Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm six years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Living Plant Roof On Our Shed

Two years ago we recycled three doors for this gorgeous wedding backdrop for our grand daughter. Insanely Creative Christy made the huge poster board flowers 
and I grew the white flowers in the urns. 

THEN, we built this little garden shed out of the original three exterior doors and
 one more door from the local Restore. We built it in place and put a roof on it.
 It is the perfect size for our gardening tools and supplies.

The inside of the shed is lined with plywood for stability and strength. 
We wanted to be sure that our little shed was strong enough
 to hold the weight of the heavy roof.

I knew I wanted to put a living green roof with trailing plants and succulents on this little shed. 
Today it finally got done!

The Welding Man used cedar fence boards for the eaves and end caps.
Our grand sons finished the roof prep by stapling waterproof pond liner fabric in place
 and then helped to plant the roof! 

Oooh aaah! 

I like it alot!

I did extensive online research on this project and even got this library book...
Small Green Roofs by Dunnet, Gedge and Little. It is extremely informative!

Here is a photo of the pond liner stapled up and over the edge of the cedar boards.
 We did not pull the liner tight. We left a bit of slack inside 
the planting area for the soil and roots to fill in.

We recycled two layers of dormant grass turf so that we had 5" of 
planting depth within the pond liners and added potting soil to cover the turf.

 I've been saving lots of shallow rooted plants like creeping jenny, different sedums and succulents and miniature viola vines. I added the clumps of Japanese blood grass for contrast and also as a thickly growing soil binder.

A small clump of scarlet dianthus is up there along with some pink and white bamboo grass.
I love how the red tips of the Japanese blood grass picks up
 the reds of the sedum and dianthus.

Now I will prime and paint this pretty little shed soft white after The Welding Man finishes the trim pieces.

For the roof I will sow handfuls of wildflower seeds on the roof and water them in with a sprinkler installed on a short hose. The plants I chose do well with less water and the succulents even like things a bit dry.

I will also get some summer annuals like lobelia and alyssum to trail over the eaves. 

I like it alot!

Here it is with a fresh coat of primer. I like the white on this little shed!

 I really like the hippieish Hobbitish look of this green roof.

The total cost, so far, on this little garden shed is $40 for the four doors at the Restore.
We paid $4 for a box of door and gate hinges at the same store.
Framing lumber and particle board are scraps we had on hand.
The cedar fence boards are left from our back yard fence.
I will use the leftover primer and paint from the wedding prep two years ago.
By far the most expensive item was the pond liner at $45 for a 5' x 12' piece. 
Screws, nails, staples, misc. hardware add $5.
The plants are starts from my own yard and planters I've been growing for two years.
So for less than $95 we've built a nice little garden shed that is perfect for that corner of our yard.

I will do another blog post once it has all the trim, is painted and has
 loads of flowering summer plants on the roof.

I'm really looking forward to that!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Biiiig Mason Jar Terrarium

These big Mason jar type drink dispensers are everywhere these days. We've used them for at least half a dozen family occasions in the last couple of years.
They are handy and convenient and look great with
 fruit slices or ice floating in the beverage.

But what do you do when a big ol' drink dispense springs a leak around the spigot and doesn't work for serving drinks anymore?

In this case I put a cork in it and saved it on the shelf for an idea I had...
to make a big ol' two gallon terrarium!

There it sat until I started repotting some houseplants. I knew these smaller ferns
 would be perfect for the terrarium I wanted.

I layered gravel, soil and activated charcoal in the bottom. 
I trimmed the roots and the tops of the ferns so they'd fit inside the jar and grow bushier.
I also planted some pink and white bamboo grass and lime green creeping jenny.

Here in Oregon it is not hard to find moss at any time of year. I found
 three different kids in our yard and trimmed them to fit.

I added aquarium gravel and some quartz pebbles. 
Already I like this alot!

And since I'm a color junky I added some pretty blue glass and marbles.

Some larger rocks and a piece of interesting driftwood get added to the mix.

