Garden update: August 2016

After a record WET winter, we’ve had what seems like a record SUNNY spring and summer; which made for a very early growing season here in the Pacific Northwest.  My little garden plots surrounding my home have already peaked, and are getting ready to go dormant.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many rose blooms I got; given that I just planted these bare root rose bushes a few months ago.

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Some really pretty colors!  (Remember I didn’t know what colors I was getting.  It was a special offer of ‘mixed roses’ and they were only identified by NAME when they arrived.)

Some different types of roses too.  These are ‘small with ruffled petals’ and bloom in clusters.  I have no idea what the little white spots on all the leaves are.  I got two of each kind of bush and BOTH of this kine have the same spots.  They are NOT aphids. (which was my first thought er FEAR!)  I may have to write the company I ordered from and ask about this.

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I started some Cosmos from seed and planted them between the roses just to fill in the space a little this year.  The Cosmos grew HUGE!  The one in the above picture is AFTER I cut it down bu a couple of FEET.  They were so big that they were blocking the roses from getting enough sun!  A couple of the Cosmos didn’t produce ANY flowers; but they grew as big and tall (almost BIGGER!) than the ones that did flower.

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Here you can see the Cosmos that didn’t flower, before I cut them back.  My back yard is like a ‘wind tunnel’ in the evening.  Really strong winds blow through it several times a week.  Some of the taller Cosmos stems actually got bent over by the wind!

P1280359Mini white pumpkins coming soon!  Two plants grew great and a third (can you see it!) is stunted.  The big ones have nearly doubled in size in the last week.

My Glads were getting bent over by the wind too, so I staked them.  The blooms have died and been cut off already.  I don’t think my ‘second planting’ of Glads (smaller ones between the big ones) are going to bloom this year.

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The potted flowers on my garden ladder have peaked and started dying already too. (notice the bottom planter.)   The vines in pots are either side are still growing like crazy; vining to the top and over and back down again.

The Hydrangea I planted last year have bloomed quite nicely.

These pics are from a couple of weeks ago, hardly any color still left in the front yard now.

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See that HUGE Lupine in about the middle?  It’s now GONE!  sigh.  It was the first to bloom this year and had grown HUGE.  Truly the ‘star’ of the front garden.  Sadly it became infested with aphids.  I tried and ‘home remedy’ to kill the aphids and all it did was kill the leaves on the Lupine and surrounding plants!  Grrr!!!  I cut is Waaaaaaaay back hoping that would help but again it was totally COVERED with aphids.  (I get itchy just THINKING about them!) I know how much aphids love Roses too and I didn’t want them to get my roses, so I dug the Lupine completely up, roots and all!  Have some seed pods saved from it and may try starting some next year.  I also went to the garden center and god some ‘systemic’ stuff for my roses that is supposed to PREVENT aphids.  Any advice on aphids/Roses/Lupine is welcome!

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Originally, I had really wanted to plant Hydrangea in the garden plot along the side of the house.  But that area gets a considerable amount of sun and I know that Hydrangea prefer ‘just morning sun, so I planted other stuff there.  As the summer has progressed and I look at what other people have planted in the sun and shade areas of their yards; I noticed a LOT of beautifully blooming Hydrangea in full sun!  (I’m talking plants so FULL of blooms that you can’t even see any of the green leaves!)

 

Shortly after that ‘ah-HA! moment, I came across 6″pots of Hydrangea at the grocery store for $3.99!!!  SOLD!  I bought nine of them and planted them in the side garden.

They looked SO pretty, so full of blooms.  Of course I know the ‘forced blooms’ don’t last very long and half of them have already wilted away; but the plants are very healthy with new leaf growth.  And THEN . .   I was reading up on Hydrangea and discovered that ‘florist Hydrangea’ (IE small potted ones intended to give as an indoor plant gift and not necessarily ever actually planted in the ground; which is what I am pretty sure these that I bought ARE) seldom re-bloom when planted in the ground.  Heavy SIGH!!  Oh well.  Live and learn.  I guess I’ll have to settle for just GREEN in that part of my garden!

Not sure if I want to plant something in the ‘bare spot’ left from the Lupine right away or wait for next spring.  I typically do not care for bare spots, so I guess we’ll see.  I have no idea WHAT I want to put there??  Maybe a Black Eyed Susan?

