Sunday, July 29, 2012

of birthdays, flowers, plants, and cats

 Last Wednesday was my hubby's birthday.
He had the day off work, so I took a vacation day from my job
so I could spend the day with him.
We started out by going out to breakfast at a local restaurant ~
and I gifted hubby with an iPod Touch. :-)

Our son even managed to get up early(ish) to join us for breakfast...

For dinner, we grilled bratwurst and also had my homemade macaroni salad
(Brian's request - he loves my mac salad!) and baked beans.
Dessert was Brian's favorite birthday cake - banana with cream cheese frosting.
My mom saw this photo on Facebook and asked, "Does wine go with cake?"
A valid answer: "Doesn't wine go with everything?!"
In all seriousness, the wine was mine and the piece of cake was Brian's.

Flowers from my gardens...and Clem looking on.

I bought some new succulents this weekend and got them potted.
I have quite the collection now!

My petunias are doing fantastic this year.
The weird thing is - they're planted in a vintage iron pot that 
doesn't even have any drainage. I also don't fertilize them.
Go figure!

Seeing it's almost 11:00 p.m., I'm going to take the hint from my kitties
and get ready for bed.
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

what would've been my oldest son's 24th birthday

07-21-88 - 09-25-09

Love and miss you every single day.

Age 6 and showing his true personality ~
(Road rash down the front of his face from falling off his bike)

Such a handsome young man with beautiful blue eyes
celebrating his 15th birthday

One of the last photos we have of Phil, on his 21st birthday

Phil's memory shelf that I made this past week

Monday, July 16, 2012

before and afters

Decorating doesn't have to be expensive.
Sometimes, all you need is a thrift store, paint, and a little ingenuity.

I went to Goodwill and picked up a few inexpensive 
things that I knew I could transform.
First up is this wood shadow box. It was $1.99.

I spray-painted it black and put it on top of the bookshelf
in the guest room/office/craft room.
It was fun filling it with rubber stamps and a couple of little
porcelain birds. I need to find a few more tiny objects to place in
the other small cubbies.

The view of the entire bookcase (which I also rearranged and added books to)...

I have a fondness for wrought iron pieces. Maybe because my grandpa
was a welder and ornamental iron artist?
This piece was 99 cents.

I spray-painted it white and wanted to put it in the corner of the
doorway going into the kitchen, but the walls weren't level and 
Brian wasn't keen on the idea of using 8 screws to hold this piece in place.
I told him, "Don't worry, I'll find a spot for it!"
And, I did.

I love wooden candle holders ~ they're so easy to paint.
Another 99 cent item.
Here's the old-fashioned before...

And the light-blue, distressed after.
Ignore the candle that doesn't fit - didn't have anything else at the time.

The two red wooden candlesticks are previous Goodwill finds.

Last up is this wicker mirror that I found for $1.99.
(I didn't get a chance to take a photo before I covered the mirror.)

I spray-painted the wicker white, and am using the piece on top of
a vintage secretary desk (it belonged to my grandma) in my bedroom.

Have you had any luck with thrift shopping for household items
where you live?

Friday, July 13, 2012

new patio furniture

 Our very generous friends gifted us with this beautiful
outdoor furniture...

As you can see in the background, we still have a little bit of room
for our "old" patio table and chairs.

  Brian and I spent yesterday evening rocking our cares away
on the two-seater. Lovely!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

unexpected details

One thing I really like about decorating is the ability to come up with
interesting and beautiful touches and details.
Anyone can hang a standard picture on a wall
or line books and tchotchkes up on a shelf.
I like imaginative vignettes and touches of whimsy and beauty
that only the person doing the creating would come up with.
Call it ART.

This past weekend when I was puttering around the house
and rearranging some decor, I found some pretty
little plates that I had collected over the years (all from Goodwill!)
 and wondered how I could display them.
I decided to use 3M Command Strips to hang them 
on the side of the bookcase in the office/guest room.

Here's another unique idea I love: Using a vintage bicycle as yard art.
I saw this in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin yesterday.
I still have my green Schwinn bike from 1970 in my garage.
I need to do this! Wonder where I could find a cool basket like the one below?

Also, while in Lake Geneva, we went into a store (which was underground)
where the cement steps were all numbered.
How creative, cool, and unexpected is that? Makes you smile, doesn't it?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

the good, the bad, and the ugly

With the temps here in the 90's - 102F every day and no rain for weeks,
it's been hard to maintain the health of all my outdoor plants and flowers.
Some of my plants are doing well in the heat though, such as this
wild grass plant in front of my house. I have no idea what the
name of this plant is, and I also had no idea that it would sprout
large stalks of flowers after a couple of years!

A close-up of one of the sprouting flowers...isn't that amazing?!

The herbs are loving this heat, especially the cilantro (left).

And the hydrangeas are doing well, as long as I keep them watered.

However, despite every day watering, the fern plant is unhappy...

And so is this basket of petunias.

I moved this basket of flowers into the shade of my front porch a couple of days ago.

And then there's the grass, which is simply like straw. No one is even bothering to
water their lawns anymore.

What's the weather like in your area? If it's been excessively hot, what
are you doing to protect your plants and gardens?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

i went a little overboard

Remember the brown wicker chair in my living room from the last post?
And that I said I was trying to incorporate pops of aqua into the living room to liven it up a bit?

 Well, I livened it up, alright!
How about SO alive that it reaches out and grabs you?!
Umm, yeah...that blue spray paint was a little brighter than expected.
I'll just keep my eyes open for a lighter blue slipper chair and
then this wicker one can go on the front porch.

Found two neutral pillows at HomeGoods to soften the look of the blue
pillows on the couch. THIS I'm happy with.

I've also been playing around with the vignette for the buffet
and here's what I came up with. Not entirely satisfied with this
arrangement, but hey, playing is fun! I need to do something with 
that little white lamp shade - it's too boring. I'd better stay away
from the aqua spray paint though.

Another little vignette that I used on one of the ottomans in front of the couch...

I'm dog-sitting my mom's Pomeranian, LuLu for a few days while she's
on vacation. I'm not a dog person, but I have to say that LuLu is the 
best behaved, sweetest little dog I've ever encountered.

 I have this week off work - Fourth of July is a holiday, and then I took a couple 
of vacation days. Hubby is working this week, so I thought I'd take some
day trips by myself, but turns out it's much too hot to even want to do anything.
So I'm just hanging at home doing the usual housework, yard upkeep (mostly watering 
since it's so hot and dry), errands, taking care of 3 cats and a dog,
 and playing with decor.

How's your summer going?