Monday, March 30, 2009

The metamorphosis begins-Backyard sprucing

Welcome to another edition of Metamorphosis Monday hosted by the fabulous Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. So be sure to visit her blog to see the list of this weeks participants.

Spring has definitely sprung in sunny southern California. Saturday was the perfect California spring day. Temps were in the mid 70's and there was a slight breeze. Great weather for working out in the yard.

This is the first year since we have lived in our house that we have decided to grow some veggies. This was brought on by a purchase hubby made from Home Depot earlier in the week. He bought some hanging growing thingy for growing tomatoes upside down (don't remember what it is really called, but I like hanging growing thingy better anyways). Now we don't have room for a regular garden, so we are doing a pot garden. And I'm not talking about the kind of pot you smoke, so I don't want any DEA showing up at my house. I know California is progressive, but not me. I guess I should have called it container gardening.

So before starting outside we went to Lowe's to get some flowers & veggies. Hubby couldn't wait to get a tomato plant for his upside down hanging growing thingy. Then our son decided he wanted to grow jalapeno peppers. Then we decided to get some cilantro plants. That way we could grow our own salsa. We love salsa!!!

Then I saw the sugar snap peas. I remember eating fresh peas that my Grandpa had grown & I loved them. Especially if my Grandma made creamed peas. I could just taste the peas in my mind. Then I remembered seeing on another blog (sorry that I don't remember whose), where they took a tomato cage & turned it upside down & used a fleur de lis finial to put all the pointy ends together to make a cool trellis of sorts. Hey! I have one of those fleur de lis finials. I could make that trellis for the peas. So we got a tomato cage & the peas.

We finished off our trip to Lowe's by purchasing some flowers & 3 open bags of planting soil. Because the bags were open they sold them to us for 1/2 price. A deal on top of everything else. This was the perfect day.

So when we got home, we (I mean hubby) got to work planting everything. First he put together the trellis that I had seen. When I took a photo of the finished product. I accidentally cut off the finial. I hate taking photos outside in the sunlight, you can't see the little screen on the camera to see exactly what is in the shot. So here is a close up of the fleur de lis finial. Hubby epoxied it on so it ain't coming off!!

The black pot actually starting out off white. Hubby painted it black. It is the same pot as in the before photo photo of the dolphin topiary (it's later on in this post). Now my peas have a cool trellis to climb on. I can taste those peas. Can't wait!
Hubby also planted some sweet alyssum to fill in the bottom of the pot to make it pretty. Here is the upside down hanging growing thingy with the tomato plant.
Here's hubby with some root stimulator for the plants. Looks like he has used some on his head!
And here is my son's jalapeno pepper plant. Has anyone had experience growing in one of these upside down contraptions? Hopefully they work.
Here is our cilantro container. Lowe's only had 2 small plants left (the girl at Lowe's had to search high and low for these). They aren't in the best shape, hopefully they will survive. I guess I could play that disco song from the 70's, I will survive. Maybe that would motivate them.

Here is a before of the dolphin topiary. Sorry it is so small. I had to crop it from another larger photos. See the ugly pot it is in? That is now the black pot for the peas trellis. Here is a current photo of the dolphin topiary. This new pot is soooooo much prettier. And the sweet alyssum is really taking off. We didn't do anything to this over the weekend. I just wanted to show you how much it has changed from the before photo above that was taken last October (at least that is when I think it was taken).

Dolphin from the other side. You can see the pot better in this photo. Here is before photo of one of the hanging baskets for the lamp post. It has been sitting on the wall since last summer. The coco liner was rotting & the entire bottom was eaten out (probably by snails, I hate snails).

