Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A linen throw....

Anyone who knows me, is well aware that I LOVE linen. Majorly love linen.
Here in Southern California, one can really wear linen year round! Oh, I know about the after Labor Day rules that one shouldn't wear linen or white for that matter....but I think those rules are kinda silly!
Linen is actually warm too...I have some pants that I just love...they are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Ok, so granted we do not go below 34 much if ever....but we do indeed go well into the 100s...so linen is a God sent gift.
But, linen is hypoallergenic, dries very quickly and bacteria and mold and mildew don't seem to be able to live on it. It is the best for sleeping on and in. I could never go back to cotton sheets! It is soft and gets softer each time it is washed.
Yeah, it wrinkles, but really those wrinkles are sublime! They are actually trendy. Really though, who cares about wrinkles in a bed?? You make the bed in the morning and sleep in it at night.
However, the best part of linen sheets....you sleep really, really well! I read a bunch of studies that said regardless of the type of bed, people who sleep on linen, sleep better and more deeply. Well I believe we do and my hubby snores less!
Anyway, I found some wonderful linen at a thrift store and I am crafting a rustic edge linen throw...here are some pix of it coming together....

It is pretty yummy...and for the back I have a linen fabric with stripes that is made of much of the same colors...of white and rosy peach...
Well, off to make dinner now...have a great evening!! Happy crafting....
Nancy

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gardening...in January!!

The weather has been unseasonably warm...spring like indeed!
I have been gardening...my sweet husband went with me to get the big bags of potting soil we needed to fill the raised beds that were sorely lacking, so that the new crops could go in...
We first harvested 13 pounds of lemons....
Planted the pots we got a couple of weekends with primroses that were on sale at the Home Depot for $00.99! I had leftover allysum and put in the primroses. Then, put up a new trellis for peas, yup planted peas already! Why not?? It has been warm and no sign of frost for quite a while...worth the risk...right??
I planted a beefmaster tomato and put up the trellis for the raspberries...One is in the ground and three are on order.
The blueberries are promising this year...lots of blooms and berries already to go...amazing...With ten plants we should be able to get jam from all home grown berries!
I planted a few of the smaller pots and at the end of each raised bed is a pot with red geraniums...sweet!
All in all a good, no a great day!!

Have a great great day!!
Nancy

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The butcher block kitchen island....it's for keeps

Ok, so I have been busy!
First I wanted to let you know that "Miss Farmhouse" the table and the round maple table have gone on consignment to my friend, Patti, and her wonderful store "Truly Tattered". If you are in the neighborhood of Old Town Tustin, check it out!! There are some great stores and Patti is a great hostess!
So, with my garage a little more empty, I was able to start work on the butcher block table/island.
It needed a lot of sanding on the butcher block and scrubbing. The rest of the island just needed to be washed and was ready to be painted.
I wanted it to look old and started with a layer of Old White (ASCP) and then a light touch here and there of Old Ochre, with the intent that that would show through a bit. But, as I was working on it, it just was looking a little too forced. So, there is layer after layer of Primer Red. I might mention here, that when it is hot out, it is probably a good idea not to paint, it dries too fast. However, I kept going.
When I had enough of the primer red I waxed. Clear first. Then dark wax. I found for this project that a nice thick painting on of Dark Wax worked best then wiping it down to suit my taste. I wanted a '70's butcher block island to look old...
I think it turned out pretty good....what do you think?? Let me know.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today is for....

