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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Raised Beds part Deux and more Garden Junk!

I have been busy this last week (and my husband too!) working on the raised beds. They are now all assembled and planted! I unrolled some tomato cages and draped them over the top to discourage the cats from using them as their litter boxes and to keep the peacocks out.
What a weird garden pest to have..peacocks! These are my new tomatoes. I went for mostly heirloom varieties and one cherry tomato plant for the boys. My 8 yr old son and 2 yr old grandson looove cherry tomatoes!
What's up with the egg carton you ask? I used it to space my seeds! I saw a fancy schmantzy "dibble" that Martha Stewart had "professionally crafted" (scoff) and figured this would work just as well! You just "smooosh" (technical term) the egg caton down to make indentations and add your seeds in the dimples. For smaller lettuce and spinach I put a seed or 2 in each dimple.
For peas and beans I skipped a hole. These are raised beds and have optimal "straight from Lowe's" garden soil (24 bags per bed!) and you are SUPPOSED to be able to crowd them. We'll see how this works! I can always thin.This last one is our berry patch..raspberries, as my grandson says, "blubarbs" (rhubarb) and blueberries. We think the poor baby is allergic to strawberries. He broke out in a rash when he ate them in his baby food. We may give it another try to make sure.I can't imagine life without strawberries!
This is some more of my favorite garden"junk". I love old metal lawn chairs! This one I painted aqua about 5 years ago..time for a new coat. I sort of like the crusty rusty look but don't want it to rust away!So maybe aqua again or if I can find it bright hot magenta pink..hmmm..
I think I may flank this one with the other 2 and make a garden "couch". A couple pillows and I'd be set! I mentioned a new KMart metal patio end table to my husband trying to steer him in the right direction for Mother's Day but he said (shocker) I'd rather find something old! Good boy!! I just need a place to set my drinks. I do have a slab of marble and a birdbath base you can see lurking in my garden pics..hmmmm.
This last one is my very favorite piece of garden junk. This is the cupola off my great grandpa Hardie's barn! I never met him except through pictures and DNA. I went to the "home farm" a few years back. Still family owned but nobody has lived there for years. The barn was torn down and dragged into a "burn pile". I spotted this in the pile an pulled it out and carted it back to TN from SD.My husband understands me! It even has a bullet hole through it. This is covering the well head faucet. I want to make a base for it ..I was envisioning a simple platform. I was talking to my husband and he said"how about a roof?" I told him, Son..just knock yourself out!" So maybe... Here's hoping you have a great day and stop on back! We are going estate sale-ing this weekend so keep your fingers crossed that I find some great stuff to share on here! I have been dreaming of great estate sales lately so maybe it is a foreshadowing! Hope so! Til next time! Julia

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garden Junking

Welcome to my Junkin' garden! I love to garden (at least until it gets reeeaally hot!). I love estate sales and auctions, and I loooove junking! I am very *cough cough* "thrifty"..ok..I'm cheap! I made this arbor with some help from my honey from a huge restaurant awning tunnel that the steak house near my former antique store had on the curb. Actually on the grass of the hotel's lawn, but close enough. I went and asked if I could have it and besides looking at me like was nuts I think they were glas to have me haul it off. It was about 15 feet long and we had to cut it into 3 pieces to get it on our honey was SO impressed! :) After I explained my plan he grumbling was my fix it man. The posts are landscape timbers set in quickcrete. The sides are 3 old gates (one from my childhood home) and 2 rusty metal headboards. I don't think I paid more than $5 for any of them. There is also a section of one of those curly black porch supports.
My kids laid the path for me for mothers day a few years ago..I was happy! The rusty propane tank makes me very UNhappy because we don't even USE propane but the propane company won't come haul it off and it is technically theirs so there it sits in all its uglosity. I am planning to toss some wire fence over it this spring and grow morning glories over it.
Head board and gates in the background..
Head board and more gates and my bench..
Curly porch support..
I spray painted a couple old birdcages to stick in my flower beds as accents. This is a gazing ball sitting on a curled upside down tomato cage..just bend the feet. It kept falling off the blue birdbath post. I am planning to E6000 a pretty plate or platter to that and move it.
My people are hell on garden tools. My 8 year old broke the head off my flat rake in the garden last week while weilding it like a crazed ninja gardener, using it as a hoe instead of a rake. 2 points for enthusiasm.. - 2 points for the rake! I just save the heads and stick them through the garden on stakes as fair warning to all the other garden tools who may get any ideas! I may eventually make some scarecrow figures out of them, but as scarecrows usually only creep ME out..maybe this is for the best!
I have 2 of these old zinc chicken waterers. I just turned them upside down for an instant planter. I bought herbs yesterday and this one is getting rosemary and the other is getting either lavender or lemon balm.
A ginormous metal whatnot I HAD to buy at an estate sale last summer. The guy said it was an old bell but I think he is full of horse manure. It IS a gorgeous bronzey brass beauty though. It holds water and if I can ever be responsible enough not to burn out the pump it will be a small fountain/pond. I refuse to drill a hole in it for a drained planter though! The word "manure" always makes me think of one of my fav movies Cold Mountain where Rene Zellwigger as Miss Ruby Twos described her daddy as "That MAN is so full of manure!!! If you laid him down on the ground another one would sprout right up!" It also makes me remeber I am a farm child and was up close and personal with plenty manure. Farmers will tell you, "Smells like money!" But if it isn't your cow, pig, sheep, it just smells like poo! There also was also the usual Sunday morning accustations from my Mom in the car on the way to church.."SOMEBODY has manure on their shoe!" LOL I am not a prissy girl! But I digress..
Ok..this is another one of y vintage painted birdcages and a cheap thrift store brass doll bed I painted faux rust (Spray Krylon...spritz of black ..spritz of reddish brown primer and or brown)

