Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In the Garden

I trust you all had a wonderful Easter! We enjoyed the weekend so much. A wonderful service at church and then surrounded by family at a groaning board of food. Lamb, turkey, potatoes, pies, cheesecake, and veggies. Sunshine and temps in the 70's. Afternoon naps and open windows letting in the breeze.
 Life is good :>)
It's been so pretty, I took a tour of the garden this morning. I threw on some old clothes because I knew I would be laying on the ground to take photos and it rained heavily last night and early this morning. Right now though, the sun is shining and birds are singing.
 While I have been enjoying your photos of springtime in the warmer states, Michigan isn't really there yet. I mean, we have finally had some warmth, (our idea of warm weather would make some of you shiver, lol) and some sunshine and the occasional brave daffodil has been stalwart enough to actually open.
 But the garden is still not hospitable to anything more than weeds and the grumpy bunny statue.  He does look a bit miffed after that long, hard, winter doesn't he? I'm sure he will seem much more cheerful once he is surrounded by flowers and veggies. Note to self, paint the tuteur this spring.
 The lilacs are unfurling their leaves
 The tough little strawberries are doing well :>)
 One thing we always seem to be able to grow is moss. I love it, do you? 
 Years ago we uprooted some wild lilies up near the house and unceremoniously tossed them into the woods. They have spread beautifully, I'm really glad they are so hardy, the woods is the perfect setting for them.
We even have some little scilla growing near the house. I'm afraid it's been badly beaten down by the rains, but I love the delicate blue color and the fact that anything is blooming at all!
We have so much to do in the garden. It has been a very stormy spring, many downed branches to cleanup, trees to trim, and I'm afraid we didn't prepare things very well last fall. We will pay for it now!  I am seeing flowers coming into the grocery stores though and the farmers market opens in just over a week! Oh happy day, I can't wait.

Along with the spring clean-up we have a lot of projects going for the summer. Not the least of which is planning a wedding on a very small budget for August! I hope to share our progress on that as we make it happen. I don't believe in going into debt for a 4 hour party, but I do believe in making it a celebration to remember!  I'm a big believer in working hard to make dreams come true so stay tuned. Maybe I can help someone else save some money and still have the wedding of their dreams :>)We are also in the planning stages of a building project (more about that as we progress!), and various other projects that promise to make getting it all done a challenge. I'm up for it.  What about you? Any big projects and goals in the works for this spring and summer?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

May you all have a blessed weekend
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:17

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Getting Ready

I'm feeling much better, thank you for all your get well wishes :>)
Can you believe that it wasn't until I read about it being Palm Sunday on someone's blog last week, (we missed church because of my cold), can you believe I didn't realize that this next Sunday is Easter?! Thank goodness for blog friends!
Good thing I had my sudden epiphany because as usual,we are hosting the family. Here.
How could I forget?
 So I'm planning my menu (Lamb and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for dessert), setting out my favorite church garage sale plates, and getting things in order.
 Do you think I'll have time to make a runner for the table out of this gorgeous apple green ticking I got in the mail?
 Mmmmm, I hope so!
We will be heading to church with the family then home for lunch with as many of our close family as we can fit around the table:>)  Everyone brings something to pass and we celebrate the Joy of Christ's resurrection together.
How do you celebrate? Are you hosting dinner or going as a guest?

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Designs in the Shop

I'm fighting a bad cold today (why do they always hit you just as the weather turns nice?) so I'm doing a whole lot of nothing today, and probably for the entire weekend.  I spent a little time playing with new designs this week and they are in the etsy shop now.  At this point, every time I take the decals off the Kitchenaid to change them out, the old girl seems scandalously naked:>)
 I really don't mind that it's white anymore!
Now I'm ready to wrap up in a blanket, grab some hot tea and buttered toast and the big box of tissues, and veg out until bedtime. I hope your weekend plans are more fun!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Signs of Spring

