Saturday, October 4, 2014

What's going on around MS&R

What's going on around MS&R's headquarters:
We (I) did a quick, guerrilla style make-over of the worlds grossest bathroom (my opinion, not verified by Guinness). The post is in progress and is almost as long as War and Peace. I guess it needs some editing.

We're (I'm) selling again on Ebay. Right now I have some of my Grandpa's fishing gear, offered in lots. I managed to grab it from my Uncles' barn the last time I visited, & am selling it on his behalf. I made the fishing montage for the auction listing and is quite the timeline.

The Etsy shop should reopen soon as well.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


I love the look of exposed beams, but sometimes (such as when you have 7 foot ceilings)  a coat of whitewash is preferred.

Here are some of my favorite examples:

Monday, June 9, 2014

A slight detour

We are adding to the fold. When my dad died in 2012, Mom wasn't sure where she wanted to live. She is less than two miles away in a condo they had purchased only two years before he died, but it doesn't feel like home and she is lonely there. Two miles might be too close for some mothers and adult daughters, but for us  it is too far when the satellite remote isn't working, the toilet is leaking, or someone has locked themselves out. My house is too small & we considered selling both homes to buy something together, but there is nothing suitable in our area. Plus, we really love the house and neighborhood. Instead, we've decided to sell her condo, and then launch a remaking of this little abode.

One of the greatest challenges will be creating a comfortable, accessible, space for Mom to live while maintaining the charm of an antique cape. It's a big challenge, but I think we can do this. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We now return to the regularly scheduled program

No posts for  a year!

Not because I haven’t done anything—I've been busy with project after project and fall into bed exhausted every night. It’s because in my world of flexible design, projects seem to morph and mutate and few come to a solid, photograph-able, post-worthy end.

Do your projects ever do that?

At least there were two projects that made the cut: Terrariums for Christmas presents

 In case you're wondering, I meant to put Frodo and Gandalf outside Sam's house, because everyone knows Bilbos' door is green, Sam's is yellow. Duh.  Also, apparently moss doesn't require a lot of soil, so the 4 inches of base was a bit redundant. I should know that, but plants don't survive long in my care.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Garden inspiration

My favorite gardens feel natural and wild, filled with lush greenery, moss, aged and weathered stones, and have little to mow.


and more, on Pintrest

on ice

We are having a couple of days of thunderstorms so are staying in and snuggling on the sofa. This dog is super high strung but every so often she lets herself chill.  

Digging a hole 2.0

We dug up the remainder of the bricks and underneath found what is most likely an old well that had been filled in and used as a rubbish dump. The curved blocks are granite and would be quite attractive in the yard. I'm tempted to keep digging, but we are preparing to leave soon for a lengthy summer adventure and it would be unwise to leave an unattended, gaping hole. For now we will fill it in and wait for the right time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Digging a hole

We tried to garden today, just Olive and I. I haven’t gardened in a few years and need to re-assert dominance over the invasive plants currently having a party in the back yard.  Gardening as someone with SLE has a couple of challenges. First, we are all basically allergic to sun exposure.  That means wearing 100 SPF, long sleeves and big floppy hats. It also helps to work in the early morning or late afternoon, to avoid the strongest rays.  The other challenge is stamina so projects need to broken into 1hour pieces. 

This short work window means cutting the project list to the most essential, so here are my top 3:

  • Build stone or brick pathways and a patio area large enough to set out the Brown Jordan furniture inherited when my parents moved.
  •  Plant lots of native plants and flowers to create a wild meadow look—and minimize the need to mow.
  • Put out containers to grow some veggies. I’m hoping I can move them with the sun and maybe have tomatoes by late summer.

We started to dig a deep hole in order to bury the huge pile of dandelion carcasses pulled up this week.  The plan was to bury them too deep to germinate and then to transplant day lilies on top of that mess, because daylilies seem be able to grow anywhere. But around here, plans have a way of morphing into never ending projects. I picked a spot where the leaves have piled up and nothing seems to grow there but bumblebees and nightshade.  Digging is Olive’s favorite sport. If you could see her face you would see she is grinning gleefully.

Just a few shovelfuls and we hit brick.  This is the second house I’ve lived where a previous owner has buried bricks in the yard. I suspect our missing chimneys are buried out here somewhere and thought I had found part of one but these aren’t chimney bricks, plus they’re stacked five high, and form a circle.

Aren't they lovely? I wonder how many other people have a patio buried in their yard?