Easter Egg 101

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Have you chosen your egg decor for this year? Are you going with neon, foil wrapped, beaded, yarned or naked eggs?

I personally, can’t seem to make up my mind. I love the brown eggs that our beautiful Delaware chickens lay. They are so lovely just as they are. Sometimes they even have brown spots. Bonus!

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Last year, before we had fresh eggs, I dyed our eggs with coffee, among other things. Click here for the link and tutorial.

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Today, I am in the mood for bling. I bought a bag of plastic eggs from the craft store and a big bucket of fake jewels. A glue gun and some elbow grease made these eggs worthy of display.

I love them with this white table setting.

I have yet to decide what to put inside the eggs, however. It most likely will involve chocolate. I am sure this does not surprise you.

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My last option are eggs covered with Washi tape. It’s fast and easy. The only downside is you may end up with a few wrinkles in the design due to the shape of the eggs. This may annoy some people, I am not that picky so it doesn’t bother me.

The upside, is that the Washi tape comes in tons of great Easter colors. This would also be a good project for kids.

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I favor natural materials for egg display such as spaghnum moss and spanish moss from the Dollar Store. I also love the little rustic nests I got on sale after Easter last year, they are perfect egg holders. The butterfly adds an extra touch of color.

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Of course, you can keep your eggs plain, after all there is nothing wrong with that. I also love using the wire napkin holders I made last year as egg holders. You can never do too much in the way of re-purposing!

What are your favorite egg decorating traditions?

In Love with Orchids

 

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Coming back from vacation has it’s perks. The snow is now gone, and I actually saw a robin in the yard today. It seems like overnight, winter has finally given up and warmer days are ahead.

Returning from vacation has it’s down side also, I can no longer avoid all the things I have been worrying about, and I am still suffering from the time zone differential, a.k.a., I need a nap. A long nap.

For today, I will share our vacation visit to this fantastic orchid greenhouse. I have never seen anything quite like this, an entire greenhouse full of just orchids.

It was absolutely amazing. I could have wandered around in there for days.

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The woman who ran the place, had the most interesting way of organizing her orchids, rows and rows of vertical hanging baskets. Each one was connected to the one above by a simple metal hook. It gave the impression of being an entire wall, but it really wasn’t a wall at all.

Orchids do not need soil, some varieties thrive purely on air and water, others require bark or moss to cover the roots. These hanging “vines” are photos of all the bare roots, just hanging down from their little wooden or plastic baskets. I would love a greenhouse full of these!

It felt like a jungle. 

It was a jungle.

 This particular variety of orchid only blooms every 6 years ( I can’t remember the name of them, sorry!).  These are only 4 years old, and won’t bloom for two more years. I can’t imagine having that much patience waiting for them to bloom would be so hard for me!  Wow, this woman had PATIENCE!

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I especially loved the orchids planted in the wooden baskets. They look so gnarly and rustic, what an inspiration! Don’t you just LOVE it?

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Another wall was covered with wire fencing, then with rows of tiny orchid baskets on hooks. This system was part of how she propagates her orchids, and these were not for sale. Each one was labeled with the latin name, and she knew all of them!

 I would love to learn how propagate orchids, although I guess I should learn to grow them first without killing them. Sigh.

First things, first.

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My son had the best time in this place, he found an orchid to take home with him as a souvenir. This variety, Phalainopsis, is quite common, you can buy them at Home Depot or your local greenhouse. They have the most dazzling blossoms.  Keep your orchid in indirect sun, and evenly moist. The bathroom is a great place for them, they love the humidity. You can put them in the tub with a bit of water if you have to go out of town, they will be happy until you return.

I must say, I really don’t know that much about orchids, I killed one once that I had been given as a gift. Fortunately, my son is very good with plants and I am hoping we can keep this one alive for a while. Forever, actually.

Next time we are on vacation, I am bringing home a dozen of them, at least!

Art Supply Carrier

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I have a little problem with art supplies. I collect tons and tons of them.

My problem is that I am not good at organizing them.

This may not be a surprise to you. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am not much of an organizer. It’s just not in my genetic makeup.

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In the far corner of our living room, behind the sofa, the coat rack and the fish tank, lies a pretty useless half wall. Why there is a half wall I do not know, but when we moved into this rental, I decided to claim the big gaping hole in the top of the wall for my art supplies.

I filled it with mason jars full of brushes, markers, colored pencils, paints and various other items.

I am now faced with the fact that we will be moving from this location this summer, and I will no longer have my previous storage.

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This is a full blown crisis to me.

