simple is beautiful

Peonies Revisited

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hello lovelies!  Did you have a good weekend? 

We spent the weekend in the mountains and had a great time.  We enjoyed hiking, relaxing, and the guys even had luck at fishing, so we were able to enjoy fresh trout, a real treat.  The next best thing to spending time with family, was getting to see the peonies again.  Our peonies have sadly come and gone here at home, but in the mountains they were just beginning to put on a show.

We arrived shortly after a spring shower and the peonies looked like this.

I love to see them all balled up like fists. 

By the end of the weekend, this is what they looked like.

I brought back the grass cloth wallpaper that I told you about and plan to begin working on lining the built-ins in the bedroom sometime this week.  So many projects, so little time.

New Curtains...Sort of

Thursday, May 27, 2010

     Mr. :  "How was your day?"
    Me:  "Good.  Did you have a good day?"
    Mr. :  "Pretty good.  What did you do today?"

     Me:  "I painted the curtains in the living room."
    Mr. :  "Say that again."

     Me: "I painted the curtains in the living room."
    Mr. :  "Oh, I didn't realize that our curtains needed to be painted."
    Me:  "It's not that they needed to be painted, it's more that they needed to be horizontal stripes."
    Mr. :  "Oh."

    When you make panels from painter's canvas,  you might as well have fun with them.

     Martha shows how to stencil these pretty panels here.

      Tissue Flower Tutorial

      Tuesday, May 25, 2010

         If you have been following along, then chances are you already had a peek at the tissue flowers that I made last week. They turned out better than I imagined and making them reminded me of my childhood bedroom.  I used to make these flowers and hang them all around my room.  Pink ones.

        Here is the tutorial as promised.


        tissue paper - for flowers and stem
        wire - I used 19 gauge because that is what I had on hand.
        pipe cleaner

        Step one:
        To make the large flowers (approx. 20") which are good for hanging, stack eight sheets of 20x30" tissue paper.  To make the smaller flowers (approx. 10") which are good in an arrangement, stack eight sheets of 10x15 tissue paper. 

        Step two:
        Begin to accordion fold the sheets 1 1/2" for the large flowers and about an 1" for the smaller flowers.  Be sure to fold from the shorter end.  Continue until you reach the end.
        Step three:
         This step is what makes the biggest difference.  Decide whether you want your petals to have pointed or rounded edges and make the cuts accordingly.  I could only cut a couple of layers at a time.

         Step four:
        Once the edges are cut, fold the strip of folded tissue in half to find the center point.  Secure by twisting a pipe cleaner around the tissue.

        Step five:
        Separate the tissue one layer at a time beginning with the center petals.  Do this until every layer is separated.  If you plan to hang your flowers, then you are finished.  If you plan to use your flowers in an arrangement, go to step six.

        Step six:
        I wanted my stems to look more realistic and to scale, so I built them up a bit.  To do this I connected another pipe cleaner to the end of the one that I used to secure the center.  Next I twisted the pipe cleaners with  wire to make the stem more secure.  Once that was done I wrapped each stem with green tissue paper.  I didn't glue mine on.

         That's it...easy.  Let me know if you have any questions.  

        We are having computer trouble so if you email me you may not get a response for a while.


        Green Monday

        Monday, May 24, 2010

           How is your Monday going? 

          Just had to share this little snapshot of how my day went.  I had a green Monday sprinkled with a drop of Anthro.  See you tomorrow.


          A Stroll After the Rain

          Thursday, May 20, 2010

               We have enjoyed some much needed rain here at cottage and vine.  Funny how the garden changes in just a few days.  Mr. CV and I went out to take an inventory of things and were happy to find so many nice surprises.  The Annabelle hydrangeas are just about to pop.  They look like broccoli just before they bloom.  As soon as the weather is dry enough, I need to work on that bench.  Any color suggestions? 

              The Oak-leaf hydrangeas have certainly gotten their groove on since it rained.  They are the perfect combination of chartreuse, green, and white.  As the season goes on, they will begin to show soft shades of mauve and red.
               While we were oohing and aahing, we had a visitor.

              If there was ever a year for roses, this would be it.  At least for us, the roses have been show stopping.  Gardening takes a lot of time and patience and some years are better than others.
                This New Dawn rose, is one of my favorites.  It is the one that we used here and that we purchased here.

              I will leave you with this last image that made us both stop dead in our tracks.  The sun was in the perfect position and the timing was perfect as we discovered our magnolia tree blooming....I'm wishing I could bottle that fragrance.  Mr. CV said that nothing in this world smells better than magnolia.  I need to get with the fragrance companies asap don't I?

              Strawberry Fields Forever...

              Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                  A couple of weeks ago, we made our annual trip to the strawberry farm to pick strawberries.  This time I wanted to make sure that we picked enough to play with so we ended up with 8 quarts.

                   Fresh, really fresh, strawberries are such a treat.  To me, there is nothing better than a warm strawberry picked right off the plant..well there could be a tie between cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

                  We enjoyed chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberry shortcake, and I even made preserves.

                  When I canned the preserves, I wanted to make labels for the jars so I used the image from my cottage that
                  pve design illustrated.  The recipe that I used came from here.

                  The strawberries that were left over were frozen to make this yummy treat that I saw at Southern Hospitality.

                  Are you planning to can anything this summer?  Do you know of any good links for label making?  I would love to hear about them.

                  I'm linking with Funky Junk, Somewhat SimpleMy Backyard Eden and Blue Cricket Design

                  Would You Like to Swing on a Star?

                  Tuesday, May 18, 2010

                     Do the words - 8th grade dance - bring back memories?  I am in charge of the decorations for the 8th grade dance at my son's school.  There are about 250 8th graders and the dance will be held in the gymnasium of the middle school with the theme "Starry Nights".  Coincidentally on my morning run yesterday, Frank Sinatra's "Swinging on a Star" popped into my Ipod, a welcome change from the rap and r&b that usually motivates me to run fast. Please don't judge.  As the song played, I began to think about the words and how much they describe the choices that you make during the middle school years.  I have always thought of that time in life as a fork in the road.  A time when it is easy to veer off the path and maybe take an unfamiliar road that can lead to trouble.  I pray every day that our boys stay on the main road.

                    Fortunately I have a partner who is helping me with the decor.  We plan to use lots of silver stars which we would love to hang from the rafters, but that might be a little ambitious.  We will use lots of white Christmas lights throughout the gymnasium.  Tissue paper will be our best friend as we make arrangements for the tables.


                    Just recently I found this shooting star idea that would be great to display on the wall of the gym.


                    If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.  I always love to hear from my creative posse.  The dance is this Friday and I'm starting to freak out...just a little...well, maybe not.

                    Now, to keep it real, would you like to swing on a star...or would you like to be a mule? 

                    The Plate Wall and a Winner

                    Friday, May 14, 2010

                       Happy Friday!  How are you?  I'm OK considering that I made it half the day yesterday thinking stationery was stationary and not stationery.  Do you ever do that?  Hit the publish button only to come back later to find a major typo.  Oh well, never said I was perfect, LOL.

                      Now let's enter the world of plates.  Better yet, let's enter the world of plates and spray paint.  Yesterday I painted a stack of plates that I picked up from the Goodwill store and had actually forgotten about until I read this postThanks Trish.
                      Of course we all know the cardinal rule, never run out of white spray paint.  Impulsive projects, you know.  I can honestly say that if I ever walk into another thrift store, that I can look squarely at a stack of plates and say.........I'm good.  No really, none for me, thanks.  I will not tweak this wall anymore, ever again.

                      If you would like to see the before picture of this wall, you can go here.  If you would like to see more plate walls, then try The Down and Out Chic.  She has an amazing collection of posts on plate walls.

                      Be Creative With Stationery

                      Thursday, May 13, 2010

                      Today is the last day to enter the 2Preppygirls giveaway.   For more info go here.

                       My dear sweet friends who also happen to be my neighbors, surprised me the other day with this.

                      Recently I blogged about the rose that has formed an arch over my potting bench and my friends Stephanie and Laura of Be Creative turned my photo into stationery.  They even had it printed with my name on it.  I am so happy to have these beautiful note cards that have personal meaning and am truly touched by their gesture!

                      I was just thinking about all of the cards you could make this way.  By using a high resolution photo of 500 KB or more, you could print cards of your home, flowers, a family vacation, the dog...anything.  The cost for the cards is $14 for a set of 15, $25 for a set of 30, $38 for 45, and $50 for 60.

                      If you are interested:

                      Contact OR with your photograph and a statement saying that you have rights to the photo.  Be sure to specify any wording that you wish to have on your note cards.  The inside will be blank.  I thought it was so sweet that they added my name in the same pink as the rose.  Stephanie or Laura will then send you a final proof for your approval before printing.  Easy.

                      This little beauty came from Be Creative too.  Mr. CV gave it to me for Mother's Day.  Love it!  Have a look around the Be Creative shop.  They have all sorts of goodies that you will love.  To find out about new product, you might want to join the Be Creative facebook page.

                       By the way, Stephanie and Laura are SAHMs who happen to have found their little niche doing what they love.  Stephanie is the mother of two beautiful girls, ages 11 and 13.  Laura is the busy mother of three cute little boys, ages 9 and 5 year old twins. 
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