Thursday, February 28, 2008
The theme for Wildflower Morning's event this week is children's art. I've enjoyed participating in each weekly assignment that Elizabeth Joy has given for her Wildflowers in Winter meme. I was not expecting to be able to do this weeks assignment simply because all the kids art that I can find at my house consist of drawings I've saved from the boys early years and filed away. They are of fighter jets, rockets, robots, trucks, cars and an occasional tree or house. I don't remember the boys drawing flowers when they were young. But I was saved by an assignment that Rylan's graphic design teacher gave this week. Today Rylan called me over to his computer to look at the poster he was making for class and I smiled when I realized that it fit the wildflower theme perfectly. And since Rylan is still a teen-ager, I'm hoping it will count as my 'child's wildflower art'. It is the art project of my youngest child, and it does have wildflowers in it. It can't get much better than that!
Thank you , Rylan, for sharing your assignment with me. I really love it!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
"Opera Supreme Lilac Ice"
This is a petunia that is a trailing grandiflora. It has a unique pattern and a longer blooming season than other similar plants. Whereas most new blossoms appear only at the end of the stems of other petunias, this one sets out new flowers from base to stem end. There are no empty holes that lack color and bloom with this variety. This petunia comes in lovely shades of lilac and purple. Available at Park Seed Company.
This is a dahlia who's name comes from the ability of the flowers to change colors as they mature. Some flowers start as white and turn to purple or lavender; others turn from lavender or purple to white. A blooming plant looks like a vibrant bouquet in all three colors --- and in variations of each as they transition. Available at Dutch Gardens.
"April in Paris"
This is a hybrid tea rose that is highly fragrant. It has glossy green foliage and blooms that are cream and pink, opening to 4" across when open. There are 30 petals in each high-centered bloom and they will stay fresh when cut for up to one week if given adequate care. Available a my favorite source of roses, Jackson & Perkins.
This is a peony which is a hybrid cross of the heavy blooming tree peony and the compact form of a herbaceous peony. It has a beautiful double yellow flower. Does great surviving winter temperatures of 10 - 20 when given winter protection. Available at Wayside Gardens.
A floribunda rose that is extremely bright and showy. The bush is compact and disease-resistant and grows well in pots. The beautiful blooms are hot pink in the center and fade out to a soft white at the edges of the petals. Also available at Jackson and Perkins.
The other five winners were in the Tools, Supplies and Accessories category. They are:
"Kombi Forever Shovel" from Beaty Fertilizer, Inc.
"PotHoles Drainage Discs" from Charley's Greenhouse & Garden.
"Steel Plant Supports" from Gardener's Supply.
"Escar-Go! Supreme" from Gardens Alive!
"Nature's Avenger Organic Herbicide" also from Beaty Fertilizer, Inc.
Happy Gardening Planning!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Do you like truffles? They make a lovely addition to an afternoon tea. Making them both gluten-free and vegan can be challenging. But if you are a chocolate lover like me, where there's a will, there's a way! Here's a recipe for Dark Chocolate-Tangerine Truffles that I think you'll enjoy.
Dark Chocolate-Tangerine Truffles
3 ounces chopped dark chocolate, dairy-free*
4 ounces Tofutti vegan cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups Florida Crystals powdered sugar, sifted
zest of one tangerine or half orange
1 1/2 cups roasted sliced almonds, chopped
Chop chocolate and place in a medium-sized bowl. Microwave on high for one minute or until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Add the softened Tofutti cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend well. Stir in tangerine or orange zest. Place plastic wrap on a small baking pan and then spread on the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate from 1 - 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into 24 small pieces. Roll into small balls and then roll each ball in chopped almonds.
Makes: 24 truffles
*Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate Bar; dairy-free and of excellent quality.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Aunt Cella and I have a simple ritual each spring. We share a poem back and forth as we eagerly await sunshine and flowers. An email from her today alerts me to the fact that her spring has come! Today she wrote that "it's very balmy & springy here & delicious for working the garden". How I would love to be basking in that Arizona sunshine! But I know. . .my time will come.
Here's a copy of the poem we share with one another each season as we await spring:
Hunger for Spring
Like thirsting flowers awaiting rain,
My heart cries out for Spring again.
Once more to feel the softening air,
Caressing, tender, everywhere.
