Garden of Earthly Delights: Planning and Inspiration

Hello my dear friends! Spring and gardening have been on my mind so very much lately. I have been spending far too much time planning and researching ;) ideas for our tiny little garden/patio areas....and ohhh the pretty ideas I've discovered!

Here are a few that have me smitten...

perhaps concrete pavers with grass/sod inserted to make this charming checkerboard pattern? Wish I had room for a little garden shed like this one!

This idea is one for my dad's house...picket fencing is such a charming yet classic way to enclose a garden on a larger piece of property.

I seem to be drawn to board dividers...stepping stones and gravel!

More cabbages in front of a raised bed...we may have room for something like this...pretty...simple...edible...that's not too much to ask.

This garden bed is thrown in for pure fantasy...definitely no room at our house and not really my dad's style...perhaps for those of you with more land than I!?!

More raised beds and gravel (love the square trellis/cage)!

Forgive me for adding just a little more fantasy! The roof on this little shed is charmingly alive!

Now this idea looks much like a fantasy but is really quite practical...vertical gardening to make the most of a small space...using a discarded pallet...brilliant!!!

Another small space gardening idea...for those old canoes or kayaks cluttering the garage...turn it into a vegetable and/or herb garden! So charming and such a creative recycling idea!

Speaking of creative recycling...old chandeliers can be quite easily converted to hanging planters like this...useful for small patio and/or balcony gardens as well! did this gorgeous image get in here???

And for reallly small about these tiny succulents planted in hollowed~out wine corks...magnets on the back make them perfect for seed starting in small spaces...and not just the refrigerator...I was thinking of making some of these as vertical seed starters and putting them outside on our metal etege'.

Last and...literally...least are these old thimbles planted with moss...for those of us with especially tiny gardens!

With a storm coming in today...and expected to last throughout the weekend...I suppose I'll be doing more garden research than actual digging this weekend! Wishing a good and happy weekend to you!

Sending love and good thoughts to all, as always.


Tracey and Family x0x


Illuminated fragments...

Hello my darling friends...I've been puttering around trying to continue creating my vision of serenity decorating (see above).
I painted a round black mirror (found it for $12 at a close~out sale)
and hung it on the stair landing...

...created a delicious trail mix for about half the cost by buying my favorite dried fruits and nuts from Trader Joe's and mixing them together...TIP: I use kitchen shears to snip larger pieces of dried fruit, such as ginger or dates, into smaller pieces. Doing this stretches the sweeter elements of the trail mix without adding extra sugar (which I'm always trying to keep at a minimum)...

...also tried my hand at making butter in the food processor from a wonderful recipe I found HERE. It was sooo incredibly easy, and a great way to use up the raw cream before it spoiled! You can also make it with regular whipping cream.

Last...but certainly not least...I whipped up an easy pumpkin spice bread that Rosie had been craving...for her to enjoy for breakfast. I made her take half of it to school (so I wouldn't eat it ;)!

Hope you are having a lovely week and a happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Love and Good Thoughts to All, as always.


Tracey and Family x0x


Serenity Series ™ : Creating Peace Amid the Storm

Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.


Easing Visual Burdens & Clutter Caused by a Creative Life

Hello again my sweet friends. I have missed you all and hope you will forgive my recent quietness. I must confide to you that it became vital to my peace~of~mind that I cast out the chaos that has crept into our home over the past several months! (The "before" images at the bottom of this post will bear this out.)

We live in a small house with lots of things. Because we conduct a multitude of activities in these beloved little spaces the congestion has been known to build! Thus...the clutter caused by living a creative life has resulted in nothing less than a visual burden!

My immediate reaction was to get rid of everything!!! However, thanks in part to my frugal nature and because I work from home (it’s necessary for me to keep more than I would have liked) I found another solution. Install a more uniform neutral palette that would create a soothing, serene backdrop to our busy family’s many creative activities!!!

Stair rails after a multitude of hours and paint coats!

How to begin? I de~cluttered as much as possible then painted the stair rails. Truth be told, I began this project last summer and needed to apply that one last coat of did! In my defense, have you ever painted stair rails? Speaking from recent takes a very, very, very loooooong time...and as I'm a one woman show it took that much longer! Next, I turned my paint brush to the battered old armoire we found at an estate sale ages ago (for a song) along with an interesting old bench inherited from Mike's mom (first photo). Relatively speaking, these were almost a pleasure to paint after the chair rails!

There's more to show you...and more work in progress! However, like most homes, ours is a living, evolving entity and my current vision of serenity decorating is not yet manifested in full. Even still, I did want to give you all a peek at what's been keeping me so busy! Okay, so, I'm off now to begin work on my "sparest of spare rooms" also known as the "Junk Room"! Is it just me, or have you caught the serenity/de~clutter fever too?

Sending love and good thoughts to all, as always.


Tracey and Family x0x?

P.S. Below are a few rummaged~up "before" shots of the chair rails, armoire and clutter...and,oh...did I mention that there is also a cantilevered balcony upstairs...with even more stair rails/banisters that I painted at the same time(s)!

Kitties and the stair rails before I painted them (the rails, not the kitties)!

All images by me...Tracey McBride...I finally got my camera working properly!

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


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"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

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