Sunday, October 28, 2012


After 26 years, it was time for a new roof.  Thank goodness the insurance company agreed!  Here is the before picture on the day they loaded the new shingles onto the roof.
We decided to change the color of the roof to onyx.  And, of course, then I wasn't satisfied with the current paint scheme (even though the house didn't need painting!).   I have a terrible time picking out paint colors.  So, I just went to, and found a house with a black roof and a color scheme I liked.  And then just went with it -- the body is SW2827 (Colonial Revival Stone); the trim is SW2829 (Classical White); the door is SW2802 (Rookwood Red); and the shutters are SW6258 (Tricorn Black).  It took Bob a month to paint, but we are pleased with the result.
 I've never liked the flimsy, fake original shutters on the house.  We couldn't justify the cost of putting up working shutters -- no hurricanes in Colorado and frontier raids are a thing of the past.  Shutters in this area are more just an architectural detail to keep the facade of 1980s ranch-style houses from looking so flat.   Below, is a before collage of the flimsy, louvered shutters and the after with the new paneled shutters that Bob built.  Much better!!!!

   Halloween also begins for us in the summer when Wyatt and his Papa Bob plant the pumpkin seeds in the garden.  After watering and watching all summer, they pick a day in October to harvest their crop.
  Then it is time to construct their annual display on our front porch.  This usually includes a pumpkin man after a dig through our bottomless costume box; a trip to get corn stalks; and, of course, lunch out.  
 It always takes a lot of activity to keep this 10-year-old occupied.  So, this week he and I had a session in the kitchen decorating Halloween cupcakes.  We made bats and skeletons this year.
 Even though Caitlin is getting older (at 16); she and I did have some kitchen time making Frankensteins for her friends.
These Halloween kitchen crafts came from the website.
I can't believe that it is almost November - a time for family birthdays and Thanksgiving.  Can Christmas be far behind?

I'll be joining the following parties -- please check these blogs out and tell them how much you appreciate their efforts!
 Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Northern Cottage for Partytime Tuesday
Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursday
Designs By Gollum for Foodie Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Monday, October 22, 2012


A lot of things in our home have a story -- this is one!

This wash stand was purchased by my grandparents when they were first married in the early 1900s.  At first, it was used as originally designed in a small farm house without indoor plumbing.  The compartment on the lower right housed the chamber pot!
The top held a wash basin and a pitcher of water along with  other needs for your morning ritual.  It served my grandparents as such until they built the new, large farmhouse with INDOOR plumbing in the early 1920s.  The little washstand was still used as storage and remained in my father's childhood bedroom until the 1960s.
 By 1961, Bob and I had been married for three years and were about to finally graduate from college and move to our first unfurnished apartment.  I was scrounging for furniture as we had nothing.  Grandma said we could have the washstand.  At some point, there had been a small fire at the farmhouse -- just a lot of smoke damage.  Grandma's solution to the smoke smell was to paint everything (two or three times!!).  So we inherited the washstand with several coats of paint on it.  No one in the 1960s embraced painted chippy furniture, so I proceeded to strip and refinish the wash stand.  In doing so, I realized that the towel bar was missing, but we still enjoyed the storage it provided for a lot of years.
 Fast forward twenty years -- In the intervening years Grandma had moved out of the farmhouse.  My parents had moved in; then subsequently sold the farm.  Another five years had passed, and the farm was for sale again.  At this time, my Dad told me that the house was empty; and asked if I wanted to go see it with him.  It was an eerie experience seeing the old house after other people had lived there; and it was completely empty -- not even a curtain rod left -- just a lot of dust bunnies.  Daddy and I toured every room reliving old memories.  We were ready to leave when I decided to take a look in the attic.  I couldn't believe my eyes -- there on a nail on a rafter was hanging the towel bar for my washstand.  Not another thing left in that huge, old house, after all those years but my TOWEL BAR!!  I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
The washstand has now resided in our home for over 50 years, 30 of those years reunited with its original towel bar.  Today, it is holding things that remind me of the old farm --
 including the chamber pot that my Dad "borrowed" from the Shirley Savoy Hotel in Denver on his senior class trip in 1931.

Please check out the following blogs for a bunch of inspiration.
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursday
No Minimalist Here for Thursday Open House
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday
Homespun Happenings for Rustic Restorations Weekend

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


 Are you familiar with Monk's Cloth?  I think it is primarily used for Swedish Embroidery, but in the 1930s-1940s my grandmother made anything and everything out of Monk's Cloth -- curtains, pillows, dresser scarves, porch cushions, etc.  It must have been like the burlap/drop cloth fabric of the era!

I didn't know if it was still available, so I decided to go on a search.
 That was easy!  I found it at my local Wal-Mart for $8 per yard.  It is 60 inches wide, but I could tell from its loose weave that it would have to be washed in hot water and dried to avoid shrinkage in the finished project. 

 Here it is after the wash/dry process.  It did shrink up quite a bit, but it now has a really soft, nice texture.
I decided to do something simple with my piece, so I made a runner and lined it with a piece of neutral toile fabric.
 Because of the loose weave, it really makes an interesting self-fringe.
Here it is with the toile side up.
I'm joining the following parties  -- please check them out for a bunch of inspiration.
Creative Things Thursday at The Vintage Farmhouse
Share Your Cup Thursday at Jann Olson
Home Sweet Home Friday at The Charm of Home
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Tuesday Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, October 11, 2012


One of my new favorite things to do is work with recycled wool. I enjoyed working on my Penny Rug project (click here), so thought I would try a similar project by making a pillow.
 Before I could finish it up, I had to go in search of some more wool for the cording.  A trip to Goodwill yielded two wool skirts - one a nice Pendleton red plaid and the other, a pleated teal plaid skirt from Scotland.  I deconstructed the skirts, then felted them in a hot wash and dry.  There was a lot of yardage hidden in those pleats.  If new, the wool would have been close to $100 -- I paid $8 for the two skirts.
 I used the red plaid to make the cording for the pillow.  The brown wools were the result of previous trips to Goodwill.  Can you guess where the assorted small squares of plaids and checks are from?
 When out looking at new fabric, I always pick up those free little samples attached to the end of the bolt with a safety pin.  Some of these are from Nell Hills in Kansas City, some from Denver Fabrics, etc. etc.  I know, I have no shame!
The embroidery was done in a blanket stitch and a herringbone stitch using #5 Perle cotton.

I'll be joining in the following blog parties:
Home Sweet Home Friday - The Charm of Home
Vintage Inspiration Friday - Common Ground
Feathered Nest Friday - French Country Cottage
Saturday Nite Special - Funky Junk Interiors
Metamorphosis Monday - Between Naps on the Porch
 Nifty Thrifty Tuesday - Coastal Charm
Tweak It Tuesday - Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesdays - Savvy Southern Style
Transformation Thursday - The Shabby Creek Cottage
Thursday Open House Party - No Minimalist Here

Monday, October 8, 2012


I've never claimed to be a decorator -- I'm an accumulator!  After 54 years of marriage, we have accumulated a lot of stuff.  WE, as in Bob and I -- he is just as bad as I am.  I don't think we are hoarders, as we make an effort to keep it all clean, organized, and tastefully displayed.  That's always been our family joke -- it's o.k. as long as it is done tastefully!!  I'm sure there are those who would disagree in our level of taste.

Here is an example of one of my accumulations, and an effort to decorate with meaning.
Growing up, we had a family friend who was a traveling salesman who peddled Solitaire Coffee and was also quite the jokester.  It was always a fun day when Al popped into town to canvas the local grocery stores with his wares.  I looked for a long time before I found an old Solitaire Coffee jar.  
I wanted one to house part of my accumulation of things numbered '15'.  I've always thought '15' was a special number; after all, it is the day of the month that I was born.
The number 15 Bingo card, the cash register number, and the number 15 cue ball all bring up fun teenage memories.
A house decorated with meaningful objects is imperative for us. We love the feelings they evoke.
For anything to occupy space in our house, it must be either useful or meaningful -- it doesn't necessarily have to be beautiful.  Sorry, William Morris, meaningful trumps beautiful any day at the Salmagundi household.

By the way, an unknown fact -- I'm a Solitaire card playing addict.  As an only child, I learned to play Solitaire at the age of 7 to keep myself occupied.  I found college kind of boring, so entertained myself with Solitaire; and to this day I play probably about 20 games each day (except now on the computer).  Now, you know my real addiction!

Please check out the following parties that I'll be linking up to this week.
Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
Jann Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Thursday, October 4, 2012


This is another one of those 'shopping from the garage' posts.  This unique little tool box came from an estate sale a couple of years ago.  It is actually three boxes in one.
 It functions because of this unusual hinge.
 Opening the lid reveals the first box; then that box becomes the lid for the second box; and, finally, the second box becomes the lid for the third box.
 What a treasure -- they just don't make packaging like that anymore!
By the way, this is the only touch of Fall decorating I've done around here this year.  Just lazy, I guess, but I'm sure enjoying the cool weather!

I will be linking up to the following blogs this week for their always entertaining parties.
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
No Minimalist Here for Thursday Open House Party

Monday, October 1, 2012


My favorite granddaughter turns 16 years old this week.
Her love affair with shoes started at a young age -- especially those with some bling!
Her mother hates to shop, so I've been the designated shopper for this cutie pie over the years.  But, I about lost the title last year when she and I came home with these sparkly high heels.  The family just about decided that Caitlin and I couldn't be trusted to shop for shoes.  She was so excited as we picked out her first homecoming dress, then these shoes.  I couldn't resist.
It's not just the fancy shoes that tickle her.  Her sock wardrobe is beyond belief.  Even a pair of plain grey Keds are paired with hot pink socks.
 Purple socks are a necessity to jazz up your running shoes at a 5K race.
And, plaid shoes are perfect for any occasion.
Last week, the family agreed we could go shopping for some happy 16th birthday shoes.  Caitlin told me on the way to the city that she thought some black pumps would look fabulous with skinny jeans.  I knew then what we were going to come home with -- it was out of my control!
When you are tall anyway, 6" heels puts you easily over 6 feet.  Being short myself, I don't know how anyone walks up in that rarefied air anyway.  But, she does it like she has done it for years.   We'll see if the family ever lets us go shoe shopping again.

Where have the years gone?  I pine for the day I bought these cute, little Mary Janes.  Check out those socks with the hint of red tights.  I wonder where she learned how to choose her shoes and socks?
Happy Birthday,  Caitlin.  May you always walk strong and tall!