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Showing posts from April, 2010

HGTV Green Home

Have you entered to win the HGTV Green Home. I love the whole house but if I could just win two of the rooms in it I would be happy. The first room is the Laundry room.
I know, what is wrong with me? This would be my first choice? Why. Well I think it is because my laundry room is a vast black hole where un-needed furniture goes to wait for a home. This room is so clean and bright and I love the use of the Red appliances. I see these everywhere on sale and think..who would want red? Now I see why! The second room is the cute little office in the Tower of the house.
You could sit and read or work and enjoy the view. The choice of colors is also a nice calming mix in brown and blue. So go to and see the rest of the house and enter to win. I will be entering and if I win I guess I will take the whole house,not just a few rooms!

Seeing Orange

After painting part of my living room orange last year, I am starting to see the color everywhere. Take these two ads for paint. My favorite paint Benjamin Moore, shown in this photo, I swear is the same color I selected.
I wonder if it is the same color but there is no footnote on the ad, But these where my selections: Pretty close to Pumpkin Cream which is top center. I might have to email them and ask just for my own curiosity. Then in a different magazine I saw this color from Sherwin Williams. In their add they show the color name in the corner. I think I like this color too it is a little more subtle but would have considered it as well. Colors are Acorn 9-25 and Glacier Sand 11-21.
I love the dark brown with the orange and this would have be a great combination as well for my living room. But it was completed over 6 months ago and I can honestly say I really do love the color. I am glad that other people are now seeing Orange.

Project Completed

Over the Weekend I completed a few projects that have been hanging around for awhile waiting for me to pay them some attention. Remember these two lovelies..
I had picked them up at TJMax/Home Goods for $2.99 Each. They are DKYN and are very soft. I wanted to use something from my scrap pile to make them just a little more exciting. I had a very large piece of a nice Michael Miller Fleur de Le in Olive that would look great in my bathroom. So I cut to pieces about 4" wide and then used some leftover fusible quilt batting to secure it to the towel. Then top stitching the fabric on to the towel and here is the end result.. They came out wonderful and they were super easy. I was going to use ribbon or hem tape on the edge of the fabric for more detail, but after sewing them I think they look just right. Nice and simple. A very easy project and nice inexpensive gift . One more project off the list!

Spring has Arrived

Last year in May I planted a new garden to accent our patio. I was given some lovely Irises (my favorite flower) that had already bloomed. So I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when this beautiful flower opened up.
I believe it is a Beard Iris and it is the most stunning color against the fresh green of spring. I have four more plants and hope to at least cut one and possibly enjoy it at my desk. They are just really amazing and the colors are so vibrant. Every year it's just so exciting to see all the plants come back up again. Spring has definitely arrived!

Garden Updates

Just a few garden updates took place over the weekend. Little projects that will make a big impact. First on the list was the wooded tiles that my large new pots sit on.
They needed a little help since they have faded since last year.
But after two coats of Dark Espresso Stain they look almost new. Then lastly put in their spot for the the summer.
Of course it is still too early for flowers so the pot will be empty for another few weeks. But the rest of my garden is coming along nicely in the warm spring weather. Now all we need is a little rain and it is raining today! Ah mother nature!

Southern Living May 2010

I am in love with this issue of Southern Living. Every page has something drool over. If its not the recipes, then it's cities they visit or these Hydrangeas that grace the cover and in this lovely garden. The flowers are like little pillows of color that memorize you with their color. I can't stop looking at this image.  Then in this same issue,my favorite flower!
This Iris bed make me want to plant one now. I do have a few that I planted last year and I am patiently waiting for them to bloom, but it will not be as spectacular as this. Oh Southern Living thank you for letting me dream and swoon for an hour. I will certainly be looking at this issue several more times!

The Omnivore's Dilemma

I was recommend to read The Omnivore's Dilemma , a Natural History of Four Meals, By Michael Pollan by a friend who thought I would enjoy it. It started out much like reading a text book but just for a few pages.The first part of that I have read has been about corn and how it is practically the base of everything we eat. I had heard this before but had not actually read it. The author visits a farm in Iowa that he had traced back to be one of the farms that is the base of all food. He only grows corn and soybeans and is barley making a living. When his Grandfather started the farm it fed his family and 6 others. Today what he grows he does not eat. You see Iowa imports 80% off all food. The corn grown in Iowa is destine to become soft drinks or fed to cattle. It's as if they are growing a food additive and not a food at all. I think this will be an interesting book and will write further on it as I progress. Interesting reading for Earth Day!

