Tuesday, June 29, 2010

run, run, flap, flap, ooomph

I luv to write so if I'm not clickety clacking on the ol' keyboard something is in dire need of looking at. I don't think I'm a down person but I think sometimes I get way too much happening and I hit a flat spot on my motor. This I know because my lawnmower is sometimes a no-start. So I do the jiggle, jiggle, shift, shift, thump, thump, yell, yell and raise sorrowful countenance skyward until something clicks and moves into varoom. (not necessarily in that order) Sometimes I check the gas, fill, and just get going! oops!
Anyway, our weather is not its typical self. But I have lots that is not weather dependent to do. Cool does slow me a bit while I look for my sweater but I can up the heat units, too. shh, He who keeps the budget isn't sympathetic. Actually he recommends cuddling!
Joshua is visiting for a few unplanned days and he is no longer so happy to play over there by himself, while I am over here by myself. shhh! He is napping while I express myself.
I really do need to clear my old commitments (see side bar) so I can get on with the fun, Fun, FUN! I realize I am working in an whole new way and that old stuff is frankly a drag on the creative juices. You would think at the great age of 60+ I'd have figured some of this smart stuff sooner. But I'm absolutely convinced all this creativity is swelling the grey matter if not increasing it. SUDUKO, here I come! (not, I can barely figure yardage)
One thought as I put away fabric is that I am no longer going to be putting the leftovers back in their previous location. The tone on tones will go into colour specific bins for wonky filler blocks. I like the idea of a parts department that Freddy and Gwen advocate in Liberated Quiltmaking. The rest will move along to help out somebody else's creative life.
I have been busy. Exhaustingly so, but not exhaustingly sew! We have been working on that barn. Feels great mentally if not physically to be getting that job done. My dearie is proving to me what I am hearing all around. Do it, complete it, then tackle another. Now he has 3 jobs on the go but they are the option if neither of the other can happen. eg.) inside verses out, cash or not, and quick or slow I'm becoming a believer! Besides he refuses to let me stampede him into any deviations of the plan. Actually, he considers my idea for about 3 minutes then sees the trap and the brow lowers and we continue according to plan. vbsigh He gets his jollies from the old crossing off of accomplishments and I get mine from the few times I manage to get him derailed and a new list started! whoo, hoo! Totally worth the chase around the kitchen!
So the boss's baby quilt, using the stash and a new technique is in the que. It'll be monochromatic and every pink possibility works. No time loss agonizing over fabric choices. Actually I like monos. I cut the fabrics into as many 5" charm squares as the fabrics allowed and jettisoned the scraps. I tried not to skate from one spot to the next as Josh practices sorting, stringing, and sewing with shoe laces.
The 5 inch squares are laid on a fusible grid that is marked in one inch lines. I'll cut sashing, lay it in place then iron it all down. The squares can actually be pinked squares or just a scant 5", (four and seven eighths) because it is just a wee bit easier when the folding takes place for sewing the seams. The down side to using the Quilters Grid fusible is not knowing the finished size but I'm cool with the class handout and I seriously doubt I'll do it just like the plan. If it is baby's first place mat or carry cover for the car seat...
Then I thought it was high time to try the new mixer. argghhhh Not the right stuff for my new recipe for a general flour mix for gluten free baking . THEN, not the right stuff for this cookie recipe that came with the DVD. But today was the day, so...
I'd rather improvise with fabric. And the math... It has also been confirmed that those darn kids have been talking about my baking skills, (or lack of them) because Josh wouldn't try one! He'll have a second chance when he wakes up! I also have to get the DVD back on so I can figure how to lower the darn mixer to put it away!
Then it'll be off to see if the mosquitoes have moved the potted shrubs from their evaluation spots. If they have then my side kick and I will chase them down as we cut the grass and hydro plane thru the low spots. Ready, seddy. Goggles adjusted and rubber boots lifted. Yahoooo!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pick yourself up...

dust yourself off and start all over again. Well, maybe wring yourself out! 8^)

