Flower Pressing

During the lockdown and stay-at-home orders, a lot of us suddenly found ourselves with a lot more time at home. A forced slow down. When it comes to art in our lives, we particularly enjoy art that we made ourselves or that was made by a local artist or a friend. We have a couple of lovely small canvases from friends. We have a large digital collection of nature photos and landscapes from our travels and day-to-day life. This spring, we tried pressing flowers, a catmint (catnip) flower and an iris, with mixed results. Pick flowers Allow the flowers to … Continue reading Flower Pressing

Haircuts at Home

A step towards minimalism, inspired by necessity and the pandemic… My husband has been cutting his own hair for years. We already had clippers. I bought a new pair of hair cutting scissors. I wanted a new, sharp pair. My hair is quite long. I had not had a haircut in at least 6 months. In that time, I had started to trim the ends myself. Then my bangs. But overall, I was feeling more and more shaggy. My hair tangled easily and the ends were pretty damaged. I watched YouTube videos and started gathering my courage. Finally, I convinced … Continue reading Haircuts at Home

Foraged: Hickory Nuts

In our area, wild hickory trees are abundant. Like many nut trees, the harvest seems to be somewhat cyclical, with a bumper crop every 2-3 years and more modest crops in between. Unlike many other such trees, hickory trees simply drop all the hickories in autumn. We picked them up a handful at a time over the last few months. They have an outer shell that starts out green, then slowly turns dark brown. When there were several dozen, we used the workbench vise to crack the outer shell and remove it. Next we subjected all the hickories to the … Continue reading Foraged: Hickory Nuts

Indoor Clothesline

Easy project. I bought two different versions of this on Amazon, and ended up keeping both. If we ever move, I would certainly consider an outdoor clothesline or hanger. Not all neighborhoods allow outdoor clotheslines. Also, some climates are very humid and rainy in the summer. We use air conditioning and the indoor air stays quite dry for that reason. This particular project also helps the house stay cooler in summer because I am not running the dryer.  Then we are also not paying for the electricity to run the dryer. Both lines are retractable. So easy. Would you hang … Continue reading Indoor Clothesline

Tinder and Kindling

Less of a project, more of a habit. This post is NOT in reference to the dating app, although that could be interesting. To start a fire: If you have a wood burning fireplace like me, or you just appreciate the fun of a campfire or backyard fire pit, here are a few free ideas for fire starters. Lintbox. Save lint from the clothes dryer and stuff it into an old Kleenex box. I did this growing up. We don’t really buy boxes of tissues very often but this idea gets one more use out of two useless things. (Reduce, … Continue reading Tinder and Kindling

Propagate Pothos Plant

Pothos is one of my favorite plants, both as a houseplant and outside in our planters during the summer! The best part is I haven’t had to buy a new plant in years because it is so easy to propagate from cuttings. Benefits: indoors, it purifies the air. Having houseplants in a room with musical instruments can help to naturally regulate the humidity in the room. Outdoors as far as I know it just looks pretty. Watch out for: if you have animals or kiddos that like to try tasting your plants then this one is safest out of reach. … Continue reading Propagate Pothos Plant

Paint the Laundry Room

It’s amazing what a difference a fresh coat of paint can make. I wish I had taken more before pictures of our home, in general. It started out pretty rough. Suffice to say, the laundry room started out as a deep pink or mauve color. I didn’t hate the color but it definitely was overpowering. Then last summer the AC broke resulting in a flood of water that took out a section of the ceiling which then had to be replaced. The ceiling had been painted gray and I knew matching the faded gray exactly would be almost impossible. Almost … Continue reading Paint the Laundry Room

Start Seedlings

This is so easy. Even I can do it! In temperate climates it is well worth starting tomatoes, peppers, and basil indoors to maximize the growing season. A packet of seeds is usually $1-3 and if the seedlings fail you can always buy seedlings, which are usually only $3-8 each. This year I decided on a couple of different tomato varieties, a mild jalapeño pepper, and of course summer basil. The basil will truly last all summer if you cut the tops before it flowers. It helps to have a grow light, but isn’t necessary. If the seedlings get too … Continue reading Start Seedlings

Finding the right hobbies

Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation Dictionary.com Time is a finite resource. No one knows how much they will have. Some people disagree with the concept of spending or wasting time, especially if it is your time they are wasting. I do not think a hobby is a waste of time, if it brings enjoyment. I do think it is important to spend time in ways that have value. Recently, I read Early Retirement Extreme (here on Amazon or free at the library). I particularly liked the idea of useful … Continue reading Finding the right hobbies

How to Start a Project

Define Your Goal Think about what you want to accomplish. For some people, it helps to write down a few words or even make a Pinterest board to gather inspiration. Narrow your goal down to a short phrase, not more than 3-4 words. Write Your List Write down the specific tasks that need to be accomplished to reach your goal. Keep it simple. Break each task down into steps that are small enough to be attainable. You may realize that you aren’t sure of all the steps. This is the time to do some research! Plan Your Time It is … Continue reading How to Start a Project