Thursday, April 30, 2009

Decorating on a Budget

Today is Show and Tell Friday at kelli's House and also Frugal Friday at the Life As Mom Blog and this post fits both!

I took a few pictures of some touches my daughter added to her home which she was able to do without spending a lot of money.

I absolutely love these framed piano music pages. She took these pages from her own piano music books that she used during her childhood piano lessons. If you look closely you can see the notes the piano teacher made on the sheets.

Not only do I like the way these turned out, they also have a sentimental value. Since she has a piano bench full of childhood piano music books, I want to frame some for my own home. Wouldn't that be cute paired with a picture of her as a girl?

At Christmas time I could use a sheet from a Christmas Music Book!





Stenciling is a very frugal way to add special touches to your home. My daughter stenciled these designs over doorways.





You can also try your hand at painting free hand designs on the walls. Just find a picture you like or something already in your home and copy it.

My daughter has these glasses with the chickens on them stored on top of her cabinets.

From this:




To this:



Be sure to check out Kelli's House and Life As Mom for more posts today.

My thanks goes to my daughter, Lori, for the use of these pictures from her home. :o)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday - Project Plans and Ideas

Good Wednesday morning to you!

Today is Whatcha Working On Wednesday at Leslie's blog.

I have been working in the yard and also on my houseplants for about two weeks and haven't even turned the sewing machine on. Well, that is about to come to a stop! My sewing room is in need of straightening and I have these projects to work on right away:

1. House Divided Pocketbook. I've made it no secret that at my house we are N. C. State fans and normally anything to do with UNC or Duke would not even get past the door way of the house..... but my hubby's co-worker has requested a pocketbook for his mother for Mother's Day that has Carolina fabric on one side and Duke fabric on the other side. So I purchased this fabric yesterday and will be working hard to get it done by Mother's Day. I tried to buy the very least amount of fabric that I would need, so there would be none left over!!!



Besides the fact that I don't like these teams, I also don't think these two fabrics look very good together. Too many different blues. I have no idea what fabric to use for the lining. I had a fabric in mind, but its another blue! Do you think white is bad for a lining? It would show dirt, but would go with both these fabrics.

2. While at the fabric store this fabric caught my eye. I love Sunflowers and couldn't resist. The store I was in has a table full of remnants and there was only one yard of this print. I'm thinking it would make a great clothes pin bag or tote bag.



3. I also saw a stack of these crocheted dish cloths for $2.00 each. I don't know how to knit, but can crochet some. So I purchased one so that maybe I can figure out the pattern. I love the crocheted and knitted dishcloths that I have received in swaps and would love to make more for myself and as gifts.



So, what have you been working on lately?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Diet Coke that Keeps on Giving



After enjoying the cool refreshment of a Diet Coke, bought on sale for 99 cents, I removed the label and cut the bottom off.

The bottom makes a perfect drainage dish for plants. I'm using this one for a small pot where an African Violet leaf is rooting.

The top part turns into a mini terrarium for rooting plants. In this one I am trying to root a clematis. This also works well for rose cuttings. Leave the cap off for air circulation. In early spring or late fall when there is a threat of frost you can use this with the cap to cover outside plants.

This is just one small way to reduce, recycle and reuse.

I am always on the lookout for items to reuse in the garden or with my houseplants. I often save small round or square plastic bowls from frozen dinners or take out salads from fast food restaurants to reuse as drainage dishes. It keeps a few items out of the landfill and why pay good money at the store for the same thing you or someone else is throwing in the garbage?

This black plastic dish once held a "Smart Ones Lasagna".

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Busy Husband

What a wonderful Mid-Spring weekend we had in our neck of the woods. A tad on the hot side, with highs in the low nineties, but great weather for getting things done outside.

My hubby was busy as could be the whole weekend and here are a few of his projects:

While I was resting from one of my outdoor chores, he picked and arranged these roses from my "Don Juan" Rose Bush just for me:



Didn't he do a good job? Each rose was cut a different length so that the arrangement would be perfect.

He put quite a bit of work into this raised bed. He nailed the landscape timbers into place and hand shoveled all the topsoil from another area our property into the back of his pickup and moved it into the raised bed.



So far I have planted some vegetables and will be planting some more vegetables and flowers after work this week.