Today is Friday. We have an appointment for a guy to give us a quote about our patio....that will take up time....
But, the rest of the day I am going to take one of the tables that I refinished to a shop in Old Town Tustin, after that I plan to do laundry. (Isn't it amazing how fast that laundry basket fills up??) And if I am a very good girl, I will begin the process of cleaning and sanding the butcher block table.
Isn't it just too cute?? Okay, not yet...but it will be. It needs a knob or pull (got one) on the drawer...needs definite cleaning (can you say yuck??) I mean I had to beg the estate sale people to remove the cobwebs and spiders!! And I am thinking, primer red??? Well, maybe. but I have to do some vacuuming and laundry today first.....
Ta ta for now...
Nancy

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thrifting

A day of thrift shopping is so fun!
I started the day with an estate sale where we found a couple of tablecloths for our store, WildOakDesigns.etsy.com.
Later we found some fabulous vintage French linen kitchen towels, old, but totally new...they had never been used!
Then I found wonderful fabric for sewing projects which, when made will also be in the shop...wonderful linen and linen blend fabric....just plain yummy.
At the estate sale I bought a butcher block table for a kitchen island. It needs a little TLC, but when done it will be so wonderful. I am thinking it needs to be painted primer red...but we will see....
Until I show the pix, we will see....
Nancy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spring seems to be coming...

Where we live, in Southern California, near the coast, we had warm weather. The trees are budding, leaves are starting to appear, and the birds are migrating....
My eyes are on the raised boxes. One has a few turnips that have pushed themselves out of the soil...time for them to come out. That box will be peas and beans I believe. The next box is raising beets and spinach as well as some garlic. The next box has only a few garlic plants. The boxes have used a lot of soil. Around here, we have to buy soil. We have adobe under these boxes and it is the only way to grow anything. It's not a big farm, but it is an Urban farm.
I receive the magazine, Hobby Farm Home. Oh so much fun and perfect for a FFA (frustrated farmer of America). I would love to have chickens, but our city no longer allows them. I would love to have goats, enough to make cheese, but aren't really allowed them....hummmm.
Life is hard in the suburbs. I find I envy those of you who have been able to get the farms. But, all is not lost. I have been able to espalier fruit trees and I am keeping other fruit trees small by keeping them potted...otherwise, "topiaried".
Nonetheless, we enjoyed Barbequed tri-tip and fresh from the garden spinach as a salad....pretty yummy!
Spring is definitely coming...early and fast.
How are the rest of you???
Nancy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

While we were waiting...

So, the contractor for the bathroom informed us that the bathroom most likely will start on the 6th of Feb. Not a surprise really, disappointing by my calendar, but not a surprise.
So, while we have been waiting we have been proactive. We have cleaned out most of the old vanity and prepared to "move out" of that bathroom to share the guest bathroom. It looks like most of February and really we plan to be there into March, because when a contractor says three weeks, we know it may well be more....
So, idle hands and all that stuff...I can't sit still. Anyone else like that??
So, sitting in the livingroom the other night I noticed the old rack we have in the front hall. It was from L.L. Bean many, many years ago. It was for coats etc. Today, it holds the dog leashes to grab as we go out the front door.
It was a blue with white board, to which we added two more hooks. It just didn't go with our French country look or the Bamboo Beach color we have in the hall....

Sooooo, I painted it. No surprise there. I took out the pictures and cut some great fabric and voila! It works! It feels better. Isn't it wonderful what a touch of paint can do?? In the picture you can see just a hint of the blue that is underneath. I did that on purpose. I like to see where a piece has been, it's history so to speak, and I am just not that into sanding some pieces, especially if they are melamine types such as this. It looks even better in person.
Here is a close-up of the piece....
What do you think??
Let me know what you think...
Nancy

Friday, January 20, 2012

January is for organizing...

Many people (me included) make New Year's resolutions to get organized.....
With a bathroom that will be under construction soon, that has been a goal...almost there...just waiting for the phone call that says that the contractor will coming...
Part of the process has been to figure out where everything that lives in the present vanity will go while the bathroom is being done.
So, I went to Ikea to buy some baskets that will tuck neatly under the guest bathroom vanity....
These are the baskets that I got...Nice little baskets, that should fit nicely in the new cabinets when all is said and done. For now, they fit nicely under the existing vanity in the guest bath....

