Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cottage Give Away Winner

And the winner is Rhoda from Southern Hospitality! Congratulations Rhoda! I'll put your goodies in the mail on Monday. I hope you like them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Inspiration Friday

I know that I've posted several times this week, but it's in anticipation of not being able to post next week, that way I'll be able to leave you with a few things to catch up on. I know you're not all crazy like me and look at blogs everyday, right? We leave Tuesday for Las Vegas. Yes, I know: Are we crazy? Vegas is too hot in summer time. But the son has national final competitions in woodworking there next week. Plus some fabulous woodworking classes he really wants to attend, like steam bending. I hope to enjoy looking at the other pieces that were entered for competition and some great quilt & scrapbooking stores. I don't gamble so Vegas isn't a big draw for me. I'd rather spend my hard earned money at RAD where I'm sure of a deal. I found some great things at RAD yesterday and also at Saint Vinnie's. I'll share pictures later. Y'all have a great weekend and with that said:

It's Inspiration Friday. One of the places I find really inspiring is my friend Shirley's shop. I just love to go there and hang out with her. Also I love shopping there. She's one talented lady. I keep trying to encourage her to get on the web. I thought I would share some pictures of her little gem of a shop with her permission of course. Remember photos are copyrighted and it's not right to use them if they're not yours. You wouldn't want your hard work copied would you and not get the credit?
Her shop sits on H street with a few other similar shops in old houses. There's a tea room and a little sandwich/bistro shop. It's a great place to spend a couple of hours with girlfriends. I always try to take out of town guests there. The town has moved away from this area, so the stores are struggling to get shoppers down there. I encouraged Shirley to create a baby room so that people could purchase unique baby gifts. The rooms (one boy, one girl) turned out great.

There's a little bit of everything here.
It's a little crowded, but that's what makes it fun. I hope you've enjoyed the tour. Have an inspiring weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tour of the living room and dining room

Thought I would give you a tour of the living room and dining room. They are open to each other. The house was clean for company so I thought I would take a few pictures. :-) These rooms are in need of a redo or a first do or something, but Seth says his room comes next. I guess the boy deserves it after helping with his sister's room.

This pretty little pine dresser was a yard sale find many years ago. I just love it. It stores office stuff, etc right now and acts as sofa table. The couches create a little sitting area. I'm ready to move it around , but the rest of the family just groans when I mention it. I like to move things around, but they don't. Hiding behind the pillows is Cocoa. I think she's trying to get out of having to do anything.

Recognize the rocker? It's the one in Tina's room redo, minus it's new look. The little desk is also there. It has a new look too.

The pine hutch sits behind the front door. It holds the creamware collection. I love dishes. Especially old ones with roses or white ones. I've been collecting creamware for quite awhile now. I can't decide what to do with this area behind the door though. I think a built in hutch/bookcase would look really good. Any ideas?
Our dining room french doors face west. So this probably isn't the best of pictures. The little corner hutches where already in the house when we purchased it. The one on the left was actually in the front bedroom. But I knew that it had once been in here. So when a computer game fell behind the corner hutch while it was in the front bedroom, it was a good excuse to remove it to its original position. I really like having the two of them together again. The doors are missing, but I hope to have replacements made sometime soon and installed with molding around it. The wall on the left is the one we hope to open up this fall. The kitchen is on the other side. A couple of posts back I photographed the shelf and all its pretties.

Just a few things on the corner shelf to the right. This side has mirrors. I really don't like the look. I removed them on the bottom shelf to see if I would like them better off. I like them off, others have said they like the look of the mirrors. I think if they didn't have seams I wouldn't mind the mirrors. What I can't decide is if I want to paint the corner hutches green like the kitchen cabinets and paint the walls buff colored like the living room will be eventually or just what. Suggestions?

The bottom shelf minus the mirrors. I like bunnies in moderation. I don't have a serious collection of them going. I'm really careful to mention what I collect. Before you know it I would have a plethora of whatever I'm collecting. I tend to be pretty picky about my pieces. But I do love roses. When I removed the mirrors there was green paint behind them. Serendipity? This corner hutch is already installed and has its doors.

This is the left side. You can't really see it, but the next shelf down holds my great grandmother's blue willow ware pitcher and cups. The pitcher was broken in one of our many moves and just about broke my heart.

