The mantra of this summery wreath should be reuse...restore...repurpose! Everything on it either had another life, another purpose or was disgarded.
I wanted to make a wreath with things I already have at hand. A challenge of sorts.
The wreath itself was deep in the bowels of my basement still adorned~ a past summer wreath. I literally ripped off the geraniums, bows, American flags and other sundry flowers and salvaged them for a future time.
It is my custom to wire 2 wreaths together. I learned this wonderful trick at an interior designer's shop that I admire. All the wreaths are fabulous and lush... and horribly expensive. I noticed that the arranged wreaths were all doubled. So, I do the same. And it makes a HUGE difference!! This wreath was already doubled~ ready to be decorated!
The color theme picked me, not the other way around. I recently did 2 wreaths for a country farm wedding (upcoming post) and had some bits and pieces left over. The bright yellow ranunculus, stylized white cone flowers and white bead buds became part of my summer wreath.
I had all the rest of the pieces on hand!
I am by no means a floral designer, I just start playing and it falls into place. Trust yourself and your eye. You can do it too... really! Let your own style shine!
Start by setting the bounderies of the wreath. I used the white bead bud sprays to give me perameters because if left to my own devices I would embellish it to death!
Place the anchor flower in postion on the wreath. Glue it liberally! Start by working around this flower.
Add the large flowers first. Position them and when you like the way they look glue them liberally.
Fill in with other larger elements. I really could have used 1 more gerber and 3 more ranunculus, but I was only using what I had on hand.
When all of the larger elements are glued tightly onto the wreath, start adding the "froof". I wanted my wreath to look a little wild and twiggy and a little "brambley".
Stick frilly, twiggy, fluffy elements in layer after layer. When you are happy with each layer, glue liberally.
Pay attention to the inside rim of the wreath. It is noticeable when the wreath is hung. I added some frilly greens to add pizazz to the inside edge of the wreath.
Just keep working the design, adding and editing until you are happy with the wreath.
When the wreath is done, give it a very good shake. Reglue any loose pieces. Get rid of all glue spiders.
Happy 4th Of July!!!! This week is all about preparing for a weekend of family, picnics and FIREWORKS! Lots of grilling and picnic food!
Big fun in my book. How do you celebrate our beloved countries birthday?
Steamed Shrimp and Clams
Corn On The Cob
Recipe: Caprese Salad
This salad reminds me of summer and picking the little grape and pear tomatoes right off the vine. Yummy! I love caprese salad so much though, I eat it year round. Click HERE for this summery recipe. Look for it in Monday's menu.
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Day
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken With Gravy
Slow Cooker Carrots
Recipe: A Chicken In Every Pot
Such an easy comfort food recipe! It smells wonderful when it is cooking. Very basic, but good!
1 whole chicken, rinsed, dried, salted and peppered
1 bag of ready to eat carrots
1 onion, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chicken stock plus 2 TBS chicken bullion.
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
Put chicken in a slow cooker. Add onion and carrots around chicken. Add chicken stock and bullion. Cook on low for 8 hours or until chicken is falling off the bone.
Remove chicken, onion and carrots- cover to keep warm.
Put flour in a large jar. Add stock, put lid on and shake to make a slurry. Add to liquid in slow cooker and stir. Cook on hight for 30 minutes until thickened. If desired put chicken and veggies back in the slow cooker to warm up.
Hamburgers On The Grill
Recipe: StoneGable Hamburgers
1 lb 85% ground beef (no lower fat content)
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3 TBS water
3 TBS Worchestershire Sauce (or more... we like lots!)
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
Put ground beef in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and GENTLY mix. Do not smoosh or your hamburger will be tough. GENTLY form into hamburgers. We love large hamburgers so I usually double the recipe. Girll until done to your liking. DO NOT press hamburger down with spatula! We want all those wonderful juices to stay IN the hamburger. So yummy!
Recipe: Wedge Salad
A real throw-back recipe. Delicious! And the very best part of this recipe is the bleu cheese dressing! Scrumtious! Click HERE for the wedge salad recipe under Monday's offering.
Steamed Spinach With Garlic Oil
Recipe: Garlic Oil
I am so excited... I feel like I am giving away a family secret. Garlic Oil is ALWAYS in my frig. It has so many uses! I can't sing it's praises enough. Once you make it and try it, you will have it in your frig too!
Click HERE and look under Wednesday for this culinary gold!
This is one of those, "It is not rocket science" recipes. Add and subtract what YOU like!