How does YOUR garden grow??

Two-step stool with DRAWER

A little DRAWER in a step stool?!?!?  I love that!

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This sweet little stool really didn’t ‘need’ to be made over at all . . . it was in perfect condition; but you know me!!!  I can never leave well enough alone!

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I removed the drawer knob and gave the whole thing a good sanding.

Some aqua paint and more sanding to distress.  Another ‘perfect piece’ to use one of my little aqua ceramic rose knobs on!!

And off to my booth at Stars it goes!

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Great little piece for adding height to displays in my booth (while it lasts!)

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Here’s a little peek at some of the other new stuff in my booth:

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Ceramic and stoneware bunny dishes.

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Covered duck tureens and a tiny duck pitcher.

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Vintage metal plant stand set up as a serving station.

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One of my ‘yard wreaths’ (hand crafted using twigs, bark and moss collected from my yard)

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A new batch of small frames; some with glass and backings, some without.

A couple more vintage crystal lamps with NEW Paris script shades.

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How adorable is this box of vintage cocktail forks!?!?!  (Sorry about the glare!  I had to wrap the box in plastic wrap to be sure none of the forks ‘went missing’)

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Stop on by if you haven’t been at Stars in a while.  LOTS of new stuff in my booth  . . . and throughout the entire mall!

What to do about cigarette burns on old furniture

This tall end table / lamp table with one little drawer was in pretty good condition, except for the badly damaged top.

A couple of VERY deep cigarette burns and several areas where the embossed gold design had worn down completely.  But it was plenty sturdy, had a lower shelf and a drawer (storage is always a big plus!) and it had ‘nice legs’!  I decided to buy it and see what I could to with it.

The CLEANEST vintage drawer innards I have ever seen!  Missing knob is no biggie since I usually change them anyhow.

The cigarette burns were not just ‘singes’ . . .  they were divots, burned clear through that top layer of wood; and just sanding them was not going to do the job.

I filled them with some wood putty, then sanded smooth once the putty was nice and dry.  The gold embossed border which was worn away in some spots was very inconsistent.  At first I thought I could just sand the rest away.  But it was very deeply  embedded in some spots and just barely on the surface of others.  So I just sanded enough to remove the surface sheen and painted as I usually do.

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That little drawer was perfect for another one of the aqua ceramic knobs I have.

I went fairly light on the distressing because of the issues with the top.

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I was concerned that the variations in the embossing would bother me, but it doesn’t.  And you can still see where the filled cigarette burn divots were . . . .  ‘a good distressing job covers a multitude of flaws’. (You may quote me on that!  hehe)

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All in all, I an quite content with how it turned out.

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Available for purchase in my booth at Stars for $79.00.

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Oval pedestal table

I showed you this third oval table in the last post about the nesting tables.  Here’s the ‘how I did it’.

I’ve had this old pedestal sitting around for quite some time; pondering what to do with it.

This oval piece of wood was in a batch of stuff that was left behind at Michael’s house when I moved last summer; that I recently picked up.  It was the perfect size to use as a table top for the pedestal.  Since the pedestal was a dark brown, I did a dark brown base coat on the oval.  Two coats of aqua and lots of sanding.  I wanted his one SUPER distressed.

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I painted the base aqua and distresses it to bring out all the pretty detail.  Once both were painted, it was time to put the two together.

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Fortunately for me this pedestal base already had a cross bar for attaching to a top already in place.  (had it not come with one, it’s pretty easy to make and attach one)  First ‘found center’ on the underside of the table and marked it.  Then I glued the base to the top with e6000; and let that set overnight.  Then two screws on either side of the cross bar to.  Most people will JUST use screws.  I prefer to ‘glue and screw’.  (and if you’ve ever watched “Holmes Makes it Right”, Mike Holmes is a proponent of ‘glue and screw’!)

And here is the finished table in my booth at Stars.  I especially like that it is MUCH more distressed than the other two.

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This is the current front view of my booth; the trio of tables is right behind this stuff.

Nesting tables

Bought this set of wood nesting tables at an estate sale a while back.

