Indoor Hanging Plants: In Lightbulbs

Confession time, I’ve become overly fond of hanging plants from the ceiling. The hanging foliage is far too dramatic for me to resist and green just adds life to a space.

Hanging plants are perfect decorating solutions for limited spaces. That is unless plants die within a day of reaching your hands. If that’s you, I don’t recommend trying this.

So, what could be more dramatic than hanging plants from the ceiling? Well, I’m glad you asked- The answer is obviously to recycle lightbulbs, use them as planters and then hang them from the ceiling! I’m a genius.

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A Morning glory

 

Jokes aside, lightbulb planters are really fun decorations, and fairly easy to make. I got the idea from a Pinterest post where emptied light bulbs were being used as vases for cut flowers. So, if I can use a lightbulb as a vase, why not grow a plant in one?

The first step is emptying the lightbulb, which takes a little practice but isn’t difficult. After that, there are two ways to grow a plant inside.

Replanting in a lightbulb

My first hanging lightbulb planter was used to grow a rose, which I still have. I started with a miniature rose plant and after removing all the soil surrounding the plant’s roots I divided the root base into two sections so I could fit the plant through the small lightbulb opening. Working the rose into the lightbulb without being stabbed was a little tricky but once it was in, I just needed to fill the bulb with potting soil.

Note: Roses need to go through a winter cycle before they will flower again. So if you plant roses, either be willing to let it go dormant in a cool place or just keep it as a cute little bush.

Also, If you want consistent foliage, be sure to rotate the plant occasionally, since the leaves will turn towards the sun.

Growing a lightbulb plant from seed

If the previous planting method was too much, the easier option is to grow a plant from seed. To do this, just fill the lightbulb with soil, drop a seed into the planter and cover it with a little dirt. After that, water the soil and leave the lightbulb in the sun.

Note: I’ve mainly planted pole beans so far. They climb up the suspension cables and grow like crazy. If you try another type of plant let me know how it turns out!

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Pole beans

Care

Hang your planter near a window where the plants will get daily sun (south facing windows are usually the best for this).

The key to keeping the plants alive is maintaining moist soil, don’t let it get too dry but also don’t let the plant sit in water. If the plant runs out of water it usually will recover. The real risk is over-watering, since there is no way for the water to drain. Once you get the hang of things, lightbulb planters are easy to care for and slightly addictive to make.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

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Decorating with Suzanis

For centuries, the art of Suzani has been a defining characteristic of central Asian culture. The traditional textile is recognizable for its decorative needlework and bold color.

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A silk Suzani, about 7x5ft

Historically, young girls and their female family members prepared these embroidered masterpieces together.  The needlework began at the daughter’s birth and continued until her wedding, where the fabrics were a central part of her dowry. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, Suzani has been making a comeback as people around the world become aware of the beautiful fabrics.

I first encountered Suzani in my mom’s suitcase, following her return from a trip to Uzbekistan. I was instantly in love. Sadly, her two Suzani tapestries ended up in a forlorn storage box, until I re-discovered them a year ago and made off with them. Now they brighten my room with that unique Suzani flare.

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I think this Suzani is cotton, it’s about 7x7ft

Adding a Suzani can brighten up any dull room and decorators have started to incorporate them into their designs. I typically see the large tapestries used as bedspreads, alternative headboards and wall art. I’ve also seen some instances of people re-covering furniture and pillows with Suzani fabric. There are some great examples at houzz.com. If you feel like your room needs something more to liven it up, I highly recommend you try adding a Suzani. They are beautiful and unique. I’m caught between wishing more people know about them and wanting to keep them a secret. Too late now, I suppose!

As for my own Suzani, I’ll probably have to give them back to mom. But I can always hope that she will pass them on to me like the mothers of old.

 

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The Art of Finding Thrift Store Treasures

Thrift stores are the perfect places to find fascinating clothing on a budget. I find most of my favorite pieces in thrift shops and over the years I’ve developed a method for finding the treasures.

1. Shop frequently: The key to finding amazing items hinges on the regularity of your visits, so stop in often. It’s a simple idea but new items arrive every day. The more you look, the higher the likelihood of finding something amazing.

2. Don’t limit yourself by size: I’ve found that thrift store sections are not the best indicator of fit. Items in thrift stores are coming from thousands of different brands with their own fit. Not to mention vintage items, and clothing from other countries, with different sizing. So, if you have time, give the other sections a glance, something might catch your eye.

3. If it catches your interest try it on:

I have two rules for my thrift shopping trips #1 get a cart and #2 if it looks interesting, try it on. The cart is important because on a good trip I end up with 20+ items to take to the dressing room. Once I try them on there are usually only 2 or 3 I actually consider buying and that’s on a good day. I do this because without trying them on I don’t know how they will fit or look. Once you’re wearing the clothing it only takes me a few seconds to figure out if it’s a keeper, which brings me to my next point.

4. Go with your gut decision:

I glean through my 20+ item pile of clothing very quickly. After all, I don’t want to hold up the changing room. In fact, I’m usually finished before my three sisters, who will try on less than 10 items. The key is to be decisive. Once you try on an item go with your gut reaction, it’s usually the right one. Then make two piles: yes, and no.

5. Don’t be afraid to leave empty handed:

Never feel like you need to buy something. There will be days when you can’t find anything. It can be tempting to make a purchase anyway since the prices are so low. However, if you don’t like what you buy chances are you won’t wear it. You won’t lose very much money but why waste it?

Using these methods I’ve been able to save hundreds on clothes and find amazing articles of clothing. Even if you decide that some of these methods are not for you, try to come up with a system of your own to make thrift shopping simple and effortless. There are hundreds of websites with thrift shopping advice, so see what works for you. After all, there’s no point wandering through the sections like a lost child. Have a plan and stick with it, you’ll save time and money.

5 Suspender Outfit Ideas for Women

Classy, slimming and dramatic. I love wearing suspenders with oxfords, skinny jeans and a hat of some sort. The end result is a comfortable and polished outfit.

Suspenders as we know them, originated in the 1820s,  with Albert Thurston a British designer, according to Time magazine. They were used to hold up high-waisted pants that could not be belted.

Today, suspenders often have nothing to do with holding pants up. Now suspenders are  fashion accessories and there are thousands of ways to wear them.

  1. Black and White Contrast

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I love this combination from the blog powermovesandpumps. The white outfit really makes the suspenders pop.

 

2. Striped Trousers

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This one from Free People’s 2013 catalogue has a more casual look to it.

 

3. Unique Button Downs

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The unique button-down top gives this outfit even more of a unique flare. From Rachel Iwanyszyn on Fashion Indie.

 

4. Suspenders with Necktie

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Not only does this outfit from German designer Lena Hoschek’s A/W 2010 collection have a unique top, the suspenders are also pared with an eye catching tie. It’s a little too much for my tastes but a good idea.

 

5. Suspenders with Skirts

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Suspenders can also be a nice finishing touch for a skirt. This outfit comes from Stasha Fashion and demonstrates more great use of black and white contrast.

 

I hope this gives you some ideas for outfits! There are so many different ways to wear suspenders, get creative and come up with some combinations of your own.

Good luck!