Sunday, November 29, 2015

Let the fun begin ~

I have set aside the next few days to decorate for the holidays.

Opening the boxes of decorations is mostly like meeting old friends but there is always something I picked up the prior year at a after Christmas sale that I forgot about... a fun surprise.

This year is going to be traditional...Santa's, snowmen, and lots of glitter. 

I was planning on being more restrained until I opened the box with the Santa's and decided that I had no one to please but myself. 

Last year I used lots of natural decorations and I plan on doing that next year, but this year cuteness wins.

I mean, how could I not include these little guys.

Happy Holidays

Friday, November 20, 2015

My plant of the year ~

If I could nominate a plant of the year it would definitely be Gomphrena "Fireworks".

 Their performance this year was so magnificent, blooming consistently, just as you see below, since early last spring. They never let up even though our hot, dry, summer months. All this with very little water.

In early spring I planted six plants, three on each side of the path leading to the fountain roundel and finally last weekend I had to cut them back to make room for winter annuals.

Although they might not winter over in colder climates here they act as perennials and come back each year.

An extra bonus is that they make wonderful dried flowers, keeping both their shape and vivid color. I love using them in dried arrangements.

As much as I like them and how pretty, they are a bit too large and vigorous for this spot and tended to obstruct the path. I will be transplanting them to a less formal spot in the far back of the garden where they can grow in all of their glory to their hearts content. 

There is nothing as much fun for a gardener as finding a wonderful new plant, it is one of the things that makes the 'work' part of gardening worth all of the effort.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Warm and cozy ~

This time of year, when the days are short and the nights grow long I like to have a needlework project to work on. Something that I can pick up in odd moments during the day, particularly at night. There is something so comforting about the simple repetition of the weaving in and out of crochet or  knitting needles.

 I decided to do something I haven't done for decades: make a shawl.

My last needlework project was this afghan... finished, I keep it casually tossed over this chair in the reading alcove, at hand to to keep me warm for a little nap, while reading, or when watching television.

A shawl will be a much quicker to make. I found this vintage pattern that I had stashed away, like all crochet patterns it was a bit complicated and took a while to figure out but worth the effort; made using what is called a knot stitch it is very lacy and pretty. I decided to use this bright burgundy colored yard. 

This winter around the house I am going to be cozy and warm in a very old fashion way.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you have a lovely day.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Memories ~

My mother wasn't a gardener, in fact she wanted nothing to do with anything that involved being in the sun, which I am sure accounted for her exquisite complexion. But in her later years she became very fond of house plants and grew them with great success. 

However the indoor plant I most associate with her were the the sweet potatoes she would put in jars and allow to vine. When I was a small child there always seemed to be one lavishly sprawled out in a sunny kitchen window or in the back porch where we gosh, except for the occasional tablecloth does anyone iron anymore.

You would think with all of the gardening I do that at one time I would have tried this, but it seems so old fashion that for some reason I never did. Then a few weeks ago I was cleaning out my pantry and I came across a sweet potato that was just beginning to sprout, I started to throw it in the bin and then I thought about all of those sweet potato vines in my childhood and out of nostalgia decided to put in in some water and see what would happen.  

I did it in the same way she did, four tooth picks in the side and then set in an old pickle jar. Keep the jar topped off with water and watch it go!

Within days it had begun to grow, it started out in the kitchen window and has now grown so lush and lovely that I moved it to a more elegant spot in the living room.

I don't know what the life span of this vine will be, but what a fun experience it has been. It is easy to understand why in the past this was something so many people with little resources did to add a some  inexpensive beauty to their lives

Such a nice reminder of  childhood memories...and a wonderful mother.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a happy day.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


The ghosts are out!

Wishing you a wonderful...and not too scary Halloween.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The colors of the season ~

The glorious colors of the season.

Fall flower arrangement on the credenza in the living room with dried foliage and berries.

Beautiful, beautiful Autumn.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Where to begin ~

A few days ago I brought my autumnal decorations up from where they were stored in the basement. It's always fun to open the boxes and be surprised at some of the things you had forgotten you have, such as these sunflowers. I don't think I have ever used them before and they really are quite pretty.

Once the boxes are all unloaded and sorted through I am always faced with the dilemma of where to start. So like probably everyone else, I went to my photos of previous years for some inspiration. I decided to share them with you.
There is the box I made out of scrap lumber last year. I really enjoyed using it to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. It might not be in the same place this year, or with the same things in it, but I will definitely be using it somewhere...maybe in the dining room.

Kitchens are my favorite place to decorate for the holidays, it's just so easy. This shelf is a perfect example, everything seems to look good here and by turning the jack-o-lantern around and adding a few details I can use it into Thanksgiving.

Most of the time I have white dishes in this cabinet but these Apple dishes go perfectly with the fall season and it's nice to have the chance to use them.

Also in the kitchen my blackboard has been sitting empty waiting for this little ghost and a big BOO! This is so simple and yet one of my favorites...picked up from Martha Stewart, I think.

 I did the tiered stand a couple of years ago and I might repeat it this year. It adds a bit of elegance to the kitchen and I love using fruit in this way. But I will put it on the sink under the window instead of on the table.

And finally, a flag to send everyone a holiday welcome. This needs no changes, it is perfect where it is.

So, some of these ideas I will be duplicating but much of the fun is changing it up, doing the same thing year after year could get very boring.

Are you having fun with your seasonal decorating...I hope so.