Search Terms for Holiday Crafting

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  • how to attach a birdhouse to a post
  • how to with mesh ribbon
  • can i move vegetables in the boot of my car?
  • can you make a snowman from buffalo snow
  • how to make a kissing ball for christmas
  • outdoor christmas containers + how to make evergreens last
  • storing container grown canna
  • decorating with mesh ribbon ideas

The “search terms” listed above are exactly as typed by the searchers on my blog recently.

I am thankful you stopped by to look around for information and answers on Container Crazy CT’s blog .

Many seem to be looking for ideas about holiday decorating, so here are some tips on some of the questions above…

How to use Mesh Ribbon

I wrote about this last year, or was it years before? Not sure. Time is flying! Mesh ribbon seemed wildly popular last year and a few years probably before that – but, I don’t see the trend “as much” this year – but that is me.

However, I watched Scot Haney of Channel 3 put a mesh ribbon wreath around his waist yesterday. It made me laugh!

Mesh ribbon is incredibly easy to bend, use, gather, staple gun to projects, and is super festive – However, it does FADE in the sun. FYI on that but I’ve used it and still enjoy this wonderful ribbon that is amazingly easy to use.

Here’s another link on my blog about mesh ribbon uses:

https://containercrazyct.com/2013/11/18/three-easy-ways-to-use-mesh-ribbon-for-holiday-decorating/

How to make a Kissing Ball for Christmas

Ah, will be doing so with a very large group of attendees tomorrow. If you are located in Connecticut near my area – check out WORKSHOPSCT.com for information on that. This will be our 7th Annual Workshop – and we not only make the kissing balls, we make wreaths, candle centerpieces and more creative items with fresh greens. It is a great kickoff to the holiday decorating season for many – and I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Additionally, we have a weeknight workshop coming up on Dec 7th, Wed., 5:30-7:30 pm. There’s still time to sign up if interested, just text me 860-977-9473 or use the links on our WORKSHOPSCT.com site to get in, Registration and pre-payment is required.

Private parties upon request at our studio location in Broad Brook/East Windsor is an additional option for small groups. Advance notice is required however. And I also offer custom orders starting next week, if you are local.

And of course, you may find information on how to make them just by browsing this site. Use the search field and type in Kissing Balls.

Outdoor Christmas Containers and How to Make Evergreens Last

Ah, this IS the magic question – and I go over tips in my workshops on this based on my experiences creating and installing containers filled with lush greens – but there are three basic ingredients – cold weather, Wilt Pruf Plant Protector spray product found at local stores which may be used on some greens (not all apply so read the instructions on the bottle), and getting fresh quality greens. I have some other little secrets I use – shared with my regular and loyal attendees and followers.

Starting tomorrow, I officially turn into Mrs. KB Claus, greeting and teaching my attendees. They are in for a GREAT workshop.

Oh, BTW, here are more items coming up – hope to see you there!

Book Club Bookstore & More – Pop Up Vendor’s Day
December 11, 2016 – Sunday
December 17, 2016 – Saturday
Various holiday items made and custom designed by Cathy T

Ellington Winter Farmers Market
January 28, 2016  from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Demonstration on “Growing Nutritious Soil Sprouts”
Kits will be available for purchase

Thank you,

Cathy Testa
Owner of Cathy T’s Landscape Designs and Container Crazy CT
Located in Broad Brook, CT
860-977-9473 (texts welcome)
containercathy@gmail.com

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016

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Good Morning Everyone!

Up at the crack of dawn, like me?

Perhaps so!

If yes, I’m sure it is because you are getting your big turkey ready to put in the oven.

As for myself and my hubby – we are off the hook this year for cooking – I say, yippee!

Something we are thankful for is a day of relaxing. It is nice to have a year off hosting, but I am going to miss Mom’s special meat pie she always brings to our side of the family as an addition to our buffet table, and Steve’s Mom’s amazing desserts – She always makes an impressive selection. Her desserts could be featured in the finest of cooking magazines – seriously.

I am thankful for so much – the list is endless. But if I were to try to sum it up  – it would be that I’m thankful for the people in our lives that understand the meaning of sharing, caring, supporting, loving, and appreciating each other.

I remember when I started my first official corporate job. I was 15, going on 16 years old. I didn’t have my license yet when I interviewed so my high school business teacher drove me there for the interview day.

