Garden Update: June 12, 2014

It’s raining. So, what does a gardener do when it rains? She updates her gardening blog. A lot has been happening in the garden, but I haven’t had much energy to update this blog when I’ve been actually gardening. But it’s growing!!

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Potatoes, bush beans, tomatoes:

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More potatoes and mint:

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Potatoes growing in a crate:

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Cutting Gardening in progress-sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos: This picture is a bit blue, but you get the point. 

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I’m using watering system this year. If it works this year, I’m going to hide the hoses, but right now I really wanted to just see how it would do. Tony is in charge of watering my garden this week, so I wanted to quick install everything so he had less work.

 

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I got them at Walmart at the end of the season. They were originally $20 a pack, but I got them for 75% off and two from my brother-in-law for my birthday. I used 5 packs in the entire garden. I got them to stay by using a tent stake I bent to fit the hose. Each stake was $0.79 at Ace Hardware.

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A few reclaimed accents:

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Another use for an old chicken crate:

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I drilled holes in a wash tub and now it’s a planter for sunflowers and cosmos. My apple mint is a bit out of control here, you can’t even see the rusty mower in the back.

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My little guy. He HATES coming into the garden because he usually ends up getting sprayed by the hose at some point.

 

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And last, but not least the flowers are finally blooming:

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Mud Sale: April 12th

 

 

 

 

This was a new experience for me, not because I’ve never been to a Mud Sale, but because I went without Tony. My husband usually comes along-he helps me bid (I can be in two places at once), assists me get everything I bought, and loads things into the truck for me. Going alone was a new experience that I was nervous about, but with the husband being out of town it was a perfect distraction.

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If you didn’t catch my last Mud Sale post in 2013, let me tell you a little bit more:

  • It’s organized and run by Amish volunteers to benefit the local fire companies. All the items are donated and the profits go straight to the fire company.
  • It’s an all day event- lasting from 7:00-7:30am- 2-3pm.
  • There are quite a few auctions going on at the same time: 2 separate plant auctions, crafts, antiques, horses, building materials, yard equipment, quilts, and all sorts of other stuff.
  • When I attend a new sale, in order to know where to go I just follow the crowd of people.
  • If you want to get the best deals you have to wait until people get tired and go home. Or go to a mud sale when it’s raining or extremely hot. Mud Sales are being advertised much better now thanks to social media, so I can’t always find the best deal. Usually bad weather keeps people away.
  • You don’t have to carry any of your stuff to the car or truck. The little Amish boys will do all of that for you, I give them a tip.
  • I always bring my own chairs- I set one up at each tent I’m going to be bidding at. The seats they provide fill up quick.

This year I went in search of a few things- perennials, wood crates, and something to hang on my garden fence for decoration.

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They had crates! I only paid $3 each, but at our local craft store they are $12 each.

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There a lot of flowers and I did manage to get a good price on some decorative grass.

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For the garden fence, I bought stars I’m going to paint. Hopefully it looks okay. I had my eye on these cute wood daisies, but they went for almost $20 each (WAY TOO MUCH). So, instead I bought 7 stars for $12. That was more affordable for me.

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It was a great day even without Tony there. And I leave you with something you don’t see everyday.. (Don’t worry I took this picture when I was stopped in bumper to bumper traffic).

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And this is what the Amish kids do when the sale is just about over- It’s hard to see, but they are all playing volleyball.

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DIY Christmas Tree from a Tomato Cage

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I know. I know. We didn’t even have Thanksgiving yet, but the retail stores have tricked me into the holiday spirit.

I’ve seen a lot of DIY Christmas trees on Pinterest, but I have to tell you I was unimpressed with most of them. Most were showing the wires and if they did look nice, there was not a tutorial on how to do it.

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I used a tomato cage I already had. One that was in terrible shape.

I then used this garden twine to wrap around the tomato cage, but I’m sure you could use what you have on hand to save you money. I wanted it to be circular, so I put this all around the cage so the garland would have something to grab onto.

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The picture below looks messy, but it still worked.

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I then wrapped it with garland starting at the top. I got 30 feet at Lowe’s for $5 and I needed about 45 feet to cover the tomato cage.

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I then prepared the base. I used my Cricut Expressions machine to do this:

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Then I put the tree on top of a plastic pot (upside down) and put my tree on top. In order to give it some weight and take up space I wanted to use water bottles and gravel, but I didn’t have any one hand. Wine bottles though, yeah I had those. 🙂

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I then put garland on top (I got a 15′ section at Dollar tree). Then I decorated! I used all ornaments and stuff from Dollar Tree and I already had the ribbon! You can’t even tell the wine bottles are there.

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I’m pretty proud of my creation! And it was MUCH cheaper than the store bought ones.

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Price breakdown:

Wash tub: Free- I already had as a planter- btw you may have to drill holes in the bottom so water can drain out.
Wine bottles/plastic pot-free
Ribbon- Free (I already had, but it sells for $5 at Lowe’s)
Garland- $10 for 30feet (Lowe’s)
Garland- $1 for 15 feet (Dollar Tree)
Berries- $5 Lowe’s (although I found them at Dollar Tree after I already bought them at Lowe’s)
Ornaments: $2 (Dollar Tree)
Start topper: $2 (Dollar Tree)

If you add lights, it will be an extra $5 (I’m making another one that will get lights)

Total Cost: $20
If you use ornaments you already have, buy the berries at Dollar Tree, and keep an eye out for cheaper garland, you could make it for much cheaper.

