Thursday, July 12, 2018

Repurposing Grandpa's Ice Bucket

Having a home bar has been and is a thing for many people, though not quite us yet.  My wine glasses are used rarely, but often enough to keep the stemware within semi-easy reach, and were recently joined by my grandmother's pilsners after a visit to my mother's.  She also gave me my grandfather's silver ice bucket, which has a bit of added character thanks to a dent in the front.  After polishing it up I couldn't quite decide where to put it to use, as of course, I don't have an established bar area or "entertainment" cabinet.

The crafty nook?

Tucked away in the china hutch somewhere?

I've had it on the dining room table just sitting, waiting for inspiration for weeks now.

While straightening up the table, watering plants and switching out the patriotic placemats, I plopped a smaller plant into the bucket to get it out of my way, and, wouldn't you know it, that's where it's going to stay for the rest of the summer.

(I know, I know, I should iron the table runner, but you know what?  It's not going to happen right now.)

Perhaps Grandpa would approve of the repurposing considering we have quite enough ice in the freezer's dispenser.

No, I told you, I'm not ironing it.

The wrinkles go with the dent.

So there.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Summer Greenhouse Growth... FINALLY

Thanks to my late start and scaled-back plans for the greenhouse, I'm just now beginning to see the start of some productive growth.


As it turns out, being forced into a restful summer (see previous post) does nothing to curb one's tendency towards impatience.

Fine.  It does nothing to curb MY tendency. There.  I blogged it.

Blooms appearing on bell pepper plants. A single bloom on the lemon tree (some sort of pest attacked it when it overwintered indoors, so I had to treat and clean it like crazy to salvage it). One bright jewel on the tomatoes.  Cucumber vines taking over the place, attaching their tendrils to the tomato cage, with more climbing up toward the roof (seriously, where are you going?).  Perky, happy, bright flowers within and cheerful, tall wallflowers growing like weeds (and with them) surrounding the whole thing.

Not bad.  Not what I had envisioned during the spring, but pleasing nonetheless.

How does your garden grow this summer?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Unanticipated Start to Summer

It's been a while, and I'm in the mood to dive right on into this blog post and get everything off my chest. I know, I know, those are ~legs~.

With the school year coming to a close (I'm a kindergarten teacher for those new readers who may have somehow stumbled across this, my crafting blog) in May, I found myself diagnosed with a blood clot in my left leg, a DVT, three days before the last day of school.  See the swelling?  A week and a half or so later, three pulmonary embolisms were found in my lungs and it was discovered that I was severely anemic.  So anemic, and with such a low hemoglobin count that I was *this close* (.6 on whatever scale is used) to requiring a blood transfusion.  

Nothing like being an overachiever.

I'm on blood thinner therapy, have refrained from juggling knives and chainsaws, take three iron supplements daily, have modified my diet and have been sleeping, sleeping, and more sleeping. This unanticipated start to summer has been filled with a lot of this:

... and not much of what I had originally planned. Thankfully, every day gets a bit better. Buck has become my napping companion:

 I get to eat iron-rich meals like this:

And every day I have a bit more energy and motivation, a very, v-e-r-y gradual return of my mojo.

Plans for the greenhouse were scaled back significantly.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, forsythia, basil and flowers are the only things planted this year.

Small jobs such as sorting my yarn used up all of the energy I could muster a week and a half ago:

... while today I was able to clear all of the kitchen countertops so I could give them the thorough cleaning that they desperately needed.  It's only fair that the person who deep-cleaned the kitchen be the one to mess it up to make cookies, right?

Yes, I thought so too.

So that's where I've been.  That's what's been going on.  That's this summer's adventure (so far).  My only other plans are to keep following the doctor's orders, remembering my meds, and taking all the time necessary to heal, though I'm hoping that I'll be able to indulge in some crafty, creative who-knows-what sooner rather than later.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Setting the Table with a Spring Centerpiece

Galvanized three-tier... doohickey?

Top tier filled with silk flowers and greenery, decorative eggs and a bunny figurine plopped in for good measure.

Plain white paper napkins.

Pioneer Woman placemats (they're red with white polka dots on the backside).

And now the table is set for Easter brunch.  Lunch.  Dinner.

Whatever it turns out to be.

Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!  

Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring Cleaning the Greenhouse

Despite snow in the forecast, it's time to spring-clean the greenhouse:

Dusty cobwebs, brown leaves...

