In the Cottage Greenhouse…How to Propagate and Transplant Moss

"At these times, the things that troubled her seemed far away and unimportant; all that mattered was the hum of the bees and the chirp of birdsong, the way the sun gleamed on the edge of a blue wildflower, the distant bleat and clink of grazing goats."  ~ Allison Croggon

Moss covered anything makes me a little dreamy and after I wrote the post showing our moss covered pathway and this sweet moss covered cherub in our birdbath, I had so many comments and questions asking how I get my moss to grow, I thought I’d write about it.

Some things you need to know about moss before you try to propagate it. Moss likes shady to semi-shady places, acidic soil, and moisture. Moss can grow on almost anything and doesn’t require dirt to grow. If you are trying to grow moss in an area where there isn’t any moss, you will need to have a moss “starter” since moss grows from spores, rather than roots.

Redbud blossoms sprinkled on our pathway of moss

Instructions How to Grow or Propagate Moss

  1. It’s fun hunting for the moss you’ll need to begin propagating your own moss. Collect moss from areas that already have live moss growing on them…from your yard, a park, moss that is growing on trees or structures, or ask friends or neighbors for a moss starter.
  2. Gather your moss in any container that is easy to clean and rinse out. I use a shallow terracotta planter.
  3. Break up the clumps of moss, using garden tools or whatever else you have handy. I use an antique pastry blender that I keep in the Cottage Greenhouse to break up and blend my “moss pies. (See picture below)
  4. To the collection of moss in your container, add equal parts of buttermilk and water, and mix together until your moss, buttermilk, and water is the consistency of a milkshake.
  5. “Paint” or pour your moss milkshake on the surfaces you want to cover with moss.
  6. Keep your new moss moist and “weed free, since weeds rob the moisture that is needed by your moss.
  7. It will take approximately 6 weeks before your new moss begins to spread

Terracotta planter and antique pastry blender I use for mixing moss

Cherub statuary in birdbath covered in moss

I just began re-growing this moss on our courtyard pathway this spring after we power washed off the moss that had been growing there. When moss needs moisture it starts looking dull and dried (like in the picture below.)

Now, look at the color of the moss in this picture. Notice that the moss is brighter and greener, but also that the moss is spreading, since it is getting more moisture.

Raccoons and other furry folk have a habit of overturning new moss beds, or pulling up chunks of moss to look for bugs. Don’t fret if this happens, just smoosh your moss back into place, and water.

More Redbud petals sprinkled on the moss beneath the tree

Lush moss bed along our garden path that I propagated.

To transplant moss…find and dig up the moss you want to transplant…keep it moist until ready to transplant…press the moss into the surface where you want it to grow (remember, moss doesn’t require soil to grow, but can also grow on other surfaces.) I spied this little clump of moss while Richard and I were gathering some walnuts along an old ferry road down by the river. Dear Richard dug up the moss for me to take home and the sweet little wildwood fern that was growing right in the center, came along with it! I kept the moss damp by wetting some paper napkins and wrapping the moss in it, placed the wrapped moss inside a plastic bag, and tied the top of the bag together until we got home. I can tell by their vivid green colors that the moss and little fern love their new location where I pressed this little patch of forest-floor into our gravel bed! (:

Let me know if you try propagating your own moss! And for more moss enchantment…click on Carrot Patch Cupcakes with edible crumb “moss” made out of graham cracker crumbs! (:

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

P.S. This past 6 weeks has been a series of emotional peaks and valleys for us. I had a wonderful and miraculous report from the doctor…then we got the heartbreaking news that my dear, youngest sister had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Every step of the way, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.” Psalms 23:4 Oh, I am heartbroken that during this short lifetime on earth, I will never see my sister again, but I am overjoyed knowing we will be together again in heaven, since she and I both know and believe in Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus and do not have a personal relationship with Him, He is just a whisper away. The Bible says, If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 If you long for that security and relationship with the Lord where you “fear no evil for Thou art with me,” please go to the top of my blog and click on the page ABOUT ME …then click on My Faith in Jesus Christ. If you have any questions, or you would like me to pray with you about anything, please let me know in the comment section below, or write me at: cottagegreenonthelake@gmail.com

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In the Cottage Greenhouse … DIY Plant Markers and Propagating Hydrangea

It was a delightful day for working in the cottage greenhouse.
Breezes from the north swept past the greenhouse door and I could see the lake winking at me while I worked at my garden desk.

I love hydrangeas and each spring I look forward to the gorgeous purple-blue blooms that fill our bushes. However, between the weather and furry folks, my hydrangea hedge has dwindled down to one lone bush. When I looked on-line to order more hydrangea’s, the nursery selections were limited and costly. With both those incentives, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to propagate some hydrangea cuttings from my Mophead Hydrangea … something I’ve wanted and meant to do every summer. It was a delightful day for working in the cottage greenhouse. Breezes from the north swept past the greenhouse door and I could see the lake winking at me while I worked at my garden desk.

