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Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

This is a slide show I created last year and shows some of the seedlings that I started and grew and this reminds me I need to do the same for this year….  Slide show    Make sure to watch the original view and turn up your speakers!

Something that came to mind as I was looking back at my notes and pictures from last year was a simple reality that alot of folks are intimated by gardening and hesitate just because they have never gardened before and…… there is so much different information out there it can be confusing.  So I thought I would help by suggesting a few plants to grow for the first time gardener.  These were easy for me to grow and gave me inspiration and a desire to try other plants!  A few herbs that work well are Basil, Dill, Cilantro and Borage.  Marigold and Zinnia are great flowers to add to a border or include them in your garden as companion plants.  The vegetable plants I suggest are Spinach, Pepper, Tomato, Squash and Cucumber.

Dig up an area that receives a good amount of sunshine during the day and make sure to keep your new garden watered.  As you experiment with growing you will look into different varieties that interest you and those that  you enjoy cooking with.  You will also find yourself searching out more and more information on soil, preserving and techniques that you want to try.  Start out simple in the beginning …

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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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From the title of this post it appears I am going backwards in time, back to the basics and … I am!  I have been researching grains to grow this season in my garden and I am surprised there isn’t more information out there, but then again our world has become so modernized that most folks don’t grow their own grains or need to make their own quilts to stay warm.  In reading up on quilting there was some history touched upon and Quilting Bees used to be the big social event!  Can you imagine??  Most everyone was busy working in some form, cutting logs, baking bread… survival – and the quilting bee was a time to gather and the women would sew and chat, and then there was dining and dancing – everyone dressed to the max for these events.  I would probably dig it, but I bet I am the only one in this family who would!  So although making a quilt looks like ALOT of work I am going to attempt to make one … I think it would be so neat and since I can’t be out gardening in this negative degree wintry weather, I might as well make something to keep us Warm!  I did post several facts about Growing Amaranth Grains on the forum under Grains and it appears to be an easy grain to grow.  I will be researching other grains and hope to grow them as well.  It seems our hard working ancestors have plenty to teach us about the basics in life and with the present state of our economy, I am betting many folks will benefit from this information.  I know I will be growing alot more food for my family this year, all my seeds are already ordered and my research continues! 

thyme-sprouts-2   Thyme seedlings I started a few days ago … along with the other herb seeds which are all sprouting up also!

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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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   Birdseed!!  This year I left the seed that had fallen from the birdfeeder alone and watched it grow into lovely plants.  Usually I pull the sprouts as they appear.   Just recently I cut the seed stalks and let them dry – I believe I have some millet and broom corn.  They are very sturdy and will work great for crafts!

Birdseed growing ….

I was working on some crafts last night and I came up with a great use for the Luffa Sponge (which I have to report is growing very well down south).

 I was worried with the lack of rain down there, but we received some rain and they took off!  I used luffa from last year as a base for dried flowers.  Instead of using glue and/or foam to secure the flowers in place, I used the Luffa and it worked perfectly!

 This is the start of the project.  You can see the completed arrangement at The Crafty Garden along with a few other finished pieces.  You will see three items which I purchased on Clearance at the local craft store.  I check for clearance bargains whenever I shop and find some great material … the straw hat I purchased for a dime each (I bought six), the little wooden birdhouse was a dollar each (I bought five) and the teak birdhouse was a bit over 2 dollars each (I bought three) – it’s a beautiful piece!  Make sure to check those Clearance aisles especially now with the change in season!

                     

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Yesterday I decided it was time to pull the corn stalks out of the garden. I was hoping for another harvest of corn from the second set of ears but I can see that is not going to happen – I did save a few mini corns and will let them dry and I may incorporate them into a fall craft. I am still waiting to see what the blue corn I planted is going to do. There are 4-5 small ears on a stalk … thing is – they ain’t Blue, so not sure if they need time to change color?

 Mini corns – blue on top

At the beginning of the season I let one of the first ears of corn dry – I left the kernels on the cob and after about 2 weeks they came right off. I will be saving these as seed for growing next year.

As I was pulling the corn stalks I noticed growing up along one of them was a strand of beans! I had planted 2 rows of beans alongside the corn according to the theory of growing corn, beans and squash together as companion plants. I thought the beans never germinated but I guess there was one strong survivor! So I left him growing on the corn stalk thinking I may keep those bean seeds to plant next year.

 

I am Very Happy to report that the spinach seed I saved earlier in the season has sprouted! I planted a few rows just recently for a fall crop and they are growing!! I will plant a few more where I had the corn and should be all set with spinach!

 Spinach growing from saved seed!!

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I am excited to post my pictures of the recent catfish I caught while down south last weekend.  I waited so I could post the link to my Blog at GRIT magazine where you will find the reason I do believe I caught these giant fish!  We installed a surface pond aerator and it was quite the project, but well worth the efforts we all put in!  Without further ado .. the Fish!

  The first one I caught which I was quite happy with … but thennnnnnn

  Grampa Cat

  We were in shock!  I have fished quite a bit in the past and alot more in the last year with our home down south.  Caught bluegill left and right and an occassional little bass, Stan caught a huge catfish last year and my sister a monster large mouth bass!  I used a bobber on my line and a live worm …… go figure

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