Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mix It Up!

Mod Mikasa Platter

Why settle for just one style?  It's so much more fun to mix things up.  You don't have to be a designer to have a sense of style.  Add and subtract until it looks just you!  Decorating your home is a process that happens over time.  Here are a few things that have been offered on Bluebell recently.  A little bit country, a little bit modern.  


Get creative with a glass cloche!

Small Stoneware Owl

Fun storage idea!

Old books:  Fun to read or decorate with.

Brass Pineapple Bookend

Picnic & Storage

Mod TV stand or end table!

Happy decorating!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Warm Weather Chores

My Garden


With the warmer weather I have been working on crossing off items from my to-do list.  My gardening to-do list, especially.  One of the things on my list was to get up the deer netting.  I have tried all the other tricks to keep deer from eating my garden and now it was time for a new tactic.  I purchased 100 feet of deer netting and ordered twenty bamboo stakes that are 7' tall.  Netting was secured to the stakes around the inside of my picket fence.  I know this will not keep a determined deer out of the garden, but I'm hoping it will be a deterrent.  Maybe they just won't want to bother with getting all tangled in the netting and go elsewhere for their dinner.  

Deer Netting

I have also started my planting.  I put two tomato plants in the garden and four in two large planters on my patio.  This is an experiment for me.  I purchased two tub-like planters on wheels that are also self watering.  I just have to put the hose in the little opening at the bottom of the planter when the soil feels dry.  There are wells in the bottom of the planters that supply the water to the soil, requiring less frequent watering by me.  The soil in planters tends to dry out alot faster than soil in the garden.  The soil in the planters also warms up faster than in the garden.  I am hoping this will give me an earlier tomato crop.  We shall see.

Planters for Tomatoes

The raspberry canes are greening up nicely now.  They are much more sparse this year.  I have tried transplanting some of the runners hoping they will fill in the bare spots.  I may have to order new canes for next year.

Raspberry Bed

Last week I went to the nursery, not far from my home, and purchased three trays of herbs and annual flowers.  I have been working on getting them in the ground this week.  This is the fun part!  If I am successful in keeping the deer out, this could be a great gardening season.  Here's hoping.

Cosmos, Marigold, Dill, Basil, Parsley, Dahlia...

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

After the Rain...

It has rained a lot here this spring.  I mean a whole lot.  But then you wake up to a day like this and all the soggy days are forgotten.  Headed outdoors to my garden this afternoon.  There were weeds galore waiting to be tugged out of the ground.  That was my focus today.  I hauled 8 buckets of weed remains to the brush pile.  Still have one section to finish, but that will be for next time.  Then the straw mulch will be piled on.  I practice the no-dig method of gardening.  Read about this years ago in an article by Ruth Stout, in Organic Gardening magazine.  Obviously I am not as faithful as I should be about piling on the mulch or I wouldn't have hauled so many weeds to the brush pile today.  I was lax last fall and didn't add anymore mulch before winter set in.  Once the mulching is done in the garden, I will move on to the task of pruning dead canes from the Raspberry patch and then staking the live canes.  I will also toss a little organic fertilizer on them.  In a couple of months I will be picking and eating juicy, tangy raspberries.   Walked around the yard and took a few pics of what's blooming now.  A taste of Heaven, for sure.  

The Crabapple Tree in Full Bloom

More of the Crabapple

A Clump of Violets

The Flowering Quince

Oh, My Bleeding Heart!

Creeping Phlox under the Rhododendron 
In other news, I am working on a new look for my Etsy shop Bluebell.  A fellow Etsian is creating a new banner and avatar for me, as well as designing new business cards.  Spring is a very busy time of year.  Soon the lazy days of summer will be here and life will slow down a little.  Until then, it's full steam ahead!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Spring at Last!

A Violet in a crevice of our patio.

