Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shannon and the Shutters

Hi ya!

I wanted to start off today by telling you about a visit I had with my dear friend, fellow bunny lover and quilt instructor, Shannon Shirley of Once in a Rabbit Moon. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know Shannon from lots of previous posts of when I stayed at her house and taught for her guild.



Shannon taught her Bottles and Blooms class for our guild and also gave us an amazing trunk show of her work. Such fun we had! She has soooooooooo many incredible pieces.


Here she is showing us how to use our Inktense pencil to color our stems. Everyone learned a lot and thanked me for bringing her to our guild. I knew they would love her as much as I do!


Next, the shutter color decision was finalized! Wooooooooooo hoooooooooo! Thank you for commenting. It's really so exciting for me to share this adventure with you. Between here and Facebook, it was almost dead even with no shutters and leaving the shutters, but with a softer color.

I allowed myself several days to just sit and look at the house and the paint swatches in different light. What I figured out is that the house isn't really creamy/yellow at all. It's more of a creamy/grey. All the green colors I was trying to put with it looked awful. So, I decided to do what I like best and that is work in a monochromatic color scheme.


I picked a color that was the closest to our house color and then all the way to the bottom of the paint swatch and picked the darkest version for our front door and the next shade up for the shutters.


Our house looks very similar (just lighter) to Sherwin Williams 7036 Accessible Beige. So I picked 7041,Van Dyke Brown for the door and 7040 Smokehouse for shutters. This soft brownish green did the trick! Shannon loves it and David does too. As for me? Well, I did the happy bunny dance in the front yard. hee,hee,hee



Even Mr. McGregor approved of the color and he doesn't approve of much!


Of course, David wasn't too excited about painting the shutters again and when I offered to do it, he told me "No way!" as I pretty much stink at painting. He did however let me paint the chrome screws. Shannon just had to get a photo. ;)



I will either paint the chairs and porch swing white or....get some brown wicker pieces instead. Hmmmmm....

So, one thing off the list. The landscaping crew should be here in a few weeks. I can't wait to get rid of all the overgrown, dorky looking stuff and the worm eaten grass. It's going to be so pretty.

See ya back here next Thursday for our final block in the Briarside Lane adventure!

Hugs,
Michelle

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!
Michelle

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