Sunshine in a Jar {& Three Gifts to Go}

The other day my son wanted to pick some flowers out of our garden to give to his Grandmother on her birthday...
So we grabbed a mason jar from my stash and fussed it up.
Using some pretty up-cycled wall paper in soft buttery yellow, grassy green, and sky blue flowers I cut a wide band of the paper, scalloped the edge, and taped it on to the jar.
With a little help from my assistant, we made some double winged fluttery butterflies punched out of the same paper and hot glued them randomly around the jar.  A yellow satin bow tied around the neck of the jar was the finishing touch and the jar was ready to be filled with delicate white rose sprays.
It was such a simple project ~ it took less than five minutes ~ and was a charming gift from a little boy {with some help from his Momma} to his Grandmother.
I may even make some more of these to place on tables for a garden club meeting I will be having at my home in November...
And what a lovely teacher's gift just because or a sweet hello to a new neighbor...
...or a Jar of Sunshine for you! 

Or would rather know if you are one of the three lucky ones to receive my gifts in celebration of my third annual Blogoversary?
I'm sure that's really what you want to know...
So now that I have your undivided attention, I am pleased to announce the three winners of my three gifts...
Carole from Maynard Green House is getting some lovin' from me with this set of three tags.  Her blog is a delightful read about decorating and gardening ~ all with a twist of flair that she gives.  Thank you Carole for your continued bloggy friendship!

Miss Margie is a new follower and fan.  She found me through a feature in Somerset Life and has continued to make me smile every time I read one of her comments.  These three photo postcards are for her...since she, herself, is such an accomplished photographer...and does not re-touch the photographs she makes ~ it's true photographic art.  I encourage you to visit her lovely blog, Late Bloomer Buds.

I am honored to know Monica of The White Bench.  I have been a fan of her work for several years.  We know each other through our blogs, Pinterest, our e-mails, and Somerset features {I've been lucky enough to be featured in some of the same issues in which Monica graces the pages}.  I just know that I would have such a great time with her.  She truly is one of the most creative individuals I know.  That, and of course...she is Italian!!!

Ladies, if you will please e-mail me privately and give me your mailing addresses, I will be more than happy to send you these gifts from the heart.

Thank you all for your continued encouragement, comments, and cyber friendship!

Ciao amici,

Summer Harvest

Are you ready for the weekend?
This little lady will be cleaning up the flower and herb garden, harvesting whatever the squirrels and birds have not enjoyed all summer, and bringing some fragrant herbs indoors to escape the heat.
Our rabbit's eye blueberry bush was thoroughly enjoyed by all the birds in the neighborhood ~ not a single berry is left on this little tree.
Unlike last year when we could not eat them fast enough!
So {for now}...we have none of these scrumptious blueberries as we did last season...I have since moved the pot closer to our back porch door.  They say that these are the best front porch berries to grow.  I am sure that all the activity in and out of the door keeps our feathered friends looking for their antioxidents elsewhere.  It took me most of the summer to figure this out.
Perhaps we will have an autumn harvest?
{I did not grow those luscious raspberries, by the way.}

In the meantime, while the squirrels did have a pomodoro party {with a hint of basil} I think we may have had the bounty of these Early Girls...
...and enjoyed buckets of my home made gazpacho and blt's on crusty French bread all summer long!
{This precious clay blue bird was a gift from my son earlier this summer, which he made in his art class at school.  If you look closely, there are two eggs in the nest.}
Enjoy your weekend and a little reminder that if you want to participate in my third annual blogoversary giveaway, leave a comment for me here or on my party post from last week.  I will draw names of the winners on Friday, August 26th.

As always, thank you for your visit.

Ciao amici,

Three Years ~ And Three Gifts to Give Away

Every birthday girl should have a crown to wear, don't you think?  {Even if the "girl" is virtual, such as this blog celebrating it's third "blogoversary."}
But it may be more important to have something decadent to devour...especially for the girl who started this thing in the first place, three years ago.  {That would be me.}

One pound of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate {antioxidants}, one half of a pound of sweet cream butter {natural oils for your skin and hair...really}, seven eggs {high compact protein}, some sugar and lots of patience...

Break it, melt it, whip it, and bake it...then chill it for a day {more patience}...

In the meantime, set a pretty spot and pluck some tiny blooms from the garden

Finally retrieve the chocolate pie from the "ice box" and take a moment to look at this masterpiece before taking a knife to it. 

Now, I am not a kitchen girl...the entire process of going to the grocery store, thinking about what to buy and prepare for the weekly meals, trying to stay creative and healthy {I could go on and on}, exhausts me...however, I do love to create something yummy once in a while {especially for a special occasion} and I do have a few delicious recipes that I pull out when so inspired.  This week I was so inspired and tried this recipe for the first time.

It helped that I was "encouraged" by the little birthday boy in the house to "try it Momma!" 

It turned out perfectly perfect and I even snuck a tasty piece {to celebrate my "blogoversary" of course} before the real birthday celebration began later in the evening.

A cake this decadent deserves a pretty spot to be presented and served...even if it is just for me.

So with a petite bouquet of miniature white rose buds in a hot pink cut glass votive, a kitchy silver candelabra with pink organza bows and glass beaded berries, a delicate dessert plate with a hand painted hot air balloon {got to have balloons at a party!}, and my sparkly crown I served up a tiny piece of this concoction.  {After all I did have to taste it before serving it to my family, to make sure it was just right.}

Chocolate Nemesis.  That's the name of this cake.  I wonder why.


Now on to more important matters that concern you...
To show my L O V E and appreciation to my long time loyal readers and new blog friends too...this set of THREE hand made tags will go to someone special.
The windows around the blogging world and your creative worlds have been opened up to me {so to speak} since I began writing my blog three years ago, and these THREE original photograph postcards will go to another someone somewhere around the world.
I have been fortunate to have had my collection of Natural Home Goods featured in several of the Stampington publications, so I am giving away THREE hand made natural canvas millinery flower and mother of pearl magnet clips to a third lucky someone.
Meanwhile, I must extend my gratitude to Beth Livesay the stylish and talented editor of Somerset HOME for for featuring my hand made tea towel collection in this year's annual edition of her book.  If the cover alone does not jump out at you from the news stands, the contents will definitely pull you in.
And, of course, Christen Olivarez gets a big hug from me too for featuring my embellished clip boards in the 2011 summer issue of Somerset Life.
This magazine is filled to the brim with beautiful ideas and creations for your Life.

Do you want an opportunity to win some of these goodies?  Let me know you were here and leave a comment.  I will select the three winners by random drawing and let you know on Monday, August 22nd.  Extended through to Friday, August 26th!

Thanks for your visit as always.

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Linking up with the Pink Saturday blog party today.


Just a quickie to say hello... 
...and invite you to join me for a small celebration of my third annual "Blogoversary" party next week.

I may just be having a little give away to thank all of you loyal followers and those of you who are new blog friends tooSo...please come back next week for all the juicy details and see what I have up my sleeve for you!

 In the meantime I have another party to plan for my little assistant, so go out and have yourself a wonderful week.

Ciao amici,