Sunday, October 24, 2010

The garden's last blooms

It was very warm today (high 70's) so I began the process of cutting back the perennial garden.  I have a few plants that continue to bloom.

The digitalis (foxglove) still looks beautiful.

I also have one echinacea (coneflower) that bloomed very late and is just glorious right now.

I started relocating some plants and also thinned some out.  It is supposed to remain unseasonably warm for a few days which will give me the opportunity to finish up before a hard frost.  It was nice to be out in the sunshine and doing a little manual labor!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


After pushing an entire bag of this
into the opening and then spraying in this

and then shoving in half a bat of this
my brother was finished....confident the mice could no longer get in and no more cold air in my kitchen!

Alas, apparently a mouse or two was hidden somewhere in the kitchen.  I know because Gracie brought one up to me in the studio as a gift.  Thankfully, her latest "giftie" was intact and just dead.  (I sent Grace back to the kitchen to search for more!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project time

From Google Images
About a week ago I walked into my kitchen for my second cup of morning coffee.  As I was walking in, the cat was running out.  Imagine my surprise (horror) at finding a partially disemboweled mouse in the middle of the kitchen floor!  I did a really good job of not freaking out and screaming like a little girl.  I calmly tried to think of how to clean up the mouse and who could I call so I didn't have to do it myself!  I kept saying to the cat, "Good job, Gracie.  You are such a good mouser."  I didn't want her to think she had done something bad.  I was so hoping the mouse was a loner...lost from a pack of little mice living happily in the backyard.  Sadly, that was just a dream.  Two days later Grace left another "gift" for me at the top of the stairs.  Again, I told her how proud I was of her and what a good cat she is.  That night I didn't sleep very well.  I knew the mice had to go and they had to go immediately!  I think I have figured out how they are getting in and have enlisted the aid of my brother in sealing their entry point.  Today is "shove in the steel wool and squirt insulation day".  

Wish me feet hurt from stamping them to scare off intruders when I walk into the kitchen!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Basket of thrifties!

Last Wednesday, I made a trip to the Goodwill near my office.  I was just killing time on my lunch break.  I found just a few things and I put them all in a free basket to show you.

The wooden tray is teak and it was only $1.97.  The white plates (3) are English ironstone by J&G Meakin and were $2.97.  They are going to go on the wall above my bed.  The wooden picture frame was a whopping 97cents.  The silver plate salad fork and spoon on the left (and you can just barely see) are Towle and they were also $1.97.

I painted both the tray and the frame Heirloom White.  I haven't decided exactly what else I want to do to the tray but I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to frame!

Grandson Andrew David
Did you find anything good last week?  Check out everyone's goodies at Rhoda's!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shopping at Goodwill

I was a little depressed on Friday afternoon.  I had two choices - go home and eat something "bad" or go shopping.  Since I just lost 15lbs (on my way to 40!) and I didn't want to spend too much money, I hit the Goodwill.  Here's what I found

See all those price tags?  The trims were from Joann's and had been discounted several times before they ended up at Goodwill.  The gold and ivory were in a plastic bag together and I paid $ .97 for those.  The white fringe was $ .97 by itself but I am not complaining!!  I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with these trims but I know there's a project waiting to happen.

I collect pieces of silver plate that no one else wants (apparently)!  This is not an old piece but I liked the shape and size.  I will use it on a shelf in the bath to hold hair accessories.

Best thing about thrift shopping?  I only spent at total of $3.08, went home in a better mood and didn't eat everything in the 'fridge!

Linking up to
SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy_thumb

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Something I recently noticed

Have y'all noticed all the trend again toward white/off white/antique white/nearly white walls? 

 (All images from My Home Ideas.)

Having lived with a realtor who refused any color on walls (based on the premise if you have to sell it is harder to make the sale if the buyer doesn't like the paint color!) I became used to the idea of antique white walls.  My house now has all antique white walls.  I still want a pale, pale pink in the bath because I love pale, pale pink.  The only reason I have not painted the bath is because I hate to paint.  For a time, I was going to paint my first floor walls all a delicate shade of sage.  Then I thought about what happens when I get tired of that color.  And I also looked at all it would entail because I could never do it on my own and I am pretty sure I don't have anyone in my life that loves me enough to paint my entire downstairs area!

