archive: April, 2010

Posted by in handmade

ironing board cover

wow, was this a quick, easy and oh-so-worth it way to spruce up my ol’ ironing board!!  i ordered this ironing board cover last week from city chic country mouse, and was so excited when it arrived.  it really did do wonders for my entire sewing room!  now i’ve got some projects to finish with coordinating fabrics, can’t wait to share them with you!

city chic country mouse

jamie and carmen are a mom and daughter team who own and run their etsy shop, blog and facebook page. mom (the country mouse) and daughter (the city chic) come together to make these lovely ironing board covers, towels, scissor holders, clothespin bags and more!  city chic country mouse makes it easy to brighten up your sewing space, what a beautiful way to collaborate together!

have a sunny weekend, and i’ll be looking forward to seeing you back here on monday! xo, bonnie

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twigs by wren woods

April 30, 2010

Posted by in handmade, home decor

wren woods

a few years ago, i fell hard for the seemingly new theme of bringing the outdoors in.  it’s with chic elegance that you can now adorn your space with outdoor treasures without going country.  i’ve got little wooden shelves, a twig key holder and even some drift wood around my home as decor and every time i see a twig, something inside me always makes me want it.  there was no exception when i ran across wren woods, and all of their beautiful hooks and vases.  they are all handcrafted and made from real wood, sealed for protection.  they’re simple coversation peices that make a statment about your decor, and best of all they’re affordable!

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maria kallin photography

April 29, 2010

Posted by in handmade

Maria Kallin Photography

are you breathing better yet? maria kallin’s photography has such a way of calming me, it’s like taking a fresh deep breath of a beautiful warm breeze. she makes me yearn for every season she shoots, and i thought nothing could make me long for winter now!  sit back, relax, and take a vacation from right where you are, just soak in maria’s photos!

elsewhere :: {shop} {flickr}

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Hello! How is everyone this week? Have you started your gardens yet? Are you seeing weeds popping up yet? Or are you lucky and only seeing seedlings???

Here at Ladybug HQ we are seeing lots of new growth on our plants…and lots and lots of blooms. I went into the backyard this morning and cut some viburnum branches to make a giant bouquet….I needed to prune those plants back and am so happy I waited (procrastinated) until they were in full bloom!

This week I wanted to share a few of my favorite things with you…

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Tracey DiSabato-Aust Her book The Well Tended Perennial Garden is a must have for anyone who gardens with perennials . I have learned more from this book than from any other source about cutting back, pinching, planting and generally caring for perennials. Lots of landscape designers shy away from too many perennials in a garden, fearing the maintenance issues that arise with their use. This book makes that maintenance a simple process and I refer to it all of the time.  She also designs remarkably gorgeous gardens and I look to her as one of my primary sources of inspiration.  I have bought at least 6 copies of this book, and I am very glad it is now out in paperback because my car kit just became that much lighter.

bonsai

Bonsai scissors I use them to prune the houseplants.

All images in collage copyright Cabbages & Roses

All images in collage copyright Cabbages & Roses

A Guide to Natural HousekeepingCabbages & Roses…what can I say except that I love this book and I love this company. Their clothing speaks to my inner British lady…and their housewares are gorgeously inspirational. This book is beautifully packed with ideas for a green home and garden.  I am ordering their sew your own skirt kit as a gift for myself…I think it will be perfect for flea marketing….

nettle tea

Nettle Tea – This past Monday I took a nap after a particularly early start to what turned out to be a grueling morning. During this nap I dreamed I was drinking gallons upon gallons of nettle tea. I woke up and listened to my dream and have since drunk at least two gallons of the stuff. I love the flavor, the way I feel when I drink it and I choose to believe in its medicinal properties. Some say it tastes like pond scum…I say I must have been a frog in past life I love the stuff so. To make it, I simply throw a bunch of dried nettle leaves into a large pot of water…set it to boil and let it steep for as long as I can wait.  Then I drink away.  After I am done, I use the tea leaves to enrich the water I use for the houseplants…simply throw the leaves in a large mason jar, cover with spring water and let them sit for a few days.  Dilute by half and watch your houseplants perk up.

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The cleaning and gardening trio….

Vinegar – The vinegar I use is plain ole straight up white vinegar. I buy it in jugs and use it up quickly. For cleaning, that and its BFF baking soda cannot be beat. But I love it most for getting rid of weeds in rock gardens or in between cracks of the pavement. Oh how quickly and how easily it works. Just pick a hot sunny day, grab your spray bottle of undiluted vinegar and spray away. It is a non-selective killer, so be careful not to get it on the plants you want to keep…

Baking Soda - Clean away and absorb odors…but also use in your  garden.   Mix one tablespoon baking soda, one teaspoon soap (I use castile soap) and a gallon of water and spray your phlox and roses and hydrangeas and any other plant you find is susceptible to powdery mildew. This works best as a preventative, and I’ve known gardeners to keep a spray bottle permanently hidden in the garden so they remember to spray

Epsom salts – My dear friend Epsom Salt.  I use it to soak away aches and pains, but I also use it in gardens to strengthen roses.  Epsom salts have been used as a fertilizer for generations, but I tend to use it rather sparingly outdoors.  If a soil test tells me the soil is lacking magnesium I am liable to find other ways to supply that nutrient to the soil microbes. But, I will use it selectively on roses as a foliar spray – I mix 1 Tablespoon to a gallon of water and spray every couple of weeks or so. I have personally found this to be beneficial for the roses.  I also use it as pick me up for my houseplants a couple times a year.

