Wednesday, March 31, 2010

51


Sometimes it's okay not to be a leader.  Like, for instance, when you decide to follow my blog!  Whoop!  Whoop!  It made my day yesterday when I reached 50 followers.  And then it made my day again today when I saw I had gained another.  Yay!  So, just wanted to say thanks to all you lovely ladies (and a few cool guys) who follow my blog.  It's nice.  :)


As a way to show you how happy it makes me I was going to say, "let's do a giveaway!" but... we're in the middle of one right now!  So I'll tell you what.  First prize for the giveaway for some awesome FREE FABRIC from Cherry Lane Textiles will get the prize we've already planned on--a beautiful fat quarter pack for your very own!  And I'll also make a sweet little something to give away as a 2nd place prize.  :)  But that will be a surprise.  So get your names in for the giveaway!  It closes at midnight tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Planting Seeds: Take 2

First off, for those of you who didn't see the comments in my first post about trying to plant seeds (look there for Dorothy's advice thus far in its entirety), here's a quick recap of what Dorothy said:

-Make drainage holes in the bottom of the containers so water won't get trapped inside.
-Place the containers on a plate and put water on the plate so the soil/seeds will stay moist, but not be wet.
-Put the plate and containers inside a bag to keep the warmth and moisture inside so the seeds can germinate.
-Get the plants more light.  (My window sill attempt apparently wasn't going to cut it.)

So, that's basically what I did.

First, in order to (I hope) solve the light problem, I thought I'd let the plants hang out next to the florescent light above our kitchen sink.  So while the battery for the drill was charging, I rigged up this little plant holder so the seeds would be "inches from the light" like Dorothy said was important.
 
The strings are clipped on to the light cover with paper clips.  The metal frame is from our pizza stone.  My mom always expected me to be an engineer.  Seeing this now, perhaps it's not hard to believe that I used to rig up string and tape contraptions in my room so I could turn the light switch on and off from my bed.  And you should have seen my Barbie house.  Anyway, so that's my funky solution to getting the seeds as close to a florescent light as I could think of.  I know, I know--it's pretty genius, but... umm... does it matter that the florescent light is covered up by that clear plastic shade thing?  I really hope not.


I drilled holes in the bottom of each container (one in each corner since that part is the lowest part of the bottom, and six holes in the middle/slightly raised part of the bottom).

I took Dorothy's advice and added a couple extra seeds to each container.  Actually, let's be honest here, I'm not entirely sure how many seeds are in each container.  When I dumped out the dirt to drill the holes, sometimes I happened to see the seeds I had already planted and sometimes I didn't.  So some of these containers might have as many as five or six seeds.  Is that going to ruin things?  Do I need to dump out this soil and start over?  Please say no.

Next, I got these weird plastic bowls we have (I think we got them for drainage bases for planting a year or two ago, actually) and put three little planter containers in each one.  (Yes, I took another one out of the fridge and dumped the baby food out of it that Olivia wasn't eating anyway, so now I have a nice even number... and more chances for having seeds that will actually sprout.)

The bottoms of the containers don't actually touch the bottom of the bowl since I had to fit them in there kind of weird, so I filled the bowls up with enough water to reach the bottoms of the containers.  I didn't put any water directly into the containers (i.e. pour it right onto the soil).

Once both of the bowls were filled with (what I hope is) enough water, I put each one inside its own plastic bag and folded over the opening.  I didn't seal the bags.  Should I?

Then I carefully placed them on the perch up next to the light. 

Here they are, basking in their own personal tanning station.  I really hope they grow.

So, now I ask Dorothy and anyone else who has something helpful to add, is this good?  Should I change anything?  Do you have any extra advice you'd like to give?  Do you think my seeds will sprout???


Check in the comments for Dorothy's advice!

For more on the subject check out THIS POST and THIS POST.

Riddle me this...

So the other night when Bryan was writing a post for his blog I was getting real bored. Real, real bored. So, naturally, I was being a bit of a pest. Then, because I love this phrase, I said, "Riddle me this..." and then just sort of trailed off. Bryan looked at me, waiting for me to riddle him something, but the truth is, I'm pretty terrible at riddles. And I don't even have any memorized. So I confessed that I just liked to say, "Riddle me this..." but that I didn't actually have any riddles up my sleeve. I think Bryan saw this as a golden opportunity to get me occupied while he finished his post, so he told me to come up with a riddle. When I was about to blurt out some dumb riddle right away, he also said that it had to rhyme. Which isn't really any problem. I am kind of a rhyming master, if you don't mind my saying so. But it did take me a minute to put one together. But riddles, like easy poems, are a bit contagious. Once I came up with one, I kept thinking of more. Turns out they're not really so hard to think up after all. Not that mine are all that impressive or anything. Still, if you'd like to read them, Bryan wrote them down and posted them HERE on his blog today. Riddle me that!

P.S. Don't forget to enter HERE for a chance to win some awesome FREE FABRIC! Woot! Woot!

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Question for Dorothy

I have absolutely no idea how to grow plants.  I am terrible at it.  I was once given a cactus...killed it.  The only plants I've managed to keep alive in my entire life includes Bryan's aloe vera plant that Lisa gave him for his birthday a year or two ago and a handful of "spider plants." (This is the name I've heard them referred to as, but I have no idea what they're actually called.)  Both the aloe vera and the spider plants go quietly along growing, look like they're about to bite the dust, we give them some water, and then they live some more.  So I'm not kidding when I say that plants cry out for their lives when they come under my rule.

