Monday, September 22, 2014

My pumpkins! ARGHH! My Tailbone, uhhhg

I didn't want pumpkins in my garden, but once I realized what was going on, it was too late to stop them. They took over. But once I had them, I was kind of excited. I was thinking of different pumpkins I could carve or ways to decorate the front of the house with them. So since they choked out other plants in my garden, I tried to look on the bright side & think, "Well, at least I'll have some pretty pumpkins." Not so.

At first I noticed a few small gourds had gnaw marks on them, perhaps from a field mouse. I didn't get too concerned. But then I saw marks on the larger pumpkins. That's always the most frustrating thing... there's plenty of food in the garden, but the varmint tends to be drawn to the biggest, nicest looking veggie, only to take one bite, ruin it, then move on. The biggest pumpkin now has crater sized bite marks out of it.

I had dozens of small decorative gourds that were almost all ruined...the seeds were spilled all over the garden. I tried to scoop up some of them, but I imagine I'll have hundreds of gourd volunteers next year. I had harvested a few early for a photoshoot, so the ones left in the garden were free for the taking I suppose.

Oh, and when I was stepping over my electric fence to get a closer look at Pumpkingeddon, my pant leg got caught on a post, I lost my footing, and fell super hard onto the edge of the raised garden bed...right on my tailbone. I'm wondering if my tailbone is broken since it's been several weeks & it's still sore. My sister once broke her tailbone & it was sore for over a month. Her doctor shrugged & said there wasn't anything he could do for it. Apparently you just need to take it easy in order for it to heal.


It's still technically the biggest pumpkin in my garden. 

The pumpkins I salvaged still have a few nicks, but at least I got a few!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pumpkins, and Potatoes, and More Pumpkins... oh my

I've mentioned a handful of times that my garden was a little out of control with volunteer pumpkins. That issue completely overshadowed the fact that I planted potatoes for the first time. I was excited when I put the seed potatoes in the ground because I wasn't sure what to expect. Growing up my family only planted potatoes a handful of times & it never worked out very well. I remember using a pitchfork to dig them up & spearing more than a few.

My dad mentioned we had issues with the seed potatoes rotting & that there were ways to avoid that when planting. I researched a few ways to plant spuds, but in the end, I kinda just threw them in the ground. Sometimes I over plan, get overwhelmed, then just wing it :D

I have only dug up a few plants so far, but we've gotten a bunch of really nice, large potatoes.  I thought maybe there would be more potatoes, but the pumpkins really did take over, so they probably hogged all the nutrients. I know several potato plants were consumed & covered by the pumpkin vines, so I doubt much will come from half of the plants.

Next on my garden cleanup agenda is to remove some of the gourds. Something got into a few of them, and seeds are spilling everywhere. I don't think I'll let a volunteer plant take over again next year, so the last thing I want is hundreds of seeds just sitting in the soil plotting their next takeover :D

The pumpkins were fun to watch grow & take over the fence though. We have gourds on both sides of the fence & they are actually still blooming. It's interesting that the plant mostly seemed to be producing the small decorative gourds, but a few of them are quite large like an actual carving pumpkin. I would have assumed that all of them would be the same small gourds.




Pumpkins on both sides of the fence...hope the neighbors don't mind. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Christmas Jam Jar Cloth Covers, Kraft paper wedding labels and ribbons

I've been a busy bee trying to get all of my Christmas items prepped for the season, but I wanted to squeeze in a few new labels designs before the end of the year.

New to my Etsy shop are my existing wedding jar labels printed on Kraft paper. You can have your names and wedding or shower date printed with either "Spread the Love" or "Love is Sweet." Kraft paper labels are only available in the 2" size right now.

A great match for the wedding labels is a set of rustic lace precut ribbons to wrap around jars. You get jute twine, lace, and fringed ribbon to decorate your wedding or shower favor jars. Of course they would look great for any other occasion too.

Pumpkin Butter, yum! I thought I had volunteer zucchini plants in my garden this year, but it turned out to be gourds and pumpkins. So the little orange guys in the photos took over my garden and strangled all of my tomato plants. Boo. But they do look pretty, yea!

I added 2 new Christmas jam jar covers. Red Chevron would be great for jams and jellies. White Snowflake is printed with gold metallic inks, so it looks really fantastic, especially with red ribbon or jute twine.

Pumpkin Butter canning jar sticker...just in time for Fall
I unwillingly grew these little gourds :) 
Spread the Love and Love is Sweet Kraft Paper wedding favor jar labels
This label looks really good with jute twine and muslin cloth toppers also sold in my shop 
Rustic lace and linen ribbon set is precut in 12 pieces to make decorating easy

Red Chevron fancy cloth jam jar covers will be great for Christmas gifts 
White Christmas Snowflake cloth jar covers are printed with metallic ink 




Sunday, August 17, 2014

vegetable and kitchen canning jar labels

A new batch of vegetable and kitchen mason jar labels has been added to the shop!

