Making flower arrangements with landscape plants

The time I dreaded has come! We are going to have the first hard frost tonight. And tomorrow is going to be even worse. So I thought of using what little blooms I still have in my garden to make another flower arrangement. I got out and found just a few tiny flower heads on a lantana in a pot and a handful of blooms on my landscape roses. Hm-m. That’s not much. I need more color. Well, berries then! My landscape roses are covered with rose hips, and there is a plenty of berry clusters on nandinas.

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Upcycling pallet wood and other wood scraps

Jeez, it is so hard to concentrate when my puppy boy feels he didn’t have enough action for today and pretends his long, silly nose is a flute and starts playing it – very soft whistles at first, then it all builds up to a crescendo worth of Beethoven. And then he comes to offer me his kisses, and more kisses, and more puppy love, and more whistles and then it all descends to a pure, unadulterated, unsophisticated barking. And then he steals my flip-flops in hopes I will bribe him with a treat to get them back. I usually do. All that after we just came back from a 2-mile walk. A third for the day. Seriously, people, it seems I live to walk my dogs. In any case, my ultimate remedy of locking him up in his wire cage which is right next to me in my home office worked pretty well, and he went for a nap.

Now I can finally switch to the topic of the day. Which is – upcycling pallet wood. Continue reading

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Planting bulbs in a glass vase for a modern look

I love plants blooming indoors during the holiday season. Poinsettias, Christmas cacti, bulbs… They look so lovely and cheerful, especially when all the weather can offer is a hundred shades of grey. I particularly like planting bulbs such as paperwhites and amaryllises and watch them grow and bloom in a matter of weeks. Several years ago, I was so much into forcing bulbs to bloom indoors during the winter – a half of my fridge was stuffed for weeks with paper bags filled with tulip and daffodil bulbs. My main concern was that my husband forgets all my warnings and tries to eat one of them. Thankfully, he never did.

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Spray painting for a splash of color

Sometimes, all you need is a splash of color to turn a drab into a fab. I needed a couple of bedside tables for our guest bedroom and I wanted them to have just a hint of the Old World style. I found the tables on craigslist. They actually came as an add-on to a very cute and old, heavily carved, Asian style side table. These guys were not that lucky. Their legs were wooden, but the top was made of some kind of a wood-looking laminate. The resulting appearance just screamed: I am so 80s and cheap!

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Upcycling Doors, Doors, and More Doors

My house was  full of ugly closet doors. Old, painted over too many times, chipped and nicked. Ugly. It bothered me. Every time I looked at one of them, it offended my sense of  beauty. I thought about sprucing them up by yet again painting them. Still ugly. I also thought about buying new ones, but decently looking doors are so expensive! $300 for a closet door? No way!

Then one day it hit me – I have a few wooden blinds with broken tilting mechanisms stashed in storage. Stained in honey oak, huge in size (36 by 74 inch each), and a perfect material for refacing the pesky doors. Best of all, I will be upcycling both the doors and the blinds!

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Reusing Old Flower Arrangements

My husband had two surprises for me on my last birthday. The first one was that, being a half the world away, he wouldn’t be able to return by my Bday. But, since I got the news in advance, it was not already a surprise by the time clock hands started counting September 19th. The second surprise was an unbelievably beautiful flower arrangement waiting by the door when I came home from work that day.
I mean, the guy was in Kazakhstan, in the middle of nowhere as online standards go, and he managed to find and have delivered this awesome piece. Seriously, I went online and tried to find the same arrangement at the most popular flower delivery sites. Ha-ha, I failed! Nothing was even close!

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Wall Art For Free – Upcycling Driftwood

Upcycling, pure and simple. Just by having a nice walk in a park and picking a piece of driftwood, you will end up with a gorgeous wall art. For free.

I didn’t even plan on searching for driftwood when my husband and I took our dogs to the Mason Neck State Park. As usual, we headed for the water. If we didn’t, our dogs would drag us to it anyway. Our labmaraner Raya goes simply insane if she is near water and not allowed to wade in. Styopa, who is a German shorthaired pointer is not as much enthusiastic about the water as about keeping Raya company and being mischievous in general. So, why bother fighting water dogs wanting to get their hides wet? Continue reading

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Modern Upcycling -A Wall Clock Story

This was one of the quickest upcycling projects I’d ever done. Here is the story.

When we moved into this house five years ago, I put a glass-and-metal clock on the wall in the entry hall so that everyone of us who had to leave the house on time will have a handy time- reference point. The clock was too small for the location, but it served the purpose. The problem with this arrangement was that one could not easily see the clock from the kitchen. And, since our family breakfasts tended to extend into an infinity with talks with and among humans, dogs, and cats, and, at the same time, at least one of the humans had to go to work on time (well, sort of), a clock was a must in the kitchen.  This is why, upon re-doing the kitchen, I moved the clock on one of the walls in it.

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