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.
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)
paper to protect work surface you paint on (I used wax paper)
Cover work surface with wax paper or other protective covering
Dip paint brush into the paint, wiping away any excess paint on the brush before applying the paint to the planter.
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
Paint inside of planter for uniformity
Allow paint to dry (it dries quickly)
Cut out desired French label and apply Mod Podge to the back of the label and adhere the label to the planter
Paint over the label with Mod Podge to seal and allow label to dry
Brush white paint lightly over label in different areas to make the label “blend” into the pot
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 evening I went out to my greenhouse after it was dark to turn the heater up, since it was supposed to get close to freezing that night. Richard put lights in the greenhouse for me, but I didn’t bother to turn them all on and only flipped on 1 switch, which left the corners and back of the greenhouse in the dark. I enjoyed seeing this new night-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 bird clock hanging over my potting table that “sings” a different bird song each hour (See picture of the bird clock, 2 pictures above) Right when I was walking by my potting table “Once upon a midnight dreary” the bird of the hour, the Wood Thrush started trilling out his song! “Much I marveled this ungainly fowlto hear” it scared the wits out of me “filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before” and I hastily turned on another light. “Presently my soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer” I turned the thermostat on the heater up, and after all…still thought my little cottage greenhouse looked enchanting by nightfall and I took a few pictures. I’ll let you see! By the way, the thermometer in there read 63 and my plants looked very cozy when I told them goodnight, 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!) Let me know if you make these French flower planters for yourself or for Valentine gifts! ❤
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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Seems little, dear! on days like these.
~ Ernest Christopher Dowson
“On days like these” the leaves on our Redbud and Ash Trees glowed golden yellow in the sunlight and to our delight the double breasted cormorants that winter here glided into our cove by the hundred’s.
“On days like these” geese flew by in waves with the swoosh of their wings heard, before they were seen silhouetted against autumn blue skies.
“On days like these” leaves drifted by on wayward breezes and looked fetching against the green backdrop of grass.
Just look at all these glorious, autumn leaves I collected and preserved!
Our winter’s come delightfully late here in East Texas and our first freeze of the year wasn’t predicted until Monday night, the last night in November. That afternoon I carried my outdoor plants into the greenhouse where Richard was busy getting our heating system and thermometer all set up. After I got all the plants tucked away in their winter home, I went around the yard and clipped as many flowers as I could. Knockout Roses, impatiens, chrysanthemums, and Encore Azaleas were still blooming beautifully and the bouquet in my hands kept getting bigger and bigger, since I hated to leave any blossoms. I had lots to work with and made some sweet little arrangements to place around the house.
Deep red-orange chrysanthemums look striking against the green of a Depression Glass sugar bowl. Look at this sweet little antique vinegar & oil caddy with salt and pepper shakers I recently found on a trip we took to Branson.
Take a detour with me for a moment and look at 3 more treasures I found on our trip…these green Depression Glass shakers! I’m keeping them in the Cottage Greenhouse; they’ll be perfect for storing seeds I gather from my flowers.
Back to leaf and flower pressing! (: The rest of my gathering’s I laid out on paper towels to press and dry beneath a pile of heavy books. It is so satisfying drying flowers, ferns, or leaves – and being able to use them later to decorate a tablescape, make a centerpiece, or use them in some other project adds another dimension of enjoyment.
How to Press Leaves & Flowers
Choose leaves that are fresh and supple…and flowers that are NOT densely petaled
Place items you want to press on a paper towel or newspaper, making sure the leaves/flowers do not overlap
Place another paper towel or newspaper on top of the items you are pressing
Place the sandwiched leaves/flowers inside a heavy book, or stack heavy books or objects on top of the paper towel “sandwich” and keep in a dry location
In approximately 2 weeks the pressed leaves/flowers will be completely dry and ready to use
Next post I plan to show you a fun and easy project using some of my pressed leaves. Hope you enjoy these last days of autumn and have fun gathering leaves and pressing them.
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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“Another summer set into a glorious sunset and in the morning … September arose.”
“Another summer set into a glorious sunset and in the morning … September arose.”