1 large can refried beans
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (not from a bag- the good stuff makes a huge difference)
1 large head iceburg lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
1 lb ground beef, 94 % lean
2 packets of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 small can of mexican corn, drained
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can black olives, drained and chopped
1 small can jalapeno peppers (optional, I don't use them)
1 bottle good Ranch dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
chopped green onions
4-6 large flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Invert large heat proof ramakins or soup bowls and put on large rimmed sheet pan. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Spray foil and tortilla with cooking spray. Put tortilla over bowl and put in oven. Cook for 5 minutes. Take sheet pan out of oven and take tortilla bowls off the ramakins. Set bowl right side up and put back into the oven on a sheet pan for 2-3 minutes to brown. If the side wants to collapse, ball up aluminum foil and support. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
*Fried tortilla bowls are much better, but they are full of fat!
Put refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 3 minutes, covered, until hot.
In a sautee pan, brown taco meat and add 1 packet of taco seasonings. Cook according to packet directions.
In a small bowl put 1/2 bottle of Ranch dressing 1/3 packet of taco seasoning and 1/2 cup salsa. Mix well.
Assembly: Add a layer of refried beans to the bottom of a tortilla bowl. Fill 2/3 full of iceburg lettuce. Add 1/2- 2/3 cups taco meat Add corn, tomatoes, black olives, cheese, salsa and jalapeno peppers to taste. Put a large dollop of Taco Ranch dressing and sour cream on the top. Sprinkly with chopped green onions if desired.
Saturday: Family Picnic
Steaks On The Grill
Sweet Pickled Beet, Apple and Carrot Salad
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Recipe: Grilled Veggies
This is a WONDERFUL recipe! My family devours these tasty veggies. The garden zucchini's are ready so they will go from the garden to the table in no time! Click HERE for this recipe under Saturday's menu. The marinade is so fantastic on steaks, chicken or as a salad dressing. This is a SG favorite!
Recipe: Sweet Pickled Beet, Apple and Carrot Salad
This is a fresh, go with almost everything salad. So easy to throw together and super good for you!
Click HERE and find this yummy side dish on Monday's menu
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches:
These decedent treats must be made ahead and frozen so they are firm enough to eat. Delicious!!!!
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly Softened Vanilla Ice Cream
Sprinkles or Mini Chocolate Chips
Make or buy chocolate chip cookies. I use the old tried and true Tolehouse Cookie Recipe. When cookies are cooled, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or a favorite flavor, like coffee) on a cookie and put another cookie on top of the ice cream. Squeeze cookies gently to push the ice cream to the ends of the cookies.
On a salad plate, pour out sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. Roll ice cream edge in candy. Wrap in freezer wrap or plastic wrap and freeze until hard. These are great treats to keep on hand!
Recipe: StoneGable Potato Salad
This is my grandmother's recipe. The secret ingredient is pickle juice!And please use baking potatoes. Regular new potatoes are too full of water content and get mushy. I don't have amounts and measures, however these are close estimates. I just learned by watching and make this from memory. Start with these amounts and see how they are. You may need to tweek the mayo sauce to potato ratio. It is well worth the try. This seems like a pretty basic recipe, but don't pass it up. This recipe is my most requested picnic food. I usually triple this recipe. People love it!
5 lbs russet or BAKING potaotes, boiled whole in jackets, cooled
1 large jar garlic dill pickles (I use Claussen's)
1 large onion, diced finely
3-4 ribs celery, diced finely
1/2 cup shredded carrots
6 hard boiled eggs, diced finely
3 cups mayo
2 TBS mustard
salt and pepper
Remove skins from baking potatoes and dice into large bowl. As you dice the potatoes, splash them with the pickle juice to keep them from browning. Toss the potatoes as you dice. Keep splashing them with pickle juice. Use about 1/4- 1/3 cup.
Put mayo in a bowl ( I use a large wide mouthed ball jar and shake). Add 1/3 cup pickle juice and mustard. This is just a guesstimate. You might need more pickle juice. Mix or shake well. It should be the consistancy of thick cream.
Add mayo to potatoes and coat.Don't be stingy with the mayo. If it doesn't coat it and some to spare~ make more. Add onions, celery and eggs and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is better if made the day in advance for all the flavors to marry. When you make this invite me over!
Sunday: Picnic For Two
Grilled Steak, Roasted Red Peppper & Bleu Baguette Sandwiches
Greek Pasta Salad
Tortilla Crisps And Salsa
Mixed Fruit Pie In A Jar
Recipe StoneGable Greek Pasta Salad
I use the same ingredients as my tortelini salad but use 3 kinds of pasta (your choice) and 2/3 cups parmesan cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortilla into 8 wedges. Brush lightly with olive oil and salt. Put tortilla wedges of a rimmed baking sheet. Cook in a single layer for 12-15 minutes, until golden browned and crisp. Cool and keep in airtight container.
Recipe: Fruit Pie In A Jar
See Tomorrow's Post!
I am participating in Marvelous Menu's at Ask Ms Recipe.
