Here’s What I Bought

Recently I pruned my 3 olive trees that are in plastic planters.

The pot on the left is broken.

The pot on the left is broken.

One of the pots was broken last year when the framers threw debris on it.

The pots are a greyish green color.

The pots are a greyish green color.

Charlie had warned me that the trees would need larger pots so I stopped in Big Lots and found 3 plastic pots that are taller than the ones we’re using now.

Light and Dark Green Spray Paint -- Krylon Fusion is made expressly for plastic.

Light and Dark Green Spray Paint — Krylon Fusion is made expressly for plastic.

The cashier told me she had pots like these at her house and had had great success spray painting them.

My Versailles planters

My Versailles planters

I’m torn between painting them green like our other garden planters — or ochre like I had planned to do with these urns I received as a gift last year.

Love the ochre pots in this setting from Martha Stewart.

Love the ochre pots in this setting from Martha Stewart.

Once I decide I’m going to paint all the pots the same color.

While I'm changing the color of things I might also spray the weird green and yellow vase I found on the giveaway table at church.

While I’m changing the color of things I might also spray the weird green and yellow vase I found on the giveaway table at church.

In the mean time, after Charlie repots the olive trees in the larger pots I’m going to throw way the broken one and use the other two for rosemary plants I bought at the local farm stand.

Lavender and rosemary.

Lavender and rosemary.

I also picked up 3 lavender just because I like them.

I would like the pots in either the honey color (in back) or green.

I would like the pots in either the honey color (in back) or green.

Any vote for green or ochre?

Do you try to improve things that might not really need improvement?

Psssst!

I don’t have a secret.  I finally spent the day spray painting.

Here are the frames separated into individual pieces of our vintage patio set.

Here are the frames separated into individual pieces of our vintage patio set.

The weather was warm (above 50) and although it was a bit breezy I worked my way through 5 cans of Rust Inhibitor and Metallic Charcoal to cover my vintage patio set.

Coat after coat of Rustoleum Metallic Charcoal -- until it gleamed in the sun.

Coat after coat of Rustoleum Metallic Charcoal — until it gleamed in the sun.

I also used my rug cleaner recipe to clean the cushions. I squirted it on, brushed it in, and rinsed it off.

Most of the stains (see photo) came out after a good scrub and rinse.

Most of the stains (see before photo) came out after a good scrub and rinse.

The cushions are much cleaner.

I stood on the back steps and threw the pillows up to the roof.  One flew over the other side and landed n the mud.

I stood on the back steps and threw the pillows up to the roof. One flew over the other side and landed n the mud.

I was able to toss the cushions up to the bedroom porch from the conservatory steps.

After on the left, before on the right.

After on the left, before on the right.

I still need to get the last two chair frames up to the porch but at point everything is painted.

The cushions are drying but I plan to make this porch my 3-season headquarters.

The cushions are drying but I plan to make this porch my 3-season headquarters.

Everything aught to be dry enough to sit on tomorrow.

Two more pieces are waiting to be handed up to the master bedroom private porch.

Two more pieces are waiting to be handed up to the master bedroom private porch.

Woo hoo! I thought it would never get finished.

Inside — outside, where are you working (playing) this weekend?

Risking a Topiary Prune

Two years ago while in Florida I bought 3 olive trees.

The trees have grown over the past two years but have lost their compact shape.

The trees have grown over the past two years but have lost their compact shape.

My main purpose in getting them was for their looks. (I was inspired by all olive trees we saw in France bedecking restaurants and shops.)

We keep the olive trees in the conservatory during the winter.

We keep the olive trees in the conservatory during the winter.

I don’t like olives and I really didn’t expect Charlie to get into the olive oil pressing business.

One Koroneiki (Greek) in the middle is doing better than the two Arbequina (Spanish) varieties.

One Koroneiki (Greek) in the middle is doing better than the two Arbequina (Spanish) varieties.

They’ve been in the house all winter so I asked Charlie to take them outside since the weather is supposed to be well above freezing.

