Friday, March 30, 2012

Kandinsky Inspired Planter

I have several square terra cotta  planters that I wanted to do something with and decided that since I love the style of Kandinsky, I would just do a planter with the Kandinsky concentric circles. It was a fun project and I think it adds a great POP of color.
First I painted a base coat of color, then measured my pot to see how large each section needed to be and marked a grid so that I would stay within the area. 

Then painted..painted...painted till I had all the area filled in.

Here it is....
What do you think?
Transformations from the Heart

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Loquat Tree~A new home for it

Remember yesterdays post about my Mint saga that I've had going on for three years. Well, today I wanted to share what we did with the area. A Loquat tree has been planted in the circle area beside our walkway. I love Loquat trees. They're great evergreen trees and the fruit that you get from them has a nice sweet flavor. It's a mixture of mango, peach and citrus. 
My teenage son helped to do a lot of the heavy work on this project.


We have several Loquat trees in our front yard. They're a fairly fast growing ornamental tree. I know that I'll have to keep the new one that we planted trimmed so that it doesn't get too big. But I think that it's going to look great once it is established and has a few more branches to it. 

Here's what the fruit of the tree looks like now. We will get to pick it in May. The trees start to fruit in October with a little white flower then turns into a greenish fuzzy ball but turns into a yellow/orange color when its picking time.
Our trees are loaded with Loquats.


I really like how the area has turned out. Here's crossing my fingers and toes that the mint doesn't grow back. Hey, a girl can wish can't she.

Sharing with:


From the Heart,
Jana

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mint~The Herb That Takes Over~



This is the view of my mint that I've desperately tried to get rid of for the last 3 years. You see, I had an herb garden here a couple of years ago but after a frost I'd lost my Rosemary plants and then decided that I would just do away with this area for herbs and put in a quaint little flower bed in since it is right off the walkway that leads up to the door of our home. I pulled all the mint out thinking that would do the trick, and planted some cute flowers, but it grew back thick and lovely choking out all my flowers and killing them. The next time, I took our little tiller and tilled the soil until it was soft and powdery thinking for sure that would do the trick. Nope~ Nada~ No-way. It grew back again. So, I thought maybe it just needs to be tilled again so that's what I did. Now, do you see the picture. YEP~that is mint again choking out my flowers as it grows. I've already cleared out about half the mint before taking the photo. You just can't kill the stuff. Not that I have a thing against growing mint, I love mint. It smells wonderful. I just want it to grow where I want it to not where it is now.

So today, I pulled ALL the mint out again. I did save about 5 sprigs in pots just to keep the little beast contained. Now this time, I've laid a weed barrier and then covered with about 5 inches of mulch. Do I think that that did the trick, I doubt it. Maybe I should have gone with 10 inches.

The reason I'm posting all of this is because I'm seeing so many people planting herbs now that Spring has hit and I just want to warn you. Don't plant mint just anywhere. Plant it where you won't mind it taking over. And I mean taking over. This stuff grows and grows and spreads and spreads to where it is a nightmare! Better yet, just plant it in a container, you'll be happy you did.

For now, I'll bask in the glory of all the mint pulled out but I'm sure it still growing underneath all my weed barrier and mulch just lurking in the nice dark soil. Instead of flowers, this time I've planted a Loquat tree in their place. If the mint does grow back maybe it won't choke my tree to death. We shall see.

Remember, Mint.... it's the herb to think long and strong about where you want it to grow. You've been warned. Now I feel much better.

From the Heart,
Jana

Yeast Dinner Rolls~Oh the smell & taste

Do you love a great yeast roll like I do? Love the smell of fresh baked bread? Then you gonna love these rolls. They are a favorite here when ever time permits since they take 2 1/2 hrs from start to finish. For these rolls I use an Oster bread machine for the mixing/kneading/rising time. The extra time is well worth it in the end though. Simply delicious~light and airy rolls.

You will need:
1 cup warm water
2 Tbs. butter
1 egg
3 1/4 cups Gold Better for Bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tsp. regular active dry yeast or 3 Tsp. bread machine yeast.

