Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pack a Perfect Romantic Picnic Basket

Ahhhh Summertime! Warm weather and longer days, watching lightening bugs blinking their Morse code as the sound of children's laughter playing hide and seek filter the air, gardening, swimming, fishing, vacations, 4th of July and fireworks, and all the wonderful outdoor activities of this glorious time of year! All that activity can work up a powerful appetite! So let's head off to a secluded spot, even if it's in your own back yard and have a picnic! No ants allowed!

Some of our WSOAPP artisans have accepted the challenge to create the Perfect Romantic Picnic Basket. Below are pictures of their offerings, along with a title, theme, a little write up or poem about their gathering. An independent set of judges will pick a winner sometime after July 10! (more pictures will be added in the next couple days) So kick yer shoes off and let's have a picnic!

“Romantic Primitive Western Style Picnic for Two”

In Tucson, AZ, there is only one way to do a picnic; by the pool and of course Western style! Hosting this little get together is my baby Annie Oakley! She has put together this little picnic including all the fixin’s; his and her mugs, Sarsaparilla, rustic baked biscuits, beef jerky, and Grandma’s raspberry jelly. Two red bandanna's serve as napkins and a rustic metal plate is perfect to share! All this is presented on my handmade pieced table cloth.

Contestant 1


"Life is a bowl of Cherries"

A Romantic picnic for 2 with fresh cut flowers from the garden, and feeding Sweet Rainier cherries to your sweetie that takes the absolute best care of me and our fur babys...What more could a gal ask for...a day at home with her sweetheart, a sunny day, just relaxing the day away on a nice Sunny summer day....Ain't Life Grand!!! :)

Contestant 2

Contestant 2a


"Romantic Escape"
A romantic picnic in a secluded garden,
Holding hands and sipping champagne,
Sharing delights of taste and sight,
Whispering secrets and stealing a kiss,
Dreaming of travel and a romantic escape.

Contestant 3

Contestant 3a


A Romantic Back Yard Retreat with your favorite Jane Austen Novel

You don't have to travel miles and miles to that perfect getaway spot, you can pack your basket and head right out into your back yard or on the front porch! Toss in all of your favorite things that make you smile, your favorite Jane Austen or a novel by the Bronte Sisters, your favorite chocolates, a bottle of vintage wine, a great magazine that you have put off reading forever, and then head out to set up a comfortable spot where it is just you and the song birds in your garden. There is nothing like reading Pride and prejudice in your garden. Don't prefer solitude? Pack enough for your loved one to sit out there too!


When I think of a romantic summer picnic, I think of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thacher and their picnic down by the cave and the mouth of the river. Tom "Tiger Cat" Sawyer and Becky "Calico Cat" Thacher have packed a romantic picnic basket full of goodies and headed on down to the river, cause they know that nothing says picnic, like an afternoon dangling your toes in the cool water at a rivers edge and dropping a line off your cane poll to see if you can catch your lunch, and we all know how much cats love fresh fish! Tom is catching the fish and throwing them in his minnow bucket, Becky has packed a basket full with grapes and other fruits, along with a bottle of "Cat Nip" wine. Of course she also remembered a thermos full of hot tea for Tom, cause it is his favorite drink. No picnic with cats would be complete with out their cookies and cream. These are a couple of my Full size folk art dolls, all sculpted from stone clay and hand painted. Note the little bird on the handle of the basket, and I even found a dragon fly for the handle of the minnow bucket.

Contestant 5




Sugar cookies thick with frosting, shortbread cookies made from rich butter, mini cheesecakes topped with cherries, Russian teacakes rolled many times in powdered sugar, strawberries dipped in chocolate, and grapes dripping in sugar. These would be my snacks packed into my "Perfectly Pink Picnic Basket". A beautiful sunny afternoon, quilt spread on the ground, and my sweet husband to share the afternoon with (shortbread and Cheesecakes for him). Ahhhhhhhh......it sounds wonderful.

Contestant 6


Friday, June 5, 2009

Crafting with Herbs: Lavendar

I love growing lavender! The smell is heavenly, the bees love it and it looks wonderful in crafts, added with a doll or critter, in potpourri and sachets or in crocks. The possibilities are endless! And lavender dries so well and retains its fragrance and color for quite some time.
I clip lavender stems early in the morning just as the buds are opening. Gather a few stems together, tie with string and hang in a brown paper bag with holes punched in it for air circulation. Just as long as the location is dry and fairly dark, but I find when placed in the bag, any loose buds that fall off are easily gathered to use in potpourri and sachets.
Lavender is a tough plant and is extremely drought resistant, once established. When first starting lavender plants, don't be afraid to give them a handful of compost in the planting hole and keep them regularly watered during their first growing season.
They will tolerate many growing conditions, but thrive in warm, well-drained soil and full sun. Like many plants grown for their essential oils, a lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils. An alkaline and especially chalky soil will enhance lavenders fragrance.
Although lavender plants get pruned regularly simply by harvesting the flowers, to keep them well shaped and to encourage new growth, a bit of spring pruning is in order. The taller varieties can be cut back by approximately one-third their height. Lower growing varieties can either be pruned back by a couple of inches or cut down to new growth.
Lavender will spread out a bit over time, but it’s not an invasive plant and more than welcome in my gardens for its beautiful purple flowers, aroma and crafting needs!

Crafting with Herbs was written by Debbie of Barefoot Primitives. Debbie is a master gardener and uses many of the things that she grows in her wonderful garden in her primitive creations. You may check out here shop here at wsoapp at: