Friday, August 12, 2016

Outdoor Living at home

I kept putting off the annual photos of our backyard space this year as I had and have planned to make a new fantastic cushion for our wicker love seat. It didn't have one when we found it and we have had simple chair cushions just jammed together for a few years. Alas, I still haven't gotten around to it and I guess that's kind of the point of "it doesn't have to be perfect to work or be beautiful".

I am going to get to the new cushion it just might be october and the palm leaves won't make sense but it will be pretty and new for next year.

So for this year in the midst of our latest heat wave, our backyard outdoor living space,

the outdoor sitting, yapping, dining space. as a side note these byholma chairs from ikea are going on their sixth or seventh year out here and they are still fantastic. in case you were looking at them in the store and wondering.
the vintage can back there by the watering can holds all franklins toys when he isn't using them.

i change up the table items every year just a smidge so it seems different. this year i used old chicken feeders as succulent planters that don't require a lot of watering. i plopped some resin coral and regular sea shells amongst the lantern and called it done. the table runner is actually a floor runner we carried in the shop (i think there may be 1 left as of this writing) and i like that the weight is heavier than a normal table runner so it doesn't fly away.

the previously mentioned love seat. looks fine, still comfy but it would be great to just have a single long cushion that i can wash if necessary as franklin tends to make this couch his bed when we are out here late at night and he can't even get any use out of the ottoman with such short legs lol.

ah, frederick the wall fern. loving life in the humidity and growing like a weed. the whole shield along the moss has grown in the last month and a half.

i didn't put a lot of flowers again on our patio this year. dead heading is fine sometimes but thank goodness this year. with the watering and deadheading i may not have enjoyed them so much. the topiaries and maidenshair ferns are just growing like weeds and look lush.

so not the most glamorous photos as you see the back of everything and the edge or our burnt grass but it has taken 7 years to get blinds for our back patio off our to do list. we wandered down to lowes on the civic holiday and got these perfect roll down shades made in australia. they roll right up to the top with a hand crank (that i really enjoyed playing with the first few days going up and down like a little kid) and roll right down to shield us and company from the heavy heat and sun that hits this patio right at dinner time until about 9.

Well thanks for stopping by everyone,

Enjoy your weekend


Monday, August 8, 2016

A little artissimo furniture before and after

Happy Monday everyone,

Another before and after today but furniture style.

A lovely customer of mine is on a mission to one at a time fix and change all of the things that bother her about her living space. Not necessarily with new items as was the case with this table, but just slowly pick away and make the space hers. The plain simple finish of the coffee table was not making her happy and wasn't doing anything for her space. We decided on a lovely dark blue to mate with the red and blue persian rug that this table sits on top of normally.

I can't exactly get to my furniture photo wall in our garage on account of the rest of the furniture awaiting a makeover so Trevor helped me wander this table into our own living room to do a little photo shoot. Non stop lovely sun means this room is quite bright so the table looks a bit darker in the photos but trust me its a great blue.


after some heavy sanding on this factory shiny finish, i approached this table with #missmustardseedmilkpaint in #artissimo. It is still probably one of my favourite colours in her line. The richness of the blue is just perfect.

the table was finished with hemp oil (which will continue to dry and soak in over the next day or so i was excited to take the photo) and a dark wax combo with lots of on and off buffing/distressing.

Kind of loving the navy blue in our living room but since the blue really only surfaces for the summer season it would be a waste to paint a table for 3 months and then change it again.

Crazier things have happened

Have a great day everyone


Friday, August 5, 2016

Let's succulent

Oliver and Rust hosted a great workshop last night with a crew of ladies all set to learn and grown their own masterful creations of succulents in their home.

We don't have a huge space for workshops so we keep the numbers small but sometimes I think small is better because you are able to get some hands on help when it comes to learning and planting. It also gives more time for eating, drinking and socializing which can be fun.

The ladies learned how to start from scratch with a planter and also how to refresh a planter if just part of it has kicked the bucket as you can see Jill sharing below.

