Tag Archives: design

Do-It-Yourself Concrete Containers

I’ve been reading all kinds of complicated recipes and steps for making cement concrete containers. None of them met MY craft criteria…fast and easy. So I decided to come up with my own fast and easy method. It was so much fun creating these vessels and I know you’ll enjoy the process too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A box of ‘Cement All’ (buy at your local hardware store)
  • Plastic containers of all sizes to serve as molds (check your cupboards crafters!)
  • Something to mix the cement in (I used a large plastic storage box but any large bucket will do)
  • Large spoon or stick to mix the cement (kitchen drawer or your back yard)
  • Cooking spray (your pantry)
  • Water (the hose)
Here’s how ya make them:
  1. Coat the inside of a plastic container with cooking spray then coat the outside of another, smaller sized, plastic container. The smaller obviously will serve as the interior of your vessel. Why the cooking spray you ask? Good question. The cooking spray acts as a mold release agent.
  2. Mix the cement according to the directions on the box. It’s super easy – four parts cement to one part water.
  3. After mixing, add about one inch of cement to your large container. Obviously for larger vessels you’ll want to add more cement for support. Then insert the interior container and rest it securely and centered on top of the cement mixture.
  4. Then pour the remaining cement mixture between the walls of the two containers to the height desired.
  5. Wait an hour and they’re dry! I waited about two hours just to be sure and then I removed the plastic containers.

Even though this project has the potential to be messy (remember, wet cement and cooking spray), the results are very rewarding. As you can see, I took my creations to the next level and made outdoor candles and I am using the other as a vase. I also added a band of silver leaf at the bottom of the pots. Totally not necessary but neither are most of the crafts I concoct..LOL.

Remember, keep it easy, have fun and happy crafting!


Grocery Store Flowers and Cabbage

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  Here’s a little project that literally took minutes to create (minus battling the grocery store crowds).

Carve out a cabbage, put a bit of water in the carved out hole, then insert some grocery store flowers, like these Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian Lily.

Who says cabbage is just for coleslaw.

Tiptoe Through The Organic Tulips

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Rodale Institute to tiptoe through their beautiful organic tulip fields.  And I picked bunches and bunches for myself…what a treat to see these gorgeous flowers…it’s truely a little bit of Amsterdam right here in Pennsylvania.

I had a little helper while I was collecting my flowers…I’d like to think it was Tiny Tim but I think his name is Samson.

You too can enjoy their glory and pick some for yourselves by attending the Rodale Institute’s Organic Tulip Festival on April 14th from 10am to 4pm EST. Although the official festival is a week away, some of the early varieties are ready to pick now! The tulips are priced at $1 a stem for standard tulips and $2 for fancy tulips. Click on this link for more details about the festival.

Here’s what I did with my collection of flowers.

Tiny Flowers In Egg Shells

My friend Heidi makes wonderful creations using egg shells.  I was inspired by her work so I thought I’d give it a whirl too.

  1. Crack a few eggs and bake a cake or make an omelet.
  2. Clean your egg shells.
  3. Purchase tiny florals…tiny enough to fit into an egg shell.  In mine are miniature Kalanchoe.
  4. Remove the floral from its container and if necessary, remove any excess soil.
  5. Insert into egg shell.
  6. Your done!

So simple yet perfect.

Happy crafting and Happy Easter!

Repurposed Vase Terrariums

Who doesn’t have a generous supply of florist vases tucked away? Some of my collection have been given to me, others I’ve rescued from the trash. My collection was the inspiration for these perfect woodland folly centerpieces.

Armed with only the bounty of my back yard (which by the way is the size of a postage stamp) I created these centerpieces. They also make a unique and creative way to number tables at a wedding or special event.

They are super easy to make. Simply place a one inch layer of stones in the bottom or your container then add about another inch of soil. Now the fun part! Using your imagination, start placing your special back yard finds into the vases like pines, moss, twigs, ferns, tiny clumps of grass. Don’t be afraid to add extra little surprises like eggs or this little deer like I did. If you don’t have access to these items, visit your local nursery of craft store.

Water with a moderate amount of water and don’t place it in direct sunlight. Enjoy, have fun and happy crafting!

