You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘DIY’ tag.

My electronic archives have been neglected this year as I took a turn back to the old ways, to relish the dying art of handwriting and its ancient tools, and to savor the privacy, tangibility, focus and flow that these tools afford. 

For some reason, this seems like a good time to share a gratuitous picture of a turtle I met this year.  Or maybe she’s not so gratuitous. Maybe she was a little spirit companion meant to remind me the value of slowing down, grounding, and seeking solitude.


But I didn’t come here today to share turtle pictures.  I wanted to show you one of my most prized possessions — a garden journal my sister made for me.




She calls it a “junk journal,” though I don’t think that’s a fitting description. Every single page is embellished with awesomeness.



There are all sorts of nooks and folds in which to tuck notes, thoughts, dreams, and ideas.  And she stocked it with seeds, charms, a vial of dandelion fluff upon which to make wishes, and all sorts of magic.


And these pictures do not even begin to do it justice.


With this journal I am a garden wizard!  Next year, I should be able to grow a beanstalk to climb to find the goose who lays golden eggs.

It makes me happy.

The video below is her doing a complete flip-through of the journal in case you’re interested:

And if you want to see the other journals she’s created (e.g., Murder on the Orient Express), here’s a link to her channel:
Recycled by Skattur


Skattur’s latest completed project is a fairy garden and it’s so cute that it needed to be shared.


Here are a few of her others…


It’s December and I am on a mission! There is a bunch of stuff I need to get done to wrap up the year. I have added new goals and resolutions to this month’s spreadsheet.

Today I decided to tackle the toy collection that is taking over my office.

With the closet and cabinets crammed with tests and materials, the bathtub has become a make-shift toy box.



I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond hoping to find inspiration to organize this mess. For under $50, I came up with this solution:





I’m not done yet! I need a couple more hanging organizers, but already that feels sooooo much better!


Ever wondered what do with an unsightly tree stump?

I had  a tree stump in my front yard and I thought I was being creative by hollowing it out and planting a flower in it.

But then my sister took tree stump creativity to a whole new level.    Skattur of SoKaN and Recycled by Skattur fame, transformed her ugly stump into a fabulous little gnome house.


gnome house 2j


You can check out all the adorable details in the pictures on her blog:  Skatturcast’s Blog

SoKaN’s El-D (yes, we’ve claimed him) has been building a coffee table out of pallet wood.  He’s getting close to the end of his project.  Check out his tutorial on the project:

Reclaimed pallet coffee table – December 2013.

If you like shopping at flea markets and you like gardening then you will love the Flea Market Gardening website, where the two become joined in art.   Sue Langley, the woman behind the website features “Real people. Real gardens. Real projects. ”  She posts fabulous pictures of gardeners’ second hand hauls and their DIY creations.  The website is a treasure trove of cute gardening ideas.


I’m soooo excited that SoKaN’s very own Skattur is featured today on the website!  The article is a how-to guide on how she and her husband made these wooden pallet chairs.


Skattur will be at The Cooper-Young Community’s Farmers Market this Sunday, May 11 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.  She’ll be pedaling her garden totems and bird feeders, which of course would make a great Mother’s Day gift.  Just sayin’…

skattur etsy

Skattur’s garden art from her Etsy shop

in bloom

I started a garden journal this week to help me learn the names of everything blooming in the yard so I can get a sense of when, where, and what action is happening.

tulip, daffodils, & weeping forsythia

tulip, daffodils, & weeping forsythia

April I 2013 025I don’t know what the thing with the pink blooms is yet. Help please?

April 2013 035


April 2013 032

crab apple blossoms

I had no idea the crab apple trees offered a double feature — white flowers in April, little red apples in August.

Wild Life

I have finally managed to capture photo evidence of my “pterodactyl.”  Granted, the heron is not particularly lizard-like, but he’s huge and prehistoric-looking, which has earned him the name “Pterry.” Pterry often visits the yard outside my office window in the morning. The feathered fiend tends to emerge in slow motion into my peripheral vision while I am busily typing at something.  As soon as I make a move for the camera he stretches his gigantic wings and flaps about 10 times before managing to lift his forever long legs off the ground.  The sight is so mesmerizing I usually forget I’m holding a camera as I watch him.  When I finally remember to snap pictures, they turn out about as fuzzy as a dream in fading memory.

