Easter Flower Arrangements

I went to my parents house this afternoon, where I helped my mom get her house ready for her tea party tomorrow night. She wanted a center piece for her dining room table so I went through her home and found a couple of baskets laying around .
20130320-135425.jpgFor this arrangement I used a magazine storage box.

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My original plan was to make only one basket, but once I got started I was having too much fun and had to make another one. She had just purchased some pansies to plant outside, but since it has been too cold lately they were still waiting in their containers to be planted.  My mom had also cut down a lot of vines and pruned some branches from her curly willow trees, both of these were going to work perfectly. I was outside gathering the clippings when I discovered some beautiful moss in the grass and also some weeping ‘silver leaf’ to fill the baskets empty spaces. On my gathering expedition I also found a couple of decorating pieces to use, little iron birds and small eggs in a carton.  I ended up using plastic bags for filler at the bottom of the baskets and from there I just has fun playing around with the different elements.  Due to the fact that the containers were so different I wanted to use the same elements in the arrangements to bring the two together, but at the same time play off of the different styles of the containers.  I had so much fun and am really please with the finished arrangements!

Terrariums

There is something so wonderful about digging my hands deep into the soil, discovering the life that lives beneath the surface and becoming apart of the natural world around me.  It’s been much too cold lately to really get my hands in the soil, I have been pruning and cleaning the area around the plants and tending to the new growth.  I have been inspired lately by indoor plants and mini gardens, but when it comes to indoor plants I usually get overwhelmed when the plant gets too large and ends up looking tall and lanky instead of short and bubbly.  For a couple years now I have wanted to try my had at making a Terrarium and well, today was the day!

I have seen a number of great images online for various designs and layouts and took a few of these to heart when designing my own terrarium.  I had a glass apothecary jar that I was using to store my son’s soother in when he was only a few months old, but he hasn’t had any desire for a soother for at least 7 months now and that beautiful glass apothecary jar has only been collecting dust.  This morning I stepped outside to hunt down all of the supplies I needed for our little ecosystem – I got all of my instructions from Sprout Home, which not only gave me great inspiration, but also the perfect instructions and maintenance for our garden. I got the small drainage stones and a couple mosses form our garden, the sterilized soil (as not to add any insects or bacteria into the space), a moss and a small tropical plant from the garden centre and the last item, activated charcoal, I picked up at our local pet store.  There were some tutorials that said the charcoal wasn’t required but made for a more difficult maintenance in the end.   The charcoal absorbs the impurities and helps keeps the soil fresh and the plants from rotting.  When I spoke to a sales staff at the garden centre she informed me that I shouldn’t use any fertilizer as it encourages growth, which is what you don’t want in a mini garden.  She also informed me that I want to pinch off any parts of the plant to keep it on the smaller side.  Of course these tidbits made sense to me, but its always great to have a professional give you those tidbits!

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Now that I had all of my supplies in order, including a glass apothecary jar with a lid, several types of specialty mosses (two from our garden and one form the garden center), stones, soil, and activated charcoal I was ready to begun. I wanted to build a closed terrarium, as I love the look of a little condensation and moss, so once I close the lid, aside form watering it I will almost never need to open the lid again; it will become a beautiful self-sustaining ecosystem.

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The first layer I added was the loose moss  to absorb some of the extra water that runs through the drainage rocks.

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The activated charcoal/carbon was added after the pebbles.

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I sloped the soil so there could be a front and a back.

IMG_6543Here is the beautiful pink and green tropical plant I added to give the terrarium a little extra oomph.  I am going to find a little porcelain figurine to add to this little world, but couldn’t find one while I was out today.

IMG_6545Here you can see the finished product and the beautiful layers that make up this precious eco system.  Once all of the ingredients were gathered this little DIY project took less than 30 minutes to assemble.  I am really happy with the outcome and the only thing I would change would have been to use a taller apothecary jar, but I wanted to use the jar I had on hand.  I also love that even the blackest thumb can try their hand at gardening without too much investment and in the end is a very easy garden to care for!

Down Comes the Wall

There was this terrible wall in the center of our house, it made the space feel cramped and  although it housed the washer and dryer, provided more storage and more wall space for the baseboard heaters (no gas in this house), it needed to go.  When we first walked into the house I saw the wall and knew it had to go!  It has a small opening from the front room to the Kitchen, but for the most part it split the house in two.  The two small rooms were awkward dimensions and  I knew as soon as the wall was down the entire space would brighten up!  Below is the wall from the Kitchen side.DSC_0026

Here is the wall from the Living room side.

