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September 30, 2010

Modern warm glow.....

In the spring of 2010 I was determined to get this bedroom made over.  This was my sons bedroom and since he's all grown up and living in Pennsylvania now, I wanted to freshen the color and have some fun with it.  


This is the old color- I had done the room with a seaside look at one point, then I shifted to using safari accents with elephants, masks and a tiger picture.  That didn't last too long because it just didn't have the right colors and affect.  
                In came the new color- Italian Straw by Pratt & Lambert....and here is the end result.......
The lamp, and pictures are from T.J. Maxx-- The bedding is something I already had and I tried to find things that wold work with it.  One of these days if I find something with the right colors and like it better I'm probably going to switch it out, but for now I'm happy enough with it.
I had the small glass lamp by the window, and when I saw the yellow lamp at T.J. Maxx I knew I wanted it..it had the same drum shade style and the modern shape was perfect with the pictures...they have small circles in them, and the curtains have a circle design too....
        The mirror was from T.J. Maxx and the chair from Pier 1 Imports.....
 Pillows courtesy of T.J. Maxx and Target.. I sewed buttons in the center of the rust ones to draw the aqua color into them...
This is the armoire that has a tv inside and the collage frame is a carry over from the old room...You probably noticed there is no headboard.  I'm working on that yet....I found a headboard but it needs to be painted, it's kind of retro, and I'm excited to have it but haven't had time to finish it....All the rest of the furniture is my daughters and someday when she has her own place it's going with her....

Our house is pretty small as you can see from this room, but I try to make it cozy and somewhat up to date! These are some closeups of a few accents I used in the room....

T.J.Maxx-Mirror
Pier 1 Imports-Curtains
and ZGallerie-Vase





September 29, 2010

Fall is upon us....

Fall is upon us in northern Michigan.  Some trees are already turning colors.  This is a large Ash tree that always is the first to turn color and lose it's leaves.  We have been having ground injections done around the base of the tree to try to save it from the Emerald Ash Borer.  They get in underneath the bark of the tree and eat away at it until it kills it.  The injections are to make it toxic so the bug doesn't want to eat it.


This is just another view of the tree and our driveway with the Blue Spruce trees....we have had to have them treated for Cooley Spruce Gall.  They get sprayed twice in the spring to treat the Gall.  It looked like pine cones to us at first, but then we found out it wasn't. They seem to be all better now.

A shot of the house...you can see how large the trees are around us... Pretty soon that nice green yard will be covered in leaves!






This is my new hydrangea call Pinky Winky....It's on the right corner of the house by the arched windows.  Once it get's taller the color should be great as a contrast against the house....

I love the fall colors and the great blue skies we get at this time of year....
I am looking forward to many more beautiful pictures of the fall season, hope yours will be a good one too!

In The Beginning.....

In the beginning, there was a pond..... then there was not!

In 1999 when we created the flagstone patio area, we installed a small pre-formed pond...which grew into a much larger area complete with a small creek and many plantings around it to naturalize it.....but it was a lot of maintenance so finally we decided to remove it.  The big hole is where it was.

~jump forward~
Spring 2009     The John Deere garden tractor with it's mini front end loader has paid for itself with all the projects it's done for us.  I am glad my husband is so handy with using it and makes my big projects happen with a great deal less back labor than it would have otherwise!
 Work, work, work, work, work...

Finally after much pushing dirt around the area is starting to be created for the new fountain....








  We poured a 5" thick cement pad to receive the new fountain... (It's somewhere in the 880 lb. range, in 4 pcs)
 I laid landscape fabric along the edges to keep it from eroding.....






 Now comes the fun, tricky part, bringing in the base of the fountain...

Dan calculated this out to the T...I stood by ready to aid whenever I could....
 Ahh, the base is in place and now the fun begins!






















All the pieces are in place and the electric is being set up....This fountain is made by Campania, it's called Palazzo Urn Fountain.. we lucked out at a garden center that had it carried over from the year before, we offered several hundred dollars less for cash and carry and they accepted!


Yay it works!
This is with the stone wall installed before the flagstones were set in place... The timeline of the project was May 1st thru July 2nd... My husband and I did all the work ourselves (and we aren't as young as we used to be....LOL) so we did a little bit of work every night, trying not to push our backs too hard...


Now the flagstones are in place and we brush what we call diamond dust (which is crushed stone into a very fine size) into the crevices.... sprinkle with water and after a while it firms up a bit....
And now it's done...and my newly stained and painted park benches are in place....

After a few months the plants have filled in nicely...

This was summer of 2009, a rather cool summer, but my transplanted Hostas appreciated the cool temperatures and didn't even act like they had been split up and transplanted!



All these hostas were larger plants I split up...I lined the edge of the wall with pink impatiens...they filled in nicely!
This is late in the summer....and things have settled in nicely...we are so happy with the changes we made
  
A collage of the original patio area
This is a collage of pictures of the original creation of the patio with pond.  The 2nd picture on the right reveals the area where it started- a previous location of an above ground pool.  We put a base of sand down then gravel to aid with moisture and frost heaving issues in the spring.  As you can see above a lot has changed since then.  I finally gave up on the grass path because it was difficult to maintain.  We installed more flagstone on the path after we did the new addition for the water fountain.  There are low voltage lights around the patio too and all the electrical for the pond/now fountain was run through a trench Dan dug with piping to protect it.

September 24, 2010

French Infusion

Finally my mantel is coming together...my new French styled pedestal vases were an inspiration and the topiary balls pulled the look together.....little by little I'm getting my direction in line.....

September 23, 2010

Artichokes and Roses

Well, I have found myself putting together another project.... I saw these artichokes displayed in a bowl, and then I noticed a box of them and they were on sale, so I bought the whole box. I didn't have a plan, but I felt I wanted them just the same!

I was admiring these pottery pieces at the same store
and eventually decided the two were getting together!
Then I visualized it with a cone shape and decided to make it a topiary....
 I realized the cone wasn't tall enough, so I glued another styrofoam piece in first with hot glue...

 Then I stuffed moss around it to make sure it wouldn't move and glued the cone piece on top with some glue they sell just for working with styrofoam.







Now it's ready to go!
 
 I started gluing the artichokes one by one, which took a while because they wanted to slide down until the glue cooled off (I did a lot of blowing) LOL....
 I started with four around the bottom, then the next row was another four, but above the vacant spot left below, and then two and finally two more towards the top....



 Then I cut the roses off their stems and started randomly poking them in the styrofoam.  Eventually I snipped the leaves off the stems and did the same with them...



Just about complete here...
 There are gaps to be filled yet with moss, the picture doesn't show them up, but there are spots that you can see the styrofoam.....









And here is my final product!  What do you think?  


September 21, 2010

The Mikasa Exchange

Well, I finally committed to buying a new set of everyday dishes, and once again I ended up with a choice by Mikasa!  Approximately 15 years ago I selected a pattern called Brywood by Mikasa.  I was certain I could live with it forever, and I did try!  Finally as the years passed and my tastes changed I couldn't stand it anymore and decided on Mikasa's Italian Countryside.  It's simple, clean lined and will not dictate too much style. 
In the meantime, what to do with my old dishes.  I won't let them go, because they are sentimental to me and let's face it, I paid a lot for them!


Soooo..... after much contemplating, I finally remembered this hidden area in my cabinet that has items in it that I completely forget about.....so everything came out and the dishes went in and I got a chance to straighten up the cupboard!  That's always a good thing! 


And now my new Mikasa has a home!



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