Digging in the dirt

Cornbread and Beans Blog 044

If your not into gardens you might want to skip this one.  Tons of baby garden pic’s ahead!!

We’ve been diligently working on our landscaping since the snow melted.   If only we had a million bucks right? We’ve got grand plans, but they involve  loads of dirt, rocks, driveway ashfault,  plants, trees, and bushes  that are just not in the budget.  We remind ourselves often: one step at a time. =)

I ran across this photo taken a few days before we moved in to our house and it did make me feel better.  What a jungle, you couldn’t even see the front stairs!!

PicMonkey Collage

We cleared out all the overgrown flora and fauna and planted two manageable boxwood bushes in front. They are still babies, but will hopefully grown to nice round big guys.

There are very few sunny spots on our property to plant the flowers I love unless we just plopped a garden bed in the middle of nowhere!! Which I just might do someday.  But there are three spots.  The first is right behind our house.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 005

This bed is filled with purple coneflower, blackeyed susans, purple salvia, moonbeam coreopsis, lambs ear, sedum, shasta daisy, and some lillys that are just about to bloom.  Can’t wait!!

I had an extra ladder around so I threw it out here to hold my garden tools

Cornbread and Beans Garden 001

Just around the  corner on the side of the house is another sunny spot. Unfortunately this is also where all the electric and meter reading doo dads are.  Nothing messes up your pretty garden pictures like electric boxes. hehehe

This bed is pretty much all new plants this year with the exception of the spider wart, lilly, and roses.

Cornbread and Beans Blog 036

Cornbread and Beans Garden 008

The roses were so pretty this year!! I just cut them back and hope to see another bloom.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 012

I used to think spider wart was just a weed, but it does look pretty in the morning when the flowers are open.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 002

Our new additions to the bed are:  Foxglove getting read to burst open.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 013

5 new hollyhocks

Cornbread and Beans Garden 010

A baby purple salvia

Cornbread and Beans Garden 003

I forgot what this is called but I love the wispy stems these purple flowers bloom on.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 015

There are two new of these things that I can’t remember either! Ha I think it’s in the pinks or carnation family??

Cornbread and Beans Garden 004

And one of these English moss rose plants

Cornbread and Beans Garden 800

It will be exciting to watch this bed fill out.

The other tiny little sun spot we have is at the right end of our shade garden.  There is a Rose of Sharon bush growing there  and another dratted day lilly (we have both of those ALL OVER and have to keep digging them out.)

I just planted some new sun lovers there this weekend.

A pink yarrow, purple Jacobs ladder, two delphiniums that are about to pop open and a hibiscus.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 039

The shade garden still needs some filling out but we are so pleased and geeky about our hostas!! We go out to watch them grow all the time.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 031

Cornbread and Beans Garden 041

One addition in the shade garden we are excited about is this scottish plant.  It’s the prettiest green with tiny white flowers.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 047

We are trying our hand at a veggie garden this year. We put it out in the side yard.  We’re not sure if it will get enough light, but as I mentioned we are light challenged around here.  We planted tomatoes, cukes, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, green pepper, onion, and sugar snap peas.

Cornbread and Beans Garden 044

The peas are climbing like champs!

Cornbread and Beans Garden 046

And the cauliflower is starting to make heads!!!

Cornbread and Beans Garden 045

Doesn’t take much to thrill us with our first veggie patch!! HAHAHA

Probably our biggest gardening feats to date is FINALLY getting grass to grow around our patio and fire pit!!! YAAYYY!

Cornbread and Beans Garden 021

We have plans to clear out the weedy mess along our driveway today.  I better go find some bandaids for my blisters!!

Cornbread and Beans Blog 045

Later gators!

Melissa

Summerizing the Homestead

Cornbread and Beans Blog 024

One of my favorite things to do each season is make new pillows.  It is amazing what a new pillow can do to change the mood in the house.  This year for summer I made simple red/white and blue/white striped pillows.  They feel nautical and patriotic at the same time to me, which is just what the season calls for!

Cornbread and Beans Blog 010

Besides my new pillows the things I am most excited about with my Summer decor this year are:

1. I finally quilted and bound my red and white quilt!!! I’m in love! It lights up the whole family room. It’s my favorite quilt ever. =) There is no pattern, just the very center paper pieced star block is from  Judy Niemeyer,  then  I added square in a square’s and some applique and borders to it.  It’s finished off with a scalloped border.

