Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Recuperating. . .

"There are times when we stop,
                               we sit still.
We listen and breezes from a whole other world
                               begin to whisper."
                                                           ~ James Carroll

Dear Ones,
I can't find adequate words to express
how terribly much I've missed
~ hearing from each one of you
~participating in your weekly parties
~seeing all your photos of Autumn's approach
but I am currently recuperating
from an unforeseen sudden gald bladder surgery.

So~o~o. . .
for the moment I have had to stop,
                                          to sit still.
Currently I'm listening to my aging body
and focusing on its immediate needs for care.
Refreshing Autumnal breezes from
Bennett Spring State Park at Lebanon, Missouri
begin to whisper that it is time ~ 
                                            for our Annual return.

Amidst all these unforeseen circumstances,
arriving home from my hospital stay,
I learned we had been "h a c k e d"
and the Mother board f r i e d!!!

Presently I'm looking towards the future of
~ returning and renewed health
~ inspired and clear focus
~and the purchase of a new computer
allowing me, once again, to join all of you
in The Land of Blog in October.

Thank you for your patience and
understanding in these times of trial.

                                With a grateful heart,

Until next time. . .

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stretching My Abilities. . .

Once the Seasonal change~over begins On Crooked Creektt,
I spend ample time in Studio One re~organizing. 

While placing the past Seasons items back inside my storage tubs,
I decided to try a floral arrangement using the guidelines 
from Faux Florals easy arrangements for all seasons
by Arturo Quintero.

all of the above florals would have been disposed of from the past Season.

So~o~o. . .
I felt this was a perfect time to try my hand at floral arranging.

* * * * * * * Tutorial * * * * * * *

I began by using a creamy ivory planter on a footed stand.

"Mr. Ed" had filled this planter with Styrofoam many Seasons ago.

Step 1 Cut the Styrofoam using a serrated knife.
              Insert the foam into the planter so that it fits snugly and rests
              1/2 to 3/4 inch below the rim of the planter.

Step 2 Use wire cutters to trim five stems to 6 inches.
              Insert two stems into the foam at the front right side
              of the planter so that the blossoms hang over the rim.
              Insert a floral stem at the back right side,
              another at the back left side, and the remaining at the left side.

* * * Tip * * *
Using one sprig, I unwrapped each section 
giving me the needed five stems 6 inches long.

The same technique can be done if you purchase a floral bush
perhaps passing a $aving onto you in the future!

* * * * * * * * 
Step 3 Continue to fill in with an assortment of florals.
              Be sure to trim each sprig with wire cutters to 6 inches.

             Here, I began adding the assortment of fillers.
             I adore the long leaves on the berry sprigs!

             I used all of the green poofy sprigs, 
             a total of  six to fill out the rest of the planter.

Step 4  Continue to trim the sprigs to 6 inches.
               Insert the florals into the foam, arranging them randomly throughout.

Step 5 Use remaining florals to fill in any remaining spaces
               or holes in the arrangement.

I could still see glimpses of white Styrofoam along the perimeter of the planter.

By  adding some variegated ivy, 
I was able to the extend the arrangement and camouflage the foam.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Since I used the same hues of florals that are in Studio One's color palette,
I now have a new floral arrangement that was totally free!!!

Using the same technique, 
you could make any Seasonal arrangement in keeping with your current decor.

But since it's always Spring in Studio One. . .
I'm thinking this "no cost" floral arrangement, that stretched my abilities,
nicely fills the space On Crooked Creektt!

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creektt will be joining 

Be sure to visit for you'll come away inspired
to try something new in your own home decor!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dysfunctional Kitchen? ? ?

I declare, I have the most dysfunctional kitchen e v e r!!!

No matter how I re~arrange the counter tops
or the interior of the cabinets. . .
it seems I walk far too many miles in my Galley Style Kitchen!

It doesn't help matters that my MoMa taught me to work in a kitchen
from right ~to~left. . .and that most kitchens function left~to~right!

Today, I took a chair and set at the entrance of my Galley Style Kitchen
to visually see if there was a better possible solution to the functionality 
of these cramped quarters.

The above photo is the after photo of the North side of the kitchen.

