Thursday, June 30, 2011

Create a Washtub Herb Garden with Jen Osborn

During my time working with Charity Wings I have met (virtually)some pretty awesome and talented women and today I will be featuring one of those ladies.
Jen Osborn is a third generation artist and freelance writer who lives in rural Michigan with her family. She has an enormous imagination and loves nothing more than opening other people’s eyes to what lies inside her mind by creating artwork that’s as fun to touch as it is to look at! She has a knack for blending quirky vintage photographs with modern techniques which lets you experience a burst of colorful eye candy. She stitches together fabric and paper to create tiny story quilts which tease your eyes and tickle your heart.
61xYhb2QzIL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Jen currently has a book out called Mixed and Stitched: Fabric Inspiration & How-To's for the Mixed Media Artist.  She also has an Etsy shop where she sells some of her handmade items as well as hand drawn embroidery patterns. and check out her blog The Messy Nest for other fun ideas and inspiration.
Now, in Jen’s own words.
Washtub Herb Garden
On Mother's Day I decided to plant some grape tomatoes and an herb garden in an old two-sided washtub I found at a local antique store. This is what is looks like 2 weeks later after buckets of rain, and lots of pep talks. I've already started to nibble on the arugula, but I'm really excited about the tomatoes. I left my washtub battered and rusty, but you could easily buy some outdoor furniture paint and spruce it up even more. {how fabulous would it look like with polka dots or flowers or birds painted all over it!} I've gone and planted herbs in mine, but I think it would make a fabulous strawberry grower or a beautiful deck flower planter too! Your imagination, and the garden center are your only limitations. Here's how easy it is:
  • double-sided washtub or something similar
  • 2 large bags potting soil
  • 8 - 12 herbs / plants / flowers
  • lots of sun & water
step 1:
Planter1 If your washtub/container doesn't have a drain in the bottom you want to create one in each side so you don't drown your plants. You can either use a drill to make them or simply a hammer & nail to make about 5 holes in the middle of each side if it slopes or randomly around the bottom if your washtub has a flat bottom. Next, buy two big bags of potting soil, and pour one in each side of your washtub. If you only have one big basin you just need to put both bags in. If you want to cut down on cost you could fill the bottom half with fill dirt and rocks, but then you're looking at needing to fertilize. If you buy potting soil, that's usually mixed in and you can just plant and grow.
step 2:
Planter3 Dig a softball size hole for each herb you want to plant. You want to give each plant enough room to grow so don't crowd them all together. The plant spike should tell you how far it needs to be from another plant, but I find about 4 to 6 inches is good. I like to use garden gloves so my fingernails don't get all grimy, but they are certainly not necessary if you don't already have a pair. You could use a trowel if you like too, but I find it easier to just dig them with my own two hands. The idea here is to keep cost down as much as possible, but still keep it capable of producing a nice harvest.
step 3:
Planter4 I only did herbs in half because I wanted to try growing grape tomatoes to snack on in the other side. Last year I grew one to make sure they were tasty, and this year I have 4 going in the right half of my washtub garden. Just turn your plant upside down, and give it a little shake or wiggle to free it from the plastic container they come in. You want to break off about 1/4 of the rootball from the bottom to encourage growth, and then drop them into the holes you made in the soil. Push the soil in around your plant, and gently push down all the way around the stem making sure it's packed lightly so your plant won't fall over. You don't want to pack it in firm though or you risk injuring your plant.
step 4:
Continue on till both sides of your planter are filled and planted. In this side I planted:
top row - garlic & cilantro (not in the planter yet for this pic)
middle row - horseradish & basil
bottom row - arugula (yuhummy!)
The garlic and horseradish won't be ready until fall, but I love them both so they're worth the wait. Make sure you keep the plant info spikes that came with your herbs so you know what kind of care they need, and when you can harvest them. Most herbs need full sun to thrive so don't worry about needing a shady spot ... you can stick them right out in the sunniest spots, just remember to water regularly!
step 5:
Planter6B After you've planted everything, you need to give it a BIG drink of water. The potting soil comes a little moist, but it dries out really quick in the sun so don't forget this step! Now all you have to do is sit back and watch your herb garden grow. As you can see from my rainy picture up top, it doesn't take very long for it to flourish. After two weeks of on and off rain, mine is growing like gangbusters! Don't forget to go out and talk to them too ... everybody needs a little encouragement to grow :)
So, that's it ... lickety split! Took me about a 1/2 hour from start to finish and cost under $50 including the planter, soil, and plants.
{or plant somethin'}

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blog Badge Winners, a Reminder and Are You Going to CHA?

Support-1First off, I have selected the winners for the Unity Scrapbook Royalty stamp sets from the Blog Badge Giveaway. 
The winner of both sets is Roller Scraper!
The winner of the Better-Somewhere-Today set is Scrappin with the Bug.
The winner of the Just Be You set is arlsmom aka Lynda.
Congratulations ladies.  I’m going to try to contact you.  If you don’t have an email from me, please contact me at changeofheart56 (at) gmail dot com.
m5d_$10couponNext, the giveaway for a $10.00 gift certificate from McMahon Five DesignsClick here to leave a comment and while you’re there, take a look at store owner, Sue’s tutorial!

“Are you going to CHA?” (sung to the tune of Scarborough Fair)
Check  out the Charity Wings website for information  about Live at CHA!  I’ll do a post later in the week about the event!!!
And while you’re at it go here to vote for one of three charities that will benefit from the Live at CHA event.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vote on one of these charities!!!


