Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Introduction to my favorite plant

If you have ever had the pleasure of purchasing or been given a coreopsis plant - you are special. This is by far, the most hardy plant in the world. I was first introduced to coreopsis in the early 90's when Gayle and I signed up for the local Master Gardeners class, sponsored by Virginia Tech. We were so proud to be in this class - we learned so much about gardening and often refer back to our notebooks as valuable resources. Check your local extension office to see if this class is available in your area. It is worth the small amount of money it costs and classes are only one night a week for several months. I was told that this was a perennial and all the info that comes with this species of plant. They were CORRECT. It is still with me. The seeds reseed and if you keep it watered just a little during the dormant months of winter, you will be visited again and again. I never tire of the beautiful yellow blooms and the foliage is lovely also - willowy and if you dead-head the spent blooms (this means to snip away the dead blooms) you will have a continuation of blooms until frost begins in late fall. I started out planting in the soil and was plagued with weeds and weeds and more weeds, because this is part of gardening. I'm a lazy gardener so I started placing my plants in containers several years ago - I love this method and the weeds don't bother me nor the plant and BEST OF ALL - I don't have to worry about Carl zapping them with the weed eater when he trims. Husbands don't seem to know a weed from a plant. Ask Gayle!!!!!!!!! Coreopsis - if they come in another color other than yellow, please let me know - they can become your favorite also. Enjoy

Long Harsh Winter is Over (I hope)

This past Winter was one of the roughest we've had in quite a few years. Last year on April 13 I took the following pictures of an area on the side of my house. You will notice several shots of Lunaria or Money plant as many people call  this plant and how tall it is (and blooming)...this year the plants are barely 6 inches tall due to the long cold winter we had.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A few Spring Touches

Gosh! Time is flying seems like ages since I've last posted and thank goodness, Bettie has found time to post some great topics for you all to read. My job is really consuming my time (hate that!) but I did have a few things to share with you today. Normally my house would be full of Spring decor but I've only managed a few touches here/there this year..too much to do...too little time.  I know some people will scoff at the faux flowers I used in this arrangement on my detached garage; but it's too high up to water (for me) and the flowers always look fresh and never wilted!

As you might have already guessed I LOVE watering cans and use them in my decor everywhere I's one I used in my kitchen to hold utensils by the stove

Small brunch - big taste though

Good morning - thank you for stopping by. I wanted to serve up a quick and simple brunch item with morning coffee - did NOT want to use a lengthy recipe so I looked in the fridge and saw a good option. Crescent Dinner Rolls - this product has got to be one of the best on the market. It is so versatile - you can do most anything with it. I mixed soft butter with cinnamon and sugar mixture and spread (not all the way to the edge PLEASE) it on one half of the perforated section placed on a baking stone or parchment paper. On top of this I spread a thin layer of orange marmalade and placed the top portion of the CDR and sealed the edges. Bake at 375 until golden brown. Let cool if you have the patience, slice in long strips and enjoy with a cup of your favorite breakfast blend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Asters without beetles and bugs - how good is that?

My sister Lois found the place settings of circa 1940's hand-painted colorful Astor flowers in bold and bright colors. I've never used them and have the dinner plates standing upright in a large green oblong planter with small dessert plates to match sitting in front. I wanted something cheery and happy to say Hello Spring - so I came up with a couple of other pieces to compliment the setting for two. The happy contented rabbit normally sits in the living room on the floor, looking at a plant that is placed nearby and he was happy to have a prominent place on the table. Cups for these dishes have never been located, so I used two green and white restaurant ware pieces on the matching saucers - You gotta love the simplicity of green and white. Barely visible in the background is a nice large cookie jar from Thomas Kincaid collection with Spring colors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Does this look familiar - have you seen it before?

Hello - Happy Spring to each of you. Do any of you recall this item? If not - it's the sleeve part of the sweater I posted about last week. They were way too cute to discard, so what better thing to do with one of them than to make a cute door hanging vessel to display some cute vines and greens. This is hanging on my guest room door. Such a cute sweater has been extended into something else - AGAIN. Can't wait to get out in the soil and dig - much too cold today. Warm weather must be on the horizon - hope so.

Friday, March 19, 2010

First signs of Spring - says "Welcome" anywhere

Well, we finally made it. Spring will greet us in a few hours. Back in January when I was first counting the days and marking them on the calendar - it seemed a long long way off. Wow - where did the winter months go? So glad they are behind us and we can enjoy great weather and sunny days and long evenings. I always say "I've made it another winter" whenever I see forsythia blooming. This is my favorite early spring bloomer. Carl and I rigged up two nice clear milk jugs we found in the basement - he cut a deep board; hung the bottle with a galvanized bracket to secure in place and then hung one on each side of our driveway entrance. Living in the country has its perks - flowers can be changed as the seasons change and your guests will always feel welcome as they enter. Only spent $2.75 for the metal brackets - everything else, of course, was recycled. Happy SPRING to each of you. Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From sweater to pillow cover - how dare you?

