Welcome to the Lake … DIY Wreath for the Summer!

~ Trenda

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 I’ve been wanting to make a wreath for our front door, a wreath that would beckon and “say” … “Welcome to summer days at the Lake!”  I was delighted when I saw this rustic looking ribbon covered with fishing terms in bold fonts!  The “discovery” of this fishing ribbon was just the theme I was hoping for!  I needed at least 2 other coordinating ribbons and I found a spool of sage green ribbon, a spool of beige colored mesh and some rope cording that looked perfect for my fishing theme.  I was ready to begin making my wreath.  

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Here are the supplies needed for making your DIY wreath:

  • straw wreath form
  • floral pins
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • ribbons – at least 3 different colors or widths
  • wooden fish and bobber or other decoration

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(Note: Be sure to leave the clear plastic covering on your straw wreath to keep your wreath intact and your straw from shedding all over your floor!)

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Instructions: (see pictures above)

  1. Measure a length of ribbon approximately 17″ long and cut.  (Note: When you cut your ribbon, make a “pretty” diagonal cut since this will be the “tail” of your bow!)
  2. Grasp the cut length of ribbon in the middle and put your thumb on the center of the ribbon.
  3. Make a loop on each side of the center point (where you are holding the ribbon) These loops are the 2 loops your bow.  Grasp where the 2 loops cross over each other, in the center.
  4. Bunch the center of the ribbon together and place a floral pin over the “bunched” ribbon  and push the “bow” into the straw form, pushing the floral pin all the way down.  (Note: the “tails” of your bow add fullness to your wreath!)
  5. Make your next bow, repeating the same steps but alternating the colors of the ribbon you are using.
  6. To make your wreath fuller, place your next bow so one side of the loop goes between the “tails” of the previous bow, then pin.   Switch the direction of your bow each time before pinning. 
  7. When your wreath is covered with bows, go back and fill in the sides and center where you see any gaps.

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I added the “rope cording” after my wreath was completed and floral pinned just a loose coil of cord in segments around the entire wreath.  Final touch … I added a piece of “jewelry” a little wooden fish and bobber that dangled from a piece of twine.  I floral pinned them near the top of the wreath so the decoration would hang down in the center of my wreath.

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“Welcome to the Lake!”

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“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

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Wishing you the best of summer’s!  

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda

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Revision of Mother’s Day Post

~ Trenda

(:  TO MY FOLLOWERS: Please go to my site cottagegreenonthelake.com to see the completed copy of yesterday’s blog titled “Mother’s Day Tablescape and DIY Favors.”  The first copy “accidentally” posted when we were getting ready for dinner; my computer was moved to the “wayside” and somehow, my partially finished blog, posted!  If you read the earlier post that was delivered to your email address, please go to my site to read the revised copy, as it is now, happily, completed with all pictures and instructions.  (:  

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Mother’s Day Tablescape and DIY favors

~ Trenda

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my  angel mother.”  Abraham Lincoln

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 (:  This is a revision of the post that “accidentally” posted earlier this evening.  When we were all getting ready for dinner, my computer was moved to the wayside and somehow, my partially finished blog, posted!  If you read the earlier post, please re-read this copy as it is now, happily, completed with all pictures and instructions. (: Trenda   Happy Mother’s Day!  It has been a beautiful weekend packed with time spent with all of our dear children and grandchildren … and today was a perfect day for a Mother’s Day dinner served outside on the deck!  Adding a touch of sweetness and “gracing” our table, I used the DIY place cards and DIY napkin rings (click here for instructions!) that I taught you how to make earlier this week! (:

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Crocheted Battenberg lace place mats match the “grid work” of the antique wrought iron chairs.  This beautiful table belonged to my grandmother … a cherished gift to me from my mother. 

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A bright floral napkin ensconces each white napkin edged with Battenberg lace – both are slipped into DIY Spring napkin rings (click here for instructions!) and a matching DIY place card, “reserves” each seat!

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I was delighted when I found these charming green bowls on one of our “antique-ing excursions!”  The bowls look like little cabbages and for this tablescape, I used them to hold Sweeteners.  Carrying out the spring/garden theme and adding some whimsy,  I placed some miniature cabbage teapots under a domed pedestal plate.

