Butterfly Cloche

Today I’m SO excited to be at SNAP Conference in Salt Lake City surrounded by 500 other talented crafty bloggers learning, creating, and celebrating the friendships we’ve made because of blogging! And to celebrate with you, I teamed up with Abbey from The Cards We Drew and a large group of bloggers to create Crafts in a SNAP {15 Minute Craft Ideas} so that ANYONE, whether beginner or seasoned pro, can learn to create fun and handmade items in no time at all! Check out my tutorial for the Butterfly Cloche coming up, then scroll down below and be sure to check out some of what my blogging friends have to offer!! Have fun and get creative!     I have admired Butterfly Cloches for a long time. They are so elegant and colorful. I have always dreamed of having a mini butterfly garden with real live butterflies. We tried to hatch them indoors once, as one of our homeschooling projects. Somewhere during one of our long winter days, the cocoons died and we never hatched any butterflies. My children were so disappointed. So was I. Then, we began to visit butterfly gardens. This was a much better option. We visited gardens in Niagara Falls, Chicago, Denver and Santa Barbara. They were beautiful, so inspiring. They made me want to learn how to garden. The only problem is that in our area, the garden season is so very short. Real butterflies aren’t around here very long in the summer. This decorative Butterfly Cloche is the next best thing. It was…
Read More »

Up-Cycled Garden Fountain

  I spent the day playing in the water. That is, I spent the day making a new “old” water feature for the yard. This old laundry sink sat in a dark corner of our basement until recently. It wasn’t even connected to anything. I have no idea why someone would just leave it there. It’s not like it added anything to the basement decor. I decided it would make a great water feature. Earth Day is approaching you know. Why not recycle something? The birds are going to love taking a bath in the water spray. I am going to love watching them. The sink was in good shape, just a bit dirty. I love the crusty old faucet, I think it adds to the charm. I thought about painting the sink, but I like the way it blends in with the yellow siding of the house, so I decided to leave it. I also left the crusty old pipes underneath. Maybe some animal will decide to make that his home. I plugged the sink drain by covering it with one of those plastic rubber seals for kitchen sinks from the Dollar Store, and tried out the new fountain pump. I was attracted to this particular kit because you can choose from several different styles of spray and pump set up, depending on your container. I thought about threading the cord of the pump through the drainage hole at the bottom of the sink to hide it, but I decided not to. It would have meant digging through the boxes in…
Read More »

Spring Porch Decor

Isn’t a bit of Spring Porch Decor just the thing right now? Spring is finally here, I was the one who was missing these last couple of weeks! We are officially moved into the new place. We have moved far too often the last few years and I hope this is the VERY LAST move we have to make until the year 2060. I am not exaggerating. My kids will have to bury me in the back yard when I croak, because I am not moving again. EVER. I am grateful to be done with the move, but it will be a while before all the boxes are stowed away for good! Today was such a lovely warm day, I spent it decorating the front porch. As you may recall, the porch is a double decker. I decided to focus on the lower one for now until I can get the top railing painted. It amazes me how people can neglect items like finishing the railing, it will drive me crazy until it’s done. The porch is long and wide, the kind of place where you can envision yourself sipping a cool drink on a warm summer night and watch the world go by. I can’t wait to fill it with plants and all things summer. For now, I opted for a few simple pieces, my Chalk Painted Bench, a little side table and coffee table. The curly willow branches came from our local garden show, I can’t wait to get more of them next year! I basked in the sun…
Read More »

