Monday, June 27, 2011

The town of Bristol Vermont

Sometimes you capture just the right moment, the Village Creeme Shop is photo worthy by itself, having this cute little girl enter the shot makes it perfect.

 I captured my daughter taking a photo of this deer carving. 
 The Alpaca Apparel store, the owners live outside of town with their herd of Alpaca's. I never realized how very soft there coats are! 
 I love the detail and colors on this building.
 Art on Main was filled with beautiful original art from Vermont artist.
A patriotic Main Street.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Robins Nest

Robin, the owner of The Robin's Nest, grew up in this small atypical postwar home that is now her shop. The cozy white framed home is filled with vintage finds, painted furniture and original jewelry. Each visit is a delight for Robin routinely adds to her inventory and displays her treasures in themes for each season. My April visit was filled with greens, and June's visit was a delight of "red, white and blues. 

I love this vintage glassware set with holder, it would go well with our retro theme basement idea. The quilt in the top right picture is calling to me, I'd love to see it in my newly purchased iron bed.

Above, this darling folding wood chair is located in the attic. I love the combination of the painted chair, striped rug and the colorful pillow. 

Below, the red, white and blue themed table. Love. Robin decorates her vintage bike with its charming wicker basket to reflect the season and holidays. Bottom right, is an old telephone table/chair.  
The kitchen explodes with patriotic charm. See that red plaid thermos--I bought it! 
If you are in the St. Louis/St. Charles area of Missouri, take a trip to The Robin's Nest located in Cottleville and tell Robin, Di sent you.

Monday, June 20, 2011


OPEN by DiPics
OPEN, a photo by DiPics on Flickr.

This bicycle sits in front The Robins Nest, one of my favorite shops in Cottleville Missouri.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunday Drive Part II

After getting my fix of abandoned buildings, old barns and rural mailboxes I continued North on hwy 79, turning off at Firma Road to visit Planthaven. The garden center was much larger than I had expected, tucked behind the main building was several hot houses bursting with plant offerings. I purchased some beautiful canna's and perennials -- pictures to follow later. 

 I came across this whimsical display in one of the hot houses, a perfect repurposing of an old door and shutters.

 Garden gates, puppy dogs and monkey's, oh my!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Annie Sloan Dark Wax

Annie Sloan Dark Wax rescues a hanging wicker basket.

Before: My basket hangs on our front door and was accumulating mildew spots. See them? Not very appealing.

As you may know from my earlier post, I had great success on applying the Annie Sloan Soft Dark Wax to a couple of my concrete planters. So, here is the "after" of my basket with the soft dark wax applied. I like this darker richer color better than the original, my basket has a new life. 

What do you think?

A Sunday Drive

Sunday I  drove to the countryside. 


Does this mean I'm old? Honestly, Sunday drives are for Aunt Mable and Uncle Vern (fictitious characters to protect any real relatives). So, here I am ambling about the countryside and loving it. If this means old, well then, I'll embrace it. 

I'm fortunate, the countryside is a short 20 minute drive away, which also worries me that it is a "short-20-minute-drive-away." This sign tells part of the story, along with development of the countryside" out-of-the-flood-zone," folks want to develop the flood plain by building expensive double levee systems so they can build...

 ...industrial parks. I've always loved this sign, kind of has a Jetson's look to it.

 This barn is located in Old Monroe, this spit of a town is the first one you go "bye" while traveling North on highway 79. The barn is locate in the middle of town where old frame houses with tin roofs share the street with newer ranches and their even newer shingled roofs. Tin roofs seem to last forever and as they age they gain a rusty patina--I'm guessin' that is when the forever ends--but they do tend to last decades longer than our asphalt shingled roofs that expire after 15 years.

These mailboxes caught my attention, nothing fancy about them, very utilitarian. The one in the foreground reminds me of those tin roofs I love so much. 

Hwy 79 begins at I-70 and travels North to Hannibal, Mark Twain's childhood home. When I was a child the hwy took you through Old Monroe. We had a weekend place on the Mississippi and I clocked our time by the towns we drove through: Old Monroe, then Winfield, and finally Foley. The new bridge bypasses Old Monroe, as does the commerce that used to keep the town afloat. The old bridge has been reduced to an 8 ton limit, they've restriped it as a single lane with an adjacent bike lane. This town defines "sleepy."

The owners of this old store may have lived on the second floor, as there is a dormer on each side of the building and the two-story porch. Do you think they liked living dangerously? Or did someone remove the railings from the upper porch? 

