Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's Porch Party Time!

Rhondi from Rose Colored Glasses is having the second annual Porch Party! After you have spent some time with me, you can go to Rhondi's blog and get linked up to all of the other beautiful porch parties around the world!





I wanted to greet you at my front gate, so we could stroll through my courtyard and enjoy the view before heading to my porch. Please click on any picture to enlarge for detail.






All of my roses and lavender are in bloom. Can you smell their sweet scent?






I will have to have you back for dinner al fresco some night. We can even light a fire in the fireplace, because evenings are always cool in the mountains.





We are almost there. Now, I don't have a "porch" so I am really having a deck party.




I love the way the sun filters through the deck railings across these vintage watering cans.



Here we are. There are seats in the sun and in the shade. Take your pick!






After I show you around, I will run inside and get some refreshments. When I do, you might want to browse through this beautiful book.




I made some mosaic coasters for my porch this year. Look closely. The bases are clay saucers, white washed.





Remember the planter I painted a few posts back? Here it is.










My favorite part of my deck is this view...








Now, sit and relax. I will run inside and get our refreshments. Then when we are finished, you can visit all of my other friends porch parties.




Thank you for coming and thank you Rhondi for hosting this event!


Welcome Home,

Penny

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rainy Day

When I woke up today it was raining. A steady drenching rain. I spent the morning and most of the afternoon in my studio working on mosaics. Here is the rainy day view out of my studio window. Click the picture to enlarge and you can see the fog drifting over the rainy mountain top.


At 2:30, I did what any smart gal would do on a rainy afternoon....I made a pot of coffee, cut a slice of fresh, homemade banana bread and grabbed one of my favorite magazines.



I spent the next half hour relaxing and enjoyed the rain.


Whether it is rainy or sunny at your home today, I hope you take some time to just enjoy the day.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, May 25, 2009

Country French Kitchen

This corner of my kitchen has always been the place where I have a basket of fresh tomatoes and garlic, usually some fresh flowers or a planter of herbs. It always ended up looking a little messy and scattered.



I found this WONDERFUL Lazy Susan that is made from a vintage lid to a French wine barrel. It fits this space perfectly and has added another little touch of France to my Country French Home. You can click the pictures to enlarge for detail.





Here is a look at the Lazy Susan with out the tomatoes etc on top. I love the RED "R" on it!






A close up of the French engraving...


It is the perfect accent piece! I can also use this on the dining table, the coffee table when I am serving in my living room and more. I LOVE IT!

Edited to add: Several of you asked where I bought this. I bought it from a little wine and gourmet shop in my town called Rabbit and Co. They don't have a website and this was the only one they had.

Welcome Home,

Penny

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Two...Two....Two Bouquets In One!

Remember these beautiful yellow flowers I posted about here on May 14th (10 days ago)? They lasted a long time!


Sadly the leaves started to shrivel and look terrible. But the flowers still were beautiful.



So today, I stripped the leaves off the stems and trimmed about 6 inches off the stems.


Now the bouquet is beautiful all over again! I wonder how much longer they will last.

Click on any picture to enlarge...
Welcome Home,
Penny

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not What I Expected

OOPS......not what I expected....


See the white rooster, behind the chicken wire? It is a teapot. I bought it on Ebay a couple of months ago.


I thought it was a porcelain teapot. The description said it was a bisque porcelain teapot. I thought it was a teapot I could use....


What they meant by bisque, was that it was an unfired porcelain teapot. The type you need to paint and then fire in a kiln.
I don't have a kiln....



So I am thinking about just spray painting it and using it for decoration. Maybe I should find someone who has a kiln.


What would you do? Please leave me a comment with some suggestions...
Welcome Home,
Penny

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Fun Project!

Warning! If you are a perfectionist, do not attempt this project.




Here is a fun, semi easy project created with a left over, old dirty plastic window box insert. But, if you are a perfectionist, you might not want to try this the way I did it-lol!




First I scrubbed the container with soapy water and let dry completely. Then I applied blue painters tape, where I wanted white stripes to appear. To get a semi even distance between stripes, I applied two small pieces of painters tape between my stripes. See picture below.





Now, I didn't measure the circumference and divide to get it totally even....I just winged it. After the stripes were taped down all the way around, I removed the spacing pieces of tape. See below.








Because this container is plastic, I bought paint made specifically for plastic.





I sprayed two light coats all around. Then I removed the blue painters tape, when it was dry.



If you click on the pictures to enlarge, you will see there was a raised design on the planter box. The red paint leaked through the sides of the tape where there were raised edges. But I figure, when the petunias and blue daze start trailing in the next week, the little oops parts will be covered with pretty flowers.





This is going on my front porch, and I will show you where on June 1st when I participate in Rhondi's Porch Party!


