Gardening 101 ~ Perennials

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome back to Gardening 101, where I share my garden escapades with a few tips thrown in for good measure.

Today I am sharing a few of my favorite bulbs and perennials.  These are the best kind of garden plants, especially for laxidazial gardeners like me, because they generally come back year after year.

Above we have a lovely bearded Iris
 Lone Pine Press has a whole series of books based on identifying plants and animals.  This one is a great beginner book full of perennials.  I found it at Costco years ago.
 Here is some of my Sedum which does well in our arid climate.
And a gorgeous fuchsia Azalea.
Some sweet Bleeding Heart.
And my favorite and most recommended Silver Mound.

Off to go water these lovelies...

xo Heather

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Lemon Button Cookies

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

These fun cookies are cute as a button {obviously} and they have a subtle lemon flavor that was a hit with just about everyone!  They would be the perfect addition to a Pink Lemonade Party or Mad Hatter Tea Party.  I need to go make more...
The goods:
1/2 cup icing sugar {powdered sugar}
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp lemon juice {fresh squeezed if possible}
1/2 cup icing sugar {powdered sugar}

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Combine and mix the first 9 ingredients until a soft dough is formed.
Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet.
Press down the center of each ball with your thumb.  Then create four little holes in middle {I used the small end of a chopstick}.
Bake at 350° for 10 - 15 minutes.
Toss the warm cookies in the remaining icing sugar.
Drool worthy.  Definitely.
This would be a great cookie for all sorts of summer gatherings too.  It's a combo of shortbread and sugar cookie with a hint of lemon.

xo Heather

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Little Boy Bike Bag ~ a tutorial

Monday, May 28, 2012

My kids like to accessorize.  What can I say.
I like to create things for them to accessorize with!
Total bonus that this one is actually useful.

Welcome to the Little Boy Bike Bag tutorial!
Most of the inspiration for this project came from this fun fabric that I found at our local fabric store.  Awesome right!?  And maybe the fact that our boys are biking circles around everyone and having a great time doing it!  

So I decided to create a bag that they can carry all of their valuables in {stuffies, cars, rocks, sticks.. you know, the important stuff!} and ride around with.  The bag has a reinforced shoulder strap with an elastic car carrier, a drawstring top, camouflaged pockets and is completely lined and reversible.  

Wanna make one?  Here's what you've got to do...

You will need fabric in the following dimensions:
Patterned fabric ~ 16 inches by 20 inches
Fabric for lining ~ 16 inches by 20 inches
Patterned circle ~ 7 inches in diameter
Lining circle ~ 7 inches in diameter
Strap ~ 20 inches by 7 inches
Car carrier ~ 40 inches by 2 1/2 inches

Other tools and supplies:
1 inch elastic ~ 18 inches
Twill {for drawstring} ~ 22 inches
Quick turn kit
Safety pin
Coordinating thread
Cute kids to create fun things for

Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout.

Step 1.  Fold the strap piece in half lengthwise and sew together at the top and sides {leaving the bottom open.}  Fold the car carrier piece in half lengthwise and sew the sides together.  Use the quick turn kit to invert the pieces so that right sides are facing out.
Step 2.  Iron both pieces flat.
Step 3.  Top stitch the sides and finished end of the strap.
Step 4.  Pin the finished end of the strap to the bag front, about 3 inches from the top.  Here you can see I have already sewn on "hidden" pockets {to match the fabric pattern}.  No tute for that part I'm afraid.
Step 5.  Sew the strap to the bag front.  Reinforce with a box or "x" stitch.
Step 6.  Fold the bag front in half lengthwise and sew the side together, creating a tube of fabric.
Step 7.  Pull the strap through, on the inside of the tube of fabric, and pin it to the bottom.  Cut small slits {about 1/4 inch} all the way around the bottom of the tube.
Step 8.  Pin the patterned circle to the bottom of the tube, right sides facing.
Step 9. Sew the tube to the circle.
Step 10.  Create a small hole at the top of the tube {about 1/2 inch from the top} for the drawstring to go through.  To do this I stitched a small rectangle around my seam then ripped out the small section of original seam in the rectangle.
Step 11.  Create a lining using steps 6 - 9 {minus the strap part}.  Invert the lining so that the right side is facing out.
Step 12.  Place the lining inside the bag front so that right sides are facing.  Sew around the top, leaving a 2 inch hole for inverting.
Step 13.  Invert the bag and tuck the lining into the bag front.
Step 14.  Iron the whole thing, especially the top of the bag.  Fold unfinished edges {the 2 inch hole} inwards and iron.
Step 15.  Top stitch around the top of the bag.  Stitch a line around the top of the bag, 1/2 inch down from the top stitch, to create a pocket for the drawstring.
Step 16.  Using a safety pin, insert the twill into the pocket. 
Step 17.  Knot the ends of the string.  You can stop here or continue to create a car carrier.
Step 18.  Insert the elastic into the car carrier tube of fabric.  The easiest way to do this is to attach the safety pin to the end of the elastic.  Put the safety pin into the end of the quick turn tube and push it through the car carrier piece.
Step 19.  Continue to do this until all of the fabric is bunched onto the elastic.
Step 20.  Pin the ends of the elastic to the ends of the tube of fabric and spread the fabric evenly along the elastic.
Step 21.  Pin the elastic car carrier to the strap and sew on {tuck the ends under themselves}.  I measured and sewed at 1 1/2 inch intervals to allow room for Hot Wheels cars.
All done!
A super cute, fun, Little Boy Bike Bag.
With secret pockets.
A car carrying strap.
And drawstring top.

Sure to be a hit with the little boy in your life!
Check out my adult version ~ the Yoga Mat Bag here

Thanks for swinging by.
Linking to some of these fab parties.

xo Heather

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Keeping It Real ~ Isaiah

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I want to introduce you to Isaiah.  I often talk about my children as a group, a pair, a set even.  They are truly unique little individuals and sometimes it is just the coincidence of birth that identifies them as brothers and twins.  Last week I talked about Cameron.  Today is all about Isaiah.
Isaiah is:
second born
Mommy's helper
Daddy's snuggle buddy
a daredevil
Isaiah has:
gorgeous almond shaped eyes
thick brown hair
shark teeth
brown eyes
chubby little toes
Isaiah loves:
plain hamburgers
the colors white, black and brown
Lord, I love this precious little angel that you have sent to us.  With every fiber and morsel of my being.  

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be."
Robert Munsch 

xo Heather

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