Here is a before photo of the lamp post (taken in Oct). Kind of plain without any hanging baskets. For those of you new to my blog, hubby fished the lamp post out of a dumpster at his work 20 years ago. It was broken in 1/2 & hubby welded it back together. The post originally came from Scotland. Hubby's old boss had brought a bunch back from Scotland & England & the broken ones got put in the dumpster. Hubby fished out 3 posts from the dumpster (yes he got permission), we still have 2 of them, but are only using 1 right now. The light fixture he got later & faux painted it to look like aging copper. And here are the new hanging baskets. Hubby put new spaghnum moss on the outside, then put a new liner inside. He planted geraniums. He loves geraniums. I'm not such a big fan, but since he was planting, he picked the flowers. He likes them as they are soooo hardy. They don't mind the hot California summers (as long as you remember to water).
Another view of the hanging baskets.
Here is one of the new flowers we got. I've already forgot what it is called. I just like the pretty yellow flowers. The urn it is planted in came from the thrift store a couple of years ago. I paid $7.00 for it. It is about 2 feet high.

Another new plant. I think this is rosemary. Hubby loves rosemary. This pot came from Walmart or maybe Sam's Club about 4 years ago.
Another new plant. I think this is Rosemary as well (I don't know my plants at all). This urn came from Sam's Club last year. We got it at the end of the season on clearance for $13.00.

Here are apples on my apple tree just starting to grow. Sorry that I don't know what type of apples they are. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to plants.

And here are the peaches just starting out on my peach tree. We also have a plum tree & an apricot tree we well, but no fruit starting to appear yet. My husband cut back all our fruit trees in January. He really hacked them up good. They were soooo ugly. I wish I had taken photos. I'm bad at before photos, I always forget. But after he was done, I was sure he had killed all the trees (it looked that bad). But low and behold, they are all growing new growth & we are even getting fruit. I guess he did know what he was doing.

I'll try & post photos of the metamorphosis of our backyard throughout spring & summer. And I'll keep you posted on our veggie container gardening. Hubby has plans to build something else for more container gardening. I'll post about that later as well. Wish us luck & lots of veggies for making salsa!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter Tablescape Take 1

My table is set, so you know what that means, it's time to eat!!! No silly, it's time for Tablescape Thursday. First we show off, then we eat. Be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see her fabulous tablescape and to find all the other dish addicts, I mean tablescapers. There are some real creative folk out there in blogland, and some regular folk like me as well. You will ooh and ahh and then you will want to go out & buy some dishes so you can join in on all the fun. So come on, I know you want to.

Since Easter is just a couple of weeks away, I thought I would do an Easter table. This is my first take. Next week I'll probably have a completely different version. But isn't that the fun of tablescaping, changing it up?

So here is my table for this week. The lace tablecloth came from Walmart on clearance. I got it for $5.00.
For some reason I am really into green for the past year or so. So soothing & earthy. For some reason the coloring in the photos seems more yellow than in actuality. I guess it's my lighting. I need to take photos during the daylight. But alas, I must work during the day to pay the mortgage. I need to try & do this on the weekend instead of 11:30pm on Wednesday night.
My white plates are JC Penney Home Collection. Don't know the pattern. They are white in person, but look cream in the photo. The green bunny plates are Bordallo as well as the small cabbage plates. My silverware is Oneida and I think the pattern is Michaelangelo. Not postive though. I need to get more forks, I'm down to 5 & I used to have 12. I think the kids (well they are technically adults now) are accidentally throwing them away. Either that or I have a poltergeist.
My foil bunnies came from TJ Maxx. Aren't they the cutest?
My centerpiece is a old silver candelabra that I painted white & then distressed. I added the crystal swags & prisms. I then placed green candles from the 99 cent only store. I surrounded the candelabra with a spring wreath I got from Michael's last year with a 50% off coupon. I love how it has hydrangeas & artichokes. Great combo.

The napkins I just got from a recent win on ebay. I got a really good deal on them & a small matching tablecloth. I used them in this place setting to give a little pink color.
The small pink, green & ivory bunnies on the cabbage plates came from Target this season. I just wish they would have had 4 different bunnies. But when I got them, they were the last 3. So not sure if there was a 4th one.

This little bunny box I found in my Easter stash. I have had it quite awhile, so not sure where it came from. I used it on the 4th cabbage plate.

