Friday, May 20, 2011

link drop +

Meet our neighbor: Stapleton
Can't. Even. Deal.
These are incredible (thanks Emily!)
One of these days I'm going to try to tie dye.
Made one of these this week:

And, in case it's not already obvious, I joined recently:

User name: gettofixin
online here and here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

snug harbor

Two Sundays ago we spent some time at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.  There was a plant sale and I took the opportunity to stock up on some plants for the garden.  I picked up some small dahlias, European wild ginger, some dusty miller for the window boxes, a pink iris (Beverly Sills,) cherry tomatoes (to grow in pots this time around,) and trollius (alabaster.)  It was a little hard to resist buying more.

A little background history on Snug Harbor via their website:
"Robert Richard Randall, Snug Harbor Cultural Center’s founder and benefactors’ bequest of 1801, created Sailors’ Snug Harbor’s original three buildings as a “haven for aged, decrepit and worn out sailors.” Over the next century, Snug Harbor expanded to 50 structures and 900 residents from every corner of the world. By the turn of the 20th century, Snug Harbor was the richest charitable institution in the United States and a self-sustaining community composed of a working farm, dairy, bakery, chapel, sanatorium, hospital, music hall and cemetery."
Snug Harbor currently has many garden spaces including a beautiful peony garden.

There are tons of lovely old growth trees as well.  I believe these are sycamore trees:

The Chinese Scholar's Garden  was open and had free admission for the day.  Neither of us had ever been there before so we decided to check it out.  To enter the garden you pass through one of the Victorian cottages on Cottage Row (currently a gift shop) and walk down a path.  All of a sudden you will come to a forest of bamboo.

I must admit I was a little intimidated by the bamboo.  It was beautiful but whenever the wind blew and the stalks touched my shoulders I wondered if the bamboo somehow knew what we did to its relatives!
After passing through the bamboo we came upon the garden complex:

I think the photos say it all. Breathtaking.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just like starting over.

It is May.  How is it possible that my last post was from Christmas of last year?  I’m not sure where the time went or why I’ve been finding it so hard to post.  I realize there’s blogging etiquette – you should inform your readers that you’re taking a leave of absence from posting, but I didn’t know I’d be gone for so long.   Things have happened around the house – nothing amazing – but I do have some photos to share nonetheless.
Recently, Fernando spent a day cutting out the chain link fence that was crowding the hedge out front.

The hedge was really cramped and parts of it had started to wrap itself around the chain link.

Exactly the look we were going for:  much less ghetto.

We will be removing the rest of the fence at a later date and replacing it with a vintage wrought iron fence and gate.  I'm wishing for something like this:

photo found here.

I hope the privet will finally have the opportunity to grow in fuller along the bottom.  There was a wrought iron fence in front of the house before the privet hedge was planted.  I think it will go well with the new urn we purchased for the front garden from Martin Viette:

We needed something to place the urn on and remembered that there was a square piece of bluestone in the backyard that used to be under another stone.  I think it was a horse mounting block.  Since we don't ride horses in our backyard, I thought using it under the planter would be a good reuse.  I'll probably add the actual step to the side garden in the future since we've also been using the old tie ring (which was set in concrete) there as a corner stone. 
Speaking of horses... mounted Police near the house today!
Anyway... the urn weighed a ton and it took three of us to carry it from the car to the grass.
I really loved how it turned out and immediately wanted a pair of matching urns for either side of the front porch. 
The next evening Fernando attended an auction and surprised me by bringing these home:

They needed a some sprucing up since they were a little rusty in a few areas:

He also painted them a nice glossy black and we planted them over the weekend. 

They're not out on the porch yet because we're having the porch, columns, lattice and vestibule painted this week!  Well, I'm not sure if it will be finished this week but it is being worked on:

If only I could decide which color goes where and what color to paint the front door?
Coming up: more on sprucing up the garden and more exterior painting. 
Upcoming stories: the night the house became a gas station, a friend in the chimney and a ghostly visit! 

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas (or Happy Weekend!)

A happy tree:

Wish we could light these:

On the mirror:


First attempt (ever) at making truffles:

Samichlaus, in the glass:

Currently on the needle:

All in all a very good Christmas Eve!

Monday, October 18, 2010

shutters up.

Do you ever obsess over what should be the simplest things? I had such a hard time trying to choose the shutter dogs for our shutters. I didn't even realize there was a choice in such things (or that they were even called shutter dogs) until I started to look for them. I did so much online research and drive by photo snapping that I ended up with a folder full of photos - of shutter dogs!
Taken in Princeton, NJ over the summer; propeller:
Rat tails:

"S" variety:
"S" variety mounted on the side:
Taken in Historic Richmondtown, Staten Island, NY:
Scroll variety:

Crude yet minimal replacement on the same building:

For our own shutters, we've chosen the "S" variety. This is really more a choice of economy rather than an actual decision. We happened across two new old stock sets of "S" shutter dogs at a yard sale a few weeks back. They were $1 a box! It looks like we even saved 60 cents on the original price.

As of last week, the shutters are finally up on the house.

We now also have 7 different colors of paint on the house. This is the first time I've seen the grey we chose against the house. I love it. I'm not a "paint a patch and see what it looks like" kind of person - I chose this from a tiny swatch and bought it all at once. Relief.

We still need to find shutters for the upper floors. The other shutters we inherited had too much rot to salvage. Now, I can start obsessing over shutters.