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Showing posts from May, 2010

Is Summer here?

We have had a warm and dry spring here in the Northeast so much different from the last few years. Last summer it rained almost everyday and barely made it out of the 70's. We have already seen mid 80's and it has been quite humid. Hopefully it will last until the end of October? As long weekend approaches and the weather is suppose to be lovely, I think that Summer is officially here! Enjoy the holiday and I will be working on some new projects to post!

Dressing for the 60's

A few weeks ago I found the Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book cir 1961 at a garage sale. I immediately picked it up for $.25 since it looked like it had a wealth of information. After thumbing thru the pages, I came across a section devoted to Wardrobe Planning and was intrigued to read the entire section to see if there was anything I could learn.
The first section is "Accessories for a casual Suit":
It advises that you can dress up or down a suit by adding a sweater and sport bag for down or dressy bag and scarf to dress up. I think this is good basic advice that is repeated every month in magazines, just that they styles of the accents may be different.  The second section is "Basic Dress you can wear anywhere":
This advises to pick a simple style dress and accessorize to dress up or dress down. The Accessories are hats,jewelry,shoes and purses. I think again this is also good basic advice, a timeless dress can be worn for years and updated with less expensive a…

Toad Opera

I have a toad or a frog, I am not sure which, in my garden. His name is Figaro. He looks like he could break out into song at any moment.
But he doesn't sing, he just sits and looks happily into the setting sun. I was worried that he might get lonely sitting there all by himself. But is seems as though he has a friend, that I just discovered last night while watering.
Of course he or she is a little camera shy, but I will work on him or her. Maybe it is a she and she can be Rosina ,also from the Barber of Seville. It is a Toad Opera in my very own backyard in the key of croak. Okay, It must be getting close to a long weekend, because this is starting to sound very odd, I swear I don't sing with Figaro when no one is looking.

Jewelry Affair

I have a small love affair with jewelry. I am not really sure how it started but I just know it is part of my DNA. I worked for a time in a jewelry store and thought about becoming a jeweler. I really enjoyed learning about all the stones and now jewelry was made. For the store I worked in, I repaired pearl and beaded necklaces and that was the best part of the job,being able to create or recreate these items for customers. I still create a few things here and there but nothing like these that I found in W June 2010.

The colors and the style are so unique and stunning. This is so far from my ability to string a few beads in a design. These are works of art that I will just have to appreciate from a far.
This set of loveliness in tones of blue and purple really stole my heart. They have the look of beautiful estate pieces with modern accents. They are feminine and bold at the same time. I gaze with adoration and respect at these wonderful designs for days. Luckily they are out of my pric…

Not a Rainy Weekend!

Well it wasn't a total wash out this past weekend and it only really rained on Saturday, but I was still able to get a few projects started and completed. First was some planting of Banana and Cabanelle peppers in the rain that didn't last too long. Then I started on the apron, but still need to get a contrasting fabric for the bottom and pockets as well as D ring for the neck strap. Not on the list was a ottoman cushion cover that was quick and easy and used a bit of recycled foam (more on this in another blog). Lastly I practiced with my new Canon camera with the zoom lens in my garden. I am amazed by the detail that it captures and I still need more practice but very pleased with my results so far.
Happy Monday!

Rainy Weekend

After this week being so sunny and warm, looks like the weekend will be rainy and warm, so I guess I will have to get a few non-garden projects started or done. First on the list is this apron pattern from the you can make this website. This is for work colleague that is retiring in July, so I have time,I think.
I rarely attempt clothing and have only gotten half way thru of a dozen patterns for skirts and pants in my life. If my niece is reading this she will remember a pair of pants I tired to make her years ago and when she put them on the ripped! So I am hoping that this is easier and I won't get to frustrated with it so quickly. It only takes a half yard of fabric and there is not too much crazy sewing.So Maybe I can handle it. Second on the list is to play with my new camera between the rain drops. Maybe a visit to local park,art museum or maybe just my backyard, to get the feel of this amazing piece of equipment.
Lastly is to plant some Pepper and Roman Lettuce in pots. I do…

Garden Plantings Completed!

After weeks of planning and waiting for the weather to improve, my garden planters are completed. At my front door I had these planters for the past few years.. I like them but wanted to change to color of them since they didn't match the over all color scheme that I wanted to achieve. I decided to paint them brown and add a few interesting flowers.

