Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hummingbirds Love These!

Here's a plant tip from my own garden:

We moved into our home in November, last year. These "grasses" were in our backyard. I thought they were lovely, so I put a birdbath in the center of them. I also put a hummingbird feeder next to the birdbath. 
fourelevenrox blog garden beginnings
In the yard, we had 2 other hummingbird feeders, each of them were different types of feeders. 
Birds LOVE the birdbath. 
But despite the feeders, NO HUMMINGBIRDS came to our yard.
Fast forward to June:
The "grasses" were beginning to grow out of hand. They were spreading and even though they were still pretty, I was just about ready to remove many of them. In fact, I asked my husband to mow them down so I could thin them out easier. Right after I asked him to do it, I walked over to inspect the area and plan where I would begin the thinning out. It was then that I saw several buds forming on stems. I stopped him from mowing just in time.

I asked my neighbor if they had ever bloomed before and she said, No. They have NEVER had any sort of bloom.

Well, you see. There was a large tree growing directly next to the "grasses". The tree had recently died and turned brown. One of the first projects my husband did after we moved in was to chop the tree down.
It seems, with the tree gone, more sun was able to reach them and so...they began to bloom!
And they CAME. The hummingbirds came!
EVERYDAY they come, several of them. 
 Hummingbirds LOVE these plants.
We are so happy we did not cut them down or dig them up. They are not grasses at all. They are CROCOSMIAS also known as Coppertips.

fourelevenrox blog Coppertips in the garden

You can learn more about them here: Crocosmia Planting Tips
This is a lousy phone pic, but can you see the hummingbird?
A note about the Coppertips and my yard: They do not get full sun as required, but I live in N. Florida where it gets pretty hot. They receive about 1-2 hours of sun in the morning and dapple sun the rest of the day.
They spread like wildfire, some nurseries consider them to be invasive.
Personally, I don't think I can get enough now.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Upcycled Tea Pot Elephant

How I upcycled a cracked Tea Pot into a Garden Whimsy:

Cracked Tea Pot Upcycled fourelevenrox blog

A Facebook follower sent me a cute tea pot. It was cracked and headed to the landfill. She had hoped I could salvage it instead.

Of course, the first thing I did was turn to Pinterest where I saw lots of ideas for the garden including a bird feeder, bird house or planter.

I wasn't sure I wanted either of those. I really wanted to break it completely and create a scene inside. But I was too chicken.

THEN, I saw an imaginative steampunk elephant!  My style isn't steampunk, but I loved the idea of turning the tea pot upside down.

So using what I had on hand, I went to work!

supplies I had on hand....I also added moss

Sheet Metal
Gold Paint (waterproof)
Scrap Paper
Eileen's Ultimate Craft Glue

I used scrap paper, folded, to cut out a basic ear shape. I included a tab to fold down against the pot.
Once I had my pattern, I folded a piece of the metal and used the pattern to cut it out. It was all one piece. I cut it in half to form 2 ears.

Scrap paper ear template, opened. I cut it on a fold

I turned the tea pot upside down, added moss to the base (now top) and placed the lid on the moss forming a little hat. Then, I used the poster putty - I use poster putty for EVERYTHING. Great tool to have for temporary adhesion. Using the poster putty, I experimented with eye (buttons) placement and ear placement. I used silver buttons painted black because at first I wasn't sure what color I wanted the ears and eyes.

Here's what he looked like before I painted the ears and eyes using waterproof paint that would adhere to metal and glued everything into place.

rough draft foureleverox blog tea pot upcycle project

Using Eileen's Ultimate glue, I folded the ear tabs and glued the ears down. I also glued the moss, lid and eyes using the same glue. It is waterproof and weather resistant.

And here he is...My altered cracked tea pot transformed into an elephant garden Whimsy!

Cute idea for a cracked tea pot! (fourelevenrox blog)

Upcycled Tea Pot Elephant fourelevenrox blog

For more inspiration or to see what other projects I've made, see our Facebook page, Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs or our Etsy Shop. Here's a Shortcut: MORE WHIMSIES

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Craft Closet Organizing

A few years ago, I created a craft corner in our family room using what I had on hand. I loved everything about it and even through two moves, most of the storage elements have worked perfectly. 