I like the idea of bringing color into a room with the furnishings...except that I lean toward colors like ivory and linen.  Maybe I still have antique white walls because I like them!

Monday, August 9, 2010


(Photo from Google Images)
Mercy!  We need rain.  I need rain.  Tonight I will have to trot approximately 40-5 gallon buckets of water from my kitchen, dump into a 5 gallon watering can and water my garden.  If not a drip falls upon the grass I am perfectly happy.  The "lawn" really is just a collection of cut weeds.  I am sure there is some grass in the mix but mostly I think it is just weedy stuff.  Also sitting on the lawn is a pallet stacked with 208 paving stones that are supposed to be the center portion of my patio.  My BIL framed out the patio in May, filled it in with dirt and has not been back since.  I threw down 6 paving bricks across the dirt to get from my back door to the grass.  Upside - I really cannot afford to finish the patio until the fall so I will live with the dirt, stacked pavers and bad grass until then.

When do you put down "Weed and Feed"?  Can I do that in the fall and again in the spring and just pray for rain?  (Calling in a plumber to add a spigot to the back of the house makes a lot of sense!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finished a project!

Remember this?


Well, here it is all finished!


I deglazed it and primed it with Kilz.  I spray painted it with Rustoleum Heirloom White and love the soft ivory color.  I nicked around the top and legs a bit to distress it but didn’t want a glaze it.  I painted the little brass feet with brass colored latex paint.  It is perfect for the space and I am so happy just to have finished something! 

I am planning (operative word: “planning”) to re-upholster the chair I bought months and months ago.  Amelia asked about it recently and that really did put a bug in my ear!  I purchased the canvas drop cloth, have tack strips and staples for my staple gun.  I certainly don’t have any excuses not to finish it this weekend!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The countdown begins!
Hobby Lobby Logo
opens on June 28th in the Lebanon Valley Mall.  I have already signed up for the mailing list and email notices.  Can you tell how excited I am?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Big weekend!

Several years ago my sister and brother in law put a huge addition on their home.  They hired someone to take up all of the patio paving stones since that portion of the yard was going to be displaced by the addition.  They have had about 1000 pavers sitting on pallets in one of the outbuildings and want to get rid of them.  They offered them to me.  I am in the process of bringing 400 of them to my house...slowly.  My other BIL is building a patio for me.  Originally it was going to be very small and very different.  The patio is now taking on a life of it's own.  It will be roughly 10' x 16'.  The treated lumber for the surround has been put in place and dirt has been brought in to level the area.  Next a couple of yards of "crush & run" and a yard of sand will be put down, tamped and then the pavers will be installed.  I am hoping that we will be able to work on it this weekend so that I can use it over the Independence Day weekend.  I am really excited about the prospect of having a place to sit with my laptop and coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening.  The back of the house gets lovely early morning sun and is totally shaded in the evening.

My daughter-in-law is arriving on Sunday afternoon with my oldest granddaughter.  Em will be staying with me for 2 weeks.  This is something we do every year and is the highlight of the summer for me.  She is 12 now and I don't know how much longer she will want to do this so I am going to enjoy every moment that I can with her. She is signed up for two "camps" - first week is a sewing camp and the second is a cooking camp.  She sews pretty well (did a sewing camp also last year) so she is looking forward to making a "flirty skirt" this year.  Em also loves to cook (and is an excellent baker!) so cooking camp will also be great fun.  I will work at the office in the mornings and then spend the rest of the day with Em.  I can hardly wait!

I am going to finish planting the very last of my perennials this weekend and get down 3 more bags of mulch. (I think I am going to put my DIL to work!) That will be it for the garden except for maintenance.  It is hard work building a garden from a nasty patch of grass!  I think there will be one more "building" year and then I hope to be reasonably satisfied with it.  Everything I planted last year came back beautifully with the exception of my bee balm.  It looks terrible.  I think it has some sort of mildew.  Anyone know of a good home remedy for that?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More thrifting

Last weekend a nearby town was having their community yard sale.  The name of the town is Stouchburg and it is a darling little hamlet with some really beautiful homes.  My sister’s friend is beginning to collect items for her daughter’s first apartment.  She is hoping not to spend too much money so a big yard sale was just the ticket.  I really had so much to do at home (and I haven’t cleaned house in weeks) so I thought about backing out…but changed my mind.  I am so happy that I did! 

