Garden Art From the Faire

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Today I’m sharing the fun new pieces of garden art I picked up at the Palmer Midsummer Garden & Art Faire I told you about yesterday.  One of my favorites is this little rusty flying pig stake.  At $10 he wasn’t a bargain, but I couldn’t say no to his cuteness.  He’s a perfect fit for our farmhouse style, but his wings give him just the right amount of whimsy for the garden.  I put him in the watering can planter which provides the perfect launching point for him over the pink lobelia.

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If you were paying close attention last week when I shared our septic pipe disguise project you probably already saw the willow and birch dragon fly I added to the wheelbarrow planter.  I’ve got a few other dragon flies around the garden – including some very large live ones! – so he fits right in.  The vendor making them had larger versions available for $15, but I spotted this guy as part of an arrangement and knew he’d be better sized for where I wanted him.  Luckily, I was able to get the vendor to agree to break up the arrangement and sell him separately for just $5, which I thought was a fantastic price!

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This glass crow is probably my favorite find from the faire and was also the first I bought that day.  I absolutely love the iridescent colors on his wing and tail that catch the sunlight.  He was only $20, which I thought was an amazing price, knowing the skill and time glass work take. The vendor also had other designs as yard stakes and wall hangings.  I told him if he makes puffins and salmon as yard stakes in the future I want to add them to my garden.  I may eventually paint Mr. Crow’s stake a dark color so it blends in a bit more, but for now I love how he’s perched over top of the dianthus.  Even the Hubs commented on how he looks good there!

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And lastly was this sweet metal wheelbarrow planter I scored for just $16.  It turned out to be a perfect fit for the crock I already had on the deck.  Now that I know it gives the crock good height, I’ll pick something that trails down the sides for this planter next season!

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Notice that little rusty bee in the crock?  That’s a bit of garden art I DIY’d.  I did a few others as well which I’ll be sharing soon, so watch for that.  Until then, I’d love to hear what you think of my garden art haul from the faire, so leave a comment below.

Peony Picking

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I’m back from my unplanned hiatus from posting with a fun little adventure the Hubs and I took over the holiday weekend.  I learned of a local peony farm on Facebook and discovered they were hosting a “U-Pick” event with amazing prices for two days only.  Although I hadn’t planned to leave the house during the long weekend it was an opportunity too unique to pass up and I wanted to see if it might be a possible photo shoot location.  By the time I heard about the event, the first day had already concluded so we made plans to go check things out the next afternoon.

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Although it had rained on and off all day, we hit the road to make the 20 minute trek to Willow where the farm was located.  There was a light drizzle when we arrived, but we only had another half hour to enjoy the event before it ended so we checked in with the owners to get the basics on how to cut and what was off limits, then headed out into the field.  There were several varieties to choose from with colors ranging from white to dark pink.  We made a good team – I had the clippers and the Hubs carried the bucket for cut stems.

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The bushes were full of blooms, causing many of them to topple over from the weight.  We wandered the different rows selecting a variety of colors to create a pretty bouquet.  The rain became heavier after a few minutes and the raindrops that landed on my lens created artistic blurs to some of my images.

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As you can see, he had neglected to wear a jacket and was getting pretty wet, so he wasn’t very pleased with my tendency to get distracted every few steps.  So he pulled out the spare set of clippers and started picking a few stems on his own.  This guy must love me like crazy to be out in the rain, cutting flowers on his holiday weekend. 🙂

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While he picked the second half of the stems for our bouquet I took the opportunity to snap a few more shots of the blooms.  I love how the rain sat on the petals and made all of the colors so vibrant.

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I also snuck in a few shots with a unique perspective while I was at it.  Wouldn’t this just be a fantastic backdrop for portraits of a little girl, high school senior gal or a maternity shoot?!  My mind is already turning with pose ideas!  Luckily I chatted with the owners a bit about doing a trade of photos for their website to use the location for a session next summer, so that just might happen.

