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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garden Flowers. Beautiful and Bright

One of my front flower beds
Every summer I plant a vegetable garden and flower gardens. Last year, I moved our vegetable garden from along a fence and put everything into a raised square foot garden. The area that used to be the veggie garden became a Perenial garden. I had a good start on making a pretty garden but then this past winter was so harsh, it killed many of my plants. I lost a Butterfly Bush, a fern, Lirope, my huge Lavender bush (that hurt a lot!) and more.

Luckily, I have a great friend that always has plants to share and I found some clearance and sale plants that have me going good again this year.
My front Porch and some of my pretties!

The beds in front of our house are going like gangbusters!!  Here are some photos I took of some beauties that I love to water and tend to and nurture.

Pansies!  (Perennial)
Had I known these were perennials, I'd have been buying them long ago!

White Vinca. (Annual) I usually buy pink or red.
They grow and spread and the dark green
leaves contrast so nicely with the bright flowers.

New Guinea Impatiens (Annual)

Caladium! (Annual)
I had this pot in the sun but they were getting burnt.
So, I put them in the shade and now they are thriving.

The Tot is helping to water.

Caladium (Annual)

Coleus (Annual)
Coleus come in many different varieties and colors. 

Lantana (Annual)
I love Lantana! I especially love the orange and the pink ones. 

Begonia (Annual) 

Elephant Ears (Perennial?)
I question this because you can trim the bulb, winter it in the garage or basement and replant.
Next year I plant to get MUCH bigger bulbs which will result in GIANT ears!

Phlox (Perennial)
This was on sale and has been the greatest addition to my flower garden!

I don't know the name of this but it's a Perennial.
I plan to divide and share it this Fall in other garden sections.

Sweet Potato Vine. (Annual)
These are fantastic in a pot. They cascade so beautifully and the light leaves
contrast with other dark leaved plants.

Columbine (Perennial)
This is a transplant from my friend, Joyce. I hope they spread and fill out.

Coleus (Annual)
I won four pots of this at an Amish Produce Auction. I only paid $4 each!
. Each pot contained three different types of Coleus.

Asiatic Pink Lillies (Perennial)
I planted two Lillies last summer from a flower sale. This year it turned into three plants.
Maybe by next Spring I can split them and share some Lillies in the Perennial garden out back.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stamping Momma!

You may not be aware, but in addition to being Lily's Mommy and loving to learn how to cook, and loving to garden. I also make cards with rubber stamps.

I have had my work printed in books, published in several magazines and on websites and, appeared on TV on the DIY show "Craft Lab"
I also wrote a book called "Stamp A Card"
And, in 2007 I was on the Tim Holtz Design Team for Ranger Ink. That was an amazing experience!
While I LOVE stamping, for a long time my family took most of my attention. Lately, I have been creating again. 

Here are some of my more recent cards. (Most given away to friends and family)

Seed packets that I made for my friend's wedding.

I stamped these seed packets for the wedding of my friends, Carolyn and John.

Posing with my friend Frank, and one of the seed packets
This went along with a wedding present.
Just playing.

A Halloween doodle

Sometimes I make several sample tags and keep them in my idea journal till I decide on a final design.

One of my favorite things I made in 2013

Halloween 2013

This technique uses Gesso to create a "resist"

Practicing with stencils and gesso 

A Gesso snowflake. I was inspired by the movie Frozen

Christmas card 2013 all lined up. (I design a new card every Christmas)

Christmas cards get framed and added to the collection every Christmas

I made this as a Thank You card to an author that signed a book for our family.

This is a graduation card for our friend's daughter.

Father's Day, 2014

A Thank You card for my dear friend, Jean.

Winging it-Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole

Winging it!
I had a roasted chicken (I like to keep one on hand as you can make many things with it.) some eggs noodles from the Amish in Bainbridge, and a bunch of broccoli.  I couldn't find an exact recipe for what I wanted so I decided to wing it!  Here's what I did and I'll tell you what went well and how it can be improved next time.

Steam 2 to 3 heads of broccoli till just soft. My kids LOVE broccoli so I made all three heads.

Boil chicken broth. Right away I can tell you the casserole was rather salty. Next time I will use unsalted chicken broth. Or, you can use water. I tend to use broth when making pasta or noodles as it adds more flavor but I think I will look into a lower or unsalted version.

I bought these egg noodles at an Amish bakery in Bainbridge, Ohio. The kind in your grocery store work too and if you would like to make them- here's a recipe to do them yourself. (You will not believe how easy they are!!)

I cut up a bunch of the chicken from the Organic Roaster. Next time I make this I will add more chicken!
Once the noodles and broccoli were done, I poured a can of Cream of Broccoli soup into a baking dish. (I wish I had used two) Add the noodles, broccoli and chicken and mix to coat.

Next I had a piece of stale whole wheat bread (I left it out on purpose) and I tore that up on top. I grated some fresh Parmesan cheese. (I can never get enough of this stuff!) on top. Put in the oven at 350 for about half an hour.


There you have it. Made up from my head. Overall it was very tasty. Lily and I each had two helpings and she requested "More broccoli!!"  Next time I will: use unsalted broth or water to make the noodles, add more chicken and a second can of "cream of" soup.

What do you "WING?"  Do you have a creation that isn't really anywhere on a recipe that your family loves? Share in the comments!