So I decided that since today was so lovely (70 and breezy here in lovely Southern California), I would go take a look at what's ready for harvest in our yard.
I started with the little lemon bush we have. It's a sad little thing in the front yard. It would probably be much bigger and healthier if it had more space (it's growing in the small dirt patch between the walkway and the driveway. Only a few of the lemons were ripe, but that's ok. I couldn't eat a whole ton all at once anyway.
Next I went out back and checked on the avocado tree. Nothing ready, but they're starting to grow bigger and plump up (can't wait til they're ready!!).
Then I went over to our monster cherry tomato bush. Sean's step-dad used to plant cherry tomatoes between all the rose bushes when he lived here. He would have to tear them out and replant every year, because they never made it longer than a season. He hasn't lived here in a year and a half, and I haven't replanted anything. There are only two cherry tomato bushes left, and one of them is kind of sad-looking (probably needs a trellis to climb up). The other one, however, decided to take over on of the rose bushes it was planted next to. Now this plant is a monster rose/tomato hybrid, and a monster to try to harvest. You have to wear thick gloves because the rose bush is all tangled with the tomatoes, and it's just not nice. However, the tomatoes go CRAZY. They love it! I got a huge bunch of them - awesome considering most people aren't even planting their tomatoes yet!
Also, a random orange that fell over the wall from the neighbor's yard. Score!
A while back, Sean noticed this weird "weed" growing in the middle of the yard. He was cleaning up, and decided to pull it. "WAIT!" I said, "It looks like it's going to bloom or something! Let's just give it a week or two and see what it does. There aren't any other plants nearby, so it isn't hurting anything to leave it." So we waited. Sure enough a week or so later, it turned into a sunflower! We have no idea where it came from, or how the seed came to be planted in our backyard. We don't really water any of the plants (they all seem to be doing just fine without our help!), so it's just one big mystery how it got there and survived.
Today I decided to harvest it. I looked up online how long to wait and when to harvest and what not (the flower has long-since died, and all the petals fell off - I was afraid I had waited too long, and would lose all the seeds). Turns out, I waited just the right amount of time! Awesome!!
I'm amazed at just how many seeds came out of this one sunflower! I'm not quite sure what to do with them all.
Also, I was looking at our rose bushes. Most of them aren't blooming right now - it hasn't been warm enough. But one of them has these big giant rose hips. Does anyone know how/when to harvest those? I tried looking it up, but I don't know which type of roses they are (all of them are different, and they aren't labelled or anything). Here's a picture of some of the rose hips now.
I decided I was sick of my guinea pigs throwing all of their fluff outside of the cage, and that it would be cheaper in the long run if I just made some fleece covers for them that were washable. This is the first one (I want to make, like 7, so I only have to do laundry once a week).
I hand sewed the entire thing (my sewing machine doesn't like me).
Here is the loft one. It's a little bit smaller than I intended, so the next one I'm going to make larger on purpose.
The only issue I was worried about was if they start running around, the fleece would bunch up. So I put tabs on the corners, with clips on the sides of the cage so that I can switch them out still.
I took pictures as I went, so I can do a tutorial if you want. It was super simple, and would be really fast with a sewing machine.
This is the new cage I put together for my guinea pigs. They are so much happier than in their old, much smaller cage.
It's made from a coroplast base I cut and put together myself, and grids from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The ramp is made from a redwood fence post. This is my 2nd attempt at a cage (the first one was TERRIBLE). I also made the fleece floors on the 1st level and in the loft, as well as the guinea pig cozy.
So two weeks ago, my boyfriend proposed! (Well, three weeks ago, but he wanted me to be able to help pick out my ring, so two weeks ago is when we made it official).
We don't have a whole ton of money to spend on a wedding, and we aren't sure how much our parents are going to be helping (or how much we really want them to... >.>). I already knew I really wanted to craft a lot of my wedding, and I had been stalking this board for about 6 months or so anyway.
