Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recycling Egg Shells

I use egg shells as a deterrent for pests~~~namely slugs!  It will not stop all of them from devouring plants but it does help quite a bit. The sharp shards are not very comfortable for the slugs to go over.  This is a natural substance so it will not hurt your garden, actually it's quite beneficial in a small way as it adds calcium back to the soil.  Also birds will come in and pick up the small pieces and hopefully, any bugs they see. I've also been experimenting with coffee grounds but you have to be careful because they are acidic to the soil...just using them around my Hydrangeas for now.

I don't mind the look of the shells around my plants. To me it's better seeing shells instead of an eaten off stub of a plant. Before I started doing this the slugs would eat all my iris's to the ground they never bloomed for years. Yes, amongst the weeds are my variegated iris'.

I still have to be vigilante and go on "Slug Saffari" at night (in the summer time) after the dew has settled on the plants.  I just grab my flashlight, glove up and pick the little guys off and relocate them, far, far, away. I know slugs are a useful creature...just not so many in my garden please!

If you would like to try this you need to sanitize the shells by either boiling for a few minutes or baking in the oven (toaster oven works too). As you know eggs can contain the bacterium Salmonella, so you want to be careful before setting them out where birds and other wildlife can get them.  I once looked out and the neighbors dog was standing in my squash bed eating the eggshells!!!

I just rinse and save them in the fridge until I get a batch to "cook". You just want to get them thoroughly hot, 350 degrees about 10 to 12 minutes. Then I use this high tech device below to grind them up a bit (usually one of my qualified assistants help with this). And then store them in clean pickle and salsa jars.  The cartons go to a neighbor who has chickens and wonderful fresh eggs! Just heard the girls are starting to lay fairly regular after their winter hiatus. I love being able to put each of these items to another use. 

If you follow this link it will take you to the blog of Lynda Bergman Decorative Artisan, she recently did a post on eggshells and I love how she hung them in a basket. Since I live in slugtopia mine are best scattered on the ground.

It's quite a satisfying feeling to sprinkle them about and know that your using a natural substance that is beneficial to the earth. Years ago I put plastic milk cartons out that I had bated for slugs and I looked out and my Abbey girl had one of the containers in her mouth tossing it around. She had to spend the day at the vets, thankfully, everything was just fine. I haven't used poison bait since.

Thank you for popping in~~~
Happy Hunting and Gathering!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Niche Change

I have a half circle hedge around my stone wall.  Well a couple of years ago a portion got broke out. Knowing it would take months for it to grow back and being impatient, I carved it out larger and made a niche. My  first "statue" was a very colorful, metal  rooster that I picked up at Ross.

Sadly, the years have taken there toll on him. His poor tail feathers have mostly rusted off. So he's going to hold court out back in another flower bed where tail feathers aren't needed.
Again, Ross comes to the rescue, I found this cross the other day while shopping. It's kind of a gold silver combination, and very Celtic looking.

It fits nicely into the niche and I love the feel it gives to it. At night the mercury vapor guard light (emits a greenish light) shines across the top of the house and the cross has a bit of a glow to it. Very ethereal.

The draping shrub to the left was clear down to the ground and just gorgeous. But, the hard prolonged frost we had earlier this winter killed it back.  Last year I started experimenting with trimming the upper hedge's top into several gently rolling waves. Later this summer it will have a profusion of pink blossoms.

Thanks for popping in~~~
Happy Hunting and Gathering!!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Teaspoon Straws

Aren't these rather curious???

I found these shell spoons when out junking. At the time I never noticed that they had holes at the top and bottom of the handle. 

Well, I Googled shell teaspoons and got more images than I really needed.  Did I give up? NO! I Googled a few more logical things. Then "silly inspiration" struck~~~I Googled spoon straws. Viola! there is such a thing. They either have a "Sterling" hallmark or not.  Mine, not!

To be sure they are rather an oddity and of course they're "keepers".