So, here they are, empty at the moment...but for temporary storage great willow baskets for $6 ea....
I found in the craft room another larger willow basket that will be for other items....
Then, I had to paint....I had found many shopping trips earlier,  a really sweet bulletin board that needed a little love...so I painted that...it's primer red. The hooks were ugly brass, so I took them outside to spray paint with "oil rubbed bronze" by Rustoleum... Now it looks ready for organizing!

So, I am trying, little by little to get organized....occasionally I get tripped up. We all do. Today is one of the days. When days like that happen, I just sit tight and get through the day. Organizing is something that evolves, like life things change and we have to flex with it. Oh well, on to laundry!! Have a great day!
Nancy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

shopping....

Today, my friend and I went exploring and shopping in Laguna Beach. I found some great treasures at the Assistance League....many Shabby Chic things that will either appear in the www.WildOakDesigns.etsy.com
store or.... perhaps somewhere else. I am working on expanding into consigning some at a great shop in Old Town Tustin. I will tell you more when we have worked some things out...but I am excited that some things will be in a brick and mortar shop because so many of my things are tactile....like quilts, pillows and linens as well as my new love of painting furniture.....
So....let me know what you think...
Nancy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Internet woes....

Today, I spent the day running errands....after we got my computer fixed.
I collected internet info that I needed via the new iphone...but other than that was frustrated. Yesterday, my computer froze when trying to go to the internet....so I took it to the store (yes I did make an appointment) and supposedly the guy fixed it. But when I got up it was worse and wouldn't go to the internet at all! Very frustrating indeed. So, I called the store and they made me an appointment with Beth...same girl who had checked me in....so she knew why I was there to begin with. She adjusted one thing and said to call her directly if it didn't work...and yup, you guessed it, it didn't work. So I called and she fixed it by taking over my computer while it was plugged in directly with the modem/router...Beth was wonderful!!!
Now, I am happily chatting with you!!
Our errands included getting paint for the new bathroom, which is the same color I use in most of the rooms in the house. I love the color. It is by Vista, however, I prefer the new Behr Ultra paint. You know the all in one primer and color one. I had the guy match the Vista color in their flat enamel....it is actually like the satin paint from Vista, but, it is richer somehow, probably the primer....
That color will be the upper walls, the lower half will be a beadboard that I will have in a white, which I am having a hard time picking out....Anyone else have trouble picking color?? Yikes, white is hard.
I don't want it too white, but when you tone it down it has blues, greens, yellows...etc..So, I will wait perhaps....we will see.....
We also looked at beadboard to agree on what we wanted for the bathroom. We agreed that since there is very little actual wall in the bathroom, we want the true beadboad made of wood....and that the contractor probably has a great source and a discount to get the correct height of beadboard, as Home Depot only had 32" and will probably need 34"....we also took pictures of baseboards to agree on height and style...and on the chair rail that will finish off the beadboard...so that is figured out....
Also, dropped a print off with a painted frame to be framed up as the frame didn't have glass or backing and needed a mat. That isn't for the bathroom, there isn't enough wall space for pix....but it is beautiful for the bedroom as you go into the bathroom....good thing I had a 55% coupon!!
Well, that is the update for now....
Nancy

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday

This Saturday is overcast and cool....not a day for going out really. Usually, you would hear my little car start up about 9 am and take off for garage sales. But today I am not feeling it.
I am puttering. Do you do that? Move things around, fluff pillows, move furniture?
Today, I am trying to figure out where miss farmhouse table could live in our house. Sadly, we are pretty full...she could live in the garage for a while, like as long as the bathroom reno stuff is in there....but the rule here is cars live in the garage, not furniture....so I have moved her around. She was too big for the kitchen...a tad too long and open one side or the other way too big to move around and hubby had gently moved her to unload the dishwasher.
So, Now she is in the dining room area with a little silver bowl with an orchid.
I don't know why I am obsessed with this table. Anyone have that problem??
I have measured for other areas, but the problem is then what to do with what I move.....
Alas, no garage sales....just puttering in the home....talk later...
Nancy

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In the kitchen

I brought in the farmhouse table....she was sad in the garage....
here she is in my kitchen.....


