Pollinator garden update!

We had a nice load of wood chips dropped off here at by a tree trimming service that was working in town!

That’s a lot of mulch! 

I finished up the pollinator hotel this week and the Mr. was able to put it in a great location with lots of sun!

I mostly spent my time putting down weed paper and making walkways! I’m pretty sure that my neighbors think that I have lost my mind at this point!

Walkway to the right and another flower bed to the left 

It’s not a huge place, but the pollinators and I am going to love it!

Top view! 

I’m going to plant some sunflowers along the fence! Hopefully they grow ok! And, I’m going to put some nasturtiums in those hanging baskets.

Woodchips spread and the chickens are behind that door! 

And those hooks were hand crafted by my favorite blacksmith! They are still beautiful!

I love the shadow it casts! 
I love the simplicity of this one! 

And here’s the upcycled birdbath that the Mr. put together!

I’m hoping the birds like it! 

I still need to get a lot more compost and hope that the seeds that I started will come up! This is going to be a mix of mostly native plants, but also other non-native varieties. There will not be any invasive species! Just trying to give the birds, bees and butterflies a nice pollen and nectar source! And, I’m hoping to eventually have a certified wildlife habitat!

Seedlings are popping up!!

It is starting to get more plant-y here! I haven’t put much in the soil yet, but what I did start this early is starting to pop up! I  was so excited to see that my first pepper plant was already up through the soil!

Golden cal (orange sweet pepper) 

And I had no intentions on growing onions from seed, but when I got the Walla Walla onion seeds in a swap… they just ended up in the soil!

Onion seedlings! 

This weekend will hopefully not be bitterly cold, so that I can start putting down cardboard and wood chips to kill back the grass in the pollinator area. We are lucky to know lots of tree trimmers!

Big pile of wood chips! 

And inside the house my African violet has finally bloomed! This baby started off as a single leaf cut from a plant with rooting hormone put on it! Now, it’s a full grown and beautiful plant!

A year and a half waiting for this bloom! 

Over the past couple days, I have really been wanting to get outside and do something in the garden.  But, I’ve had a nasty cold and the weather has been feeezing! So, I decided that I would work on some seed tape instead! I will have to make a tutorial on that soon! And I will post back how well it works!

Seed tape! (Carrots) 

And here is a preview of the top portion of my insect hotel:

Isn’t it beautiful?! 

We used knotweed that is growing by a creek here and some drilled out branches that I pulled out of the woods. A lot of work, but $0!

And lastly, I just noticed this saying on the back of the migardener seeds:

Grow big or go home! 

Im planning on growing big with the garden expansion that we are working on! Are you planning on growing big this year?! Whether you are or are not, keep blooming!

Worker bee me last week!

Last week the Mr. was on late shift, so I decided to get some work accomplished around here! Everything from crafting to gardening!

Monday evening: hemmed pants and sewed patches on

A lot of sewing! (And I really dislike hemming pants!) 

Tuesday: finished crocheting some baby chicks for Easter!


Wednesday: starting the cutting for the camper cushions and redecorated the chalkboard!

So ready for spring! 

Thursday: the boy stamped our seed packets for the local seed swap and I started working on recovering all of those camper cushions!

The seeds that we took to the swap! 

Friday: I finished recovering all of the cushions and they look beautiful!

Easier than I thought it would be! 

Saturday: I took down all of the garden fencing and moved the compost bin to the chicken area!

Bye bye fence! Hello garden expansion! 

Sunday: I started working on filling the pollinator hotel with knot weed and drilled fallen tree limbs.

Pollinator hotel

I also started lots of herbs and flowers in the tiny greenhouse

I hope that they grow well! 

I have some seeds in milk jugs to get started!

Winter sowing some marigolds

And I hung out with my momma and went to the local seed swap! I donated 15 packs of seeds and brought home a few!

Brought home zinnia, nasturtiums, bee food blend, birds egg beans and golden zucchini

And, we played uno almost every night!

I ❤️ That the teen wants to play a game with me! 

And this week, I’m not feeling that ambitious! But, some exciting things are going to be happening in the weeks to come here at the homestead! We are definitely blooming where we are planted! 🌱💚

DIY zipper-free camper cushion slipcover

Well that’s a mouthful title, isn’t it?!  The Mr. has been working so hard on the camper, so I have finally had a chance to work on the cushions in the camper!

