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August 26, 2017

how to pot succulents

How to properly pot succulents
Windowsill buddies. How to plant and care for succulents.
Whichever color is between brown and green (green-brown?), that is the color of my thumbs. I still have lots to learn about the plants I've brought into my home, but I've mastered some. Most of the tropical-type plants in my house are suffering my ignorance the hardest. I just love them so much and want to water them all the time! This, as it turns out, is the opposite of love. Of all the indoor greenery, I have the firmest grasp on succulents, and feel confident that I can share how to properly care for and pot succulents.
If you're a long-time reader, you know I figured out how to propagate succulents a while back. Since discovering this trick, I have propagated the same plant 2-3 times. I've also ended up with a few random succulents, plus my fiancé Heather's aloe plant that made the trek with us from Florida to Minneapolis. Essentially, there were a lot of random pots with random plants hanging in all the windows. I recently gathered them all up in a simple window box, and here's how I set them up in their new home.
What you need to properly pot succulents

You'll need: 

Step 1: Fill with rocks
When choosing a planter to pot succulents in, pick a low container, preferably with draining holes. Succulents hate sitting in water, so it's important that moisture can move through the soil and away from the roots of the plants. In the bottom of your planter, lay down a layer of pebbles. This will aid in proper drainage. 
Step 2: Fill with quick-draining soil
Next, fill the planter 3/4 of the way full with potting soil. I like using the quick-draining variety for added protection against root rot. 
Take your plants and shake any loose dirt from the roots. Arrange them inside the planter. Don't squish them down into the dirt, just lightly set them in place. You don't want to cause the dirt to be compacted, nor do you want to tussle the roots too much. 
Step 3: Fill with a variety of succulents
Fill in any empty space in the container with more potting soil. I added a handful of river rocks on the topsoil too, just because I thought they looked cute.
Grab the spray bottle full of filtered water, and mist your plants. I recommend using filtered water only, and here's why: tap water is full of fluoride, which is great for humans (it protects our teeth and makes them stronger), but bad for plants. I have made the switch to watering my plants entirely with filtered water, and the difference has been significant. Fluoride is harsh on plants, and if you've noticed the edges of your plants leaves turning yellow or brown, I would recommend making the switch*. I also recommend using a spray bottle, as it cuts down on the tendency to just completely soak plants. 
*When using filtered water, make sure the water is room-temperature before you spray your plants. Don't shock them with cold, Brita water from the fridge!
Happy plant gang.
How to fill a windowsill box with succulents
Succulents love bright light, so a windowsill it the optimal place for them. Make sure to water them frequently - I like to mist them 2-3 times per week, less in the winter. 
How to fill a windowsill box with succulents
Aww.
My plant-loving home.
I keep finding ways to bring plants into the kitchen, and I think that's because it's my least favorite room in the apartment. These succulents are definitely cheering it up, though.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. If you have a busy houseplant schedule to keep track of, use this free printable to-do template.

August 9, 2017

the dress | chapter four (a.k.a. decision-making time)

DIY Wedding Dress, Chapter 4
In all honesty, I have not been a diligent bride-to-be. I've been procrastinating with the work I need to do on my handmade wedding dress. I'm at this crucial stage where all the steps remaining are definitive and seemingly irreversible, and it's daunting. The due date is coming up fast, so in spite of my insecurities and fears, I need to bite the bullet. The last thing I want is to be sewing buttons the day before my wedding. Hence the quote on my letter board. 

Here's what I have left to do. I need to:
  • Put in a zipper (definitively determining waist size!!)
  • Cut the skirt to the proper length and hem
  • Add detailing and buttons

DIY wedding dress to-do list
Even though I'm terrified of making these final moves on my dress, it's simultaneously exciting. I temporarily pinned the zipper in place (which, after I did, made me realize my zipper is way too long), and put the dress on. Oh baby, this thing is awesome. It's like a real dress! And I'm still in love with the pockets. It feels pretty damn good to be this far along. 
Details on my handmade wedding dress
As far as tackling my to-do list, I'm feeling more positively about some things versus others. The zipper I feel pretty good about, I just need to pull the trigger and stitch it in. 

The details are what I'm most excited for. I'm absolutely swooning over the sheer top I picked for this gown, but after hemming it, I'm realizing I need some sort of trim around the neckline and the arm holes. Nothing crazy, just something to hide the hemline. I also need a small, rounded button for the neck hole, plus an additional button for the top of the zipper. A shopping list is forming in my head...
Details on my handmade wedding dress
Details on my handmade wedding dress
Regarding the length of the gown, I'm totally stumped. How do you determine how long to make a dress when you haven't even decided what shoes you'll be wearing?? I'm getting married in the middle of the winter, which means some of the time I'll be wearing flats (for the sake of my fiancé who is shorter than me and feels a little self-conscious about it), but other times I'll probably be wearing boots in the snow! I still have some research to do, but any input would be seriously appreciated. Do I buy the shoes now? Do I make the length reversible in case something changes? Help!

