The Un-Umbrella Stand

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For once, I am ahead of schedule.  Not even out of April and my front flower beds are planted, the back yard is tidied up from the winter season and the outdoor furniture is out and I am ready to coast for the summer.

The one piece of engineering I had to do was to create a cover for my outdoor market umbrella stand.  The umbrella is necessary not just for keeping the hot sun at bay, but also to keep the birds from leaving gifts on the seats of my outdoor furniture. :)

I looked on the internet for tables that also doubled as umbrella stand covers, but the ones I liked were $150 – $300. (of course)

So I had to get creative.  It turned out well and I am happy with the end result.  You can decide if you agree.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Two cedar planters, one smaller and one larger were used. Purchased from Lowe's, a hole was drilled in both of them to allow them to slide down the center pole. The larger was turned upside down, the smaller was filled with some plastic at the bottom, potting soil and flowers. A simple pressure fit (with the help of a rubber mallet) was all that was needed to create one unit.

Two cedar planters, one smaller and one larger were used. Purchased from Lowe’s, a hole was drilled in both of them to allow them to slide down the center pole. The larger was turned upside down, the smaller was filled with some plastic at the bottom, potting soil and flowers. A simple pressure fit (with the help of a rubber mallet) was all that was needed to create one unit.

The Tale of the White Cotton Twill Tape

Simple shades for a few dollars form Lowes, simply covered with the twill tape and tied off.

Simple shades for a few dollars from Lowes, simply covered with the twill tape and tied off on the interior.

A lifesaver indeed.  I had four lampshades that needed to be replaced.  Two were for some vintage boudoir lamps and two were for a pair of wall sconces.  All four were in both my bathrooms.  I wanted something refreshed, not precious.

I looked online, but finding neutral shades in the right scale at the right price that weren’t 50 shades of boring became a larger task than you would think.

Then I had an epiphany.  I had a 100 yard spool of 1 inch wide white cotton twill tape that I had ordered from Amazon by mistake.  It occurred to me there may be some DIY synergy if I could somehow find a way to use it to re-purpose the shades I already had.  At $29 for the twill tape, it would be incredibly cost effective and maybe, dare I say it…clever.

Judge for yourself.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the best~

Cindy

Downstairs bathroom - Before. Sconces that weren't in the budget to replace, needed some updating. The shades were full of debris from the renovation and really couldn't be salvaged.

Downstairs bathroom – Before. Sconces that weren’t in the budget to be replaced and needed some updating. The old shades were full of debris from the renovation and really couldn’t be salvaged so I had to come up with something.

After. New shades, an old shelf and my collection of antique apothecary jars.

After. New shades, an old shelf and my collection of antique apothecary jars.

Still trying to get the hand of proper arrangement. It's an art, for sure and I haven't mastered it yet.

Still trying to get the hang of proper arrangement. It’s an art, for sure and I haven’t mastered it yet.

Oval Scalloped Shade - Before.

Oval Scalloped Shade – Before.

Downstairs sink - After. This vintage shade required a bit more work (Thanks, Mom). A few hidden basting stiches to keep the twill tape in place around the curves. It diffuses the light well.

Downstairs sink – After. This vintage shade required a bit more work (Thanks, Mom). A few hidden basting stiches to keep the twill tape in place around the curves. It diffuses the light well.

Round Scalloped Shade - Before.

Round Scalloped Shade – Before.

Round Scalloped Shade without it’s original covering.

Upstairs bathroom Before.

Upstairs bathroom Before.

After. The lovely scalloped shade was a perfect foil for this treatment. Adds some panache to the vintage white hobnail lamp.

After. The lovely scalloped shade was a perfect foil for this treatment. Adds some panache to the vintage white hobnail lamp.

Holiday Birch Logs with German Glass Glitter

A random smattering of German glass glitter. A little like moss growing on a tree.

A random smattering of German glass glitter. A little like moss growing on a tree.

My house is by no means opulent, but every now and again, I can’t resist a little sparkle when the holidays arrive.  While spending some time with family in Dahlonega, Georgia in October, my cousin helped me find the perfect birch tree on my uncle’s property to harvest for this project.  It had been broken off by storms and we felt it would be okay to chop what was left into a few pieces.

I got home and randomly dabbed watered down glue in various areas and added some coarse silver German glass glitter.  I can’t really say the pictures do it justice, but it looks lovely.  Place them in an old tub found at the Round Top Antiques show, along with fresh greens and smattering of artificial embellishments and it makes for a lovely arrangement throughout the holidays.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

A warm welcome in front of the fire.

A warm welcome in front of the fire.

Nature's finest. Birch logs and Christmas greens.

Nature’s finest. Birch logs and Christmas greens.

The additions of scented pine cones.

The additions of scented pine cones.

Arrangements aren't just for flowers.

Arrangements aren’t just for flowers.

 

Quick Christmas Candle Lantern

Leftover wrapping paper from last year, a simple ribbon and some live mistletoe.

Leftover wrapping paper from last year, a simple ribbon and some live mistletoe.

