Sunday, August 23, 2015

Late Summer Sunflowers in the Kitchen

Summer is slowly coming to an end here.  It's still hot out and there are fires all over Idaho with smoke choking us out everyday, but there are other things that let me know that Fall is just around the corner.  These sunflowers grow wild all over the place here.  Today, while out on a drive, we stopped to cut some so I could have a pretty little bouquet of them.  I sat them on my island next to some yellow squash.
Then I got stuff out to make some lemon flavored yellow squash bread and I saw the prettiest colors coming together to make a beautiful scene and I had to take pictures to share! 
The aqua, white and yellow look so pretty on my island in my kitchen. And the sunflowers make it feel even more lovely. 
I have been ready for summer to be over for quite awhile.  The heat and I don't get along!  The nights and mornings have been so cool that it makes me long for Fall even more.  When I smell the freshly cut alfalfa, see onions that were being hauled from the field all over the roads and see rows of corn growing so tall, I know we are getting closer and closer to my favorite season. 
These sunflowers are another sign and one that I can bring home with me as a reminder.  The smell of a freshly cut mint field in the evening as the sun sets so brightly in the sky is something everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing at least once in their lives.  I have been fortunate enough to experience evenings like that my whole life.
I always feel like I am rushing time by wishing for Fall to get here.  But seriously, I love everything about it.  Summer has its good moments, and we definitely enjoyed the BBQ's, camping and yard sales.  But I am a Fall girl through and through! 
One thing is for sure, I am going to be enjoying all that these late summer days still have to offer.  Maybe one more camping trip will be in store for us.  Maybe I will go cut some more sunflowers after these wilt.  Maybe we will have a few more BBQ's out on the patio.  I will savor it and look forward to Fall all at the same time!

I also forgot to mention earlier in the month that I won 2 first place blue ribbons at our county fair.  Both of the pictures that I entered won!  The categories I entered were portrait photography and black & white photography.  I was over the moon excited to see these blue ribbons hanging off my pictures!

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sock Monkey 1st Birthday Party & Cake Smash

My nephew Fischer turned a year old on August 12th.  His mom asked me to help plan his birthday party back in May and we decided to do a sock monkey birthday party.  Fischer was the cutest sock monkey you ever did see!
I designed and printed the invitations which is always something that I love to do.  They turned out so cute and everyone that got one loved it! 
Last Saturday we did his cake smash pictures.  My mom made his smash cake and at first he wasn't too sure what to think.  But he definitely had a great time with free reign on his cake.   
He even employed the help of a spoon.  He didn't let that spoon go for a long time.  Isn't he adorable? 
My sister-in-law found this adorable chalkboard on Etsy and was willing to pay big bucks for it.  I told her I could design it for her for free and it turned out perfect.  We had it printed at Walgreens on board.  This will be so fun to look back on over the years. 
I made this banner and my SIL added the pictures to it.  It was so cute hanging above the door to the patio.  My little sock monkey is just too sweet! 
These chalkboard picks are from Michaels and then I added felt monkeys from World Market to the top.  It was quite the feast of fried chicken, rolls, macaroni salad, taco salad, baked beans, hashbrown casserole, chips and fruit.   
My mom made his birthday cake as well.  It turned out so cute.  There were also cupcakes and of course everyone wanted one of each! 
Of course Fischer got spoiled and got lots of fun presents.  He wanted to play with each present that he opened as soon as he opened it.  This little monkey is definitely loved! 
I can't believe how fast the last year has gone by or how much I love my nephew. I have a hole in my heart that he has definitely filled in a little.  Happy 1st Birthday Fischer!  Auntie loves you soooooooooo much!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wedding Flowers

Cody's niece got married this weekend so on Friday, we set off on a 4 hour. 200 mile drive.  We got there just in time for the rehearsal dinner and way too many drinks.  Saturday morning while Cody got to hang out with the boys, I was hard at work putting all the wedding flowers together!
The flowers came from Sam's club and we had a lot of work to do.  We made 8 boutineers for the guys.  They were simple with 1 rose, some babies breath, 1 fern, wrapped in twine with a little twine bow to finish it off. 
The ladies corsages had a little more babies breath and ferns with an aqua bow to finish them off.   
The bridesmaids bouquets were 3 coral roses surrounded by babies breath and ferns.  The handles were wrapped in burlap. 
The bride's bouquet had white and peach roses surrounded by babies breath.  The stems were wrapped in lace and had pearl pins all the way down for a finishing touch. 
It was a beautiful wedding and we really enjoyed our weekend.  Cody got a little emotional when he saw his niece, who he is so close to, walk down the aisle.  The father/daughter dance had me and him both emotional because her father died when she was young and her stepdad has really stepped up.  Cody said he could tell her dad was there on her special day.
The backdrop to the ceremony was a big, beautiful desert mountain.  What a beautiful wedding that we got to be a part of.  Congratulations Kris & Drew!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Painted Footstool

