Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Entry Progress

My hydrangeas are officially blooming happily so I picked these and brought them in to brighten up our entryway.  I believe this one is called Blushing Bride.  It starts out white like the bloom in the lower center then develops a slight pink tint.


We've made a lot of progress on the entry. My husband did an incredible job putting up the wainscotting.  This is actually paneling and not the full boards.  Paneling was just easier for us to transport in our smaller cars and to work with.

It's amazing what a big difference this makes here.  I'm glad I did the entire wall.  We're still playing with the hooks and there are going to be changes to our original plan.  We also still have moulding and painting to do but I love the way it looks already.


To refresh your memory, this is what we started with. 
(This is an older picture.  It was actually painted grey like the rest of our living room since this picture was taken.)


Hope to be closer to finishing by the end of this week. 

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Entry Project and Potatoes

I'm considering a new project for my entry. I'm not lucky enough to have a space for anything resembling a mudroom, so it's been a challenge finding a solution. 

I'd love for the girls to be able to hang their own jackets instead of tossing them somewhere because they can't reach the hooks.  Not only are there jackets and bags, but shoes constantly accumulate here.  Then there is a certain basket full of stuff up on the ledge at the top of the stairs for keys, wallet, etc.  It just doesn't belong there, but I've let it slide because where else can we put it?

Searching around, I came across this.
This is some kind of premade unit that isn't what I had in mind, but it has all the elements of what I do need.  A hook for my husband and myself, shelves that can accomodate the little basket, two lower hooks the girls can reach and those bins for books can easily be made to accomodate a pair of shoes.  Because of the way the angles on the walls are, the wainscotting will have to cover the entire wall or it will look awkward.  The moulding on the top is also nice, but it just doesn't fit wit the rest of the house.  We have wainscotting in other parts of our house, so this will make sense. 

On to my taters ...
This is how they looked a week ago (about a week after planting).

And here they are today!

 
We built a box around them to fill as they grow.  The potatoes grow between the seed and above ground plant.  As the plant grows, you add more soil (and more boards) and you get more potatoes.  We'll be adding another board this week.  I have read that they take anywhere between 12-20 weeks before they're ready and they will be ready after they flower. 
Today's plans include a trip out for wainscotting and soil to fill in the potato box.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kid Clean Up

I'm starting to realize that with kids it's inevitable that their rooms will evololve over time.  A room with merely a basic cribs and changing table ...

... became a big girl room. 
I thought I would be done for a while, but not quite.  Babies have a lot of "stuff" like swings, bouncers, jumparoos, etc.  I was glad to be rid of these things and to lose the changing table, but those seem to have been replaced with lots of toys.  We try to buy more books than toys but somehow they just accumulate between grandparents and holidays. 

Up until this point, we managed to store it all reasonably well in 3 places. Our basement which rarely looked like this anymore was one place.  I'll spare you the frightening reality it had become but the shelves were empty on daily basis and the contents where strewn everywhere.

We kept a few things in a basket in our living room.  Again, the basket was so full it barely fit under the table and it was typically emptied daily with the contents scattered everywhere.

This was a not-so-bad area. 

And this ...

The first thing I did was to go through the toys for a long overdue trashing of broken or useless toys and donated toys that were perfectly good but the kids had outgrown or lost interest in.  Next, I decided that it was time to put more of these things in the kids' rooms and less all over the house.  They aren't babies anymore and they like to play in their rooms.  The room above is pretty small and probably better suited to a twin sized bed, but we've got what we've got so I had to work with it and find a way to make the room flow reasonably well without constantly having to trip over things that had no home.

This is how the bedroom ended up. 
Most of what is here was in the basement and the blue bins have plenty of space to store things. The trunk is filled with dress-up clothes. These shelves aren't anything fancy, but they're inexpensive and, well, they work great for storing toys.

I can't remember where I saw this idea but these are actually planters with the liners removed and painted white.

Nothing changed on the other side of the room, but here's a view looking that way.  I just noticed that a certain someone added a Mickey embellishment to the bed.

I'm still working on rearranging the basement and Zoe's room but this has already made a huge difference.
To be continued ...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring Garden

One benefit of having had a strangely warm spring was that everything had grown in a month early and we've had the opportunity to really enjoy it before the mosquitoes arrive.


