So we're all stuck at home, everything's closed and the kids are climbing the walls. What're you gonna do? Plant a garden.
In Northern New York and New England, it's too early to plant most garden vegetables outdoors, but there are several plants you can start inside before moving them out. Planting seeds inside is a fun, easy activity for adults and children alike. Get some good garden soil and some seeds, and you're ready to roll!
Well, folks, there's no getting around it. It's on the news, it's on Social Media, it's everywhere; the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. I could spend several paragraphs discussing the virus and its ramifications, but I'm just going to focus on one.
The vast majority of the folks reading this will be in a state where self-isolation has been instituted; meaning a lot of you can't go to work, and the kids are home from school. You're probably trying to homeschool for the first time in your life, and you're at your wit's end as to how it should be done. I've been a homeschooled kid, I can offer a few suggestions.
There are a number of crafts one can do with your kids only involve a few simple tools and supplies you might have in your home or garage. Just for starters, here are some improvised instruments you can build that sound great!
Here's a Native American flute you can make from plumbing pipe!
And here are some videos on how to make a diddly bow! A diddly bow is an instrument used in the traditional music of the USA. At it's simplest, it's just a stick, a string, and something to resonate. You can literally make it from junk!
And you can't play a diddly bow without a bottle-neck slide, so here's instructions on how to make one of those.
T.K. here with some picks of my own! Being not nearly so mechanically minded as my brother, my choices are of the crafty variety, but don't be fooled! There is a bit of technical know-how involved.
First off is my gal Tonya at My Froggy Stuff. Her detailed crafts do take a lot of time and attention to detail, as well as some pretty fine scissor-work, so not for the littlest kids, but all the same, there's a lot of great fun to be had: https://www.youtube.com/user/MyFroggyStuff
Here's Tonya's Blogspot where you can find all the printables she's designed: http://myfroggystuff.blogspot.com/
Another great way I found to pass the time as a kid was playing with paper dolls. They are in fact something I collect, when I can find some good ones. An excellent artist actively making paper dolls today is Corey Jansen, who has made dozens of beautiful paper dolls available for printing right from home. Here is his collection of print and color-your-own paper dolls:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PaperDollsByCory/photos/?tab=album&album_id=3534290959977416 (Save the images to your computer and print in landscape mode for best results.)
If there was one publishing house we couldn't do without at our house it was Dover Publications. Dover specializes in art, craft, and fine out-of-print or public domain works, and the best part is you can get FREE samples every week in your email! All you have to do is sign up here:
https://www.doverpublications.com/ds014/index.html?s1=Dover-Yahoo%20Store&s2=NewSite-Various&s5=sampler10 (They never spam you, and will send you free shipping offers and coupons with regularity. Bonus!)
I went out into my yard the other day and noticed that some of my perennial plants are starting to peek out of the soil. So if you’re going to plant a garden this year, it’s time you started planning.
One of the main challenges to beginning gardeners and even seasoned gardeners is finding good seeds. You receive these free catalogs from various companies, all bright-colored and shiny, and you have no idea which company is really worth dealing with. Well here are my top 5 seed companies that I’ve worked with.
I think Gurney’s was the first seed company I ever ordered from; of course, I didn’t know of any other seed company, so there was really no contest. Their inventory is pretty fair. They’re not as diverse as they used to, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any heirloom varieties. I don’t know much about their customer service; I’ve never had a problem with them.
Early in my gardening career, I discovered Jung’s. They’re a fine, family-owned company, and I’ve never had a problem with their seeds. Their customer service is spot on. My only complaints are that sometimes the seeds I bought didn’t sprout (they did replace the product I complained about, however) and they’re lacking in variety.
Agway is a well-known and well-liked company in the Eastern US. They are a wholesale product distribution company, specializing in the agricultural industry. Each Agway store is locally owned and operated, featuring products specifically tailored to the needs of the community; including sees. I’ve bought Agway seeds at the country store several times, and have always had good results. Variety may be limited based on where you live.
2. Everwilde Farms
Everwilde Farms is a family-owned company that prides itself on offering high quality, environmentally sustainable, Non-GMO, organic seeds for a fair price. I have never had a problem with them or the seeds they offer, they are certified organic and non-GMO. I was very pleased with the seeds I bought.
1. R.H. Shumway
Probably the best company I’ve bought seeds from was R.H. Shumway. They have the widest variety and the best prices on vegetable seeds. You can order small packets, you can order in bulk. Almost any vegetable you can think of, they have seeds for it. If you’re a repeat customer, they will even send you free seeds! I’ve gotten lots of free vegetable seeds from them, with mixed success. You can’t pick and choose which free seeds they send, but come on, free seeds!
Welcome to today's blog, TK here with a very special interview!
Though I am not a visual artist myself, I find great inspiration in the visual medium, particularly in the illustrative and animation fields. It was to this end that I discovered the work of Zeragii, a young artist whose body of work reaches thousands of readers a week with messages of love and encouragement through her fan-comic "DeeperDown." I was privileged to be able to interview her by email and gain some insight to how she works and how her faith impacts her art.
TK: When did you start drawing?
Zeragii: Hmmm. This is a good question. I can remember way back, when I was four or five years old, that I was given this draw Barbie kit that came with tracing paper. Basically it was a trace-to-make-Barbie-new-outfits deal, and I remember LOVING it. It wasn't until I was nine years old though that I really started to draw and realized that I liked it. I even remember where I was and what I drew. I was at our home school group, all of us kids down in a church basement playing together while the adults had a quick meeting. I'd had enough of the other activities and had set myself down at a table to draw in a sketchbook I had recently been given. Being in a church, I thought I'd draw Jesus. But, um. Let me tell you. While at the time I thought it was amazing, it stands, to this day, one of the ugliest things I have ever drawn. But it sparked what eventually became my passion!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.