I have wanted some antique shutters to hide the laundry area in my kitchen.  I have seen some that were priced reasonably but were not as tall as I was hoping to find.  At last!  I have a pair!!IMAG0001 One is right side up and the other is down but aren’t they great?!  Chippy old white and green paint.  They stand about 6’ tall.

IMAG0003 And just because I can’t leave well enough alone, look at the hinges.  Can you tell – they make me swoon!!IMAG0016 

I am not going to tell you what I paid for them because if I did you would hate me! 


I also found a sweet little table that I will use in my dining room.  I can’t decide if I am going to refinish or paint.  Either way, the “faux” leather tabletop will have to be replaced.  IMAG0011 

I also found more silver plate flatware.  Sorry for the glare off the silver.  They really are so beautiful and shined up just like new!IMAG0009 

This is the back of my sister’s car.  Looks like a pretty successful day, doesn’t it?!!


Once again, I am linking up with Rhonda’s blog, Southern Hospitality.SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy_thumb

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thrifting treasures

I have had incredible luck at yard sales in the past few weeks.  The first Saturday in May is a huge community wide yard sale in Wernersville.  I have gone for years and always have found some great things. 

All the silver flatware in the avocado tray was $5.  The hand held vac was $5 and I got the box of attachments at another house for $3.  Perfect for vacuuming the carpet on my staircase!  The silver gravy boat had never been out of the box.  Mine for just $1.  The silver plates and other silver plated flatware totalled roughly $8.  Not too shabby!  I polished all of the flatware in the tray and discovered that it is a complete service for 8 (including seafood forks and parfait spoons) and all the serving pieces.  I went on line to do a little research and found several sets for sale.  The lowest asking price was ... drum roll please ... $279!  

This Saturday was the community yard sale in my parent's neighborhood.  I only have photos of the "big score" items

I have been wanting a trunk for the longest time.  This one was filthy and had been stored in a barn.  The canvas (over wood) was in pretty good shape and all the brasses are intact.  The leather straps were in pieces on the front and back and leather handles were missing.  In an antique shop, I would have expected to pay anywhere between $65 and $100.  I took it home for just $15!  Whoo hoo!!

This sweet mahogany table was in rough shape but I was thrilled with the $5 price tag.  I have already primed and applied two coats of Heirloom White paint to the table.  I need to do a light sanding, one more coat of paint and then a coat of poly and she will move into the living room.

Here is the truck after I scrubbed, rubbed and re-hydrated the wood strapping a bit.  I don't want it perfect.  I want it to have a bit of beat up charm.  I love it in my living room.

Hope you got out there and found some treasures for yourself!  I am linking up to Rhoda's blog!SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy_thumb

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Finally, a post from me!  I am starting to work on projects since it is warm enough to do things outside.  There is little I can do during the winter since I keep the house so cold paint takes FOREVER to dry!

Here is one project that I recently completed. 

IMG_7692 I had white cotton cafe’ style curtains with window blinds in my bedroom.  I have had sleep issues for months and finally figured out that the amount of light coming into my room at night was a factor.  Out in blog land, everyone is using painter’s canvas drop cloths for curtain, slipcover and upholstery fabric.  I thought – what the heck?!  - and purchased 2-9’x12’ packages.  I washed them twice, rinsed with fabric softener and threw them in the dryer.  They came out soft and very workable.  I cut 1 panel down the length for each window and only had to do minimal hemming.  I am making a quilt for my bed and have a lot of extra fabric for shams, borders, bed skirt, etc.  I had originally planned to make drapes with the Chocolat fabric (Moda 3 Sisters) but just used some for the valences and I made a couple of matching shams.  I was very pleased working with the canvas fabric and would do it again in a heartbeat!  As a side note – because of the positioning of my bed there was no way to get a better shot of the curtains.  They go to the floor and because I have such high ceilings, I took advantage of that and positioned the valances as close to the ceiling as I could reach. 

Today is the huge yard sale in Wernersville so I am off in search of treasures.  Hope you have a great day!!