The other day I spotted Pterry wandering near the koi pond.  Nickel and I both went stalking after him. I’m not sure what Nickel was thinking – the bird is nearly as tall as I am. So far this is the best picture I’ve snapped of Pterry.  I am hoping he stays away from the koi.

Pterry the Pterodactyl

Pterry the Pterodactyl

A couple days ago I also captured a picture of my first noncaptive raccoon. He was wandering around the neighbor’s front yard. In this picture he was looking for the source of the all the kissing and whistling sounds.

April I 2013 005


We have a new fence! The Angry Russian made it curvy and El-D hand-cut every one of the 134 pickets.

April 2013 041

To celebrate its completion, Lady Bug (Nilla Bean’s sister) came over last week for a play date with Moon Pie. They romped around all day and wore each other out.

April 2013 023

Lady Bug and Moon Pie

Last weekend we planted wave one of the seedlings – his and hers:

His Method: Dixie Cups on a Teacart

His Method: Dixie Cups on a Teacart

Why his and hers?

Because things must be done a certain way.

He prefers little cups he can write on with a sharpie.

She wanted to reuse the 2-liter bottles before sending them to be recycled.

He requires an intricate mix of dirt samples taken from various points in the yard.

She’s good with store bought potting soil mixed with a bit of compost.

He wanted squash, okra, and tomatos.

She is more interested in growing radishes, herbs, and flowers.

He likes to plant any old seed packet from years gone by.

She likes heirlooms and fancy things.

Only one week later, things are already sprouting: squash, marigolds, petunias, radishes, and beans.

Her Method: Cut 2-liter bottles with printed labels

Her Method: Cut 2-liter bottles with printed labels


The Annual St. Jude Spring Fest and Gospel Extravaganza was this weekend in Millington.

Good times for a good cause.

Skattur’s display of garden art and accessories was the prettiest yet.

craft fair display

craft fair display


yard art in spring colors

yard art in spring colors

Her little fairy habitats are utterly adorable.



People toss out interesting things.

And I have acquired the quirky behavior of rummaging around in the things other people pitch out, then stacking one person’s tossed out treasure on top of another’s discarded thing-a-ma-bob.  Fanciful sculptures emerge, which I then throw in the yard.

I blame Skattur.

On Break

On Break

This coming Saturday I will drag them to the St. Jude Craft fair under the pretense of wanting to sell them….

2013 sokan 021

…but it feels a little like selling one’s children.

2013 sokan 012

Obviously, I still have a lot to learn about letting go.

2013 sokan 010

Star-Crossed Tree Huggers

Today SoKaN joined a gang of 80 knittas and hookers to carry out a bombing assignment for the mafia.


3-17-13 035

That’s yarn bombing, of course, otherwise known as knit graffiti, a form of community street art.  And the mafia is the Memphis Knit Mafia.

knit the brooks 3-17-13 020

the turquoise and red piece on the 2nd rail is my work

This means that as of today my work is officially on display at a museum.  I’m pretty sure this makes me edgy and urban, yet sophisticated and classy, all at the same time (if only in my imagination).

I lead such an adventurous (fantasy) life, especially for someone who spends such a vast amount of leisure time reading, knitting, and putting on shadow puppet shows for her puppy.

People are so durn creative, so now I will present the work of the real artists…

knit the brooks 3-17-13 019

Ladybugs and flowers and stripes and pink and pompoms! It’s so fluffy I could die.

knit the brooks 3-17-13 025

Knitted hearts on a string! Be still my heart. I must learn to make these.

knit the brooks 3-17-13 033

More hearts.

knit the brooks 3-17-13 037

A super big THANK YOU to Christiana Leibovich for being the capo di tutti capi.

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