Sunday, June 28, 2009 favorite time

I just love summer. All the work that I have done all spring long is coming together. We are finally going to get a squash off the squash plant as both a male and female flower were opened yesterday morning.

We got the beans trellised and the tomatoes caged. The plants were getting big and were starting to fall over. No worries now...Just to get some more tomatoes to set and the beans to climb.

Tonight we should harvest our first lettuce and a few radishes as well...yummo! Love fresh greens for a salad.

My wave petunias that I have in hanging planters on either side of my front door are just gorgeous. They have certainly outdone themselves.

I picked up these New Guinea Impatiens at the local Home Depot...I just love the color. These have only been planted a few days...can't wait to see how nice they are by the end of the summer.

Isn't this rose just stunning? About 20 years ago my dh and I gave this rose bush to my mother in law for Mothers Day. Well it's still growing strong. The roses that this bush produce are some of the most highly scented I have ever smelled.

These coreopsis were planted last year. They are one of my favorite flowers. I especially like the more feathery variety and plan on planting some in what will be my new porch shrub/bush/flower bed.

Echinaceas are one of my most favorite summer perennials. I would have a whole field of them, if I had space. They are so beautiful.

The orange lilies are growing in the back of our yard...outside our fence in our alleyway. They are so hardy and withstand salt, cars exhaust and the constant dog marking that occurs there. We have roadside embankments literally covered with these orange lilies, here in Maryland. They certainly put on a spectacular show now, don't they?

I got my hubby to finish up putting the raised bed boards around the rest of my flower beds. I was able to fill in the front of the bed and plant some more impatiens for color in that bed. My sod is starting to root and grow and will soon need to be mowed. I'm so glad that we went with sod instead of waiting for seed to grow. I've already started my new grass growing project. Here's a picture....

This area will be a little more of a challenge for me to grow grass there. It is under the linden tree and the soil there isn't the best. Grass hasn't grown there for what seems like forever as that area once was graced by a rather large silver maple that has long ago been removed and replaced by the linden.

I planted a new circular mini flower bed around the base of the tree using impatiens and hostas. I haven't yet finished it off with stone to keep four legged creatures from lifting their legs but hope to do so when I figure out the stone for the front porch bed. Maybe by the time I get that bed done, the grass will have grown in.

I have enjoyed sharing my gardens with you. If you have some to share back, I'd love to see, so be sure to post a message with your link.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Primitively Patriotic Swap Part 2

I showed you in a previous post the cool swap goodies that I got from my swap partner Lottie of Sweetpeasprimitives, well here's what I sent to Lottie.

Of course a patriotic sign was in order. Of all the new ones I just recently completed, this is the one I liked best.

I enjoy painting on these metal star votive holders. The previous ones that I have purchased have all been black. This whitewash was a refreshing change and it meant that I could just paint right on the holder without having to basecoat.

Don't know if you remember those little rusty taper holders I showed you in a previous post, that I picked up while wholesale shopping. Well here's what I did with the one I included in my swap. I love how it turned out...just wish I had more time to grubby the candle more.

I had two of these little wire baskets left...just sitting there waiting for something to be done with them. Nothing says prim to me like some pip berries and a barn star, so I added some red, cream and blue pip berries to the front and attached a small barn star. I added a homespun and cheescloth fabric bow and a coffee stained metal rimmed hangtag to the handle.

Here's another thing I had just laying around! Why do I buy these things and never get around to making them? Anyway, I probably bought about a dozen of these little wispy wreaths with the intention of putting berries on them. Anyway, still looking for more things to include in this swap, I took the wreath and added some red, cream and blue pip berries to it. A blue homespun bow and a small barn star were added.

This is the prim patriotic plate and plate holder that I purchased while wholesale shopping. It was too cute to resist and for the price, I couldn't pass up the chance to include it in my swap box.

