Archive | May, 2011

Veggie Garden- Phase 1

31 May

What’s a better use to a beautiful long weekend than planting (or starting) a veggie garden?!

This has been a long time coming, starting with pulling some bushes out in the beginning of April when we still needed gloves outside.   The previous owners of the house had a small vegetable garden in the side yard, but we had bigger ideas.  With the magnitude (time and cost) of our plans, we’re working on it in phases.

Phase 1 is finally complete and included pulling up a few sad bushes, digging up and leveling the area a bit, adding 1 raised planting bed and planting tomatoes and a few other plants we had received as gifts.

Phase 2 will probably be in a few weeks and include another planting bed, more plants, and maybe a compost bin.

Phase 3 will be bigger (and probably not this summer) and will include pulling out the remaining bushes and adding 1-2 more planting beds, giving us a total of 3 or 4 planting beds along the entire span of the house.

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So, back to Phase 1.

I neglected to take a “Before” picture before we tore last year’s dead morning glories off the fence.  Mom was a little eager to get her hands on those eyesores.  Here’s the “Before” sans dead vines.

Cheery, right?  No? oh.

After we attacked the offending bushes and raked up winter’s aftermath, it looked a little better.  Instead of looking dead and depressing, it looked sparse and a little less depressing:

Now that its warm (although being in New England, I’m still not convinced that next week won’t be freezing), we decided it was time to move to the next part of our plan.  Veggies!

You like Hubby’s cheesy digging pose?

Drum roll please…………………

Here’s the after:

I know, one small 4×4 planter is a little small for the space, but baby steps here!  It won’t be lonely for long.  The ultimate plan will also include a stone path around the 3 or 4 planters and mulching the remaining side yard.

Before you yell at me for not taking care of all the weeds by the fence, most are the beginning of this year’s morning glories (I hope), so I’m seeing what happens there.

I also found a few non-biodegradable vintage ‘treasures.’

I think I’m going to put them in a box with my gorgeous old electrical box.  I can’t bring myself to get rid of this stuff even if it is junk.  It somehow ties to the history of our house and I’m crazy fascinated.

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Forget Spring

27 May

Forget spring, apparently its summer this week.  No complaints.

After all the crazy rain and a few days of sun, my garden is very happy:

No idea what these are- do you?

Happy long weekend!  I hope you enjoy the nice weather as much as I plan to!

Reflections and New Mirrors

26 May

After the whirlwind cleaning and house prep for the housewarming last Sunday, its been a week of mental recovery.  I was pleased with the way the house looked for the housewarming, but its still not where I want it to be.  I suppose its pretty darn good for only having lived there for only 4+ months, but it still doesn’t look designed.  Call me crazy (and I’m sure you will), but I feel like as a designer, my house should be held to a different standard.  …But as I’ve ranted before, too much corporate design has atrophied my residential design chops.  I’m planning a trip to the library (or maybe an order to Amazon) to get some inspirational books that keep repeatedly popping up on my radar: Details: A Stylist’s Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors, Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design, and Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home to start with.

Before the housewarming I didn’t realize how busy I was making myself and how much I just needed to stop for a minute and relax.  So I’ve been making up for that this week ;-).  Between needing a break from house projects and a painfully quiet week at the 9to5, its been tough to find inspiration in the past few days.  Forcing myself out of this funk, I still have a pre-housewarming project to share with you!

Remember the $4 rummage sale frame I got?

Well, it doesn’t look like that anymore.  It’s now a mirror!

After seeing it featured on the Nate Berkus show, I decided to hunt down Looking Glass Spray: a spray paint that gives a mirror finish to glass.  I made a few calls to the local craft stores (and looked in the home improvement stores),  and realized my only way was to order it on Amazon.

Here’s where I’ve failed you- this project was part of the whirlwind before the housewarming, so I neglected to take progress pictures.  Will you forgive me?

The frame itself got a fresh coat of hammered gold spray paint before I secured the glass to it with epoxy.  Once the glass and frame were secured, I took 2″ painters tape and (on the back side) taped around the edges of the glass.  Following the directions on the spray, the back side got 5 thin coats (and one minor drip- oops).  Pull off the tape and voila!

Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome!  Its more reflective than the picture shows, but not as much as a traditional mirror.  It kind of has an antiquey feel to it.  I think next time I would actually put 1 or 2 LESS coats to make it look a little inconsistent and a bit more like a weathered vintage mirror.  I’m itching to use this spray on some glassware to make it look like mercury glass.

