Thursday, June 14, 2018

Iris and peonies and cookies and pens~

Bouquet of pens..quick tutorial at end~

The prettiest of times in the gardens..and then the ROSECHAFERS arrive and massacre everything ..I kid you not..Google them.
I can't do a thing about them.
I live in a pesticide free community..but then again..pesticides don't work..
so I will be filling my sprayer w/ soap and water ..and running around ..I have to go out and squish them 4 times a day..I should be on guard all day.As soon as you kill them..more fly on..they decimate..roses..irises..peonies..hollyhocks...etc..DECIMATE.

Gardening gardening gardening..lying flat on my back on a hard floor at night watching TV.
I have to love gardening to torture myself this way.

I did bake..made choco cut out cookies..really good..hold an imprint..not sweet..
You can find the recipe here..the cookies soften up the next day..

The ganache recipe..was found here..I bought a swirl mold on have to freeze it..hard ..then pop off and apply on the cookie:)
Jacques gives this duo a French Pastry shop rating:)

I apologize for some of my pics being square..I thought they should be on IG..I don't think it's true;)

IG I love it..a lot..but having dinner with my family and Heather:)..we talked about smoke and mirrors..and IG..
and then I read a great quote ..Bill Murray...

"Social media is training us to compare our lives instead of appreciating everything  we wonder why everyone is always so depressed"

He's got a point.
I don't post my decimated flowers..the rose chafers..the recipes that don't fashion wardrobe malfunctions ..facial features that change ..moods etc..

I only post what's good.

Just so you know;)

And I am never going to talk politics:(:(:(:(:( Such sad times.

And never journalism and the lack of ethics...ok just one thing..did the world need to see a photo of Kate Spade leaving her home after her passing..:( NOOOOOOO.Shame on you.

Back to the gardens..I have several types of peonies..some grown from infanthood from a local peony grower..I mean..just above a seed..almost 10 yrs ago..maybe 6 plants and 5 bloomed this yr..Singles..need no support all pale yellows.

I have pinks and corals and frillies and singles and doubles and daughter has white..and red..her whites are the most beautiful in the world..:) I took one when we left after dinner.
Everything pale is a rose chafer I won't add more tempation for the vultures.

In one of my photos.. last post..w/ the seed packet a particular peony was in the photo..that peony is faux..fake..artificial.

I like finding big blooms and making pens out of them:)

100 yrs ago for one of my daughter's wedding showers..flower pens were part of the take home gifts..
faux was not as pretty back then.. now they are..

that first photo is crockery  w/ faux flower pens..and one real flower:) The white peony is the one in the vase further down...the only real one.

These pens are a cinch to make..

A flower..dollar stores have beauties.

Wire cutters..or scissors you don't care about.
A  Bic can get 15 in a pack at the dollar store.
And florists' tape.

I am sure you know how already.
I cut the the length I want..ap the length of the pen..
I add a few of the leaves to the top and start winding the tape..all the way down..tightly..
You can add a few drops of white glue at the top to secure leaves even more..
C'est tout.
I love them:)
The bigger the flower the prettier the pen.

I find they look pretty on a gift package or gift bag:)

Little girls would love this craft..because this big girl does.And maybe some little

It feels summery writing with one.Special:)

Have a lovely weekend~


  1. We are leading parallel lives Monique. Not rose chafers, but various other bugs and the deer at the farm. Ugly orange plastic construction fencing covers everything and still they eat the tops off everything. They even stick their noses through metal fencing to eat fruit tree leaves. There is no defeating the deer either. And my hollyhocks didn't come back this year. ??? Pesticide free is good, but maybe neem oil? I suggested to my husband to put mothballs around the garden, but who wants to smell that. Gardening shouldn't be so hard. I've always said it's good we didn't have to depend on mother nature to feed our family. My peonies came and went too fast and I think I love white ones now. Hydrangeas have powdery mildew. Only optimists garden so I don't know what happened to me. Yet, we soldier on. It is in the 100's here so I can only go out very early or very late. Not much gets done except for watering. Anyway, I love Bill Murray. One of my favorites. Those pens will make nice little extra gifts on top of presents. Aw summer. I've waited so long for you..... Cookies look to pretty to eat.

