Friday, March 30, 2012

Around the garden

It was a lovely day!
When I got home from running errands, the dogs looked at me from their perch on the bed...and asked if we could go outside....
So, we did....
we harvested  a large handful of carrots (roughly 1/3 of the patch) to be roasted with onions and fennel...
After cleaning these babies (some were 6") we went out and checked the fruit trees...
The little pear right outside the back door has set some pears!
This is an Ultra Dwarf Kieffer pear and into its fourth year, so I may actually work this year. Though in years past I get excited and they drop off....so I will see.
The Ultra dwarf peach is loaded and looking very promising....

This little peach was a score a year ago at Home Depot for $9. Last year it gave us three peaches! It is quite content in its pot and is only 3' high! 
Who says you can't grow fruit in a small yard?

Hope you have a great weekend. Let me know what you are planning....
Nancy

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring planning

It is a lovely sunny and somewhat blustery day....and spring is in the air.
I can't help but start planning outside re-dos such as cleaning up the patio, building a pergola and planting.
Lots to do by June when we have two parties planned and with that lots of dreams.
What dreams do you have for outside entertaining areas?
When it is spring I think about the tomato plants and sunflowers etc.



Lots to do...
Nancy

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's what's for dinner

Ahhhh, the sun came out! Very nice...time for quick check on the garden. Hummm, what do we want to eat tonight?
Well, I think a few fresh beets, roasted of course. Yes, that would be good. What else? Hummm, well I want to clear out the fennel and green onions so that we can plant those tomatoes...so we should have some sauteed...Yes, that sounds good...
So, here is the harvest for today...


Not bad for a little suburban backyard....cannot get any fresher. Of course, we don't have the steelhead trout in the backyard, nor the mushrooms that I threw in with the veggies....had to buy that...
What are you growing??
Nancy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tout Finis!

Well, yesterday, I started painting the vanity.
I was hesitant.
Afterall, this was not a garage sale find, that if I screwed it up was not a big deal. No, this was an expensive (though reasonable) custom piece. No siree. No turning back. It had to come close to the mirrors in color...hummm. So, I just "bit the bullet" so to speak.
I mixed the colors to make brown Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. That is what I used for the base coat on the mirrors. Of course, the mirrors had brass paint or other finish, and the new vanity is a lovely paint grade poplar.  No finish on it.
So, paint mixed I painted. At very first, it looked awful. I thought it might, I was prepared. But, it had to have a base coat otherwise the color changes completely from the mirrors.
It took two coats of the brown, thirsty wood.
Then, I layered the Coco color on. That was difficult. I wanted a touch of the brown to show through, but not too much. It was harder than I remembered actually. Nice to know that this paint allows you to "scrub" and when it dries brush strokes don't show. Phew!
So, 24 hours later with wax and a trip to the hardware store for longer screws for the handles...
It is all done! Tout Finis!

So, what do you think?
Enjoy the rest your Sunday! As for me, now that rain is falling, I am sitting by the fire....wondering what the next project will be....
Nancy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Finis!

Well, today is the day! The bathroom is now ours!

(Minus a vanity paint job that I will be doing to match it to the mirrors...), Kobi came and finished what he needed to do...Yay!
Do you remember the bathroom before? The vanity was 32" tall and a 17" deep floating vanity, so there wasn't any storage...
We do have a small master bath, we couldn't really make it bigger, but it feels bigger...and just wonderful..
It is hard to believe. This vanity is handmade to order and is just wonderful. It even has tiny little feet in front. I had a picture of a vintage buffet I saw on Etsy, and gave Kobi the picture. With "tweaks" we made to fit our lifestyle, here it is!




Here is the final shower with its frameless glass door. Tres magnifique! I get to wash my hair tonight!! The shower has been almost ready for two weeks, beckoning, now that the door is on...I get to use this spa everyday!
Take note of the mirror color, that is what I will be doing for the vanity. So that will be the topic of another blog down the road.
For tonight, we celebrate. C'est finis! Je t'aime le bain!
A HUGE thank you to my very special Hubby who helped make this happen and took the pictures today to prove it is done.
A HUGE thank you to our wonderful contractor, Kobi, and his son, Spencer, who made it virtually painless. They were there, they did what they said they would and listened when I had endless questions or concerns.
And a big thank you to our friends who were supportive when that is all we could talk about.....

