I enjoy being in the know when it comes to new and exciting products, home decor accents, and purchasing information. Luckily each month Home Accents Today arrives to my mailbox keeping me in the design and decor loop from cover to cover.
Celebrating the nouns of Southern living comes quite easy to me. Remember back during the holidays when I shared with y’all about receiving a surprise gift from my nephew and niece-in-law, Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture?
I finally found time over this past weekend to sit down with a glass of sweet tea rimmed in fresh mint and take in some southern exposure.
Getting down and Derby in all the excitement of the Kentucky Derby is a Southern socializing-first weekend in May tradition.
As horseshoe good luck would have it, the floral department at the local grocery store put a slew of red rose bouquets on clearance Friday afternoon just in time for Derby Saturday.
I love when the clearance sale stars align.
Our Louisville meets Marksville crawfish boil shakes a dash of south Louisiana into the c’est si bon.
Boiled crawfish with traditional fixin’s thrown into the pot makes for good eating. Potatoes and corn have never met a crawfish boiling pot they don’t love to be a part of, but don’t stop there.
Back when Dave the Builder was in the corporate world, we would host the annual crawfish boil. One of Dave’s coworkers introduced our taste buds to a new way of boiling crawfish.
At first I questioned the addition of cabbage, smoked sausage, onions, lemons, whole carrots, mushrooms, celery stalks, and eggs to the seasoned boil, but quickly became a flavor convert.
The vegetables, sausage, and eggs boil to perfection in the seasoned water, picking up the unmistakable taste of the South.
I’ll say this about celebrating the nouns of Southern living- you learn and taste something new at every event, festival, and boil.
Blue and white is the classic color palette of choice of many Southern decoristas.
It is seen in the hydrangeas we plant, the china patterns we place upon the Southern dinner table, and the porcelain pretties we decorate house and home with.
Going up to the mountains (my Tennessee family calls all of Sevier County including Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg “the mountains”) is part of the landscape when we go home to East Tennessee.
I fondly remember the days of family style meals served at Trotter’s restaurant, wild wild west afternoons spent at Goldrush Junction, and the stories of Dolly performing on the Cas Walker radio show.
A proud daughter of Sevier County who has never forgotten the region, the town, and the county she calls home, Dolly Parton was recently awarded the FBI 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award for the work done to raise money for those affected by the Gatlinburg wildfires in 2016.
For this, the music, the voice, and the local love, we will always love you, Dolly.
Antoine’s is Louisiana restaurant royalty-a French Quarter icon.
Today’s A Most Fetching Friday opens up the window to let the sunshine in. A glorious spring day sun kissed by nature and seasonally blessed with pleasant temperatures is made for open windows and a let the sunshine in attitude.
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.