Well that's all for today. Hope you liked the tour. I keep plugging away on this little cottage of ours. Someday it'll be perfect or near there, sigh...... always a work in progress. I guess that's the fun of it, right?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday. Yes it is 7-11 for those of you who guessed the day a few posts ago. I'm including my favorite cake recipe. I love chocolate cake. I searched quite awhile for this recipe and it's the best. I hope you enjoy it.
Chocolate Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 c. hot coffee
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Sift together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add coffee, oil and milk; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla beat 2 more minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour into 2 greased and floured round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until tester poked in center comes out clean. Cool cakes 15 minutes before removing from pans. Cool on wire racks, frost as desired.
Chocolate Frosting
2 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
6 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla
5 TBS milk
In small mixing bowl, beat 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, 2 TBS milk and vanilla until creamy. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar alternately with remaining milk. Beat until smooth.
Don't forget to enter the cottage give away. I'll draw a name on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cottage Give Away

Just a few little finds to give away to friends. I like the idea of giving something away for my birthday. Which is really soon. There's a crocheted doily and a fall bread cloth that I made. I'm ready for fall so that's why I'm including that. A little creamware platter, a little glass dish and a pretty saucer. Also a box of the most delicious candies. You can only get them here in our town because they're made by a little local company. Just leave a comment to enter your name.
Thought I would get around to putting in a picture of our cottage give away. We'll draw a name on Saturday. I'm still looking for a few goodies to add. I've got stuff stashed everywhere. I'm sure no one else does that, right?

It's really strange weather for us around here today. It's cloudy. No rain, but cloudy. Unless you live in Southern California this probably doesn't seem strange to you. We rarely get rain beyond March in the valley. Occasionally we'll get it in May or April, but usually our rain is done by March. At only 7 inches of rainfall a year, that's not much rain. In fact I convinced the kids to move to California 10 years ago (where does the time go?) by telling them that it didn't rain in the summertime in California. Having been born and raised so far in Virginia, that was a foreign concept to them at the time. In fact the first time we went back to visit the south after several years away the first really good rain/thunder storm they had during our visit, my kids were ready to return home now thank you very much. It's humid today for here. Nothing compared to you folks in the South, but humid for us. Swamp coolers don't work well in this kind of weather. So the house is very warm and sticky feeling. I just want to lay around and do nothing. I'm sure there is something to do though. Oh yeah, like getting stuff ready to go back to school. Oh wait a minute I have that great book to finish reading. Thank goodness I'm saved!

You all have a great day. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the give away and a way to contact you should you win. Good luck.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tina's room redo - from drab to fab or While you were out

If you read the blog a post or two ago you will recognize these pictures of my Tina's room. Well she's been away on a visit and while the owner's away the mice will play. She had been saying for quite some time that her room was due for a redo. So I decided to surprise her. I knew that she wanted a vintage, historic Paris type theme. We had already started to collect a few pieces last year. I'm a little slow. With the help of family (Seth and Neil) and my two best friends, we set out to revamp her room. First you will see the before pictures. This is after some things were removed. Then there are some during pictures and of course the after pictures. Enjoy your tour of Tina's room. By the way she was seriously surprised upon her arrival home.

Before the muck out.
You can see a few of the finds here. I paid $2 for this little nightstand a few years ago at a yard sale.
Tina's room is seriously small at 8x11. She really wanted a way to have friends stay the night and a daybed was a chore because we always had to move the nightstand to get out the trundle bed. So last year for her birthday with some money from Nana and parents she got a cute pine bunk bed. With future plans in mind.
Tina's bookcase corner. Her room was shrunk to accommodate the hallway to the master bedroom sometime in the late 1960's. Her door opens in such a way that you have to close it to turn on the overhead light. I'm betting a man thought of that genius plan. ;-)
Here's the $2 nightstand sanded and ready for primer.
Here's the desk chair and desk. If you look at the before bunk bed picture you can just see it tucked into the corner complete with blue Naugahyde top. The chair was given to her by her Nana awhile back. The desk I took out of the living room. It sat in front of the big living room window. The tea cart came back this week, so while thinking about what I wanted to use for a desk in there I remembered this little $6 table purchased about 12 years ago. These are sanded and ready to prime.
This mirror belonged to a set that my father-in-law, Tina's Pop, had during childhood. I added the little wooden applique. While doing the mirror, Pop stopped by. He looked at it for awhile and then asked if that was the old mirror from the ranch. Yep, I said. He says "I don't remember that thing at the top though." Nope I added that or rather Seth added that and I thought it up.
Here's the little applique.
Here's the bookcase again. I paid maybe $10 for this bookcase at least 8 years ago.
Here's Kelly, one of the best friends anyone could have. See she's getting help from Rascal who knew it wouldn't be complete without his help.

