The sentiment on the card is from one of my Whipper Snapper cling mount sets called Friendly Expressions.
Find all the details of this week's challenge on the High Hopes blog.
Stamp: "Gardening Gertie" by High Hopes Rubber Stamps, "Friendly Expressions" cling set by Whipper Snapper Designs
Ink: Memento Black
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft, Bo Bunny, Paper Accents
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: YR132, YR133, YR25, YR32, YR21, BR97, BR107, BR102, BR92, Y36, WG5, GY175, Y42, WG3, PB144, PB185, B182, R136, B68, R3, R2, B64, B66, Y34, Y36, YR33, CG1, CG3, CG5
Other: Prima flowers, SEI brad, Tracing Wheel, Spellbinders label die, MFT label die, May Arts ribbon
My Baker Creek seed order arrived today! Alan wanted to know why I wasn't out in the garden this evening planting seeds! *Haa!* I'd have to prep more beds first, that's why! I still have some seeds from last year, so this isn't a complete list of what will be grown in the garden this year. These will just fill in a few spots with something new to grow, and provide us with a couple favorites. Let's see what I ordered.
I ordered up this Fordhook Zucchini simply because of the note on it that reads "freezes well". We get a LOT of zucchini from the garden, so this might allow another method for prolonging the harvest. I'm excited for the Bush Buttercup squash. Since they grow in bushes, like a zucchini, they won't take over the entire garden like a vining plant would.
I wasn't able to find scallop (patty pan) squash seeds locally, so they are were top priority on the order list. I also picked up some Patisson Strie Melange, which will be new to our garden. We thought they looked like fun!
I've tried growing strawflowers two years in a row now, and have had miserable luck with them. I thought I would try them one more year before coming to the conclusion that I just can't grow them here.
I know many of you are still having freezing temperatures, and may even still be getting snow! So hopefully this little promise of "spring" warmed you up a bit!
Here's what I ordered, if any of these spark your fancy!
Bennings Green Tint Scallop SSQ109
Blue Curled Scotch KA101
Dwarf Siberian Kale KA102
Bloomsdale Long Spinach - 1/4 lb SP101-E
Patisson Strie Melange SSQ134
Fordhook Zucchini SSQ139
Bush Buttercup SQ168
Tall Double Mix - Strawflower FL640
Blue Seas - Statice FL662
Tiger Eye Mix Sunflower FL743
Orange King - Zinnia FL818
Pink Senorita Zinnia FL831
Redman Super Cactus Zinnia FL820
What's on your list for this year's garden?
Today I prepped three 4'x8' raised garden beds and the two old aluminum trough planters we moved into the garden last year, for planting. Prepping the soil included loosening and turning the soil that was in each bed, digging up and hauling many wagon-fulls of farm compost (soil and POOP!), filling up the beds w/ the additional compost, turning it all together, and leveling out the soil.
And believe it or not, I actually got seeds planted in the beds I prepped! Five rows of beets, two rows of spinach, two rows of giant peas, and and entire bed of cucumbers. I haven't planted anything in the two aluminum troughs I prepped yet though. One of them is fitted with two super-great round wire trellis, so I want to plant something in that trough that needs upright support. Maybe slicing cucumbers? Last year it did a fantastic job of supporting a couple of monster sized yellow cherry tomato plants. The second trough doesn't have any upright supports in it this year, so I might just plant spinach and chard in it.
I think this might be the earliest I've ever gotten seeds in the ground, and it sure feels like it's time. I worked extra hard today prepping the beds because we're supposed to get some rain tonight and tomorrow. And that would be GREAT after working the soil and getting those seeds in the ground!
There's still loads of work to do for this years garden, but at least I've got it started!
The February layout challenge has been posted on the Paper Loft blog, and while you may think that the layout challenge is only for scrapbookers, that's not so! Cardmarkers can join the fun too! I did! *grin*
Have you started thinking about your garden yet? I've started thinking about it, but haven't done too much else. Just thinking.
Stamp: All Night Media (Garden Lady)
Ink: Black Memento, Antique Linen Distress Ink
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft
ShinHan Touch Twin markers
Other: Spellbinders wonky rectangle and circle die,May Arts twine, tracing wheel, button, string
I thought I would pop on out to the garden this evening and see what the chickens were up to. Some of them were hunting for bugs in the grass. Good chickens! (Rosie in the front, Goldilocks, Poof, and Rosie in the distance). Yes, I have several Rosie's. You try telling several Golden Comet chickens apart on a regular basis! *grin*
Some of them were enjoying the sunshine. By the way, this is Dolly... my, how he has changed!
Lola is a Bearded Buff Laced Polish. Isn't she a beauty! Check out her blue legs! I love raising Polish hens. They have the sweetest personalities, although sometimes they can be a bit punchy (probably because they can't see all that well with their big headdresses!)
The stamp images I used on my project are from my "Farmgirl Betty" and "Farmer John" cling sets, available at Whipper Snapper Designs. I used various images from the two sets to create a simple scene that celebrates Fall.
