Monday, January 30, 2017

5 Years!

 In January of 2012, I posted my first blog post with this pic as the header.

I've been looking back at blog posts over the last 5 years - boy have I learned a lot.

The quality of my photos has improved just a bit from the first pic I posted -

lighting is crucial!

The sofa is the same except for new slipcovers,

but gone are the yellow walls.

I do miss the checkerboard floor in the entry although it was difficult to keep clean.

This cupboard with the top and bottom reunited is a much more practical piece for the entry.

This was the top of the cupboard before I fell in love (through blogging) with white.

The bottom portion had been with my daughter, but she returned it and now the cupboard is an important piece for storage.

I do love red, but it can overwhelm a space

so now red is merely an accent color.

The pie safe in the earlier entry pic is still in use - after 3 different paint colors!

The garden has definitely changed over the years

and that is all due to retirement - TIME to play!

My color palette has softened over the years,

but color still abounds.

So what's next for Art and Sand?

There will be changes on this wall in the dining room - the plans are with the handyman!

I will continue to drive Steve nuts with constant changes

both in the house and the garden.

I am doing less and less crafts

although I have a few more stenciling projects lined up.

Lately, my creative energy is used in trying to improve my photography.

And I will continue to learn from all my blogging friends.

And to those of you who have been with me since the beginning, thank you for following on the journey.

Comparing and early mantel pic with a recent winter mantel makes me question why anyone  kept reading!

Thanks for stopping in to see what's happening at our "little cottage by the sea".


  1. What is next? One thing that won't change is I'll still be following :) I'm sure others will too. The constant change you mentioned is always interesting. I love visiting your cottage by the sea.

  2. Happy 5th Anniversary to you! I can't imagine you ever running out of ideas for your beautiful home.


  3. Carol, I am just glad I found your blog. :):) I think as long as we are learning we are getting more out of life. I laughed about the pie safe having had three different colors. I love that. I hate to think how many layers my porch table will have at the end of it's life or mine. :):) Congratulations on your 5th anniversary of blogging. Blessings to you and Steve, xoxo, Susie

  4. I love your blog. Have from the get-go. I always feel cheered and get a warm feeling when I visit you. You are so inspiring and I just love what you do!

  5. I love the bright pretty colors you use in your cottage! And guess what? The fabric on your sofa is what I used for throw pillow covers! I have made 2 to go on our red sofas. Isn't that the most beautiful poppy print? Hugs, Diane

  6. Change is inevitable in every part of our lives. This January would be 10 years since I started and I too can pull out a few photos of when I first started, taken with my Coolpix. I could never understand how veteran bloggers had such a white tone to their photos, but years later and to this day, I am still learning about chasing our best friend: THE LIGHT. Camera settings as well as styling and changing out things in the home are as important for that "look" - and you are right about red or any other warm's an accent. But white is soothing and as challenging as an empty canvas, staring right back at the artist.

    THANK YOU CAROL for always being there for me on my second journey through Instagram. HUGS!

  7. Oh Carol, great post. I have enjoyed your posts so very much. Your cottage is always stunning and I love seeing everything in the garden.

    I got out there today, beautiful day here, and started puttering around. Went to the wholesale nursery and picked up 6 ornamental cabbage plants and a few other spring flowers. Will put them into my pots for color on the patio. I cannot kneel down anymore due to arthritis in my knees, so I put them in the numerous pots that I have sitting around.

    Your garden always looks so well kept in mint condition.

    I find I hardly do any craft anymore, just read the posts and keep the house and garden up, which is a chore.

    Enjoy your week, it is going to be lovely, except rain this Friday.


  8. Happy Anniversary, my friend!! Hugs to you and Steve {the poor man!}

    I can't wait to see where you go next... I'll be along for the journey!!

  9. Congrats on five wonderful years. I love your walls in white now and the way the accent colors just pop against them. So nice and bright in your cute cottage. Today I'm celebrating my 7th anniversary. :)

  10. Five years? I can barely believe it! I have loved your blog from the start, and look forward to many more years reading and seeing your awesome photos!

