Sunday, April 29, 2012

Those Dandelions!

 I love dandelions. I really really do. When we got married, I kept teasing my mother that I was going to have a bouquet of dandelions. In the end I didn't, but I managed to slip a couple into the bouquet before the ceremony. Dandelions add so much colour and happiness to the landscape! And when they go to seed, they look like beautiful snowballs.
People waste countless hours of their lives trying to get rid of dandelions from their yards. Why bother? They're beautiful, enjoy them! Plus, you are fighting a losing battle, especially here in the Fort. Just check out the bounty of dandelions here! I have never seen anything like it! These pictures were taken last year:

This is the park across the street from my house, and a neighbour's yard.
 These next three pictures were taken by my Father-in-Law at the Historic park and another park in town:

Gorgeous! So really, don't fight it. It's time to embrace dandelions! Which is why I painted this cute little sign for my front yard:

I got the idea from Northern Gardener's Almanac blog, in which she posted a picture of a sign saying the same thing (which I shamelessly ripped off). I think it is pretty cute, and it makes excuse to the neighbours come dandelion time.

Oh! And dandelions are not just beautiful, they are also incredibly useful! Just look it up, there are a 101 things you can make with dandelions, from jams and jellies, to syrups, to dandelion wine. You can eat the greens in salads, too. Also, my chickens just love dandelion greens.
I've made dandelion syrup before and it was pretty good. This year I am hoping to make some dandelion wine with some ladies from craft night. I plan on using this old recipe in Aunt Beth's recipe book from 1915. Pretty cool, hunh?

So how about you? Are you a dandelion lover or hater? Have you made anything from dandelions before? Have you heard of anything unusual you can make with dandelions?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Drizzly Walk

This morning we headed out into the rain for a nice walk down to the lake. I wanted to check on the status of that lake ice!
(This picture is actually from Thursday, but I wanted you to see how big my belly is getting!)
 When we got to the beach, we spied this little river otter, happily diving into the holes of the remaining ice and coming up a few minutes later in a new hole. I've never seen a river otter in the wild before, so it was really exciting.
 I think the ice will be completely gone in a week or two. I love it when the lake is back!
 Soggy pussy willows. Cats always hate getting wet!
Tomorrow they are calling for sun and warm weather, so we will enjoy this rain while it is here!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April showers bring...April flowers?

Whew! We've had a couple of drizzly days in a row now. Which is nice in that it has washed away the very last stubborn patches of snow and it is rapidly greening up the grass. But I sure hope it is not a foreshadowing of what summer will be!
We have now had our first flowers in our yard- dandelions and a crocus! Oh joy! It sure thrills me to my toes!

And just a cute little picture to leave you with-Boos the kitty cuddling baby Nutbrown in my belly! 8 weeks to go to my due date, and I am really looking forward to it! It is getting hard to keep up with all the children at work and who would have thought that sitting would become a challenge?! Oh well, 8 weeks (or less)...hopefully not more....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vintage Teddy Bears

My Mother-in-law is a librarian and recently discovered a book that was too beat-up for circulation. Thinking of me, she saved it and brought it with her on her visit. She knows me well, haha. The book contains patterns and instructions for making adorable vintage-style teddy bears. I got to work last night making one and completed him today. Here he is:

Here he is posing with his pattern inspiration in the book. I didn't have any fake fur, but I thought a teddy would look cute in a patterned cotton.
He has movable button joints and a black satin ribbon. Now I just need to come up with a name. Any ideas?

Fun in the Sun (and Rain)

What a busy weekend! My Mother-in-law came up for a visit and we had a blast! But it all started on Friday afternoon, when I got to participate in a fitness challenge with work that aimed to break a Guinness Book of World Records record with the most people simultaneously taking part in a fitness circuit workout. Read about it here.  A little challenging, being 7 months pregnant, but still fun!

Saturday, my Mother-in-law and I bought a few last things for the baby and I think we have mostly everything we need now. In the afternoon we took a nice long walk by the lake and enjoyed the glorious sunshine.
Sunday, the weather wasn't so nice but we sure had a busy day! In the morning, we participated in the Nak'azdli Sun Run and cleaned up! Haha. My husband got gold in the men's 10km run and my Mother-in-law and I came in second in the 5km (we walked). Not a huge turn out, but it was lots of fun.
In the afternoon we headed over to the historic park to help clean up the beach and then walked around the park to take a look. The new little chicks are growing up fast and I am getting excited for the season opening in a few more weeks!
So there we have it, a full and exciting weekend!
Baby Nutbrown's first trip to the Historic Park!
Baby Nutbrown's first trip to the Historic Park!