Nancy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Limited time special discount for readers

Well, good morning!
Today, I decided to reward my readers to a special, limited time discount at WildOakDesigns.etsy.com
All items in the store!
Just use the coupon code "blogfriends" and receive 20% off!
That's right, 20% off of vintage items, linens, quilts, hats, fabric, & bric a brac!
We have never had a special like this, but we wanted to reward our readers! It will help clear inventory and you get a reward for being a special reader!
Yes, pass it on to friends, have them join as a member, and buy away! How easy is that?
Have a great day!
Nancy

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Painted

Well, we had the painter! He came yesterday and painted the bathroom, which needed caulking and primer and then paint. It was done all in one day....of course, it is a small bathroom...
The cabinet doors are being finished and then I get to paint the vanity....
Thursday, the shower door comes....that is exciting...then some finishing touches...then it will be done!
Today, we had the painter paint the bedroom. Remember I said "Bamboo Beach" (a Vista color which I had mixed at Home Depot in their Ultra)....well, it is done. I have to say I like it. It is cozier and warmer. It feels, well, "grown up" and everything still goes with it and because I am not limited by the paint color, I can change things out....you know how we do....
So, here is the bedroom....
Recognize the pillow?? The burlap goes really well with the wall color! Yippeee!
The painting on the wall came from Goodwill a couple of years ago...and I recently repainted the frame with ASCP in Coco...I love it now...
I love the little sign I got, it speaks of the painting over the bed, don't you think?
Ok, so without mirrors hung, or lights over the frames...here is the bathroom paint...

Ok, so it is just a peek...I will give you another picture when the beautiful cabinet doors are hung.....
Then you will see the wonderful beadboard as well....
So far the color is perfect. I was afraid that the color would "swallow" the counter and make it disappear...
More to follow...
Ta ta for now...
Nancy

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Garden pillow

Ok, inspired!
Had this panel that I bought and this burlap ribbon that is 5" wide....hummmm
So, with some floral fabric I already had I created a pillow. The pillow form is an 18" x 18" which is too small I think, but it is what I had...for now....


A loose envelope style, and lots of burlap ribbon, gathered by hand as the ruffler couldn't grasp the loose weave burlap, and voila...a couple of hours shot and a fun pillow is born....
Just wanted to share, one never knows where inspiration will come from...
Nancy

Rainy, rainy Saturday!

Well, NOAA weather forecast was correct...it is indeed stormy here in So. Cal.
Perfect day to stay inside, warm and dry and create away...only, I am not feeling it yet.
I put on corned beef with veggies to eat for dinner. Checked on my tomato seedlings, which I have inside, to make sure they aren't too dry.
Yesterday, I bought a pillow form to create a pillow....just gotta get inspired...
I bought backing for a baby quilt that I need to finish...just gotta get going....
Thinking that Easter isn't too far away, and it will be here....all I have for that is this....

What has everyone been doing to get inspired and ready for Easter? What projects are you getting ready to finish??
I'd love to hear from you...
Nancy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Info on supplies for new bathroom

So, we now have the painter scheduled...he comes on Monday!! Yay!
Tomorrow, Kobi is coming and attaching the doors to the vanity and the molding on top of the beadboard...and the sinks are already functioning....
Today, I wanted to tell you about some little things that count in the bathroom.
One is a soap dish for the shower. I bought this months ago. It is based on the expensive teak soap dishes with little character that I have seen, and those don't hold the soap we buy.
 I bought this beautiful handmade cedar dish from Andrewsreclaimed.etsy.com. I love that is made here in the US and is handmade. And, he has designed it to fit the many Etsy soap makers soaps out there.
 It will get that aged patina over time, I like that too.

