Summer Pond Pictures

Over the summer I got a new bigger pond. Jason did most of the work. But I got some neat plants and brick to put in and around it. I got some really cool floating hyacinths. The roots look like a feather duster and it helps keep the pond clean. NO more green pond for me. They also have pretty purple flowers most of the summer.

Floating Hyacinths

I also added some Hornwort. This is a fern-like plant that sinks to the bottom. It serves the same purpose and keeps your pond clean but also gives the fish a place to lay eggs. In the winter months the hornwort will keep oxygen in the water and not only help feed your fish but keep them warmer. Of course if you have a plant that needs help floating I made a floating pond basket. It lets you float any plant or even artificial flowers in the pond. It’s also great if you don’t have a pond shelf to sit shallow pond plants on. I also added a few snails. My goal was to cut down on the algae. My pond was clean and clear all summer.

Candy Scarecrows

Every year for Halloween I make candy scarecrows for all of my kids to hand out at school.

They turn out super cute and are very easy to make.

Things you’ll need are:

2 Tootsie Rolls, 2 Smarties, 1 mini KitKat, 1″ Wooden Ball, 2″ Straw Hat, 5″by 5″ piece of fabric, and 1 mini pumpkin.

You need to use ether glue dot “3D Zots” by therm-o-web or a hot glue gun will also work. Start with the KitKat and glue the Smarties vertically to the bottom of the KitKat. Glue the Tootsie Rolls horizontally to the top of the KitKat. Next take the fabric and fold 2 of the corners in as shown below.

Place his body on the bottom middle and fold over the top for the jacket. You will need to place a little glue in the arm pits to hold the jacket on. Now for his head, place some glue on the wooden ball and add the hat. Glue this to the top of the jacket and make his face with a marker. As a finishing touch I’ve glued a pumpkin to his hands. Oh yeah – Super Cute!

I picked up all of the candy at our local HyVee, and the rest I got at Hobby Lobby.

Floating pond baskets for plants

About a month ago I bought a plant for my pond. What I didn’t know was that it was a shallow water plant that needed to be on a shelf with 6in depth. The pond that I have now has strait sides. So off to Hobby Lobby I went. I just need a way to keep it from sinking to the bottom of the pond. After about an hour I had a great little basket that let the plant float around the pond with out letting the dirt wash away. And of course I posted these in my  E-bay Store. Mine sell for less and I think mine look more natural than the black one that are being sold.

They’re Alive, Fish pond update

I’m not sure how its possible but the fish survived the winter. We haven’t had a winter this bad in over 30 years, The ice on the pond was at least a foot thick. And was that way for most of the winter. It would warm up and melt just a little and we would get hit with more snow and it would get even colder. Finally it started to warm up but took for ever for all the ice to melt. Even then it was to cold for them to come to the top. About a week after all the ice was gone they slowly started to surface. They were twice as big and asked me for food and to hook up their fountain. YES my fish can talk! The water is muddy and I need to get some plants. Hopefully in the next few week it will be all cleaned up and ready for summer.

Egg Heads, Recycling Project

Easter was last week and while most parents were coloring eggs we were making egg heads.  I’m always looking for new fun things for the kids to do.  This was a fun and easy craft project that involved all 5 of my kids.  No age limit on this one folks.  I even had our 4-H group do it for their recycling project.

Things you’ll need: eggs, egg carton, dirt, seeds, and a permanent marker.

Take a knife and tap the top of the egg open and pour out the egg yolk. Do this at breakfast so the egg can be eaten. Let the kids draw a face on the egg with the marker. Cut the egg carton up so that you have 12 little cup holders for your eggs. You can ether use a bag of dirt or you can buy dirt disks at your local Farm and Home, Lowe’s or Menard’s. The kids love to watch the dirt disks expand. They are made of recycled paper and compost so it fits in to the whole recycling theme. Put the egg in its holder, add dirt and water, and sprinkle a few seeds on top. In a few days your egg head will start to grow some hair. It’s basically a home made Chia Pet.

After about two weeks you’ll need to transplant your egg head into a pot or a garden. Simply tap and crack the bottom of your egg. Make a hole big enough for the whole egg to fit in. Egg shells are great for your garden. They not only provide nutrients for the plants but also aerate the dirt.

Don’t stop there – egg cartons make great trays for starter plants for your garden. If you use the cardboard/paper cartons you can plant the whole cup into your garden.

