East Sac Edible


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Unrelated to Garden: Baby gift

I know I mostly write about gardening but occasionally I have other things in my life I would like to share. I have been working on a special baby gift for the last couple of months for my sister and brother-in-law and although it is not garden related I thought I might share it anyway.

I have been trying to work more on my woodworking skills (which do come in handy while gardening) and I wanted to make a small bookshelf for the baby. Now as a former teacher, setting up an environment for a baby or child is very important to me  so I didn’t just want to give the baby a bookshelf but an entire reading “environment.” So my gift expanded as I began working on it and I love the results.

First the bookshelf. I came across this cloud bookshelf while searching the internets and thought I could make this myself! So after a little bit more searching I found a DIY version over at Lay Baby Lay. Although she made a heart bookshelf I knew I could easily make a cloud shape instead. I asked for my dad’s help and to borrow his saber saw and after breaking two blades we had clouds! Although the construction is fairly easy, you do need two sets of hands to hold the wood together while assembling.

First we cut down the 1 x 10 x 4 common board into two 2 feet length pieces. I attached them with four #6 1 – 1/4 brass screws making sure to counter sink the screws. Then I took a large piece of cardboard to make a stencil to figure out how big I wanted the clouds to be. This took several tries but once I got it right I traced my stencil onto the 1-1/8 inch x 23-1/4 inch x 4 ft. edge-glued board. I used a saber saw to make the cuts. The rounded edges of the cloud proved to be a bit difficult for the saw blade but working slowly helped.

DSC_0649DSC_0651DSC_0661 DSC_0664 DSC_0667 DSC_0668 DSC_0669In the process of making my cloud bookshelf, my brother-in-law decided to do a star and galaxy theme for the baby’s room so my cloud theme couldn’t have been more perfect!

Let’s move on to setting the mood for reading…

Since my sister-in-law has hardwood floor, the baby would need a cozy rug to be placed in front of the bookshelf. And a baby always needs a sleeping cloud pillow to keep him company while reading. I made this cloud pillow using some of my mom’s scrap fabric, and her sewing machine. I hand stitched the eyes and cheeks using embroidery thread. For a simple cloud pillow tutorial you can click here.DSC_0677 DSC_0678

Now you can’t have an empty bookcase so I searched for books about clouds, stars, and other classics to add to the shelf. I also added this Sleeping under the Stars nightlight because you can always use some mood lighting when reading books.DSC_0671 DSC_0684 DSC_0680 DSC_0682 DSC_0680

I framed an inspirational quote for the baby (and parents) because one must always remember to, “Keep calm and read a book.” For me, usually it is a gardening book.

I wrapped everything in craft paper and heart and cloud washi tape! I made little cloud tags to write little messages to the baby on some of the gifts. I also used my new skill of embossing to make handmade cards and wrapping paper.
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Easy Garden Project: DIY Bee Bath

Yesterday I made a bee bath for the bees in my garden. Bees need water but they also need a safe place to land while they drink. Make this easy bee bath to encourage the bees to stay in your garden!
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Find a shallow plate with a little lip and clean it out. I used a pot saucer. Fill it with marbles and or rocks. DSC_2523 DSC_2524

Fill the plate with water making sure to leave some of the rocks uncovered. I filled mine quite high because it is so hot in Sacramento that I am sure the water will evaporate quickly. DSC_2525

Add a space astronaut to greet the bees.

DSC_2526Add your new bee bath to your garden somewhere the bees like to gather. I think I am going to put my under the Rudbeckia and in the shade so the water doesn’t evaporate so quickly. Done and done!

 


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The Compost Sifter

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My friend over at Seed Sowing Mama made me this awesome compost sifter last year. It is a simple frame, and particularly easy to use in a small space. My composting area is very small and I don’t have too much room to work so sifting the compost would be much easier if I had a little bit more space. This sifter does the job quickly even though it takes a little bit of effort.

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These three photos show you the progression of the compost being sifted. The sifter really keeps out bigger items so I end up with this lovely looking stuff:

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Here are my two finished piles. The pile to the front is the finished compost and the pile to the back is all the bigger pieces that didn’t go through the sifter. Usually I would throw the bigger piece pile back into my active compost in order to let it break down a bit more but my compost is full to the brim! The finished pile is going into the garden right away and the second pile will wait near my compost. Maybe I will use it to cover up any fresh kitchen waste to detract any rodents. Also I was only able to sift about half of my finished compost before it got too hot and I was ready for lunch. I have to get back out there and finish this job!

If you are interested in how Seed Sowing Mama made this compost sifter click to see her DIY Compost Sifter.