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As we were leaving the farm we came across two ladies in need of a bit of help with their vehicle.  The air guard under the front bumper had come unclipped on one side and was dragging so they were trying to get the other side undone but didn’t have the proper tools on hand so the Hubs pulled out some manly gear, got down on the muddy road and made it happen while I chatted with the ladies.  It was a sweet way to end the adventure, even though we were all quite wet by the time it was over.

I’ll share a picture of our finished bouquet over on the Facebook page so be sure to stop by and see it!

Burlap Pepper Pots

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Hi everyone!  I’m feeling quite a bit better and am back to the usual routine, albeit a bit slower than normal.  Today I thought I’d share this quick project I did over the weekend to create planters for some extra pepper plants that didn’t fit in our garden box.  I originally saw the idea on Pinterest but it didn’t have a tutorial so I just kinda made it up as I went along.  These cute pots are actually 5 gallon buckets.

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This is how they started life.  Not quite the look I was going for.  So I dug out some burlap I’d picked up last season and did a test fit to see how it would work.  Since my pieces were fairly large I folded them in half, which worked well to block the blue color and store logo on the bucket.

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To finalize the fit I laid out the burlap on the ground and wrapped it around the bucket until I was happy with the placement.  Then I cut pieces of twine and tied it around the bucket at the top and bottom to hold the burlap in place.

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I fiddled with the burlap on the first bucket, trying it both pulled tight and leaving it loose.  I ultimately decided I like the loose option which made them look like old grain sacks just filled with dirt.  Here they are tied and ready for plants.

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The Hubs drilled a couple of drainage holes in the bottom of each bucket and I filled them with soil.  Each got a single pepper plant so that when it grows I can add a support stake or cage.

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And here’s the finished line up.  The Hubs was actually pretty impressed with how nice they turned out – and I know this because he commented on them unprovoked!  Since I took this shot the other day Brinley decided to ‘help’ with the gardening and pulled the pepper plant on the right out of the soil.  Luckily, I caught it quickly and was able to put it back in and give it some extra watering to revive it but I’m not sure it will make a full recovery.

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But even if it doesn’t I’ve got the two others in buckets and three more in the garden box so hopefully, we’ll get quite a few peppers to enjoy this summer!  I’ll be sharing more of our garden starts next week so watch for that.  Until then have a fabulous weekend! 🙂

Shared on Knick of Time’s Talk of the Town #24.

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Our Budget DIY Wedding

Summer has arrived and along with it come wedding season.  Since our wedding was before I started the blog I’ve never shared it here but I thought you’d enjoy seeing our budget-friendly DIY details, so here’s a quick recap.

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We chose a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado as our venue because they had a beautiful garden area where we could host the ceremony.  Rather than spend money on decorations that would only be seen briefly we kept things simple and let the focus be on us and the lush backdrop.

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I ordered bouquets for myself and my sister who was my Matron of Honor from a local grocery store’s floral department and added burlap wraps with ribbon and a rhinestone pin to each.  Since the hubs wore his uniform he didn’t need a boutonniere which was an additional cost savings to not having to buy a suit or tux.  We requested his best man – who was his brother – wear a navy suit, which was readily available in his finance VP wardrobe.  I gave my sister free rein on her dress selection just asking her to pick something navy blue as well, so she found an option she can wear again at a reasonable price.  My mom paid for my dress, which we found at David’s Bridal for around $900.  I had a local seamstress add a purple sash I bought online to the waist to customize it a bit.  I found a rhinestone headband and simple veil online for a good price and bought shoes I could wear again to complete the look.

The reception was held in the restaurant’s upstairs dining room where the tables were arranged in long rows.  We placed a simple burlap runner that my mom made down each and sprinkled river rocks from the dollar store (if I remember correctly we cleaned out their inventory! LOL) between the frosted votives provided by the venue.  I ordered a bunch of daisies from the same vendor we used for the bouquets and snipped the heads off so they could be added in randomly among the rocks and candles.

