DIY Ombre Pots

So as you will end up eventually noticing on this blog, I really love plants.  I can’t put my finger on what it is I like about them, but I think they bring a lot of life and decoration to a room.  My apartment has a balcony, so naturally I have put a lot of plants out there!  I was looking for an easy way to spice up the pots I have outside, since decorated pots can get fairly expensive, and I’ve been resorting to mostly terra cotta ones because they are super cheap.  However, having all terra cotta pots can get a little boring!  I’m sure that I saw this idea when cruising along Pinterest at some point, but I came up with the idea to spruce up some of my smaller terra cotta pots by giving them an ombre paint job.  It’s fairly easy and you definitely don’t have to be an artist to do it.

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ombre pots

What you’ll need:
One terra cotta pot (this project will work best with small to medium pots and is best to start out with smaller and work your way up to medium)
Two 2 oz bottles (your color choice + white) of Acrylic paint (Folk Art & Americana are good brands!)
Paintbrush (smaller brush size – this is a good example)
Newspaper (so you don’t get paint on the floor/ground!)

Directions:
1. Begin with a plain terra cotta pot (this one is actually plastic, but works just the same!).  Lay down newspaper.

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(^^Pot I used…sans newspaper.)

2. Squirt out a dollop of colored paint and white paint onto the newspaper.

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3. Paint a ring/line the first layer of the colored paint around the bottom of the pot.

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(^^This older lady is extremely impressed by my painting skills.)

4. Add a little bit of white paint to the colored paint and mix.  You might have to add more white paint or colored paint depending on how light/dark it gets.  You’re aiming for slightly less than a shade lighter.

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5. Paint another ring right above (and every so slightly over the top of) the the previous ring.

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6.  Repeat adding paint to make a lighter shade and painting above the previous ring until you get to the top.

7.  Let dry and your pot should have an ombre shade to it!

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DIY Simple-Sew Dog Bandana

Major makes his Laur of All Trades debut! So the story of Major (full name: Major Tom)…he was rescued by my boyfriend about 5 years ago and is now 12 years old. He’s a little up there in age, but he’s doesn’t act it. He’s always been a lounger and his hobbies include: sleeping on the couch, sleeping on his pillow under the desk, sleeping on the bed, chilling with us on the couch…you get the drift. He is a Lhasa Apso-Poodle mix and is the sweetest dog ever. When I was back in NJ recently for my brother’s college graduation, Major went to the groomer (PetSmart – they’re really great there) and he came back with a PetSmart bandana. When I responded to the picture with, “He loves that bandana!”, Kevin responded with “Dude loves bandanas!” I’ve known Major and Kevin for a year and half and this is the first I’d heard of any Major-bandana lovin. Naturally, I was on a mission then to make this cutie his own bandanas. I went to Fabric Outlet in the Mission as soon as I was back in San Francisco and got four different fabrics: island theme (because it’s summer), bad dog skulls (it’s funny because he is the total opposite), western themed trains (because…ADORABLE), and Halloween (the next upcoming holiday!).  I also got fabric for another project, some thread, a hot glue gun + glue, and mod podge (again, for other projects).  In short, Fabric Outlet is awesome.

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I did meet some opposition after I took off the PetSmart scarf and used it to figure out how large I should make this one though…
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He got over it and has been enjoying his new one since!

So without further ado, here’s how you can make your own simple-sew dog scarf!  No sewing machine needed and these particular measurements fit a medium size dog (Major is 25 lbs).  If your dog is any smaller, this will definitely be too big, so I’d recommend getting more fabric than you might need for the first one to cut out a few test sizes (you can use the same proportions, though!).

What you’ll need:
Fabric of your choice (I found a cotton blend that is very similar to a typical bandana)
Sewing needle
Placeholder needles
Thread (color is whatever you think might match the fabric the best)
Scissors
Ruler

Instructions:
1. Trace the measurements you will need (I created a template scarf which I’ll keep moving forward to have an easy trace).

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The top should measure 20″ across, each side 15″, and from the middle of the top to the tip, 10″. (Note: Please keep in mind that this triangle is not to scale. I’m only illustrating what section needs to be what length.)
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 2. Cut out the triangle.

3. Fold down the sides so that the frayed part is rolled underneath the fabric, so the seam is clean.  “Seal” with a needle.  The “fold over” should measure about 1/4″.  If your dog is smaller and you’re hands aren’t as nimble, you can definitely make the “fold over” larger.

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4.  Sew it and you’re done!

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Major loves it!hawaii2

DIY Herb/Garden Markers

I’ve always been a big fan of plants and gardening, but I’ve never actually grown my own food.  I decided to take the plunge and start out with some basil, so I bought a variety pack of seeds at Home Depot.  They were only about $5, so relatively cheap if things don’t work out.  Basil is amazing took cook with and the pack came with Cinnamon, Italian, Lemon, and Thai.  I can’t decide which I’m most excited about; I use Italian basil on a regular basis, Thai basil will enable me to enhance some amazing Thai dishes, and I’ve never used the other two, so I’m really excited to try them out!

Now, with four different types of basil that will probably all look the same, I was going to need a way to differentiate which is which.  I had a bunch of old corks lying around (I’ve been collecting them for show and reasons like this), and with some pinterest inspiration, my DIY Herb/Garden Markers were born.

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All you need:
Corks (how many depends on how many markers you need)
Permanent Pen/Marker
Your seeds/plants/and all the fixins for that

How to do it:
The process is incredibly simple (as I’m sure you’ve figured out)…all you need to do is plant your seeds (I don’t have an actual garden, so they are in a rectangular pot), write the name of the specific plant or type of plant on the cork, and put it in the appropriate spot!  I split my seeds up into four square sections in this pot, so I put the marker where each one ends.  Voila! You have your markers.  You can also add sticks to them, too if you want them to pop up more.  I would recommend using kebab skewers cut in half.

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My Foray into Crochet

I’m not sure why I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet, but here we are. I like making things, so it seemed like a fun thing to learn. I’d really like to make a hat/beanie and even maybe a sweater or blanket at some point. I chose crocheting over knitting because from online research, it seems more versatile than knitting. There are tons of arguments for both sides, though. I see it as similar to the snowboarding vs. skiing debate; all depends on the person which is easier, what they eventually want to make, design preferences, etc. But anyway, here’s my first attempt at knitting…it looks more like a deformed cat toy, but, hey, it’s a start. My main issue is that I’m making the loops too tight, so I need to work on that.

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I’m using this book I got off Amazon, which is a crochet book for beginners. It comes with all the basic tools you need as well as instructions on how to get started, different stitches, and a bunch of patterns for beginners. Only thing I had to go get was yarn and I was ready to start! I read that light yarn is best to work with when you’re first starting because it’s easier to see the loops, so I bought light blue and grey yarn.  They’re just standard size yarn and match nicely and hopefully soon I’ll be able to make something useful!

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