Before beginning my propagation project I ordered a set of peat pot trays, though I could have used a pot or any other container for my cuttings, provided they had good drainage. My seedling trays came with a set of bedding plant markers. I was disappointed when I opened my package and saw the plant markers were made of plastic and were stark white. I had envisioned something a little more “earthy” and rustic for my first greenhouse project. Undaunted, I went out in the yard, gathered up some twigs, and whittled my own set of charming plant markers!

These plant markers made from twigs are just what I had envisioned, they are so rustic and winsome … AND so simple and fun to make! The only thing you’ll need for this project is twigs, a pocket knife for whittling, and a permanent marker. Are you ready? (: …. Go outside and pick up some twigs that are all about the same length and diameter, and that are reasonably straight (though some crooks and knot holes in your twigs add character!) Then sit down and begin whittling away the bark at the wider end of your stick. Carve enough bark away on your twig to expose the smooth wood underneath. You’ll only want to whittle away enough of the rough bark so you can easily write the names of the plants or seeds on your twig marker for identification. In the little red pail below, are ALL of the twig plant markers I made. I wrote Hydrangea and Morning Glory on 2 of them and I left the other markers with empty “nameplates” for future projects. Before I made these plant markers, I had never whittled anything in my life. I found the task mesmerizing and had to stop myself from carving away too much of the twig! P.S. – See the white plastic marker that came with the seedling trays that I placed next to my twig plant markers! (:

PROPAGATING HYDRANGEAS … SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  1. seedling trays or other container w/good drainage
  2. Potting Mix (I used Miracle Gro)
  3. pruners
  4. container of water
  5. rooting hormone (I used Garden Safe Rooting Hormone)
  6. Sharp stick or pencil

The best time to take “cuttings” from a hydrangea is around the first day of summer. The first day of summer is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and is also known as Summer Solstice … and this year Summer Solstice is today, June 20th! Around this time is when the leaves of the hydrangea are lush and green and it’s also the fastest time for the hydrangea to begin generating roots. Starting your hydrangea cutting’s at this time allows enough time for the cuttings (also known as strikes) to develop root systems before the hydrangea’s go dormant in the fall. Look for new, tender green limbs, known as “soft wood” on your hydrangea, as opposed to the brown, rigid woody sticks known as “old growth.” Cut 3″- 5″ stems, making the cut right below a leaf node (leaf nodes are horizontal segments on the stem where the leaves grow out) and include 3 leaf nodes in the stem you cut.

Carry a cup or container of water with you as you make your cuttings and place your hydrangea cuttings in the water so they won’t become taxed or wilted.

After you have as many cuttings as you want, trim your cuttings, taking off all the leaves except for the top 2. If your leaves are very small, you can leave them whole. However, if you are propagating large leaf hydrangea varieties, cut these leaves to about 1/4 of their original size so the cutting won’t be strained trying to supply water to the large leaf. Return your cuttings to the water after cutting the leaves. Fill your seedling trays or other container with potting mix and use a pencil (I used the the sharp end of my new whittled twig plant markers!) to poke a hole into the potting mix … 1 hole for each of your cutting’s, then dampen your potting mix before inserting your hydrangea cuttings.

Dip each wet hydrangea stem into the rooting hormone and insert cutting, coated with rooting hormone into your prepared potting mix. At least one set of leaf nodes, preferably 2, need to be covered in the potting mix since the nodes and stem are where the new roots will begin growing.

Gently push the potting mix around the cutting to hold it firmly in place, and continue until all cuttings are planted, then water thoroughly until the water flows freely from the drainage hole. If you use peat pots or trays like I did, I watered my cuttings until the sides of the tray were sodden. Keep your cuttings in a bright, warm place, but out of direct sunlight, and make sure your potting mix is moist at all times.

Don’t disturb your hydrangea strikes and continue to let them grow in your container or trays, making sure they are kept moist; I watered mine once each day. In 4 weeks your hydrangea cuttings, or strikes, should have produced new roots. At this time you can transfer your hydrangea’s to a bigger container. When you feel like your new hydrangea plants have become strong enough, or they have outgrown their container, they can be planted in your yard. This method of propagation works for all varieties of hydrangeas. I planted 10 hydrangea cuttings which hopefully will grow into 10 more Mophead Hydrangea bushes for our yard. Did you know a 1 gallon plant of Endless Summer Mophead Hydrangeas cost $29.99 on Amazon?!!! Go get on your garden gloves! (:

I love puttering around in my cottage greenhouse and below I have included some pictures of some of the knick-knacks I’ve added for some greenhouse charm. This wrought iron chair under my garden desk ~ is 1 of 4 that belongs with a beautiful glass topped garden table that my grandmother always had on her covered front porch. My mother gave the cherished table set to me and Richard sweetly sanded it and gave it a new coat of white paint. Now, I keep the table inside and use it in my music/craft room. I have dear memories of my grandmother and me sitting on her porch as she worked with her plants, sitting in this very chair! ❤

An Angel Wing Begonia looks beautiful tucked in a planter until I have the time to transplant it to an antique washtub outside my Potting Shed. See the sweet antique planter with the little bear sitting on top of the log? I love to find and collect these whimsical planters when we go antiqu’ing, and I have them in all kinds of unexpected places, not only in the greenhouse!

