Roses in jars The Prudent Homemaker

I’m turning 40 this month. I have some fun projects for myself on my list for this month.



1. Sew curtains for my bedroom

2. Sew dress for myself, using 2 existing dress that I have to make a pattern (I want to try this method for making a pattern from an existing dress)

3. Sew birthday gifts for Ivory

4. Sew summer pajamas for the children

5. Sew curtains for one of the girls’ rooms


We plan on buying electrical conduit for the curtain rod in our room, and I’ve already bought some, plus a can of Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze paint, for the curtain rod in the girls’ room.



We had some high winds for a good part of last month, which made it very difficult to accomplish everything I had planned in the garden, so some tasks this month are ones I didn’t get to last month.


1. Dig and divide daffodils, and replant them in the garden

2. Dig dandelions from the lawn

3. Plant agapanthus (I’m trying to special order white agapanthus for the white garden and am still waiting to hear if they can get it for me or not)

4. Plant rose bushes (I’ve special ordered “Wollerton Old Hall”, a white David Austin rose, from the nursery and am waiting for plants to come in)

5. Add urn to garden, run water to it, attach it to pedestal, decide what to plant in it, and plant those plants in it

6. Cage tomatoes

7. Cut loads of flowers for fresh arrangements in the house

8. Plant basil, red noodle bean, Armenian cucumber, and squash seeds in the garden

9. Stake Katy apricot tree and one flowering plum tree in the white garden

10. Set up stakes and trellis for beans and cucumbers

11. Thin fruit trees. I’ve already started on this, and the high winds we had last month did a lot of thinning for me, but there is still more to do.

12. Prune hedges in front and back. I’ve ordered an electric hedge trimmer to make the job faster. I borrowed one from my neighbor last month after she offered it, and I loved how much more quickly I was able to complete the task.


Jewelry Projects:

1. Finish bird nest necklace

2. Make gray bracelet

3. Make over bead necklace that belonged to my grandmother. It is currently strung on a single strand of thread.



1. Clean refrigerator

2. Clean grout on my bathroom floor

3. Photograph and list items for sale on my local Facebook garage sale page. I’m still considering having my own garage sale, but I’d really like to get some things sold this week, and the community garage sale I attend twice a year is this Saturday! If I can sell some things ahead of time, I’ll have more to add to my garage sale fund to buy things from my list.



1. Can strawberry jam

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  1. I would love to see a photo of the dress you are making and your curtains. You amaze me every month:) Oh and Happy birthday Brandy!

  2. I already love them 🙂 The yellow ones in the photo above are Graham Thomas from David Austin. They bloomed several weeks earlier this year. I also have a peachy-pink callled The Sheperdess. I planted a couple more this year; bareroots when David Austin had a 20% off deal in January: pink Queen of Sweeden and white Claire Austin. Wollteron Old Hall is the only one that my local nursery can order that isn’t a dark color (I was hoping to plant pastel shades in the garden in back). I’m excited to be able to get potted ones from them; I did that years ago at my old house, but they haven’t been able to get any for quite some time, and they can no longer get the Abraham Darby that I had at my old house 🙁 I wish I could get all the ones I want in a potted form.

  3. Happy Birthday, Brandy! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and a wonderful month.

    Can’t wait to see pictures of your sewing projects – you always do such a beautiful job.


  4. Happy birthday!! I happened to find a pin on Pinterest that talks about making soap from dandelions. I thought that was fascinating. There are so many things you can do with that weed.

    Good luck selling your items on Facebook. I have a large pile of things to put on a regular yard sale soon. I’d love to get rid of those things!

    Have a great week.

  5. I would like to build trellises for my cucumbers, and would love to see how you are using stakes and trellises with your beans and cucumbers.

  6. How do you find local garage sales on Facebook? I have been a top seller on Ebay for the past few years but am planning on giving it up because of their rules beginning in May.

  7. I looked by city, and also neighborhood/community names. After I joined a couple, Facebook would suggest a few more to me. I had to apply to join each group, which took a few days. Look for things like “My town yard sale” “My town swap” “My neighborhood garage sale” and see what comes up. Most cities have sub-area names, which helps you to be more specific than Craig’s list for the entire city. Because people know they are close (within 5-10 minutes, for example, rather than over an entire city) it’s easier to list a few items for $2-$5 each that people will be willing to come get than you would have with lower-priced items on Craig’s list. I’ve bought a number of clothing items this way, too. I’ve also seen larger items as well, such as armoires, listed this way. (We bought a bookcase this way, too!) It’s first come, first serve on most items. We’ve gotten rid of some items for free this way, too, which was also nice.

