Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Letting Go

Change is hard. Yesterday, we officially passed on our beloved home at Winn Farm to a new owner. As much excitement as I have about our "new life" at Applegate, saying Goodbye to our old home was difficult. There are so many memories there...

 
 of little boys in apple trees...


and Grampas no longer with us...

 
 of roses in summer...


and grandchildren on Christmas Eve.


 Of being pulled in sleds...


and riding in Grampy's tractor.

 
Of new life and lost life...
 
 

 
And fairies in the woods.
 

Memories of hot dog days...
 
 
and starry nights.
 
 
Goodbye, grandsons in birch trees...



Goodbye cupboard door that Nancy painted...

 
Goodbye, birthday parties...
 
 
and Goodbye big tree.
 


Goodbye, Halloween in the Wizard's Forest...
 

 
and 4th of July in the pool.

 
 Goodbye to cake in the parlor...
 

and marshmallows around the campfire.


 
Good bye to dancing to Hank's oldies in the living room.


 
Wearing silly costumes in the yard...


And sharing ice cream on first birthdays.

 
Good-bye Trick-or-Treaters and old friends who lived next door.
 
 
Goodbye old house...we'll miss you.
 
 
But we know that someday soon, another family will make memories within your walls, and other children will swing in your maples.
 
 
 All these places have their moments with lovers and friends, I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living; in my life, I’ve loved them all. ~the Beatles
 
Looking forward,
 
 
 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Home Staging 101

Selling our home in today's real estate market was difficult and frustrating. After  months on the market with no offers, we decided to enlist the help of a home stager, something still fairly new here in Maine.


I thought it would be fun to show you some of the "before & after" photos. Here is our family room before staging...


And after. The stagers removed all wall coverings and even window screens to maximize natural light. They replaced my patterned rug with a simple sisal one and accessorized using a combination of my things and theirs. We helped by cleaning, touching up paint, decluttering, and removing personal items like family photos.


Here is the living room before...

 
The house was built in 1830 and the stagers wanted to make it appeal to younger buyers. They explained that, even though it is an old house, Gen Xers prefer a simpler "Pottery Barn" look and that is what they tried to accomplish with staging. I really like the results (and I guess the buyers did too!)...


And finally our master bath. (What was I thinking when I painted it red???)


The stagers suggested a softer color palette. We did the painting, bought a few new towels at Target and voila! New paint color is Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments. I love the results...


Like many of us who love to decorate our homes, I thought I was pretty good at it. Working with  local stagers Elizabeth and Monique was a little bit humbling but worth it because it taught me a lot. As I decorate our home at Applegate, I'll remember what they taught me:
  • Keep it simple - Eliminate clutter; less is more.
  • Consider lighting - both day & night
  • Use a few big (really big) accessories rather than lots of small ones
  • Take risks - go ahead and try that antique spool cabinet next to a Crate & Barrel chair
I can't wait to show you more photos of Applegate as we continue to settle in and decorate. In the meantime, here's proof that I'm trying to apply what I've learned: a BIG accessory!.
 

Happy decorating!
 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Amazing Women: Louise

I continually meet amazing women in my travels and I want to telling their stories. Each of these beautiful, strong, creative women is an inspiration to me and I hope, will be to you as well.

I'm excited to start my "Amazing Women" series with Louise's story...

 
I met Louise last week when I participated in Fiber College, a gathering of creative women which takes place every year in Searsport, Maine ("camp for adults"). Louise, who is from Maryland, retired in June and now lives full-time in her new custom-designed RV and blogsabout her adventures along the way.
 
Louise's RV is also home to her art. There is a hand-painted floor cloth featuring her favorite quotation from her mother. The curtains are made from nuno felted fabric that Louise hand dyed. Wall d├ęcor includes altered books. And since Louise couldn't fit a grandfather clock into her camper, she simply decided to paint one on the wall! Louise is also an expert knitter who is currently trying her hand at making "wise women" (seen above) and bookbinding.
 
 
Aside from her creative talent, Louise's story inspires me because of her positive attitude, confidence, and personal strength. As a young mother, Louise struggled to raise two very successful children (her daughter is also an artist) on her own.  Her challenges inspired her art...she shared that when she couldn't afford something, she would just figure out how to make it.
 
Louise showing her nuno felted scarves to our friend, Anita, at Fiber College
 
Louise's smile just draws people to her.  As we sat by the campfire, Louise said, "Every day is exciting...just getting up in the morning is exciting to me".  She is truly an amazing woman and I feel fortunate to have met her as we both begin our retirement journeys.
 
You can follow Louise in her travels on her blog, Adventures of the Geritol Gypsy. I can't wait to see where she's headed next!
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh, No... Another Collection!

Whenever I begin to collect something, it quickly becomes an obsession. Two years ago, it was sand dollars...no beach on the Maine coast was safe from my surveillance that summer.  Now, I'm afraid it's sea glass...


No shard of tumbled glass has been safe from my compulsive foraging. Late in the afternoon, when the tide is going out in Searsport, I drag Hank (two searchers = twice as much sea glass!) to our secret sea glass cove to patiently comb every inch. We stay until our shadows stretch long across the sand, our only companion a lone osprey watching us from the pine tree above.

Anything swept ashore is fair game for my current passion. This week's haul includes: 1 clam fork, 1 rusty tractor part, 1 leather sole from a man's shoe, 1 set of pitchfork tines (also rusty)...and a whole two-gallon bucket of sea glass!

When we get home, I'll display my treasures in a big jar I've been saving and place it on my craft room shelf...next to the jars representing previous infatuations...my collections of old keys, buttons, scrabble tiles, beads, postcards, clothespins, tie clips, miniatures, wooden spools, belt buckles, cancelled stamps, magnets, children's blocks, and, of course, sand dollars.

See what I mean???

Luckily, my obsession du jour never lasts too long and then, before I become totally crazed, I'm on to something else. For now though, since it's almost low tide, I'm off to the beach...

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