archive: April, 2010

all things winged

April 27, 2010

Posted by in handmade

all things winged

don’t we love all things winged? i don’t think i’ve met anyone who hasn’t loved something that has wings.  i wonder why that i is?  i find them intriguing, wondrous creatures.  do you ever sit back and watch a bird fly?  when i stop and watch, i always imagine what it would feel like to be able to fly.  this shop is about insects and animals of flight, and i’m sure you’ll find something winged there you love!

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along with my plant frenzies, i had a little time to get crafty as well!  i ran across this article on how to paint your own chalkboard as i was organizing some of my magazines.  i had torn it out and stuck it another magazine over 3 years ago!!  i remembered how much i loved the project, and picked up the necessities on my lowes expedition.

what you need:

– flat latex paint in your desired color

– unsanded tile grout (2 tbls for each 1 cup of paint)

– a roller or brush

– 150 grit sandpaper

– painter’s tape

– chalk

how to:

– for small areas, mix one cup at a time.  stir 2 tbsp of unsanded tile grout into one cup of paint, making sure any clumps dissolve.

– apply the mixture to either a roller or brush and and begin painting your surface.  make sure to coat evenly and thoroughly (mine took about 3 coats).  then, let it dry.

– once dry, sand the surface with your 150 grit sand paper to smooth it.

– to condition, run your chalk complety over the entire surface, and wipe clean.

– enjoy your new chalkboard!

here’s my lonesome door before…

and here it is after!

oh the endless possibilities :: cabinet doors, pantry doors, wall spaces, children’s wall, office desks and more!

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giveaway winner!

April 26, 2010

Posted by in handmade

giveaway winner

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Posted by in handmade

it all started with

as i snapped some pictures of all the spring growth.


my pink and orange tulips are so vibrant, they cheer up the whole yard!

then comes my favorite part, my wisteria.


isn’t it dreamy?  last year it didn’t bloom hardly any, so i was pleasantly surprised this year!

i’m not even sure what this purple sweetie is, it’s the only one out there though, peeking out from underneath the steps.  she makes me smile.

so here’s where the problem came.  i got all plant happy (and a little bored) and decided to take a trip to lowe’s! (uh oh).

i started with a new tree and some pretty green plants.  boy, do they cheer up this used-to-be drab corner!


then i added some flowers to spruce the place up a bit.

next came some fun plants- one orange, red and yellow..

and the other one, purple!

i quickly moved on to this darling basket, she hangs right over my sewing machine.

then came time for this resilient plant, that dolls up the bathroom sink.

this duo cheers up our windowsill,

and this one makes our bookshelf all the more cozy.

(along with this one).

and while i was at it, i did a little redecorating (see the before here)!

and that’s how i went a little plant crazy.  what did you do this weekend?

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I’m pretty much a from scratch kind of girl, so breakfasts around here are almost always home made.  But when we got a puppy… well, I just don’t have much time anymore!  The morning routine that gave us some time to make pancakes or scones (at least on the weekend) has gone out the window and been replaced with one that shoves our meal to the side in favour of walks and kibble.  And that extra time for baking bread in the afternoon?  That’s disappeared too.  Thank goodness for granola!  One batch lasts us almost 2 weeks and it takes almost no time at all to make.  It would take even less time if my oven had more than one rack!

Feel free to play around with the ingredients, adding different nuts and seeds to suit your taste.  I love adding sesame seeds and pistachios, and hemp or flax are great, healthy additions.  And while this granola is great with milk, my favorite way to eat it is with yogurt and fresh berries.


8 cups rolled oats (not instant!)
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, either works)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup honey, agave, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups dried fruit


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a big bowl mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut.

In a small saucepan melt the butter with the honey.  Add the cinnamon and vanilla then pour over the oat mixture.  Mix well.  Spread out on 3 parchment lined baking sheets.

If you can fit them, put all of your sheets of granola in the oven at once.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate trays back to front and swap racks if you’re baking more than one sheet at a time.  Bake for another 8 minutes.  Check the granola.  It should be golden brown and smell amazing!  I don’t like to stir it while it’s baking so that I get nice big clumps.  If it needs more time let it bake longer, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.  Mine is normally done in 2o minutes but I have a 60 year old oven with only one oven rack!  Baking with more than one sheet at a time might take a bit longer.


Chelsea Rogers has been cooking and crafting… and not cleaning up for as long as she can remember.  When she’s not making a mess, you can find her on Pretty Lulu and An Abundance of Apricots.

