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Reflections Of A Gardener & A Party Too

Hey there friends I am sending you a great big thank you for joining me today! For those of you who might just be getting to know me it is time for me to introduce myself. I thought reflecting a bit on gardening and where I grew up would be a great place to begin. There is also an added bonus today too because we are hosting our monthly gardening party link up.

I have been blogging for 5 years at At Home With Jemma; a little bit of cooking, gardening, decorating, writing and of course a whole lot of crafting and whatever else that goes along with home, family and life.

I am the daughter of two farmers (Mom worked in the wheat and potato fields too.) I am the wife to a loving man and a blessed Mama and Grami. My family is a big part of my blog too. My readers enjoy tales of family and life. Long before blogging, long before leaving Idaho this is where my life began. Right here in this sweet red brick house is where I learned to play pinochle and garden. My passion for gardening began on the left side of the house where I planted my very first flower garden.

On the right side of the house grew this Lilac bush and it is still thriving, blooming and sending out the most delicious fragrance to this day. I've been determined to hold onto the 30 acres of the original homestead and lucky for me we went up to visit it about a month ago. Everything was so lush and all of the farm fields were bright green and oh it all smelled so very good!

This is my home today, a French country style home with lots of room for gardening and a very pesky and nervy armadillo. Have you ever tried to get rid of an's seems pretty impossible.

We have been in our new home three years this December and it has been a lot of work to get these flowers beds to thrive. Our dirt is heavy with clay and lacking in nearly every nutrient. I am a big fan of fish fertilizer and I think that is what has really made these plants take off.

Petunias were always a go-to plant growing up, they really do prefer the cooler temps but I have figured out how to trick the petunias here in Texas into thinking they live somewhere cooler. I give them lots and lots of water and I double up on miracle- gro and fish emulsion.

And of course love. Lots and lots of that and of course I do talk to my plants.

This is the other side of the house where I have Pink Hydrangeas, Japanese Maple, Drift roses, boxwood, caladiums and more petunias. I am really sold on these drift roses.

Lets walk around to the back now and I'll show you my field of flowers.

When I reflect on my roots it is easy to see why I want to have a flower farm and I am really getting closer every year. This is my field of flowers. A colorful mix of zinnias, cannas, sunflowers and herbs.

I call this photo Zinnia Love.

Sunflower in the Sky.

I planted 4 different varieties of sunflowers and they all sprouted and are thriving quite nicely.

I love making a variety of floral arrangements using the flowers from my gardens and I was so tickled when I spied these cattails on my morning walk! Aren't they sooo cute.

Hollyhock blossom heart courtesy of my daughter Rebecca.

Thank you for joining me today and may your gardens bring you joy and happiness!

At Home With Jemma// Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson// Home and Gardening With Liz// Life and Linda

Poofing The Pillows

Creating A Simple Red, White & Blue Indoor Picnic

Good Morning and welcome to my easy and festive Red, White and Blue indoor picnic! I am ever so proud to be an American so creating this patriotic tablescape was right up my alley. Throughout most of my life the Fourth of July has been celebrated with a parade in the morning followed by a picnic in the afternoon. ( I do love a picnic) So in keeping with tradition, minus the parade, we avoided the heat and brought the picnic indoors!

After I share my Red, White and Blue tablescape with you today, you will find much more festive inspiration at the end of this post with links included too.

I enjoy making crafts out of paper and although I am not that great at doing so, I can make rosettes! They are such a thrifty and super cute way to add dimension and color to your Holiday decorating.

I layered our indoor picnic table with a metal tiered tray, a variety of stars, jars, lanterns, flags and oodles of flowers from my garden, then I tossed in patriotic koozies and pop-its as take home party favors. I used the party favors as part of the patriotic d├ęcor so they serve double duty!

I am a jar nut so I am always saving or even buying jars. For this red, white and blue table I used these pint size mason jars as vases painting them with white chalk paint.

Last but not least is our front door topped off with this festive red, white and blue wreath that I made awhile ago.

Our family is filled with courageous soldiers who have served and still do. We even had a female soldier in our family and that is my Aunt Madge, who was a nurse in WWII. She served on the island of Guam, where she met my Uncle Taylor ( a real love story.) So when I reflect on the memories of celebrating independence day I do so with a full heart.

We shared a little early 4th of July celebration this weekend with these cuties, they are the best cooks, crafters and helpers in Texas!

Our menu was an all American meal complete with grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and French Fries.

Followed by two red, white and blue themed desserts that the girls helped me to make and they are so simple and festive.

I served these two desserts on my Mom's glass party dishes from the 5o's. Strawberry jello served with fresh whipped cream and topped with red, white and blue sprinkles, accompanied by fresh strawberry shortcake and a dollop of whip cream.

Thank you so much for joining me today! I enjoyed sharing my red, white and blue table with you. It is an easy table to put together and provides just the right amount of fun, patriotism and best of all clean up! You can easily tweak this simple red, white and blue table to suit your individual needs without breaking the bank!

Now onto these other creators as they share their tablescapes with you!


