Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Etsy Shop

Well I went and opened a Etsy shop! I hope you will come visit! 

I am designing custom cards for every occasion not to mention chore charts, organizing labels, party favor personalization, party games and anything else your heart desires. Everything is fully custom and if you don't see what you are looking for in the shop drop me a email and we can work one on one to get to your perfect final product! 

As a extra bonus I am having a grand opening discount for everyone who orders in the next 30 days. Use code 1ST30DAYS at check out to get your 10% discount. 

Here is a small sampling of items in my shop...happy shopping.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden Fun & Seeds to Start in Fall

Do you like to plant flowers?

I do! A lot. 

I love looking our my windows and seeing our flower beds. But it can get expensive...so this year I am giving serious seed starting a go. 

Last spring I planted a few things here and there from seed not really expecting much...but to my surprise those plants did better than the purchased plants. I also am kind of a snob about having unique plants in my garden. Everyone can get pretty petunias and I enjoy them as well...but does anyone on my street have Coconut Cream Petunias? Nope...just me...well next year anyway!

Ok...back on subject...here are my flower beds in late their summer glory. Avid gardeners know that you learn things from season to season. I have learned a lot my first year of "real" gardening. But I still think I did pretty good for a beginner. Here is a quick look. 

Quick warning...this is a picture overload post...my favorite kind!

Shady Front Flower Bed
Iceberg Rose Trees and not flourishing petunias...I need suggestions on this mixed bed of shade and sun!
One of my Iceberg Rose Trees
Sunny front flower bed complete with kid and kitty path.
Another view of the sunny front flower bed and bird bath.

Zinnia in the sunny front flower bed
Pretty Begonia in the back yard
So on to the details...

I purchased a bunch of seeds a few weeks ago from Swallow Garden Seeds as well as Park Seed Co. Both have a huge selection of annuals, perennials and vegetables. My orders arrived super quickly and in clearly marked packaging.  I sadly do not have a green house, so I am going to be using a garage storage shelf and cheap shop lights for my seedlings. From what I have read that works great and sometimes better than natural light. Hopefully one day I will have a green house...for now this should work. BTW I am looking at starting almost 1000 seedlings! EEK! Anyone close to me want to plant swap in the spring?

My opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

I have been working on plans on what to plant and when. 

To my surprise I have found several plants that do better when planted at the end of summer or early fall and often if you do this with the perennial seeds you get first year blooms! Bonus!  

I am in a zone 9 so our winters pretty mild and we need to chill plants, seeds and bulbs if we want a good show of blooms. If you are in zone 7 or cooler then you may not have to chill.  

Feel free to email me about specific zones and I would be happy to help out.

You can check out this USDA Hardiness Zone as well. 

Here are some pictures and specifics of the plants that I am going to work with this year. 

Pictures and information from here and here.

Astilbe -Sow seeds in cell packs or flats, press into soil but do not cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 65-70° F. germination almost always occurs within 4-5 weeks. If not, put container inside a zip-lock bag and refrigerate for 4 weeks. Remove and germinate at 65-70° F. Comments: Part sun to light shade. Prefers rich, moist soils. Cut stems when plumes are half open for excellent cut flowers. Deer and rabbit resistant. Attracts butterflies. 
Shasta Daisy-Sow in cell packs or flats, press into soil but do not cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 70° F., germination averages 14-21 days. Can direct sow (barely cover) in fall or spring, in groups of 3-4 seeds spaced 12-24 inches apart. Thin to the strongest plant.

Delphinium-Sow seeds in cell packs or flats, press into soil and fully cover. Darkness aids germination. Kept at 55° F., germination is in 14-35 days. Comments: Germination rate can be improved (if prior to sowing) the seeds are placed in a zip top bag with a small amount of moist growing media (or a moist paper towel) and placed into the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Larkspur-Spread seed on an evenly moist paper towel fold and put inside a zip-lock bag and place in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Remove and immediately sow seeds in rows in prepared seed beds, covering lightly. Thin to 10-18 inches apart. Comments: Sow Larkspur from fall to early spring. Seeds can be started in small individual containers if not allowed to become root bound, and transplanted with care. Easy to germinate in cool (55° F. or below) soil.

