I finally have a sofa in my living room!!

Well, I have a sofa ‘of sorts’.  A daybed that will function as my sofa and that I can sleep on when I have overnight guests (whom I would of course give my room to!)  And it only took me 14 months from the time I moved in to ‘build’ it.

I really. REALLY wanted to find  a cool old day bed to use in my living room.

Something along the lines of these.  Aren’t they fabulous!?!?  Alas, I have not seen one single vintage day bed since I moved 14 months ago.  And actually, had I found one like the iron ones in the above photos, they probably would have been to short to actually SLEEP on.

I already had this old door that I had painted to use as my headboard previously in my room at Michael’s.  It ended up being too long to use as the headboard in my room here, so I just stashed it in the garage until I figured out what to do with it.

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So, a few weeks ago, an elderly gentleman who lives across the street from me came over while I was outside working on some projects, and introduced himself to me and commented on how I was ‘always out here working on something’!  He said he had an old door and peg rack that he was getting rid of, and asked if I’d like them.  Of course I said yes.  This is that door, and it is HEAVY.  It took both of us to lift it onto my wheely cart and wheel it over to my place!

Wasn’t sure WHAT I was going to do with it at first.  Michael has been working on some home improvements, and I thought he might be able to use it; so I offered it to him first.  He did not need it, so it was mine . . . all mine to figure out a use for.

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So I had the old panel door for the backing.  Could use the newly acquired ‘heavy’ door for the base.  Now I just needed to figure out what to do for legs????  But I wasn’t sure that ‘just legs’ would be sturdy enough, and I wanted to leave room for storage underneath, so I wanted it a bit HIGHER than a typical daybed would be.  So I designed the above wood boxes to use as the base to put the door across, and Michael custom built them for me.

I had even saved the wood support boards that we had used to attach the panel door to the wall when I was using it as my headboard previously.  I just screwed the boards back on using the same screws in the same holes; then screwed the door to the wall.  Most of the weight of the door is supported by the boards. Screwing it to the wall just keeps it from falling over.

P1280737And there you have a ‘naked’ make-do daybed!!  Now I just need a mattress or some kind of padding!!  Which proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated!!  A twin mattress was too wide and not long enough.  So I  headed to Joann Fabrics (50% off coupon in hand!) and figured I could get a new foam pad at a decent price.  WRONG!!!  Even at HALF off, the foam pads were crazy expensive!!!  Forget that!  So I put on my thinking cap and started looking elsewhere.

Since we are nearing the end of summer, I thought perhaps I could find a box pad like the ones above (but for outdoor furniture) on sale.  Nope.  They were more expensive than the foam pads!  An actual twin mattress would have been the cheapest option IF it would have fit!  sigh.  WHAT am I going to use for the ‘cushions’ on my sofa/daybed????

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My propensity to think outside the box led me to purchasing TWO king size foam mattress pads.  I cut each one into THREE equal pieces; which gave me a nice and cushy SIX layers to sit or sleep on!!  I bought a plastic twin bed cover to ‘hold the foam layers together.

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I was really envisioning something that looked like this.  I LOVE the old pallets for the base, but NEED the storage room that a covered base provides.  But a cover similar to the one above might still look good with a skirted base.

But this is what I got . . .  for now at least.  The covering and pillows are temporary.  I just threw what I had on there for now.  I want to make a skirt (burlap maybe) and a vintage chenille bedspread and different covers for the pillows (feed-sack style maybe?) .  Oh, and now that I see it ‘almost finished’, I’ve decided that it NEEDS arms or SOMETHING on the ends.

I would LOVE to find some cool vintage corbels to use as ‘arms’.  They wouldn’t really need to go the full depth of the bed; just enough to keep the pillows from falling off.  And if I can’t find any old corbels, I can buy news ones, or maybe MAKE my own!  (I foresee a field trip to the salvage place down in Aurora!)

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So, the daybed is still very much ‘a work in progress’.  As is the living room as a whole.  I had to figure out where to move the dresser that was on the wall where the daybed is now.  (it’s full of craft supplies!)

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And I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I have yet to do away with all of this ‘pile of stuff’ at the back of my living room.  Although this is a picture from a year ago, and the pile is now about 1/4 that size.  A lot of it was product for Stars that has been taken to my booth and sold. Getting rid of this will open up the living room a bit more, but only in a ‘long and narrow’ way; not any wider.  And now that I’ve decided that I NEED to do the Junk Salvation show again in February; I’m going to have to start accumulating product for it.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to upgrade to a bigger rented storage unit.  I have a 4’x6′ right now.

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These old suitcases that I have as the coffee table for now are too big for the space.  I actually have a really cute shabby white trio of tables that I had Michael build for me (before I even moved) that I had intended to use as the coffee table.

 While I was awaiting a sofa to put a coffee table in front of, I had put them on my front porch.  Remember my blue pumpkin display from last fall?  The two smaller ones ‘tuck under’ the bigger one.  These will eventually replace the suitcases as my coffee table.

So, the ball is rolling and I just MIGHT have my living room squared away enough to actually put up a Christmas tree this year.

