Life Insurance - Spring Bulbs

Spring BulbsWe are having an unusually beautiful fall in New England this year. Day after day of cloudless skies, perfect temperatures and lush, fresh breezes. It's hard to want to do anything but be outdoors every minute. In times of this much beautiful weather, I think about ways I can prolong this sense of nature at it's best. One of my favorite ways it to make an investment in a future of natural beauty by planting Spring Bulbs. I think of it as stashing away funds in the “Bank of Next Year's Gloriousness.” There's always a spectacular return on my investment! Planting spring bulbs now not only keeps you outdoors during this fine time, but guarantees you a pop of color and inspiration at that time of year when you may still be trying to shake the winter chill off your heart. Also, it's a great way to spend time with your kids. Let them join you in choosing the variety of bulbs to plant, so that your spring garden is a celebration of everyone's tastes.Untitled 4

There's an amazing array of choices in bulbs these days. A visit to a local garden center will dazzle you. Daffodils and tulips offer up cheerful, reliable charm but don't hesitate to branch out and try something new.

Spring Bulb choices

Here are some tips for making your bulb planting adventure a success:

Buy bulbs that are firm to the touch, with a light paper skin. If there is any softness when you hold the bulb, it might be rotten. After you buy your bulbs, try not to wait too long before you plant them. Get those beauties in the ground!

Dig your holes about 8 inches from the base of the bulb. That means, for example, if you have a one inch bulb, dig a nine inch hole. An interesting trick is to sprinkle a little kitty litter in the hole, which will deter rodents from eating your bulb.

Bulbs are perennials which means that theoretically they will return year after year. However, if you want to assure this, it's a good idea to use a little plant food around the bulb as you plant it. There are simple, affordable varieties of bulb food available are garden centers.

Untitled 3There are many ideas about how many inches to leave between your bulbs, but I think it's best to simply decide how you'd like the flowers to look when they bloom. Do you want a concentrated spray of color? Then plant a handful of them close together in a circle. Want them in a line? Then plant them about 6 inches apart. Want them to have a natural look to where they sprout? Hold a handful of bulbs and simply toss them onto the dirt. Wherever they land is where they get planted!

Water the bulbs only lightly after planting. Afterwards, it will probably not be necessary to ever water your bulbs unless there is an extensive period of dry weather.

Let the thought of these bulbs hum within you during the long months of winter. Sit back and know that you're guaranteed to have a vibrant spring, full of colors that you yourself made happen.

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Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the Amazon Bestseller "MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/ The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done" and creator of LifeBloom Online Coaching

Tutorial - Food Packages

This week our theme is Harvest/Food Preservation. Well this year I have not gotten to my traditional ‘Load the Pantry and Freezer for Winter” duties as things have been changing for me in the food consumption area of my life. Some of you have likely gotten wind of my Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis last year and my week-long Kushi Institute workshop last week where I was immersed in the healing power of Macrobiotics.   More on that another time but for now, let me just show you a little tutorial I put together for making plastic drink jugs into cute and functional food packages for the lunchboxes in your life. Milk/Juice Jugs Clean and Ready to Recycle

 

With a permanent marker draw a line all the way around the jug.  Start with a shape as shown above.

 

Continue drawing on second side of jug coming half way up the side and making points between as shown.

 

Side Three

 

And the fourth side (should match the second side for even flaps)

 

Cut along marked line.

 

Cut jug

 

Fold flaps down as shown and mark a dot on either side of the narrow 'neck' of the tab.  Cut a 1/4" slot out between your dots slightly wider than you have marked.

 

There you have it!  Pop the tab through the slot to keep closed.

 

Gallon sized jugs work perfectly for sandwiches while half gallon size make great snack boxes.

Note:  Any permanent marker will work fine.  Images show the first one I put my hand on in the studio.  Have a wonderful lunch!

