12 posts categorized "Summer Corner" Feed

Outdoor Summer Kitchen

Outdoor kit33333

I do not know if you remember my washing station last summer. I loved it and have wanted to set up an outdoor kitchen (for those rare sunny WA days ;-) This is still not perfect but getting better. For my birthday David bought me this galvanized tub on a stand. Isn't it fun!!! I dragged out an old table and used a vintage sheet for an table cloth. You can not see it in the picture but there is a table for 4 with a red gingham, plastic tablecloth. So we can cook, clean and eat out here. I use my small grill or crock pot out here. As you can see we clean and prepair produce for the freezer out here too. In the NW, warm, sunny days are rare. You have to enjoy them while you can. Do any of you have an outdoor kitchen ???  xoxoxo

PS. Thank you for the feedback about the Wren Bay cover, it was so helpful xoxo

Outdoor kit4444

Outdoor kit2222

Outdoor kittttt



Gypsy Tent


The girls and I were so inspired by Child's Paper, Camp Gypsy Ragz we had to make our own. A perfect time to do it too, summer has finally come, it is like 95, yeah I can walk barefoot in my moss filled grass !!!!


Thank you for the prayers, kind thoughts and emails about Logan. He is doing better and better everyday. He is now in a private room in the hospital with his momma and daddy learning to breastfeed. He has not had a seizure in a while and is a very healthy looking baby. Logan is responding more and more to those around him. Hopefully next week he can come home !!!


Hey we are off to the ocean for a week. Even though we are surrounded by the sound and beaches, it is not the same as the ocean. We can not wait. Have a lovely week my dear readers. Next week I will be back with a cool, easy, cheap idea for canning jars. Ohh, remember to eat something yummy and think of me xoxox




I have been asked by a few readers about the mermaid. I bought this small picture at a little store. All she did was copy an old card, glue it onto a wooden plaque, drill a hole on the side of the top corners and run ribbon through it. I love her and scanned her  (also removed the holes) for you. Just click on the photo and save. Enjoy xoxoxoxox


PS. I have found out from the lovely Junie Moon, that the illustration is called "The Little Siren" and is by someone named Hardy. We do not have a clue if this is the persons first or last name. But hopefully this helps a little. If you find out more, please let me know. Thank you and thank you June  !!!!

Summer Corner #8


I am sorry to be so late with my summer corner. It has not been very summery here but we were finally able to do some fun things for this last summer corner post. I so enjoyed doing Summer Corner and I want to thank all of you for the support and those who did a summer corner !!

By the way I will write later what Mary and I were dressed up for. You have to go check out Kelli at There Is No Place Like Home, she has the most beautiful summer corners. I want to sit down and have tea with you Kelli. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Also she made a desk blotter and it turned out so charming.


My idea this last week is outdoor activities. I got the idea from Rebecca Frog and Toad are Friends who wrote to me about her summer corner ideas. Here is what she wrote

“Hello, Clarice!
I have three kids - I have some big messy art projects planned:
- throwing tennis balls dipped in acrylic paint onto big sheets of paper taped to our fence
- putting big sheets of paper underneath the swing set, giving the kids' paintbrushes (the big round house paint kind, not the pointy paint-set kind) and letting them paint while dangling from the swings
- again, my poor swing is going to be covered in a big sheet of paper and we're going to roll paint-covered tennis balls and little cars with paint on their wheels down it.
Pretty messy! I don't know if it fits with your blog's theme!
We're also making a theatre on the
clothesline theater and we've already made a fairy house in the front yard. We made honey cakes for fairies, and my daughter's buddies are coming over this weekend for a fairy party - iced herbal tea with flowers in the ice cubes, cupcakes that look like butterflies and fairytale mushrooms... I was also thinking about setting up a fairy mailbox in the hollow of the tree, where the kids would get little tiny letters from the fairies.
Other than that? We're making a papier-mache sculpture of Pippi Longstocking this summer!
I'm also saving baby wipe boxes - I dye water with food coloring, stick plastic toys or pennies or what have you in the boxes and then pour in the colored water. When it's frozen, I let the kids' excavate the toys out - or just let them put the colored blocks in the pool. Colored ice blocks are also fun to build with!”


