Our Garden Fail

Where did we go wrong? Look at our garden, 3 weeks later! Dismal!

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I feel like something’s missing….

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Bean stalks minus the beans?

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These tomato seedlings given to me by a neighbor literally haven’t changed or grown at all in 3+ weeks.

 

Anndddddd nothing. Wahhh.

Here’s where we went wrong perhaps: We used 8 bags of Miracle Gro and no compost or native soil to speak of. The garden gets about 10 hours of full sun a day, maybe I wasn’t watering it enough? Underneath the soil is pretty sandy also. I’m also thinking we planted too late in the season- the end of May even in NY seems late. God knows the snow had pretty much just melted at that point though!

My uncle suggested more compost, watering more and using seedlings instead of tiny seeds. Considering I didn’t even know what a seedling was (“You mean, a seed? Well yeah, duh, I planted them…”), maybe I will try to do that next year. Damn, I was really hoping for some cukes and tomatoes! Guess I’ll have to go steal Uncle’s!

LazyDIY: Upcycled Painted Storage Box

Who doesn’t have a random storage box sittin’ around that needs a little re-fresh?!

boxcover

Time: about 45 minutes:

Supplies:

  1. storage bin
  2. a cool stencil (I got this one on amazon.com)
  3. flat stamp-brush
  4. acrylic paint
  5. spray adhesive
  6. Optional: spray acrylic gloss sealer

I feel like I don’t need to write the instructions for this one… but I will:

Paint your box one flat color- might take 2-3 coats.

Spray one side of the stencil with a tiny bit of spray adhesive so you can stamp-paint it easier.

Hold the stencil down and paint! I suppose a regular paintbrush would work but a flat stamp-brush is so much more precise.

Optional: when it’s all dry, spray a coat of a gloss acrylic sealer to give it a glossy finish.

e voila!

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boxsteps3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We plant a garden

I’ve wanted a garden for years. I actually bought seeds 3+ years ago in the hopes I would get my act together and start a real garden. (Do seeds “expire”? Are they dormant? Is that the right word? Just asking that I feel stupid.) We bought some landscaping timber on sale and got 8 bags of Miracle Gro and assembled the whole thing in about 2 hours! My uncle — who is also my neighbor– has an amazingly expansive garden from which I steal many, many cherry tomatoes over the course of the summer; he didn’t have encouraging words about planting seeds May 31. Well, it’s worth a shot! I don’t have any before shots of the area unfortunately but let me tell you; the side of the house refused to grow grass so it looked like crap. It also gets a ton of afternoon sun so I though it’d be a good place for some veggies.

We’ll check in later hopefully with some seedlings!

diy garden

 

We planted:

  • squash
  • cucumbers
  • cherry tomatoes lovingly (pitying-ly?) donated by my neighbor Miranda
  • snap peas. Or beans? I forgot

Please note how attractive I am when I garden:

diy garden

 

LazyDIY: Spray painting fresh flowers (really!)

how to spray paint flowers

They all said it couldn’t be done. Spray painting flowers?! And not killing them? Yes, yes, you can do it and it’s SUPER easy, relatively cheap, and instantly gratifying.

Did you know pink hydrangeas usually go for $8 a stem, while the white variety is only around $2? I ordered 68 white hydrangeas in June for my wedding,  and the day before the big day, my sister and I sprayed them to perfection and used them as centerpieces. Check out the pics of the finished product below.

process

Before we start:

  • You can use the DesignMaster ColorTool spray to paint silk/ artificial flowers as well as fresh, live ones!
  • The most common flowers to use are white roses and hydrangeas. Often these are cheaper when they are ordered in white and they hold up well for weddings, showers, etc.
  • NOTE: you may have heard hydrangeas do not hold up well out of water. This is true. BUT this spray seems to make them last longer! I believe it seals the moisture and adds protection. About the water though…when I stored the hydrangeas overnight in a cool, dark garage in buckets of water, they looked 100% fresh, and stayed that way for days (just add the flower food that comes with the store-purchased flower bunches). Even after our hot June wedding and our 5 day honeymoon.
  • HOWEVER, there were 3 or 4 hydrangeas that for some reason didn’t get water and really shriveled up and turned brown incredibly quickly.
  • NOTE #2: the DesignMaster spray apparently does not bleed onto clothing. I didn’t use spray-painted hydrangeas for my bouquets (I went with garden roses) but from what I heard, the spray paint is permanent. I would just test that out!

You MUST keep hydrangeas in water at ALL times. Apparently the spray does not bleed onto clothing but don’t sue me if it does. I’ve also heard adding sugar can help maintain freshness. 

