Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rope Plant Hanger, The 70's Are Calling.

So maybe you aren't as old as I am and you don't remember when macrame plant hangers were all the rage in home decor.  I was born in the 60's and remember making macrame plant hangers as a kid.  This is my attempt to update those cool macrame plant hangers and I made it for free.

This is the 70's version I remember as a kid.

Here's mine I made from stuff I already had laying around the house.
I started with rope.  This was a single thick strand of about 30' that I divided in to three strands for another project that never came to be.  Sometimes my ideas don't work out so I saved the rope for another day.  Another day is here.  It was very time consuming separating the rope into three strands.  I don't recommend it.  I would buy the size and thickness you need and skip the separating.

Some people are "stress eaters," I'm a stress DIY project maker.  When I get bombarded or overwhelmed with too much to do, I make stuff.  Weird, but it's like meditation for me and I don't gain any extra lbs. while doing it.  I've also discovered I use DIY projects to avoid cleaning my house. 

I've had these napkin rings forever.  I like the little bit of sparkle from the beads with the rustic texture of the rope.

I started by playing around with the napkin rings and the rope.  I held the three strands of rope together in the middle and folded them in half.  This created the top loop and gave me six strands to create the plant holder part with.   I slipped a napkin ring over the loop at the top and started working my way down.  It took me a few tries to come up with a workable solution on how to hold the planter.  I'm sure there are macrame tutorials out there, but what fun is that?

This creates the top loop to hang it from a hook and six strands to create a rope basket to support the planter. 

Here's what I came up with.  The white bowl is the original glass from the light that was installed over our dining room table.  I turned it upside down for this project to create my planter.

 The single bulb light always made me feel like we were getting interrogated when we ate at the table. I replace it with a chandelier shortly after moving in.  The chandelier was brown.  I painted it this gray gold aged color.

I had an old stopper from a broken piggy bank that fit the hole in the bottom of the glass perfectly.  It doesn't seal water tight, but it prevents the rocks and dirt from seeping through the hole.  If this was going inside my house, I would have used aquarium sealant to waterproof the bowl and stopper.

I added a layer of rocks to the bottom. 

Next I used a layer of coffee filters weighted down with a few rocks.  This keeps the dirt from clogging up the drainage hole.

Next I added a cactus soil mix and succulent cuttings that I cultivated from my yard.  I've been growing succulents for over fifteen years and because of their popularity I have seen their prices double in recent years.  It's so easy to grow your own, you just need patience.  Every single one of these cuttings will turn into a whole new plant.

 Just take a cutting and stick it in some dirt.  That's it!  Water ever so often and you get a new succulent.  See these cutting are starting to make new buds.  This cutting is about 2-3 months old?  Cuttings spend all their energy making a new root system before you see any growth above ground, so don't get discouraged if you can't see anything happening.  As long a the cutting remains "plump" and doesn't dry out, it's spending energy growing under the dirt. 

I carefully removed the cutting from the soil so as to not ruin the new root system and plopped it in to it's new home.  For this delicate job I used a very high tech. tool, a table spoon.

This planter will take time to completely fill in but I can be patient.

I topped the cuttings off with some glass beads I had left over from an old project.  The glass gives it a finished look until the cuttings have time to fill in. 
I added a candle to the center for night time entertaining. 
If you add a candle make sure it's not close to your ropes or you will burn the house down.

I hung the planter at eye level so it can be enjoyed while passing by.

 This is very HEAVY when watered so make sure you have a strong enough hook to support the weight.

I can see it from my office/living room while I'm working on the computer.  When the succulents bloom next spring the Humming Birds will visit it daily.

This is the view from my kitchen while I'm doing dishes.

I like re using stuff I already have and it was fun revisiting this childhood craft again.  My house is still dirty, so it's time to put the projects away and go get the dirty work done! 

What do you do when you're stressed or avoiding house work?

Thanks for checking it out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Personal Shopper Scored Again!

Do you have a personal shopper? 
I do,
 it's my mom. 
She is the best deal finder and she scored big for me last week.

She found me these Kate Spade shoes at Marshall's. 

Here in San Diego some of our best warm weather is yet to come.  The weather is usually gorgeous through the beginning of October.  These will get some wear even in fall. 
San Diegans don't put away our summer wear, we can wear it all year long.

This is a great time of year to stock up on summer and spring items because retailers need to make room for Fall and Winter stuff. 
These Kate Spade shoes were originally $356. 
Marshall's price $100. 
Then they marked them down to $79, then $49, and then $29!

Here's a tip when you shop at places like Marshall's and TJ Max.  On the bottom of the item they write the original price they are selling it for.  Sometimes price tags come off of items, but you should be able to find the price penned on the bottom.  This is also good to know if the item is on sale and you can't peel the sale sticker off to see the original price.  (I always like to see the original price) 

$356 to $29. 
Good job Mom!!
Why would I every buy anything for full price when there are stores like Marshall's,
TJ Max, and Home Goods? 

 Do you have any great stories about incredible deals you've scored? 
I would love to hear them!

Thanks for checking it out.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's For Breakfast?

I've been having a green smoothie for breakfast for about seven months now and I love starting my day with it.
  First off let me say that I am not a nutritionist.  I took nutrition classes in college as part of my major, but I don't have any certification or "professional" nutritional degree.  If you are having health issues go see a professional.  With that being said I have read and studied a lot about healthy eating.  If you are a generally healthy person, most health professionals will tell you increasing your vegetable intake, especially dark green leafy vegetables, is a good thing.  There are some diseases in which people can not tolerate high levels of green vegetables, but I'm talking about generally healthy people. 