Although the entire wall measures 7 ft. 6 in.,
the space is divided in the middle by my 30 inch range.

Left side of the range  ~

right side of the range.

The microwave was formerly on the counter behind me to my right.
Now placed to my left, as I stand at the range
with the door opening against the refrigerator,
I have eliminated several footsteps!

Next, I brought the spice rack, formerly behind me to my left,
and placed it within close proximity to the range.

Added essential pepper and salt shakers on a tray. . .

along with my favorite tempered glass cutting board.
Here next to the microwave, 
the cutting board will serve a duo purpose as a cutting board and a trivet!

While this appears easy on the eyes,
the real test will come as I begin to prepare meals!

To the right side of the range, I need space for setting a batter bowl 
when adding ingredients to pots and pans.

Since there are no windows in my Galley Style Kitchen,
I purchased this print to give me a pleasant view while preparing meals.

To the right of this print are two lidded urns for holding snacks.

Ample space for my batter bowl
and the ever essential toaster for "Mr. Ed's" main course 
of toast for breakfast.

Back to the chair and now for the view of the South side of the kitchen.

The above photo is the after photo of the South side of the kitchen.

The Southern side of the kitchen counters measures 9 ft. 6 in.
and is divided by the double kitchen sink.

When I painted the dark walnut cabinets Sherwin~Williams Paper White,
I didn't allow "Mr. Ed" to reattach the single cabinet door.
Instead, I opted for baskets. I've never regretted that decor decision.

Formerly the microwave sat in the corner of this counter space.
"Mr. Ed" and I are coffee drinkers, iced and hot tea drinkers
so this expanded counter better fills the need for more space
and allows for a full blown coffee bar!

I actually began closest to the sink,
as we must have a place for hand washing and dish washing soap.
Utilitarian, but with a touch of shimmer from my silver tray collection.

The placement of the coffee pot 
was decided upon primarily to disguise the electrical outlet.

I was thrilled to finally have space for a two~tier plate rack,
allowing me to leave a few dessert plates in close proximity 
for snacks, morning toast or an afternoon tidbit.

Using my everyday white porcelain dinner plates,
I added two dessert plates atop each plate. . .

followed by two saucers. . .

and topped off with two coffee / tea cups.

Coffee beans and loose leaf tea
in my silver lidded glass canisters completes this space.

The right side of the Southern counter space 
is the workhorse of my Galley Style Kitchen!

This is where all the chopping and mixing takes place.
The filling and emptying of baking pans 
and this Summer has been 'the place' for salad fixins'.

I adore having my flavored vinegars within arms length.

However. . .
I didn't like viewing the cable connector each time 
I reached for one of those bottles.

Nice "cover~up" using an ironstone tray from my collection!

While freshening up this space,
I decided to bring in a bit more of my Traditional decor,
especially to the "windowless" sink area.

Although I've had these Traditional fruit prints for years,
they are usually placed on easels.
Today, I decided to give they a more permanent place in the kitchen.

A much improved view by day. . .

a marvelous view by night!

I adore how the prints blend harmoniously 
with my beloved grandmothers vintage Bavarian fruit plates.

While there is not one thing 
I can do about the 10 ft. 8 in. X 4 ft 7 in. floor space
of my Galley style Kitchen. . .

I can make the best use of the space I have!

The North side of my Galley Style Kitchen
as seen from the Dining Room.

The South side of the Galley Style Kitchen 
as viewed from the Dining Room.

Now as I stand in the doorway from the Entry Hall,
I'm liking the view and hoping that I will have less steps to travel,
making this truly a functional space On Crooked Creektt!

Until next time. . .

* * * * * * * A Word of Thanks * * * * * * *
Thank you to all of the amazing ladies in The Land of Blog
who participated in the All About the Details. . .Kitchen Home Tour!
Viewing your elegantly designed kitchens gave me an abundance
of inspirational ideas to help improve the functionality of my
Galley Style Kitchen here On Crooked Creektt!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
On Crooked Creektt will be joining

And. . .

Marty was one of the 24 
All About the Details. . .Kitchen Home Tours participants.
Click here to see her amazing kitchen!