Getting Ready for the 4th - Scenes from my Home and Gardens

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Vintage flags in milk bottle: 4th of July decorating by Serendipity Refined

We're getting ready to Celebrate America's Birthday in our home. My vintage milk bottle carrier is at the ready. The empty spots in the holder will be filled with condiments on the big day and daisies from my garden will be added to the flags.

The ledge on the hood above the cook top gets treated to a little "Americana" with an old porch newel that has been drilled and filled with American flags.  And who can forget my crazy American Flag Party Pick Wreath?  I know that I'll be shaking my head about that one for a long time!

When I made the patio cushion covers in May, I purposefully made one side solid white. This enables me to change the look for special occasions like this.

The 4th of July has always been cause for celebration in our family. The tradition was established by my parents and their life-long friends before I was born. I grew up having a party to celebrate the 4th and it's a tradition that became one of my own when I had my sons.

On some July 4th's, the party has been an all day event that starts with Red, White and Blue breakfast and a trip to the parade and ends at 11 p.m. with fireworks. Other years, it's been a simple cook out with family and friends. One thing that's always consistent, however, is that we always celebrate!

There's not a doubt in any one's mind that I love the 4th of July. At least I don't think there can tell, right?

Here's the vignette that I created in our foyer using one of my favorite ironstone pitchers and some vintage books about flags.  Of course, my beachy starfish are also a part of the display. I think that they fit right in!

I found this cute pillow cover at Pottery Barn and added it to a "not too red, white, and blue" vintage quilt.

My favorite vignette is on the yardstick-covered chicken carrier that acts as a coffee table in our family room. It's a simple nod to the Great American Past time ...

                                                                                      ...and to the fact that I live in a house full of men! 

Of course, then  there's the outside decor....

The gardens are putting on a show of their own this year!  Daisies and larkspur are waiting to be picked!

Hydrangea, day lilies, monarda...the whole garden is ready for the party!

The decorating will be wrapped up today. Then it's on to menu planning, shopping, cooking and baking. Just as soon as July 1 rolls around and end of quarter/end of half at work is behind me because by then, I'll be more than ready for some celebratory time with family and friends!

How do you celebrate?


Linking to:
Common Ground 
Home Stories A to Z 
Not Just A Housewife 

Using My Noodle(s)

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A few days ago,when Shannon over at Fox Hollow Cottage announced that she was having a pool noodle linky party, I thought, that's a cute idea, too bad I don't have a pool noodle. As the week progressed, and some of my friends and fellow bloggers post their creations, I started to think that maybe I should do a pool noodle project, too. After all, they were so cute, and easy enough that I could make one in a couple of hours.

There was this one from my friend, Bliss

or this one from the Hostess of the Party, Shannon

 And these from At The Picket Fence
 4th of July, pool noodle, craft, patriotic, firecrackers, Dollar Tree
I knew that something HAD to be done! I mean, really!? I couldn't let a fun party like this go by without getting in on it right?! What to do? How to decorate it? Something original, just a little different. I noodled it over for a few minutes (sorry, couldn't resist), and came up with the perfect solution!

I ran to the grocery store (my local grocer actually had pool noodles, on sale, for $1..that works!) I grabbed a noodle and came home. I cut about 8 inches off of one end and taped it up with packing tape.
Then I got out my decorating supplies:
Contrary to what is going through your head right now, I did not just accidentally post a photo from cleaning out my pantry. I decided to decorate my noodle by using noodles!  I've been "playing with my food" since I was in 2nd grade and I did it with my sons when they were younger. Dried peas, beans, lentils, spices,  (only the ones from the $1 store)  and yes, noodles.

I died the dried pasta with food color and painted it  with acrylic craft paint. Heck, in desperation to finish this post, I actually spray painted the pasta bow! What the heck, it says "adheres to plastic and more" right on the label! I hot glued my noodles to small card stock circles and then hot glued them to the pool noodle.

 I considered a cute, summer time message. But, let's face it, the alphabets for soup are so small that I'm not sure that anyone would have seen it.  Vanna, I'd like to buy an "E", please.