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01-01The venue provided printed menus customized for us as part of the package price.  They were simple but worked well with the tone of everything else we had going on.

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Our favors were photo tile coasters I made with modge podge and my own Alaskan photography.  The place cards on top were tied with simple jute twine and the symbols notified the wait staff which entrée each guest had pre-selected.

01-01Our guest book was made of pre-cut card stock in our wedding colors where guests could leave a note and slip it into slots in a scrapbook.  I later added photos of each guest next to their cards to finish the project.  I found the scrapbook on clearance for around $15 and used a coupon to buy the card stock as 12″ x 12″ sheets that I cut down so the total cost with the photo prints came to around $30.

The frame we had nearby held the day’s schedule printed on our wedding stationary – left over stock from a DIY kit I picked up at Michaels with another coupon to make our own invitations and response cards.  The frame later became décor in our home and now holds a recipe for a good marriage which I toasted the hubs with at the reception printed on some left over stationary.

01-01The venue was able to make simple cakes so I requested a two tier Chantilly cake with berries for a garnish, which was DELICIOUS!  (FYI – We’ve since discovered that Whole Foods has a Chantilly cake that is practically identical so we order one whenever we’re in Portland to celebrate.)  The rhinestone monogram topper was another Michaels coupon bargain that ran me around $5.  It later became an ornament for our Christmas tree with the addition of a ribbon hanger so now we can enjoy it every year.

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My mom picked up these little treat bags on clearance and added some of her favorite candies.  We borrowed a basket from the venue and set them out next to the cake with a few extra daisy heads and a votive to dress them up a bit.

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We also saved by not hiring a DJ. Instead we put together a playlist of music for both the ceremony and reception.  A friend helped make sure the right song was selected for the first dance and other important moments, which only took a few moments away from her enjoying the event.

As a photographer myself, I knew the importance of having a visual memory of the details of our wedding, so we made photography a priority with a chunk of the budget (photography credit for all photos to Nicole Nichols Photography).    The other big expense was the food, but it was very good and well worth it.

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I don’t have the exact figures anymore but the final total came to around $8,000 thanks to our budget conscious shopping and DIY choices. That didn’t include the rehearsal dinner which was covered by the hub’s family, but that was something that had been saved and planned for in advance.

I encourage couples planning their wedding to prioritize what they want and compromise on the things that aren’t as important or don’t have as much of a lasting impact. It is possible to have a dream wedding on a budget, it just takes planning and determination. 😉

Two Metal Hearts

0I finally found a spot for the metal hearts I picked up at the Alaska Chick’s Vintage Market a few months back!  I toyed with several spots both indoor and outdoor but decided they would work best as a compliment to the flowers in the front beds.

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The rusty metal color plays well off our neutral siding.  And it only took a couple of nails for each to get them to stay just how I wanted.

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Although the flower bed itself is still in progress, the hearts look great above the blooms and since they sit under the eave of the house they should remain fairly protected from weather.

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Now anytime someone comes to our front porch they’ll see these rusty hearts.  Plus we can enjoy them every time we’re out on the porch to watch the dogs play.

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I haven’t decided if I’ll leave them up year round or take them down for winter.  We’ll see how they fair over the summer and make a choice when fall arrives.  Until then I plan to enjoy them regularly! 🙂

Getting the Deck Ready for Summer

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The temperatures are getting warmer and the sun is out longer which means it’s time to get the deck ready for summer!  I switched things up in the yard this year and put the sectional seating elsewhere so we could have a dining table on the deck.  Having one here makes more sense because the grill is nearby and the space is just off the sliding door to the main area of the house where the kitchen is.

I picked up this great table and chairs set on the local buy/sell page for just $100.  I love that the metal design is sturdy and won’t hold water so it should be ready to enjoy all the time.  I originally planned to add cushions to the chairs, but they are surprisingly very comfortable so I just used the throw pillows I already had instead.

