The Ultimate Upcycle: Old Crib to Old Glory

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I’m in full 4th of July mode.  Every year we host a big 4th of July party for our friends and family, and the entire month of June is devoted to prepping for this party… Cleaning, Home Improvements, Decorating, Landscaping, with a few DIY projects thrown in the mix.  I wanted to share a project with you all that I actually completed last year, but was really impressed with, and still love.

 

While cleaning out an old shed to give our chickens more room, we came across an old rusty set of crib springs. At the time, I told my husband to just throw it in his scrap metal pile. But, the next day I was struck with inspiration… This is how I upcycled an old rusty set of crib springs and made an amazing piece of decor.  I turned this rusty piece of scrap metal into an American Flag, Old Glory, or even the Stars and Stripes.  Whatever you call it, it is a great example of what can be done with the “junk” you have accumulating around your house.

First you will need an old set of rusty crib springs, or you may have something else laying around that would work for this project.  The fun part of DIY projects is that there are no rules – you just need some inspiration.

For this project you will need ribbon.  I chose to use burlap ribbon, because I love everything and anything burlap.  First, I started with this awesome blue ribbon.  It was already printed with stars!!  How perfect is that?!?!  It was 5.5 inches wide, which wouldn’t work for this project.  So, after cutting it to length, I just cut it in half down the middle, and that worked perfectly.

I want to note that, I used hot glue for this project, but didn’t glue anything until all the weaving was complete.

Next I started on the stripes. I bought a 10 foot roll of Red Burlap Ribbon, and a 10 foot roll of White Burlap Ribbon.  Each of these burlap ribbon rolls measured 2.5 inches wide, and that worked perfectly. They were, however, a little thin, for my taste, so I doubled them back to give two layers for each stripe.  If you would rather not use the star-printed blue ribbon, I also found this combo pack on Amazon, that features one 10 foot roll each of red, white and blue burlap ribbon.

Once I had all the ribbon weaved through the wires, I was ready to glue.  I used my trusty glue gun, but I imagine other adhesives could work just as well.  Just use whatever you prefer.

The final project!  I love, love, love this!

I am so happy with how this turned out!  I love how the colors of the flag look with the rust of the crib springs.  The perfect mix of old and new, and proof that almost anything can be transformed into something beautiful!

 

Beach Wraps and Blankets Starting at $15.95! + FREE SHIPPING!

*This Post Contains Affiliate Links.

Starting today, thru Sunday, you can get your hands on one of the hottest item of the summer.  Cents of Style will be offering round beach wraps for $15.95, or round beach blankets for $21.95!  Just use coupon code STORYTHROW.  And, as always, FREE SHIPPING on every order – No minimum!


These are going to be everywhere this year – they are perfect for the beach, concerts, festivals, picnics, bonfires, the boat, the waterpark… pretty much anywhere your Summer adventure takes you.  With over 30 styles to choose from, you are sure to find something you love.


   

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some great ideas on how to wear your beach wrap, check out this cute video!

In addition to the amazing beach wrap and blanket deal, Cents of Style will be offering these sunglasses for just $2.99 at checkout! $2.99!!!

 

I am loving this deal and can’t believe how many there are to choose from!!  I can’t wait to hear which pattern you pick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginners Guide to Succulents

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Let me preface this post by saying that I am a definite beginner when it comes to succulents.  But, when I become interested in something, I take it to the extreme, and I try to learn all I can.  Hence this post.

A few weeks ago, while researching my Etsy Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, I came across this really awesome succulent arrangement, and I was in love.  I was instantly reminded of the Hens and Chicks that grew throughout my grandparents flower beds.  I was always messing with them, and usually couldn’t keep my hands off.  There was just something about the way they looked – You could say I was mildly obsessed.  And now, I want to grow my own.  So, I’ve research, and researched, and researched some more.  And, here is what I’ve learned.

What is A Succulent?

A succulent is any plant with thick, fleshy water storage organs – their leaves.  Succulents store water in their leaves, their stems, or their roots.  The word “succulent” comes from a Latin word that means “juice.”  These plants have adapted to survive arid conditions throughout the world, from Africa to the deserts of North America.  Because of their ability to store water, they are very resistant to drought-like situations.  This means that they don’t need frequent watering, so, if you’re like me, forgetting to water isn’t a death sentence to these little plants.  Succulents are especially able to grow well in hot sun, and even poor soil.