We are back in water, in the house and out! Goodness, it doesn't matter anymore, it just runs off as the ground is SO saturated.
Saturday my farmer and I spent the day in our big barn. Wonderfully satisfying. I am more the sort, shove it over and shovel it out kind of gal. Fine tuning is not my strong suit so I really like making huge big changes in messy situations rather than puttering with something that hardly shows any effort! We didn't get done but my dearie is so impressed he thinks we should keep going and tackle the other barn/shop. He asked what I think we should do with all his auction find sales of exercise equipment we'd planned for a home gym. Well, we were right pooped! It took us a good part of Sunday to recover. So the 'gym' will be not be happening. We are too busy doing the real thing to designate special times for rotating on a stationary bike! LOL

The back half of the barn is for livestock. The front half is for the summer kitchen and the miscellaneous stuff like feed. The top no longer stores hay but is one big storage area.

We had gotten the baseboards to finish off the sunshine room when we got the parts for the well. Josh's Dad cut them for us. We used 2 different kinds to get what we needed. They are ready for painting and nailing into place. I'm glad I never took out anymore baseboards. They were old 8 inch fir on plaster walls. They splinter and are kinda expensive to replace. Live and learn!

Now Josh and I need to have a meeting of the minds to see what we want to do while the Grand Farmer is off at work. It is back in the barn for us tonight. I wonder if he'd like to put pink patches together?

Friday, June 25, 2010

No Go Mo Jo

I can't believe I have frittered away a whole week! AWK

Blame it on the weather.
This prairie province is known for average, even boring happenings. The main city is built at the junction of 2 rivers, in a flood plain, so every once in a while that happens. Wind is a part of prairie life. The geography actually has a bit of everything and we do have bush areas. This year everything is happening. We survived the spring with no dire warnings of flooding but since then, we have had rain most days so rivers and ditches are full and fields are just saturated. The people in town have flooded basements because the water is happening in such a volume and running down the back lanes. Then we've had some tornadoes. Now we have a fire raging thru the northern bush. sheesh!

We are an hour from the city and actually we are higher than their highest building so flooding isn't an issue. There is a huge ditch running in front of our property but flooding from it is very unlikely even though it is a major drain for the neighbouring municipality and the local river is a mile away.

Our sump pump is actually keeping up with the water that finds its way into our very old and needy basement. Last night I hydro-planed thru all the grass. I definitely can tell where the low spots are and we are making plans to level some of that and carry the water further away from the basement. Some of these new trees should help suck up some of this water as well. Mucking in all the trees was messy work, though. The trees should reduce some of this wind but the mosquitoes reminded us to still allow some wind thru the yard. The coop is well protected and the mosquitoes luv to hide out there so painting it is NOT an option at the moment even were it to stop raining!

But last night the well stopped working. Water, water everywhere... except in the taps! So we bucketed some up from the bridge and hopefully my farmer can get it fixed before the day is out.

Now my vacuum still works and hopefully I can finish up in the playroom. I'd like to play but the job is half done. I'm thinking I need to work with some pink. Blue and green aren't turning my crank at the moment! 8^)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I've been under the weather. Not sick, but maybe sick and tired of the wet stuff. And we won't even whisper the name of those very terrible blood sucking dive bombers! I'm not a weather person. I don't think. But I am married to a wanna be weather man. We have rain gauges at strategic places. We have 3 weather sites on the Internet. I'm in charge of pulling my dearie to safety if he leans too far out the window during lightening storms! We follow closely the writings of a local weather forecaster who explains/teaches and lives relatively close by. He is also rather humorous and comic relief is most times appreciated. We are under an unstable weather pattern that is ruining most farmers dreams of "this could be the year'! I have a varied enough to-do list that I can be creative whenever. But grey, cold, damp and dismal is taking its toll!

So when I'm stressed, I vacuum, clean, sort and rearrange. I decide the playroom needs my attention. It may not look too different but I always feel better.

I last posted with a tree that was in danger. The steel rod that is visible is from a previous storm a few years ago. This smaller trunk split during the last storm. But while down, it is not out, so we'll run another bar thru this second trunk and evaluate. We have a young tree near by that needs a bit of protection before these can be removed.