The position I obtained was supporting a high level administrative assistant by the name of Joan. I remember as we walked the halls together on my first day, every single person that walked by us would say hello to Joan and “thanked her” for a task she did recently as part of her position.

I distinctly remember the polite way people treated her, and the way she treated them. For some reason, this memory came to be today. I think it is a good reminder of how we should be every day. She set a good example for me at that time in my life. I truly remember thinking, “Wow, everyone is thanking her – how nice.”

And I can’t end this quick post without specifically saying thank you to my small business supporters – To the ones who shoot out a quick email saying thank you to me at times for something related to my small business, like a workshop they attended, etc. I appreciate hearing those words very much.

Also, to the ones who have complimented my projects and attempts at trying something new related to my small business, thank you. To the ones who have offered to assist or give their own ideas on my plant related endeavors – thanks! And to the ones attending my workshops regularly – a big huge thank you.

My new motto lately is using the words, “Let’s Make It Together”, because this is how I feel – making inspiration together, making decor together, and making it special together. This is what it is all about here at Container Crazy CT.

Enjoy your day,

Cathy Testa

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Autumn Brings Beauty and Overwintering Work for Gardeners

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I think everyone in our area of Connecticut would agree – the fall foliage colors are absolutely spectacular here this year – what a treat for the eyes to see the bright golden yellows and reds against clear blue skies. There are trees in my yard which never looked so vibrant, even the kiwi vine over my chicken coop pen is beaming more than ever, but alas, the leaves will fall and the holidays are right around the corner.

#autumn at the beach yesterday!

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

In preparation for the fall, I have spent the last three weeks putting away many of my tropical plants and conducting a mini workshop on the famous succulent pumpkins. It was the first workshop offered at Container Crazy CT’s on this new fashion – Pumpkins covered with succulent plants and decor! The workshop was conducted with an Insiders Club members – what fun we had. We are testing our results based on the techniques we used to assemble and design them, and all of this will be shared in next year’s workshop – I know this workshop will grow. These succupumpkins are addicting.

#workshops #containercrazyct #autumndecor #succulents #pumpkindecor

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Yesterday, a stink bug was still sitting on one of my succulent pumpkins in my house. I had to laugh – these guys are slow moving but he didn’t move for 24 hours. There is a black plastic spider on the top and I thought, “Does he think the spider is real?” LOL.

#succulentpumpkin #autumn #stinkbugs #succulents

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Part of my autumn overwinter process included collecting seeds from Canna, Castor Beans, and other misc perennials which are stored in plastic pill bottles and kept in a dark cool place in my home for use next season. Here’s a photo of the Castor Bean (Racinus) which look like ticks! Oooooh! I also take various cuttings and do some propagation, as well as divide and repot plants to keep (as shown with the lemon grass in my prior post).

#castorbeanseeds #racinus

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

If you have been watching my posts this year, you surely saw the container filled with a huge green elephants ear (Colocasia), and I had to finally take it down, such sadness, but one of my workshop attendees asked me for the leaves because she is doing some leaf castings – and so that helped soften the blow – knowing the leaves will be used for an art related project. And, just maybe she can teach us when she perfects her process of leaf casting at my workshops. I can’t wait to see her results.

#containergardening #tropicalplants #autumngardening #ensete #overwinteringplants #workshops

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

The elephants ear grew very very large, at least 3 ft long leaves. Here is the bulb located at the base of the trunk shown below when I dug it up. I call it a trunk as I type here but technically base of the stems, but it looked like a trunk because that elephant ear grew very lush this year. I just adored it.

#colocasiaesculenta #colocasia #autumngarden #overwinteringplants

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Now, I will store this bulb to reuse next season. All the steps, tools, process, and products used to store my tropical plants were covered in my “Overwintering Tropical” plants workshop earlier this month. We had lots of fun as you can tell from our smiles in the above workshop photo where we are holding leaves of one of my red banana plants (Ensete). We covered everything you need to know and enjoyed a sunny day following a morning frost.

#tubers #colocasia #elephantsears #autumn #overwinteringplants #bulbs

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

And I have to be honest, I was getting tired of storing bulbs, rhizomes, tubers – you name it – I had a lot of plants this year. Here’s a photo of the stack of boxes I was about to hand-truck to my unheated basement for the babies put to rest for the winter. The only good news was the weather was cooperating – it was nice and sunny almost every day – so I wasn’t working with cold hands as in years past. We had a frost on the same day I held my “Overwintering” workshop – which was perfect timing. But about 3 days later, we had a day in the 80’s – when I snuck out to go to the beach! Why not?!

