Hens or Chicks? These NEVER Cluck (but they sure can multiply!)

Finally found a bit of time to help my neighbor with her over-abundance of hens and chicks she planted a couple years ago. She’s been going through a rough patch and my ministry of help has been readily welcomed. I’m glad to help howsoever I can. She just had bladder cancer surgery on Monday. By the time I finished replanting the exterior circle of her succulents at my house and went back out with my dog she had received a call that her sister had just passed away from leukemia. Not been a great day for her.

This is what I had left over after filling my planter at home:

still more growing in the pot!

still more growing in the pot!

Here’s what I planted in my own container:

My pot runneth over.

My pot runneth over.

It’s rather full isn’t it? I have to leave enough room for them to settle a bit. They were getting all scraggly in her outdoors man-made planter area. But what to do with the leftovers in that white bucket? It’s a half gallon food service bucket by the way. Come in handy for a great many things! Just one of my wonderful finds at the recycle/dump center. Yay! I’m always finding great stuff there!

Broken cups still have a great use for planters!

Broken cups still have a great use for planters!

This broken cup I couldn’t pass up out of a dumpster recently. There had been a set of four. One was chipped on the rim and this one had a half side broken. Perfect for little planters! I decided to add the broken off pieces to the bottom for drainage. And since I couldn’t readily get to my usual handful of rocks from my collection I decided to use a couple of my empty medicine bottle lids. Those things like never break down in a landfill anyways! Then I added a pretty cupcake liner since a coffee filter is obviously too big and I didn’t want to waste a good filter for my coffee. (wink, wink). I suppose a person could also use a knitting needle, a crochet hook, a pencil, an ink pen, a drinking straw, a pair of inexpensive scissors (NOT children’s!), a specific length of coat hanger wire from a shop that uses a uniform service ie a service station. Most of those places are throwing away those coat hangers anyhow. I find them in the dumpsters all the time. I’m sure you can come up with even more ideas for poking stem holes than what I’ve been able to list here.

shove the cupcake liner in really good around the lids, rocks, marble....whatever you decide to use for drainage.

shove the cupcake liner in really good around the lids, rocks, marble….whatever you decide to use for drainage.

I then proceed to add the pitiful leftovers of my potting soil from last year. I probably should have long since thrown that out but I do so tend to hoard forever what I think I will need someday. Just so happens I’ve needed this a couple of times now! And since the cup is broken on one side I decided to bank the dirt to one side for appearance.

Bank the dirt to one side. I should have wetted it all down first!

Bank the dirt to one side. I should have wetted it all down first!

After wetting it down I have to admit I lost a bit of the dirt. Not enough to make a difference. It would have been best if I had worked with wet dirt to begin with. Then I grabbed one of my long handled paint brushes laying close by to help poke holes for the long stems/roots of my hens and chicks. You can also use a chopstick, a stick from the yard, a knife handle (dull knife please!) or the handle from a plastic fork, knife, spoon, or that odd spork in the back of the junk drawer.   (Grin!)

best rule of thumb is to use what I have on hand...thus the paintbrush to poke stem holes!

best rule of thumb is to use what I have on hand…thus the paintbrush to poke stem holes!

I started by adding the straggling smaller chicks to the lower edge and letting them hang over a bit. I had to pack them in tighter. Then I started adding some bigger hens with more pronounced roots. Had to get a bit creative and shove the holes at an angle to get the stems to go in the direction that was correct for the tilt of the head. Then I filled in with a couple of medium sizes and a larger one at the back.

How's this for a cup of hangover?

How’s this for a cup of hangover?

I know all of the plants will settle a bit after sitting for a while. That’s what is so nice about succulents. They are very forgiving! This little cup full of loving went to live with my oldest Daughter at Mosey Cottage. But look at what I STILL have yet to plant!

Still have to plant with another bucketful to come!

Still have to plant with another bucketful to come!

I am definitely going to need a bigger planter! I wonder if I can make a living wreath for my door with these? Hmmmm……how to keep it damp? I live in an interior apartment building. Spritz it daily? Soak it once a week? Any ideas?

Until next time I assure you I’m still living life….only my “whole” seems to be getting a wee bit tight now days!

Bonnie aka Peabutton’s Mom

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Easter’s on It’s Way!!

I love how easy these "Tea Cakes" are to put together.  And they look so fancy - you'd never guess what they're made from!

http://www.fleecefunm/1/post/2015/03/kelloggs-rice-krispies-treats-afternoon-tea-cakes.html#coent-181790mm

Howdy Ya’ll!

I’ve been busy filling orders and visiting doctors. I’ve also been taking lots of pix to be shared in the near future! I promise I will get caught up right soon.

Today I wanted to share with ya’ll the inspiration I ran across via my email following. I love Angel at Fleece Fun.com! She focuses usually on making all kinds of fleecy fun wearables, toys, you name it! Today, however, she was sharing her take on some Rice Krispie Treats! These are always a big hit with my family. Indeed my son in law would take an entire pan of RKTreats just for himself!

