Category Archives: Projects & DIY

DIY: Plant Stakes

It’s no secret that the weather in Colorado can be a bit hit or miss…or a lot hit or miss. It’s not uncommon to see several seasons whip through the state in the span 24 <or fewer> hours .

Once Spring rolls around, I pay particular attention to the forecast. It’s important to be up to date on the highs and lows (for planting, of course)…and also helps to plan projects that may occupy an otherwise dull weekend when you’d hoped to be out in the sunshine, hands in the dirt, but instead are sidelined inside the house due to wet and cold weather.

A couple weekends ago were no exception, and the wet/cold blew in. Luckily, I had a fun project lined up to pass the time.

Plant Stakes!

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Always admiring the options on Etsy, and studying the tutorials on Pinterest; a weekend forecast promising time indoors seemed the perfect opportunity to exercise my crafty side!

What you will need:
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-Polymer clay (I used Sculpey – it was on sale at Hobby Lobby and I’m familiar with it as my aunt -the artist – works in this medium)
-Block of small alphabet rubber stamps
-Glass juice glass (or something to roll out the clay)
-Exact-o knife
-Stamp pad (optional)
-Oven

What you will do:
1. cut the clay apart at the grooves in each block
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2. roll clay flat (you can decide the thickness, but remember that you don’t want them too flimsy or they may easily break)
3. cut one end into a point so stake will easily push through soil.
4. stamp word with rubber stamps
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5. <optional> if you want color – add ink to the rubber stamps and go back over your original stamped word

6. bake in oven per suggested guidelines on the clay package

I made mine in a variety of shapes and sizes — and made a special ‘love u’ stake for a project I put together as a gift for my mama for Mother’s Day (which I will share with you in another post).

These are the perfect little addition to any garden – or sweet potted plant gift!


DIY Compost Bins

Another project, that we happened to knock out over the weekend, and one I’ve been dreaming about for over a year, is the completion of two DIY compost bins.

I’ve done a lot of research on composting, the different methods and the ‘how to’, and have wanted to start some DIY compost of my own. The timing hasn’t always been right. The materials weren’t always available. There were always reasons to not get started…until NOW!

Barrel

Compost can be done in outside piles, or in containers. I have a large enough garden space to do an outside pile, but I want to wait and see how things all come together before going that route. Therefore, I decided on container compost for getting started. Maybe I’ll expand to the outside pile later…we shall see.

So…for this project, J was able to round up a couple of old barrels that previously had non-toxic materials in them so the barrels themselves are essentially recycled too…cool huh?

We cut the top of the barrels off using a sawzall. Then, I rinsed them out real good and let them dry. Next came the drilling of holes. If you want to compost using barrels, they need LOTS of holes so there’s adequate drainage and flow of oxygen. I drilled lots of holes up and down the sides, and the bottom, and a few on the lid.

Then, J ran some rubber around the cut edge, just so the cut edges would come together a tad better, and he added a hinge to one side and a clasp to the other.

ClaspHinge

That’s it! It’s a simple enough project to get started. If you have a couple of old yard waste trash cans with lids lying around you could have one of these put together in a snap!

The important thing is that the lid attaches well. The reason being is that the compost needs to be ‘turned’ every few weeks or so and the easiest way I can figure to accomplish this with the set-up I have is to kick the thing over and roll it around the yard a bit.

It’s amazing how the small things in life, like a DIY compost bin, totally excite me! I will blog another time about the ‘how to’ for composting – not that I’m the expert, I’ll just be sharing what I’ve learned in my research.

Do you compost? Why or why not?


A Space to Create

Yesterday I shared with you 2 fun pieces of art that I made utilizing coiled paper, and I also mentioned that I would share with you today what reminded me of my intention to share these pieces of art with you, prior to my forgetting.

Before we even moved into our home, we began discussions of the changes we would like to make (over time), allowing the house to evolve into something that is truly ours – our preferences, our style, etc. The prior owner’s wife liked to sew, or that’s the only conclusion I can come up with for the not so attractive homemade curtains that hang in the family room (we found a bolt of the fabric in the home, so we know they were a DIY). The other reason I come to this conclusion is because of the wonderful built-in desk/work station they had set up in a room in the basement.

We have different plans for this room. We intend to change it back to a bedroom so our guests have some space of their own when they come to visit. Soooo, what to do about this wonderful built in desk? Why, move it upstairs to the office, of course!

Poor J had to have my help with this ‘moving the desk’ project, and I moaned and groaned, and whined about how heavy things were and how my hands hurt…BUT in the end the desk has been re-located!!

