Wicked Wednesday……..{No. 3}

One morning in 1978 a communist defector and BBC journalist was waiting at a bus stop when he felt a painful stab in his thigh….he turned to find a man picking up his umbrella and apologizing.  Not long after he had a fever, was hospitalized, began throwing up blood, and then he died.

When the doctors performed an autopsy they found hemorrhaging in every organ in his body and a capsule in a puncture wound in his thigh that contained extract from the Castor Bean plant. It was suspected that a KGB agent was the culprit.

Castor Bean PlantCastor Bean Plant  {source}

Castor bean is in a lot of our gardens…it is sold to deter moles and voles. It is sold at most garden centers in the U.S. It has very pretty foliage….and, yes, it is the source of castor oil. Mussolini’s men used to use castor oil on dissidents….they would grab them and stuff a bottle of castor oil in their mouth as a form of punishment…leaving them with a really bad case of you-know-what! Oh, yeah. That’ll teach ’em. With such great ideas you can see how some of these people become leaders, right?

Supposedly the deadly poison ricin has been removed before you purchase your bottle of castor oil…..but just be careful! 😉

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In the late 1800’s Sigmund Freud was quoted as saying:

“a cocainization of the left nostril had helped me to an amazing extent. In the last few days I have felt quite unbelievably well, as though everything had been erased…I have felt wonderful, as though there never had been anything wrong at all.”

{Hmmmm….and there are people that have trusted this man and have based the study of our minds on his opinions??? Someone not in their right mind tells us what is going on with our mind? Lord, help us!}

Coca PlantCoca Plant {source}

The small bush that had changed Freud’s life was the coca plant….or more commonly referred to as cocaine. {Here come my crazy hits!}

Cocaine is an alkaloid that is extracted from the coca plant grown in South America and was found in the earliest versions of the drink Coca-Cola.

Even though Coca-Cola’s recipe is a super guarded secret….supposedly coca is still used in the flavoring today…just without the cocaine alkaloid. Supposedly.

Hmmmmm…I wonder if that is why my great-grandmother had to start each day with a Coca-Cola in order to function? Hmmmmm………..if she only knew.

Anyone know of any fun wicked plant info for us?

Be careful what you grow……and chew on…..and swallow……….

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Vintage Etagere {China Cabinet}

A few weeks ago I shared how we were so very honored to be special Memory Keepers…you can read about it here.

If you follow me on Instagram you have been a part of seeing some of the wonderful treasures that we have been gifted with. {If you’d like to follow on instagram here’s my handle: cottageintheoaks}

We now have a huge storage room full of wonderful vintage and antique furniture and items that we have lots of fun ideas of what we’d like to do with……here’s  a look at the first one that we’ve tackled.

Here she is…when we found her.

Found treasure - Vintage Etagere

Forlorn. Standing on her head. Needing a bath and some TLC.

How do I know she was a she? It was the curvy legs.

She was missing her door…but that didn’t bother us a bit.

Found treasure - Vintage Etagere

Here she is in her new home….the dining room. Handsome has repaired her badly damaged, curvy leg…and built her two new shelves, and a new bottom, since her original ones were missing.

Vintage Etagere

We’ve scrubbed and cleaned her up….and was so happy to find out she has vintage, wavy glass! We’ve been letting her settle into her new surroundings for a few days now….and this week she will be getting a coat of Paris Grey. She’s excited.

Vintage Etagere

And then she will be the keeper of all of our white dishes and serve ware.

Vintage Etagere

Can’t wait to show you the finished product! {Actually, I can’t wait to see it myself.} 😉

What are you up to this week?

Blessings~

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Cottage Office…….

One of the things I love about our office is the wonderful light that floods in all day. It has the perfect location in our cottage to catch all the good light.

This room is quite the workhorse. We run our businesses in here, do schoolwork, and I hold staff meetings with my staff. {Hence, the sofa! We like comfy spots to sit!}

Here’s a few shots of a couple of areas of this room…and a list of all the projects that have been shared from this hub in our home. =)

Handsome built the two desks to fit together in an ‘L’…but if we ever wanted to use them separately we could. I love them because they are very simple and don’t burden the room down with heavy furniture. They were built with high-grade plywood and 2×4’s. We had a piece of glass cut for the top of each.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

When you have a home office you really have to be creative to not allow your home to turn into a business.  We use fun, vintage storage to hide all kinds of things.  They are handy when we need them; but when it’s time to ‘close shop’ they are not staring us in the face.

We also use this room as a second sitting area when there are lots of people over.  So we don’t want it to ‘feel’ like an office.

