Growing Carrots in a 5-Gallon Bucket

 

Since I graduated from college three weeks ago, my new roommate says I have taken on a new obsession to help with the transition: gardening. (A little bit of dirt is good for the soul.) A few years ago, I heard of a neighbor growing carrots in a 5-gallon bucket, and finally, I decided to try it out for myself.
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This project began at my parent’s house (because they have tools and I do not). First step was buying the list below:

  • 5-gallon bucket (The Home Depot had them on sale at the end of each aisle. A bucket cost about $2)
  • A bag of rocks
  • Potting soil
  • Carrot seeds 

I also needed things I found in at my parent’s house

  • Hammer
  • Screw driver

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Before I can pour in the dirt, I prepared the bucket by poking holes in the bottom using a hammer and screwdriver. I found that the holes I made near the center of the bucket caused cracks (which I did not want). So, just beware that can happen. IMG_2713

With holes finished, I put a 3-inch layer of rocks at the bottom of the bucket. I purchased river pebbles, but if I was to do it again, I probably would have used larger rocks.
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Next, I filled the bucket up with dirt. IMG_2715

I read online that carrot seeds should be sown in about 1-inch deep of dirt. And that I could sew a good amount of seeds (like 40-60). So I did. (This is the point of the project where you should know that I am 100% a novice gardener. I can tell you what I did, but I do not know if this is correct.)IMG_2718

But with that being said, after a week of being in full-sun and being watered everyday, I had sprouts! I am not sure how long this growing process will take, but I will need you updated. The lesson to be learned – If I can do it, so can you!IMG_2791

Vote!

I can now see how people quit their jobs to run for political office. It is time consuming, and let’s face it, I don’t have spare time. For Samford’s SGA, I am running for the position of Vice President for Events. Over Spring Break, I tried to work on campaign posters. Since I don’t have any Adobe programs on my laptop, I played around in Word, but quickly gave up in frustration. I figured, why use technology when I am way more comfortable being crafty.

I stumbled across a poster awhile back that cut out the letters using an exacto knife, and I figured why not. The first poster did take a two hours, but the second, third and forth didn’t take long at all. I quickly became obsessed with the idea.

     

     

I found black poster board at Walmart, so for the two posters I made with it, I played around a little more. For my name, I only pealed back the black layer.

     

My thought process behind cutting out the letters was that when placed on a bulletin board, the colors of the posters behind it would shine through. It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned it, but I still liked it. Sadly, I only made 5 posters – so you kind of have to keep an out of them

A letter for a friend

Back in 10th grade, I found this tutorial at a craft store about how to turn these cardboard letters into fabric letters. My large S still hangs in my room at my parent’s house, soI think it’s safe to say that 5 years later, I have mastered this craft.

K is for Karlie, my dear friend who had a birthday coming up. Luckily, I had a ton of batting and scrap fabric so all I needed to make this was the cardboard letter. I started by cutting the batting (2 layers of it) to the exact shape of the K. I did this for both sides.

Next, with the fabric I had chosen, I cut out a K with extra margins. Layer the batting on top of the cardboard letter and then the fabric on top of that. I used a hot glue gun (but you can use any adhesive) to glue the fabric in place, attaching the margins to the sides of the cardboard letter. Just make sure the fabric is taunt. Do this for both sides.

With that complete, I took the other fabric and made a strip that I could use for the sides. To make this strip of fabric, I cut it out and then folded and ironed the edges to make smooth edges. Simply glue the fabric in place, folding back the final edge so no raw edges are showing.

And there you have it. It’s super easy and makes an awesome gift!

For pleasant lighting

The florescent lights in my door room is the worse. My roommate and I refuse to turn on the small, buzzing, over head light. Our solution – lots of lamps. Abby has one by her bed, I have one by my desk and we have one in the corner by the mirror. (Trust me, it creates a nice ambiance) But I have been wanting to have a light by my bed, one that I could read by. So of course, I went to the internet, saw many ideas for hanging lamps, and traveled to Hobby Lobby with a semi-clear idea. That is until I reached the ribbon section.

 

 

The project was super easy. All I purchased was a variety of white/off-white ribbons and lace and a small embroidery hoop. I attached the ribbon and lace to the hoop by removing the outer hoop, folding the ribbon around the inner hoop and whip stitching the ribbon in place. I cut the ribbon at different lengths to create a more imperfect feel.

    

Once I finished attaching the ribbon, I put the outer hoop back on and used four pieces of ribbon to hang it. At Walmart, I found a Bottle lamp kit for $5. I assembled the kit by following the instructions up until inserting the cork into the bottle. I kind of make-shifted it so it hung down straight.

I put a hook in my ceiling, and simply hung the lamp and the cord together, letting the cord hang down the corner of my room. It has become the perfect reading lamp. The only thing that bugs me is the white lamp against the white walls… basically, it looks like another project is in the works.

A place for all the pictures

So another school year has begun, and with a new school year, comes a new dorm room just ready for us to decorate. First on the crafting agenda is something I could use to display pictures and letters that looks a little better than a simple cork board. After finding this frame at Hobby Lobby, the design quickly came to me.

I purchased hooks that I then screwed on to the interior sides of the frame. I didn’t worry too much if they were hidden or not.

   

Next, I used basic string and tied it from hook to hook.

For the final touch, I stapled a rectangle piece of fabric to the back.

Add a few clothespins, and there you have it.

