Sunday, July 31, 2011

christmas ornaments

... aren't just for christmas trees

hang them in your garden for a little bit of bling under a shady tree

Saturday, July 30, 2011

bricolage moo cards

I needed some business cards - quick
and I prefer the "moo" sized cards
(roughly 1x3 inches - "roughly," because they are a UK invention = metric)
the size is perfect for bloggers or etsians, since all you need is your web address

I used the "bricolage" technique
or as Thomas Edison said:
"to invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"
"bricolage" is just a fancy word for making something out of bits and pieces and odds and ends

making something out of nothing

I don't have pictures for the step by step, but basically what I did was:
pre-print what I wanted to say, using a mailing label format
on the reverse side - adhere ripped pieces of magazine images, paper scraps and book text
lightly gessoed over all of it
stamped randomly
used bubble wrap and paint to add texture

and ended up with this:

2 sheets of heavily glued, collaged, painted, messy card stock

but wait, that's not all
once you cut them into smaller shapes, you have magic!
each one a mini art piece
after cutting them down, I went back and added gold edging (gold leaf pen)
and in any bare spots, I added a few more bee stamps

mission accomplished - business cards in one day!
these are to promote my husband's garden
he's on the local garden tour this year, so I started a garden blog
that's three blogs now ... call me crazy :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

garden markers

primitive garden markers you can make yourself

this first one uses a can lid
I've punched holes in the metal and bent the edge with pliers
the label is stamped paper that I mod-podged to the lid
it's waterproof, but not rust proof
the stake is heavy gauge aluminum wire from the hardware store

this next one is a seed packet that I dipped in beeswax
(to waterproof the paper)
and then it's staked in place with an old fork

Monday, July 25, 2011

tea break

I'm having cherry, rose hip iced tea today
with a whole baby lemon sliced thin
and a side of paint water

a few clunky chunky rocks too ... and there you have the perfect tea time menu
no crumbs!

I've taken a little break from chores today
made myself some iced tea and am sitting down to re-paint the rocks of my kitty memorial marker

are you going to take a break from your chores too?
I hope your summer is going well .... I know it's been awfully hot for most of you ... a perfect excuse to skip out on chores and sip some iced tea :)

do you have a tea post today?
mention it when you leave a comment, and we'll stop by to say hello!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

DIY room fragrance

one of my favorite things about summer is being able to open up the windows
fresh air is the number one cure for house-atosis
but this little recipe runs a close second

you will need: rubbing alcohol, essential oil, and a small spray bottle or mister
I like to use lemon and lavender - about ten drops each - in this 1 oz. mister

this glass mister is actually from an old sample of l'occitane perfume

(just a word of caution, do not use this on your skin ... it gave me a rash when I did)

Friday, July 22, 2011

on the fence

I made some garden art for the garden this week
(while it rained)
these are the "hanging up" things that I made

the medallion is made from 2 pie tins (one large and one small)

the center is made from bottle caps I collected from the local taco shop
they sell lots of glass bottle drinks to go with their tacos
there's a bottle opener at the cash register and a big bin to catch all the caps
they were very kind to let me take a big bag full of caps home with my taco

this next medallion is made from a giant olive can that was a Christmas present last year

this is only half of the can ... and 2 more pie tins ... the other half of the can is another kitschy piece of garden art I will show you in my next post

the cool thing about these metal pieces is that over time they will get beautifully rusted

Monday, July 18, 2011

tea with my shadow

... or as I usually say, "my little shadow."

my youngest child is usually as close by as any shadow is
in fact, when I was getting ready to photograph my tea today,
(Twinings, "Herbal Revive" or some such "herbalicious, lemony, gingery, yummy" tea)
there she was across the table with her "every single flavor mixed into one big cup" slurpee
much more interesting than tea :)

what is your tea today?
maybe you're having a slurpee too!
if you have a tea post on your blog, just mention it when you leave a comment, and we'll be sure to pop round and say hi!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"save the livah"

remember Dan Ackroyd's Julia Child impersonation?
"save the livah!"

with this year's lavender harvest, I've saved the leaves
they have even more fragrance than the flower buds
and are perfect for sachets

the sachets can go in the clothes drier, or in a drawer
I made them with an old t-shirt
pretty simple

Friday, July 15, 2011


I made this weird little zentangle last month and entered into a local craft shop contest
it won third place and a ten dollar gift card

the competition was mostly high school kids
so no wonder I came in third
we all know high school was made for doodling

but what to do with it now?
.... make a puzzle .....

a twenty five piece puzzle

in its own origami box

each piece a lovely thing in its own right

(I've listed this on etsy .... need a cool gift to give?)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

tea dyed muslin solution

it's lavender time and I've been trying to keep up with the harvest

I bundle it up and wrap it with a rubber band and hang it upside down
it's hanging from chandeliers, curtain rods and this umbrella
the smell is heavenly

in the past, I've just tied the bundles with raffia or twine
then I hang them in various places for the coming year
but, over time, they tend to slip out of their string and make a mess

enter the solution:

