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Friday, July 29, 2016

Thoughts for Friday

It's Friday aaand it's the first day of the Home and Patio Sale!!  The sale begins at 9 am and will close at 3 pm on Friday and Saturday.  If you're in Portland, Oregon go to NE 15th and Fremont and follow
the signs!  These vintage aprons will be available in the sale!

Blooming in the garden this week is the morning glory vine.  I don't remember planting this, but it returns every year.  This is another flower the hummingbirds love.

It's called a morning glory because when the afternoon sun hits the flowers they close up tight.  Only in the morning do the blossoms open and show their beautiful color.

Well, another great summer beer festival is in the books for us.  The Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland is the holy grail of beer festivals.  This year over 80,000 people will be able to sample 20 different beer styles.  It runs from Wednesday until Sunday.  We always go on Wednesday to avoid the large crowds.

I'm working on another project!  Right now it's in the preliminary, preparatory stage.  Earlier this Spring, I had a new deck installed around the concrete porch in the back yard.  It was cheaper than removing the porch and for drainage reasons I've read it's better to build around porches attached to the foundation.

Anyway, that left me with a little concrete pad with paint chipping off of it.  My thought, with a little help from Pinterest, is to paint this pad similar to an oriental rug!  I'm not going to attempt anything too fancy.  Here's the "before" picture.  Hopefully I'll have a nice "after" photo to post soon!

Enjoy your Summer weekend and get to Home and Patio Sale!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thoughts For Friday

Welcome.  Here we are at the end of another week.

I'm happy to report our garden yielded it's first zucchini last weekend!  This little squash didn't last long in this form.

It quickly became bread, of course!

I followed my tried and true Betty Crocker recipe, however I substituted 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup sugar for the 1 2/3 cup sugar.  I also added about 1/3 cup flax seeds.  The flax seeds give it a nice chewy texture.

You can substitute all the sugar for honey if you'd like.  I would have except I couldn't part with all my honey.  I bought some Nature's Best Oregon Honey at a farmer's market in June.  It is The.Best.Honey.Ever! Seriously, it tastes like sunshine in a jar!

Speaking of sunshine in a jar, those beautiful blackberries we picked last weekend made for some really yummy jam!  I made this jam using a low sugar recipe you can find here.

Summer in the city is an awesome time of year, except when you're trying to sleep.  Our house sits rather close to our neighbors.  We have pretty good neighbors so it's not a problem.  However, in the summer, when all the windows are open we can hear EVERYTHING our neighbors to the north are talking about.  That's why I picked up the LectroFan - White Noise Machine during Amazon Prime Day last week. We've used it twice already.  I can't believe I've lived and slept this long without it!  It really masks the noise without being loud and repetitious.  Works great to mask snoring too, just sayin...

The Sale To End All Sales is quickly approaching!  I'm referring to my Home and Patio Sale of course.  It's a week from today, July 29 and 30th.  If you want to see some of the great stuff that will be available, check out  #homeandpatiosale on Instagram!

This beautiful all wood love-seat will be available. Wouldn't it look great in a game room?

If you're in Portland, go to NE 15th and Fremont and follow the signs.  The doors open at 9 am so come early for the best selection!

Finally, here's a parting shot of my new Lavender Meringue Goat Milk Soap.  This will need a few more weeks of curing before it will be available in the online store.

Cheers to another summer weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Evenings

There's something about a summer evening.  Is it the length of it?  The way the shadows stretch long across the ground?  The warmth?

Saturday evening found us at our favorite blackberry picking spot.  Although the day was mostly overcast, the evening sun made an appearance and warmed us as we fished and picked blackberries along the river side.

There are a few things in life I will not share because I do not want them over used.  The name of my hairdresser, an inexpensive plumber, and the location of our blackberry picking spot are among those things I don't divulge.

For several years (6?) we've made several trips a summer to our spot to pick blackberries.

We fish
and seldom catch anything...

We pack some snacks,

admire the wildflowers,

and of course, pick blackberries!  These babies became jam the next day!

Here's a great, low sugar recipe for making jam I shared last year.

Enjoy your summer evenings!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thoughts For Friday

Another summer Friday is upon us!  We don't get many and here in the Pacific Northwest we get even fewer warm and sunny ones.  This one, however, is shaping up to be everything it should be.

Blooming in the garden this week is the fragrant hosta!  Man, I love this plant!  It grows so vigorous and beautiful and when it blooms, it's like a trip to the tropics.  It smells so lovely, a lot like my gardenia in scent.

Add to that, it can so easily be divided in the fall and replanted in other shady locations.
If you've got a shady, damp spot in your yard, plant a fragrant hosta!  I have two varieties, one is variegated and one isn't; they're both marvelous.

Last week I mentioned a favorite time waster of mine; using street view to meander through obscure towns.  Here's another tool to use if you've got some free time and want to travel the world as though you were in your own personal Tardis machine!  Once you find a location you like, click the arrows and explore!

