Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Little Free Book Library



Now I have one more reason to love the little Texas town of McKinney. This adorable little Free Book Library...
The colors are happy and the base container holding the little library is perfectly imperfect. Don't you agree?
This little library is in front of two buildings. One is brightly colored in mustard yellow, terra cotta, and black and white stripes. The other is a restaurant called Hugs. 


I plan to do some investigating to find out how this little library came about!

Right now though, let's take a look inside and see what's available. 

Books on the top row and mostly magazines on the bottom... 
I've read about these little personal libraries in the past few years, but this is the first one I've actually seen.

The little library is just so darn cute! I may have to make one of my own...how about you? 



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Sunday, June 25, 2017

More About Hydrangeas



These are the blooms from my hydrangea that lived through the summer of 2014. The blooms started out dark blue on that plant too, but then turned a shade of pink. 
I've recently gotten a lot of great advice about how to turn hydrangeas blue or pink using products from garden shops meant specifically for that purpose. 
The advice also included putting rusty nails in the dirt, and even coffee grounds were suggested as an additive...though I'm still not sure which color either of those will turn the plant!
These blooms in the photos below were cut from our hydrangea plant bush over a week ago. That's another thing I've learned, it seems everyone refers to the hydrangea as a bush, not a plant.

Anyway, I wasn't sure how to dry them out when I cut them. I did remember hearing if you want to dry them, you should remove the leaves and put them in water. Done! Not to confuse things, but someone mentioned that you can hang them in a dark closet if you prefer.
Originally the flowers were even a darker blue than the ones in this picture below from the blog, Redeem Your Ground (RYG). 
Once planted in a new pot, our hydrandea blooms got lighter and lighter until they were almost a pale green as you can see below... 
Strange thing though, the blooms seem to be gaining their blue coloring back while they've been sitting in water inside the house! See the blue in the photo here? Even Wild Bill mentioned it to me.
Oops, ignore the ladder in that photo! We've got more chores going on here due to the good ole "Fixin' To Do" list. 

And, while I'm confessing...Don't even bother asking why the salt and pepper holder is mixed in with the blooms because I've got no answer for that.
Yesterday, I found a post about drying hydrangeas on Redeem Your Ground and was happy to learn I was headed in the right direction. 

RYG suggested putting them way up, out of the way, and leaving them alone while the water evaporates... and, once the hydrangeas are dried out, spray them with hairspray! 

Crazy, right? You can read RYG's drying hydrangeas post HERE

Meanwhile, I'll be like a mad scientist trying to pound rusty nails in the coffee-saturated soil and mixing up a concoction of acids and/or alkaline to turn my hydrangea blooms pink or blue.


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Visit To Cabin & Cottage's Shop




While in Albuquerque earlier this month visiting youngest daughter and family, I stopped at the vintage shop, Je L'Adore, where Jacqueline of Cabin & Cottage blog has a booth.
You could spend a fortune while there! So many nice things to see and buy. I made two purchases while at the shop: a small linen pillow and a vintage watering can. 
Jacqueline often shows linens on her blog and gives great advice on how to clean and restore vintage linens. 

Her shop did not disappoint! She carries a variety of vintage linens, all in perfect condition, and the displays are lovely.
I borrowed two photos of Jacqueline's booth (above and below) from her blog because, frankly, I was too busy looking around the shop to take many pictures!
Here's the little white pillow I bought all settled in to it's new home on our love seat. I like to add a lot of white around the house because it brightens up our neutral spaces.
The other purchase, the vintage watering can, is all banged and beaten up to perfection. I forgot to get a close-up before I started decorating the top of our TV cabinet with it. 
If you're interested in restoring vintage linens and want to learn how to clean them and remove stains, stop by Jacquelin's blog Cabin & Cottage and look around.

Even if you're like me and don't have vintage linens to restore, you can drop by and look at all the pretty things Jacqueline shares with her readers. She always has something going on!



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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Answer Is Yes!



If you were kind enough to read my last "Woe Is Me" post, and if you are wondering did the cabinet show up today...the answer is yes!
We would not have been upset had they cancelled today because it rained all night long and only ended about 6:30 a.m. 
The installers were scheduled to come at 8 a.m.  They showed up right on time to our surprise. 

