Thursday, May 30, 2013

Garden goodies

My poor lil red wagon has a busted wheel and rusted through (sniffle), Never fear, I have an upcycle in mind for it.

Looky looky at my new toy! This is a wagon on steroids. (I seriously want to do the Tim the Tool Man grunt right now). This bad boy can haul 700 pounds. Oh yes! I have lots of projects swirling around in the scary-murky depths of my brain. The garden cart can be pulled or a simple flip of some cotter pins and it can connect to the back of the lawn mower. Which would be great except the hubbs doesn't like the way I mow and he hid the mower keys--I am NOT kidding!! gggrrrr...All the sides fold down and it makes a great for when you need to take a break too. I LUUURRRVVVEEE it!

Most of the pretties are in place. I can't wait for the flower boxes to fill in and steal the show. When doing florals in boxes and pot don't forget to use the thriller's, fillers, and spillers rule. Thrillers usually involve height, color and smell. Fillers are usually greenery. And spillers is all all the drapey stuff. 

Just wait until everything fills in!
This is a simple arrangement which used Dracena as my thriller (spikey height) I added petunias (pink petals with a yellow throat) which will also have a sweet light fragrance, yellow salvia for visual contrast, and I added 2 kinds of greenery for for the spillover effect. I would have prefered lantana but could not locate any at the 4 nurseries I visited. I had very slim pickin's to choose from, which  I assume everything had been picked over due to  the Mother's Day to Memorial Weekend span.

I didn't prune my roses and as a result they are taking over the garden shed and possibly part of the yard. Two of my roses came from a friend's yard after she pretty much hacked them to death. I wasn't sure if they would survive but did they ever!

This is a fuschia rose (sorry no idea what type) Here is July 2011 when I was on the rebound after I planted it  (Sorry for poor picture quality it a cell phone snap).

Here it is 2 years later. Holy Hulthemia x Rosa Batman!

I talked the hubbs into 3 more raised beds. He was kinda snarly about it grumbling he was not gonna have any yard left to mow. Um really?! There is still 335 feet left--he is such a crybaby sometimes, haha

I know the beds look kind of out of align but everything was levelled , plumbed and tamped before I finished. Blame this bad picture on my impatience and poor photography skills, haha

One thing we did differently with these raised beds are we marked the placement, the hubbs rototilled to a depth of 12 inches, I sifted rocks and debris, removed any weed/grass clumps, graded the soil, placed the frame, layered in news paper, mixed my soil (4 parts garden soil-sifted, 1/2 part composted moo-nure, 1/2 part mushroom compost, 1/2 part peat, 1/2 part sand), filled the beds (each bed is 4ft x 4ft x 7 inches) then I used the excess ground soils and grass clumps to pack around the exterior perimeter of the beds (to a height of 3 inches). I had some bowing and slight warping on a couple of my beds from last year. I was more careful in the placement of the cedar planks this year. If there was a warp to the board I turned it in so the weight of the soil bed would push against it. The idea is it will be enough to make it "straighten" out.

Well that is all I have for y'all now. What is gonna on in your little slice of paradise?

Monday, May 13, 2013

My not so fancy corner office

I must have some kind of gypsy blood. Or ants-in-my-pantsitis. Because I am constantly moving stuff around. I had taken over the dining room as my office which at first was great because I could spread out but that ended up not working because that is also the puppy prison. And the dog really did eat my homework. And my office chair. And my credit card. And my curtains. And my...well you get it.

I tried working upstairs in the spare bedroom but I am not gonna lie, it was far too comfy. The smushy bed and all those pillows--um yeah I usually fell asleep, which is great for bedtime not so much for project crunch time. I mean seriously, could you stay awake in this room and study?

So then I thought instead of using the little folding TV tray table why not move my Grandma's desk into the  living  room. But that meant something had to go. I sacrificed the big comfy recliner. It was old, the foot mechanism was sticking,  it wasn't so comfy anymore and quite frankly was just plain big. Grandma's desk has made the rounds between various family members and is a little worse for wear. Someday I will refinish it or something. I just haven't got there yet.

I stacked a child size bookcase I purchased at a thrift store to give it a hutch look. I like that it is off center so I can tuck in a basket of pens (possibly some candy canes--don't judge) and my phone in the little nook.

