09 February 2016

Bucketfuls of Blossoms

... January has come and gone...
and it seems spring may be here in the southwest...
It's a start. We did some spring cleaning over the weekend.  
These slipcovers are changed and some clutter gone. 

The santos is on top of our book on the art of Florence, and the cover is decorated with La Primavera by Botticelli. The Allegory of Spring is in the Uffizi, and it was a dream come true to see. This book is actually a wonderful compendium on the art of Florence, if you love Italian renaissance art or just for study. On the side of the book are spilt dried roses. Some are from my garden and some are from bouquets.

Over here is some heather. I have had it about three weeks now, and it is still alive, but it can be dried in place when the plant is spent. In case you don't recognize it, it's another Ikea bucket that they might still have, though I have had it for some time.

Outside our Florida peach is blooming. It was so cold in December that I think it received enough chill hours, so hopefully in May there will be peaches again.

Out on the front porch I hung some planters. The pails are from Ikea, and they are called socker, and they come with a chainI drilled four holes in the bottom for drainage, filled them with dirt half way, and inserted three, four inch pots of pansies without the pots. That's it. For two it was only twenty-four dollars with the plants, but I had the soil.
It's an easy project.... maybe fifteen minutes at the most!

Back inside, these are the blossoms that are currently on my dining room table: gerbena daisies mixed with some blossoming branches. I love this shade of pink.

So three ways to do bucketfuls of blossoms... four if you like dried and spilt.... 

I'm getting ready to plant my spring garden. My winter tomatoes have not been plentiful. It was too cold here this winter, and so many didn't turn red, and now the plants are dying with them on. We will be pulling them up, and planting new seedlings, and new lettuce pretty soon.

I hope to make it around the blogs tomorrow.
It's been a long January, and February is short.
I think that's saying something without saying something. :)

Thank you for visiting. There are so many wonderful blogs out there, 
and it so sweet that you visit here.


Sharing with:

Shabby Art Boutique

01 February 2016

Effortless Sunday

This afternoon, I wanted to take some pretty photos. So I headed to my favorite nursery, which has beautiful plants and a beautiful shop with new and vintage finds. I love how the painted door is placed sideways.

I love their living room. The walls look like old adobe, and the floors look like cement. 
I love that they have botanical prints out for spring and faux eggs.
That's a sweet sign, but a little too threadbare for my taste.
The person that decorates this shop is really talented, and makes it look effortless. You feel like you are in someone's home, though years ago, it was the owner's of the nursery's home.

Over here, I loved this cart vignette with the wrought iron scale weighing "birds" and topiaries.
I also love all the various shades of gray in this photo.

On the way back, I stopped and bought a bunch of flowers for the table.

Next, I made this simple chocolate cake with a box mix. I substitute half the water with rum, which gives it subtle added flavor. It has five layers, but it is made with a Wilton set of five pans, which makes it so effortless, and it only takes one box of cake mix to fill five pans. The cake fits perfectly on this tiny glass cake stand.

I hope your weekend was wonderful.
Thank you for visiting.
P.S. The she shed cottage is finished here.


Sharing with:

29 January 2016

Everyday Life

Do you have more than one holiday out?
Or maybe you just left it half finished or half picked up... 
I tried to arrange the lights here, but gave up.
Our Christmas is still in boxes on the floor, and some are not closed..
But despite that the next holiday will be here, 
so I placed some Valentine's Day and some rabbit decor out...
I won't mention the holiday, but after all it is early this year.

In this photo life is still on the table, and
I am not sure who left the trash bin on the table. You can find how I made an aged bucket,
at my aged bucket. I have rose bunches (not long stem, these are inexpensive) and wax flowers.

On the sleeping porch, we switched out the iron bed to my daughter's former child bed, because the iron bed went to the She Shed cottage.
I took the photo, after the bed had been made, but not the same day.
I don't know what that lump is in the middle. 
Maybe someone covered up laundry?

Over here is a rabbit with untied ribbons. I guess we decided on striped, not black.
The ribbon is from Hobby Lobby.

Real life is beautiful and messy. Beauty is less than perfect. Here's a wonderful thought...

"To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings - it's all a miracle. I have adopted the technique of living life miracle to miracle."
Arthur Rubinstein, a virtuoso pianist, most known for his Chopin interpretations. Read more at Brainy Quote

Sharing with:

28 January 2016

Are you ready to see the Teen She Shed Cottage? Part 6

When you get down to the end of a project, it seems to come together all at once. It is finished, and now she will continue to personalize over the years.
In case you have not followed along, we converted a four year old shed that we built from a kit from HD into a SheShed cottage for our teen. It is 8 x12. It required that my spouse reframe one entire wall and frame the windows and doors. The large window and door were stock at HD, and the small window was special order due to the size and my daughter's vision to frame it with shutters and a window box, but despite so, it was inexpensive. Both windows have screens. The exterior light is from Home Depot, and it is the same one that it is on the front of the house. She coordinated the metal finishes on the She Shed cottage.

