Mother’s Day Brunch in a Up-cycled Garden

[Click on any photo for a larger view]

This post is a double-feature… an idea for a Mother’s Day celebration AND some up-cycling ideas for your garden!

First, the Garden ideas.  I’ve been busy this spring, up-cycling some items (I already own) to stay within my budget.   Before I talk about those projects, I have to share with you a bargain I found last fall.  I got SO lucky and spotted this gorgeous, cedar pergola at Sam’s Club (on sale) for around $200.   Have you priced these things?   If you have, you’ll understand what a bargain this was!  So, my advice is to watch the post-summer sales at the shopping clubs and grab a deal for yourself. 🙂

Now that I have a garden focal point, in my pergola… it’s time to add a fountain!  I was inspired by a blue ceramic, bubbler fountain at Lowe’s.  But, at $130, I decided to  instead up-cycle my old birdbath that I had turned into a planter years ago.  So, using my glue gun, I closed the drainage holes (previously created), spray painted it blue, added a small pump, “Welcome” rock (from my front garden) and added 2 bags of smaller rocks from the Dollar Tree to turn it into a simple, blue fountain.  

HINT:  spray paint the pump electrical cord the same color to camouflage it.  

I hung an old farmhouse window (from the back side of the pergola), above the fountain, to create a “back wall” to my new garden room and gathered all of my larger clay pots, spray painting the 2 white ones (blue) also.  And I filled several of my large pots with lettuce & tomatoes so I can have a homegrown salad soon!

You might also recognize the garden outdoor furniture set I up-cycled and featured in a post (last year) by spray painting it black and recovering the cushions.  And since a portion of my first (glass) gazing ball holder disintegrated, I removed the ball and replaced it with a clay pot, highlighting one of my pretty plants.

I also wanted to create some shade because it gets HOT in Florida! (LOL)  I found a pre-made cover at Lowe’s for $99, but it had no tethers or weights to keep it in place…. hmmm… the first wind will turn that into a sail!  Luckily, Lowe’s also carries the shade fabric (cuts sun & heat by 75% and is super-easy to sew, but you could also use velcro to create a customized cover) by itself for a lot less, I decided to make my own.  I measured, cut & sewed the lightweight fabric to match the dimensions of my pergola roof and added a pocket (on each end) so I could insert a piece of poplar wood (the least expensive way to weight each side down).  By the way, Lowe’s will also cut-to-size any piece of wood for about 25 cents… what a deal!   The fabric works AND looks great! [check out my $7 paper lantern too].  The rug is one I found (last year – post summer) and because it’s small enough to roll it up and store, I just bring it out for special occasions like this one.  Speaking of that — I can also roll up & remove the shade cover if a storm is headed my way (yay!)

And now, for the Mother’s Day celebration idea – creating a little bit ‘o Heaven in my backyard (on a budget) inspired me to invite my Mom over and spend some time with her going through old photos, reminiscing and enjoying some lunchtime treats for Mother’s Day…. an “ahhhhhh” day for both of us… with no standing in line and no reservation required!

Happy Mother’s Day and –

enjoy the Creativity!


Creative Mother’s Day Ideas and Gifts!

Unique Gift Wrap Idea!


This sweet teddy is holding a uniquely wrapped gift… a fun idea for personalizing Mom’s (or anyone elses) present.   Cut unwired ribbon long enough to slightly overlap.  Use double-sided transparent tape to adhere ribbon to the gift and itself, which will keep it flat.  Because the ribbon is lying flat, you can easily add self-adhesive vinyl letters to personalize your gift with the recipient’s monogram. These self-adhesive letters come in all sizes, colors, fonts and are easily found in office supply stores.

Use several coordinating (NON-wired) ribbons to weave a beautiful tabletop display for Mother’s Day.  And don’t forget to personalize the ribbon too, using foam letters (found in store craft depts.)


AWESOME gift ideas in EVERY price range  (from $0 – $70)

Choose your favorite gift ideas, from the suggestions below, to help Mother’s Day shoppers in their quest to  make Mom happy!