But we also have more trees to plant in the outer boundaries to see if we can't deflect some of these winds. Ideal planting conditions aren't happening so we've been mucking them in during less than ideal conditions. The main thing to remember is to keep the mouth shut so one doesn't swallow any mosquitoes. oops, I said the dreaded word and sure enough I have one buzzing about the screen. argghhh

The Bernina Club wasn't as full due to the downpour. It was basic quilting but I learned about 2 new feet and some wonderful fusible interfacing. I even had some but seeing how it was used has made me smack my head for not using/doing it before now. My hubby wants a quilt for his boss's first baby girl and I have just the thing for a quick quilt. I shall be posting the process pretty soon. The baby is already 5 days old! lol

I did get a few supplies for the veranda colours. I'm tweaking things and will make some final decisions shortly. It really doesn't help when someone posts a great colour combo and it makes me think, oh, I want that, too.

At the first sign of wind and weather I go on the peony alert. I quickly clipped off any heavy flowers and I had a lovely fragrant bouquet for the house. Rain doesn't keep the grandkids away, in fact they came for an overnighter. The little princess has a mosquito bite on her cheek and the prince has a buckle fracture on his dominant arm from falling off a chair in an attempt to reach his balloon. But they don't seem to be affected by the lack of sunshine!
Monday was a wash, literally and figuratively. I am refocusing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Still Windy

This is a weeping willow. It has 2 main trunks. The larger trunk that is behind split and tore badly a couple of years ago. You can see the rod that was put to stabilize it while we decided what to do. We planted a young tree farther out and kept the original for some protection/shade. But the little guy is struggling. I was for maybe moving it and then taking out that bigger trunk and leaving this smaller trunk. But we have had some tremendous winds these last few days and the options are lessening. It is close to the house but these driving winds have always toppled things towards the lawn rather than the house. These willows are pretty tough and many of the non weeping are used in the farm shelter belts. They take a lot before they finally succumb and give up. But a focal tree should be attractive!
There is an ash tree closer to the house that thumps on the roof and it's replacement is doing nicely and it will definitely be going very soon.
We'll see what greets me when I return with my veranda supplies. Hopefully I won't get blown to the city and back! 8)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm thinking!

I got the grass cut on Wednesday and the tree site on the north bush ready for planting.

Today it was rainy and windy and very windy! This tree is the focal point of the front yard, lovely weeping branches for shade and privacy but every time it is VERY windy, I lose more tree! argghhh

It was a good day to plan veranda options. I found a nice medley of cool blues, greens and lilacs. I think these will work with the light yellow house wall which is what you see as you enter and where most of the colour will be. The other 3 walls are yellower but have more than half as windows. If not I'll modify the paint at a later date. But the dark purple is looking good on the door.
I found some letters I had gotten a few years ago. But I can't find the board that I had planned to use. So I looked for another... I'm sure I had a smaller board but I'll be darned if I can find anything that works besides this big square piece. The little green shadow box was my latest thrift shop find, perfect for the spring grouping.

So I fiddled. I drew on graph paper. I liked the 2 birdhouses together. That lower shelf is precariously perched till I'm sure of its height. I found a plan and then I found better.

The horizontal welcome fits nicely under the bird houses. I'll be looking for some smaller lettering, some more bottles of folk art paint and possibly a plate holder. Round would be nice in the grouping; it kinda goes with the birdhouse openings. I'm thinking a lot of smaller stuff works better. The bottom picture, an original watercolour, is the other find from the thrift shop. Probably too nice for the veranda as that plate and pot were blown off the sill in the wind. I also got 2 great coloured glass bottles. It's coming together. I also remembered all my little tea pots. They'll go on the quilt rack shelf. I found my white paint for the shelving. That'll probably be next but I'm off for a town day tomorrow to get some colourful paint. hum, hum, hum!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Breathing Deeply

It is very beneficial to spend a few days looking at a pile of possibles.

The conglomeration of decorating items had me diddling with paint chips first thing in the morning. I found the colours I had in mind for the wooden stuff in the kids section of all the various paint sample cards I've collected. Hmm. The veranda is mostly used in the heat of summer. Golden yellows will not make me think of a day at the beach! So, golden yellows will not play a large part in the basic wooden pieces but the 10 coordinating colours on the sample can give oodles of variety thru all the seasons. I'm still thinking but I'm almost sure the door will be eggplant! 8) Poor hubby is rolling his eyes and hoping for another aha moment. lol We'll see!

