For the love of Succulents and Cacti

It’s been a bit, but wanted to chime in quickly on something unrelated to upcycling, diys, or crafting. I wanted to share my new collection that I started this late spring/early summer. I started collecting succulents and some cacti. I truly love these plants. They are really my kind of plant. They are quite resilient. You don’t have to pay attention to them much just water them every 2 weeks or so and that’s about it. On occasion, you would need to transplant them into a bigger pot to allow them to grow more. They are just perfect plants for my not so green thumbs me.

I’ve always loved these types of plants. They remind me of the desert which I love. I love hot dry heat. Perfect for me. I’ve always told myself that I would retire somewhere either in Arizona or New Mexico. That would be perfect for me. Or being by the beach is not too shabby either.

So here are some shots of my collection. I really love how it’s grown in the last month alone.

I just love them. They have such unique styles and looks. Now these are just some that I have, but I do have more. Below are ones that are my favorite succulents.

These are my favorite. I am so drawn to them. Love the colors. The cluster of succulents in a pot was a birthday gift to me from my mother in law. It is so pretty. I really enjoy it and have it on our outside patio table. It’s a great collection so far and I would love to add more.

I have some pictures of some cacti that I am adding to this group. Here they are.

These are so fun. I really want to get more. I love the spiky prickly ones. I can’t wait to see them grow.

So as you can see I have a great start to my collection. I am sure I will be adding more as I find them at my neighboring stores. Till then stay tuned and I will keep you posted.

Janette

Who loves candles? I do!

Candles. I love candles! I love the good smelling ones. I don’t think I’m a total candle snob where I only buy certain kinds or certain brands. There are ones that I favor more than others, but for the most part I buy the one that I like. I think I am the same for most candle lovers that I pick the ones that smell good to me. I do lean more towards vanilla scents and lovely light scents. Nothing too strong with floral scents or musky scents. Really nothing too strong.

Currently I have several candles that I love to light up every so often. I buy some and use them up. Unfortunately the wick gets too short making it hard to stay lit. That makes me so mad. There is still some wax that remains. It seams such a waste to just throw it away. I just want to keep enjoying the lovely scent it gives.

Well I remember a while ago, seeing a pin from Pinterest, about how someone reused the leftover candle wax and made smaller candles. I thought this was a great idea and a fun little craft project to do. Such a great way to enjoy the wonderful smells from the candles a little bit longer.

So I grabbed my candles for the project and got my supplies together. Recently I acquired some small sized mason jars (jam or jelly jars) and I grabbed them. I then remember I had some candle wicks that I purchased a while back to use. I also had some sticky dots that I can use to adhere the wicks to the jars.

Here are some of the used candles that I wanted to use. The ones that I really wanted to savor a bit longer.

Now the votives above are just fine as they are but, I really wanted to combine them to make one candle of similar scents. I really do love the way they smell. I hope to enjoy them as I put them in a mason jar and have them in my room.

To start I boiled some water in a big pot. Once it boiled, I lowered the heat and put the candles in the pot to melt them down. During this time, I prepared the mason jars with the candle wicks.

Once the wax melted, I removed the old wicks and poured the wax in the mason jars. I didn’t have enough to fill a whole jar, but that will be fine by me. In fact, I mix two of the old candles into one jar. It gives it a bit of color. I think they turned out great.

See nothing perfect but, it will do the job. As for the votives above, I needed to chop them up so they were able to melt quickly. Once they were melted I poured them in the jar.

So here are the candles that I made. There are pretty descent considering it was my first time reusing candles. It was a good experience and I would do it again.

So keep an eye out for the next post. Who knows what crafty project I will do next.

Janette

Lampshade Change Up

Oh my goodness it’s been a while. The last couple of weeks went by quickly. I have been busy with a couple of projects and buying a few things for more projects to work on. This one particular project that I will talk about covers both upcycling an item (which I try to do as much as possible) and macrame (a new love). This is an upcycle project that I’ve been wanting to do, but didn’t know exactly the direction I wanted to take it. Then I finally figured something out and it includes my new hobby.

So below is a picture of what I started with.

This was a lampshade from a lamp that I purchased last year at a garage sale. I liked the lamp based but didn’t really care for the shade.

I didn’t really like the shade. I know it would be easier to just purchase a new shade but I wanted to include my new hobby, macrame. So I gutted out the shade. It was double sided on outside and inside of the shade frame. Gutting it out was somewhat challenging but I got it all off.