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Crystal glasses are ready to be filled with Southern iced tea and water.  The rose blush stemware is a beloved gift from a dear little boy … many Mother’s Days ago ❤  fulldeck view.png

Both tables on the deck are set … the round table holds all the “overflow” serving dishes and is used as a buffet with plenty of chairs and built-in benches to seat everyone.   A favorite Villeroy and Boch “Country French” covered dish waits for Homemade Chicken Florentine and Noodle Soup. 

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Ready for dinner!  Look how darling the napkin rings and place cards are!

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Now, one more DIY project to show you … I made these sweet little favor boxes to send home with each of our “guests!”  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love making favors or treat bags for our “get-together’s.

favors.png I bought a package of these little boxes at Hobby Lobby on the party aisle where the crepe paper and favor bags are.  They are called Gable boxes and they come 12 to a package for only $3.99. (Download the Hobby Lobby App to get 40 percent off  on one regular priced, that can be used each time you shop at Hobby Lobby!) Using my Recollection tag die-cutter, I punched out tags from stock card in a variety of Spring colors and stamped them with bird nests, “For You” and a filigree frame (I wrote each guest’s name inside the frame) and used my hole puncher to punch a hole in each colored tag. Then, I filled each favor box with a fine sparkly shredded grass, nestled in some individually wrapped chocolates, tied a ribbon around each box and added a “set” of tags (1 of each … a bird nest tag, a “For You” tag and a filigree frame with the guest’s name on it) and tied them on to the ribbon of each favor.

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 “FOR YOU” … favor boxes are waiting by the front door to be given with goodbye’s and final hugs; a sweet remembrance of another special day together.

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This is the second Mother’s Day my own dear mother has been in heaven; I miss her every day and continually think of her, particularly on this special day.  What a blessing it was to be her daughter!  Her love, inner strength, joy, contentment and faith in Christ continue to be an inspiration to me.  “I’ll love you forever, like you for always, Mom” ❤

” … her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done …”  Proverbs 31:28-31

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Sending you a bit of our lovely day!  Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

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Mother’s Day DIY place cards and napkin rings

~ Trenda

 

tablescape .png“Tra la! It’s May! The lusty month of May!” Julie Andrews sang in the Broadway musical, CAMELOT. The charming but now archaic definition of lusty, according to Merriam-Webster is merry and joyous.  Looking out our open screen door to blue skies and hearing the birds joyously “tra-la’ing” as they go merrily about picking up choice “bits and pieces” to line and feather their nests, it is definitely “the lusty month of May!”  The month of May is filled with promise, celebrations and events. One of the preparations I enjoy the most before any holiday or get together is getting the table ready and “dressed” for the occasion. Look at these darling place cards I made with matching grapevine napkin rings; perfect for a woodland theme Bridal shower, a Spring Tea Party or Mother’s Day Brunch!

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I bought a package of plain white place-cards and my mini grapevine wreaths from Hobby Lobby.  Then I took my scalloped die-cut punch and punched along the bottom of the place-card.  To decorate each place card I hot glued “a bit” of ivy in the left hand corner of the place-card, placing it so the greenery “peeked” over the top and softened the corner of the card.  On each piece of greenery, I glued a single blossom from a silk hydrangea and some tiny pink flower buds.  For the final touch and to “blend” the look of the tiny posy … I glued individual pieces of assorted “fillers” I had from making other floral arrangements.  ie: tiny ivy leaves, eucalyptus, birch twigs … Then I wrote the name of each of our “guests” on the place-cards.

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After I finished all the place cards I needed, I started making my mini-grapevine napkin rings. I used the same technique and materials making these that I used making my place cards, so all would match.

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“Tra-la!”  (:   All done!  Time to set the table with all these charming “accroutements!” for an enchanting, Mother’s Day tablescape … pictures on my next blog!  (;  

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“… let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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I’m delighted you read my blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in my post above or on my site cottagegreenonthelake.com and follow prompts to have all my blogs delivered directly to your email address.

“This Land Is Your Land” … Road Trip from Texas, to Mississippi, to Missouri, back to Texas!

