I spent the afternoon Saturday starting the bigger-than-I-had-hoped project of staining my new picket fence.
The sewing queen joined me, and worked tirelessly doing the detail work.
By 5:00 we had a vision of what the finished project will look like.
It then proceeded to rain buckets all day Sunday, and the forecast for the week is continued rain. (Which we need desperately, so I am not complaining.)
Looking at our work so far also sealed the deal in my mind that the bricks will absolutely be painted the soft gray house color, once the picket fence staining project is complete.
Apparently there will be lots more weekends spent with a roller and paintbrush in my hand.
The comment that brought the biggest smile to my face was Marie's: In your August posts there were no wide, white California type shutters in your front windows. No mention of them since then that I can find, but I am noticing them in your windows now. Would you please share more information, including where you got them?
Honestly, I chuckled out loud as I read your comment, Marie, as I was so surprised that anyone had actually noticed what was inside the windows while we were all discussing fine tuning the outside of my home.
Well, Marie, this post is for you. (Because I am just so tickled that you noticed!)
I did get new plantation shutters installed in my living room, dining room, and kitchen.
And I love them!
I've always been a huge fan of plantation shutters. I ordered them locally from a business named Comfort Shutters, but I am sure you can find companies that make them where you live. (Just google "Plantation Shutters".)
I love them because they are timeless. They look good plain, or combined with a window treatment, like I have chosen to do. They are great for insulating from the hot sun in warm weather, and the cold in the cooler months. They block the sun from coming in when needed, and they add privacy too.
They go with any style decor.
They are a classic.
The living room is far from finished, as I am going to get the walls painted in the next couple weeks, and I want to add all new baseboards and trim work. Oh, and my mantle is gonna be re-done (but I am still trying to design that in my head) as well as painting the bricks on the fireplace.
(I am apparently all about painted bricks these days.)
Also, there is a little sort of built in bookcase in the room that I am reinventing too.
(More on that later.)
Anyway, if you wondered about the shutter s in the window, you can thank Marie for this post. (Marie, you made my day!)
Thanks so much for all the input on yesterday's post! So many great ideas, and I feel like my gut instinct (About the brick) was right all along. My daughter called me, midmorning, and said, "Well, I guess we will be painting the brick!"
I laughed, because originally I was planning to paint the brick and the paint contractor didn't add it into the bid, and we ended up deciding to see how it looked unpainted.
(Just goes to show that you should listen to that little voice when making these kinds of decisions.)
I added another detail, my umbrella full of sunflowers, to the door last night, and I am on pins and needles, wanting to get the picket fence and adirondack chairs painted, so that I can get the full visual to make the final, final decision on painting the brick, and possibly the pillars. (as we are calling them.)I see painting the brick as no-brainer. It needs to be the soft gray, I think.
It's funny, but looking at these two pictures, the door looks like different shades of green, depending on which photo you look at. The further away shot is the green I was after, yet the close up looks to washed out and milky to me. (Do you see that too?) Let's look again, just one more time, shall we?
After our long, hot, dry summer, we are finally having rain this week, so things will remain as they are our front for the next few days, at least.
I'm bad about that. (Second guessing myself.)
I'm an over over-thinker.
I am thrilled with the new paint on my cottage, but I am not sure I made the right choice on my door color.
Or maybe it is the fact that I am thinking I should have painted the bricks.
(Which I can still do.)
(And changing the door color is an afternoon project, if I do decide to change it.)
And I haven't re-hung my umbrella full of sunflowers yet, which are very yellow, and may make the door seem more green.)
I think I thought the green was going to be more granny smith apple green than it seems to be. (A teensy bit more vivid maybe, without being Seahawk lime green, if you can picture that.) Then again, certain times of the day, when the sun hits it, I love it.
(Should I have chosen a burnt red? I love red doors, and I know they are some sort of Fueng shui thing for brining wealth into your home, which I wouldn't mind, but.... I just feel like red doors are so...expected.)
