Pretty Spring Pictures All In A Scroll

Pretty spring pictures all in a scroll exemplify the beauty and wonder of Easter week.

Pretty Spring PicturesDuring this time I like to step back from the keyboard to stop and smell the roses.

spring-flowers-House & Garden

House & Garden

Garden roses in a simple vase placed atop a crochet doily, a stemmed compote dish waiting to be filled with the pear preserves, and family recipes handwritten on timeworn index cards and scratch pieces of paper spring to mind memories of Easter week travels over to Texas to visit my great-grandparents.

blue-white-table-flower-magazine-house-garden-lifestyle

Flower Magazine – House / Garden / Lifestyle

My mother came across a handwritten letter from my great-grandmother while spring cleaning.   I’ve asked my mother many times if she remembered the address of their house, but she couldn’t recall what it was.

calm-collected-kitchen

Country Living

When she found the letter, there it was in the top left hand corner of the envelope.

One Google search later and we were home again on 8th Avenue.

Texas-bluebonnets

They say you can’t go back, but for a minute it was Easter in Texas at Mama and Papas.

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island – Midwest Living

Beautiful-Waterfall-Gif

blooming-bedsPinterest

rooster-spring

Pinterest

painting-roses

Scottsdale Fine Art

Spring’s arrival boasts a reawakening of colors on Easter parade and inspires a renewal of spirit.

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”

-Harriet Ann Jacobs

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Rainy Days and Mondays Blues DIY Easter Basket Project 

Rainy day are made for indoor activities.  Good thing I love thunder and lightening and find them intensely beautiful ’cause we’ve seen a boatload of beauty over the last few days.  Rainy days and Mondays blues took on a whole new meaning with this DIY  Easter basket project.

Ceraunophilia

Today’s blogging soundtrack is courtesy of the Spotify Discover Weekly  playlist which changes every Monday.   First in line on this week’s list is Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka.

Serendipity plays here.

rainy day

The DIY projects I do tackle are born out of necessity more than enjoyment. When the antique shop was open, I didn’t think twice about upholstering, repairing, or refinishing DIY projects.  Bottom line profit played a huge role in those decisions.

A fond memory of a beloved Easter basket and the futile search for one like it accounts for this DIY Easter basket project.

moving day

Flickr

When the big move of 2010 took place, I left the packing and moving from the old house to the new to us house to Dave the Builder while I packed up my parent’s house for their move.

Three houses.

Two moves.

One colossal undertaking I do not recommend to the faint of heart.

In the moving mayhem, Dave made the executive decision to part ways with soooo many things I would have kept.  Whatnots and doodads can easily be replaced, but certain items qualify as irreplaceable.   One such item is the handmade Easter basket my mother bought me in 1974.

A group of ladies residing at a local care facility made the most beautiful  Easter baskets from plastic dry cleaning bags.  The plastic was pulled through a simple green berry basket, knotted on the inside, and trimmed.  An undone wire hanger shaped to fit and tightly wrapped with plastic dry cleaning bags became the basket handle.

I loved the basket, and kept it all these years.

The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted an Easter basket like it.  Ebay, Etsy, and the local treasure shops did not have anything even remotely close.  I saw several tutu baskets, but that’s not what I want.

As Patsy Cline said to Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter, anything we can’t buy, we’ll make.

Hello, DIY Easter basket project.

basket-tulle

Begin with A bamboo Easter basket from the dollar store.  I figure if I mess it up I’m only in for a dollar.

bamboo-Easter-basket

A few pieces of scrap tulle left over from Christmas allowed for me to practice.  Once I mastered the cut and feed, it was on to the fabric department at Walmart for four yards of white net and eight yards of light blue tulle.

The texture of the white net makes it easier to fill in gaps and when fluffed out give a nice full coverage of the area you are working with.

blue-white-tulle

Supply list:

Bamboo Easter basket
8 yards light blue tulle
4 yards white net
1 roll 1½” wide white grosgrain ribbon
Easter grass
Speckled Easter eggs
Scissors
Hot glue gun
Glue stick
Binder clips

pink-Easter-grass

 

I worked with two lengths of fabric and multiple layers.

layers

I cut the tulle and the net into 12″ strips for layers 3, 4, and 5, and  8″ inch strips for the layers 1 and 2.

