summer bucket list

It seems like we anticipate summer all year long living in Cape May.  All of the seasons are beautiful here in this quaint coastal town but summer takes the cake.  The town swells with visitors.  The locals are busy working their craft whether it be retail, hospitality or agriculture.  The energy in the southernmost point of New Jersey is amazing.  Yet there is still time for a sunset bike ride by the bay, an afternoon nap on the beach or an early morning walk in the garden.  The days are so long and full of possibility.

This year I don’t want to solely consume myself with work and miss out on what the season has to offer.  I may have been guilty of that last summer.  We put together a summer bucket list to keep ourselves motivated to enjoy all that life has to offer.  We may even spend a few days acting like tourists as we did prior to moving here on a full-time basis.

Here goes.

summer bucket list

With July rapidly approaching, I challenge you to make a summer bucket list too.  Keep track of your goals whether on a piece of paper, a chalkboard, email, whatever works for you.  Simply challenge yourself to fully enjoy the season without any regrets.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

While discussing bucket lists and goals, I should mention that I was interviewed in June’s issue of Cape May magazine. We talked lighting.  Of course, I was happy to discuss all of the upcycled lighting we’ve created and posted about over the years.

CM mag june

Earlier this year, I made a goals list and included “contribute to a regional magazine” amongst what I wished to accomplish in 2015.  And wouldn’t you know I did just that two months in a row!  I am convinced that there is really something to putting your goals in writing and therefore releasing them into the world.  It holds you responsible for accomplishing the tasks, even if only as simple as doing yoga on the beach just once this summer.

garden to table

Welcome to our new layout!  We’ve switched things up a bit at circadee.com to make more of a landing page for those looking for information on our shop.  If you’re here for the blog posts, you’ve found them!  We’ll continue to post regularly about our adventures, finds & projects.  That’s how this little business got started after all.

broccoli & edamame

Lately I’ve been spending all of my spare moments in the garden.  Early morning seems to be ideal.  Before the sun peaks but also when the mosquitoes are at bay.  It’s amazing how rapidly everything is growing.  The sporadic thunderstorms have certainly helped.  Alleviating the plants from the 90 degree temperatures and also alleviating me from the chore of watering.

oregano & lemon balm

Our harvest has already been plentiful with much more just around the corner.  At this point, the snap peas are about spent but I’m hoping to yield another harvest later this summer.  I’m still tucking bean seeds in vacant spots as I see fit.  They sprout almost immediately!

There have been a number of volunteer plants including two tomatoes, beans and a few squash – we’re not sure which species yet.  I’m certain that we can thank our compost pile for this surplus.  It has made for a few crowded beds since we weren’t expecting them but everything seems to be content.  The more the merrier!  I like to practice close planting to keep the weeds down anyway.

squash flower

We’re almost ready to harvest the kohlrabi and broccoli.  We’re seeing the first signs of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The potatoes are growing like wild fire.

This is actually our first year growing potatoes which we did in two plantings.  The first cycle in containers and the second in the ground.  The containers we’re using this year are actually terracotta chimney flue liners.  I’m digging the height they add and the border they create at the end of the garden.

chimney flue liners as raised garden containers

I seem to be favoring the herb garden most this year.  Last year, I was all about the flower bed but I think the herbs are stealing the show.  I expanded their footprint this year by taking three large galvanized tubs and creating a double-decker border so each herb has its own pot.

galvanized tub herb garden

The herbs have made a cameo in almost every dish.  There’s the obvious basil pesto but we’ve switched it up and added it to fish and fruit like shrimp and watermelon.

Basil Pesto

We can’t eat pasta everyday but when we do we’ve used oregano pesto with whatever veggies we can steam or saute.

oregano pesto

My tried and true summer carb is rosemary bread.  I follow a simple beer bread recipe and fold in loads of rosemary right from the garden.

Rosemary Bread

But what to with all of the that dill?  It makes a pretty, airy bouquet!  I’ve also mixed dill with chives to create a tasty little dip that complements homemade pita chips.