Are you ever afraid to try a new technique because you aren't sure how it will turn out?  I have been wanting to try painting a fabric covered piece of furniture for awhile now but was just too scared for fear of ruining it.  When a friend of mine recently posted a picture of an arm chair he painted, I knew it was time for me to break out of my shell and try it for myself!
Of course I wanted to start small so I decided that my little footstool that I got at an estate sale years ago was the perfect piece to try it out on.  I got it for my reading nook and it has been covered with a blanket just waiting for a makeover. 
I didn't want to do anything too crazy to it and I wanted it to be versatile.  I use it for props in photos so it needs to be able to be used in many different situations.  I decided white was the way to go.  I researched online about painting fabric and what I would need--acrylic paint, textile medium and a spray bottle of water.  I have to say, it turned out great! 
It took quite a few coats of paint to cover up the bright pattern, but with the heat outside, it didn't take too long to dry.  My husband and his brother thought I was crazy for painting it but I don't care what they think.  I love it! 
The final touch was the eyelet lace going around it like a skirt.  One yard of lace fit perfectly around this little stool.  It is just tacked on there with a straight pin so I can change that up as I want. 
I think I might have to try my hand at painting something a little bigger next time.  Probably not a couch or anything that big, but maybe a small chair! 
It looks pretty cute in my little reading nook.  Now I will have something pretty to put my feet on when I am in there reading a good book.  I am so glad I took the plunge and tried painting fabric!  Now what else can I do that I have been to afraid to try?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fresh cut lavender

Remember back in the spring when I got a beautiful, fragrant bouquet of lilacs at work?  Well today, I have a beautiful, fragrant bouquet of fresh lavender!  And yes, this is from work as well!  The founder of this college was a botanist and this campus is full of lots of pretty flowers, foliage, plants and trees.  I take full advantage of all that mother nature has to offer me here at work.
The bees were buzzing all around so I didn't get too crazy...I didn't want to get a bee sting after all.  I hung this pretty little bouquet on one side of my Paris banner and as you can see, I am going to have to go cut some more for the other side!  It has a slight cat pee smell, but I really only smell that on my hands. When I googled it, it said some kinds do smell like that...great!  But it's pretty!
One of these days when we get our forever home, I will grow a lovely bunch of lavender in my yard.  It will be mine, all mine!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

4th of July decor & more

I found the cutest little bottle crate at the thrift store the other day and swooped it up as soon as I saw it.  It was painted a nice enough grey color, but I wanted it to be a little more neutral.
So out came the white paint so that I could make a fun Fourth of July decoration. 
With some cleaned out Starbucks bottles, some patriotic fillers and a nice red, white and blue bow, I made a really fun centerpiece that sits on my mantle. 
I thought about painting the crate red, white and blue, but I wanted to be able to use it for any holiday or occasion.  Painting it white will make it a lot more versatile. 
I usually try to make one new decoration each year but this year I made 2.  I saw a tutorial from Confessions of a Plate Addict on making your own rag balls.  I had been wanting to try making my own so off to Hobby Lobby I went and found the perfect stars and stripes fabric. 
I kind of like the crazy strings and think I will leave them nice and rustic like that.  I have a feeling there will be more of these rag balls in my future! 
On the same thrifting trip, I also found this tray that is in serious need of a makeover.  I am not quite sure what I am going to do to it so if you have any ideas for me, let me know!  And I'll be sure to share the makeover when I get it done. 
I also found another one of these vintage clam shell metal serving tray.  This one is a different color and pattern than the one I have and I am pretty sure I have started a new collection! 
I have the week off for 4th of July and I can't wait!  I have nothing planned really but will take full advantage of being home.  It's 109° outside right now and has been sweltering all weekend.  I will probably just try to keep cool all week!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Gnome Home in the Mountains

At our lovely camping site up in the mountains, we have this awesome stump that you can see out the front door of our camper.  It needed something.  That something just happens to be a gnome making this stump its home!
We found a gnome at Rite Aid, on sale too!  Cody cut a piece of pallet into a door and I painted it a nice, bright blue.  Then Cody painted a window on it and added a little crystal knob.  When we went up there this weekend, we got the gnome and the door all set up. 
The gnome doesn't have a name yet...any suggestions? 
He is a solar-powered gnome and the 3 butterflies on him light up.  He looks extra bright in the dark of the mountain night. 
This gnome home is need of many more things.  We gathered some rocks to give him a little landscaping and curb appeal but we aren't done! 
I've started a board on Pinterest called Gnome Home Ideas.  I am going to start creating so that when we go back up camping, we can really help our gnome feel at home!