Lisanthus -Sow seed in cell packs or flats, use a sterilized soil-less mix. Press into soil, do not cover. Kept at 70-80° F., germination is in 10-20 days. When 4-5 leaves have developed, transplant into the garden 6-8 inches apart. Pinch back plants to the third node to encourage bushy growth. Direct sowing is not recommended.
Comments: Full sun or part shade, light shade in hottest climates. Moderate water; give regular moisture early in the season, avoid over-watering as plants become established. Does not like acid soil, does like regular feeding. Cut flowers last 1-2 weeks. Attracts bees.
Madonna Snowdrop Anemone- Sow seeds in cell packs or peat pots, press into soil and barely cover. Kept at 60-65° F.,
germination usually occurs within 4-5 weeks. If not, put container inside a zip-lock bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Remove container and return to 60-65° F. to germinate. Comments: Part sun, afternoon shade. Madonna tolerates light shade in any zone. Regular to ample moisture, tolerates wet soils. Flowers are excellent for cutting. Plants spread by underground stolons. Deer and rabbit resistant, attracts butterflies.
Nigella - Direct sow into prepared seed beds that have been cleared of weeds and have had the top 1 inch of soil loosened. Rake seed in lightly.Keep moist.
Comments: Full or part sun. Average to little water. Tolerates a wide variety of soils with good drainage. Comes into bloom quickly. Make successive sowings 4 weeks apart (until plants begin to self-sow) to ensure a continuous supply. Flowers are excellent for cutting, horned seed capsules are highly decorative in dried arrangements. Deer resistant.
Press into soil by walking over area.

 Poppy-Sow seeds in peat pots or cell packs, press into soil but do not cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 65° F., germination is in 14-21 days. Can direct sow, onto ground that has had the top one inch of soil loosened. Rake seed in, press into soil by walking over the area. Thin to 12 inches apart
Primrose- Sow seed in cell packs or flats, press into soil but do not cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 60-65° F., germination is in 21-30 days. Transplant into the garden 8-12 inches apart. Comments:Part sun in most climates, full sun in coolest areas. Likes moist, rich, well-drained soil. Superb in containers.

Sweet Pea-Soak seeds in water 24 hours prior to sowing. Then sow in cell packs, 2-3 seeds per cell. Needs darkness to germinate. Cover with newspaper and keep out of direct sun until seedlings appear. May be direct sown into the garden, 1/4-1/2 inch deep. Thin to 6-12 inches apart.

Viola-Sow in cell packs or flats, press into soil and barely cover. Needs darkness to germinate. Cover flat with newspaper and keep out of direct sun. Kept at 65- 70° F., germination is in 14-21 days.9-12 inches apart. Transplant into the garden

One last note...a lot of these are perennial (they come back year after year) or annuals that self sew like mad men. So yes this is quite a bit of work the first season but after this initial start up you will have a ton of plants with little work. 

Hope this inspires you to get to planting! 


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Master Bedroom Before & After Phase 1

To continue our one year update. We move onto the master bedroom before and after. 

As I mentioned before this was Grandma's house. The before picture was from our first walk through. Part of our agreement was that I would go through and store all of Grandmas belongings host a yard sale and clean. The uncles all live out of state and doing this would have required vacation time for them not to mention it was a sucky job. 

So on to the Before...

As you can see the room looked pretty small...well it is pretty small...but it looked even smaller! I knew it had potential but wasn't sure if I would ever be in love with this small bedroom. Our king size bed was sure to fill it up and make us feel cramped. I knew light colors were the way to go for my "vision". 

On to the fun part.


I love the light airy feeling our room has now. Obviously it is not finished but it is a huge improvement in my opinion.  I guess I am still finding my "style" and seem to lean toward a french country look for some areas...other stuff I like cleaner more modern lines...I think...maybe. I have never been great a pinpointing a style but its style just the same.

If you saw this room for the first 10 months you would know about the 10 different color swatches painted all over our walls. I had the hardest time picking a color for this room. I went from caramel walls and white and navy accents to white everything and any other combination in between. We decided to paint the walls and ceiling the same color. With high ceilings I wanted it to be cozy, depending on the time of day the ceiling looks different than the walls most of the time.

