Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bean Tepees and the Spring Garden

Okay, this post has been in the works for awhile.  I was so excited to get my Romano green beans in this year that I started my bean tepees in March, thinking that we were going to have an early spring.  Well, sunny California has not been so sunny in the past few months and we had some late frosts, so my beans have had a time of it.  I think (fingers and toes crossed here) that we are going to have warm weather from here on out and the beans will be fabulous. 

Here are some quick tips and pictures on creating your own bean teepees:

This is a very easy and inexpensive garden accent.  I started out with 6 to 8 reeds.  I purchased these at Home Depot (the next best place to heaven) in a package of 12 for $2. I just stuck them in the ground to create a circle.

I then gathered the reeds togehter and tied tight with twine.  It helps to have a buddy hold the reeds while you tie. 

Here's the finished product.  If you like you could leave an opening for a child to enter the teepee.  This would make a nice shady hide-out this summer in the vegetable garden.  You could also use your teepee to grow morning glories or other prolific vines.

Here are all my beans planted.  I chose Romano beans because they have successive crops, which means plenty of beans all summer long.

And here's the spring garden:

The chard is from last year, we recently cut it back so it will produce new leaves.  We have zucchini, peas, eggplant, fennel, edame, lemon cucumber and what my hubby refers to as "The Wall of Maters".  We went a little overboard on our tomato crop this year.  More on that later.

Here's another shot with the peas.  We tried something new this year to enclose the garden from pests the dogs this year.  We ran plastic mesh all around the posts surrounding the garden. This has also kept out the snails, which is an added bonus.

Here are some pictures of my flower beds.  Among the Scabiosa (blue flower) and the Coreopsis (yellow flower), I have started growing some herbs in the perenial beds.  I have tucked in dill and creeping thyme in this bed.  I think the herb crops are more prolific in the beds, rather than in pots.  You can see here the daffodils have finished and the snapdragons are just starting to bloom.

My whisky barrels are packed full of lettuce, radishes, herbs and onions.  The barrels really protect the tender crops from pests.

I started my shade garden this year under the Locust tree.  We ordered hostas through the mail and I planted them in March.  I've added bleeding hearts, astillbe and fern to the
mix.  More on that later.
Here's another shot of the shade garden with the bleeding hearts and a wild orchid.

I'll finish this off with a picture of my climbing rose that covers the back fence.  Thank you for joining me on a tour of my spring garden.

Til Next Time,

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy! How I have missed all of you! I have missed blogging so much and especially creating. You all know I started a new job and I knew there would be some downtime for adjustment, but little did I know that life was going to throw me for a loop with lots of other happenings. Mostly, I have been trying to ease everyone here into the new schedule and their new responsibilities. I didn't realize how much effort that would take. Then it happened, or HE happened.

This little guy arrived unexpectedly:

Lovingly referred to as "Toberone", "Tobi", "Bandit", "Chompers" and various other names I can't say in this blog. 

Smiley from

My daughter was given this 8-week old puppy by a friend and sprung him on us about a month ago.  Well, I don't think she realized what it takes to care for a puppy that young and I have spent a substantial amount of time as surrogate mommy.

And then there's these two:

My two babies, my buddies, my sweet girls.  They are not impressed with the new boy in town.

In fact, they're very disturbed about the situation.

As for me, I'm just trying to find some balance.  I love any and all furry creatures; hence, we have had many a critter under our roof.  Hopefully, "Li'l T" will settle down a bit, so I can get back to creating.  I tried to make a card with him in my lap, but that was a disaster. 

Until then, this is what I'm up against:

Yes, he's in the dishwasher!

Smiley from

Okay, on to other things.  I'm following this post with my promised gardening post.  I haven't chosen a winner for this month's blog candy, so leave a comment sometime this weekend and it may be you!

Back with more,
Smiley from

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moments of Brilliance

Happy Mother's Day to you all; those of you who are mothers and those of you who are honoring mothers.  I came across this quote concerning parenthood.

"Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur".

-Alvin Toffler

I find that to be true.  I don't think anyone really knows how to be mother.  We love our children, we follow our hearts and hope for the best.  I feel that in the day in day out life of a parent, we have a few moments of brilliance, where you really feel like you have a handle on what your child needs from you.  Other times, I feel like a flat out failure.  In those moments, where my heart is aching and I wish there was somewhere I could turn to get the answers, I think of my mom.  She made lots of, what I would call mistakes in raising me and my brother, but she had her moments of brilliance too, and somehow, even though we had our trials and tribulations, we both grew up to be responsible, caring and happy individuals.  It gives me hope that my children will grow to be the same.

So, here's a card for my mom.  She is 84 years old and suffers from advanced dementia, but when I look at her I still see the mom I've always loved.

Supplies and Techniques: 
Paper:  DCWV, Stampin' Up, Watercolor.
Punches:  Martha Stewart fence and lace border punches, Stampin' Up flower.
Other:  Brads, button, ribbon.
Stamp Set:  Unknown name, SU, Anna Griffin "Mother".

To create this card, I watercolored the image and then popped it up on glue dots.  I added a little fence with an MSborder punch behind the main image.  The fence border was also used as the band in the middle of the card, laced with ribbon.

I know I promised you a gardening post and it will be coming this week.  I just wanted to share this card with you today.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Smiley from

Til next time,

Sunday, May 2, 2010


No, I haven't retired.  As I told you in my last post, I recently started a new job and retirement is a long, long (far too long) ways away.
Smiley from

I'm referring to retired stamps.  I can't seem to let go of my favorite retired or just plain old stamps.  There are a number of reasons for this; first, I have a limited crafting budget and am very selective in what new materials I choose to spend on.  Secondly, when I was first introduced to stamping, I went a bit crazy and bought a lot (I mean a tremendous amount) of stamps.  Some of that rubber still hasn't seen ink!!!  The last and most important reason is that I'm sure a lot of you have those same retired stamps just waiting to be chosen for your next project.  Maybe seeing one of my cards or techniques will help you see your old stamp in a new way. 

So, here's an oldie but a goodie from SU's Classic Captions stamp set, and, yes, this is the first time I've created anything with this set. 

My friend Jane had a fall this week and broke her ankle.  She's doing fine, but I wanted to send her a card to cheer her day.  I started by stamping my image in a medium brown on Vanilla CS.  Of course, I wanted more dimension, so I stamped the image a second time in Chocolate Brown and cut out the lady and the caption separately and layered on the first stamped image with pop-dots.  This was then matted with Cocoa brown CS and then I cut a tag using my Cricut and added some flourishes with my Quikutz dies.  If you look closely, you can see I added some metallic accents to the flourishes with a copper metallic pen.  Distressed copper brads, gold ribbon and some Lollychop flowers were added as well.  The BG paper is from DCWV.

I have a gardening post to share with you this week, so stay tuned.  I've been working away in the yard as much as I can.  We've had some beautiful weather lately and everything is blooming. 

Gosh it felt so good to create some this weekend.  Thanks for letting me share it with you, and I hope you try something new with an old stamp soon!

Til Next Time,