Stump makeover, Tinkerbell, and my New App

DSC_0032LOTS of pics today!  SO, if ya want, you can stop reading and just look at the pictures.  OR you can allow me to take you on a personal tour of our outdoor space.

As mentioned on The Cottage tab, we moved to this newly remodeled 70 year old  home last June. So during this past year we have been working hard to turn a kudzu, weed ridden plot of land into a fun and restful AND PRETTY place to hangout.

So first of all, please meet my stump.  Since it is located at the back corner of our house it either had to be removed or have a makeover.  We chose the latter. DSC_0702 My hubby did some impromtu rock work with some leftover concrete mix and then dumped a bunch of good soil inside of it.  (I wish I had dumped in a bunch of ant killer!)  DSC_0264Then I just started throwing the plants in: some perennials (they’ll return next spring) and some annuals (good fillers). Somehow a rouge sunflower seed got in there as well.  My ma-in-law surprised me, for no reason, with a cool plant that I potted so it wouldn’t have to share it’s glory!  A few weeks later: Wala!

IMG_4721Walk a few steps north and you’ll find my zinnia and sunflower garden.  I thought I had done everything right: I planted plenty of a good variety of seed.  I left enough space to comfortably walk thru them for cutting.  And, I weeded them regularly, or rather, occasionally. OK, I’ve weeded once…

IMG_4596BUT THEN, I made a huge mistake with the fertilizer.  Rather than toss my non-organic 10-10-10 around the base of the growing plants, like I SHOULD HAVE, I tossed it generously, sorta like Tinkerbell did with the fairy dust.  Sho-nuff, some of the tiny granules got stuck in the leaves, thus affecting the developing flowers.  The picture shows the damage done.  Ugh.  THAT will NOT happen again next year…IMG_4558

And over this way is my NEW PERENNIAL garden.  NEW, like started in May, as in two months ago!!  MOST of the plants came from a kindly lady who posted PLANTS FOR SALE on Craigslist for $1-$3.  BARGAINS.

All of the other plants came from the LOWE’S CLEARANCE RACK!  YUP, it is a little known fact that LOWE’s will discount their plants several times during the course of a week as much as 50-90% off. MOST LOWE’s have those racks towards the back of their garden centers.

DSC_0277CRAAAAZZZZY!  We have done almost all of our landscaping with these sorta sick plants that we have revived.DSC_0273IMG_4473

Now please saunter with me down our sidewalk.  It may seem as though I have ventured into the flagstone laying business but it ain’t nobody’s business that it almost cause the demise of our 30 year marriage.  (I’m artsy, he’s a numbers guy.  Not a good combo when laying a flagstone walkway) …but it is down and walkable.  AND ya might notice there is no blog on “how-to lay a level, symmetrical, perfect-in-every-way flagstone walkway”.  Oh, well. DSC_0302


The large basket on my front porch is a POTATO-PICKERS basket from my grandfather’s potato farm in Houlton, Maine.  It is one of my most favorite pieces.  It makes me smile.  No really, it literally does.  Even now I am grinning!

The back deck simply has a few washtubs dangling over some strategically placed lamb’s ear (easy to grow and prolific perennial). All those wonderful rocks are from around the property.  Lugging them is part of my intensive weight training program. On the deck are all of my herbs.  NOTE, there are no pictures.  Alas, they are tasty but not very pretty.

DSC_0001One day, while eating supper on said deck (it woulda been ‘dinner’ if we’d a had company), a hot air balloon appeared in the distance.  As we watch it, we realized that it was landing in the back pasture.  We donned our mud shoes and headed over to cross examine the air-born trespassers.  We learned that the balloons can’t actually be steered. Rather, they can only move up and down.  So they let the wind carry them, picked a place they could safely land and then descend.  On that day, it was in the back pasture.  IMG_4283

Painted in WaterlogueAs an aside (I loooooove “asides”…) I used my new app called “Waterlogue” to play with one of the pics.  (Thanks Amy Smith, Charleston, SC!) It is the only app I’ve ever actually paid for and I LOVE the way the app did a number on the deflating hot air balloon.  Next time ya see me ask to see it on my phone’s home screen.

Thanks for letting me take you on a tour of my outdoor areas.  There is a whole lot more…however, squash and beans may be  good to eat but a bit boring when it comes to photographing! (Don’t tell my husband I said that!)

For more fun, click on the pics below and they will magically enlarge for a terrific slideshow.

And YES, I would LOVE IT if you pinned them!



Color me pretty (and two true confessions)

Two true confessions

First confession: I’ve always been behind on trends String tie head bands(I remember when third-grade classmate, Stacy Rosenblum, came to school  with the cutest brightly colored  string-tie head bandI just LOVED it and really, really, really wanted one of my very own… but I didn’t get my first string-tie headband until seventh grade, by then, a bit geeky to wear.  So, so far behind.)

