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This Little Piggie...

...is happy to see the snow melting!  We've had some warmer weather (40's) which is giving us a bit of a thaw.  I'm trying not to get too excited though since we still have to get through March!

You may (or may not) know that I collect pigs and you will find them throughout my home.  I'm not one of those crazy collectors with thousands of pigs lined up everywhere.  I have some and each one has a story and is special to me.  Someday, I'll write a post devoted to this collection; I did write about Chalk Pig and if you'd like to meet him, you can click HERE. In the meantime, let me introduce you to the newest member of the family, Pallet Pig:
With all that pallet wood, there had to be at least one pig, so I drew myself a pattern and started tracing: I fit two on the wood I grabbed.  Here's a close-up since I used pencil for tracing: Out came the jigsaw and the pigs were cut-out in minutes.  A little sanding, dry-brushed white paint, stain and they were almost done…
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Grapevine Heart

If you visited the Cottage on facebook this week, you saw a 'teaser' for this project.  Go on, go take a peek, I'll wait!  
I don't know about where you live, but, around here, grapevines grow wild all over and, since most of my 'stuff' is still packed in a storage unit, I decided to use what was available.  I grabbed my clippers, went out back, and started clipping long lengths of grapevines.  It was really cold, so, let me tell you, I clipped pretty quickly! They still had some leaves...

And some great curlicues... I grabbed a few from the pile and made this: You can't tell from the picture, but this heart is pretty big - about 26" across and 29" tall.  I twisted together three vines for each side.  I used a piece of jute twine to tie them together in the middle, slowly bent the vines until  the were joined at the bottom, where another piece of jute twine completed the heart.  It probably took about 5 minutes, you know, one of those long, involved p…

Did Someone Say, "Pinecones"?

It's been a pretty quiet week around here.  After pulling a muscle in my back, the only thing I was good for was lazing around with ice and heat while taking ibuprofen and muscle relaxers.  Believe me when I tell you, I don't 'laze around' well at all, but I did read two books!

Today I want to share my 'Shopping Expedition' from when we visited our kids for the holidays.  
A little-known fact is, Las Vegas has LOTS of pine trees.  Who knew, right?  In the desert?  Not only that, they are usually shaped well and are a decent size.  
So, on one of our shopping trips, I commented on the pinecones that had fallen off the trees along the street.  My daughter asked me if she had to pull over, and, naturally, I said yes!  I collected about 12 that day, and, after a few more stops on different days, I ended up with a bagful! Because you can never have too many pinecones, we took the dogs for a walk where I acquired a few more. My daughter took video of me walking along the …

Not Quite What I Planned...

Today's post is a bit different, due to plans changing.  I had a wonderful project to share and wasn't quite done with the post when I turned the wrong way.  I pulled a muscle in my back and it hurts to take a deep breath and move.  So, here I am with my muscle relaxers, an ice pack, and ibuprofen...not quite what I planned.  

I promise to be back next week, but in the meantime, allow me to tell you how touched I am by everyone who stops by.  This blog was started three years ago to tell the story of our little house and so much has happened since then...cleaning, painting, projects...the list goes on and on.  The most exciting thing was that people actually read the posts and left me comments!  How about that?

I know I'll never be famous with thousands of followers, but I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate every pin, share, and comment.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

That being said, I need another ice pack...see you all again soon!
Ann

The Flag Story

I have to be honest, this is a project that was 2 years in the making.  When we went to visit the kids for the 2016 holidays, my daughter's boyfriend showed me this flag (to be).  It's approximately 3' x 4' and he wanted a distressed, antique look; he asked me for my thoughts.  I got him started by painting the field of blue, but this was his project and I didn't want to 'take over'.  Well, it sat for a year until we returned for the 2017 holidays...the project was now mine, and my daughter's to complete!
It was built by a friend with 13 pieces of pine.  Perfect for the 13 stripes on a flag.  We got started by taping: We started with the white stripes.  The first step was dry-brushing the edges to prevent bleed-through.  Each stripe ended up with 3 coats of white craft paint.
The white stripes were then taped, and the red stripes were applied using the same technique.   The painting was done! Next came the distressing and my daughter left this step to me. I …

A Mermaid 'Tail'

How's your week been?  It's been pretty cold here and we've had some snow - a bit of an adjustment after spending 6 weeks in the desert!   In addition to getting home and back into a routine, my brand-new laptop needed some attention. It's been randomly shutting itself off and generally being a nuisance.  So, I contacted the support line and after 2 hours, it was supposed to be fixed...until the next day when it shut itself off again!  Back to tech support for another hour and then the decision to re-image the computer and bring it back to 'factory'.  Did I mention it's a brand-new laptop???  Three hours later, it was done and then I had to spend time putting it back the way I needed it.  There's still more to do, but, I had enough to get this post written - fingers crossed that this is the end of my technology troubles!!

So I guess I'll be like a mermaid and 'roll with the tide', since there isn't much else I can do!  

This mermaid was my…

The Alohomora Key Rack

Happy New Year and welcome back!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  We spent the holidays in the southwest with our children and the grand dogs.  In between two Thanksgivings (yes, two!), Christmas, the New Year, and lots of cooking, baking, dinners, visits, and laughter, my daughter and I managed to find some time for projects.  
She's a huge Harry Potter Fan and was inspired by a key rack on Pinterest.  She sent me the picture and asked if I had a piece of wood and any old keys. After finding a pine board and some antique keys in my stash of goodies, it was time to help her 'make it her own'.  Let's get started...
First, the board was sanded and given 3 coats of black acrylic paint.  After that dried, the edges were taped (by 'eye') and the center was painted with 3 coats of white craft paint.  The paint dry over-night, and everything was distressed with 220-grit sandpaper.
Using a Harry Potter font found on-line, we spelled out & sized 'Alohomora"…