I thought the patterned paper from Paper Loft's Funkysaurus line looked so much like tidy, interesting garden rows -- making it perfect accent paper for my Farmgirl Betty card!
Tomorrow is the last day to enter the current Touch Twin Markers & More challenge. You can find all of the details on the Touch Twin Markers & More challenge blog.
The topic for the current challenge is to make a project in a food theme with some type of shadowing technique. I chose to dress up one of my jars of homemade salsa with a piece of muslin, twine, and a tag featuring an image from my Whipper Snapper cling mount set called Garden Fresh.
The Garden Fresh stamp set has the jar with a blank label, along with various fruits and veggies you can add to the center of the label. I chose to use the fatty tomato on my jar's label, of course! All of the shadows on the image were created with markers. There are no additional layers used on the jar or label to add dimension to the stamped image. Just a lotta coloring!
Thought you might like to see the current status of one of my kitchen counters. This is a little more than HALF of the zucchini that's in the kitchen right now. And Alan hasn't even brought in today's harvest yet... *mercy!*
The average weight of these is 2lbs each. Some as much as 3lbs. The stack goes from countertop, to the bottom of the upper cupboards at it's highest point.
After dinner tonight (we're taking Alan's parents out for Father's Day), we'll be stopping at the grocery store and picking up more onions so I can do a couple more batches of relish (we love relish!) and some zucchini pickle recipies.
So, tomatoes and zucchini aren't the only BIG produce we've harvested from the garden this year! We're also growing monster sized cucumbers! This photo can be a little deceiving... Just how big do you think those cucumbers really are?
Let me show you...
They are Armenian cucumbers. I received some seeds last year in a seed exchange and decided to plant a few of the seeds beneath the tree branch trellis. A few days ago, Alan and I decided to harvest a few...
This side of the cucumber was against the ground and didn't get much sun. Amazingly enough, with all the BUGS we've got this year, they have very little bug damage. The vines did get pretty beat up during the two storms we've had, though. The wind really damaged some of the leaves.
Here is Alan holding the three cucumbers we picked. They measure 26.5" & 5lbs, 22" & 5lbs, 22" & 4.75lbs. That's a LOTTA cucumber! And, by the way, the "smaller" two cucumbers in the first photo are ordinary slicing cucumbers, and both weighed .75lb each.
I knew you'd want to see the inside of one of the large cucumbers, so I snapped a photo after I sliced off what we ate for dinner that night. It was very crispy, juicy, and had excellent flavor. We'll happily grow these again!
I'm saving seeds ... perhaps I'll do a give-away!
Thought I'd post an update on the garden, to track how things are progressing. As always, click photos for a larger view. The tomatoes in the metal troughs were completely toppled over during the last storm we had. Bent over clear to the ground, cages and all. I set them upright again as best as I could, and Alan set a t-post on the outside of the trough so their cages can be tied off to it. We never get wind from the direction that caused all the damage... it was wacky! That same storm really beat up the larger zucchini plants as well, but they've done a fine job of recovering. The cucumber plants took a beating too, and sill look a little rough from all the wind.
The new garden area we put in this spring is filling in nicely. We ended up having to line up some of our hay along the backside of the garden to keep the hot southern wind from pulling the plants right up out of the ground. The wind really whips the plants around, dries them out, and pretty much ruins any chance of survival. Hay bales to the rescue! They are a temporary solution to the problem, though. We will have to put up some fence panels, like we did on the backside of the "old" garden area closer to the chicken coop. They help so MUCH!
In the new garden, we've got our second planting of zucchini. Just a few plants... that should get us by for a while longer on zucchini! There is a spaghetti squash plant at the far end, too. A new plant for us this year.
I am trying to get some watermelon to grow this year, too. The vines are doing much better now; they took a little while to get going. Before we set the hay bales along the garden, the wind was really rough on the vines. But now they seem to be growing nicely. We have enough time in the season still, so I poked a few more seeds in the ground where there were some "holes" where some of the plants didn't make it. Hopefully they come in quickly and are able to put on some fruit!
A few more cantaloupe plants, and at the far end a couple acorn squash plants. You can see what's left of my green beans in the bottom right corner. The grasshoppers did them in. I decided just to leave them, as maybe the grasshoppers will continue to eat on them instead of the other plants.
Here you can see how the yellow zucchini plants have just about abandoned their bed and have taken up residence in the walkway. So much for getting down that path any longer! Even the chickens and ducks wondered how to get past!
In the evening, the chickens and ducks get to visit the garden and hunt for bugs. They are very good hunters, but really need to be supervised while they're in the garden. Otherwise, they get into places they're not supposed to be. For the most part they spend their time hunting bugs, and do a pretty good job of spreading out my compost pile.