~ Trenda

Richard has been asked to speak at a Memorial Service commemorating his dear friend, Bill Seaborn.  Bill was killed the day he and Richard were flying together on a rescue mission and their helicopter was hit by AK-47 fire and subsequently crashed into the jungles of Vietnam.  Before the scheduled date of the ceremony, we wanted to spend some time getting to know Bill’s family and friends and we also needed to make arrangements and check out accommodations for those in the 240th Helicopter Assault Company that will be attending the ceremony.  We were in Mississippi for 3 memorable days, spending time with people that all loved Bill.  Everyone was welcoming and gracious and we instantly became friends.  Though we are still apprehensive about the actual ceremony (I’m sure I’ll be writing about that after it occurs!) and the heart-stirring tribute commemorating Richard’s dear friend, we are looking forward to seeing all these lovely people, again. Afterwards, we drove from Mississippi to Missouri for a much needed vacation and to spend time visiting with Richard’s family.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and look at the stunning pictures I took along our 1,384 mile road trip!  As I looked at these pictures I couldn’t help but smile as the remembered words and melody that my great-uncle Woody Guthrie wrote and sang, America’s beloved folk tune “This Land is Your Land” (this proud niece can’t help but boast!) accompanied my viewing. (: 

“As I went walking that ribbon of highway I saw above me that endless skyway  I saw below me those golden valleys  This land was made for you and me …”  ~  Woody Guthrie

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During the 2 1/2 weeks we were away … storm clouds chased us from state to state!

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Spring tulips punctuate the deep green grass …

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Old bridge over a Mill pond …

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Cheerful Spring greeting …

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Cascading waterfalls surrounded by cattails and Redbud Trees.

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 Stacked rail fence, blossoming Redbud Trees and billowy clouds.

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This stunning statue is located at “Top of the Rock” in Ridgedale, Missouri.  The Native American sitting on his horse symbolizes the “Trail of Tears” and standing in an Infinity Pool … appears as if the waters of the pool spill, like tears, over into Table Rock Lake, far below.

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Beautiful chapel in the afternoon shadows.

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Inside the chapel, a breathtaking view of the Cross looking out a wall of windows …

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To the scenic Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake below.

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On another day of travelling, we saw a total of 3 rainbows!  The first rainbow was a double rainbow and the colors were spectacular!  Our 2nd rainbow, the arch was complete and it was the first time I had ever seen where the rainbow touched the ground … no wonder all the folklore and stories of pots of gold!  I was so mesmerized, I forgot to even get a picture until it had almost faded away.  The shimmery vivid colors and beauty of the bow was enchanting and reminded me once again of God’s promise to Noah.

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Lunch at a favorite restaurant with a dear niece on Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Missouri.

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After a delicious lunch (which she “sweetly” insisted was her treat! <3) … we took her to “Top of the Rock” (named that because it is located on the highest elevation in Taney County, Missouri) to see the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum and to go to the “Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail” a 2 1/2 mile ride tour driving our own 4-seated golf cart!  Along the trail are dramatic rock formations …

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Majestic waterfalls … we could feel the spray of the water on our face and arms as Richard maneuvered our golf cart around this curve! (:

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Caves …

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… and Amish bridges spanning deep ravines.

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The gray stone chapel standing regal in the purple and golden twilight reminds me of this quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery  “Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star.”

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And finally … back to the Bluebonnets of Texas.

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(click here for song!)

“This land is your land, this land is my land

From California to the New York Island

From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters

This land was made for you and me.”  ~  Woody Guthrie

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog!  I’d love for you to “FOLLOW ME!”  (:

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Azalea & Spring Flower Trail in Tyler, Texas

~ Trenda

One of our highlights each spring is going to the Azalea & Spring Flower Trails in Tyler, Texas.  The brick paved roads on the trail meander through neighborhoods lined with charming and prestigious historic homes and gardens that visitors are “invited” to walk through and are filled with blooming azaleas, Dogwood Trees, tulips, and “all things Spring.”  Completing the feeling of “gentler days” and nostalgia, Azalea Belles (young ladies chosen from Tyler’s high schools and home schools) meander around the gardens and greet visitors wearing beautiful antebellum gowns reminiscent of those worn by the Southern Belle’s in the years prior and during the Civil War.

