Previous month:
July 2015
Next month:
September 2015

August 2015


Last summer I planted a little Fennel seeding and it grew a little and had a lovely licorice favor.   I did not know much about it and mostly overlooked it last year.   Well it was not to be overlooked this year!   The fennel grew back and by mid-June was over 6 feet tall.  This fierce growth was intimidating so it caused me to learn more about it.  The fennel type is Foeniculum vulgare; which have feather like leafs which have a sweet aniseed favor.   



It filled up with yellow flowers which the yellow-jackets and wasps enjoyed very much.  


From what I have read, this type of fennel does not produce a bulb for cooking.   The cooking bulb is from the Florence Fennel.    I'm in the process of trimming the seeded flowers as they grow yellow and light brown for food seasoning.  (I do not want hundreds of fennel plants in my lawn and neighbors' next year!)  When I'm finished gathering the seeds, I'm going to dig down and see what the fennel bulb looks like.   If I learn that it cannot be used in cooking, I might just place it back in the ground and see what happens next Spring.  

IMG_1880     IMG_1881    The cut fennel seeds are placed in a brown bag to hold them while they finish drying.  With a little bit of careful luck, I should have lots of seeds and share some as gifts this fall.   

IMG_1894    Fresh fennel can be sprinkled on fresh fruit and honey to enhance the favor.   I'm also adding it to salad greens to kick up the salad just a little.   The quantity used should never overwhelm the food, but help a guest enjoy it more.   

August 28, 2015  DJ Cards and More



Neighborhood Bird Houses

Every Labor Day my neighbors get together and share a breakfast.   Someone volunteers to host and sends out an email announcing it.   The group is ever so happy when another neighbor shares their home on Labor Day morning.   We gather about 9:00am and everyone brings something to share.    I love to cook up a couple of Quiches using heavy cream and swiss cheese.  I make a vegetable one and a meat one.  Golly they're good.    

But the second thing I love making for the annual Labor Day Breakfast is a refrigerator magnet.  I kind of keep my eye open for ideas during the year.  Usually I find a perfect Stampin' Up! item, but this year I found a birdhouse stamp I could not resist.    The final stamp is 5 1/2"x3 1/2".   I used Stampin' Up! card stock (because it is heavy and holds up well over the years) Whisper White, Real Red and Pacific Point.   I found the greeting "I Love Us" in last year's Stampin' Up! Hostess set Good Greetings.   



Here's some magnet posts I've made in past years for the Labor Day Breakfast.   




My community project is making sympathy and thank you cards for the Cleveland Clinic (a local hospital) Hospice organization.   They send out over 100 cards a month.    Here's a sympathy card I recently put together using the SWALLOWTAIL stamp set and the PETITE PAIRS stamp set.     I cut 3/4" off one card edge and added an inch of Design Series Paper ENGLISH GARDEN to the inside message.    

I only used one ink color, Mossy Meadow which is the same as the card  base.  I love the way the Mossy Meadow green ink brings out the details of the butterfly.     Details on how to make this card are listed below along with the item numbers you can order to make it for yourself.   


  • Mossy Meadow card stock #133676 cut 5 1/2"x8 1/2", fold at 4 1/4"  on front side trim off 3/4" paper
  • Whisper White card stock #100730 cut 3"x5" and 3"x5 1/4"
  • Wild Wasabi card stock #108641 cut 3 1/4"x5 1/4"
  • English Garden Design Series Paper #138440 cut 1"x5 1/4" 
  • Swallowtail stamp set #131943 $20
  • Petite Pairs stamp set #122497 $21
  • Mossy Meadow stamp set #133645 $6.50








Here's another card stamp from the 2015-16 Host Stamp Set BEST THOUGHTS.   I like the positive message it shares "the best is yet to come".  

The card is made up from card stock Pacific Point, Whisper White and Silver Glimmer Paper.   Stampin' Up!'s glimmer paper does not shed sparkles making it easy and clean to work with.    The design series paper is from the Schoolhouse collection.  I used Pool Party ribbon I had available, but you can use the 1/4" cotton ribbon (#134568, get 10 yds for $6) or the 1/8" Silver Ribbon (#132137, get 10 yds for $5).   The base paper cut is 5 1/2"x8 1/2" folded and the DSP and inside message are cut to 5 1/4"x4".   


IMG_1845    I used the Blender Pens (#102845 get 2 for $10) to paint in a little Pool Party color and outline the butterfly with Pacific Point ink.  The Blender Pens have strong pointed tips which makes adding detail color very easy.  

  • Pacific Point card stock #111350, Ink Pad #126951, Whisper White card stock #100730, Silver Glimmer paper #135314, Schoolhouse DSP #138187