Garden Organically with Whitney Farms!

This post brought to you by Whitney Farms. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you all, but we've had a crazy Spring so far with such late frosts that I am JUST NOW getting my seedlings in the ground for my garden. Maybe on paper it doesn't seem late, but I think last year I had everything started by April 1. Well I guess it turned out to be a fortuitous delay because I was able to take advantage of Whitney Farms® offer to have me try some of their organic plant food!

Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

I was super stoked to get two bags in the mail, one for tomato and veggies and one marked "all purpose." I decided to start with the All Purpose because I have flowers, herbs, veggies, and shrubs in my garden. But really I'm sure either variety would work great. Especially if you're just the watering sort, you'd be surprised at the difference fertilizer makes!

The bag gives directions for LARGE areas, so I followed the directions except I scaled it down quite a bit. I decided to add just a few pellets to each hole as I planted, and to sprinkle the soil around existing plants. Here in NC, we have what I'd like to call "Carolina-The-Death-Of-Most-Plants-Clay." Usually I dig a hole, fill it up a little bit with garden soil, and kind of mix it into the ground. Then I put the plant in and backfill. 

Adding the Whitney Farms plant food was easy:

Here's a shot of the hole with some garden soil. I just dropped in a few pellets (probably about 5-6). 

Then in goes the plant (creeping jenny in this case) and more garden soil.

It's just as easy as that! I followed the same steps for planting all my veggie seedlings down the side of my house. Here's a look:

Squash and zucchini:

I know it's not very impressive now since everything is tiny (except my insane parsley and thyme which weathered our mild winter), but believe me- it will grow! Whitney Farms has put over 25 years into the development of these all natural foods, so you can be sure that your plants are growing beautifully without worrying about any chemical additives sometimes found in other lawn and garden products. The pellet form makes it easy to apply, so you have no excuse not to have beautiful and productive plants!

Here's the best part though: Whitney Farms is offering YOU a $3 coupon to try any of their plant foods or organic soil. Click HERE to sign up and print it. 

So how many of you have started your garden? Are you trying any new plants/veggies this year?

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Lovely Crafty Weekend #70

Hey everyone! I hope you’ll join me today for Lovely Crafty Weekend despite my absentee status this week. I swear I’ve been doing blog-worthy things, I just haven’t had the time to edit pictures and write about them. So let’s see what you’ve been up to after we take a look at last week’s features:

Now I’m a knitter, so this looks like a project that’s beyond me-but Elisabeth Andree has a great tutorial for some crochet flowers on her blog. Aren’t they cute?

{Elisabeth Andree}

Head over to Meeha Meeha for this adorable FREE printable!

{Meeha Meeha}

I love this Spring wreath over at Tousled Day. Ruffles and sequins? Yes, please!

{Tousled Day}

This wire hanger chandelier is seriously sweet. Check out Nifty Thrifty Things for the full tutorial!

{Nifty Thrifty Things}

Thank you to everyone who linked up! If you were featured, grab a button from the sidebar to show off :)

And now, onto this week’s party! Here are some friendly guidelines:

1) Please link to a specific post, not your blog address.

2) Share the love and comment on other people’s blogs! We all love comments!

Rachael and Restoration: The Deconstructed Couch (pt 1)

Earlier this month after my visit to Restoration Hardware, I fell in love with their new “deconstructed” style upholstery. I actually started this project several weeks ago, but ran into some issues which I’ll share here in a minute…

Cue the angels singing: Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh

{Restoration Hardware}

I had a few burlap coffee sacks at the house and decided to makeover my living room furniture (I had been meaning to slipcover the two couches anyways…). Before you think I jumped off the deep end and was about to ruin perfectly nice couches, remember that both of our couches came from Craigslist and, combined, cost just $200. I wasn’t too worried about it going horribly wrong.

Do I ever, though?

Really, I can’t be trusted. This is why I thrift shop. 98% of the furnishings in my home are thrifted, refurbished, or made by me. Horribly wrong or not, I’m proud of it! So on with the deconstruction!

My plan wasn’t actually to deconstruct the couch. Phew. To get a little inspiration, I started by opening up the burlap sacks. They were just whip stitched together with twine… perfect because all the edges were hemmed! Must be related to my friend drop cloth…

It was at this point I realized these sacks were HUGE! I was able to do my small loveseat with just two of them. Here’s the couch before (old shot, but you get the idea):

The plan: cover the base, back, and sides of the couch with burlap, then make covers out of drop cloth for the 4 cushions (2 seats and 2 backs). I cut one sack in two long strips, which were wide enough to cover the bottom of the couch. I sewed them together and placed the seam in the center of the front of the couch (versus running one strip as far as it would go then having an oddly placed seam).

I love love love the teal stripes on this sack, but I thought I’d get tired of them in large quantity, so I opted to just use the natural part for the base. I turned the couch on its back, then stapled the burlap around the bottom where there was solid wood.

