Archive for June, 2009

How To Grow Free Plants From Clippings

There are few plants that are harder to kill than the philodendron, and we’ve already chatted about how fresh greenery breathes life into your home (both literally and figuratively). But sometimes they look a bit less chic and a bit more Little Shop Of Horrors if they’re overgrown and snaking all over the place like the ones in the background of this down-home seafood restaurant that we loved in Savannah (ignore our crab-like expressions in the foreground):

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So whenever ours threatens to spread out a bit too much, we grab the scissors and get our clip on.

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And the greatest thing about it is that by clipping close to the root of the plant…

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…each too-long branch that we snip can be placed in a glass of water only to grow roots and become a clone of the original plant. Really, the entire plant will regenerate from one small cutting once it’s placed in a cup full of water near a window. Is that sci-fi or what?!

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Then once those spider-like roots form, just plant each branch in their own pot with some lush potting soil and watch them grow up to be a spitting image of their momma. There you have it. Free house plants for little to no effort. Gotta love philodendrons… when they’re not giving house plants a bad name.

How about you guys. Do you have any cheap house plant tips to share with the group? Any impossible to kill varieties that are tickling your fancy these days? Spill the house plant dirt.

Wanna know what other plants live here at Casa Petersik? Here’s the long and leafy breakdown.

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Drawing Leafy Branches With Chalk On The Dining Room Walls

A few dozen people have discovered this old picture of our former dining room (now third bedroom) in our archives and just had to know what was on the walls. Well, we’re here to clear up the mystery. Did the title of this post give it away?

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Yup, it’s chalk. Let’s have a closer look, shall we?

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After we painstakingly removed all the wallpaper and painted the walls a bright and happy tone it still felt a bit bare in there, so I grabbed some chalk from the junk drawer and freehanded some leafy branches around the room right over the flat latex paint (which is Sea Spray by Glidden by the way). I fully intended to use a small brush to paint over them with white paint but I actually got lazy and found some spray-on chalk fixative (an old art-school trick of the trade) at a nearby craft store instead. With a few thin sprays it was “sealed” right on the wall. And the fixative didn’t leave any drips or wet spots when we applied it. Whew.

It was still a bit less secure than if I had painted over my chalk branches (if you applied some serious pressure like you were sanding the wall a bit of chalk could be found on your hand) so I would recommend using a small paint brush to trace some paint over your chalk art if you’ll be doing this project in a child’s room and need maximum durability. But for a casually trafficked area like a dining room, chalk + fixative = perfection.

Oh and because everyone loves a good before & after (and this room no longer exists in our house since we turned it into a third bedroom) we thought we’d remind you guys what it looked like when we purchased our house:

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She’s a beauty, eh? And you might notice that the brass chandelier looks a bit sleeker in the photos above. Another quick and easy dining room project of yore was painting the ol’ brass chandy. And it’s really a super simple process. Just remove yours and bring it outside or into a garage and spray it with Kilz or some other spray primer and follow that with two thin coats of regular latex spray paint (in any color that you’d like- it would be just as fab in soft green or sultry red). Of course we removed the bulbs and taped off the bulb holders so they didn’t get coated with paint. And afterwards we even replaced the flame shaped bulbs with clear round Domino-esque ones when we rehung it). Simple, cheap and oh so effective. Happy chalking and spray painting everyone!

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