Saturday, May 5, 2012

This Week's Blog Post

Pink Lepidolite and Rhodonite Necklace

This is my latest necklace. The donut is pink lepidolite and the chips are pink rhodonite. The pyrite beads accent the markings of the lepidolite beautifully! Available at Miss Val’s Creations.
Magic Love Crow
I won a sweet ACEO from Stacy of Magic Love Crow in honor of Earth Day titled “take the time to smell the flowers”! This is a great reminder for me to slow down more often!!! She also included 2 of her notecards, one titled Dream and the other Smile (with an adorable baby crow). They both make me smile. J
 Stacy also included a sweet handwritten card, ladybug stickers and a set of notecards! Thank you so much Stacy! Stop by Stacy’s blog and Etsy shop. You will enjoy browsing both!!! Her unique love of crows really shows through.

Mulching Machine
Each year I use a vacation day from work in April and turn myself into a mulching machine! This year I conquered 4 yards of mulch. For those of you who know what 4 yards is like, you can sympathize with this manual labor!!!! Yes, that is a normal size wheelbarrel pictured.

When I purchased my home in November of 2008 there were only a handful of plantings on the property. My goal with the mulching was to create pretty garden areas and cut back on lawn mowing. It has been a lot of work but I have finally accomplished this goal!

The last area completed was next to my shed that goes along my neighbor’s pool wall and to my woods.  I finished prepping this area for mulch in the fall. Digging up grass is no easy task!

This spring I dug up 3 forsythia in my woods and put them along the wall. They are a little wimpy so they are difficult to see. Hopefully being in the sunshine they will flourish! My lawn is a mess but I refuse to use chemicals and the organic options are pricey.
This area is along my driveway.  I had the fence installed a couple years back and have since been working on it. This was a blank canvas of dirt and weeds when I bought the house so it has come a long way. Some of the plants I purchased and others were donated by my parent’s and neighbor’s yards. I am always open to garden donations! Everything is a baby here but 10 years from now it should be a very lush area! There are multiple summer blooms here to look forward to.
This is the front out the house…not too exciting. This is the only area with original plantings. Those fabulous concrete planters in front came with the house! I plant geraniums in them each year since they will bloom from spring all the way thru fall. I scored a couple of the hanging breeds this year! Someday I will address those front steps from 1960!!!!
Here is the side of my house along the other side of the driveway. It is a shady area with shade loving plants! Another goal was to only plant hardy shrubs and flowers so they never need to be watered (except those flowers in the planters).
My baby Eastern Redbud is in bloom!
Termite Detection and Control
Jim helped me install a DIY termite detection/control system this spring. I am paranoid, especially because I love mulch just as much as those little buggers! We followed the instructions and when it came time to check for the termites, there were a few in one of the detection thingys! So we inserted poison in there which they will bring back to their families and will all die. It sounds quite horrible but houses in Massachusetts are quite expensive and I need to protect my investment from being eaten!
I had received a quote from a contractor of $900 to install a system just like this and then they would charge me $250 each year following for maintenance. Completely ridiculous! It is so simple to do on your own so if you are thinking about a sytem or currently over paying a contractor for a service here is the link for what I have from Do My Own Pest Control. It is just $250 up front and hopefully I do not need to order more poison.
Thank you for stopping by! Have a beautiful week! ~Val

33 comments:

  1. LOVE the necklace - the colors are fantastic! And I have complete 'mulch envy' ... we use mulch as well each year, and it takes a lot of hard work to put down in the yard! well done. Our yard has a lot of 'volunteers' from the other plants. We have several Japanese Maple seedlings I've got to pull ... if you're interested!

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    1. Thank you for your Maple offering! I will let you now if I think I have a place for one. They are beauties!

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  2. I'm loving your outside flower bed renovations. Everything looks so good. I don't blame you for wanting to protect your investment. :-)

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  3. Great necklace - love the color combo! And your yard - oh my! You've been a hard working woman, that's for sure!! It's lovely and the care you've taken to make it beautiful really shows! And yes, that was a ton of mulch,...holy cow!! ;-)

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  4. o, what a sweet necklace! yummy, really. and can you do my garden when you're done?

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    1. LOL! Gardening is really not fun to me but I love the results so I suffer through it each year.

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  5. Congrats on winning the giveaway! She has such a cute shop.

    And your garden beds look great, looks like your all set for summer! Our spring 'gardening' did have half as much success haha And I have to say, I really love the vines that drape over your fence! They are just so whimsical :)

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  6. Love your weekly necklace, but love your gardening even more ;) Luckily we never had any termites here, only can imagine what can they do to the house. Oh, and your blooming tree is so nice!

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  7. Hi Val,
    Beautiful color harmony in that necklace!
    Wow, you've been busy. You'll have to give us some more "as my garden grows" shots. Looks like it will be wonderful and even more so, as the years pass.
    Happy weekend to you :)

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    1. I will be taking peridocal photos as my flowers start to bloom. :)

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  8. Hey Val ;o) So happy you got everything ;o) I hope you enjoy it all ;o) Your necklace is gorgeous! Love it!
    Gardening, isn't it fun? LOL! You are doing everything perfectly! You are making wise choices on your plants and the mulch will help keep the moisture in and the weeds away! It's alot of work, but worth it! Don't worry about your grass! It looks perfect to me ;o)
    Termites? Yucky. I don't think we have them around where I live.
    Hugs ;o)

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    1. Thank you again Stacy! Gardening! It is such a love hate thing for me!