Next on Container Crazy CT’s workshop list is my first ever Growing Nutritious Soil Sprouts workshop – We decided to add a week night workshop by request – so it looks like this one is underway with a few sign-up’s. I can’t wait to show this process – to grow sprouts all year round, starting now in the fall – is a great way to have fresh sprouts which are oh so healthy on your salads, on appetizers, in soups – all perfect for upcoming Thanksgiving meals, or for those moments when you want a nice warm soup on a cold winter day. I could go on and on about these sprouts but I will save that for the attendees of this workshop in November. See my http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com site for all the details.

Next workshop. #sprouts See WorkshopsCT.com. Two dates Nov 5, Nov 10. #containergardening

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

But as busy as I’ve been the past few weeks, I still take the time to go have some fall fun – stopping by Strong Family Farm in Vernon, CT to see their scarecrow competition – it was a PERFECT day – and they did such a wonderful job. I have to enter next year – my brain is already brewing with a scary container garden scarecrow.

#scarecrows #autumn #farms #halloween

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

And to cap off this quick post – I have to share the photo of my beautyberry shrubs (Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’). I post a picture every year around this time – these purple berries can not be beat. They are so pretty right now. I planted three of these shrubs many years ago – and I remember I followed the spacing instructions exactly, but they can be maintained easily with a good pruning every season. They are deciduous, cane-like shrubs. The branches tend to arch and the color of the leaves is a bright light green color. The purple berries are clustered and they reach their beauty in October. In winter, the leaves will drop off but the berries do hang on a long time. Seeing them makes me consider if my May 2017 workshop should entail beautiful shrubs such as this one.

#autumn #fallshrub #berriedshrub #callicarpa

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#callicarpa #berriedshrub #fallshrub #autumn

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Well, that is all folks for this Friday morning. Enjoy your Halloween Festivities if you have them on the agenda for the weekend, and don’t forget to visit my Instagram pages for many more photos of all the activity discussed above.

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473 (texts welcome)
containercathy@gmail.com

 

Pre-Registrations for the 7th Annual Holiday Workshop are now OPEN

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Kissing Balls for the Holidays

The term ‘KB’ is short for Kissing Balls which are balls made with fresh evergreens every year just in time for the holiday season. Kissing balls are beautiful when hanging outside on your wrap-around porch, by your entrance, doorway, or even inside the home. They are fun to make and last all the way into February when hung outside – the birds enjoy them too. They will pop by to perch on them which is lovely, especially when snow is clinging onto your freshly made beautiful Kissing Ball.

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A Large Kissing Ball

Workshop Every December

Every December, Container Crazy CT offers an early Kissing Ball and Wreath Making Holiday workshop where attendees make large sized Kissing Balls to take home. In addition to the Kissing Balls, you may elect to make a round or square wreath, long styled candle centerpiece, or cross shaped wreath.

In 2016 – We hope to offer the horse head profile shaped wreath option too. Often, Cathy T comes up with a new idea to make every season. To register for the workshop, visit www.WORKSHOPSCT.com. Look for the Eventbrite links to the right side of the site, or mail payment to confirm your pre-registration.

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10 Reasons Why Making Your Own is Best

  1. Fresh Evergreens – fresh, fresh, fresh – not old, old, old
  2. Mechanics included – You cannot find the Styrofoam ball used for less than $6 retail and wreath frames are costly too – all is included for your one item of choice.
  3. Mix of Evergreens – You select the ones you want in your creation – up to 14 varieties of very beautiful evergreens.
  4. Fun Gathering – The socializing factor, time for you with the ladies, food, festivities!
  5. Holiday Beverages included – A special themed drink to enjoy, and in 2016 – Pizza will be included. Attendees also contribute light apps as desired.
  6. No Cleanup – Cathy T does ALL the setup and cleanup – You have ALL the fun
  7. Early Décor – You put up your decoration to enjoy all month instead of waiting
  8. No Risk – Cathy T takes all the risk for you – You just show up and enjoy
  9. Originality – It is made by you with your special touches and you learn all the special tips and techniques. Every year, you will learn something new.
  10. A floral type item is included every year – last year it was variegated Holly and seeded Eucalyptus – what will it be in 2016? You have to register to find out!

To sign up, visit www.WORKSHOPSCT.com (our new 2016 website for workshops).

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Pre-Register Now!

