Category Archives: Greener Living

Farmer’s Market One Yard Wonder

My Christmas Present

One of my plans for 2010 is to start a Nowata County Farmer’s Market at the Fairgrounds.  Gardening has always been my passion and therapy. I have also been involved with a series of Economic Development meetings for Nowata City/County and believe that Agritourism is an important aspect of  Nowata’s economy. I have been working on networking and planning since October 2009 for the market. Another page will be added to this blog about the market and keeping everyone updated about the progress.

Vintage Design

My very creative daughter, Holly, made this bag for my Christmas present using a pattern from the book, One Yard Wonders. She used vintage material for her creation.  I love it, love it! Holly and her friend, Audrey, have developed a collaborative creative project, Mama Says Vintage. Please stop by to read their unique blogs.

Rolled Up to Store

The bag rolls up and has a velcro strap to secure. You could store it in your purse or glove compartment or in a milk crate in the back of your mini-van. I have a plastic milk crate that I keep the following items:

  1. cloth shopping bags (from various stores)
  2. newspaper for wrapping my junking finds
  3. a few recycled plastic bags for multiple purposes
  4. a box of baby wipes
  5. hand sanitizer
  6. paper towels
  7. 2 small size quilted moving pads to protect my junking furniture pieces
  8. 3 bottles of water
  9. disposable cups/snacks
  10. a box of various size plastic storage bags

My van hauls grandkids to various activities and always seems to stop at garages sales, estate sales, flea markets, etc. so the above items come in very handy. One never knows when and where one might need any or all of the items. Like maybe on a trip to Tablerock Lake through the ups and downs and curves with a 4 year old sitting in the back seat who got carsick…… which we did not have because we were in Grandad’s truck.

If you are reading this  and live within 40-50 miles from Nowata and are interested in the farmer’s market, please make a comment and I will let you know about the planning meetings, etc.

I will be a fashionista at the Farmer’s Market with my new one-yard bag!

County Fairs and Prairie Wildflowers

County Fairs are so much fun! Delicious food, fantastic exhibits, fun animals and a comforting ambiance. I am going to enter some items into the Nowata County Fair this year. I want to encourage everyone to enter some items in their county fair. The more exhibits in the Fair, the better the Fair. I will be sharing a series of my 2009 county fair exhibits.

My exhibit into Open Class Photography/Adult Division

Plant Life

Oklahoma Prairie Wildflowers

P1010084

Showy Evening Primrose

P1010083

Common Spiderwort

P1010081

Prairie Field of Golden Coreopsis

P1010145

Golden Coreopsis

P1010252

Wavy-leaved Thistle

 The Nowata County Free Fair has a Stick Horse Rodeo and a Pedal Tractor Pull, doesn’t that sound like alot of fun for young and old alike! County Fairs are an integral part of our American heritage. Most county fairs are held at the local fairgrounds and the office may have the fair books or will know where to obtain the books. The booklets provide all the information about the sections, divisions and classes for exhibits. Share some news about your county fair!

Old Junque Art Gardening

Hen & Chicks in Old Enamel Pot
Hen & Chicks in Old Enamel Pot

I love using old pieces of the past in my gardening. I often plant perennial succulents or annuals in old chipped enameled pieces. Be sure and punch a few holes in the bottom before planting or the rain can stand in the pots and cause rotting to occur. Sometimes you can use a big nail and hammer or use a drill with a sharp drill bit to punch holes, this depends upon the condition of the enameled pot.  These old enamel pots and pans can be found in flea markets, antique stores or yard sales. The price can range from WOW to very cheap (a $1 per pot), just shop for those bargains. Gardening Notes: 1. Keep moist in winter. 2. If the temperature drops 20 degrees or below put the pots in a protected place, like a garage or shed.

Perennial Succulent in Green/Beige Enamel Pot
Perennial Succulent in Green/Beige Enamel Pot

I look for unusual items to place in my landscape to add interest and detail. In my new butterfly garden  I put a vintage hand driven cultivator and a red and white enamel dish pan. The cultivator adds some ambiance from the past and provides for a trellis for the recent planted Passion Vine. The dish pan provides water for the birds and butterflies, it needs a unique rock or something for the butterflies to land on to drink.

Butterfly Garden with Cultivator and Dish Pan
Butterfly Garden with Cultivator and Dish Pan

Old rusty iron pieces have a special appeal to me, the bits and pieces remind me of days gone by when they were used by the farmer out in the field or by the farmers wife in the milk house. I have combined a rusty piece (milk separator??) with a vintage tin watering can; both pieces have drought resistant annuals planted in them because of the intense heat of Oklahoma Summers. The rusty planter displays bright pink rose moss and the tin watering can displays multi-colored periwinkles (vinca minor); both are heat and drought tolerant.

My Junque Art
My Junque Art

Old junque art pieces not only add interest to a garden but it also recycles odd bits and pieces that would otherwise end in the trash pile. Our small towns have an abundance of junque art in the yards and gardens. I love to drive around and look at all the ingenuity of fellow gardeners. What a great one day trip! Just go to small towns and look for junque art, take pictures and enjoy lunch at a restaurant with local cuisine. I might just have to take a day trip soon! I know that there are many of you out there that also have found unique pieces of junque art and have used the great finds in creative ways. Please comment and leave a link so we can all share in this joy of junking.

