Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Stroll

Today is one of those days we wished for all Summer long; low humidity and temperature in the 70's.  October weather has been more like September so Fall is holding back this year.  It was a great day to walk the neighborhood while sipping an iced coffee.



When you are not rushing to get back into air-conditioning, the front porches in the neighborhood become individual vignettes to appreciate as you pass by.


These beautiful paisly pillows were probably on this porch all summer but in the October's less intense light they came to life.


I love seeing an inviting front porch any time of the year.

It is a reminder to take the time to relax.  A little time spent rocking is time well spent.



The paint color on the trim is so complemented by the colors in the fern.


It's so lovely when the plants and flowers coordinate with the colors of the house.


Here is a case where the color of the house suits the season.


As the flowers taper off we are all the more impressed by the ones that are left.  Isn't this a great combination with the blue and orange?


And even when the flowers fade the beautiful pots become the focal point.




Another glorious container that adds some spice to an Autumn setting.



A few hydranga bushes survived the hot summer and continue to dazzel us with their beauty and grace.




The dusty colors of the late blooms are even more spectacular than the early pinks and blues.  But, I suppose, it just suits the time of year because I love those springy colors in the Spring too.





The leaves are changing to their Fall colors ever so slowly now.


And the wreaths on the doors have followed suit.


I found the reds, golds and oranges against this rich dark brown door especially stunning.


It wouldn't be October without seeing a few pumpkins.



This display covered all the bases....a jack-o-lantern with a witch's hat.




This lawn display covered a few bases as well.  Halloween awakens the creativity like no other holiday.


The ghoulish take on decorating was never my bag but it always amuses me to see how others really get into it.


I especially liked this fellow's expression.  He was sitting on the porch of what looked like an unoccupied home which made it even more errie.



And that ends my stroll through the neighborhood for today.  But I could not resist giving you this shot of...


what may very well be the "Last Rose of Summer."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Not Every One Is A Winner

I often see things on other blogs and I'm inspired to try my hand at something similar.  It's seldom something I need or even knew I would want.  But once I see it, I become slightly obsessed with making that photo 3-D for me.

This was one of those photographs.  It drew me in, got a good hold, and didn't let go.  And so the mission of collecting candlesticks and globes began.  I started by going through my own cabinets and followed that up with a few from the resale shops.

The globes to glue onto these candlesticks came mostly from one of my favorite "go-to" places.
The Habitat for Humanity Restore provided me with several globes at 50 cents a piece.  The guy behind the counter was determined that I would get these home without breaking them.  He wrapped them in paper and then whipped out his plastic wrap tool and proceeded to stretch it up, over, and around each stack until he was convinced nothing would move or shift on the trip home.
Sadly, I think he applied a little too much pressure with the plastic wrap and  one snapped.  No big deal.  That is why we keep glue on hand.

The rest survived the transport home.

More of that glue was used to attach the bases to the globes.  A few books kept the two parts tightly together until the glue had time to set. 
I actually found four matching globes at the Restore.


I think they will work very well in a variety of places.
But, I digress.  The initial purpose was to combine various sizes and styles of candle holders in one location.


I staged them first on the second floor mantel.  Too yellow for my taste and I couldn't tweak it away on Picasa.

This one accidentally turned out a little better.  Well that is except for the top of the lampshade reflected in the mirror.

I was trying all sorts of things to keep the reflections in the mirror from showing up in the photo.  I took pictures off the wall and laid lamps on their sides but I couldn't move doorways or a monsterous  armoire. 

After many, many tries I decided to move to another location on the first floor.
Proper lighting is one of my biggest roadblocks in getting good photos.

I tried several shots here too.  I wanted a direct center shot but the reflection of me and the camera in the mirror was a bit of a problem.


So I moved to a third location.  I took more pictures off the walls and moved more furniture and took a bigillion more pictures...none of which were that great.

So, if you are still with me, I'll tell you why I even bothered to publish this post.  Sometimes things just don't work out quite the way you think they will.  I have lots of lighting issues and camera issues.  I'm a novice in the photography department.  But, I also have other issues with this project.  I need larger globes and taller candle sticks and a super cool table to put them on.  Once I have all that, I need to hire a professional photographer to take the pictures. 

But for now, it's a wrap!  It all looks pretty nice in my 3-D world and that's going to have to be good enough.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Garden Lights

Last Saturday was a bonanza day for garage sales.  Of course, there were way more than I could possibly take in, but I managed to hit 28 before 10:30.  There were 14 in Compton Heights that opened at 9 a.m. so I had 11 under my belt by the time I got here.

It was at this point that it started to rain.  One homeowner was handing out umbrellas to her customers to keep them at her sale.  It worked for me.  I stayed long enough to poke thru a box and came up with these two mirrors.






Expect to see these in a later post when I figure out what I am doing with them.


The next stop was not offering umbrellas but I did find some little garden lights stuffed in a basket.  For obvious reasons I did not spend much time looking them over.  For $2 I didn't think I could go too far wrong.  I did have the seller plug them in to make sure they worked.  That is when he discovered I was also getting the extension cord for my two bucks.  I paid the man and started to gather them into my arms.  "Oh no," he said.  "If you don't take the basket I'll have to charge you more."  So, of course, I took the baset too.


Turns out there was a basket inside the basket and there were two sets of lights inside the baskets.  My $2 purchase seemed like a real bargain.



I knew from the get go that I wanted to paint my little lights.  I also knew that would require a bit of time to disassemble and reassemble them and I was prepared for that.

What I wasn't prepared for was the amount of rust.  But I was committed to seeing this through 'till the end.  It wasn't about the money, folks.  And it wasn't about the value when completed.  I was told they came from Restoration Hardware and if it was about my time I could have purchased new ones. 
 



So what 
is this
about,
really?




I think it's therapy.  Anyone reading this blog probably gets that, so further explanation isn't needed.

I removed the worst of the rust and coated them well with a good primer coat.
I chose a Montana paint #3160 called Better Times for the final coat.  I am counting on the name to be an omen for the future.



You can see by the lids that Better Times is a deep berry color.

I won't bore you with the reassembling.  Suffice it to say that getting four of those little plastic windows in place for 20 lights was not the therapy I was looking for.

But patience prevailed.


Once they were back together I strung them in my dogwood tree for pictures.  Let me just say that hanging anything is not my activity of choice.  As usual, I went for the effect first.  Getting the lights placed just where I wanted them only to find out the correct end for attaching my extension cord was at the very top vs the hidden option at the bottom.  Some shuffling and I was ready for "lights please."  #*//! Now what?  Determination won out over frustration and after some detective work, I figured out that the little red button on the outlet needed to be reset before I was going to have power.


Finally, a project that was completed in a day. 


I have so many projects that are on hold for various reasons that I really needed to take on something I knew I could finish.



I am finding that getting good photos of finished works is tougher than it looks.  Sometimes the set up takes longer than the refinishing of the project itself.  Turns out that looking through the view finder was not sufficient enough for me to notice the ORANGE extension cord draped across the lawn.










And for those times we have cropping.  Maybe not the shot I wanted but, live and learn.


All in all, I think I got my $2 worth of fun.

I have entered  "Paint Something A Fun Color" at:



Funky Junk Interiors