Once the very bottom was secure, I pulled the fabric tight and stapled all around the the top part of the base. The only problem? There really wasn’t anything solid to staple to. I thought the staples might hold, so I left it alone for a few weeks- but sure enough they started to work themselves out. I decided to take a different approach: hot glue. I figured that the areas where I’d be gluing are covered by cushions anyways (so if I hated this a year from now there’d be no serious damage). The hot glue worked perfectly!

I draped the back of the couch with part of a sack and stapled/glued it in place. On the sides, I originally planned to use upholstery tacks, but based on my poor results with the staples…well…yeah I sort of gave up on that. I ended up actually hot gluing the sides as well (which actually ended up being hot glued to other stapled burlap, so again there really isn’t any noticeable damage).

Sorry there aren’t any pictures of this process, it basically just consists of cutting fabric to fit the shape of the side (or arm, or whatever your couch has), then folding under the raw edge and hot gluing it in place as you contour it to the shape of the couch. Once I started with the hot glue, it took me about 30 minutes. Easy peasy! Here’s the couch  with its new threads:

It’s hard to see the sides, but I did work in a little bit of those stripes :) Do not judge my animal hair problem, I swear I clean this all the time but it attracts the hair like a magnet (hence the need for lighter, washable slipcovers…)

I love that the burlap breaks up the dark color of the couch, and it looks a lot more interesting than it did before. I still want to proceed with phase two: slipcovering the cushions, but realistically that’s just not happening in the immediate future. For now I’m content with a partially deconstructed couch. What do you think? Would you ever try this on a piece of your furniture?

I’m not dead…

…just busy doing projects. I’m in the middle of about 4 (well really like 100, but only 3 are close to being done…you know how it is). I thought about sharing progress, but I don’t want to ruin the reveals….sooo….

You probably didn’t really think I was dead, but in my family if you don’t return a phone call in 24 hours, you are presumed dead. It’s a bit of an overreaction, but we like to prepare for the worst (or the best?).

Oh and also I have good news to share, but I’m not really in the mood to brag about it right now- maybe later.

Thank you for reading my pointless post!

Guest Blogger Ali: DIY Bike Drink Holder

Please welcome my friend Ali with a great DIY project for all you bikers out there! Here’s Ali:

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I came up with this project one day using only what I already had in my house (minus mount). The can was perfect because it fit my coffee tumbler, beer bottle, water bottle, and coke cans. I even thought about making a mount rigged with something I found around the house, but opted for a “real” mount to give it a more clean look. This is a fun project that may look long because I explained everything in detail, but it really only takes a few minutes and with an awesome end result!

Items needed:

  • Can
  • Bike mount (can be bought at any bike store mine cost $3.99 at our local store)
  • Koozie
  • Baking Soda
  • Sealer such as Mod Podge (see below for homemade decoupage sealer recipe)
  • Paint brush
  • Marker or Pen

Optional items:

  • Drill or metal punch
  • Hammer

1) Cleaning: Rinse out your can and remove label. Hammer down any sharp edges if needed. Remove label
glue with warm water and soap. A little scrubbing may be needed to get it all off depending on the brand
of can you used. At this point you may want to remove any imperfections or serial numbers printed on
the can. You can do this with a light buffing using warm water and baking soda. If you like the can the
way it is then you are ready to move on to the next step.

2) Sealing: Brush on your sealer. As you see I used Mod Podge because I had some sitting around the
house, but you can very easily make your own sealer. You may want to do 2 coats of sealer to make sure
it is well covered and don’t forget to do the inside too! Let dry.

3) Mounting: Determine where you want your mount to go and mark each hole with a marker. I suggest not
doing it on the seam of the can because it is the weakest point.

Then drill or punch holes where you marked. If using a drill I would use a bit that is as big as the shaft
of the screw, but no bigger. If once you have drilled the holes you have trouble inserting the screw just
run the drill through again to widen the hole slowly. Then you are good to attach the mount to the can.

4) Finishing touches: slide in your koozie for some extra insulation and mount it onto your bike.
Aaaaaaand you’re done!

5) Stand back and admire your work

Homemade Sealer Recipe: Combine 50% Elmer’s glue & 50% water in a jar. Shake Shake Shake and voila!

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Thank you so much for sharing Ali!

Lovely Crafty Weekend #69

It’s that time again! Show me what you’ve been up to this week. Here are last week’s top viewed links:

I love love love this rustic welcome sign shared at ReMade Simple.

{ReMade Simple}

 

Kimberly from The Brown Eyes Have It asked you for advice about redecorating her living room…check out her post to chime in!

{The Brown Eyes Have It}

Ashley from Design Build Love revealed her complete laundry room makeover. Her herringbone wall is amazing!

{Design Build Love}

Andrea at Decorating Cents shared her new living room furniture, including a sectional that’s to die for!

{Decorating Cents}

Thank you to everyone who linked up! If you were featured, grab a button from the sidebar to show off :)

And now, onto this week’s party! Here are some friendly guidelines:

1) Please link to a specific post, not your blog address.

