Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Early in June, I was making coconut cakes for my daughter’s shower.   Up against the window, looking as if it were peering in and waving, was a giant, lime green creature.  I had no idea what it was and at first, I was a little fearful to even go close enough to get a better look. Continue reading

Mullein

Mullein;  Verbascum thapsus

Mullein; Verbascum thapsus

I was surprised to see Mullein being sold with the perennials at my local garden center. They are beautiful plants, I let them grow wherever they will in my gardens. They are actually biennial and they self sow readily. The leaves are used most often. The flowers and root are used as well but the seeds are toxic.

The most common use for mullein is as a cough remedy. Continue reading

Williamsburg Farmers Market

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Williamsburg  Farmers Market giftsofnature@cox.net

Williamsburg Farmers Market
giftsofnature@cox.net

I had such a fun morning today! I went to the Williamsburg Farmers Market. It’s right in the middle of Historic Williamsburg, in Merchant Square. There is live music, happy people, delicious food, gorgeous flowers and I was able to bring my little dog Flora along!

It is a wonderful Farmers Market, they have so many different things, all locally grown, made or harvested. Continue reading

Natural Dog … (treat recipe too )

Flora

Flora

We always had dogs in our family. We fed them good quality dog food, took them to the vet for their shots and all was well. Then we got Flora.
She was 4 months old and 8 pounds when we brought her home. I took her to the vet, got her boosters and the recommended topical drops to ward off fleas and tics and a vaccination for Lyme disease. A few months later, I was back at the vet. She had severe itching, ‘hot spots’, wasn’t gaining weight, was lethargic and had fleas. She tested positive for Lyme disease, in spite of the vaccination and drops. Continue reading

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate, Cream Cheese Frosting …Recipe

Vanilla cake with chocolate, cream cheese frosting

Vanilla cake with chocolate, cream cheese frosting

It is my youngest daughter’s birthday!   In 2 weeks she’ll be leaving for her first year of college.  This has been a crazy summer.  My second daughter just got married a month ago.   I’m happy my baby didn’t choose coconut cake for her birthday, I made plenty of those for the wedding and shower.  She wanted red velvet but when I offered to make it without the food coloring, she changed her mind .   I made this for her instead and she loved it.  Sometimes  cakes made from scratch can be so heavy and dense, this isn’t  at all.  It’s moist and still has a nice crumb to it.  I think the key to that is the buttermilk and the coconut oil.  I used all organic ingredients  but I can’t claim it to be health food!  Here’s my recipe, I hope you like it as much as we did:) Continue reading

Vintage <3

Easy  vintage iron transfers

Easy vintage iron transfers

I love vintage patterns! I feel like I found a treasure when I come across a great, clean tablecloth or fabric at a flea market. When I was a kid, I used to go to Woolworths with my Grandmother. They had drawers full of iron on patterns. We would pick out the one we wanted and then choose the colors we needed for our design. I had a little blue embroidery hoop and my own sewing basket. Such great memories! Lots of fabric stores still sell the iron on patterns. There are a lot of really cute vintage designs. They are so inexpensive, and the embroidery floss and the hoops are too. I add my own vintage touches to my pillowcases, hand towels and flour sac towels.  Just iron on the design, stitch in the embroidery and it’s done!  Very quick and easy to do!  This was shared at Share Your Cup Thursday!

 

Making Art

image     As a little kid, I loved to draw and paint.  As a teenager, I dreamed of becoming a famous artist.   I majored in Fine Art for 3 years, ran out of money and  was at a loss for direction.  I quit school.  I never could let go of that dream, though.  For years, I continued to practice, setting up Continue reading

