Sprucing Up the Porch

Even though I’m not ready for Fall (and spiritually never will be) I decided to change up the side porch.

The summer porch is gone.

The summer porch

I’m using the door mats as color inspiration with their blue flowers and coppery leaves.

The door mats are predominantly blue with touches of orange and ochre.

The door mats are predominantly blue with touches of orange and ochre.

I gathered everything in the house I could find in those colors and began to move things around.

Blue and copper elements furnish the autumn porch.

Blue and copper elements furnish the autumn porch.

I pulled out navy blue seat cushions for the French garden chairs.

Between the garden chairs is a small carved tripod holding an old silver tray.

Between the garden chairs is a small carved tripod holding an old silver tray.

I found a copper teapot in the Cottage.

Copper teapot on the small navy cabinet adds a bit of warmth to the predominantly blue scheme.

Copper teapot on the small navy cabinet adds a bit of warmth to the predominantly blue scheme.

And 2 copper sunflowers in my bedroom,

Copper sunflowers

Copper sunflowers

The last jolt of color is from some copper colored mums, Hannah Orange, I got at my favorite hardware store.

The porch is in dappled shade in late afternoon.

The porch is in dappled shade in late afternoon.

Trust me, they’re more copper than orange.

I made sure I bought mums with only a few blooms so I would have weeks of color.

I made sure I bought mums with only a few blooms so I would have weeks of color.

I’m so happy to have a porch to decorate.

Even the urns now have copper mums just about ready to bloom.

Even the urns now have copper mums just about ready to bloom.

Last year at this time it hadn’t been built yet.

What’s making you happy?

A Bit of Whimsy Nobody Gets

I can remember my mother having an orange teapot shaped like a cat next to a modernistic owl.  I asked her why the teapot was on the shelf under an end table in the living room and she responded: “The owl and the pussycat.”

I got it. Clever, Mother.

I gave the teapot away to a cat fancier friend of ours but the owl popped back up when we unpacked after the renovation.  This owl has been sitting on the kitchen windowsill for months now and I just found out Charlie has no idea what it is. He likes it because it’s a chunk of wood.

This abstract wooden owl is about 10 inches tall.

This abstract wooden owl is about 10 inches tall and has a metal beak.

I also inherited a small ceramic Tiffany cat that could be a vase or a pencil holder.

The cat is clearly marked "Tiffany".

The cat is clearly marked “Tiffany”.

I’m pretty sure it’s a vase.

A sort of flower frog lid on the top of the cat.

A sort of flower frog lid on the top of the cat.

I put kitty on the windowsill with the owl.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, of course.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, of course.

Other family members have looked at the two items together and wondered aloud why they were there. Like Mother I said: “The owl and the pussycat.”

Maybe not the pair Mr. Lear had in mind.

Maybe not the pair Mr. Lear had in mind.

No reaction.

So for those friends and family of mine who just don’t know, here’s The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
   What a beautiful Pussy you are,
            You are,
            You are!
   What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
 
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried,
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
            His nose,
            His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
 
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
            The moon,
            The moon,
   They danced by the light of the moon.
 

I shall show you my runcible spoon another day.

Do you have decorative jokes that nobody gets?

I’m Not Ready

Lots of bloggers are talking about getting ready for Fall; I’m not ready.

Fall colors in the yard are truly stunning but also stunning are the vast numbers of fallen leaves.

Fall colors (November, 2013) in the yard are truly stunning but also stunning are the vast numbers of fallen leaves.

I prefer the end of Winter when I know Spring is about start and the promise of Summer is just around the corner.

Autumn is colorful, I'll give it that.

Autumn is colorful, I’ll give it that.

It’s this time of year south of the equator and our friends there are revving up gardens and planning trips to the beach.

Ah, Spring is so soft and verdant.

Ah, Spring is so soft and verdant.

I know cooler weather is coming so first thing I have done is to take the flowered pillows off the bench on the side porch and throw the whole kit and caboodle (2 loads) into the washer and get them really clean so they can be stored away until next Spring.

Porch pillows on the bench.

Porch pillows on the bench.

A couple more pillows on the French garden chairs.

A couple more pillows on the French garden chairs.

Charlie pointed out that we still have warm days (95 degrees yesterday) ahead and so plenty of porch sitting days.

I washed and dried these in the machine.

I washed and dried these in the machine.

I’ll have to find something else or just go without since these are clean, dry, and ready for storage.

What do you do to get ready for Fall? Or Spring if you’re you know where?

A Small Space on the Floor

The master bedroom wall that used to have the bedroom door in it is now closed up.  The bedroom closets  were also on that wall.

This wall used to open into the hallway.  Now we'll use the large opening created on the right to access the hallway, master closet and master bathroom.

The large wall in the master bedroom once had a door to the hall (grey area) and 2 closets that protruded into the bedroom for about 2 feet (white areas).

Once the closets were taken down and the doorway closed up there were 4 bare marks on the floors where the closet walls had been.

The marks on the floor will be under the bed but we'll know they're there.

The marks on the floor will be under the bed but we’ll know they’re there.

We need to refinish those small bits of floor to make them match the rest of the pine flooring.

Removing 2 closets left unfinished marks on the floor.

Removing 2 closets left unfinished marks on the floor.