Placemats, Table Graces

Last year I bought a pattern at Times Square Sewing called Table Graces. This is very easy and fun to do and will make a great wedding or house warming gift. I also think these would be great to do for each holiday. You could have a different set for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. They do take a little bit of time to make so you won’t be seeing them on my Ebay site.  If you’re interested in a set, contact me for pricing.

I cut all my fabric out ahead of time. Of course I had to embroider mine so I sewed the fabric right to the stabilizer. This made hooping and centering the design very easy. Next I lay the back and front wrong sides together, placed that on top of the batting and sewed around the outside edge. I left a small opening to turn it right side out and pressed with an iron. I finished by quilting them in the ditch starting at the center and working my way out. I also stitched around the outside about 1/8th of an inch from the edge. This closed up the opening that I had when I turned it right side out.

After it was done I had a great gift. Even a beginner can follow this pattern. This is at the top of my list and a must buy for all quilters. Locally you can pick this up at Times Square in Quincy, IL or you can get it online at

Cornhole up date!

It’s going to be another big year for the cornhole game.  They now have their own song and video and coming soon is the cornhole movie.  Who would have thought that a game with little bags of corn would ever get so big.  I’m waiting for it to show up in the Olympics.  Thats right – “The US Cornholing team wins the gold!”  It’s way better than Curling, which is the worst Olympic game on my list.  It would be the only Olympic sport that would allow the teams to drink beer while they play.  “Today the US will be drinking Bud Light and Canada will be drinking Moosehead.”  YES, Canada has a beer called Moosehead.  I bet curling would be a lot better if they were allowed a beer in one hand and a broom in the other.  If the hockey teams played curling at least someone would get hit with a broom now and then.  That’s why I like cornhole – if someone isn’t paying attention just bean them with a bag….

It’s kinda like horseshoes.  You have two boards set up at a distance from each other.  Each board sits at an angle with a hole at one end.  Then you take bags full of corn and toss them, trying to hit the hole in the board.  There are rules and everything. For all the rules you’ll have to go to the ACA website.

I’ve been selling a ton of bags in my Ebay store.  I use the 350E to personalize them with anything your heart desires – maybe a person’s last name or a bar’s name like “Pete’s Pub”.   “The Corn Hole King” and “USA” are also big sellers.  The bags are made to regulation specs – 6″ by 6″ with 15oz of corn, double-stitched with upholstery thread.  You can’t buy bags like this at Walmart.

The college kids also use them as tag bags.  I shouldn’t have to explain this but I will anyway.  You run around trying to hit each other with a small bag of corn.  If you leave a bruise on someone you get points.  If it’s on his arm – 5 points, black eye – 30 points, butt – 40 points, groin – 100 points.  Yes, these are college kids – who else would make a game of trying to hurt each other?

New projects for October

About a month ago Jason’s sister had a baby boy. I just had to make a quilt. Knowing his family there will be about 10 quilts made. We all love to sew. Mine has embroidered teddy bears, with cotton flannel and chenille blocks. I embroidered his name and the birth date on one  block. Instead of doing a binding I sewed the back batting and front together and then pillow cased it. Then I ran a top stitch around the out side, I quilted it in the ditch until I got to the bears. I continued to stitch around the outside of each bear. About half way through I broke my walking foot and had to finish the quilt with the zipper foot. Why the zipper foot??? Because it’s smaller and drags less so the top doesn’t stretch. I’m not sure how I did it but there wasn’t one pucker in the whole quilt. I was so proud of myself I made more and put them on eBay.


Thread and Stabilizer

My embroidery machines are running constantly … and I’ve been using tons of thread and stabilizer. The local stores are a little high priced but that did give me a good excuse to go in and shop. On the down side they had a hard time keeping what I needed in stock.

So I started looking for wholesale suppliers online. I could just kick myself for not doing this sooner. As much as I want to help out other local businesses I save so much more by shopping online. I was spending $36 on a roll of stabilizer 10″ wide by 12 yards long. At the online embroidery store it sells for $24 for 20″ by 24 yards. I can get 4 times more stabilizer for 10 dollars less. Thread was an even better deal. At Jo-Ann Fabrics thread costs about $5.50 for 1000 meters. Online I can buy 5000 meters for $4.99. The only down side is that I can’t fit large thread cone on my machine. I have to set it behind the embroidery machine and use it that way. I have to do the same thing if the thread is wound backwards or I have trouble with the thread looping. I was worried about the shipping but it was free!! That’s right, shipped to my door for free – how cool is that? They also sent a few samples of other stabilizer for me to just try out. Got to love the free stuff.


More fish pond pics

Check out these pics – these are the “before” pictures of the pond without rocks and grass

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