Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to:Fresh Flower Crown

I think the idea of a fresh flower crown is so clever and beautiful.  Perfect for a little girl or teen but also as a bridesmaid or prom accessory.  My great niece made herself an adorable crown using the simplest clover blossom, but the sky is the limit!

https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-tuesday-fresh-flower-crown/https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-tuesday-fresh-flower-crown/Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods
Floral crowns are sure having their moment of glory these days. The trend pops into fashion every now and again, but some of the most inspiring versions are those from the Pre-Raphaelites.
I spotted Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (look closely!) last year while at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and ever since I’ve been wanting to make my own version. I finally sat down and experimented with some lovely flowers and wish I had an excuse to wear it around town. The beauty of working with real flowers is that you don’t need any materials other than the flowers.
So, let’s go!
You will need:
Flowers of your choice and clippers. The pliable flowers are best to work with for the base of the crown. Try bending the stem first to make sure it doesn’t crack. If it does, consider trying something else. For this floral crown, I used black dahlias, tidsel (the greenery for the base), astilbe (the pink), craspedia (the yellow balls), and virburnum berries (the turquoise and purple).
Cut and line up the first round of flowers for the base of your crown. Ideally, the stems should be 5-9″ long each. You can cut them down but it’s harder to work with shorter stems. I suggest using greenery first and then adding the colors into it.
Lay one stem perpendicular on top of another.
Bend the stem under.
Bring the stem up to the top and then press it down so it lies next to the first.
While holding the two stems in place with your left hand, place another stem on top and bend it under.
Bring the stem up again and then place it parallel with the others.
Repeat the process until it’s the size of the circumference of the head. I added some different greenery into the middle to create more of a focal point when it’s worn.
When you get to the end, wrap the last stem tightly around the others to secure them in place, making sure that it doesn’t break.
To finish off the circle, weave the last stems into the beginning of the crown by tucking them in.
Now you can start adding in other flowers. I added longer pieces first so that the shorter flowers can be seen at the end.
Place your show-stopper flowers evenly around the crown. I used black dahlias as my main piece.
Finishing touches: Continue adding in your flowers evenly around the crown. I added in berries at the end for some exclamation marks.
There are several different versions to a floral crown. You can switch off flowers for the base of the crown instead of adding the flowers in at the end, or you can keep it simple and just use one variety. After completing one, you’ll want to turn every flower you see into a crown. Good luck!
Photography by Brittany Watson Jepsen and Amanda Thomsen.
Brittany Watson Jepsen is a designer and crafter. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness." Find her on her blog, The House That Lars Built, and her Etsy shop, where she designs and sells kitchen accessories and all things floral.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Narnia part two

 Last spring me and my family went to Gatlinburg Tennessee for a long weekend and even though it was the end of April we were pleasantly surprised by snow at the top of Clingman's Dome.  Yes it looked like Narnia.  Well  this past weekend we returned there wanting to see the Smokies in Fall array and went for another drive towards the higher elevation . This is what we saw!  Snow beautiful, Christmassy, fluffy, white snow!
 So, what are the odds of this happening to us again??  We were ecstatic!  This is me and my awesome snowball makin husband!
 The day we arrived it was chilly and Fallish, leaves twirling downward in the wind.  Apple dumplings at the Apple Barn started our mini vacation with a bang. Me and my daughter Christina in front of a stream across from the "Apple Barn"
 Two days later, THIS!  This is me and my daughter Jenny.
At lower elevations it was still Fall!  My son in law Suj and Kavi outside "Santa's Claus-et"
This is after we descended from Narnia back to the land of Autumn!
The cabin we all shared had a wood burning fireplace that made the stay especially cozy and made up for the concave mattress in me and Ray's room, the poop-like aroma in my daughter Christina's room and the scary, scary twisty and steep road up to it!

Seriously though Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains national Park is my favorite place to go!  If you haven't been there go there!  Gather a bunch of family to chip in and get a cabin!!  You will love it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Waltons are Hip...they really are!

This past Fall I had a bad cold and stayed in bed one day watching a Waltons Marathon. I watched this series when it first was on in the early or mid 70s and loved it and I loved it even more this time around. First of all, if you are even remotely in to etsy, pinterest or blogworld, and the handcrafted, DIY movement, you will notice upon tuning in to the show, that it could very easily fit into this artsy time we live in.
They made the most delicious pies, cakes and well, everything from scratch. Hello!! Pies are very hip now along with all yummy hand baked from scratch anythings.
Simple rustic yet homey decor. Very in . Drinking ice tea from mason jars!!! Using mason jars with wild flowers in them to decorate the really cool canvas tent they put behind the house for Grandpa to sleep in so he would be able to see Walton's mountain and recover from his serious illness?? It worked, Grandpa made it! Looked like a blogger wedding site!
John and Livvy's 25th wedding anniversary where they drove to a town nearby to get professional photos taken, all the while the youngins were secretly planning a surprise party for them, saving paper bags for luminaries, and foil gum wrappers to make shiny table decorations and John making a gazebo to surprise Livvy on the mountain!!
Jason being in a bluegrass band playing in barns with hay to sit on and lights strung for decoration?? Church picnics with colorful pennant garland and PIES and home made canned goods! Yep, and when the kids grew a little older, the girls in their simple cotton 40s dresses, the boys looking very hipster in their vests with oxford shirts and ties, caps and suspenders.
Who knew they would be all the rage three decades later than when they were filmed?
I didn't know, but now I do. Next time you are going through the channels and you see this show, tune in. You may just get inspiration to do something creative or artsy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Calendar

here's a link to a September calendar wallpaper for your computer from Ruche.com!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Free August desktop calendar

Happy August everyone! Or should I say, Happy one month until temperatures begin to drop in the sweltering South!