More layers make for a fuller look, and shorter layers around the basket rim beautifully cover and conceal the bamboo.

blue-white-tulle-net

Feed a strip of tulle or net through the spaces in the basket with half the strip on the outside and the other half of the strip on the inside of the basket.

After an exhaustive and empty-handed search for my crochet hook, I just used my fingers to feed the fabric through the basket.

Yes, I made a couple of larger than need be holes in the basket.  You may notice the blue and white ribbon in the image below.  If you make the same uh-oh simply cut a piece of ribbon, feed it through, bring it up catching the layer above, and tie with a knot.  Trim the excess ribbon and problem fixed.

Tulle and net are forgiving, and when fluffed and fanned out cover a multitude of DIY sins.

tulle-net-through-basket

Work with a two blue tulle strips to one white net strip repeat all the way around each layer of the basket.

fluffed-tulle-net

Fluff and fan out each side of the fabric to desired fullness.

Trim each layer of tulle and net down to the desired lengths to create extra fullness.

tulle-net-speckled-eggsFire up the hot glue gun.

Use caution when using a hot glue gun so you don’t burn your fingers.

glue gun

Use a binder clip, clothespin, or hair clip (you get the idea) to hold the ribbon in place.

clipped-ribbon

Wrap the basket handle with the ribbon.  Secure the ribbon to the base of the basket handle with several drops of hot glue.

Tulle-Easter-Basket

Trim each layer of the tulle and net to desired lengths to create extra fullness and correct any unevenness.

speckled-eggs-collection

Complete the look by filling the basket with Easter grass and decorative Easter eggs.

DIY Easter Basket Project 

I’m very pleased with the finished product.  Dave swears it’s prettier than the original one I had, and I think he may be right.  Isn’t it funny how a memory of a beloved Easter basket became such a source of inspiration.

It really is everywhere.

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Easy Easter DIY Decorations

If today’s blog post could talk, it would say look at these wonderful easy Easter DIY decorations I found on some of my favorite internet sites.

seed-packet-easter-wreath

Country Living

Springtime is the right time to adorn your entry door with a spring and Easter door decoration.  Welcome spring, friends, and family to the Easter party with this seed packet Easter wreath.

foam-floral-wreath

You’ll need about a dozen seed packets.  Using straight pins, secure the seed packets to a 12-inch foam wreath.

flower-seed-packets

Easter ribbon

Tie a bow with ribbon in a zippy spring color and pin to wreath.

faux-flowers-wreath

Tuck, pin, or hot glue faux floral stems to fill in and complete the look.

Chinoiserie Easter Eggs

Elegant in presence and easy to make, these Chinoiserie Easter eggs DIY from Yvonne at Stone Gable blog instantly caught my eye.

Click here to be redirected over to Stone Gable blog for her DIY tutorial.

moss-egg-decorating-ideas

Moss covered DIY Easter eggs capture the natural essence of spring is sprung.

floral-moss1

Easy is the idea here, and it doesn’t get much easier than using a hot glue gun to glue strips of moss to plastic eggs.

free-printable-easter-gift-tags-scissors-cherry-blossoms

I love these easy-to-download free printable Easter gift tags from the talented Ann at On Sutton Place.  These will enhance any Easter basket or gift, and make a wonderful addition to the Easter table as a napkin tie or place card.

Click here to be taken over to On Sutton Place for download instructions.

bath-body-Easter-basketA dear friend has an April birthday, so I thought a grown up Easter basket with a rose theme a fun way to go with the gift presentation.

Easy Easter DIY Decorations

Begin with a yard or two of tulle in your color of choice.  For this demonstration, I’m using a vintage pressed glass basket.

basket-with-lid

Willow Basket With Flip Lid

For the actual gift basket I’m leaning toward using the willow basket with flip lid as shown above and rose tulle as the filler grass.

rose-tulle

speckled-eggs-crate

Working with the word rose turns out to be an easy a-tisket, a-tasket,
a grown up Easter-and-birthday basket theme.

I found the porcelain powder shaker at a vintage store, and knew immediately it would make a lovely addition to the gift basket.  I’m also including rose water, a rose rollerball perfume, rose facial oil, rose and honeysuckle body lotion, rose colored nail polish, rose hip oil lip gloss, and a bottle of Chandon California Rose.

speckled-eggs-lamb-figurine

A bouquet of rose colored faux peonies and rose colored speckled eggs placed here and there complete the look.

bowl-of-pastel-dyed-eggs-in-Instant-Pot

I like a one stop-one bunny hop Easter DIY project.