It seemed like a very busy and short summer, and before I can go on with “all things autumn” … here’s a re-cap of our summer. I am so sorry I haven’t written any posts this summer, but now I’ve written about some of our summer highlights all in one “verbose” blog. Pour yourself another cup of coffee and enjoy the “this and that’s” of our summer. The smallest and most adorable “this” of our summer … our brand new grand baby! Our son and daughter-in-law had their 2nd child, and their first little girl! She is “sugar and spice and everything nice” and I can’t keep from smiling just looking at her precious face! ❤
June … The very first day of June we headed off to Branson, Missouri and spent a week there with our daughter and sweet grand daughter.
As soon as we got back, we began decorating for Vacation Bible School.
Our grandson was thrilled that he got to go to his first year of Vacation Bible School in a pre-school class provided for the teacher’s kids. He went every day with PaPa and Grandma and loved it!
Then it was July … Happy 243rd birthday America!
July afternoon’s on the lake …
… summer afternoon’s at the arcade.
… and Spin Zone!
… around Cottage Green!
July stretched into August … with happy days spent making chocolate chip cookies with Grandma.
… and homemade soap!
Days of‘tiquing and ticking …
Decorative tables are some of my favorite things to find whenever we go on our “treasure hunts.” Look what I found snuggled together in a cluttered corner of a favorite shop.
This charming duo from Italy will look perfect in our “almost finished” upstairs bathroom. (Reveal coming!) A pair of crocheted hand towels ribbon-ed together, a luxuriant bar of Gardenia scented soap, and a medley of dried rose petals, lavender, chamomile buds, lemon grass, orange peel, and hibiscus petals fill a crystal biscuit barrel and sit atop the ornate tables.
Then, on the next to last day of summer, I found this darling glass topped table with twiggy legs, and a little birdie perched on the edge of a branch.
Then, we ended our summer the same way we began … by heading back up to Branson with our daughter and grand daughter the last week before summer vacation was over.
Less than a week after our return, Richard and I drove up to La Crosse, Kansas for the Memorial of WO James Eisenhower, who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968.
After the Memorial, Richard and I took the scenic route back through Colorado and we drove through Wolf Creek Pass … “way up on the Great Divide” (: passing ski slopes we used to ski on, not really so many winter’s ago.
That evening we stopped at Pagosa Springs, Colorado and checked into the cutest log cabin that Richard spotted alongside the San Juan River. We had a lovely dinner at a Mexican restaurant and sat outside on the patio where it was Colorado cool, even in August! (: Our table overlooked the San Juan river and natural hot springs that Pagosa Springs is named for.
The next day we crossed the border into New Mexico and drove past other familiar mountains we used to ski on: Red River, Angel Fire, and Taos, New Mexico. We stopped in Angel Fire to see a Vietnam Memorial and Garden located in a perfect spot for reflection on a peak overlooking Angel Fire and the mountains, beyond.
We stayed that night, high in the beautiful, secluded mountain mesa that is the town of Los Alamos. “Los Alamos is a town in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States that is recognized as the development and creation of the atomic bomb – the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II.” The next day we went to the Visitor Center and saw a film on Los Alamos during WWII. Afterwards, we were given a map and we took a driving tour of the homes and work areas from that time period.
Our guide at the Visitor Center urged us,” if we had the time” to drive on to Valles Caldera National Preserve.
We did and driving through that preserve gave us a glimpse of a “land before time” with majestic Ponderosa Pines, Loblolly Pines, White Pines and natural grasses.
Hillsides were covered with groves of Blue Spruce and Junipers and “were home” to over 144,00 elk, the second largest elk population in New Mexico. Our brochure also told us that other residents of Valles Caldera included black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, golden eagles, wild turkeys, and prairie dogs. **ALSO … If you’ve ever watched the A&E Network series titled “LONGMIRE” … Valles Caldera is the location for a lot of the filming that takes place. We drove right up to “Sheriff Longmire’s cabin” that was originally built on this propertyback in 1917 – 1918.
