Friday, May 16, 2014

Junkified Gallery Wall

Hey, whaddaya know! 
 I'm finally blogging about something to do with decorating again!  Can you even believe it?  I feel like it's been forever since I've done any sort of decor post.

So last week on the Facebook group I shared that I was dusting off the right side of my brain and trying to get it into creative mode again because I was working on a little project.  I shared a sneak peak picture that showed the corner of a rusty license plate as well as the corner of a picture frame. 
 Did anyone have any ideas of what it might be?  

Well, if the title of this post didn't already clue you in, it was a gallery wall...a junkified one at that! 

Here's a quick reminder of what this wall looked like before.

On the left is the depressing orange color it was when we moved in, and on the right it's freshened up look after I finally got it painted.  And now we have some things up on the walls!  
Yay me!  And it only took me 5 months to accomplish this.  :D

It's just a hodge podge of a bunch of frames and pictures we already had.  I didn't bother to buy all matching frames or paint them in any certain color scheme.  I already had them, they had pictures in them, I put them on the wall, and ¡Voila!...a gallery wall.  

I played around with different bits of "junk" I had in my "collection" until I came up with a look I liked.  I had it all spread out on the floor for a few days while I tweaked it.  I was hoping if Hubby tripped over it enough times it would inspire him and his logical left brain to help me with it and do all of the boring stuff like measuring and leveling, and I could do the fun stuff like stand back and shout orders.  But it was not to be.  He just had too much going on that week, so I tackled it all by my lonesome.  

  The rocking chair has my hundred year old penny square quilt on it now, as well as a little flour sack pillow I found at a thrift store.  Wire baskets in the black cabinet hold our Bibles in one and TV and Wii remotes in the other, and a stack of decorating books brings a bright spot of color to this dark piece of furniture (that I'm still hoping to replace someday).

The right side of the cabinet has an old Royal typewriter displayed.  It was another yard sale find.  It still has some ink left in the ribbon and my kids love to put scrap paper in it and plunk away.

Not everyone will love the tennis racket or even understand why I included it in the mix, I know Hubby certainly doesn't.  He thinks I'm weird.  But it's quirky and unexpected and I like it!  So that's all that matters.  :)  It's vintage, it's wooden, it has red on it, and it was only $3 at the thrift store.  What more can a girl ask for?  

My old rusty license plates make another appearance.  If you've been around for awhile you might remember seeing them on my Christmas porch 2 years ago.  There's actually a third plate somewhere else in the room that I'll be sharing a little later on.

An old folding ruler shaped into a star adds another spot of repurposed "junk" to my gallery wall.  This same idea also made an appearance on a Christmas porch 3 years ago in my basket "wreath."

And did you spot the last bit of junk that's tucked in between two pictures?

If you follow me on Facebook then you might remember this picture from a month or so ago.  It was like Christmas morning for me when my father-in-law gave me some old pulleys that belonged to his father, and an old weather vane he found when tearing down a house.

I tucked one of the directional arms of the weather vane in between two pictures.  It's simply resting on the flat top of the frame below it.  It works out nicely because that wall is an east and west wall so the directions are correct.  This makes the small part of me that is OCD very happy.  : )

Doesn't it have a lovely patina?

I used another part of the weather vane in this little arrangement beside the TV. 
 Can you see it?

Yep, there it is!  The ball part of the vane is sitting atop the books and I tucked some faux ivy down into the hole on the top of it.  I liked that it had a lovely red color going on as it fits in nicely with some other summer decorating I'm doing around the living room.  

And there ya have it, that's my version of a gallery wall. 
 It's so nice to finally have something to look at other than paint.

So what's your opinion?  
Am I completely nuts for hanging a tennis racket on the wall?  
Is the whole thing too random for your taste, or are you like me and 
enjoy the unexpected quirkiness of it all?

Let me know what you think!


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gardening 101...or Not

I showed you a quick picture last week of our garden and promised you an update on what has been soaking up a lot of my focus here lately.  I added the "or not" to the title of this post because Hubs and I didn't really do everything like you're supposed to with this garden, so don't follow our example, lol!

This is our very first garden and we were so excited to get going on it.  I've grown tomatoes here and there, and herbs a few times but we've never done a full garden.  By the time we had a chance to breathe after  moving in and felt like we had the time and focus to commit to the garden, and by the time we found a tiller and got our seeds ordered, we were a little late in the game.  You're supposed to till at least a month before you plant...we tilled a couple of days before, you're supposed to add compost and fertilizers and all other sorts of yummy plant food sources to the soil....we planted right in the plain ol' sandy soil, you're supposed to mulch your plants to help hold in the moisture...we didn't do that either.  We just didn't have time to get all that accomplished this go 'round.  We'll work on doing it right the next time around, but for now we just went for it even though we didn't have the "perfect" conditions.  We figured we'd learn as we go.