Carrots, Corn, Cute Pepper, and Cute Pepper Jelly (which is available in 2 versions: Pepper or Hot Pepper).

Kitchen labels have been available in the customizable versions for some time, but they can now be purchased blank without text in Vintage, Hot Pink and Black, and Red or Blue.

Carrots mason jar sticker 
Corn mason jar label 
Cute Pepper canning jar sticker 
Cute Pepper Jelly label is available in Pepper Jelly and Hot Pepper Jelly versions 

Vintage Kitchen Canning jar label is also good for baked goods

Hot Pink and Black canning jar and kitchen sticker 
This label looks great on jars with hot pink and black cloth toppers 
red and blue country kitchen labels

Monday, August 11, 2014

New fruit canning jar labels and chevron cloth topper

I've been trying to stock my shop up with new fruit labels...some of these labels were long overdue! Blackberry JamBlueberry JamPeach Jam, Cute Pear, and Black Raspberry Jam (I've had a Red Raspberry Jam mason jar label available for some time).

Also, a new fabric cloth topper is available in a Blue Chevron pattern. I'll be adding a red and white chevron cloth topper to the shop in the next few weeks which will be great for Christmas.

There will be a new batch of vegetable labels ready for the shop hopefully later this week :)

Black Raspberry Jam canning jar sticker
Blackberry Jam canning jar label
Blueberry Jam Mason jar label looks good with the blue chevron cloth topper!

peach jam canning jar label
Cute Pear canning jar sticker
blue chevron cloth topper for canning jars are great for shower or wedding favors!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New retro Kraft canning jar labels

When I was growing up, my mom had a huge garden. My sister and I would help out with planting tomatoes and beans. Planting always seemed like the easy part. At least compared to picking beans which always seemed so back breaking when I was little. We used to watch The Victory Garden on PBS and get lots of tips for the garden.

I wanted to design some different garden labels on Kraft paper that had an authentic vintage feel...something along the lines of the Victory Garden advertisements during WWII. So I came up with these red, white, & blue patriotic Kraft paper labels.

New to my Etsy shop are From the Victory Garden, The Fruits of Victory, Grow What You Eat, and I/We Put Up. Some families like to preserve together! So you can choose either "Of course, I Put Up" or "Of Course, WE Put Up" on this label.

There's a series of new salsa labels available too that are available in 4 styles: Mild Salsa, Medium Salsa, Hot Salsa, & Fire-Breathing Salsa. Each are color-coded by the style, so either green, yellow, red, & fire.

I also created a new vintage honey bee canning jar label. This can be used on fruits & veggies, not just honey.











Friday, July 11, 2014

Uh oh, my garden is out of control. And that wasn't a zucchini plant. My bad.


OK, so this year's garden doesn't look anything like I've ever had before. It's a chaotic jungle. I've never seen so much green before...at least not in my garden bed. Things often start out green, but they don't tend to get all big & bushy...and live. I definitely have luck with some veggies. Lettuce, no problem. Green beans, yep, I can do those. Why doesn't everything else do as well as beans? Tomatoes...sometimes I do alright. Green Peppers, Corn, Zucchini? Forget about it. I stopped planting zucchini years ago because it's always a big dud for me. My zucchini plants have never gotten larger than a dinner plate before they start to rot at the stems and die.

So imagine my excitement when I had 3 volunteer plants that I thought for sure were zucchinis? I was elated. I was already planning on making bread, cooking veggie soup, breading & baking it. The plants kept getting bigger & bigger & bigger. My mom & grandmother-in-law often have enormous zucchini plants that come up to your waist and travel 8 feet or more. So I had no reason to believe that what I had wasn't zucchini. Until they kept growing, started vining, and developed little round balls under the blossoms. Crud, this isn't zucchini. It's either pumpkins or those little decorative gourds. I would prefer pumpkins since we carve them at work every year, so they'd be useful. But I'm betting they're little gourds. Dangit.

And all the volunteer tomatoes that I didn't pull up appear to be cherry tomato plants. yea. We like cherry tomatoes, but one plant is always sufficient.

The worst part about my garden is that it's incredibly difficult to get in & out of it with these crazy vining plants because of my electric fence. The vines are going around the fence, so it probably isn't working, and I have to step over the enormous plants which come up to my waist in some areas. They're currently maneuvering their way in & out of my slotted wooden fence too, so I'm sure my neighbors are going to love this.