another 4th of July

We celebrated another 4th of July with good food, family and friends, and a mixture of pleasant, not-too-hot weather. Of course, I must post a few pics for posterity…

Confederate Cemetery Fayetteville

We made a trip to the Confederate Cemetery in Fayetteville which is only a few blocks from our house. I was in search of a particular tree (for an article I’m writing elsewhere). The cemetery is beautiful and peaceful and parklike and being there on the 4th of July seemed right—different battles yet integral American history no matter what you think about the Confederate flag.

Saturday in Fayetteville means the Farmer’s Market. Yes, we went. Yes, we conquered by buying local Arkansas peaches and blackberries.

Arkansas Peaches

And we bought Pedal Pops which are all natural, low-cal, made with simple ingredients, and sort of perfect for the 4th of July. I got banana-orange-strawberry. John got honeydew-peach. Delicious!

Pedal Pop, Fayetteville, Ar

Our Sunday included a trip to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Oh my, what a wonderful place. The botanical garden is only a few minutes from our house and SO EASY! (Parking, admissions, everything.)

Butterfly at Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Let me just say this about living in Fayetteville—everything is easy, every day’s the 4th of July.

This week I’ll be showing you what I made with those peaches and blackberries—yum! And, I’ll be talking more about my garden (specifically about butterflies), plus Lucy and Annabelle have a post coming up. I may even do my first periscope broadcast. We’ll see. In other words, for once I’m not blogging by the seat of my pants. Crazytown.

Here’s to a great week!

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing:

Chicago – Saturday in the Park


Vintage Coffee Tin Succulents. My new fav!

Vintage Coffee Can Succulents There’s a saying in the South that if it isn’t nailed down, we southerners will monogram it. I have my own saying. If it isn’t nailed down, I’m gonna plant something in it. My newest obsession is planting succulents in vintage coffee tins. And if you think about it, the tins are already monogrammed with the company’s label/artwork. Love, love, love.

Here’s one of my favorites—Summer Girl Coffee. How perfect is this? Technically I’m a “summer girl” born almost on the 4th of July. And I’m guzzling coffee while you read this.

Summer Girl Coffee Tin

Look at the history on this can. “Roasted and Packed by the H. D. Lee Mercantile Company”. H. D. Lee Mercantile was founded in 1889 in Salina, Kansas. This was the first company to manufacture overalls and the zipper fly jean. Today the company makes Lee Rider but no coffee to my knowledge.

vintage coffee can label

Here’s my other favorite.

Vintage Coffee Tin Planter

I chose this one mainly for the colors and the little old Aunt Bea looking lady on the front.

I found these two tins at Long Ago Antiques on Huntsville Road in Fayetteville (one of my favorite places to shop for antiques and vintage items). Similar tins are available on Ebay, often in a group of four or five. Prices vary so look around. Tip: look for ones without lids to save a few dollars.

To preserve the value of vintage tins, I prefer not to drill drainage holes in the bottom, so I added a layer of charcoal in the bottom instead. (Buy the charcoal at your local nursery—it’s not lump charcoal used to grill.) Some of the old tins come with holes rusted in the bottom which solves the drainage issue. Succulents don’t need that much water, so I find they survive quite well with charcoal.

Top with pebbles or moss for aesthetic purposes. I think the rock highlights the plant better.

vintage coffee can tin succulents - fun garden project

Voila! Perfect on the porch. I’m taking orders. Not really, but maybe.

How to - Vintage Coffee Can Succulents

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing:

Queen, We Will Rock You


#RandomLoveLetter Bookmarks

random love letter bookmarks

My friend Sarah, who blogs at Random Love Letter to Adventure, has been participating in a #RandomLoveLetter Instagram Challenge during the month of June. The idea behind this IG micro-challenge is to leave a note, a “random love letter”, in a public place for someone to find. Something unexpected to brighten someone’s day. As usual, I’m extremely late to the party, but on Sunday I became inspired to create #RandomLoveLetter Bookmarks to leave in each of the books in my Little Free Library.

This was a simple craft project especially since I had this incredible notepad from SugarBoo Designs purchased at Shindig Paperie in Fayetteville. There’s an inspirational saying or quote at the bottom of each page.

Let's make #RandomLoveLetter Bookmarks!

Not only is each page already perforated, there’s also a hole on one end begging for a ribbon. (If you don’t want to buy such a notepad, you could type up your own, right?)

This project is justification for saving every scrap of ribbon you happen upon all the live-long year. Not that I do that:) And the packages of vintage rick-rack you weren’t sure how you would use? Bingo.

making simple bookmarks!

Those ink stamps? Use them!

how to make simple bookmarks

For a completely spur of the moment project, this turned out to be really fun. I made enough bookmarks for every book in my Little Free Library plus a few for later.

#RandomLoveLetter Bookmarks for your Little Free Library

Speaking of books...I’m doing pretty well working my way through my “not so typical” summer reading list. If you missed my summer reading list click HERE.

So far I’ve finished The Girl on the Train (★★★★), The Deep Green Sea (★★★★), The Pleasure of My Company (★★★★), Hold Still Sally Mann (★★★), The Life and Adventures of an Arkansaw Doctor (★★★). I’ve also read a few that weren’t on my list including The Vacationers (★★★), Biography of Marilyn Monroe (★★★), and Stoning the Devil (★★★★).

What’s everyone reading?

Happy July 1! (Can you believe it’s July?)

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing:

Love Letter, Bangin’ Rackettes