25 June, 2010

Country Living Pillows

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Orange Geometric Pillows on the cover of Country Living!  I have pillows in the same fabric in my Etsy Shop, LaFortune Linens.  It's been a favorite fabric of daughter #1 for a few years.  I even made her grocery bags out of this fabric-reversible-brown wool tweed with orange specks on the other side. The tweed side is more masculine, and her husband liked that.  I've always known my girls have great taste!
ann marie

Home Sweet Home

I thought I'd take a short stroll down Memory Lane.  I was listening to the radio yesterday, and a comment was made about the photos used by Realtors selling houses.  The bottom line was, take the pictures of your home yourself!  You know what the best and most flattering places in your home are.  I have to agree, I took the pictures of our home we sold last year.  It was on the Market for 10 days, and we were offered THREE full price offers within 24 hours. 
She certainly wasn't a neutral Plain Jane either. 
And we were definitely not underpriced. 
 Here she is!

Front Yard

Living Room

Dining Room


Powder Room


Bedroom # 3

Bedroom #2

Master Bedroom

Back Yard

I think we caught the personality so much more than a total stranger would have.
ann marie

21 June, 2010

Rustic Farmhouse Table

OK, I am such a Copy Cat!
 Last Friday morning, I came across this...

Magnificent, isn't she?  You can read the whole story of Theresa's transformation of her on her blog,
I had to make this.
I had the 4x4's from my old workroom table just lying around, begging to be transformed.
After a quick trip to Lowe's, this is where I started.

Please ignore the mess, that happens everytime I start a project.  Anyway, here's my shopping list.
4-4x4's (repurposed from worktable)
3-2x4x8 pressure treated lumber
6- 8' decking boards
1 5/8" & 3" screws
That's it!

I cut the legs a little shorter, I wasn't that comfortable with my chin on the table. I felt like a little kid at the grown up table.
I wanted this to be economical also, so I cut the top boards 32".  3 planks from each decking board. I used 2 of the 2x4's as is for the sides and cut the 3rd for the ends.  I pretty much have a 1 1/2" overhang.

Before screwing the top to the frame, I dry fitted it first.  A little adjustment here and there and she was good to go.

This project took about 2 hours, start to finish.  It would have been quicker if it weren't so dang hot and humid!  We broke it in Saturday evening with our Dinner Club.  Seats 8 with room to spare.

My table doesn't have as much history as Theresa's,  but there will be plenty of stories told while sitting around her for years to come!
ann marie

17 June, 2010

A Welcoming Walkway-Finally!

Our house had a front walkway, and it was UGLY!  Somewhere in the last 50 plus years, it had been painted green.  Some of the color pigment was still there, but it just looked like mildew, even after power washing.  And did I mention it ended about 6 feet short of the sidewalk?  Weird.  My only guess is that at one time there was an easement of some sort. 

This was my inspiration photo.  I found it on Cote de Texas.

The sidewalk was structurally sound.  There were no large cracks and it was pretty straight and even.  I just really disliked it. Alot. Not to mention the mud issue when it rained. So, we bought a pallet of Mexican Limestone.  Loaded it into the truck, then unloaded it in the side yard. Can we say "workout"?

 I layed out the stone.  Then, after careful consideration and naproxen for the sore body, we decided to pay someone who knew what the heck they were doing to permanently attach it all to the sidewalk.

They actually extended the concrete to meet the sidewalk, and after that dried, laid the stone on top.  It only took the two of them a day to do.  This was a father-son team. Dad was passing his skill as a mason on to his 17 year old son.  They did a superb job. Their attention to detail was truly amazing.  I love watching artisans work their magic to create a thing of beauty.  


I love the finished project.
I love even more that I didn't have to try to figure out how to do this. My thoughts on the way to do this weren't even in the same ballpark as the correct way. 

ann marie

15 June, 2010

Curb Appeal-Before and After!

For those of you not familiar with the beginning of our journey with this cottage, here's what we started with.  Sorry about the quality of these pictures, I'm taking a picture of a picture.

