ORC Week 7: A Pet-Friendly Living Room Makeover

With one week to go before the final reveal, Week 7 of the One Room Challenge had me obsessing over accessories and art.  And I have to say it’s been the most fun I’ve had so far with my living room transformation.

My final goal is an elegant, airy, and inviting living room that can also withstand pet hair and pet stains. If you’d like to see before photos and read about the issues that I’ve been addressing during this Challenge, check out my post from Week 1.

My room transformation has been very simple compared to some of the amazing projects that other Challenge participants are taking on.  You can find their projects here.

Accessories

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I’ll be shopping my house for most of the accessories I need, but I did bring home a few new throw pillows to test in the room.  For our new loveseat, I decided on these two from World Market.

I’m finding that corals and oranges work surprisingly well with our Iced Periwinkle wall color.

The room is screaming for more plants and natural textures, so I got a decent-sized majesty palm.  It is in a corner of the room that gets lots of natural light.

And I ordered this adorable belly basket to put it in.  I can’t wait to see it in real life.

I love that it is made of sustainably grown seagrass and woven by Vietnamese artisans.  It comes with a plastic liner, but I don’t trust that to make it waterproof.  I’m going to place a saucer inside the basket before setting in the plant pot.

But no doubt the most important accessory is the new plus-sized scratching post I got (happily, marked down on clearance) for our plus-sized cat.

Eddie in action

Good kitty, he already likes it.  Now hopefully he’ll leave everything else in the room alone.  His scratching post will be stashed away whenever we have company, so you won’t be seeing this accessory in the final reveal.

Art

We relocated some of the pieces that were in the room before.

The antique mirror is now in our tiny dining room.  Our dining room also got a mini-makeover with the same wall paint as the living room.

But we needed a new piece of art for the living room’s north wall.  I obsessed for hours this week over what we should get.  I love vintage botanical prints and found that the Biodiversity Heritage Library has an extensive assortment of beautiful flora and fauna images available for free download.  So I was down that rabbit hole for quite some time.

Eventually I realized that I was getting very confused and rushing the process just for the sake of completing the Challenge.  It would be more fun if Chris and I could find something for the wall that we both love – and see it in person before deciding.

So in the meantime we’re using an inexpensive canvas print that I found this week at TJ Maxx.  It is nothing special, but it does work well here.

This print is only a placeholder until we find the right piece for this space.  But at least now there’s no hurry.

A Rug Pad

My new rug pad from RugpadUSA arrived.  I like that these rug pads are affordable and 100% felt.  They don’t come with the overwhelming chemical smell that other rug pad products might have.

I ordered it in the 1/4″ thickness and hoped it would be thick enough.  And it is.

But it was just a little too large for our new area rug, so I had to trim it.

Some of the reviews I read mentioned that folks were having difficulty trimming their rug pads with scissors.  But I used sewing scissors and didn’t have any trouble – at least not with this 1/4″ thickness pad.

So, that’s the progress this week.  Tune in next week for the final reveal!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

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A Saucer Filled With Spring

After a long winter, I crave the colors and fragrances of spring.  But I don’t necessarily want to go out in the rain to find them.  I want them inside where it’s easier to enjoy them.

It seems I’m always trying to bring the outdoors inside (in appearance anyway – minus any little worms or bugs).

One year, it was elevated tulips.

Another time, plants in DIY moss pouches.

But this time, I kept it very simple.

Materials

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I started with some very common bulbs in 4-inch pots:  Hyacinths and tête-à-tête daffodils.

I used a 14-inch glazed clay saucer that was about 2 inches deep.  Why this saucer?  Mostly because I had it on hand, and it was big and could hold many bulbs.

I also used decorative pebbles and potting soil in this project.

Making The Bulbs Fit The Saucer

Of course, the saucer was much more shallow than the pots that the bulbs were in.  I just carefully removed each bulb from its pot (and, since there were several daffodils in one pot, I carefully separated them) and shook away the excess dirt.

Then I placed the bulbs in the saucer and gently spread each plant’s roots around its bulb instead of underneath it.

I didn’t add much soil to the saucer as I did this.

But, once the bulbs were all in place, I carefully packed soil on top of the roots, creating a very slight mound at the center.

The tops of the bulbs were still showing, but to me that was part of the charm. I brushed the dirt from the exposed bulbs, added a few decorative pebbles, and watered them.

