Fun Easter Projects and Traditions…..

Easter is soooo early this year!

I’m not quite ready to think about it….but I better get with it.

Here are some of the fun projects we enjoy doing at Easter….you can click on the title of each to be taken to the post with the how-to’s, etc.

Just this weekend I gave these to a lovely group of teen girls that spent the weekend with us…..here’s the how-to….

Vintage German Easter Egg Treats

basket of vintage easter eggs 2

This is our favorite way to dye eggs…..I just love the colors:

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed eggs on silver tray

Ever know the stories behind Easter Traditions?

I shared some in this post:

Easter Traditions

77616793547567068_j7GhgNPq_f

We had fun making these last year, too….

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs main

Here’s the recipe for

Easter Story Cookies

109916047125590909_ARklOYxW_f

Have you started looking for the

Pine Tree Crosses

pine_crosses.jpg

I shared about our

Easter Egg Tree …… and how you can make your own….

easter egg tree

And we love the yearly tradition of doing a

Passion Tree

passion tree 2011

Well…those are some of our fun yearly traditions that we enjoy…..do you have any special Easter traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings~

IMG_0001

Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

Wheelbarrow Gardens!

Have fun with this super simple yard art!  These are very whimsical and can be moved around the yard throughout the year and filled with whatever is in season.  So fun!

QUICK DIRECTIONS:

you will need:

old or new wheelbarrow/s

spray paint in colors desired–make sure the paint is labeled for exterior

potted plants and trees from the nursery

pine straw or hay

how to do it:

1.  Tape up the rubber of the wheels with painters tape/frog tape

2. Spray paint to your hearts content everything else on the wheelbarrow—for a shortcut you don’t have to spray the inside since it will be completely covered up and unseen. For an opaque look like the ones above you will need to do 2-3 coats.  For a shabby look 1-2 coats would be fine.

3. Fill with small potted trees and plants

4.  Cover surface with pine straw or hay

By using potted trees and plants you can easily swap them out with the seasons.  I have one wheelbarrow in our garden that I did fill with potting soil and permanently plant with perennials, etc.  But if you use potted ones you have the fun option of moving them around the yard in different places and changing what is inside them with the seasons.  These get lots of comments—and create fun whimsy in your yard.

In a spray paint cloud~

Sharing with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  Making the World CuterCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedouxWe Are That FamilyThe Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything GoesRooted in ThymePositively SplendidCedar Hill RanchElizabeth & Co.Domestically SpeakingThe Power of Paint, Faded Charm CottageMichele Raven DesignsJunk in Their TrunkGingersnap CraftsThe Vintage FarmhouseMy Repurposed LifeThe Rooster & the HenShabby NestFinding FabulousThrifty Handmade Days, Blue Cricket Design

The Invasion of Beauty

We took some time to do some grunt work a couple of weekends ago—in between cookouts and spring concerts.  We had been putting it off for a while—it was time to tackle “The Monsters By the Road”.

For years the lovely razzleberry bushes by the road were perfect—then they must have started taking steroids!  No matter how much we trimmed, they were HUGE.  It wasn’t a fun job—we had all kinds of other fun, nesting, decorating, planting to do—-we just kept ignoring those behemoths in front of our house.

Amazing what we can allow in our comfort zone………

Handsome chainsawed, trimmed, cut up—and they were finally gone! The chopped up monsters lay by the road for the yard garbage pickup.

Now, time to plant something lovely to replace them.  We were ready to move on.  Get to the fun part. Cover up the ugly. New plants awaited!

But wait, what is THAT?  That huge trunk/stump?  Do you think we could just leave it?  Just cover it up with dirt and plant beauty above it?  Let’s do it!

“You know if we do that—it will sprout hundreds of branches from this one trunk?” Handsome reminded.  Ugh! The behemoths will return with a vengeance. *grunt* *complain*

Out came the axe.  Whacking, sweating, chopping, heaving——does it really have to be so hard?  Is it worth it?

