Monday, April 30, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've officially gone off the deep end!

I gave in. 
I drank the Kool-Aid. 
I made Mary Grace some cute summer outfits. 
I made her dolls to match said outfits. 

Don't judge me.
She needed some red headed baby dolls.  
Is it my fault that their clothing just happened to match?

Yeah, right, I guess it is...

I thought she was irresistible before,
oh, but now...

 Here is the free downloadable pattern for your own
adorable red headed baby girl not included!

needle and thREAD

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plants for free!

I love, love, LOVE hydrangea! 
It's my favorite flower in the garden. And now that I have FINALLY figured out how to grow it here in south Texas, I went to a local nursery and purchased a gorgeous, healthy plant to add to the garden. In case you didn't know, hydrangea are expensive! I can't afford the five or six plants I'd like to have to fill my shade garden, soooo.... I'm propagating that many and more for FREE!
Propagating hydrangea is very easy.  Take a tender branch from the plant and cut it to a length of 4-6 inches.  Remove all the leaves but the top two.  Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder and then cut the top two leaves crosswise.  Stick the whole plant into a soil less medium (seed starting mix, vermiculite, or sand) and keep moist.  Not wet, but moist.  Fasten a plastic bag over the potted plant to retain moisture and set in a shady area.
In about 10 days you'll have roots!  Take the plant out of the plastic and continue to keep soil moist as your cutting grows.  Transplant to the garden or container after new growth starts.
It really is that simple!

I also wanted to propagate some lavender.  I am growing three varieties of lavender and wanted to start a large lavender garden on the side of the barn.  The process is almost the same:
Cut a segment of lavender and strip all the leaves off but the top few.  Dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone and place into your soil less medium.  Cover with plastic and allow to root.  Transfer to the garden when new growth appears.
I still have a lot to learn about plant propagation but so far I am hooked!  I can potentially have dozens more plants from just the purchase of one, and for a cheapskate frugal plant lover like me, it is very exciting stuff!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer sewing for the Divine Miss M

A few weeks back I started on some summer sewing for our sweet Mary Grace. I found this super cute pattern on Etsy and quickly
went to work. 
Quite the fashionista, isn't she?
I really love the prints now available at Hobby Lobby, and with their weekly coupons and sales, little outfits like this go together for a steal!
I think I'll also make a few out of my vintage sheet scraps.  
That will be cool and light for these HOT Texas summers.
My sweet little Gingers! 
Check out more fabulous sewing projects at 
In the Heart of My Home
needle and thREAD  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The garden trellis

Shortly after planting our summer garden, I gave Kyle the task of building some trellises. I didn't want to spend any money and knew he could make some lovely creations with the scrap wood and fallen limbs from around the neighborhood....and he did!
Our neighborhood has a "burn pile".  It's a huge pile of yard waste that gets burned every so often.  From that pile he cut three large, fairly straight limbs for the teepee structure of the trellis.  The tops were bound with natural jute.
From there he fastened on shorter sticks and limbs to make the structures below, each one a little different from the others.
They are really works of art and the pictures don't do them justice!  Soon they'll be entirely covered with cucumber and melon vines.  Growing vertically doesn't only save space in the garden but it keeps the fruits off the ground and prevents disease, pests, and rot.
And even after the summer growing season is over, I think these beauties will remain in the garden! 
Thank you, Kyle, for making your mama so happy with your handiwork (who knew all it took was some sticks and twine!).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Confirmed in the Spirit!

Thursday night Ryan was granted the Sacrament of Confirmation.

We are thankful for our good Bishop, the Most Reverend David Fellhauer, for bestowing the Sacrament. Also, to our dearest Fr. Gabriel Espinosa for his wisdom and teaching. And very thankful to Gisselle M. for her sponsorship and prayers.

Such a blessing shared as a family, and universally with the entire Catholic Church!

Can I get an AMEN?!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The lowly dandelion

There is a vacant lot next to us with a plethora of dandelions flowering right now. I got up early before the kids and harvested some of the flowers for jelly and the roots for medicinal tea.
The roots, leaves and blooms of the plant are edible. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a serving of uncooked dandelion leaves contains 280 percent of an adult’s daily requirement of beta carotene as well as more than half the requirement of vitamin C. Dandelion supports a healthy urinary tract, kidney and liver functions. When harvesting, be careful to select plants that have not been exposed to herbicides or pesticides.

The above picture is what I foraged. I think I'm going to need a LOT more of the root to get a substantial amount to actually use! That may be a job for the boys this afternoon.

The flowers were easy to harvest, but oh my achin' back!
I followed THIS RECIPE from one of my favorite blogs.

After washing the roots, I sliced them thin and put them in the dehydrator. Once dried, they can be steeped in boiling water for tea, or roasted and ground for coffee.

Dandelion root tea is an excellent diuretic and liver detoxifier.
Kinda like "spring cleaning" for the body!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Should we get caught in a zombie apocalypse...

We'll be good to go on rose petal jelly for quite some time!

Now off to gather dandelion flowers for more jelly making,
maybe even a little wine making!

(Because you'd definitely need a some wine in a zombie apocalypse!)