Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lilac Bush at the Corner

before (Feb/Mar 2010)

after (April 2010)

It had to go. It was sad but it was way overgrown and was planted right back in the foundation. The stump that Patrick wound up digging up looked like it came from a medium-sized tree. And this was a lilac bush. Now the corner looks naked but at least our foundation is no longer at risk.

I'd like to get some sort of evergreen (that doesn't look like a "Christmas tree" -- Patrick is adamant on this point and he isn't adamant on very many points) which could live in a container to cover up the meters and such on the corner. This is the approach to the house (although it is actually the back of the hosue) and I don't think that the meters make a very attractive welcome mat.

Another Mystery Plant Query

I had such success last time with my Mystery Plant that I thought I'd try again with another one. These plants are only on one corner of our house and they look quite strange so I'm tending to assume that they were, once upon a time, purposely planted there. It is fairly shady on that corner so, in order to have survived for all these years, assuming that Elsie planted them when she lived here, this would have to be a shade-loving plant.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Few Links

I just found this via Fig & Plum today and then found this one in her comment section. I loved loved what was said on A Commonplace Life (that "this one" link up there). I think I am in no danger whatsoever of presenting one of these pictures of perfection but I think it is interesting to think about the "lying by omission" nonetheless. A cautionary tale. In many ways.

Knitted Chair Seats aka A Five-Year Project Completed!

I found these chairs next to the dumpster at one of my college apartments and immediately thought of the knitted chair seats in Weekend Knitting (one of my all-time favorite knitting books!) I have been out of school for 5 years now, if that gives you any indication of just how long this project has languished.

The chairs were originally painted orange and had strange, pointy, wooden spikes on the tops of the ladder backs so I wanted to strip the paint and take the saw to them, before I could even start on the seats. I restained them and speckled the finish a bit with some paint and then whipped up the seats in a couple of months. Unfortunately, this was back when I knit everything too large. So the seats wound up to saggy and the boiling-water trick mentioned in the book for shrinking the seats knit of nylon cord only works temporarily. So the project languished.

Until I saw the chair pillow project in Natalie Chanin's new book. I don't know why I didn't think of just putting a pillow on the seat before. It was just the motivation I needed to sew the second seat onto the chair and to start picking fabric from the Alabama Chanin website for the seat cushions! And now the chairs are finished enough that they could be used (with temporary pillows) for brunch with our visiting friends last Saturday (the blue chair at the close end was not one of the project chairs but one repainted by my grandmother when this table was hers in the 50's).

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Wicker Rocking Chair

Another finished project! I feel like I'm on a roll.

I purchased this rocking chair at an antique store a few months ago. At the time, it came with the cushion quite oddly upholstered, as you can see in the first photos (the fabric was simply semi-wrapped around the cushion and set in the chair).

The idea is to eventually have several pieces of furniture for our porch and to use the Nigella fabric or something contrasting for the whole set. The rocker is a very comfortable start (the last photo is the view from sitting in the rocker on our porch).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck?

We're having guests up to our house for the first time this weekend. This is the view from their bedroom window. (In case you're wondering, that bizarre white thing in the foreground in the 2nd photo is a window-box. And yes, those are shipping pallets. I have a pattern for a seedling cold-frame built from a shipping pallet. Apparently they also make a good woodchuck-house.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hanging on the Wall

We finally put up something other than my 1 poster I'd hung in the whole house! The hold-up is that I have to finish patching and painting the walls before I can hang things on them. But, as the TV Room has been painted since January, there really is no excuse other than the fact that I am always distracted by other projects. But, all that aside, the Ribbon Board is finished and hung on the wall! (I'd still needed to tack the fabric and ribbon down on the back even though the ribbons had been attached since the beginning of February). I'm even thinking of going into production of these for sale. Is there any interest in such a thing or does anyone who wants one just buy it from Pottery Barn in whatever the color of the season happens to be?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scarves! Just in Time for Spring.

Well, I finally did it, after only 2 years of contemplation! I have put 4 handwoven scarves up on etsy, hopefully soon to be followed by 3 or 4 other projects. I hope that my store will eventually have a variety of things along the lines of being a sort of general store (or five and dime -- which is wherein lies Patrick's inspiration for my blog/shop name). If you feel like it, please click on over and have a look.

Maybe some of you live in Australia and are preparing for winter? Or perhaps it's still chilly in your neck of the woods (as it is in mine) and you'd like to have one final scarf to carry you through these last bits of the cold before summer?

Architectural Salvage

I just found this great directory of architectural salvage stores. It only seems fair to share in case any of you are also looking for light fixtures, fireplace mantels, cabinet doors for entertainment centers. . .

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Photo by David Azia for the New York Times

To be honest, I rarely pay any attention at all to the "featured" stories any of the places that I visit frequently, like my e-mail or flickr. But today the blog post on the main page at flickr caught my eye. And I was so happy that it did that I couldn't help but share it here too!

I love miniatures, in just about any form (I even like cross-stitching at a tiny stitch-count just because I like the small things it produces) and this obviously has to include dollhouses. I've been known to go hugely out of my way on vacation just to visit collections of miniatures I read about and my favorite museum as a child was my favorite just because it contained a HUGE miniature house. So there. Now you know. I am one of those people.

As anyone can see just by taking a look at one photo of my house, Modern is not my style. Not at all. But these Modern Dollhouses written about on the NYTimes are just about the coolest miniatures I've ever seen. I love the idea that they are so geometric that the collectors can build things for their houses themselves. I have always wanted to design and build a dollhouse, from the ground up. This could just be the inspiration for a new project! (someday, when my real house is a bit more under control, of course)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Red and Pink Weekend

One of our overgrown bushes (although we plan to keep this one! -- we've cut down about 6 others which were less attractive.) Does anyone have any idea of what kind of plant this is? (eta: It is a Flowering Quince -- thanks Melissa!)

*This is, by the way, the view from the TV Room window.

A honey bee in the mysterious pink-blossoming bush Flowering Quince. I find the number of bees in this bush highly encouraging as I only yesterday received my seed packet for The Great Sunflower Project.

A pink flower pot from Liberty of London for Target. It will soon have basil planted in it (I need to either find a Dremmel Tool to borrow or some gravel to put in the bottom before I plant any seeds as this is one of the all-too-often-found pots without a drain hole.)

A new, pink English Daisy -- the first flower in the newly-dug flower bed. Although we also planted a lot of seeds. It is nice to have at least 2 (we have 2 English Daisies) actually flowering flowers instead of just a spot in the yard of dark dirt.
I'd never seen an English Daisy before but they are rapidly becoming a favorite. These tiny little flowers are only about an inch across.

Our one and only big, real tree is starting to grow some red leaves.

A stoneware paint pot (complete with handle) with a reddish-browinsh transfer from the Red Barn "Flea Market". We'd seen the sign for the Flea Market on 17b almost every day and always meant to go and check it out. It turns out to be a completely fantastic garage sale in a lady's red barn, more than an actual flea market. But completely full of treasures. We bought another green glass lampshade for our planned de-fluorescenting (we have those industrial-style, large, in-drop-ceiling lights just now) of our kitchen.

And the peach tree continues to blossom!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 48

Check here for all of the barn photos in one spot.

Day 47

Day 46

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 45

The poor barn appears to have greatly deflated since the weather's started warming a bit. It doesn't seem to have much longer to be standing at all.

Day 44

Day 43

Day 42

Yes ineed, that is fog.

Day 41

Day 38