Welcome!

Welcome to Primrose Creations! My name is Christina Johnson and this is an introduction to the creative and environmentally aware mind that I’ve decided to run with. I’ve been going back and forth debating what direction I wanted to take this project in. There are so many areas of interest that I decided narrowing it down was just too difficult.

As a mom to three girls, a new homeowner, a long time editorial writer, and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, it just felt natural to let this project develop organically. My hope is that the content developed will instill confidence in those who may be uneasy about renovating their own homes, fill your minds will little tidbits of information normal people don’t think about (I’m full of all sorts of fun facts!), and just inspire others to find their creativity.

Join me for this adventure, I promise not to let you down. There’s so much to explore!

Advertisements

Christmas gifts are still giving!

For Christmas, I received an amazing present from Chris and am excited to finally share it with all of you! Knowing how much I love my plants and gardening, he gifted me my first hydroponic growing system by AeroGarden. It’s been quite a few weeks and I’ve been able to make a few harvests. Surprisingly, the herbs that were planted became overwhelming to each other quickly and need harvesting and pruning about once a week.

 

aerogardenbefore
My AeroGarden Harvest before being pruned

This set-up has a few kinds of herbs which include Tai Basil, Genovese Basil, Mint, Dill, Parsley, and Thyme. Unfortunately, the thyme didn’t sprout. I’m not sure if it was caused by the water initially used or a bad seed pod. Either way, the others have taken off!

 

haul
This weeks harvest

 

This week, some of the mint and basils needed to be hard pruned so I was able to hang those to dry along with the dill. The loose basil leaves I froze in olive oil to be used in some creative cooking experiments (don’t get too excited, cooking makes me nervous!). The mint I froze in water to be used with things such as green tea.

 

 

hanging
Hanging herbs keeps me hopeful that spring will be here soon

 

After pruning back, it was easy to see how much the plants had grown in a week. Nothing is better than fresh herbs and flowers around to make my heart smile!

aerogardenafter

 

I highly recommend this product and am in no way affiliated with the company that produces it. I love it so much, I just wanted to share!

Mission Rabit Hutch: Complete

Life has decided to speed up yet slow down at the same time. The larger projects we’ve been working on have slowed down and given us a moment to breathe and reset before spring comes and more work begins. We made progress in the dining room and living room by moving the chandelier above our dining room table, painting the ceiling, and painting all the walls.

We will be installing wainscotting when the funds and timing are available, but in the meantime, our walls look a bit frenzied. Rather than painting all the way to the bottom of each wall, we left the bottoms as they were seeing as it will be covered. That means we currently have 3 different wall colors at the same time! Pictures of our home will be limited until those rooms are complete. I have a rather ridiculous inability to relax when tasks are not complete. Don’t judge!

The downtime from our larger projects has allowed us to complete our rabbit’s forever home and I’m so excited to share it! If you don’t remember our preview of our plans, take a minute and read the post about it here.

We started with a corner entertainment stand that needed some modifications:

PhotoGrid_1511792287905

After some battles with how to lock the cabinets, our Oreo was finally settled into her new home.

rabbit
I was unable to crop out the two-toned walls. I will jump with joy when we finish this room!

We realized that one of the hinges was broken on one of the cabinet doors so we ended up removing and replacing them will more decorative hinges. I’m still unsure if I want to keep the current door pulls and paint them black or purchase new ones. Decisions, decisions!

Our greatest obstacle was figuring out how to keep the doors locked. Bolt and slide locks weren’t compatible with the design of the doors so we had to get creative! Chris presented the idea to me of using magnetic child safety locks and after researching other options, it was determined to be the best option. The best part is that the lock isn’t visible and allows to the cabinet to retain some of its charm.

We purchased these from The Home Depot for about $30 but they can also be found on Amazon for about $20 if waiting isn’t an issue.

We are all officially ‘moved in’ and settled, just in time for spring preparations to begin!

Living Room Design Preview

We recently dived head first into finally working on our dining room/living room/hallways (our main living spaces) and I could not be more excited! Since we had agreed on some major details, I’ve been slowly looking for furniture and other decor to fill the space. Before any of that can be done, lots of painting needs to be finished as well as adding wainscotting to the walls. Our inspiration photo was found on makeit-loveit.com and it’s everything we could ever dream of.

PhotoGrid_1517190727692
This website even has instructions on how to recreate this look. It can be found here.

We initially chose a slightly green-er color for the walls but had a change of heart when we bought the paint. We agreed on Behr’s Norwegian Blue for the walls and to be honest, I won’t be able to stop stressing about how dark it is until the room is finished.

