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Halloween Frame of Mind

Posted on August 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

So - the back green garden has been blooming despite Edinburgh's wacky weather - the cabbages came in (beautifully despite the wood pigeons snipping away at the leaves) and went (can't blame the pigeons on the disappearance of the cabbages!!) so now we have a few empty garden boxes to fill up. The wee man (little K) sprinkled some turnip seeds into the cabbage box while carrots and kale were planted and are now starting to grow in a couple of the other boxes also depleted.


Since the weather has cooled considerably, I'm getting into a more autumn frame of mind (I know it's only mid-August but you have to be here to appreciate my mood). Any road, Halloween has been on my mind lately and since I am away from home and all my goodies, I checked out what was out there for inspiration.


Now, the thing about me is that I am basically useless at actually making stuff (I'm more your basic idea gal). If it has more than 3 or 4 parts and/or more than 3 steps to create, the projects, etc. I look for have to be easy, simple, and cost-effective. Needless to say, they also have to be remade using recycled materials.


First up is this witty frame arrangement that I found a few years back at Pottery Barn. (Note the frames are no longer available at the store).


Pottery Barn Inspiration




Because I'm inept at hanging up artwork straight on walls, I usually avoid the task (or get someone else to do it). However, this Halloween frame arrangement that I spotted on Pottery Barn seemed like a good one for me. But, wouldn't you know it, when I figured out what I would need to do, I got tired at the thought of all the gluing and nailing and hanging I would have to do and, so, I never did made it.


However, if you like this Halloween frame idea, I think it would be easy to construct if you've got a few old ones around (frames, I mean ... ). By the way, instead of buying your picture mats, make your own from any white paper you've got around the house; it's easy (so she says) to make your own. Here's a link on making your own mats.


And you know what? Good old Pottery Barn even put up a free pdf of spookly photos you can download and use in your frames. Go here for the instructions.


More ideas coming up soon.

Back Green Garden Update

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, here they are - photos of our lovely back green garden in bloom.



The lettuce (Lola Rosa) patch is already producing enough for most residents ...



I never knew you could grow your own celery ...



Herbs are my favourites as you can pick, and pick, and pick ....




The rosemary and mint in these clay containers give the garden a distinctly Mediterranean flair, don't you think?



Nasturtiums keep the French beans company.




The little guy loves to play under the trees behind the garden where he makes mud pies but he also loves to water the plants in the garden. This garden has been a godsend for me as I find it hard somedays to keep up with his nibs. So much energy in such a little package. Now we spend mornings in the garden enjoying the sunshine - I get to catch up on my reading and the little guy plays happily by himself or with any of the other kiddies that show up. 


Back Green Garden and Street Finds

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)



The housing association that maintains the grounds where we are living recently created a community garden in the back green (the communal park behing the buildings) and it's been a great hit with everyone, especially the kids. Our little guy enjoys watering the plants and eating the produce. Since he never was a great veggie fan, his Mom is happy that he enjoys the garden's fresh produce which includes carrots, lettuces, cabbages, leeks, onions, courgettes (that's zucchini to you and me!), as well as a variety of herbs and flowers. Right now only the lettuces and a few carrots are ready but he happily will much on both without much persuasian. His mom also grows a variety of herbs and veggies on their balcony and he is especially fond of the peas which he will eat raw.



Don't you just love this little toy horse? Would you believe that this was a street find? I came across the little fellow when I got on the wrong bus the other day and had to get off. While looking for the right bus, I spotted it amidst a pile of rubbish bags on the curb. Quickly looking up and down the street to see if anyone was watching, I snatched it up and high-tailed it to the nearest bus stop home. (Didn't get a funny look from the driver either, as they're used to people bringing anything and everything on board - the other day, I watched two Spanish girls lug a foldable single bed on the bus!)


Once I got the toy horse home and cleaned it up, I googled it and found similar ones made ca. 1920s. It seems it may have had a cart attached originally. His nibs immediately claimed the horse as his own and has been riding it in the garden all day!

Shoe Last/Tree Upcycling

Posted on June 14, 2014 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Awhile ago I posted a couple of ideas on recycling wood shoe trees (seems they're called shoe lasts here). Easy-peasy ideas anyone can do (if you've got them). Just to give you an idea of moe possibilities (and admittedly more elegant than mine), take a gander at this little toy 'racer' made from a recycled shoe last and toy parts.



The above litle race was created by the folks at Plum and Ashby. Don't you just love it. 

Father's Day Upcycling Ideas

Posted on June 7, 2014 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

One of the problems I'm having at the moment is being too busy and having too much fun here in Edinburgh to sit down and dream up craft recycling projects or even finding some good ideas on the web. We all have to take advantage of the good weather when it does show up and the last two days have been perfect - lots of sunshine but still cool enough to be able to run about without getting exhausted by the heat (heat, in Edinburgh, you say?). A lot going on - today we are off to the Meadows Festival in Morningside - a two-day event that attract hundreds, if not thousands of folks.


Anyway, what I'm saying here is that I have no time (or inclination) - so with Father's Day fast approaching I can only offer you up some past ideas. Enjoy.



And here's where you will find the how-tos:


Wine box cutting board and salt and pepper sample whiskey bottles

Cigar box desk organizers

Wine label drinks coasters

Scrap paper desk organizer or key holder

What I've been up to in Edinburgh

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)


I've been in Edinburgh now over a month and enjoying the rain that keeps coming down. Now I know why it's so green here. Anyway, we did have had a couple of days of sunshine and even managed to get out to Portobello Beach one day. Rain does get me out and about exploring since you can't do much else outdoors. With over 110 charity shops in Edinburgh and a few flea markets (not too common here), I keep myself occupied. This past weekend was a busy one as it was the first day of the new Edinburgh tram system and I took my little guy out for his very first tram experience. Later that day, I hit the streets visiting a number of charity shops and then stopping by the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith to forage through the offerings at the monthly flea market. There was a lot of stuff I would have bought (had I room in my suitcase), all reasonably priced. You can bet I'm going back at the end of June. 


A community garden has been established in the back green of our building and we put in the some of plants yesterday - carrots, leeks, onions, cabbages, lettuce (lola rosa - doesn't that sound so edible!), French dwarf beans, and marigolds. Still to plant are herbs, tomatoes, clematis, and potatoes! It's so nice to have a garden you can actually participate in and use. Also, it's a great way for neighbours to get together in the evenings. Would love to see this at home. Visit here for a look-see.


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