Finally Cape May county got hit with a snowstorm! Usually we just get rain or a dusting when winter storms move through the region. This storm was all ours though, dumping a manageable half-foot Monday night. The snow quietly enveloped the region – from coast to farmland. Very exciting. The tide seemed to slow down just enough to allow the water to freeze under the frigid temperatures. It is almost unbelievable to see the beach in this state, isn’t it? Ryan was on feeding duty at the local alpaca farm. I tagged along to visit the animals who seemed less than impressed with the snow. Just look at their expressions!
Last week I shared our front door decor for the holidays which is relatively simple and traditional. Less seems to be more this year…
I’ve been utilizing what nature has to offer as winter approaches. We’re seeing beautiful holly, dried marsh grasses and bushy cedar beginning to take center stage. A brisk walk in the woods will provide you with enough supplies to make your very own mixed greens tree.
If you’ve read the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens, you may know where I am going with this project…
There are two very important tools that you’ll need to construct this tree: Florist wire and a tomato cage. An upside down tomato cage creates the perfect cone shape! You’ll need to find some sort of base for your tree. I used a vintage enamel pot. The handles were perfect for the tomato cage to sit on. Wire the 3 “legs” together on top to create the point of the tree form.
I started creating the tree with cedar cuttings first and followed the lateral lines of the cage, wiring each piece on as I went. Besides the top point, I wired all greens facing down (stems up) so it looked natural.
After all lateral lines are wired, it looked kind of hairy. Perseverance pays off. Keep going! I wired greens on the horizontal lines starting with the bottom first, making sure to overlap the enamel pot. Each subsequent layer covers the stems and mechanics of the previous layer.
Finally, fill in your cage so it looks like a nice, full tree. I stuck holly branches in without even wiring them. I also “decorated” the tree with dried grasses and a burlap ribbon remnant.
My DIY mixed greens tree is a little bit wild but it was fun and free to make! It took about 30 minutes to complete. And what else was I going to do with my tomato cage in December?
I have been back at milk painting holiday themed signs and boards as well…
We’ve been soaking up the changing seasons here with walks on the beach, bike rides, flower picking and wood stacking amongst our usual work. I am a bit smitten with a field of beautifully decaying sunflowers. Their great big heads full of seeds ready for sowing next year (or snacking this year).
All of the marsh grasses are in bloom showcasing a soft pink hue as the sun catches them waving in the breeze. Honeysuckle has faded on the beach dunes making way for cheerful goldenrod which has always been a favorite roadside weed. And the sunsets… phenomenal.
What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?
Oh September! How did you sneak up so quickly? Quite bittersweet. I do love fall however so I’m sure I’ll be ok. We’ve been catching some fantastic sunsets lately, a bit earlier than I’m comfortable with but they sure are stunning.
Cape May celebrated Labor Day weekend with the annual Tomato Festival. We had an impromptu tomato festival of our own at home after coming into 25 pounds of ripe, locally-grown tomatoes for a steal at a farm stand.
We made pasta sauce, roasted tomatoes, tomato polenta, tomato salad and tomato omelets. We’re a bit tomato-ed out here but we’ve got enough to last us into the winter, I think. Nothing like seasoning each dish with complementary garden fresh herbs.
I’m also enjoying our newest book that we just introduced to the inventory for harvest season. Drink the Harvest has fantastic recipes for drinks made with more of your fruits, vegetables and herbs. I think mint may be up next on the chopping block over here! The new book is available at The West End Garage.
Let me also introduce this little guy. He has a bit of a moody warmth about him…just in time for the changing season. Kind of like your favorite slouchy sweater.
I love, love, love the unique brass hardware. The bottom was painted in MMS milk paint boxwood and the rest is MMS milk paint typewriter with shutter gray peeking through. I applied antiquing wax over the typewriter to really darken the color. This nightstand is available at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.
This month has snuck up on me and it is moving way too fast. I feel both a sense of panic and a sense of relief at this point in August. Mostly just panic though. The summer days are dwindling and there are far too many things I’d like to accomplish in the next two weeks. It has been a busy summer nonetheless but there is still time to squeeze more in and try new things. Cook new things. Explore new places. Take more pictures.
Please summer, don’t go! We’re just getting acquainted…
One of my friends dove into milk painting this week. She is an experienced furniture painter but wasn’t into the notion of mixing her paint – a common objection with milk paint that can easily be overcome. Well she decided to try new things and it has really paid off for her!
Check out this beautiful washstand done in Apron Strings.
This coffee table went from mid-century to farmhouse with Mustard Seed Yellow.
This evening is the Petal Pushers floral design workshop at The Rhoads Garden in North Wales, PA. We still have a few spots open and would love to have you if you’re local. Come early so we’re sure to have a space set for you or send an email today letting us know you’ll be attending. Try something new!
Well, June is here! The weather is on the rise, the days are long, the water cool and strawberries are the pick of the moment. These things will be celebrated, as they should be, on Saturday at the annual Strawberry Festival in West Cape May. Be sure to walk across the street and visit us at the The West End Garage. You might just stumble upon a free milk paint demonstration. Will you be in Cape May this weekend?