Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday... actually on Tuesday

Most of the day yesterday I thought it was Tuesday. That's why I posted a Bloomin' Tuesday post even though it was Monday. Today, however, it really is Tuesday, so I thought I'd show you the project I'm working on in my garden. Earlier this spring the hubs and I had the unenviable job of taking out five low-lying juniper bushes in our yard. I hate junipers. Strong words I know, but they don't even begin to describe my dislike for those bushes. People {us included} put them in their yards to take up space and when they don't know what else to plant. They are a filler, but ours became an uncontrollable mess and they had to go. Yesterday I filled one of the areas where we had junipers with one billion pounds of soil, compost, and manure. Yup. One billion. At least it felt like that when I was done. It was actually 800 pounds, but that was still a whole lot of dirt to move from my car to the area where I was working!

After I filled the space with the soil mixture, I started planting. {My favorite part of gardening.} I didn't put in any annuals, just perennials that should come back year after year... coral bells, lavender, phlox, candytuft, day lilies, anemones, and hostas.

Wherever I am, Beau {our puppy} is at my heels. He helps a lot in our yard -- mostly by digging, burrowing in the ground, and aerating our flower beds. He thinks he's being helpful. I'm not convinced.

Now, if I can just keep this little rascally puppy from digging up everything, we'll be doing well. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday...

This spring in Colorado has been a gorgeous one for flowering trees. The elements must have aligned perfectly for a suffusion of buds and blossoms. Here's a tree is laden with posies...

And some apple and a cherry tree from our yard...

Wishing you a happy Bloomin' Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Puppy Love...

A couple of months ago I mentioned that we adopted a sweet little puppy from an animal rescue organization in Denver. Beau is the cutest cuddly-wuddly, creamy-dreamy, puddin' pie you could ever meet, and we already love him fiercely. He is, however, "all puppy" with all that that entails.

Because he's such a bundle of energy, I take him on several walks every day.  I've especially come to love my early morning walks with him. Usually we walk around our neighborhood, but once a day I take him to a lake close to our home and walk him there.

Today we took an early morning walk at the lake. Very few people were out and about, so Beau and I had the nature trail mostly to ourselves. These quiet moments have become times of reflection for me. I tend to dwell on things that matter most to me... God, my religion, and my family.

All families have rough roads that they have to navigate through every now and then. Our family has not been the exception, but I'm grateful that we've managed to circumvent these difficult situations as best we can and come out the other side with more understanding and love than we had originally. That's a big deal, and I'm grateful. Our Savior has been good to us. He has helped us develop understanding and clarity in difficult and stressful situations, and he has increased our capacity to love and cherish our family members and the relationships we hold dear.

I love that these walks with Beau have become an important time of pause and reflection in my daily routine. I'm especially grateful for those quiet moments at the beginning of each new day that help me organize my thoughts and count my blessings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday...

One of my favorite springtime perennials is the bleeding heart plant. This beautiful flowering plant is perfect for shady or woodland spots. When tulips and daffodils are in their glory, the foliage of bleeding hearts will start to peek out of the soil. Bright colored heart shaped blossoms will soon follow...

After a few unsuccessful attempts with this plant, I finally found a spot where it thrives by my front door. It's there that I have a little rock garden with a mix of perennials and annuals. There must be just the right amount of shade and sunlight in this spot for this bleeding heart to thrive.

Isn't it amazing?
God has such a beautiful imagination.

I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday, and that there are many beautiful things growing in your neck of the woods!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Fabulous Friday Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye some...
plum and spring green.

Clockwise, starting top left:

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday...

I'm so excited that I can actually publish a "Bloomin' Tuesday" post. I know in other parts of the U.S. spring sprung more than a month ago, but here at the base of the Colorado Rockies, we're just beginning to pull out of winter. There are no leaves on the trees yet, but grass is starting to green up and some perennials are peeking out of the soil.

Night before last we got some sprinkles, so yesterday morning I went out to the garden to take a few pictures. Last weekend I planted a couple of pots with pansies. Since pansies are perennials, I can plant them in the early spring and not worry about frosts or snowstorms, which are still a possibility in Colorado until mid May. I usually wait till Mother's Day weekend to plant any annual blossoms in my garden.

Did you notice these cute planters? I bought them {so reasonable} at Marshall's. I'm loving these luscious pots {and the birdbath that I filled with pansies}, ranging in colors from cobalt blue to turquoise to sea green. Also, I don't know whether you noticed my prince charming in the photo above. He's devilishly handsome, don't you think?

I also have a different birdie in the birdbath planter {above}. Beau, our puppy, got ahold of the other one and "took care of it." Not a pretty sight. Anyway, I'm glad to have another little birdie to grace the birdbath.

I cannot wait to start planting the garden. 
Spring can't come soon enough for me this year!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday...

Some of my neighbors have daffodils and crocus blooming in their yards {although most of those got nipped in the buds with our last snowfall}, but it's still a little too early for much to be blooming in my yard. Spring comes late in Colorado. However, there is one thing that seems to weather storms and cold dips in temperatures... weeds. There are plenty of dandelions in my garden right now.

For awhile I have wanted to try a homemade, less toxic week killer, and when we adopted Beau {our new puppy} I figured there was no time like the present. I mixed up the following concoction in a bucket to take care of our weeds:

Organic Weed Killer
  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 2 cups Epsom salts 
  • 1/2 cup Dawn dish detergent
I poured this mixture into a spray bottle and the rest of the mixture back into the plastic white vinegar container and labeled both.

I wasn't sure this homemade weed killer would do the trick, but I shouldn't have worried. Yesterday morning I sprayed the dandelions you see on the left side of these photographs...

Several hours later I took the photos on the right side of the same plants...

Needless to say, this concoction works well. Although it's "organic" I still wore gloves and kept the puppy away from the plants as I was spraying. Obviously, even though it's organic, it's still toxic! I did notice a little green peeking out from the center of the dandelions, so I may have to spray a second round this morning, but that doesn't bother me. The cost of making this weed killer was about $6. This makes it about six times less expensive than the traditional 24 oz. spray bottle of Roundup, plus it makes more than a gallon, so I can refresh the spray bottle as needed.

I hope some of you have more to show in your gardens than dead weeds. In a month I'll be able to brag about some of my blossoms too!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Ric-Rac Receiving Blankets...

A few years ago I created a tutorial for my Ric-Rac Receiving Blankets. These are large 42" x 42" soft, flannel blankets that accommodate a growing baby. Most receiving blankets that are offered in stores are 30" x 30", which is barely large enough to wrap a newborn. The store-bought kind are also only one layer of fabric and are made from cheap flannel, so they don't hold up to frequent washings. I still use some of the receiving blankets I made for my babies for our grandbabies today, so that gives you an idea of how well these receiving blankets hold up.

Recently I made a couple of these blankets for our granddaughter due in June. One soft soft gray with pink whales...

And another with pink giraffes and chevron...

I bought all of these fabrics at Hancock Fabrics. They have some adorable flannels. Did you hear that Hancock Fabrics is going out of business and closing all their stores? This makes me sad, and I think this proves the online fabric stores are taking a huge toll on brick and mortar businesses. Plus, I think Hancock Fabrics was always two steps behind at keeping up with trends. In any case, they will be having some good sales as they liquidate their stores. I'll be heading there later today to check out their sales.

These receiving blankets take minutes to make and the double thickness makes the blanket so soft and durable...

Find the tutorial for making these blankets here.

Have a wonderful day!