Friday, May 28

Big things to come!

At least I hope so! Here we are on the brink of a three day weekend, so much time, and so much to do. Our list of projects is all lined up. Hopefully we'll have plenty to show off come Monday evening. I'm bursting at the seams for these last few hours of work to be done. Just a quick trip to the Depot tonight and we'll be ready to roll.

Wish us luck! Have a great Memorial Day!

Monday, May 24

Aaaand an update...

I finally finished planting the front bed. All of the hostas, bleeding hearts, coral bells and astilbe are in the ground. The dirt is crap, all sand, so I'm hoping the addition of some potting soil is enough to sustain everything. It doesn't look like much now, although it is much improved from before. All of the landscaping cloth that was exposed all over the place has been fixed so that it is under the dirt. Hopefully if everything takes well, and the deer don't eat them all, it will look really nice next year once everything has a chance to fill in a bit.

I also planted one of the azalea in from of the light post. I have three more purple azaleas, one lilac and another bush I bought whose name is currently escaping me. It promises to be deer resistant with small pink blooms, I'll have to find a spot in the back yard for it.

As you can see we need to acquire a lawn mower after all. We were hoping to avoid that. (Maybe I'll win my case for the moss!)

Here's a closer shot. The bed still needs a finished edge. I'm thinking of stealing some rocks from the backyard. I covered everything with netting after I took this shot, to help keep the deer away. In the morning the netting was halfway pulled off, but the plants looked untouched. I'll be keeping my eye on them.

We have a minor problem.

Somehow the Allium, although battered and broken and trampled by Maybe, have managed to survive. I fear some of my new purchases may not be so lucky. The deer have decided to make snacks out of my new hostas and bleeding hearts. Not cool. Most of them aren't even in the ground yet, but the battle for survival has begun. I want to play nice, but please don't mess with my flowers.

For now they are covered by some netting we discovered while cleaning up the backyard. I'm hoping to try a deer repellent liquid. My neighbor's hostas are beautiful, why do they seem to prefer my snack size ones? I might be able to forgive them if they start leaving their babies on the deck, as promised by one of our neighbors. But I have yet to come home to sweet baby deer lounging out back, waiting for its mother to come back. If, and when that happens, all might be forgiven.

Thursday, May 20

Bunnies! Bunnies! Bunnies!

Not too long ago I was complaining that we hadn't seen any little hippity hoppers around. But as the weather has warmed up we've seen quite a few bunnies bouncing around. Yesterday I took Maybe outside and she immediately went bounding off towards the garage after something. I came around the corner in time to see several small things scatter in all directions. Maybe started investigating one of the nearby wood piles, and then made her way back to the bush where all the bunnies had come from. In her haste she walked right by a teeny, tiny baby rabbit, frozen stiff in the middle of the pathway.

I carried Maybe to the other side of the yard to finish her business, and then whisked her inside with the lure of treats. Every time she's been out since she goes back sniffing around that bush. I'm praying she doesn't catch any of them, they're so cute!

Wednesday, May 12

On a rainy Saturday in May.

I found myself up early with the puppy this past Saturday morning, and then, just as soon as she was up, she was back asleep on my lap. I decided to do a little early morning Craig's list searching, since weekends are prime time for new posts. The cat soon joined Maybe and I in the office, curling up by my chair and falling off to sleep as well. As my 9am (on a Saturday!) pre-tea brain perused the new listings I happened upon what I thought might be a gold mine. A church rummage sale about half an hour away. They had listed two beautiful dining sets along with various other furniture items. I was really only interested in the chairs from one of the sets, but I thought it might be worth checking out. In the pictures I thought I saw what looked like a warehouse of furniture.

So off we go, to find some fabulous piece that we could someday joke about where we'd found it and boast over how cheap it was. Once we arrived I could tell from the parking lot that this was not going to be what I thought it was. There were only a few other cars, not quite the happening event I'd imagined it to be.

Once inside was even worse. What I thought was furniture for sale in the background of the pictures was just the church's own tables and chairs moved aside to make room for the sale. Both dining sets were long gone. It was like a really sad garage sale, only with nice, friendly people working, offering up the last little bits for pennies just to see them go.

I did scoop these up. I love hobnail, and we couldn't leave empty handed. The more I look at them the more I love them. And of course, you never can have too many candlesticks.

Monday, May 10

Good riddance!

Finally they are gone, well, not completely gone, but at least moved down the hall to a heap in an empty bedroom. Two weeks ago I bought new rods and drapes at the Christmas Tree Shops. They've been staring at me ever since, so yesterday we finally found a few hours to get them up.

