Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Terrarium How To

For my wedding centerpieces I decided to make terrariums, then give them as gifts to the wedding party.  It was relatively inexpensive to make and went great with our theme which was enchanted forest.  Most of the cost was in the glass, all of the moss I collected from the forest.  The mossy fern I found at the nursery and split up. Layer pea gravel, activated carbon, sphagnum moss, potting soil ( minus the vermiculite), and plants of your  choosing.   This can be done with succulents, just add sand to the potting soil and place in your sunniest spot.  I found that it gets to wet in the terrarium  for succulents and have had better luck with the "forest terrariums".

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas pom pom and felt flower arrangement tutorial

Cut a piece of wool felt into a circle, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Starting on the outside cut into a spiral.

Starting on either end roll felt.  I like to start on outside end.
Add fabric glue every inch or so.

For the pom poms I like to use the clover pom pom maker.  It is so easy to use and it makes perfect pom poms.  Glue the flowers and the pom poms onto skewer sticks, chopstick, or sticks from outside with hot glue.  Place in your favorite vase.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Now we're cooking with gas

We have been in the new house now for a little more than a month and finally we have a working stove.  We have been waiting on the electrician to up the AMPs and install the thing.  So for the past month I have been cooking in the "outdoor kitchen" which is a  camping stove and a grill.  For our first meal I decided to roast a chicken with some red skin potatoes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall views and estate sale finds

One of my favorite features of our home is the amazing sunlight that shines in the windows in different parts of the house throughout  the day.  Back when the home was built they thought about placing windows where they would let in the most light.  Not all homes built these days  have that much thought put into optimizing sun exposure. This photo is of  the fall foliage through the large lead glass front window and  my favorite window in the house

When we were house hunting we were seriously considering a fixer-upper Victorian just down the street from the house that we bought.  It was built in 1890 and has remained in the same family the entire time.  The intricate woodwork on the staircase and all of the mantles has surprisingly remained unpainted and in perfect condition considering the house had been vacant for the last 26  YEARS! A bonus to buying the house was that it came with a Cadillac and all the antiques that had been stored in it by the owner.  The problem was it didn't have a yard and we have 2 dogs.  Plus it did need a lot of work and being vacant for 26 years in northern Pennsylvania will defiantly cause many issues yet to be discovered.  Sadly the owner died waiting for a buyer and  the family held an estate sale over the weekend. We walked down to check it out.  We put a bid in on the dining room set and found a complete set of china never taken out of the box.  I found a unique leather purse, shoes, shirt, and a full set of paint color swatches.  The fella found a couple vintage dress shirts and ties. 
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Before and After

One of the first projects we took on in our first home was to refinish the hardwood floors.  I have a little experience refinishing but nothing as big as hardwood floors.   We did a little research and headed to the rental store to get a drum sander.  The sales associate Bill was worried that we might damage our floors with the drum sander and suggested that we try an orbiter sander, he said " so easy even a girl could use it".  Since I had never done this before and he seemed to be the experienced one I took his advice.  As soon as we got home we plugged it in and got to work, five minutes later we had to stop.  The sandpaper discs were loading up with the old poly.  I continued on like this the rest of the evening, changing the discs every five minutes with the plan of going to talk to Bill first thing in the morning.  Bill assured me that I was doing the right thing and the only thing that I could do was to " keep on doing what I was doing".  I asked again about the drum sander because at the rate I was going I would be sanding for weeks.  Again he advised against it, so I went home and got back to work.  After an hour I came to the conclusion that Bill didn't know what the heck he was talking about and back to the rental store I went to get a drum sander.  By the time I got there the last drum sander was rented just fifteen minutes before I got there.  So I had to drive thirty minutes to another store that had one.  Once I finally plugged this thing in I was so nervous that I would damage the floors.  I couldn't believe it, all it took was once over and I was down to bare wood.  It was easier, faster,  and I wasn't making big grooves in it like Bill had warned about.  As you can see they turned out beautifully and I am so proud to say we did it ourselves. We stained them a dark walnut to cover up a water stain that was in the foyer.