Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Simple Change

Diane from Confessions of the Obsessed commented this morning that I might just be a workaholic.

I explained that I am definitely hyperactive and I literally never sit still.

If I sit still, I fall asleep.

And in addition to being hyper, I am also lazy.

I needed to take this fabric up to the attic because it was taking up space in the garage.

I was too lazy to pull down the attic stairs and go up to the attic - a disaster waiting 'til June to be cleared.

I have been wanting to make a new cushion for my bench for months so instead of going to the attic, I went to my workbench to sew.

Steve bought this bench for me from a neighbor's garage sale for $1.

Bear seems to like the new cushion.

I was going to make pillows from all the other colorful fabrics I had on hand, but once I saw the cushion on the bench, I knew I wanted white.

I made a simple ruffled pillow, but it just looked so plain.

I googled white linen pillows to get some ideas for "spicing" it up, checked on Pinterest, and ended up at one of my favorite blogs, Cabin and Cottage..

Jacqueline always features the loveliest linens and as I read through her latest post, I remembered that I had a cute little white Martha Stewart handkerchief I purchased at Big Lots of all places.

I sewed the handkerchief onto the center of the pillow and loved the result.

I have one more handkerchief so I can make one more pillow.

Our garden room is improving - from all angles.

The view from the living room.

The view from the porch. 

The view from Steve's studio.

A simple change.

A colorful pillow . . .

and our garden bench is all dressed up for spring.

Anyone want to come over for a glass of lemonade?  

Bear will scoot over for you.

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I am partying at

Fishtail Cottage - Cottage Garden Party

No Minimalist Here - Open House Party

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup Thursday

Cozy Little House - Tweak It Tuesday

House Kaboodle - Blog Party You're Gonna Love It

BeBetsy Smashingly Good Living - Brag About It Linky Party

Lavender Garden Cottage - Cottage Style Party

Fluster Buster - Creative Muster Party

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring is the time of . . .

"Spring is the time of plans and projects."

Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina

And, spring is the time of flowers - 

In my bicycle basket after a ride along the beach.

The nurseryman is beginning to recognize me - buying flowers on Sunday afternoons and carrying them home in my basket.

On the porch - next Saturday these will be planted in the yard and I will buy new plants for the porch on Sunday.

In the dining room - all picked from my garden - in a caddy,  or a jar, or old ironstone.

In the living room - in a pitcher or a basket.

And now, I am off to follow Leo Tolstoy's advice and follow through on a new project.

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You can find me partying at

Boogieboard Cottage - Masterpiece Monday

Tilly's Nest - Down Home Blog Hop

Little Red House - Mosaic Monday

Life of Lakeshore Drive - Bouquet of Talent Linky Party

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Four Hours . . .

Moving everything to the my new workspace in the garage left my Ikea Expedit in total disarray.

The alphabetical organization was fun - guests usually end up in the guest room looking at all the little bits and pieces and even questioning my placement of items.

But, it is time for a crisp and clean look.

None of my alphabet collection was moved to the garage since they are used for vignettes rather than creating.

I sat on the sofa in the guest room staring at the Expedit waiting for inspiration.


Letters are scattered along the top of the cabinet.

To fill the boxes, I gathered books from all over the house.

I decided this was the space to showcase some of my collections -

hands . . . blocks . . . clocks . . .

and a few favorite family treasures.

The ceramic tobacco canister was my father's and I can picture it sitting on a similar shelf in my childhood living room.

The glass container holding my number collection was my grandmother's.

You can faintly make out the raised letters of PLANTERS PEANUTS.

 I broke a corner of the glass several years ago, but I could not bear to part with it so I used clear packing tape to mend it.

This worn out little school slate was what my grandmother carried to school everyday in the 1880s.      

It took 4 hours to achieve this look.

All my large letters are in one place when I want to create a vignette.

I'd like to say that I was done.

The guest room cabinet is organized, but I created havoc on shelves in our bedroom.

I have several baskets full of odds and ends I removed from the shelves - where am I going to put them?

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Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays

Vintage on a Dime - Welcome Home Wednesday

A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup Thursday

Lavender Garden Cottage - Cottage Style Party

Green Willow Pond - What We Accomplished Wednesday

Creative Cain Cabin - Budget Decorating Party

No Minimalist Here  - Open House Party

The Busy Bees

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mother, Please Forgive Me

I am on a never ending quest to make our little cottage work for us.

It drives Steve nuts, but he is coming to accept that my ideas are usually pretty good.

My latest move left him with lots more space in his studio.

I have had this cedar chest for as long as I can remember.

My mother got her "Hope" chest in the 1940's and it sat at the foot of my parents' bed throughout my childhood.