Jetting to Venice

I thought I would jet to Venice today but have nothing to wear until I saw this ensemble in Travel and Leisure, May 2010 and knew in an instant that it would be perfect.

It is so chic and colorful. I just love it and at just $4000 it is a steal! It is only four times what the flight would cost. I am not quite sure who this magazine is marketing to, but I am sure it's not me. I have been to Venice and I was wearing items from Target and Old Navy that totaled about $50. I don't think it's necessary to spend a ton of money on clothes, you just need to look pulled together and have your own style. I don't think $4000 is going to buy you style or get you quicker to Venice. I'll stick with my inexpensive clothes since that leave more money for souvenirs. Chao!

Garden Ideas

I am still stuck in garden dreaming land and came across a few idea this weekend while lazily leafing thru magazines. In This Old House,May 2010 they have a list of 75 upgrades to your garden under $75. Most of the require some sort of DIY skill but I am not shy to that sort of challenge. The first one that caught my eye was these River Stepping Stone, for $39 for Three from
The come in two colors Multi and Ochre. I think these would look great in the garden and I am almost certain I could make them. Since they are adhered to mesh most likely with some strong glue. I will get back to you on this one.
Second was this lovely bench with striped fabric. I am a sucker for stripes and love them even more in green.
Of course the reason for this image is to show the Espaliered Fruit Tree. Which makes it own pattern of wall or barn paper. Quite lovely to spot to sit and read. And then Third, this tower of river stones, which they do give you instructions to create.
They do require y…

Before and After Garden Sun

I hang Terra Cotta Suns on my house for the summer and this year I was contemplating possible finding some other item to hang. Well I decided just to change the suns a little by painting them dark brown to bring out their features. Here is the before of one:
I purchased this years ago at the Dollar Store and went back and bought about 4 more in different designs. Here is is after being painted with Patio Paint in Woodland Brown. Promises not to fade and is water-resistant. Here is the after:
It is a bit shiny for me and I may take a some sandpaper to it and possibly expose some of the Terra Cotta below. But I think it really changes the look and will match my new planters quite well. I will certainly post photos of finished project once the planters are planter. It should only be about 4 weeks away now!

Garden Dreaming

I am dreaming of working in the garden today. Although it is a month early, the weather is telling me something different. Sunny and 71 today and not a plant to be planted. I just keep planning and my list gets longer. Planting time is only about a month away but it feels like it could be a year. No fear since the weather is due to change and be a balmy 48 and rainy on Saturday. So I will just dream and enjoy this image from Coast Living, April 2010 of a Coastal garden in Maine. Ah Summer..

Garden Planning

Every year I take one day to visit the Nursery and select my plants for my Garden. This year is no exception and I can't wait although it is a month away. First I sat down and looked at the plants that I have used in the past. There is an example from one of lovely pots from 2008.
I love the Salvia and the Dahlia's so I will probably use them this year. The Pansy, I will not since they only last until about the end of June and start to flag. This year I have purchased two contemporary looking pots and will tweak the flower selection a bit to match.

 I will post photos in about a month when they are completed. It is too early here in the northeast as we still have frost warnings and will probably have them until the middle of May. For now I have been planning and referring to my plant list for previous years and setting a budget. I just want to be focused and prepare since when I visit the nursery I tend to be easily distracted. So I always take my trusty notebook and follow my p…

Pier 1 Rediscovered

I haven't shopped at Pier 1 in years and but just in the past year have I returned to the store. Not sure if it has been the economy that had kept me away or that I had forgotten about the store. Some of the decor does not suit my taste but recently I have found quite a few things that would fit into my home. The best is this ottoman for our patio.
It's nice wicker pouf that can be used as an ottoman or extra seating if needed. There is also a pillow that you can purchase for the top, but I will wait and see if we really need one and make one if necessary. The best part of this ottoman was the price, originally priced at $99.99, it was on sale for $29.99! Reason enough to stop in every once in awhile and rediscover Pier 1.

