Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In a Fix - I Shutter to Think

Well hellooooooooooooooo! Did you miss me? I sure missed you! Good gracious has it been a crazy few weeks. I still can't believe we sold a house, found a new one, packed our gear, unpacked our gear all within 15 days. Oh and had my best friend visit and worked. As the saying goes though, "If there's a will, there's a way." Darn if that ain't the truth! hee,hee,hee.

So, since we moved into "Bayfield," it has been one thing after another to fix. The people who owned this little cottage were "corporate" people, not "handy" people. Needless to say, we have replaced tons of burned out light bulbs, replaced a broken toilet seat, painted the laundry room before the new washer and dryer arrived and cleaned out lots of stuff they left behind. On top of that, the refrigerator sprang a leak, the microwave is almost dead and the dishwasher overflowed onto the kitchen floor. David is starting to call this the "money pit!" LOL! Even with everything going nuts, we absolutely LOVE this cottage and the neighborhood and our new neighbors. We have no plans to ever move again until we are ready to go to the "garden" as Mommy Syl would say.

Today, I thought I would start off my first installment of "In a Fix," with some photos of the outside and my shutter dilemma. This first photo is the one that came from the real estate listing. The yard and house look so pretty don't they? Well of course they do! Just like they do to movie stars, this photo has been edited and photo shopped. Yep, you read that right, photo shopped!

Here's what the yard, house and landscaping really look like.

How's that for reality TV. hee,hee,hee. The yard got Army Worms and the previous owners didn't treat it, so needless to say, they had a buffet on the lawn. I have already talked with a landscaper about what we are going to do. That will be in our next episode.

David and I decided to pick one major project, since unlike the TV shows, it will take us years to complete everything as we will have to save our pennies for each thing. Thus, we both agreed that the exterior of our house needed some serious curb appeal. We wanted people to drive by and know the cottage was under new management. Haaaaaaaa!

So, before the landscaper starts, I thought we could at least paint the faded out shutters and remove the plastic window boxes. Here's how it looked when we took the shutters down.

You can see an outline of the shutters as the house paint has faded so badly.

Here's another angle.

The thing is, I kinda like not having shutters on the house. Now, I know I would have to paint the house to get rid of the shutter outline, but I really like how simple it looks. A fresh coat of a soft creamy, pale yellow on the house, with white trim and a green front door would look really great. Hmmm.....

Since we can't afford to have the house painted yet, we needed to put the shutters back up. I picked a really soft green color for them in a satin finish. Well, David hated the color. He is a creature of habit and we have always had black shutters. He wanted black semi-gloss on them. What is it with men and shiny objects?????

So, black semi-gloss it is....

But, I hate them! I don't like how they make the house look even more faded, I don't like them with the brown roof and I don't like how heavy they make the house look. Note to self, listen to my gut and never use semi-gloss on shutters.

My first thought was to take them back down and paint them a darker, warm green instead of the light green I originally picked. This way it would be a compromise for both of us. However, when I was looking at these photos, my eye goes back to what I think really does look best and that is no shutters at all. David is ok with that option too.

I shutter to think about how much it will cost to have the house painted, but again, if there is a will, there is a way. ;)

What do you think? Would you choose dark green shutters, the black shutters, or no shutters?

Hugs and see ya next week!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Narrowboat - Block 5 of the Journey down Briarside Lane

Hello travelers!

We are delighted you have joined us on our next stop down Briarside Lane. This stop takes us to see The Narrowboat.

The Narrowboat – by Jules Woolford
On a fine summer afternoon, the lane runs straight alongside a tree-lined canal. Long ago this waterway was a alive with industry. We are walking along the towpath, where horses once pulled heavily-laden, narrowboats full of goods. Today, though, it’s just us and the wildlife that enjoys the peace and quiet, and tranquil beauty of the waterway. Ducks swim by with sleek heads bobbing, and swans glide past gracefully. Dragonflies swoop and dive above the water -- their iridescent wings glimmering in the sunshine.

Ahead of us, a narrowboat approaches. We can hear the engine chugging and a ‘swishing’ sound as it ploughs through the water. It is a merry little boat which someone has made into a home. We can see it is much loved. It’s brightly painted and transports its own, carefully tended garden on the roof. What a wonderful way to travel along the old waterways of Britain, seeing the countryside at such a gentle pace!

