Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Credenza

Decorating for any season is always fun, but fall seems to be nearly everyone's favorite.  I've been adding things here and there to the credenza in my living room from it's summer display.  Didn't have to change much, just added a few pops of color.
I added a few faux sprigs of fall leaves and a bright orange pitcher to these summer white sunflowers and now it looks totally bright and fallish, especially with the sun streaming in the room.

I found this transfer ware container at the Springfield flea last weekend for only $5 and quickly filled it with mini white pumpkins and dried gourds.  They are the perfect color combination of browns and off-white.

Moving to the opposite end of the long credenza are these cute little birdies.

Aren't these guys so cute?

So here is the long view of the entire credenza tucked in alongside the sofa.

So on a sunny afternoon, there's no place I'd rather be than curled up on my sofa that is loaded down with pillows.  I knew that my sofa fabric would be perfect for fall decorating and by this season I would love the choice I made.  Not sure how I'll feel about my orange sofa for Christmas, but I'll deal with that then.  For now ~ it's time to plop on the couch and enjoy what is left of the late afternoon sun filtering in through the shutters.

Linking with
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Year's Fall Porch

Every year I try to decorate my front porch a little differently, but it seems to always end up very similar to the year before.
I buy all my pumpkins at the Springfield Flea Extravaganza because they have a vendor with the best prices.  Then it's time to come home and play with the pumpkins.

I used a variety of pumpkins, mums and kale in an attempt to coordinate with a new wreath from the Pottery Barn Outlet.

The wreath was a little pricey, but I liked it's muted colors and the leaves that look nearly gray and match my house.  It doesn't "pop" off the front door, but has a quiet subtle look of fall that I really like.

This sap bucket and stand were also purchased at the flea market and gives me the ability to add different levels and heights for displaying the pumpkins.

I also purchased some kale this year.  I've never grown it before, but they said it would last until winter and at 3 for $10, it seemed like a real bargain.  I used the other two in my urns that I'll show at a later date.

The kale drinks a lot of water and along with the ferns, needs attention on a daily basis even with the cooler weather.

I love decorating for fall with it's bright colors ~

it always looks so warm and inviting.

Linking with
Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday
A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall Sedum

I was outside in the garden the other day and noticed my fall sedum was not only blooming, but covered with bees.
 Honey bees in my yard are always a delight to me since they are becoming more and more scarce.

Some years ago, I used to be a beekeeper and always enjoyed their presence in my yard.  Now it is a very cherished treat.
The sedum is so delicate and such a sweet shade of pink .
Such soft shades of pink are sheer delight, making me wish it were spring instead of fall. 
I found it inspiring to see the bumble bees and several varieties of honey bees all sharing the same flowers without any bickering.  Their friendliness shows they know that nectar gathering time is drawing to a close and suitable flowers are few and far between.  It reminded me how important it is to share what we have with others, even if it isn't much.
 Wishing you all a lovely weekend and reminding us all to 
Bee Happy
Bee Thankful
Bee Kinder than Necessary 
Bee Generous
Linking with

How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday


Saturday, September 1, 2012

What A Mess

Between Naps on the Porch
Have you ever started a project and found it was 100 times more work than you expected?  Well ~ that's where I find myself right now.  This spring, I discovered that the corner of my screened porch was rotten.  The wood under the paint was mushy and I knew it needed replaced.  The people who built this porch before I moved in 23 years ago, did not use treated lumber.
Here is a picture of the side of the porch so you can see what it looked like before.

This is not the side I'm working on, but just wanted you to get an idea of what the before looked like.  About ten years ago I had the plywood replaced and I added the trim to dress it up.
This is the corner that is rotten.  It consists of three 2x4's and all three were rotten halfway down to the bottom.

I was so hoping it would be a minor repair and the rot would be only above the trim ~ not.
To make matters worse ~ the rot was in most of the 2x4's.

And so a long hot day of work began, tediously pulling things apart and replacing the wood, one post at a time.

Each time I replaced a piece and tried to nail it back in, I discovered the next piece had rot too.  Trying to stay true to my new motto, "Replace and repair to the best of my ability and affordability", I realized that while the porch is torn apart, it was necessary to keep replacing each piece in the interest of structural stability.
Now the corner that I originally started with was sound at the top and since it consisted of the three 2x4's and was tied into my arbor, I cut out the bad wood at the bottom and then replaced it.  If I had a husband or handyman, I would have torn out all of the three pieces, but I don't have either of those, so did the best thing I could do instead.

Not the best solution, but the best of my ability.

While up on the ladder I kept hearing a noise in the gutters.  I thought it was just a bird pecking around in the gutter or at worst a squirrel.  But when I kept hearing it and I was working and banging right there, I climbed a little higher to see over the gutter and this is what I found.

Can you see it ~ those two little beady eyes in the gutter?
That rip in the shingles represents where the wisteria on the arbor had grown through the shingle and up onto the roof.  When I cut it out earlier this summer, I slipped a new shingle underneath the ripped ones to stop any water from leaking through, but underneath the wood was rotted and flaky.  I was planning on covering it up with new wood when I worked on the porch, but now I have this new problem ~ mice inside the eaves.  He was pulling crab apples out of the gutter and taking them into his nice little home (my home) for storage.  Now I have to think about how to get him/them out of there before I close it up.
Anyways ~ at the close of the first day, this is how far I got.

Better than before, but still a long ways to go.  The bottom and top will get treated plywood and trim, and the door needs replaced, it's frame and the cat door.  Then I'm going to attempt to make my screens so they can be taken in and out for repair instead of being stapled to the frame.
I realize now, getting this side done right will probably be all that gets accomplished before winter and I'll have to wait until spring to tackle the other two sides.  But at least now I know what to expect as I work my way around post by post.
If there's one thing I've learned this summer while working on my own home instead of working on furniture to sell ~ it's inspecting your gutters and downspouts regularly.  I have found wisteria growing through the shingles, roots growing 18" up inside the downspout, mice, and wisteria laying on a gutter causing the high end to overflow during heavy rains, which ultimately led to this porch rot. During a heavy rain, take an umbrella and go outside to see where the gutters are overflowing and how the downspouts are draining.  If you see any problems, don't put off dealing with them ~ a hard lesson learned.
Linking with
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays 
Between Naps on the Porch  for Metamorphosis Monday
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