Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Easy Gardening: A Native Plants Fairy Garden


My craft room has been a bit underused recently.  Instead of sewing and indoor things, I've been focused on sorting out my yard.  Most of it is boring & laborious, but I wanted to share the recent part that was a total pleasure: my Native Plants Fairy Garden!  There is something about fairy gardens that is so relaxing and enchanting.  I've been wanting one for a long time and it was surprisingly easy AND will attract fairy friends like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds!



A few years back my husband had bought me this large resin fairy house.  I'd had it in a shady corner surrounded by some meager hostas.  No one ever goes over there and I tended to forget about it.  Now my little house is center stage!


Our yard gets A LOT of sun and has tons of clay soil.  I have a 4 foot square raised bed that has mocked my prior attempts to grow vegetables.  The results have always been pitiful no matter what I've done.  This year I wanted to take a breather from urban farming, but was trying to figure out how to pretty up the space.  Now it's home to native plants and hopefully a few fairies;) 


FYI - If you want to attract the pollinators (aka butterflies, bees & hummingbirds), and have minimal maintenance in your yard, go native.  These are plants that originate in your region. No special soil amending, fertilizing or gardening magic is needed for them to thrive.  If you're like me and despite lots of effort you struggle to get things to grow, this is an ideal way to add beauty and help wildlife at the same time.    

From Top Left Clockwise: Pussytoes, Monarda didyma, Turtlehead, Orange Hyssop Agastache, Bradbury's Monarda.

Since I'm in Michigan I used White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra), Pussytoes (Antennaria parvifolia), Monarda didyma and Bradbury's Monarda (Monarda bradburiana).  Not a lot of nurseries carry native plants, so it takes a bit of searching to find them, but they're worth it.  They'll fill out well, flower throughout the summer and add pretty colors to an otherwise blah spot.  I did also add one non-native plant, Orange Hyssop Agastache, because it also attracts the butterflies and birds.   Fairies like to feed those lovely creatures you know! 

I actually had a good portion of the other supplies already.  I moved my little house and added a few accessories like a little fence, stone mushrooms and a mini gazing ball.


I wanted to add a little pond, so I used a terra cotta dish and glued small stones along its edge with some weatherproof silicone.  


I filled it with some clear and blue glass stones I had in my stash and set it into the soil.  Instant permanent sparkling pond!


More small pebbles made a meandering path and larger egg rocks from my front yard made a nice border behind the house.


I also found some moss growing elsewhere in the yard and transplanted it for an added fairy-esque feature.


I'm seriously in love with how my little garden looks and can't wait to see it in full bloom and filled in as things grow.  I also feel confident it will be able to handle the sun & weather.  I've seen a lot of lovely fairy gardens with delicate plants and pretty, yet fragile furnishings, but most of those just won't stand up to the outdoor elements around here.  


On the plus side, I found a few dish garden containers in my basement this week, so I'm eager to do a few smaller fairy gardens with the kids using them.  We can keep those in our enclosed back porch, which means we can craft up some decorations from scratch or use some of the more fragile props and plants I keep seeing.  Inside or not, the more fairies around here, the better!  





Sunday, May 22, 2016

Craftastic Monday Link Party Is Here!


Happy Monday Crafty Friends!  Are you ready to party? I'm eagerly awaiting the start of summer vacation that will give me the longed for free time to craft it up again.  Missing it big time and eager to dust off my craft room and get going again.


