Monday, February 24, 2014

Pompoms and pots


I love the look of brightly-colored pompom garlands. I've seen them on blogs and all over Etsy and Pinterest. I wanted one of my own, to decorate the shelf above my desk. I'm still working on making this space my own, ever since buying the desk and rearranging our home office back in September, and it's coming together nicely (more on this soon). I had been looking for a way to add a little more color to my corner of the office and a pompom garland seemed like a good way to do this - simple and bright, inexpensive and easy to make.


I bought several bags of 3/4-inch pompoms at Hobby Lobby, in a variety of colors - a large bag containing a mixture of pink, green, yellow, red, black, white, brown and light blue, and smaller bags containing orange, turquoise and purple. I wanted to have a good assortment of colors and they were so cheap - about $5 total for all four bags. I only used about one-quarter of my pompoms for this garland, so I can definitely make more (I'm thinking about making one for the GB's bedroom too). I wanted my garland to drape along the shelf, so I used a flexible measuring tape to determine how long the garland needed to be in order to hang nicely; the shelf is small and 40 inches does the trick. I cut a double-length of white sewing thread to this measurement, threaded it through a largish sewing needle and knotted the ends many times, to make a good "stopper" for the first pompom.



As I threaded each pompom, I moved it all the way down to the end. I put the needle straight through the solid middle part of each pompom. I strung my pompoms randomly, not in any particular color order, but I tried to pay attention to how colors looked next to each other. I also used the dark colors - black and brown - somewhat sparingly. I wanted to keep the look very bright and cheerful. The colors photographed brighter than they actually are; the red and orange are not nearly this fiery in real life. When I got to the needle end of the thread, I tied another big knot and cut the ends close to the last pompom. Then I moved them around a little to space them nicely.


My garland was ready for installation. I used thumbtacks, the flat brass kind, to affix it to my shelf. I used three tacks, one at each end and one in the center, to achieve the drapey look I wanted. I'm really happy with it! At first, I felt like I should have used smaller pompoms, like maybe these were too big and fluffy, but it's growing on me. It's festive and it really brightens up my little corner. The desk is white, the walls are white, the shelf is white - it's a lot of white. My garland breaks up the white and brings color and cheer.




Cute, right? I like it very much.

In other creative news, I did some planting with the small Bears this afternoon. Every spring, I plant some sort of seeds with them, usually wildflower seeds in the backyard, in an effort to teach them about the plant growth cycle. Our wildflower seeds are almost always a disappointment; a shaker-can of fifty different types of seeds usually yields growth from about three different types, and the amount of water needed to make anything grow is appalling - shameful, even. I've grown weary of shameful gardening. I decided this year to limit our seed-planting to small pots, to be started indoors. Well, we will plant sunflower seeds in the backyard later this spring, but those are pretty tried-and-true - I can usually make them work. I do like the process of growing from seed, though, and I wanted to continue that with them; there's so much to observe and it's a good learning experience.



I picked up these adorable painted tin pots, almost like little buckets, in a recent thrifting excursion. I paid 69 cents for each pot. They have plastic linings, with drainage space at the bottoms. I thought they were pretty nice. I picked up the seed packets at Home Depot last week. I was so glad to see them there because I had tried to buy some in the grocery store a few days earlier and the floral lady there said they wouldn't get any until April! That seems awfully late to me. I chose basil and chives, because they grow fairly quickly and this family would eat both of them - provided they grow well, of course.



Each small Bear took a pot and made finger-divots in the dirt (I'd filled the pots earlier with help from the LB, who is developing some mean trowel skills).



Seeds were added...


(Mildly) dirty little paws were examined...


The pots were watered by able young hands...


With hopeful hearts, we placed the pots in a sunny windowsill. When the seeds begin to sprout, we will make observations and write things down. I'll take photos too. I keep my camera in the kitchen, where we spend so much of our time, doing stuff-of-life stuff. Hopefully, in a couple of months, this will include eating foods prepared with our very own chives and basil. I'll happily photograph the pasta sauce, or the pizza, or the scrambled eggs, made with herbs we grew ourselves. Oh, that glorious future meal - I can already see myself making it! But first, we watch and wait.