SUPPLIES:

  • white or cream-colored flowers- hydrangeas are absolutely the best
  • DesignMaster ColorTool spray paint- about 1 can for every 12-13 large flowers
  • Buckets of water to store flowers in
  • gloves to protect your hands
  • (optional) Paper towel or rag to protect the stem from extraneous paint

HOW TO:

  1. Purchase Design Master ColorTool spray from Michael’s, ACMoore (limited colors), amazon.com or createforless.com. I used 40% off coupons and went to Michael’s as they had more selection than ACMoore. They were $7.99 I believe. You can expect to use about 1 can for every 12-13 large flowers BUT this may vary for example if you just want color “highlights”
  2. Do this OUTSIDE. The spray is pretty potent.
  3. Wear gloves.
  4. Hold the flower 10-12 inches away and spray lightly. Fluff and lightly shake the flower – lots of inner petals will open up – and spray again.
  5. DO NOT spray too close- the aerosol will “freeze” and kill the delicate petals.
  6. You will get some paint on the stem
    Hold a paper towel or rag under the petals to avoid spraying the green stem.

    Hold a paper towel or rag under the petals to avoid spraying the green stem. However, I didn’t do this and it turned out fine.

    One way to avoid this is to hold it with a paper towel.I got paint all of the stems but the petals pretty much covered it.  →

  7. TRICK: I used Raspberry and Coral color to get a more realistic, dual toned look. I thought they turned out pretty well.
  8. The flowers will dry pretty instantly…. e voila!
  9. Put those shits in water along with the flower food packet the florist provided and they will hold up for DAYS.
  10. The spray DOES have a slight odor: “paint-y” at first, then pretty perfumey smelling. I was worried because I have a super sensitive nose but the smell dissipated and I couldn’t smell anything at my wedding (indoor venue)!

    spray painting

    After! Notice on the right (final product for the wedding), I used two different colors to give the flowers more depth- Raspberry and Coral.

Here’s a video if you want to ignore everything I just spent 30 minutes typing out

Enjoy!

hydr

LazyDIY: $5 antiqued mirror or frame

Remember when “quaint country” decor was cool in the late 80’s/ early 90’s? This here mirror is an example. Notice the stamped pink and blue decals. Why?~ My mom passed this little gem down to me (I believe it was from a garage sale) and was like, “Oh, I’m sure you can find something to do with it.” It took me about 6 minutes to fix ‘er up (he frame, not my mom.)

You can use any wood frame or mirror or ever a tray. Wood works best but plastic could work if you used a primer.

Before:

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After:

antiqued mirror DIY

How to:

1. Wipe down an old frame, mirror or tray with damp towel.

2. Buy an inexpensive silver, pewter, gold, bronze, etc acrylic paint from ACMoore or other craft store. Very cheap, about $3. No need to get “crackle” or antique finish paint.

3. Slap on some paint with a sponge brush.

4. Let paint sort of dry for a minute. Don’t let it dry completely.

5. “Mess up” the paint with a balled-up paper towel.

6. Take any sort of sharp object  that you don’t mind getting paint-y and make some scratches (I think I used an unsharpened pencil).

6. Let dry an hour e voila!

Enjoy!

LazyDIY: $8 upcycled fabric tray

Crappy old cookie sheet got you down? Have some cool fabric pieces laying around? Make this!

fabric cookie tray

tray2

You can also add a layer of glass for more durability

Time: 15 minutes

Cost: Around $8, even less if you have fabric and an old cookie tray you want to upcycle.

Supplies:

  1. a cookie tray/ baking sheet – any size. Can be pretty beat up/
  2. lightweight fabric, enough to cover completely your baking sheet top, sides and bottom.
  3. Spray adhesive (I used Loctite)
  4. good sewing scissors (but I think used kitchen shears, ha!)

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How to make the fabric-covered tray:

  1. Wrap fabric around the tray to see how much you need. I got the fabric you see in the photos from Walmart about $6/yard, but JoAnn’s and fabric.com has a ton of even cooler choices. Always use a coupon at JoAnn’s!
  2. Cut fabric in a nice straight line. Make sure you have a little extra as you need to wedge/push the fabric into the corners.
  3. Spray the entire metal tray lightly with spray adhesive- not too heavy. Follow the instructions; you usually need to let it get tacky for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Spray the fabric lightly with spray adhesive as well!
  5. Carefully and firmly lay the fabric down on the tray. Push down hard into the cracks and corners.
  6. Trim edges off. I then used a little more spray and actually I had some fabric glue laying around that I used to do some finishing touches.

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LazyDIY: Upcycled mason jar decor

blue mason jars upcycled

The epitome of “gather what’s laying around” .”

Supplies: 

  • mason jars (blue or clear), antique bottles or jars, or really any cool container you have laying around. Mine were from garage sales and actually pulled from the ground on which I built my house a few years ago (and, if truth be told, from my neighbors’ as their houses were being built. There was  a lot of after-sunset pilferings). I love the history behind them and how well they’ve held up- some are marked with the year 1920 and have old businesses and companies etched into them.
  • natural fillers: bamboo shoots, ting ting (that’s the curly natural stick thing you see), actual sticks- you could paint these), silk flowers, etc
  • glass rocks, marbles, river stones, etc to fill in the bottom of the container

Cost: maybe $10? Everything I got was from garage sales or literally, the earth. The mason jars, which were $1 (Mom help finds these for me too), and ting ting and the flowers can be found in any craft store.

Time: Hmmmm like 5 minutes?

blue mason jars ting ting DIY

After:

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Another variation is to put some plant cuttings in the jars and set them facing the sun:

plant blue mason jars DIY