Now they look really shiny in this picture due to the camera flash, but they actually only have a little bit of a sheen. They are a coffee color with just a hint of copper. They're faux silk, so they wash and iron easily, and they are fully lined. The best part is they were only $12 a panel. I bought the rods for $7 a piece. The pine cone finials match the details on our new nightstands.

While we were taking down the old hardware, we sort of accidentally might have pulled down the wallpaper border. Disclaimer: Please do not hot glue your hardware brackets to your walls. Also, 3" nails are also not necessary. So the border just happened to peel off really easily, and Dave got to work on that while I finished the curtains. The rest of that paper may be a challenge, but it already looks ten times better in there.

So my next thought is, will anyone else want the old drapes? There's a chance, right? Someone out there could think those terrible things are just lovely. Curtains aren't cheap either, this could be someone's fabulous find. I can see the Craig's list posting now: For Sale: Gorgeous, custom made window treatments. Four pair of extra long, fully lined drapes, complete with all hardware. Beautiful floral print. Matching throw pillows included.

Thursday, May 6

An ode to Louis!

This is my next quest. I've always been a huge fan of classic French Louis style chairs, whether they are XV or XVI (as seen above). Perhaps I lived in Paris a bit too long, or I'm simply obsessed with chairs in general. (I'm leaning towards the latter)

According to "The basic difference between a Louis XV and a Louis XVI chair is that the former has not a single straight line, while the latter always has at least straight legs. " The Louis XV chairs are said to be much more feminine and full of curves, while the XVI is a bit more masculine. Now you might be thinking there isn't much masculinity in the chairs pictured above, but true to form, they do at least have straight legs.

There are many modern recreations of these styles. The Louis Ghost Chair, seen below in white and black, also comes in clear (hence the ghost) and a variety or tinted lucite colors.

Paint and upholstery has also given new life to these classic chairs. Their time-honored style allows for a modern revival, mixing bright colors, wild patterns and fresh metallics.

Now I'm sure I could check Craig's list a million times and never find myself one of these, but it sure is fun to try. This challenge, to find one great armchair, or a lovely pair of side chairs, may take a while. But as we all know, I've got plenty to do in the meantime. True I could probably go to and find a selection of new ones there, in a variety of fabrics, but where is the fun in that? Plus I'd probably feel really badly spray painting a brand new chair black or gold, or a pale robin's egg blue.

Monday, May 3

Pittsford chainsaw massacre.

Ok, so I thought last weekend was productive but I think we officially blew that out of the water. I am still amazed every time I look out the back windows at the clearing that almost resembles a backyard. We (and by "we" I mean Dave and his dad, who were in charge of the chainsaw and its victims) cut down everything that was dead, half dead, or even just could be safely cut down without falling on the house. Above you can see a portion of the aftermath, and I do mean just a portion.

We also tackled a few hundred gallons of leaves. Funny thing to measure leaves by I know, but since we used 45 gallon trash bins to cart them down to the curb it's the best way to keep track. There is currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 gallons of leaves waiting to be picked up by the town. I'd say that's about 1/3 of the total in the yard. Many, many more to go.

After several trips to Home Depot and another huge nursery we managed to find some fun plants that will do well in all our shade. I even bought some Hostas, which I know is probably a cardinal sin, but at $2 each for some bright green pinstripe ones, I couldn't resist. I also went for some Bleeding Hearts, Coral Bells in a deep purple color, light pink Astilbe, a few Azalea and a white Lilac bush for the side of the house. Dave's mom helped me get a lot of these into the ground and hopefully I can get the rest into the front walk this week.

Above is a shot of a small bed under the family room window in the back of the house. There are a few steps from the deck down to the yard and this bed is on the landing a few steps down. There was a single Hyacinth, one bloom-less Daffodil, a small cluster of green and white striped Hosta and a few random Trillium and Jack in the Pulpit. We added some fuchsia Astilble and two of the bright green Hosta. I later split the striped Hosta to add some to the other end of the bed to even things out. It seems to have survived my surgery so far.

I also did some major pruning of a Creeping Juniper, violating I'm sure at least 50 bonsai rules. Oh well, if it survives great, if not then it's on to something new. Much like the rest of the yard, it looks better already.

I am still sore, and tired, but we've made more progress in the last two weekends than I ever could have imagined. A very special thank you to Dave's lovely parents, who worked so hard to help us out.