Sunday, December 30, 2012

bringing in 2013

So I told my sweet bean about New Year's Eve and guess what?  It stuck!  She reminded me today as we went to the store about sparkling grape juice.  Ah great!  Pressure!  What can we do with these little ones??? Hmmm?  With some creative thought came an idea.  With an idea came a new family tradition.  

I rounded up the videos I had of the kids on my phone and with the help of my Mac, was able to throw them all together into a slideshow with music.  Hey, if I can do it anyone can!

We are making ice cream sundaes and playing the slideshow for the kids on New Year's Eve night.  A chance for us all to look back before we go forward into the new year.

With some homemade shakers (cans filled with coins) and confetti we are ready to bring in 2013!

Here's wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

art finds

Oh how I love to find art that tells a story!  Interior spaces that are layered with art old and new feel lived in and interesting.  

via-Pink Wallpaper

via-Pinterest {original source unknown}

via-Be Mine Interior Design

Today I found some amazing pieces at a local second hand shop in town.  The large piece is a lithograph by Rudolph Veil and the smaller piece is an old oil painting of the sea. I also picked up an antique frame for my own art.  It was only 12 dollars!  The great thing about these pieces is that not only are they affordable, but the tell a story.  They feel lived in like an old pair of jeans.  So next time you are tempted to buy a mass produced piece from your local chain, do a little hunting.  You will be amazed at what you can find! 

linking up with...Young Heart and A living Space

Thank you Wendy for featuring my FINDS on your beautiful

Friday, December 28, 2012

a good read

On the road to creating my dream garden, I know I am going to hit all kinds of road blocks and bumps.  Hey, I have a ton to learn!  So my goal is to hit the books in these winter months ahead after the kids go to sleep. (that is if they sleep!)   I just finished Larry Hodgson's book....

Making the Most of Shade

A straight forward read with helpful tips for those of us with a lot of shade.  I liked how Larry uses humor to cut through some common gardening stressors.  An example of this is his take on staking.  "In my opinion, a plant that flops deserves to be moved or removed. I refuse to stake anything but tomato plants!"

A few pointers I walked away with....

  • planting petunias in different areas of the garden to test the varying degrees of shade 
  • planting fast growing annual vines for coverage while waiting for perennial vines to fill in
  • when planting in shade dust a pinch of mycorrhizal fungi in the hole-very beneficial to plants and is lacking in most home gardens
  • spot planting with newspaper and using newspaper in general to give your new plant time to establish itself (do this for veggies but should start in my shade garden as well)   
And of course some inspiration.....

Elaine Sander's beautiful Montreal garden.  The link is below.

Monday, December 24, 2012

my elves

We are off and running!  My elves are hard at work putting berries (red hots) in our wreath cookies.  This is a family favorite and my job every year.

Cornflake Wreaths
-one bag of marshmallows
-3 tablespoons of butter
-6 cups cornflakes
-green food coloring
-red hot candies

Now on to another family favorite.  My grandmother's butter cookies. We bake these for every occasion in our family.

Gram's Butter Cookies
-3/4 cup butter
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 egg yolk
-1 cup and 1/2 of flour

roll into balls and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes
ice when cool

-one stick of butter
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 tablespoon of milk
-2 cups powdered sugar (add more to taste)

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New

Linking up with

Tea Party Tuesdays

Thursday, December 13, 2012

between naps

My brother told me a long time ago to try to paint one painting a day.  Yea right! Who has the time.  But the more I thought about it, the more I thought he was right.  I don't have time to work with oils, though they are my favorite.  Plus, I have little beans in my home and mineral spirits are too strong for them and hard on the environment too.  So it's time to learn something new.  Between naps I have picked the brush back up and have started using acrylics.  I have a lot to learn about this medium but, having that brush back in my hand feels so good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

it's time

To Plant

sticks and greens from the yard

some containers in town

To Hang

 I strung faux cranberries with needle and thread to make garland

boxwood from the garden

To Send

a little love for our mail

To Be Merry

big bulbs and kid friendly fixings

the big kid tree

To Create

winter landscapes with kids

To Love

photos taken by my sister

Here's to creating magical holiday memories this year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm nuts

You know you have a slight problem when you are rewinding a program to view the garden in the background!  And to top it off you take a picture of your television screen.  I have no shame.  Inspiration comes in all forms and when you are working on creating the garden of your dreams 
ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

The curving lines and layering of plants in this front yard garden is fantastic.  Thanks HGTV!  (I just wish Sandra would move out of the way!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

say what?

This time of year I'm usually in full hibernation mode.  Inside my house reading gardening books and mapping out beds for next year.  Not today.  Today it's 60 degrees in Chicago.  So the kids and I were outside moving rocks around the yard to prepare an area for planting in the spring.  Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy being out in the mud digging with my kids but, 60 degrees in December?

Most people aren't complaining. Hey, how can you blame them?  I consider myself to be an optimist but, I think something much bigger is causing these 60 degree December days.

 Global warming is just something most don't want to hear or talk about.  

Whatever the reason for lack of concern or discussion, the optimist in me pushes forward.  Finding small things that I can do and teach my kids about reducing our carbon footprint.  My hope for the future is that our local, state, and national governments will team up to shine a larger light on this topic and make some changes.

Some books on my shelf.....

This is a wonderful read for kids and adults!  It gives  kids hands on projects and solutions that they can do in their own homes.

An intriguing book about organic gardening and what we all can do in our own gardens to make a difference.

Now on to some inspiration pictures for my corner (zone 4) redo...

My concentration being grasses against the evergreens.  Foreground options are still in the works.