Sunday, May 19, 2013

so proud!!

  Yesterday MsL. graduated
from college!
   I don't have photos of the ceremony because she chose to skip all the pomp and circumstance. We are going to spend a few days in Monterey and Big Sur with my parents celebrating the way our recent college graduate wants to.
As parents MrL and I have spent so many years saving, planning, teaching, training to get her to this point and now it has happen. I can't come up with a noun that is grand enough to describe how I am feeling.
   Every time I think about how MsL has grown into a happy, smart, beautiful, energetic young woman with the whole world open to her I get all teary-eyed. (of course I am a little biased, but only a little bit).
I love you sweet pea!! <3
always your Mommy
Chris =]

Friday, May 10, 2013

craft supply swap

I meant to post about this weeks ago, but I just took pictures of everything.  Before Elizabeth at Creative Breathings had her knee surgery she hosted a craft supply swap. I was paired up with Kim from Midwest Musings. What Fun!!

Kim sent me a box filled with all kinds of neat paper ephemera. I can't wait to find projects to use them in. I know exactly what I'm going to do with the girl scout paper and old handbook pages.

She also sent me vintage craft items, pipe cleaners, ribbon with panda bears on it, glitter, buttons, girl scout cupcake toppers, angel and clown picks, plus candy necklaces and candy button - I loved these as a child. Kim was so thoughtful, she sent me a small container of coral and black rocks from Hawaii (I want to live there someday).
I'm not sure how Kim knew I had these added to my favorites on Etsy, but when I saw them in my box I was ECSTATIC! I know exactly what I want to do with these.

I remember reading this book when I was in elementary school! I especially remember this page because I wanted to go on that ride. =]

For Kim I channeled my inner Jackson Pollock and painted a magnetic lidded box I got at the craft store, then went "shopping" in my craft room for nifty things to fill it with. I might have gone a little overboard, I filled the box and an old fruitcake tin, but I was having so much fun! Plus I've made a new friend.
I borrowed this photo from Kim's blog

Chris =]



Thursday, May 9, 2013

spring has sprung at the little ranchero - part 2

  This might sound silly, but until I looked at these photos I didn't realize how many fruit producing plants I had. When I bought the plant it wasn't for the fruit but because I liked the plant itself.
 Dwarf Chardonnay Grape Vine.
I have this is a large pot that sits in the grass at the edge of the patio. Last spring it just exploded! the vines were growing all over the place and it was the first year I got grapes. I wasn't quite sure why it grew so much better that season than the previous two until I tried to move the pot. The roots had busted through the bottom of the pot and were growing into the ground. My grape vine had "Seymored" itself. (I know it's name was AudreyII - I like Seymore better)
One of the first things we did when we bought our house was plant an apple tree. It's a Fuji (my favorite) with an Anna grafted to it. The birds really like it!

Okay, I did plant these for the fruit. Strawberries are grown around here in abundance and are so big, red and delicious! I know it's really spring when the strawberry guy opens up.
Our second tree was a Mulberry. I remember growing up that one of the houses we lived in had a huge Mulberry Tree in the front yard. I'm really hoping this doesn't get that big or it will cover the solar panels. I planted the tree before we got the panels

Dwarf Cherry Tree.
I have this thing for dwarf and miniature plants

Ladybird Beetles are hatching in my backyard. This is the first time I've seen them do that. It's amazing to watch them metamorphosis from an elongated tick type creature to a pretty Ladybug.
My White Wisteria is in bloom right now and smells heavenly, the Bumblebees agree.
Chris =]

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

spring has sprung at the little ranchero - part 1

  I was out in my backyard this weekend doing some yard work, I did so may squats that I couldn't cross my legs the next day because my thighs hurt so much. I don't care what MrL says yard work is exercise!
 Everything was so pretty that I had to take time to play with my camera. I like taking photos each spring to see how my backyard changes each year.  
   I don't know the name of the plant that produces these puff balls of white flowers it was in the backyard when we bough the house,but it is one of my favorite spring plants.  

