Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Contentment...

It’s been cloudy for the last few days with a steady on-and-off drizzle that have kept things watered down, and the garden is already looking wonderful. Rose bushes are starting to put forth their first leaves—green and supple, reminding me that soon my little world will be perfumed by lovely roses. What else can one ask for?


I am content; like the trees rooted in this garden I so love; and I have been busy painting all my garden statues and fountains. The sound of tickling water has started to serenade my mornings again and the Western Tanager has returned home. Soon I will be discovering cups of twigs and grasses at the end of tree branches and, hopefully, some eggs of glossy blue marked with brown spots too.


I’m excited—delighting in the thought of warm sunny mornings and enchanting late evenings in the garden. Are you this crazy in love with your surroundings? I’m easy to please and don’t require much more than a few rose bushes and a good dose of sunshine to be content. I have worked long and hard preparing this little plot of land for a wonderful show off, and it will! I know it will real soon!


It seems to me that each year the garden grows and looks differently. I mean, there's always something new growing there, a new surprise waiting to be discovered, a new perfume wafting in the air; it's a living, changing thing and a classroom of eternal lessons to be learned for sure.
It's almost also impossible to write about my love for my garden without sounding really sappy or boring. But that's how it is… this is the place where I can always keep my eyes on the stars while my feet are still on the ground and thus, I love this little urban garden that it really is not much larger than any of the rooms in my house; with no view other than the large two-story houses surrounding it. Still...


The secret to happiness? It relies in making the best out of what you have…

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Have you been doing anything fun this week… anything crafty? My new endless love affair with Mod Podge has kept me real busy this week. I am obsessed with decoupage! Why did it take me so long to discover this amazing tool? Decoupage has opened a whole new world of craftiness for me! I was so inspired with the transfer technique on my clay pot and purple bottles last week that I decided to try the same method on some other things…

An old mason jar I had; decoupage and wrapped with some burlap… love the transformation.
Here is the same old jar with some dried roses in it. I love dried roses probably more than fresh roses. They posses such romantic aura to them. Roses, when dried, can look just as exquisite in an arrangement as when fresh from the garden...
I got carried away and kept covering things up with graphics… I decided I should pretty up some old books I had!

These are just ordinary books decoupaged in old letters paper from Michael's ($0.59) and ephemera from the Graphic Fairy.

This is it for now… I am working on some other fun projects and will share with you soon. So, if you haven't got a pot of Mod Podge in your stash of supplies - run out and get one!!! A huge THANK YOU for participating in our linky party and taking us to your cottage! Can't wait to see what you've been doing this week! Last week was another fantastic party! I am enjoying seeing all the creative ideas and projects you are sharing!


Etiquette for linky parties

1) Link to a recent project post, and not a link to the front page of your blog, your Etsy store or a giveaway.

2) Link back to the host’s blog via a button or text link. This is a common courtesy, and it is usually appreciated if you link back in the same blog post that you are linking up.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The night garden...

Does it happen to you sometimes? I mean, sleep would not come easily, and you turn and turn in your bed—your mind full of ideas and projects you want to see accomplished; all the while knowing that outside stars are twinkling and a cresting silvery moon is smiling down at the garden…

Then all of a sudden you feel all alive inside you; a surge of enthusiasm rushing through your veins as you light the candles and know exactly what you need to do...

Outside the quiet garden waits bathed in moon dust. Guided by the light of the solar-powered footpath lamps I walk by the sleeping roses and the night bloomers—the moon vine and and the lady of the night and night jasmine. They’re not really there—but I know they are. They will!

They have been put under a slumbering spell by Father Winter, and thus they remain in their underground crypt; silently waiting for the first kiss of the sun to wake them up with the unconquerable force of life.

If this was summer, I would be gardening by the light of the moon, weeding and trimming the roses, as I so often do. I want to hear a rustling of wings and the deep hooting of a Great Horned Owl, and I want to detect a puff of perfume lingering in the night air, but the winter garden is nothing like the summer garden is, and thus I must return empty-handed back to my bed…

Oh but wait! I see something—over there! Do you see it too?

The Iris Reticulata—little gifts from my Father scattered all around the garden!

Suddenly, the flowerless garden has turned into a magical place. Delight fastened to the edge of my nightgown, and I’m setting tiny fires with my fingertips.

Everything comes to life in a mysterious and enchanting way.

Earliest of the northern flowering bulbs, the Iris Raniculata is forever associated with spring in my mind. Just looking at these amazingly blue little flowers makes my heart aglow. Suddenly my thoughts take a cheerful turn. One of these days, the cold northern winds will go back to their ancient place and snow will disappear completely, and like happy Irises, I will dwell outside amidst the rose bushes; rooted, contented and part of this amazing flowering little world of mine…

Ah yes, I’m not going back to bed empty-handed after all. My cup has been filled.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome, Spring!

They say it has begun—spring. And thus, this first day of spring is for dark clouds and snow showers. Does this sounds right to you? Well, yes… we had another snowy day today, and the day before yesterday—snow melted with rain, and it is cold and cloudy, which means the few perennials I have already sitting outside waiting to be planted will have to wait yet another day until our little parcel of earth gets soaked in sunshine.

Nevertheless, I’m always encouraged with the first day of spring. It’s like the beginning of something new; a promising future, and certainly the time to put away my winter boots and bring in the pretty sandals. Right? Well... maybe not yet.

One thing surely helps—as cold as it has been, I’ve already done quite a lot of spring cleaning in the garden. All debris and dead leaves have been picked up—ten or so large trash bags of them; shrubs and roses have been pruned and soil fertilized. And yes, ‘every’ dead leave were removed from every one of the rose bushes!