At first I didn’t think they all actually went together, because of the different shapes; but they are indeed a ‘set’.  When the smaller tables are ‘nested’ they slide on runners that actually lift the legs slightly off the floor.  A unique feature.

I sanded off all the ‘sheen’; painted them aqua and sanded again to distress.  (I was able to do most of the distressing with an orbital sander.  Then added some stenciled designs.  Since I never actually sell a set of tables ‘as a set’

A set of ANYthing that a customer MIGHT want to buy ‘just one of’; it’s always best to price individually.  For several reasons:  a) Someone WILL ask “How much for just one of them?” whether they are actually interested in buying just one of not.  b) They can STILL buy the set for the combined price; but the store doesn’t have to waste time calling you to ask.  c) If the set gets ‘separated’ by shoppers in your booth you have items that don’t have tags and they end up in another booth!  It’s just easier to price them individually and be done with it!

I didn’t want to completely cover the tables with a design, and I didn’t have any stencils that ‘worked’ with both shapes.  Settled on these simple edge designs.

Nesting tables are GREAT to work with in your displays!  You can ‘nest’ them id space is tight.  Stack and use them like a shelf, or spread them around.

I actually only had room for the large oval one when I took then in last week.  Stacked it atop a little night stand at the front of my booth.

In the meantime, I got this other oval table put together and painted, and took it in along with the two smaller nesting tables on my next trip.

This third oval table has been in my booth for a while.  I was HOPING the newer oval pedestal table was a slightly lower height than the one already in my booth; and I knew the oval from the nesting set was shorter.  I putting them at the front of my booth, cascading from taller to shortest; with the matching upholstered chair and overstuffed foot stool sitting on top of them; along with some stacks of my grubby books.

Yippee Skippee!!!  The heights are just right!

Alas, the chair legs were a tad too wide to fit on the biggest table.  (well, the just perfectly fit . . . but could have easily been knocked off with the slightest touch.  A gamble I was not willing to take.  So the three tables ended up like this.

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You can still see part of them from the front of my booth; tucked behind a couple of night stands.  As soon as something sells and I have a little more room to work with; I’ll bring the three tabled forward.

Did you notice the two smaller nesting tables on top of the tallest oval?  Once I have more room, I’ll spread those out or stack them for better visibility.

I wanted to be sure it was really well stocked going into this weekend because  . . .

I am occupied taking care of this little ball of energy this weekend while her mommy  and daddy (My son and his wife) are out of town for a friend’s wedding.

Yep!  She follows my every move.  Sleeps at my feet when I am sitting down (she’s ON my feet, under the computer desk right now!) And keeps me very entertained.

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And before you ask . . .  she is a ‘Bernedoodle’.

UPCYCLED Little Treasure Chest

Little trunk style jewelry chest I recently found.

Nice clean ‘innards’? Check.  Paper peeling off?  I was probably going to remove it before I painted it anyhow.  Sold!

It was actually a nice finish under the paper.  It was a bit harder to get all that paper off than I’d hoped.  I peeled off whatever would easily come off first; which wasn’t much!  Then I soaked a dishcloth in hot water and laid that over the remaining paper.  After letting that sit for a bit, I used a paint scraper to get ‘most’ of it off.  finally had to use some ‘Goof Off’ to get the last little bits of paper off.  Then a little sanding before repainting.

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Aqua paint (of course!) and a bit of sanding to distress.

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A section of a pretty paper napkin decoupaged on the top for a little added ‘oomph’.

P1270083Done and already SOLD, at Stars.

Outdated / updated Folk Art chest

Cute little ‘folk art’ style three drawer chest.  Emphasis on the LITTLE!  It’s more like jewelry box size, but with deeper drawers.

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The images on the drawers are glued on PAPER; and the knobs are STAPLES on!  So, that’s a new ‘issue’ for me to deal with.  I can’t sand off all of the paper without removing the knobs, and those suckers would not BUDGE!  I finally just had to WHACK them off with a rubber mallet; then lift the staples with a screwdriver, then pull then the rest of the way out with pliers.  Whew!

