Join the fun: The Babs Blog giveaway continues this week!

We hope you'll sign up to win the $25 gift card to Paper-Source!  Just look at some of the goodies you could purchase with your gift card:

Stock up on supplies for gift-giving or party favors. We LOVE these fun pillow boxes in an array of colors for favors:

You could stock up on Paper-Source paper and envelopes. LOTS of different colors and styles (all on high-quality paper) to create your own "signature look:"

Paper flower kits for $14.00:

Really cute packs of invitations, priced from $11.50 to $12.50:

This very fun, chic 2009 Wall Art Calendar for $18.87:

The contest is over this coming weekend, so make sure you check here for the details.  Good luck!

Introducing: The First Babs Blog Contest!

Okay, Babs Blog readers! It's time for the very first Babs Blog contest and giveaway! The contest will run today through Sunday, May 3. The winner will be awarded a $25 gift card to Paper-Source to spend any which way she desires! You must follow the rules in order to be in the running for the prize.
The rules are as follows:

We are asking you to spread the news about the Babs Blog.
1. You get your first point for posting a friendly comment under this post.  (You only get one point for this---regardless of how many "friendly comments" you leave!)  :)
2. You get two points for adding the Babs Blog button to your own blog or website. Use the code on the left of the Babs Blog and add it to your sidebar. Then, post a comment under this post and tell us where we can find our button. Two points for doing that! :)
3. You get one point for every person you recommend the Babs Blog to. In order to get these points, the person(s) you recommend must leave a comment on this post telling us that YOU recommended them. They will get a point and you will get a point.

4. For every point you receive, your name will be put on a piece of paper. (if you get 15 points, your name will be put on 15 pieces of paper!) On May 3, all the names will be put in a jar and ONE will be pulled out.  (Obviously, the more points you have, the more likely that your name will be pulled out).  The winner gets the gift card!

We do hope you'll participate and help us spread the Babs Blog! Thanks for being a reader!

---Jill & Kari

Vases & Vessels

As a hostess, having a pretty vase on hand makes a beautiful table that much easier. With a beautiful vessel, grocery store flowers suddenly look luxe. Even a beautiful bowl or compote looks stylish when piled with bright-hued fruit. Here are some pretty picks from our favorite source of handmade goodness: Etsy.  You might think about adding a little something new to your table in honor of spring.  Or, consider this a great source for Mother's Day gifts---Mother's Day is right around the corner!
"Elegant Bowl in Vanilla Bean Satin" by D. Babcock.

"Mini White Porcelain Vases" by Rou Designs.

"Vase with flowers"  by Deb Bell.

"Mom's Stuff" Container by Clay Swan.

"Large Poppy Bowl" by Whitney Smith.

"Pair of Bird Cupcake Stand" by Whitney Smith.

Beautiful "Mama and Baby Birdie Vase" from Red Hot Pottery.

Coming Tomorrow...

Stay tuned...tomorrow, the very first Babs Blog contest & giveaway will be revealed!  The prize will be something extra check back with us tomorrow!

---Jill & Kari

Spring Desserts

It is that time of year again... farmer's markets and grocery stores are filled with gorgeous berries. We love a great recipe for berry shortcake, cobbler, or homemade ice cream. Try these from!

Something Pretty for Tuesday:

We love finding pretty dishes!  While our cupboards can't take 10 different sets of dishes, it is fun to sometimes add a little something new once in tea cups for a ladies luncheon or new accent plates to serve a simple salad on at a party, for example.

If you are in the market for something new to add to your dishes, you must check out Rosanna.  And, if you're not in the market for some new dishware, you still must check out Rosanna simply because sometimes we all need just to drool over something pretty!  Happy Tuesday!

"How To Make Fabulous Hanging Baskets" (A Tutorial):

While at a local garden shop, it was noted that hanging moss baskets were going for over $65!  That prompted us to do this tutorial as our mother Babs taught us how to make these fabulous hanging baskets years ago...and you can make them for around $10 a piece!  How fantastic is that?  They liven up a dreary patio and they make really special gifts (think:  Mother's Day).  If you are going to host an outdoor shower but are a little troubled by your landscaping, you can perk up a yard with some of these baskets, hung from trees, arbors, patio awnings, etc.  Also a great thing:  these baskets don't take a great green thumb to assemble or keep alive!

Here's what you'll need:
  • wire baskets (found at an garden center OR at Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc...)
  • bags of sheet moss (figure around one bag per basket, although, if you're making a bunch of baskets, grab a bag or two extra of the sheet moss---it's the key to being successful when making these!)
  • potting soil
  • flowers:  the baskets shown below were made with impatiens and baby's tears.  You can try other flowers, too, and if you want to add some ivy, that works great, too.
Note:  As you can see below, the wire frame baskets used for this tutorial came with a coconut liner.  Remove the coconut liner for this project.  Also, you can see that a cone-shape basket was used.  You can use any shape for this---it's your preference!

The first thing you'll want to do is open up all your bags of sheet moss and submerge them in a bucket full of water.  You want the moss to get soaked thoroughly---it will make your life so much easier as you work on these!  We recommend letting the moss sit in a bucket full of water for a while (at least 10 minutes) before you get started.

Step One:  take a small handful of wet sheet moss and place it in the bottom of your basket.  For the cone shape (below), it was easiest to create a "nest shape" at the base of the basket.  If you have a round basket without a point on the bottom, you'll probably want a little more moss to start with.  

***It is important to note that your wet sheet moss is the "glue" that keeps the basket together.  At any point during the process, if you experience a "hole" or a plant that is trying to fall out, use some wet sheet moss to keep it in place.  The moss will help keep your soil damp after you've completed the project AND the moss will keep soil from running out of the wire basket when you water your completed project.  The moss is the most important part!  :)

Step Two:  On top of your moss "nest," add a plant.  Place the flowers and leaves on the outside of the basket, keeping the roots and soil ball inside of the basket on top of the moss.
Add as many plants as you want, but don't crowd them.  Remember, over time, your plants will grow and fill in, so it's okay to leave spaces without flowers when you are creating your basket.
The outside of your basket will start to look like this:

Step Three:  Add a scoop of soil on top of your plants, filling in the voids of your "moss nest."

Your project will start to look like this after you've added the soil:

Step Four:  Repeat the process.  Add a ring of wet moss to the inside of the basket.  
Add more plants:
Add more soil:
When you finally get to the top, plant a few plants/flowers on the top of the basket:
You can see that the moss is really holding this all together:
Don't worry about mossy spots---eventually, the plants will fill in and this lovely basket will look like all flowers!
Even before they fill out completely, these moss hanging baskets are pretty:

Good luck!  This is a great project for a sunny day.  Don't try this indoors, though, unless you are willing to do a lot of cleaning up afterwards!  It really is a project that is best suited for outside so you can hose down your workspace when you're finished! 
Happy planting!  Send us your pictures if you try this!  :)

P.S.  Water your hanging baskets just like you would any plants:  a hose or watering can.  The moss will keep them intact.