Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some sneak peeks...

Of some of the things we have been working on/will be working on in the upcoming days/weeks....

The Lady Land bookshelf got painted and styling to be done shortly.

And the kitchen closet got painted and for the shelves to be installed and the closet organized!

Stay tuned for these and more projects coming your way real soon!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Roman shade luvin'

I love me a good roman shade.  When designing the kitchen, one thing Jim and I knew we wanted to incorporate was a roman shade to block the sun.  I'm all about light and sun but when it involves wearing sunglasses in your kitchen just so you can carry on a conversation you know something must be done!  I contemplated for about oooh 2.2 seconds making this on my own but I wised up fast!  I went to my favorite source for all things handmade...Etsy!  I found a shop called href
="">Cindy Cravens.  I sent her my dimensions and had my fabric directly shipped to her and three weeks later I had the roman shade in hand.  It was love at first sight!

Here's a close up of the many colors to choose from!  Pinks, blues, greens, yellows!  Love working with fabric that gives me so many options.

Like these bar stools...the teal blue and pink were plucked straight from that fabric.  I think they go smashing together!

And how it looks with the open shelves. 

I just love it and find myself gazing at it numerous times a day.  We're getting there in terms of calling this kitchen complete (although I'm sure I'll constantly be tweaking and organizing this space!).  We got a lot done this weekend in terms on painting.  So stay tuned for most projects!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring is in the air #operationlandscaping

I always find it hard to balance working on the inside projects versus outside projects.  So much to do but yet so little time. 

Jim and I dabbled in gardening while in Southie...rooftop container gardens were our jam.  So once we bought a house we were psyched about having a yard and imagining all of the grandiose gardening that would occur.  But we weren't too sure what to do about the landscaping around the house.  That was somewhat foreign to us.  Thank God for the web, books and knowledge from Jim's mom somehow we have been able to muddle through.

We pretty much removed all the old existing landscaping since most of it was dead anyways and it was too formal for my taste.  Jim and I cut down all the old shrubs then we had a company come in and remove the stumps.  Then we hit up all the end of season sales at a couple of local nurseries.  We saved a ton of money waiting till the fall to buy shrubs and plants since most places mark things down 30-50% off.  We planted all of them the day after the Halloween snow storm (thank God for the help of Jim's mom and Bob planting all those shrubs (about 30 total)...Jim was on crutches so he couldn't convenient right???  Just kidding Jim!).  I still get twinges of soreness whenever I think back to that.

Anyhoo, it's been fun to see how things have taken off each year.  And each year we learn a little more.  And of course I'm always daydreaming of where I can create new gardens.

So here are some pictures of our landscaping in early April.  We've been working on a few things that I'll share in the near future.

This is an area right near our back door.  It our herb and boxwood garden.  We would eventually like to elevate this area and remove some of the boxwood's to another area of the yard and maybe add more herbs.  The goal with this garden is to hide the ugly bulkhead.  All of the herbs (with the exception of basil) survived the winter and are going strong.  We have thyme, lavender, mint, and oregano planted here.

This little perennial garden is on the side of our garage.  This area was just all grass that Jim and I dug up, laid a flagstone patio and re stained a bistro set that used to be my kitchen table when I lived by myself.  We would like too add more perennials in the future, add some twinkle lights and remove the swill pit. In this area we have climbing roses (those are what are climbing up the gray trellises), bleeding hearts, day lillies, foxglove, allium, irises, rosemary and some perennial I'm not sure the name of (oops!) 

The left hand side of the perennial garden.

This is the side of lady land that I have dubbed hydrangea row.  We have a blue hydrangea and the other two are peegee's.  I just love hydrangea's.

Still along Lady Land.  You can see the lone iris that was blooming.

Our new fence.  We have plans to add landscaping along the side of the fence.

This is behind the library.  We have a few rose bushes planted here along with some day lillies, and tick seed.

And our big, old, beautiful hydrangea tree. My favorite.

Along the side of the library.  Here we have a few rose bushes, a hydrangea bush and some wine and rose bushes planted.

The front right of the house.  We have a rhododendron, two azalea's and some boxwoods.  I would love to add a flowering tree in the corner to add some height to that area.  We also want to add more flowering shrubs at some point to give more color.

Looking at the front of the house.  More boxwood's and some tulips.  We were hoping for early bloom tulips to bring some much needed color but these tulips are late spring blooming.  We have to work on planting some early blooming buds in the fall.

To the left of the house....more boxwood's.  Don't mind the weeds.  They'll be gone when we mulch next weekend.

Our azalea is blooming already!

More boxwood and a rose of sharon.

