Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fairy Gardens - Blue Moon Gardens

This summer we visited a place out in East Texas called Blue Moon Gardens. While there, we discovered fairy gardens. Fairy gardens are miniature gardens that can be planted in a variety of containers. We saw them in large pots, small pots, hanging birdcages, animal watering troughs, small stone planters, and more. They are planted with miniature varieties of planting materials and landscaped with tiny stones, fairy houses, garden furniture, and fairies. They are sooooo cute and great for balconies, decks, or small yards. My daughter fell in love with the whole idea and asked to plant one for her birthday.

Blue Moon Gardens is located in Chandler, Texas, and is definitely worth the road trip and to spend a day. Mom says the Christmas display is fabulous and loaded with decorating ideas. Their website is http://www.bluemoongardens.com/ . They even offer classes on various gardening subjects, including fairy gardening.

This is an example of a fairy garden in a water trough. Notice the tiny garden within the fairy garden.

Another garden in a water trough.

This ready made garden is available for purchase and would be a great gift, even for Christmas, as it can easily be maintained indoors until spring. Look at the tiny garden stool...

This one is really neat because it was planted in an old birdcage.

There is even a tiny birdcage within the birdcage.

This is a formal fairy garden for high-falutin' fairies.

Kids LOVE these little gardens. Wouldn't this be a neat gift for grandma's house? Her grandchildren could enjoy it when they visit and it would give her a low maintenance gardening option! You could even incorporate herbs into the garden.

We made our own fairy garden using a large fiberglass pot. I actually buried half of the pot into the ground. We ordered most of the miniatures from http://www.thefairysgarden.com/ and
http://www.miniature-gardens.com/fairy-garden.html .

Once the plants are planted, there is not much to maintenance. It is really EASY. We used vines that will soon drape over the side of the pot.
We also used miniature grass.

Our little fairy garden has been a hit with all of the neighborhood kids. They even re-arrange the stepping stones and move the fairies around once in a while. Happy gardening!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lampshade Project

Looking for an instant gratification project? Me, too. Yesterday, I spent half an hour vamping up lampshades for some immediate satisfaction. These lamps are cheapo, Crate and Barrel jar lamps with plain, oval lampshades.
I bought some ribbon and glue at Michael's. It took about 30 minutes to glue the ribbon to both shades.

And here is the finished project...

Next, I would like to add valances to the windows - faux Roman shades - like these in a bright, off the wall color.I would also like to change the bed pillows to something more exciting, like this.

Then I would like to make slipcovers for the bedside tables to give them more visual weight. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Treasure Hunting

I had a very productive treasure hunt this weekend. I finally stopped at this local antiques shop that I had passed by FOR YEARS but was convinced that it was too junky and that I would find nothing there and that it was a complete waste of time. BOY WAS I WRONG!! I stopped by and left with a trunk full of goodies! I even found a few Christmas gifts.

I found these vintage Oriental figurines that go perfectly in my dining room with my Japanese jewelry boxes.

I found a huge vintage, wooden, Oriental box that also goes in my dining room. It also serves as storage for cloth napkins and napkin rings. It is not that vintage, but I still like it.

I love this 1950's egg plate. The color is perfect and it was only $8.

I collect tin cans. This one is from Germany and was only $12.
I think this is a jelly server? I like it because of the way the lid opens. I put it on my dresser to store earrings and beads.

The lid swings open by tilting the handle backwards.

My son found this 1870's trunk. It is not in the best shape, but for $65.00 - who cares as long as he likes it!

It has some moisture damage on the interior. He has already filled it up with stuff.
I am not sure if this bottle is old or not, but I like it.
And last, another Tole tray. I love the deep, soft red. Compared to what most shops are selling them for, this one was a bargain!

Next time I won't be so quick to judge a place before I write it off because this shop turned out to be a gem. Visit Pineapple Patti's on U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce, Florida, and find your own treasures!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Before and After - Spare Room

We have a weird spare room off of our master bedroom that has served several different purposes in the past. It began as an office, but it was too secluded from the rest of the house. Then it became a nursery for my daughter. Later, it was a spare bedroom, but it doesn't have a closet or a bathroom so it didn't really work well as a bedroom. Lately, it has been a messy catch-all space for random furniture and accessories. Hmmmmm...what to do....


The armoire served us well 15 years ago when televisions were big and bulky and had to be hidden away.


The guitars had to stay and be easily accessible. I really did not want to get rid of anything.

At one time I thought about making the room into a large closet, but the sunlight from the windows would ruin my clothes. Plus, there is a door that leads to the lanai from this room.

Voila! I hung one of the guitars on the wall using an instrument hanger from the local music store. I stacked books from an over flowing bookcase in another part of the house on the floor. I LOVE this idea. It is easy, it costs nothing, and it can be done in any room.

I tried to group the books by subject. These are mostly travel books mixed with a few decorating books.

I hung the brown, Pottery Barn, drapery panels on both ends of the window wall. This made the windows less dominating, plus it hides ugly hurricane shutter levers. This guitar is played the most, so I left it on its stand.

Instead of hiding these boxes away, I stacked them neatly as part of the decorating scheme. Under the table, I stacked some old magazines that I cannot part with just yet. I am thinking of painting this little table another color. I haven't decided yet.
We bought this birds-eye maple, antique desk years ago for a song.

This antique tray originally had a painted glass insert that was sooooo pretty. My mom gave it to me for Christmas, but it arrived broken! So I removed the broken glass and had a piece of plexi-glass cut to fit inside. I also had a piece of black picture matting cut to fit the bottom. Now it serves as a display tray for photos and postcards.

I moved the ottoman against the wall. The lid lifts for storage. This is a great place for coats and sweaters that are rarely used.

I hung ledges on this wall to unify all of the random pictures and objects.

Now for my favorite part!

I converted the old tv armoire to use as purse storage! This freed up valuable closet space for me and made the purses more accessible. I hung cork boards on the doors for photos, notes, etc.

I stacked flat purses in the large plastic drawer and small evening bags in the lower portion of the armoire.

I arranged my small Enid Collins bag collection so that it can be enjoyed anytime instead of hidden inside my closet. I used to have a large collection of the Collins bags, but sold them on eBay. I kept the ones that were in the family and a few that were just special to me.

Small cup hooks were used to hang the vintage Lucite purses. Now I can enjoy my purse collection every day.

This was such a fun project. The only things I bought were the drapery panels, drapery rods, the guitar wall hanger, and the picture ledges. Everything else was re-used, re-arranged, or re-purposed. More organized, more enjoyable, and much more useful!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Halloween!

by Mary Jane Carr
Witches flying past on broomsticks,
Black cats leaping here and there,
White robed spooks on every corner,
Mournful moaning in the air,
Goblins peering out of windows,
Spirit things that rap and run-
But don't be sared it's just October,
Having one last hour of fun!


Halloween is one of my favorite days. I look forward to trick-or-treating all month. I get so worked up at the local haunted house that I scare the children with my intense screaming. This year we are going to a friend's Halloween costume party at Gloria Estefan's new local hotel - Costa d'Este. Check out the website at www.costadeste.com . I am going goth. Pictures will be posted after Halloween - can't wait!