Monday, February 17, 2014

Transplanting Seedlings from a Recycled Egg Carton

Two Week Seedlings Turned Sprouts | Plucky Gumption Copyright 2014
After two weeks, our seedlings have outgrown the egg carton. We had some difficulty transplanting the little sprouts into larger containers. I read that the easiest way was to spoon the sprouts out of the egg carton and carefully place them in a larger pot. I am not the most delicate gal in the world. (My nickname growing up was “Bam-Bam.”) I thought it was much easier to carefully cut up the bottom of the egg carton and transplant the entire piece into the larger container. Here is a step by step of how we transplanted our egg carton sprouts into large containers.
Step One: Separate each sprout into individual rounds for transplanting. My husband, a.k.a. Pookie is the lovely hand model. We initially cut the container with a pocket knife and separated the basil sprouts from the tomato sprouts. 
Step Two: Cut the thick edge off the individual rounds. That makes it easier to set it in its new larger home. We used regular scissors to cut the edges off.

 Step Three: Make a spot in the larger container to place the sprout. Fill the soil up around the egg carton round.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Raspberry Muffins

Valentine's Day Raspberry Muffins | Plucky Gumption Copyright 2014
Add a pretty pink swirl to any muffin recipe with a large dollop of strawberry or raspberry preserves!
I used the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook Raspberry Breakfast Bun recipe, but you can easily adapt the idea to any basic muffin recipe. 

Step One: Make your muffin recipe and fill your muffin tins.

Step Two: Place a large dollop (1 tablespoon) of your favorite fruit preserve on top of the muffin batter. I used Bonne Maman Raspberry preserves. It is my absolute favorite. They also make delicious strawberry preserves and that jars are a great shape to clean and save for a later project.

Step Three: Swirl the preserves in with a clean knife or large toothpick.
Step Four: Bake as directed in the recipe.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Seed Starting with Recycled Egg Container

Egg Carton Seed Starter | Plucky Gumption Copyright 2014

          Pookie (my husband) and I started our family garden in January. We recycled an egg carton to start our basil and tomato seeds. I am by no means an expert in gardening. I am merely chronicling Pookie and my attempt to start our own family garden. We went through a rough financial spell and felt that we really needed to lessen our dependency on the grocery store for food. Here is a "How to Start Seeds in an cardboard Egg Carton."

Step One: Poke holes in the bottom of the egg carton rounds.
Step Two: Fill the egg rounds with soil. We used organic potting soil that was on sale at Home Depot.
Step Three: Make a little indent with your pinky finger.
Step Four: Place a seed in each soil indent. 
Step Five: Cover up the indent with soil.
Step Six: Water.
Step Seven: Create a tin foil tray to collect excess water.
Step Eight: Cover the seeds with plastic wrap to create a greenhouse effect.
Step Nine: Place in a sunny window.
Step Ten: Don’t forget to water your seeds. The cardboard soaks up water like nobody’s business.

After 10 days our seed babies started sprouting. The tomatoes pushed their little heads up first and then the basil. I was so freaking excited, Like a kid with the most awesome science experiment ever! EVER! I even made up a song for the plants, which I fully believe with all my heart is working and if you don't believe me check out this article at the Farmer's Almanac. We are three weeks in and just planted peanuts and tangelo seeds. Next week I’ll post on our transplanting adventures!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 2014 Goals

January 2014 Sunset| Plucky Gumption Copyright 2014

 I was able to work on each of my January goals a little bit each day. I am proud to be able to strike through my initial list. The real test will be whether I keep going past the January enthusiasm. If “January is for dreamers, and February is for doers,” then I hope I cross over into the latter category.

1. Start the Nike Training Club Get Lean Beginner Program  

2. Lose 4 pounds.  I was able to lose 3.4 pounds! Yay! 

3. Start a family garden.  Pookie (my husband) and I started carrots, tomatoes, basil, peanuts, tangelos, and strawberries. We started everything, but the strawberries, from seed. More posts to come on our gardening adventures!

4. Revamp the Blog.  Thank you 17thAvenue Designs for the beautiful template.

5. Revamp Etsy Shop. New banner! New tags! Just a little freshening up made me feel better about my shop. Check out the GATON Etsy shop.

1. Nike Training Club Get Lean Intermediate Program

2. Lose 4 pounds

3. Sew the clothing for the spring 2014 collection 

4. Host a spring boutique party at my home for other artists, designers, and home based sellers that I know.

5. Finish redecorating "the side room"

What are your February goals? Did you survive the initial January resolution activity burst?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Handmade Gifts Series


I love making handmade gifts for baby showers. The little bibs featured above were made for my cousin’s baby, Ricky. The base pattern was from the Purl Bee. I cut out around three dozen baby bib bases from the Purl Bee pattern. I thought it would be a good idea to have a stack of base baby bib patterns ready to roll.
Now, I know babies are not baked overnight so why do I need a bunch of baby bib cut outs ready to roll? Because I forget birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, etc. I have become very bad with dates and to assuage my guilt I like to make pretty handmade gifts.
Use the base Purl Bee baby bib pattern, throw on tons of little ribbon scrap, and sew on left over button embellishments. Et Voila, handmade gift in a pinch!