Sunday, July 26, 2015

Burlap Pocket Bulletin Board

I bought this burlap coffee sack at a little coffee shop a few months ago.

It was only $5.00.

I had no idea what I would do with it.....but the graphic look of the stencil was too cool to pass up.

I decided to update the message center in the kitchen with a pocket bulletin board.

The pockets on a board like this are a great way to have things right at hand without cluttering up your workspace or poking holes in photos or invitations.

Making the board is really simple.
Anyone who can use an iron and a glue gun can make one.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Patio Cushion Update with Easy Sewing Instructions

I posted about these cushions for the patio chairs when I made them 2 years ago.

I noticed last week how much the elements have taken a toll on them.


And to tell you the truth....I am kinda "over" the Greek Key design.

It was time for a refreshed look for these babies!

When I shop at the fabric store, there are always wonderful fabrics that "call" to me.  I see things that I just know will be perfect for some project.

This is a perfect example of that!

 Last Summer I found this fabric on the $5 a yard shelf.  I bought 2 yards.

 I fell in love with the gray background and soft orange floral.

Two yards of fabric is a nice is almost always enough for most projects.  And.....$10 always seems like a reasonable expense.

In the case of the new covers for the was exactly the right amount.

Since the old cushion covers were made with the "pillow sham" technique, it was a simple matter of slipping them off and taking those nasties to the garbage can.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Use Your Printer to Create Custom Pillows

In this post I really will show you how to use your ink jet printer to make custom pillows. I will show you how to use muslin or canvas to make your own sheets of fabric to print on.  BUT....first I need to inject a public service announcement about the wonderfulness that can be found at your public library!
This is yet another reason to love your public library.

Did you know that you can check out digital versions of many popular magazines from your library?


Just hop on your library website and do a search for Zinio.  If your library supports Zinio then you can browse the collection of magazines just like magic.....a few seconds later you can read them on your phone, ipad or computer.  Follow this link to find out the specifics!

I used Zinio to check out the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living. ( can read the newest issues of magazines)
I read an article, "Picture This", about using digital photographs in interesting ways.

 Oh, that is another cool thing about reading an can take screen shots of the stuff you want to save!

 The ideas in the article were an inspiration for a couple of pillows I wanted to make.

I knew there were some different specialty printer papers in the cupboard.....hmmm....actually I have a LOT of different papers...

some for t-shirts
some plastic decal sheets
some post-it paper

then....aha....some canvas print "paper"!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How to Hand Tie A Daisy Bouquet

There really is something so cheerful about any kind of Daisy!

Making a hand tied bouquet of flowers is a great thing to know how to do.  But before I show the way to do this....let me tell you some "stuff" about one of my favorite flower.

The origin of the word Daisy is the Anglo Saxon “daes eage” which literally mean “day’s eye”. It was called this because daisies open at dawn as the day just starts to begin.

The "ditch daisies" or English Daisies grow in great abundance in the Sweetwater gardens. I guess you could call them weeds....but they look so wonderful in the early Summer garden.

How fun to have flowers that the little ones can pick without getting scolded....even though we always have to remind them....."Please don't EAT the daisies!"

The picture on the left is the Mom of the little guy on the right!

 When these "weeds" are done blooming, I rip the whole plants out.  Not to fear, they reseed themselves and there will be new plants in the place of the old ones next year.

Now the "nicer" Shasta Daisies are starting to bloom.  I really recommend this kind of daisy for any garden.  Once they are established, they are easy to propagate and move to various sunny spots in your garden.

These Daisies make wonderful cut flowers for the house.

Cutting them often has the added benefit of keeping the plants blooming longer.  If you cut the flower at a juncture of the leaves, a new flower will grow from there.

I like to use these strong stemmed beauties in mixed arrangements, but also like the look of a simple hand tied bouquet standing in a simple glass vase.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Easy and Pretty DYI Insect Repellent Lantern

Minnesota in the summer means lots of outdoor fun.
It also means that if you are outdoors you will probably get "bugged" by Mosquitoes.

Repelling bugs has a pretty high priority around here!
Here is a tutorial for a DIY Insect Repellent Lantern that I put together the other night.

Here was my inspiration.