Through this yard project I really started thinking about the state of my heart.  There are things that I’ve become comfortable with that need to be cut down—behemoths that I have learned to ignore, even found comfort.  Am I willing to allow God to chainsaw them?

And then—horror upon horror—will I allow the stumps to be removed?  Or, you know, hundreds of sprouts will appear in no time to take its place.  Couldn’t we just skip that part? Is it worth it?  The pain. The work. The surrender.  Couldn’t I just cover them up with something pretty?  A good deed? A new commitment? A new good habit?

No, the sprouts know their way around all those things.

Just as I want our cottage garden to bless those that see it, walk through it, sit in it—I have to be willing to get out the axe, clippers, sometimes the chainsaw to remove those things that invade the beauty.  If I want to be used and live into my purpose—those things that invade the beauty will need to be removed.  Sap will flow. It can get messy.  But what waits on the other side—well, it’s more than worth it.

We got the monsters and stumps out of the garden—and under them we found these neat treasures–God’s fingerprints…..

Cardinal eggs that had been abandoned–new life waiting to emerge….

A yellow slider turtle–happy to have some sunshine and come out of the dark…….

And after all the work was done and the new BEAUTYberry {:)} bushes and perennials were planted—we retreated here….to the Therapy Room

and our daughter made some shabby chic bandaids for our blisters.

What’s the state of your heart today? Is there anything invading the beauty? Where are YOU seeing the fingerprints of God under the unlikely?

Some things I am thankful for today?  So glad you asked………

stumps removed

shabby chic bandaids

diligent kids doing their schoolwork

a long weekend approaching

happy birds at seed

out-of-town friends coming that we haven’t seen in years

a son who confided in me

daughter skipping and flying through the garden

watching that same daughter make discoveries through the window

warm, sincere hugs

3 kids that love me unconditionally—stumps and all

bright, light-filled bedroom

Cherry Coke

kids’ Saturday morning laughter

those that have fought for my freedom and protection

How Does Your Bible Garden Grow…..{Part 1}

When we moved into Oak Cottage one of the first things we did was to begin work on the yard…..and to start our garden.  Even after 16 years it is still not complete and is in process…but it has come a long way.

When our little ones were toddlers and preschoolers we liked to come up with neat ways to teach them God’s Word, about their world, and create fun ways to remember scriptures and Bible truths and stories.  We wanted to paint pictures for them….

We did this in many ways….but our favorite has been our Bible Garden.

All throughout our English cottage garden we have peppered plants, herbs, flowers, trees, etc. that are referenced in scripture, and that grow in the Holy Land.

I thought I would share them with you in two posts.

We have several Scotch Broom in our garden.  We have the yellow variety, pink, and orange. These bushes are referenced in 1 Kings 19:4, Job 30:4, and Psalm 120:4.

Some translations have mistakenly translated the Hebrew word ‘rothem’ into ‘juniper’. But upon further study this is incorrect. ‘Rothem’ was actually the Arab’s translation of ‘rotem’…closer to ‘broom’. When visiting the Holy Land you find that the true translation is ‘broomtree’ and that Scotch Broom grows abundantly in many places. It casts little shadow and would only be used for shade in dire circumstances, but it is used for making charcoal, brooms, and for burning. {It also smells heavenly!}

The Flowering Almond {sorry, it had already finished blooming when I took the pic!} is reference in Ecclesiastes 121:5:

“…the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home…..”

Bay Laurel is the Bible’s ‘oil tree’

Cedar is referenced MANY times in the Bible…here is just a few places: Amos 2:9, 2 Kings 19:23, 2 Kings 14:9, Song of Solomon 5:15, Ezekiel 31:3-5, Psalm 104:16, Psalms 92:12…..

Fig…well, we all know that these great big leaves were used by Adam and Eve..but the Fig Tree is mentioned many times in the Bible….Genesis 3:7, Deuteronomy 8:8, Numbers 13:23, Numbers 20:5, Psalms 105:33……

It only takes a quick ride among the mountain villages of Palestine to see the extensive fig gardens….and realize how devastating it would be for these slow growing trees to be destroyed. It takes several years of nurturing before they bear fruit.

