Monday, March 28, 2011

Pallet Herb Garden

I'm on a bit of a gardening kick lately. With gas prices and food prices forever increasing, I am more convinced than ever that it is in my family's best interests financially to have a home garden. Fewer trips to the grocery store equals more money in the bank account. Plus it will be easier to eat healthier. Win/win.

I was directed to a great idea for gardening in a confined space today. Pallet gardens! more specifically, I plan on turning a pallet into an herb garden. Here is the link if you are interested in the "how to". I think it is great for appartment dwellers, or people like me that just dont have the backyard space for a "serious" garden.

I'm looking forward to showing you how well my little container garden is doing, the squash sprouts broke through today and I can just see a couple of carrot sprouts. It isn't much, but it is a start and covers the family favorites for veggies. Still waiting on the bell pepers and the pumpkins. Pictures will be posted soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Any guess?

Any guess as to what I have cooking up outside? here is a hint:

This is my attempt at container gardens... right now we are in the "greenhouse" phase... I tend to over water seeds, and I've found I'm less likely to do that if I have a greenhouse system going on.

So here is what I have done:


2 big plastic tubs,

several bags of potting soil, garden soil and manure fertilizer mixed well together with peat moss,

seeds, plastic sheeting, string, PVC pipe, and a cup of water.

I've filled the tubs with the soil mixture, planted the seeds as directed (we have carrots, zucchini, yellow squash in one, and in the other a pumpkin grouping in the center ). Then I took a cup of water and placed it in a corner without seeds and a PVC pipe placed almost center (depending on the placement of plants) and covered it with plastic sheeting. The sheeting was tied down with a string under the lip of the tub. I plan on checking the water levels daily so that I don't bake the plants or over water them.

When it looks like I have a lot of good plants, I'll transfer some to other tubs, but right now I'm just hoping that things will grow and that this wont all be for naught. Each of the squash plants will have thier own 18 gallon tub. When we are out of the greenhouse part I will drill a few small holes in the base edge of the tubs for water drainage.

I do need to paint the tubs white so that they don't get too hot and hurt the roots, but that needs to wait until I can get to the hardware store and pick up plastic compatible spray paint

Let me know what you think! I'm still learning about the gardening thing, so hopefully all my research was right and this works out! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Extend the life of your Dark wash jeans!!!

I just tried this today, and if you guys are interested I'll write a tutorial on how I did it...

So, I love dark jeans, especially on my little boys, but I've found that after several washes they fade... a lot. It drives me crazy. Well, I've wondered for a while if I could dye them dark again, or if that would ruin them. I finally broke down and tried it on the only pair of jeans Bug has... and it turned out great! They look almost new again! I still need to find that perfect shade of dark denim dye, but for now the Rit Dye in navy is doing the trick.

So if you'd like me to show you how I did it, let me know... it is super simple, but I know I was scared going in blind. :)

Have a good one!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Car track mat tutorial... very little sewing!

Ok, I know, I disappeared for a really long time. I am really sorry, but I do hope you will forgive me when you see what I've been working on:

A NEW car track!

It is a lot like the one found here, but there is next to no sewing involved and it is bigger... so more fun right?

Supply list:

1/2 yard of light green cotton fabric

1/2 yard light brown cotton fabric

1/4 yard of cotton fabric in the following colors: grey, blue, dark green, dark brown

(small amounts of red and orange too >1/4 yard)

~3 yards of Ultra heat and bond

2/3 yard of a 50 inch wide fabric - I chose canvas for durability
Puffy paint in all the above colors + white



on the light brown fabric and cut it out (with the heat and bond)

Iron this piece onto your light green fabric.
Next, cut each of your 1/4 yards in half at the fold. Iron each of these pieces onto someheat and bond. Draw the objects you want in each color onto the paper back of the interfacing with a pencil. (Brown tree stumps, Dark green tree tops and bushes, grey rocks, blue lakes and streams, etc)

Cut out all of your shapes! (this takes a while, but it is worth it!)
Now, start thinking in layers. you want to layer your objects onto the background to create depth.

Once you have everything where you want it, pull out that iron and get started! At this point, securing everything takes minutes rather than the hours I spent sewing each piece on the first time around. ( I put a towel under my track before I put all the pieces on on my large table, so that I didn't have to worry about possibly ruining the table or moving the track to the ironing board)
Next we are working with the puffy paint. I started in the upper left corner with each color and outlined everything in that color (I usually had to wait 15 min between each color so that I didn't smudge anything) Then after everything was outlined I went back and added all of the details in the same maner.

The final step is the backing, I used canvas and made sure it was ~ 1 inch wider than my track all the way around. Then I rolled and finished it just like I would a lap quilt (fold in half once and iron, fold in half again and sew around the the inside edge).

And you are done! Bug could not wait to get his hands on it and was thrilled when he finally got to play with it. I plan on making a bunch of these with different themes so that the boys can lay them out in different arrangements for creative play, or we can pick one or two to take to a friend's house or on vacation.

Catch a Glimpse Button

Oh My Goodness! I made it into the top 10!