In the house, the blue looks less pronounced...yippee...it is more grey. And the top is a delicious black but not an overall black, it is antiqued which definitely adds to her charm....don't you think??
Well, she probably won't live here forever....hubby isn't so sure about my growing zoo of furniture...but at least she is inside to let her wax cure nicely and to enjoy at least for a while...
If anyone is interested in adopting a beautiful all wood drop leaf table there is a small adoption fee...contact me at www.WildOakDesigns.etsy.com
in the conversation area...it will email me and we can talk later....
Until later...
Nancy

The farmhouse table

Well, for lack of a proper name, I am calling this table, the farmhouse table. Farmhouse tables must serve many uses and this one can. She was in need of TLC and a fresh outlook on life. So, she is finished.
I decided to go with the blue hue that Paris Grey gave me and what Graphite gave me. According to other blogs, if you wax directly with dark wax (skipping the clear wax) you get black. Ok. So first I did the base of the table with the standard two step treatment, even though it wasn't grey. With the dark wax one gets a flavor of grey, but it is still blue. Then came time for the top. I went for it. Taking a good amount of dark wax on the brush, I painted it on, and rubbed and rubbed some more. Yummy! It gives a delicious dark almost black look that seemed right for the farmhouse table.
So, I wouldn't want to knead bread on her...she is too distinguished, but she will be a great addition to any home farmhouse or not. I don't think I have room for her...I keep looking. I might try her in the kitchen as an island, but honestly she might be a bit dressy......

I am sorry my photography is not so great. But I think you get the "gist" of her....
Oh, and with leaves down she is 14" with the leaves up she is 47". Not bad for most uses. This one's wear showed that she had been up against a wall with a leaf up. Children were seated there, might have been a "littlese" table. There was old gum underneath from many many years ago....Funny.
Enjoy your day and share your projects!!
Nancy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pass the paint please!

Ok, those who have followed my blog know that I have been painting more than sewing as of late...
yep, I have indeed.
This week I have finished up repairing a very broken sad little round table and it is ready to go. It's a wonderful old solid maple table that the top was in three pieces. We put it back together the best we could when it was warped and pretty sad. The base was painted first with "primer red" and then dry brushed with "old ochre". It was then thoroughly waxed and buffed for a new lifetime of use... pretty cute huh??


The appliques were applied by us, it just needed something....but it turned out pretty sweet I think.
So, today I began taking on the drop leaf table that I picked up at a garage sale. Afterall, it's finds like this that have made me go out garage "sale-ing" in the first place!
But the poor thing was terribly scuffed up and had some big gouges, so the big gouges were filled, and I began the process of cleaning and deciding what to paint this baby. It kept calling out for grey....so I bought a small Paris Grey sample pot. But, it is terribly light blue...I added graphite to make it darker, and for the most part that worked, but it is still very blue looking, sweet, but blue. But I went with it. The top needed something else. I was thinking straight graphite. So, the top is graphite. But, graphite is blue, dark blue, but blue. Hummmmm. So, I went to 'Round the Coup.blogspot.com where she has some recipes for color and found that to get black, one skips the clear wax and just does the dark wax! Well, we will see if I do that, but I found that reassuring. I will let the table dry overnight so the true color will be there in the morning...and we will see. I am thinking the wax will fix it. It will be charming...either way. It is so cute! It would do well in a kitchen as an impromptu island, or at the end of a peninsula counter, or behind a couch in a livingroom....because of it's drop leaf it offers all kinds of uses. In it's previous life I think it was where children sat because it has one side of its rails rubbed like feet were there. Kinda fun following history and trying to figure out what it's story was.....oh well....I will keep you up to date....
Nancy

