Sunday, January 25, 2009

TOUGH LOVE FOR VIOLETS: USING MY THRIFTY FINDS


Rain on Saturday morning meant no yard sales, the wimps. Even the ad in Craigslist that promised an amazing sale, rain or shine…lied. But that’s okay, we need the rain more than I need more stuff (she said with only the slightest hint of bitterness in her voice).

I'm trying to put my finds to use, so let me show you a few of those. A couple of weeks ago at the First Sale of the Year Extravaganza I picked up a couple of wall racks.

I was able to get the doorknob one mounted on a wall at work, behind the door. No, it is not hung vertically, but I can't get Blogger to load the picture right!


Now when I arrive in the morning I hang up my purse and any wrap I might be wearing. Because my purse is there, I don’t forget the wrap when I go home, which I've done a gazillion times in the past. Does anyone else end up with a whole bunch of sweaters and jackets in their office because you don’t need it in the afternoon? Not a problem in a colder climate, as I recall.

My extremely nice husband took down the towel bar that was in my bathroom and hung the white cabinet thingy for me. I'm liking it.
I no longer wear makeup so my toiletries are minimal, and it's nice that they’re easy to grab. I felt that something more was needed, hence the chickens.


I'm getting the feeling of a grand chicken love story being enacted, narrated by Chicken Socks.

Sometimes I end up using my found treasures, but not in the way I expected. Back in September I got these vases, intending to create some kind of totem for the garden.
Hasn’t happened yet, and my husband (our resident flower arranger) really likes the largest to use as a vase, of all things. A few weeks ago I ran across pictures of terrariums and began thinking about making one. My research indicated that African violets are good candidates, and Saturday when I was doing errands (NOT looking for yard sales in the rain, indeed not!) I stopped in at a local nursery and found absolutely adorable miniatures.

I had some Irish moss left from this project:

This planter came from a yard sale a year or two ago (I remember the husband had to go inside to ask the wife if he could sell it to me at the price I proposed; evidently she said yes). The little tree was part of my Christmas décor, picked up at Trader Joe’s, and the blue glass thingy was originally a handmade glass oil lamp. The wick part had been lost, so I bought it for a quarter. I used a dab of the sticky poster-holding stuff I found a few weeks ago to place a glass pebble over the hole in the lamp to keep water out.



I figured three of these tiny plants would be about right for the largest vase. Nope. Three is about right for three vases! I ended up using one of the smaller vases I bought in September, the bucket shaped one found in November, and a glass block I've had for years.

For now I'm using the recent glass plate as a lid on the round vase.
It's a little too large but gives it a sort of mushroom vibe, don’t you think? And one of these days I'll find a smaller plate to replace it. The other vases will get lids as soon as I cut up this plastic box.
Bought some new undies recently (yes, I actually bought something in a STORE! Don’t be too disappointed in me, it's so hard to find undies any other way.) and I just knew the box would come in handy for something.

So please think good thoughts for my terrariums to help them thrive. Or maybe good thoughts are not really what they need. A year or so ago I was at a moving sale where the lady was selling a whole bunch o’ fabulous African violets. She was asking more for them then I wanted to pay, but I exclaimed over their beauty and we talked for a few minutes. I told her I've never had much luck growing them. “You know,” she said, “these did well for quite a while, and then they all just stopped blooming. Nothing I did seemed to help. Finally, one day I just marched in the kitchen where they all were and told them that they had one month to bloom or I was throwing them all away. And within a month they were all blooming again and haven’t stopped.”

Now, where else but on someone’s driveway on Saturday morning would I ever have learned about tough love for African violets?

10 comments:

  1. Love what you`ve done with your flowers. It all looks so dainty and well put together. Hope you have sunshine next Saturday!

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  2. Threatening the flowers...hmmm, haven't tried that yet! I will be challenging my sweet pea pods this summer and will let you know how it all works out:)

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  3. Awesome post!
    Thank you.
    Miss Lila in Atlanta

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  4. African violets are really easy to grow for the most part. I had one that thrived in my dorm room years ago; he had white flowers and was named Vasili.
    The best place to grow them is either a kitchen window, or a bathroom with a skylight. They need to be around warm damp, and a bit of sunlight! Might be good on a desk at work!

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  5. Your terrarium projects are beautiful. I've been thinking of doing one myself. Maybe I will get to that now.

    I know what you mean about the undies. I broke down and used a Macy's gift card and stocked up on undies and I feel rich! Some things I can't imagine getting from the thrift stores. But have you noticed how many bins of used "lingerie" are in them?

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  6. Love your chickens! As you might have figuered out, I have a bit of love for those feathered friends. The planter you designed is beautiful. I love the pebble path to the oil lamp. You really have an eye for design! I hope I can get busy and actually put some of my finds to good use. You've inspired me - thanks!

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  7. You are so creative...I'm totally jealous that your chickens get to roost on such an adorable cubby!! I love the african violet story....tough love to whip an african violet into shape, wonder if it would work on my camelia?
    I'm so glad I found your blog...love it!

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  8. I too love yard sales. I envy you, you live in California. My friend told me that there was a lot of good stuff at the garage sales there. I love the white shelf you found.

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  9. Amazing finds!! Hello! Great blog, I drop on it often! I started a Ring for dedicated Entrecard bloggers who are dedicated bloggers. Consider joining? :) http://www.ringsurf.com/ring/nr2856/

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  10. Fabulous stories. I sighed though about the rain comment. Think of poor me and the scattered yard sales for 4 months during our rainy season. Makes a thrifters heart sad to even consider. One of my greatest things to look forward to with our impending move is the year around (over all) yard sales. You give me such inspiration.

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I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

 
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