The beds in the back of the garden where I had my salad greens, kale, and beets planted are now empty. Soon, we will prepare the beds for fall planting. I want to add more height to the sides of the beds and add more soil and compost. That will make growing in the raised beds even better! The front beds are still hanging in there. The big cucumber wall (just off the right side of the photo) is just about done for the season. The vines really got hit with bugs and I'm dealing with a lot of wilt now.
Alan is the "harvester" of cucumbers, squash, and zucchini. He leaves a zucchini on the plants if it isn't quite big enough to pick ... and then two days later, SURPRISE! It's HUGE! This is how we get 2.5lb - 3.5lb zucchini! Haa!
Amazingly enough, I have yet to see a single squash bug in the garden this year. Very unusual. I think that with our mild winter, we have a bigger spider population and they are master hunters in the garden beds. In the photo above, those are two wolf spiders (yes, the VERY VERY CREEPY kind) sitting in a zucchini plant. To give you an idea of size, the stems of the zucchini are about 1.5" diameter. They're BIG spiders. And they give me the complete willies ... but I'm learning to tolerate them in the garden.
And as if that wasn't enough of a garden update, stay tuned for more on our GIANT tomato, and we have another BIG garden harvest surprise to share, too!
Look what I brought in from the garden this evening! Another whopper sized Cherokee Purple tomato! I would have liked to let it ripen on the vine another day or two, but it looked like it was going to start splitting, and I DID NOT want the bugs to get it! So, into the house it went... 18.5oz! The largest tomato I've ever grown!
This is my first year growing Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes, and I have to say, I'm loving them! They are delicious! I've never been able to grow very large tomatoes here, regardless of the variety. Small tomatoes grow like crazy, but I have trouble with the large tomatoes. I think they have more trouble with the heat we get than smaller cherry sized tomatoes.
I was very excited when I brought this beauty in today and set it on the scale! 14.3oz ... just a bit shy of 1 POUND! Most of the other "large" tomatoes I've brought in have been between 8oz and 11oz, so this one is a WHOPPER (from our garden, anyway!)
And I'm going to eat it for lunch tomorrow! ... I might share with Alan... *grin*
Tomorrow I will be canning relish, cutting up zucchini for candy recipies, and juicing fresh cucumbers for breakfast!
The tomatoes are just starting to ripen, and they are delish! Cherokee Purple tomatoes have been the top "large" tomato performer for us this year. The small Juliet and Sweet 100s are coming on strong, though too!
Some of the garden beds are "done" producing for the spring/summer crop. The bugs did the last of the plants in -- mostly the spinach, kale, collards, and such. But, we're going to add more boards to the raised beds, add more soil and compost, and I'll get the beds ready for fall planting. All will be good.
In the "new" garden space, the plants are just starting to flower. We've got canteloupe, watermelon, more zucchini (hey, it grows for us, so we plant lots!), and some acorn squash, so hopefully they all do well.
Ten days ago I posted that we have a honey bee swarm in a tree here on the farm. Well, they're still there, and they've been 'buzzzzzy' making a honey comb! I snapped this quick photo today, and will try to get a better photo tomorrow. It was real windy today, and most of the photos I took today were SUPER out of focus.
See the yellow honey comb, towards the bottom of the swarm? I believe there are three comb sections. The one that you can see a portion of, I believe, is the center comb. There is a much shorter one on the left side that I've seen a portion of, and I believe there is a third one on the right side of the swarm.
I'll see about getting more photos tomorrow!
Alan and I were out in the pasture this evening, and as we were walking back up to the house I just about walked under a tree, right under this temporary honey bee swarm. ZOIKS! (Click on the images for a larger view.)
We'll be keeping a very close eye on the swarm, and the farm, to make sure they don't decide to set up a hive in one of our buildings. Yikes!
The plants have started blooming like crazy! A mix of slicing cucumbers, mini whites, and lemon cucumbers. Should be fun to see how they come in! There are little baby cucumbers everywhere! I have cucumbers in 4 other places in the garden, as well. Good thing we eat a lot of cucs! Also in this bed are 4 kale plants and a small row of beets which are now nearly hidden by the cucumbers and the kale.
The zucchini bed is growing like MAD! The six plants in this 4'x8' bed are three feet tall, and spilling over every edge of the bed. So much so that you can only see the edges of the bed in one or two locations.
The remaining three plants are black zucchini's, and just like the yellows, the plants are putting on LOTS of fruit. I have zucchini plants in several other locations as well, so I imagine we'll be eating zucchini for a good long while. Some of the other plants are just starting to put out blooms, others are just putting on their second and third leaves, and others still have yet to come up. I did good succession planting, this year!
The trough gardens are doing great! Soon, the patty pan squash will start to hang down over the edge, and hopefully the nasturtiums I have planted in the troughs will start to trail down over the edge as well.
There are some squash plants in this bed that have grown so tall, I think they're shading out the tomatoes and peppers behind them. In the front corner is another grouping of cucumbers, and same with the corner of the bed on the left .... yup, more cucumbers. *grin* You can also see how tall the sunflowers are getting along the chicken yard fence! They are going to be beautiful!