Second confession: I’ve always wanted to start a trend (unrealistic for someone that ain’t too trendy) but I may be onto something here!

This is how we found the door inside the houseIn the process of the restoration our 70 year old house, an old exterior door was discovered.  My then-21-year-old son said that he wanted to put frosted glass in it and use as his bedroom door.  He then left the country.  I was stuck with the door.  I stared at the door a long time.  A real long time.  Long enough that I can’t recall whether the stain glass was my idea or his.  But I digress.

It was decided (!) that stained-glass would be PERFECT for the door. The trip to the glass shop I googled stained glass, made a few phone calls and coerced my husband into loading the door into the SUV and headed to Armstrong Glass in Kennesaw, GA.  but we always migrate to the bargain bin!The place was amazing…all colors, textures, patterns, and sizes of glass…it was a true feast for the eyes.  Being who we are, we migrated to the bargain bin.  And since the plan was to mix and match a lot of different colors it was perfect!  Everyone was super helpful and friendly and made us feel like we belonged there. (I wanted to fill in a job application, but Tim dissuaded me.  No fun.)

The price was right for the glass, but not for the installation, and that is when Tim (said husband) piped up and proclaimed, You can DO this!”  I shouldn’t have, but I rolled my eyes.  He always says that.  It makes me crazy. I'd never heard of glazing

We loaded up our  door and our 15 panes of freshly cut stained glass and headed to Lowe’s and to purchase a tub of DAPS WINDOW GLAZING. Glazing is stuff I had never heard of and, quite frankly, stuff I thought Tim was just making up.  He wasn’t.  He knew what it was, but acted like he didn’t know how to use it (we’ll never know the truth about that one). Anyhow, we decided to leave the door in is discovered form, putting a clear coat on the chipping paint, lest there be lead in it.

The dangerous partTim took the old glass out (the dangerous part. Note bare feet), while I watched  multiple youtube videos on the art of glazing until I reached level 5 of properly prepared.

I kneaded the stuff like silly-putty and then rolled it into a snake.  No, not that kind of snake.  I just wanted to make sure you are still with meJust wanted to make sure you were paying attention

Anyhow, I slapped it into the corner where the pane and the opening thingy meet (you’ll have to youtube it to get the technical terms and details cause I simply didn’t retain all that.)  Then I grabbed  my putty knife, and, holding it at just the right angle, crammed it into the crevice, while scraping off  the excess glazing.

From inside room at night

From inside room at night

After HOOOOOOOOURS of doing that, I was finally done.  It took DAYS for the GLAZE to

Don't think, just do it!

Don’t think, just do it!

dry and then we (ok, Tim) hung it.  I then spent quite a bit of time playing with the light switches in room and the hall, just ooooohing and aaaaahing at how wonderful it looked.  It really is quite stunning during different day parts.

The stained-glass door is definitely an eye-catcher in our new/old home, and hopefully will start the TREND that I have SO LONGED TO BEGIN….only time will tell!  I secretly hope that Stacy doesn’t already have an interior stained glass door…

Click on any of the pictures below for a slide-show.  Woo hoo



Just call me Scrooge

I am NOT a decorator.   I don’t enjoy decorating and the the once-a-year Christmas decorating has been known to bring me to tears. Yes, really.

I hate Christmas decorating!

I hate Christmas decorating!

It just ain’t my thing.  We moved into our present home in July which is a restored 70-year-old cottage (the cottage.)  Most of my Christmas decorations are mixed in with dozens of other boxes that are stored all over an unheated old mobile home a “piece” up the road.  That really doesn’t matter since I really don’t know what to do with the myriad of  Christmas decorations that I have collected over the years.  I use to pull them out, move them around the house 3 or 4 times. Then put most of them back into the boxes and back into the attic. (I digress.)

BUT, the kids (they’re grown) are coming home and we wanted our new home to feel LIKE HOME when they come.  So, when my husband said, “how long is that pumpkin going to be on the front porch?” I acted like I didn’t hear him (ok, I ignored him) and went straight to Pinterest. The search ensued: “Christmas front porch” is what I typed in and started pinning. (I apologize to my friends who had to endure–or hide–my eleven minutes of 93 pins!)  My favorite pin was the “how not to spend any money and create a feast for the Christmas eyes with all your old junk” …or something like that.

The man loves oranges but willingly gave up his crate in hopes that scrooge would leave

The man loves oranges but willingly gave up his crate in hopes that scrooge would leave

When I hinted, my husband readily agreed to empty his oranges from their crate since  he wanted to fan the ember of my creative burst!  Then I gathered boxes and wrapped them in brown paper, made bows from my

DSC_0729half-priced ribbon from Michael’s (that I had purchased last week just in case), I collected pinecones, clipped magnolia leaves and threw away the pumpkin.

Then I studied my pins from Pinterest, moved around some junk and furniture, stuck magnolia leaves EVERYWHERE and WA-LA, my front porch!

I sure hope the kids notice.  If not, ba humbug!