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Each spring over 100,000 people come from all over the USA to visit Tyler and the Azalea Trails.  Today you can open this “garden gate” and vicariously enjoy a “scroll” through these enchanting gardens. (:  All of the pictures I am sharing in my blog today are pictures of people’s homes and their backyards (not parks!) that they so kindly let us “tour” and walk through on the Azalea Trails.  The owners of this next home (pictured below) chatted with us and told us that every afternoon they come and sit under this gorgeous wisteria-covered pergola and enjoy a glass of ice cold Dr. Pepper! (:pergola 2.pngLeatherleaf Mahonia nestled next to Coral Bells ‘Azaleas’ …berry bush.pngCharming “greenhouse” among the azaleas … greenhouse.pngBeautiful blooming White Dogwood Trees shading George L. Taber Azaleas. dogwood.pngStone columns mark the entry to a quaint stone bridge … just the sort-of-bridge that a Troll might live under and 3 Billy Goats would like to trot over! (: bridge moss.pngA bronze statue of a little girl in overalls with a picking basket stands among the Azaleas and Aucuba …girl statue 2.pngA large jardiniere filled with ivy and a cobble-stoned walkway along lichen covered walls.umbrellas background.pngAl Fresco Dining at it’s best!  “Table for 2?”  Yes, please!” (:table for 2.pngSide courtyardside courtyard.pngThe perfect spot to read (: … tucked behind a diminutive wrought iron fence, this reader  is in “good company” with Angel Wing Begonia, azaleas, and a hedge of boxwood.reading statue.pngA charming basket filled with frolicking bunnies … I would love to hang a basket like this from one of our trees!bunnies 3.pngRed tulips are particularly striking against a backdrop of wine-colored Loropetalum.tulips 2A double hedge of azaleas …2 double row azaleas.pngPine trees tower over brilliant azaleas …pines.pngA little cherub greets visitors as they come into the garden.cherub.pngI hope you enjoyed your stroll along the Azalea Trails today!  The last picture I’ve added is a picture of our own Coral Bells ‘Azaleas’ blooming in our front yard at Cottage Green on the Lake!  Hope your day is filled with blossom and bird song! (:front yard.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for spending some time with me today!  I love reading your comments and hearing from you! (:

 

 

This Way to the Easter Egg Hunt! Plus … DIY “Carrot Cutlery” & “Carrot” Bubble Wand

~ Trenda

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“The stars at night are big and bright” ‘we Texans love to sing … look below the Red, Lone Star, your egg should be in sight!’  This is a clue from our Annual “Clan” Easter Egg Hunt that all of our family participates in!  Each family member is assigned a particular color of egg and gets a sheet of numbered clues directing them to where their eggs are hidden.  The eggs must be “gathered” in the same order that the clues are given.  Each “participant’s clue sheet is in different order, so everyone is running to different locations at different times and can only pick up their color of egg.  For our littlest ones, I have easier clues and pictures or numbers, marking where their eggs are!  The first one to find all their eggs, gets the grand prize and our Family Egg Trophy to take home and display until the following year.

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Now, for this special Egg Hunt …. our picnic fare and ware has to be as “fun” as the occasion! (:  Look at this bunny caddy crate!  It looks darling loaded with bright green polka dotted plates, lime colored cutlery wrapped in orange napkins and tied with raffia (to look like carrots!) and tucked into this fun carrot vase, befitting any Bunny Picnic!

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For each set of “carrot” tableware … place a green spoon, a green fork, and a green knife on top of an orange paper napkin; roll up so that the cutlery “peeks” out of the top of the napkin, like carrot tops and tie a raffia bow around each set of tableware.

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A little whimsy and favor “For you!” …  Slender orange bubble wands look like a bunch carrots – especially after I added a bit of gauzy green ribbon and a lime green label to each “carrot top!”  To make my tags, I used my Recollections over-sized “punch” die-cutter (I bought mine from Michael’s) and stamped each label with the words “For You.”  A little bubble fantasy and favor for each “participant.” (:

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The Menu …

  • Grilled bratwurst
  • Potato Salad
  • Mr. McGregor’s Carrot & Celery Sticks served in a dipping cup with Ranch dressing
  • Peter Rabbit Carrot Cake Cookies w/Cream Cheese Frosting

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Our Annual Clan Easter Egg Hunt has become one of our favorite family traditions with shouts of laughter and a special camaraderie and competition between the children and the adults!  I love making up the little “sing-song” clues each year -like the sample above (; … that sends everyone scurrying all over the yard, out on the dock, and up the deck stairs looking for their eggs!  From the pictures I take while everyone is dashing about, our son makes a video of the whole event complete with music, captions and headlines for everyone which becomes another treasured volume in our set of “family times.” ❤

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P. S.  I already heard that 2 of our Clan are wearing competition tee-shirts they’ve made in keeping with “the spirit of the day!” (:  I can’t wait to see them!

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I’d love to hear about some of your family traditions and hope you’re enjoying this glorious season of the year with loved ones and friends!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda