Category Archives: Paper

DIY Valentine

2014 Spy Garden Valentines coming soon! Here’s what we were up to last year…

Spy Garden

    DIY Valentine DIY Valentine

Draw a picture and write a valentine’s day message. Scan it (or take a photo) and make copies (print the image sized 3″ x 5″ so you can print 4 to a page). Print on white or colored card stock. Cut out the valentines using a paper cutter. Make lots to share with friends, family, & classmates!

    DIY Valentine DIY Valentine

“Gowing caping worms my hort” haha

DSC_5427 (375x255)DSC_5431 (375x287)

Sew a red heart on a stuffed animal!

Kangaroo stuffed animal made by www.crissypenuel.com Kangaroo stuffed animal made by http://www.crissypenuel.com

Bear stuffed animal made by www.crissypenuel.com Bear stuffed animal made by http://www.crissypenuel.com

View original post

Creative Kitchen! Chocolates for your Valentine!

Spy Garden

Cutest Kid Kitchen! www.kidkitchens.com Cutest Kid Kitchen! http://www.kidkitchens.com

Chocolate Truffles with Almonds and Orange Zest:

Easy Truffles with Orange Zest and Crushed Almonds Easy Truffles with Orange Zest and Crushed Almonds

Adapted from “Brigadeiros Caramel Fudge Truffles” http://www.eaglebrand.com/recipes/details/?RecipeId=5545&CategoryIndex=8

Put the following in a small stove-top pot with a handle:

1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon instant coffee, or use DeMadaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cook in small pot over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and starts to “pull away from the pan”.

Use a silicone heat proof spatula to ensure none of the mixture gets stuck to the bottom and burns. Stir continuously as it cooks.

Optional: Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 Cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chopped good dark chocolate (or white or milk if you prefer) and mix until it all melts.

Pour into greased shallow dish (pie glass, casserole dish)

Refrigerate about an…

View original post 236 more words

The Plot Thickens

Four days ago I began a series on How to Garden, for beginners, with How to Dig. This is sort of part two of the series. More like part 1.1. Until today I haven’t done a thing in the garden. See? Gardening is so easy: it involves many days of doing nothing at all! Today, we continued on with another (under an hour) digging session of the new garden plot.

Baby and the Spy helping to dig.

Baby and the Spy helping to dig.

He was burying a ball in different spots around the edge and she was digging it up. And throwing the ball out in to the garden for her to go…uh…fetch. She’s sort of like golden retriever number three!

The gray area are ashes from our fireplace

The gray area are ashes from our fireplace

We always dump the ashes from our fireplace into the garden. I think too much ash would be bad, but this pile will get mixed in to a pretty large plot. I figure it adds some sort of acid or alkali or minerals or something. I’ve never really spent any time figuring out the pH of our soil or learning about amending soil (yet anyways, not like I’m against learning such things). I’ve heard the saying of “fertile midwest soil” so I just assume it’s pretty good. Mostly what I know it that it is VERY clay. In the sun it will dry as hard as concrete. So what I DO add is a loam/compost mix (to the new plots) mostly for ease of working with it (i.e. planting). If you want a sneak preview of what adding the loam/compost mix will look like in Spy Garden 2014, click here to check out our dirt from last year.

View of the new plot facing west/northwest: where the sun will be setting when the garden is green!

View of the new plot facing west/northwest: where the sun will be setting when the garden is green!

View facing south/southwest

View facing south/southwest

You can see from the photo above that the fence may be able to stop deer, but certainly can not stop the garden. IT’S ALIVE!!! It’s breached the fence!

The fence will be moved about ten feet out to include this little hill.

The fence will be moved about ten feet out to include this little hill.

She has to check every strawberry plant.

She has to check every strawberry plant.

Where are the strawberries?

Where are the strawberries?

Today was the first day of winter that I was thinking about a little color myself (those are yellow strawberry plants after all). All of the photos I’ve taken lately have the same washed out sandy-grass color,

(aka Golden Retriever Gold)

(aka Golden Retriever Gold)

muted green,

gray, etc.

gray, etc.

I like the palette of winter but was longing for a little color!

So we made some collages

So we made some collages

Shapes cut out from half-finished paintings, scribbles on card-stock and forgotten sketch book doodles=collage perfection!

In progress

In progress

Collage by the Spy

Collage by the Spy

I did this one. Very synthetic cubism.

I did this one. Very synthetic cubism. haha

Baby appreciated the colored glue sticks

Baby appreciated the colored glue sticks

Since there are no yellow strawberries to enjoy, yet.