Directions~Place ingredients in bread machine pan in order listed. Select the Dough/Pasta cycle. In my machine it takes 1 1/2 hrs for this stage.
After first stage in the machine. Grease muffin tins and separate dough into equal pieces. Place in tins, brush lightly with melted butter then cover in a warm area for 45 minutes. Then bake for 15 minutes in 350 degree oven. Brush with melted butter after removing from the oven.

That's it~very simple to do. They just take a bit of time. If you want a quick dinner biscuit I posted a recipe for them here.

After putting in muffin tins lightly brush with butter and cover to rise
 After they have risen for 45 minutes
 Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

I hope you enjoy. :0)


Sharing with:
Wow Us Wednesday
Show and Tell with Mrs. Hines
Carolyns Home Work
It's a Keeper Thursday
Full Plate Thursday

 

From the Heart,
Jana


Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday morning

Good Monday morning all.

I hope that you had a great weekend. The weather was wonderful the past two days so my family and I were able to enjoy the whole weekend outside. My favorite place to be. The temps were in the low 80's, just beautiful! It is certainly my favorite time of year.


I was able to get a lot of my plants transplanted into larger pots and hanging baskets to go into the pavilion. I made a huge dent in getting all the plants from my greenhouse out. My cucumber plants were taken over the greenhouse~they were attaching themselves to everything...but with the low temps we've been having at nights it was just too soon to put them outdoors. I made the plunge yesterday and put them out also. I'm hoping that they survive now.

 
I wanted to take a picture of the Carolina Jasmine before it lost all of its blooms. Just a few left to enjoy the sweet smell of until next year.


I hope you had a great weekend also and was able to do something that you enjoy.

From the Heart,
Jana

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kirkland's Giveaway~From a fellow blogger

I love to shop at Kirkland's and I love a free giveaway.  Kim at Savvy Southern Style is hosting a give-away for $50.00 in merchandise from Kirkland's. Hop on over to her blog to enter and a chance to win.


While browsing/dreaming of what I would pick out if I won. I came across so many items. Their store has so much to offer. I am so lucky to have a Kirkland's in the town that I live, so I get to visit it often.


I really like the new Flower and Rose vases that they have. Aren't they just too cute!



Photos are from Kirkland's

Hurry on over to Kim's blog for rules on how to enter this fabulous giveaway.


From the Heart,
Jana

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Copper bed warmer~before & after

Recently I was at an antique shop browsing around. Don't you just love to go looking through all the antiques? Anyway, just before I was about to leave I seen an old pie case with the bottom door about half way open. That's when I spotted the bed warmer. At first I didn't have a clue what it was, until I read the tag that is. I just knew I had to have it when I found out it was a bed warmer. I had read about them in story books to my children when they were younger and thought it would be so neat to have one. It was my splurge of the day. I spent $89.00 plus tax. I didn't even care if it was a good deal or not because I'd never seen one in my life and probably never will again. 
I would love to know who's feet or bed this thing has warmed. Oh, the stories it could probably tell. And where did it get it dents from. Some little old woman dropping it because it was too hot to hold or maybe some wife throwing it at her husband for some unknown reason. Who knows...I think the dents in it give it character.

Here it is before cleaning it up. It looks like a giant flat potato to me.


First I started with using Brasso but quickly decided that was taking too long. Then my hubby mentioned why not use the buffing machine he has in his shop. Wow, that machine really does a good job and I must say a whole lot quicker than rubbing by hand. It has a buffing wheel that spins and you have to coat the cotton wheel with a grease/wax stick to make a nice polished finish on your item. I had to take off the side bars to be able to hold the warmer just right for it to buff the curves. You have to use a wax stick, ours had a reddish color. I did learn one thing. Next time I decide to buff copper I'll wear something to cover my face and hair. I would post a picture of my face but don't want you to spit out whatever your drinking onto your computer screen due to uncontrollable hysterical laughter . Just picture a fair skinned girl that was just given an instant reddish tan and a new hair color. ha`ha. I will admit that I did wear googles to protect my eyes. Are you picturing me yet?? Yes, it was a sight to see. Little did I know until I looked in the mirror that the wax sticks to people! Live and learn....

