Monday, April 29, 2013

Layering it on

We recently painted our bed, taking away the orangey cherry stain and using French Linen a lovely gray....but it still needed something.
I started looking at appliques and couldn't find one that wasn't too Shabby Chic...I wanted a different feel....
I found a wonderful site online, Architectural Depot. It has lots of great things, including appliques (which they called onlays). I found one that fit the shape of the bed and fell in love with it. It was shipped quickly and packaged very well....and it looked like it was plaster, but it was indeed resin.
So, Saturday, after I painted it and waxed it, I applied it to the headboard. It took 30 minutes for the glue to set up enough that tape could finish the job. I rather like the look, and it is definitely not a shaker bed style anymore.....
 Tucker agrees......
I think it turned out fairly well....and it gives just that touch I was hoping for. Now if the new quilt that I ordered would arrive.......
Have a great day!
Nancy

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dinner outside

The other night we had dinner outside for the first time. It was lovely.
I got to use our new tray!

Having a BBQ! It was lovely sitting on our patio, the birds were singing and the fountain was going...
And the roses are blooming...
This is the black magic rose, it has actually grown up into the fig tree....
Hope you are having a great weekend!
Nancy

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Roses and Rust

Ah, the sweet smell of spring! Roses are blooming and birds are singing, what could be better?
But there is one problem that most of us gardeners experience at some point.....rust, black spot and other fungal problems....and not just in roses....
Here is a beautiful healthy rose....
And here is one with rust....

I have used everything.....and now I may have discovered a new secret weapon....
Yesterday, I sprayed with Neem Oil and treated the roots with Bayer 3-in-1. However, the Bayer is not organic and it is systemic, so I don't want to use that more than once or twice....So, I have been at wits end trying to find something that will help with fungal "yuckies"....
Yesterday, while strolling through the internet I came across something that might it the spot.....Aspirin!
As you know, we used aspirin on our tomatoes this year and the difference is astounding! Why not?
So, I dissolved two 325mg uncoated aspirins in water last night and this morning I sprayed it on the sickest of the roses....
It is supposed to help the rose's immune system to fight off the rust...so I will let you know.....
Who would've thought??
Nancy

Thursday, April 25, 2013

No dig gardening

My garden is almost all organic. I say that because occasionally I have to treat a problem such as stubborn rust on roses with an inorganic treatment.....but that is actually rare.
I would say I am 95% organic, maybe more....
It has taken time to get there....and one has to be willing to have holes in a few leaves. I am actually the only house on our block that is organic. Is it any wonder that the birds live here??
Anyway, a friend asked how we built our raised beds on our lawn, and how we removed the old crabgrass lawn on the parkway to plant flowers....
I tell them, I used the "No Dig Garden" method and they tell me "that can't work". But it does!

This is a couple of views of our redone raised beds. We rebuilt raised beds that were 10 years old and added to the number of them. We paint them black for the look, but also it helps in a coastal area that tends to be cool....
The no dig method was used....
Basically,  you mark where you want your raised bed. This can be on grass or any dirt area. You put down lots of newspaper (not colored ink) or you can use cardboard! Set your built raised bed box on top, fill with quality dirt, (we used potting soil) and plant!
Some people want to the box to be solid to keep out rodents and such, however, this restricts root growth so I don't recommend it....instead with such critters...use fine wire mesh stapled to the bottom of your box before you set it in place.
Raised beds are great for plants and people....less weeding, less digging and for plants you won't be walking around and possibly damaging root systems....
We built ours from fence boards...use cedar or redwood (be sure it is not painted or stained redwood you don't want the stain to leach into your food) to help prevent rot. These boxes will last many years!
We used 4x 4's that were cut to the height we wanted as the corners and then simply screwed the boards to those....instant box! If you get your boards cut at the home store where you buy your wood, it is even faster!
I haven't found anything that doesn't grow in a raised bed.....probably because the plants can get to the earth beneath, thus they do well.
Oh, and the front bed, the parkway?
Well, I applied the same principle, just not a box. I ripped out as much of the crabgrass as possible....that was hard. Then I layered about 1" of newspapers down, watered it down, then piled on dirt, planted and then a layer of bark (real bark, not plastic or rubber). It takes about a year for this to work as the plants get established. Deep rooted plants got to have a small hole in the newspaper. My bed needed only an occasional weeding from crabgrass trying to find a new foothold. I used creeping thyme, lambs ear and a multitude of other flowers.
My neighbors said it was impossible, that I would be sorry. But I am not, nor have I ever been. Yes, it took me a long time to dig up the old crabgrass lawn, but it is a show stopper at this time of year. My Hubby has fixed a dripper system with sprayers so maintenance is almost nothing. Once in a while he has to clean out a sprayer, or I have to trim flowers....but really it works. This was done over 12 years ago now, so the most important work, being patient......
Below I found a site that talks about raised beds and the no dig method. Hope this helps!
Nancy

