Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring on the Front Porch........

..........The thing that gives a big first impression as someone walks up to a house is the front door. It should be a good one. When trying to decide whether or not to buy this house I had the  thought that the front door would have to go.

Well, ten years later the same door is still here. It does not give the impression I would rather have but recently painting it black helped some.

This year's door decoration is this flat-backed basket with a spring, floral look.

After the birds moved in it looks a little more spring-like.


To the left of the door is this pretend window.

It also sports a floral look using that bright chartreuse green that goes well with spring.


The Easter cactus was a little late blooming or maybe Easter came a little too early, but it sure has been putting on a show for about three weeks.


The front porch is a favorite hangout for the chameleons.  They don't bother me and I don't bother them.
Also hanging out on the front porch for years now, is this rabbit foot fern.
Look at all that rabbit fur wrapped around the pot.

Across from the fern on the other side is Timid rabbit.  But, don't let him fool you. He sees everything and guards the front porch quite well.
So, should you show up on my front porch, I will try to give you a warm welcome!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Breakfast at the Edge of Wild...........

............You may have already noticed, I have an unusual back yard.  It is too prone to flooding and too shady to have any grass. When I first came here it had no design at all - many trees, a few wild coffee plants, lot's of weeds and what I dislike most, bare sand. I tried several plants, hoping to get that sand covered and at first, nothing seemed to work. I formed a path around it and finally got enough ground covers, ferns and a few other things growing to give it a natural but planned look. A lack of funds has kept me from what I would rather do. But, as time has gone by the look has changed and I really do enjoy it. Now, I would never want a rectangle of grass with manicured flower beds around the edges!

Using some large patio blocks that were already here I formed a somewhat secluded patio in the area near where my neighbor's uncleared, totally wild backyard begins. Hence, the "Edge of Wild". I have been adding some  brick colored blocks my daughter gave me. It still needs some fine tuning (digging out roots is not easy) and will always be a "rustic" look. Rustic is o.k. with me, considering the setting.  

It is a great place to have an extraordinary, ordinary breakfast.  This view is towards another neighbor who takes pride in keeping his yard neat. I am thankful for him!
In just a few minutes the little table was covered with the very spring-like tablecloth (found at Goodwill) and set with my usual breakfast fare. For those who read about the tablecloth, I never have had the tea party that I mentioned - may still have it.

I did make the setting a bit more special by bringing out an old jar and cutting a few fresh flowers.

The breakfast things of the day were carried out on this flat tray which aways stands on my kitchen counter.

I don't remember when or where I found this little cream bottle but, recently ran across it in my storage and started using it.  What makes it special to me is that it is embossed with "York Sanitary Milk Company". And, probably came from the area in Pennsylvania where I grew up.


It was a wonderful breakfast, in perfect cool weather, joined by the squirrels and singing birds.  In this setting it is so easy to appreciate the world that God put me in and reflect on His words. The cereal is a mixture of two - Pumpkin Flax Granola and Kashi's Black Currant Walnut. This will be my cereal of choice until I get tired of it.

Great assurance from John 16:33.
"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."
Linking to Be Inspired Friday - Common Ground 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Scrap the Last Pictures!

Yes, they are already obsolete! I have been adding, taking away, and switching around! Again! So I will show the same areas of the kitchen as those in the last post and then I will be quiet about this kitchen - for a long time, I promise. Unless I think of something else to make with the left-over curtain material.

You remember the plaid curtain panel I found Sunday. I made a table cloth for the butcher block table. I am getting in a rush and haven't even ironed it yet!


I used three of the tabs on the new strips .


I like the newest look. Trying to have a short, tab valance over the existing curtain wasn't going to work.

I used one of the left over tabs to make a jacket for this candle.

Then I decided the placement of several things could be done better and started moving things around. You probably would have had to be here to appreciate it but it did improve the over-all look.



Remember, to see these pictures larger you can click on them and then click your return arrow to return back here. And, now a couple more things.........

Sunday while I was in Tuesday Morning I noticed this large juice bottle.  Because I like bottles to start with and thinking how neat that would be to serve juice from at a special breakfast or brunch, I purchased it. Hey, some people spend entertainment money on tickets, trips, cruises etc. and I spend mine on things like this. You cannot see it here but the bottle has raised letters that spell: fresh orange juice.

I have had this blackboard for a long time. It is not ancient but it is pretty old and is real slate framed in wood.  If you are blog followers you may have noticed that blackboards have made a big come-back. People are making their own by painting boards with blackboard paint and putting them in picture frames or you can use the special paint on trays, etc.

I brought my old one out of storage, wrote three of my favorite words on it and hung it here next to the stove. A tip about writing the words: I used a water color pencil instead of chalk. I didn't have chalk and was just "making do" with what I had but, decided it was a heap easier, at least for left handed me, to make better letters with the pencil than chalk.  It can be washed off, too.
Now, let me think..............I have that curtain fabric and one tab top left.....ummmmmm. Grace, love and joy to you and goodbye from my kitchen.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Feeling the Blues.........

............Shortly after Christmas I decided to change the accent color in my kitchen to blue. Not a lot of change and didn't want to spend much money.  I hung this metal basket with eggs, some of which are a subtle blue...........

And, I had a little blue in this corner.

The plate and mug were a new Christmas present.
While I was hanging out in Cracker Barrel, near the airport, waiting for my friend to arrive, I spotted this jar.  I liked the way it looked and I liked that it was only $5. My kitchen was getting bluer.

Another little bit of blue I have had in the kitchen - the blue stripes on my big tea pitcher.  The bottles in the wire basket are clear - the light is playing tricks on them.

When Joanne(friend) and I scouted out Joann's(store) we came upon a big display of fabric samples which were for sale at a low cost.  Thinking "blue" I got this one and...

.....this one.  The brighter one with the bird pattern is my favorite but it is a bit much with its busy pattern and bright blue, so this one looks better on the butcher block table.
This one will probably become a towel.

My kitchen rug had "run it's course" and I have been keeping my eye out for one. Last week this plain blue (just what I needed) was in Ross for only $4.98. It has been years since I have seen a rug I like for that low price!

So now, with all the blue touches, this window treatment just wasn't "cutting it"!
I made new muslin strips and found perfect grain sack heavy cotton ribbon and sewed it to the strips.

The blue on the ribbon is not quite as bright as it looks in the picture. I like the look, a lot. But, had to go back to the Sewing Studio today to get more ribbon to finish the last one - when will I ever learn to measure instead of guessing!

On the way home my car turned right, into Tuesday Mornings, and what did I see there!!! A Waverly curtain panel which had been marked down to $11.99 and was now 60% off of that! $3 something!! It was in a sealed package and it wasn't until I got home that I saw the contrasting tab tops and buttons. I love the blue plaid, love the fabric which looks like a heavy linen, love the tabs and buttons.  I may end up making a short valance (using the tabs) to go at the top of the existing curtain, and would have plenty of fabric for something else. I can see a plaid apron hanging on the white door, a plaid table cloth for the little butcher block, maybe a few towels and...............

As you can see, I have more than enough blue for a new "leaning towards french" look. Some of it  may have to take turns! The best part, I have spent very little. Oh, yes, I forgot to show a little towel I made yesterday.

Somehow, it seems that blue gives a cleaner look to the kitchen. I will enjoy it until the fall things come out to get their turn.