Polishing wheel

Waxy grease stick (note color~rusty red)

Here's a picture of it all polished. Looks much shinier!

I adore my old/new little bed warmer. I've even tried it out and it works like a charm to warm your feet.
It's the little things that make me happy! How about you? What little insignificant item brings you joy?

Linking up with:
Open House Party
Mrs Hines Class 
Happy Hour Projects
Potpourri Friday 2805
Get Schooled Saturday
French Country Cottage

From the Heart,
Jana

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung...a leak that is

Today is the first day of Spring. The day I so look forward to, it's the time of the year that I absolutely love. Where it's not too cold or too hot outdoors. I  look forward to my time working playing outside every spare minute that I have. To beautify the yard, to plant new seeds and seedlings, to put together new designs in the yard and yes, even pull weeds.

 Here's my little face guy. At least he's smiling,
Probably cause the rain has washed the pollen off his smiling self.



But, alas today will not be the day that I will do any of my favorite spring time duties because it has rained and rained and rained A L L day long. I'll just have to take today as a time to plan for when the yard is a bit drier. I have plans for a new herb garden over in the corner of our backyard that I am anxious to start to work on. But until then, I will just enjoy our liquid sunshine.

Hope your enjoying your first day of spring. :0)


From the Heart,
Jana

Monday, March 19, 2012

Horseradish~Digging it up & preparing

There's nothing better to me than a great horseradish sauce, especially when you make up a steak sauce that you put fresh horseradish in. I love growing it because it's one of those plants that you just plant~remember to water occasionally and just let it be. You don't have to baby this plant...it just grows!



When its time to harvest, you just dig it up. It must be dug up because it can not be pulled up since it is tubers.


The first time I made horseradish sauce, I searched high and low on the internet looking for what to do. It's really very simple.
Here is what you will need:
10" piece of horseradish
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
Pinch of salt
Utensils~Knife, potato peeler, food processor.



Dig up about a 10" piece of horseradish, take off the leaves and wash your tuber. Then peel with a potato peeler, then cut up into small pieces. Put into food processor and add water. Process it unto ground up. (Be careful when removing lid as horseradish is very potent and will burn your eyes and sinus's. Keep face away when removing lid). I made our batch outside so not to breathe the fumes to bad or smell up the house. After it is ground add the vinegar and puree to combine. That's it~remove your freshly made horseradish sauce and put into a jar. Can store in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
Note: I always do more than 1 10" piece of horseradish, then double or triple recipe accordingly.



I like to take the sauce and combine it with mayo, cream cheese, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce to make a great tasting steak sauce, Yum-mo! I don't have a recipe for this, its just something that I whip up. I do about equal amounts of cream cheese and sour cream, 1 Tbsp or so of mayo, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce and a couple of Tbsp of horseradish sauce. Stir it all to combine.

If you haven't tried growing horseradish you should give it a try. Very simple to do and the flavor is great to add to many dishes. 

I'm linking this up at:
Carolyns Home Work
Wow Us Wednesday
Transformation Thursday
Inspiration Friday  


From the Heart,

Jana

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

It's not just for dipping chips in! I put this wonderful concoction on a multitude of edible dishes. Love to scramble up an omelet with cheese, then top it off with some freshly made Pico de Gallo. Or how about grilled chicken breast with melted provolone cheese, then top it with the fresh goodness. Burritos and cheese enchiladas are also a good choice to add it to. 

It's quick to whip up a batch. And with spring time just around the corner, it's very doable to grow all the ingredients in your own garden. I do, well except for the salt that is.


First I chopped 4 large tomatoes
 Then chopped the onion.
 Then added 1 jalapeno pepper chopped finely,(sometimes I add more depending on how spicy I want it) some fresh cilantro finely chopped, and the juice of 3 small limes, then salt to taste.