And those things on the end that look like weeds are actually peonies!  Another one of my favorite flowers!  Can't wait till they bloom in a few short weeks!

And the front of the new fence.  We moved the urns that were on the front steps to here.  We have plans to dig up and create new landscaping all along the front of the gate so those urns will make sense in a few weeks.

And just some shots of some flowers that are blooming.  Below is of a tulip which is now bright pink and full.

And a Hyacinth and one lonely Pansie that seeded itself from last spring.  We didn't have much luck with the Hyacinth this year but I'll try again next year.

 And a blurry picture (I literally took about 50 pictures and they all look like this.  Amateur photographer right here!) of an iris.  Irises are just so stately. 

Right now we're battling dandelions.  I'll be back with how we are trying to overcome them.  Sadly, they are still winning.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Open shelving #kitchenrenovation

Hello?  Hello?  Anyone still reading this?  Long time no see!  We have been keeping busy with projects but some are taking longer than expected and quite honestly nothing worthy to blog about.  One of the projects in question that took a lot longer than we anticipated was the building of the open shelves in the kitchen. 

We knew we wanted to use wooden corbels and I really wanted antique ones but finding 12 matching ones in the dimensions we need proved to be a lot tougher (and costly!) than I thought.  We decided to check out the Unfinished Mill Store in Canton and wouldn't ya know they had corbels for $2.50 each!  I couldn't contain my excitement...corbels are at a cheap price and that I could paint??  I was sprinting to the register!

But of course we had to modify them due to the shelving's depth.  Our dinner plates are 11" deep so our shelves needed to be 12" deep.  But our corbels were only 6" deep.  Not gunna cut it.  The support brackets should be at least 2/3 the deep of the shelving unit.  So Jim came up with a brilliant but still attractive solution.  He took two pieces of wood that he ripped with his table saw (I even got to rip some boards!)  and then mitered the top board to make it look fancy.  I love the results!  Isn't Jim getting so handy??? 

Enough chit chat...below are the open shelves on either side of the window.  Ahhh I love them!  They totally complete the farmhouse chic look I was going for in the kitchen.

A view of the right side shelves.  Sooooo glad we decided on white dishes when we registered for our wedding 4.5 years ago (btw how has it been 4.5 years???).  I love the impact they have all grouped together and I love how we've added pieces through the years...all from different places but yet they all go together.

Close ups!  I tried to add some chotchkies on every shelf.  You know me and my chotchkies...A succulent in a green vase for a pop of color behind a milk bottle that Babci gave to Jim.

I saved the top shelves for lots of chotchkies (while still be practical).  Each piece has a story of how we got them...many were gifts, some we had before we were married and some I've bought from yard sales, thrift stores and antique stores.  The back gravy boat was off our wedding registry, front gravy boat is an iron stone piece I bought at the antique store that I love in NH, the covered casserole dish was a house warming gift (thanks Alison and Bob!), the white ceramic bread basket was a Christmas  gift from Mama Staunton and the stacked popcorn bowls were Jim's before we were married. 

A lil pop of color on the middle shelf with that orangey/coral canister (thanks Target clearance!).  Thinking of putting a tiny succulent in it for even more color.  Here is where our drinking and juice glasses along with our round bowls, corn on the cob dishes and serving dishes are stored.

Side view of the the left side shelves.  This is also a good picture of the corbels.  You can see where Jim mitered the top board.  I think they look like we bought them that way.

Another succulent (can you tell I love succulents!?  Also thanks Krissy!)  They're just sooooo easy to care for.  I hope they do Ok on the shelves since they won't be in direct sunlight. Behind it is another glass milk bottle from the dairy farm down the road from us. And our dinner plates and luncheon plates are stored here as well.

On the shelve above is our appetizer plates and our rectangle dinner dishes along with a blue gurgling cod that Mama Staunton got for Jim for Christmas.

And above are two more pieces of ironstone...the cake stand and the pitcher.  The cake stand I scored from Goodwill for $1!!!!  And the pitcher I scored from a yard sale for $2!!!!!!!!  Can you believe the deals I got on those???  Along with a mini strainer that Mama Horne gave us because she knows my love for all things mini (isn't it so cute?!), a french butter keeper (another Christmas gift from Mama Staunton) and a cloche I scored from Goodwill for $1.

We made the right side shelviing stop before the end of the peninsula so as not to hit anyone in the head when they sit down.

And since I'm a shortie I have to use this beauty to get things off the shelves.  Mama Staunton did give us her great uncle's step stool that I plan on painting a fun color to replace this.  But until then this works just fine!

Lots more projects in the works.  I'll be back with some yard work that's been going down.