Monday, March 30, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away!

I sure wish it would stop raining/snowing here!
I need to get in the garden and start planting more seeds.
Just about the time, it dries out enough...we get a gully washer!
Rumor has it, that some of my family members already have much of their garden planted, especially different varieties of lettuce and spicy radishes.
I need to purchase some garden wellingtons "wellies" so I can prance around in my garden even when it is a bit mucky.
I really like these...

Unfortunately they are discontinued. I did find them on amazon for $120. Whew... a bit out of my price range, but aren't they too cute!

Now Target has some really cute garden wellies and they are much more affordable. This cute pair is only $25. We are heading up to Kansas City next weekend, I think I will have to drop into Target!

As I mentioned before I was able to get some potatoes planted and a couple rows of asparagus.

Potatoes are fun to plant!
After the eyes were cut out, there was a lot of potato left over. I found a delicious Bacon & Potato chowder and whipped up a big, bubbling pot of soup!

You can click on the recipe and print it out for your own recipe box!
I did a little thrift store shopping a couple weekends ago and found a basket of hydrangeas, an adorable cabbage tureen with matching salt and pepper shakers and a Victoranish picture for my bathroom. I will be sharing pictures of these this week with you!
One of my faithful blog followers, asked me where I purchased my sugar and flour cannisters. Why just at the local Wal-Mart, and for a song no less!
Hope everyone gets to go out in play in beautiful spring sunshine this week!
Me included!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Birdies

I know it certainly has been a little while since I posted. We are having a bit of an "internet" problem. My son downloaded a movie from i-tunes and it used up all of our available bandwith at a certain download speed.

I called Wild Blue and told them my internet just won't run, it times out on pages and I can't get anything to download. The lady on the phone kindly explained the problem to me, we are at slower than dial speed right now, they cranked us down after we used up all our "speedy download-ability" in just one day. We won't be back up to "speed" until the following month, April 6th. Would I like to buy the upgraded package with more speed? No thank you, I will just be content with the hours it takes to try to visit just one person's blog for the next 3 weeks.

So...that explains why I have only posted a little bit lately, it also explains, why in the world I never seem to come to your blog and visit! Most of the time, I am unable to even get a page to load. On the weekends....forget about it!

On the BRIGHT side!
I did do a little bit of thrift store shopping and wanted to share my new finds with you!
Aren't these little spring birdies too cute.
I love birds and this pair caught my eye. They were only a $1.
Really old frames, I thought they were a sweet couple!

While shopping at another favorite thrift store I discovered this blooming pot of bulbs!
Now, this was a bit pricey at $4 but I knew it would just look beautiful sitting in many different spots around the house.
For now it is sitting on my black hutch.


I am wanting to add more color to my living room. There is too much brown going on to suit me. I found a little bedraggled arrangment at the antique mall/flea market for $6. Most of the flowers were just laying in the pot sideways. I worked it over and really like how it adds so much needed color!

Love those Dollar Tree pears...they have been all over the house!
And finally...
who could resist a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook?
Certainly, Not ME! I grabbed her up quick, for only $1.50!

I also couldn't resist this adorable cookbook from Inns in New England for $1.
If they serve in at an Inn, I bet it is delicious.
By the way, have I ever mentioned I LOVE cookbooks.

Someday soon, I will be able to cruise the internet with lightning speed again,
and I will LOVE coming and visiting all my friends!
Until then, I have gathered all my supplies and have started scrapbooking again.
I am working on Tyler's baby album.
We have planted two rows of asparagus and 4 rows of potatoes.
The fruit trees & berry bushes have all made it through the winter
and Doug is getting ready to dig up my cutting/herb garden.
No chickens yet, we still have to do more work on their house!
Till we meet up again...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Making Ruffled Lampshades

My little chandelier lampshades were just a bit on the "blah" side. I would look at them and think, "they need a bit of something". You have often heard bloggers talk about shopping their house. That is just what I did...I remembered that I had bought trim for the curtains in the breakfast room, but didn't purchase enough and ended up buying a tassel trim. So I dug that out, then I thought to myself...I have a lot of fabric left over from the curtains, I wonder what a little ruffle would look like added to it also!

