Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Adele obsession continues

I've been doing quite a bit of painting this week on a three-piece, cane-backed living room set.

The mahogany finish on this set couldn't be tamed by the latex Kilz leftover from painting the house last fall, so after two coats and continued bleed-through, I conceded that fight and bought some Zinsser oil-based primer. (FYI--after trying this stuff, I'm never going back to using Kilz on furniture again!)

My husband was kind enough to help me put on the Zinsser, so that made painting on a *third* coat of primer <rolls eyes> a bit more bearable. One coat of paint is now on each piece and I'll be hitting them up with their seconds today and tomorrow.

The point of this story? Besides knowing the furniture will be truly white (and in the case of the settee, grey) once they're fully painted and sealed?

I've continued listening obsessively to Adele while doing all this work.

See, I tried unsuccessfully last Friday to buy tickets to Adele's concert in Asheville, NC in June. You should have seen me sprint into the house at noon after getting home early from picking up the boy from preschool. I literally skittered sideways to make the turn to where the laptop sat.

However, the fleeting high of the moment was cruelly and instantaneously destroyed when I realized the tickets were already. sold. out. A mere minute after going on sale!

I'm truly not a melodramatic person, but I did simultaneously curse and shed a tear at this point. Then my pragmatic side returned, and I promptly put a wanted ad on the Asheville Craigslist for tickets. Which has only resulted in craploads of spam...sigh.

Though her album came out yesterday, I haven't had a chance to go out and buy it yet. I don't do iTunes and the me old-fashioned...I'll take that as a compliment. :) So, I've been trying to console myself by watching/listening to her various live performances.

She was on Letterman Monday night, performing "Rolling in the Deep":

God, this woman's voice is transcendental.

Her Tiny Desk Concert for NPR is utterly brilliant. Here's what NPR had to say about it, which I just loved:

Moments before performing, Adele breezed up to our makeshift stage with little fanfare, and proceeded to blaze through her set without so much as bothering to take off her gloves. Between songs, she showcased the mile-wide chasm between her mesmerizing singing voice and her far less polished speaking voice, occasionally even unleashing a truly magnificent cackle. At 22, Adele still isn't quite fully formed as an artist — which, after witnessing this set, is really saying something. She may well get even better, and even now, she's a marvel.

And I found her performance last month at the Tabernacle in London on YouTube. Prepare to have your socks knocked off.

One and Only - love, love, love this song

Set Fire to the Rain

Take It All


Turning Tables

Don't You Remember

Someone Like You

Here's to hoping I can find tickets between now and June, because as much as I've enjoyed watching these videos, they've only made me want to see her in-person more than ever...


Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Morning Music: Adele

Forgive the mega-dorky alliteration in this post title today!  I just can't help myself because I'm so excited that Adele's new album drops tomorrow!

Who is Adele, you say?

She's an amazing blues-influenced singer from Britain who is just 22 years old. She was recognized as the Best New Artist at the Grammys in 2009, and now her new album '21' drops in North America tomorrow. (It was already released in the UK in late January--lucky people!)

A week ago, I discovered that offered a "first listen" to her entire album, so I've been wearing out the site these last few days, enjoying her strong, beautiful and genuine voice.  I don't know how much longer the first listen will be available, so if by the time you read this, the album is no longer available for online listening, here are a few videos of the amazing Adele performing live:

Turning Tables - Adele

Someone Like You - Adele

Rolling in the Deep - Adele


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The kindness of others

I've been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of fellow bloggers this past week. How appropriate considering it was just Random Acts of Kindness Week and Valentine's Day!

Ashlee at A Prairie Cottage and Dana of The Boyers at Home were kind enough to extend Stylish Blogger Awards to this modest blog.

And then Kathy at A Delightsome Life highlighted my Garden Dreamin' post at her blog's weekly Inspired By You feature.

