Hi All!

Hope you are having a great week.  Here is a peek at the buffet sideboard that I recently found for our patio.  If you have been following me, you know that working on the patio was delayed by staining and getting the deck put back together with a little makeover.  Now that the deck furniture is back where it belongs - I am ready to start tweaking the patio - (and yes that includes hosing down the bricks - yickkk!!!). 
The patio area under our deck provides some shade and a place to serve food and beverages.  Over the years, we have tried a variety of tables with a tablecloth for serving on the patio - but they weren't quite right for everyday.  I decided I wanted some sort of buffet to fit along the wall that also looked good without a tablecloth. 

I had decided if I didn't find one soon, I was going to make one myself and then I spotted this one.  We were on our way back from our Family Reunion, amongst some of the Amish on their travels and decided to stop at some Antique Shops.   Here is one of the Amish buggies near one of the Antique Shops.   
Did you know...a white topped Amish buggy signifies a Nebraska Amish Settlement.  They are the only Amish that use the white top - this is one of their smaller buggies.  The Nebraska Amish are said to be one of the most conservative groups adhering to Old Order Amish - what people traditionally think of when they think of Amish.  The Nebraska Amish settled in central Pennsylvania's Big Valley, specifically - Mifflin County around 1791.  The Nebraska Amish also have a presence in Centre, Huntingdon and Union Counties.  Interesting to me as I have ancestors that settled in each of these counties, some in the 1700's. 
Anyway, I think this sideboard will be a nice addition for the patio.  I decided to buy the large baskets that they had displayed with it in the shop.  We can use them as a storage option or we can pull them out and just use the bottom shelf.   I even considered using these baskets for extra towel storage until I found the basket that keeps them out in plain sight.  

The sideboard is currently a little to orange for me and the baskets a little to yellow - sooooo, I'm sure there will be some sort of makeover in the future.  I am not sure what.   The top is currently has inlaid beige tiles - I'm not sure if they will stay or go... Does anyone have any suggestions for its new look?  It  will be used against the white siding and most of the furniture is dark brown.  Here is one of the before pictures of an adjoining area -  it's pretty plain in this picture - but this will give you an idea what's already there.   
Here is one more look at the sideboard in its current condition - with the baskets.  As far as the buffet goes, and your suggestions - it's all fair game - and  subject to change - - the wood, the tiles and the baskets - what do you think?
That's all for today.  If you have any ideas for refinishing the sideboard and baskets - I'd love to hear what you would do.  Have a great day!!!
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Hi All!!!

Wha-cha-been up to???  Me - thanks  for asking - watching the sunrise, drinking coffee and wanting to share the sunrise and a small  discovery I made.   First, a look at the sunrise burning through some clouds. 
Not sure if I have said it before... but you should know,  by far - summer is  absolutely, positively my favorite season.  And I loooovvvvvveeeee being outside and for me that includes plenty of water activities. 

If you have ever owned a pool, beach house,  lake cottage, boat or for that matter, anything related to water activities - you likely already know ...those beach towels  - sometimes need taming.   So,  that has lead me in search of an idea for taming the beasts - the beach towels.  I want them to be readily available but presented with a neat  appearance.   I also want to be able to identify what needs laundered and what  hasn't been used.   When in doubt - into the wash they all go and sometimes - -  that can be a lot of towels!!!  Recently, I discovered this. 
On a recent run through Marshall's I spotted these baskets.  (How is it when we are in a hurry - is when we find the neatest stuff???)   It turns out the height is perfect for our oversized towels - pull them out of the dryer, two folds and a quick roll - then into the basket they go - any extras go to the linen closet.  Move the basket to a convenient poolside location and everyone can help themselves.  If you have ever been the one that has forgotten a towel you know sometimes you  just  hate to ask.    But now they are out in plain sight, neatly organized and  readily available.  At the end of the day, unused towels are still rolled and the others get a trip to the washer.  Towels are tamed and coming from someone who loves organization - I am loving this basket!!!  

Last Friday, as we were loading up for a trip to the beach, I threw the basket in with the luggage.  It's working great here too.  I sat the basket on the balcony where anyone heading for the beach or pool - can just grab a clean beach towel and be on their way.  
So, how about you - have you found a way to tame those beasts (beach towels) or has this inspired you to come up with your own idea - - if so, I would love to hear what you have done to tame the beast - keeping things organized while enjoying water activities. 

The sun is up and has burned its way through (not a cloud in sight), the dolphins are swimming by and I'm ready to grab a towel and head for the beach!  Have a great day!!!
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Hi All!

