Friday, July 25, 2014


We've never planted pumpkins before.  We planted sugar pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.

{Sugar pumpkins in front.  Jack-O-Lanterns in back.}

It's been fun to watch them grow.  They're BIG plants!  :)  Here are two of the jack-o-lanterns.  I sure hope there are more hidden in there somewhere.

We're really going to have to rethink the layout of the garden next year.  It's been fun, but it's like a jungle out there.

Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Garden - Close Up

I took a walk through the garden this morning and this is what I found.

Linking to:
Sunny Simple Life: From the Farm Blog Hop

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Image Transfer

Not too long ago I joined a Retro Christmas in July swap with some online friends.  We are to buy retro/vintage Christmas items from garage sales or thrift stores.  (As in, everything has to be from before the 80's.) I was so excited about this swap...until I went to the first garage sale.  Vintage Christmas items are hard to find around here!  I did manage to find a couple small things, then I decided maybe I could make something.

I'd thought about making a pillow, but couldn't find the right fabric.  I was looking around on the internets and found a pillow made with a vintage Christmas card.  Someone had printed out a copy of a card onto iron on transfer paper, ironed it to fabric and sewed that fabric to another and created a pillow.  Very cute, but a pillow is a pretty large thing to throw in the mail.

Then I thought, "Why couldn't I iron the image to wood?"

Turns out you can!  I printed my image, then cut my wood just a bit larger.  I painted it with leftover white chalk paint I'd made for my craft room hutch.  I set the iron to hot/dry.

It took a few minutes, then I let it cool completely.

I may have peeked a few times before it was cool.

It didn't stick completely (Maybe because I painted the wood?), but in the end, I think it turned out pretty good.  (even though I had to rewrite a couple of the words)  I sanded the edges a bit and put a bit of light stain on it before a final clear coat.

I hope my swap partner likes it!  (If not, my daughter said she'd take it!)

Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday
Sunny Simple Life: From the Farm Blog Hop

Friday, July 11, 2014

Strawberry Jam

The kids and I went and picked strawberries earlier this week.  I don't think I've done that since high school. It's hard work when you're older and it's hot out!

We ended up with about 10 1/2 pounds of berries.  One daughter wanted to save them all for eating, but I wanted to make/can jam!

This was our first attempt at making jam.  (Of any kind!)

We used Pomona's Universal Pectin.  "Jells with low amounts of any sweetener."  We made it in two batches.  In the first we used two cups sugar, in the second we used one cup.  (I think we like the one cup version better.)

One 1 oz Pomona's Universal Pectin
{source - Amazon}

It turned out good if we do say so ourselves!  I think we may have to empty a few jars and start the whole sealing process over, but it tastes great and it set well.

I'm pretty excited.  It was a lot easier than we thought it would be.  Can't wait to can more.  Pickles, relish, pumpkin, peaches...

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

take a Hike

Over the weekend we drove over the river to Hudson to find Benson's Wild Animal Farm.  Or what is left of it anyway.  We'd heard it was a good place to take a Hike.

Benson's was a long running private zoo and amusement park.  The zoo/farm was founded in 1924 as an animal training center, and was opened to the public in 1926 with animal exhibits, a miniature train, games and exhibits.  It closed in 1987 and from what I've heard it sat empty for years.  In the last few years, work has been done to restore the park.

Today a few of the buildings remain, a playground has been added, there's a 9/11 memorial and some nice walking trails.  Not so nice when it's hot and humid, but it did make for a pretty walk.

We took the 2.5 mile outer loop from one end and the kids started from the other...We were supposed to meet them somewhere on the loop, but that never happened.  I was hoping we'd meet them soon after we started so I wouldn't have to walk the whole way.  :)  No such luck.  They took a wrong turn somewhere, so we missed them and had to walk all the way around.  It wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been a warm muggy day...and if someone (Maybe me.  I'll never tell.) didn't have to go to the bathroom for the last 1/3 of the walk!  Thank goodness for porta potties!

I can't believe we've lived here two years and have never made our way to the park before!

Linking up to
Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fringe & the Garden

I'm trying to play catch up on Alphabe-Thursday.  I totally missed the letter E, but today I have a two for one today with the letters F & G.

First up, the letter F and the word Fringe.  I've had this quilt forever.  I bought it at a yard sale a few years ago for $2.00.  I just needed to finish clipping the seems to make the fringe.

I never thought it would take me this long to finish.  When your scissors aren't the sharpest though, it's hard work.

My hand is still sore a couple weeks later!  Whoever started on this quilt made the tiniest cuts.  I couldn't keep up with that, so mine are spaced apart a bit more.

I finally got it washed and dried.  It could probably use another round.  We took it camping over the weekend and we had little threads everywhere!  It's not the prettiest quilt out there, but it makes me smile when I look at it.  I wonder what all these fabrics were from?  Did she pick them out on purpose or were they scraps from something else she'd made?

Next up, the letter G and the Garden.  We had a day of rain last week, then we set out the soaker hoses before a four day camping trip.  We came home to a jungle!  

It's amazing how much it's grown in the last month!

I'm loving the flowers even though they're making it hard to walk through the garden!  

We've got lettuce too.  Hopefully we'll also get some raspberries and carrots.

The flowerbed on the side of the yard is doing great as well.  

Turns out what I thought was a weed at the front of the bike has flowers!  (Might still be a weed - I have no idea what it is!)

The Balloon Flowers are starting to bloom.

We had rain yesterday and are expecting rain through the weekend.  I think I should get outside now and do some weeding and cleaning up while the weather is cooperating.  

Linking up to:

Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday
Sunny Simple Life From the Farm Blog Hop

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Garden

Things in the garden are growing.  I can't wait till we can go out and start picking veggies!

The peas are exploding at the end of the garden.  I just wish there were actual peas!  The strawberry plants are filling in nicely.  I think the kids counted seven berries the other day!  :)

Our back flowerbed is filling in nicely as well.  I'd like some plants to fill in some of the empty spaces, but I'm waiting to see if something I've forgotten about pops up.

Next time I post about the garden, maybe I'll have pictures of veggies!