A grapevine wrapped pencil cup holds carved colored pencils and a chunky votive burns citronella and vanilla candles when I’m in the greenhouse. Here’s another one of my antique planters … a sweet little birdhouse with a red roof and a little birdie perched by the front door.

An old handmade wheelbarrow holds a spool of jute and scissors ready for tying up plants and other garden projects.

I love this tiny little flower vase with the kissing birds and I love to tuck tiny flowers inside. The colors of the birds and the coral-orange of the impatien’s bloom match perfectly with the box of wildflower seeds.

This is the canvas I told you about in my post “Charcuterie Charm” (click here to see) that my dear friend, Patricia made from the picture I sent her of the metal table I covered with broken pieces of blue and white pottery. Patricia told me she had this canvas made for me to hang in my greenhouse. I love it (and the giver) ❤ Doesn’t it make a great backdrop for my folksy handmade windmill with adjoining planter that holds an Asparagus Fern?

This miniature bistro table belonged to our daughter when she was little. ❤ The tabletop was always set with her Beatrix Potter tea set, ready for impromptu Teddy Bear Tea Party’s. I couldn’t think of parting with it, or the memories of sweet days gone by. Now, I love seeing it on my garden desk with a nest propped on one of the bistro chairs, a little bird keeping watch from the feathery fronds of a Plumosa Asparagus Fern, and another planter topped with little frogs, and filled with carved colored pencils.

Hope you enjoyed your day … your Summer Solstice, and the beginning of summer! Look who obligingly walked right into the picture below as I was taking our beautiful sunset. A Great Blue Heron we’ve fondly named Whiskers. He comes to our backyard buffet every evening, looking for dinner!

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Breakfast “out of bed” and 2 Delicious Recipes … “Bell Pepper, Onion and Mushroom Medley” and “Breakfast Frittata”

Here is a quick and easy side dish that “dresses up” any meal!  It’s especially delicious with grilled steaks and chicken and it makes a wonderful filler when you’re making frittata’s, fajitas, omelettes or quesadillas!

*BELL PEPPER, ONION AND MUSHROOM MEDLEY

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons steak sauce (I used A1 steak sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1- 4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, drained (or fresh) 

Directions:

  1. Add olive oil, soy sauce, your favorite steak sauce, and garlic powder to a medium frying pan; begin heating mixture on medium heat.
  2. Cut 1 medium onion and 1 bell pepper into thin strips and add to skillet 
  3. Add mushrooms to the onions and bell pepper in skillet
  4. Stir vegetables in the skillet, incorporating all the vegetables into the sauce
  5. Sauté until peppers and mushrooms are tender and onions are translucent
  6. Serve warm; delicious with grilled steaks, chicken or as a filler for frittata’s, quesadillas, fajitas, omelette’s …

This past week Richard and I headed down to the Texas coast to the romantic seaside town of Rockport to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. Since we were going to be travelling on our anniversary, I decided to surprise Richard the day before we left, with breakfast served “out of bed.” (; I made a breakfast Frittata using the veggie medley above.

Breakfast frittata and mixed berries

Though a frittata sounds fancy and hard to make, it’s a simple Italian dish that is made with eggs and enhanced with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, and vegetables. It is similar to an omelette or crustless quiche. Just about anything can be added to your egg base, but to reduce excess moisture and baking time that makes your eggs dry or spongy, your ingredients should already be cooked. Below is the recipe I created for the frittata I made, using the *bell pepper, onion and mushroom vegetable medley from above.

Breakfast Frittata

  • 6 eggs, beaten slightly to blend whites and yolks
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • pepper “to taste”
  • 1 1/2 cups *bell pepper, onion, and mushroom medley
  • 6 strips of bacon cooked and cut into bite size pieces (I used pre-cooked)
  • 1 cup grated Colby/Monterrey Jack cheese + additional 1/2 cup cheese for topping frittata when it comes out of the oven

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a cast iron skillet for a traditional frittata
  3. Place cast iron skillet on burner turned on medium heat
  4. Add already cooked *bell pepper, onion, and mushroom medley (recipe above) to skillet or baking dish
  5. Stir together eggs, milk, chicken bouillon, and pepper
  6. Add cooked bacon and 1 cup grated cheese to egg mixture
  7. Stir egg mixture, meat, and cheese together gently and add to vegetable medley in the skillet or in your baking dish
  8. Cook mixture without stirring, just until the edges begin to”set”
  9. Place skillet or baking dish in oven
  10. Cook for 15- 20 minutes (in cast iron skillet) watching closely the last 5 minutes.
  11. Cook only until knife inserted in the middle of the frittata comes out clean, but center still has a glossy appearance
  12. Sprinkle additional 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the frittata
“until edges are set”

While the frittata was cooking, I filled a diamond shaped antique dish with a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and gave them a sprinkling of sugar. Then came the fun of finding a cozy corner in the bedroom. This seemed the perfect spot … like sitting in a treehouse that overlooked the lake with a low table waiting for setting, a rustic little bear lamp for a little glow, and seating with lots of pillows. You’ve heard of breakfast “in bed.” This was breakfast served “out of bed” … just for two. ❤

A whole lot of cozy.