This bed has an 8-Ball zucchini, a butternut, and a patty pan squash plant. Cucumbers, some onions, and some kale are on the backside. On the left side of this photo you can see part of the Armenian cucumbers I have planted on the tree branch tee-pee trellis I built last year. They are really strong, healthy looking plants, so I hope they do well.
Every time I go out to the garden, I'm amazed at the progress. I actually ate the first ripe cherry tomato this morning, right off the vine. And it was DELISH!!
I used my Spiral Veggie Slicer to make zucchini noodles. It's so easy, fast, and fun! The Spiral Veggie Slicer comes with three different cutting plates. Small, medium, and flat. I used the small plate to make spaghetti sized noodles. I also use the small cutting plate to make raw sweet potato noodles, and raw beet salad. Yum!
It's very easy to use. Simply make a cut on each end of the veggie so the ends are flat. Place the veggie onto the slicer, press the handle into the veggie, and turn the handle! Out come the most amazing noodles! You can peel off the green if you don't like the green edges on your noodles.
I'm going to be making this dish all summer long, as long as we get zucchini from the garden! It was deeeee-lish!!
1.5 - 2 pounds Zucchini
1/4 Cup Pesto
1 Large Tomato, diced
Salt/Pepper to taste
Make zucchini "noodles". Sprinkle noodles w/ just a pinch of salt, toss, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. This will pull some of the water out of the noodles, wilting them a bit, making them look, act, and have the texture of real pasta noodles. Press out the excess water using paper towels.
In a large bowl, toss the noodles with pesto and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The warm weather we're having is making the garden GROW! Everything has added 6, 8, maybe even 12 inches of height since last weekend. If you watched the video I did last weekend you might remember the little volunteer 8-Ball zucchini I showed ... well, I picked it this morning and it weighed 1.5 pounds! I know what we're having for dinner! And there are more on the way! Yay!
Here are some more photos to share, all taken this morning.
The plants around the outside edge are Armenian cucumbers -- supposed to make cucumbers that grow up to 36" long. Woweee!! The plants in the center are average slicing cucumbers. I wasn't sure the larger ones would come up, so I planted others. Then, most of them came up. We'll see how they do!
Hope you enjoy the day! Promises to be beautiful here today, though a bit too warm. 90. Phwew...
I took some video clips of the garden yesterday, and thought I'd share!
If you can't view this video here on my blog, check it out here on YouTube.
Have a GREAT Earth Day!!
Hope you have a wonderful day today, and take at least a moment to appreciate Earth. Yesterday evening, Alan helped me "refresh" the garden bed where I had spring peas planted, so today I get to plant some new seeds, water them in, and watch them GROW! Also in celebration of Earth Day, I did some video clips of the garden, and will post the video shortly.
Promises to be a gorgeous day here today ... a Sunny 81* ... a perfect day for a sundress, sun tea, and relaxation.
Well, yesterday I hinted at a project Alan and I did yesterday afternoon .... and for those of you who thought perhaps we went and "got hitched", Hahahaaa!!! No, we didn't .... but thanks for the laughs! I never imagined that would even be a guess! Instead, we put in a new 8' x 24' gardening area!
We mowed the area we wanted to work with, set paper in place (to further supress the grass and weeds), and added the compost. Alan suggested we line the entire area with some landscape timbers that Alan's dad brought out to the farm last year from his yard. Good idea!
Here you can see the last bit of paper showing. We put down about 4" to 5" of compost to start with, and as I build rows for planting, I'll add more compost (we have 21 bags of compost left) to the planting rows to increase the growing depth for the plants. Eventually, the paper will break down and the compost will keep the ground beneath nice and damp for plant roots.
This year, I won't plant anything in the bed that requires a very deep growing root structure. We'll do some green beans, some leafy greens, summer squash, and a few other odds and ends. I'm excited to get some rows created, and seeds in the ground! I know what I'm doing this weekend!
We had a good rain yesterday afternoon, and the garden looks a lot greener than it did prior to the rain. It's cloudy today so I'm hoping the plants are really able to enjoy the rain water before the sun pops out and dries everything out. And who knows... maybe we'll get rain again by the weekend! Here's hoping!
I'm trying a few new things in the garden this year. We had a couple leaky (think collander) troughs in the barn that I was going to plant potatoes in. I didn't get around to planting spuds soon enough, and we don't eat many potatoes anyway, so I decided to plant them with a couple tomato plants, some chard, and nasturtiums. We'll see how they do.
I am also using some of the big blue tubs left over from some of the treats we give the cows in the winter. Alan drilled holes in the bottom for drainage, and I filled them with good soil, tomato plants, some herbs, chard, mints, and a few other things (radishes, onion chives, etc). They are unsightly, but hopefully functional.