I am truly humbled by and appreciative of you ladies. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Ashlee's been blogging almost two years now about her adorable WWII-era cottage. She recently finished remodeling her kitchen and what a transformation it was!  She also crafts and appreciates all things vintage. No wonder I like her blog. :)

Dana is a new blogger--like me!--from Oklahoma who I found recently as I was looking for retro kitchen inspiration for my sister's house. Dana painted her lower kitchen cabinets a gorgeous turquoise blue and installed new wood counter tops--her kitchen has real pizazz! She also likes to junk and has been helping her daughter re-do her new house.

Kathy's romantic blog is full of Victoria Magazine-inspired decorating. Her posts are thoughtful and sincere, and she's a Southern gal to boot. Sit down to her blog with a warm cup of tea and check out her tutorial on making faux mercury glass; I'm hoping to try it very soon.

I write this blog for the simple enjoyment of participating in a community of women who like creating beautiful spaces and objects, and transforming things with their own hands. I cherish all the comments and emails I receive, the budding blogging friendships, and I have to say I feel so fortunate to be a little part of such a creative, supportive environment.

Thank you again, Ashlee, Dana and Kathy, and *everyone* who reads this blog. Y'all are appreciated more than you know and you are what makes blogging such an enjoyable pastime for me.

Ever grateful,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't laugh too much at my first attempt at making burlap rosettes!

Wreath tutorial here.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Giveaway at Momma Hen's Coop

I'm a little late in posting this, but Momma Hen's Coop is having a giveaway that ends tomorrow!

If you've never visited Momma Hen's Coop, you're in for a treat.

Momma Hen has great vintage-country style.

She takes gorgeous, pastoral pictures.

She paints furniture.

And she sews!

all images from Momma Hen's Coop

Because she's so awesome, she hit more than 100 followers last month. And since she's also generous, she's giving away a box of goodies and surprises to her readers. Ho-ray!

Now, dash on over to the coop, say hi to Momma Hen and get yourself entered into the giveaway before time runs out!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Garden Dreamin'

This time of year means a fair amount of gray skies and oodles of brown grass, bare trees and general drabness.

In response to the barren surroundings, I dream of things like this...
Iowa State University Extension Office

Country Living
and this.
Country Living
Or of picking flowers such as these...
Country Living
Country Living
or these.
Country Living

Wildflowers and romantic cottage garden flowers hold so much appeal to me.  If there's such a thing as a garden personality, mine is surely of the laid-back variety. No particular landscaping for me, no sirree. I love beds brimming with free-growing flowers and greenery. Vines that grow as they wish? Broad bushes covered in blooms? Yes and yes, please!

How fabulous is this picture? Imagine lounging in that wonderfully chippy vintage chair next to the luscious honeysuckle vine...I can almost feel summer!

Country Living

Sadly, I don't actually have a flower garden. Yet.

My yard is fairly shaded due to the surrounding woods in the spring and summer. The front yard receives the morning sun and the back yard gets the afternoon sun. I don't know how much success I'll find planting full-sun flowers in the raised beds located in the back yard. But I'll try!

Fortunately, my dad's house is next door and it's situated in the middle of a 10-acre pasture. Since the sunshine is plentiful there, I've started weeding an old vegetable bed as another place to attempt raising flowers.

As I prepare to grow my first flowers, I picked up three large seed packets at my local co-op from Botantical Interests. The artwork on the packets hooked me and I spent way too much time ooohing and aaahing over them at the store.  I only hope they yield flowers as pretty and abundant as the ones depicted on the covers!

Grandmother’s Cut Flower Garden

Sweet Baby Blues

Fairy Meadow

Now, I did plant daffodil, hyacinth, tulip and iris bulbs in <cough> early January. I'm not counting on any blooms til next spring due to the late planting, so these three packets of seeds are my real hope for flowers this year.

Eventually I would love to grow peonies, hydrangeas, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilacs and jessamine. Fragrant flowers and shrubs are simply divine!

For now, though, it's baby steps--and a lot of garden dreamin'.

What flowers do you love or grow?

Visit inspiring gardens at Sarah's English Garden Party:

Modern Country Style