DIY Carrot Seeding Tape

DIY: Carrot Seed Tape - Easy Easy Easy!  www.SuzySewCrafty.com

As you know, gardening is my jam… well one of my jams. LOL….

Anywho, this year my carrot seeds have kept getting washed away with the rains, so I decided to get creative and make my own carrot seed tape so that they stay in place and can grow securely.

Check out the pictorial I made, it’s so easy with the final result being a lush bed of carrot tops! <3

Supplies Needed:

  • 2-ply Toilet Paper
  • Seeds
  • Prepared Gardening Container or Bed
  • Soil
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Split apart 2-ply toilet paper.
  2. Set 1st layer of sheets in prepared garden area.
  3. Scatter seeds.
  4. Lay 2nd layer of atop seeds.
  5. Cover with light layer of soil.  Water your seeds.

How To Make Your Own Embroidered Koozie

How To Make Your Own Embroidered Coozies by www.SuzySewCrafty.com

Hi All!  This tutorial is for people who own an embroidery machine or are thinking about getting one.  Alternatively, if you have a vinyl cutter like a Silhouette, you could also possibly do a heat transfer vinyl.

I took a video of my machine embroidering a koozie.  I am using fast frames, however, you can easily use a 4×4 hoop.  Here is how:

  • Hoop your stabilizer (I used tearaway).  Make sure the stabilizer is taut and makes a nice drum-like noise when you tap it.
  • Pin or spray your koozie in place with temporary adhesive on top of the hooped stabilizer.  I prefer to pin it in place.  Make sure it’s centered.
  • Then send your design to the machine and your koozie will stitch out similarly to my video.

From there, I created this handy-dandy pictorial for you to follow.  Hope you enjoy making a koozie!  It’s super simple and really makes a statement and/or great gift!

How to Make Your Own Embroidered Coozies: www.SuzySewCrafty.comwith love

 

 

Modern Masters Front Door Paint Makeover

Modern Masters Front Door Paint Makeover using the color Serene. www.SuzySewCrafty.com #ModernMasters #FrontDoorPaint #makeover
Modern Masters Front Door Paint Makeover using the color Serene.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post where I received free product in exchange for my honest opinion.  Regardless of compensation, the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

I had the opportunity to use Modern Masters Front Door Paint to redo my old white door.  We bought this house in 2011 and I’ve always wanted to redo the door, I just never got around to it.

Plain white door.
Plain white door.
ugly-door3
Ugly door: skuff marks from previous locks and old age.
ugly-door2
More skuff marks and scratches around the door.

When I found out about the Modern Masters Front Door Paint and how quick and easy it is to use, I had to try it!  It was time!  I ordered the Modern Masters Front Door Paint color Serene after I used their awesome and FREE app to help choose the best color.  This app is great cause I didn’t have to spend money on paint samples and I could see what my door would look like with all the different colors in a matter of minutes.

Love this clear jar, shows the true color.
Love this clear jar, shows the true color.
Modern Masters Front Door Paint in the color Serene.
Modern Masters Front Door Paint in the color Serene.

Before painting my front door, I had some definite questions so I hit up the Modern Masters website to find some guidance.  They have step-by-step instructions for us newbies or perfectionists and a really great video to see as well, and off I went to paint my door!

tape-door
Tape the door.
First, tape and prime door.
Prime door because it had oil based paint on it previously.

Here’s a shot of the door after it’s first coat.  I was really impressed with how quickly this paint dries!  I was ready for coat number two after half-hour but safely after an hour.  Even with the first coat, the color was rich and gorgeous!first-coat first-coat2

After a super quick second coat and my door was ready to be left open for another hour or so and it was done!

serene-front-door-paint-1 serene-front-door-paint-2

I love how this color pops against the house color and the red brick.  I’ll still be adding to my home, this beautiful color now has me addicted to sprucing up the front entrance some more.

Before & After Shots of Modern Masters Front Door Paint Makeover
Before & After Shots of Modern Masters Front Door Paint Makeover

Wondering where you can get some of your own Front Door Paint? It’s available at selected Lowe’s and Ace Hardwares as well as online via Amazon or the Modern Masters online shop.

