Friday, July 30, 2010

My Vegetable Garden Mid-Summer

Our intentions with our vegetable garden are always grander than what we have time for.  As much as we love our fresh, organic fruits and veggies, time with family and friends always takes first priority.  We live in Oregon where nice weather doesn't last long, so lazy summer days are a luxury!  That said, we were able to accomplish more than I expected...

This year we have: corn, spinach, lettuce, peas, beans, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumber, strawberries and pears (on our pear tree).  We also planted broccoli, radishes, and carrots, but they did not survive to yield anything.  I share this because gardening is not always successful and I do not pretend that it's as easy as in looks when everything is flourishing.

The peas are pretty much done and we are still awaiting the squashes as well as the corn and beans.  There is not much happening on our pear tree, but I am optimistic that they too will come.

In Spring we prepare the garden by weeding and adding new compost.  I find the new compost to be the most important determinant in how our crops will do.  Then, we decide what we really want in the garden and how to lay it out.  This too is more complicated that it sounds as you must consider: time in the garden, space, sun...

Then the fun part - planting!  That is definitely my favorite part...well, aside of eating the bounty.  The maintenance is the other challenging part: watering regularly and weeding.  My husband is in charge of those tasks because he does a lot better at them than I would.

In the end, we get to enjoy fresh, healthy, organic, ripe fruits and veggies straight from the garden.  There really isn't much better than that!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amazing Rummage Sale Find!

Custom frames are very expensive and I often have something I want framed that is not a typical size.  This can get quite expensive!  Well I got lucky recently when I found a frame that appeared to be what I needed for a map I have had for over 3 years and not yet framed.  (With 2 young children, I'm amazed the map is still in one piece.)

So I found this beautiful wood frame at a rummage sale.  The deer had to go!  Nothing against deer - I really think they are gorgeous creatures, but not really something I would hang in my home.  

So after peeling off some well-glued cardboard on the back, I removed the deer picture.  I then cleaned the glass well and replaced the picture with my copy of a Mercator map of Europe that I had received as a gift.  I then moved the hardware on the back for it to hang horizontally rather than vertically.

I am very happy with how it turned out and more than pleased with what it cost.  It was only the cost of the frame = $1.00!  Can you believe it?  Definitely one of my best finds!

Monday, July 19, 2010

ShabbyNChic Giveaway

For the first time I am giving away a one-of-a-kind piece from my shop.  I love the soft, romantic look of this cottage style wall hook.  It is made from a plaque with a beautiful floral paper adhered to the front.  I painted the plaque a creamy off-white color, then attached an upcycled metal knob that I painted silver.  The entire piece was then sealed.  It will arrive ready to hang.  Wall hooks are great for hanging a jacket, purse, apron, dog leash...


1. Open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
2. Ends Saturday, July 31st at midnight PST.
3. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via information provided in comment entries within 24 hours.
4. Each contest entry requires a separate comment.

To Enter:

- Tweet on Twitter about this giveaway.
- Post on Facebook about the giveaway.
- Visit my Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.
- Follow me on Twitter at @ShabbyNChic.
- Follow my blog.

**Remember to post a separate comment for each entry.**

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Summer Garden

If you follow my blog, then you saw my Spring post with pictures from my garden.  We are now in the midst of the heat of Summer and flowers that were blooming in the Spring have subsided while others are at their full glory.

I wanted to capture the beauty of our Summer blooms.  The hydrangea is my favorite hands-down.  I absolutely love blue flowers and I don't think it gets better than a hydrangea in blue full-bloom!

Of course we still have roses blooming.  Isn't that a staple in every garden?  I love the multi-color varieties we have, but they were no longer blooming by the time I got the camera out.  These salmon-colored roses are beautiful in their own right.  Who doesn't love roses - a gorgeous work of nature.

Bees are all around in the summer as well.  I love this shot of a bee about to land on this pink flower.  Do you see it?

My herb garden recently took off and now needs a trim, but the fullness is marvelous to see!  I have lavendar, sage, two varieties of thyme and cilantro here.  I also love basil (again, who doesn't?), but for some reason I have better success with basil when I grow it in pots.

*Future post on our vegetable garden coming soon...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cottage Style Decorating with White

Most people think of white when they think of cottage style.  White is a staple in cottage style decorating and sometimes the focus.  Although it seems simple, decorating almost soley with white can be intimidating.  I found some pictures of great examples of rooms done very well with a lot of white.

I love the brightness of white.  It is so crisp and clean.  A space can often feel large when white is used on the walls, there are not a lot of colors breaking up the space.

White can be a cold color.  Adding a touch of warmth, such as a piece of wood furniture, can "warm up" a mostly white space.  There is not just one white.  There are many shades of white and using multiple shades can also add warmth to the room.

If you have one piece or a collection with some color, it can really "pop" when surrounded by white.  It really adds drama to a piece that may blend in or get lost in a more colorful space.

*Pictures from

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Antiques I Love!

I can (and sometimes do) spend hours in antique shops looking at every little thing.  I love antiques - the history, the quality, the uniqueness.  I love going to antique shops and finding items that remind me of the past, even the past well before my time.

I recently bought a metal floral trash can that reminded of one that my grandmother had in her home.  It's like bringing back a piece of that feeling of spending Saturdays at my grandmother's house as a child. 

I love the history of antiques: thinking of where a table has been, who sat around that table and the conversations they had.  Or thinking of a desk and work that was done and letters written there.  New pieces just don't have that.

The other characteristic of antiques that many new things don't have is quality.  I love buying old frames or useful items for around the house.  When I buy something old, I know that it will last much longer than the newer version of that same item.  

I also love the beauty and uniqueness of antiques.  Obviously I enjoy the worn, well-loved look of belongings that have been around awhile.  Beyond that, there are often additional details on antiques, sometimes handmade, that we rarely see today.

Finally, it's green!  We are all looking for ways to take better care of our planet and buying something old rather than new reduces potential waste.  This is not only because a new item doesn't need to be made, but also because the quality of the older piece makes it last longer, further reducing waste.  Yet another great feeling when buying antique or vintage pieces! 

I could go on and on with both pictures and words about antiques and how much I love them.  I will have to do a future post about pieces that I own and their stories. to work on that!