  • Block of the Month - Last one I'm thinking and it is so cute. My favorite. I did up the intensity/contrast a bit but I was afraid it would be too light for the previous blocks. I was right. I just may have to make more of these for another small quilt as I do have more theme fabric. I could hang this in the veranda as well, I suppose. I will be trying various layouts for the 9 blocks. I started pressing some of the seams open and liked that much better but some of those early blocks are a bit smaller so I'll need sashing. I tried a couple of options. ???

  • Technique of the month was great fun. I bought some Neoart water-soluble wax pastels. You can draw on fabrics, spray with water and then watch the fun. I don't think I can easily find silk so I found some white cotton velvet at a discount store. It looked pretty rough but washed up beautifully. I want to experiment with using it in my fibre art projects. I luv texture. So this has lots of possibilities. I luv the 3-D effect that happened when the water started moving the colour.

After the initial spraying I decided to add some streaks of the lighter green to blur the white.
I'm off to do grandmotherly duties, check out thrift shop accessories and pick up paint for the trim. And to think about a purple door! 8)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Scattering or Gathering

I was outside these weekend working on trees and trying to cut back the jungle. Cool and wet makes for a real jungle of weeds. I went to bed slightly angsted (?) because lots of things are on my plate. Breathe in deeply a few times and focus. Remember the great start and triple F.
8) Trees
8) Veranda
8) Sunshine Room
8) BOM
8) TOM
8) Baking
The bunk beds are ordered and will arrive the end of the month so the trim needs finishing and those quilts need to move along. The veranda colouring needs to be finalized. As I gathered things for making the final colour choices in the veranda, I realized it has a similar colouring to the sunshine room. This is exciting because it means that cohesive flow which a whole house needs is beginning to happen.
The trees are a forward plan for less maintenance. Keep thinking simplify! My farmer and I are united in this.
This is the last BOM and then the putting of it together. The TOM is important because it keeps me trying new things.
I'll get all this done if I feel good so I need to eat good. Besides the rhubarb needs some processing. I need to learn to use my new mixer. Think of it as a creative challenge. VBSigh
I really see that all things need a proper balance so today is an inside day and probably here in the playroom with some pedal to the medal and some dabbling with the brushes.
But I'm pleased. Before when I felt overwhelmed I'd start a new project; some happy noises and one more thing would be added to the 'not finished' stack BUT I'd still be overwhelmed. Journal blogging is working for me as I keep Triple F before me: focus, fiddle, and finish.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Surprise

Well, the start of the summer make over is proving quite surprising. I was very surprised to have the cupboard gone but as the before photos show there is lots to be improved. My hubby says that the builder of the house was good but the builder of the veranda hadn't a clue. So it has shifting issues and until those are resolved repainting isn't an option. I may do the front door a darker colour though.

I removed everything. I swept and then I got the garden hose, broom and mop. I didn't look so good when it was done but the veranda did. It is amazing what can be done with some water and scrubbing.

While things were drying out I went scouting for possibles. We managed to accumulate a selection of wooden chairs when we were touring auctions a few years ago. I put the hose on them as well. I have 2 IKEA tables that make a nice arrangement when set side by side. Trouble is I am typing on one of them. Not insurmountable though.

I studied the various photos and notes in the veranda file and I began to gather my options.

The colours will be brighter than the pastels in the house as pastels would wash out in the sun. I can also paint some things. I have kept the above magazine page for a long time. I'd forgotten about the birdhouses but I have some that were to be in my rainbow garden with bird houses for rent 'cheep'. My farmer nixed my expansion plans so they are up for repurposing. I found them and evicted the spiders. I even have a small shelf that kinda matches the quilt rack I'd planned to also use. I've seen wooden letters at Michael's but I'm not sure if I've room for any frames though. 8) So far so good!

The bench which sat under this window will go outside. Hubby needs to make a big box for his stuff and it could have a few cushions on it.
The quilt rack fits nicely between the door and window of the house. It is precariously balanced on the available nail. I'd put it higher but the general idea can be seen and I need to 'see' things. But water definitely comes thru the misaligned veranda roof so the quilt needs to be utility. I have some summer dresses a friend gave me that are a serviceable cotton in some pretty wild colours. Possible, and a table cloth could serve in the meantime! An old wooden blanket chest I found hiding in my shed when I went looking for bird houses washed up nicely and fits under the quilt rack. More seating and some storage.

