Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yard things............

I got a little burst of energy a couple of weeks ago so I decided to weed eat a big swath on the (very hot) south side of our house. The grass was already 2 feet tall there! How in the heck do weeds growing out of the gravel look better and greener than our sad lawn? Beautiful thick green grass there, but bare spots and brown dead weeds and very thin grass in our lawn. Go figure.


Here's my side "alley" as I call it.. not very pretty but at least the 2 foot high weeds are gone!


This doesn't look like much, but in town on a small lot, every square foot counts! This area is about 5-6 feet wide, and our neighbors have the same thing, and they had it all cemented and now have waist high grow boxes all along the fence and they grow tons of veggies there. I'd love to do that one of these days. At least I can walk through there now, and for now, it's going to be a good storage spot.

After I was done, I was sitting on our front walkway where we have nice shade in the afternoon, contemplating things..... and the yard....... and I looked over at our soon to be removed (hopefully) rock garden and stump from the tree that blew over on April 7th.


My kitty cat was sitting on the stoop wishing a bird would land in our lilac bush. I thought... hum.m.m.m. wouldn't a little bird bath be nice there? Wouldn't it attract the birdies for my kitties to chase? I mean.. they very rarely ever do catch them, but they have a fun time trying!

And oh... I have this tall garden thingy with hooks that I could stick into the ground there to hang a little flag on or some plant pots.. or oh! I have a pretty turquoise colored bird cage that was given to me... wouldn't that be neat hanging from the hook? So off I went to "shop" my back yard (which is still very ugly to me)...... seeing what I could find. I wanted to pretty up that area, even if only for a week or so. I figured everything would be easy to move, right?

From last summer. Nothing wants to grow there!
I have a lone bird bath way out back that sits in a corner. It was supposed to be my pretty garden corner, lush with shrubs and the bird bath, and has old cement steps I could tier my potted flowers on... but for some reason, nothing seems to like it there or grow there. Everything died and all that was left was the lone bird bath. So I removed the bird bath to give it a home somewhere else.... front yard.

I leveled a spot by the stump for the bird bath and put rocks around it so it wouldn't blow over. There's the tall garden "thingy" (what are these called anyway???) to hang some plant buckets on (before I planted anything in the hanging pots).


Here's "after" I planted some flowers in little hanging pots, and the pretty blue birdcage. The pot inside the birdcage I painted pink.. what the heck, it's MY garden right? My hollyhock is doing well, but bugs are eating up the leaves. Those red roses belong to a neighbor but sure are pretty!

I planted some Molly Bells (left) and more orange ones on the right with some sort of hanging purple stuff (forgot the name). I kind of just "stuffed" them in there, probably too much plant for such a little pot! I was in a hurry. This tall garden stake thing and the blue birdcage were given to me by an older lady across the street who moved away and she didn't want them. Score!
I LOVE the look of the lilac bush as a backdrop, and the bird bath and flowers hanging. It really added interest to my little rock garden, even knowing it would have to be all undone within a week or so!

A few other yard things.... got new chair cushions for our patio chairs...  I'm not showing much of the back yard graveled "patio" area yet as it's still a mess! But the chair cushions sure are pretty. I'm trying to add some pops of color using turquoise (and pink of course)!  This was taken a few weeks ago when it was still barren of any color or plants.


I'm trying to get my old blue hutch moved to a spot that I like and will use. It's next to my house right now, in a shady spot, right next to the water spigot. I like it there and I think I WILL paint it.

OOOhhhh .... got 3 nice tomato plants, all cherry tomatoes. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that scrunchy hose (on the left) that is 50 feet long and  yet scrunches up to a mere 10 or 15 feet when the water is all out.. and it's so LIGHT! Love it!
I potted up some little Johnny Jump-ups that had been growing in the gravel! I swear, things like growing more in my gravel than in the flower beds and lawn. They are doing very well in the pot, and sit on my yellow stool that I painted last summer (needs another coat of paint).


I transplanted two little strawberries that I had bought last summer (and left in the tiny pots), into a larger tub with my other strawberries that came up after the long hard winter... so now I have a full tub of berries and I ate the first one the other day! 


My raspberry plants are thriving...........tons of berries on them. Maybe in a few weeks will have some for eating.


I painted a few things... here's a pink wall hanging metal pocket that was for Halloween (was a bright orange) and has pumpkins engraved at the top.. buy hey... pumpkins are a garden thing, right? Will plant something in it soon.


And the blue hutch got it's first coat of white spray paint (almost all of it but ran out!).........  had to put paper behind it taped to the house so wouldn't get white spray paint all over the house. The hutch is WAY too heavy to try to move again, even with hubby's help. That thing weighs a ton.

Trouble is, although it wasn't supposed to rain, it DID pour that night after I painted! I was not happy... putting it mildly. Have to put a towel on top, as the rain drips off the roof and makes this very annoying drip, drip, drip sound right outside our bedroom window while trying to sleep. The towel mutes the sound. In this climate (dry dry dry) not many houses have gutters.

That may not been a good place for this baby. but I like the shady spot.  Amazingly... it didn't really wash off any of the paint. I just need to finish it and add about two more coats of paint.


