Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Floral Feast for the Eyes

Today I am going to take you on a stroll through a greenhouse that we recently visited. We went to  purchase annuals for a flower bed in our front yard. Since this post is photo intensive some of you may choose to run through while others may want to stroll through leisurely and take in the beautiful array of colors that sure are pleasing to the eye! (I apologize for that black border around the photo above--no matter how many times I changed it to white, it kept reverting to black and I finally gave up on it!) come along with me and enjoy the view! How charming is this little wooden plank walk way--the sides lined with sweet flowering plants?

The first plants we are greeted with are geraniums. These are some of the most beautiful geraniums that I have ever seen. They remind me of my grandmother. My grandmother loved geraniums and she had an amazing green thumb! Her plants were every bit as lush and healthy looking as these! The colors of these plants are breathtaking!

Moving on to some hanging beauties!

For as far as the eye could see, there were so many hanging pots full of the most beautiful posies!!!
I'll take one of each......actually these pots were so large that as soon as I lifted one I realized it was too heavy for my shepherd's hook.


I found myself totally intrigued with the succulents! There were so many varieties! Recently I have seen blog posts with container gardens full of these little gems. I would really like to try one myself.

......this is an interesting way to display them!

Gerber daisies! I don't know what it is about these, but they just make me smile! I love gerber daisies! 

Foliage plants: I have seen some beautiful container gardens made up of foliage plants. Coleus in one of my favorites.

These were so pretty!

I love the vibrant red! We usually plant petunias--the wave variety as they spread quickly and look lovely cascading over the side of our retaining wall.

Below:  These are quite pretty in pink, orange and red. Are these an impatien vatiety? They were loaded with buds!

More petunias....

and more.....

I love looking at these flowers! The creamy, pale yellow is just so pretty!

These are beautiful too!

More petunias.....

This was a totally unexpected scene but a cute way to display some flowers.

Look at this mass of lavender, violet and purple! So lovely!

On the way out, I snapped a photo of this pretty hanging pot of petunias. It sure makes a statement sitting on the white pedestal! I love this!

I hope you enjoyed your little walk through the greenhouse! It was just one of several greenhouses on this farm. The grounds were also full of perennials, trees, bushes etc. We had already walked through the other area before it occurred to me to snap some photos.

We return here every spring to purchase our annuals and perennials. It's a family run farm, everyone is so friendly and the service is great!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another Recycled Pair of Jeans

Can you guess what this is?

In my house it is wise not to leave jeans lying around as I have a habit of snatching them as a potential canvas for future craft or sewing projects. I love to recycle jeans! The fabric is durable and seldom worn out after their useful life as jeans. This particular pair of jeans was cut off for shorts which leaves two very useful pant legs behind.

I made my sister a microwaveable heat pack a couple of years ago. She has used that thing every day since. It was on the smaller size and she uses it around her neck. She asked if I could make a larger one for the lumbar area of her back. Well, here it is!

It is large and it is full of rice! I was so tempted to try it out as I have a few aches and pains of my own but decided against it! It is a gift afterall.....

These loops on the end are constructed from the bottom of the pant leg--the hem line. These can be used with a belt or tie so that the bag will stay in place without having to hold it. The rice pak easily wraps around the back and covers a lot of lumbar territory!

The handles are also useful to carry the pak because there is a lot of rice in there and it is heavy! It folds in half for easier toting.

These whip up in no time flat. I like to take advantage of seams that are already in place. I only had to sew the two end seams as the pant leg was already sewn. I did opt to sew in four compartments to keep the rice from sliding to one side. I find it really annoying when that happens!

The thing I love about denim is that is goes with anything and it can be custom wrapped depending on the taste of your recipient. Remember: presentation is everything!

In this case I will be using a kraft gift bag and some tissue. My sister does not share my obsession for everything lace so a jute tie, kraft tag and bag will be a perfect presentation.

This turned out so well that I may use that last leg to make a rice pak for myself. I use them everyday and in the winter I use more than one at a time to keep myself toasty warm in the evenings!

......and here we have Miss Ellie.....she was sitting in a chair that she clearly did not fit in and she was pouting because I was sewing and not paying her enough attention! She did pick up a few grains of rice that fell out of the bag as I was pouring rice into the pak so pick up was a snap! Now for some Ellie and me time........

Linking up here:

Sew Many Ways--Sew Darn Crafty, Click Here!

The Enchanting Rose

Click here to join in!

Love Bakes Good Cakes
Behind the Seams Sewing

Saturday, May 16, 2015

What's New?

Spring has sprung! Our cherry tree in all her glory!

I believe it has been a couple weeks since my last post. Where has the time gone! I haven't forgotten about any of you, honest! We have just been so busy.

.....and Spring has sprung! We literally went from the 30's to 90's one day! This week we started off in the mid 30's and over the course of the day the temperature climbed 35 - 40 degrees. The temperature range makes it difficult to pick an outfit for the day. I actually changed my clothes three times on one of the fickle days we had!

Last weekend we headed to Rhode Island to move a load of "stuff" out of my daughter's dorm room. It was about 7 hrs in the car that day......We will be making a run this weekend as well, though this time she will be coming home with us. She will be with us for a week and then we will bring her back to school and move her into a new dorm for the summer. She has a summer Resident Advisor job as well as a full time job in a gift shop.

I have also been spring cleaning! Purging! Organizing! I am sorting through clothing and donating a lot! If I haven't worn it in say 5 - 10 years, my guess is I don't need to hang on to it.

