DIY Watermelon Fruit Salad Basket

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As Graduation party and BBQ season is upon us, I thought this would be a fitting DIY. All you need are sharp things and a lot of fruit (one of the fruits being, obviously, a watermelon).

Think of the admiring oohs and ahhs you will receive as your guests marvel at your craftsmanship, your creativity, your prowess with fruit. The respect you will earn will be well worth the few times you almost cut your fingers off (Just kidding. This is not that dangerous if you are careful AND DO NOT let your children do this. Please don’t sue me.)

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What you’ll need:

Watermelon, oval shaped and preferably with a kind of flat side (if there isn’t a flat side, cut one with a knife)

Knives: I used an Xacto Knife, a steak knife, and a really big knife (technical term)

Ribbon or string

Pencil (I used a sharpie, but would recommend something less visible/more washable)

Scooping tools: I used a couple cookie dough scoops, a ladle, and a spatula thing we use for cleaning out pumpkins on Halloween

A bunch of your favorite fruit for the salad inside

Safety precautions before we loose fingers and limbs: This project involves knives and the slipperiest fruit ever. It’s very easy to let your knife slip while you’re cutting, and as I’m sure you know, that would suck. Always cut away from you, and keep the surface that you’re cutting as dry as you can by periodically wiping it down with a washcloth or paper towels.

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Step One: 

Mark the center of your watermelon with your pencil or marker. Draw your basket handles about half an inch on either side of that point down the the middle of the melon. Be as precise about this as you want, no judgement for laser precision or rustic elegance.

DSCN1367Step Two: 

Take the string or ribbon, and wrap it around the watermelon to get an even line around the middle. For this step, it’s helpful to have a second person, but you can also use tape to hold the string or ribbon in place. You could also do this step first so that you know exactly where your handle will end, but again, either way works. Trace the top of the string.

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Step Three:

Use your Xacto knife to cut on the lines you’ve traced (both the handle and the middle). I found this made it easier to hack into it with a bigger knife later. Once that’s done, take out your giant knife (or really whichever size you’re comfortable with), and cut on either side of your handle all the way down to your middle side.

I found it was much easier to cut either half into quarter chunks and pull those out. Be careful when cutting along the middle…it’s hard to keep it level.

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Scarab beetle watermelon! Egyptian nerds, amirite?

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Step Four:

Scoop out the watermelon, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh. You can cube the pieces you just pulled out to add to your fruit salad, and you can ball the rest of the melon if you’re skilled in that area. We had very little success melon-balling, so we just hollowed it out and turned the melon into smoothies, instead.

DSCN1380As you can see, we could still see the Sharpie marks, so I sort of peeled them off with the Xacto knife. Of course, if you learn from my mistakes, you won’t have to do this and your basket will have nice clean edges. And BAM, fill it with your favorite fruit salad and impress your family, friends, and strange acquaintances you’re not entirely sure that you invited.

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Happy basket carving!

Morgan

DIY Urban Outfitters Inspired Wall Art on the Cheap!

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It’s time for me to fess up. The first step to treating a problem is admitting you have one, right? Right?! Okay, here it goes…

Hi everyone, I’m Morgan (hi, Morgan) and I am obsessed with Urban Outfitters’ Apartment section. I love everything, I want everything, and don’t feel remorse about drooling over stuff for two hours and pinning everything I like.

The only thing I’m not a fan of is the prices. I will never pay $150 for a duvet cover. $80 for a towel? No. $20 for a soap dish with an ironic deer in hipster glasses motif? Absolutely never. $25 for a pretty piece of paper to hang on my walls? Ehhh, it’s a stretch.

It’s not a secret that I’m Mr. Krabs cheap, and if I can do it myself for less, I probably will, and then I will blog about it.

I love this print (which is now $10,  a little better I suppose), but as soon as I saw it, my Martha Stewart DIY or Die brain came to life with a primal roar.

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This is so easy to recreate, and just imagine all of the possibilities with color and flower combos you could create. It could be totally customize-able to you and your space, which is awesome. There’s even an optional step to add more pizazzle (but really, when it involves pizazzle, is it really optional?)

