Unfinished Business in the Garden

Since it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing any outdoor gardening for a while, it’s about time I finally talked about the results I got with the composter I was testing over the summer.

Gardening hiatus brought to you by New England weather:

New England Autumn 2014 by tamdoll

I was not prepared for the snow or the power-outages it caused, but it sure does look pretty.

Before things got bitter cold, I got outside, opened the door of the Toter composter, and this is what I saw:

Empty Composter in Tamdoll's yard

Where’s the compost?

I followed the 8-step directions that came with the composter – layering brown (dry leaves) with half as much green (vegetable scraps), along with some water and let it sit in my driveway for about 4-6 weeks, then gave it a turn. After another few weeks, nothing had come of it, but I added another 2 layers, moistened, let it sit again, then turned.

As you can see in the photo, I didn’t get much (any) compost to use in my garden this year. I’ve recently visited the Toter Composter site and am going to review the videos, notes and suggestions about the product there. I just wish I had visited their website and used that resource much sooner.

What’s next?

This composter is really nice – solid, sturdy, secure, with latches that prevent animals from getting in. A heavy, mobile bin like this is necessary when you have to worry about animals, winds, and weather. I’m not giving up.

Until the snow is gone, this review is “to be continued”.

Have you ever used a stand-alone composter like this? I’d love to hear about your results or composting methods.

Company is Coming – Quick Decor

Over the years I’ve become confident with party planning, and cooking and baking for a crowd. But before guests arrive, it never fails that I’ll look around my house and panic about all the cleaning want to jazz up the way it looks. At one point (years ago), after trying (and failing) to find “the perfect thing” to hang –  I just gave up and have left the walls blank since then.

Before Foamology at Tamdoll's house

One of the problems with this space, is that it’s narrow and everyone uses it as a walk-through. I knew that anything protruding from the wall would risk getting knocked down, possibly hurt someone, break and also put a dent in the floor…

Thank goodness for Fairfield. They had sent me a package of Foamology™ Design Foam with stickybase. A visit to their website showed me some ideas, and my local fabric store designer helped me pick out great fabrics.

Application wasn’t difficult. I took the idea to create a “Fussy Cut” frame and modified it by tracing the foam piece onto a giant sheet of tracing paper – then added a 2″ border all around for wrapping – this helped with the cutting of my fabrics.

After Foamology at Tamdoll's House

I also decided, since the decorator fabric was heavier than a quilting cotton, to apply the fabric to the sticky side, and got some help on that application from sew4home.com and Krylon All-Purpose Spray Adhesive. When all was done, I used Command Picture-Hanging Strips to hang them.

My walls are decorated • Customized to match my room • Narrow and Soft in case anyone bumps into them  • and removable in case I want to swap the fabrics out in the future. Now I won’t be so self-conscious about the unfinished bumpy wall next to my kitchen when company visits,

Foamology™ Quick Decor Tips:

  • Remember when centering your fabric to take into account the pattern in all directions. I didn’t do that – I was so focused on making the edges of the motif line up horizontally, that I forgot about what was showing vertically in the center of the panel.
  • You can readjust your fabric on the stickybase – it’s not permanent – but – be careful about pulling your fabric off and stretching it out of shape. The orange fabric I choose had a loose weave and had to be smoothed out before reapplying.

Here is a link to all the Foamolgy™ products on Amazon.com; you can also find them on their website link above. Next, I’ll be playing with their pattern-cut soft tiles.

Any tips for getting your home company-ready for holidays, or any occasion?



*Disclaimers: Fairfield has provided me with samples to play with, all opinions and projects at this website are my own. I have not been compensated in any other way for this blog post. The Amazon links provided are affiliate links, I may be compensated if you make any purchase on Amazon.com after clicking through. Thanks for your support!


DIY Shelves

In September, Michael at Inspired by Charm posted a DIY Picture Ledge how-to, and it certainly was inspiring! With his instructions, and the help of my friends, I was able to spruce up a sparse wall and find a home for the nick-knacks scattered about my space.

before DIY Shelves makeover

The instructions for these DIY Shelves were straightforward, and they were constructed in a short time one afternoon. I can’t really say I did much of the assembly, since I had extensive help, but I sanded, painted & installed them a few days later and that part went smoothly.

New DIY Shelves:

after DIY Shelves makeover

Not as sophisticated a display as at Inspired by Charm, but since I’m the only one who uses this room most of the time, it fits my needs and it makes me happy. I have some toys on the shelves, gifts I’ve received, a glass mosaic project I made, and a Roald Dahl quote that I love from kensiekate on etsy. (The wall is actually a solid color, the lighting is causing that ombre effect.)

Two weeks in a row where I’m mentioning projects inspired by other bloggers. Have you made anything prompted by another website lately?