Posts by Nicole :

Social Saturday | May 14

purple and blue pansy bloom

Hello Dear Readers, how was your week? It’s been a while since I did a Social Saturday post, so I thought I should do one today, since I’ve got a few collected pictures.

The greenhouses are open so I picked up a Coleus, below, and my mom some pansies, above. I love the colours of the leaves on this one! I’m going to plant this in a rustic crackled blush pink pot I have- I think that will go really nicely with the red tones in the leaves.

red and lime green coleus plant

A while ago I mentioned that I was redoing my quilt and needed to just finish the edge binding- here’s how it turned out. I love the nice clean edge it gives to the quilt. It took me approximately 3 hours to stitch… or the length of one movie marathon.

the edge of a bed, showing the quilt and bedskirt

corner of the quilt binding

Our local library is very small, and doesn’t have much selection (if we didn’t have inter-library loans, I would never read anything), but the one thing it does have is a lot of vintage books still in circulation.

vintage library book covers and illustrations

Aren’t these two volumes beautiful? The gilt one is Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. And the other is a biography of Beatrix Potter, which was so enjoyable to read!

I have been on a winning streak lately with thrift shopping. For the past year or so I haven’t found much worth bringing home, but in the past few weeks I have found quite a few great vintage pieces.

vintage thrifted items- glasses, baskets and boxes

A large basket that needs a bit of repair, but was only $2 so I couldn’t pass it up, a couple of hatboxes that I plan to recover, some “Boopie” glassware that matches my other sets, and a velvet t-shirt that I plan to use the fabric for a hat.

thrifted tea pot, box, silver items and a glass candle votive

And above, a little blue and white teapot (which is the exact same design as the one my sister has!), a silver napkin holder and pedestal, a carved wooden box and an embossed glass votive I’m going to pour a beeswax candle into. The box just needed a bit of refreshing with some linseed oil and it was good to go.

And finally, to end this post, these are the first flowers to come up each Spring, and they are so cheerful. They are wild Woodland Tulips and they are are only a few inches tall, but they make such an impact.

wild yellow woodland tulips

I hope your week is a wonderful one, whatever you have planned!

All Manner of Hats, From My Fashion Scrapbook

large white hat with a rolled up brim in the front

Along with the warm weather, comes the time to wear summer hats, starting with the Easter bonnet, of course. While I did wear a hat for Easter this year, it’s been featured on the blog before, so I didn’t post it again. Instead, how about we take a look at some of the hats and hair accessories I have saved in my fashion scrapbook? Many of these are from wedding magazines, but could be easily worn for other occasions. I was so inspired when looking through these: now I want to go and make some flower hats! In the past I have made flowers and headbands, but they’ve always been a bit smaller…I really think it’s time to make some large statement flowers!

Above- one of my favourite hats featured in a UK wedding magazine, wouldn’t this be so perfect for an outdoor wedding?

Speaking of oversized flowers, here are two lovely ones. I think these would be fairly straightforward to make. I should try…

large chiffon flower hair accessory

oversized chiffon flower fascinator

These pink hats, below, were probably the first pictures to start me on my vintage fashion journey. I think they were by Lilliput Hats from about 15 years ago. I’ve always been so in love with the colour and shape of them. So perfect for Spring!

pink floral and velvet and netting cap hats with veils

pink cap hats with tulle and netting veils

I love these polka dots flowers; these images were from about 12 years ago. That shape of hat was super popular back then, wasn’t it? I think one of the first hats I ever bought was a tan wool hat very similar to this.white house black market hat and floral hair accessory

large statement hats for a wedding

Here are a few wedding hats and accessories, that could definitely be worn elsewhere. Again, with the oversized flowers, the left one above is so fun! And on the right, I love the exaggerated tilt shape.

wedding hats for outdoors

wedding hats

I really like the tilt on this one, above right, too.

60's inspired wedding with little fascinator hat

Here is a fabulous hair accessory/hat/fascinator worn by Oprah in Vogue 1998, featuring flowers and feathers for an amazing theatrical look!

dramatic theatrical hat oprah vogue 1998

flower crown by Free People

And finally, no round up of hats is complete without the classic, but nevertheless fabulous, oversized straw hat.

two large oversized natural straw hats

What kinds of hats do you like to wear in the Spring and Summer? Which one of these is your favourite? Are you inspired to try creating some large flowers to dress up some hats and headbands?

The Peace of Easter

pysanka easter eggs in a basket full of moss

“Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53: 4-5

On this day in between the remembrance of Christ’s death and his resurrection, I am so thankful for the Peace that the cross means to those who seek Him.

I wish you all a blessed Easter season, dear Readers!

White And Purple Tulips

a bouquet of 5 white and 5 purple tulips in a milk glass hobnail vase

More tulips! ‘Tis the season for them, after all. They had them at the grocery store and we just couldn’t go home without a bunch. My mom and sister picked out these white and purple tulips because they were just barely starting to open..and they turned out to be perfect.

purple and white tulips on the first day just opening

tulip bouquet in front of a window with light shining through

These photos above were from the second day, when they were just starting to open.

tulip bouquet of white and purple flowers

They opened fully without shrivelling and they’ve lasted over a week now. I put a penny in the vase to see if it would encourage them to stand upright (considering what happened with my last bunch…) and it worked. The purple ones, in particular, are incredibly pretty; as they’ve aged the tips have turned blue.

purple tulip with blue tips on the edge

Tulips always put me in the mood for spring. It will be a while before any of our spring flowers start to bloom in our garden, but in the meantime we have these cut blooms to enjoy.

