Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ellie Rose Barnett Elish!

Nine years ago yesterday, our little Ellie was born.  Ellie is our Yorkshire Terrier and many most days is the center of our universe, if for no reason other than she is a Yorkie and will not be ignored! They are fun like that! 

I first held her in February of 2007 while working for a local veterinarian.  She was coming in for her vaccinations and I fell in love with her. She had been gifted by a husband to his wife who was ill and she required too much attention for the wife.  So, the wife's sister mentioned that they were looking for a home for her and would let someone have her for about half of what they originally paid for her.  I called my husband and naturally he said, "Yes"  and the rest is history.  She is the only dog that I have ever "purchased."  All of my other dogs were rescues or gifts from someone who could no longer care for them.  It is hard for me to justify buying a dog when there are so many abandoned who need a forever home, but in this case, she needed a forever home too. 

Who could have resisted this precious, sweet girl?

She made herself at home right away. She seemed to know that she would not be a bother for us.

She has a pretty extensive vocabulary, including the words "show me," when she wants something and I can't figure out what. It might be a toy that's rolled under the chair or it could be a treat and she ignores me when I ask "treat?" because a human at the treat cabinet is worth two at the computer...or something like that.

 I know, mom, I am a cute girl! 

Mommy, please, let's lose the ribbons and bows. Okay? 

We discovered last year when  I noticed blood in her urine that she has a condition called porto systemic shunt  (PSS) which means that there is a shunt somewhere that did not close at birth and not all of her blood is being filtered by her liver. This can cause quite a few problems, including liver damage and heart damage. The good news is that when detected in an older dog, the prognosis is much better than when detected in a puppy.  We have her on a prescription food and supplements to help liver function.  She seems to be thriving in spite of what her blood work keeps indicating.  We are hopeful that she will remain with us for many years to come, but we are making sure that her time, however long it may be, will be the best and happiest time she could have with her people. Most days it is hard to tell that she is sick, but she does get tired quicker than she used to.

All shiny clean. She despises baths, grooming and especially mani/pedis but is quite happy when she realizes that it's all over and she's beautiful!  She's a bit of a jock and would rather just play.

Soccer, anyone?

I have had a lot of dogs and I have loved each one as if there was no other, so I can't say I love her more than any other dog, but I can say that she has been the most fun, just by being here and being her demanding, intelligent and funny little self! 

Chillin' on the farm, back in the day.

Here is a very, very short video of her playing with one of her birthday presents. The video is very short because I had to edit out my snorting laugh in the middle of it. Yes, I do things like that...snort when I laugh sometimes.  It's a gift really. Ha!

Hope you enjoyed meeting our little girl.  Hope you have a gracefully beautiful weekend.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Something Interesting for the Table

The smell of sawdust and wood shavings and even a small whiff of  turpentine have always been fragrances that appeal to me. I suppose the turpentine comes from my love of oil paints.  Wood smells clean and, well, woodsy. Imagine that!  I am a big lover of woodsy. So, it is not a big surprise to me that I have recently taken up woodworking as a hobby. I am still quite the novice and completely self-taught but am enjoying the learning process and am finding that there is a lot to be learned on You Tube! 

Although I have assisted in building things over the years on our farm and am quite handy with power tools, my woodworking projects so far, have been limited to chalk board frames and this plain wooden box for my dining room table, which is the subject of this post.  I plan to use it to decorate for the different seasons. The idea for the box was not original to me. A friend shared this Pinterest photo on Facebook and it looked simple enough so I decided to make it.  The photo linked to 724 South House and their tutorial. I loved how Tricia used hers, so I gathered all the materials and made it.  I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I did have a bit of help from my husband. He helped me hold things together and helped me clamp the pieces and he was really handy with the saw. This might be a hobby we will be sharing!

Tricia and her husband at 724 South House used a 1" x 4" board and a nail gun to construct their box. I don't believe they gave the exact dimensions for theirs.  I wanted ours to be about three feet long and  I wanted it to be deeper, so I chose to use a 1" x 6" board instead of a 1" x 4".  I had Lowe's cut my 1" x  6" pine board into two 36" pieces for the sides and two 8" inch pieces for the ends. I used some left over plywood we had on hand for the bottom of the box.  I joined the sides and ends with screws, using my new Kreg Jig Pocket Hole System.   I wanted to take photos of everything but I didn't have enough hands to hold things and drill holes and well, you know how that goes.  Tricia did a much better job of documenting their process and included great photos of all the beautiful items she used in her box, so hop over there and check out her post if you are planning to make one.  I'll try to do better with a tutorial next time.

Anyway, after I had the sides of the box assembled, we measured it and cut the plywood for the bottom and then nailed the plywood to the bottom of the frame. I sanded it, distressed it with my hammer and a couple of screw drivers and stained it.  It took a really long time for the stain to dry because of all the rain we were having here in the not-so-sunny South this past week.  After it finally dried, I hand rubbed it with finishing wax. I also added felt pads to the bottom so that it wouldn't scratch our table (not that it isn't already scratched, because believe me it is. I call it being well used and loved.)

I was really going for a darker stain. However, that would have meant adding several more coats of stain and with the rain we were having, that was not an option. So, I decided to go ahead and use it the way it was rather than wait for who knows how long, for the additional stain to dry.

I used two, 2" layers of floral foam in the bottom to get the candles up where they needed to be. For the arrangement I used three, 6" pillar candles, four, 9" tapers, silk leaves, some burlap sunflowers, faux rose hips, real cinnamon sticks and some wild grass that I  found along the roadside in September and that stayed on the backseat of my car for three weeks. I am forgetful like that. 

All in all,  I really love the way it turned out. I do want my tapers to be a bit taller and will change them out later.  I would like 11" or 12" tapers.  I might add taller pillars as well, just to have the candles sitting higher to prevent flame and arrangement materials from coming into contact with each other. Also, I remembered, after I did all of this, that Tricia used moss to cover her floral foam. It would have been good to remember that before I had all this in the box, since I had a hard time covering all of the foam with the leaves and other items. I will definitely use moss or something similar next time.

I am going to add some pine cones to the arrangement as soon as I can find them. They are packed with the Christmas decorations.  Maybe for spring, I will use small vases with fresh, cut flowers.

The beautiful arrangement on the buffet table in some of the photos is from Laura Jane's Flowers & Gifts in Adairsville, Georgia. Laura is an immensely talented friend of mine who recently opened this lovely florist and gift shop with her husband, Jim.  If you ever find yourself traveling on Highway 41 or I-75 in North Georgia between Atlanta and Chattanooga, it would be well worth your time to stop in Adairsville and visit this delightful shop. There is a little bit of everything in the gift shop and, of course, there is the full-service florist part of the business, as well. This arrangement is just one small example of what is available. You can find more information about the shop on Facebook and Google.  Adairsville is also home to the world class, luxury golf resort, Barnsley Gardens, and a lovely and historic downtown square, where you will find other fabulous shops, like the 1902 Stock Exchange.)  

Here are some close ups...

I just love it!

The pillows in the above photo are two I made this week. Actually, I made the covers and put them on an IKEA 20x20 pillow insert. The fabric was originally purchased to be used on our screened porch (a story for later,) but I am using them in the house this fall because the colors are perfect for fall and with all the rain, we haven't been using the porch much.

The fabric is Richloom Outdoor Solarium Alinea Floral Spice, purchased at I love the design and the colors. More on that in a post all about our porch's mini-makeover, coming up soon. 

 Here are a few more photos...

 I had fun with these photos...hope you have enjoyed them.

I sincerely hope that you are having a lovely and colorful  October so far. We are definitely enjoying the cooler weather and especially, the last few days which have given us beautiful, blue skies, white clouds and much needed sunshine!