Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring is in the air

  So far this spring I have spent a good deal of my time outside. It's so gorgeous I have to take advantage of all the outdoor time I can get before the temperatures start getting closer to the triple digits and I lock myself inside in the nice, cool air conditioning.

  One of my favorite parts of owning a house is having a yard. Back in the old apartment I did a little gardening and even had a small vegetable garden. Our patio was pretty much over-grown with all of my gardening endeavors. Since we moved in to the house during the fall and our focus was on the interior I didn't have much time to enjoy the yard before the cooler temperatures came in and killed most everything. Not to mention the horrible drought last summer and the fact that the house sat vacant on the market for several months during the hottest, dryest months. Our yard was in very sad shape. After talking to the neighbors and discovering the previous tenants did very little yard work I thought it would take forever to get the yard looking good.

  Luckily I was only half wrong! The front left and far right side of our yard barely have more than a sprig or two of real grass, it's mostly crab grass and weeds. With a little TLC I've had some luck at the front of the house. I'm hoping by the end of the summer we will have the front filled in with lucious St. Augustine grass so next spring we can work on getting it to spread to the other less fortunate areas of the yard.

  I have a pretty nice vegetable garden in the works and can't wait until I can reap the rewards. I've already gotten a few strawberries and a tomatillio, but I also have carrots, romaine lettuce, zuchinni, yellow squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, raspberries, grapes and watermelon hopefully on the way!

  We took advatage of a sale on fruit trees at Lowe's and planted two new apple trees and a peach tree in our side yard. I'm not counting on any fruit in the near future but hopefully a few years down the road with some luck I will have lots of fresh fruit as well. We are also fortunate to have two large, mature pecan trees in our back yard, so I'm hoping for a good harvest later this year. Mmmm fresh pecan pie, I can almost taste it now..

 Our front patio is now looking quite nice with the addition of the new love seat I got from the antique festival a few weeks ago. I've got most of the furniture painted (all except the big table) and I love how it turned out, the new white paint really gave it a new life.  I also finally got around to filling the planter with polka-dot plants today.

  Earlier today I came across a wonderful surprise. While taking a break from pulling weeds I noticed a mockingbird fly into the tree right near our back porch with a worm in it's mouth. I took a peek and found a nest; there was a tiny little baby bird inside of it too! I am delighted, this is exactly why I love having a big backyard.

  I never would have guessed a little nest was hiding just behind the leaves, but lo and behold..

  Since you may have noticed our sad looking shutters on the front of our house in the first photo, I guess I should offer an explanation. When my parents visited last month they did quite a few projects around the house, installing gutters along the front, re-screening and painting our screen doors and even dug up all the ugly shrubs that I hated along the front windows. Once the shrubs were gone I noticed how the paint on the shutters was peeling, so on my last day of vacation I took out the scraper and decided to repaint the shutters. I quickly found out it was easier said than done! Although there was only two layers of paint on them it did not want to come off easy. Using paint remover only left us with a bubbly, gunky mess that burned our skin when we accidentally got some on us. So our shutters have looked like complete hell for about a month now. A few days ago we finally broke out the sander and got a good deal of the paint off, but we are going to have to hand sand all the slats, ughhh. Hopefully we will finish them up in the next few weeks since I feel a little embarrassed this project has sat unfinished where all the neighbors can see for so long.

 We've also made some progress on our guestroom, one of the 'final frontiers' inside of the house. It's still got a ways to go but we've got most of the painting finished.. or as 'finished' as it will be since we quickly figured out for ourselves how difficult red paint is. If I had known how many coats and how blotchy it would end up I would of chosen orange paint instead. After 4 coats we decided we were going to have to live with it being imperfect because we were not going back to the store to buy yet another can of paint.

   I had some luck at an estate sale yesterday. I'm excited to start reading the Better Homes & Gardens "New Garden Book" from 1961 and the thermometer/barometer will go on our back porch. I am totally in love with the Santa Claus card holder and punch bowl set. Since it was the final day of the sale everything was 50% off so I scored all of this (plus a cake knife with a starburst handle that still must be rolling around in the back seat of the car) for only $17.

