Welcome to my Blog. I hope you enjoy your time here. Thanks to @honey_crunch_ for the sweet illustration.
Everyone should have a secret garden. Whether it’s a courtyard, patio or window ledge, secret gardens bring joy to your heart. I remember my first secret garden, it was a hidden place among the woods of Wisconsin when I was a little girl. I didn’t realize that it was a secret garden but I knew it was special, so I kept it all to myself, my cat and my books. When my family couldn’t find me, you can be sure that I was hidden under the great soft fir trees in my garden. We had about 40 acres of land there, in my home of northern Wisconsin, the back 20 were fields that led to an airport runway. It was convenient for my fathers profession of being a pilot, airplane mechanic, airplane restorer and flight instructor. However, the front 20 were a forest. On one of my ramblings thru the forest I came across an area, where it looked like it used to be a carriage lane, with rows of soft fir pine trees lining each side. It’s the first time in my life that I recall creating stories in my head, here I imagined a wonderful world filled with carriages and laughter, mice and racoons in tweed suits, cats wearing glasses and finely dressed ladies and handsome gentlemen. The pine needles had layered the lane so that is was thick and soft. It created an insulation making a peaceful quietness there. Pretty, delicate little flowers raised their heads out of those fir needles, here and there with no rhyme or reason and yet it felt to me like a lilting poem. The great trees had huge lower boughs that made for a wonderful hiding place for a girl, her cat and her books.
I treasure those memories and so everywhere I go, I create some sort of secret garden. In this home I knew exactly where I would build a secret garden. Hubby had a hard time seeing my vision but I just knew it would be perfect. As with all gardens it’s still a work in progress, but it’s come a long way!
I started with a driveway, a driveway? Why would you pick a driveway you might wonder? Well, there was a weird quirk in our new house. We had a driveway on one side of the house that went along to the back cement fence. Doesn’t sound all that strange yet, I know. Here’s the weird part. there was a sliding glass door on that side of the house. Not that strange either right? Wrong! the sliding glass door was in our master bathroom and it led to the side driveway! Now that, is weird! You just looked out the sliding glass door to see the driveway and neighbor walking by, or anyone really could just walk up to it! Very odd indeed. However, the minute I saw it I knew, that it could be turned into a beautiful little oasis. I love when you can take a negative and turn it into a positive!
Sadly, I didn’t get a true before picture. I forgot. Here’s the closest I have to the before picture. This is from the direction of the outside of the privacy fence we put up around the sliding glass door. We did not include a gate to add more security. This is a secret garden afterall..
Then we added a storage shed in front of the fence. You can see how the driveway went along in between our house and our neighbors house. We also have parking in front of our house so we didn’t need the driveway all the way back.
Now that I had it fenced in, I needed to deal with driveway issues, like a bunch of driveway rocks and a lot of weeds with wicked stickers.
I started by adding a layer of bamboo reeds on the fence for more privacy and then staining it. I laid cardboard down over the stickers and rocks, then a layer of mulch over that.
Here’s the ugly frosted sliding glass door from the inside.
Once I had the area closed in with the privacy fence, I scraped off the frost on the glass. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put much effort into it for awhile because we were working so hard on the apartment for the kiddo on the inside of the house, so I just threw a few things in there, including hanging a paint drop cloth over the sliding glass door area. I did that because the sun is harsh on that side and it saved us on energy costs last summer.
Then, I’m afraid it just languished away like this for a year, but I still had hope in my heart. With great joy we finished the kiddos apartment! Which meant, that this year I could work on my secret garden! I know you’d like to see how it turned out! Here it is!
It’s just a sneak peak! I have things growing! flowers and trees, and some tomatoes too. You’ll have to stay tuned for my next blog on what else I planted and the where’s and how’s of everything and of course, more pictures! I wish for you to have a secret garden in your life!
It’s the little things that always make the biggest impact in life and in decorating! As I’ve shared before, I love using painting drop cloths for curtains, and various other things. Lately, I made an addition to the drop cloth curtains in our bedroom. It was a small thing, but made a huge difference. I thought I’d share a few pictures. A few years ago I ran across two beautiful sheer curtain panels in my local second hand store. I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, but I had to pick them up. Then a couple years ago I found some embroidered sheer curtains on amazon. I thought I had a place for them but, I ended up not using them where I thought I wanted them. They went into the chest of, stuff I’m not sure what I’ll do with, but I’m sure I’ll use them somewhere, sometime. First, I put up the painting drop cloth curtains alone. However, I felt they were a little too plain, so I added these gray panels. I thought it would add an element of depth, but it fell flat.