 

 

Just to make this little scene look more natural, I added a few fronds from my Himalayan maidenhair fern.  I just pushed them into the soil to make them look like a small fern plant.

How long would these fronds stay fresh?  Not long, I found out.  They dried in a couple of days.  But even dry they are still green so, as of this writing, they are still in this saucer.

Since the saucer has some hairline cracks, I placed it on a cork mat once I brought it inside so it wouldn’t leave any water stains on the table.

It is in a location where it gets light from two large windows.

 

The Result

Apparently, the bulbs don’t mind being planted in a shallow saucer (although I wouldn’t recommend using such a shallow container for outdoor use  in freezing temperatures).

Spring bulbs usually bloom faster indoors.  And, in this bright location, it only took a few days for them to start blooming.

I am very happy with this cheerful and fragrant little spring display.

Of course, the downside is that these bulbs will finish blooming and start to fade faster than they would outdoors.  But, once they are finished blooming, I’ll remove the bulbs and plant them in my garden so they can bloom again next spring.

Until then, I’m enjoying my saucer filled with spring.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
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From Ugly to Snuggly: Repurposing A Sweater Into Pillow Covers

All winter, we’ve been using our covered front porch as a safe place to visit with a few people at a time.  We also sometimes use it just for ourselves – to sip coffee or cocktails and feel like we are getting out of the house.  We fire up our small tabletop heat lamp and, if we have visitors, we bring out comfortable, appropriately distanced seating and a few small tables.

The bench is always on the porch, and during the holidays we had a couple of festive throw pillows on it.

The large pillow is actually from our sofa, so I didn’t want to keep it outside indefinitely.  And it was time to change the look.  I wanted comfy, warm-looking pillows that could transition from winter to early spring.

I wanted to make pillow covers that looked knitted.  I’d been meaning to find a used sweater to repurpose, but I ended up using this sweater – which was on clearance for $12 at a local chain store.

In the title, I referred to it as ugly, but that wasn’t fair.  It would look nice on the right person, it’s simply not my style.

But style is not why I bought it.  I chose it for the texture and also for the blocks of color.

 

Creating The Pillow Covers

I started by ripping all the seams of the sweater apart and placing the fabric flat so I could see what I was working with.

I cut two 17-inch squares from the sweater pieces and stitched them on to cotton muslin squares cut to the same size.  The muslin served as a lining for the sweater squares.  It stabilized the knit fabric and gave it some heft and support.

Once the two sweater squares were lined with the muslin, I used them to sew a simple pillow cover for a 16-inch pillow.

Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned

I had enough scraps left to cover a small rectangular pillow, but this time I didn’t take the step of attaching the sweater fabric to a muslin lining first.

This was a mistake, and this pillow cover doesn’t look as good as the first one.  I learned that the lining really does matter when working with a knit sweater fabric.

 

But what about the sleeves?  I saved the sleeves of the sweater, and I’m going use them to make wine gift bags.

Snuggly Pillow Covers At Last

The pillows help my front porch decor make the leap from holiday to winter and early spring.

I have a variety of looks now – not only with color combinations but also with texture since I intentionally used some of the sweater fabric inside-out.

 

 

 

The Promise Of Spring

I’ve decided that paperwhites are not just for the holidays.  The bulbs are sprouting well under the protection of our porch, so now they serve as an optimistic little reminder that spring is just around the corner.

A New Porch Goodie

One thing I gave Chris for Christmas is this little Sanag Portable Bluetooth Speaker.

It makes our porch visits more festive, and I’m looking forward to using it on our back patio and on camping trips as well.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
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Garden Design
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Exploring

 

An Easy DIY Lemon Cypress Wreath

Ever since I made my all-natural, fully compostable fall wreath last year, I’ve been sold on making simple hand-formed wreaths using natural ingredients from my own garden.

They are surprisingly easy to make, and recently I made a winter wreath using this technique.

A DIY Lemon Cypress Wreath

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For my wreaths, I just use trimmings from my garden – plants and vines that I am cutting back anyway.

The Foundation

I still had a few grapevines in my garden that needed pruning.  Most of the vines were a bit brittle by this point, but I found a few bendable ones.

So I simply cut the vines to length and carefully bent and wrapped them together, winding them around one another, to make a wreath form.  I tucked the ends in around the vines as I worked to make sure everything was secure.

It didn’t look perfect, but it didn’t have to.  This would just be the wreath’s foundation.

