To the Dump, To the Dump, To the Dump, Dump, Dump….

 1 pile of trash +1 pile of sticks = ???

You may remember this (another ugly cabinet door reveal is on the way) corner cabinet door I dug picked up from my neighbor’s trash pile.

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It sat under the deck for days months awhile as I waited for inspiration. That came as I sorted through boxes of holiday decor, separating Halloween from Christmas. I came across a project from last Christmas; a canvas and twig Christmas tree. I thought the double sides of the corner cabinet door would frame twin trees terrifically. (Try saying that three times…fast.)

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Here is an easy tutorial for the thousands two of you hoarders who happen to have a corner cabinet door lying around. No, seriously, you can use a canvas, picture frame, or a single old door you are trying to repurpose. Same technique. You will need:

A pile of sticks and twigs gathered from your yard

A glue gun

A frame or old cabinet door, canvas…anything that will provide the background.

Raffia, silver or gold thread, old jewelry or trinkets.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Cleaned the door with TSP and painted a fresh coat of white latex paint
  • Sanded off the distressed areas and darkened with wax
  • Gathered sticks and twigs of various length and texture
  • Measured the distance I wanted for the bottom twig, and then broke the remaining twigs shorter and shorter until I had achieved the shape I wanted. Placing them on the floor first is a good idea.
  • Laying one side of the door flat, I hot glued the twigs in place and then repeated for the second side.
  • After the twigs were all secure, I wove a strand of raffia through the “branches” and hot glued an old broken earring at the top.

Here, just for display, I added greenery to the top.

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And, look at one of the old bed springs I found in our woods that I told you about in an earlier post. I love rust and burlap, don’t you?

So, the answer to our equation is:

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Homegrown Wedding

When our daughter asked if we could possibly have her wedding in the woods below our home, we were both elated and apprehensive. The woods were quite tangled and wild during the summer, but the wedding would be in October…the prettiest time of year there. Almost as if in anticipation of this day, her father (aka Saint) and I had laid a path of huge rocks as stepping stones down to the valley below. There was still much work to be done to clear all the weeds and brush away from the area.

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It was her desire to have a wedding that would represent their interests and personalities. Tiffany and Lance love the outdoors. Camping and rafting, hiking, kayaking, and biking were much more a part of their lives than gigantic churches and rented venues. “Something simple, but elegant. Kind of like a garden party with vows,” she suggested. “Just whatever you want to do, but no scarecrows and hay bales, please.”
I began planning, planting, and crafting as Saint began the brush hogging. These shimmery painted pumpkins were my first task. I was encouraged when they turned out beautifully

And then I started some fall plants in a couple of urns to flank the path. Tiffany wanted no attendants, no fluff, just a “garden party with vows.” So, I planned for the guests to stand at the bottom of the path. It was important to Saint that he walk her down the aisle path. Mums, Ornamental Kale, cock’s comb, and greenery grew together in the urns for the rest of the summer. In October, I made the bows and ribbon and gathered the dried florals that would accent both the urns and the centerpieces which were painted clay pots with hurricane globes, bittersweet gathered from Redbud Ridge, leaves, twigs, etc.


Food-we had some! Heavy appetizers- enough for a meal. We made stuffed mushrooms, dried beef roll ups, green chili roll ups, bacon Kalamata olive tea sandwiches, shrimp with margarita dip, and had catered in a sushi tray, beggars purses and meatballs. A platter of artisanal cheese brought from Vermont, fresh veggies, breads; seriously, I can’t even think of all the food. No traditional wedding cake for Tiffany! A friend’s mother has the best tea room in Southwest Missouri (Spring Creek Tea Room) and, as a wedding gift, agreed to bake all her specialty cakes.



