Friday, December 8, 2017

Shiny Brite Season

 Did anyone see November? I caught a small glimpse of Thanksgiving as it whizzed by. And now here it is: December!

 We are decking the halls with Shiny Brites this year at the little bungalow! There are so many ornaments in our collection that we never put them all on the tree. So I have been working on creative ways to display more of them. Hopefully, tonight we will be getting our Christmas tree and I can take some pictures to share! It always feels like Christmas once the tree is up. We are also suppose to get a bit of snow, so that will add to the cozy feel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Have-Done List 2017

(Every year on the anniversary of owning my bungalow I like to create a Have-Done-List to celebrate all that I have accomplished on my house. I started this on my first anniversary and it is one of my favorite things to do each year!)

It is that time of year again! This will be the 5th year I have owned the little cottage and four years since we have lived here (it took almost a year to fix up). 
I am not sure if it is just time or the projects we got done this year or that life feels a bit calmer, but I am feeling "settled". You know that feeling of comfortableness, the knowledge when trying to recall an event that it took place in THIS house? Maybe it is just I am realizing we have lived here long enough to start touching up the paint on the walls....
Whatever the reason, it is a nice feeling!

Bathroom Trim and Windowsill

Even though I haven't finished re-decorating yet, I am hoping it will be done before the Christmas tree needs to go up!

I think I was the most excited (still am!) about getting this one done!

Sewing Room Re-Do

I always like to look back at previous years. It is pretty amazing where it all started....
Year One
Year Two
Year Three
Year Four

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1920's Bungalows

Who doesn't love a cute house? For me the cutest and the ones that make me sigh the loudest are bungalows from the 1920's. Our town has a plethora of architectural styles from across the years and happily for me there was a major building boom in the 1920's. I love driving or walking the streets admiring all the houses.

The word "Bungalow" is somewhat generic. According to The Bungalow Book by Charles E. White published in 1923: "The term "bungalow" is a misnomer when applied to many American homes. To the average householder the term suggests a low, single-story dwelling with or without a second floor. In the minds of American it conjures up visions of a squatty building hugging hillside or meadow, with windows divided into little panes, verandas or porches extending along one or more sides and a low, overhanging room in the shelter of which trellises clime from the ground, covered with creeping vines. A pergola extends outwardly from a diminutive white doorway spanning a brick terrace or irregular shaped stone flagging; little children run gayly about in the garden picking bright flowers with which the sunny rooms are to be festooned. 
      In America, the word "bungalow" is hard-worked, vacillating, meaningless but it has become so firmly rooted in American mind that the term is now practically sanctioned by good usage.
A bungalow should be a home with all the charm and individuality of the approved house of two stories.
There is something cozy about a bungalow, inside as well as outside, and this most desirable quality makes an appeal to many who, having viewed with satisfaction the better class of bungalows feel a tug at their heartstrings and a desire to create the same type of building for their own home. At the same time an architectural effect on attainable with any other type of building is made possible in the bungalow. Who can forgo the charm of the low, broad roof line, the little front entrance with it quaint door opening so close to the ground, the low outlines of the little building which seems to nestle to snugly in its setting and offers so little competition with Nature as it rests modestly against the sky line, instead of rearing itself aggressively above the horizon.
The diminutive seems to appeal intensely to humans; the little bungalow attracts all eyes even the eyes of those who, with ample means to carry out their most cherished wishes, are yet attracted toward the sweet simplicity of the bungalow types, its freedom from pretense, and the artistic manner in which it fits the landscape.
The adaptation of the bungalow from Indian to American conditions has so changes its design that it is no longer recognizable, but the word "bungalow: has remained and will probably always exist as an architectural term applied to the low, single-story or story-and-half cottages with which we are familiar."
I am not sure if Charles E. White really clears up the question of what a bungalow actually is, but generally they have no more than one and a half stores, have broad eaves with a low pitched roof, generous front porches and ooze charm.

Recently I realized just how much I love bungalows! Several houses have gone up for sale in the neighborhood and I just had to go to the open houses. The ohh and ahhing I did in the bungalows! Even though the non-bungalow I went through was an old small house, it didn't have quite as much charm.
Somehow, those 1920's architects managed to get everything just right. The living space feels spacious without being enormous, there are plenty of sunny windows and just enough quirks to make it charming. The minute I step through the door I feel right at home!

All of these floor plans have similarities to the floor plan of my little bungalow, but this one is the most similar.
I hope you have as much fun browsing these as I did! Do you have a favorite style of house that makes you want to cozy in?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Finished Kitchen

 This post has been a long time coming. But as this room is a very hard working kitchen, it has been hard to find a time when it was tidy or close to being tidy, with no meal times upcoming, plus a nice sunny day.
Finally this past Sunday as I was getting ready to make applesauce, I realized it was the perfect time to take a few pictures! And a few beautiful red apples made a nice accent.
So here it is, a completely trimmed out kitchen!
(I had also been waiting to finish up the last of the kitchen baseboard. We didn't quite have enough time to get it done in June when we did the bathroom.)