Succulent Ice Cube Tray

I love getting creative with my planters, see how I transformed an old ice cube tray into a new home for my succulents!  Dear General Electric, I’ll bet that you never would have guess your ice cube trays would go out of fashion just like your old refrigerators. They had their day, and we loved them, but now no one really uses them anymore. Except me. Only I don’t use ice, since I get enough of that during our cold Wisconsin winters. I use my vintage General Electric Ice Cube Tray for planting succulents, I love it. The Mid-Century soft pink metallic color looks great with the colorful plants.   I used 7 tiny succulents for this project that were purchased at Home Depot, I also purchased cactus soil and some pebbles. It only took me about 5 minutes to plant your little ice cube tray. First I filled each ice cube compartment with dirt. Then I planted my succulents. Several of them were easy to separate into smaller plants with my fingers, but I could also have used a sharp knife. The succulents have very small roots so separating them and fitting the roots in-between the metal ice compartment slats isn’t a problem. I left some of the compartments empty to give the larger plants room to grow a bit. I added more dirt. Then I added the rocks on top of the exposed soil. A light watering finished it off. It was not necessary to poke holes in the ice cube tray for extra drainage. I just have to…
Read More »

Numi Flowering Tea

    I love having a cup of tea in the afternoon. I deliberately set aside anything else that I am doing to brew some tea and find a quite place to rest and enjoy it. Many times, I will enjoy my tea with a dear friend and some priceless conversation. It’s one of the highlights of my day. I have been coveting beautiful glass tea pots for the single reason of making this Numi Flowering Tea. This is not a sponsored post, just sharing one of my favorite products. I happened to find a glass tea pot at the thrift store recently for $1.69. You can also get them on Amazon, which was my next option. The main reason I wanted a glass tea pot, was so that I could make this beautiful tea. I am sure I will find other ways to use it, but this will be my favorite, I am certain. Numi makes a lot of different teas, but the flowering tea is definitely my favorite. The tea blossoms are first hand sewn into a closed position, the bud is then dried. Some of the designs are so elaborate it takes ten minutes to sew them together. It’s a work of art. What gardener wouldn’t covet a cup of this beautiful tea? When you drop the Flowering tea blossom into a boiling pot of water, the blossom opens. Nothing could be more lovely. Hard to believe that beautiful tea comes from this tiny flower bud. Each blossom is a different flavor of tea, and can be re-used…
Read More »

Spring Planter

  I came across this lovely little crate at the thrift store recently. I knew it would make a great Spring garden project. It was sitting among the piles of wooden junk with a $3.99 price tag. Upon further inspection, I discovered that it was really a planter and even came with bulbs. All for $3.99??? What a steal! The crate itself was worth that! It has a beautiful french graphic on the front. I can’t imagine why anyone would throw it away, much less with the bulbs inside! It came with two Apple Blossom Amaryllis bulbs, potting soil and even Spanish Moss. Happiness in a box! It sure made me smile! The poor bulbs were already trying to grow despite the lack of sunlight. I knew that with a bit of water and warm sunshine, they would grow just fine. The crate came with a plastic liner, ready to plant. I added 2″ of small pebbles to the bottom for extra drainage, then dumped about 1/2 the soil on top. I had some Narcissus bulbs that I tried to grow in previously in water and they didn’t do anything. I decided to try again to see if they would fare better in rich garden soil so I added them to the planter. The rest of the soil was added to the top of the bulbs, and then topped with the Spanish Moss. Spanish Moss is great for keeping moisture in potted plants. It also deters animals, they don’t like the feel or smell of it. We will see. If…
Read More »

Mason Jar Band Wreath

    It’s late and I can’t sleep. I am still dreaming up Christmas decorations. Our kitchen just doesn’t have that Christmas feeling yet. So, I put together a little Mason Jar Band Wreath to add some cheer. This is a really easy project, it took just minutes to make. For this wreath you will need the following supplies: A whole lot of mason jar bands, at least 2 dozen wide or narrow bands Floral wire Newspaper Tartan ribbon with a wired edge Dried chili peppers Sprigs of fresh greenery or herbs Thread the bands onto the floral wire. My wire measured about 14″ long. Roll up some newspaper and stuff it down inside the bands to keep them lined up into a wreath like pattern. Twist the wire together enclosing the bands. Make a small loop to hang the wreath at the same time. My bands didn’t actually cover the entire newspaper, I had about a 2″ gap at the top where the newspaper showed through the bands. Tied a generous bow at the top of the wreath (it should cover the exposed newspaper), leaving long tails of ribbon. Thread the ribbon tails through every 2nd or 3rd lid. Each piece covered about half the wreath. The loose ribbon ends were then tucked into the band at the center bottom so they wouldn’t show. I used some dried chili peppers to decorate the top of the wreath and wired them on to the bow with a twist tie. The finishing touch was a bit of greenery from our evergreen…
Read More »