 As a group, succulents include some of the most well-known plants, such as the aloe and agave, and also many unknown plants. Cacti are a unique subset of the succulent group, but it is important to understand that while cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.

Succulents can be grown in many different places.  They will grow in stone walls, between patio pavers, and in rock gardens.  But one of the easiest ways to grow them is in shallow containers, which is the way that I am going to focus on.  Mainly because my son brought home this cool star shaped container, the other day.  My plan is to steal it, spray paint it, and then plant.  I’m hoping that if I let him help, he’ll go along with my plan.  If not, I’ll buy him ice cream.  That usually works.

Choosing A Container

Ideally, the container you choose should be shallow and at least 4 inches deep.  For those of you, without the perfect star shaped container at home, I’ve found some really neat containers on Amazon.  I really like the simplicity of this Round White Ceramic Planter.

Potting Soil

Succulents should be potted in a fast-draining mixture that’s designed for cacti and succulents, like this Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix.  If you don’t want to purchase a special mix, you can follow these directions to make your own succulent soil.  The most important thing is to have a well-draining soil, because these plants have shallow roots that form a dense mat just under the soil surface.  When first potting your succulents, you will notice how shallow and brittle their roots are. Gently loosen other soil, and sift new soil around the roots, using your fingers or blunt end of a pencil to tamp it lightly as you go. Once you have them planted, cover the surface with sand or gravel or grit, and allow the plants to dry a few days before watering.

Light

Succulents prefer bright light, such as that found by a south-facing window.  You will, however need to watch the leaves for indications that the light level is correct for your plants. Some species will scorch if suddenly exposed to direct sunlight. The leaves will turn brown or white as the plant bleaches out and the soft tissues are destroyed. Alternatively, it is important to note that an underlit succulent, without enough light, will begin to stretch, with an elongated stem and widely spaced leaves. This condition is known as etoliation, and the solution is to provide better light positioning and also to prune the plant back to its original shape. You can also research the plants you have chosen, because some will thrive outdoors, in the summer.

Temperature

Many people assume that succulents can not tolerate the cold, but they are much more cold-tolerant than many people would think. If you think about it, in the desert, where there is often a definite contrast between night and day, succulents are able to thrive.  Even with nights temperatures that can drop to 40ºF, or below.

Ideally, though, succulents prefer daytime temperatures between 70ºF and about 85ºF and nighttime temperatures between 50ºF and 55ºF.

Watering

Succulents should be watered generously in the summer. You should allow the potting mix to dry between waterings, but it is important that you do not under-water. During the winter, when the plants go dormant, cut watering back to once every other month. Over-Watering can result in plant rot, which is the single most common cause of plant failure. An over-watered succulent might at first plump up and look very healthy. However, the cause of death may have already set in beneath the soil, with rot spreading upward from the root system. A succulent should never be allowed to sit in water.

The following are signs of under- or over-watering:

  • Over-Watering:  Over-watered plants are soft and discolored. The leaves may be yellow or white and they may lose their color. A plant in this condition may be beyond repair, but you can attempt to save it.  First, remove it from its pot and inspect the roots. If they are brown and rotted, cut away the dead roots and repot into a drier potting media, or you could take a cutting and propagate the parent plant.  You can learn more about propagating a succulent here.
  • Under-watering: Succulents prefer generous water during the growing season (spring and summer). An under-watered plant will first stop growing, and then will begin to shed its leaves. In addition, the plant may also develop brown spots on the leaves.

Fertilizer

During the summer growing season, fertilizer as you would with other houseplants. You can feed your succulents easily with Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food.  Stop fertilizing entirely during the winter.

Common Types of Succulents

  • Hens And Chicks

    Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) are succulents that grow in mats. As they grow, the plants form rosettes. The parent rosette is the “hen,” while the small rosettes are the “chicks.” After they flower, the hens will die, but you can remove them from your dish garden and have plenty of chicks left to fill in. Like other succulents, Hens and Chicks are drought tolerant, sun-loving plants.

  • Burro’s Tail

    Also called Donkey’s Tail or Lamb’s Tail, this plant, Sedum morganianum, is a popular succulent with a trailing habit. The gray-green leaves are shaped like tear drops and grow on branches that can reach 2 feet long. Keep them cut back if you have a small dish garden.