The last pic is a bunch of glass chunks I got at an auction. They said they were factory leftover chunks. The big one IS mason jar blue and the pale green appears jadeite. I just think they are pretty and they will also go in a birdbath eventually! I have a couple huge aqua ones elsewhere in another bed. Hope you have fun junking for your garden! Til next time..don't step in any manure and if you do, scrape your shoes! LOL Julia

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adventures in Raised Bed Gardening

Hi guys! I have been considering raised bed gardening for awhile and an Etsy team member's post re-ignited the spark. I realized I had all the wood I needed sitting in my shed. I had an antique/vintage store for 10 years and when I closed it 2 years ago I took apart my shelving and saved it for later use. There was a stack of 12" x 8 foot boards. I didn't want to waste any wood so I decided to make my beds 4' x 8'. Each bed took 3 eight foot cut in half for the ends.
Weused scrap 2x4 for the corner braces. My husband did all the circular saw work because I hate the noise and am a menace..last time I sucked the cord up beside the blade!
He also has more screw driving power than me, but that is actually MY drill driver..I use it more than he does! (I think it is my 3rd one..I wore the first 2 out!)
My daughter Alexa got to staple thick plastic sheeting to the inside of the boards. I thought it would be good to have a moisture barrier between the soil and wood so the beds would last longer. I think I could have re-used the bags the soil came in and stapled them along the sides, but I didn't think of that until my last bed!

My ground was less than even so where there were gaps on one end, I blocked them w/ some edging I had. Stones or bricks would work too. I have fought with Tennessee clay for 12 years and I am hoping this works better! More to come! Julia

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Irises and Roses

My first iris of the year! The iris is TN's state flower. You see quite a few blooming wild in the ditches. This is one from my flowerbed. It originally was in my husband's Gramma's garden in SD. When she passed and they were selling the house a few of us dug a few from her huge iris bed, I am amazed I didn't kill them! Mine are all purples and light and dark purple bicolors. She did have a few yellow and bronze ones but I never got any of those! These remind me of her when they bloom. Gramma Minnie was a sweet woman and a lifelong gardener. If you look in my older posts, she is the lady in the snowball fight with her husband..I think January posts!

My first roses. This one is a bright pink single and great smelling. I think maybe a Bonica..I'll need to see if I left the ID tag on it! I need to replant some roses this spring..a couple didn't survive the winter..too wet? Too cold? I doubt too cold since this is TN, but it was an unusually cold winter for here.
This last pic is a piece of my garden junk art. It was originally a metal Eiffel Tower clock in my old store but either a customer or my then 2 yr old tore the hands off the clock so home it came. It was green, but I painted it faux rust. Just alternately spritz it with red primer, black and brown spray paint..not solid coats(except the first coat) just a spritz here and don't even let it dry between colors..just spritzes of black, spritz of brown, spritz of primer, back and forth until it looks like you want it too! Tres chic! Those are iris behind it too but they are yellow and not ginormous like Gramma's. I like lots of repurposed bits in my garden and flower beds! Tomarrow I will have pics of the raised beds we are making for the garden. Last night and this morning it poured so I am in a bit of a holding pattern. Maybe tonight it will be dried off. Hoping you have a beautiful day! Until next time! Julia

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Before and afters..and just afters..

