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Posts Tagged ‘Tutorial’

  1. DIY Friday (on Saturday). Paint Chip Art!

    March 24, 2012 by Jocelyn

    During my many hours spend surfing Pinterest, I came across a link for a great DIY project for creating paint chip art. Which doesn’t sound fancy, but end up looking like a pretty nice piece of framed art when on your walls. And seeing as it was nearly a free project, I had to try it. My results weren’t stellar, but I’m still pretty happy with my final piece of art.

    Now just so you know, I’m NOT very artistic. And it also turns out that I don’t have a lot of patience for tedious tasks.

    My DIY Paint Chip Art

    I am, however, a perfectionist, so those little spaces that you can see in between some of the triangles drove me bonkers. But after an hour of working on this, I had lost patience. I chalked it up to a test of my perfectionist tendencies, and decided that I would force myself to be okay with a little imprecision. I secretly saved my extra triangles, and intend on fixing it later.

    The full piece, completed.

    Anyway, here are the basic steps to having your own almost-free piece of art for your walls:
    Step 1: Go to your local home improvement shop and take a bunch of paint samples. If you like to plan ahead, you can check out Design Seeds and find a color palette ahead of time.
    Step 2: Cut your paint chips into equal sized triangles. Carefully. Otherwise you’ll be cursing yourself later.
    Step 3: I found that it was best for me to arrange them on the tabletop next to me, as it took me a little while to find an arrangement that I liked.
    Step 4: Get your backing, and some sticky stuff. I decided to use some sturdy photo backing board that I had laying around, and I’m glad I did. It kept things very sturdy the entire time I was working, so there were no accidental tears, bent papers, etc. I cut it to the size of my frame ahead of time. I also used some double sided scrapbook tape that I had, which worked really well. Carefully place your triangles onto your piece of paper/board in the pattern you previously made.
    Step 5: Trim the overhanging edges of your paint chips, and pop your completed project into a frame for instant fanciness!

    Paint chips

    Overall, it really was a simple project. I’ve decided that next time I should definitely have a triangle paper puncher, so as to avoid the annoyance of not being able to fit them together properly. Perfectionism aside, I think it looks pretty darn good!

  2. DIY Friday – How to Grow Your Own Sprouts!

    March 1, 2012 by Jocelyn

    I love sprouts. I eat them on eggs, sandwiches, salads, you name it. I’ve always wanted to grow my own sprouts from seeds, and finally got the chance to do it this winter! While browsing Etsy one day, I happened upon some sprouting seeds. I immediately knew that I had to give them a try!

    I purchased the French Salad Mix, which is a combination of clover, arugula, china rose radish, and fenugreek, from Moonlight Micro Farm, and thus my adventure began!

    I did not buy a fancy sprouting kit, but instead opted to create my own with supplies I had on hand. For this project you will need only 4 items, listed below.

    Sprouting seeds
    1 or 2 quart jar or container
    Cheese cloth
    A rubber band

    Step 1: One Tablespoon of seeds will completely fill a 1 quart container with sprouts, so I recommend either a 1 or 2 quart container. To start, soak your seeds in water for about 8-10 hours.

    Soaking Sprout Seeds

    Step 2: After the soaking period is over, rinse your seeds with fresh water, then drain. Do this every 12 hours or so for a few days. I rinse them before work in the morning, and once again before heading to bed. I let them drain upside-down in my fancy colander inside of a plastic bowl.
    Rinse and Drain Sprout Seeds

    Around day 4, you’ll see that it’s time to de-hull!
    Hulls in your sprouts

    Step 3: The easiest way to de-hull your sprouts is to remove the cheese cloth from the top of your container and just fill it up with water. Push the sprouts down a bit, and the hulls will float to the top, making it easy to remove them.
    De-hulling your sprouts

    Step 4: Around the same time that you’re de-hulling your sprouts, you should move them to an area with a bit more light. This helps them green up a bit, and boosts their flavor!
    *Special Note-around this time, I also like to swap out the cheese cloth for a fresh piece. All of that upside-down draining makes for a bit of a mess after a few days.
    Place your sprouts in a bright area

    Step 5: Enjoy!! After about 6-7 days your sprouts will be ready to eat! Don’t rinse them before storing in the refrigerator. I like to keep them in a container with a piece of paper towel to discourage moisture build up, which helps them to keep longer! They should last up to a week once you put them in the fridge.
    Yummy Sprouts!

    DIY Fridays have officially begun! Have any DIY projects you’ve been curious about? Let me know, and I’ll see if I can throw a guide together!