Royal Design Studio Christmas Stenciling & Wallternatives Decor

Christmas Stenciling with Royal Design Studios and Suzy Sew Crafty!
Christmas Stenciling with Royal Design Studios and Suzy Sew Crafty!

It’s that time of year again and the Christmas spirit is in full effect around here!  Each year we throw a Christmas day party where all our friends and family are invited to come and spend the day with us cooking, laughing, drinking and enjoying each other’s company.  It’s one of my favorite days of the year and getting ready for it is also part of the fun!  The folks at Royal Design Studio sent me some amazing holiday stencils and boy did I have a great time working with them and decorating my home.

 Stenciled Table Runner

Royal Design Studio Fleur de Lace Christmas Stenciled Table Runner
Royal Design Studio Fleur de Lace Christmas Stenciled Table Runner

This year, I am going to have a table runner for my Christmas dinner. I thought it would be great to stencil said table runner with the Royal Design Studio Fleur de Lace Christmas Stencil.  My amazing sister, Regina, (who also happens to be a stenciling and faux finishing expert) came through to help a sista out!  She even brought me supplies!!!  I got to use her Bronze and Copper Royal Design Studio Stencil Cremes and Stencil Brushes.

Once she helped me get set up, we lined up the stencil so it was nice and straight on the runner, taped it down and went to town.

Here I am stenciling the bronze parts of the stencil.
Here I am stenciling the bronze parts of the stencil.
Now stenciling the copper fleur.
Now stenciling the copper fleur.
On a roll!!!  Ain't no stopping me now!
On a roll!!! Ain’t no stopping me now!
Inspector Silar making sure I'm doing a good job.  hehehe....
Inspector Silar making sure I’m doing a good job. hehehe….
Giving the existing embroidery some depth with Royal Design Studio stencil crème.
Giving the existing embroidery some depth with Royal Design Studio stencil crème.
Stenciling the borders for added depth.
Stenciling the borders for added depth.

Look at the difference now!  The transformation of this table runner was incredible.  I love it so much and if it wasn’t for the embroidered Christmas trees I might have used it all year round!

Voila!!! One stenciled table runner next to an unfinished one. What a difference!
Voila!!! One stenciled table runner next to an unfinished one. What a difference!

Stenciled Table Napkins with Embroidered Initial

Ok, I saw this Falling Stars Christmas Stencil by Jennifer Rizzo and I had to have it. I wanted to do stenciled table napkins to compliment my table runner, but I also wanted to spicen it up a bit with our embroidered last name initial.  Using the same Bronze and Copper Stencil Cremes to match my table runner, I went to town on stenciling our napkins.

Tape stencil to napkin.
Tape stencil to napkin.
Stencil copper stencil crème onto napkin.
Stencil copper stencil crème onto napkin.
Stencil bronze stencil crème to napkin
Stencil bronze stencil crème to napkin

When repeating the stencil above, I figured out that this particular stencil is small enough that it doesn’t need registration marks.  You just have to eyeball the pattern above the previously stenciling and it works seamlessly!  Took me about half an hour to figure that out!  Dohhh!

Repeat above design.
Repeat above design.
Almost finished!  All I need to do next is embroider.
Almost finished! All I need to do next is embroider.

Stenciled Table Runner with Stenciled and Embroidered Dinner Napkins

Royal Design Studio Stenciled Table Runner with Stenciled and Embroidered Dinner Napkins
Royal Design Studio Stenciled Table Runner with Stenciled and Embroidered Dinner Napkins
stenciled-table-runner-napkins2
Royal Design Studio Stenciled Table Runner with Stenciled and Embroidered Dinner Napkins

Royal Design Studio Stenciled Table Runner with Stenciled and Embroidered Dinner Napkins Royal Design Studio Stenciled Table Runner with Stenciled and Embroidered Dinner Napkins
I’m drooling over how good these came out!!! What do you think so far? We’re not even done yet! Up next is the Wallternatives.