  11. Happy 5th Anniversary Carol - seeing your furniture, walls and decorating colour changes over time is a real treat, takes me back to the angst of early young family to those middle age years trying different colours and furniture placements and adding and subtracting and falling in love with something then and wondering why now. My goodness, your post did bring back a lot of memories. Hugs.

  12. That was fun to look at! We have all come a long way from our first posts I think! I love how you have evolved and your style has really inspired me. I hope you keep blogging even if it is less. I've come to know you as a friend! Hugs!

  13. Congrats on your anniversary! Where would bloggers be if they never changed their decor??? Your house is lovely (and was originally too). I want to improve my photography skills also this year. If you find any interesting articles, let me know!!


  14. I think I found you pretty soon after you started blogging. I loved your use of color. I have not had much color in my own homes over the years so it was fun to see it here...and the paintings--oh my!
    You have come a LONG with with your photography. Wish I could say the same. lol
    Here's to the next five yeas and seeing the changes that will come!!! xo Diana

  15. Have loved following along with you and still do!

  16. Congratulations on your blog anniversary! I love visiting you and really and truly wish I could take a nap in your beautiful garden!!! Your home is lovely - then and now!

  17. Happy Blogaversary!!! Your blog just keeps getting better and better. I think that I can speak for all of your followers, when I say . . . we love you and we love your blog!
    Have an amazing week.
    Connie :)

  18. Happy 5th anniversary. I wasn't with you on your first day, but began following you as soon as I found you after I began blogging in August of the same year. I must be following in your footsteps... found a love of white through blogging and have been working on improving my photography from the very beginning. About a year ago I bought my first DSL camera and have slowly been learning how to use some of the features. So much to learn...

    Your beautiful house by the sea, your photos, and your beautiful spirit have inspired me from the beginning. Looking forward to many more years reading Art and Sand...


  19. Carol, I've been following you from the beginning and I was enamored with your style then and love all the changes you've made to bring it where it is today. Yours is one of the most charming cottages in blogland!

    Your photos today are far different than they were in your early days of blogging, but I think we all learn from each other along the way. I haven't changed my blog header in so long that I don't know if I remember how. And I still haven't taken the time to add a navigation bar to my blog! Maybe when I retire (I have no idea when that will be) I'll have more time to play around with it if I'm still blogging.

    I've enjoyed visiting your little cottage in sunny California and I look forward to new posts from you in the upcoming years. :o)


  20. Happy 5th, Carol! Your pics always make me feel happy and vibrant! Look forward to seeing more of your little cottage by the sea posts!


  21. Congrats on five years! I've enjoyed your blog and all your photos of your charming little cottage. I think I've been with you from the beginning as the photos of the earlier days are all familiar to me. You have a wonderful husband who is willing to be creative with you in your home and it's changes. Change is good!

  22. Lovely 5 years with many many beautiful pictures too! Your blog is full of happiness :)
    Love from Titti


  23. That was fun looking back and we all have learned a lot, however I do need a better camera for my pictures, i'm using my phone
    I enjoy looking through and around your home

    Happy 5 years

  24. Everything looks so bright and airy, you've made some great improvements. I question myself about whether I should craft as much as I do, but I still have a few totes of fabric, so I guess I will keep crafting to use what I have! Looking forward to seeing what you are up to next. Marilou

  25. Congratulation on your goal, wishing you still many years on the web with your so beautiful blog, darling Carol, and let me say that your home, during these 5 years, has become even much more welcoming and charming !

    Hope you're having a great week so far,
    I'm sending hugs and more hugs to you

    XO Dany

  26. Oh Carol you have come a long way baby!!!! Your little cottage by the sea is a dream place to live. I have so enjoyed living my dream of a cottage by the sea through your blog and through you. Thank you for sharing this piece of heaven with us. Congrats on the 5 years. Time really flies. So happy we have become friends and I have coming to California to meet up on my bucket list. Hopefully soon.