Cornbread and Beans Blog 225

2. This old coke box I found while antiquing,  another vintage red lantern, and a very sweet milk glass red and white bottle  for the kitchen table.

Cornbread and Beans Blog 006

3. My recent obsession with vintage picnic tins.

Cornbread and Beans Blog 031

5. It’s my first summer to decorate the mantel without the huge ugly mirror!

Cornbread and Beans Blog 008

It obviously doesn’t take much for me to get excited! Hehehe.

Later gators!

Melissa

Our Spring Dining Room

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 030

I’m too chicken to drive whenever it’s snowing, or if there is snow/ice on the roads. I haven’t been antique shopping since before December. So when we had a little break with clear roads this weekend I was outta here!  I drove to all my favorite antique spots and to the local green spot to get some springy plants to scatter around our house for some much needed cheering up. Enough of this cold snowy winter I tell ya!!

This cheery pot of daffodils became the center of the spring table arrangement in my big dough bowl.  I added some moss balls, eggs, and cabbage heads.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 005

I found many new ironstone pieces at really good prices while I was out. Here is one of the little servers on the plate rail. I threw in some faux sprigs in the mercury glass vase.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 013

On the other side, I placed a couple clock faces. One I found at an antique store, and the big one was from Hobby Lobby. I took it out of it’s frame and used the frame in the dry sink.  Guess how much it was?  7 dollars.  STEAL!!! =)   I also found this sweet milk-glass vase at antique and  filled it with a real rosemary plant. The little chalkboard sticker came from Michael’s dollar bin.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 050

I bought a few clay pots and white washed them and used the little chalkboard stickers on them.  Here is one on the dry sink.  I can’t remember what kind of plant this is.  Hope I don’t kill it! LOL

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 010

The rest of the dry sink has a frame I found in the basement, and the clock face frame with a mossy wreath, bunny and faux flower arrangement.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 007

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 011

My next plant went into an enamel Tea can.  The ironstone platter was another find on Saturday.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 017

The hutch always looks pretty much the same I just tried to spring it up a little.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 028

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 025

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 027

And my very favorite thing I bought?  This framed sheep print I’ve had my eye on for over a year.  Every time I visit the antique store where it came from I always stare at it and long to buy it.  I could never make myself spend the money they were asking for it because of the condition it’s in. But I finally bit the bullet and I am so glad I did.  I love it, even in it’s tattered state. It’s perfect for spring.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 020

Lastly I hung up my new quilt I made for our sew along.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Blog 029

I’ll be back with the rest of the spring decorating and the other fun things I picked up on my shopping spree!

Crossing my fingers for spring to get here!!

Later gators,

Melissa

Linking to Wow Us Wendnesdays

Oh, Captain Wentworth! A free pattern and sew along

I’ve been working on something fun the last few days for us to sew together ! It is my interpretation of Jane Austen’s famous diamond quilt, pieced by Jane, her mother, and sister.

2009_1024Quiltysecrets1118

There is a wonderful article about the quilt written by quilt historian Barbara Brackman here CLICK

Like many before me, I’m an avid Jane Austen fan, and have read  all of her  books and watched all the PBS films over and over.  My favorite Austen man is Captain Wentworth from Persuasion ….ahhhh so dreamy.  So that’s what I’m calling this quilt.

I’m not finished designing it yet but I wanted to give you a heads up to prepare in case you want to sew along.

Here’s the quilt so far:

cornbread and beans quilting blog 043

It will finish somewhere around 30 x 50, so it will make a nice little wall hanging.  I’m going to add some applique in the center triangle, and finish the pieced border, then I’ll start posting the directions here on the blog.

I cut way to0 many triangles so I will probably offer a few kits if you would like to use the same fabric as I did.

Okay so what do we need?

1. VERY HELPFUL, but not mandatory is the Marti Michell 2 1/2 inch stripper template.

41EqIcfCCiL._SY300_If you don’t have this, and don’t want to purchase this handy dandy tool, you can still use your regular ruler with the 60 degree angle mark, but the tool will make piecing the quilt a lot easier because the template ruler has squared off points that help you line up your triangles.

2.  About 1 and 1/2 yards of white cotton

3. A variety of 2 1/2 inch strips of your color choice cotton prints for center of quilt, and 1 1/2 inch strips for the border.

I hope you’ll join me!

Later gators,

Melissa

Blueberry Buckle Quilt Pattern

The pattern is finished and added to my patterns page.

