The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Fairy Garden. . .

I had seen many decorative Garden signs that read. . .
"Leave room in your Garden for the Fairies to Dance".

I envisioned 'Tinker Bell' fairies aglow liken to fireflies
using the grass area between the Northern fence 
with The Children's Garden and leading South 
towards The Herb Garden as their Ballroom for dancing. 
Then, I realized On Crooked Creek was without 
A Fairy Garden!

Do you see the "Tinker Bell"
resemblance in the fairy's shadow???

So~o~o. . .
April of 2011, "Mr. Ed" and I began A Fairy Garden 
at the back of the house where the fairies 
would have ample space to dance!

In the beginning, 
I started with a petite wrought iron bird bath,
and a resin fairy seated on a tree stump.

To the existing Autumn Sedum, 
I added a Maiden Hair ornamental grass gifted by our son,
Yellow Yarrow from the Garden Center 
and planted from seed Purple Salvia.

This past Winter, I added a carefree impish fairy.
During Christmas, I was gifted a rustic bird feeder 
featuring an iron and stone hummingbird!

Perfect additions to the Fairy Garden,
these accessories allowed me to extend the Fairy Garden.

At the Northernmost edge of the Fairy Garden, 
I began by keeping irises original to On Crooked Creek!

Next, I added Autumn Sedum,
purchased at our local Annual Garden Club Plant $ale.

Bright, almost neon light, yellow snapdragons
were added to draw our eye to this dainty Garden!

Dainty soft buttery yellow yarrow returns each year.
This year, I added a petite vintage garden gate accessory 
to enhance its appearance.

Varying hues of purple salvia keep the tranquil theme
and give needed height as a backdrop for the Fairy Garden.

Evening shadows . . .
from a distance of A Fairy Garden!

A Fairy Garden,
a much welcomed addition On Crooked Creek,
brings subtle hues and gentle movement to the Gardens.

A Fairy Garden. . .
Lush and green. . .
                            with ample room. . .
                                                           for the fairies to dance. . .
On Crooked Creek!

Until next time. . .

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Grand Flag, Indeed. . .

Retirement affords one with the gift of time!
For many years, 
I've wanted to do something "more" for Flag Day!

This year, On Crooked Creek,
I'm paying tribute to our Grand Old Flag 
along with honoring two of my former students 
now serving in the U. S. Marine Corp.

I've chosen the Entry Hall On Crooked Creek
for A Grand Old Flag themed vignette.

I began by decorating my Victorian chalkboard
with the Red, White and Blue and a phrase dear to my heart
from the lyrics to You're  A Grand Old Flag.

Red and white gingham checked ribbon, 
blue faux hydrangeas and a 4~inch American Flag 
greet our family and friends upon arrival On Crooked Creek

To set the tone for this Flag Day vignette, 
I angled a small American Flag with a slight drape.

Then, I placed my white lidded urns
atop the flag to ground the vignette.

Since both of my students photos are the same size,
I chose "Mr. Ed's" copy of Book Of Worship For U.S. Forces,
as a riser to vary the heights.  

A vintage cream ware USA vase 
holds an arrangement of red faux hydrangeas
and three 4~inch U.S. American Flags.

Having recently received my male students photo
upon his graduation from Boot Camp, 
a quick shopping trip was needed to find a suitable frame.

Using a beaded napkin ring,
I added a decorative touch to the sconces.

The photo above is an heirloom from "Mr. Ed's" Grandmother.

I adore how the couple 'giving thanks' for their bountiful harvest
looks down upon my students photos.

For an added touch of blue, I place an acrylic paperweight 
next to the vintage counter check holder.

This is the view of A Grand Old Flag tribute On Crooked Creek 
as you enter from the Kitchen to the Entry Hall.

A visual reminder for me to pray daily for

Matthew Bradley, my favorite male U. S. Marine. . .

and for Kaley Binford, my favorite female U.S. Marine. . .

as they serve our Country striving daily to make this 
"The home of the free and the brave",
under A Grand Flag, Indeed. . .

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garden Tour Tea Recipes. . .

One of the benefits of hosting Tea 
with a group of amazing friends, 
such as The Brunch Bunch, is trying new recipes!

Today, I'm sharing two recipes from A Garden Tour Tea 
recently held On Crooked Creek!

