Playing with Flowers...Again

I hope everyone had a great weekend. The weather was gorgeous here! I spent most of my time outside working in my flower beds. 

I went to WalMart on Friday and their garden dept is amazing! It is so full of lots of beautiful flowers and garden vegetables. Well, I couldn't help myself I ended up buying a few more plants to put into a couple of  containers for my patio.

I got an old white pot that's been hanging around my scary garage that was filled with big ugly spiders. I cleaned it out and filled it with my favorite Miracle Gro potting soil. Then, filled it with my new flowers and it turned out sooo pretty!



I planted Caladium which is the plant with the big leaves and green vein looking things running through it. I also planted Sweet Potato Vine which is the bright green leafy plant on the bottom right. It will eventually (I hope) cascade down the side of the pot. There is also Calibrachoa, it is the full plant with the small white flowers that is already hanging over the sides. There are also two pink begonias in the back. The big tall dark spiky thing in the center is called "Red Star" (Cordyline). Seriously, two of these plants I had never heard of before and that's the Calibrachoa and the Red Star. 

Everytime I go to a garden center I find something new. I never get tired of going to Garden Nurseries. Every one of them are different. I ALWAYS find something I can use. Here is a close up of everything in the pot.



I want to talk to y'all about how I come up with arrangements and colors to put in containers. I will save that for later on this week. Happy Gardening!

Silk Ruffle Pillow Made From Drop Cloth

Here is a pic of a pillow I made for It All Started With Paint pillow party. I will post a tutorial soon!


Happy Saturday!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tornado Outbreak April 27, 2011...Looking Back

A year ago today as  the skies darkened over Alabama many people were going about their normal daily routine, going to work or school. The tornado sirens started going off for us before daylight. This was nothing new. We had heard them so many times before. I have a two-story home and on the first floor sometimes it's difficult to hear the rain. But this night it was so loud I could barely hear the sirens. My husband wasn't home and my kids were suppose to be at school in less than three hours. I was torn, do I wake them up and then send them to school with no sleep? (Stupid)  I finally did wake them up and decided I didn't care about school today, they weren't going. We had been warned as well as the entire southeast for a week that today was going to have all of the "ingredients" for the "perfect storm". But everyone went to work and school anyway. I look back and I still can't believe school was not cancelled. The tornado sirens started well before school began. I'm so thankful I didn't send my kids that day. As the day progressed, it was one round of tornadoes after another ALL day long.  When they finally decided to let school out there were so many tornado warnings they couldn't let the buses leave with the kids. So unless your parent was able to pick you up you couldn't leave.

We lost power that morning before the very large ones hit. This is how prepared I was...I had $5 in cash and less than a quarter of a tank in gas. No water or food stored up. No flashlights out. No batteries for the flashlights. No cell phone fully charged. And no plan. And it was just me and my 2 kids, with no basement and no storm shelter. As I write this I feel so incredibly thankful for my area being spared and also incredibly stupid and ashamed. I pulled a chair up to the large window in my dining room and looked out watching the eerie sky oblivious to what was happening just miles away and throughout my entire state. My mother and sister texted me all of the latest news. I have to admit I wasn't afraid at all. I didn't think it was a big deal. They texted me a pic they took of a tornado on live TV.  And the pics were incredible but I could NOT fathom at all what was going on. I really did not have any clue of the lives being taken or the massive destruction or entire towns being blown away. In my mind it was just a bad stormy day. I look back and wonder if in my mind if that's what I thought in order to get through it without losing it? I don't know. But these waves of storms lasted all day for us, over 12 hours. This is a map of the tornado routes in Alabama and neighboring states. The strongest tornado was not, as people believe, the Birmingham or Tuscaloosa tornado, it was the one that passed over the land 5 miles west of my house. This tornado went through a more rural area so it received less media coverage. It traveled 132 miles and took over 70 lives. Just this one tornado. I get sick to my stomach when I look at this picture.  See the purple line. I live five miles to the east of that line.


I'm so thankful that my city was spared but feel so guilty. I should have been more prepared and should have taken it more seriously. Those people didn't deserve to die anymore than I deserved to live.