It’s a fun one to make! The background is Marcus Brothers aged muslin which is so deliciously old looking!!

Cornbread and Beans Quilting

Finished size is 48.5 x 58.5

$7.00 PDF pattern

cornbread and beans quilting blog 009

Have a great weekend!!!

Melissa

Quilts and Clocks

Hi friends! Are you surviving the Polar Vortex? If you are reading this somewhere warm, be thankful! =)  The kids just went back to school today in my neighborhood after 4 canceled school days in a row! I’m sure we are well over the allotted snow days now after having 4 or 5 days cancelled the previous polar vortex go-around as well.  We are not out of the woods yet with a huge snow storm heading our way next week.

YIKES.

Here’s what the sidewalk looks like in front of our house already:

cornbread and beans 004

The snow is up to their shoulders!! Any more and it will be over their heads. LOL It’s kind of fun actually. We just make sure and stock up on supplies when the roads are okay to drive.

With it being tough to get out and about, I have been staying warm inside quilting.

In my effort to lighten and brighten I made a white background album block quilt for the piano room.

album block quilt cornbread and beans quiltingI really want to paint the walls white in here, but will have to wait to dig out to go buy paint. In the meantime, I thought a brighter quilt would help out.

cornbread and beans quilting blog 001

Did you notice my  recent acquisition of vintage alarm clocks?

Here’s a closer look:

cornbread and beans quilting blog 008

cornbread and beans quilting blog 006

I love them!  I talked an antique dealer into letting me have 6 of them for $40.00!! Mom and Dad and I spotted them while Mom was home for a visit from Texas.  There were 50 or so in boxes and when I first asked about them he said they were 10- 15 bucks apiece. I said, ” watch this Dad, I’m going to take these up there and ask if he’ll take 40 bucks.”  I’m getting to be a wheeler dealer! Ha haha

I’m trying to finish writing instructions for a new pattern called Blueberry Buckle I’ll be putting out next week.  Here’s a sneak peek:

cornbread and beans quilting blog 009

Doesn’t it remind you of a blueberry desert? Yumm.

Later gators!

Melissa

Afterglow

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Co 009

What a fabulous Holiday season it was.  I had a hard time letting go, so much so that I just took down the decorations yesterday!! That might be my record for leaving it all out.  It just felt so darn cozy.

Alas, it’s time to move on to a new year.  When it was all down, I must admit it did feel nice to have a blank empty canvas to redecorate. I’m washing slip covers today, and then I’ll  hang new quilts and put new things on the shelves and walls.

Just before Christmas, I stumbled upon someone’s project online. She had used Winter’s Lane.  OMGosh I feel IN LOVE with the fabric line, so I did a little search and then I gasped out loud when I saw Little Miss Shabby’s quilt made from the line.  It’s a free pattern, and I had to make it!!  I had a hard time finding the fabric (it came out awhile ago,) but finally did find a layer cake and some yardage for the borders.  I got my fabric in the mail on Christmas Eve.  And 3 day’s later, after reworking the measurements for a layer cake I had my quilt!!

Leave it to a quilter to try and go out in a blizzard to take a photo!! LOL

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Co 065Cornbread and Beans Quilting Co 035

Since that wasn’t working I tried an inside shot.

Cornbread and Beans Quilting Co 036

I can’t wait to have it quilted and on my bed for winter!

Happy New Year!

Melissa

Some Down to the Wire Sewing

cornbread and beans blog 004

On Monday The BG mentioned he needed a gift for the secretary he works with.  I really like her , and I think she’s the kind of person that would enjoy something handmade.

So I got to work and pulled out some REALLY old  fat quarters that I have always wanted to use up, and an old pattern from a long ago APQ magazine.

I made one for us too since the one I had made years ago mysteriously grew a big glob of super glue after some children that I know had fake nails on…. Hmmm?

Here they are ready to quilt today.

cornbread and beans blog 006

Then I started to think …maybe these are too bright ?

Then I remembered I had a charm pack of fabric that is kind of secretary-ish.  What to make, what to make?  I always wanted to try Pink Penguin’s lunch bag!

So yesterday about 2:00 I started, and by evening ( with laundry, house work, and dinner thrown in there) I had finished two lunch bags that I adore! I had to fiddle around with the measurements because I did patchwork, and I switched up some of the finishing instructions, but all in all it was super fun and easy. Thank you Pink Penguin!!

