Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Deck the Halls"

Is everyone ready for the big day! We are actually doing Christmas at our house after the 1st so that our oldest son can be with us. But we are going over to Andrew's house on Christmas day to hang out, eat and watch the kids with their new toys. Sounds perfect to me!

This is our family room tree. Since I don't have one upstairs anymore, I've had to consolidate ornaments. So this one has all the handmade and nature themed ornaments. Many stitched by me and carved by Rick. I love this one!

Our white painted hutch is so fun to decorate for any season, but Christmas is the best. The grandchildren love the little village.

I made those tiny stockings this year. They are each decorated differently and it was so fun to use a lot of my little crafty things. I should have taken a close up:)

i just love the afternoon light coming in. It makes the house seem so cozy. We actually had some snow this morning, but it has already melted.

Living room coffee table spruced up with some new Target and Joann's things.

Cross stitch framed sampler and primitive Santa made many moons ago:)    

Our big real tree. It turned out to be very skinny and I wasn't sure we would like it, but we do! We put our glass ornaments and a few that the boys made on this tree. The cats have been sleeping under it on the old quilt. It reminds me of when I was little and would stake out a place near the tree to read.

Our bedroom has the last tree. I put miniature glass ornaments on this one. I painted the furniture in here last winter. (It was a very dark wood.) I love how it brightens up the room and things just show up better against the white.

Well, that's my Christmas house tour for this year. I hope you enjoyed it (if there is anyone still coming around my poor neglected blog.) I hope everyone has a very happy holiday season with your loved ones. See you in the new year!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Fall!

This summer has gone by way too fast. It's my favorite season and I want it to last forever. I've never been a fan of the hot, dry days of September, when the pool is closed and the kids are back in school.  But then the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to change, and I'm loving autumn! Fall is my favorite season to decorate for, maybe even more than Christmas. So I've been having fun arranging the pumpkins we grew, adding faux leaves and flowers here and there, and trying not to buy too many cute things I see at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  LOL! How are you guys doing in that department?

The pictures above are all from our kitchen/family room. I decorate it the most because this is where we spend most of our time! This past winter my husband put on new counter tops and added glass fronts to some of the upper cabinets. I wanted an apron sink, but we decided the cost wasn't worth it. (Well, my husband decided!) But the changes we made add to the farmhouse look, especially since this is an old farmhouse! !00 years old, as a matter of fact!

Besides painting a few pieces of furniture, the only change to the living room this year is that we brought down the glass fronted cabinet that had been in our guest room. I like the way it looks in front of the window. Inside is part of my collection of antique toys and games.

I hope you enjoyed my little home tour. Pretty soon it will be time to put out Halloween stuff - love that too! Until then, happy fall!

Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm Back - With Garden Pictures!

Well that was a long break, wasn't it? Life has been crazy and I just wasn't feeling it. But summer is here, I'm loving our garden, and I want to share it. Today I'll showcase our vegetable garden.

 In the front raise beds we have sugar snap peas and mixed lettuce in the first square. I planted some more lettuce and onions on the other side of the peas.

Next comes the first crop of bush green beans, one of my favorite homegrown veggies. I love making a salad with them.
Then we have a bed of swiss chard, spinach, carrots and green onions. I planted these onions from seed so they make tiny green onions for salads.

I have 24 tomato plants that I grew from seed. Lots of paste and a mix of heirloom tomatoes. Yum!

I also have a bed of peppers, both sweet and hot. These took such a long time to get big, but they are doing great in the hot weather.

In the center square I always plant flowers and this year I put in some pansies and zinnias.

In the bigger back beds we have different squashes, cucumbers, onions, sunflowers, strawberries and asparagus and rhubarb. All the annual vegetables get rotated every year. We still have trouble with viruses on our tomatoes, but it doesn't seem to limit our harvest.

