We had a nice load of wood chips dropped off here at by a tree trimming service that was working in town!
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!
It’s not a huge place, but the pollinators and I am going to love it!
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.
And those hooks were hand crafted by my favorite blacksmith! They are still beautiful!
And here’s the upcycled birdbath that the Mr. put together!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
And here is a preview of the top portion of my insect hotel:
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:
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!
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!
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.
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)
Step 3: put the long tube back on the cushion to check for fit. It should have overlapped fabric on both ends.
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!
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!
Step 6: Sew the perimeter of the trapezoid flap and cut velcro to fit. Then sew it on.
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!
Last step: attach the velcro and look at the beautiful cover that you created!
And just last night I was able to recover the backing board and staple the fabric on.
And now the finished project:
How the cushion looks from the front:
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!
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!)
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!
We are finishing up the birdhouse gourds! Look at this beauty:
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! 😆)
And that sun helped us to make lots of power!! We made about 193 kWh in 3 days!!
The Mr. also installed this vent cover on top of the camper to protect the bed area from rain and weather!
Up next will be this big project! We will be putting up new fencing around the garden and expanding it!
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?!
We made 3. major achievements this month! 1. We paid off the truck!
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!
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!
Also, the Mr. blacksmithed some beautiful mantel brackets for a beam of barn wood for a customer! They turned out beautiful!
And now, in their new home!! They loved them just as much as we did!
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)
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!
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!)
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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! 🌱💚