   Wishing you all a lovely spring and green thumb for all of your gardening adventures until next time!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Texas Antique Weekend

  I'm sure most of ya'll have already read all about the wonders of the Warrenton Antique Festival over at Miss Betty Crafter's blog (make sure you stop by and enter her contest to win a super cute squirrel planter). This was my first time attending and it was such a dream come true, I had to go twice! I went opening week with Mike and then back a week later with Betty and our friend Cassie.

  Before we arrived in the Warrenton/Round Top area we had to take a small dirt road out to the middle of nowhere. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty sure Leatherface was waiting just around the bend.

  Once we arrived safely at our desitination I was overcome with some of the most beautiful vintage treasures my eyes could behold! The picture doesn't do this television justice, since there were lots of items piled in front of it, but it sat on a neat rolling stand. I can just imagine it in a turquoise kitchen!

  My little brother came for a visit a few weeks ago, and even though he's only 13 he loves the show 'American Pickers' and has developed a picking habit of his own when it comes to vintage signs & Coca Cola memorabilia. I had to snap a pic to share the massive haul they had at this booth.

  I, on the other hand, have a soft place in my heart for black Americana from the early/mid 1900s, and there was a ton of it at various booths. Check out this "Little Black Sambo" board game; they only had the cover of the box but the graphics are the most adorable thing!

 I have no idea what the 'Scairy Baby Hotel' is, but it certainly compliments the nearby Texas Chainsaw Massacre dirt road and gave me the creeps.

  And of course I fell in love with this pink Shasta trailer; it wasn't for sale but that didn't stop me from wishing I could take it home!

I almost swerved off the road when I saw this blow mold city but somehow managed to park safely before totally freaking out. Can I take them all home? Please??

   I did bring home two blow molds to start my collection. An adorable blue eyed Santa that Betty found for me and an overly happy and almost creepy Easter bunny.

  Next I died and went to Pyrex heaven. I seriously felt a few heart palpitations and got a little  teary eyed at this beautiful sight. I could of stayed here all day talking to the cute little old lady who was selling these. She spoke about them like they were her babies and with good reason.

  This was only a small portion of the Pyrex she had at her booth and there were several booths nearby with impressive collections as well. If I was a millionaire I would of bought it all! Sadly that's not the case but I still feel like I brought home a good haul. The best deal of the day was the 50 cents I paid for the mug.

  The goal of the first trip was to come home with an amazing planter and towards the end of the day I did just that! I had Mike do my bargaining for me and he was able to get this planter stand for $35. A trip to the nursery is in order to fill it with all kinds of lovely greenery.

  Speaking of plants, I also picked up this cute butterfly planter and a wonderful turquoise plant stand with my very last $20. 

  After Cassie picked up a gorgeous Bakelite orange fruit necklace and Betty her leaf necklace, I was yearning for a Bakelite necklace of my own.  I confessed to the ladies (who are both pretty serious collectors) that I didn't own any Bakelite, and we decided I had to remedy that pronto. I was skeptical on this necklace but after the dealer offered me the deal of a lifetime, I just couldn't say no. I'm so glad I decided to get it, since I've worn it nearly every day since!

  I just couldn't pass by this little deer bookend, he looks just like Bambi and looks perfect on our built in bookshelves in the family room.

  Of course I left a few things behind that I really wish I could have brought home, like this gorgeous laquered coffee table which would have looked absolutely perfect in our family room. (I'm still kicking myself for not buying it!)

  Aren't these puppies just the cutest thing you've ever seen!? They look just like my lemon beagle, Chase, who we adopted when he was 8 months old, so we never got to see him this tiny and adorable!

   And lastly comes our big splurge of the trip, a new patio set! I have been on the hunt for a patio set for a while now and when I saw this one I just knew we had to make it ours. We picked up the 3 chairs, love seat and side table from a dealer on the first trip and I found the matching table on my return trip. They were all pretty scratched up and rusty but after a coat of spray paint it is looking as good as new! We've got the chairs and small table painted so far; the love seat and dining table are on the to-do list for the next few days.

  I also have a few other recent finds to share but that will have to wait for next time... until then, happy hunting!