Rose Moss
Rose Moss
Multi-Color Periwinkle

Multi-Color Periwinkle

My Passion for Coffee and Starbucks!

While it is not my usual spendthrift self to spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee, I do love Starbucks! Occasionally, I treat myself to a $5.00 mixed cup of java of the gods, but usually it is just a venti cup of the regular joe. Right now I am sitting in the local Starbucks writing this post and enjoying a lemon tart (Can I hear an amen!) and a venti pikes peak blend. Huge corporations are mostly evil in my view of a perfect world, not all, however, Starbucks seems to be trying to buck the norm. One of the things Starbuck’s offer is big sacks of FREE coffee grounds, which by the way are great for your soil. I try to pick up a sack every week. The bags at my local Starbucks are located by the pick-up area in a bronze bucket. This is great recycling of what comes from the earth going back to the earth.

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

 On May 11, 2009, Starbucks announced a comprehensive summit to attain their goal of 100% recyclable of all their single-use cup by 2012 in all the communities where the stores are located. There are many other environmental aspects to Starbucks vision, visit their site:

BTW, Starbucks have not endorsed my blog or given me money to advertise for them. However, if someone from Starbucks reads this blog entry and wants to send a few coupons my way, that’s okay with me!  I am just trying to share a little of my passion for coffee!! Often when it is my turn to take and pick up Alex at her pre-school, which is twenty miles one way from my house, I spend a couple of hours at Starbucks on the computer. I use the Wi-Fi there to blog, write, answer email, ebaying, etc.
See everyone at Starbucks soon! Until then have a blessed week.

Plastic Bottles……hmmm!

Call it a little nutty, call it alot of crazy but every time I throw a plastic bottle in the trash, I think I need to recycle that bottle! EVERY single dang  time! So I have decided that I will either recycle every plastic bottle I can or make something useful from it. I flashback to  the Indian on the horse by the littered highway with a single tear in his eye! I can’t take it any more! Therefore,

I have researched the topic and have come up with some great ideas for 1 and 2 Liter Pop Bottles:

  1. Make bird feeders next winter from 2 liter pop bottles. There is actually a metal or plastic adapter that will make this extremely easy.
  2. A foot warmer: fill bottle with warm water and roll it back and forth with your feet; that would help my foot cramps also. When the water cools down water your plants.
  3. Make a plastic bag holder or string dispenser from a 2-liter bottle. Cut off the bottom and the top of the bottle and then mount the bottle upside-down with screws (use a washer under the plastic so the screws will not pull through the plastic) inside your cabinet or closet door. Put the plastic bags in the top and pull out the bottom. For a string holder-do not cut off the top and save the lid. Drill a hole in the lid to pull string through the bottle.
  4. Boot & Shoe Dryers: Fill an even number of 2-liter bottles half full of sand (I am a half-full kinda of gal) then put them on either a layer of newspapers or a plastic boot tray by your back door for those muddy, wet boots to dry. And no mess on the rest of your floors.
  5. Shop funnels: A really easy and economic funnel for a variety of uses, such as, filling a car’s radiator or gas tanks on lawn mowers or leftover paint into a smaller glass jar.
  6. Summer fun for the kids: make 3 small (1 1/2 inch) slits in one side of the bottle and attach to the hose for a cool activity on those hot summer days. Attach the bottle to the hose with duct tape or an adapter for hoses.
  7. Save the tops to make a really neat finger pin cushion. The pin cushions make a little extra something for gift giving to those that sew. I will put up the tutorial up in the next several weeks. Very easy!
  8. There is a vintage crochet pattern for making small purses from butter tubs. The same pattern might work for the bottoms of some types of pop bottles, which have smooth tops. I will look for the pattern and share it with those who crochet. Not me!

And please BE CAREFUL when cutting the pop bottles! A rotary cutter is the safest but still very sharp. These suggestions are not for children but adults and only those adults who do not have to have other adult supervision for such crafty work. Leaves me out.

Now how about some more suggestions from those creative and green thinking individuals out there?

I can now sleep at night and my soul can find rest, not having to suffer from guilt for adding to the plastic pop bottle stack that will not decompose in a million, trillion years.

Don’t Have A Big Budget for Clothing?

I have always bought most my clothes (and childrens, also) at resale shops. I recently found some great items! And even if I had lots of cash, I would still never ever pay the prices in the average retail stores. I been known to buy a few “on sale” items from Wal-mart, Target and Cato. 

1. This very red cute dress and it also feels sexy and silky (word?). Bought at Goodwill for $5.99. I have a red chunky necklace/earring set that will look great with this dress. The set is plastic but looks kinda like vintage Bakelite (which was one of the “First Plastics” available).

