#AtoZChallenge | Origami peace doves to add some whimsy to my windows

For our most recent GISH hunt, I folded an origami peace dove for one of the challenges. I really loved how it came out and the peace dove quickly became one of my favorite origami shapes.

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I liked the dove so much that I decided to create an entire flight of peace doves and display them in a mobile.

While my first peace dove was a success, it had been eight months and I needed a refresher on how to put one together. I also wasn’t sure on the size of paper I should use so this step provided a nice test run. I pulled out some scrap paper and tried making a few practice doves using various sizes of square paper.

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#AtoZChallenge | Name tags for my herbs

I bought a set of unfinished wooden plant markers many years ago. I didn’t know when I would use them but I thought the curved design was unique and elegant.

Each spring I bring home flowers and herbs, and replant them into ceramic containers that decorate my deck. I’m always ambitions when I start buying seedlings for the season but quickly remember my green thumb is at best pastel so I’ve learned to stick to my favorites. They add some summer color to the house and flavor to the kitchen. The little plastic tags that identify the plant type and basic care get dutifully transferred from the plastic nursery pots into the ceramic ones. Year after year, they get transferred while the unfinished plant markers with the perfect design sit untouched in one of my craft drawers.

Part of my hesitation has been the finality of putting a permanent  name on the plant markers. What if I mix things up one year and go with something different? I’d have beautiful tags that didn’t match my actual plants.

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#AtoZChallenge | Macrame hanging planter to bring a little 70s vibe into my life

Each decade has a vibe. The 1970s had a lot going on. Disco was born, platform shoes soared in popularity and harvest gold was in every kitchen. They’re also the first decade I remember. They defined most of my childhood.

When I told my husband I was going to make a macramé planter, he was horrified. He kept saying “No, please don’t.”

He had visions of some type of elaborate creation made from incredible thick cording that would overwhelm whatever space I put it in. The macramé craze of the 70s did lead to some rather unique creations. While it was not a new craft, it reached new heights in the 70s and seems to be on the upswing again. Since I missed the first round of this craft, now was a good time to give it a try. Plus, I already owned macramé cord.

To the right of my kitchen stove, there is a tall, narrow window. I can easily glance out to see who might be pulling into the drive way or crank it open it to get the air flow going when our cooking creates too much smoke and threatens to set off the fire alarms. I’ve always thought it would be the perfect spot for a hanging plant.

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#AtoZChallenge | Light switch covers with a little more pizzaz

Camps feel like a uniquely Maine thing. I know cottages, chalets, cabins and other getaway spots essentially amount to the same thing but in Maine we call them camps. As soon as you say camp, it brings up visions of a ramshackled home built in a slightly haphazard way over several generations. People used whatever materials they had on hand for upgrades and repairs so nothing really matches. It’s a mess but in a beautiful way.

That was what our home in Maine looked like when we first bought it. It was our camp on the lake. The smaller, original cottage had been added to over the years without any real sense of design or cohesiveness. What was once likely an outside porch along the lakeside of the house had been enclosed obscuring views of the lake from the main part of the home. The narrow, awkward stair case in the middle of the house didn’t help. The whole camp was covered in vinyl siding and a series of long forgotten satellite dishes dotted the roof.

The attached deck had a bench seat along the outer edge. While great in theory and convenient at times, it left a large gap underneath that clearly was not up to code. The first thing my father did after we moved into the house was add a wooden barrier along the bottom of the bench so his young granddaughters would not fall to their death.

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#AtoZChallenge | Kindergarten crafts and recreating my daughter’s paper peony flower

The volume of art projects that my girls brought home in the Kindergarten years was prolific. I saved many of them but couldn’t keep up with the onslaught so ultimately I starting filling a suitcase with the most memorable pieces. I kept one suitcase for each of my girls and continued to add art pieces and other projects throughout their school years. It came in handy when my oldest graduate from Art School. I was able to put together a retrospective of her art work through the years starting in preschool.

Every now and then I’d find a way to incorporate their art projects into our home décor. In preschool my youngest daughter made a handprint wreath that I continue to display at Christmas every year. And, in Kindergarten she came home with a large tissue paper flower.

I displayed it for many years in a large glass water jug filled with loose change. It made the perfect makeshift vase. The paper flower added a little pop of color and happiness. I love a good pop of color. The flower was there so long that when it finally deteriorated and had to be thrown out the jug didn’t look right. Something was missing.

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