The Painted Cross

An iron cross has hung on the Cottage for many years.

An iron cross hung on the Cottage near the front door.

Sug spruced up the paint when she painted the side panels on either side of her front door.

The cross didn’t look right on the shutters.

When we hung shutters on the door panels the cross needed to be moved.

The cross is easy to spray paint.

Sug hung it above the door but the white cross on pale grey was hardly visible so she asked me to repaint it.

Navy blue spray paint needs a few coats to bring out the true color.

I used navy spray paint misted with hammered charcoal metallic to give it a little interest.

The Cross at the Cottage.

Now it hangs more visibly above the door.

Are you changing the color of something?



Master Closet Doors

The closet doors in the master suite are Shaker-style solid pine.

The master closet doors are solid pine.

They needed to be stained like the ones in the conservatory.

The doors are heavy.

We unhinged them and laid them on sawhorses on our master suite deck which was covered with drop cloths.

Charlie brought me a cappuccino while I was staining the door.

I lightly sanded any marks off the doors which might show through the stain. After applying pre-stain conditioner to the wood I used a small sponge brush to apply the stain and wiped it off with a clean cotton rag.

Sug helped me rehang the doors.

We let the doors dry for about an hour then rehung them.

The door on the left is open, closet doors center, bathroom door on the right.

The new door color goes with (but doesn’t match exactly) the painted doors to the hall and bathroom.

What cozy element do you add to your bedroom décor in the fall?

Changing the Stone Walkway Stone

We visited the Stone Store on Saturday to watch a fire pit building demonstration.

We would like a fire pit like this only smaller — this is about 4-feet in diameter.

The fire pit kits that were being offered were both too large and too expensive for us.  On the plus side the kits came with everything needed and the stone did not have to be cut.

3/4-inch crushed stone in a little clunky for a walkway.

While we were there I looked at and walked on the 3/4-inch grey-tan stone I had chosen for the front walkway.  I immediately realized I would want something finer.

Smaller stone creates a better more walkable pathway.

They also sell grey-tan stone in a 3/8-inch size.  Unfortunately this is so popular it is backordered until at least January.

1/2-inch Delaware Valley River jack is colored much like our blue stone porches.

While I was looking at their sample counter I saw even a smaller/finer stone called 1/2-inch Delaware Valley River jack.

We plan to lay 2-3 inches of stone on the clay path on top of a lining cloth to keep the clay from mingling with the stone.

I think this is the answer. It won’t stay put as well as crushed stone but small river jack is a good compromise.

Do you find your choices limited by availability?

Now I Know the Difference

We are thinking of putting in a gravel path in the front of the house.

The front of house preliminary foundation plan.

I was corrected by the president of a local sand and gravel pit that gravel is not good for a path because when it gets wet it’s slippery.

Pea gravel is slippery when wet.

I was told, instead of gravel, to use crushed stone. Crushed stone is more angular than gravel and it not slippery when wet.

Our driveway has black stone.

I wanted to use crushed stone from this local company but they only have black stone remaining in their quarry.

We want crushed stone under the downspout water diverter.

Charlie visited a local stone emporium to see if we could get something that would blend better with our bluestone porches and field stone dry waterfall.

Sandstone is a lighter than we want but much cheaper than regular stone.
Grey and tan crushed stone blends well with our stone.

He brought home pea gravel, crushed sandstone, and crushed tan and grey stone.

Grey and tan crushed stone on our field stone.

We’ll be making a decision soon. I fear my choice will be the highest priced.

What’s your favorite path material: cement, brick, stone, crushed stone, sand?

Nesting Weekend

Traditionally the last weekend of summer, Labor Day weekend is also a chance to switch up some décor.

The rug is new but the yellow pillows are ready to be stored until next spring (at the earliest).

We have rain all day today. I won’t be heading outside to paint; maybe tomorrow.

I’d like to get rid of these nested tables.

In the mean time I can concentrate on readying the living room, dining, room and conservatory for a cooler season.

Maybe I’ll pull out some copper items which is as close as I get to fall colors.

To be sure, we’ll still have scorching days but I also want to start thinking about fall and winter entertaining.

The hydrangeas are beautiful now but the yellow plastic tablecloth will be switched out.

For instance, Christmas is on a Monday this year which means New Year’s Day is also on a Monday.  Perhaps I can get a New Year’s morning get-together on the calendar.

I’m going to replace the beachy items with some of my blue collection like these Kosta Boda vases.

I can’t wait to look through my closets for decorative items and projects to keep me busy this fall.

What’s your fall color?

Curio Cabinet Upgrade

In the Cottage on the front wall between the front door and big window is a tall narrow curio cabinet.

The curio in the front of the Cottage.

Sug decided it was time to lighten it up.

The doors are still drying.

First she primed it then gave two coats of semi-gloss paint in 2 evenings of work.

White seems to be more in line with the Cottage vibe.

Before and after.

Before and after

Filled with curiosities.

Everybody has a little collection that needs to be displayed.

Are you afraid to paint your good wood furniture?

A Picture Reveals . . .

I recently took a photo of the back of the house from the bottom of the yard.

The back of the house from a spot near the shed.

I thought it was a beautiful shot.

The blue metal table stays outside year-round.

Unfortunately as I looked more closely I saw all the clutter we store back there.  I don’t like the propane grill up by the steps.  It needs a cleaning and a new tank of propane.  Also a doable project which I would like to assign to Charlie, our Grillmaster.

Clean chairs are ready for use.

In some cases the clutter just needs to be rearranged.  For instance I can move the round table away from the house and surround it with the chairs we just cleaned.

The oil tank at the back of the house needs to be painted the house color.

Other items are more bothersome like the partially-painted oil tank.  Some day I hope to mask it but for now just painting it would be an improvement. Last night I pulled out my paint sprayer to get it ready to do just that tomorrow morning.

Our Honda mower had been a good purchase and now it is sold.

The red ride-on lawnmower has been sold on Craigslist.  Listed in the morning gone by evening. That’s really the easy way to declutter.

We have a trash can, a recycling bin, and 2 other cans that aren’t used. They must go.

One eyesore that I haven’t yet figured out is the trash and recycle cans.  I would like to build a structure for their storage that is both understated and utile.  My research has not yet revealed the perfect design nor am I convinced behind the house is optimum.

Some of these items are beings trashed and the garden tools will get organized.

Another bothersome area is under the steps.  Charlie keeps his garden tools there especially during summer.  It’s a jumble and I feel it encourages rodents and snakes to live near the house. YUK!  Perhaps I can resettle these items in Charlie’s greenhouse.  I guess he just needs me to work out a system of organization.  I’ll put it on my research project list.

The corner near the steps could have a some decorative plants.

Finally I’d like to plant something in the corner by the steps.

Do your little clean-ups take on enormous proportions?