Getting the Green House Ready

As I promised last week I’m sharing a little update on the progress we’ve made in getting the green house ready for the season.  But before we get to the progress, let’s take a look at how things looked when we started.  Since the Hubs finished the structure as fall arrived last year we used the space for storage of all my pots and planters, along with some of the patio furniture and accessories.  We’ll call it organized chaos.

Luna decided to join me in the greenhouse as I started clearing it out.  She seemed to appreciate the warm cozy temps inside and made herself quite comfortable.

While Luna took in the warmth I harvested the dried blooms from the lavender I’d stashed away in the fall.  It was a decent little harvest, which I used to give the chicken’s nesting boxes a bit of freshness.

After that I made Luna move off the table so I could drag it out to the deck.  When I returned she had found a new favorite spot in one of the planter boxes.  I let her be as I sorted and dug out everything else to make room for the new set-up.

We purchased large plastic totes to serve as our planters in the greenhouse.  I filled the bottoms of each with plastic containers from our recycle bin – plus a few from the coffee shop at work – to help fill some of the space to reduce the amount of soil I had to use and provide space at the bottom of the containers where moisture could settle and then be wicked back up.  There are no drainage holes in the bottoms of the totes as that would become quite messy on the floor of the green house so I’ll have to water carefully.

And here’s where things are now.  We’ve got four totes down each side which sit on plant dollies so they can be moved easily, allowing me to work on the plants from all sides – a feature that might come in handy during harvest.  On the left side I brought in the two rusty bed frames I’d used as trellises in the wheel bed last season.  They worked well for the peas in the wheel bed, but this time one will be for green beans and the other will support cucumbers.  The tote in the back corner will be for dill and the one in the front corner will be for peppers.  The Hubs plans to secure them to the wall just to be on the safe side.  This side of the green house will also get vertical strawberry planters in each corner to maximize the space.

The right side has a shelf where the Hubs will be setting up a hyponic system for the buckets you see there.  Those will hold 4 varieties of tomatoes and a squash.  Below them will be yellow and red onions, asparagus and peas, which will get a smaller DIY trellis to climb.

In the back I added a large galvanized trash can under the window to hold extra dirt and the Hubs installed a wire shelf above it to serve as a potting bench.  That way when I’m preparing pots for the deck and porch if I spill it can fall right back into the dirt bin.  Plus the way he installed it I can lift it up against the window if I want it out of the way for any reason.  The ledge created by the wall framing was the perfect spot to store all my garden decor over the winter.  Once the yard finishes thawing out I’ll be moving those items out to their ‘summer homes’ and that space can hold any extra pots awaiting occupants.  My hand tools will be kept in the small tub you see on the shelf, which will be filled with sand to keep everything sharp – an idea I found on Pinterest of course.

It’s still getting pretty cold overnight so I haven’t put any plants out in the green house just yet, but I have purchased the first round of veggies and a couple of flowers which are pretty happy in the laundry room sink and on the kitchen counter for now.  I’ll be going to the big annual season kick-off sale at my favorite nursery this weekend to buy the rest of my stock and will test out a DIY trick I learned on the local garden club page to heat the green house up a bit at night to make sure it’s ready for planting.

I’ve also got a few things planned for just outside the green house, including moving the gutters I used last year for strawberries and potato towers, but I’ll share those once we get things set up a bit more.  It’s going to be a lot of work but if it all goes well we’ll have a great crop of fresh food because of it!  I’m so excited to see what works and what we can improve for next year.  If you have ideas, tips or suggestions on what might be an improvement please share them below and I’ll try to test them out this year.

A Quick Update to the Craft Shelves

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As I mentioned when I shared our new barn doors in the office I’ve been making a few changes to the craft shelves above the craft cart.  Here’s how things looked the last time you saw this space – a random collection of containers and displays to store my finished inventory and on-going projects.

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And here’s how it’s looking today.  Much simpler and more stylish!

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A bit of purging and rearranging reduced what I needed to store here so I was able to condense it all down to two containers.  I found these cute baskets on sale at Michaels and with a coupon only paid about $10 for both.  One holds finished inventory and the other has bits and pieces of projects in the works.

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Since I’ve stopped making hair accessories and am focusing more on personal DIY and home decor projects I didn’t need the displays I’d used for the smaller pieces anymore so the mannequin was sold and my beloved metal grate became a note board rather than a display.  The rusty oil can will eventually become a small lamp for this table.  I’ve got the lamp making kit, but am still on the hunt for the right lampshade to get that project rolling.