On Pinterest and Instagram, I saw many examples and posts of macrame lampshades. There are so many great ideas. Such variety of styles and looks to make. I found I believe a 9mm 3-ply rope at my local dollar store. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe they are starting to carry this particular item. I was so excited and grabbed a few. So I cut a piece of that chunky rope and hot glued it to the top rim of the shade. I then used my 3mm 3-ply cord and strung it around the top portion of the shade. Below are some pictures of what I did.

My next step was to cut out several pieces of my 3mm 3-ply cord that was about 3-4 times the length of the lamp shade. (The length will depend on the kind of detail you want on the macrame. If it is a design with lots of detail, then you should add more cord length before cutting pieces.) I did a Lark’s Head knot on each cord piece and tied enough to go all the way around. Below is picture of what I did.

Once I did that, created a design that was simple enough to make and multiplied it around the shade. I used Diagonal Clove Hitch knots, Square knots, and Overhand knots. I then tied the cords to the bottom of the shade. Below are some pictures of what I did.

To finish things off, I added more cord using Lark’s Head knots all around the bottom rim of the shade. I cut off the cord unevenly and frayed the ends off to give it a flowing and finished look. Below is a picture of this step.

I think it turned out great. I love how it turned out. Now the lamp has a whole new look. I also changed the light bulb to a LED bulb so it wouldn’t get too hot and burn the cord. Also this lamp is not a lamp I use all the time. It’s more for when I want some dim lighting when I am watching T.V.

I had a lot of fun working on this project. It took a little bit of time but I think it was because this was my first try at it. Now I’m looking around my house seeing if I can transform other lamp shades or transform other items with macrame.

I truly hope you enjoyed this. I have done other macrame projects. If you like to check them out, you can go to my Instagram account @jscreativeinnovations.

Thanks again,

Janette

Renewing a cedar chest

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Oh my goodness I finally found a chest to put our blankets in when we are not using them. It’s been something that I’ve wanted to get for a while. Before getting the cedar chest, a lot of our blankets were either piled up on top of each other in a corner on the floor somewhere or piled on our ottoman. It was so annoying. In our house, it originally had only one narrow linen closet for the entire house with 4 bedrooms. After we moved in, we added a very small and narrow linen closet for the upstairs. Even though it helped us with a little more storage space, it didn’t really help us out much with all the blankets that we have. Our blankets are quite chunky and heavy and take a bit of space. I just knew we needed to get some sort of trunk or chest to put the blankets away when not in use.

I have to say it took some time to find what I was looking for. Getting a trunk or a cedar chest is not cheep. I’ve looked in various places for new and old ones. The new ones are way too expensive. We didn’t want to put in too much money. Some previously owned ones were not cheap either. Plus finding the one I was looking for was really narrowing down my options.

For a while, my husband and I would look on FB Marketplace to hopefully find the one we like and for a descent price. Oh my goodness what we found were quite interesting. Some were more than what we wanted to invest in. Some were just too out of shape to even fix up. Honestly this was just suppose to be a fun little project for me to do. Upcycling a piece of furniture for a low price was the goal here. Finally one day my husband found one on sale for like $30. I was perfect! The right size and the right look that I wanted for the space that I had in mind.

Well unfortunately I did not take a picture of a before cedar chest. I am quite bummed. Don’t know why, but as you can see above the beginning process of fixing up the chest. The stripping and sanding took a bit of time. More than what I was expecting to do, but it was worth it when it was all done.

Next step, cleaning up and picking the paint colors to paint it.

Thankfully it was a sunny day and perfect for painting the chest outside. As you can see I chose a white paint that we had in our garage for some time now. It was from when we previously painted a room. I painted the base of the chest white and chose a gray paint, from a previous project, to paint the top. The colors I chose goes well with the room that it will go in.

After the paint dried from two coats, I used a fine grit sandpaper to sand down the edges to give it a distressed look. I think it looks pretty cool.

Last step, finding its home and fulfilling its purpose.

Well it was finally time to put it in its new home, the family room. I am so thrilled of how it turned out. No more blankets piled around on the floor or on top of the ottoman or even occasionally just hanging out on the couch. A home for our blankets. So glad I went through this process. I was fun and gave me something to do being stuck at home.

I do have another furniture decor upcycle in the works. I hope to finish it soon to share it with you all.

See you next time,

Janette

What a Crazy Week

Man this week was a bit busy for me. What’s funny that it is always busy like this every year. It’s one of my craziest times of the year for me. It’s the week of my daughter’s birthday, Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday. Uggghhh! I’m exhausted. It really is only a few days, but it sure seems like a long time. I manage to get through it as I always do and got to do a little bonus thing for myself as a Mother’s Day treat for me.

