Friday, April 26, 2013


I know this post will probably shock you. I've done a little decorating and it's not in red. I know, who am I?
Truth be told I'm ready for a change. We are doing some big changes and  updates at the cottage, and of course I'll show you when everything is done, but we are really just chipping away at it a bit at a time so it's a fairly slow road we are traveling.
My day off was yesterday and I spent the day whipping up these curtains. I had some darling wood valances  that Earl had made over these windows but I was ready for a change.  I may use the valances elsewhere but I felt the room needed a little more color and pattern.
 At any rate, I haven't done a lot of fluffing and staging, we're friends right? This is the real deal, it's how the room looks right now, right down to the dying primroses waiting in the corner for the weather to be warm enough to plant them outside. I thought I would like some more blue in the house and the inspiration for these is Miss Mustard Seed's dining room.  Do you read her blog?  I love her style and seeing her curtains gave me some idea what a blue print would look like with my creamy white walls. Now clearly I don't have the same awe inspiring antiques to work with, but I have my grandmothers farm table and I love it because it reminds me of her. So many times I sat at that table at the farm and ate with my grandparents as a child. I was thrilled to get it. I haven't hemmed the curtains yet, in fact I can see I pinned them a bit crooked, but they need to hang a few days before I hem them anyways. I love the color. The little light oak cabinet in the corner is one Earl built for me many years ago. It's been all over the house and is a handy place to store so many things.
We were also in need of some "new" chairs.  I'll admit, with my penchant for dragging things out to the yard for a quick coat of my wild hare idea of whatever color I crave at the moment, I don't like to pay a lot for chairs. They are usually crazy expensive and I have a bit of a chair fetish at garage sales anyway, so if they are comfy and cheap and look good I'm all over them.  I found this set on craigslist for $50!  All four chairs cost less than half of what I would pay for the cheapest chair in a discount store. They are sturdy, comfortable and freshly painted by the lady who sold them. I think they look good in the dining room and for that price I can do what I want with them without regret.
This room still has some items on the to-do list, refinish the floors, repaint the walls and trim,  but right now I'm just loving the way a few simple changes can transform the place. Now that spring is here (kinda), we are going over the fix-up list with renewed fervor. It's long, oh so long, but  I think we'll  get most of it done.
I hope you all have a great weekend! What's on your spring and summer fix it list?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Springtime in Michigan

I have to admit, I've been green eyed with envy.  Some of you get Spring a lot sooner than I do.
Some of you southern girls are planting your garden, and some of you Californians are harvesting gardens you planted months ago!
But I live in Michigan, and we are having a rather late start to Spring here.
It's been cold and I have been (somewhat) patient, but the first signs always leave me breathing a sigh of relief. Spring is my favorite season.
 Thirty years ago I planted crocus bulbs under a tree by the driveway. One bulb survived and each year it is the official messenger that winter is well and truly over.
 Earl and I walked the old rail bed that has been turned into a hiking trail yesterday.
It is surrounded by woods and ponds and little signs that green is on it's way back. I love these old mossy stumps.
 This little path veers off the main trail and into a canopy of woods. So inviting:>)
The pussy willows are out, and they cast tender speckles of white against the grey of this pond.
This pond was filled with the little frogs we call peepers singing like they were the happiest things on earth! Click on the sound file below to hear them.
It is one of my favorite sounds of Spring, do you have peepers where you live?

Just a little note to anyone who was interested in making their blog into a book.  I have an affiliate link to Blurb up at the top of the page and I can make a little commission on referrals. Also, if you let me know you are interested, I can send you a coupon code for 20% off your first order. Just let me know you want it in your comments:>)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Good Mail

You know how some days you come home and something totally awesome has come in the mail?
Well actually it came Fed Ex, but I still consider it mail.
Today was an especially good mail day.
You see, I decided that with all the hard work I put into my blog, I really wanted a hard copy to keep. So my family and I could look back over it any time with no fear that it would disappear.
So I went to  Blurb is a self publisher that has a feature that "slurps" your blog into their program where you can edit it and then have it professionally printed.
The program to do it was free, and with a little messing around I found it very easy to use.
So here it is, the first hardbound edition of Kathy's Cottage.
Front cover
 Oooh, I love it so much!
The photos reproduced beautifully.
 Blurb has all kinds of layouts built in to the program and you can even edit the layouts to make them custom.
 The light is terrible today, but I just couldn't wait to show you!
 I started with 2011. Why did I start in the middle? I don't know. I just chose a year and went with it.
I can tell you right now though, I will be doing an edition for each year.
Blurb has lots of different sizes and price options, including hardcover, softcover and even magazines. For $9.99 you can convert it to an ebook for your ipad. I chose the biggest hardcover available, an 11"x13" landscape layout. I wanted to really be able to showcase the photos.  It's 100 pages and cost around $85 with shipping. I found an online coupon for 15% off  and when I went to checkout I was offered the option of a second book at 1/2 price. I decided that would be a great way to make sure each of the girls had a copy so I snapped it up.  All told each book was around $64.  Not cheap, but certainly priceless to me.
Back Cover
I can see this being a great gift for your mother or your children. Along with my work, there are a lot of family events, photos and recipes in my blog.  I can even see that these would be a great way to put together a years worth of family photos and recipes for Christmas gifts that would be treasured for a long time. I know a lot of my blog friends have been blogging for years, having a hard copy of everything you have done is a treasure!
If you want to know more hit the Blurb link and check it out.
Do you think you would want a hard copy of your blog?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy April!

You'll excuse me if I'm a little late in posting for the new month won't you?  I caught a very nasty virus and have been laid low since last weekend.  I am just now starting to feel a little better, though I have been contemplating a nap for most of the afternoon. As a rule I do not nap. 

At any rate, here we are smack dab at the end of the first full week of April. It is a balmy 56 outside according to the thermometer, and I may see if I have the gumption for a very short walk outside in hopes that the fresh air may do me some good..  These tulips are left over from Easter and their cheery brightness have kept me smiling.  I am afraid I am far behind on my visits, but I hope to catch up with all of you soon.
Do tell, what have you been doing this week?