(Inore my fence-board overstock pile there in the photo, please.)
My fence is completed and I officially have a backyard, which is especially fabulous because my new, totally unlandscaped backyard is set to be the location for my upcoming Camp Cupcake.
The fact that it is the end of summer (and brown is the new green out here for lawn color, with one of the hottest summers on record.) and I have been blessed to have two incredibly huge fir trees out there add to the campground look and feel. (Who knew this would work out to be such a plus?!)
I'm working on two banners; one to greet campers at the new front gate, and one swagged between the two huge fir trees.(hopefully, if I can finagle it..they are a fair distance apart.)
I got the idea for Camp Cupcake way back in early June, when I went to the Farm Chicks Show with the Other Tracey. (So many great memories!!!) Fast forward (seemingly at the speed of light) and Labor Day Weekend is very nearly here, and with it, my inaugural Camp Cupcake event with the Grands.
See what I mean?
I still have about a gajillion projects to complete. (My grown up girl job really cramps my social life sometimes.)Last night I got the transfers printed to go on the Camper's little burlap bags, and got their tee-shirts ordered. This morning I got the activities schedule made as well as a To-Do list of the remaining projects for the camp.
(Not sure if I ever told you this, but I am awesome at making the lists to do things, and notso awesome at time management.)
I took my camera with me Sunday night when my Rock n' Roll buddy and I went for a walk through my little neighborhood.
I love this little slice of heaven that is planted right smack in Vancouver Washington. So many pretty homes. They all look so happy, don't they?
Full of charm. From small cottages (like mine...)
(Don'tcha just loooooove this color combination? It's a shame it's too close to my home to copy it.)
Of course there is always white...classic.
....Then there are the larger (but not at all McMansion-ish) cozy almost Susan-Branch-in-Nantucket looking homes, where there is a sense of comfort and joy; an underlying feeling of the possibility of happily-ever-after, if that makes any sense at all.
I adore the awnings on this one....
...and just take a look at these trees...
This is my most-favorite-Susan-Branch looking home in the neighborhood....
(I know, right?!)
...even their garages ooze charm.
(Mykind of place.)
It feels like home.
This is why I chose my little cottage. (Sure, I saw it's diamond-in-the-very-rough potential, but even more, I saw the neighborhood, so very obviously (to me) filled to the rooftops with love.
I wanted to live here. Heck, I needed to live here, in this little warm-and-cozy pocket of town. A petite cottage calling out for a soul-mate; a perfect match with a not-your-ordinary girl looking to uncover it's potential, and perfect-ness, that was neglected and hidden away for far too long.
Yesterday morning, right and early, my son-in-law arrived in a ginormous truck with all of the materials needed to build a privacy fence for my soon-to-be backyard.
You see, my cottage is on a corner lot, and it has never had a fence of any sort, other than a short chain link fence across the very back of the house, and one small section of privacy fence added by the neighbor behind me a few months before I moved in.
It's gonna be a whole lotta fence. (nearly 300 foeet of it!) This will define my backyard, and my front yard, and enable my to use the carport area by the garage as an entertaining space until I add a deck on the other side of the hose hopefully next summer.
I can hardly wait, as it is coming not a moment too soon, with my Camp Cupcake just around the corner. (More on that later this week.)
My old one is pretty much a train wreck, and I am going to replace it in the next couple of weeks with a new one. I have narrowed down my choices to my top three selections and here they are, in no particular order:
This one has a cute craftsman style window at the top...
(Oh! Picture allof these doors painted to go with my new house colors, of course!)Number one could look something like this....
I'm hosting the first (hopefully) annual Camp Cupcake with the grands this Labor Day weekend! I got the idea at the Farm Chicks event with the Other Tracey.
The theme for Farm Chicks this year was adventure, and Serena had set up the cutest pup-tent I had ever seen, which sparked the idea for me.
(It's the "If-you-give-a-moose-a-muffin" thing all over again.)
One thing lead to another, and by the time we left Spokane, I had 6 assorted vintage camp stools, a great assortment of badges, a boat oar, and enough inspiration that the Other Tracey and I stayed up until oh-dark-thirty in our hotel room talking about it, and planning and brainstorming all sorts of ideas for the big event.