A closeup of my Bordallo bunny plate. I got mine at Ross this year. I also saw them in yellow, but I'm not a big yellow fan, I liked the green better.

Here is a close up of the JC Penney plate. I really liked the look of these plates when I purchased them on clearance, but hate to eat off of them as they are so flat. I mostly use them as chargers, or they sit in my cupboard looking pretty. Hence, no chips, dings or scratches. I can't show you my real everyday dishes as they are all banged up & are crazing now because of age & the dishwasher.
My crystal goblets are a thrift store find. I am more of a plate addict than a goblet or silverware addict. We don't drink wine or champagne so I only use these glasses for water. And the champagne flutes I do have are used for sparkling cider for special occasions. I can't use my everyday glasses as I no longer have 4 that match. Seems my poltergeist likes glasses as well as forks as both seem to disappear.
And one final look at my table.
I'm really having fun doing these tablescapes, it's just real hard for me. I get an idea in my head, but then it doesn't end up looking as fabulous as it does in my mind. Does anyone else have this problem? I know a lot of you don't as your tablescapes are such fabulous creations. I strive to be you! I'll just keep watching & trying. Isn't that how you get good at something, you must practice, practice, practice. My mom would never believe I am practicing something. I usually give something up if I have to practice. I need to learn to take better photos. Maybe my son will let me borrow his Canon Rebel, I'll bet then my tablescapes will look fabulous!! Who am I kidding, well at least maybe the photos would look better.

Well I better waddle off to bed since it is after 12:30 in the morning & I have to get up in 6 hours to go to work. But I'd much rather stay here with you & look at tablescapes. I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow (which is now today). Until then, good night.

And don't forget to leave me a comment. Tell me how fabulous my tablescape is, lol. Or you can give me any suggestions you might have on how I can make my tablescape better. But be gentle, you wouldn't want me to get depressed, that wouldn't be any fun. And you wouldn't want me to quit practicing, you know you'd miss me. Wink, wink!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Family matters

Yes, family matters does have a double meaning for this post. I've been so busy posting for the rest of the blogging world that I have neglected my family matters. And we know that family matters a lot to me. So this post will be all things family.

First I want to say "Happy Belated Birthday" to my cousin Becky. I just found out that your birthday was yesterday (from looking at Kira's blog). So a big Happy 50th birthday to you!!! Welcome to the 50's club. It's really not all that bad. Can you see my fingers crossed behind my back? Good! Just remember this: You are not 50, you are 18 with 32 years of experience!!!
But don't feel bad, Barbie (as in the doll) turned 50 this month as well. I'm sure you are looking much better than her at 50:
I hope you had a happy birthday!!!!

Secondly, did you know that Thanksgiving is now in March? Well it was at our house on Sunday. For the past month or so Jesse has been wanting stuffing & green bean casserole. Well we had a turkey in our freezer that I wanted to cook & since it is now spring the weather will be getting too warm to cook a turkey, and it was suppose to be cold & rainy last Sunday, we decided to have Thanksgiving (whew that was a long sentence). And you can't have Thanksgiving without family, so I called Eric, oops it was actually Jeannette & said "Hey, do you want to celebrate Thanksgiving again?". She said "YES!!!" Of course she did, would you pass up free food? I didn't think so. Sorry that I didn't invite the rest of you, but we wanted some left overs. Maybe next Thanksgiving.

We had turkey (it was the best turkey Mike has ever cooked. You really missed out), mashed potatoes & gravy (yea!!! the gravy turned out great), stuffing, green bean casserole, candied yams, corn, rolls & Jeannette brought a very yummy tossed green salad. The only thing missing was my green jello Thanksgiving salad & pumpkin pie. We were trying to eat light this time.