You know me - I love to repurpose ANYTHING. Recently I have been going through my favorite old sweaters - we all have more than one I'm sure. I loved the sweaters and couldn't wear them and could not bear to see them discarded to Goodwill (as much as I love GW shopping), so I did the only alternative - I made something else out of it. The white ribbed pillow cover was made first, during the winter months. I just cut the exact off the top and sides and KEPT THE OPENING which would normally be on my waistline. This was the easiest pillow cover EVER sewn by me and I love it. I can recall the sweater each time I see the pillow. The cute one with the tiny pink flowers - I just purchased this at the BEST SALVATION ARMY shop on the east coast. It's in Alexandria, Va where I visit with my cousin Patty. She was with me when I purchased this last weekend and I just had to have it. So cute and it only cost $2.50. I kept the sleeves for another project. It's 100% cotton, Made in USA - and I already had a small pillow that fit it. You have to try this project on a sweater - you will love it and the beauty part, it pulls off so easy to wash, when soiled. As Candace says "how divine".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From tray stand to flag stand - how easy is this?

A couple of years ago while visiting my aunt Lucy, she asked if I could use a discarded small tray stand she had picked up at a yard sale. Since I was traveling by train, I asked her to keep it for me when I visited again, by car. This was done last summer and sure enough, it was still waiting for me. As soon as I looked at it and placed it in the car, it dawned on me that it would make a neat and very original "garden flag" stand. How cute is that? Of course, my husband Carl had to do the dirty work and remove the screws and four rods that were in place to hold the trays and prime and PAINT the thing. Sorry to say the flag had to be trimmed just a tad to fit in the opening (Carl drilled a hole on either side at the top)to hold the dowel that holds the flag. This cute little number sits proudly on my front porch to greet guests as they arrive. I think of my aunt Lucy each time I look at this piece. She always re purposes things around her house and I imagine she has passed that gene down to me. So..............the next time you spot one of these at a yard sale or thrift shop - bring it home and do the same thing. You can find these somewhat larger also. I love it and the history behind the projects says a lot also. I appreciate the fact that my aunt Lucy was kind enough to save this little gem for me rather than discarding it. What a shame that would have been?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Leaves and branches - resting quietly

Just had to share this new pillow I recently made. While waiting at our local beauty salon a few weeks ago, I was perusing a magazine while waiting for color. I caught just a glimpse of a cute pillow that was offered for sale for around $68. Appliques are a favorite, so I looked through my fabric stash, located some brown fabric suitable for the branches, but didn't have a piece of green. I looked around my Goodwill items I had accumulated recently and spotted a neat blouse, too tight to wear any longer, so I cut my leaves out and found my last precious piece of canvas fabric from the old slipcover my mother had made over twenty years ago. I've used every piece of this thing over the years and I had enough to make the pillow. After working with the zig zag on my old trusty Singer, I completed the project in less than two hours. Pretty nice and it didn't cost more than $4. Love it when a plan comes together, don't you?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Come early for brunch - to celebrate SPRING

I love brunches - sometimes I keep the table set just to view during the day. I love the three Homer Laughlin simple white plates with the green on the left side. Not much planning was utilized for this simple brunch post. All I needed to add was the fruit in the small yellow cups I posted a few weeks ago. I would not use these for candle, but a couple or three of pretty bite sized choice fruits would look so appealing. I was fortunate to find six of the neat tea short mugs with names of tea spelled all around the rim. These are made in Indonesia. How sweet is that? My cousin Patty gave me the two attractive candles featured. They are Fitz & Floyd - lucky me!! The small brown teapot I've owned for over thirty years. It's my favorite and if you'll stop by sometimes, we can sit here and enjoy a spot of tea. The two simple white soft linen napkins, edged in green have been used by me for over forty years. Some things NEVER wear out. My son saw them a while back while eating with us and he could not believe I was still using the napkins. People that know me and visit at meal time can attest to the fact that I NEVER use paper napkins. The cute rabbit that stopped in to eat with us I found at DAV and decided that he needed a home and today is making his debut to spring celebrations.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring is On The Way!

Hello! it seems like ages since I've last posted. So much going on with the birth of my grandson, the trip to Michigan and helping our daughter and family move to NC. On the way back from Michigan we stopped by Cracker Barrel and I spotted this cute metal calendar...I thought it was perfect for Spring and found a spot in my kitchen to display. You move the magnetic circles to depict the Month/ clever is that?