Rebecca post so inspired me. Even though my girls are older, it got me thinking what fun outdoors activities we could do. First I made giant pick-up sticks. I bought wooden dowels (about 45 inches long) and just sharpened the ends in a pencil sharpener. We stuck one end in the ground and painted them different colors. That is it. At 40 cents a dowel this was a pretty cheap game to make. It is fun to try figure out how to work with such long pick-up sticks.


My second idea was a marble/paint idea. I took a wooden box, but any box would work. We taped the paper down on two sides. Put a couple of dabs of paint on the paper. All we did was roll three marbles around and around and around really fast. I found the more paint you use a more marbled affect it had. It was quite fun. I will not share the irreverent titles we came up with for each picture. It was sort of like looking at those ink spots at a physicists !! Now I am not sure about the sanity of my family, but we have a very good laugh !!!

Summer Corner #7


I just have to say it is now in the low 80 and high 70. Halleluiah !! I do not take heat well. If it was 72 that would be perfect to me !! Also if you have not seen it, look at Kelli's There's No Place Like Home wonderful back porch. Now that is very inspring !!
One of my happy memories when I was younger was the outdoor concerts we would go to. Maybe it is the cater in me, I am always up for a party !! But it seemed so festive to be surrounded by everyone. All with our picnics, enjoying the music, the surrounding, nature. Of course to being a foodie, there was the food. I loved to look around and see what others had brought. See their set ups. Some it was just plastic cups, some fruit and bread. But others had these elaborate set ups, like something out of a magazine. As I got older I had fun coming up with my own themes and menu. Here in WA by Post Townsend is the Olympic Music Festival.There is this old barn on 55 arches of farmland. Set out in the middle of nowhere. There are farm animals and hiking trails. It is absolutely charming and a favorite. But we have only been able to afford to go a couple of times.
Now that I am old (and lazy) I do not like hauling all that stuff and food around. (And to be honest I like the privacy of my own home) The candles, flowers, linens, silver. Hey if I am going to picnic I am going to do it right. So I got the idea (which is the idea that started summer corners) why not have an outdoor concert at home. I could drag out my CD player. Go to the library and get some new piece of music my family had not heard. Maybe an opera or musical. Then I can focus on setting the seen in my own yard. Lots and lots of candles, maybe I could even drag out last years Christmas lights and wrap them around a tree. One of my pretty quilts on the grass. A bouquet of fruit like from an Severin Roesen painting. And of course lots of yummy food. Although you do not have to make elaborate food. Presentation is half of it. I would rather have some perfect fruit, veggies, good wedge of cheese and bread. Then a bunch over overdone food. But here is a few fun, simple ideas that could be made ahead of time. Strawberry Buttermilk soup,Rustic Salmon Sandwich,stuffed eggs with goats cheese and dill,Watermelon with fennel salt.
Mostly I want my family to have happy memories of all of us sitting under the stars, enjoy the sounds, feeling the love !!
Painting above by Paul Landry

Summer Corner #6


Well I am battling allergies. So this summer corner, I am going to post some of you dear ladies ideas. First look at this charming front porch at Joanne's home. She enjoys sitting here  with a cup of tea and watch the birds as they fly from tree to tree. I can just picture sitting there with you dear Joanne. Think of me next time !!!



Next is Joanne's living room and the dresser that she 'dress up' according to the seasons.  There is a Summer English Home magazine, some potpourri and a candle called  Country Linen, by Yankee Candle, both smelling so summery!  There is also a 'British' picture from a friend, that shows two Victorian women walking along a garden picket fence. I just love this. I-spy-with-my-little-eye a beautiful cake stand with crystals hanging from it and I love the tea print !! What a beautiful sideboard by the way. 

It is all so summery and British. Thank you for being willing to share these with us xoxox


Dear Teresa was kind of enough let me share this picture of her pond when I asked. Even thought this photo was taken in the spring, I can picture myself sitting there with a  glass of lemonade. This is a wonderful summer corner Teresa and I am sure the ladies are inspired. Thank you for letting me post it xoxox


Mindy at Peaceful Corner shared her charming dinning room all done up for summer. I love the seashells with the potpourri and candle, very pretty. Also loved the scrapbook paper you use for your china cabinet. It is so Victorian. I love that look. I need to go get some new paper for my china cabinet. Thank you for the inspiration. 


Tracy at Seaside Enchantment has the cutest seashore corner in her home. I love the lighthouse and your boats. Very summery !!!!!

