23 June, 2009

Sand Artist Ilana Yahav

Dixie from French Lique is hosting Wordless Wednesday. Click the link to go see the other photos. This week is Bloggers Choice.

22 June, 2009

Let There Be White

Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen is hosting a White Tablesetting Event, called Let There Be White. This is a celebration of the beginning of summer. Thanks Kathleen for hosting. Click on the link to see other white tablescapes.

I moved my bistro table from my porch out into our garden. Doesn't it look romantic?

I had such fun getting together all my white for this setting.

I layered a round tablecloth with a crocheted doily. White plates and soup bowl were added. Lace linen napkins were folded to show off the lace corner. Glass goblets, glass votives, and my every day flatware were my only non-whites.

The Target S&P birds were invited. A small milk glass vase holds impatients, begonia and shamrock flowers.

My Target birds were the most expensive thing on this table. I visited a couple of large yard sales last weekend. The white tablecloth-25 cents; glass goblets-10 cents; milk glass vase-60 cents. White dishes were an earlier thrift store purchase. I've had the doily and napkins for ages. Flowers were picked from my yard. This was so much fun to put together. It turned out better than I expected. Thanks for visiting.

18 June, 2009

A Cloche Party

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life is Having a Cloche Party. Click the link to go see what other bloggers are displaying in their cloches.

I purchased this dome and stand at a thrift shop. I believe it once held an anniversary clock. I found the crystal knob at a yard sale for 10 cents. A dab of Gorilla Glue and I have a cloche. I display it on my end table in my living room. I found the little perched ceramic bird at a thrift store.

This was purchased at Ross on the clearance shelf. It was missing the post. When I was given the sales receipt, I saw that it was identified as a cupcake holder. I set it on a post I had to give it the elevation.

Inside is a candle in the ceramic container with lid. I think it is cupcakeish.

This is a cheese dome I got at a thrift shop. I place it on a glass plate I already have. I am displaying a fake bird nest.

Do apothecary jars count? A little salt for a base and a sea shell.

I have only had these for a few months, so I have not had the opportunity to change it out seasonally.

Here are some photos I found on the internet that have inspired me.

Courtesy of Country Living Magazine.

Courtesy Department 56

15 June, 2009

Magazine Holders from old Express Mail Boxes

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch hosts Metamorphosis Monday. Click on the link to take you to view other posts where people changed something.

Now that there is no DHL courier service in the US, our company has dozens of express mail boxes that would normally be thrown out and end in the landfill.

Our office library uses magazine holders for various reference material. These magazine holders are normally very expensive. I used the old express mail boxes and turned them into magzine holders.

Measure the height you need which will fit into your bookcase or just trace the outline of a magazine holder you already have on to an express mail box.

Use a knife or exacto knife to cut out the corner. Scissors do not work as well. Now you have a magazine holder for free, and saved this box from ending up in the landfill.

You can go a step further and cover them so they look very stylish in your home office. You can paint your box, cover it in wallpaper, scrap book paper, old road maps, etc. Let your imagination be your guide. What do you already have around your house that you don't have to buy?

Click the link to check Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for directions to decoupage the boxes.

Two upcoming memes I am looking forward to:

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life is having a cloche party on June 19. I am getting ready to show you all my cloches. Be sure to add yours and check out the others.

Another event over at Kathleen's Blog, Cuisine Kathleen is Let There Be White on June 23rd! This is a celebration of summer. Lets all do a white tablescape with white flowers, white tablecloth's, even white food!

14 June, 2009

Share a Garden Sunday #2

Artie at Color Outside the Lines is hosting Share a Garden Sunday. Thanks Artie for hosting this party. Click on the link to see other gardens.
Last week I showed you my side yard. Today I'm sharing my back yard, which is still a work in progress.

We planted three oak lead hydrangeas last year. Our back yard is very shady. They did produce blooms last year, but I'm tricky. Us girls enhance our appearance with makeup, why can't plants. Those two big beautiful flowers are silk. Told you I was tricky.

Astilbe and impatients line the back of the porch. An old metal fireplace screen helps fill in the concrete wall. The white flowers on the astilbe are real, but will soon turn brown. After they turn brown, I will take a can of florist spray and spray the flowers to give them color the rest of the summer. Take a piece of cardboard to prevent overspray. Tricky again.

This flower bed take more work pulling out than planting. I can supply the whole neighborhood with these yellow flowers. I don't know what they are called.

I just divided my lungwort. At first I didn't like this plant, but inherited it with the house. I do like that it will last a really long time as a cut flower. I've had potted plants that didn't last that long.

12 June, 2009

Grilled Salmon With Brown Sugar & Cracked Pepper

This is a double post: Thanks to Debbie at Mountain Breaths for hosting Kick Off to Summer BBQ. Also, Designs by Gollum is hosting Foodie Friday. Be sure to stop by both of these blogs for tempting goodies.
My husband is the grill master in our house. He found this recipe in a magazine our supermarket publishes. Wegmans is an upscale supermarket in the New York and Pennsylvania areas. Check out Wegmans.com for other recipes.