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Mr J. and my Father-In-Law got a little stir crazy one day (this happens often) and made the executive decision to cut a hole in the wall.  After a few hours of sawing, cutting, electrical inspection, crawl space crawling and clean up, there was a decent sized hole in the wall.  I didn’t want the wall, but I also didn’t want a big hole in the wall either.  To me it felt as though it was a small solution to a larger problem and I felt as though taking the entire wall down was only going to be delayed further. The image below is looking into the family room from the middle of the Kitchen.

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Little did I know Mr. J the “new” Renovating Master had arrived!  This wasn’t a stall in tearing down the wall, but a much needed cost free breathing hole while we waited for the beam on order.  4 weeks past and we were given a couple weeks notice before the beam arrived.  The center wall was striped down to the 2×4’s, electrical moved and flooring torn up!

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Within weeks the engineered beam had arrived!  With the fridge stalked with beer and the friends on their way, the room joining adventure was almost complete!  The boys had to build ceiling supports on either side of the beam location and then with all the strength they could muster, the beam was hoisted into place.

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Taadaa! The supports where taken down and the ceiling didn’t fall to the floor! As you can see there was soo much dust to clean up, but it was done and my heart was floating! The greatest thing about removing a center wall is that a stippled ceiling is basically irreparable, the flooring is ruined and the living space is now in need of a complete re-haul!!!  Fantastic, it is exactly what I envisioned for the house!

Something old into something new!

As I was helping a friend plan her wedding this summer I came across this ugly frame for free in front of our neighbours house.  It has been sitting in the garage for some months until I could decide exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I came across a few ideas on Pinterest and with my husbands help we have some new art.  And part of me felt bad painting over another Artists photo, someone put time and energy into painting this masterpiece and all I wanted to do is toss that painting and makeover the frame. I got over this feeling quick and was ready to start creating!

So here she is, just BURSTING with potential.

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My vision for this DIY was to create something that could fill a few voids in our home.  I wanted somewhere we could put up family pictures because we don’t have a single picture up in our house of our family.  I also wanted it to serve as the front of our fridge.  Our beautiful LG doesn’t have a magnetic surface, thus there is nowhere to put up little bits of art or birth announcements.   Seeing as it is still the middle of winter, it’s minus one and there is snow on the ground.  It was pretty easy to come up with an excuse to put it off, but I figured that while I had a strong artsy drive I might as well make it happen.  There is a section along our fence line where the ground is exposed to the sun all day and thus the snow has all melted, its the only dryish spot on our lawn.  With the painting remove, I laid a sheet of plastic on the ground and with the high gloss spray paint I bought, I went to town on the frame.  Painting the frame was merely the first step to the process.  I wanted wire to span the expanse and I knew I wanted to add something more than pictures, but I didn’t really know exactly what I was looking for.  Mr. J was a huge help – figuring out how this was all going to work out and with his brain power and patience for my indecisiveness it all came together!

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I wanted to make sure that I could have the pictures both vertically and horizontally and I love that it can hold the standard 4×6 photo.  Its going to be great for adding christmas cards, I can easily add and remove pictures without trying to store awkward sized photos once I am done seeing them everyday and when we get photos in the mail of our friends and family we have somewhere to put them up.  Its going to be an ever changing piece of art for our house – perfect!

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I am going to move some pictures around a little and make sure that where they are is perfect, but for now its done!

Paxton’s Cake Smash

My Sweet little boy has turned one!!!  It has been an amazing year and he has blessed our lives beyond belief! My brother Brendan  is always more than willing to help me see my visions to fruition, so he took photos.  I have been seeing these great cake smashes for a child’s first birthday and wanted to have one for our little boy.

This year has been all about getting it done, so I made a cake, decorated the wall with the ribbon alter I made for a friends wedding, stripped Paxton to his diaper and let him at it!

First Cake Something Catches his Eye Almost there And he goes for the candle Umm Icing Eating the Candle Handful Delish Sprinkles Fun

Oh, this kid is such a ham!!  I LOVE HIM!