Still, here I am giving it another try.
Bryan and I found these little beauties at the thrift store on Saturday with the intent to grow some stylin' wheat grass.  It seems easy enough.  So I'm not too worried about that.  But when I went to the store to buy some soil today the little display of seeds caught my eye and began taunting me.  "Bring us home!  Grow us!  We promise to live this time!"  So, like any other entranced fool I slipped a packet of tomato seeds into my cart and headed to the checkout, knowing all along that Bryan is going to shake his head at me when he comes home and sees my pitiful attempt.

I almost caved and bought a nifty little "seed starter" kit for $6.99, but in a moment of sanity I reminded myself that it's highly likely that none of my seeds will grow anyway and so I'd better not spend the extra seven bucks on taking a chance.  Instead, on my way home I tried to think of something else that might work instead.  And I came up with such an obvious and perfect solution.  I'd start my seeds in an egg carton!  Of course!  It's free, it's going to get thrown away anyway, and it has all those perfect little places to plant the seeds. 

Did I mention I'm terrible at planting things?  The egg carton got soggy and saggy and really quite sad looking before I even had time to grab the camera to take a picture of my genius solution.  So perhaps it's not so genius after all.  Hmm.  But I'm still somewhat hopeful, so I haven't thrown it out yet.  Still, "somewhat hopeful" does not mean I'm about to put all my eggs in one basket, or all my seeds in one egg carton, as it were.  So I looked around the apartment and thought about something else we had that might work well.

 That's when I saw these.  I've been saving the big O's Gerber containers without any project in mind (thus invoking ridicule from Bryan) and thought they might be just the thing.  Especially since they won't soak up all the water that's supposed to be growing my precious little tomato seeds.

So I gathered up the five little baby food containers I could find...

...and opened up my bag of potting soil.

(Because it's definitely going to take a miracle for me to grow anything.)

I carefully read the instructions on my little bag of seeds.
They make it sound so easy.  But I'm not entirely convinced.

So I filled my little containers up most of the way...

...made a little hole with the tip of my pinky finger...

...dropped in one of my little itty bitty baby tomato seeds...

...and gently tucked them into bed.  (i.e. covered them up with the soil.)

Then, the package said to "Keep moist," so I gave them just a little sip of water so as not to ruin them with a flood.

Then I placed them next to the window in Olivia's room with the hope that they'll actually get some good sunlight there.

We actually keep the blinds closed in her room most of the time since she takes naps throughout the day (ideally, anyway), but I'm hoping my little tomato seeds will be okay on the ledge there in between the window and the blinds.  So...

Dorothy, knower-and-grower-of-all-things-green-and-living, 

How likely do you think my little seeds are to actually sprout and grow?  Did I do anything right?  I still have a bunch of left over seeds and dirt... should I start from scratch a different way?  How much should I water my little seeds?  Will they still be getting enough light on the window sill without being under a lamp or something?  Please educate me in the ways of your green thumb.

My plants and I thank you,
Katie

P.S. If anyone else has some good advice for me, please feel free to chime in.  I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks!


Check in the comments for Dorothy's advice!
For more on the subject, check out THIS POST and THIS POST.

Bunny Hat

 
Want to make one for your little Easter bunny?

Difficulty level: mega easy
Time: about 10 minutes
Materials: soft & stretchy knit material, ribbon, a little bit of polyfil, 2 paperclips, general sewing supplies


Grab the bottom piece of your tank top left over from making your Tank Top Top.  (Wow, that sounded super redundant.  Sorry.  I promise all those words belong in there.)  You could of course just use another piece of stretchy knit fabric, but this makes the project go even faster since the tank top already has a finished hem to work with.  Woot!

FYI, I first cut about 5 inches off the top (middle part) of my left over tank top to use for another project.  More on that another day.

That left me with this nice little piece to work with.

Now go and measure your little bunny's head.  (When I measured around the big O's head it was about 16 inches all the way around.)

Next, fold the side seam of your tank top over so that the length of your folded edge is half the length of your child's head circumference.  (Since Olivia's head was 16 inches around, I folded my side seam over about 8 inches.)  Make sure the bottom hem is lined up nicely.

Next, make yourself a template like the one above.  (I made mine out of the Easter ad for JoAnn's.  It seemed appropriate.)  I just did mine freehand, so I tried out my template on a piece of paper first and made some adjustments.  I recommend making the very tips of your bunny ears flat so that they will be easier to turn in.  But obviously little bunny foo foo isn't going to come over and bop you on the head if you make yours pointy.  

 
Now, pin your template onto your material, keeping the edge of your template flush with the edge of your fold.

Cut out your hat pieces.


Pin hat pieces together, right sides facing.

Change the stitch setting on your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch.


Stitch around the entire edge of your hat--except, of course, for the finished hem.

 
It should now look about like this.  Check for any little holes/places where you didn't quite catch both layers while you were stitching.  Stitch any holes you may have found.

Now, turn your cute little hat right side out and get out just a little bit of polyfil.

Stuff those ears so they're just a little bit puffy.  :)

Choose some pretty ribbon and tie a sweet little bow around each ear.  At this point your hat will be cute, but your bunny ears will be floppy. 

 
I wanted my bunny's ears to stick straight up, so I grabbed a couple of paperclips.  (The pin is just there to give you an idea of the size of my paperclips.  And I have no idea where that triangle paperclip came from, but these were the only two bigger paperclips I could find.)  Bend each paperclip so it makes a 90 degree angle.  Insert them into the ears in your bunny hat with the bottom part of the paperclips pointing in toward the center and...

...you're finished!

Enjoy your little bunny hat!  
Olivia wore hers for some fun pictures with Marcie.

Wouldn't bunny pictures be fun for Easter cards?  I think so.  

Note: Thanks to Marcie Jessee Photography for the logo picture of Olivia in the bunny hat.  (i.e. The nice looking picture that doesn't have my couch in the background.)