DIY Living  Rosemary and Boxwood Topiary tutorial on a budget

  

We’ve all seen these lovely little creatures… And I even have several preserved topiaries… But I decided it was time to add a few live topiary plants to my home.   

After looking around a bit, I decided that $79 per topiary was much more of an investment than I wanted to make! (Mr. B would definitely not approve of such a purchase…)  So, like I do when I get an idea in my head, I decided, I can make that for way less!  (You should know, there’s about a 50/50 chance of success on many of these “make it for way less” projects.  But, that has never stopped me before, so why start now? 😬

So, I set out to find a Rosemary shoot (seedling) from a nursery to grow my own. To train it, and teach it to be the lovely little topiary creature I knew in its heart it wanted to be!  Here’s what it looked like when I bought it.  (Cost: $3.95). 

  
She’s so cute, right? 

Then I dug out one of my pots, and put a layer of gravel in the bottom to help the soil drain (“soil” kept autocorrecting to “soul” in that last sentence… I’m not in the business of draining any thing’s “soul” here! ) 

  
Next, I poured about a cup of potting soil into the pot, and watered it to remove air bubbles.  Then, I gently removed my little Rosemary shoot and root system from her container… And placed her centered on the gravel.  I added some tree and shrub potting soil all around and a little on top, and carefully pushed in a little bamboo stick next to her “trunk”. (I used the bamboo skewers you buy for grilling… It’s what I had on hand).  

  
Next, I trimmed all her little “shoots” of leaves off the bottom until i got to the height I wanted the bottom of the lollipop topiary to be.  I also decided on the total height I wanted her lollipop to be at this point, and trimmed off the top shoot so she would stop growing up and start to fill in as a ball (The gorgeous fragrance Rosemary gives off was so lovely during this part). 

   

Now, it was time to secure her little “trunk” to the bamboo stake so I could teach her how to grow.  I used twine i had on hand.  Gently pinch her trunk to the stake, and tie the twine (you could use raffia that you’ve soaked in water also… Just nothing damaging to her little trunk) in a figure 8 pattern around the trunk and the stake.  Knot it, and trim off the excess.  Do this in a few places until you have secured her trunk in a “straight” growing pattern. 

 
I did the exact same thing with my boxwood plant… Here are a few pics to show the progression: 

   
  So, I made both topiaries for the cost of $18.00. 

  • Rosemary shoot: $3.98
  • Boxwood plant: $6.98
  • Potting soil $6.95 
  • Bamboo skewers: I had on hand 
  • Pots:  I had on hand  
  • Twine: I had on hand 

Pretty good!! 

Here they both are all trimmed and ready to become a topiary.  Aren’t they precious?  ❤️

  
I will do an update as they grow and progress!  Happy DIY topiary making! 😘

Much ❤️, 

Heather 

Milk Paint vs. Chalk Paint… How to choose which one to use for your project

  

I have had a lot of people ask me questions about using milk paint and chalk paint and which one I prefer to use on my projects.  I decided I would write a post to discuss the differences of each paint, and the similarities… As well as explain what makes me pick one over the other on different projects.

First off, I have a brand I prefer of each. I’ve tried several different kinds, and even made my own from time to time, but Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint by Marion, is so easy to work with and I find the color choices in her line stunning.  As far as chalk paint goes, while there are still several out there I haven’t personally used, I always end up coming back to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I love the consistency and the coverage of her paints, and the beautiful colors it is available in.  In both lines, colors can be mixed to one another and layered on top of each other to truly make custom colors.  Add to that the choices in finishes:  clear wax, dark wax, hemp oil, white and tinted waxes… The possibilities are endless! (Sorry for the tangent… I get excited talking about refinishing pieces!). 

So let’s talk about the pros and cons of each kind of paint:

Milk Paint: 

  • Casein, a milk protein, is one of the ingredients in milk paint, which is how it got its name. 
  • It’s made from completely natural ingredients and has been around as a paint medium forever (seriously, like forever). 
  • You don’t have to sand or use a primer with milk paint…but be aware, it has a mind of its own! If it decides to chip on a piece, it’s just gonna go right ahead and do it…no rhyme or reason (I love this about milk paint, but some people find it extremely frustrating to work with an unpredictable medium). 
  • Good news for those of you that need to feel complete control over your project… MMS line has a Bonding Agent you can use if you don’t want the chippy goodness.  This is different from a primer because it’s not an additional step.  You just mix it right in with your paint, and you’re good to go! 
  • Milk paint comes in a powder form that you add water to turn it into liquid paint.  I love this because it’s easy to store, and it makes it easy to decide how thick or thin you want it (full coverage or a stain). 
  • You will want to use some sort of top coat to protect your piece once finished. You can use wax, a poly coat, or even hemp oil (also 100% natural).