Tracy also has a wonderful post about how to celebrate summer.

PS. Rebecca I have not forgotten about you. I will be writing a post with your great ideas probably (If I can get my act together) next week. 

Summer Corner #5


Well ladies, I have had several naps and have recovered from the sangria, (sorry, slip of the tongue) I meant to say 4th of July :- o
It was all wonderful. I have a confection to make I never made anything on my 4th July menu. We were last minute invited to a friends boat to watch the fireworks. He is moored right on Liberty Bay. Right across from the barge setting off the fireworks. You have to lean back and look up to see them. Plus the reflections in the water is amazing. So I will have to make my yummy menu one day soon. I heard from several of you ladies that the black bean-roasted corn salsa is a hit. If you are lucky enough to live near a Trader Joes, they sell bags of frozen roasted corn. It is wonderful,very smoky. But a little goes a long ways. I mix it with regular corn. 

One of the wonderful treats of going on a trip if the wonderful place you stay in. It is fun to be in a new and pretty environment. It just helps to make it all feel that more like a luxury. Now that I have the inside of of my home looking like the summer cottage I dream of, I started looking to my yard. I decide to look at it like a house. Just like how my house has rooms, I though I could make rooms outside. I started with a gazebo, we put up a couple of years ago. This is our dinning room. It have a canvas roof (in the winter, we take that down and cover it in twinkle light). It adds a wonderful architectural feature to our yard. Plus with all the rain we get, it is nice to have a cover area in the yard.


I wanted to jazz it up a bit. As you can see I have lots of green but not many flowers. So I picked bright colorful Tracy Porter fab. I only bought a yard. Cut a strip to go down the center of the table. Got these wonderful bright flowers for $3.00. Added some candles and it is very relaxing.


The gazebo came with a planter. But instead of using it for a planter I use it as a buffet table. I made a top (cut ply-wood) and stapled more fabric and glued fun pom-poms. I put the plastic table-ware we use inside the planter. As well as candles, light stick, napkins, ect.
The next area is our living room. This is were have our fire pit and sit in the new relaxing Adirondack chairs. Don't you just LOVE the color !! It is nice to just sit a watch the flames. Like an outdoor fireplace. We can also grill here. We do hope someday to build an outdoor kitchen !!
We have our laundry room. I am want to do a bit more here. Make it prettier. I was hoping to get this done before I posted this but oh well. I will pull out a small table with a pretty cloth to fold laundry on.
On the other side of the yard is the play-room.  Slip-in-slide, badminton net, tire swing, ect. Hopeful soon we will also have an outdoor shower.  I even plan on hanging a small shelf and a mirror. Of course this is only for the summer, but make one feel like your house has doubled. We are lucky to have a fairly large yard. But even if it is small can you create several corners, just like inside your house. If you have any pictures of your outside rooms. I would love to see them.
Mary sent these wonderful pictures of flowers blooming around her yard !! I hope she is having relaxing time at the beach xoxox
Clarice1_1  Clarice2  Clarice3_1 

Summer Corner #4

In my wanting to create a summer vacation at home, I have been looking at food. Food is such a big part of vacations. Well life!! With temps warming up we are eating outside more and more. Even if it is cool outside we sit around the fire-pit and enjoy the relaxation. We have been barbequing almost everyday. I was think of what I could do that was different. We all know about roasting hot dogs, marshmallows, breads on a stick over a fire. Then I thought it would be fun to have an outdoor fondue. I  love fondues. When we do them it always seem like a party. A great way to bring family and friends together. If you do not have a fondue pot you could drag a crock pot out to keep the cheese fondue warm.(I always keep an outdoor extension in my yard) . Then have food to cook on a stick over the fire pit and dip in the fondue.  For dinner you could do a cheese fondue with shrimp, sausages, thinly sliced steak to cook. With a big raw veggie plate and lots of bread. It is dinner. For dessert an praline fondue is yummy. Fruit is wonderful grilled and with the praline dip even better. Sliced peaches, plums, apricot half's, strawberries, apple or pineapple, ect. Even if you do not have a grill or fire pit. You could cook your meat and have your fondue outside. I do not know about you but food always taste better to me outside.


