Saturday, March 27, 2010

My heart is broken…

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It is 7 am and I have just learned that my mother has died.

I am in a state of utter disbelief. You see my sweet granny is currently in the hospital, and Mr. Decor’s mother is very, very ill… but my mom was ok. I just talked to her a few days ago…

This was not the call I was expecting.

My dear sweet friends your prayers are greatly needed as I travel to California.

Laura

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All Things Irish~ Thatched Roof Cottages

I am so very happy you are enjoying a repeat of my "All Things Irish" series. Other pasts posts can be found in the March 2008 archives.

Thatching is a process of covering a roof with dried vegetation such as heather and straw. It is perhaps the oldest form of roofing material.





Thatching in Ireland has gone on for over 9,000 years. Originally it was used by those with less financial means. Thatching today is quite expensive due to its labor intensity and that the skilled craftsmanship required is now dwindling.


The thatch is fastened together in bundles about two feet wide. The bundles are then laid on the roof with the butt end facing out. After they are secured to the roof beams they are then pegged in place with wooden rods. The thatcher adds the layers on top of each other. The top layer is placed on the ridge line (top point) of the roof.
A thatched roof is waterproof, provides good acoustic insulation, is cool in the summer, warm in winter, and is great at covering irregular roof structures. The roof can last 45-50 years if done by an expert thatcher.

Thatching can also be considered as a "green" alternative as it uses natural materials which can be renewed regularly and the old thatch can be recycled into excellent fertilizer.
The biggest disadvantage is flammability. While thatched roofs do not catch fire any more frequently than roofs covered with 'hard' materials, thatch fires are difficult to extinguish once they take hold.


Many of the thatched roofs have intricate designs. Here is a closeup of a ridge line that features a thatched dog in addition to a scalloped design. If the legs on the dog were a wee bit shorter, I might think it was Rudi, our dachshund. Screening is used to keep birds from gathering the thatch for nesting material.

Thatched roofs are most prevalent in the United Kingdom, but can also be found in Africa, Hawaii and Japan.


The most famous thatched roof cottage is the Anne Hathaway cottage in the village of Shottery, in Warkwickshire, England. This is not the Anne Hathaway of "Princess Diaries" fame, but Shakespeare's wife. It is a 12 room cottage done in a Tudor style of architecture with visible timber framing. The cottage is also well known for its beautiful gardens.



The largest thatched roof in the world can be found on the House of the Five Senses at the Efteling theme park in the Netherlands.

It is now quite popular to stay as a tourist in any number of thatched roofed bed and breakfast inn's. They are fairly reasonable and extremely quaint accomidations.


For my home schoolers, here is a link with instructions on how to make your own miniature cottage.

Other topics in the series included:










The comments are turned off so that you may happily visit the other posts.

Be blessed ye lads and lassies! Slán go fóill ! (Goodbye for now in Irish Gaelic)

Laura 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Springtime Flower Garden

I know that many of you are just beginning to look through your seed catalogs and still dreaming of spring. In Phoenix the season begins in March. I did a bit of planting recently and thought I would share a little of what I have learned over the years.

Remember to bloom where you are planted. Even if it is in the desert.

Laura

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Toe Tappin’ Happiness

I have returned from New Orleans and have hit the ground running while I try to catch up with family, school and housework. Here is just one image of 580 (I am not kidding) that I thought might bring you a bit of N’Awlins happiness.
Many thanks to my wonderful family for a truly memorable trip.
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Be blessed,
Laura

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Painting Bathroom Cabinets

I have wanted to update our front bathroom cabinets since we moved in five years ago.

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I made some step by step video’s for those of you who might consider doing this in the future. There are also before and after photo’s included at the bottom of the post.




My cabinets were originally a shiny oak. Lightly sanding the shine off is a must.

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Next came one coat of primer.
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Followed by two coats of white latex paint.

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A bit of distressing, a wash of glaze, new knobs and hardware completed the task. 

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Are you considering painting your cabinets?

Laura