Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Quart of Black Paint

In my previous post,  I shared photos of two of exterior doors at the house in Hooterville that got a fresh coat of black paint, the sunroom door and the laundry room door
This weekend I was able to get the front door of the house painted.  Not a moment too soon either.  It was in bad shape.  The wood was very dry.  Any protective coating that it might have once had on it was long gone due to exposure to the elements over the years.  In addition, the stain color just blended right in with the brick exterior.

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After a couple coats of black paint, it looks a bit better and will suffice until we have the time and funds to start sprucing up the outside of the house.

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After painting the three doors, there is still about 1/3 quart of black paint left. 
Hmmm…  since I can’t replace the vanity and medicine chest/mirror  in the guest bathroom right now, I’m wondering if I should make them my next painting project with the leftover black paint?

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Below is a photo of how the bathroom looked  when we bought the house.    Although I detest the terracotta tiles on the floor in this bathroom, I decided  they might actually work to my advantage (for now)  if I repeated the French Country cottage look I am going for  in the breakfast room and the yet-to-be-completed office here in this bathroom too.


Take a look at what I’ve done so far and give me your opinion on whether the vanity and medicine chest/mirror should stay white, or whether they would be better painted black.
The yellow walls got a fresh coat of paint. These photos don’t reflect much of a difference in paint color but  I actually chose a more buttery/golden yellow than the lemony yellow that was in here previously.  We replaced the old, short toilet with a new, taller toilet.  I found a pretty blue and cream toile shower curtain on eBay.   The blue and cream runner came from T.J.Maxx.  I found the  iron and wood corner étagère on sale at    J. C. Penney’s online catalog site.

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The wall on the other side of the vanity…before.
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I replaced the oak shelves with a shelf/towel bar that matches the corner  étagère.  The wood  on the shelves of these two pieces is a reddish tone and coordinates nicely with the the floor.  (I still need accessories on the shelves and some art!)  I found the little iron stool at Marshalls and I may re-cover the black tone-on-tone fabric seat in a blue (or blue & yellow) French country type fabric.

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So what do you think?  Should I paint the vanity base and medicine chest/mirror black?
I also would like some suggestions for a  window treatment for the window over the toilet because I’m stumped.  There is a blue toile valance on eBay that matches the shower curtain but I’m wondering if that would be “too much”? 
Can you have too much toile?    ;)

Linking up to:

Metamorphosis Monday @ BNOTP

met monday

Monday, March 22, 2010

Painting Again

There is still nothing too exciting  to report in the decorating department at the house in Hooterville but I did break out the paint brush and  paint sprayer  again and got a few more painting projects finished.
Two of the exterior doors got a fresh coat of black paint, which I think is a better color choice for the brick exterior. 
The sunroom door before…

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And after…

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The laundry room door before…

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And after…

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Not too long after we bought the house in Hooterville, I found this old dresser on Craigslist.  I envisioned making one of the guest rooms “pink and girly” so I though this dresser would be perfect with it’s feminine details.  It has been waiting for a fresh coat of paint…

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some new glass knobs and pink rosebud drawer liner…


ta da……..


The dresser also came with  an old-fashioned  mirror with lots of scrolly details but that’s a painting project for another day.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

A Beautiful Weekend Outside at the House in Hooterville

This past weekend was one of the nicest we have had here in this part of Florida for what seems like forever.  By Florida standards, it’s been an unusually long, cold winter so it was  wonderful to have sunshine and warmer temps again!  It gives me hope that spring  and consistently beautiful weather really is just around the corner.
With the nicer weather, lots of people must have been out working in their yards and gardens this weekend because we had about 3 or 4 people come to the farm to fill up their trucks with horse manure…something we have in abundance!
Hubby’s sister and her husband live just a few houses away from our  current house…the original My Cottage of Bliss.    They drove their big motor home over to the house in Hooterville and stayed Friday night so they could help around the farm on Saturday.  With all of the work to be done, volunteers are always welcome!
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After they arrived, we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows over a bonfire in the backyard Friday night.  I also made macaroni salad, broccoli salad (recipe HERE) and baked beans.  It was fun eating  around the fire but I  decided reconfirmed I’m not a “roughing it” kind of girl because I was too impatient (and hungry) to wait for my hot dog to get hot all the way through. 
Most of the fencing around the parameter of the property  is in pretty bad shape but we have been trying to postpone replacing it for a few more months.  Thanks to a few  rambunctious young horses, the time to replace it on the north border of the property line came sooner, rather than later. 