WINTER SNOWFLAKE REMOVABLE CHRISTMAS WALL DECAL SET

This was probably the easiest project so far!  Royal Design Studio came out with another really cool line called Wallternatives, which is basically removable wall decals.  I ordered the Large Winter Snowflake Removable Christmas Wall Decal Set.  It came with 5 gorgeous wall decals and each one must be about a foot big!  They were perfect for my living room where the Christmas tree is set up.  I love how they subtly compliment the room.  My favorite quotes from both my husband and older son, “Wow!!! Those look painted!” and  “Wait, did YOU paint that?”  Ahhhh no my dears, no I did not, and while I wish I was that talented to paint something so beautiful, I don’t have to worry about repainting it after the season is done!  hehehehe…. just peel and stick back on the roll it came on.  🙂

Wallternatives Winter Snowflake Removable Christmas Wall Decal Set
Wallternatives Winter Snowflake Removable Christmas Wall Decal Set

And last but not least – my Christmas gift-wrapped front door!

Stenciled Wrapping Paper, Gift Wrapped Front Door

I’ve done this lots of times, wrapped my front door in wrapping paper but I’ve never done it by stenciling my own wrapping paper!  I wanted to do something with red and white cause it reminds me of a candy cane.  LOL….  I expected it to be beautiful, but what I got was down right stunningly, drool-worthy, gorgeous!  For this stencil, I ordered the Starry Moroccan Night Christmas Stencil by Royal Design Studio.

Again, I called in the big guns and asked my sis to help me out.  She graciously agreed!  We loved working with this big stencil because it went by so quick, and instead of a stencil brush we used a small roller and white paint.

Starry Moroccan Night Christmas Stencil
Starry Moroccan Night Christmas Stencil
Getting the wrapping paper ready to stencil.
Getting the wrapping paper ready to stencil.
Royal Design Studio Starry Moroccan Night Christmas Stencil
Our fully stenciled wrapping paper by Royal Design Studio: Starry Moroccan Night Christmas Stencil

Next, after it dried it was time to put this baby up.

Tape wrapping paper to door.  I used blue tape temporarily to hold it in place and then scotch tape to secure it.
Tape wrapping paper to door. I used blue tape temporarily to hold it in place and then scotch tape to secure it.
Carefully cut where door handles are then tape them down.
Carefully cut where door handles are then tape them down.
Hide any imperfections - I chose garland.
Hide any imperfections – I chose garland.

moraccan-stencil2

Add a bow! And Merry Christmas!!
Add a bow! And Merry Christmas!!
Our humble home, Florida style! Merry Christmas!
Our humble home, Florida style! Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post where I received free product in exchange for my honest opinion.  Regardless of compensation, the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

Why I Have a Worm Farm and You Should Too!

Hi folks! This post contains an affiliate link to the Worm Factory 360.  If you choose to buy one from the link provided below, I will receive a small percentage of the sale (at no extra cost to you).  This small commission helps me run and maintain this blog. The purpose of this post is NOT to sell you anything but only to tell you how much worm farming rocks!  Thanks!

Vermicomposting: Why I have a worm farm, and you should too! It’s been a long time coming, but this is something I’m so excited to tell you guys about.  I’ve been worm farming or rather, vermicomposting, for almost a year now.  When I started gardening last year I was determined not to make the same mistakes, so after much research I decided the most sustainable and eco-friendly/natural way I can garden and maintain that garden is through worm farming.  Sure, they may seem nasty but these little guys are a gardener’s best friend. 
worms-worthI wasn’t sure how well the worm compost would work for me or even if I could do it!  But I just felt so guilty throwing away scraps, and my hot compost bin wasn’t working, really it was just attracting pests, so I decided to start my worm farm.  I found really easy ways to make my own, but for my first worm bin I wanted to ensure success and didn’t want to take chances on messing up my own DIY bin.  What if my worms found a way to escape?  Or worst, they died!  So I ended up buying the Worm Factory 360 off Amazon and am so glad I did.  I had some gift cards I could apply to it so I ended up getting it for a steal.  It came with a ton of instructions and a book on vermicomposting that answers a ton of questions.  I still refer to it often, plus it came with really great supplies that I wouldn’t have thought of making my own – like a shovel, a scraper and a thermometer.  To me all that, plus the starter kit was totally worth it.

 I followed all the instructions that came with my snazzy new worm bin and set up my first tray.  At first I had it inside the house (don’t judge, they said I could in the videos.).  But that lasted less than a week, I ended up moving it outside in the shade, protected from rain.