In an earlier post we asked you to nominate charities to benefit from the LIVE Streaming @ CHA ebay auction.  This is sure to be an amazing event with a goody bag worth $60 that will be shipped to your house before the event!  Grab your crafting friends and join the fun!

It was almost impossible but we narrowed it down to 3 very worthy charities.  All of the other charities that were nominated will be spotlighted in an upcoming newsletter. We want to raise money for them all but since we have to pick one.... 

Help us choose!!
 Covenant House is dedicated to serving children with absolute respect and unconditional love to help suffering homeless kids and to protect and safeguard all children in need.

The Angelman Syndrome Foundation's mission is to advance the awareness and treatment of Angelman Syndrome through education and information, research, support and advocacy for individuals with Angelman Syndrome, their families, and other concerned parties.

Acts of Simple Kindness (ASK) is a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization that helps kids of widows and widowers, under the age of 18, with grants so they may participate in programs in the areas of education, sports, music and the arts.

Leave a comment with the name of the charity you choose! We will announce the winner on July 8th.  Please spread the word!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Featured Artist-Paper Weaving Tutorial and GIVEAWAY!

I’m on the Design Team for a store called McMahon Five Designs.  I’m sharing a tutorial by my friend Sue, the owner of the store.

Real Wood Paper Weaving Tutorial
By Sue McMahon, McMahon Five Design
Description: started off with a piece scrap printer paper and applied a  horizontal strip of removable adhesive near the top/middle of the paper. I used this to hold the strips still while I was weaving.
The strips of real wood paper are ½” wide and the length varied as they are scrap pieces. I chose to work with 2 species: Cherry and Walnut. I laid the top section of the first piece of walnut vertically across the horizontal strip of adhesive. Then alternated laying down the Cherry and Walnut wood pieces.
I then used a piece of Walnut and wove it horizontally through the vertical strips. I slid it up as high as it would go. I next used a piece of Cherry and wove it over/under the opposite piece I wove over/under with the previous Walnut piece. I slid the Cherry piece up as close to the walnut piece. I repeated until the full length was woven.
Description: it was completely woven, I removed it from the white piece of paper and flipped it over. I secured the edges on the underside with Glue Dots.
Description: it was secure, I trimmed off the uneven edges. On this particular one, I did plan it out so the edges all were framed with the long strips being Walnut.
Description: I chose to use Real Wood Paper over cardstock or designer paper, the final results offer more dimension and texture in the project. That coupled with Earth Day, makes a GREEN/Earth Friendly project as well.
Description: is the Real Wood Paper woven piece placed on a folded piece of Cherry 2-Sided paper.
Description: is another sample of Real Wood Paper weaving where I chose random strips with no pattern in mind. I then used a heart stencil to trace the shape onto the weaving piece and cut out the heart shape.
Wood Paper Weaving Kits are available in the McMahon Five Designs store.
m5d_$10couponSue has graciously offered to giveaway a gift certificate to the shop in case you want to get some real wood paper of your own.  Or, you can get anything you want from the store!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Have You Entered?

Support-1You have just about another week to enter our Blog Badge Giveaway.
I have added some instructions to the post so if you haven’t added the badge yet, please do so before June 21st when we will be doing a random drawing for the beautiful Melody Ross/Unity stamps.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today's Featured Artist is Suzi Blu!

Boy oh boy, do I love Suzi Blu!  Her art is inspiring and her blog is so much fun to read.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out...definitely do so.

I was skimming through some of her previous posts and thought it would be fun to remind us that we crafters should always spend sometime making something for ourselves.

I'm a scrapbooker and realized not too long ago that I have never made myself an album.  Wow! 

I know that I should make one soon, but I wanted to start with a smaller project.  I was a tad bit inspired by the introduction of SMASH books by K&Company at my that's my current project.

And then I decided to look through Suzi's blog and came about her beautiful art journaling.  Though I didn't do anything like that with my recently started SMASH book, I'm certainly thinking about trying this technique out on a few of my pages.  I can't wait.  

Just look at this amazing technique!!

Here is my art journal page.  It's not finished but it's a good start. Don't be intimidated to draw from life.  I don't know how to draw a poodle but there she was right in front of me. Draw your Life!  I used Faber Castell Aquarelle Water Color pencils because they are permanent when they dry. (Great for layering).  Draw an image as best as you can then smudge the lines with a wet brush. Spray water over it and make it run to look messy.  I am not finished with this page - I know want to add scrapbook elements like photos and journaling.  I will post more pics when I have them.


There is a super cute video on the technique on her you get to see my cute puppies!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Charity Wings at Summer CHA

Guess what?  We are once again going to CHA to bring live streaming so you share in the fun as well!  Here are some of the details we have come up with so far.
Dates:  July 19-20 from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm
Where:  The Charity Wings Parlor live from the CHA showroom floor
Fee:  $39 which will include a goodie bag from our sponsors.  (Last time the goodie bag was worth more than the registration fee.)

With your All Access Pass you will receive your goodie bag with make and takes as well as a link to an online room where you can chat with people from Charity Wings and all our sponsors.  Plus, you never know who will stop by for a visit!!!
Here are some of our sponsors for live make and takes!! 



pink paislee
There will be more sponsored announced soon plus we’ll give you more details about the make and takes.  Stay tuned to this blog for more information!!!

And the winner is.....

Our lucky winner of the Cheryl Waters tutorial giveaway is 

Sheila H!

I'm so jealous...nothing beats a great pair of scissors (and cool stamps!).

Please email me ( with your mailing address so that we can ship them out to you, Sheila.