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Monday, May 28, 2012

Plants, Pots, and a Post

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!

I had fun finishing up my planting for the spring.  I had quite a collection of old, somewhat icky, kitchen pans that I've gotten in odd boxes from auctions.  They really aren't good enough to cook anything in, but I didn't want to throw them

I decided to plant flowers them.  I had my husband drill several holes (just any random order) in the bottom of the pots.  I told him my planned use and showed him the post I stole from our gardening stash--I used an electric fence post.  (We've never used it for an electric fence.  We just bought them because they were cheap posts to use to stake tomato plants.)  Anyway, Trevor needed to know what size post I was using so that he could drill the holes the appropriate size.  He said that if I could be trusted with power tools, he would let me drill the holes myself...but my klutziness...

Once the holes were drilled, I used a sledgehammer to drive the post into the ground.  I took the largest pot and put it on first, making it the bottom pot.  I filled it with dirt and put flowers on one side of the pan.  I left the other side flowerless so that I could put on the next pan.  Keep working up until you run out of pans.
It didn't end up very tall -- three bigger pots and two little pots -- but it was big enough for me.  What do you think?  It's a different variation of what some people have done with clay pots.  However, I think the aluminum pots will last longer than the clay pots.

Along the same lines, I also used some colanders for hanging pots.  I used newspaper to kind of slow down the dirt from coming out the holes, but I think if I did it again, I'd probably use burlap just to give the pots/colanders a nicer look.
I hung some old spoons off the handles.  Trevor fashioned hangers from steel hangers...we get tons of these because he gets uniforms.  The uniform place won't take them back, and the recycling center won't take them...good grief!
I also did one "pot" from a large basket.  It is on an old sewing treadle.  All that was there was the iron treadle.  Trevor put some wood on the top and I had a plant stand.  On top of the plant stand are my herbs.
And, for my last little planting project / experiment...I put a metal basket upside down in the flower bed (filled with dirt) and then tucked in different sedum varieties in some of the holes.  My hope is that the sedum will fill in and spread...we'll see how that goes!

Have a great week, and take care of you!

Monday, May 21, 2012


A few weeks ago, I highlighted a book called TERRARIUM CRAFT by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant and Kate Baldwin.  I loved the freedom the encouraged everyone to have with terrariums.  So....when I went to buy my summer flowers, I also purchased ten small succulents for my terrarium experiments. 

Here's what I started out with....
Assorted fun stuff that I hoped to use...some of it got used, and some of it didn't.  I had to go search some of my 'whimsy' stash to find a few more things...
Clear Glass Containers...that had been thoroughly cleaned.  I also had to have a bag of dirt, but I didn't figure you really wanted to see a bag of dirt.
What I ended up with....
6" pitcher with marbles and a Stonecrop (sedum indicum var. yunnanense)
I don't know what this jar is really made for, but I put the Jade Plant (crassula capitella) out the side opening.  Some blue glass beads are inside just to give it a little splash of color.
Not all of the plants ended up in a glass jar.  I lost the tag for this plant, so I don't remember what it is called.
This is a Watch Chain or Lizard's Tail (Crassula Muscosa Lycopodiodes).
A small ceramic puppy and a miniature aloe (aloe descoingsii)
I put a Burro's Tail (sedum morganianum) in a little ceramic container with birds on it; In the back I put a 'Tokyo Sun' stonecrop (sedum Japonicum) in a white egg cup.  Glass stones help keep the containers from moving around.
Another Jade Plant (crassula capitella) in a funky ceramic watering can I found at a thrift store or an auction...can't remember which...

Remember that great decanter that my Aunt Nancy spied on our thrift hop in Omaha?  Well, here it is with two cute little kids giving a squirrel a concert in front of a miniature blue chalk fingers (senicio) and a stonecrop (sedum lineare 'variegatum'). 

A little closer view...
Then I put them all together on my kitchen counter.  Here's what the grouping looks like:
The 'home sweet home' and angel pots with succulents are pots I've had for a few years.  They go so well with my new creations!