(Add another happy-but-undecided sigh here.)
Okay, I'm not making any rash changes until I paint my adirondack chairs and picket fence. Then I'll share the finished-as-it's-gonna-be project and see how I feel.
Remember my front door dilemma?
Here is the door I eventually settled on.
(Is that the one you thought I would choose?)
The Handyman installing the door ended up being a day late, and then hit a road block, needing to get a piece of trim, and a different drill bit and so he is supposedly coming back to finish up today. (I am loosing hope though, as he was supposed to be here at noon, and I have called and left him a message and it is now after 1:30.)
This held up my painters from painting the fabulous door, (It was originally set to be hung the day before yesterday originally, as I said before.)and they are here, doing the last of the touch ups,and painting my new front door now!
Oh, the anticipation of seeing my new door, hung in place, painted up in it's glorious new color, is just about killing me!
...and I love it!
(Did you pick the gray for my cottage, when you read this post?)
The old school-circla-1960 TV antenna was gone.
Some charcoal (actually named "Peppercorn") accents, like the garage doors were in the works too.
I'm one happy girl.
Today, the trim, and details like the doors.
(No new front door hung yet. I got busy and put off running to Home Depot to buy it, and then scheduling a door guy to hang it. I finally did that last Tuesday, and now it will be going in today or shortly there after. Stay tuned!)
Following that, the picket fence will be painted..er...stained..white.
I can hardly stand the anticipation and excitement of seeing it all done!!
After more than ten months in my little cottage, weeks of debating over color combos,and front door choices, the outside paint job is finally beginning, and I am fairly confident that my entire neighborhood is watching through their windows as the magic unfolds.
The painter dudes arrived the day before yesterday and began the lead paint abatement, which is a fancy name for water blasting your home, and then scraping off all of the peeling areas of paint. It's apparently a big deal, because you have to be licensed to do this, and it is done with a lot of prep work, and plastic drop cloths.
And, as is true of so many other projects, the outside of my little cottage now looks even worse than before we started.
(I am okay with that.)
They finished the abatement portion of the job yesterday, and will begin with the paint job today.
(Can I get an Amen?!)
My new front door is set to be installed this afternoon, if it works out for the door guy to not be in the painter guys way, and then the painters can work their magic on it too. I can only hope it will all look as charming as it does in my mind right now.
Oh, this is just like waiting for Christmas!
I realized while doing the laundry this past Saturday, that I have been spraying "Spot Shot" carpet cleaner on those stubborn spots on my soiled clothes and linens, thinking it was laundry stubborn stain remover spray for the past couple months, give or take.
Apparently I wasn't wearing my glasses when I bought this spot remover in the first place, (Or I was preoccupied, multi-tasking talking on the phone while shopping) as I do not have a single carpeted room in my cottage.
Another tap on the shoulder from God to slow down, and be present, I suppose!
Once they arrive, they will be surprised to find that it is a very special champagne brunch where each will be asked to be a bridesmaid!
(Isn't that the sweetest idea, ever?!)
I got to help out by making the oh-so-special cards that will be on the table with little prezzies for the soon-to-be bridesmaids (and Maid of Honor)
Here is the front of the card...
...and the inside...
So fun! I will be adding this to my easy shop shortly as a e-kit, so stay tuned!
As soon as I saw these on etsy, I knew I'd be ordering one for my (at the time) soon to be engaged (Now, newly engaged!) girlfriend.
When it arrived, I liked it even more. (Can you just see a stunning wedding gown hanging on this? And later, maybe a yummy soft robe?)
The easy shop will do any words, so I am now thinking I need one for my guest room closet to hang my guest robe and slipper socks on that says something clever, like "be my guest" or "Stay awhile". What do you think?
I shared a few months back that grand-babe number nine was on the way. We now know that this latest little bundle of love is a girl!
Baby number three for my oldest daughter and her husband, she will arrive in January to meet her two big brothers, and we can hardly wait.
