Tuesday, April 30, 2013

dress from Greece

My daughter Miranda studied in England for a semester in 2009. Then she traveled throughout Europe with a friend for a month, arriving back in Phoenix just in time to sing at a friend's wedding in California. One of the many gifts she brought back from her travels was this beautiful dress from Greece, that she got for her niece Emolyn to wear to the wedding. Emolyn was 15 months old and omg, she looked simply adorable! And yes, she pretty much stole the show. ha!

Fast forward 4 years later... we arrive at Nathan & Jonah's 1st Birthday party and Emolyn is wearing that very dress as a darling tunic. Needless to say, I melted. Where has the time gone! My firstborn grandbaby is 5!

As you can see, Emolyn has quite the flair for fashion. And she can work a camera like nobody's business. And she is the best big sister to Jonah, Elsie & Nathan!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Twins 1st Birthday!

This past week we celebrated Nathan & Jonah's 1st Birthday!
Can you believe it! The year has flown by so fast.

Ok, I gotta brag a bit ~ Shawn & Nicole are the best parents. They are so intentional, loving, consistent, patient and FUN! Shawn is the stay-at-home Daddy and Nicole is an RN. So proud of how they juggle their many roles. 

As a result, their kids are so secure, accepted, loving and kind. 
Seriously, they have the best kids!

We gave them the DUPLO set their Daddy played with as a little boy, along with dump trucks and dump truck gripper socks. As you can see, Jonah was quite enamored with the socks.

They had their first taste of ice cream and after a few sour faces, they were hooked.
Now that's my boys! ha!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Americana vintage swing

The other day I got this hair-brain idea to move the old metal swing. It was next to the barn shed, set on rocks and dirt, with the bottom rungs pretty much rusted off. I found it at a yard sale almost 20 years ago. I can't imagine my backyard without it.

So my handy, handsome husband replaced the bottom rungs with steel rods and now it's good-to-go for another decade, especially now that we've relocated it to the arbor area, set on brick pavers.

Then I found two strands of lights in the garage with matching green cording.

And then Randy & I has us some snuggle time under the stars ~ 
after watching Dancing with the Stars. :)
Btw, I found a stack of Realtor signs at a yard sale a couple years ago for a quarter each. 
The Fantastic View sign being my favorite.

Hooking up with the following Link Parties ~

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hollyhocks are captivating

I know, I can't stop myself. Each morning I just have to capture the newest variety, the best lighting, the freshest bloom. My Hollyhocks are truly captivating.

I could seriously shoot throughout the day and be surprised by the changing light reflected on each bloom.

They make me so happy.

I literally gasped when I saw this one  ~ the light appears to be illuminating from the bloom as though a spotlight to the heavens.

My blush pink ones are blooming profusely.

They stand so tall and statuesque.

I have been reading Beth Moore's blog for years now. I just love her. The other day she posted a blog post that touched my heart, especially the following quote ~

 "Sister, Jesus is hemming you in. If He’s backed you into a corner, it’s not to isolate you but to freshly exhilarate you. He loves you. He’s seeking you out. Slow down and let yourself be caught by this holy jealous-for-you love that will not let you go. We are not just tolerated. We didn’t make it in by the skin of our teeth. We have been planned for and pursued. We are the deep desire of Someone’s heart."
He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us.  
James 4:5

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oilcloth & Pyrex polka dots

Polka dots are the thing this Spring! 

So when I found this old type writer table at my local ARC thrift store for $5.00,
I just had to have it. It was covered in this crazy, ugly contact paper that I ripped right off before I could even take a before pic.  
It's a quality piece ~ sturdy and rolls easily and smoothly. But I mainly bought it because I could cover it in my favorite piece of polka dot oilcloth from SAS.

I have never found a piece of oilcloth bigger than 1/2 yard at SAS, so I am always on the lookout for smaller surfaces that I can cover in my treasured oilcloth.
I used my very favorite oilcloth piece {Cath Kidston} at my daughter's wedding reception HERE.

Oh my gosh, don't you just love it!!!

I decided to adhere the oilcloth using heavy-duty masking tape, rather than staples.
I want to be able to remove the oilcloth down the road, without damaging one single inch of this luxurious piece of oilcloth.

Come on ~ I couldn't do a polka dot oilcloth photo shoot without my polka dot Pyrex nesting bowl set! It took me decades to find these three pieces. I don't shop eBay and antique stores, and will only pay a buck or two for any of my Pyrex. That's why it took me so long.
You can see my Pyrex collection HERE
And yes, I know there's a green bowl, but I prefer to only stack these three. And I don't particularly like that shade of green with these colors.

I found these polka dot melmac plates at a thrift store a few years ago.
They're not old, but have a vintage feel to them. I love them!

We take them along when we go camping in our Cozy Cottage on Wheels.

