Garden

It’s good to be outside again

I’ve been spending so much time outside lately and it is just lovely. The hubby and I have been working hard to get our yard in shape for spring. It’s been a challenge for a lot of reasons. First, BGE destroyed a part of our yard fixing a leak in our gas pipe. And then there’s the added challenge of the 8-foot-wide circle in the yard where a well used to be. Oh, and out of pure laziness, we didn’t rake the leaves well this past fall. So we’ve had lots to take care of.

We spent last weekend tackling the front yard and my garden area.

First, I cleared out backs and bags of leaves, weeds and general crap that had accumulated in my garden area from last year. When I had filled several yard waste bags and was ready to call it quits, I was instead inspired to attempt to remove the stump from my garden. We’d cut down the small tree in my garden last year and gotten the stump as small as we could, but it has always driven me nuts that I was losing that space where I could be growing more tomatoes!

After an hour and a half of hard work (digging, pick-axing, kicking, prodding, etc.), Brian and I actually got the stump out! I joked that we should start our own stump removal company. Yeah, right.

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See? No more stump! I just gained an extra 4 feet in my garden!

Once we were done with this, we filled in the hole with dirt and I promptly fenced off the garden from my evil dog. Remmy isn’t a huge digger, but he can’t resist large spans of dirt.

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There are still a few sections in my smaller gardens that I need to work on, but I am so happy to have this part complete!

The next day we started on our front yard. We decided it was a great idea to hand till up the circle where the well used to be. Two hours, eight yard waste bags and two sore backs later, we finished. Then Brian bought top soil and planted grass seed in the circle and in the patches of soil where BGE left its mark. They said they’d come out and fix the lawn, but at this rate it will be winter again before they come back out.

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I must just have that itch to be outside and do yard work, so I figured I’d take advantage of myself and this sudden inspiration to improve our yard. Last night I spent two hours raking our old leaves and clearing out large branches from the back of our yard.

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I raked everything behind our shed so it can compost down over time. Our yard looks infinitely better and my wrists are infinitely more sore. Ugh.

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It was worth it though. The yard still has a way to go and we still need to figure out what we are doing with some parts, but it has sure come a long way in just a week.

What lawn projects have you guys tackled this spring? Each year I get more and more into gardening. Who knows what else we’ll tackle this weekend!

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday, Quick and Easy Crafts

Mistletoe Headband

On Saturday we went to an ugly sweater party to bring in the holiday season (and celebrate Dana’s birthday) the right way. Emily and I sat down to make some fun outfits – she made a sweatshirt with Animal from The Muppets on it and I made a T-shirt inspired by Mean Girls. Check us out.

Her sweatshirt in the works…

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And my tee ready to go…

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Only one thing left to make for the party, and that was the Mistletoe Headband. I made this headband in ten minutes or less. Here’s what you need: 1 headband, green felt, red felt, 3 silver pipe cleaners, and rhinestones.

To start the headband, I cut out three mistletoe leaves from the green felt.

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Then I cut out red berries, until I realized that was holly. Oops.

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I braided the three pipe cleaners together, leaving about two inches unbraided at the very end. Then, I glued the green leaves to the green backing (pictured above), sandwiching the finished end of the pipe cleaner braid in between.

Once that dried, I glued the third leaf behind so it dangled in the middle.

With all of the leaves dried in place, I embellished with rhinestones and a red ribbon, hot glueing each piece onto the existing felt leaves.

Next, I wrapped the three strands of unbraided pipe cleaners around the headband  and secured with hot glue. As a final step, I took a piece of red felt and cut it into a long strip, then hot glued it around the base of the deally bopper  so the pipe cleaners wouldn’t stab me in the head. Good choice for sure!

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Depending on how long your pipe cleaners are, you might need to spiral or bend your stem so your mistletoe doesn’t hit you straight in the eye. That would probably hurt.

Check out this masterpiece.

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I love this headband so much. I should add that it was inspired by a store-bought headband a coworker wore to our holiday party last week. So awesome. Like I said, this took ten minutes tops and was a great addition to my festive tee.

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Aren’t we the cutest sisters!? We are practically twins.

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And I of course had to try it on Remmy….

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… Who promptly took it off.

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If you are going to a holiday party you should definitely make one. This headband is pretty much essential to any holiday shindig. I might even wear it on Christmas 🙂

Life

Fall

In case you don’t follow A Smith of All Trades on Facebook, which you totally should (duh!!), I just had to share this photo of a tree in our neighborhood that I posted last night. It is one of the prettiest trees ever and just screams: “FALL!” The shot is rather tight — and I cropped it a bit more — but the tree was the only orange thing in sight. All of the other trees were green, so this one stood out like crazy. I also love the little bench underneath.

Too pretty to not post!