Category Archives: house n’ home

How Does My Garden Grow

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Before I get all wrapped up in KCW I figured I should do a quick update on the garden.

It is beautiful

lemons are for licking

All the planting is based on square foot gardening. Which is a high density planting plan that is supposed to reduce weeds and yield good crops. In the left bed we planted pumpkins, squash, and zucchini  at the back; peas, Beans, carrots, beats, and lettuce in the front of the first bed. The second bed is full of tomatoes, and they are just massive; more lettuce, swiss chard, beats and onions. There are also some bell peppers in there and space left open for more planting. The plan is to plant more carrots and beats lettuce, that way we can have a continuous harvest throughout the summer and fall, instead of 50 carrots maturing at the same time.

lemons are for licking

We’ve been able to eat a few things from the garden for about a month now. mainly lettuce and swiss chard.

lemons are for licking

We over crowded the spring mix lettuce so that we could eat the baby leaves as we thinned it, Our first harvest looked like this and we added it to our store bought salad.

lemons are for licking

now we are harvesting whole heads of romaine 😀 the boys are accually tired of hearing me spouting off things like, “Have more salad its from our garden, this is the food you planted” I get a “I know Mom” back lol

lemons are for licking

The tomatoes have been the thriving, my Dad gave me some pointers on pruning them so that the plant would put all its energy into the fruit. And I just love the smell of tomato vines !

lemons are for licking

We have also been able to nibble on our blueberries already when we’re in the back.

The last photo I want to show you amazes me, I had planted a few carrots last year  in a container, and forgot about them. They froze over winter. And then they surprisingly started growing again this spring. Well now they are flowering ! I have never seen a carrot flower.

lemons are for licking

carrot flower

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The Over Grown Shrubs

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Spring sprung early here in the north-west, and after months of cloud cover and rain it is just so great to get out into the sunshine. There has been lots of work to do in our yard, when we bought  our Little House of Lemons a year and a half ago (wow time flies) the front beds were all overgrown, and the back yard had just a few neglected beds.

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The only photo I could find of the front beds is from the listing. Can you believe that there are 11 shrubs in there ?!

gardenThis one is more recent but is is post mega prune.

This Spring I have almost finished tidying up that fount bed.  Those plants were all wild and growing into each other when we moved in. I have been learning about the shrubs and doing my best to not ‘shock’ them as I prune them back. I’ve been doing it in phases, the rhododendrons were last spring.

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This spring I tackled the azaleas. They were higher than the boxwoods, I did what is called a re-juvination pruning. its a severe cutting back. Since the shrubs are  mature they should come back in a nice ball shape. It looks bare now but I have hope. I’ll give you all an update on them over summser.

More Things not Sewing

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Some of the time I have been away from my sewing table this spring has been in the garden. In the back this year we just put in a raised bed for me to garden in. !! I’ve wanted one since we moved it, I enjoy gardening, but had been really limited as to what I could grow when we were living in our townhouse. It took me some time to pick a spot in the new yard, its in the north-west corner, but since our home faces east that is the sunniest spot in the yard.

garden2We had to pull out a rhododendron (it found a nice new home with a friend.)

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The plan is to build a second raised bed right beside it and leave that little blue berry bush where it is.

It was a bit of a job but a lot of fun. There were power tools and long distance phone calls to my carpenter step-dad.

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Its basically a box of cedar planks. I learned a carpenter short cut, you hammer together the basic box first, level it, and then securing it all with screws to the stakes that support it. Takes the removes the chance of errors in where your stakes are planted. It is then much easier to add the second boards.

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The boys pitched in with their rock removal and leveling skills, thanks little men!

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The only nutty part was that since I work shift work, and needed some dirt hauling help from Mr. Lemons, the weekend we had off together was a rainy one.

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He is a good sport and went along with my excited madness. So there we were slogging threw the muck hauling tubs of rich soil. It was worth the drizzle and the messy jeans cuz on the monday I could plant 🙂

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Spring Break Lemony Goodness

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Ok so the actual fun time was over spring break ( 2 weeks ago ) and I’m putting the post together just now. And there is even a long back story to this one too……

Last summer I was out with E on an adventure to get a few bedding out plants and he spied a Lemon Tree !! His need for the tree was so cute and sweet I was powerless. It came home with us.

who could resist that face?

who could resist that face?