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

These Easter easy DIY directions from Better Homes & Gardens for dying Easter eggs in the Instant Pot.

In about six minutes you can cook and dye one dozen eggs.

food-coloring

food-coloring-chart

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on the link for step-by-step directions How to Dye Eggs in an Instant Pot.

Easy Easter DIY Decorations

An ample handful of wheatgrass seeds from the local feed and seed store is all you need to make a live grass Easter basket centerpiece.

Fill the container or basket you will be using for your centerpiece with potting soil.

Add a thick layer of wheatgrass seeds spreading evenly over the soil.

Fill a plant mister or spray bottle filled with water.  Generously mist and soak the planted area.

Place container in or near window so it can get a good amount of daily sunlight.

Water your newly planted crop daily, and in seven to ten days you’ll have a living Easter basket.

plant-atomizer-watering-mister

DIY projects bloom beautiful at this time of year.  Here’s hoping you are inspired by these ideas and inspired to project with these easy Easter DIY decorations.

Happy spring, happy midweek, and as always, happy decorating.

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Get Your Garden Growing Ready: Spring Gardening Tips

It’s time once again to ready, plan and plant spring flower, vegetable, and herb gardens.  Warmer weather and longer days naturally entice us to spend more time outdoors, and gardening is the outdoor activity many enjoy come spring.  Now is the time to get your garden growing ready with these spring gardening tips.

rooted garden letterboard

Rooted Garden

Spring Gardening  Tips

Not all planting zones are created equal.  Some planting zones, climates, and soils ready for spring gardening quicker than others.  Find your zone by clicking on the link: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

grow zone map

grow zone map key 1

For the gardenistas who live in a zone not ready for planting, now is the time to get your garden growing plan together.

Remember, too, indoor container, planter, and windowsill gardens grow indoors year-round.

Spring gardening tips help you to decide your flower, vegetable and herb garden of preference and get your deck, patio, porch, terrace, or windowsill garden growing ready.

Best Choice Products 3-Tier 4x4ft Elevated Wooden Garden Bed Planter Kit

Best Choice Products 3-Tier 4x4ft Elevated Wooden Garden Bed Planter Kit

Good soil is the foundation of a good grow, and a good spring cleaning of sorts prepares the soil for proper growth.  With a garden fork, gently work the soil with a soft dig to loosen the soil.  You’ll only need to loosen the soil in a vegetable or flower garden one time in the spring.

Consult a weather app, Farmers Almanac, or give your local extension service a call to find out when the threat of Jack Frost is past before planting your vegetable or flower garden.

Most vegetables and flowers require approximately six hours of full sun each day.  Choose the area of your yard, deck, patio, porch, terrace, or windowsill that gets the most sun during the day and plant accordingly.

No sun?  No problem.

Sam Stokes Nursery offers expert tips and options for flowers that grow in full and partial shade.

What and when to plant?

Tone on Tone

Old Farmers Almanac

For vegetables:

Top 10 Easiest to Grow Vegetables (according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac)

Tomatoes

Zucchini squash

Peppers

Cabbage

Bush beans

Lettuce

Beets

Carrots

Chard

Radishes

herbs-blue-walls-kitchen-house-home

House & Home

Mid to late March through May is a good time to get your spring vegetable and herb garden going and growing with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, squash, eggplant, okra, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, dill, chives, rosemary, and mint.

mountain-valley-seed-company-vegetable-herb-seeds

Grow Cooking Herbs, Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sage and Assortment of 12 Culinary Herb Seeds

clay pots garden

garden twine

 

4 Terracotta Pots In Wire Basket 4 Terracotta Pots In Wire Basket 

garden-markers-blue-white

If you’re wondering what vegetables to plant, think of food pairings.

Tomato and basil.

Spinach and lettuce.

Carrots and rosemary.

Corn and squash.

Good decorating pairings bring about a fresh look.   Good gardening pairings bring delicious flavor and delightful fragrance to the table.

Robertas-6-Piece-Sumo-Series-PetuniasRoberta’s 6-Piece Sumo Series Petunias

For flowers:

Mid March to early May is the rule of green thumb for planting perennials.  Annuals fare better when planted in late spring.

