Thursday, September 24, 2009


Every garden should have a quiet place to sit, listen to the birds, enjoy the breeze, watch the clouds gather....and contemplate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How To Make A Fabric Flower

The Ladies group in my church are making 300 of these fabric pins to give away at our annual Ladies Conference in Natchez Mississippi. I thought maybe you'd like to learn how to make these adorable flowers to.

Isn't it ironic that I didn't realize I took a picture of the pin in front a a picture of Low Dog an Ogalala Souix Native American. The conference is in Natchez. Natchez is named after the Natchez native Americans who were totally massacred and annihilated by the French during colonial times. I'm fascinated by Native Americans and tend to collect pictures and books about them. Oh well...

Here is a pic of the finished flower and here's how to make it...
Cut out five circles about five to six inches in diameter. You can make them all the same color or vary up the colors and fabric. Iron the circles then fold in half. Iron again. Then fold in half again to make a quarter of a circle. Iron again. Thread a needle with a fairly long piece of heavy duty thread. Tie a knot at the end.
Holding the point gather the outer edge of the quarter circle petal and sew several gathers from one end to the other about 1/8 th an inch from the edge. Then pull the petal to the bottom of the thread by the knot. Do the same to the rest of the petals.
When all of the petals are on the thread. Cinch them as tight as possible then begin sewing through all the petals again to make a complete circle of petals. Next sew several stitches across the center to tighten it up.
Pass the needle through the center and sew several stitches across to tighten up the back. It's important to stay close to the center. This allows the button center to completely cover the stitches.
Here's what it looks like. Next sew the button center on to the front and a bar pin if you so desire to the back. Excuse my not so professional stitches!
Then pin onto a sweater, jacket, purse, curtains, pillows,....I have also made these for my little girls to wear in their hair. I plan to make a garland of them in aqua blue and green for Christmas decor this year. It's a perfect way to use up all those little scraps you may have left from projects. I think the unmatched ones are charming.
If you decide to make one I'd love for you to send me a pic. If I get enough maybe I can post them all with a link to your blog. kbrivero at bellsouth dot net.
Here is another tutorial on how to make this flower Pink Paper Peppermints.
O.K. FPC Ladies only 250 more to go!
On a side. Here is my inadvertent fruit fly trap. Fruit flies are epidemic here and I hate spraying poisons. I noticed they loved the peach peelings in my compost bucket. So I put a bunch in the bottom of a tall coffee can. Every so often I throw a dish towel over the can, go outside, and release all the trapped flies. Most are gone now! A few more times and I think I'll be rid them. I like to save these cans and their lids for when someone gets sick around the house. They can loose their cookies in it, then I just top it and toss it. It saves a lot of cleaning.

Friday, September 18, 2009


A view of the garden from the pecan tree bench.

Color has fascinated me since the time at a young age I resisted the urge to squish all my big sister's acrylics from their tube prisons. Oh what a joy it would have been to watch all that luscious color squirm to freedom and smash and smear itself over every surface in the way. I had to content myself with perching as close as I could and watching my sister paint.
Colorful zinnias find their way to my garden every year. Either I plant them or they reseed. Fresh cut bundles of them allow me to enjoy their vibrant colors all the long summer long! Their color and other aspects of my garden provide the inspiration for most of my decor.

I love the way my house feels like an extension or just another part of my garden. I painted my coffee table myself several years ago and haven't tired of it yet. Nor do I ever expect to. Simply because it is inspired by those things I love.
Here's another view. As you can see, I am not afraid of, but embrace color. Love it!

This is my next project. My chair has little holes on the corners and is quite dingy. I've kept it covered with the green blanket draped across the back. So....I'm going to try my hand at something....(oh yeah, the painting behind the chair is by my sister Teri Borison, it's one of her senior thesis paintings, but still one of my favs. Glad I got it when I did. I can't afford her stuff anymore!)...I'm going to try...upholstry...yep upholstery. It doesn't look that difficult...we'll see!
I found this sturdy fabric in all the colors I love at the back of this wonderful fabric store called Fabrix. They sell a huge variety of home fabrics. It's just a delight to walk through the store and bask in all the textures and colors. It was only $5.00 a yard. Originally it was much more...I just don't remember exactly how much more, but a lot. So if everything works out I will have a "new" chair for under $30.00! Exciting....I'll let you know success or failure.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This past week and a half has been spent taking care of Byron, Seleste, and Talia. All three caught what we're pretty certain is the swine flu. They all have mostly recovered and are dealing with the residual effects...stuffy nose, cough and congestion.