Here’s all you need to get started:

Something to use as a solid color background (I used a photo box lid, but paper would work just as well. You can even experiment with patterns!)

Flowers

A camera 

Some way to print your photos on sturdy paper (this can be done at home with photo paper or cardstock, or you can order prints!)

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The first step is as follows: Arrange your flowers in any way you like on your background and take a picture when you like it. Bam. Free. A true reflection of your soul in flowers. You can experiment with this for hours, creating all kinds of different combinations until you find a few you love. I used the square format because I liked the Instagramesque look it gave the project, but experiment away, my friends! Artistic license is a beautiful thing.

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You could have a variety of flowers:

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Or you could go minimalist:

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Or you could stick with just one type of flower (this would be super cool if I had thought to use more buttercups)

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There a kajillions of combinations you can come up with:

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Now, you can stop here and print out your picture to hang if you like the natural look. It’s pretty similar to the original:

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OR you could pop over to Pixlr.com and edit the colors of your photo to get something out of this world.

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Here’s how:

1. Open your image.

2. Go to the ‘Adjustments Box’

3. Click “Color”

4. Use your mouse to scroll through different hues. Your flowers will become even more incredible. Once you’ve decided on one (or four) color choices you like, save your image.

You could go a little further and turn it into a poster, if you’re a sucker for typography like myself:

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You can add a space overlay even!

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Too much? Eh…

Anyway, after you’re done editing, print out your picture and hang it up!

You can even press your flowers afterward for more fun!

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(This was my favorite arrangement)

 

Enjoy your own personalized, one-of-a-kind botanical print!

(Also maybe link to a picture of yours in the comments…I’m very curious to see what you guys come up with using flowers in your area. Aside from being a home decor enthusiast, I am also a proud plant nerd.)

Morgan

 

How To: Gold Stripe Flower Pot

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Are you also loving the gold accent craze that seems to be sweeping the internet lately? Do you like gardening and painting? Then this post is for  you! *confetti!* Jazz up an old pot and add some flair to your gardens with a simple band of gold paint in this super easy tutorial.

 

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Supplies:

A pot of any variety (except glazed and smooth plastic–the paint won’t stick very well to smooth surfaces)

Gold craft paint 

Paintbrush (the thickness depends on how big you want your stripe to be)

Shellac if you’re painting the pot for outside use (a spray can would work just fine)

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Step 1: Wash your pot the best you can to ensure that the paint will stick. I just used some dish soap and the scrubby side of a sponge. Let dry completely before painting! Otherwise you’ll end up with weird water streaks. No bueno.

Step 2: Put your first coat of gold paint on the bottom of your pot (or middle, or top. Your choice!) I needed about 3 coats to finish my pot, but this will vary based on the paint you use and the type of pot you’re painting. Let dry completely in between coats. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process, but if you do it on a sunny day, you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Patience, young grasshopper.

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Step 3: Once your paint is dry, spray with 1-2 layers of shellac. I didn’t do this on my first pot, and it got ruined in the rain tonight ( 😦 ). If you’re painting the pot for indoor use, you can skip this step, but if it’s going to be outside, you’ll need to protect it.

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Admire your trendy and modern creation.

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Step 4: Now fill your pot with a layer of rocks and/or sand on the bottom for drainage, and then add potting soil. You can plant whatever you want, but I made a little succulent garden. I am in love with it.

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And it’s as easy as that! Enjoy your new pot!

Happy weekend!

Morgan

 

 

How To: Arrange Hanging Baskets and Flower Pots Like a Pro

As you are all probably very much aware of, I’ve been doing a lot of gardening and flower buying. A lot of flower buying. Maybe too much. However, I’ve picked up some tips along the way to share with y’all, and today I’m going to give you the run-down on how to create some gorgeous hanging baskets, (and by using the same tips, you can create lovely pots too!) because who doesn’t love flowers in a container? Only cold hearted curmudgeons, that’s who.

Most of these are examples from the greenhouses I went to, so they’re actually created by the pros. First, let’s cover some color basics, and then we’ll take a look at a few hanging baskets and see why they work so well.