Yes, you can do a home grown wedding, and I would recommend it if you have great friends who will pitch in and HELP! But, be prepared for the unexpected. Rain. We had some. We had a back up tent rented just in case, but we really wanted the wedding in the valley. Guests were so gracious to pull out the umbrellas and dump the rain off the china before filling their plates. I spent weeks making some vintage photo wine tags and gold menu item place cards. There was no time to put out the menu cards, and I forgot to distribute the wine tags. The fact that it was at home, that we made most of the décor, and added special touches like a minister cousin who administered the vows as her very first wedding, articles from relatives no longer with us, (the blue lace handkerchief from a great grandmother tucked into the bouquet, a lace tablecloth hand crocheted by a grandmother, and an antique guest table refinished by the fondly.bride’s grandfather)our son singing and playing the guitar as Tiffany walked the path; all made this a very unique and wonderful wedding we will all remember fondly for a long time.

Happy Sixth anniversary, Lance and Tiff!

Presto Chango into fall

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This has been my summer mantel since the baby shower decor was taken down. Pretty boring, huh?

A seasonal change is a comin’. I found this very old oval frame at a flea market last month, and this little scroll with one of my favorite scriptures on it was a couple of dollars at a yard sale. The frame was in pretty bad shape, so I did not hesitate to get out the twine, burlap, and glue gun.

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I made a few loops of natural and white burlap, added some leaves, and twisted some jute twine around the frame and added some braided rope. I like the textures, don’t you?

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Next, I found some rusty flower tins in the basement, added some sheer bronze fabric ribbons and dried florals to the votives I already had. The little wooden pumpkins were purchased at a wonderful gift shop called Boomland Square several years ago and have been used as place card holders, cloche decor, and a number of other fall displays.

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Views from upstairs and then from the living room:

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In less than 30 minutes, Presto-chango! I may need to play with the flower buckets a bit and scatter a few leaves or acorns around, but…better, don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

If you remember…

If you remember, in a previous post, I mentioned ugly oak doors that had been attached to a beautiful antique piece. Now who would do such a thing? Well, somebody did, and I have the picture to prove it!

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And, as promised, I am going to repurpose this thing. I have already removed the brass handles and painted them black, using RustOleum flat black stick to everything paint. Great stuff!

I have also painted a coat of primer-Zinsser Bull’s Eye.Image Which brings me to the purpose of this post. And you are going to thank me later.

I recently read a tip and thought I’d give it a try, today. You see, the way I usually clean up a paintbrush is soak wash throw it away. But since I’ve been doing so many projects lately, Saint suggested buying a few good brushes and cleaning them really well. To his specifications. Which translates to him cleaning them because I never meet those specifications. The tip said I could avoid a clean up between every coat of paint by placing the used brush, paint and all (which is exactly how I throw them away) into a baggie and sealing around it. I tried it. IT REALLY DOES WORK! Since I needed to wait a couple of hours between coats…really longer, but I am impatient and it is an extremely hot day, thus drying time should be reduced, right? Anyway, I put the brush in, and since I was using a water based primer, I added a damp, crumpled up paper towel, and sure enough. When I went back to use it, it was not hard as a rock. No, it was nice and supple and ready to paint on the second coat.  That’s all there is to it! ImageOh, and you are welcome.

Did I tell you …

Did I tell you that I dislike hate abhor hot weather? Here in Southwest Missouri, we have had record temperatures for weeks. The grass crunches under foot like August, and it is only early July. Leaves would be weeping if they could gather up the tears. A short jaunt to the garden or out to water plants calls for another shower and shampoo. The only thing that glistens on me is newly applied sunscreen, and that only lasts a few minutes; I sweat.

Sporting events, camping trips, shopping…all are cast aside as I babysit my air-conditioner and a glass of iced tea. Pinterest, take me away! I’ve started a new board called Fall Follies. I’m already in the planning stages of a fall vacation and a fall bonfire. Dreaming of star filled nights, smoke filled air, and s’more filled mouths. So this reminded me of last years neighborhood gathering, and I thought I’d share the pictures and ideas with you. And since I’m a flea market junkie, I’ll show you how I put this together on the cheap!

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We are blessed to have this beautiful valley below our house and even more fortunate to have wonderful neighbors to share it with.

