Monday, August 30, 2010

Small space apple tree......

Since home lot sizes are getting smaller and fewer and fewer of us live on acreage, here is one way to have your apples and grow them too!

Columnar apple trees!  You may or may not have seen them but they are trees that are unique in how they grow.......on a single long stem!

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This is a "Northpole" columnar apple that we planted, in our backyard, six years ago.

Now, it is close to 10 foot tall because we have never pruned it back.  I may do that next year, to make it easier to reach the fruit at the top.


And speaking of fruit......this has been a banner year!

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The tree was loaded with fruit, if I would have thinned it out some, we would have still had lots of apples and they would have been larger.

The fruit is sweet and juicy and the tree requires minimal space and care.  The tree can be container grown and will produce fruit the first year. 

We bought our tree from One Green World Nursery in Molalla, Oregon.  They sell three varieties: Northpole,which is described as having McIntosh-like apples; Golden Sentinel which produces golden-yellow fruit and Scarlet Sentinel with large, greenish-yellow fruit.

I hate using sprays but I think we may have to, or try some organic is a photo showing part of this years crop amongst the leaves.apples 005Even if you live in a condo, you could grow one of these in a just needs a fair amount of sun and you would have fresh picked apples every fall! How fun is that!

I am linking to the following:

Bloomin Tuesday at Ms Green Thumb Jean

Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Day Dreamer

Tuesday Garden Party at Oregon Cottage

Rednesday at Sue Loves Cherriess

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mirror, mirror........

I was doing a little blog browsing this afternoon, when I came across this great blog by Jane Schott called "Empress of the Eye".  As I am reading, I come to this post about a mirror......


a very lovely mirror.  Jane discovered this beauty in a shop owned by her friend in West Palm Beach called Antiques Row.

For only $1450. plus shipping this 88 inch tall, gilt trimmed mirror can be yours.

She doesn't mention the width but it must be 60 to 72 inches wide.  It is a beauty.


Now, let me show you the mirror I just scored at a yard sale...............

mirror 004  Granted my mirror is about half the size, at 44 x 31 inches, but it has its original gorgeous gilt trim and a heavy, beveled, plate glass mirror.

mirror 007 mirror 002 I touched up a few scrapes and scratches, with artist oil paint, on the black part of the molding, but the gold just required dusting. You get an idea, in this photo, of the detail and quality of the mirror frame, there are no cracks or broken pieces on the frame, amazing!

You want to know what's really amazing......I paid $15. for it.....can you believe it! 

I'm taking my mirror over to Debbie Doos Garage Salen Partay, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday and Tabletop Tuesday     .  Come see what the others brought and feel free to comment. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pyrography.....what's that?

I've been talking about collections lately, so I thought I'd show you another one of mine, and do a little "show and tell" of pyrography, which are more commonly known as "wood burnt" items.

If, your definition of an antiques is an item over 100 years old.......these items are true antiques. 

In the late 1880 through the 1920s, women's magazines featured this new pastime, for ladies, called pyrography or wood burning.  Soon, art supply companies were making and selling wood boxes, wall plaques and small pieces of furniture with the designs drawn on them and the latest innovations in wood burning equipment for this new craft.

As time passed, and skills improved, ingenuity brought originality to the burned designs depending on the artistic ability of the craftsperson.  Paint was added to highlight the design and backgrounds were chiseled out to add depth and texture.

Apparently, safety was not much of a concern, considering ladies were using hand held devices that were heated with a benzine/air mixture plus, asbestos was added to reduce explosions.  Fun hobby, huh.....sort of like an "extreme sport" of the 1900s.

Thousands of these items were purchased and completed.  I've had a few more pieces over the years but I have edited down to these few pieces that I really like and enjoy looking at everyday.

ron 002This wall plaque is 20 inches by 9 inches and was produced by Flemish Art Company.  There is, of course, no way to know the name of the craftsperson who burned it.

Since, we are very fond of cats in this household, this is one of our favorite designs.

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  This wonderful magazine holder is 24 by 14 inches. 

I really like this one and I've been using it in my craft room, recently, to hold scrapbook papers.



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So, you get a sense of how it looks with magazines in it I took this photo.  It must have been designed to hang on the wall, next to your favorite chair, holding your reading material at the ready.




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This little sweetie would have hung on the wall and held your comb or brush in the tray.