Here are a couple examples of milk paint: 

   
  

     

(Never mind about the fork laying on the rug in that last pic…😬)

Chalk Paint: 

  • Annie Sloan is the smarty pants who developed chalk paint.  Chalk paint is different from “chalk board paint”… It’s called chalk paint because when it dries it has a chalky appearance and when you sand or distress it after drying, it looks just like chalk dust.
  • You don’t have to sand or prime a piece before using chalk paint, it will literally stick to almost anything.  
  • It comes premade, usually in a quart size can, ready to paint with (just like you would find a latex paint). 
  • It’s pretty thick consistency, but you can add water to it and stir it up before using if you are wanting more of a “washed” finish.  
  • It dries quickly, but you can have a mess on your hands if you overwork the wet paint in an area too much. 
  • Your finished piece needs to be sealed with a wax or a poly coat or it scratches very easily. 

Here are some examples of chalk paint: 

   
  

   

(I just refinished all of my kitchen cabinets in ASCP, and I love how they turned out!)

So how do I choose which paint to use for each piece?  

I generally lean towards milk paint when I want something a little more worn and chippy (although the bonding agent eliminates that).  I will say that both paints distress beautifully, and give depth to pieces that I find really hard to duplicate with a latex paint.  I’ve used the two paints together in layers on many different pieces, and they really compliment the other.  In fact, chalk paint actually acts as a really great base for milk paint to cling to if you want a dry brush look of milk paint over chalk paint!   

Hopefully, you’ve found this break down helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to provide you with an answer!  Have a lovely weekend! 

❤️ Heather 

ONEHORSELANE

Antiquing in Alabama

If you follow me on Instagram (@onehorselane) then you know that Mr. B and I have been in Alabama the last couple days working. (And maybe having a midnight stroll on the beach…)

  
  You also know that I may have slipped out during the day yesterday for a few hours to go antiquing in some of the darling little towns around us.  

I had such a great time.  I stumbled upon an old ma’ and pa’ antique shop that was perfect.  This sweet little couple has been running the shop for years and years…and as you can imagine, their shop was full to the brim with beautiful things.  

I enjoyed so much walking around their shop with them and hearing about their favorite pieces as I looked for things to add to my home.  I found the most beautiful old secretary, but being that we are flying home, I had to keep my purchases smaller in size. 

After wandering through their shop, we sat on their front porch of the store in rocking chairs talking about how they got started in this business they love.  It was really a beautiful summer day and reminded me how much I miss living in the south.  

I thought I’d share a few pics with you of my southern haul… 

  
I was mainly on the hunt for a few ironstone pieces to add to my collection, as well as a few items for my newly painted kitchen. (That blog post is coming when we get home from our trip to the south). 

  
I also picked up a couple old cutting boards to add to my collection and a couple antique shoe forms for a shelf that’s been waiting for them. 

  
I love my new sweetly shaped ironstone mugs, and the sweet vintage rolling pin I picked up that will look great with my bread boards in the kitchen. 

  
I also fell in love with this vintage hand mixer.  It’s clearly been forgotten after years of use, and I love the charm of it. I can just imagine someone turning that handle lovingly to prepare something for the people dear to them.   

 

One of my favorite finds though, is this antique electric waffle iron.  I love the slide setting for the choice of a light, medium, or dark waffle.  I also find the worn wooden handles on this piece lovely.  Mr. B makes a mean waffle, and they have become a favorite in our home.  I think I’ll display this beauty on my kitchen counter near the tea station. It has so much character, it should be seen. 

  
So, that’s it! Hope you love these little beauties as much as I do! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! 😘

Faux Enamel Pots

imageAlright y’all… I’ve had these terra cotta pots just sitting around for a minute (or like two years).  I finally decided that I wanted some more enamel pots to put my flowers, succulents, topiaries etc in. BUT, I didn’t want to go antiquing OR spend the money on new ones. What to do, what to do??

I finally thought to myself, “why not make some faux enamel pots?!” And so, that’s what I set out  to do.  

This was so easy y’all. Seriously. Go get your terra cotta pot. 😉

i just painted the whole thing with white chalk paint. You could use any paint. Chalk paint, latex, craft paint… Whatever.

Then, once that dried, I taped off a little section at the top of the pot, and painted that with a glossy back enamel. You could use any color you want. I even did one red for things like Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, and Christmas.  How cute would it be to add a couple orange ones to the black and stencil a “31” on the front of one for Halloween?? I’m gonna have to find some more pots!!

Then I took a small paint brush and made little “chips” in the “enamel” with it here and there til it looked right to me.  Then I sealed it with wax. You could use a poly spray or whatever you want to seal it.

So, what do you think? I kinda like it. And for less than $1 a pot, I think I kinda love it.  Happy painting y’all!

Moving to the White Side…Kitchen Reno

So, I’ve been itching to lighten up my kitchen ever since we moved into our home.  There was nothing wrong with it.  It was done beautifully, and Mr. B was against the change up from the start with the classic, “why do you have to change something that already looks great?!”  And he was right… But then I had to remind him who he was married to, and that I can’t sit still, and that I always have to find new projects and change things up! 😬 

Here’s a little glimpse at the before:   
Honestly, there is not much wrong with this space. Knotty alder, black distressed cabinets, granite… It really is lovely… But… I’m ready to move to the white side.  I know it’ll open up the space and bring in the light.  So, the change is coming!