SO YAY! Now I can start talking about, planning, and crafting for our wedding
We want to have an Alice in Wonderland-inspired garden/tea party wedding. We decided on summer of next year, and the colors: pale, springlike colors. We want it to be outside, with the ceremony and reception at the same place so we save on the site fees. His grandparents have agreed to let us have the wedding and reception in their backyard! They have this gigantic, gorgeous avocado tree in the back, and plenty of grass area to have tables and chairs, a patio for dancing, plus a swimming pool! We decided on a middle of the day wedding with a dry reception, and lots of DIY! Oh, and cupcakes instead of a cake!
Stuff we plan on doing: (Budget: $5,000 and no, that's not a typo)
-Engagement announcements: I'm making them all my self
These are the different patterns I used for the envelopes. I really don't like the dark teal one, but they were the first ones I made, and I don't want to go BACK to Michael's to get more paper...
The back side of the envelopes.
The front side of the cards.
The back side of the cards. I love that they look like little tea bags
-Reception decorations: For the life of me, I can not find the picture where I got the inspiration... I thought it was on craftster, but no matter how long I search, I just can't find it... Anyway, it was an old door that they hung flat from the ceiling, and then hung different clear bottles from it with flowers in them. So I got an old shutter for free from a friend, spray painted it black, and I've been saving bottles for the past couple weeks. Here it is outside, pre-hanging.
-Food: We want to have a sandwich bar and a candy bar, basically more of a stand-up and mingle type of reception than a sit-down formal affair... Scones, fruit/veggie tray, cheese/crackers, things like that
-Toppers: Bride and groom rubber ducks from my collection (I have WAY too many rubber ducks...)
-Centerpieces: Teapots! Lovely mis-matched teapots. Either with flowers coming out, or with a clear beta vase with flowers, and just teapots filled with tea around the beta vase (possibly even with a goldfish or beta in the vase ) Pictures of the tea pots and cups I have so far.
-Favors: Tea cup candles! Here are some from our test batch. They were supposed to be red
After they were very decidedly pink, we figured white candles would be easier... Also, they will be scented either vanilla (my favorite), or jasmine (his favorite). Our newest idea for favors still involves the teacups, but using them as mini flower pots instead! That way people can just replant the flowers at home, and still use the teacup!The fiance actually really likes the idea of using herbs instead of flowers, which is kind of cool because they smell so good!
-Thank you cards: No ideas yet, really. Figure I have plenty of time to figure it out. But I do have a cute stamp that says "thanks a latte" that came with the tea/coffee themed stamps I bought (I used like 6 of them on our engagement announcements, if you didn't notice), so I might use that.
-Rice/petals: BUBBLES! I WANT BUBBLES! I'll tie on a little note about when to blow them with a pretty little ribbon
I have a feeling there is more, but I can't think at the moment. I'll also post pictures as I finish things
So I got a new sewing machine the other day (well, new to me x_x) and I really wanted to make something to kind of test it out.
I had an idea a while back about animals that were sort of onigiri-shaped. The sketch my boyfriend and I liked best was the peacock, so I made that one today. Definitely a challenge for me since I've never really made anything with a sewing machine before... and certainly not plush toys.
However, here is the finished product:
This is also my first time using safety eyes... I learned that I should wait until he's pretty much all sewn to put the eyes on. I jumped the gun and put them on in the beginning, but they were too close to the edge of his face, so the sewing pedal moved and the edges of him are all wonky now.
He stands up! To a height of about 3 inches... The feathers add a couple more, though, so he can get on rides at the amusement parks.
I love the sequins on his feathers. Big green sequin, small gold sequin, and then a dark blue seed bead.
The first picture is probably the truest-to-life colors.
I definitely learned a lot about making things with my sewing machine. And a lot about plush toys... Harder than I thought it was going to be, but he's super cute, so I'm happy.
So my boyfriend and I had no idea what to do for his mom for Christmas. I was looking around for a new picture to turn into a cross stitch, and came across this tree of life Celtic knot picture: http://www.wildravens.net/RG_meaning.cfm?12
I put it through PC Stitch Pro and got a beautiful two-color pattern. It took me the better part of three weeks, working several hours per day. I also added his mom and step-dad's names in the middle, and all of the kids' names around the edges. Today when I finished it (FINALLY!) we framed it
Note: I don't recommend 150x150 stitch patterns unless you are really dedicated and know what you're getting in to. Even though I only stitched the green (the white is the fabric), it still probably took the better part of 150 hours or so...