The sunflowers and zinnias I planted along the chicken yard are coming in well. The bed is filling with our icky crab grass, so I've got to get out and trim it up a bit. You can see that the fence took a bit of a beating from Lucy and Darcy (cows) while we had the girls in the back yard this winter. Baaaaad cows! :)
This small bed was supposed to be all flowers. Two seeds came up. Well, more than that sprouted, but were quickly eaten off by pill beetles. So, I planted some acorn squash seeds in the center of the bed. They didn't come up either. So, when I had to stop at the nursery to pick up some replacement plants for the ones I lost in the hail storm, I decided to pick up a few more to plant in this bed. The day after I planted the peppers and two tomato plants, all of the acorn squash seeds popped up. This should be an interesting bed to watch grow..... *grin* Oh, and the netting that's around the beds is to keep the free-ranging chickens and cats out of the beds. Works great!
I'm excited for this bed! Down the center, on both sides of the trellis are three different kinds of cucumbers. Then a row of beets and a row of spinach, on both sides. YUM!! I did lose some of the cucumber plants to hail, but there are plenty of others and they're doing just great.
This year's primary tomato bed has 6 plants that are coming along beautifully! Last year I planted 8 plants in a different bed this same size, and it was a bit crowded. It was difficult to only plant 6 (they're so small when they're first planted!), but I'm hoping that with a little extra elbow room, they'll do great!
This bed is beets and spinach, and as you can see by the "holes", I've lost quite a bit of seedlings to pill beetles ... rollie pollies. After this bed is harvested, it will be getting a second board added to the perimeter to increase the bed's height, and I will be adding lots of really good compost. I had the most trouble with this bed last year, and since it's not doing so great this year either, I think it's in need of a face lift. I only wish I'd have thought to add the extra height before I planted this spring! But no worries .... I'll be able to get something else planted in this bed soon enough, and it will be marvelous!
A rather large spring storm passed through today, and I stepped outside to take some photos. The clouds were dark, and active. Areas in and around Dallas experienced tornado damage, but we got by with just some heavy rains (not quite 2" of rain fell), a bit of hail, and lots of wind. The only casualties on the farm were in the garden. A banana pepper plant was snapped in two, two newly planted Juliet tomato plants were demolished, and the larger leaves on the zucchini plants are torn and filled with holes. Aside from the pepper and tomato plants, everything else will survive. My next trip to town will require a visit to the garden center to pick up some replacement plants. Here are some photos from this afternoon, as the storm rolled in.
Took some video clips this evening showing the progress of some of the garden veggies, the wildflowers in the pastures, and COWS!
If you're not able to view the video here on my blog, you will find it here on YouTube.
(Click on photo for larger view.)
I updated my garden map to show this year's planting plans. I've got about 75% of the garden planted already, and things are starting to pop up! We've got a good showing of peas and radishes, and the beets, spinach, and carrots are starting to make an appearance. I'll need to pickup some tomato and pepper plants at the nursery (didn't get my seeds started last month), and I may bring home some Ranunculus flowers, too. I do love them.
I need to decide on what else to plant in the cucumber bed. I have the cucumbers set so they grow up a trellis down the center of the bed, which leaves the outside edges of the bed available for something else. Maybe something will get my attention at the nursery...
Something that's missing from this year's garden are Patty Pan Squash. I haven't found any seed yet ... bummers! EDITED: Found some seeds!! YAY!!
Here's what got planted today:
Onions (two types)
Radishes (two types)
A little bit of lettuce
A few broccoli (never grown here -- just a test)
A few cauliflower (never grown here -- just a test)
I didn't get tomato seeds started yet (I had hoped to get them started a month or more ago), so I will most likely just pick up a few plants at the store one of these days.
Cucumbers (several types)
...what else? ... I'm sure I'm forgetting something...
First of all, thank you for all your support to those who purchased the On the Farm 2011 calendar last year. We had a great response to last year's calendar, and have decided to offer On the farm 2012.
A small portion of all purchases comes back to the farm, and all proceeds recieved go towards the care and feeding of the animals here on the farm. The calendars make fantastic gifts, and are ideal for personal use. The calendar is available in 3 sizes. All of the photos in the calendar were taken by me; I hope you choose to spend 2012 enjoying photos from our farm.
Order your own copy of On the farm 2012 today! Some of your favorite farm critters are featured in the pages of our calendar! Even Baaaaad Boxcar Betty makes an appearance!
HOT SALE! Today through November 20th, cards are 50% off, and calendars are 20% off when you use coupon code CARDSCAL2011 at order checkout. In addition to the 2012 calendar, you will also find all kind of lovely cards in my Zazzle shop as well!
Zazzle Coupon Details:
Enter code: CARDSCAL2011 at checkout in the "Zazzle Coupons/Gift Certificates" box 50% of the greeting card, invitation, photo card and postcard net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased. 20% of the calendar net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying calendars are purchased. The coupon code CARDSCAL2011 must be applied at checkout to apply these discount offers. Offer is valid until November 20, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
I found images of a project I created in October using the Lifetime of Happiness cling set, and thought I would share them with you.
