Friday, June 28, 2013

More Garden Inspiration -- Glass Garden Totems

I saw one of these in my friend's Cape Cod garden over the weekend which inspired a trip to the Salvation Army store.  I accidentally lucked out by arriving on a "most-things-are-half-price-today" sale!

Nature assisted by filling this one last night. 

The upside-down base vases of both totems are sitting atop pieces of a straight curtain rod--so much cheaper than buying something. and the white looks good! 

The top piece of this one is a $6 paperweight from Marshall's.  The rest of the pieces of both totems are S. A. purchases that were from fifty cents to a dollar.  To bring in more blue, I filled the center piece, a cruet with a nice snug top, with water and blue food coloring.

Can't wait for the next half-price day!

Partying at:  

 More the Merrier Monday

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Inspired Birdbath

Danni at Silo Hill Farm had a post about the Bloomin' Marvelous series going at Inspiration Cafe that really did inspire me to do something related to the garden!  Here is my newest birdbath. This one, for my hummingbirds, really does look like a giant flower to me.

Both pieces were from Marshall's.  The base piece is about two feet high, a giant stemmed goblet!  You can see the base better in the next photo.  I splurged on that, ten whole dollars.  The top, though, was only $4. Fourteen dollars to give the little beauties their own private bath doesn't seem too much.  They've been flitting around the hanging water at the large bird feeders which made me think they might like a small place for water near where they feed.  My hummingbirds LOVE the Hosta flowers. 

These join the other two glass birdbaths I blogged about here and here.  I need to branch out and use another material next time.

Thanks for the inspiration, Danni.

Partying at:
More the Merrier Monday

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Book Club at the Cape and an Update on the Swimsuit Sarong

Every book club should have a getaway meeting--especially if one of the members has moved to a lovely beach town on Cape Cod.
I had to show you the osprey nest on top of what they tell me is a insect control box. I do love an over-sized home.
We spent about ten minutes discussing books and hours and hours on the beach, eating seafood, and trying out all the different wines everyone brought along. 
Some of the ladies of the club at a nursery that had a fairy garden with these sweet stone pieces.

See the little fairy door built into the stone?
We squeezed in several nurseries including the Cape Code Lavender nursery and also managed a short but expensive trip to the Scargo Pottery store.

And as for the swimsuit sarong update--I don't know whether it is that I'm too lazy to tie a knot or my present obsession with putting snaps on everything.  I decided to update last year's sarong with some pearl snaps.  I put two sets of snaps on the top to make it a wrap-around.
Love how the fabric drapes on the side showing a swirl of the black backing fabric.

The fact that I think this way makes me look thinner may have something to do with the snap decision.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baby Gift One: Done!

One baby blanket for my daughter's expected new baby granddaughter,
 and one Baby Binky Bunny with a matching baby blanket for the two-year old big sister.
I'm thinking that having a new sister will be quite a transition for big sister Angelica who has been the only grandchild getting ALL the attention for the last two years!
Hopefully having her own new baby with a blanket that matches the new sister's will give Angelica something to do when her mom is busy with all that new baby stuff....yeah, I'm dreaming here, right?  We all remember how well two-year-old kids share their stuff, let alone their parents!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Binky Bunny and Some Hand Embroidery

Life keeps getting in the way of my sewing.  It's so annoying.  I have accomplished a few thing, though. 

Another Baby Binky Bunny from the pattern I mentioned in the last post.  Love this one. I prefer the eyes hand sewn in place.  I loved his embroidered nose until my son wanted to know why I embroidered a rose there.  Now I'm feeling insecure about it.  By #3 I should have this stuff all straightened out.

I've also been doing some hand embroidery while watching television and when in the car (as a passenger--no need to worry for your life).
From the Lecien website
I found this design on the Lecien website among the free quilt patterns.  I've made some very minor tweaks in the design and changed the colors completely to match the fabric I'm going to be using.  The Lecien quilt is also quite colorful.  I just don't have that fabric or those threads in the stash.  I really, really must start using up the stash.

Off to enjoy the sun before it's gone.  We have had SO  much rain lately that I hate being inside when I finally see some sun.  Hope y'all are having a nice weather day, too!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

But the Vinegar Weed Killer DID Work

I pinned something about a home-made weed killer solution using regular, grocery store vinegar.  Then I read another post that this could not possibly work. 

Off I went to remove the pin.  Yet, I seemed to have a memory of accidentally killing off some grass with vinegar.  Instead of deleting the pin, I went to the pinned post.  There were before and after photos of a brick patio much like mine--lots of green weeds, then, lots of yellow ones.  Gotta try it, right?

