Top Ten Blog Posts of All Time

DSS-button1

This year is a big blog anniversary for me. I have been blogging for 6 years. Hard to believe it’s been that long. Lots has changed since my early blog days, but every now and then it’s fun to see where you have been. These are the top ten most popular posts on my site to date, according to Google Analytics:

1-DIY cleaning products 0021) DIY Drain Cleaner I had no idea that this post would be so popular when I wrote it. I was sure it would be the biggest bomb of all time. I recall I had nothing better to talk about that day than cleaning the drain. My photography has gotten lots better since then, so be understanding! Last summer I made a You Tube Video of cleaning your drain, if you need some pointers, check it out!

How to hem coat sleeves

2) How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves This tutorial is not quick, but you can hem your own sleeves without spending a fortune! Step by Step instructions are included!

3) Christmas Wine Bottles: This is an easy project from my 31 Days of Pintrest Series. Back in the early blogging stage, I was short on  ideas so I decided to recreate 31 of my favorite Pintrest projects. Some worked great, many did not! Here’s the entire post if you are interested. I still love these bottles, and they are one of my most Pinned posts. There are so many great ways to decorate with a simple recycled wine bottle!

designerssweetspot.blogspot.com

4) Betty Bling: She is still one of my all time favorite projects, this little garden head was easy to make and so much fun! My kids thought it was creepy, but I still love her! I can’t wait for garden season to replant and begin again!

designerssweetspot.com

5)How to Sew a Satin Robe: This one surprised me. I started a series last year called 31 Days of Sewing, if you never heard of it, it’s because it was a disaster. I dropped the sewing machine on my foot, and was handicapped for days afterwards. Plus a million other little sewing disasters like breaking needles, running out of thread, I eventually gave up. I should rename it 15 Days of Sewing because I never finished it! LOL!

designerssweetspot.com

6) Painted Velvet Chairs: We still have these chairs and I still love them. They are a lovely shade of grey and we use them every day. They were a $30.00 find that I updated with some spray paint and nail heads. These chairs were also part of a recent feature in Everything Home Magazine. How cool is that???

designerssweetspot.com

7) How to Sew a Fleece Robe: What?? More sewing? Yes, this tutorial is popular as well. So is my robe, I wear it all the time.

Someone You Love

8) Omnibus by Veritas Press: We still homeschool our kids. With only two kids left at home and two already in college, I don’t write about homeschooling a lot these days. Our kids have loved this Omnibus home school curriculum. I have loved how much they have learned, and how successful they have been even in college. I am sure this curriculum played a big part in their becoming “Superman”. Who doesn’t want to grow up and be Clark Kent?

Claw Foot Tub

9)Ginger Foot Bath: This is another post from a 31 Day Series on Cleansing. Who know it would be so popular? This bath is wonderful for clearing the sinuses and making you feel invigorated.

Finished faux brick2

10) Faux Urban Loft: Again, this post has made my top ten. Hard to believe it was so popular. Come to think of it, I still haven’t finished the how to video that I started months ago! Paint and a stencil were all that was required to make this faux brick wall!

A Trip to the Orchard

Door creek logo

It’s hard to believe that fall is here AGAIN. Wasn’t it just fall last year? My sense of time gets more warped the older I get.

Door creek truck

It seems like we were just here picking apples last year. This year is even better for we had an excellent growing season. I love the apple logo at our favorite orchard. It’s so quaint.

It’s even more adorable on this old truck.

suprised james suprised james2

Our youngest son was rather reluctant to come apple picking. He quickly changed his mind when he realized how beautiful the apples were. He now tells me he wants to work here some day.

golden apples

We came home with bags of Empire, Golden Delicious and Jona Free apples.

We sampled each one on the drive home.

They were all excellent.

grapes

The orchard also has several different types of grapes that you can pick. The vines were loaded and we brought home a bag full of Concord grapes to make jam.

More on that soon!

mason bee house

I always enjoy seeing how professionals find ways to use sustainable gardening methods. This Mason Bee house was one of several along the orchard groves. The bees make there homes in here and pollinate the apples in the process. I love it!

black sheep

This farm raises black Welsh sheep. They sell their wool for yarn and you can buy fresh mutton, although I can’t imagine eating such a darling creature! They use the sheep to clean the orchards after the picking season is over. The animals eat the fallen apples and even find the weeds. Such smart farming!

Isn’t this ewe adorable? She quickly decided that I was not worth her time. She ran off to find someone who would feed her handfuls of grass.

black sheep grazing

I could get used to a view like this. I am quite sure that I must have been a shepherdess in another life.

Yup, sheep are my thing.

silo doors

Even the barns are so interesting. I love this round Silo with the rusty doors.

red barn

The red barns are so lovely. This one has a beautiful stone foundation.