Do you ask your doctor before you eat a pizza or a cheese burger? 
Probably not, so if you are in generally good health you probably don't need to ask a professional if it's OK to eat more veggies, just saying. 

This is a simple, quick, delicious way to do just that.

  I read a book called the Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr and I stole some of the smoothie recipe ideas from the book.  It was recommended by my friend Heather Jones over at Mrs. Jones.  She is very talented and witty and I like her style.  Like most nutrition books I read, I use what is applicable for me.  I am not a vegetarian, but my diet has evolved to be mostly plant based.
Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!

I also really like these two books.

I changed my diet about four to five years ago?  I keep tweaking it as a read more, discover more, and find what works for me.  The way I eat now is not even recognizable compared to how I ate ten years ago.  The change was due to some nagging health issues that doctors couldn't explain?  I developed an auto immune disease while pregnant with my second daughter and have continued to be plagued with other symptoms that doctors could never diagnose.  I had to go on daily medication.  As a result I changed the way I ate.  It helped a lot , but I still had nagging symptoms that would creep up from time to time?  I could never pin point what was causing them?  I started drinking Mona Vie about three years ago, wow what a difference it made.  My joint paint completely disappeared, but I still had digestive problems that would come and go.  I recently was able to lower my dosage of the daily meds. I'm on for my auto immune disease (Do not adjust your medication unless your doctor prescribes the change.)  I attribute it to the dietary changes I've made.  That's a whole other blog that I won't go in to now.  This is just a short little breakfast post.

Simply put, I eat way more of this,
raw, raw, and more raw.
Not this.  This is poison for my body.

  I put the veggies and fruit in a blender in a 2-1 ratio and make this yummy concoction.
Today it's kale, cucumber, sprouts, broccoli stocks, zucchini, frozen berries, green apple, and pear.  Sometimes it's collard greens or spinach instead of kale.  If possible I try to use stuff we grow in our garden or what I can buy organic.  That's why I included the zucchini, we have a ton of it in our veggie garden.

Cut everything up to be about the same size and throw it in the blender.
I add some coconut water.  You can also use purified water.  Coconut water has as much potassium as a banana.  It's way better for electrolyte replacement than sugary sports drinks. I always lecture the athletes I train to not drink sports drinks.  Sports drinks are basically sugar water that high priced athletes have been paid mega money to get people to think they are good to drink.
That's a whole other post.   

 And I add a packet of Stevia.

This is what I drink for breakfast every day. 
 I know it looks similar to pond scum, but trust me, it's GOOD!
After you start drinking these you will think donuts look disgusting.
(OK maybe the donut part is an exaggeration?)

Ahhh, my body is happy, energized, and strong.
 I'm ready to give my best to my family and to the wonderful girls I have been entrusted to coach volleyball.

What's your favorite go to healthy breakfast?

Thanks for checking it out.

Lastly, my friend Meg over at Meg's Handmade Life is having her very first give away from her cute Etsy shop.  Don't be fooled by her profile picture on her blog, she's the adorable model in the hand knit beanies.  Go check it out! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Do You Decorate a Wall Niche?

Do you have a recessed wall niche in your home?  How did you decorate it? 
This was the dilemma we had when we purchased our tract home ten years ago.   
Here is how I decorated our two niches.

The first one is over my fireplace. I painted this urn with hydrangeas many years ago. I have plans to redo it because I love change and I'm getting tired of it.

It took me about three weeks to paint this because at the time my girls were one and a half and four years old.  I had very limited painting time back then.

Here is the other niche we have in the rotunda between our great room and our master bedroom. 
It's been decorated this way for a few years.

I painted the rotunda black and left the border wall of the niche and the ceiling white.  I added upholstery tacks to the edge of the niche and around the recessed area on the ceiling.  It cost me about $25 for a box of 1000 tacks.  I use them everywhere like my powder room and still have leftovers from the original box.

To see more upholstery tack ideas go here

For this niche I added a mirror and hung a sconce on it.  I love how the candle light reflects in the mirror.  I found the mirror at Marshall's and re painted it a silver gold.

After hanging the mirror,  I used a glass and tile bit to drill a hole through the center of the mirror (WEAR EYE PROTECTION and GLOVES).  I carefully placed a nail through the drilled hole and hammered it into the wall behind the mirror.  You might need to add a molly to secure the nail into the wall if it's not hammered into the wall stud.   There is a chance you can shatter the mirror when you drill it or hammer the nail through the mirror.  Be careful and wear gloves and eye protection.  I used to make table top fountains and frequently drilled glass and ceramic containers.  Sometimes the hot drill bit will shatter your project.  This was a inexpensive mirror from Marshall's, so I was willing to take the chance of it breaking. 

 I used some earthquake tack stuff (not sure of the real name) to secure and cushion the back of the sconce on the mirror. It looks like chewing gum and I think I bought it Home Depot?  This keeps the sconce from scratching the mirror and from sliding around.

The sconce was brown and I painted it the same silver gold color as the mirror. 
I think I bought at Marshall's for under $10?
I added some of my magnetic crystal drops to the sconce for a little more bling.  To see how to make them go here.

The candle gives off beautiful light at night.

The upholstery tacks catch the shimmer and look like mini pin points of light.

Here are some other pictures of interesting ways to decorate niches. 
There are so many creative ideas out there!

Paint a meaningful quote.

Personalize with family photographs.

Paint an interesting pattern.
I love this!

Frame out the niche and paint the recessed area a different color.
I'll take one of everything.

Add shutters.

Add shelves.

Add drama with lighting.

Add art.

Tile it.

Do you have a niche? 
I'd love to see how you decorated it!

Thanks for checking it out.

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