For the past six years, I’ve had the pleasure of freelancing regularly for both HGTV and DIY Network, creating crafts, sharing chicken and bee wisdom and gardening galore. This week, my daughter and I were given the task of putting a new twist on the traditional advent calendar. I had considered creating a new calendar. It dawned on me that it would be fun to create a Christmas paper village advent calendar. It could light up as each new evening arrived. As a little girl, some of my fondest memories were of my Mother’s Christmas village.
I love living by the sea and keeping gardens, but living in New England I find my warm days drifting away. One of my favorite things to do on crisp fall days is to collect beautiful inspirational things from the gardens and make wreaths, like this acorn one. This past spring, we planted almost thirty hydrangeas on the property. The hydrangea blooms have now faded to muted greens, browns, pinks and maroons. They are lovely in their own way. I snipped a few from the bushes that were just about dried and brought them inside to create a wonderful coastal hydrangea wreath for the fall season.
Summer nights make me think of crickets, warm breezes, sleeping with the window open, and of course catching fireflies. One of the things I look forward to come summertime, is spending time with my kids. They’re growing up so quickly. I share lots of memories from when I was a little girls with them and catching fireflies was one of them. Sadly, I’ve been wondering why we don’t have as many fireflies as when I was little, so we changed things up. This past week, I worked with my daughter on creating this firefly lantern from a mason jar and clearance miniature LED lights that I picked up on clearance from the after Christmas sales at one of our local crafting stores. Here’s what we did.
I’m such a lover of frozen fruit. Have you ever tried freezing grapes, melon and bananas? They are a fave around here and this past week, I wanted to create a delicious, healthier, summer treat for the kids. Instead of calorie-filled ice cream, these frozen chocolate banana pops were a breeze to make. When I was little my Mom used to freeze the bananas that were on the edge of tossing. Later, she’d give them to us frozen or use them for banana bread. Nothing ever went to waste in our household. Last week, my daughter had a sleepover with her friend, little did she know that I had popped in some bananas the night before. While they slept the bananas were freezing.
I love Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for crafting too. Every year I make wreaths. This year, I wanted one of the wreaths to showcase the beauty of a simple and peaceful Christmas. So I featured a little tin church, some decorative sprigs as well as the Star of Bethlehem. I combined some off the shelf letters and a simple grapevine wreath as a jumping off point. The rest just seemed to come together for this lettered wreath with a little bit of inspiration from the Christmas season displays in town.
Last fall, I created the most fantastic succulent topped pumpkin for HGTV Gardens. It was so much fun and I loved seeing how it all came together so easily. This month I’ll be at the Country Living Fair doing a live demonstration on Saturday afternoon to share how simple and easy it is for you to create succulent topped pumpkins at home. I love creating each and everyone. No two succulent topped pumpkins are ever alike.
I love celebrating the 4th of July with my family on Cape Cod. I have fond memories as a little girl playing with sparklers. In fact, we looked forward to them each year. Unfortunately, fireworks, and yes-sadly sparklers, are illegal in the state of Massachusetts. This year I thought that it would be fun to make some sparklers out of glitter bombed tulle fabric from my local fabric store. With a little bit of help from the kiddos and bit in ingenuity, we were able to make these sparkler beauties to bring the the local parade.
One of our favorite things to do at home on a rainy day is make creations with bakeable clay. It’s great fun for the family. In fact, it’s fun for folks of all ages. The clay comes in every color imaginable and it is so much fun being able to permanently capture the kids’ creations. As we were sitting around the table, I spied a block of copper colored clay. How fun would it be to transform it into clay garden markers? With small cookie cutters, I got to work and made a bunch for the spring inspired windowsill garden.
I admit that I tend to keep things. I typically save things that I might just find a use for later on. This has been especially true since I started creating for HGTV five years ago. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long, until I look at bins of “saved” things that somehow find their way into the projects that I do. When we were cleaning out a home of a relative recently, I discovered oodles of paper coffee filters. We didn’t have a coffee maker that used that kind, but surely they could end up in a craft. As I thought, I pretended they were origami paper. They folded into a perfect flower petal. Well at least that is what I saw. Wouldn’t they make a gorgeous coffee filter wreath?
I love gardening in miniature and with spring in the air I could not help myself. My daughter and I decided to create a miniature garden that we would both love to spend time in. With a cottage garden as inspiration, the entire miniature garden came together in under an hour’s time. We had so much fun creating this outdoor scene. For the plantings we chose pansies, grape hyacinths, lettuce, lavender, dianthus and english daisies. We even used a small little bit of sedum. I’ll share more on that later.