The table area is in front of the front room window which has sheer cafe curtains. There will be no curtains in the veranda. The quilt, place mats/table cloth, and maybe a cushion or two will be the only soft materials. Privacy isn't an issue but wind and water are. The light in the veranda is a light bulb on a pull chain. I was given an overhead hanging light that is too big for inside. I plan to hang it over the table. One day I may even get it wired! lol The 3 chairs have somewhat the same style. I'm not sure I'd paint the table but possibly the chairs. The blanket box has weathered metal corners but it needs paint. The small shelf and quilt rack can be painted. The 5 birdhouses I found need refreshing.
So now I leave things as is for a few days while I think about what I'm going to do. I had originally thought to put hubby's chest under the quilt rack and leave the bench but I could see that it would crowd the chair at the table so I went for the smaller box. I'll only need a few ornaments.
To review: Theme is cottagey and the paint will help accomplish that. The wood chairs speak cabin to me rather than cottage. Flowers in the window. I'm seeing yellow, pink, green and the blue is more periwinkle/purple but I can live with that. I can have a quilt with not too much worry. The rabbit can sit in a doll chair I have somewhere. Oh, and I remember a wooden high chair that is in the basement. So things are starting to gel. I need to consider the paint colours for the various things. Then I can start to get things ready for some show and tell next week. I really do enjoy this whole process.

Simmering Summer

Summer is a time of processing all the fruit and veggies for the pantry. I'd like to explain how I plan my seasonal decorating.
Summer to me, and in keeping with our 30's style farmhouse, is a casual cottagey feel. Not too fussy, but friendly, relaxed. Perhaps clean laundry flapping on a clothesline says it best. How the main theme is interpreted is determined by me, the homemaker, but it is the foundation upon which I gather my main accessories.
Because I luv to change things up I have deliberately kept my floors, walls, furniture, and curtains somewhat neutral so I can easily add or subtract a throw rug, move pictures, change pillows or valences, and even shuffle some of the chairs and tables from room to room. A lot of my favorite things just move about the house as the seasons change. I may group them in a small vignette with similar things. I may collect all things of like colour for another season. I may shuffle them to fill spaces for large, medium and small spaces. But move around they do and I have to lift and dust them so why not move them! lol I also have a kinda pantry for storing the extra. If I had a closet I'd delegate one for my decorating paraphernalia but 30's farm houses are closet challenged so I have the deep dark basement where I have 4 metal bookcases. (That's my indoor clothesline in the background hiding a multitude of plumbing, wires and floor supports.)
This is where my acquisition line is drawn. This is my acessory stash. Not to exceed the four bookcases, but it is always changing. Thrift shopping is a pleasant diversion and I bring home 'must haves' and take back the 'hoody hums'. I'm constantly editing, upgrading, changing but hopefully not increasing. 8)

Then I begin to gather the things that currently appeal for interpreting this seasons look. I'll even make little piles for the various rooms, sometimes in the rooms. Continuity is maintained by identify or assigning recurring items. Every room must have 2-3 of the 4 main items in various amounts. Summer has certain colours, flowers, white lace, tea things, glass, 'cute' ornaments, bunnies, quilts, all with an old timey feel.

Summer's colour pallet is pastels, pink, blue, yellow, green. I like lots of white as well. Flowers! I'm not a floral fabric lover but that is definitely a summer theme. I have my grandmother's doilies but I tend to use them in winter and find the white Battenburg lace more summery. Flowers need vases so I use lots of glass as it keeps things light. I'd luv to have more of the pink depression glass, especially the cranberry so I'm always looking for that. Summer tea parties; I have my mum's teacups and her glass cream and sugar set. But it also has to be fun so there are things like bunnies. And of course quilts.

