About Me

My photo
Sublimity, OR, United States
I am artist of texture and color. I enjoy working with textiles, mixed media and the graphic arts. I am an avid cottage gardener with a love for pass along plants and big fluffy pink peonies and pink roses. Many of my tangible creations reflect my love of the garden and all its wonderful colors. I have been selling my creations online since 2002 beginning as a hobby. After 10 years I quit the day job to pursue my art as a full time passion.

27 August 2015

Late August porch sitting

It has been a long hot summer here in Oregon and you probably are thinking I am going to say I am ready for the cooler fall weather. NOT...I am quite spoiled wearing shorts and flip flops and picking roses from my cottage garden. The winters here tend to be long, grey and wet. Usually we do not have such dry summers and there have been many downsides to it this year.
Mid July always brings 2 weeks of leaf hopper bugs. Almost impossible to sit out on the porch in the evenings. This year right  on the heels of the leaf hoppers we had an invasion of millions (and I am not kidding) of tiny black ant like bugs. Every house that bordered the farmland here in our little town was affected. It was useless to spray as the numbers were too great and too widespread. So we had to wait them out for another couple weeks. This meant I had to strip the coverings off my bench too.

But now I back in business, enjoying my "porch sittin". I came across this fun transfer at a craft store and added it to an old shutter. It gets a lot of attention from passers by stopping to read what it says.

I covered the bench with an old quilt and topped with a quaker lace tablecloth that has seen better days--always a reuse for everything!
Easy no sew pillows! An old denim skirt I simply pinned to a pillow form and added some crochet scraps to the the pockets.

My watering can collection is so fun to decorate with. 
Below is a very old can that came from my husbands family in Nebraska

Garden flowers in anything that will hold water!

As you can see, late summer here brings some really dry farmland. This view is from the front walkway of my porch looking south.

So for at least a couple more weeks I will enjoy the last colors, sites and smells of summer. The corn stalks are drying in the back garden and I am already planning the fall porch decor.

02 July 2015

Front porch sitting Patriotic style

A little patriotic decorating this week for the front porch! I do this every year, but try to add a little twist. I came across this little freedom sign, nothing unique about it other than I liked the aged country farm coloring.

 I drug out my old king size quilt, the colors work really for all summer, but I like it for the 4th. The easy no-sew pillow covers are just fabric wrapped like a gift and safety pinned. Makes the fabric easy to store and I can use the pillow forms for something else.
 Love to have lots of red flowers! I planted this pot with the 4th in mind although the little daisies are not happy in this brutal heat we have been having :( An attack of bud worm has set back my petunias, so the blooms are sparse.

 Above is my shutter "flag" project I worked on last month. I saw a version on pinterest and thought it was an awesome re-purpose of old shutters. I have had a thing for old shutters lately--lots of cool ideas out there!

 I didn't get a real good picture, but I found this cute hypertufa watering can planter at a garage sale to add to my watering can collection.

Below is the evening view from our front porch. Panorama pics didn't work too well. We have farmland on two sides, and some nice Cascade foot hills and mountain views. In the first picture (hard to see) there is a peek at Mt. Jefferson. Not too much snow left on it.


 Watch for a tutorial on this shutter "flag" and other shutter re-purpose fun later this month

Let Freedom ring!
Happy 4th of July!

30 June 2015

Last day of June walk in the cottage garden

Now I should have been here 2 weeks ago with a mid June update. But my cottage garden was looking quite sad in dire need of a clean up. We have not had a normal Oregon summer. Usually temps are below 80f and a bit of rain. But this spring and start to summer we have had HOT and DRY weather 95f plus. Most of the flowers are 2 weeks ahead. So what you are seeing today is what I normally would show you in mid July!

