Fresh Floral Summer Wreath

You know by now that I am really into growing flowers particularly zinnias and sunflowers. In fact my ultimate goal along with being an organic gardener( 2nd year!), is to have the official title of flower farmer. 
So far so good on the goal of becoming a flower farmer, I have been tweaking my fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides and watering methods.
The flowers have responded well but I am searching for some outlets for these zealous zinnias and sunny sunflowers besides decorating our home.
This year was also a test to see how my crop rotation went and it seems to have been a solid schedule.


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That is when a light went off...
I have missed making a wreath with you!
I am also searching for other creative ways to use these beautiful blooming flowers and save them from the blazing Texas sun.
It seems natural to me that making a floral wreath is a sensible solution.
So today let's  have some fun with this pretty project and make an impromptu Fresh Floral Summer wreath.
It's easy, economical and pretty.

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This really began as an experimental wreath and the supplies are minimal, so if you are searching for a creative way to add flowers to a certain space, a party, or brighten up the patio for a few hours this is a sweet wreath to make. If you are looking for a longer lasting wreath I suggest that you use
floral water tubes.
Water tubes come in various sizes and colors too, so you can bet I will be grabbing up some this week to extend the life of my Summer floral wreaths.


Jemma's Summer- Wreath-DIY


Supplies For Fresh Floral Summer Wreath

1. Fresh Flowers
2. Garden Clippers
3. Scissors
4. Grapevine or floral foam wreath base 
5. Floral water tubes or foam wreath base saturated with water
6. Floral wire


Summer-Wreath-DIY-Jemma

Instructions for Fresh Floral Summer Wreath

1.Cut fresh flowers from garden or purchase them.
2.Clip flowers to desired length to be inserted into Grapevine wreath.
3.Depending on the strength of the flower stem you can insert the stem directly into the Grapevine wreath or wire onto the wreath.
4.If using water tubes cut flower stem at a diagonal and insert to tube which has water in it.
5. If using floral foam wreath base dunk wreath in water to saturate
6. Refresh the floral foam wreath by dunking the base of it in a container of shallow water.




Without any water source this Fresh Floral wreath lasted between 4-6 hours in the house.
I would imagine if you used water tubes or a water infused floral foam wreath base you could easily have this wreath around for 4-6 days.
Isn't that just so amazing!

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Thank you for joining me!!
XO





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Heavenly Key Lime Pie

What type of baker are you?
Do you get in your kitchen and tear it up with a mess here and there, maybe even get a little flour in your hair. Or are you a neat baker that picks up those measuring spoons as you go along?
Do you wear an Apron or do you dare to bake without one?
For me, I wear an apron as I am a mixture of mess and neat. I tidy up as I go along, but I really get into the therapeutic joy of creating an edible concoction.
So when I made this incredible edible heavenly Key Lime pie I knew it was a recipe that I just had to share with you all.
One of the best and yummiest things about this recipe is the crust.
This is a mixture of butter, vanilla wafers and macadamia nuts...I am totally blown away by the combination of flavors and will never make an ordinary graham cracker crust again!
Yes this is the best pie crust that I have ever had. (except for Mom's)
Pie-Lime-Recipe-At Home With Jemma
I found this fabulous Summertime Key Lime recipe in Southern Lady Magazine. 
The cool thing is this, they have an online Recipe Box! 
A few weeks ago I shared a Lemon Curd-Filled Cake recipe from this lovely magazine too, as you can see I am into lemon and limes.
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That reminds me that I need to be getting a Lemon Tree ASAP, maybe I will go to Covington's Nursery in Rowlette and see what they have in that department.
We get some amazing light in our kitchen and I'd sure like to have a Lemon Tree in my kitchen come Winter time!
Do you have a Lemon Tree?? If so I'd love to hear how it is growing for you.
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What I like about this recipe is this:

As you can see the texture of this Key Lime Pie is spot on with a crust that cuts easily and yet remains firm.
The Key Lime flavor is not overpowering and the pie is actually best on the second day.
Recipe is easy to follow.
Pie crust is one of the best that I ever tasted.
This would be a lovely dessert to serve for any occasion and it is quite simple.
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Thank you for joining me and have a fantastic weekend.
Happy crafting and baking to you!
XO
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A Family That Crafts Together