Cheese Fondue.
My girls do not like the typical fondue it is to strong for them. So I do a cream cheese Monterey jack one. It is yummy. Make sure you get a good Monterey jack cheese, because that is were most of you flavor comes from.
1 1/2 cups grated Montery jack cheese (or do half fontina, half Montery)
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/4 cup milk
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese,  cut in pieces
1/3 cup of dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-size bowl, toss the Monterey jack with the cornstarch.

In a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk and cream cheese over low heat until the cream cheese is almost melted smooth. Add wine. Add the Monterey cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until the cheese is melted before adding more. When all the cheese has been added, stir in the garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.

Transfer the fondue to an fondue pot (or crock pot) and keep warm over a fondue burner . Serve immediately


Praline Fondue
Beat together in medium bowl, then transfer to small serving bowl:
1/2 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Place in another small serving bowl:
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Place crème fraîche and nuts on platter

Melt in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter Increase heat to medium-high and add:
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water Stir sugar and water 1 minute (mixture will bubble vigorously), then stir in:
2 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Serve in a bowl for dipping!!!

Summer Cornner #3 (part2)

Well DH was on the computer 5 hours before calling (at my suggestion) tek support. I adore my DH (truly) but is this like asking for the direction thing. Well it turns out that we will not get the broad-band till later today. Just think all the hours and frustration he could have saved himself. Plus he had been up for 25 hours strait. Thank you for letting me vent to you, so I will not vent to him !@! Hopefully you will hear from me tomorrow !! By the way please feel free to share ANYTHING that has motived you in Summer Corner. There is no right or wrongs. Just fun sharing.
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I needed a small lamp in my living room and had this wonderful antique glass lamp but needed a shade. Being on a tight budget (as usual) I went down to my fav. Target and got this plain white shabby chic lamp shade. Of topic, did you know the term shabby chic is not "in" anymore. Well I do not give a flying fig! So I bought a shabby chic lamp shade. But of course I had to mess with it. For the last couple of months I have had a black veil and old silk pink flower off an old hat. I saw this idea at a favorite store of mine in CA called Loo-Loo-Pom. All I did is wrap the veil around the shade and pin the flower on with a big hat pin. Easy, easy. No glue, no sewing, just a pin. The veil did not reach all the way around but the lamp was up against the wall, so who cared. Now with my new clean summery look I wanted something new. All I did was take a length of ribbon. Hot glue gun on some shells I had. Wrap and tie on the ribbon. I love it and am thinking what other ribbons can I do. I like the idea of attaching something to a ribbon, then tying that on. Just think I could have a whole box of ribbons with different themes and change them out to my whims. So look for what you could wrap a ribbon around. The possibilities are endless!!!!!
Here are some more interesting sea shell ideas. I hope you are inspired to play !!
Beautiful mural above by Donna-Lee

Summer Corner# 3 (part one)


Hello ladies, well I am enjoying summer corner and want to thank all who have joined in the fun. Thank you, thank you and keep the  creative ideas coming. It can be anything summery!!!

Mrs. Stagg's posted a beautiful Summer Corner of her home. I LOVE it. So sweet, rosy, Victorian. I love life in Merryville. You have inspired me Mrs. Stagg's with your wonderful eye.

Dear Debbie at Homespun Living  also posted some wonderful creative ideas we could all do at home. I want to copy her cabinet with bird's eggs, nest, feathers. Love it. Very Charlotte Mason !! Also now I want a bird cage !!!! Thank you !!
I wanted to post this picture Jody took of her front porch. It is so festive and fourth of July !! Isn't the little chair with the basket charming. Jody I love the blessing sign. A special word for Jody, me and a few of you ladies who visit my blog. I will never look at the word blessing the same again.
I hope everyone is inspired and see at lest one small thing they can do. The weather here is weird this summer. Gray, cold, sometimes sunny but then raining the next. Very muggy but I had to pull my sweaters out again. I know you ladies in the other states are really suffering in the heat, I am so sorry. Well because of the weather we have not be spending as much time outside as usual. So I have been focusing on the inside. I have been putting away a lot of my small clutter, to give a cleaner look. I pulled out all my white linens for pillows. I did get one purple one (above) last week on sale $9 !!! I like purple as an accent color with white and sea shells for summer. I pulled out all my shells and have been placing and stacking them around my living room. I stacked to cake pedestals with my museum wax  and set out shells on it. I love this they look like little summer tea cakes to me.
Well my goodness I have more to share but I do not like to overload you to much in one post. So I will write a part 2. Thank you again ladies for all your encouragement and inspiration. The blog world is so full of kindred spirits and I am thrilled to be meeting all of you. I am off to have a cup of lavender/rosemary tea in a pretty tea cup and watch the gray skies. xoxox

