Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How do you use your drop cloth?

I have a question for those of you participating today in Kathleen's White Wednesday at Faded Charm.

I've just discovered the joys of a painter's drop cloth....I know I'm a little late to the party!  I bought one to make cushion covers for a chair and end up using it as a throw to cover the sofa!

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Could it be more obvious why I need a cover!  Besides a dog and three cats there is a lot of sun that comes in those east facing windows.


Back to my occurs to me that you creative ladies must have found some unique ways to use this inexpensive, wonderfully textured fabric.  I'd love it if you would let me know, with your comments or links to your blog, what clever uses you have found.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Suddenly wet in Oregon.......

Since the first of the year, Oregon's rain totals have been below normal........we must have made up those losses yesterday and today!  Lots have rain on the plain and in the valley, contrary to popular belief, it does NOT always rain in Oregon but when it does.......!

However, the spring color in my yard is a welcoming sight, rain or shine!

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For the past two years I've been redoing our front yard,  removing the lawn and adding mounds, paths and raised beds.  This has presented the challenge of blending existing plantings with new plant materials.  Along the sidewalk I added a low mound and planted  sedum "Angelina" and a blue speedwell.

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I don't remember the exact name of the blue flower above but it is a bulb and "blue star" was part of the name.

The yellows of daffodils and sedum are contrasted by the shades of blue in the speedwell, hebe and rosemary.

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The blue and yellow band along the sidewalk brightens up the neighborhood.  It is fun to watch people walk by and look down to get a closer view of the happy colors.

Turns out...I've planted my own sunshine and blue sky!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

That Pottery Barn look....

It is "kinda" becoming my look!  I have such an eclectic assortment of furniture and accessories, I doubt one word describes "my look".

Any way, I've heard so much about the use of painter's drop cloths that I had to go check it out.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised, I expected cold, stiff, white canvas and I found a 9'x12' piece of beige, textured (and after it was washed) soft fabric.  I bought it, I had some chair cushions to recover.

Before I cut into it, I thought I would throw it over the sofa to see how it might fit and look as a cover.  I like it and it cost just $19.

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Yesterday, my Pottery Barn catalogue arrived and what do I see.........they have almost the exact same thing that they call a "dropcloth PB loose-fit slipcover" and it is on sale for $79.

Now, I tell ya'........start fabric shopping in the paint department.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yards and yards of white…….

Last Monday the new carpet was installed, finally. 

It has taken us two months, first to decide what material to use to cover the floors, then painting the woodwork and the walls of a couple rooms, then packing and unpacking, moving the furniture out, moving it back in……it was worth it, we think! 

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This is dining room end of the room.  I don’t love the opening into the kitchen, its only real value is the amount of light it allows into a very small kitchen.  Above the opening is the mirror I just refurbished.


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In the top photo, you get a glimpse of the new carpet,  actually, it is off white with a brown fleck, thus yards and yards of white.

This cupboard holds a part of my flower pot collection.  It didn’t start out to be a collection…….it just grew into one, funny how that happens. 

On top of the cupboard is a bowl my husband made by gluing pieces of wood together and then turning it on a lathe.  He, also, built the cupboard around an old window.  I’m lucky to be married to such a talented fellow!

I, also, love small metal buildings that were made for train sets, that’s one next to the bowl. living 011

Finally, the beloved copper bowl that sits on the dinning table.

Thanks for visiting, I love your comments. 

Hope you enjoy your visit to Kathleen’s White Wednesday party.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My really BIG project!

Off and on, for over five years, I have been learning, experiencing, planning and encouraging the development of a walking path in the town where we live.  No small task this trail building!

Now, we are making our first steps into actually building a trail. 

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We have, with hours of volunteer labor and the help of the city, taken two acres of over grown property and developed a beautiful, nature park/trailhead.park5


We have had four work parties on the property.  These photos, taken last October, show 20 volunteers planting  willow, red cedar, cottonwood, big leaf maple and dogwood trees.  A total of 160 trees.

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In May of 2009, volunteers removed a mountain of blackberries and Canary grass overtaking a small pond on the property.


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From this…..



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to this and…….



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finally, this! 

Tomorrow, volunteers will be out there planting ferns, salal and roses for groundcover under a stand of fir trees.

What a sense of accomplishment to see the transformation of this area.  It is so beautiful and serene!  A quiet place to sit and contemplate.  One day this will be the starting point of an approximately one mile walk across town.

The neighborhood kids love it, too, they build forts and trails and find snakes and frogs.  A perfect place to develop and expand a child’s imagination while feeding their souls!  Have you read the book “Last Child in the Woods”?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Project time!

Thanks to week without many commitments and some rainy weather I’ve had (taken) time to complete a couple fun projects.