False Queen Annes Lace, always a beautiful soft and lacy addition to the cottage garden, but it does need to be kept tame or it will take over. I pull handfuls of seedlings every spring.
The Hollyhocks are just bursting! Can you believe I started with only one plant 4 years ago? It was a mixed color and now I have all shades of burgandy, white, peach and pink. Most have just grow where they reseeded, but I did transplant along the back fence to fill out the garden.

newly transplanted this year from another part of the garden are phlox and bell flowers, they mix in nicely with the coreposis and white coneflowers

Hopefully I will be back in August with another beautiful late summer walk--since so many things were early, I am hoping for a repeat performance on some of the early bloomers!

18 May 2015

May walk thru the Cottage Garden

One of the joys of a cottage garden is that it is never the same year to year. Plants that reseed often end up in unexpected places. My foxgloves that were at the south end of the garden are now at the north end. They also are more like the wild species being quite a bit smaller.
One of the joys of growing Columbine is they tend to cross pollinate and what was one plant can be several dozen within 2 or 3 years. The colors surprise me each season. Last year I planted a purple one just to see what color I will get.
One mixed color hollyhock plant 4 years ago is now many plants at the rear of the garden and gives a spectacular July show.

Below are my first photos of the season. What is blooming now are just starting to show the full glory I will get this week.

As some of you who do follow my blog, you know that I blog more in the summer months because I love to show off my ever changing cottage garden and outdoor decorating. I have several trash to treasure garden and home decor projects waiting in the wings to be completed. Being from the Pacific Northwest, spring and summer is my favorite time of year--you could say 
"I am in my element"

17 May 2015

The May Alphabet Party

Wow, I had not realized it has been almost 2 months since I posted here. We went on what I would call a "jetsetter" vacation most of the month of April. First to Cancun Mexico with my daughter and family for her Beachbody company vacation. Then my hubby and I flew to Las Vegas for a couple of days. After that, we flew to Kona Hawaii (the big island) for another 11 days!

Needless to say, we probably won't do that much flying again in one trip! Eight plane changes in one trip was just too much. And a bit of Montezuma's revenge from Mexico spoiled the Las Vegas stay. But we recovered fine for Hawaii, which is our favorite tropical destination. So much our favorite, we reserved a lovely ocean front condo the entire month of April 2016!

So onto the Embracing Cottage Style Alphabet party. 

this months letters are L, M, N

"L" for the gorgeous Lupines in my garden!
they fit so well in my old fashioned vintage style cottage garden

"M" for Marionberries 
in this yummy vintage china
 (also the name of my website!)

"N" for this stunning vintage necklace 
that belonged to my grandmother
(the picture does not do it justice)

Join us over at party!

31 March 2015

Chairs for Charity 2015

I finally finished my chair restoration for Chairs for Charity auction 2015.

Each year I donate an up-cycled theme decorated chair to a great cause. Chairs for Charity to bring awareness to L.A.M. My friend Carrie suffers from this lung disease and is a champion for getting the word out and raising funds and awareness of this little know affliction. You can read more about it here.

Below is the primed chair--it was a walnut wood color with this rose pink seat

 After priming, I used a couple of different stencils to get my flourishes on the back panel. I then used a chalk finish paint called Americana Decor in the "Yesteryear" color.  I will put my 2 cents in about chalk paint. I know there are many die hard Annie Sloan paint fans out there. I have used her paint, I even took a sponsored ASP class, and I love her paint. But at $40 a quart, the alternatives on the market are just as good. And there are a lot of recipes on the internet to make your own and several are not the right proportions and you can get some bad results. I have found the best "make your own" recipe is on the Lowe's website. You can buy their little sample pots (they will mix you any color you want). But for this project I was able to get this paint on sale at Craft Warehouse for $6.99 and I really liked the color.

Next was the waxing. I started with an antique color wax. I hated it! With the brown cast on the grey it looked dirty. So I mixed a clear wax with some black acrylic paint and waxed again and got the results I was looking for.

 finding the perfect seat fabric was not easy!
Sometimes it pays to walk back to the clearance area of the fabric store! I found this amazing remnant for $9 a yard. The bird was the perfect shade of grey.

So now the hunt begins again for next years chair!

Feature Fridays
No Minimalist Here

Every Saturday

where we reside

where we reside
The ArborOak cottage