Worm Factory 360

Worm Farm
I found a local guy who breeds worms for a living, I drove over to his farm (impressive btw) and bought 1.5 lbs of worms.

Ok, now I’m going to tell you how I got my amazing worm compost!  Ready?!  It’s SO EASY!

Worms doing what they do

This is a shot of my worm farm outside already in action.  You can see some scraps to the sides and some coconut coir to the right and newspaper around the scraps.  Worms are buried under there, just chillin’ minding their business, making my compost.

Below, are the extra kitchen scraps that I didn’t want to throw out.  I chopped them up kinda chunky-small and shredded some old junk mail and newspaper.  I set the food to the sides of the bin, leaving a space that has no fresh food so the worms are not smothered.  (Actively composting food can get hot, and worms need a cool place to move to in case it gets too hot for them.)

Feeding the WormsNext, cover up the worms with some damp newspaper. This helps keep critters out and the worms cool and happy.

Cover the worm bin up with damp newspaper.I learned the hard way, that keeping a worm bin outside has it’s challenges.  One morning I found my worm bin ransacked and toppled over, apparently a racoon or some other scavenger got to it eating the scraps and more than likely some of my worms.  So now I bungee cord the top on and have had no issues since.  You might also be wondering what that white dusty stuff is, that is Diatomaceous Earth and it is safe for worms but keeps the bad critters out like ants, beetles and other potential worm predators.  I had some red fire ants invade the worm bin at one point so I dusted it and got them outta there quick!

Bungee Cord The Worm Bin ShutHere’s a close up of the top of the bin.  It gives you some great tips on how to care for your worms and what they like and don’t like.

Worm Factory 360 - helpful tips
Worm Factory 360 – helpful tips

End result?  All those kitchen scraps and old newspaper turned into this pic below!!  The most amazing and nutritious compost!!!  Amazing right?!

The Most AMAZING Compost Ever!!
Wondering what worm compost can do for your garden??  Check out what it did for mine.  I’m not kidding, this is the first year of gardening that I have had a tremendous yield and tremendous success.  I only garden naturally, so I never use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.  I give credit for last season’s plentiful harvest 100% to worm composting, regular watering and weeding.

My beautiful daughter holding her freshly picked harvest of carrots for the day. We ate it for dinner the same night! So yummy!
My beautiful daughter holding her freshly picked harvest of carrots for the day. We ate it for dinner the same night! So yummy!
Vine Riped Tomatoes
My gardening helper, picking these huge ‘maters.
Luscious tomatoes
Tomatoes ripening on the vine.
more-vine-riped-tomatoes
Freshly picked tomatoes from the vine. So delicious!
Eggplant harvest - over 20 eggplants on 4 plants because of worm compost! Amazing!
Eggplant harvest – over 20 eggplants on 4 plants because of worm compost! Amazing!
Lettuce Vertical DIY Garden - Seedlings starting to flourish.
Lettuce Vertical DIY Garden – Seedlings starting to flourish.

Pretty cool right?!  What do you think?  Comment below and if you worm farm, I’d love to hear about it too!   🙂

How My Garden Grows! Tips and Tricks for a Successful Vegetable Garden

 

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Vegetable GardenGardening, one of my fav past times.  I’ve been trying to perfect my garden for a while now, about three years, on and off.  I remember thinking it would be easy, “Oh, I’ll just throw some seeds into some soil, water and sunlight and we’ll be good to go!”  Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. NO.  Boy, was I wrong.  Well, after 3 years of many failed attempts and many dead crops, my brown thumb has finally started to turn green.

Thankfully, I gave myself pep talks along the way, convincing myself that all of my failed experiments are lessons learned on what not to do.  For example:

  • Don’t throw an entire seed packet of tomato seeds into seed pots and expect them to grow properly.
  • Matter of fact, don’t put more than 2 or 3 seeds per hole and be prepared to pinch off (aka kill) the weakling plants.  (I had a hard time justifying why I should thin seedlings out…. silly I know, but I just feel awful pinching off something that has so much potential!)
  • You DON’T have to pinch off seedlings, you can transplant them safely, just try not to plant too many seedlings all at once or you’ll find yourself having to pinch them off because there are just too many.  You can plant 2 or 3 seeds in one small seedling pot and separate the seeds a bit, then when the seedlings are about 3 or 4 inches high, you can water the soil to make sure it’s moist then get the soil pod out (seedlings intact) and gently drop them on a hard surface so that the roots and soil soften.  Gently separate the roots and keep them moist, and  transplant these babies right away.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of soil testing!  This was the first year I tested my soil and I was able to plan my garden with the current state of the soil and also amend it for certain crops. I bought my soil test kit at Home Depot, a few bucks well spent.
  • DON’T over-water your plants, muddy swamp is not conducive to a healthy garden, in fact, it will either kill or stunt growth of all your plants.  (Lesson learned in season one).  Strive for a drip irrigation system that waters by the roots instead of watering the leaves.
  • Weeds suck… literally, they suck the life out of your plants.  Take time each week to weed.  I moved to container gardening this year and had great success with very little weeding necessary, but I still had to dedicate some time to manually pull weeds out before they took over.
  • And probably the most important lesson I learned that ultimately led to my success in gardening was to fertilize religiously…. once a month, and mark my calendar.  I only do organic gardening, because if I’m going to go through all the effort of growing my own veggies, then I will be eating the most healthiest veggies I possibly can.

Below is a few pics I took of my tomatoes when they were ripening on the vine.  I think at my best point I had over 30 tomatoes on 1 plant!!!  Total of three tomato plants, that was a lot of ‘maters!  LOL….  All this was achievable because of the pointers I gave above, dedication and TLC.

organic tomatoes organic beefsteak tomato organic tomatoesdeep red ripe tomatoesBelow is a pic of my green pepper seedlings.  They are much bigger now and have peppers all over the place!  I’ll have to take a pic and update soon.green pepper plantsHere is my vertical salad garden.  I just repurposed an old shoe holder that was hanging around in our garage and put peat moss, and good soil and grew some lettuce from seed.  It’s delicious and so easy!!!  I put it in a mostly shady spot so that it doesn’t go straight to seed in this hot Florida weather. vertical gardenMy kids also enjoy gardening with me.  I think it’s great to include them in the weekly gardening excursions, including the hard stuff!  My big kids were out there countless times, helping me pull weeds, fertilize and enjoying the fruits of our labor!  Here’s my daughter who harvested a few lovely carrots from our garden to include in our dinner.

carrots from my gardenIt was my first year getting eggplants too!  Four plants and each had about 20 eggplants growing on them.  They were of the finger variety and they were soooo tasty!  Here’s a pic of my first harvest, about 23 altogether in this first batch.  🙂delicious eggplant four plants filled with eggplantPretty amazing stuff right?  I honestly didn’t expect such a great yield this year, I was amazed at how well I did, and finally feel like I’m getting the hang of things.  There is truly so much to learn, and gardening is an art.  If you’ve ever felt like giving it a try, I’d highly encourage you to!  Don’t expect great results the first year, consider it a learning season, and if you get a harvest then that’s a bonus!!!  You’d obviously have a better green thumb than me too!  hehehehe…  If you do start gardening, please do yourself and your family the best favor you possibly can and try your best to garden organically.  Major retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have a great organic selection.  I used some of their organic selection, but also discovered an amazing organic fertilizer that I can make myself, worm compost!  More on that in later posts, it’s truly amazing and I can’t wait to share it with you!  🙂

I would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts or comments on my garden, or about your garden!  Excited to learn more about my worm compost?  It’s AWESOME!!!  Can’t wait to share.  Till next time!

Suzy

 

Yummy Toddler Bites

Easy, delicious, toddler bites.  Healthy and filling!
Easy, delicious, toddler bites. Healthy and filling!

If your tot is anything like my little guy, fiercely independent and loves to eat, then these toddler bites will be perfect for you both!

I find myself always steaming veggies for him, then he doesn’t finish some of it, so today I took that extra steamed veggies, made a quick small batch of mashed potatoes (not too runny, a bit drier is better) and mashed them all together, and put into the fridge to chill while I got my little guy cleaned up and ready for his next adventure.

A bit later, I came back to my concoction and thinly diced up some ham and cheese, added that to the batch and rolled out small toddler sized balls.  I rolled these little guys in some bread crumbs and stuck it into the toaster oven for 15 mins at 350°.