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  3. Companion Planting in the Vegetable Garden

    June 6, 2009 by Jocelyn

    Last year my garden neighbor had a beautiful garden with flowers, herbs and veggies all mixed together.  It got me thinking, and this year I’m doing some research on companion planting.

    As it turns out, certain vegetables will do better or worse depending on what plants are growing around it.  It makes sense when you think about it.  Certain plants take more of different nutrients, or even attract or repel pests.

    For instance, basil is a great companion for tomatoes and peppers, as they help improve growth and flavor.  Basil is also known to repel flies and mosquitoes (not particularly beneficial for the plants, but nice for us!)  Another combination that I’m going to try is planting dill and radishes near my cucumbers. Radishes are supposed to repel cucumber beetles, and dill supposedly helps attract “beneficial predators.”  I’m hoping this will work because last year my cukes didn’t fare too well against the pests.

    Here are the charts I used from Tinker’s Gardens:

    Vegetable Companion Planting Chart

    Plant Good Companions Bad Companions
    Basil Pepper, Tomato, Marigold
    Bush Beans Beets, Cabbage, Carrots,
    Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Corn,
    Cucumbers, Eggplant, Leek, Lettuce, Parsnip,
    Pea, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Strawberry,
    Savory, Sunflower, Tansy, Marigold
    Basil, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Onion
    Pole Beans Carrots, Cauliflower,
    Chard, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce,
    Marigold, Pea, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Savory,
    Strawberry, Tansy
    Basil, Beets, Cabbage, Fennel,
    Kohlrabi, Onion, Radish, Sunflower
    Beets Bush Beans, Cabbage family,
    Lettuce, Lima Bean, Onion, Radish, Sage
    Mustard, Pole Bean
    Cabbage Family Bush Beans, Beets, Carrot,
    Celery, Cucumber, Dill, Lettuce, Mint,
    Nasturtium, Onions, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach,
    Thyme, All Strong Herbs, Marigold, Nasturtium
    Pole Bean, Strawberry, Tomato
    Carrots Beans, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage,
    Chives, Lettuce, Leek, Onion, Peas, Radish,
    Rosemary, Sage, Tomato
    Celery, Dill, Parsnip
    Celery Almost everything except
    —> —> —> —>
    Carrot, Parsley, Parsnip
    Corn All Beans, Beets, Cabbage,
    Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Melons, Parsley, Peas,
    Early Potatoes, Pumpkin, Squash
    Cucumbers Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Cabbage
    family, Corn, Dill, Eggplant, Lettuce, Marigold,
    Nasturtium,  Onions, Peas, Radish, Tomato,
    Savory, Sunflower, No Strong Herbs
    Eggplant Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Peas,
    Peppers, Potato, Spinach
    Lettuce Everything, but especially
    Carrots, Garlic, Onion and Radish
    — none —
    Melon Corn, Nasturtium, Radish Potato
    Onion Beets, Cabbage family, Carrots,
    Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Parsnip, Pepper,
    Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato, Turnip,
    Asparagus, Beans, Peas, Sage
    Parsley Tomato — none —
    Peas Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots,
    Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant,
    Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach,
    Strawberry, Sweet pepper, Turnips
    Onion, Late Potato
    Potato Bush bean, Cabbage family,
    Carrot, Corn, Horseradish, Marigold, Onion,
    Parsnip, Peas
    Cucumber, Kohlrabi, Parsnip,
    Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Squash family, Sunflower,
    Turnip, Fennel,
    Radish Beet, Bush Beans, Pole Beans,
    Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Melons, Nasturtium,
    Parsnip, Peas, Spinach, Squash family
    Spinach Celeriac, Celery, Corn, Eggplant,
    Squash Corn, Onion, Radish
    Strawberry Bush Beans, Lettuce, Nasturtium,
    Onion, Radish, Spinach
    Cabbage, Potato
    Tomato Asparagus, Basil, Bean, Cabbage
    family, Carrots, Celery, Chive, Cucumber,
    Garlic, Head lettuce, Marigold, Mint,
    Nasturtium, Onion, Parsley, Pepper, Marigold
    Pole beans, Corn Dill, Fennel,