I have a couple of gel fuel fire pots that are really pretty.

But.....that gel fuel is really pretty scary!

In fact, the pourable gel fuel has been recalled because of how dangerous it is!

I just knew I could find someone who had figured out how to recycle the gorgeous container into something practical. 

Citronella Patio Torch Fuel
This is about $10 at Home Depot
We had this in the garage so this brand is no longer available there.
Any brand will do.

Pea Gravel

 You can buy a bag of this at Home Depot for a couple of dollars.  The bucket of this has been in our garage for a long time.  I use it for lots of makes a nice landscape path for the Fairy Garden!


Torch Replacement Wick

This pack of 2 cost $4.00 at Home Depot.  They are long enough to cut into thirds enough for six lanterns.
Fireproof Container with some sort of lid 

I had 2 gel pots with inserts.
Then I got out an old cheese crock with a top that will work.
Mason jars will work too.  They are shatterproof.

Put the pea gravel in the container around the wick.
Pour the citronella oil over the rocks.
Light it up!

Looks and sounds like a pretty simple project!
Well......sort of!
I lit the wicks and you can see that the flame is a BIT out of control!
Here is what I learned!
More to the point.....this is what Mr. S who is a member of NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) taught me!!!!  Yikes....what was I thinking.....doing a FIRE related project when the "fire safety police" lives in the house!

The wick can't be too tall!
The rocks can't go right up to the top!
There can't be too much oil in the container!
You'd better check to be sure your container is high temp safe!
You probably shouldn't burn these on a wood deck!

After learning all of these safety precautions.....and fixing some of the problems.....the little lamps look great and let off a nice amount of citronella vapor!

 To make Mr. S happier...I will move these down to the fire pit ledge!  The bugs are worse down there anyway!

Here is a nice website with lots of ideas for Insect Repellent Lanterns!
Don't you love the simplicity of these Mason Jar Lamps?
 Last.....but not least....just so the Fire Safety Police know that I was listening and paying attention!

Have A Wonderful Day....
Hope NOTHING is BUGGING you today!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Simple Summer Decor

Ahh July and Summer is really full on!

It is time to put some simple summery touches in the decor around here.

Using "what I have" and not spending any money is my challenge.

There are some things that just say "SUMMER".  It is just a matter of gathering those things and placing them around the house!

This nice big stack of fluffy white towels on the rack in the master bathroom certainly says "Summer"!

Nothing could be easier!

The ottoman in the living room is slipcovered with washable off-white damask fabric.  It easily comes off for it is no problem to put your feet up and relax. 

 There are usually 2 red pillows on the sofa.  I took them off and they are down in the sewing room waiting for Summer Slipcovers.

I have a really fun technique for these summer pillows.  I will write about that when I finally get them finished.

In the meantime, the two pillows you see in the photo are made from some silk/cotton blend sweaters I bought at Good Will.

The Good Will mirror on the ottoman is a great display space.  The bowl is a new Fitz and Floyd find from goodwill.  It is filled with shells and potpourri.  Bags of potpourri found at the thrift store are great buys.  The "stuff" in them is always so interesting.

The Hurricane Lantern is one of six that I have collected over the years.  I use them in so many different ways through the year.

Yup, that is one of those flameless candles....I am over how they aren't "real" in the name of not worrying about safety!

A summer hat tossed on the entryway table along with a straw beach bag look like I am ready to head to the beach at any moment! 

I bet you have a fun hat hiding in your closet that could make a "Summer Statement" in your decor. 

Mine reminds me of the straw farm hat that used to hang in the hallway at Grandma and Grandpa's farm when I was a little girl.

Picnic baskets are also iconic summer items.  This one is sits in the kitchen looking like we are off to have a dinner OUT! 

We aren't much about picnics so chances are that won't happen.....

but hey...
we can always drink the wine on the deck.

OR...I can see if Marvin will get in and I can pretend to be Dorothy in OZ!

Switching out the photos around the house to reflect happy Summer memories is another simple decor option.

So there you have it! 
Simple things that anyone can do to add some touches of Summer around the house without spending any money!

I have some more ideas....but I have to get on with the pillow project!

Have a Wonderful Day!

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