Clean out your flower beds by removing last year’s leftovers. Cut back last year’s perennials and ornamental grasses to encourage healthy new growth. Remove exhausted bulbs and divide perennials.

Consult your seed packet(s) for directions on when to plant, depth of planting, and spacing.

spring-scent-flowersColor comes to call in the spring garden.

Peonies, wisteria, hyacinth, lilacs, and lilies fill your garden with gorgeous color and fragrance.

lilacs kitchen

Pinterest

Round Galvanized Metal Planter With Handles

Round Galvanized Metal Planter With Handles

Lilacs grow best when planted in fertile soil and placed in full sun.  Lilacs will not fully bloom if overwatered.  A layer of compost followed by a layer of mulch helps to retain moisture and combat weeds.

hummingbird

Hummingbirds and butterflies are fascinating little creatures to watch.  Southern Living offers spring gardening tips for almost everything gardening under the sun and shade.  Ragin’ Cajun Ruellia gives a shout out to my Louisiana roots.

Bells of Fire™ Tecoma is another perennials tubular flower that attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies.  Click here to learn more plants to spring plant that will attract hummingbirds.

ruellia_ragin_cajun_bloom_power

Ragin’ Cajun® Ruellia

I love the Cameo Japanese flowering quince in my brother’s courtyard.

flowering-quince

A day trip to Forest Hill, Louisiana, better known as the nursery capital, to purchase a Cameo Japanese flowering quince is on the spring gardening agenda.

azaleas-pink

Azaleas in full color and full bloom means beauty and the beast I call pollen is all around as evidenced by this hot pink azalea bouquet and the pollen streams in the driveway.

pollen

Weeds are a thorn in the side, front, and back of any vegetable or flower garden.  Mulch cuts down on weeds, adds a layer of insulation, and keeps plant roots moist.

mulch-colorsDave the Builder used his new Craftsman Handheld Gas Leaf Blower to blow the pine needles off the roof and into the flower bed where it will be used as mulch.

Craftsman handheld blower

Excuse our work in progress mess.

pine needles

Fresh from the produce department tomatoes will do for now, but there is no substitute for fresh home garden tomatoes.

garden-tomatoes

To give your tomato plants a good grow, feed the soil with a small amount of fertilizer and compost at planting time.

Jobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food FertilizerJobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food Fertilizer

Plant the roots as deep as possible.

Freshly planted tomato plants will require a daily healthy watering for a couple of weeks after planting to properly seep into the soil and moisten the area.   Garden tomatoes require at least 1-2 inches of water a week.

Low and slow applies to watering tomatoes.  Water the plants low at the stem and water slowly.

Tomato plants are slow drinkers. Flooding the area is not what we’re going for here.

miracle-gro-garden-hose-1

Miracle-Gro Drip and Soaker Kit

Water your tomato crop once every two or three days at the height of summer.  Early morning is the best time to water.

As summer temps soar, you may want to water the plants both in the early morning and early evening on the days you water.

spring gardening tips

Bacon sandwiches, homemade hamburgers, fresh from the garden salads, and spring to summer dishes deliciously begin and end with the homegrown tomato.

As I typed fresh from the garden salads, it reminded me of the story a friend shared with me about a dinner menu conversation she had with her husband.  The friend asked her husband what he wanted for dinner.  The husband answered in perfect course order beginning with, his words not hers nor mine, a little house salad.

Curious about what exactly the husband thought a little house salad was, the friend asked the husband to expound.

“Well, you know, it’s a little salad you make at the house.”

All I know is the husband’s vegetable garden produced the best tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, squash, and radishes that went into many a fresh spring to summer salad mixed and enjoyed at their house.

seed-packet

Leafy greens and vegetables star in the latest entertaining trend, the edible table runner.

different-kinds-of-fresh-herbs

bibb-lettuce

gurney-vegetable-herb-seeds

I’m learning more and more the best way to go in spring and summer entertaining is to set a casual and inviting table, keep the menu, ingredients, music, and conversation fresh and simple, and have plenty of homemade buttermilk dressing on hand.

homemade-buttermilk-dressing-1

garden-boots-spring

House & Home

Spring Gardening Tips, Tools, & Accessories

firm-grip-gardening-gloves

Firm Grip Garden Gloves

Protecting your hands, skin, and feet is a must.

