April 23, 2017
We've been a bit busy in our kitchen lately
creating sweet little treats for our bird visitors.
There are many recipes on the 'Net so I won't
post any here. We found a super easy one and
even had our grandson help out. So far, we've
put 4 outside on a tree and the birds and I'm sure,
the squirrels have thoroughly enjoyed these sweet
treats. More will be hung sometime later this week.
Every year on our sweet boy's birthday, we
celebrate the brief moments we had with him.
Losing a baby is an extremely helpless experience
and there is nothing we can do to make this better.
But for one day each year, we can share, laugh,
cry and remember his birthday. We can wish
for all the things we would have loved to
have done with him. The future we didn't get
and the past that is empty of memories. We
say his name every day and we talk about
him often but it's his birthday that makes us
smile at the same time that it makes us so
very sad. We are thankful for our family
and our caring baby loss community who
do not turn their backs on our grief and our
love for a sweet tiny boy named Bretton.
April 17, 2017
For a while now, we've been thinking about leasing a booth at our local Antique Mall. For the two of us, it's not so much about making money, though that would be great. It's more about an outlet for the fun we have in searching for "treasures." We love to venture out to local thrift stores and sometimes even a garage sale or two. But there really is nothing we need. Our home is filled with people, love and just the right amount of treasures that we've had fun finding and restoring or gathering. We truly do not wish to clutter our home. We love the open, airy feeling we have created. Having a booth would give us "permission" if you will to continue to hunt for treasures but not for our home ~ to fill our booth with treasures for others to buy. Smart idea for the "hunting" fun we have.
Because we love to do projects, a booth would be an experience the two of us could work on together. B loves to restore and refinish furniture. I have now perfected the art of chalk painting. I sew and have some ideas for creative items to make to sell. We have items we've collected over the years that we're ready to part with. So on the weekend, we applied for a booth at the mall. We knew the wait list is at least a year, so we've settled in for the wait. But excited that down the road, we'll have a little place to fill and restock and dream about. We've talked to a few vendors at this mall and they are impressed with the staff, the owners and the ongoing, consistent advertising and promotions to attract customers. It's always busy there and the fact the wait list is long is a good sign. Looking forward to our project!
Do you enjoy Antique Mall shopping?
Have you ever had or considered a booth?
April 16, 2017
April 15, 2017
I've been so intrigued by the post of
many bloggers who use chalk paint.
We've gathered a number of pieces of
old furniture over the years, some of
which is not in the best shape. It's
time to give "new life" to these pieces.
But first I had to learn how to make
then use real chalk paint as a medium.
My first piece to tackle: our original
dining room hutch. We ended up getting
this for free as the company messed up
and instead of picking it up, they just
refunded us our money. We didn't
argue, so it was a win~win for all.
Glass doors taken off the hutch and doors
and drawers removed from the base.
I found many recipes and the first one I
tried mixed up very nicely, so smooth.
Now it's time to paint and now the anxiety
begins to build in my little body and my mind.
First coat goes on nice and smooth.
It's not so bad. I kinda like this.
One more coat and then we'll try our
hand at the waxing. This part is going
to be tricky but we might chalk paint
an old board just to practice the process.
Have you gathered old pieces over the years?
Have you ever used chalk paint to refinish furniture?
Today, we are in the middle of a heavy snowfall.
Of course, its the long weekend and we were
hoping to try to begin our gardening. But at least
we can be home, warm and cozy while it snows.
A couple of weeks ago, we brought out our
wicker rocker, bench and kids wicker chair.
The sun was shining, the air was warm
and the chickadees were singing sweetly.
We had fun putting together a little Spring vignette
for our veranda. Soon we'll bring out the rest of
the wicker set and start working on our plans to
create a hanging swing for one side of the veranda.
For now, we can gaze out the window at
the snow covered trees and the drifts that
have accumulated around our landscape.
It's not freezing cold so I'm sure this will
melt soon and after last years fires in our
region, the extra moisture will be welcome
by many. I'm hoping that once it melts,
we'll see a much greener world. Truly
looking forward to landscaping our little
piece of country paradise this summer.
How is the weather for your Easter weekend?
Do you have big family plans to celebrate?
April 9, 2017
You may recall I booked off time from work to use up the last of my 2016 holidays. I chose Spring Break and with the weekends in on either side plus my regular days off, I ended up with a total of 12 days to rest, think, create, sort, enjoy and project. I'm back at work now but so happy for this time and thankful for an employer who is so accommodating. I also took time away from the organization I created and continue to do contract work for. Bonus time off so I could truly rejuvenate my body and my soul. Time to see if I tackled my to do list ....
gather all the documents for our taxes
* set up time with our accountant
move boxes, then paint the art studio
* paint then
reorganize the mud room
* paint then
reorganize the laundry room
* paint then
reorganize the storage room
take bottles into the bottle depot
revise chapters in my book project
visit with a dear friend next week
learn how to make a bracelet
put wicker furniture on veranda
organize one section of the garage
Looking at the list, you can see I didn't complete it 100%. However, lets review what did happen. Our taxes are ready to go to the accountant but she was away when I called, so now on my Monday to do list is to contact her tomorrow to set up our appointment. So pretty close.
