Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Activities

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It's been an interesting Memorial Day Weekend so far! My parents were here yesterday for a great visit. Today, Ron and I spent the day together. We rode the Timber Twister Alpine Coaster for the first time. A must-do if you are ever in the Duluth, MN, area. Check out the youtube video above to get an idea of what it is.

We also checked out SUPs or Stand Up Paddleboards at Ski Hut in Duluth. I love this one from Surftech...

10-6 Universal deck10-6 Universal rail10-6 Universal bottom

I admit I have a special spot in my heart for anything that reminds me of our trip to Hawaii a few years back. I'd love to have an SUP to just paddle around the many inland lakes here in Minnesota. Peaceful outdoor activity on the water. Summers are the best here!

Sitting here with many fond memories of Hawaii, I look out the patio door to my sad deck area. Overcast and calling for rain, the furniture and accessories that we can keep there are minimal. I wish we had a covered area so that we could have outdoor sofas like the ones at the hotel in Hawaii. They were similar to these...

Home Styles Riviera Five Seat L Shape Sectional Sofa with Stone Fabric

Can't you just see this set with brightly colored and patterned pillows? I can, too! How about paired with some outdoor lighting like these sconces?...

Pangaea Iron Table Lantern

I'm sure I would want a mix of the table lantern and the deck mount versions. Perfect for outdoor entertaining!

One of these days, I'll take a photo of what we actually have outside. The only photos I have of the back deck are the metal screen I stenciled last year,...

Well, I hear the thunder getting closer, which means the chance of lightning is on its way. Time to unplug!

Remembering on Memorial Day...
To our past, present, and future veterans, we are grateful to you for protecting the freedoms with which we live. Thank you so much.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ron Revs Up the Style Quotient of a Vintage Honda Trail 70

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Ron's head 'bout spun around with excitement when he found the Krylon Rust Tough Rust Fix Converting Primer I had on hand. He was prepping to do some work on this vintage Honda Trail 70 mini bike we had picked up at a flea market a couple years ago. He had ordered some parts to spruce up the engine and was pumped to get started on doing a little revamp on the wheels.

We were also able to put our safety gear to use, too! Did you know there are different respirators for different kinds of projects? I didn't, but thank goodness the knowledgable Rockler representative did! We were prepared! 




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Simple, Balanced, Harmonious.: A Mantra for Life and Style

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I've been changing. Simplifying in all areas of my life.

It happens in stages.
The ability to say "Enough is enough. I want a change."
The ability to let go of things, thoughts, and commitments that no longer fit me.
The ability to release the past without fear of losing something valuable.

The ability to uncover the layers of who I am
and reflect that in my decor, my style, and my life.
The ability to use what I have, because everything I have is something I love.
The ability to appreciate the beauty of small things, simple things, and special moments.

It's a change I welcome.
Like the peeling of an onion, my inner self and authentic style reveal themselves.
"Simple. Balanced. Harmonious." A new mantra for life and style.

A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words
that is considered capable of "creating transformation." (Wikipedia)

Do you have a personal, life, or style mantra?
If not, what words might you include in one?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Using What You Have, Having What You Love

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Instead of the usual desk or computer armoire in the 3rd studio makeover, I pulled in this great vintage table from the living room where it had been used as a sofa table. This table was found on the 3rd floor (yes, 3rd floor!) of a mansion in Duluth, MN. Besides it's mahogany finish and its aged-to-perfection patina, this table is especially unique. It folds up! The legs on each end fold into the table top, then the whole thing folds in half. Then you clip it and carry it like a suitcase. An awkwardly sized and heavy suitcase, but you get the picture!

Teamed up with my pair of discounted PB chairs (found at Tuesday Mornings) and pair of coral lamps (found at TJ Maxx), the new workspace features the vintage train station chalkboard from Fessenden, ND. The chalkboard had a previous home in the dining room above the beach cottage cabinet.

What I love about the pieces in this room is that they came from all over the house and garage to create a whole new look in this space...using things I already had! (Well, except for The Sexy Beast that inspired it all!) When you keep only things that you love, you really can mix them together in any room to make a space that reflects your authentic style.

