Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sibling Gifts

So it's almost February and I"m just now getting to posting the children's siblings gifts, a tradition we started years ago and one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

Grace absolutely loves succulents and so Harris made her two little succulent planters from tree branches he found here on our property.  They turned out so darling!

Harris loves and adores his blankets- the more the better!  Therefore, Grace made him a super cozy/comfy plaid blanket with cute rick-rack trim.  Her Grandma was there to guide her, but because of her broken wrist, Grace really had to take charge on this one!

Friday, January 19, 2018


One of the first things I learned about Bryce, mainly through his climbing of them, was that he is a lover of trees.  He appreciates their beauty, their shade and their purpose within our environment.

Our property has a lot of trees, which is wonderful, but many are approaching the end of their life span and we are committed to planting more.  While we do have many trees - sycamores and black walnuts being the majority - we do not have many ornamentals or specimen trees.  We have lots of plans to add trees every year but I was surprised this morning, as I wrote down all the trees we've planted, to realize we've already planted 43 here!

One of the very first things we did after we moved was plant 10 maple trees along the driveway.  We figured it would take many, many years for them to make a true impact so we wanted to get started right away.  These have been, by far, the largest trees we've planted.  

The rest of the trees have ranged from small to very, very small as it's not very financially feasible to plant large, expensive trees.  We planted 10 autumn cherries in front of the garden this past fall.  I'm super excited about these as they bloom in the spring and fall (though fall is a much lighter bloom).

We also planted 8 dogwoods along the Birthday Trail in the woods.  They are teeny tiny but hopefully they won't always be.  The tubes are to protect them from the dreaded and loathed (sorry, but they destroy everything!) deer.

We've also planted 4 crabapples, one red maple (other than the driveway trees) and 8 dwarf fruit trees in the garden.   Planting trees is really an exercise in patience and looking toward the next generation, they being the ones who will truly enjoy a mature tree, but one that I think is totally worth it.   

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Celebrate Rosie

Today is the anniversary of when Rosie came into our lives.  I've never been much of a dog person so if anyone had told me just how much I would love this dog, I wouldn't have believed them.

But love her we do!  She seems to be just about perfect for us and we are so thankful for her.  To celebrate we made her a hat (she wasn't a fan) and a doggie cupcake (she was a fan!).

Recipe for doggie cupcakes from Butter Celebrates: A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share with Family and Friends

Friday, January 12, 2018

"New" Latches, Hinges and Knobs

One of my very favorite spots in the whole house is the butler's pantry.  I loved it when we first saw it and I love it even more now that it's 99% done and "us!"  Something that was totally unexpected, but I'm absolutely thrilled with, are the hinges, cupboard latches and knobs!  Let me explain...

The hinges on each of the cabinets were totally covered in paint and seemed to me to be a total loss.  In fact, I never even considered keeping them, instead going online to find a replacement as soon as the painters started working in that area.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single hinge that was the same size, which meant that we would have to drill new holes, fit new hinges to the doors and figure out how to shim them as well. 

However, as I was working on measuring them, for the umpteenth time, I noticed a logo that had the letters SW enclosed in a heart.  It's the heart that got me.   It turns out the company that made my hinges, Stanley Works, was founded in 1843 and from 1920 to 1935 they made what is known as the sweetheart logo in honor of their longtime CEO, William Hart (he worked for the company for his entire life!).  Of course, I now had to keep the hinges!

Fortunately, my sister knew of someone who re-plated metal and he was willing to plate the hinges in brass (unlacquered).  I found it interesting that James explained to me that in his opinion it was completely worth the cost to strip and plate them because it was next to impossible to get such high quality hinges today.  The hinges are high carbon steel (they hold large doors with glass in them) and he said he wouldn't trust such small hinges today.  We also went ahead and re-plated the cupboard latches and knobs as they were solid brass but the finish on them (nickel) was wearing thin. 

It certainly wasn't an economical way to go, I could have replaced all of the hardware for less, but I really love re-using things that were already part of the house. 

P.S.  Stanley Works is till around, it's just now called Stanley Tools!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Goings on...

Happy New Year everyone!  I sure didn't mean to step away from the blog for so long but things got really, really busy here with Christmas and the renovation and I just couldn't keep up!  So instead of doing a million posts about everything, I think I'm just going to do a bit of a synopsis of what has been going on...

Christmas was really lovely this year.  We spent Christmas day at my sister's house this year as my Mom, who was planning on hosting, fell and broke her wrist rather badly a few weeks prior to Christmas.

The kitchen, for all intents and purposes, is done!  I forgot to order hardware for our island, so we have to wait for that to get here, and there is some touchup painting that has to be addressed, but we are in there cooking and making a mess every single day.  It's wonderful and I look forward to sharing it with you!  In other parts of the house, the old kitchen has been gutted and the bathroom is slowly but surely coming along.

right after the sink was installed but missing hardware on drawers and sconces

The weather has been the coldest, for the longest period of time, that I can ever remember.  We've had three or four snows and the temperature hasn't been above freezing in weeks.  The cold really doesn't bother me as much as some people (though I'm dreading our heating bill) and I love having snow on the ground instead of brown everywhere.  We've been for walks around the property and it's so beautiful and peaceful.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are settling back into a routine.  One of the things I really want to get done in the new year is figure out this blog.  It REALLY bothers me how the Photobucket bits are still on here and yet I cannot seem to figure out how to get them off (and I'm not willing to pay them a fee).  Hopefully, we can make it better than ever!

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