Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meet A New Friend

While adventuring around the internet, I came across a charming blog which just happens to have a great little shop, too. Meet Andrea Singarella and her shop One Hundred Wishes. She creates lovely jewelry and unique paper crafts with new and vintage items.

Here's a photo from one of her recent posts.

Her shop is being advertised in Somerset Life for the first time this month and she's understandably excited about it. There are ribbons, seam binding, Dresden trims, Italian candy treats, and fabulous Coccoina glue(six kinds!) also imported from Italy. The best reason to get the glue is because it smells like almonds...YUM! Just don't eat it like a kindergartner with paste.

She also carries vintage items including jewelry and ledger papers. There are even some dime store trinkets to top off your cupcakes like ballerinas, ice cream cones, and the cutest little pink elephant.

Treat yourself and go visit Andrea and while you're there, make a wish at One Hundred Wishes.

Home By The River

Required Summer Reading part 2

Home By The River by Archibald Rutledge

This a true story of coming home again. It takes place in coastal South Carolina at the ancestral home of Archibald Rutledge. When he returns in 1937 after a forty-four year absence, Hampton Plantation is over-grown with weeds and deserted. The house is surrounded by two thousand acres of land bordered on the north by the Santee River. It's been in his family since 1686 when a Huguenot ancestor fled France.

Rutledge tells of the river, the other great rice-growing plantations of the region, and the wildlife that thrives in their midst. Because of his families ties to the land that go far back in history, his stories go to ancient times. We hear of Indians, primeval forests, and legendary storms. Rutledge also tells of the gentle and refined social life at Hampton Plantation. This is not a sugar-coated romantic South, but one fleshed out with real people and places.

My favorite tales in Home by The River are about the birds and the forests. Because the aspects of the property are so varied, from swamp to brush to dry woodland, a wide variety of wildlife are found there. Some are migrating species and some call it home all year. The rice fields attract songbirds, game, and water fowl. Rutledge describes the combined voices of all these birds as a "medley rather than a chorus".

The book includes many photographs of Hampton Plantation, it's furnishings, and people who lived there. A parish church and neighboring house are also shown. Archibald Rutledge uses an old southern romantic voice that transports you back to another time. It's a sweet dream to escape on for a summer vacation.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

herb gardening

Herb gardens have been around for a long time. Their recent popularity has herb experts popping up everywhere. You've probably seen articles in magazines and the Saturday gardening section of the newspaper. If you haven't tried to plant an herb garden yet, why not?
Most of these plants were weeds before they gained recognition for medicinal and culinary purposes. They thrive on neglect. Seriously, the more you water and fertilize them, the worse they do. Perfect for containers (must have holes in the bottom) so you can move them around to your sunny spots.

A couple of years ago, Lucy (youngest daughter) wanted to plant an herb garden as a school project. I told her she could have the big area in the middle of the backyard that gets full sun all day. The grass just got beat to death in that spot. She made a circle seven feet in diameter, divided it into four sections, then used brick pavers to outline the circle and make the divisions. A birdbath marks the center. Rosemary, Basil, Sweet Peppers, Oregano, Thyme, Chives, and Parsley made the guest list. Pretty soon she had bees and butterflies admiring her handiwork. Her teacher (me) gave her an A.

Most of the plants can last all year. Lucy and Em cleaned it up and reworked it a little this spring when the gardening bug bit them. The best reward is walking outside on a summer evening and snapping off some fresh sprigs for the salad. Then you get to admire the sunset on the way back in the house.
For the first time in a long time Hubby and I and all four kids are going to Georgia to visit family. I'm just giddy at the prospect. Anyway.......there are scheduled posts going up while we're gone.......reruns from last summer when blogging was new.

Monday, June 23, 2008

As American As........

As you all know, the life of a blogger is not all bright lights and glamour. Sometimes we have to get down to business and get those decorations made for the next big holiday. Since we're going away for The Fourth, those decorations had to get made last week. Except for a few final tweaks, the project was finished before midnight last night. Here are the results....... As American as baseball and apple pie.....where's the apple pie? That's the tweaking I was talking about.

I think I like the boxes better up here. They go with the banner decorated with children playing drums and dressing up in costumes..............
like this little cutie with his sailor suit and sword.

The colors are softer and more romantic than...................
..........the primaries for the breakfast room.
Even the precious Uncle Sam that I won from Sheila came to the party.

Those favor baskets are going to be filled with chocolate kisses for the nieces and nephews we're going to visit. Can't wait to see them,but until then............................... .................................the decor will be right here.

UPDATE: Tweaking done. The box is now complete with apple pie.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Flowers And Chocolate

A patriotic centerpiece for my sweet family. The roses are made of paper so they will last, however I'm taking bets on how long it will take for that candy to disappear.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Patriotic Crafting

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue! There's some crafting going on 'round the dining room to be specific. Since my nest isn't empty anymore, I have to craft wherever I can find a spot.
So the work surface goes down, the supplies are trundled in, and the crafting begins.
There are banners and buckets, nut cups and paper dolls all spread out on the table........such fun! And I'm going crazy with the cute ribbons and trims. Not only red, white, and blue, but silver and gold, too.
There are some new little helpers mixed in with the crafts.......see them right there in the the place of honor? That's right. New glasses. It's amazing what you can see with the right equipment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blue Is Back

The great decorating powers that be choose colors every year that set the taste level for fabrics, paints, ceramics, and all things homey. Pottery Barn Greenwich Sofa

