Friday, August 31, 2012

Autumn Welcome

I'm ready to say goodbye to watering flowers and hello to...

........the low maintenance variety.

I bought this book a few weeks ago and found a similar arrangement pictured inside.

When I look at the magazines I've saved from years past,
 a large number of them are autumn issues,
and this book will no doubt join them in the cupboard when winter rolls around.

The hanging basket was a birthday gift from a friend just waiting to be filled.
So, I went out to my cutting garden (JoAnn Fabrics) and found some
fresh berries and flowers to tuck inside.  :@

I tied it on a piece of rope to center the basket on the door
and voila!  Three hours later (yes, that's how long it took me to get it right)
I've got a new autumn welcome basket on my door.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Joining the parties at:
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mary Bought a Little Lamb

Well, Vickie bought the little lamb.

And she must have been
out of her ever lovin' mind to pay that much!!!

This was one of those purchases that I looked at with
absolute horror when I got home.  What on earth was I thinking?!
The little lamb looked so adorable in its shop setting. 
 Broken leg and all.
(Well, I didn't notice that until after I adopted him.)

Vintage bottle brush trees.
Putz village.
A flock of his brothers and sisters.
Super cute hand crafted wire fence surrounding the whole thing.
Inside a wonderful primitive cupboard.
All in a charming shop filled with treasures, vintage and newly crafted.

As soon as I got home, I pulled him out of the bag.

Yes, Mother, I would have to agree with you on this one.

Even if he is 200 years old (okay, I'm exaggerating a bit)
 and hand made in Germany by the finest artisans
he's still not worth.........

Hang onto your hat.......

I'm feeling kinda sheepish about the whole thing.

As my fellow bloggers are my witness, I will not spend
another dime on old junk.

Until Junk Bonanza!!!

Thanks for visiting,

P.S.  My mother and sister were with me when I made the purchase.
Why didn't they stop me?!
So there you have it.  It's all their fault.  :@

*Joining the party at:
Knick of Time Tuesday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rorschach Cabinet

I've been on the hunt for one of those old wall mounted spice cabinets
with little drawers to hold spices or whatnots.  Well, I finally bagged my prize
 in an antique shop in a small Wisconsin town on our recent road trip.

I forget the name of the town, but according to the banner strung across its main street
the city folk will soon be hosting their annual Rutabaga Festival.  I'm not sure what
sort of activities are involved, but it sounds like a gas to me!

Here it is painted and ready to hang on the wall.

Now maybe I'm fixated on cutout designs lately, but if I were taking the
Rorschach test, the first thing out of my mouth would be
Mickey Mouse!
The ears may be slightly out of scale, but you can see it.....
can't you?

Here's how it looked when I found it......

I've seen these cabinets priced anywhere from $20 to $140 and frankly can't
see much of a difference between the high priced cabinets and thrift shop models.
Lots of factory distressing and lack of dovetail joinery indicate this piece
is not of heirloom quality, which is why I got it at the low end of the price range.

It does have some history to it, though.  At one point Kathy Bates had at it
with her baseball bat and broke both tibias.  But being the kindly caregiver that
she is, she nursed it back to health with some gloppy wood glue.

Well, I bit the bullet, fired up the jigsaw......

and put it out of its misery!
(I amputated both legs.)

After performing the surgical procedure, I painted the cabinet with
homemade chalk paint, which is still new to me.  I mixed flat green paint with
non-sanded grout. ( One cup of paint to one tablespoon of grout.)

The antiquing, on the other hand, is a decades old technique
practiced by decorative painters.  A dab of burnt umber oil paint mixed with a dollop
 of Johnson Paste Wax does the trick.  If I'm too heavy handed with
the dark wax, I just go over it again with untinted wax.  Sound familiar?

The last step is flyspecking.  Water down a few drops of black acrylic craft
paint and flick it on the piece with a stencil brush (even an old toothbrush will do).

Transformation complete.

Here's a wide angle view of the cabinet hanging above the laundry chute.
In the background, you can see more of our unfinished projects like the
built-in bench in the entryway that has been stripped and.........forgotten.
Not to mention the unfinished wood floor we uncovered when
we removed the 1970's linoleum.  And I'm so ready to paint over the
"Bear Paw" color of the kitchen walls!!!

It's time for a change.

But don't hold your breath. I've got one guest bedroom nearing completion and I
will not start another room home reno project
until said bedroom is back in use!!!

So.  Did you see Mickey Mouse in the cutout design of the cabinet, too?

Hmm, that's too bad. :@
 I'm sure there must be a self-help book out there for you us.

Thanks for visiting.

Joing the parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Specail

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Historic Home Tour: Part II

I'm back to be your guide for the second half of the
historic home tour started here.  I hope you brought your
walking shoes!

Let's start with this simple Victorian and work our way up.
(Remember, you can click on the photos for a larger image.)
Yes, we will work our way up all eight stairs to reach the front door!
This town is built on a series of steep hills overlooking the river, so walking here is a workout.

The owner's guard dog was barking at me while I was taking this photo,
so I didn't notice that my camera was focusing on the iron fence.
Oh well, I'll use it for future reference since it's the fence I want
 in front of our house.  Do they even make this style anymore?