Thanks for popping in~~~
Happy Hunting and Gathering!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lily Turns Two


Lily turns two years old today. We both want to wish everyone a very Happy Saint Valentines day.

The heart is made from strips of torn cloth (an old tablecloth to be exact) and pieces of flat lace. I just shaped a wire hanger into a heart and tied on the strips of 8" to 10" fabric adding pieces of lace every so often. Crinkle ribbon tied into a bow and pearls to hang it by and a crystal "heart" for the inside.

Thank you for popping in~~~
Happy Hunting, Gathering and 
Saint Valentines Day~~~

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quick Slip Cover

I purchased this chaise lounge two to three years ago with the intention of recovering it. A cat had used it for a scratching post before I bought it, and my cat hasn't helped matters! It also had a few stains and needed a new cushion.

When the grand kids come in from outside they just "flop" down on it~~~hence a few more of the stains. So I knew traditional fitted reupholstering was not a smart idea. I was going to need something I could just remove and throw in the laundry. Slip covers??? I find the challenge of a slip cover just as daunting as complete reupholstering.

This is a large piece and I knew this was going to be an involved makeover so I really wanted to be sure of my fabric choice.  So I procrastinated~~~ And dreamed~~~

Photo from Victoria magazine March 2002
This is how I envisioned it to look when done. Crisp and tailored with a clean floral pattern. I passed up a chaise in the style above prior to my armless purchase. And I guess I thought mine would magically grow arms~~~

First I couldn't decide on fabric, then I read all about using drop cloths to recover with.  That sounded like my kind of fabric and my thinking had gravitated to a more neutral covering.  So, decision made!

I purchased a new piece of foam and a couple of drop cloths.  When I opened them I wasn't that excited about the color, so I thought some more.  Then I read how to lighten them with bleach, did that~~~After laundering it became apparent that the texture, weight and color  is different between the two  (these were from the same manufacturer and bought at the same time). One developed small thread bare holes while the other came out with rust spots. I needed both to complete the project. And the color is not where I want it to be...CREAMY not greeeny!!!

Then I found this bedskirt...oh my wouldn't that look lovely with the drop cloths...well, NO it didn't. Were back to the color issue again! These might look as if they match...but not in real time.

So I pushed it to the back burner while a chair in the living room played host to an ever growing pile of fabrics. I had also picked up a couple of white flat sheets to use for cutting and fitting templates. You'll also notice a rolled bundle at the back...well that is a mattress cover...they make wonderful covers for in between your foam and outer fabric.

Well this weekend I decided the pile was going to be put away. Heck, maybe the chaise lounge should just go away too!!!  In the end I couldn't resist just one more try to see if I could make it work. And this is what came about~~~

 YES! I used T-pins and string to complete the fitting...this is only semi-permanent!!!

It's not what I want fabric wise, I'm thinking more of a canvas type material. I still want the floral, floor length, flounce around the perimeter.  And I definitely want a slip cover.  But I'll use this for now.  I like how it brightens the area as I transition to a lighter palette.  Also I'll get an idea how it's really going to work with the grand-kids. And hopefully I'll be more inspired to finish the project!!! But for now~~~

 I added my vintage Belgium tapestry pillow to pretty it up~~~

"The Fortune Teller"


I made this pillow almost two years ago for my booth space...I thought it would be a quick seller...but alas, no one seemed to want to pay $78.00 for it, which I thought to be a reasonable price for it's size (22" x 22") and being uniquely one of a kind.

To make it I added two rows of lace (3" width each) one is an off white crochet cotton and the other is a black polyester.  And I backed it with a gorgeous bronze, satiny fabric. Inside is a wonderful down insert. Took quite awhile to find one that was large enough for the tapestry, as I didn't want to alter the size by cutting. I wanted as much of that lovely pattern as possible.

 Well, at least the pillow is done!!!

Thanks for stopping by~~~
Happy Hunting and Gathering!!!