Last weekend I made a new soap as part of my Fall Line; Gingerbread Milk & Honey.  If you like the sweet-spicy scent of ginger, you will love this new soap!  It's still curing and I'll make an announcement once it becomes available in the online store.

In my ongoing pursuit to improve my website soap pictures, Jeff and I spent part of last Saturday making a lightbox.  We followed these directions that call for a cardboard box, tissue paper and white poster board.  I then tried it out!
What do you think?

I took a lot of photos to end up with just a few I liked but that's the beauty of digital, it didn't cost me anything (just time!).

I'll keep practicing and updating the pictures as I refresh the stock.

Until then, pick up a few of these bars in the online store!

Enjoy your summer weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Drop Leaf Table Gets a Makeover!

First off, what the hell do you call this color and why is it so prevalent on old painted furniture?  It reminds me of a wall color in a public school bathroom.

Luckily for this table, it won't be sporting this color for long!

Yes, I picked this baby up FREE on the sidewalk a couple weeks ago.  I told myself prior to finding this that I was finished taking home free stuff for my sale, I had enough I felt.  Then I saw this and knew it could be so improved!

A little milk paint and a beachy stripe down the middle and suddenly this little table was no longer the little red haired step child (no offense to red heads or step children).

Once again, I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (Shutter Gray)to paint the table.  The beach stripe is Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint (Farmhouse White).

With the leaves down, it's a nice size for a sofa table.

With one leaf open you can place it against a wall for an entry table.

Open both leaves and you have a small dining room table!

This versatile table will be in my Home and Patio sale July 29 and 30th!  If you're in Portland, go to NE Fremont and 15th and follow the signs!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thoughts For Friday


Let's start right in with the flower of the week; the mighty fuchsia! This is a hardy variety that survives winter to bloom again.  The hummingbirds love this fuchsia and I like the fact that it blooms from now until fall!

When other, more showy or fragrant plants have stopped blooming, the hardy fuchsia marches on.

Speaking of marching on (how's that for a transition?)...my Home and Patio Sale is coming up and I'm still adding to the loot for sale.  Last week I picked up this drop leaf table on the sidewalk for FREE!  I worked on it over the holiday weekend and I'm happy to say it turned out great!  Check back Monday for the final reveal!

Here's a new favorite time waster of mine...pick a city anywhere (the more obscure the better; good choices are Toledo Ohio, Shreveport, LA, Lubbock Texas), open Google Maps then drop the street view person anywhere in the city and start exploring.  It's fun to scroll through the neighborhoods and look at how the houses are kept up, if there's free stuff on the sidewalk, whether the residents are into gardening or not, and to check out the people caught by Google's camera.  You can even entered some of the public buildings by clicking on the highlighted areas in the map.  Like I said, it's a time waster and oddly satisfying to the voyeur in me.

Enjoy your weekend!  It's supposed to be a wet one here.  I'm expecting a soap supply order any day so I think I'll spend a few hours making a new soap!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bathroom Mirror Castaway Gets New Life

Here's another great sidewalk find Jeff spotted a couple months ago.

Someone must have been updating their bathroom and decided to get a new medicine cabinet.  As usual, my thought was to paint this, add some hooks and a way to hang it and put it in my sale.  Then I remembered I had an old weathered fence board in the back yard that would make a great shelf!

Jeff created the brackets used to hang the shelf by gluing together a piece of oak between an old fence board.  I then used a clear varathane on them and the shelf.

I painted the mirror using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (Shutter Gray),my favorite color. Wow!  It's almost a perfect match to the wall color.

I added a couple eyes to the back and strung a wire to hang the mirror securely.

For a finishing touch, I updated the pull on the window to one I had.

Once complete, I decided to keep it and hang it in my bathroom over the toilet!  Who doesn't need a mirror over their toilet after all?

There are still many wonderful things that will be available in the Home and Patio Sale July 29 and 30th.  If you're in Portland, go to NE Fremont and 15th and follow the signs!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Thoughts for Friday

Hello and welcome!  This past week has been crazy at work and the holiday weekend promises to be a continuation of that so I don't have much to post this Friday.

Happy Fourth of July!  I hope to do a little outside cooking (maybe even make those cupcakes!) and watch some fireworks, I may get lucky (joke) and be at work so I can watch the fireworks up close from our downtown building!

I did manage to find some time last weekend to finish a project I'll share next week.  It was another FREE find!

Between fires at work, I caught up a little on some of the blogs I read.  I thought this post was good and any woman who has ever tried to find a nice dress off the rack when you're not a size 6 can relate.

Last weekend on a whim, I picked up some of these at the grocery store; so refreshing!  Apparently, Radler is the beer style all the cool kids are drinking this summer (I don't know if that's true and I probably made it up but it's what I'll be drinking this summer at least!)

Enjoy your weekend!  Hopefully next week will calm down and I'll have a new before and after post to share!