It stayed overcast all day, which made picture taking hard, but kept it cool in the house. We had to keep the door wide open all day since lots of sawing and measuring went on outside, and the guys had to continually go in and out.

Is the cabinet what I was expecting after giving the cabinet shop lots and lots of magazine pictures and descriptive info? 

Well not exactly...you can see the pictures I gave the shop to work from in my original post HERE.

But, we can fix anything by adding lots and lots of trim on the china cabinet side here. 

And on the entryway side below, we need to add a shelf and a board running across for hooks to hang coats.  Somehow all that got overlooked by the shop despite photos and written plans...

Mainly I'm glad to finally have a wall between the glass windows on the front door and the rest of the living area. 
The months and months of waiting for the shop to get it done don't seem to matter to me anymore. I am a happy girl old lady!  


The cabinet is bare wood at this point, and very sturdy and well built. It's built with paint-grade poplar as I prefer painted cabinets and woodwork, and it's cheaper than stain-grade if you're painting it anyway.  
A creamy white paint would be my choice, but we're choosing to wait a while before prepping and painting it.  The walls in both rooms will be painted first, and then we'll chose a trim color based on what looks best with the new wall colors.

In the mean time, we'll be adding more trim that will make it more vintage looking and not so modern looking.  

Our 12 foot ceilings make everything look short, but this bench is actually shorter than I like. At the top of our "Fixin' To Do" list is building a platform for the bench to sit on, which will create a shelf to hold our shoes and boots underneath.
And, although I love to paint my "furniture victims" white with chalk paint myself, we are going to hire an experienced painter recommended by the cabinet company for all the painting and hardware installation.

I'm joining the party over at The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday even though I'm a day late. Hope you'll stop by and join in.


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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Why Does It Take So Long?



We have several projects we've been trying to do around the place that depend on companies to get them done...a built-in cabinet, a walkway around the sides and back of the house, painting walls, electrical work.

I'm not sure if it's because the projects are small, but it seems incredibly hard these days to get work done. A lot of you are having the same problem too! I've been reading about your frustration, so I know it's not just where we live.


Here's how it seems to work in Texas: The company signs a contact agreement, you pay them 1/2 down and the other 1/2 when the project is completed. 

In the case of the cabinet, we want it to block off this arched opening between our dining room and entryway.


Back in early March, we first met with a cabinet company to have a built-in cabinet created and installed. We gave them a check (as a deposit) for half the total cost, and we were told 3 weeks to get it done

When I was still excited, I wrote about it HERE on April 17th, around the time the cabinet was to be installed.


We've waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally last Wednesday, at the end of that particular rope, we marched into the shop expecting another runaround. We planned to cancel the project so it really didn't matter anymore.  


We are so used to being put off, that I was floored when they said they had loaded the pieces of the cabinet into a trailer the day before and "...would Monday at 8 a.m. be good for us?" They even took us out to the trailer to see the pieces of the cabinet ready to be installed.

My question is, what's going on? Where are all the companies that know how to schedule their work and run their crews? If you have any insight please share it with us. 

And won't you cross your fingers for us? That 3 weeks has been some very long months, but tomorrow might just be the day our cabinet gets installed!



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Friday, June 16, 2017

Garden Help Needed



I've been obsessed with other people's gardens lately. I love to look at their beautiful hydrangeas. Most hydrangeas I see on other blogs are so beautifully blue or darkly pink, I can't take my eyes off their plants!

Maybe that's why my poor hydrangea plant seems so sad. The flowers on the plant when I bought it were so dark blue, almost purple. I fell for it instantly.
Now they seem to be really a washed out and greenish blue. 

Can anyone tell me exactly what I need to do to turn them blue or pink?

I got quite a few suggestions on other things, but no direct information on correcting the color.

Diana of Nana Diana Takes A Break left a comment that the acid level was wrong when the color fades...uh, Di, I need more info than that! 

