Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swatch Portraits

Project found at:
  1. Trace a circle and inch or two larger than the hoop. Edge finish the circle of fabric (even a zig zag would do).
  2. Place fabric in the hoop, pull taught.
Another suggestion for a neater back is to trace a circle and inch or two larger than the hoop. Edge finish the circle of fabric (even a zig zag would do).

You could even paint the hoop if you didn't like the light wood color.

Distressed Letters

This project found on:

You'll Need:
-Wooden Letters (found mine at Hobby Lobby in the unfinished wood section-2 for .99)
-Scrapbook paper of your chosing
-Brown Paint
-Modge Podge
-Emery Boards (nail files)

On the back of the paper, trace your letter backwards.

-Cut out the paper letter just inside the line you traced.

-Paint the edges and sides of your letters brown.

-Coat the wooden letter with the Modge Podge.
-Apply your cut-out paper letter.
-Smooth out bubbles. -Allow to dry.

-Now take your emery board and distress that baby! Concentrate on the edges and tips.

-Apply another coat of Modge Podge or two to the paper and wood to protect it.

- Attach some ribbon to the back to hang it.

Frame Something!

Cute Vinyl Frames with the Cricut Expression

Want to know a fun, easy project you can do with your Cricut Expression? These cute custom vinyl lettering glass frames are a perfect gift that you can give for any occasion.

Vinyl Frame made with Cricut Expression

This is an example (obviously since my last name is Pope). I am still in the process of choosing my font. I use the Sir Cuts A lot program, so I can easily layout exactly what I want the design to look like. Center the last name in a big font above each family member’s name in a smaller font. Then add some cute shapes, and the machine does the rest.

These clear glass frames are wonderful because of their simplicity! The vinyl easily sticks to the glass for a clean, custom look.

And presto! You’ve got a super cute vinyl lettered glass frame which you just made in minutes with your Cricut Expression.

found at:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another wall art idea

I found another cute wall art idea at:

Mix and Match Display

If you've been collecting wallpaper or art paper scraps, here's a quick project. Shop a crafts store for inexpensive wood plaques, then prime and paint. Trace the shapes onto parchment paper and use them to cut the desired motifs from the patterned papers. Adhere the papers to the plaques with wallpaper glue. (Position the plaques on the floor before hanging.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Companion Planting


By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to experimenting and find what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have specific needs. Use plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to attract already know what to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.

Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar. There are many ways you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden, orchard, flower beds etc.

BASIL: Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Do not plant near rue or sage.

BEANS: All bean enrich the soil with nitrogen fixed form the air. In general they are good company for carrots, celery, chards, corn, eggplant, peas, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers. Keep beans away from the alliums.

BORAGE: Companion plant for tomatoes, squash, strawberries and most plants.

CARROTS: Their pals are leaf lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Plant dill and parsnips away from carrots. Tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor.

CELERY: Companions: Bean, cabbage family, leek, onion, spinach and tomato. Foe: Corn.

CHAMOMILE: Improves flavor of cabbages, cucumbers and onions.

CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others. Avoid planting near beans and peas

CORN: Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium, lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato, pumpkin, soybeans, squash and sunflower. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants.

CUCUMBERS: Cucumbers are great to plant with corn and beans. Keep sage, potatoes and rue away from cucumbers.

GARLIC: Plant near roses to repel aphids. It also benefits apple trees, pear trees, cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. Garlic accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention.

LETTUCE: Does well with beets, bush beans, pole beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries.

MARIGOLDS: (Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Keeps soil free of bad nematodes; supposed to discourage many insects. Plant freely throughout the garden. The marigolds you choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do attract spider mites and slugs.

MELONS: Companions: Corn, pumpkin, radish and squash.

ONIONS: Planting chamomile and summer savory with onions improves their flavor. Other companions are carrot, leek, beets, kohlrabi, strawberries, brassicas, dill, lettuce and tomatoes. Intercropping onions and leeks with your carrots confuses the carrot and onion flies! Onions planted with strawberries help the berries fight disease. Keep onions away from peas and asparagus.

OREGANO: Can be used with most crops but especially good for cabbage. Plant near broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to repel cabbage butterfly and near cucumbers to repel cucumber beetle. Also benefits grapes.

PARSLEY: Allies: Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses and tomato. Sprinkle the leaves on tomatoes, and asparagus. Mint and parsley are enemies. Keep them well away from one another.

PEAS: Peas fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant next to corn. Companions for peas are bush beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Sweet pepper and Turnips. Do not plant peas with onions.

PEPPERS, BELL (Sweet Peppers): Plant peppers near tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage, petunia and carrots. Onions make an excellent companion plant for peppers.

PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.

ROSEMARY: Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns of carrots for carrot flies.

RUE: Deters aphids, fish moths, flea beetle, onion maggot, slugs, snails, flies and Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries. Companions for rue are roses, fruits, raspberries and lavender. You should not plant rue near cucumbers, cabbage, basil or sage.

STRAWBERRY: Friends are beans, borage, lettuce, onions, spinach and thyme. Foes: Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kohlrabi. Allies: Borage strengthens resistance to insects and disease. Thyme, as a border, deters worms.

SUMMER SAVORY: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor. Discourages cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles and black aphids. Honey bees love it.

SUNFLOWERS: Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield.

TARRAGON: Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables.

TOMATOES: Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle. Keep potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower and tomatoes apart.

Square Foot Gardening

I think we are going to try this and see if this works!

The Ten Basics

  1. LAYOUT - Arrange your garden in squares, not rows. Lay it out in 4'x4' planting areas.
  2. BOXES - Build boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground.
  3. AISLES - Space boxes 3' apart to form walking aisles.
  4. SOIL - Fill boxes with Mel's special soil mix: 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
  5. GRID - Make a permanent square foot grid for the top of each box. A MUST!
  6. CARE - NEVER WALK ON YOUR GROWING SOIL. Tend your garden from the aisles.
  7. SELECT - Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot, using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
  8. PLANT - Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole. Place transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression.
  9. WATER - Water by hand from a bucket of sun-warmed water.
  10. HARVEST - When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost and replant it with a new and different crop.

Too many tomatoes

Last year we had tomatoes coming out of our ears, so while searching the web, I found this recipe on–this should come in super handy when we are overloaded with tomatoes!

Line cookie sheet with foil. Wash and quarter tomatoes (take off stems, but no need to peel, core, or seed) and lay skin-side down in the pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 400 for 1 hour. Cool until you can handle them, then blend. Pour into freezer containers and freeze (can also do ice cube trays, then put in baggies). When you are needing marinara sauce, just defrost and add to sauteed onions and garlic. Season–enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A cute flower handbag

I saw this cute purse pattern on Better Homes and Garden's website. I thought, "I could do this!" So I went on the hunt for two 20X28 dishtowels. I never found any that I liked enough to buy. So yesterday I went to Wal-mart and bought a yard of fabric on black and a yard of black and white flowers. The pattern calls for wool flowers, but I decided to go with a fake black rose instead. Following pattern was pretty simple. And I must say, my bag turned out really cute! (this picture is not the purse I made. I will post the picture of the one I made later...)

Here is the website to find the instructions:

What you will need:
(2) 20X28 dishtowels or (2) pieces of fabric of the same measurements
(1) decorative embellishment- a fake flower looks great.
(1) set of purse handles (the only place I found that had them was Joann's)

Sunday, April 5, 2009