The Color Wheel and Basic Color Theory:

The color wheel, if you are not familiar, is this thing:

 

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Color theory, which tells you which colors look best together, is based off of this wheel, and while there are enough technicalities about color theory to fill an encyclopedia (boooooringgggg), we only need the basics for hanging basket design.

According to color theory, there are three basic ways to make yourself a color palette (for a room, a painting, or, in this case, flowers).

The first is by using Analogous Colors. Analogous colors are three or four colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel. This is why reds, oranges, and yellows or greens, blues, and purples look good together. Here’s a flower example for your viewing pleasure:

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The second is based upon Complementary Colors, or colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, orange and blue are a complementary pair. So are purple and yellow. Here’s an example:

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The third is simply a Monochromatic palette. This means using one color (or variations on that color)  to fill your palette, like this:

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And of course, there are hundreds of other combinations that look good outside of these rules, but these are just some simple and fail-proof guidelines to start with.

If you’re having any trouble visualizing, or are bored and like interactive tools (yay internet!) you should definitely check out Paletton, a great interactive color wheel that shows you a palette based on whichever color you click on.

 

Now for the fun part!

Building Your Basket: What Works

Of course color plays a huge role in your hanging basket arrangement, but there are other things to consider, too. Specifically, the shapes and sizes of the specific flowers you’re putting together. This is mostly personal preference–as you’ll see, some baskets combine flowers with similar sizes and petals, and others contrast them. Both can work! Magical!

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These flowers are close in shape and size, and are also very close to complementary colors. There’s enough of a contrast between the two to create a lot of visual interest.

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Here’s a great example of an analogous palette. Reds and oranges, both with similarly sized smooth petals, work really well together in this basket.

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These are also close to analogous, but you can’t go wrong with pink and purple. It’s one of those things that has always been true with flowers and 5 year old girl’s rooms. These flowers are also similar in shape and size, but I like how the purple is a solid color, allowing the variety of the pink to stand out.

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A very monochromatic basket, indeed.

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This is my favorite complementary combo. I love how both flowers have different colored (and analogous!) centers for even more interest.

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Another analogous palette, with two different heights of flowers for some artsy flair. The yellow of the top bloom also picks up on the yellow in the petunias, which is a great tactic.

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And this is one of my baskets. It’s not hanging but it sure is complementary! Not only do the colors contrast, but the shape of the flowers are different as well for some fun clashing action.

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Complementary (purple and yellow) AND analogous (blue and purple). Krazy!

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Another fun idea is to plant unconventional flowers or plants in hanging baskets, such as  strawberries, snapdragons, or portulaca.

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This one has a lot of cool stuff going on. It’s mostly monochromatic, but plays up very different flowers in the same color. The white accent flower adds some visual breathing room, too.

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And of course, you can combine all the colors if you want to and still have it look amazing. YOLOOOOOO.

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This is my preferred method because I like my life to be an explosion of almost dangerous color.

I hope these tips helped you out and inspired you to go plant some stuff!

What’s your favorite way to create baskets and pots? Do you have any pro tips of your own, or do you usually just mix flowers you like and it works? Which is your favorite basket here? Sound off in the comments!

Have a lovely day!!

Morgan

Classy Vandalism

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Recently, I have started to finally remodel our gross cardboard box of an upstairs bathroom (you shall have photos when I’m almost done. It’s terrible right now, and without a beautiful finished product to gaze upon, you’re gonna judge me for having that bathroom. Trust.) This has gotten me all motivated, and while I was waiting for some joint compound to dry, I thought–Hey! Today feels like a productive artsy sort of day! And so I grabbed my paints, couldn’t figure out what to paint, saw my old junky radio from ’99, and this happened.

The only before picture I could find (because I was too excited to actually take one) is the photo above. It’s black and white, but so was the radio, so you aren’t missing out on much.  Anywho…

I found this pattern online:

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Which inspired me to paint this:

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ON THE RADIO. Krazy, I know.

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The front needs a little bit of touching up, but overall, I’m very happy with how this turned out. It’s not often something comes out looking like what I had pictured in my brain.

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Would ya look at that?