This is the time the daffodils do their thing.
I love my Hellebore's!
After a long, cold winter spring has decided to make an appearance.  My skin was longing for some sunshine and my lungs were longing for a breath of sweet air.  My fingers were itching to dig in some dirt, and today I had my chance!  The last of the three butterfly bushes was trimmed back today, as was the Crepe Myrtle.  A few unsightly branches were lobbed off of the Rhododendron.  A rose bush that has failed to flourish in spite of years of pampering was, at last, dug up and tossed on the brush pile.  Three new Knockout Rose bushes will be here by the end of the week.  I took the six bags of mulch that were left from last year and dumped them on the front flower beds.  More will be added this weekend, weather permitting.  I also ordered two self watering patio planters, into which I will plant tomatoes this year.  They have wheels which will make it easy to push them into the sun when needed.  I also ordered 200 feet of deer netting.  This is my latest effort to combat the increasingly annoying habit of our local deer munching my garden plants to near oblivion (no more Hosta salad for you!).  So, my skin was warmed by the sun and my body got a good workout.  Not to mention, things are shaping up in my yard and garden.  Now...what to cook for dinner?

The Forsythia hedgerow in bloom.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Favorite Etsy Finds

I love to sift through Etsy looking for unique hand crafted and vintage items.  Here are a few of my recent favorite finds.

Funky Owl Coaster set by Funky Chicken Design

Green Metal Buckets by Daily Memorandum

Hello Summer Print by Cathy Nichols        

Polka Dot Stationery by Rue Renee  

"Dreams"  print by Art at the Speed of Life 

Antique Schoolmaster's Desk  by Daily Memorandum

Mini Post Card Pillows by Lisa Wine Studios

This is why I love Etsy!  So many creative people and so many unique items.  The perfect place to shop for the person who has everything.  Including yourself!
But also a place to find creative inspiration.  What will I find next??

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Let's Make This Fun!

Decorating needn't be so serious.  Have a little fun!  Try something new!  Explore all the possibilities with color and pattern.  Here are some rooms that will,  hopefully, inspire you.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hand Printing Anyone?

I enjoy things that are handmade.  Whether I have made them or someone else.  There is something very satisfying about handmade objects.  Creating them is especially rewarding.  I have tried many types of arts and crafts projects over the years.  Some have become part of who I am.  Knitting, for example.  But other things like quilting, cross stitch, embroidery, spinning and so on, have been tried and eventually fell by the wayside.  Not enough time, didn't enjoy the process and other reasons.  I recently came across this book and had to have it.  It is called "Print Workshop"  by Christine Schmidt.  It is a book filled with hand printing techniques and original projects.  I love wood block art and other forms of hand printing and this book looked as though hand-printing might be something I could do.  It is filled with great illustrations and clear, step by step instructions for some tempting projects.  Some of the projects are more complicated than others, but there are plenty of cool ideas for beginners.  Plus the projects in this book can open your eyes to all the possibilities in hand-printed art.  For instance, who would have thought that wrapping string around a wood block and then using it like a stamp would have such pleasing results?  I'm going to give that one a try.  I also want to experiment with using vegetables for stamping.  Ever hear of potato stamping?  We tried it years ago,when my kids were small, as one of our experiments with art.  Lots of cool ideas in this great book.  Now, just finding the time to actually try some of them is something I need to figure out.  Stay tuned!  If anything works out, I'll be sure to post the results here.   

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Collectibles: Brass

Brass Pig

Brass Quail Figures

Folding Brass Rabbit Bookend

Brass Vase

Hammered Brass Footed Tray

Small Brass Canister

Brass Shell Vase/sculpture
Vintage brass has recently come to my attention as being a great collectible.  It comes in many forms; candlesticks, bookends, paperweights, sculpture, doorknobs, vases and much more.  It will last almost forever and is readily available and very affordable.  Much of the world's finest brass pieces come from India, where the craft of brass and other metal work has been handed down from generation to generation.  With an occasional polish, your brass pieces will look great for years.  So, open your eyes and begin to look at brass in a whole new way.  You'll be surprised at what you find!