A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Celebrating My Birthday on Craft Night

You guys have been so patient with me from as far back as my birthday week when I posed a conversation-starting question. I’m getting all of those answers queued up over here and turning them into full posts with pictures, can’t wait to share.

I mentioned that I was a little sluggish and sick around that big day and I think that I’m finally breaking through the fog. It’s been sort of sitting on my brain for several weeks straight and I can’t wait for clear thoughts again! You can tell from my below birthday photo that I wasn’t feeling top notch, but I did have an amazing actual bday which I celebrated with some wonderful ladies as it just happened to also fall on a friend of mine’s monthly ‘Kreative Craft Night‘ (cool concept, right?).

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

(They included a cake! It was so delicious and definitely the icing on the night).

Cassie (above) has come up with a series of projects – and a great excuse to get out of the house for the night – and has turned them into a once-a-month craft evening for the girls. On this particular night she led us through string art.

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

We each chose a shape in advance and she provided all of the materials. The gist of the project is 1. start with a stained wooden board (the backing for the art), 2. using a paper silhouette, tap in even, neat nails tracing shape, 3. string, string, string.

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

Detailed directions right here.

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

String Art | PepperDesignBlog.com

Can’t wait to find the perfect home for mine. It’s currently living in my office with my succulent family but I’m considering adding it to our bedroom gallery wall. Such a great way to spend time with the ladies and such a lovely night to celebrate a birthday.

Cassie’s June craft is focused on terrariums (her version looks so cool). I unfortunately won’t be able to attend because I’ll be at Alt Summit (nothing like a last-minute ticket to get things going! Martha, can’t wait to meet you!) but if you’re in the San Diego area and interested reach out to her via Kent Heartstrings. Now on to the start of the week! Looking forward to a busy one over here followed by a loooong weekend to celebrate my youngest brother’s high school graduation (he’s a baby, baby).

Beautiful photos taken by the talented Katie Beverley.

Tips for Caring for Fiddle Leaf Figs

Caring for My Fiddle Leaf Fig | PepperDesignBlog.com

I don’t have a really great green thumb and I’ve been known to kill my share of houseplants, including a scraggly fiddle leaf fig that used to live in our dining room and that I was trying so hard to bring back to life. But! I have happy, happy news! All efforts made to keep my 10-month-old living room fig (picked up for $25) thriving are so far successful.

I’m occasionally asked how it’s going for this guy and if I have any tips, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned over the past two years of indoor tree life.

Caring for My Fiddle Leaf Fig | PepperDesignBlog.com

One of the challenges with my very first fiddle leaf was the way in which it was potted. I actually kept it in the same pot that I purchased it in from Lowe’s thinking that that would be its best home, what I didn’t realize was how important it was for an indoor tree to have the ability to drain its pot of all water to avoid shocking the roots or root rot. My standard pot was not a plastic 10 gallon container and it was sans holes.

 As you can see in the photo above, my new method is to use a thin plastic tray (found for $.35 at most home improvement stores) inside of my indoor vessel (in this case a big striped basket from Ikea) with the original plastic container. I could repot into any container with holes but because the basket hides the plastic I haven’t worried about it just yet. I added a little craft moss to the top when I first brought it home, Taylor’s most recent and favorite discovery :).

Caring for My Fiddle Leaf Fig | PepperDesignBlog.com

The second trick for me has been to be very conservative with water. I almost feel like the poor plant has to go through a terrible drought before he gets another bath. Per recommendations, I wait until the dirt is bone dry.

I have learned that fiddle leaf figs hate over watering. Really, really they do. They’ll tell you that they need water when their leaves begin to turn down and when they begin looking rather sad. It works out to be about every 10 days or so (in the beginning I watered every Sunday but now I watch for the leaves) and then I add a couple of cups of water until I see liquid run through to the tray. Brown leaves means you have waited too long, so if you start to see a bit tinging or even have to prune a leaf off, try for a few less days next time.

Caring for My Fiddle Leaf Fig | PepperDesignBlog.com

Within a couple of days that tree will perk right back up! It’s amazing to watch.

Last but not least is sun. These guys thrive off of sun and pull their entire bodies towards any light coming into a room. The final reason I lost my dining room fiddle leaf fig is because he wasn’t close enough to a window. And it can’t be just any window, I found that these trees weren’t thriving next to certain windows (because they didn’t get as much direct light throughout the day, etc) and played with placement in the house until realizing that it was our BIGGEST living room window that would be most successful. I sometimes rotate him so that he doesn’t start to grow at a huge angle.

Caring for My Fiddle Leaf Fig | PepperDesignBlog.com

Fiddle leaf figs will only produce as many leaves as they have the natural light to support, so if your tree starts to begin to thin it might be cause for worry or it might be that it’s just finding the right amount to thrive with. The goal is for big green leaves, new growth and stems that point up and towards the sun.

I do hope that this guy lives for years and years to come, but it is by far the most temperamental houseplant I’ve ever owned and I’m just grateful month-by-month that it keeps our living room cheery. I hope these tips help if you have a similar indoor tree that you adore!

Father’s Day Finds for 2014

Can you believe it’s already June? That means summer and Father’s Day are right around the corner. Kev’s Father’s Day present is usually handmade and from Liv (this is T’s first) with maybe one or two store bought essentials that I know he needs or wants.

Those are always the go-to gifts for guys, right? The classic socks, everyday belt, summer flip flops… that plus favorite alcoholic drink accoutrements (another win!). Here’s my list of can’t-go-wrong Dad items for this year that I think most guys will really appreciate.

Father's Day 2014 Gift Guide Ideas | PepperDesignBlog.com

Demitri’s Bloody Mary mixes | bacon spiced rim salt | Bloody Mary beef straws
WMF Loft Boston Cocktail Shaker | navy duffle No 4 | leather roller-buckle belt
Nixon leather watch | grey suede men’s Toms

A little backstory: Kevin loooooves a Bloody Mary more than almost anything in the world and I think it’s so fun to try and find treasures for him to try. These Demitri mixes (which boast flavors like ‘extra horseradish’ and ‘chipotle-habanero’) seem right up his alley, as does the bacon spiced rim salt! I wasn’t even sure that was for real when I first saw it… For some unknown reason to me the above Bloody Mary beef straws are his current favorite. If you have a hubby/dad/son with similar tastebuds, I highly recommend. If they like to mix any kind of cocktail drink (I suppose Bloody Mary’s don’t apply here) a real bar & restaurant cocktail shaker is always a sure fire win. Will make any home bartender feel official, though it takes some practice.

One of my gifts for Kevin this year is a solid duffle bag (debating also on this one). He likes soft (as opposed to a structured suitcase) bags that can hold a weekend’s worth of clothes easily. He prefers rugged for camping, I’m sneaking in a slightly less vinyl version for weekend getaways, too (I’ve waited for a well-duct taped trash bag full of clothes to come down the conveyor belt at the airport more than once, he’s a simple guy). The above belt was a Christmas gift and is probably an everyday staple these days. The suede slip on Toms look just about perfect for summer. A new watch for Kev is on my list for later this year (maybe Christmas or our anniversary?).

We’re celebrating a week early because I’m traveling for a graduation with the girls on the actual big day, I’m thinking a hike in San Diego and brunch is in order. Yay for awesome dads!

Past Father’s Day posts (such as this favorite gift from last year) found here. And all gift guides are right over here (just to keep those juices flowin’).

 

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