  8. Brandy,
    I am curious. How do you plan out your monthly goals to fit into your weeks or do you just find pockets of time and then tackle a project? I am trying to get a bit more done, but sometimes planning monthly projects gives me an anxiety attack:) And a Happy Birthday to you!

  9. I am finding more success with planning for the month than for the week. I try to work on some things on the list each day. Garden projects, for example, depend on the weather, what time of day I have to work on a project, etc. If it’s really windy, like it has been, I spend more time on indoor projects. I try to work on something every afternoon, and the gardening projects in the late afternoon now as it gets hotter.

    The important thing is to do what works for you!

  10. Hi Brandy and happy birthday for this month and hello everyone from Australia :).

    Our goals for this month in the house for autumn cleaning & maintenance are –
    – Clean & dust all of the ceiling fans, venetian blinds, kickboards & belt rails.
    – Clean, sweep & mop under the oven, buffet units & fridge / freezers.
    – Clean the oven.
    – Mop all the vinyl, tile & stone floors around the fireplace with my mixture of 2 tablespoons of ammonia & 1 T of dishwashing liquid to a gallon of warm water. Brings them up so clean and shiny & gets rid of any grease residue off the floors.
    – Empty the fridge and clean all the fridge shelves as it is getting rather country harvest dirty & clean the outside.
    – Hammer down any protruding nails on the front and back verandas.

    In the kitchen –
    – Make some more yummy pumpkin soup out of our lovely pumpkins & onions harvested from the garden.
    – Make lots of meals from fresh vegetables in the yard & freeze any excess for the winter months ahead.
    – Use anything I have noticed in the pantries that are near their use by dates for meals.

    In the garden –
    – Plant some more snow peas and greenfeast peas.
    – Plant some more onions & garlic.
    – Generally keep control of weeds by regular weeding & mulching.
    – Make a point of harvesting more regularly and freeze any excess we have.
    – Attack and get rid of the few sand burs I have seen in the lawn & paths. When we first moved here the whole lawn was burs and now we can walk around on the grass without shoes & all of our friends in the area are astounded and say ” but where are all the burs ?”. They are kind of a given weed problem around here and you have to weed really regularly to get rid of them as well as prickly pear which springs up everywhere.
    – Put runners on the trellises we have set up for the broad beans now that they have grown taller to support them.
    – Remove all spent corn plants and dig in manure and home made compost to refresh the soil & replant.
    – Fill in some of the spaces in the vegetable patch by replanting.
    – Fertilise all vegetables & herbs twice this month.
    – Fertilise the lawn with manure to get ready for the cold winters months ahead, already done 1/3 of the back yard.
    – Prune all rose bushes in the front gardens.

    Craft sewing & herb & seed saving business.
    – Make more curtain tiebacks to replace ones sold.
    – Make more eye masks to replace ones sold.
    – Make more A5 and A4 journal covers to replace ones sold.
    – Count and sort dried pumpkin seeds into jars, some for us, excess to sell on the internet.
    – Harvest more herbs & traditionally dry and save some for us, list the rest for sale on the internet.

    Looks like the typical busy month ahead for my husband & I and we wouldn’t have it any other way so we can have the blessings of eating nutritious fresh vegetables , herbs & berries from our gardens for all teas and snacks :-).

  11. Hi Angela and this is what we use which is cheap and efficient for our cucumbers, peas, climbing beans etc . We put a garden stake at each end of the row if it is something heavier such as beans or cucumbers we use metal stakes and then we tie stringers at intervals all the way up from one to the other using baling twine which is really fantastically strong & cheap to buy in large rolls. If you have a large row we simply put in stakes every 3 – 4 foot and again just run the stringers across. Things like snow peas that are lighter we use wooden stakes and stringers.

    With things like capsicums we use the wooden stakes, stringers between and then tie a loop from a small piece of baling twine around each plant and tie to a stringer and it works a treat.

    Once a plant has finished producing we just remove the baling twine put in a bag and re – use it over and over again. I hope this helps.

  12. It looks to me like you will have your entire house re-decorated before you are done! I’m sure it feels great to be making so much progress.