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And this is what the drawer fronts looked like after I sanded off the paper pictures.  I could fill the holes from the staples and drill new holes for the new knobs . . . . OR . . . .    before I did all that I noticed that the BACKS of the drawers were the SAME size as the fronts.  Could the solution to this conundrum possibly be as simple as turning the drawers around?!?!?  NOTHING is ever that easy for me.

But YES!!  It worked!  The innards of the drawers were ‘clean’ but they LOOKED dirty due to a poor staining job; so I added some pretty paper on the bottoms to spiff them up a bit.  Now to search for ‘just the right’ new knobs; which entails digging through 8 plastic show boxes of knobs.

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Doesn’t it look like a face close up like this!?!  hehe  The knobs don’t exactly match; but are similar enough.   The top two have pewter colored centers and are new reproductions.  The bottom is a vintage knob and back plate with a gold finish.

I painted the whole thing aqua (including the BACK!)  and distressed with my orbital sander.  Pretty quick and easy projects once I got the old knobs off!

OUTDATED                                      UPDATED

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Prettied up trinket boxes

Cute little trinket box with magnetic closure makes for a quick and easy make-over.  (found the box at dollar store!)

I cut a piece of paper big enough to cover the existing image; but left the pretty border still visible.

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Then I glued a stamped piece of muslin on top of that; just a little off-center.

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I added a little scrap of matching paper to the underside of the lid.

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The sticky label on the bottom of this one just so happened to peel off perfectly; which is NOT usually the case.  IF it had not come off without damaging the bottom of the box, I would have glued another piece of paper to the bottom as well.

Just so happened to find another box at a different store, with the exact same design.  Went with a simpler design on this one.  Covered the whole top and front with vintage dictionary page; added a vintage post card image and a ‘paper’ key.

This one is a soap box that I saved.

This one had a very pretty design on the existing paper, so I just needed to partly cover it.  A piece of paper and a crown stamped on muslin, off-center.

A little piece of matching paper to cover the ‘non-removable’ label on the bottom of the box.

And a little piece on the underside of the lid ‘just for fun’ (this piece wasn’t really ‘necessary’ because it’s not covering anything  . . . I just thought it added a little interest!)

MORE banners

So, while I had all my banner making supplies spread out all over the living room; I found some MORE supplies to use up.

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These bigger, glitter-edged letters are pretty ‘fancy’ as is, so I opted for a simple vintage sheet music backing.  (after trying out a LOT of other design options!)  These cut-out  paper the letters are made from paper that looks like faded book pages.

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For these, and whenEVER possible, I do ‘hole punches’ for adding the hanging string to the banner.  MUCH less time-consuming than gluing string or ribbon to the back.

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I had three full sets of this particular lettering; with 2-3 of each letter; so after I used up all the D’s and M’s I had on these dream banners, I still had a LOT of letters left.  But not a lot of options for  words to spell, with some letters having been used up.  So I laid out all that I have left to see what other words I could spell.

 I had used up all the sheet music backings that I had pre-made, also; so I went with dictionary pages for the Paris banners.  (* I make the banner backings ahead of time and always have a stash of them on hand.  That way, when I’m in a creating mood I can get right to it; without as much ‘prep work’ before hand.  Plus I like to have ‘busy work’ to do while I am watching TV, and this kind of thing is perfect for that!)P1260790

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On this one, that I already took to Stars; I used tea stained sheet music for the backing.  (but I only had enough of the tea stained pages to do one banner)

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I sure hope ‘DREAM’ banners are popular because I now have a LOT of them.  NOW I just need to figure out what to do with all the left-over ‘odd’ letters . . . . Q – X – V = Z – J   . . . . .   Maybe for some altered art projects??

Another mixed media collage

I bought ‘a bunch’ of these wire topped wall plaques at the dollar store, YEARS ago!
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I didn’t really like them for what they WERE; rather for what they could BECOME.

That’s what I did with them ‘back when’ we had our own gift store.  I found ONE last one recently and decided it was time to use it up.

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First I covered with assorted papers; including some vintage pattern paper as the last coat.  Using them as the last coat adds a nice ‘softness’ to the look and sort of ‘blends them all together’.

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I painted a heart with wings; glittered the wings, and cut out words form a old book to put on the heart.

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NOW I just need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of these backgrounds that are ‘ready to go!

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