Winter crafts

After the holidays were done I was still working on crafts, just waiting until the weather warmed up so I could build my new garden beds.

I have had this large slab of wood for a few years, not sure what to do with it. For Christmas I made it say Noel, for Valentine’s Love, and for the rest of the year it says Home. I just bought the letters and spray painted them. Easy peasy!

For Valentine’s I also made a heart ❤️ garland for the mantle. Made one for my mama too.

For my son I made him a Batman blanket. It was really easy, just make a thousand little squares (felt like it) then sew them together in the pattern.

I tried a new type of crochet pattern for a baby blanket for some friends. Their nursery theme was mountains. It was actually easy to do once I got it down. I also made one for our trailer, I made it into a wall hanging.

Holiday crafts

We moved into a new house last year. It was a “new” house for us but it has belonged to my in-laws for 24 years. When I met my husband he was still living with them in this house. So it has always been like a second home to me. When we found out that my in-laws were going to move and sell the house, we decided we wanted to keep it in the family and jumped at the chance to buy it. The holidays were the first ones in the new house and it was so much fun to decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I made a bunch of crafts to help decorate for Christmas. The first one I did was make a JOY sign. I saw it on Pinterest and thought I could do that, so I have it a whirl. And it turned out just like I imagined it would. A little spray paint, embroidery hoops, hot glue, and fabric is all the supplies needed.

Since I had leftover gold spray paint I painted our pumpkins for my Thanksgiving table centerpieces. Love the way the gold pumpkins turned out.

Back to Christmas..I always have extra yarn in the house. I wanted to make some yarn trees to put on the mantle. I bought some styrofoam cones and used hot glue to wrap them in yarn, added a spray painted gold star on top. I love how simple this craft was.

I made a huge star garland for the windows in my dining room. I love how it turned out but that one was time consuming. After making all the stars I used modge podge to make the stars stiff, which worked great but you had to pin each star point. I love how it turned out so I made some smaller garlands for a few family members for Christmas presents.

One craft that I did I absolutely love ❤️ I made some granny square throw pillows. They were so simple and so striking. I sell them in my Etsy shop. I have sold quite a few of these.

The last Christmas craft I did wasn’t necessarily a craft. My aunt commissioned me to make a bunch of hats for her kids and grandkids. It had been a few years since I made a hat so I had to learn it all over. But it was fun. I made my son a purple hat and he sleeps in it every night. It is so streched out now but he still wears it.

Chocolate cake

My son loves chocolate. He wants it every day. So naturally for his birthday he wants chocolate cake. I’ve made this chocolate cake recipe for his last two birthdays. It is the best cake I’ve ever made. It’s three layers with a chocolate buttercream icing. I found the recipe on Pinterest, here is the recipe. This year he has really been into Legos. So a Lego cake it was. It was really easy to decorate, I just used his little Lego pieces and Lego characters stuck into the icing. Viola!

Granny square blanket

I have wanted a granny square blanket since I was a kid. I used to watch the show Rosanne and they had one on the back of their couch and I just loved it. Since making 44 blankets for Christmas, I had a bunch of leftover yarn 🧶 Perfect for making a granny square blanket. It took about a month of making squares and then sewing them into rows, then sewing the rows together to make a blanket. It turned out so well, I even had my first order for one once I showed it off on Facebook to friends and family, so that was cool. One of my favorite works I’ve done so far. Now it sits on the back of my couch 🙂

Learning crochet

A few years ago I taught myself how to crochet. I am so glad I took the time to do that. I have made many projects, and many many blankets. I mostly crochet at night, I can listen to tv while working on a peice. I find it really relaxing and very satisfying when I complete a project. I am still working on reading patterns. I usually can watch a YouTube video and make a pattern out of that. I continue to learn new skills and that is what I love about crocheting, there are endless projects to try.

My first Christmas with this new skill I made everyone mug warmers and all the girls purses. They were easy to make and didn’t take much time. For the next Christmas I started in January, I made everyone a full size blanket. I made 44 blankets!

Blankets ready to wrap

It took me about a week per blanket. Just working on them at night and in my spare time. Everyone loved their present 🎁 Last year for Christmas, I made everyone snowflake ornaments to go on top of their gift basket. The snowflakes turned out so good ❄️

2017/2018 Garden

The garden at our last house did really well. We didn’t have a garden in 2019 because we were moving in the spring and unpacking all summer long.

2017 broccoli
2017 lettuce
2017 brussels sprouts and onions
2017 garden
2017 tomatoes
2018
2018
2018
2018 tomatoes
About to can salsa with this haul
Salsa time
Anaheim peppers going on the bbq then will freeze

Back at it

Well I did the classic blog issue…didn’t post anything for 4 years! Lol Going to give it another shot. A lot has happened in 4 years. We moved last year, but I had a few years of gardens in our last house. I’ll post pictures about that later. I have built new garden beds at the current house. I have taught myself how to crochet, made many blankets and lots of little fun goodies. A few DIY projects to decorate the new house. So many items to blog! 🙂

Ollas

When I was researching an efficient way to water my garden I came across an ancient Indian method using Ollas. Trying to find them online to purchase was a more of a task than learning about them. I decided to contact Stephen, a local potter to see if he could make them for me. He was up for the challenge. He had recently come across some local clay from a mudslide in the North Cascades, near his home. Below is what he wrote about them on his Facebook page.

