Monday, June 22, 2015

Early summer garden

Well summer has come to Colorado with a vengeance.

It rained all of May, it could have been snow so we count ourselves lucky it was just rain.  There was a lot of flooding and we've still got sink holes all over the place.  It was cool and rained off and on the beginning of June, rivers overflowing and more flooding.  We even had a flood in our basement.  Now it has gone from rain and cool to 80-90 degrees and all the snow in the mountains is melting really fast.  More flooding, especially in the downstream states like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. 

One good thing to come from all of this is my garden is going crazy!  My lilac bush bloomed really early, in April but it looks like it could bloom again.  I've never seen it do this but it has buds on it!  I'll keep you posted if it blooms again. 

I thought I'd start out by showing you some of my garden and then my back porch.

The garden is really going crazy! 
First lets talk Pansies.  I really love them.  They remind me of little faces.

Some garden centers sell Pansies as annuals but I find that they are prolific and will spread and come back for a few years. 
I LOVE self seeders; in other words any flower that will produce seeds.  You can harvest them yourself or let them go.  I do both.  I let some go and run wild and sometimes I gather the seeds and move them around my garden to propagate the flower elsewhere.  Marigolds are an amazing self seeder, one flower can produce up to 50 seeds. 
Usually in the spring I go to Home Depot and purchase their large wildflower seed package.  Sorry I don't remember who makes them, possibly Remington?  I just know they have 3 sets of packages, they are pretty large.  One is purple one is orange and one is blue.  Read the packages as they have different seeds in them. 
I also plant bulbs especially tulips, dahlias, daffodils and crocus.  Daffodils and Crocus will propagate and move in your yard.  Planting a few bulbs and in a few years you'll have 50 or more! 
I've bought some perennial bushes like Russian sage or lavender, English lavender, Queen Anne's Lace, Columbine and bleeding heart. 
Okay let's take a look at my garden.  Yes we have a trampoline!
We live going up a bluff here in Colorado so the yard has a bit of terrace to it.  Most of the yard is now flat but the garden area is raised. 
That large bush is my lilac. 
To the left of the above the garden terrace keeps going across the back of the deck and yard then runs toward the house. 
Lets take a close up look at all those plants on the corner.
These are bachelor buttons, another self seeding plant.  I have them in all colors, pink, white, blue and pink.
This little white flower is on the corner with all the bachelor's buttons.  It was almost hiding with its sweet little white flowers.  Do you see the pansies hiding in the below picture too?  I tell you they are prolific.

 This is a yellow columbine it sits on the wall down from the bachelor buttons on the corner.  Look at all the blooms! 
 I am not sure what kind of flowers these are below but I've got them in several colors from white to pink to purple they are also prolific and seem to pop up in different places each year.  You can also see the Russian sage and yellow Queen Anne's lace. 
 My poor little bunny is hiding somewhere in the garden!
 Not sure what this flower is called either but it has beautiful little purple bell shaped flowers on it. 
 Last year I bough a Clematis.  This year it has bloomed!

Every day I go out to my garden, I weed a bit and let the stress of my full time day job melt away.  I really like seeing what could bloom next.  Today I found these sweet little flowers about to bloom, they remind me of strawberries.
These round flowers are bulbs that get purple flowers on them.  I don't remember them blooming twice last year but they are about to bloom again!  
 Last year, along with the clematis we bought a honeysuckle.  The flowers are orange and the silly thing is full of blooms. 

I hope you liked the garden tour.  I'll keep you updated on what blooms next. 
I'd also like to give you a quick tour of my back porch.  It is covered and we spend a lot of time out there during the summer.  We eat outside and entertain there.
As soon as you come out our back sliding glass door there is the summer kitchen table.
I may paint this table this summer.  It is from my husbands Great-Grandmothers kitchen.
I use lanterns in my decorating both inside and out.  I will bring this lantern back inside in the fall and use it on my mantle.  This summer I filled it with DIY sea glass (post to come later) and shells I've collected along with a pinecone.
 The bowl I got at Home Goods and holds napkins


To the right of the table is the hot tub.
To the left is the entertaining area.  I still don't have real patio furniture, no love seat or couch just chairs still.

