Feb 11, 2015

Garden Tip - indoor planting

Hello my friends.

If you live in Oklahoma and want to get a head start on spring veggies, you may have already started some seeds indoors. If not, I'm sharing a few tips on indoor planting that might help your seedlings out. Again, if you've read my posts before, we are not experts - just sharing what works for us.

First off, you need a good seed starting soil. It's not best to use compost or soil from your garden as the soil is a little harsh for the seedlings and can be too hard for the roots to grow in. If you're local, we get our mix from Grumpy's Garden. You can also make your own by mixing soil, peat moss and pearlite.

You also need containers. You can find containers at local nurseries, supermakets, etc. They come in a variety, flats, pods, larger containers. Get what works best for you and will be the easiest.

I'll show you how we started our seeds in flats with premixed potting soil.

First fill the container about two-thirds full with potting soil. Lightly tamp the soil down with something flat. They make soil tampers but I don't own one so I used a plastic box and it worked just fine.

Then sprinkle your seeds over the mix.

Depending on the seed size, you'll need to cover the seeds LIGHTLY with more soil.

For tomatoes, you just sprinkle some soil over and it's okay if they aren't fully covered. Other smaller seeds, like some flower seeds, don't need covered at all. And larger seeds need to be covered much more. Read the packet and it should give you directions for indoor planting - which is somewhat different than planting directly in soil outside.

Once the seeds are covered as needed, lightly tamp again.

Saturate the soil with a spray bottle. You need a lot of water on the seeds so they don't dry out. If you have a light sprayer, that will work too but it's not best to dump water in the container as it will make the seeds move around too much.

Then cover the container, either with a plastic lid or plastic bag and wait. You shouldn't need to water again until the seeds have sprouted - which may be a few days or weeks depending on the plant and age of seed.

Once the seeds have sprouted, watch the soil. You'll want to let it get a little dry between waterings but just don't let it completely dry out.

If you sow in flats, like we did, you'll need to wait until the plant has 4 true leaves before transplanting. And for those that don't know, the first leaves that sprout are not true leaves, all leaves after that are.

Anyway, you can then transplant to larger containers or buckets or if it's warm enough, put the container outside for a few hours a day and then transplant directly in your garden.

If you are wondering what we started indoors, here's a short list:
  • tomatoes of every variety - my neighbor gardener always starts his tomatoes on Super Bowl Sunday and has great results
  • spinach and greens - we like an early crop of greens so we start these indoors and transplant out. We plant more seeds in the garden at the same time as when we transplant the plants out because the indoor plants will bolt faster. It just means a longer season of greens. 
  • flowers - mainly marigolds so they'll have a head start to attract good insects when we plant them in the garden. We typically buy grown flowers at the nursery but we're trying everything by seed this year so it made sense to start these indoors. We also started some other flowers the girls picked but I don't know how those will transplant :)
  • herbs - similar to greens, we like an early, longer growing season and will plant seeds throughout the spring and summer to keep the herbs going
Oh, and lastly, if you start seeds early indoors, like tomatoes on Super Bowl Sunday, you'll need a small growing light above the seeds to keep them healthy. If you rely on the window sun the plants get tall and lanky and aren't very healthy. And yes, we have several indoor growing lights. We once grew an entire garden's worth of greens in a hall closet just to see if we could. hashtag weirdos.

This may sound more complicated that it actually is but people have told me how they haven't had success starting seeds indoors so I thought this may help.

So in short, get some potting soil, put it in a container, sprinkle some seeds in, cover with more soil, water, cover and wait.

Other planting tips here: garden planning, soil prep, spring planting, comfrey and buckwheat, strawberries.

Feb 9, 2015

Be Crafty goes to Washington!

***UPDATE! Event is SOLD OUT!***

You guys.

I am so excited to share the next Be Crafty workshop I'll be doing with Amanda! This workshop will be like none other we have done before.

What makes this one so different?

Well, for starters, we'll be doing it with my sister (how fun is that going to be?!) and Sara Parsons!!! Holla! And it's kind of a given, if two photographers are in the mix you better believe there will be photography in the workshop.

It's basically several hours on May 30th with Amanda and all her crafting glory + Ashley and her phone photography amazingness with a bit of chalk art thrown in with me. All this will be in an incredible barn with the talented and funny Sara.

You won't want to miss this one of a kind event and seats are extremely limited due to the uniqueness of the workshop so register today! Head over to event registration to snag your seat. Event is now sold out.

Feb 6, 2015

oh my ONA

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on instagram:

With this caption:

"So my favorite bag is busted. I guess after 10+ years it reached its limit. I need your help! These are the things almost always in my bag. I am looking for something sturdy, with dividers (so I don't have to dig to find my keys, pen, etc.), large enough to fit all this plus a book here and there or camera (optional), and it has to be a cross body. Preferably leather - not the shiny kind. Needy much? Does anyone know of a bag like this and if so where can I find it?! Thanks in advance. GO!"

See, I have some great followers (I hate that term) so let's call them instagram friends. Anyway, I have some great friends on instagram and I know I can ask a question and get some great responses or recommendations. So when my bag broke I felt like I could turn to instagram for ideas on where to find a new bag.

