Spring Time In The Garden

 

My spring time at the studio has been wonderfully productive; the weather perfect, the gardening restorative but the time far too short. Now I have to hurry down to Florida to my hubby; he injured his knee only days before he was to join me in Kentucky. While he will be alright he is scheduled for surgery to repair the damage.

So while some of my garden plans have been put on hold, I am quite satisfied with what I accomplished so far, which included cleaning winter from some of my beds and weeding unruly spring from others…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pruning cold damage from the butterfly bushes, oak leaf hydrangea, gold flame spirea and antique rose-bush…

 Re-seeding grass in the bald spots of the lawn… 

 Transplanting seedlings from my self-seeding coreopsis…

Completely reworking my entrance beds which involved constructing two small rock walls, relocating a large bird house, rose-bush and a climbing clematis vine and planting eight carpet roses…

 Planting a beautiful rhododendron…

Potting a purple Cherokee heirloom tomato and some annuals for the porch and deck…

And finally mulching: All the while fighting a losing battle with some stubborn wood bees that have decided to make a condo out of the deck!

 My amasing sisters have kindly volunteered to plant the nine foxglove plants I purchased but have not yet planted by the back fence

 

All and all, spring of 2012 has been a good one; minus the knee injury of course.

 See you soon hubby

 

Just What I Want

On Saturday, April 14 the little community of Grant’s Lick Ky was all abuzz. For months the residents of the area had watched as a couple of local entrepreneurs worked to transform a dilapidated old structure into a useable retail space. For as many years as anyone can remember, the old building has sat alongside the road slowly succumbing to neglect; but no more. While the proprietors decided to embrace the old mercantile for what it was and not erase its history with a major facelift, they did take measure to abate its decline.

quilt block on old windowThe doors were open at noon to a steady stream of excited customers, who had braved the frequent downpours, to finally get a chance to see the transformation. Even with the clouds and rain, the shop looked cheery and welcoming with the façade decked out with flowers, paintings, wall art painted on old window panes, rustic farm tools, buckets and more.

 

Once inside they found and eclectic array of antiques, gifts and collectibles…

just what i want an eclectic shop located in grants lick ky

old pine cabinet for sale at just what i want shop grant's lick ky

 

and a  loft boutique featuring gently used clothing, shoes and accessories.

I was there, as their visiting artist, demonstrating my wine glass paintings.

After wandering among the interesting selection of merchandise, customers were pleasantly surprised to discover a lovely secret garden nestled under the eaves of a large covered patio located behind the shop.

 

 The tiny community has whole heartedly embraced the new shop echoing the sentiment in the owner’s choice for its name –

“Just What I Want”

Just What I Want – antique, gift and collectibles; located 971 Kenton Station Rd, Grant’s Lick, Ky; http://www.justwhatiwantbymet.com; email – met@justwhatiwantbymet.com

Painting retreat

For the  past few weeks I have been on a solo painting retreat at the ocean’s edge;  here are the results of my creative efforts.

Storm blowing over Florida wetlands, acrylic on canvas

20×30

Stormy day over Florida wetlands, acrylic on canvas

12×12

Locals fishing off a pier on a Florida river, acrylic on canvas

20×20

Old Florida along the banks of a gulf coast river, acrylic on canvas

18×18

Super Simple Rug DIY Project

I have a super simple DIY project to share.  Part of life on the ridge is dealing with tracked in mud.  I tried situating a bench on the porch,  to sit and take off muddy or dirty boots, but we county folk tend to wipe off our  boots, not take them off.

rustic bench on cabin porch

Most of the time this is fine, but  in the spring the mud can be maddening! So I decided to try a rug. I knew it would have to be durable;  indoor/outdoor durable.  I already had a decent quality porch rug, but it was plain and kind of boring. Could it be made living room quality with a little  paint?…yes!

For this project you’ll need – A rug (indoor/outdoor, Berber or low pile loop), paint, painter’s tape and a ruler or tape measure.

I started by marking off lines of varying width and taped them off.