Camp Cupcake will be an over-night camp-out in my backyard, and I have games, crafts, a campfire sing-a-long, and even a scavenger hunt lined up so far on my activity list.
For those who do not know it, I became "Gramma Cupcake" when the first two grand-babes arrived over six and half years ago. It has since been shortened to simply "Cupcake" by pretty much all of the eight (and one on the way!) grands...hence the name, Camp Cupcake.
I loved Serena's tent, but I am a bit torn on which way to go, as I also love this tent idea...
Which idea do you prefer?
So much to decide!
I am sending out the invites tomorrow, and I am so excited that I can barely stand it.
I have been helping my number two daughter and her family as they get ready to move, and I left work a little early last Friday to drive on out to the new place. In between unloading things, and cleaning things up a bit, we incorporated some retail junk therapy into our evening with a short drive over to the cute town of Sublimity.
The Union Hill Grange Hall in Sublimity was the site for the latest Molly Mo's vintage fair, and it could not have been a more perfect location for the event!
Outdoor vendors had some fabulous treasures, and great displays...
...along with food and drink....
and some great music. (Sorry, I didn't get the band's name, but they were fantastic.)
(Notice the incredible attention to detail with the additional Molly Mo's signage, and flowers n pots? I love that!)
More booths inside the hall...
We managed to find some treasures that were just too good to pass up for their new home, and two carloads later, we were done. We both agreed that this was one of the best fairs we have ever attended, with every detail attended to, and a perfect venue to boot.
You see, here is how I typically roll: I always envision the way I am going to do some, such as wrap a package for shipping in this great tape I purchased online and could not wait for to arrive. (Once I ordered this tape, I was quite literally on pins and needles until it arrived at my home.) and then..
I procrastinate when doing things...even things I love to do, like sending a friend or family member a package...and in the panic of the last minute pressure, I cut corners and skimp out.
This time I was determined that this would not be the case. I had ordered a dear, dearfriend a special present to surprise her, as she is going through a rough patch herself.
(In the end it did take me an extra six days to send her prezzie, because I was so determined to package it right, and then proceeded to not make time before or after work each day....see how I do that?)
Once I wrapped her items inside the box, I wrapped the shipping box in brown kraft paper, and whipped out my fabulous tape.
(How cute it this?!)
Why have I waited so long to use this?
The package itself brings a smile to everyone's face, even before it is opened.
I will be using this again...and soon, as I have another present I need to mail next week to someone else.
What was inside the box?
My friend is going to be flying up here at some point this autumn, and I happened upon the cutest little kit online that I knew would make her flight oh-so-much-more fun, so I ordered it for her.
I stole the verbiage from the website and tweaked it ever so slightly and printed it on a gift tag..
Oh! I had such fun putting this all together. I wish I could get a better grip on my time management to do these fun things for the people I love in a more timely fashion.
I'm being very brave here today, and I am sharing photos of my cottage in it's current "Before" state.
(Scary, I know.)
I'm sharing this with you because I am at a stand-still trying to select a colorway for the outside of my diamond in the rough. I getting ready to tackle some of the outside issues, and I want it to reflect my style, and say who lives here.
My own personal style is cottage with a side of farm house. When I googled up Chip and Joanna's farm house, (The folks on my favorite HGTV Show, Fixer Upper) I was immediately inspired, because what I saw there was a house in the before state that looked quite honestly like much more of a project house than what I am tackling.
Here was their farmhouse from the front, in it's before state.....
and the rear as well...
It looks pretty daunting, doesn't it?
But, my-oh-my, just look at it now. Here is the newly restored front....
...and the ash-mazing new rear..
Inspiring, for sure.
(Squeeee! I love that metal roof!)
Both time and money are challenges for me in regards to breathing new life and lots of love into my little cottage. Here it is in it's current state....
What?....Why yes, that is an old school TV antenna on my roof. (If you are lucky enough to be under 35 you might not know what that is.)
You can tell it's mine by the attempt to foofify the all-to-ghetto front porch.
(Just you wait. It won't be this way too much longer!)
