Mandala Monday

ImageMy wife said she was going to throw away a bunch of old herbs in a set that I’d had for probably about 10 years- from back when I thought it would be fun to learn how to cook and then realized that it really wasn’t (not my cup o’ tea, apparently).  I hated to waste them all (like I hate to waste anything) so I saved a bunch of each to use for some to-be-determined project in the future.  But while I was consolidating them (and making room for other goodies in the other jars) I decided to do my mandala.

It was such a relaxing process.  My boy was playing in his room and my wife was out shopping, so I had the craftroom/playroom to myself.  The herbs still had some fragrance (but I could tell they were nowhere near what they should have been to make them usable in cooking).  I used a sleeve to an LP to keep the shape and kind of played around with a strip of cardboard and the mixture of green herbs until I got the foundation shape of the compass.

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In looking at the celery salt and noticing that the little shaker top was removable, I thought about using it as a kind of a stencil.  It worked perfectly!

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I put one of the caps from the jars in the center with some pretty paprika on top and a little mustard seed trinity and then I added some crushed red pepper around the outside of the larger circle and then around the cap.

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It was still looking sparse, so I added some more of the green herb mix along the NW, NE, SW, and SE directions.  Finally, I sprinkled some caraway seeds in the middle and was done.  The whole process only took me about half an hour, but it was so relaxing and mindful- exactly what working on a mandala should be.  I took the photo with my Instagram app and used the Lo-Fi filter.  I mostly liked the boarder on that one, but it also works well with the graininess of the herbs and spices.

The best part is that I now have 8 empty jars that I can clean out and use for other things and then I can add them back into my pretty spice rack with my “crafting spices”.  I wonder what I should use them for to make the most out of this newfound lovely storage.  I’ll try to remember to add a picture to this post when it’s all put back together.

Mandala Monday

ImageIt was time to harvest some of my herbs and it also happens to be Mandala Monday.  Here’s what I came up with.  I used a newspaper with an announcement of one of my favorite farm stands winning a local “best-of” for the background.  It’s a really loose design, with some long shoots from my thyme around the outside of the circle.  I added in some shoots from a variety of mint plants in the center and then put some cilantro on top with the flowers from the cilantro (going to seed for coriander) in the middle.  I love it and the best part is how my hands smell after picking and playing with the herbs.  Or maybe the real best part is the delicious things my wife will be able to make with them.

Here’s the before (the mandala) and the after (with them drying on my porch):

ImageSpeaking of my amazing wife, it was my birthday yesterday and here’s what she got me (among other things).  It’s a regular cornucopia of craft supplies.  Did I mention that she’s amazing???

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Painted Flower Pots

My son painted flower pots for his other mom for Valentine’s Day and then we used them to start plants for our garden. The top picture was one I sprayed with chalkboard paint (I love that stuff) and then he drew and wrote on it. Unfortunately, when I sprayed it with sealant (so the chalk didn’t smudge or run if it got wet) the wetness of the sealant destroyed most of the chalk design. (Whoops!)

The middle picture is of a couple he painted with a flower motif with foam brushes and acrylic paint. I love that, too. It’s cheap, easy clean-up, and it comes in a million colors. I sprayed them with glossy sealant and they turned out great!

We planted several herbs from seeds and have been trying to start new plants from scraps. We’ve been doing well with the green and yellow onion. We tried celery, which grew great in water but when we put it in dirt it withered and died. We’re trying some romaine “butts” now. In the water they’re growing like weeds. (Fingers crossed.) To start the seeds, we used Keurig coffee pods so they wouldn’t get lost in the big pot. I’ll let you know how they transplant!

20130328-002455.jpgUPDATE:  The Keurig pod seed starters did not work out.  😦  Apparently, there’s some kind of mesh, build-in filter that the roots got all tangled up in.  And, I think I used too much coffee grounds mixed in with my potting soil on a few of the plants.  Oh well.  I guess I’ll need to find something else to use these for.