I love combining rustic and elegant pieces. Crystal, china, and crocheted lace napkins mixed well with my rugged cast iron skillet, miniature braided fish rug, and frayed patchwork napkins circled with wooden napkin rings.

Villeroy & Boch china Design Naif

Even though we cooks are usually our own worst critics, the frittata was delicious, and the setting was perfect.

We had a wonderful time on our anniversary. Here are just a few pictures of the picturesque seaside towns of Rockport and Port Aransus on the Texas Coast.

Beach cottages in Rockport, Texas

Beach at Rockport, Texas

Port Aransus Ferry, Harbor and Beach

Then the rugged beauty of the Texas Hill Country we traveled through on our way back home AND the awesome and incredible “Jacob’s Well” an artesian spring with an underground cave system and crystal clear waters that allow you to see the layers of bedrock and strata in the depths of the water in Wimberly, Texas near New Braunfels. Look it up; my pictures don’t do it justice and Richard was getting nervous I was getting so close to the edge! (:

Hope you are enjoying some adventures on these dog days of summer! Try the Breakfast Frittata and set a cozy table in a “new spot” to enjoy it in. You’ll be surprised at the sense of adventure and the fun it adds having your meal in a different place!

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Autumn Tablescape … with a “side” of Provincial France

With beautiful, tangible evidence of autumn in the air and a birthday to celebrate with “la famille” last weekend, I polished the brass candlesticks and started decorating the table.  I always have a general idea of how I want to set my table … if I’ll be using a table runner, a tablecloth, or place mats … which plates, napkins, and cutlery I want to use … and what I’ll be using as a centerpiece, but setting a table and creating a tablescape are two different things.  Sprinkles and touches of  “this and that” are what magically transform a set table into a tablescape.

tablescape 1 The definition of tablescape according to the English Oxford dictionary is … “A decorative arrangement of ornaments or other objects on a tabletop.”  Embellishing Oxford’s definition of tablescape a little further … a tablescape for me  is created by arranging a tabletop in an artful way by using decorative objects … decor … centerpieces … lighting … and color in combination with the items needed in the table setting to create a certain mood or theme. 

overhead closeup

To begin “building” my tablescape, I chose what colors I wanted.  I envisioned the autumn shades of squatty, Cinderella pumpkins, golden wheat fields, and the colors of the leaves that were beginning to turn different shades outside.   With those colors in mind, I chose a beautiful soft yellow tablecloth with borders edged with harvest bounty, autumn leaves and acorns.  My choice of dinnerware was an elegant, ivory colored Wedgwood china that was rimmed with rich, harvest colors and had a deep cornflower blue border.  A cluster of silk autumn leaves in dusty orange, burgundy, and golden yellow became my centerpiece mixed with faux clusters of deep purple grapes, and fresh sprigs of burgundy Loropetalum (Chinese Fringe Flower) that I tucked in among the leaves from bushes Richard had just trimmed outside. (click here to see pictures and instructions)

Pierre and Belle

When creating a tablescape, it’s important to imagine what idea, mood, or theme you are trying to convey.  In my mind I pictured a French villa on a warm autumn afternoon that overlooked a valley of the French countryside.  As I visualized what I wanted my table to look like, I knew the French provincial figurines in my kitchen hutch. (click here to see) would look perfect on the table and voilá! … with the placement of Pierre and Belle, my table was suddenly transformed into the beginnings of a tablescape!

closeup Pierre and Belle

Then, the fun really began as I begin to sprinkle in a little “magic” … “this and that” … “the jewelry” to make our table gleam: brass and crystal candlesticks were placed, tall against my autumn foliage and copper and gold votive cups were tucked among the foliage and grape clusters for sparkle.

burgundy and gold

Goldware glistens atop sage green napkins and next to gold chargers …

goldware

Antique berry bowls and grape clustered German stemware with golden rims and pedestals,

antique berry bowls grape clustered stemware

Blush and gold colored stemware …

blush colored stemware and grape stemware.jpg

A copper colored votive and a twinkling Cinderella pumpkin are placed among burgundy leaves and purple clusters of grapes …

pumpkins, grapes, candlelight

“Salagadoola mechicka boola

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Put them together and what have you got

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo …”     

~ Walt Disney’s “Cinderella”

Cinderella song.jpg

The autumn afternoon is ready and waiting for the family …

view of lake.jpg

Chandelier draped in autumn finery … rose hips, colored leaves, grape clusters and strings of gilded acorns.