Welcome back!  Hope you are enjoying summer!!!  It's been busy around here.  First the family reunion, then we celebrated a friend's birthday, and then another friend's birthday, then Mr DN had a birthday, all mixed in with the  the 4th of July - but even with all of that we finished staining the deck.  I just haven't had time to post. 

I would say we finished the deck but that would imply that I am done doing things to it which is seldom the case around here.  Although I may move onto something else there is always something to be added or changed.   So here it is in its current state. 
I finally get to use the new cushions and pillows I picked up in Greenville, SC  back in May.  I wanted something in the neutral line so I decided on these cushions with a subtle stripe and then added the pillows to mix it up a bit.  I especially like the pillows with the polka dots. 

I originally had planned to make my own rug.   But - as luck would have it, I  found this the other day.   As quickly as summer is slipping away - and with more travels coming up - I didn't mind spending a little extra on the rug.  It has great texture and is neutral enough to allow various color schemes. 
Of course - you know how these things snowball - once the deck was stained - it was finally time to paint that faded back door.   Oooops - I guess I deleted the before picture (but trust me it was faded). 
Next came the fun part - adding some summer accents.  First came the potted plants, palms are a necessity in my book, they sway gently in the summer breezes adding movement to bring this area alive.  Then came the smaller accents.  I really like the dark color and texture of the wicker against the texture of the white starfish.
In keeping with the starfish and palms, most of the accents are in the beach family.   The glass pattern on the table tops mimics a water element for displaying the beachy accents. 
Take a closer look at that sailboat - isn't it cute...on our way home from the family reunion we stopped at an antique shop and I just had to have this little sailboat.  It is actually a glass ashtray with a sail - how cute!
This guy (although a little weathered) returns to takes his place adding sunshine to one of the side tables. 
At the other end of the deck there is a small bistro set.  The table and chairs recently got a fresh coat of oil rubbed bronze and that creamy vase is a thrift store find that was clear red glass until I got home.  In years past, we had a full-sized table that took up much of the deck.  With the grill on the patio - we found we usually ended up eating down there.  Soooo, that's when we decided to make the deck more lounging friendly.  The small table provides additional seating on the deck while keeping the option to have breakfast, lunch or dinner here.  The table also gives me a good place to sit and work on the laptop.   I am planning to make some cushions to make it more comfy but for now...
With everything in place (well almost) and evening closing in - it was time to sit down and relax.  That's when I realized, the placement of accents worked well for sitting and enjoying my morning coffee; but for now, I needed to make room for some of the other necessities.   Move over river rocks; make room for a magazine and a slushy refreshing drink!
That's what I'm talking about - our areas have to be flexible enough to enjoy all of our activities.   I am happy to have the deck furniture back where it belongs and freeing up the patio.  There are patio improvements on my list that were temporarily delayed while waiting for the deck to be stained - with this project near completion I am ready to move onto the patio projects.  Fun, fun, fun!!! 
I am off to find out what I can get into next - hope you have a great day!!!
Hi All,

It's been a while so I wanted to share a little of what has been happening here.   Yesterday, when I got home - I  was greeted by this.   Uh-oh...
We really should have had the deck stained last year - but it never happened.  So it was at the top of our list for this year.  Only every time it has been nice enough to do it - we have had something else going on.  We have gone back and forth between doing it ourselves - or just hiring someone. 

It's not that it's a huge deck it's just that this year the horizontal and vertical surfaces all need done and since it is about twelve foot off the ground with a patio underneath - the underside also needs restained. 

Yesterday, the hubby decided to get started.  The first thing he found was one of the top boards on the rail around the deck had started to rot.  There is probably a proper name for that top board but I certainly don't know what it is.  

So I came home to a deck with no "top boards" and this waiting on the patio -  
Ohhh wow - we are finally getting the deck stained and we need the power tools  - I am sooooo liking this!!!  After a quick bite to eat we got started measuring, sawing and tightening screws and it now looks like this. 
All the top boards and hand rails have been replaced.  Now all it needs is stained.   I am excited to get it done so that we can put the furniture back and do a little decorating.   I have some little projects I want to do on the deck and patio (some are almost ready to reveal) but I have been holding off knowing the deck had to be stained - and that means the patio gets all scrambled as well.  I can hardly believe it's almost July and were just starting to stain.  But hey - it's all in the name of progress so just a couple of more days and then it is back to the fun stuff!

They are forecasting hot, hot, hot weather for at least the next week -  I want to try to get this done before it gets to hot and definitely before the 4th of July.  
See you soon!
Hi All!

The month of May zipped by - much as I had expected; but it was packed with fun and adventure.  During part of my absence from posting last month, we headed for the shores of South Carolina.   Fortunately, we were ahead of the storms and had a great time!