More photos to come!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's a Shore Thing for Adding Style

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As promised, here are some up-close shots of the vintage Shore Station hoist in the studio...


With this groovy rotating knob to spin the wheel faster.

Great anchor motif.

Made by Midwest Industries, Inc., out of Ida Grove, IA.

A couple people commented or emailed that they have an identical or similar piece. Lucky girls! If you have a post about it, please let me know. I'd love to feature it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vintage Shore Station Hoist as Wall Art

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Yes, I am much happier with this version of the studio makeover. I think this comment over at The DIY Club captures it...

Cassie at Primitive & Proper said, "Looks great, amy! much more rustic and much more whisperwood i think."

I agree with you, Cassie! It is much more WhisperWood Cottage!

SueAnn had a question. She asked, "What is that object on the wall behind the couch? It is fabulous!!"

Well, SueAnn, it is a vintage "Shore Station" manual boat hoist/lift. You drive your boat into the lift and spin the big wheel to lift your boat out of the water. I'm not sure if that is the correct terminology, but that is the gist of it. I remember using one like this as a child when we would visit my grandparents in the summer. I love the combination of white, blue, and rust on this piece. Such character!

Close up photos of the hoist.
Photos of the other side of the room.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Studio Saga Continues: Makeover #3

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Have you been following along on the studio makeover saga here at WhisperWood Cottage? The photo above is the most recent makeover of the studio space! Let me give you a run-down of how this space has changed over and over and over during the past few months.





More photos and details to come!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Camera Play Time: Capturing the Simple Beauty of Ordinary Things

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Do you ever just play with your camera?

Taking photos of found objects?

From different distances and angles?

Using the existing natural light?

Maybe even adjusting your camera settings, if you feel brave?

These photos were all taken at Gold Rush Days in Rochester, MN, last year. Paint brushes in a wooden tote sitting atop a stack of rusty vintage trash cans...a simple display and an instant source of photography inspiration. The textures, colors, and lighting were fun to work with and beautiful in their own way.

Perfect? Nope. Fun? Yup.

Have you had fun capturing anything interesting and/or beautiful to you with your camera lately?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Window Shopping for Kitchen Island Inspiration

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You might have seen the kitchen here at WWC before. If you haven't, check out the BEFORE kitchen photos and the AFTER kitchen photos to see how this crazy space used to look.

Some time soon, I hope to be able to replace the flooring in the kitchen, laundry room, and master bath. When we get to that, I was thinking about upgrading the kitchen island to something a little more interesting. For inspiration, I've been looking at kitchen carts and work tables online. My favorites include these four pieces:

 John Boos American Heritage Rustica Butcher Block Table in Cherry
John Boos American Heritage Classic Country Work Table (60x30) John Boos Flat Top Wood Baker's Production Table with Steel Base
Sources: Table 1 (top left): John Boos Rouge et Noir Le Rustica Butcher Block Table in Black; Table 2 (top right): John Boos American Heritage Rustica Butcher Block Table in Cherry; Table 3 (bottom left): John Boos American Heritage Classic Country Work Table (60x30); Table 4 (bottom right): John Boos Flat Top Wood Baker's Production Table with Steel Base

As you can see, I was drawn to butcher block tops. I've always admired how they bring warmth to a white kitchen. I like the traditional turned legs and the drawers of the first two (the same table in different colors), but I like the scale and shelf of the third and the industrial base of the third. If I could get table 4 (the metal base) in a similar scale as table 3, add some drawers like tables 1 & 2, add a shelf like table 3, and extend the butcher block top out so that stools could be seated all around, I would be in kitchen island heaven! It's a DIY project just waiting to happen! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simple Greyhound Canvas Pillow Cover

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Inspired by the vintage Greyhound bus sign in the guest bedroom (photo below)...

I added a little greyhound detail to a couple Canvas Corp canvas pillow covers...

View the full tutorial, Amy's Greyhound Pillow featuring Canvas Corp, at The DIY Club.