This workshop fills up very quickly every year, so signing up early is helpful to pre-register to hold your seat. To “confirm” your seat, payment is due in advance. We currently have 21 people pre-registered as of this posting – so don’t wait. Later, there is a wait-list if you missed this year’s chance, and note that workshop appointments the week of December 5th are available for one-on-one style sessions. For a quieter option, we offer a Weekday Workshop on December 7th, 2016 at 5:30 pm.

Location:

Location of the workshops is the East Windsor section of Broad Brook, Connecticut.

Workshop Fee 2016:

In 2016, the price is one size fits all of $40 pp for any one item you elect to make. It includes tax and many benefits – so don’t miss out – We make “quality” items at larger than normal sizes you would find in retail environments. You may submit payment via mail or via Eventbrite on our WorkshopsCT.com site.

Cancellation Policy:

Any cancellations one week before the workshop dates are non-refundable since we work with pre-ordered live greens. Cancellations have special policies – You may elect to send an alternate the day of, or use the fee towards another workshop within one year of the workshop date. See WORKSHOPSCT.com for the details.

Gallery:

To see photos of all our workshops, see GALLERY.

Custom Orders:

Cathy T of Container Crazy CT and Cathy T’s Landscape Design takes custom orders for wreaths, candle centerpieces, kissing balls all month in December. See the following links for details under Holidays. Also, batches of greens may be picked up for purchase if you wish to make something special at home, such as a container filled with a mix of evergreens and your own special touches. Batch pick-ups begin the week of December 5th.

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Looking forward to seeing you,

Cathy Testa
http://www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com

Autumn Brings Closure and Changes

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Good morning everyone,

It has become quite the busy month as I started to dissemble my various container gardens around the property in preparation for the cooler season, and held an impromptu pumpkin succulent session with my Insiders Club workshop members.

Usually our frost date hits around mid-October, so there is still time to enjoy many container gardens filled with your tropical plants, perennials, and maybe a still producing vegetable plant, like peppers – but soon enough, all will come to an end when the frost hits the foliage of our tender plants.

However, one of the beauties of container gardening is not all is lost. Many plants may be overwintered by storing their storage organs (rhizomes, corms, bulbs, etc.) or by taking cuttings and rooting them. Or by moving them (perennials) to your gardens. Some plants make good house plants too, such as succulents, begonias, etc. The list goes on.

Another thing that will keep me busy this month is planting my fall bulbs, as soon as I clear out my favorite place for them, from the lush tropical plants enjoying their last moments in the great outdoors. There is much to do still.

Lastly, the annual Holiday Kissing Ball and Wreath Making Workshop is in my beginning planning stages. Orders will take place very soon for the beautiful mix of fresh greens to be provided in my workshop for all the registered attendees.

Additionally, I’m investigating adding ‘horse head’ wreath frames, due by popular demand by my repeat (non-newbie) attendees! This is always an exciting time for me. It will be my 7th Annual Kissing Ball Workshop. It is one of my most favorite things to do as part of my business and it closes off the year absolutely perfectly. Don’t forget to register early. Details are on my WORKSHOPSCT.com website.

 

#containgardening #lemongrass #thaifood

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Lemongrass harvest (above) after dissembling two big pots of them. These can be rooted or cut to put in teas, soups, and I bet even soaps! As you work at splitting the root of this plant, the aroma is oh so good.

The rooted divisions may be potted up into 12″ x 12″ pots and grown to serve as next year’s thriller plant in your container gardens. Or, the edible lower portions saved may be frozen and used for months on end – great for teas to treat coughs and colds too, I read. I showed all the steps on how to take it out of your container gardens and save the pieces via my Facebook feed this week as Facebook Live videos and on Instagram.

#autumn #overwinteringplants #lemongrass #tropicalgardens #containgardening

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#lemongrass #tropicalgardens #containgardening #coolplants #lushgardens

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

The removal of this plant (Cymbopogon citrathus; lemongrass) should be done before frost, by the way, unlike the Canna or Elephants Ears (Colocasia) which may be done either before or after frost if you plan to store their storage organs.

#overwinteringplants #autumn #movinginplants #containergardening

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Using my handy-dandy hand truck, I’ve managed to move some rather large pots into my garage to start some the work of taking cuttings of Coleus, digging out the elephants ears, and whatever others I can save for next year’s season. I showed it all on my video feeds, and I have to say, this elephants ear, Colocasia ‘Black Magic’, was just stunning with 3′ long stems and 23-28″ leaves! Say Ah. One client requested the leaves for her leaf casting project, and I am happy to help her out as a repeat workshop attendee. Maybe she will teach us a class on the leaf casting when she perfects her technique.