Projects Revealed

So I finished a few projects over the weekend and some were on the list and some were not. This project  was and it was the large brandy snifter that my husband's friend was going to throw out. It had a gold leaf like label on one side that I tried to remove with nail polish remover,acetone and paint thiner. All of which did not work. I resorted to scrapping it off with an exacto knife. Painstakingly removed by going over each letter like a dentist removing plaque. Here it is sans logo. If you look closely you can see the logo on the back side. I am going to keep it turned this way so it is less obvious. Then I filled it with a few dollar store fruits just to gauge how many I would actually need to fill it completely.
Then lastly, filling it completely with Faux Granny Smith Apples,Lemons and Limes and placed in it's new home. I think it looks fantastic and a great way to welcome spring and summer into my home.

Project Checklist

My brain has been off by itself for a few days, wandering and thinking unsupervised, and has come up with a list of projects that it would like me to attempt. Here is the a preview of the before of just three that it has added to the list.
      1.  This large brandy snifter that a friend of my Husband's was going to throw out.
      2. Two DNKY white hand towels that I scored at Home Goods for $2.00 a piece.
       3. A set of Flocked Adhesive Wall Art in Red for part of a Mother's Day Gift.
Each one is a separate project but my brain would like me to add to the checklist and possibly finish this weekend. I will post the results next week with what actually gets completed from the ever growing checklist!

Time Lost and Found

In the April 2010 issue of Sunset, Anne Lanott wrote about time lost and found. A writer that sometimes teaches classes on writing,she  say that one of her core beliefs is that there is nothing you can buy achieve,own or rent that will full up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But she goes on to say that they good news is that creative expression can give a person everything that she is searching for: enlivenment,peace,meaning and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty. The bad news is that you have make time to do it. The multitasking and technology have stolen some of this time. I for one (as I sit here on my mac) do waste time in front of the computer and have sat here eating and surfing at times. Why, so I can find a great deal on an item on Ebay? I also feel like it numbs my creative side and I mindlessly look at the computer screen searching for fulfillment. It's hard to shut the multi tasking off sometimes, but I think I might try an…

Spring is Here!

The bird are chirping, the grass is green and our awning is going back up this week! It is about 2 months earlier than last year when it was brand new. While I wait in anticipation of it's arrival, I am thinking about our patio furniture and it's comfort. Last year we purchase a faux woven rattan conversation set in dark brown. It came with cushions that I really didn't like because of the fabric colors and the interior foam was very flimsy. I thought I would sew my own over the winter, but I didn't since I really don't have good sewing skills. After searching the web, I found a few that might work, but still can't find anything that is the correct dimension so I might just have to have them made. Or  I could just live with them another summer and add additional pillows and accessories. I love this image from DIY Magazine, right down to the rug. I love all the colors and mixtures of patterns. The stenciled leaf pillow would look good anywhere not just on the pa…

Robo Bunnies

Awhile back I saw this ad for some odd looking felt animals and I thought they were cute but a little too strange for me.
The more I looked at them, the more they looked like robots to me. Then lighting struck me and I came up with an idea for Robo Bunny. Just a simple pattern like the one above, but more rabbit shaped. I drew out the pattern on craft paper and selected a nice homespun plaid. Next some white felt for the face and ears and I was ready to cut out the shapes. Sewed wrong sides together and zig zag stitched the ears and face to the front and they became ROBO BUNNIES...

They look a little odd but so am I so I think they're cute. Maybe their ears could be a little shorter and the white area a little narrower. You really can't see their whiskers, but they have them. So just a few notes for the next time I return to the laboratory to create another set of Robo Bunnies!

Reading Bliss

I received the New Martha Stewart "Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts just before the long Easter weekend but only had a few minutes to browse the pages. I can't wait to really take some time and read thru the entire book. It also comes with CD with pdf's that are Mac/PC compatible (which I was very happy to see) It is full of many ideas, some that I have seen before in the magazine but it is nice to have them all compiled in once place. I just need to find some time to sit and enjoy the reading bliss.

Only Martha

I look at this cover of Martha Stewart Living and I think why didn't I think of that. These Easter eggs made with painstaking layers of stencil and dyeing are so beautiful and simple. Just some simple shapes cut out of   vinyl adhesive and adhered to the eggs and dyed a few times to get the layering effect. Some how theses are totally different from the Paas egg dyeing kit or the food coloring and vinegar eggs that I made as a kid. I also think I just wrote on them with a wax pencil and maybe dyed them two colors. Nothing close to these masterpieces But only Martha would take them to a completely different level and make them look like art..Oh Martha!