Make an Indoor Garden Tote for houseplant and flower care

Have you ever seen some of those stately homes that have a room for flower arranging?  The potting room, as it’s called, has shelves for all of your vases, a big counter, even a sink?  And of course that’s where you would keep your flower shears and frogs and the necessary tools for arranging beautiful bouquets.

Well, I can only dream of such a room.  But I do have a place for my tools for flower arranging and for grooming my houseplants. Some years ago my sister gave me this little garden tote.

 

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Kilim Pillows

I love the boho vibe that kilim pillows (and rugs) give a room.  It’s boho and global and somehow youthful.  But these pillows are usually quite pricey.  Here is an example from Overstock for over $70.

Herat Oriental Indo Handmade Wool & Jute Kilim Pillows (Set of Two)

 

When I saw this rug at a thrift/consignment store I saw my opportunity to bring a little global style to my space.

According to the tag, this rug is from Peru. The graphic design grabbed my attention with all the possibilities.  I could make pillows.  I could cover a bench.  When I start to see more than 1 use for an item I know its for me.  And, with its soft and pliable feel  I knew I would be able to cut and sew the material without buying any special tools.  The challenge would be cutting it in a way to preserve the integrity of the design.

I used a length of fabric as a guide on where to cut.  As a visual person this really helped me to see what my final product would be like.

Because my rug is loosely woven I should have sewn  some scrap fabric to the back before cutting.  That helps preserve the edges and keeps them from unraveling.  I didn’t do this and I had to go over the edges a couple of times.

 

I am pretty happy with the end result.  I have enough rug leftover to make at least one, maybe two more pillows.

I will put it beside my knitted pillow (made from a scarf).  I think they compliment one another.

I have a few other projects lined up for the weekend.  It’s kind of nice to start checking them off the list.

Have a great weekend!

 

The Lull before the Holidays

I am so proud of myself when I actually do what I know I should.  You know, like exercise, eat healthy, get a jump start on the holidays.  Today we are going to talk about things you can do to make your holiday season much less frantic and more fun.  Here are a few things I plan to do within the next week.  And one I have already done!

This weekend I will be making hot  pepper jelly.  It takes only an afternoon and yields about 5 jars of homemade goodness, ready to be shared.  It’s great for hostess gifts or anyone you like to give a little something.  You can always add crackers and cream cheese in a cute gift bag for a ready made hors d’oeuvre.    I use the recipe in the Sure-jell box.  Imagine giving your hostess something homemade, instead of the usual bottle of wine, or you could do both.

Did you know that quick breads (like banana and pumpkin) last 2-3 months in the freezer?  And cookies also take well to being frozen.  I make my cut-out Christmas cookies in advance and freeze them.  Then I decorate them another day.  Or you can bake your favorite cookies and freeze them for your family’s holiday or as gifts.  I did this one year and my family was so happy to have those cookies they grew up eating.

These ginger cookies are still nice and soft once they defrost from the freezer.

We often take a bottle of wine as a hostess gift also.  I have been wanting to come up with a custom label to put right on the wine bottle.   I had the inspiration to use leftover printable business cards.  I had two sheets left in a box of Avery printable business cards.  When you go to the Avery site they have so many templates, but if you are one of those super creative and original people you can upload your own design.  I had these printed up in 10 minutes.

There are hundreds of templates on the Avery site, including holiday designs.  I decided to go with a basic, but cute, design that can be used for any occasion.

Use your hole punch to put a hole in the corner.  Tie a ribbon or piece of cord and voila!

And yes, the font is customizable – next time I will make it bigger for sure.  It looks custom, but it’s custom for those of us who are design-challenged.

 

 

Cherry Blossom Branches

Unfortunately I do not have a Japanese cherry tree in my yard.  But, I really wanted the effect of these beautiful branches in my house.  So, I decided to make some.
Let me show you the finished result first.



I researched online for some tutorials about how to make the branches and then used those steps that made the most sense.
To make the branches, cut branches from your garden. I needed to trim back a Japanese maple, so I cut some branches from that tree.  You want long, curved, graceful branches for this project.   You will also need white tissue paper, scissors, a pink pen or marker and a glue gun or white glue.
To begin, I cut the tissue in small circles, about 1 inch in diameter.
It’s quicker to fold the tissue paper and you get several circles from one cut.  I drew little squiggly lines with a pink marker to give my blossoms that faint suggestion of pink.
You need two pieces of tissue per blossom.  Use the eraser end of a pencil to fold the tissue into a blossom.


The next step is to place a dot of glue on the end of the tissue and place it on the branch.  I place it where there is already a bud.
Continue doing this until you are satisfied with your branches.



On one of the sites I looked at, the author said, “just throw them out when you are done”.  What?!  No way.  I will be saving these babies until next year.  That’s the whole point.
More on Easter décor later.  As you can see, I’m on my way.