*under construction*

27 March 2009

Ride on, Dreamer...

Floors are the topic of conversation between me and Poor Tired Husband lately -- we have 80 year old 1 inch oak planks under the carpet here in Museville, which we plan on breathing new life back into after we recover from the exterior painting. A lot of sanding, elbow grease, stain and wax, and they should be beautiful -- but my heart really belongs to the wide, rustic planks like those shown below in Artist Michele Deiter's Dutch Warehouse home.

I love this living room. The primitive fur pelts strewn over the backs of formal chairs which cradle soft, oversized pillows. The sleek, curvy, feminine legs of the chairs sitting on the rough, rustic wide floor boards -- the overstuffed casual slip covered sofa laden with a plethora of rich textured pillows - framed by the luxe, dark curtains.

I could so very easily live here.

Ahhh those wide rustic floors below the industrial stainless refrigerator --my kind of heavenly combination. Now... if I could only find a way to make my skinny floor boards here somehow get fatter to look like these ... I can dream, right?
Ah well, as the old saying goes - if wishes were horses then dreamers would ride.
Giddy up.
Happy weekend, all!
photos HB Aug 08

26 March 2009

Progress in Museville -- an Update

*The slideshow on the sidebar has been updated if you want to see the whole gorey process of this renovation from the very beginning until the current state of things here in Museville*
Well, I promised some update photos, and I want to keep my promise, but please bear in mind that things are FAR from finished around here, and these photos certainly do not represent a finished project. Nowhere near. Today the tree trimmers are here -- the ficus trees around the backyard perimeter, the oleanders at the street and behind the guest house , and yucca and pepper tree are all getting major work done. It's a lot of chaos and noise around here right now. So much to do, so much to do...

First up -- I just wanted to show you the crazy explosion of one of my grapevines! All these beautiful, new, bright green leaves! It's hard to believe it was completely bare a week ago!

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

New grape leaves that will grow along the lower perimeter of the dining pergola, with a Paul's Musk Rose growing above and over the top.

Moving on to the progress --

This is where I last left you with the Guest House -
The west wall of the Guest House had been primed after sanding it all the way down to the wood, and doing massive repairs and caulking.

We planted a Pepper Tree and put a temporary cover on the hot water heater and painted (see below)...

Remember this hot mess?!
Before priming/during sanding
That lattice HAS to go.
Progress since then:
Much better, yes?

2 coats of paint later ... that jasmine will go into the ground next to where it is and climb the fence and go up and over the little porch above the door. (The door is being replaced, so that little area will be sanded and painted when that happens) White roses have been planted and are beginning to bloom - they will grow up and out to cover those ugly exposed pipes. The concrete will be restained, and eventually taken out and replaced with something else. The little sliding windows haven't been trimmed out yet, and they will eventually be replaced with cute windows that open out into the courtyard.

Moving on...

This is where I last left you with the Main House -
except I think we had painted that wall with the big picture window...

Progress since then:
We've painted around the corner, the entire west wall of the Main house, and the back wall below the pergola. The trim still needs to be done. We primed and painted the little shed on the right -- some of that white is getting repainted green - it's too busy! It's going to either end up an office or a potting shed, or just storage. Right now it's loaded with the leftover boxes and that annoying last stuff that needs to be gone through from the move.

Landscaping hasn't been done yet -- that whole front bed is going to get changed and creeping fig will grow over that concrete wall, lending the illusion of a large hedge. An archway is going over the gate, and a climbing rose will be trained to climb it. The vegetable garden will be planted in the area between the concrete fence and the shed beyond.

The shed viewed from the backyard --

The water heater is being replaced and moved into that housing behind it (that juts out) and the deck is to the right. There will be a pathway between the two that leads to the vegetable garden that will be planted behind the shed.

A Cecile Bruner rambling rose will completely cover the roof of the shed.

The deck and pergola off my bedroom

has been painted and is laden with blooming wisteria -- I am putting together a gorgeous day bed for this spot -- I can't wait to show you when I finish. What a perfect place to lounge and read a book or take a nap. To the left is the west, and the sea breeze comes from that direction - it's just lovely.


As promised, the bees have arrived with the beginning blooms of my pride of madeira (not shown). They also love the lavender I just planted along the fence.

So that's what I have to show for now. Very soon there will be much, much more to share - the pergolas, the grape vines, the roses, the gorgeous day bed - and the completely painted house.
For now, I have to go and let the plumber in. The kitchen in the main house is still without water. Thankfully, the Guest house has a full working kitchen!
See you later!

23 March 2009

Behind Closed Doors...

I would love to have these doors in my home -
and a little
Curious as to what's behind them?
Let's pad across these gorgeous wide planked pine floor and see...

Gorgeous! That bathroom wouldn't be anywhere near as stunning if it weren't framed by that incredible woodwork. Functional Art. The stuff my dreams are made of.

I so want a claw foot tub... and the pine floors ... and the door ... I don't want much ...

But I would love to crawl into that tub right now!