It's kind of timely that I came across these photos tonight, because we've got quite a windstorm happening and I'm hoping that some of the garden debris finds it's own way out of the garden and into the pasture with the donkeys and cows. Nothing like a little helping hand from Mother Nature when it comes to getting some of the farm chores done!
I really like how this project came together. The peachy colored paper I hand dyed using various distress inks and pearl colored Glimmer Mist. It really is quite pretty being slightly shimmery under the image, which as you can see also happens to be dressed up with even more glitter.
To add the top sprinkling of glitter, I gave the card a light spray of adhesive (spray adhesive comes in a can, like spray paint) after the card was all assembled. While the adhesive was still tacky, I lightly sprinkled crystal glitter here and there. A light hand is best for this technique ... it's easy to get carried away and add too much adhesive, and glitter! (Do you believe me?) *grin*
After the adhesive dries it's no longer tacky, so you don't have to worry about random things sticking to your project after the adhesive is dry.
... I do believe we're sneaking up on a Friday! ...
Thanks for checkin' in on me today!
The photos I shared from the farm in Oregon reminded me of this little Farmer John garden tag I made before I left on my trip. I used scrap strips of paper from the Memorandum paper pad by Lily Bee Designs to create the tag, and added Farmer John to the tag using foam adhesive to give him a little "lift". I used twine that I use in the garden (to tie up tomatoes and cucumber vines), and I like the extra bit of rustic it adds to the project.
This tag will come in quite handy next spring, when hopefully I'll have something that actually IS fresh from the garden! *grin*
I had a GREAT time, and it was hard to leave the clean, crisp air of Oregon behind. We spent Saturday at the coast, visiting favorite beaches, and just enjoying the day. The Florence bridge is such a historic place.
There's really nothing like visiting the Oregon coast. It ranks right up there as one of my favorite places to visit. In the late afternoon, a big fog bank rolled in and covered the beach with a thick, heavy mist so we headed into Yachats for dinner. I had fresh pan fried razor clams, and they were deeee-LISH!
Every moment was spent with friends, and I had a wonderful time! I am so grateful for their friendship, and hospitality.
As for me today, I am still sick. Tonight, my temp is up nearly 3*. After literally two days of being in bed, medicated, you'd think I'd be feeling better. But I feel like I've been hit by a bus, and sound even worse! What a dreadful end to a beautiful vacation! *grin*
But we got a little rain this evening, so I can't complain.
How about a little more Farmgirl Betty inspiration!
When I showed Alan this card, he said "why is her hair blue?" That made me giggle!
So, a 2li23ttle off top2.i4c ... but hav3e2 2you 0ev0e00r. tr5ied 5t+o+ +ty5pe3 .with a chic6k+en standi2n2g22 next to..3666you6r6 keybo3a.rd? No? Well, l2e2t me 3t333ell y56ou, it gets0 i0nteresting.
Here is how that sentence should have read: So, a little off topic ... but have you ever tried to type with a chicken standing next to your keyboard? No? Well, let me tell you, it gets interesting.
She types nearly as fast as me, but she favors the number keypad.
Whatever that means... It must be good!
Well, it's bedtime for this farmgirl. Sweet dreams!
I'm very excited to introduce today, my three new rubber stamp cling sets for Whipper Snapper! I had such a good time illustrating these sets, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. First up, Farmgirl Betty. A sweet little 'thang', happy to share her garden bounty. Farmgirl Betty wears only the finest all-natural fibers, and treats her feet to Birkenstocks.
To create this card, I used the Decorative Label punch from Stampin' Up to create three focal point frames for my card. I stamped several images from the set onto the frames, and added some fine dash lines around the edges as well as some sponged on distress ink. The images are colored with markers, and set on a card base made with Lily Bee Design papers (Memorandum line). Some old buttons and twine finish the card.
Next up is Farmer John. Farmer John is sweet on Farmgirl Betty, and can you blame him? He's got garden bounty of his own to share. *giggle*
I did some simple masking to create this scene. First I stamped the veggie sign and the two tomato vines. I covered the tomatoes with a paper mask cut out in their shape. Then I stamped the corn right over top of the masked tomatoes. I removed the mask from the tomatoes to reveal garden "rows". I added the pumpkins, chicken and Farmer John by stamping them on a separate piece of paper, cutting them out, and adhering them using foam adhesive.
Finally, something a little different. Lifetime of Happiness features one of my favorite flowers transformed from one of my own photographs, two butterflies, as well as several beautiful sentiments. I thought I'd try something a little different with this card. I used various colors of distress ink to "dye" the paper that the images are embossed on. I love the results! A bit brighter than my usual style, but so reminiscent of years I spent living in Oregon -- hippies, hippies everywhere. I even hand dyed the ribbon!
First, I used VersaMark ink to stamp the images on watercolor paper. I heat embossed the images using ultra fine clear embossing powder, which keeps the pristine white of the paper showing through. I then used various colors of distress ink to dye the paper, creating a fun wash of color. Because the images have so much color, I chose to use just simple white and black cardstock to finish the card. The text block stamp I used on the orange/red layer is from my All Things With Love set.
