Tuesday, May 02, 2017

2 May 2017

Looking back on April, it is a bit of a blur...so much happening both inside and outdoors. The month started with a snowstorm, but as it progressed, we had some very nice sunny days here and there.  
Inside, I painted lots of trim and closet doors which Mike installed.  Then the weather got nice, meaning that there are pieces of baseboard sitting in the laundry room still waiting to be nailed into place.  We changed gears and headed outside--me to the gardens & planting and he to start work on a fence for the back yard.  
In the raised beds I planted radish, collard, and kale seeds...so far the radishes are coming up.  For cutting, I planted some glads and dahlias also.  In the flower beds, I planted peony bushes, hostas, lilies, lily of the valley, a clematis vine, as well as an Angel Face floribunda rose bush and a bridal wreath spirea.  This past weekend I went to a 49 cent perennial sale and picked up coral bells, delphinium, coneflower, saxifraga, rock cress, english lavender, and carpathian bellflower.  The plants were a very generous size for the price and I had to restrain myself from buying more.  
Last year we planted a lot of trees, so this year we have only added a Kousa dogwood.  I would love some fruit trees {the two we planted last year died}, but am not sure I will get to it this year.  
On the snowy/rainy/cold days I enjoyed time at the sewing machine.  I made up some drawstring project bags and zippered pouches for my firefly farm goods shop   as well as a vintage army canvas tote.  Also started reading Onward and Upward in the Garden by Katherine White.  I am continuously knitting dishcloths and am working sporadically on the cable knit throw for my daughter.  Once in a while I pull out a sweater that I started for myself, and which will probably not be finished for some time at the rate I am going. 
My next major project will be outside...if it ever stops raining...All the fence boards and posts need to be stained, as does the Amish-built shed we had put up last year.  I just finished painting the antique gate and will be back soon with some pictures.
Thanks for stopping by--I hope you are enjoying warm weather---are you working on any projects?


Thursday, January 12, 2017

A work in progress...

It has been almost a year since we moved into our newly-built little house.  At that time, I was doing dishes in the bathroom sink...we still needed to install more flooring, several sinks, the Jotul stove, doors, and loads of trim, etc.  We are slowly getting there and making progress. For those who have asked, here are some pictures of where we are at today.

After entering the house through the mudroom, the walk-through pantry, closet, laundry area, and a powder room are through a doorway to the left.  The pantry space still needs a tile backsplash and shelving, and the closet door will hopefully be installed soon:

We're thinking of using this marble subway tile:

Just through the pocket door is the powder room:

{We haven't even started on any of the baseboard yet}:

I have some antique brackets and a shelf to be mounted over the laundry folding counter. Underneath I am able to store my laundry cart and drying rack.  The piece of marble was a Craigslist find:

Looking back through the pantry to the mudroom hall and into the kitchen.  Most all of the trim has been installed and painted in these two areas.  Mike added the plank walls using white oak planks leftover from the floors. The pocket door still needs its hardware:

The old flag belonged to my father-in-law and only has 48 stars, probably from his Navy days during WWII ?:

More to see next time--right now it's back to my paintbrush!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

making a wedding

This past summer our daughter was married and, since someone asked me to share more about the wedding,
and, since some of you might have an interest in some of the details
as well,
I am sharing a bit about it here today.

All the beautiful photographs were taken by Lydia Maybee Photography.

Welcome sign hand-lettered and painted by the bride.
It was decided early on that this would be a very hands-on affair, as in the bride had a lot of ideas for decorating, etc. that we could make and do ourselves.
The setting was a beautiful old barn that is now a venue for weddings and receptions.  

Pom pom garlands were made with lots of help from the bridesmaids, friends, and family on both sides.  A good tutorial can be found here.

They made a lovely back-drop for the wedding ceremony.

The loft railing was decorated with a bunting I sewed using fabric scraps...

The bride and her attendants made all the bouquets and boutonnieres as well.
Flowers were sourced locally and many were ordered from Blooms By The Box.
I really loved watching all the girls as they carefully put together their bouquets the day before.

Some old sap buckets were painted, filled with roses and baby's breath, and placed at the end of the rows of chairs...

Of course this special Golden was part of the big day, bow-tie and all.

My large supply of canning jars came in handy for the table arrangements,
lace-wrapped and filled with flowers...

The father-of-the-bride cut log slices, which the bride numbered and glued together for the tables.

The Cake

Although I lost no small amount of sleep worrying about making this wedding cake, I am happy to say that I DID IT!!  
{Right after assembling the layers and receiving some much appreciated help with the decorating, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then I found out that, in my haste to get said cake layers to the venue, I had forgotten my bag packed with my dress and shoes to change into.  As guests were arriving, I was frantically driving home to change my clothes...}
At the bride's request, the bottom tier was chocolate and the top two tiers were vanilla--for the vanilla layers I used the Basic 3-Layer Yellow Cake recipe from Simple Bites; the chocolate cake recipe is from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food.  Both these recipes are delicious, and I appreciated that they were simple to put together.  All the layers were filled with homemade chocolate ganache and raspberry filling.  Because the cake was to be under a tent on a sunny, 80-some-degrees day, I chose this Crusting No-Melt Vanilla Buttercream.  It uses a combination of butter and shortening--I never use shortening--but when I found some non-hydrogenated, organic all vegetable shortening at the store, I decided to give it a try.  I ended up very happy with this recipe, which held up perfectly.  

The world-traveling couple fittingly chose a globe for their guests to sign.

Succulent favors also served as table assignments for the guests.  I was able to order these on Etsy from SucculentPartyFavors.  Shipped all the way from California to the east coast, they arrived intact!  We wrapped them with kraft paper, tied with twine, and added flags that had each guest's name and table number typed on using my vintage typewriter.

The bride made a CARDS banner and used a decorated, vintage wicker hamper to hold wedding cards on the gift table...

I am so thankful to have been a small part of making their wedding day special.


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