The journey to springtime is well under way - as soon as the groundhog sees (or doesn't see) his shadow, you know that whatever the outcome there are only a few more weeks of dreary winter left.
In areas that are a little bit out in the sticks, this could be a good time of year to be checking out auctions, barn sales and so on. Spring cleaning is a good way to get good deals!
I look for rusty bits of metal, like large and small washers, odd looking nuts and bolts, and anything else that could be used for these funky owls;
Simple rustic displays can be made from almost anything.
Preferably, the items will be somewhat aged, but that isn't necessary if all you can find are newish things.
Accent pieces of driftwood, aged barnboard or architectural salvage add that all important bit of vintage;
If you've ever wanted to set up your own business for making and selling your crafts, or planting up your hypertufa creations with succulents, the sister site, Drought Smart Plants has something you'll be interested in.
The Succulent Plant Business Training Manual is now for sale for the special early bird price (time limited special price in effect until March 1 2015 only);
Watch for those early indications that spring is approaching; birds will start to sing in the trees as they look for bugs, you'll spot some pussy willows emerging, and bare patches in the garden - with luck, you'll even have some snowdrops or crocuses in bloom.