What is your favourite cut flower? Are you always tempted to bring home a bouquet when you see them at the grocery store?

purple and white tulip bouquet in a milk glass vase

white tulip fully open

DIY Upcycled Coffee Can Plant Pot

hoya vine planted in an upcycled coffee can plant pot sitting on a bookshelf

I love houseplants! While I’m not a collector, I do like having a variety of them with different leaves, colours and textures. Asparagus Fern, Chinese Money Plant, Purple Shamrock, Marble Queen Pothos, Hoya…those are some of my favourites. (You can see some of them here…)While houseplants are fun, the not-so-great part is that the more you get, the more pots you need to put them in, which can get pricey. If you’re buying pots from plant stores, then that can very quickly add up and if you’re going to big box stores you can usually get them for a lower price, but you are limited in selection. Of course you can always go the even more affordable terra cotta route which gives you a lovely earthy palette and patina over time, but that’s not everyone’s style, and it doesn’t suit every plant either. This is where it’s time to explore some homemade options! Here is how with a coffee can, some leftover paint, baking soda and twine I created this coffee can plant pot with a dimensional minimalist look.

all of the supplies needed to make this craft

You will need:

-A coffee can

-Paint. I used eggshell latex paint that I had leftover from my room (Benjamin Moore Acadia White). You could also use dollar store acrylic paint.

-Baking soda

-Hot glue (optional)

-Liquid tacky glue

-Twine or rope- I needed 10 feet to wrap 5 times around my pot

-A paintbrush that isn’t too precious

Start by removing any labels and glue that you can. Not all of the glue spots came off of mine, so I’ll just make sure that side faces the wall.

Next, measure out 1 part baking soda and 2 parts paint. I did 1 tbsp of baking soda and 2 tbsp of paint which was enough for three coats.

measuring paint and baking soda into a container and mixing well

Blend the paint well to make sure that there are no lumps. The baking soda in the paint will give a textured finish when it dries, kind of like a pebbled or adobe clay sort of look.

painting the can with the first coat of paint

I didn’t prime my can first, but you might want to if you’re using craft paint to help it adhere well to the metal. Paint the can with one coat of paint. Make sure to paint a bit under the rim on the inside of the can too, so that the silver won’t show after you put your plant in it. Sit the coffee can up on another can or jar and leave it to dry.

Once the paint is dry, it is time to attach the twine. Originally I was going to paint it and leave it like that, but it just looked like a coffee can that had been painted white, so I added kitchen twine and sisal to make it look a bit more interesting.  Dab a little hot glue to secure the end of the twine quickly. You don’t have to use hot glue if you’d rather just use the liquid, but you’ll have to wait longer for it to dry, so it won’t slide around on you as you wrap it.

gluing the twine onto the coffee can

After the hot glue is in place, then use a thin layer of liquid glue to attach the twine the rest of the way around the can. When you get to the end, trim the twine to meet up evenly.

(Ps. Another idea I had, for a totally different look, was instead of wrapping only in the grooves, you could wrap the can completely with rope to make it look like a basket. Then either leave it unpainted and natural at that stage, or continue painting. And if you did grey, it would probably look like textured concrete!)

twine glued to the coffee cans and ready to be painted

I had two different kinds of string- sisal and kitchen twine. I couldn’t figure out which look I wanted so I ended up making two different planters to try both ideas out, and then gave one to my sister.

Once the glue is dry, it is time for a second coat of paint. This is why you don’t want to use a good paintbrush; so you can really work the paint in all angles of the twine to fully coat it. Let the second coat of paint dry, and then inspect to see if it needs any more coverage. Mine had a few spots showing through that needed a few extra touch ups.

painting second coat of paint on the cans with the twine

Once the paint is dry, decide if you’re going to put a plastic pot inside or plant directly into the can. Depending on the size of your coffee can, you might be able to fit a 6″ growers pot directly inside, in which case you are done!

finished painting the second coat on both pots

However, if you don’t have a growers pot and are planning to plant directly into the coffee can, then you’ll need drainage holes. (Using rocks at the bottom of a planter to stop soggy roots doesn’t work, by the way, so if you’re planting directly, you will need proper drainage.) Turn the can upside down and using a hammer and a nail, punch a few holes. (You could probably also use a drill.) After I punched holes with a nail, I then used a screwdriver tip to enlarge the holes. (Yes…I always use very professional techniques in my projects…)

punching holes in the bottom of the can with a hammer and nail

At this point, because the holes dish upwards and into the can from hammering, the water won’t necessarily drain out well. Turn the can the right side up and hammer them the other direction; downwards. I used a screwdriver tip with a flat surface. The water will now be able to easily drain out, and this also flattens any sharp, jagged edges.

bending the holes in the bottom of the can to bend outwards

And now you’re done and ready to plant!

finished coffee can plant pot with a hoya vine in it, sitting on top of a bookshelf with a candle beside it and a mirror in the background

I took some pictures with my Hoya to see what it worked like with a pot inside it, but I actually ended up planting my umbrella tree directly into the coffee can. If you decide to plant directly into the pot, make sure to place it on a dish so you won’t get any water damage onto the surface below.

diy coffee can plant pot with an umbrella tree planted in it sitting on top of a bookshelf

I like how it turned out; it has a good visual weight to it because it’s cylindrical rather than narrow at the bottom as many pots are. It works for the umbrella tree, because it is very tall and skinny and the pot it was in before was much too small looking for it.

And the best thing about this coffee can plant pot is that it was basically free- using up materials I already had on hand. Aren’t those the best kind of projects?

Do you like houseplants? Which is your favourite? Do you think you’ll try making your own coffee can plant pot?

umbrella tree planted inside the finished coffee can plant pot sitting on top of a bookshelf and with a gallery wall of picture frames behind it