I love burning candles.  Especially at Christmas.  I needed a quick way to make a plain looking candle fit in with the festive décor.  I just grabbed what I had at hand to make a simple paper sleeve for candles around the home.  I was partly inspired by the live mistletoe that I bought from some very resourceful boy scouts outside of the local Lowe’s.  They picked it from a local park and were selling small bunches to support their troop.  Smart thinking and well done.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Paper, ribbon, a way to create a decorative edge and some live or artificial embellishments. Simple as that. My one tip would be to make sure the paper you use has some transparency to it in order to diffuse the light and create a warm glow.

Paper, ribbon, a way to create a decorative edge and some live or artificial embellishments. Simple as that. My one tip would be to make sure the paper you use has some transparency to it in order to diffuse the light and create a warm glow.

 

A simple lunch sack worked for this sleeve. The seaming inadvertently became part of the design, highlighting the scalloped edges.

A simple lunch sack worked for this sleeve. The seaming inadvertently became part of the design, highlighting the scalloped edges.

 

The Autumnal Porch

It’s been a while since I have posted anything not related to the renovation.  I am still settling into the house and figuring out how I want to live within my walls.  I have a ton of pictures, but I have to show some restraint in sharing them because there has been some interest in featuring the house in national publications and/or books, so I don’t want to flood the market with more pictures.

In the mean time, I have been trying to get back in the groove of design, crafting and creating projects to publish on the blog.  For the first time in a while, I have actually completed a project: my fall porch.  Trying to create a hybrid between all out Halloween décor and something more subtle, my mandate was to work with what I had on hand with the exception of purchasing pumpkins.

Forgive the graininess of the pictures.  I misplaced my battery charger for my good camera and the battery ran out.  I have a new one coming so that I can offer you better quality pictures. (Thank God for Amazon Prime :))

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

xoxo

An arrangement of silk hydrangeas, bittersweet berries and ethereal looking paper wisps compliment the Halloween picks found at the local hobby store.

An arrangement of silk hydrangeas, bittersweet berries and ethereal looking paper wisps compliment the Halloween picks found at the local hobby store.

Gauze and lights give a nice, eerie affect.

Gauze and lights give a nice, eerie affect.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds round out the overall design.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds round out the overall design.

Inexpensive tea lights provide a sweet, nightly glow.

Inexpensive tea lights provide a sweet, nightly glow.

Vintage light globes with Halloween embellishments.

Vintage light globes with Halloween embellishments.

Not too much, just enough to make me feel that fall is in the air.

Not too much, just enough to make me feel that fall is in the air.

A fall arrangement in a galvanized tub that I purchased at Round Top.

A fall arrangement in a galvanized tub that I purchased at Round Top.

Drop cloths provide a nice treatment for the windows.

Drop cloths provide a nice treatment for the windows.

A House into a Home…

This has been a busy two months.  Moving into an unfinished house with construction dust was not what I envisioned at the end of the renovation, even though it’s still not done yet.

To say it has been stressful would be an understatement.  Slowly but surely, I am digging out of it.  Sometimes with the help of family and friends and sometimes going it alone, each weekend I accomplish something that helps me feel better about all the trouble.  Washing and vacuuming every surface, setting up proper bedrooms so sleep can be peaceful, editing collections, figuring what I can do without, working hard not to fill every square inch of storage so there is room to grow, cleaning the outside of the house, removing construction debris that wasn’t removed, having a pop up antique sale, arranging furniture, hanging pictures and just generally setting up house that will be the place I call home.

This weekend, I had the help of one of my most special friends, Vince Maggio.  He is the truly undiscovered master of arrangement.  He worked on my living/dining area and what a great job he did.

These are iphone pictures, not using  my Canon camera, so take that into consideration.  These two pictures are just snippets, I’ll do a more comprehensive article when I am closer to finishing with setting up the house.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the Best,

Cindy

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A $65 Craigslist table that was partially stripped. I like it just the way it is. $25 One King’s Lane bamboo directors chairs that match the tone of the table and the linen press. A grouping of vintage nautical print from The Round Top Antique Show placed in floating frames and a variety of other collected pieces.

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Antique linen press full of curated items, a comfy couch across from the fireplace (pics of that later, it isn’t finished) and inexpensive IKEA pillow, along with a French ticking stripe pillow from Home Goods all come together to make a beautiful, comfortable place to set a spell and take a load off.

 

The One Minute Mile

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The perfect contrast of light and dark

 

Big things happen in little minutes and that just about describes what will happen in the next 5 days.  Floors, cabinets, tiling, plumbing finishing, electrical finishing and painting.  And that’s just the inside.  The rain has hampered working on the outside but it makes  no difference to me.  I just want to sleep in my own bed and fall asleep staring at my own ceiling.

Here are the lastest pictures.  Everything is in a state of being completed.  And then, with a wing, a prayer and a good tail wind, it will all come together.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Stained new wood (left) against sanded old wood on the right.

Stained new wood (left) against sanded old wood on the right.

