Monday, June 27, 2016

Before and After Outside Spaces

Several weeks ago
I shared a few outdoor spaces around my
Rose Garden Cottage.
They were outdoor displays dating back five years ago.

We had lots of rain here in Texas since that post and I wasn't able to get 
the after pics to share till recently.
Now as we are steaming hot 
it's been sunny enough to capture a few more shots.

Bringing an updated look  doesn't have to break the bank.
Paint, accents and accessories 
can help bring in a fresh new look.

As I mentioned, these first pics go back five years.
That was the half way point to my blogging journey.
Yes, I've been blogging since 2006.

If you're like me, you change things often,
or maybe not.
Being the stager and styler that I am  I love to rearrange often.

The way we live, just evolves over time so the spaces around my cottage change as well.

Here below is the BEFORE front porch.

And then the AFTER

Notice the changes?

The old tile porch changed to Oklahoma flagstone which was a look my hubby really wanted
and it has made a huge difference.
I repainted the door without the distress and undated hardware was added with a kick plate.

Large urns with twisted Arborvita bushes were added to each side of the door.
(these are faux, nothing will grow on this porch, it's just too hot)
I also took down the potato vine over the door 
I still like that, so I may have to add it again.

In the fall I usually add a garland of leaves in the same spot or around the door
and at Christmas I added evergreens.

Living here in Texas, while I love fresh and real plantings,
I've learned with the heat we have in the summer,
it's okay to help mother nature along a bit with faux.
(it saves on the water bill too)

The door color is Farmhouse Red by Ralph Lauren.
The door urn replaced the rose wreath.
I love changing this with the seasons.
I got this a few years ago from Hobby Lobby.
I've noticed when shopping they still have them in stock.

Next I added a bench in the same color.

To the side of the entry,
Mr. Rooster came to stand guard over the cottage.


A brass eagle painted white hangs proudly over the door.
This eagle is a treasure  that I've enjoyed in all our homes over the years.
We always find a spot to hang it near the roof peaks.

Small changes in the front yard that make for a big impact
 bringing an updated look to my 25 year old cottage.

The next change happened around to the side drive.
Here is,

Behind this third car garage door,
is my Rose Garden Market Studio.

Here is the AFTER~

I love to design wreaths and
this one changed a bit too.
I simply added a trumpet vine garland 
with a homemade bow made from
burlap and lace ribbon.
The welcome in the center
is from the Dollar Tree.

Another yard rooster enjoying the sun.

Sometime when my friends are leaving,
we sit for another little bit and continue our visit right here.

Lastly going around to the back patio space,
I made a few more changes and updates.

This is a half covered space
over the sitting area.


The before cushions were coverings I made, but after several years, they faded and just wore out.
I replaced those with the gorgeous navy cushions
 which is the perfect complimentary color
to the rust on the patio floor and pool edge.

The outdoor lamps needed a freshen up
so I wrapped them with burlap ribbon.
The old vintage wood burning stove was from our home
in Indiana.
I've carried it around the country
in a few moves.
The movers were not too happy with me over that,
but accommodated my wish!!
It does burn real wood, but currently
I keep timer pillar candles inside.
These make for a cozy evening setting.

The rug was a springtime find on sale at Lowe's.
It's the same exact rust color of the patio floor. 
What a find it was and opens the space.
The patio furniture is all weather wicker and 
really stands the test of time and the elements here in Texas.
We've enjoyed this set about 13 years now.

This old fashion vintage hotel room vessel (chanber pot) holds lavender.
It was made for another function before bathrooms. haha

Great to have a tray near by to carry those refreshing drinks outdoors.

These vintage chairs are from the 1940's
and belonged to my parents.
They've been many a color over the years,
but I am loving this new shade of blue.
They work so well with the color change.
I added coordinating cushions for a comfy spot to enjoy
on a sunny summer morning.

The table is designed with tile inserts.
I took out a couple and exchanged them with tile
I had left from the kitchen.
It brings the Texas rust color outside
and accents the patio floor.

