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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sparkling water... and grassless yards.

Oh boy did I have a nice week at the Oregon coast visiting my sister! We had such a good time and I got to see the ocean, eat lunch with a view of the crashing waves, and drive to lakes and a river. I was in Heaven for sure.

I didn't take any photos of the ocean as I have so many already. Here are a few from the past couple of years, "just because" I never get tired of looking at them.

I think the most fun was going down south to a little town about 20 miles from Florence (Reedsport) and driving to Winchester Bay to look around. Lots of little RV parks and fish shacks there.. very quaint. Then we went to lunch at the Schooner Inn which is a sweet cafe right on the old wharfs overlooking the Umpqua River. What a gorgeous river! The entire area there was made up of the old wharfs where canneries used to be many years ago.

You know me..... I was SO happy to be on the water!

There were several areas of boat docks and fishing boats.

What a beautiful area. The day was perfect!  And of course, I LOVED the sparkling water.  We even were fortunate to spy an Osprey nest on top of one of the railroad bridge spans.... we saw it from inside the museum next to the restaurant......... she had an old ship's telescope! The Osprey was sitting on her nest of eggs.

By the restaurant, there was a little museum and gift shop that we visited. Out front was a pretty painted seal and totem pole. There is so much history around this area. My sister told me that the entire town of Florence had a festival last year of the painted seals. There were about 10 of them all around town, and several artists had painted one each..... and then on the special day, people could bid on them to buy them. The proceeds went to help update their Event Center. 

Here's the sweet gazebo in Florence, OR Old Towne.......... it overlooks the Siuslaw River, as do many of the business and restaurants that line this street.  More water! I was so happy!


My sister had moved to a new place... a gated community of about 800 homes. They are all either double wide or triple wide manufactured homes, and they were just gorgeous. I've never heard of this before, but there were NO LAWNS allowed! Everyone had to have "natural" yards, no grass, nada! I was amazed. We drove all through the community so I could see the natural yards. There were so many great ideas. 

Alot of difference sizes and colors of rock were used.. plus lots of ground cover.

This was all bark mulch plus rock in the middle that was sloped into a "bowl". It was really pretty.

Pretty shrubs everywhere, plus ground cover and grasses. Alot of the yards had little features such as bird baths, windmills, statutes, benches, etc.

This is from Pinterest, but I saw many front yards there very similar to this! I could picture this as being MY back  yard! (and it WILL be if our new lawn doesn't grow more. It's very sparse.) I really like the fire pit, and would have a water feature somewhere too.

The above two photos are also from Pinterest. Love the ground cover... and this photo above... love the bigger rocks (round ones) with the flowers dancing in between.  Sweet garden bench and trees.... sigh.

It was a very nice trip and I had a great visit with my sister, just me and her. Hubby stayed home to take care of our kitties and water the new lawn and flowers. 

Have a nice weekend everyone!!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Yard pretties......

Things are shaping up a little bit in my (just a few weeks ago not so pretty) yard! The long hard, dry and cold winter sure did a number on most everything (including our lawn) and many of my perennials never survived.

Here are a few that survived:

Vinca Minor (?) vines.. they must be really hardy.... they are growing in my gravel out back!
My Irises are profuse! I dug these up almost 2 years ago at a friend's house up in SW Washington and they must LOVE this soil! I'm so happy! (Since this photo, they are done blooming and all the flowers are already gone). I wish they would last longer.
Some hardy little pansies and Johnny Jump-ups - they came up all by themselves in this barrel.... sweet things you are! Since this photo a couple of weeks ago, this pot is exploding! I added some more of the little Jump-ups that were taking root in my gravel.
Oh.... that sweet little kitty is one of our "community cats" that we helped trap, and then they were taken to the shelter for neutering and their shots, and then they were returned to our yard/community. There are 3 tiger striped ones and we just love them! They are not really "ours" but they have made our place their home (and of course, we feed them and be sure they have water). How can we not????????

Here some new pretties I've bought to add some color..... and I think as of this date, most have been planted! I still have a few to go.

English Daisies.
Blooming crabapple tree (Prairie Fire).

Dianthus, English Daisy, carnations, one I can't remember, and tree azalea (far right).

Wonderful, peach colored rose.. a smaller variety called Sunrise (I think). It is SO FRAGRANT! 

Marigold and petunias.

Pansies - aren't those colors gorgeous/

Crabapple tree on left, Quaking Aspen on right - both planted in our front yard.
I'll post some photos soon of some of our perennials that are finally beginning to show their faces.. some I thought had not survived, but I was wrong.

A post will also be coming soon of our backyard project!


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Matchbooks anyone?

My ideas for posts are piling up (lots going on around here) so thought I'd better post something before I just get totally overwhelmed!

In between yard work, planting, digging, raking, seeding and moving dirt (that's another post), I've also been squeezing in some craft time.

I started out with a sweet little "matchbook album" following a YouTube video by  Helen Griffin UK for a French Country Themed Matchbook Album.  I loved how she used printed papers from a site called Nitwit Collections. All of their papers are "digital". I didn't use digital this time but instead, used some of my older papers in my stash.

 Here's my album (above).  Helen's is below:

The little album is just like those little matchbooks that have been around for years..........that hold matches.. only a little bigger!

 The lower edge has a tuck in spot for the cover.....

Helen's album held pages of pretty papers for placing photos. I did the same thing.. used up some of my scrap papers for the pages, and then printed out some little photos that I glued on just for fun.

Here's the back.

I added a few little heart gems for some bling.
This was so fun and easy!  So I went searching for any other matchbook type albums on YouTube. I found some darling little "matchbook notebooks" made by lyriclover810 which are the cutest little Matchbook Notes. I made some of these also, and then it dawned on me.... duh.. these are almost exactly like the ones by Helen Griffin, but instead of pretty papers inside for photos, she used copy paper so the little booklet could be used for jotting down notes and ideas. 

So of course, had to make a bunch of these!  First I started with a set of three for my good friend for Mother's Day. These are so easy... in fact I made this set of 3 the day BEFORE Mother's Day, knowing we were meeting my bestie and her husband for lunch... it was a spur of the moment thing.

The pretty flower pictures on front are from a calendar I had saved, with the idea I would use all of those pretty little tiny photos on some future project. These were perfect!  I matted each photo on some matching designer paper.
There are 20 pages of white copy paper for notes. 

I even made a pretty box to put the set of three "matchbooks" in.

I couldn't stop there...... so a few days later (in between planting, hoeing, raking, etc.)... I made another set of three with a little box to hold them.

 Using up some of my older "stash" papers. So much fun!

 I may put this set in my Etsy shop, after making several more sets (when I have time)..... so much yard work going on right now.

 Pretty little box I made with a belly band that slides over it to keep it closed.

 Here's another one I made just for fun.........

The "tuck edge" on this one is on the left hand side.

I used some of my vintage looking "antique wallpaper" look papers... and added some pockets just for something different.

I just wanted to share these with you............ 


My yard is looking a little better finally.. after MUCH work........ a post coming soon with some of the progress.

Here are some "before" pictures of our "horribly gone wrong" back yard! Just awful after the long, cold and dry winter:

This is part of the dirt and rocks piled up that we moved from the front yard last summer, after the tree that fell in the big wind got taken out. We had also removed a front raised flower bed with the rock wall... so our backyard has been filled with piles and dirt and rocks all winter! Time to get rid of it! We had some good ideas (coming soon).

BEFORE: Back lawn (what there is of it). It's mostly dandelions and all sorts of hard to get rid of weeds!
Progress posts coming soon!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hugs..... ~Marilyn~