Strawberries, asparagus, red raspberries, and blueberries on the right.
Justin, Andrew, and grandson Tad picking strawberries in May.
I hope you all enjoyed this tour of the vegetable garden. I really love to keep it looking nice (when it's not too hot:) and it's fun to show it off! I will be back (much sooner) with flower gardens, and the crafting I have been doing. In the meantime, have a great weekend!!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Botanical Dyes

Last summer I finally played with dyes from plant materials, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I bought an inexpensive ball of white wool yarn to experiment with. After looking at a few sites on the internet, I gathered up some plants, fruits and even beans that are shown to make dye colors. First I prepared the wool by scouring it which is just soaking it in soapy water and then rinsing. Then the yarn has to be soaked in a mordant. It can be alum, cream of tarter, or copper. I chose alum for the first round. I prepared the dye stuff by boiling and straining it and then in goes the wool. I wasn't very careful about measuring, but I did keep a record of what I got. Pretty colors! I especially liked the colors from the red raspberries and black beans.

Later I wanted to dye enough yarn to knit a hat. I used the black bean water again only this time I used cream of tarter for the mordant. Guess what? Instead of a pretty green I got this soft gray blue. Still very nice and it made a beautiful color for the ombre hat. I am definitely doing more of this next summer. I even got seeds for a few traditional dye plants such as woad and weld. They get a little more complicated to extract the dye, but I'm going to give it a try! 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Memories

Long time, no see! I can't believe it's been so long since I've been here. The last couple of months have been very stressful, starting with my having a bad case of the flu that kept me in bed for almost two weeks. Then the worst, our middle son Andrew had a major seizure. He was in and out of the hospital for a month while they got his meds right. Thankfully, he is doing well now and we had a wonderful Christmas with all of our boys and the grandkids. Little Trixie is 8 months now and couldn't be cuter! I love them all so much!

 I have many plans for 2017 and one is to keep up this neglected blog. I wish all of you a very happy new year! Let's make it a good one!!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Catching Up and Some Fall Decor

I know, I have been a very bad blogger! It's not that I haven't had anything to blog about or that I've been too busy. I guess you could say I've been lazy! Well, I'm not really lazy, as you will see.

August and September went by so fast. We spent a lot of time with family and working around the house and yard. Oh, and going to the beach a few times. (I have to do that for my sanity:)

The twins had their 2nd birthday. They had a wonderful party with family and friends. I got them the cutest animal backpacks which were quite a hit. They kept putting them on and taking them off. I couldn't get very good pictures. They are always on the go and they could hardly sit still for this one!

Here is Beatrix at the party. She was 4 months old here and kept everyone entertained with her cute smiles. It's so fun to have a little girl in the family!

Justin was here almost every weekend in August. He has been going through a rough patch and just needed some love and support from his mom and dad and brothers. (The boys are all very close.) Here he is with his sweet girlfriend Kelly. We enjoyed having him and I spoiled him with some of his favorite foods:)

Tad started kindergarten this year but we still take him one afternoon a week and do something fun together. Until we closed the pool, that was all he wanted to do! We went to a pumpkin patch, an apple farm and hiking at state parks. We have so much fun with him!

I have been making gifts for Christmas, quilting, working in the yard, and decorating for fall. I decided to paint the dining chairs white after 25 years of oak and that has been a big job. I really hate painting, but you wouldn't know it as I have been painting many items around the house. If it stands still I'll paint it!

This is the hutch that got a paint job this summer and is now decked out in fall colors. I like that things show up better with the lighter background. And you can see the newest member of our family, Jesse. He is such a good kitty and very affectionate. The only thing is I can't do any knitting unless I go outside!

We finally entered the 21st century and got rid of our big, old TV and cabinet and replace it with a flat screen and electric fireplace. Another fun spot to decorate!

I'm loving these signs that are popping up everywhere!

I have also really gotten back into cross stitch. I blame it on certain people on IG (Carol, I'm talking about you. LOL:) I'm really having fun getting new ideas for how to display them and working them into my seasonal decor.

I have since added more pumpkins and a few Halloween items around. I just love this time of year!

I know this has been a photo heavy post, but I have one more of our sweet little Trixie:

Happy Fall everyone!