Thursday, April 30, 2009
Or is that too vague? Should it be broken down into "English Kitchen" or "French Kitchen" etc.
There is a reason to my madness... I am just fishing for feedback first!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Yesterday, Steven and I were houseshopping for his mother, when we came across this 3 story Victorian built in the 1860s... here are a few interior shots...
Monday, April 27, 2009
I have a few requirements for the backyard. (Ahhh... IT-speak again!)
(1) (Left-side of yard) The playspace for the children will include swingsets, etc... but it will also tie into the rest of the yard. Think of an "enchanted forest" for kiddos. It will have gorgeous kid-friendly plantings mixed in with the play equipment. Maybe even a little goldfish pond.
(2) (Center) The garage, which is not in great condition, will be rebuilt (eventually) and expanded a bit. We plan on a flat roof for it for a nice walkout patio area from the back porch (which will eventually be my office/studio.
(3) (Center) The new driveway, which will hopefully happen this year, will be pretty basic but will have some nice brickwork along the edges and a few nice sizable planters. The basketball goal will also be included in all this.
(4) (Right) This side of the yard will be dedicated to gardening. It will include a potting shed, vegetable garden, anda composting / recycling area.
All this is a lot of planning, and since we are doing it in phases, we need to make sure we have the measurements right. Since even the mega-swingset will be built in phases, everything will be stacked out, measured, all that.
Anyway, to the fun stuff. I have draw out a rough sketch of the backyard layout, which I will share with you all later on. I have a very rough sketch of the children's area... but today, I wanted to share with you a rough sketch of the potting shed. This is not to scale, mind you. But it makes my imagination SOAR just thinking about it! This is a rough sketch so don't expect a lot here... OK... the room in the middle, with the double barn doors, is my creative area. I will have a potting bench, shelves, etc. The 1925 cast iron sink I posted last week will go into the potting bench. I would like bins for soil, peat, etc. Oh, to be organized!! I cannot wait. For this, I need to scout out 2 antique wood windows. We already have the antique light fixtures. Oh, my love of rabbits will be integrated into the cupola.
Dane carried the stack of firewood down, Emery loaded it into the wagon then stacked it in the backyard. Emery picked up toys and organized them into metal bins while Dane helped me sweep up leaves. We shook out all the pillows and it is again a nice, cheery spot to read a book and drink some tea.
Here is the tatty old rocker I posted about awhile back. The little table on the left we bought last year but it was a garden green. I painted it a bright aqua (Valspar - Sea Sparkle.) Soon, it will have a few pots on it... for now it is a place for the feral cats to enjoy the food we leave out.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Two Options from Pier One:
Friday, April 24, 2009
Is now bright and cheery! Look!
I feel I have neglected my blog here in order to, oh, I don't know, get stuff done. And this is supposed to be some sort of record of that, right? I am afraid that without pictures, it is not very interesting though.
I hope to get some pictures up tonight or tomorrow of the finished antique dresser / pie safe marriage. I finished painting the antique dresser up. Like the pie safe, it's Laura Ashley's Edelweiss (white) with Valspar's Boathouse (blue) on the back and Ralph Lauren's Black Truffles for the shelves. I am not intentionally using every freaking paint out there. I just happen to have a lot of leftovers and figure they might as well get use!
The dresser also got frosted glass knobs that match the pie safe.
Steven just has to marry the two together, and we'll be all set for pictures.
OK... now I would like to talk about something a bit controversial... at the risk of hurting a few reader's feelings... (yikes!)
I need to talk for a moment about furniture distressing. Now, since the stuff I buy is old, I don't really feel the need to make it look old by mussing up the paint. I do recognize, however, that some people really like this look. And even more like to buy new things and give them character or whatever.
My problem is this... when I buy antique furniture and someone has hamfistedly "distressed" it -- it ruins the wood. An example would be the antique dresser we picked up for our son, Bowie. The person had painted it pale lavender and went at the corners like there was no tomorrow with sandpaper. I plan on painting this piece in black, but all those corners are now rounded. All the lovely detail is gone.
You CAN distress furniture without rounding corners and ruining the wood. One method involves the use of acid - but I won't go into that here since I don't find it environmentally friendly. OK, the easiest way is to run a bit of candle wax along anywhere that you want to look distressed. If you want paint to show through, just rub a candle there. Then just paint as usual. Before your paint is dry, lightly run fine grit sandpaper where you applied the wax and - voila - the paint will come right off, looking old and without ruining the wood. You can then apply antiquing wax or a thinned-out stain over the top to really make it stand out.
