(Always In) Peasant Style

Just in time for summer to arrive, here are a couple of different looks for peasant style- one with a peasant blouse and shorts and another with a dress.

Can’t wait…

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Burlap and Arrows Chalkboards

When we built, I knew I wanted a big area to ‘land’ when we walked in the door.  Lots of room for boots, coats, purses, marking, instruments, backpacks, and all of the rest of the paraphernalia from everyday life.

This was our entry from the trailer that we lived in for 12 years.  You can see why I had my heart set on something a little bigger.  This wasn’t easy to live with.

What I wanted included a desk for mail and the computer.  I wanted it right by the back door rather than hidden away in an office somewhere so I didn’t have to traipse all over the house putting stuff away and then hauling it back to deal with it.

Besides.  I am bad at doing that.  Out in the open is better.  Then I can’t forget!

We have the desk area.  But the desk had a big blank wall looming above it.  That needed a little something…

So I have been looking for a long time for things to fill up the wall above my desk.  Items on my list are a whiteboard calendar (I’m a calendar girl- no matter how many things I type into my phone, I just don’t remember them as well as if they are written in big letters on a calendar), a pinboard to hold notes and reminders, and some other pretty kinds of decorations.

front entry

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Craft Room

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Office Organizers

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desk area

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And then I spotted these beauties.  Love.  Them.

They are so us.

Zinc & Jute Round Chalkboard

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I knew I had to do these right away.

So I cut out the circles from some leftover bookshelf backing material that we hadn’t used from our library bookshelves and then gave them a couple of coats of ASCP in Primer Red.  I knew you could use it for chalkboard paint as I had already done the inset of my pantry door with it.

This is how they turned out.

I put our initials on them- they are probably going to be used for decoration rather than real chalkboards.  I love the look of them.

I will show you the rest of the desk gallery wall soon.  A few little additions to go yet…


Front Doors Finally Painted

This is the not so delightful color that our front doors have been for the past year and a half.

And the outside view.

If you look at the following, you’ll see where I’m headed.

Red front Door

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Red front door...

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red front door.

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Red Front Door

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 <3 red front door

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I love a red front door!

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 It took a long time for me to get brave enough to do this.  For some reason, even though we built the entire house, made all the decisions (including all of the paint colors and doing all of the painting ourselves), I found this choice very difficult- rivaled only by my agony in choosing kitchen cupboards.

Even after I had found the perfect paint and the perfect color, I was still nervous about doing it.

It’s the front of our house, for pete’s sake!

Here’s how it turned out…

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Primer Red.  It took 3 coats to get full coverage but it still only took barely over a quart of paint to get both doors, both sides, painted.

See the complete patio makeover here.

We love it!  What color is your front door?

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(Always In) Style- Summer Full Skirt for Work

I see a lot of suits with city shorts that I love, but I really don’t feel comfortable wearing shorts to work, even as part of a suit.

For summer, a full skirt and shell/ cardigan combination is a nice alternative.

Until a girl can just wear her shorts and flip flops around the yard, that is!

(not that I’m counting or anything…)


Summer Patio

Here is the front patio after the door was painted and the flowers planted and the bikes and skateboards and dogs gently removed.

This is what it looked like last summer.

Big changes, no?

We started the front landscaping by building the bank out of rocks and then the paver stone patio on top.  Stairs completed the big work.

Then, all that was left to do was fill the flower pots and the chairs and enjoy it!

One side of the front door.

And the other.

This is in early evening, but usually this is a hot and sunny south-facing spot.

The woods surrounding our house come right up to the bottom of the patio so you are surrounded by a halo of green at this time of day.

I just finished painting our front door with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Primer Red.  I love it.  See the before picture above for the original color.

I’ve had the old whiskey barrels for a long time.  My parents used them as water barrels when I was growing up.

My grandma collected cream cans.  She painted them usually and I have one inside my front door with beautiful farm scenes on it.  This one she hadn’t gotten around to yet, and now I use it for flowers.

The whiskey barrels are bottomless, so I just planted flowers in a smaller sized pot and plunked it in there on  a piece of wood.  Burlap fills in the edges.

At the bottom of the steps we planted two weeping carragana.  They are so pretty in the summer and still interesting to look at in the winter too, which is kind of a big deal around here.  I can see hanging little lights on them at Christmas.

The yellow pansies planted underneath looked especially pretty until a couple of days ago.

