Monday, March 26, 2012

WOW.... Where did March go?


I'm not sure really what happened but March seemed to slip right through my fingers.  Once minute I was changing the calendar from February to March and now the month is almost over...

Usually March is one of those dreary, grey months that lingers on forever, but not this year!  BLINK and it's going, going, gone!

Here in my little spot in the country we had a few sunny, warmish days in a row... and on a weekend no less!  Getting out in the gardens was a goal of mine and I'm happy to report I was able to get quite a bit of clean up done... although maybe I shouldn't brag since I obviously I failed to do it in the fall.

Now it's just two more flower beds and the vegetable garden left to tackle.  Since we typically plant our vegetable garden around mid-April I know where I'll be spending any rainy-less (and perhaps rainy) days we may have coming our way in the next few weekends.


The beautiful weekend, blue skies even prompted a trip t a local nursery on Saturday...

a great way to spend a little bit of time on a sunny, Saturday afternoon.

And indoors?  Well, I'm so HAPPY to also be nearing completion on the bedroom makeover... I finally finished the painted floors.

Now in the next week while the paint cures I have some small projects to get done like touch ups, trim paint and painting the inside of the closet a fun goldish color.  Then I'll be finishing up a dresser and end table with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue... you've seen a bit of the table but I think they'll both look amazing!  Our local ASCP stockist also sells samples sizes so I picked up a Cream sample which is a real buttery, creamy color and I plan to try my hand at using the chalk paint on metal, as in an old headboard that I'm going to try to spruce up a bit.  I want it to have a yellow tone to go along with all the other yellows and pale golds I have hoarded saved up.   I have until Sunday, move in day, to get all those little details and larger projects done.  Then I can breath a sigh of relief that the room will pretty much be ready for guests!

I also took time to plant impatien and Wave Petunia seeds on Sunday.  I start them in my sunny, south facing front porch.  This year's count?  390 white impatiens, 30 pink impatiens and 50 Wave Petunias in white, blue (purple) and pink.  And if you've never planted impatien or petunia seeds?  Well let me tell you, it is like planting carrot seeds... one. at. a. time.  They are TINY!  Needless to say, it took a bit to get them done!

Next up?  Marigolds, sunflowers, cucumber, pumpkins, hollyhocks and zinnias... Lots and lots of zinnias this year since we'll be using some green, purple and pure white ones for THE wedding in August.

Speaking of the wedding, I haven't mentioned the planning in a bit... it's moving right along as well.  The pile in my sewing room continues to grow... 
Save the Dates are in the mail... Fortunately all of the major items have been worked out... photographer, catering, rentals, cupcakes, dresses, suits... I meet with a local wedding florist tomorrow so that will be the final "big" thing to cross off the list except for the invitation selection... it's a slow process my friends!  All the little details are still being worked on but with just under 5 months to go I think we're in pretty good shape and I'm loving the little bit of vintage that is being incorporated into the day... I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all!

And all though our normal grey, rainy weather is back today... the birds are chirping, the cherry trees are starting to blossom....

the hyacinths and daffodils are blooming...

in other words, it FINALLY feels like spring...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring cleaning... oops I mean painting

Actually the weekend wasn't all work.  I traveled south to Seattle on Saturday for a bit of a girls day with my daughter.  It was fun and relaxing since our plans changed at the last minute and we had the whole day to just do what we wanted.... shop, lunch, a walk under a bright afternoon sky.  But don't let me lead you on, in the morning it rained... imagine that but it also snowed and hailed on the trip.  Spring in the Pacific Northwest at it's finest... I know, it's not officially spring yet but this is pretty much what we get most years.  Fickle weather.

Surprisingly those 100 miles to the south make a large difference in our temperatures... which means a big difference in our growing seasons.  In Seattle cherry trees were starting to bloom, some of the early bloomers were full on beautiful... daffodils and crocuses were abundant... forsythia too.

In my neck of the woods?  Well the hyacinths are just waking up...

As are the daffodils...

And the skies?  Well this is pretty much what we see... grey, white and sometimes if we're lucky a bit of blue!

I shouldn't complain... once the sun begins to shine well it really means time for some spring cleaning.  Those winter skies certainly hide the dust bunnies and the plain old dust well...  Once the sun starts streaming in the window I can't pretend I don't see the streaks and dog nose prints on the windows...

But that cleaning was put off for another weekend... since I'm still here.  The walls are pretty much done but I've just begun on the floors...

A coat of primer and then the start of the painting....

Once coat down... two or three more to go.  Then the fun can begin.  The stuff.  The furniture... oh the plans I have stuck up here in my head...

And I'd better get moving...

The spring days and the gardens are calling me as well,

Monday, March 12, 2012

I love starting a new project....

Or two... or three... or four???

I started on my son's now vacant room, well vacant if you don't count the dog bed and desk chair that was left behind.  I had decided a number of years ago that I wanted both upstairs rooms to eventually be the same color.

