There are some plants that are so easy to grow and such high performers, they become my favorite. The perennial Black Eyed Susan, is like that. I have moved it around the garden and it has happily agreed to grow wherever I feel like it should. Since I am kind of a intermittent gardener, I appreciate this kind of easy going attitude. I think I have found the perfect spot for this summer beauty – right by the front door. This way, it says happy summer to anyone who comes over. You have to love a plant that will do that in 100 degree weather. I would recommend this plant for a cheerful addition to your garden.



Quilting is one of my favorite hobbies. I purchased an old quilt top in an antique store in Minneapolis several years ago. The colors were varied and scrappy which I really like. The border however wasn’t a color I would use so I took it apart and put a vintage-style border on it. The colors are now more ‘me’ and I hand quilted it in a dense pattern which I love. I love the way the light captures the textured fabric. It’s also hiding some of the antique imperfections of the fabric. Anytime I can take something old and reinvent it in a fresh way I’m pleased.


My friend is pretty handy in the garden and came up with an attractive pair of planters for her front porch. She knew she wanted to use a wine barrel for a rustic look. She made sure to attach the wooden slats to the metal bands and to each other with glue so that it didn’t fall apart when she cut the barrel in half. She created a short planter in the top third of the half barrels and fastened each half to the walls on either side of her front door.

She had been planning this for her entry and thought about the details. Each planter has an electrical outlet which operates the self-timed drip system.

They are a nice addition to a beautiful entry.

A fun book for stitching patterns is Doodle Stitchery by Aimee Ray.

There are many projects and the patterns are simple and adorable.

There are projects like a happy birthday banner

and also hoop framed embroidery art. You can mix and match the patterns

to create your own gift cards, wooden charms and anything else you can stitch onto.

I have stitched a few of the patterns and have been happy with the results.

This is the Chinese Lantern from the ‘Asian Chic’ pages.

 This tree pattern has a little bit of all of the seasons.

Aimee Ray is an illustrator and her drawings are very sweet – check out her blog here.

I created a good little lunch salad from last night’s roasted zucchini which turned out really well.

We barbecued the zucchini by cutting it lenghwise and brushing a little oil

and McCormick’s Grill Mates Spicy Montreal Steak Spices on it and then grilled it for about 20 mins.

Today I added some grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar to the chilled, roasted zucchini 

and dusted some parmesan cheese over the top. It’s a good answer to summer leftovers.




This sailboat was a line drawing and I traced it onto a

piece of linen. It is stitched with the split stitch. Simple lines and good texture;

that is what this little stitching is about. I am not sure what to make with it,

but am leaning towards a Nook cover because it is about that size. Any suggestions?

There are some projects that are just fun from beginning to end. My cat pillow was like that. I couldn’t wait to see it completed; mainly because of the cat’s face; so mischievous, and cute! Also because I stitched some of it with 2 strands and some with 3 depending on the item. The cat’s face was 2; and also the apron to lighten the details. Three strands seemed too heavy for those areas.. It’s stitched on linen – my favorite fabric and I pulled the colors from the border fabric which is pretty full of colors. The pattern is from Aunt Martha’s embroidery patterns, this pillow is in my shop on etsy; but if it never sells, that’s fine. That cat makes me smile, and I don’t even have cats!


I’m always on the lookout for a recipe that provides all of the following:

high nutrition, low calorie, good taste, potentially portable

I found a recipe for Oatmeal pancakes in Runner’s Magazine

 a while back that is a great start to the day. I added some blueberries and like the recipe

even better with that splash of  berry  flavor.

They are nutritious and stick with you until lunchtime.

They are sturdy enough to make ahead and take along.

This is the recipe:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats

2 cups nonfat milk (I substituted Almond Milk)

1 egg

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons stevia

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon

1 cup blueberries

Mix wet ingredients, set aside, mix dry ingredients and then combine both. 

 gently fold in blueberries, cook until brown on griddle.

This recipe makes about 12 pancakes with each having approx. 95 calories.

There are new bags today in my store.

I used canvas to make these, they are sturdy and


durable and washable.

I’ve sewn a verse inside each bag – Psalm 139: 4-6

Before a word is on my tongue you Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Song of Solomon 2:4 Let him lead me to the banquet hall,

and let his banner over me be love.

I like to put a verse inside my bag as a reminder

throughout the day of my faith.

We have treasures located in our backyard.

There are items we’ve made;

birdhouse we made
at summer camp as a family

Items to remind us of vacations;

camping coffee pot


and sometimes the treasure is watching the dog

trying to get at the fish in the pond.

What are the treasures in your yard?