Sunburn, dry and weathered hands, and wet feet do not a happy gardener make.

Tirrinia Ladies Wide Brim Sun Flap Cover Cap Adjustable Beach Gardening Hat

Tirrinia Ladies Wide Brim Sun Flap Cover Cap Adjustable Beach Gardening Hat

gardening boots

Rain Boot Wellies Waterproof for Gardening

gardeners-soapCrabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Exfoliating Soap

dove-intensive-cream

I bought two Dove Nourishing Care Intensive-Creams on at Dollar Tree, and am so glad I did.  The formula is rich, smells divine, and has good staying power without being greasy.  I like it so much I bought five more last week.

It gets my perfect for gardening hands seal of approval.

gardening goodies

Tools

Fiskars® 3pc DuraFrame Garden Tools Set
Ames Poly Scoop 
Barebones Living Small Garden Scissors
3pc Garden Tool Set – Smith & Hawken™

Planters

White Washed Brown Faux Woven Planter 
Wakefield Handmade Anduze Manchette Planter
Aged Charcoal Cast Stone Flower Rectangular Planter
Square Charcoal Cast Stone Column Planter

Watering Cans

Metal Watering Can – Smith & Hawken™
Achla Designs Haystack Pitcher Watering Jug
Herb Print Watering Can
Perfect Pour Copper Watering Can

Garden Goodies

Kalani Large Sea Grass Utility Basket with Wood Handle
Esschert Design USA Ceramic Plant Markers
Sontax Rolling Garden Cart with Tool Tray
Deluxe Metal Pulsating Sprinkler with Tripod

 

A lovely garden statue accentuates the design and the beauty of your garden.

Children First Love Statue

Children First Love Statue

Cast stone and terracotta planters in neutral tones instill a touch of European elegance.

elegant-planters

Winter is in the rearview mirror, and our sights and tastes are set on the spring flowers and vegetables planted and produced in the spring yard, deck, patio, porch, terrace, or windowsill garden.

spring signature

Show & Tell

Easter Table Decor Suggestions

The sounds, scents, and sights that accompany spring beautification curb appeal, as well as inquires about my Easter table decor suggestions, signals spring is sprung.

curb appeal Southern Home

Southern Home

Spring officially begins this Wednesday (March 20).

Easter will be here in thirty-two days.

easter-table-decor-suggestions

Gardenistas and decoristas alike realize that’s a small window of time to plant and plan.

Easter definition throw pillow

Emails and push notifications from home decor sites alert subscribers to what’s new in store for the Easter coming together of family and friends season.  If you live in an area of the world that is retail deficient, ordering from online outlets opens up the retail world to you.

Keep in mind you have to allow ample time for sourcing, selecting, ordering, and arrival.

After a particularly disappointing shipping arrival time incident,  I realized the importance of getting my decorating plan finalized and my holiday decor ordering done sooner rather than later.

cottontail-rabbit

Remember me telling you all about the bunny rabbit Dave the Builder found in one of our flower beds?

Cottontail instinctively knew when it was time for Dave to drive in the gate.  He would sit in the driveway close to Dave’s parking spot waiting for Dave to come home.  After the odd couple greeted each other, Cottontail would hop to it, following Dave into the house.  He would wait ever so patiently at Dave’s feet for Dave to pick him up and hold him.

I include at least one rabbit themed piece of decor in my Easter table decor suggestions in honor of Cottontail.

It’s an Easter table decor suggestions must.  Our pets touch our hearts and our home decorating choices.

As far as the rest of the look goes, I select pieces able to make the decorating transition from spring to summer.

 

bunny cookie jar

Figural Bunny Cookie Jar by Arlington Designs

Scrolling through the home section on the TJ Maxx website resulted in two super cute, super affordable bunny pieces.  The first of two ideas is to use the Figural Bunny Cookie Jar by Arlington Designs as an ice bucket.

Easter grass

I’ll set up a beverage station on the dining room sideboard for our Easter luncheon.  To implement the idea, first I’ll place a dinner plate or charger  on top of a mirror placemat to protect the finish of the sideboard from water spots.

