Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stars and Stripes Forever

We’ve gone over the top (of the shop, that is). Don’t you love the banner Tina put together to top our patriotic display All we need is John Philip Sousa playing Stars and Stripes forever. We’re all set for the summer red, white, and blue holidays. From the burlap banner, to tin trays, to patchwork quilts, to vintage flow blue, to handmade (by Tina) flag pillows with surprise backings, we’ll help inject a bit of the spirit into your celebration. (We didn’t even plan for the red and blue chandeliers accentuating our scheme.) And we have old game boards to add some fun to your day. Stop in. We’ll have those Sousa marches playing during all the summer holidays -- Memorial Day, Flag Day, and 4th of July. And when it warms up as it is supposed to do on Saturday-76!, (now isn't that appropriate), we'll have iced tea and treats.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It doesn't take much

Welcome to Renie's fantasy world. It doesn't take much for me to imagine I'm in Italy. I exit the shop, step down from the deck onto the weathered buff colored patio brick (with the remains of someone's brilliant idea to paint the bricks green!) and look at this scene, while sipping my iced tea or coffee (depending on the weather).

Granted, the little boy on the bench is more typically American than classical, and the wood crate has side panels written in English, not Italian, but I somehow get the feel of Europe.

Now you know why my father called me Pollyanna, not always in a complimentary sort of way:). However, I am grateful that the good Lord blessed me with the ability to be happy with what I have and the imagination to see what can be.

Sad ending: the horrible winds we had last night blew the window down, not only breaking the bottom panes of glass, but destroying the bottom interior window framing as well. We'll see if the E 6000 miracle glue my friend Tina told me about, can perform another miracle. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

screen doors, planters, and strong willed women

Had wanted to post a few more shots of the patio and planters I've been working on: Upper left is a World War II ammunition box planted with a red geranium, white alyssum, and blue lobelia. Add a flag, and it's perfect for all the summer patriotic holidays - Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, and finally, Labor Day.

And I love the look of the weathered chair and bucket next to that red geranium. Really makes it pop.

Since I last posted a few days ago, I have become a carpenter. Remember that ugly storm door going out to the patio - the one with the plywood inserts where screens or windows should have been.
I found a screen in a frame at the habitat for humanity store and thought...why not trace it, jigsaw on the lines I draw, pop out the cut part and voila!...insert the screen. Simple, right? Not when you've never used a jig saw before, and not when you don't take the door down first. But, anyway, with the help of spackle and paint, here's what I ended up with. I am so happy with it. (don't look too closely). I had two men say it wouldn't work, handyman Morris and husband John. They don't know how determined we women can be. Where there's a will, there's a way. I think my sister, Janie, said that on the phone this A.M.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tidbits from Just A Second

Started planting in our vintage containers and was going to get photos, but it started raining, and I didn't want to get my camera (or me) wet. So I took a few shots inside instead. At right is a green enamel individual teapot planted with baby tears and sitting on a
vintage restaurant plate. I try to find objects that are wonderful alone and then enhance them by putting them together.

Here are a couple more great finds -
a tin flower bucket with hydrangeas, and how about lavender potpourri in tea infusers. Couldn't be cuter. Tina displays them on a silverplate serving piece. With their stamped fabric trim, they make cute little hostess gifts or favors or "treat yourself" items. Love it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Take Time to Smell the Roses

Sometimes we have to take a break and just appreciate the beauty around us. I looked out at the back yard this morning and was amazed at all the color. And it lasts such a short time. There is a lesson in that for me for sure.

I need to appreciate the people and places in my life which can so easily be taken for granted.

As husband John has said so many times, we are surrounded by world class beauty right here in Rockford. I am aware of that taking my early morning walks along the Rock River or enjoying our morning coffee talks out on the patio.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday at Just A Second

As soon as I got to the shop I sprayed each dandelion with Weed B Gone. Hate to use that stuff, but those little yellow flowers will take over if I don't, and I think I have to have the outside looking somewhat attractive if I expect to attract visitors.

Was wondering if the shop would have any business today, thinking that everyone would be at The Churchill's Grove Garage sale. Pleasantly surprised--had lots of visitors and good sales. Served treats out on the new patio area. Had to shut the door later in the day, because it got so cold.

Also planted wild violets in the front porch window box, did a few of the planter ideas I've been thinking about - photos and descriptions another day.

Also played with a video during some down time. Bear with me. It's a bit boring, but first attempt.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Anniversary Flowers Saved

Found a way to preserve anniversary floral arrangement. I have a large grapevine wreath which my RI sister made from her grapevines. I decorate it for the seasons -- bare for Lent, evergreens and plaid bow for Christmas. I've had different artificial floral or purchased wreaths for Spring and Summer. This year I came home after Easter to dead roses from a bouquet John had sent on our anniversary. I was about to pitch it, but instead reused the flowers on the wreath, added my own ribbon, including a cute pink, yellow, and blue check piece leftover from daughter-in-law Dawn's baby shower gift wrapping. I love how it looks and the fact that the roses will last a little bit longer and that special memories are displayed and preserved.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The new patio with old goodies

I'm really tired. It was a very busy week--working the shop, praying for good weather, consulting with handyman Morris to try to get everything as ready as possible for Saturday's perennial exchange. He did a wonderful job getting the essentials done.

The fence still needs painting (my job), Fence post holes need to be dug at both ends. Right now the back fence is just leaning, and the front fence is composed of one branch cross bar and dangling sticks. But, all in all, I am thrilled with the results. It was great having the shop door open out to the new deck and having coffee and fresh strawberries, and coffee cake al fresco.

Never mind the fact that it was so windy that the napkin holder complete with napkins blew off the cart, and I ended up chasing napkins all over the parking lot, and picking up napkins from our neighbors' yards, and seeing a few I couldn't keep up with land across Main Street in the cemetery. Fortunately they are paper and will return to nature shortly.

I look forward to enjoying company on the deck and to growing flowers and vegetables behind the fence in the "back forty", so I can have a salad lunch during the summer, and maybe, sell cut flower bouquets arranged in one of our vintage treasures. Come and visit. We will enjoy giving you the tour.