The new color looks great with the pool tile and rust pool edge.

In this area, we added the flagstone too.

Here I toss lots of shells to what I call our  "stone beach".
You can find bags of these at the Dollar Store.
Why not make your own outdoor beach?

Thanks for stopping by this week
and sharing in my updates over the years.

As we soar towards the 100 degree readings,
I hope you enjoy the perfect summer day!

Stay cool and see you next week.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Flowers in Watercolor~

Happy First Day of Summer!!
Hope you enjoyed a nice Father's Day weekend with your family and friends.

The temps are soaring here in Texas
and now it is a challenge to keep the flowers going strong.
The ole water meter is going round and round in our attempt to keep the flowers
alive and pretty.
My trusty large umbrella is a big help.
I simply open it up and place it by flowers in the direct sun.
It really helps to shade and give the blooms a little relief from the heat.
I move it around through the day where needed.

Speaking of flowers~~~
Here is a little share from the past giving flower photos a watercolor edit.


Recently I cut a few long stems from my garden to bring inside and enjoy.

Lovely blooms of pink, red and yellow.

Using my photo programs, I created a pretty watercolor of this bouquet.

I use PicMonkey, or for quicker edits, PhotoScape.

Each has it's own specialties.

Here's another idea~

The photo was a little blurred.

  But perfect as a watercolor.

Lastly, a little bouquet of knock out roses in my kitchen.

Becomes a watercolor perfect for a little frame.

These watercolors were all completed using PicMonkey.
If you use this program and do not know how to get this look,
open the edits section under Effects then scroll to Posterize.
I had to experiment a lot to find this for watercolor. 
You would never think posterize would contain this edit, but it does.

From there you can raise or lower the percentages and degree of the changes for the intensity,
then save your work.

In PicMonkey, 
I have the Royale version
 which is a pay every two years program for the more involved edits. 
I'm not sure the free program has this edit version for watercolor
but if you use PicMonkey you can try and see.

Have a great first week of summer and thanks for stopping by.

See you next week.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

The Southern and Saucer Magnolias

This time of year, our Southern Magnolia Tree is gorgeous. 
For the most part these trees only share a few blooms at once
lasting just about one or two days.
It is very rare to see the tree full of blooms at once.

Our Magnolia is a tall beauty and stands in our front yard.
 The blooms are as large as a dinner plate and the scent is heavenly.
This tree inspires me to paint the large white blooms.

We planted this gorgeous tree 16 years ago
when we re-landscaped our garden.

Each season I try and save the magnolia cones when they drop for decorating.
They make great accents in seasonal craft projects
to spray paint and glitter. 
Often times I float the flowers in the pool.

At Christmas, I use the leaves to create wreaths and garland.

Another specimen in the Magnolia tree family
is the
 Saucer Magnolia.
This is our tree from the back garden.
It has a much smaller trunk and I keep this one cut like a topiary.

Saucer Magnolias have small pink or white flowers blooming only in the spring.
The Saucer Magnolia drops it's leaves in late fall
while the Southern Magnolia keeps it's leaves in winter and stays green.

The Southern  and Saucer Magnolias 
North Texas!

Thanks for stopping by~
See you next week!

Celestina Marie

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Monday, June 6, 2016

During the Rains~

It's been raining in Texas

Just when I wanted to take those after photos to share my upgrades
from the last post,
that mission has been on hold as we try and dry out.

While we need the rain,
 and the flowers
have loved it,
we need some sunny dry days 
to lift the spirits


our thoughts and prayers go out to the many 
in Texas who have seen flooding
and worse.


If you've followed me for long,
you know I love to be om the studio when it rains.
So when the skies give rain,
I swing my paint brushes.

Last week  I completed this tray painting
inspired by a study in 
Going Places.

I adapted the design to this vintage tray with detailed edge.

The beach, the ocean, the lighthouse 
 and a sunny day!!

Hope you enjoy a sunny day

See you next week.

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