Behind My Red Door

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

Are you still with me?? If you are, do grab a cuppa something cuz this is a long post. Has it really been 6 days since I posted? I just don't seem to have enough time in my days (or evenings) lately. The good news is I am reading more and creating more, but I have also been doing all kinds of odd projects and little repairs around the house. You know, the kind that you put off because they don't really make your home look that different but they need to be done none the less? I did a bunch of those!! And there are so many other projects and crafts I want to do. Some before a friend comes to visit on the 14th; some before we go to New Brunswick in a few weeks; some before the good weather comes and I am busy outside in my perennial gardens again(yes Colleen - spring will come again - just hold on my friend!!) ; and some before my granddaughter is born in late June. My list is ambitious, but with the longer sunnier days, I know I can do it.
I got a sweet surprise in the mail last week. My sweet friend Kathy from New Brunswick sent me an early birthday gift. See that sweet pillow and bird in the picture above? Kathy made the pillow from one of Primitive Betty's free patterns and the cutest little bird that is made out of the same fabric as the back of the pillow. Aren't they sweet? I put them near that lantern intially but you know I tweak so in just a bit, I'll show you where they landed.
In between all the projects and chores, I managed to squeak in a day of fun with another sweet friend. On Saturday, my friend Jill (from Maine - no blog) and I each drove about an hour to meet each other. We chose this prim shop, Carriage Towne Primitives in Merrimac, MA as the meeting place. It's in an old building in the center or town. So quaint!

In my excitement, I had my camera on the wrong setting so not many pics came out.
This is Jill. She is the most talented gal. If you go to my sidebar, you can click on A Primitive Place and see her wonderful home. She added all the molding and painted all her woodwork in wonderful colonial colors and then she made half the furniture herself! Her home is basically the same style and layout as mine but she has truly transformed it.
This little pinkeep was my single purchase from the shop. I'll show you where this little treasure went in a bit too!
After we left Carriage Town Primitives, we went to a neat cafe around the corner and had a yummy lunch. Well unbeknown to me until we were having lunch, the very next day was Jill's birthday. When I found that our, I treated her to lunch and of course we had to share some triple chocolate cake with a ganache frosting. If you aren't familiar with ganache, google Death By Chocolate and Marcel Desaulniers name will come up. He used to have a cooking show by that name. I will never forget watching him make ganache the first time. Basically it is heavy cream that is heated and then good quality chocolate is added until it melts into the creamiest, richest confection you can imagine. YUMMO! This cake was dense and rich, the two of us couldn't finish it even by sharing it.After our decadent lunch we went across the street to what I can only call a junk/antique store. I found 3 goodies for ridiculously low prices and snatched them up!
We went back to our cars to chat (it was freezing!!) and Jill surprised me with a bag full of early birthday goodies. Aren't they wonderful?? I love the little berry bowl - I had never seen one before. Thanks again Jill!
Jill and I had done a swap of sorts. She wanted to make me something and I agreed if I could make her something as well as pay for the wood she would use. I knew one little pillow wasn't justice for her handmade treasures so I had to include a few extras in her bag as well - like this tin candle holder. When I bought mine, I knew it would look great in her home as well.

and I made her this wool pillow just like mine after she admired it,

and this wool applique bunny picture.
So now you are saying what did you get in return right? Well this is the sweet beauty I got!!

Jill made this just by me describing something I was looking for. I couldn't wait to get it home and paint and distress it and have DH help me hang it. It is exactly what how I had hoped it would look. I have had the ratcheted candle holder for a long time and now it has the perfect home. My goodies from Kathy are in here as well as the sweet little pinkeep I bought on the shopping trip. And where exactly did we hang this?....

Right over my nightstand where my whale shelf used to be. The whale shelf will have a new

home in DH's office when I get that project finished. Well technically I need to start it first! LOL It was a wonderful day and now Jill has plans to come to my neck of the woods so I can show her some of my favorite shopping spots. I am so looking forward to that!

Another project that kept me busy was painting all the doors inside. I have said many times, this is NOT my dream house but I am determined to make it the best home that I can. Changing all the doors to 6 panel or board and batten doors would be my first choice. But DH lives by the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto, so I knew I'd have to come up with some other solution. So what does a prim gal do when faced with doors with ugly luan wood and reddish brown stain that show 33 years of wear and tear and abuse? PAINT of course!! ! This is the only before I have...

Back of bathroom door before:

Hall doors painted in a warm nutmeg color but with the old brass knobs still in place Pantry door painted with old brass doorknob still in place...So of course when I got all the doors painted, I decided the old brass door knobs HAD to go... so here are the same doors with new black knobs
Pantry door with new black knob

This was one of those projects that visitors to our home probably won't even notice, but every day when I see the smooth finish and new knobs, it makes me smile. It was worth all the hours of painting and fitting the new knobs.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am going to say this anyway because it is soooo true!! Bloggers are the nicest people. If you ever doubted there is good and kindness in this world, just speak up about your problems on your blog, and in no time, there will be bloggers all over this country praying for you! Need some advice on where to find something? Just ask and bloggers will find it for you! And if something wonderful happens to you, well those bloggers will congratulate you and share in your joy with you. That has happened to me time and again since I started blogging last April just before our son's wedding. Why just this evening as I was getting dinner ready, the phone rang and I thought DH had answered it. Obviously he didn't because the next thing I knew, I heard a voice on the answering machine say "Hi Linda, this is Pam from BasketsnPrims" Pam called all the way from Michigan to tell me how much she enjoyed our home in Mercantile Gatherings magazine. That was so kind and sweet of you Pam. You made my day It was so nice to hear from you !! If you don't know Pam, stop on over to her blog because she is another very talented gal. She makes all kinds of prims and baskets and even has a new selling blog as well. Check out Primitive Basketcase and see the really unique pineapple basket she just listed!!

Today I needed to get out and enjoy the sunshine but since it was 20 something degrees, the best way to do that was a long drive with sun pouring in my sunroof of my Murano. I popped in one of my Bon Jovi CD's, and off I went to Sturbridge MA. I was a woman on a mission. I found what I needed and then I found a wonderful pot of rosemary for my kitchen counter. Now I have some pretty good luck with plants outside, but I can't keep the real thing alive indoors in the winter so this faux one will do nicely.
And even though you can see the snow outside on the deck, this forsythia wreath is bringing some Spring cheer inside. Soon I will cut some of the real deal and force them to bloom weeks early inside.
So that's part of what has kept me away from here this past week. It looks like the next few weeks will be just as busy. I am not complaining though - it is all good. How blessed I am!
Next time I hope to have more spring cheer to share!
Until Next Time - Hugs, Linda