Welcome Home,

Penny

Lavender

I have had a lot of people ask me how I came up with the name of my mosaic studio, Lavender Hill Studio.

I love Lavender! We plant it all around our gardens. I took this picture yesterday afternoon in my front courtyard. You can click on the picture to enlarge it.


We live on a mountain ridge, looking at a mountain peak... That is where the Hill part comes in.

I took this picture of the mountain peak this morning.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I just wanted to let everyone know about Rhondi of Rose Colored Glasses, Porch Party!

This will be the second annual porch party that Rhondi has hostessed. Please click on the link above and sign up. It was so much fun last year, you won't want to miss out!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Little Sunshine

We have had quite a bit of rain this spring. We really need it too, so I am not complaining.



It's easy to make your own sunshine, isn't it?



I hope your home is filled with sunshine everyday!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Before and After

The week we were in Florida, the temperatures here in North Carolina got up into the 80's. No one was home to water my poor spring pansies. This is what I came home to :-(.

A quick trip to my local garden center and my lion urns are looking ready for summer. Soon the red geraniums will fill out the planters. My color theme this year is red and white.


Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, May 11, 2009

Something Amazing

This is the blackboard I made, here. It hangs in my studio. I look at that saying everyday.

And you know what? Something amazing DOES happen everyday.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bar-b-que Sides

I LOVE grilling outside when the weather is nice. I also love all of the "sides" you have when you grill. Potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw. They all taste so good! But they might not be so good for you. So instead of potato salad with tons of mayonnaise, and baked beans with tons of sugar, I found this great recipe.

You can serve this warm or room temperature. Click on the picture to enlarge and see all of the tasty details!

Here is the recipe. Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 whole red peppers
1 - 1/2 pounds red potatoes
3/4 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the broiler. Place the red peppers on a foil lined baking sheet.

Place the red peppers under the broiler. Turning ever 2 to 3 minutes cook the peppers until the skin is blistered, about 8-9 minutes total. Place the blistered peppers in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and allow the peppers to sit for 10 minutes to allow the skin to separate and to let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the potatoes to a cutting board. Add the green beans to the pot. Cook the green beans until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove the green beans to a large bowl. Slice the potatoes in half while still warm and combine them with the green beans in the large bowl. Remove the peppers from the plastic bag. Peel off the skin from the peppers. Slice the pepper flesh into wide strips and remove the seeds and veins. Place them in the bowl with the potatoes. Add the scallions and parsley and toss to combine.

In a small bowl combine the oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic and white wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the salt and pepper. Toss the warm vegetables with the herb vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

I don't miss the mayonnaise at all....
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Walk With Me

We have had three straight days of much needed rain. This morning the sun peaked through the clouds. So with my morning cup of coffee and camera in hand I thought I would take a stroll through my front courtyard. Want to come with me? Please click on the pictures to enlarge.

This picture is taken standing in front of my deck stairs look out towards my driveway. You can see my barn in the distance.


Standing on my front deck looking down at the water fountain.



I have my Potager (kitchen garden) in my front courtyard. I can walk out my front door and clip herbs all summer long.



Some Clematis climbing the arch at the entrance to our courtyard.



This is Madeline. We purchased her last summer. She spent the winter inside and we moved her back into the courtyard on Monday. She is sporting a new crown of hair in the guise of a flowering, trailing plant.



I wish I would have written down the name of this beautiful yellow climbing rose. I know it was Jackson Perkins. We planted it two years ago and it is just beautiful. It blooms all summer.



The chives are flowering in my Potager..



The Knock Out Roses are just starting to bloom.



Isn't it a beautiful day? Can you hear the birds chirping? Thank you for strolling with me through my courtyard.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, May 4, 2009

First Harvest...

Remember when I planted seeds in my raised bed HERE?


Here is my first harvest of the season. I can't believe how fast the lettuce and radishes grew!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Sunday, May 3, 2009

During My Blog Break...

During my recent blog break, Mr Comforts of Home and I went to Naples, Florida. We used to live there and have friends and family still there. Naples is a beautiful city on the Gulf of Mexico. It is 2 hours south of Tampa, Fl.



We stayed at the
Naples Grande Beach Resort. It is a beautiful hotel on the Gulf. We were on the 17th floor and had awesome views of the coastline from our lanai.



Look how beautifully blue the water is! You can click on any picture to enlarge for detail.





While there, we spent some time on the beach. If you enlarge this pic you will see a beach bird strolling in the sand looking for coquina (little clam like creatures).




We always stop at Tommy Bahama's for lunch when we are in Naples.




There is another resort on the beach, called the Naples Beach Hotel. They have the best place to view the water and do some people watching.




Especially when you are sitting on the beach edge with a wonderful Pina Colada!




Well, I am back home and back to reality. I have a lot of gardening to do and a lot to catch up on, including all of you! See you soon.

Welcome Home,

Penny