I know I know, crazy stuff, right? But that’s just how I am. An unkempt garden is like an unkempt house to me. And I can’t stand it! ;) So I don’t mind the hard work if it pays off at the end.

Plant debris is organic matter—I know. Debris will help with water retention in the summer months, and yes, I would love to think that I should leave debris and leaves as hiding places for frogs and toads too. But there are no frogs around here—no spring peepers to delight my spirit on warm spring evenings. Don’t you just love those little "tinkletoes”? Their songs are magical and I wish I lived close to the marshes and wait for their choruses under a canopy of Mangrove trees.

Tulips are already popping up everywhere—a meager beginning; yet, the garden is already looking so much lovelier under my eyes…

The Iris Reticulata are always the first rays of hope to burst—is a welcome shot of brilliant blue in the garden. They bring so much joy! I can’t imagine a world without flowers—the life-death-and-regeneration cycle, the circle of life and the hope of life after death. Nature truly amazes me. Oh yes, I’m ready for some sunshine and lovely spring days. You?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

I was feeling a bit crafty the other day… thus, I decided to give it a try and work on a couple of fun projects… My inspiration came from HERE initially. So I grabbed an old clay pot and gave it a whitewash treatment. I then splotched on some left over gray paint (used on this project HERE) around the bottom with a paper towel and let the pot dry a bit. Before the paint was completely dried, I rubbed on it some soil from the garden for added patina. Because the paint was still somewhat wet, the soil was able to stick nicely. I then let the it rest overnight.

The following day I grabbed an image from the Graphic Fairy, and then this is when I saw this… and decided I was going to make it easy for me by just following the instructions there and forget about the Mod Podge transfer technique. Just mod podge the graphic to the clay pot and voila! Pretty & super easy!

I was so inspired and happy with the result that I decided to try the same method on some plain Jane little purple jars I had...

I got the antique key at Michael's. I love old rustic keys; if you're lucky, they'd open an unimaginable amount of magical doors for you! ;)

I added some wire on one of the bottles and inserted a stems from the long, trailing Golden Pothos plant in it… Its trailing stems make it an attractive plant for this little hanging bottle…

That’s it for today… more projects coming up! A huge THANK YOU for participating in our weekly party and taking us to your cottage! Can't wait to see what you've been doing this week! Last week was another fantastic party! I am enjoying seeing all the creative ideas and projects you are sharing!


Etiquette for linky parties

1) Link to a recent project post, and not a link to the front page of your blog, your Etsy store or a giveaway.

2) Link back to the host’s blog via a button or text link. This is a common courtesy, and it is usually appreciated if you link back in the same blog post that you are linking up.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dreams

What sorts of things do you dream of when you dream? I mean, what are the desires of your heart? In my dreams, I often find myself in a sunny orange grove. I’m barefooted—the warm earth under my feet, the murmuring groves, the air thick with the sugary scent of oranges, and butterflies hovering over my head as I play among trees and under branches heavy with sweet oranges hanging low on them. But it is more than just some recurrent dream—-it is a stirring of the soul and the natural yearnings of my heart.

Clouds are meant for gazing, and rainy days for daydreaming, and since it's been raining here, well, that's what I’ve been doing--daydreaming with things I like and would like to have one day—like a cottage in the manner of times past. I can see it clearly in my mind’s eye—a cottage that looks as though it has grown out of the ground. It has low rooms and open-joisted ceilings and boarded doors and solid oak flooring, and it have big windows and at least one big open hearth. Of course, my cottage is situated in a peaceful location; in a tranquil rural setting and each and every room is floated with natural light. I also see a freshwater stream running behind in a grove of ancient trees…

And when it comes to personal style, I have my own dreams too… so, I’ve been dreaming with some boots like these and some pretty lacey boot socks like these… Lately, I’ve been seeing this new trend everywhere—knee high socks that go just above the boots. I’ve come to realize, I absolutely love this trend. It’s very edgy, yet vintage at the same time. Super cute!

And I want a necklace like that! I absolutely love it!

And this gorgeous gypsy skirt! I’ve never seen anything as beautiful! You? Would you wear something like that? C’mon! Really? Not even when nobody is around and is just you playing 'fairy' in your own backyard? ;) Have you ever heard of the books Bridge to Terabithia? Have you always wanted your own magical enchanted world to own? Then I'm sure this skirt is right for you ;)

Well, I must tell you... at least one of my dreams got fulfilled this week. Ah yes, I got my very own gorgeous gypsy skirt to wear!

It might not be as fancy as the one on the previous photograph, but I think it’s as pretty… and I can certainly wear this anywhere everywhere…

I love the amalgamation of colors and lace trim on top and bottom part… It suits my gypsy heart perfectly!

I just love it! Are you a dreamer too?

Have any of your dreams come true this week?

Do share!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

I love those mixed bouquets purchased at the grocery store that I get from my husband every weekend during winter, when flowers from my garden is just a dream. They're affordable, they last forever, and you can have flowers in every room with just that one bouquet! Spread them out, cut the stems and arrange them in your favorite jars and vases. No need to arrange them by colors or varieties. Just mix them to create a little focal point where your eyes can rest...

A huge THANK YOU for participating in our linky party and taking us to your cottage! Can't wait to see what you've been doing this week! Last week was another fantastic party! I am enjoying seeing all the creative ideas and projects you are sharing!

Etiquette for linky parties

1) Link to a recent project post, and not a link to the front page of your blog, your Etsy store or a giveaway.

2) Link back to the host’s blog via a button or text link. This is a common courtesy, and it is usually appreciated if you link back in the same blog post that you are linking up.