Saturday, April 30, 2011

In the Garden

The hyacinth are done for the year but the violas are sending up buds again.
These look prettier this year than they did last year.

My poppy is getting a little out of control. Must be very happy near the house!

Unfortunately, the primrose are starting to fade.

The wee tot's Japanese maple tree (year 4)

Dianthus/fire witch
(year 3 but it didn't bloom last year after being transplanted the previous fall. Hopefully it will bloom this year. It does have good growth so I think it is setting buds. Fingers are crossed)

monarda/bee balm (year 1)

Bearded Iris (year 2)

Meadowsweet (year 1)

My jealous Oscar. He doesn't like me leaving him inside and then taunting him by playing in the flower bed :o)

The foxglove planted itself here as did the Labrador violets. Since the deer ate the lilies last year I'm not going to worry about it too much but I will be making sure the foxglove doesn't creep forward any further. And yes, there is a daylily in there also. This poor little bed needs some serious work in the fall!

I'm not sure which one is doing the crowding, the poppy or the phlox.
I have a feeling I will be relocating the phlox soon(since poppies aren't too fond of being moved).

The return of the salvia (year 4, I believe)

SURPRISE! A small rose bush growing in the side yard.

Another surprise, this peony is in our little side yard also. The neighbor had mowed over it and the rose most of last year so I never saw what color they could be. This year, we have no neighbors on that side so I will be putting a support around the peony, after I weed the entire side yard that is. I will let the little rose take shape as well and transplant some of the large daylilies I have in the front garden bed to make more room for the other flowers that are crowded.

Speaking of peonies, remember this one?
The above photo was taken on April 24th

Three days later, on the 27th

The very next day, the 28th

and today!
It blew my mind that this thing was growing so fast.
I swear the one day I could see it growing from one potty break for the dog to the next.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Time for a Giveaway!

I finally made it to 200 Facebook Page followers (up to 203 now) so I am having a giveaway. Originally, I planned to giveaway a sculpture of Pooh and Piglet I was making especially for the giveaway but with classes and the garden gnome, I don't have enough time to dedicate to it being the cutest little sculpture that I know it can be.

So, I went through my treasure trove and decided to giveaway these three little birds. (It's pretty appropriate since yesterday was Audubon's birthday.) Plus, I've been mesmerized by the birds visiting my feeders lately.

So here are the rules.

Receive one entry for each of these actions:
  • Like Busy Little Elf on Facebook
  • Follow this blog (2 entries if you also follow on networked blogs) You can find both on the sidebar.
  • Follow Busy Little Elf on Twitter
  • Make bzlittlechristmaself a favorite etsy shop
  • Make busylittleelf a favorite etsy shop
  • Tweet about this contest (use #busylittleelf so it is easy to find)
  • Share this blog entry(Facebook, blog,etc.)
  • Like this blog post on the Facebook page
  • Leave a comment on this blog entry of every above action you've taken. (please leave links in the comment where appropriate, ie. a blog post) If you leave each action as a new comment, I'll give you an additional entry for each additional comment. If you already follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger,etc. just remind me as a comment, they absolutely count as an entry!!
Depending on what venues you share this on you can get quite a few entries (a minimum of 19 entries if you share only on Twitter and Facebook and do all the actions outlined above.)

The contest will run from today, April 27, until next Wednesday, May 4.
The entries will be tallied up for each person, entered into a list randomizer and three winners will be chosen at

I'll announce winners names as a blog post and on the Busy Little Elf Facebook page. It will be the responsibility of each winner to contact me with their shipping addresses via a comment on the winner's blog post (all will be kept strictly confidential and not posted)

If I missed anything, please let me know and I'll address it ASAP.

Also, if you are reading this on the Hive, please visit my Blogger blog to post your actions so I don't miss any of your entries! Thank You!

And as for that Pooh and Piglet sculpture, we'll have a 'Christmas in July' giveaway! Details will be posted as we get closer to July :o)

Good Luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Garden

Missed this post on Friday so I went out on Easter Sunday and took a few current photos of the garden. It is very wet out there but I do have daffodils blooming at long last!

Garden Gnome Progress - The Painting Continues

His face is virtually done, although I have to touch up a few spots here and there. His beard will be done when I get all the cards finished and applied. They were giving me some issues. You can see below how they will be inserted into his beard. They are finished on both sides and then I cut out a piece in his beard to slide them into. Once I have them all painted, I'll go back and use Magic Smooth to attach them permanently, painting over anything that needs touched up.

If you look closely you can see where his nose needs a touch up(got a little beard paint on the underneath) and the slot cut out for the playing card. There will be four total on the front and a number(exact number still undetermined:O) on the back.

An even better photo of the card in the beard.

The Cheshire cat. His face will be the only thing fully painted. His body will appear to be vanishing. The whole front of the hat will be a tree with dark green black leaves that wrap around to the Mad Hatter scene on the back.

Above, all the little leaves are painted.
Below, the darker grass is almost finished.

Need to finish the card player's face, shoes and the white roses being painted red. The background will go in soon. It will be a dark burgundy black that wraps all around the gnome's body.

The bottom black background being painstakingly put in while the details get finished. It really does make everything pop.

Would have had more finished but I had a heavy week at school and Easter so I didn't get as much done as I would have liked to. Good news is I only have one class left on Saturday and a couple weeks of the other class (that doesn't take as much time) so I should be able to make great headway. :o)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Garden Gnome Update - The Painting Begins

Painting is underway! I'm basically working on the front first and then will progress to the back. The dark background will be put in last so that the color is consistent from front to back. He looks a bit like Santa Claus right now but he will have some gray in his beard and eyebrows and his hat won't be white so that will help. There are also playing cards that will be tucked into his beard. Those will probably be applied this week.

His eyes ended up being a little more brown than green but I like how they are looking so I'm leaving them a green-brown hazel. They also have gold flecks in them now. Quite pretty and his eyes really give him life. His face needs more paint. I started with a light shade of flesh, added a darker shade and will now even it out, adding highlights and shadows. (oh! and some color to his cheeks :O)

He is going to be so heartbroken when the gnome goes to his new home :o(

Most of the colors you see are just where I've laid in basic colors. There will be more depth and texture I just haven't started to add it yet.


The caterpillar's 'shroom will have bright white spots. I added another layer of red to the cap and decided to paint over the spots instead of trying to paint around them.

The smoke will hopefully be even more pale. I will be covering all three colors with a layer of transparent silver so that it looks a little more mystical. (or should I say *mist*ical) It'll be against a dark background and the edges will be softened.

Note: the base of the gnome has become a parking lot for toy cars!

The caterpillar isn't finished yet but he is looking mighty dapper dressed in blue

That's all the progress from the past week. Now I must buckle down so that I can finish up the front this week and move to the back.

Oh! And I've neglected my Easter decorations this year so I must make up to the young one by making sure I don't neglect my easter cooking traditions. We have a lemon poppyseed pound cake lamb to make and decorate, eggs to dye and (hopefully, if I can pull it off) homemade poppyseed and nut rolls to make.

Oy! At least I did all my Easter grocery shopping yesterday
so all I have to pick up is asparagus for Easter Sunday dinner.

Have a great and productive week!