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I have yet to unpack this room, but I’ve been strategizing how all artsy, crafty, function of the right brain supplies will fit into the space – allowing me a place to pull out all the necessary supplies to scrapbook, or sew, or whatever strikes my fancy WITHOUT the need to pack it all up and shove it back into a closet with I am finished.

My aunt calls a space like this a ‘studio’, because she is an artist. I am not an artist, so I feel awkward about labeling this space ‘studio’ – but whatever it is – I am VERY excited to get it all set up (on the agenda for this weekend as the weather isn’t forecast to be anything other than dull) and start crankin’ out some projects.

Now…if only I had a cricut…


Another Work of Art

Shortly after Christmas I mentioned in a post that the homemade gifts I gave for Christmas were my favorite. I shared with you the counted cross-stitch ornaments that I worked on through the summer and had one other project I wanted to share with you. I am finally getting around to doing that today. Part of the hold-up was I wasn’t able to connect with my dear friend to give her this gift until February, the other part of the hold-up was that it slipped my mind…until late last week (I’ll tell you why it sprung back to mind late last week in tomorrow’s post).

Backing up even further, last spring I shared with you this project that I worked on while visiting my aunt:
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A girlfriend of mine raved over this piece of art, going so far as to request that if I were to die, she called dibs. She literally talks about it every time she lays eye on the thing so it only made sense that I make her one of her very own.

Knowing the time involved in rolling these coils of paper, I began the project in early summer and worked on rolling paper, a little at a time, as often as opportunity presented itself. Finally, as the holiday season drew near, I had enough and piece this together:

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She was elated when she opened the gift to reveal her very own piece of art and immediately started talking about how she would incorporate it into her décor…or maybe use it as inspiration to re-decorate a room in her home.

This is just one of the reasons that homemade gifts are often times the best – to give or receive. I know there is nothing that I could have purchased for her at a store that would have sparked this much excitement.

Plus, I might mention, that often times there’s nothing as therapeutic as an artsy project. Do you find this is true for you?


We Did It! We Did It!

I hope this Monday morning finds you all coming off a wonderful weekend.

My weekend was wonderful, for several reasons:
1) I got to hang out with one of my favorite little dudes while his mommy worked – and we were VERY busy
Owen
2)My man and I spent a good portion of Saturday afternoon lounging around and relaxing….and napping…because I LOVE napping, always have.
3) A girlfriend and I enjoyed a very nice brunch on Sunday, followed by a refreshing hike through Red Rock Canyon
4) more napping Sunday afternoon…then I had to buck up and get my chores for the weekend done: sheets washed, bathroom cleaned, weekday breakfasts made, dinner on the table (well, couch, we don’t have a table right now because there isn’t room in the teeny tiny apartment. But, it sounds weird to say “Dinner on the couch”).

Another reason my weekend was wonderful is WE DID IT!!! Over the weekend my followers count hit 76!!!

As promised, a random drawing has occurred and we have a winner for the Santa ornament!

Moon Santa

Moon Santa

Here’s how it happened: I logged on first thing this morning to Random.Org and asked it to draw me a number between 1 and 76. The resulting number: 3. Then, I went back through my followers, based on date they signed up to follow. And the winner is……APieceOfLisa!!

A special thank you to each and every one of you who follow the blog, and give me a ‘like’ or a comment when you come across something that tickles your fancy. I love knowing you are out there. I love your feedback. I love your support. You are all the greatest!!

There are many more adventures coming soon – we are closing on a house in just under 2 short weeks and there will be projects (I got butterflies in my stomach just typing that!). Stay tuned…more adventures and more giveaways in the future!!

-H

PS: if you wondered what’s on the menu for this week, here it is:
Pork Chops, Rice, Veggies
Lasagna Soup, Garlic Bread
Stuffed Chicken Breast, Pasta, Veggie
Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad
Smoked Sausage & Cheesy Potato Casserole
AND – I have a recipe or two coming your way this week – depending on how many recipes I remembered to snap pictures of before we gobbled them down!!


Getting SOOOO Close!

Over the summer months I announced a giveaway on my blog, as soon as I had 75 followers.

I just checked and am at 72!! We are getting SOOOO close!!

So, here is the deal: those of you who read the blog on a regular basis, but haven’t signed up to ‘follow’, how about you do the group a solid and sign up? It’s really not a big deal, and definitely not a hassle…it takes a matter of seconds, and you will always be informed of new posts (and nothing more as it relates to my blog or wordpress) via email. What if I stopped linking my blog posts to my FB page? Would you fall completely out of the loop?? We wouldn’t want that to happen!

I’ve mentioned how easy it is to sign up to follow, several times, but in case you need a refresher here it is: once you are on my blog there is a box where you enter your email address (toward the top, on the right). Enter your address, and click the button, and that’s it!!

