Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Late Spring Mantel

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. 

It may feel like summer where you live, but here in the Pacific NW it still feels like spring, so I'm sharing my simple spring mantel. Summer doesn't officially start until June 21st anyway, and since Spring is my favorite season I want to enjoy it a while longer. 

The area above our fireplace is really difficult to decorate and photograph. It is a recessed area that tends to be rather dark, so I just do the best I can and as you can tell by how often I post, I move at my own pace. I decorate when the mood strikes me. I also keep it as simple as I can by adding birdhouses, nests and some sweet birds to create my mantel display. 

I knew I wanted the focal point of my mantel to be blue, so I added some pretty  birds and nests scrapbook paper to the back of my burlap board and started from there. I did the border with the reverse side of my bird paper, so easy and to cover some gaps in my paper I added some strips to create the look of a windowpane. I painted my chipboard letters blue and pinned them onto my rick rack ribbon. Since I needed something low in front so the letters would show, I added a nest with some eggs to  a small pedestal. 

I've brightened  the colors up a bit in this pic. I have a tendency to keep my decorations to a minimum and I thought this display filled up my mantel nicely. 

I painted a little birdhouse white and added a small floral bouquet and nest to the front. I added a blue bird I found while thrifting and my vintage pitcher. I found some faux stone candle holders at Joann's awhile back and added those to fill it in a bit.  

I found the tiny bird house on the stand at one of my favorite thrift stores for a couple of dollars. I already had the bird style candle holder and painted it white.  I thought it went well with my little birds.  

The sparrow is another great find for ten dollars, and is a vintage Goebel. It has a pretty dark blue color on its neck. I love the detail on these birds, lovely markings. They have some pretty blue birds by Goebel that I want to find as well. I might end up starting a new collection!

I've shown this bird several times on my blog, it goes so well with everything. I thought it looked kind of cute sitting in the basket.   

 Even though summer is near, I love the cheerfulness of a late springtime display. I'll just tweak it a bit and make it work into summer as well. 

Blue is such a soothing color and provides a sense of calm. I'm glad I took the time to put my spring mantel together, late as it is, since it's so relaxing to look at. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Victorian Farmhouse

I'm continuing my tour of the farmhouse and lilac gardens we visited recently. This lovely Victorian farmhouse was built in the late 1880's and was owned by the Lilac Lady, Hulda Klager, during that time. To read more about the lilac gardens she created visit my previous post here.  I love the simplicity of a pretty white farmhouse, and the trim on this one was kept rather simple, adding to the charm. 

Lovely lilacs in a wicker basket stand. I really like the clapboard siding and trim and the cozy porch as well. The door on the left leads to the sun room that is full of plants.

Sweet little rockers and another wicker basket full of lovely bright pink flowers. I'm really lovin' these wicker basket stands, so pretty on a porch. 

Close up of the stained glass front door. Pretty pattern and colors.  

No Victorian farmhouse would be complete without a parlor. Picture quality isn't the best on some of these indoor shots, however I love the white dress on the stand and the huge bouquet of purple lilacs. 

A couple of pics of the  beautiful vintage sideboard with mirror and glass front cabinets.  My grandparent's had one similar to this in their farmhouse,  

I couldn't get a full pic of this, there was too much reflection on the glass. Lovely decorations with more lilacs and mini vintage sewing machine with pincushion. Sewing was the theme in the farmhouse, so there are many little sewing machines on display here. 

Moving into the sun room. Love all the plants and that vintage poster. I would love a room like this with all the wonderful windows. The picket fence in front of the door is a great accent. 

Sweet little birdhouses on the top shelf. 

More mini vintage sewing machines. Love the bamboo shades in here too. There is so much simplicity and coziness in this sunlit space. 

Several of the rooms were roped off, but I wanted to show the pretty vintage  hat rack. 

Lovely lilac wall paper and shelf with more mini sewers. 

The master bedroom was my favorite. Charming headboard, so elaborate yet simple at the same time. I love everything in here. The infant cradle, lovely pictures and the sweet breakfast tray. Beautiful wallpaper too.  

Lovely dresser and windows. 

I wanted to share the beautiful carving on the sewing machine cabinet and the antique  baby painting.

 My favorite thing is this room is the charming vintage dress form with the embroidered apron.   

Lovely lilac detail. I would love to have a collection of vintage aprons.

Another bedroom decorated for a child, so sweet.  I love old steamer trunks and the detail on this floral quilt. 

Charming wash stand with vintage pitcher and basin. Art deco style decoration on the mini sewing machine, what an interesting piece!

 A few pics of the cozy farmhouse kitchen. This lovely stove is a reproduction. Love the stainless with the white. 

I had a hard time getting nicely lit pics in here. Beautiful double windows over the sink and the glass front cabinets. I could definitely see myself in a kitchen like this. 

Love the vintage details and the floral dishes. 

Nice variety of vintage things on these shelves. 

A few of the lovely items in the gift shop.

I had so many pics to share that I  had to leave some out, but I wanted to add this last one of this old tool shed decorated with a painting of the Lilac Lady and advice on how to develop a better lilac. Visiting the farmhouse and lilac gardens has been my favorite thing to do so far this year. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lilac Garden Tour

We are fortunate to have so many lovely areas to visit in our region. One of many things that have been on my list to see is the Hulda Klager Lilac farm in Woodland, WA. Hulda and her family moved to the US from Germany in the late 1800's, eventually settling in Woodland. Years later she built her farm on the remaining acreage and began growing lilacs. She eventually hosted a yearly open house to show all her varieties of lilacs and became known as the Lilac Lady. If you're interested in finding out more about the history of her gardens visit this website.

There are quite a few pictures here, so I will be showing the outdoor gardens in this post and I'll share the tour of  the Victorian farmhouse and gift shop next time.  I believe the farmhouse was built in 1889, and it is surrounded by charming gardens and flowers of all varieties.           

We visited in the morning and there weren't as many visitors, so we were able to take a leisurely walk around the grounds. I love how the walkway divides leading to the house and gardens. A little closer look at the farmhouse and its simple, but lovely victorian touches. 

I love the tall tulips mixed in with the ground cover. 

The beautiful water bearer statue, so peaceful with the sound of running water. She is one of my favorite things in the garden. 

I loved the interesting shape of these trees and the colorful flowers. 

Every garden should have a whimsical fairy. Love the open space and seating. 

A closer view of the whimsical  garden fairy eating her pie. More tall tulips, so lovely. 

Charming vintage water tower and windmill. The red building is the gift shop. 

Some of the varieties of lilacs in the garden and some yellow flowers with spiked petals. Love the colors.   

Love these with the white edging. Even though the lilac season is short, their wonderful smell and beauty make it  all worthwhile. 

 This area was kind of hidden away in the corner, notice the huge tree on the left with some unusual growths on its trunk.  I wanted some pics of the only white lilacs in the garden along with some bright pink ones. 

Soft pink and purple lilacs look so quaint with the vintage looking water fountains in this collage.  

They sold lilac bushes and plants in their garden center, but only had a few cut stems and they looked like they had been cut the previous day. I wanted fresh cut stems to create a few vignettes, but I had to take what they had available. I did a little research on lilacs and found fresh cut ones can wilt within a few days, due in part  to their woody stems which don't absorb water well. 

I tried to revive them, although they didn't perk up as well as I had hoped. I added some to my wall basket and created a simple little vignette in my dining area.  

They looked rather weepy, so I added my favorite green scale since I love the color combination of purple and green. 

I needed more purple to balance out my vignette, so I added this sweet poem about the gardens that was sold in the gift shop. 

The poem was rolled up in a scroll, so I just opened it and  added some cardboard backing to it to fill up my shelf. Just a few simple changes are all I need to create my displays. 

I kept the lilacs several days, even after they wilted because I love their fragrance. 

Since the lilac season is short, only a few weeks or so, a variety of lilacs are chosen based on when they bloom, early, mid and late bloomers. I learned quite a bit about lilacs just visiting the farm and their fragrance is addictive! These had already reached their peak. 

Some of the pink ones like these, are late bloomers and I love the pink shades. My hubby seemed to enjoy the gardens as much as I did.  It was so relaxing to visit this beautiful, charming place on a lovely spring morning.  The man on the right was so comfortable he decided to take a snooze on the bench. I'll be sharing a tour of the Victorian farmhouse next time.