Ring in Spring with Garlic

| My Life, Outdoors

Garlic in March

Garlic in March

I love this time of year. So much hope and anticipation for the fun times yet to come with the warm weather soon approaching. In Victoria we’re blessed to have mild winters which for me never gets tiring.  Growing up in Ontario with 6-7 months of cold and snow has instilled in me a general hatred towards cold weather; one that I still feel after living here in the promised land for the past 15 years.

One thing I learned to love living in Ontario was the wonderful gardens you could grow there. My mother’s garden was huge, probably about half an acre.  Oh how I used to love watching her garden go from a pile of dirt to a medley of incredible fruit and veggies in a matter of months.

Now that I finally have a “deer free” area, I have my own very tiny chunk of land to grow a garden.  Even though it’s small, it has a southern exposure with a beautiful rock wall as a wind guard and protector. We just moved to this house about a year ago so last year was my first attempt at a real garden – overall, it was generally successful but I hope to have better results this year.

So, what’s with the garlic? We’ll it’s the first beautiful green thing to shoot through the soil this winter/spring.  It just looks so lush it’s hard to believe it’s still March. And well, I have an embarrassing thing to admit; last year I planted my first garlic bunch in June… turns out it won’t grow if you plant it then. I was asking my very knowledgeable friend and co-worker something about Garlic early last summer and she said “you didn’t plant garlic this summer did you” and I looked her square in the eye and said “no, of course not”. Yes, even though I’m a complete amateur, I was too embarrassed to admit the truth to her.  So later this past fall, that same friend gave me some of her beautiful garlic bulbs and I planted the cloves. Now, that I have these gorgeous plants coming up in my garden I feel triumphant. I can’t wait to pick them now; I’m already planning all my recipes out for the summer harvest.

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Craft stick dolls

| Crafts & DIY

Craft stick dolls

Craft stick dolls

Aren’t these little sweeties just the cutest things!  Of course, like all my projects, I found this on Pinterest.  Here’s the original post – which is fabulous by the way.

I have a 6 year old daughter who’s an only child and I’m always on the search for ways to keep her entertained – since I’m not only mom but also her full time playmate.  She has an incredible imagination (as most only children do) so as soon as I saw these cuties I knew I had to make some.

All you need is some washi tape, sharpies and coloured markers that don’t bleed too much (Le Pen markers by Marvy are wonderful for this). Just wrap a few pieces of tape around the stick, draw the head and legs above and below the tape and then add the detailing for the shirt and skirt on top of the washi tape. That’s pretty much it. What a quick and fun project! You could spend much more time on these then I did and make them quite intricate by adding ribbon, buttons, lace, felt and more.  I’m sure when Noelle see’s them she’ll want to make some friends for these sweet dollies herself!

Later, Noelle decided that they needed a town so I took a cardboard box apart and drew a little village background for her.  As I sit here writing this post I can hear her playing with them all in the other room.

The dolls playing in their custom made town.

The dolls playing in their custom made town.

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Project Life…download this FREE printable

| Design & Technology, For the Home

Journaling cards great for project life or scrapbooking.

Journaling cards – great for project life or scrapbooking.

Click here to download your free printable.

Click here to download your free printable.

I have to admit that I’m pretty bad at recording all the events of our life.  If it wasn’t for the fact that my camera automatically adds dates to my photo files I wouldn’t have a record of what was actually happening at the various stages of our lives. Scrapbooking… forget it – that’s way too much for me to take on. You’d think that scrapbooking would be a perfect outlet for my creative energy but no, I think that there’s just too many options and I find it overwhelming.

Recently one of my co-workers turned me onto Project Life – now this is way more my speed. Essentially, it’s a really quick and easy way to record the events and memories over your life.  For more info check out the creator’s website: http://www.beckyhiggins.com/products/what-is-project-life.php. I just love the concept but honestly, even remembering to do something that probably takes about 30 minutes once a week is just too much of a commitment for me – I suck at routine (just ask my husband).

One thing that I really love about Project Life is that it is still meant to look pretty and I’m all about pretty.  If you checkout the Becky Higgins website, you’ll see that she has some beautiful kits for creating your own Project Life: http://www.beckyhiggins.com/products/. Since I love design, I couldn’t help but try my hand at creating my own Project Life cards.  Turns out it was pretty fun.  Now maybe that I have some fun designs I have less reason to put off creating my own Project Life – I’ll let you know how (but more likely “if”) that turns out.  In the meantime, you can download my free template designs for your own Project Life here.  Have fun!

For the full 12 piece set of this design, you can purchase it from my Etsy site here.

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Pillow Mattress – My first big sewing project

| Crafts & DIY, For the Home, My Life

Cozy flannel pillow bed

Cozy flannel pillow bed

About a year ago or so I created a bucket list of things I’d like to try my hand at.  Nothing crazy or wild, just things I’d like to attempt to learn.  I’d actually forgotten about the list until I had some computer problems and saw it in my files when my computer was upgraded.  I was amazed that when I looked at the list now, I actually had checked off quite a few things in a year including knitting, crocheting and playing tennis.  One thing that was still on the list was sewing.

For Christmas this year I was generously gifted the money to buy a sewing machine which I ordered on boxing day and it came a week later.  When it arrived I took it out of the box and put it in the corner of my office where it sat until just a couple of weeks ago.  I have to be honest – sewing scared me half to death – I know, are you serious!  I’m not really sure why I was so intimidated but I was.  So one day after a serious spring cleaning in my office I noticed that poor, sad little machine in the corner and decided to dust it off and see if I could get it working.

My first attempt at sewing was a heat/rice bag for my daughter; guess what – it turned out pretty well and wasn’t that scary after all. Then I made two more, which were each quite an improvement on my daughter’s heat bag. Once I started feeling a little more confident I did some hemming and made a skirt and matching head band for Noelle.

So here’s a really cool project I made yesterday – a pillow bed (or mattress, whichever you prefer).  I took Noelle to the store and she got to chose her own fabric.  We picked flannel material so that the bed would be extra cozy.  Noelle helped with everything including the washing, measuring, cutting, pinning and testing of course.  I didn’t use a pattern but followed the instructions from this great posting: http://mplainsmall.hubpages.com/hub/Pillow-Pallets

Overall, I’m thrilled with the results and the only thing I have left to do (which wasn’t in the instructions but I think would like nicer) is to add Velcro to each pillow opening just to tidy it up.  I had a little extra material left over so I concluded the project by making a little stuffed owl toy that was cute but ended up taking longer to make then that pillow bed did – oh well, you live you learn!

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