I've torn muslin into strips and tea dyed it

and I tightly wrapped the bundles this time
I'm not totally sure I like it .... they're like little mummies now :)
but I don't think they'll be slipping out and dropping on the floor anymore

Monday, July 11, 2011

lemonade standers

I had a completely different tea post planned for today, but came across this picture in my camera from a couple of days ago.
It made me grin - and I thought you would like it too.
It's a good day for lemonade, don't you think?

they sold crystal lite lemonade and homemade chocolate chip cookies
raising $18 towards "the new dog fund"
don't worry, our current boy is alive and well
- as are the 3 guinea pigs and the teddy bear hamster -
but the youngest girl wants a small sized dog she can show in 4H
our Bouvier is too big and too stubborn and too hard to handle
don't tell him that though .... he's just doing his job

I hope your day is a good one ... maybe there's a lemonade stand in your neighborhood!
leave a comment about your tea today, visit the other blogs who do that too and we'll all get around to say "hi!"

Saturday, July 9, 2011

piffle's recipe

piffle is my great aunt eleanor,
from whom all the vaudeville days memorabilia came from
(see THIS post)

included in all of the valentines and fan mail, was a little recipe book
I made the bread pudding
and my family loved it

we had it for breakfast
the only thing I changed was using a sliced baguette instead of 5 slices of bread

Thursday, July 7, 2011

north cascades highway

we went for a drive yesterday in the north cascades

these mountains are called "the cascades" because of all of the waterfalls created by the snowmelt

the lakes and rivers are a beautiful teal color because of the glaciers
the glaciers grind up stone as they flow and the minerals fill the streams

we went as far as Washington Pass .... stopping for a picnic and a snowball or two

this was the first time I ever went barefoot in snow

today, we are back to our typical cloud cover and possible rain ... a good day for creating art :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

summer reading book list

after spending two hours yesterday dropping kids and their innertubes upriver and meeting them downriver ... three roundtrips and 30 minutes waits in the car each time, I was very happy to have a book to read! Here are the books you recommended last week. I thought it would be nice to have them in a tidy little list :)

Just started reading Game of Thrones by George R R Martin, I've not read a fantasy novel for absolutely ages. If you fancy a bit of crime I can't recomment Camilla Lackberg's novels highly enough, can't wait for the next one to be released (shabby chic shaz)

Love Garrison Keillor, my list includes, The No! Ladies Detective Agency series (taking me to Africa),Hollywood, by Gore Vidal,Water for Elephants,by Sara Gruen, Very Valentine by Adriana Trigani, and a new novel by one of our friend's Dave Kyger. (ooglebloops)

i'm still on the jodi piccoult...with cutting for stone next on my list (*jean*)

I heard the language of flowers by diffenbaugh is good (la dolce vita)

I have been reading a bit of The Artist Way (Becca)

I'm reading "oogy...the dog only a family could love" by Larry Levin. Non-fiction and heart-rending. (Judy)

Loved the "Girl with the Dragon Tatoo", et al. Awesome series! (Terri Kahrs)

While not funny, a good novel I finished not that long ago, long and juicy and some history is "The Tricking of Freya" by Christina Sunley. (corrine of dos fishes studio)

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" is a good summer read. It is full of Chinese culture. Also adding "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen. (Dianne)

I just finished The Female. Fascinating reading for those of use who raised our girls in overalls and told our boys that it's alright to cry (suz)

I've been reading ALL of Jodi Picoult's books. I liked The Pact which was my most recent read. (Lynn)

The No1 Ladies Detective Agency is my favourite series and I'm just starting some more Alexander McCall Smith, 44 Scotland Street. (Jane)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

mornings with joe

on a morning like this (last night was a very late night), joe is my morning friend

it's possibly the best coffee I've ever had - a locally roasted coffee I bought through a little league fund raiser.

I would re-order it, but I'm not sure if they have an organic blend :(

anyhow, as I sit with joe and look at my day I can see at least one thing on my list .....

... the lavender harvest.

I hope your 4th of July (and Canada day last Friday) was safe and fun! I love the way summer stretches ahead in these early days of July. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we relish these days! Morning sun! It's a few and far between event!

What are your plans for the today, for July, for the summer? Share your tea and your thoughts with us :)

p.s. I have added a couple of comments myself from friends who posted their tea early ...

Monday, July 4, 2011

tea will be a little later

... Tuesday to be exact .... I usually post tea on Monday ahead of you guys, but Monday has been a holiday (and a beautiful one at that!). Look for the tea posting around 10 a.m. (pacific time) on Tuesday. Hugs, and hope your 4th was grand!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

DIY laundry soap

believe it or not this is very simple
simple ingredients
simple savings
simple process
I just love to beat the system of consumerism and packaging

Laundry Soap Recipe

1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1 bar fels naptha soap (or 2 bars of ivory soap)

finely grate bar soap by hand or with your cuisinart
combine all ingredients
use 2 tablespoons per wash load

it is about 5 cents per load, compared to 25 cents or more for store bought detergent