It all began many, many years ago on a cold blustery day in Idaho.  There were even rumors circulating that a major blizzard was about to hit and that there would be snow drifts too high to make it to Margie's Quilting Bee.
But this group of crafting ladies were not about to let a snow storm or snow drift deter them.
The quilting needles, thimbles, batting and colorful fabric had been carefully selected and assembled in advance. Even a spot had been made in the corner of the living room where the tired yellow and red velvet floral sofa had been pushed aside to make way for the quilting frames.
A flock of chattering Ladies composed of varying sizes and shapes had arrived despite weather adversity. They perched on the sofa like eager birds on a telephone wire, all ready to begin the art of quilting after the refreshments had been served.
Red jello jiggled in multi- faceted glass dessert cups, while a glorious pot of coffee percolated, giving a heavy sigh as it wheezed out one last drop. The delicious scent of fresh brewed coffee combined with the sweet intoxicating fragrance of homemade sugar cookies dotted the winter afternoon air.
This group of rural women not only valued their craft, they treasured their friendships.


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My Fabulous Mother, who was part of this generation of makers, has passed this gene down to me and mine.
A crafting gene that has been entwined around all of our DNA from generation to generation and there is no denying it. 
We are a crafting family, so it is pretty much the norm that when we get together we either craft or present a craft as a gift. 
From the youngest to oldest we are of the mindset that no craft is too small or too big and hope prevails as long as we can create.
Today I would love to introduce you to a granddaughter that is designing and selling  Glam Sticks.
I know she'd be so thrilled for you to drop by her blog!
You can see her in the second picture on the right, selling her Glam Sticks and carrying on our family crafting tradition.
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Crafting, making, creating, DIY whatever you want to call it is more than just about the product it is about ourselves, life, friendships, family,  inspiration,  joy, and the journey of discovery.
Want to know a secret??
There are no failures in crafting only experiences and you can always create something!
Crafting knows no boundaries!
You might just be amazed at what you discover and what you can accomplish.
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Today I am happy to be able to share two simple and delightful crafts with you!

Our first project began one day back in May while I was visiting our children in Puerto Rico.
Amanda and I had walked, talked and solved many world problems as the grandchildren scurried by our side. 
Wyatt was filled with questions has he swatted the overgrowth of the encroaching rain forest while picking up ginormous snails and little Avery was toddling along. 
Finding treasures while on a walk about is fun, and Amanda and I happened across some
Sea Grape Leaves, they are quite huge!
We gathered many of them up, took them home then turned them into Coasters.
So much potential here for all shapes of leaves and themes.
Amanda is a very talented gal and is designing and selling handmade cards in Puerto Rico.
She is new to Instagram at  Coffee and Coconuts, just message her for more info on her cards.
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Here is why we love this Sea Grape Leaf crafting project and the supplies which you will need.
1. Simple
2. Quite Earth friendly 
3. Perfect for all ages (blunt tip scissors for the youngsters)
4. Safe
Supplies For Modge Podge Leaf Coasters:

1. Modge Podge
2. Scissors
3. Dried Leaves
4. Paint Brush

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Our second project for today are these fun, colorful and easy Jazzed-Up flip flops.
 As the days of Summer grow warmer and more afternoons are spent indoors, how about adding this little Jazz up your Flip Flop crafting to your agenda. Our daughter in North Carolina made this craft with her girls and you can too!

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Here is why we really like these Jazzed Up - Flip Flops crafting project and the supplies that you will need.

1. Super Kid friendly craft.
2. Practical and purposeful.
3. Economical.
4. Supplies easy to find.
Supplies & Instructions  For Jazzed-Up Flip Flops:

1. Flip Flops ( many are on sale this time of the year)
2. Bandanna  (craft store, Walmart)
3. Scissors
4. Cut bandanna and tie on straps of flip-flop
5. Adult supervision and age appropriate scissors.
(Children can cut themselves.)