This bird feeder was a gift from my husband a couple of years ago, but this weekend he added to it by placing a hanger for hanging baskets on the side and making a little bed at the bottom. There's a tomato plant inside the cage and also a solar light.



Another picture of my roses:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Plants With Stories

For Show and Tell Friday this week I would like to show you some plants in my yard that have a story.

This is a rose bush that my hubby gave to me back in the early days of our relationship. Of course the name of the rose bush is DON JUAN! It is covered in blooms and in fact, my hubby counted them and there are 38 rose buds on this bush.



In 1986 I lost my 2 year old son, Josh, to a heart defect and he was buried in an old family cemetery near my home. The cemetery was in dire need of some work and I guess it was my way of taking care of Josh to work in the cemetery. There were old fashioned plants all over the place and some of them were being mowed down every year by the lawnmower, since they had spread out into the open areas of the graveyard.

I've read before that plants that survive in cemeteries with little or no care are the hardiest ones to transplant. So back in the eighties, before mowing the graveyard in the spring I moved several plants to my yard as follows:

This plant with the tiny purple flowers and spikey leaves is a Spider wort. The little flowers open in the morning and close in the afternoon.




This Crape Myrtle tree was just a little twig when I first transplanted it. It is now a beautiful tree.



These are some old fashioned daffodils. They are only just now blooming and have small flowers. Maybe they are paperwhites? Anyway all my other daffodils bloomed a couple of months ago.



Be sure to visit Kelli's House for more Show and Tell posts!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Frugal Gardening At My House

1. I posted about how I wanted to re-bloom a poinsettia that I got from my church after Christmas HERE.

Here is the first step in the process that I did about 3 weeks ago. I cut it back to about 8 inches tall and fertilized it.



Look at all the new growth already!



2. I am trying to root some rose bush cutting from instructions found HERE.





3. Recently my daughter went shopping for plants in my yard and this is what the back of her car looked like when she was leaving.



4. I want to grow some potatoes in a garbage can and grow some veggies as part of the landscape. Most of the plants in my yard are either perennials or are annuals grown from inexpensive seeds. My hubby is working on his own gardening ideas too.

Do you have frugal gardening going on at your house?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Second Time Around Tuesday

Today is Second Time Around Tuesday at "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words", where bloggers can show off their items found at thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, and junk stores.

I just couldn't leave these great items at the thrift store when I saw them on Saturday!

Vintage Fire King Anchor Hocking mugs and Fire King Anchor Hocking Milk Glass bowl with the "wheat" design. Total cost: $1.45.



Vintage Tupperware in new condition. If you look closely you can see that there are two green colanders stacked inside each other. Also, a green bowl with domed lid, a yellow canister, and a white container for liquids. These items bought new are very expensive! All of this cost $5.50. I haven't been to a Tupperware party in years, but even back in the 70s and 80s You couldn't buy much for $5.50.



I plan to share the tupperware with my daughter. I don't think she owns a single piece of tupperware, although I do think she attended some parties with me back in the eighties.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Flopsy, Mopsy, Peter or Benjamin?



This past weekend seemed to have a "bunny" theme.

On Saturday my "tough guy" son left to go mow grass at the family cemetery and was only gone about ten minutes when I heard him burst in saying, "Mama, have you ever seen a baby rabbit like this?". In he came with this cute little fellow.

As he was mowing,he had been surprised by four little sets of eyes and ears in front of the lawn mower in a little hole. I held the little guy for just a minute and sent him back to put the bunny back with the others.

Then yesterday we watched the movie "Miss Potter", which I got from the library. It was about Beatrix Potter, who of course wrote the best selling children's stories of all time, such as those about Peter Cottontail, Jemima Puddle duck, Benjamin Bunny and more. I liked this movie very much and it reminded me somewhat of the "Anne of Green Gables" style of movie.



This little bunny didn't seem afraid at all, but riding on the lawnmower in the hands of a "giant", must have had his little heart thumping! I think Beatrix Potter could have written a new story about the day Peter was whisked away by the lawnmower guy and then returned safely to his brothers and sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Benjamin.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blowing in the Breeze

I hung two loads of laundry on my clothesline today. It was cold at 9:00 this morning!