After all of the storms had gone through, it became night time. I don't know if you have ever been anywhere where there is absolute total darkness. There were no street lights, no light coming from the city, and no light coming from the moon. I opened the door to my house and I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. I had to keep going outside and charging my phone in my car so I could keep getting updates from my family. That night was horrible. I hated that I couldn't turn on the TV and see everything. I hated the not knowing what was going on around me. Since there was no electricity my house alarm was running off of a battery and I knew that wasn't going to last long. It sounds ridiculous but being by myself, in the pitch black, no money, no gas, and all of my family living away I was scared and angry with myself. I know that I had it so good compared to thousands of people who were in the dark and homeless and missing family members. I'm writing this in hopes that other people will be a lot smarter than I was. Listen to the weather channel! These guys actually do know what they are talking about. Have emergency supplies; food, water, batteries, cash, number to your insurance agent, important documents, gas in your car, and a plan! I was fortunate in that I learned a lesson and in the future will do all of these things. I feel for all of those people who won't have that chance and I pray for comfort for all of  the family members who are mourning them today.

Birmingham, AL
Birmingham, AL (Can you tell how huge this was?!)
South of Athens, Al (not far from my home)
Tuscaloosa, AL
Birmingham, AL
Tuscaloosa, AL
Huntsville, AL 
Please take time out of your day to pray for those who lost loved ones and their homes. And for your sake and your family's, take weather emergencies seriously. Collect emergency supplies, appropriate documents, and have a family emergency plan in place. Hopefully, you will never have to use any of these things. But at least it will give you peace of mind.

"And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today, nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or earth below, indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Update on Plant Stand

UPDATED POST:  If you want a plant stand like this one please order from Friendship Garden.com   They hold the original patent. She has the most wonderful website full of different kinds of plant stands, accessories, pot hangers, and an amazing photo gallery.




I planted Asparagus Fern, Ostrich Fern, Begonias, Sweet Potato Vine, and Creeping Jenny. I can't wait to use my other stand. I'm thinking maybe a fountain? 


Bloomin' Festival

This past weekend my mother, daughter, and I went to the Bloomin' Festival in Cullman, Al. It is a two day arts festival on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep school. The Bloomin' Festival has been recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 event in the Southeastern United States. There are over 140 vendors from all over the country.

The school has been there for over 100 years operated by Benedictine monks. The campus is located on 800 private acres with gardens and stone-cut buildings. Also on the grounds is the Ave Maria Grotto which is known throughout the world as "Jerusalem in Miniature".  It is "a beautifully landscaped four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world. The masterpieces of the stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey." This info is from the Ave Maria Grotto website.

Here are some pics of Ave Maria Grotto. If you look top-center you will see Calvary. And to the right and below is Jesus' tomb. 


It took him almost 50 years to build all of this. There was so much more than what's in these pictures.


This next sculpture was huge! Look to the left of the center and you will see my Mom and MKat.


Moving along to the festival check out all of these colorful planters, benches, and little tables for your patio and garden.


Here is some really cool unique art work created with all sorts of kitchen ware.


Look how cute these little animals are made out of different cake and bundt pans. They have spoons for tails!


I loved all of the iron work for your yard and garden. If you look closely at the flower on the right there is a citronella candle in the center.


These were really cool wine bottles with candles hanging inside them.



There was so much that I wanted to buy!  We had such a great time! I can't wait to go back next year! 

Music Sheet Picture Frame

My daughter began taking piano lessons at the beginning of the school year. I was a little concerned that she wouldn't like it but she loves it and actually has become quite the little pianist.

 I remember going to my great-grandmother's house when I was little and "playing" the piano with her.  When my great-grandmother passed away the piano went to my grandmother.  I was so honored when my grandmother told me she wanted my daughter, MKat (that's her nickname) to have the special piano. Along with the piano came all of my grandmother's old music. Most of it was in bad condition and some of it was falling apart. I can be so sentimental. I didn't want to throw it all away.  I came up with the idea of taking some of the music and a photo of MKat and her great-grandmother sitting at the piano together and making something special.

I used a flat picture frame and the old sheet music.


All I did was tear the music into strips and brushed mod podge onto them.  I overlapped the paper on the frame until it was fully covered.  This was MES-SY!


