Saturday 31 March 2012

Winds Of Change

The most changeable thing around here is the weather.  Last weekend I was gardening in shorts and had a sunburn.

This weekend I have this. ~

There are other changes in my village.  A block from my house they have closed a road because the bridge needs replacing and that's not going to happen with municipal cutbacks.  This was upsetting to all of us, not the least of all the farmers who used that road to access the highway from their homes and move their equipment from field to field.  We argued and we lost.

What happens when something has lost it's purpose?  Waste is a very bad word to country folks. Without any discussion, committees or architect plans, the road has become a public park.  Even with the grey muddiness of spring, a walk down the road has you passing cyclists, leash free dog walkers and parents strolling with their kids.

Anyone can pick the hickory nuts. ~

It's a safe place to ride all terrain vehicles. ~

Generations of courting couples met at the creek and carved their initials in the bridge.  I know my brother and his sweetheart did in the 80's.  It must have brought luck as they are still married today.  ~

A while back, I wrote about my daughters playing Pooh sticks from this bridge, twenty-five years ago, and posted this picture of them. ~

When I was there last week, I watched two neighbour girls playing the same game.

I stood and watched the creek water pass by. ~

I thought of how resistant I am to change.  I realized that the things that really matter flow on through the generations and are unaffected by most of the things that upset us on a daily basis.

Some change can actually turn out to be a good thing!  Once we get used to it, that is!

Friday 30 March 2012

A Week Of Ups & Downs!

I was up when my old car passed the emissions test and I could renew the plates. I was down when I went to leave the testing centre and the car wouldn't start.  I was really down when they quoted me $1,200 to replace the fuel pump!  I called my mechanic and he quoted me $700 for the same job. I guess I'm happy about that.  I call the tow truck and get his wife.  I call back and he says, "My wife told me the Wyatt girl needs another tow.".  I know it's not a good thing to be towed enough to be known by name, but it's been many a year since I was called a girl and that seemed like a good thing.  So, the tale ends with my car being fixed in one day and the bill, including tow, is $375.  I'm happy, I think!

I won a judgement against my tenant for $6,000 in rent and utility arrears. Yay! She still refuses to move out and I have to get the Sheriff to forcibly evict her.  Not yay!

My answer to all these confusing emotions is to go thrift shopping and do some more spring decorating.  I scored at Value Village with an antique, white ironstone jelly mould for $4.99.  I picked up a marble cheese tray and glass dome for $6.99. ~

The cheese server started out common enough. ~

I intended to use the glass cloche on a trivet I bought at a pottery show. ~

The jelly mould made me think of trying an antique, white ironstone plate with a wheat motif around the edge. ~ 

I added some green eggs and two of  the blown eggs my daughters made many years ago.  It is very homey and relaxing, set on this embroidered tablecloth and linen Derbyshire tea towel.  Both were in mint condition and cost $1 each at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

It doesn't cost a lot for me to be pleased!  If I count the cost of the plate, my total outlay is $15.  Yay, I'm happy again!

I came home to the happy news that Maryann of Domestically Speaking has featured my little $4 shelf on her Power Of Paint party!  It's an honour to be included with all the great paint projects she highlights!

If you click on the name of her blog, it will take you to her post today where she shows you how to make beautiful flowers from tissue paper!  To see the paint projects, click on the button below.

Here's to fewer lows and a lot more highs for the rest of the week!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Chicken Ranching on a VERY Small Scale!

First, I bought a chicken coop from the local farm supply store. ~

Then, my sister and brother-in-law came to help assemble it.  It's modular so there is no cutting, just tying to  to follow the non-existent directions and screwing things together.  ~

This roofed section over the nesting box lifts so you can gather the eggs.

There are perches and and the floor slides out to remove the droppings. ~

It has a built in run so my ladies don't escape and I don't have any "fox in a hen house" scenarios. ~

It's adorable!  The only problem's really, really small.  I was told it should hold about twelve chickens.  It will hold two!  Four chickens would make me the official owner of a battery farm! I am planning an addition to the coop.

Oh, and remember how I planned on obscuring an ugly shed with it?  I'm thinking the neighbour has the last laugh. ~

Go ahead and laugh at my miniature chicken coop!!!

Sunday 25 March 2012

Bring Some Sunshine Indoors

Today I gleaned the yard for touches of yellow to brighten up the house.  Here in Ontario, we have dropped to normal spring temperatures and it's raining off and on.

The Forsythia bushes, I brought from my parents house many years ago, have not bloomed well the past few years and I threaten them with my chainsaw periodically.  This year, they have taken it to heart and are covered in brilliant yellow blossoms.

My thrift store find, tall vase is perfect for holding branches on the family room sideboard. ~

There is only a couple of inches of water in the bottom so the blooms can go right down into the vase.  The green, sequin table runner from St. Paddy's day doubles as a dresser scarf for the buffet. ~

More Forsythia branches tumble out of a vase on my bedroom dresser.  I made no attempt to arrange them so they would seem more natural. ~

Bits left over from the cuttings fill vintage mercury glass vases on the tiny office mantel.  A dollar store, mirrored tea light holder displays Easter eggs my daughters painted many, many years ago.  I store them in an egg carton and the delicate shells have held up very well. ~

Daffodils fill a little $3 thrift store vase.  It is made by Lenox and has a pretty Lily Of The Valley design.  My green Depression Glass dish, in it's silver holder, is filled with green eggs for a cheery spring feel. ~

The house feels alive with all the lightness of spring!  It can rain all it wants and I will have my dashes of yellow to remember the sunshine.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Another One Bites The Dust!

I had to work today (drats) but I was still plugging away at paint projects after.  I have no faith in this early spring lasting so I'm determined to use every spare minute taking advantage of my outdoor paint workshop!

I broke the bank on this piece at $3.99 at the Salvation Army. ~

It's solid wood and in great shape.  I want this to hang in my front porch so the pine has gotta go.

Here's the usual blah, blah, blah about dobbing different colour paints on it. ~

If you want a full tutorial on this paint technique click Here.

I put a final coat of white paint on and it still didn't look authentic.  I realized the perfect mirror was the problem and scratched some of the silver backing off.

This must have been the best made mirror in history because it was murder getting this little bit off! ~

I may work at that a little more some rainy day.

Here she is all aged. ~

That carving on the top is bothering me a bit, too.  What do you think?  Should I cover it up with something?

I've even made it 3/4's of the way across the garden in digging.  I'm totally impressing myself this week with my "get er done" attitude.  My lazy streak is bound to kick in verrrry soon!

I'm sharing this with:

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off To Work....

I feel like one of the Seven Dwarves this week.  I "dig, dig, dig the whole day through", to turn over the veggie garden.  24' X 10 ' may not be the biggest garden in blog land but it sure seems like it when it's time to open it up for the season!

Don't laugh at my wheelbarrow.  I've had it forever and it has patina! ~

I can't stand around all day marvelling at the first Periwinkle bloom. ~

I know I keep saying it, but this is March in Ontario and we should be covered in snow!

Instead, I'm in shorts and have chives almost ready to cut! ~

Ignore the temporary edging.  It's just to mark them so they don't fall prey to my shovel.

I leave the kale in at the end of the season since I can harvest it up until Christmas. The mild winter has caused it to start growing again.  I've never seen this! ~

See this none too attractive shed that my neighbour smacked right up to the fence? ~

I keep trying to think of ways to disguise it.  To the left of the shed you can see where I started weaving a wattle fence.  That took about a week and then I decided I couldn't live long enough to ever finish it and gave up.  Today, I decided to fight shed with shed, or coop to be exact.  

I bought this. ~

As soon as I figure out how to get this baby together, I have a darling, little chicken coop.  Then, I'm off to my daughter's farm to bring home some feathered friends!  I haven't had chickens since my daughters were little and I'm soooo excited!

Have a day where you do something crazy!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

I Can't Believe I'm Painting Outside!

It's still sunny and hot; too hot for the slugging involved in turning over a 24' X 10' garden. I'm about halfway through the job but I'm taking LOTS of breaks.  In those breaks I'm hauling stuff out to the patio to paint.  With no basement or garage, it's a bit of a task to find room to do messy jobs.

I've been picking up bits and pieces, in thrift shops, to dress up the front porch and patio. It's all part of my thrift, gift, reworked or found policy.  I almost passed by a wooden plant holder for $2.99.  It was in a natural wood finish and utterly boring.  A closer look showed a backstamp that said it was hand carved and made in the Sauble Beach, Lake Huron area.  I'm thinking beach + driftwood = paint job.

I thought I had a before picture.  It looked just like this without the grey paint splotched on it. ~

There was no sheen on this piece so I didn't need to sand or prime.  I dabbed on some Martha Stewart Crevecoeur from the sample pot I picked up for $1.  I just randomly dragged the paint across the piece. ~

Next I used a matte, beige boo boo paint that was $2 for the quart.  It's best to use an old ruined brush for the top coat.  It forces the paint to go on unevenly and gives a more naturally worn look.  When I get to the grey spots, I lift the brush a bit so some of the grey shows through. ~

If it looks too good in spots, let it set for a couple of minutes and drag your brush through it again.  That will start pulling the paint back off.

The end result of the paint treatment is this. ~

I thought it could use a little dressing up and had a package of Rub-ons that I picked up from Michael's for 25 cents.  I think they are for scrapbooking.  They're super easy to use. Cut out the image, remove the backing paper, place and rub with the tool they provide.

This took less than a minute. ~

How cute it that? ~ 

I know this is a plant holder but I kind of want to use it for something else.  Any ideas?  It's sitting on my potting table, which I also use as a server, and seems quite happy there. ~

Have a day filled with sunshine!

I'm sharing this with:

Show Off Your Cottage Mondays

Uncommonly Yours Link Party

Power Of Paint Party

What's It Wednesday

Open House Linky Party

Inspiration Friday

Saturday Nite Special

Monday 19 March 2012

A Brooklyn St. Patrick's Day

I asked Baby what was different in the big city for the day and she told me the story in pictures.

First you put on your best Irish outfit. ~

You're going uptown where all the fancy people are so you don your best Mommy/Baby matching sunglasses. ~

Head for the Staten Island Ferry. ~

Wave to every single person on the ferry and find out New Yorkers are very friendly and will wave back. ~

Find out you love riding on ferries! ~

Wave to the Green Lady herself and think of the hope she held out for so many. ~

Accidentally get involved in a street party.  Realize you are a baby and the streets are full of party goers with green beer.  It's time for Baby's St. Patrick's Day celebrations to end. ~

I'm glad she had the sense to call it a night!

Sunday 18 March 2012

A Summer Day In March

In all my life, I don't remember hitting temperatures in the 80's in March.  This does not happen in Canada!  But, it did this weekend and I hauled out my rake and started on yard clean up.

My reward is finding this darling under the leaves. ~

I took time for a little thrifting this weekend and came home with these. ~

At $1 each, I think they are a pretty good deal!

The balmy weather inspired some Easter decorating.  Some eggs tied with ribbon on an antique compote make a pretty nest for this fluffy chicken and her brood of chicks. ~

How was everyone else's weekend?