Monthly Archives: March 2013

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting from Farmhouse38In preparation for our Easter festivities this Sunday, I whipped up this easy, no-sew, fabric bunting to stretch over our outdoor dining area.  Everything’s better with bunting, right?  All you need is rope (I chose a rustic-looking jute variety straight off the shelf from Home Depot), and one inch wide scraps of colorful fabric (I used quilting fabric).  Oh, and to get a little sparkle, I also added chandelier crystals every so often.

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting from Farmhouse38

Choosing colors at random, I tied the swatches of fabric every six inches or so (the fabric scraps were approximately eight inches long each), but I certainly did not try to make them perfectly spaced–symmetry is overrated.  I just tied a single knot.  Good enough.  That rope is grippy.

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting from Farmhouse38

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting from Farmhouse38

Then, every few feet (again, never measuring perfectly), I attached a crystal with fine wire.

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting from Farmhouse38

I wish I had video of these little pretties fluttering in the breeze….they look like little birds, and the chandelier crystals bounce some lovely sparkle around the yard.

No-Sew Scrap Fabric Bunting from Farmhouse38

I’m thinking that after the party on Sunday….the bunting stays.  Me likey.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

As part of the decor for our upcoming Easter party, I created this sweet little wreath.  It sticks nicely to our ‘rustic with a bit of glitter’ decor theme for the party; a natural twig craft store wreath is a great backdrop for a touch of golden sparkle, don’t you think?

The egg flowers are the only tricky thing about this, but they are actually pretty forgiving to make.

Start with your raw eggs (I wanted five blossoms so I did five eggs), and, using a butter knife, crack them anywhere from about halfway to three quarters of the way up to the pointy end (depending on how tall you want your ‘blossom’, I actually cracked each of my five at different points on the egg–some shorter, some taller.)  Use a knife because you want a controlled crack.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

Separate the two ‘halves’ of the eggshell, and catch your egg guts….breakfast!!

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

It isn’t going to be a perfect, clean break–there is going to be some shattering….don’t worry.  Use the bigger, lower half of the eggshell as the center of your blossom, but save the smaller, upper part to use later on as a petal.

Carefully snap bits of the raw edge of the ‘blossom center’ to shape it and give it sort of an irregular edge (this also allows you to remove some of the shattered pieces and clean it up a bit).  Leave as much of the inner membrane of the egg in tact–this helps strengthen it.  If your shell breaks a bit, don’t worry about it too much.  As long as that inner membrane is still there, it will still work, and the paint will help hold it all together.  As for the ‘tops’ (the pointy ends of the egg), break them in halves and thirds to make some various sized ‘petals’.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

Rinse all eggshell pieces and let them dry.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath

Now, pick your paint colors.  I wanted a peachy pink, and I decided to paint the interior sides of the shells the fully saturated color, while watering down the same color to paint the exterior of the shells.  This gave it a streaky, water-colored look that I found rather pleasing.

Eggshell Peony Wreath from Farmhouse38

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath

Let all bits and pieces thoroughly dry, and then warm up your glue gun.  Choose your center piece and decide how many ‘petals’ you want it to have (two of my blossoms I left petal-less to simulate buds), and then select 3-5 petals for each blossom.  Carefully glue them on one at a time, adhering one tip of the petal to the bottom side of the center eggshell; you’ll have to really gob the glue on there to get the petals to sit at an ‘open’ angle, which requires you to hold it still until the glue is completely set.  It’s pretty easy to hold it still in one hand and navigate through Facebook with the other while you’re waiting.  Trust me.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

When you’ve got enough petals on, and they have set completely, glue in your center pom-pom.  I selected these yellow/gold craft store pom-poms because they have little sparkly bits, and the yellow ones looked like pretty decent peony centers.  Also, they kind of remind me of little seed pods or something, so I integrated them into the rest of the wreath. But for now, just glue one into the center of the flower.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

Next, I hot-glued the peony blossoms where I wanted them on the wreath form–again, over-glue.  Really get them good and stuck.  I then embellished the wreath with some craft store leaves that I had lightly dusted with gold spray paint, as well as more of the pom-poms in various sizes.

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

The peachy-pink of the flowers looks especially chipper against the orange of the Farmhouse front door!

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

Eggshell Peony Easter Wreath from Farmhouse38

That’s it!  Happy Easter everyone!

Trying Natural Egg Dyeing

Natural Egg Dyeing from Farmhouse38

I’ve been lusting after the gorgeous colors of naturally-dyed Easter eggs for quite some time now; there is something poetically lovely about the gentle colors that result from vegetables and spices.  I must admit, however, that I was overwhelmed when I first started studying recipes.  There are many, many different methods, so I decided to sample a little from here, a little from there.  Primarily, I relied on the recipes from Lakewinds.com, as well as those found at wholefoodsmarket.com.  But, I am a self-professed fiddler, so I did not leave well enough alone.

