Friday, November 21, 2014

seasons doings...

It has been cold here in Chicago.  And when I say cold I mean COLD!  With the holidays in front of us here are some of this seasons doings...

~Christmas touches have been added around the house....I got these great brass candlesticks from this Etsy Shop
~I've been picking up evergreen branches from around the neighborhood to use for my winter planters (more on that in another post)
~Planning out this years Advent calendar activities
~Prepping for Thanksgiving.  I'll definitely be setting these up for the kids' table this year....

and making these for dessert...

~Working on Christmas lists and Christmas cards....

What are you working on for the season?

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

phones and old things

One of these will be making its way into our living room.  Do you remember phones like this?  My folks always had one phone in the kitchen where the six of us received all of our calls.  In this day and age it brings me peace of mind to have a phone that stays in one place.   In the past I have thought about quitting my blog as I'm not a huge believer in too much technology.  A contradiction I know, but the old ways just seem to sit better with me.  I want my beans to feel the turn of a pencil sharpener, engage in imaginary play without screens, and learn about traditions and customs of the past.  Ironically, it is through blogging that I've met so many wonderful people that feel the same way.  Maybe it's a shift in what we value and a slight movement to slow down.  But after reading an article recently published in the Chicago Tribune about the "making movement," I have to believe that people are looking to keep the past alive.  

There is a shop by my house that has the most fantastic and affordable antiques.  It is one of those places that can completely transport you as it has everything and anything you can imagine.  With the weather shifting in Chicago and snow in the forecast my energy has been redirected inside.  Cozy spaces and vintage holiday warmth is what I seek!   

I came home with a framed oil painting for my girls' room.  It was only 17 dollars.  A steal if you ask me and it looks so pretty in their space.  A fun folk art tray and 5 glass vintage ornaments to add to my collection.  The last piece I purchased was a little winter print for 10 dollars.  It is by Grandma Moses and is too sweet for words.  I look forward to finding the perfect spot for it this season.

So old things are good and new things are good.  I suppose it's finding the right balance with it all.

Thank you for inspiring and sharing the magic friends!

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

MAKING Mondays.....wire & cord star branch

I do most projects in stages.  This goes for organizing, crafting, baking and gardening.  So yes, I have started thinking about Christmas and because I like to make things I usually start little projects in November.  So here is a quick one for you today!  

I found this great branch in my backyard and knew it would be pretty for the holidays.  It literally has been propped above my kitchen sink for a week now...only a few comments from family about why there is a gigantic branch in the kitchen!  

I love mixing organic items with simple design so when I saw this vintage silver cord at the paper store I knew it would look pretty with my weathered branch.

Here is what you need....

thin wire
silver cord
a branch
and that's it!

Begin by cutting some wire and simply shape it into a star.  Take your cord and wrap over the wire.  Make sure to leave a bit for hanging and you're done!  A bit of whimsy and yes folks I feel like I am doing my dishes under the stars!!!! 

Happy Baking, Making, and Growing!!!  

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I forgot how much I love November.  The air has turned cold and the skies are that deep gray that only autumn can share.  The nights come quickly as we get ready for dinner.  One of the best parts of my day is sitting and eating as a family.  The baking has been steady as birthday treats and school snacks are to be made.  I now have time to reflect on how wonderful October was.  The seeds I planted in my Pop's garden produced some amazing pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.  The beans had fun going to Gram and Gramps' house to choose their pumpkins for carving.  The firetruck cake that I was nervous to make came out just fine and my son was proud of it.  Little art projects for the season have been filling up the walls and my beans are all one year older.  That little fairy up there won't be so little next year so I hug and carry her extra tight right now.

Happy November Friends

Sunday, November 2, 2014

thinking solutions 2015

When we finished the deck last month we were left with a gap between the house and the deck.  We left a space because we have a window well there and we did not want to cover it up.

There are several design dilemmas when looking at this space.  The first is the drop off when walking out the door.  Though the drop is only about 10 inches I want to place a planter there for safety and visual interest.  The container will not only act as a boundary but will be a great location for kitchen herbs.

The next dilemma is what to plant here.  Being a gardener who lives on a city plot I don't want to waste any space.  Looking at this little area we have about 3 feet between the deck and the house.  Here are the options I thought would work for the space....

1.   Climbing roses (first choice)
2.   Tall perennials...this could be a fun mosaic of wild in a contained area
3.   Flowering shrubs
4.   My tomato plants...which don't do anything for winter interest

Here is where we are now...

This is where I could take it with a trellis to create height against the house...

There will be some space left under the window for plantings if I go ahead with the trellis.

Jennifer from Three Dogs in a Garden wrote about Rosa "Jasmina" which I thought would make a nice specimen.  I like that it is disease resistant while also having great size and form.

Rosa 'Jasmina': A climbing rose with long-lasting pastel pink roses that deepen to mauve in the centre.  This rose has disease resistant foliage and can reach a height of around 8'.

This winter I hope to target most of the areas in my garden to give myself a head start before spring. 
 What would you vote to plant in this little space???

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing Friends!!!
Here is to a wonderful November!