Dill & Chive Dip

What’s growing in your June garden?  I’m off to figure out how to use this morning’s marjoram harvest…

 

clover preview

We’re gearing up for Sunday’s Clover Market in Bryn Mawr, PA! This is the last market of the spring season.  I’m told that Clover’s new location is fantastic!  We hope you’ll stop by and say hi.

Clover spring

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the treasures that have been packed up for Sunday with more to go.  We’re bringing bright and cheerful floral tablecloths, vases, bowls and more.  Fill them with your garden’s bounty.  Perfect for your summer cottage!  And I’ve got one hot pink chenille bedspread that is divine.  It is not like any I’ve come across before…

Clover-7039

the chair bench evolution

Once upon a time we took 3 cast off yard sale chairs and upcycled them into a custom bench that is a perfect fit in our dining nook.  Bench Seat

You can review the bench tutorial here.upcycled chairs turned custom bench (4 of 38)

As the space evolved it was inevitable for the bench to evolve too.  When we updated the kitchen, the colors took on an earthy, neutral palette with lots of texture.  The kitchen continues to be the room that changes the most frequently around here…

flea market style kitchen

When the floors were redone this winter, I updated the bench by giving each chair a coat of MMSMP Grainsack over the bold colored chalk paint.  The milk paint resisted the chalk paint in a few places giving just a subtle distressed look.

Also, I came across 3 neutral toile printed pillows that were perfectly sized for each chair.  They were only a buck for each pillow cover.  I found some inserts and boom!  upcycled upholstered chair bench

It’s like a new bench for little cost (again)!  What have you upcycled lately?

dining nook upholstered chairs

 

 

 

driftwood inspired wall

This was a totally fun and unique project to conceptualize and complete.

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6803

Probably because there was no right or wrong when coming up with the color combination for a driftwood inspired wall at the cottage. There were so many directions we could have gone in…

driftwood look milk paint wood plank samples

and we did.  But here’s where we ended up…

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp

The project began with raw pine tongue & groove boards installed over drywall.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5837

I simply mixed up a quart of MMSMP Curio and poured it into a paint tray.  I applied it to the wall using a foam roller.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5838

You can see that one coat of Curio didn’t exactly provide even coverage in this case but it gets better as we go (as does my footwear).  It’s safe to say that this is the “ugly phase” of this particular project.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5840

Now for the “weathering”.  I dry brushed Linen over Curio applying more in some areas and less in others to create some depth. I also used a little Grainsack.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5845

Then we pondered the finish over the course of a few weeks.  Did it need more color/lighter/darker/hemp oil?  All of the above?  Basically it was reading very flat at this stage so I went back through with Marzipan which is the closest color in the line to Linen and worked it in with a brush.  That helped to add depth and texture.  I even used a tiny bit of Schloss, which is more gray in color with a slightly green undertone.

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6815

Finally, I finished the entire wall with a light sanding and a coat of hemp oil.  This really pulled it all together!

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6822

Attempting to mimic weathered wood that only nature can truly create was a bit challenging but like I said, there was no right or wrong!  It’s only paint.  A little bit of this, a lot of that, finish with hemp oil and voila!

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6818

We’re on the hunt for a nubby-textured, neutral slipcover for the wing back chair in order to cut down on the “Christmas in July” vibe that the vignette currently has. Yes, the console is painted in MMSMP Boxwood.  Good eye!

a pretty washstand

Today I have a pretty little washstand to share…

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-6990

Here’s how it look when we started.

wash stand before

I really love the way this one turned out, flaws and all.  It is so understated.  I used 2 coats of Dried Lavender without bonding agent.  Yes, this is dried lavender believe it or not.  It looks darker than usual most likely because the previous finish was so dark.  I wasn’t sure how the paint would react because of the obviously shiny finish that I was painting over.  The effect was surprising and delightful!  Check out that crackle…

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-7002

I finished it with furniture wax and a hint of white wax.  The washstand and the ironstone basin & pitcher will be available for sale this weekend at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown. The lemon cypress topiaries are heading to West End Garage.

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-6991