#overwinteringplants #autumn #movinginplants #colocasiablackmagic on Oct 5 before frost

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

This plant’s rich black leaves are luscious. Colocasia ‘Black Magic’ can take sun to part shade, and I had this one more in shade this year, facing north. The total height was about 5′ feet by the end of the season, and the soil was kept moist, which is preferred by elephants ears. Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ is a wonderful tropical plant, and probably will be on my list again for the annual May Container Gardening Workshops.

#takingcuttings #containergardening #movinginplants #autumn #overwinteringplants #colocasia #coleus

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

In my Facebook Live videos this week, I also went over cuttings, how to clean your tools, and using rooting hormone to stimulate growth. Cuttings do best when they are in warmer temperatures – so inside the home or if you have a grow room or greenhouse is best this time of year. Always important to use “healthy” stock and take them from the tips of the plants (below nodes, etc.). Of course, the types of plants, species, etc. differ on how to handle propagation, but once you learn how, you may be reusing your mother plants again and again for freebies each season. Beware of plant propagation laws, however, if you are a seller of plants – a license is required!

#overwinteringplants #autumn #containergardening #coleus

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

One container garden which is very hard to part with at this moment is this one. OMG. I just love it – it is soooo full. It is the apple of my eye this season. I removed the variegated Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus coleiodes). My friends, this plant is a real keeper in my book. No bugs, no diseases, no problems. It is the one dripping down the front of this pallet planter box salvaged from a company that tossed it out.

Variegated Swedish Ivy can grow to a foot or more with a trailing in habit. It keeps going and stays strong. It has a funky smell but it doesn’t bother me at all. My nephew told me it smells like a cologne. OK, whatever, it is a keeper, and handles cooler temps in my low-temp grow room over the winter. I still have to work on the rest of this container which has an elderberry, coleus, begonia, and more.

#carex #overwinteringplants #containergardening

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

In my first Facebook Live video, I showed Carex grasses and how I’ve had it in these pots along my driveway for at least 3 years. Sometimes plants which may be aggressive in the ground are excellent candidates for containers, thus this was one to show how I take care of it and store it over the winter.

And alas, it was succulent pumpkin time prior to all of this. My goal was to have a huge workshop on October 8th, but not enough attendees signed up. So, I spontaneously offered a special workshop to my Insiders Club workshop members, and the results were fantastic.

There are a couple ways to approach making these which I detailed in our workshop session. We will be testing the longevity of these and report back next year when I hope to repeat this workshop with an even larger group. In addition, during this workshop, I went over how to propagate succulents and keep them healthy in season and over the winter.

#sempervivum #agave #pumpkindecorating #succulents #autumn

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#pumpkindecor #succulents #autumndecor #containercrazyct #workshops

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#containergardens #autumn #succulents #pumpkindecorating #agave #sempervivum

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#workshops #containercrazyct #autumndecor #succulents #pumpkindecor

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#workshops #containercrazyct #autumndecor #succulents #pumpkindecor

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Above made by an attendee. Love the little glass acorns and the pods she brought along as embellishments.

#pumpkindecor #succulents #autumndecor #containercrazyct #workshops

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#workshops #containercrazyct #autumndecor #succulents #pumpkindecor

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

#workshops #containercrazyct #autumndecor #succulents #pumpkindecor

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

This one above is the winner for the evening. Absolutely gorgeous, great colors, well designed. Good job, Diane!

#crafting #diy #autumn #succulents #pumkins

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Here’s a photo I took of one I made as a prototype before the workshop.

#pumkins #succulents #autumn #diy #crafting

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Yes, it is so adorable. I can’t part with it!

Well, I still have much, much more work, and thankfully I am not dealing with a hurricane. The poor folks in Florida are facing this battle and along the way I thought of them often this week as I worked on my containers. I remembered when we experienced our crazy winter storm in October years ago, and well, probably not nearly as devastating – but it did impact us a great deal with loss of electricity and other damage, and I had to rush to put away my plants at that time as the snow began falling. I saw posts of Florida friends not only boarding up their homes, but they were rushing to take care of their gardens too in preparation for the hurricane. And some had to evacuate! We are all praying they did not face as much devastation as predicted.

