Summertime at the Lake and Easy Rice Krispie Favors

Family vacation…swimming and lazy afternoons on the dock…watermelon and water guns…cookouts and ice cream…July 4th and fireworks…corn hole and fishing…it’s summertime at the lake!

Summertime at the Lake
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Antique and Flea Market Finds

“I saw this darling, heart-shaped mirror glimmering and beckoning to me before I even got to the booth where it was hanging, and felt my heart quicken. The antique floral embellishment at the top of the mirror and the sweet, scalloped edges around the heart spoke to me, and told me, “You are taking me home.”

Recently Richard, my dear Huckleberry Friend, and I went on a trip and had a great time stopping at different antique shops and flea markets along the way. Frequently, I am asked (particularly about the wide assortment of items I use to decorate the Cottage Greenhouse) where I find the items I use in decorating. So, today I’m sharing some of the treasures we “two drifters, off to see the world” found on our trip, and what each item cost.

Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end
Waiting 'round the bend
My Huckleberry friend
Moon river and me


 Moon River ~ written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini
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A Tablescape and Spring Buffet Plus, Decorating Tips for your Home

“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Brilliant blue skies, birds in construction mode flying back and forth with building materials in their beaks, Mourning Doves cooing, Barn Swallows swooping, Mockingbird’s singing, beautiful wisteria, azaleas, and roses blooming in all shades of pretty…it’s Spring!

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Continue reading “A Tablescape and Spring Buffet Plus, Decorating Tips for your Home”

Springtime in the Cottage Greenhouse…planting flower seed trays and vegetables

It was a delightful day to be working outside in the Cottage Greenhouse. In my cozy shelter, I was protected from the cool, north wind…surrounded by smells of earth and growing things, soothed with a background of birdsong, and the greenhouse door was opened to the lake beyond.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

Charles Dickens

It was a delightful day to be working outside in the Cottage Greenhouse. In my cozy shelter, I was protected from the cool north wind…surrounded by smells of earth and growing things, soothed with a background of birdsong, and the greenhouse door was opened to the lake beyond.

Continue reading “Springtime in the Cottage Greenhouse…planting flower seed trays and vegetables”

Making Fun S’more Favor Packs #3 of the Series “The Gang’s All Here”

It was a balmy evening, the perfect evening for the last night of the year and the festivities we had planned…a wiener roast…another Family Corn Hole Tournament with red, white, and blue ribbons with York Peppermint Patties dangling as medals to be awarded and worn around the necks of the 1st and 2nd place winners…watching the fireworks on the lake…and sitting around the fire pit popping campfire popcorn, and making s’mores.

It’s that cozy time of year, again…time for stocking caps and mittens…time for steamy cups of cocoa…and time for sitting around the fire, toasting s’mores!

Continue reading “Making Fun S’more Favor Packs #3 of the Series “The Gang’s All Here””

Christmas in the Greenhouse

A white lace table runner against the rugged-y table was striking on the potting table that usually held potting soil, terra cotta planters, and trowels…and Buttered Almond Cookies tucked inside an antique sugar bowl and Gingerbread Thins looked especially festive in a cut glass, pedestaled bowl for our Christmas Tea.

I hope you had a wonderful season of Christmas! Some years ago, Richard and I decided we were going to celebrate the whole month of December and truly relish each part of the season: the beautiful decorations, the holiday music, the tastes and seasonal treats, the divine Christmas-y smells of evergreens, cinnamon, sugar cookies, orange pomanders, and gingerbread…and most important, amidst and amongst it all, we would reflect and ponder each day on God’s gift to us…Jesus.

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Mini Tackle Box Favors – #2 of the Series “The Gang’s All Here”

It was a wonderful, made in heaven, one-of-a-kind, perfect day, from the dawn’s early light to the twilight’s last gleaming.

Hail, hail, the gang's all here, 
Never mind the weather, here we are together;
Hail, hail, the gang's all here,
Sure we're glad that you're here, too!

Hello my sweet friends! So much has happened and so much time has passed since I last wrote you. Even though you didn’t know exactly what was going on, I can never thank you enough for the cards and notes you sent to me. ❤ Each time I read that you missed reading my posts…you hoped everything was all right…or that you were praying for me, meant so much to me and brightened my day. I’ll try to catch you up in this post of “what’s been going on”…then I have a darling “mock” tackle box to show you that is filled with gummy worms…Trolli frogs…Swedish Fish…and Sour Brite Crawlers. It’s a cute and whimsical favor to pass out after a summer day spent together with your family or friends.

Continue reading “Mini Tackle Box Favors – #2 of the Series “The Gang’s All Here””

Cottage Laundry Room Renovation and Easter Giveaway Winners Announced………by Trenda

In the laundry room’s transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan, Richard covered the walls with tongue and groove, beaded board that he painted a deep sage green to match the walls in the hallway.

Today I am excited to show you our renovation of the smallest room here at Cottage Green on the Lake, the cottage laundry room! Richard transformed this work horse room into such a cute little place, I inwardly sigh with contentment when I open the door.

Continue reading “Cottage Laundry Room Renovation and Easter Giveaway Winners Announced………by Trenda”

Easter Giveaway and Antique and Flea Market Finds

I love Depression Glass salt and pepper shakers: their colors, lined details, embossed flowers, and their ruggedy little tops that are dented and worn, whisper of days forgotten, if you listen………………

It’s almost spring and to celebrate I have 2 sweet bunny gifts to give away for 2 lucky winners, just in time for Easter! I’ll give you the complete set of instructions on how to enter, at the conclusion of this post. It seems so long ago since I wrote my last blog, on decoupaging terra cotta planters. A lot has happened since then and I’m sorry, I am just now writing again. Four weeks ago I had a terrifying experience when I was out in the cottage greenhouse.