You see my boys like lemons, that’s where the name for my blog came from. K is on a personal mission to find the lickiest lemon in the world. I love watching his cute face sour up when he licks lemons. So of coarse we needed that lemon tree to grow bright yellow goodness in our own yard!

What we didn’t know is lemons take a long time to grow and ripen in out northwestern climate.We moved our tree indoors in the fall hoping it would stay alive. The boys were convinced for a long time that I bought the wrong tree “I think its limes mom.” they would sadly tell me ready to give up on the dream.

Then this spring finally they were ready to pick!!!!

So we made Lemonade !!

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Our little lemons were “really juicy” I was quite surprised it only took about 5 little bitty lemons to get enough juice for a batch of lemonade.

I noticed on the close ups thier hands look like big kid hands *sigh*

I noticed on the close ups thier hands look like big kid hands *sigh*

1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed by excited children

1/2 cup simple syrup (1 part sugar 1 part water boil dissolve sugar and cool)

2-3 cups of cold water

chill and enjoy !

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Angry P.J. Pillows

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Sewing away another family pet peeve today. In my last post I tried to solve our over use if plastic bag dilemma. This time it  is boy pajamas. More than half my boys laundry is jammies, the grab a new sets every night!

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So to help I whipped up some jammie pillows. A cute little pillow with a pocket to keep your jammies in all day. I wanted to use a fabric that would get the boys excited about being tidy. Angry Birds! They were given the choice of colours and they both chose the same thing.  Yay! Easy for Mom to sew that way, with the added bonus of no squabbling later.

The design is a simple decor pillow, with a gathered pocket added to the outside.  The pillow insert was 14 inches, so each panel was cut 14×14. This helps to  make a nice fluffy pillow. When I cut the panels I made a math error, so I did a little cut and paste lol.

oops

oops

fixed?

oops

The pocket was cut 16 inches wide by about 11 inches tall  (just eyeballed it really,) so that once the top was serged and folded back it sat at a  little more than half was up the pillow. The fold over was also used as a casing for my elastic, cut 14 inches to match the finished pillow.

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The bottom of the white pocket is gathered as it needs space for the jammies to live in the day (on my oops pillow the pocket covers my patch job.) The gathering is done first by machine basting on the white panel, then pulling along the bobbin thread to create a gather. (a tutorials here)

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I took the time to sew the pocket on the front panel first, and tack down the elastic. I could then constructing the pillow as if it was just 2 panels. You could do it all in one step, but for me extra steps often mean less work in the long run. I would mess up the gathers or loose a layer or something that would end up needing re-working. The extra step meant all my seams matched up and the pillow was sewn strait.

strait seams

strait seams

Knowing that the boys would take a cover off if possible, I sealed the pillow up. The top opening where the pillow was inserted was pre-serged so it wouldn’t unravel over time. then simply ironed down and top stitched. The whole thing will just be thrown in the washer when needed 🙂

angrypillowfinished

And here is a pillow happily stuffed with jammies ! Mission accomplished – less mess on the floor and less jammies in my washing machine !

stuffed full of P.J.s

stuffed full of P.J.s

Small Declutter Project

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Ok so I’m suppose to be sorting and cleaning the boxes from our summer move (the organized people are cringing I know.) My plan was to make hey while the sun shined and get stuff done sitting the dreary yukkie Vancouver rain. I hate house work, I’d much rather do something else. And I’ve been really sick, so not a lot of organizing happened in November. My loving teen Daughter took pity on me. She has the organization gene, I think it skipped a generation on me, but she has it.
Anyway she tackled the junk cupboard in the kitchen where I stuffed odd kitcheny clutter boxes. AND the junk drawer! All in one afternoon ! I helped a little by staying out of the way and chatting with her.
I did manage to do a  small declutter project, inspired from pintrest. I streamlined our phone charging station. You know what it’s like, cords and phones and plugging and unplugging, everything gets tangled. This will no longer happen at the house of lemons.

It was so easy too. Step 1 – get a cute box, and a power bar that will fit inside your cute box.

phonebox

Using an exacto knife (or other sharp thing) cut a slit down the side of the box to feed you cord threw. You could also place a hole in the bottom depending on your box and where its gnna live in your house.

