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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Begin with A bamboo Easter basket from the dollar store. I figure if I mess it up I’m only in for a dollar.
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.
Bamboo Easter basket
8 yards light blue tulle
4 yards white net
1 roll 1½” wide white grosgrain ribbon
Speckled Easter eggs
Hot glue gun
I worked with two lengths of fabric and multiple 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.
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.
Work with a two blue tulle strips to one white net strip repeat all the way around each layer of the basket.
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.
Fire up the hot glue gun.
Use caution when using a hot glue gun so you don’t burn your fingers.
Use a binder clip, clothespin, or hair clip (you get the idea) to hold the ribbon in place.
Wrap the basket handle with the ribbon. Secure the ribbon to the base of the basket handle with several drops of hot glue.
Trim each layer of the tulle and net to desired lengths to create extra fullness and correct any unevenness.
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.
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.
You’ll need about a dozen seed packets. Using straight pins, secure the seed packets to a 12-inch foam wreath.
Tie a bow with ribbon in a zippy spring color and pin to wreath.
Tuck, pin, or hot glue faux floral stems to fill in and complete the look.
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 covered DIY Easter eggs capture the natural essence of spring is sprung.
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.
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.
A 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.
Begin with a yard or two of tulle in your color of choice. For this demonstration, I’m using a vintage pressed glass basket.
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.
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.
A bouquet of rose colored faux peonies and rose colored speckled eggs placed here and there complete the look.
I like a one stop-one bunny hop Easter DIY project.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love the Cameo Japanese flowering quince in my brother’s courtyard.
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 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.
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.
Dave 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.
Excuse our work in progress mess.
Fresh from the produce department tomatoes will do for now, but there is no substitute for fresh home 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 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.
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.
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.
Leafy greens and vegetables star in the latest entertaining trend, the edible table runner.
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.
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.
Spring officially begins this Wednesday (March 20).
Easter will be here in thirty-two days.
Gardenistas and decoristas alike realize that’s a small window of time to plant and plan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
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).
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.
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.
The Mardi Gras king cake is a Carnival staple, and people do have their favorites.
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.
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.
Now the Places In The Home gang knows what all the Dong Phuong cinnamon king cake excitement is about.
Right off the bat, I was impressed with the artwork and the font used on the cake box.
It’s the same exact font I use for the Places In The Home header and sidebar.
Love the font.
Love the king cake!
King cake is a Mardi Gras must have, a tradition beginning on January 6th and ending on Fat Tuesday.
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.
Purple, green, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles
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.
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.
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.
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.