Garlic was known to the ancient Egyptians…and was probably one of the delights in which the Israelites longed for in Numbers 11:5. It was/is used for stews.

Grape Hyacinths are small bulb flowers that are referred to as ‘lilies’ in the Holy Land. Song 6:2-3

Purple Iris is also referred to as a ‘lily’ in the Holy Land….Hosea 14:5

Roman Chamomile…one of the Holy Lands ‘flowers of the field’…..Isaiah 40:6 “All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.”

Dill grows in lands bordering the Mediterranean…it is mentioned that this plant {Hebrew ‘shabhath’} is subject to tithe…it’s stems, leaves, and seed.

I’ll share the others in another post…don’t want to bog you down with a super long post.

This has been such a neat way to teach our children so many truths over the years. They’ve SEEN how the lily fades….here today, gone tomorrow. They’ve SEEN how strong the cedar is…when the other trees bend and break in the hurricanes. They’ve TASTED the strong dill and other herbs…and realized how important they are to our dinners; and we’ve cut 10% of them away to see what a tithe looks like; they’ve helped NURTURE a fig tree for years before seeing any fruit for their labor….and then cherished it and reaped the benefits. It’s been a neat journey that we are still on…..

{You can read Part 2 here}

Do you or someone you know have a Bible Garden?

Blessings~

Sharing with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedouxWe Are That FamilyThe Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything GoesRooted in ThymePositively SplendidCedar Hill Ranch,  House in RosesRook No. 17Elizabeth & Co.Domestically SpeakingThe Power of PaintThe Trendy Treehouse, Faded Charm CottageMichele Raven DesignsJunk in Their TrunkGingersnap CraftsNight Owl CraftingThe Vintage FarmhouseMy Repurposed LifeThe Rooster & the HenShabby NestFinding FabulousThrifty Handmade DaysHomemaker on a Dime, Jennifer Rizzo’s Garden Party

Garden Tool Trellises…..

I shared this post back in the beginning of this blog…..

and since this week I’ve been in a gardening state of mind

I thought I would pull it back up from the depths and share it again,

since we have so many wonderful, new friends that may have missed it.

*******

I love to take something that was meant for one thing and use it a totally different way.  How about you?  At our home and yard the unusual is usual.

When my grandfather died I received many of his gardening tools, plow, wheelbarrows, etc.  I use them to this day.  But some of them have worn out, broken, or in some way become unable to be used as tools.  We have found all kinds of ways to continue to use them in our garden.  This would be a fun project with any tools—but it makes them extra special that they were my grandfather’s.

When the garden rake and shovel began to crack and break we glued them where needed and turned them into trellises in one of the rose beds.

The mandevilla is super happy on the shovel these days.

And the rake is awaiting the moonflower vine that my daughter grew in her ‘greenhouse’.  We are gong to plant it today!

Here’s what you need to make your own tool trellis:

~ long-handled garden tools {the older the better—go yard saling or flea marketing if you don’t already have some!}

~ PVC pipe that fits the handle of your chosen tool

~ small, crushed stone/rocks

~ wonderful vines to plant at the base {my favorite part!}

How ya do it:

1. Cut an 18″ section of PVC pipe for each tool you will be using

2.  Insert the pipe into the ground where you want your trellis

3.  Fill the bottom of the pipe with about 4-6″ of crushed stones/rocks

4.  Insert your tool into the pipe

5.  Plant your wonderful vine!

Why the PVC???  Well, we live in the humid US south—termites outnumber people.  They love it here—so anytime you even THINK of putting wood close to the ground–you have to have protection!  The PVC and crushed stone will keep your tool from coming into contact with the soil and rotting; which also  protects against wood-eating critters.

