one of my favorite diy projects to date have been these easy to make fabric leaf bowls. i found the tutorial on martha stewart’s website and quickly got inspired (as usual) to get busy gathering my materials.
aren’t they pretty? perfect for layering or holding goodies. i often place dry snacks in them for guests like nuts, crackers and candies. the bowls are made from tweed and wool felt so can be spot cleaned as needed.
- wool felt
- sewing machine with coordinating thread
- fusible webbing (found at any sewing shop)
- tracing pen
*i went thrift shopping and picked up some fun tweed jackets to cut up and use!
here’s the how to:
1. first things first you need to download and print out the oak-leaf bowl template from martha stewart. you can resize them to create bowls of various shapes. using your scissors, cut each template out following the template lines.
2. cut 1 rectangle from each of your materials (1 tweed, 1 wool felt and 1 fusible webbing) for each of your leaves, large enough to accommodate each leaf template.
3. stack the 3 fabrics with the webbing in the middle and press using your iron until the webbing has fused.
4. trace your template onto one side of your fused rectangle with a disappearing ink pen (found at any craft/sewing shop).
5. cut out the leaf.
6. using your sewing machine, sew up each of the 5 v shaped darts, using either a zigzag or satin stitch. working from the inside out, simply pull the fabric together as you stitch (don’t overlap it). i found using tweezers or straight pins helped push the fabric together towards the ends.
sewing up the darts creates a bowl shape and each leaf will be reversible (so make sure your bobbin thread looks good, too!) feel free to go back with your iron to touch the tips of your leaf, giving them curl in your desired direction.
The green shiny monsters have landed and they are eating my kale! Oh my toes curled and I clenched my fists when I went out into the veggie garden last week and saw all the beetle damage that seemed to have crept up overnight. Darn Japanese Beetles – they can make a gorgeous garden look scraggy and sad in almost no time at all. I rarely kill animals in my garden – preferring to relocate them or simply tolerate their damage – but Japanese Beetles are the exception to that rule.
Japanese Beetles come from grubs in the ground. I’m sure you have heard of grubs. If not from your local lawn lover then on the radio or at the garden center where you see large bags of product making a big deal of killing grubs. And their death deserves to be made a big deal of. They are lousy for the garden and for the lawn. Many of my clients spend a great deal of time and money trying to eradicate grubs, and their control can make the most organically minded person consider (in a brief, mad moment of frustration) just nuking them with pesticides and doing a mini victory dance to celebrate their death. BUT we all know that the nuking approach won’t just kill the grubs – that it will kill all our beneficials as well…and we love earthworms!
So what is an organically minded, earthworm loving girl to do? First thing is to understand where the Japanese Beetles come from and how to eradicate them during all the different stages of their lives.
Right now you are probably seeing these guys in the beetle stage. They are very pretty iridescent green backed beetles that fly in, group up on plants and begin to feed, leaving the plant veins. Control at this stage is pretty simple – knock the beetles into bowl of soapy water. It is best to go out and do this early in the morning when the beetles are still wet with morning dew and not able to quickly fly away. If you want to you can also use a Neem based spray – I recommend the Safer Brand BioNEEM Insecticide. This needs to be applied frequently – be sure to follow the directions.
By the way, I do not recommend using the Japanese Beetle traps – they are usually yellow bags with a hormone soaked piece of fabric/cotton. These do trap lots of the beetles, but research has shown that the traps actually attract more beetles to the garden…and more end up in your plants than would have been there without the traps. If you do choose to use the traps place them far away from your ornamental/vegetable plants, be sure to empty the bag on a regular basis and replace the hormone strip as directed.
So the Japanese Beetles are killer on your flowers…their grubs are killer on your lawns. The grubs eat the roots of many types of plants, but their favorite seem to be grass roots. Grub damage shows up as irregularly shaped patches of dead or dying grass. You can also get a pretty good idea of a grub infestation when you are digging up your garden – if you see lots of grubs act quickly! I squish them or throw them to the ducks to eat.
Here is a handy chart showing the life cycle of the Japanese beetle and one showing what they look like during these phases:
Those grubs gross me out! But it is important to know what they are.
And now we come to the tough news about treating grubs organically…..there is no magic bullet cure. The best known approach is to infect the grubs and beetles with Milky Spore (Bacillus popilliae), a disease that targets the Japanese Beetle grub and kills it. According to the USDA, milky spore disease can suppress the development of large beetle populations. It is not harmful to beneficial insects, birds, bees, pets or humans and will not affect wells, ponds or streams. Each time an infected grub dies it decomposes and releases millions of the spores into the environment, creating an accumulative effect over time. And it does take time – 2 to 4 years. But the treatment lasts for 10 years and is pretty easy to apply.
Some say one application is all that is needed, but I have always followed the classic directions of laying down Milky Spore once in the Spring and again in the Fall for two years. It is a treatment that is expensive in the beginning but pays off over time.
So that is the quick and simple guide to Japanese beetles in your garden….and even quicker guide is to basically say:
Knock the buggers into soapy water, apply Neem to help keep them off your plants, squish the grubs when you see them, introduce milky spore into your yard and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
Sometimes the organic way is a hands on way…and you know what, I kinda prefer that. As much as I loathe the Japanese beetles, I do find myself out in the garden quite a bit more during their active season…and it really makes me appreciate my plants. And eat my kale!
Next week is more garden pest talk…slugs anyone! Powdery Mildew???!!! We have much to cover. Until then have a wonderful week and know that your interest in gardening organically is supported and appreciated by this Ladybug!
today i’m going to introduce to you a truly inspiring blog and business, meylah. meylah works to bring creative entrepreneurs closer through creativity by helping them connect, learn and succeed. they are devoted to building an online creative community for individuals to learn, share and support each other’s business growth and works hard to equip the entrepreneur with the necessary skills they need to succeed. with easy to read and very informational articles, meylah is totally rocking the online creative biz movement. you’ll find tons of help for your small business and lots of new tips and tricks along the way. i encourage you to explore her world today, and especially read a few of my favorite articles:
hello dearies! the lovely amanda joy over at joy ever after passed onto me a beautiful blogger award last week! it’s a fun way to learn more about our favorite bloggers, so today i’m sharing with you ten things about me, you may or may not have known?
anything you didn’t know? :) now i get to pass this award on to 5 more beautiful blogs! my picks are:
kristi lives her life through the lens. she believes that aaron siskind best describes the way she feels about photography with this quote: “photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. what you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” i can see how the beauty and the passion from this quote truly weaves itself into her work. what a beautiful life she lives through her lens!
welcome to shaina mote! shaina is garment designer based out of los angeles where all of her beautiful designs are handmade. with special attention given to earth friendly fabrics and fair trade policies, her new line is to die for.
oh yes, and did i mention she lives in a handmade house of glass bottles?
stunning, isn’t it? this would be such a beautiful place for breakfast or afternoon tea.
welcome lovelies! my name is bonnie and this is where i roost. i hope you'll grab a cup of tea and make yourself comfy- we look forward to getting to know you! you can learn more about me and why i love to blog here.
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