Weeds for Sale – Dirt Cheap! A Fun Garden Sign

Weeds for Sale – Dirt Cheap! A Fun Garden Sign

  Weeds 4 Sale - Dirt Cheap! DH replaced the steps leading to our basement, so I took the old boards and painted a sign for the garden - my "step garden" behind my garage. I'll show you the before and afters of that later, but for now, here is how I did my sign (super easy): 1. Grab a board, any board. I used an old one with chippy paint - very rustic and not good for much else. 2. Hand draw your wording - you don't have to be perfect. Just write it on and paint the letters with black paint and a little paint brush. I saw this saying on Pinterest - by Shelley at Sow and Dipity. She has so many really cute signs.   3. Take some sand paper and rough it up a bit to make it consistently Continue reading

Gardening Tip – Mulching the Garden with Straw

Gardening Tip – Mulching the Garden with Straw

We got a very late start in gardening - when we were in Michigan and raising kids, we tried raising a garden. I still remember that photo that we took of the one lone ear of corn. The ground was apparently empty of neutrients because nothing grew - N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Of course, it didn't help that we had no idea what we were doing.   But three years ago we bought a house on an acre of land in Wisconsin that had an old overgrown fenced in garden with grape vines along one side. We tripled it in size last year and have been working on improving the soil.  Why Mulch With Straw? 1. The straw helps keep the moisture from evaporating rapidly from the soil in the heat. 2. The straw helps keep the weeds at bay by limiting the sun Continue reading

DIY Pot Rack – Pendant Lights or Industrial Wood?

DIY Pot Rack – Pendant Lights or Industrial Wood?

Caution: This is a really looonnng post - first the background story of a win/loss/win, 2 sets of before and afters and a detailed description of the final DIY project! It all started with a giveaway...   I Won a Pendant Light! Back in January C.D. Loken at CD's Country Living had a giveaway and I won: "In honor of CD’s Country Living’s blogging anniversary, Parrot Uncle generously agreed to send one lucky winner this LARGE (18.11 x 9.06) Retro-Industrial Light with Pot cover shade ($45 value)!"     Best Laid Plans Today I can finally tell you about it. It was a long time in coming... Parrot Uncle asked me if I'd like to have a second pendant light for my kitchen to go along with Continue reading

Direct Composting – Improving Garden Soil

Direct Composting – Improving Garden Soil

No Bin No Way We considered buying a rotating compost bin for our garden to use scraps from the kitchen to improve our garden soil, but they were all pricey and I didn't like the idea of having to dump our scraps into a stinky bin and having to turn it to keep it aerated.   You may call it lazy, but I call it efficient. My schedule is so tight, I'm all about quick and easy with few steps in between. Plus, we have a lot of winter here in Wisconsin and I don't like tromping through the snow!   I did a search (naturally!) and came up with the term "direct composting," or "trench composting." Basically you just dig a trench in your garden and dump in your scraps and bury them. Easy peasey! We tried it Continue reading

A Family Dresser Rescue – April FFFC

A Family Dresser Rescue – April FFFC

Fab Flippin' Furniture Contest "Pure Colors, Original Elegance"   Preserving Family Memories is a Comfort to the Soul Back in 1978 we bought a set of dressers from my parents for $50 just after we were married. Years later my mom wanted them back so we traded for the set she had at the time. I've since given the upright dresser to my DD and kept the other for my walk in closet:     Do you have reminders of your parents around the house? Have you considered the FACT that one day your loved ones will move on? Are you preparing to have a piece of them close by for memory sake? My dad passed away when I was 26 (30 years ago) and my mom a year ago. Continue reading

10 DIY Projects to Upcycle Old Picture Frames + A FREE Printable!

10 DIY Projects to Upcycle Old Picture Frames + A FREE Printable!

We downsized recently and have 4 boxes of old picture frames filled with my kid's pictures. I don't have much wall space in this new house, so I needed to figure out what to do with all the frames. Boxes and boxes of frames... Not only am I a Mom of Many; I am also a photographer. 15 8x10 frames of school pictures on one wall from my old house... various framed candids, family pictures, sports pictures, baby pictures etc. all over the other walls. That's a lot of frames!   After a bit of research online I have come up with some fab ideas to share with you. Actually I did this for me, but you are free to join the party. I encourage you to click on each original source to see the ones Continue reading

DIY Chunky Photo Frame – Re-purpose Old Picture Frames Part 3

DIY Chunky Photo Frame – Re-purpose Old Picture Frames Part 3

  I have picture frames up the wazoo! Seriously, I must have more than three or four dozen wood frames packed in boxes… In the garage, In the basement, In my craft closet, In my blanket chest… Nope. There aren’t any blankets in it. Just picture frames. Some day I will paint that blanket chest with chalk paint and actually use it for blankets. When you raise 15 kids like we did and tote a camera around with you 24/7, your house easily turns into a virtual scrapbook.   Now we are empty nesters (yay for us!) and have downsized.   So I have to justify keeping all my frames and not just “Give them all away to Goodwill to be rid of Continue reading

Deck Railing into Fall Porch Ladder Upcycle

Deck Railing into Fall Porch Ladder Upcycle

  I've got a quick how-to for you because many have asked about the ladder I have on my porch. It's rather simple, mind you. Like 15 minute simple.   Deck Railing into Fall Porch Ladder Upcycle   While at my DD and SIL's home renovation they ripped off their deck-ish type of backyard railing. Here it is in the raw, Isaac and Dad taking it off their back porch:   Rather than toss it, I grabbed it for a future project.   This is my DH - and if you can read his mind, he's thinking... "Here she goes again, getting me to haul off more crap for some future project."     One can of Continue reading

Desk Flip – September FFFC Geometric Design Contest

Desk Flip – September FFFC Geometric Design Contest

  The Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest challenges DIY bloggers to create a great piece of furniture following certain guidelines. #sponsored   This contest is sponsored by General Finishes who donated a blogger's choice product to finish the piece.       The theme was "geometric design."   GEOMETRIC?!?!   How do you incorporate geometric design on a piece of furniture, and in my case, a desk? Why, with Mod Podge, of course!   Let's start with a "before" picture. Brace yourself, it's pretty sad...     My DH and I found it alongside the road. It Continue reading

DIY Tomato Cages – Save the Maters!

DIY Tomato Cages – Save the Maters!

We made our own tomato cages   ...because those tomato cages you buy at Menards are so stinkin' expensive!   We started out with the skinny wire ones that were left in the garden by the previous owners. FAIL.   Then we graduated on to the heavy duty ones - but only bought two - $8 each is crazy, don't you think? In my uber-frugal mind that is a FAIL.   When you have 50+ tomato plants there is no way you can justify $400 for cages.   No way. We'd already put a grand into our new garden so there was no way we would put out another $400 for cages.   So we made our own...out of concrete reinforcing mesh. We cut up a big roll of the mesh and made about 35 of Continue reading