First, is my Spring Pea Salad!
Pictured here from a Ladies Salad Luncheon held in May.
The recipe is an adaption from my dear friend
Martha @ Lines from Linderhof! (here)

Spring Pea Salad


1 (12 oz.) package frozen peas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped basil
1/2 c. bacon bits (real bacon bits)


Place the frozen peas into a colander
while preparing the dressing for the salad.

Fry 4 ~ 5 slices of bacon until crisp.
Drain and set aside.

Whisk together mayonnaise and 
sour cream with the salt and pepper.

Chop the basil, celery and onion and
 zest the lemon. Add to the dressing and
stir gently to blend.

Add the peas.
Stir gently until combined.
Refrigerate until serving.

Crumble the bacon and toss into
salad just before serving.

Makes:  6 ~ 8 servings.

Southern Lady March / April 2013.

Next, is my White Chocolate Fruit Tart!
Pictured here from page 85 of Southern Lady.
I was so~o~o busy enjoying my guests and serving, 
that I didn't take time to photograph my tart.

White Chocolate Fruit Tart


1/2 (14 oz) pkg. refrigerated pie crust*
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (3 oz) box white chocolate flavored 
              instant pudding and pie mix
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup milk

4 kiwis, peeled and sliced into quarters
1/2 (1~pound) container fresh strawberries, halved.
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh raspberries

2 Tbsp. Apricot Preserves, melted.
Garnish: Whipped Topping


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll crust to a 12~inch circle. 
Fit crust into the bottom and up sides 
of a 9~inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Cut out a circle of parchment paper to cover bottom of crust.

Place pie weights in a single layer to cover parchment.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove pie weights and parchment, let cool completely in pan.

* I omitted the above by using a Marie Callender's 
frozen pie shell. Once cooled, I place the shell onto my cake
stand before filling and refrigerated until serving time.*

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioner's 
sugar, sour cream and the pudding mix. Beat with an electric
mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add cream and milk,
beating until smooth.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

When ready to serve, top with kiwis,
strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Brush fruit with Apricot preserves.
Add a dollop of Whipped topping to serve.

Makes: 6 ~ 8 servings.

The only thing better than basil with peas
and white chocolate with raspberries,
is sharing the fruits of your labors with friends!!!

A Garden Tour Tea Tablescape.(here)

Until next time. . .

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Garden Tour Tea. . .

When the Brunch Bunch Ladies gather,
these three things are a given. . .
food, laughter and prayer!

To honor my guest,
I set a simplistic Garden themed tablescape!

I began with a vintage white damask tablecloth and
orange scalloped floral place mats, 
then I added my everyday white porcelain dinnerware 
and everyday Oneida flatware.

Wanting to keep this tablescape totally feminine,
I used an ecru linen gauze topper with embroidery 
as an overlay to accent the centerpiece.

Everyday stemware served as our water goblets
and my rose etched crystal for a 'party' refreshment!

Using a triple napkin folding technique from Susan @
Between Naps On The Porch, gave a decorative touch
while providing the menu to also become a place card!

Placing the napkin atop the dinnerware,
balances the color palette around the table. 

Grouping together newly purchased decorative urns 
with a cauliflower tea pot from Nell Hill's 
made a unique centerpiece.

Two individual white scalloped bud vases
filled with Gingersnap and Creamy Ivory Rose buds 
with stems of Purple Salvia from On Crooked Creek's Gardens
extended the centerpiece with a touch of added color. 

A Garden Tour Tea

Spring Pea Salad

Grilled Pork Sirloin
Fire~Roasted Marinara
Campanelle Pasta

Mini Croissant
Herb Butter

Cran~Raspberry Fizz

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

White Chocolate
Fruit Tart

Irish Tea

Dessert was served 

using my Bavarian china dessert plates
with matching cups and saucers.

Following our lunch, 
we gathered in the upper level Living Room
and enjoyed each others company.

Next post, I 'll be sharing recipes from A Garden Tour Tea Menu 
which will showcase several fresh herbs 
from The Herb Garden!

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek will be joining
for Tablescape Thursday!!!

Be sure to visit for inspirational ideas 
to use within your own tablescapes and 
several napkin folding tutorials!!!