Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Container Gardening


Container Gardening

Would it surprise you to learn that container gardening has a different meaning for me?

For me it is all about finding a unique container I already have, and the story that goes with it.

For the stone retablo in our front courtyard, I pulled purple verbena which was growing wildly in our back yard and 'planted' its roots in a small opening at the retablo base.

Why? Because on an El Paso garden tour of homes this past Sunday, I saw purple verbena everywhere, peeking out of unusual places in beautiful West Texas gardens.

This past weekend I also enjoyed using some of my blue and white pieces as 'containers'. 

After a quick trip to WalMart's garden center, where I found a yucca plant for less than $7, a spike dracena for $4, and a sedum plant for $6 , I tucked them into some of my favorite blue and white pieces in our entry.

It all looked brighter when I tucked a cutting from a pink kolanche I had on our back porch in as well.
When I planted the spike dracena in my new blue and white bird planter, this adventure in container gardening was complete. 

Container gardening is usually much larger in scale than what I created this weekend, and it combines multiple plants.

I have created those as well, but this weekend was about something else:)
Try this. It is so much fun.  

I have planted small plants and succulents in antique Mexican pottery and silverplate pieces and in pots that are already full of plants.

Container gardening should be as simple as combining something 'found' with a small plant that matches that container in quirkiness. 

These smaller plants create the perfect touch in a vignette in the garden and inside as well.

It is affordable and fun which makes it perfect for April's Ten on the Tenth.

I hope you will visit all of the other wonderful bloggers who are sharing their container gardening ideas for 
They are all so creative .




 

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Dear Daughters: Embracing Your Inner Off Trend Decor Self :)

Saltillo Tile

Dear Daughters,

It takes a certain creative courage to embrace and design what you love in a home when it is not the trend of the day.

(Hang in there with me and please stop rolling your eyes. We have NOT talked about this before.)

Maybe it is because I have had more experience doing this, or because Nonnie did it everyday in her home, or because I know you have this inclination too.

We have not always gone the popular or trending  route in home design- even though we love the creativity and the beauty we see in all homes.

I have said before here at White Spray Paint that I love ALL houses because I know what it takes to assemble one.

Back to off trend decor with a case in point-

saltillo tile floors.

Saltillo 2018-1

You know I love saltillo- you know I have always loved saltillo- but it is not a flooring that you often see chosen in today’s world.

Beautiful wood floors are everywhere now, along with tile that looks like wood, or other kinds of tile.

They are all beautiful.

But in my heart of hearts I keep going back to what I know and love.

Saltillo 2018-2

Maybe it is because of this young couple, your grandparents, who began their married life together on a great adventure in Mexico.

NonnieandPapa_thumb1

I have always loved all things Mexico, and I know you do too.

It is about what calls to you. Don’t ignore that call. It is your heart speaking.

Saltillo 2018-3

And so , we are having saltillo tile in many areas of Casa Golondrina.

Casa Golondrina Entrance 2

It is far from perfect, it doesn’t exactly match the previous saltillo installed in the house, it all needs to be sealed, and on and on.

As the list of imperfections grows, my smile gets wider.

I love you.

Mom

Casa Golondrina Logo 2

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rose Panic

 
Roses From My Garden
There is so much to learn about rose gardening.
I feel so often that I am making it up as I go along, and I have so many questions, even though my roses previously grew and bloomed in spite of me.

I wish I could talk to my Grandmother Mills.
She grew all of her plants from cuttings and in coffee cans, and everything grew.



I went to the nursery this morning to look at rose bushes, and they were ALL gone.
I panicked and asked why?


A nice young man said, “M’am, people have already planted their new roses.”
“But it is still cold,” I said.
“M’am, that’s when they like it.”


So I went back home and looked through my giant stack of library gardening books for Southwest gardening (note to self: get ONE book next time), and I quote:
In January, roses transplant easily on cool days. Choose a cool cloudy day. Lift the plant and inspect the roots carefully. Remove any diseased or dead roots.

Dust the roots with sulphur to help heal small lesions and prevent rotting problems.  (Month by Month Gardening in the Desert Southwest)



At which point my roses from our old house shouted across the miles:

“Mister- she’s not going to do all of that!”
Well, I never.

*****
Linking to:

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Zinnias and Ten on the Tenth



I have written often here at White Spray Paint about my love of zinnias and the connection they create to my farming heritage and my father,
my wonderful friends and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds, and to who I am.


If I may be so bold, I want that for YOU.


To that end, below is a simple, direct invitation in honor of our (Ten on the Tenth celebration today) printed here just for you:


You are cordially invited to join the
Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds


Why?  Because all women need a sisterhood and gardening is the best common ground for that.
The guidelines are simple and the cost is low:)


You do not have to have gardening experience.

All you have to do is say I'm in so I can imagine you planting your zinnias this spring .
How do you proceed? It is so simple:)



Step I.       

Buy a packet(s) of zinnia seeds. I buy my seeds at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wal Mart, and at any small town local nursery or hardware store I drive past.

Small town hardware stores are the best. I love shopping for seeds!  This is usually the point I realize I bought too many packets, and I share them with friends.


