Monday, June 30, 2014

Garden and porch update

I hope everyone's weekend was spectacular. 

Here in Colorado the weather has been glorious, simply beautiful.  We always have amazing sunsets.  I am always watching the sky here.  You can really tell the difference on where the sun sets in the summer vs. the winter.  It is a dramatic change.  But the sunsets, ah the sunsets!  In the fall they are orange, in the winter white and in the spring and summer a bit more blue and white.
These are looking from my backyard, north west. 


In the winter the sun sets in the south west a difference you can really track.   

But now onto my porch and garden... this past weekend the weather was, as always, very cooperative.  Sunny mid 80's low humidity.  I went to one of our local Target's and found all of their summer porch items up to 60% off!!!  I found a blue and white rug for under $15.00!!!  So I swapped out the old brown rugs - I put 2 together, for the new one and it looks GREAT! 
Before:
After:
SOOOO much better!  I just hope the dog doesn't get his muddy paws all over it too soon.

I then took a deep breath and went to Walmart. 
Now, while I like the prices and the people watching I get very frustrated with Walmart.  There are never enough cashiers, never. 
They had plants 1/2 off so I got 2 small boxwoods for $2.50 each, a purple clematis for $3.00, a pink salvia, also for $3.00 and some indoor plants including that plant in the little blue planter above which was $1.00, yep one whole dollar!  The planter cost more than the plant. 
I also ran across some outdoor lighting.
Now I've always liked the idea of outdoor lighting but always thought the solar LED's would just not be bright enough to even see but I took a chance and bought some Westinghouse LED solar lights.  They came in a pack of 7 for $9.00 and some change.  If you buy them individually they are $1.99 each.  I bought 2 packs of 7. 

They were very easy to activate, un-screw the top, pull the tab, screw the top back on and put the spiked bottom on... done.  I put 4 in my front garden that I weeded and raked and worked hard on.  It wasn't even dark yet and these shone brightly. 
I put the rest in various places in my back garden.  They look just great, I am so happy with them!

Do you have solar lights in your garden, yard or walkway or do you have the one's with the wires? 
I can't wait to put them around my trees! 
 
This will be the only post this week, I'm going camping.  I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July!  I'll be back next week. 
 
As always thanks for stopping by.  You can always follow me on FB -
 
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Again, have a safe and happy 4th of July and a great weekend. 
Victoria


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Paper Lanterns

I like re-using things.  If you have been a frequent reader you will know that I re-use things in different ways all the time.  If you read Tuesday's post you can see how I re-used dollar store vases I bought at Christmas for a 4th of July craft.  I even used them at Easter for a PB knock off. 

Today isn't about the vases but the dollar store paper lanterns I bought for my daughter's high school graduation party.  I put them on the mailbox for her graduation.
Paper lanterns are pretty cheap and an easy way to decorate.  My girls usually use them in their bedrooms, hanging from the ceiling with Christmas lights strung in them.  This time I decided to make a 'chandelier' over my outdoor dining table.

It was pretty easy.  I ended up using twine to hang them.  I tried using fishing line but it was far too thin and kept coming out of the staples that I used to secure the line to the ceiling. 

This is what it turned out like.

 I just stapled them to the ceiling!  I will eventually put some LED candles or lights in them and use them as an outdoor light. 

So here is the before. (Dog photo bomb!)

And this is the after.

Do you re-use things around your house in different ways?  I'd love to hear your ideas!
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend. Be safe!
Victoria
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Monday, June 23, 2014

The easiest craft EVER

This has got to be hands down the easiest craft you can ever do.  Really, trust.

Let's see, easy, fairly cheap and high impact - I'm in!

You will need:

Tape - I used Duct tape - you can use any brand you wish.
Store bought bottles of water
Scissors

I don't know if you are aware but they make thick tape, like Duct tape in all different colors, patterns and even shapes. 
I bought flag Duct tape and some store bought bottles of water.

