Saturday, March 12, 2016

Early Spring Gardening

I spent the day doing some not-so-exciting yard work.  March isn't my favorite month.  Although we've had some unseasonably warm temperatures, it's not quite warm yet overall and everything is still drab and dead, but spring is coming and the flowers are just beginning.

These white crocuses were a fun surprise at the base of a tree in my yard.

I have purple crocuses that have already bloomed and these bloomed a little later.

My camellia is blooming, but it's already starting to fade.  It's always such a welcome sight this time of year.

And the first daffodils opened in the last few days.

My favorite flower sighting this week was of snowdrops growing in the woods that I spotted on my run around a nearby lake.  They were growing in masses along the path.  They were so beautiful and unexpected and I wish I'd gotten a picture of them. 

I spent some time today on my roses and hydrangeas which I love so much more and can't wait to see soon. Both have signs of new life. Although the yard looks mostly drab now, I know that in late April it is alive with foliage and flowers.

Other than that, it's been a quiet weekend.  I've spent every weekend for the past month out of town and being home, I didn't quite know what to do with myself, but it's nice to have the rest from hectic weekends.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Vintage Fans

I love vintage fans.  My father gave me this one that I've previously shown in my new basement office space.  He was a tinkerer and would often make some scary electrical connections.  This fan once had a cord and it worked but due to the questionable safety of the connection, I removed it.

Over the weekend, we cleaned out the garage at my parents' house and one of the items that gave us a little trouble was this vintage fan.  Pop hanged it up on a wall by it's base and the screw was so deeply into a stud and stripped that it was tough to remove but we finally got it down and I'm so glad we did.  I remember days when this fan was on while Pop worked out there.  

This one has a cord, but I will never plug it in.  Again with those electrical connections.  I did remove some electrical connectors and replaced them with electrical tape just so it blended a little better.

I do think it looks good in it's new home.

 I had to remove my birdcage from this spot to place the fan here, so that's now the centerpiece in  my dining room.

I also brought home the plant stand to the left.  I am doing my best to care for Pop's plants which he loved.  I also think having all the plants here brings a little spring inside.

Speaking of spring, it's going to be in the 70s here this week and "spring forward" is on Sunday.  I'm so excited to get outside digging in the garden.  I went for a run this morning for the first time in a month and it was wonderful.

Happy Tuesday!

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Another Weekend, More Vintage Finds

I just returned from yet another weekend of cleaning out my mom's house.  We made major progress and managed to clean the entire garage - a huge undertaking.  

The attic, which we previously attacked, still needs work, but I've found some great things up there.  I went up there yesterday and came across this.  

A Singer sewing machine from 1950(?).  It's in fantastic condition.
I took it out of the case (which was very dusty and worn).  I plugged it in to see if the old light bulb worked (it did!) but I couldn't get the machine to work.  

When I unplugged it, one of the prongs for the plug stayed in the wall!  I managed to get it out without electrocuting myself, but this machine would obviously need some electrical work before it would be functional.  
The case held the instructions and several bobbins that still had the thread the previous owner must have used for their projects.
I also came across this photo.  I don't recognize either of them and wonder if it's either the previous owners of the sewing machine or their relatives.

In the end, I decided not to keep the sewing machine and placed it in the "sell" pile.  It's very tempting, but I don't really have a place for it and I think someone else out there might.

I found a couple of smaller things that I have decided to keep.  This old postal scale.
It's not perfectly zeroed, but it's close and I wonder how close it is to accurate.  It might be completely off, but I still love it.
I decided to add it to the basement office space along with my dog nutcracker, Edgar Allen Poe books, Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building.

I left this coffee grinder behind, but when I got home and showed my husband, he told me I was crazy to leave it.  I didn't want to, so I'll be picking that up on my next trip.  My dad had a few of these.  He collected them.  He collected a lot of things.

