The folks in San Francisco’s Apartment Therapy have really caught my attention lately. Their cheap and innovative starter projects are truly brilliant. Take a look before you make your New Year’s resolutions because this site shows that there’s no reason why everyone can’t grow food no matter where you live! A link to their Best Projects For 2009 is here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/gardening/easy-lowmaintenance-plant-projectsbest-of-2009-104817
I don’t know about your town, but around here dozens of tile companies are dying or cutting way back on inventory. It’s a bonanza for artists because all those sample boards of exquisite unique glass or ceramic tile are going into the garbage. As a mosaic maker, I am keen on dumpster diving to salvage every little bit of material I can. I also talk to the store owners asking that they save me their cast-offs too. This mix and match diversity of tile size and color lets me render tired old clay pots into artistic containers for my jewel garden. They glitter and gleam in the winter sun and offer intense color in other seasons when little is in bloom. All you need to get started are your dumpster finds, some inexpensive mastic and grout to turn your cast offs into beautiful designs.
Even if you live in the heart of the city, you can enjoy the fragrance of a fresh pine scented bath. For all those who buy a cut Christmas tree this weekend, take advantage of the fresh needles now, before the oils evaporate in the heat of your home. Simply strip a small handfull of needles from the least visible side of your tree. Then cut a piece of cheesecloth or petticoat netting or any lace remnants you have lying around into a four to six inch square. Pile the fresh needles (or cut large needles to small pieces with scissors) in the center of the net and tie it securely with a string. Then draw a HOT bath allowing the little bag to float in the water as the tub fills. The sudden heat causes the needles to release their oils into the water to create a marvelous fragrance. Then turn off the lights, strike a few tea candles and settle in to warm your bones after a cold day of Christmas tree shopping.
This year instead of sending paper greetings to friends, associates and family, I’m creating little eCards. Not only are they less expensive, not a single tree will be cut to make it and no oil will be needed to deliver it. Best of all it won’t become waste at the end of the holiday that will go into the landfill. Mine will feature botanical images of beautiful Christmas plants such as poinsettia and pine. I’ll be creating the message using unique type faces too, so it’s a fun, creative and free way to spend a winter day indoors.