Saturday, December 10, 2011

I just love Mother Nature . . .

For about a month we have been “babysitting” for Mother Nature.  I discovered this horrible looking caterpillar on my Meyer Lemon tree one day and, after, researching it on the internet, learned that it is called “bird dropping caterpillar” (and I’m sure you can see why).


I became so fascinated that I put it in a jar with some lemon leaves and watched it grow.  After about a week and a half I found two more of these creatures and added them to the jar with a stick.

About 2 weeks later they started going into the next stage and eventually looked like this:
(this picture is taken up against my husband’s t-shirt)


Can you see them?  The two things that look like little branches on the left side.  There were actually three of them on the stick.

Finally, last Saturday night, we came home to find that the first one had emerged and was trying to fly around in the jar – stick and all.


I didn’t want him/her to die so I put it outside on a table on the porch and it remained there, without moving for several days.  I kept checking on it because it wasn’t moving.  The weather was changing so I brought it in and put it in the guest bathroom (which is hardly used) and closed the door.  (I put water and some hummingbird nectar in there, but it never ate.)  Well, here it is a week later and he/she has become a pet. 


I have been reading up on these Black Swallowtail butterflies and learned that they don’t migrate and if they reach adulthood when the weather is turning cold, they will hibernate.   So, as much as I hated to do it, I put him/her outside today on the lemon tree where I discovered it.  Even going outside in the wind, it stayed on my finger and I had to pry it off to put it on the lemon leaf.


I miss him/her already!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Count your blessings . . .


Enjoy your food, family and football today and please don’t forget to give thanks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where does the time go?

So much to do . . . too little time!

And here I am playing with old broken jewelry.
I decided to make some jewelry out of vintage and other pieces of jewelry and parts.  There is actually quite a bit of this out there on ebay.

Today I listed two pieces.

A necklace with an owl, a locket, button cover, flower, heart and broken and random earrings


and a bracelet that has a pendant that says “pretty is as pretty does”, earrings, locket, button cover, key and beads.


You have to like “junky” to like these, but they are right up my alley!  Hope they sell because I have lots more parts where these came from!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A transformation . . .

This . . .



Used to be this . . .









(Sorry I couldn’t get it in the house and dress it up, but just couldn’t do it.  :-(

I bought this old stereo cabinet for $10 at a garage sale. 
It is very heavy – solid wood.  The “guts” and back had been removed.   My husband put a new floor in it and a back on it.  I replaced the shredded fabric with wire.   The top was stained darker and the rest was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Country Grey with a waxed finish.

I think now it is a perfect storage piece or even could be used for the DVR/speakers for a TV.   It is going in the parking lot sale this weekend.  What do you think – how much should I ask for it?

Friday, September 30, 2011

My first chalk paint project

I finally got around to buying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to redo some furniture that I am going to sell in a “parking lot sale” next week. 

Here is the first table I did.


Table 1


Table 3

Table 2

I painted it with Chateau Grey on the top and legs and Country Grey on the front and sides.   I have got to say that this is the easiest painting I have done (and I’ve done a lot).  I love the fact that I didn’t have a lot of preliminary work to do.   I finished the piece with dark wax – probably the hardest part of the project!  

I have four more pieces I am working on for the sale which I’ll share later.  One of them is turning out really cool – it’s was an old stereo cabinet in its former life and now it will be a great storage/console table.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In rememberance . . .


Ten years . . . we are older, but are we wiser?  

All of our lives were changed in some way by this terribly tragic event.   We must remember those who were lost and their loved ones and those that survived and have been changed forever.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I made yet another bag . . .

Okay, I like to sew and I have a thing about the “specifications” of my purse. 
It can only have one handle, must have several inside and at least one outside pocket, can’t be too big – you get the picture.  So I am always on the hunt for a new purse pattern.

I came across one and thought it looked interesting.  I made one out of some (boring) fabric I had just to see what modifications I should make.  I added some inches to the bag and the handle and I liked it.

I found some fabric that I knew would make it a lot cuter and here it is.  First of all I’ll show you how simple the pattern is.   This is the whole bag (well, at least one side).


Here it is with an outside pocket that I added (pattern didn’t call for one).  I really wanted to match the design on this side, but didn’t have enough fabric.  I figured it is so busy anyway, who would notice.  ;=)

It has inside pockets that go all the way around.


So, to close the bag, you slip the long handle through the short side.  I added about 6” to the pattern so I could carry it on my shoulder.


Here is a link to the pattern:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhhh . . .

It may not be much, but it is RAIN!!!   Yes rain, splashing down the tulip downspout off the porch.  I swear I can almost hear a sigh of relief from the grass and shrubs.  Just look at the color of the grass on the other side of the deck.  Will we ever recover from this drought and heat?! 

If only we could relieve some of those folks in the northeast of their flood water, we could all be happier.

The 100+ degree weather is supposed be come to an end this week.  Thank you Lord . . . and we’ll take all the rain we can get!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I can only imagine . . .

what this would feel like again.


I promise to never, ever say I am tired of the snow (if we ever get it again). 

Last night when my husband came home at 9:00 p.m., it was still 100 degrees!   Will someone please close the oven door?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I wish I could share . . .


I have given away bags and bags of tomatoes.

I have
frozen them;
made fried green tomatoes;
pickled green tomatoes;
tomatoes and okra;
cucumber and tomato salads
and lots of tomato sandwiches.

And now I have a tree full of figs and don’t really know what to do with them --  I can’t even find anyone who really likes them.  Last night I made a small batch of fig preserves to see if we would like that and that recipe may be a winner.  If so, I’ll probably be giving jars of fig preserves to everyone I know.

In spite of the horrible heat wave, the garden has been good to us this year.
Wish I could share some of our bounty with you!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Button Heaven . . .

Have you ever had a day when you just couldn’t get up enough energy to do anything constructive?  I actually hate those days because I feel worthless.  Well, that’s me today.  My husband left early to do some work at church and I just went from watching TV to watering some plants to laying down . . . well, you get the picture. 

Then, he came home!!!   He had stopped at an estate sale and brought me a “present”.    A big vase full of buttons.   I LOVE buttons . . . any buttons. . . but especially old buttons like these.  Instant energy.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  ;-)

Gotta go – I have buttons to sort!!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our garden overfloweth . . .


I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. . .

My husband loves to plant a garden and I do love the vegetables, but  why, oh why, do they all have to come at the same time!   I have made 10 loaves of zucchini bread, 5 casseroles (in the freezer), sliced zucchini for soup later and froze bags of shredded zucchini for more bread. 

Now, here come the cucumbers!  I really must find an easy pickle recipe before they take over my kitchen. 

I am about to start frying green tomatoes because there are so many on the vine that if they all start ripening at the same time I will have to give them away.  (I don’t mind sharing our bounty, but I LOVE tomatoes.)

And figs – I don’t even want to go there.  Our tree is heavy with half-ripe figs and we don’t even like them.  Now those, I would happily give to a new home.

We do love this zucchini bread recipe though so I thought I’d share it.  It makes 2 loves and freezes well.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp. each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt
3 cups flour
3 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.   Spray two 5 x 8 loaf pans with cooking spray.  Beat together eggs, sugar and oil.   Sift together baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour.  Mix flour mixture together with egg mixture and add zucchini, vanilla, coconut (and nuts).  Mix well.   Bake for 1 hour. 
(I mix all of this by hand.)


Monday, May 2, 2011

A new life for an old piece . . .

Several years ago I bought this chest of drawers at an auction. 
It had been in a fire, but only had smoke damage.  I’m in the mood to change things up a bit at home and get rid of things, but I needed more storage in our little TV room so I decided to tackle this chest.

Evidently the two bottom drawers had been somewhere else at the time of the fire and the chest had already been painted white.

before 2

Buttons and a plate had been on the furniture at the time of the fire.

before 1 before 4

So, I cleaned it well (but it was still dark gray) and painted it with Valspar “oops” paint that had a primer in it and was just a neutral color.  Happily, it only took one coat to cover.

A la Miss Mustard Seed, I had hoped to distress it and use a brown finishing wax.  I am definitely not in her league so I couldn’t bring myself to pay the price for the waxes I found (almost $20).  (Some day I will because I really like a waxed finish on furniture.)

Many years ago I did a similar treatment with brown shoe polish so I decided to go the frugal route and use that again.  I used a neutral wax on top for more protection.  I didn’t get the great look that she does and I wasn’t able to distress it because the black was showing through when I sanded, but I am satisfied with the result.   I might add a little more of the brown after I paint and decorate this room.  Right now, the wall and chest are very similar in color.  I’ll update this after I check a few other projects off my list!!


A close up . . .


Sunday, April 24, 2011

A wonderful Easter celebration . . .


Praise the Lord!

Today we had Easter services at the land where our new church is being built.  We had hoped to be in the new building for today’s services, but it wasn’t complete enough to meet inside.  So the plans were to all bring chairs and worship outside.  We held our breaths, prayed and took a leap of faith that the weather would hold out.   Our weather has been terribly windy lately and there were storms last night, but this morning it was just a little overcast with a nice breeze. 

