Life on the creative side

Archive for August, 2012

A Walk Along The Ridge

garden fountain

I thought this beautiful summer day would be a good day to take you on a walk along the Ridge.

country gravel road

As we stroll along the gravel road we pass  by this Redbud tree with its interesting seed pods.

redbud tree seed pods

leaves

At the end of the drive, we take a right at the mailbox.

rail fence along country road

flowers along country road

We stop to admire some bright orange Butterfly Weed, sky blue Chicory, and fields of Queen Ann’s Lace.

hillside of queen ann's lace

sister's cabin

Before long we pass my sister’s cabin, built by our late brother who lovingly passed it on to her.  She has lovingly honored his gift by surrounding the little cabin with life. Her beautiful gardens attract butterflies, bees, birds and deer as frequent visitors.

garden fountain

Cabin in the country

Then we come upon my brother’s cabin.  We folks along Rocky Round love old log cabins; all seven of which were rescued from decay, carefully dismantled, moved and reconstructed along the Ridge.

brother's cabin

country road

dad's cabin and barn

the tire swing

We stroll past the small farm and its little white farm-house, where my parents have spent a lifetime raising chickens, beans, tobacco and seven kids.

little white country house

country road

 Soon we enter the shade of woods…Woodland ferns

and head over the hill where the Licking River wraps around the foot of the ridge like a long muddy snake curling its way on toward the Ohio.

the licking river

Then we make our way back out the road to the cabin and Blue Antler Studio.

country road

Enjoy your day.


A Lovely Gravel Patio

gravel patio

Ok friends here’s another project update…

But first a little background:
butterflies in the gardenA few years ago the beautiful garden between Blue Antler Studio and the cabin was in decline.  It started with the lovely elm tree which was unfortunately lost to the blight that swept through our area. Then after a late hard freeze, many of our pollinators suffered; dropping the number of butterflies frequenting the garden from dozens at a time to a handful ; and of course the native honeybee had already been struggling for several years. Then we opened up the kitchen wall and built the new deck which encroached further into the weakened garden. We soon realized it would make more sense to move the garden altogether and utilize the space between the two structures as an outdoor living area.

We got started by digging up the remaining plants in the garden.

transplanting flowers from my garden

We replanted them along the path that would lead to the new patio.

path to the patio

Then we graded off the area, taking it down to the same elevation of the studio before adding several inches of gravel.

grading ground for patio

After compacting the gravel we added a low retaining wall around the upper side of the patio, curving it to create a cozy circular seating area.

curve of patio wall

The next step was to build the fire pit in front of the seating area. With the help of my, can-do-it-all, brother and my, I’m stronger-than-I-look, daughter we took an old metal fire ring and some incredible rocks (remnants of an old barn foundation that once stood on my childhood farm) and we created this amazing fire pit.

my amazing fire pit builders

looking down on my patio and fire pit

first fire in fire pit

For the final touch, my sisters helped me gather up interesting containers to repurpose  into unique patio planters; filled with Joe pye, sedum, mums, geraniums, saliva, sweet potatoes and other various vines they now grace my new outdoor space.  (Useful tip – first we partially filled the containers with empty plastic bottles, caps on, to help fill the voluminous space).

A leaky metal garbage can, filled with blooms, adds interest to the studio entrance.

re-purposed garbage can as planter

An overflowing, rusty-red wheelbarrow adds balance flanking the other side of the door.

rusty red wheelbarrow planter

Old metal tubs and buckets and…

sedum and succulents planted in old metal tubs

some broken wooden crates scattered  around the patio, provide pops of whimsy and color.

geranium planted in old wooden crate

Finally, the result of all our efforts  is this lovely patio!

my new patio

my gravel patio

Stay tuned for phase two – it will involve a rustic arbor and this beautiful, live-cut, pine-slab for alfresco dinning.

live edge pine slab for patio table Hubby sure needs his workshop finished!


A Cabin Kitchen Remodel

country french inspired kitchen island remodel with antique rain gutter wine rack

We are finally finishing up or winding down our summer projects at the cabin and studio.  Actually my studio has been commandeered for storage and work space until hubby’s workshop/barn is completed. Fortunately not having my studio hasn’t been too much of an issue, as I’ve been so busy with house and yard projects over the last few months that I haven’t needed it; come fall however, it will be a different story. But now, as promised, is one of the projects that we have completed.

