Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crazy Days of Summer

We have been working (and sweating!) away on a project the last few weeks. I wasn't really planning on any big house projects this year, but things just worked out that way. So not so much "lazy" days around here, as "crazy" Summer days! I can't wait to show you all!

Nat King Cole singing "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer"

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hydrangeas 2016

This year is a good year for my hydrangeas! I am not sure if it is the weather (and the rainy cool spring we did not get), the early spring trimming I gave the bushes or just because the plant is fully established now. 

 I had originally planted two "Invincebelle Spirit" bushes, but one didn't make it. This year I ordered another and it seems to be doing good, though it is still tiny.

July 2016
I can't believe how much all the plants have grown since last year! The little boxwoods have doubled in size. Above is this years flower beds and below was last years.
June 2015

June 2015

July 2016
Even the hydrangea is so much larger! It is now about five feet tall, though rather floppy. This particular variety tends to be a bit leggy.

The flowers start out a lovely vibrant shade of rose pink and fade to a pale pink over the summer. By the fall they are cream color. You can see the two tones in the picture below too. 

This branch was propped straight up against the house and gutter just waiting for it's picture to be taken! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Porch

Are you hanging out and enjoying summer as much as I am? In between the normal everyday things and the busy summer activities this is where I try to be!

I remembered the other day I had japanese lanterns stashed somewhere and while looking through my fabric I came across them in my sewing closet. A perfect addition to a summer porch, don't you think? 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stop and Smell the Flowers

This year, I am trying to remember to slow down and enjoy the summer! It can go by so fast and there are so many things we have been waiting and planning to do. And now helping Becky with her house June is speeding by. 

 Mandy and I planted a variety of our favorite flowers in the backyard pots. This year we kept them all the same and just packed the plants in! There are petunias, zinnias, snapdragons, vinca vine and we still have to plant dahlias and gladioli bulbs.

And one pot, which was a last minute decision, holds tomatoes and marigolds. Since tomato plants take up a lot of space in the garden beds we decided to try them in a pot this year.

 Mandy decided to try the "Square Foot Gardening" approach this year. It is very tidy will all the squares.

I meant to get a post up two weeks ago on the garden, but time escaped me. Now you can see how much it has grown in those two weeks! It always amazes me.

 The garden freshly planted two weeks ago..........

...........and here it is already turning into a jungle!

Basil and marigolds happily tucked in the corner.

We also decided to put up fencing around the raised beds this year. We had a mamma bunny try to make a nest in the strawberries this spring. So far the fencing it working, we still have beans!

 And strawberry season is already here! We have already picked about two quarts.

The little apple tree is also doing very good. I counted 67 little apples on it!! Not all the apples will grow to maturity, but even if only half make it, that will be a lot of apples!

I hope you all are having a lovely June. Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Farmhouse

 Well, here she is! My sister Becky's lovely old house! The farmhouse was built around 1900's and has some lovely features. Right now she needs lots of love..... and Work!!
We spent the weekend helping them get started!

 One of the loveliest features is the front staircase. Everyone who walks in the front door can't help but exclaiming. The banister has already been restored, but the walls certainly in need of  a little sprucing!

This is looking back toward the living room from the dining room. There is new drywall that needs to be plastered and hardwood floors that need to be refinished through out. 
It already looks like a construction zone doesn't it?!

The kitchen is also in need of a bit of work.

And here is the new bathroom tile floor we laid! It took awhile to get all the prep work done. As with most old houses, one always comes across previous owners handiwork. The bathroom floor had two layers of plywood and a layer of vinyl, which all takes time to remove.....

I will keep you updated on the progress. We will be heading up a couple more times this month to help with projects.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Trimming the Doors

The last two weekends we have been working on trim. It is one of the last things on the list and I am so excited to be getting it done! 

 Just need a bit of sanding and painting and it will be good!
When the kitchen and bathroom were remolded sometime in the early 1950's, they tore out the original 1920's trim and replaced it with a "modern" narrow version. So in the interest of restoring vintage charm, I tore out the narrow trim and am installing replica 1920's trim.(Funny how that works, isn't it?) 

 It is a bit of a multi step process. This is step one of trimming the doors. The original 1920's trim is two pieces, a wide board and a corner piece. The corner piece we will have to make (hopefully sometime this summer!), but for now it is lovely having even a bit of trim up!

 This door from the kitchen to the back door and basement was the first, the trial run. It was also the simplest doorway to do, no counters to cut around, no wonky walls to work with. 

Doesn't it make a world of difference? 
Now that the first part of the door trim is up, we are going to switch over to windows and work on windowsills and trimming the windows in the wide boards. Then we will try to get those corner pieces made!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spring Sewing

Every year when the sun is here a bit longer, the grass is green again and there is a bit of warmth in the wind, I suddenly get in a sewing frenzy. Light weight tops are needed, flowing dresses and fun skirts are calling my name!
But one can only wear so many dresses or skirt in these climes, so I have turned my focus on top and blouses. The are much more adaptable, can be layered with jeans and sweater (usually with a long sleeved t-shirt underneath!) or when summer finally comes a light cardigan and cropped pants.
So this year, when the spring sewing frenzy hit, I grabbed my favorite Sorbetto Top pattern and whipped up a few. I have also added Akita from Seamwork to the favorite list. It is another quick project with just one pattern piece and all in one sleeves.

For this Sorbetto top, I drew inspiration from a favorite store bought top and added a short button placket. The fabric is a beautiful cotton lawn that matched tiny vintage buttons I had in my stash! 

What spring projects are working on? Does the warmer weather motivate you?