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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

garden time

It's closing in on the best season...
gardening season!
I am so unbelievably fortunate to live in a place where I can garden all year long. But for those of you who suffered through a very long winter, I'm sure you are chomping at the bit to get in the dirt. I want to share a garden project that includes two of my favorite things: upcycled vintage treasures and succulents.
 
 
Most rusty chippy vessels hold one of two things in my home: seashells or plants. This old metal container reminded me of a mini window box so it was an easy decision to repair it and fill it with succulents.

 
I used E6000 to fix the broken seam. A clothes pin held it together as the glue dried. I also filled the bottom seam lines with the clear adhesive. Next I painted the container with matte spray paint. Once dry, I sanded the surface to distress the finish.

 
Use self-stick felt feet to protect table tops.

 
Place a layer of plastic along the bottom of the container (I cut a clear freezer bag slightly larger than the bottom so 1/2" would overlap the sides.) Then place a thin layer of clean small pebbles or gravel for proper drainage.

 
When planting succulents, mix clean sand or perlite into potting soil. You can buy cactus potting mix but it can be expensive and hard to find. The sandy soil works just as well! Succulents need to have a well draining soil so the roots do not rot.

 
I like to combine various colors, shapes and sizes of succulents. There are so many varieties available. I used cuttings from other containers to make this centerpiece.

 
Once all the plants are in place, I like to top off the soil with a thin layer of pea gravel. It helps hold new cuttings in place. Plus it looks pretty!

 
Place your container in a spot that will ensure success. Be aware of sunlight, shade and rain. Succulents can burn with too much mid-day sun and rot if too shady and damp.

 
With a bit of TLC your container will be very happy!

 
Even Peanut can appreciate a beautiful container.

 
I hope you are inspired to make a succulent garden for your home, garden or patio. They also make wonderful gifts for someone special. Thanks for visiting!
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

nothing goes to waste

It is hard for me to be quick to throw things away. The crafter in me wants to find a use and a purpose for everything. So I wanted to share what I did with the calamondin peels from the previous post. I love to dry citrus peels for all sorts of things...from potpourri to bath salts to tea infusions.
First start with the calamondin peels...
 
 
The calamondin-ade was a big hit! And the peels were so easy to remove in large pieces. Perfect for drying!

 
Once dry, I added them to my pile of favorite scented things from the garden and pantry...

 
I tend to like scents for the home that are a blend of citrus, spice and a subtle floral note. I added the calamondin peels to a potpourri in need of a pick-me-up. I also added dried lavender, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, rosemary and a few drops of lavender oil.

 
I will also use the spices and peels for tea infusions! It tastes great served hot or cold. You can also package the scented mixture for sachets!

 
Nothing feels better than a hot bath at the end of a long day. I will take all of the items from the potpourri blend and add oatmeal then grind everything to incorporate. Add the mixture to Epsom salts and voila...the perfect homemade bath salt!

 
Use your favorite dried ingredients to make wonderful household scents or flavorful tea infusions. Perfect for everyday or even better to give away as gifts! Now I just need to go pick more calamondins...
 
 
I do enjoy the simple things in life.
Every day is a gift...


Saturday, March 17, 2018

happy st. patrick's day

May this St. Patrick's day be filled with happiness, love, good health and of course...lots of luck!
 
 
To you and yours...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
 

Friday, March 9, 2018

calamondin-ade

A few months ago I moved off of Sanibel and into a dream. I feel so blessed. Every day I am exploring the house and the beautiful property. It's an old home built in 1925. Finding something old with loads of character on the Gulf Coast of South Florida was not easy, but we did it! Nesting has been so much fun! And I'm also getting to know the grounds that someone so lovingly created many years ago...from the old grape arbor to the beautiful garden paths to the side lawn that leads to the water. We've named the side of the property the orchard because of the old fruit trees. I guess it is fitting that an old property would have old trees. I was hoping the lush sweet smelling fruit were tangerines. After one bite there was no doubt that it was absolutely not a tangerine! It was my mom and dad who identified the fruit immediately when they were visiting...calamondin!
 
 
What on Earth is a calamondin...?

 
Well I might not know what they are, but I knew exactly what I was going to do with them!


 
Over the past few years I've been doing my best when life kept handing me lemons. Now it's handing me calamondins so I'm making calamondin-ade!

 
I dug out my old glass juicer and strained out the pulp and seeds...

 
...added some ice...

 
...and a lot of sugar!


 
Then I cleaned a few cute sections...

 
...topped off the pitcher with ice water...

 
...and calamondinade was born!
YUM!

 
A sprig of mint was the perfect way...

 
to spruce up my refreshing treat.

 
When life gets tough you might get handed lemons or calamondins or something else altogether. But when it does, do your best to make the most of it. It is easier said than done and I know that all too well. Maybe we can all encourage each other through the good times and the bad. I wish I could share my pitcher of calamondinade but this is the next best thing. Sending out hugs to anyone who needs one!
 
 
Thanks for visiting...
 


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

perk up

Getting droopy?
Not you...your Valentine's flowers silly!
It has been about a week so this is the time that beautiful floral arrangements start took look not-so-beautiful anymore and unfortunately they hit the trash. Oh no! Here is a short refresher on how to extend the life of your flower arrangements. 
 
 
Flowers are such a treat, especially when a lovely bouquet unexpectedly appears from someone special!

 
And it is a sad day when they start to droop. You can extend the life of your flowers by sorting through the arrangement and salvaging the perky blossoms.

 
Some flowers have the ability to last a long time once they have been cut. Alstroemeria has a very long life as cut flowers and they are often used in floral arrangements. Gently remove them from the arrangement, cut off spent blooms and leaves, and then cut the bottom of the stem at an angle. Place the newly prepped stems into a clean vase of cool water.

 
As roses continue to open, their heavy heads will droop. Simply follow the same steps from above. Cut the stems short then place them into a container that will help support the gorgeous full blossoms.

 
Even if their are only a few flowers that still look okay, you can place them into an old canning jar. It is an adorable way to create a rustic and informal bouquet to place in any room of your home.

 
As you take apart the floral arrangement, don't worry if a few flowers break off of their stems. They will be happy as "floats".

 
I like to pepper my home with floats. It's an easy way to be able to enjoy fresh flowers in every room of the house!

 
Mix-and-match vintage wine glasses are perfect for floating individual flowers.

 
I will get carried away and float flowers in all sorts of vases, glasses and unique planters.

 
So as you are looking at your drooping floral arrangements, step away from the trash receptacle! Find clever ways to extend the life of the perky flowers. It will give you so much more time to enjoy them. Everyone deserves a second chance...even the flowers. Just as a fairy (they always know what's best when it comes to enjoying flowers!).
 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

happy valentine's day

I just wanted to wish you
a Happy Valentine's Day!
I hope you are surrounded by people you love.
Take a few minutes to spoil someone (or yourself!) with something special.
How about some pink frosted sugar cookies with sugared rose petals...YUM!
 
 
Maybe you can place a big bunch of flowers in your favorite spot in the house. Anything that will make you smile!

 
No matter how large or small the gesture, do something that will warm your heart and the hearts of those you love.
Happy Valentine's Day
XOXO