Step 2.      
Read the planting information on the back of the packet to determine the best time to plant. If I am ever unsure,  I call  the county extension office and ask them questions (they may be screening my calls at this point).

Step 3.
Find the sunniest area of your yard and prepare your soil. I enjoy planting in raised beds because I need to be able to mow the grass around the bed.

For preparing the soil in a raised bed, I remove as much debris and grass as I physically can, till the soil with my trusty hoe, cover the area with newspaper or light cardboard that I have dampened, and then pour in bags of gardening soil.

Note:  I am not a gardening purist. I am a slinger.  

This imperfect method has worked for me , and I can physically do this myself.


Step 4.
With my index finger or the end of a trowel, I draw in furrows.  If you have a raised bed, make sure you draw the furrow the direction of your bed that is shortest.

You need to be able to reach the zinnias in the middle of the bed.
Step 5.
I sprinkle in the seeds by hand and once dropped, I spread them even further apart. I tend to overplant spaces.


Step 6.
Cover the seeds with soil by moving your hand gently back and forth over the planted row.


Step 7.
Lightly water what you have planted. Do not over water.


Step 8.
Start buying small vases at the flea market to share bouquets of your zinnias with your extended Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds friends and family.


This is a very forgiving kind of gardening, and I promise you will be successful.


Why did I name this the Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds? 


Because after my father passed away in 2015, I took the seeds from my fathers’ dried zinnias that were left in his garden and shared them with friends:)

Today I am virtually sharing them with YOU.

Are you in?  I hope so, and I hope you will tell me all about it as the spring months progress.
 My El Paso Zinnias, Fall 2017

*****

Using Spring as our topic this month, the following bloggers are all sharing spring inspiration today at 
Ten on the Tenth.
As always, visit everyone for wonderful projects and ideas.
 
 
The Purple Hydrangea
At Home With Jemma
The Bookdocks Blog
Exquisitely Unremarkable
Pandora's Box
White Spray Paint
Patina and Paint
Poofing the Pillows
Cottage at the Crossroads
Let's Add Sprinkles
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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Daybook Side by Side: Super Bowl Sunday 2013 and Super Bowl Sunday 2018

IMG_0010

 (Join me in looking at two Super Bowl Sundays.)


Outside My Window : Super Bowl Sunday 2013

Mercy.  I have so much to do to get the yard ready for spring,
and I am running late.  
Note:  This is the point where I like to act like the farmer’s daughter that I am and I act like- feel like there is a sense of urgency.
As in I need to get my crop in the ground.
  
But first I need to clean. Leaves.
Millions of leaves.
Leaves with a sense of humor.
Leaves that laugh behind your back as you sweep and rake and sweep some more.
And so while watching the Super Bowl, I am making my gardening to do list.
Number one on the list?  Leaves :)




Outside My Window: Super Bowl Sunday 2018
Mercy.  I have so much to do to get the yard ready for spring here in El Paso, and I have no idea yet what I need to do.

I have fallen in love with Casa Golondrina, but I still can not look at photos of our old home.

I think GOD is helping with this by saying, with a Super Bowl reference all HIS own, “Keep your eyes on the ball Laura Ellen.”

IMG_0009

From the kitchen our Super Bowl supper 2013 was    
my husband’s brisket,

my husband’s pinto beans,

and salad (my contribution).  

Our appetizer was guacamole and tortilla chips. 



From the kitchen our Super Bowl supper 2018 is
tricky business:)

We are getting ready to remodel our kitchen, prompted by a cooktop that gave up several weeks ago and quirks too numerous to list.

My husband’s beans are cooking in a crockpot.
He is not happy about that , but football is the great distraction:)

But when our oldest daughter Heather asked “can Dad make his beans?”
He thought, of course I can.
Who needs a stove?


I Was Thinking in 2013

I have become a scaredy cat.
I don’t like being frightened 
at the movies or watching television.


I blame my brother.
Growing up he was always jumping out from behind a door to scare me.
It worked.




I Am Thinking in 2018
That this afternoon’s super bowl watching at our daughter’s house will be fun.

She has a pork roast in her crockpot, and I am bring Dad’s Beans, guacamole and tortilla chips, artichoke dip, and garlic bread.


I  Was Thankful in 2013 For…  
leaves.

I know.
Everything is a riddle with me.



I Am Thankful in 2018 For …
the reason we moved here.
   



In 2013 I was reading….
blogs.    
You are all so smart and talented. 


and in 2018 I am reading…
blogs.
You are all so smart and talented.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Be Bold

Be Bold
Welcome to Ten on the Tenth!
In honor of Valentine’s Day 2018, which is right around the corner, a group of bloggers have come together, as we do each month, to offer inspiration.
With that in mind,
let’s talk about
Being Bold!
**********
I have very distinct memories of various Valentine’s Days from years past.

I will always treasure one in particular,


It was 3rd grade at Riviera Elementary school, and after arriving at school on Valentine’s Day, clutching my valentines sealed in their small envelopes, 
ready to drop in my classmates’ decorated sacks, I was stopped in my tracks when I reached my desk.


There sitting in all of its over the top glory was a Valentine’s Day gift that resembled this.

