Projects Round-up

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    For the next few days I will be spending time with family.  We plan to do some hiking, thrifting, skipping rocks, fishing, and just plain old enjoying each other.  I thought that I would leave you with some of my recent finds in blogland.  You all never cease to amaze me with your creativity and as a blogger my duty is to pass this great information on to other like minded creative people.

     This is the most beautiful DIY mail center that I have ever seen.  Pinky swear!

    Whenever I see a chicken coup, it reminds me of my Aunt Veora, the chicken farmer.  When I was a little girl, I used to spend one week of the summer with her.  Aunt Veora supplied to commercial chicken companies like Holly Farms and she had rows and rows of huge chicken houses.  It didn't take me long to learn that farmers of any sort are hard workers from early in the morning to late at night.  Aunt Veora always had chilled glasses in the fridge, the Looney Tunes glasses from Hardees to be exact.  She taught me how to quilt, make chow-chow, and tend the chickens.  I can assure you that her chicken houses weren't this cute.

    All of Yvonne's projects are completed with elegance and grace.  I love this wreath that she made with cherry blossoms.  She is always so sweet to show us how.

    Easter ice cream sandwiches, can you say yummy?

    Would you ever guess that this was a laminate book case?

     Domestically Speaking
    Maryann has lots of great projects so prepare for a long visit.  We have an an old picnic table in our backyard that sits under a huge Magnolia tree.  I'm going to make these lanterns to hang on the branches above the table this summer for those evenings when we linger.

    When you are finished making all of those fun projects, you might want to make one of these Cadbury Caramel Creme Martinis....they claim to be bunny approved.


    The Blue Front Door

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Is it just me or have you  been noticing blue doors lately too?

    color combos - blue 
    home design

    What color is your door? 

    Images from Style at Home, Coastal Living, Farm 4 Flickr,  Apartment Therapy, Slatter's Cottage, Blissfully Domestic, Domino, Kate Elliot, APStyle, London Doors, Houzz

    Repurposed Shutters

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    Over the weekend I decided to put to use some of the old shutters that we have taken down from the exterior of our house.  After years of being patched and painted, they were ready to retire.  Hubs even tried to throw them away once.  As luck would have it, I snatched them up and stored them in the garage until I could figure out what to do with them.  

     I decided that these shutters would be a nice addition in the kitchen.  I had plenty of my new favorite color left from painting the insides of the cabinets so I went to town scraping and gluing until they were paint ready.

    I painted the shutters with BM Whythe Blue HC-143.  I didn't apply a thorough coat because I thought that having the black show through would break things up a bit and tie back to the black granite counter-tops.

    Once the paint dried, I lightly sanded the shutters adding a little extra pressure on the edges.

    I love the results!

    This morning I slipped on my rain shoes to go into the garden to cut a sprig from my pearl bush for the photo.  Isn't is pretty?  I bought it from my favorite nursery several years ago.  The blooms look like little pearls before they open.

    It's the Weekend Lovelies

    Friday, March 26, 2010

     You all are amazing!  Thank you so much for all of your supportive words.  Thank you for tolerating me when I babble on about blue and green, aphids, thrift stores, current obsessions, moss, plates, and the co-editorThanks for putting up with my southern grammar, bad spelling, and table setting dyslexia.

    What a wonderful community to be a part of, so creative, forgiving, and supportive.  You all are the best!! 

    Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

    Snowflakes and Robin's Egg Blue

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

       There is something about having fresh flowers from the garden that motivates me to set a pretty table.

       Most weekdays we are in a rush to feed hungry swimmers after a  long day of school and a strenuous swim practice.  Knives on the right, forks on the left, skip the spoon unless we are having soup, paper napkins.

      Today I found a nice surprise in the linen chest.  Linen place-mats and napkins in Robin's egg blue that go perfectly with the new kitchen colors.  Some things are just meant to be.

      When I set the table, I was reminded of how the summer sun dances on our kitchen table in the evening hours around supper time.  Love that.

      Thank you snowflakes.

      I am linking with In Between Naps on the Porch.

      A Little Vine With My Cottage

      Wednesday, March 24, 2010

       It never fails.  Whenever we are in the front yard working, someone will stop in front of our house.  First they slow down.  Then they come to a complete stop.  Next they roll the window down.  Mr. and I just look at each other because we know what comes next.  "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you what kind of vine that is growing over your front door?"  Some have even gone so far as to jump out of their car and run up to have a closer look.  We don't mind.  We actually like that it has caught the attention of many passers-by.

       The vine is a Clematis Armandii.  It is an evergreen, which is unusual for a clematis, and it flowers white.  Blooms appear in March.  They are so fragrant and are a nice welcome.

      Hubs and I planted this vine 10 or so years ago and never once regretted it.  To encourage it to grow up the wall, we attached it to the house with poultry nails.  Poultry nails are u-shaped nails that are pointed on each end.  The nails have long since grown into the plant and have completely disappeared now.  We also secured the vine onto the fascia board just under the gutters with the same nails.  This quick grower covered our entrance in no time.