The good news this week is that it's time to announce the winner of my Ballet Collection Fabric Giveaway: 

~~~ Rebecca B. ~~~

Congratulations Rebecca & enjoy the fabric!  A big thank you to Timeless Treasures for providing this fabulous fabric prize.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let's see the lovely Craftastic picks..

The Navage Patch created this incredible wall clock:


The Summery Umbrella had this ideal recipe for wine slushies - sounds heavenly!!


A Saucy Stitch made this vintage-style peg bag:


ShelhaGrr shared her free patterns for these crochet Totoro characters:


Decor By The Seashore created this clever interchangeable summer wreath:


And Our Peaceful Planet showed how to make this stylish DIY chandelier from foam board!


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want to be Featured?  
Remember to link back to the party somewhere.

I can't feature your link if you don't share the party in some way.

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).  Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Promote your blog/shop for FREE:  Join in the Craftastic Facebook Mixer!

Give your YOUR site/Facebook page a little boost. Crafty blogs AND shops are welcome.  It takes just seconds and gives you a chance to get more page likes & followers.  It's a great way to discover new sites to love too.  You can even add crafty giveaways 


How It Works:
Head over to the Craftastic Mixer post on Sew Can Do's FB page.  Instead of a specific post, share your main blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link in the comments there.  It means even more exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mid-May Craftastic Monday Link Party


Welcome to a new Craftastic Monday.  I'm very excited about this week's features.  There were so many unique & lovely projects at last week's party - I can't wait to share them.  I'm also in serious countdown mode for summer.  We hit the 80s here a few days ago and it is currently snowing now, so I am beyond ready for some consistently warm weather to inspire my flagging crafter's mojo (and yard work).  Come on Mother Nature, get it together!!

Last week I shared my storage cube redo tutorialIt's simple to turn old, tired piece into something fresh and fabulous - even if you're DIY-challenged:  


AND today's the last day for my giveaway for 5 1/2 yards of this Ballet Collection fabric.  Enter HERE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let's see the lovely Craftastic picks..

The Scrap Shoppe created this beautiful floral art piece:


The Woods of Bell Trees did this gorgeous chalk painted concrete floor.  I love the pattern!


Penny's Vintage Home made this charming little "junk garden":


Oh My! Creative shared how to make a lovely spiral garden I really want to do this now:


KBB Crafts & Stitches created this sweet vegetable cross stitch:


And Clover House showed how to make this custom string wall art with vase:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want to be Featured?  
Remember to link back to the party somewhere.

I can't feature your link if you don't share the party in some way.

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).  Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Promote your blog/shop for FREE:  Join in the Craftastic Facebook Mixer!

Give your YOUR site/Facebook page a little boost. Crafty blogs AND shops are welcome.  It takes just seconds and gives you a chance to get more page likes & followers.  It's a great way to discover new sites to love too.  You can even add crafty giveaways 


How It Works:
Head over to the Craftastic Mixer post on Sew Can Do's FB page.  Instead of a specific post, share your main blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link in the comments there.  It means even more exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!



   

   

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Reupholstered Storage Cube ANYONE Can Do


Do you love DIY'd home decor?  Doing makeovers on stuff in the house?  I love the idea of revamping things to pretty up my house, but execution-wise, I always feel like I'm flailing around.  Stuff ends up looking like I cobbled it together myself.  Blindfolded.   Is that better than just buying something new?  Not really.  Except with today's project.  Which tells me if I can make it look good anyone can.


We had this rattan cube for years.  The kids stored their dress-up clothes in it and helped keep our family room from totally being taken over by kid stuff.  I'd loved it, but it started to show its age and look worn out:



We found a bigger basket hamper to replace it, but I still couldn't bear to throw this guy away.  His bones were still good, just looking superficially rough.  There was no way I could repair his woven exterior, but I could give him a total body lift!     



Added bonus: it cost me $0.  That's right: FREE.  I had some old batting and this really nice Waverly Home Decor fabric in my stash crying out to be used:



I'd won the fabric as a prize in a design competition a few years back - when I'd created this fabric clock project:  



Knowing I wasn't out any money really helped.  If things turned disastrous, it wouldn't be a loss, right?  I tend to get paralyzed with indecision when tackling a new home project, because I'm afraid I'm going to mess up and waste valuable materials.  Great mentality for a crafter, right?  Ha.

Materials:
- Ratty storage cube
- Home decor fabric ( I used about 1 1/2yds)
- Poly batting 
- Staple gun
- Sewing machine
- Notions: Yard stick/ruler, rotary cutter

First I used pliers to pull out the staples that held the rattan on:



Then, I carefully cut through one side to easily take it off in one piece:  



The base unit was MDF & thin wood veneer.  Not nice on it's own, but perfect for upholstering with a little padding & fabric:



I measured the sides and decided to cut four pieces that were 1/2 inch wider on either side (for the seam allowance) and 2 inch higher on top & bottom for folding in.  For the lid I added an extra 1/4 inch on all sides of the top piece and for the lid side strips, I added 1/4 inch to the short sides and 2 1/4 inches to the height.  I also cut the same pieces from my batting.



I stitched the four sides together to make the main shell and did the same with the corresponding batting.  



I slide the batting into place and then carefully pull the fabric "sleeve" over it.  It was a snug fit, so I went slowly to keep the batting from shifting.



I measured my fabric sleeve all the way around and shifted as needed to make sure there was 2 inches on all sides:



Once everything was even, I set to double folded the raw edge under and then stapling it down underneath and on the inside.  Holding it taught is key.


I started in the middle to anchor things and then folded the corners in, flattening them down and then stapling down the sides over them:



For the lid I stitched the thin side pieces to each of the lid top sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance:


I made sure to stop stitching a little bit before the ends, so it would be easier to do the short sides:



For the sides, I pulled them together and stitched down, crossing over the stitching at the top to get the corners nice & crisp.  



I did the samewith the batting version and then the folding + stapling to secure them to the lid.


The nicest part is every time I look at it I'm pleased and like how it turned out.  This is the total opposite of most of my DIY home projects (where I notice my goofs more than anything).It looks like it came from a store - even up close - which is my "decor success" test.  



So often DIY projects look great in those far away beauty shots online, but get next to them in real life and the homemade-y quality jumps out.  Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist, but when I'm asked "Oh, did you make that?" that always translates to "Cause it looks like it!" in my mind.  I guess this is a reminder to keep on trying, because sometimes it'll end up a winner!







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