(I chose to do stripes but I also considered putting them on the diagonal as well as replicating the studio floor’s large harlequin diamonds – your rug  your way)

harlequin diamond painted on floor

Whatever design you decide on,  after taping out the pattern it’s time to paint: I used regular ole’ acrylic spray paint but you could use liquid paints and roll  or brush on your pattern. Final step – remove the tape, and…

Voila!

spray painted rug in living room

I said it was simple, now go paint a rug!

Rebuilding My Jewlery Collection

 

Not too long ago I came home, after a weekend away, to find glass scattered across the kitchen floor. While we were out, someone had broken into our home. It was a crime of opportunity; we had forgotten to stop the paper delivery and our neighbors, who would usually pick them up for us, were also gone, so a pile of papers had collected in the driveway. The house was not trashed and the monetary loss wasn’t high, however my jewelry, not particularly valuable but rich with memories and sentiment, was for me a great loss.

 But then from the loss came something beautiful. A few days after the theft a package arrived at my door; inside a pair of blinging earrings and a ring  and this note from my daughter…

note with gift of jewlery from my daughter

 It was a thoughtful sweet surprise, but there was more to come…

That afternoon I found a package waiting at my door; inside a crazy fun necklace and a note from a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then another friend knocked on my door baring more surprises. It was then I learned of the lovely gesture, devised by my two beautiful daughters,with the amazing  group of women I call friends as their conspirators.

 Dear All,

As you may have heard, our parent’s house  was broken into
over the past weekend. Thankfully no one was hurt and there was not
much property damage. Unfortunately the thieves had a clear idea of
what they were looking for, and along with the tv, our mom’s jewelry
box was stolen. While the monetary value of the jewelry is certainly a
factor, the biggest loss are her necklaces, earring, rings, and
bracelets collected over a lifetime. Her collection ranged from a ring
given to her by our grandmother when she was thirteen, to her high
school class ring, to the glass jewelry she purchased on her trip to
Italy, to the bracelet our dad gave her on Kate’s wedding day. These
special pieces are the largest loss.

As you can imagine, she is feeling disheartened over the break in and
the loss of her lifelong collection. In an effort to cheer her up, we
are requesting a small favor of you. We kindly ask you to look through
your jewelry collection. If you have any pieces that you no longer
wear (or have ever worn!) and can easily part with, please send your
surplus jewelry with a note to my mom. Please do not send anything
that has any monetary or sentimental value! The idea is to help her
build her collection from the bottom up- inexpensive plastic earrings,
old bangle bracelets, anything that you no longer have use for. If you
are unable to participate, we of course understand, and ask that
instead just send a little note letting her know you are thinking of
her. Her address is listed below.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel very free to email
us. We thank you so much for considering this request. Please note
that this is intended to be a surprise! We all know that life without any
sparkle or bling can bring even the best of us down!

Sincerely,

Kate & Cindy

 

So day by day  my precious jewelry collection is being rebuilt gift by gift…

 While the new pieces fill the void left by my lost jewelry, they don’t  replaced the memories and stories gathered through the years of collecting them , but they have added a whole new chapter to those stories and created memories I will treasure even more. 

 Thanks ladies,  for your friendship…

and my new jewelry!

 

A Pin Cushion Made From Fabric Scraps and Vintage Dish

pin cushion made from vintage table cloth and white dishVintage pin cushion

Recently I had a friend mention that she didn’t have a pin cushion so I thought I would take a few minutes and make one for her.  Since she loves the shabby chic style and has an affinity for old textiles, as do I,  I thought repurposed materials would fit her style aesthetic. Using a little milk glass dish, some scrap from a vintage table-cloth, a stocking and a hand-full of cedar shavings, I created this sweet, shabby chic pin cushion.

This is such a simple project and no sewing is required!