Aren’t these petit fours just darling? I know I heard my belly growl When I first saw them. I got so excited! I have been thinking to make up Krispie Treats to take for my family’s Easter gathering come Sunday. I wasn’t asked to bring anything but hey, it’s Easter and I still love my kids, their hubbies, and my beautiful grand daughter. Aren’t Nana’s supposed to treat their children well? MY Gramma was always trying to fatten us up when I was little. I loved that about her.

I read through Angel’s post and see where she used store bought Krispie Treats to save on time. That’s a good idea. I will probably make my own and throw another twist to the mix. I like making them with a mix of Rice Krispies and Fruity Pebbles! That makes them colorfully fruity. I am also thinking to perhaps make some with Kix or with the new Reece’s Pieces cereal. What kind of cereal would you use for variety?

Another thing I discovered when reading through Angel’s bog is how EASY it can be to make simple fondant! I honestly never knew it could be so easy! Using the microwave is a bonus for me since I seldom ever actually use my stove.

Many times in the past when I stuffed plastic eggs and filled baskets I would still have candies left over. Great reason to use some of them for decorating these! I can also see making these around Halloween and using little pumpkin candies to decorate them. Wouldn’t that be cute? Or how about with edible flowers for Mother’s Day? Be sure to look up what kinds are edible! Don’t just start throwing flowers on just because they are pretty! Good Heavens I would be heartsick if I ever heard somebody took my idea and ended up horribly sick! Do your research first! Especially if you decide to make these for a fancy occasion like a wedding! And oh the ideas for making these come Christmas time! Or fill a Valentine’s Box? The ideas just keep on coming!

Can you tell how truly inspired I am with her blog post this round? I love tea parties and seldom ever get to enjoy any. Looking forward to when my granddaughter is a bit older than her terrible two’s. She’s just about there now. We are going to have some epic tea parties! Complete with Nana’s Rice Krispie Treat tea cakes!

Go check out Angel’s blog post here:

http://www.fleecefunm/1/post/2015/03/kelloggs-rice-krispies-treats-afternoon-tea-cakes.html#coent-181790mm

Houseplants and Helping Hands

Howdy ya’ll!

As usual I’ve been keeping busy with my art. So to give myself a break I decided to work on my houseplants. I don’t just have a couple small potted plants. I have many with LARGE plants growing. Large, that is, for me. I’ve never been known to have a green thumb. I reckon that the older you get the greener your thumbs grow. (hee hee). Anyhow, since I live upstairs I got permission to use the extra area on the landing. Take a peek:

Plants on the landing

Plants on the landing

As you can see, they have come to be quite unruly. There are three or four pots with Mother in Law’s Tongue and Snake Grass. Those are the long leaf ones. There’s a corn plant/tree in the back left too. I honestly don’t know what kind of plant the one is on the wall. I think of it more as a tree. So did my neighbor boy. Seven years old and wanted to help. I was glad for the company.

I want to show you a trick I learned quite some years ago. It is possible to have planters that don’t have holes in the bottom and still grow your plant friends. It’s all in the preparation. You simply need a drainage system UNDER the plant. Yep, down at the very bottom of it all. How?

Check this out:

place rocks in bottom of planter at least 1 inch deep.

place rocks in bottom of planter at least 1 inch deep.

I love rocks. I am always picking up pretty ones I find on my many walks with my sidekick, Daisy. (she’s my dog). Put a good inch deep of rocks in the bottom of your pot. Spread them out to cover the bottom as close to level as possible. Then add a coffee filter on top.

Scrunch the edges real good.

Scrunch the edges real good.

Scrunch down the edges along the side. You can even press the filter down around the wall and the rocks if you like. The filter helps to keep the finer more important additives to the dirt from sifting through. (Shh! The plant thinks this is the bottom of the planter now!). Now, on top of the filter add a piece of round plastic canvas, cut to fit.

plastic canvas into bottom of planter on top of filter and rocks

plastic canvas into bottom of planter on top of filter and rocks

 The plastic canvas can be rough on the edges. The plant doesn’t care. I happened to have some that were already round. I cut off two rows for it to fit. Now you can finally add some dirt. The canvas helps with filtering too. You always want to put the canvas on top of the filter. First the big and then the small, let those silly particles fall. (Hee, hee! I felt like a rhyme).

The neighbor boy enjoyed trimming leaves and shoveling dirt into pots. I let him take home this very pot I’ve just shown. You probably noticed it’s not really a “pot”. I used a food service container. It’s sturdy and plastic so it won’t leak. Thinking children here….

My neighbor with his new plant.

My neighbor with his new plant.

This has pretty much been my day. Fulfilling. Wholly.

Until next time….

Enjoy life as it comes, even in small packages.