      The only downside is that the aphids love it.  The flowers secrete a sweet sap that attracts aphids.  Every year I blast those disgusting little critters with the hose.  I have even sprayed them with bug spray which I really don't like to do.  I once read that a soapy solution would work.  Tried that too, but the little creeps continued to hang around feasting on our sweet vine. 

      The upside is that lady bugs love to eat aphids.  For that reason, we always see lots of lady bugs on our front porch.  Lady bugs make me smile for two reasons.  They are just about the cutest bug there ever was AND they eat aphids.  This year, I am going to go to my local garden center and buy a bag of lady bugs.

      That's right.  Together with my army of lady bugs, we are going to wage war on the pesky little uninvited, leaf eating, mess making, varmints.  Don't worry.  I will take lots of pictures when this happens.  Should prove to be a very satisfying day.

      Aphids, when I unleash my girls, you'd better watch out, ha!

      By the way, if you see one of these, please don't hurt it.  It's only lady bug larvae.  No, they aren't as cute as the lady bugs they eventually become, but we still like them.

      Lady Bug Larvae, harmless

      I live in zone 7 and this clematis is recommended for zones 7-9.  To read more about the vine go here.

      Thrifting With Mom

      Tuesday, March 23, 2010

        If given a choice between shopping in a mall and shopping in a thrift store, I would chose thrift store shopping any day.  Why?  Because it is a great adventure.  One.of.a.kind. things that you almost never see.  Cheap.  Also if I had my choice, Mom would be by my side.  We go from store to store picking up items and carrying them around, sometimes only to put them back where we found them.  One thing that we have noticed is that our tastes are a little more select than they were back in the day when we first started thrifting together.  We now have an eye for things that don't present themselves as often making them more special and we also are beginning to understand and appreciate a good buy when we see one.

        I love this little silver plated casserole server.  It was black when we bought it.  After using silver polish with slow results, I moved on to baking soda.  Worked like a charm.

        Mom found these cordial glasses while making her rounds one day.  Aren't they pretty?  The etching is even better in person.  Thanks Mom!

        I admit that I have weakness for lamps.  Genetics.  Funky old lamps are always on my list of things to look for when we are out and about.  It is always best to make sure that the wiring is in good shape.  If the color isn't just right, you can always use spray paint and wipe on poly to make the transformation.  Add a new shade and there you have it.  This lamp was already white, love white porcelain and ceramic lamps.

        Next week is spring break and Mom and I are looking forward to exploring our favorite stores in the mountains.  I'll be sure to take some good pictures to share.

        Silhouette Dish Towels

        Monday, March 22, 2010

        I loved this project and am so excited to share it with you!!  As you know, sometimes we have an idea, uncertain how it will turn out, and go in with great expectations.  I'll be the first to admit that some of my ideas end up in the garbage can and I don't even share them with you. This was not one of them.

        I wasn't sure how this would go, but am happy to say that the results are better than I had hoped.

        I love kitchen towels and wanted to add a towel or two with a little more personality.   Many ideas have been going through my mind now that I have started this project, so you may be seeing more on this in the future.  Here is what I did.


        • plain dish towel
        • fabric paint
        • freezer paper *
        • exacto
        • self healing mat OR magazine
        • sponge applicator
        • small paint brush (for touch-ups)
        • iron

        1.  The images that I used are from various sources.  The dog silhouette was taken from a photo of the co-editor, the bird silhouette I found online, and the letter t, well I typed it.  Find your image and play with it on the computer until you have the actual size that you will need.  I played with the towels to determine exactly where I wanted my image and the size it needed to be.

        2.  Next, take a piece of freezer paper* and place it over you computer screen to trace the image.

        3.  Take an exacto and cut out the image leaving behind a stencil of your image.  I envy you crafters who have a self-healing mat.  I use a magazine instead.  Simply place the freezer paper on top of the magazine to protect your surface.  When you do this step, make sure that you keep any little pieces that are important.  For example the bird towel has the extra pieces in between the bird's legs the branch.

        4.  OK, this is why I love freezer paper.  Once you have your stencil, place it shiny side down on the towel and iron it.  The heat from the iron will help the stencil to adhere to the fabric and prevent bleeding.

        5. Before you begin this step, be sure to place the item that you are painting on top of something absorbent.  I used a newspaper.  Dampen the sponge applicator with water (be sure to remove the excess moisture or the paint will bleed).  Dip applicator into paint and blot off on a paper towel to remove excess paint.  With the applicator, apply paint to the towel.

        6.  Once paint is dry, remove stencil from towel.  I am impatient, so I didn't wait.  Everything turned out OK.

        7.  Allow towel to dry for one hour.

        * Freezer paper can be found in the food storage aisle of grocery stores along with aluminum foil, wax paper, etc.