Tag Archives: Crafts


April 16, 2015

By Mary

With my green eyes I see beauty and with my green thumb I like to nurture and create it. One of my very favorite things to do is to spend hours lost silence while gardening. Growing flowers never bores me. I have an appreciation for the flexibility of flower gardening because first and foremost, it offers me a creative outlet that is beautiful, as well as in constant motion. I really do despise sitting still, so it’s wonderful to be engaged in projects that keep me busy and moving, Plus growing flowers is such a flexible way to have a fun niche market.

Yesterday I picked up flats of baby lupines that I had started at an Amish greenhouse back in February. While at the greenhouse I spent a few minutes looking around at what’s available, which made me ponder new ideas for this season. Later last night I was able to look back at some of the pictures from last summer which made me remember times, colors and designs that were a joy to experience during last years growing season. Here are a few memories, designs and projects from 2014.


Last February the world seemed to as if it would always remain in a cold state of below zero frozen doom. Lisa King from the GAC show Farm Kings sympathized with my state of winter misery and was able to brighten my spirits by showing me the first shoots of new life inside her greenhouse. As a side note: Lisa is an amazing flower gardener and does some amazing and gorgeous things with flowers. For some great inspiration from Lisa, checkout some of the clips that are available from their show or Freedom Farms Magazine.

farmkingsfeb12 107

After coming back from Pittsburgh, I was able to put together some lists of records and start planting.


Writing for the Freedom Farms magazine challenged me to spend some time coming up with articles that gave potting a new twist (just like the twisted grass in the globe pots I made that resemble my unbrushed hair!). To make these, just up-cycle an old globe, slit it in half, drill holes for drainage, and plant inside before attaching rope for hanging,


Last summer I was able to burn out a stump and turn it into a flower bed.


Burning out a tree takes a lot of time, and in my case one very heated argument…. but I liked the end result!


Last year I recycled old bottles that had labels I liked and used them as vases. The price is right to reuse them. This gave me a great inspiration to buy bottles of wine that had horses on the labels, I mean, I bought them for my flowers, right?


When it comes time to fill buckets with bouquets to take to the co-op for market, I am in my zone!




This year I will have new colors and plants to work with. I am really looking forward to seeing what I come up with. My hope for this post was that it provided some inspiration to think creatively, and most importantly, encourage you to get out and get your hands in the dirt. Happy gardening and don’t forget to get lots of dirt on your hands!





Anthropologie: Mary Style

By Mary

Anthropologie embraces a shabby-chic-country feel inspired with an edge of urban elegance in its line of merchandise, which offers both household and fashion selections. My sister, Kate, was the one who introduced me to their retail chain. Due to living in a more remote location, I’ve never ever seen an actual store with the exception of walking past one Anthropologie storefront in New York City with Colleen last winter.

dress anthro

Obviously seeing a window display that included the same packaging that I use to sell blackberries, plums, and raspberries provided a moment of snide amusement between my little sister and I.


While in Pittsburgh recently, I had the opportunity to actually browse an Anthropology store, and it was an enjoyable experience. The store in itself is a beautiful retail space, and the salespeople couldn’t have been more accommodating to Kate and I as we perused the store in a state of curious merriment that included multitasking when wrangling the energetic Olympia, and distracting Francisco whose main interest seems to be seeking out food at this point in life. This applies to not only when with his mom, but also when within range of anything that he can put his mouth around and chew.

marystuff 065

While I enjoyed the artistic aesthetics of the store, my reflection of their offerings can be summed up in a nutshell, or should I say: an egg carton.

marystuff 047

At Anthropologie they sell ceramic egg cartons that are cute and useless. In my own life, I tear up egg cartons on a daily basis to start my fire. The cartons don’t look cute, but man, are they ever useful in the midst of soot and a cold floor.


The life I lead is not cleanly polished like the effortless presentation that Anthropologie offers. However, I do feel that I am surrounded in beauty, and that I can capture the same quaint glamour that the store markets. This comes from thrift store finds and creating similar styles with my own two hands. This can all be done at a fraction of the prices they set, and with limited materials. All one really needs is an eye for beauty and a heart with appreciation for its goodness, along with an artistic imagination.

Here are a few of my own Anthropologie-like innovations:

These Anthropologie headbands are about $30 worth of fun color and flair.

haedband, anthro

Here we have one of the headbands that I recently made with a bit of elastic and 2 ends of scrap left over from a quilt that Mom and I made for the newest niece.


Anthropologie has great bags. But I do too! And it’s all because I couldn’t bear to part with an ancient piece of fabric that inspired me to find a new purpose for it. I love that this purse has a modern edge to it with the link chain and offers lots of pocket space. Vintage cloth is such fun to find use for!


Anthropologie displayed a lovely rack of aprons when I was in the store.

marystuff 051

But none of them are as interesting to me as this most recent one:


This apron came from a design that I got off of Etsy. The reason I took an interest in the pattern is because it is reversible.


It is so nice to be able to support an entrepreneur by purchasing their design and being able to reuse the pattern as much as desired. I like spending next to nothing on fabric which is something that I tend to collect and love to mix and match as I please once a thought comes to mind.

Much like my two sided apron, I strive to be versatile.  Versatility paired with simple artistic beauty is a needed impression of inspiration, but to each their own. As for myself, well, I am more inclined towards creating it as my own. Olympia however may disagree. That 2-year- old niece of mine was starstruck by a rather lovey hair clip when at the Anthropology store. Oddly enough, the turquoise and beaded accessory ended up coming out of her little pink jacket pocket a few days after having left the store. I am sure she and her Mama will be returning the clip, and perhaps when she is a little older I can teach her how to make her own accessories.

To read more of Kate’s Anthropologie posts:

anthropologie, slatterie style

Inspiration, Expectation: Anthropologie, Spring 2012

Irene Gabrielle Slattery

By: Mary

An interview with my 4 year old nephew Thaddeus would go as such:

She’s cute.

I like her.

It’s okay, next time I can have a brother…!

The “She” Thaddeus is referring to is Irene Gabrielle Slattery who is the newest addition to Gabe and Aurora’s family as their 5th child, and fourth daughter. Yup, Thaddeus is pretty much stranded on one estrogen filled island, or ranch that is, in the midst of a family filled with sisters.


After the 2am-ish arrival of Irene Mom, Clare, and I took Claire and Adeline to meet their newest baby sister when school let out.


Oh my, is she ever one precious baby. But than again, aren’t they all?

Mom and baby were doing just fine.

Aurora enjoyed reading cards sent from Claire’s classmates that were mostly themed get well soon!


Of course Mom and I had a box to bring for Aurora and Irene.


Back in August I found a Beatrix Potter panel and the rest is history.


Ironically, the polka dote material came from Aurora who is always swapping stuff with me. Little did she know that paired with a pink scallop backing and panel, it created the perfect baby gift.


As always it’s special to welcome a new family member into the world. Congratulations Gabe and Aurora! May your daughter grow into a spirited and beautiful woman just like her mama, and may she have a character of strength and clarity like her father.

Welcome to the world newest niece, Irene Gabrielle:)