Time passes so quickly and I have just begun an Americana project. I have taken small flags that I purchased and used a coffee/tea/cinnamon stain process to age them. I also added some walnut stain which really gives them a grungy look. I plan to sew them onto twigs with rusty wire, rather than using the dowels that they came with. The dowels can be used for other things. The twigs give them a much more primitive look.
I found some red, white, and blue tea towels at The Dollar Tree last week and they absorbed the stain beautifully! I did not add the walnut stain because the tea stain worked perfectly. I am really pleased with how they came out. I only bought 2 towels thinking I would wait and see how they looked. I should have gotten more!
The yard is coming along well, in my opinion. I'm not sure if the neighbor would agree. We don't move fast enough for her. We have adopted natural landscaping. This is basically using native plants in your yard, rather than turf grass and imported plants that may be invasive. There are a multitude of reasons why this approach is more beneficial, but I won't get on my soapbox here. You can read more about it at http://www.for-wild.org/.
It would be costly to purchase plants to revamp everything so we are taking it slowly by learning which plants are native and eventually trading plants and seeds with other folks who do this. We do not transplant from the wild because it disrupts the area from which it is taken. There are a couple of nurseries in the area that offer native plants for sale, but not many. The Bunton Seed Company, in downtown Louisville, offers some seeds.
Many people think that this concept just involves letting whatever comes up to grow. That isn't the case because most of what comes up on its own is invasive or it probably would not be there to begin with. When subdivisions are built, almost all of the native vegetation that exists there is destroyed and when land is disturbed and bare, invasives move in and take over.