Home Tour is Here!

Home TourI have posted often about Our house in Germany but up until now you couldn’t find photos of the whole house all in one place, well now you can. In the side column I have added a direct link to my home tour page. Just click on the image above in this post or on the side bar and take the tour!

Making Progess in the Garden

DSC03835Hello All! I know I have been a bad blogger this week. I try to do at least three posts a week to share what’s going on and pass on a few tips but it has been a few days since we’ve chatted. I want blogging to be my joy and not a chore but some weeks it is harder to fit into my schedule than others.

This has been a very hectic time of year for me, am I the only one? Everything seems to be winding up for the end of the school year, end of winter, end of season, whatever…I feel I have been one step behind and trying to keep afloat. I hate this feeling I try to be aware of what I really have time for and try very hard not to over schedule but this last month things seem to have spun out of control. Ironically these are the times I feel the completely unmotivated to get things done.

Here I am feeling overwhelmed and miserable about all the thing that need to get done that are not getting done. Every time I drive into the drive I see that the grass has started growing and my whole yard needs some love. The weeds have found the sun and are popping up between the pavers and my once lovely Tulips have finished their job and are now beginning to droop and turn brown.  Not only can I see it needs love, so can the neighbors. I can hide my un-vacuumed rug behind closed doors but the untrimmed grass is there for all to see.  Something must be done!

Finally, yesterday I decided the best motivator for getting some yard work done is a trip to the Garden Center!

Before I share my purchases let me share my gardening style. I love flower especially flowers I can cut for the house but above all I love a plant that thrives on neglect. Okay not complete neglect but you read the top of this post right? I don’t have an out ambling in the garden everyday kind of life so I need everything to be pretty self-sufficient. My buying technique is – buy what looks pretty, if you kill it I don’t buy it again, if it is self sufficient-buy lots!

That being said you may remember my front planter from last year. I found Impatiens for a total bargain towards the end of the season so I bought a bunch for a steal. They only had red and white left but I had a good shady spot for them so I figured if they didn’t work out I hadn’t invested too much money. Well you can see below they turned out great! Very self-sufficient – a little fertilizer when I planted them a little water when they get droopy, everybody was happy!

DSC00884So this year following my motto, Impatiens lived – buy lots, I went shopping! I wanted to start early  and get lots of different colors in the planter this time. I tried the local DIY warehouse first with no luck but when I went to my local independent nursery they had a full assortment. IMG_0744Many Euro later I am feeling motivated and ready to tackle the yard!

I got the front planter filled with Impatiens of all color an even got a few pots filled besides. It will be a few weeks before the Impatiens fill out but I am already feeling better about the yard.

And the droopy tulips, they have been replaced with some lovely Geraniums and my very favorite (very hardy) Sweet Potato Vines.

I feel like I finally got something accomplished , well until I look at the larger beds… The yard still has a lot more work to be done, weeding and edging and a few more plant to replace those that didn’t make the winter, but I guess that will have to be enough for now. Incomplete or not, I will say I am feeling a lot better.  Sometimes just getting one thing off my plate lifts a big burden and often motivates me to move on to another, and what better way to do that than a day of sunshine and beautiful flowers!

Spring in Bavaria 2014

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Well it looks like winter is over here in Bavaria. I know the U.S. has been hit hard by some pretty intense winter weather but here in Germany we have had an extremely mild winter, and being a southern girl I can’t complain. Only a few days of snow and temperatures already hitting the 60’s in March are fine with me. What is also fine with me are all the bulbs and spring flowers already up and ready to bloom.

Spring 2014 means we have been in our house for almost a year but since we didn’t move in until May I had no idea what amazing things our yard had in store for spring. I planted lots of daffodil and tulip bulbs last fall but the yard had a few surprises of its own. From Crocus to Japanese Magnolias spring has sprung.

All these beautiful colors popping up all around the yard inspired me to plant some colorof my own. My first stop at the garden center for 2014 has gotten me excited about getting the garden back in shape. Bring on the warm weather, bring on the flowers!

Room # 7- Man Cave, Final Reveal!

man CaveHappy St Patrick’s Day! I shared my love of green with you in my last post so I figured you might appreciate a little more now that I am finally ready to reveal the completed “Man Cave” which was inspired by some amazing Malachite green fabric by HGTV.

What  began as a cold unfinished basement and slowly transformed into a cozy second living space and office for my husband. With lots of help from our landlord and some great thrift store finds I was able to totally turn this room around.