The cookie jar will sit in the middle of the plate.  A thick layer of Easter grass or paper shreds placed around the bottom and sides (if need be) of the bunny  will hide the plate-charger and the mirror placemat.

speckled-ceramic-robin-eggs-blue

Creative Co-op HD4474 Blue Speckled Ceramic Robin Eggs

Complete the look by “hiding” decorative ceramic or plastic Easter eggs in the grass or shreds.

Pastel Gingham Easter Egg FillerPastel Gingham Easter Egg Filler

 

cement bunny decor

Modern Bunny 9.5in Cement Bunny Decor

The cement bunny will be a two, two, two uses in one piece as Easter table decor now and spring into summer garden decor later.

Rainbow Rock Candy Sticks

Rainbow Rock Candy Sticks

The rainbow colors of these rock candy sticks remind me of the ones in the traditional Easter egg dye kits.

A glass of iced tea served with a rock candy stick adds an extra kick of sugar sweet swizzle and stir.

Signed Fenton Opalescent Basket With Pink Handle

Signed Fenton Opalescent Basket With Pink Handle

A tried and true idea in my Easter table decor suggestions bag of tricks is to use a vintage glass basket as a dish for garnishes or as a condiment bowl.

It’s makes a lovely presentation.

It is said that iced tea is the house wine of the South.   We steep, sugar, and serve the stuff year round.  Bridal and baby showers, brunches, luncheons, holiday dinners, and other celebratory general fancy-schmancy occasions call for upping the iced tea recipe game.

Governor's Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch

Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch

Ingredients

3 family-size tea bags

2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar

½ (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

½ cup Simple Sugar Syrup (see recipe below)

1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled

Garnish: fresh peach wedges

Directions

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves.  Boil 1 minute; remove from heat.  Cover and steep 10 minutes.

Discard tea bags and mint.  Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup.  Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher.  Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving.  Garnish, if desired.

Simple Sugar Syrup

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Directions

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Boil, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear.  Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

– Southern Living – Junior League of Austin, Texas – Photo: Jennifer Davick Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

lilacs

This photo serves no purpose other than being just a pretty reminder of the in full bloom splendor of spring coming to a lawn, garden, planter, or centerpiece near you this Wednesday.

peony picnic napkin set

Peony Picnic Napkin Set 6

 

Godinger Claro Blue Highball Glasses, Set of FourGodinger Claro Blue Highball Glasses, Set of Four

Set Of 4 Adelaide Dinner Plates 222 Fifth222 Fifth Set Of 4 Adelaide Dinner Plates

pink-yellow-roses

Fresh, faux, or a mixing of both, remarkably gorgeous flower arrangements need not be expensive.  Some of the most impressive flower arrangements are simple in nature and elegant in statement.

Begin in your yard and garden, and build your arrangement from there.

Hull Pottery Woodland Pink Basket Hull Pottery Woodland Pink Basket

Garden roses mixed with dusty miller, bridal wreath, fern fronds, and fresh seeded eucalyptus brings spring beauty to your dining table or sideboard.

cabbage-pattern-serving-bowl  Farmhouse Cabbage Serving Bowl from Martha Stewart Collection

Container ideas range from serving bowls and art pottery baskets to ornamental cabbages and decorative cement planters.

spring-diy-flower-arrangement

Cabbage Arrangement

Anthropologie Cement Tulip Pot

Anthropologie Cement Tulip Pot Collection

Easter Table Decor Suggestions:

Garden Variety Salad Plate Set

Garden Variety Salad Plate Set

 

Mikasa Silk Floral Teal Appetizer PlateMikasa Silk Floral Teal Appetizer Plate

Made In Portugal Cabbage Serving Dish

Olfaire Pottery Made In Portugal Cabbage Serving Dish

Gingham Robins Egg Dinner PlateGingham Robins Egg Dinner Plate

Delicious desserts have become works of culinary art.  Do your Easter desserts justice with an impressive plating presentation.

berry-cream-tartlets-easy-easter-desserts

Very Berry Cream Tartlets

Included in my Easter table decor suggestions repertoire is the use of at least one vintage piece.

Vintage pieces possess charming features, distinguishing colors, and delicate patterns able to gracefully stand alone or easily mix with new traditional favorites.

Floral Cake Plate from Germany with 2 HandlesFloral Cake Plate from Germany with 2 Handles

coconut cake with rose topper

Rae Dunn Happy Spring Cake Stand

Rae Dunn Happy Spring Cake Stand

I don’t always have the best luck when shopping the shelves at my favorite local treasure shop, but on my last visit I spied this darling figurine behind a piece that wouldn’t normally catch my eye.