Note:  For those who don’t have grapevines or other suitable vines to work with, pre-made grapevine wreaths are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

 

The Main Attraction

We have a large lemon cypress (or goldcrest) shrub in our yard.  It started out as a little accent plant in a pot on our patio, and I originally chose it for its lovely, groomed shape, its lemony fragrance, and for its fresh, vibrant shade of green.  I always make sure to have a couple of these beauties in pots on our porch.

Fresh colors really pop against our charcoal-colored door, and this plant needed trimming anyway.  So I saved a small branch for this project.

I cut sprigs of the lemon cypress to the length I wanted and then, starting at the top of the wreath and working my way down one side, I just wedged the ends between the grapevines until they seemed secure. No wires were needed.

If a sprig failed to secure, or if it didn’t look right, I just used a different one.  When I had that side done, I started at the top of the other side and worked my way down.

The lemon cypress draped nicely and was easy to work with.  Soon I had the wreath form filled.  I gave it a few shakes to make sure everything was secure.

I was tempted to leave it just like this:  Understated and all-natural.  But it did need a little something.

 

Accent Pieces

I’ve learned from experience that natural winter berries, at least the ones that I grow in my garden, don’t look good for long.  So I did add one man-made element, which I already had on hand:  Faux berries.

The faux berries are on wired sprigs, but I just covered the wires as best I could with the cypress greenery.

I tried adding a bow and a few other decor pieces, but they just didn’t look right.  Sometimes simpler is better and, since the berries are slightly over-sized for the wreath, they make enough of an impact on their own.

 

Some of the grapevine foundation is still showing in places, and that’s okay.  Unlike a wire wreath form, the grapevines add a rustic interest.

I think the snappy green of the lemon cypress is a fun departure from traditional holiday greens.  This wreath cost me nothing to make, and making it only took about an hour of my time.

Once the season changes, I can easily remove the berry sprigs and then toss this wreath straight into the yard waste  bin.

Here I must admit two things:

One, since I’ve never used lemon cypress in a wreath before, I have no idea how long it will look good.  I will probably mist it from time to time.  My hope is that it will last at least through Christmas.

And two, our front door is in a protected area.  A wreath like this in a different, more weather-exposed environment, may not hold up as well.

More Fun With Wreaths and Lemon Cypress

It’s fun to use old wreaths in new ways.  A few years ago, before I started making wireless wreaths, I made this wreath from birch twigs.

Recently, I trimmed that wreath down to make it more compact.  I used it, along with lemon cypress cuttings and fresh berry sprigs, to create this very simple and natural look for the pillar near our back door.

 

 

Finding Lemon Cypress

Lemon cypress trees can usually be found at better nurseries and garden centers – and from various online sellers, including some on Amazon and Etsy.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

BROWSE MY COLLECTION OF PANDEMIC STOCKING STUFFERS

 

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Two Projects With One Pumpkin

I recently bought a few pumpkins for our front porch.  One of them was this white pumpkin.

white pumpkin

I wanted to use it to create a succulent planter.  But then I noticed that part of it had a funny little “grumpy face” look that I wanted to do something with.

So I figured out a way to do both.

 

A Pumpkin Succulent Planter

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Pumpkin succulent planters are fun and easy to make.

And I had garden succulents that needed dividing anyway.  This pretty plant, which I believe might be an Echeveria ‘Imbricata,” bloomed so nicely over the summer.

Echeveria 'Imbricata'

But now this “hen” plant was being crowded in the pot by the smaller “chicks” she had since produced.  So I just clipped away the smaller plants, making sure to also take as much stem as possible.

Some of the stems even had little roots on them.

And then I carefully pulled off any dead leaves.

Echeveria 'Imbricata'
Dead leaves have been removed from the cutting on the left.

I had cut the top off of the pumpkin, hollowed it out to about a one-inch thickness, and poked a few drain holes in the bottom.

I filled the pumpkin with moist potting soil, and then I simply poked the succulents into the soil.

It was a lot like creating a floral arrangement.  I used a different variety, a longer-stemmed succulent cutting, in the middle to add some height.

Pumpkin succulent planter

 

Pumpkin succulent planter

The pumpkin probably won’t last long.  They never do.  But once the pumpkin is past its prime, I will re-pot each succulent cutting into individual 4-inch pots and, since they are not winter-hardy in my climate, put them in my greenhouse to overwinter.  Once in soil, they take root pretty easily.

I do this every year with these succulents anyway, but this year they just made a pit stop along the way to this pumpkin planter.