There's really not a lot to say, the pictures speak for themselves.  We've owned the house for a little over two years.  We planted the boxwoods along the foundation in the first few months. In order to spruce the house up a bit, I built the garage doors, the shutters and the trellis.  The fence sections we bought at Lowe's.  We had a mason come in and re-surface the walkway with Mexican limestone.  We also had to re-do the whole driveway, but that's a whole other blog.  This spring I decided to work on the rest of the front landscaping.  I built a trellis, and now I have Morning Glorys,  Mandevilla, and a Souviner de la Malmaison Rose climber starting to fill it in.

It seems that everything is loving the heat! Here are more of the plants thriving out front. 


Hibiscus, 8-10" diameter.

Blue Plumbago, this will be about 3'x3' in another month or so.

Hollyhocks.  I've not had much success with these in the past, but they seem to like where they are right now. Time will tell.

Sunflowers. These are about 6' tall.  They reseeded from wildflowers we seeded the area with last year.
The yard is really starting to shape up.

Soon we'll start getting ready for the Fourth of July.  We have a small town America kind of 4th here. You'll see.

ann marie

08 June, 2010

The Squirrel Saga

Soooo, squirrels are cute, right??
I thought so as I was watching the baby squirrels run down our pecan trees.  They'd stop about 6" from the ground, jump like it was 6 feet, pivot, run up the tree and do it all over again.  So dang cute.  I even did a baby squirrel rescue when one of the girls got between him and the tree.  Wrigley actually had it in her mouth, poor baby thought it was her squeek toy.  I had to run like the wind, (not a good visual, I know) to cut her off at the pass.  Wrigley was making a bee-line for the doggie door.  You have to know that as soon as she was in the laundry room, she was releasing that baby squirrel.  Remember, she thought it was her favorite thing in the whole world, a squeek toy that looks like...a squirrel.  Thank God no one could see me screaming like a banshee running for the doggie door. I had to cut her off!! I scared the living daylight out of poor Wrigs.  She dropped that squirrel.  I had to put the dogs in the house, and then use the hose to gently coax that baby to run back to the tree to see him run back to his momma.  If you've ever heard a PO'd squirrel, you know what  that momma had to say!  I think it's safe to say I'm out of her will!  So, I'm hoping I'm not becoming paranoid, but there was a squirrel in the cottonwood tree, and it was throwing the seed pods at me.  We're talking ping pong size seed pods. Solid.  Bouncing in the pool, splat, splat. I still thought they were so cute.  Then it happened...they discovered my garden. Those little S.O.B.s. After babying my garden and harvesting spinach, lettuce, wax beans, onions,  herbs and lots of cherry tomatoes and my favorite-yellow heirloom tomatoes, I looked out the window to see one of those cute baby squirrels with an heirloom tomato that was twice the size of  it's head in his mouth.  And it looked me right in the eye...and I swear... it laughed!!  The next day same thing, except it had a cherry tomato...he looked like he was wearing lipstick!!  I haven't harvested a tomato in a week or so.  This may be war, although I refuse to use the BB gun offered to me. However, it ain't over yet!!
P.S.-did I mention these critters also run down the trees and stick their tongues out at the dogs...lots of their barking and lots of my yelling at them "NO BARKING!!!". Sometimes it works....most times it doesn't.
ann marie

Mirror Headboard

Once we'd taken care of getting #3 situated in her new apartment, I had this to deal with when we got home.
The room just needed a little TLC and straightening up.  I'm not finished yet, I have to pick up a few pillow inserts for the other two shams that I have.  It's so much better, and I feel like it's a part of our home again.  I found the little armoire at a yard sale last weekend and had to bring it home.  It was only $5.00.  It has some nicks and scratches, so I'm thinking of painting it. The previous owners retro fitted it with a few shelves for storage which will come in handy.  Or I might just sell it. We'll see. I also picked up this piece.

It was also retro fitted with drawers. In 1939. It started out life as a radio. I like that it has some history, and the gentleman that did the work wrote it all down on the inside.
After a few hours, I had the room looking so much better. I stole the drapery panels that were in my Dining Room (another project).
I needed a headboard, and after a little web browsing and shopping my storage area in my studio, I found what I needed.
I really like that it's different!

The dresser was here when we bought the house. She has seniority. The oil painting of the bluebonnets in that frame was found at a yard sale for $3.00. Couldn't pass it up.
So here's our new guest room, almost finished.
ann marie