The ladies were welcomed to bring their own pot or purchase one in store to make their piece unique to them and below is all the transformations that were had.

It's so fun to see everyones unique personality with plants especially with the containers choices, toppers and what everyone leans towards with different plants.

Another learning success at Oliver and Rust.

Another workshop will be planned in the near future likely on how to create a glass forest terrarium.

Have a great day everyone and enjoy the Olympics tonight.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

some before and afters, pool side in Niagara on the Lake and a planter walk of shame

Good morning all.

A simple post of interesting tid bits today. First up my biggest sewing job to date is done. Finito! I am happy to say it turned out fabulous, but I may be more happy to say it is done as 1 person and 20 cushions seemed like a mountain a few weeks ago.
 One of my customers is a manager at the Pillar & Post inn in Niagara on the Lake and asked if I would be comfortable taking on this project. I am not exactly one to turn away from a challenge so with determination in hand and a couple of weeks I went about transforming the pool cushions from traditional floral to a more modern take of tropical vibes.  It was a lot of Gilmore Girls episodes watched in the creation of these cushions (my go to sewing background noise)

In a hotel that is so busy much of the time these cushions see a lot of use, and wear and tear so they were definitely due to be changed out and it meant I really wanted/needed to be on point with the perfection gnome that plagues me when creating things.

Here is a quick look at the space before (i borrowed this photo from the pillar and post website)

and here are the cushions now.

i didn't take a whole pool view with all of the couches and chairs as there were quite a few people chill-axing around enjoying the hotel. but you get the picture.

part II of this post is the walk of shame. it happens to the best of us, but in the shop we see it about every 2 weeks. someone takes one of our premade planters home to love and then walks back in with the container either empty or full of the dead plants a couple weeks later.

usually with i don't know what went wrongs, or i watered it exclamations.
one of my favourite parts of the shop is the education with plants. not everyone has a green thumb and honestly they may not exist. it is learning, practice and the willingness to take care of something.

this vintage cookie jar came back this weekend and i asked my lovely customer if she would mind if i turned this into a learn moment on the blog.

she laughed and said go right ahead.

so here is what we started with.
a vintage cookie jar that had been turned into a terrarium by yours truly with an orchid and 2 baby ferns. as you can see those ferns have taken on a lovely golden tone much like the colour of my lawn this summer. the orchid however seems quite happy. now to find out why?

after a few questions the demise of this planter because obvious and was a common mistake that is easily rectified. if the customer had just forgot to water completely the orchid too would be showing neglect but it is in quite fine condition just finished flowering.

the customer had the planter in medium light [check] was placing 3 ice cubes in the planter near the centre where the orchid was once per week [check]. this is exactly perfect when caring for an orchid. in the winter months there may be some need to mist as well but most orchids are perfectly happy with ice cube method. however, this was a mixed planter and the 2 ferns had other needs [no check mark here...]

the ferns need moisture and actually need you to bust out a watering can or a cup of water at least weekly to give them a good helping of water. most people love small plants. they look cute, fit in many places and are great in terrariums such as this. small plants mean though that the plant is a baby and just starting to grow into a big plant. the roots of these plants need water and nutrients to get going. most don't like being soggy all the time as this causes rot but a good healthy drink once a week lets them do their thing. the ice cubes would only trickle water to these young roots and with a happy older orchid sharing the space, they were not getting their fair share.

so now that we're all put back together what is the right answer for taking care of a terrarium like this?

if you are comfortable doing the ice cubes with the orchid, keep doing that just keep the ice cubes on the orchid side of the planter.

find a beaker (most of us have one we use for cooking in some form or another) or a skinny neck watering can and once a week, water the side of the planter that has the ferns until the soil looks moist. you put drainage in the bottom right? so unless you are seriously heavy handed with the water they shouldn't be too wet. once that soil looks light coloured again in a week, repeat your watering technique and voila. a happy terrarium until your orchid flowers kick the bucket again. but at least this time you only have to replace the orchid, not everything.

Have a great day everyone,