31 March, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

This year I thought I'd try my hand at a veggie garden. I've had them in the past and really like having fresh produce to eat and cook with. This is what it looked like a few weeks ago, the 9th of March actually.

I added a few plants, but most have been grown from seed. Here's what's growing in my garden today-
Lettuce, 2 varieties
Wax Beans
Tomato-cherry and yellow
Yellow Bell Pepper
Summer Squash
Not bad for a 4'x10' space!
Here's what it's looking like this morning!

I also have an herb garden
I also planted Raspberry, Blackberry and Blueberry shrubs.
I guess we'll see how my garden grows!
ann marie

28 March, 2010

Yardsale Settee!!

Well, I still haven't figured out what type of settee this is, or the age, but I can show you more of her construction.

She is very solid. Underneath, there are pieces of wood running from front to back at the legs, and also metal bracing that supports the springs. All of this doesn't look "old". The back is also made of metal springs and the buttons for tufting are like brads. Pretty nifty.

The wood carving seems to be somewhat rough. Not very precise or sharp. So. I'm not sure if this is poor mass production quality, or hand carved.  It's not very symmetrical.

I did find one picture of a similar settee. Sorry about the picture quality.

So, I guess my dilemna is this. I wouldn't mind painting the wood if it's not a valuable piece, which I don't think it is-I'm just not sure. I was thinking along the lines of a creamy white paint and a yellow ticking that I found here-
I really liked the idea of a linen, but this will reside in my studio and I need a little color!
Any informatiion on this piece of furniture will be greatly appreciated!
ann marie

I think I hit the jackpot!  We were out and about doing the yardsale thing Saturday morning. We were on our way home from breakfast and saw a yardsale at a cute little Victorian cottage in our neighborhood. There were some Adirondack chairs that the gentleman had made that caught my eye, so I went inside to find my husband. He was in the front room, and this little house was jam packed with all kinds of stuff. He was standing in front of this settee.
I fell head over heels! I had no idea where she was going to fit in, but I knew she was coming home with us.  The girl who sold it to us was a sophomore in HS, and this was given to her by her grandmother. She brought it here from England. I guess it took up too much space and her mom told her to find a new home for it. She was asking $80 for it, but took $70. This is a very solid , well built piece of furniture. The lovely blue 80's fabric is going to be a thing of the past soon. I'm going to recover her, just not sure what I'll use for fabric. I'm also undecided about painting the frame. I looked through about 50 pages of Google images of settees, and didn't find one that looked like this. I thought it might be french, or maybe italian, but I honestly have no idea. Here are a few more shots to enjoy.

Sorry about my messy studio, but I had to take pictures of her to show all of you. I'll have to clean it up and post about it. This is one great space to create in. Her new home will be in my studio. I'll take the wicker daybed out to make room. So, if any of you have ideas about her makeover, please send them over.
ann marie

24 March, 2010

Quail? Partridge?

OK, so I started painting my quails, and had a flashback to the opening credits of "The Partridge Family". Yeah, I know, I'm old. Anyway, now I'm not sure what these are, but I do like how they turned out. This is how my little family started out.
This is them strutting their stuff now!

I've been using spray paint for most of my life, but have never really enjoyed it. However, my aversion to spray paint has been overcome! I used Lowe's Valspar Satin spray paint. Color-Porcelain. Loved it! On the can it states that it's fast drying. Yeah, right. Well, they're right. It dried almost as fast as latex paint I'd brush on. I'll be using this again. And again. I've also painted the lamp, but I'm not excited about the lampshade. I'll play around with different shades and see what happens. Check back!
ann marie

22 March, 2010

Yardsale Goodies!

Spring Break is over and my youngest is back at school. The week went by so fast! We did however get the chance to hit a few more yardsales and visit our local Goodwill. I haven't had a chance to transform them yet, but I do have my "Honey Do" list with instructions from my daughter. Good thing I have until the beginning of May! Here are a few of her finds...

This was our most expensive buy of the day-$9.99. Pricey, I think for Goodwill, but we both liked the shape of the base, and the lampshade compliments it well. It'll be getting a new paint job. We'll be using the same color that we used on this lamp.

We knew these were most definitely coming home with us as soon as we spotted them!

English Ironstone, and at 49 cents each, we took them all, 7 dinner plates and 1 that was slightly larger. Next she came across this original oil painting that was in a stack of frames, and it too now has a new home.

The colors are very soothing and tranquil. It spoke to her, and I think that's what art is supposed to do. Lastly, my yard sale find, and this will be staying here with me.

This little family of quails will also undergo a transformation, brass just isn't my thing. I'm hoping to get these projects done this week, so check back in for updates.
ann marie

21 March, 2010

Spring is Here!

This is what Springtime looks like here in Texas when we get rain during the winter months. This is what you see as you drive along roads and highways. These are the actual colors! Pretty amazing isn't it?
ann marie

15 March, 2010

Flea Market Treasures

Well, my youngest daughter is in town this week on spring break. She's a junior in college and will be staying at school most of the summer interning. Environmental Research. So, that means her first apartment! Enter a visit to our local flea market. She picked each of these items out herself.

