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Summer Journal: Seven Bridges

The girls and I spent the morning at a wonderful park/beach called Seven Bridges. It's a magical place where you are climbing lannon stone stairs (built by the CCC in the 1930s) in a forest which opens up to a beautiful Lake Michigan beach nestled in the bluffs. I love the harmony brought by the crashing waves and endless horizon.


On the Lake

My mother lives on a recreational lake in northeastern Wisconsin. This year, there is very little (almost no, really) snow up there. The lake has frozen with just a dusting of snow. The kids have never seen it like this, being able to walk on it without dredging through deep snow. Someone cleared an area and a path for skating, too. Except we don't have skates, so the kids just slide around. 


I Made A Wreath!

I had not an extra penny to buy a nice evergreen wreath this year. Nor the extra time to make one of those pretty yarn-wrapped ones (and anyway, I have a wire frame rather than a Styrofoam one. And see the thing about no extra pennies). So I took all those vintage-y thing-ies that I use to decorate my evergreen wreaths and my mini Christmas tree and I wired them directly to the wire frame. And, voila, a pretty wreath! Well, I like it anyway. It's very vibrant from the street against our white home. And maybe it took almost as much time as a yarn-wrapped one would have, except there's no fussiness here. And no glue gun. It's a carefully planned look that allows for imperfection. If that makes sense.

Baby Shower Decorations

A quick look at the decorations I made for my sister's baby shower. (We had a cloudy day, so the lighting wasn't great for the pictures.) I made the rosettes following this tutorial by Trasient Expression (found via Elsie Marley), the flag bunting was inspired by 10 Ways to Make a Garland by A Beautiful Mess, and the puff balls were made by following this tutorial by Martha Stewart (she calls them tissue paper pom poms).

Beach Inspiration

Finding inspiration from a day at the beach. Quite possibly the best thing about being at the beach is that there's nothing to do but what is in front of you. Sand or water. Maybe a snack. That's it. And it is so engrossing that all other thoughts are pushed away for that duration of time. 


A Stroll Through The Gardens (Early Summer)

Welcome to my gardens. This post is where I pretend as though I have a grand country estate but, in reality, I live on a small city lot in an inner ring suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Which is just as well, since these gardens are really almost more than I can handle.

Anyway, let's get started, shall we?

This garden was created by transplants from my grandmother's perennial gardens. When we moved into this house there were no plants other than grass (and a large, old tree). I don't know if the previous owners removed their flowers before putting the house on the market, but I think they just didn't like to take care of plants and didn't have any.

So I took what I could get to fill in the weed-filled beds. My grandmother's flower gardens were mostly yellow and white so mine are as well. And, really, if she hadn't chosen the color scheme for me I might well still be mired in indecision. What started as a few daisies and what she called "Spikes", (she also called the daisies and feverfew "weed-like" and I can see why), but they filled the beds nicely and I add more plants when I have the money and energy (there's a clump of yet-to-bloom tiger lilies mixed in here).

The daisies look nice at this time of the year, but sometimes... they turn black. The stems and the flowers. And I have to cut them all back. I don't remember this happening to my grandmother's garden. If you have any remedies or recommendations, please do share.

Yarrow, one of my very favorite plants. I've moved with it, transplanted it twenty times and it still comes back strong and big, year after year.


On to the raised vegetable beds. Here we see the lovely peas poking through the surface. The beans are not fairing as well, it appears the rabbits may be selective eaters. (See that lettuce in the background? It came up all by it little ol' self!)


Radishes! May have to give some of these away as I'm the only one in the house who really likes them. (They are particularly delicious on tacos and tostadas and the like.) Carrots are coming up here, too, but because they mature after the radishes are harvested, they share a space.

The old guard zucchini plant in its third or fourth year. A faithful and generous provider.

Marigolds, a good friend to vegetables.

Pumpkin plants in their infancy. Quite possibly my favorite plant to grow. But after chasing them around the yard for years, I came up with an ingenious spot for a pumpkin patch in my tiny yard.

The spot between our garage and our neighbor's garage next to the alley. It has perfect southern exposure right between the two buildings. They can sprawl out and I don't have to worry about getting in there to do much weeding because after the plants get big they shade out most weeds. It's a bit of a pain to water, though it only needs it when the plants are small.


Strawberries in pots. I dug them out of the raised bed for being space hogs.



The full-sun bed on the side of the house. It's a bit sparse and I'm constantly adding plants to fill it out. I'm going with pinks, purples and blues here. My goal is for it to look like the beautiful, old flower garden borders that line old homes in Chicago's city neighborhoods.



A few flowers from the front part shade / part sun beds and pots. Here, cool blues, purples and pinks are the palette.


Ah, peonies, I never tire of thee. Oh, you don't either? Well, to finish out the tour, here are a few more:




Hi there, this is where I post about non-sewing related topics, like thrifting, cooking and kids :)