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Thank you for taking time out of your day to join me, and Happy Crafting!
xo


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Mid-Summer Gardening Practices

It has been an unusually rainy June and beginning of July here at my home in North Texas. With the rain also came a different set of challenges for a Texas gardener. Normally this time of the year we deal with intense heat and drought like conditions which typically does the garden in, but this year the rain did a number on the plants. Plants can truly receive too much water and with our native clay soil the water tends to sit there, causing roots to have soggy bottoms and I will tell you there aren't many plants that like that!
Powdery Mildew has set in too and strangely enough sunflowers need sun...wink...
So my glorious crop of sunflowers has dwindled down to just a few spindly rows.
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In this post I am also sharing an update and new information on the dreaded squash bore. 
I touched on the squash bore, an imperfect garden and oh many other things too in a recent blog post so if you have time you might enjoy a little lighthearted inspiration right here.
It is all out war at Jemma's on those dreaded bores.
I am sharing some pretty universal gardening practices today to keep your crops healthy as well as upcoming plants to consider adding to your garden as Summer blends into Fall.
I know some of you all don't have Fall gardens, but when in Rome...
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I thought I would report in to you all on the outcome of one of my squash plants. 
It isn't pretty, so you may want to look away, seriously how can a bug and it's babies do this to a perfectly beautiful squash plant???
My one yellow squash plant did "heal," itself and was actually growing quite well again, but I was just so aggravated with the situation and the thoughts of those icky pests that had lived in the vine that I pulled it up!
I honestly felt much better too!
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I am just as excited as I can be that I have planted a generous amount of pumpkin and gourd seeds in anticipation of Fall festivities, neighborhood children and hopefully I'll get a grandchild or two out here to pick some too!
I love Fall, pumpkins, Holiday crafts and baking!
So these squash bores are not going to be attacking these plants if I can help it.(Live and Learn)


Mid-Summer Gardening Practices One:
Concerning Squash Bores

1. Cover the squash with netting so bores cannot attack( you will have to self pollinate.)
2. Powdered BT Microbial Pesticide.
3. If you aren't using organic products use Sevin Dust.
4. I have just ordered Spinosad, I have heard great things about this earth friendly product.
5. Do not plant squash in the same place every year, soil has dormant larvae, cultivate the soil.
6. Try a different species of squash (this was yellow squash.)
7. Dig up the squash vine and toss it away.

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On a happier note the garden is filled with bumble bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
I think another good mid-Summer gardening practice, at least for me is to get rid of ailing plants.
Mid-Summer Gardening Practice Two:
Garden Maintenance 

1. Remove ailing plants from garden.
2. Mulch as needed for water retention, about two-inches is the rule of thumb.
3. Keep garden weed free, weed when the soil is moist and the weeds are small.
4. Summer time heat may be setting in, so water those plants an average of one inch of water a week. Depending on soil composition.


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Mid-Summer Gardening Practice Three:
Think Fall

1.Begin planning a Fall garden.
2.Texas gardeners it is time to plant pumpkins and gourds.
(90-100 days from planting to harvest)
3.Keep cutting zinnias for continued blooms.
4.Wondering when to plant a Fall garden...plan backwards according to your first freeze.



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You know I am always learning new things about life from my garden, do you feel like you do too?
Well, I saw this quote the other day on Pinterest  and I thought wow, this is a real truth.
So I will sign off today and leave you this.
                "Be patient with yourself, nothing in your garden blooms all year."





Jemma's Mid-Summer Gardening Tips

So while you tend to your garden, tend to yourself and be ever so gentle!
See you back on Friday with a fun project that Amanda and I made in Puerto Rico....yes it does involve Modge Podge, but I promise I will give this glorious glue a rest after this one!
XOXO




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The Bonjour Collection~Easy DIY Modge Podge Vases

Thank you for joining me today!
I love sharing craft ideas and projects with you and when they are crafts for any age and any skill level well that makes them all the sweeter!
My love for making something out of nothing began at an early age and I will always believe that it had something to do with the mountain air, my Dad who repaired all of his own machinery and my Mom that made just nearly everything from scratch.
What a glorious time of frugal meets creative.
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The things that I love most about this project which I am sharing with you today is the ease with which anyone can make it, the joy of the process and then it turns out pretty too!
No technical measurements!