Hi guys! I have been working on projects the last couple days. It feels sooooo good to get back to crafting! This is a "before" of a tote my husband bought me.
This is the "after". I used some old Martha Stewart Giverney Green acrylic enamel paint. It has been looong discontinued, but was still good once I got the can open! I hand painted some fleur-de-lis and French text onto the side. I left the other side plain so if you got tired of this side, you just turn it around! This one got taken to my vintage booth today..great for garden tools, pots of flowers..I forgot to take a "before" of these. They are vintage domed reverse painted charming! My friend Debbie loves silhouettes (Hi Debbie!) and I can certainly see their charm too. My grandma used to have some of these in rectangular form with outdoor scenery behind them. One of these has the original scenery (which is still behind the off white paper I added) and one didn't. The frames were really sad peeling gold and they are plaster! These also went to my booth today.
Also an "after". These are some cute embroidered net shoes I sort of remade. I Thought they had such a sweet Marie Antoinette /princess vibe, I covered the worn insoles with pretty pink scrapbook paper and added sweet pink satin roses I made. They are just hot glued on so I don't know how wearable they are but I thought they were just pretty as a decor item!
Close up of my satin rosettes..I need to make some of these to sell!
They have the sweetest BRASS Louis heels! Alas..not my size! Off to the booth!

And this is just my random cuteness picture of the day! Awwwww.. This was on my facebook page today..a friend of my cousin's. My sister had a pet racoon. her dog dragged it up to the house as a baby. I believe his name was Randy. She said he would sit on the couch like one of the kids watching cartoons or Playstation. The would take it places on a leash. He would also sit on her shoulder and mess up her hair. My mom didn't like him..she said he always untied her shoes! He went to racoon heaven after a neighbor mistook him for rabid as he was running right up to him..poor Randy! This little guy is adorable but considering the kitten's pose, I don't think he was totally impressed! Hope you have a great weekend! Until next time! Julia

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fabulous Feedsack

I loooove vintage feedsack fabric. Feedsack fabric was a "child" of the depression and WW2 eras. An astute feed salesman saw that women were reusing feedsacks as fabric for household items and got the brilliant idea of packaging his feed in brightly printed cotton bags. Sales on his brand of feed shot thru the roof and soon other feed companies followed suit. The feed sacks were slightly over a yard of fabric and were often used for children's clothing. If you got a couple matching bags, your project could be larger. I have seen feedsack children's and women's vintage clothing. I have seen it in towels and often used in quilts. It is just so darn cheery! The prints vary from florals to geometric, plaids, solids and novelty prints..some of which are quite coveted!
The fabric has a telltale weave and sometimes you can even see the holes where the thread was removed and the bag opened along the selvedges and top or bottom. Usually I find remnants or opened bags but this summer I hit the bounty. I was late to an estate sale and figured most of the goodies were long gone but went thru the house anyways. In one bedroon was the most gawdawful trunk upolstered in what appeared to be pink shag bathmat! Inside it was stuffed with fabric and I started digging. The first feedsack I saw I almost squealed! I filled a whole large paper bag. There were no prices so I asked the man in charge how much and I believe it was a couple dollars. There were full sacks and pieces parts. Most of these pictured are long sold but I had to do a glamour shot of them to remember them by!
Pinks and blues..
I really liked the one with the red hibiscus flowers..
Here's one with some of my paper peonies.. found a few more this weekend but they have some spots so they are washed and getting the sunshine treatment on the grassy hill behind my house. Hopefully the spots will come out. I soak old linens overnight and spin them out in the morning. lay them out on the dew damp grass and let them dry in the sun. The combination of the dew steaming up through the cloth, the chloraphyll in the grass and the sunshine can take out most stains (not paint, rust or ink) and is easy on the fabric! It is especially good for things that have yellowed in storage. Sometimes it takes a couple treaments, but it is amazing how white they can get!

Last shot..not fabric but I had to share a butterfly I "caught" on my flowers today..a swallowtail I amazing! They are quick little buggers! Hoping you have an amazing day! Til next time! Julia