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Frugal gardening

As I mentioned previously, I’m TRYING to add to my flower gardens this year by starting plants from seeds, instead of buying ‘starts’ or bigger ‘potted’ plants.  I have a LOT of area to cover and since I’m ‘just a renter’ I’d like to keep the expenses to a minimum.

Although I did ‘splurge a little’ last year and bought about a dozen gallon perennials (on sale of course!) to give my front garden a bit of a ‘jump start’.  Since I moved here the end of June though, it was close to the end of July before I was settled in enough to start ‘decorating’ the outside.  I KNEW it was really ‘too late in the season’ to get much out of them last summer; BUT they put me AHEAD of the gardening game THIS year. With a fair number of big established plants, I don’t mind starting the rest from seed.

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All too quickly my ‘thrifted stash’ of the little pulp starter pots was used up.  I found a ‘few’ more at Dollar Tree; 10-packs of the little 2.5″ pots; but not nearly enough to plant all the rest of the seeds I had.

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HINT:  Do NOT try using the cardboard egg cartons to start seeds in.  They will fall apart almost INSTANTLY when they get wet.  Yep!  I learned that one the HARD way.

Next on my list of things to try was TP roll I decided to try to make some of my own.  I had seen where the TP rolls were made into pots by cutting slits and folding the slits in to create a base, like this:

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But I wasn’t confident that the dirt wouldn’t just ‘fall out’ when you picked it up?!?!  So, I nixed that idea and came up with my own.

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I cut my TP rolls in half; paper towel rolls can be cut into fifths.

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I actually use a small square of paper towel in the bottom of my ‘store bought’ pots to prevent the soil from falling through the hole; so I knew that it would hold up.  For the TP pot bottoms I used 1/2 of a ‘select-a-size’ paper towel; folded into fourths.

Then stapled the four corners to the TP roll.  HINT:  The ‘cut end’ of your TP roll half MIGHT pull away when it gets wet.  I just try to be sure that I use the cut end for the BOTTOM where I attach the paper towel; but with paper towel rolls you will have TWO cut ends.  In that case I just added another staple at that second cut end.

P1270074THEN, after spending a LOT of time stapling paper towels to the TP rolls; I decided to re-think the ‘folded ends’ option.  BUT, I added slits to the last two folds to interlock them to prevent the bottom from falling out when handled.  I have NOT yet had time to ‘test’ this method though.  The paper towel method holds up very well, and I have transplanted several of those.

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The BACK side of my place is the most ‘daunting’ area to tackle.  I live in a duplex and in the back, the two units ‘run together’ and visually appear to be a single unit.  I added some big concrete stepping stones in the middle where the faucet is so I don’t have to get muddy every time I use the hose; but visually, it STILL looks like a ‘single canvas’.  The designer in me felt compelled to plant the ‘whole area’ as if it were one; and my neighbor gave me permission to do whatever I wanted.

This big area is going to need some BIG plants.  Since it faces west, it gets the hottest sun of the day, so that instantly limited my plant options to those that like full sun.  As with the front garden area, I wanted to plant perennials so as to not have to plant again every year.

The Delphiniums I planted at the trellises you see in the above photo just were NOT ‘coming up’; and I found a GREAT deal on bare root roses.  I dug up the Delphiniums and replanted them in the front; and moved the Japanese Holly (between the trellises) closer to the patios on both sides . . . to make room for the roses.

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It was late afternoon on a Saturday and my doorbell rang.  I opened the door to find a 4′ tall box waiting for me.  What IS this?!?! Holey smokes!!!  It was my ROSES!!  HUGE bare root roses.  Ten of them.  I had ordered ONE bare root rose from the nursery that I bought my strawberries (also bare root) from; and that one was about the size of my pinky finger.  So the enormity of these (especially for the BARGAIN price I had paid!!) was quite a surprise.

The only ‘bad thing’ about this order was that I couldn’t tell which ones where which color?!?!  I had ordered two ‘sets’ so that I could plant them to ‘match’ on each side of the back of the unit, so I really NEEDED to know what colors the were.  I searched the website for the nursery that I ordered them from, to no avail.  Each start WAS labeled with the NAME of the rose; (Sunset surprise. True Love etc) so I did a ‘general search’ on the internet for those names to find out what colors they were.  NOW I was ready to plant them.

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This area is a bit of a ‘challenge’ to plant as there are underground wires that run right down the middle!?!?  sigh.  So I planted the roses towards the back, close to the unit.  Those are ever-bearing strawberry plants, two rows of them, closer to the front.  I don’t remember which color rose I planted where (off the top of my head that is)  but I planted them so each side will ‘mirror’ the other side.  So, instead of planting them “1-2-3-4-5” and the other side the same order “1-2-3-4-5”.  I planted them “1-2-3-4-5” and “5-4-3-2-1”.  In my MIND they will look better in that order.  I hope the reality matches!

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Can you believe how BIG these starts are?!?!  I got them from Springhill Nursery; via a special offer I got in the mail.  It was called a ‘Rainbow of Roses’ 5 bare root plants for $19.99.  And you could DOUBLE the offer for just $37.99.  You can’t even buy ONE potted rose-bush for that price!  The colors they sent me are Red, Pink, dark yellow, Peach, and Deep Purple.