The first step was completed by our landlord after we expressed an interest in using this room as a living space. New windows and a radiator followed by a fresh coat of paint made the room livable.

You can read about these updates HERE and HERE.

Have a look at where we started…

The lovely before shot, Excuse our mess!

Not sure if you remember the lovely before shot, but you can see we have come a long way.

And here is where we ended up… Man Cave The only new purchases I made where the Ikea FRIHETEN sofa and the Ikea LAPPLJUNG RUTA rug. The rest of the room is furnished entirely from thrift store finds totaling around $200. Some of the pieces required a little TLC which you can read about HERE, HERE and HERE, but the credenza and coffee table looked great as is.Man CaveIn a house with no closets storage is a must but looking at ugly wall lockers is not. A full length curtain hung from the ceiling help hide the not so attractive necessities of life.

Add months of flea market finds and a few odds and ends pulled out of storage and the room is complete.

I am so pleased with the final results and you can bet my husband is glad to have a space of his own. Well mostly his own, I have been know to hide out from the kids down here when a Mario Cart marathon is going on. Man Cave

Seeing Spots -DIY Polka Dot Wall

DSC02348Last month I did a “Fashion for Your Home” post on polka dots and it got me thinking about my own house. I have an open staircase in my rental that has two-story walls which make painting  a real hassle. My landlord has been pretty open about me painting the other rooms but was concerned about painting these walls so up until now I have lived with them pretty much bare. The stairs are rather nice but years of using these carpets treads means the wood has changed colors underneath so the treads must stay. When we moved in they were rather grubby red tread so I upgraded them a more neutral grey that matches my rug in the downstairs hall.  Still the space has always felt a little boring  and since the back wall is seen from the upper and lower I figured this would be the perfect place to add a little impact.plus a set of windows at the top means I don’t have to reach as high!stair

This is what I started with, a completely blank canvas. Now all I needed was something black to make the circles out of and a way to cut them. The only catch was I couldn’t damage the wall. I had recently seen a roll of adhesive chalkboard vinyl for $5 a roll. It was removable plus it already had an adhesive backing, Perfect! Now I needed to cut them out (not by hand.) I tried my scrapbook circle punch first but it was a bit dull and wasn’t cutting very cleanly on the vinyl. Then remembered my AccuQuilt® a die cutting press intended for fabric but it just so happened to work perfectly cutting through several layers of the vinyl. If you have another cutting tool like a Sizzex or a Cricut these would work great too. If not you can also buy pre-cut vinyl circles from Etsy as well.

stair dotsOnce you have your circles it is tie to put them on the wall. Everyone’s spacing will vary based on the size of the wall so take the height and width and divide it by the approximate spacing you would like.Once you have decided how wide to space your dots you can get to work. I wanted my dots to look like wallpaper so I cut the first row of dots in half so they would cut off at the corner. My spacing worked out to be 8″ and 9 1/2 inches with each row having twelve dots.  I laid the first column along the corner with a spacing of 9″ (top to bottom) and then using a ruler spaced the next row of dots 4″ over and 4 3/4″  down. Keep doing this across the wall alternating the rows to get the perfect polka dot pattern.  For more interest you can insert a different shape at regular intervals like I did with my stars. stairsI love the results and now that I have started a collection of black and white paper cuts since we have been here in Germany I think the black dots work perfectly! While I was at it the upstairs hall got a little love too!

Notice my Dash and Albert Zigzag Multi Micro Hooked Rug I told you about before finally found its way home!

Linking with DIY Showoff and Tattertots & Jello

Man Cave – Furniture Finds and Camouflage

Man CaveAs promised yesterday I have an update for you on the “Man Cave.” Earlier in the month I had a list going on all the tasked that needed to be done before I could get the room completed. A lot has been happening since then and here is what the lists looks like now…

  • Reorganize wall lockers 
  • Finish curtains to camouflage wall lockers
  • Find coffee table
  • Find a console for a TV
  • Make pillows
  • Re-upholster swivel chair for desk
  • Hang artwork
  • Add accessories
  • Update coffee table

Pretty good progress and that is with two new additions to the list! so here is what we were looking at last time you were here. A giant pile of Army gear and  a lot of organization that needed to happen. I bought some shelves for the wall lockers and got to work. Mostly folding and sorting but the end result is quite and improvement.


Man Cave

Of course the very next day two giant duffel bags came home to be added to the pile.

Then came the camouflage for the camouflage. Twenty two yards of fabric and some basic sewing skills and the wall locker are hidden. A ceiling mounted track makes for a movable curtain that can be opened when access is needed and kept closed to hide the not so very attractive Army issue wall lockers.


