Monday, October 16, 2017

Garden update 10/13- Transitioning to Fall.

A couple weeks ago we had our first frost. It was only a light frost, but i pretty much gave up on the garden and really didn't expect to be posting anymore harvest pictures. My focus has been on moving my craft area downstairs, setting up a studio and playing in the glass shop again. So my garden is a neglected mess of weeds and morning glories right now. 

Went out this morning to clean it up a bit and was surprised to see that it's still producing. 

i planted a bunch of lettuce and kale under row covers back in July. The majority of it never germinated, or was munched (especially the kale) before it had a chance to grow.  The few that made it, did really well. SO we are starting the fall with fresh lettuce....but just a little.  i do have more planted in a different area, that does seem to be germinating better. 

i have fall peas blooming and producing. i planted green, yellow and purple again. So far only the yellow have started to produce. They really seem to be enjoying the cool mornings.

My rattlesnake preacher beans are fantastic.  These area  pole bean and they produce like crazy. i also have bush beans planted, they are producing but not as abundantly.  We could get a frost any day now that will wipe them all out. i'm feeling pretty grateful to still be getting so much summer goodness in mid october.

Morning glories are beautiful, but also extremely invasive. i spend all summer ripping them out of the garden, but they just keep coming. By the fall, when the garden is nearly done and i let the morning glories take it over. These are my bean poles. The morning glories have completely covered them, and the tomatoes. They pulled down what was left of my bamboo fence, and knocked over several of the tomato supports. 

It's a beautiful sort of destruction that eases us into the winter. Just as everything begins to really die back, it's all covered in flowers. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Witchy Halloween- Finding the Perfect Witch Hat! (sponsored)

Halloween is quickly approaching! i hadn't even begun to think about a costume, when i received an invite to the Practical Magic Halloween from a friend on facebook.  Here is the description of the event.

"Ladies, this Halloween, let's show our little town our true spirit! It isn't hard to do and it won't take a lot of money. Think about this, a black dress or black top and skirt, witch's hat, and striped socks....there you go! Show up to Dogtown and not only do we win the prize but how amazing will it be to have a whole room of Witches! i happen to know that there is another group that thinks they might win the group prize...but who can compete with this!"

" Ladies who will be taking little ones out for trick or treating, wouldn't it be a sight if we all dressed up to do this too? At least we can throw our hats on and nod to each other as we pass in the street!"

So just like that, i knew exactly what i'd be dressing up as this year. A witch!  Every year my kids come up with costume ideas and i spend so much time working on them, that i don't always have the time to finish mine. 

This is the first time ever i have my costume done before the kids! Wohoo! Okay, it's not really done. i'm going to hit the goodwill this weekend to find a better witch dress and some accessories, but i'm feeling mighty witchy. ;)  i've been wanting a nice witch hat for ages (i mean, who doesn't?!) Everytime we go to a Harry Potter party, HP festival etc i wish i had a Professor Mcgonagall costume, but couldn't find a good witch hat.  Most of the witch hats i've seen in the stores are pretty lame.  

So you have no idea how excited i was to find this one by Sdsaena. This hat is amazing! It's very stiff and sturdy. It's huge! The outer fabric has a lacy look, i believe there is a layer of felt in the center to stabilize it and then it's lined in a satin type fabric. The spider on the side is made from pipe cleaner, but looks neat on the hat. The flower on the front of the bow has just a hint of sparkly green going through it. It doesn't have the full round brim like a traditional witch hat, but it's such a cool design! 

"We have a witch in the family. Isn't it wonderful?"- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
My girl loves the hat so much she tried to claim it, even though she wasn't even planning to be a witch this year.  It even has a decorative spider climbing up the side.

What could be better than one amazing witch hat? Three amazing witch hats!! This hat is sold as a set of three. So my girl will be getting her hat.  This set is perfect for group costumes, witch gatherings or Harry Potter parties!  i'm super excited to be able to share one with a friend that wanted to attend the Practical Magic event but didn't have a hat. You can check it out here  It's available in black, purple and orange.  It's also available in Amazon, and i have several 10% off coupons to share, so drop me an email if interested!

Now that my costume is (mostly) done, i can start working on the kids costumes as soon as they decide what they are going to be! 

i received this product in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.
#sdsaena #sponsored #cosplay #halloween #witch #witchhat #witchclub

Back in the glass shop!

Now that garden season is wrapping up, i've started playing in the glass shop again. Last year i made a ton of hearts, and goddess pendants and then took the summer off to focus on the garden.  i wasn't that excited about getting back into the glass shop, because i get bored really easy and didn't really know what to make. i played around with a few ideas, but wasn't feeling that inspired.  Several friends kept posting a video on my fb wall showing glass sea turtles, so i decided to give them a try. 

These are the first 3 i made!  i think you can see the progress just in these three! The first one is on the left. The second one in has the dichro shell which was difficult to work with, but i figured out how to make the head less stretched. By the third one, i really felt like i had my design down.

The first couple i made were pretty big for pendants, so i focused on trying to make them a bit smaller. i decided this was a really good size.

Kenan gave me some dichro patterned chips to use and i love the way they look. i ended up keeping this one for myself. :) 

i'm really excited about how these are turning out and i'm looking forward to play with some different colors and shell patterns. i signed up to have a table at the Fall festival at our local school again this year, and need to stockpile pendants for that. i'll eventually be posting them for sale on my fb page.