PhotoGrid_1517244255688
Behr’s Norwegian Blue

Although DIY board and batten was an intriguing prospect, we decided our time would be better spent elsewhere and decided to use panels to create a slightly different look.

PhotoGrid_1517182939244
Home Depot sells these panels, which are more of what we are looking for from a design standpoint. Changing to a pre-made panel may have even eliminated the need to remove all of our baseboards. Talk about a win!

Rather than remove and replace all of the baseboards, we decided to keep what is there but dress them up by adding a shoe molding when we add crown molding to the room.

PhotoGrid_1517190361843
This may or may not be the final option. The overall look of this option is what I’m drawn to. Until I see it in person, then I may change my mind!

The fun will come when it’s time to fill the room with everything my little heart has been fluttering for months to have! Again, some final items may or may not be the same ones I’ve been staring at for months but they are a good reference for what I’m looking for.

For instance, I have found a living room set that I LOVE but I’m not sure of the quality seeing as I haven’t had a chance to look at it in person.

PhotoGrid_1517189922612
Melrose Loveseat
PhotoGrid_1517190022859
Melrose Accent Chair
PhotoGrid_1517190112882
Melrose Sofa

Our dining room currently has this chandelier in it. Out of all things the previous owner left behind, this one was my favorite! To bring the light fixtures out of the 50’s, we will be replacing them with ones that have the same look as the chandelier. The room(s) aren’t huge, meaning consistency is key!

PhotoGrid_1517191112742
The hallways currently have flush mount lights that are UGLY! These fit the feel, but the glass is iffy. Then again, at $60 each, I may not be able to say no.

To make the base of the room complete, I found the perfect ceiling fan to replace the current one. Nothing could make me change my mind!

PhotoGrid_1517253984037
This picture does not do this fan justice. Lowe’s stole my heart with this $199 fan.

I have more ideas floating around, but those will have to wait for another day. Today, I’m just thankful to have a foundation to work off of!

Our birds finally have a home

It’s been a few weeks since our new chicken coop was completed but I’m still just as excited to share it’s first stage finish. It was a time sensitive project that was completed just days before we began to get snow. I wish I could take credit for it’s construction, but I can’t! My other half, Chris, spent many hours out in the cold making a vision a reality!

It all started with an image I found on Pinterest and the rest kind of developed from there. Back in October, I had lucked out and found an ad on craigslist for a company wanting to get rid of hundreds of pallets. We took advantage and ended up with a trailer full of homestead building gold.

PhotoGrid_1516111190084

From there, Chris and I discussed the needs of the coop, how big it should be, and what changes would need to be done in the spring. That led to a bigger building than we expected due to plans of building an internal wall so we can house goats in the same structure… because we’re getting goats!!

The overall structure wasn’t overly complicated but did take some creativity to figure out the puzzle of pallets.

PhotoGrid_1516111114304
The back wall was up and the floor was leveled, giving us a better idea of where we were going and what changes could be made.
PhotoGrid_1516111064455
A closer look at the back wall and how the pallets fit together

The more difficult part of the build was figuring out how to frame the door and where it made the most sense. Once that was decided, Chris got to putting it all together.

PhotoGrid_1516110971430

From there the outside was covered with primed exterior wall panels, the roof was covered in galvanized corrugated roof sheeting, the interior was insulated, and paneling covered that on the inside. These birds have it made!

PhotoGrid_1516121895003
All closed up and prepared for the cold and snow

In the spring, we plan on finishing off the corners, adding in at least one window, and adding a chicken door giving the birds access to an enclosed run. The coyotes and hawks around here are in abundance and my fear is that the chickens will be put in danger if left to be completely free range. After all the changes, the coop will be painted and solar lighting will be added. It’s a project I can’t wait to see in completion!

PhotoGrid_1516121933091
The corners will have 2×4’s added to give it a more finished look while also closing off holes that the paneling didn’t quite cover. Pallets are far from straight! This side will also be the one with a chicken door and an enclosure attached when the ground thaws.

The inside of this coop is a dream. I told Chris what kind of nesting boxes I wanted but he took it to a whole different level!

PhotoGrid_1516110841759
Easiest nesting boxes ever! We used buckets from The Home Depot and cut lids in half. Easy!
PhotoGrid_1516110906747
Chris built the ladder/perch and I couldn’t have been more excited and surprised when I saw what he created.

Although our coop will not look like the one I used for inspiration, the color and solar lights will. Their’s just something about the color that makes my heart beat a little faster. I can’t wait to see it painted black and lit up at night. Only 5 months of waiting…

New Year, New Projects… Here we go!

The holidays have come and gone and I must say, it was nice to disconnect while enjoying time with family and friends. It also gave us time to step back from the projects we’ve been completing and planning to get centered before we move forward with what’s on the agenda for the rest of winter.