 

A Grumpy Face

The grumpy face that I mentioned having seen in the pumpkin was actually on the top – the part that I cut off when I made the planter.  The stem was the nose.  So, instead of discarding the pumpkin top, I just propped it vertically and gave it a little makeup.

Pumpkin halloween projects

 

And hair.

Live Spanish moss

For the hair, I used my live Spanish moss.  It had spent the summer hanging from branches on the front porch.  I bring the moss indoors in winter, but it should be okay on the covered porch for now.  I secured the moss to Grumpy Lady by tying it in the bow and then using a safety pin to attach the bow to Grumpy Lady.

I put plastic wrap on the back of the pumpkin top in hopes that it will stay fresh longer.

So, Grumpy Lady now sits in a pot in the corner of the porch waiting to be noticed.

And she’s not happy about it!

Resources:

I really enjoy my live Spanish moss.  It requires a little care, but it is so fun to use in floral projects like this one.   Live Spanish moss can be found at better nurseries and also on Amazon.

To see plants similar to my hen-and-chicks-type succulent, check out these beauties on Etsy.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
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A DIY All-Natural, Guilt-Free Fall Wreath

Fall is just around the corner, and if you have a garden you know what that means:  Fall garden cleanup!   But why not make it fun?  Today I’m sharing an amazingly simple wreath that I made last year using garden clippings that would otherwise have gone into the compost bin.

The wreath didn’t cost anything to make.  I also didn’t need to use wires, cages, or any other man-made materials so, once the season was over, the entire wreath could be composted.

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Creating The Wreath

I’d been meaning to get rid of an overly-ambitious grape plant that I’d placed along a fence.  The fence was not enough structure for the rambling beast to climb on, so I needed to prune the beast back several times every summer.

But then I saw some beautiful DIY grapevine wreaths on Instagram.  Since I had plenty of grapevines, I decided to try making my own.

And it was so simple.

 

Start With Green Vines

I used freshly cut vines that were still green and pliable.

After removing the larger leaves from the vines, I started by wrapping two vines around each other.

And then carefully forming them into the shape of the wreath.  I just kind of wove the ends around each other and tucked them in to secure them.

Then I wrapped in more vines, one by one, making sure to wrap them around any loose ends that needed to be secured so that the wreath wouldn’t unravel.  To make sure they didn’t snap, I tried not to force the vines or wrap them too tightly.

They were fun to work with.  The tendrils gave the wreath a lot of personality.

 

 

I made two of these basic wreath forms and gave one to a friend.

DIY Grapevine wreaths

I put the second one in my greenhouse for a few days until it dried.

What if I didn’t have grapevines to work with?  I’ve been meaning to experiment with other safe, non-toxic green, flexible vines and twigs.  This year I’m going to try making a wreath with the long branches of my butterfly bush – while they are still green and pliable of course.

Add Accent Foliage

The wreath form had dried to a mellow brown color and was very solid.

By then it was time to prune my hydrangeas, so I cut several hydrangea flowers on long green stems and wound those stems through the gravevine wreath – again using no wires.

The photo below shows the back of the wreath, and you can see the green hydrangea stems winding through the wreath.

DIY Grapevine wreaths

I shook the wreath a few times to make sure everything was secure.

I hung the wreath on the door, and the hydrangeas gradually dried on their own.  I’m not sure if every variety of hydrangea would dry so nicely, but I was lucky with this one.

 

The Result

The wreath looked nice and fresh for weeks.

DIY Grapevine wreaths

 

DIY Grapevine wreaths

Turns out that stupid grape plant has value after all.  So it gets to stay.

 

A Holiday Wreath

I could have simply tossed the wreath into the compost bin once the season changed.  But it was still pretty solid.  I was feeling too lazy to create a holiday wreath from scratch, so I just removed the hydrangeas and re-decorated it for Christmas.

For the holiday version, I used Deodar cedar twigs that I’d found on a walk. The long, flexible twigs worked well to wind around the grapevines.

DIY holiday wreaths

 

But I cheated this time and added wired pine cone springs (which helped secure the cedar sprigs) and a few other man-made materials that I already had on hand.

Not the best Christmas wreath I’ve ever made, but I went with it anyway.

DIY holiday wreaths

You can’t really see the grapevines, but they are under there!

Wreaths are so fun and easy to make.  If you love experimenting with them, check out some of my other wreaths – like my hoppy harvest wreath, my foraged wreath, and the wreath that the storm blew in.

