Sunday, November 13, 2016

Vintage Iron Display - Decor for the Top of my Washer/Dryer

I couldn't decide what to do with these old irons that belonged to my mom, so I decided to display them on top of my dryer next to my homemade laundry powder. To keep these from scratching the metal on my dryer, I laid each one on top of black mesh shelf liner and cut around them.  Aren't they cute??

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Early Birthday Present - A Stackable Composting Bin

My husband surprised me this weekend with a homemade stackable composting bin he saw on the Internet. The way it works is that you unstack it and begin to add matter to the 1st section. A layer of browns (like dead leaves, newspaper, cardboard or straw) followed by a layer of greens (like grass clippings, coffee grounds or vegetable scraps). Add sections as needed to raise height of bin.

When you get ready to "turn" the compost, remove the top section of bin and set it as close to the other three sections as possible. Then just start moving the compost into the single section working your way through the entire stack of compost replacing tiers until all compost is moved over.

I love it!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

First Steps in Remodeling Daughter's Bedroom

Now that daughter has moved into her own apartment and is away at school, it's time for a complete redo!

All the before pictures, all pink and black with bed stripped down.

After photo's of bed and nightstand.

The nightstand was mine back in the 70's. It was yellow, green and orange back then, the popular 70's colors, yay. Then no telling how many times my Mom painted it. As I distressed it, I see Southwest pinks, turquoise, brown and some yellow. I'm leaving it like it is but I may replace the old drawer pull.

The bed has a newly purchased sherpa down comforter set from Bed Bath and Beyond, a handmade quilt made by my grandmother years ago, cream colored flannel sheets (because winter is not far off), a denim bed skirt that is actually for a king sized bed but I made it work by cinching it up in the middle and throwing the mattress back on top, and a denim colored chenille pillow. I want to add some farmhouse pillows as well. Maybe some with ticking stripe in colors other than blue.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Growing Cantaloupe from Seed a Neighbor Provided

These little cantaloupes are just now starting to produce here in Oklahoma. It is extremely hot here right now, I hope the fruit makes it! The seeds came from a neighbor who especially enjoyed the taste of the parent fruit. The seeds were dried out on a paper towel and placed in an envelope for a year. They were then taken to our master gardener friend down the road. Master gardener sprouted the seeds in her greenhouse and the plants were then distributed to some neighbors. I was lucky enough to receive 4 plants.

Just making sure as I find fruit that I place a little mulch under each one to keep the fruit from rotting or burning up in the soil.

The largest fruit on the vine so far

This is two of the vines

A smaller fruit on same vine

The smallest fruit that I found

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Getting Potato Vine for Free

If you have a Potato Vine or a friend has a Potato Vine and you want more of yours or some of theirs, you can cut the vine and grow more in water. All you have to do is cut the end of one of the runners.

Find the end of a runner, count up 5-6 leaf shoots (first picture shows a leaf shoot) and cut right below the last leaf shoot. Remove all the leaves from the bottom up, leave the leaves on the top. Put the vine in a mason jar of warm water. Sit it outside in a place where it will get sun, but not too hot.

I put this one out Saturday and it's already growing roots in only 3 days. After the roots reach the bottom of the jar, I'll plant it! These can be taken inside for the winter and repeat the process for more!

You no longer have to buy Potato Vine!

I took a couple of end off this potato vine for friends

Monday, August 1, 2016

My First Herb Harvest of 2016

 A small collection of Stevia, Chives, Basil and Rosemary.

I did not want my herbs to go to waste this year.
There will be much more to come before this season is over!
Now to put them in sections, tie them up and hang them up to dry.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Winning the Battle of the Spurge - Keeping a Lawn Beautiful

Every summer like clockwork I start the battle of the spurge. I'm highly against poisoning weeds but I do ask the hubby to poison once in spring, long after the first application of preemergence. This is because we also get spurweed in late spring which is extremely painful to pull by hand and there is so much of it. Your local privately owned lawn and garden center should be able to direct you to the correct weed killer for your area. Be sure you tell them specifically what you are battling. You can also bag samples to take with you as showing is better than describing. Make sure whatever they suggest is not going to kill your grass!

It seems though even after the preemergence and weed killer, we still get spurge and carpetweed.  I find it everywhere. I don't want to harm the butterflies, bees and birds so I've decided to hand pull the spurge. If you don't wear gloves, spurge will stain the sides of your fingers. It is also poisonous so be sure to wash your hands carefully if you opt out of wearing gloves.

Here is a photo I took of spurge. It seems to have one large root and expands from there and grows outward in a circle.

I'm sure God created spurge for a reason. I just don't want it in my lawn!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to Make Homemade Cleaning Disinfecting Wipes - Green Cleaning

These are very easy to make and cost effective. As noted below, I used grapefruit essential oil. This EO scent was able to cancel out the smell of the alcohol and the vinegar.

Some posts state to use paper towels. You can do this but I highly recommend a better, tougher brand of paper towel like Bounty or Brawny. I used the cheap kind I had on hand and found that when cutting the paper towel roll at the halfway mark, the paper shredded badly. The rolls were also just a little too large so I had to shove them into the recycled plastic Lysol wipe container. You could remove some of the paper towels first so that they fit better into the container. Just don't wantcha to be disappointed if the paper shreds! 

I think probably the better thing to do and I'll try this next time, is to cut many old rags into decent sized pieces and just pour the solution below over them.

Mix all this together, put your rags or towels into the recycled plactic container and pour the mixture over the top.

This is all-natural with no toxic chemicals. The vinegar and alcohol along with essential oils have disinfecting properties.
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 10 drops essential oil - I used Grapefruit EO
  • Recycled plastic Lysol or generic brand container

Musings about Pumpkins and How to Grow Them

Last year I started my pumpkin plants waaaaaay too late, August to be exact in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why I did that, I guess I just wanted to see what would happen. Well. I saw the seeds at Lowe's in August and thought it would be cool to try. They ended up getting powdery mildew and produced one small pumpkin which I promptly picked and put in my sitting area.

This year I made sure to get the seeds out in early June. I piled four mounds of garden soil and organic compost, each with 5 pumpkin seeds. I covered with cedar mulch to try to help keep the soil from washing away. This is what they look like today:
Notice the bloom on this one, top right?

This one mentioned above with the bloom has a little boy bloom.
 How do I know this is a boy? I Googled it, of course. 
Boys will have a long shoot with a bloom at the end, like this. 
Little girl blooms are much closer to the vine.
 I don't have a girl yet, but I'll be sure and provide a photo when I do

Monday, July 18, 2016

How to Spread the Love of Your Echinacea Purple Coneflower Plants

This planting area started out as 6 small clusters of plants grew from Burpee seeds. After the plants went through the blooming season in 2015, I let the blooms die off while still attached to the plant. Once the cone tops have dropped all their blooms and turned completely brown / black, snip (deadhead) the cone tops. Simply dig a small hole and drop the cone tops in spots where you want to fill in your area. I only partially cover the cone top with dirt. Next season you will have new Echinacea Purple Coneflower plants. Dig up as needed and share with others.

Deadhead this and partially cover with soil

Baby Echinacea Purple Coneflower

A bloom that self-deadheaded! I'm leaving it.