As you can see I also worked on a few pillows and scored a great coffee table for 8€ ($11) at the local Thrift store. The table is in great shape but a little boring so I have a project planned to spice it up a bit (one of the additions to the list.)

My second score of the week is one of my favorites. A mid-century credenza in perfect condition that I also found at a local thrift store for only 55€($77.)   Now that I have this piece in place I was able to set up the TV. It looks small but is actually a 32″- the credenza is quite large.ManCave CradenzaNow with all the major player in their final locations I am ready to get this project finished up. A few small projects, some accessories and wall art and the “Man Cave” will be ready for action.

Before and After Feature on Apartment Therapy!

Big day today! One of my very favorite design websites, Apartment Therapy, chose Will’s room to be featured in their “Before and After” post. If you haven’t checked out Apartment Therapy here is a great reason to have a look. Their tag line is “Saving the world, one room at a time” and they certainly try. Apartment Therapy is a wealth knowledge for all thing home so if you stop by to check out my feature have a look around. You won’t be disappointed!

Apartment Therapy

Room #6- The Sewing Room

sw1sewing roomIt has been a while since this room was completed but since the sewing room is where most of the “magic” happens it is rarely clean enough to photograph.  Since I have completed a lot of big projects recently and could no longer see the floor I figured a good cleaning was in order and while I was at it I took a few photos to share with you.

When I first started sewing I did the whole pull all the supplies out at the kitchen table and put them away when I was done. At our 4th house I upgraded to a converted closet in the guest room. Then as the sewing projects increased at out 6th I set up in an alcove in our large den and then finally decided to take over the dining room. Now at out house in Germany we have a 4th bedroom and not many guests so actually scored a room with a door that I can close when the mess gets really bad (Big mess means lots of “magic.”)

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So with my very own room, I got to add a little more decor to my workspace this go round. In our last house I used base cabinets and a piece of stock counter top from Lowes to create my work station but unfortunately the counter top was too long to fit in the shipping crate. When we got here I had to start fresh. I went to Ikea and had a sewing desk all picked out but when I got to there they were having a summer sale on an older design Micke desk which by luck had several companion pieces. I bought it because it was a but in the end it was perfect because combining different pieces allowed me to create a work station that perfectly fit the long wall.

I brought my 500lb work table from the U.S. I apologize to the movers, you should have seen them trying to get this behemoth up the stairs. The work table is also a piece from the Ikea, it is from the Värde free-standing kitchen collection. It works perfect as a cutting table, at counter height it is great for cutting and has plenty of storage for sewing tool, baskets and folded fabric.

For more fabric and craft storage I use a mid-century china cabinet that also has cabinet space large enough to hold my spare sewing machine as well as my huge scrapbook bag. The red chair I got for 20€ at out local thrift store once we got to Germany. I bought it thinking I would slipcover it but when I went through my fabric stash I found I had a fabric that matched it perfectly and luckily I had just enough to make curtains. Now if anyone wants to come chat while I work they have a nice place to sit.

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The rest of the decor consists of flea market finds and art I have collected along the way, here there and everywhere. One day it would be nice to have more space and a larger cutting table but for now I love my new sewing room and the best part is now I finally have a room of my very own!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy ThanksgivingToday will be my family’s first Thanksgiving Holidays away from the U.S. and since there not a national Thanksgiving celebration here in Germany today, we will have to create our own. In our case, because we are planning a big trip to spend Christmas with our family in the U.S., we will be having our very own small family Christmas celebration today. Maybe we will call it “Thanksmas.”

Whatever we call it, We are truly thankful for the opportunity we have been allowed to live here in Germany, for own family, and for the community that has become our family here in our home away from home. We are truly blessed!

I am also thankful for my new blogging family. This outlet has been a god send for me since I left the U.S. I have some amazing readers who visit often and leave me lovely comments and I have met some really amazing individuals within the blogging community who have taught me so much.

Hope you and yours are just as blessed on this day of thanks.

Thank You All!

Maggie

Man Cave – Paint complete!

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Yes my friends that is a brand new, lovely coat of paint on our once ugly “man cave.” I am always amazed at what a good coat of paint can do for a space and this is no exception.  Paint complete – Check. Now it is time for the games to begin. I have a million projects going on right now but I am dying to get started down here! Hmm. maybe I could spare a little time to go shopping for rug…???????????????????????????????

The lovely before shot, Excuse our mess!

In case you forgot, here is the lovely before shot.