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  9. Oh wow that does sound like a lot of work! I am sure it will pay off with beautiful flowers! now you need a vacation day :)

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  10. great necklace! and that sounds a lot of efforts you put it there! :)

    the STYLE Fringe BLOG
    http://the-stylefringe.blogspot.com

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  11. Hi Val,
    I love the necklace it is beautiful! Those cards are very cute.
    I love what you and Jim did with your yard very pretty!
    Therese

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  12. Val, you yard is lovely. I am sure all the hard work is going to pay off for years to come. Very pretty necklace!
    Valerie
    Everyday Inspired

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  13. Your garden looks lovely! All the hard work seems to be paying off. Well done!

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  14. Hi Val, your garden is looking great. So cheerful at this time of year isn't it? Exciting to watch everything popping up into the world. I also set aside time for the garden chores. Yesterday I was outside finishing the back of my perennial garden, I had to finish the weeding to be exact. (one of my hated tasks) I would rather have been out on a walk but...it has to get done right?

    I love your pretty necklace, the colors say "spring" to me.

    Now just because you found a couple of termites, doesn't mean you have a big problem right? Glad Jim could help you install that system.

    How is yoga going by the way?

    Have a good week.

    ruth

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    1. No biggie with the termites! There were just a few in one of the traps which does not necessarily mean they are working on the house. However, any of them who were lurking about are now deceased.

      I was doing well with yoga, but then I got so busy! It is so hard to fit it in! I would love to do it first thing in the morning but I am already up at 5:20am and have no desire to get up earlier than that.

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  15. Hi lovely, I love the necklace!!! and your garden is beautiful!!
    Have a good week!

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  16. I can't believe you did 4 yards of mulch in 1 day! I swear it takes me two weeks to do 4 yards. I made huge gardens in my yard for the exact same reason (less to mow!). When I moved into my house, my back yard was sand with a few dandelions, so when I dug up 1/2 of the front yard to make a garden, I created a "sod puzzle" out back ... that's what I was calling it at least.

    I'm a hand weeder for my yard. Some of my neighbors laugh, but I figure that way I don't kill myself or the dog with chemicals. I've been doing the yard weeding steady since 2009 and this year, it looks like I might have finally won. I've also refused to water mine. I have neighbors with a $300 water bill all summer because they water everyday. I keep telling them I'm training my grass not to need water :) It looks as green as theirs does right now.

    I consider gardening my necessary evil, but when I'm doing lots of work out there, I also call it my exercise for the day - Makes me feel like I'm getting 2 items off my to-do list at once!

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    1. Chemicals and water useage are great to avoid! My lawn is embarrassing but I am ok with that!!! The money savings is certainly a bonus. Your yard sounds unique. It is fun to create something in a space that needed help! I too count weeding as exercise. It definately works the legs, arms and back. :)

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  17. We are in "mulching mode" here too, and oh yes, it's a bit of work, but as you have so beautifully shown, it drastically changes the way a garden looks. Also spent the weekend pulling weeds out of our pond. I swear, I thought I'd have to use an axe. Back-breaking work for sure.

    Hope your termites go away and stay away for good. I lived in MA for several years (my brother still does), and I know just how expensive housing is there.

    I love this necklace. I think it would look wonderful with white for the summer.

    You have a wonderful week ahead!
    xo.

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    1. Good luck with the yardwork Lisa! It really is hard work but it always pays off. I think the termite situation will stay under control now. That system is fantastic!

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  18. Hi Val,

    The necklace is a beauty! The cards you won are so cute. I know what it's like to shovel mulch, dirt, rocks. lol Your garden beds look wonderful.

    Dee

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  19. As always, your jewelry creation is gorgeous! :) Doesn't fresh mulch look gorgeous? I still haven't gotten to mine, if I make it until May the plants are larger and so I need less mulch... and it requires less work! ;) Your gardens and yard look great, I hope you're spending a lot of time out there admiring your handiwork. :)

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    1. I love the look of the mulch, but also the smell of it!

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  20. Wow, that's an awful lot of work! Congrats on getting it done- looks great! Love the new piece too:)

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  21. Wow....that is an awful lot of work but I cannot deny the fact that it looks absolutely amazing!!!! It was well worth it, you and your wonderful green thumb! Go on, girl. Great job.

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  22. Your garden looks great! Your effort was worthwhile. I love geranium too :)

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  23. Hey there, That necklace is gorgeous. You are so right about the pyrite beads accenting the pinks. That is one gorgeous donut, too, and the small amounts of silver tie it all together. Great job. I can't even imagine all the work you did in your yard, but it sure does look lovely.
    -Debbie

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  24. It looks even better that way!!! i loved the necklace, is so summery :)

    www.meryswardrobe.blogspot.com

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Thank you for stopping by! I love reading visitor comments! ~Val