Friday, August 2, 2019

Summer Porch, Hydrangeas and Wallpaper!

Hello Friends! 
I am not sure where July goes, every year it seems to be shorter and shorter! It all starts off with a nice long weekend for a project ( Like wallpapering! Keep reading!) and whizzes right by ending with a couple of family birthdays. Whew! Here are a couple of highlights from the month.

 In our family, holidays are not only the perfect time to see family, they are the perfect time to round up a group of relatives for a project! (If you remember, last year my brother-in-law came to help demo the Brick House basement.) This year, Mandy and I went up to visit sister Becky and helped her paper her living room!

 When we were young we helped our Mom wallpaper a couple of walls and hang boarders. But we have never tried doing an entire room! It was fun! But like most projects comes with challanges.... Thankfully Becky picked a smallish repeat and a busy enough pattern that most mistakes were easily blended!

I am terrible at taking after pictures (or if I do, I then forget to take before pictures!) and with two little boys after pictures are filled with toys and motion seconds after everything is back in place. But you can see how lovely the wallpaper is and the elegant touch it adds to the room! Very fitting for the age of the Farmhouse. The pattern also reminds us of our Grandma's 1970's avocado green wallpaper, similar pattern just a different color!

As promised! Here are pictures of the little wicker and wood table! Looking right at home!

 We gave the porch another quick cleaning as our Aunt came for a visit and we knew porch sitting and talking was high on the list of things to do!

 This yellow rocker was a new addition last year. I love it! It actually is a folding and rocking chair and folds flat for storage. So facinating! I love the pale yellow color and am planning on matching the paint and spiffing it up.
The pillow is actually a class sample I made, but when it has done it's job it will come back to the porch! Fits in perfectly, doesn't it?

 I can never resist taking a few pictures of the cottage in summer. Perfection! We are so grateful for this house every day!

 It has become a tradition to plant geraniums in the front beds. We talk about planting something else, but I always come back to geraniums. They never let you down! (They always remind me of the first summer I owned the house. The inside was an ugly construction mess, so one Saturday I planted flowers and painted the steps for a bit of beauty! That post is here.)
I am loving the softer coral color this year.

I am so excited some of my other hydrangeas are blooming this year too! Most of them are tucked away behind the boxwoods and no one but myself can enjoy them. But it is exciting to watch them grow and there is always next year!

I also moved my room around in July! It was so fun and a great time to give everything a good dusting! I am really loving the new arrangement. Somehow it really feels like me. But I am going to save that for another post! For now here is a sneak peak!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Paint Projects Around the House

This was the first year this peony bloomed! I think I need more of the variety! 

 I thought you might like to see a couple of pictures of the freshly painted bathroom! Ah! Fresh paint always feels so nice!

I ordered a bent "Radiator Brush" from Wooster Paintbrushes. The minute I saw it on amazon, I knew I needed one! So far, I have only used it for painting the front of a radiator, so not sure it if really helps reaching behind and getting all the nooks and crannies. But it sure is cool!

Besides painting the radiator in the above picture, I have also been working on two more radiator that will be installed this fall. So far, I have them scraped and primed. 

It is amazing what details they put on these old beauties!

I think I mentioned before that I painted the back entry/stairs the same time I painted the bathroom. This space gets a lot of traffic, so I decided the steps also needed a paint re-fresh. It is hard to find a time when I know the ins and outs will be at a minimum! So far I have only been able to paint the blue. Since the squares are all ready there, I just used a craft brush to re-paint the squares and border. I still love this feature!

 Also getting a coat of paint is this little table I picked up at a garage sale! It was covered in silver spray paint when I got it. This is just after I finished washing it down with hose. All the old paint just came right off!

That is when I discovered the "wicker" wrapped around the legs wasn't actually wicker! The wooden legs were turned on a lathe to look like ridges of wicker. Isn't that cool? I am thinking it must be 1900-1920s, with possibly a replaced table top.

Isn't it sweet? I am so excited to have discovered this little gem. I was going to buy another small table from Ikea for the porch, but this one is much better! 

 I had to sneak in a few summer flower pictures too! The baskets on the fence are so lovely this year with geraniums.

 And Kerri enjoying a little porch time with us!