Lisa, of Pink Tee Shirt, commented that hydrangeas are water hogs and to give them a shot of coffee grounds now and then...I tend to over water my plants anyway, so this gave me the confidence to let that hose rip! 

Truthfully, once in a while I forget to water my plants a day too long...so no more of that either.
Jann, at Have A Cup Of Mrs. Olson, said to cut the spent flowers to keep them producing. As you can see in the photo above, I cut the plant back to just three of the best flowers. After I took the picture, I cut off that ugly tag too!

Art And Sand out in California said she finds the best plants at Trader Joe's, and she agreed with Lisa that lots of watering is the key! I bought my plant at Costco for $19.99 the day they got them in. They were lovely when I bought them, but I will be stopping by Trader Joe's when I'm near there today.

Probably the most money-saving comment I got was left by Amalia from Handmade By Amalia. Amalia seemed to insinuate that I need to avoid them when she said garden centers were a grown woman's candy shop! Uh...you got that right Amalia!

Sharing today at Foodie Friday And Everything Else. Hope you'll stop by and join the party. 


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A New Garden Party




We bought some plants today to try to revive our pots in the front yard. Luckily, I didn't see Everyday Living's new garden party, Garden's Galore, before I went to the garden center. 
Had I seen the new garden party before I went, I probably would have spent a lot more money at the garden center! You can check out the party Here.
Just Jan Blog shared this photo of her fabulous blue hydrangeas. 

Drats! I bought a plant with blue hydrangeas like this about a month ago, and now they are faded and very pale.  I'm doing something wrong, no doubt.  

I'll be checking out Jan's post to see if she has advice for us wannabe gardeners. 
Have A Daily Cup Of Mrs. Olson's inspiring post was about the garden gates she saw while on vacation in Carmel California. It was love at first sight for me! You can see Mrs. Olson's photos and post HERE.

Here's some photos of our pots last year. I bought four new potato vines at the nursery today because last year's vines were so pretty. It seemed no matter how hot our Texas sun got, these vines just got bigger and better!
 And it seemed that every time I cut back this ornamental cabbage, it grew back better than ever. 
I hope you'll pop over to the garden party and add your pretty garden to the mix. Gardens Galore Link Up Party.



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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mattie's Pig Table Gets Another Make-Over




Just got home very early this morning from a long trip to California. Most of the time I spent there was without internet, so I used the time to look at old photos stored on my computer. 

Here's an old one of our entryway, which hasn't changed much over the years.
I did have my I-Phone with me, but trying to read blogs and websites on it made me realize my eyes are too old for that! 
While I've been gone, I've missed painting my furniture...and repainting it...and "de-painting" it with a sander when needed. 

Being away from home seems to have revitalized my DIY bone. I'm even excited about finally picking a color and painting some walls!
After 6 years, I'm really tired of our greenish-yellow walls. We're going brownish-grey-beige to get rid of the yellow.
After looking at the pig design I put on the top of this table when I did a makeover in 2013, I recently decided to shabby it up a little. 
Because it's slim and fragile, I thought the pure white made it seem a little too sweet.
With just a little hit of the sander, the painted pig was gone... depainted! 

I was going to paint it white again and age it down with dark wax, but the heavy distressing spoke to me so I left it that way for now.
I'm going to live with it for a while and see what it wants to do next.

Wild Bill's maternal grandfather, Will Savage, traded a little pig for this side table for his newlywed bride, Mattie, not long after they married in April 1912. 

When I first painted the table, I wrote about how the young Will bartered with a neighbor for the table HERE.  We found the little table, in many pieces, in the attic of Wild Bill's parents when we were helping them move in 2005. 
Wild Bill put it back together and strengthened it a little. The little table was in pretty bad shape so I didn't feel bad about painting it back then. 

For now it's in the hallway holding a lamp. It may end up in the powder room after that room gets painted since it's the most girly room in the house. 
The hall bench will probably be my next victim. I plan to make it higher by making a rolling shelf for it to sit on (that will hold shoes) and then make it softer with a cushion for the seat. 
I love furniture painted white because it makes everything more flexible. With white furniture, everything can move from one room to the next easily. 



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