  • Jade Plant

    Many Crassula species are commonly called jade plants. A bonus to this plant is that under the right conditions, your jade plant may bloom in the wintertime. Look for variegated varieties in shades of green and red, and give them full sun to keep their colors bright.

  • Echeveria

    Echeveria succulents form rosettes as they mature. Most echeverias are fairly small, but there are varieties that grow into shrub-like plants, so check the tag on your plant, before you buy, especially if you want to plant it in a dish garden. Echeverias come in a range of colors, including powder blue, green, and silver, and many have attractive red edges or tips.

  • Agave

    Agaves come in various shapes and colors, but you’ll often see these plants being sold as symmetrical rosettes with spiny, stiff leaves. Others may also have soft leaves and lack spines. Even though they can become large, an agave can thrive in a small pot for many years, as long as you to manage its size.

 

I hope that I’ve provided you with the information you need to get started with your own succulents.  In addition, I welcome any corrections or helpful information in the comments below – I’ll take any help I can get!!  I hope to be able to show you my very own succulent plants soon!!

XOXO

 

Summer Time is Tee Time!

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When the weather starts getting warmer, I know I start thinking about my warm weather clothes.  I love fun tee-shirts, especially ones that can be paired with both shorts or skinnies.  Or, with sandals or flats.  I found some really cute ones on Jane.com, and the best part…  They don’t cost an arm and a leg!!

I’m loving these Momma Tees!  They come in two different styles and 5 different colors.  Right now, thru Sunday, the 14th, you can pick one up for $13.99.

 
OMG!!  These Dolphin Tees are THE cutest!!  $13.99, and 5 different colors to choose from.

 
I love the simplicity of the message on this Be Kind Tee.  Simple and something everyone should practice.  Only $12.99, and 7(!) different colors!

 
This Chaos Coordinator Tee was made for me.  No doubt about it.  There are 18 colors to choose from, and it’s only $13.99, right now.

 
I want all three designs of these Camping Crew Neck Tees.  Plus, I love the color selections, especially the slate blue or the clay.  Perfect for the summer!

 
Seriously, if you are ready to start adding to your summer wardrobe, check out these and all the other adorable tees (and tanks) on Jane.com.  You won’t be disappointed!!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

 

Found on Etsy – Gifts for the Grad

It’s that time of year – Graduations Galore!!

Now, I know that most of the time, probably 90% of the time, it’s just easier, and probably preferred by the graduate, to just throw some money in a card.  But, sometimes, cash just doesn’t seem like enough.  There are people in your life, that deserve a little more thought.  The following ideas are for those people.

I love anything burlap, and I love this personalized burlap print from BurlapWillow.

 

This monogrammed laundry bag from WhamBamMonograms is not only useful, but cute!  Even if your graduate isn’t going straight to the dorms, this bag is great for traveling, too.  And, check out all those adorable patterns!

 

A Pen Set with a Monogrammed Wood Case would make a perfect gift for both the high school and college grad.  You can shop for this set or many other personalized designs at lazerdesigns.

 

I think this Personalized Journal from zany is such a neat gift idea.  In fact, this would make an excellent gift for anyone that likes to journal.

 

For something out of the ordinary, how about this yard dice game?  Made by ktuschel, it comes with everything you need, including 5 dice, a bucket, a laminated score card, and a dry erase marker.  I think any graduate would love this gift.

 

A blanket is the perfect gift for any graduate – male or female.  This Embroidered Sherpa Blanket looks so cozy.  Choose your color at BellasPersonalGifts.

 

I love the simplicity of this Personalized Keepsake Box, from Susabellas.

 

I think I’ve found some really great ideas.  Did you see any that you liked?  Or do you have a signature gift that you like to give to graduates?

 

 

 

 

Found on Etsy – Mommy Bling

So, last week, I wrote about some unique and totally awesome Mother’s Day gifts, I found on Etsy.  If you missed it, you can check them all out here.

I purposely, though, left out jewelry.  There is so much gorgeous jewelry on Etsy, and I wouldn’t have been able to showcase near as much, without devoting an entire post to it.  There are so many beautiful pieces that would make perfect gifts for the moms, grandmas, wives, aunts, etc…, in your life.

So, here you go!

 

I am in love with this Family Tree Necklace from delezhen.  It’s just so elegant!

 

For a different take on the Family Tree Necklace, this one from SusanAnna is also really pretty.  And, I love the colors.

 

This Personalized Gold Bar Ring, from LayeredAndLong, is so unique.  It’s simple, but classy.

 

FrostedWillow sells the prettiest Family Tree Bracelet in her store.  You can personalize this with anywhere from one to four charms.  So cute!

 

The Skinny Bar Necklace, from LEILAjewelryshop, would make a perfect Mother’s Day Gift.

 

These matching bracelets would make a sweet gift for your mom.  When you order from LemonArtStudio, you get to choose between flowers and hearts for your charm, and you also get to choose the color of your band.

 

This beautiful circle necklace can come with up to  charms, and can include up to 15 names.  This gift from CentimeGift would make a wonderful present for your Grandmother.

 

I adore these dainty stacking rings, from KathrynRiechert.  I would love to receive these as a gift, on May 14th.

 

MignonandMignon has a slightly different, but just as pretty, take on the Vertical Bar Necklace.

 

What mom wouldn’t love this Charm Bangle Bracelet from LaLaCrystal?  The initial charms and the tree charm are so gorgeous.

 

Here’s a super pretty Grandmother Necklace sold by powderandjade.  You can personalize this with up to 10 birthstones.

 

There are so many incredibly pretty jewelry pieces offered on Etsy right now.  If one of these isn’t right for the Mother in your life, I’m sure you won’t have any problems finding the right one.   With all of the talented artists selling their creations on Etsy, there is something for everyone.  And, I mean everyone.

~XOXO

 

 

 

 

 

Found on Etsy – Mother’s Day

This week, I’ve decided to showcase some great potential Mother’s Day gifts.  Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I tend to wait until the last minute to shop.  So, every year, my mom gets a plant, or a flower, or a plant, or a…  You get the idea.  I’m not real creative, over here.  Maybe this year, I can shock her, and find something that she will really love.  And maybe I can find some things to throw hints at my husband about.  Maybe?  OK, Probably.

Before I start, though, a little on the history of Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1908 by Anna Jarvis, and it became an official holiday in 1914.   It is interesting to note that even though Anna Jarvis was instrumental in Mother’s Day being recognized as an official holiday, she later denounced the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.  While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards and other gifts.  It is not only celebrated in the United States, but it is celebrated in different forms throughout much of the world.

Now, on to the fun part!

 

I think this Rustic Wood Drawer and Succulent Arrangement from RileysOasis is so cool!  I would love to get this as a gift.  So unique!

 

OK, this one just made me giggle.  Check out this mug from Abbingtons.

 

This Mom Book Origami is really kind of different.  I think this decorative piece made by BooksByBrittney would look really cool sitting up on a shelf or mantel.

 

I have wanted one of these Pottery Bread Bakers FOREVER.  AyersPottery has the neatest ones.  I love the colors, and each one includes a recipe and ideas for other uses for these handmade bowls.

 

How about this unique Porcelain Wind Chime from EarthWindStoneware for your Mom?

 

This stained glass panel from hankbarnes1234 is absolutely gorgeous!  I am totally, 100%, in love with this.  The colors are so bright and vivid.  Beautiful!

 

All of these items would make great gifts for the Mothers in your life, but if you are looking for jewelry, I’m intentionally saving that for next week.  There is so much to choose from, and I want to find my absolute favorites.  So, if you didn’t see something you love today, make sure and check back next week for some gorgeous jewelry for your wife, mother, or even for yourself.

XOXO!

 

Found on Etsy: Gorgeous Spring Wreaths

I am definitely ready for Winter to leave.  Just last week, in Ohio, we had snow one day, and 70 degrees a couple days later.  It’s time for Winter to say good-bye, and let Spring do it’s thing!

To get ready for spring and brighten our homes, I found some gorgeous wreaths on Etsy this week.

 

I love everything about this Pink & Cream Hydrangea Wreath, from jennyCmoon.  The colors are so pretty, and with the burlap and the monogram…  Perfect!

 

The coral and light brown in this wreath from WreathMeLoveBoutique definitely says spring in an understated and elegant way.

 

Nothing faux about this fresh Adina Pepperberry Wreath from ClubBotanic.  It features both olive and bay leaves, along with seeded eucalyptus, pepperberries,  and viburnum berries.  Beautiful!!

 

This next wreath from CuriousBloom is really unique.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wreath quite like it.  It features felt flowers, and I really love the fact that it features a slim profile.  So, if you don’t have tons of space between your doors, this would work perfect.

