Friday, June 29, 2012

Let's Make a Deal!

I must confess.
I hate garage sales!
I hate everything about them.
I've held 2 in my life and I begged my mother and daughters
to "work" the sales.

I don't even like going to garage sales.
All that awkwardness.
In a small town, I'm likely to know the person holding the sale,
so even if it's all junk,  I feel like I have to buy something.
And then donate it to charity.

as I was driving home from Lowe's one Saturday afternoon,
I spotted a sale from the corner of my eye.
Two blocks later, I turned my car around to check it out.
I saw an old workbench looking thing that truly was a wonderful old piece.
It was made with old beadboard and the perfect size for a kitchen island.
But it was heavy.  And big.  And it wouldn't fit in my car.
And nothing was priced, but the salesman offered it to me for $10!

Call me crazy, but I had to pass it up.  I'm finally starting to clear stuff
out of our basement and garage, and I don't think that monster
 would have fit through my doors.

I did find a couple of things I was interested in, though.

A 1950's Cosco step stool chair in need of a little love and...

a TV tray on wheels in perfect condition after a swipe with a Swiffer.

He wanted $2.00 each for these pieces!

No can do.  It was time to make a deal, Monty.

So, did I get a deal?

You betcha!
$1.00 each!!!

Julie, you'll be getting the TV tray you were looking for.  As for the chair...

A little elbow grease and some paint and I hope it resembles...

Google Images

This step stool can also be used as a youth chair, and I'll be needing it soon.

We are expecting grandbaby number 3 right around Christmas!
Congratulations Julie and Jeremy!

Even though it was our turn to host Christmas (on Christmas Eve) this year.
Oh, well.  Christmas on Thanksgiving it is!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Or are they?

Just before my 50th birthday, I accidentally read an email with questions about diamond rings from Bill to one of our daughters.  Well, what I really wanted was a kayak, so I had to fess up before the diamond in question was purchased.  That was 3 years ago and the rest, as they say, is history.

We bought our kayaks from Spring Creek Outfitters which sells slightly blemished new kayaks at discounted prices.  They also designed the carrier racks that strap to the top of our car in less than 5 minutes.  I'm not sure if they know it, but the racks also come in rather handy for hauling.....oh, vintage fireplaces and other treasures that happen to find me.

So, I could be sitting in my yard on a beautiful summer evening admiring a diamond ring on my finger, or out on the water enjoying the views only mother nature can offer.  No contest.
(Bill securing the boats after a trip last fall.)

After more than a week of rain (which happened to be my week of vacation)
the weather finally cleared up on Friday.  In the early evening it was in the low 70's
with no wind, which is the perfect combination to lure me out to the lake.

We chose to visit a small chain of lakes just off the Scenic Highway.  We launched our boats
into O'Reilly Lake, traveled through Shamrock Lake and through a small channel (top photo) into
Island Lake, named for the small island pictured above.

I almost fell out of my kayak with my good camera while I was taking this picture
when something big jumped out of the water nearby!
I didn't actually see what it was, but it made quite a splash.

A few minutes later my question was answered.  Bill spotted a family of beavers
 frolicking in the lily pads.  With my slow response time, this is the best I could do.
  That little brown blob in the center of the picture is the last beaver to dive under
 the water to escape the curious onlookers.

"Come here, Norman. Hurry up. The loons! The loons! They're welcoming us back."

This is the 3rd year we've paddled these lakes, and without fail these 2 loons
can be found patrolling Shamrock Lake.  They serenade us, but only allow us
to get so close before they dive under and resurface out of range of my camera.

I'm sure you recognized the quote from "On Golden Pond", my all-time favorite movie.

If you've never seen this 1981 award winner, it's a classic summertime movie.
And if I could pick the perfect rustic vacation cabin, this would be it.

The setting sun signals the end of our evening voyage.
Who needs diamonds?!

After we unloaded the boats and settled in for the night, we heard a commotion outside.

(Photo taken through the trees from our front porch.)
The local raceway was kicking off the evening with a fireworks display.

The perfect end to the perfect day.


I almost forgot to show you what I found!
 It's currently in the shop getting a new
paint color and I've already given my new toy boat a name.
Can you guess what it is?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vacation, at last!

I'm on a week of vacation from work.  Bill is working,
 but I had some vacation days to use up, so I figured the middle of June
 would be a good time to work on some projects
and enjoy the sunny weather.


We've had nothing but rain, rain, and more rain.

Some local towns had flash floods which are pretty rare in our area.  We were lucky
that we had heavy rain, but no flooding.  Indoors or out.  But the rain pummelled
my one remaining rose bush and my gigantic mock orange, tree that were
in full bloom.  Here are a few photos of the flowers before the rain.

You've seen a million photos of roses on blogs, but this is my one and only.  Can't beat perfection!

Giant mock orange shrub in full bloom.  The scent is heavenly!

It's probably as old as our 1921 house and forms an arch over the entrance to our back yard.

I cut a few branches to bring indoors.

The aroma is intoxicating......but it does start to smell sort of like old lady perfume after a while. 
As pretty as the flowers are, I could only stand to keep them in the house for a day. 

In honor of my vacation, I hung this old sign near the back door.  The wood car is
a recent find.  It's missing a rear wheel, so I've got it propped up with a piece of wood.
  I'd love to find a wood boat to tie to the top.  Even a new plastic boat would suffice,
 but I haven't been able to find one......yet.

