Sounds like some odd, maybe slightly trendy ballet, doesn’t it? But I noticed the weirdest thing the other night when I was driving to the grocery store after work. First, it was after five but still daylight, which was pretty amazing after this winter. But what really struck me was the geese. There were flocks upon flocks of them flying northward. The geese have returned. Maybe winter really is almost over!
It’s supposed to snow again tonight, through tomorrow morning – another six inches. On top of the several feet we already have on the ground. This winter just keeps going on and on… I try to live in the moment and enjoy each season as it comes, but this winter is definitely challenging that.
Someday soon, spring will arrive. It has to. So, in a few short weeks, it will finally be time to put the seed trays to use -
I have been remiss in posting lately – it’s winter here now, so we’re basically waiting for it to end. Nothing too exciting to report – we’ve been using the crockpot a fair bit and eating loads of baked goods. We’ve pretty much had two solid feet of snow on the ground for over a month now, and more keeps coming. Makes imaging springtime fairly difficult, so instead I spend the evenings after Little Man’s bedtime browsing Pinterest for DIY interior design ideas and greenhouses, and things vaguely related to how I can pretend that I live in a manor house in Edwardian England.
Other than that, only a few more weeks and I can justify getting some seeds started.
January is a time for planning and one thing I’ve got in my head is to pull together all of the little things that will give us the most bang for our buck. And after living in this apartment for almost a year (where does the time go?) we know which things will really help us organizationally. The top two items on my list for the first part of this year are dresser side tables and a key hook.
I’ve been looking at wall hooks for awhile, but I just didn’t want to spend the money on them. I really like this style at Target, but it’s nearly $20.00!
I guess that’s not a bad price, but it’s more than what I want to pay. Fortunately, I figured out how to make it for about $8.00, and that’s a price that’s right up my alley!
So all I need to do it paint the wood (with spray paint I have on hand), mount the hooks and there you go – a simple, classic key rack for about half the price it would take me to buy in the store!
I am ready! It’s currently snowing out and we’re at least two months away from reasonably starting seeds, but nonetheless. I am geared up for spring! Awhile back I found a brand-new seed starting tray for $2.00 at Goodwill to replace the ones that finally gave up the ghost last year.
And today, friends, I have placed the 2014 seed order! And I haven’t even gotten a single seed catalog in the mail, which now that I think about it, is really weird. I swear I got them before Christmas last year. At any rate, I placed my order with Pinetree Garden Seeds (my all-time favorite, even if they have gotten rid of flat rate shipping). This is the order I placed -
And this is about how it will look in the garden -
I love planning with Smart Gardener – the best free garden planner on the internet, hands down. It’s pretty self-explanatory – I’ve got tomatoes on the right, and a corn and pumpkin patch in the upper left corner. In front of the pumpkins are peppers and onion-type things, with leafy greens and peas next door. In the middle is an alley of dwarf sunflowers, with beans and potatoes in front.
And the crowning glory of the garden is the one thing that looks like a major blank spot in the plan – at the end of the alley of sunflowers with be a bean teepee covered in Rattlesnake Pole beans. So when we go to the garden, Little Man can run down the lane of sunflowers and play inside the bean teepee.
I also came across a great idea on Pinterest (of course) for DIY plant markers that I’m going to make -
Aren’t those cute? The picture (and the idea, naturally) are from Katy Harper and I think they’re great. I have a can of red spray paint and a white paint pen already, so if I can score some paint sticks this little garden project won’t cost me a dime. If you can’t find a store that will give you paint sticks (some do, some don’t these days) you can buy them on Amazon. The best deal on paint sticks I found was about $10 for a package of 100 – enough to supply you with labels for your garden for a few years! I also found out that Hobby Lobby sells a package of 24 for just under $4.00, if that’s more your speed.
Another thing we’re going to get again this year is another package or two of wooden landscape stakes, which cost about $12 for a package of 25. They’re great as plant supports and as the foundation for perimeter fencing. They worked great last year.
So, I’m really excited to get the garden going again this year – and I will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the seed order!
January always kicks my planning, organizing and tidying self into high gear. After all of the glitz and glam (and excess) of the holiday season, I’m yearning for order and calm. We finally bought some new bedding that is completely coordinated in a relaxing blue color scheme – and we got it on sale! We scored a new set of Jersey t-shirt sheets for $13 in queen size – and if you’ve ever bought bedding, you know that’s practically a bargain basement price. For years, we’ve done shades of red in the bedroom, and it’s just too bright and bold. Red does not invoke relaxation, but blue completely does for me. So I’ve slowly been changing things over.
One of the major sore spots in our bedroom is the lack of bedside tables. My requirements are simple – ample surface space on top for lamps, alarm clock and books, plus closed storage, because let’s face it - in a small home you can never have too much storage. Coupled with the fact that we still don’t have a proper dresser for our clothes and are using plastic drawer organizers… yeah the bedroom is really just one big storage area with a bed in it, and not a calming place to relax and sleep after all.
I searched high and low for the perfect solution. I didn’t think what I wanted was so far out of the box, but apparently the market for functional, storage-oriented bedside tables that don’t look like they’re from 1987 is pretty slim. But I kept seeing things with snippets of potential, and I have the exact tables I want visualized perfectly in my head. So the next logical step? Design and make my own. And do it on a budget! I do not want to be dropping $400 on bedside tables.
But I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here. So I need to start with a “stock” option, and Ikea just happens to have a smaller-scale dresser called the Rast 3-drawer chest that fits the size and storage requirements perfectly -
Pretty plain Jane isn’t it? And the wooden knobs don’t do it any favors. But it’s got good bones. And the price is right at $40 each! It’s unfinished solid pine, so it’s going to be really easy to upgrade with a simple coat of paint. Since my bedding is a white/navy blue combination, I really want to introduce a brighter, fresher shade of blue to liven things up a bit. Benjamin Moore’s “Whipple Blue” is just what I’m after -
And last but not least, the boring wooden knobs. My ultimate splurge would be to pick up a set of fancy milk glass knobs, but at $10 a pop, that’s stretching the budget for this project a little (well, maybe – I’m still on the fence). But aren’t they gorgeous?
Historic Houseparts also carries a more budget-friendly “translucent white glass knob” for just under $5 each, which is a perfectly acceptable budget compromise, while still going after the look and feel I want -
So, next up? Actually buying all of the stuff and putting it together. If I go for the budget knobs, I’ll be at $180 for the pair, which is not a bad price for a set of side tables that offer up so much storage. I’ll actually have a proper place to put my socks and t-shirts! That’s a win for adulthood, friends. One small step at a time. Stay tuned for the project pics – I’m really hoping to cross this one off the list in the next month or so!
I love Pinterest, and my boards are full of great things to try. One pin that caught my eye recently was how to re-cover a box spring to dress it up. Box springs are ugly , but I don’t like the look or the fuss of a bed skirt. This is the original pin from Pinterest -
Neat result, but let’s be honest. I’m not hauling a queen sized box spring onto the floor and spending forever cutting fabric and pinning and stapling it around the perimeter. Not my idea of a fun afternoon.
If it’s not yours either, fear not. You can achieve the same look with about a hundred times less effort. Just put a fitted sheet on your box spring. I have a navy blue on white toile duvet, with blue and white striped Jersey sheets. So I put a navy blue fitted sheet on the box spring. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result! It’s amazing what such a simple thing can do – the entire room looks more pulled together and finished now. No more ugly off-white box spring peeking out from under my nice bedding!