I usually keep this made up most of the spring and summer time. My family loves it! Hope you enjoy. :0)

I'm linking this to:
Metamorphosis Monday
Show Me What Ya Got 


From the Heart,


Jana

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Romancing the Stone

Transformations From the Heart




I think these just turned out adorable. I can see them in a variety of different ways. Maybe just laying in a dish on a dresser or side table, or placed in a cute little potted plant. I can even imagine them attached to a bolt for door knobs or drawer pulls. Not sure exactly what I will do with them but today I just placed them in a little dish with a votive. Charming or romantic, they turned out just the way I'd hoped.
One day I will have my little shabby chic~quiet room and these little beauties will be in there. Yes, I'm a girl who plans ahead. Call it planning or dreaming~but my little room is looking charming and inviting in my thoughts.


They started off as regular little stones you purchase by the bag at Hobby Lobby for $2.99, added a couple of coats of paint, then added water-slide decals and then put a couple of coats of sealer on top to seal them.


        What the stones started out as.
Blah...dull...boring... 



Transformation!
These stones have been romanticized... 
Transformations From the Heart

It's the little things that make a big difference. Simple project though I really enjoyed my time while doing it.

I'm linking this up at the following~Come join the parties and see what everyone is doing.
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday  Coastal Charm 
Wow Us Wednesday Savvy Southern Style
Transformation Thursday Shabby Creek Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday French County Cottage
Potpourri Party 2805
DIY Project Parade Diyshowoff
The House in Roses
Todays Creative Blog
Carolynshomework 
No Minimalist Here 
reFreshStyle 
Happy Hour Projects Free Style Friday
Funky Junk Interiors 
Show and Tell Saturday
Terrific Tuesday
Centsational Girl 
Thirfty Decor Chick

From the Heart,


Jana

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Strawberry Butter

I made up a batch of Strawberry Butter this weekend in anticipation of all the strawberry plants that I transplanted last week.  My oh my, it is delicious! We had it on homemade waffles. I couldn't help but to snap a few pictures.

Whipping up a batch is easy.
Start with 2 sticks of REAL BUTTER softened (cue Paula Deen voice here)
1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whip those two ingredients in mixer till fluffy.
Then add a handful or two of chopped strawberries. Mix but don't beat it too much. (you can add other fruits if you like, blueberries are good too)
Put into your butter dish and pop in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 



Hope you enjoy,

I'm linking this up at the following:
Skip to my Lou 
Tatertotsandjello 
Mrs. Hines Class 
Metamorphosis Monday
Wow Us Wednesday Savvy Southern Style
This Chick Cooks
Dolly Is Cooking Hibiscus House
2805 Potpourri Friday 
French County Cottage
A bowl full of Lemons


From the Heart,


Jana

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sneak peek of project in progress

I purchased two end tables a couple of weeks ago from a salvage yard and have been working on them off and on getting them sanded down. Let me tell you, sanding the little grooves in the curves of the legs isn't so easy to do. That paint is really stuck! 

Anyway, I'm still trying to decide what color to paint them. I originally was thinking about putting them in the living room, but the hubby surprised me with a trip to the furniture store for our anniversary where we picked out new tables, lamps and a couple of other pieces of furniture. Now I'm just not sure where I'll put the tables.  


I've had a dream of doing one of the bedrooms (that is when it becomes a spare bedroom) in shabby chic decor. So, I'm thinking I will do them a very light pastel green and white, or maybe a light pink and white mix. What ya think?


Time will tell~I'll have to get back to ya'll when I do finish them. The re-do will have to wait a couple of days since we have rain in the forecast for the next four days.


Until then, here's a sneak peek of the work in progress so far.
Not a pretty sight~hoping to make them very charming in the end though.
 



From the Heart,


Jana

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Refrigerator Biscuits

Disclaimer: If you found your way here through French Country Cottage-No, the name of my item is not Jana. I blame it on being interrupted while posting :0). Yes, I feel like a ding-bat at the moment. Please do enjoy the Refrigerator Biscuit recipe.
 
Who doesn't love yummy warm biscuits right out of the oven, especially if they are great tasting and easy to make. These refrigerator biscuits are soooo easy to make and keep in the fridge all the time for when you don't have the time to make one that have to rise for hours on end. Who has that kind of time in the mornings?

Who has to know that you didn't slave away making homemade biscuits early in the morning. Just pull your batch out of your refrigerator, throw how many you want into a pan. let rise for 1 hour, then bake in the oven. 
I make these for dinner a lot too. Also when I make up a batch, I always do a double batch. Yes, they are that good!