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On Saturday, just as the fence installer was preparing to set the posts for the new fence (indicated by the red line in the photo below), the neighbor who owns the property that butts up to that fence line came out and asked hubby if he would be willing to sell him part of our property.  We estimated the area the neighbor wanted was  about 1/3 of an acre (the area shaded in solid  yellow at the top of the photo below).
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We needed to make a decision right then and there because the fence installer was waiting on instructions about where to erect the new fence… either at the original property line, or what would be the new property line if we agreed to sell.  Since the area the neighbor wanted was only a small percentage of our 30.5 acres, and he was willing to pay a “premium” price, it was an offer we felt we really couldn’t refuse.
He gave us a good faith deposit check,  and he and hubby sealed the deal for now with a “gentleman’s handshake.” The official legal paperwork will be drawn up as soon as possible. 
The time for Jolie, the PMU rescue horse,  to have her foal is drawing closer.  It is supposedly due “around May.”  That could mean late April or early June…we’re not sure…but every time I go over to the house in Hooterville, I can see her belly is getting bigger.  I hope I’m there when the foal is born but it seems horses often have their foals in the quiet of the night, when no one is around.


My daughter still continues to work with Jolie multiple times a day in an effort to tame her.  Daughter can now lead Jolie around her enclosure by the lead rope and she has allowed Daughter to briefly stroke her neck, so progress is being made!

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The horse in the photo below  is Tucker.  He belongs to one of our boarders.  He’s a real ham and  seems to like having his picture taken.  Whenever there is a camera around, he’s right there, front and center,  doing something to show off.
All within a span of a couple minutes,  he came right up to me, presented his “best” side and stood completely still while I snapped away…


he engaged in friendly horseplay by nipping at another horse…

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and he dropped down in the dirt in front of me and started rolling around in it.

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Stand back and be careful of those wildly thrashing legs!

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This is our old girl, Jasmin.  She’s almost 13, which is pretty old for a German Shepherd, but thanks to routine acupuncture treatments, she’s getting around quite well for her age.  She’s always been an inside dog but she absolutely loves being outside at the house in Hooterville, particularly down at the barns where all the activity is.  She found  a comfortable spot and was thoroughly enjoying the nice weather this weekend too.

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I hope you are starting to see and feel signs of spring where you live.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Easy Breezy White Slipcovers and Furniture…Again

Last September I blogged about how easy I thought white slipcovers (and white painted furniture) are to care for.  The stat counter on my blog indicates that post still receives quite a few  hits daily because “white slipcovers” is a popular internet search term. 
I thought I would revive that popular post today and participate in the Slipcover Party being held over at  Pink and Polka Dot.

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In addition to the white slipcovers for my sofa and loveseat, I also had Calico Corners make a floral slipcover for a wingback chair in the living room.  It has appeared in the background of some of my photos but I have never actually posted  a close up photo of it. 

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The Calico Corners seamstress did such an outstanding job of fitting it to the chair,  no one even realizes  it is a slipcover and they seem completely shocked when I tell them.
It’s been almost three years since I bought my slipcovers and I still love them now as much as the very first day they were put on.  In fact, I love them so much, I NEVER want another upholstered sofa again and within the next couple weeks I will be ordering a  sofa for the family room at the house in Hooterville.  It will have a natural or off-white slipcover.
That original post from September appears below.
When people hear or see that I have white slipcovers on my sofa and loveseat, and most of my furniture is painted white, they always say, “Oh, I love white but I could never have it in my house because…  
and then they usually mention kids, pets, a messy husband…
or some combination thereof.
Admittedly, I don’t have any small children (and no grandchildren yet) but  we do have 2 big German Shepherds that live in the house and don’t get baths nearly as often as they should.  We also have an indoor cat. 
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In my humble opinion,  I think white slipcovers and white, painted furniture are absolutely the most family and pet-friendly  furniture you can have.  And although my husband was initially panicked at the idea of all the white, I think he would also totally agree with me now.

