Starting Seeds

It’s that time of year- when gardeners pour over the seed catalogs and order their seeds and wait impatiently until they can put those little gems of goodness into the dark, moist soil and wait and watch until little sprouts of promise begin to spring from the ground.

Ironically enough, I didn’t get my seed catalog until after I ordered my seeds…

but that’s just because waiting isn’t one of my strong suits.

Our seeds arrived last week from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and it was so exciting! I love Baker Creek because all of their seeds are non-GMO and they have Β a huge selection of heirloom seeds from all over the world and many of them are rare. And of course, they have gorgeous pictures in their catalog.

We got 36 different veggies/flowers/herbs, plus a few more that I had left over from last year.

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I ordered all the staples of your basic kitchen garden:

tomatoes (red cherry yellow cherry, paste, black and red)

zucchini(yellow and green)

beans (green and black and soup)

peas (sugar snap and regular)

cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, celery,

parsnips, carrots (red and orange)

turnips,Β beets, basil, chamomile

borage, horehound, thyme

cilantro,oregano, spinach,

yarrow, chives, zinnias,

nasturtiums, marigolds

and a few other things.

I wanted to order sunflower seeds because I love sunflowers, but I forgot.

But, guess what I received as a free gift for ordering?? Sunflower seeds!!
I cried, I was so happy!

God loves us so much and knows the desires of our hearts. πŸ™‚

It was awesome.

So yesterday the kids and I started a few seeds inside.

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We saved some toilet paper rolls and cut them in half, and rolled up some newspaper (not the shiny kind) and put organic seed starting mix in there and started the herbs and cabbage, broccoli, Β some of the tomatoes and celery.

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We had so much fun, and I’m so excited to watch for those first little sprouts peeking out.

Have you started seeds yet? I was worried we may have started too late, but then I checked the frost dates for here and we should have just enough time. Whew! Β Thank goodness.

I’ll keep you updated on our seeds! Check back tomorrow for a yummy lentil soup recipe.

DIY Wine Box Shelves

I have this thing for old, weathered wood.
I love the way it looks! I like the way it feels when you run your hands across it. Rough, weathered.

Old barns, pallets, fences, the woodpile….

A Trip to the Mountains

Road Trip: Finished!

Especially barns. I love barns!
Maybe it’s because my dad is a logger and we always have tons of wood laying around outside the house, or maybe I just like things slightly rustic, but I really really like the look of weathered wood.

There’s just something so wholesome about it. It has no pretenses. It has simple beauty. It has great texture.

DIY Pallet Headboard

Guess what?
We found some great old wooden crates outside in one of my parent’s storage containers.

One is a champagne box, vintage 1937 and the other had minced ginger in it at one point.

We took them in and cleaned them up.

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Then we hung them on the wall in our room.

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BAM!

Instant, rustic, beautiful storage.

For only the cost of the hardware to hang them.

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I LOVE them.

They make our room seem so cozy and rustic and more organized, since my fabric beforehand was in a box on the floor. πŸ˜‰

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We also found this old jar and put it on the shelves, Β just for fun. Β “Grandma Wheaton’s Old Fashioned Recipes Canning Jar” How cool is that?!

I really like old stuff. Do you?

Easy DIY Pallet Headboard

So, remember way back last year when we were playing around with pallets and made a pallet table?
It served it’s purpose (because we didn’t have a dining room table at the time) but when it was time to see it go, I was glad. It was too scratchy, and bigger than we’d planned for the space.

There are all kinds of cool pallet projects on Pinterest, and I’ve been wanting to make some sort of headboard for our bed- the wall just looked a little bit lonely all by itself.

So, do you want to know a SUPER easy way to make a pallet headboard?

First: drive around and find some pallets. They are everywhere, just laying out by the side of the road; near dumpsters of businesses, all over the place. We found ours in an industrial business park behind the building.
There were a whole bunch of them just waiting to be taken away by a garbage man, but we got there first.
Saturday is a good day to go pallet hunting, since most businesses are closed.

(side note: If there is anyone around, it’s a good idea to ask if it’s okay to take the pallets so you don’t get in trouble for stealing. There was a man there that hubby asked and he said “go ahead!”, so we did!)