The hubs dug out the umbrella and we placed it with the table for extra stability.  It took a tumble off the deck at the end of the season last year which broke the arm the hubs had repaired after we bought it at Goodwill.  This time he used metal tubing and painted it to match so it blends in quite well.

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You really have to look closely to spot which arm is the one that’s been repaired, so I’d say he did an excellent job!  As an extra precaution we keep the umbrella down when we’re not using it, just in case the winds pick up when we’re not around.

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Before we got everything set up we also pressure washed the deck (ignore the fact that it’s still sitting off to the side there.) so we had a clean slate to start with.  We’ll be painting the deck at some point this summer since it’s starting to show wear and needs a refresher, but a good wash works for now.  I’ll be adding plants to the various planters you see in the far corner this weekend and tilling the area around the deck to add landscaping there.  Check back next week to see it all come together! 🙂

A Little Pickin’

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The other day I spotted an ad on the buy/sell page for several old rusty items and decided to spend a few minutes checking out what was available.  One of the items was a set of metal lockers for $10.  Although I don’t really have a spot planned for them I claimed them and made arrangements to pick them up that evening.

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They turned out to be quite large and heavy.  While moving them we also discovered that there were small drawers inside each!  As the hubs figured out a plan to get them in the truck the property owners told me to look around and see if there was anything else I might want because they were clearing the lot to build and wanted it gone.  Not one to pass up the opportunity for a real life picking moment, I started exploring the piles of stuff tucked between trees and forgotten for years even thought I was still dressed from work at the office.

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I found these two bed spring frames in an old truck bed and knew they would make awesome trellises for my garden!

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Then I spotted this large metal tank that had been cut down and immediately fell in love with it.  I’m not sure if it will become garden art or if I’ll make it into a seat for next to the fire pit!

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I also found some cool bits and pieces of things to fill in the open areas of my gardens including large springs, metal grates for small trellises and a metal twin size headboard that is begging for a second life.  I also spied this amazing jerry can in a pile and snatched it up.  I hunted for a match for it but I couldn’t pass it up.

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The owner took me up to a conex box he had more stuff stored in and I spotted these larger springs and metal crates.  He made me a deal for on the whole group and I quickly stashed those in the truck too.  At this point the truck was full and it was getting late, so we made arrangements to come back the next day to get the rest of our finds and I quit looking.  Tired, covered in rust and dead leaves we headed home to unload our treasures with smiles.

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Take a guess at what my amazing haul cost… I paid just $50 for the whole batch!  That’s a whole ‘lotta rusty goodness for a bargain price!  I’m not 100% sure where I’ll use each piece just yet, but now that I have them I’ll find creative uses for them and I’ll be sure to share how I utilize each here on the blog once I do.  🙂

New Décor in the Laundry Room

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Is anyone else out there a serial fluffer when it comes to laundry? The hubs knows full well that just about every load that goes in the dryer will be fluffed at least once before I break down and pull it out to fold or put away. I’d seen several signs that said “Wash, Dry, Fold, Repeat” but none that included Fluff in the process so I decided I needed one for our laundry room. I originally planned to DIY this but when I discovered Rustic Champagne at the Alaska Chicks Vintage Market I decided to have her create one for me instead.

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I originally planned to hang the sign above the door to the garage but while measuring the space for it I noticed it would work better where the metal safety pin art I had previously DIY’ed was, so I opted to sell those and replace them with the sign. Luckily, the sale of the pins and another item paid for the new sign, so I was ok with bending the rules of No-Spend April since it worked out to be trading two things for one better one. Plus I started arranging the order back in March so it doesn’t count *cough*cough*.

It will look even better once we get the countertop installed on the cabinets in here, but that will definitely have to wait until No-Spend April is over and based on the quote I got recently it will probably be a while before we commit to that project.

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I love the rustic finish and the white background lightens up the space by reflecting the light from the window, which the safety pins never did. Plus the simple design keeps it from feeling too fussy or overwhelming the space.

