Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recycling again and again - newest approach

My eyes had spotted the round, heavy metal looking contraption for weeks, laying in the grassy field that adjoins our property, but I didn't pick it up. Much later, I spotted it again in late spring and decided that I should take a better look at this piece. I asked Carl if he could identify the object and he took one quick look (it must be a man thing for sure) and said "it's a brake disc" from an older model car. Not sure how long the thing had been in the field, but I claimed it and moved it nearer our flag post in the yard. Last Friday, I saw it again as I walked from the mailbox at the roadside. I brought it to the basement where Car was working on something and asked him if he had a grinder or something that would clean the rust off. He handed a small palm sander to me with coarse grit sandpaper and I started working on it and in a few minutes, it was smooth and looked much better. We strung some rope through four of the holes, tied good knots to secure it and hung it. I had just the perfect size candle object to place in the center opening. I like it a lot and love the fact that it has taken on new life. How long - I don't know, because I tend to change things around often.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Last photo of outdoor tour

Somehow as many of us know, Blogger failed to upload this last shot which I think is the best, to show off the covered patio and some of the upstairs deck. Hope you get a birds eye view of the nice areas we enjoy so much. Have a great weekend.

More of the outdoor tour (see other posts)

Finally took the remaining photos of the back deck and downstairs for you. Had to delete a few photos during this process because memory card is full. Don't you just love a camera that reminds you that YOU CAN NOT TAKE A PHOTO. Back to our tour - Not sure of the sequence photos will show (I am still comfortably ignorant in this portion of blogging). Something like the LAST photo you take will actually be the first one show posts. The data I am entering is from my mind and I don't see rhyme or reason in that sometimes, but I hope you enjoy the view at the back of our house. It faces west and on severe hot days - the slipcovers I made for the deck chairs really take a beating, so I dress the chairs only for company. This row of three chairs remind me of a ship's deck - You can recognize the steps going down to the back yard and there you will be greeted by the covered deck. All of the pieces of black slate were picked up by me at a local quarry site years ago and finally were put to good use.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lights on - chiggers out (hopefully)

Strange how we look forward to spring, then we rush summer and now many of us are hoping for fall weather. On nice evenings as we are having tonight, I find myself enjoying our screened porch. Here are a few shots; it's not very large but it suits our needs perfectly and we have a large adjoining deck that I will post tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Slowly but surely - I see the completion of this one

Wow - I must have been totally out of my mind when I contemplated sewing a slipcover for a wing back chair. This has been quite a project I think mainly because of the plaid fabric being used. I have to take care and make sure to match plaids, but it's turning out pretty good. Now all I have to do is the other arm (you can see the hideous green leather which is original). Thought I had better take a little break from the project because I know my limits. I will do a lot of top stitching which will give the slipcover a better fit and hanging capability. Anyone having a slipcover done professionally - please don't quibble over the price quoted - trust me - it is worth every penny.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today's small catch of my day. . . . . . . . . .

Quiet in our little town this morning. Not much traffic, so I ventured across town to my favorite thrift shop (DAV) and found these cute items. Not sure if the painting comes out very clear, but it's not signed however, I loved the rich colors of it and will refit this in a larger frame with a mat. The wooden box-cut box is made in the US, so that was a good find at $2. The neatest thing I imagine is the handmade Christmas ornament with hanger from Dillards. Original price on the red box was $15 - I paid only .50. The handiwork on this ornament is unique - I will enjoy seeing this on display. I found two hardback books - both contained Christmas decorating and they were both $2. The cute golf club framed piece is nicely framed and original sticker on the back indicates - you got it - Made in USA. This was $5, but on sale for $2.50. My cousin Patty's husband Al is the only golfer I know and I thought he would enjoy this cute little gem either at home or perhaps at his office. He is such a good sport when I visit and I always like to pick up a special item for him. Of course, he had rather have a container of the roasted nut mixture, but I'll save that for later. Almost forgot the cute handmade piece of pottery displaying a nice beige color with small flecks of brown and tan with cutouts of hearts around the edge for.25 - I would say this was a good little haul.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Never too early to start planning for Christmas

I mentioned the other day that Christmas is only five months away. That is true, but we have to be ready by the first of December and the countdown has begun for me. I have a lot of things on my "punch list" as we used to call incomplete items at my workplace. While visiting a local Goodwill, I spotted these nice needlepoint, handmade Christmas pillows. I do needlepoint (not too good, I might add), but I love the handiwork and claimed these three immediately. I checked the label of the designer but had NEVER heard of her. I sent a photo to my cousin Patty knowing she would love them too and her first response was "did you Google and find out anything about them". NO was my reply, I was just happy to find these Christmas gems. She checked for me and furnished the site for me to check out. Laura Megroz - value of each is a whopping $79.00. Of course, I only paid $2.50 each - what a deal of the month? I could not believe my good fortune. You can be assured that I will Google again and again on future purchases. Can't you just picture these three on a sofa waiting to greet holiday guests?