I'm linking up with lots more creative blog posts here ~

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hollyhocks in Phoenix

My Hollyhocks are making me so happy right now. And God knows I needed my girls to start blooming. Yes, Hollyhocks are girls in case you were wondering :) And just so you know, my Hollyhocks are situated right outside my bedroom window. Which gives me a front row seat to these beauties while sitting at my computer.

When I filled a pail of Hollyhock seeds and threw them in the ground back in the mid 90's, I had almost every color of the rainbow blooming those first few years. You see my husband had done a concert at a Christian College in California and the campus was filled with every color Hollyhock imaginable. So I filled a pail full of dried seeds that were still attached to the Hollyhock stalks.

When I got home I just threw 'em all in the ground. It was September. And low-and-behold that Spring I had more Hollyhocks than I could even imagine. Who knew Hollyhocks could grow so well in Phoenix, Arizona!

So needless to say, I became known as the Hollyhock Lady. My front yard was filled with Hollyhocks for all to admire as they drove by our home. I eventually planted the seeds I harvested each year, in the backyard for the afternoon shade.

Like I said, I grew every color Hollyhock. But over the years, the predominant pinks and reds won out, while the dark burgundy (known as Blacks), white, yellow, peach and double-bloom crinolines became less and less. I was so sad. Thankfully I have photos of those lost colors. My blog banner being one of them ~ my favorite crinoline hollyhock photo.
You can find that original post with my favorite photo HERE.

I actually have a handful of precious seeds from each of those colors in separate canning jars. I can't bring myself to plant them, in fear they won't reproduce and be gone forever. 

Yes, I could go out and buy seeds of any color, shape and size, but that wouldn't carry on the legacy started from the original seeds harvested on that California trip almost 20 years ago.

So, before I published this post, I decided to go outside and capture one more shot as the sun was setting this evening. Love the deep reds against the blue skies. Love my lovely girly girls.

~ Hollyhocks seeds are best planted in the fall if you live in Phoenix, Arizona ~

Linking up with ~

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Flowers in the Desert

My Hollyhocks are blooming!

As I've told you before, I haven't planted any in years. They just reseed themselves and grow wherever their little hearts desire. I never know what colors are going to pop out. So every morning I am surprised by what I discover on my little walk around the backyard.

My Texas Mountain Laurel was planted in memory of my 19 year old nephew Noel, who died as a result of a basketball accident in March of '97. These were blooming all along the freeway in Phoenix at the time of his passing. And they give off the sweetest scent. 
You can read Noel's story HERE.

I took my granddaughters on a little nature walk around their neighborhood last week and captured a variety of flowers in bloom.

The colors are brilliant, bold and beautiful.

My Kalanchoe succulents are among my most favorite flower. I have had these in the ground for years. And they too multiple year after year.
Do you see that galvanized pail buried in the ground? When I found it, the bottom had rusted out to where it was paper thin. To me it was perfect. I couldn't wait to bury it in my garden for visual interest.

And speaking of visual interest... if you'll remember, I'm the one who buys bowling balls to plant in her garden. You can find that post HERE and see for yourself.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Bird-of-Paradise blooms

I didn't set out to start an Estate Sale business. It just happened. In which I am so grateful.
And I am especially loving the home I am currently working on. So quiet and peaceful.
These Bird-of-Paradise are situated between the back of the house and the pool. I am in awe of each & every bloom ~ watching God's captivating creation unfold before my very eyes. 

The colors are simply stunning. And I did nothing to these photos. Just point-and-shoot.
Thank you Lord for such abundant beauty surrounding us. Don't let me miss it.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

boot scootin' noodle

I did it! I actually followed through on something I pinned on Pinterest!
I walked into the Dollar Store today, bought two swim noodles, cut them to size (15") ~
and now my boots no longer fall over!

Oh don't get me wrong, I've been stuffing them with grocery bags for years, but what a hassle when you want to wear them, and then only to re-stuff to put away. Plastic bags everywhere!
This is so much easier. And way more pleasing to the eye.

Here's a little helpful hint ~ the noodles you find at Target, Walmart, etc. are way fatter and denser and thus unable to fit through the ankle area. That's why the noodles at the Dollar Store are only a dollar... they are skinny, and fit perfectly through the ankle area.
Once again proving you don't have to spend more to get better fit and form.
And that's all I got to say about that. 
The end.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Mickey antennae balls

We've been adorning our two vans with Disney antennae balls for years now. And invaribly we lose an ear or two in a few months. Thankfully our daughter will pick one up for us on her next visit to The Happiest Place on Earth. She's a season ticket holder and goes fairly often.

But a year ago when she brought back yet another Fantasia Mickey, I wised up. (btw, that blue hat has rescued me more times than I care to admit, when I can't find my van:) Well this time I added superglue to all the areas that could separate from the ball. I found the baseball Mickey brand-new at a yard sale for a quarter. So both vans got brand new super-glued antennae balls a year ago. In fact, this photo was taken April 6th, 2012.

Get this ~ one year later ~ 
BOTH vans still have their Mickey ears attached to the balls!!!