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?

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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?

Newly Painted

When the tenant moved in the walls of the Cottage were “Siamese Eyes”, a pretty aqua blue Martha Stewart paint.

“Siamese Eyes” is the wall color in the Cottage.

The color and the brand are no longer made.

A new kitchen, new windows, etc., etc.

But everything else has been spruced up in the Cottage and so a new coat of paint was in order.

Paint chip of “Siamese Eyes”.

The tenant took a paint chip from the wall and had it color-matched.

The new color is on the top half of the photo.

The new color is a close match and actually better than the original.  It’s just a little greyer.

What room do you want to repaint?

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?