roses and prayers please....

For anyone who likes looking at pictures  of old rose gardens...

Melinda and I 

If I may ask anyone reading, if you believe in the power of prayer, we could really use them for my dear, dear friend Melinda.  If you've been reading for awhile then you know that back in May of 2011 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer because by the time symptoms present themselves it is usually already in the late stages. That was the case with Melinda.  She has been through 2 rounds of Chemo and has been doing SO well.  But last week things suddenly took a turn for the worse.  Your prayers and good thoughts would be so appreciated.  Thank you so much.

Here are the warning signs of ovarian cancer.

Take care and have a beautiful weekend.  x

painting questions answered

Our house from our neighbors backyard.

Good morning.  I'm laying in bed with the laptop and after 11 days straight of prepping and painting my body is really feeling it.  My tendinitis is screaming for relief.  It's so hard to not use your right arm and so I'm paying the price.  But anyway I thought while laying here enjoying this slow morning, I'd answer all the questions you guys have about the painting and the color.  First off lets start start with my inspiration ideas...

Way back on my Garden Tour trip to England, when I first laid my eyes on this gorgeous office addition that Ashley Hicks made to the family home, The Grove, it took my breath away. If you have a few minutes and want to transport yourself back to England, click here. It was a long, freezing cold wet day and it was getting close to dusk but when we rounded the corner and saw this I lit up.  I was walking with Faux Fuschia  and Romy and said, "That's it, I'm painting my house black."  That was 2 years ago and in the interim I have flirted with white and pink but I'm so glad I stuck to my original inspiration.

This is a house I found on Pinterest and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it is painted Black Bean Soup too. This is really close to what ours is now.  I adore it.

When I showed these pictures to Dave at Redlands Paint, he said, "You realize these are not pure black houses right?"  I didn't.  He recommended the Black Bean Soup right away and we took a test pot home and loved it.  He was right.  A pure black house would be a bit too harsh for me.

Lots of you are wondering if the floor is painted or if it's a rug.  It's paint.  I painted it several years ago and would like to change the paint and pattern, but am not sure what I want.  Besides I have bigger fish to fry right now (getting the house painted!) so that can wait.

Also my dear friend from Australia, Pammie has asked if us American's really do use our porches. For me the answer is a most definite yes.  This little porch gets used almost daily.  It's perfectly situated to watch the sunrise.  On cold winter mornings I'll bundle up in my comforter too.  During the spring and summer we almost always eat lunch here. Almost all my neighbors use their porches too.  So you may want to ring in on that in the comments.  And speaking of neighbors, so far no one has complained but I'm not sure they have noticed.  We are somewhat tucked back off the street so it may take some time.  But the walkers who have passed by have shouted out their compliments so that's been exciting to hear their reactions.  So far so good!

my friend, GSL wanted to know how many man-hours we have into it so far.  Larry estimates between the two of us, somewhere around 50ish.  We are still not finished but probably will be in 2 or 3 days.  The hardest parts are done.  And by hardest parts I mean the shingles.  As you can see in the above photo, each shingle has to be brushed on each side, top and bottom.  It's tedious work for sure.  Larry has worked tirelessly in the prep and painting.  The prep involved scraping, sanding and a good wash.

My job has been to paint everything low and keep us well fed and hydrated.

Also, there was a question or two about the cost of the paint.  I thought we were going to come in at around $300 total but yesterday I went back to the paint store and got another gallon of the Black Bean and one more gallon of Simply White for the trim.  If you buy 5 gallons at a time the price is significantly discounted.  Individual gallons cost a lot more.  So in the end it will cost almost $400 for supplies.  Which is still a great savings.  Plus, to be honest, it's been really good for us to do a big project like this again as a team.  It's been good for our marriage. :)

In a few days the roses will be open and I'll take some pictures of the house as it relates to the garden now.  See you soon and have a peaceful Sunday.  x  

porch update

I was planning on posting today about the actual task of painting an old shingled house but instead am jumping to show you the completed porch.  Painting shingles has to be one of the most tedious jobs if you are not spraying the house, which we are not.  We are pretty much brushing the entire house!  But I'll save that boring stuff for another day.  Today the porch is done and I like it...a lot.

Some of you mentioned in the comments that this new color (Black Bean Soup) really connects the outside of the house with the inside and you are right.  It feels so much better to me.

A few blue and white plates and pillows placed feels good too.

I absolutely will share the painting process with you in case you are thinking about painting your own house.  The lowest estimate we got was $3000 to have the house professionally painted.  So far we've spent $250 on paint and supplies.  We will probably need one more can of white trim but that should do it.  So well worth the effort!

Take care and have a beautiful weekend...x



Good morning and happy Sunday to you.  What a lovely break it has been.  Over a month of very limited computer use has been wonderful.  I think because I did not grow up with computers or social media letting go of it felt good.  I also have a bad case of tendinitis in my right elbow so staying off the computer has helped that too.  But anyway I'm back and thought I'd fill you in on what's going on around here.  A few days ago I found this beautiful nest in my yard.  It had been blown out of the tree and was resting on the lawn.  I've been collecting abandoned nests for years.  Each one is a study of beauty and function. They remind me of our own homes and how we work to make them comfortable, safe and pretty.

My friend L who lives in San Diego sent me this photo yesterday of a nest that was built right into a wreath she had hanging on her front door.  Gorgeous!

M gave me this Camelia plant when we moved here.

We've been feathering our nest so to speak, as the exterior painting has begun.  Are you shocked by the color choice? I kind of am. What happened to white and pink?  I have no idea.  We decided on Benjamin Moore's Black Bean Soup and that was that. It's actually their paint/stain and is covering the red really well.  In the shade it reads as black but in the direct sun you see more brown.  We've been going out and painting for about 2-3 hours a day and we are making our way to the front.  In fact today we will be painting the front and so the neighbors will see and that's going to be interesting because they LOVE the red and are going to be shocked. So I have that to look forward to today. Yikes!

Have a really good one. x
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