    1. We certainly have our garden foes..I have Neem Oil?.I should add that it would make the solution stick longer.Smart!I think mothballs can be poisonous..not sure..I used to do that around my tulips..I could be wrong but I know you and your pets💙💙💙So I thought of you watching an amazing French Pastry competition and the winner..Lé one point used Buddhas Hand:)Do you still grow them?In simple syrup he put them to adorn a dessert..mandolined..gorgeous!!Gardening should at least be less worrisome☺️

    2. Yes, I still grow them and there is no scent on earth as glorious. You too can grow one. They have the small pots of them online at Logee's Tropical Plants out of Connecticut. Just bring them inside when the temps dip into the 30's and give them full sun when it warms. Your house will smell wonderful in winter. I've gardened so long I wouldn't know what to do in summer if I didn't. I froze my Buddha's Hand zest, but a simple syrup would be better. I'll try that.

    3. They looked like slivers of flowers:) Very hard to import citrus into Canada...When we cross the border both question asked..well one of the top..BUT thank you! I will keep that in mind:)

    4. Isn't that funny? I'd be surprised if Canada was worried about their citrus crops. I've heard that in California, but not up north. Learn something everyday. The only part used is the zest and I wonder if perfumers use it in fragrances?

    5. Forbidden into the US for sure..I wonder if it is used..the scent must be amazing:) This fellow mandolined the whole thing..and simmered it in simple syrup..:)
      not sure you can see..

  2. I must make a flower pen! And I know two little girls who live in Kentucky that would love them. I'm always looking for fun things to mail to them or take when I visit.

    I just do not watch the news at all anymore. I have enough problems of my own to deal with without worrying about everyone else on a daily basis.

    I love your Instagram feed. I've learned not to compare but just enjoy the beauty I see on social media, block the bad & appreciate the good in my own life.

    1. I think you will like making these Jenny.☺️Thank you for your kind and very wise words.🙂I read in Quiet that introverts like the web..and it's forums and such and I do believe the real world..I am not showing the pens to everyone lol..but on the's a share..?Hard to explain☺️Have a great day.My husband loves the our mornings feature the news as I tune out on my PC lol..but I see and overhear and it is all too much.

  3. You need to open a fine cookie/confectionary shop. Or a garden shop. Or a charming accessory chicken shop. Or.... Well, whatever kind of shop it is, I want to be the first customer.

    1. Too old for all..and not professional:)But how nice of you to say such things.I love how we all encourage each not stop:)♥I smiled at chicken shop:) I know what you meant:):):)

  4. Love your presentation of EVERYTHING Monique! You are so good at this. I know that most of what we see online is the best of people, never the worst. It is a double-edged sword. I so appreciate seeing other people's bests, but it can create envy for a lot of people and I think can sometimes fuel depression for some as they feel they need to measure up to a perfect image that really is unachievable. But that is more about them, not you. Why shouldn't you show your best? People should always recognise that no life is perfect by any stretch! Love your wee tutorial on flower pens. I have never thought of adding a flower to a pen! How utterly lovely! Oh, I am so sorry you are battling the rose chafers again! I don't think there is a purpose for all things. Some things we can surely live without! Megan and the Queen yesterda. Beautiful, both. Sunshine and wind, and lots and lots of school children waving flags. Bon weekend!

    1. Your girls looked happy! M looked always and have to admire The Queen..a disapraging remark was on IG about a photo of the a person in a photo..I loved what someone wrote back!!It was to the point and proved a point and I was so impressed!I love when people stand up and say something in someone's defense:):)♥♥
      Oh tey are cute the pens..a local shop used them 100 yrs ago that's where I found the idea originally for the shower..I have since seen them sold online on IG they are still a way..:) I gave my dd a new one Sat..not sure she liked it..They are modern my girls..:)

    2. One day she will cherish it because you made it. Just wait. ♥

  5. I enjoy IG also since I love snapping photos. I used to make photo albums so I could look at the pictures over and over, but now it's so easy to just put them on IG and go back and look a year later :-) My pics are straight from my phone, and half the time I am just strolling along while uploading! It does not depress me at all, and it does appear there is a LOT of competition amongst the young gals that blog for income. Their hair and make up has to be perfect, house is staged, etc. Thankfully we didn't have social media when I was in my 30's. LOL So sad about those darn CHAFERS....sorry you have to work so hard in the garden, but thank you for sharing the beauty with us! Those cookies are a work of art. xo

    1. I am sooooo grateful there was NO social media..when I was all ages..except the ast years.
      Too sensitive..I would have bawled my eyes out.Yes the young girls..women in their 30's are GOOD at everything!!Martha ..may have been a model of all that is Martha..but there are so many Marthas now:)
      I love it.Best magazine!:)

  6. P.S. You just gave me an idea for a women's weekend I am hosting at my camp at the end of June. We will make flower pens.

