Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Victoria!

Yesterday was this one's birthday. My little baby all grown up. She's holding a doll my grandmother made for me when I was little:>)
She is 19 now, just beginning to step out on her own and make choices with as little parental advice as she can get away with. We are trying to hold back but I'm sure she would tell you we are failing. Haha
We had a great time on her birthday. We spent the morning renting paddle boats at a county park and exploring the lake. Had a yummy picnic under a gazebo overlooking that lake, it was filled with purple martins. Their nests were all up inside the gazebo and we got to watch these little beauties swoop over our heads in and out of their nests. So beautiful! Then a movie, a fire, smores and friends. The camera batteries ran out first thing. It's ok.
Happy Birthday sweetheart. We love you to the moon and back:>)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mosaic Monday

I'm just catching up with everyone. Sharing a mosaic of the garden in July for Mary's Mosaic Monday:>)
One of the girls admonished me that I haven't posted in a while. Chalk it up to the lazy days of summer. I have actually been reading, doing a little gardening and weeding, trying to get into the swing of sewing and failing. There may be too many projects swirling around in my head and it sometimes completely stops up the works of actually getting anything done. I STILL have not finished the last two dining room chairs, bad me. I see the back to school sales begin (shudder) and the countdown to going back to work begins in my head and I realize how quickly the last month has flown by and how quickly the next month will fly and I don't quite know how to catch up on all the things I wanted to do. I need to take one day at a time and savor each one. So many projects so little time. Earl put up another section of picket fence beside the chicken coop to define our little garden area. It is a work in progress but we have a vision for it that makes me happy. Raised beds, paths and flowers. An area for our little outdoor fire pit. I have been spending some time just daydreaming and that is ok. I think we all need daydream time. It recharges out creative batteries. My posts may be a bit fewer and farther between for the next month while I make the most of summer. I think that is normal. August is booked solid already! Family reunions, a weekend away (hallelujia!) and some time I will be spending with my BFF in Florida. It's all good. I will be catching up with everyone as I can. You aren't forgotten, but I have noticed you are all posting a bit less and enjoying summer a bit more too:>) Good. Summer is flying by and it would be a shame to spend it all staring at a computer screen! How will you make the most of the rest of summer?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Generous Friend

I don't know if you have all met Karen Harvey Cox, if you haven't you should. She is a dear blog friend and we have had some great times of sharing and emailing. She is one of those people who is just so easy to talk to. Karen had a give away recently on her blog and the prize was one of her lovely original watercolors in the flower of your choice. So generous to get a piece of beautiful art made just for you. What all of us who entered didn't know was that Karen was going to make us ALL winners! yes, for every person who entered, Karen is painting the flower of their choice just for them!
Mine came in the mail yesterday. Beautifully packaged with a handmade tag and a lovely card was, watercolor of one of my favorite cottage flowers, the hollyhock:>)
A profusion of pink hollyhocks just outside a cottage window. I love it Karen! I need to find a frame and then the perfect place to enjoy it. I have been blessed with several of Karens lovely works and I have a couple hanging in my living room right now. She is a fabulous artist and, more importantly, a fabulous friend:>)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer nights seem just right for fresh strawberry lemonade, fresh blueberry pie (made by my sweetie, "Mr. Dessert") and an evening with friends. Our friends brought a salad and we grilled some Mini Ranch Turkey Burgers (add 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and they hold together much better on the grill) These are so good, they are our recipe of the summer for having friends over, and they all want the recipe!
After our picnic we headed into town for a free concert in the park. What a beautiful night! it was hot during the day but as evening approached we enjoyed a cooling breeze and a spectacular sunset. Get out and enjoy these summer evenings, they won't last forever:>)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Blogicon

See the little heart in my address line? It's called a blogicon. You probably know that, but for those that don't, there it is. I went to this lady and she made it for me. For a teeny price I have a cute symbol of my blog that shows up so much better if you bookmark me. My icon happens to be a red heart, (red being my favorite color, and the heart is not only for the hearts I make for my shop but for my love of blogging), with a little white bow. If you want to stand out in the crowd, run over and see how easy it is to get your own.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Morning Garden

Mornings here have been cool and sunny. Perfect weather to get out in the garden and do a little work. We have begun dabbling in raised beds for our veggies this year. I love how they contain everything neatly. Until now, vegetable gardening has been something I was really not interested in. If you want to turn your kids off of gardening, get them up at the crack of dawn and make them tend (weed) your 3 acre garden all summer. My parents had slave labor (us) and we had better get every. single. weed. I grew up detesting vegetable plots. And then there were the hours of canning in the hottest part of summer. Ugh.
But the past few days, out in the cool morning sunshine, weeding and mulching my little beds and seeing everything become neat and ordered has renewed an interest in gardening. Of course, it helps that my flowers are part of the garden and I get to see their beauty as I work. See the cute tomato marker above? My sweet sis-in-law made that for me:>)
Above, peas are almost ready, marigolds glow next to the tomatoes, in the upper right corner is some pink lavender I found a couple years ago at the farmers market. It doesn't smell as good as the purple variety, but I like it's uniqueness. In the lower right corner, my "black" hollyhocks, I love the single variety rather than the ones that look like powder puffs. They look so much more old fashioned. What's growing in your garden?

