{Free Download: Planter Box Tutorial}

Once upon a time, I told you a little bit about the pair of planter boxes that live on our porch. Well, Nate made a really neat tutorial PDF a while back, and I thought it was about time that I share it with you! (Along with some pictures of our porch garden of course!)

If you read the fourth issue of the Indie Fixx online magazine, Joie: Blooming, you may recognize this tutorial, since it was featured in the issue. Unfortunately, something went wrong when the magazine was uploaded to Issuu and the free PDF download that Nate put together wasn’t available. (As my besties Joanna and Emily would say: Whompers!)

Anyhow, I’m too proud of Nate’s work not to share it with everyone … So here it is: Just for MLE readers!


1 box of all-purpose 8 x 1 ¾ dual-torq drive crews
1 box of all-purpose 8 x 2 ½ dual-torq drive screws
4 Long Sides – 1” x 4” x 48”
4 Short Sides – 1” x 4” x 5 ¼”
4 Bottom Boards – 1” x 4” x 48”
4 Legs – 2” x 2” x 24”
1 Long Leg Brace – 2” x 2” x 45”­­
2 Short Leg Braces – 2” x 2” x 10 7/8
2 Long Bottom Braces – 2” x 2” x 45”
3 Short Bottom Braces – 2” x 2” x 10 7/8
2 Short Basket Braces – 2” x 2” x 6 7/8


Be sure to use cedar, which is naturally able to handle the temperature shifts and adverse weather that come with being outdoors. For the same reason, you’ll want to choose decking screws for assembly. To prevent the wood from splitting, pre-drill all holes using a drill bit slightly smaller than the shaft of the screw.

Rather than using a single, wide board to form the sides and bottom of our planters, Nate and I combined multiple narrow boards. We did this for two reasons: (1) to save on cost (two 1” x 4” boards cost much less than one 1” x 8” board), and (2) to allow for adequate drainage. To be sure that only excess water, and not dirt, drains through these crevasses, we lined the bottom and sides of the box with burlap using a staple gun. (If you stop after this step, the boxes are great for holding potted plants, or goodies & decorations for a backyard barbeque!)

Free Download:

(click the image to download the full PDF)


{The Sewing Corner}

Some of my mom’s things have been slowly coming to live with me here in KC. One of those things is her sewing table. My mom made both of my prom dresses, some snazzy sequin vests for my former-rodeo-queen step sister, and many more treasured pieces at this little table.

Once it arrived in KC, I set to work trying to find it a home in our tiny apartment. The end result is this sun-bathed sewing corner in, of all places, our dining room. This setup has an unexpected perk: When we have company over, I move the sewing machine into the master bedroom and the sewing table becomes a buffet table!

We’ve enjoyed having this little table in the main living area of the apartment. Everyday, I get to see it and imagine my mom sitting in the vinyl-covered chair with her sewing machine humming along. Every item she made was a little piece of her heart, and every person that got to wear or use her handiwork knew they were loved.

I like to think that she would have enjoyed working in this sunny corner of the apartment. I certainly do! Like mother, like daughter, right?


{Madewell Blogger Event}

On July 15th, you will find me at Town Center Plaza. Why? The Madewell blogger event is from 5-7 PM, and I simply refuse to miss it.

Don’t be fooled, though! Even though it’s called the Madewell blogger event, it’s open to anyone that RSVPs to the fabulous Meggy of Chasing Davies.

What are you in for if you RSVP? A peek at new arrivals, fashion previews, discounts, giveaways, and *drum roll, please* a Madewell braid bar!

To RSVP, visit Meggy’s blog and shoot her an email. And don’t forget to connect with Madewell on Facebook and Twitter! Hope to see you there!


{The Curious Case of Benjamin Bubble Garden}

The hubs and I love visiting River Market Antiques. It is 30,000 square feet (that is not a typo) of vintage heaven. On one of our visits I ran across a mysterious glass globe with a metal dowel rod and wooden handle. I had no idea what it was, but I loved it. In a moment of crippling fiscal responsibility, I saved $16 and walked away. But it was one of those unique pieces that you just can’t live without. After several days of daydreaming about the mysterious globe, I could resist any longer. I returned to River Market Antiques, scrambled to the second floor, found it, and bought the hell out of it.

I’m still baffled by this piece. I’ve tried Googling “Trans-Plastic Inc.” and “Bubble Garden,” but haven’t found an ounce of information. It seems like the perfect candidate for a terrarium (you know…since it has the word “garden” in the product name…), but I can’t figure out how I would water the plants inside since the only way to access it is by completely unscrewing the metal plate on the bottom. I know myself well enough to know that carefully arranging a tiny fauna universe only to destroy it every two weeks just to water it would irritate me beyond reason. Not. worth. it.

For now, four vintage picture cards are displayed inside. The benefit here is that I don’t have to water them. Picture cards were included in product packages or provided in exchange for product wrappers. They are typically winter or Christmas themed, and these particular picture cards are from Lion Coffee and Dayton Spice Mills Company’s Jersey Coffee.

The pictures are amaaaahzing, but it’s the text on the back that really gives these little cards character. I’ve always gotten a kick out of reading vintage ads. Back in the day, ads and promotional pieces like these picture cards were filled to the brim with flowery, often hilarious, text. Here, Jersey Coffee boasts that it will offer multiple design options, “thus giving to regular Consumers of Jersey Coffee, an elegant VARIETY of beautiful works of Art with which to adorn and beautify their homes, FREE OF COST.” 

My favorite is the Lion Coffee card that provides comfort to the covetous non-owner by letting him or her know just how simple it is to acquire one for themselves: “To secure a picture card like this you have only to buy a package of Lion Coffee…”

I’d love to hear some suggestions for other things I could display inside of the mysterious Trans-Plastic Inc. Bubble Garden. Fair warning: No plant-related suggestions will be accepted unless you have a simple watering solution or offer to come over every week to disassemble the garden completely, water it, and reassemble it with the utmost care.

Enjoy the holiday weekend, all!


Taking Time

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