I let the strips dry and tied some ribbon into a bow and attached a small brooch to the bow. 
And this is our sweet music sheet frame.


I think it turned out great and it was super easy to make! 


Planting a Climbing Vine

Every year I like to plant a Mandevilla in a pot with an iron cone trellis. A Mandevilla is a tropical vine which makes a great patio plant. I live in Zone 7A and I grow it as an annual. You can bring it inside and overwinter it but I just buy a new one every year.

Here are some pics of different color Mandevillas. I don't think I have ever taken a picture of mine! I will be this year.

This is the color that I plant every year.
Romence Gardens

Here is a beautiful pic of pink Mandevillas

Gardenweb.com

And here are the crimson Mandevillas

Roselandhouse.co.uk
I read that Mandevillas need some shade and that the sun will burn them but I plant mine in full sun every year and they do great. These can be pricey depending on where you purchase them. Right now they are $25 at the big home improvement stores but I purchased mine for $10 at Walmart.

This is what you will need...

Mandevilla of your color choice  
large pot
trellis (mine came from Hobby Lobby but you can find them at garden centers or nurseries)
potting soil (I used Miracle Gro)
peat moss 

This is what I bought at Wal Mart for $10. It's the Sun Parasol Giant White Mandevilla


This is my trellis, pot, Mandevilla, and potting mix (peat moss not in the pic) that I used


Take the bag of potting soil and dump it into the pot and add peat moss and mix it up. I used about 3 gallon size pots of peat moss. Then add the Mandevilla and carefully place the trellis on top and wrap the vines around it. I watered and fertilized it with Miracle Gro. That's it!


I had some Sweet Potato Vine and Creeping Jenny so I decided to add that to the bottom. It will cascade down the side of the pot. I may add something else to the back. You can leave it as it is. Believe me, when it takes off it is so lush and full it is fine by itself. But I have a problem with leaving well enough alone so I added trailing vines.


And there you have it folks. This took me maybe 15 minutes. I will post more pics when it gets bigger and blooms. Happy Gardening!

Linking to  Savvy Southern Style

The Versatile Blogger Award

Beneath the Magnolias was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by two very sweet ladies...Bekah from PinchALittleSaveAlot.blogspot.com and Alicia from SweetAvaKate.blogspot.com/  Thank you both so much for thinking of me!


Here are the Rules for the Versatile Blogger Award.

1. Add the award to your blog.

2. Thank the person who presented it to you.

3. Mention seven random things about yourself.

4. List the rules.

5. Pass the award to 10 bloggers.

6. Inform each blogger that they received the award by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random Things About Myself.

1. I'm a Christian

2. I'm have a camel-turtle personality (look it up :)

3. I'm a lazy perfectionist. If I can't do something perfect, I can't do it at all. I'm workin' on it. :)

4. I have four sisters.

5. I have an Accounting degree and I hate Accounting

6. I am married to my high school sweet heart.

7.  I  am completely, totally, unequivocally, one hundred percent obsessed with the City of Charleston

I am passing the award to these ten blogs

Mandy @ Cre8iveMotives.com
Samaa @ HoneySweetHome.blogspot.com
Patti@MyCraftyObsessions.blogspot.com
Shannon@Tuned In
Andrea@KeepingItCozy.blogspot.com
BJ@JoytoJourney.blogspot.com
Karla@SugarBearDesigns.blogspot.com
Jessica@TheVelveteenRabbit.blogspot.com
Jena@InvolvingColor.com
Katie@WildWoodCreek.blogspot.com

My "New" Old Cane Chairs

I absolutely love cane chairs. I have been looking for cane chairs along with a dining room table. Every time I find some they are in bad shape and/or too expensive. I especially love the painted cane chairs, of course. I love for everything to be painted. It's a sickness I tell ya.