The coasters I made using stamps I had on hand and some purchased felt pads on the bottom.  They are tiles I got at the home improvement store.  I've had the clock for a while I think it is a Steinmart purchase.  The galvanized tub is from Crate and Barrel.  I filled it with sand and a candle. 

 This table I got at Home Goods.  Here is another couple of lanterns and another galvanized tub all filled with candles.  The large finial is an older purchase from a store called Gordman's.  The divers helmet I got at Hobby Lobby. 

 The coffee table is old, from Goodwill.  I need to paint it - I'd love suggestions on colors!  I got the tray at Home Goods, the metal orb is from Target as is the shell dish.   I made the fisherman's floats out of Christmas ornaments!  (directions to come in a later post).
 I use lots of pillows on my porch, because I don't have regular furniture and just chairs I try to make them as comfortable as possible and pillows help.  This one is from Target last year.  You know I love dragonflies!
My daughter got me this lovely wind chime for Christmas it is from Pier One.  It lights up blue at night and I love it!  

Well that is it!  I'm sure you need a rest now.  Thanks for reading and stopping by.
If you have any questions about any of the flowers or anything please drop me a note here on the blog, I respond to every comment. 
I'll leave you with a beautiful Colorado sunset that I took from the back porch today. 
Until next week, Stay Safe!
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Monday, June 1, 2015

China Cabinet restyle

Well it has FINALLY stopped raining here in Colorado.  I feel for the folks downstream in Oklahoma and Texas, yes it has rained there but all the water from the rivers in Colorado is also heading there and overflowing banks even without the rain we finally sent that way.  We still have ski resorts open we've got so much snow still. 

It rained most of the Memorial Day weekend here and we did try camping but I can only spend so much time in a camper cooped up before I cry ENOUGH!  So what did I do when we came home?  I re-styled my china cabinet.

Well I tried to anyway. 

I inherited this from my maternal Grandmother, it goes with the buffet with the broken leg and a smaller buffet my Grandmother called a 'server'.  It is a mini version of the 6 foot long buffet.  Also the table and 6 chairs.  I don't use the chairs because none of this furniture has nails, it is all dovetail, tonged and groove; not a nail to be found.  Out here in the dry west the chairs have gotten a bit rickety and I'm just afraid they will break so I have them stored but everything else gets a lot of use.

This is the finished product.
I've got a lot of stuff.  Glasses with silver rims, glasses with purple stems, glasses with gold rims a bunch of tea pots and dishes... I'm a bit addicted to dishes. 
As you can see I need to repair the drawer, heck the entire thing is in need of a good cleaning or something.  I've thought about painting the inside white and the outside a color but I'm really afraid to, what if I don't like it?  I don't want to mess up a 100 year old piece of furniture. 

This is what the cabinet started out like.
Heck I don't know if the finished is any better than what I started with!

I read online that the rule of thumb is to make triangle patterns in your display.  This is to make it more appealing to the eye.  You are also supposed to elevate things and make sure things are at different heights to keep your eye moving.  The same would apply to any surface you decorate.  Keep things in odd number groups, vary the heights and keep that triangle pattern. 
I tried.

The 'after' is on the left and before is on the right.... I think I did well at elevating things, I even brought in a natural element of the wood on the top shelf. 

What do you think?  Be honest I need some help here!  I think I've just got too much stuff. 

The problem is that all these things mean something.  Take the red teapot with the gold on it.  This was my maternal Great-Grandmothers and is from England.  The white teapot and cups with the green pattern (it is bamboo) my Uncle brought this tea set back from Japan PIOR to WW 2.  It says 'Nippon' on the bottom.  He also brought back those blue and white teacup and saucers on the little stands.  If you look close you will see a dragon, it is raised and inside the teacups are carvings.  The china on these two teacups and saucers are paper thin, you can see through them! 
The gold rimmed plate is from Russia, I got that from my Aunt, it was her Mother-in-Law's.  Those little red books you see in the after photo I got from another Aunt and they are real books. 

Well after that disaster!  But I always promise that I will share when things go well and when they don't.  How else will we all learn if we don't make mistakes?  I just need some real guidance here! 

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll be back next week with a door craft, thinking outside the box or wreath!
Until then, Stay Safe!

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