You can see I accomplished lots of reorganizing. I actually went beyond whats on the list. We revamped our dressing room, cleaned out every drawer in the house, took in boxes and bags to the charity shop, and sorted closets. True Spring cleaning! The painting of these spaces didn't happen. However, a ton of painting did take place. Confused? Read on my dear friends.
One of my hopes was to take some time to learn how to chalk paint old furniture and accessories. Not on the list but a task that ended up taking a lot of time that I thoroughly enjoyed. I ended up painting an old hutch for our kitchen nook, two mirrors to hang over our bathroom vanity, a small chair, a plate rack, a high chair, a small vanity and matching bench, a wall shelf and a dresser shelf. On a shopping trip this past week, we picked up the wax to finish each project. I'll be posting pictures once that final step is completed.
I'm glad I got sidetracked as the chalk painting was so much fun and I feel so excited about finally learning how to refresh old pieces. Maybe in time I'll start to gather pieces to refinish to sell. But for now, it's been fun to go through our stash and remake them over. Hoping the waxing goes well. It's the only part I'm worried about.
I still have 4 weeks of holidays left. No plans just yet as I'll be coordinating with dh's holidays as well. We're hoping this year to get away for a little break. Since moving to the country, we haven't really felt like we needed a holiday away from here, as it feels like every day is a holiday out here! But it would be great to take some time to explore a tropical or eclectic destination.
Do you have any upcoming holidays you're planning?
Do you like to use time off for projects or just relaxing?
April 6, 2017
Today is the 85th Anniversary since
the first edition of the "Little House
in the Big Woods" was published,
the beginning of an incredible series,
written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My
favorite books when I was growing
up, it was an honor to create my blog,
with a slight twist on the true name, to
share our lives in our little house in
the big woods! I'm happy our kids,
especially our girls loved reading my
old copies, so much so, we had to buy
a new set just to keep up. Not long ago,
we came across our editions and have
now tucked them away for our little
grand babies so they can enjoy one day.
Did you enjoy the series as a child?
Which book was your favorite?
March 31, 2017
We have 2 spaces left in our house to sort
out. The first is the garage and although we
have a plan. we have to wait for really good
weather in order to actually empty it all out.
So for now, we're concentrating on the
other space that needs attention: our
Art Studio. This space was left not
finished for us so we could finish it
once our budget allowed. We've been
scrimping and saving to complete it,
as well as saving for our landscaping
and for finally doing the garage too.
This room will have a few zones: my
writing space, dh's writing and editing
space (both of these are in the dormers,
opposite from each other), dollhouse
restoration space, storage, island and
finally, a spot for our Bow Flex set for
working out in between all our little and
big projects that we'll be completing.
For now, we've chosen the colors, almost
figured out the flooring, dh has hung up
the new lights and we're now working on
cabinet choices for storage. See all those
boxes? Those hold all our supplies and
projects that are boxed up, waiting for
the cabinets to be installed so they can
be unpacked. I'm so excited to get to that
time so we can unpack, sort and then to
truly enjoy this bonus space. Updates soon.
I love shopping when I know exactly what I
want but big decisions like houses, cars and
mattresses are so stressful. We've started to
realize it's likely time for us to replace our
bed. Our current one is about 10 years old.
It still seems to be in great shape but we are
both experiencing tons of sore backs and stiff
bodies when we wake up in the morning. Our
chiropractor suggested we think about our bed.
Yesterday when I was in the big city with my
girls, we stopped in at a local bedding store
and tried out a few mattress sets. The sales
guy was very knowledgable and there was no
pressure at all. I really liked the prices of the
first few he showed us and then we spotted
the luxury set. Oops! But dreaming is ok.
Now I'm doing research to see if this bed
compares to any thing else before we make
such a big decision. This particular one
is handmade in England and the average
life span is more than 30 years. Tempting
to spend the extra and have a really good
bed vs. having to keep replacing after so
many years. Lots to think about for now.
How often do you replace your bed?
Do you find big decisions stressful?
Our trees aren't blooming just yet but
we have a ton of pussy willows. So sweet
and so soft. I cut some last year and put
them in a vintage jar on our kitchen table.
And guess what I found in the cupboard?
The same jar with the pussy willows from
last Spring, looking just as nice as the
ones that are currently popping up each
day. We take little walks by the forest
to see how they are progressing. Lovely.
We bought our first house back in 1984 and one of the things that endeared us to buy the tiny home was the wallpaper in the nursery.
Over the years, we would decorate with wallpaper in different rooms. It was the trend then. Some rooms, we used a border and other rooms would have wallpaper on all walls. We used it sparingly for enhancing. Then wallpaper stopped being a "thing" and we ended up stripping off any remaining remnants and painting all the walls instead. It was fresh and light and we liked the new trend then. Until now ....