Well to start my week was on Thursday May 7th which is my daughter’s birthday. She wanted to see her friends on her special day. We invited a few friends to hang out for a couple of hours. We kept with the social distancing bit by having the kiddos hang out on our driveway. We set up chairs, at a good distance between each other, around the fire pit. They had some pizza and roasted some marshmallows to have with their s’mores. I’d say they had a good time. Got no complaints from my daughter. She enjoyed her day.

Then Mother’s Day weekend rolled up very shortly after. I wanted to treat myself to some plants for my butterfly garden and added some plants to some empty, lonely pots needing a plant to call home. This made me so happy. I’ve been doing this now for the last 3 Mother’s Days. I was able to plant some butterfly plants and flower plants in the ground or in pots. I didn’t do them all since I am still deciding on their spots in the garden.

Now in this little garden, there is a lot of reusing going on. The pots I reused from last year. We’ve had extra stone and bricks from other house projects lying around. So I used them to elevate a couple of the pots. Also we had some pieces of wood posts that was extra from when we had our fence put up two years ago. I used a piece to elevate some pots so that they can be seen better behind the faux wood border. Now the wood border came with the house when we bought it. They were just in the corner of the shed that you see in the background. They’ve been sitting around waiting to be used. I decided to use it as a border for my cute little side garden. Really the only thing new are the plants. I really like how it turned out.

Here are some more plants that went in the ground or in pots. I still have a few that I am still deciding on where to place them. Once I feel they are in a good spot, I will plant them in the ground. It will take some time for these plants to get bigger but they will fill up the area nicely. I am looking forward to seeing them bloom and attract some beautiful butterflies and some lovely bumble bees. It will be wonderful. I also hope to add some decorative pieces that I either buy or make. I will post that in a future post.

The day after Mother’s Day was my son’s birthday. He as well wanted to hang out with his friends. He’s been anxious to hang out with them since the stay at home orders were in place. He invited a few friends. They hung out together outside and played some outside games. We then fed the boys some burgers and hot dogs that we grilled out in our patio. Thankfully the weather was cooperating and it was great. I think my son and his friends had a fun time.

Thankfully both of my kids’ birthdays did not have to be spent in total isolation from their friends. I think they had good birthdays even though it wasn’t totally how they wanted it. They were both happy and grateful for their time with their friends.

I know I wavered a bit off my typical posts but just wanted to share my crazy week and still working on some projects that I will post very soon. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I can also share with you all the progress of my garden so you can see how it’s turning out.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Janette

Flower Vase Upgrade

So with trying to limit our outings to only when necessary, I’ve thought of another upcycling project that of course I had at home. Didn’t have to go out to buy anything that I used in this project. It’s actually quite simple, but maybe some bit of time was needed to create the project. Of course it was my very first time doing this so usually the first tries take long and are sloppy. I’m sure the next time I do this project again, it won’t take as long. I decorated a simple flower vase, that you probably get from a floral arrangement, with macrame. A project that involves two things that I like to do; reusing and recycling.

Well I started out with a floral vase that I had sitting around in my house literally for a couple of years. Don’t know why I still had it, but something told me to keep it around. I guess this is why.

I began by measuring the neck of the vase which was about 10 inches around. I grabbed my 3 strand 3mm cord and cut about 20 inches. I wrapped the cord a bit loose so that it can be a base for the other cords for the macrame pattern. I finished off this base cord with a simple overhand knot. I left a little extra cord to give a tie look

I then added 12 cords of 26 inches in length and tied a Lark’s head knot all around.

Once I got all the cords set, I worked in a simple pattern of staggering square knots all around. I did about a couple of rows of square knots. On the last row, I again I made overhand knots staggering to give it a finished look.

I think this turned out pretty cute. A very simple project using a simple item that you may have at home already. If you don’t have macrame cord, you can probably use yarn or twine. That would be neat to see how that would look. I feel this addition just gives the vase some warmth and texture to its rather cold and slick original state.

I will try this again to any more floral vases I receive. It will definitely add a little something more to those plain vases. Give it a try and see what you come up with.

Janette

Thrift Store Find

I have been getting a little more of the creativity vibe while staying at home. I’m currently into doing macrame projects. It is so fun and very hands on. I am really enjoying it and hope to create many beautiful pieces. I have been seeing lots of wonderful ideas on Instagram, Pinterest and on YouTube. Not only is it great as plant hangers and wall decor but it also looks amazing combined with baskets.

