14 May 2010

for the herbs

This project started with an idea of plants for a birthday gift. The plants had to be in containers so they could move with the birthday lady. I've always liked planters with legs, and thought a little kitchen garden would be nice. At window height, it elevates the plants to reach the sun. It can live in or out, easily moved for frost nights and off seasons, or just follow the sun where needed.Add Image

A little bit of looking turned up these porch spindles that a friend rescued, and door casing moldings from an old home. It's a pretty simple project to put together. I picked up the plants and a window box insert first to determine exact size - important if you use an insert. There are other ways of lining the box, but this worked best here. The wood won't last very long if you plant directly in it, or leave it out untreated for a long time.

The paint on these parts is as is - how they last were in their old life. The sides and legs are attached with biscuits & glue, and I put 3 strips of strapping underneath for more support to the structure, screwed in on the long sides. Since there is an insert here with a lip/edge to it, it doesn't need a full bottom. Simple construction. Swift gratification. Pretty home for herbs.

09 May 2010

Mother's Day

Pretty flowers, such a treat. Yummy food, big walk, fresh air, lush greenery, silly boys. Simple and sweet. Just perfect. 

Happy Mother's Day to Dorothy & Audrey... hoping their day was just as lovely.

30 April 2010

making lemonade

The March noreaster rain storms left our basement flooded - twice, but not devastatingly so. Friends kicked into high gear & came to our rescue, since my husband hurt his shoulder in a fall early that Sunday morning and was in a sling when the water arrived. A larger wet vac & more man-power did wonders for my overwhelmed mind & body. Thank you is not enough to say to Cayce, Ankle Barry & Jackie. They're the best. And a shout out to ibuprofen & a heating pad too, for their supporting role. The second time was easier, and thanks to Brian for his muscle help.

The universe forced a basement clean-out on me, essentially. Everything else stopped, it had to be done. I found a few things that were forgotten about, and tossed some things (ok, lots) that were no longer wanted. The usual, I guess. Among the bits & pieces were three birds that my grandfather had carved. He was an artist & woodworker all his life, and in his 70s & 80s added wood carver and sculptor to his list. The birds are incomplete, but bodies pretty much shaped. I received them with some carving tools & books when he passed nearly 13 years ago. I've started to do some finishing work on them, and will display them in our home where they belong. It may take a bit, but it's a project I can happily pick up with small bits of time.

The other, larger project from this began with an old dresser from my husband's childhood. A dresser that's been in one basement or another for many years will finally be useful. It's not precious or particularly well made, that's why it's been left in the basement. It had a partial start years ago, but soon will be two different very useful pieces. It's taking more time and planning for this project, and lately other things have been more front-burner, but I'm very much looking forward to the results. I'm sure I'll have to do it more than once.

These are all truly old beginnings, as is the more organized, open & easier to work in shop space that the flood helped to create. The flood left us lemons, or as my friend Kim would say crayons, and I made my lemonade recipe. Funny how that happens. More to come on these...

03 March 2010

filling a hole

Since our sweet, beautiful greyhound Joey passed away last year, certain places in our home have been very loud reminders that he is gone. The place in the kitchen where his food & water dishes stood, the places upstairs & down where his beds lay. It took rearranging the furniture to make these areas less glaring, less talkative to me. I am certainly not trying to remove his memory from this home, and cannot from our hearts.

Sometimes a void needs new life, that's all. The small wall area by the back door and kitchen windows was such a place. Walking by the empty space where his leash & collar hung always left me sad. I stared at it on a Saturday morning and decided to change the conversation. Vintage acorn hooks from a can in the basement (years ago found at a flea market) were perfect. One for each boy. Just right with the bead-board. And they're learning to hang their own coats.

Now this space is happier, livelier. It's a place where we mark how much our babies are growing up. It still reminds me of our sweet boy Joey, but now it makes me happy - not sad.

01 March 2010

fun in the (mostly cloudy, chilly) sun

It's the coldest weather the gulf coast of Florida has had in 20 years. Couldn't very well miss that, could we? For two weeks. It was still fun, and the upside is that when we piled in the car (yes, we drove) it was 18 degrees at home. The drive went really well, about 90% of it. The boys did great, they are such good travelers - it wasn't them. We happened to leave the day after the epic snow storm that walloped the mid-Atlantic coast, delayed because we would have driven through the thick of it, in areas ill-equipped to process said snow. Thinking the next day would be fine, they'd surely be all plowed by then, we set off. Yeah.

Lucky I was behind the wheel (I am the more patient one). Understanding that this was alot of snow for an area that doesn't see much, still, it was unbelievable how utterly awful it was in DC. I would not have believed how bad it was if I didn't experience it myself. The 4 lane roads were unplowed in the center 2 lanes. ????!! The 'cleared' lanes were inches deep of slosh & ice ruts that constantly changed your tire path. And the locals - by their license plates - who aren't accustomed to these conditions, drove like it was bare pavement. The most interesting part was a dead standstill on 95 because 4 plows ahead were stopped blocking all lanes, drivers walking around outside apparently on a break or something. I just bailed then & had Garmin find me a new way. So, what should have been 30 minutes on the beltway around the DC area became 3 hours of stress. 

We still arrived in one piece, none the worse. The weather was less than sparkly, but it was no frozen north. We were outside a large chunk of each day, visiting various parks, taking lots of long walks, and even a couple beach days, although a bit bundled up. Nothing beats the powdered sugar of Siesta Key Beach. Spending time with lots of family members we hardly get to see, a birthday party, visiting beach towns, art fairs, a farmer's market, a flea market, lunches & dinners out along with great dinners cooked in; those things were more memorable than the weather. The boys loved it all, as did we. It tides us over until we reach spring.

Thank you Auntie Lisa & Cousin Jordan for putting us up (and up with us, too), and to Grandma Audrey & Joe for your hospitality, as well. Looking forward to next year!

21 January 2010

sunshine and kalanchoe

After four straight days of cold and grey, it was so nice to see a happily blooming plant soak in the sun yesterday. A little something to brighten up my world. 

If only it were that easy for everyone.

Take a look at what the craft community is doing to help, at Craft Hope.

13 January 2010

time for thanks

While every gift and giver was fresh in our brains, I made a list and started on cards. I looked to Molly Irwin for inspiration - she does wonderful things with her photos and this card needed to be special. I love the feel of her design. After browsing around I just went to work on something simple but textural. The polka-dotted pages were all the spark I needed. Ovals are more my thing so those were used instead for the background pattern. Add the photo, type, & we're almost there. My pics do not do these much justice. I have to say - this is the first time there were two boys sitting nicely for a picture! Mason usually presses his face up against the lens with a goofy grin, and Nate turns away, or runs away. And only one take! I'm still amazed.

Next they were printed out (on our not-so-great-quality-printer, ugh) and off to find some card stock. Paper samples from a former life fit the bill. The photos just had to be stitched on - love that detail & texture. Kind of like strings of lights. So very easy, fairly fast (depending on quantity) and very worth it.

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