I think they're pieces that will be with her for awhile. We painted the tables. The white one was given to her by her sister. It originally had a dropleaf on each side, but they were so warped the table was unusable. So off they came. The mirror is faux wood-in other words, plastic. Looks pretty good though. The chair is very sturdy. I think she's decided to keep it as is. We'll replace the dryrotted gimp around the needlepoint seat, which is in wonderful condition. I don't think that's original to the chair, but it's rather old. Here's what we ended up with after a Sunday afternoon in the backyard enjoying the 80 degree temps and sunshine.

The crystal lamp is one of 4 that I got awhile back at the same flea market. All 4 for $20.00. I love when that happens. They're so heavy.  So now I just have to find spots in the house to keep her treasures until I pack up the truck and drive this all to school. My guess is that her apartment will not be generic.
ann marie

11 March, 2010

Ambience-some light on the subject!

Well, yard sale season has returned! Let me show you a few scores. First, for the granddaughter. This is a vintage doll carriage. Two of the rubber wheels had come off the rim because it had been in someone's hot attic-for years. The lady I bought it from had kept it for her daughter-in case she had girls. She had boys and didn't want it anymore. So, I took it home, soaked the rubber wheels in hot water and with the help of 2 screwdrivers and my husband (he had to hold the wheel because it just wouldn't stop spinning!), I got them all put back together.

This little beauty cost me all of $2.00. Yes, two dollars!

Next came the outdoor project.  I've seen similar ones at Lowe's, but for a whole lot more $$.
This is what I started with.
I added a few more items, and took a few things away.
I took all the wiring out, snapped off the brackets that held the light bulb and the glued some 60 cent votives from Walmart to it. I let that all dry and added tea lights.
Then came the engineering feat! I bought cord, a pulley and a cleat.(I actually already had the cleat). Tied the rope to the chandelier, ran it through the pulley that was attached to a plant hanger, and then I tied the whole thing off to the cleat on the house. Now I can raise or lower it, and hopefully the squirrels can't reach the cord!

The best part of this project-it cost just about $13.00.

I'll try to get some pictures with it lit in the evening-not sure my camera will capture all that ambience!
ann marie

08 March, 2010

DIY Rose Arbor

Here's another weekend project I tackled. I found a picture of a rose covered arbor that I wanted really bad. It didn't look all that difficult, I figured the hardest part would be to actually get the rose to cover it. So, off to Lowe's I went.

 Couple of 4x4's, 2x6's later, I started laying it out like a puzzle.

I have to admit, I did need my husband's help to stand the sections up-they're somewhat heavy, but very awkward to manuever.

 Long story short-after a couple of hours work, with a break or two to gab with neighbors who stopped by to comment on the house and yard , it was checked off my to-do list. Alot of our neighbors have stopped by to tell us how they've enjoyed watching our home and yard being transformed. We are in an older heighborhood beginning to go through a revitalization. It's exciting to be a small part of it. One project down and goodness knows how many left!  I decided to mimic the lattice on the house, and added store bought embellishments for the corners. I tried making my own-not pretty. I think it would have worked if I had a scroll saw, however, I do not so on to plan B.  Hobby Lobby.

  I do plan on making a gate to attach to the arbor.  Maybe next weekend.

07 March, 2010

Timber!! Down she came...

What a busy weekend! Two actually. Our stone guys came out and finished the limestone walkway in the front yard. I built an arbor in the front yard that will hopefully be covered in roses. We'll see more on these later.  And last but not least, last weekend we had a diseased 50' pecan tree in the backyard removed.

 I felt really bad about it.  The decision was made easier when our tree guy, an arborist, was worried that if we had high winds, it might end up in our bedroom. Now don't get me wrong, I love trees, I just don't relish the idea of sharing my bed with them. Once we decided it had to come down, the drama began. Tree guy had already trimmed our other trees, 2 other 50' pecans, a 60' cottonwood, 2 35' magnolias, an arizona ash, and a hackberry.

We had branches everywhere, but we also had more firewood.

But I digress. Our sick pecan's branches were over the electrical and cable wires that ran to our house. Tree guy came back the day after trimming the rest to remove said tree. Branch #1  goes down and hits the wires. The cable stretched so much that it was reachable from the ground. Not good. He felt at this point it might be too dangerous to attempt from the ground. He said he wanted to rent a cherry picker-our original quote at this point doubles-ouch!  I proceeded to call our electric company to see if they had any recommendations. They did! Their policy was that they didn't want us hurting ourselves, so they came and removed the branches that made it dangerous-for my favorite price in the world. Free! 

When big branch #1 came down, you guessed it, it took out the cable wire-just shredded it. No cable, internet or phone. Called cable company and they had someone there in 2 hours to replace the cable from the utility pole to the house. Free! Finally, they were able to take the tree down.

All the branches and brush also went away.  There was a good sized portion of the inside of the tree that was hollow-scary.

 Even though the other trees and the lawn will be getting a lot more sunshine, we're sure going to miss that tree.