Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It Really Works!

If you're like me, you've read that you can save your Christmas poinsettia for the following year.  There's a series of steps that you look at, say, "Never mind", throw out the poinsettia after Christmas and buy another one the next year.

This year was different...and it looks like it's working:
Here's the story...after Christmas last year (about February) my poinsettia looked like this:
It was still red and, relatively, happy.  I ignored it, for the most part, gave it some water when it was dry, and sometime in March, I cut it back to about 6 inches and let it grow.  I did NOT repot it, or fertilize it.  It sat on my side porch where it got lots of light.  It became very full.
When mid-September arrived, I started putting it in a dark closet at 5:00 pm and took it out at 8:00 am every day.  The only additional thing I did was water it - no special treatment!
I watched for any signs of change and there was....nothing!
Finally, after about 5-6 weeks, I began to see hints of red:
I know the leaves are a lighter green.  That happened over the course of this whole process and the lighting for this pic was much better.  Here's a close-up:
So, there you have it.  The process actually works without any fussing. Just water and darkness overnight in the Fall does the trick.  I'm so excited that this actually worked, since my husband kept telling me he wasn't impressed every time I took it out of the closet!

Have you tried this?  If not, I hope you'll live it a shot this year.  I am proof that it actually works!

Thanks for stopping by the cottage!
Ann

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Park Your Broom

The brooms are made (see here), so is the sign (here).  Add a pumpkin and some mums and we are ready for Fall:
How about a close-up of the broom parking area?

The petunias, in the planter (see that transformation here), were replaced with a mum for the season. 

I also replaced the hanging geranium in the apple basket with another beautiful mum:
Since I had success with it last year, the mums will all be saved over the winter and planted in the ground in the Spring.  I'm also hoping to regrow the geranium so it can go back in the apple basket.
The spider web doormat is in place and we are ready for Fall!

The temperatures around here have been flirting with 70, so it's just been heavenly working outdoors.  The weatherman predicts some freezing temperatures overnight in the next few days, though.  I'll be covering/bringing-in those mums to keep them flowering for a few more weeks!

Thank you for stopping by the Cottage  - How are you decorating for Fall?



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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Broom Parking Sign

The last time you were here, I shared how to make a witch broom.  Since the brooms were going to be parked on my front porch, I needed a sign:

In a few easy steps, you can make the same sign.  I must be honest, I thought this project would involve my new jigsaw, but we just happened to have a piece of wood that was the perfect size - stay tuned for a jigsaw project at another time.
Here's what I did:
Two holes were drilled and the board was given 2 coats of exterior house paint.  While that dried, I printed the words and
'colored' the back of the letters with a pencil:
I chose the placement of the words and taped them down with blue painters tape.  Using a stylus, I traced the letters onto the board.
The board looked like this:
Using a small paint brush and black craft paint, I painted the letters.
After distressing with sandpaper and spraying with a sealer, I added the wire for hanging.  
The sign is done!  
The next step is to decorate the front porch.  Be sure to stop back to see that final step.  I hope you'll  follow The Apple Street Cottage and never miss a post.
Have a wonderful week!



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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Making a Witch Broom

It's almost October and that means decorating for Halloween around here.  I've been working on an idea and I decided it was time to get started on it before I procrastinated for too long and Halloween was over!  
The best thing about this project is it's totally FREE, that's right, I didn't have to spend a dime!  The first thing I had to do was take a walk and use my clippers to cut some tall weeds and small branches.  Here's what I collected:
The weeds:
  The small branches:
I left my foot in the picture to help show the size of these branches.

I grabbed some of the weeds and started placing them around one end of the branch.  It's only fair to tell you, I thought hot glue would help keep them in place - WRONG!  The glue did not stick, and in all honesty, everything stayed in place just fine without it.
Here's another look at this step:

Then I started wrapping twine around them:
When it looked like enough twine and everything felt secure, I tied off the ends and tucked them in.  
I had enough raw materials to make two brooms:
To see how these little beauties are used, stop back again soon...I'm still working on the rest of the project.....It involves the jigsaw I recently received as a birthday gift!

Thank you so much for stopping by the Cottage.  I've been 'missing' for a few weeks due to some medical issues that involve a herniated disc in my neck and possibly carpal tunnel in my hand. I start physical therapy this week and I still have one more test, an EMG.  In the mean time, I have a new accessory:
Fortunately, I only have to wear it at night!

See you soon...feel free to share, pin, tweet this post.  Don't miss a thing by following.  We love making new friends!
   

