The Little Things Update

Since the office overhaul there have not been any massive changes. We added sheet metal to one side of the office supply cabinet so my daughter could play with magnets there and hang her school work.


IMG_6910We finally got to changing the legs on the dining table. The legs before were very nice, but a significant pain to clean under and with three-times-a-day sweeping (who are we kidding?) the difficulty was enhanced. We purchased four legs from Ikea that I thought would fit with the piece well enough and my husband attached them. I don’t like how they look, so they’ll likely be temporary, and the table wobbles a bit, but they are an improvement nonetheless.

IMG_6898It does look cleaner, but I rather think they should be attached to some wood so we see more of the leg. I have an idea of taking one of our massive bathroom mirrors, having the corners cut, antiquing it and using it as a table top. Wild, no? It’s on the brainstorming list, the list which may never fully materialize, and that’s just fine.

IMG_6895In a more exciting mood I share with you the developments of our front yard.

When we first moved in, it looked like this:

IMG_4955Yes, the bushes actually did look like that!

IMG_4961And here is the flower bed now.

IMG_6899Every thing except tulip bulbs and some tiny purple lily-like flowers were gradually removed. Three lavender plants are in, rosemary, pin cushion flowers, salvia, and a stone pine tree are in. We have lemon balm growing safely in a pot and will add mint to the matching pot next to it.

IMG_6900When we planted we used the existing plants to create symmetry only to realize after that they were not centered! St. Francis is helping balance things out out.

IMG_6901I’m so pleased with the developments. We’re using an old red wagon for the plants in progress now that I’ve fully expressed my displeasure to my husband at the sight of lots of little junky pots in between the plants.

IMG_6902This winter we’ll finally plant the tree in those pots on the left.

IMG_6903In this neighborhood we combat ants so we’ve moved a picnic table to our newly fenced in front yard for dinner times. It’s the same redwood material and age as our former backyard furniture, but a coat of paint saved it from its impending demise.

IMG_6904The blue rocking chair made it to the front and found a buddy once the rain stopped. Our living room is less cramped now.

IMG_6907I moved the antique trunk back against the wall so the walkway is open. With my husband’s new sander I saw what was underneath the rust.

IMG_6906It’s neat to see the original black from through. I’ll wait on deciding if I will paint it after all.

My husband is working bit by bit to get the vegetable garden planted in the front. Zucchini, yellow squash and artichokes are planted along the border in our backyard, Little Italy.

That’s all for now. I feel swamped under the weight of rivaling children so I do not feel very ambitious with our projects. We’ll be having a yard sale next weekend as part of Hughson’s city wide yard sale. Along with some furniture we’ll be selling rosemary grapefruit-aide, snicker doodle and peanut butter cookies. If you’re in the area, come on by!

New outdoor projects with pictures!

I’m sure I mentioned this a few times but now I’ve finally taken this finished project out of the garage and into the light. Here is the estate sale rocking chair with a blue makeover, Napoleonic blue by Annie Sloans’ Chalk Paint to be specific.



Sanding this would have been a nightmare. It’s very blue, but works well with the front door. I thought about trying my hand at distressing, but let it go since there is so much else going on.


We’ve been using this antique trunk as a coffee table in the front. Shabby chic? I think not. More like just shabby, neat but shabby.



My plan is to paint this with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite (black). I think I’ll use a small brush around the hardware, allowing it to stay this deep rusted red.

The blue chair will be accompanied by an walnut stained antique rocking chair. So this eyesore of a bench will have to find a new home.



We’re planning a wrought iron fence around the front yard. If we get the fence, we may replace the wood, paint the bench and place it next to the fence. I like the angle of the seat and it was my grandmother’s, so I’d like to keep it if I can. The fence we’d like is along these lines, only around the yard not the porch (as we have no porch). It’s sleek and modern, but it’s iron structure nods to tradition. Since our home is contemporary, it needs a bit of modern and tradition with everything we do.

Example of using wrought iron without finials

Since I last posted pictures, we’ve cleaned the front up a lot and developed a clearer vision of what we want. Here is the before (after heavy pruning)IMG_4958

That’s a dolphin fountain by the way.

Here is where we are now:


We’ve removed the large oddly placed bushes, planted lavender, rosemary and other still very small plants. It’s been foggy for weeks here, so the photo is a little hazy. On the right will be the vegetable garden. My husband used suckers from my dad’s almond stumps to create the rails and wood stakes for the posts. He put the fence up in a less than a day. We don’t have wildlife to worry about, other than our children. For them, I hope it will act as a mental barrier teaching them they aren’t welcome without a big person to lift them over. Here is a close up.


Every step we take I love it more and more.