Then I put those sheers I had found on amazon up instead of the gray panels. However, while they were pretty, they were too sheer. Then, it dawned on me to use the painting drop cloth curtains in combination with the sheer curtains and wow! Did it turn out nice! Here are some pictures. I hope you enjoy!
What I did was, just lay the sheer on top of the painting drop cloth curtain and snap them both into the curtain rings. No sewing, hardly any work and you have a beautiful full curtain.
Hanging straight is how I prefer it but, here it is puffed up.
More of it puffed up and you can see that I hung the two sheer panels that I found a few years ago in the middle of the window, layered over a blind.
I find that layering is a very affective tool when I decorate. First the base color comes in. In this room my base color came from the color I used in this painting. I wanted to plan the room around it. Of course, just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that everything you plan will work. I’ve found that it’s best to let things happen organically, once you have a plan in place. Try something, if it doesn’t work, then make adjustments! My life has been happier when I do it that way!
Then the architectural elements I want to add come in, then lighting, then the basic blind for the window, and lastly the softness. Such as curtains, pillows and comforters. Oh, don’t forget a little bling and some art!
This is my favorite way for the curtains to hang.
And finally, from this angle.
I have to add that, I’ve found it very challenging to photograph this angle of the bedroom as the light is coming at you so the camera makes everything around it look very dark! I hope I’ve captured it well enough to give you the idea. Hopefully, my crazy ideas will help you in whatever way you would like to decorate your home! Have a beautiful day out there lovelies!
Joy is my favorite! Yesterday we found out that there’s nothing new wrong with the kiddo’s heart. Relief, relief is even better than joy.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever written about the complication, that he’s had with his heart over the last 13 years. It’s something that we choose not to think about, since there’s nothing that can be done about it. About 13 years ago, during a regular checkup they found a clot that is attached to the wall on the inside of his heart. At the time, one end was attached to the wall and the other was flopping every time his heart beat. Eventually, the loose end also attached to the wall of the heart. If it ever broke off of the wall, it would kill him. If they were to try to do surgery to remove it, the risks are more severe than leaving the clot alone and watching to make sure it doesn’t change. For this reason, they’ve watched to make sure it stays the same. At this last check-up the kiddo’s ekg was abnormal, so the Dr. was afraid that the clot was breaking off, which is why he put him thru more tests. Thankfully, all of the tests showed that it’s staying still and hasn’t changed. Why was the ekg abnormal? Sometimes, they are for no particular reason, which is why more tests are needed. How did the clot get there in the first place? you might wonder. Well, when you have cancer, the chemo is too damaging to veins, so they place a port or broviac into the artery into the heart. For the kiddo, he had a broviac. In his case he had several different broviacs, due to many infections. One of the broviacs must have been placed a little too close to the wall of the heart and the tip was bumping against the wall of his heart when his heart beat, which caused a blood clot. These are risks that we all accept when our kiddo’s go thru treatment.
Over the years we’ve tried not to let it interfere with living our lives as fully as possible. As I stated earlier, there’s nothing we can do about it. Which leaves two choices. One, sit around and be afraid of doing anything, or two, live life to the fullest, enjoy what we have and not let it stop us. We chose number two. I’m glad that we did. I would hate to look back and realize that we wasted any time, any fun, any laughter, anything in the last 13 years. I hate waste, especially wasted time. Time once lost, can never be retrieved.
We’re beyond relieved to know everything is still ok. We still have to figure out what’s causing the other tests to come back with some problems but compared to the heart scare, it’s not too bad. I’m sure once they figure out the cause we can figure out how to manage. We always have and we always will, (with some prayer, patience, good Dr.’s and good friends of course) Thankyou for listening to our tale, our journey. Have a beautiful day out there and have some fun!
I’m so excited to be able to say that the master bedroom project is complete!
I hope you enjoy the finished project. I’ll try to explain how I put everything together, but if you have any questions be sure to post it in the comment section. I’ll be happy to answer!
This was the beginning. It’s a perfectly lovely bedroom, but I had big plans!
