Monday, February 27, 2017

Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you had
a pleasant weekend ! With spring just around
the corner, The Ramblin' Man and I 
took a little journey into Seattle to attend 
the Northwest Flower and Garden Show
for some much-needed inspiration. 

It's been cool here with lots of rain and a 
few snow flurries in between, but it was a lovely day 
on our trip into the city for the show. 

We live 50 miles south of this beautiful city, 
and it is always a little thrill when we come 
around the corner and there it is, right before us. 

I took this photo from I-5, driving 50 mph,
 with my little Canon Power Shot ELPH 300 HS
 that fits so nicely into my pocket
wherever I go.

You can see the 'Big Wheel' under the Space Needle
and the orange cranes surrounding our seaport on the water. 
Our two sports stadiums, Safeco and Qwest field, are on the lower right. 
The tall black building on the right is the Columbia Tower
where you can rent space on the upper levels 
for business functions and parties. 

We've attended one of these, and the views 
are breath-taking with scenes of Puget Sound
and the Olympic mountains to the west, the city lights, 
and the Cascade mountains and Mt. Rainier
to the south-east. 

Let's go inside the Seattle Convention Center 
for the show! As we enter the lobby, the scent of 
flowers fill the air, as we walk by wonderful spring
garden displays filled with hyacinths, tulips,
daffodils, primrose, and English daisies. 

Inside, the show consists of about a dozen separate garden displays. 

These displays are set up to look like beautiful 
and inspiring outdoor living spaces. 
I will show you my favorites.......

This one had a wonderful paved sitting area
anchored by an outdoor fireplace.

Can you see the decorated wooden spoon garden markers?

Constructed entirely from pavers, bricks,
and concrete slabs, this could easily be constructed
by anyone with a little money, help and time.

Here's a closer look at the construction details.

Of course, if this were to be permanent,
a little mortar would come in handy :)

You would need a small fortune to buy all of the pavers
and bricks to achieve this look, but if money were no
obstacle, this would make a great 'do-it-yourself' project.

The courtyard was surrounded by a simple, but decorative
wall with planter columns on each corner.
The wall provided the perfect backdrop for colorful,
low-growing flower gardens.

This 2nd garden area features a wonderful log arbor
next to a rustic potting shed.

Large stones were used as backdrops to this
naturalistic setting.
I'm sure they were those 'fake' stones you
can buy at some garden centers.
When money is no object.........

This is the quintessential Northwest garden style,
utilizing nature as elements in design.

Evergreens, stone walls, and a beautiful waterfall
complete this idyllic space.
Moss and twinkle lights decorate the arbor.

Here you can see the construction of the log arbor
built over a 'stone' outcrop
with a rustic table set for two.

Imagine dining here under candlelight
with the sound of the babbling brook nearby.

When the mosquitoes and the sounds of the night
prove to be too much,
you could retreat to the cozy little shed where
a comfy seating area awaits inside.

Can you hear the coyotes singing?

This simple, more urbane garden features a
a space for the home brewer or wine maker.
The perfect 'man-cave'.

Let's take a closer look......

You can see a '12th man' flag on the ceiling,
a term for all the fans of our beloved Seahawks.

A rustic table stands at the ready for eager taste testers.

My Son-in-law is a home brewer and I know he would love
this little space in his backyard.

I love the signs......

Simple gardens keep the focus on the brewing.

This little garden was my absolute favorite <3

I love the charming red potting shed, the
sweet seating area, and all the wonderful plantings.
Herbs, vegetables, flowers and trees all gathered
together in happy exuberance.

A small seating area to relax with a glass of wine,
 after a hard day of working the garden.

Pretty paving stones between raised bed planters.

Off to the side, a small bench and fencing topped with moss,
 made from recycled pallet boards. 

A surprised friend keeps company. 

I could see myself spending the whole day here :)

Here we have a beautiful and peaceful Japanese garden
featuring a simple and lovely tea-house.

An inviting picnic area off to the side beckons.....

A pretty bamboo fence, mosses and flowering trees
sets the scene. 

Put on your kimono and come enjoy a lovely spring afternoon. 

A beautiful place to re-read that amazing book, 
'Memoirs of a Geisha'. 
If you've never read it, I highly recommend it. 
It is so much better than the movie. 

This outdoor space would be perfect 
for someone who loves mid-century modern design. 

The table combines a rustic slab of wood 
with modern under-pinnings. 

The bar combines rough wood 
and a concrete counter with modern shelving. 
The large concrete pavers are very attractive.

This outdoor space combines rustic camp style
with a flea-market vibe. 
Simple wildflowers and herbs grow between 
the stones. 

Vintage camp photos......

and flea-market herb planters. 
I actually had a crock-pot just like the one on the left, years ago! 

A potting bench turned food prep table....
The mosaics on the wall are interestingly
made from stones and shells. 

Lots of rustic paving and a camp fire cooking tripod. 

The side of the 'bunk house' had more vintage photos. 
This would be a fun idea for a family reunion. 
The kids could keep busy making the mosaic 
wall hangings :)

Inside the window was a fountain 
made from 3 shower heads hanging from the arbor,
 dripping onto a bed of stones. 

Perfect for dirty little children 
and perhaps the dogs, too! :)

Lastly, I would like to show you these
delightful little garden sheds made from salvaged materials,
 that were for sale.