Fronts:

cornbread and beans blog 800

Backs:

cornbread and beans blog 900

I ran out to Target last night when I was done  to find some sort of bento box, or lunch container to slip inside.  I found this really cute little box that holds a sandwich and sides.

cornbread and beans blog 010

It fits perfectly inside and still has room for a water bottle or drink.

cornbread and beans blog 100

(Opps I see some threads that need snipping)

When I showed The BG and asked him which gift he wanted to give, he said definitely the lunch bag!! Glad I made two, cause I really wanted one too! LOL

I learned over the years to always make two of the little projects, cause sometimes it’s just really hard to give away! =)

How about you ? Are you making some last minute projects?

Later gators!

Melissa

What I’m Making…

Baby it’s cold outside!

cornbread and beans blog 021

And snowing like crazy for 3 or 4 days.  It’s almost to the tops of my boots and my painting sweat pants ! LOL

cornbread and beans blog 023

Perfect sewing weather wouldn’t you say?  I’ve been making my gifties for sister-in-laws.

I have been really wanting a small messenger bag for awhile now.  They are so convenient for shopping so you don’t have to lug your whole purse, just slip in your phone and wallet, and it really saves on the shoulder pain!

So this year my sisters-in-law are getting what I wanted , I made us all one.

10 cute messenger bags:

PicMonkey CollageThey are made with really nice decor weight khaki fabric, lined with some cute daisy fabric.  I ordered some really cute leather daisy buttons from Cindy’s Buttons, but I can’t decide if I should add them or not.  What do you think?

cornbread and beans blog 020

I made a lap quilt for Minate’s teacher and one for my Mom-in-law.

They are both flannel backed, and loosely quilted for that puffy, comfy feel.

cornbread and beans blog 015

And Grandma Straub is getting a new little table topper with the left overs:

cornbread and beans blog 013

Last weekend we busted out the Egg Nog for The BG and I,

cornbread and beans blog 008

The shrimp for Minate (she made quick work of it!)

cornbread and beans blog 009 Cranked up the Christmas tunes, and put up the family tree.

cornbread and beans blog 007

As we were pulling out the family ornaments, including the ones we all picked out this year, we were cracking up at The BG’s choices of ornaments. He tries to pick the ugliest ornaments he can find!!! This year’s was a 4 eyed curly haired alien!   My favorites are the ones the girls have made over the years with their school pictures.  Time sure has flown by.

I sure hope you are enjoying the season!!!

Melissa

More decked halls…

cornbread and beans blog 037

How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was just wonderful!!!  The food was yummy and the company was great! AND there are still two more lovely days left of the weekend. Can’t beat that.

PicMonkey Collage

Today is a good day to share the rest of the decorating.

cornbread and beans blog 022

I found this great primitive looking candelabra at a thrift store for 4 dollars.  I was thinking do I really need anymore pine boughs? I already have a couple tubs full. But this one was just so nice I had to say YES!   I’m planning a full on purge of Christmas stuff and other decor I just don’t use anymore at a garage sale this spring ,so I didn’t feel too guilty.  Whatever doesn’t sell I’ll give to a thrift store,  really I am just helping the world recycle right? LOL

cornbread and beans blog 021

The hutch got maybe a little to filled, but I couldn’t help myself!

cornbread and beans blog 029

cornbread and beans blog 024

One of the bottom shelves is holding the glitter houses.

cornbread and beans blog 070

cornbread and beans blog 025

cornbread and beans blog 072

Something about this wreath pillow just got me. I found it at the grocery store!! So in the cart with the milk and eggs it went!

cornbread and beans blog 032

The kitchen got it’s very own white tree this year.

cornbread and beans blog 039

I made the little tree skirt out of some  felt I had in the sewing room and prepackaged felt snowflake stickers. Easy peasy.

Sparky the elf is living in the tree , that silly elf.

cornbread and beans blog 043

Really the only sewing projects I did this year were the sweater pillows and two new quilts. I needed something with more “primary” red than my current Christmas quilts.

Quilt number one is hanging in the piano room

cornbread and beans blog 046

cornbread and beans blog 048

And quilt number two is in the family room.

cornbreadandbeansblog 010

And some more thrifted white sweater pillows.

cornbread and beans blog 009

That pretty much concludes the decking of the halls.  Did you fall asleep?

Now it’s on to baking and shopping!!!

Fa la la la la, la la la la =)

Melissa