Saturday, 31 January 2015

DIY Wedding flowers & cinnamon sticks

A few weeks ago we helped a family friend to make the floral bouquets for her wedding. This included the flowers for the bride and bridesmaids, the table centrepieces in glass vases and the flowers for the wedding cake table. The colour theme was white and a very pale green. The flowers were classic roses with Camilla leaves.  
Above are all the flowers we made up on the wedding day morning. We are lucky to live on the Mornington Peninsula and just down the road from a rose farm. They are wonderful and let you order up to 500 roses at cost price - less than half of what a florist would charge. They also supplied us with 3 boxes of fresh rose petals for to throw at the bride and groom straight after the wedding ceremony. The best part is that they have about 40 colours to choose from depending on the season.
We made a very large vase full of roses, long green leaves and Camilla leaves for the centrepiece in the reception room. We got the Camilla leaves and long green leaves from our garden that morning. The 2 long rose decoration pieces were placed next to the wedding cake. We use banana plant leaves to place the rose flower heads on to.  
 Here you can see the overview of the whole reception room. With over 100 guests on 10 tables, we had to make 10 vases full of roses (1 for each table).
 Here is a close up of how we placed the flowers in the vase.
 The bride and groom loved the table settings and the rose bunches on each one.
The last thing we did was to cut up these cinnamon sticks to add to the bonbonnieres for each guest. They smelled amazing! We were so happy to part of our friend's wedding day.
It feels like forever ago I was married, but it was only 4 years ago. Here is a photo of my flowers and the bridesmaid's flowers on our wedding day.
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Lady Creativity

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Mulching & chip barking the garden beds

Mulching is used to improve the soil around plants and reduces the amount of time spent on watering and weeding. Mulches help soil retain moisture in summer, prevent weeds from growing and protect the roots of plants in winter.
4 reasons to mulch your garden:
  • Mulch stops the top of the soil drying out and keeps the soil moist. This can reduce the need to water your garden by about 60 per cent.
  • Mulching also prevents weeds and weed seed germination. If you allow weeds to grow they compete with plants for moisture and nutrients.
  • Mulching also keeps the soil temperature constant, as the ground stays warmer in winter and is cooler in the hot summer sun.
  • Using an organic mulch means you add extra organic matter to the soil, as the mulch will break down into soil over time. This improves soil structure and drainage, and encourages earthworm and soil microbial activity. This is particularly beneficial in the vegie patch.
Mulches can be applied to bare soil or to cover the surface of compost in containers. We use biodegradable organic bark based mulches as they take longer to break down. Layers will need replacing when the material has fully rotted down.
This means we only need to reapply the mulch to our garden beds every 6 months in late spring and autumn. Avoid applying mulches in winter and early spring as the soil is too cold and in summer when it will be dry. I often put a layer of wet newspaper down before I mulch to help with weed control.

We go to our local community yard waste collection site to buy chipped tree debris. Bark mulches come in a range of sizes. The larger the grain, the longer it takes to breakdown into soil and allow rainfall to penetrate the soil where it's needed. For coarse mulches a layer of between 4 and 6 centimetres is ideal.
Wood chips aren't a great idea for vegetable and annual flower beds, since you'll be digging these beds every year and the chips will get in the way. We use straw or leaf litter for the vegie patch. To help growth remember to pull mulch away from perennials and bulbs for faster growth in spring.

Rather than using lawn clippings, pruned leaves and leaf litter as mulch, it's far better to put it in the compost and let it break down naturally. Large trees and specimen shrubs are best mulched to the radius of the canopy.
Tips for looking after a mulched garden:
  • As low-nitrogen organic mulches such as wood chips and sawdust decay, nitrogen is temporarily depleted from the soil. Spread fertilisers over mulches in late winter and they will be washed down to plant roots by rain. However, make sure that dogs or children can’t eat the fertilisers. We use powdered fertilisers or lightly dig in manures.
  • After mulching you will need to apply extra water to reach the roots of the plants beneath.
  • Too much mulch can produce a hard layer, which is difficult for water to penetrate. Avoid this by only replacing mulch when it has completely rotted away. We often use the garden fork to light turn the mulch every few months, but be careful not to damage plant roots.
  • Wet mulch piled against the stems of flowers and vegetables can cause them to rot, so keep it about 3cm away from plant stems.
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Lady Creativity

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Tips for travelling with dogs in cars

If you're planning to travel by car with your pet, you should prepare in advance. There are many things you can organise beforehand to help your pet have a comfortable and smooth ride in the car. Here is a photo of our golden retriever travelling safely in our boot area of our 4 wheel drive. Joshua is pointing to her!
  • Never leave an animal unattended in a parked vehicle!
  • If your pet has never been in the car before, begin by allowing your dog to wander around your car with the motor off. Then start with short trips until you and your dog become familiar with traveling by car together.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing its identification tags in case it manages to escape you during the trip.
  • Portable water bowls and bottled water are a great idea. Don't forget a pooper scooper, waste bags, treats, an extra leash and your pet's favourite pillow or toy for comfort.
  • During any trip, it's important to stop often so your pet can stretch its legs, relieve itself and burn off some excess energy. Stop the car often to let your pet out on a leash to stretch its legs and sniff out its new surroundings.
  • Remember safety first, if you don't have a large window boot in your car, your dog will have to travel on a seat. Most dogs find sleeping an easy way to cope with motion sickness. We put our dog’s favourite large pillow bed in the back of our 4 wheel drive so she can lay down comfortable.
  • Purchase a dog safety seat and it will be safer and more comfortable for your dog if your turn or stop the car suddenly. These belts ensure that should an accident occur your pet is not thrown from the vehicle or into other passengers.
  • Do not feed your dog just before the trip. Feed him at least a few hours before. It is better not to give him a bone or food treats because if he feels sick he will vomit it back up. Squeaky toys are also undesirable as they will drive you crazy.  
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Lady Creativity

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wooden block constructions

 Here is what we got up to in the wet weather last week.
It started small with a tower, but then got bigger and bigger!
It is shapes and wooden blocks made into a train track.
Lady Creativity

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Decorating our house with teal & blue

Recently we have been busy updating the d├ęcor in our house to include more blue-turquoise-teal tones. Here are some of the inspirations from the shops and what we have done in the house so far.
Here is the result of a busy shopping day in op shops and our local lifestyle stores. Now we have heaps of blue/teal trinkets to decorate the house with!
 After I saw this bed set up, we decided to get some of the cushions. Here they are on our couch in the lounge.
I also bought a lovely handmade blue and teal rug from our local craft market.
  Here is a close up of the pattern and colours.
 Here are the candle holders that we have on our outdoor table. I store them in the garage so they don't blow over in the wind.   
 Here are the new towels and candle burner in our downstairs powder room for guests.
 Lastly we have updated the play room/rumpus area upstairs to have more blue.

Here is our coffee table in the living room:

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Lady Creativity

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