Thursday, June 27, 2013

Garden Tour

Every day when I walk through my gardens I see God's work everywhere. I love working in the garden. "Be still and Know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. I love this verse as it reminds me to quiet myself and listen. I think we get so busy we don't stop to listen and be still. So now, take some time to look and be still with me in my garden.

This is the very south side of the garden. I am looking west here. Remember the bean pole I blogged about on Valentines Day this year? I am happy to say the addition of the bird house was a success. I don't think there are Northern American Bluebirds living in it but the little guys that call it home have the most wonderful chirp. Adjusting the strings for the beans to climb up to a lower height makes me happier too. I have tomato plants in this bed as well.
But let's go back up to the north end of the garden and work our way back. These Easter lilies are as beautiful as they are fragrant. Every year I get them for Easter then plant in the garden. This year they bloomed much better!
The happy little yellow guys are buttercups. In the background are Asiatic lilies.
I have tulips, daffodils and hyacinth bloom in the spring but these Asiatic lilies are my favorite of the first to bloom early summer.
Garden phlox. A friend of mine gave me a start of this last summer. It is amazing how big it has gotten.
Coreopsis Moonbeam
This mum spreads wider each year. The daylily to the left of it will be a gorgeous deep dark burgundy.
Wichita blue juniper. Should grow to 7-10 feet tall.
This will soon turn to purple spikes. It is purple liatris. And for those of you that are familiar with this plant you know it doesn't know to stay in it's own boundaries. This will grow like crazy and if you want it to behave be sure to cut it back as soon as the flowers fade or the wind will drop seeds everywhere. I can't help but love it anyway.
These daylilies are beautiful. Red with yellow centers.
This crimson barberry is pretty happy here. Now if we can get those liatris to stay back. :)
Purple Loose strife. Now a lot of people call this a weed and in many states they are not even allowed to sale them any longer. However, I think it is a beauty.
Red twig dogwood bush in the foreground and behind and to the right is a butterfly bush. I may have planted these two too close together. They will both get huge. The butterfly bush is already 7 feet tall.
Let's jump over to the west side of the garden before heading to the vegetables. These 3 arborvitaes are almost 7 feet now. The purple cone flower in front of them attract butterflies and humming birds.

My Black eyed Susan was not coming up very well this spring so I decided to throw down some seeds I had in the cupboard. They are so old I was surprised they came up. Cosmos and Zinnia!
This is False Dragon Head with a sprout of lambs ear hiding in it. The Dragon Head is a super late bloomer. The blooms look like the shape of a dragon's head.
Now in the veggie garden. Brandywine tomato. I am new to this one. I'll let you know how it tastes.

Early girl. Growing at the speed of the rest of them. Hmmm, early?

French marigold in front of the green bell pepper.

This French marigold keeps the pole beans happy.

Looks like the green bell will produce better than the plant actually looks.

This is an heirloom tomato. I'll have to get back to you on the variety.

This is a jalapeno I picked this morning. Wow! I knew I had chosen a different variety than I normally get but these guys are huge.

Roma's! Lookin' good for that salsa recipe.

Summer squash blooms. Just lovely.

I gave the summer squash a new roomier location this year. Hope he doesn't crowd the green bell and jalapeno on the end. However the Dragon Head to the right will give it a run for it's money.
The raspberries are planted on the far west side of the yard.
This covers our septic tank. The Lamb's Ear love it here. I am finding lamb's ear growing everywhere this year.
Even in the wood pile.

Well, I didn't show you everything in the garden or even in the yard. But I think these are the highlights for mid June. I've tried in have something blooming all season long. A good mix of perennials, shrubs and trees with a few annuals thrown in for fun. I had a lovely walk through the garden this morning. I hope you enjoyed it too.    Linda

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Trash to Treasure

I had helped a friend move early this spring. A few days later I dropped by to see how the unpacking was coming and noticed a box their daughter had earmarked for the trash. Right on top was a painters canvas she had started to paint and decided to pitch it. I asked if I could have it and this is what I did.
I chose a background color and painted to cover the previous artists' work. I used acrylic paints you can get at your local hobby store.

I used a shade of dark brown and using three fingers instead of a brush painted.

Then a shade of yellow.

And the third color a red.

I added a little brown and yellow in different areas.

And finally another shade of brown for the flowers' center.