The colors, condition, and price sold the piece, and it fits in perfectly with my Easter decorating theme.

Fenton-basket-blue

These Easter table decor suggestions invite a simple yet elegant charm factor to the spring get-together and Easter celebration.

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Show & Tell

Peaceful Diversion: Pretty Pictures and Photos

The saying  “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans”  hit home last week for me and Dave the Builder.  We went from peaceful, easy Sunday to Dave being taken into emergency surgery Monday morning.  All three of the doctors on the case used the word stat, and that is a word that will get your attention real fast.

I’ll take our everyday, boring to most, uneventful life over curveballs and beyond your control situations any day.

Staying strong in faith, in prayer, and in positive attitude is our game plan.

The positive attitude part took a direct hit when our veterinarian called with the sad news that Sir Kitty had taken a turn for the worse, and the end was near for our beloved twelve year old cat.

It was a witch of a week to say the least.

Getting lost in the pretty pictures and photos from social networking sites and shelter magazines is a gorgeous source of peaceful diversion and blog post inspiration.

Posting plays a large role in my normal routine, and at the moment normal and routine is essential.  The situation of late may not be pretty, but these  pictures and photos sure are.

Claude-Monet-gardens

Claude Monet Gardens – Photo: Francis Hammond – Architectural Digest

blue-door-foyer

Pinterest

Irises By Claude MonetIrises By Claude Monet

Alaska Range at Polychrome OverlookAlaska Range at Polychrome Overlook

Leta-Austin-Foster-associates

Leta Austin Foster & Associates

European Hare print

Natural Study European Hare Print

mulberry-plantation-south-carolina

Mulberry Plantation – Architectural Digest

pretty pictures and photos

Pinterest

Brunschwig & Fils

House & Garden

joshua-trees-at-sunrise

Denise Taylor-Getty Images-House Beautiful

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and I’ll be back with you all next week.

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Show & Tell

Mardi Gras Party Good Time

Louisiana is often referred to as the Boot due to its shape.  I think that’s an appropriate observation seeing how we do love to kick up our heels and pass a Mardi Gras party good time.

beads-doubloonsPurple, Green, and Gold Beads and Doubloons

Louisiana loves to throw a party, and what makes a good party is great food, drink, and conversations about great Mardi Gras food and drink.  Last Wednesday I got a call from my nephew on just this subject.

Dong Phuong Bakeshop

The Mardi Gras king cake is a Carnival staple, and people do have their favorites.

My favorite?

I thought the chocolate cinnamon king cake from a local market the one that takes the king cake, but that was until my nephew gifted the Places In The Home gang with a cinnamon king cake from Dong Phuong Bakeshop.

A king cake connoisseur in his own right, he too thought he had a chosen favorite until his coworker brought a cinnamon king cake from Dong Phuong Bakeshop in east New Orleans to the office for a Mardi Gras party good time king cake celebration.

It was king cake love at first bite.

You know how it is when you discover a new whatever and you like/love it so much you want to show and tell it with your inner circle, gang, tribe, or Mardi Gras krewe?

That’s exactly the case in this king cake scenario.

He placed an order for twelve cinnamon king cakes from Dong Phuong Bakeshop.  The window for shipment had just closed, so he drove from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to pick up the order.

When you’ve got a craving for king cake, you do what you have to do to get one.

Or twelve.

His friend happened to be driving up to Central Louisiana the following day, so my nephew asked him if he would make a king cake delivery to Places In The Home.

cinnamon-king-cake

Now the Places In The Home gang knows what all the Dong Phuong cinnamon king cake excitement is about.

dong phuong king cake

Right off the bat, I was impressed with the artwork and the font used on the cake box.

share-the-joy-of-Mardi-Gras

It’s the same exact font I use for the Places In The Home header and sidebar.

DP-Bakeshop-East-NOLA

Love the font.

king-cake-colors

Love the king cake!

King cake is a Mardi Gras must have, a tradition beginning on January 6th and ending on Fat Tuesday.

The entire season and celebration of Carnival is a Mardi Gras party good time process.

second-line

Not all Mardi Gras celebrations are created equal.  From parish to parish, Louisiana is truly a melting pot of customs, traditions, and cultures.