I have been sewing some and crafting, learning my way around my cricut explore. This machine is nothing short of a miracle! I can't say there haven't been several episodes of severe frustration in the process. There is quite the learning curve with this cutter but then again I have absolutely zero experience to fall back on. Let's just say I have been watching lots of videos on youtube!  I worked on a major project that took me hours and hours but cannot tell you about it because it is a surprise for a friend and she might see it! But I have been taking photos because I plan to share it at some point.

Drawstring Pocket Bag!
Yesterday while sorting through and organizing my sewing shelves, I came across a bag that I made from a cut off pant leg of my husband's pants. I blogged about it back quite some time ago when I had 1 or 2 readers....... Original 2012 post can be found here:  Click here to see post! Anyhow, after I found it, I decided to use it to go out to supper. I needed something to bring my phone and wallet in. It was perfect!

The back side of this bag features a pocket which was cut off of the pants and stitched right on to the bag! It's small but pretty functional.

Anyways, my husband asked me if I felt like going out for supper last night and after a full day of cleaning, he did not have to ask twice! YES!

We went to one of my favorite places and it happens to be a few blocks from our house. They have outside seating that is so nice in the evening. If you go late enough the little lights in the tree are on. It's like dining in the Secret Garden!
This little vignette was right next to our table! On the other side of the fence, there is more seating but it is close to the street. I much prefer the seating  on the patio. It's quieter and so charming.
They make their own sangria in white or red. I like them both! They are very refreshing on a warm evening plus you get a full serving of fruit! LOL!
I ordered half a tomato pesto sub and half a Caesar salad. Delicious! Hands down they have the best Caesar salad I have ever had!
After supper, we headed to my favorite local antique shop and I picked up two items: a beautiful gold
runner for $2.00 and a white, round tablecloth for $3.00.
I love this piece! The lace is so pretty! It's almost as long as I am tall!
Here is the tablecloth. I cannot wait to clean both of these so I can use them!
Lots of luscious white lace on this tablecloth! .....and neither piece broke the bank!
Next week I will be busy with my daughter home, fixing all of our favorite dishes, shopping, visiting family and friends. We have a lot of ground to cover in 6 days but I hope to post a couple of times here as well as catch up on some reading. I feel so out of the loop and miss reading the posts of my dear blogging friends. Hope all is well with each of you!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Day Gone Wrong--Doggone Wrong!

Where do you find inspiration for your craft and sewing projects?

 One of my favorite things to do in the evening when I am too tired to sew or craft is to look at old issues of my craft and sewing magazines. I am often drinking a nice hot cup of tea too. The following tidbit may be just too much information but here goes:   before I can do either of these things I have to be sporting a comfy pair of pj's. There you have it--my idea of a perfect evening! It may sound boring but sometimes it's just what I need to get the old creative gears cranking in my head......

Lately though, I seem to have a one track mind. Linens are my inspiration for everything.....One trip to the antique shop and I can find plenty of inspiration.

My growing pile from the past month or so......

Last Thursday I went to a favorite shop to check out the stock of vintage linens. I went without the intention of buying anything but of course left with a few things I couldn't leave behind. I spent a whopping $13.

I found a ziplock bag full of  ecru and white vintage pillow cases for $4.00. I washed them right up and ironed them nicely. Just look at all that lovely crocheted lace! The lace alone is worth more than that!

Dish can never have enough of these! I love linen towels and at .50 to $1.00 it is money well spent! I would much rather have these sweet little dish towels than any of the new mass produced towels that are in the stores.

The dish towel on the left is one I bought earlier in the month. I found the one on the right during my most recent trip and was so excited to have a matching pair! These are just the sweetest and they are in mint condition. I doubt they were ever used!

These pieces were in a bundle of other linens. Why yes that handkerchief is monogrammed with an "L" for Linda! It was just meant to be!

This dresser scarf was also in the bundle with the items above.

This was my ironing board after I washed and carefully pressed each item!

Which leads me back to inspiration. LINENS!

So today I was excited because I had an entire day to sew up a storm and a mass of linens to draw inspiration from.. My husband was out of town for the day and it was just me and my dog Ellie......but my dog had other ideas. 

My dog loves (is obsessed with) the next door neighbors and they love her too!  She hasn't seen too much of them over the winter because we had a major pile of snow  dividing our two yards and barricading us in. 

This morning I took Ellie out to do her business and as soon as she saw our neighbor in the back yard she was off and I was airborne. She totally forgot to do her business but she got some one-on-one with the neighbor. I brought her in and tried to sew but it soon became obvious that I was not going to accomplish much. She sat by the window all afternoon watching my neighbors entertain. The she wanted to go out over and over again, she wanted something to eat, she wanted attention......soon my husband's boots appeared mysteriously in the middle of my living room, a little tub of putty was on the loveseat and she grabbed a pair of scissors off my table while my back was turned and well....that was the last straw. I proceeded to have a discussion with the dog about how unsafe it was to run with scissors in her mouth.....

This is when I determined it was just time to call it quits. Today was clearly about her and not about sewing. I did manage to cut out a tote bag and I quickly stitched up a phone case which I displayed at the beginning of this post. It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it did get done and it is definitely inspired by my love of  linens. I even used a scrap of lace leftover from one of my heart pillows. It took about 15 minutes because that's about the largest stretch of time I had between doggy distractions.!

I had the entire day to sew today and sadly all I sewed was this little phone case. I'm not even going to try to sew tonight. I am going to put on my comfy pj's, make myself a nice hot cup of tea and sit down with my two new Stampington magazines: Mingle and Haute Handbags. I love these magazines and every page is such a feast for the eyes. I am looking forward to reading their issue of Willow and Sage too. If you are not familiar with their magazines check out this link:

My sweet Ellie.....she really is very sweet.......I adore her!