And now for the transformation. We started Sunday by mucking, I mean clearing, out her room. Monday I went and did all the running around for the stuff we would need. Tuesday I primed the walls, goodbye Pepto Bismal pink walls. Wednesday I painted them Pale moon by Dutch Boy from WalMart and celebrated the 4th of July. Thursday we, Seth and I, kicked it into high gear by sanding and priming the furniture. Kelly and Janie began the sewing. Friday was a repeat of Thursday, except we did paint the furniture Dark Kettle Black by Valspar from Lowe's. That was coat #1! I have a new respect for painting furniture. Ugh! Saturday was final coat day and the last of the sewing. Not to mention the decorating, hanging the shelves, put it all together because she comes home Sunday day. I think we started everyday by 6 and ended by about 9 or 10 that night. Oh, did I mention it was like 113 on Thursday and that paint does not like those high temps? No sirree! It tends to bubble quite nicely. Tried moving it indoors but the first big paint spill of black paint sent us back outside. But the room looks great and you can see that for yourself. We'll start at the door and work around the room clockwise.

The coverlets were made from a queen matelasse that Kelly had not used in awhile. We split them in half and sewed a ruffle to the edges because they weren't quite long enough. The thing hanging above the desk is an old cork memo board. I painted the edge black, sprayed adhesive to the cork and applied quilt batting (scavenged from stash) and added left over fabric from the valances. The lamp Tina already had and the prints just needed frames. Thank you Michael's for having a frame sale this week. The desk and chair were painted.

A new cushion and cover were made for the chair. The cover is removable so it can be washed. The cost of redoing the chair about $4.

Here's the bed again. The guys installed the shelf Saturday night and we added some cool, frenchy nic nacs that were either thrifted, gifts or found on sale. There's a little corner table that Kelly didn't need anymore and she donated it to the cause. It fit like it was made for that spot.

This little clock is so cute! I found it at a yard sale for 75 cents. It actually has a working pendulum and keeps pretty good time.

Hopefully you can click on this to get a better look at what went on the shelf. Seth arranged it by the way. He's got a good eye.

Here's the little night stand again. All painted black. The rocking chair sat in the living room until just this week. The rocker had belonged to my Granny. It's pretty old. We recovered the chair cushions and added a new black gingham ruffle. The lamp was a $3 yard sale find. The shelf was once white but received a coat of black paint for the new look. The pictures are really cool, old Paris pictures that I tore up a 2006 calendar for. We purchased it at Barnes and Noble the middle of last year for next to nothing. The little mirrors I paid a couple of dollars for at a yard sale. They say made in Italy. We won't tell the rest of the room they're not from Paris. I purchased the valance fabric at Hancock's on sale last week. Kelly sewed the valances. She also donated the lace panels and black curtain fabric from her stash. Close up of the rocker. It's a platform rocker.

The closet was not for the faint of heart, so there are no before pictures. But the curtains were made from left over chair pad fabric and some that Kelly found in her stash. They turned out great. Seth cut the dowel needed for the curtain and Neil installed the hardware. Bye bye clutter. There were no closet doors when we purchased the house in case you're wondering. Who knows where they disappeared to!
Last but not least the bookcase and mirror. The paint is still pretty tacky and will be for awhile due to the swamp cooler. That's how we cool our house out here. Some of you won't recognize this method especially if you live in the South. A swamp cooler is basically a large blower that blows air over water cooled pads. It saves us a ton of money. Anyways no books for a little while. She can use the top to put her hair brush, etc on.
Dad gives the all thumbs up, yeah we're done, can we please go to bed now signal? Now we just have to wait for the owner to return. There's still a few little things to do, but the majority is done. Thank you so much best friends and family. I couldn't have done it without you.

Sorry you get kind of a weird photo. My friend, Kelly, took the picture of her walking into her new room. My best friends came over before we got home with the final touches and to take her picture. They had the door shut so she couldn't see it until she opened it and walked in. Hopefully you'll be able to click on it and get a close up. I had to scan the copy of the photos Kelly gave me. Tina was seriously surprised. Not bad for about $160. Not bad at all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Birthday America!!

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." -Abraham Lincoln

May you All have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Cottage Give Away

Well it's been awhile again since we posted, but for some reason we were having a terrible time trying to log on.
First off I'd like to say how inspired I am by what everyone else out there in blogland is doing. You go girls!! I'd also like to announce our very first Morning Glory Cottage give away. I have an anniversary and a birthday coming up. My birthday is a convenience store and my anniversary is 3 days before that. Can you guess the dates? Anyone who leaves a comment will get their name put into the drawing. Sometime after my birthday I'll draw a name and announce the winner. I've got several things I've gathered together to give away. I'll post a picture hopefully tomorrow. Be sure to leave a way for us to contact you should you win.
I'll be very busy this evening priming my daughter's bedroom. She's away visiting with relatives, so I thought it would be a great time to do a "While you were out" episode. Of course they won't be filming here. It'll just be us taking pictures and posting them on the web. My two best buddies will be here Thursday and Friday to sew, paint and decorate. We hope to have the room mostly together by Friday evening. She returns home on Saturday. I'll post a few before pictures here so you'll know what we're dealing with. She'll never be accused of being neat. Gotta love her though!! So check back next week for the new, improved version.