Wednesday, February 24, 2016

easter parade

With Easter early this year, I decided to put Valentine's Day away and get Easter out and ready before February was over.  I had been playing around with the idea of a tablescape where I could use some of my vintage pink and green depression glass this year.  Two items in my vast stash of vintage are what made me come up with this idea...

My vintage corsage, and yes, it's actually a Christmas corsage but I love the pink and green combo any time of year.

And second is this vintage pink, green and white doily that I picked up at my local thrift store a while back.  My thrift store typically will bundle up a bunch of doilies together and once I found a package of all doilies done up in color!  I've been wanting to make a pink and green statement for a while now, it was actually almost a bridal shower theme a couple of years ago.

Much of my Easter collection is vintage items I've picked up over the last decade.  This cute little egg would have had candy inside it at one time.  A vintage green depression glass parfait/desert dish holds it up just so ombre ribbon can be enjoyed.

From above... my pink carnations are STILL going strong after 3 weeks and I added additional green carnations, also from the grocery store... my green and pink cake plates really pop against the white table runner.

Tucked in the back is a tall handled, vintage green basket in which I placed a vintage honeycomb egg, pink of course, as well a large paper egg that is from World Market, not vintage but definitely vintage inspired in it's design.  It looks like they are available again this year in sets of 4, perhaps a fun surprise for a special someone.

Another view, the pink and green doily shows well against the white table runner and my painted dining room table.

In other rooms of my house Easter is just tucked here and there... I focused more on general spring pastels with bits and pieces of Easter.  For my kitchen cabinet, that you see when you come in our door, I decided to assign a color to each shelf... besides white that is.  Top shelf pink, next blue, then green and finally yellow.  I'm thinking I'll keep this for the spring months... For now I added a blue Easter egg, a green basket and on the bottom a group of vintage yellow and white egg cups and finishing it off with a cute yellow (and pink) Easter basket I got on etsy from a favorite shop.

I picked this cute little pink bunny up last summer... it sits on a shelf in the kitchen.

This little stack of cups isn't really just for Easter but they are one of my favorite things right now... they've been tucked away since before Christmas and I was happy to get them back out again.  Love the colors although the bottom one reads a bit orange in this picture and it's more of a raspberry pink.

And above that vignette?  My chalkboard made out of the original medicine cabinet door is still here but I've decided to change out what was above it to a collection of "B's" for our last name.  None of these are vintage but I'm looking forward to adding to this small collection over time, something "new" to collect!

My galvanized windmill was updated by removing the little bottle brush trees and adding a couple of chalkware sheep I picked up a couple of years ago... keeping with the "farm-y" look.

And you may notice two of my Pottery Barn eggs tucked into this corner... the biggest one is kind of hard to find a spot for as it's rather large but this seems to work, especially with the lights glowing... and the smallest blue one is tucked to the right by the globe.

And I'm still spelling... with anagram tiles instead of scrabble these days.  An orphaned half of an old candy egg has a little pink chick peeking over the edge finishes this spot off nicely.

And of course when I thought I was all done... I realized I had picked up a couple of books last summer at my thrift store with garden like covers, this one is Madame Butterfly and the pink and green cover is PERFECT for my table!

So looking forward to March and spring, Easter, blooms...

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

before the seed...

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.  E.B. White

I thought this quote sums up planting from seed, especially flowers.  This past weekend I started some of my seeds.  As you may know from prior years, I plant hundreds of white impatiens and over the last couple of years have added wave petunias and bacopa (or bicopa) to my repertoire.  This year for the first time I'm also planting calibrachoa from seed! A plant very similar to a petunia, in fact some hybrid varieties are crossed with petunias.  So excited to try this one this year... you may know this plant as Million Bells and just about every hanging basket seems to have some of this easy to care for annual.  The larger white blooms and some of the darker pink flowers in the above photo are calibrachoa.

Last year in early spring I found out that you could finally purchase calibrachoa seeds but I had already purchased my plant starts for my hanging baskets and window boxes plus they take a long time to grow and germinate (like petunias and impatiens) and it was much too late to start any... however I KNEW I'd be trying some this year.  The petunias I grow come as pelleted seeds, they are coated with a yellow substance, and I found that you could purchase calibrachoa the same way so my search was on the for the best deal in with a variety of colors.  I quickly found that the "kaboom" variety was the one that could be found and it comes in dark blue (purple), dark pink, white and yellow with a few seed companies offering one or two other colors.  The seed company that I selected was Harris Seed, they offered the best price on pelleted seeds and had all four of these colors.  I saved even more on the white seeds as I could purchase 100 of them.

My other seeds; bacopa, wave petunia and white impatiens came from Park Seed.  I have been purchasing my white impatiens seeds from Park Seed for 7 or 8 years now and they are top quality seeds with a high germination rate.

