celebrating june

Well, June is here! The weather is on the rise, the days are long, the water cool and strawberries are the pick of the moment.  These things will be celebrated, as they should be, on Saturday at the annual Strawberry Festival in West Cape May.  Be sure to walk across the street and visit us at the The West End Garage.  You might just stumble upon a free milk paint demonstration.  Will you be in Cape May this weekend?

strawberries
June milk paint demonstration at The West End Garage

Strawberry Festival

a walk through the garden

A thunderstorm washed through the area last night leaving everything in the garden looking extra lush and green this morning.  So much so that I decided this was the day to snap a few photos and share a status update on how things are progressing in the garden.

annuals garden box

This is the first year we’ve gardened this plot.  It runs about 4o feet long but only 18-24 inches deep on each side of the fence that divides the vegetables from the flowers.  These border gardens get full sun most of the day.  We decided to start out with a manageable size garden and we’ll add-on annually as desired.

vegetable and perennial border garden

On the exterior of the fence I’m working on a perennial garden.  Most of the plants are immature so I’ve been filling in with annuals.  I can’t wait to see how the perennial gardens thrive over the years.  Perennials gardens have always been my favorite to grow.  I am anticipating a cottage style cutting garden out here.  The thought of garden flower bouquets all summer long is delightful.

milk paint picket fence

The other side of the fence is where most of the action is happening as the flowers get established.  We started this vegetable garden in late March mostly from seed, directly sown.  We are now harvesting the early/cool weather vegetables such as lettuce.  If you come for dinner I can assure you that there will be a salad.

lettuce salad garden

And the snap peas are just darling.  I love their little tendrils and sweet flowers.

snap peas

We upcycled a trellis out of two crib rails.  Ryan just screwed them together making an A-frame.  They’ve already grown about 4 feet tall so looks like we’ll need to give them more space to climb.  Some snap pea varieties grow up to 8 feet.

upcycled snap pea trellis - crib rails

The other vegetables include carrots, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, beans and kohlrabi – planted mostly from seed.  Plus, we have a galvanized container garden for herbs.  I want to make tea with the relevant herb harvest.

vegetable garden milk painted fence

The fence is a new addition that we added in the fall.  Would you believe we used milk paint on the fence to achieve that subtle light blue?

milk paint on a picket fence #mmsmp

Yes, you can use milk paint outdoors!  It won’t fade from UV light and will be protected when a topcoat of tung oil is applied.  We sell tung oil with milk paint for this purpose.  The color was custom mixed eulalie’s sky and linen in more of a wash consistency. Then two thin coats were applied on a raw pine fence.  Perfect little cottage garden accent, don’t you think?

the beginning of a perennial cutting garden

But the best part of the garden is definitely the bounty it produces.  This morning, I harvested my first bunch of kale to enjoy with some locally grown strawberries in a breakfast smoothie.  Life can really be that simple.

locally grown produce

What are you growing?

world tour

Ok, world tour is a bit of an overstatement but to say that we’ve been on the road seems like an understatement.  In the past 10 days we’ve covered about 5 states and 1000 miles tending to both business and pleasure and luckily, for us business and pleasure are often the same thing.

Woolverton Inn

We made new friends along the way.

Woolverton Inn

Woolverton Inn Woolverton Inn   Woolverton Inn  Woolverton Inn

Took a few risks.

Bushkill Falls

Bushkill Falls

Considered the future.

the thinker

And reminisced about the past.

Manayunk

But best of all, I spent a week with my husband celebrating our first anniversary

Brimfield selfie

…while also scouting Brimfield.

Brimfield

Brimfiled

There were show stoppers.

Brimfield

Brimfield VW

Brimfield 14

And vintage loving friends.

Brimfield pup

But its good to be home.  For now anyway.

Cape May

I have to get back to unloading the truck.  Again.  And polishing up our latest treasures so I can share them with you.

springtime potting

We’ve been spending all of our spare time in the garden lately. The passing soaking rains, followed by sunshine have left impressive growth on our snap peas and carrot seedlings among other things. We’re already harvesting salad greens. I can’t wait to share more from our garden as it matures.

lettuce

In the meantime, I did a little work for your garden.

Eulalie's Sky Milk Paint Potting Bench #mmsmilkpaint

How cute is this potting bench?  It conveniently doubles as a stand alone cocktail bar on a patio or deck too!  Also, the sides and shelves fold in for easy peasy storage.

