Musing, Creating, Decorating: It’s All Good

So, a big part of what has been, and still is consuming a huge portion of my life: Terra Cottage  Studio (TCS).  Throw in keeping the house and laundry all nice & clean, the meals planned & prepared, and all the other stuff in between and I’ve got myself a full-time job with moonlighting; just for variety.  Ok. There are days when I can’t get motivated or just can’t get it all done so, I’m pulling my hair out.  Where, Oh, Where does all the time go?

My husband is very patient and doesn’t get upset on those days when I have to create art in my studio instead of in the kitchen.  Albeit, it doesn’t happen too often.

I wanted my TC’s little space to have the look and feel of a charming, little cottage so, I painted a fireplace right on the wall.  I’m very pleased with the way that it turned out.  It’s so life-like you can actually feel the warmth coming out of the hearth.  :)

Before the mantel

After

I refurbished a raw shelf for the mantel by sanding, staining, painting then, spot-sanding it and adding 3 decorative drawer knobs for hangers.  (Close view down below)   It’s darling!

Honestly, I’m very thankful that I get to do something that I love and enjoy after years of pursuing the wrong occupation.  There have been many years that I longed for such a “job.”  It is a lot of work and I’m loving it but, there’s only one of me and some days I need three.  I thank God and my loving, supportive husband for the long awaited opportunity.

Here is a peek of a few pieces of artwork that I have finished and displayed in my cottage.  My artwork is Southern Made, Hand-Crafted.  No two are exactly alike because I paint them by hand; other times I create what my muse directs me to or use whatever supplies I have in my studio.

I love creating those cruets!

Olive_Oil_Crouettes

Olive Oil Cruet

Salad Dressing Cruets make life easier!

Sewing decorative pillows is always fun!

Terra Cottage is a bit bare right now because, like I said, I have many jobs and some days one takes precedence over the other.  However, it is coming along nicely (not as fast as I’d like, though) and I have a lot of goodies planned for the Christmas holiday.  I add new, unique Southen Made, Hand-Crafted items often.

My Terra Cottage Studio website will be up and running soon (details coming) so, visit my cottage and browse around.  If you see something that you’d like to order, there will be a place for that.  If you just have a question or comment, there’ll be a place for that too

Thanks for taking a peak into my cottage.

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Filed under Art, Autumn, Crafts

Sailing… From Something Old To Something New

Hello Everyone!  It’s Been A Long Time.

If y’all have followed my previous post than y’all  know that I’ve been super busy.  I have had other priorities that have kept me away from blogging for nearly 3 months.

One of the things that I’ve been busy pursuing lately is my love for arts/crafts.  I am blessed with a God-given talent of the arts/creativity.  I have dabbled in it since I was a small child.  It’s just been recently that I have been able to do something with my talents.  As I have mentioned in the past, and I’m mentioning it now, and will most certainly mention it in the very near future; I have a Wonderful, Supportive Husband!

That being said, I just started designing a rental space to sell my arts/crafts: Terra Cottage Studio.  I am a one-woman show who creates Southern Made, HandCrafted products so, it is taking me awhile to get enough items crafted/painted to fill my little cottage.  It’s a lot of fun and keeps my mind busy on things other than missing my kids back home.  But, when my muse is cloudy or I’m suffering from an annoying head cold/cough like today, I get very little accomplished.

However, I did manage to repurpose a weathered, odd-shaped board that I found on the premises of our new home.  I see art potential in many objects so, I just couldn’t throw that ugly, unique board away.  My husband thinks it looks like a fence post.  I say it looks more like a starving surf board.  Which gave me the idea to turn it in to a towel/robe rack for his nautical bathroom.

I sanded it w/ rough sandpaper (180) then, I slapped on some white paint.  Ran the sander back over it w/ fine sandpaper (220).  I painted the sailboat/ocean with acrylic paints plus, added a very wise biblical verse ( It’s free-handed so it’s a bit wavy; like a soft wind across an open sea.) that gave the rack extra charm and purpose.  I then sprayed a light Rustoleum sealer over the entire board, screwed on 3 hooks and I’m nearly finished.  All it needs is a rope to hang it.  I haven’t had the time to go to a hardware store to purchase the rope, yet.

My husband loves it and says that he can’t wait to use it.  Right now, he hangs his robes on the door hinge and throws his towels over the shower curtain rod.

Note: Find your passion and pursue it.  You and your soul will be happy that you did.  Not to mention, your significant other as well.  

