I wanted to make a very sentimental gift for my mother. Y’all know I always prefer to make my gifts homemade. But I’m not really the creative type. So I struggle mightily with being able to figure out the perfect gift.
But this time I think my gift was perfect. I took arrowheads that my brother had flint-knapped years ago and arranged them into a cross for her. Come see how I was able to fashion this gift using only supplies I had at home.
Back in ‘the day’ I had lots of scented candles and I burned them often. I loved the gentle flicker of the flame and the scent of the candle itself. But then I heard of the nasties that can be released by burning traditional paraffin wax candles. So as time went on I burned them less & less. When they were gone I just did without.
But now we have our own apiary and I have access to that precious all-natural beeswax. So today I think I’ll make beeswax candles with it!
The other day I decided to try a gardening hack I’d read about. I wanted to paint some small rocks red to look like strawberries. The idea is to Trick Birds Away From Your Garden Strawberries. The birds see the bright-red faux berries and decide to swoop in for a little snack. A few pecks of that rock hard ‘strawberry‘ and they decide you’re an awful gardener and move on, leaving future strawberries for your own harvest.
I already had the paint, I already had the rocks, but I didn’t have a small paintbrush. So I decided to make one on the fly. All I needed was a tiny scrap piece of absorbent material & an ordinary clothespin.
This is my first year to plant strawberries, y’all! I’ve included them in my Edible Landscape this year. But I’ve been reading lamentations from other gardeners about the birds stealing those strawberries riiiiiight before harvest time! Now I don’t remember where I saw this hint (so sorry to whomever opened my eyes) but this is brilliant.
Someone suggested painting rocks to look like strawberries to fool the birds. You simply place the fake strawberries around your strawberry plant soon after you plant them. A few pecks on the hard faux strawberries and the birds decide that I’m such a lousy gardener that they don’t want ’em! LOL
I’m pretty eco-conscious, shunning excessive or unnecessary trash wherever possible. Even when RancherMan & I go out to eat, I bring a small lidded glass dish into the restaurant with me to hold my leftovers. That keeps me from having to accept their Styrofoam packaging.
But one of my self-imposed rules about my crunchiness is that I want to make it ‘un-weird‘ in public to keep RancherMan from feeling uncomfortable. He assures me my eco ways don’t make him uncomfortable, but I still want to be considerate. And let’s face it, carrying a small casserole dish through a restaurant does not blend in with the atmosphere. So I decided I needed a carrier that looked almost purse-like.
Years ago I did away with artificial scents in our home. Oh how I used to love those reed diffusers, plug-in room fresheners and scented candles! But I decided those artificial scents just weren’t right for me or my family.
These days I’m more apt to use essential oils for room fresheners than a plastic-packaged plug-in delivering a sometimes overpowering artificial scent. Recently I made a super-cute room freshener using a repurposed canning jar and leftover lace. So easy, so inexpensive!
Several years ago our kids requested no more toys for Christmas for our grandkids. They already had so many toys that the mountains of additional toys they received each Christmas was beginning to be overwhelming. So we started a tradition of Experience Gifts for them. We’ll gather them all up and go do something fun with them. We’ll take them out to eat, do a fun activity together and bring them to the Homestead to have a slumber party with their cousins.
Sometimes the activity is a live Christmas play, the Children’s museum or a drive-through Christmas light display at the lake. This year we took them to a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course and also Rock Climbing. This annual experience gift is so much fun for them and us too!
But when we gather as a family on Christmas day, although the grandkids already received their gift a couple of weeks earlier, I hate that there’s no gift for them on this day. So I decided to make Santa Sleighs for them this year. A cute gift and a little sumpin’ sweet for them too.
Fall is here, y’all! Now I know some folks relish in changing the decor for their homes or porch with each changing season. Although it looks great, seasonal decor changing has never appealed to me. I guess I’m just not a Pinterest-worthy decorator. LOL
But still, there’s just something about the arrival of cool temperatures after a long, blisteringly-hot summer… I started getting the hankering for some cute flannel and/or plaid accents. So I thought it would be fun to make flannel-shirt decorative pillows for our guest bedroom. It was easy, even for my novice sewing skills. And here’s the kicker: I use those decorative pillows in my guest bedroom to store my spare sheets. Clever, no?
RancherMan & I had a wonderful porch addition built to augment our back porch. Even before the porch addition, we’ve always spent our evenings out there enjoying that Texas sunset. And when we have company, we all naturally congregated on the back porch. But now with the addition there’s even more room to spill outside & visit. And I’ve landscaped it up (on the cheap though, y’all)so it really is an oasis!
Now living out in the country without city lighting & all, it gets really dark at night. So a bright light outside will certainly attract every flying bug in sight! So I prefer a soft, gentle light. Recently I found several cute glass jar lantern lights at various craft & antique shops when we took a fun quick trip to Granbury, Texas. Of course I thought to myself: “I can make that!”
I’ve always used cloth napkins. I mean, why not? They can even make a meager meal feel decadent!
It’s a smart financial as well as environmental move for me. There’s no disposable plastic-wrapped paper napkins for me to buy over & over again & throw away! I’ve got cloth napkins that are over 20 years old. They still look great & are serving their purpose quite nicely.
Recently I wanted some red/white gingham napkins. But y’all know how much I hate to get rid of this whatsit to buy that whatsit. It just seems like an environmental waste to me. But I REALLY wanted those cheery red & white napkins!