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step 2- Cut a small hole in the lid of the box, just big enough for a few cords to fit threw. Mine has just one hole for 2 cords; if y0u are charging 3 or more devices you may want a hole for each cord or one on each end of your box. Remember the idea si to tame the cord tangles.

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step 3- plug in your charges (my box is shallow so some adjustment needed to be made,) and bundle up the cords so there all nice and twist tied and neat. Place the cords in the box.

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Step 4 – Pop the top on the box feeding the ends of the chargers threw the hole. Now get excited about how tidy your charging station is.

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Even after a few days the cupboard by the coffee maker is looking tidy and nice. yay !

phonebox7And Check out my cupboard, that amazing Daughter of mine did an amazing job. All the cookbooks are assessable, the tape, glue and coupons all have a home.

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Thanks kiddo for organizing for me, I’m positive that Santa was watching 😉

with the rains comes house work

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My excuse for not organizing and unpacking boxes is over. The Vancouver rainy season is here. The Northern West Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world ( ok I am a bit bias, ) tall trees lush ferns and rolling mountains, its a temperate rain forest. So it rains …. and rains ……and rains…..All Winter Long…..artwinter

The rains have held off a long time this year, but they are now here 48 cm expected today (note it took a few days to get this posted ), my excuse of make play while the sun does shine is over. Time to unpack all the odds and sods that don’t get used every day, organize the paper work, get rid of jackets and boots and shoes that the kids have outgrown, install shelves for the sewing stash, clean and organize the garage…. Do you see why I’ve been avoiding it ? Pumpkin patches and apple picking are way more fun !

artpumpkinMy first project was to hang art work. Mr. lemons is an Artist by trade, as are some of our friends. So we both believe in supporting local artists, and hanging art from people we know in our home.  We had put up only 2 of our many pieces when we first moved in.

artjohnhThis one from our friend, had previously hung in out daughters room. She is a horse rider. Now it is in the rec room ( with her permission) as it has those beautiful pastels that I want to work into the decor down there.

artgrandmaOver the kitchen door I hung a needle point my grandmother made for my mom when she had her first home. It has hung in every home I have had since my mother passed it to me ❤

artvangoghThose were the easy ones, I have been at a loss as to where to put all the other art. I pulled out an old Van Gogh poster I had framed years ago for the living room. The dark moodiness blends well with the dramatic feel of the room.

artgift3In the kitchen I put up another digital piece from a friend of ours, you can check out his deviant art page here, that was inspired by my pregnancy with K. I love this picture ! I’m not sure of the placement, the colours fit our living room more than the kitchen. But there doesn’t seen to be a wall for it. (I placed some of the kids art on the only wall that could work **sigh**  and I couldn’t possibly move their art ) At least in the kitchen I will get to see it every day.

artkitagoI have a couple of pieces my Dad got us they are so colourful, I hung them near my sewing nook in the dining room for inspiration. The Artist is Ally Kitogo he is an African artist I found a link to him here and here.

artwillow2One last artist I am currently in love with is April from Yapes Paints, I really want to order one of her larger prints. We are still trying to decide which one. In the mean time I was gifted a beautiful willow print, for our house warming, that I hung in my bathroom. I can start every day with a bit o beauty! I love the way she draws bark and tree roots, there is a lot of movement in all her pieces. Seriously check her out. And if you live in the lower mainland she is around some off the craft fairs and local art events.

Now that I’ve finished my art rant. I  have a dilemma that I would love to here from you guys on. I want to do a collage/ grouping of framed family photos. It will be at the top of the stairs. The frames are all heave wood type, but I cannot decide on the best arrangement. Please let me know what you think the most balanced or pretty or even the worst arrangement is…. the only photo that will for sure stay in its frame is the one of Mr. Lemons and myself on our wedding day ( if you look close you will see some of the photos are still stock ones )

So please leave me a comment, and let me know your thoughts on which arrangement you like.

We moved in !!

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The last few weeks have been CRAZY but we are moved in to our new home !! Every thing went quite smooth, nothing major broke 🙂 We had so much great help from so many wonderful friends and family I am just so grateful. I was so overwhelmed with the whole process, our home would still be a box littered mess if it wasn’t for the amazing ladies I have in my life.

The kitchen is fully functional and so are all the bedrooms, the family and rec room are getting there. A few things are still missing, but they will turn up.