Here's our little patch of corn.  I took these pictures early last week and that stalk on the left in the front of the picture was about hip-high on me.  Now a week later it's neck high and starting to tassel out.  I think we only lost one corn plant out of about 90.

Our peas on the other hand...they're not doing so good.  They're really a cool weather plant and we knew we were late in planting them, but we went for it just to see what would happen.  They started off awesome, but as soon as the hot weather hit they sort of stopped growing.  You can see in the picture on the right how small the plant is compared to the soaker hose, yet it put out pods already.  The pods are almost bigger than the poor lil' plant, lol!  Since these pictures, we trellised them and they're still struggling along slowly but surely.

On the left you can see our first planting of bush beans.  They're coming along very nicely.  In the upper right you can see a tiny little pod just starting to grow.  And now a week later and there are quite a few that are ready to pick!  You can also see some buttercrunch lettuce there on the bottom right.  It's also a cool weather plant that we went ahead and planted anyways, and it has grown well, but boy does it taste awful!  The heat has made it bitter.  I've found that it's edible, though, if I soak them in baking soda water, rinse them, then let them sit in the fridge for a day or two.  With plenty of salad dressing coating them I can tolerate it.

I guess you could say our garden is pretty much non-GMO and organic.  We ordered our seeds from an heirloom company, and our seed potatoes came from an organic company.  We haven't used any pesticides or insecticides or such like.  When our beans were getting infested with aphids we hand washed the  We've been hand-picking the worms off of the corn, and setting out ant traps to deal with pesky fire ants that like to make a mound at the base of the plants.

This picture is of our second planting of beans.  They haven't taken off quite as well, and have been a little slow on the uptake.  Though now, a week later and quite a few more of them have poked through.  As I was taking pictures my lil' man buzzed up on his 4-wheeler, hopped off and came running down the row.  "Whatcha doin' Mama?"  "Taking pictures."  "Oh...ok..., bye!"  And off he went.  He's never still for very long.  : )

I dislike gardening gloves and never use them, I prefer to get my fingers right in the dirt.  Gloves just get in my way and I can't feel what I'm doing.  I quite often have dirt ground into my skin despite scrubbing my hands, and most of the time I sport an "earth tips" manicure.  You know, you can go to the salon and spend big bucks on a French tips manicure, but you can get an "earth tips" manicure for free.  :D

On the left in this picture you can see our two rows of potatoes.  They have grown so much already since this picture was taken that I think Hubby is going to have to hill them for a 3rd time!  Now I can see the benefit to container planting them.  On the right you can see we have a row of carrots coming along nicely.

The tomatoes have been a source of aggravation for me.  We tried planting some seeds directly in the soil the first go 'round, even though we had read it's better to start them indoors.  Now we know why they say that.  Not one single one grew.  So then I started some seeds indoors and once the seedlings got to what I thought was big enough, I transplanted them outdoors.  Out of 18 plants, only 3 of them survived.  So then I started MORE seeds indoors, and let them grow even bigger this time before I transplanted them.  Most of them died.  Finally I said phooey on it and just went to Walmart and purchased 4 heirloom plants.  I plan to get a few more as we can afford it.

On the bottom right you can see my first picking of lettuce.

We now have soaker hoses set up on almost all of our rows.  I think we only have two rows that don't yet have them.  They're not cheap!  So each paycheck or so we have bought one or two more as we've been able to afford it and Hubs has them rigged up in an ingenious set up that allows them all to run off of one spigot with equal pressure and each row has a shut off valve to control how much water goes to the individual row.  The spigot is split so that we can also fill a bucket as needed on one side without affecting the hose set up on the other side. I love how men have such mechanical brains.  I never could have thought all of that up, but it works really well.

*Update - I found {this} blog post that is very similar to the set up that Hubs came up with if you're interested. *

During all of this garden work our kiddos have found different ways of entertaining themselves.  They did help us plant a couple of rows of beans and things, and they have occasionally helped pull weeds, but most of the time they wander off once they bet bored.