While visiting my family over Easter way down in the deep South (so far you are almost in the Gulf of Mexico) I went antiquing with my Mom and sister. We went through floors and floors of antique stores and junk stores too (those are the fun ones). I stepped inside one and walked like a robot with my arms out to a dining room set with beautiful cane chairs. As I was looking it over I thought there is just no way this is going to be affordable. To my surprise it was! I mulled and mulled over whether I should get it. My mother said I was never going to find a deal like this. And it was true I had been looking for a long time. So I talked the store owner down another 200 bucks and it was mine! It is a beautiful table with really pretty wood grain on top with 2 leaves and eight chairs! And they are all upholstered. After I paid the guy I walked around mumbling incoherently the rest of the shopping trip. I was half excited and half "I can't believe I just bought that I hope Jason (my husband) likes it because I didn't even ask him if he wanted a new dining room set." :) But all husbands want a new dining room set, right?

Here is a pic of one of the chairs from my phone. I was so in shock after I paid the guy I didn't get very good pics.



I don't even know what is under all of those Marilyn Monroe plates on the table. From what I saw the top had a lovely wood grain pattern that I plan to keep stained and paint the rest. I'm not crazy over the table but the deal was worth the chairs alone.

Here are some pics to show why I am so excited. 

Source: Pinterest

Source: Miss Mustard Seed

Source: Daisy Pink Cupcake

Source: Rachel Ashwell

Source: Decor Pad
 Now I just have to figure out how to get it to my house! I have no truck and its six hours away! I plan on painting and reupholstering the chairs when I get my hands on them (hopefully soon!).







Using Containers in Decorating

I have been on a collect "everything you can put something pretty in" kick lately. There are so many things you can put into pretty bottles, vases, bowls. The list is endless. Of course, fresh and dried flowers, moss-covered balls, candles... Here are some pics of containers on one of my boards on Pinterest.
Here are mason jars filled with lemons and flowers
Via
Snowball bush blooms in blue mason jars
Via
Different colored bottles with twine and flowers
Via
I love these old wooden crates with herbs.
Via
I could put 100 more pics on here but I think you get the picture. :)  Whenever I go thrifting in junk stores or antique stores I can ALWAYS find neat containers. I mentioned I love flowers and I enjoy looking for unique items to put them in.

Here are a few things I picked up on my latest shopping adventures. This first pic has 3 blue bottles (junk store), a blue mason jar (antique store), and a blue bowl (TJ Maxx).  I LOVE these bottles with the bubble glass. They are very blue and look like a soft blue when the light shines through them.

This is a terra cotta, glass, and iron pitcher? That sounds like a strange combination and I wasn't sure it would look good but now I love it!

I have been looking for something to put silverware in and found this neat wire caddy with mason jars at TJ Maxx.

Here are all my new and "old" finds. LOVE! I even found an old clear jug at an antique store for 3 bucks. He's still dirty so he's in the back with some branches. I have a plan for that jug that involves whatever kind of paint you use to paint glass with.
The next thing on my list are antique silver trophies. Sooo pretty! Do you have any?

Joining the fun at these parties...

Savvy Southern Style

I Awoke to Beautiful Irises Blooming!

I have been complaining a lot lately about my flower beds. They haven't been looking very happy. I've been so disappointed! I put so much time into my flowers. You would think they would be overflowing with blooms but the only thing I see overflowing on my azaelas is fungi.  I said all kind of crazy stuff yesterday like... I'm ripping out everything and let's just move and start over. What a baby! Yeah, Can we move honey because the salvia isn't blooming, the Indian Hawthorns have no leaves, and there's a funny looking moss creeping up my Crepe Myrtles?
We received a lot of rain yesterday. I stepped out back like I do every morning and this is what I woke up to...


I didn't even know I had purple irises! My white ones that I got from my mother's garden have been blooming. But that wasn't the only surprise. I also found this beauty...


It's a very pretty peachy orange. I can only assume that the grouping of irises I got from my mother had the blue and orange in with the white. They weren't blooming at the time I transplanted them. And until now only I've only seen the white irises.








God is so good to me even when I complain about something so silly as flowers. I shouldn't have anything pretty growing after my complaining. This reminded me of a story. Our old Sunday School teacher in Louisiana had a little boy who was terminally ill. The little boy was praying to God for something his father thought was miniscule. His father was a little upset with him and asked why he would ask God for something so insignificant and not pray for bigger, more important things. The little boy answered, "If it concerns me, it concerns God."  This was a reminder that God cares even about the "little" things in our lives.
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