For this conversion, my daughter made all the choices, helped with the budget, calculations, and various projects. She also decorated the space in her style. Also, since we have a small home by today's standards, and it is very hot here, we installed insulation, electricity, and a tile floor. (Tile floors always stay cool.)

This is what we started with. My spouse removed the entire front and reframed it to install a window and a door. He also framed a window on the left. He then resided.

I have to say that she carefully considered function and how the She Shed cottage would look with the rest of the house. She went white on the outside for two reasons. White will keep it the coolest temperature in hot weather, and it matches the exterior porch. She then selected the happy exterior trim color to give a hint of what's inside. It's her favorite color in its many variations.

Exterior Porch

The colorful talavera sun on the palm tree once hung over her playhouse. Did you see the little bird house that looks like her cottage? It was only six dollars, and it's really nice. For a touch of whimsy, its door was painted to match her cottage shed. It's filled with birdseed in hopes that birds will pass by her windows. She loves birds. She use to have three as pets, but they died. When she had a playhouse, she had a garland of brightly patterned cloth birds with little jingle bells. As the months passed, the garland grew shorter and shorter; one by one a bird went missing. Until one day, a pack rat was seen stealing a stuffed bird for his den beneath the ground based air conditioner of the casita.
Let's step inside.

My spouse built the book shelf that she needed to go across the entire back wall, and the shelf has enough depth, so that she can stack books sideways to the ceiling if she desires. The shelf is strong.

Back in the autumn, she found the chandelier at an amazing price. She has good intuition. She loved this one, because it has branches, and she thought it would be gorgeous with the rustic wood ceiling that she had in mind. It has three lights and each bulb puts out 60 watts, and it provides a lot of light, because we put bulbs in with high lumens.

It's really beautiful, and the photos don't do it justice.

You may recognize the daybed. Way back when, my daughter persuaded me to select this daybed for our sleeping porch, but now, she wanted it here, but spray painted silver. No worries, the porch gets the bed she had before she had a double in her room. The scale of this daybed is better for this space than her previous bed.

On the right side she placed her antique folding rocking chair and an Ikea cabinet to display some of her rock collection, bits of nature, and her metal moon phase garland. You can see that the trim color was inspired by her space heater.

She is always finding vintage items at an animal rescue shop, and this was maybe two dollars.

This is an antique folding rocker. I think they were used for sewing.

We had all the furniture except for this display cabinet and a cart.

Per her idea, my spouse also built a  display shelf for over the star window. Most of her items are from second hand stores, like the squirrel, and the antique copy of Alice in Wonderland, but sometimes Anthropologie or Target.

On the left side of the room she has her desk that we moved from behind the couch in the living room. She paired it with one of the stools from the kitchen, and it fits perfectly under the desk when not in use. The bed has vintage Battenburg lace shams that were only twenty dollars for all, the center pillow was handmade by someone local,  the colorful embroidered pillow and throw rug is from World Market, and the mint throw is from here, but made in Italy.

To the left of the desk, and all by herself, she put together this Ikea cart for her art supplies. This is the best 29 dollars ever spent. She also keeps bowls of food and water on a tray for Silver the cat that loves to visit.

She buys lamps when she wins piano events, or when she doesn't. She says that some prefer to display trophies, but she prefers lamps. This one is a beauty from a beautiful shop that sells
French style. She had been eyeing it for months, and bought it after Christmas with her funds when there was a storewide sale.

That's her Italian tea pot. She planned to take it home as a souvenir a couple of years ago, but at that time it was not electrically compatible with the U.S., but now it is, so it was a Christmas present.  She keeps her tea supplies in a wicker basket under the daybed. The daybed has enough space for her supplies with underneath storage. We installed a smoke alarm too.

She collects vintage items and loves art history. This image is of The Swing by John Honore Froganard. Also, when we went to the art museums in Paris she bought prints of some of her favorites, but keeps them in a box. As in her room, she changes the displays, because she is a lover of little things.

She found this vintage print, and it reminds her of our hike around Walden Pond, and since she is a also a writer, she chose it for inspiration. When she was seven, I took her to see Lexington and Concord, but specifically to see the homes of the transcendentalists and Louisa May Alcott's in Concord, because a couple of her favorite books were The Fledgling by Jane Langton and Little Women. When she was older, she liked Thoreau; all have to do with Walden.

In closing, here are some everyday images.

The tile floors look nice with the ceiling.

So there you have it: a teen's She Shed Cottage for writing, painting, reading, creating, and dreaming. It was a great project for my daughter, and she learned a lot in the process: from the idea, to planning, to completion. That little rooster is my daughter's too. She purchased it after an event. Well it's Madeline's the Toy Poodle's arch rival, and she pounces at him as if it is alive.

Siding inside and out and trim is from HD.
The doors, windows, shutters, outside light, and door handle are from HD.
The wood for the shelves, the brackets, and the metal (painted) bracket are from HD.
The paint is SW.
The chandelier is "Claire" from Ballard Designs.
Window pails, hooks, and rod are from Ikea.