You guys didn't disappoint. 

I was overwhelmed by the recommendations you guys gave me. There were so many companies recommended and I spent the next couple of days researching each one. Some were all about supporting a good cause, others were mainly for cameras and then there were even some great etsy shops. I was serious about narrowing down my top picks because here's the thing, when I find something I love, I stick with it forever - or until it breaks. Just ask my husband about my house shoes. So I was really hoping to find "the one."

Among the companies mentioned, several of you recommended the camera bag company, ONA. When I hopped over to their site I instantly fell in love. I think there was an audible, "choose me", coming from the Prince Street bag. From all appearances, this bag was made just for me.

It had compartments. And not just normal compartments, but dividers you can move and change according to what you want to fit in the bag.

It looked plenty large enough to fit all my pens, sketchbooks, wallet, etc. But what caught my eye most about this bag was that it didn't seem overly huge like some camera bags I looked at. I'm a short gal and didn't want my bag to overwhelm me so the size seemed absolutely perfect. 

It was a cross body. That's kind of a must for me. I love the look of shoulder bags but when I'm carting around two littles, I don't want to fight my bag falling off my shoulder. And while I'm not a girly-girl and often have dirt under my nails from gardening I loved that it didn't scream "girl bag."

And finally, it was made of Italian leather. Dreamy. And the leather already had a worn look - so I wouldn't have to worry about that first scratch. 

It seemed I had found MY bag. But I did have a few questions regarding size and specifics so I emailed ONA and man, their customer service is top notch. The response was quick and all my questions were addressed.

And then the most amazing thing happened. A Prince Street bag showed up on my doorstep a few days later for me to review.

You guys. When I opened the box I may have teared up a little. I don't deserve a bag like this. And yet, here it was. In all its Italian leather glory. I just wanted to soak it all in. The smell of this bag. I have no words. And the texture. Oh my word, it's so soft but really durable. I can already tell this bag will be on side for many years to come.

I immediately started arranging all my stuff in the bag. Moving the dividers. Deciding what pens went where. Where to put my wallet? Sunglasses? Keys? When I was finished arranging everything I was thrilled that everything had a place and I wouldn't waste time searching for lost keys or pens. This bag was like a glove for all my stuff. A soft, beautiful glove.

I have had my ONA Prince Street bag for over a week now and so happy you guys recommended them. It may sound crazy but I kind of feel like they designed this bag just for me. If you re-read my question from my post, it's everything and then some! It's a beautiful, leather cross-body bag with dividers that will fit all my daily things. I could not have created a more perfect bag for myself had you asked me to. Seriously y'all. It's amazing.

Last weekend I traveled to Minneapolis to co-host another Be Crafty event and not only is this bag perfect for a daily carrying bag, but it's an awesome traveling bag too! 

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. The Prince Street is basically me in a bag. If you're looking for a quality bag,  highly recommend ONA bags. You won't be sorry.

Feb 3, 2015

Be Crafty Minneapolis!

Wow. Last weekend was so full it's taken me a few days to recover. Oh, last weekend I was in Minneapolis, Minnesota to co-host another Be Crafty workshop with the always amazing, Amanda Rydell. Midas doesn't have anything on her touch.

The weekend started off with a hot dog. A glorious hot dog from a fun place. And by fun, I mean, as soon as I saw the joint I asked Amanda to make a u-turn! As it turned out, not one of the ladies had ever eaten there because they thought it a tad questionable. What?! Looked like the perfect place for a good dog to me.

Anyway, once we got the hot dog under control. We finished setting up Amanda and Jessica's studio. Finished is used very loosely here. It was basically all ready to go, minus a few chalky things needed. Those ladies know how to throw a party.

Treats and drinks were crafted by the amazing, Melissa Coleman.

I have followed her on instagram (@thefauxmartha) for quite some time and it was such a treat to finally meet her and taste her creations. The Italian Soda bar with her homemade syrups were completely addicting. I had more than my fair share. Melissa shared the recipe on her blog, you can find it here.

I shared a few tips on chalk art and the ladies made super cute fabric wrapped chalk banners with canvas from The Modern June. You better bet I have my eye on some of her oil cloth too!

The super-sweet Jessica, of Jeff Loves Jessica Photography, blessed us with her talent and photographed the day's event.

The thing I love most about Be Crafty workshops are all the conversations, laughter and new friendships. I'm not the craftiest of the bunch but I'm so very thankful you guys request me to join in your fun. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To see all the crafts and more pictures from the event, head over to Amanda's post here.

After the event there may have been some junk treasure hunting with Jessie, the talent behind the party decor, aka Sweet Shop LuLu. So. Much. Fun.

Goodbyes are hard.

Getting your flight cancelled due to blizzards is not ideal.

Thrifting makes it better.

And, yes, I'm all kinds of gangsta.

I eat at questionable hot dog joints, drink Italian Sodas, make art with chalk and hold hairless cats.

What?! That was random.

Until next time, Be Crafty. Until next time.