Now, 6 houses later and out in the country, and guess what is making a return? Wallpaper. We won't be putting it through the house as we tend now to ignore trends. But we have one space though that after a lot of thought, we've decided it does need some lovely paper to make it a warm and cozy room to be in. The room? Our main floor 1/2 bath, with 9 foot ceilings and a very loud echo noise. We came up with a plan, searched and searched for months for the right design and today, we ordered our wallpaper. Best thing ever, as instead of having to order from the U.S., with extra duty, exchange rate and taxes, we were able to order from a local store and today, they had a 50% off sale! Bonus and so worth the wait. Here's what we chose:
It should be here in 2 weeks and then we can start making this tiny, cold, loud room a warm and cozy spot. I'll be doing some before then after pictures and hope you enjoy the reveal once we're ready to show it off. So excited to add some additional classic touches to our new home.
March 30, 2017
The number of days off of work I
during Spring Break this year:
And what have I been doing on this
lovely time off? Let me share ....
* organized my office on my last day
* created a "to do" list to work on
* meet with our landscape artist
* meet with our builder and trades
* empty boxes from our art studio
* learn how to make chalk paint
* chalk paint an old hutch and drawers
* learn how to use wax on furniture
* organize master bedroom closet
* chalk paint mirrors and small items
* help daughter buy a new car
* set time with our gate guy
Things on my list to complete still:
* gather all the documents for our taxes
* set up time with our accountant
* move boxes then paint the art studio
* paint then reorganize the mud room
* paint then reorganize the laundry room
* paint them organize the storage room
* take bottles into the bottle depot
* revise chapters in my book project
* visit with a dear friend next week
* learn how to make a bracelet
* put wicker furniture on veranda
* organize one section of the garage
I had 12 items at first, completed those and
added 12 more. A very focused time off but
so productive and I'm so grateful for this
gift. Holidays from 2016, so I still have just
over 4 weeks left to take off for 2017. Love
my boss and my organization. Worth the work.
Did you have time off during Spring Break?
If so, what did you do with your time?
March 29, 2017
Many bloggers are currently hosting Spring Blog
Tours. I feel kind of silly just opening my home
up without being connected to an organized group
"party" or "hop" of some sort at this time. I'm not
sure how to connect to such events. Doing some
research today to see how to bump up my blog.
For now, I will share our Spring Mantel in our
Master Bedroom. I love the sunlight streaming in.
Special treasures we've collected along the
way. A vintage frame and a SSI cut out.
My family presented this beautiful statue
a few Christmases ago. Our family ....
An Angel from a friend. I love gifts from
special people. Truly given from the heart.
Two sets of Angel wings for our sweet babies. A
tiny Brambly Hedge thimble from England. And
a stitched picture we found at the Antique Mall.
I was going to change out the frame. One day.
We found this plate on a trip and were so
thankful we got it home in one piece. Truly
some of the inspiration behind the ideas for
our new home and the color scheme as well.
A vintage lacy purse, a tiny framed print, a
vintage bowl holding scented natural seeds
and pinecones, a vintage doily and finally,
two rose inspired scented candles. Love.
See that tiny bear? The lavender color is what
we used for the wall color and so many of our
accessories. Sage green, sweet lavender and
creamy ivory, with wood floors and white trim
are the basics in our home. Not for everyone.
But for us, soothing and calm, visually ours.
What colors are prominent in your home?
How did you choose those colors?
When we designed our house, we wanted
to have a spot that was multi-functional.
We ended up adding the turret to the far end
of the house, between the Great Room and
the Living Room. On the blue prints, our
builder marked it as the "sun room".
It lives up to it's name with the afternoon
sun pouring in and the late day sunset that
filters the light in to darkness. An eclectic
spot, it has been our music room, our sun
room, our play room, our Christmas room
and now it is finally our sweet writing room.
My favorite place in the house, I love
the location, the light, the lamp, the
desk and most of all, the feeling of
being in a spot that is private yet open
to the family all at the same time. I can
sit and dream, write and chat, and be
part of whatever is going on in the house,
without feeling isolated and shut out.
Do you have a dedicated spot to write?
A place just for you to be and dream?
The last day of Winter, I took these shots
of a blue sky and lots of snowy grounds.
The trees have started budding and we
finally found some pussy willows on our
walks. The snow is melting, the puddles
have formed and the mud is everywhere.
I received this sweet gift at Christmas from a
colleague who knows how much I love lavender.
A complete kit to start seeds and add to our
garden in the Summer. Hope this works!
Easy instructions .... take off the wrap,
add some water and then cover with plastic.
Now we wait to see if little buds will begin
to sprout sweet lavender for all to enjoy.
Winter finally showed up in March
this year .... so late but here.
Our mornings are a bit dark and
it's still quite gloomy outside.
But the sun eventually comes out and
now we have great mounds of slush.
Is Winter still hanging on in your region?
Or do you have lush gardens growing?