We had this salmon with grilled vegetables. It is grilled on a cedar plank. This is good with a dollop of creamy horseradish sauce on the side.

We also put some zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes on a skewer, based with olive oil and put it on the grill, too.


4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each), skinned

1 Tbsp dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp Cracked Pepper Blend

Cedar plank, soaked 1 hour in water


Preheat grill on HIGH 10 min.
Combine brown sugar and cracked pepper together in small bowl; mix well.
Arrange salmon on cedar plank which has been soaked for 1 hour;

Rub brown sugar mixture evenly over fillets.
Place plank with salmon on grill; close cover.

Reduce heat to MEDIUM; cook salmon 12-15 min, until internal temp reaches 130 degrees. Check by inserting thermometer halfway into thickest part of salmon.

Remove from grill; let rest at least 2 min.

My Bathroom

I would like to thank Kelly at Kelly's Korner for hosting Show Your House Friday. This week is featuring bathrooms. Click the link to check out the other bathrooms. My but there are a lot of folks already linked up.
When we moved into our house, the bathroom was really dated. It had 1960 baby blue tile on the walls. The grout was missing in the shower. A grainy oak vanity was added at some point. The linoleum was curled at the edge and a lot of dust and dirt accumulated there. The electric baseboard heater was all rusty. Sometimes, I felt dirtier after I left the bathroom. A remodel was in order. We didn't want to go to the expense of a total gut job. We kept the tub, toilet and vanity, since they were in good shape.

The blue tile was demoed and blue-board, which is resistant to water was put up. We installed a molded shower enclosure over the tub. BathFitter gave us a bid of $3,000 just for the tub enclosure. The one we purchased at Home Depot cost under $300.

I painted the grainy oak vanity and medicine cabinet a dark espresso brown. I swapped out the pitted chrome knobs for brushed nickel. This turned out way better than I imagined.

We also swapped out the faucets, towel bars, and toilet tissue holder and toilet handle for brushed nickel.

I decorated the bath to give a spa feeling with the orchid, reed diffuser and candles.

The roman shade is installed very high over the little window just covering the top trim in the window. Since the window is so high, privacy is not an issue.

We put in a curved shower curtain rod. Not only does it give more elbow room, but I was surprised how much it let the light in from the ceiling light.

My son-in-law installed the porcelain tile on the floor. I really, really wanted electric heating coils in the floor, but that was out of our budget. We just replaced the electric baseboard heater and installed new baseboard.

Keep on scrolling going down. I've also entered a couple of recipe memes today.

10 June, 2009

Purple Loosestrife - A Beautiful Danger

Sometimes we are lucky enough to have volunteer plants in our garden. Or perhaps, we see a beautiful plant along the road and want to bring it home with us. I had a purple loosestrife in my garden when I bought my house. It looked really lovely, but I pulled it out.

While beautiful, purple loosestrife, known as the “purple plague,” (Lythrum salicaria) is an ornamental plant known for its purple-spiked flowers. Purple loosestrife was brought to New England as an ornamental plant in the early 1800s. Once limited to gardens in the Northeast, it now chokes wetlands across the country.

Purple loosestrife has the ability to produce millions of seeds which spread easily by wind or water. Stands grow to thousands of acres in size, eliminating crucial open-water habitat for species such as butterflies and rare amphibians, and ultimately change an entire ecosystem. Efforts to control purple loosestrife cost the U.S. economy an estimated $45 million each year. Purple loosestrife lacks a natural predator, such as a beetle that feeds on its roots and leaves, in the U.S.

If you find it growing on your property, simply pulling it up or using herbicides can work to remove it. Once a large population is established, however, it is extremely difficult to remove.

An alternative to Purple Loosestrife is Blazing Star, which has spiked, pink-purple flowers and is an important source of nectar for many native species of butterflies and other insects or consult your local nursery for other alternatives.

Another invasive plant:

I myself only discovered this while doing the post on the purple loosestrife:

Dames Rocket, above, is classified as an noxious weed. Some, including myself, may incorrectly call it wild Phlox, but Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is a Eurasian biennial belonging to the mustard family. It was introduced to North America in the 1600’s and has naturalized itself in moist, wooded areas, but can also invade open areas. It may be sold in garden centers as a perennial and is often included in “wildflower” seed mixes. The plant’s 3-month-long blooming period and ability to set abundant seed have contributed to its spread.

Dames Rocket has 4 petals per flower, whereas Phlox has 5 petals per flower. I have cut these wildflowers and brought them home to enjoy thinking they were wild phlox. I'll just purchase the real phlox from the nursery and will enjoy the real deal instead of transplanting dames rocket.
Visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer to view Outdoor Wednesday for other outdoor posts.