My Latest Obsession

Earlier this fall, Tarin told me about this great estate sale in the village that she found and asked if I would mind taking our truck up to pick up the chair and other things she purchased. As pulled up to the sale I noticed wicker furniture in the drive along with mismatched chairs of all occasions. We loaded Tarin’s finds into the truck and she encouraged me to walk around as she took a second glance.

As I walked into the screened sunroom, there were more chairs. And there it was–this darling mid-century sofa with eccentric floral cushions. I fell in love.

Of course, the price tag was in love with the sofa as well. The hefty price almost had me walking away but Tarin recommended I ask if they’d come down. A little negotiation and the sofa was mine and in the truck.

Originally, I planned to put it in the basement guest room but decided that I liked it too much to have it stuffed away in the basement. I mean look at this print! I screams for a spot with a view.

Note: This basement guest room is still a work in progress. Not pictured, the rainforest and macaw print border at the top of the wall.

The glass porch/office/studio came with white wicker furniture–the only furniture the previous homeowners left in the house. We were so thankful for the furniture too, as our moving truck took two weeks to deliver our furniture from Texas, it was the only thing we had to sit on those first few weeks here. Wicker has a bit of southern charm in my mind and it was in great shape. I updated the cushions and added a bright rug and the sunroom was now my favorite room in the house, for more than just the views. It serves as the perfect back drop to my Zoom feed at work with many compliments from folks remarking how they’d like to have tea with me here, and the natural light and scenery make it the perfect place to paint (on the few occasions I pick up a brush).

This was the perfect place to put the sofa. Of course this called for a complete redecoration of the room.

I decided to wait until I had two chairs to go in the room with the sofa, just as our current set up is. I scoured the local Facebook market place, I wanted a rocker, but every rocker was more of a standard rocking chair you’d find in grandma’s sewing room. I searched Wayfair top to bottom, saving a few mid-century style chair but found nothing I loved. Besides, Wayfair just seemed like cheating. I wanted another great find–something well made, with history and character. I searched the local antique barns for a month before I found anything close to my liking.

These two antique chairs were in an antique barn just a few miles from the Camp Farm.

My friend, Rachel, came over one evening to help me switch out the furniture. It’s an excellent start but I’m still working on refining the feel of the room. I also need to fine the right rug. I got one on Wayfair but it clashed with the print so I’m still searching.

Oh! And I also found some amazing crystal stemware at the estate sale which demanded to be showcased. This lead to the search for a cabinet worthy of storing such sophistication.

With the 4th piece of vintage furniture bought in just three months, I’d say my obsession is in full swing! I’m always looking for a bargain and not afraid of a little dust.

As the cold keeps me indoors and the gardens dormant, I’m now focusing more on finding the voice of this home; after 3 years here I feel like I can hear it. It’s a combination of farmhouse, vintage comfort with a touch of retro accented with splashes of fancy. I’ll be sharing a little about the pieces I find and how I’m transforming rooms with them – and repurposing the existing furniture I keep. Also, I have a big remodel planned at the end of next year! Stay tuned, y’all!

Mulching with Grass- Not So Half-Ass!

One major error we made in our big garden last year was with mulch… we basically didn’t have any. Due to a tight budget, we used straw as our walkway mulch but we overlooked mulching our growing rows. We also missed the memo about planting cover crops over winter. Turns out, the raised row garden technique isn’t so weed-free when you don’t mind your mulch.

This year, we’ve been dropping the ball on mulch–again. We had big plans, y’all, but they didn’t happen. The walkways are in desperate need of new straw but more importantly the rows were getting are dry and cracked just hours after every rain and with longer stretches of summer heat drawing close, we needed to figure out something quick.

After Sr.’s brain surgery, our great friends, the Sickles, have been helping us with the lawn. The first mow, I told Paul the wrong level to cut at and the lawn got a hefty trim. With so much cut, we had rows of clippings across the lawn Sr. asked me to use the lawn sweeper to sweep the clippings off the lawn the next day.

As I struggled to maneuver the first load of clippings beyond out of the sweeper my first few rounds. It was a sight to see. I couldn’t seem to get the grass dumped out at the right spot. I decided to toss a few shovelfuls of clippings on the new compost pile. Turns out, grass clippings are great for compost AND as mulch.

Here’s what I learned:

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should only use clippings from untreated yards.

Grass clippings are are a great source of green or brown material–depending on if they are fresh or not–in the compost. If fresh, they count as a green and require a brown, such as dried leaves to balance things out (I’m still learning A LOT about composting and pretty much only know three things: there are “green” things, (2) there are “brown” things and (3) there should be “balance.”)

Mulching with grass clippings, it not only cools the roots and helps retain moisture, like any mulch, it also can add up to 25% of the nutrients growing takes out of the soil. When using fresh clippings, you should use thinner layers so it can break down and you don’t encourage rot.

Finally mulched rows!

Since most of my clippings were brown, I piled it on nice and thick. I was able to get half the rows done before I ran out of clippings and had to sweep Clint and Tarin’s yard. The second round of sweeping was much easier once I figured out I didn’t have to get off the mower if I used the black rope, and that I could just dump it as I drove by the front of the big garden.

Once I finished, mulching, I took some of our left over soil builder and put it at the base of the plants. They have been LOVING it and so have we–less watering, yay! And the best part – totally FREE!