Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Garden Folly - WIP

For years I have loved greenhouses, large and small, made from reclaimed windows. It seemed like the perfect combination of repurposing and gardening - two of my favorite things!

There are tons of images and DIY all over Pinterest and other online resources. About a month ago someone local posted that they had dozens of single pane windows that they needed to give away by the weekend. I decided this was the motivator I needed to give one of these recycled window projects a try. 

I messaged that I was going to come get some, grabbed my gloves and went to get them. I knew I needed six but grabbed one extra just in case. She had so many and there wasn't anyone coming to get them at that point so I decided having one extra "juts in case" was a good idea. 

I bought a variety of hinges at the hardware store and a few L- brackets and started figuring out exactly how to cobble the windows together. They are old, not square and somewhat worn. You have to be willing to make allowances for this but that's what I think gives the whole project charm. 

You can see that the windows are very old and chippy and I had to add a few extra pieces to brace the roof and door. I'm going to see if I can "age" the new hardware a little. 
This is a work in progress and I'm excited to update you soon about the hardware and how it is styled for spring.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Chartreuse is Having a Moment

From the runways to the bedroom, we will be seeing this zesty green hue everywhere in 2024. "Chartreuse is a bold, energizing color..."  - House Beautiful

I couldn't resist this beautiful plant the other day because of its amazing chartreuse color. I started thinking about the color and how much I'm currently noticing it in beautifully designed rooms.

What do you think? I personally love chartreuse as an accent color. I think it makes other colors seem more crisp and vibrant.  The color was named after a French liqueur called “chartreuse” which has a greenish-yellow hue. The liqueur was first produced in 1605 by the Carthusian monks of France. So while chartreuse is having a "moment" it has been around a long time and gone in and out a favor in design many times. 

I agree it is a bold choice but just a touch can really give a room some pep. I think it works just as well in winter as it does during the spring and summer.

I have a large chartreuse velvet pillow on our garden room daybed. One of the things I like best about chartreuse? It plays well with Le Tigre - actually with all animal prints!

Pillow covers or a throw blanket tossed on your couch is an easy and inexpensive way to add the zing of chartreuse to your room.

I already have a velvet throw that I love to add to the end of a couch or use on the daybed but this throw is really tempting me.  Such an easy way to add a touch of chartreuse and everyone loves a cozy throw blanket. 

If you are thinking about adding a touch of chartreuse with throw pillows I think lumbar pillows can be a great way to go. You simply add them in front of throw pillows you already have and use. A pair of lumbar pillow covers for under $15.00 is a great way to try a new color and see how you like it. 
A quick, easy and inexpensive way to add a touch of chartreuse to any space would be to spray paint something. This is my favorite chartreuse spray paint! It could be something you find at the thrift store or something you already have - a candlestick, wooden tray, a lamp base or a basket to toss magazines or tv remotes into. . 

Check out these fun lamps. They are available online but you could definitely get this look with thrifted lamps and a can of spray paint!

Another one of my decor favorites that looks great with chartreuse is blue and white chinoiserie! A very "safe" way to give the bold chartreuse a try is to use some taper candles on the dinner table set with your blue and white dishes!

What do you think? Are you ready to give chartreuse a try? 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

When You Don't get Much Snow...

We don't get much snow in the Deep South. I do love a surprise snow and a day off from our regular activities (we just stay home because we really aren't equipped to deal with much snow or ice!) Even when we get a snow day we don't usually have enough to build a snowman so I decided to create one from some moss spheres that I had. Everything looks so empty when the Christmas decorations come down and this helps to fill the void. 

I started with a blue and white planter that I had. Any planter, even a terra cotta pot, will work. You just want something that your largest moss sphere sits on easily. I put a piece of floral foam in the pot and then wedged some used packaging materials that I had to secure it. 

Next I pushed a metal stake I had on hand into the floral foam. I happened to have this piece from the garden center but you could use a dowel rod or a bamboo stake. I chose to slide my spheres on the rod without using any glue because I wanted to be able to use my moss spheres in other ways in the future. 

Then I  added the remaining spheres. You could do this in a smaller version as well - simply adjust the sizes of your spheres and use smaller planters or pots. You could vary the sizes and make a grouping or create some small ones as gifts. 

I found a wicker top hat ornament at Christmas and I knew it would work perfectly for my moss snowman and work with my style. I removed the ribbon and berries and then just perched it on top of the top moss sphere. I made sure my metal rod stuck up at the top just enough to hold the hat. 