As beautiful as they can be, gardens are very hard work.  My climbing roses are blooming now, but what you can't see is that the arbor needs to be replaced.  The bed on the right has irises and lilies and needs to be dug up completely since they are not blooming well anymore.  And, this is but a tiny area in my yard.

Geoff Hamilton rose is in bloom.  This rose is so pretty, but it's so hard to control the blackspot on it.


Abraham Darby ...

On the bright side, the hostas off my patio are looking better than ever and there's little work involved here this year.

For Mother's Day last year, I got 2 oak-leaf hydrangeas. They didn't bloom last year since they were newly planted, but this one is starting to bloom.  (The other needs to be transplated to a sunnier location.)  The brown spots on it worried me, but apparently, it's common and I think all I need to do is remove the affected leaves and it should be ok.

We also added a veggie garden that I'm really excited about.  I've had 3 homes but I've never had the best veggie garden because my yard has always been shaded.  After seeing neighbors use their front yards for veggie gardens we decided to do the same.  I think it's pretty concealed from the street by the forsythia and tree on the right.  My wonderful husband did all the hard labor removing the sod and adding soil for planting. 

I've never planted potatoes before and decided to give it a try.  Of course, I planted them wrong!  They should be planted in a trough and covered as they grow.  I guess the potatoes grow up along the plant but care must be taken not to expose the potatoes to light or they will turn green (and poisonous!).  Since we'll have to add soil several times while they grow, we're going to build a frame around them.

I dedicated our old veggie garden location to herbs.  You can see tomatoes to the right that seeded from last year's plants.  I removed quite a few, but didn't have the heart to pull them all out.  We're going to have a lot of tomatoes.  Sauce, anyone?

I have some organizing under way inside but with so much to do outside and with perfect weather forecast, I think I may spend the day in the garden. 

Happy Thursday! 
Edit:  I was featured on Hometalk for my Shed Makeover.  It's been fun perusing all the projects there.  Take a look!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

8 Years Ago Today ...

It was 95 degrees and there was no a/c, but at the end of the day, I was married to my best friend.
 
What a lucky lady I am. 
 
 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

Over the weekend, my husband and I took a trip to NYC for a friend's wedding.  We decided to go a day early to enjoy the city and luckily, we had time to check out the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market.

From the subway stop, it's a short walk through the Fashion District.

This guy told us we were in the right place.

We got there just as they were setting up so it wasn't very crowded and there was a lot to see.  One vendor was selling hardware like hinges and these beautiful old door locks.

I can't help but notice blue and white items because of my mom's dining room so this miniature tea set caught my eye.

There were lots of clothes like this slip from the turn of the century.

Not nearly as old, but this nightgown and robe also caught my eye.  I actually purchased something similar at the D.C. Big Flea last year and brought it with me to wear in NY.  It's nice sleeping in something pretty. 

The same vendor was selling LOTS of hats!  See that little blue one on the left?  It was my only purchase of the day and plan to wear it to my next tea.

An old suitcase with travel labels ...

There was one booth that seemed particularly busy and I squeezed myself in there to see.  I found this beauty there.  It would have been a nice compliment to my similar tea cups, but I have several creamers and had to remind myself of my lack of storage space for more dishes.

So many pretty things ...

In that same booth were these beautiful tea cups ...

... and stacks of silver trays.

Pretty chandeliers a couple of booths down. 

This cup was really interesting.  It had the zodiac symbols on the dish and some other symbols inside.  Made in England.

Music player of some sort.  As you can see from the price, best left to a serious collector, but it still works!

I had to take a picture of this old phone because it was also pretty pricey and my dad has one without a dial and with a fabric covered cord.  I believe his is from the 20s.


Prints from the 1800s ...

Pin-ups from the 1940s ...

And, just because there's always something that you leave behind and later say "I should have gotten that."  Here it is.  A Star Trek pop-up book from the 70s.  Tom and I loved it but we left it behind. 


After the flea market, we took a break in Bryant Park for a while before heading back to our hotel in Tribeca to get ready for the wedding.


We had a really great time in NYC and at the wedding later that day.  The next day, Mother's Day, I was back with my mom and girls.


I grew up in NY and it's been a while since I've been there. I miss it and I'm sad to leave every time I visit but it was nice getaway. 

Back to reality!

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