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Archives for May 2012

WW: Around the Garden

It’s been a busy week so far (but when isn’t it?) so here are some old garden updates I never got around to posting

The two mullberry trees (here when we moved in!) are covered in little spiky baby mulberies

Concord grape vine seems unaffected by my heavy pruning, lets hope we get the fruit before the chickens do!

The new currant bushes have a few flowers here and there. I’m making some deer-deterring cages later this week and I’ll be sharing them soon.

Make sure you stop back tomorrow! Party goes live at 4 pm EST

Doily Covered Lampshade

A few weeks ago I was given an old lampshade. I immediately went on pinterest for ideas and I saw this.
Pinned it here. Gorgeous right?

I’m pretty sure the first word out of my mouth were “Wow! That’s gorgeous! I’m totally not doing that” Odd combo right? I do love it, I’m just not sure where it will fit in my house.

This weekend I had a few… extra hours thanks to one of my parrot deciding he wanted a vacation on Saturday and flying out the door (we got him back Sunday morning!). So thanks to the unexpected free time and a pile of doilies I decided to try my hand at a doily covered lampshade.

[Read more…]

Wedding Guest Post: Thrifty China and more


Hi, I’m Mary from Sweetwater Style! 
I am thrilled to be guest posting on Chicken Scratch!
I just love Alecia’s lovely blog don’t you?
Here at Sweetwater….I truly believe that “style is the perfection of your point of view”!
I am always dedicated to finding that point of view without spending a lot of money!
Alecia wants to highlight DYI ways to lower the cost of a wedding without sacrificing the style!
I am with her 100%….besides….
I think it makes the whole wedding “journey” so much more meaningful to use creativity instead of cash!!
Are YOU planning a wedding?
Then….I suggest you get yourself to the thrift shop!

Two summers ago, our daughter got married in June and our nephew in August.
The planning and preparations were almost more fun than the big days!

Both weddings and receptions were held at my brother and sister-in-law’s beautiful Willow Ridge Gardens.

 But, you ask, “What’s that got to do with Good Will?

Notice the stack of plates and the silver urn in this photo! 

Pretty….and elegant don’t you think?

We did our research….

  • the cost of china rental for the two weddings….for almost 400 guests…at least $400…Yikes!
  • OR…..paper products-less expensive….but not very elegant!

Soooo…..we began buying up lovely plates and glassware from  GOOD WILL, THRIFT STORES and GARAGE SALES!

We had RULES!

  • Nothing could cost more than a dollar… 
  • We needed dinner plates, salad plates, wine glasses and drinkware…
  • Everything should be basic white or cream colored….
  • Every piece should be something we might want to keep and use later…. 
Here are just a few of the great pieces we found!

The china worked wonderfully for the buffet and casual styled wedding!

Much better than floppy paper plates to carry around!

For the more formal sit down dinner….it was fun to coordinate the china on the tables.

Every table was unique and lovely!
We also used my collection of thrift store silver for serving and decorative accents!
I think everything looks better on silver…don’t you?  

Here are all those silver trays put to good use at another wedding for the cupcake service!

Now for the best part!
Both those Brides from two years ago split up the china pieces they liked….
and they have enough lovely place settings to use at almost any gathering for years to come!

In fact….I might just have to borrow some of this from the Sweetwater daughter the next time I have a big party!

I have enjoyed sharing our fun way to save money on wedding china…and I hope it inspires you to get yourself out there shopping the thrift stores!

Remember….as you are in the midst of all the planning and preparation….be sure to enjoy the process!  The day will be gone in a heartbeat….but the memories will be forever!

I would love for you to hop over to Sweetwater Style and see some of the other wedding themed posts I have done!

Thanks to Alecia for letting me share with you….
Thanks so much Mary for sharing your awesome idea!

Don’t miss the other post in my DIY Wedding series:
More than a Guest Book

Would you like your wedding post featured? Email me @
ChickenScratchNY (at)

What’s Cluckin’ 4

It’s almost Friday!
I really need to get out in the garden but it’s rained every night this week so I’m really looking forward to some ‘me’ time in the dirt.

I hope you all checked out my lovely guest posters last weekend.
In case you missed them:

On Saturday Julie from White Lights on Wednesday shared a recipe for Snicker-doodle Bread

And on Sunday we had our first wedding guest post from Veronica of Adventures of D and V.
She shared how they turned a photo album into ‘more than a guest book

Speaking of Veronica, she also had the most-viewed link last week with her baby shower prayer wreath

Congrats! You are are top of the pecking order (trust me, it’s the best place to be!)

Chicken Scratch NY

On to the party, here are the rules:

Link up any thing crafty, food, garden or photo related.
Please no giveaways or shops

Don’t make me be the grinch!

Link up to a single post, not your blog

Pretty please link back with a text link or button!
It doesn’t have to be on the post, just have it somewhere on your blog

Check out at least 2 other entries for everything you enter.
It’s all about the love!

You don’t have to be a follower but I’d love it!

By linking up here you give me permission to use your photos if you’re featured here on my blog and to have your post added to my feature pin board

Chicken Scratch NY

When you’re done here head over to Earning My Cape for her first link party!

Frugal Gardening Tips: Go Big!

Welcome to Part one of my Frugal Gardening series!

When we moved in there was one sad, sad garden in the front of the house. Of course I immediately decided that I needed to turn my entire property into a BHG-worthy garden paradise.

Unfortunately I’ve yet to win the lottery.
For those of you not familiar with landscaping, it can get really expensive, really fast. Especially with perennials and shrubbery.
I’ve put together a few tips that I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks on frugal gardening.

This tip may sound misleading.
After all, shouldn’t big plants cost more?
Yes, but…
The key is to buy one big plant that can be divided into several small ones. [Read more…]