Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In the Garden

The garden is coming along quite nicely!  I have been so pleasantly surprised with how everything is coming around.  We are getting closer to harvesting some things.  Potatoes, onions and strawberries are on the list of firsts.  Speaking of strawberries, I have my first ripe berry!  It's from a bare-root plant that we got from a friend at school.  She gave me 30-40 bare-root plants awhile ago.  I was so excited to add then to the already existing strawberry patches!  We are gonna have a ton of berries!  I am so proud of my tiny little ruby, here is a picture of it!

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I know it sounds a bit funny, but looking at my chives makes me very happy.  I love the little purple flowers.  They are just so pretty.  

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Potatoes, oh how I love thee!  These guys are growing so incredibly fast.  I can't wait until they are ready.  Hmmmm,  a potatoes and chives dish is in our future?

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I planted a ton of jewel colored nasturtiums in the garden.  Flowers and leaves will go nicely in a garden salad.
Hopefully there will be some left.  Maggie is enjoying the leaves already.  I'm looking forward to more color in the garden!
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Here is an overview shot of the front part of the garden.  It's hard to tell, but there is bok choi, hot and sweet peppers, lettuce, chard, cucumbers, tomatoes and a bunch of other things planted here.  Can't wait to see this spot full of big overflowing plants!

Chris and I were standing out looking over the garden last night and laughing that something in this garden is gonna HAVE to give us food!  We planted way more than we needed worried that plants wouldn't survive.  So far it looks like we are going to get something from everything we planted!  Hopefully we have enough family and friends who will want fresh produce!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Colored Chalkboard Paint

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I have always loved the idea of chalkboard paint.  I remember being very excited when I found a can of  Chalkboard Spray.  I once made Maggie a magnetic chalkboard but was very disappointed how it turned out.  Sigh.  This left me still wanting to make her a board, but I never tried again because of the first failed attempt and I didn't want a big black wall in her room.  Over the years I have thought about how great it would be to make colored chalkboard paint.  Well, guess what you can!  And I did!  And so can you!  It is so unbelievably EASY!

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Here is what you do:

Start with a flat finish latex paint in any color (make sure you start with a clean, primed surface).  I used Pale Sea Mist by Benjamin Moore.  It's a nice soft green color.  I only bought a quart since I was (a) trying out a new idea and (b) I was only painting the door panels on the inside of her bedroom door.  Which, by the way only took 1 cup of paint to do, so I still have left over for future projects!

Pour 1 cup of paint into a container.  I just used my paint pan so I wouldn't have a lot of extra things to clean up.  I then added 2 Tablespoons of unsanded tiled grout (make sure you use unsanded so it will smooth when you finish).  Mix carefully making sure to break up any clumps. 

I then took a small sponge brush and painted the corners of the panels and then used a small roller to paint the rest of the surface with.  Using a roller made the surface smoother.  A brush would have left stroke marks, didn't want that!  I painted 3 coats mainly so I could achieve the color on the paint chip sample.  I am pretty sure two coats would have been just fine.  I let each coat dry in between painting.

After my paint dried I then took some 150-grit sandpaper and gently smoothed the area.  Then wiped off the dust.  

Before turning Maggie loose with her new chalk, I rubbed a side of piece of chalk all over the entire area and then wiped away the residue with a very lightly wet cloth.  

It turned out so awesome that I am now planning to make a bigger board (in another color) for her room and possibly a chalkboard magnetic wall for our kitchen.

I wish I had taken a true "before" picture.  The door was actually painted yellow with pink panels.  It hadn't been painted in some time and really needed some love.  It's getting lots of love now!  Maggie is having an absolute great time with it! 

Now off to find the perfect door knob!



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