Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grow A Moss Paradise

If you love moss, maybe you should think of having a moss garden. I love moss, probably because I see so many beautiful areas of it here in Oregon. The funny thing.....I know so many people who have fought having moss in their lawns or in their flower beds for years, spending time and funds dumping bag after bag of some chemical on the ground to kill this tiny, green plant. Instead of trying to fight nature, why not encourage moss to grow in your garden.

Moss gardens are green year round in all but the most frigid climates and give you the opportunity to incorporate a woodland area to your yard or garden. If you have shady spots on your property, why not give a moss garden a try.....I guarantee you'll end up loving it. For ideas and a few cool pics, read an article I wrote on the subject:


Monday, March 30, 2009

From Days Gone By

Many years ago, prior to the mass manufacturing of items, many things were handmade. Some of these antique's were wonderful in the simple manner in which they were made.
This antique wicker wheelbarrow is a terrific piece of history, this is what the gardener used before the metal ones were mass produced. What I wouldn't give to own a wheelbarrow like this one, just having it to use for light duty chores would be any gardeners dream.
Most times as new materials are developed for manufacturing, it is a good thing. The newer, lightweight materials that have been invented in the last century have made our jobs so much easier, but it's also a little sad to loose these older items that have so much character. My new mission is to find myself one of these wicker wheelbarrows.....I may have to plan a trip to England!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Growing House Numbers

I've seen many homes where there are no house numbers, making it difficult for someone to find where you live. Sometimes there just doesn't seem to be a good place to put them, or your a renter and don't want to invest in something that won't belong to you in the end.
Here's a cute and quick solution, paint your house number on some terra cotta pots, plant them up and set out front. These pots were just painted white, but you could just as easily leave the pots clay colored and and paint the numbers in any color you wanted.
Take into consideration the lighting where your pots will sit, sunny or in the shade or a combination, and choose your plants accordingly. You could add color from flowers and house numbers to boot, a very good solution to a "missing house"!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do You Tatouage?

Have you ever done any tatouage? For those not quite sure what this is, it is applying a picture to a flat surface using a dry transfer. These transfers are really beautiful, lots of detail and colors and you can find them in millions of design's and sizes. And the best part.....they are so easy that anyone can do them.

For lots of ideas and a link to the best place to buy transfers, please read an article I wrote on the subject.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Gardeners Workshop

Every gardeners dream is to have a potting shed that holds everything and more that we might possibly need. A sweet little shed that has vining plants running rampant all over the place, windows where we can start seeds, a comfy chair to wile away the time when it rains. I love the smell of my shed, homemade potting soil, clay pots stacked in every niche I can find and the dried flowers that are still hanging from the rafters from last summers bounty.
This shed is much more than a place to store my tools, it's my little get-away when I just need some peace and quiet. I love to bring a cup of coffee and a new magazine and just sit and think about what new wonders I will plant this spring.
If your a gardener without a potting shed, please read a article I wrote about finding a way to have your own little spot in the garden, where you too can find peace and tranquility.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Little Crazy but A Whole Lot Of Fun!

When I first told a friend of mine that I wanted to cover some old wicker porch furniture with moss, she just chuckled and said, "that sounds like something you'd do"! I'm taking that comment as a compliment because I don't ever want to get to that point where I'm afraid to try something as fun as this project.
If you have a set of wicker furniture that has really seen better days, and I mean that the seats are almost gone and there are rips and holes in the wicker, don't throw it out.....cover it with sheet moss that will love the surface and grow like crazy.
If you have access to fresh moss, then all the better. If not, you can use the dried sheet moss that you can find in all the craft stores. Simply carefully open and soak in some water for 10 minutes or so to rehydrate. You'll need to use small pieces of paddle wire to keep the moss in place until it set's itself in, but that won't take long. Once covered, you'll need to keep this moss furniture in the shade and water frequently, but what a focal point these chairs would be in the deep shade under trees where not much else will grow. Sweet.......

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Love to Cook? Then Grow Fresh Herbs!

If you love to cook homemade meals, then you know about the benefits of using fresh herbs. Herbs can give meat and vegetables a taste that your family will love and therefore eat!

Not everyone has room for a kitchen garden or even planters on the patio. You don't need a garden to grow your own herbs though, potted herbs do very well as long as you have a window that gets a few hours of sun per day. Use the largest pot you have room for and choose 3 or 4 herbs that you like to cook with the most. Make sure you purchase top quality potting soil and that the container has a drain hole.