Windows that were in another part of the house, reset in the upstairs sitting area

Windows that were in another part of the house, reset in the upstairs sitting area

Simple silk shade lamps throughout the house

Simple silk shade lamps throughout the house

Kitchen cabinets built around an original feature of the house, the brick chimney

Kitchen cabinets built around an original feature of the house, the brick chimney

Kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets

Newly built kitchen cabinets are lovely.  We have used an antique piece as the base for the kitchen sink.

Newly built kitchen cabinets are lovely. We have used an antique piece as the base for the kitchen sink.

More kitchen cabinets.  Note the bun feet instead of a toe kick.

More kitchen cabinets. Note the bun feet instead of a toe kick.

Exterior lighting used for interior lighting.

Exterior lighting used for interior lighting.

Barn door hardware to close off my very small office/work space

Barn door hardware to close off my very small office/work space

Stylish and budget friendly, these stock zinc light fixtures picked up at Home Depot

Stylish and budget friendly, these stock zinc light fixtures picked up at Home Depot

More kitchen cabinets

More kitchen cabinets

This wall/door didn't exist before the renovation, but you would never know that.  It looks like it is original to the house.

This wall/door didn’t exist before the renovation, but you would never know that. It looks like it is original to the house.

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The interesting angles, windows and walls of an old house

 

Finishes, Finishes.

 

We are in the final stretch.  The frenzy to the finish.  Twelve days from today, the moving truck will show up so I can (finally) go home.

In truth, the house is a bit of a war zone right now.  A lot going on, many trades working at once.

Here are a few pictures that show the walls being painted and the ceiling ships lap left exactly as it was when it was put up some 80 years ago.

To the finish line…

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

 

Old rim locks for the interior doors.

Old rim locks for the interior doors.

Hallway painted with an old window side light turned into a transom to allow natural light into the hallway.

Hallway painted with an old window side light turned into a transom to allow natural light into the hallway.

The front bedroom.

The front bedroom.

Front bedroom with an antique piece that I have permanently affixed to the wall that will work as a closet and storage.

Front bedroom with an antique piece that I have permanently affixed to the wall that will work as a closet and storage.

The original plank ceiling.  Sealed with a simple finish that brings out the natural luster in this old pine that was probably 100 years old when it was installed.

The original plank ceiling. Sealed with a simple finish that brings out the natural luster in this old pine that was probably 100 years old when it was installed.

It was quite the hunting trip to find old four panel farm house doors for the house.  Certainly no easy task.

It was quite the hunting trip to find old four panel farm house doors for the house. Certainly no easy task.

Down the hall and around the corner…

My first response walking into the house this week: Holy Toledo!  We are making visible progress.  This simple cottage gets more interesting with each layer of construction completed.  The walls are going up and it helps the house take shape.

Every square inch that is possible to build out, has been built out.  It means that we have to build around architectural features like roof pitches and stairwells.  Almost from the minute you walk through the great room to the rest of the house, every hall you go down and every turn you make leads you to something quirky and cozy.  I look forward to using all these nooks to create small treasures of respite.

Updated pictures below.

I hope you find inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

XOXO

The Kitchen.

The Kitchen.

Master Bedroom.

Master Bedroom.

Master Bedroom.

Master Bedroom.

Bedroom  (formerly the garage)

Bedroom (formerly the garage)

Closet in Bedroom (formerly the garage)

Closet in Bedroom (formerly the garage)

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bedroom.

Guest Bedroom.

 

Inching Toward the Finish…

Went by the house this weekend and there has been incremental progress.  We have a pile of planks and ships lap from the demolition that we have committed to reusing.  The trick is maximizing this very limited resource and minimize waste.  This takes time and progress over the last week has been a bit stilted.    Having said that, what was completed was choice.  The great room is starting to realize the design.  Contractor Pete, as I like to call him, has been able to clad the pantry and the fireplace completely with harvested, salvaged ships lap and it looks amazing.

Just a couple of pictures to show the progress.  As if that wasn’t enough good news, some pictures of my budding hydrangeas, mint leaves and rosemary from the garden.  I love the transition to Spring.  It means the Winter hibernation is over.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

New wall with an old side light,  oriented horizontally.  It will act as a transom and allow natural light into the new hallway.

New wall with an old side light, oriented horizontally. It will act as a transom and allow natural light into the new hallway.

Pantry and Fireplace clad in old ships lap.

Pantry and Fireplace clad in old ships lap.

Paneling in the stairway with paneling taken from our salvage pile.

Paneling in the stairway with paneling taken from our salvage pile.

With the trim removed, the old window weights are revealed.  I love old houses.

With the trim removed, the old window weights are revealed. I love old houses.

Leaves coming in on the Hydrangeas.

Leaves coming in on the Hydrangeas.

Mint springs up from the ground for harvesting when I am back in the house and cooking up a storm in my new kitchen.

Mint springs up from the ground for harvesting when I am back in the house and cooking up a storm in my new kitchen.

Hardy rosemary plants, evergreen throughout the seasons.

Hardy rosemary plants, evergreen throughout the seasons.