Aside from finishing the gown, I still need to gather accessories, like shoes, earrings, and some sort of wrap (because, winter wedding =  brr). I also need to figure out what in the world I'm doing with my hair, and whether or not I can pull off lipstick. Stay tuned!

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. See the previous chapter in this DIY wedding dress series where I share the wonder of pockets. 

July 29, 2017

life | links

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Well, hello there! How is everyone's summer going? Around here, the time has been full but rewarding, with as many moments being spent outside as possible. Heather has reignited her love of the open water (as seen here). The lakes make her nostalgic for her high school rowing days, so we're the kind of people who kayak now. It makes my arms and back ache but my head and heart happy. My bike is getting lots of fresh air, too, as we're discovering all sorts of trails and paths that we hadn't visited before. I'm trying to say "yes" more. I'm trying to spend my time effectively, productively, and wisely. I'm also drinking a lot of Lacroix, which is making me feel exceptionally basic but hydrated.

HAPPY LINKS

I usually put this kind of post out on Friday, but let's be honest, it's crazy that I'm writing anything AT ALL because I've kind of let We Can Make Anything fall to the wayside as my life changes and evolves. But this site is my first love, my cozy spot, my home, so I'm not letting go of her entirely. Have a sweet weekend, I'm off to buy a snake plant.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. I keep track of the watering and lighting needs for all my plants by using this handy printable.

July 16, 2017

diy minimal fashion | how i cloned a tank top

DIY minimal fashion - how to clone your wardrobe
How to sew a minimal tank top
Happy summer!

I've been scratching a recent itch to work on more sewing projects. I'm worried it has to do with how I'm procrastinating on my wedding dress, but I'm trying not to think about that (since I definitely am procrastinating on that project). This tank top is the most recent addition to my wardrobe. It's simple, minimal, comfy - much like its predecessor. I used an existing shirt to create this new one, which is by far the easiest way I've found to sew one's own clothing (also there is no room for judgement when you see how worn this shirt is - it's incredibly comfy). A while ago I shared how I made my own t-shirt, and this method is essentially the same. 
Materials needed for this project

To make this top, I used:

  • Knit, stretchy fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine and notions
  • Marking pencil
  • Existing tank top to replicate 
How to clone your wardrobe
Step 1. | To begin, I laid my knit material down with the stretch of the fabric moving from right to left, just as my original garment moves. I laid the shirt on the fabric, then traced about 1/2 inch around the garment. I only traced one half of the garment, then folded the fabric in half along the middle. Next I cut along the outline while the fabric was still folded, cutting through both layers of fabric.
How to clone your wardrobe
Step 2. | With my first piece cut, I traced its shape onto the fabric, and cut out an identical piece. To differentiate between the pieces, I cut one with a deeper neckline for the front, and one with narrower straps for the back. 
Make a minimal tank
Step 3. | I pinned the pieces together, right-sides in. I then sewed along the sides and at the top where the straps meet, using a zig-zag stitch. It's important to use a zig-zag stitch when sewing stretchy materials. This way the seam moves with the stretching of the fabric. 
How to sew a muscle tee
Step 4. | With the seams in place, all I had left to do was hem any raw edges. I did this with a zig-zag stitch as well. 
Summer is here and I'm going sleeveless by cloning my favorite muscle tee
Details from this DIY minimal fashion project
This fabric is so incredibly comfortable, and the length and fit of this top is just right. I'm all about DIY minimal fashion, and am so ready to sew up a whole batch of these tanks. 
How to sew a muscle tee
Sew your own tank top
Side note: I'm getting older, and caring a lot less. Like, I don't care that people tell me I need more diversity in my wardrobe, and I don't care that black and denim are the only colors I ever want to wear. So I'm resigning to just doing what I want, and wearing what I want. It feels good, and I'm ending up with a lot less clothes in my closet that I don't actually like. 

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. If you're into basic wardrobe pieces, learn how to make this everyday bag.

April 23, 2017

plant notes printable

Keep track of your greens with this printable plant notes sheet
Plant Notes Printable
Maybe the next post I write won't be about plants... okay maybe it will. I'm dealing with a plant crush right now. I boosted my indoor botanical gang recently (and wrote about it for Curbly), and now I have so many that I'm having difficulty keeping track of them all. Some houseplants need water once a week, some every other day. I really don't want to kill any of them, so I'm keeping a plant journal. I've made this plant notes sheet available to print - just click here to download.
Watering, sunlight, etc. - keep track of how to care for your plants with this printable
I love having all these plants in our home. They're so bright and happy, and make the place seem cozier. I don't have a super green thumb, but I'm SO DETERMINED not to kill any of these houseplants!

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Are you a list-maker? I've got another printable for you then!
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