Author Archives: jane

Garden Plant Labels Made From Aluminum Pull Off Tops

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. Plant labels for the garden made from the round aluminum pull off tops of nut and other cans. I think I saved this one from a can of cashew nuts. You can simply write on these tops with a permanent marker or you can scratch the name into the aluminum with a nail. If you scratch the name it will be permanent of course, which is great for identifying a tree. You can also label the location of the vegetables you just planted or the flower seeds you dispersed. The aluminum circle makes a nice plant label that doesn’t rust or rot. Plus the pull tab part makes hanging easy.

Green Frog In Maryland

Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

I’m participating in a program called Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA). MARA is a project run by the Natural History Society of Maryland (NHSM) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR); it is a five-year (January 2010 -2014) atlas of the amphibians and reptiles of Maryland. Amphibians and reptiles are collectively known as “herpetofauna” or “herps.”

I’ve been learning my local herps in the last few years and I’ll share some pictures of herps that I find on my property or in my neighborhood.

Green frogs are sometimes confused with bull frogs. You can’t go by color because their color varies. Look for the prominent dorsolateral ridges that go down the back but not all the way.

Note the large external eardrum called a tympanum (the circle behind the eye).

This picture illustrates relative size.

I love its eyes!

P.S. I believe this is a female because she lacks a yellow throat and her tympanum is not larger than her eye.

Avoid Using Disposable Cups: Personalized mugs

Having a party but don’t want to use disposable cups? At Kid parties at our house, we sometimes let guests write directly on the mug or cup with a Sharpie. Because they can identify their cup throughout the party, this eliminates the need to dirty another cup. Believe it or not, the ink scrubs off without much effort: use a scouring pad.

Coffee Pot Make-over: Stunning Purple Painted Pot

Make a thrift store coffee pot into something much more fun and interesting. You can use it as a vase with flowers or use it to serve a beverage.

This coffee pot was silver plated but it didn’t look good anymore because the silver was worn away in places and couldn’t be properly polished.

I used very fine sandpaper: the kind for metal work. I sanded the exterior of the coffeepot. Sanding helps the paint to adhere to the metal. Also, I recommend using a metal primer before applying a top coat of the color spray paint that you desire. I say, why not go bold?!

I painted mine purple because it looks good in my daughter’s room with the collection of thrift store tea cups she has.

I also used this coffee pot as part of the décor during a Mad Hatter’s Dinner Tea Party. Most of the feathers were collected over the years from my chickens when they molted. A few peacock feathers etc. came from local farms. The feathers are bunched together in small bouquets and tied to the top of chopsticks and then arranged in the pot.