Lots of #overwintering #overwintering #overwinteringplants #tropicalplants #canna #colocasia #ensete

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

If you wish a hands-on experience of the overwintering steps, feel free to join me on October 15th for the workshop where I will show more.

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473 (texts welcome)
http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com

#autumncleanup #overwinteringplants #containergardening #colocasiablackmagic #colocasia #colocasiaesculenta

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

Cool app transforms photos from your iPhone to this!

Succulents in Pumpkins for the Insiders

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Happy Fall Everyone!

It has arrived, our fall cool air – Say, Ah! After the heat of this summer, I know most of you are enjoying this transition to autumn and rainfall this week.

And of course, it is “pumpkin and mum” time – Having those out eases the pain of moving our container garden plants indoors, overwintering our tubers, corms, rhizomes, and preparing for the seasonal depression you may have when you don’t see those abundant tropical plants and flower colors out in your containers anymore.

But don’t fear – Cathy T is here. And I’m offering our very first “Insiders Club” deal to kick off the fall season.

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Heads-up Insiders!

Are you a member of the newInsiders Club” and don’t know it?

The answer is YES if you have attended at least 2 of Container Crazy CT’s Workshops in the past. And this means, as an Insider, you are eligible for new deals as a way to show our appreciation for your continued loyal attendance to our programs.

We have always given “gift bags” to our attendees, so those will always continue, but starting this week, our first “Insiders Club” benefit is being offered as follows:

Succulents in Pumpkins, Thursday, 9/29, 5:30 pm

On Thursday, 9/29, yes — that is tomorrow, we are offering a Impromptu Session on Making Succulents with Pumpkins. And there is NO REGISTRATION Fee as an “Insiders Clubs” Member for this session being held tomorrow, and only Insider Club Members are eligible to attend. Again, these occasional special deals are being made as a way to say Thank You. We will be posting more about benefits as an Insiders Club Member on our workshopsct.com site soon as well.

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Only Pay for Materials

For tomorrow’s special session, you only pay for the succulents you select to use, any misc decor, and some minor materials needed – but the deal is – it is with supplies remaining and limited stock is available. These deals will pop up as great opportunities arise – which happens in the nature world. Many will be spontaneous so be on the look out for our future emails.

Seats Limited

As you know, it is the end of the planting season, and while we have nice small succulents available to work with, the selection is limited – and so are the seats – so if you wish to attend, just reply, text, or call at 860-977-9473 or containercathy@gmail.com.

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Care of Succulents

Additionally, we will go over information about care of succulents, propagation of succulents, and also note these pumpkins are “decorative” primarily for a period of time. Some succulents used may be replanted while others may not make it and we will explain how, why and what at tomorrow’s Impromptu Session – but I have to say, they are absolutely adorable – I love how they look as a centerpiece on my table! For photos, visit my blog.

What to Bring

You need to bring your own pumpkin, carving tools, and glue gun if you have one with glue sticks. Mini, Medium sized pumpkins work well. The session starts at 5:30 pm (may arrive at 5 pm if you wish), will be held in the big outdoor garage, so wear a sweatshirt. Oh, and as usual, if you wish to bring your own embellishments to add to your pumpkin, feel free to do so.

If questions, feel free to ask. Hope you can make it and watch for future emails on Insiders Club messages.

Thank you, Cathy Testa
ContainerCrazyCT.com
WorkshopsCT.com
860-977-9473 (texts welcome)

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Thanks for all the LIKES!

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Just a quick post to say thank you to my blog followers, friends, and newcomers of this blog site called Container Crazy CT.

I saw this (below) in my stats this morning!

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As for this week, I’ve started doing a bit of “fall decorating” and started taking down some of my pots and container gardens – primarily the ones with vegetable plants in them.

The fall decor begins. #autumn

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I figure I have a lot to do – If you’ve ever been here – you know I have pots everywhere on my deck, in the back yard, around the house, and along the garage.

All out. Gave thanks to plants for the harvest. Especially the Juliet tomatoes. #containergarden #containergardening

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My process involves first removing all the worn out veggie plants by pulling them out, sometimes requiring a hori-hori garden knife to dig around the roots, and putting the vegetative plant parts in a bag to toss in compost piles. Then after, I will take the pots of remaining potting soil and dump them either into a larger pot somewhere in my yard or into a garden area or bin. Note: The old potting soil is utilized as a filler with compost – it won’t hold water as well in pots year after year, but can be used again as an ingredient so to speak in gardens or mixed with other organic ingredients so it is not wasted.

