Tagged: How-To

Sun Printed Heart Valentines

January 27, 2016

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How-To

One of our favorite crafts during the summer months, we're also falling in love with sun prints as this year's most creative Valentines. Cut from pretty red paper, the hearts above make charming, botanical cards that are sure to put a smile on your sweetheart's face. A row of hearts could also be strung together with twine to create a colorful garland. We plucked a few ferns and vines from our indoor garden to produce the lacy patterns that top these sun printed greetings, which are equal parts sweet and simple to make. 

To create the sun prints, lay out your design and follow the instructions included in the kit. Be sure to work quickly while arranging your botanicals, as the sun print will begin developing as soon as it's exposed to light. For a sharp image, use a clear overlay or our Sun Print Maker's Frame to hold the botanicals tightly against the paper. We also love the abstract, marbled appearance that can be achieved by placing your botanicals without an overlay. Once the prints have finished processing, snip out your greetings. To get the perfect heart, we used Valentine cookie cutters for tracing. 

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Cold winter air can be tough on the skin, so we've been on the lookout for natural remedies that moisturize, soothe, and reinvigorate. We asked the expert-- Farmaesthetics founder and longtime friend of terrain Brenda Brock-- for a beauty DIY that can beat the midwinter blues. She recommended the scrub above, packed with natural oils and sweet rose petals. Brenda says, "This body scrub will thoroughly invigorate, exfoliate, circulate and hydrate the whole body, all winter long. The coconut oil will be deeply delivered into skin tissue, while the salt and petals serve to remove dull, sluggish surface cells. Cinnamon essential oil is a powerful antibacterial, so it's helpful for staying healthy during the colder months. It's the perfect winter scrub to delight the senses, soften the skin, and get a cold, stagnant system moving." Stowed in our favorite Weck jars with pretty wooden lids, this all-natural scrub also makes a beautiful gift. Find the recipe below, plus Brenda's notes on the benefits of each ingredient.

Pink Salt & Cinnamon Rose Scrub         

What You'll Need
4 tablespoons organic unrefined coconut oil (softening, protective & reparative)
4 tablespoons organic avocado oil (or any mild oil, like almond) (emollient, soothing)
1/2 cup finely ground pink Himalayan salts (purifying, re-mineralizing)
2-3 drops cinnamon essential oil (antibacterial)
Organic rose petals (beautifying & skin brightening)
Small glass mixing bowl
Spoon

Place coconut and avocado oils in mixing bowl, then melt in microwave or on the stove top for approximately 40 seconds, or until just melted. Remove from heat and stir in salt, then add essential oils and stir. Sprinkle in rose petals and stir gently until blended. Place in Weck jar and store in cool, dry place-- better yet in the refrigerator-- until ready to use.

To use: Apply to warm, wet skin in a circular motion, focusing on areas of congestion, stagnation, cellulite, or roughness. The scrub will warm and melt into skin when applied. 

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How-To: A Boxwood Heart Garland

January 15, 2016

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How-To

Our winter decor is looking brighter these days thanks to a super-simple DIY garland, made with some of our favorite Stargazer Lights. The perfect accent for Valentine's Day and beyond, we twisted our boxwood strand into tiny hearts and topped it with colorful mushrooms. We love this garland as a sweet and woodsy touch to illuminate the mantel, table, or entryway. Read on to make your own in three easy steps.

Starting with Stargazer Boxwood Lights, form segments of the light strand into loops, twisting the bottom of the loop closed. Press down the top of each loop, creating a V-shape to form the heart. Scatter clusters of mushroom tie-ons across the garland for a whimsical, woodland finish.

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Natural Ways to Reuse Your Tree

As we pack away our ornaments and lights until next Christmas, we've been brainstorming a few ways to enjoy our holiday evergreen a bit longer. Our festive firs are headed outside for new uses in the winter landscape, from bird sanctuaries to fuel for the fire pit. Recently, Field Visual Director Melissa B. shared some creative ways to reuse your tree after Christmas. Read on for her top 5.

Build a Bird Habitat: After removing the decorations, place your tree outside in its stand, preferably near existing bird houses or feeders to provide extra shelter for feathered friends. Hang additional feeders from the branches, or make your own by coating pinecones and dried bagels with peanut butter and seeds. Other DIY feeder ideas include strings of popcorn, cranberries, nuts, and sliced oranges (a favorite of cardinals). If you choose a spot near a window, you can watch the birds come and go all winter long. 