This little flower bobble was a last minute idea. I had just received my Create and Decorate magazine in the mail. I fell in love with the fabric pinwheels. So off I went to Joann Fabrics, magazine in hand, so as not to forget anything. Well, picked the perfect patriotic fabric, the coordinating fabrics and off to the check out line I went. There in the $1 section was this little pink bobble flower note holder. So inspiration struck and I thought, why not? I can paint it americana. Of course, the sad part is that Lottie's box was suppose to have those pinwheel flowers, but I forgot the darn much for taking the magazine with me to ensure I didn't forget anything! Sigh!

This was a last minute addition too... Char of The Pickled Pepper Patch had a tutorial on her blog to make these little wooden firecrackers out of a dowel rod. So since Home Depot was in the same shopping center as Joann Fabrics and I was already stopping there to pick up some more trex for my flower beds, I picked up a dowel. I came home and cut the rod into 4 pieces and set about painting the stripes and stars on the dowel firecrackers. After some shading and antiquing they were perfect and included in the box.

This was such a fun swap to do. I love painting americana and usually at craftshows you will find a large americana section in my booth.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's A Girl!

Now that I have your attention...I'm not making any announcement here except for unveiling my new line of girly signs!

I have 3 nieces and I can tell you, that God knew what he was doing by giving me all boys! Not to say that little girls aren't sweet and all that...just boys are different!

I guess I'll have to be patient and wait for a grand daughter when my sons get around to having children...not that I'm in a hurry or anything! So for now, I'll just enjoy other people little girls.

And what little girl doesn't have their daddy wrapped around their little fingers? LOL!

The last sign I did as a present for a fellow estian who was having a tough time at Christmas. I wanted to make something for her little girl that would be just hers so I used this stencil to make this sign for her room door.

You can find all of these signs and more in my etsy shoppe...just click on the link below and it will take you to my shoppe.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Primitively Patriotic Swap

I arrived home from running errands to a rather pleasant surprise...there was a box waiting for me on the table under my mailbox. Usually that table is filled with packages's unusual to have an incoming one.

OMG, I opened the box and was almost afraid to unwrap all the wonderful goodies that were contained within. It was just like Christmas morning. Each item carefully wrapped and revealing yet another wonderful treasure. Oh, I guess I should tell you who was the generous person that was my swap partner. Her name is Lottie from Sweetpeasprimitives .

As you can see Lottie sent me a cute wooden flag to hang on my front door. Perfect for those patriotic holidays to show our American pride. The star bowl fillers are perfect as I already have a nice prim patriotic bowl for them to make a nice home in.

Isn't this little dolly prim-i-licious? She already has a temporary home on my shelf with some other dolls but will grace a new shelf that the hubby is making for me....well he doesn't know he is yet, but he is! LOL! He runs for the hills when I say, how about making me this as he never knows what I'm gonna ask for!

The covered box shown in the first picture will be put to good use holding whatnots and things I may not want the males in my family to find....I know that they wouldn't think of looking in it...too much work! LOL!

Lottie also sent me a room spray in a delicious blueberry scent. It smells almost good enough to eat! Also in the package was a Gooseberry Patch cookbook which I hope to put to good use once our kitchen renovations are complete. I did get to take a peek and there are some great recipes for the grill, so maybe my family won't starve in the meantime.

A notepad for those all important "honey do" list and 2 small American flags that I plan to stick in my front porch planters for more patriotic spirit was in the box too! I tell you Miss Lottie certainly spoiled me!

This swap has been lots of fun and I want to thank Char of The Pickled Pepper Patch for organizing it.

Anyway, thanks again Lottie...I love everything!

Friday, June 12, 2009

You Say Tomato....I Say Tom-A-Toe...Etiher Way It's Delish!

