Classy Winter Centerpiece

Everybody! I have put together a Pinterest-worthy centerpiece.

I didn’t bedazzle the whole table like a true Pinterest godness, but I’m OK with that. I mean, honestly, I’m sitting at the table eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch, not prime rib.


And it was easy. And cheap. I bought a red glitter cake stand from the Target dollar section and a plastic silver charger for $2.50. The candles and trees were on clearance at Joann’s for less than $5, and I had the rest of the stuff on hand. The goblets are my grandmother’s from her Avon collection, the jingle bells were in the kids’ craft box, the wagon was hanging on the tree, and I found the antelope in my son’s large collection of tiny animals.



I ditched the original top of the cake stand and drilled a hole in the charger instead. A little hot glue protects it from kids who can’t keep their hands off anything.



I seriously impressed myself with this centerpiece. Mediocrity is my usual benchmark.

Merry Christmas from The Lunch Hour Gardener!



Something New! Advent Printable Cards!

I wanted to share a little something that is going on behind the scenes! I’ve started another blog, affectionately titled Bad Mister Kitty!! My new site is just that – new, and not a replacement for this one. I will continue to post here also.

Bad Mister Kitty will be featuring original artwork, art and craft ideas, mandalas, Zentangle, coloring pages, and other printables.

You can connect with Bad Mister Kitty on Facebook and Twitter, too.

My platform is (a little) larger on The Lunch Hour Gardener, so I wanted to share my newest creation here to jump start a following on Bad Mister Kitty. I have created a free pack of 25 Advent cards to print and use during December that unravels the marvel and the mystery of Jesus leading up to His birth.


Go here to get the free printable cards and start your Advent journey with me on December 1st.

Print a set for everyone you know and share it, then join up with Bad Mister Kitty in whichever way suits you best.

There’s also a pretty cool Zentangle turkey over there to print and color.


Send a comment and let me know how you plan to use the Advent Cards this Christmas season.

Christmas Blessings,

The Lunch Hour Gardener ~~ Also Known As Bad Mister Kitty


Fun With Altoid Tins

Do you ever save certain items, knowing they have a destiny but unsure of what it is? If so, welcome to my world of beads, buttons, fabric, anything tiny, empty pill bottles, vintage jars, and, yes, Altoid tins.

I found many a cool idea for Altoid tins on Pinterest, most above my skill set, so my tins sat in wait until inspiration hit me, which of course, it did, as Easter basket season approached.

I’ll spare you the long process of how these finally came together, but I daresay it involved many an hour on Etsy looking for the perfect miniatures to fill them, only to realize I already had everything at home in the dollhouse and Lego bins. I am a horrible minimalist sometimes.

The first tin has four tiny Lego cars, four tiny Lego people, a tiny train, and a road scene folded up inside. I painted the outside of the tin black with roads and parking spaces.



The second tin is an idea I’ve been cooking up (see what I did there?) for quite awhile. It’s a miniature kitchen and table, filled with tiny dishes and cooking implements, utensils, two tiny chairs and Lego food pieces. One side of the tin is painted with a stove and counter top, the other is a red checked table cloth.




Be it known I’m not a painter; my hands are unsteady and my eyesight is poor, not to mention I don’t have high quality paint or paint brushes, but I don’t think my kids will even notice.

These tins will be tucked into two of my kids’ Easter baskets along with some candy. I think they will be thrilled. If not, I secretly enjoyed playing with the tiny kitchen for quite awhile. 😉

Upcycled Egg Carton Floral Wreath

The kids and I collaborated on an Easter-y, spring-y art project: an egg carton floral wreath. In a nutshell, I cut and glued, they painted. Collaborators included my 11 and 9 year old niece and nephew, my 8 and 5 year old daughters, and my 3 year old son.


As with most of my good ideas, I got it from Pinterest and modified it to our skill set. I could not be happier with how it turned out. It is gorgeous. I cannot stop staring at it. I just can’t believe a group of 6 non-artists could make something so beautiful out of trash and paint.


We used 4 one-dozen paperboard egg cartons. I cut both the egg cup and the separator post in the middle to make flower centers. The leaves are cut from the tops of the egg carton. The whole business is glued onto a cardboard wreath base measuring about 15 inches in diameter, leaves first, then flowers, obviously. We also glued some buttons in the flower centers.

The wreath’s unexpected beauty was the kids’ doing. They mixed paints instead of using a single color on each flower and the results were just amazing.

And because no floral wreath is complete without a little fairy, we found a spot on ours to tuck her in.


I had no idea trash could be so beautiful!

Alligator Suitcase

Behold, a suitcase that’s an alligator, an alligator that’s a suitcase.


I have to laugh at myself sometimes. I walked into the thrift store earlier this fall and saw a gray, vintage toiletry suitcase. It was $2.99 and I had a pin on Pinterest begging me to try it. Why not, right?


I stripped the insides, painstakingly spray painted the outside, re-lined the inside, then painted on a happy alligator face. I thought it would be an easy little project, then laughed and laughed when the spray painting when on for days and I’d sunk about $20 into supplies.


I could pick out a pretty cool gift for my little guy for $23, but nothing as cool as an alligator suitcase. This gift has many hours of good fun built in. I should know; he played with the suitcase for half the afternoon the day I bought it.


I am quite pleased with the finished product. It is definitely the gift I’m most excited to give this year.