Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making Chenille bunnies

Hi everyone from Ten Gables Cottage, What do you do with an old Chenille bedspread? Well, I decided to make Easter bunnies out of it, so I cut a simple paper pattern, placed it on the part of the chenille that had a bit of color in flowers and greenery and cut it out. I sewed it up and stuffed it with soft fiber fill. The first one I made, I had a little trouble with the ears. Does it look like a dog or a bunny.? Anyway, he is very lovable and cute, whatever he is!

On the bigger one, I used pipe stems in the ears so I could bend them in different positions and instead of embroidering the eyes on, I used gray buttons. I think he looks more like a bunny. But they became fast friends, so it really doesn't matter..both are quite cute, fun and creative.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainy Day and Strawberries

Hello everyone from Ten Gables Cottage, It is a very rainy day today here in South Florida. I awoke to the sounds of crashing thunder and lightening, and rain was hitting the windows hard! It soon settled down into a very rainy day, but brightened up somewhat and has just rained steadily all day. We certainly need this rain, as we are in a drought, the worse one in 80 years for this time of year. After it brightened up a bit, I decided to go to the market, as I really needed some staples. The first thing I saw was a big display of strawberries from Plant City, Florida, famous for delicious strawberries. So of course, I had to buy some. Yum! They are beautiful and sweet and juicy!

I am once again on a diet, or at least trying to avoid sugary desserts like cake and cookies, so I thought I would just make a jello dessert, using strawberry jello, finely diced and mashed strawberries, crushed pineapple, and banana. With just a small dab of Cool Whip (we won't even THINK whipped cream), I think this will appease my sweet tooth and be a fine dessert tonight.

Off it goes into the fridge to get firm and off I go to enjoy painting in the studio, listening to the gentle rain outside. Such a COZY day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Before and After...Little Stove Make Over

Hello and Welcome to Ten Gables Cottage,
Have I had a fun time today! I asked what in the world I could do with this little stove sitting in a corner of the back porch. I got some great suggestions, so today I tackled it using most of the suggestions! I just took white and green paint and dabbed it like crazy here and there on some of the rust spots and where the paint was flaking off. I didn't really want to carry the really heavy cast iron stove out into the yard to spray paint it, so I just dabbed here and there. Then I planted the back where a stove pipe would go if one really used it (Not going to happen in Florida). I used a spiky tropical plant and some Wandering Jew or Zebrina pendula. It is easy to grow and I have some already in the yard, so I just pulled up some pieces to use. It will root in soil, no problem.

Then I put a pot inside the stove and planted a Polka Dot plant turned on it's side and impatiens. It is sort of dark inside, but in the morning will get some sun, so it should be o.k. I added more Wandering Jew and you might see a couple springs of variegated ivy, which is artificial, but it does add a bit to the whole affect. But it still needed something, so I found a bag of different mosses and lichen I had bought and I got out the old glue gun and glued some here and there. I sat the old chair next to it with Begonias in a pot and more Wandering Jew in the pot pockets. An iron bunny completes my display. It is right by the back door, where everyone comes to when they visit, so now I have a welcoming display. I think it is a big improvement, don't you?

Happy week end! Egretta

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spreading Red Mulch

Hi from Ten Gables Cottage,
Today it is supposed to reach 85 degrees, so I decided to spread some of the red mulch in the rose garden early before the heat set in. I call it The Rose Garden even though it is really a space between the driveway and the house and is landscaped with other plants as well. Anyway, you can see how great the red mulch looks with the brick around the outside of the house as well as with the brick pavers on the porches.

Another peek of the mulch, but check out the beautiful Allamanda which is blooming profusely.

Now, here is a question for you. What in the world am I going to do with this old stove. It is in a corner of the porch, just for decoration, and the paint is really chipping (Shabby Chic). However, even though Shabby Chic is stylish, I feel it needs to be scrapped of old paint and re-painted to preserve it from rust, even though some people love rust. So I am thinking of painting it again and then opening the door and putting a pot of trailing flowers inside, as well as a pot in the back of it and sort of repurposeing it into a planter. What do you think? Any ideas? Help me be creative!! Your comments are welcome!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Easter Egg Tree

Hi everyone,
Yesterday was the first day of Spring, although it could really have been several weeks ago here! But we are enjoying some great weather and things are really showing new growth.
Just look at the Easter eggs this little tree grew! Ha!
Actually, every year a few weeks before Easter, I hang plastic colored eggs all over it. My grandchildren expect me to do so! The first year I did it, Andrew was only just walking well, and he went right to the tree and began gathering all the eggs that he could reach and removing them. I suppose he thought that was what he was supposed to do, so I just gave him a basket and he had great fun taking them all off! Every year I have an Easter egg hunt for the two grandchildren, filling about 200 plastic eggs with coins and they have great fun hunting eggs!