I have no idea where the time went, as it feels like he was just a little guy riding his bike up and down the street a nano-second ago.
Way to go, Sugar-man. Your Mama is thrilled for you!
Autumn is my most favorite season, and I'm as ready as can be for it, with my pumpkin spice scented wax melts wafting through my cottage, firewood poised and ready for a fire in the fireplace (as soon as this latest warm snap passes) and pumpkins cozying things up, inside and out.
I'm ready for a rainy, rainy day (or week...) where I can snuggle in on the sofa with a blanket and my laptop, with a cup of hot spiced cider.
Oh yes, let the season begin!
So much fun!
Anyway, we were wandering around in a shop that was kind of half thrift store, half vintage junk, and off in the corner of a small room, I spied with my little eye, this weathered old vintage tin picnic basket.
My heart skipped a beat, and then I looked a bit closer and thought maybe...just maybe, it was too weathered for my cottage.
(What was I thinking?!)
I walked away from it and meandered through the rest of the shop. Something kept bringing my mind back to the picnic tin though, and as I was about to head over to my friends to leave the shop, I scampered back to the corner of the small room and grabbed it.
As I loaded it into the trunk of the car, I thought of half a dozen uses for it and I knew I had scored the treasure of the weekend right there.
Pretty sweet, huh?
New Year's Eve is three and a half months away.
But, I'm working on adding some items to my easy shop, and now is the time to be planning ahead if you're wanting printables for the holidays, and since I am going to add some ready-made items as well, i need to do them now.
I got so excited in planning out the New Year's items that I am now thinking I just might throw a New Years shindig myself.
The question is, do I want to do a New Year's Eve gathering, (Maybe an all-girls supper with resolution sharing?) or a New Year's Day brunch (with two or three couples?) or possibly an afternoon Open House for friends to come and go?
The challenge is that I can't decide which one sounds more fun. What are your thoughts on this?
I mean, why decorate when everything looks so weathered and sad out there?
When I would have to move the bales of straw out of the way along with an un-Godly number of real and faux pumpkins? (Bales of straw that have been multi-purposed from the back of my truck for car shows, to Camp Cupcake for seating at the table, and finally to the front entrance to my cottage, to add to my fall decorating touches.)
(Because, I am a more is more girl in the pumpkin arena, and probably need a twelve step program for over-the-top seasonal decorating issues.)
Yes, it would be best to wait.
But then, it happened. This week, the weather here in the fantastic Pacific Northwest turned to fall in an overnight kind of way, and all deals with myself were off.
I scampered to WalMart after work last night and filled my cart with four of the biggest pumpkins I could find.
(This involved moving several medium-ish pumpkins to the watermelon display while I dug around, and then had to move them back to the pumpkin bin when I was finished.)
I loaded the great pumpkins into my car and happily drove them home, where I then positioned them on my newly-relocated-near-the-front-door bales of straw.
I replaced the straw basket of spring looking tulips on the front door with a black umbrella full of sunflowers.
(Yes, I know I'm getting a new front door hung in the next three weeks, but until then, the umbrella will be happy here on the very old door.)
As if that were not enough, I headed out to my new-but-not-yet-painted gate and hung another basket of sunflowers there to welcome anyone who might look my way.
(This is the very reason I longed for a picket fence with a gate!)
Autumn is my most favorite of the seasons and I am not going to miss enjoying a minute of it just because I am waiting on a crew of house painters.
My cottage is waiting patiently for it's paint job, which has now been pushed back to the first week in October (I am praying for good weather for my painter-guys.) and in the last week I got my picket fence installed.
Since so many of the houses in my neighborhood have picket fences, or hedges around them, I wanted to do a picket fence that was different than the rest. I chose to use the lap eared fence boards left over from the privacy fence, and do a high-low look.
(Remember my cottage without the picket fence?)
Of course, having the picket fence painted will add further instant gratification, but for now, the definition and charm it adds to my cottage is beyond anything I could have possibly imagined.
