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29 September 2014

Companions, a Potty Mouth and a Fall Preview

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If you are a gardening aficionado, you might be a bit confused at this blog as of late.   There has been a lot of posting on kids, family, crafts and even photography, but where has the gardening gone?  Well, to be honest, I am doing a LOT of it, but there isn't a whole lot being published. Why, you ask?  Well, something better is on the way.  I whole big wonderful mess of gardening information in one big bite. It will just take awhile. For  today though, I have a couple easy tips for fall planting and a fun new product to share with you.  Some supplies and products were provided for the review purposes of this post.

  It is almost time for planting daffodil bulbs and when deciding on where to place them might I suggest looking around for a little bit of this?

See those fuzzy little ears?
They contrast really well against a clump of tall, waving daffodil leaves:

...and if I may be so bold, don't do the naturalized planting here unless you are doing several hundred in a large field of lambsear.  
Otherwise, a nice little field of little lambsear with a nice solid clump of daffodil is just right.
Longfield Gardens is my choice for interesting daffodils like Love Call, Falconet and Cragford!

I also wanted to share a fun new product with you -- shhhh, its name is Potty Mouth!

Thanks to Potty Mouth for the sample planter to test out in my fall garden.  These "pots" are actually lightweight, "half" pots with spiky bottoms that "plant" directly into the ground.  They are made from recycled plastic, stone powder and wood powder -- super durable!  Use them to highlight a particular planting, protect a fragile transplant or mark where a clump of dahlias went in.  Instead of dealing with the hassles of potted plants (you have to baby them A LOT), you can get the look of a potted plant, but roots can live naturally in the ground with a LOT less care!

Now notice those little spikes that look like grass?  Those are actually grape hyacinth and they bloom each spring, but give a little foliage "preview" each fall.  When planting your fall bulbs, those little hyacinth markers are quite helpful!

Longfield Gardens sent some beautiful tulips along with grape hyacinth to plant for next spring.  PLANTING TIP: I plant a few hyacinth with each tulip grouping to help mark where the tulips are each fall.  When I see a little clump of hyacinth in fall, I know a WHOLE LOT MORE is below the surface.  I have saved countless large bulbs from shovel spearing in fall this way!  Save the bulbs!!  Save the bulbs!

Come back in about 5 months to see the tulip and hyacinth show -- it will be fantastic!

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27 September 2014

Halloween Vinyl Projects and an Old School Trick or Treat

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Portions of this Silhouette Vinyl post have been previously published on Crafts Unleashed. Craft Supplies have been provided by Consumer Crafts. Without these supplies, these project ideas and craft ideas would not be possible, so THANK YOU to our sponsors!

branch title page Halloween is coming around the corner next month and I love to add a little bit of easy "halloweeny" flair to my home without getting too "creepy".  The solution?  A hefty dose of gold and creamy white without any blood and guts and such.  Won't you join me for three easy gold vinyl projects today?  Let's get crafting!


PROJECT #1 -- Gold Vinyl Candles

The first project I wanted to create was a simple update to basic creamy white candles.  They already have a "harvest/fall" color to them, so the addition of gold vinyl decals made them perfectly Halloweeny!   I used THIS Silhouette cut file (99 cents) for the three designs as well as THESE darling pumpkins (also 99 cents).  You will see them pop up over and over again in this vignette!

silhoeutte designs
Once you have your silhouette cut out the designs, it is simply a matter of PEEL and STICK.
trick or treat poem amy renea peeling vinyl

PROJECT #2 - Gold and Black  Halloween Banner

The second project is a play off a previous project you have seen here at Crafts Unleashed (Remember this canvas banner??)  I simply colored in one side of the banner with a giant sharpie marker and added a few more of my gold vinyl "stickers".  (Get the banner cut files HERE).

halloween banner amy renea
My favorite part of this project?
 The black and white striped side reflects off the back of the mirror for added interest -- fun, eh?
halloween banner gold vinyl

PROJECT #3 - Jack-O-Lantern Metal Tray

Hands down, the easiest project of the bunch was this little "Jack-O-Lantern" Tray.  I simply got a beat up old metal tray for pennies at the thrift store, gave it a coat of creamy white spray paint and added a gold vinyl "face".  Don't own a silhouette machine?  No problem!!  You could ABSOLUTELY cut out fun Jack-O-Lantern faces out of vinyl with basic scissors.  Wouldn't a whole display of trays with unique faces be fun??

two halloween projects

The cherry on top of the projects?
Light 'em up baby!
halloween sidebar at night
I added three strands of Halloween (orange!) twinkle lights, hiding the lightbulbs as much as possible so the effect was more of a "glow" that individual light bursts.  The first strand hides behind the candles and back of the dresser, while two other strands are stuffed into drawers cracked open for a bit of a creepy "something is going to pop out of the drawer" look.


I got a little carried away when searching for fun Halloween cut files and stumbled upon an old Halloween poem (the precursor to the more pedestrian "trick-or-treat").  I took a portion of the poem, cut it on my Silhouette Cameo and hand placed the letters on my office chalkboard.  Why didn't I use transfer paper??  I wanted the look to be a little "off", almost like a ransom letter cut from newspaper letters.  You see -- it is a bit of a "threat":

Better be Ready
Better Beware
Better not find your Larder Bare;
Of Candy Apples and Hickory Nuts
& Gingerbread in Generous Cuts

In other words....TRICK OR TREAT!!

Happy Halloween y'all!  Get crafting!

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