Many moons ago my younger kids would have a clown visit their elementary school. The clown had some great taglines. Mainly “The more you read, the more you know.” Also, “If you learn something every day, then every day will be worthwhile.” I don’t remember the clown’s name, I definitely remember his taglines. Consequently, I’ve repeated both them over the years. And I do try to learn something new every day.
Just today I learned a few things. So, I guess it was a good day for me. But not for a particular bird.
The First Thing I learned
Chuck went out this afternoon to dig a hole and install the first part of a Purple Martin House pole system. He called my attention to a couple of yellow feathers he found. He asked what bird it was from. At this point I didn’t know.. I decided to look around and see if I could find any other feathers. This leads me to the first thing I learned. It’s cold out!
Although that’s not truly something I learned. As I did actually know it. I shouldn’t be walking around without a coat and wearing my house shoes in the mud! In fact, I would scold a kid for doing the exact same thing. I decided to go in and get a coat and change into my boots. Dressed warmly, I went back out to look for more feathers.
I haven’t had a true Fall for several years having been lost in a desert oasis. There aren’t many trees in a desert and it’s still rather warm this time of year. So, it’s basically just like the summer only a slight bit cooler, like in the 80’s instead of 90’s. This year it’s different. We live in a beautiful neighborhood with trees galore. Our neighborhood is named Queen’s Lake and we are in Williamsburg, Virginia with the leaves beginning to fall and the nights getting pretty cool now.
I’ve always decorated pretty enthusiastically for Halloween. This is year was a little slower in that regard. I only just yesterday would say I finished decorating. Stevie and Hanna are both big fans of the Halloween time. Stevie got married on Halloween and her rehearsal dinner was a costume party. Which was really neat.
I think I had a harder time getting in the spirit of the season since Hanna is in Oklahoma and Stevie is up in Alexandria. These girls always go big on costumes along with their respective men. And I really enjoy seeing their creativity.
For me this year was a little sad, and anticlimactic, particularly because I don’t have my friends coming over every Monday to knit and share in the joy of a holiday theme.
I try to invoke a witch atheistic. But, basically, a lot of my decorating consists of covering everyday stuff with spider web table cloths. Then I might throw in a pumpkin or two.
This is a very simple thing with a big impact. I’ve been collecting the table cloths, table runners and such for a few years. I find them mostly at Target and Michael’s and I try to pick up a couple new ones each year.
I always set up my “The Witch is in” spot. This is my favorite thing. It’s different each year but always includes this broom that I’ve had for probably 15 years.
I really need to upgrade my rug, but overall, I like the way this turned out. I even had some help from Mother Earth with making this feel authentic. Notice the spider just above the witch hat? It’s the perfect touch. [As a side note, I used a heavy duty magnet to attach the hat to the suitcase so it can’t blow away.]
A nice big Daddy Long Legs, or whatever they’re really named. This year I added the old suitcase I found for a couple bucks at an estate sale a few years ago. The suitcase was living in my fireplace in the living room. My sister-in-law, Ruth, asked why I had a suitcase in the fireplace. I say, why not?
Here’s the first level of Fireplace decorating I did when we moved into this house which included said suitcase. I thought it was charming. I really don’t like having and empty hole in the fire box.
For the fall I changed this fireplace up a bit. We probably will have fires in this fireplace and not in the other one in the family room. I will change this again to allow for that when I decorate for the Christmas season.
The bit of change was adding a old toolbox, cedar shavings and a few pumpkins to “Fall” it up. The big Pewabic tiles hanging over the fireplace have a fun story. You may know of my love of reading and of all things books. I also have a great big spot in my heart just for libraries, and specifically, the Detroit Public Library main branch building.
The Friend’s of the DPL did a fundraiser a few years ago, coordinated with Pewabic Tile, to replicate the story themed tiles that are on the fireplace surround in the children’s room in the DPL’s main branch library.
Following is are the two tiles above my fireplace up close. They are replicas with more contemporary colors that happen to suit my decor style perfectly. These are the “Steadfast Tin Soldier” by Hans Christian Anderson and” Midsummer’s Night Dream” by William Shakespeare. They measure approximately 11×14 but as they are individually handmade they vary slightly, adding to their charm. My brother made these frames using our wet bar counter.
I have two other tiles from this fundraiser. but they currently are living with my brother. I think I should do a full blog post just on Pewabic and these tiles.
But today I’m talking about Halloween decor. The last bit I’m sharing today is the dining room table. I added some table runners to the chandelier and hung my ghosts, too. A simple table cloth and runner I’ve had for a while and some red candles with ghosts from Party lite that I’ve also had forever. Then I added more table cloths to cover up the everyday things, including the chairs that forever are living stacked in the corner……
It’s a pretty low key style with my Witch aethtic going strong. I left the burned out lightbulb to add to the effect, or maybe I just don’t have one to replace it with, whatever.