Monday, June 11, 2012

there were hundreds of them...HUNDREDS OF THEM

A few weeks ago I was standing on my front porch after coming home from a friends house, looking for the stray cat and kittens that we had been feeding.  It was dark out and I heard a neighbor down the street shouting something at me.  When I walked towards her , I heard her saying in a rather panic-ey voice, "do you see them?? There are hundreds of them, HUNDREDS of them and they are FREAKING me out?"  I asked, " see what? ", to which she replied, "THE ORANGE LIGHTS!  COME HERE, COME HERE!"
Well, I calmly walked down to her as she was pointing to the east of our street and yes, freaking out about the lights in the sky.  At first, I didn't see a thing, then three little orange glowing lights drifted over the trees.  "Hmmm," I said,"What on earth can that be?"  "Maybe satellites?"  "NO THEY ARE NOT SATELLITES!  She was quite annoyed at my calm demeanor. "Maybe weather balloons?"  "NO THEY ARE NOT weather balloons!
When several more filled they sky, I was really wondering what the heck they were, but I didn't think that they were aliens attacking earth, like my eccentric neighbor seemed to think.  I mean, as far as I know, people keep  track of what's flying around in US airspace, so the end of the world was not on my mind!
I called my son in law down who was now standing on our porch and he was offering some thoughts on what they could be, while "Belinda" as I shall call her was repeatedly saying, "IT'S FREAKING ME OUT, FREAKING ME OUT!"  My cell  phone rings and my daughter Jenny (real name because she is not a coo coo nut) called to say that she saw the lights and that they were probably wedding lanterns set off from a wedding downtown.  Well, "Belinda" was super relieved to hear a theory she could get behind but seemed to think my son in law solved the mystery and called him a genius.  (which he really is actually)
So my daughters and Rachel stroll down towards where we are standing and "Belinda" tells them, "oh your Mom was just sooo cool about everything, just taking her sweet time coming down the street while I was yelling for her to hurry up, looking at the lights and saying, aren't they pretty (said like a stoned valley girl) maybe they're balloons...just like a hippie on LSD or something"
Ummm, I never said anything like that. I was just not heading for my bunker. She said she thought that it was going to be the end of the world and that she was chosen to warn everyone else.  Thank goodness they were just wedding lanterns!
So...now she mocks me for being a hippie space out!  You need to know me a lot better to mock me, and even my closest family and friends don't do that!  She was outside my house the other day, walking her dogs and talking to my husband  and Jenny when I parked in front of our house.  I overcompensated when I parked because of where she was standing and I could see her  say something to them.  I later found out that she said "OH...baby needs help"
We all just laugh about how now I am the eccentric hippie to this lady and she is the eccentric freaker outer to me.
  Oh the joys of South 10th. I swear they could do a reality show on some of the characters living here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

paper bags and coffee grounds...

 I figured it was high time I shared my new popcorn way of life with all of you!  I have learned many things from pinterest, including this way complicated recipe for brown bag popcorn.  Just kidding, it is the simplest thing ever.  You may never buy pre packaged microwave popcorn again.  I haven't in months.
This is what you need:
brown paper sandwich bags
popcorn kernels (I have preferred Amish Popcorn or Orville Redenbacher)
whatever you want to put on it when done (I melt extra virgin coconut oil and add pink salt)

Everyone's microwave is different, so you may need to tweak the time for popping

*place 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper sandwich bag, fold top over two or three times or fasten with scotch tape
*microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or stop when the kernels stop popping
*pour finished corn in a bowl and add melted butter or cocnut oil or whatever you want and season with salt

It's that easy!  No unnecessary fats like in the prepackaged and much cheaper!  You gotta try this!
I have also  read on pinterest about cold brewing coffee for iced coffee.  I love iced coffee, especially as the temperatures climb.  This method also is purported to reduce the acidity of the coffee brewed this way.  So actually, I am just trying this for the first time, I will let you know how it goes.
Here is a link to The Pioneer Woman's Recipe.
I made a smaller batch by putting about 8 0z ground coffee in a half gallon container in my fridge and filling the rest of the pitcher with cold water.  After 8 hours in the fridge, strain the mixture into a new container using a strainer and cheesecloth (I will try a coffee filter in my strainer).  Closed tightly this is supposed to last for up to a month refrigerated, but I know mine would last less than a week because I would drink it every day! Depending on the concentration, water may be added to your individual glass of coffee, and add creamer and sweetener as desired!  Hope mine comes out good!  I will let you know!