So that was my day. I started remodeling a bathroom. I painted a radio. And then I ate half of a small rotisserie chicken all by myself. The rest is for later.  #noragrets.

Thanks for reading about my random little afternoon adventure! What did you do today?


Morgan

 

DIY Handwriting Font

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And then turn it into terrible graphics for your blog!

But if you’re not me, then having your handwriting be a font is actually the coolest thing ever. Especially if you have cool handwriting. Use it ANYWHERE. Too tired to write a letter? I’m sure your friends won’t catch on that every ‘a’ looks the same. They’ll just applaud you for your consistency! You could print personalized signs, flyers, collages (click for example), practically anything! Use your ~**~imagination*~**. Interested? Of course you are, living in the future is awesome.

Here’s how, in 4 easy and FREE steps (!):

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Step 1. Go to the My Script Font website

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Step 2. Download and print out their template and fill it in. It’s a bunch of boxes where you write each letter, capital and lowercase, and each symbol and special character. Be aware that you definitely should use black marker, and that any symbols you don’t fill in won’t be typed when using your font.

If you use pen, you have to really scribble to get any definition (the photo above, my font Skribbles), or else it will turn out like the font below, which I just call sadface.

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Step 3.  Now scan the template back into your computer as a JPG, TIFF or PNG file. The website has a button right in the middle of the page where you can upload this photo.

Step 4. Click “Send File” and let their computer hamsters turn your template into a font! This font will be downloadable on your computer in your choice of True Type Font, Open Type Font, or SVG font. I used TTF and had no problemos. Once you do this, you can open and install the file onto your computer’s writing program. Now you can type away!

Happy handwriting!

❤ Morgan

Treat Yo’ Self: DIY Steak Marinade and a Rub!

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I know, I know, usually I post pictures of flowers…but it is summer and I would be being narrowminded if the beautiful nature was all I posted about. There’s the food too! Steak is one of my favorite summer foods (sorry vegetarians…salad’s great too), and ever since I was 6 or 7, my parents have been letting me make the marinade for our steaks…which is a testament to how much trust we have in this family. Soon they realized I could throw a pretty good marinade together, and ever since then, I am called upon whenever we buy steak. Recently, I’ve also started using rubs because a) they make me feel like Rachael Ray and b) they add a ton of flavor. Without further ado, here’s a recipe for both that will leave you and your guests/family/pets if your’re really generous in awe of your talent.

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Marinade:

(Enough for 4 steaks)

-1/8 c. soy sauce

-1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce

1/2-3/4 c. Italian dressing

1/4 c. steak marinade (mine is pretty reminiscent of BBQ sauce)

4 T. steak sauce (this is a generic version of A1)

2T. chopped garlic

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1. Mix everything in a bowl of your choice. Whisk it to your heart’s content.

2. Now get out your steak and tenderize it like there’s no tomorrow. I cannot stress this enough. Really get the day’s frustrations and petty annoyances out. You don’t want tough meat. This also helps to disperse the flavor throughout the meat and really saturate it for maximum greatness.

3. Put your steak in the bowl (or dump it all in a big Ziploc), making sure all sides are coated. Cover, and set in the fridge for as long as you want. Steak is like tea: the longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor. About 1/2 hour before you plan on cooking your meat, let it sit at room temperature to finish the flavor absorption  process. In the meantime…make your rub!

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Rub:

(Really you can throw in whatever spices you want, but this is what I use)

2 T. Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend

3 T. Italian seasoning (or one each of Basil, Parsley, and Oregano)

2 t. onion powder

3t. garlic powder

1 t. black pepper

1t. salt

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1. Put it in a bowl (or anything else really) and mix it up.

2. Once your steak has marinated to perfection, and is about to go on the grill, rub the spices into both sides of each piece. You don’t want to go overkill, so I’d suggest about a teaspoon per side-ish. This depends on the size of your steak.

3. Cook those babies to your desired done-ness, and enjoy! You’re a chef!

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I hope you enjoy some great steak this season (or some great pasta dishes, if you’re more of a veggie person). Any favorite summer recipes?

Have a lovely evening (or day if you’re on the opposite side of the world. Hi over there!).

❤ Morgan