Our family was gracious enough to gift us with gift cards to The Home Depot and Lowe’s, lifting some financial burden on our biggest projects. The first of which was completed the last weekend of December and turned into a fun race to the finish to surprise our children with while we celebrated New Year’s Eve, homebody style!

We decided that the paneling in our family room was too dark and drab. It made the room feel like a cave and was just all around un-inviting once the sun went down.

 

PhotoGrid_1515265718728.jpg
This photo was taken in September when we first closed on our home and began some projects before moving in. As you can see, the paneling clashes with the stone and the bamboo shades just weren’t working!

A few weeks ago we decided that the initial change in the room needed to be the shades. The color was too dark, they were broken and difficult to open and close, and were a safety hazard for our daughter that will be on the move soon enough. We chose to go with a cordless white faux wood shade and that alone was an improvement!

 

PhotoGrid_1515265630899.jpg
You can see that the windows are bringing in much more light with the new shades, but that ugly paneling still had to go!

After 2 days of painting, we managed to transform our family room from dark and uninviting to warm and bright with 2 coats of Behr’s Silver Bullet paint.

 

PhotoGrid_1515776407821
Behr: Silver Bullet

 

It’s supposed to be a very light grey but with the blue from the stones, it actually took on a light blue tone. As the days have gone on, the color has grown on me and is here to stay until we raise the ceiling and replace the paneling with drywall. It’s all about prioritizing and baby steps!

PhotoGrid_1515265522592.jpg
Our make-shift ‘office’ until we can figure out our mudroom/office set-up. The baseboard will be painted white when we replace the paneling with drywall.
PhotoGrid_1515265585483.jpg
Post painting and pre-NYE decoration. Look at how much brighter it is with the paint and new shades!!

We’re still completing prep work on the main area of the house before we start that transformation. We also picked up all the supplies needed to complete our rabbit hutch. Fingers crossed we’ll be working hard this weekend!

 

 

We’re So Trendy!

Last Christmas season I happened to come across a post on Pinterest that showed a tree with an upside down galvanized tub around the base. Immediately I got excited because it was just what our rustic styled tree needed to be complete! Without knowing there were actual products available to achieve this goal, we promptly went to our local Tractor Supply and bought a 28 gallon galvanized metal tub. The bottom was cut out with tin snips and placed over the tree stand. It was heavenly!

PhotoGrid_1513039226038
This years’ Christmas Tree, collar and all!

Fast forward to a few days ago and what did my little eyes see in an emailed newsletter from Apartment Therapy? An article all about tree collars! To my surprise, there are some fancy versions out there that achieve the same aesthetic as our DIY version.

Here are a few of my favorites that cost a fraction of those in the article:

Red Lighted Woven Christmas Tree Collar

Willow Branch Tree Collar

Santa Wicker Tree Collar

 

If you’re just as trendy, comment with a picture of your tree!

Rabbit Hutch Update

As a follow up to a previous post, I’m excited to say we were gifted with an entertainment center that we will be modifying into our rabbit hutch. My dad, not knowing we were looking, mentioned having access to this cabinet and we jumped at it immediately.

PhotoGrid_1511792287905

I must say this thing is HUGE! So huge that we are planning on cutting the top off and moving it down to get rid of the open and useless space which should drop the height down almost 6 inches.

The cabinet had such a rough ride that the back pieces either need to be replaced or reinforced in order to ensure Miss Oreo doesn’t escape.

 

PhotoGrid_1511792207878 (1)
The top is going to be moved to where the shelf is, removing unneeded space and reducing the overall height. The other 2 sides need panels added or reinforced to match.

 

Inside there are two shelving systems that will be removed to give the rabbit more space.

 

Finally, the center of the door panels will be cut out and replaced with chicken wire to give the rabbit a view and an area to attach her water.

PhotoGrid_1511792499482 (1)

 

This project may not be completed until after Christmas due to other, more pressing projects being completed (…chicken coop…). But that’s for another day!

Weekly Round-Up: Honoring Our Thanksgiving Tradition

In honor of Thanksgiving, my gift to you is this week’s Weekly Round-up two days early. The traditions held by our families on Thanksgiving is deeply rooted in spending time together outside doing our favorite fall activity: hunting.

 

10 Facts About The Whitetail Rut

In November, hunters have the opportunity to see whitetail deer during peak breeding and it is a thrill like no other. Even if a deer isn’t harvested for the season, just being witness to nature doing its thing makes all those cold days worth it. This article highlights just 10 key facts about what actually occurs during this time. For instance, did you know does could have twins or triplets that were not from the same buck? Check out the article for more interesting facts!

