Friday, November 21, 2014

Paperwhites

I have always had the desire to grow Paperwhites.
I love their high fragrance and I love their dainty 
white flowers on stems of glorious green.


 photo via Better Homes and Gardens BHG link for growing tips
I picked up my first batch of bulbs at
Home Depot, I believe, and started them with 
rocks I picked up out of the road.
{Hey, I used what I had on hand!}


I then bought a couple more bags from Walmart and
started those for gifts. Yes, I bought a bag of stones for these.

I started them in whatever I could find.
From my large hurricane
to mason and jelly jars
to a red transferware bowl.
I then set them in the best lit location which is 
the laundry room window. It's a South facing window so 
it gets fabulous light all day.
I read that once the flowers bloom, if you keep them 
out of direct sun, they will last longer.
Well, till then, they will reside in that sunny window
with my Lavender. 



They're growing!



I found my first little bumpy stem this morning
so I know it won't be too long before we see
and smell some action. 

This year is somewhat of an experiment
and so far, so good.

I have plans for doing a show next year around this time
so if all goes well, I'll have some started to sell.
I'll come up with some pretty, rustic and unique
wrapping for them in the meantime.
I think I'll practice that on my gift giving
this year and see who likes what.

Have you ever grown paperwhites for gifts?

I'd love to hear your ideas!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Baby, It's Cold!


Winter is here!

We are in the lower 20's but our
home is warm and toasty and for that,
I am so grateful.

photo via Pinterest

I will be adding to our Etsy today. I have lots to photograph
and put up. 

Hope you are keeping warm!




Sunday, November 9, 2014

Home Sweet Home

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret:


We cheated on our house.
But only for an hour or so.


This property enticed us with its acreage, a pond, 
and two houses.
We were mesmerized with everything about it.
The location, the layout of the property, the pecan orchard
and the potential of what we could do there.
Being in the county, you're pretty much unlimited.


It was lust at first sight.


We studied it on google earth, drove by it,
got excited about it and planned out how 
our lives would be living there.
I knew where the chickens were going to live, 
where we would pasture our cows,
where the garden would be planted and
 where we would hold Barn sales.
And the pond situation was even figured out:
A crack in the overflow pipe.




Oh, it was perfect.




Except one thing:
The house.
Another complete renovation.

The house is a 1970's two story brick
set on a concrete foundation.

The second house is smaller which would have been
a great shoppe for me
but, it too is on a concrete foundation,
thus NO PORCHES!

I still took pictures and we 
looked at it all with clear glasses
{meaning realistically}.

Too.Much.Work.

After we got home and looked at what 
we have  and have accomplished in our
home, we decided that we love it way too 
much to sell it and move on
to another big project.

We truly love our home and 
 created the perfect place for us.
We will stay firmly planted and continue to
make it our piece of heaven.
With the interior getting closer to completion
{there's still lots to do-trust me},
we will start working on the outside
yards and getting our fruit trees planted,
my potager designed
and build a small poulailler.

Once the upper level of our property is done, 
the Mr. can play with the woods and do
some clearing and maybe find a spot for a
little fishing hole.

So, it won't be too long before I do a 
Home Tour video {since I figured out how to
take video on my camera}.

Thank you for being here and listening to my
ramblings. I love sharing our story with you.

My next posting will
be full of surprises.

See you then!




Saturday, November 1, 2014

Barn Wood Seat

Brrr! We started our first day of November
very chilly and I LOVE it!
I woke up to 35* this morning and promptly
got the fireplace lit. 
I love this weather!
~ ~
As you know, we are huge advocates of using 
someone else's throw-away's, 
re-cycling, up-cycling and making 
something new with something old. 

Some day I will go through our home and 
take pictures and give the history of
all the things that we have used to make our house, 
our home, with cast-offs.

Today I'm going to share our newest project:
A new window seat with 200 year old barn wood.


I purchased this barn wood when it was attached 
to an apron and legs.



It served as our formal dining table in our rental
 but since we only have one
dining room in our current home, 
we didn't have a need for another table.
We both agreed we did not want to sell it.
Since the top was the only element of the table that was old,
we decided to dismantle it, salvaging all parts, to use for another project.