This poor little tree, which is a dwarf Hibiscus tree, almost bit the dust this winter, when we had a freeze. Not used to such, it lost every leaf and looked quite desperate until finally it began to get green leaves. I have not trimmed the twigs yet, but will do so after Easter to encourage new growth. In spite of it's plight, I did see one hibiscus flower on it today! It also leans to one side and we have staked it. Poor thing!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Red Mulch

Hi Everyone from Ten Gables Cottage,
The local Home Depot has a great buy on mulch today, so after church, we stopped by for a bunch of bags of red mulch. In Florida, it helps keep our plants from dying when the dry season is here, which seems to be most of the time, except in hurricane season (June-November)! Actually, we should be starting to get rain showers almost daily, but we are in drought conditions!
I water my garden every evening, but that is not the same as a good drenching rain.
The mulch was on sale for $1.12 a bag plus I get a 10% discount on top of that, so basically it runs about $1.00 a bag! Great price! I prefer buying bags as to truck loads, because they are easier to handle and a lot neater in the long run. Plus, where are you going to dump a whole truck load? Plus, then you have to wheel barrow it around. I prefer to use a dolley and take bags to where I need them and dump one bag out at a time and spread it. I got enough today to do my veggie garden and finish the rose garden. I'll post photos of the finished job....when I get it done. I feel rather lazy this afternoon and it is Sunday, so maybe I will rest a bit, pray for rain, and paint in my studio!
Have a good afternoon yourself!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Think Green--Happy St. Pat's Day!

Hi everyone,
If you didn't wear green today, I hope no one pinched you! Today, in American, we are certainly celebrating the Irish, wearing green, and loving every minute of it! There are parades in almost every city; we love the Irish! I thought I would take you on a walk through my green things...I mean the color green, not the environmentally green that we all hear so much about.The first photo is of beautiful green moss. Moss is one of my favorite things! So lush, cool and inviting!

My little green ceramic birds are really cute. I plan to put them in an arrangement of pussy willow and white dogwood blooms.

Don't you love clear colored glass in a window. You can have instant "stained" glass by just sitting some colored bottles in a window. Here are some green ones. Next, I have little tomatoes on the vine to show you! Yes, my tomatoes are already growing---this one is a Roma, I think. The plant is loaded with little green tomatoes.

I love this granite ware coffee pot in the most delicious shade of green. Probably out of the 40's this Pistachio color is making a great decorating comeback. All the magazines are featuring this color with pink and white. It has a nice cottage look, perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

The lovely vase shown here is a favorite of mine. It requires no flowers at all to look quite stunning. I like the color, the shape and the double handles.

My little seedlings are really growing. There is Cilantro, Basil, and some Parsley all in this pot. I hope they aren't too crowded to get a little bigger before I transplant them.

Now, think Shabby Chic green, because this chair is certainly that. It belonged to an aunt of mine and then to my mom. It was painted many times and I kind of like the flaking green paint over the white. It sits on my back porch and I actually use it when taking off my garden shoes!

Well, let us (lettuce) be happy on this St. Patrick's day and enjoy a big green salad with our traditional Corned beef.

Keep a look out for the little Leprechaun.. .. he has a few pranks up his sleeve, I'm told. This one is a Wade's figurine from a box of Red Rose tea---lots of people collect little Wade's figurines. Hope you enjoyed my little green blog.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bunny Painting and Roquette Lettuce

Greetings from Ten Gables Cottage,

I just finished this painting of a little Spring bunny! I often see rabbits near the edge of the wild part of our garden, nibbling on the tiny Spring grass. They are so cute, but hop quickly away if you get too close. I really loved painting this little creature and if you click on him, you can see the fine detail of his fur in the brush strokes.

I am wondering if anyone out there has grown Roquette lettuce? I have planted it for the first time and it is doing well, but what I need to know is when to harvest and if you just pick off leaves, making more come on the plant? At first they grew up sort of tall on one stem, then quickly bloomed! Yikes, there were only a few leaves. Is this it, I wondered? So I broke off the tops of the plants and they began to double, no triple in size and became quite bushy. Everyday, I break off any buds. And I have picked some leaves off and eaten them, so am I doing this right? I love the peppery taste of this lettuce. I am so glad my little garden is far away from the bunnies and near the house, where they never venture! Your comments on this lettuce will be appreciated!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Busy as a Bee...

Hi everyone,
Seems like I am as busy as a bee, these days! But I took a little time to walk around the garden to show you what is happening here! First, the Bottle Brush tree is full of bloom...dense spikes of showy red stamens.... and the bees are going wild! You can see at least two on this bloom, and actually I think there were three, working away. Click on it for a closer view. This native tree of Australia is all over South Florida. Mine is planted behind the guest cottage and from the screen porch, one can see it easily, adding some bright color to the back garden.

It is loaded with blooms this year! As you can see by the sky, it is a beautiful day here today, about 75 degrees with a tiny breeze.

The yellow flowers are really showing up on this shrub!
It is the Allamanda, from Brazil and Central America.

I have planted several Butternut squash and the plants are coming along nicely. I will soon put some twine from the ground to the porch so they can run up if they so desire.

More yellow in the garden....some bright daisies. I love a splash of sunny yellow, especially where there is a lot of green things.

The ornamental Kale is really growing and I love the colors in it, as well.

Last, the hibiscus is blooming, loves the sunshine and will begin, now, to profusely bloom.

Ahhhh, Spring is so nice. Hope you have a great day, Egretta

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Occupied Japan Collection

Hi Everyone from Ten Gables,
I hope you are enjoying your Sunday! I am heading to an outing at a Park in a while, but first I thought I would show you some collectibles I have from Occupied Japan. After World War ll, Japan was occupied by the Allied Powers, which included U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and India. This lasted until 1952, when Japan was once again independent.
During the occupancy, products were marked "Occupied Japan", especially those sent to the U.S

These Toby jugs and matching cups and saucers were bought at an auction and I haven't seen a set like them anywhere!
I think they are very charming...each mug has a cup and saucer with the same character face on it.

I have put them in my antique booth at the antique mall for sale.
Just wondering if any of you readers have seen these before?