 

No More Deer In The Headlights: Study Finds Large Mammals Do Use Road Crossing Structures

Before you get too excited, this article is not implying that mammals such as deer and moose use road crossings made from white paint in crosswalks. Rather, these mammals use bridge structures when they are constructed in high traffic crossing areas. The study was conducted in Montana and could be useful for future highway engineering.

Read the full study here.

 

15 Deer Hunting Myths Even Experienced Hunters Believe

Even if you’re not a hunter, at some point you may come across someone who is. When you do, knowing these myths and what the true explanations are will make you the smartest person in the room. You just may surprise yourself! My personal favorite myth that I love to debunk is that bucks only rub their antlers on trees to remove their velvet. The truth is, deer are pretty quiet animals and use signals such as rubs to communicate with one another. Now you know!

 

Root Beer BBQ Pulled Venison

This isn’t an article but it is a delicious recipe I used for our Christmas Eve festivities last year. Meat such as venison doesn’t have to taste gamey. Getting creative in the kitchen makes the emptying of the freezer become so much more satisfying every year.

 

Pinterest Pass or Fail: Crockpot Baked Apples

Yesterday we had our first taste of winter. A light dusting of snow that made me want to cry more than rejoice. I know, I know. Thanksgiving is only 2 days away and it’s usually a winter wonderland by now. With all that being said, I’ve got warm apple pie on my mind. If only I had some of those crockpot baked apples I made…

Every once in a while I find something on Pinterest that I dare to try. Sometimes it works, other times I wonder if I’m the only person to fail at an attempted pin. This one particular pin turned out to be just so amazing that I had to share.

We had an over-abundance of apples from our apple picking adventure and I needed something that could easily be done with them that wouldn’t require a whole lot of hovering on my part. Enter: my crock pot.  The initial recipe called for 6 apples so I decided to double the amount in order to make the most of what I had. An hour and a dozen apples later and the crock pot was full.

PhotoGrid_1511290493157

 

I added all the spices and set the timer for 6 hours but ended up turning it off after about 5 hours due to the apples becoming a little softer than I would have liked.

 

PhotoGrid_1511290542723

Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, white sugar, and cornstarch

A dozen apples seemed like a lot but after it all cooked down, it wasn’t nearly enough.

PhotoGrid_1511290573546

The only downside to this recipe is that it does NOT freeze well. We had a momentary lapse in judgment and decided to freeze some for a later date. After realizing it would all be consumed by the end of the weekend, it was pulled from the freezer and placed in the refrigerator to thaw. Sadly, the syrup-like mixture began to separate and the apples became overly soft.

At the end of the day, we had a warm and comforting dessert that may just become a new fall must.

 

Weekly Round-Up: Holiday House Prep

Preparing for the Holiday’s and a house full of guests can be quite overwhelming. Here’s this weeks article round-up that will hopefully make all that prep easier and quite possibly enjoyable!

 

How to Make Your Bathroom Smell Like a Spa

This article is short and to the point. Want your bathroom to smell like a spa? Add some fresh eucalyptus and you’ll be in spa heaven! Check out the article for some tips on how eucalyptus can be used and where to snag some for cheap.

 

17 Common Food Names You Probably Pronounce Wrong

If you’re hosting friends and family for the holidays this year, you may want to read this article and show everyone how fancy you can be with your correct pronunciation of what was assumed to be easy words. If not, it’ll at least give you a laugh as you realize you’ve been saying some things wrong your whole life.

 

10 Things Your Grandparents Did That Kids Today Don’t Care About

As technology advances and everything we could ever need is always at our fingertips, our ability to make and fix things on our own has become a lost art. How did we ever survive without a clothing or grocery store around every corner? Impress your grandparents by talking with them about all the things they used to do that were commonplace than you think. You may just become their favorite after-all!

 

Declutter In Less Time

Better Homes and Gardens hit it out of the park with this short guide on how to declutter your home just in time for the holidays and homes full of friends and families. Whether you have 5 minutes or 15, this article has tips for every room in your home. My favorites are to take 5 minutes before bed each night to organize a small section of your closets and making a game out of cleaning your children’s rooms. Make it fun and they won’t even know realize how helpful they were.

 

Professional Organizers Share Their Ultimate Speed-Cleaning Routines

Real Simple has even more tips on how to prepare for the holidays with some super simple and quick tips on cleaning almost any area of your home. After reading this, I’m almost looking forward to cleaning just so I can see how good these are! Who would have though to go through a room section by section, putting what’s out of place in a pile, then put everything away at the end. Seems like a challenge to me and it’s one I’m willing to accept. This article breaks down cleaning tips into 10, 30, and 2+ hour time frames with something that’ll work for everyone.