What are a few of your favorite things?  Do you have the Sound of Music stuck in your head now?  I do…and I’ve been listening to this version of one of my favorite songs!

Caroline Finnegan owns Ladybug Landscaping, a full service organic landscaping company. based in CT. She is a NOFA accredited landcare professional and when not designing gardens can be found rearranging her furniture or out at a flea market finding new goodies. She almost always has dirt under her nails.


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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

sometimes, i take terrible photos (see below).  lucky for me {and you!} there are plenty of ways to aid our poor photography skills!  i switch between a few programs when editing photos and working on posts, but one of the easiest, not to mention free, programs i use is picnik.com and today i’m going to walk you through editing some photos..

picnik tutorial

terrible photo number one.  this is me, with my bird nest in full mode.  it’s hard to be your own photographer sometimes, but i set up my tripod and give it my best go.  first things first, go to picnik.com and upload your photo.

picnik.com screen capture 2010-4-28-11-48-28

for my picture, the first thing i want to do is cut out all the excess surroundings- i.e. crop the photo.  at the top of picnik’s header, go to edit then crop. crop according to the size you would like, then hit ok.

picnik tutorial

whew! that’s better.  now for my favorite feature on picnik- the exposure tab! click on over to exposure, and since many of us won’t always have perfect lighting, here’s is where you can compensate for it.  generally, all my pictures look a bit better when i slide the exposure up, then slide the contrast up until it’s looks good. you’ll have to play with this back and forth, but it can make all the difference in your photo.  here the exposure is set to 24 and the contrast is set to 23.  hit ok when you’re done.

picnik tutorial

now it’s time for another setting that many photos can benefit from- the colors tab. if you want to bump the saturation (i.e. enhance the colors) here’s where you do that.  it’s easy to go overboard here, so make sure you’re only enhance the colors to where it looks like it does in real life.  many times, the camera or lighting can drone out the colors, so my goal is to only enhance photos until they look like the original again.  here, i bumped the saturation up to 13.  temperature can compensate for different color casts your photo may have.  sliding to the right makes it warmer, and sliding to the left makes it cooler.

picnik tutorial

finally, you can play with your photo!  picnik has hundreds of frames, stickers, effects and text features that you can doll up your photo with. here, i’ll keep it simple and add the word ‘flowers’.  click over on the create tab, then click on text.  type your desired text in the box (top left) and hit add. then, it’s simple to pick the color via the box on the right, and choose your font from the options on the left.

picnik tutorial

here’s the before and after! how thankful i am for picnik!

picnik tutorial

you can do tons of other things with picnik as well, for example, make simple collages. head over to the collages tab and choose your layout from the options at the left.  you can also choose at the bottom, where you would like your photos from (i.e. your computer, photo bucket, picasa web albums etc.).

picnik tutorial

from the list at the bottom of your screen, simply drag and drop your photos into the desired spots.  you can also edit the spacing between your photos and what color you wouldlike that spacing.  here i’ve chosen 4 for the spacing and white for the color. after you’re happy with your collage, hit done.

picnik tutorial

then, you can add effects, borders, text and the like to your finished collage!  here, i added a simple border.  click on create then hit frames. i then clicked on border from the list on the left.  i chose the color yellow for the outer border and white for the inner.  you can also edit the spacing and caption height.

picnik tutorial

and voila! a simple collage that looks great and only took about 3 minutes!


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la bonne femme

la bonne femme is a place to find beautiful vintage and new supplies for crafts, gardening, cooking and more.  she says, “Bonne Femme literally means “good wife” or “good woman”, it encompasses the style of taking what you have on hand and making it spectacular, be it the perfect roast chicken, a new dress, a gift for someone special, or a pretty country French garden. Simple and Honest.”  what beautiful imagery to accompany this lovely shop!

elsewhere :: {shop1} {shop2} {blog}

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hello lovelies! well i’m off on an overnight trip with my mister to savannah, georgia (yeah!!).  i’ll be online though, so i’ll be here tomorrow and happy to answer questions and keep in contact with you.  i hope you are all having a lovely week! do you remember my personal kick the door down story?  before i go, i wanted to share scoutie girl’s finished project with you!

tara has compiled everyone’s personal kick the door down stories into one incredibly inspiring ezine.  this ezine boasts 31 pages of encouraging stories written by creatives who have either kicked their indie doors down or are on their journey towards it.  click over to this scoutie girl post to get inspired and download a free copy!!

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roosting readers

April 27, 2010

Posted by in handmade

roosting readers

clockwise ::  elizabeth Floyd, gathering spriggs , airdromee l k

what do you do when you go home to roost?  join going home to roost’s flickr group to share with us!

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