   Candy Cane Miniature Rose. What I like most about this plant is the flowers are different each time they bloom.

Chocolate Scented Geranium

Japanese Maple saplings - I've been growing these since they were no more than little sticks. Oh they grow up so fast. (tee hee)

Climbing Rose

  These two are blooms from either a Jackaranda or a Mimosa Tree. Again, I'm not sure which. I think the previous owner cut down a tree but didn't get the main root and another tree started growing in its place. It's funny because for the first two year we lived here I kept trying to kill the new shoots. Now we have 9 of these trees growing, 7 of them were started by seeds, none of them are over 5 years old and all of them are over 6ft tall. They grow like crazy.
Part 2 to come shortly...
Chris =]


Saturday, May 4, 2013

birds and nests

   I participated in a swap over at Viv's, The theme was nests, I had an idea - while it does have birds it didn't have a nest. I know, I know...

   I was paired up with Margie. Margie doesn't have a blog but she does have a website Eras Minidoodles, She breeds iDoodles which are a cross between toy poodles and havana silk dogs. They are the cutest, fluffiest most adorable little puppies. They make your heart melt. No sweet puppy, no puppy...

   Back to the crafts...

    I had some empty ribbon spools and wanted to do something different than use them as a base. I ripped off one of the labels and realized the the core was really sturdy, that was enough to start the little wheels in my brain spinning.
  This is one of those ideas that I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. The whole thing was Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey.
The hardest part was cutting the inner and outer circles because I wanted the paper design to line up. I used my Creative Memory circle cutter templates to figure out how big the smaller circle needed to be then went up two sizes and cut the bigger circle. To make sure the smaller circle was cut perfectly in the center of the bigger circle I cut a template from scrap paper and traced it on the back of the bigger circle, then lined my small circle cutter up to the traced circle and cut it out.
It took longer to explain that it did to do it.

 The branches and leaves are cut free form from scrapbook paper, the bird and flowers are stickers. You can't tell from the photo, but the branches are layered. A little dab of hot glue on the rim at different depths hold the branches off  the background. The branch holding the bird is glued across the front of the rim underneath the large circle.

  For the hanger I wrapped ribbon around the spool, tied it in a knot at the top of the spool then tied a second knot at the end of the ribbon. I hot glued a bow over the knot at the top of the spool.  Add some ruffled crepe paper to the back to create a medallion and viola - done!

  The garland is pretty easy to figure out. The birds are felt and the fabric balls are styrofoam covered in fabric strips.

What to see the nest Margie made for me????

  Isn't it great? I love all the natural elements and netural colors in it, from the grapevine ball to the spanish moss (which grows all over here) to the brown satin ribbon. All the way down to three tiny eggs resting inside the nest. Thank You Margie!!

I want to say Thank You =] to Kim and Josie for picking me to be the recipient of her spring nest giveaway. It's so colorful and happy! She also sent a vintage apron. I have the tag pinned up at work so I can see it every day as a reminder to make the most of my day.   (Sorry about the photo sizes) 

         Dont'cha just love those little faces with their party hats on?!

Chris =]

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

thrift shop/flea market find

  Isn't it amazing how the cost of an item changes based on the location? Take the cute green flower 1.5 qt Pyrex dish with lid that I found at my favorite thrift shop for $2, and the antique/vintage consignment store three blocks away? Anywhere from $10 (no lid) to $14.  As if!...

 I'm not knocking the antique/vintage consignment store, I did find these cute cards there. The rooster birthday card makes me smile, I love how his neck stretches when you open it. 
I found another 1.5qt  Pyrex dish, an owl cup(?) that I'm using as a pencil holder and a cute tea pot that I'm going to put a violet in and give as a thank you gift.
I can't wait for this weekend! It's the first flea market of the season at the Ventura fairgrounds.
Chris =]