Porch for the Fourth!

In decorating for the 4th of July I extended the decorating to include this covered porch off my kitchen. It has a very charming detailed railing, a brick floor and two brick walls with a window to the kitchen and 2 sets of french doors. The view from there is very lovely.
We begin with furniture.
After spray painting my wicker furniture black and adding their red cushions, they were ready for the porch.The wrought iron table and french folding chairs were added so breakfast could be taken there in the mornings and enjoy the view with the birds singing so close by.
Last summer I found these denim-type buntings for 75% off which I quickly snatched up. Only now did I realize they go perfectly with my chair cushions--what luck! They were attached to the center of each railing between the posts.
I was just about to give away this heavy metal chest (trunk?) in my garage when I decided to spray paint (don't we love that stuff?) it black too.Now it holds some lovely geraniums and gives a nod to greenery there. I dug out these unfired clay stars from the Christmas box to use with a candle in the center of the table.
I was inspired by some $2.00 used hotel tablecloths I came across. I cut them off the length of the posts and hemmed them for drapery panels. I think it gives the porch a genteel southern feel. The hardest part was figuring out how to attach the two end panels to the brick. In the end, thanks to a kind friend, we used short drapery rods and drapery hooks attached to the soffit above the railing.
Luminaries add to the festivities.

Last but not least, I found this charming blackboard at a consignment store and hung it on a hook that was just waiting for something to hold. It is made from on old kitchen cupboard door. This is the back side of it.
Now the porch is ready to celebrate the 4th too.
The finished porch ready for the 4th!View from below. Stay tuned for more 4th decorating--Tomorrow I will post about the buntings on the front of the house. Happy 4th!


Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...June 29, 2009

Outside my window...the wonderful songs of the birds. They awaken me around 5 each morning but I am so glad to hear their voices and know that summer is here that I don't mind at all.
I am thinking...
how easy it is to do all things with this warm weather. Easier to put on fewer clothes, go places without an umbrella or scraping snow off windows etc.etc and just loving summer.
From the learning rooms... I finally made it to the library yesterday and got 2 books and an audio book for relaxing and learning leisurely on the porch.
I am thankful for... this season of warmth and sunshine and green grass and flowers, and sprinklers and everything about the season..
From the kitchen... wonderful homemade granola and salad with lettuces from my garden.
I am wearing... finally, capris and sandals! Hallelujah!
I am reading... my new book from the library and summer magazines.
I am hoping... to squeeze every drop of summer out of the next 3 months
I am creating..a name banner for Hudson and English Crackers for the children.
I am praying...for a long and safe summer
Around the house...lots of red, white and blue for the upcoming 4th of July. Also, baby items--crib, toys and banners are making a showing in anticipation of the newest grandson and his parents coming to join the rest of our family together this weekend.
One of my favorite things... working in the garden, reading, feeling the warm breeze through open windows, watching my plants grow so quickly and summer food--watermelon, bbq'd burgers, corn on the cob.
A few plans for the rest of the week... finishing the room for Hudson and making menus for meals, grocery shopping and other preparations for company coming.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Have a wonderful Fourth of July!
Click here to read more Simple Woman's Daybook entries.


Foodie Friday

Thanks to Michael at Designs by Gollum it is Foodie Friday. I would like to share a recipe that is a new twist on an old favorite--watermelon. We always think of watermelon as a sweet, dessert-type fruit, but this recipe turns it into a salad along the lines of tossed, or pasta salads. It is easy and delicious and just in time for the 4th of July celebrations. It would be a good one to take to a picnic or pot luck dinner.Watermelon Salad
4 cups (1/2" cubes) seedless watermelon
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup finely chopped kalamata olives
1 (1/2-ounce package fresh basil, torn (or fresh from your garden if you planted it)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-light olive oil
In a large bowl, combine watermelon, cucumber, olives, and torn basil.
In a small bowl combine lime juice, lemon juice, shallot, salt, and pepper, let stand for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Pour over watermelon mixture and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight to let the flavors marinate.

Let me know what you think of this recipe.
Happy 4th of July!
For more tempting recipes click here.