Using a mini Christmas ornament and a small spool of thread, I made tiny garden ball. I hot glued twine to the spool for a bit of interest.

Oooh aaah! I like this alot!

At one foot tall it is a nice focal point. I'll post more photos when the ferns and bamboo grass fill in a bit more.

It's the kind of project I like, using things I already have and recycling one thing into something unusual and pretty.

Zero cost, loads of enjoyment.

Win win!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Painted Pallet Boards on Square Planter

I'm always looking for ways to use pallet boards in my garden. 
Since we covered black nursery pots with pallet boards my mind has been spinning!

I figured if pallet boards can make black pots look good,
 how about the other planters in my yard?

Here is the before of the kinda grubby square planter by my front steps last summer. 

Last week I painted it with primer then used our house trim color to paint it 
(and almost everything else) turquoise blue.

 I love the blue against all the shades of green and the flowers!

And here is how it looks NOW-

 For this project I drybrushed the turquoise paint on some pallet boards and used
 our handy dandy brad nailer gun to attach them.

You could also use outdoor construction adhesive but we like the
 security and ease of the nail gun.

We didn't even move it from the yard.
 We just rocked it up at an angle and nailed the boards in place.


 I like the whole vintage vibe this gives that plain planter!! It looks like
an old wooden container that has aged for years.

 and BLUE! 

Exactly my style!

In the future we MIGHT go ahead and cut some pallet boards
 to fit into the triangular spaces.

 But for now I really like the texture and AGE 
the painted boards give to this plain square planter!

Hmmmm, what else can I do with the rest of my pallet boards?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Thrift Store Dictionary and a $1 Cabinet

Let me start by saying that I LOVE books.
I have seven bookcases FULL in my home right now.

That said, I also love to use aged books
 in my projects and this outdated, trashed
 dictionary is no exception.

Upcycling an old book and restyling a cabinet? It's a match 
made in book and furniture recycling heaven.

This is one of my favorite projects!
Insanely Clever Christy is very methodical with the dictionary pages. I am more of a "tear it into random shapes" kind of gal. We knew this dictionary would be perfect for this project.

We found this solid wood cabinet for $1.



Finds like this are my number one reason for Thrift Store shopping.

After a thorough cleaning and two coats of Country White latex paint, the door panels get the book page treatment.

A bit of edge sanding give them a vintage vibe. 

Black spray paint updates the knobs and then creative wrapping 
of hemp twine  and hot glue for the edges and around the pulls
 gives it just the right touch!

Wow! I LOVE the way this came out!!

Clear acrylic sealer finished her up and now she is in our guest bathroom. 
She is a classy addition!

Best of all? The entire project cost us less than $5 total.

The old dictionary was $1.
The cabinet was $1.
The Mod Podge came from my stash.
The clear acrylic sealer was on clearance at $2.89.

Time invested....maybe four hours.

I call this one a win win!

And one of the best parts is that we still have most
 of this dictionary for MORE book page projects!

An old illustrated dictionary and a $1 thrift store cabinet. 
One of my most favorite projects EVER.

What's not to love? 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cobalt Blue Glass in a Sunny Kitchen Window

The Welding Man made me this pretty baker's rack over 15 years ago and I placed it
 in a big window loaded up with my blue glass.

Loved it!

When we moved to our retirement house there was not a window just right 
for the baker's rack. So I decorate it seasonally. 

On Pinterest the photo of my rack with blue glass in the window keeps popping up all over and reminding me how gorgeous it was, so I asked The Welding Man for some shelves to 
display my blue glass again. 

He built shelves in the west facing window at the end of our kitchen. He used cedar boards with old yard sticks for the molding on the front of each shelf.

Now that end of our kitchen and especially that window are just aglow with beautiful 
cobalt blue color. I added a few green bottles also.

Loving it!

I have not bought any new cobalt blue pieces for years but now I'm going to start keeping my eye out for new glassware.  Thrift stores, church sales, estate auctions and yard sales here I come!

At least for me, everything old is certainly new again.

