Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How does your garden roar?

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The girls and I worked on a little dinosaur garden this weekend.  It started out with this gem I found on the side of the road. 

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It is some sort of large resin planter (over 1.5 feet diameter). I cleaned it up, spray painted it camouflage and drilled some drainage holes, then the girls took over.

IMG_2797 Woody thyme, sedum, small fern, hens and chicks. Some rocks and lava from past holidays.

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Roar!

IMG_2798The girls seem to enjoy working on themed garden projects, and so far they are pretty good at tending to the watering. 

Speaking of found objects, Nest full of eggs posted a wonderful photo of mailboxes as planters from the Bachman summer ideas house

mailboxplanter Photo credit: Nest Full of Eggs

I haven’t found a similar mailbox (still on the hunt!), but a neighbour was throwing out this one (there were already drainage holes on the bottom and the back – presumably to stop the mail from getting wet?)

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I spray painted it yellow and hung it on the fence!

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Have a great day and thanks for stopping by,

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Metamorphosis of a Painted Lady

I recently mentioned that we ordered a home butterfly kit (one dozen caterpillars) from Butterflies and Roses.  Today, we released the twelfth and final butterfly (100% success).  I documented our experience. 
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May 3
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May 9th
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May 14th between 3-4cm
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At this point,we have had the caterpillars for 11 days.  It is important to remove all the waste from the cups between day 7 to 11.
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By this time, about half of the caterpillars had reached the chrysalis stage.    The chrysalis affixes itself to the paper and then you tape the paper to the top of the butterfly castle.
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On May 21st (17 days after we received our caterpillars), the butterflies began to emerge.
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When the butterfly emerges from the pupa,the butterfly emits a red liquid. The liquid looks like blood, but it is just waste (meconium).
After emerging, the butterflies need a little time to find their  wings and learn how to use them.  In about an hour or so they will be fluttering inside the castle and it will be soon time to say farewell.
IMG_9365 Over the past few days, we have had a series of release parties and it was really kind of special.
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Thanks for stopping by,
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Frozen Yogurt

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It was Victoria Day long weekend in Canada and the weather was absolutely perfect.  The May long weekend is the moment in time where gardeners in my zone feel the danger of frost has passed and it is safe to put out tender annuals.  We puttered around the garden and  had some family over for a barbecue, my husband made his favourite Korean steaks.

For dessert, I tried my hand at frozen yogurt.  I borrowed the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker from my girl friend. She had recently tried this idea from Dinner with Julie  where it is really just putting Liberte greek style citron yogurt in an ice cream maker (Julie uses a Cusinart maker).  

I am not a fan of ice cream (I am one of those people who thinks dairy is over-rated – don’t hate me), but my husband needs his ice cream fix, so I was interested in whether he would enjoy this.

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The Kitchen Aid attachment consists of three pieces, the bowl which must be frozen for at least 15 hours, a paddle, and an attachment to make the paddle spin.  As we have never made ice cream / frozen yogurt, it was a fun opportunity for the girls and I.

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The yogurt must be churned for about 30 minutes before it becomes frozen. 

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The girls devoured the lemon flavour, but did not care for the coconut.  The lemon is really like having a tangy frozen lemon meringue pie. It was definitely the hit with our guests. 

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… My husband found both varieties too sour and I noticed that a carton of President’s Choice peanut butter chocolate chunk ice cream was opened later that evening :).

Have a great week!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crafting with my kids: Van Gogh’s Irises

IMG_2698 I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day!  The girls work me up at 6:30 am and told me I smelled like lemon verbena.  Despite the hour, it was such a sweet sentiment.  They know how much I love Miss Beadle.    Later on, I took a long walk with the girls.   Lily wanted to hold the camera and take photos of flowers. I was a little nervous, but I gave in.  She was taken by these irises.
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It made me remember one of her favourite toddler board books (well worn) - In the Garden with Van Gogh.
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The famous irises.
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i spotted a tutorial on Allison Ross’ art room pin board which is from Artsy_T’s flickr stream
Crease the paper lengthwise and dab your colours on one side of the page.
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Fold shut, smooth and then open up.

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We used different shades of green oil pastel for the foliage.
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It was a fun Mother – Daughter craft.  It was also reminded me of a trip. Many, many years ago my husband and I had a chance to visit Amsterdam on a shoe string budget.  We camped  at a very interesting urban campground (Camping Zeeburg) [the welcome sign reads something like Welcome to Camping Zeeburg, no hard drugs…eesh(!)].  Despite our skepticism, it was cheap and well situated so that we could visit the Van Goghs.   { For those of you near Ottawa, the Van Gogh exhibit is coming to Canada’s National Gallery next week for the entire summer.  I am hoping to coordinate a visit.}
It was a happy time for my family last night.  My husband received his doctorate from the University of Toronto. It has been a long journey and we are very proud at what he has accomplished.
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I think the caption on the last photo is “how much longer until daddy crosses the stage?”
This art project is linked to Red Ted's Kid's Get Crafty Have a great day,
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

The butterfly project

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Last spring, we had a chance to visit the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory.   If you have plans to visit Niagara Falls this summer, you should include the Conservatory on your sightseeing list. 

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Right now in Toronto, we are experiencing one of the largest painted admiral and painted lady migrations ever. The girls love butterflies so much that this year, I decided to try a home butterfly kit.  This week, we welcomed home 12 caterpillars in their 2nd instar.  {The caterpillars were ordered from here.}

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Lily numbered each one and gave them names.

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In addition to the migration,  the pink tulips are out and I had an opportunity to photograph my sewing pal’s Pink Ribbon Quilt at St. James Park, one of Toronto’s historic gardens.  The quilt is made from t-shirts from her annual participation in the CIBC’s Run for the Cure and it was stitched in memory of her late mother who battled breast cancer with courage.  Her Quilt is a top ten finalist (yeah!!) over at Stumble and Stitches and voting is going on right now until midnight (PST).  The link to the online vote is here .

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Thanks for reading!

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