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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bucket Dollar Tree List

We've been busy with an odd assortment of things around here.
Like taking self-portrait photo bombs of that last 10 pounds that needs to 
come off my 51 year old butt.
Like deciding if I'm really thin enough to legally wear plaid.
Smidgeon is working on talking me out of it.
I rarely take fashion advice from a Feline Overlord that wears that much eyeliner.
Trampy little cat.
There's a reason you're fixed.
We had a classic Memorial Day feast.
By classic, I mean there were also homemade black bean burgers for the vegetarians.
We'll call this a George Washington.
Somehow, a Napoleon just seems wrong for a patriotic dessert. 
While making up a couple batches of my killer gumbo,
I decided to try a little trick I've seen online.
And yes, celery does regrow.
See that green popping up in the center?
The future cradle of post-calculus class peanut butter.
The trash from a fresh fruit salad led to new plants.
Honeydew, anyone?
My heirloom yellow pear tomatoes loved their new home...
...a rusted ornate table base sprayed aqua and topped with a salvaged brass sundial.
The Dollar Tree has some fun things right now,
like these solar lights disguised as rocks.
What a great way to add just a touch of light to a raised bed.
These guys made me all tingly.
Don't be deceived by their innocent appearance-
they're hanging planter hooks.
The heck with plain metal, bring on the load-bearing seahorses!
But my favorite steal by far are these brightly hued sand buckets
with rope handles.
They're sturdy.
They're classic.
And if you drill a few holes in the bottoms,
they're my new favorite planters!
Don't put any pressure on the drill;
let the bit do all the work and you won't crack the plastic.
I'm not sure what we were trying to show you with this shot...
"This clearly illustrates the difference between holes and no holes."
Sometimes, I even confuse myself.
Fill the bucket with dirt.
A layer of packing peanuts on the bottom will help with drainage
and lighten it up, which is good if you're hanging them,
which we are.
Let's add a little shot of foliage to this soiree.
Plant something.
Hang it.
I really like the playful, beachy look.
Think how these would look as centerpieces for a luau.
For a dollar, they sure beat those dark green plastic bowls most hanging
arrangements come in.
Grab $6 and go Summer up the patio.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Schoooooooool's Out for SUMMER!

The end of the school year is upon us, and there is much joy and celebration!
Sure, your kids are happy.
 But I was talking about the teachers.
You guys all know that Sam teaches 7th grade math, right?
I think that explains why he's still eager to come home every night after 24 years.
One of his coworkers is retiring this year, so of course I put together a little something.
This would make a very nice teacher gift to mark the end of the year as well.
First, start with a straw bag from The Dollar Spot at Target for $2.50.
 These are actually sturdy, although less than attractive.
 For that, we'll need a trip to The Dollar Store.
Accompanying beverage of choice: Strawberry Lemonade.
And a little odd usage of the wristlets that came with the following lei...
 Take an inexpensive lei set that includes wristlets and a headband.
Cut the lei into two pieces the length of the straps.
 Then you simply eat the silk flowers hot glue the flowers to the 
handles of the bag.
 It's a good idea to arm them with weapons that will make it through a metal detector.
 Prepare to get your child back wet.
 These little coconuts come in a variety of colors and are great for 
any libation. The lid will keep it sand free.
Plus the matching hibiscus on top is just cute.
 Cheap, classic shades are a must.
I actually wear these all the time.
You didn't think I had $300 sunglasses, did you?
What would a beach bag be without flip flops?
But this brand of plain will never do. 
 The Dollar Tree fortuitously also has hibiscus bushes.
 Tie two blossoms together with elastic cord,
then tie them to the toe-separating thingy.
Yes, that IS the proper name.
Do not question The Redhead.
Once you have tied the flowers on,
 hit them with a big mess of hot glue.
 We don't want these coming apart like the cheap footwear they are.
 Pedalicious glamor.
Don't Google pedalicious; I totally made it up.
 Tuck it all in the bag with grand flair,
displaying the goodies.
 Have the best parts showing.
Tuck the Wayfarer wannabes dangling from the bag for panache.
 Tuck the toys so they are easily identifiable.
Slingshots are tricky.
Also tuck the change from your $10 back in your pocket.
This cost a whopping $9.50.
Spring for suntan lotion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Real Dirt Bike

A miracle has occurred here at Chateau Inferno!
 The Minions cleaned the carport out.
 And it's funny the things you find when you undertake a task of
such monumental proportions-
 How about a bike no one has straddled since the early 90's?
I split my knee open playing women's rugby in college
(I was a hooker; feel free to amuse yourselves with that one),
and by my 30's, pedaling was off the activity menu.
So what do we do with a 30 year old unrideable bicycle that hasn't been maintained...ever?
Around here, we spray paint it!
Take that rusty mess out into the yard...
...and give it a good hosing and a scrub to remove loose debris.
And other unidentified weird stuff.
 Lay the bike on a tarp and give it light coats of Rustoleum Gloss Key Lime Green
all over until the whole thing is a uniform color.
This gives it more of a backdrop feel, which is what we want for 
this project.
Thom and I then took the bike out front and chose a small accent
garden to nestle it in.

 I then beat Thom thoroughly with a length of light duty chain.
 Okay, actually, we used the chain to secure the bike to the tree.
  Pad lock.
So the bike will be here tomorrow.
 Remove the excess chain.
Now let's start with the real fun.
 This looks kitschy enough, but what do you say we add...
 ...a hanging basket with sweet potato vine that matches the 
color spilling over it, and bright multicolored portulaca
to add pizzazz when they fill in?
Not enough, you say?
To The Dollar Tree!!!
Grab some containers of choice and drill drainage holes
in the bottom, then fill them with soil and blooms.
 We wired a locker bin to the handlebars, resting it on the front tire.
 Heavy wire will keep it stable and secure.
Unlike me.
 Is that enough for us?
Be serious.
 We had to go and add a tote to the back.
 This was wired through the holes in the side and again 
through the handle.
It's not going ANYWHERE.
 Now we have the effect we want!
This is facing Mom's window to give her a prettier view,
and since the whole shebang rang up at $10,
I'd say we salvaged an unsaveable bike in 
bright, tropical style.

Now go clean the garage.