Flowers are a good example of carrying the theme thru the house. The gate leads up to the front door where a container of flowers awaits. Potted plants are on the veranda window sills. The entrance table would have a vase and perhaps a bunny holding a basket of flowers. The front dining room is all about flowers, real, porcelain, fabrics, pictures, etc. All the stops are out. But the sitting room which adjoins and looks out to the bush is a resting place, maybe only a subtle picture or fabric pillow. The bathroom again has a small amount in the shower curtain fabrics. The kitchen is likely a glass canning jar with a loose bunch of cut flowers, some patterning on the dishes and some place mats. The upstairs hallway has minimal light so fabrics, pictures or an ornament do the trick. Our room has a vase but a more faded fabric style and the pictures are more pastoral. The guest room has some embroidered doilies, a botanical print and its easy to set a fresh vase should I have guests. My farmer doesn't want rose petals on his papers so hopefully the calender page has a sunflower in his office. The main picture in my playroom has a few flowers; no spilled water, thank you.

I have a designated shelf for seasonal projects in my playroom. So projects that can be added to summer are stacked on the appropriate shelf. It also helps me keep track that I'm adding a good variety of colour and styles. Hopefully it keeps me from starting something I really don't need when another would serve better use of my time.

My next post will put these principals to work. The ugly old cupboard stopped on its way to the barn and stayed in the veranda over winter. I managed to get it back on its journey so I'll post the 'vision', the before and the possibles. Not the best one to start with but if it works for one situation, it works for all. I hope!

Triple F is working. The focusin the house is summer decor, the overview is set and I'll fiddle with a room each week and get it finished. I'm still keeping the Sunshine room as the major makeover so it is running parallel and is still moving along. My goal is to have it ready for the summer photo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I want it ALL. Now an encouraging sign of my great age is that I have come to realize I can't have it all. Logistics, time crunch, the budget; these are all reality based. So one reason I blog is to have a visual record of where I'm going, how I'm going to get there, and what I need to do to make it happen. Then there is the gratification of posting the final photo.

The bells and whistles of journaling in the blogging format is a good fit for me. I am very visual and I like writing. I am constantly refining my perspective. I am all about home. I have been decorating homes since I got my doll house, organized the playhouse boundaries outside with sticks, and got the go ahead to chose my room's paint colours. Discovering quilting just added so many more options. In fact I switched from the deco magazines to quilt ones. A natural progression is dyeing my own fabrics. Now I want fibre art on my walls and altered books on my book shelves so the quilt books are passe and art books are stacking up beside my bed. How much more can All encompass? Well, the grand dame of the hacienda should look not too shabby, so I want to add garment making. Surely that will be ALL!

With such an eclectic selection of wants I have no desire to have more than one journal/diary/blog. The Coop will just show me multitasking. But it will help me and perhaps visitors to see the process which is something I have Pledged to do.

Jennifer, over at That girl... That quilt... has had some great posts on Quilting Without Obligation. Very thought provoking. The last post, part 6, reminded me of my goal, my focus to have my home reflect my (our) personality, passion, and creativity. It is great to be inspired by all the visual stimulation that blogland offers but "don't be obligated to someone else's ideas."
I'm not sure that there really is anything "new under the sun' and original is a word that covers a lot of definitions but I must confess I borrow an awful lot of ideas. Time for me to grapple with my own ideas and implement them my own way. My home reflects me/us. But it can still be tweaked and that is an ongoing process.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One step forward, two back!

I straightened out the top strips. Sewing in opposite directions works but with the strips being various lengths, the Bali's were 54" it unnecessarily complicates things. Next time I'd cut the strips to their finished size. So the two tops are now ready for the circles. My daughter was given the assignment of getting a few coordinating fabrics to match my theme FQ. I didn't dare set foot in the sale as I'd already bought my quota! lol I can't find the new circle cutter in Canada yet so I got a different set up from the scrapbooking section that was on sale. I'll try it. I haven't quite made up my mind on how I'll do the circles.

But more on the top options next week.

This week I need to do the backs. I have a metre of Michael Miller Serengeti. I'm making 2 quilts so that'll work out to about three, 5-6" strips for each back. I have leftover strips and a darker striped fabric plus one long chunk of the dots. I would really like to have less as more on the back. Now to decide. I can do an interspersed effect in the middle of the back. The dotted fabric in two pieces, top and bottom.

