Saturday, April 11, 2015

Junque in the Garden Part 1

Its that time of year again for Spring's peek-a-boo game: now you see me, now you're covered in snow. Spring can be so moody.

The perennials and volunteers are popping up and I'm nursing some annuals indoors waiting for the overnight temps to move above freezing. 

My favorite garden planning, though, is the garden junque, because its unkillable. In fact, it appears to thrive with neglect. My kind of gardening, hands down. Everything else is so picky about needing water. ~sigh~ 

Garden Junque #1: Rusted & Patina'd Key Chime

My favorite keys are the one's with the green patina. ~love~ I followed this tutorial for creating rust and patina with vinegar and salt. Its a simple process but time consuming. 

To create, I raided the junk drawer and collected a bunch of we-don't-know-what-this-key-goes-to  keys, key rings, and random metal pieces to hang them by. Do you see the clothespin-metal-thingy, yep, random stuff. 

Its Spring Cleaning at its best: you get a clean drawer and an awesome garden decoration. 

This adorable metal butterfly was a garage sale find. Its those giant eyes and clunky feet that stole my heart. 

Here they are together buried in the snow.

Garden Junque #2: refurbished wooden crate
This old crate was a curb find. I had dropped my daughter off at school and was driving home when I saw two guys cleaning out their garage. A growing pile of goodies sat on the sidewalk. Immediately, I stopped the car, jumped out (in my pajamas), and asked if I could take the crate. Just before I asked, one of the men said, "Here they come." Sounds like they were anticipating some curb alert enthusiasts. Glad I was the first! 

It was a bit to big and deep for me to figure out what to do with it. So, I cut it up in the hopes of turning into two smaller crates. The wood was actually more degraded than I thought, so some of the pieces literally started falling apart when I tried to nail them back together. So far I have one mini-crate made and I'm deciding what to do with the leftover pieces.

I just love the rusty nail heads and the way they have bled into the wood. 

Its currently holding six primrose plants. The crate makes it easy to take them inside during the freezing nights, then back out for some sun during the day. 

Garden Junque #3: Recycled Owl
A quick search in Pinterest for a recycled owl yield so many adorable owls! Here is my own take on it:

This won't be his permanent home. I'd like to create some sort of recycled branch for him to sit on. That should be a fun project! 

There are more junque-y finds in my garden but they look better with flowers in them. Part 2 coming shortly! 

Elizabeth and Co.Featured in June Garden Party, Click Here for more lovely garden tours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pocket Paris Present

This is a combo gift for a family member. Its just a fun little something to send along with a book I've been meaning to pass their way. I like unexpected things, in the mail or by hand, and hope they enjoy this cutesy tag-a-long. 

Supplies: old metal container, Kilz primer, acrylic paint, not pictured: Mod Podge
Click here for this Paris city template:

painted the inside with French flag colors
sealed with Mod Podge

I'm coupling this present with this book: Finding Home by Jim Daly. Not saying that Paris should be home, although that point could be argued favorably, lol. I'm all for some quality wine, cheese, and bread. 

“I should be insane—or in jail.”
Instead, Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family managed to rise above his harrowing childhood that began in the Compton suburb of Los Angeles. In this deeply personal memoir, he relives horrors no child should endure. A bloodcurdling neighborhood murder merely serves as the backdrop to the abuse and alcoholism within the four walls of his own home, a cycle broken only by the cancer that leaves him motherless. Orphaned by twelve, he somehow managed to catch enough glimpses of grace that he knew he wanted more, both from himself and from a God he had to believe existed.

This story left me figuratively speechless because I couldn't shut up about it. Like a puppy I followed my husband around our kitchen going on and on and on about this man's story. I totally agree with Jim Daly, he should be insane or in jail. Its an incredible story that it worth the read and I highly recommend it. I still find myself thinking about it and I read the book over two years ago!

If you've read it, or after you do, let me know what you think/thought. I wish I'd read this in a book club, so much food for thought. 

Now I just need to find a travel size Italy for myself! 

Friday, April 3, 2015


If I had a quarter, no, a nickle, for every time I said, "NO MORE STUFFIES!!!" I wouldn't have to worry about a 401K. Despite my verbal resolve to never allow another fluff-stuffed animal into the house, I still find them sneaking in and laying around on the floor. Always on the floor. Always.on.the.floor. I know there are other mothers out there who feel my pain as we yet again kick a marble eyed teddy-bunny-horsey-whatever-annoying-stuffy-it-is out of the walkway. Can't just be on the floor, has to be in the way on the floor.

Stuffy Zoo
I tried a stuffy rotation by hiding half of them in bags and storing it next to the Christmas decorations. The kids found them and we had a stuffy explosion. ~sigh~ Then we donated some and I even chucked a couple in the trash, shhhhhhhhh! Don't tell!

Then a genius posted a Stuffy Zoo and I nearly wanted to fall down on the ground and kiss the stuffy-free-ground they walk on! Amazing idea! And a quick sweep of Pinterest gives different options for the "bars" of the zoo: rope, bungee cords, elastic strips, or dowels. A totally doable idea.

Here is my take: 
A while back I took apart a dresser and created toy storage for my kids. My daughter ended up with the drawer-less part for her pony and doll buildings. Then she got a real doll house and this was no longer needed.

The original backing had fallen off so I replaced it with pallet boards and then painted it in Trattoria Teal to match the Fence Pieces Bookshelf in the basement. 

The "bars" are wooden dowels salvaged from an old VCR shelf. They weren't quite long enough so a small wooden board was added to the bottom. These were attached with Gorilla Glue and finishing nails. So far it looks like they are durable enough for some tugging. 


 And this isn't all of the stuffies we have...just the ones that aren't on their beds. 

Its an unfinished glamour shots here! 

How do you handle stuffed animals?