I like the shape of these olive trees at Atelier de Campagne.

I like the shape of these olive trees at Atelier de Campagne.

I’m taking my pruners to them to see if I can’t coax them into a more lollipop-like shape.

Before pruning the tress were a mas of helter skelter branches.

Before pruning the tress were a mass of helter skelter branches.

I took off all the branches below about 12 inches and left only the main stem (which was sometimes hard to distinguish from a branch).  I hope I haven’t made an awful mistake.

The two Spanish olive trees are almost leafless.

The two Spanish olive trees are almost leafless.

I also fertilized them with some Miracle Gro.

I had to cut a large, low branch off of the Greek olive tree, almost half the tree.

I had to cut a large, low branch off of the Greek olive tree, almost half the tree.

Hoping that they leaf out and become beautiful, manageable topiaries.

What inspires you?

Don’t Look in the Dining Room

Once upon a time all our clutter was relegated to the living room.

This is not the worst the living room had been over the course of the renovation.

This is not the worst the living room had been over the course of the renovation.

Then we tackled it and set it up with a new sofa.

The Living Room with most of the clutter gone.

The Living Room with most of the clutter gone.

Everything was warm and cozy.

The only change is a white sofa cover.

The only change is a white sofa cover.

I even went to the trouble of changing the slip cover on the sofa with the season.

There are always a few items that are not in their proper place.

There are always a few items that are not in their proper place.

Although I never quite finished sewing the curtains even those don’t look too bad.

The dining room can be seen just beyond the living room.

The dining room can be seen just beyond the living room.

The dining room, however, is my sewing room and it’s not cleared up enough to lay out my sewing regalia.

Even the bathroom sink is on the floor in the dining room .

Even the bathroom sink is on the floor in the dining room .

We’re still not finished the conservatory so until I’m sure I won’t need some touch up paint or a special tool and all the new electrical and plumbing fixtures are installed, the staging area is our dining room.

The dining room (with the oval table) is open to all the other rooms.

The dining room (with the oval table) is open to all the other rooms.

Unfortunately our dining room is the central pass-through for all the first floor rooms.

The conservatory bathroom floor is the project which has been holding us up.

The conservatory bathroom floor is the project which has been holding us up.

This afternoon our knows-everything (in a good way) buddy is coming to assess how he can help us finish the bathroom floors which is the next step.

We had a party on New Year's Eve and we'll plan another one soon (soon as the dining room is presentable).

We had a party on New Year’s Eve and we’ll plan another one soon (soon as the dining room is presentable).

Until then if we party I’ll have to ask you not to look under the dining room table.

Do you move piles of stuff from one room to another? How do you get rid of it?

I Cannot Keep a Surprise to Myself

I wanted to wait until the entire master bedroom private porch was ready for occupancy.

Entrance onto our private porch from the master bedroom.

Entrance onto our private porch from the master bedroom.

Unfortunately I just can’t keep a surprise. Actually, I can but it takes all my concentration which I have precious little of these days.

This area gets morning sun and afternoon shade which will be appreciated on warm summer days.

This area gets morning sun and afternoon shade which will be appreciated on warm summer days.

The furniture has been stripped but still needs to be painted.

Charlie finished stripping the old chippy white paint from our aluminum furniture.

Charlie finished stripping the old chippy white paint from our aluminum furniture.

But the rug has arrived.

Charlie hoisted the 8 and a half foot tube up onto the conservatory roof from the back steps.

Charlie hoisted the 8 and a half foot tube up onto the conservatory roof from the back steps.

I asked my readers to help me pick the one that would go best with my vintage furniture and you chose:

The rug was tightly rolled so the ends need time to relax.

The rug was tightly rolled so the ends need time to relax.

Ta-dah! Shasta

The black roof is brightened up by the light and bright rug.

The black roof is brightened up by the light and bright rug.

It’s the one I thought would go best, too, but I was a little leery of so much white.

I can't wait to actually arrange the furniture on our porch.

I can’t wait to actually arrange the furniture on our porch.