A while back I was at my local thrift store and found this cool looking faux bamboo food tray. It was really neat, inexpensive, and in great shape. So I picked it up because I knew at the time I wanted to do something with it. Didn’t knew exact what, but I had to get it. Below is what I found.

Isn’t if so cool?! I mean you can leave it just as is and use it to it’s original purpose or as a base for a center piece for a coffee table. As I said earlier, I was loving how some people were adding macrame to baskets and thought why not do the same with this piece.

I thought about stenciling an image on the tray. I figure it’s a descent size area to put something on it. First I needed to paint it so that the image can stand out. I decided to paint the base with a white chalk paint that I had. It painted on well to the tray and since I put a good 1st coat, I didn’t need to paint another coat. Loving chalk paint!

Now time to pick out an image. So I wanted something simple and quick. I looked around my stash of stencils and picked out 2 things. I went with the letter J and two little star bursts on each side of the letter. Since I will hang this in my craft room, I thought it would be perfect.

So how to incorporate a macrame design to this tray piece. Well soon to be a wall piece in my craft room. I figured I would keep it simple. So I decided to create a simple square knot design that was not so crowded but airy. I just did square knots with spaces in between each one. To add a little more interest to the design, I had the square knots taper down to create an upside down triangle shape and added regular knots on the cords that were loose.

I love how it turned out. Something so simple and yet it added an extra look to a very simple tray. Below is how it turned out all completed and on my wall.

I do plan to create little projects like this with macrame. I also plan to make more macrame projects for my craft fair. Stay tune and see what else I will create with macrame, thrift store finds or recycled items at home.

Thanks for stopping by.

Janette

Use What You Got!

I am trying to make the most out of the stay-at-home social distancing situation. It’s been a little tough and a bit stir crazy, but we are managing. I am doing more things at home that needed to get done and having fun getting the chance to be creative.

Last week the weather was so nice that it motivated me to be outside and and get some planting done. Now I have not been going out much except for to the grocery store or to the pharmacy store for other stuff. I couldn’t buy new plants, but I did have few plants that needed to be transplanted to a bigger pot.

I bought this snake plant that I have been wanting to get for a while now. I did get it a couple of months back and it so desperately needed to move up to a bigger pot. On this amazing sunny, warm day, I went ahead and transplanted the snake plant. So glad I did it and I have the perfect spot for it.

Isn’t it pretty. I love having one. Since it is an indoor plant, I would need to water it inside of course. So the pot that it’s currently in didn’t come with pot dish. It’s really a plant pot that would go outside. I used what I had. Well I needed a plant pot dish and I didn’t want to go to the store so I had to think of something. Surely I could think of something. I think I am fairly creative to come up with or create something out of what I had at home or in the garden.

So I spent a day looking around the house trying to come up with something. Finally I found something in my recycling bin.

So I found a plastic lid from an ice cream bucket that I bought recently. It was the perfect size and thought it would work as a great plant dish. So how do I cover it up so the writing and the plastic won’t show. I thought about covering the flat outside part with material. Luckily I had some leftover fabric from a previous project years ago. I cut it to size and hot glued it on. This way the plastic won’t scratch my wood floors.

Now I could have left it as is and it would have been fine, but I didn’t want the plastic to show. I needed to cover it up. Why not jute twin. Of course, that would work. So I wrapped around the inside part of the plastic top with hot glue. Well I believe the jute twin I used was size 3mm. Well this process to wrap around was so long and tedious since it was a bit skinny. It would have been faster and easier if I used a larger size twin. Well it was what I had and so I eventually covered the entire inside of the plastic top. I think it turned out cool.

Again, I could have stopped there. It still would do the job of being a plant pot dish, but you can still see the plastic on the outside edge of it. No I really wanted to cover it up. I went through all that trouble and time to cover the inside. I really should cover up the outside edge.

So now again I am looking around in my craft room seeing what I had to help cover up the outside edges. Looking and looking until I thought I can use what was right in front of me… my macrame cord. Of course, why not. It would be perfect. So I used my 3mm 3 ply cord to cover it up. I used hot glue again and wrapped the cord around twice to have good coverage.

And so here is the completed simple project that I was able to make using the stuff and stash that I had at home. It was great not needing to spend the extra money. I was also great that I was able to use my creativity to come up with something that I think turned out great.

Well I hope you enjoyed this journey with me in finding items in my home and stash and creating something that is cool and useful. I wish this will inspire you to look around and create something with things that you may already have. Try it out! Give it a go!

