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Of Cobalt Blue Bottle Trees & Gardens During a Storm… plus fairy rock gardens

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the finished product, before the storm hit.

Observation from my soon-to-be graduating high school senior, quoting Parks & Recreation, when I told him I was thinking about getting the bottle tree the other day:

Connor: “We have the most colorful, eccentric, and eclectic yard in the neighborhood, with all the flowers and hammocks and art and stuff, Mom- I like it, ‘treat yo’ self'”

Maisie (poking her head out from around the corner and lisping in her toddler voice): “YEAH! TWEET YO’ SELF!”

(UPDATE: THE BOY HAS SINCE GRADUATED- STILL UGLY CRYING OVER IT, WILL POST ABOUT IT LATER)

treatyoself

Ironically, the comedian Retta, who played Donna on the show, said she was ‘so over’ people using the phrase this week. My kids didn’t get the memo. It’s become part of our culture, if a teen AND a three year old are using it.

So… my friend delivered the items. His mom passed away recently and he is rehoming her stuff. We also received some punched tin and steel stars, plus other gewgaws I will be redoing for outdoor art projects. He has river rock in her garden we will hopefully get for the new landscaping project we’re planning this summer.

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Steel star, punched tin star, and a cute birdhouse that we will repaint for the garden!

I LOVE outdoor projects! IDK why, but I enjoy them far more than indoor things. Gardening and hard work are so good for the soul and body.

A storm, the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto, was positioned to hit our area of the Great Lakes yesterday, so we had to work fast before the storm blew in.

I had an old birch tree that we cut down years ago after it died. Later, we decorated the stump with shards of broken pottery, strawberry plants, succulents and used it as a planter for years. It finally rotted away totally, so this was where the new tree needed to live.

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my sad old stump, like the book The Giving Tree, she’s been repurposed many times since she died-with it’s shards of pottery crumbling away from it now, from the last incarnation as a planter- and the oregano, columbine, and lemon balm growing wild-

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R digging out the old stump. My garden’s been absolutely neglected due to health issues and is being re-landscaped this summer.

Once planted, we discovered that the tree was missing 6 blue wine bottles. A friend generously donated the remainder to me-. My dad and I finished the decorating of the tree… and we were very pleased with the results.

We didn’t get the labels off til the next day, as the storm blew in before that could happen.


SO, the next day, we put down a rock garden beneath the bottle tree, planted some flowers, and installed little plants and fairy things for a fairy garden. The rocks provided the tree with additional stability in case of a wind storm.

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Little fairy garden

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Fairy house and ‘tree’ nestled in the rocks

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after the rain

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so much more to do, but she’s in love with the whimsical garden and so are we!

Maisie was absolutely enchanted with it.

We also planted 2 types of heirloom tomatoes and some cucumbers in the purple ‘bunny bed’. My kid expects fresh cukes to be growing on the fence every year- they’re her favorite things to eat.

We have SO MANY more beds to clean and re-plant/landscape. Since we use a majority of reclaimed/recycled materials in our landscaping, things have to be updated or redone every year or so.

I am having health issues, so it is slow going. Hoping to get back outside tomorrow and start gardening again!

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Purple Hamsa DIY Birdhouse Art Project

I received a birdhouse from a friend this week and re-did it to live on the hammock post.

It was originally a plain wooden birdhouse, nothing particularly special about it.
Maisie and I spray painted it purple, painted the brackets a hot pink, then attached it to the top of the post.

I wasn’t happy with it, so I drew a Hamsa which is good luck against evil eye in many faiths and cultures, using sharpies. I did it freehand and it would have looked better, but Maisie insisted on swinging on the hammock, shaking the post as I drew.

I was perched precariously on a step stool at the time- and I have really bad vertigo lately from weird ear crystal issues- so I just wanted to get this done with.

I love the way it turned out! It’s looks pretty hippy dippy 🙂

 

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Hot Pink Mr Bunny Garden Makeover and “Fairies Are Super Cool” vid

The garden/landscaping project continues!

We had a forlorn little terracotta garden rabbit that was hidden in the brush, unpainted, and I wanted to paint it and give the poor old thing a makeover.

he was originally something like the above- I didn’t take a before picture, though.

Maisie INSISTED on choosing the spray paint colors this go ’round, so he had to be hot pink. I didn’t do the greatest job with the spray painting, I honestly just wanted to get it over with. However, it looked really creepy without ‘real’ looking eyes, so the child insisted Mr. Bun get them.

 

I didn’t have any craft paint, so we used sharpies, which turned out to her satisfaction, as far as hot pink bunnies go.

