Sunday, August 29, 2010

Herbed Vinegar

Hello my friends!  I've missed you!!!  I thought I would get a jump start on the week and put a quick post up.  I can't really say that I got all that much accomplished during my little break from blogging, but at least my kids are settled back in to school and we are working on establishing a new routine for the year.  Caighton, of course, is still at home with me all day.

This little corner is technically in my studio, but it is really more a part of a pass through between the kitchen and dining room.  It changes all the most of the rest of my house! :)

A few issues back, in the Jeanne d' Arc Living magazine, they featured make-your-own herbed vinegar.  It sounded interesting to me, and since I have an abundance of herbs in the garden, I thought I would give it a try...

It was so easy and you can use whatever herbs are plentiful at the time you make it...which for me, were basil and thyme. 

It has been such a hot summer here this year, so I have not been out in my garden nearly as much as I would have liked, but I can always count on my herbs to manage without a lot of fussing from me.

 I also added lemon and garlic for flavor.  All that is required, is adding your ingredients to a clean jar and letting it sit in a sunny windowsill for a few weeks.  Easy!


I am trying to enjoy all that the garden has to offer before summer is gone.  I love using the goodness of the garden in how I decorate as well...

...and naturally, that includes fresh flowers...

I think that is what I will miss the most when summer is over...being able to dash outside on any given day and pick fresh flowers for the house...

Oh, and this lovely vintage French bottle's another item I snagged from my friend Maria's soon-to-open shop...I LOVE it! :)))

Happy new week!!!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Shop Talk

Hello everyone!!!  I know I said I was taking the week off from blogging, but I just wanted to put up a quick post to let you know that I am working on adding some new items to my SHOP {finally!}  :)))

New items will continue to pop up over the next few weeks, but here is a peek at what I have recently added...

Lev Vackert ~ Live Beautifully...the new decorating book by Petra Eriksson and Ingela Broling.  Their first book, Romantiska Hem & Inspiration i Vitt, was such a beautiful book and this new book looks to be equally gorgeous and filled with inspiration!!

...created by artist Jennifer Rizzo using a unique transfer process from one of the vintage French letters I brought back from Paris...I love this pillow cover!

...beautifully oversized and sold in sets as 1-2-3 or 4-5-6...

...lovingly created by artist Joy Waltmire...

I hope you all enjoy a fabulous weekend!!!  I will be back next week! :)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Winner

Hi!  I wanted to do a quick post to let you know who the winner of {The Ardent Sparrow} $50 gift certificate was...

The winner is Annelies from Le Ciel Flamand!!!  Congratulations Annelies and thank you to everyone who participated!

Thank you also to Rebecca for sponsoring this lovely giveaway!!!  Your jewelry is amazing!

I am taking the week off from blogging and enjoying a bit more of Summer with my kids before they start school next week.  Hopefully we will make it to the beach one more time!  Thank you for all of the well wishes for my little ones...everyone is better now and we hope to NOT be sick again for a long time!! :)

Have a fabulous weekend!!!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beautiful Jewelry and a Giveaway!

Hello everyone!  I hope your weekend has gone better than mine.  All 3 of my kids have been sick...yep all 3 at the same time!  So I don't know about you, but I could use a little pick me up :)  How about a lovely little giveaway?!!!

I was recently introduced to Rebecca's beautiful jewelry...she is the talented creator behind The Ardent Sparrow...

She has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway here on my blog!  One lucky winner will get a $50 gift certificate to her wonderful esty shop! Yeah!! There are soooo many adorable and affordable things to choose from!!!

All you have to do is:

{1} pop over and visit The Ardent Sparrow and pick your favorite item...

{2} then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what that is

easy peesy, right?!

If you would like to blog about this giveaway, then you will get two chances to win this fabulous gift certificate!!!  Just leave me a separate comment telling me that you've done so.

We'll make this a quick one, so the contest ends Wednesday, August 18th at midnight.   I will draw the winner, via random generator, and announce who it is on Thursday.

Good luck my friends!!! 

All photographs property of {The Ardent Sparrow}

enjoy more of Rebecca's gorgeous photography on her delightful blog *HERE*

Happy new week!!!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A friend for lunch ~

Hello!  Is anyone else shocked at how fast the Summer is going??!!  I can hardly believe the kids will be going off to school in 2 weeks!  Things have been so busy around here lately, that I can hardly catch my breath some days :)

So, when I set a date to have a friend over for lunch the other day, I decided that I would make an effort to create a special little space for us to catch up in and slow down for a little while...

I set up a garden inspired space for us in the bay window in my studio.  It was the perfect spot to enjoy a few hours!  I added some paper butterflies to the curtains to add to the" summery" atmosphere, and dragged my favorite old birdcage in to the studio as well...adding some flowers to it...

I'm still on my vintage map kick, so I used those plus some fresh herbs from the garden to top the plates.  Lavender and mint both last a long time without being in water, so they are good choices for something like this...

Raspberry lemonade and sparkling wine made the afternoon seem festive!

And fresh flowers are always a must.  I grow these gomphrena fireworks flowers every year and I love them!  They are a very long lasting cut flower and even survived in the birdcage all day with no water at all!

Thank you so much for stopping by!!!

:) Tracey

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just a quick note... let you know that the next issue of Jeanne d' Arc Living Magazine is in the SHOP and ready for pre-order.  It is due out in the next week and looks to be another beautiful issue!!!

Here is a peek...

{All images courtesy of Jeanne d' Arc Living}

I hope you are all enjoying a fabulous weekend!

be back soon...


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Homemade Gifts 2

Well I'm a little late in posting this week...too many commitments and not enough time...but I did manage to make a batch of Lavender Bath Salts, so I thought I would share the results with you!

I bought so many bundles of lavender from Trader Joe's a few weeks ago, that I have been busy using it for everything!  You might remember when I did my first post on homemade gifts and made Sugar Scrub, well this is another easy gift I like to keep on hand.

Oh, and by the way, this little corner that I have been dragging everything to to photograph, it's in my son's room.  We recently installed an unfinished hardwood floor in his room and then painted it white *sigh* I am loving it!!  As we wait for it to dry thoroughly, I have been using it to do all of my "photo sessions."  I tried convincing my family that we should keep it as my photography studio and that Braden could just keep sleeping on Halena's floor, but no one else thought that was a good idea :)  So this weekend, it will again become a little boy's room {more on that coming soon!}.

Just like for the sugar scrub, I pick up pretty vintage jars at the flea market when I can find them for a good price and use them for holding my different homemade gifts.  I also embellish regular canning I used a vintage map to cover the top of  this canning jar.  I just thought it was pretty so I went with it!  The possibilities are endless and you can decorate your jars anyway you like!!

For the lavender bath salts I follow the recipe that Mountain Rose Herbs suggests.  You can find an instructional video *HERE*  It's super easy and all natural.

Here are a few more pictures from my little photo shoot...because you know how much I like to practice with my camera :) :)

I'm a little obsessed with soaps, especially lavender ones {organic of course}! :)

Here you can just barely see the muslin bags I make to go with the bath salts.  If you add dried herbs {like lavender} to your bath salt, it is a good idea to put it in a muslin bag before adding it to your bath so that when you drain the water the herbs don't clog up the drain.  I "pretty up" my muslin bags by pounding fresh flowers onto the front of the bag so that they leave a little imprint.  Sorry I didn't get a better shot of this for you.

Thanks so very much for stopping by!  I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your week!!!