Before we begin, a few notes….a lot of recipes out there seem to call for letting these mixtures sit and marinate overnight (most times in the fridge) before you even do any egg dyeing.  I didn’t do this.  I’m impatient.  But I can see how this might be a good thing, especially if you plan to do this project with kids–the prep process is tiiiiiiiiiiiiime consuming–not gonna lie.  Let those mixtures get super-saturated.  Can’t hurt.  Another note: some recipes call for straining the solids out of the mixture before dyeing.  I also didn’t do this….this may yield more uniform coloring, with less ‘marbling’ (when there are material particles in there with your eggs, they tend to stick and create a marbled look–which is kind of cool….depends on what you’re going for).  Finally, it seems to me that any vegetable materials seem to work best the more finely they are minced–I ultimately decided to pulverize everything in my mini-Cuiz (food processor).  The more you beat the vegetable up, the more juice comes out.  It’s science.

Notes complete.

Behold the chaos:

Natural Easter Egg Dye by Farmhouse38

Don’t think for one second that I didn’t start fantasizing about cocktails….but there’s something inherently unappetizing about cabbage, beets, turmeric, vinegar, and eggs….what am I saying? I’m sure there’s a cocktail to be found in there, somewhere.

Reds, Pinks, Magentas, Maroons, and Everything in Between:

Natural Egg Dyes by Farmhouse38

Beets!  I saw many variations on beet quantity, but after much trial and error, I arrived at the following concoction:

6 tablespoons finely chopped beets

2 cups boiling water

2 teaspoons white vinegar

Toss the beet pulp into your container, pour the boiling water over, add your vinegar, and give it a good stir.  Let it cool off before putting your eggs in.  I know it completely defies logic, but the longer you leave the egg in the mixture, the deeper the color.  Your mind is blown, right?  The beet coloring gets to work pretty quick; you don’t have to leave the egg in long for a lovely, soft pink color.  Also, fyi, brown eggs look pretty great with this coloring on them (the two darkest eggs above are brown eggs, the rest white).

Buttery Yellows:

Natural Egg Dyeing by Farmhouse38

Turmeric!  This one is so easy and quick and effective.  That stuff stains fast–mind your spills!

3-4 teaspoons turmeric powder

2 cups boiling water

2 teaspoons white vinegar

Mix it all up, and once it’s cooled a bit, drop in your eggs.  If you want light yellow, take your egg out almost immediately.

Shades of Blue:

Natural Egg Dyes from Farmhouse38

-To achieve a robin’s egg blue, you use red cabbage.  This is one that takes a long time to get a good saturated color–many recipes recommend letting the eggs steep overnight in the mixture.  I let mine sit for for a few hours and that seemed to achieve a pretty good result (in photo, top left two eggs, and bottom right).

8 tablespoons finely chopped red cabbage

2 cups boiling water

2 teaspoons white vinegar

Same process as usual: combine all ingredients in container, let cool, drop in your eggs and wait until desired color level is achieved.

-To a get the greyish-blue (and sometimes a bit brownish) color, you use blueberries.  This is one that I fiddled around with the size of the chop on–at first, I just smashed the berries each between my fingers, and this resulted in the top right and bottom center eggs–it gave a little brown marble to the eggs that I kind of dig.  On a second batch, I finely processed the berries, and this resulted in the upper center and lower left eggs.  If I had strained either mixture, there probably would have been no speckling or marbling of the colors.

1 cup fresh blueberries (either mashed or finely chopped)

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Mix it all up as per usual, and drop in your eggs when the mixture has cooled.

Orangey, Peachy, Coppery Tones:

Natural Egg Dyes by Farmhouse38

Yellow onion skins.

2 generous handfuls of dry onion skins

2 cups water

2 teaspoons white vinegar

The method’s a little different on this one.  In a saucepan, combine the water and the skins until it boils, turn the heat way down and simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain the skins and add the vinegar to the leftover dye mix–once cool, drop in your eggs until desire color is achieved.  The dark coppery egg is one that I completely forgot about and left in for several hours.

Various Shades of Green:

Natural Egg Dyes by Farmhouse38

Green is the tricky one.  I fiddled a lot with this and have several different methods to achieve various shades.

-Red onion skins: prepare this mixture exactly like the yellow skins were prepared.  This resulted in the right two eggs in the photo….kind of perhaps, a khaki-ish green?  I would barely classify this as green, but hey, still kind of a cool color.

-Spinach: This resulted in the very, very pale celadon egg in the center of the photo.