For fertile earth beneath my feet
Now carpeted by the Winter's sleet,
Now confined by wintry blast,
Comes forth God's handiwork at last!
Tea Herbs for Relaxation
1 pint water
1 tsp. chamomile leaves
1 tsp. peppermint leaves
1 tsp. honey
Bring purified water to a boil and remove from heat. Place herbs in water and stir gently. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy with honey.
Peppermint and chamomile do wonders for your body by relaxing muscles and calming mood. This tea hits the spot after a long and stressful day!
There's nothing more relaxing than a lavender and honey bath! Mix two ounces of honey in a glass with five drops of pure lavender oil. Pour into hot bathwater and soak yourself. This is a great treat for relaxation and to combat insomnia. To make it really nice, add a few squirts of lavender bubble bath or 1/2 cup of Epsom salts.
While I am lamenting the slowness of the arrival of spring, Garden Goose is enticing readers to prepare for spring by conducting a wonderful 'give-away' --- gardening DVD's! To sign up, simply sign up and post a link on your blog to their beautiful e-zine, Small Town Living.
Success to you!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Hurry, fair spring, please hurry!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Have you ever thought about the little details that make a house a home? A light bulb or two in the ceiling would provide adequate light, but a homey touch like just the right light fixture provides us with a sense of order, beauty, and restfulness. There's no place like home, and a home that gives the sense of place we all desire requires attention to detail.
The chandelier in this picture is much grander than anything I have in mind, but I do love it! It was selected years ago by a woman named Bessie who sought lighting for the 'great room' in her vacation home. Nestled deep in the desert, her home was an oasis for her family, many friends, and assorted travelers who passed by. The chandelier's style blends perfectly with her 'mission' style of decor --- and the unity of the theme gives repose to all who rest there.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
4 bags black tea, decaffeinated
2 Tbsp. packed mint leaves, fresh
2 stick cinnamon
4 cups boiling water
Place tea bags, mint leaves, and cinnamon stick in a teapot. Add hot water and steep for 4 minutes. Decant and pour into a vintage cup and saucer. Sweeten with your favorite sweetener (mine is stevia) and enjoy.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
This week Elizabeth Joy's assignment for the Wildflowers in Winter event is wildflowers in art. As I looked around my home for things that would fit into this topic, I again found quite a few things that fit the theme. Today I decided to post about painted wildflowers on ceramics or china.
The cream and pink heart-shaped serving bowl is one my mother made for me. Each year before my birthday she would usually ask, "what would you like for your birthday?". I would always answer the same way, saying "anything you would like to make for me". I always loved mother's handmade gifts the most. This bowl is the perfect size to contain a tossed or fruit salad, dinner rolls, or cooked vegetables. But I enjoy it the most in my lighted china closet when it's set on it's side so the painted design can be seen and enjoyed daily.
Another ceramic food container my mother made for me was this muffin tin with heart-shapes. Each hole is painted country blue to dramatize the shape and the surrounding areas are a creamy white. Mother painted tiny blue flowers and greenery that are scattered on the top surface.
And this is one of my favorite mugs. This china painting was done by a friend in Australia named Julie. We met years ago on a home-school support forum. She made this china painted mug for me one year as a birthday gift. I don't remember the name of the flower, but any Aussie readers could probably enlighten us. It is a well-known plant in Australia. I love the shading and muted colors that Julie used in her painted design.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
A Valentine's tea and a group of dear friends. . .
. . .a hot pot of tea and heart-shaped candies galore. . .
. . .festive napkins with sweetheart design. . .
. . .red roses in rosemary, a scent that's divine. . .
. . .a cup of fresh fruit with creamy delight. . .
. . .and desserts that are sweet, a tempting tasty treat. . .
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Wildflowers in Winter theme for this week is art, but I seem to still be stuck in wildflower stitchery. The stitched wildflower pieces I'm posting today are from my sister's collection. They are some that our mother designed and stitched. I apologize that the pictures aren't the best. They were hanging on my sister's wall in her dining room and the lighting was somewhat dark in that corner. The green color in these pictures vary, but were in actuality all the same.
I received some special Valentine's from dear friends --- and am quite partial to the ones with a tea theme. Aren't they pretty?
Thank you, dear friends, for making my Valentine's day tea-fully wonderful! You really are sweethearts!
