I am a novice gardener . . . you know, the kind that still freaks out when there are spiders in the dirt and has to repeatedly call her Dad to ask if it is finally time to plant the cucumber seeds. I’ve never had a green thumb, or even wanted one, until recently. I think perhaps the gardening skill is a recessive genetic trait, like having twins, that must skip a generation, because it’s just never been my forte. Despite my natural lack of savvy, I firmly believe you’re never too old to learn, so I am working on it. Fresh veggies are too good to pass up, and I was raised in a canning family, after all. Somebody’s got to inflict that magic on the next generation!
(Confession: The above picture is a little misleading; I’ve never driven a tractor before.)
Now that my seeds (at least some of them) are in the ground, and my seedlings are being watered daily in hopes of many future tomatoes, I decided it was also time to make my garden a little more aesthetically pleasing. Enter the rocks.
Everybody probably has access to at least a few rocks (if you’re like me, you probably cleared a whole slew of them out of your vegetable beds recently) and I decided it was finally time to give new life to some of these babies. . .
See, I was browsing Etsy not too long ago and saw some fun inspiration:
Now, these particular stones were magnet-backed and meant for the fridge, but it was the idea of fun messages via painted stones that I liked rather than the magnetic-ness. . . $28 is, however, outside of my nonexistent budget for painted rocks. SO, it struck me that, although my meager versions of them might be less polished (literally: I don’t have much in the way of sealant lying around the house currently), it might be fun to try making some of these myself! That said, I assembled the extensive list of required ingredients, rocks and paint, and set to work making some stone garden decor!
As is wont to happen, I happened to see a cute idea on Pinterest for using rocks to label plants. . . and Idecided they might add the perfect touch of whimsy to my dubious garden’s image! Nothing screams I-know-what-I’m-doing like adding a bunch of rocks to your garden, right?
My favorite use for dill: blending with a mix of sour cream/mayonnaise for a light garnishing sauce . . .
Chives can be tasty in salad or cut up thinly on top of a potato and leek soup. . . or even on pizza!
My favorite use for basil is sliced on top of fresh tomatoes. . . and sometimes the whole basil-tomato combo can really make a simple omelette transcend to whole new levels of delicious!
Speaking of tomatoes. . . I really can’t wait to get these babies in the ground! I have a deep-seated love for fresh-grown tomatoes. I made some other markers outside of those for my herb garden, but I’m not putting them out yet because the seeds haven’t sprouted up yet (it feels like they are taking forever). Labeling bare ground feels a little like putting the cart before the horse!
There you have it. Maybe I’ll keep adding to this collection over the summer if beach-walking/rock-collecting starts to be part of my regular schedule again!
Isn’t my gardin rockin?
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
At least, that’s how the saying goes . . . but sometimes our trash can also be our own darn treasure, non? Why should “another man” get all the benefits of your trash? That’s right, you seize that trash and you make it your own treasure. (Insert ironic z-snap here.) Check out what I made from something that would otherwise have been in the trash:
Not too shabby, is it? Which is why it is now worth saving your old goopy nail-polish the next time you find some extra lying about or are looking to purge your supply! Keep reading to see how that gooey mess can become a pretty piece of jewelry. . . or maybe even something more . . .
To make these flowers, you need:
old goopy nail-polish
*If you want to make it/them into a necklace, you will also need a chain and some links to close it – they’re easy to find on Etsy!
Starting with just wire, cut yourself about a six-inch piece. Then use pen as the petal-measure, wrapping the wire around once and twisting it to secure the round shape.
You repeat this process 5 times, or until you are satisfied, then bend your petals around to give them a less circular shape . I personally did this one by hand, but I’ve since done some better ones using needle-nosed pliers!
Once you have the flower framework of wire, all you need to do is drip goopy nail-polish over the petals and then allow them to dry. This makes a delicate-looking tissue for the petals! Since I only had old clear nail-polish, I decided to paint over that with some of my less-congealed colors, and I was pleasantly pleased with the effect!