Of course, the best part of the release is introducing you to the five Whipper Snapper Featured Designers for this month's release! You will certainly want to take a look at the projects they share; you're sure to be impressed!
The Who's Who of October 2011 Featured Designers:
SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/go/ShellieD
SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/go/dpkennedy
SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/go/stampertammy
SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/go/stampinsusie
SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/go/lesarapp
and Me! Anna Wight
SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/go/sweetmissdaisy
You can see all of the projects current and past Featured Designers have uploaded to their SplitCoast galleries by viewing the Whipper Snapper Featured Designer Gallery. Have a look -- it's a great place to find all KINDS of great inspiration!
Alan has a rain gauge hung on a fence post out at the barnyard. It actually came in handy today! Even though I was gone all day, Alan left the rain water in the gauge so I could see just how much rain we got today while I was gone. Yahoooo!!! I just had to get a photo!
And would you look at that pretty sunset in the background, too!
*Phttththththtth!* I say to you.
I'll get my turn next spring when we've got flowers blooming and birds singing and you're still elbow deep in snow. *giggle*
It's still blazing hot here on the farm. 107 as I write this. Looks like another 107 day tomorrow. Followed by 105, and then day after day of more miserable heat. We *might* get below 100 on August 26th. Forecast for that day is 99. I'd better get out the scarves and mittens!
The month of August in the 2011 On the Farm calendar features butterflies! I love photographing butterflies, and they tend to be plentiful when the wildflowers are blooming and the flowers are blooming in the garden.
I should be enthusiastic about the changing of the calendar month, but August isn't exactly what I would consider to be my favorite month. I have no doubt that we'll see all 31 August days at well over 100 degrees. By mid-September we should see a bit of relief, but personally I'm rootin' for OCTOBER! Come on OCTOBER!
Stay tuned for the 2012 calendar details in the next couple months! It promises to be a good one!
This year the bugs are out of control in the garden. Today I went on a tobacco horn worm hunt (which I've done three times previously earlier this month)!
Real life gummy worm duck snacks! *grin*
If you have trouble viewing the video on the blog (or want to see it larger), you can check it out here on YouTube.
And I say brief, because, well... there's just not a lot to report on. As you can see, the heat, lack of rain, and bugs have done a fine job of bringing our summer garden to an end. There is a tomato plant in the blue tub on the right of the photo. It has yet to produce any tomatoes. There's also a large tomato plant at the back of the garden that has yet to produce a single tomato, either. Just too hot for the flowers to set.
The tomatoes in front of the chicken house are doing their best... the front bed has given us 2 tomatoes. The back bed has given us LOADS of them, and has been by far the best producing bed this year. And don't let those bright green zinnia plants fool you -- they look like they're doing good from a distance, but when you look closer you can see that the grasshoppers have eaten off all of the bloom tops. No flowers. Just naked stems.
There are three okra plants, not quite knee high. (You can see them in the first photo, just to the left of the blue container.) I've clipped a quarter pound of okra off of them, total. Hopefully they keep on producing, because if we can't even grow okra in Texas, there's something seriously wrong... There's one pod there now that needs harvesting. The okra gets watered daily too, but is fairly wilted down in the afternoon from the heat.
The aphids won the battle on the cucumber beds... ...and the patty pan & eight ball zuc bed. I left a couple of the fruit in the bed to fully mature, so I can pull some seeds from them. I thought it might be interesting to see what they produce next year.
The rattlesnake pole beans that I had such high expectations for never really made much of themselves. Of course, the grasshoppers chomped them down faster than they could grow... eventually I just stopped watering what was left of the bare stems. And how about those "sunny" sunflowers in the background along the fence... aren't they cheery?
The garden is loaded w/ garden spiders, so at least they've been successful this year. (See the little male garden spider on the backside of her web? Alan noticed him in the photo.) If the little fella is lucky, she won't kill him for being on her web..... ha!
Here is a grasshopper. I could take at least a thousand photos of grasshoppers, and not repeat a single critter. When I walk through the garden, they bounce off of my head, ricochet off of my shirt, zing past my ears. (JKinColorado, care to walk through the garden w/ me!? *hehehee*)
Thought I'd share a sneak peek with you today of one of my upcoming new releases with Whipper Snapper. They're gearing up for the Fall/Winter release; you'll find details on their Facebook page where they've been sharing more sneak peeks of images in the release. How exciting!!
There are 166 full days remaining in the year (off topic, do you count down to Christmas?), and it looks like what's about left of July is going to be nothing but HOT. Unfortunately for us, August promises to be just as hot, or hotter. Maybe September will show us some mercy...
