Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WOWSER House Wednesday!

     Today I'm going give you a little architectural lesson and take you on a quick tour of a neighborhood known as Rivertowne. Rivertowne is so named because most of the really big houses are built along the river. These houses are huge to begin with but they look even bigger because they are commonly known as "drive-unders". Because they are built along the river, they are in a flood plain and by law, any living spaces must be elevated above the flood level. The ground floor level is to be left unfinished and anything placed in that area can not be insured so most people use it as a garage, thus the name "drive-under". However, many people finish off this space and use it for exercise rooms, home offices, storage, play rooms etc. Typically, the main living spaces are on the second floor and bedrooms are located on the third and even fourth floors. And if you are thinking to yourself, geez, I'd hate to lug groceries up all those steps, don't worry, most of these houses come with their own elevators! Some even have their own putting green like this one.

     Our first stop is this gorgeous Mediterranean Style house. As always, if you want a closer look, just click on the picture!

This is a style that is not seen very often in the Lowcountry but there just happens to be several in this neighborhood. I love the sundeck in the upper right corner.
This next house is also a Mediterranean  style house.
Check out this entrance! That water feature and door are amazing!
If I could criticize anything, it would be that little cherub statue sitting at the top of the waterfall, the scale is all wrong and it detracts from the door. JMHO, but I would move it down to the next level.
      Now for a little history lesson. When the City of Charleston was first established, it was still under English rule. The taxes the citizens of Charleston paid to England for their homes were based on the amount of square footage that faced the street. The ever rebellious and crafty Charlestonians came up with the perfect solution. They turned their houses sideways so the narrow side of the house faced the street and the widest part extended deep into the lot away from the street and the "Charleston Single House" was born! The "Charleston Single House" was also influenced by West Indies traders who added wide verandas on both floors to catch the breezes coming off the ocean. 

Paying taxes to the king is no longer an issue so over the years the "Charleston Single House" has been revised and extended out on the sides but it still remains one of the most popular styles in the Lowcountry. The house pictured above is actually an example of a new Charleston Single and actually looks like this:

You will notice this house has been pushed out on both sides and unlike old Charleston Singles, has been elevated to accommodate the parking of cars under the house. This concludes our home tour for today. I hope you enjoyed it and will come back next week for a peek at more amazing houses.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trash Talkin Tuesday!

Last week when I participated in the "Where Bloggers Create II" event, you saw a little glimpse of my sewing table so I thought I would give you a little more detail on how and why I acquired it. Two years ago hubby bought me this wonderful sewing machine. 

Originally I wanted one of those fancy embroidery machines until I found out how expensive they were! This machine is light enough to move around and normally I set it up on the kitchen table but when I decided to convert the spare bedroom into my studio, a designated place for sewing was tops on my list. I could have settle for just a regular table but  I had another reason for finding an actual sewing table! THIS.....
This is the machine I learned to sew on and it STILL runs like a dream. This Pfaff is so old it predates WWII! I know this because it says "Made in Germany" and we purchased it in the 70's when there was still an East and West Germany. The body of this machine is made out of cast iron and is so heavy, hubby has to help me lift it on to a table. In order to change the bobbin, you have to tilt the machine backwards away from the base of the case and slide it into a hub under the machine. The problem is, the case is deteriorating so bad, it is almost impossible to tilt the machine backwards. The obvious solution was to find some kind of table that would allow access to the underside of the machine so I would not have to tip the machine anymore but where on Earth would I find something like that? Well, as luck would have it, I stopped in Goodwill one day and noticed this little table sitting there that had a hinged lid. I lifted the lid and noticed that a fairly new sewing machine was mounted inside on these post type thingys. I didn't need another sewing machine but I wanted THAT table! I found a clerk and asked her if I could buy just the table. She looked at me a little puzzled so I said to her, if you find me a screwdriver, I can remove the sewing machine and you can sell it again to someone else and I can buy just the table. She thought that sounded pretty fair so I asked how much for just the table, she left and came back about ten minutes later and told me $14.00! I could not believe my luck, the perfect sewing table and for only $14.00! So, I removed the sewing machine and left with my new prized possession, feeling pretty smart on top of it! When I got it home, I noticed it had some numbers stenciled on the sides. I'm guessing it must have been in a Home Ec. classroom at some time, probably in the 50's or 60's! Here's how it looked pre-transformation!
I sanded and sanded and sanded some more and filled a few holes with putty. Then I gave it a coat of Valspar Cherry Red spray paint in a satin finish and ta da......the finished results!
It even came with these adorable vintage porcelain knobs! (sorry the pic is a little blurry!)
 And here is a picture showing the inside where my beloved Pfaff will "hopefully" reside! 

I'm going to have hubby carry it upstairs for me this weekend and help me install it, so keep your fingers crossed that it will fit! Happy dumpster diving and trash pickin Tuesday!

LOOKEE! Babbies!