First time I didn't take pics of the before.  I just tried it on the worst section of my patio. (Yes, the patio is a mess.  We are just barely hitting "use the patio weather" here!).  Here is a shot of the after.
That is freakin' great!  So, then, I did this little experiment on clover to show here.  This is the before pic with three little patches of clover in the brick.  I sprinkled the first two with the vinegar solution.

Here they are less than 24 hours later.  If you look close, you can see the shriveled up remains of the first two.  Even the last one seems to have suffered from sprinkling some of the small ones that were close by. (Good reason not to get too close to the good plants.)

No before pics for the following, but they show that it worked on different weeds and grasses

Maybe the point of the naysayers is that this will not be killing the roots.  Still, if I have to sprinkle this much safer, cheaper stuff a few times I'm still ahead.  There may be a few hardy weeds that will keep coming back--dandelions and such, but most root systems need those leaves to stay alive in the long run. 

I used a solution of one gallon of vinegar, one cup of salt, and 3 tablespoons of dish detergent.  The pinned post called for less detergent, but I decided to go for more. I think I've mentioned my inability to follow directions before. I'd like to say I'm working on that, but I'm not.

 My experiments continue, however.  Once a home schooler, always a home schooler--even when the kids are gone.  I'm trying straight vinegar on a few of the really large weeds in another section of the garden beds (or I probably should say weed beds to be perfectly honest) and some of the mixed solution on others.  I shall let you know how it goes in the long run.

Update:  The straight vinegar worked just as well on the weeds in the garden as the mix.  Large weeds including a very large dandelion were completely shriveled and brown.  I'll see if they come back and let you know.

Monday, June 3, 2013

First Try at the Baby Binky Bunny Pattern

When I first got this pattern a few years ago, I COULD NOT cut out even circles of felt for the eyes  to save myself.  I seriously thought of buying one of those expensive cutting machines.

I finally bought cut felt online so I could make some bunnies.  Did I look up the exact size I needed for this pattern? No. Instead I bought $25 worth of felt and not one is the right size.  Who does that?  Me.  Yup, I was back where I started when I bought the pattern, cutting my own circles. 

After embroidering two sets of eyes on my not-so-perfect felt circles, I found a blog post from Make It Cozee about using wax paper to cut better felt circles.  Next time...

 Reviews online for this pattern abound, but they are short and sweet lacking details on the nitty gritty--what worked really well and what could have worked better.  The rest of this post is a wordy but hopefully helpful list for someone else who wants to try the pattern.
  •  The pattern is well-written with clear and easy directions.  It is, however, on the expensive side at $11.95.  There is an additional pattern for a bib, booties, and carrot that will bring the cost up to a whopping $17.00.
  • The directions have you stuff the limbs after sewing them on.  I've done enough stuffies to know how to work around stuffed limbs.  If you are new at this, go with the directions and stuff the limbs after turning the bunny right side out.
  • Get some nice felt for the eyes or use a flannel or fleece with iron-on interfacing for stability. My felt was too thin.  I ended up using a double thickness on the second one I've started.  Also, use fabric glue or spray adhesive on the felt pieces to hold them in place for easy sewing.
  •  The next two photos show some of the issues I had with the eyes--all my own fault.
    •  My first set of circles were too big because I just cut the edges off a scalloped circle.  Use the size in the pattern!  The first picture below shows the wrong size and the second shows the right size.
    •  I tried a fancy stitch to sew on the eyes in the first photo.  I find small circles difficult to sew to begin with and should have stuck with the straight stitch.  The second photo below shows the double thickness of my thin felt hand-stitched in place.  I like this  much better, but I should have gone with a matching thread so as to not highlight the fact that my embroidery was not centered well.
Close-up of poor bunny #1
Beginnings of bunny #2
  • The felt nose, which was my idea, might have worked if I had embroidered it in place.  (I have $25 worth of felt to use up!) However, embroidering the nose entirely as in the second bunny close-up is easy and looks great.  
  • I  used fleece for the diaper which turned out to be too thick for the tabs.  The working snaps I put on get around the fact that I could not top stitch the tabs in place.  Looks okay, though.
  •  I like the snap as a substitute for the button or embroidered dots on the diaper. You only need to put on the snap top because the tab is top-stitched in place.
There you have it!  Got to finish up this second one for the July baby that's threatening to make an appearance soon.