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Being able to wash slipcovers is  the wonderful advantage of having slipcovers instead of  upholstered furniture.  Every three or four months, I simply pull the  slipcovers off and throw them in the washing machine with a little bleach.  They come out looking and smelling so fresh and clean.   
In addition, almost all spot/stain removers are safe to use on white since you don’t have to worry about color-fastness.  You certainly can’t use bleach or just any stain remover on colored slipcovers or upholstery. 
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If someone sets a glass on my white painted furniture, I don’t panic like I would if I had  wood  furniture.  In fact, I actually encourage  guests not to worry about using a coaster if there isn’t one handy.  Condensation from glasses doesn’t leave a mark like it would on wood.  A coffee or tea ring wipes right up with a damp cloth. 
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We don’t hesitate to prop our  feet up on the coffee table and I don’t mind one bit if family or friends do either, if they wish!    If my painted furniture gets a little nick, chip or scratch in the paint, I simply get out the can of paint and a little paint brush and touch it up.   Of course, if you don’t mind  the distressed, worn look, nicks and chips just add more character and charm to a piece. 
One other important advantage of white painted furniture…
it doesn’t show the dust as readily as dark wood or even black painted furniture! 
Gotta love that, right?!
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So, if you have always wanted white furniture but were very, very afraid because of kids, pets or a messy husband, I highly recommend easy, breezy white slipcovers and/or white painted furniture. 
Edited to add:  I have had a couple e-mails and comments asking for more info on my slipcovers.  When I first decided I wanted white slipcovers, I initially bought ready-made slipcovers from SureFit.  Although they were a very nice quality, they didn’t fit the style of my sofa and loveseat to my satisfaction (too much excess fabric for the skinny arms on my furniture) so I knew right then my inner “neat freak”  would not be happy with anything less than a custom made fit.  Since I don’t sew, and didn’t know a seamstress, I had the local Calico Corners store make these slipcovers. 
The fabric is a matelasse.   Calico Corners recommended it be dry cleaned but as I mentioned,  it washes  beautifully.   I've had several matelasse coverlet/quilts for the bed and I know it does have a tendency to shrink  so when the Calico Corners seamstress came to my house to cut and fit the pieces,  I told her I wanted to be able to throw the slipcovers in the washer.  She gave me 2 identical-sized pieces of the fabric to test for shrinkage.  I washed and dried one piece and then compared it to the second piece.  There was little to no shrinkage in the piece I washed but to be on the safe side, the seamstress cut the slipcovers just a little bigger anyway to allow for any possible shrinkage in the first washing.


So if you are a staunch slipcover lover, or simply just curious about slipcovers, hop over to Pink and Polka Dot and check out the other slipcovers that are being showcased at the party.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Little Pony

I’m linking up again this week to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm and since I think the exceptional workmanship of my thrifting find  is worthy of sharing, I’ll also be linking up later this week to Show & Tell Friday  hosted by Cindy @ My Romantic Home.
This past weekend I decided to check out a new indoor flea market that recently opened about 20 minutes from my home.  The ONLY thing I was looking for was a small  farm table since I’m still on a mission to find one for the laundry room at the house in Hooterville.
Within minutes of walking in the door, I spotted a wooden rocking horse and was completely awestruck.   I thought it was the  most beautifully crafted wood rocking horse I had ever seen.  Since I didn’t find any farm tables at the indoor flea market, I blew my farm table budget (and then some) on the rocking horse.
What can I say?  It was a completely impulsive purchase made with my heart instead of my head but I thought our horse farm would be the perfect home for him.  :)
He’s  about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, certainly big enough for a small child to ride.  The saddle and bridle are made of  leather.  The mane and tail are real horse hair but my daughter commented she thinks he’s in desperate need of a tail extension.  (They actually do make tail extensions for real horses!)   Okay, I will agree his tail is a little on the skimpy side.  ::chuckle::

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Daughter also thinks his glass eyes and open mouth make him look a little scary but many carousel horses seem to be sculpted with this same open-mouthed pose.    I almost don’t even notice his expression because I’m so fascinated and mesmerized by the painting detail and the wood grain, especially in his face.

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I’d love to know if he is old or new, commercially mass produced or a one-of-a-kind piece carved by some very talented woodworking hobbyist  in his garage.  Unfortunately, there are no markings on him to help me determine his origin.  If anyone reading knows anything about this style of rocking horse, please let me know!
He looks very dwarfed sitting here on the hearth of the massive fireplace in the family room at  the house in Hooterville but that is where he will reside for now until I get furniture for this room and can determine if there is a more suitable place to showcase him.

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So, although my flea market find was NOT very thrifty, I do think it is pretty nifty!  I appreciate the opportunity to show and tell about it.

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays

show and tell fridays

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Boring Bookkeeping ::yawn::

In my opinion, this is the downside of owning a business.

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Numbers have never been my “thing”  but for the past couple days I have been attempting to learn a new bookkeeping software program while logging in all of the tax deductable expenses we have incurred since we bought the house in Hooterville and started Windswept Farm.
Whew!   The receipts are endless and the numbers are staggering.
Fortunately, I have something to keep me fortified…
Iced coffee.

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If I’m not back in a couple of days, please SEND HELP…
because I’ve probably been buried alive by all of the receipts  in this folder that I need to go through!

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