When somebody decided to have a little snack.

Oh well, one side still looks un-chewed.

I didn’t want the stump by the driveway to feel left out, so it got a little yellow begonia.

The pots aren’t very spectacular looking just yet.  We just planted them last weekend and it actually froze here two nights ago, so our annuals are just getting started (sigh… our season in Alberta is so short).  But, the hanging pots are lovely now.

I’ll give you some updated pictures in July when the pots should have filled out a little more.

And…. one last shot…

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The Deer Have Arrived…

If anyone thought I was kidding about the deer eating my garden…here is what happened yesterday.

I got up.  Worked for a little while and then went to finish painting my front doors (a huge and scary project which I finally got the nerve to start and turned out to be not so bad).

As I was walking to my front door, something rather large and brown walked by.  Definitely not one of our dogs.

I ran to the window and this is what I saw.

Just casually eating my pansies.

I ran to grab my camera, but ended up with my phone as it was closer and I was sure they were going to be chased off by the dogs any second.  But they seemed none too concerned.  The dogs.  The deer.  Just me.

This is after I banged on the window.

It managed to look up.  But no bounding away in fear.

He had two little friends with him that were in the trees, too.

I ended up having to go outside and yell and throw a rock at them!  Then they took off at a walk.  I sure showed them.

As they sauntered their way over to my parent’s yard, our dogs finally caught on and chased them away.

Darn deer!  They also ate part of my new mountain ash tree!

It’s like they know which ones you’ve paid for and they are the most appealing and delicious for them.

Do you have pesky varmints in your yard?


Raised Garden

In an effort to try and get some use out of the very tall and imposing bank in our backyard, we are experimenting with gardening.

The bank faces south, and we thought between that and building a raised bed, we may actually be able to get something to grow.

We made ours 8 x 4 and I divided it into one foot sections using twine and screws.  I planted a lot in here!  Zucchini, peas, beans, lettuce, carrots, dill, and onions.  Hopefully it all grows!  It is a sunny spot, so it should.

Shaun put wood bark and chips all around it and some flat stones that he split when he made me some stairs to get up here.

I hope the deer don’t eat it all.

Our dogs will bark at a squirrel all night long, but deer…. nothing.


Maxi Dress

So my girl Suzie over at Urban Country Style did a post a couple of days ago on the maxi dress.  She wanted to know how her readers wore theirs…

So…

I am being brave and putting pics of myself wearing one of my maxi dresses two different ways.

Here is my usual way.  I’m with Suzie- denim is my favorite, but any little cardigan or shrug will do.

It was funny she asked though, because just last week I actually decided to wear it like this instead.

Still with the jean jacket, but this time I folded the top under and wore it as a maxi skirt with a wide brown belt and a white t-shirt.

I really liked it this way as well and will do it again!

Maxi dresses rock for summer.  I love them for traveling or kicking around town doing errands.  You can’t beat how easy they are, and, pretty much no matter what you do with them, they always look cute!

How about you?  Head on over to Urban Country Style and let Suzie know how you wear your maxi dress.


Stone Steps

One day after school, I came home to this as a surprise from my husband.

The day before, we had built a raised garden on the top of this hill and he may have had enough of watching me stumble up and down it.

So he split some rocks.  Yes, he can do that.

And built these.

I’m thinking some creeping thyme around them to fill in the spaces so maybe one day they will look like this.

Pinned Image

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Aren’t they beautiful?

 But I love mine already, too!

We had a busy weekend here.  I’m painting my doors with ASCP!  Can’t wait to show you!

I also planted all of my pots of flowers- one of my very favorite things to do- and we continued to work on our landscaping mega-project as well as get some smaller projects finished up.   Yesterday, we drove out to the lake to park our trailer for the summer, do a little fishing, and have a barbecue!

It’s the Victoria Day May long weekend here so I have one more day off before school fires up again for the last stretch.

Hope you had a great weekend!


(Always In) Style- Mom’s Summer Uniform

I have been collecting silver and turquoise charms for a bracelet the last little while.  I love it.  It has become part of my daily uniform.  Things that I wear every day regardless of whether I am working or not.

I only have three of them.

My diamond stud earrings.  My wedding ring.  And now my bracelet.

They go with everything.

This will be my go-to uniform for the summer months.

Do you have a summer uniform?  Or pieces that you wear daily?


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