If you can't find a little top hat you could easily create one by covering a small paper cup and a cardboard circle with sheet moss or use clay pot and saucer glued together. I'm thinking about making a smaller version, placing it in a clay pot and creating a clay pot "top hat" for it. 
You could also add twig arms, glue on buttons or small pebbles for the face. You could get very creative. 

I only added a green bow and kept things simple because I will pull it apart and use the moss spheres for other things.

If you don't have supplies on hand they are easy to find at craft stores and on Amazon.
The following are what I used or similar:
4" moss sphere
I thrifted my blue and white planter but you can use any base you like for this. 

I hope you get to build a snowman.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Thinking About "Ordinary"


It is Epiphany Sunday. I usually post* a picture of my big, vintage camel from an old store display but since Epiphany Sunday is sometimes called Three Kings Day I decided to share three thrifted wisemen. Whichever name you use for the day, Epiphany (officially yesterday) historically and by tradition, marks the end of the Christmas season. It is followed by what is known as ”ordinary time” in the church calendar. I’ve been thinking about the term ordinary a lot recently- really since late last fall. There have been so many posts recently on social media about New Years Resolutions and “word of the year” and grids of letters where the first four words you see are “your words” for the year. All good and positive things if you wish to participate but I have not done any of the above. My goal for 2024, after much thought about this, is to appreciate, enjoy, celebrate “ordinary” this year. We are bombarded by so many external stressors (the economy, politics, war, illness and more) that I just want to be glad, to be thankful when I get to do the ordinary. I know that could be different for each person but I want to find daily joy in some basic, ordinary, every day type of thing in each day - even if difficult things try to overshadow it. When did “ordinary” become a negative thing? I’m not going on the trip of a lifetime, doing major home renovations or anything over the top (that I know of!) to share on social media this year. But I am going to celebrate my every day ordinary because somewhere there is someone who would like to have “ordinary” happening in their lives and it isn’t. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming and celebrating “ordinary” this year.

*I originally posted these thoughts on Instagram but decided that I also wanted it to mark the beginning of the new year on the blog. 

Friday, December 22, 2023

A Wardian Case for Christmas

Thank you if you have wandered over from my Instagram post about my little Christmas scene in my terrarium on a stand. I have had so much fun creating it and I have learned so much about Wardian Cases - they are fascinating.

I have always loved the vintage "terrariums" on stands but other than knowing they were popular in Victorian homes I didn't know much. 

When I first saw mine - and it is not a valuable, older one - I knew it had potential. I did not know that Wardian Cases changed the world. They revolutionized the movements of plants and changed botany forever. I just knew I wanted to put a glittery Christmas scene in mine. But once I began researching them a little I became fascinated. There are so many great articles by Harvard and Kew Gardens about the important work that was done using Wardian Cases to move plants. The first Wardian cases were pretty plain structures intended to transport plants but then the Victorians caught on to the idea and did their thing to make them more ornate. If you love plants I recommend both articles. 

I found mine on Facebook marketplace which is funny because I rarely ever look on there because I have had so many negative experience trying to buy and sell. I will go months without looking then give it a glance. This experience was about par for the course, but I persevered and ended up with my plant stand. After multiple conversations where she assured me it had all of it's 'glass' intact and that it was vintage I arrived to find that all of the glass was missing and had been poorly replaced with plexiglass - and one of those was missing. But I'd spent a lot of time dealing with her in DM's and then driving there (plus I knew it had potential) so I loaded it up. 

I bought a large and fairly unattractive framed print at a yard sale and removed the glass (far more economical then buying glass.)  I cut glass pieces to replace the yellowed plexiglass and used the metal clips inside the frame to hold the glass. Worked perfectly and all I used was a $3 glass cutter from Amazon! The clips were made for glass (not plexi) so it holds them securely. 

I accidentally deleted the listing picture but the mottled finish wasn't great so I gave everything a coat of flat black paint. Many of the older vintage ones have cases that are black or dark green.

Now I could get on with the fun part. I had found a little wooden house that was similar in style to ours.

 I "bricked" it with a little rectangle of sponge and some paint. I was inspired by glittery putz houses so after painting the house and a couple of wooden trees from the Target Dollar Spot I gave it all a coat of extra fine glitter. I love the sparkle. I gathered up some bottle brush trees, quilt batting and some decorative items like pipe cleaners, beaded garland and battery operated lights. 

