Important Announcement

All Norah'S Art, my Ning classroom network will be closing July 29, 2015.

Registration for the classes will end on Monday June 29, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Welcome to the Garden Palace

Come on in the Backdoor to the Morning Glory Garden Room.


Welcome!


I finished this repurposed cabinet door shelf unit about three months ago.
And I was determined not to show until I had it installed which was something I could not do without help.
Dear sweet son came to the rescue yesterday.
Oh my, it was hotter than heck but we managed to get this on the wall, as well as, a couple of other projects. 



I'm not sure how successful I was but I was trying to echo some of the mosaic design in the art. 



This cabinet door matches the mosaic table top.


Snuff jar vases for wildflowers.
Perfect!


I have a bunch of them and they were my Grannie's.
Sweet memories. 
My love of flowers comes straight from my Grannie.


The wildflowers are rudbeckia, native lantana, widow's tears day flower, and partridge pea.




I just have to say one thing.
If you came for a visit to the Garden Palace now, you would not have to try to imagine my vision.
It shows now and thrills me to no end.

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Registration to all of my classes will end Monday June 29th.
Access to the classes will end July 29th.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

My New Herb Garden


With another blogger's recommendation, I headed to Amazon to check out a book about growing herbs. 
I have always been interested in growing herbs; however, my only success so far has been with mints and basil.
I was not real happy with the recommended book contents.
That was OK because I found this one instead. 
Oh my!
I knew this one was for me.
Anything you have ever wanted to know about growing herbs will be found in this book, Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung. 
The tag line for this book is, "A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs".

No lie. 
It's true.
This is the best gardening book I have ever had in my hands. 
I can spend hours and hours trying to devour it. 
There are wonderful pictures of all the herbs.
Within ten chapters she covers things like: growing and using; selecting plants and designing a garden; soil secrets; propagation; maintenance; pest and disease; harvesting; herbal preparations for medicine and personal care; cooking; and herb personalities. 



The charts scattered through the pages are my favorite feature.
At a glance you can discover:
Plant Habitat Preferences
Plant Characteristics and Requirements
Planning A Theme Garden
Propagation At A Glance
A Guide to Beneficial Insects
Harvesting Guidelines
Edible Flowers At A Glance
Plant Name Cross-Reference




I got real excited when I discovered the theme garden chart.
I am particularly interested in collecting as many of the "tea" herbs as I can find. 


I buy bulk hibiscus and generally make a large pitcher of it. 
This week, I decided to make a small pot of hibiscus tea.
I used stevia, spearmint, lemon balm and hibiscus.


When I make a large pitcher, I also add the juice of one lime. 


My new herb garden is conviently right at my backdoor.
The window in the above picture is my kitchen. 

The garden is still a work in progress as I am fighting bermuda grass and nut sedge. 
And the only way to get rid of it is to keep digging it out. 
I plan to eventually mulch this with a gravel.
Even though my gardening progress is slow, I'm still enjoying stepping out the door at dinner time to fetch a herb or two.

For example,Tuesday evening just as I was preparing talipia for the oven, I stepped out and snipped some Mexican tarragon, rosemary, and parsley.   

Mexican (also called Texas) Tarragon, Tagetes lucida

Pineapple Sage

So far, I have 25 different herbs. 
When I first started buying them I went with a list of what I hoped to find. 
Soon I realized if the garden centers had it, I wanted it.

You may have noticed that many of my herbs are in containers. 
Many herbs require good drainage and not so much water. Containers are my version of raised beds to accomodate this habitat preference.

I haven't sampled all of them yet but so far, I have enjoyed what I have used. 

The most important recommendation I could make is; if at all possible, make your herb garden right at your back door. 

And you will not be disappointed in the book. 
Promise.




Monday, June 15, 2015

Face Lift with paint





Remember the pitiful little drop leaf on the project list?



I transformed it with bright Garden Palace colors. 


But wait, there is more.


Inspired by this one found on Pinterest which was made with two coat hangers, I gave it a try several months ago. 


When I finished painting the table this week, I suddenly realized that I would never want to place anything on the table and cover it up.
While contemplating that dilemma, I remembered the little unfinished birdcage. 


All I needed to do was add a birdie swing and some ribbons.


There you go. 
A Garden Palace Bird Cage.