First stop - Hilton Head Island (HHI).  This post contains some pictures from our stay at HHI.  I don't know about you, but a trip to the ocean is to me what a can of spray paint is to a piece of tired furniture -  good for renewing and refreshing me. 

I love to travel this time of the year - you are a little bit ahead of the summer crowds - allowing you to really enjoy your surroundings. 
I got the impression I wasn't the only one that enjoyed relaxing without the hustle and bustle of the crowds.  There were times you had the place to yourself - well almost.  Check this guy out - just chillin' near the pool - he's huge!
I just couldn't resist capturing some of the vibrant colors of the flowers in full bloom. 
Just look at those colors!
As luck would have it, some friends were staying nearby.  We got to spend some time together and had a lot of fun!

Curved paths lined with flowers seem to be everywhere just begging you to explore. 
Where the flowers and the palms end there is always the beach to explore.   I found an awesome piece of driftwood on one of our walks.  I was so bummed
8-(  when I discovered I had forgotten to pick it up at one of our stops along the way.  Oh well, I guess we have to go back - so I can find it!
As evenings would close in, I would look forward to starting the next day with a cup of coffee,  watching the sunrise.    Most mornings, during our visit, started too hazy to capture the actual sunrise; however,  we were able to enjoy watching it slowly burn through the haze.   Not that I am complaining...isn't it beautiful!!! 
After sunrise and breakfast we would check out some of the local shops prior to spending the rest of the day at the beach.  I will share some of my great finds with you during later posts.

Stay tuned for a future post featuring our next stop, Charleston...

Putting together this post - reminds me of the wonderful time we had, how grateful I am that we are able to travel and hoping to go back in the future (after all, I gotta find that driftwood).  

This weekend I plan on working outdoors and hopefully will have time to work on putting some of those great finds to work.  How about you?  What have you been up to?

Hi All!

Wow - what is this???  I actually have time to post two days in a row!!!  How can this be.  Whatever it is - I am liking it.  So today I want to share the very recent history of how this rubber mat came to look like this...
Last year I purchased this rubber mat for my backdoor.  Sorry, no picture of how
nice it looked when I originally purchased it.  But, as you can see (below) - it quickly faded and by  the end of last summer it looked like this...all worn and faded.  Needless to say, I was highly disappointed. 
Why didn't I just pitch it?  Well, as is the case with so many things, I still liked it - it just didn't look so good.  If you looked closely, it was in great condition - it was just the worn and faded paint that was bringing it down.  So yesterday morning, I grabbed a couple of craft paints I had on hand and decided to revive it. 

Using a stencil brush, I pounced on some Folk Art - 420 Linen, Americana - Honey Brown and Americana - Khaki Tan.  About 45 minutes later, it looked like this. 
Needless to say, I am quite pleased with this improvement!  And since I used things that I already had (the mat and the paint) - - it didn't cost me a penny.  Now...I can't wait to get the deck stained!

One more look...
From this - before...
to this - after!!!
So, maybe you have a door mat that is looking worn or doesn't match your color scheme any more..before you replace that worn, faded or outdated door mat, you may want to consider adding some paint.

Next, I am heading outside to enjoy this beautiful day...hard to tell what I might get into - because I have lots of outdoor projects I want to tackle!   Have a great day!

Welcome back!

We have  been busy around here and fortunately we got the shutters and doors painted just in time for the Spring blossoms to burst.  The shutters and door were previously dark green.  Ooops, no before picture - I know I have some, I just have to find them - probably on the other computer.  Anyway, this time we decided on black paint, with white trim.  I think it goes nicely with the brick.   It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for your curb appeal.    

A tutorial for the wreath on the front door is here.  The only difference now is-  I took the eggs off the wreath after Easter.   

Last year was pretty crazy around here, without getting into the all of the details - - suffice it to say, the shrubs and bushes just didn't get trimmed. They normally get trimmed after the blossoms fade and before the fresh mulch goes down. With last year being a bit very hectic - by the time we realized they needed trimmed the buds were already starting to push for this year. Decision time...shape them and not have as many buds this year or let them go. Shape or blossoms...blossoms or shape...I decided I would rather have flowers and we would worry about the shape later - so we left them go. I'm not saying it was easy, there were a few times after that decision when I just wanted to had to restrain myself from giving them a good trimming.

Now looking at all the blossoms, I am glad I didn't give into temptation and trim them.  But, trust me, as they begin to fade - they are in for a good trimming.

So how about you, would you have trimmed them despite beginning to produce buds or waited it out to enjoy the blossoms?