This is what they look like now. I painted them with Rust-Oleum Universal Flat Espresso brown spray paint and it worked fantastic. The Purple flower is Mealycup Sage with orange Zinnias and Yellow Lantana. I have used all of these before except the Sage, so I will be excited to see how it performs. 
By my side door and garage I choose large planters and a different selection of plants. This time I used Meadow sage,Yellow Dahlias,Silver Fog Euphorbia and Purple Mosaic Verbena. 
I like the combination of purples,yellows and whites since it compliments the Sunbrella Essex Ivy Panel that I placed behind the terra cotta suns (also painted brown…

Introducing...Canon Rebel XS

My New Canon Rebel XS Camera! This was my birthday present that I received a few weeks early. I have wanted this camera for so long and I still can't believe that I have it. I been a loyal Canon user for over 25 years after receiving a Canon AE-1 for my Graduation from High School. I stopped using it when digital cameras became smaller and easier to use, but missed the photo quality and the detail that it produced. So today some 25 years later I return to my camera roots and the photo skills taught to me by my parents. Thank you David for this wonderful gift, it is so much more than the camera that I can ever explain. If this is an example of photos to come..wait and watch..
Enjoy, I know I will!

Greenhouse Visit

Last Friday I made my annual trip to the Greenhouse for my summer plantings. I have been going to the same place every year and I am never disappointed with the selection.
They have nice entrance with plants,pots and various garden decorations to choose from.
All the plants are large and have several blooms on them and it was hard for me to choose which I was going to use. I think I spent about 2 hours wandering and looking.
 I stuck to my list and only bought what I needed for my planters. The have some very interesting pots and items for the garden. These ceramic gazing balls and matching planters caught my eye but decided against buying one for now.
My shopping done and plants selected,now all I have to do is fit them in my car and get them home and planted. I bought a nice selection of plants in purples,yellows and whites. They should look striking with by brown planters and terra cotta suns. It was a perfect day at the Greenhouse.


Garage Sale Find

I went to an awesome garage sale early Saturday morning. My husband and I were mostly interested in some LP records, that sale ad claimed to have 1000's. Well it was right, boxes and boxes of them and we found many interesting titles. But as we were leaving I browsed the books and came across this gem.
Published in 1969 but mine is a re-print from 1972, it is really the encyclopedia of sewing. I love it not only for all the information that it will give me, but for the vintage images and some of the interesting sections on wardrobe selection(which I will discuss in a future blog). Just upon opening the book, this image of sewing/craft room caught my eye instantly.
It has a contemporary feel in a retro sort of way. I love the organized bins and the orange storage tower probably made of wood and not plastic. The hidden ironing board, brilliant! All that organization hidden in what looks to be an armoire. I just love this book already and at $0.25 it was a bargain that will keep me blo…

Surprise!

I got a wonderful surprise when I came home yesterday from possibly the worst day ever at work. My wonderful husband had bought me something for my Birthday that I have wanted for a very long time. My birthday is over a month away but he wanted  to get it before so I could learn how to use it. I am not going to tell you what it is until I have it in my hands and can show you what it can do.For now I am so very excited and truly blessed to have such a loving and thoughtful husband!

PS: Today is Friday for me! Have a Fantastic Weekend!

Plant Planning

Every year in the middle of May I make my way to the greenhouse to buy my plants for the season. The day is hastily approaching and luckily I have thoughtfully planned out my purchases. First I take a look at all the flowers that I have bought in the past. You see I save those little information sticks from each plant and make notes on how they grow and bloom.

This is just a sampling of what I have bought in years past and many duplicates. The next year I make a shopping list in my notebook for each set of pots. I take the information sticks and place them right next to the list so I can visually see that I want to buy. This was the shopping for 2009 for Medium pots near my front door. 
Sad to say that I do not have a photo of what they looked like. They were quite beautiful but I did not go with the Dahlia since they get rather bushy and so went with a Zinnia in a gold color. This years shopping list was complied until I had a pre-visit to the greenhouse and saw some other plants I wou…

Planter Painting

After purchasing two large new planters for my home, I wanted to get the matching smaller planters for my front entrance. But after waiting and looking at them one last time, I realized that they were much too large and would look odd on my front steps. So I opted to possibly spray paint a few pots that I have already. I have never really painted plastic so this should be an experience. I wanted to use Rust-oleum textured paint, but it was a metallic and just wouldn't fit with my outdoor decor.So I selected this Rust-oleum in Satin Espresso Brown and which comes with the easy trigger that should be easy on the fingers.
I will attempt to paint two of the pots below with it and see how it turns out.
These planters are what I have had on my front steps for the last 2 years, but with the new brown sun and Sunbrella fabric by the front door, they just don't seem to match. I will post photos of the completed project and possibly with plants if weather permits. It is 34 here today! 