The laundry blowing in the breeze:



First I had to clean all the pollen and winter's grime from the lines. I did this by walking back and forth several times holding a wet paper towel on the line like this:



One lucky person in my household with have clothesline dried sheets on his bed tonight! Won't that be nice?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Piggly Wiggly Dishes


Today is Show and Tell Friday at Kelli's House.

My mother collected two sets of dishes for me from Piggly Wiggly.

The first one was in 1975 or 1976. The way it worked was that each time a person spent a certain amount of money on groceries you could buy a piece of the china at an inexpensive price. So each week my mother would bring home 2 or 3 pieces of the china for my hope chest. It ended up being a large set!




Then again in the year 2000, Piggly Wiggly offered more dishes. This time the name of the dishes was "The Cades Cove Collection". My husband and I visited Cades Cove in Tennessee while on our honeymoon so we just had to have a set.

So this time my mother AND my husband worked on accumulating this set. The dishes have apples and cherries on them. We really enjoy these dishes and use them on a daily basis. We ended up with a large set of the Cades Cove dishes which includes several serving pieces.




I hardly ever shop at Piggly Wiggly any more, but the store is popular with many folks in our area.

Has anyone else collected dishes from Piggly Wiggly or some other store?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baby Boy Scrap Quilt

This week for "Whatcha Working On Wednesday", I have been working on a baby boy scrap quilt. This has been a work in progress for quite some time. This quilt pattern is called "String X" and it is a perfect pattern for using the "Leaders and Enders" system. You can find both the pattern and the Leaders and Enders System on the Quiltville Site HERE.

I decided it was time to actually finish a quilt! So I am concentrating on this one project until it is finished... at least that is the plan of the moment!

What I love about scrap quilts:

1. Each square is different, so each quilt is unique.

2. I can see bits and pieces of many other projects that have been completed in the past. Each one is another memory quilt and has a story or many stories.

3. It uses up small scraps or pieces of clothing that I have saved. This is very economical.

4. Using so many different pieces of fabric keeps the project interesting while I am working on it. If each square is the same, the sewing can get monotonous!

These are four of the large squares I have finished. Each of these contain four smaller squares.









Some more squares in progress:



These will have white triangles sewn on the side to make a small square. Then four of these will be sewn together to make a large square.

Please visit Leslie's Blog "My Country Home" for more Whatcha Working On Wednesday Posts.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring in the Country

My Country Boy:




The first Iris has bloomed. Thanks Alexandra! I received them last summer from Alexandra's blog giveaway.



Spot the bottle fed goat has joined his friends in the "Big" pasture.



I found these newborn kittens in the woodbox this morning.



I won't show you a picture, but my toenails are red this morning..... so I guess we're ready for summer at our house!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter!

Here are a few pictures from my walking route today. You just can't beat a beautiful spring day in North Carolina!






I hope you and your family have a good Easter weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday - Something From Nothing

Be sure to check out Leslie's blog for other WHATCHA WORKING ON WEDNESDAY POSTS.

Yesterday I posted pictures of some fabric samples and scraps I bought from the thrift store for about 50 cents. The samples were from a design center. These fabrics were probably used to make curtains, upholster furniture or other home design ideas.

The Toile scraps were really small so I needed to make something really small from them! I made myself two coasters and a napkin. The coasters now occupy permanent spots, one on the computer desk and one on the table beside my chair. As for the napkin, I prefer the smaller size for myself. This size is also good to fold in half for another kind of coaster.



I like to have a coaster for my coffee early in the morning:



The other two sample pieces were called Waverly - Bassett Butterflies and Pisa. The one with butterflies is from the collection called "Language of the Gardens". The striped one is from the collection called "Bella Tuscany".

Since the two pieces were the exact same size and were of coordinating colors I used them to make a pillow with two different sides. Easy, peasy and instant (well almost) gratification.

Butterflies:



And turned over to the other side, stripes:



The colors in my family room are more along the lines of fall. This is fine with me because I love the Fall season. The butterflies give it a little Spring/Summer touch, but still coordinates with the colors in the room.

I hope you have a great Wednesday!

Trim Healthy Table and an Amazon $5.00 off $15.00 Coupon on Books

I've been wanting the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook and was getting ready to order it for myself on Amazon for Christmas.  I was ha...