Unlike our floors downstairs which are red oak, the upstairs floors are pine so Charlie took our electric hand sander and smoothed them out to remove any rough or painted patches.

Charlie's working so fast his hands are just a blur.

Charlie’s working so fast his hands are just a blur.

The floors still need to be wiped down then the sanded areas will be ready for polyurethane.

Once polyurethaned the marks on the floor should blend into the rest of the area better.

Once polyurethaned the marks on the floor should blend into the rest of the area better.

Before the weekend is out We will give those spots some polyurethane that the professional floor finishers left.

Happy birthday, Dee Dee! Love you so much.

Why does everything take so long?

A New Shelf in the Kitchen

I have a shelf I’ve been wanting to hang somewhere for a long time.  It protrudes from the wall so it needs to be in a spot where it won’t be bumped.

The kitchen is the most finished area of the house.

The end of the cabinet run on the far right needs some decoration.

I had the bright idea of hanging it on the end of a kitchen cabinet.

The sides of our cabinets are wood.

The sides of our cabinets are wood.

It’s fairly heavy so I chose 2 large-headed screws that wouldn’t let the brackets slip off.

The screws had large heads to hold the brackets on the side of the cabinet.

The screws had large heads to hold the brackets on the side of the cabinet.

Charlie did the honors since we thought it would be the perfect resting place for his grandmother’s yellow ware dough bowl.

Charlie tightened the screws after the shelf was hung.

Charlie tightened the screws after the shelf was hung.

Ultimately the dough bowl just wasn’t right so I put the 3 Graces vase up there until I find the perfect object.

A good display spot for special objects.

A good display spot for special objects.

This corbelled shelf balances out the stark end of the cabinet run with some natural wood that also ties into our island. And it’s high enough that we won’t smash our heads on it.

Do you shop your house for decorative elements?

Thinking in Grey

I’m tired of having a pale, pale grey house.  People usually think it’s white but it’s actually “Glamour Grey”, a Duron paint which is no longer made since Duron was swallowed up by Sherwin Williams.

The Glade looks white but is actually pale grey.

The Glade looks white but is actually pale grey.

I have decided that I would like a more dominant grey so the white trim will be more prominent. Revere Pewter is the darkest grey I used inside the house for walls and thought it, too, would look washed-out on the exterior walls.

The living room is Revere Pewter which is a warm grey.

The living room is Revere Pewter which is a warm grey.

After looking at 3 greys:

Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor Gray by Benjamin Moore

Sag Harbor Gray by Benjamin Moore

Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore

Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore

Rockport

Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore

Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore

I decided that the Sag Harbor was too tan although it is a very pretty color, especially when you see houses painted that color on Google images.  I narrowed it down to Rockport Gray and Sandy Hook Gray.  Both are warm greys.  I went warm because:

  1. I didn’t want the house to read “blue” which is the tendency outdoors due to the color of the sky and the general blueness of cloudy days, and

    On a sunny day the house looks white; a a cloudy day - blue.

    On a sunny day the house looks white; on a cloudy day – blue.

  2. The “bluestone” on the porches and the roof shingles have a warm component, and
    The far right swatch is Sandy Hook gray which also looks good with the bluestone porches.

    The far right swatch is Sandy Hook gray which also looks good with the bluestone porches.

    Although taking a true color photo is difficult, Sandy Hook looks good against the roofing shingles.

    Although taking a true color photo is difficult, Sandy Hook looks good against the roofing shingles.

  3. My doors and shutters are blue so I wanted some contrast.

    The doors are blue and the shutters are deep bluish grey.

    The doors are blue and the shutters are deep bluish grey.

And my decision is:

Sandy Hook Gray against the shingles.

Sandy Hook Gray against the shingles.

Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Do you know your house’s exterior color? Are you satisfied with it?

 

We Moved the Drywall Again

Yes, we moved (removed) the dry wall again and I’m sure it’s not for the last time.

The drywall was delivered to and stored in the conservatory.

The drywall was delivered to and stored in the conservatory.

Originally it was in the conservatory.

The conservatory was the first and largest room we drywalled.

The conservatory was the first and largest room we drywalled.

After drywalling the conservatory we took  what remained up to the master bedroom.  Our steps were too narrow to carry it up the indoor staircase so Charlie and I handed it over the rooftop outside the master bedroom and stored it in the bedroom and/or closet while we finished the master bathroom and closet.

Unused drywall was leaning against the bedroom wall.

Unused drywall was leaning against the bedroom wall.

Now that we’re ready to (almost ready) to paint the master bedroom, the remaining drywall had to go.  We hauled it out the bedroom French doors.

It looks like I'm not helping but I was.

It looks like I wasn’t helping but I was.

Charlie put the extension ladder against the house.

Charlie put the extension ladder up against the side of the conservatory.

Charlie put the extension ladder up against the side of the conservatory.

I leaned a piece of drywall on the ladder and slid it down until Charlie could grab hold of it and carry it over to the Cottage across the driveway.

We used the ladder to support the descent of the wallboard.

We used the ladder to support the descent of the wallboard.

Unless our friend needs this drywall to finish a project at his home, we’re going to use it to replace to replace some of the plywood walls in the Cottage.

Do you move the same items from here to there and back again?