Overwinter the Garden: Pine boughs make great insulation when laid over perennial beds in cold weather, helping to protect the plants from snow and reduce frost heaving. Evergreen needles also make an excellent mulch for ground-covering crops like strawberries. Quick to dry and slow to decompose, they're an all-natural, moisture and mold-free alternative to traditional mulches.

Elevate Your Containers: Trim away the branches and saw the trunk of your tree into different lengths, creating natural risers to add interest in your spring container garden.

Fuel the Fire Pit: Quick to ignite, pine branches make a great starter for outdoor fires. Avoid using them indoors, where creosote build-up can occur. 

Light Up the Landscape: String your tree with simple, white lights and place it outside your window, where its cheerful glow can brighten evenings all winter long.  

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3 Ideas for Natural Gift Wrap

December 21, 2015

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How-To

The countdown to Christmas is on, and we're busy putting the finishing touches on our holiday preparations. Wrapping up a few more gifts is high on our to-do list, and we're looking to the garden for inspiration. Read on for three ways we're adding a natural touch to our gift wrap this Christmas. We can't wait to see these pretty packages under the tree!

Botanical Layers: Starting from a simple base of kraft paper or linen, layered toppers add abundant color and detail to special presents. Tie complementary ribbons around each box, then finish the look with sprigs of foraged, seasonal botanicals. 

Pine Tassels: An easy accent with big impact, these natural tassels are made from the needles of the Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris). Simply gather a bundle of needles, then bind it at the top with cheerful baker's twine

Gilded Leaves: Our Birch Leaves Kit gets a luxe makeover with the addition of shimmering gold paint. We love these elegant leaves with an evergreen-hued ribbon and simple burlap or linen wrapping. 

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Snowy Forever Terrariums

December 14, 2015

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At Home
, How-To

With wintry weather on the way, some of our favorite terrariums are getting a seasonal makeover. Filled with drifts of soft snow, we're transforming cloches and cases into "forever terrariums"-- long-lasting displays of preserved botanicals and curios that don't require a green thumb. Colorful brush trees, twig forests, and critter ornaments are taking the place of traditional plants, along with tiny villages in white ceramic. To complete our scenes, we added a dusting of indoor snow, letting a few flakes linger on the glass for a frosty touch. A sprinkling of delicate mica flakes can create an icy sparkle, too. Display Coordinator Suzie A. says, "We think of mica as 'nature's glitter.' It has a subtle sheen that really enhances the enchantment of an arrangement." We can't wait to give these worlds under glass as one-of-a-kind gifts, or keep them at home for a beautiful accent all winter long.

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A Tiny Winter Garden

December 7, 2015

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At Home
, How-To

A whimsical sight for the holiday season, tiny village scenes are taking shape around our houses-- and our Styer's location-- this Christmas. These miniature towns and gardens are inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of the "Christmas Putz," a hand-crafted village arranged around the base of the tree. Designed by Display Coordinator Suzie A., our glowing take on this cozy tradition can be found inside a miniature, open-sided greenhouse. We're planning more winter villages on the mantel, in the center of a large-scale evergreen wreath, and of course, below the tree.

Suzie says, "My tiny winter garden features a town of metal house lanterns, wooden houses, and bottle brush trees. I treated the bottom of the garden with some freshly-cut cedar tips to create a rolling hill effect. Next, I sprinkled the greens with sparkling mica flakes and snow in key areas to lend a blustery, winter feel. Illuminated twigs and a few gleaming ornaments complete the scene. We have some beautiful, complimentary pieces to this display made by Design by Terrain's Megan M., and there will be more to come as the season goes on."

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Our Foraged Tree

November 30, 2015

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At Home
, How-To

Though we love a tree decked out in bright ornaments and twinkling lights, we're taking a more natural approach to this year's holiday evergreen. The star of our annual tree lighting at Styer's was the wild and wonderful fir above, trimmed with an array of foraged finds. To get the look, we started with an unsheared tree for a natural look; noble firs are an excellent choice thanks to their strong branches and unique, open-growth branch pattern. Leaning birch poles accented the shape of the tree, while bright clusters of red dogwood and winterberry branches added a burst of Christmas color. Next, we layered garlands of contrasting greens, dried vines, and metallic leaves between the branches alongside our classic globe lights. Finally, we nestled small hanging baskets around the tree as a nod to the garden. The best part? Our foraged tree is equally at home indoors and out. If placed in the landscape, it will provide birds and wildlife with food and nesting materials after the holidays end, spreading good cheer far and wide.

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