The lore of this wood goes as:
 It was taken from an old barn in Massachusetts
by a friends father. He then railroaded it to 
California where her husband
constructed several Farmhouse tables to sell.

I had to have one.

Who would have guessed this wood would 
almost make it back to where it came from...
just a wee bit more South. 

I have always wanted a window seat in the (this) kitchen and
my Mr. wanted to put a couple of cozy chairs in there.



I didn't quite want the kitchen to feel like a keeping room
so I never said 'okay'.

After finishing the flooring and base, it came time
to bring it up again.

He didn't say anything, walked away, 
came back from the basement with our barn wood.



Fabulous!









I will have some pillows made for some coziness
but it is perfect and exactly what I wanted. 
I love the saw marks in it and the rustic feel
it gives my French kitchen.


We talk about maybe selling after we are done with the house
and buying a house with land.
If that ever happens, I hope the new owners know how 
much love we put into making this house a home
But then again, we will probably 
change our minds about that too.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

You'll Never Believe It.

Here are a few more photos of the kitchen although these are 
pre - base moulding and trim around the built in.
We'll be finishing that up this morning.


The granite we {I} picked wasn't quite what I had in mind
in the beginning. I was hoping for more of a
 solid cream to lighten up the room but...
like I said before, this piece was in the shop and
 priced right and it drew my eye.
It's a little busier than I had planned for but I do love it!
I wish its true color would show well for you to see.
It has all the elements of our remodel though.
A little cream, black, brown, grey and blue.
So, in a sense, the package is complete!
Oh! And I found an architectural element that is going
to be perfect for over the mirror,
just waiting for its delivery!


Our granite guy isn't a fan of ogee edge {he said it's a "California" thing} but he did it for us. Ha! 
He is a stone design genius and also gave 
us a nice detail behind the sink and the 
backsplash at the stove.
Had I known the sink was going to be that fabulous,
 I would have chosen
a faucet that came out of the wall. 
Hmm.... next time house.

Now, let's talk flooring...


Our home has solid oak floors throughout the main level.
I have seen fabulously refinished oak and could
absolutely live with it.
Not here.
Unfortunately, it was nailed in place with the hugest nails
that were placed in the groove part of the wood, 
therefore not allowing
the tongue to slide in and line up properly.



What did that do?
Make for some BIG gaps and some katywampus lines.
It was kinda hard to believe that our newly built walls
were plumb because, I kid you not, in our kitchen alone, 
there was a inch and a half difference 
from the left to the right.
I thought it was kinda quirky and fun but not when we had ants flowing up through
those cracks. I don't care for ants and besides, 
if those are coming up, what else
is sneaking in?


Our chosen material...

Having lived with rustic, hand scraped hardwood
 in our last home, 
I knew it would not survive the boys, dogs and cat.
We {not me, of course} are hard on our floors.
If we could have found some reasonably priced reclaimed
Heart Pine, then we would have used that.


Laminate wasn't on the list of possibilities either
 nor was tile although
our bathrooms and work rooms have tile.

A product Mr. FPH has used both there and here is
Plank PVC Wood.
It's a commercial type flooring
and comes in array of colors and finishes, 
even "hand scraped".
This stuff is impervious to anything!



We decided on a darker color and absolutely love it!

I love the way it feels under foot. I'm betting
that it will be very nice this winter. I'll let you know.




If you're interested in hearing more, drop me a line
LeBlackRooster@aol.com,
I'd be more than happy to share information!

The kitchen has been done for a few days and I love it.
Nothing soaks in and it is so easy to sweep. 
I think this will totally withstand the power of the
Super Anderson Twins.
I can't wait to get the rest in throughout the house.

I will take some detail photos this afternoon and 
post in a few days.
As for now, time to start putting the spook on the house.
Halloween is a spectacular event here in our 
neck of the woods.
Our cute cottage will be getting a transformation to
a Dead and Breakfast {insert a wicked witch cackle}.

Happy Halloweeny!