I started with my antique door headboard from our old place. I used them as a jumping off point to build the room around. I also began with painting the walls a dark blue/grey. Since it’s a bedroom I wanted it to end up feeling really cozy. I thought the dark color would help accomplish that. Below is a picture of the wall opposite the bed wall.
The old dresser is now in my studio. Next, I found these old beams hanging around in our back yard. I talked hubby into helping me install them next to the old doors. I wanted an old brick wall in a couple places as well. I picked up two 4×8 sheets of brick paneling to faux paint for that purpose. I got them from either lowes or home depot. To be honest I can’t remember which one!
I added some bookshelves on each side of the bed instead of bedside tables, because I love having books in the bedroom, well…. really everywhere. Which I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. I found them from Walmart. It’s starting to come together.
On the opposite wall we have our tv wall. A hubby must have. Actually, I don’t mind having it for watching movies on lazy days. I once again picked up two 4×8 sheets of brick paneling and found a few more beams laying around the backyard.
My goal was to combine my style and hubby’s love of industrial together. To do that I added a plumbers black pipe horizontally underneath the tv. Then I added a plumbers black pvc pipe that is vertical, in order to hide the cords inside of it. These touches added just the right amount of industrial along with the little modern fireplace hung below the tv. I found that on amazon. Then I started faux painting the brick.
To get the old brick look, I just use a little white paint with water, brush it on in different thicknesses, and wipe it down with a paper towel. After it dries, I take a wet scrubber sponge and scrape off pieces of paint in various places. Since the sponge needs to be wet to be affective, you need to keep a paper towel handy to catch any dripping water, otherwise the running water will ruin the look of the brick. Here it is, before I scrape it down with the sponge. When I scrape it down I focus on edges and grooves in the brick.
This is the result.
The next step was to rearrange the room aaaaa lot!!! I could not, make up my mind how I wanted it to be set up. At one point I had two chairs in there, then I moved all sorts of stuff around. I ended up purchasing a regular bed frame. Up until then, we had just stacked two box springs on top of each other with the mattress on top of that. However, we’ve reached a new age, where we feel aches and pains a little more. Which meant a better foundation for the bed. When we were super young and newly married we lived in Guatemala for a little over a year. For most of that time we slept on a small piece of foam on the cement floor. We didn’t mind it too much. Perhaps that’s what caught up to us! Anyhow, we ended up with a regular bed frame. I purchased it on amazon. Originally, I wanted to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls but I was hesitant to do it, so I waited. Finally, I decided to go for it. I’m super happy that I did. It enveloped the room like a warm blanket.
Snickers, thinks I did all of it for him.
The last thing I did was add some fantastic area rugs, lighting and some final decorating pieces to pull it all together. Here Snickers is modeling one of the area rugs along with a couple pillows.
Now, here’s the finished room. I’m totally in love with it. This is the tv wall opposite of the bed wall.
Here’s the bed wall,
I love my corner, the white shelf is one of my treasures. It’s part of an antique fireplace mantel that I found in South Carolina. When we moved into the camper, my dad helped me cut it down to make a shelf to use in the camper, so that I could keep it. Now, it’s holding sweet things, and it’s a good memory. The wood that is holding necklaces on the wall is from an old pallet. I took it apart, then added the hooks from Hobby Lobby. I think it blends rustic with a touch of glamour.
I added this sweet quote in this spot.
This is the last corner. I personally hate mirrors in the house, but I have a few as they are necessary to make sure I have my clothes on the right way! This is the check and make sure, before you leave the house corner. I found the various scarves from local second hand stores. The chandelier I picked up a few years ago at Ikea. I painted it black to match all the trim.
You’ll notice that I painted the doors and trim black. It seems like it would make the room too dark, but it actually grounds it. It’s not everyones cup of tea of course, but that’s what makes the human family so interesting. We all have different tastes.
Here’s snickers helping out along the way.
As you can see, he worked really hard and he would appreciate it if we all acknowledged that!
Thankyou for following our grand adventure in decorating! I hope you have a grand adventure of your own! Have a fabulous day out there lovelies!