The next day we crossed over the border into Texas and stopped at Palo Duro Canyon, the “little Grand Canyon.” Oh my, it was spectacular and neither Richard and I had ever seen it before! One of the many things we loved about this grand sight was that we could drive our car all the way down to the base of the canyon to see all the landmarks, caves, and rock formations.
From Palo Duro Canyon we were only 6 1/2 hours from home. Every mountain, mesa, canyon, tumbleweed, yucca, cactus and rock formation we saw on our trip was just a reminder of God’s artistry, and as I looked at each of these sight’s my soul sang … “My God how great Thou art!”
The Scotch in me loves using tartans in our home year round, but the warmth and cheerful “feel” of these plaids is especially pleasing on dreary days. Last week we had several cold, gray, “drizzly” days just the sort of day that was perfect for “a spot of tea.” Suddenly, I was inspired and the low table in our family room beckoned and glowed and seemed the perfect spot for a cozy, afternoon tea. A bright red tartan tablecloth was my backdrop and the transformation and fun began.
I gathered a basket full of “accouterments” for my tablescape that reminded me of Scotland … a beautiful antique Saint Bernard to sit atop tartan napkins looked stately in front of a pair of Scottish books.
Purple Statice, placed in a little nest mimicked the purple heather and thistle that thrives in the Highlands and a clump of prickly cedar tucked beneath the candlestick represented the spiny gorse that covers the Scottish crags and glens.
“From Scots bluebells to bog myrtle, bell heather to the iconic thistle, the flowers of Scotland thrive …”
Flowers of Scotland
Since Scots are renowned for their love of dogs … another pair of sweet antique doggies for my tablescape; a ceramic Cocker Spaniel stands beside a glass Scottish Terrier that’s perched on a pedestal of tartan plates.
I love this whimsical “Scotty” dog cream pitcher! His perky tail is the handle of the creamer and the cream “spout” is his snout! (:
A pair of ornate candlesticks with scarlet tapers match the tartan cloth and a glazed pottery vase filled with pheasant feathers and faux antlers conjures up more Scottish flavor. Then, my favorite red thermoses add height, a perk of interest, and another layer of plaid, plus they’re perfect for keeping the tea hot … with two crystal mugs for “supping” close by!
I keep Scottish Shortbread cookies in the pantry, so I placed “just enough for two” under a domed dessert tray.
And another teatime treat, Almond Thins, circle a cheery plate rimmed in plaid.
Then the last adornment’s to my tablescape … a leaded glass lantern (a loved gift from our daughter) and an antique crystal cream and sugar service glisten like jewelry atop a little wooden chest.
The welcome glow and ambiance from the lantern, candlesticks and votives add sparkle to our cloudy afternoon.
All set and ready!
The calendar proclaims that it’s almost Spring and just the other day I saw a flock of Robins in our backyard … but today it feels like “winter” so we’ll stay inside where it’s warm, indulging in our Highlander Tea! Embrace the last of the “cozy season” put on something comfy and have some tea! (:
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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I hope you will be charmed and delighted when you read and look at the pictures of tablescapes, home decor, seasonal decorations, floral arrangements, landscaping ideas, “potting about the shed” and the unexpected ways I use everyday items to decorate my home; I hope all will be an inspiration for you as you make your own little haven and nest … 4 the seasons!From my cottage to yours ~ TrendaView all posts by cottagegreenonthelake
Cozy and cottage go together like peas and carrots and a way to add some “cozy” to your home is to display the things you love to collect. In my first chapter of The Cottage Series and also in The Cottage Series Part 2 I’ve shown you some of the collections inside the crooks and crannies of Cottage Green and given you some decorating tips on how to add the “cottage look” to your home. My kitchen cupboards display a lot more than just the usual dishes! Nestled and peeking out among the plates and dishes of my kitchen hutch, you’ve seen an assortment of things I love to collect … salt cellars, silver spoons, Staffordshire creamers, thatched roofed sugar bowls, miniature tea sets, and Boyd’s Bear collectibles.
I have a collection of “farmyard fowl” that all began after my mother-in-law gave me the rooster and hen set I’d always admired that she kept on a little shelf in her kitchen. My husband said “as long as he can remember” this rooster and hen were displayed in their kitchen. I love that she gave them to me and I now have them in a little cubby Richard made in our kitchen, that I fondly call “the chicken coop.”
