Giveaway Winner and Home and Garden Update
Hello Cottage Friends,
Today's one of my days off, so I've got time to update you on what's been going on in my garden and home. But first I must announce the winner of the Biblical Minimalist book giveaway. The winner is
Congratulations Debbie! Please email your mailing address to me and I'll arrange for Cheryl to send you a copy of her book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing. It had been awhile since I'd done a giveaway and I'd forgotten how much fun they are.
Now on to my garden and home updates.
First the garden, which in my case is a patio garden. This is the last photo I posted.
And this is how the patio looks this morning.
Can you see the changes? I've moved plants around, and added some decorative items. I was surprised to find out how much sun my patio actually gets throughout the day. Because I work from 5:00 AM to 2:00 PM, I didn't get a real feel for the hours of direct sun this spot gets. So when I was home for a full day and took note of the sunlight. . .well, I realized I needed to make some changes to benefit my flowers.
As I said, I also added decorative items, which I think enhances the patio. I'm partial to fleur-de-lis, so when I found this one in the outdoor decorations at At Home for 50% off, I snatched it up.
This little sign was 50% off, as well.
I found this willow art piece at a thrift store for a couple of dollars. It was au naturale when I purchased it, so I gave it a white chalk paint treatment for a shabby chic look.
These all were inexpensive purchases that for me add a homey touch to my little retreat.
Several of you commented that I needed a little table between my wicker chairs, which I agreed was a necessity to hold a drink. The space is pretty small, so it took me awhile to find something that would work there, and also wouldn't break the bank. One day on my way home from work I stopped in at Goodwill and Eureka! I found my little table for $3.99.
When I have the time I'll spray paint it a new color, but for now it's fine.
I found this sweet birdhouse sitting on the ground outside my patio fence (left behind by the previous owners) where it was hidden from sight, so I brought it inside the patio to enjoy.
Another change I made was to add some in-ground planting. There's only a smidgen of hard clay soil in my patio area, just below the porch railing. Now anyone who knows anything about clay soil knows that it's nearly impossible to grow anything in its natural state. You have to amend the soil so it will drain properly. I'll do another post sometime on how I accomplished this in a super easy way, but for now here's the result of less than two hours work.
I'm pretty excited about this little patch of what eventually will be my mini cottage garden. The Foxglove (rear left), and the groundcover Spotted Dead Nettle on the left and Ajuga on the right are perennials. I planted the pink geraniums, which I already had on hand, to keep within my budget. I'll add more perennials later, and this will become a low maintenance beautiful addition to my patio.
Hanging above this area are my wrought iron planters. Another Goodwill find at $5.99 for the small one, and $6.99 for the larger planter.
These like-new, sturdy planters were an incredible bargain. I had decided that I would just have to wait until next year to do this project because there was no way I could pay retail for planters like these. I couldn't find anything under $25, and that's for something small and cheaply made. Did you catch the little fleur de lis at the top of the planters. How could I resist?
I feel like I've done enough with my patio this year. Next year I plan to do the lattice wall I wrote about here. And maybe some other things. But for now I'm turning my attention to the inside of my home.
Come inside and we'll chat about my plans for the kitchen. This is a big project on a tiny budget, and I'll do as much of the work myself as I can muster. Here are some recent photos. (Excuse the messy appearance; I didn't plan on using these for the blog, but they actually make the room look better than if I took photos in its current even messier state.)
I've already begun this project by removing the batten strips on the walls, and caulking the resulting gaps. I've deep cleaned the inside of the stove hood and above the cabinets (which was an amazingly hideous job because obviously the previous owner hadn't bothered to clean for years), and washed down the walls. I've removed all the backsplash. A local custom countertop company has measured for new countertops. Here's a sample of the laminate I'm using, Formica 180 fx Calacatta Marble in Satin Touch.
You're probably wondering why I would use a custom countertop company rather than Home Depot or some other big box store. Well, I had Home Depot price it out, and it was a lot more expensive. Plus, my local guy will remove the old countertops and dispose of them and the sink, something Home Depot would not do. So, if I went with Home Depot I would have had to pay a handyman or contractor to do that for me, which would have added to the cost. So, although we often think we can't afford a small business as compared to a national retailer, I say, "do your homework". You may be surprised at how much money you'll save by using that small local business to do your work.
I'll have the sink and faucet replaced, too. These are tasks I'll need a plumber to complete. What I will do myself is texture and paint the walls, and paint the cabinets. Praise the Lord for Youtube! I learned how to remove the battens, and now I'm learning how to texture walls. It's never too late to learn how to DIY.
I'll be sharing a lot more about this in the days ahead, so stay tuned.
One more thing before I go. Please forgive me for not replying to your comments and/or visiting your blog. The past few months have been an exercise in adjusting to this new life of mine. It's a huge change for me and my energy level at the end of a work day is pretty low. Any work I do on my home and garden is done on the two days I have off. Having said all that, I am working on resolving this issue, and making the changes needed to reconnect with all of you. You are so gracious to visit and leave kind comments. I don't want you to think I take that for granted. I don't. There are plenty of other blogs that you could visit, and I know that. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making time for me. I will work to do the same for you. God bless you.