Home Is Where The Boat Is//Red Cottage Chronicles//Belle Bleu Interiors//A Casa Di Bianca//


Corner Of Plaid and Paisley// Everyday Living// Life and Linda// Knock It Off Kim//


At Home With Jemma//The Painted Apron//Living With Thanksgiving// Our Crafty Mom//


PMQ for two// Debbee's Buzz//Camelot Art Creations// Celebrate and Decorate//


Around My Table// Blue Sky At Home//My French Twist// Me and My Captain//

Making It On NBC

>Good Day Friends! I have been keeping a BIG secret! Yesterday I shared some terrific news on Instagram and Facebook and today I am sharing it with you! It involves introducing some great people and a crafting competition too.

This purely delightful 6-episode making competition is from two of my very favorite people! They are also the executive producers of Making It! Nick Offerman and Amy Poheler are the dynamic duo from Parks and Recreation and they are bringing their good humor and passion for creating to NBC. Not only is their humor contagious, they are both generous souls with hearts as big as the state of Texas.

Our friendly group of contestants will knock your socks off and impress you with their awesome talents and creativity. Hanging out with this much energy, ingenuity, artistry and humor re-ignited my passion for life and sort of left me feeling like I could climb mountains and swim across seas. Seriously I feel as though I need to be pinched to see if this was a dream. Was I really here?? Did I really do this?? I guess it's true because NBC has included me in the cast! There is no telling where I may run with this amount of can-do-spirit! Sixty never felt so young!

Yesterday NBC made the announcement on People, complete with photographs and bios. Today I want to share with you a little information on this darling cast so you can follow them along, I know you won't want to miss out!

I know that you all are going to want to go give these folks some love so lets begin on top left corner:

I suppose one of the coolest thing about this show is that it inspiring us all to get moving, get going, get crafting. Lets bring back the good old days when folks made stuff instead of buying it! Now ready set go, get off the sofa and go to the craft store and buy that glue gun!

Making Pompoms With My Grandgirls

It recently became clear to me that I have a pompom love illness and I feel better knowing this. Not only do I have this illness, I spread the virus to several grandchildren while visiting North Carolina. It all began as I packed for my trip. I feverishly began tucking several skeins of colorful yarn in my suitcase, scissors and of course my pompom maker.

I had a pompom chandelier to make for, Sawyer, the newest member of our family.

My goal was to make pompoms on my flight from Dallas to Raleigh. However with safety restrictions, pat-downs and x-rays there seemed no possible way to smuggle a pair of scissors on the flight.

So instead I smuggled in nail clippers.

I chuckled to myself in an evil sort of way, feeling as though I had outwitted TSA, as I zipped up the inside compartment of my coral colored purse.

Seriously, can airport security stifle the creativity of any one person with restrictions and moreover should they even try. If you really think about it have we become "that," untrusting sort of society.

Hindering a creator from creating is like telling the sun not to shine!

Through security I went; unpacked my lap top, took off my shoes, held my breath that the nail clippers would sail on through.

And yes they did!

But I did not.

My earrings, of all things, caused quite a stir.

After the pat down at the airport, I claimed my belongings, headed to the gate, boarded the plane and settled into my window seat. I was feeling almost giddy as I was ready to begin making those pompoms.

I discovered that using dull nail-clippers to cut yarn just doesn't work. Thwarted once again...grrr….

Defeated and discouraged, I tucked away my pompom supplies and read.

But what I did discover was the sweetest group of grandgirls ready with smiles and hugs to help out their Mimi!

Meet my team of Pompom makers from North Carolina; Kennedy, Macee, Preslee and Molly!

It is true you know that "Many hands make light work."

Love you sweet girls~ XO

Storytelling Through Embroidery

Years and years ago I would sit beside my Grandmother as she embroidered. She and I would sit together in an oversized recovered champagne hued velvet chair. It was in this chair that she not only shared stories of life verbally, she would also sew them. I would watch in wonderment as her weathered and crooked fingers would magically work the fabric and stitches to create beautiful handsewn flowers and landscapes out of a simple strand of thread.

So today it seemed fitting to share this story and my embroidery with you on our monthly Ten on the Tenth. If you are new to my website, Ten on the Tenth is an interesting gathering of nine other bloggers sharing their thrifty and creative finds all under ten dollars. Each month we take different prompts and see where our ingenuity leads us.

Our prompt for June is flowers. We were free to take that idea in any which way we wanted, but we did have to abide by the rule of making it all happen for ten dollars or under. ( I love a good challenge!) You will find links to the other participants at the end of this post. It's always fun to pop on over and see what the other creators came up with!

I chose to go with the theme of flowers by using this precious embroidery pattern. For some time now I have been smitten with the creative, whimsical and sweet embroidery patterns and kits of Tamar Nahir-Yanai.

So when I found not only one, but two of her embroidery kits on sale for $1.50 each at Hobby Lobby, well you know what I just had to do! I tell you it was a meant to be sort of shopping day. This entire project including embroidery hoop was under ten dollars.

Creativity never needs to be expensive!

Telling stories through stitching is art and a History lesson all in one.

So, you might be wondering what tale is my embroidering telling...

This is Maisy represented in embroidering; our precious and loving granddaughter. Maisy has the fierce spirt of a lioness, the gentleness of a lamb. The heart of an angel. She loves pretty skirts, dresses, mermaids and ballet. She appreciates flowers and also those which I grow in my gardens. Her imagination and kindness are as limitless as the depth of the universe.

You know how much I love her!

I am in North Carolina this week visiting one of our darling daughters and her precious family.

Up next this week a Nursery reveal and Pompom chandelier/mobile!

Thank you so much for joining me today and I truly hope you'll pop on over and visit these other sweet gals.