This was definitely the fun part. Anything goes - glitter, sparkles, fake snow! 

I cut a board to fit inside the bottom of my Wardian Case so I could glue the batting "snow" down and get everything placed just like I wanted it. You could arrange it right in your case but I wanted to secure my little items so that they wouldn't fall over if it got bumped. I made some snowmen from airdry clay and a little front walk from aquarium gravel. This is definitely one of those projects where you could keep adding charming little touches - it's hard to stop. It is so much fun. 

In case you are thinking "I cannot wait to find a Wardian Case" there are some reasonably priced new ones on Amazon. Of course there are some fabulous vintage ones on sites like Chairish and 1stDibs too! As always, check thrift stores and online auctions, estate sales, etc. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Silhouette Ornaments

I found a bag of drapery rings at my local goodwill a couple of months ago and immediately knew I wanted to use them to make ornaments for the tree in our library.

Fun fact: decades ago when I was in college my mom gave me a bunch of unused wooden drapery rings. I turned them into Christmas ornaments and sold them to make spending money. Some things never change.

I simply searched online for copyright free silhouette images. I decided to do images of little girls and things that Mollie loved as she was growing up - our Goldens, swinging, blowing bubbles, dolls, etc. You could choose any type of imagery that would fit with your holiday decor. They are like little framed artworks.

I also decided to back my ornaments with marbleized paper so they wouldn't be just white on the back if they turned slightly on the tree. That's definitely optional but I look for any opportunity to use marbled paper.

I sprayed my drapery rings gold because my tree is green and my library walls are black. I needed the spark of metallic. If these had been going on a flocked tree or in a brighter room I might have left them wood tone. I do love the gold. 

Then I simply cut out the paper circles (I printed mine on cardstock) and used plain old white glue to put them together. That's it. I added a silky cream bow and put them on my tree. 

To finish off my tree I gathered up an assortment of ornaments. Anything vintage and worn in cream, white, gold or silver. Then I added in newer ornaments from my stash in the same color range. All sizes. I used my faux orange slices from last year. I also thrifted a small box of chandelier prisms a couple of weeks ago for $1.99 (pretty happy about that!) and I added those in along with some gold beaded garland. 

I topped the tree off with a bow made from wide ochre colored velvet ribbon that I've used before! 

It just shimmers at night and we are loving the look. All of the decorations except the thrifted drapery ring silhouettes were ornaments, ribbon and garland we had used in previous years. It's amazing how you can pair things differently or use them in different spots and get a completely "new" holiday look. You can see more of this tree on my Instagram.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Christmas and Pink


I was going to title this blog post "a pair of perfect pines in pink" because I love alliteration but, sadly, they are actually fir trees! I was so fortunate to receive these trees (plus 2 other items that I'll be sharing soon!) from King of Christmas

The minute I saw them I knew that I wanted to put them in my thrifted vintage urns and flank the fireplace. I wanted them to look like there were piles of pink ornaments surrounding them but I knew I had to find a way to secure the ornaments so that the whole set up was Cooper proof!

The solution was an "ornament collar" to go around the base of the tree. It would hold the ornaments in place and still look like they were piled in the urns. 

First I placed my trees, they have a  weighted burlap wrapped base, in the urns and filled in around them with discarded packing materials. Once the trees were secure I cut a piece of coat hanger wire and formed it into a loose circle 

I gathered up all the different pink ornaments and a few gold ones too and randomly threaded them on my wire circle. I used a variety of sizes and finishes. 

Then I simply slid the ornament filled wire around the base of the tree like a 'collar' and nestled it in the urn. I twisted the end of my wire together to make sure it was secure and wouldn't slide off. 

I added white cotton batting to look like fluffy snow and to fill in and hide the wire. You could also do this with greenery. I did add some fresh magnolia because I can't decorate anything without using a bit of magnolia! It looked so festive that all I added was a pink bow on the top. 

The King of Christmas trees come with an option to plug them in or convert to battery operated. I opted to use the clever battery pack which is tucked in the back of the urn under the cotton batting "snow." They have a timer so I don't have to worry about accessing the battery pack or unplugging. They'll just come on every night for everyone to enjoy - including Cooper. You can see all the details in this Instagram video.

I'll be sharing the rest of my KOC products soon but be sure to check out last year's posts about the KOC tree in my Library for more Christmas inspiration.