On my return trip home I pulled to the side of the hwy to get this shot, I've always wanted to snap this picture. This barn sits alongside a creek that is prone to flooding, the house is now abandoned and by the looks of those vines by the door of the barn, it appears abandoned too.

Hope you enjoyed part one of my Sunday drive, part two will be coming...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sweet Bay Magnolia

Sweet Bay Magnolia by DiPics
Sweet Bay Magnolia, a photo by DiPics on Flickr.
We planted our Sweet Bay Magnolia alongside the porch years ago, its sweet fragrance permeates the air as we come and go. My favorite springtime treat is to sit on the porch with a good book and enjoy its beauty.

Annie Sloan Wax Magic

You know how it goes, your painting away and a sudden awareness...a keen awareness of all that is faded, flaked and (heaven forbid) naked vies for the attentive stroke of your paint ladened brush. In this case it's wax and I'm on my porch, working on my rocker project with this fabulous new Annie Sloan paint and wax. I've just completed waxing the second rocker, when my hand on its own accord loads the brush with more wax and applies it to my faded painted concrete urn. Amazing! The after picture speaks for itself!

I had painted the urn several years ago, using whatever paint I had on hand, interior paint, exterior paint, and acrylic craft paint. Watered it down a bit I applied brown around the decorative top design, the rings, and the top of the pedestal. Purple and blue went on the grapes and a touch of brown with the green on the leaves. Over the years the look has faded, but now with a coat of Annie Sloan's dark wax they have a new richness to them. I'm a happy girl.

What do you think?
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Porch Rockin' with Annie Sloan Paint

My friend Cherry's in the Garden and fellow blogger has been busy busy painting everything in site--but her husband. :) See she discovered this paint, Annie Sloan paint, and has been a painting fool ever since. Cherry has turned some so so pieces of furniture into some real knock outs--so I finally took the plunge and went over to the Southern Institute of Faux Finishing website, whipped the plastic out and bought myself some. When my box arrived in the mail I eagerly set to work.

Me and hubby put in a lot of time working on our landscaping and I can't think of a better way to enjoy our efforts than viewing our garden from the front porch and rocking in our newly painted rockers. Grab a glass of iced tea and I'll walk you through this project.

Our front porch needs updating and I've been eyeing rockers for sometime--a decade at least--to replace our sad looking old wicker chairs. The problem was money of course, I liked the ones from Cracker Barrel, but 4 chairs easily would have put us out $500. plus. Then you have Pottery Barn and their gorgeous Salem Rocking Chair which costs $349. each--without cushion--insane! Of course they are made of solid mahogany, but I assure you, my painted bargains will be around for me to rock grandbabies in and that is a long way coming folks.

1. First find some old rockers, mine are from the 1970s and 1980s, The one on the left was from my father-in-laws home and the one on the right is a hand me down I've had since 1984. I searched my local Craiglist for the fourth, they averaged around $40 - $100. Since there was no dire need to have them all at once, I kept searching Craigslist daily and snagged one for $15! Look at garage sales and second hand stores too.

3.  I'm going the traditional route and painting all of them black, but wouldn't it be fun to have each a different color? Open up a can of Annie Sloan Chalk paint and paint away, no need to sand with this paint, all you need is a clean surface. Before I discovered this paint I had sanded one of the rockers, (it's not shown in this picture, because it is in pieces waiting for hubby to assist me in repairing some of the rails) the process of sanding took hours, with Annie Sloan Chalk paint forget the sanding, this paint binds well without all that extra work. Did I mention that I went through 8 sandpaper sheets for my hand sander?

4. There are 2 steps to achieve a black finish: first you paint with the graphite chalk paint, using a 2 inch paint brush (you can purchase from your local big box store). The graphite paint reminds me of battleship gray. but don't worry, we will get to black by applying the dark wax.

5. Here is the rocker completely painted with graphite paint.

6. To achieve a black finish you apply Annie Sloane Soft Wax in dark. I purchased the ultimate waxing brush because I believe in using good tools, when painting, those tools are brushes. The waxing brush did a good job in applying the wax. One caveat, work in the shade or inside, I was in the sun and the wax melted to liquid, you want the wax to be the consistency of margarine...not oil.

7. A picture of the product and the ultimate waxing brush.

8. Two down, two to go. Don't they look inviting? Come on over, sit a spell. Can I get you some more iced tea?

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