On these shelves we use vintage cigar boxes to organize all kinds of things…cables, small notes/papers, etc. The little miniature drawers hold paper clips, jump drives, etc.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

Each week I transfer what is on the digital calendar/planner onto a desk pad so I can scribble things out and have a quick overall look at the week. {The link to print your own is at the end of this post.} I love to scribble things out when they are done. I am not a checkmark girl. I want to totally scratch it out! {If you are a therapist…please, don’t tell me what that means. It might scare me.}

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

I loved this picture that No. 1 Son drew of his little sister when he was about 6….I keep it framed on the desk with some sweet notes the kids left for me. Daily blessings and encouragement…..we all need it! =)

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

Filing cabinets are sometimes a necessity….but not always very pretty to look at. These are simple metal filing cabinets that we painted to be a bit more fun.

We also removed those hideous louvered closet doors and put up a linen curtain instead.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

This lamp was my grandmother’s.  She made it out of seashells that I found for her as I was growing up.  I added a simple shade with some fun pom poms glued around the edges.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

A friend was cleaning out this Ikea chest with shelves several years ago….it was bright, fire-engine red. I painted it a soft blue and it holds a multitude of stuff! Whew!

Handsome found the vintage skis a few years ago and brought them home… he knew I would love them.  BUT, what he didn’t know was that they were the same kind of skis my mother used to competitively ski with! She cried when she saw them. These skis have actually had that effect on many people. They were a special find.

You can find the sketches of Jesus here. {Everyone loves those!}

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

We love to travel…so we all love maps.  I was thrilled when I found this vintage-looking map that was actually up-to-date…..so we can use it for homeschool.

The lampshades are edged in Cape May diamonds and pebbles that we have found on our trips to one of our favorite beaches, Cape May. =) The how-to is listed at the end of the post.

The circle frame how-to is at the end of the post, as well. This is how we cleaned out over 75 frames! It was a fun project.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

I inherited a lovely solid cedar chest from my great aunt years ago.  We painted and distressed the outside to use as a coffee table in the office. It, too, provides a tremendous amount of storage.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

We use this vintage beach pail to put our used ink cartridges in…until we can turn them back into the office store.

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

And you always need rolls of paper at the ready!

Home Office - Cottage in the Oaks

Here are the projects that I’ve shared over the past couple of years from this room:

Repurposed Frappuccino Bottles

Vintage French Inspired Desk Pad {Free Printable}

File Cabinet Makeover

Curtains for Doors

Circle Frame

Hidden Storage

Painted Cedar Chest

Cape May Pebble Lampshades

Hope your week is off to a super start!

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Finding the Lovely ….. {Week 3}

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day! We’ve been busy around here with some fun projects…..but aren’t quite finished yet.

This was a hard week. Anyone else been there? But….there were still many lovely things happening in the midst of the hard.

Finding the Lovely Week 3

1. My favorite store! 😉

2.  Heart-shaped BoBerry biscuit. If you do not live in or are from the South….this may be foreign to you. I implore you to try them one day when you are passing through.  I only have them once-in-a-while…but the week of Valentine’s each year they are in a heart shape. An extra lovely:  see the little hand?

3.  A bowl full of lavender-filled hearts.

4. Vintage Valentine’s

5.  Pillows….waiting….

6.  Two crazy sisters that fight over the front seat daily!

7. I’m forgiven……so I’m dropping my rock.

8.  Woke up to beautiful tulips on Valentine’s Day….my favorite! {How did he know???}

9.  Went to change the toilet paper on Valentine’s Day….and found this. =) God was sending me a message…even in the toilet paper. I’m loved. I’m His favorite Valentine. 😉 hee!hee!

What are some lovely things from your week? Anyone else have a hard week….but could still see the lovelies?

Hope your weekend totally refreshes you~

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Wicked Wednesday…..{No. 2}

I hope you are having a Wonderful Wednesday…not a wicked one! But I have some more fun, wicked plant facts to share……

Did you know that the Greeks used hellebore in one of the earliest known instances of chemical warfare?

Hellebore

{Source of photo}

Or that here in the American South kudzu has literally eaten buildings and cars? {I know if you live here….you already knew that one!}

Kudzu Eating a Building

{Source of photo}

Kudzu Eating a Car

{Source of photo}

Or that a killer algae escaped from Jacque Cousteau’s aquarium and continues today to smother the ocean floor all over the world?

Cousteau's Killer Algae

{Source of photo}

Encountered any of these???? =)

Have a Wonderful Wednesday~

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Hidden Storage…….