If you've been reading my blog and read THIS post three weeks ago, you know I've been anxiously awaiting the debut of a new baby. Well, last night not only did I get to see one baby but TWO! 

I put some corn out, sat down in a lawn chair by the pond and waited. I didn't have to wait long, within minutes the herd appeared. They noticed me but it didn't bother them a bit, a few came within 12' of my lawn chair. The little babies are so sweet. They stayed pretty close to their moms but played with each other too. One tried to nurse but her mom wanted nothing to do with that while she was eating.
I feel so blessed that I was able to witness the splendor of God's creation right in my backyard! 
PS, I have a video too, so if I can figure out how to upload a video, I'll add that later!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh, I'm in LOVE!

Yesterday was my last full day with my dd, Em before she goes back to school so we decided to spend some time downtown. Our first stop was one of my fav stores "Maine Cottage". Not that I can afford even a pillow from that store but it is fun to drool! If I ever win the lottery, I would pick up the phone, dial Maine Cottage and the conversation would go something like this "Hello, Maine Cottage, yes, I would like to purchase EVERYTHING in your warehouse", hee hee!
(Photos originally uploaded by Maine Cottage)

 The colors are so ME and have such fun names like 
Zinnia, Porch and Rhubarb.

The fabrics have such a fresh, light-hearted feel.                                     

The furniture styles are classic and have a timeless vintage look 
yet have a comfortable feel with a touch of whimsy.

Their catalog is not your run of the mill catalog, it is a wonderful design manual chock full of pictures of the most scrumptious rooms 
and vintage pictures from the 40's and 50's.

It is well worth the $15.00 dollars they normally charge for it but yesterday was our lucky day! The new catalog is about to be distributed so the clerk GAVE dd and ME each our very own copy! I can't wait to dig into it tonight. Even though I can't afford new furniture right now, it inspires me to find old furniture and transform it into my own Maine Cottage creations! If you would like more inspiration I just found out they have a BLOG too! Happy Drooling!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where Bloggers Create II

     Well... I didn't get half of the things done that I wanted to do in my NEW studio before the big "Where Bloggers Create II" event but I did manage to get my studio presentable enough to take some pictures. Just don't peek behind that curtain in the corner or you might cause a landslide of epic proportions! I would like to show you the before pics too but since my pc died last week, that is impossible. So, are you ready for the tour? Step right in, it's a small room, only 10x12 so you'll have to squeeze in tight!
     When you walk in the door, immediately to your left is the shelf I wrote about last week. I still need to rearrange things a little but it will do for now. 

Just past the shelf is my drafting table where I do a lot of my work. Beside the desk I have several Iris carts that store 8-1/2"x11" paper, some of my artwork, "studies" for future artwork and miscellaneous junk. The Iris carts were originally black and I spray painted them white. One of things I wanted to get done but didn't, was to hang shelves on the wall right beside the desk. Once I do that, the smaller carts will go on the shelves along with some storage units I have for 12"x12" paper.

Just behind these carts is my "new-old" sewing table. A great find at the Goodwill, I blog more about it later!
Just behind my sewing table is this little rack. It originally held VCR tapes but when DVD's became popular I found a new use for this in my studio! It now holds canning jars that will eventually hold ribbon. Again, something else I didn't get finished! I'm taking the larger craft sticks, punching a hole in one end and wrapping the ribbon around the stick then threading the loose end through the hole to secure it. I think this system will work good for me.
Just the right of this rack is a storage cabinet and a work table. Right now I just have the fabric draped over the table but I'm going to make a pretty gathered skirt for it along with some little cafe curtains to hide some of the "stuff" in the cabinet.
Of special note, the giant pencil beside the table was originally in my dds' room, it had 3 hooks at the top where they could hang up clothes. But I took those hooks off, added smaller hooks all the way down the pencil and hung these little red buckets on the hooks to hold my colored pencils! I LOVE the way this turned out! Now when I am coloring something all I have to do is carry the bucket with the colors I want to use over to my table. Beside the pencil is a very old desk that came out of a dairy in my hometown. I can't tell you how many times I sat in those chairs eating an ice cream cone while sharing secrets with my best friends in grade school! Oh, behind the chair is the curtain I warned you not to peek behind.
Finally on the last wall before you get back to the door, is my easel. I started this painting about 4 years ago and got frustrated with it and never finished it but now I'm inspired to work on it again in my new studio!
Here's a little close up!
Well. we are back to where we started, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my studio! I'll try and post pictures when I get some of the other things accomplished. Thanks for visiting with me today!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Just a quick note!

