You are currently browsing the archives for January 2009.
Displaying 1 - 4 of 18 entries.

Windowsill Gardening

  • Posted on January 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I love gardening so much. Ok ok, you caught me, I love the plants, not the weeding/work part so much. However, several months ago I decided to try some windowsill gardening this winter. I took a few seeds and put them into peat pots I’d plumped up with warm water and put them under the flourescent lights of my lighted grow cart.  

Weeks went by and tiny shoots came up in most (but not all), of the peat pots. I transplanted them into small pots and continued growing them under the lights.

One plant I wanted to try is a greenhouse friendly version of a miniature tomato, called Micro-Mini Tom.  I had grown a few of these over the summer outside in window boxes and loved the tiny tomatoey gems. Over the last few months, this seeding grew, it flowered. When it put out the first flowers, I took a tiny paintbrush and ‘pollinated’ them from flower to flower.  However, I know I didn’t pollinate as many flowers as there are tiny tomatoes, so I’m guessing it isn’t needed for this variety. Now it has tiny tomatoes, one of which I just tried for the first time today.  It’s about the size of a small marble, but is tart and tangy and a real taste of summer. Isn’t it cute, it’s about 8″ tall (about as tall as they get) and there are a lot of tiny green tomatoes that will hopefully ripen soon.

Micro-Tom Tomato

Micro-Tom Tomato

Another of my favorite plants I started growing a few months ago is the Aubutilon or flowering maple. This version is a Giant Flowering Maple and should get about 2-3′ tall.  Right now it’s about 10″ tall.  The leaves are huge, about 5″ long. It’s just started flowering and the tiny bell shaped flowers are a lovely reddish-orange with lots of tiny buds just beginning. I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop.

Giant Flowering Maple

Giant Flowering Maple

So now I sit here looking at my seed packets and my catalogs and can’t wait til it gets time to start the seed and get the gardens and beds ready. What are you planning to put in your garden this spring?

Thanks for stopping by,

Ellen – Lake Dardanelle

March Mini Contest

  • Posted on January 29, 2009 at 6:48 am

I just put up my  new Miniature Store with Shopping Cart for Ellen Crane Creations.  There are still more items to go up, but the basics are there.

“Make A Box” Contest Time – March 2009 (extended from February)- Rules!!

Many of you already have made some of my box kits (1″ x .5″ x .3″) in the past and you may have a few on hand. If so, you get to start a bit ahead of the game. No purchase necessary: If you don’t have any of my kits hidden away in your UFK (unfinished kit drawer), you are welcome to purchase kits from my store or from me directly. If you send me a stamped-selfaddressed return envelope (preferably a padded envelope), I’ll be happy to send you a free kit to start on.

I have included a couple of pictures of boxes made by a talented artisan named Terre. These are not entries in the contest, but yes, Terre can enter with new chests if she wishes. This is probably the first of many contests, I hope you like it.


Terre's Box


  1. The contest runs between now and 11:59pm, March 22, 2009.
  2. You need to make up one of my blank chest kits. You can use either the 1″ blank chest kit (interlocked or not, 1″ or one of the .5″ half chest kits”).
  3. You may use any of my blank chest kits you happen to have on hand. If you only have one of the ‘carved’ kits on hand and would like to use it, you may.
    1. Any media is acceptable, you are free to use your imagination. Stain, paint, decals, glitter, sprinkles, clay, findings, etc. Bashing is also acceptable.
    2. Chests may be lined or filled (mini examples: gloves, jewelry, cigars, treasure, etc.) or not, your choice.
  4. Chest kits are available either from my Miniature Shop at $2.50 for a single blank chest or 10 kits for $10 (bulk pricing).
  5. FREE KITS AVAILABLE – If you would like to receive a free chest kit (1″ interlocked kit), you may send me an envelope included a stamped-selfaddressed return envelope (preferably a padded envelope) to Ellen Crane Miniature Shop, 48 Bay Loop, Dardanelle, AR 72834.
  6. Entries will be in the form of a photo of a chest kit personally made by you.
  7. Photos should be emailed to me at with February Chest Contest in the subject line, no later than 11:59pm, March 22, 2009. Include your name, email address and any title or description you would like to include about your chest.
  8. Entry photos will be placed on the website and voted on by my readers.
  9. 1st Prize – $25 gift certificate to Ellen Crane Creations
  10. 2nd Prize – a 2″ “Secret’s” Celtic Box
  11. Prize Winner to be announced on Tuesday, March 31, 2009
  12. Any questions or comments can be referred to me at
Terre's Box

Terre's Box

Good luck to everyone!! – Hugs, Ellen

Snowy Wonderland

  • Posted on January 27, 2009 at 9:04 am

This week in Arkansas we’ve had predictions of horrific ice storms and Northern Arkansas has been hit with them. However in the River Valley the roads were actually fine and there was a small coating of ice on the trees and the deck. It wasn’t as pretty as what I would have enjoyed showing you, so I thought I’d show you these pictures from last Spring.

In early March, 2008, Husband was working in Conway/Little Rock on a huge project and we started getting snow. It snowed and snowed and I was frozen in with the dogs for 4 days. The first day wasn’t bad, it was a lovely white winterland, more snow than I have ever seen in my life. The doggies and I were fine, they loved the snow.

However on the 2nd day we lost electricity and I spent 48 hours without power (the entire area was without power)and I got to enjoy the “pioneer” life. The roads were icey and I do NOT drive when it’s bad, so I couldn’t even go into town and get food or walk through the stores. The house pretty much stayed warm, I layered on clothing and kept the dogs close by. I stayed curled up in blankets and read (sunlight during the day, flashlights at night). I had plenty of water and drinks, as well as sandwich materials and food that could be eaten without cooking. It wasn’t great, but it was okay.

The afternoon of the 3rd day, Husband came home and since power was still out we went into town and ate dinner. It was about 3pm, but I got out of the house, so I was happy. We also stopped and got a small gasoline powered generator so that if/when the power went out again we would have some basic necessities. We’ve used it several times since then. All in all, it wasn’t bad, but I certainly was happy to have electricity and hot water again.

Stay warm and dry…Hugs…Ellen

Great Blue

  • Posted on January 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Living on the lake, we get the opportunity to see and experience wildlife up close and personal. Although we don’t have a ‘lake view’ where we are, we have a very large pond. We don’t know exactly how big it is, we generally say it’s about an acre. But we really enjoy it as we can see the pond area from our house and the back deck.

We often see deer, wild rabbits, ducks, geese, heron, hummingbirds and tons of other birds in and around the property. We even have had racoons and beaver. I’ll be posting new pics as we see them and I find the pictures I have on the hard drive.

This morning there was a lovely heron standing statuesquely by the pond for the longest time, so I thought I’d grab a quick picture. I believe it is a great blue heron, but as I’m not a bird expert.

Heron on the Lake

Heron on the Lake

I also got one that is a bit more ‘up-close and personal’.

Heron on the Lake

Heron on the Lake

Isn’t he awesome?  I think he is beautiful.  We often see a heron like this around our pond, but whether it’s the same one or if this is just a popular stopping point on the heron feeding rotation, we’re not sure.

Have a peaceful and beautiful day.. Hugs..Ellen

PS..Mr Heron stood out on the pond bank all morning. Just a bit ago I looked outside and Mr Heron was gone, but 3 ducks were out enjoying the still pond surface.  Here they are…. 

All My Ducks

All My Ducks