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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Paisley Cottage

I lied - the post I was going to do today - is getting bumped to tomorrow. Really - it'll be tomorrow. Promise! Since today is a holiday for me, I thought it would be a good day for  showing off the cottage. That and it's Show Off Your Cottage Monday. :-) The cottage is always a work in progress (what house isn't right?) 

Here is the living room. It's boring. It has commercial carpet on the floor. The wall color is about 12 years old and i'm beyond tired of it. The sofa needs to be reupholstered - it would help if I could decide on a fabric for it - can't really start that project without fabric. The commercial carpet was put in when I moved it - because I was 23 and had no use for a living room. That was where my exercise equipment was going - no need to have giant wells in the carpet / padding from the weight of gym equipment so I chose flat commercial carpet and no padding. I continued it into the tiny bedroom (my office) were the open door is. Who needs one of those ugly plastic chair mats? Not me...I picked commercial carpet with no padding under it. Fast forward a number of years and I hate it. The plan is bamboo floors everywhere except the bathrooms and maybe the kitchen which we haven't put down yet because we're adding on to the when THAT gets done, i'll have pretty floors! Yippy. So here it is as it sits now.

Pay no attention to the junk behind the screen. That's called a closet when you live in a 1940's cottage that had 2 very small closets when you moved it. In the 40s no one had "stuff".  When that addition gets done, that screen and the stuff behind it will go away. Color me thrilled! As you can see...tons of blinding natural light. Most people store their bulk purchase of paper towels and toilet paper in the laundry room. Well my "laundry room" is what most people call a screened porch. Redneck fabulous - I know. Would you rather have it on your back porch or have to drive to the coin laundry? I did the coin laundry for awhile - there are weird people there and you have to go at the crack of dawn, but not TOO early because you want to be first at the dryers when the guy comes to clean the lint traps...otherwise it takes $5 to dry a single load and you're there all day. Plus no one else is there - maybe one other person so you can use all the washers and get everything done in "one" load worth of time. Yeah, had it down to a science. Redneck it up and install it on the porch. Goodbye Leo's Laundry! After Leo's I used to hand off baskets of dirty laundry in the parking lot at work - my dad used to work for the same company and he would be at my location once a week. Then my mom would do our laundry and we would arrange to meet somewhere between their house and ours to pick up our "fluff and fold" because they moved about 35 minutes away from us. Not the best system, but it was working. I'm sure my mom got tired of folding Mr. Paisley's underwear. Anywho - there's no paper towel / toilet paper storage on my screened porch - it's all behind the screen. Along with some small kitchen appliances, extra light bulbs, large cereal boxes - you saw the kitchen here. Pretty much no storage. Someday I will show you my "hall closet" - bust out the Depends, you'll wet your pants laughing.

One other view. I love this sofa - it was in my mom's living room before they moved. Her new house has a great room instead of separate living and family rooms. This sofa is SMALL and works perfectly in my house. It's also a sleeper - lucky for my in-laws or they would always have to stay at Mr. Paisley's brother's house when they come to town - there's only a twin size bed in our guest room right now. I actually like the pattern, but it's dated (not as bad as some) and the corners of the arms are worn from us brushing against them when making the corners from the kitchen (on the left) to the bathroom (on the right down that little hallway). I'm thinking slip cover for the body and recovering the pillows and the single seat cushion. Did I mention it is SUPER comfortable? Best napping couch ever! No room for end tables so a pair of classic (albeit shiny brass) floor lamps - these were also my mom's. I wonder if she'd care if I painted them black or oil rubbed bronze? The brass on the bases has seen better days - there's probably a polish that would fix that, but eh' too much work ;-)

When I was younger I had a thing for palm trees. I still love them...but prefer them outside in the yard.  The wreath was a gift from a German soccer player that we hosted for a few years when I was in high school. It's made up of tiny pine cones and some sort of seed type pods plus a few faux green berries and small white silk flowers. It used to hang from a wood ring with a green velvet ribbon. Both of those pieces are some where in my craft stash :-) I love the wreath though.

Love the curtain rods with their major dust catching rattan finials...yep, palm trees embroidered on the sheers...

Did I mention this room is screaming for a make over? It also has a popcorn ceiling. Could it get any better? Sure - there's a crack in the drywall from the light switch all the way to to the ceiling right inside the door - beside the 3 vertical palm tree prints as well as a crack an inch or two from the ceiling that goes all the way around the room. That's in pretty much every room of the house - it appeared during Hurricane Charley - you know, when the hurricane force winds were trying to pull the roof off my house. State Farm denied the claim and said it was due to the house settling. Really? My 50 year old house is just now settling? And the only cracks from said settling and at the ceiling line? Not coming from the corners of the windows or door frames? Interesting...why is it that have insurance again? Oh right - so they can cut me a $1500 check for the fence uprooted by the tree (not my fence) and the rotted roof decking of the porch roof (yeah, because rain from a hurricane causes wood to rot OVERNIGHT and I already knew it was rotted - it'll get fixed when the roof gets replaced). They didn't cover any of the tree removal cost either...even though it fell on a vehicle - because the vehicle wasn't insured (again - what's the point of property insurance? - even if it didn't fall on the car it still fell on my property...).  Oops - unintended insurance rant. 

This is a black and white photo that I took of some wrought iron architectural pieces in Charleston, SC a few years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Paisley's last name really starts with a V ;-)  My walls are "mother of pearl" - because I didn't want "builder's white" when I moved mother of pearl is now similar to "builder's beige" Lucky me. I had every room except the kitchen and 2 bathrooms painted this color. Now it makes me want to vomit.

