Gardeners can be a picky bunch (I know — I fancy myself one). You run the risk of buying a tool they already have or a plant that’s difficult to grow. Maybe these ideas will help — I wouldn’t mind getting a few myself. — Mary T.
Vintage flower pot — Pick a cheerful pot like this Etsy find and you’ll give the gardener a pretty inspiration that makes her think of spring. The best part is, you might score a couple on a trip to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
The Weekend Garden Guide — This is the book that got me into gardening, a chunky paperback with beautiful photos for inspiration paired with a no-nonsense approach to gardening for people who have things like jobs and lives. It’s out of print, but you can find many copies at Alibris for just 99 cents!
Rosemary tree – I picked up one of these at Whole Foods last week for under ten dollars, and I’ve seen them at a few other supermarkets as well. Not only are these extremely cute on the table or countertop, the recipient can pop them in the ground and use the fragrant herbs year-round.
Classic Pruner – Did I say we can be picky about tools? You really can’t go wrong with a pruner like the Felco #8. It’s the kind of tool you need for everything, so an extra comes in handy. And the festive red color is a happy bonus.
Raised bed kit — A complete raised bed kit with fancy composite wood can be pricey. How about some joists that will run you about $30 and a few small cuts of lumber? You can sweeten the gift by offering to help assemble it come spring.
Rosemary tree photo via The Kitchn.
Well, the geniuses at Google have done it again. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than the commemorative Pac-Man doodle, they’ve developed www.teachparentstech.org, a website that allows users to send “tech care packages” to their parents (or anyone, presumably) containing video tutorials detailing processes in categories ranging from The Basics (copy & paste) to Media and Communications (making calls from your computer). The site encloses the chosen videos with campy care package text to seal the deal. Snarky? Absolutely, but also a very useful idea. There are a few items on here I’ll be sharing with my parents, and admittedly, a few I’m pretty jazzed to be learning myself. Is there a BCC option? –Sarah C
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
We firmly believe in being your own handyman. Whether it’s installing our own back splash tile in the kitchen, renovating our backyard deck or giving a staircase a ombre hue, we regularly roll-up our sleeves and tackle little projects all over our homes. Sometimes things go wrong. Paints drip on the floor. Tiles dry crookedly. Equipment gets rusty. We pull our hair out. No one is happy.
Luckily, there’s a little help to be found via Vine and these handy D.I.Y. videos produced by Lowe’s. The wonderful thing about Vine is that the videos are super short — 6 seconds! — and loop over and over. So if you miss something the first time, don’t sweat it, you can catch the second or third time around. Here are six cool tricks we learned from watching these Vines — though if you start playing around on the social network’s app you’ll find many, many more.
Six Handy Tricks We Learned From Lowe’s Vine Videos:
1. Potatoes aren’t just for dinner — or making crafty stamps! The next time you are dealing with a broken lightbulb in lamp, use a potato to unscrew it without risking a finger cut.
2. Rubber bands have many uses (besides being woven into colorful bracelets for grade-schoolers). You can use them to catch paint drips from a can, or twist out a stripped down screw.
3. For your next colorful paint project, don’t mess with a new paint tray for each color. Simply line your old ones in aluminum foil and reuse.
4. Take the guesswork out of picture hanging. A piece of tape can help measure the distance between holes and get things picture perfect.
5. You don’t need luck to make your tiles line up perfectly. Pennies placed in between the rows of tiles will do the trick until they dry nicely.
6. What could be more dull than a rusty knife? Dip your cutters in some lemon juice for 15 minutes and see how they shine.
Have you discovered any great DIY Vine videos? Let us know and we’ll feature them on Shelterrific!
This is a sponsored post.
Even though our team is no longer in the running, it’s still fun to keep up with what’s going on in the Re-Energized By Design competition. This week, the remaining three teams made over their laundry rooms.
In addition to $500 and energy efficient lighting from GE, the homeowners each received an brand new set of Frigidaire Affinity laundry equipment. These are not your average high-efficiency washers & dryers — this is serious technology in action here. The Affinity dryer will dry a full load in less than 30 minutes, and the washer features allergen reduction and sanitizing features along with having the highest energy star rating. And aesthetically they please, too (though I have to wonder why no one picked the red option).