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

 

 

 

 

 

A DIY Old-World Concrete Garden Trough

I love anything that has an “old-world” look, and I’ve always admired the ancient-looking concrete water troughs that I’ve seen around Europe.  Many of them have been converted into garden art or planters that grace the gardens and town squares of quaint villages.

But, around here, concrete troughs usually have three significant disadvantages:  They are hard to find, they’re expensive, and they are very heavy.

So today, I’m sharing how I recently made my very own “old-world,” lightweight(ish) concrete trough.

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Starting With A Styrofoam Box

This project is not my brainchild.  I found the method years ago in a magazine – most likely Better Homes and Gardens or Martha Stewart Living.

What I loved about it was that these concrete-wrapped Styrofoam planters were lighter than similar planters made entirely out of concrete.  And it seemed like a great way to repurpose a Styrofoam container.

Back when I first came across the magazine article, I tried the method using a small rectangular Styrofoam box.  After many years, that smaller concrete planter is still holding up very well (although it’s actually too small to be of any practical use and has been relegated to the no-man’s-land behind the garage).

For this recent project, though, I used a much larger Styrofoam shipping box that had been taking up space in our basement for some time.  I’d been saving it because, measuring at 32″ X 13″ X 10″, it was just the right size to serve as the inner core for a small concrete trough.

But it was significantly larger than any of the examples I remembered seeing in the magazine article.

Would the method from the magazine work on such a large piece of Styrofoam?  I was going to find out.

The first step was to clean my Styrofoam container and pull off the strips of tape stuck to it.

Making Drain Holes

Since this cement trough would be used as a planter, I needed to put a couple of drain holes in the bottom.

Wrapping the Styrofoam Box With Wire Mesh

The next part was the hardest and most unpleasant part:  Wrapping the Styrofoam box with wire mesh.

I used galvanized, 23-gauge wire mesh (also known as hardware cloth) with 1/4 inch squares, similar to this product.

Galvanized wire mesh

Wearing heavy work gloves and long sleeves, I cut it to the sizes I needed with tin snips,

And then formed it as tightly as I could against the box, at times pounding it lightly into place with a rubber mallet,

And sometimes using a little wire to loop through and hold two adjoining sections together.

I did my best to make sure that any sharp edges were pointing inward.  I covered the entire box with wire mesh, lining the inside walls with it as well.

This all took a lot of time and, despite all my precautions, the wire did bite me a few times.

 

Covering The Wire Mesh With Concrete

I don’t remember exactly which concrete mix the magazine article recommended.  I chose to use Quikrete Sand/Topping Mix.  It’s actually meant to be used as a base for laying pavers or patching steps and walkways.  What I like about is that, when mixed with water, it has a smooth consistency.  It is for projects that will be under two inches (but not less than a half-inch) thick.  (For projects under one inch thick, it’s recommended to replace some of the mixing water with Quikrete Concrete Acrylic Fortifier.)

Wearing gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask, I just mixed small batches by hand (more on that below).

I wanted the trough to have a bit of an old-world patina, so I stirred a few drops of the Charcoal Quikrete Liquid Cement Color into the water that I used to mix the concrete.

The mixture looked darker when it was moist.

I applied it to the Styrofoam box with a trowel, making sure to press it firmly through the wire mesh and then cover the mesh completely.  I smoothed it as much as I could with the trowel.

Then I used a small whisk broom to level the concrete.

I followed that up by smoothing the concrete with a large drywall knife (because it’s what I had on hand), and it worked well.

But I was not going for perfection.  I wanted it to look a little rustic and handmade.

So why did I need to work in small batches?  Because the topping mix that I used can only successfully be applied to horizontal surfaces.  So, I could only do two “sides” at a time:  Whichever two sides were sitting horizontally.  And then that needed to sit in place and dry before I could reposition the trough to work on two more sides.

Needless to say, this project took me a few days to complete although, once I had my stride, it was only about a half hour of active time each day.  I covered the entire box, inside and out, with concrete.

At times, the project got messy and seemed to be spiraling out of control.

The bottom of the trough after cement was applied.

I was wondering if it would even hold up.

But it all worked out in the end.

 

The Result – And A Problem Solved

This new “old-world” trough helped me get a handle on the long-neglected herb container garden behind my greenhouse.

Before: The chaos of my old herb garden.