I happened to have two vintage doors that I was getting ready for my flea market booth. Saint loaded them and the saw horses up in the old ancient truck we use to roam around our acreage. Presto-chango! Our fall table base. I had saved rescued a slab of bark from a dying elm tree, which served as a great table runner. It added just the right amount of texture and cost absolutely nothing. I gathered up some of the fall things I had picked up at garage sales and other flea markets and started putting things together.

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A little leftover orange lace, some burlap, and a few Halloweenish accessories dressed the table nicely. Notice how I repurposed a teak wood corn on the cob set into a S’mores station?

All the baskets are flea market finds, as well as the vintage bowl that holds the beverages; recycled water bottles filled with pond water (chocolate milk) and swamp water (limeade) labeled with free printables. Gummy creatures added.

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The puking pumpkin idea was from Pinterest, and I will share the dip recipe that I used at the end of this post. It was a big hit. We kept the menu simple: Hot dogs to roast, chips, mini chili bread bowls, individual Snickers cheesecakes, S’mores, popcorn and candy.

The most wonderful part of the evening was watching the eyes of our little guests when they saw the bonfire Saint built. “Big fire!” This little one declared.

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I can’t wait until this heat gives way to crisp evenings with falling leaves and pumpkins. For now, I’ll have to be content to start planning this year’s fall bonfire and be thankful for my air conditioner and iced tea!

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Puking Pumpkin Dip (AKA Bacon Cheddar Dip)

Cheddar Bacon Dip 16 oz sour cream 1 packet Ranch dressing mix 3 oz bacon bits (in the bag not jar) 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Mix together and refrigerate 24 hours. Serve with chips and/or veggies.

Enjoy, and stay cool!

Creepy Crawlies-easy craft for kids

Teaching first and second grade for 25+ years taught me a few things. When I was a young lady little girl brat sister I lived on a farm, and my room was just above the outside water spout. And, well, you know the song. Every spider on the farm seemed to come up the water spout and into my room. Now, I was scared mortified of spiders and would scream for my brothers to come in and kill them immediately! Fortunately, after developing and teaching spider unit after spider unit in October of every year for 25+ years, I learned that spiders are usually very helpful and there are few poisonous spiders in our area. Whew! Because this is what I found in our garage last week.

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My brothers are hundreds of miles away, now, and I really wanted to prove a point to my husband who says he sprays and we have no spiders in our garage. I also wanted to practice what I preach teach and not kill the helpful arachnid, so I grabbed a container and captured that huge, scary, thing. He lost a leg in the process, but then I remembered that spiders can just grow a new one…no surgery required. Well, that brings me to the point of this ramble (post.) Uh-huh…you thought I had forgotten.

Here are directions for the easiest Halloween fall authentic learning display ever!

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For each child you will need:

5 inch circle of black construction paper

3 inch circle of black construction paper

8 black construction paper rectangles   ½ inch by 8 inches

Scissors

Glue

It helps to pre-cut (have volunteers slave over) the circles and rectangles. Hand out both circles and demonstrate how to fold in half and again in half to determine the center line of each circle.

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Have students unfold each circle and cut to the center along one of the fold lines on each circle.

Next, show students how to make a slight cone shape by sliding one edge of the cut circle under the adjacent edge and gluing it down. This is a good time to sing the Eensie Weensie Spider song  while holding the glued sides together while they dry.

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This is also a perfect time to review spider facts. Spiders have only two body parts instead of the three that insects have. The age of your students will determine if you want to call the larger circle a chest and abdomen or a cephalothorax.

Now, for the legs; should there be six like an insect? Of course not. Spiders have eight legs. Students may choose to fold each leg accordion style, but I prefer the more realistic scarier kind made by a few simple bends.

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Oops! Do not do this. The legs should all be attached behind the head. Direct students to turn the spider on its back and glue 4 legs to each side of the head.

These spiders look great attached to some monofilament fishing line hanging from the classroom ceiling or on a blue bulletin board background with white paint webs. But they look SPOOKTACULAR when stuck to fake spider web from your local craft store that has been draped in the corners of the classroom.

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Add the eyes or other spider parts if you want. Kind of looks like the creepy spider from my garage, no?