Archive for July, 2011

Happiness in a Cupboard

July 27, 2011

I have been having so much fun canning recently – Brandied Cherries, Holiday Cherries (sort of a sweet and sour, spicey and yummy concoction), Strawberry Conserve and Boozy Orange Marmalade.  Both of the cherries recipes are from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff.  The orange marmalade recipe is from Amy Pennington’s Urban Pantry.  And I have a bunch of recipes marked to try in another wonderful canning book, Tart and Sweet by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.  These recipes are a far cry from the jellyfish-like peaches my mom put up.

I have all of my little jars of goodness on their own shelf in a cupboard.  Yesterday I went to admire them more than once.  With each viewing, I felt happy.  It could be my new favorite stress reliever!


Ikea Chandeliers

July 25, 2011

I got these two chandeliers from Ikea a couple of years ago, and never found the right use for them inside the house.  Then it finally occurred to me they would look great outside in the garden.  This chandelier is resting atop a hollowed out floor lamp base.  I attached a small section of threaded rod to the lamp fixture, and the threaded rod goes inside the lamp base.

The smaller chandelier simply is balancing on top of a tall candle holder.  The simplest install ever.  Both pieces are adding pockets of sparkle to our shade garden.  And I can see both pieces from inside our house!

Packrat Payday

July 20, 2011

This is just the sort of project that reinforces my rackrat habits!  I was ready for some new pillow coverings to spruce up our outdoors swing.  A friend had given me some extras from her fabric stash back when our sons were in elementary school.  (They are now 30 and 31.)  I remembered she had included some very lovely fabric squares in a variety of blue patterns.  She had acquired them on a trip to France back in the day.  I’ve thinned my fabric stash over the last twenty years, but always made room to save these French fabrics for a special project someday.

Someday arrived, and here is my packrat payoff.

Hubcap Garden Edging

July 18, 2011

This was my favorite idea of the day on the recent Georgetown Garden Walk.  It’s absolutely brilliant using the hubcaps as garden bed edging.

The bowling balls look quite zippy as garden edging too.

Here’s another section of the same splendid garden.

The trio of painted bike wheels make a mighty fine garden sculpture.

The tin can lids as shingles on this stylish chicken coop also made my hit parade.

Another bonus of the day was the Georgetown Trailer Park Market was open.  Usually it is full swing on Saturdays.  It’s a collection of vintage trailers set up in a parking lot offering enticing vintage goods.  I am a big fan of the Georgetown neighborhood!

Dang! The Peas Took a Dive

July 15, 2011

The old metal plant stand was doing a tiptop job as a pea trellis until yesterday.

Here’s the plant stand on the left, looking snappy with all those promising pea plants surrounding it.

Even just a few days before, all was looking so promising.  When I took this picture for a status report shot, I didn’t worry about the leaning thing that was going on. 

Here’s a close-up of the plant stand base pulled out of the ground.  No worries – Raoul and I will heave our peas upright, point them closer to our strong fence, and reinforce our plant stand with some rebar stakes.  As a novice veggie gardener, it’s all part of the learning curve.  I’ll use the plant stand for some other more delicate plant when pea season is over.

Live and learn!

Lake Union Farm Boat

July 13, 2011

My pal Christie and I visited the Lake Union Farm Boat  recently on the south end of Lake Union in Seattle.  What a charming farmers market!

It is a new farmers market that is held on Thursdays, starting at 11 a.m. 

We enjoyed walking around all the new developments that have been created in this neighborhood.  Our lunch at the Row House Cafe was scrumpious.

And here’s a pic of the beautiful Virginia V, the boat part of the Lake Union Farm Boat.

Austin is Amazing

July 11, 2011

We had a super fun long holiday weekend in Austin visiting our oldest son Carlos, his wife Casey, and their daughter Claire.


We tried on cowboy boots at Allen’s Boots.

What a paradise! 

There is terrific live music everywhere.

This gorgeous live wall was in the flagship Whole Foods Store.  I learned that it began in Austin.

Even their parking strips, fondly referred to as hellstrips in our parts, were stylish.

Here’s some repurposed fun for Grandpa Raoul and Claire, a ride in a choo choo of oil can cars.

A handsome bench outside of Salt Lick Barbeque, where we had a darn tasty meal.

And here’s the star attraction of this visit, our granddaughter Claire.

Molbak’s Fun on Saturday

July 7, 2011

Please join me this upcoming Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m. for an entertaining event at Molbak’s in Woodinville.  I’m looking forward to presenting a seminar on  Garden Art with Sustainable Style.

View beautiful garden art and projects designed to be eye-catching and environmentally friendly.  Walk away inspired to add sustainable art to your outdoor living room.  Enjoy your garden more with ideas on how to live a greener life with a focus on fun and functional.  Tips for easy projects, fun for the whole family, and it’s free!

(Thanks to Kate Baldwin Photography for the use of this lovely photo.)

Clematis Chain

July 5, 2011

I borrowed this great idea from my clever friend, Julie.  I am training three clematis vines to climb these posts of this arbor structure.  It was super easy to hang sections of chain with nails hammered into the posts.  Now each vine has something to attach itself to.  I’m winding the stems around the posts for extra support as well.  Once they reach the promised land of the top beam, they can travel sideways and work themselves down the posts too.  I only moved the viticella clematis vines (their blossoms are smaller and bell-shaped) from our old garden to our new one.  They are loyal plant friends and never do the wilt thing to you.