I’m really counting on rounding up 3 more followers so that I can get this guy on his way:

Moon Santa

Moon Santa

This is a handmade (by ME!) Christmas ornament. Yes, it’s January so Christmas is LONG gone but you can add it to your collection and enjoy it at the end of this year – or reserve it as a gift for someone and say that you’ve started your ‘Holiday Shopping’.

As soon as I hit the 75 mark I will draw a name at random and that’s the winner! I’ll have the winner email me their address and drop this dude in the mail.

AND – just in case you needed further incentive to join the following, winning means getting something in the mail other than bills or junk AND it costs you nothing!!

Happy Thursday!
H


Tea Wreath

To celebrate this most recent snap of cold weather, I decided to come down with the cold that’s being passed around my office (thanks co-workers!).

This baby came in mighty handy as I’ve been fighting the crud:

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My beautiful friend made me a tea wreath for Christmas. Isn’t it cool?!?!

Not only is it very pretty but it’s been nice having an assortment of hot tea to soothe my sore throat the past couple of days.

I think she got the idea from Pinterest. She is one of those people who pins DIY and craft ideas and then ACTUALLY goes out and tries some of them! I am guilty of pinning tons of stuff that I think I’d like to try…and get no further than that.

Maybe that should have been a New Years Resolution – work on some projects from my Pinterest board. Maybe next year…

Are you guilty of this as well? Lots of good intentions for tapping into your creative juices but never actually getting there?


Will You Follow My Blog?

Over the summer I started working on (and blogged about) a counted cross-stitch project I had started which entailed stitching Christmas ornaments. Once I got going I also blogged about a giveaway I wanted to host which included giving away this ornament once I had 75 followers:

Moon Santa

Moon Santa

I had hoped to hit that number by Christmas time, but didn’t quite make it. Last I checked, 11 more followers are needed THEN I can draw a name at random and get Santa on his way to his new owner. Even though Christmas has passed, I would still like to finish out this giveaway.

Entering for a chance to win is easy – sign up to follow my blog. It’s simple! On the right hand side of the screen there’s a box where you enter your email address, then you hit the follow button. You will receive an email with my new blog posts – that’s it – no junk mail, and I will never give out your email addresses! Another sign-up option is to follow me in your “Reader” (if you have a wordpress account, you know what I’m talking about – if you don’t, email is the way to go).

Once I have 75 followers a name will be drawn at random and that will be the winner! See? Easy Peasy!

If you already follow, spread the word. If you aren’t signed up to follow (maybe you log on to Simply Eclectic Life every now and again to see what’s new OR you follow me through my posts on facebook) please sign up and streamline your following process – you log on to your email almost daily anyway, right?

Lookin’ forward to some new followers in 2013-
H


Another One Done

I finished another in my cross-stitch ornament collection.

What do you think of this one?

Sadly, I do not think I’ll have time to finish the whole collection before the Holidays but I’m excited with what has been completed to this point.

Oh and for those who are new to my blog, I’m hosting a giveaway!! It’s been a long time getting there, and I think we will get there, I just hope it’s in time for Christmas! Read about the giveaway, and get quick access to the other ornaments in the collection by clicking here, AND refer your friends to follow my blog. We are so so soooooo close to that 75 mark!!


Owners Manuals Organization

This week I’ve got a hefty ‘to do’ list. Since I’m getting ready to move, I’m also getting ready to list my house. I want to make sure it shows in the best possible light so I’m tackling some of  those cleaning projects that I’ve been meaning to do since the summer began (read: spring cleaning).

As I got busy in the room designated for yesterday, I kept coming across owners manuals for various things I own – and some for things that are long gone. Does anyone else have this trouble? You don’t know what to do with owners manuals, then they end up stashed various places around your house? Finally, when the time comes that you actually need to refer to one, it’s unable to be found? Or, you sell something on a garage sale and the person asks if you have the manual and you have that moment of “yes, I do, somewhere….”?

I toyed with a couple of options for this ridiculous problem. An owners manual drawer? Box? Then, I remembered something I’d seen on Pinterest quite a while ago (I didn’t pin the idea, it seemed simple enough to remember, at the time), an owners manual binder!

As it so happens, I’ve got a few extra binders around that aren’t serving a purpose AND page protectors. Problem Solved!! I now have a designated binder for owners manuals. Each page protector contains the manual and other paperwork that accompanies something I still own (the others made their way to the dumpster, obviously). There are also empty page protectors in the back for more paperwork/manuals as I come across them or when/if something new is purchased.

Every little bit of organization feels so good!

Do you have a ‘needs organized’ problem at your house? What are your plans to tackle it?

-H