I highly recommend his site...he makes other goodies that are worthy of a look.
The other thing, soap. We buy a handmade soap from AuntNancysSoap.etsy.com. I have been buying soap from her for at least a couple of years because so many soaps out there have additives that I am allergic to, and hers do not.
Another thing, that you will see in place after I have painted the vanity.... is the handles for the drawers and the door pulls.
The drawer pulls I bought from Violetteslippers.etsy.com. This little shop has a huge collection of hardware collected from old pieces. It is great fun. The thinking was we wanted the vanity to look "old" and old drawer pulls would do that. We also chose these because we wanted them to fold flat as the vanity is deeper than it used to be. (Remember the pictures in the beginning? It was 17" deep.) Now it is 22" deep...The handles were an old brass, and I gave them a shot of Rust-o-leum's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray....leaving just a touch of the brass showing to tell their history.
The cabinet doors get a special little pull...that came all the way from France. Afterall, the goal was a "French country" bathroom...These were just so cute, a tad small perhaps, but we won't be getting into the doors that often. These were not spray painted, I think they will be fine as they are.
The vendor for these sweet pulls is AntiqueCombray.etsy.com. She had four and I only needed two, so she went ahead and split the set. Very fun to have them come from France, n'est pas?
So, as you can see, I like to buy from Etsy. I also sell on Etsy. It has almost everything you could need and then many things you didn't know you needed.
Have a great evening.
Nancy

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday night at the movies

Tonight we are going out...to the movies!
We are planning to go to the movie, The Artist!
Yippeeee, a date!
Hope your day is a great one.
Nancy

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Soothing Sunday

Ah, the sounds of silence....
No construction, hammers, drills, just silence.
It's Sunday a day to sleep in and we did....even with the time change until 9! Which of course with the clocks getting bumped ahead was really 10! Wow.
Yesterday was wonderful to get the counter in, but I have to tell you all a secret....I "flew the coop". I got the counter guy started and told my husband,  "I am leaving, going to find a new towel ring..." He knew, just by the look in my eyes, I had had enough. Have any of you heard the sound of stone being drilled?
I know it is silly, but I have done so well with the all the noises the banging, hammering, drilling and all. I really have and have been there most everyday, all day. But yesterday, my Hubby saw that look and handed me his keys and said, "yes, go get the rings."
So, today we rested. Still fighting off our colds and reveled in the sounds of our own house noises...which when there are only two at home, is quite peaceful.
I changed the bed, and did other laundry. We went to the store around 3. When we got home he fixed a sprinkler issue we had and I took a nap.
Somehow, it isn't just me....even the dogs are tired.
Belle decided to go under the bed while I was changing the sheets and take a nap....
Hope your Sunday is a peaceful one.
Nancy

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Counter is in!

Okay, today it arrived! The French Limestone in a honed finish and the sinks are now in place!
The mirrors are in the bathroom and will be mounted soon (after the paint) but we put them up for you to see.


The faucets are Kingston brass dark oil rubbed bronze "C" spout from Overstock (saved a bundle on two!), sinks are oval 17"x 14" by Icera (and we are pleased that they are not as huge as we thought), mirrors were brass but were painted with ASCP in a dark brown and dry brushed with Coco, little basket a garage sale find, soaps are Savon de Marseille from a little shop on Balboa Island, and it all seems to sing with the French Limestone. So, it is coming together....
Now, I want some feedback from you guys, the readers, I have been planning to paint the upper part of the wall a soft beige (Bamboo Beach) and the wainscoting white. At the moment the walls just have "mudding" on them which dries white...Question for my readers...all white walls, or go with the beige and lower part white...???
Let me know what you think...
Cheers!
Nancy

Friday, March 9, 2012

An odds and ends day

Today, Kobi and Spencer came and installed the shower.....it is wonderful and we can't wait to use it...but we have to wait for the shower door....
The toilet seat was beautifully attached, so it is now working....wow, two toilets!!
They cleaned up and cleared stuff up in preparation to be done and gone....A few things cannot be done until others do what they need to....like the counter. And the painter...Kobi doesn't want to put the mirrors up or the other lights until it gets painted and of course he is finishing the vanity doors....which I am sure will be wonderful.....
So, we were sad when they left. We are supposed to see them tomorrow, but only if the counter guy comes....and the thought that the job is over...was kinda sad.
So, I made marmalade.
Yup, my son-in-law's mom came over for a tutorial on making marmalade. The kids have a beautiful old valencia orange tree with lots of oranges...and they like marmalade....so, we made marmalade.