There are certain signs every year that Spring is well and truly here.
For instance, going to your first garage/estate sale of the season and scoring an awesome brown transferware tureen for $5. No, it doesn't have a lid, but I love it just the same. It will go with my set of Salvation Army brown transferware  that I use for Thanksgiving:>)
Another sign? Home Depot has racks of spring flowers out. HD is quickly becoming my place to get my flower fix on the cheap. $2.50 for a pot of mini daffodils, $3.50 for a six pack of Johnny Jump ups. Spring is here :>)
 I planted the flowers in the tureen. All is well with the world. The little white flowers were at Trader Joe's for $1.50  The bunnies are from Bethany Lowe and were found pulling a tiny cart of eggs at a garage sale a few years ago. Sadly the little cart was crushed when my darling garage sale partner (who shall remain unnamed) unwittingly stashed their own awesome find on top of the bag. I wept a little but the bunnies were saved.  The little wheelbarrow was found at Joanne fabrics, it was brown but I sponged it with some blue paint so it would stand out against the brown dirt.
 Earl and I went for our first walk of the season yesterday on the Pollyanne Trail. It's an old rail bed that was transformed into a public walking area and it goes for miles. It was muddy but the air smelled wonderful, the buds on the trees were swelling and I heard peepers! How do they survive so early? It was 24 degrees overnight the night before and yet their song accompanied us on our walk and my heart sang right along with them.  It was 57 degrees and the sun was warm on our backs.
 I still have some johnny jump ups and daffodils to plant, I may have lost my head a bit and overbought... as if you can over buy flowers!  I have another tureen that will hold them nicely and I am off to tuck them into it.
What are your favorite signs of Spring?
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mini Bathroom Reveal

I am finally getting around to showing you the bathroom.  I call it a mini reveal because really, there just isn't that much to it. It's a small room and difficult to photograph because of the constrained spaces and low light, I'm really thrilled with the way it looks now though and I wanted to show you our low budget makeover.  You can see the before photo's here.  It's pretty sad when you are the creator of your own before photos. I liked the bath when I repainted back in 2009, but even though I still love color I am in the process of toning it down a bit and getting my color from accessories rather than in such large expanses as the walls. It's a calmer feeling and for this little cottage it seems the best way to lighten and brighten. 
This first photo is taken from the doorway. Yes I kept the toile curtain. I realize that a lot of people have moved on from toile but I still love it. The curtain was made from 5 yards of fabric I picked up at a garage sale for the whopping price of $5. I grabbed it, paid for it and ran before the seller realized she was giving it away:>) I have used that 5 yards for several projects over the years and this may be my favorite. The little grey wicker house is filled with toilet tissue. It was found at a garage sale and used to be green. I freshened it up with a coat of dark grey spray paint. I love the quirky little thing.
The floor in the bath used to be grey tile. We put this bath in when we added on over 25 years ago and within a short amount of time I regretted it. Grey goes with everything...but it was just too dull in this low light, north facing room. Since we had no idea what we were doing in our 20's when we put it in, it eventually started to crack and lift and we finally tore it out for this remodel and replaced it with Allure vinyl. I love it.  It is actually hard to tell the difference between the Allure and the dark hardwood we had installed in the room just outside the bath.  I would recommend this product to anyone.  You can also see the pretty antique window that we use for privacy. It was one of our splurges and I love it. We installed beadboard and you may be surprised that while I hated the grey tile, I actually painted the upper wall a soft grey. What can I say? I am an enigma wrapped in a mystery sometimes, but somehow the very light grey paired with all the white just seems so clean and much less noticeable than the dark grey tile that was on the floor. We still have dark grey tile in the shower. That may get replaced a little bit down the road, but for now I just close the curtain.
The thing I love most is the vanity.

 We went to Home Depot and Lowe's looking for vanities and I liked one like this...it's solid wood and costs $1,775.00. 
Instead, I hit Craig's List and found this lacquered black buffet with raised Chinese figures on it for $75.  Did I think to get a before photo? No. We were too busy scraping the raised figures off. We painted it white, stripped and sanded and sealed the top with marine varnish and removed the side doors in favor of baskets to hold everything we use every day.  My hot rollers and hair things are in one basket, hairdryer and curling irons in another, and various beauty products (one for me, one for Victoria) are in the other two.  The center drawers are now just dummy drawers because of the plumbing, but there is lots more storage behind the center doors and in the upper drawers on the sides.  And we saved $1,700!  Since we saved so much on the vanity we felt free to spend a little more on a fancy sink, which I also love. The pull out mirror came from Amazon and can not be beat for putting on make-up, plucking stray brows or shaving.  We removed the old light fixtures and put simple pendants on each side of the sink. Great light and so pretty. They were paid for with a Lowe's gift card I won from a blogger. I believe the mirror was also from Lowe's and I like the farmhouse feel of it.
I bought some soft aqua towels for a little color, but I think it needs a little more so I will keep looking for a bright accent color to add. The thing I love most is that I am free to add any color I like and change things up! The plain background has a nice farmhouse feel and frees me to change out towels and accessories at will. And that's it!  Progress on the kitchen continues to be made.  We are in the process of doing some painting and I hope to have it done some time this month:>)
Do you have any spring projects in the works?

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