I sort of remembered how to make a ruffle. I had made Lindsey a couple of summer outfits awhile ago and they had ruffled trim. I cut a 4 inch strip from 60 inch material, folded it in half and pressed it. You really only need to double the length around the base of your shade, that will give you plenty of gathers. Too much gathered material is too bulky.

Using a wide stitch and the tension very loose, I stitched 3/4" away from the raw edges. Then I did a second row of stitching about 1/8" from the first one. I learned the hard way that gathering threads break VERY easily and the gathers look prettier when pulled by two threads. This is the part that took the longest...even being careful, I broke a lot of my gathering threads!

Using Eileen's Tacky Glue, I glued the ruffle along the edge of the bottom of the lampshade.
Then glued my trim on top to cover the rough edge. Of course, needing to frou frou just a bit more, I added more trim to the top!

It only took me a couple of hours to complete them,
and I think they turned out pretty cute!

So if you are looking for a fun, fast project
make some ruffled lampshades!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Cute Garden Sweater

As many of you may know...I LOVE cutesy sweaters.
Now, I am a bit of a sweater connoisseur/sweater snob...
I LOVE fancy, Boutique cutsey sweaters.
I have posted about finding cute sweaters in the past,
those were some of the posts that were lost in my blog fire.
Some of you may remember the cute sweaters I found this fall...
one was of a pumpkin patch and another adorable one
had the little fuzzy sheep stitched on it with a woolly collar.
Yes, I know that cutsey sweaters are not fashionably correct.
I think I am fairly safe in assuming that I would be
booed & laughed right off the proverbial red carpet.
I can't help it, I really LOVE them,
along with my plaid shirts and Ked tennis shoes.
Today I am wearing a black sweater that has cats stitched all over and the words,
"A Cat is Cat" and "Meow" all along the bottom.
The kitties are swatting at butterflies, and
some are sitting in a basket with little red ribbons around their necks ~ Cute!
Yesterday while thrift store shopping,
I found another really, REALLY cute sweater.
This time the theme was gardening!
One of my most favorite subjects!

Darling little cabbages in a garden row!

Farm Fresh Produce is the BEST!

We have a little red Ford tractor.

A cute little garden market!

I picked up a Lemon Thyme plant last week.
I love cooking with herbs and I am so anxious to start planting my herb garden.
You can sprinkle these little lemon scented leaves in your muffin batter.

This came in the mail yesterday!
I have been trying to figure out what seed varieties I want to buy.
Lowe's carries Burpee garden seeds, which is great!
That way I can save on the shipping.

One other treasure I found just yesterday!
Do you see it in my sugar cannister?
A red & white teacup!
It was a bargain too,
just $1.00!
It has been nice and warm here lately,
then the rain came, and lots of little frogs
that peep, peep, peep all around the pond.
But, this afternoon it has turned
very blustery & windy and very chilly.
It is not quite time yet, to be out in the garden,
but it is still chilly enough to wear a sweet garden sweater!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cheesecake Bars & Heart Songs

This past weekend we had my great aunt and her family over to visit.
Mom and I are always looking for an excuse to try new recipes and had spotted this one in our little weekly advertising newspaper. A little country gal submits about 3-4 recipes a week, sometimes she has a theme like, zucchini or peaches and other weeks she just shares yummy recipes people have sent to her.
This wee country newspaper comes in the mail and is filled with things people want to sell like animals, services, & haybales to name just a few. This is also the newspaper that you find the listings for the farm and estate auctions. In the spring, country greenhouses will place ads to let us know when the tomato plants are ready! In the summer & fall I look in the paper to find out where to go and pick berries & apples.