The mom's & dad's ate at the table in the Living room. I couldn't call it the adult table as everyone present was 18 or older except for Cade. So I called it the Mom & Dad table. Here we have (from left to right) Jeannette, Mike & Eric. Don't they look a little ticked? Probably because I interrupted their eating to take the photo. (click on any photo to enlarge)
This is the "Young'ns" table. It is the table in my family room/kitchen area. Here we have (from left to right) Jesse, Danica & Cade. Taylor didn't come as she had a speech to write for school the next day. I don't think she likes us anymore (just kidding). She loves us. We missed you Taylor!!! This group looks like they have been having too much fun.
I was trying to take photo of Brandon & he put a piece of roll up in front of his face.
I caught Jase with his mouth full. Did you notice that both tables were set up in a nice tablescape? I've learned something from my blogging. Just ignore the plastic butter tub. Pretend it is beautiful crystal.
Everyone had a good time eating. We even had left overs. Which my family is now sick of (3 days later). Good thing it is all gone now or they'd be having it again tonight for dinner. I really enjoyed this meal since I was sick at Thanksgiving and really didn't get to enjoy the meal.
And what did we give thanks for? Well for family, our health, we still have jobs, we still have homes and we are thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for us all and the knowledge that we will all have eternal life because of his sacrifice.

And finally, last night I was invited to go to Jeannette's ward Relief Society birthday party. Jeannette is Relief Society president in their ward and Danica and Taylor were in a little skit to celebrate Relief Society, so of course I went to see. All the tables were decorated for a different month in the year & you were suppose to sit at the table that represented the month you were born. Luckily for me, Taylor also has an August birthday, so we sat together (good thing as I didn't know anyone else at the table). Our table was decorated with a beach towel and a cake topped off with cones made to look like a sand castle. It was really cute.

Danica & Jeannette were in charge of decorating the February table (even though none of them have February birthdays). They borrowed my Valentine's decorations & Danica decorated the table really cute. Too bad I didn't take any photos. You'll just have to take my word, the table was cute. Every table was cute. Why didn't I take photos? I was too busy eating I guess. Food always takes a priority with me (take one look at me & you will have no doubts). They had a potato bar and salad. It was quite good. Every table had some sort of dessert on it, I had some of the cheesecake from Danica's February table.

After dinner some of the woman from the ward performed a song & dance, a skit of sorts. Danica was the singer & Taylor was one of the so called dancers. I filmed it on my little bitty camera (at least I caught this on tape). But it is not the best quality as there wasn't much light. At least you can hear Danica sing. Someone in their ward made up new words to the song "Fame". The song is about Relief Society. You can only see Taylor in one spot when she comes up to the front of the stage for her solo dance. The rest of the time I couldn't see her from where I was sitting. Anyways, I thought you might get a kick out of hearing Danica sing. She wasn't feeling too good as she got bit by a black widow spider a couple of days ago. She just went to the doctor & is on meds. Her joints are stiff & hurting and she can hardly move her arm. But she is going to live. Thank goodness. Can't tell you what happened to the spider though. You'll have to ask Danica.

Danica is the singer on the left. Taylor is the youngest looking girl with short blond hair. You only see her the one time she comes to the front for her solo.

After the song it was time to go to classes. This is where we split (Danica, Taylor & I). I decided to go shopping instead of attending classes. I know, I'm bad. But before I left we stopped off at the nursery to say Goodbye to Eric. The young men were in charge of babysitting. After seeing how the young men babysit, I don't think I would have them do it. The kids were all running wild. The men (Eric included) were sitting on the floor talking to one another, the young men were doing their own thing & the kids, well the kids were wild. One kid had a baseball bat. Yes, you heard me right, a baseball bat. And not a wood one, but an aluminium bat. Luckily he only hit the wall with his bat instead of a kid. This got everyone's attention real fast. Who lets a small child have a baseball bat? Only the young men. Luckily they got the bat away before any damage was done. I'm glad I didn't have any small children in the nursery (sorry Eric).

So now I think we are caught up to date on family matters. Danica wants me to take photos of her bedroom makeover to post on the blog. She just has a few more things to complete. And Taylor asked if I could post photos of her artwork. So hopefully I will be doing these 2 things in the next week or so. I may even try to teach them how to post on the blog.