Can you see the improvement?
Can you envision it painted a crisp white?
With flowers and shrubs planted in front of it?
And a clever sign hanging on the gate?
And it is a thing of beauty.
First, I gathered some logs from my own firewood pile, and secured it with a big bow made from a remnant of the fabric we used to make my laundry room sink skirt.
Then I took an old thrifted metal bucket and filled it with pinecones from my yard, homemade fire starters, and a little bundle of twigs for kindling, which I tied with a bow and a handmade tag.
(At this point I realized that I was out of boxed matches, so she will have to use her own, dang it.)
I was happy with my efforts, ad I think she was too.
So, after lunch, it was time to create our peanut butter and birdseed bird feeders.
Some of us were eating more peanut butter than putting it on our pinecones.
Everyone wanted prime placement on the only tree with branches that would work for the bird feeders....
Camping Bingo was another huge hit.
(Goldfish crackers make great Bingo markers)
Suppertime at Camp Cupcake arrived, and we all helped to build the campfire.
Everyone grilled their own wiener to perfection.
We then made s'mores.
...and then we made some more s'mores.
My Rock n' Roll bUddy did a few Beatles tunes, because it turns out we all like rock n' roll, and some of us love to dance.
Badges were awarded for various challenges, (I found mine on ebay) and everyone went home with a pennant that will continue to be filled with badges year after year.
All the campers were tucked in their sleeping bags (All five of them insisted on sharing the quest room at my cottage.) and were fast asleep before 9:00 and then up with the sun on Sunday morning, ready for pancakes.
Best. Time. Ever.
Everyone checked out their goodie bags...(and made sure their flashlights worked...)
We headed over to the big part of the yard for some fun. We began by gathering pinecones for a project later in the day...(Notice the boys were a bit more interested in their snakes than pinecone gathering....)
....and then took some pictures under our Camp Cupcake Banner...
followed by some pretty intense burlap sack races...
..and then lunch.
(Some of use used our magnifying glasses to get a closer look at our our lunch.)
Lunch was followed by dirt pudding with gummy worms.
Then, we heeded out on a full fledged scavenger hunt.
It turns out that butterfly nets have many uses.
Can you see how much fun we had???? There is so much more to share...next post will be about the rest of our day!
I thought I'd begin at the beginning, as I share the details of the first annual Camp Cupcake with my Grands.
A Smokey The Bear sign greeted the campers on the front of the gate.
We used my side patio, as I call it (A used-to-be-carport now fenced in my back yard, with gates to be able rouse it as a carport if ever needed!) for our main eating and crafting area. It worked out perfectly, as it rained on and off all day, and Camp Cupcake was unaffected!
I created a just the right height for little guys table from an old door on top of my patio coffee table, covered in a painter's drop cloth. Seating was created by using bales of straw covered with scraps of plaid and solid wool.
Two vintage wooden folding rockers off to the side for the Camp Counselors (My yard-sale find about three summers ago, to use for sitting in at Classic Car shows when I take my old Blue truck) looked perfectly imperfect in the background...
...and my old enamel top table (which has made the rounds for parties at both of my daughters homes) housed bottled waters, craft supplies and all the needed items for the day.
My firewood stacked along the side there made for the perfect campsite-craft-area wall, wit my geraniums hanging above to complete the look. (Sorry, you can't really see the geraniums, I know. Just imagine them there.)
Details on the table included everyone's goodie bags, which were filled with a flashlight, trail snack mix, a magnifying glass, and the big hit of the day, a rubber snake.
I borrowed a friend's fire pit and staged my Farm-Chick's purchased camp stools around it in the area sandwiched between my back patio and the car-port-turned-patio area, and it felt like the space was always meant-to-be there.
(I love it when stuff like that happens!)
The bigger backyard area greater campers with a second banner, and was ready and waiting for the games I had planned; burlap sack races, and ring toss.
Next post I will share the fun...!