Thursday, July 18, 2019

DIY Gazing Ball Idea

So have I mentioned how windy it can be out here on our acres in the central Iowa farmland??  I like to garden and this house has 3 wonderful outdoor living spaces.  So I am always trying to think up cool garden art ideas, but several of the pieces that we brought from our old yard in town just did not cut it out here on the farm.  In just our 1st summer here my wind chime was a gonner, 2 wind spinners came apart and finally my gazing ball just blew off it's stand and broke!  

So last Fall when I was out at Goodwill looking for tables to paint for my "Tiny House" art space, I happened across a $5 bowling ball.  And of course I had the thought ... "Now I could use this and really have a wind resistant gazing ball!"  My daughter who was along at the time, kind of thought it was another of my crazy ideas but even she admits it looks great!  

So the DIY info on this was -  

I purchased the bowling ball at Goodwill for $5 and I purchased an all weather glue adhesive at Walmart for about $3 per tube (I found E-6000 in the crafts department and used about 3 tubes for the project).  At a crafts store I found 2 boxes of glass mirrored gems in mixed sizes for about $8/box.  I did not use 2 full boxes of gems but 1  box would not have been enough.  

I placed the ball on an old towel on my work table, squeezed about a quarter size dab of adhesive on a paper plate and used a toothpick to butter the adhesive on the back of the gems as I placed them on the ball.  I worked on this project for a few weeks.  I just randomly fit the gems on the ball and was not concerned about making a pattern.  I worked on it a section at a time and let each section dry overnight before rolling the ball onto a completed section.  To date all gems are intact and looking good, and I do plan to move the ball inside my garage for winter.  And BEST of all it has had no issues with any strong prairie winds!! 😉

Friday, July 5, 2019

Green Bean Bonanza!!!

Wow!  In the span of just a few days my green beans have really taken off! 😀😀  I had picked just a handful last week and then we were gone for a few days to visit our youngest daughter.  (She is an animal ecology major -- doing summer wildlife rehab in the Wisconsin Northwoods!)  I came home and checked the garden to find a bean bonanza!!!  So I thought I would share a recipe here for a Sweet and Sour Green Bean Casserole.  I really love a traditional green bean casserole, but this one is an awesome variation and a family favorite too!


You can make this with fresh, canned or frozen green beans.  If using fresh, I trim and clean about 3 cups of beans then saute/stream them in a large covered skillet for 3 minutes in 1/3-1/2 cup of water.

For frozen beans, I cook about the same quantity in the microwave.  For canned, use 3 cans.

Drain prepared beans.  Brown about 1/2 package of bacon with one chopped medium size white onion..  Drain well and chop bacon.  Mix together 1/2 cup of mayo, 4 1/2 Tbsp sugar and 2 1/4 Tbsp vinegar.  Mix everything together and place in a clean skillet to heat thoroughly and serve.

Hope you enjoy this one!  Share the YUM.

~ Connie