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beginning the Bathroom Reno

Okay, so here is the beginning of info about our Master Bathroom "reno". It is not a big bathroom. At first we asked about making it bigger. We wanted a bigger shower and slightly more foot space. But, all we would have gotten really was a bigger shower. It would have entailed moving the hot water heater and the furnace up into the attic. That my friends is EXPENSIVE. It can be done, but unless we wanted to entertain in the shower, why??
So, we agreed that our shower and vanity needed to be redone, upgraded and beautified. Along with the fact that the shower valve is shot and one has either too hot a shower or too cold, that became the final blow.
So, with the contractor picked we are going to begin in about 2-2 1/2 weeks. Everything we ordered for the bathroom is here. The final decision was to pick the counter top.
We decided a while ago to use a slab of something...but we weren't entirely sure what.
7-8 years ago I would have told you emphatically that we were going to have an all white bathroom, with Carrera marble etc. However, over the years I have been enjoying a taupe/beige color. Yes, the dreaded beige. Actually, it isn't beige. It is soothing. And the porcelain tile we picked isn't beige, though its name is. It has the look of stone without being stone. And, if you pair it with real stone it is quite yummy....so, no, our bathroom is not white. I am however insisting on bead board. In a creamy white wainscoting fashion. It will give us the white that makes new white toilets and sinks make sense. Did I tell you about our pink toilet and sink that we have now? I didn't. Hummm..for the last 21, almost 22 years we have had pink toilets and sinks. In the master bath one sink. Let me show you....
 Yep, it's as vintage as they come. 1959. Dusty rose is the color. It's time to let them go. The toilet that I am not taking a picture of, is the same color and guzzles 3.6 gallons a flush. In fact, it sometimes flushes itself at night for reason at all.
As you can see I have been playing with chalk paint colors on the presently floating vanity. There is no storage really at all in this vanity. The new one will be awesome and is being made by hand to order for much less than I could imagine. It will have two cupboards and 4 drawers and have a French Country flair. The new faucets I ordered from Overstock for a tiny fraction of what is out there, so we could put more fancy things in the shower. By saving here we can spend a tad more there. By using touches of stone in the shower, and the rest porcelain tile, we can have what we are getting for the counter top. It is a French limestone! We also picked the limestone from the remnant section so we saved even more. In fact it is less than if we ordered tile!
As you can tell, I am excited. My hubby is too. Imagine we have been using a counter that is 32" tall, 17" deep and has very limited storage and is pink with black marble. After 21 almost 22 years, it's time. Don't you think??
I will tell more as we go....
Nancy

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Garage "sale-ing"

Well, that is what we call it...garage sale-ing...
My sweet hubby went with me on my search for "a project". I wanted a piece of furniture...that I can paint and perhaps sell....
We went out to all the places listed on craigslist that were in the area, and found nothing. Nothing worth buying and fixing.
On the way home, actually a couple of blocks over, we found an estate sale. And there it was. Just sitting there looking forlorn. Yes, forlorn.
The cutest gate-leg table! $20! It has such cute character! It needs a little TLC, well, actually a great deal, but it is sweet. When it is closed it is only about 10" deep, but when open it opens up to seat six, well, cozily, but it could be done, and definitely 4.
So, now I have to decide. Paris Grey or French Linen? Old Ochre or Coco? hummm
Let me know what you think....



I didn't get the great shots I wanted to, but it has some pretty good gouges in it, so I have to fill those...but it has potential....
Talk later....
Nancy

Friday, January 6, 2012

Paint, paint and more paint

I don't know about you, but this time of year I get to painting...touchup or complete projects....
Yesterday, a friend I go shopping with wanted to see the headboard. She loved it, but not so much the white chair rail molding just above it....and suggested that I paint it either the "bamboo beach" color from Vista that is on the walls or she suggested with glee, that I paint it "antique leather" from Behr paints. It looks like a yummy darker color from the bamboo beach...hummmm, intriguing....
So, with that "bee in my bonnet" off I went to get a sample from Home Depot of antique leather. I started with a little 4 " strip of the chair rail, behind the door and extended it. I rather like it...but Hubby isn't so sure...
What do you think?? I like color on the wall, esp the bamboo beach color, but the white line around the room not so much...
The other option is to paint the chair rail the same as the walls...
I would love input!
Here is the chair rail just above the headboard....
Here is the painted chair rail behind the door....
Hummmm....I will let you know...
Talk soon,
Nancy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More garden planning

