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Square Foot Gardening

Since we moved to Montana over 6 years ago, I have tried to embrace gardening. My father in law had a very established garden plot that was safely tucked in the fencing of the orchard, protecting it from hungry visitors. He shared his ideas and I watched him plant his favorites each year, only to feel overwhelmed by weeds within a few weeks.

My father in law has slowed down a bit in the last couple of years and has decided he's rather get his vegetables from Costco, so the garden has become mine. Last year it went completely ignored as I has hip-deep in the coursework for finishing up my Masters degree. I chose Costco vegetables too.

But this year I am free from coursework and feeling super motivated to grow my own veggies. I have done a lot of research to learn about raised beds and companion gardening. I worked hard to plot out my ideas and sketch design plans. I am feeling a new excitement for gardening and anticipating that I will get to spend more time tending to the vegetables than pulling weeds. That makes my heart happy!

What started out as a Mother's Day gift has turned in to so much more in a few short weeks. Ray and the boys worked to build raised beds. I thought I would just need a couple, but we've already expanded to 7, plus a large tub, antique wheelbarrow and 4 potato bags.

Nailed to the top of each raised bed is a grid that maps out each square foot. The concept is that the square foot is enough space to grow just about anything. Through much research, I discovered how much of each plant I can establish in each box, some needing more room for growth while others like to be close. The system will help keep weeds at bay, limit water needed and produce yummy results (or at least I hope... fingers crossed!)

Nothing says "love" like coffee

I don't know about you, but I *ADORE* coffee. Not like the way I adore my husband, or kids, or dog, but more like a new pair of pajamas, a really good sale... that kind of adore. It's kind of like fuel for my soul, or at least enough juice to make me halfway functional each morning.

And this stamp set that just came in this month's Simon Says Stamp kit is really a classic! For this card I stamped on Bristol cardstock and heat embossed with detail white embossing powder.

I colored in the images using my Zig clean color markers and a waterbrush. I tried to keep it pretty simple and only used three shades of pink, and then added just a touch of gray at the end to help add a little dimension.

I started out A2 size, but decided to make it a smaller, square card. When I trimmed off the extra, I couldn't part with it, so I added it to the inside of the card. The stamping was like my coffee... good to the last drop!

I have a feeling I'll be using this stamp set A LOT.  For now though, hope you enjoy and remember to do something creative today -- with or without caffeine!

Distress Ink Valentine

I created this card for the CutCardStock blog and I'm sharing here on my own blog as well.

I know Valentine's Day is approaching, and I do happen to love the cheesy holiday, but I also believe that every day is a great day to share and appreciate love. Not just romantic love, but just taking a moment to enjoy those around you who love you, and being open to show love to those people and beyond. Don't you think this world would be a little nicer if everyone was just a bit more loving?

To make this card I started with some Strathmore watercolor cardstock and a collection of Distress inks.  I used the "smooshing" technique to make this background. Basically, I just smeared one color on an acetate sheet, spritzed it with water and then smooshed it on the cardstock randomly. I dried the ink with the heat to before doing it all over again with a different color.

I die cut the "love" die and heat embossed the sentiment. It's a super simple card and really all the detail is in the background, so I didn't want to take away from it with anything else I added.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Crafting, and don't forget to share a little love today! ~Amber

Ink Blended Birthday Card

Kicking off the new year, I wanted to build up my stash of ready to mail cards just a bit.  I figured it was easiest to start with birthday cards...

The ink blending was pretty easy on the Savoy 100% cotton cardstock... which is one of my favorite white cardstocks to work with.

Simple stamping and heat embossing kept the ink the star of this show! I finished everything up with a simple frame drawn in with a white gel pen.

Wishing you a Happy New Year! Happy Crafting.... ~Amber