Something New, Something Blue


I’ve been having the best time writing Minerva’s Garden, and in the process I have been visiting several blogs.  I get so inspired by what I see others creating, and now I want to join in.


I am going to start adding some home decorating projects and recipes to the usual gardening fare that you typically see at Minerva’s Garden.  My interests have always been with all three of those topics, so now I’ll start writing about them all here!


I love cooking, and it’s a big reason why I grow some of the vegetables that we eat.  There is just nothing like walking out to the garden, picking some fresh ingredients, and then using them to create your dinner that night.


When I was in college, I worked as a garni and kitchen helper in a small Tex-Mex restaurant for a summer.  Part of my job was food prep–have you ever made guacamole using an entire case–70– of avocados?  I have.  Have you ever made a five-gallon container of salsa from scratch?  I have.  Have you ever made refried beans and mixed them using a Hobart industrial mixer?  I have.  I also got to make the salads, decorate the desserts, and garnish all the dishes before they went out to the customers.  It was hard work, on your feet for hours at a stretch, and you had to work fast, but there was something satisfying about working together as a team in the kitchen.  I would guess that those who play team sports might get a similar feeling, or who, like me, act in plays.


These days, I don’t do cooking as a team sport, but more of a solo performance or sometimes a duet with my husband.  I do follow recipes, but I also very often start with a recipe and then make changes to it in order to make it, in my opinion, better, or so that I can use ingredients that are fresh, in season and what I have on hand.


I basically love being creative, and when it comes to our home, I love trying to make things myself or with my husband, with recycled, low-cost or best of all free items when we find them.  When I come up with something neat, I will be happy to share it with you right here!.


Today I have a quick and inexpensive project for you–less than five minutes each to make, and I had everything on hand so it didn’t cost anything.


Beaded Napkin Rings




Here are the supplies I used–



  • Glass beads–I got these from Dollar Tree.  They had lots of different colors.
  • Flexible wire–this is 28 gauge.  There is actually a built-in wire cutter on this package–handy!
  • an empty toilet tissue tube
  • a smooth round-barrel pen
  • a glue gun and glue sticks–not pictured

This is so easy it hardly needs directions, but here are a few helpful tips I learned along the way:


  • First, heat up your glue gun.
  • Next, take your wire, leave a couple of extra inches on either end, and just wrap it around the toilet tissue tube to create the round napkin ring shape.
  • On one end, twist the wire around the pen to create a tighter spiral.  This helps to keep the beads on until they are secured.
  • String on your favorite three beads, and position them so they are facing on top of your wire holder.  I found that the larger beads, 1/3 to 1/2-inch long, worked better than really small seed beads.
  • Once you have three beads strung on, use a tiny bit of hot glue and put it on the wire, then push the beads into the glue.  I put the glue on either end of the center bead, because then the end beads, when pushed toward the middle bead, helped to hide the glue.  Just pull off any excess strings or bits of glue with your fingers.  Have some paper towel handy to wipe the end of the glue gun and your fingers as you work.
  • Continue to string on three beads and glue for each loop in your napkin holder
  • When you get to the end, make a spiral with the wire on a pen to finish it off, and style the spirals to suit with your fingers.
  • Finally, roll up your napkin, and insert it–done!


If I had it to do over again, I would use a heavier gauge wire–28 gauge is a little flimsy, but 26 or 24 would hold its shape better, especially if you want to reuse the napkin rings, yet it would still be thin enough for the beads to fit.  But 28 gauge is what I had on hand, so I went with it!

I’ve been loving my blues in the house this summer, and so I decided to continue on with a blue tablescape.  I started with a simple yellow tablecloth, and then stacked some favorite plates.  The bottom plate and center white plates I found for $1-2 dollars apiece at Goodwill, and the top saucer is a Johnson Brothers one–I adore their blue and white pattern.  It has a little bird worked throughout the design, so that inspired me to add some bird items to the scene.  The French box with the little bird came from Dollar Tree, and the turquoise bird pair is heavy, made from cement, and I got it at a plant sale earlier this year for $10.  It can be used indoors or out, and these birdies are spending the summer with me on my dining table.

