Monthly Archives: April 2011

Beauty of a Vintage Watering Can

Oh happy day! There’s nothing better than finding something you’ve been looking for and it’s FREE.
The beach cottage garden shed was left in a total mess from the previous owners and after all this time we still haven’t gotten through everything. I’ve been wanting to find an old metal watering can but never thought to look in the garden shed…duh!
Lo and behold an old watering can was hiding behind some stuff on a bottom shelf.  Besides a disfigured bottom, the rest of the can had just a bit of age to it; which gave it the type of charm I was searching for.
My newest love is this watering can (don’t worry, I’m not going to name it or anything…I don’t think). It’s been moved from room to room in the beach cottage in order to find just the right place. It works in so many rooms that I think it will just visit them all; which is fine with me because its charm makes every room more cozy.
Copyright 2011 – Mg Photography
Copyright 2011 – Mg Photography
Liz rescued a gorgeous piece of driftwood from the beach recently and let her ole mom (me) keep it.  It has graceful lines so I had to make up a little vignette using it as well as the watering can.  A vintage starfish from my mother’s collection (I figure it is about 60 years old now) and the last of the cherry blossoms finished off the table nicely. Our French-style clock in the background looked great with it too, what do you think?
Copyright 2011 – Mg Photography
Copyright 2011 – Mg Photography
Copyright 2011 – Mg Photography
Copyright 2011 – Mg Photography
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White Magnolias at the Beach Cottage

What a beautiful Spring surprise! Each April, before the rest of our perennials bloom, the corner of our front yard bursts into white, dreamy loveliness.
When we moved here it was the dead of winter so serious shock & awe was had when a glorious Star Magnolia, also known as Magnolia stellata, burst into all its glory during our first Spring.
My heart just skips a beat and I instantly cheer up when I head outside to collect some snips of flowers for the cottage (yes, I’m wearing my cupcake boots while doing it – LOL!) I snipped a few branches for our living room and am enjoying them immensely…it really is the little things in life!
Our Star Magnolia is filled with softly scented flowers this year…
The blossoms on these trees are unique. They have lots of petals, many of which curve and bend in the wind. 
The Star Magnolia is a small tree, unlike the popular traditional Magnolia, and some even refer to it as a large shrub.
As you can see in the photos, the soon-to-be leaves are actually fuzzy and remind me of pussy willows.  
The Star Magnolia blossoms truly grace our beach garden with their early Spring blossoms…
Besides playing with photos and flowers I’ve been playing with white paint again too…hmmmm…I wonder what I’m painting now!??!?

Linking up to: Cottage Flora Thursdays and…

Good Life Wednesdays


lollipops
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Hint of the Beach Centerpiece

A hint of the beach gives this simple floral centerpiece a casual charm.  

There’s nothing better than a casual flower arrangement which includes sand and seashells. This breezy floral arrangement from Elle Decor features Hydrangeas but any number of flower varieties would work wonderfully. 

This simple centerpiece is the perfect tabletop accessory for a casual dinner with friends and provides a carefree beach feel to your table.  

You’ll find that this centerpiece is quick and easy to assemble…so easy that you might want one on numerous tables throughout your beach cottage.   
>> Centerpiece Instructions 

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{Fun In the Sun} Five Favorite Finds

Happy Monday to you! We hope that everyone had a relaxing Holiday weekend. We spent Saturday afternoon searching the beach for driftwood. Though the breeze was cool, the sun warmed our spirits. The hubby and I enjoyed a quiet dinner on Sunday and watched a baseball game on TV…not exciting but it’s our little piece of heaven.
You may have noticed a few little blog design changes….what do you think? We’re following our passion for beach cottage decorating and focusing on this area. We recently conducted a poll on our Facebook page and decorating articles where the number one type of article that reader’s said they were interested in…of course, when you speak, we have to listen – without you, we don’t have anyone to write for!  Don’t worry, we still live at the beach and will include plenty of beach lifestyle articles too.
So, let’s get going on this Monday edition of Five Favorite Finds. Since the weather is warming up, it is time to think about some fun in the sun!  Do you have your beach vacation scheduled yet?  How about a tropical cruise this year? These pieces will have you styling like no one else around!
ONE: Mosaic Beach Glass Necklace ~ Perfect pieces of green and blue beach glass, nestled in glaze in a one inch silver bezel setting. This piece measures one inch in diameter and a silver clam shell charm has been included, along with an 18″ sterling silver necklace. >> Beach Glass Shop 
TWO: Kristen Sun Dress ~ Adorable dress features a hand blocked batik in the Deauville blue and white print. This cool sleeveless dress has self ties that adjust easily for a perfect fit. $80.00  >>Angela Moore
 
THREE: Seashell & Copper Charm Bracelet ~ A copper link bracelet with a hand hammered toggle clasp. Four round copper disk charms are hand stamped with “shells sink” – “hope floats” – “life is good” – “on our boat” Three reclaimed beach found shell shards are added between the copper rounds.  $48.00   >> Seaphemera
FOUR: Honeysuckle Off-the-Shoulder Top ~ The perfect style and color top for those hot summer days. This top was made from a honeysuckle super soft rayon stretch fabric.  Top is custom made and includes bra clips to create different looks!  (yellow scarf available too) $59.00   >> IshKabibbles

FIVE: Audrey, Navy Polka Dot Swimsuit ~ Adorable tankini bathing suit with vintage inspired fit and cut. Navy blue with white polka dots. $89.99  >>Ruche

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Mr. Bunny’s Day at the Beach

Copyright – Mg Photography 2011

Mr. Bunny said we needed to go to the beach and hang out for awhile as an Easter treat for you guys, so who am I to say no?

You don’t know Mr. Bunny yet? He’s our garden bunny that dutifully watches over the pansies, marigolds and perennials during gardening season. Whenever he says we need some beach time I’ve got to listen.

I tossed my bunny friend in my bag (head peeking out, of course) as well as another little friend of his and we headed out.  Mr. Bunny wanted to pose for you in front of the surf (photo at left) as soon as we arrived at the beach. It was certainly a lovely Spring day.

He’s a pretty good looking guy, huh?  He seems to become more handsome as he ages (that’s soooo not fair!).

Copyright – Mg Photography 2011


This is our little bunny friend who joined us on our little adventure…however he wasn’t too keen on sitting in the wet sand so he kept hinting it was time to head to the dunes where it tends to be warmer.


Copyright – Mg Photography 2011



We took the hint and Mr. Bunny and I headed to the dunes. We both love the dune grass blowing in the breeze…

Copyright – Mg Photography 2011

 and what a nice view from up here…

Copyright – Mg Photography 2011
Copyright – Mg Photography 2011

It must be time to kick off the shoes and enjoy the sunshine!

Oh yeah, these are my FAVORITE shoes this year.  They are so comfortable and perfect when I want something just a bit warmer than flip flops.  Aren’t they cute? (please note: the hubby thinks that I’ve totally lost my mind for sharing my shoes with you, but I wuv them).

Mr. Bunny and I sat down and enjoyed the view…we love how the wind creates ridges in the sand. 

Copyright – Mg Photography 2011

…and that darn bunny INSISTED that he take a photo of me even though I was all wind blown! Mr. Bunny and I sure had a fabulous afternoon sitting in the dunes and soaking up some sun.  

Editor-in-Chief, Marie Rhoades


We wish you a very Happy Easter and beautiful weekend. See you next week! 

Hugs, Marie


Clouds ~ Copyright, Mg Photography



Sharing this weekend on Beverly’s Pink Saturday



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Creating External Space for a Cottage: Cheap, Value Adding & Fun

A cottage can be a true work of art, a personal paradise, and an incredibly fun place to live. That said, space is always an issue in smaller buildings. There can be clutter, and more to the point, cramped living space. “Cozy” is one thing, “obstacle course” is another. 
Creating external space can solve these problems and quite literally add an extra dimension to cottage life. Verandas, pergolas and other additions can achieve wonders, almost effortlessly, and quite cheaply, far cheaper than renovations. 

The cottage lifestyle is brilliant for a truly well developed excursion into graceful, rather than merely gracious, living. Modern cottages have the huge advantage of allowing eclectic, mature tastes to express themselves. There’s no “lifestyle dictatorship” of fashions in cottage living.

The cottage itself is only part of the lifestyle, and the external space, particularly a garden area, is the other key component. That’s where creating external space becomes an art form, and where true creativity can have a ball.

Verandas


The veranda was originally a traditional way of creating working space around a house. It was like covered ship’s deck, useful for putting stores, and often a real work space, before the garage took over that role. It evolved into the porch, a far more suburban, and somewhat more style-conscious, form in the late 19th century before becoming an actual fixture in the 20th century.

Traditional European and American cottage design tends to the freestanding building without a veranda or a minimal sized one, sometimes with outbuildings for functional reasons. In Australia, traditional bush cottages might have a single covered veranda, as distinct from the old colonial style all-round veranda for houses.

The Australian approach has one particular advantage – It creates a direct intermediary design function linking the cottage to the garden space. As all gardeners and cottage lovers well know, the gardening issue tends to create a “Um… Where do we do all this stuff…?” situation, with related clutter and mess. It’s just plain messy to have to do everything in the kitchen, and there are some very necessary gardening things you simply can’t do outdoors in bad weather.

The cottage veranda, therefore, covers that issue very nicely. What’s surprising is how much space a veranda can create. It can act like a porch, provide good working areas, and some people even partially enclose larger verandas as safe play areas for young kids, or guest rooms.

The veranda really comes into its own, though, as very versatile extra space for practically any imaginable use, and that space is priceless. A veranda can literally double available cubic space in a cottage. Think of it as doubling or tripling your space.

Pergolas

Source: bhg.com via Ellen on Pinterest


With verandas can come another invaluable aesthetic and practical asset – Pergolas. The pergola can operate as a covered walkway, a perfect frame for climbing plants, and as a great design feature for other outside amenities like barbecue areas, Jacuzzis, pools, etc. Pergolas can carry elegant vines, Bougainvilleas, climbing roses, and practically anything else which climbs.

Pergolas, like verandas, evolve with time and become part of the living environment. If you’re looking for space and ways of adding a dimension to your beloved cottage, consider your options.

Pergolas http://www.installaveranda.com.au/pergola.html
Verandas http://www.installaveranda.com.au


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