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I shopped the house, pulling a milk glass vase, small plant and wooden caddy to arrange with the frame I already had here.  I also moved our little minion family over here from the other side of the room.  They are much more visible now, which makes me happy and reminds me that we need to have a new minion made for Brinley! 🙂

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I eventually want to get a vintage scale like this one to replace the wooden caddy, but I’m waiting to find a good bargain.  until then the caddy brings a nice balance of tones and texture to the space, so I’m happy with it.

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I still need to figure out something for the blank space next to the metal grate.  My current idea is to make a fabric canvas that can be used as a backdrop for photographing small projects, similar to one a favorite beauty blogger of mine created.  I’m thinking something a little lacy since this is one spot I could get away with it because it’s out of reach of the dogs.

I’m really loving the simple farmhouse vibe this space has now.  It’s a big change for just $10 since the only thing I bought for the update was the two baskets.  We’ve been making a couple of other simple changes around the main area of the house recently that have a similar style so things are really starting to feel cohesive.  I’ll be sharing those updates very soon, but in the meantime I’d love to hear you think of the changes so leave me a comment below.

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town, Tater Tots & Jello’s BFF and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us WednesdayStone Gable’s The Scoop and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

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A New Closet Bench

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Some time ago Luna decided she no longer liked her perch in our closet and proceeded to claw the daylights out of the side of the storage ottoman I had already repaired once.  I guess she knew I’d be switching the style of our Master to more rustic farmhouse and wanted to give me a starting point.  I sold the slightly damaged ottoman and began the hunt for a replacement.  The hunt then drug on for several months and Luna whined that she didn’t have a perch – to which I told her it was her own doing.

I wanted something that she couldn’t damage with her claws so I knew wood was my best option.  I’d considered building a small farmhouse style bench with a plan from Pinterest when I spotted this little distressed piano bench on the local buy/sell page.  It was a little more expensive than I hoped, but the seller offered me a small discount making it cheaper than what she had bought it for so I felt a little better about it.

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It fits perfectly under the mirror and the additional storage where the top lifts up is just enough to hold my work T-Shirts so I don’t have to pull them down from the high top shelf when I need them every few months.  I thought I could add a bit more storage with a basket underneath and I had one that wasn’t fulfilling a purpose at the moment so I did a quick test fit.

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You’d think it was made to fit there!  And it coordinates with the colors quite well.  Luna was quick to show her approval of the new bench, which allows her to admire herself in the mirror once again.

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And more importantly, it provides an optimum ambush location for that crazy younger sister of her’s when she gets a bit too energetic and needs to be reminded of who’s really in charge!

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I wasn’t sure how I’d use the basket at first, but I’ve since started putting the “to be altered or mended” items in there which frees up space on the shelf over the bottom rod on my side.  Perhaps being able to see them in the basket will remind me to take them to be done!

I plan to paint the trim and molding around the mirror cabinet this winter when there’s not so much to do outside, which will start to give this space a more finished look.  I’ve made another small update to this space since taking these pictures and will share that soon as well. Until then I’d love to hear what you think about the new bench and the extra storage it provides!

DIY Measuring Cup Storage

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I’ve been meaning to do this project for some time now and finally checked it off the list this past weekend while the hubs was sleeping of a cold and I needed something quiet to work on.  Our stacked measuring cups always seemed to be in the way in the cabinet, so I decided it was time they found a different home, one that didn’t cause extra effort when grabbing things in the cabinet.  Since there was a little extra room on both sides of the spice rack the hubs installed on the pantry door and that’s often what we’re measuring with these cups I figured that was a logical spot for them.  A few small hooks on either side of the spice rack was all I needed.Hooks1

The hooks screwed right in, although I did create a pilot hole with a finishing nail and hammer to get things started. I placed each cup as I went so I could eyeball how much space to leave between it and the next.Hooks2

Here’s how the first side looked a few minutes later.  All but one of the set fit on this side.

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So I put the remaining cup on the other side with our odd duck extra from an old set that is handy to keep around.

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Unfortunately the way they were hanging you couldn’t see the measurements with out taking them off the hook.  A metallic sharpie marker took care of that problem.  We’ll see how well it holds up to the washer, but I’m thinking it should be ok since they will have plenty of time to cure and dry before they go in for a spin.

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It might take a bit to get used to the sound they make as they sway against the wood when you open and close the pantry door, but I’m fine with that when it comes with improved organization.  Simple, inexpensive and efficient.  That’s my kind of project!

Shared on Tatertots & Jello’s Link Party Palooza.