But instead, I'm off to paint. I've been stretched very thin this past week - just not enough of me to go around to get everything done that needs doing! As far as the exterior, I haven't gotten as much done as I'd like to, because every step of the way we run into little (and not so little) things that need repair before it can be painted. More time is being spent on that rather than actual painting, so there isn't a lot of things to show you that are really picture worthy yet, but soon.
That's a word I hear a lot around here lately ... soon. SOON! SooOoooon! Your guess is a good as mine as to when that is, but it is definitely Poor Tired Husband's favorite word now because you can't really measure it. Tricky little husband.
Out into the day I go!
Enjoy yours.
photos via 1st Option Representation of England

20 March 2009

The Twilight and Blossoms

... of Spring's arrival

Barn in Mendocino
photo by Rita Crane

Up the street... a sprite forever captured in the blissful dance of Spring.

Joyous Spring, Happy Weekend, Happy Everything!

18 March 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- Singing the Blues

Photo credit: JJL
Many more beauties to see from others on this Wordless Wednesday

16 March 2009

Come to the Calming Sea...
Where Worldly Cares are Few...

Black lie the hills; swiftly doth daylight flee;
And, catching gleams of sunset's dying smile,
Through the dusk land for many a changing mile
The river runneth softly to the sea

O happy river, could I follow thee!
O yearning heart, that never can be still!
O wistful eyes, that watch the steadfast hill,
Longing for level line of solemn sea!

Have patience; here are flowers and songs of birds,
Beauty and fragrance, wealth of sound and sight,
All summer's glory thine from morn till night,
And life too full of joy for uttered words.

Neither am I ungrateful; but I dream
Deliciously how twilight falls tonight
Over the glimmering water, how the light
Dies blissfully away, until I seem

To feel the wind, sea-scented, on my cheek,
To catch the sound of dusky flapping sail
And dip of oars, and voices on the gale
Afar off, calling low, -- my name they speak!

O Earth! Thy summer song of joy may soar
Ringing to heaven in triumph. I but crave
The sad, caressing murmur of the wave
That breaks in tender music on the shore.

Poem: Land-locked by Celia Thaxter (1860)
Sussex Beach House Photo credit Jjlocation <3> Thanks Shawn ! <3
Museville update tomorrow!

13 March 2009

I'm hooked on Trees bejeweled in Chandeliers...

Nothing heralds Spring and Summer around here
more beautifully than
dining outside.
and there is little in this world more romantic than your table illuminated by the last light of twilight ...

or candles softly flickering from a chandelier suspended from low branches, welcoming the awakening of the stars above ...

or the magic of the last light of day caught within the crystals of the tree chandelier and thrown into a confetti of light around you ...

The best seat in the house for dinner and a show of Nature's best.

Pure heaven to me.
Enjoy your weekend.

See what everyone else is hooked on over at Julia's party at Hooked on Houses
Photo credit: 1. H&G uk 2. Domino 3 & 4: I'm sorry but I don't remember - if you know, I'll gladly credit them, and I apologize for not documenting them better.

12 March 2009

Behind the Scenes

Painters we are not
-- not house painters, anyway.
...or at least not fast ones, at any rate.
It's been 6 months (can you believe it?) since we moved in, and the exterior still isn't finished. The massive repairs got to us - we went at it full throttle, with the high bar of perfection in all that we were doing, and did the best we could before life started interfering and chipping away at the limited time that we have.

We've still been working on the exterior when time, weather, and temperature allow - but I admit, it's been slow going, and I've been less than motivated lately to climb back up on that ladder. We've run into some plumbing and electrical problems that have taken our time and attention. Stucco repair has been the other biggest slow down -- that and my distractions -- to start on other, more fun projects -- so now I have quite a few 'started but not finished' things around me...

I've been kinder to myself and realize that it's more about progress rather than the perfection I was always seeking and only accepting; but the pendulum has swung a little too far in the opposite direction, and we haven't been as focused as I'd like lately, nor doing enough of the 'grunt work' around here as we should be doing. The never-ending rain didn't help, and exhaustion has a funny way of talking you out of things...

So with the recent perfect weather and temperatures prime for outdoor painting, we've dug deep and are rededicated to pushing through this last leg and "get 'er done". It will feel good to get it off the massive list of things to do - so ... progress photos by the end of the weekend on the exterior painting of Museville.
I promise.

Art by Vivi Mari

11 March 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- Greenhouse Glam

Now, I would have furnished this differently, but I absolutely love the idea of this potting shed converted to a greenhouse for outdoor living. I want one!!
See what else is rendering people speechless at Wordless Wednesday
Photo credit: Country Living

10 March 2009

Under the Spell ...

The air is charged with anticipation -
green stalks stretch from bulbs to break free through the soil,
trees laden with buds are alive with the birds busy building nests within their branches,
the flowers are ready to explode --
everyone and everything is under the spell of Spring.

I find myself once again longing for my heart's song -- old, ancient, beautiful yellow buildings.

I don't know why.
Some things just don't have rational answers.
Most things under the spell of Spring don't.

It's like a lost love that I keep trying to forget --
but my heart won't let me.

My dream continues ...

all photos by stranded starfish