August Garden

This year is our first garden in this location. We have learned a lot of things, and can make adjustments for the next season. Introducing, our August Garden. 

August Garden|Designers Sweet Spot|
I was up early this morning. No particular reason. Just awake. With coffee in hand I strolled outside to see the garden in the mist that rolled in during the night. Our nights are getting cooler, there is no doubt that fall is coming. Time is running short for the garden, August will be over soon.
August Garden
August Garden
I have been avoiding writing this post, our garden this year has been productive, but certain things have not worked out as well as I would have liked them too. For example, the bean trellis we made from sticks, it has toppled repeatedly and I have given up on it.
The marigolds that I planted around each garden bed, however, have been amazing. The baby bunny that has been eating my second crop of beans, has been incredibly irritating.
Our tractor/mower has not worked all summer, I have not been able to gather the grass clippings to use as mulch as I normally would do. The weeds are grateful, I am not.
Perfection does not live here. I am okay with that.
The herbs have done well, despite being attacked by both soccer balls and chickens. By the way, the chickens love drinking out of Bird Bath that I found in the trash. I find that incredibly amusing.
Butch n’ Betty have done well this summer. Butch’s optic grass hair went brown for a time, but since I gave him a mow-hawk, he is once again looking good! Betty’s butterfly hair ornament has faded a bit in the sun, but I think it adds to her character.
We had a family of turkeys visit us yesterday, two adults and eight fuzzy babies came through the yard to wander in the corn field. I hope they come back, makes me think Thanksgiving can’t be far away!
I couldn’t resist buying a few mums yesterday, they are just the pick me up the garden needed at this time of year.
The tomatoes, are finally coming along despite the chickens sitting on them. They are still being quite productive. I have been canning a few each day. If you like Basil Tomatoes, click here. I have discovered that cherry tomatoes just make a mess. All that work for less than a mouthful of produce, I don’t think I will plant those again next year.
The Moon flowers have done well, at least the vines have.  I planted them from seed, they are growing up the side of our canopy on the deck. They are full of buds but still no blooms. I am impatient to see them in bloom.
This year is our first garden in this location. We have learned a lot of things, and can make adjustments for the next season. All is not lost, learning what works and what doesn’t is part of the creative process.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
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August Garden|Designers Sweet Spot|

Chalk Painted Bench

It’s been a beautiful day here in Wisconsin. The birds are chirping, the sun is shinning, and it’s hard to believe summer is almost over. I spent a lot of time outside today in my new “happy place”.
I have a little story to tell you. A while back I was inspired by blogger Jill Flory over at Sew a Fine Seam, who took an old chair and painted it with chalk paint. It was absolutely beautiful. What a clever idea, painting what was already there instead of ripping it all to pieces and re-doing all the expensive and labor intensive upholstery.
I have been on a mission to find a chair ever since. So, one day I saw this wooden two seater bench in the trash heap. I drove by it every day for a week thinking, “I wonder what I could do with that bench?” Finally it dawned on me that this would be a good piece to try Jill’s technique on.
Fortunately, no one else had discovered this piece in the trash, and it was still there when I went back. Actually, I sent my two teenage boys to pick it up for me. I love those guys!
So, with a little chalk paint and some muscle, I now have a new happy place on the deck.
The original piece had torn cushions on the seat, so I did pull those apart and recover them with some printed duck fabric from Hobby Lobby. I also fluffed them up by adding some old rather flat, bed pillows and then stapled the new fabric over them. I did not come up with this idea on my own either, brilliant blogger Jennifer Rizzo gave me this inspiration from her post on recovering chair cushions. Occasionally I do have my own ideas, really I do!
To make the burlap pillows, I reused my holiday pillows and covered them with scraps of the blue print and a bit of ribbon. I didn’t even sew them, they are tied and pinned in place.

I love easy projects.
In my travels around town I also happened to find this wooden set of shelves in the trash. I knew right away it would look great as a coffee table, and when I was wildly painting the bench with chalk paint, I gave the shelves a coat of white to match.
Our boys love to play Frisbee Golf in the yard, and in a moment of inspiration, I decided these awkward grooves would make an excellent way to store the Frisbee Discs. I deliberately left the grooves unpainted. You perfectionist types will be annoyed by this. Have I mentioned I am not a perfectionist?
The coffee table is right outside the back door, an easy place to grab the Frisbees on the way out into the yard. We have a very serious game of Frisbee Golf after dinner each night.
And while the boys are sweating up a storm playing Frisbee, I am calmly relaxing, sipping my tea, sketching and brain storming for tomorrows blog post.
I must tell you that this is now the most comfortable seat on the entire deck.
Where is your happy place?
Glitter, Glue & Paint

