Burlap & Birdhouse Patriotic Wreath

A couple of weeks ago I heard about a pool noodle craft party and I wanted to be a part of it.  It was time to get my DIY craft on!  I went to Walmart and found a pool noodle. After I got it home, I taped it together, and then I procrastinated for awhile... I had a ton of ideas in my head, but no clear vision...  I thought about it daily but worked on other projects instead.  It was time to stop thinking about it and finally just do it!  Yesterday I gathered together a bunch of craft supplies and got to creating :)

Fold noodle into a circle and then use duct tape or packaging tape to hold the seam together.  Below you can see my hubby holding my noodle wreath form up for me so I could get a good picture of it.  At the same time he had been assembling our new porch chairs (see on my prior post).  He's such a sweetie!!! 

Here is the pile of craft goodies I got together to get started on my wreath.  I always knew I wanted to go patriotic.  I had fabrics, ribbons, thread, needles and a yard of burlap.  I decided the burlap was going to cover the base of my wreath.

I cut the burlap into 12" strips and then tied it up around my wreath form with twine.  I kept the twine loose fit so I could bunch the burlap to my desired look after it was all tied on.

After I was done covering my wreath form (noodle), I set out to make some denim and cotton fabric flowers.  They are pretty easy to make.  However, they are a little time consuming.  I will post a tutorial on how to make these in the future.

I've had this patriotic bird house for about 15 years and I decided to go with a birdhouse and nest in the middle of the wreath.  I laid all of my pieces on top of the wreath to get an idea of what it would look like.  Then I got out my glue gun and went glue crazy!  

About an hour later I was done and my masterpiece was hanging on my front door.  My finished one of a kind creation is below...  I just  can't decide if I like it better with or without the final blue ribbon I put on it.  I would love to hear your thoughts :)  Please leave me a comment!

Blue Ribbon or Not ???

Come party with us at the pool noodle craft party, it's going on now: Click Here to Visit Party  

Steal of a DEAL - Patio Furniture

Yeah, my hubby and I found furniture for our front porch yesterday.  Check these out...  REAL Wood Adirondack Chairs on clearance at The Home Depot for only $29 a piece... and the square little side table was only $11.  These come unfinished and ready to assemble.  All you need is a screwdriver :)  

It took my husband less than an hour to assemble the two chairs and the table... (Thank you sweetheart!!!).  I found cute cushions and an awesome paint color that I absolutely love to finish these in. The color is called "Lagoon"... and I love love love this color and I  can't wait to use it! 

I wanted to share this steal of a deal with all of you in case you want to run out to your Home Depot and pick some up before they are gone!  

You can see a glimpse of the chair cushions I have picked out up against the wall unit :)  The pictures doesn't do it justice, but I love the colors in it (turquoise, green, white and chocolate brown).

For fun, I tossed my hubby my noodle wreath to have him hold it up for a picture...  As you can see, it is in the very early stages of creative genius (lol)!  If you haven't heard about the pool noodle craft party that is coming up on June 20th, click the flyer at the bottom of this post to see all of the information :)  Come join the fun!

Fox Hollow Cottage

Until next time,


Invitation - Pool Noodle Craft Party

Hi all.... Yesterday I went to Walmart and bought a pool noodle.  WHY, you ask???  Because I am going to the pool noodle craft party.  

Don't be left out... Go get your noodle so you can come party too!

There are tons of crafts to be made with a pool noodle!!!  The most common seems to be wreaths.  I have so many ideas in my head of things I can do with my noodle but I decided to search the net for inspiration and some sort of direction in this crazy scatterbrained head of mine!  I searched on the internet for "pool noodle wreath images" and I found tons of cute inspirational pictures.  Now I'm heading to Joanne's Craft Store to buy a few items and get to crafting :)

Shannon over at Fox Hollow Cottage made the adorable wreath pictured below and is co-hosting the party.  Visit her site for details - Fox Hollow Cottage Wreath Tutorial

Cell Phone Charges - Highway Robbery!!!

I can't believe the cell phone bill we got today!

Don't ever use your cell phone on a cruise ship!!!  We had added a cell plan that included Mexico for our vacation, yet Carnival has billed us on our Verion bill for $339 for 136 minutes of ship roaming. We were also debited our Verizon international minutes at the same time (136 minutes).  So basically we were charged twice.  Ugh!!!  We were right off of the coast when my daughter was using her phone but apparently Carnival is the closest tower so that is what the phone uses.   And to top it off my eldest daughter went over on her minutes last month to the tune of $553 in minute overage charges... By the time you add the taxes, our cell phone bill was $900 extra for this last month.  It is killing me to think about it!!! 

