Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ribbon Tutus

I love ribbon. All kinds of ribbon. When it comes to ribbon, I have no control. Which was a bit of a problem when I owned a flower shop and had a couple of trucks that would come by on a regular basis bringing beautiful ribbons right to my front door. How could I resist such temptation? I didn't. Needless to say, when I closed the shop, I ended up with spools and spools of ribbon in all colors.

So what do you do with tons of ribbon? Well, you make ribbon tutus of course!

What you'll need:

Assorted Ribbons (mine were 1.5" wide)
Elastic headband from the Dollar store

I had 4 little girls in mind when I started my project, so I gathered and assortment of pinks, lavenders and beautiful mermaid aqua/blue.

Using 5 rolls of co-ordinating ribbon for my mermaid tutu, I cut between 12 and 15 26" (approx.) strips of each color. This is one of those projects that you don't have to do just perfect. After I cut all my ribbon, I took one of the elastic headbands, stretched it over the back of my kitchen chair and started tying the ribbon strips to the band. Really, it's that easy. Center the strip on the headband and tie it in a knot. I just kept tying the ribbons all around the headband until the tutu was nice and full.

After I got all my ribbons tied on, I cut the ends in a pretty "V". And that's it. Super easy. And super cute. I can't wait to see what the little girls think of them!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Daffodil Drive

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned in the past that the daffodil is probably my most favorite flower. Just something so happy about their bright yellow faces in the spring garden. So, can you imagine how excited I was when I heard that there was an entire festival dedicated to this little flower and that, for once, I was actually not working the 3rd weekend in March and could take it in? Pretty much beside myself with joy.

I called my son Jake and asked him if he wanted to go to a flea market with me. Ok, I admit that I might have fibbed a bit to get him to go. If I had said "Flower Festival" I'm sure he would have been busy that weekend. But flea market was do-able for him. So we headed to Junction City bright and early Saturday morning. By the time Jake saw the Daffodil Festival sign, we had already driven quite a way and it would have been foolish to turn around and go back. It was a little touch and go there for a moment and I was afraid he was going to turn the car around and go home, but he calmed down and gave in. I suppose I should have felt bad for deceiving him and his friend Cora just to get someone to go with me. But I don't. He says I scammed him. Seems to me that scammed is a little harsh. Creative coercing maybe. Hey, a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.

It was a beautiful drive out to Long Tom Grange. The trees and Spring flowers were in full bloom in the city proper...

...and all along the way there were beautiful waves of this lovely flower...


The Grange was situated in a beautiful little valley. Even the parking lot (well field actually) had a view of its own...

There were daffodils everywhere, happy people taking it all in, and all of the things that you would expect from a festival in the country...


There was even big daffodil mural that you could poke your face through for a photo-op. I really thought I could talk Jake into getting a picture with me, but no. And since he was driving, had the keys to the car and could run faster than me, I decided I had better not push it.

We wandered through the booths of fudge, woodworking, baked goods and hand-crafts and then came across this....

...just one of the most creative and beautifully arranged displays that I've seen in a long time. My picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice. It was like eye candy. Jan Bergquist of Kopper Krush not only has a flair for display, but her hand-forged metal art jewelry was amazing. Each one a work of wearable art. I LOVED everything in her booth and I would have loved to have bought several of her pieces, but settled on a pair of pretty little copper flower earrings. I love the rich warm tone of the copper mixed with the silver. And they make a pretty little sound when I move. They're happy reminder of a wonderful day spent with the flowers I love, the most patient son ever and his forgiving friend Cora and her little girl Teagyn.

In my world, it was a perfect way to spend a spring day!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cheap and Easy Wall Trellis

Last year, as a birthday gift to me, my husband took me on a drive around the Eugene/Springfield area to several Nurseries. Since my birthday is in February, it was way too early to really buy anything to plant, but I did get a few seeds and we found a nursery that I had heard about for several years but never visited. Most awesome little place ever. It's called the Little Red Farm Nursery. We just happened to be there on the first weekend that they were open for the season and much of the stock that they had left over from the year before was on sale to make room for new things coming in. I could have stayed there all day. The place just makes you feel good. And the owners were so nice and helpful. At one point in a conversation with Gayle, one of the owners, we discovered that she had been in my shop, The Wren's Nest, on one of her trips to the coast. Such a small world. I bought a couple of  bright green leafed coral bells and as I was checking out, I mentioned in passing that I was looking for some hops. Gayle disappeared behind a building and came back a few minutes later with two pots of dirt that she thought were hops, but wasn't sure. And she just gave them to me. Refused to let me pay for them. Well, I took them home and planted them and about a month later sure enough, hops! And beautiful ones at that.

I planted them at the corners of the garage where they could climb up and around the patio. Last year's trellis solution was some heavy garden twine wrapped around a nail...

Not the best solution, but for the first season, it worked. This year I knew that I wanted something sturdy and permanent, but still cost effective (ok cheap) and pretty. Time to think outside the box.

Remember the flower garden edging that our grandmothers used to use? It was just this gray wire fence about 12 inches tall. I looked everywhere for some used, rusty, worn rolls of it. You would think that it would be an easy thing to find. Nope. Not even on Ebay. But my son Jake and I stopped in at Lowe's and found this great, plastic coated white wire fence similar to what grandma had...