  13. Happy birthday to you. Wish I could be 40 again. Maybe I could keep up with you !!!, No, even in my 20’s I don’t think I could keep up with you. I look forward to seeing the dress you make for yourself. I love the pillows you made. At the thrift store a few weeks ago I got 2 large 20″X20″ pillows. They are ugly as can be but I unzipped them to be sure and sure enough they both have a down (feather) base pillow. I have them sitting in my sewing room waiting for the right fabric to make them over. I am sure they will be wonderful when I get to them.
    My goals this month are simple, to get as much of my sewing done as is possible. I have a lot cut out I just need to sit at the machines and sew. My problem is I keep coming up with more ideas of things to make before I finish what I am working on. My little brain is ahead of my body. I cleaned out David’s (my husband) closet this weekend and found several shirts that I am going to use in my doll clothes. I had almost no fabric that could make boy clothes. Now I have plenty thanks to his closet.
    We are getting warm weather all ready. I cleaned out my grandmother’s HOPE chest and found some of her hand embroidery items. I washed them on gentle with baby laundry soap and now they are hanging in the sun to dry. A few of the pieces are in tatters as Grandma used them. I have one piece that is a pillow case with birds on it. That part is in tact. The rest of the pillow case is a mess and hopeless. I am going to cut that piece off and frame it for my sewing room. It will remind me of her. How I miss her.

    On the 16th of this month my only grand daughter and I are going to have a ‘day of beauty’ together. I am taking her to my favorite hair dresser (someone I have gone to more than 20 years) and she is getting her hair done and her nails done. Maybe even her feet if we have time. Then we are going to Utla to get some new makeup and a new perfume. That is her birthday gift from her grandfather and I. It is also her first PROM. I am so proud of her. She turned 16 on March 16. Her parents are letting her wear a little makeup now so we are going together to get it.

  14. I couldn’t agree more with planning for a month at a time. This leaves a lot of flexibility.
    Somehow, when I plan for a month, most things get done. When I plan out my daily to do list (after work, squeezing in whatever I feel I shall do that day) at least half of the things do NOT get done :/ which is sort of discouraging when I look at a list.

  15. Happy birthday, Brandi.
    Your roses are beautiful.

    This is a big month for us to get the garden ready. We want to get a half yard of good potting soil and transplant the tomato and pepper seedlings into buckets and put them in the greenhouse. We need to set up the drip irrigation in the greenhouse and install the shade cover. Outside it’s time to plant onions, broccoli, carrots and more lettuce and chard.

    Indoor projects include new cushion covers for the porch chairs. We will also uncover the RV and get it ready for summer camping trips.

  16. Our small town site I feel comfortable putting things out for porch pick up. I put a Tupperware container trainer out for the money. I’ve sold many items for $1 or $2 that aren’t worth time or gas meeting people.

    On the county site I wouldn’t do that, as they aren’t as good at weeding out people who sell fake purses and don’t show for meet ups when they agree to buy an item.

  17. Happy birthday month!

    My goals for April are to finish up this semester of school on a high note and to continue to declutter. To only have two seems slack compared to your list, but we have four of us in college and all the end of the semester chaos is in our midst. On the decluttering front, I can do this as I touch things without adding any stress to my already crazy schedule.

    I’m hoping time will permit me to work on a few hand projects, but if it doesn’t then I know they will keep.

  18. Just had to mention this coincidence. My grandson also turned 16 on March 16th.

    I loved that he was born in the year 2000 as his great grandfather was born in the year 1900.

  19. Hi Brandy! You certainly have the knack for finding and creating beauty in both your home and garden! Where do you find such unique landscaping pieces such as your urns and pedestals, sundials, etc?

  20. The sundial in the backyard is from Sam’s Club, about 14 years ago. The urn and pedestal in the white garden were from Lowe’s and Home Depot; we painted them to match (the pedestal was light colored and the urn was black; we painted them both the same). The large pots have come from Sam’s Club and a few from Target (bought on clearance at the end of the season–the ones in the white garden). The terra cotta pots are from the local nursery.

    Sam’s and Costco usually have pots in April and May for [i]considerably[/i] less than other places, so I usually start by checking there.

  21. That is very clever of you to paint the urn and pedestal to make them look as if they were a set and to customize the look! You are truly a wealth of great information and I’m so appreciative! Thank you and hope you have a wonderful birthday month!

