Friday, May 22, 2009

Our Balcony Garden

Year two of our garden on the balcony is upon us. We have had a fair start. Things are looking up. We had snow a day after we planted everything out into the pots, it broke a lot of the tomatoes, but we had extras. I usually always plant more seeds than we need.
Here is a look at what we have done so far this year...and some pictures of last year's garden.

This year, on Monday the 16th of March we planted our seeds. (We used the peat moss seed starters, and Miracle Grow potting soil.) We planted lettuce, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, and radishes. We built a little green house using some clear plastic, sticks and cardboard box lid. Our seeds were sprouting and popping up to the great delight of the kids on Thursday, and very noticably on Friday. We would put our green house on the balcony each day, and bring it inside during the night. The poor cardboard wasn't living up to the challenge, so we used the lid of one of those plastic storage bins.
A little later...mid April I believe it was, we planted green beans, spinach, peas and carrots.
*Our radishes are tiny...big plant with nothing underneath to eat. This is the same thing we had last year...I think they just don't like the pots.
*Our tomatoes are growing like weeds. They seemed to have jumped in height quickly, we just can't wait for them to start producing tomatoes.
*our Yellow squash, zuccini, and cucumbers all have little buds, our green beans are growing, We are so excited!!!
*Our carrots greens are getting big, we haven't pulled any up yet, I don't think they are big enough to eat yet...but with time they should be delicious.
*We have had salad with our spinach and lettuce at least twice a week since Mother's day. (Once we even had little tiny radishes in it...the only radishes we have had so far.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Make your own Apron

Stephen (my 4 year old) and I went shopping for a few things on Friday. Stephen got an idea while we were walking through the sewing department in Walmart. "Hey Mom, I have an idea!" This declaration is usually followed by a demand of some sort or another. "I want a cook'n thingy! K? deal?" After some discussion, a "Cook'n Thingy" is an apron for cooking. And not just a "deal" he wanted to make it over the weekend..., as if I was looking for more to do over the weekend. We agreed on fabric, a thick canvas type...they had just enough for 2. After all if you make Stephen something, he wants one for each of his brothers...I draw the line at a 7 month old helping cook, so sorry Mr. Cody, maybe next time. Skyler (my 2 year old) was sick on Easter, so while he and Cody had nice long naps, and Stephen was with Daddy, I made a pattern for the aprons.Yes, we had a busy weekend, but first thing Monday morning we began cutting fabric. By Monday afternoon they could proudly wear their finished but not decorated aprons. Today we finished making them by decorating.
Here is how they turned out!

I failed to measure my they turned out huge and will give them years to grow into.
As for decorating them...The boys laid out their names (insisting on middle initials) so I could iron them on. (Skyler liked the letters all over the place look, but gave in to a big brother helping him put letters in order.) Stephen likes the twin idea, at least for now, and after putting hand prints on his...he told Skyler where to put his hand prints. (Hence why they look exactly the same.)

1. Measure who the apron is for. How far you want it to reach across the chest, how far you want it to go around their body, and how long you want it. Add an inch to the measurements, and using these measurements to make your pattern. (I made 2 kid size aprons double sided with 1 1/2 yards of fabric.) I decided a 2 sided apron would protect their clothing better...but you can change it to single layer with some modifications. Cut 2 aprons, and 4 straps. (I cut the strips for the ties 3 inches wide.)

2. Fold each strap in half ironing down the middle. Fold edges to center, iron, and then fold on the previous center line. Before sewing, I tucked in the raw ends.

3. Place 1 apron piece right side up. Pin the straps in place, and carefully pin the length out of the way of sewing. Place the other apron piece right side down on top of the other. Pin the edges. Sew sides and top with a 1/2 inch seam, double stitching where the ties are to strengthen them. Leave the bottom open, or partially open to turn right side out. Cut small slices out of the curved part of the apron so it will lay flat when turned. (Careful not to cut your seam.)

4. Turn right side out, iron flat, fold in bottom. You may hand stitch this, or fold enough inside to catch when you top stitch the whole apron.

5. I used an iron on adhesive for the lettering. (didn't work very well with the denim I used for the lettering. I ended up using good ol' plastic wrap, but then zigzag stitched it on for extra measure.) For the hand prints I used acrylic paint. Once dried (minimun of 24 hours for thicker paint) you can iron over it to heat set the paint, it shouldn't wash out after that.

Other options for the apron...add a ruffle to the a loop instead of a neck tie... instead of sewing the loop, do a Velcro fastener... Add a pocket or two, or three. Wherever your creative minds take you...have fun!

Let me know how they turned out!

~Groovybears World

PS. If you have any questions about the making of this pattern, I will make my best attempt to help you out. Leave me a comment asking the question that you have. I will try to answer as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Welcome to Groovybear's new blog.
My goals for this blog are to share my ideas on crafts for the kids, crafts for the home, books I have read, movies I have seen, and general rambling of all sorts, someday I may ask my readers for advice on some projects. I will also highlight some websites of interest...

I want to hear your comments on the subjects.
I want this to be a fun blog to read.
I want comments on what you think would make the project better...what you would do different.
For book chat, or movie chat...share what you like about a book or movie, if you liked it, what other books or movies do you think others liking that same book or movie would like.
If you find a fun website or blog let us know, we will check it out.
Let's get the party started!