chandelier

“Salagadoola mechicka boola

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo 

It’ll do magic, believe it or not

  Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo …”

~ Walt Disney’s “Cinderella”

“It’ll do magic, believe it or not” creating your own tablescapes, when you use these tips … bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!  (: 

down the head of the table 

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

scripture

I was reminded of this scripture when we were out on our boat last Saturday and saw this spectacular view of the eastern sky at sunset … “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”   Matthew 24:27

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Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

The Cottage Porch in Autumn and … Recipe for Easy, Cheesy Jalepeno & Pimento Dip

by Trenda

bistro table

Welcome to the first day of autumn!  In conjunction with the calendar, our temperatures in East Texas were cooler today with alternate periods of pouring rain … sunlight … or light rain pattering down on the still green leaves overhead.  Our cooler weather inspired me to get our screened porch “dressed and ready” for the anticipated autumn days and evenings we’ll be spending out there.

clock

A latticed topped table holds a mix of autumn colors and textures.  The unframed canvas looks simple and charming painted in the “colors of the season.”  Rustic textures are repeated in the bronze of the wire canoe candle holder … the bronze pine cone clock … and the bronze fish lamp – all against the rugged backdrop of the brick wall and the wooden shutters.

canvas

 Daisy watches the falling rain against an array of pillows in autumn colors … soft plum, golden yellow, sage green, and crimson colored pillows are the background for a smaller fish pillow which continues the fishing theme of the cottage porch set by the Largemouth Bass on the lamp.

Daisy

A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.”

a bad day fishing

Pillows and throws are an invitation to “sit a spell.”

trio of pillows.png

A miniature screen door hangs on the brick wall with a tiny sign posted … “Home Sweet Home.”

screen door

 After I got through cozy-ing up the screened porch, I pre-heated my oven and mixed up a delicious recipe of  “Easy-Cheesy Jalelpeño & Pimento Dip” (recipe below) and slid it into the oven.  While the dip was warming, I cut clusters of midnight black grapes and placed them in an antique berry bowl.  Then, I washed and julienned my celery and stacked them on another sweet vintage dish.  By then, the dip was ready and all golden, bubbly, cheesy-nes. (:  I removed it from the oven and tucked Creamy Tomato & Basil Crackers and Sociables’ crackers into the dip, along the edges of the baking dish … then I placed “all” on a metal fish tray to carry out to the porch.

MENU

[SIDENOTE:  I’m always on the lookout, when antiqu-ing, for unusual little dishes that are charming and make even the simplest meals seem special.  Antique dishes, especially singles without a “mate” are surprisingly inexpensive.  The little berry bowl with it’s pedestal legs and angular cut bowl was only 50 cents and the green serving dish with 2 glass handles and etchings on the bottom of the bowl that looks “perfectly, perfect” heaped with celery … olives … or pickled okra was less than a dollar!]  tray

Bon appétit! (:

snack

“Tête-à-tête on the screened porch.

afternoon tea

A “Wecome to the Lake” DIY Fishing Wreath (instructions here)  hangs on the French door and a gift from our dear son and DDIL … a fishing net with bobbers and carved wooden fish is “cast” over the door frame.

Fr door w wreath

Afternoon raindrops and shadows …

shadows.jpg

Easy, Cheesy Jalepeño & Pimento Dip

Ingredients:

  • Price’s Pimento Cheese spread (I ONLY use Price’s)
  • Diced, Mild Jalepeño’s 

(This is the simplest recipe and is really just a matter of stirring ingredients together … but it is so delicious!  Heating the pimiento cheese makes it creamier and slightly sweeter.)  I always try to keep the ingredients on hand for quick snacks and/or unexpected guests! (:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or use microwave
  2. Stir together pimento cheese and desired amount of drained jalepeño’s (I used approximately 2 teaspoons of diced jalepeño’s for this small dish, but adjust the amount of peppers you use according to the “degree” of spiciness that you prefer and the amount of pimento cheese used!)
  3. spread pimento mixture into an ovenproof, shallow dish, good for dipping
  4. Microwave or cook until edges are bubbly
  5. Tuck assorted crackers  into the dip, around the edge of the serving dish and serve warm with crackers, veggies, or bread  

Have fun decorating the nooks and crannies of your cottage and getting ready for “the cozy season” ahead because the crickets have been warning us … “summer is changing into autumn.”

autumn quote

 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda

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Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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This week I’m joining:

 Courtney at French Country Cottage

Carol from The Red Painted Cottage

Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate & Decorate

 

 

 

The Cottage Series – Part 3

~ by Trenda

Cottage Series Part 3

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.

kitchen hutch.jpg

 

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.”

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.

2 roosters and 1 hen

 

DT mingle

 

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!

middle shelf

DT whimsy

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.

top shelf

DT top heavy 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.

open shelves

DT unify

 

Stacking dishes in your cabinets not only creates visual interest, but also gives you more room … a double bonus! (:

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DT stacked dishes

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.

seasonal

DT seasonal

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!

moss green shelf

 DT loved dishes

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.

moss green cannisters

DT counters

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

 

scripture house

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Elegant Rustic Woodland Tablescape … DIY Centerpiece & Rustic Napkin Rings

I enjoyed doing some tabletop decorating last week and I combined two different decorating styles in my table setting.  I love the look of fragile crystal and goldware mixed with chunky pottery, natural grapevine napkin rings and woven baskets.  “Elegance meets Rustic” and “opposites, do indeed attract” (; … as this duo is lovely together and the contrast of styles makes a cozy woodland tablescape.Elegant Rustic Woodland TablescapeTo make the woodland centerpiece I took the plastic covering off of 2 blocks of floral foam and hot glued them into the bottom of a woven basket I had.  Then I began filling the basket with a collection of grasses, cattails, pine cone floral stems, pheasant feathers and birch twigs I had “amassed” over the years.  The tallest part of any arrangement should be in the center, so after anchoring my tallest pieces I began “fanning down” both sides from the center of the arrangement, inserting my filler into the florist foam.  The last addition and focal point I added to the arrangement was a metal art piece … a copper stag among metal fir trees. woodland cpiece.jpgFor my place settings I used pieces of vintage Hull and Pfaltzgraff pottery, a treasure that Richard found and bought for me at an auction he went to with his brother, Bob.  The dishes are a sweet remembrance for both of us since Bob passed away this past October. ❤  The pattern on this stoneware is known as “Brown Drip” pattern, a favorite of both the Hull and Pfaltzgraff Stoneware Companies during the 1930’s.tilt place settingThese simple, rustic napkin rings are made using mini-grapevine wreaths.  I downloaded my free woodland tags from Decorator’s Notebook by Bethan John.  After printing and cutting out my tags, I punched a hole in each tag using a standard hole punch.  Then I inserted a moss-green satin ribbon into the hole of each tag and tied the ribbon into a bow to the grapevine, making sure the tag was facing out as I pulled my knot of the bow, tight.trio napkin ringsI love these darling little  bean pots and keep collecting them whenever I see them at antique stores.  side view leftThey look charming holding BBQ beans for autumn wiener roasts … filled with  Chili con Carne on cold winter evenings … brimming with Stuffed Pepper Soup  on breezy Spring picnics … or in the summer, filled with colorful Cajun Beans (recipe coming at a later date!) alongside grilled steaks!bean pot.jpg Crystal glasses and little goblets from Germany are etched with grapevines and are rimmed in gold and have golden bases.  I love the look of the fragile crystal contrasting with the heavy pottery and the comparison makes the crystal seem even more delicate.  crystal And this hand painted canoe makes a darling caddy for sweeteners!cattails and fishA mixture of metals … the copper stag and the goldware add gleam to all the forest browns, moss greens and the deep brown dishes.  For a final touch of coziness, I added this little lamp that looks like it was made for my woodland tablescape!  The golden lampshade matches the carved canoe and also highlights the goldware and golden goblets while the dark silhouettes of the spruce trees and moose on the lamp shade adds more “depth” to my rustic theme.canoelampYou know how I love using every day objects in unusual ways?!  I pulled Richard’s cashmere muffler from the closet and thought it made the perfect table runner for my woodland tablescape!  The softness of the muffler contrasted with the rough basket centerpiece and it’s color … the same browns and moss-green colors found in the forest!juxtaposed crystalJuxtaposition/definition by Merriam-Webster:  the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an interesting effect.  Hmmm … crystal next to pottery, textured, woven centerpiece sitting atop soft, luxurious cashmere, and rustic grapevines mixed with elegant goldware???  I love juxtaposition decorating! (:Elegant Rustic Woodland TablescapeP.S. We saw 2 Bald Eagles, yesterday!!!  Neither Richard or I had ever seen one except in books or film!  Then, we saw 2 in one day!  The first eagle we saw around noon just nonchalantly sitting in a tree and the second one we saw in a totally different area, near sunset, also perched in the top of a huge Sycamore Tree. Bald Eagles After our second Bald Eagle flew off, our “Blue, Super Moon” was just begin to rise and it was gorgeous!  I couldn’t help but think of the scripture I had just read that morning …“Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.” Psalms 104:1-3scripture

From my cottage to yours ~ Trendacropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.pngThank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above .. or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

Carol from The Red Painted Wagon

Christmas at Cottage Green

What a special season Christmas truly is.  It’s not just one day, but a culmination of days.  Days of … cookie making, shopping and wrapping, decorating the house, watching Hallmark movies, drinking hot cocoa, setting up the manger, being with family and friends, caroling, and worship . Then, hanging up stockings, putting out cookies for Santa, sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn, and finally (there’s a sermon in here!) “joy, comes in the morning.”  It’s a season of busyness, frenzy, stress, wonder, love, sadness of “memories of happy years gone by” gratitude, reflection, and marvel.  Here’s a last tribute to our Christmas season and moments at Cottage Green.  There’s lots to re-cap and lots of pictures, so get yourself a “cup of cheer” and make yourself comfy!

