Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Garden in Late July

Here's what's happening in my Milwaukee garden (zone 5B) in late July. 

Goldenrod, Cherokee sunset rudbeckia,
purple coneflower, monarda, butterfly weed.

Astilbe, hostas, bugbane. 

Coneflower, catmint, husker red penstemon. 

Agastache, catmint. 

Coleus, double white begonia, impatiens. 

Zucchini, nasturtiums. 

Farm Birthday Party

 This year, our birthday girl chose to have a farm party. Godsell Farm in Muskeo, WI turned out to be the perfect spot. 
 The kids had a blast feeding and petting the animals. 

 Emma, the llama, was the only one not up for a snack that day. 

 I've been reading Charlotte's Web to the girls, so "Wilbur" was a big hit. 
 It's not a party without a popcorn wagon!

Now for my favorite part, churning butter. This is something I last did in kindergarden.
 See how excited I am?
At the end of the party, we got to eat the butter on crackers. It's SO good. If I had a butter churner, a cow and 30 spare minutes, I would do this everyday. 
No homemade cake this time. I was running behind that morning, so I ran out to the grocery store and spent $10 on this better-than-I-thought-it-would-taste green cake. 
What a fun day at the farm!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Making Roman Shades

I've been getting a lot of emails asking me for more details on how to make roman shades. It looks like Terrell Designs web site is no longer up, which is a real shame. Her store was a great source for supplies and her tutorials were the best.

I do not have any specific patterns for making top down/bottom up shades. My most detailed step-by-step post on making a regular flat shade is this one. And this one has info on measuring your window for inside mount shades.

These Youtube videos are also really helpful.

As for supplies, I used to buy all my supplies from Terrell Designs, but doing a google search should help you find what you need. I found some deals on this site.

Hope that helps all you DIY shade makers out!

UPDATE: A reader pointed out that the woman behind Terrell Designs has posted on her blog that she has retired from the biz. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Long Time!

It's been a really long time since I posted. Yikes! I was lucky to land a very cool full-time job doing what I love (I'm a craft editor!). As a result, there hasn't been much time for blogging. 
My blog will probably take on more of a family/gardening/when-I-have-the-time occasional DIY theme.
 Mostly I just want to keep my friends and family posted on what's happening with us. I kept thinking that I'd get a private family blog started up, but that never happened. So for the time being, I'll just blog here when I get the inspiration. 
 Since I can't resist taking pictures of my garden and it's summer time (finally!), I may be back with some more posts sooner rather than later. 

I filled up several pots with annuals like fuchsia and lantana hoping to attract the hummingbirds that showed up the past two summers. 

 The neighbors shared some iris that I planted last fall. I wasn't sure what they would look like, but they turned out to be a gorgeous peachy-purple. That was a nice surprise seeing them bloom this week. 
That's a crazy monster squash plant taking over in the center of the planter with a not as aggressive zucchini plant, nasturtiums and herbs in the front.  
 The really exciting news around here is that we got a hammock. I got a World Market gift certificate for mother's day and had to have it. It gets really hot in the backyard, so I think an umbrella is next on the must have list. A DIY job perhaps? 
 Jump for joy! It's warm in Wisconsin! 
 We're raising a soccer player now. So I guess that makes me a soccer mom. 
 Lantana waiting for the annual visit from Mr. Hummingbird. Or is it a Mrs.?
 Pansies by the front door. 

I can't believe how big this girl is getting. Time to pass this fire engine on to someone with shorter legs. Can you believe we left the truck out in the yard the entire winter? It was buried in snow, so I totally forgot about it. Yet it still plays the jingle when you honk the horn. Now that's quality! 
 Various varieties of foot-traffic-tollerant plants between stepping stones... ajuga, wild thyme, sedum and a few others. Some are taking off, others are slower to move along. 
We just planted several hostas and a fourth hydrangea plant in the front today. I skipped that photo because it's just not that interesting at this early stage. Once the hydrangeas start blooming it should be photo worthy. 
 Some late blooming tulips. 
I'll leave you with a shot of one of my favorite plants: lady's mantle. It's got the most beautiful blueish green leaves and it grows fast. I love fast-growing plants, don't you?

I planted several last year in a spot where I've had some trouble with pretty much everything. My trouble spot is in the front yard where there's a lot of dappled light throughout the day, but very little direct sunlight. I've tried various shade plants and shrubs, but nothing seems to thrive there.

The wine and roses weigela behind it is doing pretty well too, but it's not growing as fast as I'd like. 

I hope all you lovely readers are doing well! Until next time!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Quilting Time

It's time to start that quilt I've been thinking about for the past several months. This one is for my bedroom which needs a little injection of color if you ask me. I'm picturing a quilt with a lot of negative white space and a few splashes of the colors you see in that bird print: yellow, blue, green and coral.

I have at least one more trip to the fabric store ahead, but I've decided to go ahead and start cutting hexagon pieces a few at a time. 

This is going to be a large quilt made up of a lot of hexagons. Definitely wouldn't want to tackle this project with out a rotary cutter and hexagon ruler. The see-through ruler is especially useful for doing fussy cuts. 
I'm still working out the pattern and I'll probably change my mind a few more times before I start sewing, but I'm so excited to see how this cheerful patchwork of colors will brighten up the bedroom.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine Heart Wreath

The kids are having some friends over on Valentine's Day, so I made a little decoration for the party. 

This wreath was made by wrapping 2" wide strips of fabric around a 12" wreath form. I used hot glue every few wraps to keep the fabric in place.

Then I cut a heart template out of paper and used it to trace two shapes out of felt of the dark pink felt. Then I cut out the template a little smaller and used that for a light pink felt heart. After cutting the template again to make the heart even smaller, I cut out the rest of the felt hearts in red and light pink. Make sure you cut out two pieces of felt for each heart for the front and back.

Using an awl, I poked two holes in the top felt heart where the arrow goes in and comes out. Then I stuck a bamboo skewer in places before sewing (with straight stitch) around the edges of the felt hearts with embroidery floss (4 strands) and needle. I left a couple of inches open at the bottom and stuffed with a little batting I shredded with my hands.

Then I glued on the felt arrow and feathers sandwiching the pieces over the skewer and setting in place with hot glue.

Play around with the placing of the hearts on the wreath before hot gluing to the wreath.

Supply and Tools List:

12" wreath form
about 1 yard of fabric cut into 2" strips
1 piece each of 9"x12" dark pink and red felt
2 pieces of 9"x12" light pink felt
embroidery floss in light pink and needle (a canvas repair needle worked very well)
bamboo skewer
scrap paper for making heart template
ribbon for hanging wreath
hot glue gun