Although we were just here, we have eaten almost all of the apples we picked. I guess we will just have to make another trip!

 

 

Spooky Succulent Garden

finished succulent garden

Halloween isn’t one of my favorite holidays.

However, I usually have one small decoration around this time of year.

This time, I made a Spooky Succulent Garden.

Succulents are about the spookiest thing I can think of.

They are sharp, odd shapes and colors, and have almost no roots. The best thing is that they require almost no care.

Supplies for garden2

I started with a saucer filled with cactus soil and some succulents that needed transplanting.

Supplies for garden

I came across these mini figurines at the Dollar Tree and I thought they would work great for this project. I had the crows left over from my decorations from last year, but I think they also came from the Dollar Tree.

in progress

To make the garden, I decided where to put the plants first. I wanted the “castle” to be the center of attention at the back of the tray and tried it out on a plastic container.  In the end, I decided to use a flower frog to put it on.  If you don’t have a frog, a plastic container would still work. Then I placed the trees, sticking them down into the soil to anchor them.

placing the plants

I purchased black aquarium gravel at Walmart to make the plants stand out and give the entire garden that spooky appearance. I removed the castle because I wanted it to sit on top of the soil along with the other figurines. I put the gravel over the soil, and patted it in place.

macro spooky succulents

I placed the castle on top of the soil next. The castle is sitting on a flower frog that I covered with floral moss for a bit of spooky, dead grassy interest. A few topiary pins hold it into place. If you use a plastic container, you will have to glue the moss on the container.

All these supplies came from the Dollar Tree.

I love the little crow in the tree, he is my favorite. I also love the pink Where-wolf, he cracks me up! Did you know Where-wolves wore pink? Neither did I!

At any rate, the colors in the figurines work well with the succulents.

birds eye view

A few wisps of spider web, and a couple of little black spiders make the display complete. I added a few extra rocks, just to make things interesting.

finished succulent garden

Spooky garden porch

Perhaps this little garden is not so spooky after all. Our giant squeaky rat and the Mamma crow stand guard over the succulents on our porch.

Thanks for stopping by!

I made it to week two of the So You Think Your Crafty contest! Thanks for all your support! The overall winner of this weeks competition is featured on SYTYC today. More projects to come, there are 7 more weeks to go!

 

Azaleas in Bloom

Autumn Sunset

This is a sponsored post, any opinions given are completely my own.

An exciting thing happened this week, the Southern Living Encore Azaleas began blooming! I was thrilled to see they are thriving after being in the ground a short time. If you remember, Southern Living sponsored this post earlier in the spring.

My plants are still in the early stages of development, and they are rather petite right now. That’s okay with me, I know they will do great things.

buds

I planted the azaleas according to the directions, and they have thrived all summer. We had steady rain this year, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of extra time watering which was nice.

The plants are covered with blossoms, I have been watching them every day waiting for them to bloom.

fertilizer

 

The biggest trick to being successful with Azaleas, is using a good fertilizer. I like the type that you just sprinkle down in the hole before you plant. Then you can add a bit more on the surface as needed. coffee grounds

My other secret ingredient, is coffee grounds. Lots of them!redAdd them to the roots of your plants about once a week. Azaleas like acidic soil, and it’s a great natural boost for your plants.

pink

I am thrilled to see that these blooms look just like the ones on the tag! I no longer have to sneak into my neighbors yard to covet his Azalea blossoms. This pink variety is called Autumn Twist.

red

It won’t be long and my neighbors will be sneaking into my yard to covet my beautiful Azaleas!

Thank you Southern Living!

Planted Chicken Coop

Finished red coop

I miss my chickens. The yard is so quiet without them around. The coop has sat lonely in the back yard for nearly a year. I decided it needed some flowers.

DSCN5086

 

If you recall, we built the coop from plans that we purchased on Ebay.  You can read more details about it here. It has been a focal point in the yard ever since.

Last fall, we had problems with raccoons and birds of prey in our yard. We lost 3 chickens, and decided to give the other two away in order to keep them from being eaten.

Sometimes, being a pet owner is hard.

designerssweetspot.blogspot.com

 

My sweet Alfredo and Barbie-que would approve of the new decor.

Finished red coop

The coop was planted with 3 plastic window boxes that I screwed into the top of the the roof. I filled them with Miracle Grow soil, and plants that I purchased at 75% off retail.

I am always looking for a good deal. It cost only $10.00 for the geraniums, vinca vines, marigolds, and dahlias that filled the boxes.

They will bloom until frost, as long as they are dead headed and watered regularly.

I am looking forward to getting some more hens next spring!

Adieu!