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Showing posts from April, 2012

Monday Motivation: 10 Things To Get Rid Of

One of my favorite things to do is throw away (or give away or recycle) items that I no longer need.  I try to strive for at least 10 items but this week I worked on 10 categories.  Here's what I got rid of:      1.  Candles:                . . .  whose scent I didn't care for.  I sold them at my daughter's yard sale.                . . .  that just don't look good anymore.  I threw them away.                    2.  CDs:                . . .  those I never listen to.                . . .  those I had duplicates of.  I sold them all.      3.  Books:                . . .   any that I never intend to read again.  I sold them.                . . .   those that belonged to someone else.  I returned them.                . . .   old coloring books (some 20 years old) were thrown away.      4.  Vases:                . . .  duplicate sized vases.  I saved my favorite of each size and sold the rest.                . . .  any that were chipped or had permane

I Borrowed From The Recycling Bin To Organize My Drawers

I came across a stash of Crisco shortening containers that I had saved from my days of eating poorly.  I had saved the containers thinking I would use them to store small craft supplies.  Since that never happened, I decided to toss them into the recycling bin.  Upon further thought, I pulled them back out of the bin and gave them a trial fit in my dining room sideboard drawers.  YES!  They fit perfectly.    I lined them up, side by side, and used them to hold napkin holders, toothpick holders, and small easels that I use to hold food labels at buffets. Another drawer already held a wooden silverware tray that I ordered from The Container Store, but the shortening containers fit neatly next to the tray and held spreaders, picks, and salt and pepper shakers.  I'm very happy with my "free" dividers.  I decided not to use the lids that came with the containers, but if I had deeper drawers, I might have used the lids and stacked some of the containe

Turning A Broken Bird Bath Into A Planter

When we moved into our home 6 years ago, there was a sad looking concrete birdbath smack-dab in the middle of the yard.  It had a funny little squirrel "climbing" up the base.  The top was cracked and would not hold water.  I moved it into a flower garden we made, but it still looked bad. I tried to patch it by spreading a concrete patching compound over the bowl but it failed miserably.  I was left with a mess, but hated to get rid of the funky little birdbath After pondering for a bit, I decided to make a planter out of it.  After all, it did have good drainage - in fact, it didn't hold water at all!  I planted 2 types of sedum, 1 type of rockfoil (red flowers), and 1 type of lithodora (blue flowers).  All of the plants like full sun, little water and are perennials.  I also tried to get a combination of spring and summer bloomers so that there would be seasonal interest all during the growing season. It's nice to see the funky little birdba

Making A Table Spring Centerpiece Using What You Already Have

I wanted to show you how simple it is to make a centerpiece using what you already have on hand. I made a dozen of these little vases for a women's event at my church.  First, I gathered all of my white vases.  Since I was a few short, I made a quick trip to the thrift store and picked up some more.  I was still 2 short, so I bought cheap clear florist's vases and painted the inside white.  To make the innards, I picked up sticks from my yard and arranged them in my hand.  Then I wrapped grocery bags and newspaper (from the recycling bin) around the base of the sticks.  Then I stuck the whole shebang into one of the vases.  I covered up the recyclables with green excelsior left over from making the party favors . I cut small pieces of recycled tissue paper into small squares and glued them onto the sticks.  I used Tacky Glue instead of a hot glue gun because, frankly, I hate to burn my fingers.  The Tacky Glue is thick enough to hold the paper i

Wrensday: Making New Tomato Plants

I've been growing three different kinds of tomato plants from seed in my garage under grow lights.  I put them outside on Saturday to get some real sun, and one of the plants broke off when a strong breeze came along.  Bummer! I picked off the broken stem and put it in a small glass of water on my window sill. After just a few days, roots have started to grow.  In a few more days, I'll plant it in a pot and when the weather warms up enough, I'll plant it in my garden.  This also works later in the summer when your tomato plants get leggy and stop producing.  Just cut off some of the branch tips and root them in water for new tomato plants.  Last year I still had tomatoes growing in October because I started some new plants in mid July. 

Monday Motivation: Clean The Gardening Tools

                                           The last of the kale and collards I was excited to finally get out in my garden this past weekend and get some work done.  If you're like me, you didn't give your gardening tools much thought last fall when you put them away.  When I opened the door to my tool storage area, I was ashamed at how I had stored the tools.  There was dirt still hanging from the shovels, pine straw on the rakes, and sap on the pruners.  Bummer. I pulled everything out, swept the area clean, and got to work.  Here's what I did to get my tools back in shape. 1.  I washed off caked-on dirt, mulch and dried grass from the gardening tools.  I scrubbed with a stiff bristled brush and then rinsed with water.  I let everything dry in the sun. 2.  For pruners, loppers, and cutters (is that a proper word?) I wiped the blades with paint thinner to remove sap and tree pitch.  On one pair I had to use some steel wool because the spots were so

Wrensday: Bluebirds Are Househunting

A few weeks ago, before the trees got some green on them, we had some bluebird visitors to Brown Wren Acres. The beautiful bluebird couple came to house hunt at one of our bluebird houses.  I wonder if it is the same couple who came by last year?  This lovely, one bedroom house has a roomy entrance, clean floors, and a snake barrier for safety.  It stands in an organic vegetable garden with lots of worms and bugs.  It's close to birdbaths and trees. Move-in ready! Daddy bluebird checks out the neighborhood from high up in the tree tops.  He wants to make sure his babies will be safe.  Mama bluebird looks uninterested in the structure.  I have a feeling they will pick the bluebird house near the goat pen like a bird family did last year.  The bluebird house is on a fence post just outside of this picture, but you get the idea.  Bubba (the lighter goat) loves to butt his head against all of the fence posts.  I can't imagine why any sensible bird moth

Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bedroom

Here it is, the first week in April.  That means it must be time for Monday Motivation.  If you're new to this blog, we're tackling one area of our homes each month.  By the end of the year, the whole house will have been purged, organized, and cleaned.  It's an organized way to evaluate our homes and stay on top of things.  Won't you join us?  If you've missed the first couple of months, don't worry.  Just jump in right now and start with your bedroom during the month of April.  For those of you who have been with me for awhile, you know what to do.  Here's a compilation of Monday Motivations from last April: Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bedroom So far this year we've organized the entrance, kitchen, and bathrooms. Now we're ready to work on the bedroom. It's the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we see when before we close our eyes to sleep. What we should be looking at is something like t