Many of the herbs had outgrown their containers or weren’t getting sufficient water.  I moved the larger herbs out of pots and planted them elsewhere in the garden. Then I cleaned up with area a little, and my husband Chris and I leveled a new spot for the trough.

And then Chris moved the trough into the area we’d prepared.  He was able to pick up and carry the trough to its new location by himself.  Had it been a solid concrete trough, there is no way he could have done that.

Once in place, we found we still needed to do a little work to the area.  I was able to tip the trough on its end to get it out of the way and then muscle it back into place by myself.

It’s not super lightweight, but it is lighter than it looks.

 

DIY concrete garden trough

My cement work is not perfect, and the color isn’t completely consistent.  But, to me, these quirks give it a bit of character.  I am hoping that it develops even more of an old-world patina over time.

DIY concrete garden trough
After: A little order in the herb garden.

 

DIY Concrete garden trough

 

Different herbs need different soil conditions and moisture.  The herbs I chose for the trough all do well in rich, moist soil.

DIY concrete garden trough

From left to right, the herbs I planted are:  Chives, tarragon, cilantro, Thai basil, and Italian parsley.

How long will this trough hold up?  Only time will tell.  I will count myself lucky if it lasts as long as the first, much smaller piece that I made using this technique.

The good news is that (although I would not advise trying this) just yesterday Chris briefly stood on the rim of the trough to reach something on the top of the greenhouse.

And the trough held up!

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS

 

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
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Cute DIY Moss Pouches

No special skills are required to make these cute and natural-looking moss pouches.  And the fun thing about this project is that it is not an exact science.  If something ends up crooked or a little lopsided, it just adds to the natural look.

But if someone is looking for perfection, this may not be the right project.  When the plant is watered, the bottom of the moss pouch gets soggy – and a bit of the soil residue can even leach out.  For that reason, these moss pouches should be kept on a saucer.

Making the Pouch

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I started with a 12 X 7 piece of sheet moss (specifically, Instant Green Supermoss) and a similarly sized piece of light-duty landscape fabric.

I removed the paper backing from the sheet moss to expose the grid.

And I placed the landscape fabric over the grid where the paper backing had been.

Then I folded the moss and fabric in half so that the moss was on the inside and the landscape fabric was on the outside.  Then I pinned the sides together.

On the bottom part, where the fold was, I cut each corner at a 45-degree angle.

Then it was time to stitch.  This project was messy, with little bits of moss coming off of the sheet.  So there was no way I was going to put this into my lovely little sewing machine.  I would stitch it by hand.

Because the grid that the moss is adhered to is somewhat loosely spaced, there wasn’t much for a thread to hold on to.  So I needed to use a fairly thick thread.  I used embroidery floss (in a mossy color) and a large needle.

And I found out the hard way that, for the stitches to hold, I would need to tie big, secure knots at the beginning and end of every run of stitches.  I double- and triple-knotted everything.

With this in mind, I simply stitched up the right and left sides of the pouch and left the top un-stitched.

At this point, it looked a little like a pocket.

Now it was time to turn it right-side-out.  Because the moss tended to shed from the sheet when disturbed, this had to be done very carefully.

Now I had a moss pouch with a landscape fabric inner lining.  It was not yet ready to stand on its own, but I had a solution.

I folded the top of the pouch (approximately an inch of it) inwards all around the opening.

And then I stitched four evenly-spaced pleats into the top.

 

Simple inward-facing pleats in four locations

This was to make sure the top would stay folded inward, and it would make the pouch more likely to stand on its own.  It also gave the pouch a cute little inward curve at the top – while still providing room to place the plant and soil inside.

I coaxed and manipulated the bottom of the pouch a bit, and it was almost standing on its own – but not quite.

So I tried the simplest thing I could think of:  I placed a generous handful of decorative pebbles inside.  This weighted the bottom of the pouch enough to solve the problem.

Then I just carefully packed in some pre-moistened potting soil mix and planted a cute little Himalayan maidenhair fern and few birch twigs.  All done!

DIY moss pouch planted with a Himalayan maidenhair fern

 

At this point, with the added pre-moistened soil, the pouch was fairly stout and heavy – and it was standing on its own very well.  Still, I probably wouldn’t trust having it around rambunctious kids or pets.  Nor would I plant it with a large, top-heavy plant.

Now, it’s worth mentioning again this these moss pouches are not watertight.  When the plant is watered, the bottom leaks, so I placed them on a saucer.