Green but pretty! Final harvest of my veggie summer #containergarden #containergardening

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As I worked, I collected any veggies on the plants still growing – there were the Juliet plum shaped tomatoes (green) but this summer the red ones were fantastic and I had many, many picked from a single plant in a big pot, then the oddly shaped Uba Tuba peppers which have a mind of their own – I can’t eat them if hot so my husband does the tasting, and he said those are odd cause they go either way – some sweet, some super hot. I also had a couple Tomatoe Ugly left on another plant in a pot – yup, called Ugly. They are good for cooking – but my Mom complained about their shape because they are like bumpy and lumpy –  I had given a plant to my Dad for his garden – and she just didn’t like those – LOL.

Taking down my veggie pots. #containergardening #containergarden

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I took a batch of the Stevia plant and hung what was left in the garage to slowly dry. I am not an expert at drying herbs, but figured I’d try to do so – it is a wonderful, natural sugar substitute good in teas, so maybe I’ll try it in my sun tea concoctions when I hang a mason jar in the sun with lemon, mint, sometimes cucumbers, and a dash of honey and water to make a refreshing healthy drink. Perhaps crushed Stevia will work well as a substitute to the honey in my sun teas. My sister told me one way to dry out herbs slowly is to put them on a cookie sheet and inside your car on the dash board in the sun – I will have to remember that one!

#gardening #lemongrass

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However, many of my other large container gardens will remain in place to demo at my October Workshop on Overwintering Plants. It will be held on Oct 15th – Details are on http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com. I will be showing exactly how I take down the tropicals and store them – it is more of an informal workshop – walking and talking around the yard, but registration is required. It falls when we usually get a first frost either right before or after – Mid October.

The big black pot above is one I refer to as, “Cousin It.” It is the first time I grew Lemon Grass in a pot and sold them too at my May Container Gardening Workshops – and I love how full it got – it handled the drought very well this season and intermingles between other plants, and the bottom portions are edible – so when I take this baby apart – I will take a shot at storing the edible parts of it for cooking or teas. The lemon grass can be divided also to produce more plants. Also, this pot had a purple pepper plant that did give us great peppers, and the tall Canna ‘Austrailia’ grew super tall from my homegrown rhizomes. However, they started to topple over – bummer. The green banana plant didn’t fair well. It just didn’t take off despite my constant watering routine this year which was tough this year in particular due to lack of rain.

Pots at a discount store called Ollies in Manchester. #containergardening

A photo posted by Cathy Testa (@containercrazyct) on

I also decided to go visit a budget type store after I saw an ad for it in the newspaper and after a friend texted me to say there were pots there at good prices. Most of the pots were about half off normal retail prices I’ve seen at stores, some had a tad bit of damage, many were not really my color preferences but some were large and nice. All stacked so a little tricky to get at if you don’t have helping hands. I decided to wait and maybe return to get some for stock at my workshop next year on Container Gardening.

That’s all for today – Just some highlights. I also attended the Brimfield Antiques Fair last week and posted tons of photos on my Instagram pages. What fun that place is but I told myself to hold back at buying too much. I ended up with some small pots that look like real clay or similar to hypertufas, but they are plastic. I got a few – thinking these will be nice for succulents – perfect size!

Got these at #brimfield. Will make nice succulent planters. #brimfieldantiqueshow

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Cathy Testa

 

Wine Bottle Garden Art Workshop Day

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Hi Everyone,

Here’s a recap of our workshop day with Laura Sinsigallo of timefliesbylauralie. We had a great time creating what we called, “Garden Art Creations with Wine Bottles.”

wine-glass-art-workshop-day_0004Each creation had its own unique touches or embellishments which held a special meaning to the attendees.

For example, I included a cork from a champagne bottle I had opened when celebrating a milestone. The cork sat in a box waiting for a special place, and having it be part of my wine bottle art piece was perfect.

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Another attendee brought corks along with a horse image on them because she is an avid horse lover – equestrian to be exact. She used her corks along with a balanced mix of colors in her bead selections for her piece.

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During our workshop I stated, “Crafting is good for the soul” — and this I believe to be truth. When you sit quietly focused, your mind wanders a bit as you start working with your hands. It is very therapeutic. At times, we would start up conversations – and during other moments, we were focused on our pieces and in the “crafting zone.”