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Filed under Art, Biblical Quotes, Creations

Hungover and Feeling Squirrelly

Moving, packing, and, unpacking can make a person hungover, like a wilted flower on a hot summer day.  Desperately seeking something to revive one’s body and lift it back up to a vertical position; bright and perky; able to distinguish between up and down, coming and going.  That my friends, is how I’ve been feeling for nearly two weeks since my husband and I moved into our Home In The Hills.

It’s been adventurous (pics coming soon) in between times of hoisting boxes, moving boxes, unpacking boxes then, putting those unpacked items in to an eye-pleasing place – only to move some of them to a different eye-pleasing place.  We’ve taken a few breaks in between those many energy zapping days.  Just yesterday I took a break from painting my son’s room.

I walked out onto our sun porch, as I often do, to get recharged from the brightness of the day.  I admired  my backyard view when I saw something furry peeking over the door to our barn. Out came the cutest, furriest, gray squirrel (picture above).  I quietly, but quickly went back into the house to grab my camera.  I carefully approached the little fella; etching my way closer little by little.  He came out a little further, said hello, and patiently waited while I clicked away. I love our backyard critters.

We have so many that come around to visit: Scurrying Squirrels, Bountiful Birds, Darling Deer, Wondering Woodchuck, Slithering Snakes and a plethora of insects but, not so many spiders.  That’s a very good thing because I loathe spiders.  It comes with the territory of living in the country.  Our Peaceful Paradise.

I just wanted to make a quick visit and let y’all know that I’m still around, I’m just very busy settling in to a “New” book: The Days of Our Lives.  It will soon be Back To Work for us (enjoying a weekend off) as we turn our once neglected house in to a beautiful, lively home.

I have many wonderful blog stories, pictures, art and ideas coming up.   See y’all soon!

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Filed under Nature, Squirrel, Writing

A Piece Of History In My Future

I’m only here for a quick visit (still packing/cleaning for our upcoming move).  I just wanted to share some interesting photos of the museum that stands across the road from our new home.

Weathered, peeling paint and aged remnants reveal her youthful, active days are long gone.  But, even though she has been lifeless for some time, she stills stands tall and proud.

It was quite a treat snooping around the old house.   There was a surprise around every corner.  I love the old, front door with its unique doorbell.  Look closely…  It is halfway down, near the middle of the door, just under the filigree ornamental piece.  Beautiful!

I was told by a neighbor that the original owner still owns the home and occasionally visits.  I can’t wait to meet her and ask her if I can take a tour of the interior of the home.  I also learned that although, she has the money to have indoor plumbing and electricity installed, she refuses to do so.  Could be one reason she still has her money.  Just a thought.

An interesting window that stands on one side of the house, taking all the blows from the north wind.  No wonder she looks frazzled.

I love the artsy porch post.  If that swing could talk…

Wondering around the old homestead, I came upon some interesting “vintageware.”  Those two very rusty Plymouth cars had sat there for so long that they were literally sinking into the ground beneath them..

Here’s some old, rusted ironwork just hanging around.

An old windowpane looking down and broken.  Hmmm.  I wonder where/what that came out of?

And, if a storm blows in,  one can always hide out in the storm cellar.  That might come in handy some day.

Well, gotta run!  The boxes aren’t going to pack themselves.

I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did.

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I’m Getting A Makeover…

Well, I’m not getting the makeover on myself.  Our new Home Sweet Home in the Hills is getting a makeover.  Although, it does feel like I am,  being at the head (with my husband) in all the construction, organizing, cleaning and planning of that laborious yet, exciting adventure that lasted the entirety of eight days (minus a day of R&R with family on Sunday).  However, I may need one after all of this is said and done.

Thank God, literally, that this is a fairly new house that doesn’t need a lot of TLC.  However, poor neglected said house came without flooring and needed fresh paint throughout, plus my own creative touch.  So, 9 days ago, our transformation from a dirty and slightly undressed house had begun.

     Sunday night we arrive (tired and anxious) at our new home up north.

Phase 1 began:

Monday, Day 1: Early Monday morning we awoke (drowsy) with anticipation for the painter to arrive.  He had trouble finding our Home in the Hills, so he was a bit late getting started. He started out painting the living room/dining room/kitchen with 16 foot ceilings a canvas tan.

I had painted the master bathroom from a boring tan to a breezy silvermist and was planning on painting all the other rooms except, where the new flooring was going to be laid.  However, after evaluating all the work that needed to be done outside and inside cleaning, I had a second thought… Just let the painter paint the entire interior walls (minus one bedroom).  Why not?  It would have taken me all week to paint all the rooms.  Therefore, accomplishing nothing else.  It was a good plan.

