Friday, April 12, 2019

Upcycling Jars: Bonne Maman Knows Me

I think Bonne Maman makes wonderful strawberry and apricot preserves and buy jars all the time. When they are empty, I run them through the dishwasher and directly into my craft room. When my friend Kim saw that I was storing beads and baubles for my jewelry in Bonne Maman jars, she started saving the jars from her household for me. Her husband easily consumes a jar of Bonne Maman a week and it is his devotion that has allowed me to amass this great storage system. 

Sea glass, felt scraps and buttons become artistic expression in themselves when displayed this way. 

And while we are talking about upcycling Bonne Maman jars, did you know that they recently introduced lemon curd? It is delicious. Smooth, tart and worthy of replacing your homemade lemon curd in a recipe. I'm serious. They did have done a beautiful job with this recipe and it is the only jarred lemon curd that comes close to homemade. And it comes in a super cute jar (wink).

#bonnemaman #upcycling #makersgonnamake #colorsugarribbon #color #craftroom #wherewomencreate #seattleblogger #jewelrymaking #makingjewelry #designer #creativespace #creativelife  

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Making Felted Soaps

Yesterday I told you all about the soap making party that our neighbor hosted recently. Well, we also had an entirely different soap craft that night called Felting Soaps and I thought it warranted a separate post.
In this project, we took a bar of Ivory soap and used a small knife to carve off the edges. Amanda had purchased an array of colorful wool rovings to layer onto our soaps. 

The gist of the project is to fluff and drape a main color of rovings around a bar of soap. Add tendrils of other colors of wool to add dimension and create a look. I was curious, so I arranged my pink tendril into the shape of a heart and placed it on my small sample soap. Okay, then you pat, squeeze and work your soap under hot (then cold) water to encourage the wool to shrink and morph into a coating. It takes a while for the wool to seize up and cling, but it does! Luckily, Amanda has a dehydrator so we placed the felted soaps inside that machine to dry out. It wasn't completely necessary, but I do think it helped. What fun!

I made the aqua, green and periwinkle soap on the right (behind the heart soap) and the blue & raspberry pink soap. Love! Thank you, Amanda, for encouraging us to play with this gorgeous selection of supplies. 

We made art and we made friends.

#neighbors #craftnight #gno #makersgonnamake #finddelight #colorsugarribbon #seattleblogger #soapmaking #soap #crystals

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sips & Suds: A Colorful Evening with Friends

I open this post with a photo of the finished products: felted soaps and soap crystals, so you can see just how much fun we had. Check tomorrow's post to see the description of felting soaps.
My neighbor Amanda likes a project; She likes to create; She is generous and loves to teach. She decided that it would be "easy" for our neighborhood ladies to make crystal soaps during one of our get togethers. I love color, so I was stunned when I walked in and saw the selection of supplies and soap shards Amanda had made for our project. 
The candle dyes, scents and add-ins were so beautiful that I just wanted to play with the color combinations like Legos. We had options for days and it was thrilling to be able to choose from such a wide range of colors. 

The instruction for soap crystals was to pick out several complimentary shades of soap shards that she had dyed, cooled and cut the night before. Using a small utility knife, we cut the shards into pieces and piled them in a clear plastic cup. Then we dyed some melted glycerin soap, added a drop pr two of scent and poured it over the shards until it filled the cup. We placed the cups in the refrigerator to set.
When the soap had hardened, we removed the cup and cut away at the shape until it resembled a real crystal. So interesting!
This is my soap crystal (above) that I scented with lime and blueberry. I think it is fantastic. And it was oh-so-fun to make. I have it next to my bathtub as a glamorous touch of luxury.

Clearly we were spoiled by Amanda and her love of making. We learned and laughed and all left with a beautiful and useful object. I can't thank her enough for giving us this wonderful evening to create. Shared experiences build friendships and for that we all benefit. 

#makersgonnamake #creativity #soapmaking #gno #sipsandsuds #makerevent #makerparty #party #neighbors #soap #crystals

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Embellish Eggs for Easter

I am loving my Easter table decorations this year. I always have something spring-like and Easter-y out on the table or island in the weeks leading up to Easter. It looks beautiful and it makes me happy. 