Finding these things is a lot of fun, but we have done well with progress on the house.  Now that the garage is mostly done, the rest of the house feels less like an insurmountable task.  It is sad that we need to move everything, but I'm happy that I'm able to keep some of these items that were very "Pop" and had been around for so many years.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Ick.  Back to work.  At least I can look forward to Downton Abbey tonight.  Can't wait!

Friday, March 4, 2016

This and That

My basement office space is finished.  

Just a reminder of what it was like before.

I was going to get rid of the black table, but then we realized we had enough space to create an L-shaped desk that will provide more space when some additional work equipment arrives.  It was white before and I painted it black to match the new cabinets.  What he uses as a desk is actually a sofa table, but it's functional as a desk and fits the room.

I also painted the bulletin board that hold's my husband's calendar and sweet notes from our daughter.  I added a new light since the old one (below) wasn't exactly effective.  

I will also paint the wicker trunk beneath the desk, but spray paint is easiest and it isn't warm enough for that currently.  I've asked Tom to get rid of it, but he refuses so I'll just do what I can to blend it in a little.

This light now serves to greet at our entryway.  I love my little clock that my father gave me.  He used a piece of electrical tape to stick a small wood block to the one side where the leg is missing.  It was so "him" to do something like that.  It's been 3 months today since we lost him.  Little things like this are reminders that make me remember him every day.

I also mentioned previously that I had to hem the new curtains for my bedroom.  I really like the way they hang now.  They completely change the feel of the room.

I've been pretty busy with the above and today I added the usual cleaning and laundry to the list.  Tomorrow, I head back to Delaware again to help mom continue packing up her house to sell.  There is an offer on the house but no decision yet on whether to accept it or not.  It will be my 4th weekend traveling and I'm looking forward to having a free weekend next week.  This girl could use a break.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Basement Mess

So, my house isn't perfect.  I have kids and a husband.  It's hard to keep up with them sometimes.  There are spaces in my house I don't frequent and this is one of them.  This is what happens ...

Eventually, I get tired of it being this way.  So, what to do?  I decided that since my husband works from home here, I would fix up the space and make it more masculine for him.  He was apprehensive about my project and thought it was just fine the way it was, but once I got started he came around.

I purchased the two large bookcases to the left at Ikea.  They are Billy bookcases with Oxberg doors.  The two shelves to the right were actually shelves from the first picture above that I painted.  I also got these great boxes on the smaller shelves to hold things like crayons and paints.

Here are the shelves before painting.

We have lots of books and they were stashed all over, so it's nice to have them in one spot now.  I added some vintage prints on the wall that I got a while back at a flea market.  One is of a steam engine and the other is a machine of some sort.  My husband and I are both engineers so it seemed appropriate.  

The doors below actually hide a lot of the mess the kids had.

Overall, I think the space is shaping up to be a much more organized area.

I like the look of the vintage items in the space.  I so often decorate with white or lighter colors and the black here is something different for me but it works.

I'm not quite finished with the actual desk, but the majority of the work is done and I'm so much happier with it.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Is that you?

It's a gorgeous day here in Northern Virginia.  Possible snow on Thursday.  How can that be?  I'm ready for Spring!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bedroom Color

Yesterday, I took a trip to Ikea for a few things.  One of them was a set of curtains for my bedroom.  I've had white curtains up all winter but I was starting to feel like the room was a little "blah".

I ended up getting the matching curtains to my Ikea Sanela pillow covers.  They are a longer length so I needed to hang them to hem them.  I really like the pop of color for spring.

Another thing I was shopping for were some shelves for our basement.  My hubby and I both work at home and while I have an office, he works in a basement space that is less than ideal.  I'm hoping to change that.  I'm hoping to make a more masculine, but still vintage type space for him.  He wasn't so sure about it, now that he's seen me working on it, he's come around.  I have quite a bit of painting to do so it's going to take a while, but I'm excited about that project.

I'm heading north to New York today to a funeral, unfortunately.  This is the third week in a row that I'm traveling.  I'll be traveling again next week.  I'm hoping to catch a break the week after that.  

Happy Friday!