After the workmen left for the day, we had to venture into the city for some grocery/home shopping.  We got home late.  We were exhausted!

Note: In the meantime, John & I were busy as bees cleaning, mowing/weeding, making strategic plans and fixing little problems that arose… a whole lot of it.

Tuesday, Day 2: The painter returned.  He did NOT finish, again, so, he will return on Saturday.  Ugh!  We were hoping to leave on Friday.

Dan with Randolph Flooring showed up and got busy tiling the kitchen, pantry and around the bar in a kilo stone.  That was a long process.

~ Please ignore the dust particles.

 

Note: In the meantime, John & I were busy as bees cleaning, mowing/weeding, making strategic plans and fixing little problems that arose… a whole lot of it.

Wednesday, Day 3: The floor installer grouted the tile.  It looked beautiful!  While it was curing, he laid the Distressed, Hickory Wood flooring in the hallway and started the living room/dining room.

The young man we hired to clean out our large shop arrived.  He brought a helper with him.  It’s a good thing that he did.  It took those two college boys 3 pickup truck loads (2 trips with a trailer attached) and over a days work to clean up the junk left behind from the previous owner.

During the first round of cleaning, the boys started to move a large tank from the shop when it started hissing at them.  That scared the boys so, they told us what had happened.  We went out to observe the hissing when we smelled the gas.  One of the two tanks had propane leaking from it.  Well, we were a bit scared of going near it too.  So, John called the city fire department; they told him to call 911 who sent out local firemen to our rural home.

It was a funny sight.  Two fire trucks and local volunteer firemen showed up for a propane leak.  Dirt daubers had made a nest under the cap of the tank and caused the valve to turn open when it was slightly moved.  Thank God, literally, it was easily shut off and everyone was safe and on their way.  Thanks to the firemen.  Well, at least all had a bit of excitement to their quiet day in the hills.  And, the unpleasant odor had soon dissipated into thin air.

Carrying on… 2 truck/trailer loads later the boys finished hauling off the junk, except for a load of tires.  So, one of them had to return the next day.

Back into the city we went for more shopping.  We arrive home late yet, again.  We were exhausted!

Note: In the meantime, John & I were busy as bees cleaning, mowing/weeding, making strategic plans and fixing little problems that arose… a whole lot of it.

Thursday, Day 4:  The tires were hauled off and the floor installer continued to lay the flooring in the living room when…

Big Problem!  Bad News!  He is almost finished laying the wood flooring when he runs out of it.  Oh, no!  He makes a couple of calls and finds the flooring some three hours away – one way – in another state!  Great!  Only he can’t get it until Saturday, which meant that we would have to stay until that following Monday to get the floor finished.  Our only other choice was to order it and that would have taken 5-7 days.  No way!  We couldn’t do that.  We had to get back to the south and pack.  We had planned on leaving that Friday but, had to extend our stay for the painter until Saturday.  We might as well stay a couple of more days to finish things up for our upcoming move into our new home.  Which also meant that we would be doing our laundry – at a laundromat – in the city.  We ended up washing/drying 4 loads of laundry!  Boy, we hadn’t done that in many years.  Oh, well.  At least we had clean underwear to last another week, if needed.  The adventures never end.

So, we wait.  You can see the strip on the far right where he ran out of wood flooring.

Note: In the meantime, John & I were busy as bees cleaning, mowing/weeding, making strategic plans and fixing little problems that arose… a whole lot of it.

Friday, Day 5: While John and I waited for the painter and floor installer to return, we ran errands, a lot of errands, all day.  Plus, washed/dried those 4 loads of laundry.  We were quiet a sight to behold.  We had no detergent/softener but, had lots of quarters.  We moved our laundry around from  standard size machines to industrial size hoping to wash less loads.  We put the clothes in, bought detergent/softener on site, started the machines then, left and went to Lowe’s for more home shopping.  We arrived home around 11 p.m.  We were exhausted!

Saturday, Day 6: The painter finished painting a second coat on all the rooms because, they needed it.  Then, and only then was I satisfied with the paint-job.  After he left, we ventured into a nearby, historical town for some supplies to hopefully, unclog a condensation drain.  Plus, it was a good opportunity to visit some of the local antique shops.  After that little break, it was back – to – work for us.