 

I think this Succulent Wreath is so cool!  And, with proper care, the succulents will live on the wreath for months, and can then be transplanted to the ground for even more enjoyment!  Visit TerracottaCornerFL to see this wreath and the many other succulent wreaths.

 

So many cute wreaths!!  If you didn’t see one you love here, hop on over to Etsy and you are sure to find one that fits your tastes.  Guaranteed!

XOXO ~ Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating The Perfect Easter Egg – Part 2 (The Fun Part)

So, a couple weeks ago I wrote about two different ways to hard-boil eggs.  Today, it’s time for the fun part…  Coloring and decorating your eggs!

I love decorating eggs with my kids.  I know how much I enjoyed it when I was younger, and I know that we are creating memories and traditions that they will hopefully share with their little ones, someday.  I do, however, experience minor anxiety every year, when it’s time to fill those little cups with colored dye.  My 4 kids are clumsy.  Extremely clumsy.  I feel like the saying “bull in a china shop”, was created after someone witnessed my kids.  They are completely unaware of their surroundings.  And I don’t want to have to watch those little cups tipping over.  So, I have found some really cute ideas, that don’t involve cups of dye, and they really look like they will be fun.

 

Tie Dye Easter Eggs

I found this method on One Little Project, and this looks like a fun and easy way to color the eggs.  And not too messy, as long as we wear gloves.  The only problem I see is my impatient children, constantly asking if they can unwrap their eggs.  Constantly.  Over and Over…

 

Polka Dot Easter Eggs

These are simple and cute.  And easy.  I really think my kids would like to put their own little touch on these eggs, and plus they get to use paint.  Such a cute idea from The Girl Creative.

 

Cool-Whip Dyed Eggs

A Crafted Passion has a really great way to color eggs, using Cool-Whip!  Similar to the shaving cream method I’ve seen around, but definitely non-toxic.  I definitely think gloves would be a good idea, to keep those little fingers free of dye.

 

Watercolor Floral Eggs

This is such a cool method, though it does use cups of dye.  But, honestly if I could find cups shown on Dream a Little Bigger, it wouldn’t be so bad.  They definitely wouldn’t be likely to tip over.  But anyway, I just love how the eggs turned out.  They look so classy and elegant.  Plus, I think the kids would really enjoy this one, and I can totally see them coming up with their own creations.  Something other than flowers…

 

So, I know that some of you are still going to go for the cups of dye.  And, more power to you.  I just can’t do it.  But, if you choose that route, check out these great color cheat sheets from McCormick.

       

 

No matter which method you choose, just have fun.  Enjoy this time with your children, making precious memories.

XOXO ~ Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found On Etsy: Easter Basket Fillers

I am a huge Etsy fan.  I love the variety and the uniqueness of the items that I can find there.  If I have an image in my head, more often than not, I can find it on Etsy.

My goal is to, at least once a week, highlight some Etsy items and feature them in a post, here on Making Life From Lemons.  Since Easter is right around the corner, I found some really cute Easter Basket Fillers, this week.

Check out these cute Peeps-shaped bath bombs from SnazzieBombs.  Just a reminder, you definitely would want to keep on your little ones, with these.  They may look pretty tasty!

 

I love these adorable felt puzzles, by DesignsByRAJA.  She has so many different puzzles to choose from.  I chose the duck to show you, but there are dinosaurs, bunnies, giraffes(!), and so many more…

 

All kids (and adults) love sidewalk chalk.  This egg-shaped chalk from  CasualHomeStyle is so cool.  I think that the eggs may be easier for little hands to hold, too.

 

My kids love puppets.  And, they especially love putting on puppet shows that last for hours and hours and hours…  So, I know they would love these little adorable finger puppets from stuffnjunkbyheidi.  So Cute!

 

Here’s another fun basket filler.  What kid doesn’t love Tic Tac Toe?  The carrying bag and X & O stones make this such a neat little gift.  Visit G3CraftyCreations to purchase this game and to check out the rest of their gifts and decor.

 

I’ve saved these last two items for the end, because they are definitely more girly gifts, but since I have three daughters, I had to share!

I love this Bunny Ear Scrunchie from KawaiiHairCandy.

 

And, these Peeps Earrings are so stinking cute!  Visit JOcustomdesigns for these and more.

 

Hopefully, these items gave you some ideas and inspiration for easter basket fillers, beyond jelly beans (yuck!).