It's been difficult to keep the garden alive in this drought. In fact, I'm failing. I've got tomatoes still hanging on, but it's so hot that even though they are flowering, they aren't producing any tomatoes and they're starting to look rather tired. The okra is trying to produce, but even it wilts down in the sun (even with daily waterings). Then there are the ants, the aphids, the cucumber beetles, and the grasshoppers ... all doing their part in causing problems. I tell ya, it's exhausting. I'm planning on putting in a "fall" garden, and if I stick to schedule I should be starting tomato plant seeds about now, and getting ready to plant other seeds around August 1. But I'm not sure it will be possible to keep anything alive then, either!
How's the weather where you live?
I have two, not one, but TWO winners to announce for a copy of the 2011 On the Farm calendar! Yup, I have a second spare calendar here to give away. So, I did two random.org numbers to select the winners...
Congrats to #10 Diana Gibbs, and #36 Nicky Taylor!
Get in touch with me ladies, and I'll get your calendar mailed out to you right away!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the drawing. There's still time for you to get your own copy of the 2011 calendar ... and like I said, stay tuned for details on the 2012 version. Yahooo!
Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!
It's official ... happy July! This is the July image in the 2011 On the Farm calendar, and it reminds me of all the hard work that goes into a garden, and the labors of putting up harvest for enjoyment during the winter months.
I happened to find an extra 2011 On the Farm calendar on my desk's shelf, and would like to mail it to one lucky reader. It's the small calendar size (5x7ish). If you'd like to be entered into the drawing, leave me a note on this post. I'll select one name from all entries on Sunday, July 3rd.
I'm also starting to work on the 2012 calendar, so stay tuned for those details in the next few months!
UPDATE: Comments on this give-away are now closed. Thank you!
We've had quite a lot of ripe tomatoes harvested this week, and we haven't been able to keep up with the harvest just by having fresh tomatoes. So, I decided to make some SALSA! I wanted to make a recipe that included fresh cilantro, but couldn't get my hands on any. And I haven't come across any cilantro seed either, so I haven't been able to grow my own in the garden.
So... when I was at the grocery store I picked up a little packet of dehydrated salsa ingredients (dried peppers, onions, herbs and seasoning) and used the recipe on the back of the packet along with the fresh tomatoes. The recipe couldn't get any easier ... chopped tomatoes, the ingredients of the packet, and 1/2 cup vinegar. (If you don't have fresh tomatoes on hand, store-bought canned/diced tomatoes can be used.) I chose to freeze one quart of the salsa to see if we like the result of it being frozen, and then canned the rest of it for longer shelf-life storage.
(Photo from Tattler's website)
I recently got some reusable canning jar lids by Tattler and thought this would be a great time to try them out. I've been using regular metal canning jar lids for our canned goods, but don't like that metal lids are really just a "one time wonder" when it comes to using them for preserving. (I do reuse the metal lids that are in good condition to cap jars that aren't being canned/sealed.)
Something else that's concerning is that I've noticed that metal canning lids are not always available in local stores. There always seems to be a few boxes of jars available, but extra lids aren't always in stock. Last time I bought a box of 12 metal regular sized canning lids (at a big-box store) I paid $1.63, and a box of wide mouth sized lids was $2.27. Investing in some reusable lids seems like a smart thing for me to do.
I like the fact that the Tattler lids are reusable again and again, that they're made with BPA-free materials, and that they're made in the US. I also like that they can be used in water-bath canners, pressure canners, and can even be used for vacuum-sealing!
I don't usually have trouble getting jars to seal, but since this was my first time using the Tattler lids, I kind of expected to have at least one or two seals fail simply due to my inexperience in using them. But I was very pleasantly surprised that every jar sealed up tight as can be! Beautifully! I also used Tattler lids to seal up a couple quart jars of yellow zucchini relish, and they turned out great, too!
Overall I'm pleased with the lids and the results. I opened up one of the salsa jars to test the seal and the salsa, and was impressed with both! Time for me to order up a few more boxes of Tattler lids and seals!
Would you like to try Tattler lids, too? I've arranged for the nice folks at Tattler to send one lucky (randomly selected) winner a box of 12 regular, and a box of 12 wide mouth lids. What a deal!! Leave me a note on this blog post and you'll be entered into the give-away. I would like to know what your favorite preserved food is, and what you enjoy preserving for you and your family. I will randomly select one winner on Monday morning, June 27th.
Now, where did that bag of chips go...
UPDATE: Comments for the drawing are now CLOSED. Thank you for all of your comments!
I've been tracking the garden harvest on a spreadsheet, and thought I would share the summary of what we've brought in so far. Foods listed still with zero's either haven't started producing yet, or will be planted a bit later in the year, in the fall garden.
I've already made 1.5 pounds of zucchini candy, and a second batch is in the dehydrator as I write this. Yumm! I need to start making cucumber and zucchini relish, and zucchini bread, too! It's been sooo very hot, and soooo very dry that the garden is doing a bit of suffering. I don't think the zucchini and cucumber plants will produce as much as they would if the weather had been a little kinder to them. It's shaping up to be a miserable summer. But, starting Wednesday, the days start getting shorter! And that's a GOOD thing around these parts, as far as I'm concerned!
Hope you're having a fun weekend ... and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!