 I hung it on the back door. I figure that it's safe, for now, because we're having a drought here, in Illinois. On the plus side, even if it rains, between the heat and the moisture, the worst that would happen is that we'd have pasta salad on the porch.
 It's not beautiful or permanent but I had fun. Sometimes we all need to be reminded not to take life, or ourselves, too seriously.


Linking to:
Fox Hollow Cottage

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Sewing Crafting Sarah

Harvesting Herbal Flowers and My Salt Scrub Recipe

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Triple Berry Pie with Crumb Topping

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 When summer berries look like this right now, how could I possibly not bake some type of berry pie tonight?! As I was running through the market at 5:15 tonight, picking up a gallon of milk and some hamburger buns, my heart skipped a beat when I saw that berries were on sale!!! I stopped, dead in my tracks, grabbed a basket and filled it with a couple of containers of each.  I couldn't help myself. There's nothing quite as sweet as summer berries and absolutely  nothing better than berry pie. After all, when it's over 85 degrees outside anyway, why not turn on the oven?! What's a few more degrees among friends?!

Rust Remover - Failing "Grace"-fully

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Meet "Grace". Back in February, (Yes, you read that right, I said "February", four months ago, don't mock me. At least it was 2012) she looked like this:
"Grace" and I go way back. I bought her at an estate sale in 1985 from my friend, Grace. I've had her since I was single. She's been a china cabinet, a linen closet, and most recently, storage for my sons' WarHammer Army. Poor girl, banished to the basement where I'm sure that she thought I'd forgotten her.  I thought, back in February when I hauled her upstairs from the dungeon basement,  that I would refinish her using Tea and Rust. I also thought that I'd have her done by Easter. I also thought that I'd be win the lottery last weekend because I actually played. Clearly, sometimes, I have no clue.  I abandoned the rust idea after two weeks of misery coupled with finding this post at one of my favorite blogs French Country Cottage. It had the most glorious grey armoire in it.
After seeing that cabinet, the decision to paint "Grace" grey was an easy one.  Pretty much any decision would have been an easy one after the "rust debacle." Well, other than what color the hairdresser should highlight my hair this time and what to make for dinner, but other than that...

 One of my favorite sayings.
 Here are the deet's on Grace's makeover: Since I'm storing linens in this cabinet, I painted the interior using latex paint: Leftover Benjamin Moore,Tranquility on the walls and BM Bavarian Creme on the shelves. Then,  I painted the entire exterior of the cabinet, using ASCP in Paris Grey as the base then white washing using thinned ASCP in Olde White. The carved details and trim were painted using homemade chalk paint made from Benjamin Moore Tranquility,  a custom blue/purple color and ASCP, Olde White.  I followed with a light sanding to gently distress just a few places.

Then, I applied striped scrapbook paper to the two pediments using Matte Mod Podge. The remaining design, and the words in the center of the top valance, I hand painted. I used the original hardware after I rubbed it with a little silver rub n buff and sprayed the plastic parts for the lower cabinet pulls with white spray paint made for plastic.
After it was dry, I waxed with clear wax. I'm still not sure, I may put some dark wax just in the carved areas but right now, I'm happy that, for the first time in  FOUR MONTHS,  it's out of the middle of the hallway and no one has  to worry about stubbing their toes or poking their eye out when trying to get to their room tonight.
  I added a few of my favorite things: old lace, lavender, some transfer ware, my sons' baby cups, and other stuff that was just hanging around on the top of the dresser and a chair in my bedroom and making it nearly impossible to dust without spending ten minutes moving everything and forcing me to sit on the bed when I wanted to read.

SO much better, don't you think so? I'm saving the rust for another project. Because I'm willful...and I'm not going to let a jar full of rust get the better of me!


Linking to:
At The Picket Fence
Bliss Ranch
Cedar Hill Ranch
Domestically Speaking
Freckled Laundry
Full Circle Creations
Funky Junk
Get Outta My Head Please
Live Laugh Rowe 
Miss Mustard Seed
Tatertots and Jello
The Bold Abode!
The Creative Paige
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Uncommonly Yours

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