I think my terrariums turned out cute.  Now I just have to buy a new turkey baster so I can water them.  I know I had a turkey baster, but I can't find it.  Isn't that the way it always goes?  Trevor has been telling everyone how much he likes the decanter terrarium. 

Have you made any terrariums?  What do you think about the terrarium craze?  Wouldn't these make fun gifts?

Here's my sweet Shiloh dog camped out on the couch on my pillow.  He's trying to get rid of a nasty skin infection, so we've been treating him pretty special...poor old doggie...
Have a great week, and take care of you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Finds...Obscene Vegetable?

Sorry for my lack of blogging lately...I just haven't been feeling like myself.  Have you ever had a few of those weeks when nothing feels right?  Between doggie health issues (Booger and Shiloh have been under the weather), having some credit information hacked, work stress, back pain, and a rare verbal tit-a-tat with Trevor, I just have been feeling blah to right-down poopy.  I definitely need to perk myself up!

Anyway, we have gotten 90% of our garden planted.  We usually wait until after May 15 due to "hard frost" concerns, but we haven't had a hard frost around here since the middle of March, so we just decided to go for it!  Our cold box plantings of lettuce, spinach, carrots, and radishes are doing wonderfully!  The radishes have actually all been picked, but everything else is still growing voraciously.  I'm sure we have more lettuce than our whole neighborhood can possibly eat...we've been taking it to each neighbor's house like people sometimes do with zucchini.  So far, only a few lock their doors and hide when they see us coming...

Here's a few radishes from our crop...YUMMY!

Here's the interesting (perhaps obscene) radish I pulled out of the garden...what do you think it looks like?
 Here's to a better week next week!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day.  Take care of you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What to do with all of these scraps?!?

If you sew and/or quilt, you are most likely faced with the dilemma of what to do with fabric scraps.  I have always thrown them in a big basket and then wanted to cry when the basket gets full...what do I do with the fabric when the basket is full?  I had started cutting scrap pieces into 5" or 3" squares which I then gave to my Grandma who would make them into Linus Blankets for children in hospitals.  But I still get lazy and think maybe I'll just throw away scraps...but that's just plain wasteful.

In SCRAPTHERAPY:  CUT THE SCRAPS!, Joan Ford has come up with an organized and rational way to deal with scraps.  When I saw the book, I figured this was just another book with quilts that look okay with lots of different hodge-podge material.  That is not what this is...This has seven short chapters that explain Joan's system for cutting, sorting, storing, and using your scraps so that you don't feel wasteful and you get some great new projects from your scraps.  I'm excited to try this system.  It has to be better than having a bunch of scrunched up wads of odd shaped fabric in a basket...right?
Have a great day, and take care of you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Books from blogs

Some of the bloggers I regularly follow have recently released books that are worth checking out.

Little House in the Suburbs ( has released a book with the same title.  Authors Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin collected and organized information to help you live in a self-sufficient manner.  Some are activities I readily accept and use...some are not.  That's the great part about books, though.  You can read about people who have backyard chickens and/or goats without actually having chickens and/or goats in YOUR backyard.  : )  There are chapters on gardening, cooking, keeping bees, chickens, and goats, how to make your own home-made cleaning/skincare items, and ideas to help bring your community neighborhood together. 

The Pioneer Woman ( has released a several books.  Ree Drummond also has a show on Food Network--what a busy lady!  Below are just a few of her books.
My favorite  book is a children's picture book called CHARLIE THE RANCH DOG.  The pictures are adorable and the story is funny.  I purchased this for my great nephews for their last birthday, and they liked it too.

In 2009, Ree Drummond released THE PIONEER WOMAN COOKS: RECIPES FROM AN ACCIDENTAL COUNTRY GIRL.  There are so many great pictures in this book. 

Ree Drummond's newest book is THE PIONEER WOMAN COOKS: FOOD FROM MY FRONTIER.  Again, the pictures are great.  She has a skill of showing how food should look as you prepare it.

Authors Andrea Bellamy and Jackie Connelly have lots of simple ideas to add vegetables to your yard, home, garden, or any other small space you might have.

That should give you some inspiration to head to your local library to check out all of the spring gardening and cooking ideas. 

Have a great week, and take care of you!