1 cup of fresh spinach leaves, finely minced

2 cups boiling water

2 teaspoons white vinegar

Mix all ingredients together, let cool, then submerge egg.  The color takes a long time to come up….be patient.

-Red cabbage and turmeric: mix up your dye as you would for the robin’s egg blue, but add a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder to it.  This method resulted in the top left three eggs: a very vibrant yellow-green.  This look can also be achieved by taking an already dyed robins-egg-blue egg and dropping it in a turmeric dye mixture.

-Blueberry egg dropped in turmeric mixture: this is the bottom, lone egg in the photo.  I thought this was the most ‘green’ of the bunch.  This was achieved by taking an already dyed blueberry egg and dropping it briefly into a turmeric dye mixture.

Lavender/purple was a big flop for me.  I tried the grape juice method mentioned in the Lakewinds.com recipe list and found it to be lacking.  What was also lacking?  Time for me to continue experimenting.  I feel that taking a beet-dyed pink or red egg and dropping it in the red cabbage or blueberry dyes (or visa versa) would produce a pretty good purple.  But I didn’t get around to this, so it’s just my best guess.

All in all, it was pretty fun to do, and the result wasn’t too shabby.  I am, by no means, a professional egg-dyer, so take my methods with a grain of salt.  There is definitely some recipe tweaking left to do!

Natural Egg Dyes by Farmhouse38

The house reeks of cabbage and turmeric, but I just can’t complain.

Natural Egg Dyes by Farmhouse38

Come on….those are some pretty eggs right there!!!

Two DIY UpCycled Flower Vases

Tiny Flower Vases from Farmhouse38

Thought I’d share these two quick, up-cycled flower vase ideas.  The first (pictured above) is a fun little dose of cuteness.  These are leftover essential oil vials and, when tied off with a bit of baker’s twine, they make pretty adorable vases….especially when holding a single, tiny blossom like these chamomile flowers.

DIY Upcycled Flower Vases from Farmhouse38

Yup. That was once a can of dog food.

I love using tin cans as vases; this one has been dressed up with a quick lace collar that is just tacked on with a bit of hot glue.  Doesn’t hurt it’s loveliness factor to fill it up with a jumble of glorious fresh freesia (and yes, a bit of chamomile in this one, as well).  So simple!

That is all!  Carry on!  🙂

Chalkboard Plant Markers from Old Gift Cards

Chalkboard Plant Markers from Old Gift Cards via Farmhouse38

Do you ever feel bad about throwing away your old gift cards and club cards?  Is it just me?  Well, so, I didn’t chuck them.  I kept them like a total nutjob because I thought, “These could be used for something.”

Plant Markers from Old Gift Cards via Farmhouse38

I’m a crazy person.

I finally figured out what that something is!  With a coat of chalkboard spray paint, they are magically transformed into mini chalkboards.  Go figure.  Re-purpose a plastic fork (also hit with chalkboard paint to match) as a holder, and use a white grease pencil (more weatherproof than chalk) to mark and decorate it.  It’s that simple.

Plant Markers from Old Gift Cards via Farmhouse38

My trusty grease pencil. Laying on a rug that is shamefully full of dog hair. Look away!

Chalkboard Plant Markers from Old Gift Cards via Farmhouse38

Stick that fork in the ground– it’s done!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Farmhouse38

The First-EVER Farmhouse38 Giveaway

A Charming Giveaway from Farmhouse38

I am so excited to be dipping my toes into the wonderful world of giveaways, and I cannot think of a better prize than these exquisite little charms from Charmed by Heidi.  Each one is a hand-painted original, and so tiny, and so perfect that they completely defy logic!  I just love them!  Two lucky winners will be selected, and each winner will win one of these two custom chicken portrait charm necklaces (one is Millie, and one is Eloise, for anyone who is wondering!)

The rules of the contest are simple….follow the link below and be sure to like Farmhouse38 on Facebook, as well as sign up to follow the Farmhouse38 blog, and you will be entered.  To gain bonus entries, like Charmed by Heidi on Facebook, follow Farmhouse38 on Twitter, and follow Farmhouse38 on Pinterest.  You’ll be granted an additional entry for each.  Also, if you’d like to just bypass all this hoopla and go and buy one of these adorable necklaces, check out the Charmed by Heidi Etsy shop.

The contest opens today, March 7th, 2013, and closes at the stroke of midnight Monday, March 11, 2013.  The winners will be selected at random on Monday, March 11, 2013, and will be notified as soon as possible.  If you do not claim your prize within 7 days of the winner announcement, I will be forced to select and notify another winner.

Let’s do this!!!  Click the following link to enter:

Enter A Charming Giveaway

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