Make an Easter Willow Wreath

Posted on April 18, 2011 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (2)

At the Bytown market yesterday afternoon I spotted my favourite vendor selling willow (Salix discolor) branches and, of course, I couldn't resist buying a few. I sometimes just plunk them into one of my old sap buckets and leave it at that. But this year I wanted to create a nice wreath to remind me that spring is not too far away. 

To make the wreath, I simply recycled a twig wreath that I had left over from Christmas and inserted short stems of the willow between the twigs. The wreath will last a long time but keep it out of the sun.

Seasonal leaf decoration

Posted on November 2, 2010 at 8:52 AM Comments comments (0)

If you're too busy to find time to shop for seasonal decorations, here's an idea to decorate your banisters that I spotted while web searching this morning. It will take you from Thanksgiving (American friends) right through to Christmas. Just head for your backyard and collect a bunch of colourful leaves (better yet, get the kids to do it while they're clearing up the leaves in the backyard).

To prepare the leaves, first protect your ironing board or area with a piece of fabric remnant or newspaper. Place your leaves between two sheets of wax paper (not parchment paper) and run a warm iron over the leaves for a couple of minutes. The paper will leave a residue of wax on the leaves; gently peel away the top sheet. Note that you will have to replace the wax paper when all the wax is gone. When you've got enough leaves, hot glue them to a length of butcher's twine (or similar string) and wind that around a string of Christmas lights. Then wind that (I know, a lot of winding - better than whining!!!) around your banister.

No twine, no Christmas lights? Make my leaf wreath instead.

Image Living etc. magazine

25 Things To Do On Earth Day

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (0)

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. Can you think of a few ways you can create an environmentally kind day?  Here are 25 things you can do:

  1. Turn down the temperature in your house.

  2. Buy local produce, if possible.

  3. Dine by candlelight tonight.

  4. Organize a neighbourhood cleanup with neighbours and then enjoy a potluck dinner.

  5. Shower instead of taking a bath.

  6. Close water taps while brushing your teeth.

  7. Don't buy anything you don't need.

  8. Gather up all those unused and outgrown toys and kids clothing and take them to a local shelter.

  9. Laundry only with a full tub.

  10. Hang up your laundry outside. Did you know that sunshine kills any leftover bacteria on your laundry?

  11. Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products

  12. Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water

  13. Collect all unused CDs, DVDs, books, and magazines and take them to a senior residence, shelter, or hospice.

  14. Start a front yard garden.

  15. If you don't have a front yard, you can still garden in pots.

  16. Take the bus, bike, or walk instead of using the car.

  17. Start composting your kitchen waste.

  18. Fix that leaky faucet and save money.

  19. Get a rain barrel for the garden.

  20. Use both sides any paper you are printing. 

  21. When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure.

  22. Go vegetarian or eat less meat today.

  23. Consider renting or borrowing tools and equipment that you seldom use. Talk to neighbours and friends about setting up a Tool Borrowing Club.

  24. Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash

  25. Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers

Recycled Grapevine Basket for Thanksgiving

Posted on October 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It's the Thanksgiving weekend and I'm taking a little time off to come up with some more ideas for Hallowe'en. Keep tuned.



The basket is made from recycled yard waste - an old grapevine removed from the side of the house and turned the cuttings into this basket


Happy Thanksgiving!