The coloring of the smaller rooster on the right, matched perfectly with the antique rooster and hen my mother-in-law gave me, so I grouped them all together. I can never resist antique dishes in green and white and I loved this plaid plate when I saw it! Though there was only one and I didn’t know yet, how I would use it … I bought it. After Richard made my little “coop” I placed the plate in the back of the shelf and loved the bold background and the way it contrasted with the colors of the roosters and hen.
The middle shelf is anchored with a quaint coffee mill, another cherished gift from Richard’s mother. A music box we bought in Switzerland – is not something you would usually find in a kitchen (; It plays the sweet tune of “Edelweiss” and is wood carving of a young boy in overalls, holding his pet rooster in one arm and a pail of feed in the other … with a trail of chickens behind him. The music box looks perfectly quaint, centered on the coffee mill and right at home in the kitchen with some smaller hens, ducks, baby chicks and geese I’ve collected and “scattered” for company on the shelf. Another plaid plate propped behind the farmyard scene is another orphaned plate I found!
Make sure your shelves don’t appear top heavy or out of balance. Decorations on your top shelf should appear visually “lighter” and simpler than the items placed on your lower shelves. A French inspired hen by Villeroy and Bach and a Colonial Homestead plate by Royal China is a simple and sophisticated “finial” perched above the other shelves.
On the other side of the kitchen, Richard removed the doors from these cabinets so I could display my collection of antique green and white dishes and other cherished pieces. The dishes are a mixture of patterns … Currier and Ives “The Old Curiosity Shop” … Old Colonial Homestead … and Green and White transferware from England but they’re lovely “mixed together” all in the same shades of greens.
Stacking dishes in your cabinets not only creates visual interest, but also gives you more room … a double bonus! (:
More roosters, ducks, chicks, and even eggs are a punctuation point on each shelf and a re-occurring theme. Each season, I replace these accent pieces with different decor. Red, white, and blue Americana is getting ready to replace the hens and roosters … which will later be replaced by autumn decor … which will be replaced by antique Thanksgiving turkeys … which will be replaced by Christmas treasures.
A beautiful pierced aluminum antique ceramic casserole dish belonged to my mother and was a present, I was thrilled she gave to me. The beautiful matching brass-handled casserole dishes on the top shelf were a gift from Richard, 40 years ago. ❤ Sweet memories I get to look at every day that are easily reached and are practical and useful decor!
Visually uniting my cabinets to my counter tops, I placed a Fitz and Floyd platter on the counter top that matched both the French Country cabbage serving bowl and the storybook, goat-topped dish in my cabinets. The canisters match the sugar and creamer set and the ceramic colander on the shelves.
By the way, open shelves are easy to “create” in your home by removing your cabinet doors, filling in the holes left from the hinges with wood filler, and then painting. Though open shelves definitely add a “cottage feel” to any home, I also use these decorating tips “behind closed doors.”(; It is delightful to open a cabinet door and see a vignette made up of sparkling dishes, artfully arranged.
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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a small simple house, typically one near a lake or beach.
a dwelling forming part of a farm establishment, used by a worker. “farm cottages”
cabin, lodge, bungalow, country house, shack, chantey
“Cottage decorating is an unpretentious approach of displaying collected treasures and keepsakes that have been accumulated over the years, or that have been passed down through the generations. Each objet d’art in our home is reminiscent of our family’s lives together and reflects cherished memories. Tucked away in kitchen cupboards, displayed on bookshelves, or in free standing vignettes, I love and display these memories in what I call … “the Cottage style.”
Periodically, I am going to be writing posts about “the Cottage Style” with pictures of cottage decor … simple cottage recipes … how to fill cottage shelves, cache’s, and cupboards with collections and keepsakes … that I am calling “The Cottage Series.” Let me know how you enjoy this new series!