Meet Betty Bling

Garden head with succulents

I have been thinking about WHY I blog a lot lately. I have decided it’s because there are so few limitations. When I worked as a designer, some of the best ideas never made it outside the design room. They may have been to expensive, too hard to produce, the materials may have been unavailable, or perhaps it just didn’t merchandise very well.
Side view garden head with succulents
It could also be that the CEO of the company, just plain didn’t like the design.
As Chief Executive Officer, Head Designer, Merchandiser Manager and Chief Production Engineer of this blog, I have the ability to design my blog world as I see it.
A world without any limitations!
Garden display with garden head
Now, you may be thinking, that’s a mighty odd way to do things, but I am having so much fun!
Seriously, this much fun should be illegal!
Foam craft head and paint supplies
When a crazy, ridiculous idea comes to me I can run with it. Like when I decided to make this styrofoam mannequin head into a garden planter.
foam craft head painted white
I painted “Betty” with two coats of Magikote Primer, and then spray painted her with Stone Metallic Spray Paint.
My kids said it was a bit creepy.
I giggled and laughed the entire time. Not sure which was creepier, my giggling, or Betty’s ghostly presence in our dining room.
After she was dry, I chopped a hole in the top of her head for a plant, and made a drainage hole in the bottom of her neck. I planted her with a hair-like succulent and added some old jewelry for BLING.
Betty and her buddy “Butch” have been out in the garden all summer long. They keep me giggling regularly.
You can read more details about how I made Betty Bling and Butch by clicking on the links.
Aren’t all CEO’s crazy?
Thanks for stopping by today!

Summer House Tour

I am bored today. It’s too hot to work outside. I don’t feel like cooking or doing laundry. How about a house tour to spend your Sunday afternoon? It’s been a long time since I posted pictures of the inside of our house. Things are coming along, although probably not as fast as I would like.
The first room I worked on was our oldest son’s bedroom. 
There are many windows in this room, it makes for difficult lighting. I decided to paint it a darker color to make it feel more intimate. Red is my signature color, you will see dashes of it throughout the house.
I like to mix my own paint colors from odds and ends or thrift store finds.  I call this Tuscan Olive.
The kitchen/dining room is rather small. We don’t even all fit around the dining table. We make do, anyway.
I use wine boxes with castors attached for keeping shoes under the buffet.
The pot rack you see is really just a rusty old wire basket from the antique mall. We turned it upside down and hung pots from it with shower curtain hooks. We added open shelves to a blank wall for extra storage.
We are a musical family, and the music lounge makes good use of a rather dead space next to the Man Cave and the half bath.
I cut apart an old flag and framed it for this wall. It gives the room a “Born In the USA” type feeling, don’t you think? Any Springsteen fans out there?
The master bedroom is very small.  I have made some toile curtains from vintage fabric, and use the extra scraps for my jewelry organizer.
Venus helps keep me organized, she was a gift from Italy.
In writing this post, I realized I have some serious cleaning to do before I can up load more pictures. But since it’s a holiday weekend, it can wait until tomorrow.
Sharing over at Hometalk today!

Garden Table Rehab

I have finally finished my little potting table that I found in the trash. This is what it looked like when I brought it home. It is an odd squarish shape, it must have been a home made project that someone discarded. Sad for them. Good for me! It’s the perfect compact size for the deck.
I had some leftover Sunburst yellow paint from my Bird Bath Project and I couldn’t resist using it again on this piece. It’s an oil based, high gloss paint from Rustoleum, great for outdoor projects. It took two coats of paint, I didn’t even bother to sand the piece before hand. Rustoleum sticks to anything. That’s why I like it.
We have a couple little succulent gardens on top, but they are easily moved aside for larger planting projects.  I am still collecting enough plants to plant in the red makeup case I found at the thrift store. I couldn’t resist the red color. 
I found these antiqued red knobs at Hobby Lobby and decided they were just the thing for this piece.  I love that place.
I keep my planting supplies such as seeds, soil, twine, and miscellaneous items inside the cabinet. Underneath it,  I keep a spare planting tray with my gardening tools. Recycling is always a good thing, and I am always looking for ways to reuse as much as possible. I have found lots of uses for the red tomato can, and also for the red lantern that I rescued from the trash a last summer.
Enjoy the day!
Hope you also are enjoying my new blog design. Jessa from Caked Designs did my design work for me. Check out her blog, she is VERY talented!
Designer Mom