There is always something that catches my eye and starts the “wheels turning” in my head. This is half craft and half recycling. I have had this vintage children’s book floating around for well over 38 years. It had been loved and well used by the time I found it at a local antique shop. I was struck by the charming illustrations and colors and even found a page that was not damage in anyway that had my daughter’s initials displayed with cute pictures. My plan was to frame that specific page, which I never did. So here we are 38 years later, and I finally did something with the book. I decided to paint the cover withe acrylic paints and create a refurbished version of the original cover…much like the paint by number pictures I remember from my youth. As it turns out, the front cover was in pretty good shape and the back cover was exactly the same image but in rough condition. I used the back cover to match paints that I had to mix to get close to the original colors. I then starting filling in the images on the front cover with fresh paint and a steady hand. When all dry, I did have it framed with a double mat and it has found its home in my grandchildren’s playroom. Check out the CREATE section for more details and pictures that Kerry posted on her darlingfig.com blog. It feels good to finish a project that started with an idea so very long ago. I was thrilled I could put my hands on it after all those years and a few house moves.
We had a large gathering of family at the lake late in the summer, and served the meal from the back of the truck bed, which was pulled up next to the outdoor dining area. Tailgating, but without the hassle of parking. Everyone especially loved the utensils wrapped in bandanas!
We set up two 8’ tables end to end in the driveway next to our cabin and grill. Guests helped themselves to this handy buffet, that included Grill Packets, and we all enjoyed eating together at one very long table while the sun started to go down. After dinner, 7 kids under the age of 7 had fun running around the yard with glow sticks.
Check out YUM for recipe how-to’s and recipe for
Pick-Up Perfect Grill Packets
Last August, my daughter Kerry, decided to start a blog (darling fig.com) featuring fashion, home decor and DIY, leisure activities, food and entertaining. As a wife, mom of two children ages 3 and 6, and a corporate franchise attorney, she is working hard at fitting this into her busy life. Needless to say, she has her hands full. Kerry loves doing creative things, especially decorating, entertaining and DIY projects. But, since I had more free time this past year than she did, I offered to help her with a few DIY projects, recipes and entertaining ideas. Now and then, I will be sharing some of the things I have done for her blog with all of you.
ELLA’S ROOM AT GRANDMA’S HOUSE
The first project that comes to mind are the ideas I developed when I decorated bedrooms at our house for our two grandchildren, Taylor and Ella. When Ella moved from a crib in our spare bedroom to her “big girl” bed in her own room, it was time for me to really do some fun decorating. This all happened last February and March, when it’s cold here and there are no gardening or cabin activities to consume my free time. I can honestly say, this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Check out Seasons for complete decorating ideas for Ella’s room.
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Recipe found on YUM!
Gardening has always been a part of my life. My mother and grandmother were avid gardeners. For them, a necessity. They grew and preserved all the vegetables eaten during the winter months. They took great pride in their gardens and always shared the bounty with friends and family. My mother’s canned goods looked like they should be photographed and would certainly have been blue ribbon winners had she ever enter them at the fair at summer’s end.
I have taken the easy way out and support our local Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture businesses in our area. The produce is organic, locally grown and I must say, pretty spectacular. During the summer and fall, Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning our local market is overflowing with beautiful produce. The vendors work hard all season to bring in their best. The great thing is, everything is so beautiful and it really does encourage trying new recipes and eating some really healthy dishes. Check out the YUM section of thimbleberries.com to get the recipes for the goodies I picked up recently.
My gardening attention goes to landscaping, perennial gardens and ornamental pots. Each year I think I have a fool proof plan for perfect combinations and each year I fall short for one reason or the other….too hot, too cool, late start, too dry, too wet, random pests and insects and then plant choices that seem good on paper, but not necessarily in my yard. By the end of each summer, I have notes on what needs to be changed or added for the following year. Sometimes it involves new plantings, but most often it involves dividing perennials and moving plants from one part of the landscape to another. That is what gardeners do…move, change, divide and find new plants that we just have to try. This is a spot I am pleased with this year and hope to replicate again next year.
This year I took pictures of my pots when I planted them and again 8 weeks into the summer so that I could refer to them next spring before I make the trip to the nursery. I am always so excited to get things planted after the spring thaw. Without a plan, it is so easy to over buy and buy the wrong plants because everything looks so good and is so tempting. I now keep a garden journal of sorts to keep track of what works and what does not, and make a “grocery list” before I head out to buy plants. Then, of course, I add things here and there throughout the summer. It is difficult for me to drive by a good looking nursery. This year we are have had perfect gardening weather…warm sunny days, mild nights and just the right amount of rain about every 5 days. It has been a banner growing year. The pot on the left when first planted and the same pot on the right 8 weeks later. It has looked good all summer. I will repeat this one again next spring.
After 26 years of designing quilt projects and fabrics for the quilt industry, I closed the Thimbleberries Design Studio and retired. The intent was to slow down and enjoy my life at a more leisurely pace. Well, that lasted for just a while. I then seemed to gradually creep back into the quilting world. I conducted a monthly Scrap Gathering Quilt Club at the local quilt shop (Quilt Haven on Main) here in Hutchinson, MN each month in 2014. It was an opportunity to keep in touch with a group of Thimbleberries fans and to have others to share ideas and new quilt designs with on a monthly basis. That led to submitting a few projects to Fons and Porter Love of Quilting and American Patchwork and Quilting for publication this year. Then came the call from RJR Fabrics. They asked if I would consider designing a few fabric collections for them again. It took no longer than a split second to say yes. I found that one of the things I missed most in retirement was fabric and of course, the connection to other quilters.
So here goes…the Berry Blog is up and running again. Hopefully you will find interesting tidbits about family, home decor, quilting, crafting, gardening, travel, collecting, etc. as I share my loves and life with you. Please check out all the categories on the navigation bar.