Friday, July 10, 2009

While the cat's away

Earl is always joking that whenever he leaves the house for a few days he never knows what color the rooms will be when he gets back. He went down to help my brother install some windows early this week and I had a few days to play. I don't have a before picture because I was so anxious to start I just forgot to get any. The upper walls of this bath were papered with a pretty ivy wallpaper and I had a white shower curtain. I liked it but after a few years the steam from the shower was making the edges loose and I thought it looked tatty. I had all the things I needed for this makeover except the paint and that was $20. Not bad for a whole new look! I have to admit, as I tore that first piece of wallpaper off the wall I thought "What am I doing!?" It wasn't too bad though and once I got the top layer of vinyl off, soaking the paper on the wall with water and a bit of white vinegar dissolved the paste very well. It came off easily.
When we added on to this little cottage 25 years ago (!) we chose grey tile for the bath. I hate it now and, although grey is a neutral, if I could go back I would get white. So one of the biggest challenges has been working with that color and being happy with the outcome. I think the green tones down the grey and I love it with the grey! I had the toile curtain panels from a 5 yard piece of fabric that I paid $5 for at a yard sale a few years ago. It was dining room curtain panels for a while and I just sewed 3 of them together with a flat seam to make the shower curtain. Button holes allow for shower rings. The mirrors on the walls are all garage sale finds. The two above the sink were $3 each and I spray painted all the mirrors glossy black. I love it!

This little wicker house holds toilet tissue. $5 at a storage unit garage sale and it came filled with vintage patterns!

One of my toile hearts hangs from the robe hook:>)

This vintage frame was $2 at a garage sale, once again, sprayed black and hung over one of the towel bars. It is hard to see the details with this photo, but these are really old, ornate plaster frames.

And this vintage oval mirror, $3 at another garage sale 2 weeks ago. As you can see, I did this on a budget but I am thrilled with the way it turned out. Earl got a surprise when he walked in last night:>) I love that too, it always makes me smile to surprise him:>) I still have a few details to add but the whole family loves the new look and it didn't break the bank!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 4th of July! America throws the biggest party every year and it is wonderful to see the outpouring of love for our country. We went to the parade this morning, strictly small town, and as the national anthem began, everyone stood and though the streets were shoulder to shoulder, there was absolute quiet. Suddenly, you could hear people joining in. What a wonderful moment:>
I hope everyone out there takes this day to play and laugh and enjoy the freedom we have fought so hard to attain and to keep. Happy 4th!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I am, quite possibly, insane...

Yes insane! It all began when Earl brought home a box of precut, 5" fabric squares from his mother. She didn't want them, could I use them? Well, hmmm. I had been thinking of making quilts for the daughters (quilting being something I swore I would never do!) and here were the pieces all cut out! Woo hoo! Except they were not the right colors. Well maybe I could use a few of them and just fill in with colors that I love. Right? how hard could that be?
Of course Victoria had seen a pinwheel quilt in the header of this blogger, (oh why do I let them look over my shoulder when I'm blogging!?) and requested it. It is gorgeous. I could do one for each of them (and maybe one for me?) And then I calculated how many squares I need to cut out... about 500? Insane. Best not to think about the number. Just do it. Wish me luck. Anyone know where I can get an all white charm pack?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Little flower - but if I could understand what you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
Flower in the crannied wall

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rustic cake stand

With two daughters, you know that weddings are something I often think about. No, neither one is engaged, but a mom can't start planning too soon can she? So I often think about how we are going to make the day special without spending a fortune, 'cause let me tell you their weddings will be big on money saving creativity and short on $$! With all the popularity of going green and rustic elegance right now I asked Earl to whip up a little cake stand from some wood pieces we had. Can you see this as a centerpiece on each table at the reception? Topped with flowers and surrounded by green vines and candles?
I don't know if this would fit with what my daughters would want, but in the meantime it's in the shop. Now I'm going to go eat that cake:>)