http://www.organicgardening.com/print/52381

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lemon Confit

As the seasons shift, our lemons need to be harvested and used. One of my favorite recipes is to make a Lemon Confit, thanks to Food & Wine Magazine.
It is a great way to save the flavor of lemons and even intensify it for cooking.
You can make as much or as little as you want and get creative with your foods. It goes in the fridge so no canning is required.
You will need lemons...
Wash them and cut into quarters....
You will need Kosher salt and some sugar....
5 cups of Kosher salt and 5 TBS of sugar, mix together.....(see I told you this was easy)
Get a container, such as a quart canning jar (I use a large lidded jar), and put some of the salt sugar in the bottom, then quickly mix the cut lemons in the bowl with the salt sugar mix and put the pieces layered in the jar, adding more of the salt and sugar mix....


Make sure the lemon gets covered, and then place in the fridge for a minimum of two weeks...to let it "preserve"....
When time has passed, the lemons smell yummy, and you only use the peel, the fruit part is discarded as you rinse off the salt/sugar before use.
This is excellent cut up and used with fish, but also chicken, pork and pasta....get creative and enjoy!
So, as you have the change in seasons, and the lemons need to be used....that is one way to preserve them without canning!!
(Below is the recipe from Food & Wine......)


  1. 5 cups kosher salt
  2. 5 tablespoons sugar
  3. 6 lemons, scrubbed and quartered

  1. In a large bowl, mix the salt with the sugar. Toss the lemons with half of the sugar-salt. Pour a small layer of sugar-salt into a clean quart-size jar. Layer the lemons in the jar, covering them with the remaining sugar-salt as you go. Refrigerate the lemons for at least 2 weeks. To use, rinse the lemons well and use the peel only.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Antique trunk for sale

I have been organizing, cleaning and trying to simplify....never easy is it?
Well, what used to work for us, just isn't anymore...and sometimes we have to let things go, right?
So, I posted this antique trunk on Craigslist today....



It is an antique, in wood and metal....beautiful. It has little wheels built in, although one is missing....
We used to store photos and all in this trunk, but soon ran out of room. Now it is ready to do work in your house!
Contact me if you are interested.
Nancy

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kitchen Papers

My cabinets needed refreshing.....afterall, I put tissue paper in the back of them roughly 8 years ago!
When we had the cabinets put in, the backs were the same white as the cabinets, and yes, I could have painted them, but we all know that the color would change over time, and painting these cabinets, well, it wouldn't have been terribly easy....although with ASCP it would have been easier....
I wanted more "splash"....
So, here they were....a lovely backdrop yes, and it is tissue....but I needed something new and fresh....