Silent night, holy night.  All is calm, all is bright …

mantle twilight

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a …” porcupine! Christmas porcupine

… or a hedgehog! (:

hedgehog and porcupine

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.  The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.”

manger 1

“The stars in the sky look down where He lay  The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”

OUTDOOR MANGER.jpg

“Angels we have heard on high, sweetly caroling o’er the plains.”

angel.jpg

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays”

HEARTH

“O Christmas Tree, o Christmas tree how lovely are thy branches …”

Christmas tree

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree …”

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“Santa Claus is coming to town …”

Lbuffetlit

“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter …”

ff cannisters.jpg“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you …”

 

BLUETUNNEL.jpg

“The holly bears a prickle, as sharp as any thorn, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day in the morn”

kitchen bar.jpg“Here we come a-wassailing …”

teacart

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”

fire

Then … family photos with little and big kids! ❤

“When it’s Christmas time in Texas …”

Texas

“It might just look like a summer day  There may not be snow in San Antonio  But it’s a Texas Christmas to me.”

HONEYWREATH

“Thank God for Kids”

“Thank God for kids there’s magic for a while …

(grand son <3)

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A special kind of sunshine in a smile …

(grand daughter <3)

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Do you ever stop to think or wonder why?  The nearest thing to Heaven is a child.”
KIDDOS“Daddy, how does this thing fly?”

 

 

Father Son.jpg“And a hundred other where’s and whys …”

(dear daughter-in-law DDIL <3)DDIL2

 

 

You really don’t know but you try, thank God for kids …”

(grand daughter and daughter <3) 

MOMMYBABYGIRL “When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize …”

bike

It’s a love that you can’t buy thank God for kids.”

present hunt.jpg

Thank God for kids, there’s magic for a while …

gson.jpg

A special kind of sunshine in a smile …

laketime fineDo you ever stop to think or wonder why?  The nearest thing to Heaven is a child

cookies

When you get down on your knees tonight  To thank the Lord for his guiding light  And pray they turn out right, thank God for kids  Thank God for Kids”  ~ songwriters:  Edward Futch/Edward G. Futch

(our kids <3)

son daughter   Oh, I hope you enjoyed seeing our Christmas at Cottage Green and I hope you had a wonderful, blessed Christmas filled with moments that will warm your heart throughout the year.  Our grand daughter told me, “Grandma, I’m sad Christmas is over” … I’m sad Christmas is over, too, but I promised God I am keeping Christmas in my heart, all year long! ❤

His Prescence

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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This week I’m joining:

Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane

 

 

 

Countdown to Christmas! DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

“Haul out the holly; Put up the tree … Fill up the stocking.  I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.  Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry.”  I am in a hurry!  I planned on showing you how to make this charming and nostalgic Advent Calendar on the first day of December!  However, the countdown to Christmas continues and this Calendar is so easy and fun to make, you’ll be able to enjoy it for the rest of the season and psssst! …. your “kids” of all ages “from 1 to 92” will love playing catch-up when you finish making it and opening several envelopes at once! (;

Santa envelopes

Click on the following link Ella Claire Free Printable Vintage Christmas Advent Calendar for complete instructions and a free printable for making the envelopes and cards.  I love these miniature envelopes and the little pine cone sprig on the card insert.  I’m already planning other “fun” ways to use them!  The printable is free and I chose a creamy 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock paper from Michael’s to print my envelopes and cards on.

supplies.png

 This is a sample of what the envelope looks like after I cut out the pattern.  I’ve penciled in dashed lines to show you where to fold your envelopes.  Note: The vertical fold-line on both sides is where the rounded slope of the paper meets the straight cut!  The card stock paper I used was thick and I used the plastic grip of my scissors to firmly crease each fold. (Hey, I just thought of a stocking stuffer I need … a bone folder! (: ) I didn’t want to wait for my envelopes to dry so instead of using glue, I taped my envelopes together with clear Scotch tape.

envelope folds.jpg

After you finish making all your envelopes, write different Christmas activities you would enjoy doing on each of the 25 cards and slip the card into a corresponding envelope. e.g. pop some popcorn and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie … make hot chocolate, top with Cool Whip, decorate with lots of sprinkles and sip with a peppermint straw! … put the kids in their pajamas and go for a drive to look at Christmas lights!   I wrote my activity on the card that wasn’t dated, so it will be easy to use the same calendar next year and I can easily re-arrange my activities. cards and envelopes snowman.png

 I also tucked a little “trinket” in each envelope. Little gifts of candy, Christmas cookie cutters and tiny ornaments for a special tiny Christmas tree for little folks!

