Monday, November 30, 2009

Ten Days of Wreaths

Want to try something a little different for your door decoration this year? You can start with the traditional wreath made of evergreens, but then go with a motif that really says something about your family.
For the hunters among us, how about finally doing something with those antlers your husband keeps dragging home or those beautiful pheasant feathers you keep finding along the trail. Just these two items along with a few pine cones make for a dramatic showstopper for your front door.
Have more of those antlers? Try laying them along your fireplace mantle with some scattered greens, or place point side up in a large basket with other items from nature; dried grasses, cones, lichen covered branches. If you happen to have any of the wicker deer that are meant for yard decor, how about wiring a pair of antlers to each side of the authentic would that be?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Make A Dried Apple Wreath

With Christmas less than a month away, it's time to start making those gifts for your favorite family and friends. How about making this pretty dried apple slice wreath, either to replace that traditional evergreen one or for an inside holiday item.
I made this wreath on a wicker or branch form, although you could certainly make it on a circle form or really any form that you already have.
Dried apple slices can be great for many uses during the holidays, put extras in your existing potpourri, add to other decorations such as swags, garlands or for using fresh in punches or decor on desert plates. A garland of apple and orange slices mixed with Cinnamon sticks makes a wonderful aromatic accent for any public room in your home.
For complete directions, please visit:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Pear Pie

Have you ever eaten Pear pie? Have you ever even heard of Pear pie? Well, I hadn't until I moved to the Pacific Northwest, where we grow some of the best fruit in the world.
I love this pie, as does everyone who tries it, it makes a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving dinner along side the pumpkin pie. It's relatively easy to make and if you take a little time with the top layer of pears, can make a beautiful presentation. This pie can be dotted with fresh cranberries to really make it a part of the autumn harvest. Give it a try, I'm sure it will become part of your dinner every year.
For complete instructions:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Making A Fall Nut Wreath

We can probably all agree that the summer wreath has passed it's prime, but it's really too soon for that evergreen X-Mas beauty we all love to hang on the front door. A terrific fall wreath is one using all the harvest of the nut tree's, walnuts, almonds, hazel nuts just to name a few. But there are also all the wonderful seed pods that go so well with the whole nuts and can make a unique and interesting wreath.
I made this wreath years ago and drag it out every year just prior to Thanksgiving and it's always a pleasure to hang it on the front door with all the other fall decor. Give this wreath a try, no experience required! For complete instructions, please click on this link:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fall Decor For the Porch

Does your porch still have the remains of summer, you know, the pots of annuals that bit the dust weeks ago or a pile of toys the kids left laying around? If after taking a good look at your porch, do you feel as though you'd never want any of your family or friends coming into your home that way? Well, here's your chance to turn that neglected piece of real estate into a porch that says welcome to fall and all your visitors.

First gather up all the dying flower pots, toys and the summer chairs. Give the floor a good sweep, please check for cobwebs above your head, they look awful and tell folks that you had more than your fair share of spiders last summer. Does your porch light work? If not, check the bulb and wash the fixture if necessary.

Spending an hour or so now giving your porch some cleaning and a little fall decor will have all your neighbors looking at your porch for inspiration for their own.

Please read an article I wrote on jazzing up the entrance to your home for Thanksgiving or just to looking good before the X-mas season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Inscribe a Pumpkin

Looking for a inexpensive but great looking grouping for your Thanksgiving Day decor? Try these pumpkins with a special message you create yourself. All you need are some sturdy squash and they are still around, left over from Halloween. A group of inscribed pumpkins look great on the table, the kitchen counter or even on the front porch. For ideas and complete instructions:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Decor

Are you having the family over for dinner on Thanksgiving? If so, you'll want to dress up the house in all the best of harvest decor. I love this time of year, it is so easy to decorate with all the best of the harvest. Big bowls or baskets of apples, pumpkins by the doors, dried flowers and grasses, just to name a few.

Decorating the dining table is, for some, a wonderful opportunity to bring out the best in linens and tableware, but it's also the chance to decorate it. Some will go for the formal look with a big bowl of chrysanthemums and autumn candles, others may like the casual look of a cornucopia basket. These baskets are shaped like a horn, open in the center as to allow you to fill the opening with fruit, leaves, mini pumpkins or anything you feel delineates thanksgiving.

I have many articles on e-how which give detailed instructions on all that matters to making your home look it's best for when company comes. Please stop by.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Greed of A Realtor

My post from the other day talked about my husband and I searching for a new home. Dave has been working "out of town" for just shy of a year now, and we decided to put off selling our home until the market improved, but buy now while the prices were down. After what seemed like months, we finally found our perfect home. It had everything we wanted in a tranquil neighborhood. Last Monday we made our offer, and after a couple of days a deal was struck. Dave went to the bank and got a cashier's check for the required 3,000.00 in Earnest money and had it delivered to the title company. He ordered inspections while I called and got an idea what homeowners insurance would cost. Now, Dave had signed the paperwork the same day that our offer was accepted, but my signature had to wait until he came home Thursday night and then we were to fax it to our realtor the next morning. But, something happened in the meantime that really destroyed my faith in almost all realtor's.

The same day that we delivered our Ernest money, the sellers agent showed "our" new house. These people made an offer, higher than ours as it turned out. The sellers realtor had the seller reject our offer and accept the new one. So, the day after the seller accepted our offer, we were out. I was so disappointed, I really loved that house.

Our realtor told us that what the seller's realtor did was in fact legal, but incredibly dishonest and unethical. We weren't even given a chance to raise our offer. What kind of agent does something like this? Someone without any scruples is my guess. Oh, we could threaten to sue, or at the very least, cause lots of problems for the seller and his realtor, but what would that gain us? I don't have the energy to fight a losing battle.

I'm somewhat surprised at my years past I would have never let this go. I would have called that realtor and given her my best in "shame warfare". Nowadays, I think I'll just drop her a nice little note and let her know she's working in the wrong state.....she belongs on Wall Street.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

From The Tundra To The Valley

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I've written here, but I've had a good excuse. First of all as a gardener I've spent my summer outside, every minute of it! You know the more you plant, the more time you must devote to taking care of all of it.

Then we have been on the market all summer, again. That makes 2 years in a row that we've been trying to sell our home, I know many are in the same boat. We finally gave up the ghost and took it off the market a month ago, I hated to do it, I desperately wanted to move back to our hometown. And my husband lost his job here almost a year ago and has been commuting back to our old neck of the woods. That's a 3.5 hour drive and the cost of fuel has been killing us, not to mention that he's over in the valley with the rest of our family.....and I'm myself. BooHoo I know, but it's been rough.

So, when there wasn't a buyer in sight for the house, we (ok, me) moved to plan B. We made the decision to hang on to our house until the market improves, we had dropped our price 150 thou, yes thousand, and still couldn't pull in a buyer. So, we pulled the equity out of this house, it was payed for, and started all over with a new mortgage and a plan to buy another place while prices were low. We just had a offer accepted and am thrilled.

The new place needs a little TLC, a few things, but I can live with it until we sell the other house. The great thing about this new new garden. There are numerous old growth firs, the butts must be 5 maybe 6 feet round, and moss is growing up the trunks for many feet. The previous owner was surly a gardener as there are many beautiful shrubs, flowers and vines. There are pink begonia's growing everywhere. There are 3 Acer Maples that were a brilliant red/orange when we toured the place. There is a boxwood hedge that is taller than me and about 100 feet long. I am thrilled to have been given this small piece of wonder to make my own. And that's just the front yard.

I am going to make an effort to write everyday, and to catch up on all the blogs that I once really enjoyed. Hope you come along with me.....