Friday, April 29, 2016

The end of April already?! A little outdoor work, a little painting, and a whole lot of rocking!

Hello friends!

Time management has not been my friend these past few weeks...I had good intentions of sitting down and pumping out a post quite a few times, but then I must have gotten distracted by life. :)  And life is good!

These gorgeous sunrises I am now experiencing take my breath straight away. And the sunsets aren't too shabby either!

Since the last post I've done a bit out of outdoor work...moved some rocks from the massive pile behind the barn to surround the rest of the flower bed in front:

After I saw the deep ruts I was adding to the already rutted yard with the truck, I switched over to using my plastic, PLASTIC, garden dump cart...that holds 4 rocks total. I've been heavily hinting to Hubs that we need a metal heavy duty cart that I can connect to the back of the zero turn mower for hauling...or a just get me a big tractor with a front loader, that will work too.

You can see the bit of rock-lined flower bed here (that speck at the end of drive is M waiting for his bus). The previous owners had only put rocks around the front, not the back side.  We're deciding on what to do with the large expanse of grass in the front beyond the tree you can see sitting behind the is low ground so stays pretty moist (not the best situation for mowing) so thinking of working up and planting a wildflower field on both sides of driveway...great for the critters and for cutting down that 2+ hour mowing time.  Research has begun!

Cleaned some more dead stuff away from the side of the barn and out of the blackberry and asparagus patches:

This...want to just set fire but Hubs won't let me...says it's too close to his precious barn.

Asparagus patch (have 3 total)

Before blackberry patch

After blackberry patch...seem to be randomly growing wherever

The beast I need to tame next, the concord grape vine

I celebrated my "35th" birthday (again) so Hubs took me out to eat the most delicious walleye meal at the historic Dorsey House near Port Huron.  Originally built in 1847, it served as a half-way house for horse and buggy travelers between Port Huron and Yale. The original building was replaced in 1995 but they kept a lot of the old charm. 

Threw that sunroof open! (Please excuse the nostril shot.)


Then celebrated a bit more in the coming days with gifts from Iowa (thank you Lu!), get together with HS friends (so blessed to still have these people in my life!), and a surprise cake from my Bunco girls (love them...Hubs did not get me a birthday cake so they took care of me!).

From Hubs along with a pedi & mani gift certificate <3

Cheese box & coasters hand painted by the one and only Lu from Iowa! Love her!

This sign fit perfectly onto my growing gallery wall in the living room, thank you Jen!

This candle smells like I imagine Hawaii smells like...thank you Todd with 2 d's!

My gorgeous hens and their man for my kitchen...thanks Cin!

This German Chocolate cake was fabulous...thank you Bunco chicks!

Back to house projects, the festivities are over (well almost...I am having a postponed lunch date at The Olive Garden with some fabulous ladies today).

With the weather getting warmer (some days at least), it was time to get rocking chair out onto the front porch. But it looked so lonely that I knew I'd have to go get its twin.  So I made the trip to Cracker Barrel and shoved one into the back of my car.  Along with 2 sets of their rocking hair pads made just for their rocker's shape in red and white gingham.

I originally planned on painting them a glossy red, but after putting the pads on them I think they're fabulous as is.  Got them all set up in their new spot but they still needed something: a rug underneath!

I hopped onto the Wayfair site and started searching for 4x6 rugs under $50.  This one caught my eye straight away:

Of course it's on sale now, a week later.  Snag one!  It's made from recycled plastic and comes with the cutest burlap storage bag!  a 5x7 rug would have been too big for the space...what I really needed was a 4x7 but for some reason they just don't make that size.  They need to.  Just need to find a small round metal table now for my drink and the grouping is complete. Love!

Hubs borrowed his dad's extension ladder to get the 2nd story shutters down for me, but as you can see it just wasn't working:

He straddled the 2nd story window sill and took them off that way.  There is just no standing on that pitch of a roof.  They are in the basement waiting to get a coat of BM Hale Navy (mixed in SW exterior paint) soon as I pick up another can.

It's been fun watching things bloom and grow around here, it was all pretty much dead when we moved in last fall.  Looks like I have 3 Lilac trees planted at each corner of the sunroom and another at back north corner of house, cannot wait to see and smell them!  A few clumps look to be dead and most are planted randomly around the yard (see below pic) so we are digging up and moving whenever it's nice out.  There are Daffodils and Tulips popping up in random areas so I've been slowly transplanting them as well.

Growing randomly in the uncut area north of our yard

This fabulous solid maple cabinet was gifted to me by my friend CG and it was exactly what I needed on the other wall off the sunroom...perfect height for seed starting!  I got out my sampler of RePurpose ReColor paint in Fireball Red RePurposeRecolorFireball and gave it a quick dry brush allowed the wood grain to show through while covering up the nicks and scratches.  I love the patina on the old hardware so gave it a quick wipe down and put it back on as is. Thank you CG, mwah!

Soccer season is upon us, M is loving playing with his new AYSO team (think it helps his confidence that he's one of the bigger kids on the team haha) and we travel to Cass City tomorrow for a 9am game.  The last game of the season in June is up in Sebewaing so we'll make a day of that one!