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Posted by in handmade

happy friday everyone!  i’ve had so much fun with you this week.  you all have been CRACKING me up with some of your ‘going green’ ideas!  i love it when you let it all hang out, hehe (i pee in the shower, too)!  if you missed that, make sure to tell how you’re going green to enter into this week’s giveaway (deadline is sunday!).  i also had fun sharing my story with you, and hope it let you into my life a little bit more.  don’t forget, i’ve switched twitter accounts (follow me now at gohometoroost) and leave your info on this post so that i can follow you as well!

what are you plans this weekend?  i’m staying in to do some cleaning, organizing and a little gardening this week.  it’s been all too long since i’ve had a weekend at home!  and, even though i want to keep it a surprise for you, i promised you that i would keep you ‘in the loop’.  many of you know that i’m working on a little makeover for going home to roost, and i saw the new design for the first time this week!  you’re going to love it. :)  i’ll keep you up to date, but i should be introducing it in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!  also, make sure to check back in today for a yummy recipe from chelsea!  alrighty, enough with my rambling!

miss malaprop

i bet many of you read miss malaprop, am i right?  did you catch that the lovely mallory just opened up a new miss malaprop shop?  it’s home to some amazing handmade and eco-friendly designed items home decor, jewelry, accessories, clothing and more.  you can even shop by handmade, fair trade, organic or recycled products! she makes it easy to find what you want, and buy from sustainable artists.  a one stop shop!

elsewhere :: {blog} {shop} {facebook} {flickr}

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Hello!  I hope you have all had a lovely week and are feeling excited about your gardens  – hopefully they are bursting with new growth…..and not too many weeds!  This past week has been a fun one for me.  I’ve been meeting with lots of new clients, and I’m thrilled that more and more folks are choosing an organic approach for their landscape.  With such a heightened awareness and demand for organic gardening products, I am seeing a huge increase in the amount of products labeled organic.  I wanted to spend this week, in honor of Earth Day, talking about the marketing and labeling of organic products, as well as trustworthy sources for organics.


A quick Google search will show that there have been many instances of non-organic products being marketed and sold as organic. Calling something “organic” is currently a very powerful marketing tool and many companies are bringing out “organic” versions of their products.   I strongly recommend you do some due diligence before buying any product labeled “organic”.  There are not enough regulations in place to effectively challenge and remove inappropriately labeled products. Indeed, some of the “organic” fertilizers contain ingredients I would never willingly handle. There is a well known and organically marketed product out there that is basically dried sewage sludge.  Under no circumstance would I put this in a garden, especially one that contains edibles.  Yet it is marketed as “organic”.


This is a brief lecture break:  Be careful when using any fertilizer or pesticide. Even if it IS organic, it does not mean the product will not create harm if not applied or disposed of properly.  Always, always, always follow manufacturer’s recommendations and also be sure you are wearing your sunscreen!  Now back to the topic…


So what kind of due diligence do I recommend?  Well, first of all learn more about what is truly needed in your landscape.  Yes, that means a soil test! Then start to look around and compare the organic products out there.  I personally always look for a product to be OMRI listed, especially if I am using it on edibles.  I also tend to trust products manufactured by companies that support local and sustainable agriculture.  A great resource for products and ideas is Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply.  I adore these guys – seriously.  They have great prices on organic products, and as much as I have problems with the cross country shipping, before organic was a marketing tool, they had the products I needed at a price that was reasonable.  I look to them first and refer most of my clients to their site.


Another great resource is your local farmer’s market.  Go and talk to your local organic farmers.  Ask them where they buy their organically certified fertilizers.  Ask if you can tour their farm, or even volunteer.  Not all farms will be open to this, but many will appreciate the extra help, especially around planting and harvesting time.  Become involved in your community and the resources will appear.  Last year we had buckets and buckets of chicken manure in the garage thanks to a random conversation while taste testing at the farmer’s market.  We used that manure in our gardens, saved ourselves money and met some pretty interesting people.  Food coops are another great place to become involved and find great local resources. Do you have any other resources or ideas you can recommend?  I would love to hear from you if you do!


For the next week, at least, celebrate Earth Day everyday!  Celebrate your life and your soil and all your blessings, great and small!  Make a conscious choice to educate yourself and connect with your community.  Treat yourself with compassion and extend that compassion to those around you. And most importantly, from an organic gardening point of view, love your soil, love your earthworms and embrace the perfect imperfection of nature’s chaos!!  See you in the comments!!!

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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happy earth day lovelies!  in celebration, i’m going to giveaway one of my reusable grocery bags!


how to enter:

leave a comment explaining what you do (or will commit to do) to be more earth friendly.  you can leave as many comments as you like- the greener you are, the more chances you get to win! you must comment by midnight est sunday, april 25.  a winner will be drawn on monday using and will have 48 hours to claim their prize after it’s announced.  good luck, and go green!

now for some more earth friendly finds!

earth friendly finds

clockwise :: organic cotton t-shirt with ferns, tiny bird, pure organic mineral eye color, the organic spy bag, bag envy, how sweet of you- pot of honey card

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