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I’m grateful we had Laura here again to be our guest instructor. She is a mixed media artist who creates paintings ranging from pets to nature to whimsical objects and anything in between. Her business is called, timefliesbylauralie.

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As I’ve stated many times, I love her art style and art work. Just look at these adorable pumpkin figurines and her magnets. She has many, many more pieces and appears often at shows around Connecticut.

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And at our workshop, we each were given a antique hand-stamped spoon to add to our pieces with “wine themed quotes.” She also sells spools at shows.

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During our workshop last Saturday, Laura took the time to go over each step, and rather than attempt to cut our wine bottles during the class which would have taken a huge amount of time, she pre-cut them all for us and explained the process to attendees.

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She also taught us about types of wire to use and why, how to assemble and work with the wire and each embellishment, and shared stories of her art and methods.

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Each piece created by the attendees during this workshop was different. For example, one attendee used soft pinks in her bottle. While another used warm and hot tones for colors.

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I included little charms with the words like Hope, Dream, Wish, and “Love what you do, Do what you love” on my wine bottle. In addition to using the special champagne cork I had saved, I used a bottle a friend gave me a while back so the bottle itself was special.

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There is so much you could add to “adorn” your bottle, as Laura would state – she used the word “adorn” quite a bit. She got me so inspired, I’m already starting on another one – which will be a witch Halloween theme. I will be sure to post the photos of it when done.

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The date of the workshop was geared for the transition from the end of summer and entering our upcoming fall, however, I learned so many other interested attendees wanted to attend but had conflicts due to final end of summer vacations or plans.

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So, I think next year, we will shoot for the third week of September so more people can make it – providing we have Laura return again – which I’m hoping she will.

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Speaking of Laura – I want to say, “Thank you again, Laura – You are a born artist and exceptional teacher. We appreciate your time, generosity, and spirit at our Container Crazy CT Workshops.”

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Cathy Testa
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

UP NEXT:

Overwintering Plants, Oct 15 – Learn to store Canna, Ensete (red banana), Colocasia (elephants ears), and other plants so they may be regrown next spring in your container gardens.

Growing Your Own Nutritious Soil Sprouts, Nov 5th – Learn how to grow soil sprouts via an easy 5-7 day method for harvest indoors all fall, winter and next season.

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Workshop this Saturday – Creating Garden Art with Wine Bottles

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Still Time to Sign Up for this Saturday’s Workshop

Hello Everyone,

I’m shooting off a very quick post today to let you know there is still time to sign up for this Saturday’s workshop on creating glass garden art with artistic embellishments!

Saturday, Sept 10, 2016
11 am to 1 pm
Broad Brook, CT
Cost: $35 pp (includes all supplies needed)

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We will be re-purposing wine bottles (fun) and using various eclectic pieces to create a wind chime, or it can be designed to be a beautiful piece of art to hang in your garden or in your home. This is also a great item to make as a gift for someone special.

Laura Sinsigallo of “timefliesbylauralie”, is our hosted speaker once again. She makes amazing art and appears at many shows selling her unique items. We are super glad to have the opportunity to learn from her again. The techniques you learn may be repeated over and over again so many ways.

Cost and What’s Included:

The cost is $35 pp and includes the pre-cut wine bottle, wire, embellishments, and more. The time is 11 am to about 1 pm – and you may pay at the workshop (cash or check). All you need to bring is wire cutters or sharp scissors. There will be extra items if you wish to add more decor available for purchase as well.

If interested, text me at 860-977-9473 or reply to this email. Location is 72 Harrington Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016. We will be serving lite snacks and drinks too. What more could you ask for?! We will be holding the workshop outdoors in a very large garage.

I always enjoy this time with our attendees (newbies and non-newbies) and if you happen to be free and want to join us, please do. The class has seven attendees right now and we can definitely add more. Attendees will be receiving coupons and more goodies as well.

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One last thing – when you sign up – we need to know the theme style you want (FISH, Heart or Butterfly) – as seen in the photo above of a prototype. Also, to see more, just visit our workshops site – there are details and photos, and links to Galleries of past workshops with many photos.

Thank you – Cathy Testa
www.WorkshopsCT.com – for more info and details
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

Be on the look out for more Upcoming Workshops too – We have a potential workshop on Oct 8th for the Pumpkin Season providing we have enough attendees – so express interest now, and we have a Soil Sprouts class in November, and the Kissing Ball Workshop in December. All is detailed on the www.WORKSHOPSCT.com blog site. See you soon.