As you can tell I am pretty much obsessed with this Paris themed fabric, today's project is the third in a series of using this gorgeous fabric. 
If you'd like to catch up with the earlier posts you can find the table runner here
and the fabric covered French plates here.
I designed this little ensemble for a garden party, Ladies luncheon, shower or Birthday and you can too, if you so desire!
Remember the plates can go home with your guests too!
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Jars, Jars and more Jars!
Supplies For Modge Podge Vases

1.   Assorted shapes and sizes of clean, dry jars with labels removed
2.   Acrylic Paint
3.   Glitter (optional)
4.   Paint Brushes for paint and modge podge 
5.   Fabric
6.   Dishwasher safe Modge Podge
7.   Paper Towels
8.   Paper plates for paint
9.   Scissors
10. Embellishments I used pearls (optional)

Well you can just imagine the possibilities of this project, they truly are endless and purposeful.
Jars can be turned into just about anything that you can think of and when you make them as vases you can give the gift of flowers and the vase too!
So my suggestion is just to enjoy crafting and maybe do a project or two this Summer with some friends too.
If you are looking for another Summer project your might enjoy this necklace project too.

Jemma-glitter-crafting-
When our  children were younger we were pretty much crafting several times a week.
Many times it was nothing more than paper dolls, snowflakes, or paper chains out of construction paper, and then there was the glitter...always, always glitter, no matter the mess glitter made we had to have glitter.
Glitter makes us sparkle and sparkling is good!
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How To Make Modge Podge Vases

The big chunk of time is spent in the drying of the paint and the modge podge, so just allow yourself the better part of the day for the process to take place and you'll be good.
Always cover your work area before beginning.
1-Take those clean and dry jars and start painting them with your favorite colors.
2-Dry completely, no sticky paint.
3-While paint dries cut out your fabric, I layered my fabric on these jars to create depth and interest.
4- Once paint is dry take a clean paint brush and brush modge podge on jar, place fabric on jar and brush more modge podge on top of fabric. 
5- Work all air bubbles out of modge podge, add another layer of fabric if desired and repeat previous process. This is very important and must not be skipped, bubbles are not a good thing under fabric!
6- Add embellishments if desired and another coat of modge podge.
7- If modge podge is cloudy it is not dry.
8- Dry overnight.
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Thank you for joining me today and have a beautiful and bright weekend!
XO
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Happy Fourth Of July and Patriotic Musings

As I sit at my desk looking over the green grass, with an American Flag gently blowing in the soft morning breeze.
I am reminded of the mindset that we are all one in American and my heart overflows with gratitude.
Growing up in rural America in the 60's we were a community of worker bees, striving to keep the colony healthy, thriving and united. It was sort of a blissful time.
I suppose it was a Mayberry RFD mindset and it was peaceful and it worked!
No matter the differences and strife that we hear of, I know in my heart that we are all here to work together and celebrate our beautiful Country.
Setting a positive example for one another never hurts either and if I must occasionally bury my head in the sand, well so be it! I am a woman of another decade...now that's another sort of freedom and let it ring too!
I am not a political woman I am a proud woman of the Country that I live in and I call home.
I don't even listen to the news, I just believe in my heart that we are all here to love.


America, July, Fourth, Jemma


Today I am remembering and honoring the WWII veterans as well as  my Mom and Dad.
My parents were not political either, they just did what was they believed was right and took pride in their home, land and the fact that Dad had returned safely from WWII. 
These memories actually make me feel teary and comfort me too. 
There is a grounding in the knowledge of where you come from so to speak and knowing that what you believe in is always true as long as you keep it pure in your heart.
Folks will always want to spin tales, but right is right and wrong is wrong and at the end of the day we should all focus on getting along.
Just that fact that Dad made it home from the war was enough to celebrate life everyday.
Momma had tended to the farm, her aging Father and my sister Sandra while Dad was away. 
Quite an agenda for a young twenty year old woman.
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I am ending this post with one neat fact on World War II.
The women during this time period gave up wearing stockings in order for those materials to go into the making of supplies for the War.
Can you imagine giving up of your beauty resources!
If so, what one would it be? 
As for me I cannot live without lipstick, mascara or a touch of bronzer...guess the foundation would have to go!
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Happy Fourth of July to each and everyone!
XO
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