A quick check in the little round mirror would have told you if you needed to use them! 



wood 003Behold, the detail!  Burned, chiseled and textured this little beauty is only 12 x 9 inches.

wood 002  More detail from the front of the brush holder.

wood 004 This sweet little frame, made to hold two photos of loved ones, is about 8 inches wide.

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The most common examples of pyrography, you will find these boxes, in various sizes and designs, in almost any antique store today. 

Here the top box belonged to my grandmother and is what piqued my interest in this burnt wood craft and where the collection began.

The bottom box is my most recent acquisition and is about 9x11x5 inches high.  The painted designs are my least favorite and, normally, I wouldn't have bought it.........except for the message on the bottom.  This is what makes this box so special.

wood 007The woman I bought it from told me Fred W. was her great-uncle and the box was done by his niece for Christmas 1910.

You can, also, see the manufacture mark on the left, it was produced by Flemish Art Company.  Thayer & Chandler was another company that produced a lot of materials during the popular years of wood burning. 

If you find these crafted items as interesting as I do, you can learn more by reading "The Burning Passion" by Carole and Richard Smyth and published by L-W Book Sales.

Thank you for allowing me to share, with you, what I think is a fun and fascinating collection from another era.

Remember, I blog for comments.....they are always appreciated!

I am linking to Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life and Sue Loves Cherries at Rednesday.  Please join me and check out all the other great blogs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yet, another collection.........

My last post was about collecting plants, Heuchera (Coral Bells) to more specific.

So, if the rule of three applies to plants, from the saying "if you have three of something, it is a collection", I now have a collection of canes........WOW, were did that come from?

finds 004

These are my most recent yard sale finds...note: a cane and a box!

I was, already, aware that I collected Pyrography or burnt wood items.  Wood burning was a popular craft in the early 1900s.  This box was made by a young girl for her uncle in 1910, fortunately, she wrote (burned) this info into the bottom of the box.  I'll share that collection at another date.

This collection....CANES....started when I inherited two canes from my parents, that they had purchased on a trip to Missouri, in the 1970s. 

canes 010They had the two on the outside edges, the one in the middle is the one I just bought for $5.  The cane with the handle(on the bottom) has a wood burned designs and they used some colored stains or ink on the designs. It's interesting BUT the other one..............

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looks like "out-sider" art, to me.  It has a hand carved man's face with possibly and ear of corn, or a watermelon, on top for a handle.  This one intrigues me and I'm sure has a story to tell, that I wish I knew.


So, when I found the one last week for $5.00, I thought, what the I collect canes.

The new cane is interesting, in as much, as it is made from the twisted branch of a tree, I'm not familiar with, and the handle is hand carved, as you can tell from the photo.  Actually, I think my new collection is pretty cool!

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This is my favorite corner in our living collection of flower pots, globes, burnt wood items and the colorful pillows and granny-square throw.



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Now, I added my newest collection of canes and I think it may be too much.  

That's one of the problems with collecting canes, how to display them.  I don't want to put them on the umbrella stand, maybe?   Got any suggestions, I'm open for ideas?

Thanks for stopping by, remember I love comments and new followers.  I am joining Sue at Rednesday

Monday, August 16, 2010


Heuchera, better know as old fashioned Coral Bells, have become one of my favorite plants.  The Heuch is pronounced "WhoK", then add  "er-uh", sorta like that!

Dan Heims, a well know breeder of Heuchera and who's nursery is just down the road from us, has been working diligently on developing a broad range of leaf colors that is quite spectacular.  They have developed leaves in burgundy, orange-coral, silver, green and lime green and variations of the above.  These plants do have a small flower on a long upright stem, which isn't very showy,mainly, Heuchera are grown for their leaf color and texture.  And did I mention, hardy and easy to care many desirable features in one beautiful plant.

They say "if you have three of something, you have a collection"......I think I have a collection of Heuchera.  Here's a sampling:

canes 003The Heuchera on left is Green Spice,on the right is Midnight Rose.  You can see its small flower, the flowers look light and lacy, I think.

canes 006

These three deep burgundy plants are all named "Prince", the white and red flowers, around them, are all sedums and, in the background, is blue oat grass.  

canes 008

The purple leaf here is Midnight Rose, they are hard to see, but the leaves have a silvery dot pattern with a hint of rose. The green leaf with the burgundy underside, on bottom right of photo, is Sashay.

I have a few more, but you get the idea, the darker leafed plants do better in full sun, than the light green, for instance.  Most of mine are in places that get a lot of sun.  This week, with the temps in the 90s, it may burn a few leaves, I'll just trim them back the end of the month and they'll be good as new by October.