I’m not kidding you, he ate them all!!!  And of course, all by himself.  Score!!!  I’ll def be making these again and thought I’d share.  🙂

You could also dip the potato balls into a scrambled egg before rolling into bread crumbs, but my little guy might have an egg allergy so I shied away from that option.

Enjoy!

A Pirate Costume

 

My amazing hubby planned a dude’s weekend trip to Gasparilla Pirate Fest with some of his buddies.  Gasparilla is a fun pirate festival and since my hubby loves boating, he decided to be part of the pirate invasion this year with his own boat.  He asked me if I’d sew him a vest and pants for the trip.  🙂

Check it out!  Pirate Dre made his own boot covers, they are fabric cut to look like a boot leg and he put them over regular brown dress shoes.  Isn’t he so clever?

Pirate Dre VestI left the buttons off the vest because it was being decorated by belts and pirate gear (and I was running out of time!) but I think it came out pretty darn good!  I am a little obsessed with the fabric, it’s so soft and fancy.  Thankfully I still have a yard or so of it to play with.

In case you’re wondering, I used Butterick’s Historical Costume for the vest and pants.  I modified the vest front a bit for a bit of a more swoopy neckline and I extended the pants by 10 inches to ensure they were long enough to be covered by his boot covers.  All in all, I loved the pattern and it was easy to follow.

 

Sewing Pants for Baby

 

I’ve got so much to update my blog about!  What a whirl wind past few months.  One of the major milestones is that my amazing husband renovated our kitchen, it looks soooooo much better now, honestly better than I had ever hoped for.  With that project, I just got so caught up with everything house, kids and not to mention more renovation projects and then the holidays that I haven’t had much time to blog, but I sure have been sewing!

Yesterday, I started some pants for Silar.  He’s growing so fast and sure enough, he is almost out of the pattern sizes, so I thought, “Oh no, no no, we are making him some pants with these patterns darnnit!”  LOL…

The pattern I used was McCall’s M6016 and it truly was easy as the pattern states.  I used pattern F for the pants and am really pleased how they came out!  I can totally see myself making a ton of pants and shorts for Silar.  I’ve never made a shirt, as the sleeves kinda intimidate me but I’m the kind of girl who will try just about anything, so maybe one of my next goals will be a shirt from this pattern too.  Looks easy enough.  🙂

Didn’t the pants come out so cute?!

Robot Pants Cute Baby Rockin' Robot Pants

Tonic Living Fabrics Contest

DIY Whale Softie using Tonic Living Fabrics

I got two beautiful fabric pieces from Tonic Living fabrics and I’m entering their contest to win $100 value of their gorgeous fabrics.  Fabrics are my love affair, I just CAN’T… GET…  ENOUGH…  Some might say I’m obsessed, or perhaps my hubby would say I’m addicted.  Hehehe… It’s TRUE!

So I am giving it my best, because I would love to add some more delicious Tonic Living fabrics to my collection.  I’m already day dreaming about, Lotus Lake, Porcelain  and Cross Section, Bluebonnet.  <3  …Sigh…  <3

I decided to create a whale softie for my little guy, Silar.

1-whale-pieces

The two fabric pieces I got are such a great color combo, the orange polka dot and lime green chevron, YUM-MY!!!  You’ll note the baby wipe wrapping and jingle bells as well.  I’m adding them to the softie, I’m putting the crackling material on the fins and tail.  I also used a piece of the chevron as the whale’s eyes. I took some pics of the process of making the softie.  Below are a few pics of the whale before I put the stuffing in.  Isn’t he so cute?!

2-crackling-tail
Crackling material on tail.
6-whale
Whale put together.
7-bottom-whale
Bottom of Whale

Once I stuffed him with fluff and bells, I sewed him up and named him Walter the Whale.  🙂  What do you think?

8-stuffed-whale 9-stuffed-whale 10-stuffed-whale 11-stuffed-whale13-stuffed-whale

I am really pleased at how Walter the Whale came out, the fabrics were so easy to work with and they are such a fun color combo.  A special thank you to Tonic Living for this fun opportunity to experience their fabrics and join their contest!

Wishing you all the best, Suzy