Starter Plants

At last. Spring has arrived to the west coast.  Over at the alice and molly castle, I plant. Some mornings call for mindless pursuits, such as placing a succulent into a tiny planter, in between sips of black coffee, all the while, catching sun beams.

Succulents, or, “starter plants,” are the perfect choice for a mindless morning planting in a potted garden.

The truth is, succulents are for lazy gardeners who prefer simple yet artful plantings. Foolproof, these laid back little lovelies, are easy to grow. I call them, Keepers, as they have been known to live for decades. These babies thrive and can be passed throughout the generations. (My grandmother’s Christmas cacti, is edging upwards of thirty-one years. It’s a timeless reminder of her gentle touch.) Imagine your next family gathering. Send the clan out the door with a cutting from dear old gran’s plant.

Forgiving little beauties, succulents are low maintenance. Allow the plants to dry out between watering. Choose from different shapes and a variety of colours, ranging from dark green, blues, to pinks.

Place your chosen succulent near a sunny window or outside in a bright spot of garden. Sculptural, succulents show off in a variety of containers or rockery edgings. For a swish look, plant a succulent in a silver sugar bowl. If farmhouse style is more to your liking, place a grouping of terra-cotta potted succulents into a low wooden crate. Plant in chippy tea cups. A vintage tobacco tin redeems itself with a succulent’s touch. The big idea is to mix it up. High, low, vintage, modern.

These little, affordable pretties are sure to delight. So go on~ plant a few.

 

~ fool proof gardening
x

 

 

Cranberry Sugar Sugar

Scrub.

DIY Heaven
DIY Heaven

Pamper yourself with ingredients you may already have on hand.

I’ve adapted a sugar scrub recipe to soothe and exfoliate skin– a simple Cranberry Sugar Scrub that you can make at home. It’s the perfect DIY to make with a teen.

Please check the ingredients, in case of allergies.

I purchased my ingredients and oils at Trader Joe’s.

TraderJoes.com

You will need,

1/2 cup of Coconut Oil, partially melted

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of frozen cranberries

4 drops of cinnamon oil or an essential oil of your choice*

  • I have used Peppermint oil.

2 small Mason Jars or jars of your choice* I sprayed the lids white.

Place the frozen cranberries into a blender and press “Pulse.” Continue this setting until the berries are bitty.

Into a  bowl, add the sugar and cranberries. Mix together by hand. Add a few drops of essential oil. Stir the oil into the sugar berry mixture. Pour the semi melted coconut oil into the bowl. Combine all ingredients.

Spoon the sugar scrub into jars and seal.

Store your Cranberry Sugar Scrub in the fridge. Chilled, it should keep for seven to ten days. For skin use only.

Give a jar to a friend.

 

Words and Wisdom

Quote

Certain words or phrases collect and layer. Inspirational bits of wisdom for those less than confident moments when I forget to fly and instead, trip and  fall. Which is literally what happened. Rushing up the stairs, I caught my foot on the edge of a safety gate and flew. For a brief second in time. Walls shook. The crash was not gentle.

To distract my brain from an aching body, advil and creative pursuits were necessary. That’s how it works for me- find comfort in a project.

For this project I used only what I had “at hand.” The wooden board is from Michael’s.

http://www.michaels.com/artminds-beveled-wood-parenthesis-plaque/10265841.html#q=wooden+plaques&pmpt=qualifying&sz=24&start=31

I painted the board with trusted Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint.

“Print” a quote and slip it (right side up) over a sheet of graphite paper. Pencil the letters of the quote through the graphite. Once transferred to the painted board, you’re ready to outline the quote’s letters with paint. Use a fine tipped brush and a graphite or black shade of craft paint. When dry, lightly sand.

And yes, I fall. This sign is a gentle reminder to get back up and try again.

Quote Sign IMG_0165

About A Door

FullSizeRender-3

Years ago I discovered this door at an auction. The auction site was far from the city and “Junking” wasn’t the swishy chic business that it is today. I can not explain the allure to vintage. It is a portal to the past. Perhaps “old”appears truer, faithful, stronger. Or do certain pieces conjure an emotional response? Mirrored moments of love lost, coveted memories, and poignant sorrow from regret. That which we toss or lose, from people to things.

All of the above musings ring true. I also appreciate the dedication to craft, whether it be writing, painting, music or woodworking. The rewrites, brushstrokes, the sound bites, the turn of a leg or the dove tailed edges of a drawer, all suggest old world quality and showcase the artisan’s passion. Maybe it’s the passion piece that grabs, an ageless love that forever shines.

Yet what is it about a door? Throw open the door to reunion. Boot through the door in the heat of crime. Lock the door. Unlock it. Shut the door.

There is an old soul that lives in me. She flows through my eyes to show the house where the door once stood. “Open the door,” she whispers and my hand reaches forth to push upon the cracked ceramic plate. We stand in the kitchen, voyeurs of a life. She gestures to the heart of the room. A wooden table graces the centre. Flour is scattered on top,  a rolling-pin waits. We’ve come home.

***

I recall that day in the valley. The auction house was empty of people. Cast off pieces from lives lived dumped along hallways and atop sideboards. Did anyone care? The door leaned against a wall. Solid oak, it waited. Tall amidst a short pile of old metal watering cans, wooden handled rakes and a box of battered licence plates, it stood out-of-place. There was something bespoke about its simple yet majestic presence. Was it the art deco glass that elevated the door from humble to proud?