My mother used the chest to store precious items and it held great allure for my sister and me.

I don't recall when the chest became mine.

When we downsized to our tiny little cottage, anything we did not have space for went to my sister's house, but the chest is one of the few family pieces I held onto.

For many years, it sat at the foot of our bed, but our precious 14 year old dog keeps knocking into it in our tiny bedroom.

We moved it into Steve's studio where it just took up too much space.

On Friday night, I moved it into the living room.

 Yesterday, I had the time to paint it in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Old White.

I wanted some color to poke through when it was sanded so I added some spots of color all around the chest.

 If you look closely at the copper details you might think I did a really bad job painting it.

In actuality, the copper pieces are not perfect.

The imperfections did not stand out when the copper was tarnished and set against the cedar.

I like the splotches of color peeping through the white.

 A wire basket filled with a lavender plant (it smells so good) and some of my C collection is easy to remove if I want to get something inside the chest.

Steve loved the look of the living room with the cedar chest, but he agrees that the white is a softer look for the room.

I just hope as my mother looks down on me that she will forgive me painting her "Hope" chest.

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You can find me partying at

A Stroll Through Life - Inspire Me Tuesday

The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Monday

Boogieboard Cottage- Masterpiece Monday

Under the Table and Dreaming - Sunday Showcase Party
Life on Lakeshore Drive - Bouquet of Talent Linky Party

Between Naps on the Porch  - Metamorphosis Monday

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In the garage . . .

 I need a place to create.

I need that place to hold all of my supplies so I don't have to go in search of things in the middle of a creative streak.

I have moved into the garage.

Don't feel sorry for me that I have been relegated to the garage- I'm happy with the arrangement.

The doghouse would be another story.

Actually, I wouldn't mind a little house in the backyard to escape.

But, I digress.

I took all my supplies out of Steve's studio,

the Ikea Expedit in the guest room,

the armoire in the living room,

and put everything in the garage.

This organization is the result of 2 weeks of searching, sorting, and tossing.

It would have taken less time had I not found little projects to create along the way.

Last night I stayed up late, way too late!

And, finished putting things away.

These black drawers from TJ Maxx are the only item I purchased to get organized - I had everything else in different spots.

These books by Jo Packham were my inspiration.

She is amazing - I think I own every book she has written.

The first thing I made when I started putting everything away was the dream banner.

You can see that our garage is cinderblock circa 1928.  

I want to paint the entire interior white, but that won't happen soon.

I want to paint the cabinets white, but I have a volleyball tournament this weekend. 

Maybe next week.

The doors were removed from the cabinet by Steve, accidentally.

The other night he was putting his car away and didn't notice that one of the doors was not quite shut.

He hit it (Black Beauty is fine) and took the door right off.

He apologized profusely, but I actually am glad it happened.

I would never have thought to take the doors off, but the supplies inside the cabinet are much more accessible now.

My sewing machine is pushed back, but when it is pulled to the edge, it is a perfect height for me to stand up and sew.

That might not sound comfortable, but my back aches less when I stand up to sew.

I see a baby quilt and some pillows in my future now that my machine is at hand.

 Ribbon, tape and baker's twine are hanging on string from an old plate rack.

Wire . . . ribbon . . . envelopes . . . trinkets . . . all are close at hand.

All my supplies are in one place, I have discovered duplicates and triplicates of things, and will probably never have to buy supplies again - not going to happen!

Across from the workbench I found room in our tiny garage (a tiny  1928 cottage means a one car garage) for more supplies.

I moved lots of things around so I need to make new labels and organize each drawer better.

I have space to create on the workbench and I can find everything.

Two projects are ready for the weekend - a little wooden crate will become a colorful napkin holder.

And the little boat doorstop needs repair and paint.

The doorstop is special - my sister painted it for my mother in kindergarten - the letter D stands for my mother Dorothy.

All in all, it has held up pretty well since it was painted 61 years ago!

One last photo that should get you wondering.

When Steve sold images of his paintings to Firestone for wine labels, they added into the contract that they would give him 2 cases of wine for each new bottling.

Today he picked up 12 cases of wine.

Everyone on the lane was quite happy today.

As they drove down the lane, they stopped to see what we were doing with all the boxes and everyone left with a couple of bottles.

I told Steve he has to deplete the bottles in the white box first.

I had planned to store paper on those shelves.

Our garage is now officially the home of Black Beauty, my creative space, and a wine cellar.

Anyone want to come over and create with me?

We can crack open a bottle of wine!

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You can find me partying at

Simple Home Life - Simply Creations Link Party

Beyond the Picket Fence - Under $100 Linky Party

Savvy Southern Style - Wow us Wednesdays

My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday

A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup Thursday