These are some of the favorite bits. There’s more. Come on over and see. And you can grab a dozen eggs while your here. We have a few. A few dozen or so.
I’ve also finished some knitting projects that need photographing and I’ll update those soon.
I wouldn’t say I love to garden. But I do love to have beautiful gardens. My mom is a gardener for the love of gardening. I’ve learned a lot from her. She has always had beautiful gardens. Flower gardens, vegetable gardens even just beautiful grass. I want those things, too. I’m not afraid to do the work, the removal of overgrown gardens is part of that. When we bought this house the areas around the front and back were mostly shrubs that maybe had been here since the house was built. The first thing we did was remove all these shrubs. Max and Tim spent a week just doing that!
We prepared the earth with compost. We installed gutters to protect the gardens from washing away in the rains. As part of the control water during the rains we also created “dry streams” which is something that was required for all property in the city limits in Las Cruces, NM. And it really works great to direct rain where you want it to go.
We then planted lots of plants. Many are annuals since we have so much ground to cover. We have Geraniums, Snapdragons, Marigolds, Coleus, and Petunias. We also planted some perennials, Lavender, Day-lilies, Roses, Dragons Blood, Pachysandras, Hostas and several other varieties. It’ll be awhile before they fill in but its looking good. I’m pretty happy with our progress.
In addition to compost and plants we’ve spread 23 yards of wood chips! 23 yards!!! we have several large areas we’ve made into flower beds and added wood chips to areas under our large trees, since no grass seems to be able to grow with the shade, intending these areas to be shade gardens instead.
Now we have full flowers gardens the length of the front and back of our house. We’ve planted so many things. Hopefully they all do well. We have to contend with deer and rabbits. And obviously birds. So all plant choices need to consider these things.
I think it s starting to look pretty dang good. If I do say so myself. My mom planted all the pots when she was here last. They are filling in really nicely. And I think they make the front door seem to pull forward from the house, I hope that makes sense. It’s very welcoming and I look forward to having many guests.
We’re still working on the backyard. Since we’ve now purchased a riding lawnmower and a weed whacker the grass is looking really good. Along with the purchase of the mower we also purchased a shed in which we can store it. We couldn’t find a riding lawnmower rated for an acre or more that would fit in our existing shed doors. as a result we’ve renamed the shed to the Cottage. This way when you say “It’s in the shed.” it’s clear where the “thing” is.
Part of our yard work this week was getting wood and putting it in our yard, stored for the winter. A man, Roy, that Chuck works with was generous and gave us about a cord of wood, Pecan and White Oak. Another man he works with, Gary, offered his trailer to move it here. Tim and I emptied the trailer onto a simply made Wood Rack. He loaded the wheel barrow and moved it to the pile, I unloaded it onto the rack. This worked really well and we had it done in just a few hours. I researched some ideas on pInterest and found this one. It was easy and seems to be perfect. We had some overflow and put that on a pallet that the lawnmower was on when it was delivered. Now we need a could Ax and a hatchet.
Happy landscaping. A little curb appeal goes a long way. I guess my so called knitting life isn’t so much about knitting these days.
One of my favorite things about this new house is the feelings it gives me. All warm and cozy, lots of natural light and good bones. It feels historic, and in fact, some of the neighbors call it the colonial house. I didn’t think of it in terms of colonial, being surrounded by Colonial Williamsburg there are so many authentic colonial homes and this one was built in 1962 not 1762. I do like the idea of it being colonial though. It is half a century plus in age so why not. I decided to go with colors for the exterior that would be reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg colors. In a Patriotic way. Red, White and Blue!
The house is a yellowish color with a red front door and white trim. The paint is very weathered and has definitely seen better days. Also, there are beautiful exterior trim around the windows and door that currently are the same yellow color, they blend in. In my opinion these are intended as a statement of class or elegance. I will have them painted in the same Pure White [all colors are Sherwin Williams] that all the trim will be. The siding is going to be Colonial White, which is more cream than white so it will have a nice contrast. I’m going with Real Red for the front door.
We have Bill Jowers, the Virgina Painting company, doing the work. They also painted the entire interior. They have done a great job on all of it! They are very good at their job, time efficient and they clean up when they are all done. Can you believe they painted every inch of our 2700 square feet house in under a week and the exterior in two days!?! I’m searching for the perfect carriage lights and larger brass house numbers. I also have wreaths to hang on the windows and am hunting for the perfect front door swag.