A few days after I had planted the roses, and while I was pondering what to plant in front of / between them; I found a bag of ten peony starts at Costco for $19.99.  It’s going to be SO pretty when they all finally bloom.  I’m not expecting much in the way of blooms this year, but next year should be spectacular!!

Garden time

Here’s a reminder of what my yard looked like when I moved it at the end of June last year:

Although summer had JUST begun, the lawn was mostly brown, covered with pine cones and LOTS of weeds.  The entire area is duplex rentals, and renters typically don’t invest much effort or money into enhancing the landscape.

p1210266There is a landscape service that mows and edges the lawn; but that is ALL they do.  Most of the tenants don’t even bother to water their lawns; even though water is included (up to a certain limit!).

p1210271The ‘rule’ for tenants as far as adding any landscaping is that we can plant in the ‘dirt areas’ only.  The unit I moved into just happened to have MORE dirt area than any other unit; and there are over 100 units!  (lucky me!)  There were a few plants (shown above) in the large front area when I moved in; but not knowing WHAT they were, I decided to just pull them in order to have a ‘blank slate’ to start with.

p1210270The ‘front’ dirt area wraps around the entire right side; but I decided initially to just tackle the ‘front’.  I kept waiting for some ‘cooler’ weather to start planting, since I was getting a late start to begin with.  It never cooled down so I forged ahead and bought gallon perennials that would be less perceptible to dying from the heat.

Since I did have a completely blank slate to start with, I even went to the expense and TROUBLE (more trouble than expense!) of tacking down that black fabric ‘weed barrier’ stuff.

HELPFUL GARDENING HINT:  Don’t bother with that weed block stuff!!  It does NOT help at all.  In fact, the weeds grow right THROUGH it just as easily, BUT the roots of those weeds ATTACH themselves TO that black mesh and are IMPOSSIBLE to pull out through it!  Believe me, I TRIED!

So before planting any more flowers this spring, I tried to pull all the weeds first.  In doing so, the weed was SO well attached to the mesh, that it actually pulled up the mesh right with it!  Enough of that, I said!  I grabbed my razor knife and cut the mesh into sections and pulled it up, weeds and all!!  Now I’m trying to get in the habit of weeding a little every week.  If I catch them early enough they will come up with a few swipes of a hand weeding tool.

P1220439This is as ‘good as it got’ in my front flower garden last summer.  I really wasn’t expecting much though; considering I got such a late start.  I just looked at it as a ‘head start’ on this years planting!  It’s not very visible in the above photo, but I found a little white wire fence section at a garage sale, that I put in to border my flower bed.  It was not long enough though, and I never did find any more matching fencing to add to it, so I pulled that this year.

I did get a few nice blooms towards the end of last summer.

P1220430This container on my porch got nice and FULL last summer!

Early this spring I desperately needed ‘some’ color in my garden; and bought a few forced bulbs (tulips, crocus and narcissus) to plant along the edge of my porch.  Again, this was more ‘thinking ahead’ to next year; because these were already in bloom, they faded quickly this year.  (this picture was BEFORE I had pulled up the dreaded black weed blocker; which you can see in the photos.  shudder!)

P1260435We had a string of GORGEOUS, early spring, sunny and warm days in late May – early April and I was itchin’ to get my hands in the dirt again!  (this is AFTER pulling up the old weed barrier) I added about 20 bags of steer manure ( broken down into 4 separate shopping trips; spread out over 2 weeks for the sake of my bad back!)

I’ll share with you how I managed to unload, haul and spread all those BIG HEAVY bags of manure with my bad back; just in case any of you also have similar back issues and limitations.

Getting them loaded into my car at the garden center is no problem, as I just ask for help and tell them I need them to load onto the cart AND into my car as I have a bad back and cannot lift them.  I specifically have them load all the bags as close to the back edge of my car as possible;  (PT Cruiser; so it’s a HATCH and not a ‘trunk’.  This method wouldn’t work in a typical trunk) as shown in the above picture.  When I got home, I pulled out my little ‘flat bed dolly’ and just rolled the bags out of the back of my car and onto the dolly; letting gravity do the heavy lifting.  (I got my dolly years ago at Costco.  It is specifically sized to carry the plastic storage bins; but can be used for anything, really)  I use this baby for EVERYTHING!!

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Getting the bags to their final destination: I have an old folding ‘luggage wheely’ cart that I put next to the stack of bags on the dolly, and ‘roll and plop’ one bag onto the luggage cart.  Then I can just pull that across the yard to where I need it and roll it off and onto the ground.

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Once the bag is where I need it to be, and while it is laying flat on the ground, I slit it open from end to end and side to side.  Then flip it over and pull up each corner of the bag to empty the contents.  Toss out the empty bag and spread the manure out with a garden rake.