Friday, July 9, 2010

More of the tour (missed yesterday)

Greetings: so glad you stopped by for a visit. I knew you would find your way up the decking boardwalk. Perhaps soon, when you visit, we will have the stone walkway in and direct you to the original front entrance. I love the tropical giant leaf plant on the same little drop leaf table that houses my Christmas window pane display. Can you believe that Christmas is almost five months away. I must start on some of my holiday decorations now, but that's hard to do, with all the heat in July.

Another view of the entrance we use. I love the two toned coleus plants as you step up onto the porch.

Lavender is one of my favorites but I find it is somewhat difficult to maintain. I tried planting it in this large container. So far, so good - it takes watering every day, but I can see small lavender blooms emerging. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


Recently I applied some sheetrock compound on the walls because they were in bad shape and textured walls are all over the house because of plaster issues. I love the bold color and white trim. In one of the photos, you can spot a section of a cornice I my son and I constructed. As you can see, I love round mirrors and thought the black accents would tie in well. My very favorite thing in the house is the footed tub. Gayle and I rival all the time as to who has the smallest bathroom. The round fixture housing shower curtains was the only option available for shower use which is a luxury for a house of this age.

Continuation of tour

Very small hallway in center of the house will lead to two bedrooms, bathroom and a linen closet and oh, I almost forgot - stairs to the basement. Ask Sharon what she thinks of the steps. We had them shortened this past winter since originally they were 7-9" and very steep. Going up and down them many times a day is a chore, but when I get to the top of them and close the door, I am comforted by the fact that my living space is too neat to trade in for something more convenient. You can see the ceiling to floor bookcases (flanked on two walls) - these were installed several years ago when we had the footed tub installed in the bathroom. That post will be done tomorrow, so please check in again. I'm still not proficient in furnishing data and photos - after all, I am comfortably ignorant with the technical stuff surrounding me. A good sized linen closet is also off this hallway and I am planning a makeover for that little gem as soon as I can muster the energy and ideas.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tour continued - entering from small foyer to living room

Higgins our sweet, eight year old lab will greet you at either door, but we rarely open this door. He happened to come up to view out at the traffic, so I snapped this photo of him - he blends right into the tone of the hardwood floor. How neat - try color matching with your pet.

Oh - I see I already need to do a look about BEFORE photo shots - the floor lamp at the end of the china cabinet (posted in an earlier post) should have been removed. It has to be rewired. As you can see in the photo, you have a clear view into the small hallway and beyond that is a view of the bathroom (to be posted in another post). I love the fireplace, but we don't use it too often because of the expense and also being in the middle of the house, I don't think it's too safe. Anyone that knows me, attests to the fact that I LOVE old 40's style furniture. I don't have any new furniture anywhere. I have three platform rockers; this one has a nice ottoman but I rarely have it placed in front of the rocker unless someone is visiting and needs to raise their feet.

This photo shows more of the room and into the kitchen. It's a good idea to take photos occasional and view your room - we can see the mistakes, etc. I need to work on hanging something over the fireplace. I just removed four framed pieces of art the other night and relocated them to the bedroom because they NEVER looked great hanging over the fireplace. More on this one later. You can see into the kitchen also and I have photos ready to post, but just in case Gayle or Sharon has a desire to sneak in a post or two, I won't be hoarding the site. Thank you for stopping by - I promise to share some more photos on next post.

This is not a good photo of the foyer, but I promise I will gain some expertise as I move along. Please bear with me. Houses built in this era had a coat closet as you entered the door; my husband Carl uses this one as he doesn't require as much "stuff" as I do. Beautiful oak floors greet you as you enter from the foyer -----

As you can see, I do not place the sofa against the wall - it doesn't work in this house. The round drum table was acquired from an old friend when he moved to the nursing home. I love the simplicity of the table and have used it all over the house, but my favorite spot is where it's housed now. The 3 drawer chest is an old piece purchased over twenty years ago. The top board is over 24" wide and the wood is walnut. A couple of years ago while sitting and pondering what to do, what to do in this room for an uplift, I went to Lowes, selected a bright orange stain and while it was sitting in the same spot, rubbed the stain right over the piece and have the look of it since that time. I love painted pieces, but really HATE to paint and do not like to hassle Carl too much. He hates to paint as much as I do. The door at the back of the room is the door opening to the porch off the side entrance. Having lived in this house for over twenty years, it would be strange for me to enter through the front entrance. But, stay tuned, I am working on solving this dilema with a stone walkway leading from the driveway to the front and rerouting guests to this door.

Attempting to offer a tour of my favorite place..............

Bear with me as I make my first attempt to open my house and give a short tour. Our cute brick cottage was built in the late 30's and my grandparents lived several yards above. I used to babysit the children in this house while it was the parsonage for the church across the road. I always loved the smallness of the house and it was a joy to go inside. I was fortunate to be able to purchase this house in 1990 and jumped on it fast. Knowing the owner personally gave me an edge and the Reverend knew I would take care of this place. Not much has changed on the outside. There never was a sidewalk to take guests to the front entrance; everyone assumed that the main entrance was at the porch. After all, when it rained, you didn't get soaked. Step inside the front door into the foyer and I'll show you around the living room.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Little shelf among lots of books...not intimidated at all

I love small corner shelves - have several throughout my home. Our home is over seventy years old and like so many others built in this era, corners in rooms were not easily decorated because of door and window placement, etc. When I spotted this cute, small walnut corner shelf, I had no idea where it would end up. So it sat on top of a row of books, patiently, knowing that in due time - a permanent spot would be determined. Today I was in a book dusting mood on some floor to ceiling bookshelves I had installed years ago. I moved a few books on one of the shelves that your eye just lands on each time you pass and the spot was selected. I walked around the house, spotted a cute tiny white vase of ironstone I've had for years and placed it on the shelf. It looked lonesome so I explored other possible choices and spotted this cute, wooden bear my cousin located at her mom's house recently while relocating her to an assisted living home. This sort of seeking and putting together complimentary objects are what make our homes comfortable and cozy and receiving accolades from guests. This shelf brings a whole new look to the end of the very heavy wood constructed shelf, housing loads of books and marks a spot for something tiny, but well loved.

Monday, July 5, 2010

From matress frame and pickets to wall art w/ pots

I guess if I were to sum up the most recycled items in one project - this one has to take the blue ribbon. 100 nice, strong bed springs are awaiting another project, but - listen to this! I caught the ending of a HGTV post recently and only saw the finished look with small clay pots, so I set out to create this same look for an area underneath our covered deck. The bed frame was still around AFTER cutting springs loose, so Carl used that wood to make top and bottom of this frame. Lucky for him, there was two 4x4 posts already installed in the area needed to house this new project. After much measuring and using some old pickets left from another project on the deck - YEARS AGO - this cute project was on its way to being enjoyed again. The hardest part was getting paint to stay on the wood - even though it was primed, it soaked up about five cans of spray paint. I had all the appropriate other items to accent the piece, just had to gather them all up and affix to the frame. The back of the area was not pleasing to look at, so I did some quick thinking and retrieved a good sized piece of burlap from another project and we stapled a finished edge to two strips and nailed it to the back of the 4x4 post. It turned out really good and we can't wait to have guests come by and see our newest project. Re purpose - rethink outside the box - it's usually a good idea. Hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anything of Johnson Brothers ... I love it!

Many of you are aware that I rarely decorate using blue, in any form. Well heads up bloggers...................I have treaded into new territory and I love the color of this china. My cousin Patty called last Saturday to share the good news about finding a place setting for four and a couple of accessory pieces. She was excited because the pattern was English Chippendale - Red, of course, Johnson Brothers. Every collector of any china knows the history of JB and I was thrilled for her. Envious also, I might add. After all, she lives in Alexandria, VA - home to the largest and BEST Salvation Army I have ever shopped in. I didn't set out to hunt for this same pattern, but while I was at our local DAV thrift shop yesterday - I looked down at the shelf, near the end of the housewares section and my eye spotted two dinner plates and one nice great shaped platter - they were offered in the most gorgeous cottage looking blue I have seen. Immediately - I turned them over to see the name and pattern - YOU GUESSED RIGHT. Johnson Brothers, English Chippendale - Blue. You will never know how happy I was. All three were only $10 and I could not wait to call cousin Patty and report to her. She was shocked that we both have been fortunate to locate pieces of this beautiful and sought after pattern. A few minutes ago, she called to say that she has found a couple of pieces for me in red - she already has a set of four, so her finds will be placed in a corner of her guest room, awaiting a visit from me to claim them. How fortunate I am to have such a wonderful cousin to do this for me - we have decided that I will have a set of four, using all the colors of the pattern. I am excited about this new project and can say that "I am on a mission to locate more of these". It was Patty who challenged me to post a photo - after all, she is our Blog Police and reminded me that nothing had been posted in several weeks. This post is for you cousin Patty. Enjoy and thanks so much for putting me onto such a beautiful pattern.