The store bought trees cost anywhere from $48-$100.

 

 

 

 

Keeping a 4-year old busy

When I babysit, I have one rule. The TV must not be turned on. I know it may sound a little crazy (this may be the teacher in me) but I think if I’m babysitting them, we should be making memories, not viewing shows that really don’t matter.

So that’s just what we did yesterday- No TV and crafts only! She was a bit excited when I showed up with my craft bag! It was filled with stuff to make slime, thumbprint turkeys, and handprint turkeys. We also decorated Christmas ornaments, but that’s a bit too early to post on the blog. Let’s just enjoy Thanksgiving first. 🙂

Slime: Three ingredients- food coloring, glue, liquid starch. I used to do this with my 5th graders at least once a year and they loved it.

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She of course loved it too!

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Directions: 

1. Put glue- as much as you want- into a glass bowl. I used glass so it didn’t stain the plastic when we added the food coloring. I used 3/4 of the glue bottle you see in the picture.
2. Mix in food coloring to get the desired color.
3. Add liquid starch a little at a time while stirring. Keep adding little by little until the goo doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl and you have a clump.
4. Coat your hands in liquid starch so it doesn’t stick to you and mix it up with your hands. If it’s too sticky just add a little more liquid starch.

It’s that easy! And it occupies them for quite awhile!

The next crafts I found on Pinterest. The first one was from Close to Home where there are a quite a few crafts for kids. Ours did not turn out quite like the example, but here are our attempts at a thumbprint turkey:

Our turkeys-
I have to admit it was fun sticking our thumbs in paint and being so artistic! 🙂

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We also made another “Thankful Turkey.” I also got this from Pinterest, from Sortrature.

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Our finished product:

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I love that candy is first on her list!

Projects! Projects! Projects!

So, as you know I’ve been on a bit of a break. Actually it’s only really been a break from blogging. I’ve still been busy taking old objects and giving them new life. I’ve ventured out of just gardening and I am extending into home decor. There are just some things that are too beautiful to let sit outside. So, here’s what I’ve been working on. The “How-to’s” will come soon, but unfortunately I haven’t been taking ‘in progress pictures’ so that’ll have to wait.

Here is my first coat rack or jewelry holder:

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Another coat rack made of door knobs and a cabinet (I love the red paint underneath):

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A towel rack. Maybe? I didn’t really like the paint on this one but I was just experimenting:

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I’ve also been working on plate flowers for my garden. The one below is my favorite. I just have to add a spoon to the back and buy copper pipe. I also want to make a copper leaf somehow… I still have to think about how I’ll make that happen. But here it is so far:

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Here are a few things I picked up at the auction on Saturday, but you’ll have to stay tuned… I’m starting them this week for my mother-in-law! They don’t look like much now, but you just wait! 🙂

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I also picked up some old frames on Saturday. They are pretty rough and an older couple there wanted to know what I could possibly do with them. Oh, I’ll find something! Chalkboards? Signs? Garden glove holder with sign? Who knows? But I’m sure I’ll find something!

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I’m also working on projects for the garden to make with glass insulators. I’ve been collecting them for a few weeks now.

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I’m also pretty excited I found handmade nails! I picked them up at the auction Saturday. They were in a box of stuff that most people would think is junk. I can’t wait to work those into a few projects too!

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So, that was just SOME of what I’ve been working on lately. I also been taking quite few more pictures. My husband got a new macro lens for my camera, so here’s a picture with it! 🙂 I’m sure I could have captured more detail with the lens but this was my first picture with it. I just love the colors!

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Coming soon: More projects and “how to” directions 🙂

Jewelry Organizer: From an Antique Typeset Case

My husband and I are currently renovating our bedroom. I wanted a more cottage feel with blues and whites. So with a little white crown molding, a fresh coat of light blue paint, and new beige carpet our room is just about complete. In the meantime, I began organizing and decorating. The first thing I wanted to do was to declutter my dresser starting with my jewelry clump.

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What I had wasn’t working. Let’s face it, every women is trying to figure out a way to store and still display jewelry. I can’t even begin to tell you how many jewelry boxes I’ve owned since I was a teen.  I don’t even have very much jewelry; I just don’t wear it. Diamonds and gardening just don’t mix well. 🙂 Although not a lot of jewelry, I still needed a storage idea.

In search on Etsy I found one that I absolutely LOVED made out of a typeset case! However, the price tag wasn’t working–$129! Not that it isn’t worth it, but remember I don’t have that much jewelry and couldn’t justify spending that. Besides, I ALWAYS think… Hey! I can make that!  Ironically, my husband said we had an old typeset case above our garage! Awesome! ANNNDDDD it was already the color that matched our bedroom! Even better! So, with the help of my husband (as always) we tried to figure it out.

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So with a trip to the hardware store for hooks, we got started.

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I first organized my jewelry into the little boxes. Ummmmm…. is that all the jewelry I have?  Room to grow I guess. 🙂 He will eventually add hooks in every box, but we wanted to hang it and it is time consuming to put hooks in every box.

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My husband simply pre-drilled the holes and screwed in the hooks.

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We added hooks to the bottom for my necklaces.

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I LOVE it! I also think it adds character to the room.

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