No Spend January – Project 2: Laundry Supplies Labels

Bottles2Shortly after we moved into the new house I found a wood tray from a cannery at an antique store.  With three compartments, I knew it would be a great way to organize my laundry supplies. Later when I saw these cool bottles on clearance at Pier One I knew they would be perfect for storing things like bleach. I also keep vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in my laundry arsenal so I got a couple extra bottles to hold those items as well. Luckily, the bottles fit perfectly in the compartments of the tray when paired.

When we had the utility sink this handy little tray lived on the base of the washer/dryer pedestal because there was no room for it around the sink. Now that the cabinet has been installed (cue heavenly music) and there is a workspace, it finally has a respectable home on the countertop.

Since I knew how they were arranged in the tray it didn’t bother me that the bottles weren’t labeled, but the hubs will occasionally start a load of laundry for me and requested that they be so he doesn’t “screw it up”. That seemed like a legitimate request, so I agreed and then promptly put it on my to-do list where it got lost among a myriad of other items.

So while he was working on the laundry cabinet I decided it was high time I cross this task off the list. I originally planned to make a stencil with my Silhouette and etch a letter on each, but that genius hubby of mine pointed out that I could simply use vinyl.  That simple idea took this project from difficult to super simple.  And because I keep scrap pieces of vinyl for small projects like this I had a perfect sized piece ready to go.  The hardest part was choosing the font!  Another project checked off the to-do list without a dime spent.  Love it. 🙂

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Crafty Storage and Workspace, All in One!

You know I love a good bargain, and you know I love to craft, but those two things together make me positively giddy. I’ve been eyeing this craft cabinet for some weeks now, waiting for it to go on sale. Lucky for me my patience paid off because not only did it go on sale for 15% off, but I had an additional coupon for 10% off and got FREE shipping – saving around $100. I almost swooned!

I can’t wait for this sucker to arrive and get assembled so I can finally have a dedicated crafting space! Now I can spend more time crafting instead of hauling my supplies to whatever area I’m working in.

Although I originally planned to repurpose a large armoir cabinet into a crafting station, I came to realize that I tend to craft at the dining room table or kitchen island so I can watch TV or chat with the hubs at the same time. Because of that, having a piece that could accommodate a moveable work surface and storage became the priority. That ruled out a huge armoir and made a hutch or dresser the likely choice. I’d considered refinishing several thrift store pieces, but they all had minimal storage due to large drawers that wouldn’t suit my supplies well. When I saw this I knew it was perfect, although I will admit I’m NOT a Martha Stewart fan. Unfortunately, I hadn’t found anything that could compare for the price.

I plan to add large casters to the legs so it can be moved out into the living room where I can see the TV or into the center of the studio for more room when working on something large. And you know I’ve got big plans to organize all my supplies by categories into those fantastic shallow drawers, where they will be away from little customer’ fingers and puppy paws. Granted, I won’t be able to fit all of my supplies and my entire fabric stash in here, but I tend to only pull out the fabric I’m working with at the time anyway. I plan for my fabric to live on shelves in the guest closet, where they are easily accessible and out of the way.

I’ll likely add some sort of shelf or cabinet above this piece so I have a spot to store all the display pieces I use at craft shows, but that will come a bit later. And I’m thinking of doing a bulletin board between the shelves and the work surface so I can pin up inspirations and rig some system of storing the little pieces of whatever project I’m currently working on.

Hopefully I’ll get a tracking number soon so I can obsess about when it will arrive a little more concretely. Watch for a post in the coming weeks once it’s here and set up! ☺

Hanging at the Scarf Bar

Although I’m still working scarves into my regular wardrobe, I’ve somehow amassed quite a collection.  I used to have a scarf organizer similar to this that hung from the closet rod, but I found that it was too full and I couldn’t easily find scarves that were buried under those on spots higher up.

My next option was draping them in a row over the closet rod itself since I had extra space to use.  This worked pretty well, but I worried that the wooden rod would snag the scarves as I pulled them off if I was in a hurry.

So when we removed the builder’s towel bar to use hooks in the Master bathroom I had a light bulb moment.  I asked the hubs to hang the bar in the closet below my crown molding shoe racks instead.  He looked at me like I was mad until I explained what I planned to use it for.

A stud finder and a couple screws later, I now have a pretty and functional scarf bar in my closet.  I love the location because it’s right next to my mirrored jewelry cabinet which I stand in front of to decide on accessories for each outfit.  And because it’s right under my shoes I can see how everything will coordinate as I pick out options.

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Now my scarves have a place to belong and I have back extra rod space to fill! It’s the simple things in life that make us girls happy isn’t it? 😉

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