Monday, November 1, 2010

Shower Gifts

I love to make handmade gifts. Even if the person receiving it doesn't realize it, I have more satisfaction in giving it. I am going to call this the "Shower Gift Package". Two changing pads, two pacifier/toy clips, one quilt and two bibs all for welcoming that special little one. I was lucky to find this fabulous fabric as a discount package at a local quilt shop. I actually had my heart set on some splendid organic cotton until I realized I couldn't afford to make what I wanted at $16/yard. That was quite frankly, ridiculous. I made all of these items excluding the bibs for a grand total of $15 in fabric. Add notions and we are probably at about $17. Maybe this will be the making of my first tutorial!

Leaf Mulch

Every fall I try to get as many leaves as I can from the yard, the neighbors and anyone else who is willing to provide them. After cleaning the garden, I like to spread a nice thick layer over the soil and till them in, apply some water and let winter do her work of breaking them down and adding vital soil nutrients. It is almost too easy. The extras are then dumped into a wire "bin" for spring use as compost and mulch.

The ones at the bottom of the pile will break down while the ones on top are good for further tilling in the spring or to mulch around the plants. Collecting leaves is truly a task where you can get something for nothing. I have been known to rake and bag the public right of way just to get some of this fabulous stuff! I think you will find that most of your friends are willing to drop them off to avoid the dump. A few words to the wise: avoid pine needles, they can make the soil acidic over time. Cottonwood leaves are not the best. Their waxy leaves take longer to break down. A nice mix is good.