Category : Tutorials

9 posts

During the process of putting the garden to bed for the winter, I drastically trimmed back my herbs. Now I am crossing my fingers that the plants themselves will overwinter.

Anyway I decided to make some smudge sticks as I have heard that burning sage helps deter mosquitoes.  Worth a try.


I found a spool of heavy duty cotton button thread in my stash and set to work.

Smudge sticks

I likely could have made 4 bundles but honestly they were a pain to make. It will be interesting to see if they work next summer.

I’m linking up once again with Elizabeth for T stands for Tuesday

vintage look tea

my beverage is coffee again. Soon with the weather changing I’ll be back to tea to stay warm.

Lots on calendar today including 2 doctor appointments.

What are you doing today?

T stands for Tuesday

Today for this edition of T stands for Tuesday I thought I’d share a DIY project made from recycled pieces of the kids old play set.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

I read about worm tower composting on Pinterest. It looked like a great solution for my raised bed garden. Most of the links I saw used a PVC pipe instead of wood.

Since we had scrap cedar laying around it seemed like a perfect use without spending any money. Mr. G did the construction and drilling of the holes for me after I explained my idea.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

The holes let the worms migrate in and out of the tower to spread the compost throughout the raised bed.  Isn’t that awesome…they do the work for me!

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

We even had an old handle in the shed from the sandbox cover. A perfect fit for the lid.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

Now it was time to  install … I dug down to the bottom of the box…well truth be told the box doesn’t have a solid bottom….just landscape cloth. I assume eventually that will rot away.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

I back filled all around the tower and attached it with one screw just in case some critter decided to try and mess with it. It looks like it’s always been there.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

Now all I needed was some composting worms. never ceases to amaze me with what I am able to order.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

This was a strange bin to find on my front step a few days later.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

I started saving kitchen scraps after ordering my worms. The paperwork that came with them said they also enjoy paper and cardboard. I grabbed a couple handfuls of shredded paperwork and started layering the material in the tower.

recycled wood worm tower | Halle's Hobbies

Honestly I was worried about getting the worms…would they still be alive? Yep…red and wiggly. I have no idea if they will survive a Minnesota winter  in the garden and worm tower. From what I read they do have a good chance of survival.  Only time will tell.

Do you compost? I’d love to hear about your system.

Since I was starting a new journal I thought I’d share with you my process for prepping the book.  First find yourself an old book that appeals to you. For me it was the size of this book. Not too small or too big… Just call me Goldilocks.journal prep5

Look inside to see what kind of binding you have.journal prep1

This inside cover gave me a really good indication that I had a sewn binding but I had to make sure.journal prep4

Yep…sewn binding. Perfect! Now we’re ready for the thinning of pages without leaving chunks of torn pages along the inner spine. Removing pages reduces bulk since the altering of a book whether journal style or a themed altered book adds lots of bulk!

I find the center of each signature (as seen in the above photo) and remove the page from each side.journal prep3Like this. I go back and carefully pick out all of the torn fragments. It will appear as if nothing has changed until you look at the page numbers. You’ll have a definite gap which would make reading the story a real challenge at this point.

I remove at least one page from each signature, sometimes more. You can always go back and remove more. journal prep7

Here you can see the gaps along the spine and how the book is more narrow going toward the outer edge. This is exactly what you want. journal prep8

You have a nice stack of pages for your altering pleasure when you are done.

After Christmas I decided to really change up the fireplace mantel from my standard color scheme. I usually stick with warm colors but was definitely ready for a change.

After a month of feeling as if something was missing I decided to make a decorative ball to set on top of my stoneware pitcher.


I used a 2.5 inch foam ball as my base. I cut a dress pattern into roughly 2 inch squares.


I stacked 2 in a crisscross manner then put a pencil into the center. I then dipped the tips into white glue and pressed the tip into the foam ball. I continued this until the entire ball was covered. 20150205_7433

I think it looks a bit like a dried hydrangea sitting on top.


First of all, I have to admit that this is not my original idea. I’ve seen many versions of this on Pinterest.    box pleat

But after going through the kids clothes and coming up with 2+ garbage bags full to pass along to a friend, it inspired me to keep a couple school shirts for this project.

This project couldn’t be an easier. I turned the shirt inside out then stitched the bottom closed.  Next was the box pleat to create a flat bottom. Basically you sew perpendicular to the bottom seam at each corner. You end up with a triangle of fabric that is not usable bag space. Gosh, I think I’m making that more complicated than it really is!! Here’s a link that shows the process if I just confused you.

Anyway…then I turned the shirt back right side out and cut off the sleeves and made a scoop cut at the neckline. No pattern just start cutting. We all know what a plastic handle bag from the grocery or discount store looks like….that’s what you are going for in shape.

All in all, not too shabby for a few minutes work. It saved a couple of shirts from the rag pile since  they’d likely never be worn again.

Little J claimed the lime green one as soon as she returned home. It was her shirt to begin with so now it will continue to serve her in a different capacity.

While cleaning out my closet this week, I discovered this chartreuse t-shirt. It was destined to be donated  since I just couldn’t get used to the color on me.
I had seen a tutorial on Pinterest for a fringed t-shirt scarf so I figure…why not try it.

So back to my project. I cut the shirt below the arms then cut fringe about half way up the shirt.
I then tugged on each fringe until it stretched nicely giving it nice texture and movement.
And the completed scarf…
I think I can handle a splash of chartreuse much better than a whole shirt of it.
Sorry that each of my photos are a different hue. The actual color is somewhere in between this photo and the previous one.  Bad photo day for me and Photoshop can only do so much.

I am totally hooked on this “new to me”  technique. I’ve seen it in a magazine, You Tube, blogs etc. Trust me…this technique has been around the block a time or two. Of course, I am super late in actually trying it but I had said I wouldn’t buy any new art supplies. Well…technically I didn’t buy a new art supply, I bought a concentrated cleaner. That counts right!?!?

Anyway…Since not everyone on the planet has read about it I’ll tell you what I did. It is so simple and has such cool results.  A word of caution…this will be messy…protect your surfaces, hands and clothing.

First you take the CitroSolv concentrate full strength and pour a bit into a small container. I used a foam brush to apply it directly to the front and back of the National Geographic pages I wanted to use.  The more ink on the  pages the better. After slathering on the CitroSolv to as many pages as you’d like…close the magazine and walk away for about 20 mins or so. When you come back…put on a glove and start opening the pages…they will likely fall right from the magazine as the CitroSolv seems to un-glue the binding as well.

I hung my pages to dry with clothes pins overnight.

I painted a few pages with CitroSolv before going to bed to see if the effect would be any different. The effect seemed a little more “muddy” to me rather than having the cool bubble effect. Still totally usable papers…just different.

These are some of my favorites but as you can see below…I ended up with a bunch of fun papers to play with.


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