This pretty pot contains sage, rosemary and thyme, 3 of the most useful herbs to cook with. All you need to do is snip off a branch or two, wash and chop to the size you need. If after a year or so your plants look less than healthy, remove them and replace with new ones. With the price of fresh herbs in the grocery stores, it would pay to grow your own and you'll benefit from all that fresh taste!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are You A Gardener Who Loves Wildlife?

If you and your family love to watch the wildlife that comes and goes thru your yard, there is much you can do to insure that your doing your part to help feed and shelter all these creatures. If you like to provide water and seed to entice birds to visit your garden, then why not take it a step further and make your property a Certified Wildlife Habitat. This is quite easy to do and is an excellent way to teach your children about all of God's creatures.
For complete instructions and a link to the National Wildlife certification program, please read an article I wrote on the subject.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Free Wall Art

It seems as though when first starting out in your own place, that people concentrate on furnishing the house. It is important to have a bed to sleep on and a sofa to sit on. Artwork is important too, although these items are usually the last to be purchased, and that is the leading cause. To purchase, that is, but you can decorate your walls without spending alot of money if you spend a little time thinking about what you could use on your walls that is free or low cost.
This photo shows that you can pick-up a wonderfully shaped branch, paint it and then fill a large expanse of wall with it. Or a collection of branches would look great to create a tree effect.
Baskets are another inexpensive wall decor, several hung together always look great. Or a great many baskets arranged in a pleasing fashion can give a stylish look to almost any room. So, if you see something outdoors that inspires you, bring it home.....you never know where it could put down stakes and become one of your favorite pieces of art.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Are You A Romantic?

How pretty is this room, with all it's charm and comfort? All white furniture just seems to harken back to the 1940's when romance and style was the thing of the day.
Look closely at this furniture, these pieces are not new, but of a style that was popular many, many years ago. Your parents or even grandparents may very well have a set just like this, although it is probably still in it's dark wood stain. Dark wood can somehow seem heavy and almost gloomy, especially if the room has dark fabrics and little light.
How easy it would be to duplicate this look just by painting the furniture all white and using light colored bedding and accessories. If your just starting out and can only afford a used bedroom set, consider buying a collection of pieces that have good form and are sturdy. If you spent some time sanding, priming and painting, you could have a bedroom like this one......one that just says " I'm a total romantic"!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sent To The Corner

This is the kind of faux paint treatment that I love, it's just a simple okra color ragged over white. This would look so great in a dining room or even an entry way. But what makes it special is the corner stencil, painted in a contrasting color. It seems as though stenciling had gone out of style until recently, when we began to see more original and stylized stencils that are a world away from the first "fruit and squares" that were popular many years ago.

As you can see from this photo, this stencil is simple in design with only a few leaves along with some swirls. It is understated and draws attention to the height of the ceiling. Please check out all the great sites that are online, you can find a stencil in millions of style's, design and price, and they are not the stencils that you may remember from years ago. Today's stencils are designed for the easy going lifestyle most of us want in our homes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Take A Bath With A Fern

This beautiful bathroom has a bold color scheme with it's cobalt blue tub and sink and the black and white tiles add to the overall look. What makes this bath sensational though is the lush, green fern's hanging over the tub. This is the perfect place for a hanging plant, plenty of light from the windows and humidity from the water that's used in the bath. This spot is good as well for misting the fern's, which keep them moist and the leaves from browning.
Anyone who has a tub without a shower could do this in their own bathroom, all you would need is a hook that is firmly anchored in the ceiling.
There are a great number of tropical plants that would grow wonderfully in such a location, as usually it's the lack of humidity in our homes that lead to the death of a houseplant.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Help For A Worn Out Sofa

When your young and first starting out, there is never enough money to go out and buy new furniture. And what usually ends up happening is you get someones old hand-me-down stuff that has always seen better days. This is never more true than with a second hand sofa, if someone you know replaced it, chances are it was because it may have needed reupholstered. Almost always the seat cushions and the arms look pretty bad, sometimes so much that your not sure you even want this monstrosity. But hold on, there may be a solution to this problem, one that could give new life to that old sofa.

This method of "concealment" only works if the back and seat cushions can be removed. You will need a large piece of thick fabric, such as a bedspread or thin comforter. You could even use an old drapery panel as long as it is wide and long enough.