A little reminder of the before! (The after is at the end!)

They weren’t horrible, but they had some stains, a tiny tear and a lot of boring-ness. I decided to document my easy way of making some slip covers! Here are my supplies: upholstery fabric (got this stuff at Joann’s half off clearance, so $2 a yard! And I got 7 yards for 3 cushions and the back cushion!), and you’ll also need sewing pins, velcro, sewing machine and scissors. (I also used a serger, but it isn’t necessary!)

Step 1.: cut out your fabric to have about an inch overlap length wise, and I left about 6 inches of extra fabric on the ends. Then, I serged the shorter edges, but you can fold it over and sew it under if you don’t have a serger.

Ends serged

Step 2: I sewed up the length of the fabric and it turned into a long tube! (I used the line of the fabric to keep it straight and about 1 inch seam)

Pin up the edge and sew it into a tube (right sides together)

Step 3: put the long tube back on the cushion to check for fit. It should have overlapped fabric on both ends.

The fabric on the end of the cushion

Step 4: This part is hard to explain, so I’ll just describe it like fold it like a present. (Make sure the bottom of the fabric and bottom of the cushion are facing you!) Fold down the outer piece (it will be the flap that attaches with velcro) about an inch and pin. Then, that pin on top of the cushion is where the velcro will hold the flap shut. Which I found where to put it by pulling the fabric up!

Do this to both ends!

Step 5: Slowly pull the fabric back off of the cushion. It’s not easy, because you want to keep the pins in place! Be patient and realize the longer the cushion, the harder to pull it off!

Slowly remove the fabric!

Step 6: Sew the perimeter of the trapezoid flap and cut velcro to fit. Then sew it on.

Sew the flap then the velcro

Step 7: sew the opposite side of the velcro where you put the pin to match up the velcro. (See photo below tonunderstand placement!)

Step 8: Put the big tube of fabric back on the cushion, and then fold it like it was!

Ready to attach the fabric!

Last step: attach the velcro and look at the beautiful cover that you created!

Back of cushion!

And just last night I was able to recover the backing board and staple the fabric on.

Backing board!

And now the finished project:


I love it!!!  And check out that rooster towel!

How the cushion looks from the front:

Total cost: $14 for all the fabric!

It was a lot of work, but I’m hoping to be able to report back after traveling this summer on how well everything is holding up! Happy sewing!

Working for the weekend!

The weather was above freezing this weekend! So, that means that we were working! We went out and got a truck load full of compost to start getting the pollinator area ready! (The orange line is where the walkway will be!)

Filling in flower areas

We will be putting down lots of cardboard and wood chips that will give the plants plenty of room to expand! And, the Mr. won’t be cutting all that grass! (That was a section of his part to cut, I cut around the house! Didn’t want you all to think I was lazy!)

I also have my gardens all planned out! I’m so excited to get these plants started! I’m going to have a ton of seedlings going in the months to come!

The garden is planned! 

We are finishing up the birdhouse gourds! Look at this beauty:

Birdhouse gourd! 

The Mr. helped me get an idea together. I had a lot extra spoons that I had bought for a different purpose, but we turned one into a plant marker. We are going to use these to mark the flowers in the pollinator garden! (Not sure why he put beans on this one! 😆)

Garden marker! 

And that sun helped us to make lots of power!! We made about 193 kWh in 3 days!!

Solar power! 

The Mr. also installed this vent cover on top of the camper to protect the bed area from rain and weather!

He’s amazingly handy! 

Up next will be this big project! We will be putting up new fencing around the garden and expanding it!

This area is going to be a lot of work! 

I love being able to get my hands dirty and do hard work! I hope that you enjoyed your weekend!! Did you all accomplish any projects?!

No Spend February

We made 3. major achievements this month! 1. We paid off the truck!

No more truck payments! 

So, we are officially vehicle payment free! Of course last month, instead of putting more money towards the house or the solar panels, I needed new tires for my car. They were leaking air constantly and not safe, so that’s definitely a must!

2. On the awesome list is that made another $10K leap on the house! You know, when you look at how much you owe and it is no longer in the $80K’s (for example) and now in the $70k’s!! That’s exciting! That will definitely feel good to get paid off eventually!