I spent 1 1/2 hours on the phone today with Verizon trying to resolve this. They are going to try to get a credit from Carnival, but likely Carnival won't honor it.    I will get a small credit from Verizon on the international minutes, but our bill is still going to be more than $800 over our normal monthly bill.

It's total highway robbery!!!!!  They make millions off of us and they still continue to rip us off.  I'm so frustrated right now!

It's not like I have an extra grand a month.... I could take another vacation if I did... :(

Sorry for the bummer post, but I needed to vent!!!

Our DIY Vegetable Garden - Update

We have added a second level to our raised vegetable garden.  We have also put in stairs along the side.. and most of our veggies are now planted and happily growing... Some I grew from seeds and others we purchased and planted from our local nursery.

Last year a gopher completely demolished our vegetables (the little stinker ate pretty much all of them, row by row they all disappeared).  So this year we not only added a second level to our garden, but we (my hubby while I supervised... lol) completely dug out the first level of the raised garden and installed a wire mesh fully across the bottom to keep the gophers out.  I hope it works!  I can't wait to have my own fresh organic veggies :)

This is a picture of the wire mesh as he was installing it.

My poor husband spent days shoveling and digging out dirt, sifting all of the dirt, then mixing it with good planting soil and mulch and then reloading the planters with all of the good stuff.

I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and green onions from organic seeds and grew them in my kitchen window while the planters were being built.

Below are my seedlings as they started growing.  Eventually they all came up.  And they have now been planted into the garden.

Here is the garden area before the steps were started.

We planted Verbena and a few other plants along the top ridge and on the hill.

Below shows the first two steps as they were installed.

I have added some rocks down the side.  It is not done yet, but eventually it will look like a dry riverbed, stream, waterfall coming down the hill.

The steps now go almost to the top.  At the top we have planted a blueberry bush/vine.  Eventually I would like to get a large trellis on the block wall that they can grow on.  

The garden is now 70% planted.  We have tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, strawberries, zucchini, rosemary, basil, cilantro,  pumpkin and watermelon.  In the past I've only managed to grow tomatoes and rosemary, so I am hoping that this year I can actually grow all of these.  We have also planted four fruit trees; plum, nectarine, tangelo and avocado.  

We are currently putting up a two foot bunny fence along the rear wrought iron fence in an attempt to keep unwanted critters out of our yard.  Also, I have ordered bird netting to put up over the veggies.  We will put it up as soon as it gets here, hopefully before any animals come destroy our hard work!

We've been gradually planting things across the rear of the yard... but the rest of the yard is still dirt.  Except a 6' x 8' piece of astroturf where the barbecue sits.  Eventually we will do a large patio in pavers.  Since my husband is doing all of the work on weekends or at night, it will still be a long time before we have a complete backyard.  It is fun watching the progress as we make it!

Until next time...
Happy decorating!

STAYCATION... and a Flea Market Find

I was so out of it this past week since getting home from our vacation.  It was like I needed a staycation to recover from my vacation!!!  I got a few things done, like unpacking (dumping my suitcase onto the floor)... washing laundry (like two loads), loading vacation photos to my computer (which took a few minutes), I managed to post on my blog (only once) and then I pretty much rested (became a couch potato)!  Seriously, I was exhausted and I totally struggled to get back to feeling like myself.  But, I feel like I am finally back to being me.  

Today was sunny and beautiful and we went to our local nursery for some veggie plants, then we came home and planted our vegetable garden.  I took pictures of it which I will share with you soon...

Yesterday we hit our local flea market and although I didn't find much this time, I did find a cool old wood Pepsi crate, for only $5, that inspired me for my theme for our Glamping (glamorous camping) trip we are going on in a few weeks.  Since we are going in late June I am going to go with a red, white and blue patriotic theme (since it is a little before July 4th, Independence Day).  I didn't take a picture of my Pepsi crate yet, but it looks very much like the one pictured below that I found earlier today on ETSY (for $35)... I so love that I only paid $5 for mine!!!

Although the crate by itself doesn't look like much, it will be really cute in the center of our picnic table holding a few decorative pieces and maybe some flowers.

I've been looking at pictures for ideas of things I can make and or paint for use in decorating our campsite.  I figure after we get back from camping/glamping, then I can use the decor around our house for the 4th of July holiday!

Over the next few weeks I will share a few of my items as I make them with their DIY tutorials...  Although I will be doing a patriotic theme, it won't be literal flags.  It will have a bit of a vintage and shabby distressed feel, with patriotic USA colors.  I'm still working on the details and finding creating the items I will use to decorate.  I'm excited about it and am hopeful that I can come up with some fun and inspirational (inexpensive) decor.   

If you have any simple 4th of July decor ideas I'd love to hear about them!