Anyway, I am now choosing colors for the exterior of my soon-to-be jewel of a cottage, and I am desperate for your input. You see, my cottage sits on a nice big corner lot, and I'll be getting a new privacy backyard fence here in a couple of weeks, followed in mid-September by the guys certified to do lead based paint removal. (Can you believe it? There is a wait list thatlong!)
Once that step is complete, I will have the exterior painted, and adding a new front door and shutters. I am getting a new roof, so I don't have to take that into too much consideration, although that will be another decision. (Color of roof? Shake, shingles, or maybe even a metal roof?)
That is where your two cents is needed. I have so many ideas, and I am not at all sure which way I really want to go. Do I go with a grey house, white trim, dark grey shutters,,,
and a fabulous green door? I think the green adds a fresh look...
...or do I stay with the white, only brighter and all fresh and clean, with red accent shutters and doors? (In this scenario, I would paint the old 50's brick on my cottage white as well, so it would be invisible)
Cheerful and happy, no?
(Although, maybe not quite thismuch red in the details...)
As long as I am considering white, what about a simple black and white with the unexpected pop of black and white awnings? Many of the larger homes in my sweet neighborhood have them, and I do love the look, plus they block the strong sun on the front of my cottage...
....or do I really step out of my comfort zone and try this Robins egg blue with white trim, and red door?
I am really torn here, as I want my house to reflect me, and I want it to be a showpiece on the block.
(Currently I am the ugly duckling in case you had not guessed. The rest of my neighborhood is filled with everything from charming smaller cottages and stately larger homes. It's a fabulous little spot, and I want to make my lil' home the jewel of the street.)
I would truly lov your ideas, and input on color selection...please share!
Okay, that's not true. Daughter number two's family is moving and we are down to the wire, time wise.
Otherwise we all would have been sipping lemonade inside the air-conditioned house.
Before I share this entire post, let me back up-
First off- thank you for the oh-so-kind words from last night's post. I appreciate you all, and knowing other friends sometimes go through these kinds of things as well is comforting too.
Crazy day today, as The Sewing Queen and I spent the bulk of the day helping my son-in-law and daughter number two their moving sale. Daughter number one arrived early to help out as well, and she brought along her two boys so the kiddos could have some cousin time.
Grand number one was holding his first lemonade stand, (He is very entrepreneurial.) and he asked his slightly younger brother (Grand number three) to be his assistant.
He helped paint his workstation, including his menu board, and helped bake cookies to sell as well. All in all, a pretty slick set up.
One thing lead to another as the yard sale started and my son-in-law ended up in charge of the four Littles as we call them. To put it mildly, it was rather like herding kittens, and he came up with a perfect solution to keep them corraled. He took the four of them out back to the trampoline.
The trampoline sits in the shade of the huge pine trees and the protective netting around the edge kept everyone within eyesight.
Grand number three soon tired of the lemonade business (And the heat) and joined the crowd on the shady trampoline as well.
I took a break and popped back there to get some pictures and a short video.
So much fun to watch them all!
I came home a happy kind of tired, looking forward to the air conditioned comfort of my living room while I watch the Mariners play and write to you.
I don't think I'll move from this spot until bedtime.
Life is hard, you know? Every one of us is fighting some sort of battle. I get the fact that we all need to remember that, and cut each other a little slack.
I also realize in the scheme of things, that my battles are minuscule in comparison to many. Still, no matter the size or magnitude, the current battles we are fighting are real, and tough for us.
I myself have had an extra rough week, and I long desperately to escape to Traceyville where everything is pleasant and cozy, where I am considered to be a treasure, and everything in life is oh, so, happy, but that ain't gonna happen tonight.
(Do you feel a pity party invite comin' your way?)
I usually am exited for Friday (Livin' for the weekend...) but tonight I just feel overwhelmed, under loved, and wishing' I could see around corners like God does.
I know. This a faith thing, and I need to just go with the flow.
(I've been here before.)
And yes, I know I have my family, and so very many blessings to be thankful for, and I am certainly not forgetting that.
It's just that, some days...it's....
Easier said than done.
(Sorry for this far-too-vague post. Sometimes putting words on paper makes me see things more clearly)
Tonight I am confused.
I just wish I knew what the plan was for me, and I keep praying for it to be easier, and, in the end...well, wonderful.
Tonight I am feeling overwhelminly weary of having my character built.