Another thing that really bothers me... a few blogs have given a DIY on cabinet painting (as did I). Please do NOT use a foam roller on your cabinets. A few bloggers recommend this to leave out brush marks. This is what light sanding is for. If you use a foam roller, you will get weirdo bumpy texture which is fine for drywall or plaster, but silly looking on wood. No pro painter would ever break out a foam roller to paint cabinets. They use a power sprayer. Lacking a power sprayer, or wanting to forgo the mess, just use a paint brush.
OK... I am off my soap box.
Stay tuned for pie safe and garden pictures. :)
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This corkscrew-perm-looking plant is called "Juncus." It was created by a company called "Hort Couture." They have a website and a blog if you google Hort Couture Plants. Anyway... it was cool and weird and will earn a place in a pot. (These photos are from their website. That is not my porch up there, BTW).
On their website I also found these plants (and a dozen others) that I MUST HAVE:
Liriope - Cassidy
Sedum - Jelly Beans
In other news, I finished some more pots for my etsy store, milksugar. I even managed to get some planting done and thought I would show you how cute they look by the chair in my front yard:
Monday, April 20, 2009
We have a thing for old trunks. We have one in the living room that we use as a coffee table. Another one is in our entry way and the kids throw their skateboards and hats in it.
This one needs a little work. It has some metal and wood repair to be done... But we paid $40 for the trunk and the sink, so we think it was a good deal. This trunk is HUGE. It is way bigger than the other ones we have.
I have been scouting out things to be used in my (to be built) potting shed. I wanted an old cast iron sink - and this on is fabulous. It is 48 inches long, and has a drainboard. The date stamp on the bottom says 12-29-25. Isn't it cool? We will be scoping out old wood windows next...
Friday, April 17, 2009
With our eagle eyes, we spotted an old dresser that was severely in need of some loving, and this dresser/desk thing. Now, the dresser/desk thing I will post on later. It is a future project that will go into my studio. It is a dresser with one of those cubbies on top with little cubby holes and the slant front that flips down to be a little desk area. It used to be a built-in, so it is nothing super special but is a treasure to me. Steven was eyeing the old dresser. The owner told us he'd sell us the pieces for $5 each. We told him we'd be right back with our truck and gave him a $20.
OK... now all about the dresser. It is missing the bottom doors. The middle drawer is so wonky it can't close. But the dresser itself is beautiful and sound. It has two curved drawers at top. Beautiful feet. And the flaws just make it that much more special.
Steven is fixing the bottom to be used as a storage area for my vases and what not. While we could fix that middle wonky drawer, I told Steven I'd be just as happy with a narrow shelf for my linens. The top drawers will get little frosted knobs and velvet liners.
This, I have decided, it the bestest base ever for my pie safe, which actually probably had a very similar base at one point. So after a little elbow grease and a lot of painting, I will have a massive pie safe hutch thing for my dining room. $20 pie safe + $5 dresser = Super Happy Me!
(Pie safe post here: http://cottageofstone.blogspot.com/2009/03/before-and-after-antique-pie-safe.html)
I love old furniture. You just don't get details like this anymore.
Curved front drawers are yummy!
imagine you are painting your dormers. you crawl out a bathroom window to access the roof there, and are painting away, when "SLAM!" you hear the window shut.
i think i spent at least half an hour after that trying to avoid being stung by an ill-tempered wasp while trapped on the roof.
but, hey, the dormer is painted and i even did the pale blue trim!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The dormers on our stone house have always been, in my opinion, really dreary. They are covered in what I believe to be asbestos shingles... I am not a fan of these shingles, I think they look a little cheap. I dream of someday replacing them with the lovely wood shingles the entire house once had. Until then, we are just going to paint them and perk up the house a bit.
As you can see above, the dormers are currently a dull gray. Also note that the gutter has practically flipped itself upside down. Hence, why Jayhawk Guttering will be coming out soon. (Come on, guys. Where are you??)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We are putting in copper gutters, we have copper landscape lights, etc. I decided doing the pots in copper would give a nice little splash of repetition up the front steps. I got out a rattle can of copper paint and had at it...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We have 3 dogs. All I could find is a BAD picture of them I snapped on the backporch, that is now our recycling area but will someday be my office. Bunny (front), Nash (middle), Cross Check (back). They are all sweeties and I can't tell you how many times the boys have ridden around on those dogs like a horse. We have 2 cats, but the cats only really like Bunny. The other dogs are pretty indifferent to the cats, but Bunny likes to play with them, so I guess that is the reason for the favoritism.