Please stop over at Daisy Pink Cupcake, and vote for your favorite pink post. I was chosen to be a contestant! I am not telling you who to vote for~ they are all beautiful and I feel so thrilled to be in such good company. If, however you wish to vote for me (AND I HOPE YOU DO), please make sure you vote in SECTION 1. There are 2 sections. Click HERE to go to Daisy Pink Cupcake and vote. Thanks bunches and bunches!!!
Vintage linens make me swoon! Not only are they beautiful but they can be very economical. I am alway on the lookout for old linens in good condition with interesting designs.
They are just too pretty to sit in a drawer waiting to be used. One of my favorite ways to display vintage tea towels is to make pillows.
This sweet-as-sugar pink pillow took under an hour to make. So easy!
Vintage Tea Towel Pillows make a wonderful gift, too! Wouldn't you love to receive one?
So, dig out your pretty tea towel and put it to use as a decorative pillow!
StoneGable Vintage Tea Towel Pillow
1 vintage tea towel with interesting design and edges
white cotton muslin
Iron tea towel flat.
Turn the top edge of the tea towel down to make the front flap of the pillow. Make sure motif is showing.
Take bottom edge of the tea towel and fold up so that 2 inches show out from under the top flap.
Cut a piece of muslin to match the width of the tea towel and 2 inches longer than the crease at the top of the pillow.
With RIGHT sides together, pin the bottom of the tea towel to the bottom of the muslin. Stitch tea towel and muslin together.
Cut off excess fabric and press seams open.
Using the fold lines at the top and bottom of your tea towel, fold fabric the opposite way, so that RIGHT sides are together and the motif is facing inward.
Pin the front flap with the design towards the center of your pillow. You do not want to catch any part of it when you sew up your pillow for the flap will be sandwiched between the front and back of your pillow. Leave 1/4 inch at the top to sew. Be very careful that your front flap fabric is not in the way!
Fold up bottom of tea towel with attched muslin. Pin all around the pillow. The top layer will be muslin with the tea towel bottom, the middle layer will have the pinned up front flap with design and the bottom layer will be the tea towel back.
Leave a 2-3 inch opening at the side of the pillow that will be covered by the front flap. I used a fabric marking pen to remind me where to begin and end sewing.
Sew around the pillow, leaving tthe 2-3 inch opening. I use the side edge of the pillow determine my seam allowances. At the top I use a very small seam allowance so the flap will lay nicely.
Reinforce the ends very well as you will be using this whole to pull the pillow to the right side and to stuff it.
Cut any extra muslin away. Using the side opening, pull out any pins from the front flap. Turn pillow right side out. Press.
Fill pillow with fiber fill. Make sure corners are filled. Do not over stuff.
Close opening on the side with a whip stitch.
Press again, but do not press too hard. Gently tack down flap if desired. Press again. Fluff and find your pillow a home!
My blog friend, Jane from Flora Doora is having a pink giveaway! She is generously giving a pink polka dot flora doora to one lucky visitor! I have one of these treasures and I LOVE it! She also have a fabulous blog. To visit her click HERE.
I am participating in Pink Saturday, hosted by my friend Beverly at How Sweet The Sound. Please stop by her pink and pretty blog to say hi!
I am joining Cielo at The House In The Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday.
I a joining Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.
Please stop over at Daisy Pink Cupcake, and vote for your favorite pink post. I was chosen to be a contestant! I am not telling you who to vote for~ they are all beautiful and I feel so thrilled to be in such good company. If, however you wish to vote for me, please make sure you vote in SECTION 1. There are 2 sections. Click HERE to go to Daisy Pink Cupcake and vote. Thanks bunches and bunches!!!
Ready for a cool and frosty treat? Something that is sweet and gives you a bit of a pucker? Something summery and fresh? Lime Sorbet is a great way to beat the summer heat!
This lime infused treat is bound to get a delightful reaction! Little bits of grated lime zest give big bursts of flavor. So good!
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 TBS lime zest
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer sugar mixture until all the sugar disolves making a simple syrup, about 4 minutes. Cool completely!
Ream juice from limes and lemons. Limes are sometimes stingy about their juice. Roll the limes and lemons between a hard surface and your hand. Press firmly to release the juices. Cut in half and use a reamer to squeeze out all the juice. No seeds!!!!! I strain the juice before I use it!
Combine simple syrup, lime/lemon juice and lime zest. Stir.
Pour into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker. I have a Cuisinart brand Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker. Very easy machine! Well priced, too! Turn on machine and mix for 30 minutes.
Sorbet will be "loose". Put sorbet in a sealed plastic container and freeze.
A little goes a long way because it is sweet and tangy. I serve it in a little bowl or piled high in egg cups. Instead of mint as a garnish I use lemon balm.