P1220439In the areas where I already had existing plants and could NOT just dump the whole bag out:  I still slit the bag open; end to end and side to side and loosened it up if needed) with my weeder tool.  Then using my trowel, I scooped and filled a gallon container and hand poured that around the plants.  Then filled in the surrounding bare areas the same way.  It SOUNDS like a very long and drawn out process, but really it only took about 5 minutes or do to empty out each bag.P1260057 When the stack of bags is fairly high, I sit on my little garden trolley while I am scooping into the container, so I don’t have to bend over and hurt my back.  When I get down to just ONE bag, which is lower than the trolley, I kneel on my foam pad ‘knee protector’ while I scoop.

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A ‘word’ about those foam pads  . . . . . they wear down QUICKLY!  Whether you buy a twenty dollar one from a pricey garden center, or get one from the dollar store; If you really USE it a lot (like I do!)  they will be totally useless before gardening season ends.  My solution this year?  I bought THREE of them and a spool of duct tape at Dollar Tree.  Taped the three of them together into one big fat knee pad!  It’s perfect!!!  AND not being quite as low to the ground makes getting back up easier on my back!  Win – WIN!!

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And FINALLY I’m ready to start planting!  This load was a few herbs for the ‘back garden’ and some more perennials to fill in the front area.  My ‘vision’ is to have the whole front area COMPLETELY FULL of flowers.

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This is what it looks like right now.  I was HOPING to do more ‘seed planting’ this year since I’ve got an earlier start . . .  and to minimize the expense of buying potted plants.  The neighborhood squirrel population put the kibosh on that plan though!  Those critters LOVE to dig up and bury peanuts in MY garden because my soil is nice and soft!  (and several other neighbors have bird and squirrel feeders!)

Between the squirrels digging up all the seeds and the birds eating them. . . it would have been totally futile!

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So I devised some make shift mini greenhouses to start my seeds in.

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And used these little starter kits I found at the thrift store.  Once they are big enough to transplant into the ground, they should be big enough to ‘survive overnight’ if dug up by the squirrels.  I seriously have to ‘check’ all the newly planted plants EVER DAY . . . and re-plant a few that have been dug up every day!

While the ground was still soft and moist for all the spring rains, I put in a cute little white picket border (which I bought at Dollar Tree!)  in the front and wrapping around the side.  It was a pretty time consuming project and each little section had to be put in ‘one by one’.

The sections are supposed to interlock, end to end; but I had to lock them together before sticking them in the ground and they kept coming apart when I put them in the ground!?!?!  My solution?  ZIP TIES!!  I just used zip ties to attach them together after I put them in the ground.

I honestly do not even remember what all I have planted!!  I just did random plants (what was on sale at the time!)  in random order for the most part.  Except under the window; where I planted three hydrangea.  Which will hopefully, eventually make a nice ‘hedge’ under the window; and a nice backdrop for the rest of the flowers.

The side of the house had been VERY problematic!!  Initially I envisioned this being filled with rose bushes, as it gets a lot of sun.  However, there are cables that run right down the middle of this 14″ deep border; from the utility boxes to the back edge.  AND there are big ole tree roots about 2″ down on the side closer to the front?!?!

I planted some mums along the back and some winter pansies towards the lawn edge last fall.  They did not do well.  Half the pansies were dug up AND carried off by the squirrels; and the mums turned dormant REALLY quickly.  Most of them are starting to sprout again, so I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode for now. I added some gladioli bulbs about a month ago, between the mums.  But I guess I’ll just make this my ‘cutting garden’ for planting annuals; since the tree roots and cables don’t leave much room for roots.

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Freddy’s had little starter 4-paks of assorted color Lobelia on sale for 79 cents this week; so I splurged and bought TEN 4-paks!!  The plants are so small that they are barely visible now that I have them all planted; even with so many of them.  I planted them around the border of the front garden and placed a few in bare spots, here and there.

 The ‘back’ garden area is conjoined with the neighbors.  (In the front, our garages are in the middle and separate our front yards.)  She has given me permission to plant ‘whatever I want’; which is nice because it would look really strange to have one side filled with green and the other still dirt.  I put a few concrete stepping-stones in the middle where the water faucet is; then plan to plant each side the same.

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In the center of the back garden area, and just under the bedroom window; I planted a Japanese holly and four Delphiniums, two in front of each little trellis.  (got these little wire trellises at Dollar Tree too!)  The hope is that they will grow tall enough to provide some shade.  This back side gets the hottest sun of the day all summer long.

In front of those, I’ve planted 30 ‘ever bearing’ strawberry plants.  Ordered them via the mail, as bare root starts.  We probably won’t get a lot of berries this year, but they will grow back year after year, so it’s an ‘investment’.

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I bought a few herb starts; that I planted close to my patio.

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And I have NO IDEA what to plant in the rest of the area  . . . yet!  Thinking marigolds along the front border (hoping the ones I started from seed actually GROW!)

And for shading the back patio door (which leads to my bedroom and was unBEARably HOT last summer!)  I got two big plastic 1/2 barrel pots, 6′ metal trellises and gallon pots of Jasmine; which should vine up nicely and generate some shade.  And I’ll fill the ladder with planters filled with petunias.  I envision them flowing over the edges and completely covering the ladder, eventually.