You can add herbs or cheese to these too. Just play around. I like to take melted butter, add some honey and brush the tops right after pulling them from the oven. YUMMY! 




I got this recipe years ago but don't know who to credit it to, but they sure deserve a lot of credit that is for sure!

Here is what you need and what to do:
4-41/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar 
1 tsp. salt
2 pkg. or 2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 cup very warm water
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
3 beaten eggs
 In a bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Blend well.
Add warm water, butter and beaten eggs.
Blend at a low speed until well mixed, continue beating for two minutes.
Stir in remaining flour by hand until you have a stiff dough.
Cover dough with a plastic wrap a refrigerate for a minimum of two hour up to 4 days.
Lightly grease two 8-9" pans. Divide dough into 12 rolls for each pan. Brush with 1 tbsp. of melted butter.
Cover and rise for one hour.
Bake in a preheated oven @ 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


I'm linking this up at the following:
At The Picket Fence  "My entry to At The Picket Fence's Inspiration Friday sponsored by Appliances Online and the Beko Fridge Freezers"
French Country Cottage Feathered Nest Friday
2805 Potpourri Party
 The Shabby Creek Cottage Transformation Thursday

From the Heart,

Jana
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shredded roast tacos-Crockpot recipe

These are the most wonderful tacos that I've ever eaten! 


I love it when I find a recipe that is super easy to prepare and great tasting. That's what these tacos are.

Here is what you will need.
1 4lb-5lb beef roast
1/4-1/2 cup taco seasoning (we like more flavoring so I add 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups salsa
and your crock-pot, of course.



















Place your roast in the crock-pot then add your seasoning then pour over the salsa. 



Put lid on the pot, turn on for 5 1/2 hours on high. After roast is done, remove it and shred the meat with a fork and then place back in the crock-pot for 30 minutes to get all the juices incorporated back into the meat.

That's it-easy peezy! Add to your shells, lettuce, tomato and cheese.



They are DELICIOUS! Enjoy :0)

I'm linking this to Wow Us Wednesdays over at Savvy Southern Style



From the Heart,


Jana

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

~Old Window Frames~what to do-what to do?

Oh, look what I picked up the other day. It's a DIY'ers dream. A boat-load of old window frames. Don't you just love them? I have so many projects in mind for them but don't know what project I want to do first. That's probably the ADHD in me.


We purchase some of the old window frames when we were building our pavilion in the back yard by the pool. We wanted the pavilion to look rustic and inviting. I think that we did a good job. I'll share photos of it sometime within the next week.


Now I have about 20 new/old frames just for craft projects. Anyone what to help me decide what to do with them? I'm really liking some of the ideas below that I ran across on the net.

                              (These are from Caroline of Gardenweb that she put around her pool)

This cute little greenhouse is made by Linda Smith of The Blue Gate. Check her other stuff out on the net. She does some beautiful work.

For sure I'll be making one or maybe even a couple of these.
                                                (Jennifer from here posted this photo.

I'll get back soon with what I've decided to do first. 

Stay tune for pictures of our pavilion where we used several old window frames.
If anyone has some great ideas using frames, I would love for you to drop me a note.

From the Heart,

Jana


Monday, March 5, 2012

Planting some veggies and fruits

I've been MIA for that last several weeks. That doesn't mean that I've been sitting around not doing a thing, I've been quite busy. Planting season in upon us, so I've been busy with that. The weather has been great the last couple of days, it's hard to keep me in the house when it's so beautiful out.

I've been busy planting seeds, transplanting plants and generally getting the outside in better condition. Raking leaves and pulling weeds. I just love it!
Lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower are in the ground. Looking good so far.


Got 72 strawberry plants planted in some loamy soil. We love strawberries around here, so we're looking forward to these producing us some little juicy jewels.  

Also got a couple of hundred tomato seeds planted in the greenhouse. Waiting for those little babies to come up. Will post photos when they do.

I love working outside-it's one of my favorite things to do. How about you, are you getting ready for spring planting?

From the Heart,


Jana