Note in the picture below; The siding has already been repainted the Colonial White, you can see the difference of the yellow still around the window on the right, Bill put a bit of white on the window to the left to check the coverage. See the demarcation line on the soffit where it has been repainted vs old paint?
We have shutters on some of the windows, some not. When we moved in we saw there were extra shutters behind the shed, enough to go with all the windows on the back of the house and as a surprise for the shed. Four of the front windows have shutters brackets but the shutters are unfortunately long gone. I couldn’t take them from the back to put on the front windows as the front windows are much larger. It’s not in the budget right now to have real woods ones made to match, so for now we will just paint the ones we do have. And they will be painted Honorable Blue.
We have some damaged wood siding on the shed. This needs to be repaired. We will also be adding windows to the chicken coop and a new front and side door. The shed painting will happen later in the month. But it is significantly cuter already with the new arbor and rehung shutters. My mom planted a climbing rose on the left side of the arbor which will be so lovely once out grows up on that arbor.
The other thing I’m excited about the paint is the BLUE ceiling! This is the same color of all my interior ceilings, Moonmist. I’ve read that blue ceiling on the porch will help keep bugs at bay, but it will also make the crown moldings really pop, and yes there are crown moldings outside too!
I love this house!
And if you need some painting done give Bill a call 804-815-1458.
This moving stuff is so much, not so fun, work. Luckily Stevie came just a few days after we moved in and really made a huge dent in the unpacking.
Then my mom and her friend, Judy, were here last week. They completely unpacked Hanna’s boxes. That was a really big help. Since Hanna is away at school her room will be the acting as the guest room. My mom also worked in the yard quite a bit. She really misses having a large yard, I’m happy to accommodate her love of gardening. She prepped some garden areas, put out lots of garden decor and planted some roses. She was happy and I was happy!
I’m the indoor cat to my mom’s outdoor cat.
I love decorating, moving things around and editing what we have to work in new ways. I have an eclectic style, a bit farmhouse, a bit traditional and now a bit New Mexican. We don’t typically buy new furniture or big investment types of purchases. I like to change things around so garage or resale purchases are better for the budget and frankly my style. We have many family pieces, like the tv that my grandma dragged from someone’s trash to her house, she gutted out the tv parts leaving the shell of the case. She then refinished it, adding glass doors and a glass shelf. I use it to house the various crystal we have, also, mostly hand me downs. I love this sort of stuff. Historical pieces, well, my history anyway.
I want our house to be…..timeless, not trendy. You won’t find a sign that says “Farmhouse” or drop cloth curtains hanging from our windows or anything like that. Not trendy, rather, updated and comfortable.
After mom and Judy left I went in and added the little touches to Hanna’s room that make a place special. She wanted to incorporate cacti into the design and I found these cute cacti lights at Pier One so I tucked those under the edge of the upper cabinets. Super cute if you ask me.
Hanna chose a pretty Emerald green but I went with the lightest color on the card, Breaktime, to give a spa like feel. Before she left for school Hanna picked out some throw pillows and accent pieces to go in her room. plus we purchased the chair and nightstands I previously talked about on my blog. I purchased new all white linens to keep with the spa/hotel vibe I wanted. I’m going to add several pictures of her room for you. What do you think? I love how it turned out.
Hanna loves it, too. And we are ready for guests! Whose coming next? YOU?
I’m hoping to squeeze in some knitting this weekend. I really should get in my craft room and finish unpacking there. I have way too many books. Not to mention I haven’t even opened the boxes labeled yarn or crafts yet, I won’t say it out loud but it’s a hot mess in there. Look at the picture with your eyes closed please.
For the time being Hanna’s room will act as our guest room. Hanna is away at school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has chosen some really great things to go in her room. The color she is working around is a emerald green. The room has built in cabinets on two walls. because of this, even though it is a larger room, it feels small. It needs to be as bright and airy as possible.
I think I will paint the room a very pale version of the green she likes. She chose some pillows and a throw blanket that are white with silver sparkle. Great for reflecting light. I will pick up a white duvet to keep it light and easy to wash. She’s always cold so we need plenty of layers for her.
I’m keeping my eye out for the perfect green sheets and hopefully some matching she
There is a desk as part of the built ins and Hanna spotted a clear plastic chair at World Market that will suit the desk nicely. She will be using this to do her make up so a good light up mirror will also need to be added. The desk is in front of the window so there will be natural light during the day.
Chuck found some great night stands join Amazon other day. Hanna is a big reader andt
hese will give her a place for books with out
cluttering up the tops. The even have the hint of green on the sides.
With our oldest daughter, Stevie, coming as soon as we move in to help unpack I want to get this area set up for her top stay in. And as we get closer to Easter we have all kinds of people coming to visit including Chuck’s sister Jane and her family.