Knowing I would be starting around 700 - 800 seeds in my front porch I changed my set up a bit this year.  We've recently acquired a number of plastic, sturdy folding banquet tables and 3 of them are smaller in size.  Two fit perfectly in my front porch, much better than the "missmash" of wooden tv trays, metal bench and the floor!  I use my front porch as it is cooler than my house but has southern exposure.  It has worked well in years past and I don't forget to check my little babies for watering.

For these seeds that have a long germination and grow time I like to use Jiffy pellets to start these seeds.  I tried paper pots (made from newspaper) but the 2 plus months is too long for the newspaper to hold up.  This year instead of buying pellets from the local farm store or Home Depot/Lowes I bought these via Amazon.  A substantially lower price and as I bought 1000 I'll have a few to save for next year.

These pellets are easy to use, warm water to plump them up and I place 96 (16 rows of 6) in a doubled up tray.  These trays are inexpensive (under $1.50 each) and I use them year after year.  I place a trash bag between the trays for watering as the trays have holes.  If you were using these in an outdoor setting where water didn't matter you could leave them single and unlined.  I break up the tops a bit with a wooden skewer.

Then it's time to plant seeds!  This is actually 100 white calibrachoa seeds!  Doesn't look like 100, does it?  I like to use this small white bowl for viability and I use tweezers to pick each seed up and place it on TOP of the seed starting pellet.  Impatiens, petunias, bacopa and calibrachoa seeds do not need to be covered.... in fact impatiens actually need light to germinate.

I planted 100 white, 50 dark blue, 50 yellow and 25 calibrachoa seeds, 30 white bacopa seeds, 20 silver (lavender) wave petunias and 10 coconut (white) wave petunias this past Sunday.  Next weekend will be approximated 500 white impatiens seeds and I use the same method.  Those seeds are not pelleted but I quite small, similar to a carrot seed.

As you can see from last summer, these white impatiens are just a small sampling of my white impatiens.  I use all white as it show so well in the shady spots and in the evenings.  Using all white is why I started planting my own as it was hard (and expensive) to find all white ones at my local nursery and garden centers.

All my hanging baskets have calibrachoa in them... these are the two on the side of my garage that I can see from my kitchen window.  They are filled with pink every year.

Of course I also plant other flowers but those are usually direct seeded into the garden like these bachelor buttons.

Or sunflowers that I start a bit later in the greenhouse and transplant into my vegetable garden for cutting and garden beds for pure enjoyment.

And I can't forget my first flower planted from seed... the zinnia!  I still plant hundreds of these, like the sunflowers in the greenhouse, and add them to my vegetable garden like these for cutting and some lower growing and spreading varieties in my flower beds.

So how about you?  Ready for spring?  Gardening?  Perhaps a bit of seed starting?

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Monday, February 8, 2016

a fast & free kind of holiday project

I've come across 3 or 4 little Valentine projects I wanted to try this year but haven't seemed to get it together to get any done... finally on Sunday I dug (literally) through my sewing/craft/project room to look for some heart shaped paper doilies that was so sure I had... Unfortunately I didn't find them nor the aqua bakers twine I KNOW I have but have somehow lost in my, ahem, mess of a room.  Lucky for me I did have some pink bakers twine handy and found this stash of pastel colored doilies that I've been wanting to use, but not use, if you know what I mean!  Then I realized this was the perfect project as I didn't need to cut, glue, paste or sew on the doilies and could actually reuse them if I wanted to!

My stash also offered up these cute little heart shapes from Paper Source and I pulled out one of my new teal/aqua colored pens to add a little "love" to each heart.

My trusty yarn needle I use to sew together knit projects came in handy to thread my doilies with twine.  Although I had a pretty pale blue and a fabulous pale green, I only used a few of the pink ones today.

I tied on one of my paper hearts...

Added two white round doilies to break up the pink and I was done!  Five and free if you don't count the 30 minutes I spent looking for the aqua twine and heart doilies that is.

Hung on my garden gate with silver glittered clothes pins and my winter vignette now includes a pop of February and Valentine's Day!

This quick project also turned into a mini decorating frenzy when i found this little heart garland and card... since I don't have a "v" anagram letter I used an extra "a", don't think anyone will notice!

And I finally pulled out one of my layered hearts... a Valentine project from a couple of years ago and my first attempt at sewing on paper!

My collection of vintage heart candy boxes have been on the table for a couple of weeks with a bouquet of pink carnations that just keeps on looking great.

And I even added a little something new to my built in...

A fun set of "x's" and "o's" are perfect for this time of year.

But my best Valentine is this little gal... I was lucky enough to spend the day with her a couple of weeks ago on a Monday, just the two of us.  We took a little walk down the block, water bottle and all.  Miss Bee likes to stay hydrated while exercising if you must know.

So we could figure out which mailbox would be holding my Valentine to her... colorful group of boxes aren't they?

And this week when the mailman delivers the little pink envelope she can show off her happy face...

Instead of the "what the heck Gigi" face!

We're already a week into February, hope it's been good to you...

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