Oh how I love my windowsills! When I bought this little cottage, the kitchen was rather sad. It's last update was about 1950. It had forest green carpet, wood stained cabinets, tiny ranch trim around the windows and no baseboards! One of my pet peeves is mismatched trim, so when I was ripping things out, out went the ranch style trim. Once the new 1920s style trim went back in, new windowsills were also needed to look correct. They are now thicker and wider. Which means they are perfect for perching things on!

 Doesn't it look like it has always been there? 
Of course, with all the beautiful trim I had to have new curtains that didn't cover it up! Since I already had vinyl roller shades, I took the shades apart and re-used the hardware to make fabric shades. Isn't the fabric the perfect shade of Pyrex aqua?

I am still working on gathering little things for the shelves. This was just what I could find around the house. The shelves were original to the kitchen cupboards and at first I wasn't going to put them back up, but I changed my mind. They add a very vintage touch, don't they! Unfortunately, the original boards where so stinky I had to have replacements made. (They smelled very much like cat, though I am not sure how that is possible. No amount of sunning, bleaching or priming could get it out of the wood.)

 This is the "other" side of the kitchen. It is very typical of 1920s houses to leave the refrigerator hanging out in space. Hopefully some day I can remedy that, but for now we are utilizing every bit of space around it the best we can!

 The kitchen has always seems "not quite right" to me. There was always something about it bothering me, it felt shabby and not pulled together. I wish I would have realized what it was sooner! The minute we trimmed out the windows I let out a sigh! This is what it needed. Trim! It is amazing how finished and tidy it feels now.

I also wanted to get this post up before the end of the month when I do my annual anniversary post. It will be five years since I owned the little cottage and four since we have lived in it!!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Apple Picking Aprons

We went Apple Picking several weeks ago (in blazing hot, very un-fall like weather!). Sometimes apple time seems to sneak up on us and we end up dashing out last minute to see which apple varieties are still hanging on the trees. But this year we were prepared! I even had time to make myself an apple picking apron!

Even in hot weather, the trees are beautiful.

I posted about this apron pattern here. It is from the booklet Dresses and Aprons for Work in the Home, copyright 1952. This apron has been on my to-do list for years!
I followed the directions except to cut out the apron skirt in two pieces. This allowed me to line the bottom section with a sturdy drill and to sew the bottom apple fabric the other way around so that when gathered up, the pretty side would be facing out. 
I wasn't sure if the strings to gather were very necessary at first, I would just unloaded the apples one at a time, but when picking was over it was nice to be able to untie it and brush out all the leaves and dirt! 

 With the leftover fabric, I squeezed out a small apron for my niece too. She was so ecstatic to have her own apron. She loves apple picking almost as much as I do!

Now that the weather is cooler and a rainy weekend is forecasted, it is time to start applesauce and apple butter making!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall! Can you believe it is already here?
It is a bit disconcerting at the moment as the weather is decidedly un-fall like. Today is suppose to be the warmest day of the year! It is rather odd to step outside in flip flops, crunch through leaves and watch squirrels dart crazily about. Thankfully, next week the forecast says we will be back to our regularly programed fall weather.

 I looked out my bedroom window last week and was shocked to see it was indeed fall! There are already leaves on the ground! And look how yellow the top of the tree is getting!

And a sneak peak at how the living room plans are going! A bit of a shelf makeover. And plenty of painting!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Peach Crumble

This summer the fruit has been luscious and plentiful. And I must admit, I have been in heaven! Cherries everyday for a month straight. Blueberries in muffins and smoothies, atop oatmeal and cereal and by the handfuls. Raspberries, blackberries and peaches so juicy and perfect. And apricots that taste like apricots. It has been pure bliss!
I haven't had too much of a chance to make and bake with all the fruit (it gets eaten too fast!), but have managed to squirrel away a bit in the freezer. This week as I stared at a basketful of almost-overripe peaches I decided a simple crumble would be the perfect dessert. A quick chop and mix and it could bake while we ate dinner. A lovely ending to the meal!

This is just a basic crumble top found in just about every cookbook. This one I barrowed from "Family Meals" by Maria Helm Sinskey, with a couple of tweaks. And since Mandy (the non-dairy eater) was out of town, I used butter!

Crumble Top
1/2 cup soft butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 cups chopped fruit
Mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture starts to stick together. Sprinkle on top of fruit in 9" pie plate or 9" x 9" pan or pretty tart pan. Bake at 400 for forty minutes.
If you think your fruit is too tart or too juicy, you can mix a bit of sugar and flour with the fruit too. My peaches were perfect and the crumble was quite sweet enough. There might have been a bit too much too. I think if I had a bit less, the top would have crisped up a bit more instead of being slightly gooey in the center.