A thrifty, romantic country lifestyle...

Apr 24, 2016

Placemats or Tablecloth...

In setting my table today for a small gathering of 4... 
I was contemplating using placemats in lieu of a tablecloth.

But it looked too crowded and busy for such a small table.  
Then it hit me - 
...one placemat in the center would be perfect! 

And it complemented a jar of irises and lilacs nicely.

The lilacs are not quite in full bloom - 
so they should get prettier as the week goes on.

And those would be 'ants on a log' hiding underneath - 
also known as celery with peanut butter and raisins.
This was my first fresh flower cutting of the season.  

 Soon we'll enjoy some picnic table dining and placemats will work there.  
Welcome warm weather!  ~Joyce 
Linking to Monday Funday

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Apr 21, 2016

Finally - A Project... A Chalkboard Project...

 Feels like it's been a long winter and I just haven't gotten to projects 
 like I've wanted.  But this week I pulled out this nifty find and got to work.  
It's a clipboard/easel type artist's board.  
Also perfect for holding papers in a seminar
 or drafters may use it - not sure of all it's uses.
I think I found it curbside - abandoned...

I figured it would make a great chalk board. 
 But believe it or not - this was my first time using chalkboard paint!  
I'm very behind... just didn't get to it before...

So after quickly measuring & marking on all sides - 
laying down some painters tape - and filling in with paint - 
it was pretty much done.  
Some of the board patina was a little 'yucky' for my taste - so...
 I gave the edges a quick coat of beeswax furniture oil to darken it...

And as always with chalkboard paint - remember to season the whole painted area by
coloring in solid with chalk - then wiping off - before actually using it.
And now we have this...
 (on brick)

Or this...(on lace)

With great little fingers to hold whatever your heart desires...
 (cause they are strong!) 

 Hello chalkboard friend.  
Thanks for getting me back in the project groove
and allowing me to play 'artist' with you a bit.

This board is available in my Etsy shop here
cause everyone needs a chalkboard (or 2 or 3...)!  
 Thanks for stopping by today!  ~Joyce
Linking to Home Sweet Home
and DIY Salvaged Junk

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Apr 18, 2016

Filling a Jar...

A few weeks ago - I picked up a bag of unused potpourri 

I had a certain container I planned to fill in my living room - 
but there wasn't quite enough potpourri to do it justice.  
So they both just waited....

...until this weekend when another sale yielded another find.  
How about a bag of raffia balls for 50 cents?    That'll work!
  Potpourri + balls + a few seashells I found lying around = 
not a bad looking jar of goods.

And my living room smells amazing!
I think yard sales are the bestest things ever!  ~Joyce
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Apr 16, 2016

Garden Things - My Day Outside...

It all began with a new pair of gloves... (a birthday gift from my daughter).  
I couldn't find garden gloves - they all get filthy immediately and they don't fit.  
These have rubber palms and fit fine!  New gloves means I can tackle areas 
that I've neglected for far too long without fear of contracting poison...
For starters... I figured I'd tackle 'Old Gray Faithful' 
(as my daughter referred to her rock in a school poem years ago).
  He's big!... and was covered in ivy.  Done...

 Then the plants I did move - including this wild raspberry plant 
and multiple Yucca or Spanish Dagger plants.
(both pictured)
Digging, digging and more digging.  

And my rock edge... I like the Lamium falling over it.
But all the wild lilies that were behind it?  Not so much.  Gone...

Then my little garden got some much needed compost.  
I carried bucket after bucket into this space.  
I'm determined to get green beans this years if nothing else... 

(I've not had the best gardening success - too much shade I think.)

Then there was watering... (more hauling) for all those new plantings & more...  
I haven't worked outdoors like this in over 24 years!  
I have a rare neuro disease that has plagued my arms for most
of that time - but they've been doing well.  So I 'went for it'...

I am exhausted.  I will be sore.  
But my sneakers (after a washing) are none the worse for wear...

It was a marvelous Spring day and I'm thankful for every moment of it!  
 I think I've found the cure to my insomnia...
I will surely sleep well tonight.

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Apr 15, 2016

Selling My Youth - An 80s Music Post...

As a teenager and young adult - I was sucked into the
 Contemporary Christian Music scene.  I'm not much of a fan now -
 but I lived and breathed it then.   For some reason - I still have all
 my old records - decades later!  And I've decided it's time for a

Turns out I was a big fan of Evie - she was on the softer side.  
I actually bought 4 of her records new I believe!  Kinda a big deal
 for this gal who had a pretty limited budget at the time...

But always a study in contrasts - I was also a big fan of David and the Giants -
 a group with much more of an edge to their style.  
In fact much of my music had an edge. Why?  

I believe part of me was trying to prove something to those around me.  

I was raised in a somewhat conservative Christian home - but had
 my ways of trying to fit into the the 'liberal' crowd....
I'm also realizing in my older and wiser? years - that music can be a bit of a drug.  

Diving music carries you along.  
I heard some of  the words - but I really heard the music.  

As I'm relistening to these albums to make sure they play well - 
I'm realizing that the messages in many of them were a bit - well - shallow.

Others tho - have stayed with me for life.
'Casual Christian' by DeGarmo & Key left a strong impact.
I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be a casual Christian
I don't wanna live, I don't wanna live a lukewarm life
Because I wanna light up the night
With an everlasting light
I don't wanna live the casual Christian life

I'm also finding it amusing that my bargain hunting endeavors
 started very early in life.  I 'd go to my local Christian bookstore
 and search through their discounted bins looking for overlooked treasures.

And I found some!  
Stuff that I took a chance on but wasn't stuff I had ever heard of.   
I believe The Hope was one of those groups...

So it's a trip down memory lane for me this week.   
A bit of a soul searching time...  
Life in the 80's... it was what it was.   

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