Dixie Swing Dress Workshop - April 27

~ Dixie Swing Dress Workshop at Guilford Art Center April 27 ~

The nice people down at the Guilford Art Center have invited me back!  So exciting to travel out of town for a creative-adventure-overnight and stretch my boundaries by coming up with new work to teach.  Join me for my first Dixie Swing Dress day-long class on April 27.  We will be constructing dresses from soft, and comfortable-for-summer, all cotton, used t-shirts.  Layers are cut and sewn by hand with simple stitches and then cut away exposing hidden color.  Quick workers will have a finished dress to wear home.  There is no experience necessary.  Just bring your patience, an open mind, and your favorite pair of fabric cutting scissors if you have one.  The possibilities are endless!

Sweater Chop Shop - September 22

Are you looking for an inexpensive and empowering way to express yourself?  Maybe you would like to make personal and earth-conscious gifts for the upcoming holiday season?  Here is a way to be creative without prior knowledge.  Attend Crispina's Sweater Chop Shop!  The Chop Shop is taking place Saturday, September 22, 2012 at her studio, 40 Melville Street in Pittsfield.

*Special "Bring a Friend" Offer - Sign up with a friend for the Sweater Chop Shop on September 22, 2012 and you BOTH receive $10 off your tuition!

Learn how to recycle discarded sweaters into a custom fit creation!  Pre-registration is required and class-size is limited.  This full day workshop (10am -5pm) is $160 and includes a delicious lunch.  Students end the class with a finished product to take home. The use of all tools and materials are provided.  No experience necessary!  We use basic hand sewing with large needles and yarn.  We will teach you every step.  Call or email with any questions or for details about off-site, corporate, and private group teaching.

We now offer online registration!  Just click this link http://crispina.com/workshop-registration/

Not sure you are interested in a full day workshop?  Come test the waters during our biweekly Stitching Open House!  Crispina will be welcoming people into her studio to learn a little bit more about what happens at workshops.  Try out some basic stitches, become familiar with the tools we will use, and get your hands on some yummy sweaters to see what the materials are like.  You can bring a project to work on but you don't need to bring anything at all to see what it is all about!  No registration needed.  Stitching Open Houses will take place on the first and third Tuesday of each month beginning on September 18, continuing through the end of the year.  Come by 5-6:30pm at the studio, 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, in the former Notre Dame Church.

I LOVE Bubble Stuff

 

I love Bubble stuff - and bubbles for that matter!  I just really don't like bubble stuff when it gets spilled on my laptop!
So, while on Cape Cod soaking up some super amazing beach days, the two, sweet little lovelies in my life spilled the homemade bubble stuff right next to my computer. Splishety-Splash! onto the track pad it went - rendering the computer useless.
Just back in the studio after a visit to Mad Macs, our friendly neighborhood, privately owned Mac store with a $75 blue tooth mouse to hold me over til the new tracking assemply comes in on Monday or Tuesday and can be installed to the tune of another $125.  It could have been far worse for sure - in so many ways.  It kept me from having the ability to do much work on my vacation.
Like I said, I LOVE bubble stuff.
I am back in the saddle now and ready to focus on Dolphin Studio Calendar, stuff with my friend Jeff Bass from Red Fish Blue Fish Dyeworks who is helping us out with the printing this year.  (Along with a fresh batch of home made bubble stuff.)
Recipe:
1/8 C. karo syrup
1/8 C. Dawn Dish Soap (other brands probably work just fine.)
2 3/4 C. tap water
Pour karo syrup and dish soap into a pint sized mason jar.  Fill with tap water.  Stir gently.  Blow Bubbles.
PS. According to the counter clientele, at The Becket General Store, Dawn Dish Soap takes the itch right out of bug bites.  Not sure we would vouch for that remedy, we did try it, which is why we had Dawn Dish Soap on hand.

ReConsumerEyes - Sunscreen

A couple summers ago it dawned on me, as I was rubbing sunscreen into my sweet little girls’ skin, that I actually had no idea what was in the concoction I was so diligently applying to keep my children safe in the ever-strengthening sun. Research ensued and holy moly ~ it is pretty frightening what little is known about and regulated in the realm of sunscreens! Wowsers!

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