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I love the space in our kitchen, and am excited to bake and cook in it (I’ve been working and Grandma has been here to help, she seems to enjoy cooking in it lol) I saw a picture on pintrest of a coffee bar set up on a cart in a kitchen. So i set up a coffee station on the little counter by the fridge

 

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I got new furniture for the family room, see post about that here. There was a small bump in the road, as the fabric I chose for the chaise was actually discontinued, so i had to re-pick the fabric. It was difficult the first time and even more so the second time. Good news is the new fabric is an upgrade from the old at no charge to me (yay!) the love seat has been delivered, and the amazing rug is laid out.

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The rug was the best deal in the world, a previous customer had ordered it and then changed their mind, so the store was liquidating it. Its 100% wool and feels most yummy when you walk on it.

our pup loves it too

our pup loves it too

I have so many ideas for the house (thank you pintrest lol) that there will most likelybe  lots of house n’ home and gardening posts coming up. I do still have a pair of shorts to finish for K, but I’ve pushed it way to the back burner. lets just hope they don’t end up on E next year ;-D

selling and buying

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Earlie this spring we decided it was time to move out of our lil’ town house and into a bigger place. We had grown from a family of three into a family of five, and we were just running out of space. So we are now a few weeks away from our big move date. We are all so excited!

One of the fun parts of moving is getting a change to decorate.  We have ordered some new furniture and I thought I would share them here as well as our colour pallet and stuff. I’ve been obsessed with pintrest and home decor sights for a few moths now. (As soon as I take the time to figure out how to add a pin it button I will, I can spent hours on pintrest)  Thankfully the new home has recently been painted and updated all in neutral type colours,walls that I like, which gave me a starting point.

The main room that I’m all excited about decorating is the upstairs living room. The closest I’ve found to a match of the walls is this sample. There is a fireplace in the room done in white, and dark hardwood floors. I’ve chosen a pallet of blacks greys, with white and purple as accents. I figure I can go really deep and dramatic with the purple accents, using plums and jewel tones. The whole room will end up being dramatic,well at least that’s what I’m aiming for! Instead of a sofa I’ve ordered a chase longer in a black on black pattern.black-swatch
It will be paired with a grey love seat. Eventually I will add some mini wing backs or some sort of awesome chairs. I’d also love to plunk in some steam punk inspired lamps or tables.

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mine will be like this but black !

While out with the teenager looking for just the right wallpaper for an accent wall in her new room; we camezebra across the best deal ever on a zebra print rug. I’ve been seeking advice from friends and family over the last few weeks. Do we buy it? Will it be too bold of a statement? So far the consensus is that its definatly a statement but fits my personality 🙂 and at such a low cost and for 100% wool you can’t really go wrong. even if we tire of it after a few years.

So lots of excitement here at the lil’ house of lemons (soon to be bigger house of lemons lol) the sewing machines will be packed this week along with most other stuff around here.

painting and fixing doors

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Ok so today I have a post that has like nothing to do with sewing! I know you are shocked but it was bound to happen eventually. Its about home reno stuff.

We have been working really hard the last few weeks to spruce up the little house of lemons. Part of that included painting the (probably original) old dark wood bedroom doors, a crisp glossy white! As the first coat of new paint dried old hidden artwork from long ago bled threw our paint 😮 The doors to my amazement looked worse than their original out dated beat up state!

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The second coat as you can see was just as bad. Let me just say, we knew form living with the doors over the years that they had some old kiddies’ art on them. The fresh paint just made it bleed threw in all its glory. Some of it had blended in before ( ya no pre-paint shot who knew it would be blogged) I had to try something !

doormagic

 I decided on white out ! Thinking that it may be the only think that pen wouldn’t bleed threw, its made to cover the stuff up after all.

doorcovered

Hoping I wouldn’t make it worse, I dabbed it on… It went on this nasty greyish white colour. Horrible! I have in my day covered hair-dye splatted on a wall seamlessly (I will never reveal where!) so was confident the white out could be easy to cover.

truely Canadian french on the paint can

truly Canadian french on the paint can

The tools of a perfect touch up, paint and sponges. The trick is to dab heavier over where you need to cover then fan it out all thin and gentle. Its a forgiving process, I even let the littles help.

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So there you have it lovely crisp white semi gloss doors.

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A perfect cover up job 😀