REMEMBER...

LIFE IS A GARDEN; ENJOY THE STROLL.

March 12, 2017

LET'S MAKE REAL CARROT STICKS

I realized my house was without carrot sticks.  After all, what's a home without carrot sticks?  So, I set out to make some.  And, these are real carrot sticks, as in, they're made out of sticks!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Perhaps you'd like to make some, too.  Here's what you'll need -
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

  • pruners or small handsaw
  • sticks (preferably weathered and easy to carve)
  • pocket knife (mine has a slightly serrated blade)
  • an awl (optional)
  • a skewer (optional)
  • green jute twine
  • sandpaper
  • acrylic paint
  • glue
Begin by trimming irregular/uneven edges from each end of your stick with pruners or a saw.  Using the pocket knife, whittle away the narrower end of the stick to develop the pointed end of the carrot. Whittle/carve off the shoulder end of the carrot just enough to get a slightly rounded edge.  Finish off the shaping task with sandpaper.  Grab the knife(again) and lightly slice into various spots on the carrot's surface perpendicular to its length.

  • (optional) Using the awl, make a hole in the shoulder end of the carrot just deep enough to secure the pointed end of a skewer into.  This will make for the convenience of holding onto the skewer while painting the carrot)
Grab your paint and slap it on!  Now, cut a 4" length or two of jute and knot them together in the center.  Lightly coat the jute with an alternate shade of green; this will give your carrot stem a more realistic look and stiffen it up a bit.  When dry, glue it to your carrot.  If necessary, trim the ends.

Voila!  You've just made a real carrot stick.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

Now, go put yours on display!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at thecreateaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

March 10, 2017

ALMOST SPRING

How delighted I was this morning to wake up to a snowflake-y view.  I love snow, and feel we didn't get enough this winter here on Long Island, NY.  Snow triggers the cozy craftiness in me; I'd be happy with snowflakes falling all winter long.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Snowy days are ideal for curling up and napping........
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
But, I chose to do something else.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
I printed up some vintage seed packet images onto watercolor paper, then hunted my house for some props to display them on.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017


linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
The simplest of crafting activities is often all it takes to make a seasonal decorative statement.

Let's see what other signs of spring are making an appearance at the createaerie.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Perusing through books and magazines is also a wonderful snowy day activity.  This one is a gift I received from a friend who recently visited for a weekend.  I can never have enough gardening books.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
The quince branches I cut for forcing have finally begun showing off.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, that!.......... concludes my snowy, not-yet-spring day.

March 7, 2017

MY FAVORITE FLOWER IN THIS GARDEN

I received sad news yesterday that a long time client of mine, a most beautiful showy flower, more so than I could ever grow for her, has just passed away.  Her radiance shined on all who knew her, a glorious smiling sunflower with a witty wink whose petals were not just golden, but every color of the rainbow spectrum..... and so much more.

I felt moved to share with you, via the garden and flower pot displays I designed for her over the years, the playful nature of this amazing woman.

I will her miss dearly.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

February 27, 2017

MORE THAN JUST A HOME OFFICE

The past three weeks of my life have been centered around giving my home office a facelift.  And, though I repurposed stuff I had on hand to pull this project off, everything seemed to just fall into place without a hitch.

Here's a before photo, just prior to the prepping/sanding/painting stage.  The room had previously functioned as an office, but it was dingy, tired and not in any way pleasing to the eye.  It was very makeshift.  My "new" office, in a way, is still makeshift, but a pretty makeshift.  And, it's more than just an office. I've gained a mud room AND a breakfast nook, too!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Ta-da!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
The concrete floor was restored to a pre-finish condition, a job which I contracted out.  Oh my goodness! I had never seen so much masonry dust in my life.  It took me two days to thoroughly clean every crevice and cranny in that room.  I tackled every other aspect of the project, the exception being the work table base; my friend built that for me.  The window trim still needs a few more brush strokes, but I had to step away from that type of tedious work for a while; it was driving me nuts.  I whipped up the simple cabinet curtains this morning.  I see no purpose in tossing out perfectly functional, but mismatched storage containers; however, I wanted a clean and cohesive look. Curtains solved that conflict.

The little bistro setup underneath the windows..... that's my breakfast nook, former home of my old work table.  It was nice to look out the window while working on something, but very inconvenient to open the windows.  The room feels so much more airy and spacious with the new layout.  I gave a plywood round "tabletop" I had on hand a chalk-paint-ish treatment and did some humble-style carving into the surface prior to painting it.  Carved are the words 'sprout', 'grow' and 'bloom' .  The cast aluminum patio chairs are still awaiting new cushions and seat bases, which I'll address in the next week or so.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Isn't this a neat "squird"seed(short for squirrels and birds) storage container?  My garage is full of repurpose-able crap.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Now, on to my "mudroom".

My sister gave me this adorable coat hook many years ago; only, I had it mounted directly into the wall, and that was the extent of my mudroom.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Now, it accompanies a curious little collection of hooks mounted onto a board I made last week.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
This folding stand is another treasure that previously lived in my garage, perfect for stowing snow boots and such. The (roadside find)drawer underneath stores my garden gear accessories, such as gloves, bandanas and knee pads.

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Are you familiar with those vintage looking vinyl floor mats on the market?  The patterns to choose from are so lovely, but their price tags just make me do an about face.  But, I still wanted a waterproof "something" underfoot upon entering my office.  I settled for a remnant of economy vinyl, which I purchased from a local carpet/flooring store, and cut it to fit as a runner.  It does just as good a job as a pricey floor mat.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
The pendant lamp is original to the house, but it has seen its day.  I've obtained a replacement, a door to door delivery which I will have to hold out for until early April.  Until then, this one will do the job as it has for many, many years.

And finally, a little "spur" of the moment repurpose I threw together last night.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017

linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
No pun here; just a "bit" of horsing around to "stirrup" and un-"bridle" your imagination :)

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed this post about my "new" makeshift-mud room-breakfast nook-home office.