This one had these cute funnel hanging planters.

Would you like to look inside?

Just room enough to do a bit of potting
and tinkering.

Coffee cans were used for planters and bird houses :)

You can buy one of these delightful
 little buildings from Bob Bowling at
although you might have to live in Washington State
to get one.

There were many people crowded around......
it was hard to get photos.
This little lady reminds me so much of my Mom :)
Check out the little shelving unit with the tin roof!

Let's look inside this one.....

I like the bracketed shelving.

There were also 'Little Lending Libraries'
on posts to put in your neighborhood.
 Simply open the glass door
and take a book - or add one!

Don't you love that idea?!?

I love the tin 'cupolas' on all the roofs.

Thank you for coming along with me to the
Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

I hope this inspires you to start dreaming
of spring!


And thank you for your sweet comments
on my funky applique in my last post!

You guys are the best.
No matter what, always positive
and cheering me on :)


Today I am linking with:

Cooking and Crafting with J&J

Won't you join the fun?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Applique' and Crochet - Five on Friday

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are 
having a good Friday and looking forward
to the weekend ahead. 

I have lunch and an antiquing day 
planned on Saturday with a dear friend. 
I will be keeping my eyes open for 
all things 'Green' for St. Patrick's Day,
coming up. You know how I like to 
re-decorate my kitchen for the holidays :) 
Any holiday will do! 

An Irish holiday is a favorite, 
as both my Grandfather, and Ramblin' Man's 
came from Ireland. 

The same county, too - County Cork
We might be distant cousins......haha! 

Click on the link and you can read more about
this beautiful place. 

As you can see from my photo above, I have replaced
my glass 'coffee table' with a padded 
storage chest because of the Grand-babies. 

Ethan - 22 mos. 

Gavin - 3 mos.

That would be these two.....

Walking toddlers and glass tables do not co-exist
easily. I have filled the chest with toys :) 

You can also see the ever-present dog bed on the floor.....

And that would be for these two - the top photo 
is Kai  and the other is Whitey Bear. 
Are they on the dog bed? 
Or any dog bed? We have 3! 
No - they would rather fill my carpets with dog hair. 

They like to attack the vacuum cleaner, 
so are always giving me reasons to get it out :)

That's about the only exercise they get these days.
They are getting quite portly. 
We all need to go on a diet..... 

So let's get on with my Five on Friday

The first thing I want to show you is this 
applique' wall-hanging I made a few years ago. 

It's been folded and stored away because 
I can't seem to find a place that I like to hang it.

You can see the crease I didn't get out when I ironed it. Ooops. 

So disregarding the crease.....I have hung it 
here for now. I am thinking it might make a good pillow. 
What do you think? 
Maybe with a new border in soft green. 
Then I can put it on my green sofa. 
Or use it for my 'Irish' decorating. 
Hey, these might be Irish birds :)

A couple of 'love birds', one holds a key
to the other one's heart. 

The second applique' to show you is this 
basket of berries I made years ago.
 I had fun making this one - finding 
all the fabrics and stitching it together. 
I haunted fabric stores and thrift shops 
for snippets of fabrics in the 'discount' bin
or old clothes that I could cut up. 

I made two of these - one for my Dear Mum, 
and one for me. 

This was my inspiration......
The title page for this book....

When I was a young Mother,
trying to make ends meet, 
I would create dozens of these little applique'
stitchery's to sell at a country shop 
in the next town. 

Chickens were a favorite, but I made cows, sheep, 
pigs, ducks - you name it. This is a farming community
and they were very popular. 

This one never sold, so I kept it. 
It is actually one of my favorites. 

A kite flying over a late fall hillside. 

It hangs in my laundry-room. 

This was the inspiration in the book. 

This is another one that never sold. 

It is a little odd :) haha! 

It's supposed to be plants in a window
with the moon rising. 

This was the inspiration. 
Somehow it didn't 'translate'....

It is a conversation starter, though! 

Crafting styles come and go........ 
I have always been drawn to the 'Primitive' style
of the American pioneers. 

I love reading books about these adventurous 
founders of our country, especially the women, who threw caution 
to the wind to settle in unknown territory, 
traveling hundreds, if not thousands of miles
over wilderness with the bare essentials, 
in their quest for independence and their own land. 

I can relate.......

Fabric was a sacred commodity and every little snippet 
was saved to make quilts and other essentials. 
The creativity and desire to embellish even 
the smallest things is endlessly inspiring to me. 

The fifth and last item I would like to show you
is this little sweater that I made for Gavin at Christmas. 

This is a very easy pattern that I have used 
for the third time now. (The other two were for Ethan). 

I used this yarn. 
It's acrylic and so very soft. 
Most importantly, it is washable! 

It is made entirely in half-double crochet. 

It was one of those free patterns that you find
in the yarn section of the craft store :)

Here is the pattern in case you would like to make one. 
I may have smeared a little chocolate on it :) 

It's still a little large for Gavin, but when he fits into it, 
I will share the photo with you :) 

Well, that is my Five on Friday!

I want to thank-you for your dear visits and comments
to my humble blog. I love getting to know you a little
more each time you visit and sharing in your thoughts
and lives. We truly are 'Kindred Spirits'!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend, Dear Friends! 


Today I am linking with:

Love Made My Home - Five on Friday

Won't you join the fun?


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