And it doesn't mean that this is what my Easter table is going to look like. This is like an advertising campaign leading up the the glorious season. I am in a taupe, pink, wood, gray, aqua faze and these Easter eggs are everything I want to look at right now. Truly a dose of Visual Vitamins.©  

Most of the wooden eggs are from Target and the speckled brown eggs with feathers are from the grocery store (!). Always keep your eye out for beautiful touches, you never know where you'll find something great. I bought small paper flowers and hot glued them to some eggs. I added 3D adhesive embellishments to others.

As far as the tablescape, this winter, I ordered round woven place mats from H & M Home in powder pink and they are beautiful. The plates are a faux bois melamine collection from Target (years ago) and the flatware is faux bamboo. The platter is an antique from my maternal grandmother's cottage. It looks so pretty together and believe me, it makes a weeknight meal taste that much better.

#easterdecorating #easter #eastertable #eastereggs #decoratingeastereggs #makersgonnamake #seattleblogger #springtouches  

Monday, April 8, 2019

Burpee Seeds: Sow A Smile Campaign is Floral Glory

I was so happy to see Burpee Seeds introduce a creative and generous campaign that supports my mission to find delight in every day life.
This spring, Burpee introduced "Sow A Smile," an initiative to spread happiness through the wonder of growing and giving flowers. Yes!

As a garden writer, I received 10 packs of Sow A Smile seed mix (Baby's Breath, Candytuft, Scarlet Flax, Red Corn Poppy, Calendula, Cornflower, Zinnia, Sulphur Cosmos, Catchfly, Gloriosa Daisy and Plains Coreopsis) to share and a super cute Burpee mason jar vase to hold some floral glory once they are in bloom.

The mission of the program is for the public to grow the seeds in the packet and then when they are in bloom, cut & give the bouquets away to make someone happy. It is a great example of living with intention. I would also call this having a master plan - looking into the future and taking steps to ensure some fun ahead.

I recently ordered some Red Lime zinnia seeds from Burpee and when they arrived, the envelope included a "Sow A Smile" seed packet and instructions. This tells me that the program will spread far and wide and that gardeners will be spreading joy from coast to coast in a few short months. Great job, Burpee. The world is a better place when people connect and share flowers. Bravo.

Stay tuned: I promise to grow and give bouquets from these free seed packets this summer. I should be able to sow a smile in a week or so, after the last risk of frost.

#sowasmile #burpee #burpeeseeds #finddelight #momentsofdelight #gardening #startingseeds

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Guernsey Cream Clematis

The first bloom of spring! Aside from my flowering bulbs, this is this "Guernsey Cream" clematis is the first bloom from an established plant at our new construction house and bare bones yard. I planted this in spring 2017. I love watching British TV shows set in the 1940's like, "Foyle's War," "Land Girls," and "My Mother and Other Strangers." And yes, I loved the book "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society." So when I found a clematis called Guernsey Cream, I knew I had to have it.

This year, the first bloom was on Sunday, April 7.

#gardenlover  #finddelight #seattleblogger #plantlove #floweringvine #clematis 

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Van Der Kloet Method: Confetti Planting Bulbs

When I attended the GardenComm (formerly GWA: Garden Writers of America) conference in Chicago last summer, I found myself captivated by the ideas of keynote speaker, Jacqueline van der Kloet. She has designed garden beds all over the world and has become known for her flower bulb combinations.

She spoke about her approach to designing with bulbs. She mixes a variety of bulbs in a wheel barrel and then tosses them into the desired area like confetti. The gardener then plant the bulbs where they land. She recommended having bulbs in different sizes and colors:

I was captivated with this idea and starting telling people I was going to plant my bulbs using the Van Der Kloet Method. My husband prepared the bed in the front of our house and then we mixed the bulbs (my assortment is shown above) and tossed them like confetti into the prepared area.

We did this in the October when we had a house guest and she thought it was a fun approach to bulb placement. I love having a Master Plan and in this case, I was planning for a happy combination of flowering bulbs in our front garden.
It looks darling! The bloom time has been staggered, so I will definitely add even more bulbs this fall to maximize the effect. Now that I know that it is effective, I want more confetti-like color and texture in my front bed. Only 3 tulips have shown themselves so far, so I'm a little nervous that they were eaten, but this bed develops more every day.

Thank you, Jacqueline van der Kloet for the inspiration.

#floweringbulbs #gardenlife #plantingbulbs #springhassprung #springflowers #finddelight #masterplan