Christmas Chicken Coop

    I have been waiting to post a lot of Christmas decorating projects. Just a few more days until it’s officially the Christmas season. I decided to give you a little “teaser” of what is to come. Mostly, because I love our red chicken coop. I especially love how red it looks in the snow. It’s been forever since I posted anything about our chickens. I am long past due for an update. There isn’t much to tell right now, the chickens have moved on to greener pastures. We lost two of them over the summer to various wildlife. We had a hawk (we think) take one of them in the night leaving only a pile of feathers behind. We also had a family of 5 raccoons that feasted on another one of them. The raccoons came back day after day trying to get more of them for weeks. It was very stressful. Then one night, we saw a fox lurking out by the coop. They weren’t going to survive very long in this neighborhood. So glad we moved into the city where we thought they would be safe. We never had any predators at our old place in the country. Who knew there would be so many hazards here? Some dear friends offered to take them to their farm and they are living happily there in their flock. I do miss them though. The coop seems awfully empty without them. I miss their cackling when I walk out the back door. I think they would approve of the…
Read More »

Easy Raspberry Freezer Jam

    It seems like forever since I have cooked anything. I still haven’t adjusted to our new kitchen space. Actually it’s the lack of space that bothers me. However, I was inspired to make some easy Raspberry Freezer Jam today. My in-laws had a bumper crop of berries this year and gave us some of their extras. They are amazingly delicious. We have had them on pancakes, in muffins, and in smoothies. But, there are only so many ways to eat them, until you have eaten all you can hold. I didn’t feel like spending my entire day in the kitchen canning, so I whipped up a batch of easy freezer jam. It’s super easy to make. These little pint size Ball plastic freezer containers make it easy to freeze without having to boil a bunch of glass mason jars. You can find them in your local canning department at Walmart or even the grocery store. I use them for lots of things, but they are really made for freezing jam. To make the Raspberry Freezer Jam you will need the following ingredients: 8 cups fresh or frozen raspberries or other berries 2 cups sugar 2 Tbsp. fruit pectin  2 Tbsp. fresh or bottled lemon juice 4-6 pint sized freezer containers Directions: 1. Add the fruit to a large saucepan. Crush with a potato masher. Add the pectin to the sugar, blend with the fruit and the lemon juice. 2. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 3. Fill plastic containers using a ladle, leaving 1″ headspace.…
Read More »

Decorating with Mums and Squashes

  We found the most AMAZING farm stand this week. We were traveling a country road to a little school out in the middle of now where for a soccer game. The only sites in the distance were pumpkins and the farm stand. I knew I loved soccer. I love finding little roadside treasures like unexpectedly! What a wonderful coincidence! I had been thinking about buying some beautiful squashes and pumpkins to decorate with, and I was itching to find some great Mums. Suddenly, there they were! Such a blessing! There were WAGON LOADS of squashes, pumpkins, gourds. All at .35 cents a pound. SCORE! I could have brought home a truck load of stuff. I could have shopped for hours, trying to choose just the right colors and textures. I was swayed away from the traditional smooth pumpkins by the exotic squashes and gourds. Mostly because we can eat the squash later. I never met a swash I didn’t like. We don’t have a ton of room on the narrow front porch, but there is enough space for a box display box. Room for everything but the Mums. I love Mums. The colder it gets the more colorful they become. They will last until Thanksgiving time. I usually pull them out after Thanksgiving, when I put up the Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving really isn’t that far away. The roadside stand also had these beautiful ears of Indian Corn. They are HUGE, about 12″ long. I love their deep purple and golden colors. I thought about adding bows and trinkets to them, but…
Read More »