I decided that I’d be brave and go for the one we all liked best.

Can't wait to get some seating in place to enjoy the scenery.

Can’t wait to get some seating in place to enjoy the scenery.

Thank you, folks, for your wise participation.  And for those who chose a different rug be assured that I considered each carefully because I like them all.  The other ones just didn’t seem to go with my furniture (which I’m keeping) quite as well.

How do you decide among 3 equally tempting choices?

Our Vanity Lighting for the Master

The new bathrooms are coming along slowly but since the electric has been totally roughed in we were able to purchase lighting fixtures.

Shades of Light showroom in Richmond, Virginia.

Shades of Light showroom in Richmond, Virginia.

We bought 6 fixtures on our Richmond road trip which we took expressly to buy lighting.

Industrial cage vanity light from Shades of Light.

Industrial cage vanity light from Shades of Light.

The conservatory over-vanity wall light.

One of two recycled glass hall fixtures.

One of two recycled glass hall fixtures.

The master suite hall flush-mount ceiling fixtures (2).

Over dressing table wall light which needs to be painted and repaired.

Over dressing table wall light which needs to be painted and repaired.

The wall fixture for my dressing table in the master bathroom.

Pendant lights will hang over the dual sinks on either side of the window.

Pendant lights will hang over the dual sinks on either side of the window in the electrified circles in the ceiling.

That leaves 2 fixtures which had to be ordered by our salesperson at “Shades of Light” who was a delight to work with and has diligently kept us up-to-date on the delivery of the last 2.

Catalog description: Glass is blown into chicken wire in the form of diamonds and flowers to create a whimsical glass pendant for rustic or cottage settings. Due to the hand-blown, hand-cut nature, each glass will vary slightly.

Catalog description: Glass is blown into chicken wire in the form of diamonds and flowers to create a whimsical glass pendant for rustic or cottage settings. Due to the hand-blown, hand-cut nature, each glass will vary slightly.

The catalog picture (above) seemed misleading when we saw the actual fixture which was on display at the “Shades of Light” showroom.

The fixtures came in boxes within a box because they are fragile. (Notice the warning that we should hire a professional electrician.)

The fixtures came in boxes within a box because they are fragile. (Notice the warning that we should hire a professional electrician.)

After much consideration I decided I liked the recycled glass and wired cage enough to take a risk that they would not be too large over the sinks (which have not yet been installed) in the master bathroom.

The fixtures are similar but not exactly the same since they are hand-blown glass.

The fixtures are similar but not exactly the same since they are hand-blown glass. The one on the left is much heavier than the one on the right.

I had been looking for something unique and these filled the bill.

We'll hang them in the bathroom on either  side of the window.

We’ll hang them in the bathroom on either side of the window.

If we ever get the bathroom floor tiled the rest of the room should move along more quickly.  In any case, we have the lighting fixtures.

Do you like to shop?

I Forgot to Mention

On our way back from Richmond, Virginia, a few weeks ago we stopped at Ikea to buy a sink and faucet for the conservatory bathroom.

The faucet fits on the Ikea sink and faucet.

The faucet fits on the Ikea sink and faucet.

I forgot to mention that I bought something else.

Our Ektorp works well in the living room.

Our grey Ektorp works well in the living room.

When we bought our Ektorp sofa I chose the grey (Svanby Gray) cover.  It’s been a sophisticated yet cozy look all winter. (My son came over the other night and swore the sofa was blue until he actually looked at it.)

Blekinge white

Blekinge white

Now I’m ready for something lighter since the south-facing living room actually gets more sunlight in winter than in summer.

A corner against the still-unfinished curtains.

A corner against the still-unfinished curtains.

I almost didn’t buy this creamy white cover because at the Ikea store it is lit with lighting that makes it appear bright, stark white.  But actually it works very well in our warm grey living room.

It looks good with the blue pillows, too.

It looks good with the blue pillows, too.

I might have other summer changes in store if I can just find the time.

Do you make seasonal changes in your house? Big changes? Small changes?