Another fun option:  if it fits the look of your garden—–you could use old or new tools and paint them!  Fun, bright colors!  Just add that step before you plant them and be sure to use exterior spray paint.  That would be a really fun accent in a garden.  {Just make sure you paint it a different color than the flower that you will be growing on it.  We are in the process of making a gate out of old tools—and we are thinking of painting it when we are done.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Blessings~

Salad Garden in a Chicken Feeder……

Well, if I can’t have chickens right now….

I can at least have a chicken feeder.

And plant salad in it! Right!!???

{I so badly want chickens….especially aracaunas,

with their gorgeous blue eggs.}

This past winter I found this great vintage chicken feeder

at The Nest….LOVE this store!

For the winter it lived on our new dining room sideboard

filled with some of our ironstone collection.

But now that the beautiful spring weather is here

I needed a special, protective spot for our salad garden.

**enter audible lightbulb sound**

The chicken feeder! Perfect!

 We nestled it among the spent daffodils and in front

of the hawthorne to give it a bit of a break from the heat.

A salad garden needs full sun….but here, where it gets

so very hot, it needs a bit of protection.

We can only grow salad plants here in Eastern NC through mid-June….

and then again in the autumn. They are cool weather plants.

 In the feeder we planted several different kinds of lettuces,

arugula, mustard greens, kale, salad burnet, etc.

  No matter where you live…or how much room you have…..

anyone can have a salad garden.  We use to keep salad and herb garden planters

on our patio when we first got married and lived in an apartment.

You can plant it in any kindof galvanized container….chicken feeder, tub,

water cooler, bucket, trash can, etc.

I actually knew of a man here in NC

that planted over two dozen galvanized trash cans with

flowers, herbs, vegetables, etc.  People would drive by

his house just to check out the “Trashcan Garden”.

It was really cool!

Here’s what you need:

any kind of container….preferably galvanized

potting soil…we like Organic Miracle Gro or Moisture Control

salad plants..try some new ones that you’ve never had before!

Here’s How Ya Do It:

1.  Drill holes in your container if it doesn’t already have any…not too many, though; just enough to have good drainage.

2. Fill your container with soil.

3.  Have fun planting your plants!  Fill in the container….don’t leave too much space!

4. Put it in a sunny spot

Don’t you guys love my long, drawn out, complicated tutorials?

If you haven’t already….head on over to enter our big giveaway!

Only a few days left…….

Enter here.

Happy Tuesday~

Sharing this long drawn out tutorial with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  2805Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedoux504 Main733 BlogWe Are That FamilyCreating Really Awesome Free Things,  The Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything GoesRooted in ThymePositively SplendidCedar Hill Ranch

Fun in the Garden….

I hope you all had a super weekend!

It was beautiful here and we were outside Friday-Sunday.

Loved it!

We had a lot of fun planting this past weekend.

We  planted a salad garden {I’ll share about that later this week.}

And added lots of new herbs to the herb garden.

I thought I would share an idea that I shared at the very

beginning of this blog….since so many of you

weren’t with me then. 🙂

We love adding these Milk Crates filled with herbs or flowers

in neat places in our garden…nestled in somewhere.

*******

Milk Crate Herb Garden

{Originally posted last year}

It has been unbearably hot here for weeks now—and my poor herb garden is looking wimpy!  I have a large herb garden that I love and use almost everyday.  The unseasonable heat has made it hard to keep lush—SO, I started planting some small container herb gardens with my favorite, most used herbs; making it easier to keep moist and ready-to-use.

I love vintage metal baskets of any kind—-locker baskets, milk crates, etc.  I nab them whenever I see them.  I remember putting my towel and pool stuff in a locker basket each day at the pool when I was growing up.  {Remember those silver/galvanized?, metal pool pins you had to have to get into the pool?  They had a little number on them.  Love those, too. I sometimes kept mine on my towel—and it would leave rust spots by the end of the summer.}

This past weekend I pulled out one of my Flavo-Rich metal milk crates and filled it with a mini herb garden.  I love it—and it adds some fun character to a hole I had in the garden.  Nestled right in with the ballerina roses and gardenia.