I paused, fell in love, tossed in a bid and left with a door.

Sadly, I left the door in an aging shed. For thirty years it lay on a wooden floor.  Forgotten, it languished in darkness, gathering dust. Spider egg sacs clung to the edges and nestled in the crooks and crannies. Moisture weathered the finish. It waited for someone to remember.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I wrestled it into the light. Gently, I cleaned and polished the glass, dusted off the egg sacs and sanded the oak.

Magic flowed and imagination sparked. We entered into a dance of sorts. My hands held the sandpaper block as fingers pressed and moved in step with the oak grain. I stepped away and judged. Far too lovely to lay dismissed in a shed.

An architectural piece, it will serve as a symbol of hope, “One door closes, another opens.” Its quiet presence states, grace others that stand on the threshold.

What is this door’s story?

I envision a rambling estate in the English countryside. Laughter rings from the cutting garden. Wee children flit as fairies do amongst the hollyhocks and sunflowers. A man walks the  long gravel path to the once well appointed home. He lifts his hat and knocks upon the door. It opens…

Re do

Everyone has a cannon box, correct? Thought so. This DIY was created by a lovely kinfolk who occasionally putters in a garage. When she does~ wow. The salvaged ammo box cost twenty dollars and the metal legs, more. Perhaps “pin” legs would be less expensive?

I’m really loving this idea and am on the hunt for treasure.

Cannon Box Re do

An Elegant Mess

~ making an elegant mess
~ making an elegant mess

I’ve spent the better part of a hell hot summer, wander lusting from vintage re dos to pennant banners. These creative pursuits steal time away from serious wordsmithing. Perhaps this is a wise decision; a necessary rest from deep thought and aching introspection. The “story” writings remain tucked away until autumn returns. Her first kiss, a delightful, wakening chill, will be just enough to spur me forward and back to the keyboard.

In the meantime, I revisit and refurbish my living and personal spaces into what can aptly be described as an elegant mess. This is fine by me.

Hope you wander out this evening, sit beneath the stars, and wonder at the Blue Moon.

I’ll let wikipedia explain the phenom named, Blue Moon,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_moon

“Blue Moon

You saw me standing alone

Without a dream in my heart”

 

Posh Paper Pennants

Posh Paper Pennants

 

Posh pennants
Posh pennants

Ever wondered what to do with leftover card stock pieces from an unfinished scrapbook project? If you whirl like me, you have the best intentions, gather the supplies, only to start and leave the project for another date. And another. And another.

A talented lady invited me for coffee one morning and showed off some of her recent pennant styles. You may recall this same talented woman is the mind behind the vintage cloth pennants I posted on an earlier post. It is the found and repurposed fabrics, the details, and her design flair that make these pennants so bespoke.

Pennants and templates are trending on Pinterest. Here is a link to several boards,

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=pennant%20template&rs=rs&term_meta%5B%5D=pennant%7Crecentsearch%7C1&term_meta%5B%5D=template%7Crecentsearch%7C1

Paper Pennants are a clever way to reuse and repurpose some of your leftover paper supplies. I purchased the cardstock for both pennants from a local Dollar Store and selected trending shades and colours that I am fond of: pinks, turquoise, and shades of grey. Of course you could make these pennants from fabric scraps, worn jeans, beautiful cards, black and white photocopied photographs… Let your imagination loose.

-chalkboard cardstock pennants
-chalkboard cardstock pennants

If you choose to create pennants from fabric, consider placing Wonder Under between the diamond pennants to stiffen and seal the fabric. Here is a link to Walmart,

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Pellon-Wonder-Under-Paper-Backed-Fusible-Web-20-Yard-Bolt/21976555

The purchased fabric was from, Hobby Lobby and Fabricana.

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/fabric-and-sewing/apparel-fabrics-and-prints/?theme=Flowers

http://www.fabricana.com/quilts.php

At home I put the generations to work tracing diamond pennant templates onto cardstock. We chose seven small pennants per string. Sharp scissors keep the diamonds “perfect.” Fold your diamonds in half and make a sharp crease. Using a small hole punch from Michaels’ Crafts, I punched two openings into the top ends of the folded diamond.

Gather your twine. Lay your pennants onto a table. Pattern, number, and space as you wish. Cut a length of twine, five times the length of your pennant. I do this purposely; I would rather have a string too long than too short. Tie off one of the ends of twine. I make a knotted loop to attach to a small nail or push pin.

Thread your pennants onto the twine and space them as desired. A voice niggled in my mind, “Posh it up.” A bag of fabric provided the style oomph. I tore some bits of coordinating fabric and knotted the scrapped ties in between the spaced pennants, adding two fabric ties to complete each end of the pattern. Decide on the desired length. Tie off the opposite end of twine and hang your pennant.

These card stock pennants are the perfect addition to a baby gift, celebration, or event. Pure whimsy and shabby vintage enhance and warm any space. Pennants created by loving hands add homemade glamour, a sense of nostalgia to any space, and silently whisper their stories forth.

~ adding pennants to upscale the "look"
~ adding pennants to upscale the “look”

A Pretty Little Thing.