I only indulged in a vintage, wooden ruler.  I needed one for my art/craft projects and, it reminded me of the one that I used as a kid.  Don’t think that I don’t have plans to return to those shops, and many more, to purchase some lovely decor for our new Home in the Hills.

Note: In the meantime, John & I were busy as bees cleaning, mowing/weeding, making strategic plans and fixing little problems that arose… a whole lot of it all.

Sunday, Day 7: A Day Of Much Needed Rest.  Since we couldn’t leave on Friday to visit with John’s family on the route home.  They came to us.  Not only was it Father’s day; it was John’s parents 63rd wedding anniversary and his dad would celebrate a birthday the coming week.  So, we enjoyed a lovely visit with them and left our work sitting for the day.

Monday, Day 8: The floor installer showed up early that morning and finished up the flooring.  It looked beautiful!  Now, I need four bar stools to go with that lovely bar that’s for good eats and entertaining at the Dailey Bistro.

Before 

After

Continuing… Well, the liquid fire did not solve the drain clog so, John finally reached a local plumber who came out and unclogged it.

Note: In the meantime, John & I were busy as bees cleaning, mowing/weeding, making strategic plans and fixing little problems that arose… a whole lot of it.

I had some finishing up to do on flooring that needed to be steam mopped and we had to pack up and head home.  We needed to leave by 2 p.m. but it was a little later than that before we headed out on our long journey home to the south.

Dear Readers:  My husband, John, and I did all this work/maneuvering in eight short days while living out of an ice chest, heating up frozen food in a microwave and sleeping on an airbed.  What an adventure!  It was like camping out in style for us.  It wasn’t too bad.  After all, we had the Blessings of a New Home with a beautiful view, Good Health, God himself and each other to get us through it.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing except, maybe eat less pizza.

Note: Stay tuned for more updates and pictures of our Home In The Hills Makeover.

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Filed under Adventures, Dailey Bistro, Writing

“Green Acres Is The Place To Be…Land Spreadin’ Out So Far and Wide.”

“…Fresh Air …Times Square… Good-bye city life!  Green Acres WE ARE THERE.”

We did it!  We bought the farm.

It’s been a desire of mine for the past few years to leave the city (or small town in my case) and get back out in to the country where the air is fresh, the peace is peaceful, the grass IS greener and the sunrises/sunsets are all the more serene.  Our home with 5 acres in the hills comes with a beautiful view, abundance of trees and wildlife, pecan trees, large garden spot, grape vines, history abound and a BARN!  Now, all we need is a tractor and a tiller.

My husband and I found out that we would be relocating up north last November.  Needless to say, being a southern gal, I wasn’t too excited about that big bit of news.  Since it was inevitable that we would be moving, I made a  deal with my “city boy,” Yankee husband.  The deal was that since he was moving me away from my babies that we would live out in a rural area that had enough room for me to garden, aka acreage.  Oh, I could also get a little dog.  Perhaps, a big dog.  After tons of prayers and endless house searching, we found a place.

It was the fifth house that we had looked at on that cold spring day.   It had almost every request that we had made to our realtor.  The open floor plan with split bedrooms was a big bonus.  And, the other attributes that made the property so aesthetically appealing were a huge bonus. (See above)  Score!  The only two attributes that we had hoped for and didn’t get were natural gas for cooking and heat and, a fireplace.  Oh, well.  I guess we’ll just have to snuggle up tight on those cold winter nights.  And, we did buy a mighty nice range.  My husband’s excited about the pizza button.  It’s the little things.  The main thing is that we felt as though that house was The One; that God had led us to our little slice of heaven-on-earth.

I was told that the soil on our property is very good for growing grapes.  Those vines are a special gift that came with the house.  I doubt that there will be enough grapes to make jelly or even wine so, we’ll just have to eat them!

 

I saw this cluster of odd-looking plants protruding ever so high in my front yard that had been mowed.  But, those spiny plants had been left untouched by the blades of Edward Scissorhands.  I found out from our realtor that they weren’t a foreign intruder after all.  It was asparagus!  They went to seed so, I’ll have (My sweetie doesn’t like the green stuff.) plenty of asparagus next spring.  It is a beautiful plant when it changes colors too.

When we first looked at that place, we hadn’t looked over the yard as thoroughly as we had the house.  After looking over the inside of the house with a fine tooth comb, we went outside where we were getting ready to leave when I looked down at the base of a tree – that stood on one side of the driveway – when I noticed something familiar.  I did a double take.  Pecans! I could not believe my eyes!  Or, my good fortune.  I told my husband that pecan tree was a sign  that this was the place.  Previously, I had posted about the pecans trees in my yard – here in the south – and all the pecans that I had gotten off of those two trees.  So, when I saw that tree I knew is was fate.  I walked around the yard and found three more mature pecan trees!… Blessings all around.