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And if you look closely, you’ll notice a little clue about the next project I’ll be sharing just outside the window. It’s been a big one, but definitely brought a vast improvement thanks to a lot of hard work by the hubs!  Check back soon to find out what it is!

Vintage DIY Magnets

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Today I wanted to share a quick DIY project I did with some of my Vintage Market finds.  Remember these fun antique letter blocks I got from Alaska Picker?  They were the perfect size to work as magnets on our chalkboard portion of the new command center.

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The backs were solid blocks of wood so there was a perfect surface to attach magnets.

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I picked up a pack of strong magnets at Michaels.  Other shoppers probably thought I was a nut-job as I tested several packs on various metal items around the store before deciding which option had the best grip.  But I a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do to make sure her project has staying power. 🙂

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I was pretty sure the magnets were strong enough that I could use one per block, but since the pack came with 8 I decided to double them up on each just for good measure.  A little hot glue and we were in business.  It seriously took longer to wait for the glue gun to heat up than it did to glue the magnets down.

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One of the blocks apparently had some paper backing still attached where I added the magnet so it came off, but I cleaned both up and reapplied it without issue.

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And here they are on the chalkboard.  They do blend in a bit with the colors but that’s ok because they are the perfect size for the space.  Once they were up I noticed that having magnets on each corner kept the blocks level rather than having one in the center where the block might get bumped and loose grip, so I’m glad I decided to go that route.

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So what do you think of my new/old magnets? I’d love to see how others have used vintage letter blocks in their décor, so leave me a comment with a photo if you have!

Alaska Chick’s Vintage Market

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Last weekend I visited a fun Vintage Home Market, which I had been eagerly anticipating for months.  I attended the event last year when it was held at a smaller venue which became very crowded, so I was glad they were able to move to this larger space.  I had a wedding booked that afternoon so I went first thing in the morning, despite the late spring snow storm that had rolled into the area.  Tickets went on sale at 8 am and doors opened at 9, so I arrived a little after 8 to pay and get in line.  The picture above is the view as you enter the building.  On the other side of the entry was this beautiful set up.

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I browsed the front booths from the line, including this double space booth done by the market coordinator, Alaska Chicks.  There were so many great items packed into the space that you had to look several times to see them all.

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They also had this fun photo booth at the front of the line where you could take selfies with the vintage car and model.  It was a great idea to utilize the wait time, which several folks did.

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The line grew as the opening time got closer and eventually filled the whole staging area, with several groups flowing out the door.  I took this shot just 10 minutes before they opened the market with a vintage air raid siren from Alaska Picker, who we bought our windmill art from!

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I was so busy shopping that I didn’t take any pictures once the market opened, but you can see lots of the vendor’s booths and wares on the event page here.  My favorite set up was this rustic truss with moss.

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And of course I found a few treasures to bring home.  The first thing I got was a custom order for a grain sack sham for our bed from this amazing vendor.  I made a beeline for her booth as soon as they opened because that was my one MUST get item for the show.  Across from her space was a vendor with repurposed wine barrel furniture and décor where I found these cool barrel band hearts!  I’d seen some on craigslist back in February and messaged the seller but never got a response so I was giddy to find them here.  Plus they were the same price, just $10 each!  They will be going up on the side of the house when we expand the chicken run later this spring.

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I also found several “little” treasures, including a handmade whale and fun Alaska art print for the foster room, a large ampersand that will be added to the gallery wall soon and vintage letter blocks that I plan to make into magnets for the project I’ll be sharing next!

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This show has me so motivated to start making things for the Junktion Market in July where I’ll be sharing a booth with the gal who does our furniture refinishing, where I plan to do a little browsing as well.  I’ll also be shopping the Alaska Picker Day in June, then hit the Junk Bonanza outside of Portland when we visit in October!  I’m sure I’ll find more rusty, vintage goodness to bring home at each and will certainly share my finds with you all right here on the blog. 🙂