I love old fans, and I'll be sure to hide this one when our son-in-law Jeremy comes to visit.
He thinks they're dangerous and has been known to cut the electrical cords off.
I'll hide the wire cutters, too.  :@

Even though the weather hasn't cooperated with my vacation plans, it's still
been a great week.  I got to spend quality time with both of our grandchildren.
I dug out a new flower bed.  With all the rain we've had, the ground was soft and easy to dig up.
AND I still have 4 days left!

The sun is shining and I have goals to meet.  I plan to prime a bedroom-in-progress
 so we can get it back in use again.  And, weather permitting,  I hope to get
our kayaks out on the lake for the first time this year.

Last year's maiden voyage.

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Joining the party at:
Faded Charm White Wednesday

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cath Kidston Inspired Pillows

Our daughter Megan bought a vintage porch swing at the Anoka outdoor antique show
 we girls attended a few weeks ago.  She later commented on one of my pins
that she would like me to make her some pillows (to decorate the swing) as her birthday present.
Well, her birthday was last week and here's what I made for her.

They are pictured on our weathered cedar swing.

I made the 2 square pillows first.  The floral centers are cut from a vintage tablecloth.

The tablecloth had stains and holes, but plenty of good areas to choose from.
I pulled the blue and red colors from the floral pattern for a summery look.

Cath Kidston provided the color inspiration for the round "beach ball" pillows.
Don't you just want to go in and see all the goodies inside?!

Desiree at The 36th Avenue published a post which featured 25 pillows and tutorials.  If you're
in the mood to sew pillows, you're sure to find one you like on her post!
 That's where I found directions for the sprocket pillows from Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew .

This is the larger of the 2 pillows.  It was relatively simple and fun to make.

And here is the small version.

All of the fabrics were purchased at JoAnn Fabrics except for the few pieces cut
 from the tablecloth.  I used red & white ticking I had on hand for the sides and
painter's dropcloth for the backs of all four pillows.

A covered button accents the center of the design.

I cut up leftover fabric for the pennant banner.

I used the pattern piece for the large sprocket pillow and lined each piece with white fabric.
Then I zig-zagged the pieces to a length of red trim, leaving long tails to hang the banner.

Time to bring everything indoors.

Here comes the rain!

Thanks for visiting,

*Joining the parties at:
It all Started with Paint Pillowpalooza
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Cedar Hill Ranch Cowgirl Up
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special

Friday, June 8, 2012

Under Attack

No, we're not being invaded by a band of miniature garden gnomes.
There are much more sinister forces
 at work in our yard!
The little guy above and the red ceramic mushroom are the first
items I've purchased for a faerie garden.  I temporarily stuck them in
a pot of flowers by the back door.  Where they'll probably still be when autumn rolls around.

Do you remember my Redleaf May Day trees that bloomed just a few short weeks ago?


After 6 years of coaxing them to stand up straight, we finally gave up the battle.
Both trees had numerous sickly branches, so we chopped them
down before they spread the disease to our few healthy trees.

One of my favorite
shrub is covered with fragrant blossoms.
I had 2 Golden Mockorange shrubs,
one on either side of the front steps,
but only one made it through
the winter.

Thank goodness we planted a hearty Linden tree.


Disease resistant.

Shade provider.

The seed pods have already appeared
and little buds will soon turn
into pretty white flowers.

Signature bright green seed pods.

On closer inspection.........

Attacked by a sapsucker over the winter!!!!
I have no idea when this *?+@> bird is pecking our tree,
but I see new holes every day!

And prepare yourself for the most disgusting of all......

 The Tent Caterpillar. 
Or as we Rangers fondly refer to them,  ARMY WORMS!!!

Don't let the pretty colored design...wait a minute!  I just noticed the design is
a series of skull and crossbones!  Fitting.
Anywho, don't let their fuzzy soft appearance fool you.
These big eaters can wipe out an entire super-sized forest lickety split!

This year we will see a minimal amount of these obnoxious critters, but
the next 3 years,  we I will be taking cover in the house when they pass through town.
Imagine an army of gazillions of these worms covering the side of your house.
They don't crawl around anything.  They march right over whatever happens to be
in their path of destruction.  These worms are trained by the professionals
at Cirque du Soleil to swing from tree to tree by their sticky web.

There is no safe haven from these fuzzy forest annihilators.

Needless to say, I'm going to enjoy every worm-free moment I can this summer. 
Here are a few photos of some new plants (annuals) and those (perennials) that have escaped the
numerous snackers in our yard.

Always dependable Columbine.

Hmm.....can't remember the name of this flower at the moment,
(Bachelor Button- thanks Carlene!)
but it has a pineapple-like flower bud.

Now that the little shade tree is gone, this barrel of plants is adjusting to more direct sunlight.

I bought this plant stand for $8 at a local shop.

Proceeds from the sale of these bright pink geranuims go to support breast cancer.

Petunias in my clearance teacup pots from Michael's.

You can just barely see the gnome peeking out of the pot of flowers

There's only one begonia so far, but what a beauty!
* It's squirrel stew for dinner if I find these flowers tossed aside
and replaced with peanuts.

I painted this sign years ago.  In fact it's dated '92.
OMG!  It's almost as old as our couch!

I picked up this vintage soap holder at an antique show in Anoka, MN last weekend.

My low-maintenance shade garden.  The only plant I water regularly
is the basket of double pink impatiens in the vintage urn.

They look like tea roses.

A peaceful sunset.

Its hard to be a disgruntled gardener on nights like these.

Wishing you a relaxing and pest-free weekend.

Join the party at:
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special
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