The Back Story
In the 18th century, canals were the freeway system of Britain and used to transport goods between towns. Originally horse-drawn like a wagon, many people lived and worked on narrowboats.

Named after the “narrow” channels by which they were designed to travel, it became common practice to paint ‘roses and castles’ on the fixtures and fittings of narrowboats.

Today these boats are mainly used for leisure purposes, although many people still choose to make them floating homes – but with many modern conveniences on board!

Some of Jules’ ancestors were canal structural engineers and boat owners in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Canals hold a special place in her heart. Since childhood, she’s lived near the Gloucestershire canal and always loves to see a narrowboat go by!

Here is Jules' original painting that inspired me. Isn't it beautiful? I have been having so much fun with these!!! I have received many emails regarding the purchase of prints of Jules' originals and I think once the journey is over, they would make a lovely set of note cards. What do you think? Should we talk her into it?

I got a little carried away again with stitching.

It's really hard not too. I think it adds so much detail and whimsy to plain wool. 

Remember, each design comes with a FREE embroidery version. A special thank you to my dear friend, Babs Fullerton for stitching all the embroidered versions. She had lots of fun with this one too! 

The PDF pattern, as well as, the wool kits are available in the Shop (CLICK HERE).

I still have some Valdani perle cotton thread kits available. They won't be around forever, so if you would like one, get it while the getting is good. ;)

Hugs and hoppy stitching to you. We are delighted you are part of our family.

Michelle, Jules and the Bunnies

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quick update and reminder

Hi ya!

Just a quick hop in as I'm right in the middle of moving, closing and hopping through a million hoops that realtors, inspectors, attorneys, buyers and sellers have lined up. What a mess!!! Note to self...never sell and buy a house at the same time ever again!!!

Anyhow, block 5 of Briarside Lane will be here on Monday, May 1st, so hop back over. I can't wait to show it to you!!

Michelle and the fuzzy ones

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Sneaky Peeky and a little Lindsey

Hi sweets!

Well, this little bunny has been running around with packing tape and bubble wrap! hee,hee, hee. The movers come next Wednesday to get all our stuff. Bunny ears crossed that everything goes smoothly on Thursday and we can move into our new cottage, which I have decided to name "Bayfield" as our street name is Bayfield Dr.

Today I wanted to give you a little sneaky peeky of the 5th block on our journey down Briarside Lane. Jules and I are having a total blast with these and we hope you are enjoying your creative journey as well. This block will debut on May 1st.

Also today, I wanted to share a new video from my favorite violin gal, Lindsey Stirling. She is touring in Australia now. Hopefully, some of my Aussie friends will get to see her in person!

See ya next week!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"In a Fix"

Hi ya!

Well, I guess I really did shock you last week when I told you David and I were selling our cottage and yes indeed, it did sell. There are many reasons behind it like trying to cut down on his 50 minute commute to work, or the fact that we thought we would live here for nine years until he retires and then move to Florida. However, we discovered how much we LOVE this town and never want to leave! Prices here keep going up and up and up. We decided that if we were going to retire here, we better get to where we want to be before we couldn't afford it.

That being said, we have felt like we were on an episode of Property Brothers. You know where they show the people a really nice house with everything they want and then shock them with the outrageous price tag? Well, that has been us. Most places have increased $30k in the last 18 months. But like everything in my life, the winds of fate bring me right where I should be and then the moon and stars align to make it all work out (even if I have to go through pure HELL first).

You know I have a HUGE love of houses and honestly, just like when I design quilts and wool pieces, I can envision what a house will look like finished. I get down right giddy thinking about what can be done! hee,hee,hee.

So back to the winds of fate. We were lead to a house in my FAVORITE neighborhood here in Wilmington. My bestie, Lydia, can tell you because I always drove through here saying "One day I will live in Wilmington and live in this neighborhood."

If all the banking, inspections, blah, blah, blah go as planned, we will be moving into this cutie cottage in TWO WEEKS!!!! Yep, you heard that right. Yikes! Although it looks large, it's actually smaller than our current house and that is just fine with us. We love little houses with big character.

So, if all goes according to plan, I will be adding a segment to my blog called "In a Fix" because we will literally be living in a fixer upper. I thought it would be really fun to take you on this adventure with us and show you how we transform this little cottage and the yard into our dream home.

I'm still pinching myself that what I said all those years ago is coming true. I'm living in my favorite place and in my favorite neighborhood. You ready? We sure are!

Hugs to you,