Love what those scrappy Sayers did in their space with that upcycled laundry drum light fixture. Their creative approach is always surprising, and will be tough to beat in the final round. In the end, the Mendes family’s pastel laundry room didn’t make the cut — that leaves the Sayers and the Reillys to duke it out in the kitchen challenge! who do you think will win?!
This is a sponsored post.
What is Re-Energized by Design, you ask? Well, it is an awesome web series that Shelterrific is excited to be participating in — produced by Puget Sound Energy, it’s all about incorporating energy efficiency into home design. The challenge is this: six teams of homeowners are paired with design coaches and together they compete to re-design 5 rooms with a focus on saving energy with a small budget. Cameras are documenting each leg of the challenge, and with every room one team gets the boot! The prizes are great: a home full of new LED and CFL lightbulbs from GE, a full suite of kitchen and laundry appliances from Frigidaire, and $5000.
I was fortunate to be paired with the Bedford family, who are just delightful. Kristen and her husband Slade have a great contemporary house, fun design aesthetic, and are really willing to completely put themselves into every challenge. This experience for me has literally been re-energizing to me as well, ending a year-long creative rut and getting me back into blogging and crafting and having fun again. I can’t wait to share what we’ve created together.
But as of today, I won’t have to wait much longer, as the first webisode is available at 6am PST at the Re-Energized By Design site — this week’s is an introduction to all the contestants. And stay tuned each week as we reveal another webisode. Also be sure to go to the Re-Energized page on Facebook, where you can enter to win a new Frigidaire appliance like those featured in the challenge!
I had an unfortunate accident happen a few weeks ago. The hanging wire on my beloved dining room mirror gave out, and the mirror slid down the wall and crashed onto the floor. Luckily the frame took the brunt of the impact and the mirror only cracked â€“ not shattered – into 2 pieces.
The price for getting a new mirror cut to fit the frame was exorbitant, so instead I brainstormed some ways to salvage the cracked pieces. Since the wall behind the mirror is covered with maps, I decided to let the crack help me integrate both the mirror and the wall coverings into a single piece of artwork. I used blue painters tape (perfect color!) and created a sort of abstract river covering the crack and extending onto the walls. I intend to have it branch above the frame as soon as I can locate a ladder to reach that high! What do you think? Iâ€™m pretty sure this technique would also work with vinyl wall decals as well. And the crack could easily become a climbing vine, garland, tree branch, or lightning bolt, depending on your taste and wall color.
Other options I came up with were to cover the crack with cut-out sections of maps or photos of places I had visited or use a mirror patina to age the mirror and make the crack less noticeable. What would you do? â€“Rebecca F.
Back in the end of 2009, I was all about Snow & Grahamâ€™s big, beautiful wall calendar. Now, Iâ€™m excited for a particularly bright, shiny new year and am looking for the calendar to match. In the year calendar department, Iâ€™m swooning over the 2011 Antonia Calendar by Michelle Armas, At $30, it doubles as a signed piece of art when the year is done. The Places I Have Never Been Calendar, $25 at JHillDesign entertains flights of fancy with vibrant patterns inspired by the designerâ€™s imaginary vacations, and includes a note about the destination and inspiration of the print for each month, while Flora Douvilleâ€™s watercolor calendar, $16, is a subtle yet stunning take on color. What do you think, readers? Any front runners in your calendar hunt? –Sarah C.
It’s not that I’m worried about catching a dread disease from my toothbrush — I’m really not, even though the video on this page from the Rachael Ray show talks about the “germy droplets” that can fly onto your toothbrush if it’s stored near the toilet. (This is part of the reason mine lives inside the medicine cabinet.) But hey, I haven’t done all the research, and I have to admit these Zapi toothbrush sanitizers — they do their work with UV light — are just cute as heck to look at, and only $30. Check out ZapiPOP — like a happy Humpty Dumpty! And who wouldn’t want the help of a ninja in fighting germs? You can find them all at Violight. — Mary T.