This is the line of "kitchen papers" that is out there, this one being the "table runner".....I saw this used in a store as a wallpaper, which was stunning...and thought, "what if". So now here are my new cabinets. Squeal! I love it, and with the glassware it is stunning! Why can't cabinets be exciting, especially since they are exposed? I say go for it!
Just sayin...
Have a great day!
Nancy

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Country Wedding

Dear Readers,
You probably thought I had stopped writing....
Well, for the last few days I was up in the Redding area...well, technically Anderson, Cottonwood and Palo Cedro.
I went with my Daughter to go to a wedding!
My nieces both had bought farms....one on 8 acres, one on 10.
The Wedding was held at my niece's 10 acres...beautiful country and in the spring the countryside was filled with wildflowers and wildlife....
A truly simple (though not simple to pull off by the way) country wedding!
 This is the backdrop for the service.....
 Imagine this as your backyard!
The bride and groom did it all with the help of friends. They cooked and cooked and cooked. They had pulled pork, beef, and turkey....salads and breads (some of which my sister, daughter and I made)....
The tree pieces you see are all from trees on their property.
The land is beautiful and they have only been there since Thanksgiving on the ten acres.
It was indeed a lovely wedding....and a busy time.
We also got to visit my other niece and husband that had even more recently purchased a house and 8 acres.....lovely.
It was a great time all in all...and I am glad we went and am now home and glad to be home.....
Thanks to all....
Nancy


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Project complete

Years ago, Hubby and I wanted to buy a real bed frame, not just a metal one, but one that had posts and all. Well, we found one at a consignment store that was a bargain. The only thing I didn't like then was the color. It was an orangey cherry color and I remember saying I'd like to paint it....way back then....
It was a canopy bed, and although we tried the canopy, it didn't fit the room right, so we haven't put that back on, opting just for the four tall posts.
So, for those years, I have leaned the pillows up against the headboard. Partly in attempt to hide its color ....
A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I'd like to paint the bed. Hubby said, "Ok". Yup, he did....
Guess what color I wanted to paint it??
Yup, French Linen!
So, I started and ran out of the color! At least, I got most of the color on before....but it needed another coat.....and of course a touch of dry brushed colors here and there....
So, I got more and finished it off today.....


I realize some people think that painting the bed is a bad idea, but from our eyes, it is more restful in the room and blends the colors now well.....
So, that is what I got to do today.....
Hope your weekend is good....
Nancy

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fava Fame

You have heard me talk about favas before, but they are amazing bean plants. Nutritious and versatile, the favas have lots of protein and flavor...and the plant is productive.
So, ours are in high gear this spring. From what I have read, they will only produce for a while longer and then their time will be over. So.....I have been collecting recipes.
First, what to do with all the beans I cannot eat. Afterall, variety is the spice of life....
My recipes so far have been lightly cooking them until their outer skin gives way so I can get to the inner yummy and beautiful bean inside. Then I add them to the dish I have in the pan...Yummy in pasta!

Freezing favas becomes important then too. So, I have read many different ideas, the main one being to boil them breifly and then plunge them in the cold water and then spread them on a cookie sheet, freeze and then put in a bag after freezing.....
This apparently helps get the outer skin off too....such a plus.
Has anyone heard of the method I saw in one cookbook, where she freezes the whole pod?? Then takes them out when needed?? Sounds good, but I am not sure....
Anyway, favas are on the menu......
Nancy

Friday, April 5, 2013

Targeting the front

Ha ha, I didn't realize that I was playing with words! You see, I got a pillow (yup I bought a pillow!) from Target today!
I wanted to make a pillow for outdoors, with Sunbrella fabric, but that fabric tends to be quite pricey. Instead I found this really adorable, bright and perfect pillow at Target and just had to get it.
They had some adorable pillows, with yellows, golds, and blues....as well as geometric type patterns too. How much?? $14.99
Yup, when you need a punch of color that can withstand rain and moist air, these are perfect!
See the cute little piggie?? Wilbur came from TJMaxx homestore, and on sale....the bench was a garage sale find, and the pots, well those are fiber pots, that I was assured would last two seasons...they look perfect here...

We decided that this year we would just use these pots instead of building raised beds, as the neighbors might feel uncomfortable with a "farm next door", and this was quite affordable to do...though the gardener is a little unhappy trying to mow around them....so I will just have to give him a few tomatoes at some point....right??

Anyway, just wanted to share the Target line that I saw.....
Nancy
(No, I am not being paid by Target to share this, just a private person sharing)