Almost 3 years ago, our family took a hiking trip through Austria. It was a memorable trip for so many reasons and, as is the case with all of our trips, our family brought home many memories and several ‘ideas’.The day we started our trip, I spied what turned out to be an 'insect house'. I snapped a picture of it intent on building one when we got home.It took a couple of years, but we finally built our insect house.Why Build an Insect Hotel:As organic gardeners, we are firm believers and ‘encouragers’ of beneficial insects. We’ve seen firsthand what parasitic wasps can do to those nasty Tomato Horn Worms and how quickly a few ladybugs can decimate a horde of aphids. We welcome any and all bees to our humble garden and put out the welcome sign in the form of Bee Balm, Zinnia, Lavender and Dill.To that end, we are always looking for more ways to encourage those friendly bugs to make our home their home and this Insect Hotel is just another way to induce them.The nooks and crannies, leaves, tubes and drilled logs provide shelter year-round, but especially in the winter months, for an assortment of beneficial insects.Solitary bees will nest and lay their eggs in the bamboo tubes and the holes drilled in the logs. These pollinators are always welcome.Ladybugs and Lacewings will hunker down and nest in the leaves, pinecones and straw and devour any unwanted aphids and mitesGround beetles and hoverflies will burrow in the bundles of sticks and twigs. Both of these insects love to feast on aphids, hoverflies also do a good deal of pollinating!And while I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’m a fan of ‘lawn art’…this insect hotel not only is utilitarian but is a piece of lawn art to me.
These decorative tassels are an easy DIY. You can personalize them to fit any decor style or room style. I especially love the large wood bead tassels that I’ve seen about, so once I figured out how to drill the balls of wood, I was tickled to discover just how easy it is to DIY Decorative Tassels with large wood beads…now I just need more pieces of ‘tassel-able’ furniture!
I’m not sure what the genesis of these pillows was…hmmm…for some reason I just felt the need to make Conversation Heart Pillows. I have seen others out and about on the googler machine, but I wanted mine to really look like conversation hearts…with straight sides....in other words, a boxed heart pillow.
I am truly not a hoarder, but we have accumulated way too much stuff in our 30 years of marriage. Our home has an attic, as well as crawlspace storage, so it’s been very easy to stash stuff away without realizing exactly what we are stashing and what we are accumulating. When we undertook a major declutter, we wanted some incentive to keep us motivated and we came up with weighing how much clutter we removed and thereby how much lighter our home would feel.We removed over 1,000 pounds of clutter from our home over the course of 4 weeks. This is the 2nd week and we focused on decluttering our kitchen.
These wine stoppers take 15 minutes to make…start to finish. The hardest part will be having to drink all the wine for the corks…now just be responsible!
One of my favorite areas to decorate with each new season is my front porch.This week I set out to replace the sad and worn out plants that had done their job well all spring and summer. I’m still on my ‘shop the grocery store produce and floral department or Farmer's Market ’ kick that I started when I decorated the inside of my home this fall…it was so easy to carry that ‘theme’ to the outside.I stayed with a gray, green and white color scheme...I think it filled my current need for a bit more 'serene' in my world.
I’m back today with the how-to so that you can whip up a batch, bevy, flock (what do you call a bunch of pumpkins?) of these cuties.I initially planned to make a whole bunch of wee orange pumpkins, but after I made 8 of the orange ones I realized that I really wanted white ones. I’m decisive that way.
I’ve realized that I filling our home with the flavors and aromas of fall is as important as the fall decor to fully embrace the season. I hope you can take a little time out of your busy day to stop by my Fall Open House tour. I really focused on natural fall decor this year…for the most part my fall decor came from the produce and floral departments of my grocery store…except for the cotton boll garland that called to me from our local florist supply shop.As you come through our front door, you’ll be greeted by the bowl of Potpourri I made. It smells lovely sitting in the bowl; but I made it for simmering, which really releases the combination of delightful aromas. I prepared little bags of potpourri for you, so make sure you grab a bag and the ‘how to’ at the end of the tour.
These little DIY glass milk bottles were so fun to make and made use of otherwise discarded glass bottles. They are perfect for your zinnia bouquet or for a special drink. What fun party favors they would be too!I have mentioned many times before, but I am a firm believer in Kismet, which is simplydefined as destiny or fate.It was kismet that led my eyes to spy a case of Starbucks Frappuccino this past Friday whilst at Costco. I know my son truly loves iced coffee, but this truly falls into ‘frivolous’ spending to which I don’t typically succumb. But kismet prompted me to justify the purchase because a) it was on sale and b) I thought it’d be a fun ‘back to school’ treat. Then, as my son enjoyed these little beverage treats, it was that craft kismet that kept nagging me to do something with the cute little empty bottles. At first I brushed away this little nag…I mean, my crafting to-do list is a mile long and I don’t really need to be collecting empty glass bottles. Afterall, I just emptied my drawers of too many glass bottles when I did my big declutter last year and so have been hesitant to start adding clutter back.So into the recycling bin the first couple of glass bottles went.But then…kismet got me thinking.Those little glass milk bottles are fun for flowers and for beverages. And I could bump the ‘fun’ up a notch by personalizing the bottles by using my Cricut and stenciling a ‘label’.So on a rainy Monday, while I had laundry to fold and paint to paint, I instead did what kismet prompted me to do…I dug through the recycling bin to find the discarded bottles and then fiddled, crafted and ‘created’ these little glass milk bottles.
It's all about me...well, as it relates to my kitchen organization anyway. So...I 'built' my own kitchen drawer organizers and cannot be more pleased with the results...if for no other reason that my rolling pin now has a parking place and won't roll around every time I open the drawer.I have pondered and purchased various and assorted kitchen drawer organization options over the years, nothing really worked for me the way I wanted it to…plus, it’s just not very pretty.So recently I got a bee in my bonnet and set out to make my kitchen drawers just the way I wanted them to…and let’s just pause a minute and look how pretty my organized kitchen drawer looks.