Bonnie

DIYdea for the Artsy/craftsy

Hey Ya’ll! Been missin’ me yet?  Me too!    🙂

I’ve been really busy working on new art ideas. I am an artist and also quite crafty.    😉    I have been working more with my paints recently. In my artist world I came upon a fantastic little quart (or so) bottle with gesso. The art store I bought it from bought these jugs and filled them with gesso. That way a customer could come back in for refills of gesso! Clever! In my own starving artist need I decided to just buy a gallon of “Kilz” style primer and fill the jug myself. After many, many times of use this jug would build up the primer on the screw rings and lid thus becoming nearly impossible to open!

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I’ve had the jug long enough that the lid attachment finally broke. Can you see what I mean about the buildup?  Well, recently I had an epiphany. Honestly, I get tired of scraping that stuff off the rings with a sharp knife. AND I really don’t know why I’ve never thought to do this before!  I use plastic shopping bags all the time under my artwork while I’m painting or gluing. Much less expensive than wax paper!

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Now I want you to know I’ve seen people do similar with gallons of house paint and such. It just never dawned on me to do the same thing on the smaller paint bottles and jars! AND this is MUCH less expensive than saran wrap too! Looky here:

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I simply cut a piece of plastic shopping bag big enough to fit plenty over the opening. Since I already use the bags for everything else I figure why not this?  TADA!!  It works!

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It works like a dream! Each time I open the jug, I like to pick up the “gesso” that’s on the plastic cover with my paintbrush so as not to waste any.   Yep, I can be overly frugal sometimes. However, frugality is not necessarily needed with making plastic covers for the paint bottles. Just throw the cover away after opening and apply a new one each time. With the shopping bags being abundant in the USA it’s quite easy to acquire a pile of them in just one trip to the store! I’ve since cut numerous squares of plastic to use on this jug. Just clip with a clothespin or small binder clip and stash in your art box.   🙂

I hope my little light bulb moment helps you too! Have fun being creative. I definitely do!

Until next time ~ Enjoy!

Bonnie

DIY-Dea…Picture Hanging

Howdy Ya’ll!

It dawned on me earlier today that I have failed to share my quirky DIY-deas for all of you that enjoy DIY. The old adage goes “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. Believe me when I tell you that I am nearly an expert at this when it comes to my crafting and artwork. I can never seem to find what I need at the store. Even the simplest of items evade me! Soooo, I am always stuck having to “invent” or completely make my own items. Through much frustration and trial and error I thought I should share this one 🙂

I had been fussing on how to hang this jewelry/bow keeper that I’ve been working on for nearly two weeks. At first I had thought to rob an old sawtooth hanger from one of my many frames stash. Nope. They had all been pulled or the frames had the screw eyes and wire hanging option. (I always wonder WHY art galleries want this particular style of hanger when there’s so many more creative options!).

Then I thought, pooh, I’ll just go to the store. Huh. They only had huge ones or the type that you tap in with a hammer. Too big and not strong enough. THEN I thought fine, I’ll just buy a cheep frame and steel the hanger from that. Well, couldn’t find a small frame that had a sawtooth hanger! They were all either stand up frames or had those little triangle tags to hang by. Not good. I gave up for that day.

Then, this morning, inspiration hit when my eyes fell on a vintage purse I had hanging in the bathroom (yeah, stupid place for a purse to hang…).  The purse has a chain handle. I thought “what if I used chain to hang my art piece?”.  So I set out to scour through still more of my stash. This is what I found and confiscated for the greater good:

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It was a beast getting the other half of the chain off of it! Oh, I should tell you that this was a cheap bracelet I had previously either bought or somebody gave me. I am always picking up old jewelry to work with.   🙂

Then I went hunting for some screws. Before the kids moved me several years ago I could have found my stash in no time flat. Not so now. I have no idea where my jar of hardware has gone. Instead, I ravaged through junk drawers until I found screws that weren’t too long and that were “do-able”. Go figure….they wouldn’t fit through the chain! Sooo, back to the junk drawer. I finally settled for this:

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Doesn’t nearly everybody have some of these in the back of a junk drawer? The nails look huge in this photo…trust me, though, they aren’t that big. Perfect for my frame after checking to make sure they weren’t so long that they would poke out the front. They fit through the chain perfect and the head of the nail was just right for securing the chain without the chain pulling off. YAY!

So here is what it looks like. I did remember to make sure the chain had some give to it. Almost didn’t though. That would have been a tragedy!  My apologies for it being slightly out of focus….I think you can still see what I did with the chain.

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Are you curious to see what my finished piece looks like?  When it had it’s photo shoot I completely forgot to put a bow on   🙂 

I think you can fill in the blank. You are that creative with your mind, right? After all, we ARE DIY-er’s.

Here is the grand reveal:

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I will be listing this in my Etsy shop later. I sure hope you have enjoyed travelling with me through this DIY share.

Find me on Etsy here:   http://etsy.com/shop/peabuttonsmom

 

Until the next time….guard your fingers from the hammer!

Bonnie