If the arms are torn and worn on your sofa, you can cover them with a strip of the fabric. Cut a piece from each edge of the fabric wide enough to cover the arm and having enough fabric to fold under the raw edge. Leave the strip long and using a staple gun attach the strip to the underside of the sofa end. Smooth the fabric up and put a few staples under the arm where they won't be seen. Then wrap the fabric up and over the arm, pushing the fabric down below the seat as far as you can. If you can feel any part of the frame here, try and use a few staples to hold the fabric taunt.

With the remaining piece of fabric, fold the edges under so that the width of the fabric is the same as the width of the seat and back. Begin by laying the fabric down on the sofa underneath the seat cushions. Place the cushions back on the sofa. When you get to the back of the cushions push the fabric down as far as possible and if you have any doweling or even a piece of PVC pipe, push it down as far as possible to keep the fabric from riding up. Then go up and over the back cushions and push the fabric down behind them. You may want to pin the fabric to the bottom of the back cushions to keep the fabric taunt.

It may be necessary to trim some of the fabric ends so that you don't have excess material behind your back cushions. Do try and find a piece of material that matches the color of the sofa, you end up with a sofa that looks so much better and can last until you have the means to buy a new one. This method also can work for a worn out chair as well.

Houseplants can Beautify and Improve Air Quality

As a gardener, it would be impossible for me or any other gardener to not have at least a few plants in our homes, we just need to be surrounded by green living fauna. But, you really don't even have to be a gardener to have a beautiful plant somewhere in your home, one plant really requires very little time or care.
Did you know though that plants contribute to the quality of air in your home? The leaves of plants release oxygen they make into the air, important especially this time of year when all of us keep our windows closed due to the wintertime conditions.
That being said, it is very important to keep your plants clean of dust so that the leaves can breathe. One easy way to do this is to clean and water at the same time by putting your plants in the shower. A slow stream of tepid water will wash the leaves off and water the plant at the same time. If your plant is in a pot too heavy to move, take a wet rag and gently wipe each leaf off. If done regularly, your plants stay clean, healthy and will continue to contribute to the health and beauty of your home.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Beautiful and Unique Window Treatment

What woman wouldn't just love this garden style bedroom with it's vining flower's running around the window? It can be quite difficult to outfit a window such as this one with drapery because of the arch at the top of the frame, but using a little paint could solve this problem quite nicely.

All this design would need is a vine stencil and several colors of paint. I have used a vine stencil many times and they are very easy to use, to change direction or curve, just turn the stencil over to get a mirror image.

As you can see from the photo, this bedroom was coordinated using the stencil on the lampshade and even the front of the nightstand. You could also do the bed linens by using a fabric paint. Any young girl or single woman would just love to have a bedroom like this to end the day with.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Touching Up Hardwood Floors

More and more often people are installing hardwood floors in their homes, and with good reason. Not only do they look great, but for those with allergies, hardwoods can seriously reduce allergens in the home. My husband and I are those with bad allergies, and when we bought our new home 3 years ago we tore-up all the carpet and put down real hardwood in the entire house. It truly does look beautiful and I can mop the floors to keep them nice and clean.
I have noticed though that in the 3 years we've lived with the wood floors that little scratches appear, especially in the groves where the boards meet. So, today was touch-up day, I stirred up a can of oak stain and using a foam brush, I began to go over all these areas. This is a very easy process, just dab a little stain on the scratch and then wipe with a rag. I then looked around for any other things that needed a touch-up and did those too. I did nicks on the door frames and baseboards. I even found a couple of nicks on some furniture.
For the amount of time I spent, about 15 minutes, I made all those little tell-tale signs of life go away. Give it a try on your woodwork, it will look like new again.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Expecting A New Baby?

Are you planning a new nursery? Why not make your newborns room really special and create a focal point with a simple hand painted tree. This tree is very easy to do with it's simple trunk and a few leaves, and the little bluebird adds that little wow. If you'd rather, you could replace the bird with butterfly's, an owl or even a little fairy sitting on the branch.
I think this tree would be appropriate for either sex and would be interesting until a child was preteen. I could even see this tree to the side of a window with the branches all painted to one side looking kind of "windswept".
If your not expecting but a friend or relative is and you've got some painting skills, this would make a wonderful gift to the Mom-To-Be!