3. The Mr. has been doing a great job of packing his lunch! For pretty much ever, he has been a “pick up a snack while working” kind of guy. But after I showed him a quick write up of how much that really costs per year, he changed that habit!

For Valentine’s Day I actually had parent-teacher conference day until almost 6pm. So, it was easy to not go out to eat! But, we enjoyed out weekend and my parents even took our boy for a night. It was very quiet around here without him! 😳

My Mr. made me a beautiful pollinator garden for the special occasion out of upcycled wood. We just need to get the bamboo to fill it, but we have a free source for that! It is quite an invasive plant!

Pollinator hotel! 

We were able to make a few bucks this week too! The dead hive provided us with some honey to sell. We will use that to help buy us another colony! Bees are not easy to keep! (Or cheap!)


And soon I will have a surplus of eggs to rehome!

Delicious eggs! 

Also, the Mr. blacksmithed some beautiful mantel brackets for a beam of barn wood for a customer! They turned out beautiful!

In the garage! 

And now, in their new home!! They loved them just as much as we did!


And the fireplace looks beautiful! 

Our electric bill came, and I was expecting a nice bill because February was pretty cold, but to our surprise it was $0!!


And to save a lot of money, I start my garden from seeds. Getting plants from the nursery is pricy, and you can only get certain varieties, so I save my seeds and use the heirloom varieties yearly! And this year, I got involved in a seed swap to get different varieties! (I did have to pay shipping)

So many different flowers, beans and veggies that I can’t wait to plant! 

It was not a perfect month because we still needed to buy items for the camper, and we started picking up some candy for the boy’s Easter basket. Oh, and we got Chinese out one time, but used the money from our crafting and not the bank. So, we haven’t been perfect, but it’s nice to be able to create a growing savings account and work on our debt snowball!

So, have you been working on spending less?!

February update 2018

Hello March!! It definitely came in with crazy winds and some snow today! I am proud to say that we are getting a lot accomplished here!

1. Expand the garden- With the warm days last week, I was able to start taking down the fencing around the garden. It was a lot of work and I still have a lot more! But, that new area is going to looks great! (I hope!)

A reminder of the plans! 

2. Fix the camper- The Mr.’s installed converter is working great! He also installed a new smoke detector and replaced the bulbs with leds. I made new curtains and he made a stove cover from some upcycked wood.

3.Travel out west- That camper is going to be making some trips this year! We have officially started reserving spots! We will be stopping at many Koa sites as well as mostly national parks!!

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat- There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. I am stratifying 3 varieties of milkweed and gathered a bunch of my echinacea seeds. It’s going to be a mix of native plants and some non-native!

5. Reduce garbage- Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags. Just on March first, we had to take out our first bag! So, we are off to a good start!

Yes, that’s some snow! 

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- Last month I learned how to crochet knitted knockers. They are a pillowy prosthesis for women who have had a mastectomy. And I attended a master gardener meeting and will be finishing my 40 hours to become official!

Crocheted knitted knockers! 

And I signed up at the “be the match” program that matches you to patients that need marrow.


7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- For Valentine’s Day, my Mr. upcycled some old  decking boards into a pollinator house! Now to add some bamboo and drilled wood!

Pollinator house! 🐝🐞🐛🦋

8. Paw Paw trees- These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! I can’t wait to give it a try to grow them this year, and eventually (maybe) eat one!! The seeds were pulled from being cold stratified and now are in soil!

Planted paw paw seeds! 

9. Build a pizza oven- this is the Mr.’s idea! He built his own Blacksmithing forge, so I’m sure he can do it! I’m definitely looking forward to having a delicious, out of the oven pizza! No real updates yet!

10. Grow different produce- I was able to pick up a majority of the seeds that I wanted online last month. And, I participated in a seed swap and got some Interesting varieties!!

Dragon tongue beans, mayflower beans, flowering tobacco and so many more! 

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- It was a mixture of cold and warmer weather last month, but our electric bill was a whopping $0!

12. Work on garden cart sales- We will be doing some upcoming craft shows, but we won’t have any produce for sale for quite a while! However, we were able to harvest some honey (due to losing a hive) and will be using the money from the honey for some new bees!

Did you set any goals?! We are hoping to have checks next to them all at the end of the year! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