    1. Oh good Debbie..Dollar store..big fluffy can fill a vase w/ what you made and put on IG:):):)

  7. Oh I know Katherine would love to do that. Lillian might be a tad too young but she would love one to write with. I’m going to have to try this. The yellow peonies must be pretty. I have two but I’m still sailing for blooms. The garden looks glorious. Sorry to hear you are watching tv on the floor but I know your pain. It takes its toll on the body this gardening but yours has been worth the effort. Do your ladies chicks help with the rose chaffers? I guess not or you would have an army of chicks. I have to buy one of those rolling pins and try your cookies. And maybe the other chocolate one too. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. She could watercolor a tag to tie to the pen:) A hand painted flower written created by Katherine?:)♥
      I want to play!!LOL.

      Lady chicks..didn't want to mention this..

      Caramelle had not layed an egg since home..I found her flat on her back:( Poor for the past week..just Bécassine..I am waiting to see..if she is fine before inviting a sister..

      so far so good.
      Oh I didn't like that at all:(

      And I read rose chafers are posonous to chickens..chicens peck head down always..scratching the soil..digging..they don't look up to eat lol..and these chafers fly!
      They are airborne decimators..I'll add Neem Oil later..sunny but wet because of all the rain:)
      You would be fine w/ a small pin:)I actually now prefer my smaller ones.
      You too have a great weekend..:):)
      The girls ate a lot of my seedlings that had sprouted 4 O'clocks..and Calendulas:( I put some more calendula seeds yesterday...

  8. Ok, how do I find the chocolate mold on eBay?

    1. I am going to send you the link..remember Ebay takes a while:)

  9. Pastry shop quality indeed. Beautiful cookies Monique. Love the pens and peonies. I once posted a picture of my kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes and counters strewn with flour and debris just to keep it real. I think it is in our natures to want beauty and order.

    1. I know it's in my mom never got to see that..she still tidied my room when I was 18-19 and before..I married an engineer shortly after..he may be responsible for order..he created a little monster;)IG is such a fantastic online magazine..I was so late to it..I have misssed so many pretties!! Have a beautiful lake weekend Penny..I think you have company?

    2. I married an engineer too. Who knew that you should clean baseboards? Penny and her hubby are coming over Saturday for a boat ride and apps, then out to eat.

    3. LOL..After wallpapering one room together 100 yrs..I did it by myself.
      Oh we don't work the same way at all.:)
      But I'm tidy;)
      Have fun! Another nice friendship!

  10. Please do postcards, calendars, anything.
    I will buy them. Your work is simply gorgeous. A breath of fresd air.

    1. Aww..:) You should see my craft room;)
      The wall of fame..on a different wall now:)
      A la Carol.

  11. I think your rose chafers and our Japanese beetles are very close relatives, if no kissing cousins :( The only difference is ours don't show up until the end of June or early July so they don't bother our peonies as all. But roses, second flush is a goner. Can't grow hibiscus any more because they are too tasty. So happy they don't eat clematis! Sometimes they will eat my basil too :( Soapy water, squish, squish. I really thought the peony pen was a real peony! I've never looked at the dollar store but I'm afraid my boys wouldn't be interested this this project. Maybe for Lindsay's Mother's Day next year. I'll pin it :) I have Carolyn's white peony here growing in the front and back. All of mine need support as they grow tall here because of the tree canopy surrounded them. I adore those swirled ganache cookies. So up my chocolate alley :) Sometimes, I get so overloaded by social media that I just have to step away for a while. Yes, sad times when social media goes too far. Glad we have people like you to make us smile ♥

    1. I took a pic Susan..I am going to add it..not very pretty to show..but just to show you what those peonies looked like today when I went out:(
      Oh my boys would not want to make those at all..LOL.
      Spell check;);) I am so glad I catch some doozies before it's too late..

      Off to download the creepy shot.
      Oh maybe I'll wait till next pst ..why ruin flower pens w/ chafers.
      Bon weekend ma belle.x

  12. Peonies and roses, two of my favourites. I've never heard of rose chafers, I don't think we get them over here.

    1. I have a photo and will share..they are awful Polly:( I hope you never do!

  13. I have come here and now I'm in my happy place! Your flowers are beautiful and I'm so disturbed about your rosy bugs. And your back on the floor after all that gardening, too. Be careful! An doh my! Those cookies! You put us all to shame in the bakery department -- I love the roller and it's always good when a dough holds the molds well.

    Now I have to make some pens. I think that would be a great idea for the next make-and-take tea -- pens and stationery! First make the pens, then have materials to paint or collage cards!

