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Crape Myrtle Trees – Front Yard Landscape

We were finally able to start our front yard landscaping project this weekend.  Our daughter came out, spent the night, and declared she wanted to be put to work!  Well, who can say no to that!!!!  Okay, then, we got to work!

Home Depot had Crape Myrtle trees on sale (regular $74, sale $49!!!  – whoa, great deal!!), so we bought three.  Two trees with white flowers, one with pink!  Here’s a picture of a full-grown pink Crape Myrtle – isn’t it beautiful??

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The trees are only about 6′ tall – which is good because they were still heavy!.

We measured across the yard and tried to make sure they would be evenly placed, and then Megan dug three huge holes.  We dumped a bag of Miracle Grow soil in each, watered them good, and low and behold, we have landscaping!!!   The trees have softened up the yard already, adding some much needed green.

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The fence will be in soon, and we’ll start adding bushes around the perimeter for more color!  I’ll keep you posted on our progress!  I’d love your comments about what you would do to your hardscape if you had the chance to start from scratch!

Have a great day!

Linda

 

 

 

 

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Halloween Candy Bags

My daughter loves to give treats to her co-workers for the holidays, and this time she asked if I’d make her some Halloween candy bags made out of some cute Halloween fabric.  I love a challenge, so thought I’d give it a try.

She had mentioned that she would be putting candy corn and other treats in the bags, so the bags needed to be plastic lined.  I wasn’t anxious to spend too much time on the bags, so came up with a ‘quick’ solution.

Luckily when I found this adorable Candy Corn fabric at Hancock Fabrics I knew it would be perfect!   I purchased 1/4 yard, because her original request of three baggies grew to eight! I had just enough fabric to make eight 5×5 baggies!

Candy Corn Fabric  Isn’t this fabric adorable???

First I cut two strips 6″ wide, then cut the strips into 5-1/2″ pieces. Each strip gave me four ‘baggies’.

With the fabric ‘right sides together’, I placed a Ziploc sandwich bag on top of the fabric, placing it about 1″ down on the fabric and matching up one side. The baggie is much bigger than the baggie, so there is surplus plastic hanging over. I lengthened my stitch some (2.0 on my BabyLock) – a tight stitch will cut the plastic. Then, I sewed a 1/4″ seam all around the baggie from one side around to the top of the other (all the way to the top – not just to top of the baggie!). Sewing on the plastic is a little tricky so take it slow.

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I cut off the excess plastic, and trimmed around the corners to eliminate bulk. Then turn the bags right side out – the baggies will now be inside the fabric!!

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Now the tricky part for me – finishing the top edge! The finished baggie is small (5 x 5) and there’s not much room for fingers! Turn over the top edge of the fabric so that it covers the top edge of the Ziploc bag (about 1/2″) but not the actual zipper part.  Place the baggie under your needle and carefully stitch the fabric.  Make sure that you don’t stitch over the zipper or it won’t close!

Once you have that done, make sure that the zipper actually closes.  Some reasons why it might not;

  • maybe you stitched over the zipper and the threads are stopping the closure, or
  • you sewed crooked and the zipper is ‘cock-eyed’,

If it doesn’t close you will probably need to do some ripping in order to free up or straighten the Ziploc zipper.  After that’s done, the baggie is finished and ready to fill up!  The best part is that it’s reusable (if you are lucky enough to get the back).

I think they turned out pretty cute, but I will have to admit to a few moments of frustration!!   The plastic baggies did tend to slide around, making some of the seams less than pretty.  I can’t say that I’d want to make these baggies for every holiday, but it was fun to give it a  try.

Finished baggies

I should mention that I did not look for any tutorials ahead of time to see if there was a better / faster / smarter way of making these baggies – in hindsight it might have been a good idea to have done that 🙂

Hope you are having a great day!

 

Linda

 

Adventures with the Grandkids!

One of our many reasons for relocating to Texas (beyond just being close to our kids and grandkids) was to be available to take care of the grandkids for extended periods when our son and daughter-in-law wanted / needed some vacation time.

Even though we spend a lot of time with the grandkids, it’s usually just a couple hours here or there, and ‘entertaining’ isn’t really an issue. I’m not particularly creative at coming up with interesting things to do, so keeping them busy can be quite the challenge! Fortunately they are pretty creative on their own 🙂 and then we have to clean it up!!!

We decided this morning, after a hearty French Toast breakfast, to take a little trip over to our 5th wheel so we could pick up a few forgotten items, and take a walk around. The kids enjoy feeding the ducks (wish I’d gotten pictures), and just running around the lake area!

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It was nice enjoying it with them – they found a few bugs that they needed to check out, and noticed some beautiful white geese near the lake.  The few turtles that were resting along the lake headed for the deepest part as soon as they heard us coming!

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All in all, even though we didn’t do anything extraordinary. we all agreed we had a good time – and to seal the deal Papa took us all out to lunch!  Back at home, Josh and I played pirates – I was Izzy!!   And Caroline drew a picture for me of our trek around the park, with a treasure at the end of the trail.  Notice at the top, it says, “Nana I heart you” – Awwwwww!!!!   I love them all so much!!!

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Hope the rest of the week goes as well………….

Have a great weekend, and if you are spending it with your grandkids, I hope you’ll have some special adventures together as well!  Take care all,

 

Linda