Saturday, December 05, 2020

Links I Love | On The Creek Blog

Links I Love | November 2020!

I'm back with a new link love post!

It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts!

I recently went through my links & found a bunch of great ones that I had to share!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Small distance/virtual learning space in a coat nook | On The Creek Blog

Our virtual learning set up in a small space!

After a good start, our school ended up on virtual learning starting this week.

Because our house has a serious lack of space, I was originally going to have our foster kiddo just do his work at the kitchen table.  I didn't think our house had the storage for a dedicated space...until I made one!

Because of our virtual learning situation, our kiddo didn't bring home a lot of books.  He does have a few folders full of paperwork he needs, though.  I wanted a space to store everything, including his school laptop.

Friday, October 30, 2020

pumpkin carving | On The Creek Blog

Pumpkin carving 2020!

For the first time in forever, we carved pumpkins for Halloween!

This is the first year we've had a kiddo in our house for Halloween.

He's been super excited about Halloween for weeks!  He's been counting down the days until his class party & actual Halloween.

To celebrate, we carved pumpkins last weekend.  Our kiddo drew out his pumpkin face & my mom carved it out.  He also drew on all sides of another pumpkin & my mom cut all the sides out!  My mom didn't even get a chance to carve her own pumpkin!

Monday, October 26, 2020

pumpkins grown in our garden | On The Creek Blog //

Here are some of the pumpkins we grew this year!

We grew a lot a pumpkins this year!

Last year we bought pumpkin plants & only ended up with 3 pumpkins!  This year, we decided to start from seeds & hope for the best.

We sowed the seeds directly in the ground around Memorial Day.  We chose pumpkin seeds of various varieties.

We did all orange pumpkins this year.  Next year I'd like to try growing pumpkins of different colors.  We kept it simple this year because we didn't know how they would grow.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Home canning | On The Creek Blog

2020 garden harvest!

We had quite the garden harvest this year!

I can't tell you how many days & nights we spent harvesting & canning all the things!

I started out by freezing some sauces until I quickly found out we had more sauce than freezer space!

As you know, I'm not the biggest fan of canning.  I learned to tolerate it this year only because I knew I was making some great sauces!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Garden update for August 2020 | On The Creek Blog

Garden update for August 2020!

When I was going through my pictures from August, I found out I only took pictures of the tomatoes!  I'll give you the update on everything else, but I guess you will only see the tomatoes!

The tomatoes really showed up in August!  

I will have to do another post about all the harvesting because it was a lot!  Even though I'm not the biggest fan of canning, we ended up canning quite a bit of pasta sauce & salsa!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Awesome & Unique Items Found At The Thrift Store | On The Creek Blog

Items found at the thrift store over the weekend!

We did a little thrift shopping over the weekend & I picked up a few cute things!

I've been a little more picky with what I buy lately.  I have worked on enough projects to have a decent idea of things I want to get into & what to leave alone.  Of course, every project is different & there are always surprises!  Something that seems simple might end up being quite time consuming!

Here's my latest thrift haul!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Making & Canning Pickles | On The Creek Blog

Pickle making adventures!

Our garden has been producing tons of cucumbers this year!  I've been pickling all the things!

At first I just used premixed packets for my pickling.  I made sweet relish & kosher dills that way.

Then I found this recipe for refrigerator pickles.  At the time, I had enough cucumbers for just 2 jars, so I decided to try it out.  I modified the recipe just a little by adding garlic salt along with fresh garlic.  I also added dried dill along with the fresh dill.  I wanted super flavorful pickles!

The pickles did their thing in the refrigerator for almost a week before I cracked them open.  They were absolutely fantastic & so full of flavor!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Garden update for July 2020 | On The Creek Blog

Garden update for July 2020!

The garden was thriving during July!

Tons & tons of tomatoes are starting to take shape!

Because the tomato plants began super tiny, I wasn't sure what harvest time would look like.  Well now I know...harvest time is going to look awesome!

There are so many tomatoes coming on right now.  They should be ready for harvest very soon.  Then the busy time will begin--processing all the tomatoes.  I'm thinking tons of pasta sauces!  Because I'm not a huge fan of canning, I'll most likely be freezing the tomatoes.  It looks like we'll have to buy another freezer because the garden is so plentiful!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

You might recall the magic I worked on an old dining bench, right? Well, guess what? I had its twin - a charming end table - waiting for its moment of transformation. I initially toyed with the idea of creating another bench, but this time, I craved a simpler project. And so, the journey of giving this end table a farmhouse-style makeover began!

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

The Adventure Begins: Prepping the End Table

The makeover kicked off with this endearing end table. Oh, those legs! They had a charm that tugged at my heartstrings. Cutting them down for our bench project was a tough call but necessary.

I tried detaching the top before painting, but it was a stubborn little thing! So, painting first, it was, and later, with some help from my dear husband, we managed to remove the top.

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //
The Magic of Crackle Paint: Achieving a Distressed Farmhouse Look

I'm no stranger to crackle paint, having used it on several pieces (like our dining benchchair planter, and solar chandelier). This time was no different. The process started with a dark brown base coat, mimicking a rich, dark stain. Next came the crackle layer. And finally, the top coat was applied when the crackle was just tacky enough. The result? A beautifully distressed finish that screams farmhouse chic!

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

Crafting the Perfect Top: A Journey to Home Depot

The original top was far from perfect - not solid wood and riddled with imperfections. So, off to Home Depot, we went in search of the perfect board to craft a new top. The process was surprisingly straightforward - one board, a few cuts, and voilΓ ! We opted for nails to secure the boards, adding to the antique feel of the piece.

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

Sanding and Distressing: Giving Life to New Wood

Our trusty miter saw is a bit dull and didn't leave the cleanest of cuts. So, sanding was essential to smooth out the rough edges and unify the look. But the fun didn't stop there!

We unleashed our creativity with a chain and hammer to age the new boards, diligently working to distress the wood. The goal was to give it a seasoned, lived-in look, and we nailed it!

Staining and Sealing: The Finishing Touches

I mixed Jacobean and Special Walnut for the stain to create a custom shade. It was the perfect blend to complement the crackled base. After applying several coats of polyurethane, our end table was not just transformed but reborn.

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

The Thrill of the Sale: A Surprising Outcome

With the end table complete, curiosity got the best of me, and I listed it on Facebook Marketplace. Selling pieces always gives me butterflies - will others love them as much as I do? To my delight, the table found a new home within an hour! 🌟

Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //
Farmhouse-style end table makeover | on the creek blog //

What's Next? More Projects, More Stories

This quick sale has sparked a fire in me. Our basement is brimming with furniture, begging for a second chance. I'm more excited than ever to roll up my sleeves and dive into these projects. And you know what? I'm bringing you along for every step, every brushstroke, and every joyful discovery.

Stay tuned, Besties, for more tales of transformation and creativity. It's not just furniture we're reviving; it's the spirit of making a house a home. πŸ› ️🌱

Monday, July 13, 2020


building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

Our Tomato Trellis Adventure is in Full Swing!

Our beloved tomato plants are living their best lives this year, growing so magnificently that they're practically calling out for some extra TLC. Our little green friends are thriving. It's time to step up our support game!

building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //
Starting Strong with Tomato Cages and Stakes

Initially, we thought we were set with the tomato cages we had lying around and a bunch of stakes. Oh, how wrong we were! Our tomato family had bigger plans, quickly outgrowing these initial supports. Even our sturdiest cages were no match for these vigorous vines!

building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //
DIY Inspiration: Pinterest to the Rescue!

You know me, always on Pinterest looking for that next burst of inspiration. And voila! I stumbled upon a homemade tomato trellis that had me thinking, "This is it!" James and I were on board for this new project, ready to give our tomatoes the royal treatment they deserved.

building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //
Gathering Supplies: A Trip to Tractor Supply and More

Our shopping list? Simple but effective. We picked up posts from Tractor Supply and armed ourselves with 17 gauge electric fence wire – almost an entire roll of it! This sturdy setup promised to be the backbone for our ambitious trellis design.

building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //
The Great Build: A Saturday with James and Wires

James dedicated a Saturday morning to this project, stringing the trellis with the precision of a craftsman. We initially planned for posts at the ends of our tomato rows, but oh no, we needed more! Mid-row posts joined the party, ensuring our tomatoes had all the support they could dream of.

Designing the Trellis: Weaving Dreams into Reality

James wrapped the wire meticulously, creating a snug home between the plants. Our tomatoes could now rest easy on their wire cradle, growing tall and proud. We even integrated the cages into this design for extra love and support.

building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //

Tomato Trellising – A Labor of Love

We're now in the heart of the process, weaving our tomatoes around their new trellis. The scorching heat has made gardening a bit of a challenge, but we're sneaking in those precious early morning and nighttime hours to tend to our green babies. The trellis was our main goal, and now it's all about the gentle art of weaving.

Expect the Unexpected: Our Tomato Jungle!

Who would've thought? This is our fourth gardening season, and we're staring in awe at the most gigantic tomato plants we've ever seen. Little tomatoes are already popping up, promising a bountiful harvest.

building trellis supports for tomato plants | on the creek blog //
Next Time: Early Trellising is Key!

If there's one thing we've learned, it's that building a trellis early on makes life so much easier. But hey, we're all about embracing the unexpected here at On the Creek. For now, our focus is on providing the best support for our overachievers – here's to a tomato-filled year!

Stay tuned for more updates, and don't forget to drop by our blog for all the juicy details! Until next time, keep shining and growing, just like our tomatoes! πŸŒ±πŸ…

Monday, July 06, 2020

Garden update for June 2020 | On The Creek Blog

Here's the garden update for June 2020!

The garden is off to a great start this year!

We planted the garden over Memorial Day weekend this year.  When we planted, the tomatoes were super tiny & I was afraid they weren't going to make it.  A few weeks in, I added the natural blood meal to the plants.  Then they really started to take off!

Our tomato plants are now huge!  They're the biggest tomato plants we've ever grown & it's only a little into July!

Monday, June 29, 2020

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

Hey Besties! 🌟

So, I've got to spill the tea on my latest garden adventure – and it's all about giving our green babies a little boost with something I never thought I'd try: plant food. Yup, you heard that right. I was always a bit skeptical, thinking it was kinda like skipping leg day and expecting to run a marathon. 🌱πŸ’ͺ

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

But, oh, how the tides have turned! Our garden was looking a little... let's just say, under the weather. That is, until our neighbor, like a guardian angel with a green thumb, floated over with a bag of what I can only describe as garden gold: Natural Blood Meal.
using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

For those scratching their heads, Natural Blood Meal is like a superfood smoothie for your plants. It's packed with nitrogen, essential for our leafy friends to grow strong and vibrant. And it's all organic, coming from dried animal blood (I know, it sounds a bit like a vampire's diet, but trust me, it's all plant-friendly!).

Our tomatoes were basically writing sad country songs about their struggles. Started from seeds way too late; they were the underdogs of the garden. Fast forward to a few "Oh no, they're dying" moments, and I was about ready to sing along with them.

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.comBut then came the Natural Blood Meal. Picture this: a balmy evening, me, and a spoonful of this magic dust around each tomato plant. A sprinkle here, a water there, and voilΓ !

The transformation? Stunning. πŸ…✨ Within weeks, my tomato plants went from "Better luck next year" to "How are you so big already?!" No joke, I've never seen them thrive like this, not just in size but in spirit, too (if plants have spirits, that is).

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

I'm sitting here, just beaming with pride at our lush tomato jungle, thinking it's a mix of love, good old soil, and a dash of Natural Blood Meal magic. This year's garden party is off to a spectacular start, and I'm here for every bit of it.

And hey, because sharing is caring, I've linked some of this plant-boosting wonder below. Because who doesn't love a thriving garden? Let's keep our green babies happy and our hearts full, shall we?

using natural blood meal on tomato plants | on the creek blog //

Sending all the green vibes and sunshine your way,
Tiff πŸŒΌπŸ’š

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Thursday, June 25, 2020


Hey there, Besties! 🌟 The Roses Are Blooming here On the Creek!

Isn't it just thrilling when our little efforts start showing big, beautiful results? Last spring, my backyard didn't exactly resemble the lush gardens you'd see in those glossy magazines. This year, oh boy, it's a different story! Our climbing roses, those delicate darlings we planted last year, are bursting into bloom, and I just can't wait to share this joy with you!Climbing Roses in chairs | on the creek blog //

Surviving the Odds: Our Climbing Roses Thrive

Remember my spring yard walk post? I shared a bit of a sad update about some of our rose bushes that didn't make it. But life, as we know it in our grand Earth School, always has a way of balancing things out. So, here's the good news: our climbing roses survived and are thriving, painting our little creek-side haven with swashes of vibrant colors!

I planned to pamper them with rose plant food this year, but time got away from me (as it often does!). Miraculously, though, they seem to be doing just fine. It goes to show that sometimes nature just needs a little trust and space to work its magic!

Climbing Roses in chairs | on the creek blog //

Climbing Roses in chairs | on the creek blog //

A Garden Full of Surprises: Our New Floral Experiment

Now, get this: instead of letting these beauties climb the usual fences, we've decided to get creative. We're training our roses to climb over a couple of old chairs! Yes, chairs! It's a quirky little experiment, and although they're not climbing much yet, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for a garden spectacle.

It's all a bit of a waiting game at this stage—those of you who garden know exactly what I mean. Perennials like these climbing roses take their sweet time, but I'm all in for the long haul, dreaming of the day these chairs are fully draped in rose-filled glory!

Climbing Roses in chairs | on the creek blog //

Embracing the Unexpected in Gardening and Life

Starting out, I never pictured myself with a vast flower garden, but here I am, completely in love with every leaf and petal. Each day brings new growth, new challenges, and new surprises. Just like our crafting projects or a home renovation, gardening teaches us patience, creativity, and resilience. Every little bud, every bloom is a testament to what we can achieve with a bit of grit and a lot of love.

So, whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting to dip your toes into the soil, remember that every plant, project, and moment is a step in our beautiful, ongoing journey of growth and discovery. Keep planting, keep dreaming, and let's make our worlds—whether they're as big as a backyard or as small as a window sill—a little more beautiful every day.

Happy gardening, everyone! 🌹✨

On the Creek blog is proud to be a part of the T&J Maintenance family - turning houses into homes.