We picked the pallets in the nicest condition and brought 6 of them home.

Next: make sure your pallets don’t have any spiders on them and wipe them down to get the dirt off.
You don’t want any “surprise visitors” when you’re sleeping! (eek!)

Thirdly: Take your bed apart or scoot it away from the wall.

We took the metal frame out from under our bed.

Fourthly: Stand two pallets up next to each other and scoot your bed up against them. You may need to raise the pallets up off the ground, or lower your bed to get the right height for your headboard.
We decided to take the ugly metal bed frame off the bed and place the box spring and mattress on a few pallets to lower the bed enough to get the look we wanted. So now we have a platform bed with a cool headboard.

Then make your bed all pretty, stand back and admire it!

I LOVE how this turned out, and it seriously took like 15 minutes.
You don’t even have to have skills to do this, other than some strong arms to muscle the pallets around.
Hubby did all of that, I just made suggestions and got some homemade granola cooking in the oven. πŸ˜‰

I also have one more easy pallet project to share with you, but it’s not quite done yet, so stay tuned!

This post is shared at Natural Mother’s Network, Seasonal Celebration.

Refashion: Maxi Skirt & Leopard Print Skirt

Hi!
Today I’m going to show you a little re-fashioning I did last week.
On two different things, without costing me a penny.
It pays to shop your existing wardrobe!

I had a maxi dress in my closet- you know, one of those gorgeous flowy, gauzy ones that has shirring across the bust and then little spaghetti straps up top so if you wear a bra it looks weird but you don’t want to go bra-less because, well, that’s weirder.. and a tank top underneath just looks bulky?
Yes. One of those dresses.
I wore it a few times last year and the year before, but didn’t feel comfortable really so mostly it just sat in my closet. Then one time when I wore it one of the straps broke.
I was thinking of getting rid of it but loved the colorful, cool fabric so instead….

I cut it up and made it into a skirt.

Basically, I just cut off the top part, leaving a few rows of shirring for elastic, then hemmed the raw edge to make a high waisted maxi skirt. Love it. It looks so cute with a tank top tucked in or with a shirt untucked! I just need some gladiator sandals to go with it and I am set. πŸ˜‰

A Close-up of the waistband. 

Then I had this extra shirred fabric sitting around, waiting to be used…

Enter the next refashion.
I got a cute leopard-print dress from Target way back last year when my Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law came to visit around Thanksgiving, and wore it once or twice, but it just didn’t fit like I wanted it to.
It was too ruffly up top, so I cut the top off and wore it as a skirt and loved it.
But, since I didn’t really hem anything when I initially cut it up, it started looking a little bit ragged.

(I had pictures of the ” before”, but for the life of me I can’t find them!)

I decided to fix the waistband.
I unpicked the seam and took off the waistband and elastic and left the gathered part of the skirt still intact.

Then, I took the shirred fabric from the maxi dress and sewed it to the gathered skirt and now I have a whole new skirt!

I like how the pink of the waistband brings out the pink in the actual skirt.

I actually like it better this way- it’s more comfortable because of the shirring and the skirt is a little bit longer, which is nice. And I have a pretty little pop of color peeking out from under my skirt!

Two refashions, zero dollars; for about half an hour of my time. Is sewing the coolest thing ever, or what?!
I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. πŸ™‚

Have you refashioned anything lately? I’d love to hear about it!

Refashioned Shorts: Men’s to Women’s

Have you ever seen a pair of men’s shorts that you just loved but they didn’t fit how you wanted them to because, well…

you’re a woman??

I know I have. Sometimes there’s just a pattern or a style that is so nice, but I can’t find a similar pair in the women’s section. What to do??
Hubby has this pair of white and blue striped shorts that we found at the thrift store for $3 a few years ago, but he has never really liked them much. It was one of those things I picked out for him because I liked them, and he wore because I liked them, but he never really loved them. (oops!)
I had them in the pile to go back to the thrift store and walked by them this morning and thought, ” Hey why don’t I try to alter them so that I can wear them?”
So I did!
Shorts Refashion: Men’s to Women’s


Here is what the shorts looked like before I did anything to them:
Baggy, too big and kinda sloppy.
I have to tell you, when I was in high school I did wear guys’ shorts and liked it, but those days are over. (late 1990’s!) I had this pair of camouflage cargo shorts that were so comfy! I’m sure I looked like a thug in them though. πŸ˜‰ 
As a mom, I feel sloppy often enough, I like to look a bit more classy when I can help it! πŸ˜‰
No baggy surfer shorts around here anymore!
Here is how I altered the shorts:

I found a pair of shorts that fit me well and laid them on top of the bigger shorts.