I fell in love with this fabric (fabric.com) and the rest has kind of evolved.

Future Plans:

I have borrowed a damask stencil from my Mom to do a feature wall behind the bed. I have Martha Stewart Living Precious Metals paint in Silica to use with said stencil. 

I plan on making a upholstered headboard to add some height behind our bed as well. 

I love our nightstands but may possibly refinish them to something less black.

In the way future I would love to have hardwood floors in here or some yummy plush carpet. 

I often imagine french doors instead of a window in here. Natural light is hard to come by in this south facing room. 

I have been playing with the idea of introducing yellow or another color in here to add a little punch. I may just mix up the blue/greens some more and get more adventurous that way.

I adore having pot shelves to put pretty stuff on. I often sit in bed reading when look up at this pretty display it makes me happy. If only my entire house looked like this all the time! On a normal day you will find magazines, sippy cups and a discarded sock on our bed!  

We love the extra light our mirrored closet doors give...we hate the mirrored closet doors themselves. I am still brain storming on what to do with them. Would white doors offer enough light in this dark room? Should we tear out the closet and start with a new design? The doors are huge and it is difficult to access stuff in the closet so I am not attached to them. Anyone have any suggestions?

Our dresser is obviously too big for this wall...but that is the only space we have to put it and the only dresser we have. I have my eyes peeled for a tall dresser or armoire to put here. I would love a distressed white or taupe one. I doubt I would miss the storage and the TV would be out of site when not in use, big bonus plus 90% of the stuff in this dresser should be tossed. All of my comfy clothes have paint on them, I guess that could be a sign of a constant DIYer.

The breakdown...

Furniture...we had already
Bed...Down Comforter...Target on clearance for $70.00
Kiss Pleated Duvet & Pillow Shams...Target for $80.00
Bed, Euro Shams and Drapery $100.00 for fabric
Blue Throw...we had already
Small Decorative Pillow...JC Penny $7.00
Drapery Rod...Furnishing Touches lhc. aka. Mom...Free
Lamps...Goodwill $6.00 each Shades...Target Clearance $12.00 each
Island Painting...Family Artwork...Free
Accessories from Michael's and Home Goods...$95.00
Paint...Home Depot Berr Paint and Primer color matched to Sherwin Williams Rainwashed...$90.00
Grand Total...$478.00 for our entire room

Not too shabby in my opinion. With a few more things to do to get it "done". 

I am sharing with the following wonderful blogs...



Good Life Wednesdays

Domestically Speaking
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Rodney White Inspired DIY Artwork

Confession...I have a closet full of Ballard Design and Pottery Barn catalogs. 

Sadly I have rarely purchased anything that I drool over. 

But...I use these catalogs for inspiration for my own projects in our home as I am sure most every other budget home decorator does. 

I have been in love with Rodney Whites Seek Happiness print found in many Ballard Design catalogs. I did a google search for more of his work to see what was out there...I came across this print that would fit our kitchen.

 I love the messages in his work and the style is right up my ally! I decided to give my own painting a go. 

I think anyone can do this type of art work if you break it down into easy steps.

Step 1: Draw out basic shapes. Paint in shapes

Step 2: Add shading where needed and print out wording.

 Step 3: Tape wording how you want it placed on canvas

Step 4: Using a charcoal sketching pencil or good ole #2 pencil color on out line of printed text on the back of the page. Trace outline onto painted canvas using a ball point pen.

Step 5:  Fill in text with small paint brush

Optional Step 6: Apply a wash of light brown or white over entire image to give a aged feel to the painting.

Ta Daaaahhh....not to bad for a evening of playing with paint. I used some satin ribbon to cover the exposed staples on this canvas since I used a cheap one I had already.  I am happy with it and it looks great over my stove in the kitchen.  Can't beat free artwork anyway.

Sharing with the following wonderful bloggers...

The Girl Creative

Keeping It Simple

Sumo's Sweet Stuff
 Craft DIY Ideas
Beyond The Picket Fence
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