Summer Corner #2

I have been thinking all week how I can make each day this summer special. It does not have to be a big all day thing. But just one special thing a day. A treat. Really all it is, is appreciating the small things. Like what we drink! How can I make it different? So I decide to come up with different lemonades. My favorite of course is lavender. But just a simple little twist can make something feel new and special !!
Also do not forget how you serve it. Maybe pull out those special wine glasses. I always buy pretty ones at goodwill for the girls. So if they break no big deal. Or buy some fun cheap plastic ones. Fun straws or stirers. You can add fruit, colored sugar rim, coco rim, ect!!
I am very excited to hear everyone else's ideas for Summer Corner. My good friend Mary (who I have know since I was 20) sent a couple of pictures of their garden. If you could only have seen the dirt lot it was before. I do not even think there was weeds before. It is just amazing. Now people drive by just to look at their house. Maybe Mary can send more pictures (hint, hint).
And Jody sent some wonderful pictures of bouquets from her garden. Having flowers around the house is a great way to bring the outdoors in. Unfortunately I am allergic to most flowers (although not roses!!) and can not have bouquets sitting around. So I can enjoy Jody's !! 
Lavender Lemonaid


  • 1/2 cup dried lavender
  • 2 cups sugar
  • fresh lemon juice
  • water
To make the Lavender Syrup, boil 1/2 cup dried lavender with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Strain and save in a squeeze bottle.

Next, boil equal amounts of sugar and water (i.e., 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water) to create a simple syrup.

To  Lemonade, combine one part simple syrup, one part fresh lemon juice and four parts water. Stir thoroughly.


Minty Green Tea Lemonade

4 cups freshly brewed green tea
2 1/2 cups water
1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate (or fresh lemon aid)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Chill, strain and serve


Honey-Vanilla Lemonade

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 24 lemons)
Lemon wheels or wedges, for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and 2 cups water and place over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in 1/2 lengthwise, then, using the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the saucepan, along with the pod. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Put the lemon juice into a gallon jug or pitcher. Pour the sugar syrup through a strainer into the pitcher and discard the pod. Add water to equal 1 gallon and stir well.

Serve over ice with lemon wheels or wedges


Blackberry Lemonade

6-8 lemons
1/2 cup blackberries (or any fruit really)

Juice the lemons into a pitcher and add water and sugar until it tastes right (depending on how many lemons you use and how much of a sweet tooth you have!). Chill, then add blackberries


Sangria Lemonade (for the adults)

Fill a pitcher half way with sliced ripe peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines. Add some fresh berries to. Then our in 1/2 cup simple syrup, juice form about 10 lemons, 1 cup water and a bottle of dry rose wine. Adjust from there to your taste.

The Sangria is best made a day or two before. it helps the fruit to macerate and give the sangria more flavor !!


Summer Corner #1


Hello, as I mention I want to turn my home this summer into a vacation beach cottage. I am a firm believer in making the most of what you have. My goal (hopefully) for June and July is once a week to post an idea to help bring summer into your home. But I would like to invite all of you to be involved too. So if you post over the next 2 months any Summer Corner Ideas, send them to me and I will post them here. Just send me a link to your post.


Idea #1 is to set up an out-door art studio. Find an inspiring corner of your garden, get a cute comfy chair, set out an art easel (or maybe you have a tree that would work). Have a basket to hold all your supplies. Some ideas for your basket sketch pad, different pens and pencils, a piece of charcoal, some fun scented markers, mini canvases. Instead of dealing with oil paint why not use acrylic paint on the canvas ??  Just a good old pencil and some paper will be fine to. Make it fun, not a pressure.
One of the things I have learned homeschooling over the years is not to be intimidated to paint or draw. My girls and I all have our own sketch books and do lots of nature drawings. They are not really very good drawings, well at lest mine are not. But that is not the point. I have learned to just go sit somewhere I am inspired and to enjoy the process !!
I thought this Twig Easellooked like fun to make and a great idea for use when you are not drawing.
Here are some other patterns to make your own art easel. They look a bit complicated but maybe you know someone who loves to build things.
Have fun and send my your Summer Corner ideas.