It was enormous.
Bed Doll
I didn’t know where to look.



Remember when you were little, and you were pleased and embarrassed all at the same time?
You sort of sucked your cheeks in trying not to smile?



I knew who it was from.  He was already sitting at his desk looking equally embarrassed.  Oh the sweet shyness of youth .



Valentine’s Day has all sorts of implications, doesn’t it ?



And so what if this Valentine’s Day of 2018- that is right around the calendar’s rapidly speeding corner- we are BOLD?



Let’s channel Laura Ellen (me) at age 9, and give her another chance to stand tall, release her cheeks that are trying so hard to not smile, and look the gift giver in the
eye, and smile .

Whatever Valentine’s Day brings this year- and whether or not we have big plans- let’s all straighten our shoulders, get dolled up, ‘throw the closet’- (footnote below ), look someone straight in the eye and smile.


What a wonderful Valentine’s day that will create.



Footnote: 
‘Throw the Closet’ is an expression my dear friend Celeste from South Texas always says before getting dressed for a special occasion-
which means, bring it all out- go for it, and when it is time to stop, you'll know- or someone will tell you!



Here are some bold spirit building ideas to help accomplish that.



Wear Red
IMG_3861 (2)




Wear Big Red Earrings
IMG_3864


                                                          

 Wear a Smokey Eye
nude-smokey-eye-smokey-eye-night-out-makeup-tutorials



Wear Red Lipstick   
Red Lipstick Passionate Red



Wear Red Nail Polish
ImNotReallyaWaitress_NL_H08



   
These are just examples friends.
We all have something red in our closet or in our cosmetics, and if we don’t, Wal Mart does for all of the right prices.



Let’s use what we have and Be Bold.





**********

I am blessed to be joining a group of ladies for Ten on the Tenth, who don’t seem to mind that I break the rules every month.

Visit all of their blogs for wonderful Valentine’s Day inspiration. They are all so talented.




Plus…

They are BOLD.




     Ten on the 10th graphic         












Thursday, January 4, 2018

If We Were Having Coffee: My Word For The Year and Blogging

Casa Golondrina Christmas

Casa Gondrina at Christmas 2017

If we were having coffee, and after we discussed whether or not our Christmas decorations were boxed away, I would tell you about something I learned recently,

how it impacts my ‘word’ for the year, and a few thoughts on blogging.



For a few months, I have been following the Blogging Over Breakfast Facebook live posts of Gina Luker (of her famously successful blog The Shabby Creek Cottage).
   

Gina is smart, self deprecating in the right way, honest, and generous- all of the qualities I love in a person.



After listening to her emphasize how bloggers must know who is reading their blog in terms of interest- as well as suggestions and strategies for how to do that- I realized something.

IMG_8804

Casa Golondrina Entry



So right about now would be a good time to insert a disclaimer .

 

I know I wrote very few posts in 2017. I know what the struggle and lack of willingness to do so looked like on my end.  I was living life on life’s terms (aren’t we all?), and

blogging about it was not at the top of my list. All of the opposites in life were fast at work in me in 2017.  (happy/sad…carefree/worried…laughing/crying).



I also know, however, that I need this blog as a voice for my creativity, the new changes in our lives due to a move, my quirky way of looking at things, and I need you.




So the paradigm shift in my thinking happened as I began to read, read, read.

I think it is also important to say that it was not planned reading.  It began in that serendipitous way that all great things do in today’s world.

I was simply clicking from one thing to the next on my computer.

I began to read about blogging, and I was blessed to stumble on people whose message I liked.



And so Gina’s message (to me) resonated.

So what did I determine following a little research of my blog?

I believe anyone who visits White Spray Paint and stays doesn’t mind reading.

I want to thank you for that .

I don’t always make it easy:)  One post may be like this one, the next may be on my husband’s delicious black-eyed pea recipe, and the next may be about my favorite finds at the flea market.

So… my word for the year- in honor of YOU is READ.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Starting 2018 Differently



 Photos from my 2017 Instagram feed


Happy New Year Friends!

I know we are all catching our breath from our holiday celebrations, but before you fully move into 2018, I would like to suggest an idea.


The turning of our yearly calendar usually inspires us to look ahead at what we need to do or change in 2018.


What if instead, we did things differently?


I have, and here is why.


Early one morning while watching a Facebook live video titled Your Best Year Yet  by one of my all time favorite bloggers- Edie Wadsworth of LifeinGrace- she made a simple suggestion that knocked my socks off.


I grabbed a piece of paper while watching and started writing.


Edie- in her infinite wisdom- suggested this task before doing anything else associated with 2018 thinking and goal setting.


Write a list of what you accomplished in 2017
.


If you are a rebel like I am who has wanted so badly to create a magic list of resolutions (ugh) for the new year- then this is a game changer.

As I listed in my favorite don’t overthink it stream of consciousness Laura zone- I started to feel my shoulders relax, and I felt encouraged.


I was then able to look at the new year differently, and I realized that I could do it. I could plan. I could succeed however that looked.
 

I could give that rebellious little girl in me credit where credit was due.

You can too.


Thank you Edie.





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