    Herb Companion Chart

    Herb Companions Bad Companions
    Pests Repelled
    Basil Tomatoes Rue Flies, Mosquitoes
    Borage Tomatoes, Squash, Strawberries Tomato Worm
    Caraway Loosens soil. Dill
    Catnip Eggplant Flea Beetle, Ants
    Chamomile Cabbage, Onion
    Coriander Aphids
    Chervil Radish
    Chives Carrots
    Dead Nettle Potatoes Potato Bug
    Dill Cabbage Caraway Carrots
    Fennel Most plants dislike
    Feverfew Roses attracts aphids away other plants
    Flax Carrots, Potatoes Potato Bug
    Garlic Roses, Raspberries Japanese Beetle, Aphids
    Horseradish Potatoes Potato Bug
    Henbit Insect Repellent
    Hyssop Cabbage, Grapes Radishes Cabbage Moth
    Lavender Southernwood, rosemary, wormwood
    Moths –
    Marigolds Plant everywhere in garden Mexican Bean Beetles, Nematodes,
    Mint Cabbage, Tomatoes Cabbage Moth, aphids, flea beetles
    Nasturtium Radishes, Cabbage, Cucurbits, fruit
    Aphids, Squash Bugs, Striped Pumpkin
    Pennyroyal Roses Flies, Mosquitoes, Fleas, others
    Petunia Beans
    Pot Marigold Tomatoes Tomato Worm, Asparagus Beetles,
    Pyrethrums Dried flower, repels insects
    Rosemary Cabbage, Beans Carrots, Sage Cabbage Moth, Bean Beetle, Carrot Fly
    Rue Roses and Raspberries Sweet Basil Japanese Beetles
    Sage Rosemary, Cabbage, Carrots Cucumbers Cabbage Moth, Carrot Fly, Flea
    Beetle, Slugs
    Southernwood Cabbages Cabbage Moth
    Sow Thistle Tomatoes, Onion, CornPlant sparsely


    Summer Savory Beans Bean Beetles
    Tansy Fruit Trees, Roses, Raspberries Flying Insects, Japanese Beetles,
    Striped Cucumber Beetles, Squash Bugs, Ants, Flies
    Thyme Cabbage Cabbage Worm
    Wormwood Plant as a border to repel animals
    Yarrow Plant near aromatic herbs, enhance
    essential oils.

    *Data courtesy of  The Texas Agricultural Extension Service.

    After a bit of puzzling, here is the chart I devised for my garden.  (click to see the larger version)


    This is my rough draft, and I may end up changing things a bit as I go.  I just put my tomatoes and peppers in the ground on Wednesday, and have also planted some onion sets, lettuce, basil, and bean seeds.  Hopefully our cold weather won’t persist for too long so my plants will finally have good growing conditions!

  4. Updated: How to Propagate Jade plants

    April 8, 2007 by Jocelyn

    Hello everyone! I’ve decided to update this post a bit. I’ve added some additional information, and hope to update with better images soon! Thanks for reading!


    Jade plants are my favorite houseplant, and are also one of the plants that I think I know the most about. I started with one or two of them, and over time that number has increased to the six Jades that I have now. Jade plant propagation is very easy!


    When I first wanted to propagate my Jade plant, I thought that I could take a leaf or cutting and just put it in some water. That is what I had done with some of my Ivy plants, so I figured that the propagation would work the same way. Needless to say, no new roots appeared and the plant cutting just died after a while in the water.


    After this happened, I talked to my mom (she is my gardening teacher) and she told me that all I needed to do was take a leaf or cutting and put it in soil.

    *Update: I’ve learned that a rooting hormone powder really helps with Jade plant propagation. My favorite is Green Light Organic. It’s pretty affordable, and seems to work well.

    So, all you do is take off a leaf and rest it against the side of the pot with the end of it just resting on the top of the soil. You don’t need to water it at all at first. I just water it sparingly about a week or so after sticking it in the dirt. You can start watering it more often once some roots start to develop.


    Starting a new plant from a leaf does take some time, but if you would like to have a larger Jade plant in a shorter amount of time, you can use a cutting from a healthy Jade plant to put in the soil. You may want to use the rooting hormone (as mentioned above), then stick the cutting into the dirt at least an inch or so; however much it takes to get it to be stable. If you don’t have rooting hormone, then I would recommend letting the end of the cutting dry out for a week or so before putting it into dirt. Again, water sparingly at first, and increase waterings as the root system develops.

    It’s important to note that Jades are notoriously slow growers! My mom’s Jade is about 2.5 feet tall, but it’s over 30 years old. So, don’t get discouraged if your jade doesn’t shoot up as quickly as you’d like!

    This technique should work with most similar succulents as well! If you have any questions, just let me know and I will be glad to give/find the answer for you!

    Like this post? Check out my article on How to Propagate African Violets!

    Thanks for reading!