Oh, my sweet Molly’s nose and her eyes. It’s amazing how a dog knows there’s something to be concerned about. What a beautiful gift we were given in the form of a dog. I’m grateful to have her to comfort me.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Mornings with Molly piece. I haven’t been sure of what I wanted to say, so I’ve waited. The last few months I’ve been posting on my facebook and Instagram accounts, that there have been a lot of medical things going on for the kiddo. I should probably clarify why I always refer to my boy as the kiddo or boyo. A few years ago he wanted his privacy protected and no longer wanted me to refer to him with his name or post pictures of him now. He doesn’t mind when I post the older pictures of him. which is why I share lots of pictures of him when he was younger. He’s also fine with me talking about our situation in my blog because he knows it’s my story too. I appreciate that very much and I want to respect his privacy, so that’s why I refer to him as the kiddo or boyo.
There was a time when we thought that perhaps the kiddos future wouldn’t be interfered with by his past health problems. This was in those few years where he was healthy and strong.
I’m grateful for those years. I didn’t know at the time they would be his healthy years. We moved to South Carolina to be near the ocean, to play, to try to give the kiddo a normal, uncomplicated fun life. I thought that since most of his childhood up to that point had so many painful things in it, it would be good to focus on fun. Don’t get me wrong, his childhood wasn’t all pain. We tried very hard to fill it with good things. However, at this point he was healthy and had missed out on a lot so, we made it our goal to fill his life with adventures and fun activities. We really did! We kayaked everywhere, we saw an amazing amount of wildlife, we traveled to hundreds of beaches, toured museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, we learned a new language(American sign language), made wonderful new friends, ate out all over the place, hunted treasures, took a billion pictures and really had a wonderful family time. I look back and am so happy we did all of that, because things changed.
When things began to change we began a new journey, in the last few years we’ve seen our kiddos health take a turn. First, came the respiratory problems that convinced us to move back west. We are so grateful that moving here has given him some relief with that problem.
Then other problems started to come up. His neuropathy started to become more painful, then it traveled to his g.i. tract. It’s taken about 3 years, but it’s been identified as the nerve endings spasming, thus causing the pain and problems in his stomach. Next he had sleep apnea and then hypersomnia, along with a few other health problems. Every new challenge we just said ok, what is it?, Now, how do we deal with it?, How do we support him?, and moved on. We worked hard to buy a house that we could divide. We worked hard on dividing that house. We are grateful for our home and the ability to give the kiddo his own space. The last few years have been about finding the new limitations and then figuring out how to be happy and content within those limitations.
I like to use the word challenge, because we don’t let anything stop us. That doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. It is. In my momma heart and brain, it hurts watching my boyo’s health deteriorate, it hurts knowing what he could’ve been, but what he’s dealing with is very different. It’s scary when new problems come up. It was terrifying when he was diagnosed with leukemia and the treatment was very difficult, however we felt hope that everything could be fixed. Now, these problems that keep coming up do to the treatment can’t be fixed, they can be helped, supported and relieved some but not fixed. This means we have to look at things differently. We have to retrain our brains to cope with what’s at hand now. There are people who I admire, who seem to take every new turn in their lives with such grace. I wish I was like that! I’m not, I go thru a process of fear, pouting, grumbling and then acceptance and lastly figuring out what needs to be done.
When we start the medical check up process we go thru every year, I get apprehensive, but always remember how much I’m grateful for. This year I thought I had a handle on it, but I was wrong. First, let me say how grateful I am that all his tests came back without any concerns about cancer, that is always a huge relief, so that means he’s cancer free now for 16 years. Some other tests came back with some problems that indicated heart problems. One of the chemo’s used in his treatment is called doxyrubicin and can cause heart problems later in life. It of course caused me to be rather stressed out. No matter how old your baby gets, you never stop worrying about them. I’m feeling a little better, because one of the follow up tests to see what’s up was done and they didn’t feel the need to keep him in the hospital, which is always a good sign. He still has a few more tests to go thru and it will probably be May before we know what’s happening, whether it’s simple or complicated.
Bosque del Apache New Mexico
What’s my point? Well, a few really. 1. It’s the reason why I keep posting that things are going slowly in my art studio. The tests keep dragging out longer than I expected. 2. It turns out that I’m human and still have difficulty dealing with my kiddos health. 3. I’m still focusing on being grateful to find contentment in our situation, and finally, it will all work out in the end. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – John Lennon Also? It’s good to have a dog for a buddy.