I wanted to simply alter the width of the men’s shorts; not the length so I kept the existing hem on.
Then I traced a line slightly larger than the legs of the khaki shorts; as I wanted this pair to be a bit more loose fitting but not too baggy.
If you look closely, you can see the lighter blue line that I used as a guide to sew along.
In true fashion to my math-hating self, I didn’t measure anything, I just freehanded it.
Feel free to measure if you’re more comfortable with that. πŸ™‚
Then I sewed up the lines, and tried the shorts on to make sure they looked okay, 
making adjustments as needed.
I cut the extra fabric off and zigzagged the edges so they wouldn’t fray, then they were done!

Now I have another cute pair of shorts, that I can wear two ways!

~Trendy and Current: Rolled up legs and high-waist with a belt:
Or, the more Classic Bermuda Short look:
I only got one picture of this style, because it was the only one that turned out! 
Which do you like better? I like them both, and will probably wear them both ways depending on the day I wear them or if I want to dress them up or down. πŸ™‚
It’s so fun to re-purpose clothing into something new!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
~Becca

Growing Store-bought Produce

A few weeks ago I shared on my Facebook page an article I came across about how one can re-grow store bought produce like celery, lettuce, onions after you’ve used up the majority of them by simply putting the root end into some water and setting it in a window sill so it can get some light.

I tried it with some organic lettuce and lo and behold, it worked!

After just a few days, little leaves were peeking out of the stem of my lettuce.
Being the genius that I am, I decided to plant it in our flowerbed. (lettuce needs dirt for nutrients, right?)
Unfortunately, the birds also need lettuce for nutrients and they ate it right down to the ground and killed it.
(sad face)

I decided to try the same thing with some green onions that I got at the farmer’s market, although this time I am keeping them inside.
I put the white ends with roots on them in a jar with some water and…..

The next morning there were green shoots sticking out!
Amazing.
You can see where the new growth is- the dark green part.
Ellie thought they were pretty.

It’s so cool how God makes plants still grow even after being picked for who knows how long! (although since these were from the farmer’s market, they were probably fresher than onions bought at the store.)
Regardless, I am fascinated by it!

So.
Cool.
This is what they look like today, the second day they’ve been in the water.
It’s raining today, so the lighting isn’t as good.

So, don’t throw away your leafy lettuce roots, celery roots or green onion roots. (I bet you could grow leeks too.)  Use organic produce. Stick the ends in water and watch them re-grow, and make your money go further!

Re-purposed Scarf and French Press

Hello!

Today I’m sharing a simple way to change up the look of your house, when you want something “new” but don’t necessarily want to go out and buy new things.

Over the years, I’ve had to use my imagination and creativity to re-purpose many things to serve a different function simply because we didn’t have the money to buy pieces to brighten up our house.
It’s become kind of fun to try and figure out what I can use things for; almost anything can be re-purposed to fill a space in a different way than it was intended.

Here is an easy change-up I did today. It only took me maybe 5 minutes and I like the simple look:

My amazing hubby brought me tulips and chocolate covered pretzels home last night because I’d had an emotionally draining day- my dad went to the hospital with signs of a heart attack and it was really scary.
He lives across the country, so it’s not like I could just go be with him, which was really hard.
Everything turned out okay- my dad is home and didn’t have a heart attack, Praise God!

But it was still a fearful, draining day full of phone calls and texting and waiting on pins and needles.
Hubby is so kind and loving, he brought me these home to brighten the evening and help me feel better.
The pretzels are long gone. They were so good! πŸ™‚ And did I mention tulips are one of my favorite flowers??