Now all that remains is to turn it into something usable or wearable! Since your flower still has a “stem” of metal, it makes sense to use that to create loops in order to hang the flowers from a necklace or chain. Other ideas I’ve toyed with include flower-girl headdresses (lots of these in pearly white would look lovely as a wreath, which could be put together using florists tape!), summery-topped bobby-pins, and daisy-chain bracelets.
Now, I am still a nail-polish jewelry novice, but I have some pretty exciting ideas for these little flowers!
First, before you can proceed with giving advice, you must watch this video:
I’m in Phase 6.
Asking that horrible “what now???” question.
I’ve read everything I can about Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Katniss Everdeen, Lucy Pevensie, Bella Swan (yeah, yeah, get over it), Cimorene of Linderwall, Veralidaine Sarrasri, Meliara Astiar, and a whole slew of even-lesser known protagonists. I’ve really tried, but Game of Thrones moves a little slow for me (just being honest). I’ve watched BBC’s Sherlock (again and again and again) until I just can’t cry about the Reichenbach Fall one more time. I fangirled as much as I could about Lost, and I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of Dr. Who and Supernatural of late. I’ve even watched a whole pack of Downton Abbey (although, lets be real, it is a little hard to pay attention to sometimes) and I’m currently show-less! (I just can’t get in to Madmen’s slutty husbands, despite the snazzy fashion. )
Somebody throw me a series that I just can’t put down, for pity’s sake!
Seeing as how I was highly grumpy when facing ANOTHER 16.5 inches of snow today (BLARGH), I decided it would be best to stay productive. Here are some snippets of what I did today, in hopes that they might inspire you out of the White Witch Blues. (Ahem: always-winter-never-Christmas, yes?)
#1: Make Homemade Cocoa-Based Brownies!
#2: Get “Artsy” and Give New Purpose to an Old Frame!
It seems that no matter where I am, I always have access to a ridiculous amount of plain paper and markers. . . which is a good thing. SO, having spray-painted an old frame in the basement, I set about making a useful piece of bathroom art.Once I had the artsy reminders drawn, I decided to clean up the old frame one last time and then see how my finished product looked. . . what do you think?
#3: Watch a Netflix Movie.
It was cute. Plus I got to listen to Morgan Freeman talk in the process of watching it, which is always a plus. I still say I would pick Jim Dale to narrate my life instead, but Mr. Freeman’s got some smooth tones regardless. Plus it was pretty adorable.
#4: Make the Best of the Shoveling.
I hate shoveling, and this year has definitely stretched me as a human being insofar as developing a higher shoveling tolerance. Then, just when you think you’ll be able to see the sidewalk again . . . WHAM! More snow. SO, I decided that even snow can be made to look springy, and I made (drumroll please) . . .
I even tried to give it a pompom bunny-tail. . . but it got pretty cold, so I decided to call it a day and go wash all the cold off in a steamy shower before meeting up with my favorite little frère for a late dinner!
All in all, my snow day experiences were a success, despite my initial snowy angst! I strongly recommend any/all of these activities, should you find yourself facing the chilly prospect of some snow-day-blues!
Once upon a few months ago, my dear friend KTD asked if I wanted to rally the troops and sashay over to Newtonville, Massachussetts for my very first visit to The Paint Bar. If you are like my past self and are unaware of what this magical-sounding location might be . . . well, allow me to enlighten you.
It is a one-session painting class.
Sharing the affinity for both fine wine and arts-n-crafts is not something that should be relegated to the stereotypical French past, my friends! You’ve got to try this! Even people who proclaim themselves hopeless with a paintbrush and helpless with a palette (*cough* me *cough*) will be surprised at the fun AND the results! Everyone gets situated with the colors necessary for the session’s assigned painting, and then the lovely artist-in-charge (it’s a family-run business) takes you through the process of painting!
About two hours of wholesome fun later, you go from white canvas and a simple smattering of paint to a whole new product!
I strongly suggest hopping on this bandwagon and booking yourself (and some friends) a fun afternoon (or soirée) in the near future! $35 is more than worth the full experience, but you seriously have to book in advance because these puppies are booked out for weeks, and sometimes even months, in advance!
Listen to me, I sound like an infomercial. That alone should tell you that this is worth it . . . give it a try! Let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did!