I had chose an aqua blue (Blue Cypress by Behr) when I painted my sewing room.... chosen to match my vintage inspired wallpaper which I love and is along a wall that runs between both bedroom doors.  I must admit, it's my first and only wall paper attempt to date... and if you're familiar with the pattern... well it's actually upside down!

The current view of dark green and blue wasn't exactly the look I was going for...

And these paint colors took many coat to get them this dark... soI knew it would be many coats of primer to cover them up!

The stripes were an attempt to hide the funky wall on this side of the room... I believe there had been some water damage long before we moved to Red Gate Farm.  As you can see, my striping attempt never quite got finished....

So two coats of oil based primer later... I can still see blue.  Fortunately I am painting the room the soft, aqua blue and am hoping betting this will cover just fine.

After two coats of Blue Cypress and a coat of oil based primer on everything else that didn't stand still...

I'm liking it.... maybe even loving it... I decided to walk on the wild side and once again attempt stripes on this funky panel board like stuff.  However, this time the larger areas will be white and the small lines will be the  wall color.  As you can see there is also an access panel for the crawl space.  I plan to place the bed on this wall... my vintage iron head board... with a dresser on the left as a nightstand.  This will cover that door right up.

And the right side of the bed?  Well I already started project number two for the room... an old side table that I'm painting Duck Egg Blue in Annie Sloan chalk paint!  I think it's going to look fabulous.  Here the walls look a lot greyer than they are.

This shot is a bit truer in color... cute table huh?  And I have the best vintage lamps to go on the dresser/side table combo as well as this little table.

In my sewing room the colors I have used with the aquaish blue are pink and white...rather girly.  But that's ok  since it's MY room.  For this room, which will officially be the guest room, I wanted to use something else... this little vintage print was my inspiration... blue and shades of YELLOW!

I picked up a few pieces of fabric last weekend.  I want to use more of a pale golden yellow instead of a baby nursery yellow...  I'll probably make some throw pillows or pillow cases out of these fabrics... now I'm on the hunt for the perfect sheets in a vintage blue and golden yellow print...

This fabulous vintage purse, yep, it's actually a purse, will look right at home in the finished room.

Another print for the room... this one came from my son's new house.  It was left behind by the prior owners and I snapped it up.  It's an oil or acrylic painting on canvas... not sure about the frame yet... I may paint that too.

The base of a cute vintage lamp I've been hoarding saving for a number of years.


And the piece de resistance?  Well this vintage, full sized Hoffman chenille bedspread.  Purchased at our local thrift store.  The very first time I visited this store with my mom a lady was at the counter and was going to purchase this spread.  It has a tiny little hole on one corner, we're talking pin hole small, and she wanted them to mark the price down... since they don't change prices or negotiate she didn't purchase it.  When my turn came in line I asked the price.... $8.99!!  Of course, I brought it home... it will finally have a place of honor on the bed...

Well, on the bed only if the door is kept shut since this is what is usually on the bed...

Hope you had a wonderful weekend...

It was rather bright and spring like here,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

S.N.O.W.


Or as I like to call it Simply Not Optimal Weather.  Yep it snowed here again... not a lot in inches but the snow and ice on the road made for an icy commute to work and it was cold, 26 degrees cold that is.

My poor plants aren't sure what's going on... one day sunny and mild, spring seems to be on its way and then "oops" here's a little snow again.

My garden is confused and so am I.  March isn't supposed to bring snow... when February is over we are supposed to enter the limbo month of March and just get grey and wet.  Well if I'm completely honest that sometimes describes April... and May... and June as well.

But really, I need some warmish days to get out into the gardens and clean up from last season... I know, I know I should have done it in the fall but I always think I'll have another weekend and next thing you know it's March and crocus and hyacinths are peaking up through the weeds and dead and dry hydrangea blossoms.

This brave hydrangea has both new and old blossoms to show off.... hopefully that visit from 26 degrees won't mean this little guy will turn dark and die back...

And the Autumn Joy sedum is giving me a little bit of spring joy too.

I'm always amazed that the delicate looking delphinium unfurls in the still cold weather.

Our snowy morning certainly turned into a cold, clear, sunny afternoon in my neck of the woods... soon this old azalea will trade the orangey-red buds for orange blossoms.

Even my shrub rose Bonica is showing signs of spring and the fabulous pink flowers to come.

And perhaps you were wondering what that spiky, torture chamber looking device was at the start of this post?  Nope, not a bed of nails... I found it today at the thrift store... for $5.99... in the original box... never used.  It's a flower frog unlike any I already have.

It's got handy, dandy little clips that mean you can snap/slide it together in different configurations as needed.

Can you say "great find"?  Sometimes the ladies at the thrift store think I go for the odd stuff... but who could pass up this little gem... especially a "frog" collector like myself AND I was thrilled to find something to remind me that spring is just around the corner...

Something besides the swans that seem to finally be moving out of our field and off to their spring and summer palaces.

Of course, my hellebore really reminds me that snow will soon be a distant memory... or at least where it belongs... in a cone, with syrup and a spoon at the beach...

Enjoying the sunny afternoon,