We started going to this church two years ago when the average attendance was 50.  When we began the building process a few months ago there were usually a little over 100 every Sunday.  Today, believe it or not, there were 400 celebrating this wonderful Easter!!! 

The sun came out during the service and it was a truly glorious day, in every respect.

As I said – Praise the Lord!
I hope you, too, had a wonderful day with your family.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Here comes Peter Cottontail . . .

A few weeks ago we had a new family of cottontail rabbits born in our pasture under a garden cart.  I have lots of families born in my herb garden every year, but we have never found a nest in the pasture.

Those mama rabbits really know how to build a “nursery” – she digs out a little hole, lines it with her fur and covers it with grass.  My husband discovered the nest by accident and covered it back up with the cart.  After checking on it every few days, he saw that they had all left.   All except one who keeps hanging around the barn. 

The baby is not afraid of my husband and will let him get right up to it and pick it up.  He wears a glove in the hopes that the mama rabbit won’t abandon it (if she is even still around).

So here is a quick picture I took of the little guy/girl – only about 3” long.  I almost think it wants to be a pet rather than a wild rabbit.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Texas Mountain Laurel

Here are a few pics of my lovely Texas Mountain Laurel. 
Mine still looks like a little shrub, but hopefully some day it will be a tree.

The pretty purple blooms have a distinct grape fragrance and then turn to seed pods.  I have actually gotten some of the seeds to germinate, but the plant died after I planted it.  I think I’ll try again.  It is a little bit of a project, but if anyone wants to try it, I’ll be glad to send you a seed or two.

A branch . . .


a close up . . .


seed pods . . .


my dream!

So. TX trip 022

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Have a blessed day!!!

St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Check out this giveaway . . .

Paula at Castle and Cottage Signs was inspired by a Pottery Barn photo and created (in her most talented fashion) a plant holder that she is going to give away.   Go here to check out her blog and comment to be included.

You could win one of these with the text of your choice.


P.S.  Over a year ago I was one of her winners.  See that plant holder in the bottom row, second from left, she made me a sign that says that.  Here it is –- I LOVE it.



Monday, February 14, 2011

HaPpY VaLeNtInE’s DaY

Recently I was at a flea market and just couldn’t resist buying this old postcard of a “fluffy” little girl . . . a little more to love!!


Spread a little sunshine today!

Friday, February 4, 2011

No excuses . . .

The weather is still crazy here – woke up to 6” of snow this morning.
(I won’t bore you.  I know you have all seen snow, but here’s my proof!)



But I’ve decided that the best part of being “trapped” inside for four days is that I am really getting a lot done.   Not being tempted to get in the car
and go is a good thing – who knew!

I am cleaning and reorganizing my computer room and thought I’d show you the computer desk my husband fashioned out of a dining room piece 15 years ago when we got our first computer.

It looks like this outside . . .


It had two sections with a divider in the middle.  He took the doors off, the shelves and divider out, and hinged the doors and attached them to each side.  The drawer on the left was removed and he took the drawer front off and fixed it so that it would fit in place by itself.  He made little stands for the monitor and printer so that we had a little storage underneath them.  There is a shelf that I attach to the front of the right drawer for the mouse.  The keyboard is on a pull out shelf where the drawer used to be.

And it looks like this inside . . .


Isn’t he talented?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where I “create”.

I have been working on this sewing/craft room redo for way too long now.  The holidays made me stop and turn it into a Christmas package wrapping center and now I am finally semi-finished so thought I’d share.

I had a table where I kept my sewing machine and serger and a separate desk for my embroidery machine.  Sold the desk on craigslist, bought an enamel-top table at a garage sale, and put it in the corner for the embroidery machine.  I added a skirt around them so I could hide store stuff underneath.  I left the end open and have a roll out cart where I keep my Cricut machine.

I made the covers for the two machines out of oil cloth.   (My plan was to make one for the embroidery machine too, but I decided the one that came with it looked pretty good!)

I made the valance, step stool and lampshade out of the cute sewing-themed fabric I found at Hobby Lobby.  Also made some little pouches that are hanging on the IKEA rod behind the machines.

I already had the red dresser in there and added a bookcase to the top for all of my ribbon and other scrapbooking supplies.

This project encouraged me to get rid of a lot of fabric that was never going to be used and I reorganized the two closets in the room.

Now, I really want to paint the room, but that will just have to wait until I get busy with some other projects I have in mind.  I have two cute tall chairs to recover that can be used at the gate leg work table.