The supplies needed: Scissors, rubber band, a piece of yarn or string, old nylon stockings,  fine wood shavings (you could use cotton stuffing instead but I like the feel, the old fashion quality and aroma of  cedar shavings), some fabric and a small container like my milk glass dish or tea-cup. (construction adhesive optional)

supplies gathered to make pin cushion

Cut the fabric into a large circle; size will depend on the size of the dish, but a nine-inch diameter worked for my smallish container.

stocking used to make pin cushion

Cut the stocking six or so inches from the toe and stuff the toe with wood shavings until you have formed a ball large enough to fill the container and tie off the opening.

making the pin cushion

Place the stuffed stocking in the center of the fabric circle and wrap the fabric up and around the stocking ball, pull it taut and tie off tail using the rubber band. Tie off again using the string or yarn.

 making pin cushionfabric tied around filling of pin cushion

 Fan out the fabric;  smoothing and pulling it evenly back over the bottom of the ball. Wedge the ball into the container, a dab of good glue such as construction adhesive will hold it securely.

white dish used to make pin cushion

And you will have created a lovely little pin cushion

pin cushion made from vintage table cloth and white dish

Now gather up the supplies and surprise some special with a unique pin cushion.

for more great inspiration visit

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Adventures Enabled

This weekend hubby and I had the opportunity to volunteer for a program that has found a very unique way to support our most deserving soldiers.  WWO, Wounded Warrior Outdoors, orchestrates therapeutic outdoor adventures designed to inspire and support wounded servicemen and women as they navigate through their healing journey. This weekend the organization took seven wounded warriors on a four day fishing trip to Florida. While the young men on this trip bore the scars of war, their strength of character and spirit was undeniable and inspiring. It was an honor to give back to those who have given so much.

For information on how you can show your support for our deserving service members, check out WWO at – http://www.woundedwarrioroutdoors.com/

For more on the Florida fishing trip check out this article – http://www.examiner.com/florida-east-coast-fishing-in-orlando/the-therapeutic-value-of-florida-fishing-for-wounded-servicemen-part-1

Reincarnating an Old Cherry Tree

Recently my hubby came to the difficult decision to have a large cherry tree removed from our yard.  The tree, which stood near our property line, loomed over our neighbor’s bed room. The massive tree was showing some signs of decay but when we spotted termites swarming out from the base of the tree, we knew it was no longer safe.

cherry tree in yard

But with the loss of the tree came opportunity.  We had a local tree guy carefully take the tree down so that it could be recycled into my hubby’s beautiful creations, like the lovely live edge spalted maple table pictured below that  he crafted as a wedding gift for our daughter and her hubby.

wayne with cindys pine table

 The log was then taken to a special sawmill that specializes in salvaged materials where it was processed to my hubby’s specs. While it will be more than a year before the lumber will be ready to be reincarnated, we are already dreaming up new designs and uses that will honor and give new life to our beautiful cherry tree.

cherry trree at sawmill

stack of cherry lumber

Architectural Salvage

My hubby and I recently attended a lovely, out-of-town wedding.  Since we were there for the weekend we had some time to spend with each other; and hubby surprised me with the perfect outing – a trip to an architectural salvage yard. It was a wonderful surprise and we had a great time: I even found a few treasures (imagine that).

archictectural salvage yard

After spending the morning digging through pieces and remnants of the past, we drove to the wedding with treasures poking out of the trunk, tied down with twine, and filling the back seat of my car.  We got a few stares, laughs and Beverly Hillbilly comments, but of course no one who knew us was surprised.

rusty metal candle sconce for garden accent

A rusty metal candle sconce. I think this will work great in my garden.

large paper dispenser

 I’ve needed a large paper roll dispenser at the studio for some time; now I have one.

amazing patina on old mirror

I love, love, love this old mirror; it has the most wonderful patina.

patina detail on old mirror

Here is a detail of the beautiful patina; see why I love it.

top of old wooden wheeled cartwheels for salvaged cart

And finally the most exciting find of all, an old (rotting), wooden  cart on wheels; well it’s not quit on wheels yet, but it will be once restored and then it will make a great coffee table in the cabin: So excited.