Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In the Garden with birds....

For the last several weeks, I have been enjoying many Crowned Sparrows and finches and most of all our bluebirds.
I have even gotten into buying mealworms for the birds.....
This has become expensive, but short of raising my own mealworms (I don't think so) I will keep it up. The Bluebirds now come when they see me, chortling and even singing. There are several places where I have been putting the worms for all the birds, but the bluebirds got a special spot in the sideyard just for them...and they know it!
If the worms are gone, the female, now called "Ladybird" comes to the window and begs...really!
She has become quite friendly, and though she isn't on my shoulder or anything, she is close. She knows the dogs and they know her....quite fun.
There is a site online, allaboutbirds.com, that gives their info and sounds....

Ladybird has been building a nest in the bluebird box we have in the jacaranda tree.....I can't wait! In the meantime, I must buy more worms....they will expect them when babies arrive.
Enjoy your day....
Nancy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The corner cabinet

Years and years ago, I found a corner bookcase for sale. At the time, it was a week's worth of groceries, but Hubby said to get it....
So, I did.
There isn't a picture of it that I can find, but it was a honey colored pine...and it lived for years in the corner of our bedroom holding prized knick-knacks.
Then, somewhere along the way, it was moved and painted a bright white.
It has lived in the "craft" room for many years now, all white....and too bright.
A few months ago, a little more than 6 months I think, I painted the outside portion French Linen. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it on the inside, and all my embroidery thread is stored there....
Then, yesterday, the lightbulb went off when I was painting the little planter.....
So, off I went, mid laundry and while the planter was still drying, and started to paint the inside duck Egg Blue....

This shows you the bright white and the changes....
The original plan was to do a dry brush of Old White over the Duck Egg Blue, but I just couldn't. I like the pop of color and I am really tired of the white....
So, when the Duck Egg dried, I finished off the the rest of the shelves with French Linen....
So, after a couple of hours...here is what I have....


I think my embroidery colors look brighter somehow...
The funny story was....I had just put the thread organizer back on the shelf and left. I was in the kitchen when I heard a sound....it even made the dogs bark. I went down the hall, and there all over the floor were all the spools of embroidery thread and the holder....
It had slipped off and fallen! Yikes!
I had to pick each one up and replace them...There are 60 spools on the rack. I think some are still lost deep under the bed!
Oh well, with my back being grumpy, I wasn't going to push it more, so those spools will just have to wait.....
So, what do you think?
To me it feels calmer...and I am eyeing the chair rail....really....
Nancy

Monday, April 14, 2014

Changing a Ceramic Planter

Ah, you thought I meant in the garden, right?
Nope, not this time.
You see, this was one of the planters that my neighbor gave me. I wasn't entirely fond of its color, it just didn't "send" me....so, out came the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...and this is what I did....


Yes, you can really paint on a glazed ceramic planter......
I chose Duck Egg Blue for the base color....

Then, when it was dry (about a load of laundry's worth of time), I dry brushed over it with French Linen....
Then after that, I waxed it with clear and then some dark wax....
and then it went to live in our master bath ...
Ta Da!!! Now, Hubby can grab a washcloth easily....
Tomorrow, I will show you another project I got to doing.....
Nancy

Friday, April 11, 2014

In the Garden

I have been out of commission....my back is "out".
But, I wanted to show you my roses in the front....they are so beautiful this year.....perhaps it is just the paint behind them....or is it the new fertilizer I am using?
 This isn't the best picture for you.....It was late in the day.....
 That red rose, "In the Mood" is just beautiful this year....
 And "Sentimental" is the best ever....
Of course the other plants growing all around are "Love In a Mist" that a neighbor gave me a few years ago....they always come back....
But even my hanging ivy geranium is doing extra well....I am loving this new fertilizer...
What is the new stuff? "SeaGrow".....it is a water soluble fertilizer that is organic. It is amazing.....
Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend....
Nancy

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Kind of Tomato tower

Last year, Hubby and I bought really cool towers for our tomatoes, well, for two at least....
Here is one of them from last year. They are quite sturdy. And, we wanted more. We went to the store and they didn't have them, and actually didn't know what we were talking about!
So, we decided to create our own.....




So, here it is in place. Where is the tomato? Well, this one is for my king beans!
And yes, you did see...we made the cross pieces with rulers! Actually, yardsticks....and some stir sticks! They were cheap and accessible...so, Hubby cut them and attached them...it works.....
Also,  the neighbor give us a bunch of pots.....

Isn't that awesome?? So nice of him....
Hope you had a great day in the sun....
Nancy

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Saving water and $$$

Ok, so someone asked...really why??
Yes, it is a silly looking contraption...that works....
The last big rain storm (Mar. 1) gave us 35+ gallons of rainwater. Which we at the time put into the rain barrel bucket by bucket.
The gallons were used to water our precious tomatoes and other plants.
Hubby, being dutiful to the drought, cut our sprinkler system to three days a week at roughly 3 mins a station. Using the rain water and cutting the system...we saved $35 on our water bill....
Yeah, funny looking contraption....great water bill....
We are trying to do our part....and it appears that just this little rain barrel works....
This morning we caught another 10 or so gallons of water off the front roof....which was used to water my pots that do not get water except when I water. No hose was required...just a little bucket.
We have also incorporated water saving granules in pots out front to further reduce the need for water.
I should also add, that in remodeling the bathrooms we put in new low flow toilets (CA requirement by the way) and our new washing machine is High Efficiency (which is hard as I don't think it cleans as well).....so, those also add to cutting water demand.
But, still our water bill was pretty high....mostly garden demand....so, now we have succeeded in cutting it further with catching rain water......
In three months the rain barrel will have paid for itself.....
Just sayin.......

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday is Wash Day

In the old Wee Sing Silly Songs, there is a song that has the line "...Monday is Wash Day..."
When I was little it was too....well, at least you had to strip and change your bed and put the sheets inside the pillowcase and take it to the laundry room....later Mom had a service that came and did all the sheets and they would appear a week later perfectly pressed and folded.
Oh, really, she did....and I remember thinking that sheets had to go out to be cleaned. (I was the youngest....)
Of course, that doesn't happen here....sheets get stripped, changed and washed by Moi.....
I also mend them if they need it.
Afterall, we use linen sheetes and pillowcases, and they can get very pricey!
About 8 years ago or so, I found the most wonderful king size monogrammed linen pillowcases.
They were on Ebay, and already were antiques....sad....the most wonderful soft old pillowcases. I have mended them over the years, many times...but today when I pulled them out, they were beyond repair. They will move to the rag bag sadly.
As my Hubby was cleaning out his closet (yup he really did!), I told him we needed new ones. He stopped. The cost of King size linen pillowcases can be staggering.....
Then I had a brainstorm!
I went to the craft room and dug into my linen fabric drawer and found just the right amount of linen for two pillowcases! Of course they would be just the right length, so I dug a bit more and found a great addition to the pillowcases, also the perfect cut! So, for about 1 hour of labor I created two new king size pillowcases....no charge at all!!

The white linen was in the drawer from a large amount I bought for another project and the color band was originally from a skirt! This remnant was already cut and ready...imagine that....
These will go on next week.....
Have a great evening...
Nancy