You see them represented in every magazine, catalog, and television show which gets the ball rolling for all of us to start buying this new stuff up and changing our homes all around. Ballard Design Home Office Collection
Since I started keeping house at the end of the seventies (only 6 months left), I got in on the ground floor of chintz florals and silk plaids. Rich navy blue and chinese red with taupe or gold were the fashionable colors and thank goodness because that is right in my wheelhouse. Mario Buatta, the Prince of Chintz

Then a few years on GREEN starting seeping in. My younger sisters in law and my sister have homes that are dominated by the green, red, gold color schemes that have been popular since the nineties. These were lean years for me as every time I needed to reupholster or paint, I struggled to find my preferred colors, but now things are changing. Ballard Design Bedroom Collection
A couple of years ago, I noticed the catalogs were adding blue tones and putting them in the back of the book. "Aha! It's coming back around", I thought. Then the Christmas issues featured blue and silver baubles and bobs..........woohoo! I'm sensing a trend. Then this summer Restoration Hardware had all blue on their cover. It's back! Blue is back! My mom always told me if you wait long enough styles come back around. Of course Mom was right. Restoration Hardware Hampshire Collection

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The White Garden

There are two garden tours going on this with Deena at Sweet Annee and the other by The Preacher's Wife. Welcome all!

White Garden at Sissinghurst

White is the absence of color and in the garden it makes all the other colors sparkle. It lights up shady spots. It shines on a moonlit night. It is the fragrant Magnolia, Gardenia, and Jasmine. It is the spectacular Angel Trumpet. It is the demure Stephanotis. It makes the hottest summer day feel cool. Magnolia D.D. Blanchard with lemon scented blooms.
Confederate Jasmine tumbling over a pergola.
Crape Myrtle Natchez with it's long lasting honey-scented blooms.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea thriving under an oak tree.

The White Garden at Sissinghurst evolved over the twentieth century to become the epitome of the word. Begun in 1930 by Vita Sackville-West and inspired by Gertrude Jekyll, it was open to the public in 1938 but continued to develop until 1950. Sissinghurst is now a National Trust property and is the most visited garden in England. It has always included greys and silvers as well as white to accomplish it's cool look.
Arbor at Sissinghurst
The arbors were erected in 1970 to replace the original Almond trees where white roses climbed. The roses were so vigorous that they did the trees in. The Chinese jar in the middle was placed in 1937 after being brought back from Egypt. It's a seventeenth century cargo jar from a trading ship.

Now back to Florida...... here are pictures from the day lots of peacocks visited our backyard. They were having their own garden party.
A good shady spot.
Glory Bower blooming under a Live Oak tree. I love the name as much as the flowers.
This container changes every year because it starts with baby plants that outgrow it and have to be moved into the garden. This years crop-Angel Trumpet, Coral Bells, Knockout Rose and some other things.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Please be sure and give a little wave on the comments page. It's been lots of fun visiting all your gardens and seeing how creative you all are. Have a wonderful summer!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Special Birthday

Little Drops Of Water
Today is my daughter Emily's birthday. She is the oldest and I remember the day she was born like it happened yesterday. After a long labor she arrived about 7 o'clock in the evening. The doctor held her up and said,"Who is this?" We had chosen her name several weeks before so Hubby and I both said, "Emily!" with tired smiles. She was a cotton-topped toddler with rosy cheeks and little rosebud lips and everyone said she was a Gerber baby. Always affectionate with a ready smile, Emily made friends everywhere she went. Emily with co-worker Nikki
Today we call her our entertainment director as she is great at making every day fun. She's still blonde and beautiful (the doctors used to say that the hospital gave me the wrong baby) and the most loyal friend. Happy birthday, darling girl! Emily with friend Christina

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Gardening Bug

Even though it's way too hot, many people get bit by the gardening bug right about now. It must be all those colorful hanging baskets at the big box stores that draws them in.
It's always a good idea to have a plan, though, so you get the best out of your garden.
Planting on an axis gives good views and walkways from the house through the garden. It keeps things neat and tidy, too. Very classic.
When the work is all done, you can sit back on your porch with a glass of iced tea and admire your handywork.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hidden Treasure

The utility room has gotten completely out of control so it's time to tackle the huge monster in there. Years of collecting arts and crafts supplies and items necessary for school has got to be dealt with so this past weekend Hubby and Number One Son pulled everything out and put up some new shelves to light a fire under me. All the stuff that had been like a big leaning tower of craft supplies is now in the dining room like a big object lesson on prepositions; on the table, under the table, around the table, beside the table. So tonight after dinner I started going through it.
Somehow a folder my sweet daughter Em had been saving got in with all the stuff. It was filled with birthday cards and Valentines and letters from her grandparents going back ten years and more. The letters were encouraging notes from when she first left for college and pointed out what a smart and lovely young lady she had become. The Valentines and birthday cards were from friends; some are still close, some have drifted away, but they all expressed love and affection for her. She has always been a loving and lovable girl, even when she was tiny, and the fading cards in the folder hold concrete evidence of that. Thank goodness I get to witness it first hand everyday.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes

It's been a year since windycorner was born. Ahhh...the memories of setting up the blog, trying to figure out how to put photos in, getting comments like, "Your blog is too green." Here's the original post. I was suffering from a serious case of empty nester syndrome. What a difference a year makes. All my children are back living at home now and I'm considering moving into a one-bedroom condo at the beach.