Here’s What You Need:

metal crate of any kind

moss or window box/hanging basket fiber insert

potting soil–I like organic Miracle Grow with moisture control

herbs

Here’s How Ya Do It:

1.  Line your crate with the moss or fiber–you may have to cut it and piece it in to fit.  I had a round one on hand that I had to cut into several pieces.  Once you fill it with soil and plant it—the piecing will not show.  My crate has about 6 different pieces—but looks seamless.

2.  Fill with soil

3.  Plant herbs—to keep it from looking wimpy fill it up! There are six plants in my planter.  Just since this weekend {4 days ago} they have filled in and you can no longer see the dirt!  Looks great!  You will be harvesting them, so you want it to be lush.

4.  Find the just right spot to nestle it in!

5.  Soak it with water

While at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend I found the neatest plant to add to our garden!  Horseradish!  It grows very well here and is very prolific!  You harvest the roots in the fall —- we will have fresh, homemade horseradish!  So excited.  I’ll keep you updated on how it goes—new territory here, having to learn about it.  It is a perennial.  You harvest the larger roots and re-plant the others to come back and multiply for the next year. Fun!

***************
The horseradish is starting to come back for this year! Yay!
If you haven’t already….be sure to enter our SuperSized 1 Year Blogoversary Giveaway!
You can enter here.
ALSO, here’s a discount code for our etsy shop:

1year20

for 20% off your entire order!
We listed some fun new tea towels over the weekend.
Have a great Monday~

Sharing with:  Cedar Hill Ranch

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs….

You guys are a treasure!

Thank you for the sweet comments and e-mails about

my daughter’s birthday post yesterday.

They blessed her, as well.

{If you’d like to read the posts about my son and

my middle daughter click on over. :)}

******

This week we had so much fun dying Easter Eggs.

We like to use natural dyes that are made from

fruits, vegetables, and spices from the kitchen.

Here are great recipes to use to do that if

you’d like to give it a try.

I love the colors that natural dyes produce.

 I hope that you and your family

have a wonderful Easter!

{source}

 Blessings~

Sharing with:  Jennifer Rizzo

Friday Favorites……

For the weekend….

some of my favorites that I’ve come across lately.

I’m loving the wonderful spring weather we are having…

and I have a thing for nests!

Hot Cross Buns!

Fun printables for Easter gifts….

The wonderful spring wind….

Dying and decorating eggs….

I hope you weekend is full of springtime!

Spring Front Porch

Everything here is covered in pollen…

how is it where you are?

We had a fun few days in the garden

last week….Handsome took a couple of days off

and we got a lot accomplished.

Pressure washing, weeding, planting….etc.

We also springified the front porch.

You can’t help but love pansies….they look like little happy faces.

AND, they are GREAT on salads.

We add them to our salads for a little

peppery kick. {They also look lovely, too!}

The two-dove sculpture was left on my porch

as a present from a friend a few weeks ago.

Don’t you just love fun surprises….

especially when someone knows you so well????

We have a lot of fun with our French Cafe Sidewalk

Chalkboard that Handsome made.

We’ve found so many fun uses for it…..

We just reused our branches from Christmas and winter

and hung some paper mache Easter eggs on them.

Our front porch is our therapy spot.

We eat meals on the dining table we have out there,

hang out in the porch swing and read, talk, drink

lemonade or our beloved sweet tea.

We made a list of what we would have to have in a house if we ever moved…..

Number one is always a big front porch

and Number two is always a wood-burning fireplace.

The front porch was what first drew us to Oak Cottage.

Before we even had a realtor show it to us we would come

and sit on the front porch swing trying to decide

if this was definitely the cottage for us.

{No one lived here…it was basically abandoned.}

For almost 17 years now we have sat in that same

porch swing knowing that it was.

Do you have a porch that you enjoy?

Sharing with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  2805Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedoux504 Main733 BlogWe Are That FamilyCreating Really Awesome Free Things,  The Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything Goes, Rooted in ThymePositively SplendidSouthern HospitalityJennifer Rizzo