This was a fast, easy and inexpensive project that is paying us dividends 
in pleasure and beauty.

That's a win win in my book!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Low Low Under $100 Budget Master Bath Redo


I love before and afters of beautiful bathrooms and kitchens but folks, please.
Your $10,000 remodel of one room is not low budget. 
It is a project with a $10,000 price tag.
 Yes, I know you replaced all the fixtures and
 moved the tub and tiled everything. It is beautiful. 

it is all a matter of perspective and I know the internet needs 
some projects that are truly way down in price.

Forthwith, I give you the low low budget cosmetic bathroom redo/refresh/upstyle for under $100.

Here is the AFTER.

This bathroom in our old mobile home needed some serious help.

Below is the before showing the new wall medicine cabinet built by
The Welding Man and the existing vanity.

The vanity, shower, flooring and commode were still serviceable, but the whole room needed an update.


I used the ivy stencil everywhere in that house. Kitchen. Hallway. Bathrooms. 
The mixed mirrors decor just wasn't cutting it anymore.

And below is the old medicine cabinet. Yowza, what a beast!

But hey, is that a cheap $3 golden oak light fixture? That's a good start!

Here's the new room, four days and less than $100 later.

Loving it!

Step by step, here's what we did and spent-

$16 vanilla white semi gloss latex bathroom paint for walls and ceiling. Just do it.
$10 chocolate brown semi gloss latex paint for the vanity and all the woodwork, including the light.
$4 for two pine boards that we used for the mirror shelf and the high wall shelf.
$2 for metal shelf brackets.
$8 plate glass mirror from a contractor friend. Four foot by two foot.Total score!  
$10 bulls eye corner trim and flat boards to frame mirror.  Four foot by two foot.Total score! 
$8 light bulbs
$4 gloss brown spray paint

Total cash outlaid was about $62.

Everything else we used was from our stash. Including the raspberry colored towels which were still in perfect shape and didn't need replaced. And the textured wallpaper on the door of the medicine cabinet and the tall vase holding drieds on the mirror shelf. Here's a link to the story behind that vase.

Below is another view of that wallpaper covered vase and
 the bulls eye corner blocks and framing around the mirror.

After all the painting was done and the shelving in place, it was fun to shop the house for all kinds of decor and knick knacks and baskets and art and STUFF. Glossy brown spray paint pulled it all together. 

Man, I LOVED the new look of that bathroom!

This is what I like...a project that comes together on a low budget
 with creative thinking and some clever restyles.

You know, until I can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a room project!

My next bathroom redo is in the works...with a vintage
 vacation/driftwood vibe and loads of fun details.
On a budget, of course!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Twig Wreath Redo for Spring

I'm a bit of a wreath fanatic. There, I've said it.

When I found this twig wreath for $2 at a yard sale I knew it's 24" size 
was perfect for my front door. It came with bits of dried eucalyptus branches and fake roses and I kept them in place.

So first, I spray painted it glossy black and added Dollar Store leaves and flowers for fall and Halloween.

See the black roses and dried eucalyptus? 

Then for winter/Christmas I spray painted it gloss white and added lots of glossy turquoise. 
I am always on the look out for more turquoise bits and bobs 
plus glittery snowflakes and Christmas bulbs.

And there are the eucalyptus and roses painted bright white.

And now for spring, the white wreath is ready to shine in beautiful shades of green. Courtesy of the Dollar Store, thrift stores and yard sales, of course.

This time the white roses are under the ferns and butterflies.

Here are some of my finds during the year. I used some for this wreath. 
I have a list of things I am always looking for.

When I couldn't find green curlicues I just painted some curled wire. I do believe in making things I need/want and then making things work without spending loads of money.

Ooh aaah!

This year I've even turned it over and tried it out on this octagon window.
I removed the nest and added more butterflies and a wind chime. 
I painted the wind chime butterfly as a Monarch for a pop of color. 

What do you think? Should I add a wreath on the door, too? 

Can I ever have too many wreaths? Lol.

What are you doing for your spring decor?