Stella had never made any jam or marmalade, so we got busy. If any of you have done canning or making of jellies or jams, you know that he first time is a bit, well, intimidating...but oh so rewarding!
Following the first rule of jam making that I was taught, never double the recipe, we only made one batch....but oh it was yummy!
Instead of peeling the peel and then cutting off the pith and slicing very fine, we did something I have tried before...we used a zester! It works! It takes off just what you want of the peel...and makes it so much easier....
We followed the recipe from Certo (liquid pectin) which works like  a charm! I like the liquid pectin so much better, it seems to jell faster and of course because it is liquid dissolves better...making the last step, well, easy!
For Stella, I think she was a little worried about the canning thing, but one can always put it in the fridge!
Did you know that marmalade makes a fabulous sauce for chicken and pork while roasting or finishing on the BBQ?? Try it some time.....use in the last part of cooking, but have a great meal....
Hugs,
Nancy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting closer

...but we are making progress...today they put in the toilet! Yay! So we now have two toilets...well mostly...the seat is attached differently and has no directions and it certainly seems like some tweaking may have to be done... But as far as toilets look it is pretty good looking, not as big as the old one...though we will miss the gallons per flush. Here in CA, they have made it law that all new toilets ordered are 1.28! Yikes... It is an Icera, the company that actually makes many of the other brands, so we "saved" money there. So, we added an oil rubbed bronze handle, we didn't want chrome.....
There is just enough room for the painter to paint behind the toilet when he gets here in about 7-10 days, so the bead board will be white, it only has primer on it right now.
See the cute little basket? I got that today at the Assistance league...a wonderful oval, chunky basket...better than what I had ordered from Amazon.....

And, they put on plumbing lines for the shower and the sinks...tomorrow I think sinks get set in so that the counter can go in Sat!!
Spencer gave the whole shower another good swabbing of sealer so the rest of the plumbing parts will go in.....
This is the new temperature controlled valve that  is going to be wonderful! We had a big handleset put on it as the little knob was too small and a larger handle on the on/off part. For being so simple, it is big....Remember,  it was the old 52 year old valve is what started all this....
The shower door guy came today..measured and discussed the size etc. We are getting a frameless glass door. Although, that is kinda a "misnomer" as the stationary part of the door has a small bit of frame for stability and safety. The main door just has hinges. It should be ready in about 5 days, so next week sometime...so although everything will be in place,  we still won't be able to use it for a while longer. Like I said, we can wait a little longer...afterall, we have lived here 22 years, what is a week or two longer?? Right?
So, to review what is left....
Attach toilet seat
Attach the shower bar and shower hose...
cut holes for those enormous sinks and
put on counter
attach the beautiful doors Kobi is making
put on towel bar (s)
toilet paper holder
hang my old shelf back up
oh, and paint, which means some things have to wait until it's painted...
Did I tell you I am painting the beautiful vanity that Kobi made?? Yup, with ASCP....that will be a special feature. They will match those wonderful mirrors that I painted...The painter is doing the ceiling and moldings, the walls and beadboard and putting a sealant on the inside of the vanity....Then I get to play....
Well, won't be long now...when it is done, I will do a "photo-shoot" of the new bathroom....
Stay with me...
Nancy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