The silver I’ve had for quite a while.  My mom started me out when I was a baby with a silver service–we didn’t make it all the way through to a complete service for many, but we truly adore the pieces that we do have, and use them all the time.  (That is such a Southern thing, picking out silver patterns–Mom’s originally from Mobile.  She told me she selected this pattern when she was 16 years old, and she’s 83 now and still loves it–me too!)  The fork and knife are from Reed and Barton, and the pattern is called French Renaissance.  The spoon I picked up at an antique store for $1, and I don’t have the slightest idea what pattern it is, but I like it a lot.

Coming up tomorrow–some garden pictures!


What do you do to make yourself feel creative?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments, so stop by for a visit!


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Thank you so much for your friendship and support–I appreciate it!

Till next time, 


I’m participating at:


Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage

 Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House

 Making The World Cuter Monday

 Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

 Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

 Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

 Tutorials and Tips Link Party at The Stories of A2Z 

Share The Love at Very Merry Vintage Style 

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch

Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable

Potpourri Friday at 2805

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Home Sweet Home Friday at The Charm of Home

Weekend Bloggy Reading Party at Serenity Now

I'm a Fan of My 1929 Charmer Blog!

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About AthenaMG

Athena McElrath is a Master Gardener with a love for gardening, decorating and cooking inexpensively. She enjoys working out in her urban garden in Southwest Washington State, watching the hummingbirds and other birds and insects, eating the wonderful vegetables, fruits and herbs that she produces from her garden, and just having a great time hanging out under the pergola with her family and friends (that is, whenever it stops raining long enough).
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36 Responses to Something New, Something Blue

  1. Anne says:

    Athena that is so lovely! What a great idea!!

    Have a wonderful day xox

  2. Athena, Your napkin rings look so pretty, especially with your silver! Very cute idea.
    Thanks for stopping by and your sweet comments. I’m a new linky follower, Mary Alice

  3. Mindy says:

    Looking forward to seeing more of what you’re up to – in the house and the kitchen. :o) Cute idea for the napkin rings. That’s one thing I don’t own for table settings. This would be an easy addition to the drawer. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love the napkin rings. They are so pretty on your table. It sounds like an easy project to do.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

  5. What a gorgeous tablesetting and I love the napkin rings. Fabulous. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  6. MariaElena says:

    What a beautiful idea! The tablesetting looks beautiful!

  7. mary says:

    Such a pretty project. Thanks for linking to STL Wednesday!

  8. dianne says:

    This is a great idea and since I make jewelry, I have everything I need right on hand! You will be seeing this idea on my blog in the future! Thanks for your kind comments. Dianne

    • AthenaMG says:

      You are welcome, Dianne, and actually my name is Athena. I had to go with Minerva’s Garden because the domain Athena’s Garden was already taken–go figure!

  9. melanie says:

    Love the napkin rings, so pretty have to try that too!!!
    I paint to make myself feel creative. I go in the barn looking for an old piece of wood and paint something on it! It makes me wish that I could just spend my days having fun with paint!!

    • AthenaMG says:

      That sounds wonderful, Melanie! I was not given the painting gift, but my Mom was. I can do simple things, but I leave the fancy stuff to others such as yourself!

  10. How clever are the napkin rings! And of course, the Johnson Brothers Indies is a treasure!

  11. Sarah says:

    Very clever! I’m not crafty or artistic. ;-)

    • AthenaMG says:

      Hi Sarah: Thank you for the nice comment. I bet your crafty and artistic side comes out in other ways that you might think of that way, but I bet others would.

  12. Rukmini Roy says:

    Such a great craft- simple and effective! Loved this Athena. Thanks for your comments at mine. Come anytime :)

  13. Poppy says:

    Hi Athena. I adore your elegant table setting! Love how you wrapped the beaded napkin ring around the napkin, so pretty it looks against the blue and white plates. The gorgeous silverware paired with the pretty china and napkin rings make this tablesetting so beautiful. Wonderful job! I love the blogging community and the inspiration found is amazing…the best part is how we inspire each other’s creativity:) Thanks for your sweetest comment. Have a lovely weekend!Hugs,Poppy

  14. Very delicate looking. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

  15. So lovely! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  16. Your elegant table setting is so very pretty! I love the napkin holders you made, so simple and elegant, and like that you showed us how! So glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped to make it a fun party!

  17. Courtney says:

    Thank you for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday! Hope to see you again this week!

  18. Sherry says:

    Lovely! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!