As a family of 5….we’ve got a lot of stuff!  We clean out pretty regularly, but with this many people under one roof it takes a lot of organization to tame the clutter that can accumulate.  Also, we homeschool….so, there are lots of extra things that we need that most families don’t have to find a place for…..

Here are some of our creative ways that we have organized things we need, but then cover it up so we don’t have to look at it all the time…..even when things are organized they can sometimes appear like unnecessary clutter.

We have several VHS movies, etc. that cannot be purchased on DVD…and a few overflow DVD’s that we organized on an over-the-door wire hanger. T.A.C.K.Y. I can’t stand those things! BUT, it worked perfectly for what we needed.

However, it was very cluttery-looking even when the door was closed, because you could see them all hanging back there.

I did a few *wink* *winks* and Handsome put a 1×6 board on the door to hide the mess.

{Isn’t he nice?}

Hidden Door Storage Hidden Door Storage

In our entryway we have shelves that house many books…..we are bookworms! And even though they were nicely lined up on the shelves….it created a busy-ness look that I didn’t want. So, I cut two linen panels out of some material I already had and thumbtacked them to the top of the shelves. I then used hemp rope to roll them up part of the way and hold them where I wanted them.

Entryway Hidden Storage Covered Shelves

**Pre-warning** Excuse the wrinkles. They happen. It’s the lived-in look.

Here is one of our homeschool shelves that stays packed with materials!  I covered them with a fitted linen cover.

Homeschool Storage Homeschool Storage

And here is another set of shelves that store LOTS of miscellaneous things….simply covered with curtains.

You can check out all the other ways we’ve used curtains as doors and covers here.

Curtain-covered shelves Covered shelf storage

How do you hide or contain clutter…even if it is organized?

Blessings~

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Heart Rocks…….

Many years ago Handsome started giving me rocks that he would find in the shape of hearts.  Not ones that had been cut or shaped into a heart…but natural ones. My heart rock collection has grown ….. and continues!

It’s like a little Godwink when you look down and find a piece of nature that has been shaped into a heart.  {My pastor’s wife dropped by one day and left me a potato that was shaped like a heart. It was fun to find it in the mailbox, and then display it in the kitchen. It lasted several months! ha!}

heart rock collection

They have come from all over the nation….and some from other lands.

It’s like Valentine’s year-round! =)

Do you collect anything from nature?  Or is there one thing in particular that you have always collected, and probably always will?

There are some things that I collect for a season….and then move on; but heart rocks, vintage shave brushes, and ‘P’s’ are something that I always have and probably always will collect.

You can see my post about Collecting P here

and Collecting Vintage Shave Brushes here

Happy Beginning of Valentine Week!

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Finding the Lovely {Week 2}

 

Yaaaaayyyyyy! It’s time for the weekend!

I hope you have had a lovely week….and if not, I hope you are able to look back and see that amidst the hardness….there was loveliness, too!

Finding the Lovely Week 2

My lovelies for this week????

My daily morning green drink…..gets me going!

A fun note/request added to my grocery list…with the addition of ‘thank you for being cooperative’ added in. =) Love. It.

A bird’s nest found while running errands

A special treasure found and brought home

Some fun new chairs for the cottage dining room!

My favorite soap for getting off paint, etc. after doing artwork

A cozy robe waiting….

Bed pillows!

My heart rock collection

A costume morgue neatly organized and ready…..

A winter camelia blooming in the garden

A clean kitchen floor

God finishing off a day in a spectacular way…

A fun Valentine Mantel

Tie-dye soap in the car wash!

Handsome’s lips……oooooo-la-la! Very lovely, indeed! 😉

Have a lovely weekend, friends~

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Valentine Mantel……..

We don’t decorate a whole lot for Valentine’s Day…but we do have a bit of fun in little places around our home.  I was in the mood to change the mantel a bit…and it was a tad too early to make it ‘springy’….so, I did a little impromptu Valentine Mantel.

valentine mantel

I gathered up all of the grainsack and red French ticking sachets that I could find around the house and put them in a little wire basket lined with linen. They are all filled with lavender and smell soooooo goooooddddd!

grainsack hearts

With three violinists in our home we have lots of violin sculptures….I thought they were perfect for the Valentine Mantel……..

cupid playing violin austin sculpture of violin and cello

Then I just filled in the rest of the space with all the white pitchers that I could find in the cabinets and on the shelves! I think I will fill them with roses for next week.

valentine mantel 2013

For the garland I used trim and ribbon in pinks, reds, and whites.

Valentine's Day MantelIt was fun to shop our cottage and pull this together. I love doing that. Didn’t spend a dime!

Do you do any Valentine decorating……or do you just sit back and enjoy the chocolate?

Hearts to you~

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