Master Bath Makeover!

I’m not really sure what got me started on this project. I wasn’t actually unhappy with our master bath. I think I was just spending too much time on Pinterest and got the seven year itch…

The main change I made to our bathroom was painting the vanity. The color is Nocturne by Behr from Home Depot.

The smaller changes I made were a new bathmat and rearranging the accessories. My inspiration was a stunning master bath by Amber Interiors. If you are as in love as I am with her style, check out my post on finding the ingredients for her beautiful spaces.
Some of the elements I wanted to use included:

  • Wooden and metal trays
  • Ceramic containers in white and neutrals
  • Greenery
  • Ladder towel rack
  • Dark vanity with marble top
  • Geometric flooring

With just a few changes, I am excited to see the transformation in our master bathroom!


I wonder which room is next to be the beneficiary (victim) of my makeover fever!

“Jewels”

From Curb to Chic: Side Table Makeover

You may know that doing the Avon 39 Walk for Breast Cancer is an annual tradition for me. The two-day walk gives lots of time for long talks with my friends. Last year, an old friend asked our group to think about what our “dream job” would be. I already have my dream job, but I took the opportunity to reflect on what an alternate or next career could be… something I love doing, but which is not so practical… the easy answer was that I’d love to refinish old furniture with fresh looks.

It makes me so happy when I can take a piece of furniture with great classic style but a little (or a lot of) wear and turn it into something beautiful and full of personality. I’ll list some of my favorite past projects at the bottom of this post.


Now on to today’s post… It has been a while since I picked this little end table up off the side of the road. My oldest was with me and remarked, “There’s mom being mom” in the affectionate way you talk about a lovable, quirky relative.

While I loved the Chinese/ Chinoiserie style of this little table, I was a bit intimidated by its poor condition. You can’t really appreciate in the picture how water-damaged, chipped, and uneven the wood was. Still, it was sturdy enough, and with my newfound love of gardening and greenery, I thought it would make a great plant stand.

I sanded the table aggressively, used wood glue on one of the legs that was cracked, and then painted it with three coats of white latex enamel (leftover from the interior trim of our house). I didn’t even try to fully even out and fix the surface, letting a lot of the dents and scratches show and add character.

The white paint did a good job brightening up the table and made it look more finished, but it was kind of plain… time for a touch of gold spray paint to cap the legs, and I love the finished product!

Here is my new old table in our living room. I think I’ll probably move it up to my bedroom later, but I’m still experimenting with how to use this handsome accent piece!

If you like this project, check out some of past “fabulous furniture makeovers”:

Wow, that was a longer list than I expected. I guess I have a good start on that next career, when I’m ready!

Happy furniture hunting and painting!

“Jewels”

Hanging Out & Hanging Up Plants

Hello, Crazy Plant Lady here today!

My good friend, Nicola, asked me to share more about how I’m installing my macrame plant hangers (see this post and this post for the details on the hangers).


There are lots of creative ideas for creating hanging plant displays. I’ve started with some easy methods, including hanging my plants from

  • Wooden beams
  • Curtain rods
  • Wall brackets

I’ll give you those details and also include some more ambitious ideas that I still fantasize about!

One general tip is that I chose lighter weight planters. Some of my plants are hanging in my made-over yogurt containers, and others are in glass jars or vases, some painted with metallic spray paint.

Wooden Beams

I lucked out to have these beams running in our family room, so I screwed in coat hooks for my plants. Obviously, not every house has wooden beams, but if you do, this is easy, and to display more, you can screw in two hooks and run a rod between them.


Curtain Rods

Plants need light, so it makes sense to hang them in front of a window! It wouldn’t be the most convenient idea for curtains that you open and close often, but it’s great for windows where the curtains can stay open most of the time. I used shower curtain hooks to hang several plants this way. The rollers on the curtain hooks make it easy to move the plants, if you want to close the curtains.


Wall Brackets

I was honestly too nervous to hang plants from our ceilings. The house is about 90 years old, and the walls and ceilings are plaster and lathe. I had visions of the giant patches of plaster crumbling down on me, so I decided to use wall brackets. This method also gives you more flexibility about hanging heights.


These are the brackets I used. (The link is to Amazon, but they’re cheaper at IKEA, if you can get to a store).
If you’re feeling more courageous, here are some more ideas I’d like to try!

Hanging a ladder from the ceiling. This is just so peaceful and gorgeous!


Photo: Jennifer Chong of See and Savour

A large branch displaying multiple hangers. I love all the colors and designs!


Photo: Emily Katz of Modern Macrame 

How about a cool metal pipe or rod to display your plants?! A sleek look, and you could do it from a wall, if your ceilings are unreliable, like mine.

Photo: Cote Maison

Thanks for coming with me into the world of macrame and plants. I am clearly a little obsessed. I’ve got more new ideas coming up to share with you soon(ish)!

“Jewels”

Experiments in Underwater (iPhone!) Photography

My kids are so happy in the water, and yet I’ve missed pictures of many of those moments, because I needed to keep my phone high and dry.

So, for this year’s summer vacation, I decided to buy a waterproof phone pouch.  Even though I tested it according to the instructions, it was still scary to put my phone in the water the first time. After I got the hang of it, though, it has been a lot of fun.

Although you can control the phone buttons through the case, I found it to be hard to do. My husband came up with the idea of setting the timer for the pictures. The timer on the iPhone takes a burst of ten photos, so you can usually capture some good moments and delete the rest. Another note is that the water cuts down on light, so taking your underwater pictures at the brightest spot possible helps.

These are some of my first experiments. JJ loves the diving weights, and it was fun to capture him playing with them.

This is my favorite – the little imp actually posed underwater and flashed me a smile!