And a beautiful little table with a face lift. 
I wish my Auntie Boo could see it now. 
I think she would love it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Zackary Graduated


I can't believe it has already been a week since we attended our grandson, Zackary's graduation in Round Rock.
That's my boy and his boy smiling about the whole thing. 
We are so proud of this handsome father and son.




Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Cab Project



In the parlor rose garden.
Did I ever tell you that each room of my tiny house has a flower garden?
Maybe you noticed. 


 Hereis the "before" of this little homemade cabinet. 
You can't tell here but it was falling apart and before painting it I had to glue it back together. 


I used chalk paint with dark wax.
And you might notice that I changed the knobs. 

This little cabinet was on the project by project post here in April and I am making a bit of headway. 
Getting the mirror hung and the small framed print above it count as projects too. 

dang ladder


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Table Update and Jelly Cabinet


I finished the table top and I do love it.
Amazing how it makes me feel when I walk in and see this.


Yesterday I moved the other three chairs over.
Thank you Tim for bringing them over on GP's four wheeler.
And thank you for the nice long visit.
The really cool part was when you commented how "peaceful" it was over there.
It is.


Jelly Cabinet 


This is a before of this little cabinet. 
I call it a jelly cabinet but it is actually two very old upper cabinet sections that are connected on the back side.
The couple I bought it from called it a jelly cabinet so I do too.


I painted the inside with my favorite yellow and have made the decision to leave the outside chippy just like it is. 
I have scrapped all the loose chips and sanded it.
I do intend to wax it but I'm out of wax.


This picture is about the reflection.
Love.


And the rest of the pictures are about my pretty little dishes.




I have a wonderful collection of mostly little breakfast or desert plates. 
Some I found for a quarter or seldom over a dollar.
Some were gifted to me from my friends.
The only prerequisite was that flowers were on them.
Won't it be fun to have a tea party with them.


Yesterday's visitor.
I welcome him to eat little spiders or ants.
I think he is doing a good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I'm here singing in the rain



We are getting a precious lot of rain here in Central Texas.
I don't believe I remember in all my days getting a constant daily flow of rain like this in my part of the world.
We are grateful and take it as it comes.
However, our prayers are with those who are lost and have lost property.


In the meantime, I have almost finished a Garden Palace project that I am so excited about. 

My table project is almost finished.
It came to me in parts so getting the legs bolted onto the top Sunday gave me the most joyous feeling. 


When I received the table, the veener was all peeled off. 
All that remained was little bits still stuck with the veener glue. 





Before attaching the legs, I painted them with chalk paint and used a dark wax. 
I am painting the top and will share again when I finish. 
I must say I do like it just as it is but I'm sticking with my original plan to paint it. 
I'm sure I will like that too.

Parting Shot

And here is a parting shot through the glass of the back door.
I just love these reflections of the trees on the wall and the wildflowers around the rug. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I call her Day Dreamer













This is about this little Sculpey doll, Day Dreamer

First, Jenny and I painted funky faces on a little wood panel.
We had intentions from the beginning to paint a face and then use Sculpey to form her likeness. 
Jenny brought the Sculpey with her for us to play with because I didn't have any and haven't played with Sculpey in so many years. So many years that I forgot the one thing I did not like about Sculpey.
First, I guess you need to know that I have a compulsive need to put a final finish on any and all of my art. And that is where Sculpey and I do not get along.

The problem is it gets sticky and I don't remember ever getting past that and so I stopped playing with it years ago.
I painted the face while Jenny was here and when I realized it was STICKY, I put it down.
After Jenny was gone for a week, I decided that I had to finish her and conquer this STICKY situation. 
So, I gessoed the unpainted body and then painted it with my Golden acrylics. 

I started experimenting.
Gesso = not sticky
Golden matte medium = not sticky
Other Golden mediums = sticky
Lascaux acrylic Fixative = sticky
Finally, I thought to try Golden Polymer Varnish (gloss) = NOT STICKY!
I gessoed over the face that I already painted for a second time while Jenny was here and repainted it. Then I used the Golden Varnish and it is amazing how lovely she feels. 

One other thing that I remember, I love Sculpey or any kind of clay.  I get totally lost and in the zone with the soft malleable earthy stuff in my hands.
Thank you Jenny for coming and bringing your Sculpey and convincing the security guy at the airport that it was harmless!