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Monday, September 7, 2015

How to Make a Windchime...With Keys

Fall is upon us.  I'm convinced, since I could hear the dry leaves rustling as they blew down the street yesterday - even though the temperature was in the high 80s and it was humid!  In spite of that, the project list is growing and I wanted to share this quick and easy one before I got tied-up with the bigger ones.

I found some old keys and embroidery hoops at the flea market and immediately thought, "Windchime"!
This is a very easy project.  You need keys, a small embroidery hoop, a pen, fishing line, and a lit candle.

I started by deciding how to space the keys (I used 10) around the hoop and marked each spot with a dot from a pen.  I drilled the holes, sanded any rough edges, and was ready for the next step.
I cut a length of fishing line and tied it to each key.  I melted the end in the candle flame to keep the knot from slipping - an old trick that my Dad taught me!
Then, the other end of the fishing line was threaded through a hole drilled in the embroidery hoop, knotted, and melted in the candle flame. Repeat 9 more times. 
I cut 2 more lengths of fishing line, threaded them through opposite holes, lifted them and the windchime.  When it looked balanced, I made a knot and, once again, melted the ends in the flame.  
Done!
Here's a close-up of the keys:

This is an easy project that can be completed in under one hour.  So, the next time you see old keys, grab them!

I also made another one since I bought 20 keys and 2 hoops. 

My husband says I should sell this one.

That's all for today.  I have lots of work waiting for me...it involves scraping, sanding, glazing, and painting.  With the hot weather predicted for today, I think the cool basement sounds like a great place to be!

If you like this project, I hope you'll follow The Apple Street Cottage to see more, and, don't forget to share!

Have a great week and thank you for stopping by the Cottage!


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Friday, September 4, 2015

Raise Your Hand...

...if this is you:
Having some fun on this beautiful Friday.  I hope you'll leave a comment and share this post if this is something you do!  Please take a look around this little blog, the Cottage loves visitors and new friends!

So glad you stopped by - have a great weekend and may you find something awesome on the side of the road!



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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Summer & Fall Collide

It's the end of August and so many wonderful things are happening in the garden...like this:

Don't you just LOVE fresh produce?  My little garden has been good to us this season and I've been able to freeze some of it to enjoy this winter.

My flower gardens are flourishing.  If you remember, the cottage had absolutely no landscaping, so I had a blank slate.  Here are a few glimpses of the flowers:







Then my mum from last fall started to bloom:

And this showed up:

I've been enjoying Summer so much this year that I'm just not ready for Fall yet.  Like it or not, I'm afraid the two seasons are about to collide.  

How about you?  Are you ready for Fall or do you want to squeeze out a few more weeks of Summer?




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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Shutters...No Shutters

With the front door painted a bright, cheery yellow, it was time to paint the shutters and give the cottage a new look, until we took them off and discovered this:

Yes, my friends, that is rotten wood.  The shutters were original to the house and the only thing holding them together was the paint - MANY layers of paint.  It was time for a new plan.  

We could:
  • repair the original shutters - not a viable option.
  • make new wood shutters like the originals - a lot of work.
  • replace the shutters with a vinyl in a similar style.....
...and then we walked across the street and looked at the house.  My husband said, "You know, I kinda like this 'no shutters' look".  I immediately said, "no way!", but then we started to talk about it.  
We both agreed if there would be no shutters, the frame around the windows needed some color.  The shutters were going to be a dark blue, but we both agreed the window frames needed a lighter color. After looking at several paint chips, we decided on this:

Here are a couple of other views:


This story wouldn't be complete without a look at the cottage from when we first saw it:

Before:

After:

My neighbor described it as a "Country Cottage Look".  That's just what we were after.  

As you can see, we've also done a little work on the landscaping.  My husband recontoured the front lawn for better drainage.  Once that was done, I started planting the flower garden.  All of the perennials are off to a great start and I can't wait to see them next summer!

So there you have it. This project ended up being a complete surprise. Just so you know, we are talking about painting the window frames of the other windows and the frame around the side porch door - in case you were wondering!

Tell me what you think - Shutters? or No Shutters?

Thanks for stopping by - have a great week!




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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shut the Front Door!

Everytime I did, I thought, "Man, this thing needs help!" and help it got:
I chose a bright, cheery yellow.
Here's the "before" shot:

If you've been following, you'll remember the rescreening project - which was just the beginning.  You can read that story HERE.  The rest of the door needed some TLC, which is evidenced here:

After scraping and sanding...

Did I mention the scraping?
The driveway was a mess!

After finishing the screen door, the main door also needed some attention.  It didn't need a lot of scraping and sanding, but it did need an update - it was white:

Not anymore!


The transformation is striking, don't you think?

From here, we're moving on to the shutters.  My hubby has been painting the house, so stay tuned for the cottage's new look!

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by!

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