The first flowers pushing their way through at the Officer's Dwelling House garden.
The first flowers pushing their way through at the Officer's Dwelling House garden.
The baby chicks are in the gangly teenage phase.
The baby chicks are in the gangly teenage phase.
Looks like Betty Bloomer did at that age.  These Brahma chickens will be involved at the chicken races at the park this summer.
Looks like Betty Bloomer did at that age.  These Brahma chickens will be involved at the chicken races at the park this summer.
Boos is modelling one of the bandanas we got at the race.
Boos is modelling one of the bandanas we got at the race.

Our very cool race t-shits and my medal. Whoo hoo!
Our very cool race t-shits and my medal. Whoo hoo!
Isn't this a cool rock? I found it while cleaning up the beach. It looks just like a bear claw.
Isn't this a cool rock? I found it while cleaning up the beach. It looks just like a bear claw.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Can you believe it? Time sure flies by! After a few days of rain, we are back to the full, warm sun and does it ever feel good! We've been doing yard work (practically all the snow is gone now!), taking walks, and reading on the back porch. The flip-flops have been resurrected from the closet, I've hung the clothes out to dry in the sun and there are popsicles freezing in the freezer. The chickens are basking in the sunshine and eating the new grass that pops up. My seedlings have been transplanted to bigger containers and the pots outside are all ready for planting time. This is definitely a wonderful time of year to enjoy the sunshine (no bugs yet!!!). How has your April been so far?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Onesies

When I went to Kelowna for Easter, my friend Dee threw me a lovely baby shower. It was so nice to catch up with old friends, eat delicious food, and show off my baby nephew. My friends blessed me with so many beautiful gifts for the baby, including many adorable onesies! Baby Nutbrown is one spoiled little baby!
Having lots of cute white onesies, I decided to personalize a couple by silkscreening them. It was pretty easy to do. Although I have a screen and all the equipment for silkscreening, I thought I would do a quicker, low-tech version. I printed off my Nutbrown logo from the computer on plain white paper and used an exacto blade to cut out the design. I then used it as a stencil while I brushed on the ink with a paintbrush. I hand painted the details on the acorn and I also had to free-hand the letters, as it was too much work to cut them all out. And that was it! I waited for the ink to dry, then set it with an iron. Pretty easy and quick and I think baby Nutbrown will look pretty darn cute in them!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DIY: Chapstick

Spring has sprung in full force in the Fort. The snow is nearly all gone in my backyard, the tulips are well on their way, and the air is filled with the singing of redwing blackbirds and the calling of sea gulls. The usually gentle creek is roaring in its banks and slushy patches are showing up in the lake ice. I've been working in the yard and contemplating the garden. That Spring feeling sure is contagious!
But this morning we woke up to rain, which is nice, but it made some of my outside plans difficult. So I decided to catch up on some inside work, like making chapstick. I found a recipe for making chapstick in a Martha Stewart magazine a few years ago and have adapted it over time to fit my needs.

1 tablespoon of shaved beeswax (I use a grater or potato peeler to get the beeswax into meltable pieces)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A few drops of essential oil for scent (I like peppermint)
A drop of honey
A drop of vitamin E oil
Add the beeswax, olive oil, honey and vitamin E to a jar. Place jar in a pot of water and heat over medium-low heat until everything has melted together.
Remove from heat and place 1 drop of essential oil into the mix at a time, until you have the desired strength. Use a syringe or pipette to fill your containers and let sit until cool and solidified. I like to use old chapstick tubes and a little single-serve jam jar for the extra. (When one of the tubes runs out, I just reheat the little jar and pour it into a chapstick tube.)
Finally, I like to make cute little labels for my chapstick.
And there you go! Very quick and easy and you have a lovely chapstick that you made yourself and you know all the ingredients in it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Sorry for the long silence. I took the Greyhound down to Kelowna for one week of my Spring Break to hang out with my family and to celebrate my Mom's birthday. Ugh, what a long Greyhound ride. I don't even want to talk about it. A 2 hour drive to where I get on the bus, then another 11 hours on the bus. Ok, that's enough, my bum is getting sore just thinking about it! But I did manage to knit myself a nice little shrug on the trip.So, while I was in Kelowna, I got to meet my little nephew Parker for the very first time. It was love at first sight! What a smiley, adorable little guy! I can't resist sharing pictures of him. He'll be 3 months old this Friday! Parker will be about 6 months older than our baby, nice and close cousins!
A full head of hair, just like his mom, when she was a baby! Those cheeks are just too cute!
Parker is saying hello to his cousin in my belly! I'll be 30 weeks on Friday. Where does the time go?
My little sister, her son Parker, and me!
I just love him!
And now that I am back in the Fort, I will have to satisfy myself with just skyping with him. But now that he has met me in person, he is interacting with me on skype by smiling. Yay!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...