Thursday, September 15, 2016

Patio Reveal....

Its been a little over a month that we've had the patio back.  We've certainly enjoyed every minute of the remaining of summertime with our family and friends out here.  I've been promising a "reveal" for a while, and I can for sure see it will be awhile before I get settled out here.  I keep waiting for something to bloom, or I decide to move or replace something out here....so I figured I better go ahead and share it with you before Christmas season arrives. If you are wondering what our patio looked like before, here is a link. We changed the layout of it since the entire area had to be demo'd because of rot (here is that post, if you want to see that one too).

Right now most of the garden is quieting down and getting ready for fall.  But I still have these gorgeous roses blooming on in these World Market planters on my patio. I keep waiting for my new Eden from Heirloom Roses to open up - looks like any day?
You can already see I've got a few pumpkins that are up on the mantle. I'm sure there will be more fall decor I can share with you at a later date. Found these amazing ammo canisters at a cute little shop called "Jubeelee"  in Bend Oregon when we visited recently, along with the wooden sign saying "let it go" which whispers loudly to me when I go too deep in thought out here.

One of my favorite finds for out here on our patio is the huge clock that Julie over at Little Farmstead created.  As soon as I saw her post about it on IG, I messaged her asking her to think of me if she ever decides to sell it... a few weeks later she decided to make more and offered this one to me!  It really makes a statement above our mantle that time doesn't exist on the patio!
I've incorporated a lot of galvanized pieces out here ~ It seems to very fitting for the space.  I am enjoying switching plants out of the decor pieces.  Just a few weeks ago, I had hydrangeas in this piece below that I found on Craigslist . 
These are the perfect candle holders I found at World Market.  Home Depot offers votive sized citronella candles that are perfect for these candle holders.
Much of the decor is still the same. We have the same furniture from Rich's in Bellevue and many of my favorite eclectic pieces, like this cabinet... I kept it in the exact same place it was before on the patio, along with the old window and door. It felt good to pull all these cute pieces out of storage and get them back out to enjoy before summer ended.
I also still love my window coffee table from Melaine at My Sweet Savannah. I bought it from her years ago and love the special cottage feel it gives my outdoor living space.

Please notice the fantastic sign (above the main window in the photo below) that was made by Paula at Castle and Cottage.  She has made several signs for me here at my home, obviously I can't get enough of them.

Another new sign that was custom made for us, is this "Patio Rules" sign by Megan at Sawyer Leigh Boutique.  I found her while exploring Instagram.  She made another sign for me that I will plan to share hopefully next week. The entire family came up with their favorite things to do on the patio. Megan incorporated and customized the layout and special font for the sign. It turned out amazing and is a perfect addition to this space.
If you looked at the old photo's of the patio - you can see that the fireplace was moved from the center of the patio off to the corner... so now we get to enjoy the gardens while sitting out here.
I also added a few humming bird feeders to the patio garden beds and removed the seed feeders. I've really enjoyed seeing these little guys visit often.
A few new features we added to this space that we didn't have before was a television. I wasn't initially excited about it, because the original intention was to put it above the mantle.  As the patio progressed, it was decided to hang between our french doors to keep it protected from weather. Since we entertain a lot, it was important to my husband we had one for football games, UFC nights, movie nights with the kids etc. We even enjoyed the tail end of the 2016 Olympics on the patio.  

This cut out for firewood is new to us and has definitely been a favorite (& easy) feature that we added.

Also having a hearth that extends into a bench for extra seating has been perfect the few times we've needed extra seats.

Our countertop between the fireplace and the grill is quartz and hopeful it will be easier to maintain than the tile we had before. 

We also added ceiling heaters and look forward to using them this winter!

Thanks for coming over and visiting and seeing our patio reveal - I know I will be showing more photo's when I change the decor around.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask, i'm happy to share where I found something if I forgot to post about it. xoxo, tracie

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Labor of Love Soy Candle Kit...& GIVEAWAY!!!

Had the most fun today making candles from Labor of Love Co.!  This kit was sent to me to try out and we loved doing it.  So simple and so easy - a fun family craft to keep for ourselves and/or give as a gift! The kit itself came packaged up so cute with everything we needed for creating two darling candles.