I can do full dotted bottom and a planned strip selection on top. The animals are directional. Now I'm thinking the pillows will cover most of the effect so I should perhaps make the strips be at the foot of the bed. Too bad I don't have more chunks for pillow cases. hmm, I guess the quilt can go up over the pillow! I'm sure I'll use these quilts as reversible. But I really should decide on the backs, sew them up and turn my thoughts to circles: raw edge, machine applique, hand applique, ...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Are Welcome

First Impressions

When people come onto our property they need to know where to go and what to expect from the home owners. This doesn't happen accidentally. It is by design.
Before we had the fence and the grass was less than a lush green carpet, we had people drive right up to within 5 feet of the house. Building the fence, which is just a line and doesn't actually enclose the house yard, set a boundary that said "Please park your car here!". The next problem has been that people were confused as to where to enter.
There is no specialness that shows where the gate is. I've since dangled a basket and come summer I put a planter of flowers at the gate, but I knew I needed something more. Knowing that the fence needed some repairs, last fall we drove in large posts to inset the whole gate area. We'll add a bench and some plant pots but that should entice people in the right direction.
The next problem is the path. Grass allows two to walk together and is great for grass cutting. No trimming. But it does get a bit muddy and it is very hard to maintain a path come winter. So we need an acceptable alternative. I do know it will not be cement set in a straight line. It will curve slightly to encourage visitors to slow their pace, catch their breath, and anticipate their welcome. I luv the sound of gravel crunching as you walk. I have it at this gate and it is around the house. What a pain! It scatters all over and into the grass. Part of the reason for the insert is to get the gravel on the driveway side of the fence. So no gravel. Flat stones, even substantial ones, give fits to elderly feet as I've learned when they step anywhere but on them as they pass thru the flower bed to get to the front step. I replaced them with pavers but I'd need a lot for the whole path. For the moment, the well worn foot path leads the way and there is a mat to dry the shoes at the step.
There were 2 doors visible which sent mixed signals. The small basement entrance was too small so we began using the front door. It never had a proper step and when we did the house siding we covered over that unused door. The old wooden front step faced the road so we changed it for better traffic flow. The front entrance isn't in direct sight but all signs lead to it.

I luv my veranda. It is where strangers are met and given directions/assistance. It is where friends are welcomed and drawn in.

It is much harder to lay out the welcoming path here in blog land. If you have found the gate and are on the path to my front door, please come up the steps and into my veranda. You are very welcome!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Process of Puttering

I've spent the day cutting grass. My part of the world received an unheard of amount of rain over this last weekend. I was hydro-planing in some spots but the coolness just makes the grass lusher so I must persevere. The good news is that this project is so bad that anything we do will be an improvement.
The first step is to drain the water, move everything out, including the dog who burrows into the far corner. Some things need to go to a new gardening shed. I'm not sure where that will be but... Some things need to come out and play in their summer spots. Hmm, I wonder where they will spend the winter. oops! I might need to think about the afore mentioned garden shed sooner than I thought. lol

When I walk out to the coop from the house, my first view is the east end of the shed. It has a quarter circle flowerbed that I call the Red Hat Corner. The colours are red and purple. Two purple clematis run up the wood support. It could use more red.

The south side faces an arrangement of garden boxes in a formal layout, four outside boxes and an inner square. I've wanted to put a pergola type structure here and have a Kiwi vine but if I put the windows on this sidethat may make the inside too shady. The shed is particle board that has been very well weathered. The shed was drug over with the tractor from its place beside the big barn, It had been a small work shed for oil, tractor parts, tires, cultivator shovels, etc. before I coveted it. These wood sheets are 4' X 8' so I'm thinking the shed is 8' X 12' with a cathedral ceiling! 8^)

I don't think the door survived the move. The shed is double walled and that is why it probably hasn't fallen over. I want double doors opening out.

The skylight needs to go though. Hubby says a truss or two needs replacing but new sheets of particle board and some shingles will fix it up just fine.

The north side faces That Faerie Place.
The colour is blue and lime green which mostly comes from the accessories. The chickens keep rearranging my meandering path and I'm waiting for hostas and ferns to fill in the open spots. The name of this little blue flowered plant escapes me but it does self seed.
So this is the before post. I shall continue to add weekly reports as the work progresses. I can hardly wait for the after post myself!