To display my collection of dishes and other keepsakes, Richard removed some of the doors from our kitchen cabinets. I have a passion for cubby’s and shelves and just hearing the word “cupboard” my mind conjures up delightful visions of stacked plates, old creamers in the shape of cows or thatched roofed cottages, and folded piles of embroidered tablecloths, cup towels, and napkins edged in carefully stitched crochet! I painted the interior of these cabinets a deep mulberry color and instantly loved the charm it added and how it made the cabinets look like a built-in hutch.
I topped my shelves with a grape swag that reminds me of the picturesque vineyards we saw on the hills of Germany, France, Italy, and Spain (a surreal “thrill” from our years of living in Germany!) Among the thatch roof cottage dishes and under the grape clusters seemed the perfect setting for Beau and Belle with their bare feet, wide brimmed hats and a basket of “just picked grapes” in Belle’s hands.
The whole cupboard is filled with crystal stemware and different sets of dishes and cookware “at-the-ready” to be used or placed on the table. Villeroy and Boch dishes are are a special keepsake and gift from Richard when we visited the little town of Bacharach, Germany located on the Rhine River. The dishes and cookware shown here are in the “Naif” collection and are designed by Gerard Leplau from Corsica, France. His paintings feature charming family and village scenes and occasionally biblical motifs, like “Noah’s Ark” pictured on the top shelf.
Intermingled among the dishes and adding some whimsy to the cupboard are sweet little gifts given or made for me by our children. A cherished collection of Boyd’s Bears collectibles, “Words of Wisdom for Mothers” complete with a tiny easel for display, a beloved birdhouse painted by dear little hands, and a miniature tea service.
A mixed collection of antique thatch-house sugar bowls and creamers look right at home with my village scene dishes. This cottage creamer is filled with a treasured collection of silver baby spoons, some still bearing sweet indentations of little teeth … and this exciting find at an antique store, one little fork embossed with the word Baby.
On the bottom shelf are stacks of Kaiser Romantica (I even love the name!) porcelain china in the Marseilles pattern. Pink and blue flowers rim delicate scalloped plates and are sprinkled with tiny pink rosebuds. Richard and I hand selected each piece of this china from the German Kaiser Porcelain factory, near the Czech border. I was 9 months pregnant, with our daughter and we didn’t realize so much effort was going to be required, picking out our china. The porcelain pieces were displayed in stacks on shelves of planked wood which were propped up on cinder blocks. We both began the treasure hunt, but after much bending and the stooping required to find the perfect pieces, I had to finally sit down. I “passed the baton” on to Richard who finished the selection with precision and zeal! He finished choosing all of our dishes, a service for 12 complete with all the serving pieces, a coffee and tea service with warming cache’s, a soup tureen with 12 darling soup bowls, a pedestal cake plate, a covered vegetable bowl, platters, serving trays, porcelain napkin rings, and decorative roses to place upon the table. Every time I set the table with these dishes, I remember his endearing effort and patience while performing the task. ❤
An elegant coffee server with a clock is standing in “good company” with some cabbage-leafed teapots, just the right size for tea parties. Also, tucked under the cloche is a cherished souvenir glass in a brass stand with an emblem saying “San Francisco Cable Car.” My father gave this keepsake to me when he came back from a business trip to California, many years ago. ❤
Displayed in a vignette under the glow of lamplight and basking beneath the golden gleam from the picture frame is a recent “find” at a flea market that was unbelievably priced at only $1.50!!! … a set of silver antique bread and butter knives from England! I “fell in love” with the little clasped case they came in before I even saw the price!
From Richard’s and my research, the silver markings on these knives and their deep blue Bakelite handles helped us conclude that they were made around the 1930’s. However, the age and silk lining of the case and silk “hinges” indicate, they may be even older.
Hope you enjoyed seeing how I display some of my collections. Have fun looking over your collections and thinking where you can “showcase” them to enjoy every day in the “Cottage Style” – and yes, I do have folded piles of embroidered tablecloths, cup towels, and napkins edged in carefully stitched crochet … perhaps they’ll be featured in the next “Cottage Series!” (:
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
Thank you for spending some time reading my blog today! To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click on FOLLOW in the post above … or click on my site: Trenda @cottagegreenonthelake.com