BARGAIN GARDENING TIP:  Sometime every spring, and for a far back as I can remember, (and usually the week before Mother’s day!) Freddy’s has ‘tray packs’ of petunias on sale for $9.99.  They are not planted in individual little pots, so you have to separate the roots yourself, but for that price; who cares!?!  There are usually at least 20 plants per tray.  (my son used to buy me one of these every year for Mother’s Day!) I think they might also have marigolds for the same price.  (I know there were two options, but I always wanted Petunias, so I’m not certain what the other offering was!?)

I’m waiting for those petunias to go on sale this year to fill the planters that I will put on the ladder rungs.  These rungs have been made deeper with an added piece of cedar fencing on them, to better hold the planters.  I’ll probably buy a few individual ‘wave petunias’ for the planters on the upper rungs so they will trail over.

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Another great ‘bargain gardening tip’ is to take advantage of Freddy’s “Fuchsia  Saturday” special. It’s already come and gone for this year (April 9th), but watch, and PLAN for it for next year.  They do it ‘rain or shine’ too. This was my first time taking advantage of it; and the weather was perfect!  The guy planting my baskets was telling me that it HAILED last year for the event.  (in which case they set it op under cover in the garden center.)

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There is a limit of 8 planters; maximum circumference of 18″.  The Fuchsia starts were on sale 5 for $3.00.  I got my hanging baskets and coco mat liners (individually priced) at Dollar Tree.  You have to go inside the garden center and purchase your starts FIRST; then get in line for the planting station.  I bought 3 starts for each basket; they provided the soil.  I took home 7 hanging fuchsia baskets for less than $5.00 each!!  Of course it will be a while before I get blooms on them . . . .but for that price, I can wait!

I have them hanging over my front porch where they get a bit of morning sun but mostly shade.  I really don’t NEED this many of them; so I’ll probably give them away as gifts later in the season when they are fuller.

The ‘key’ to keeping your gardening expenses from spiraling too high is:

PATIENCE.

  • Plant your own starts from seeds.  (you can ever MAKE your own ‘plantable’ starter pots from empty toilet paper rolls!)
  • Stick with PERENNIALS or bulbs that will grow back year after year.  Plant once and DONE!
  • If you MUST have ‘instant gratification’ and buy potted starts that will give you instant color; watch for sales.
  • Save your receipts!  Nearly all places that sell plants will offer some kind of guarantee.  If your plant fails to thrive, you can get a replacement or refund; but ONLY if you have a receipt as proof.

We interrupt this ‘Trash2Treasure’ blog for a cookie baking marathon.

Yep.  It’s time to bake the Christmas cookies!

P1240379SO many yummy, crunchy and gooey options to add to them!

P1240375I love having a variety of cookies to give out to friends and neighbors, but I hate ‘waiting by the oven’ for the time to ‘ding’.  I tried a different method this year, and made my cookies ‘assembly line’ style . . . as I do with my crafting.

I bought a new set of baking sheets at Costco, so now I have FIVE ‘good’ cookie sheets.  (got rid of the ‘bad’ ones when I moved earlier this year)  So with five cookie sheets to work with, I could easily keep the oven full of baking cookies all the time.

I mixed up all my cookie doughs the day before, wrapped them in a roll in freezer paper and put them in the frig overnight.  Wrote the baking time and temp on the freezer paper.  Pulled them out about 30 minutes before I was ready to start baking, but my kitchen is SO SMALL, I didn’t have any available counter space to put the tray!  And where oh WHERE was I going to put the trays while the cookies cooled?!?!?

Fortunately my garage door (the ‘side’ door, not the BIG door) is four steps away from my kitchen, and it was nice and cool in there.  And my chest freezer, washer and dryer are right there at the back of the garage.  Made for the perfect cookie cooling station!

Turned my oven on the pre-heat, then lined all my cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Grabbed my first roll of dough and a knife and started slicing.  By the time I had them sliced and on the cookie sheet, the oven was ready to use.  In went the first batch; timer set for 8-10 minutes.

WHILE those were baking, I grabbed my second roll of dough and sliced it up and put slices in the cookie sheet.  Timer went off for the first batch.  Pulled them out and put the next batch in and set the timer again.  Took the ‘hot from the oven’ sheet of cookies to the garage to cool, and grabbed my next roll of dough to slice.

Pulled the second batch from the over, and put the third batch in.  Second batch to the garage to cool and first batch was ready to be moved from the cookie sheet to the cooling racks.  Grabbed the fourth roll  . . . . and so on!

P1240384Just kept that process going for a total of 7 batches.  (small batches, so just one sheet per batch, but there are BIG baking sheets and will hold 24 cookies).

P1240380Sugar cookies with crushed peppermint.  (Yes, you can buy bags of crushed peppermint!  So much easier than crushing your own!)  Sugar cookies topped with ‘thin mints’; raspberry and orange.

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Buttery caramel cookies (the caramels come in chocolate chip size!) in front and chocolate mint squares in back (with chocolate and green mint chips)

P1240382Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.

P1240383Peanut butter Butterfinger cookies on the left.  (again you can BUY a bag of crushed Butterfinger)  Pumpkin chip pecan cookies on the right.

