Back in Class

      Remember all the fun stuff about back to school when you were a kid, before the reality of homework set in?    Please join me for some arts and crafts and some back to school shopping in pursuit of classic plaid.    Sorry this is so tardy, I know it’s mid-September already, but the dog ate the first draft…   

         When I was a kid in the sixties, art class was a rare treat, saved for special occasions when the teacher was too frazzled to do anything else.   I recall making mothers and fathers day cards but that was about it.   I was never a Brownie or Girl Guide.   In older grades, I got a C in art which nixed my dreams of becoming a fashion designer.   I can’t draw a straight line or paint.  But today I am a regular patron of Michaels the craft store.   Their 50% off coupons lure me in every time. 

       I ran into someone a few weeks ago and she was looking for plants for her parents grave-sites.   We started talking about those hideous purple and yellow gravestone wreaths, and I asked why are you buying those when you can make your own much nicer and cheaper, with a green wire hanger from Michaels and some flowers from the dollar store.   She thought that was an excellent idea, so I hope someone else might find some of these ideas inspiring.   Here’s a link to last years (unpublished) post Arts and Crafts 101:     (As I recently explained in my one year anniversary post, my blog was private last fall for the first three months).

After picture

       I had a quick look through the mall recently and the stores are full of plaid flannel tops, despite the fact that the forecast this weekend is for the same hot and humid weather we have had all summer.   You would think we were a country of lumberjacks, but then plaid is a perennial fall favorite.   Here’s a link to my blog from last fall, Mad for Plaid.    Enjoy! 

Plaid pencil case

(I bought a new pencil case at the dollar store for old-times sake – it might be good for stashing makeup in or all those small things which fall to the bottom of your purse).








Arts and Crafts 101

        Since it is back to school time I thought we’d do some arts and crafts.  

Painting 101:  chalkpaint is the best invention ever….no prep, just paint.  Many people like Annie’s Sloan’s line but I use Americana Décor which you can get at Michael’s, a bargain with a 40% off coupon.  This chair was a $5 thrift store find – I found it outside the store when I was dropping some stuff off.  I used Serene Blue which is a lovely soft shade.

   It was originally intended as an extra chair for the patio but it looked so nice that I put it in the spare bedroom.   I have also used Vintage green on this weathered table with great results.


Scavenger Hunt:   I saw this abandoned wrought iron cart on the street put out for the garbage pickup, so I asked the homeowner, who it turned out I knew, if I could have it.   She even delivered it for me as it wouldn’t fit in my car trunk.   It was an ugly sunflower yellow but I spray painted it lime green with paint from the hardware store.  I’m not a big fan of lime green in general but it’s okay on a garden ornament, and it held my lime green pots up off the ground and away from the bunnies.   I have been teased about picking up stuff at the curb on garbage day but it is amazing what people will throw out.  I once got a white vinyl corner picket fence that retails for $50.   I dragged it across the road from my mother’s neighbour to her garage.   They were new neighbours and obviously didn’t like the garden décor as they also threw out a $300 white arbour, but it was gone in thirty minutes, before I could find someone with a truck.

 Most recently I scooped up a turquoise Adirondack chair which just needs a bit of retouching, it’s plastic but stack-able so good for when you need an extra chair beside the campfire.    I placed it under my maple tree and plan to sit and read there when it turns colour. 

Crafts:     Take two $4 dollar store fall foliage sprays (I always try to get some with corn stalks or wheat),

and twist them around a green floral holder to make an attractive gravestone wreath.  I recycled last years as it was still in good condition.  You can also fill it out with leaf garlands and a harvest bow. 

 My dad died in Sept and as a farmer, autumn was always his favourite time of year, once all the crops were in.   So much attractive than those garish purple and yellow things floral shops sell for sixty dollars plus…..and much more frugal.   I think my dad would approve.  PS.  I have done the same thing at Christmas with Christmas garlands.  

So there you have it…..class dismissed!