Miss Mouse

I nailed my ribbons (needed for hanging the envelopes) to the frame of my “4 the seasons” chalkboard I love this rustic chalkboard with it’s natural cedar frame that a dear friend made for me.  I added some “chalk art” before nailing in my ribbon … with the heading “Countdown to Christmas” and a border of holly leaves.  Ella draped her calendar over a vintage ladder; you can hang your advent calendar across a mirror, on a bulletin board, or on a door in your family room.

chalkboard art

And … all the envelopes “were hung by the ‘chalkboard’ with care.” (;

filled chalkboard.png

I set up our Advent Calendar on a little table in our screened porch where Richard and I sit and have our morning coffee.  Our Texas winter’s are so delightful, we enjoy sitting out here every season, especially since we have an electric reproduction stove with “pretend” flames for the coldest days! (;

front advent.png

A little “Holly Jolly” cuteness to start the day!

screen porch.png

 Daisy, our little grand dog … waiting for Santa!

Daisy.png

You know one of my favorite decorating “tricks” is using every day objects in unusual ways.  I filled this wrought iron planter with Christmas books and a basket of poinsettias … handy, and “at the ready” beside our chairs for reading!  I think it’s a perfect book cache for our outdoor room!

poinsettias and books.png

“Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It’s the best time of the year …” 

poinsettia and holly jolly pillow.png

“I don’t know if there’ll be snow but have a cup of cheer …”

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Sweet little envelopes all pinned up on a ribbon clothesline … Countdown to Christmas!

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Get your paper and printer ready, make yourself a large “cup of cheer,” put your feet up and have fun making this Advent Calendar … 

“For we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute,

Candles in the window,

Carols at the spinet.

Yes, we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute.

It hasn’t snowed a single flurry,

But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry;

So climb down the chimney;

Put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.

Slice up the fruitcake;

It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough …”

Santa.jpg

As this Christmas season of busy-ness begins, my desire is to have my heart “tuned” to focus on Jesus, the reason for the season!  These words from our Choir Christmas Cantata written by Sue Smith haunt me.  “There was no room in the inn.  No room for Heaven’s amazing gift of love.  No room for the long-awaited Messiah.  No room for our only hope of salvation.  No room.  Time and again these two simple words stir our hearts, and we vow to make sure it never happens with us.” 

These words are a solemn reminder; my prayer this Christmas is … Lord, whatever I do or don’t get done during this Christmas season, let my focus be on YOU!  I want Him to know … I have a room reserved just for Him; there IS room in the Inn! ❤

“O come let us adore Him … Christ the Lord!

O Come Let Us Adore Him.png

“Come, let us bow down in worship. let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker …”  Psalm 95:6

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

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The Last of Autumn … “Something Told the Wild Geese”

As I was taking a picture of this glorious Ash Tree, I recognized a sound above me, like the whoosh of a wave approaching the shore.  I hurriedly snapped the picture and was thrilled when I saw I had “captured” these pelicans in flight!  As I stood there and marveled, phone still poised and ready, 3 more “squadron” of pelicans flew over!  I felt like I had just been presented with a gift … as indeed, I had! (:  NOTE: A group of pelicans have many collective names … BRIEF, POD, POUCH, SCOOP, and SQUADRON … are all names for a group of pelicans.

 ash tree geese

As I stood there reflecting on what I had just seen, I thought of this poem …

Something Told the Wild Geese

Something told the wild geese

It was time to go,

Though the fields lay golden

Something whispered, “snow.”

Leaves were green and stirring,

Berries, luster-glossed,

But beneath warm feathers

Something cautioned, “frost.”

All the sagging orchards

Steamed with amber spice,

But each wild breast stiffened

At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese

It was time to fly,

Summer sun was on their wings,

Winter in their cry.  

 ~by Rachel Fields

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Here are the pictures I promised I would share with you of Autumn in November at Cottage Green on the Lake.

Golden leaves on this young Eastern Redbud and more golden leaves on our Ash tree down by the lake contrast beautifully with the red bark and the red roof on our boat dock and stand out brilliantly against a backdrop of green.

Redbud 3.png

The red leaves of the Sweet Gum Tree and the golden yellow leaves of our Ash trees blaze against the blue of the lake and autumn sky.  Fallen leaves cover the lawn in gold!

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Chartreuse Sweet potato vine rambles over a treasured hand pump that Richard’s mother used in “days gone by.” ❤

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Flowering Kale and Cabbage and sweet-faced pansies line the the paved sideyard.

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Azaleas, Coleus, and Impatiens in varying shades of vivid pink.

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 “It was November … the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate winds songs in the pines.”  ~ L.M. Montgomery

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” … let the whole earth be filled with His glory.”  Psalms 72:19

Today is the last day of November and Autumn.  I hope you enjoyed seeing “The Last of Autumn” on Cedar Creek Lake!  Tomorrow is the beginning of Winter and December and I will be showing you how to make a fun and nostalgic Advent Calendar to begin the countdown to … C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S!  (:

  From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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This week I’m joining:

Lisa from Feathering My Empty Nest

Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com