A Dogs Ode To Snow

Watching your dogs age isn’t easy, but you have to push that back and enjoy the now—just like they are. It’s thrilling to still have them at an age (6 & 6 1/2) where they act like puppies and are silly, even if Winnie is starting to get some joint issues from running so much and so hard as a puppy (thankfully no hip dysplasia or anything), including how much they love snow. Rosie shows no signs of slowing down, and Winnie—just as she did as a puppy—still absolutely loves riding on the snowmobile.

I thought you all might enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. With that said it’s snowing as I’m writing this, for perhaps one of the last times before real spring weather hits, so I’m going to head out with the ladies again for a romp.

 DSC_8896-01 DSC_8888-01 DSC_8866-01 DSC_8920-01 DSC_8916-01 DSC_8912-01Here’s to enjoying the now, and not wishing our time away even if that wishing is for better weather.

xo,

Heather

 

Tree Inspired Wedding Invitation Template

I have a big post coming soon, but don’t get too antsy. I am neither pregnant, nor have we started the addition. Those are hugemungeous posts. Also, we aren’t even trying for kids so that really would be a huge post, even more so. The point is – in the meantime while I edit photos, get them to size and get everything written up, I wanted to share something else with you guys.

High-five for free wedding invitation templates! After making the mason jar invites for our wedding, which you can download from me here, or get from wedding chicks, or have me customize on Etsy, I decided to get my design on and make a new invite.

Here’s the truth. Only the truth. And nothing but the truth. I consider myself as much of a designer as I do a photographer. In other words – I don’t consider myself one at all, in the least bit. That said, I love designing for fun and I love taking photos of non-people subjects. So when late last week I had nothing to do on my lunch hour I sort of started doodling. Then I scanned said doodle in. Then scanned doodle became invite. Invite became wedding invite and this is where we are today. As much as I call this a wedding invite, it could easily be used and colors changed for a variety of parties, from an outdoor baby shower to a backyard graduation party.

I purposely made these super duper simple. The editable parts include the text color and verbiage, the tree color, the heart color, and the background colors for each section. The tree and background white space has no color though (and isn’t color-able unless you finesse the template – but at least buy it dinner first). Simply download the PDF below, and follow the directions below to download Inkscape, as well as some of my editing tips for this particular invite. Also, sorry – I don’t have an RSVP card yet but I’m thinking about making one. If I do, I’ll throw an update at the top.

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS:

These items are for personal use only. No commercial uses or for clients. Reproductions must be attributed back to Like A Cup of Tea. Please see Creative Commons License below.

Editing Requirements:

  • Program to open PDF’s like Print2PDF or the like.
  • Vector editor like Adobe Illustrator (available for free trial) or Inkscape (free opensource vector editor – and what I used to design these).
  • Basic knowledge of vector/design editing.

Fonts:

The font used is called Rockwell, and as far as I know is pretty standard on most computers.

Tips (in Inkscape):

  • This is set up to 7 x 5.5, which is the standard size for the print your own invites you can buy at places like Staples. Go to Document Properties and change the page dimensions to anything you need. To make the drawing fit, select all and then hold shift and drag to the correct size. Since it’s a vector, everything will scale property without pixelizing.
  • If using Inkscape instead of Adobe Illustrator make sure to save as an Inkscape SVG, not regular, not eps, or you won’t be able to reopen it again (unless you install Ghostscript but that’s a whole different bag of tricks you can google about). Your best bet to print these is to select “Export” and save with a dpi of about 300.
  • Still confused? There are tons of tutorials on google and inkscape. It’s the easiest way (that my non-designer brain and plenty of research) knows how to do it. Have fun messing around with it. If you post your changes to your own blog, link back to mine so I can see them!

FILE:

Happy Editing!

xo,

Heather

 

Creative Commons License
Tree Invite by Like A Cup Of tea is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Easy Winter Seed Sowing

It’s a common held belief that one cannot sow seeds during the winter months. You’re always told you need special lights, and it has to be the right time of year. This is the way Dad did it every year. I got looking around my environment though.

Every year the world blooms by itself – even in the cold areas like Maine. We don’t have to go out and replant the entire state after all. Somehow, mother nature is protecting the seeds throughout the winter and regrowing everything without giant commercial grow lights suspended in the atmosphere.

I know this is hardly a new concept – I was sold when I came across the process of winter sowing seeds with nothing more than:

  • re-used plastic containers
  • twine 
  • Dirt (some websites said 5:1 ratio of soil to peat moss buutt we only had a peatmoss mix on hand so we’ll see what happens hah)
  • Seeds (my personal preference is Johnny’s or High Mowing Seeds, a fully organic seed place out of VT)

The sun is, after all, one giant grow light. If you’re interested in trying winter sowing, I suggest checking out this website for a plethora of information including what to grow in your zone and when.  The ‘Winter Sown’ website is the best there is it seems like.

Anyway after a lot of searching around I realized how easy this was to do.

First up, before you start any process get your containers. I chose milk jugs. Since we rarely buy milk (and if we do it’s in glass jars from our local dairy) we had none. Thankfully my coworkers toddler goes through tons of whole milk. Score for us. You can also use things like clear soda or water bottles, those to-go food containers with the clear plastic top and black bottom, etc. Since I chose plastic jugs though, this tutorial is on them.

1. Using an exacto knife, regular knife or scissors, puncture holes in the bottom of your container. It will be easier to do this now while your container is still in one piece.

2. Next, using your cutting item, cut about 4 inches from the bottom of your container around but make sure to leave about a one inch hinge in the back. You do not want this cut the entire way through. It doesn’t really matter where you make the hinge.

3.) On the side opposite of your hinged edge, punch two holes on either side of the cut edge. You want these to line up when closed. You can see the holes in the photo above a little bit.

4.) Once all of your cuts are made fill that baby with soil. Yes, I did this in our house on our hardwood floors. Why? Because I can vacuum dirt up.

5. Now this next step can either be done here, or before you put your soil in – but I like to do it at this point (probably because messy soil is fun). Mix some water into your soil to make it just moist and combine.

6. Don’t accidentally dump soil and seeds on the floor. They are a pain to get out from between boards.

7. Put your seeds in the soil according to the package. Or, sprinkle them on top and slightly press them in and cover with a little more soil like I did. Ooorr following the package for whatever you’re sowing.

Spinach!

8.) Loop some twine through the holes you punctured and tie on the outside.

9.) Make sure your cap is removed from your container. Repeat for all of the rest of your seeds. We went with tomatoes, chard and spinach.

10.) Place somewhere outside it will receive plenty of sun and can have rain enter it through the top, but is still pretty protected. We have a rather large soffet on our house, so I put ours under the soffet on the gravel.

Okay? But….what next?

Well, from what I’ve read once the temperatures get warmer you can open up your seeds a little bit to get nice air circulation (see photo below) and water them. Eventually you can just flip them all the way open and let the sun hit full on, and then close them back up when it’s cool out.

I will definitely be updating you more as my own personal process goes on. To be completely honest, I figure I have about a 50/50 chance of this working. Between maybe not using the right soil mixture, to starting it late, to the fact that my green thumb exists about as naturally as unicorn spam, it’s a crap shoot. That said, the process of setting these up is right – I know that much. These natural little green houses seem to be pretty darn awesome, so here’s to hoping mother nature can make up for my unicorn spam thumb.

Happy Gardening (In March),

Heather