Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time to admit: Alternatives to gardening

Here we go, the always popular Internet confession.  Now I consider myself a good crafter; I can also bake, cook, keep a good home, do my job, and throw a fun Halloween party/luau.  I am, to my credit, a darn good dog mom too, but for the life of me I CANNOT garden.  It happens every Spring.  You walk through the neighborhood and everyone has those happy little hanging baskets out in front of their homes.  Flower waterfalls in all shades of pink, blue, purple, and white to attract your eyes while your brain thinks "hey that would look great hanging from the front porch".  So every year you run out and spend $25 at the local nursery on a truly gorgeous basket and your house looks all picket fence perfect.  At least for a few weeks. Then the sweltering heat hits and, shocker, you forget to water it.  Or it rains like the end of days and the roots drown.  Now you have a $25 white plastic basket of dead shrively plant bits that looks like your house is trying to masquerade as the Haunted Mansion.  So then the wonderful cooling of Fall arrives and thus the hardy mum comes into view.  All covered with big blooms in bold color that looks just stunning with all the foliage and pumpkins and such.  That is going to look great at the end of my driveway, so it's off to that nursery again to drop $48 on four huge pots of this bountiful beauty.  Again, this looks great for a few weeks, then there's that whole forgot to water it thing or the ever present "hard" frost that turns your luscious blooms of yellow into a crinkly tumbleweed. I speak from experience people! It is time to raise up our heads for I bring you: Crafty alternatives to gardening!!!

Lesson one: alternative hanging basket; also know as the "blowing in the wind ribbon thingy" (might need a better name for that). 
            This is by no means difficult and you can make them in any colors you want, heck even trade them out for holidays if you are so inclined.

Wire wreath frame in whatever size you would like your not-quite-a windsock to be
Lots of ribbon in your most favorite of colors; sports teams, holidays, vacations spots, all good inspirations!
A pair of scissors.

The wire frame will most likely have three or four different circles of wire attached to one another by five wire connectors.  You can cut them free from these connectors using wire cutters.  Now you have three wire bases for your project.  The amount of ribbon you need really depends on the width of the ribbon and the length you want your project to be.  Since I used thin ribbon and cut it quite long I had to get 2 spools of each of the four colors that I chose to use.  You can use as many or as few colors as you would like.  Don't be afraid of textured ribbon either.  Decide on the length of the hanging you want and cut ribbon twice as long.  Don't cut all the ribbon at once, do it in batches in case you have leftover spools you would like to return. Now simply attach the ribbon the the wire frame by looping the ribbon over the wire and pulling the ends through the loop.  Now take four of the affixed ribbons equally from around the wire frame and knot them together at the ends to form the hanger. You have now created a beautiful addition to your living abodes exterior, one that is never going to turn brown and crusty if you forget to water it.

Lesson two: Don't be afraid of silk flowers!!!!
 For so very long I was afraid of using the silk flower, I thought they would look tacky.  Some people still think they look tacky, but, well, doom on them.  I think they are great looking and can bring a wonderful amount of color to any living space.  They are permanent, but not in a having to dig up the yard because they look bad there, kind of way.  You get to put together your favorite looks; pots, foliage, flowers, fruits, veggies, even grasses, nuts and leaves.  It's all about you! You can create the perfect holiday bush, and then put it away only to bring it out next year and have it still look great.  So this lesson is short and fun: embrace the semi-permanence of silk flowers!

On a side note: if you are a Labrador, this lesson is much more fun if you put lip and nose juice on the flowers right before someone picks them up to add them to the arrangement, especially if your name is Abby.

I hope you all will look to new ways with crafting, don't be shy!
Keep it fun brothers and sisters, I'm gonna make like a tree and get outta here.


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