2) Share the love and comment on other people’s blogs! We all love comments!

Renu By Leviton

This post brought to you by Leviton. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ok admit it, I know some of you have spray painted (or even brush painted!) your wall plates. I may or may not have been guilty of the same crime. 

What else is there to do when that almond light switch sticks out like a sore thumb? Sometimes you have an oddly place outlet that you just want to disappear. Or maybe you want to add some punch to a room without turning a photo of your kid’s face into a custom wall plate. 

Renu by Leviton is a new line of products designed to make switches, outlets, GFCIsdimmers, and sleek, screw-less wall plates match the interior of your home- whether you want them to blend in or stand out. 

Renu<sup>®</sup> > Brands > Solutions from Leviton Web Site

Renu® is easy to change and available in 20 paint colors- so you’re sure to find a perfect match for your home. And with the screw-less, snap on system, you can change the color as often as you like-no tools needed!

Since our home was brand new, I was lucky enough to get uniform white (albeit boring) outlet covers-which I’ve slowly been upgrading over the years we’ve been in the house. Some of them I’ve changed to match structural elements, like the craftsman style plate in my bathroom and the tile plates on my kitchen backsplash. 

 

But most of the wall plate options out there are limited to just simple 2 outlet set up, and sometimes you need something more…errr…extensive.  Fortunately, Renu® has options for those too. And I have just the spot. 

In our home, right as you walk in the door there is a giant bank of light switches. It has bothered me from day one, so why haven’t I done something about it?

 

  

Well, attractive 4 gang (that’s 4 switches on one plate) wall plates are hard to find. But it’s really about time I address this, I mean the poor plate has been painted about 100 times (oh yes, perk of going to a screwless system…easy removal for wall painting!)

Perusing Leviton’s offerings, I found a stylish option with no problem- now all I need to do is decide on a color.

Wood Smoke?

Or maybe Pebble Gray?

I think either of those colors would look great on my wall for a sort of tone-on-tone effect. But there are also some fun color offerings like this Rich Navy.

And if you’re in need of a 1 or 2 gang switch (way more common than my jumbo control panel), they also offer a stainless steel finish for those sizes. 

Would you like to learn more about Renu® products? The folks at Leviton are hosting three twitter parties to talk about their Renu® line:

Thursday, April 26th9pm EST

Wednesday, May 2nd9pm EST- Leviton is offering 2 sets of Broadway tickets as a grand prize for the twitter party on Wednesday night! Join in on the fun and see if you’ll win!

Just follow @Leviton and #Renu, and at the times above get involved in the conversation. You could win some Home Depot gift cards! Don’t forget to check out Leviton on Facebook- they share great information about energy savings (and they post giveaways too!)

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Rachael And Restoration: Taxidermy

Welcome to the second edition of Rachael and Restoration (read more about this series here).

Taxidermy is all the rage right now, so it’s no shocker that Restoration Hardware has their own line of cast resin and iron beauties.

{Restoration Hardware}

I had actually already started a taxidermy project before I saw some sweet versions in the RH catalog, so I finally had motivation to finish it up :)

 

Once I was happy with my paper mache stag head, I spray painted him white then added fine white glitter with modge podge. Everyone needs a glitter stag head, right?

It took me a little while to figure out how I wanted to mount him on the wall; I considered pallet wood, windows frames, picture frames, and other materials. But ultimately I decided to scope out the plaque selection at A.C. Moore to see if anything jumped out at me.

I found this awesome tall and shapely unfinished plaque that I thought would really compliment the shape of the stag head.

And it was perfect!

Then all I had to do was figure out how to finish it. Do I go bold? I thought about busting out some crazy color spray paint. But, honestly the glitter really had to steal the show, and I wanted a nice rustic contrast to the bling as a background. Instead of getting out my Minwax Dark Walnut for such a small job (it’s oil and stinky), I used some glazing medium mixed with raw umber craft paint. Applied with a brush and wiped off with a rag, it does a great stain impersonation.

Before I attached the stag head, I hammered one of those teeth hangers on the back (critical that the timing of this step is right on).

Then I got out the Gorilla Glue and hot glue for the good part- putting it all together. The head is pretty light, so I thought Gorilla Glue would be fine. I used hot glue to tack down the ears and help hold it in place while the Gorilla Glue dried.

24 hours later, the head is still attached, so I’m marking this as +1 in the victory category. What do you think? Here he is at the bottom of the stairwell (where the pallet memo frame used to be).

My version is a little more glam than the RH version, but then again-so am I (bah ha ha).

I’m calling Project Taxidermy DONE!

Can You Guess…

…what’s going on my my master bedroom?

Pleated Poppy Giveaway: WINNER!!

So sorry I’m a bit late on this today, but I have a winner for the Pleated Poppy $25 credit!

The winner is……

……..

Julie A Scott Laws :) Please respond to my email within 48 hours to claim your prize!

Thanks for entering!!