Let it dry and add a favorite bible verse or saying. You could also frame the piece.  I plan to add hinges and attach it to cover the thermostat. But this is where I need your help. My husband thinks it looks like a turkey an elementary student drew. LOL.What can I do or add to this to improve it? Maybe a paint pen to draw flecks in the center of the flower? Maybe the words need to be painted as thicker letters? Leave me a comment to help me finish this piece. Thanks!!!

Vacation leads to more crafting.

My mind never takes a break from creating. I have been to Florida every year for vacation for at least the last 15 years, why I never did this before I don't know. There are many things you can do with shells. But when you bring them home keep them away from your pets. Harper thought mine were treats and he ate some of them.

This is what I had left. I'm sure you can dig in your cabinets and find vases, vessels or jars that were too unique to get rid of and display your favorite treasures from the sea shore.

This is a lovely addition to my latest find at the Antique market.
And Ellie likes it too. Thanks for checking in on me. Check back soon to see my next project or maybe we'll take a garden tour.


This project was started before the bathroom remodel and with all the other sewing and craft projects I've been dabbling in I have finally finished it. I love this chair and ottoman. It was a splurge when I got it long ago.

As you can see the check is dated and Harper left his mark on the ottoman. In this photo I have already taken the skirts off both the chair and ottoman.

Harper is our chocolate Lab. He is a totally laid back dog. If he could talk we are pretty sure he'd say "dude" a lot. But when we first got him he was a little curious when we left him alone. Thus the damage to the ottoman.

This is Ellie. She is a sweetie and keeps Harper on his toes. They both like to be next to me when I'm working on a project. But back to the project "slipcover".

A friend of mine was working on a slipcover herself and told me her secret. She purchased these painters drop cloth from Lowes. They are 6 X 9 and have no seams. Once washed and ironed the canvas is soft and it is going to be super durable. And they were only $9.99 each. I used 4 for both the chair and ottoman.

I started with the ottoman. I measured around the top and middle of the ottoman to find the approximate length of piping needed. One at a time I laid the piping on the fabric and cut 3" wide stripes, leaving a little extra fabric at the ends.

To repair the area Harper took a bite out of I added upholstery foam the size needed then covered it with batting and then covered that with a piece of cotton fabric I had. I hand sewed this to the ottoman. I cut a piece of the painters canvas the approximate size of the top.

At this point I cut strips for the sides, sewing them at the back corners to make it look more fitted.

Piping is really easy to make. Lay the cording in the center of the 3" strip and fold over with wrong sides together. Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine sew as close to the cording without running over it.

I sewed the piping to the top piece.

Then added the side piece.

The skirt was easier as I could use the old skirt as a pattern. Measure the height. Mine was 10" that gave me 1/2" seams and hem. Now measure the pleats. This skirt was in made with pleated sections and straight sections. The pleats went where the corners are. I measured each section and cut appropriately with a 10" height. Hem your fabric after cutting. Now iron in your pleats just as they were on the original. I believe my pleats were 2 1/2" folds making the entire pleat 5". I sewed the raw edges using a zig zag stitch. you could also do an other the edge stitch or if you have a serger you could use that.  

I pinned this with right sides together right on the ottoman, making sure the piping was sewn in as I went. This would have been easier if I had sewn the piping to the skirt and then added it to the top portion.

Ottoman complete!! Now on to the chair.

I took several pictures of the cushions to remember how to put it back together. The seat and back cushion each had a zipper that I reused. Once photos were taken I started ripping the seams out. Iron the pieces and use them as patterns to cut the new fabric.

Making the piping in the same fashion as for the ottoman, sew the pieces together using the pictures taken before disassembling the original.

After the bath remodel we went on vacation to relieve all the stress from a remodel. Oh I wish we were there again. The beaches of Florida are wonderful.

Using the upholstery I cut pieces that were approximate.

Pinning right sides together to fit sew piece by piece.

I chose to make an opening down the back. Make sure these pieces are big enough to over lap a bit and to hem. I will be using buttons to close this.

The original chair did not have piping around the armrests but I felt it made a good tailored look.

This shows how I placed the slipcover on backwards to make sure it was a tight fit when pinning.

As I did with the skirt of the ottoman I made the skirt to the chair in the same manner. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the button holes and buttons I attached. The buttons I used are 1". My machine has a button holer attachment so it makes it super easy to make them.

I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

Remind me to tell Harper it's not food. :)

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