Read more about how I created this space HERE.

I outgrew a craft corner a long time ago. I now use an entire room!  In our last house, I set up several  craft stations in one of the bedrooms, but in my new house, I am sharing the space with a twin bed. It is part guest room, part craft room. 

I love the idea of an uncluttered look. My craft room has recently become VERY cluttered!

In my "craft corner", I used a lot of black and red to match the furniture in that room. I want to use white and lots of bright colors now.

Here are some before, during and after photos of my set up process followed by some tried and true organizing tips:  SORT!

Moving in, boxes everywhere!

An armoire stores my rug fabric and tea cups. A small dresser is also used for craft storage.

In my first attempt, the room didn't exactly get the look I wanted. 
A rearrangement of the room and a new to me cute chair really helped!

Now onto the craft closet!

When I set the craft closet up, it looked sort of organized but in reality, nothing was sorted! The first time I tried to work on a project, I had to dig for items and pull out a lot of boxes. After a box or two fell on my head I knew it was time to do it right.

Out with the black and red! 

Ideally, we will install shelving in the closet. But I am not sure how I want to configure the shelving. Once I work in the room for a few months, I will have a better idea of what I need. For now, I am using a few white modular units and this REALLY cool wire shelf unit I scored at Goodwill!

Problem with the modular units: bins to fit inside the units are very exspensive. I had a few baskets that would work but I needed more containers. I picked up 2-3 bins from the dollar store, but they were too big.
I also did not want to unload all the plastic drawers from the rolling bins I have since that system has worked so well. But I was getting frustrated and I REALLY did not want to use the black units or buy new white rolling bins. Then, I accidentally figured out that the drawers fit in the cubbies of the white units! Once I realized that, all I had to do was tweak the arrangement and sort ALL of my STUFF.

Not bad at all. But not as neat or pretty as I envisioned. 

I decided to spruce up the plastic bins the same way I did in my craft corner. Using scrap paper and labels on the fronts of the bins was exactly what it needed!

No more black and red. Now, my organized craft closet has lots of white and pops of color to go with  the room.

I added a few small paintings to the closet doors that match the colors in the craft closet for a finishing touch.

I now have a light, bright spare room/craft room. Everything is easy to find, all labeled and organized.


On my Facebook page, I promised you I would share some of my organizing tips. Here they are:

Organizing tips:

Many of these tips came from the best orgainizing book I have ever read, 

The hardest and messiest part: 

Put EVERYTHING together that needs to be together. (You will need lots of space for this.)

Separate each group of items into categories. Make stacks or piles as needed, don't let them get all mixed together.
Heaping it all into piles will help you visualize what type of organizational item you need for each.
For example:
Some of my items were already separated into drawers or bins, but many were not. I had filled drawers on the floor and piles in sections all over the desktop, floor and bed.

I made a list of  my "piles".
I had 13 "piles" or categories that I needed to organize. For each pile, everything I need for that craft would need to go together into one bin, container, or area.
My list looked like this:
Paper Craft
Polymer Clay
Misc. sewing
Stamping supplies
Paper Punches
My list went on....

Once I knew how many spaces I needed (13), I was able to look at each pile and decide what would work best for each one. A drawer, a bin or a basket, under the bed, in the closet or in a shelf/cabinet.

When your space is limited, go UP and UNDER:
Under the bed, up the walls or on top of furniture. You may have to reach a bit, but put the least used items furthest away.

You will now need to decide where the containers will go, depending on your storage units.
Some suggestions:
Find furniture or shelving that double as storage space, like armoires, desks with cubbies, or shelves.
Small cabinets
Use baskets or other decorative storage units

Use what you've got. If you are on a budget, a little paint or paper will cover cardboard or plastic.
Repurpose items. I use cans covered with book pages. A casserole carrier now holds my large spools of thread or cording. The ideas are endless!

I use those same tips to organize everything in my house, from rooms to just a drawer. SORT!

Now, it is time for me to get crafting in my new space!!!