  22. Yes, I have 2 grand children born in the year 2000. Gavin my grandson that lives here, born 2-17-2000 and Sabrina 3-16-2000. That was a wonderful year for me. I love all my grand children, but I had always wanted a daughter. I was not blessed with any daughters. After my 2nd child was born my doctor advised me not to have more children. I had a problem being able to carry a baby to term and both had to be born with C-Sections because of how I carried. (a baby could not get through the birth canal) So I had just the 2 sons. But when Sabrina was born I was on cloud #9. Finally a girl I could sew for. Make clothes and doll things. Her parents were wonderful to me. I think I remade her bedroom 4 times before she was 13. We just got done doing it again. Sadly for me (just kidding) she is the biggest TOM BOY in town. Her new bedroom has fish curtains. Her new bed spread has fish and camping gear on it. (she picked the fabric) She can out fish her father and her big brother. She is also a top notch student. I am so proud of her. She went to the finals in San Antonio last year with her robotics team. Two different scouts found her father and told him she has what it takes and that they believe she can get a ‘full ride scholar ship’ to MIT university. Her parents are so proud. Needless to say I am too.

  23. Happy Birthday Brandy. I hope the whole month is very good to you.

    I am also sewing a pair of summer pajamas for my brother in law. We found some horse fabric and are using that. He is a horse fan. Since my husband is busy in his free time helping remodel his sister’s new house, my daughters and I decided to take on the redo of our spare room. We moved everything out into the breezeway and back entry and some to the basement. So far we have painted the walls and ceiling and taken out baseboards and the old linoleum. The room has no irregularities in the perimeter so we just had to measure and buy the new piece. It is laying in there now to relax. We do not use glue, rather just lay as is without glue. The girls did go over and sand the underfloor to make sure was nice and smooth first.

    This is our combo guest room/sewing room/spare room/room brother in law uses when he lives with us approx 3 mos every year. He’ll be back on Memorial Day which is his birthday this year so we are giving him this surprise, plus the pajamas and some other horse related things we have picked up at the thrift store and on line…coloring books, puzzles, made some bookmarks.

    Need to bring up geraniums from the basement and set in the window. Plant tomato seeds in the greenhouse…my daughter wants 48 this year, enough for both our families for the year. She has picked the types…I know there is Mountain Fresh, Wisconsin 55, Early Girl, Sweet100, plum and heirloom varieties. Our tenants are very interested in gardening too and are going to trade work for their share of the produce.

    Good luck with the dressmaking. I know it will work; we do it quite often. A lot of our ladies make their own dresses and once you get a dress that fits right you make the pattern so you can remake the dress.

  24. Thanks Anthanasia; it will be my first time using a tracing wheel. I copied a blouse years ago but I took it apart first. I’m looking forward to not having to take the dresses apart. The hard part is that neither is pefect, but they come close. They are both wrap-around dresses. One has a collar and one does not. The one without goes around further but still shrunk quite a bit, so I need to figure out the correct width so it goes around as it should. I prefer the one with the collar; it’s a bit more dressy and it’s also shorter (the other, though shrinking, is still too long so that it drags on the ground; it shrank about 5 inches in length, but also width 🙁 ). I have fabric to make rour dresses for myself; three this style and the other I’m not sure (the other needs a lining, though). I could do it the same, but it’s lace and I don’t know if it will work as a wrap-around style, or be too casual. The others, though a bit more dressy with a collar, are still casual enough to wear everyday. I prefer a dress any day, but especially in the heat (which is already here; it was 88º this week and up to 83º in the house two days ago!)

    At any rate, I’ll start with one dress and see how it goes. I have stretch knit in green and red. I’ll do the green first. I also have cream-colored stretch lace, but will need some knit to go under it, and then a piece of patterned linen that I originally bought to make a wrap-around skirt. I know linen will continue to shrink. I’m thinking to wash it a couple more times first, and then see if there is enough there to make a dress in the same style.

    The funny thing is, I used to detest this style of dress, but it really works with a changing figure, and as that seems to be my situation, it seems wise to make something that can fit me through about 3 sizes, whether I am up or down.

  25. Happy Birthday and a question–have you ever bought any plants at Sam’s? I’m wondering about the quality. I’m looking at some bushes they have.

  26. Jennifer,

    I’ve only seen a few things at our store–mostly bareroot roses and fruit trees. The fruit trees looked good, but I have never bought them. I learned at my local gardening class on roses not to buy waxed bareroots here; they do fine in cooler climates, but not here, so I’ve avoided them.