I ripped off the labels that were on the bottles and then wrapped the flag tape around the bottles, cut it as it just overlapped a bit.  DONE!
 How easy is that and BONUS... CUTE!
Think of the endless ideas, you could 'customize' bottled water for a party with zebra stripes, cheetah or giraffe print, cars, birds or whatever kind of tape you can find!  The ideas are endless. 
Heck you could even do soft drinks/soda/pop/beer/wine coolers and other adult beverages the same way.  It looks like you customized them and all it cost was the bottles of whatever, the tape and some time. 

BONUS craft...
Here is another easy craft that you can do.  I customized this for 4th of July.

You will need:
Burlap trim (I got mine at Walmart already decorated)
Dollar Store glass vases (I used the one's I bought back in December for my Christmas table and the same one's I used for my PB knock off for Easter). 
Craft Glue - I used Aleens (you just need craft glue that will dry clear)
Scissors
Optional - ribbon.  I used blue but you could use any color



Step 1 - You need to determine how long to cut your burlap. 
Wrap your burlap around the vase making sure you have at least a 1/2 inch overlap.  Cut.


 Step 2 - glue.  After you have cut your piece place a bead of glue on the inside on one end of your trim.  
 Then wrap it around and onto your vase.
Step 3 - Run a bead of glue on the other end of your trim.  While holding the end that is already glued on, wrap around the vase, pull tight to ensure it stays in place well with no gaps.
Step 4 - If you want you can wrap a ribbon around your vase.  I used blue but red or white would have probably looked better with this particular trim, I just didn't have any.


Cute!  I put candles in mine and put them on my back porch.

You could fill them with sand, flowers, pinwheels, candy, sparklers, utensils, anything goes! 

If you can't find burlap like this, already done, you could always get plain burlap and some star stamps and a blue or other color ink pad and stamp your burlap.  This would need some time to dry before putting the burlap on the vase.  I got my burlap at Walmart... yep Walmart in the craft section. 
The vases are dollar store that I used for a Christmas craft -
http://www.dragonfliesandthistles.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-table-and-craft.html
They are the same one's washed that I used for my PB knock off for Easter.
http://www.dragonfliesandthistles.blogspot.com/2014/03/pottery-barn-knock-off.html

I am really getting my money's worth from these dollar store vases! 

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also follow me on Pintrest -
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Have a great mid-week.  I'll be back on Thursday.  Till then be safe.
Victoria

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Collections

 Let's talk collections.  Do you collect anything? 

I have friends who collect shoes (the decorative kind), some people I know collect shot glasses, water globes, pitchers and snowmen. 

Me, I like Santa's and have about 100 Santa's that I display with my Christmas decorations.  I thought that was the only thing I collected until I started looking around my house. 

I never realized I have a slight teapot addiction.  Now I've always known that I like dishes, you know the pretty plates with different patterns or an odd shaped or sculpted glass.  But in looking around my house I have quite a few teapots!  Who knew!? 

I seem to have most of them in my antique china cabinet.  Here they sit till I use them, usually on holidays or other special occasions. 

This one my oldest daughter bought me along with some loose tea.  It is the simplest teapot I own but still very pretty. 
 It has a removable inner piece that holds the loose tea. 
This one is red and gold.  I got it from my Mom, who got it from her Aunt.
 On the bottom it says, Arthur Wood, England  4665
This one was my Grandmothers.  Someone brought it to her from Japan. I have plates, cups, saucers and even a cream and sugar bowl for this set.  I think this is called a 'Luncheon Set'.
 The bottom says Noritake.  I think this set is just really unusual and very pretty.

This next teapot is really unusual but probably my favorite. 
 I just love it.  It isn't very big, much smaller than the other teapots but I just love the Japanese countryside drawing on it.  I really can't read the bottom it is a bit smudged. 

This last teapot I got from my paternal Grandmother.  She told me she bought it from a door-to-door salesman in the 40's and that is all she remembers.  It has an removable centerpiece where you can place teabags or loose tea. 
 I really do love the old fashioned colors.  The bottom says 'Hall's Superior Quality Kitchenware'
 It even has salt and pepper shakers!
Funny my collection was all gifted to me, I haven't bought a single piece! 
I also have some other odd dishes that I've inherited. 
This little pitcher for milk for instance...
The bottom simply says 'Japan'
Then I've got these bowls with feet.  They are really pretty and very brightly colored.  I inherited these from my Aunt.  I have no idea where she got them but they are beautiful.
 