And look at these little feet in action!

We have a river rafting trip planned for next week, and I look forward to bringing the waterproof pouch along to capture some more wet adventures.

Have fun and stay dry!

“Jewels”

 

 

Macrame Mania – Square Knots and Beads!

“At first I was afraid… I was petrified…” and now I’m totally obsessed with macrame! With apologies to Gloria Gaynor… once you learn a few basic knots, there are so many possible macrame projects!


You might remember that for my first plant hanger, I used heavy rope and simple overhand knots. I added gathering knots in colored yarn. For my next projects, I learned the square knot and added some beads.

This project uses some silver-colored beads, and the hanger is formed with short stretches of three square knots. I used sport weight cotton yarn (similar to this yarn) which I already had. The advantage is that it’s thin enough to thread the beads onto, but the result is quite thin, so it will be best for a smaller plant.

This next project uses some braided candle wick. It lies flat, which makes the square knots much easier and neater. I did two longer stretches of square knots at the top and then shorter stretches to form the hanger. The twine is heavier than the cotton yarn, and I really like how it lies flat. I’ll definitely be doing more projects with this string!

By the way, you may have noticed the same (fake) plant in both these hangers. We’re on vacation in Toronto, and I ended up buying a “plant model” to help with my projects. 😂

Next macrame projects coming up: wave knots, colored string, and dip-dyeing (I think I will save that for when I get home…)! I always need to have a project to work on, and this has turned out to be a great one for traveling, because it is so compact. Hope you will give it a try.

“Jewels”

Macrame Madness: A Simple Plant Hanger

Everything old is new again! I’m visiting my dad and fantasizing about magically unearthing some old macrame projects from the 70s. Meanwhile, I’m trying my hand at making some plant hangers. This macrame obsession pairs perfectly with my newfound love of plants!


Tying knots in string shouldn’t be that complicated, but I was nervous getting started, so I chose the simplest project I could. Using some heavy cotton rope leftover from hanging a birthday piñata, I based my plant hanger off of these instructions.

Because the rope was so thick, I chose to use a gathering knot in blue cotton yarn rather than tie a heavy knot with the rope at the top and bottom.

Being a busy mom, the first chance I had to work on this project was on a plane! Luckily, the tab that holds up the tray table works perfectly for attaching the loop at the top;)

Here’s how the plant hanger looks empty:

And here’s how it looks planted with Golden Pothos.

Stay groovy and green!

“Jewels”

Fiddle Leaf Fig Fanatic! How to propagate plants from leaf cuttings

Don’t say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! After years of joking about my “brown thumb,” I’m getting really excited about gardening and plants. It’s so rewarding to watch things grow, not to mention how plants freshen up any space both visually and literally.

I’m growing all kinds of plants, but one of my greatest loves is the Ficus Lyrata, the fiddle leaf fig. I’ve heard that some people have found these at big box hardware stores, but I had no luck. I ended up buying one online (really!) but eventually acquired two more at local nurseries Sloat Garden Center and Flowercraft. The one I got online is fine, but the ones from the nursery are much bigger, so I’d definitely recommend looking around locally, if you can.

After just a few months, two of my trees needed trimming already, so I decided to try to propagate them from the cuttings. I tried a few variations:

  • Top leaf / leaves in water
  • Top leaves in soil
  • a bottom leaf – in water (I learned later that this doesn’t usually work, so stick with the top leaves that have an apical bud attached)

For all of the cuttings, I applied rooting hormone to help encourage new root growth.

Here’s what’s happening! I will keep adding pictures to this post, as the cuttings grow!

0 weeks



3 Weeks

Wow! The leaves in soil already are growing roots! Nice!


The leaves in water are showing tiny tiny roots as well:

From right to left: a single top leaf I cut from a plant, the top three leaves I cut from a larger tree, and a single bottom leaf from a plant. The three leaves had really started to wilt, and they are now perking up again!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there’s a little bud on my tree just below where I trimmed the top three leaves!

4 weeks

It was the best of times and worst of times for the aspiring fiddle leaf figs this week. The group of top leaves in water started to rot, and I think they may be goners. On the bright side, the single top leaf  sprouted a ton of roots! Take a look:


This is the real deal, and I think I’ll put it in soil soon!

The original tree where I cut off the top three leaves also looks great. There’s a good-sized bud forming!


Everything else stayed about the same this week.

5 weeks

Exciting news! The single top leaf has grown so many roots that I transferred it to a pot today!


The tree where I cut off three leaves also grew a ton with three buds on it!


The plant where I cut a single leaf also now has a little bud.


Some other cuttings are hanging on without much change. I should probably give up on the leaves that started rotting and that subsequently also got sunburned, but I’m feeling stubborn and keeping them a little longer. No pictures of those sad guys.

6 weeks

Crazy! This is where I cut off three leaves from the top of a plant. It went from buds to tons of new branches and leaves in just one week. So exciting!


2-2.5 months

I started to see new leaves growing out of the top of the leaf cuttings. (Photo credit here goes to Nicola, who adopted one of the plants and kindly keeps me updated!)

3 months:

I came back from vacation to find that the single leaf I had rooted had two new leaves!

3.5 months:

This was the single leaf. It now has three new leaves and a promising looking bud pushing out the top. Yay!


Summary:

Rooting in soil seems to go faster than rooting and water. I also had a problem with some of the leaves rotting in water, so I think I’m going to do it in soil from now on.

Here are some expectations in terms of timing:

  • Time to seeing good roots: 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Time to seeing the original plant sprout new buds: 3-5 weeks.
  • Time to seeing new leaves on the cuttings: 2-2.5 months.

Thanks for reading and please share your questions and tips!

“Jewels”