So when we're not going to soccer practices, or soccer scrimmages, or soccer games, or transplanting plants, or moving rocks, or cutting grass....this I pray will be my nightly rocking view.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A spring break to possibly forget...

...not to remember fondly. It was more of a winter break for those of us unlucky souls that didn't travel south to find the sun and heat; already warned Hubs we WILL be finding heat somewhere next year's break.  Every time I've said "this HAS to be the last snow storm" it snows again.  So after both weekends of spring break filled with the flying white stuff, I am holding my tongue.  And if you know me, you know how hard this is for me to do.

We had a low key spring break around here, which was fine with M who really didn't want to do anything that required getting dressed and leaving his man cave upstairs. We did drag him out to find him some clothing (he's outgrown just about everything AGAIN and throws it in my face daily that he's taller than me) and again another day for a family field trip to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn (Hubs took the day off), a place I hadn't been to since I was a Girl Scout.  We all enjoyed it, let us forget the miserable weather outside for a few hours. We then took the long way home up the coast of Lake St. Clair and the river to Port Huron where we stopped for dinner and a brew at ThumbCoast Brewing Company off Quay St.

Enjoy the picture show, and you're welcome for not posting all 150 photos I took:

The Model T

Installing the muffler onto a Model T frame

Had to bribe him with lunch to get this shot in front of the Wienermobile.


M had a hard time believing this was a pioneer kitchen.

Only one in existence and Henry Ford has it.

One of my favorite displays that really puts it all into perspective.

The museum is  well laid out and SO much to see from the invent of the automobile production line, history of furniture, important American history timelines including all about the 80s (one of my favorite displays!), farming equipment, locomotives and all other forms of transportation. And so much more!  It was a great and much needed family day.

I did get a couple of projects ticked off of the to-do list during the break:  the painting of the bathroom vanities.

The guest bath I opted to use a light gray, RePurpose ReColor Flannel Gray, to cover the worn oak cabinet and found my can of Rustoleum ORB in the basement for the nasty inset toilet paper holder.

Fabulous painter's tape...spring for the good stuff, no regrets.

1 coat people and no priming!

There are so many reasons why I love using the ReColor paint, I know I have raved about it over and over again in my posts. This paint covers ANYTHING!  The side of this cabinet had some seriously warped and wrinkled laminate from getting wet over the years...covered.

Decided since I had the paint brush out to get the master bath vanity painted as well.  This is one room in the house that will get a gut job some day so I don't want to put too much into its existence.  But I knew a coat of paint would at least make it more pleasing to the eye and take away the focus on the worn, not attractive vinyl floor.  Question I had to answer was what color, the light gray again or dark?

Dark won out.  1.25 coats later of Cast Iron Kettle Black (a dark charcoal), 2 coats of Rustoleum Hammered Black spray paint on the inset toilet paper holder and WAALAA!

A bit of screw overkill?

Love the hammered paint so much, I believe I've found the solution to a cheap lighting update in this room and the other bathroom. The oak trim is in bad shape from moisture but I know if I get out the paint for it, I will want to paint the entire house full of oak trim. Not ready for that painting adventure.

Tom has been working on the basement walls and getting 2 coats of  Drylok painted on to seal them.

South wall and rest of west wall to go!

As soon as he is done we will sit down and discuss what we want to do with the space.  I would like to spray the rafters/pipes/runs black.  There are only 2 heat vents down here, and both are located in the main run...not on the side of the basement we would use for additional living space of course. So will need to decide if we will add additional heat vents before painting rafters or just ad an alternative heat source.

The additional living space side of the basement.

In our previous house, we had hung white sheets on wire for "walls" and then had actual walls built before we put it on the market.  Thinking of going that route again, only this time with drop cloth used for it's heavier weight and neutral color to divide off the storage/mechanical areas.  There are MANY support poles in this basement, and a few are not standing level; I'd actually like to see if we really need this many posts ,that seem to be randomly placed, or if we can replace with beefier (and less) support posts.  Because this is a modular, where the support posts are located is where the house was put together so definitely need to do find an expert to look at. Lighting will be upgraded with can lighting in the rafters, finish paint on the walls, paint on the floor to cover the nasty rust stains left behind and perhaps a layer of commercial carpet thrown down.  We put 50 cent off-the-roll commercial carpet down from a big box store at former home and it was great on the feet for comfort and temperature.

The basement stairwell is...well...

...not appealing, shall we say?  MDF treads and plywood risers.  Odd landing. Badly finished drywall job.   The other side of the stairwell walls did not get any drywall, so open studs showing.

This side is our 2nd fridge and freezer area as well as my project supply area, so not concerned with finishing off the wall here.  The other unfinished side (identical to this side) will need something, which I'm thinking will involve barn wood (of which I can get for free from BIL's place). Would be a great place to hang a TV in the future with a sectional and then a pool table towards the other end of the space.  Oh the possibilities!  Time to get working on the basement mood board.

Will close out this post with photos of my recent Antique Farm House and Decor Steals website purchases that arrived last week:

Had to, obviously...vintage Michigan cherry crate

Reclaimed wood nesting tables.

I have turned a few friends into Decor Steals addicts...and to that I say YOU'RE WELCOME!