However, all Louisianians celebrate Mardi Gras on a local purple, green, and gold grand scale.

Mardi-Gras-porchNew Orleans Today

Throughout the state, Mardi Gras revelers and Carnival decoristas bedeck the halls, doors, porches, fences, and facades.

Mardi Gras parade prep

Parade route positions are prime real estate, staked out and claimed for optimum viewing and catching prized throws.

Plutocrat Second LinePlutocrat Second Line

Krewe floats stand ready to roll, and neighborhood block parties are planned, prepped, and positioned  for a Mardi Gras promenade.

beignets at Cafe du Monde

Beignets at Café du Monde

It’s hard not to find yourself in a Mardi Gras party good time state of mind when you have a cup of café au lait in hand.

cafe au lait

A traditional crawfish boil brings the flavor to the Mardi Gras party good time celebration.

The sweetness of the king cake complements the robust spice and heat that flavors a crawfish boil.

C’est si bon!

boiled-crawfish

This time of year blended with the taste of Mardi Gras keeps the calls from the Canadian snowbirds coming.

Cooking up a pot of Louisiana gumbo and a traditional King Cake from this recipe from Southern Living will satisfy the craving, please the sweet tooth, and feed the soul.

traditional king cake

Southern Living Magazine – Photo by Beth Dreiling

Traditional King Cake

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) container sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

¼  cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 (¼-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast

½  cup warm water (100° to 110°)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

6 to 6 ½ cups bread flour*

1/3 cup butter, softened

½  cup sugar

1 ½  teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts.  Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

Stir together yeast, ½ cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth.  Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 ½ cups) until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).   Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle.  Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border.  Stir together ½ cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side.  Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal.  Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden.  Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).  Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Prepare each 22- x 12-inch dough rectangle as directed.  Omit 1/3 cup softened butter and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon.  Increase ½ cup sugar to ¾ cup sugar.  Beat ¾  cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.  Proceed with recipe as directed.

*6 to 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour may be substituted.

Creamy Glaze

Purple, green, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles

-Southern Living

The weather is not wanting to cooperate, but Louisiana doesn’t let a little rain dampen the Mardi Gras spirit.   The parades are rolling, the party atmosphere is intoxicating, and time-honored traditions and customs will be well represented.

The Boot is kicking up its heels in Mardi Gras party good time style.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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Winter Blues

Gray days of February challenge one to find the silver lining of winter.  Bare, austere, and windswept conditions lead to extended periods of time spent indoors keeping company with the winter blues.

winter blues

Winter Blues

Curling up with a good book is an excellent and cozy choice of boredom buster, but I require a stronger dose of sound and sight to cure my winter blues.

Umberto Pasti Home

Umberto Pasti – House & Garden

Discover Weekly is one of my go-to Spotify playlists.

Loaded with new music finds and classic rewinds, it’s the sound to the sight part of the cure- a keyboard session of scrolling and discovering beautiful and inspiring images in/on designers portfolios, digital issues of shelter magazines, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

foodiesfeed.com_home-office-station-with-a-cup-of-coffee

Foodiesfeed

On a day like today when it’s particularly damp and dreary outside, a bit of quality time spent with a cup of tea, soft tunes, and lovely images is more in line with the warm, tranquil and color kissed thoughts of spring and summer blues.

Yves Klein quote

Pinterest

Patience is a twenty-two days from today marks spring’s arrival virtue.  To pass the time, I thought a share and scroll post full of beautiful images featuring the color blue just the ticket for keeping the winter blues at bay.

pyne-hollyhock-indigo-by-fschumacherPyne Hollyhock Indigo by Schumacher

Cathy Kincaid Interiors

Cathy Kincaid Interiors

Maria Theresia by Martin van Meytens

Maria Theresia by Martin van Meytens

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

blue-foyer-sitting-room

Southern Home Magazine – Photography by Dustin Peck

Staircase at Chateau Versailles, Paris, FranceStaircase at Chateau Versailles, Paris, France

Suzanne Kasler Interiors

Rebecca De Ravenel PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NEUNSINGER

Domino- Photography by Amy Neunsinger

blue-sky-ceiling-chandelier

Domino-Photography by Jessica Ann Kirby

Pretty is on trend for 2019, and these winter blues beauties trend gorgeous.

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Show & Tell