After they all completely cooled, I packaged them up in cute little Christmas tins that I found at Dollar Tree; one big tin topped with a smaller one and tied up with some red and white bakers twine.  (forgot to take a picture of them all packaged)

And MY Christmas baking is DONE!

My newest collection

I have a new little collection going.

P1230515Of long neck apothecary bottles.

P1230516I wasn’t really collecting them ‘on purpose’.  I just like this style of bottles and had stashed away a few while I was packing to move.  Then bought more before I unpacked those; intending them to eventually use for craft projects.

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I didn’t really have any room in my craft room to stash them; so I displayed them on a shelf in my living room.  Once I saw them all grouped together like this, I decided I really liked them ‘as is’ and all clustered together like this!

I just found a new one to add that is teeny tiny; only about 1/4 the size of the smallest brown bottle!  And THAT is about the height of excitement in my life!

The kitchen and ‘dining room’ in my new place . . .

Well, what is supposed to be the dining room is finally done.  AND I actually have some kitchen counter space to work on now!

P1220609Yep, that IS my ‘dining room’; which is actually my ‘office’.  The computer desk and shelf in the corner were in my bedroom at the old place.  The tables under the window are old booth displays from Stars; a dining table and coffee table that I cut in half.  The ‘other halves’ of each piece are in my craft room.  The pile of clothes in the far left is actually my coat tree, which is right behind the front door.

P1220608The newly created kitchen counter work space was made possible by adding this aqua step-back cupboard that Michael custom built for me.

P1220606It was designed as somewhat of an’extension’ of the kitchen.  I’m not particularly fond of how I’ve got the toaster on top of the bread box, but for the sake of counter space and lack of cupboard space, it’s a necessity.

P1220607Before Michael built the cupboard for me, ALL my kitchen counter space was taken up from the microwave, toaster and bread box.  I had that small white shelf in this spot with my canisters on it.  My cake stand collection was on one of the shelves in the living room.

P1220605My ‘secondary’ collection for ironstone pitchers is on the top of the step-back.  These are the unique ones that don’t match the rest of my collection; which is on a shelf in the living room still.

P1220600And this is the kitchen.  Cozy, eh??  The left of the sink here is where the microwave and toaster were before, and the newly created counter work space, which is slightly bigger than the space to the right of the sink.

P1220604LOVE my red butter bell!!!  I have never seen them in colors like this, so I had to keep this one.  I stock and sell a lot of these in my booth at Stars, but they are always white; occasionally I find them with thin blue stripes around the rim.

P1220601These are the cupboards above the sink side of the kitchen, and these two little cupboards are the only space I have for pantry food storage.

P1220597I painted this thrifted wire shelf white to store my dish towels and cloths on; as there was no drawer or cupboard space for them.

P1220603Two very narrow cupboards on either side of the stove for baking pans.

P1220602Two more very narrow cupboards above the stove for spices, oils, coffee, etc.

P1220595Counter space to the right of the stove.

P1220596And to the left of the stove, just enough room to display my prized vintage turquoise Kitchen Aid mixer.

Soooooooooooooo . . . . .two cupboards above the sink for food, two small ones above the stove for spices etc; drawers for silverware, utensils, skillets, plastic wrap and foil, oven mitts and vitamins; two cupboards beside the stove for pans . . . . . .and that fills ALL the built in kitchen cupboards!!  WHERE do I put my dishes?!?!?!

P1220594I was actually prepared for this dilemma in advance and placed my two big shutter cupboards ‘back to back’ at the entry space to the dining room; dividing the kitchen and living room.  The white one faces the living room and is used for ‘office stuff’.

P1220593The turquoise one faces the kitchen, on the right of the stove and stores my dishes.  I have a LOT of dishes!

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  Most of the dishes are thrift finds; and I kind of had collections of three different sets started.

P1220585The turquoise glasses and wine glasses I found at Dollar Tree!!

P1220588The first style I started collecting are these, and I was hoping to find enough of all pieces to make them the dishes I use all the time.  Alas, they have been harder to find than I had hoped.

P1220586But these vintage Johnson Bros. English Ironstone dishes that I had also started collecting also have become easier to find.  So now I am working on making these my regular dishes.

P1220589A few assorted ‘odd balls’, just because I like them; like these lion’s head ramekins that match some soup lion’s head soup bowls; some vintage and some found new at Ross.

P1220592Some vintage oval platters and boats; and more vintage ramekins.

And that’s the kitchen and ‘dining room’ in my new place.

Boudoir

 My bedroom in the new place is ‘situated’, but by no means DONE.

P1210320It’s VERY small, and there is practically NO wall space.  Not even enough room for my old door headboard!  sigh.  Since I elected to put all the white shelves from my former craft room in the new living room; I had these two shelves to find a use for.  Decided to use them instead of night stands, and for extra storage.  No room to hang my silver angel wings either.  (they were above the old door head-board before).  Michael cut a long piece of wood for me to put across the top of the two shelves for a bit of ‘display space’.  These two shelves and the board across the top will be painted white eventually.
P1210321On the left side of the shelf is a small lamp and part of my vintage fan collection.

P1210322Then my ‘heads’ (which I sometimes use in my booth to display crowns).

P1210323My angel wings are propped in the center of the shelf as there is literally NO place to hang them in this room.  The back wall has the bed and shelves; left side is a sliding glass door.  Yes, in the BEDroom!  The closet is on the right side and takes up nearly the entire wall, except for a small area where the bedroom door opens to.  The wall with the entry door on it is just big enough for my dresser.

But it was my CHOICE to use the smaller room as my bedroom and the bigger (albeit only slightly bigger!) room for my craft room.  Priorities!

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Next on the shelf is a little collection of crowns.  (the larger two are actually ‘candle rings’!)

P1210325All the was over to the right now is then one more fan, a frame and an ‘almost matching the one on then other side’ lamp.

P1210327All of the ‘containers’ on the shelves that flank my bed contain craft supplies.  The two ‘books’ on the top shelf are fake book boxes.  A few more little crowns.

P1210326Right side of the bed shelf.  The two tiny birds on the left are actually mini slat and pepper shakers that I found at the thrift store.

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I’ve since found several more of these sets; which are now stocked in my booth at Stars.  (no crowns on these though; just in case the buyer wants to actually USE them for their intended purpose!)

P1210334Burlap drapes will probably end up being changed out eventually. (I envision using the assorted mis-matched white and ivory lace curtains that I have collected.)   This window faces west and my bedroom gets almost as hot as it is outside in the evening.  There are vertical blinds, which don’t do squat to keep any light or heat out.  I went hunting for some ‘matchstick’ blinds to hang OUTSIDE to provide some shade, but all I could find was white vinyl ones.  I bought 3 of them to shade that entire side of the house, but just hung one first to see how it worked.

 ZERO shade from it, so I returned the 2 unopened ones; then Michael helped me hang some of that metallic thermal sheeting stuff on the inside of the window. (6 layers of duct tape later and I THINK it’s finally staying put!)   But it was only enough to cover one side of the window, so I taped paper over the other side; then hung the burlap drapes.  Even with those FOUR layers; white shade outside, stuff covering the windows, the vertical blinds and the burlap drapes . . .it STILL gets crazy HOT in that room.

I do have a ‘room air conditioner’, in the living room, but that is the only room it cools.  I couldn’t put one in the bedroom even if I wanted to because the sliding door is the ONLY window, and the only ‘back door’ fire escape.    Oh and the white shade that I had hanging on the outside, blew apart after a week, so I returned it also.  sigh.  Definitely must PLAN something more effective for next year.   This year I really just had to ‘make do’!
P1210332My cute ‘pouty face baby boy’ thrift store find on one side of the window.  I bought this intending to sell it in my booth at Stars, but I just HAD to keep it!

P1210333Cute little girls pic on the other side.  (also a thrift find)

P1210328And my vintage night-shirt hanging in that little bit of space on the closet side wall.  In my previous bedroom, this nightshirt hung on the window, in front of the lace curtains.  (this area gets covered up when the bedroom door is open though!)

Previous bedroom.  I later added a white fabric rose garland across the top.

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And the dresser wall.  Just enough room for a waste basket on the right and a chair.

P1210712I did find room to hang my big key collection, but that is IT for wall hanging space.  Again, all the containers are ‘functional’ and filled with craft supplies, mostly paper craft stuff and some jewelry making supplies.  This shelf will also be getting painted white . . .eventually.

P1210329Upcycled vintage wire lampshade ‘cloche’ sits atop a stack of boxes filled with paper craft supplies.  ‘A pair of glasses in every room’ is my philosophy!  I hate stopping what I am doing to go hunt down my reading glasses when I need to read something.  I just buy a handful of them at the dollar store and put a pair in every room and one in my purse, of course.

P1210330Grouping of botanicals on top of the shelf that is on top of the dresser.  The jar on the left actually has a removable jar candle inside another jar, (so the berries are ‘sandwiched’ between glass) in the center.  Very pretty with the light flickering through.

P1210331I really don’t NEED a lamp here, but I’ve accumulated a few too many lamps and simply have no place to store them.  I was intending to paint this cool oblong shade  and put a little ‘night light’ under it.  Just happened to find the perfect oblong lamp base at the thrift store that perfectly fit the shade.  Still, may eventually try to paint or stencil it.

P1210320And that’s my tiny boudoir.  Except I usually have the bed MADE and a pile of pillows on it.

Hopefully I’ll have time ‘after the summer heat and before the fall rain starts up’ to get all this stuff painted.  At least it will be super easy to just carry it all out the sliding glass door onto the patio for painting!

I’m DYING in this heat!!! Pictures of the new place!

ACK!  This heat just sucks the LIFE out of me!  It was SO hot yesterday during my garage sale. Despite the heat, I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout, and how well the sale went.  I set up the tables outside (cuz the garage is FULL of other stuff!) and had just enough room at the front of the garage to set up a small table (pay station) and chair for me to sit on and NOT be in the sun.  Still, my face was BEET RED, by the end of the sale.

I THOUGHT I was going to tackle the rest of the garage today.  HA!  I managed to drive one carload of sale leftovers to Goodwill, and take down my sale signs, water my recently planted flowers in the front yard; and I was ready for a nap!  After noon the garage is just TOO hot to work in for any length of time.  It really never even cooled off last night.  Sure hope it cools down tonight.

I’ve made SOME progress inside.  It’s ‘livable’ at least.  The hardest part has been finding my ‘purse spot’ and my glasses spotS (yes, plural!)  The way this place is laid out, there really isn’t a ‘logical’ place for me to set my purse when I walk in the door.   And I have at least six pairs of reading glasses.  (Thank goodness for Dollar Tree reading glasses!)

One pair in my purse, that STAY in my purse.  One pair by the computer.  One pair on the craft table.  One in my bedroom, and one in the living room.  Basically, I keep a pair anywhere that I might need them because I HATE having to stop what I am doing to hunt down my reading glasses!  But unless I have a specific SPOT in each room to put them, I tend to take them off and lay them down anywhere.

Things are still ‘in progress’ a bit, but here are a few pictures.

P1210243Here’s a reminder of what I had to work with in the living room.  Hardly any wall space.  sigh.  And that fireplace is just SO ‘in your face’ when you walk in the front door.  blah!!

P1210377This picture was taken from the same vantage point as the previous picture.  LOTS of shelves!  These shelves were in my craft room at the old place.  But the craft room here is too small for them.  The living room somewhat serves as my ‘studio’ also.  Many of the ‘decor items’ on the shelves are actually ‘supplies’.

P1210346This chest of drawers is on the right hand wall.  I’ve actually already changed up the items sitting on it!
P1210350Santos statue with glitter wings (separate pieces) behind it.

P1210347End table next to my recliner.  Thrifted cherub lamp that I repainted and added a separately thrifted shade to.

P1210352Cloches.

P1210353Tomato cage lamp that I made.

P1210351Wire cloche and pedestal with ceramic bird vase and silk flowers. (flowers from dollar store!)

P1210354This chest is on the left side of the living room, and in this picture was just being used as a ‘catch all’ for stuff I didn’t know what to do with.  I have to leave the top of this ‘clear’ as it has to serve as my ‘packing station’ for etsy.  It works well for that purpose as it;s just high enough that I don’t have to crouch over to reach, and I can keep all my packing supplies in the drawers!

P1210355Shelves!  I’ve actually already moved those globes on the top to a different spot.  (a shelf mounted on the wall above the chest in the previous pic)

P1210358This vintage thrifted shelf was in my bedroom, on top of my dresser in my old place.  Here it serves as the TV stand, and storage space for buttons and lace crafting supplies.

P1210359The shelf to the right of the TV.  These globes have been moved also, so now ALL of my cream/tan ones are displayed together.  My pitcher collection really GREW during the year that I was readying for my move.  I was packing them as I found them and ended up with WAY more than I thought I had by the time I unpacked them all!  Had to ‘pick and choose’ which ones to ‘keep and display’.  The rest are packed away for now.  Might take them to my booth, or maybe sell them as a lot on etsy.  Any of you collect this particular shape too, and looking to add to your collection?

P1210360Filling in the corner space where the shelves don’t quit meet.

P1210361I collected five of these ‘conservatoires /cages’, and really envisioned them being displayed together.  Still working on that.  Supplies stored inside them!

P1210365My armillary collection atop one of the tall white shelves.

P1210364Bird houses and cages next to the armillaries.

P1210366Did you notice what was hanging inside those two cages???  I’m SO tickled that I thought of hanging these sweet glitter chandelier ornaments INSIDE the bird cages!

P1210367I have had these chandelier orns for YEARS and could never figure out WHAT to do to display them!  I just had them tacked to a bulletin board for years trying to figure out WHAT to do with them.  Just happened to unpack them at the very time that I was trying to figure out what to put inside the bird cages!  TA~DA!

P1210368Initially I thought I was going to end up with a place with TWO bathrooms; because nearly ALL two-bedroom apartments nowadays have 2 bathrooms.  So I bought ‘stuff’ for 2 bathrooms, and the bird decor stuff was going to be used to decorate one of the bathrooms.

P1210372My baby sized saddle shoes collection has gotten so big that it now needs to ‘be contained’ instead of scattered throughout the room.  This blue wire lantern works perfectly.  And when it’s full, I promise I will stop buying them.

P1210375OOPS!  I lied!  My ‘blue and white’ saddle shoe collection is in the lantern.  I just HAD to display the brown ones with my grubby books!

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Vintage rotary dial phone that I found in another booth at Stars and HAD to have.  No, it doesn’t work, but I still LOVE it.  Wire crate filled with my finials awaiting use in new projects.

P1210373Jars of shells and shell encrusted balls that I made.

P1210348ACK!!!  I am SO embarrassed to show you THIS part of the room, but I’ve got to ‘keep it real’.  This is what the area behind my recliner looks like!  Most of that is inventory for Stars.  Once I get the garage completely situated, I HOPE there will be room for all of it in the garage.  Then I hope to find a vintage daybed to put there.  Right now, the only places to sit in the living room are a recliner or a wood rocking chair.  Since I’m not able to have a ‘guest room’ I figure the daybed is the next best thing.