AAARGH! Computers, can't live with them, can't live without them! Wednesday morning hubby turned on the PC and nothing happened! Fortunately we have an external hard drive but we had not backed up for about a month. I'm so sad about all the cool stuff  I've probably lost! My dd gave me her old laptop when she bought a MAC a few months ago so at least I have something. But in the meantime, I might be absent for a few days! Hang in there, I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Trash Talkin Tuesday

     I love that show where the guys drive around and pick things up from the curb that people have thrown out, transform it into something great, then return it to the original owner. I do that except... I don't return it! :) Such was the case several months ago. We had new neighbors and it seemed like every Tuesday there was a new pile of "stuff" at the curb in front of their house. One Tuesday I was driving by and I did a double take, there at the curb was a perfectly good shelf unit. I knew with a little TLC and paint it would be perfect for my new studio! So, I threw the van in reverse, loaded it in the back and carried it right back to my house.
 As you can see, it was not much to look at. I would need to sand and paint and paint some more. Another problem I discovered was that it would not stand up by itself. I would need to bolt it to the wall. I just finished painting my studio the prettiest shade of turquoise so I wanted to paint the shelf a color that would give the room a vintage look. For some reason, it just felt right to paint it RED! And so I did and here is how it turned out!
I just threw a few "toys" on it, some old, some new, some old but new to me. I'm not really happy with the arrangement but I will work on it some more. I want to cover the magazine holders with some pretty coordinating paper and add a cute banner across the top too. Here's a closer look at some of the things I have on the shelf right now.
  One of my fav books growing up! Do you see that little hutch with the little books? It belonged to my great grandmother and the little books are actually matchboxes that held stationary items like gummed labels, tags etc. Believe it or not some of them still have the original contents!
I have had this clown marionette since I was very young and the little glass dog I bought with my very own allowance at the Five and Dime! So that it's for my first addition of Trash Talkin Tuesday I hope you enjoyed it! Nan

Monday, June 7, 2010

Update to Saturday's post

Saturday I told you about the deer that inhabit my yard. Well, I have some news about one deer in particular. First, I have to WARN you, this post and the following pictures are a little gross so if you are squeamish, you might want to look away! I'll count to 5 to give you a chance to leave the room or do what you need to do, 1...2...3...4...5

OK, so if you are still with me, I hope you find this fascinating. Sunday morning I was strolling around the yard and watching the deer eat the corn we put out for them when I noticed something very peculiar about one deer. He turned away from me so his rear end was facing me. At first I thought it was a male that had a serious problem with his, ahem, shall I say "male parts". But when I looked closer, I realized it was a female who had very recently given birth and she was in the process of expelling the afterbirth. We have lived here for almost 16 years and I have never seen this before, that's how rare an occasion it was. I had my camera with me, so I snapped a few pictures. They are not the best pictures though because I didn't want to get too close and scare her away. I'm so excited because hopefully, in a couple of weeks we will be seeing a new baby with the herd! I'll keep ya'll posted and snap pictures if I can. Here are the pics I took Sunday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Scripture in Pictures Sunday

Saturdays in the Garden

     I work full time so the only day I really get to spend any time in the garden is Saturday, hence the name of this post. I know, I'm a day late but I have a good excuse! My camera battery died so I was not able to upload the pictures yesterday.
     Spring in Charleston is my favorite time of year. Everything is so fresh, so new, so green! The promise of newly planted baby bedding plants...
Elephant Ears and Banana trees emerging from a long winters nap...
Well HELLO Mr. Tree Frog! Did you enjoy your hibernation? ...
The Hydrangeas are in full bloom...
The vegetable garden has been in about 7 weeks now and is looking great this year! ...
It won't be long now! I can't wait to bake these babies up in a yummy Tomato Pie! I'll share the recipe when I do...
Unfortunately, I am not the only one who notices how fresh and green everything looks! I am not alone in the garden...
In one night, they made a banquet out of my garden! For their appetizer, they sampled the Sweet Potato vine I was planning on putting in the flower boxes!
For the main course, they dined on my Cucumbers, at least the ones poking out the fence! ...
And for desert, they dined on the fresh new shoots of my Knockout Roses! ...
But I have secret weapons!
So, you must be panicked wondering what I am going to do to the deer with an electric kitchen knife, bamboo skewers and soap. Fear not! I love the deer, I just want to deter them. So.... I make Irish Spring lollipops! The deer can't stand the smell so it keeps them away. I cut the bars in half, using the electric knife, stick the skewer in the cut end, then stick the lollipops around the plants they like to eat! It works most of the time!
I hope you enjoyed this little walk in my garden! Nan

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Freebies!

Yeah! It's time for Friday Freebies!
     First up, my dear artist friend 
Audrey Jeanne is sharing these wonderful patriotic cards!

Stop by and leave AJ some hugs!

Next up the Executive Homaker is sharing these yummy popscicle tags!

Jo Ann Fabrics has a PDF file for this flower shower basket!

Mary Janes & Galoshes has a wonderful dress form she is sharing. I love how she has embellished it!
And finally for all you Scotty lovers, Bustle and Sew has the most adorable pattern for a Scotty Pillow!
 That's it for this week's Friday Freebies! I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures or my garden and some tips too!