.

It's fun looking back on where we've been
knowing that every step was necessary
to get to where we're goin'.

Enjoy the magic in the everyday.

Lavender Garden Cottage

backyard farming connection hop