SUMMER KITCHEN PROJECT

My latest project is to re-organize the front room of the basement to make a transition to the primitive barn porch. My brainstorm was to create a faux’ summer kitchen with primitives and use it for storage. Cupboards and cabinets would be ideal for hiding my overflow while giving me a display area for canned goods and charming collectables. Here are some inspiration pictures.

We have a rustic table and chairs and white cupboards.

We have a rustic table and chairs and white cupboards.

I also have pallets to make signs .

I also have pallets to make signs .

As you can tell I am thinking mostly white because it is, after all, the basement with only one small window.

As you can tell I am thinking mostly white because it is, after all, the basement with only one small window.

I have hooks, boards and lanterns.

I have hooks, boards and lanterns.

I also have a primitive red cupboard.

I also have a primitive red cupboard.

ab68dbd2575ded0857ddff4cf9dc0f80

We may need to get a cat. They add so much charm.

I also have a pump and laundry tubs and graniteware.

I also have a pump and laundry tubs and graniteware.

Most importantly we have a cast iron wood-burning stove, but in tan. It cannot be vented for actual use but will look charming.

Most importantly we have a cast iron wood-burning stove, but in tan. It cannot be vented for actual use but will look charming.

 

Finally I also have a pie safe only in wood with white tin panels.  That will work, or I can paint it white too.

Finally I also have a pie safe only in wood with white tin panels. That will work, or I can paint it white too.

I HAVE A LOT TO WORK WITH. I AM INSPIRED. LOTS OF WORK MAKING-OVER AND SHIFTING AROUND…FINISHED PICTURES TO COME THIS FALL.

Posted in Cottage lifestyle | Tagged | 2 Comments

COMING ON APPLES

Winesap Apples Just Beginning to Blush

Winesap Apples Just Beginning to Blush

The apple trees are standing full of fruit as a prelude to autumn. Every other year it is what we call a heavy season. The fruit isn’t very large but the crop is plentiful, bending the branches into graceful arches and creating shady canopies for the garden swing and hammock.

Is it Granny Smith? Yellow Delicious? We don't know. But they are great for eating and cooking.

Is it Granny Smith? Yellow Delicious? We don’t know. But they are great for eating and cooking.

When fully ripe they have a blush around the stem...can't be Granny Smith which are all apple green.  HMMMMMMM

When fully ripe they have a blush around the stem…can’t be Granny Smith which are all apple green. HMMMMMMM

I pick these when still slightly green for pies and apple sauce. I like the tart taste. Out in the chapel garden are more heavily-burdened trees. I believe we have Rome and Yellow Delicious in the grove, another small Winesap, and another tree I have not identified. My husband’s special Red Delicious tree is a dwarf that is planted picturesquely near the pond. It is a picture with its arched and laden branches weeping toward the water, reflecting the red fruit.

Posted in Cottage Gardening, Cottage lifestyle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SUMMER PROJECT – Sunroom Balcony

So…we have now had our French doors in the sunroom for over a year. Building codes require that if a door goes out to, well, NOTHING as in our case, a deck or balcony or stairs must be built. We fully intended all along to put in a balcony for pond-and-goose watching. This summer my hubby tackled it. I thought it was only fair he rest over one winter; after all, he laid a complete stone patio with retaining wall last summer. He has said on more than one occasion, “I am getting too old for this.”

1. After pouring footings for two support beams with the help of our son, he screwed stringers against the barn wall under the doors the width of the new balcony. By the way, I did not want a balcony or deck with a staircase. For one thing that would mean tracking in from outside directly into the great room. I prefer we come through the mud room in the lower level. I also did not want another easily accessible entrance to our home from the back side of the barn, even though we have it lit with a security light.
2. He then ran joist across to the stringers and bolted them to the supports. That was the hardest part and I helped by holding beams, etc. in place while hubby leveled and used the screw driver.
3. Our son helped him finish all the floor joist. That was an all-day job. Hubby had already done the tricky part where joist had to go around a curve to accommodate our brick farm silo. ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE PARTS OF THIS PROJECT IS USING THE COLLAR OF THE SILO AS THE FOUNDATION FOR TWO OF THE SUPPORT BEAMS. The deck skirts the silo, enabling him to use the curved side as a wall instead of a railing at one end as well. We love the fact that our unique garden element–a 100-year-old silo–will be incorporated into the balcony.
4. The balcony is long enough to span the back of the barn from the French doors in the sun room to an emergency door we had installed in the dining room when our home was a shop. That door also went out to a drop but it was only an emergency exit. Now it will be another entrance to the balcony making outside eating very convenient.
5. Today hubby is putting in additional angle supports to make sure those extremely heavy support beams decide never to move.