And speaking of fences.....

Cute corner fence detail marks the perimeter of this yard.

Pretty blue beadboard above another fabulous wood door.  Wait a minute....

There are 2 of them! 

These homes are huge!

Look at the detail on this porch!

You can check out the whole neighborhood in the convex mirror.
Gladys Kravtiz would have loved it.  "Oh, Abner, come and see
 who's taking pictures of our house!"

This house has it made in the shade!  There's just something about this particular old house
surrounded by mature shade trees that has my name on it.  Yours, too?

Let's get a little closer, shall we?

 What can I say?  This home was meant for moi.


Garage stalls for our 2 cars and our kayaks.  And if that's not enough.....

A guest cottage where our grandchildren can play make believe.
*And Grandma, too.

Okay, let's move on.

Many of these older homes are in the process of restoration.

Red geraniums are the perfect accent flower here, don't you think?
And of course my favorite Annabelle hydrangeas in their yummy lime green stage.
Below you can see the entrance to the garden in back.

And last, but not least.........

A  bed & breakfast.

Pretty acorn lights and an unusual floral arrangement to match the color scheme.
See the curtains hiding behind the pillars?

If you look real hard you can just barely make out the mermaid water feature under the pergola.
At this point it was starting to rain and my camera and I had to call it a day. 


The dark green gazebo is just the spot to rest after
 our walking tour of riverside homes. 

"I'll have an ice tea with lemon and sugar, Jeeves."

Did I accomplish my goal of finding the perfect shutter design?
No, but it sure was fun looking!

Thanks for coming along,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Riverside Parade of Homes

We just got back from a little road trip.  This is the last week of 
vacation for both of us this summer, so we took a drive to some fun waterside towns 
populated with amazing historic homes.  Since I'm trying to decide what cut out design I want 
for our wood shutters on the front of our house, I brought my camera along
to snap some photos of them on old houses similar to ours.  
This is my kind of water walking.
(Lots of photos to follow.  Click on images for a closer view.)

Small yard?  Who cares?!

Huge shade trees in these old neighborhoods help keep these homes cool.
Between the big old trees and the breeze from the nearby river,
 there's usually no need for central air conditioning.
Good thing, because these houses must cost a fortune
to heat during the cold winter months!

This pretty green and orange painted door adorns the home pictured above.

I'd love to own this wood door with beveled glass window and sidelights.
Look at the trim detail on the upper windows.

Unlike new neighborhoods, the electrical wires (like ours) are overhead.
It's more noticeable in photos than when you're viewing it from the street.
(That's a flag pole to the right of the stairs.) For you youngsters, the little guy
 in front of the french doors is a lawn jockey.  Tess at Willow Manor published a blog post
with the interesting history behind this piece of American folk art.

All white exterior.  The grounds are surrounded with a wrought iron fence
that unfortunately didn't fit in the photo from where I was standing.
Next time I'll use the landscape setting on my camera.  (Thanks Jennifer.)

Look at those curved windows accented with stained glass panels!
  And there's more.....

The garage with living quarters above.  No doubt rented out
to offset the cost of the groundskeeper, window washer, and painters.

Painted lady.

I wonder how long it took the original owners to decide on all those
paint colors?  Probably less time than it's taking me to decide on one
color for our fence and shutters.  If the owner had been outside, I'd have
been tempted to ask what brand of exterior paint they use.
It must be durable.  This is not a paint job you'd want to tackle
every few years!

Inviting entry, gold lions and all.
Hanging baskets of ferns are a must on these covered porches.

I love this color combination.

Look at those doors!  Tall blue glazed pots filled with flowers
add an unexpected pop of bright color
alongside the old doors.

Oodles of stained glass windows can be seen on these homes.  I'd love to
see the colorful glass from inside.  These homes are located in Stillwater, MN situated on the
St. Croix River.  For a small fee, you can attend a progressive tea on weekends before Christmas
 to see these homes dressed up for the holidays.  (On my to do list.)

*Notice the original beautifully restored wood windows.
And how about the fish scale roof shingles?

There's nothing run down on this house, but it has a haunted appearance due
to the weathered cedar shingle roofing and widow's walk on top.
I'm convinced there must have been a horror movie filmed here at some point.
(Maybe this is where my rusty old bike originated.)

Colorful house surrounded by trees.  I only got one shot of this beauty.
(The owner was pulling into her parking lot just as I snapped this photo.)

House atop a hill with interesting corner stairs leading up to their wraparound porch.

A good spot for a time out.

My computer is giving me fits and I've only shown you half of my photos.
But as you can see, I've gotten lots of great ideas for........... what was I
looking at?  Oh, yes.  Shutters.

Oops!  Not a shutter to be seen.  I'm sure I must have some
photos with shutters on the other half of my pictures!

To be continued......
stop back for part 2 of the home tour biathlon, and don't forget your water shoes!


*If you enjoyed this parade of homes, you'd also like to see the many beautiful home tours
featured by Jennifer at Town and Country Living.  Stop by and visit her blog!

Joining the parties at:
The Charm of Home Home Sweet Home

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