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I found this great tool carrier at the thrift store for $2.00. It is rather rustic, and not very well made. That’s okay, it reminds me of the little projects my kids used to build out of wood at the Home Depot workshops. I love things that are simple and rustic.

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I used two different size stencils that I had to create the graphic label on the side of the box. Rather than painting the letters, I used a Sharpie Marker. I am far too impatient to properly paint today.

Then I made a wash with water and craft paint to stain the wood.

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Mason jars are excellent for painting, by the way. I applied two coats of the wash, right over the stencil and all. It is a bit messy working with watery paint, so be sure to put some plastic under your project if you try this technique. I use the bottom of a plastic bakery box. It is my favorite for messy projects, and I won’t feel guilty when I finally throw it away.

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I filled my box with all my little jars of supplies, plus a few extras. Granted it doesn’t hold everything my previous storage space did, but I love that it’s mobile. I can pick it up and take it around the house where ever I am working.

The cherries are a recent art project of my son’s, they remind me of summer!

And the flowers, well, they are there just because.

That’s my organizational tip of the day!

Enjoy your Sunday!

DIY Woolly Sheep

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It’s spring here this week. Yup, it is. Regardless of the temperatures and weather forecasts, to me it is SPRING.

There are some woolly sheep that live down the road from us. They are absolutely adorable especially at the end of the winter when their coats get big and thick.

Have you ever been to a spring sheep shearing? It’s so much fun to watch. I would highly recommend it.

I found these adorable little sheep at an antique sale recently. They looked out of place and had to come home with me.

I purchased the three sheep on the left, the one on the right I made to go with the others. Here’s how I did it:

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Supplies:

White and Black Wool Roving (you can purchase this from craft stores in the knitting department)

felting needle

Cinnamon sticks or twigs for legs

small piece of floral foam

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I began by winding the white wool roving tightly around the palm of my hand to make a ball. After I started this I realized I wasn’t going to have enough wool, so I ended up using a piece of floral foam in the middle of my sheep body and winding the wool around it to save on materials. You can do it either way. You could also use a cheaper wool yarn in the middle of the ball/body and put the white wool roving around the outside.

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After a time, I slipped my palm out of the wool, and began winding in the opposite direction. Continue winding as before changing directions until desired body shape is formed.

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After I formed my body (remember mine has foam in the middle, I forgot to take a picture of it), I used the black roving to make a head.

I just bunched up the wool and used the felting needle to secure it into the wool. It takes a bit of stabbing, but it does work.

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After the face, came the ears. I used more wool and draped it across the top of the head, then secured again with the felting needle. Sorry for the poor picture, I don’t have a tripod yet, it’s hard to shoot and use the needle at the same time.

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I used cinnamon stick legs, and secured them into the foam body with hot glue. Make sure your sheep will stand up before gluing.

Then the last step was to “fluff” the sheep out by adding scraps of wool around the body to give a curly effect. I had bits of leftover roving about 2-3″ long, and worked great for this process. I applied them randomly in a curly pattern all over the sheep body.

I did not felt my sheep, but you certainly could. If you decide to felt, be sure to use 100 percent wool yarn, and do not use the foam. Make your yarn ball/body, then put it through the wash cycle and dryer cycles to felt it before adding the head, ears and legs.

Be sure to come back March 3 for the Mega Spring Linky Party!

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Baaaaa, Baaaaa

Scoop Group Mega Spring Linky Party

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Welcome to the Spring Linky Party! I am so excited to be a part of this event! Lots of great blogs will be linking up their very best ideas for spring!

Check out this line up:

Worthington Court

The Everyday Home

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Confessions of a Plate Addict

Stone Gable

The party goes live March 3-7!

Linking up on my site, your work will appear on all of the above sites and many more! The link up will be going on all week long, be sure to stop back to see the latest updates!

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I am going to be focused on SPRING this week. Each day I will feature a new spring project. I am writing this because I know that if I commit myself on the web, that it will actually get done. Otherwise, it might be July before I get around to it! Ha, Ha!

Today’s project is this sweet little moss planter. I adore this purse shape that I came across at our local garden center. I had to put something green in it of course, hence the little primrose.

It’s a bit small for our big door, so I added the frame behind it and the spring banner. The banner is made from cardboard and craft paper. I was feeling crafty yesterday and stenciled it while basking in the sunshine. Sigh.

The butterfly was one I had left over from some of my projects from last spring. I just love butterflies. I can’t get enough of them .

I know what you are thinking,

 Doesn’t this gal live in Wisconsin? Isn’t there snow there? How is she going to keep this thing alive on the door?

Well, I’m not. For now, it will have to remain indoors.

But, on warm days, I can put it on the door and welcome Spring.