This recipe was VERY quick and VERY easy. And let me tell you...I LOVE cheesecake! My son thinks these are the VERY best things he has ever eaten. But then again, he thinks most everything is the best he's ever eaten...he is 13 and growin' like a weed, 'about to eat me out of house and home!
I know many of you are just awesome cooks, and LOVE desserts just like me, I thought you might like to whip up a batch of these yourself.

Click on the picture above...
and it will take you to a larger picture that you can print out on cardstock and just pop right into your recipe box! How easy is that!
One other thing I would like to share...
I don't like to watch the news much these days, especially the local news, it comes from Kansas City. Too many sad things, a lot to do with children and dying.
I have just had to stop watching it.
I wish they would share with us good and happy things, I know there are lots of good things going on everyday, there simply has to be...

Here is my
Make Your Heart Sing Story...
Mom and I were leaving the antique mall yesterday, and the parking lot was just a sheet of ice. I had shuffled to the back of the van, to stash a new purchase (more about that later) and had made mom stay on the sidewalk, so I could help her to get into the van.
I could hear some voices and I peeked around the corner of the van and saw a young girl helping my mom get to the van. She opened the door, she held her hand and her back, she held mom's little package & purse, she helped boost her into her seat (mom is only 4'10").
I beamed at her...and thanked her and thanked her...I'm not sure she spoke much English, but she knew what I meant.
She grinned back at me, my heart was singing!
Oh gosh, I am such a sap, here I am wiping tears as I type this, there goes the eye makeup.
There is good in this world...there are GOOD souls in this world, black, white, brown, color doesn't matter to me, what's in the heart does!
Go make someone's heart sing today...
You'll be glad you did!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bubbling Bubble Bath

I LOVE bubble baths....always have!
I have been a bit naughty with this new whirlpool tub. Yes, I add just a splash of bubble bath. It says in the instruction booklet, not to, but I do it anyway, it really is MY bathtub, right? So I add just a couple splashes of bubble bath and make whipped topping in the tub. I turn the jets on until bubbles just about overflow the sides and then I shut it off. I sink chin deep in bubbles, and watch the flickering flames of my lit candles, read my new Victoria magazine and eat bites of chocolate with wet fingers. I also leave just a trickle of hot water running into the tub, like a little waterfall, I stick my toes in the stream, so warm, so relaxing, aaah!

Here is my bathtub retreat at night...

Bath Salts in a little Jar and Candles

I found a pair of these little ceramic cherub candleholders for .50 cents at a thrift store. They were fired ceramic. I painted them so they would look like stone!

Master bath during the day...

I Love the Roman faucet and an orchid that blooms russet. Little thrift store mirrors decorate a wall and wisteria & moss drape from a garage sale find. French country curtains and my little chandelier. Violetta di Parma perfume.

Homemade Soaps,
Little Luxuries.
Have I mentioned my mom makes soap?
She makes it the traditional way with lye and oils, and then she adds soothing ingredients like silk, goat milk, and aloe vera just to name a few. Sometimes she makes frothy whipped bars, that lather up like whipping cream. Soon these will be for sale in Hickory Hollow's Etsy shoppe.

Do you like to read in the bathtub like I do?
I have a darling little book that I would like to share with you...
Chin Deep in Bubbles
Melissa Placzek

A very similar style to that of Susan Branch.
Very cute!
and speaking of cute...
My blog friend, Cynthia at Cynthia's Cottage Design is having an adorable giveaway

Stop in to visit her, and tell her "Jill" sent you!
You may win some these cuties.
Actually I am hoping that I win,
I would LOVE that pie sign in my kitchen!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week filled with little luxuries and treats!

P.S. I have had several people ask me about how I make my headers. Honestly I am not fancy...I use the Microsoft Picture It program that came with our Dell computer. I try to find as many copyright free images I can, or use my own photos (what I do mostly) and I also use digital scrapbooking goodies that are listed as freebie for personal use only. As you can tell I love to play "decorate my blog" almost as much I love to play "decorate Hickory Hollow"!

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