Philadelphia International Flower Show Here I Come

Happy Friday everyone! Organic Gardening Magazine asked me to conduct a workshop at this year’s Philadelphia International Flower Show.  Check out this link for all of the show details. My workshop is titled “Crafts from the Garden” and will be held on opening day, Sunday, March 4th at 3:30 PM.

If you’re in that neck of the woods on March 4th, join me for a hands-on demonstration of simple and beautiful garden crafts. Learn to create beautiful projects from materials found in and around your garden to enhance your home and make beautiful gifts any time of year.

As a teaser, here are a couple of photos of one of the projects I’ll be presenting.  It’s easy and I call it my box full of explosive garden beauties. Seriously, the wooden crate has ‘DANGER EXPLOSIVES’ printed on the side. Please do come by to say hello and learn how to make some special garden crafts you can keep and display at your home or give as gifts. Oh, and we’ll have a dynamite time. Okay, that was lame but that reminds me of something my dad said to me ages ago, “If brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow your nose.” I’m sure I deserved that one.

See you on March 4th!


Happy Valentine’s Evening

Happy Valentine’s Evening everyone! It’s late I know, but I didn’t want to leave this holiday without sharing a craft or two. And, I know everyone is pooped from today’s celebrations so I’ll make this quick.

I’ve been recently introduced to Krylon’s Chalkboard spray paint. It’s fast, easy and creates a chalkboard surface on virtually any surface. Follow directions on the can.

I had an old frame and the glass within the frame was in poor shape, paint splotches, glue, etc. So I removed the glass from the frame, flipped the glass to the good side and sprayed the good side with the chalkboard paint. I also sprayed an old depression glass wine goblet which was chipped at the rim and turned it into a floral vase (with message of course!) After the paint was dry I re-inserted the glass back into the frame for the perfect message board. What’s cool about this is you can use the chalkboard surface over and over. Simply clean it with a damp cloth!

Oh! And I cut a Valentine’s Day card out of card stock paper and also cut a heart from one of my old flannel shirts (see previous flannel shirt post).  Glued the flannel heart to the card and now I’m pooped!

Good night and happy crafting!

Depression Glass Top Hats

Hello crafters. It’s Friday night and I’m recovering from a nasty case of the flu so what do I do? Clean of course.

While rootin and a diggin in my cupboard, I came across these colorful, cute depression glass tooth pick holders in the shape of top hats. For some time I’ve been picking these depression glass beauties up at flea markets with the intention of using them – not as tooth pick holders mind you.  And in case you’re wondering, the multi-faceted pattern on the top hats is called ‘Button and Star’.

So tonight I popped tiny votive candles inside and they’re not looking so depressed anymore!  I’m feeling better already.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tea and Tea Roses

Busy weeks call for some downtime. A good book, my sketchbook, and a cup of tea or coffee brings me back to earth. At the grocery store, I picked up these tea roses but instead of plunking them into a vase, I placed them in a small terracotta flower pot. A while back a local greenhouse was throwing out these tiny pots which I rescued and painted with acrylic paint. They look great with any flower and they look great on my desk.

Line the pot with a grocery store plastic bag (we all have loads of those), insert floral foam (wet of course), then cut away the excess plastic with a scissors. Now cut and insert the flowers until the entire opening is filled. I tucked moss around the edges to hide any hint of plastic.

You can find the supplies needed for this project at your local craft or floral shop. And, note to reader, most craft stores have a great selection of small terracotta pots.

These would make great place card holders, get-well and birthday gifts, or gifts for other occasions like Valentine’s Day!  Hint, hint — THAT day is right around the corner.

Relax, take time to smell the roses, and happy crafting!

Roses n Tangerines

Who would think roses and tangerines get along.  Well I’m here to say that they make the perfect playmates.

I found a wood tray at the crafts store, painted the tray orange with some acrylic paint, lined the box with a plastic bin bag (cut down to size of course), inserted wet floral foam into the box opening, then inserted the oranges and roses into the foam.  To hide any hint of the plastic liner, I tucked in some moss and tied it off with some twine.

Looks pretty, it’s tasty and smells divine.

All supplies can be found at your local crafts store and florist shop.