My kitchen started out last summer like this.

punched tin pine cabinet

Now, as it should be, it is my favorite room in the cabin.

Cabin kitchen remodel

Our first step was painting the bead-board ceiling a creamy white to help light reflect around the room. We then rearranged the appliances and added some old heart-pine cabinets that hubby had made almost thirty years ago for another house.  Because the cabinets were not designed for this space, we created open shelving, with painted bead-board backing (a wonderful green), to fill in the empty spaces. I loaded the shelves with lovely things – all mice proof of course, as this is an old cabin in the country.

Open shelving in farm kitchen

I love that all the textiles in the space are mismatched; my sister donated light airy curtains for the windows; vintage embroidered pillowcases cover the chair cushions; instead of doors under the counter we used French inspired table clothes as curtains; different patterned tablecloths also flank the sliding door which leads out to the new deck with twisted vine rails, which leads to the new patio…but all that will be in another post.

 

Cabin kitchen remodel with tablecloths as curtains

 Light airy curtains and landscape painting by kathry t lundberg, lighten a kitchen

The counter top and back-splash is walnut from an old tree that fell on the home place years ago and has been stored in my sister’s barn; Hubby roughed up the surface and rounded the edges to give it an aged look, then sealed it with food safe oil.  The sink was in the structure when we found it and was moved along with the logs to the current location. A few years ago hubby built the sink cabinet and I painted and finished it to look like an old piece of furniture (what a team we make)

cabin kitchen sink

The island was constructed from the very first piece of woodworking hubby made for the cabin, all those years ago; a pine cabinet with punched tin doors perched high on tall legs.  We removed the legs; painted and distressed the whole thing; added reclaimed porch posts and a couple of salvaged angle brackets from an old farm-house to support the new shelving and bar height counter. Finally we topped it off with a beautiful piece of marble given to us by a friend.  I finished the bar shelf with a primitive painting of the houses along the ridge. Hubby even put power in the island so at this Christmas’s tree trimming party I won’t be crowded in the corner with my back to the revelers while preparing the grilled cheese sandwiches.

french inspired kitchen island

distressed French blue kitchen cabinet doors

recycled porch posts for kitchen island

primitive folk art painting on kitchen counter by kathryn t lundberg

folk art painting on kitchen island counter

The lighting is the final project; I’m just waiting for the perfect fixture to find its way to me.

Country French inspired Cabin kitchen remodel with antique rain gutter wine rack

 vintage farmhouse

 


Farm to Table

egg avocado cheese sandwich

organic, permaculture farm, produce market, ky

Summer time is the perfect time to embrace farm to table dinning. Blue Antler Studio sits on a rocky ridge in rural Kentucky, where farm to table is just simply the way of life, so farm fresh produce is easy to come by this time of year.  In fact I sometimes come home to find a sack or a basket of fresh produce, a gift from one neighbor or another’s garden.

basket of sweet potatoes

Out the road a little ways sits my dad’s treasure-stuffed, man-cave cabin…

a man-cave cabin

just inside the door there is a small refrigerator. If you look inside the frig you’ll usually find several dozen beautiful farm fresh eggs sitting beside a jar labeled with a hand-written note that reads, “egg money $2.00 a doz”. The eggs are not from my dad, as he and mom no longer keep chickens, but from Danny, a life-long neighbor, who keeps my family in lovely brown, pale-blue and cream-colored eggs all season.

colorful farm raised eggs

Much to my disappointment however, this year has been so hot the hens haven’t been laying well; but today I got word that finally there were eggs in the frig.  So I hurried out the road, threw open the frig door and to my delight discovered four dozen Danny eggs stacked beside the money jar; yipee!

egg jar

In true farm to table fashion, or Rocky Round tradition, this evening I enjoyed a delicious egg, cheese and avocado sandwich on a hardy, grilled bread; complimented by a glass of red wine sangria sweetened by in season, peaches and blackberries.

egg avocado cheese sandwich

LOL – I was so excited about this lovely meal, I had eaten half the sandwich before I thought to stop and take a picture.

                    .fresh sangria makings

Does life get any sweeter?

:)

To learn more about farm to table living  check out – http://www.farmtotablenm.org/

 


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