Whether YOU are the mom, need a gift FOR mom, are going to BE a mom or you PARENT a pet or two, below are a few gift ideas to make life a little more enjoyable on this special day:

  • Make Mom a CD of her all-time favorite songs~ it’s a proven fact that listening to favorite songs lifts a person’s spirits!
  • Have Mom fill a box with slips of paper on which are written chores she dreads doing herself.  The gift-giver can then pull out a slip (or 2) & perform the chore(s) for her, allowing her time to relax.   Ideas? Car wash or detailing, garden weeding, laundry, clean floors, run errands, clean & organize the refrigerator, clean windows, etc.  The gift of time & help is much more valuable than something purchased.
  • Install a small fountain in Mom’s garden & plant some pretty flowers around it.  Who doesn’t love the sound of a little babbling water while relaxing in the shade? (fountains are available at D.I.Y. & Discount stores and on eBay as inexpensively as $30, plus S/H of course!)
  • Order a Portable Hammock (hinged, so it folds into its own tote bag; apx. $70 at or eBay) paired with Mom’s favorite magazine or book store gift certificate.  Don’t forget to include some time for Mom to enjoy it all!  (This new item on the market is available in many stores; and like the folding chairs  we are already familiar with, it is so simple to fold-up, store & therefore, keep clean for each use!)
  • Purchase a digital photo frame and load it up with tons of family photos for Mom to enjoy any time she needs an infusion of nostalgia!
  • Finally, I’d like to share a gift I received personally…  from one of my own children.  Because he is a college student, one of my sons doesn’t have  any extra to spend on gifts.  Even though he knows I would be perfectly content to receive a BIG bear hug, he still wanted to give me something tangent.  So, he came up with an absolutely wonderful idea.  My son wrote a letter to the world, so to speak, (but gave it to me) outlining what he admired about me and my parenting skills.  So, if you know someone looking for a “no-cost” gift idea, suggest they write a letter about someone they love because this gift is PRICELESS!  This small excerpt (from my son’s letter about me) should explain why it is one of the BEST gifts I’ve ever received:  My mom always made sure we understood that even though she reprimanded us, she still loved us unconditionally.  To me, this made me feel important and loved as a child, which is a necessity to building future relationships.  If someone never knows or feels loved growing up, it is nearly impossible to know these feelings later in life.  My mother made me understand responsibility, at a very young age, as I went through school and extra-curricular activities.  She always encouraged me 200%, but ultimately made me responsible for my successes and failures. Growing up, my mom was the Queen of creating special memories.  She made every event, whether it was birthdays, holidays or just get-togethers, a special memory for all involved.  In doing this over the years, with myself and my three older brothers, my mother created her own unique traditions that I feel absolutely need to be shared with the world.  She is, by far, the most creative person I have ever met.
My Wonderful Boys!

My Wonderful Boys!

And now, you know why I wrote my book.  I not only wanted to grant his wish by adding my creativity to the rest of the world’s, but I also feel it is incredibly important to practice traditions within a family (and friends) to create memories.  In my book, I put my best traditions (the ones my boys love so much), alongside several of my creative seasonal & holiday decorating ideas (for 15 years, I’ve been a professional holiday decorator), recycling ideas and my original poetry and photography.  Check out my video, which is a FREE SAMPLE of my book.  It features just a few of my creative & awesome ideas and you’ll find it on my website:
BONUS IDEA:  And if you’d like to include a little poem in your Mother’s Day card, feel free to copy the one I wrote, below:
You dried my tears with your tender
hugs, scripted my life with hopes
and dreams;  I’ll never know how many
sacrifices you’ve made, but will
always treasure your legacy of
unconditional love.
Author:  Eileen Bickerstaff

CLICK ON your favorite  “CATEGORIES“ (on right) to view more of my ideas from different seasons & holidays!

And don’t forget to check out my videos and product shop while you’re here.  I am proud that everything is American Made.