Monday, July 30, 2012

My Vacation!!

Char, Chris and I took a trip to Chicago to visit my brother last week. Though I don't usually share photos of non-creative stuff on my blog, I decided to post some so that my family can have a chance to see my brother's children. We don't get to see them that often and it was so nice to be able to spend some time with them!!

The boys love their sister. She is fun to squish!!

I could just eat her up!!!

Look at that dimple!!! So cute!

It has been so long since Chris fed a baby!! My niece was so much easier to feed then Charlotte ever was and it was a fun change of pace. I even offered to do it and I would always hand it off to someone else if they were around when Char was a baby.

Charlotte and my brother. Are these two related or what?

My brother and family.

A photo of my brother's children and Char altogether. After looking at this, Charlotte said we need to get ALL the cousins together and have a professional photo taken.

Isn't my niece delicious? She was so squishable and you just had to kiss those cheeks!!!

Char had fun climbing the wall with her cousin at the science museum in Chicago.

I took so many photos over the two days with my brother's family that I only took two more for the whole rest of the vacation and we were gone five more days!!! Charlotte even complained and she is always up for a good photo shoot.

Have a great week!!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Few Projects

I love summer. I have time to do things I WANT to do rather then just what I have to do. One of my favorite things is getting into my craft room to make cards. Here are a few of my favorites that I have made over the last month or so.

The first two cards I created for a challenge at It was to create your own background paper using text.

The first card I chose to only use the text in a small area. I used the Buttercup Collection patterned paper by Lily Bee and a fun Sizzix telephone die cut.

The second card I chose to use the printed text background for the whole card. I printed it out on white cardstock but it looked too stark so I misted it to make the background more like patterned paper.  I used the Sizzix telephone die again and some patterned paper scraps for the circle and the telephone.

I had a lot of fun creating this third card. I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the lace paper, colored it using mist spray and then accented it with some patterned paper circles. The butterfly was an extra that was left over from a scrapbook layout and was a perfect addition to this card.

Though this card has a telephone on it, the die cut is a PTI die rather then a Sizzix. I used some paper by My Minds Eye that I bought at AC Moore and a lace accent from Prima. I think this is my favorite!!

This last card is SO EASY!! I just used die cuts and stickers to create it. You can never have enough thank you cards either!!

I want to thank you for looking!! Have a great Sunday!!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Grand Experiment

I have a black thumb. I tend to either kill my plants from over watering and only by luck last year was I able to grow tomatoes, basil and egg plant in my front garden. So why did I want to try a bigger vegetable garden this year...and plant it at the end of June? I am not sure but Chris was actually on board with the idea and had the idea of doing more of a container garden then digging up our grass.

So one day last month, we decided to take on this project. The good thing about it was that we got all the vegetable plants on sale because we planted it so late. The bad thing? We spent A LOT of money on soil!! According to my husband's research, this is a "one time" expense and we just add stuff to the soil to bring the nutrients back next year.

We added cloth to the bottom so that we wouldn't have to weed. Wish me luck that it works because weeding is really not my thing.

We really wanted to get soil especially for a container garden but when you plant things at the last minute, you don't find what you want. How do I know? We went to FIVE stores to search for it but to no avail. Note to self: if we decide to do more containers next year, (and it is looking good for that) plant the stuff earlier!!

Here is what it looked like after planting. All you experienced gardeners will tell me I planted too much and planted it too close together. Do you remember I said in the beginning I haven't a clue at what I am doing?

Here is what things look like as of the beginning of this week. I let this cucumber grow and picked it today!! I decided to put cages on my pickling cucumbers because they were overtaking the garden. I know, this is not a common thing. However, at the advice of my friend Jen who has a PHENOMENAL veggie garden, I used tomato cages to prop the pickling cucumbers up and will see what happens. She says she does this and gets bumper crops of this type of cucumber every year. If it is successful, I hope to try making pickles with Charlotte this fall.

I planted my eggplant in a pot because I didn't have room in the garden. I had to plant Japanese eggplant because the store where I purchased the plants didn't have the Italian plants. I picked two today and am hoping they taste good. I love a good eggplant dish!!

We planted three kinds of tomatoes-cherry, beef steak and plum. They seem to be growing but I noticed today that the leaves at the bottom of two are a bit yellow. We have gotten a lot of rain and I am not sure the plants are loving it. We had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes last year and I am hoping that it turns out well. Again, I know if I planted these earlier I would have some to taste already!!

Last but not least, here is my zucchini. When I planted the garden originally, I thought I had one zucchini and one yellow squash plant but they were mislabeled. Instead I have two zucchini plants. Good thing we like zucchini!! I picked two out of the garden this week. One zucchini was HUGE and had large seeds. I know now to pick them when they are a bit smaller. They tend to taste better.

So far I am enjoying watching everything grow. I intend to start all my veggies from seed next year with a grow light or on my new garden window that I am getting when we redo my kitchen. (That is hopefully happening soon but that is another post!!) Chris and I also discussed buying a few more containers and cutting down some trees to shed more light in the backyard. This is coming from a man who doesn't really even like vegetables!!

Happy Saturday!!