The chair I am using as an office chair is an old wooden folding chair and is NOT comfortable at all. A quick fix involved 2 old throw pillows and apple green standard sized pillowcases to use as "slipcovers". I wouldn't fall asleep in this chair but at least my butt is no longer doing so. And I don't  have to get up hunched over like a turtle because my back hurts from sitting on slab of wood.

I had to spend FOUR hours cleaning, organizing and decrapifying my living room to make room for everything but I probably needed to that anyways.  The room feels much more open. Overall I think it looks nice tucked in the corner and fill what would otherwise be an awkward space.

Tovah approves this blog post, haha

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A 2 hour delegated project

I think it was sometime in January when the glass exploded on our patio table. And explode it did. Little shards of glass spewed everywhere. I am STILL finding glass chunks in the yard and in patio crevices. So none y'all best go barefoot around my house...

The table  is an odd shaped called a boat or bow shape. I have found it is cost prohibitive to purchase new glass.  Well the hubbs and I hemmed and hawed about trying to determine what is the best course of action--try to repair the table with a new top or purchase a  new patio set. Since glass and plexiglass were out of the question, we looked at having plywood cut to fit, then sealing. However the lip of the table was 5/8 inch thick and there were no supports for the wood. It would have sagged. Not to mention that table was almost 20 years old. So we bit the bullet and agreed to purchase a new table, chairs and umbrella.

Ummm easier said than done. The sets we found in our price range was light weight metal and not what we (and by we--I mean me) have in mind. I looked at all the big box stores (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart) and everything I liked was over a $1000--um no can't afford that.

Finally one day I was at Target and I thought why not. I might as well see what they have. And then I saw it. The perfect table. Oil rubbed bronze with a tile table top-- it was on sale AND in my price range. I used my Target card and saved an additional 5%.  The table is HEAVY. The best part is the table top. It isn't glass and if anything happens to to the tiles I can buy new ones in ANY color to replace them. omg I can re-decorate my patio table?!

We live right around the corner from Target and once we came home I decided I wanted a set of rocker swivel chairs to match. So we went back and bought those. Now I have 6 chairs (4 regular and 2 swivel). 2 of the regular chairs are moving to the front entry porch and there is a project that goes along with that. It took the hubbs about 2 hours  to assemble everything. The market umbrella was purchased at Kohl's. On sale for $69.99, I had  a 25% coupon and $40 in Kohls cash. Out of pocket expense (before taxes)  was $12.49. SCORE! This is the first time in 23 years we have had a brand new patio set and we absolutely love it. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

A 45 minute inspired project

As promised in my Friday post I am working on projects during my break between semesters. One of several things I worked on was my inspiration board. I mean a real life inspiration board as opposed to to my Pinterest boards

Take one plain (ugly) cork board and with a little wave of jazz hands yeah you get a not so plain (maybe kinda nice looking) pin board. You see what I did there, eh eh? Pin board sounds soooo much more fancy than cork board.
I very carefully popped the cork board out from the frame. 

I did a quick sand and tack off of the frame before hitting it with several very light sprays of hammered metallic brown paint (allowing to dry between sprays)

Next I raided my hoard stash of fabric for some material to cover the pin board which I did a rough cut to fit the dimensions of the board (12x24 inches) by adding about an inch to each edge. After cutting I ironed the fabric smooth.

I flipped the pin board over and placed the "good side" of the cork to the wrong side of the fabric. I pulled the fabric smooth and taut while reinserting the  pin board in the frame. once pin board was reinserted, I smoothed any wrinkles and ran a bead of hot glue on the back side of the board to hold the fabric in place.

I reinstalled the wall hanging hardware, added 1/2 inch clear bumpers so as to not to scratch the wall and added a few inspirational pictures/ motivational quotes. Now when I sit at my desk, although I may not have a direct window view, I have an inspired view. Oh and I used orphaned earrings as my pins, which makes it funky and blingy!

The quotes are:

"Success is a journey, not a destination"-Ben Sweetland (author of  several self help and motivational books)

"Striving for success without hard work, is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted"-David Bly (Minnesotan Democrat and Farm Labor Party)

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams"-Henry David Thoreau (an abridged quote from hs conclusion in Walden. One of the most renowned  (and still modernly relevant) Transcendental philosophies to be published. 