Tomorrow hopefully I am posting another tablescape for Tablescape Thursday. Depends on how I feel tonight, I've been so tired lately. Oh and American Idol is on tonight, so we'll see what I get done. I may just post my Thanksgiving in March tablescapes. If anyone else in our family wants to do their own tablescape just post it on the blog on Wednesday nights or Thursday morning & I will link it up on the Tablescape Thursday party. Otherwise, you are just stuck looking at mine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a Toile party!!!!!

I'm late, I'm late, to a very important date!! Well it is only 9am here in California, so I'm not too late. But for those of you back east, I guess I am a little late. But you know what they say, better late than never!!

So this week I've been invited (well I invited myself) to a fabulous party. A fabulous party you say? Yes, indeedee, a toile party. And anyone who knows me, knows I love me some toile. So of course I had to invite myself. I didn't want to miss out on all the lovely toile. Can you ever get too much toile? I didn't think so.

So if you don't get your fix of toile from my blog, just hop on over to Pretty Organized Palace to see everyone else participating in this party. Just a warning though, you may get a "toile" high from the experience. So you can't say I didn't warn ya!

And while we are at it, I might as well invite myself to another party. Three or More Tuesday is hosted by The Gypsy's Corner. And since I have 3 or more toile items, I think this post qualifies. So be sure to visit her and all the participants at that party as well.

So let's get this party started!!

Welcome to my, I mean our, master bedroom. Hubby didn't get much say in the decor, but he doesn't mind. As long as it wasn't pink roses, he was happy. The comforter set came from JC Penney last year. I love it. I switched it out last summer for a white matlesse coverlet. But this year I bought a flower toile coverlet that I am going to use. Notice I didn't show you a photo? That's because I was too lazy to switch it for photos. You'll just have to wait until the next toile party. At least I hope we'll have another toile party.

You can see the white matlasse coverlet in this photo. I still used the toile shams. I have plates on this wall that are toile inspired. And did you notice the lamp shade? Toile of course.
Here is a better view of the plates.
Close up of the shams. The black & white checked pillow actually has a flower toile on the other side, but I thought the checked side was a better contrast for now. Don't you love my monogramed pillow? I know I do.
Even Santa loves toile!!! I came home one night at Christmas to find Santa in my bed (don't tell my hubby). Santa just had to have his toile fix too.

My hubby just put up the toile drapes on our french doors. I forgot to take a photo of the entire door.
The lamp on my side of the bed has a toile shade as well. I have a couple of extra toile shades if anyone is interested in purchasing from me. If so, leave me a comment. You can't really see, but the pen holder on the table is also toile. Notice that I live real!!! I have kleenix, clock radio & phone on my night stand. None of the decorating stuff you see in magazines that gets in the way. I live real people, real!!! Now if only Klennix boxes came in toile. I would be a happy camper.
Toile boxes on the dresser. There is also a toile vinyl placemat under the jewelry box.
My favorite toile dishes that my hubby got me for Christmas. They are Spode.
Some toile plates in my kitchen.

I was hoping to have all my "toile" projects done by the party. But alas, I procrastinated and didn't get them done. So you will just have to use your imagination to picture the finished product. This is the rooster toile I am going to recover my kitchen dining room chairs with. It will look fabulous when done.
And this toile will be used for making new back pillows for my family room couch.
So there you have some of the toile going on, or going to be going on in my house. After I started to do this I realized other toile items in my house that I didn't photograph like the storage boxes in my closet, or the red toile apron that I never wear. You get the picture, out of sight, out of mind.

But I think I gave you enough toile for one day. If not, be sure to go to Pretty Organized Palace for some more. And don't forget to visit The Gypsy's Corner as well. And finally, why don't you leave me a comment before you leave. You know it's not polite to leave without saying "Hi!" But if you don't, I'll still love ya!!! Thanks for stopping by, and come back now, you hear!