This past fall Nate sold his house (with a yard and a garden) and bought a downtown condo. While I miss being able to use his yard for my gardening purposes, he’s really loving the downtown life and the fact that he doesn’t have a yard to mow.
My apartment doesn’t have any outdoor space, so I’ve decided to make the most of his 5′ x 10′ balcony. I’ll post more on the balcony garden later. Today I’m excited about the plant markers I finished this past weekend.
I’m always pinning cute markers that I think I could make myself, but never get around to making them.
I usually draw a few pictures to remind myself where things are planted, and by the time things start coming up I can usually tell what’s what. Since this garden is on a balcony rather than tucked in the back corner of a yard I’m trying to keep things looking clean and organized. I’m probably a ways from the balcony being magazine worthy or anything like that, but the markers really help to unify everything.
While some of the example I pinned are pretty fantastic I decided to keep my investment low and the style simple. Here are the ones I made and how I made them.
Black and Gold Homemade Garden Markers
Craft sticks from Dollar Tree (I used wide ones)
Black paint (I already had some cheap chalkboard paint from Michael’s on hand)
Foam brush (also had on hand)
Gold (or whatever color you’d like) permanent marker (I found mine in the dollar section at Target a while back, but I think a sharpie style marker would be great)
Paint two coats of paint on each side of the craft stick also paint the edges. When they’re dry go crazy labeling them for all your plants. One note about your permanent marker. I tried several different paint pens and even a white grease pencil, but finally settled on my gold pen because it wasn’t too liquidy (which caused the paint to run in the groves of the wood) and had a fine enough point to look nice (I’d read some good things about the grease pencil, but decided against it in the end because the point was unreliable).
Now there’s no telling how well these will hold up outside, but I’m ok with that considering I spent $1 (even if I’d had to buy everything I still would’ve been under $5). I’ll report back at the end of the summer, but I also suspect someone in a traditional garden may experience more wear and tear on their markers than I will on a balcony.
I am generally not a resolution maker. I think I’ve made them occasionally, but they never really pan out. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about good goals to have though. Things that are a bit more short term, and not crazy ambitious and probably unreachable like hitting the gym 3 times a week or cutting a bad food from my diet for the entire year. So here are my ideas for January…if they go well I’ll renew them for February or adjust accordingly.
Fitness: I’ve had a Fitbit for a year, and I love it and wear it every day. My Fitbit goal is set to get 10,000 steps a day which working a desk job can be hard and probably only happens once or twice a week (if that). Fitbit is doing a January challenge and setting small weekly goals. I figured why not follow along with them and give that a try. Also a longer term goal: this year I would like to do another triathlon or if that doesn’t pan out I’d like to run a 5K race.
Healthy eating: Nate got me some sweet new Bento Box accessories for Christmas, so goal is to make use of them and pack some really tasty lunches this month.
Reading: I’m going to read two books this month. Maybe more! I love reading I just never do it enough.
Creativity: Finish a project or two. I’ve got a painting project, an ornament project, a couple crochet projects, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. So there is plenty to do!
That’s probably good for this month. Did you set any resolutions or goals this week?
I attended a baby shower this past weekend, and the couple isn’t finding out what they’re having. I discovered that it’s kind of hard to find cute gender neutral baby fabric. When I make the taggies I like to buy the quilted fabrics because they end up looking really nice without too much work. I was fully prepared to make my own mini quilt, but luckily I found this cute animal print and brown set that hopefully is neutral enough.
She registered for some nice little bins, so I cheated on the wrapping.
My super talented friend Elyse asked me late last summer if I would be interested in putting a bunch of their t-shirts together into a comfy blanket. I was hesitant at first, but she convinced me that they didn’t want anything too fancy and that I could take my time with it. I finished it all up last week (seven months to the day), and I love how it turned out! I kind of wanted to keep it for myself!
T-shirt Quilt/Blanket tips and what I did:
- Iron interfacing to the back of each shirt square. It takes some extra time, but is very helpful when sewing on the really thin shirts.
- I used fleece for the back of the quilt, and I didn’t use any batting or extra layers of fabric on the inside. Elyse wanted it to be pretty lightweight (like a throw), and I would say it’s borderline heavyweight with the fleece alone.
- After getting the quilt sewed together I added a stitch (see the detailed pictures above) around the entire outside edge of the quilt. It really gives the quilt a finished look since I didn’t use any binding.
- I “quilted” down the seam of each column. The stitch is in the ditch, so unless you look really closely you don’t even notice it on the front. This holds the front and back securely together.
- My steps for the front were: wash and iron shirts, outline a square that I want to cut, trim shirts a bit bigger than the square, iron interfacing to the back of each shirt, trim down to my outline, arrange squares in a good layout, sew squares together in rows, sew rows together.
When I delivered the finished blanket Elyse’s husband Ryan said, “Oh I’ve been looking for that shirt, and that one!” (Elyse reminded him that he’d okayed all the shirts included in the quilt.) After a weekend of spring weather it’s turned cold again today, so hopefully they’re enjoying their re-purposed shirts!
Do you have any big weekend plans? I’ve got a few things going on and some other exciting tidbits.
Some people get very excited about Easter candy hitting the store shelves. I do enjoy picking up a bag of Starburst jelly beans which you can find this time of year, but this has been the first year I’ve hunted down a specific Easter candy. I discovered Cadbury’s Royal Dark Mini Eggs last year and have been checking shelves for them all month. My dad finally found some in Kansas, and when I went for a visit last weekend I stocked up on a few bags. A friend said she found some at Target in OKC, so I’ll have to check there the day after Easter and see if I find any on clearance. Do you have a favorite Easter candy?
I purchased my first DSLR camera today! My little point and shoot camera stopped working a while back and I’ve been getting by borrowing from friends when necessary. My Nikon will take a week or so to arrive, and I cannot wait!
One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, is coming to OKC this weekend and we’re going to see him. I think there are still tickets left, so if you need something to do Sunday night it should be a good show!
I am super close to finishing the t-shirt quilt I’m making for my friend Elyse. Eight more seams.
I’m making Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas for dinner tonight.
Some friends are getting married this weekend at IAO. I think an art gallery would be a cool venue to get married at, so I’m looking forward to seeing how everything looks, and the fun time celebrating with friends!
Source: IAOgallery.org via Flickr
My grandma was telling me about her garden and a book she got, Lasagna Gardening. So I’m going to pick up a copy from the library on the way home for some light weekend reading.
Have a good one!