Friday, July 30, 2010

A Solar Dryer...the Clothesline

The is what our ancestors used, and sometimes it seems like we should get back to the basics. One of my dear friends pointed out something that I was completely blind children grab a clean and folded towel every time they go swimming or take a bath.  How had I not noticed with the 'Mt. Everest' pile of laundry that daily calls my name? 
Things have changed around here.  I am on a mission.  The kids get only one towel for every couple of days when swimming and one towel for every couple of days for baths.  Of course, they must hang the towels up and not just leave them on the floor!  Armed with some motivation, I decided to see what advantages a clothesline can offer. 
 Line drying uses zero electricity, the UV rays of the sun actually help sanitize the laundry, and the fresh smell is unbeatable. 

 Here are a few other reasons to consider a clothesline:

*Dryers use 10 percent to 15 percent of domestic energy in the United States.
*It saves money — more than $25 a month on electric bills for many households.
*Clothes last longer when line-dried.
*It is moderate physical activity that you can do indoors or outside.
*Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
*Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.
*Using a clothesline is just one more way to reduce your carbon footprint.

If clothes dry stiff, toss them in the dryer with no heat for about five minutes.  One more tip:  if you use dryer sheets, you can cut or tear them in half; using only the half works just as well!
Miss Mustard Seed is having an amazing give-away to celebrate her 2000th follower!  You have to go check out all the amazing stuff she is going to ship to one lucky person!  I love all of it and hope it is me!  Good luck!

Miss Mustard Seed's Creative Blog

  Pin It Now!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Cabin in the Woods...Christmas Ideas

Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow...The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost
My son and I built this little 'cabin in the woods' for Christmas '09.  He loves to build, so this was a great project to do with him.  We purchased a kit and donated the candy to his class for an art project.  The 'stone' on the house and chimney is cinnamon and sugar covered pecans from Target.  We used a bag of fake snow and sprinkled baby food (remember the flaky rice cereal?  It works great as snow) with some fine glitter everywhere.  The snow man is made of icing with extra sugar.  The 'nose' is the end of a toothpick painted orange.  The 'eyes' are little chocolate sprinkles.  The pretzel 'gate' leads up a Triscuit 'cobblestone path (not pictured, but pieces broken and laid in a herringbone pattern) to a graham cracker 'door.'  The 'shingles' on the roof are Life cereal.  The 'tree' candle is from Pier 1.  The 'wreath' is real evergreen wrapped with some wire.  
We built the gingerbread house on a tray, so we could move it around easily for different vignettes. 
 Enjoy planning for your Christmas! 

Please join me at

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An 1800's Fireplace Mantel

The shed before my old mantel...
This little white table was given to us by a neighbor whose children and grand-children are 
grown.  I moved it to the other side of the room. (To see more shed pictures, click here.)
I cleared the space... make room for this old mantel.  It belonged to my grandfather.  Born in 1901, he grew up with thirteen brothers and sisters in an old farmhouse.  This mantel decorated the fireplace that kept them warm in the winters and cooked their food.  My great-grandfather moved to this house as a young man, so it dates to the mid to late 1800's.
My father and uncle were getting rid of lots of things that had been stored in an old shed (see below!)  I just knew this would be perfect to hold some old cans and various decorations!
The honey pot was a flea market find.  The measuring cups are also old.  My children use these to measure the dirt for their mud pies.
When my husband finished the shed in the spring, we had a new little visitor make a nest.  A mama wren nestled in to the window box with four tiny eggs.  Three of the little birds cute!
The babies grew and flew away, but one little egg remained.  After a while, I moved the nest into the shed and tucked it into this Whitman's metal candy box.  It belonged to my grandparents.
I just recently used the pewter compote with shells for a centerpiece on my porch (click here.)  The moss covered letter 'T' was made by hot gluing moss onto a wooden letter from Hobby Lobby.
The large basket above was found at a consignment store.  It holds my cans and baskets for packaging vegetables from my garden. 
I changed out the shells for a nest in the pewter dish.  I will put this in our guest room (my son's bedroom!) for my sister's visit from Memphis this week. 
The white picket fence behind the bistro table and chairs was salvaged from a neighbor.
The white wicker chair was a consignment store find.  I grabbed it, because I liked the modern shape.
If this mantel could speak, what stories would it tell?  I imagine my ancestors gathered around it to stay warm in the North Carolina Mountains, telling stories and snuggling TV, no computer, no phone, no power...the only thing to entertain them was each other.  It is a very sweet thought!
Why not have a 'blackout' night with your family?  Slow down, light some candles to read or play games and watch how s..l.o..w..l..y time passes.  What a lovely thought! 
The picnic basket below the fishing basket was a wedding gift from my mom. 
The little metal frame on the wall was my grandparents and the white ironstone platter belonged to my great-grandmother.
The big glass jar on the floor holding twigs belonged to my grandfather.  It used to be a collection place for his loose change!
The shed at my dad's farm ( is a little scary!) got to be a place for anybody in the family to store their things not in use!  After my mother passed away and my father remarried,  several of their things went into this shed.  I found several treasures, including the Henredon 1970's secretary (you can see it in the back of the photo if you look really hard!), as well as, an old butcher's block, a pair of 1950's teak beach chairs, a curio cabinet of my granny's and other miscellaneous finds!  It will take me a while to restore these things, but the old mantel was perfect just the way it was!  After my sister and I found some treasures, my aunt and uncle had a huge yard sale! 
See the blowfish hanging from the ceiling?  We all fought over that one!