So excited. The roll was 20 feet long and under $9. I couldn't wait to get it home and installed. I enlisted the help of my handsome carpenter and we set to work. Or rather he did. (Hey, someone has to take the photos...)

Ken used small galvanized fencing staples to tack it to the wall here and there and a pair of wire cutters to cut it to length. Just enough of it to do both sides of the garage. Yes, I know that it's suppose to be fencing and you're suppose to put it along the edge of the garden. But tell me that you don't think that this is the cutest little lacy trellis that you've ever seen...

Even the hops are excited to get tall enough to climb it.

I'm really happy with not only the great price, but that it looks even better than I imagined. I can't wait to show you how it looks when the hops start to grow up it.

It's still pretty early in the season, but I hope to get over to the Little Red Farm Nursery in the next few weeks and see what they've got going on. Check them out. Trust me, you'll be happy you did!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rebel with a Garden Trowel

What a great weekend we had. It was so good to have some sun and be able to get out a bit. We took a drive down the coast on Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful. On the way back home we stopped in at an RV show and had fun looking though all the camp trailers and 5th wheels. I was amazed at some of them. Didn't know you could put that much 'house' in mobile form. I have to say though, it surprised me how flimsy they seemed. All paper and fake looking. I think that's one of the reasons I'm so drawn to renovating an old travel trailer. I like the idea of adding real bead board to the walls and real tile to a back splash. Like my old house, I can just see a renovated camper full of character that you wouldn't get from a brand new RV. Oh, and then there is the HUGE price tag that came with those new ones. Yep, I would much rather put a fraction of that amount into a little shabby trailer of my own.

Sunday found me out in my yard. And very happy, though today I'm feeling it. There is so much to be done. I want so badly to get it all done and I have to reign myself in and work at one section at a time. About 12 years ago, we drove up in the hills and brought home a bunch of flat rock to make a nice path to the house. Over the years the whole thing had settled and become a little treacherous. I spent a few hours this weekend pulling it all up and using the rock for a small retaining wall...


 We've decided to put gravel in the path. I'll be filling the area behind the little rock wall with some good compost and some nice shade plants. It's always been a neglected area and I can't wait to plant it with some green. I think I'll put some creeping phlox here and there to drape over the rocks as well.

I moved a favorite bench that Ken made me into a place with a good view of the upper yard and I have plans of surrounding it with fragrant flowers...

Looks pretty bare and ugly now, but give it a month or so and I think it will be one of my favorite places in my yard. Still debating about painting the bench. It was gloss black for a long time and then went through a hail storm and now it's a bit chippy. Maybe this will be the year that I move out of my "Paint it Black" phase and throw some bright color on it. Maybe...

All the sun brought out the rebel in me and, though I know better, I grabbed my trowel and planted peas, artichokes, onions and some garlic...

I know it's too early, but I couldn't help myself. Last year we got a snowstorm in March. I'm banking on this year being the year that we don't, though I'm pretty sure I just tempted the Garden Gods and we'll get a March full of freezing weather and snow.

Looking forward to getting through the week. I find myself living for the weekend now that Spring is well on it's way. Isn't it funny how life changes? Used to live for the weekend so I could go out and dance and party with friends. Now I can't wait for a weekend full of digging dirt and moving rocks!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sick Days

Let me start by saying that I really hate being sick. I fight it for as long as I can. Even then, I generally head to work anyway knowing that the best place for me to be is home in bed. I knew I was losing the battle late last week and into the weekend, but come Monday there I was at my desk. Hacking my brains out. I really should have stayed home. My poor sweet cube neighbor said as much. "GO HOME!" I heard from the other side of the (flimsy, germ permeable) wall. And I should have.  But I stayed. By the end of the day I had to admit that I was sick. Big time. I crawled into bed on Monday night and pretty much stayed there until yesterday. When I moved to the sofa.

I woke up from a NyQuil induced stupor at one point during my 4 days at home and came to the realization that if I had to be sick, this was a pretty good place to recuperate...
The view from my bed was peaceful if I looked beyond to the trees and the river and tried to ignore the massive army of blackberry vines snaking their way across the side yard and the huge amount of tree trimming that needed to be done...

And I had a neglected pile of books on the nightstand to read if I felt like it. Funny that I have "The Art of Happiness", two great books by Gladys Tabor on country living and a book called "Crush IT" about how to crush your competition in the online world. It's like "Peace....Peace....Peace....BAM!" (Ah....the things I find funny)
I had my favorite happy shade of blue teapot filled with the Harney and Son's Coconut tea on the tray my daughter made, a pile of gardening magazines and a sketch pad to plan my plantings...

Add to that mix a few cuddly pets like Miso and Boris the cat..

...and my buddy Oso (who spent a good part of the last few days at the foot of the bed making sure I was ok, and turning to glare at me when my coughing disturbed his puppy naps).

Yes, if I had to be sick and stay at home, I really didn't have it too bad at all.  I'm finally feeling better today. Might even make it out of the house for some fresh air. Of course that means that I have to actually get dressed and comb my hair and that seems like a chore right now, but it's good to know that I'm getting back to feeling more myself in time to enjoy a lazy Saturday with my much loved husband.

Wishing you the happiest of Saturdays (and good health too!)
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