Janette

Bullet Journal

What is a bullet journal? For me it’s like a planner with a monthly and daily calendar in it. You can also have trackers for what ever you want to keep in track. For example, keeping track of your daily water intake, keeping track of your daily mood, or keeping track of your daily steps, etc. Whatever you want to keep track you can add that to your bullet journal. You can have lists. Lists like a daily check list or to do list. Whatever list you want. That’s the beauty of the bullet journal. It is so flexible to whatever you want and whatever works for you. You can even have pages of just doodling if that’s what you want. Totally up to you. You can get more ideas and suggestions on Pinterest as to what you can have in your bullet journal.

Oh my goodness there are soooo many ideas on Pinterest it is ridiculous. Also there are tons of YouTube videos on this subject. It is quite overwhelming honestly. The other overwhelming part is different types of notebooks or journals to use (plan paper, grid paper, or dot grid paper). Also the different types of pens and markers you can use. Plus the different styles of how to create you bullet journal. I’m not going to go into that since it can be easily found, as I said before, on Pinterest and YouTube. You can look into it and see what I mean. For now I’m just going to go into what I have done with my bullet journal.

Around the new year, I decided to try out this bullet journal thing. I’ve used many different types of planners through the years and they never seem to have exactly what I wanted. I felt like I also had to settle with what was out there. Well since I learned about how flexible a bullet journal can be, I decided to give it a try.

Now I found my journal on Amazon for a descent price. There are plenty out there on Amazon and I am sure there are plenty at craft stores or other brick and mortar stores. Do your research and see what you like if you’re interested. I chose a nice journal with dot grid pages. I’ve learned that’s it helps draw out boxes and grids for what ever calendar you create or charts you want.


Now as I said earlier, you can find lots of ideas on Pinterest. So many cool ideas that I created a board just for bullet journals. So for the month of April (which I really hope it is a much better month), I created this pretty intro page with doing some doodling and drawing out some simple flowers. No I am not an artist by any means. That is why I chose to draw these very, very simple flowers. I also used letter stickers that I had in my scrapbooking stash. Thankfully I had all the letters I needed to spell out the word April. Quite honestly I like how they turned out.

I also included a page of the whole month listed out so I can see the upcoming events of the month in a glance.

I then worked on adding a 2 page weekly calendar layout so I can write down daily events or appointments. I’ve also included in the 2 page layout a weekly “things to do” section and a “notes” section just to jot down items I need to do or events to add to the following week or weeks.

So this is what I have so far. I will probably add an exercise tracker page for the month and possibly a page for a daily mood tracker. I will see how this will work for me. I may add something more for next month and see how that will go. I may take away a tracker page. Who knows. That’s the beauty about bullet journals. It’s so flexible and fluid. Every month maybe different depending on what works for me at the time.

You should give it a try and see. It’s actually quite fun and there is a bit of creativity to it as well.

Enjoy!

Janette

Macrame Wall Hangings

Oh my goodness is been a while. So many things going on that the time went by. Just been busy with the kiddos home now. Getting a schedule going for them so there is some purpose for each day. Been spending lots of good quality fun times with the them playing board games and card games. I have been really enjoying that. Making almost every single meal since we are trying not to go out and eat our meals. (I have to say I have grown tired of cooking. It really isn’t a thing that I like to do on a regular day anyway.) Also I have been working a lot on some of my macrame projects.

I have really gotten into macrame. It’s been so much fun for me. It’s been a great creative outlet and allowing me to be creative with my hands. Paper crafting does it for me too, but it’s been macrame lately. I am loving what I see and find on Pinterest and Instagram in regards to macrame. So many different designs and colors. Uughh so cool!

I’ve been using my time at home making several macrame projects. I have made several wall hangings that I think turned out cool. I have gotten some compliments from family and friends.

I’ve made a very pretty wall plant hanger which I really want to make more of them. I really think it turned out so great.

I have incorporated some weaving with some of my wall hangings. It gives the hangings a punch of color. I will definitely be trying some more weaving with different types of yarn. The possibilities seem endless.

I’ve also tried out making a leaf/feather. I know I still need to work on it some more. I think it turned out neat. It’s a bit tedious and slightly time consuming for me since I am still learning it, but worth my time. I will continue to make more so I can improve on it.

Well I hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been working on lately. I will continue to work on some more. You can see more at my Instagram account @jscreativeinnovations. Go and check it out to see other items I have done.

Thanks for stopping by,

Janette