I have a few other projects in the pipeline including bedroom curtains and planting some new flowers (from friends and family from the housewarming), but I’m boycotting house projects at least until the weekend.

Design Kryptonite

20 May

I’ve spent so much time in corporate design that the finessing that residential requires has become my kryptonite.  Ironically, that finessing is what drew me to design in the first place.  Hm.  Ok, maybe kryptonite isn’t the right term.  I LOVE that stuff, but its my design weakness.  When I say ‘that stuff’, I generally mean ‘interior styling.’  It’s what I admire most in other designers.  It’s what I notice first in any space.  It’s the antithesis of a corporate cubicle farm or healthcare space.  I’m beyond out of practice.

I have lofty goals of styling the house perfectly for the housewarming on Sunday.  Its current state is chaos.

As I go through the house cleaning to make it presentable, I’ve been taking all the decorate pieces and putting them aside.  The dining room table currently houses unused mirrors, frames, and a few other random items.  The tv stand currently sports some pottery, candle holders and misc decorative items, and the shelf in the office is where every other decorative knickknack sits in disarray.  Each of these items need a strategic placement in the house and juxtaposition (love that word!) with other items and I’ve been putting off this task until all the dirty work of cleaning is done.  Strategic placement will no doubt be the most fun part of housewarming prep, but also the most challenging.

I’ve been looking to other designers and blogs for inspiration to spark my styling creativity, so I thought I would share some inspiration as I gear up to style my own space.

Ok, I admit it.  I have a huge style-crush on Emily Henderson from HGTV’s Secrets from a Stylist.  The above image is from episode 7.  The below is episode 11.

I also love that she gives you all her sources on her blog.

Pinterest is also dangerously addicting for finding inspiration.

Source: lonnymag.com via Aria on Pinterest

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I could go on, and on.

Hope these inspire you for the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for some nice weather!

Because I’m Crazy

19 May

This week has been a countdown of last minute projects leading up to our housewarming on Sunday.  The 9to5 has been pretty quiet the past few days, giving me plenty of time to think about my To Do list (not a safe pastime).

After creating a checklist yesterday and banging out a few things on the list and crossing off another (no, Self, you do NOT have time to sew curtains for the bedroom before Sunday), I decided it needed a place to be seen so I would stay on track.  I debated all evening if I really wanted to be this crazy, but I decided that I did.  Don’t judge.

Yup.  I totally taped my To Do list and a pen to the wall by the stairs where I would see it.  I figured this way, I couldn’t ignore the list, and it would motivate me to want to cross items off the list over the next 3 days.

Can’t say Hubby is too happy with my temporary wall art, but he’s smart enough to let it be until Sunday.

What crazy habits keep you on track and motivated when you’re working toward a goal?

Chair Reveal!

18 May

Recipe for a fun new chair:

1 Estate sale chair ($4)

white paint (approx. $15)

1 yard of gray fabric ($10)

1 piece of plywood, 1 inch thick foam, and batting to create a seat($15)

Put all ingredients together and shake until well mixed.

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Here’s what I started with:

You saw it half painted here.

And then…..

Much better, huh?

Do you know Brimfield?

17 May

When I started telling friends that I was taking a day off from the 9to5 to go to Brimfield, I started getting odd looks.  Doesn’t everyone know what Brimfield is??  I grew up with my parents going just about every year.  Apparently the dresser in my childhood bedroom was a Brimfield find (just learned that this week though).  My first Brimfield was just a few years ago in ’09.

Still wondering what Brimfield is?  It’s antiquing overload.  It’s the largest outdoor antiques show in the country and happens for 5 glorious days 3 times a year (May, July, & Sept) in Brimfield, Mass.  I went with the parents this time and will probably go again with a friend in July.  None of us spent much money- Handy dad was the big spender @ $25 scoring a beautiful chair and a vintage Schick shoe shine kit (the kicker is he works at Schick).  Mom scored a piece of iron fence for her garden for $22, and I left with tons and tons of ideas and a $7 vintage candy dish.

Its impossible to describe to you the wonder that is a mile of antiques from thousands of dealers unless you are there.  I’ll give it a shot with this short pictorial of Brimfield May 2011.  Enjoy!

Yep, that's Handy dad and I in the mirror

I wish I could say this was the only pig grill we saw. Really people?

Handy dad and his $20 chair

My only purchase. Perfect for holding jewelry on my dresser with the other vintage and vintage inspired glassware (that I'm trying to collect).

Have I inspired you to check out Brimfield next time around?