The first is a mirror, you’ve seen them…..they were often used in dinning rooms, hanging above a buffet, in the 40s.  Of course, I NEVER think to take before pictures (I’m working on that) so this is step one, it was already painted white.  I brushed on a thin wash of Norsk blue Folk Art paint.mirror 002

Over that, a thin wash of white.  Then the fun begins, I like to use my fingers to add highlight of gold.


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To soften the gold and add character, I antiqued the frame with a mix of black and burnt umber acrylic paints. 




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The photo is a little dark to see the finish well but it turned out looking old and grungy….that’s what I was going for.  One of the end pieces of mirror had been broken, so I had the glass shop cut a new piece and they, also, drilled holes for the screws that hold the mirror to the frame.  Now, all I need to do is decide where I am going to hang it.

A little simpler but fun project involved a galvanized bucket!  Simply washed the bucket, added a strip of black chalkboard paint and then stenciled the numbers.

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I’m doing this for a little gift for my Granddaughter and her husband who are expecting another daughter in about six weeks, so……………

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soon they will be a family of four!

Now, to drill some drain holes in the bottom, fill it with soil and add some white and red blooming plants!  By the way, the other side is plain chalkboard black so she can write a message and turn that side out. 

How much fun can you have in one week?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Does white make rust look better or does rust..

My question for Faded Charm's White Wednesday is: which is it, does rust make white look better or does white make rust look better? I’m pretty sure there is no right answer to that! Some people don’t even like rust!

Unbelievable as it might seem there a people (probably men) out there fighting rust, as we speak, they are scraping, polishing and oiling, just so their machines, tools and other metal object won’t be “ruined” by rust. Meanwhile I, and many others, covet those wonderfully patina covered objects such as the medicine cabinet I have in my entry.

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Purchased several years ago at the Aurora Colony Days Street Sale, I picture this cabinet having spent some of its early life on an old farm house porch, or maybe a bedroom, with a table under it, a wash basin and pitcher of water sitting on the table ready for “washing up” before supper. Do you make up histories for your antiques?

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Now, some woman has it in the entryway. As you can see, it has wonderfully rusty old doors and sides but inside the white paint is still intact. Don’t you love the small diamond shaped mirrors on the doors? This arrangement is anchored by the drop-leaf desk and an enameled potato bucket.

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Inside I keep a collection of small medicine and ink bottles along with some very small, old books.

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Beneath the cabinet is a cool old silhouette of a child dated 1937, and sitting on the desk a fabulous old fan (I just talked my granddaughter out of) and one of my favorite pieces of silver, a trophy for the best “10 lb. box of Royal Ann Cherries” presented in 1908 at the Salem Cherry Fair

White, rust, black, silver…….wooohooo…gottem’ all! Each color makes the other look better………. just like us!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A view from the top…….

This blogging thing is a constant learning process for me!  I may have worked in newspapers for years, as a salesperson/manager not a writer, but even when writing ad copy you need to have a beginning and an ending to your story, as well as, a compelling point.

Every post I do, I see something I should have done, or could have done, better.  Last night was no exception, I forgot to properly illustrate the point of the story.

I was so excited about the new bowl that I forgot to post, possibly, the most important photo and, certainly, the one that best demonstrates why this was not just another copper pot………the inside of the bowl!

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The photo above is a little dark but it shows the bowl’s shape and the foot.  This photo really shows the verdigris. The lip of the bowl has a very reddish copper cast….wonderful color combination created by time and nature.  The bowl is marked made in Turkey.

The seller had it marked “bird bath”, which may have been its original purpose or a planter.  In any case, it has spent much of its life in the great outdoors, judging by time worn finish.

Truly for me, it is life’s small things that make me happy!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Sunny Saturday in Sellwood……

After getting our coffee at the stand in Aurora this morning, we were off to the flea market at the Aurora Legion Hall. 

I go as much to visit with friends as to shop. Always see old friends and usually find some treasure I can’t live without.  Today, I scored some  old seam binding, one spool in a nice shade of teal and one is burgundy, at a $1. each for 100 yards, I may have just purchased a lifetimes worth of ribbon!  The truth be told, I don’t use it……..I just love the look of it.  I’m a ribbon hoarder (spelled correctly)!

Then we were off to Sellwood/Moreland, Stars and Splendid Antique Malls to be exact.  Visited Coco and Toulouse and Jealous Gardener while we waited for the other stores to open.

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This copper footed bowl was my purchase of the day……I LOVE it.  It has the most spectacular verdigris patina on the inside.

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I filled it with glass fishing floats and some artificial lavender stems.  The turquoise color of the floats looks great with the patina of the copper. I’m like’n the shine of the glass cloche with my new chairs, too.

Our new carpet is on back order, so it will be a couple more weeks before it is installed.  In the mean time, we will continue to live with half of our “stuff” in boxes in the garage for a bit longer.  Actually, I have more fishing floats out there SOMEWHERE!!!!