Nothing says summer like fresh from the garden tomatoes! My hubby planted a tomato plant in a container in mid March hoping to get a few tomatoes a earlier than we usually do. He would bring it in every night placing it under a light, giving it a false sense of extended daylight hours, which is necessary for tomatoes to grow and set fruit. Well his persistence has paid off. We got our first 2 vine ripened tomatoes today. This is a month earlier than is usual for our part of the country And nothing goes better with vine ripened tomatoes than a pound of bacon fried up for tomato and bacon on toast sandwiches! This was our dinner tonight...quick and easy, and oh so delicious. Now to just wait for the next tomatoes to ripen.

The box top of impatiens in the background are fresh from the nursery. I need to replace the pansies that are in my front porch flower boxes soon as the heat will get to them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Our Bumper Crop & Raised Beds

My hubby planted a bunch strawberries plants in containers...this is the most we gotten ripened at any one time. They are absolutely delicious.

We put in some raised vegetable beds taking out most of our postage stamp backyard. My hubby and boys built the beds. They went down to the county landfill and got truckload of composted soil. Our county recycles yard waste on a bi-weekly pickup or you can take your yard waste there. It was nice to be able to recycle the yard waste everyone generates into something useful.

In one of the beds we planted lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, radishes, zucchini, yellow straight neck squash. Actually my boys have done most of the planting.

In the other bed we planted tomatoes, pole beans, oregano, basil, and cucumbers. We still need to add a trellis for the beans and the one cherry tomato to climb.

This last picture is of my one of my flower beds in the backyard. We took out one of the railroad ties and will be replacing it will trex decking material like we made the raised beds from. My hubby didn't want to use pressure treated lumber due to the chemicals, so we are going to put the decking around the edges of the existing flower beds and make the beds more raised. I was too impatient to wait for grass seed to grow, so I put sod in between the vegetable beds....I still need a few more pieces of sod to finish off the backyard.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Twilight Time Again!

I made a new series of Twilight inspired sign this past week. After doing my last craftshow and seeing how well the previous group of signs sold, I decided to make some new sayings.

When I was a teenager, we watched Dark Shadows, a daytime soap based on a vampire family. I remember racing home from junior high school to catch the latest episode.

I don't recall just how long Dark Shadows was aired on daytime tv but I don't think it was a staple of daytime television for very long.

Dark Shadows did make a resurgence on late Friday night tv sometime in the early 80's, if I remember correctly. It did have a sort of cult following at the time.

I haven't been able to quite wrap my brain around the appeal to the mostly female audience that this series has. From young girls to 20-somethings to older married women.....maybe it's that forbidden love thing it has going on.

Whatever the fascination is, it has brought forth a healthy, inspiring interest in reading with young to just get the young boys up off the couch and interested.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Landscape & Outside Renovations

Our landscape renovations and paint spruce started with the removal this spring of the 50+ year old silver maple that once graced the front yard. Due to severe rot we had to sadly have the tree removed.

Once the tree was removed, we could grow grass again. The whole front of the house became sunny. We could plant new sun loving flowers! Yeah! Some of my favorites are sunlovers.

I scrapped around the bay window and the door of any loose paint and repainted them. Painted over the bay window and door with black over the hideous green that was there. Scrapped and painted the wrought iron railing. We replaced the light over the door with a more modern and up to date one. The planters on either side of the door had already been in place from last year, so I just added a wave petunia to each.

After all the painting was complete, the next thing to start on was the landscaping. The bushes had taken over, overwhelming the house, so they had to go. My son Josh and his friend Josh, yep, Thing1 and Thing2, as I affectionately call them, removed the front porch bushes.

So with a little time and a bunch of young muscle the boys removed the bushes...

Now doesn't that look better?

We still have lots to do out front. The plan is for a two-tiered stone raised bed. The back tier for new bushes/shrubs and the lower front tier for beautiful flowers. I've already have a few ideas of what I'd like to put in the new bed that will be built.

Oh and much to the hubby's dismay (only because it requires him to do some work) I'm hoping to add window planter boxes to my front second story windows.

Over the next few weeks I hope to have the new bed in and be started on my next landscaping project. I'll be sure to post pictures and give you an update.