Remains of my first forsythia starts and blueberry bushes...

Grapevines, holly, mums... will any part of them return to green?

Leftover planting cells, empty pots...

Floors swept, branches and limbs checked, hints of green discovered.  

Open windows, clean and sort, listen to Michael Buble and John Mayer.  Music is essential.

Hello, Elephant.

Table cleaned, porch and yard items tucked away until spring's official arrival...

... and there's my star-topped "tree!" I still haven't decided if I'll fill the gutters with nasturtiums or some other flower this year.

Two signs and a wind chime left to hang.  

This is how the season of rebirth begins in my neck of the woods.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ice Storm To-Do List

School was canceled today due to the ice storm moving through Kansas (just look at the coating on my window), so my usual kindergarten-teacher to-do list was set aside.  Instead of ABC's and 1-2-3s, there will be baking and crocheting:

Raspberries and blueberries in a buttermilk cake...

... and a soft, warm cowl, crocheted while sitting on the couch catching up on recorded shows.

How do you spend your snow or inclement weather days?


If you read the last post about my Valentine gift for my husband, remember that you have until March 13, 2018, to use my discount code: TwigsandTulleCampaign2018 (all one word) during checkout to receive 20% off of your order from Photowall!  

Monday, February 12, 2018

PHOTOWALL Review, or, as My Husband Put It...

"... wow, this is an AWESOME Valentine gift!"

My husband grew up hunting with his father in Indiana in the woods near his farm.  Much of what he learned as a child and young man he has of course, naturally carried with him into his adult life.  We don't make it back to Indiana as often as we would like, so the last time we were there, I took pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.

The corn crib:

The flag:

 Fields full of corn:

... and the woods.

The woods are beautiful, sunlit, lush and green.  But they're in Indiana.

Enter stage right, a "Swedish company with a passion for design and quality" whose "wall murals and canvas prints are environmentally friendly, fire-retardant in accordance with Swedish standards and do not fade in sunlight."

Offering wall murals and canvas prints, you can explore and choose from gorgeous designs that PHOTOWALL has categorized for easy searching.  Take a peek at wallpaper patterns for children, architecture, and offerings from artists and design agencies such as Peppercookies, Anna Pernilla, Michael Tompsett, and Binny Talib.  Imagine these in your home, classroom, studio or workspace!

Total eye candy, right?

But PHOTOWALL doesn't just offer pre-printed wall murals and canvas prints, oh no-no-no.

They'll produce canvas prints from YOUR own photos!

Take another peek at my husband's favorite Indiana woods photo above, and then imagine it as an almost 48-inch-tall by 32-inch-wide canvas print!  Are you ready to see how it all came together?  Check out the slideshow:

Didn't it turn out wonderfully?

Happy husband, happy memories, happy wall, happy den.  I suppose he's right: it makes an awesome Valentine gift!


What's to love about this company and its products?  A whole lot:

In addition to their huge selection of wall murals and canvas prints, PHOTOWALL can create a wonderful custom canvas from your own photograph.

The colors on the canvas are true without any obvious pixelation.

My PHOTOWALL point of contact, Jennifer, was friendly and helpful as I explained how I was wanting to use a personal photo, and she made sure my upload was correctly aligned and centered.

Printing, shipping and delivery were FAST!  I received email and text notifications every step of the way, so I knew exactly when to expect the canvas.

Packaging kept the canvas, frame, and hardware from being damaged in transit from Sweden, and the quality of the materials from the canvas, real wood frame and well-made hardware is obvious.

Instructions for assembly were enclosed, but there's also a helpful video demonstrating how truly easy it is to combine the canvas and frame to create a fabulous focal point for any room.

The attention to detail is impressive: I was able to customize the color of the edges of the canvas (I chose black), and noticed that the frame had notches cut into in each corner so the folded pieces of the canvas could be overlapped and tucked without their bulk causing a gap between the frame components themselves. The adhesive holds the edges of the canvas against the wood perfectly, and the bracket and screws provide even tightening of the frame without any waviness or sag to the canvas.  No pieces are loose or misaligned.

The hanging hardware was easy to position onto our wall and securely holds our canvas in place.

Seriously: just LOOK at it:

Would you like to give PHOTOWALL a try?  

Use my discount code: TwigsandTulleCampaign2018 (all one word) during checkout to receive 20% off from now until 
March 13, 2018.

Thanks so much, PHOTOWALL, for helping me create the perfect valentine for my husband!