Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Paint Chip Framed Art/Paint Drip Container

Paint Chip Framed Art:

It's officially the winter months, and there's nothing like displaying a pop of color inside the home!  Why not create art using paint chips!  You will need a variety of paint chips (free samples found at your local paint store), a circle punch (we used a 1 inch circle), 3/8 inch felt pads, a frame (we used 11 x 14), and a hot glue gun.  We used an inexpensive brown frame and painted it black.  Simply take the advertisement sheet found inside the glass frame, turn it over, and hot glue it to the cardboard backing.  You now have a white glossy background to begin the project.  Punch out circles in a variety of colors.  You will need enough to line up six to seven circles in one row with an inch spacing in between each circle.  We started with blues and transitioned into reds.  Using a ruler, measure out the spaces and place each 3/8 felt pad (self adhesive) in its spot on the white background.  Hot glue each circle onto the felt pad.  Once completed, place the art inside the frame and attach using glazier points.  Glazier points can be found at your local craft store.  Push a glazier point into the backside of the frame to secure the art.  Display on the wall or place on an easel and enjoy!


- Paint chips in a variety of colors
- 1 inch circle punch
- 3/8 inch self adhesive felt pads
- Picture frame 
- Glazier points
- Hot glue gun/ hot glue

Paint Drip Container:

The outdoor plants are in for the winter, so let's create some creative and colorful containers simply using terra-cotta pots and paint!  Cover a workspace with newspaper.  Turn any size terra-cotta pot upside down.  Next, using acrylic paint (any color) and pour the paint on the top (really the bottom of the pot) and allow the paint to drip down the side.  That's it!  Now repeat this step with as many colors as you would like.  It's fun to completely cover the terra-cotta pot, or you may leave a hint of the original color too.  Place your indoor plants inside these fun and colorful new containers!

Of course, remember to put a unique plant or collection of plants in your new pot.    Your plant selection should be as creative as your paint colors.  Vibrant bromeliads or even a collection of different succulents will help make your painted container a masterpiece.


- Terracotta pots
- Newspaper
- Acrylic paint

Wall Art Made So Simple

Recycled Magazine Picture Frame:

Before you recycle your old magazines, be sure to tear out several pages to create a recycled picture frame!  You will need a picture frame with a wide border (can be recycled from your home or found in a craft store), magazine pages, a wooden skewer, and a hot glue gun.  Once you have your magazine pages, take the wooden skewer, place it at the edge of the magazine page (starting with the longer side), and begin tightly rolling the magazine page around the skewer.  Hot glue the edge to create a nice tubular look.  Starting from the outer edge of the picture frame, hot glue the "magazine page tube" to the picture frame.  You may be creative with your design.  Completely fill the picture frame with the recycled magazine pages and enjoy!


- Magazine pages
- Picture frame with wide border
- Wooden skewer
- Hot glue gun/ hot glue

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Surviving Winter's Bite

Sometimes plants do die in such cold weather as we are having in Arkansas this week.  Most die when people push their luck and try to grow something that isn't hardy in their area, or when winter becomes extraordinarily cold for an extended period or shows up too early.  But under normal circumstances, plants don't just sit there wishing they could go inside-they acclimate in stages.

As summer days grow shorter, plants begin "freezing acclimation" by producing hormones that slow growth and induce dormancy.  By the first hard frost, they are ready for freezing temperatures, and for beginning the second stage of their preparation.

The year's first below-freezing temperatures freeze the water found between plant cells.  Since there is now more liquid water inside the cell than outside, osmotic pressure draws some of the water out of the cell, where falling temperatures cause it to freeze as well.  Inside the cells,  the concentration of cell parts increases as more water is drawn out.  The more concentrated the cell parts, the lower the freezing point.  So down to a particular temperature, different for each species, the cells themselves won't freeze, and the plant will survive.  Below that temperature, the plant will suffer die back, starting in its branch tips because they are thinner and more exposed to the cold.  But branches  are expendable.  The soil and any snow cover insulate the roots somewhat; if the roots survive, so will the plant.

Spring in Winter

It may be cold outside but you can have spring indoors this winter.  Place colorful potted plants such as  bromeliads, cyclamen, lush foliage plants, blooming bulbs such as paper whites, and any plant that is healthy and colorful around the house.  Remember to place your plants in vibrant colorful pots as well for that spring feel.

I water most of my plants once a week.  Actually, I check them for water once a week.   If they are very moist then I don't water until the following week.  You may want to invest in a Moisture Meter.  This device is great.  It rates your plant to let you know what it's moisture level is.  How easy is that!