"If  you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need" -Marcus Tullus Cicero (An ancient Roman philosopher)

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"- Eleanor Roosevelt

I hope you find this as inspirational as I do!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A 15 minute blingy project

I have been working on my nest aka my living room. I spent 4 hours the other night de-crappifying the room, re-organizing and moving some furniture around. Now it needed a little more personality, so I dug through my stash of decorating stuff.

What do you do with a cute little hand painted thrift store canvas this is a little rough around the edges and there is no money in the budget to pay for a frame?

Well the 1st thing I did was add a little scotch tape around the edges to stop the fraying because I was afraid using clear nail polish or superglue would hurt the painting.

Don't worry I am not rednecktifying this...
I dug through my stash of crap crafting stuff and brought out the leftover nail head trim.

Once I tapped all the nails into place it was ready to hang on the wall.

I wasn't kidding when I said 15 minutes. It took me longer to schlep upstairs, pull my craft junk out of the totes and write this post than it did to complete the trim work.

Personally I like it and it gives it some dimension. Not so much  as oomph as a little nudge, kinda like, "Hey there. I got a little sparkle, wink-wink."  Not to mention it was cheap because I already had the supplies. Even better...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy Friday Y'all

Oh, indeed, it is a happy Friday. I finished my semester yesterday and I am on break for 18 glorious days. EIGHTEEN GLORIOUS DAYS!!  Which means lots of projects. Or a lot of time spent thinking about projects. Which leads to a lot of time googling said project ideas and pinning them on pinterest. And the next thing you know the 18 days have passed, I have a dozen unfinished projects, plaster in my hair, paint on my ass, several lacerations, a black eye and have eaten my feelings in my weight equivalent of pasta, chicken fried rice and oreos. So to save us all time, disappointment, pain, a potential trip to the urgent care, and me gaining anymore weight,  I won't promise any projects. So IF I do something it will be a surprise--to all of us, haha.

True Story

Although I do have a  frugal find to share. 

I made a quick trip to Kohl's. I have been scouting a coverlet for my couch because my dogs are not well trained enough to stay off of the furniture. I really didn't want the hassle of a slipcover and sheet was too flimsy looking for my liking. Surprise! I scored an awesome deal on a twin sized coverlet (too bad it wasn't a full size).

Normal price $99.99, on clearance (80% discount) for $19.99, minus a 30% coupon (yay!) and $10 in Kohls cash results in my out of pocket cost (before taxes) $3.99. YAHOO!  I was concerned it may not cover the couch correctly but as you can see it fits nicely and is dog approved.

And   in other news...
I have lots-o- little seedlings in the fantastic plastic greenhouse. Well it WAS fantastic until the hubbs wrecked it with the weed whacker. Now it is rather rednecktified with tape along the bottom...siiiggghhh.

The hubbs is on a stay-cation this week and you know what that means! A honey-do list! Which I so thoughtfully printed off and taped to the door of his man cave. You're welcome, hehe

The big garden bed has been roto-tolled again and hopefully plants go in by Mother's Day. The 5 raised beds have been cleaned up. I have asparagus coming up (yay!). Strawberries are going gangbusters--lots of blooms and even a few tiny berries-- except I need to put netting over them to keep the birds away from them. My thyme and sage came back on their own but all the other herbs will need replaced including my HUGE 3 yr old rosemary bush. Totally my fault because I didn't dig it up and put it by the garage mulched with straw. Kinda bummed about that...

Now for much needed advice...I need to prune my grapevine which I have not done. Any of my readers have experience with this? When is the best time? How much do I cut? And how can I do cuttings to harvest the vine for crafts?

My class schedule for summer is only 3 classes until end of June then I will pick up a 4th class until the summer semester ends in August. Only 2 more semesters to go until I can graduate and embark on my new career. Hopefully I can get back in the groove and post more than 1x per week..

I do thank all of my readers for hanging in there with me. It has been difficult to to do any house projects with the demands of school. Not to mention money has been so tight. Yes it should give rise to more creative solutions (and has) but I have been very overwhelmed  with the demands from my classes.

Well that is all for now. Get out there and enjoy the sunshine wherever you are!