Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Gardens


My fingernails are looking pretty rough right now...
covered in dirt rather than paint.

It is so nice to work outside though.

I rearranged the front garden a little.
I tore out the bricks and made a more defined circle in the center with them.
I used the rest to create walking squares.
Once the bricks were used up, I moved around some of  the other walking area stones,
trying to place similar ones together.

I think this helped make the garden look more cohesive without our having to spend money on new ones.

  • The bricks I got for free off of Craigslist from someone who just wanted them hauled away.
  • The flat stones were from my sister's property up in the mountain.
  • The thicker "flat" rock were from our farm.
  • My husband picked up the square pieces when they were not needed at one of his jobs.
(We will be getting some mulch and spreading it later this week; I am hoping that will make the thicker stones blend a little more.)

Plants are starting to pop up and make everything green.
The gardens will look so much better when they have some flowers blooming.
For now though, after such a long winter, the colors of spring are more than welcome.

The stairway by the porch had these circular toppers which came loose.
I moved them over to a low stone wall where they could still be useful without risk of them falling on the kids.

I have been doing a lot of digging up of plants that show themselves enough to identify where and what they are.

Most plants can be easily divided in the spring.

See all the little baby plants in this clump?

My husband made a dirt pile for me: he often adds rotted manure to keep it a beautiful soil for potting up plants.

I get recycled pots from an Amish farm and pot up the babies, label them, and then sell them at a plant sale type yard sale and along the road on a cart.

It helps to keep my gardens manageable and provides some spending money for the kids' school curriculum as well as the fun yard sales of summer.
It also gives an allowance to invest in new plant varieties for my plant addiction...
is there a name for such a problem? :)

Friends know how much I love my flower gardens and give sweet gifts like this little bird bath.

I love walking through the gardens and seeing which plant variety is coming up.
This tree peony has the most beautiful peach flowers in a few weeks.
The hosta beside it is a common variety that grows well in sun or shade as this is a very sunny spot.
(Most hosta prefer shade).

However, by the time the hottest days of summer come,
the plants around it have filled in and offer some shade.

I recently got the little birdbath with the stork at a local mud sale (auction).
There were a wide assortment being sold and this one was hard to resist at the $12 it sold to me for.

I told my husband I would sell it at the plant sale,
but I think it has decided to stay.

Perhaps it could be a sweet mother's day gift from one of my children who is financially impaired?

Well, I better get to sleep so I can head back outside in the morning.
I thought I would just drop by and give a few pictures of what I am doing while I have put away the pencils and paint for these days.

The plant sale is in a couple of weekends, so there are plants everywhere.

It is a busy time of year for us on our farm,
and I do get a little overwhelmed at times,
but I love it and am thankful for a way I can work from my home,
and in one of my favorite places to be: the flower gardens,
and that my children can help and learn from it as well..

How about you?  Have you been outside much yet?

Thanks so much for stopping by.
(To see the gardens a month later, click >HERE<)

Sharing at: Gardens

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Coloring Page: Easter.


Today I am sharing a coloring page in celebration of Easter.
Today is actually Good Friday and it is impossible for me not to think about the pain Jesus suffered on the cross for the sin of the world,
for me.

My daughter has this verse in  her school curriculum as a memory verse, so I made this page for her to color and thought it perfect for Easter as well.

Here is also a colorized version I did with Copic markers.

These are free for use, as long as they are not used for resale.

Happy Easter to you!
(or Resurrection Sunday, as it is sometimes preferred to be called).

(To copy these coloring pages, click on the image, right click, and then click on "copy".

Open up Microsoft Word and right click on the screen, and then click "paste".
 The image should paste onto the page.

You can then click "print" to use them as coloring pages.

If you have difficulties or suggestions, please let me know.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Purple Polka Dot Wreath for Our Spring Door.

Have  you been enjoying the weather in your part of the world?
I have been busy digging up plants from my gardens.
The long winter made their appearance even more enjoyable this year.

I decided to stop for a few minutes and update the wreath on the door since it was still wearing a Christmas wreath: it definitely needed some spring colors.

My daughters helped me pick out some purple polka dot material that caught our eyes.

Our wreath was a simple project that cost us less than ten dollars:
  • 1 yard of material for $2.99 yd
  • burlap wired ribbon 5 yards at $.69 per yard
  • two flower bunches that were on sale for $1.39 each.

I began by cutting a circular shape from a large, unfolded cardboard box,
cutting the inside of the circle as well.

I then used some packing tape to secure bunched up plastic bags to the front of the cardboard circle.

I also cut strips of the polka dot fabric about 4 inches wide.
I then wrapped the strips around the bag-faced circle,
tucking the ends in underneath itself to secure.

When the circle was completely covered, I then wrapped the burlap ribbon loosely around the fabric covered wreath and then tucked the flower sticks securely into them.

I attached a bit of wire to the back of the wreath and hung it on the door.

With the left-over fabric, I tore small square to set on top of an old bench I painted with left-over purple paint from my daughter's room.
(Of course, they thought the bench was BEAUTIFUL!  They never tire of purple.)


A purple polka dot wreath is a diversion from digging in the dirt...

and certainly makes the place look more welcoming of spring.

Thank you for stopping by.  If you can, be sure to make some time to bring cheerful colors of spring to your home.  They are moments well spent.

Sharing at:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Art Lesson: Beginning with Oil Pastels


I am sorry my post for an art lesson is a day or two late this week..
Spring has sprung here and underneath the snow from last week,
all sorts of plants are making their way to the surface.

I have been working on some ideas for children's books and wanting some illustrations that would make them come to life.

I decided to try a different medium, hoping a change would give me a fresh take on it.


I have a little tin cup of oil pastels that the kids have played with,
so I decided I wanted to try them since it has been quite a while since I have used pastels.

While I worked on some ideas, I watched a Youtube video on how to use them.

 I so appreciate all the opportunities that the internet gives for learning new skills like this.

It is a long video and I worked on a few different strategies while listening and glancing up from time to time.


If you do not have the time to watch the whole video, the part that I thought was the best at showing the ease and beauty pastels possess, start at about 58 minutes into the video where a hat is demonstrated.
It ends at around 1:16 into the video, but it is worth the 18 minutes if you haven't used pastels much, like I haven't.

I am sure there are other great instructions that can be used as well.

Pastels are a unique medium that are fun to try.
Have you ever tried them?

April is the busiest time of the year for me as I am digging up plants from my gardens to sell at a plant sale in early May.  I will try to keep getting some posts on here and working on some artwork;
hopefully along the way.

Thank you for stopping by.