Please join me at these great sites!
'Stuff You Got for Free' at the CSI Project
Yard Sale Finds at the Lettered Cottage
I have edited this post to join Funky Junk Interiors 'Fireplace' theme.
Pin It Now!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crazy About a Porch

Pear and apple branches were picked from my dad's garden.
With ivy hanging from the copper chandelier, I chose a simple pewter bowl to hold some beautiful seashells.
I am crazy about the rust and green color of these fruits!  They look so nice in a small copper bowl.
I love the pouty look of this little guy.
My grandmother's broach dresses up this flea market mirror.  I made the letter 'T' by hot gluing moss on to a wooden letter purchased at Hobby Lobby.
The monogrammed burlap ETSY pillow was a gift from friends and lends a casual feel to the porch.
The rattan table was an antique mall find.  I love the color and texture of rattan and bamboo.
The vintage honey pot holds a small ivy plant.  We have honey bees, so this was a great find at the flea market!
The old wooden box is a beer crate (see below.)  I used it to hold different kinds of drinks.
The copper chandelier is hung with some twisted copper purchased from Home Depot.
And the rain came... oh, the quiet sound of the rain.  This is the reason I love a screened porch.
I rearranged things for our dinner.  Here are a few 'before' pictures.
The cafe' table was purchased at Pier 1 years ago.  The cushions were an 'end of the season' sale at Anthropologie.
These are some 'before' pictures...before we closed in the porch.
We just added this porch about two years ago, because we had a leak in the room below, and an engineer suggested a covered porch might fix the problem!  It has fixed the problem and now we can enjoy sitting outside on the porch, once again!  We rarely used this space before the transformation! Some of the changes we made included adding a roof, new tile, and beaded board, fans, and lights to the ceiling.  Cedar beams are the supports for the porch.  We reused the iron railing as a barrier and added the screens.  We used a contractor for the major renovation of adding the roof, and my husband did most of the wiring and staining of the ceiling and beams and tearing out the old tile floor.  My challenge was to make it feel like another 'room' in our house!  We love being outdoors, so this is our favorite space!
For the porch, I wanted good quality outdoor furniture, so it would last a long time.  The chair and couch are by Summer Classics.  The green chair was on clearance at Pier 1.  The child's wicker chair was purchased at IKEA.  The bamboo tray was on clearance at Ross.  The mirror was a flea market find.  Pillows were purchased at various places if they matched my color scheme.  My living room is beige with shots of green and earth tone colors.  I wanted the porch to be an extension of that room, so I picked the rust fabrics to accent. 
The wooden beer crate is from Fussel's Brewery which lies at the center of the village of Rode, between Frome and Bradford-on-Avon in the enchanting corner of England.

I have updated this post to participate in 

Please join me at these great sites!

I am also linking to the CSI Project 'Before and After Challenge!'

Thank you Stephanie Lynn for the feature! 

Pin It Now!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...