Patriotic Tablescape

Today is Tablescape Thursday thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. While shopping last week I came upon such fun red, white and blue paperware. I will share with you today some casual tablesettings for the 4th of July.
This round table is set with a blue and white tablecloth and each of the four placesettings is just a little bit different. Two are set with round red placemats and the other two have red and cream ticking rectangular placemats.I love the shape of the square plates. They are all from either Target or Walmart. Colors, designs and coordinating napkins this year just called to me-I had to buy them. The cute plastic red polka dot glasses are from Crate and Barrel-given to me by a friend at Christmas but I think they look fun and happy for the 4th here. I love this flag plate with it's red napkin on top and then the cute red and white polka dot round plate. The blue knife fork and spoon stand out on the red placemat.
This placesetting is on the red and beige stripe placemats. The plain red square plate and round blue plate is set off well with the red and white stripe napkin and blue utensils.
This dark blue plate with a barn red center matches the red in the placemat and the fun checked napkin well. I tied red and white twine around a flag toothpick to place in the center of the napkin. The vintage-looking red wagon adds a bit of whimsey to the table. It could hold the salt and pepper shakers, or candies.The fourth placesetting is plain red square plate, round smaller plate with the blue and white stars napkin and again the blue utensils. It was fun mixing and matching the different colors and designs in the paper goods.
The centerpiece for this table is the tall, barefoot Miss Liberty holding her cat and a book and is a Williray Studio piece. A glass jar with a narrow neck is holding 5 small flags and 3 larger ones behind her.I found this charming set of serving bowls at Home Goods and they look adorable on the table to hold all kinds of things from condiments to fruit or vegetables. Well, I am off to hang my flag for the 4th of July. I hope you've enjoyed this patriotic table. To see more tablescapes click here.


Getting Ready for the Fourth!

Party Invitation
Everything's coming up Red, White and Blue here as preparations are being made for the 4th of July holiday. You are invited to the party. This is a cute and easy invitation a neighbor brought to me that was used for her family reunion.
It is simple to make. Here are the directions to make it:
You need 7 Popsicle sticks.Paint half of four sticks blue. When the blue paint dries, paint white or silver stars on the blue part. (These stars were made with a silver paint pen.) Of those four sticks paint the other half of two of them red, and half of two of them white. (This completes the top half of the flag)Paint one more stick red.Paint two more sticks white.( This completes the bottom half of the flag.)
Now in the spaces you can write the party info. (You can add more sticks to the bottom if you have additional information to write)
Put all the sticks in an envelope and mail your invitation. The recipient has to put it together like a puzzle to figure out the invitation information. Have fun with this one. You could use it for a family reunion, birthday party, or good ol' Fourth party. Send your's out soon just in time for the Fourth of July! Enjoy!!

Happy Father's Day

Father and Son
Today, a vocabulary lesson:
Whenever something happens for the first time it is often memorable. From Webster's Dictionary, FIRST= before any other; preceding all others .
FATHER=ancestor, forefather; one deserving the respect and love given to a father;originator;source; a male parent.
Today I pay tribute to a first-time father, with all the love, joy, hopes and responsibilities that fatherhood brings. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers everywhere, (to Ralf and Jeff, who are very wonderful fathers) and especially to first time father, Nick, father to little Hudson.
Happy Happy Father's Day!!
You will be the BEST!


All Fenced In

I posted before about my quest for a backyard fence. This is the finished product which I am thrilled about as it gives just the privacy needed. It was quick work--just 4 days to take out the existing wrought iron fence and install this privacy fence. They call it a fence, but it really turned out to be more of a wall I think.
Looking west along the wall toward the neighbor's wall.
This is looking east. I had them wrap it around the corner between the next lot just enough so people driving on the street could not see into my patio area. The following is the process that took place:
This is the view looking out from the patio to the street (the same view as the picture before). The supports for the columns have just been cemented in.
Each panel is attached to a column in one piece and weighs 6,000 lbs! So of course the forklift was an important part of the work that day. There was also a long bed truck holding all the panels.
They are maneuvered and guided into the slot on the column. This part of the process takes about 30-45 minutes per panel. I had 15 panels.
Each panel has to be cut at the bottom corner to fit onto the cement foundation of the column to which it attaches.
Each one is cut by hand (with a power saw) and this is what the air looks like during that time. I felt sorry for the poor guy cutting it and having to breathe all this in even though he wore a mask.
Lots of Men, hard hats and Many BIG trucks. This man is pouring cement for the beam inside the column.
It was a very fascinating project to watch. I am so happy with this choice and to have my backyard to myself now that all the work is finished. It has been raining ever since so I haven't been able to get my patio furniture out on the patio and really enjoy being in the backyard yet. I have all summer to look forward to that though.