Saturday, July 11, 2015

The garden

This year has been an experimental one for our new garden. It's the first year I've done a garden here. I got a couple of Frame-it-all raised beds (I had another on order, but they went into bankrupcy!!! BAH) From seed I planted Sheboygan paste tomatoes, swiss chard, spinach (FAIL), Edamame, pie pumpkins, butternut squash, dragons tongue beans, haricot tarbais beans, black aztec (sweet) corn, silver king (field) corn, poblano peppers (fail), paprika (fail), and tomatillos (fail). I got some strawberry plants, a cherry tomato, and some larger poblanos as plants. I've learned some important things for later years:

  1. Spinach sucks to grow around here. Don't do it. 
  2. Starting peppers is hard. Darn peppers.
  3. Make sure not to lose the markers for whats pie pumpkins and what's butternut squash, because they look exactly the same.
  4. Start the tomatoes in March. Figure out something to make sure they get light.
  5. Starting black aztec corn inside works very well, but it works outside too.
  6. Always start haricot tarbais beans inside. They germinate and grow much better.
  7. Always start dragon's tongue beans outside. They germinate and grow much better.
  8. Peppers get horrible aphids inside. At least, mine did.
  9. Plant more edamame. It grows like crazy and is delicious.
  10. Swiss chard grows as well as spinach doesn't. 
  11. Bunnies like pepper plant leaves. WHAT. (Yeah, the peppers have been an uphill struggle)
  12. Bunnies like containers much more than raised beds.
  13. Lemons are awesome. 
  14. Soaker hose is the best. Hope by next year i'll have automated watering too, which would be the BEST BEST. 
I'll update again nearer the end of the year with how well things did. I can report that the swiss chard is wonderful already, and the edamame and dragon's tongue beans have started to produce like crazy. Yay!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TBT: Our DIY wedding

When we got ready to get married, we didn't have a whole lot of spare cash. We also have always been big on DIY in lots of ways, so we decided to do a DIY wedding. We did nearly everything ourselves - my dress was bought at the local fair, and I altered it; the decor was pieced together from the dollar store, the sale aisle at Michaels, and the local thrift store. Other tips: my bouquet was the seasonal flowers available at the grocery store; Cordi wore my hand-me-down flowergirl dress; I made the ring pillow with silk scraps I had lying around; I catered with long cooked beef brisket, polenta, and curried roasted squash soup (most of which either cooked quickly or were cooked beforehand and were able to be quickly heated); and of course we married each other (and I said vows to the kids) rather than having an officiant, which is legal in WI, PA, CO, and DC. Here are some of our other favorite wedding projects.

Seeded wedding invitation card

We were creating a blended family, and we wanted to make sure the kids felt involved and welcome. The kids all made drawings in crayon that we scanned in, combined,  and printed on seeded paper -- we got seeded envelopes and 8 1/2" by 11" from OfTheEarth. For those that don't know, seeded paper can be planted after you use it and it'll make a tree or a bunch or wildflowers. We hand tore the pieces apart (so there was a nice slightly ragged edge) attached the seeded paper to inexpensive construction paper (which was biodegradable). These made for really nice invitations that were personal and also managed to serve a purpose after the announcement (and the "Yer Ivited" and "Before and After" on the cover are priceless.)

Football guestbook

This one was simple - we live in Wisconsin. Therefore, we are big Packer fans. What better way to keep a record of our big day than tie it into something we love (and can put on display, instead of shoving away in a closet?) So we got a nice Wilson NFL ball and some silver paint markers and made everyone sign it. It now sits on our mantle.

Cake platters

This was fun. My mom made the wonderful cupcakes you see on the right, from my grandma's recipes, which was a wonderful replacement for a tradition cake (especially with kids!). For the platters, we got four fall plates from our local thrift store, and attached glass candlesticks of different sizes to the bottoms with ceramic glue. Total cost was less than 5 bucks for a really gorgeous display. The leaves on the table were from the dollar tree and the tablecloth was from the thrift store.


We knew for our favor we wanted something that could be kept, but that would really reflect "us." We decided to create a simple dice rolling game, where you'd roll the dice and use that to go to a certain page, and then do what it said on that page (and if you were up for a crazier challenge, you could roll a second dice and be told something very specific you had to do). We made every challenge based on something we did or do; things from playing a game or reading a book to traveling or helping your community.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

A 3d pen I really, really want


No, but seriously, I just discovered the CreoPop 3d pen and it's AMAZING and I want one. I've seen 3d printing pens before but the fact that this one isn't melting plastic and more than that the spectacular variety of inks this thing has makes this a must have... when I have the cash (stupid, stupid teeth). The illustrations they have on their site are only ok, but they look more like what most people are capable of instead of going straight to a pro artist (some of 'em are pretty good).

But seriously, the inks! Glow in the dark! Flexible! Glittery! Temperature sensitive! Elastic! Magnetic! CONDUCTIVE?!? The projects I could make! Beyond the obvious 3d sketching - being able to sketch a nude in 3d would just be so beautiful - I'm thinking of mod projects and custom bracelets and glowing ceiling decor and faerie crowns and *sobwhycantijusthaveoneshowupinmymailboxrightnow* *lifeisnotfair*

This has me entirely too excited. I mean, it's so cool. Yes, I'm being entirely overdramatic. But it is a nifty piece of tech that makes me stoked about the possibilities.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Updated the site again've updated with recent and not so recent projects, including the labels I created for Zander's Christmas present, the new postcards, my Zepplin lamp, and a few other things. I have a few more  presents I made that I need to take photos of; hoping I'll get to that sometime in the next week.

Feedback, as always, is welcome and appreciated - and if you have any ideas for projects I should tackle, let me know!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Another retro-futuristic Merrill postcard: Chips!

I've added another postcard to my retro-future Merrill collection: Chips.

I'm pretty stoked about this one. The Chips building by itself is retro, so it really lends itself to this style. Let me know what you think. You can pick up the card on Zazzle, and you can see my previous entries here and here.