I am planning the garden. It is 90 degrees out today, not at all typical for January.
It will trick the fruit trees I am sure. We will get a super wet day that will knock off flowers and or buds or little fruits...Even the birds are not sure what to make of it. But I do. It is a time to enjoy the little harvest that we have and plan out what we are going to do for this year.
We need to plan rotation of the four boxes in the main yard....
The boxes in the picket fence area used to be the veggie garden, but as the neighbor's trees have grown taller, that veggie garden is less able to grow veggies...One of the boxes is going over to raspberries the other is in transition....
So, debate still rages as to what goes where. My hubby even wants to grow pumpkins in the front yard, though I am not at all sure what the neighbors would think of that...It is indeed tempting!
I would love to know what others think....
It is always a goal to provide at least the Thanksgiving veggies and fruits....but we will see....
Let me know what you do....I'd love to hear!
Nancy

Monday, January 2, 2012

January gardening

For those of us who live in the Southern California area, gardening is year round. It "pauses" and we even get freezes....but, by and large, it is year round. Today is no exception. It is January 2nd, and it's 74 degrees or so here near the ocean (we are 5 miles from it).
At this time of year, it's time to cut the roses back and force them to rest a bit. I haven't fed them since October.  They have been blooming non-stop. Some them have felt the cold and gone "semi-dormant" others, closer to the house where its warmer, have been blooming. So, today was the day. It's hard work.
It was also time to tear out the tomatoes. Most of them have gotten badly frost bitten, some just have been growing and possibly could have continued into next year...they had a few green tomatoes....but they were leggy and ratty looking...so I pulled them out. Force the raised beds to rest and get ready for a new growing season.
This is the raised bed that I took the plants out of. The soil needs replenishing...the soil level has dropped almost 6 inches!
The little green sprouts you see are garlic plants....now they have space and light to grow.
In another bed, I planted spinach, beets and garlic. I had radishes but those were harvested a few days ago.
The grass as you can see has not enjoyed the frost and the fact the tomatoes had grown all over and blocked sunlight.
We built these boxes. They were easy! We had the Home Depot man cut 4x4s to 12" (four corners), then had him cut two 1x6 fence boards (we used dog-eared), then just take it home and put it together! You put the cut 1x6 3foot sections, two on each end using the corners, then attach the 1x6 6 foot sections to create a box...and simply set it down on level ground...and fill. We used Supersoil, it took 3-4 bags of 2 cu feet each to fill. And as a year goes by the dirt level drops and needs replenishing. It is wonderfully easy to maintain, weed and water raised beds!
Another thing I have done, is all my fruit trees are in large pots on top of the soil. It keeps them small in our small garden. It allows us to grow more than if we planted them directly. In the side yard all the trees are in pots and are being espaliered because it is such a narrow area and the block wall has a huge footing which doesn't allow for digging. It works. The plants grow horizontally instead of up and out. so far, so good. Our two apple trees we bought ten years ago, they are colonnade apple trees and we get about 50 lbs of apples every year. It is enough to make all our pies and applesauce for a year.
New plants we are looking forward to, elderberries and jostaberries. Jostaberries I purchased online and are a cross between gooseberries and currants. We also have the young fruit trees that will be old enough to give a few fruits.
It is exciting having a "farm" in a small suburban backyard.
This is a very little peach that I bought at Home Depot last year for $9. It gave us two peaches last year. It is in a little pot at the end of the boxes....most likely I will have to get another box this fall, but for now it's fine. You can see that the weather has tricked it into thinking it is spring. Betcha that there will be blooms too early and a rain storm will make it so we don't get as many fruits. Not much that I can do about the weather though.
How is everybody else doing? What are your tricks in the garden? I personally would love to have several acres...but at this point that isn't going to happen.
Well, back to work. Talk later....
Nancy