The next step is the “fun part,” he said–putting on the decking. After that, all that will be left is the railing. It definitely needs a strong railing as it is an 8-foot drop to the ground.

Following are pictures of the balcony in progress.
IM007956

View of silo "wall" from the upstairs.

View of silo “wall” from the upstairs.

Posted in Cottage Projects | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pics for Pinterest – Door County

I am not terribly computer savvy, so the only way I have found to transfer pictures from my files to my Pinterest boards is to print them in my WordPress blog first! So, enjoy a few shots of our July-Aug. 2014 trip to Door County, Wisconsin.

Flowers at The White Gull Inn, Fish Creek

Flowers at The White Gull Inn, Fish Creek

20140801_090247

The Cedar Court Inn in Fish Creek is composed of an older inn house, guest houses and a motel bank. Cedar Court also offers nearby complete homes for rental.

The Orchard House, Blacksmith Inn on he Shore, Bailey's Harbor The Orchard House, Blacksmith Inn on he Shore, Bailey’s Harbor[/caption]

The Blacksmith inn barn and swing.  Bicycles that are for the use of guests are stored here.

The Blacksmith inn barn and swing. Bicycles that are for the use of guests are stored here.

Posted in Cottage lifestyle | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Flowers of Door County

For whatever reason, and even the locals do not know, the flowers in Door County, Wisconsin, are especially lush this season. One resident said everything came up large and full. We benefited from the beautiful blooms. I found myself snapping pictures of the landscaping instead of Lake Michigan and Green Bay.
20140801_090057
The flowers are particularly charming against the backdrop of white picket fences and arbors which are common in the village of Fish Creek.
20140801_090406

It truly was a relaxing escape to Door County. I could not help but take notes as research for a new book. It is an inspiring place. If you have not yet read my latest Door County love story, find it on Amazon.com

Door_County_Escape_Cover_for_Kindle

DOOR COUNTY ESCAPE is available in soft cover or Kindle e-book format for Kindle reader, PC or I-phone apps. A delightful page turner for your summer escape! Suitable for young adults.

Posted in Cottage Gardening, Serendipitous Travel | Tagged | Leave a comment

Herbs in the Rafters

DRYING HERBS IN THE KITCHEN CEILING

DRYING HERBS IN THE KITCHEN CEILING

The rafters are beginning to fill in the great room kitchen. I use dill, rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano in cooking. Once they are dry, they are crushed and placed in canning jars for winter storage. It is a really colorful display because of the hanging everlastings I also use to fashion dried wreaths in the fall. As of July the lamb’s ear, yellow yarrow, lady’s mantle, rose hips, hops, larkspur, white yarrow, roses, bay laurel, tansy and sour dock are harvested. In the next months I will add the wormwoods and golden rod.

Fresh dill in my bread & butter pickles is delicious. Next on the canning agenda is pickled bean salad to preserve some of our green beans. I love having a full pantry.

FRESH DILL FROM THE GARDEN

FRESH DILL FROM THE GARDEN

Posted in Cottage Gardening | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A ROOM WITH A VIEW

VIEW FROM THE LOFT

VIEW FROM THE LOFT

The view from the third-floor loft looks down on a summer garden more green than the typical Illinois July. Consistent rainfall has blessed us with vivid flowers and lush lawns. No summer burnout this season. How delicious to think fall color will refresh the green palette before drought does.

Posted in Cottage Gardening | Tagged | Leave a comment