Friday, September 28, 2012

Beddy Bye

So in lieu of showing you how depressingly torn-up our yard and street are, here are pictures of our new comforter. 

We've had our old comforter, "The Velvet Fog" for ages now.  Probably about ten years?

But I thought maybe it would be nice to lighten up the bedroom a little bit.  The Velvet Fog still lays at the bottom of the bed for cold nights.

I think the light comforter cheers the room.  And you can see the tree design on the bed better.

Okay, I can't resist...I have to show you one picture of our swamp-people yard. 

See those metal plates down on the mud?  Yeah...that's our "yard" actually.  The stone in the front corner was originally on the corner to keep people from cutting the corner....about 4-5 feet further out into the corner.  It's really hard to remind myself "think of how nice the road will look when it's done. :(

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Creepy-Corner Cottage Year II

Welcome one and all to the second year of Creepy-Corner Cottage, the time of year every autumn when our normally fairy tale abode gets a dark twist in preparation for All Hallows Eve.

This year we chose to go with a bit more eerie and spooky, and a bit less colorful, version of decorating than last year

But our best Halloween decoration stays out year round....the eponymous black cat of the cottage, Corvin:

In the entry, we liberally scattered the paper bats that were in our dining room last year.  Our Art Nouveau house spirit even got her own mask above the doorway.

Our entry table set up included a lovely new pashmina Tom's parents bought me in autumn colors.

The bust on the table got a little felt mask made for her, and an elegant Halloween topper.

The decorations on here are simple this year, a couple of pieces of Coleus with roots growing, perhaps for next year, and a crow on a pumpkin.

We saved the oomph in the entry for this eerie lovely mini-mirror.  I've wanted to try this craft ever since I read about it on Epbot last year, and the mirror spray was my biggest splurge in Halloween decorating money.

I just did a write-up on Domythic Bliss about making one of these, although it's pretty self-explanatory.  I really love how it turned out...elegantly eerie, just as I like.

More bats in the entry, with some pumpkins on the floor.

Thanks to Pinterest I had a few new ideas for our mantle this year. 

And I'm really happy with how they turned out.

A miniature skeleton from the dollar store sits on a bed of moss and displays a scroll that proclaims "R.I.P."

I buy these Seven-Day candles from the Dollar Tree on a regular basis year round anyway since they give you so much candle power bang for your (literal) buck.  But I loved the idea of adding the letters for simple Halloween messages.  Thanks, Pinterest. 

Here you can also see the glow in the dark snakes I added to a bit of creepy spanish moss in an apothecary jar.

The other side has a pale mouse in pale moss, and another candle message:

A crow, again from the dollar store, has a scroll that proclaims "Nevermore"

These pictures really don't do the mantle justice...with all of the candles lit at night, it looks haunting.

Witches fly in silhouette around our lampshade:

The black cat hidden in ivy and La Ghirlandata both get masks.

A crow perches on one of the plants on the table in the bay window.

We found this vintage Halloween bunting at a local antique shop, and couldn't resist it. 

(Eventually we're getting two side chairs for either side of this space...just waiting to find the perfect pair)

I mean, how can you resist this?

Above the television this year, our seasonal set of pictures are eerie portraits I found from Facebook.

In our foresty-muralled dining room, I added bundles of spanish moss to the tree twig candelabras, and perched three crows on the display.  Again, simple and hopefully eerie.

The front porch has a sheaf of corn, a blackened twig wreath with dancing skeletons, a half-dead and hostile plant, and a Creepy-Corner Cottage sign.

We found this magnolia branch on a forest walk in June, and I thought the soft "thorns" on it looked deliciously hostile.  Pointing toward the guest walking onto our porch, it's a clear sign that danger is ahead.  The handpainted Creepy-Corner Cottage sign proclaims that all black cats are welcome.

Night time is when the letters in the window really turn magical.

So there you have it!  Creepy-Corner Cottage 2012!  Have you decorated yet?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pretty and Reality

A few new pictures around Catty-Corner.