Still Dreaming of Art

I keep coming across Art that I am drawn too. Over the weekend paging thru Elle Decor May 2010, I found these examples that spoke to me.
They are by Suzanne McClelland a 25 year Brooklyn based painter. The paintings are embedded with words and phrases but they are also very appealing color wise. I think they are rather interesting and they will be added to my file of Art.  I particularly like this piece called Sigh. For the the color and the way it makes me feel. I guess this is what I will have to work on in my own paintings and see if I can evoke these emotions in others. For now I will just enjoying looking and dreaming of art.

Painting Quandary

I have a file of images of paintings that I like. Some I have tried to recreate and have been unsuccessful and others I have come close. Only problem that I have with this is that I am copying someone else's work. I guess I could call in inspiration or inspired by but I still think it is stealing another's idea. So I am caught in a quandary, should I attempt to paint them or buy them? Here are two examples that I just came across in the new Grandinroad catalog.
I love the colors and the height of this piece. It is 5' tall and 20"wide. It is called On the Right Path and would be perfect for a narrow space. It's part print,part painting so it is relatively inexpensive at $179.
Then there are these two Abstracts that I am drawn to. I think it might be the colors and the lovely indigo blue in both and the leather chair. The contrast with the white and the very vibrant colors are also specially appealing. They are the perfect pair for some spot in my house, I just know i…

Darwin Martin House

I had the opportunity to visit the Darwin Martin House complex last night. It was a rainy spring night but I was able to get a few lovely photos. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901, the house is under extensive renovation and I was only allowed on the grounds outside. I was able to visit the Barton house and the Gardeners cottage, both wonderful displays of Frank Lloyd Wrights work. I was unable to take any photos of interiors due to copyright laws but I was able to get just a few of the lovely buildings.

The visitors center is it's own work of art and a lovely compliment to the Darwin Martin house. It was a wonderful evening as the rain fell and everything just seemed to turn green before my eyes.

Garden Projects

I have two new large planters this year that are a flecked dark brown. I wanted to buy matching smaller planters for my front entrance but it will cut into my flower and plant budget. So I think i might try to spray paint two older pots to match after seeing this paint by Rust-Oleum.
It is a metallic texture and would be just the right color. I have used a textured spray paint before and it really didn't turn out that good but maybe it has improved and worth a try. It comes in these three colors.
It is worth a try it thing since it will probably save me about $50 which what the new smaller pots would cost. I will sure to post before and after photos since planting season is just a week away now!

Another Project Completed..all most

I have been working on making the front of our house a little more interesting this spring. I first painted a few terra cotta suns brown to match my new planters.

Then I took a piece of our Sunbrella Awning fabric in Essex Ivy...
and made a long strip to hang behind the sun. This is the front door before (blurred is our house number to protect the innocent). And this is after.... I may change the way it is being hung (my twine) to something less noticeable and lower the sun slightly. But I think it makes the front of the house more lively now and once I finish the the planters and use this idea on the other entrance it will all be pulled together..almost there!


Another Project Completed

Backa few weeks ago, I pick up these flocked adhesive wall decals at TGMax/Home Goods for $5.99.
I thought they were interesting and would make a good project. I thought they were a good deal and when I saw them at another store for $19.99! I knew I found a good deal.
After laying them out I thought I wanted to adhere each of them to piece of dark stained scrap wood. But that got complicated with the size and how to hang each so I opted for a different solution. I bought two black frames 10" x 13" with mats at Michael's for $3.99 each. Awesome deal since they were on sale for $4.99 plus 20% off. They are a nice basic frame and come in a variety of sizes and mat configurations. Take the back out and insert. They were slightly long for the frame so a little trimming was necessary, but I think they look great and each cost about $7.00 to complete.
They are nice accent to my Mother-In-Laws red sofa and look lovely against the sage green wall.