Blooming Hydrangeas

One month ago I noted the hydrangeas were still growing.

End of May, 2017
End of June, 2017.

Nikko Blue hydrangeas are so welcome for a number of reasons.

A stunning bright blue.
  1.  They look great in the house as a cut flower.

    Hydrangeas almost arrange themselves.
  2. They seem to be bug free.
  3. After the blue fades they becomes burnished burgundy and green.

    The same blue hydrangea as it changes color at the end of summer.
  4. When dried they hold the color they were when cut.
  5. They flourish in the shade.
One day this hedge will fill in and and be a billow of blue.

I’m working on a hydrangea hedge.

What weed is your nemesis?

A Day’s Worth of Paint

All the exterior trim was painted on the Cottage after the new doors, windows, and over-door gable were installed.

The newly painted Cottage.
“Siding in a Can” by Duron has been a good product for us but is no longer available.

I knew the next step would be painting the exterior shingles.

The grey patch in the middle is the new color.

I had more than half of a five-gallon bucket of “Siding in a Can” in Glamour Gray which I gave to the Cottage tenant who started painting the front of the Cottage.

I painted the areas eye-level and below.

I joined her helping to paint the remaining 3 walls.

The window trim pops nicely against the light grey shingles.

I like that the light color grey (which looks almost white but contrasts subtly with the whiter trim) of the Cottage co-ordinates with my darker grey (Sandy Hook Grey) house but has a personality of its own.

Before
After — Newly painted
Before
After

Next task: paint the interior.

What’s your next paint project?

Il Primo

We’ve taken to naming our sunflowers.

In the morning the sunny face was just peaking through.

At least we’re calling the first to open its flower “Il Primo”.

By evening the flower was totally unfurled.

I was hoping we’d have sunflowers by the 4 of July.

The wall of sunflowers has grown to more than 6-feet tall.

It won’t be long before the whole blooming row is blooming.

Plans for the 4th?

My Asian Theme

Today I had a beautiful lunch made by our Thai chef.

Crispy spring rolls serves with sweet red sauce.

She made spring rolls to enjoy with salad and squash soup.

The neckline is an unusual u-shape.

The theme started earlier in the week when I received a thank you gift of a beautiful vintage rose silk kimono.

Basting threads are evident at the base of the sleeves.

I don’t think it has ever been worn because the sleeves still have the basting threads in tact.

The interior silk is flowery and bright.

The inside is even more visually spectacular than the exterior.

The rose silk brocade is highlighted with gold threads.

I’m not sure if I should wear it or display it in a shadow box on the wall.

Do you have a favorite Asian food?

Ah, The Floor Challenge

After a mildly successful weekend of clearing the bedroom floor of clutter I’ve decided to challenge myself to do the entire house.

The living room has been clean and straightened for months. Don’t ask me how.

The living room is in good shape. One down.

The dining room floor is also clear. Woo hoo.

The dining room is also clear and vacuumed.

The space between the loveseats has a large black mark that needs attention.

The two floors that need attention are those in the conservatory and the kitchen.  The conservatory’s white rug needs to be shampooed.

The kitchen floor needs a good, deep cleaning.

And the wooden floor in the kitchen needs to be cleaned.  The rugs have been off for awhile because they need cleaning.

The rug and its twin need shampooing also.

Since they are all small area rugs that shouldn’t be too challenging.

The former floordrobe in my bedroom.

How are your floors? Meaning:

  1. Can you see them? And if you can,
  2. Are they clean?

New Piano Pins

The Steinway baby grand circa 1906 in the living room at work has been having trouble holding a tuning.

Charlie plays the Steinway on Monday evenings.

Our tuner/technician said the pins which hold the strings are slipping so they need to be replaced with slightly larger diameter pins and new bushings.

Piano pins come in incremental sizes and can be replaced when the holes are worn too large.

There are 250 pins which hold the strings taut to create the correct pitch.

Piano
The new pins are larger and shinier than the old ones.

Each one is taken out and replaced with a new one then the piano wire is rewound around the pin and tightened.

Piano
The gold harp and strings are both intricate and beautiful.

The metal pins are beat in with a metal hammer.

Piano
The technician removed the keyboard.

Two days of clanging and banging before the piano could be lightly tuned.

Playable but needs another tuning.

The tuner is coming back to retune in a couple of days because a newly pinned piano takes a while to maintain the tune.

What’s your instrument?

June 20

Two years ago on June 2oth we were getting ready to wallpaper the dining room.

The dining room before wallpaper.
The top of the dining room is now papered.

Now it’s papered.

Without a backsplash the master vanity looked unfinished.
The backsplash is very practical.

Last year on the same date I was choosing tile for the master bathroom backsplash. Now that’s also finished.

The back stairs to the conservatory could actually become a full deck.

Making progress but also thinking up new projects.

Have you got an outdoor deck? What special detail do you recommend adding? Leaving out?