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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's Oilcloth Time Again!

It's oilcloth time again . . . and if it's oilcloth sewing time, then you know our Round Top Antique trip cannot be far behind.  Last week, I pulled my shopping cart out of the storage building and set to work making a new liner for it from my oilcloth stash.  I didn't have a pattern, so I just measured, cut and sewed.   Remember the old saying, "measure twice, cut once", well, I could have used that reminder BEFORE I cut this out.   But, my mistake in measuring the plaid oilcloth for the sides of the cart was easily fixed by using a bit of the polka dot to make up the difference.  In fact, I think I like it better.
Occasionally, it rains while we are shopping, so it is nice to have a cover that can be pulled over the goodies inside.  Plus, it provides a little extra privacy for the contents, although we've never encountered any problems with people taking things.

My cart is all ready to go now--bring on the shopping!
After I finished that up, I whipped up a little garden flag for our front yard, complete with a simple monogram.
Because it seemed a little bit short when I was finished, I added a piece of "wonky" fringe.  

Of course, no oilcloth sewing experience would be complete without making a little something for my "Flea Market Friends", and this time was no exception.   But, I can only show you this tiny sneak preview---we'll keep the rest a surprise.

To see some of the oilcloth creations from the past, click on the year:  2012, (Didn't craft in 2011), 20102009, 2008. (In 2007, I made the pockets that attach to our carts, but that was before I was blogging).

I can't wait for our adventure---better run go iron all of my "Round Top" shirts!
Monday, March 24, 2014

Gardening 101, Continued

After a trip to Lowe's this morning in my grubby clothes and not-so-clean hair, I was ready to plant.  In addition to a few flowers to freshen up my front flower in the new veggie garden, brought home a few tomato plants to go with the vegetable seeds I already owned.

Did you know that plants have best friends?  I didn't, but it certainly makes sense.  This website has a list of lots of different plants and the best companions to plant nearby.  I'm hopeful that following a few of these rules will eliminate the need for pesticides or other chemicals.  I've started by planting marigolds throughout the bed, but will also have several different herbs (mainly basil, rosemary and thyme) nearby.

I made a few adjustments to my original planting grid once I realized that the area was not quite as long as I remembered----I guess it would have been helpful to measure it again first, but you know, that's not the way I usually roll.  Here's my new plot--I took out the broccoli since I haven't been able to find any seeds or plants yet.  Once the seeds begin to sprout, I will need to thin them out a bit and provide some sort of trellis along the fence for those beans and peas to climb.  (I will plant the green beans and asparagus tomorrow since the seeds have to soak overnight in warm water).

Emmi is used to running through this bed at will--particularly when trying to get away from Joy.
Therefore, I decided to put up some small fencing at each end (which is how she usually jumps in and runs).  I'm hopeful that this will deter both of them from messing with things, but I have more fencing I can put up along the front, if necessary.

I made a few adjustments to my original planting grid, once I realized that the area was not quite as long as I remembered----I guess it would have been helpful to measure it again first, but you know, that's not the way I usually roll.

Gardening 101

I have a board on Pinterest where I've been pinning all sorts of gardening hints---for vegetables, herbs and flowerbeds.  Gardening doesn't come naturally to me, so I've been trying to study about the best things to plant for my area of the country as well as the hows and whens.

Last summer, Ron built me the best raised garden bed, but I never got a chance to plant anything in it.   I'm hoping to develop a slightly green thumb this year and this website helped me make a plan for planting.  It is especially helpful for square foot gardening, although I am using 6" squares rather than 12", because it just fits my area better.  This is my first attempt at garden planning--some of those green beans in the back are actually going to be purple hull peas, but they don't have an icon for that.
This morning, I headed outside after Ron went to work----LOVE my Spring Break!!!  

Despite the dogs running through the garden off and on and pulling on the string if I laid it down for a minute, I was able to get the garden sectioned off.

Stay tuned for adventures in planting----and protection from pups!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our Father . . .

Over the last month of so, we have been learning and talking about the Lord's Prayer in Sunday School.  You may remember that I teach a class for adults with special needs, and many of my friends enjoy doing some sort of "craft" while we discuss the lesson.  As we talked about the meaning of the different sections of the Lord's Prayer, I sketched what they described when I asked what it meant to them to say "Our Father, who art in Heaven . . ?"  onto a large 4' x 4' strip of freezer paper (taped together).  Next, I gave each person a stack of old magazines and scissors with instructions to cut out pictures of either blue or yellow things and I glued the colored pictures into place on the banner.   A couple of the guys helped to pull apart/spread out cotton balls and to glue them onto the collage.

It took several weeks to complete, but finally today, we were done.  I cut out letters and they each helped me glue them into place before we hung it in the hallway for other church members to enjoy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Real Dinner

It seems that lately, things have been so busy that I've not taken the time to stop and cook a real dinner.  I have thrown together bits and pieces of food to feed us, but this week I actually cooked (at least one night I did).

I used the recipe for Hummus Chicken that I found on Pinterest recently.  

In addition to chicken, we had side dishes of baked potato, green beans "a la Jana",

and fresh fruit (left from the shower).

It took a good bit longer to cook these thick chicken breasts thoroughly than it called for in the recipe, so I ended up zapping them in the microwave for the last few minutes, which kept them from getting crispy.  Even though they weren't crispy on the outside, they were quite yummy.  Next time I'll allow more time in the oven to achieve that texture.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shower for Julie

It's not quite spring yet, but the bridal shower yesterday was cheery and fun, despite the dreary weather outdoors.  Leah's son is getting married soon and this was our chance to meet and celebrate his fiancee', Julie.   

With the help of my amazing, graphic-designing daughter, Jana, we came up with a pretty invitation using the bride's colors--black and purple, with touches of blue.  

Purple flowers were not as abundant as I'd hoped when I shopped for flowers, but I did manage to find some beautiful hydrangeas and a few other "happy" flowers.   

Prior to the shower, we hostesses got together to plan the food and divide up the jobs and I think this was the easiest shower I have ever given!  And it was so enjoyable, too!   Our brunch menu consisted of fruit, sausage balls, cheese grits and blueberry french toast with sauce.   It was the perfect menu---looked pretty, was easy to fix and tasted REALLY yummy!!

We greeted each guest with their choice of beverage--mimosa, orange juice, water or coffee.

After visiting for a while and eating our brunch, it was time to open gifts.

Julie was a delight to meet and we were all thrilled to be a part of wishing them well as they begin their married life!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Washi Tape Party Skewers

I am helping to host a bridal shower this weekend and part of my responsibilities is to bring the fruit.  We decided on using both fruit skewers and a bowl of fruit as well.  To dress up the skewers a bit, I pulled out my stash of washi tape (several of which I picked up at Dollar Tree), a pen, scissors and a pack of bamboo skewers.

First, I marked the skewers at the length I wanted them to be.  The skewers were all different lengths to begin with--I didn't worry about that, although it would have been easy to even them all up, I suppose.

I scored them with some old scissors and then broke them at the markings.

Lay the tip of the skewer on the washi tape

then wrap it around and seal it shut.

Using the scissors, I snipped a small "v" in the end of the tape creating a little flag shape.

As an added bonus, the tiniest little ladybug you ever did see visited me while I was working on these out on the deck.  Doesn't that mean good luck??

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