This would be my plant pick of the week.....and you could  find yourself starting another collection.

I'm linking this post to the following blog parties, please join me and remember, I appreciate your comments and love my followers :

An Oregon Cottage

Bloomin Tuesday at Ms Green Thumb Jean

A Southeran Day Dreamer's Outdoor Wednesday

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Time for a Blog Redo

Today I decided to take the time to change over to the new Blogger template.  That was easy, except the format became much wider, thing lead to another and now, I have a complete new look!

The photo is of a small shelf that sits beside the bed and holds many treasures that are near and dear to me.

bedroom 010On one shelf sits a "rose ball" I bought, a long time ago, it is a small ball covered with tiny rose buds and next to it, in a small white embroidered frame, is a photo of my sweet hubby.  A little keepsake school photo taken when he was about ten or eleven.

He is still a little cutie in this families eyes! Well, maybe, not so little anymore!

Hope you like my new look!  It's a little pink, but I think it compliments the rose buds.

Besides, pink is just a paler shade of red!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Classy Free Labels................

'Tis the season for making jams, jellies and!

Homemade jams and jellies are not that difficult to make, some fruit, some sugar for freezer jam, no cooking.  Cooked jams and jellies take a little more time and effort, but still pretty easy.   I use boxed pectin, not everyone does, but they have developed simple and clear directions for making these tasty treats and you have the insurance of the fruit setting, if you follow those directions.

Nothing taste better in the middle of winter, than warm toast spread with homemade jam, with or without peanut butter.

Home made jams and jellies are, also, a thoughtful and generous gift for a friend, or a hostess gift, or a wonderful "thank you" for a favor.  So, here is an idea to dress up the jars that contain the taste of summer's bounty.

Last week in the Portland newspaper, the Oregonian, they ran an article on printing you own labels, on your computer, to add a special touch to your homemade goodies. 

jams 008Cute round ones like this and....................

jams 011 

old fashioned looking labels, like these.  Great for gift giving!

jams 010


What a fabulous finishing touch and so easy, just click on the site below, choose a label or tag, download and print label on sticker paper or tags on card stock.



I am going to cut a circle of fabric, to cover the lid, and tie it on with ribbon or raffia.  Voila' wrapped cuteness!

jams 014


jams 012Lookin' good just sitting on a pantry shelf!

For more information and list of sites where you can download these, and other labels, click on, click on Food Day, type canning labels into search box or look for headline. 

A little fresh fruit, a little sugar, a little time all wrapped up in love with the added touch of a well designed label.....doesn't get better than, does it?

I'm linking this post to the following blog parties:

Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Day Dreamer

Rednesday at Sue Loves Cherries

Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

It's a Blog Party

Please come with me to visit the many fine blogs and a special thank you to each of the wonderful blog host.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Time Blues.......

I don't have summer time blues, but it seems my garden does.............

front yard 010with Hydrangea and Blue Oat Grass looking cool on these warm summer days!

While your here, come sit a while and view the garden from this bench........

front yard 024under the arbor that will, one day, be covered by this Jackmanii Clematis.............

front yard 025

and the Crown Princess Margaretta rose.........

front yard 028here is a view of the Crown Princess up close.  Note that this rose is not only a beautiful peach color but it has the most wonderful fragrance.......

yard and LR 007 this seating area is finished off with yard sale finds and a couple colorful pillows for comfort!

front yard 029 

More Blues.....the planter on the wall is a "married" piece, the turquoise stamped metal came from a cute shop, located between Wilsonville and Sherwood, called Tollen Farm and the flowerpot holder, I found at a yard sale, pots and all.

Since this wall of the house is under an eaves but gets glaring, hot sun in the late afternoon, I planted sedum in the pots.  Not to sure, I like that idea but I'll give them another year of growth and see how they look then.

I added a little metal table where you can sit your cup or glass and another flowerpot planted with sedums......all we need to do, now, is add lemonade.... sit....and relax!

Come with me to visit the following blogs where I will be participating in their parties.  A big Thank You to the following hostess:


Blue Monday at Smiling Sally

Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Bloomin Tuesday at Ms Green Thumb Jean

Wednesday at A Southern Day Dreamer

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yes, Sunday was the grand finale!