A set of easy to follow instructions came with the kit - We followed the kits instructions but I couldn't help but add my own twist at the very end, keep reading to find out!

Melting the wax and adding the fragrance was my favorite part, my whole house smells so good right now. 
I can't wait to burn these candles on a cloudy, rainy day this fall....

After the wax melted I got my jars ready (set on wax paper in case I spill) and poured the wax into the jars. 
From previous experiences of pouring candle wax, I decided to let the wax set for a few minutes before putting the wicks in place. Since They get slippery for me, I wrapped my wicks around a pencil while they set...I forgot to take a photo during the drying process, but here is the end result.  I like to leave the tops curled once the wax dries - I think its cute during storage, or for gifting. The kit comes with this cute rustic twine and gift cards to tie on.  Love that this company has thought of everything for this kit.
 While waiting for the candles to finish drying - I traced and cut out little colorful toppers using paper I have on hand. I think it made a cute addition to the lids that were included in the kit that go on the jars once the wax has completely cooled.
I'll bet you are anxious to see how they turned out? Perfect for gift giving AND I can say I personally made it! love that! 

Ready for the best part of this entire post?  I'm hosting a giveaway on both Instagram and on Facebook!  Don't miss out!!! Be sure to check out both places for your chance to win!
Winner will be announced next Monday September 12th

Best of luck everyone - xoox, tracie

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fishtail Cottage's New Rabbit Hutch...

Its hard to believe it's already been five years since we brought home our bunny, "Bam Bam". He is a Mini Holland lop and has been such a sweet pet for our daughter.  His original cage was perfect, but after the five years it literally began to fall apart!  The roof was slowly beginning to come apart, the bottom literally was about to fall out from under him and all the chewing that went on inside that cage didn't help. 
We recently started shopping for a new cage for our Bam Bam - however, it seems any bunny hutch was ridiculously priced and very cheaply made.  So I enlisted a friend to help build us one.  Already having a rabbit hutch and being a parent to chickens as well, it is important to me to have an easy to maintain (and clean) living space for pets.  After several conversations of the 'vision' that was in my head we decided it was best to go ahead and order a kit from Wayfair.com.  The idea was close to what I wanted and seemed easy enough to customize it. Click here for the link...
Wondering ways we decided to customize this?  The bottom is meant to be open so that the bunny can have access to free roam in what I assume to be grass. However, for us that doesn't make a lot of sense because for one, we have gravel where this cage will be and also we have critters (raccoons mice and rats) that would be happy to dig underneath and access the food and perhaps hurt our rabbit.  So it was necessary to put both a solid bottom and a wire bottom - its good to have different textures for the bottom of a rabbits feet.  Also, they like to lay down and laying on wire isn't always comfortable. For easy cleaning the hutch needed to be lifted up off the ground so that I could clean easily by just hosing it out. This roof had to go - not a fan of it being so basic. And of course, because I already have a white chicken coop and picket fence in the same area that hosts the bunny cage, I wanted to also have the cage white.
It might sound silly, but it was crucial that the cage was "cute" from all angles.  Which I am so happy now that I decided that was important as I decided not to set the cage back inside the picket fence where the coop area is. 

Setting the cage on a platform of 16x16 pavers has worked out nicely (same thing I did with my chicken coop) to just hose any fallen debris right into the landscape. We also had a perfect pan that came from a storage bin that we no longer used that slides perfect underneath where the droppings can be dumped in the garden as well.

We ended up facing the hutch 'south' that way the bunny can hide in the upper portion of the cage where it is fully enclosed during the wind and rain. This area of the hutch slides out in case "Bam Bam" has an accident up there - it's easy to hose off to keep it clean. We keep cedar shaving up there for him to sleep on and stay warm.  I also will keep the food, timothy hay and the salt up there as well so it will stay dry when its windy and rainy.  We always keep two water bottles in the cage because I worry about the water running low in the summer months.
I am very pleased with how the whole 'vision' and implementation of the rabbit hutch turned out.  I think Bam Bam feels pretty special too!

Thank you for coming by to take a peek at our new bunny cage.  xoxo, tracie