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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

I grew flowers in the garden last season with the goal in mind to dry them and use them in flower arrangements.  I scanned many catalogs and online references looking for the right flowers to grow.  I succeeded with some and didn’t with others.  The flowers that I found really easy to grow, dry and arrange were Globe Amaranth, Yarrow, Autumn Joy Sedum, Statice, Strawflowers and Zinnia.  There were a few others like baby’s breath, larkspur and blanket flowers that also worked but I didn’t end up with alot of them.  I bundled up all my dried flowers and took them down south with me this weekend to create some arrangements for the home there.  Most if not all of these flowers were air dried (hung upside down secured with a rubber band).  I am happy with the results and will grow more of these this year along with others ….

gardening-cup-design

wooden-basket-designmason-jar-designapple-jar-design

dried-globe-amaranth Dried Globe Amaranth … a bundle of flowers and then the wreath that was created

globe-amaranth-wreath

I will add some more design to the wreath but for the most part the flowers do most of the work in a design and everything came out pretty good I think…….finally!

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My first luffa was fully dried and ready for peeling, so off came the outer skin to reveal the luffa sponge inside!

luffa-peeling-2

Here are the seeds that were inside this one – quite a bit!

luffa-seed-from-one-luffa Luffa seed

I worked on my first gourds and I designed a little swan … how perfect 🙂  I still need to make some feet or something so he can stand on his own.  The other larger gourd (bottle gourd) I decided to make into a vase so I cut the top off and transferred a pansy design onto it, then I woodburned it.  I will add more design and color and when it’s complete I will add it to my craft blog.   It looks pretty cool so far …

little-swan-gourd  woodburn-pansy

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I do believe my first gourd is dry and ready for crafting .. actually, I have some smaller ones which I will practice on and hopefully by then I will have decided what to do with this one.  I am so undecided!  This is a tough decision and I think I am hesitating since I never did this before and I don’t want to do it wrong.  I don’t want to make a birdhouse and I might woodburn on it or carve a design …… or paint something –

gourds-ready

I am sure after doing several dozen gourds I will jump right in and design away!  I did join the American Gourd Society so I am sure I will find inspiration there!  Speaking of inspiration……GRIT magazine once again rocks my world.  I should have my latest blog post up this week and it focuses on my Garden Reflections for 2008.  And guess what … they told me that they are featuring my blog in the next issue (Jan/Feb) – the actual magazine!!  Of course, I am sending Christmas subscriptions to family.  If you get the issue I will autograph it for you …. nooo problem!  The magazine is a great help for us in planning to move to the country and I have to admit although I “think” I am country tough, I still have this mice phobia.  I have dealt with plenty of mice since we live somewhat in the country and especially last year we had a large area of ground revamped and the mice thought my home was their new home!  So for several months I waged the Mice War and I think I won.  This past weekend I came upon two mice in a bucket in the barn down south – one was a goner, so obviously they couldn’t climb out of the bucket.  So ingenious me takes them down to the pond so the dogs don’t find them and I tossed them out of the bucket.  The one lively little mouse swam FAST to shore and it seemed like he was after me!  He was going for my leg and all I could think of was he was going to climb up my pant leg!  Freak out!  I ran backwards trying to get away and after a few feet he found a hole and was gone.  OMG ..  can you image if he had got me!

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I heard we may have had frost last night but not sure … either way, it’s right around the corner and then winter … blah!  The main reason for the “blah” besides the total chill that runs down my spine is the fact I can’t garden outside for many months.  I can organize all the seeds I have, tidy up my solarium and start some seeds under the lights (herbs for using all winter, some hard to get going flowers)  and plan, plan, plan for next year.   I can work on some good recipes too … like this one I made yesterday – Flaxseed Muffins.  They are way healthy and very tasty!

 Flax muffins

I have to say I am very happy with my Spinach this past season, planting in the spring and then saving the seed to plant in the fall (which I did) and I have quite a bit of seed left for next spring.  There is still some spinach out there which I should harvest today before that frost knocks the life out of it.

 Fall crop of spinach

I will be undertaking a new project, which is way overdue, of revamping and decorating my fireplace.  I did start a website and will now have more time to work on that, so that’s cool and the new blog will have crafty stuff on it; such as the fireplace makeover with dried flowers from the gardens! 

The Swans have all but grown up!  You can still see the difference between the adult swan and the babies, who are almost 5 months old (couple more weeks).  When the cold sets in they will be leaving the area and a new pair, or maybe the same pair, will return next spring and have another flock of babies.  It really is remarkable watching the baby swans grow!

 Adult swan in the middle of 2 young swans and then one of the younger swans spreading its wings!

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This weekend is Stan’s birthday … woohoo and we are going down south with both kids (wow!) and my sister’s family.  We will most definitely have a great time and I am bringing all kinds of food.  I do need to pick up a birthday cake tomorrow, but I did make a banana bread for breakfast or snacks …

 And I made this Garlic dip which I found on Recipezaar.  I had to roast a whole head of garlic and then add all the other ingredients ….. it’s chilling now.  I decided to start experimenting with Garlic since I am growing it in the garden … good thinkin! 

Check out this discovery … we went to another Fall Farm this past weekend and bought some more gourds which I talked about at The Crafty Garden Blog, but I didn’t mention The Delicata Squash we bought!  oh my goodness … it’s Good!

  Sweet and creamy tasting and so easy to bake.  Cut in half, place in a pan with 1/2″ of water, cover and cook at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Serve with butter and herbs or just plain.  We will be going back next week to pick up some more since this will be a dish we bring to Thanksgiving dinner.  It stores for 7-8 months too.  Yes, it will be growing in Deb’s Garden next year!

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All week I have been out trying to clean up the gardens and yard and DANG those mosquitoes are obnoxious!!  Seems they are all out for their last meal and find those exact spots to bite that will annoy me for days … Ugh!  So I did spend some time in the kitchen canning up some Jalapeno peppers and making some Oatmeal cookies ……

   How’s that for a Combo – spicy and hot and sweet and chewy !!  I did grow some Red Mini Peppers again this year and I think they are cute being so tiny, but I am not sure they are worth the space.  Right now I am undecided if they grow again next year.

I bought a smaller pumpkin this year (who knows I may still buy more) AND this bushel gourd … the dude is Huge and heavy!  I plan to create a bowl or something when he dries but that may take a year from what I read.  I do have my mini gourds to practice on – no idea when they will dry and be ready to craft on.  The creation behind the gourd is just a vase of corn stalks and grass for decoration – nothing attached to the gourd.

    The Autumn Sedum Joy is looking Great!

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Happy Fall ya’ll … the summer was wonderful, hot and rainy and then cool and dry – never predictable, but always Summer!  Now Fall is upon us and what will it bring?  Beautiful colors I am sure and fun material to craft with ..

 

Although I wasn’t very successful with gourds this year, I will be dedicating a whole field down south to them next year.  I also have a few new gourd books on order and plan to do some fun crafting with them.  I did pick up some miniature gourds to practice on –

  I am organizing my seed saving and will be making some gifts of seeds along with a dried version of the flower for the holidays!

 Anise Hyssop

 Marigold seed

 Zinnia seed

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