More palm trees on the ceiling fan! Actually, I love this fan...the shades are all reverse painted. It's pretty when the lights aren't on, it's gorgeous when they ARE on. This might have to get relegated to my office when this room gets redone...chances are it won't "go". Recently, I have stumbled upon the matching wall sconces at thrift stores. I was tempted to buy them, but Mr. Paisley likes to pretend he's a MORtician when he's at home, rather than the electrician that he's so hard to find good help these days. If I wanted those sconces installed, i'd probably have to call one of his electrician friends to make it happen since they'd have to run wire for them. Thus, I left them for other people to score...probably best since they won't "go" before too long anyway.

This is a table we brought back from Italy. Normally it sits right inside the door where my shoe cubby is currently sitting. My dad got me the vintage amberina bowl - it used to sit on top of my kitchen cabinets with the vases, but since I changed that up after the redo in there, there wasn't room for it. For now it sits there. The Waterford fruit bowl was a wedding gift from a co-worker of my father-in-law. It's beautiful - we didn't register for any china / crystal / fancy stuff. We don't have a dining room, nor storage in the kitchen. At Christmas time I fill the fruit bowl with clear and silver ornaments. Other than that, I dust it and once in awhile flick it with my fingernail just to hear that pretty crystal ring. We go for practical around here. What can I say?

Last but not least - so you can understand the less than fabulous furniture arrangement...this is from the hall doorway. Yes, the front door is right smack in the corner of the room. The shoe cubby is a random light wood. The mirror is too big and there's a chest full of shoes under the window.  Between the bookcase and the sofa is the doorway into the kitchen. Not a lot of options here. We've talked about moving the front door and losing a window, but we get such good cross breezes (when it's not 100 degrees outside) that we don't really want to do that. The front porch actually wraps around the side too - and the family room (other side of the kitchen) actually has a door that leads to the side porch - so there's about 4' between the outside wall of the living room and kitchen and the outside wall of the family room (an addition back in the 70s I think). So we have also contemplated moving the wall out and losing the side porch - which we don't really use anyway - except for the recycling bins and trash cans. That would take away my current plan for a walk-in pantry. We will eventually move the kitchen wall out to be even with the family room wall and the plan was to continue the new wall up to the window there (basically behind the bookcase) and turn that porch area into a pantry with a door in the kitchen. 

So there you have it...the Paisley Cottage's living room. It needs a lot of work.  Feel free to throw out some suggestions! My initial thought was a medium brown on the walls and maybe cream for the slip cover on the sofa...and a fun print for slip covers for the chairs (they rock...and swivel and they are also really comfortable)...

House Beautiful Design & Decorate: Living & Dining Rooms: Creating Beautiful Rooms from Start to FinishWelcome to My Living RoomOre International 3-Panel Room Divider, CherryTwill 2-pc. Sofa Slipcover - Milkshake

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekly Sunday Garden Post! It's week 10 -

After some deliberation - we decided to go chemical on the garden - next year we'll go with the "home remedies" but we'll also do it from the get go to head off the inevitable garden pests. Now we know - it's not like we're new to gardening, it's just that this year was the first we had success with the squash (well anything other than greens actually). I will be signing us up for the fall vegetable gardening class at the county extension. Lesson learned. Onward to the photos this week!

I think I would grow squash just for the flowers...
Strawberries! Mr. Paisley got the garden sink put back up (background). I love having it there to wash my hands or the fresh harvest. I picked it up from Bargain Catalog Outlet's website several years ago for $35! Plus I got free shipping on it. Fabulous! They tend to run around $99. This particular one has a small work surface that you slide apart on the top and the then you just pull the goose neck faucet up, make use of the sink basin and then just fold it back in and close it when not in use. Keeps the drain from getting plugged up with leaves and whatnot. Very handy!
The cuke doesn't look so hot - we pulled it back off the tomato and attempted to un-strangle release the banana trees from its death grip. We whipped out some twine and are forcing giving it some gentle encouragement in clinging to the trellis and not the other plants. I think it's just mad that we moved it. We shall see if it shapes up over the next week or so.  The tomato really wants to needs a bigger cage.
Collard greens are doing a little better...and the rosemary is quite happy in a pot this go round.
Yeah baby! I picked that sucker and had it cut, on a skewer and on the grill in about 5 minutes. A little olive oil, fancy pink Himalayan salt and pepper - yum! Actually, it was enough for 3 skewers and I shared it with my mom and sister-in-law. They were over for our Memorial Day party - good times!
 One of the petunias...
The poinsettia...suppose it will get to be 5' tall again by Christmas?
Still blooming...
The other petunia and our latest garden addition - Mr. Owl ($3.99 at the Goodwill)

Be sure to check out tomorrow's post - it goes back to the hint of a project I posted about Here - with the Week 9 Garden Update

I hope you all have a blessed Memorial Day and THANK YOU to all our military men and women - past, present and future!

Leatherman 830555 Hybrid Gardening Multitool with Nylon SheathThe Rumford Gardener HPC3007 Deluxe Indoor Garden Set with Mini ToteReliance Products ON TAP Powered Washing Station Tabletop Camp Sink 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photography Class Assignments

Once in awhile I take a photography class. I took the first one in high school in the late 80s early 90s (yeah, I know, like a million years ago with a real 35mm SLR Nikon that probably weighed 10 lbs and a had a groovy patterned strap from the 70s). I'm sure my dad still has the camera that I was using back then -

More recently I took an online photography class - mostly because I didn't want to read the book that came with my much fancier (at the time) DIGITAL camera. My how times have changed. I can always find things to photograph, but when you are assigned a subject, you often find more interesting things to snap. In my case, they were all taken in my backyard - they become some of my Favorite Things...

none of these photos have been digitally altered - they're just as they were taken :-)
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black)Adobe Photoshop Elements 8