Finished off my fun and fabulous weekend by redoing and cleaning out our garden shed.  Fun????  That's a mater of opinion......well, the cleaning part wasn't so much fun but the redecorating, that was fun.

shed 008 This is more of a storage shed,as opposed to a cute little garden "room". In the winter this is where most of the lawn furniture and tools  are stored.  It gets a lot of use, I really do pot plants in here, my garden tools stand at the ready and we fill the bird feeders's an out of the way place for the cats to take naps under cover, when it is raining.

The good news is we have a public park on the other side of the fence behind the shed, the bad news is we have a public park on the other side of the fence behind the shed.  We like the fact that no one can build behind us, we do have to give up some privacy to get some privacy but it's O. K..  There is an eight foot chain link fence that surrounds the park, I use it to support several vines and climbing roses and they cover the yucky fence.

In my earlier blog about garage sales and Barn House Flea Market, I mention, the screen door.  That was my motivator for cleaning and rearranging the shed today.

shed 001




This is before we attached it to the wall, this is my idea of a "privacy screen"....has a cool personality tho'!



shed 003

The funky shelf, on the left, is made out of an old box and some screen, it is still sturdy enough to store the extra flower pots.

Above it is a half of a Burma-Shave sign.  Back when we were selling, I found TEN Burma Shave signs under a table at an estate sale for $10. TOTAL.  One of my MAJOR SCORES!  Of course, I sold the rest, I do have one that is intact that I kept, too!

shed 004



I added the vintage red chair, a small table and some flowers!





shed 006 shed 009

This is my potting table, I keep hand tools in the berry carrier....the window is more of "screening" from the park.

Under the bench, we have two plastic garbage cans we use one for potting soil and the other for bird seed storage.


shed 011An old pop case works as a small shelf, above it I hung a rake head that I use as a tool hanger.  Look NO cobwebs.......that won't last long!  When we moved to this house, 20 years ago, this was a woodshed, we've not finished the walls but we did replace the roof with clear Plexiglas for added light and shingled the outside. 

shed 007 

Thought I would share this....I used an old metal newspaper box for storing my garden stakes, probably, a newer plastic box could serve the same purpose....also, it is a nod to my years in the newspaper business.


I love summer, especially weekends like this that are sunny but under 80 degrees........I can get really motivated, I'm glad this job is done and I LOVE the screen door!

I'm joining the following blog parties:

Tabletop Tuesday

Bloomin Tuesday

Oregon Cottage Garden Shop

Outdoor Wednesday


Come visit all of the other inspiring blogs and everyone loves comments.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vintage Tablecloths and Tables!

I've mentioned before that I am a collector!

Here is a collection that I started several years ago; vintage tablecloths and hand towels.  Fortunately, I started collecting when you could still find these at garage sales and auctions very reasonably priced.

Not all of my tablecloths are perfect, but I don't mind, I use them like they were intended and, then, throw them in the washer.......only wish I had an iron to throw them into, lol!  Actually, ironing is likely the reason tablecloths, for everyday use, fell out of favor.

Yes, in the 30s, 40s, 50s the kitchen table was always covered with a cloth, or sometimes, an oilcloth cover.  Placemats became popular in the 1950s along with Mr.. Birdseye's frozen dinners and T.V. 

Here are a few tablecloths from my collection........

sales 001

table 005

and a few hand towels.................

table 007 table 010 table 009 I love the cheerful colors and designs on all of these linens but I, also, love the beauty of white linens.......

table 015 my photography skills don't do proper justice to these gorgeous white on white hand embroidered towels.


Moving on to is a sweet gift, I received recently from a special friend...the little red table 002

table on top of our red and white enamel top table.  This little table, must have originally been a child's toy, it is so darn cute.





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I think the little table would be charming used to hold condiments on a picnic table or, it may come into its own at Christmas, mixed with my collection of snowmen!


For sentimental reasons, I am ending with a special linen piece that was made by my grandmother.  This is an example of Hardanger, or Norwegian drawn work or needlework.  The "holes" are made by gathering the fabric threads together and embroidering around them to hold them in place, very delicate.

table 013

Call me sentimental but, to me, linens speak loudly of their previous owners....some of them were lovingly created by someone's hand, many were used to dry  hands or the dishes, that where then, set on a tablecloth where the family gathered for a meal.

The colorful linens were meant to make a woman's work a little cheerier and easier because a woman's "place" was in the kitchen......I'm pretty sure, not even Ward Cleaver dried dishes!

Thanks for stopping by and joining me at the following blogs:

Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally

Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

White Wednesday @ Faked Charm Cottage

Rednesday @ Sue Loves Cherries

Metamorphasis Monday

Followers and comments always appreciated!