Fall is in the Air

imageIt’s still hot and sticky here  for most of the day but the nights and early mornings have a chill on them, a clear sign that summer is ending soon.  Oddly,  my tomatoes haven’t begun to ripen yet.  The blackberries are late too.  I guess pots of tomato sauce will be  simmering on the stove, with piles of blackberries on the counters , while I am washing, ironing and packing my daughter’s things up  that she will need to go off to her first year of college.  I am thankful to be busy.  I already have a long list of cooking, cleaning, canning and sewing projects that I am counting on to help ease the transition of my baby  being away at school.  When I had 3 little girls running around, at times I used to think longingly of finishing something uninterrupted and having time to myself.  Now I think longingly of having them all around again.  But enough of that!  I have things to do.. .making up organic  lotions, natural air fresheners, plenty of lavender soap and granola bars to pack in the college bin.  I hope my daughter’s room mate isn’t a hair spray addict or a heavy perfumer, lol!    Maybe some day students will be given the option of a chemical free dorm… now I am being obsessive.  Time to go grate some beeswax!

 

Sunday Morning Visit

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I have 3 daughters. Within the past three years, two of them have left home and gotten married. I am happy and excited about the new lives they are building, but I miss them! I miss having them here;  baking with me …..going apple    and berry picking together.  I miss doing art and sewing projects with them and redecorating their rooms….I miss hearing about their lives on a daily basis and having their friends around.  I miss my little girls.  I even miss my teen-agers. The good part is that I love having grown-up daughters and the relationship we are developing as adult women.

I was excited yesterday when my oldest daughter, Amanda, said she would be stopping by for a couple hours this morning. I decided to make our visit a little special. I mixed up some pastry dough and stuck it in the fridge. This morning, I rolled it out, piled some of our garden blueberries in the middle, gathered the dough up around them, pinched it together and sprinkled it all with a little sugar. Into a hot oven it went!  Then, I set the table on the back porch with some pretty china I found years ago at a second hand shop in town.  I went out back and picked a big, fat bouquet of limelight hydrangeas.  In less than an hour, everything was done! My open blueberry tart was delicious! My daughter was surprised and happy to have a little fuss made over her. We had such a great  morning, sitting on the back porch, drinking tea and talking together like old times.  I do miss the old times. ….thankfully, now is wonderful too!

Limelight hydrangea

Limelight Hydrangea

Open Blueberry Tart

Open Blueberry Tart

I shared this post with Bernideen’s Tea Time and Share Your Cup Thursday

Calendula

Calendula flowers

Calendula flowers

Today I am harvesting my beautiful Calendula flowers!

Calendula is a tender perennial,  an annual where I live and so easy to grow.  I see them in 6 packs at garden centers, the seeds are sold everywhere.  They germinate very easily and quickly so I usually just direct sow them right outside in the garden.  No matter what type of gardening season we have, they always seem to come through with lots of vitality and a profusion of blooms.   They are wonderful in the vegetable garden because Continue reading

Little Garden Pond

image       Years ago, I read an article about the mysterious disappearance of frogs.   Their population was declining and there was a lot of speculation as to what  was causing it.  People were encouraged to make safe havens in their yards by implementing a water feature and not using toxic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.   That was my incentive to make my first  little pond.   Continue reading

Stepping Stones

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Shortly after my Mother died, I came upon a stack of old dishes in her basement. Mismatched, chipped and broken, they should have been thrown away long ago. Gathering the dishes and seeing their old patterns, brought me back to my childhood and I was flooded with memories of our family suppers at the kitchen table, so many years ago. It was then I decided to salvage these dishes and repurpose them into stepping stones for the garden.
There are a lot of easy and inexpensive ways to make these. This is the quickest and easiest for me. Continue reading

Clothesline <3

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From the time I was a kid, I have loved my clotheslines. I love seeing everything all in a row, nice and clean. I love the fact that I am not using electricity. I love being outside, pinning clothes, watching them blowing around in the wind and sunshine and feeling like that good,clean energy is being soaked up and is part of our clothes and the beds we sleep in. What I love most of all is way things smell when you dry them out in the fresh air! There is nothing like it! Indescribable! Right up there with freshly cut grass and baking bread. Simple pleasures, irreplaceable.

This post was shared with Vintage Inspiration Party