    Finally, I am compelled to apologize for the wretched remarks made by our president to your prime minister. I'm embarrassed and appalled that a world leader from our country should say such terrible and untrue things to someone whom I deeply respect and whose country I love (wish I could emigrate to). It disheartens me. And that's all for politics.

    1. Thank you Jeanie.I had a sweet friend email me the same sentiment.Makes me sad to watch all ths.So sad.
      Jacques cannot beieve my interest as politics have only really mattered a few time to me here..This is one of them:(
      I can see you having fun making the pens and they all turn out!And I could see you serving the cake Marie has on her blog today.I don't have girlie gatherings ..I would make it today if I did:)
      Have a beauty of a weeekend:):)

  14. Dearest Monique,
    LOVE your photo with the teapot and all the cookies; so inviting and so warm.
    Lovely Iris and peonies!
    Oh, about the lack of ethics, as so often nowadays, it is disgusting!
    The good news is that yesterday I did go biking; yay, after my checkup with the orthopedic surgeon he gave me the green light. No jogging and no pounding but being careful I can do what I want again.
    Sending you weekend hugs,

    1. You must have felt so gtrateful on the bike.Deeply grateful .to be back in the saddle..Rejoice!!!
      Have a wonderful weekend:) Keep your hands on the handlebars:):)

  15. As a long time gardener, I used to have my head bent over thick gardening books, trying to identify pests and leaf damage. And now we have Google and all sorts of advice and expertise. I really do appreciate it. I share your love of peonies. I lost a whole row of them alongside the lakehouse when we were having major repairs done years ago. I had to dig them up and relocate. I cut them down after blooming, and put them in a few large plastic bags and then...forgot about them for a week (or two). They turned into a moldy resemblance of what they were. Our neighbors loved to tell me how the previous owner had loved and doted on these peonies, as if I set out to murder them!

    I'm so ready to make the chocolate cookies. I've always wanted to use one of the rolling pins!

    I adore your pens. I totally get how happy they would make us, even if we were making a dreaded To Do list!

    Love to you,

    Jane x

    1. The pens are just so pretty too..not my idea so I can say that:)
      The peony story:) You know..I have heard that all my life how they hate to be moved..when my daughter and son-in-law renovated and added extentions they had to remove the old peonies..Fred put thm by the front road..If I may say theye are even more gorgeous than ever.And I have moved some and they have been fine.I have left things too Jane..and felt so guilty!
      What is with that?:):)
      Continued healing to you!!
      Bon weekend.

  16. Nobody makes cookies as pretty as yours. I was just talking to someone about the falsehood of social media, showing only our best sides. And why not? We all have good sides, why not celebrated them? We could all use more beauty and grace in our lives.

    1. Well I love your attitude..I have not wanted to talk about the negativity .the bad things because I like to come here to escape them for even a while:)
      I've stuck to my guns:):)
      Thanks Amalia..have a great day!

  17. Lovely post and lovely pictures!
    Love from Titti

  18. Peonies and roses, two of my favorites. i love the,m very much.
    Thanks for sharing your Great and awesome post love to read it.


  19. Good Morning!
    It’s another hot and sticky one here!
    So sad about your chafers...try some works for weeds!
    Gorgeous cookies! Such an artiste!
    About social media....I found FB to be the I left! 😁
    Love IG! I find blogging so time consuming, as I edit my photos...but I have such loyal followers, so I try to post at least once a week....
    Dishwasher broken, so repairman coming this aft...we will probably replace! 😳
    Oh goes on,eh?
    Have a great week....Vivian tomorrow💕
    Linda :o)

    ps.....such cute pens! 🌸

    1. Dishwasher fixed!🎉
      Bread bag tag stuck in the hose! No idea how it got in there! $60....yippee!

    2. Yay!Re the dishwasher!!Who knows how we lose things in there😂Enjoy your doll humid here!!!Heavy ugly camping weather☺️

  20. Peonies and roses, I love them. I have some yellow roses at my balcony and I'm really proud of them.
    Around here, at last, sun shines and it's hot today. If you wish to know Oporto, now is the right time.

    1. You should be proud of your blooms!!Thank you for info!

  21. I totally agree that your beautiful cookies are pastry shop quality. Love the swirled ganache cookies and the sweet cutout cookies, all almost too pretty to eat. So sorry that the rose chafers are eating away on your beautiful blossoms. I remember how much I hated the Japanese beetles eating my herbs in New England.

    1. Discouraging:( Thank you for the compliments but it's all in the roller:):)..And the lollipop mold for the swirls:):)

  22. You know how to find and appreciate life's littel treats!

  23. Wowww this is Great.....happy summer enjoy love from me Ria x 💜