I saw all of the amazing papercuttings on here, and I just had to try one of my own... and then made another!
Here's the first one, for my brother, who is one test away from becoming a scuba diving instructor! (Can you spot the seahorse?)
And the second one, for my mom, who likes frogs.
These were both made with sketchbook paper and then glued onto construction paper. They are both my own designs and sketches, though I did use some pictures for reference (particularly for the frogs!).
They were so much fun to make, and I will definitely be making more in the future!
**NOTE: llisaredd, if you want the swap inchies to be a surprise, don't scroll down!!**
So I'm currently at a conference where I don't have too much to do for a few hours at a time. So of course I was lurking around the craftster boards yesterday, and came across the Inchie My Theme Swap. I had heard of inchies before, but I didn't know what exactly they were.
Being out of state, I don't have any art and craft supplies other than a pen and regular printer paper, but I just couldn't resist starting to draw a few.
I measured them out with a business card (they are two inches wide, them just fold in half to get them the right size!). I know it's kind of backwards, but I plan to add some watercolor or colored pencil backgrounds when I get home.
Also, when I was browsing the My Theme Swap, I noticed that llisaredd's signature said she needed some green inchies for a project, so we're organizing a personal swap
However, I was just so excited about these little works-in-progress that I snapped a couple of pictures with my phone and here they are!
^^This one is actually four that piece together, I don't want to cut them until I get home and have scissors (I don't know if you can see the slightly frayed edges... I used the lick and tear method >.<). This is actually my very first and very favorite so far!
^^Some under the sea creatures. I really like how the jellyfish turned out
^^Cute little cupcake.
I have some more, but my camera phone started freaking out. I'll add more when I get my phone working, and I'll update these pictures when they are finished up. I hope you all enjoy them!
So when deciding what we wanted to be for Halloween, my boyfriend told me he always goes as a superhero, comic book character, or something else "geek-themed." Now, I've never been the biggest Star Wars fan, but I proposed the idea of Princess Leia and Han Solo, and he was sold immediately.
When we went to the store, I was less than impressed with the Slave Leia costume they had. The top for it was absolutely terrible, and wasn't even tie-on like a bathing suit. It was all held together with two tiny pieces of velcro in the back. Not. Gunna. Cut it.
That was when I realized I could probably put together a much nicer costume for the same price or cheaper. And so began Princess Lizi and Sean Solo. (Please ignore the soldier in both pictures. He's a friend of ours, and I couldn't find a picture of Sean and I together.)
On to the fun bits. What did I make? If you look at the side of Sean's leg, you will see and red and black stripe running down it. That was red ribbon I sewed on by hand, then went over meticulously with black Sharpie to make the stripes. I don't recommend it, especially if your boy is over 6' like mine is (6'4"). The rest of his costume was pieced together with bought/already owned items.
My costume took a lot more time. The green bikini top with the gold hoops I already owned. I hand-sewed all of the gold ribbon onto it.
I made the necklace with a thick ribbon-type fabric, sewed on a d-ring, and attached a light-weight chain. The necklace is held on with a couple velcro dots. There was also a matching cuff on the wrist you can't see (another velcro dot to hold it on, no d-ring or chain, though). The arm band was a piece of ribbon tied on.
The skirt is the masterpiece. First I took a piece of inch-thick elastic, and stretched it tightly around my waist, sewing it together into a waistband. Then I took the red fabric (2.5 or 3 yards, I can't remember) and draped it across the elastic, pinning it so that it formed a pair of panties with the elastic as the waistband, and hung down over the front and back to make the skirt. Then I just sewed across real quick to hold it on (the only part I used a sewing machine for. All the rest was hand-sewn). After that I got two giant mixing bowls from the kitchen and made circles out of the gold fabric, cut them in half, basically, and sewed them on, one in front and one in back. Two gold buttons in the front. Lots of gold ribbon sewn around the edges of the gold, and across the elastic that showed on the side. And, voila! Princess Leia and Han Solo!
I finished my costume in about 3 days (I was VERY motivated), and Sean's pants took me another 2. When all was said and done, everyone LOVED our costumes, and were impressed that we'd done it for so cheap.
Princess Leia costume in the store: $45 + tax Custom-made Princess Leia costume: $40