Eulalie's Sky Potting Bench

I love the cottage blue color.  The bench is newly constructed from pressure treated raw pine.  I mixed up some milk paint in Eulalie’s Sky and applied one coat.  It absorbed evenly into the raw wood like a stain leaving a rustic finish in some areas where the wood grain and knots showed through.

Ptting Bench

To finish it and ensure durability outside in the elements, I applied a coat of tung oil.  This will protect the wood and repel water.  Tung oil can be re-applied annually if necessary.

English Ivy

The potting bench and all of the plants pictured here are for sale at West End Garage.  The paint is too!

Can’t you just smell the rosemary?  My favorite!

Springtime Herbs

 

diy capiz shell chandelier

Back to the bathroom renovation posts…  I last left you with how we transformed the dresser into a functioning bathroom vanity.  Today is all about how we DIY’d that glowing goddess of a chandelier.

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

I’m so in love with it!  We were always destined to have a chandelier in this bathroom.  That was a known fact from early on.  I was originally scouting antique chandeliers.  The reoccurring problem was the size and proportion of a true chandelier to this room which is very important to take into consideration when choosing a light fixture for any room.  I noticed capiz chandeliers pop up a few times on pinterest.  The wheels started turning. This, I thought, we could do on our own on a smaller scale and small budget.

First of all, what are capiz shells?  Turns out they’re oysters.  And not only popular on pinterest but in beach towns too.  I found a couple of these wind chimes at a local gift shop for 10 bucks each.  Score!

DIY capiz shell chandelier

DIY capiz shell chandelier

Need a closer look?  They’re funny.  Not my style, as is.

DIY capiz shell chandelier

I dismantled the shells so they could be re-worked into our light fixture.  These were absolutely priceless for this DIY because they already had the small hole punched through the delicate shell.  Perfect for stringing the fixture together.

  DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

Behind the depths of the radiator vent sits the original oh-so-important bathroom fan.  It is quite nondescript, builder basic like this one sold at Lowe’s.  Once the plastic cover is removed, a world of possibilities awaits.

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

In our case, it was the replacing the cover with a salvaged heating vent.  So much more interesting!  Rather than having a bulb recessed into the ceiling as intended, Ryan wired a single pendant light bulb into the receptacle and mounted the cast iron vent to the ceiling.  At that point I laid out a design for the shells using painters tape.

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

Each shell was strung on fishing wire using a series of half hitch knots.

DIY capiz shell chandelier

We started with a length of 3 shells for the center portion of the light.  The next layer is a length of 2 shells and then the perimeter layer is just a single large shell.    They were all tied directly to the vent creating a subtle graduated look.  The fishing line pretty much disappears into the ceiling so the focus remains on the shells.

DIY Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

The fixture casts a nice warm glow when it’s on and of course the fan is fully functioning as well.  I am still on the hunt for sconce lighting by the mirror.  I’ll know it when I find it…maybe this weekend.  It seems to be hunting weather.  Stay tuned!

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

This is a fun, custom addition for under $30 and about an hour of work.  A relatively easy DIY.

Cottage Style Bathroom

a dose of spring

This little lady has brought a breath of fresh air on an otherwise gloomy day.  Most of our friends to the north and even the south are buried in a foot of snow or more so I just had to share this unlikely February sight.

blooming geranium in February

I think unanimously everyone is looking forward to spring.  Actually, I am sure of that.  In the meantime, I’ll bring spring to your computer.

blooming geranium in February

Did you know that you can successfully overwinter geraniums?  And if conditions are optimum, your geranium might just put out a rare winter bloom.

Here’s how…

  • Before the first frost (usually in October ’round these parts), bring potted geraniums indoors.  You can transplant geraniums from your garden beds into pots if you’re up for it.
  • Dead head any spent blooms and wilting leaves.
  • Keep geraniums in a cool (50-60 degrees), sunny area over the winter.  This potted geranium lives in my office which is typically about 60 degrees believe it or not.  Optimum geranium-overwintering conditions!
  • Don’t over water it!  That is the most common mistake made with all potted plants really.  Generally speaking, water when the soil is dry to the touch.

over wintering a geranium

And of course my favorite vintage McCoy planter is home to this geranium.  A cute planter is a must.  I have a collection of yellow McCoy planters.

blooming geranium in February

Ahh,  we’re in the home stretch now friends.   Soon we’ll all be looking at gardens lined with hot pink geraniums.  Soon.

blooming geranium in February

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you in October how you were feeling on this particularly stormy winter day so you remember to dig up your geraniums and nurse them  through the cold months so they’ll bloom indoors for you next winter.  Or you can just pin this as a reminder…

overwintering geraniums