29 September 2010

A Little Before And After

I thought I'd show you one of the outside projects we've been working on....

Above is our garage when we bought our home....it's a huge (1600 square feet) building right next to our home and to me..... has always looked like a shop with it's big rv garage door and not much personality. Not to mention the parking lot driveway....it was just a huge area covered in crushed rocks....I never liked it....as this is the side of the house you pull up to and I didn't want a parking lot to greet my many guests...I say that sarcastically...as we never have guests.

So we opted to have crushed asphalt layed....I like that it's darker and doesn't have any of the dust the other crushed rocks had.

We also had the cinder block wall removed (you can see a little bit of it in the first photo) and in it's place had this granite wall put in....can I just say I love this wall...it adds so much character to this space....and at 8 feet tall...presence too.

And here are some of the change we made to try and give it a more carriage house feel. We had the rv doors removed and lowered the header so that we could have a regular size door installed...and to fill up the empty space above the doors...a window and shutters. We chose carriage doors and iron hinges and handles to also add to the carriage house effect. We also added big black carriage lights...to replace the ugly gold brass ones...yuk. And to top it off....a cupola with a copper roof.

You also may have noticed that we had grass installed in front of the second door and made the driveway more narrow. We decided to have grass there because this is where we watch our movies outside...we just throw the quilts on the grass and we're good to go...it sure beats sitting on gravel. Oh...and we're going to be adding an arbor around the doors on the grass so that we can grow a vine over it and hang our movie screen from it. As for the driveway...we use the left garage doors for our cars... so we really didn't need the driveway to be so wide (the other garage door is where we keep Lulu our 1949 Ford Tractor).

So that's what we've been up to.

and just a quick photo of what our driveway looked like about 4 months ago.

There's still much to do....we have a to-do list a mile long....but I gotta tell you....I like having a to-do list....I like seeing our thumbprint on this home....I like eagerly awaiting our next project....because with every project done....with every flower planted....it's becoming more and more ours.

27 September 2010

Nerd Alert

Do you remeber this post...
well....I bought the newest game yesterday.

My hubby already told the kids they'll be eating Pop Tarts for dinner until I've finished the game.

Yes....it's true...I become a little obsessed with this game.

I just can't help it....I'm a puzzle solving mama.

Hence the nerd alert.

Wanna peek....click here to play a free demo game.

The music alone will wisk you away to a far off place.

21 September 2010

Rustic Linens

I was busy this weekend making some napkins and table runners for my shop and etsy. (Just trying to keep my mind busy so I wouldn't be sad that I missed Junk Bonanza)

I made these with beautiful French General fabric....love the rustic feel to this fabric. It also washes really well too...it puckers up and has that rumpled look I like.

I'll have these available in red and blue....I have the blue napkins and table runner in my etsy now....and should have more available on Thursday.

15 September 2010

Photography 101

Now....when I say Photography 101...it may sound like I know something about photography....the truth is....I really don't know much about it except for what I've learned from trial and error.

I often get comments and emails asking about my photography....I have to tell you....I giggle at these comments and emails because I'm such an amateur photographer (I'm actually more of a picture taker)....but with those sweet comments....comes the drive for me to try to get better.

So you may be wondering what this post is all about then....well....it's just a few things that I've learned while on the road to trying to take better photos....and if you have an etsy or shop where people have to purchase something solely based on your photo....a good photo really counts.

You may also be thinking that you need an expensive camera....you don't....you also may think you need to learn Photoshop....you don't. I have neither of these....I use an inexpensive camera and know nothing about Photoshop. I instead use Picnik...a wonderful free website that can make all the difference in your photos.

Below are some examples of things you can do with your photos using Picnik....

The photo above is an untouched photo....so you can reference the changes I made below.

Above I used the Sepia effect...love the muted colors of this effect.

This black and white photo was done with the Holg-ish effect.

The sunflower photo above is untouched.....

the sunflowers above were done using the Gritty effect...my favorite Picnik effect.

And lastly this photo uses the Cross-Process effect...another favorite.

And this is the camera I use....a Sony Cyber-Shot point-n-click. It costs around $200.00 so it's a very reasonably priced camera....and a good one to start off with.

Now again....I have to disclose....I'm no photographer....and these are just my own tips and tricks to better "picture taking". I have lots and lots to learn...but will hopefully someday....graduate to a big girl camera (a DSLR).

Here's a couple more tips...when taking photos try to place the item your photographing a bit off center...this gives the photo a more artsy look....and browse through etsy....there are some amazing photographers on etsy....and look at how they frame a photo....it's funny....sometimes if you don't show the whole "picture" in a photo...it adds to it's intrigue. If your taking a photo of flowers for example...it often takes on another feel when you only have half the flowers in the photo.

I just went and took a peek at my earlier posts....and I think this is the longest post I've ever written. I'm usually not a "writing" kinda blog...I let my photos tell the story....another reason for me to keep practicing.

If you have any questions....just ask....but then I'll have to write another "writing" post...ugh....I'm so not a writer.

13 September 2010

Homecoming in a Small Town

This is Homecoming in a small town....

tractors driving down the roads are no big deal here....but when they're being driven by boys with cowboy hats and ties....on their way to the Homecoming Dance....well....that's just plain ol' cool...I just love seeing the tractors lined up in the high school parking lot.

And here is a rare shot of my 14-year-old on his way to the Homecoming Dance....in Stella of course.

08 September 2010

What I've Been Doin'

I've been busy over here....

sewing napkins and a runner for my table.....

and giving my old sewing basket a quick makeover.....

here's what I started with....a sentimental sewing basket given to me by my mother....and all it need was some primer, white spray paint and some French General fabric....and a bit of twine for good measure....love it.

And I've also been busy updating my website and etsy with these new finds....

green kitchen scale....

Avenue Totes....

a new kitchen towel design....

vintage copper canisters....

and vintage Atlas jars in my favorite shade of aqua.

I'm also working on a little tutorial...hopefully...if it turns out okay I'll share my little project with you.

Happy Wednesday!

02 September 2010

Does Your Bedroom.....

Have more outfits than you?

If I had a hundred dollars to either buy clothes or bed linens.....I can assure you I'd choose bed linens. I don't know what it is about beautiful linens that makes me crazy....I have a linen closet....no scratch that....I have 2 linen closets (and I'm not talking little closets....these are good size closets) that are full...no wait...beyond full...of linen duvets....sheets....euro shams...pillow covers....vintage quilts....you name it...and it's probably in there.

The fact is I love beautiful nubby vintage linen bedding....and beautiful nubby vintage linen is not cheap.....but sometimes....you get lucky and find a gorgeous piece of linen for a steal...

case in point....this lovely piece of linen you see above (it's folded on the foot of my bed in the first photo) is a gorgeous piece of vintage linen....but not bed linen...it's a tablecloth....that I bought at the thrift store....for get this....$2.00. After washing it in hot water and throwing it in the dryer (gotta make sure it's nice and clean) it came out beautifully....and I can't tell you how much I love how it looks on my bed....there's just something about a white bed that makes me swoon.

so to answer my own question....

does your bedroom have more outfits than me....

the answer is undubitably....


and as I type this....I'm already looking at Restoration Hardwares Belgian Provence Stripe bedding.....

I think I may need professional help.