The guys were sealing the tile today and filling me in on the home stretch.
The shower door guy comes to measure tomorrow and find out what we want.
The counter will come Saturday and the painter is delayed until week after next or so.
However, the toilet can most likely come in tomorrow and they will assemble the external parts of the shower. And Kobi plans on putting his cabinet doors on Saturday as well. These have so many parts that it is taking longer.
Anyway, while they were putting the stinky sealant on, I went outside with the tomato seedlings that got transplanted yesterday. They are looking pretty good and I have started "hardening" them off. That requires moving them out for a little bit each day to get them acclimated to being outside. Granted, our weather is better than most of the country with no snow and still warmish. However, it has been warm during the day and cold at night, so this process may take a while. But I do plan on selling the extra seedlings as neighbors and friends have asked if I had any....I think I will this year. I planted 12 of each kind.
This year I ordered some fine seeds from Kenyon Organics on Etsy. I ordered Black Prince, Bi-color Mortgage Lifter, Red Zebra, and Paul Robeson (which is supposed to be great for canning).
I am a firm believer in using heirlooms and switching to different types especially when real rotating of crops can't happen as well. I have made great strides, however I am running out of places to plant.
Meanwhile, the first pear tree has gone into bloom and the bees have been busy!
The orange tree is loaded and I tried to get a picture of the bee in the tree, but at least you can see the blossoms. I have already counted several baby oranges!
The apricot on the side yard has bloomed and is setting little apricots. I counted at least ten, which considering we put it in last year, is quite a haul!
The weather has gotten blustery and chilly. Brrrr.
I went out to check on the other seedlings that I planted directly outside, I had several tomato babies and some poppies that I had started from seed. They were doing well...today...they are gone! The birds destroyed them! Every single little plant! Then they dug up all the seeds! This has never happened to me before. I have always had some kind of "understanding" with the birds....so, as of today, I am not buying any more seed. They eat my seedlings....no seed for them. How rude!
So now I am going to have to buy plants to replace those I had started. Yellow brandywine, Ace, Gyspy and a couple of others, not to mention my poppies! I had ordered the poppies from a lady on Etsy also....she only has a few packets each year! Drat those birds.....
Anyway, hopefully tomorrow I can show you a few more pictures of the bathroom...we will see...
Nancy

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Catch up"

Today, Kobi and Spencer came to work on grouting the tile in the bottom of the shower and the main floor. Kobi was cutting crown molding.
It is coming together, but pictures don't do it justice yet...so you will have to check back, but I am feeling good about the outcome so far...
Today was also a "catch up " day for me, since yesterday I did nothing but sleep.
So, I called Patti at Truly Tattered where I consigned the "farmhouse" table and many other items.
Remember the table? Miss Farmhouse?

She is a beautiful table but no matter how hard I tried, she just couldn't fit in...too much furniture I think. That is why she went to visit Patti. Well, today the table sold! It is going to a new home where "she" is truly needed!
I also created a table runner from some "faux" grain sack material...very sweet. That is in my shop WildOakDesigns.etsy.com


And a friend of mine, who is consigning some hats with me, has reduced her price to get them sold! They are beautiful hats! Very well made now vintage hats.... check them out at the store too! (They should be on page one).
Nice of my daughter to model them for me.....
So, no the bathroom isn't done, but will be soon....
Check back again and don't forget to look at WildOakDesigns.etsy.com for some fun items!
See you soon,
Nancy

Monday, March 5, 2012

A day of rest

Today, has been a day of rest around here....so it gave me time to get caught up on sleep so I can get rid of this cold and to check on my favorite blogs.
One of the blogs that visit frequently is French Country Cottage. She is having a giveaway there....from her sister at Olive Route, a letterpress set and gift certificate to the Etsy store! Sweet! Check out her blog and Etsy store at OliveRoute.etsy.com...
Tell them I sent you and enjoy! It's a great story and you all know I love Etsy. Etsy is one of the first places I look for just about anything, especially vintage items.
Here is a picture of the giveaway item....



frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com
I hope you visit both sites and say hello.
Be well,
Nancy

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bonjour Limestone!

Today's main task was to figure out what part of our "slab" was going to be used for the vanity.
The fabricator arrived with what looked like a much bigger piece than we remembered, afterall our counter is small.
Beforehand, we discussed the placement of the sinks we had ordered. Our sinks, a common size on the market, are bigger than we thought too. They are under mount sinks, so part of the size is what we do not see....however, though they will fit, it requires a tad a "tweaking" for the comfort of the user. We are slightly off setting the sinks so there is indeed elbow room. Who would have guessed that there were so many decisions!
It was weeks and weeks ago that we picked the limestone so it was nice to see it again.  Being that it is stone, I pray it doesn't break in the cutting...there are lots of "fracture " points that were visible, a bit unnerving!
 We had swallowed and made our final decision, off went the slab which will appear hopefully sometime next week as the final top! Afterwards, Kobi finished off the shower pad with the mosaic....which will get grouted on Monday. It looks lovely. Phew!
I don't know about any of you...there always seems to be a concern over whether the right thing has been picked or how it's placed. I personally always wonder if I did it right....what others will think and so on. Anyone else feel that way??
Well, I am off to feed the dogs who have been very patient....
Best of the weekend to you!
Nancy