After saving an inspiration picture from a blog about the houses of Carmel-on-the-Sea, I bought this metal door pocket basket at my favorite craft store vendor, and filled it with Asters.  I lined it with plastic so I should be able to keep it for a little while.  Although the door pocket is a lot smaller than the one in the inspiration photo, I think it adds a bit of cheer to the back gate.

At the Dawes Arboretum Perennial sale yesterday I picked up this "Hot Lips" Pink Turtlehead plant.  I had never heard of them, but it was so pretty I couldn't resist it.  The flowers really do look like tubular turtle heads with "jaws" the bees love to go into and get pollen.   (this is a real bee attractor apparently)  The roots have to stay continuously wet as it gets established, and it prefers shade or dappled shade, so I'm thinking of planting it right under our back yard Hawthorn.  What do you think?

The front flower beds are doing really well.  The Asters are especially lovely right now.  

And I'd say our bean vine came in pretty well this year.  I'm still debating if next year I want to plant a bean vine on our arbor again, or do Clematis.  I was pretty sure I wanted Clematis, but the bean vine is just looking so pretty....

Now, instead of the pretty, the reality.  The above soothing shot of our arbor?  Here's a shot of the reverse view:

Here's our side yard along our fence line by the road.  Yes, that "dirt" is partially our yard, not the road.

And here's the stylish plate across the end of our driveway where it cracked under the heavy machinery.

They are doing heavy roadwork on our two quiet little dead-end streets we live on.  The good news is ...when it's all done we'll have better rain drainage and brand new paved roads.  Plus the road crew have been super polite and courteous.  And we've been assured backward and forward that they will repair *all* damage done to property by the construction.  One morning I went outside and talked to the crew manager, asking him a few details about the job.  I wanted to make sure he didn't think our picket fence would be destroyed, and expressed to him my concern over protecting it.  Apparently he took it to heart, as our retired neighbor told me on Friday that he was shouting to the crew that day to "be careful of the fence!  Don't touch it!"  The deep ruts start just barely inches from the fence in some places, so I really appreciate the concern and care he showed.

But man, I can't wait till all this is over.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Tree Time

Today I had a day off work, so I painted another tree on the bedroom wall.  This one is on the corner near the bed.

Eventually this side with the blank branches is going to be "hung" with different sizes of oval frames, featuring formal "portraits" of forest animals. 

I told my Grandma today that the chrysanthemum I planted last year in memoriam of my Uncle is huge.  Here's proof for her.  She knows what size my purse is, so I put it in there for size reference.  We're going to have to move and replant the azalea next to can see it's taking its space over!

Are these mum buds for the flowers?  I hope so.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Flower Editing

No, this is not one of those "spot the difference" photos.  I'll straight-up tell you the difference in these two shots (other than Corvin being in one and not the other).  It was bothering me that the flowers I painted in the entry looked just a little too dark and too cluttered.  So I photoshopped a little to see, and convinced myself that by eliminating the top two flowers above the very top one, it cleaned up the whole design and made it seem more symmetrical, which was the whole point of painting these anyway.  Today I got out the wall paint and painted over the top two flowers, and I'm really happy with how it looks (picture on the right).  Click to see larger.

I also added little touches of a lighter blue to the flowers to make them a little more interesting.

And we put curtains up in the dining room!

A Matter of Perspective

Yesterday morning I found myself in a semi-funk and posted to Facebook:

So, you know how sometimes you work on a painting or a project of any sort and you get so wrapped up in it and close to it that you can't be objective anymore, or even know if it's great or awful? Imagine a project as big as your house (that IS your house) you've been obsessed with for over a year. I am so at that point now. 

 I was starting to lack perspective and to doubt all the decisions I had made.  And then last night I got a wake-up call in the form of two rabbits in our back yard.  As I looked out at them silhouetted against the street light, I rejoiced that they came to our back yard, and was grateful that we had a space with fences that made them feel protected and safe.  I thought about the fawn I saw the night before, curled up under the tree in our front yard to keep dry from the rainstorm.  And it hit me all of a sudden that a home is about so much more than just finding the right curtains to match the dining room (which I just did,  A home is about providing and nurturing a space where living creatures, human or otherwise, feel safe and protected.  And I felt gratitude for every unfinished space and unpainted wall in this wonderful house we call home.