51 comments:

  1. Growing seeds are so much fun, last year my daughter took so much interest she brought her own seeds with her pockets money.Your pom poms are great too so cheerful all the colours x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your pom pom garland! It really brightens up your white shelf... great job. I love the jar of colorful buttons up there, too. And this reminds me that I need to pick up some basil seeds. I need to let Charlotte garden along with me... she would love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your garland and think the size of the pompoms is perfect for your shelf. How sweet is that (not very) mucky paw pic! Good luck with the seeds and the sense of achievement with the meal made from them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I absolutely love stringing pompoms together, and creating a lovely display! -I love how it turned out. Jennifer, it looks wonderful. Isn't it nice to plant seeds with our children?! I really enjoyed doing this last year with my daughter. I plan on doing it again this year. She enjoyed, and I enjoyed watching her plant her seeds. -Your bears look as though they enjoyed their time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your cheerful pom-pom garland. So bright and happy. Very needed in this wintertime of snow, snow, snow. Bleh. I've never planted herbs indoors but eery year I think about it... and then don't do it. :-) I look forward to seeing the pictures of yours growing. Maybe it will inspire me to plant my own.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  6. The pompom garland is really pretty, Jennifer, and perfect to light up your space. Teaching children about gardening is a gift for life. I grew up watching my parents tend the garden and absorbed the principles without really thinking about it. To this day I find myself quoting gardening lore learn from them. My children are the same, and all three of them take an interest, buy and grow plants, including herbs. It is a basic gift of humanity to tend plants and cultivate the soil. I'm sure the little bears are enjoying the experience.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it is great that you are giving the children this experience.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well, I got caught up in the children's gardening, and completely forgot about your adorable pompom garland. It is super-cute, and I'm sure it adds such fun to your new space.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a fun way to bring color into your life! I also think it's cool that you're having the kids learn to grow things from seed. You're such a good mom! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Can't wait to start some seeds. We're planning on lots of container gardening this year.

    Nice bright garland for your space!

    ReplyDelete
  11. There is nothing better than planting with kids and I am so excited to see some updates on your new plants! Bravo to you for instilling this in your kids! And friend...your new colorful garland is just spectacular in your new work area! The colors on your shelves are fantastic!! Well done! Here is to a lovely week! Nicole xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  12. That pompom garland is really effective and adds so much fun. I haven't really seen one before but how simple yet cool.
    I might try some simple plant growing with my smallest bug. I am the grim reaper when it comes to plants though so I won't hold my breath!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jennifer, your pompom garland is adorable! In fact, your little vignette looks a little British to me, very English Country cute! How wonderful that you took the time to teach the bears about the growth cycle in such an interactive way! Hope you'll have some wonderfully aromatic herbs to spice up your dishes, soon!

    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pom poms are just soooo cheery, yours looks mighty sweet on that shelf! I love planting seeds with my children, too - we have a tradition of planting seeds on British Mothers Day, which is in March - they're good little seedlings by the time American Mothers Day rolls around! (Yes indeed I celebrate twice! ;-) ) Chrissie x

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a sweet little garland, so bright and cheery.
    Marianne x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very cute! I have the same little owl on my desk too :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pretty garland - it look lovely with all your other pretties on the shelf above.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Jennifer, i love the look of your shelf and board, the garland just adds the perfect colourful little finishing touch. Good luck to you and your bears with the seed growing, i just noticed that the seeds i planted a few weeks ago have started to sprout... exciting times! x

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lovely garland, I'm looking forward to seeing your office corner. It's the time of year to start the planting I think. I've just put some tomato seeds in, and I discovered frogspawn in the pond yesterday. The season is turning. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a fun and bright garland, looks perfect where you've placed it!
    It's lovely for children to learn about growing plants and vegetables from seed, I always did it with my daughter too. We also had a go with growing mushrooms from mushroom compost and potatoes in large pots so she could find the potatoes once they were ready!
    Gill xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love your pom pom garland and don't think it's one bit too "festive!" For Christmas gifts to their moms, I helped the grandkids make a necklace of a paper Santa face with tiny white pom poms on the beard, and then larger sparkly red and green ones threaded onto the Baker's twine cord. At 3 and 5 years old, the kids were too young to handle the needle, but they told me which poms, and in which order to thread. I just love the finished look of those happy little colorful bumps!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love your cheerful desk area. :)
    The garland is great. x

    ReplyDelete
  23. The garland looks very pretty Jennifer and looks perfect on your shelf. I always have a pot of Basil on my kitchen windowsill, the aroma is delicious. :-)
    Patricia x