From Sauk Mountain Pottery: “We had someone approach us recently about making some ollas for the raised beds in her garden. Ollas, as you may know, are unglazed pots that can be buried in the ground, filled with water, and then, because they are unglazed, left to seep that water, slowly irrigating any plants growing there. Usually we would not be able to take this order because this potter’s work is high fire and, consequently, non-porous, so if he were to make an olla it would not seep moisture (hence the success of our chicken bricks – the non-porous nature of these cooking pots keeps the moisture circulating on the inside). But this new, local clay that I wrote about in reference to the roof tiles, cannot be high fired, therefore making a perfect medium for ollas. Here are some photos of the ollas in the wet work and also fired (to a low temperature) and a couple of planters that the potter made with the local clay. These planters would be for outside use only since they are porous.”

Post from Sauk Mountain Pottery about the origin of the clay for the Ollas.
Post from Sauk Mountain Pottery about the origin of the clay for the Ollas.
Digging holes for the ollas in the center of the beds. Their soak radias is about 3-4 feet.
Digging holes for the ollas in the center of the beds. Their soak radias is about 3-4 feet.
Olla from Sauk Mountain Pottery.
Olla from Sauk Mountain Pottery.
Olla in place.
Olla in place.
Reflection...olla filled with water. The water will slowly seep out and water the plants.
Reflection…olla filled with water. The water will slowly seep out and water the plants.
Couple of ollas in place.
Couple of ollas in place.
Ollas in place. They water the whole bed. Only have to water every few days in the hot summer weather.
Ollas in place. They water the whole bed. Only have to water every few days in the hot summer weather.
More ollas in place.
More ollas in place.
Large ollas are unlgazed ceramic pots. Bought from Summersun Nursery.
Large ollas are unlgazed ceramic pots. Bought from Summersun Nursery.
Large ollas in place.
Large ollas in place.
Small ceramic plate to cover drainage hole in large ollas.
Small ceramic plate to cover drainage hole in large ollas.
Covered the drainage hole with a small ceramic base and a heavy rock.
Covered the drainage hole with a small ceramic base and a heavy rock.
The large ollas with the holes plugged, holding water good so it slowly seeps out over the next few days.
The large ollas with the holes plugged, holding water good so it slowly seeps out over the next few days.

Starting seeds

The first project I did when starting “The Garden” was building a place in my shed to hang indoor grow lights. I went to a used furniture store and bought some inexpensive lights to hang up. I replaced the florecent bulbs with the right type for growing. I also saved some toilet paper rolls and egg cartons to grow starts from seeds. I ordered seeds from a couple local seed growers and away I went with project one of zillion DONE 🙂

 

Use what you have for starting seeds. Toilet paper rolls and beer bottle inserts.
Use what you have for starting seeds. Toilet paper rolls and beer bottle inserts.
Egg cartons for starting seeds.
Egg cartons for starting seeds.
Bought cheap lights at the used office supply store, $15 total supplies.
Bought cheap lights at the used office supply store, $15 total supplies.
Planters made out of old break tins.
Planters made out of old break tins.
Making planters.
Making planters.
Potting station.
Potting station.
Starting with Flowers first. Need to attract the birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden to help pollinate the veggies.
Starting with Flowers first. Need to attract the birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden to help pollinate the veggies.
Add the coconut core to the perilite/soil mixture and you have great potting soil that retains water well.
Add the coconut core to the perilite/soil mixture and you have great potting soil that retains water well.
Soil and Perilite mixture.
Soil and Perilite mixture.
Weight to keep the ground coconut core in the bottom of the bucket to absorb water.
Weight to keep the ground coconut core in the bottom of the bucket to absorb water.
Ground coconut shells.
Ground coconut shells.
Sunflowers are starting! Yay!
Sunflowers are starting! Yay!
Sunflowers, basil, and marigolds.
Sunflowers, basil, and marigolds.
My Dahlia seeds didn't start so I bought some from a prize winning Dahlia farmer. Much easier!
My Dahlia seeds didn’t start so I bought some from a prize winning Dahlia farmer. Much easier!
More starts from Joe's Nursery. A few different types of Thyme and Lavender...and more Tomatoes.
More starts from Joe’s Nursery. A few different types of Thyme and Lavender…and more Tomatoes.
Brought home starts from Joe's Nursery. Shallots, Cilantro, Basil, and Tomatoes.
Brought home starts from Joe’s Nursery. Shallots, Cilantro, Basil, and Tomatoes.
Second round of seeds to start under the grow lights.
Second round of seeds to start under the grow lights.
Lights are in and the seeds and soil is warming up.
Lights are in and the seeds and soil is warming up.
Starts are growing up nicely.
Starts are growing up nicely.
Bringing the starts outside to harden off and get used to the wind and temperature differences.
Bringing the starts outside to harden off and get used to the wind and temperature differences.
Fourth round of starts. Soaking the seeds and direct planting into the soil for these ones. Mid summer starts (after garden beds were made).
Fourth round of starts. Soaking the seeds and direct planting into the soil for these ones. Mid summer starts (after garden beds were made).
Peas sprouted after 24 hour soak.
Peas sprouted after 24 hour soak.
Third round of starts. More starts from Joe's Nursery. Green onions, Pablano peppers, Cabbage, Mint, Chinese salad mix, Rasberries, Grapes.
Third round of starts. More starts from Joe’s Nursery. Green onions, Pablano peppers, Cabbage, Mint, Chinese salad mix, Rasberries, Grapes.
Can't forget some plants for inside the house!
Can’t forget some plants for inside the house!