My littlest one loves to tag along with me and help do the watering.  It's just adorable to watch!  Especially before we had all of our hoses set up and we had to do lots of hand watering every day.  I'd be out there at first light working away and when he woke up he'd put his little boots and jacket on right over his jammies and he'd be tagging along behind me looking adorable as could be with his little sleepy face.  I never had my phone or anything with me at those times though, so I never got a picture of it.

They also find things to do like Florida style sledding!  : )

And after it rains a good bit they've been known to be found playing in the mini-pond it makes in our front yard.

And when there's no puddles to cool off in, Little Man just plops himself right down in the watering bucket!

My next step is going to be to get a pressure canner so I can be ready to can these beans!  
Let the fun begin!  :D

P.S.  I finished up a little project last week that I hope to be able to share with you later this week, and I've been doing some puttering around the living room adding decor and "fluffing my nest."  I'll share that too once I get it finished.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

As Surely as the Sun Rises

 I stepped outside this morning to shut off the pump that controls the water to our garden and discovered that our backyard was bathed in beautiful morning sun rays.

I just had to grab my camera and try to capture the beautiful gift God had given me to enjoy. 

It made me think of the verse in Hosea that says, "Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him.  As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." (Hosea 6:3, NIV)

I just wanted to share a bit of His beauty with you too.

After I captured the sunlight pictures, I turned the other way and got a quick shot of our garden.  
Since that has had a lot of my focus here lately I'll be sharing a garden update post a little later in the week.

I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!


Friday, May 2, 2014

Fun Friday Finds #22

Let me just start off this episode of Fun Friday Finds by being up front and honest with you right from the start.  I didn't find anything too terribly exciting this week.  It has rained most of the day today and there were only 2 sales to be had, and the thrift store pickin's were kinda slim as well.

But I did find a few things.

Before I show you my first find, which involves dishes, I have some 'splainin' to do.  (Who else besides me always hears Lucy and Ricardo in their head whenever you say you have some explaining to do?  "Luuuut-sy!  You have some 'splainin' to do!")  :D   Ok, back on track now.  Dishes.  Ah yes.  I have had our Pottery Barn style dishes for several years now and have just loved them.  They are knock-offs that I found at a thrift store, and they're big and chunky and heavy duty and I've loved them.  But in the past year they've been developing some icky krazing going on as well as mysterious brown spots appearing.  It's really gross and there's no way I would put this out in front of a guest.  

So the mystery spots combined with the fact that several of the dishes have been broken in the past few months (and no, it wasn't on purpose, lol!) has led me to start searching for new dishes.  I've found a couple of sets that are nice, but haven't truly fallen in love with any one set that I want to dish out the money for.  (Haha!  I totally just un-intentionally made a pun!)  So I gave up on the idea of a "set" for the time being and decided that I also enjoy the mis-matched collected look of having lots of different dishes of different patterns.  So I've been watching thrift stores and yard sales to find patterns that catch my eye.

This sweet set of vintage dessert plates I found at a thrift store fit the bill for sure!

Aren't they adorable?!?  
The two on the left are the only ones that have a repeating pattern.

I think they're just as sweet as they can be!

Then today I found this set of plainer white dinner plates at a church rummage sale for $4.  I like the basic-ness of them and they're sturdy and in good condition.  Plus they don't have icky brown mystery stains on them, so that's a win in my book!

They have a pretty design around the edges.

At the same sale, I also picked up these two coffee mugs for 25¢ each.  They don't match the design of the plates, but that's fine with me.  I ain't skeered.

I like a big fat sturdy mug for my coffee and these are just that.

I also picked up these two vintage pillow cases for $1.  I just saw {this} idea on Pinterest and loved it and so I had that in mind when I purchased these.

I'm not 100% sure what this little gadget is, and neither were the ladies who were selling it, but I'm assuming it's a pasta/noodle cutter.  I've tried making my own egg noodles before, but found the process of trying to keep them uniform in size when cutting them to be very tedious and time consuming so I've never tried them again.  But's game on!  (I'm also assuming the sort of serrated blade will make wrinkly edged noodles, kinda of like lasagna?  If anyone knows for sure, feel free to let me know!)

And last but not least!

I found this sweet little chippy ladder back chair at the one yard sale that had braved the rain.  I asked him if I could peek under his tarps and he was more than happy to let me so I braved the drizzle and found this lil' cutie for $5.

I promptly put it on the front porch and placed my galvanized container garden on it.  Granted, the plants need a lil' work, but hey, you can only do so much staging in the pouring rain.

Any-who-zees...those are my fun finds for the week!  
How about you?  Did you find anything great this week?  Feel free to come over to the Facebook group and share a picture or two and tell us all about it!

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