 

 

I’d made several attempts at these pouches before I came up with this simple design.  So I put my earlier prototypes to good use.

I used one of them as a vase wrap:  I placed a little spike frog inside a baby food jar, added water, and placed it inside the moss pouch.  Then I added tiny cut daffodils and some twigs.

And this all went into a cute little cage I’d found recently at a thrift store.

DIY moss pouch in a decorative cage

 

The Result

I love how unstructured and natural these moss pouches look.  It’s fun to combine them with a few home decor pieces for an interesting mix of nature and refinement.

 

They will be nice for St. Patrick’s Day and then they’ll make an easy transition into Easter decor.

My smallest DIY moss pouch holds a Lemon cypress cutting and sits in a vintage dessert bowl

 

 

 

DIY moss pouch planted with a small cyclamen

 

They would also be cute as gifts or to use in the garden.

 

With the right plants and decor, I could see these moss pouches looking good in just about any season.

But how long will they hold up and actually look good? That I don’t know yet, but we will see.  One reader suggests misting the sheet moss daily to keep it green.  That makes sense and is certainly worth a try!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

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Easy-Peasy Tulips In A Champagne Bucket

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my elevated tulips floral arrangement from last year.

Tulips arranged on a cake stand

It sat on a cake stand and actually looked a little like a cake.

I love working with tulips when they are in season because they are so beautiful and affordable.  Recently, I stumbled upon a 24-stem bunch at Trader Joe’s.

So many tulips!  I decided to fill my champagne bucket with some of them in an arrangement that uses many of the same materials as the elevated tulips arrangement did – but is even simpler to put together.

 

The Materials

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I use my thrift store champagne bucket for floral arrangements all the time.  Champagne buckets make any flower or stem look so elegant.  I grew paperwhites in mine this past Christmas.

The bucket is 10 inches tall – too tall for me to just plop the tulips into.  So I would need a shallow bowl with a flat bottom that was just the right diameter to fit inside the ice bucket – near the top.  Luckily I had one.

I also needed a few decorative stones, some spike flower frogs, and my live Spanish moss.

Materials for easy-peasy tulips in a champagne bucket

 

The Method

I put the decorative stones in the bottom of the champagne bucket to weigh it down.  Now the arrangement wouldn’t be top heavy.

Then I the cut the tulips to the length I wanted them and put them on a few spike flower frogs.  I used about 11 of the tulips in this arrangement.

tulips on spike flower frogs

I set the shallow bowl inside the bucket and filled it with water.

Making easy-peasy tulips in a champagne bucket

And I carefully placed the flower frogs with tulips inside the shallow bowl.

making easy-peasy tulips in a champagne bucket

Now I just needed to conceal the bowl.  I used my live Spanish moss to give the arrangement a cute “scarf.” Live Spanish moss is an air plant, and it should appreciate the evaporated water that will come up from the shallow bowl.

Dry Spanish moss would probably also have worked for this arrangement.

champagne bucket centerpiece

All done!

The Result

Since tulips keep growing after they are cut, my arrangement got a bit leggy after a few days.

But actually that gave it a dramatic flair.

champagne bucket centerpiece

More Easy-Peasy Stuff

Recently we hosted a little birthday dinner for my mom, Erika. So, I needed a centerpiece, a cake, and a gift.  I wanted to get all fancy, but my inner voice kept warning me to “Keep it simple.”

The Centerpiece

This vintage fan vase makes arranging flowers so easy.

tulips in a vintage fan vase

There are so many fun vintage fan vases out there.  I am always tempted to add more to my vase collection.

The Cake

I made this super-easy fruit-topped almond cake.  It didn’t quite turn out looking like the photo in the recipe, but it was close.

fruit-topped almond cake

Next time I’ll use an 8-inch cake tin instead of a 9-inch so that the cake is taller.

 

The Gift

I wanted to give Mom an exotic plant to grow in her sunroom.  I was fascinated with the tree ferns I saw on our recent trip to Hawaii, but I could not find any locally.

Luckily I found a young Tasmanian Tree Fern Dicksonia antarctica at SevenTropical on Etsy.  It was surprisingly affordable, it arrived quickly, and it was a healthy plant.

And I found a hand-painted Farval overpot for it.

A young Tasmanian Tree Fern (Tasmanian Tree Fern Dicksonia antarctica) in a Farval overpot

I only wish the plant had come with care instructions.  (And maybe it did and I overlooked them.)  But that is easy to Google.

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories: