Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Garden tails.....er tales.

During the decade that we've lived in this house,
I've found a few buried treasures in my flower beds.
Mostly I find peanuts buried by the neighborhood squirrels.
The thing that annoys me is that they pull out perfectly healthy
flowers from my pots and replace them with their winter snacks.

So far, they've left our window boxes alone.

Do you remember my blindingly bright turquoise bicycle?

After 2 years it's finally starting to fade and rust is coming through the paint.

The birds pecked apart my pretty straw basket liner, so I replaced it with
 a discount potted plant a few weeks ago.  When I went to water it the other day,
 I noticed what appeared to be a huge mushroom growing under the leaves.

Nope, not a mushroom.

A cheeseburger.

Now, this presents a real mystery.

We are gluten free in this house so unless somebody was secretly eating a Big Mac
and stuffed it into the plant to avoid getting caught, it was stashed there by a squirrel.
  Unlikely, you say?

Oh, you haven't seen the Iron Range squirrels in action!
I've watched one of them haul a corn cob across our busy street........and survive!
Although, unless it was wearing a rodent back pack, I do wonder how in the heck
 a squirrel got its hands on a cheeseburger and delivered it intact to its hiding spot.

I guess it's just one of the unexplained phenomena here at 911.

The thieves have also removed half of the flowers from this pot.

My wine barrel has remained untouched by the little critters,
although something is eating the sweet potato vine.
It appears 3 of those somethings are nibbling on my daisies.
Oooo, that sounds kind of risque.  hehe

My Annabelle hydrangeas never let me down and seem to
be immune to all the hungry bugs in my garden.

Knock on wood!!!

Speaking of wood.....

Our robins have been extra busy building nests in the trees,
 on the fence, and under the garage eaves.
Oh, no! It looks like something took a great big bite out of our fence!
I have come face-to-face with a woodchuck in the alley, but I think they prefer
their snacks at ground level.  Can you picture a woodchuck wearing mountain climbing gear?
Yodel ay hee hoo!

My clematis is at its peak right now.

I've let the perennials do as they please in front of our garage,
which was a floral shop back in the 70's.  Imagine the short walk to work!

My next garden surprise was even more unwelcome than the mischievous squirrels.

As I was snipping off a spent rose, a Japanese beetle reared its
ugly horned head out to greet me.  Eek!  After conferring with Dr.Google,
I'm feeling pretty discouraged about the next few years of gardening.
It seems the garden pests have a 3 year cycle of eating just about anything green.  ugh

Earlier this summer, I dug out the 3 blades of grass I coaxed to grow under
our giant mock orange shrub and replaced them with hosta from our shade garden.
As you can clearly see, it's a work in progress.

As I was sifting through the soil, I unearthed a little piece of history.

Isn't it adorable?

I'm guessing this cute little car (about the size of a quarter) belonged to
 the original owner's son, which would make it almost as old as our 93 year old house.
Finally, a buried treasure worth keeping!

Thanks for visiting and be on the lookout for supersized McSquirrels!


I'm joining the party at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday

Sunday, July 20, 2014

It's a cool, cool summer.

So far, our summer has been pleasantly cool and that's fine by me.
I just love cool nights when I can sleep with the windows wide open,
with a lightweight blanket or quilt covering me.

As you can see, I've got plenty to choose from!

Today is day 7, the last day of my vacation.
We had our kids here for the all-class reunion festivities and parade last weekend,
 followed by a short road trip during the week with lots of pit stops at antique shops along the way.
I think the cool weather during our drive through Wisconsin influenced my vintage purchases.

  Here's what I found.....

Classic blue & white "cutter" quilt as I've heard them called, stitched entirely by hand.
I honestly don't think I could bring myself to cut it up for pillows,
even though it's stained and the seams are coming apart.

Lap quilt pieced from wool and flannel. 
It's not vintage, but the colors are perfect (I think) for bedroom #3.

Here's a sneak peek of the "before" room.

The reveal should be in......oh, a year or three.

I confess, the unsavory wall color was chosen by me to match
an antique love seat and rug that are no longer with us.  That's a whole nuther story.
Who in the world painted the bed metallic bronze?  Oh, that would be me, too.
As you can see, there's lots of painting to be done.

Once again, I've purchased all the vintage accessories before I've chosen a paint color.
I call my design style, "Putting the Cart Before the Horse Decor".
I build the room around my favorite things.

As I was uploading photos, I came across this one taken right after I bought the bed in 2005.
I think it was $20 and we had to pull all the vines off the thing as the seller had been using it
for a trellis in her garden.  If I bought the bed today I would've just washed it up and called it a day!

I don't know why I took the photo, but until I uploaded it, I never really looked at it.
 I got all choked up when I noticed our little Fergie
 walking in the snow in the upper right corner.

Okay, onto the rest of my recent finds.

Oh-so-sweet crib quilt.  My favorite.

It's my goal to start sewing quilts and I'd like to start with one like this,
only with random fabrics, no actual design to it.

Another simple tied quilt.

This is the oldest of the lot and it's hand quilted.

I found 3 of the quilts in one booth in a wonderful shop in Cumberland, Wisconsin.
The owner was closing out and all of the items were marked.....
75% off the already low prices!!!  Yes, yes, and yes!
The others were very reasonable finds in the city of Spooner.
Both towns have shops that are well worth checking out
if you happen to be in that area.

A few weeks ago, I removed the shirred curtains from my old wall cupboard
and I replaced them with chicken wire to create a display space for my vintage quilts.
  My plan was to search for a few more quilts to fill the cupboard,
but I never dreamed I'd hit the jackpot in just one trip!

Here's the new look for my old cupboard.
I'm happy to say our daughter found the drawers,
but I still need to find some knobs.

Behind the cupboard is one of the newly painted gray walls.  I'm glad to be rid
of the beige walls that I've lived with far too long!  Although I love the weathered wood,
I've been contemplating painting the cupboard white.

Below are some of my inspiration photos from Pinterest.

Oh, I do love this white cupboard in an all white room.

   Crazy in love with this one.

Pretty cabinet in a pretty room.

Fun red cabinet from Petticoat Junktion.

Helen Philipps blog.
I like the white painted chicken wire and the heart, too!

I found one more item as we looped back into Minnesota through St.Paul.

  I found this simple leaded glass window.  I made a super-low offer
 because there's a small crack in one piece of glass near the bottom.......
and the dealer agreed to my price!  It was too good to pass up.
He even said I could return it if it didn't work out.  Huh?
No need to worry about that.

Well, all good things must come to an end.
It's back to work for me tomorrow and it looks like our
cool summer nights may be over until fall.
It sure was nice while it lasted!

Until we hoist the a.c. units into the windows,
I'll be utilizing my many vintage fans that still work.
I've nicknamed this one Slice & Dice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Come join the parties at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants What's it Wednesday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Thoughts from Alice Sundays at Home

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Decorating with selfies.

Since our dining room is all decked out in red, white and blue for the upcoming holiday,
 I thought I'd share some photos of the room and a few selfies, too.

By now, you all know what a selfie is, but for those of us who don't own an iPhone,
(I'm assuming there are more than one of us?) a selfie may be something completely different.

For example, last winter I came across this vintage bathing suit
and I purchased it as a birthday gift for a friend with a lake cabin.

How thoughtful of me!

Of course, now that summer's arrived, I couldn't bear to part with it!
This is my first example of a selfie.

Selfie: gift purchased for somebody else but kept for myself.  Shameful, I know.

The suit is stitched up in our high school colors of navy and white, and it's even
got the school emblem of an anchor tacked under the mesh overlay.
Go Bluejackets!

(I hope you didn't expect a selfie of me wearing the suit!)

Around the corner, my plant stand holds the sea captain that was made for me
 by a talented friend.  He's dressed appropriately for Minnesota summers, freezing cold one day, 
hot and humid the next.  I hope he's wearing his Speedo under his wool knickers.

My window treatments are finished!

I showed up for work one rainy day this month, only to find that the schedule had been updated
and I had the day off.  (I'm sure you've all done that, right?)  Since I was already in work mode,
 I worked at home instead.  I spent the day cutting and sewing my stagecoach blinds
with music playing in the background, and coffee brewing in the kitchen.
Now that's my idea of a good day at work!

I didn't get paid for the day, but I got my blinds done!

The blinds add a pop of color without blocking the light.

Continuing with the nautical theme, I rolled the blinds around
pool noodles from the dollar store to keep them from drooping.
It's a cheap trick and it works like a charm!


I brought out the transistor radio as a summery accent in my cabinet because
it brings back memories of sunbathing while listening to pop tunes on AM radio.
Nowadays, I live more like a vampire, trying my hardest to escape the sun's damaging rays!

My drum major stands guard outside the cabinet while Shirley Temple smiles from within.
*Can you see her ghostly image on the blue glass next to the drum major?

Over the extremely long winter (it ended last week),
 I knit up a pint of wool strawberries.
Once you get past the first round, they're pretty simple to knit.
Free pattern here.

I've always thought that heart shaped items were somewhat contemporary,
but look what my sister sent me for my birthday......

...a sweet vintage heart shaped clock!!!
be still my <3

Spot's looking a bit forlorn these days and I know just how he feels.
We're both a little sad that cherries from Pottery Barn
 have replaced the chocolate that once filled my candy dishes.
woof woof

Pop bottles in patriotic colors hold miniature flags.

I may be tempting fate by screwing a hook into our
but it was necessary to hang my birdcage.  There are teensy weensy hairline cracks
near the edges of the textured ceiling and I hope I didn't start a
mini ceiling earthquake up there!

As for the empty cage,
there's a nasty merlin hawk in our neighborhood I'd like to stuff into the cage,
after he's been stuffed!  Bad, bad, bird.

I actually made 3 blinds for the room, but I didn't care for the look
on the double-hung window, so I made floor to ceiling panels instead.
 The blue & cream ikat fabric from Hobby Lobby drapes so beautifully
 that all I had to do was finish the raw edges and hang the panels from drapery rings.

Sew easy!
(Iron on hem tape would work just as well for those of you who don't sew.)
There are 2 finished panels, but I'm standing at the far end of my kitchen to get this shot!


As you can see, they're purely decorative since they won't close around the radiator,
but we've got plantation shutters for privacy and a roller shade to keep the sun out.
Remember, no central air at 911.

Do you recall the $2.99 thrift shop chairs from my last post?

I had absolutely positively no interest whatsoever  in keeping the chairs for myself
until I brought them into our dining room to photograph.

  I loved that I could place one at each end of the table and they didn't block the fireplace.


Well, they were already promised to our daughter, so I added them to my search and find list.

We took a road trip to Duluth on Lake Superior the very next day,
 and what do you think I discovered at the only antique shop we visited?
 Another pair of the exact same chairs!!  Same chippy paint, same size,
 not quite as cheap, but reasonable.  Coinkydink?  I think not!

Perhaps they were quadruplets separated at birth.

Selfie: purchasing a gift for somebody else and then
      purchasing the same gift for myself.

haPpy biRthday to me!

Thanks for bringing your little selfie over for a visit and have a....


*I'm joining the parties at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants What's it Wednesday
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