Time for Camp

My summer job search was easy this year. I loved being a camp counselor for Elachee Nature Center last year, so I figured, why leave? (Plus they actually pay me, unlike these so-called internships.) So with the start of camp, I’ve hard to switch my thinking for a younger age.
This past weekend we had a Camp Preview Day. I (of course) volunteered to man the arts and crafts table. The craft – SNAKES!

This craft was super easy. I drew a template and made lots of copies. I then let the kid pick out what color snake they liked. They could color it with markers, even add sequins, and when they were done decorating, they simply had to cut along the black lines. Add some googly eyes, and you have yourself a little snake.

What makes this craft great is that any age can make it (especially those who can’t draw within the lines). And the creations we saw on Saturday were pretty darn cute!

Style Your Sole

As a part of Spring Fling, SAC hosted a Toms Style Your Sole party. An event where people could pre-order a pair of white, canvas Toms, and then pick them up and decorate them on the night of the event. It was a huge success. We sold 150 pairs of shoes, and on the night of the event, people were creating some pretty amazing, customized shoes. Of course, I ordered a pair, but being way too busy, I simply let them sit on my desk… until tonight.

Ta da! I feel like it would be no surprise that I chose a stars/constellation theme. And I am so excited in how they turned out.

Step one – get rid of all the white. And how appropriate that the color was called “Midnight Blue.”

Step two – splatter paint. I used this to create the effect of the millions of stars that are out there in the universe. For the color, I chose a silver, metallic paint.

Step three – embroider the stars. On the left shoe, I keep it simple by adding stars here and there (with a shooting star, of course). And then the right shoe highlighted the Orion constellation (one of my favorites).

  

I am simply obsessed with them!

Flags of Spring

I stand by the fact that the easiest decorations for a party/event are flags. Last week was THE Samford event I have been planning since the beginning of this year – Spring Fling. It is basically a week full of free food and activities for Samford students to enjoy. And being one of the people in charge or planning and executing the event, I will admit, I made sure it had my signature on it.

The project was really simple. At Walmart, I purchased packs of spring colored cotton fabric. I cut them into squares, trying to keep the sizes consistent. Once cut out, I used the overcast stitch around the edges, simply to make sure the fabric wouldn’t unravel in the wind.

Then I took basic twine, purchased again from Walmart, and sewed the flag and the twine in place using my zipper foot.

I was lucky enough to work on this project mostly at home – where my work space is much more spacious, but this project is simple enough that I could have easily pulled it off in the small confines of my dorm room.

Simple and beautiful!

The day I discovered Something on 2nd

I have lived in Birmingham for almost 2 years now, and when I told a friend that I had never been to Something on 2nd, she was shocked. And after spending 5 minutes in the place, I was mad at myself for not discovering it earlier. If you were like me and have never been, Something on 2nd is an antique store that is 3 stories of stuff – a lot of trinkets and things. I came away with, what I would call, some excellent finds. (1) A magic 8-ball (new favorite thing) and (2) an old cigar box – I hope you see where this is going.

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The winning combination of this Modpodge project was the paper I found at Hobby Lobby. The inside paper especially!

I liked the idea of leaving it really simple on the outside – thinking that (as a treasure box) it could easily blend in and go undetected. But on the inside, I guess you could say, I just wanted to point its purpose to the right place.

Anthropologie Inspired Tablecloth

I don’t shop at Anthropologie often, because let’s face it, who can afford it? But goodness, do I love that store. My roommate one day pulled out a napkin from the store that someone gave her as a gift, and it sparked my inspiration – a tablecloth made up of cloth napkins. So I went online and found these. The napkins come in a set of 6 for only $32.

With the napkins, I wanted to make a table clothe. My game plan was simple – to sew together the 20×20 inch napkins into a large square and then cut out a circle. With only 6 napkins, I had to do some planning, but first I wanted to make sure I could use every inch of fabric. So I took out the hem, adding about an inch of fabric on each side.

Once I removed the hem, I needed to secure the edges so they wouldn’t continue to fray. This is how I discovered the overcasting stitch feature on my sewing machine (I know this is probably something really basic, but you’ll have to bear with me. I’m relatively new to a sewing machine.)

Once I had stitched over all the edges, I began to lay everything out. I needed to make a 50×50 inch square. So I kept 4 napkins whole and cut 2 napkins in half, placing those on the outer edge. If you notice, that leaves a 10×10 inch square missing, but I’ll come back to that later.

So I got to sewing each piece into place. The napkins’ corners were cut off, which caused a few hole to appear when sewing them all together. But I just decided to embrace the patchwork-ness of it all, and I simply hand sewed it together.

And then using the technique I learned on my last table cloth, I marked the fabric to cut out a circle.

I found this fabric rather difficult to measure and cut. And as you can see, I was unable to cut a perfect circle. But since this is inspired by Anthropologie, why not accept their homemade philosophy. It’s homemade; it doesn’t have to be perfect. (It just has to look adorable!)

Now, back to one of my original problem – the 10×10 inch missing square. Well once the circle was cut out, the missing piece was easy to fix. I simply took  a piece of the scraps leftover from cutting out the circle and patchworked it into place using a simple straight stitch.

For the finishing touch, I decided not to hem the tablecloth, but instead to use the overcasting stitch again. I liked how it makes the fabric look raw, like it’s a scrap piece from another project.

And that’s it. I’ve learned you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for Anthopologie products. You just have to buy the cheaper, simpler ones and make them into something extraordinary.