    Oh, wait–I did buy an orchid there. But that’s a bit different, since it’s an indoor plant. 🙂 It did wonderfully!

  27. Hi Brandy and yes relating now I am lets say in the early next decade to you in your happy birthday age about the changing figure up and down. Previously I never put on weight but recently I seem to be going up and down a bit in size 3 – 5 kg or so.

    So like yourself I have decided to go for elasticised skirts, also skirts with elasticised shirring around the waist, stretch jeans that go up and down with weight, and skirts and dresses a lovely a line design. It tends to cover the area where I tend to put on any weight, my very ample saddlebag thighs :p. My thighs have always been larger than my hips due to a lot of sport as a child, so I therefor built up muscles in that area. My friends just say well where is these thighs, but that is only because I dress around them that they haven’t noticed, if I wore a pencil skirt they definitely would.

  28. Hi Athanasia and it sounds like you are all very handy as we are with home renovating and beautification.

    With your linoleum another trick is you can use double sided tape around the edges underneath to secure it in place, it stops it slowly creeping in from the edges of the baseboards too which happens in most cases. It is also a good trick if you have to join the lino as well. It is how the professional floor layers do it when they don’t glue it down with the new thicker vinyl that is on the market.

    I hope this helps.

  29. Oh, I love a wrap dress. It works especially well for me as there are no fasteners/zippers to deal with. I have used the pattern I got back in the 80’s (no shoulder pads though) over and over. I like it with knit materials best, heavier material and long sleeves for Fall-Spring. I have never tried sewing anything with linen. Yes a dress is nice and cool in the summer, but we were never allowed to wear pants. The only time we wore pants was under our dresses when it was cold …like for ice skating and playing in the snow. Well, we still don’t wear pants but at least I spend very little time out in the cold now a days.

  30. Thanks Lorna. We never glue, and have no problem. This is the way we do it. We built this house and all the floors are linoleum and it makes them very easy to change. My husband is a carpenter.

  31. I’m not a fan of shoulder pads, so they won’t have any.

    I have always preferred dresses, after my first was born I kind of got away from them, trying to deal with a different body shape. For a while I went back to skirts and white blouses (something I also liked to wear before I had children) but my blouses and skirts have worn out for the most part, and I am finding that I really want to be true to myself and wear a dress, if I can find something I like. I’m not sure if these knits I bought will be too hot for summer; the red is a bit heavy for here, I think. I prefer linen and cotton in the summer here, or I’m just too hot. For some people, it’s not a problem, but they keep their houses about 15 degrees cooler than I do. I don’t want a $700 electric bill in the summer. I’d rather keep the house warmer and wear something that does well in the heat. Hmm . . . now I’m getting more ideas for dresses. Well, it will depend on how this first one turns out and if I can do the same with a non-knit material. What I’d really like to find is a thin stretch polyseter. I bought a couple of dresses at garage sales made with it, and they were surprisingly light and breathed well in the heat. The green knit is closer to those in weight and feel.

  32. Hi Athanasia that is fantastic that it works like that too, so much easier to change the linoleum, resting it is the key too to straighten the wrinkles out as you are doing. Whoever invented the glue everything down principle should have been seriously disciplined :p .

    I remember in our previous home changing the lino and they had around 5 layers of the stuff all stuck to boards. It was a bit like playing pass the parcel and never getting to the end gift. As I did each layer I popped it over the back veranda as it was a 2 storey home so I could dispose of it. The pile was so high it was unbelievable.

    A job I thought would take a few hours turned into a mayor punishing task, so indeed when we have our own home built we shall definitely be going with the no glued down lino.

  33. Hi Athanasia and I forgot about the wrap around dresses I used to wear those in the 80’s and haven’t seen them around in the shops for ages until just recently as it appears they are coming back into fashion. The shoulder pads well I do have to say were a trend I could well leave behind. Having large shoulders it made me look like a grid iron player, so I simply pulled them out when I bought everything.

    We also wore what was known as shirt dresses that buttoned up down the front back then, which were a fantastic being a rather straight through size design and you could dress with them if your size was fluctuating a bit, I used to wear them with a co-ordinating belt. I also used to wear them when I was expecting my children which kind of hid the lumps and bumps of the condition :p . I was enormous through my pregnancies having children 9lb 7oz and a premmie at 8lb 6oz, yes I gave birth to mini baby elephants considering my rather small frame :p.

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