After much maneuvering over the ruts of four-wheelers who enjoy the rutted and snowy roads as a challenge, they passed the point where the 4 x 4 's gave up and then clear, clean snow was the only hinderance in their path. The snow had melted and frozen enough to eliminate most of the powder, the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful day for trekking upwards.
Rylan was a gem and took lots of pictures so I could see what things were like on mountain top. There was 'some cabin' peeking through on the ridge side, but the opposite side revealed only a couple feet of rooftop and lots of drifting snow! The tree was standing like it should be. . .and the woodshed is holding up fine, although the four and a half feet of snow on the rooftop did concern Brent some. He had Rylan help him place a few more supports in the open area from the inside where the snow hadn't reached.
Coyotes could be heard from a far away ridge. The bears are hibernating, down deep in their dens under the piles of snow. Rabbit tracks were everywhere, as they are not detoured by snow. Although some elk and deer tracks were seen around the cabin, they were sparse, as most of them go farther down the mountain to where there is less snow to inhibit their movement (and where there is more food available). It was a calm and peaceful day on the mountain.
Brent and Rylan ate their lunch at the cabin (but not in the cabin. . .that would have taken too much digging out!). They checked on the neighbor's cabins for several miles in each direction, drove over all the fences and our front gate, and played awhile in the snow (well, the easy way --- on their snowmobiles) and then headed home. Tired and happy, they were happy to report that all was well on mountain top.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Todays Stitching-Up Wildflowers entry features a cross-stitched bunch of wild violets that I framed and gave to my friend, Gwen, for her birthday last March. This bouquet is meant to be cheerful on a dreary day. It is shown here with a little electric teacup and saucer lamp I learned how to make at A Place Called Home. It's made from a little clay pot, a teacup, a saucer, an electric candle light, fringe, a string of beads, ribbon, and hot glue. A bundle of lavender in a satin bag completes the little trio in this vingette.
Thank you to Elizabeth Joy for conducting the Wildflowers in Winter event. It's been fun to visit the sites of other participants and see what they are posting on the themes she assigned. If you haven't been to see who's participating and the links to their sites, be sure to take a break and stop by Wildflower Morning soon.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
"A constant FRIEND is a thing rare and hard to find."
Libby and Coco enjoy a day in the sunshine! Although now all grown up, they still relish their time outdoors. Libby went home with my friend, Bonnie, when she was just a little tike. Coco is my constant companion and has the nickname of "Baby" whenever I talk to her. She truely is a constant friend!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The first item I selected which incorporates wild flowers as part of home decor is this pale blue tea cozy with an assortment of wildflowers in a checked pattern. It goes well with my blue and white teacups and teapots.
I looked around some more and found this luncheon set; a tablecloth and napkins made by my mother. She painted snowdrops on each of the four corners of the tablecloth and on each of the napkins. She painted eight or ten flower luncheon sets (for tea parties) and each one features a different flower, but I think this one is my favorite.
Looking further I found a sign painted on a heart-shaped, carved stone. I usually keep it on a hook outside my back door but have it inside for the winter to protect it. It's message of "Sit long, talk much, laugh a lot" was also painted by mom.
And how's this for an oldie? My mother kept this picture of me on her bedroom wall. I was in my early twenties when this was taken. The location is Mount Rainier National Park, in one of the meadows on the mountainside. My sister and I both wore our long 'granny dresses' for the photo shoot. We felt somewhat strange being dressed up when others were wearing shorts, tank tops, and tennis shoes!
This is one of a two that mom also made. They are felted wall hangings of shooting stars. Sometimes wall space becomes sparse, so these could also be used for hot pads. I think this would be pretty on a lavender tea table and a nice place to set a teapot.
I couldn't stop here --- so I'm doing one more post on this subject --- to follow below.
This wildflowers of Canada plate is a recent acquisition. Like the one above, it shows the wildflower of each Canadian province. I found this plate at Goodwill for less than $3.00.
Since Goodwill also had a wildflower plate from Alberta (also for less than $3.00), I decided to pick it up as well. Finding it gave me an idea for a project that I will probably be working on for a long time as I seek the specific plates required. I would like a 'wall of plates' that represent the birthplaces of family members. This one from Alberta represents my mother. She was born there (in her grandmothers house) on a snowy day in June! Now I'm looking for decorative plates from British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchuen. And of course --- a price similar to the ones I've already found would be fantastic! I can only wish. A project like this is all about the hunt. . .