Friday, May 29, 2015

A Bit of Yellow- Porch Update

I mentioned in my last porch post that I was working on sprucing the other side up. Well, here it is! 

Aren't the chairs a lovely sunshiny color? I love how it brightens up the whole area. And to tie the two ends of the porch together I used the same fabric as the cushions on the wicker furniture.

 It is so nice the chairs also make this corner feel like a usable area instead of just a space. It also makes the table look better, I love how it brings out the blue around the table edge! 

And of course the porch wouldn't be complete without a bouquet of pinwheels from last year. 
 There are a few changes on the other side, a little side table from Ikea and red geraniums.

It certainly hasn't changed that this is everyone's favorite place in the summer! Including Kerri's!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Apples and Strawberries

 I love apple blossoms, they are so lovely. (and Pink!)
 Last year I planted this little sapling in my backyard. I was horrified to discover, once the weather started to warm, that hungry bunnies had nibbled off the twigs on the bottom half. It now just has three branches on top!
 But on the top of each branch there is a little cluster of blossoms. It is rather a surprise as I wasn't expecting any flowers after the hungry bunnies. I am so glad it survived and is apparently thriving!

 I don't know about a bumper crop of apples, but we might get one of strawberries!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Decoration Day

Don't you love this vintage picture? Source is here.
 I didn't remember ever hearing the history behind Memorial Day, so I finally looked it up. Did you know it was first started during the Civil War? I was rather amazed it had that deep of a history. 
Originally, it was called Decoration Day as it was set aside to decorate the graves of soldiers fallen in the line of duty. (It is thought this was based on an even older Southern tradition of once a year tidying and decorating family tombstones. It was also tradition to make a day of it and bring a picnic lunch!)

Above is the tiny bone picture frame of a  relative who gave his life in the Civil War. I am honored to have in our family history collection. His name was James L. Hall, he served in a Pennsylvania company and died in Andersonville Prison at the age of 34. Even though he isn't a direct descendant (his sister was my 4th great-grandmother), it is fascinating this little portrait has been handed down generation by generation.  

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, remembering the soldiers who have fallen, yet celebrating the American life they fought for! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Old Fashioned Lily-of-the-Valley

In our neighborhood in seems like every house has lily of the valley growing in the flower beds or garden. My house isn't any different!

When I purchased my home there was this large patch already happily established along the east side of the house. I have a suspicion they have been here a long long time, but I don't mind. There is something sweetly old fashioned about the flowers.
If you have ever grown lily-of-the-valley or tried to pull it up, you will have discovered it is a rather tenacious plant. It spreads quite well and doesn't seem to mind where it pops up.
I decided it would be a fierce and long battle to try and get rid of them and it was best to let them stay. Another charming feature of an old house!

In the language of flowers Lily-of-the-valley means "return to happiness". Very fitting for a house, I think.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


  Sometimes, house projects aren't very glamorous, but are a  bit of a necessity. This was one of them. 
When we moved in, we discovered something hadn't gotten hooked up right upstairs as two of the outlets in my room didn't work. No big deal, we were pretty sure all it was was a wire that hadn't gotten connected. So I bought a few extension cords and made things work. I was just happy to be moved it!

A year and a half later there were still extension cords in my room. The electrical was one of those projects that kept getting moved to the bottom of the list. This year I decided we have lived here long enough and it was time to get it fixed!

It is official! The electrical in my house is finally, completely finished!
After a lot of poking in the attic we finally realized a wire was missing. There wasn't any from the powered outlets to the un-powered outlets. Thankfully, still not a big problem, an hour later the wire was in and outlets working!
It is so nice to not have to dust around extension cords anymore!
Electrical and wiring can be a little tricky in old houses. Sometimes all you can do is compromise. 
Most of the house was fairly easy to re-wire. There were a few extra holes cut in the living room and entry ceilings, but those were easily patched. Upstairs was a different story. 
Miraculously, there was ceiling lights in the bedroom and landing. (A bit strange as there wasn't any ceiling lights on the main floor.) But there wasn't a light in the closet/sewing room, which was kind of important if I wanted to be able to sew in there. Except by taking down the whole ceiling there wasn't any way to wires across the ceiling. And naturally,  I voted for the ceiling! 
So, my solution was to run an external hanging light across the ceiling. I don't really mind the bare bulb look and I love how bright the light is without the shade!

It is crazy how easy one gets use to things. The day after no more extension cords I almost tripped myself on the non-existent cord!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Small Dresser

This little dresser may look familiar, I have posted a couple of times about it. It houses patterns, the top two drawers are my vintage pattern collection and the bottom two new and pdf print at home patterns. This year I decided it was due for a spruce up! 

 My cousin's gifted me a set of Martha Stewert adhesive stencils which was the starting inspiration. They also included paint, in the most perfect shade of Pink! Of course, the project grew and I decided it needed new drawer pulls too.
Do you remember what it looked like before? (pictured above) The pulls don't show up very well, they were painted blue floral. Cute up close, but not too colorful.
The new knobs are from Home Depot. Love the vintage look!

I also hung a small bulletin board above the dresser. It is nice to have a spot to pin notes and inspiration. Currently, I am working on sewing a few basic essentials for my summer wardrobe. 

This little project has been hanging around for awhile. I started it back in March, but it just kept getting delayed (or I would get distracted!)!  So glad it is finished and I finally got to share!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Tulips

 This week it is Tulips! 
(And another post with lots of pictures!)

  Even though it doesn't feel like it, they are a little early this year. Around here, tulips usually bloom about Mother's Day.
 I decided to stage these photos on the porch to give you a change of scenery. Their everyday home is on the side table where I photographed the daffodils. They sure look lovely out here too!

 The afternoon sun streams into the porch so gorgeously!

Friday, May 1, 2015

DIY Striped Deck Chairs

 These striped deck chair slings were last weekend's project. Last year when I started working on them I was disappointed to discover striped canvas fabric was quite expensive. And even though the sling doesn't take a lot of yardage I wasn't ready to spend that much. Of course I could have gone with plain boring solid colored fabric for a reasonable price.... That is when I decided to DIY! 

  For materials I used leftover cotton drill from the Sofa Slipcover Project, craft paint, fabric medium additive, sponge brushes and Frog tape. 
I was super scientific and just used the frog tape to space the stripes. This worked perfectly! I ended up with about a half inch extra space on the end, but that all worked out in the end as you will see.
 The Frog tape worked wonderfully! A roll is slightly more expensive then regular painter's tape, but well worth it. The only bleeding through was my fault at not pressing it down firmly enough.
 Once all the tape is down, it's paint time!
 I was trying for a bright beachy color palette, but it ended up more Easter egg looking. Oh well, it is still cheerful!
 Before painting I mixed in Martha Stewert's fabric medium. This is suppose to thin the paint and make it more flexible on the fabric. I might not have used enough as it still feels a bit thick and crunchy on the fabric. (though better then just straight paint)

 Once all the stripes were painted, the tape came off.
 Crisp even stripes!
 After a quick lunch break, I decided they needed to be a bit more stripey. So using the same method as the first round of stripes (using the tape as spacers) I taped another set but started on the opposite edge with the extra half an inch. This off set the stripes and created small stripes in between the larger stripes.
 It was a little tricky to visualize the color sequence at this point. I should picked my colors before taping. 
 I didn't really have a firm plan how I wanted the slings to turn out, they just needed to be colorful and striped! I think it fits the criteria!
Now all I need is some warm summer breezes and sun!

I am thinking I like the natural wood color the best now. Opps! guess I will have to figure out how to strip the blue. What do you think? Painted or Natural?