The bottom says 'Prussia' and has a marking.  I know nothing about these dishes, I have 2 of them.
They are obviously very old, when was Prussia a country?  It is Russia now.  So these must be at least 80 years old, if not older. 
 

I also have these 2 cup and saucers.  They are VERY delicate, the china is paper thin.  They have raised dragons on them.  I got these from my Aunt who got them from her Mother-In-Law.

The dragons are raised.  I know nothing about them, they have no markings on the bottom but they are obviously Japanese or Chinese in origin.  The bottom one is really unique as when you hold the teacup up to the light and look through the bottom you see...
It looks like a Greek Goddess.  She's not Japanese or Chinese at all.  Sorry the picture is bad but I think you can see her pretty well.

Another odd thing I've inherited is this little plastic Jiminy Cricket toy. 
He is plastic and he walks across your table via gravity.  I know nothing about him either, I don't even know what relative I got him from. 

So it seems I collect teapots though I've never bought one myself.  I do like them, their shape is pleasant and I do love tea! 
Do you have any collections?  What do you collect?  Do you have anything odd that you collect? 
If you know anything about my footed bowls or my little milk pitcher or any of my china, I'd love to hear about it. 
Thanks for stopping by.  Next week I'll be talking about 4th of July decorations and have a craft.  I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Be safe!
Victoria

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Monday, June 16, 2014

House number plaque


We don't have house numbers on our house.  We haven't for years.  I tell my husband it is because we secretly really don't want people to find us and those that are friends know exactly where we live.  Our street doesn't make it any easier either.  The house on the right of us is 5108 and the house to the left is 5320, in the middle of them, we are 5210.  I have no idea. 

So after years of not having a street number on our house I decided I'd had enough and made a plaque with our numbers and last initial on it. 

This is an easy craft that was pretty cheap - $9.00 for the plaque itself, $1.99 for each number and the letter.  I paid $3.00 for the mounting kit at Hobby Lobby.  The rest of the things I had.  I think it was less than buying pre-made numbers and mounting them on the house.  Plus, I could never find any that I really liked. 

Supplies you will need:
1 wood plaque - size depends on you
Wooden numbers
Wooden letters
Picture mounting kit (I got mine at Hobby Lobby but Michael's carries them as well)
Paint of your choice - any kind (even spray paint)
Sponge brushes - 1 for each paint color you use
Glue (I used E6000 - you can find this at any craft store or Ace hardware)

I got most of the supplies at Michael's.  The American D├ęcor paint I used, I won on a blog contest but you can buy it at Michael's or Home Depot for about $6.00 - $10.00 a jar.  You can use any kind of paint or spray paint for this. 


Step 1 - Prepare your plaque.  Mine, while wrapped in cellophane, was in need of a bit of sanding on the edges.  I then wiped it down with a wet paper towel. 

Step 2 - Apply the mounting hardware to the back of the plaque. 



Step 3 - Paint your plaque.  I gave mine 3 coats with a sponge brush.  I chose a light blonde color of whisper. 
Step 4 - Paint your numbers/letter. I chose a contrasting color but one that matched my shutters - escape. 

Step 5 - after everything is dry you need to glue your letter/numbers to your plaque.  I laid mine out first to make sure I liked the arrangement.   Then I glued them down using E6000 glue - this stuff is amazing!  If you use this glue make sure you are in a well ventilated area as you can get affected by the odor quickly. 
Here is my dry fit.
After you glue the letters/numbers down let that dry for a few minutes.  The E6000 will dry clear. 
Then I hung it outside! 
What do you think?  I really like it.  You can see it clearly from the street.  Now everyone will know where we live and will be able to find us! 

I hope you give this craft a try.  It was pretty easy and inexpensive. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Remember you can also follow me...
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Till Thursday!
Victoria