Talia is extremely slender and has a high metabolism. I was very worried about her dehydrating, but she even pulled through fine with her skinny little self.

Seleste suffered in resigned silence, but not Talia. On the first day she loudly moaned continuously. When my frayed nerves took as much as they could, I asked her not too politely to please please stop the continual moaning. She informed me vehemently that, "I'm sick! What else do you want me to do!" Argggh! Talia will not suffer in silence. If she's sick you can bet everyone will know! In another week I hope this will all be a memory.

Leaving the house was mostly impossible during that time. In between washing sheets, mopping and cleaning up, I managed to get some of my ironing done. It now costs $2.95 at our local cleaners to have my husbands shirts laundered, so I quit bringing them and do them myself. One more way to trim costs.

I think they come out just as well if not better.
I tried my hand at french bread. Here it is rising....
and delicious with homemade pumpkin pie pear butter. Better than chicken soup.
As if to agree with my mood it has rained continually.....
for days and days....So I decided to clean the rain.
While pruning my lorepetalum bushes...I was stung six times by wasps before I escaped ...which landed me in the emergency room...with sick kids in tow....Thankfully...we're all better now!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Around The House And Garrdens - Melons

Early Silver Line Oriental Melon Ripening
A very tiny watermelon.
Charentais Melon Blossoms
An almost ready Charentais Melon
Wear big T-shirts in the garden. They make a great garden gathering basket! These are the seven Silver Line Melons I harvested today. That's not counting the three insect damaged ones I gave to the chickens.
The bush green beans planted a few weeks ago are doing nicely.
A success story. Below are the purple hull peas I planted. I planted them with seeds I saved from last year. From the looks of it every single one sprouted. Who hoo!
Monarch butterfly and caterpillar on its host plant in the garden Milkweed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Canning Pears and Making Pear Vinegar

Yesterday was the first of a series of canning parties I'm having this week. Maw Maw Martin, Maw Maw Rivero, Auntie Ginger, babies, and myself made the tiniest of dents in my bumper crop of pears. Parties are always more fun than slaving over a hot stove by yourself.

Maybe I can entice everyone to come out again with the promise of a pantry full of pumpkin pie pear butter, pear jam and pear preserves! The trees are still dripping with fruit. Enough for all of us and plenty left over to share with the chickens and wildlife.

Here's a picture of our day's worth of canning. I think we'll go a lot faster next time since we've worked out the kinks.

The reddish jars are pear jam. The yellow jars are pear preserves, and the brownish jars are pumpkin pie pear butter. This is the natural color they turned when cooked in each manner. Very very pretty. Byron is making me a canning pantry at the end of a small hall. The doors are going to be framed and stretched with chicken wire. All of our hard work is going to be so colorful and pretty peeking out of the wire. Come on Byron, get a move on I can't wait!

Here's another pic. I just love looking at them. I'm tired, but happy. There's so much satisfaction in doing this myself.
Here is a pic of the vinegar I am trying to make from some of the pear cores and peelings. The 1999 Countryside Magazine Anthology my sister Terri bought me had several directions for making vinegar.

I decided to try this simple one. You basically cover organic washed pear peelings and cores with water in a glass jar or stone crock (do not use metal), cover with cheesecloth, add fresh peelings occasionally and wait. In 4 to 6 months you should have vinegar. This concoction is already beginning to smell like apple cider vinegar. I'll let you know how it turns out.

The following recipe is out of site with biscuits and butter. I tasted some apple butter once that I really liked. It tasted like it had pumpkin pie seasonings in it, so I devised this recipe in an attempt to mimic it. I do believe I like my own better!

Pumpkin Pie Pear Butter (should make about 4 pints)

6 to 7 pounds of pears peeled cored and chopped in chunks
4 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice (I buy it already mixed from McCormick)
1/3 cup of lemon juice (I use fresh)
1/2 cup of water

Food processor (the hand way of pushing the pears through a sieve doesn't appeal to me)

Put pears and water in large pot simmer until pears are soft. Remove pears from stove. Pulverize pear in food processor until it is the consistency of apple sauce.

Return pear sauce to pot. Add sugar, lemon juice and pumpkin pie spice. Cook while stirring occasionally until sauce mounds on spoon. (takes a while)
Fill prepared jars with butter leaving 1/4 inch head space. Cap, band and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

So unbelievably yummy.