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love your garland, it brings so much color and pop to your shelf.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your garland is so pretty! I am sure that GB would love one for her room too! xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Those little pompoms are so tactile, and they come in great colours. The garland looks fab. I shall have to make one myself with the left over pompoms from my Big Knit knitting. Hope the seeds grow, you've just reminded me that I need to get some basil sown myself.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The pompon garland was a great way to add some colour to your space, Jennifer! And chives, basil and sunflowers are all great choices. The chives are perennial, so if you get them established in a good spot you will have chives every year.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Teaching your children to grow seeds is a great way for them to learn where food comes from and how it grows. Great learning experience. I like how your pom pom garland. It definitely brightens up the space. Love the little rabbit on your shelf too.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh man! That reminds me that I need to get some of my seeds started in little pots in the house so they'll be ready to transplant outside in a couple of months. I had basil last year and LOVED it! Having fresh basil at the ready is great. Great little learning experience for your little ones! Such a good mommie.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey Jennifer,

    I think that your garland looks fab. I love how your pin board is filling up with all those lovely bits and bobs. I am hoping to get Olly involved in another raft of seed planting this week. It's a lovely exercise, and I do love his face when the little seeds start sprouting.
    We like to make cress heads. Perhaps your little ones would enjoy that when you get your chickens? An empty egg shell, decorated with a funny face, some damp cotton wool and a smatter of cress seeds. Pop them in an opened egg box and in a few days you have a cress head family that you can give a hair cut and pop in your salad or sandwich!!

    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi neighbor! Aren't you loving the weather? My grandgirls would love that pom pom garland. So cheery! (The best market up by you is The Indoor Fleamarket on Central north of Eubank. I like Family Thrift on Juan Tabo and Constitution, and often find vintage linens there. Happy Junking!)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Beautiful post as ever, Jennifer. Your garland reminds me of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. oh the pom poms really brighten up the place. D loves playing with them
    Love Basil. The kids will really love watching them grow

    ReplyDelete
  34. I agree with the above comment the pom pom garland defo reminds me of the hungry caterpillar. As ever Jennifer ,beautiful pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh YES YES YES to the pom pom garland. Make more Jen and put them all over the house!! Too soon for seeds here but the yearnings have started. Love Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  36. Those pom poms are very bright and cheery and I love herbs, it is one thing I can actually grow lol

    ReplyDelete
  37. I just love your pompom garland, it's so cheery and bright. Your colour placement looks random but balanced at the same time. I find random so hard! It's so nice to be thinking about planting some seeds. My thoughts are starting to turn towards spring and the garden, just a little bit. x

    ReplyDelete
  38. good luck with your chives and basil. it will be so much fun to cook with them. your garland is so much fun. it looks great alongside your bulletin board and other cheery decorations.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Once more you inspire me, Jennifer! The wheat grass I planted in my blue flower pots inside is a bit tired looking and I have cut it several times. It would be fun and practical if I could convince basil and chives to grow in those pots on the windowsill. Your pompoms are very cheery, too. Thanks for posting :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Jennifer,

    Love the bright garland you made and the memory board is lovely too.
    Hope the plants grow well - so much fun for kids planting seeds and then watching them grow and nice to have for your cooking.
    happy week
    hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete

  41. Love the little pots. Once they have grown, chives are easy to propagate. Just divide the plant in half, or quarters, and replant. It doesn't take long for them to spread. I have pots of chives that over winter every year. With the warm days, they have grown several inches in the last two weeks. Hope yours grow quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love your pompom garland draping there - the colours are magic, and I do wish you and Little Bears all the best with the little plantings - such a great learning experience for them. I agree with your thoughts re avoiding waste of our precious commodity, water, Jennifer, and that's something else your LB's are learning from you. Such a good Mum you are! Hugs, Joy xo

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love your colourful pom-poms, they make such a pretty garland! And growing plants from seed with your children is such a wonderful thing to do. Loved seeing all your pictures today :)
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Alistair just got back from school with a little flower pot and a hopefully a soon to be growing bean plant. It is lovely do plant seeds with the children. The chives will come back year after year, even if you completely neglect it. I love chives on salted butter and white bread.... Your pompon garland looks very cheerful, and I am sure GB would love to have one in her bedroom, too. Have a lovely week Jennifer! Cx

    ReplyDelete
  45. Loving the colorful pom poms ~ you do such fun creative things !

    ReplyDelete
  46. The pom pom garland is really cute :) My oldest helps me plant my garden every year, he loves it. I think it's great that your kids helped you plant the basil and chives!

    ReplyDelete
  47. So lovely to get you hands in the earthe and plant seeds, enjoy the herbs. Plus wow that pompom garland is cute
    Clare x

    ReplyDelete
  48. You're such a fun and creative mom! :) I adore the pom pom garland!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Hello friends! I love reading your comments and I appreciate them so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...