THE BARN.  Let’s talk a little bit about the barn.  When I first saw that weathered wood still standing in one piece, I was in love.  I was hoping for some character to our new home and boy, did I get it.  There was a large tree that had fallen on the roof of the barn that needed immediate attention.  As soon as we could, we hired someone to cut that tree off and save our barn.  It’s full of hay and still has a bit of history in it: A chicken nester, round water trough, old pulley for holding a hay lift, and that’s just what I could see among all the clutter. (pictures coming soon)  I have big plans for that old barn.  Someday in the near future, I hope to reclaim it and turn it into an art studio/mercantile or kitchenette/studio/mercantile for all the creating and entertaining I plan to do.  And, of course, I will blog about the entire process.  Yes, it needs a little TLC.

 

 

Well, fellow bloggers.  This is all that I have time for now.  I have a lot of traveling, packing/unpacking, cleaning and moving to do in the next 3 weeks so, I won’t have time to do much (if any) blogging the remainder of June.  But, I will have lots of stories and pictures to share with y’all once we get settled in to our mini farm in the hills.  In the meantime, “Keep Manhattan (your city) Just Give Me That Countryside.”

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Botanical Gardens and Shoe Shopping!

After nearly two weeks of being bedridden, I was more than ready to do something else.  Something that required getting dressed and getting outside.   So, my husband and I started our long, adventurous Memorial Day weekend on Saturday with an Asian lunch then a movie.  We were going to go see X-men but, since my son had other plans, we opted for a comedy: Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.  I am not a fan of either one of them but, I needed a good laugh.  It was a cute, clean movie and  it DID make me laugh.  Did I mention that I needed a good laugh?

Memorial Day weekend continues: Sunday after a wonderful church service, we were going to take a much-needed nap.  But that never happened!  We went grocery shopping for our big cookout for two.  After zipping through Wal-Mart for over an hour and dodging hundreds of other eager shoppers, I was dog tired.  But, no time for slackers.  We had to prepare a feast of chicken/shrimp kabobs, pasta salad, roasted tomatoes/potatoes and strawberry pie.  That’s right.  I made a pie from some of those strawberries that I had previously picked and was going to make jelly with but, got sick and couldn’t do it.  It was worth the wait.

Onto day three of our Memorial Day weekend.  We were going to go bike riding at a state park but, decided on a spontaneous whim that we would do something different.  We went to a Botanical Garden.  I have never been before but, have wanted to go.  So, we headed out on a road trip that took us about an hour and a half to get to the garden.  That is where all my lovely pictures are from: Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.  It was a beautiful place with an array of colors and textures; a gardeners dream.  There were even chickens!  I didn’t think to take a picture of them because I grew up with chickens running around the yard so, it wasn’t unusual for me to see chickens peckin’ and scratchin’.

After our stroll through paradise, we found a quaint little sandwich shop to eat lunch at: Little Bread Company.  I had a Mediterranean sandwich that was very tangy and tasty with Greek olives, pickled red peppers, beans sprouts, romaine and feta cheese on homemade focaccia bread with homemade kettle chips.  Yummy!  I can’t remember what my husband had to eat.  Oh, well.  I was into my own meal and  enjoyed every bite of my unique sandwich.

 

All that eating made me want to go shoe shopping… Off to Dillard’s for a pair of wedges.  Every girl needs a pair of wedges.  Right?  I am tall (5′ 9″ to be exact) so I can wear wedges (no more than 3″ and that’s pushing it) without twisting my ankle.  I tried on this style and that color, that style and this color until I had finally found THE ONE (My sweet husband was so patient).  I bought a pair neutral in color so that I could wear them with anything and get my moneys worth.  Because, we all know that Dillard’s ain’t for the cheap.  Those shoes will last me years upon years.  I ain’t lying.

After all that walking, eating and trying on shoe, after shoe, after shoe, I was ready to go home.  We took the scenic route home over the mountains, through the woods and along a big, beautiful lake.

Well, that was my adventurous weekend after spending two weeks in bed.  It’s amazing what fresh air, sunshine and laughter can do for a soul. I hope y’all enjoyed a Beautiful, Blessed Memorial Day weekend!

Note: I will be heading North today for a few days and I hope to have some really good news to share with y’all after I return.

Have a Beautiful week.

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