Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quick, Easy Summer Banner

When I recently sorted through my extensive collection of vintage linens to de-stash and make room for all the gorgeous linens I inherited from my mom, I came across a set of eight vintage silk-screened pieces I purchased at an estate sale sale in the early '80s.

I'd always planned to use them to embellish handmade pillows or aprons or to create a table runner. Well, that was nearly 30 years ago!

The silk-screen artist featured Indian Paintbrush, Harebell, Wild Geranium and Brown-Eyed Susan on a linen-like fabric that has dainty fringed edges. One of the pieces has a tag on the back that reads:  Hand Silk Screened by Jeanne Perkins. She signed each of the prints with a "P."

I adore the fresh look a nice, handmade banner can add to living space--indoors or outdoors. These pieces seemed perfect for a pretty spring/summer banner.

Getting good photos of the banner in front of the bright window where I hung it was difficult so I took an outdoor shot to better showcase the vibrant color of the pretty flowers.

I trimmed the banner with a variety of antique and vintage lace and strung the pieces on thick hemp cord.

This simple project only took about an hour to complete.

All in all, a banner hour of my life.

Make it a great day!
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Succulents Add Simple Charm

Succulents seem to have made a comeback.

My apartment in college was filled with succulents: jade, aloe, burro's tail, hen and chicks, Christmas cactus, kalanchoe . . . That was in the '70s. In moving state to state during the years after college, I betrayed these unassuming natural friends by giving them all away to new homes. I honestly hadn't thought much about succulents since. I was so over that phase.

Until last year, when my now daughter-in-law told me she and my son were incorporating succulents into their wedding bouquets and table arrangements.

They chose a pretty and versatile hen and chicks variety, along with the show-stopping spider agave to create an element of surprise in her stunning bouquet and my son's boutonniere. I was instantly won over once again by the charm of these versatile, fleshy plants.

Have you ever seen a more lovely bouquet?

You might remember my earlier post about the teacups, saucers and teapots I collected for the wedding reception centerpieces. They looked breath-taking on the the tables, filled with lovely flowers and the occasional succulent surprise.

During the reception tear down, I wrapped up a handful of the hen and chicks in wet paper towels, tied them in a plastic grocery bag and carried them home with me on the plane the following day.

I planted them in a variety of vintage aluminum tart cups and molds. They look darling on our dining room window seat.

Hen and chicks are among my favorite succulents. The color of this specific variety is so serene and the mothers propagate plenty of chicks that can be harvested to create new plants. They're easy to take care of (a misting of water every couple of days) and they take direct or diffused sun.

Whether used as home decor, incorporated into wedding bouquets or planted in an outdoor rock garden, succulents are an easy way to add simple charm to any setting.

Make it a great day!