  27. How I do love following your Cottage by the sea. Your gardens are always inspiration. Isn't funny how our tastes change over the years? I always enjoy seeing your peaceful surroundings. Happy Anniversary


  28. Congrats on your 5 years with improvements in al, areas. Well done!

  29. Happy Anniversary!
    My blogging goal for the year is to improve my photos...and your gardens are an inspiration!

  30. You have got such a darling cottage and you have done so much to it. Every change is beautiful and inviting. Congratulations of 5 years! that a huge mile stone. Have a great week.
    xoxo Jo

  31. I love to come by and visit your pretty cottage. Love to see how it's evolved and your decorating has evolved. Love the befores and the afters! Congrats on 5 years!

  32. Happy 5 years! I am glad I found you when I did to follow how you are transforming your lovely cottage. Your pops of color, especially the red, with the white is such a perfect mix.

  33. Happy 5th, Carol!! So glad I stumbled upon you when I did. I have loved watching your style transition and your Instagram account grow. No matter how many times I see it, I am always blown away by the fact that you slipcovered that couch. Amazing!!

  34. It's fun to go back to when you first started blogging and look through the photos. Although sometimes I wonder what the heck I was thinking with some of my decor! I agree that I like your softer, white palette better. Here's to many more years of sharing your blog with us!

  35. I love your house and seeing how its evolved over the years. Can't wait to see what's next. :)

  36. This was a really fun post. Your phototography skills have no doubt improved... But I love your Cottage in each of your pictures. It was lovely then annd it's still charming!

  37. Co0ngratulations on your anniversary. We all learn quite a bit over time and I expect your blog will just get better and better.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  38. Carol, loved seeing the changes through the years! Loved your blog then, love it now! I don't think I have improved quite as much as you. :) I loved the colored walls, but must admit the white is my favorite now. I would love to paint mine, but not going there yet. Other projects on the burner. Waiting on a bid to remove carpet in a few areas and do more wood. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is constantly changing! Hubbies beware!! lol! Would love if you have time to link to SYC.

  39. you have convinced me with this post that white is the right choice for me. I've been trying every color under the sun, but your home looks so lovely now I'm just going to go with it in some of our rooms. Your photos are always so beautiful.

  40. YAY! Congratulations on five years of blogging! I do love your blog, bad photos and all.....I feel your pain about early photography, and yes, lighting is so important! I wanted to take photos of our Valentine's Day decor today but it's way too overcast and rainy!

    I enjoy your blog so much, Carol. I enjoy seeing your projects, scenes from your walks with Lulu, Steve's art, and of course your adorable cottage and garden. You truly live the dream!

    Here's to your next five years!

    Ricki Jill

  41. Happy 5th blog anniversary Carol! I so love your interesting and beautiful photos...looking forward to the next five years now :)
    Helen xox

  42. Congrats on 5 years of blogging. It is ever changing and a journey of learning. Your photographs are amazing and always tell a story. Best wishes on many more fun years of blogging, decorating and photography!

  43. What fun to look at a retrospective. Regarding your photographs, did you change your camera or just improve your technique?

  44. Congratulations Carol on your 5th Anniversary, it has always been a pleasure to follow you ever since we both won the same blogging award at the same time! I know that your beautiful home will always been changing and will always delight us with your latest changes and inspiration.
    Sarah x

  45. It's good to look back at how we blogged at the beginning. An eye-opener! My photos were terrible!!! Not that they are all so hot now...I need to spend some time working with my Rebel. The cell phone camera is too accessible.

    The changes in your home are wonderful. You've evolved but you haven't strayed too far from that light seaside vibe. It's always a treat to visit you here or on IG.

    Jane x

  46. We kept reading because our decorating and photography wasn't any better! giggles

    I enjoyed my visit and walk down your memory lane.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  47. Congrats on 5-years.

    This place is my little getaway. I love it here. :)

  48. You've created a wonderful space here during these five years, Carol. Congratulations!