Apt 9 Red Dress

Apt 9 Red Dress

 

2. A silky and lacy taupe camisole at Goodwill for $2.99. The picture of the camisole makes the color look greenish?

Coldwater Creek Taupe Camisole

Coldwater Creek Taupe Camisole

 3. A very artistic pleated pink and blue blouse at The Bargain Box for $5.99. Looks great with my blue slacks! It hides the 50’s spread, if you will!

Danial Benjamin Artsy Top

Danial Benjamin Artsy Top

 

4. A trendy purple jacket at Goodwill for $5.99. I looked for a sleeveless sweater or camisole to wear under the jacket but could not find one that day at Goodwill. When I drove back to my house, I found a church having a garage sale. My car wheels just automatically turn toward any garage sale sign, I have absolutely no control over my car! I spent a large sum of money there, $4.65.  I found a knit sleeveless sweater in the exact same color as the jacket for a whole .25 cents! I have several skirts that will look nice with this jacket or maybe with just a pair of jeans.

Metro Purple Jacket

Metro Purple Jacket

DO NOT look at the wrinkles! I laid it down in my bedroom with other items, so therefore, the wrinkles.

 5. I have found two very sweet scarves (.25 cents each) at the church garage sale.

.25 cents Scarves

.25 cents Scarves

 6. Last but certainly not least a really great Blue/Green Swirly Silk Dress for $5.99. I am going to look for a small short-sleeve sweater to cover up my upper arms. However, I try not to buy items that need to be dry cleaned. Most of the time even those items can be washed out by hand and hung to dry.

Flfani Blue/Green Silk Dress

Flfani Blue/Green Silk Dress

Locally some of the newspapers have a weekly coupon for Goodwill. The coupons vary but sometimes it is buy one, item get another 50% off. Goodwill also have monthly calendar sheets showing their special sales, etc. The clerks will put one in your sack when you buy something  or you can just pick one up. If there is not a Goodwill in your town, check the bigger cities around where you live. I know of multiple ones within 60 miles.

  • Bartlesville
  • Claremore
  • Owasso
  • Several in Tulsa

Check the locator website: www.locator.goodwill.org

Tulsa Goodwill website: www.goodwilltulsa.org

In our throw away society, at least some people give their no longer used clothes, etc. to places like Goodwill for recycling and a good service. There are other organizations that have resale shops, just check around your town. Ebay is a good place to shop for fashionable clothes, also.

If you live close to me, just call me and we will go “junking” and maybe have lunch. Have  a girls day out!

I also want to hear from you about your great fashion finds, so please leave a comment.

 Until them, my friends, may this day be a good one.

Recycle by Thrifting

Thrifting is one of my passions! Recently, I picked up some household treasures while out thrifting. We live in a house that was built in the 1950’s. When we purchased the house all of the 50’s oak hardwood floors were covered with carpet. We have pulled up the carpet in one room at a time and, so far, we have refinished 2 of the rooms floors. Hardwood floors, while extremely nice, call for a bit of rich warmth found in a area rug. I found the perfect one for just $25.00! Great colors, very plush and probably would have cost about $200 at most home stores. When Ruby first walked on it, she loved the plushy feel underneath her feet and played “fall down” over and over. We laughed and laughed, which of course, inspired Ruby to add more flare to the falling down.

Living RoomRug

Love the detail!

Rug Detail

I have been looking for a mid-century blonde dresser to serve as a buffet for my blonde table set. I finally found a great one for $25.00. The table set has that 40’s look. The table’s sides can be pulled up for a larger table and has two leaves which can be added for a really large table. There are six chairs which are covered in a retro green textured check material.

Table Set

Blonde Chair Set

I picked the table set up at an estate sale about 6 years ago for $75.00. Later, I found a silverware case that match the blonde finish at a sale for $10.00.

Blonde Silverware Case

Opened Silverware Case

This is the $25.00 blonde dresser that became a buffet. The metal on the legs of the table and the dresser match.

Blonde Buffet

I love the designer, Frank Lloyd Wright. I grew up in a town that had a Frank Lloyd Wright skyscraper, Price Tower. It was commissioned by Price Oil Company. The building has been refurbished in the original mid-century design and houses a small museum, hotel and restaurant. I found this modern day lamp that reminds me of Wright’s designs. The lamp was purchased at Goodwill for $6.99.

Wright Inspired Lamp

I bought this art pottery flower pot for .25 cents, it has been broken and glued back but again, I love the classic design. My personal flare for design is very eclectic!

Art Pottery Vase with Plant

This is my entry table vignette atop my husband’s grandmother’s antique singer sewing machine. The only item purchased new was the lamp at Family Dollar Store for $10.00. The remaining items were picked up at various sales and combined to make this arrangement. The purple and green glass balls were once floats for fish nets.

Entry Table

I really loved the way this photo turned out, I call it “An Acre Stilllife”.

An Acre Stilllife

I would really enjoy hearing about your fabulous finds found while out thrifting. Leave your blog link in your comment so we can all share in your pictures and adventures. Why pay top dollar for rugs, furniture, etc. when all can be found for less? Of course, it may take some time to find the right piece. Sometimes different pieces found at different times come together to produce that perfect “look”.