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The made-over Mr Bun

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he also got a nose and mouth

He still looks a little sad and lonely, but at least he now has pizzazz and eyes.

Maisie was very pleased with this project, so all’s well that end’s well!

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Copper and Pewter Ware DIY

I bought a ton of pewter dollhouse 1:12 scale miniature cookware and plates, etc recently for the cabin.

I wanted some to be copper, so I painted some of them.

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I love the way they look in the cabin!

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse- Making A Colonial Style Tilt Table and Rustic Benches

Daddy and Maisie playing peekaboo in the log cabin

The cabin definitely needed a table. I decided on a tilt style colonial table and found a vintage House of Miniatures kit on eBay that I wanted to use.

We are SO happy with how it turned out!

Tilt top tables were a space saving innovation in those days, used mostly in poorer (but obviously not dirt poor) homes where space was at a premium.

I distressed and stained it using existing photos found online as a guide.

The table has no chairs, so I cut out some shapes to make benches. I ended up making two- when not in use (cmon, they’re never in use), I push one on either side of the fireplace. Also pleased with how these turned out:

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not easy to see, but the benches are on either side of fireplace

We also got a teeny Maltese china dog in that we named Ruby after my aunt’s little Maltese. Ruby lives with Gabriel, our resident log cabin Labrador Retriever. Maisie loves them so much. She takes them for ‘walks’ before bedtime.

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(Pictorial) Log Cabin Dollhouse-Making Braided Rugs

The old rug in the house was actually an antique crocheted pot holder that I put in there when I was 12. I decided it was time to make a ‘real’ rug for the cabin.

I used antique embroidery cotton that I had (Yeah, I stockpile old sewing stuff and linens *sigh*).

First, I made a ton of strings to braid. Did I mention that I DETEST braiding?!

Sewing this took FOREVER- probably over a week or more, so my sister, who is staying with me during her cancer treatments, took over the sewing of it and finished this rug in a couple of days. She even sewed it when she was in the hospital- that’s dedication!

It turned out a little bumpy, but I don’t mind. I glued a cotton backing on the thing after it was done being sewed together. I love it 🙂

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Part 14 of the Dumpster Diaries: Finishing the Back Room AND Bye Bye Dumpster! (plus other updates).

I *thought* I had a half finished blog post draft saved, but when I went to find it, it was gone.

It’s been SO BUSY around here that I have had barely enough time to think, much less write.

I am NOT going to post more pics of the back room til I get more decorating done- most people are shocked currently by the incredibly orange walls LOL! It has to be entirely finished to understand… I am doing a hippie dippy music theme melange in there. I feng shui’d the CRAP outta that room, to boot.

Here is a rundown of what happened:

~Finished the back room drywalling and painted the walls/ceiling.
~Added an area rug that the neighbors didn’t want anymore
~Moved the sofa bed from the front porch(!!) to the back room
~Assembled and set up the desk
~They took away the dumpster(and I miss it already)

We still have to:

~Finish decorating back room
~Move the rest of our clothes from the back room closet to the master bedroom walk in closet
~Get all of Sam’s crap that’s piled to the ceiling out of the dining room
~Hang the Ikea Kirp shelves for his video games and books
~Wait for the art to arrive from Thailand

What else I did (mostly purchases for back room):

~Ordered curtain panels from India

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

~Ordered white wooden plantation blinds for the windows

plantation blinds

plantation blinds

~Ordered some awesome throw pillows for the sofa

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

this album isn't his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

this album isn’t his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

The dumpster was taken away last Friday… I must admit, I am really sad to see it go.

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View from my porch… it was almost TOO full by the time they came to get it

bye bye dumpster...

bye bye dumpster…

We will probably be renting another one in a month when we start the downstairs bathroom renovations. This thing was almost TOO full by the time they took it back. R and the rest of the guys spent the last day filling it with refuse and junk from the basement and garage. They didn’t even bother telling me what they were tossing out- I told them not to.

Sam leaves tomorrow for the Pax Prime convention in Seattle and will be gone for a week. My dad has cataract surgery tomorrow morning and will be spending the night here because it’s closer to his doctor’s. Connor and Maisie’s birthdays (and my dad’s) are coming up in the next 2 weeks- and school starts on the 8th!

I have to devote my time to finding birthday presents, planning parties, getting back-to-school supplies, AND CLEANING THIS F*CKING HOUSE UP! I am toying with the idea of hiring some of the cleaning out at this point.

2 of our Dyson vacuum cleaners decided to die within a week of each other. The last one started going out 2 days ago. This is not good when you have 3 giant, perpetually shedding Newfoundland dogs.

Also, last but not least, Maisie is finally starting to walk!