Continue reading “Easter Giveaway and Antique and Flea Market Finds”

DIY French Flower Pots & Fun, Easy Valentine Gifts

I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and have fancied having a pair of those cute little herb scissors to clip fresh rosemary to sprinkle over hot plates of spaghetti or to cut a sprig of mint to add to tall glasses of ice tea in the summer.

Some Parisienne whimsy and a sweet Valentine gift, these chic French flower pots are charming and they are so easy and fun to make. I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and have fancied having a pair of those cute little herb scissors to clip fresh rosemary to sprinkle over hot plates of spaghetti or to cut a sprig of mint to add to tall glasses of ice tea in the summer. So when I saw these free, printable labels from The Graphics Fairy (click here for link and full size printable PDF) it was just the motivation I needed to get busy and make some sweet little containers to start my very own ‘herboristerie’ – French n. herbalist’s shop (; I’ve already used the labels on 3 terra cotta pots I painted and the look of the aged and vintage patina with the French labels peeking through is perfecto!

French labels from The Graphics Fairy

Supplies Needed for Making French Flower Pots using Labels:

  • terra cotta planters and saucers
  • Mod Podge (I used Mod Podge Matte – water base sealer, glue, & finish)
  • white acrylic paint (I used Apple Barrel “antique parchment”)
  • bristle paint brush (sponge brushes do not produce the desired texture and streaking effect)
  • scissors
  • paper to protect work surface you paint on (I used wax paper)
  • Graphic Fairy labels (click here for full size printable PDF copies of labels)
  • copy paper
  • printer

Directions:

  1. Cover work surface with wax paper or other protective covering
  2. Dip paint brush into the paint, wiping away any excess paint on the brush before applying the paint to the planter.
  3. Continue painting planter with this dry brush technique, wiping away any excess paint on the paint brush before applying the paint to the planter – paint predominantly in the same direction, except for some random strokes “here and there” to add dimension and depth – apply paint thicker in some areas than others – and allow the terra cotta color to show through in parts to resemble an aged pot
  4. Paint inside of planter for uniformity
  5. Allow paint to dry (it dries quickly)
  6. Cut out desired French label and apply Mod Podge to the back of the label and adhere the label to the planter
  7. Paint over the label with Mod Podge to seal and allow label to dry
  8. Brush white paint lightly over label in different areas to make the label “blend” into the pot
  9. Allow label to dry

Cutting out labels and adhering with Mod Podge

As soon as the Mod Podge was dry, I took my little pots out to the Cottage Greenhouse, sat down at my potting table and began filling them with potting soil. I did have a rosemary plant to plop into my first container for future plates of spaghetti, and though I didn’t have a peppermint plant, yet (I have one ordered) I was happy I had a snapdragon loaded with buds, and 2 golden orange pansies that were waiting for my new containers.

My sweet little rosemary planted in a Specialite De Patiences French Pot with a Queen Bee on the front.

This battered, old cubby holds all kinds of fun garden paraphernalia and the rosemary planter fits right in among my collection of floral frogs and antique salt and pepper shakers. The Depression Glass green shakers are my favorites with their shabby little screw caps that are dented and worn. They all look pretty and winsome sitting about, but they are dual purposed and make great containers for tiny things. I use them in the Cottage Greenhouse to store the seeds I gather from my flowers and trees.

In the greenhouse looking glass.

My plants winter residence. (:

The other night it was supposed to get close to freezing so I went out to my greenhouse after dark, to turn the heater up. Richard put lights in the greenhouse for me, but I didn’t bother to turn them all on, and only flipped on 1 switch. The corners were shadowed and the back of the greenhouse was dark. I enjoyed seeing this new, nighttime look in the greenhouse without the sun pouring in. I felt like a kid under the sheets with a flashlight peeking around at the looming shapes, while I walked to the dark back corner of the greenhouse.

I have a clock hanging over my potting table that has 12 pictures of birds on the face of the clock. Each hour, a bird song is “trilled out” corresponding to the bird pictured for the hour. (See picture of the bird clock, 2 pictures above) Right as I was walking by my potting table, the bird of the hour, the Wood Thrush started trilling out his song and scared the wits out of me. After I got over my fright, I had to smile as the lines to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “The Raven” came to mind…”Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.”

I hastily turned on another light and “Presently my soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer” I turned the thermostat on the heater up, and after all…still thought my cottage greenhouse looked enchanting by nightfall.

I took a picture for you to see; notice the dark shadows toward the back of the greenhouse when all the lights are not on. By the way, the thermometer in there read 63 degrees and my plants looked very cozy when I turned out the lights and let myself out. (:

My shabby chic white-washed French planters that only cost me a $1.48 each! Fill them with fresh herbs and they would make delightful Valentine’s Day gifts for your friends and neighbors! To make things even easier for you, most grocery stores keep live herb plants stocked in their Produce Section. I ordered my live rosemary plant when I made out my Wal Mart grocery order and it was only $2.98 ! (P.S. I have already added the Mint and Basil live herbs to my shopping cart for my next on-line order!)

Au revoir! (:

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

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