When we moved in here two years ago, I was thrilled at the chance to live in a house and grow a garden.

Our clematis has finally bloomed

But our first summer in Villa Bohemia (as we call it) was very rainy, and there was a massive invasion of slugs, that destroyed all I planted overnight. We tried everything, but more and more of them kept coming.

The sole surviving petunia in the garden – later eaten by the slugs too
(The white substance around it was supposed to protect it, but it didn’t work.)

My second attempt to add more plants – also quite short-lived

So I finally gave up, and I decided to keep plants mostly at the porch – it’s really sunny, overlooking the mountain to the South.

I grow various flowers every year – but there are always my favourite hibiscuses and bougainvillaea.

We love hippie boho style, ethnic fabrics and bright colors. So when we found this old sofa in a local classifieds website, we decided to give it a makeover. We measured its different parts, I made the covers for each of them using old scarves and hand-embroidered wall hangings from my stash, and then Nick upholstered it.

Nick working on the sofa

And the final result – we really enjoy it!

Needless to say – I love to wear colorful clothes too! I buy mostly second hand items, and I rearrange them all the time. I mix different patterns and colors, until I reach my own idea of harmony.

My last project – a summer dress that I made from a tunic and two scarves (all thrift finds).

First I cut off the top part of the tunic. The colors didn’t match my idea, so I dyed it yellow (it was mainly blue-white, so it turned green-yellow).

The colors of the top fabric before dyeing

Then I measured the exact length and I cut the two scarves. I ruffled the blue one with the birds, to make the skirt fuller. I secured all parts with my serger, I stitched the pieces of the scarves together and then I attached the skirt to the top. The dress didn’t even need hemming – I used the natural fabric edge of the scarf. Finally, I added ties in the side seams (straps that I saved from another dress).

I make most of my clothes in this way. Funny how often the easiest projects turn out to be among the best! And sometimes I rethink an item for months, then I try and I fail – and finally, I even abandon some.

The same applies for my design work. I constantly need some form of inspiration – I find it in music, flowers, friends – and often in my favourite Facebook group, Up-cycled Cloth Collective.

4 thoughts on “More colors around the house – gardening, up-cycling

  1. Pauline M Peplow says:

    Hi Anna Love your Blog! And your sofa and your dye (dress)! What dye did you use? Natural or synthetic? As for snails & slugs-Ugh! I thought for the snails I should turn them into Escargo! But here in the US we have something (I try not to use nasties in my yard) named Sluggo. Its small pellets & works wonders on getting rid of these slime creatures- non toxic for my dog & cat.I hadn’t used it until I had much devastation. Another anti slime creatures are saucers of beer or copper strip around tops of pots. Good luck- and stay safe Pauline

  2. Anna the Squirrel says:

    Hi, Pauline, so nice to hear from you again!
    I’m so glad you like my colors – It feels so good when I find someone to share my eclectic taste with 🙂
    I used synthetic dye (Procion) for the dress. I don’t know much about natural dyes, but I’m willing to learn.
    We have these blue pellets here too. At first we were very reluctant to use toxic stuff, but in the end we had to try them… and they only worked partially, there were so many slugs! Now they are almost gone, but our yard is pretty wild (like a small forest meadow), and we kind of like it this way.
    I hope you stay safe too, and as happy as possible!

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