Notice that the flowers aren’t in a regular old vase, though.
They’re in a french press coffee pot.
The top of the french press broke a while ago and rather than throw the pretty glass bottom part away, I’ve been using it for a vase. That’s one easy way to re-purpose containers. I also use empty, clean pasta sauce jars as vases and old spice jars as bud vases. In the spring, its easy to fill our house with flowers from the garden without having to buy vases and they look pretty and homey.

Next up: I used a scarf of mine as a table runner.
I love this scarf and wear it occasionally; but it was just sitting in my closet and I wanted something to dress up our pallet table while I wash the tablecloth I usually put on there.
Enter the scarf. It’s just the right length, has fun tassels and the kids think it makes a cool place to play “camping”. πŸ™‚

Depending on the size of your table, you could also use a pretty sheet as a table cloth. I just don’t happen to have one at the moment. Thrift stores are great places to find cool vintage fabrics as well, if you want to spend a little bit but not too much. I’ve found several cool items at thrift stores for just a few dollars.

Here’s a challenge for you:
Look around your house and see your belongings with different eyes. What else could they be used for?
Move something to a different room, use something in another way. It’s fun to figure out what could go where; it gives your house a fresh “new” look and it doesn’t cost a dime!

I’d love to hear ways you re-purpose things you already have!

Sweater Sleeves Made into Hand Warmers

Wow, it’s almost Christmas.
I’m trying really hard not to jump headlong into the frenzied last minute shopping that is going on at every store around town, but when you have to wait til last minute to shop because you don’t have any money until then, well it’s hard not to get a little frazzled.

I decided to make some gifts this year though, and honestly I wish I’d have started earlier so I could make homemade gifts for everyone.
As it is, I made a few here and there and am mostly satisfied with the result.

I had a cute wool sweater that shrunk the first time I washed it, and have been saving it to make something out of for a while.
I needed a gift for my husbands’ little sister, (hopefully she doesn’t read this!!) and thought that hand warmers would be a cool, simple gift to make.

So, I hopped on Pinterest (the source of most of my ‘inspiration’ these days) and found this:

source

Then, I simply followed the instructions on the tutorial, and ended up with these!
(notice how much nicer her photo is? someday, maybe I’ll take pretty photos..:)

I added a few cute flowers for extra embellishment.

I like them so much, I’m going to make myself some next time I have a minute to sew.
They’ll keep my hands nice and toasty warm, and sister’s hands too.

Hooray for easy, quick sewing projects!!
And for “little helpers”! πŸ™‚

Making a Rag Rug, kind of. (or, beginning to get ready to make a rag rug.)

Hi!
How is everyone out there in the world of the living and well?

We have been sick; out with terrible colds, coughs and Ellie decided to get her 2 year molars in at the same time she was sick, so it’s been a kind of tedious, “building character” kind of week, if you know what I mean. πŸ˜‰

(I just keep praying for patience and strength, so I don’t go crazy or fall over from exhaustion and thankfully, God has graciously given it to me most days. Praise the Lord!)

On a day we felt a little bit more chipper, I worked on this:

It’s going to be (at some point, probably not for awhile) a rag rug for Ethan, made out of some of his old baby clothes.
Now, before you go freak out on me for wasting baby clothes; I did donate the bulk of his baby stuff.
I gave some to friends and the rest to tornado survivors in Alabama and just kept my favorites to make into a rag rug.
I thought it was a cool way to re-use and keep the memories of his babyhood without keeping a bag of stuff I’m never gonna use again in the attic for 25 years. (Hopefully that wouldn’t happen, but you never know!)
Some time ago, before I got my sewing machine I cut them up into strips and sewed a few together by hand, but got tired of it and set them aside.

Enter the sewing machine.
(cue Hallelujah Chorus.)
I am SO thankful for it!!

It’s amazing how much more quickly the ball grows when you don’t have to sew by hand!
It’s also amazing how blurry close-up pictures turn out on my cheapo camera.
Maybe soon I’ll get a better one.

When I get three 6-in. around balls, I’ll braid them together into a long braid, then wrap them around into a round rug to go by Ethan’s bed.
I have some of Eliana’s baby clothes ready to do one for her as well, after I finish Ethan’s.

What are some ways you’ve found to re-use, or re-purpose clothes?? Did it work?