Monday, October 9, 2017

SunRype & Disney Pixar are Teaming Up Again! #SunRypeFamilySweepstakes #PixarCoco #contest #sponsored

We are all about healthy snacks! i keep fresh fruit in the house at all times. With our busy scheduale sometimes we want a quick healthy snack to take with us and it's impracticable to carry around fresh fruit in our pocket/purse. Sunrype Fruit to Go is perfect for those occasions! They are 100% fruit strips that contain a combination of fruit puree, lemon juice concentrate, citrus pectin, citric acid and natural flavor. All the sugar in these comes naturally from the fruit and juices. 
 i LOVE that they contain so much fruit and are gluten-free, peanut-free and vegan.  So many schools are peanut free these days, that it's really nice to find healthy snacks that are peanut free and won't get soft and squishy if left in a backpack for days. 

SunRype is excited to  be collaborating with Disney for their release of the new movie Coco!  Disney shares their passion for health and wellness. Together, they hope to help deliver fun, educational and nutritional information around the power of healthy eating to individuals and families across North America. Disney’s commitment to health and wellness dates back to 2006, when the company became the first major media company to establish a Nutrition Guideline Policy to associate its brands with a more nutritious portfolio of foods and beverages. The company has since marked every year of its Healthy Living Commitment with significant milestones, such as becoming the first major media company to launch food advertising standards for children, launching new content and experiences that inspire healthier lifestyles.

Disney Pixar's Coco arrives in theaters just a few days before Thanksgiving on November 22, 2017. These animated characters are sure to provide fun entertainment for your entire family.  SunRype USA is excited to be a part of Celebrating the release of Disney●Pixar's Coco in Theatres November 22, 2017!

 From October 2nd-20th they will be collecting entries for 1 lucky person to win a Trip for 4 consisting of travel and accommodations for 3 Days & 2 Nights in Hollywood, plus 4 passes for the opportunity to see the Los Angeles Premiere Screening of the Disney●Pixar's Coco film in early November plus some yummy SunRype snacks of course. After that we will be giving away some great weekly SunRype & Disney●Pixar's Coco prize packages up for grabs from October 23rd to November 24th, 2017.

Enter here for a chance to win a Trip for 4 to the Movie Premiere (October 2-20, 2017). 
Enter here for a chance to win a weekly prize pack  (October 23 - November 24, 2017)

Good luck! We are looking forward to seeing the movie in theaters soon! 

You can find SunRype at select grocery stores.  Where to Buy 
or order by the case online at:

Connect with  SunRype USA 
Twitter- Sunrype USA
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*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The sweepstakes begins on October 2nd, 2017 at 8:00am PT and ends on October 20, 2017, at midnight PT for the Premiere Trip Sweepstakes & October 23rd through to November 24th, 2017 for the weekly prize packages. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C. who are 18 years of age or older. The sweeps can be entered ONCE PER DAY. Find a full list of the prizes available to be won, how to enter, odds of winning and drawing dates along with the full rules and regulations at Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sun-Rype Products Ltd

*i received a complimentary product in exchange, for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are 100% my own.

The Last of the Monarchs- Saving monarch butterflies 2017

This year, like every year we rescue the monarch caterpillars off the milkweed that grows on the edge of the road before the county movers come through and mow it all down.  We were able to save and release 17 healthy monarchs this year.

However, not all of our caterpillars survived.  In nature only 1 out of every 10 eggs survived to maturity. There are many diseases and parasites that can kill them. Our very first chrysalis this year began turning weird colors, so i knew it was dead. i was worried at first that it may have had a virus and all of the caterpillars i had would have been exposed to it, but then i saw the hole in the side and the weird little larva on the bottom of the container and i knew it had just been infected by a Tachnid fly.  

Thankfully, the other caterpillars we fine and went on to become butterflies. 

i like to move the chrysalis out of the container so they don't get damaged by the remaining caterpillars, or from opening and closing the lid to refill the milkweed. 

 The last batch of monarchs i collected, looked a little odd. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the black and white lines did not have clear borders. The black looked like it had bled a bit into the white, or like the lines were made with water colors. They just looked a little off, so i isolated them from the rest. They continued eating like normal, and then transformed into their chrysalis. So i was feeling optimistic, that maybe they were all fine.

Several days after the last of the caterpillars transformed, i saw this weird spotting.  This is a sick chrysalis. It eventually turned splotchy dark and the chrysalis died. All the caterpillars with the weird stripping  died in the chrysalis except one, with emerged deformed and was unable to fly.
i'm not sure what disease they had, but i suspect it may have been OE.  It seems that at the end of the season, there are far more diseases than at the beginning of the season.

It always sucks to lose a few, but it's all part of the natural cycle. All of the diseased/infected caterpillars we raised had been exposed to the disease in nature and would have died anyhow. Keeping the unusual looking caterpillars isolated is important to keep viruses from spreading to healthy caterpillars, and sterilizing the containers at the end of the season is also important.

The county movers came through and mowed down the milkweed on the edge of the road, so our monarch season is officially over. i still see a few pass through, and look forward to their return next year!