 It is almost hydrangea season!

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the Brick House! Gosh! I can't believe it has already been a year!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Brick House: Living Room and Entry Before & After

One last Before & After to finish up the Brick House! I am so excited to have good people living here. They love the backyard and appreciate all the space. Though it is really weird not going over to work on the Brick House every morning. That has been the hardest to get use to....

Do you remember what the living/dining room looked like before? I didn't! Ha! Going back and looking at these Before pictures is a bit scary! Yikes! I don't remember it looking this bad..... I guess I really had a vision. And I am so glad the house has lived up to the vision!

 Oh those dark walls!

The front entry just looks filthy! At lest this is an after-carpet picture or it would have been worse...

 Let's get back to the pretty photos, shall we? 

It is hard to portray how large and bright this room is. Even on a cloudy day it is bright! Those big picture windows is my favorite feature! And the window seat looking things under each window? Those are radiator covers. They do make great window seats though! The warmest seat in the house during winter!

 From the kitchen doorway looking toward the living room.
The living/dining room needed the lest amount of work. All last summer it was the "store" room for tools and materials. We primed and painted the walls and ceiling; and washed and shellacked the floors. Other then washing the windows that was it!

 The entry needed a little bit more love. Besides needing to remove icky carpet, we also had to get two spots of cat pee to get out. (Our tried and true recipe is Time, Bleach and Nature's Miracle Stain remover. We had spray bottles of bleach and Nature's Miracle in the hall for weeks! Every time arrived and left we would spray the spots down with either bleach of Nature's Miracle. We tried to alternate. After four months there was only a faint whiff left when you got close! And the shellac took care of that.)  And then there was the stairs to deal with..... Read about the Stairs here.

 I know that light fixture isn't original, but it lends a nice touch of elegance to the hall!

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me! As with any journey there is mountains and valleys, but it has been fun! I hope you enjoyed it too! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer Flowers, Painting and Porch updates

Ah! Summer is here in full swing! The porch is almost tree house like with all the leafy green trees surrounding it. I have been doing a little fluffing and sprucing to the porch. We changed the pillow covers to our usual summer covers and have added one or two other things.

I suddenly remembered I had a basic wooden stool in the basement and decided it would make a great plant stand behind the settee. Then Mandy found a (slightly squashed) fern on sale to perch on top. Perfect!

We have had pansies on the porch this spring. This one is lovely! 

 I forgot I wanted a new doormat to spruce up the porch, until I saw this one at Hobby Lobby! Mandy managed to get Kerri to "pose" for us. I love all the colors!

 Summer also means gardening around here. This year we have larger hanging baskets on our fence hooks. The tin buckets, while very cute, looked a little lost on the fence. We are loving the bright geraniums!

We also got our patio pots planted! (Say that seven times fast!) Can't wait to see what they will look like all filled out!

Summer is all about projects too, right? So last Friday I decided it was time to get re-painting the bathroom checked off the list!

 One of the perks of having a small bathroom is it is quick to paint! I managed to paint the bathroom and back hall (they were both the same color) in a little under three hours. Made a nice start to the weekend! (I don't often get a bird's-eye-view of the bathroom. The ladder was half in the bathtub for cutting in around the ceiling!)

I didn't get any spiffy "after" pictures. And it doesn't really look any different as I used the same color paint. It just feels a lot fresher and clean with a new coat of paint. Six years of wear and tear in a bathroom was starting to show on the walls! 

Saturday was filled with a bunch of projects outdoors! All of which I will share more details later. Mandy built a potting bench, which is super cute! I cleaned out the garage, which inspired Mandy as I found a bunch of lumber. The Great Radiator Project has also started. In the left corner of the picture above you can see a radiator I am scraping. There are two I need to scrap and re-paint. The others just need a touch up coat of paint. I am also working on patching the cold air returns in the cottage, which is why there are old floor boards there! I was cleaning and stripping the finish on the boards.
It took a bit for me to adjust to not having the Brick House to work on! Still in process, but I am getting into re-focusing on projects around the cottage. The biggest one this year is to get the whole house fitted with radiators. There are a lot of steps that project and hopefully we can get most of them done this summer!

I dug this embroidered cottage out of my closet and finally got it finished!