Since I started this post, and then finished it today (June 13th)... things have drastically changed in the front yard! More of that saga on my next post!


Sunday, May 28, 2017

More eye candy.....itty bitty boxes.

I've been busy! Made a whole bunch of tiny little gift boxes.  They are addictive!  They are fun! They use up by 6x6 papers from my overabundance of many pretty paper pads!  Each one is unique. Each one is a little work of art. Why did I make so many you ask?

To make a long story short. At Easter, my son and his girlfriend were here. I made each of us a tiny little box holding a sweet treat. She loved them! She is the one in Astoria, Oregon who has the gems/rocks and jewelry store, Terra Stones. She asked if I could make her some for her shop, to use as little gift boxes for when someone purchased small rocks or jewelry. 


Easter treat boxes.
I... without thinking too hard on it.... said sure! She wanted about 20. I made 26... couldn't stop myself.  I don't think any two are exactly the same. I made all colors.... even some masculine ones, and I loved using my two sided papers with the little flap on the sides showing the reverse side of the paper. 


See the different colored flaps on the sides?  Such fun! I LOVE color.
They are so tiny, 2" x 2" by 2-1/4" tall... can be held in your hand like this.  I love tiny things!



....... and this...........


And I forgot to tell you.... I made these using the We Are Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board. It's a tool I can't live without! Besides making your own custom envelopes, you can make all sorts of tags and boxes. Love it! There are MANY video tutorials on YouTube showing you how to make these boxes and many other fun projects.

The little boxes are tied on the top with a ribbon......  (of course I just HAD to go to the store to buy MORE not-needed much needed ribbons!


I put word tags on some, and then decided maybe I should leave the tags off.... so instead I stamped a bunch of words, cut them out with my decorative scissors and put a little double sided tape on the back, so the person using the box could choose the word they wanted to stick on the box (if they chose to). I packaged those up in a cello bag.

So here come the pictures!



I used 3 dimensional stickers on some...... sticky back pearls and gems on some most of them, as I have to have a little bling everywhere.....




Who doesn't need some owls????????


Manly things... gears and padlocks.........


A few animals for kids (and adults?).........





I think this one was my all-time favorite.... love the burgundy and gold papers.. and I made the little  scrunchy flowers....





The white flower on the left was one I pulled off of a Dollar Tree bunch.... and then added the glitter to the leaves......... love it........... more bling....






Another Dollar Tree bloom (above).... and glitter of course..... 




A "guy" thing.........
So they're done and shipped off to Astoria! Amazing how something so small can give me such pleasure! I'm ready to make more.... isn't that crazy? 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Old to new!

After making my neat little "recycled" western (skirt) tote bag, I decided to try making one with some old denim. I was very inspired by Connie at Crafty Home Cottage to use some of my own bits and pieces of denim. She made the CUTEST aprons using her old bib overalls! Check them out at her link above.

But, instead of using my own scraps,  I decided to go to the thrift store and buy an old denim skirt! I just HAD to try using a short denim skirt to make another tote bag, like my old western skirt tote (left, and linked above)............my sister's birthday was coming up and I thought it would be perfect for her.

So off I went to the local thrift store!


First though, I must apologize for the poor photos. I made this bag right before a beach trip to celebrate my sister's 60th birthday (did I ever post those photos?), and was in a hurry to get it finished before I went (I ALWAYS wait until the last minute)...... so naturally, I forgot to take photos of it! That's just not like me........but being in a rush does do weird things to a person, right?  So....... the following photos were taken by my sister with her cell phone, and though OK, they don't really show the details. 

Front of bag (above) hanging from a chair. Quite blurry but you get the gist of it. All I did was sew up the bottom seam (after sewing on the trim fabric with my sewing machine).  I used some darling Parisian-type fabric for a trim around the bottom, front and back, and for a "patch" behind some vintage doilies and buttons I had for decoration.

I didn't do anything else to "alter" the skirt at all! I left in the zipper and snap and the belt loops. I did add two more belt loops, one on each side, using the strip of denim that I cut off the bottom before adding the fabric trim.

Better picture of front of the bag, although blurry. Darn! I used some pretty pink stripped fabric for the tie, that was woven through the belt loops. The strips started out at 3" wide by a length that would go around the waistline of the skirt, plus maybe 3 extra inches. I then turned in the edges of the strips to enclose the raw edges and finished off the ends. The ties were run through the belt loops, and it can be pulled open just like a drawstring bag.

I made a "patch" using the Parisian fabric with some old vintage buttons across the top (just for decoration).

All of the lace sewn along the pocket tops was hand sewn as I couldn't reach inside with my sewing machine. 

Closeup of the front (above).
The back shows the trim around the bottom much better. Just love that fabric! My sister loves Hello Kitty things and colors, so I figured she'd like this fabric with the pinks, turquoises and blacks. The lace was hand sewn and also the appliqued heart was sewn on by hand.

I hadn't planned to make this tote so fancy, but you know me, I just can't resist adding lace and doo-dads.

I didn't even take pictures when she was opening this gift! What was I thinking anyway???

Thank you Connie at Crafty Home Cottage for your inspiration!

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