Monday, May 18, 2015

Colorful Colorado

It has been a very hectic week here.  Between the rain and snow and more rain and hail I haven't had a chance to work on any craft or project worth sharing.  I feel like I've been transported to Washington state or something, everything I own is damp, our basement keeps flooding because of our torrential rain and hail, did I mention that I drove home last week in a foot of hail?  Yep that was fun, interstate closed while the city got the snowplows out to remove all the hail. 

The calendar says May but here in the Rocky Mountains we are back to February.  If you don't believe me just take a look at this Rocky Mountain National Parks video.  The park service is trying to clear Trail Ridge Road for the Memorial Day weekend, good luck!

A bit closer to my home, right out my back door is Pikes Peak, America's mountain.  Take a look at the webcams...
This is normally how Pikes Peak looks this time of the year with Garden of the Gods in the foreground. 

This what the webcam looked like when I was writing.
Snowing so much with the wind that there are blizzard conditions.  As I look out my back door I can't see the peak for the clouds and it is raining again.  Is it time to cry or build an ARK? 

This is depressing so I thought I'd share a bit of what Colorado normally looks like.  It is a really beautiful state.  Normally, really normally we have 360 sunny days a year.  The weather is normally very mild throughout the year.  Most homes here don't even have central air conditioning it is just that mild in most places.  Pueblo can get hot, over 100 in the summer for a few days but here in Colorado Springs we are lucky to get 5 days of 90 or 90+ in an entire summer. 

There is a lot to do in Colorado, the obvious - skiing and snowboarding but there are other winter activities as well.. snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing to name a few.  In the summer you can hike, bike and travel scenic highways that take you through mountains and lush valleys.  There is fishing, ATV riding, camping and hunting.  We also have a variety of wild animals to see, I simply love the sound of Elk in rut in the fall, their bugling is piercing in the still night. 

This is a view of Pikes Peak that many don't get to see, it is the back of it taken last weekend.  It was a partially sunny day so my husband and I got out of the house and went fishing.

He belongs to a fishing club and the setting is really beautiful.

This is Grand Lake Colorado:

Colorado has more mountains above 14,000 feet than any other state in the continental US - Alaska is the only state with more. 
If you want to get away, see more stars than you ever thought possible, be alone in nature or feel the sun and a cool breeze on your skin then you should visit Colorful Colorado. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll be taking next week off.   Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.  Take time to remember those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our liberty and freedom safe. 
I'll be back the following week with another cheap and easy craft.  Until then, Stay Safe!

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Marble mugs

This craft cost me $2.00; yes that isn't a typo - TWO DOLLARS!
How cute is this!

I saw this on Pintrest and after reading how it was done I thought, NO WAY! 
I was expecting to write a Pintrest FAIL blog today but I am here to tell you - THIS WORKS!
You will need:
White mugs - I got these at the dollar store - hence the $2.00
A large tin - you will ruin this so don't make it something you need or are attached to
Warm tap water
Nail polish - your choice of colors
Nail polish remover
A couple of paper towels
A couple of Q-Tips

Let's begin.
Step 1 - Fill your large tin halfway full of warm water
Step 2 - Shake your nail polish and drop several drops in the warm water in a circle

Step 3 - Dip your mug into the colored water - you will see the color come off the warm water like a sheet of paper. 
Step 4 - Be amazed at the results!
I used the nail polish remover to get rid of anything I didn't like or large spots using either the paper towels or the Q-Tips.  I also cleaned the bottom of the mugs with the nail polish remover.

The beauty of this craft is that if you don't like the outcome, wipe it off using the paper towels and the nail polish remover and start again!  I played with mine several times before I got the look I wanted. 

I then let them dry overnight.  I would NOT put these through the dishwasher, hand wash only.  I did wash them by hand and after the overnight dry the color did not come off. 

An easy craft that some older kiddo's could even do. 
Plus these would make great gifts, stuffed with a hot chocolate packet and a peppermint stick or loaded with candy, even pens or pencils for a teacher appreciation gift - so cute! 

I hope you try these yourself!  Let me know your results. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I appreciate the read.  I'll be back next week, until then, stay safe!

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Monday, May 4, 2015

A spring garden in Colorado

Today I thought I'd share what a spring Colorado garden looks like.  Usually May is the month where things just start to bloom, trees get their buds and early spring flowers begin their flowering while hoping the snow holds off and doesn't kill them. 
I have two gardens one in the front of the house and one in the back.
The above picture is of my lilac bush in the back garden.  It usually doesn't bloom until the end of May but with the warm weather we've had in April it is crazy loaded with blooms and simply beautiful even if it is almost 4 weeks early. 

Here is my pink peony bush.  It is in the front of the house with morning sun so it takes it a bit longer to get going but once it does the pink blooms are so heavy I end up tying a string around it or putting a small fence around it.  Otherwise the blooms will drag the ground.  I love peonies.  They are easy to take care of, you only need to cut the dead stalks to the ground in the fall and wait for them to come up again next spring. 

They do need a bit of room to spread out though; as you can see my boxwood has gotten really big and is starting to crowd it out. 

I have more ornamental bushes across the front of my house.  It is simply for the ease of the owner, ah that would be ME!  I have several Prince Albert Dwarf Spruce trees, the boxwood and peony bush along with a variegated boxwood that as you can tell from the above picture didn't do well this past winter and this red bush with thorns on it.  Sorry I don't know what it is, I bought it to bring some color to the front along with the variegated boxwood... this bush did much better than the boxwood.
I do have some bulbs planted in there, tulips, daffodils and calla-lilies.  To add another pop of color I always buy a flat of different colored pansies to plant around. 
In the backyard I have a bit more space so I can test out a lot of bushing or climbing plants to see what works, what I like and what needs to be dug up and given to a relative. 
You've seen the lilac bush already...
I've also got this bush, I have no idea what it is but it is crazy cool!

I got it last year at a nursery here in Monument Colorado along with a honeysuckle and clematis.  They are both doing great as well.
The clematis is the shorter and thinner of the two.  I don't expect it to bloom this year but I do expect the orange honeysuckle to bloom any day now. 
I also have the Colorado state flower, Columbine.

They come in a variety of colors including pink and purple.  They are very delicate flowers but really pretty.
I also have this little bush, again I got it last year and when planting I didn't save the identifier tags that come with the flowers... I really need to start doing that.
Also planted back here is a variety of bulbs including dahlias (they won't come up till July), tulips, daffodils,  grape hyacinth, lily of the valley and these cool looking guys. 
They will get big purple pom-poms on them. 

I also throw a variety of flower seeds that attract hummingbirds and butterflies and just throw some Happy Frog soil over them and a bit of water and by summer I'll have wildflowers growing like crazy.  I buy the flower seed at Home Depot.  Finally I've got marigolds.  I've talked about self seeding flowers before; I think they are your biggest bang for your buck as they will re-grow over and over.  I will harvest the seeds of many of my wildflowers and move them around my garden to get better exposure for them.  Part of my garden gets only late afternoon sun while other parts get all day sun.  Some flowers do better depending on the sun exposure so I will move things around. 

Oh, I also bought this at Home Depot a few weeks ago.  Once it gets moving in the wind it is very cool.
My husband put it where our old dead tree was for now.  If you live in a windy area and find this at Home Depot I'd get it, it really does look amazing still and moving. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I'll show my garden some more once things grow a bit.  I'll let you know what is working and what isn't. 
I appreciate your support.  Don't forget you can follow me on Pintrest and Facebook.  I'll provide the links below.
Until next week, stay safe.