May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Faux Brick!

I've seen some projects recently that involve the use of trompe d'oeil (fool the eye) -- in the cases I've selected, by creating the look of real brick!

To me, brick conjures up feelings of security and reassurance.  I still want to own a brick house -- in fact, I expect when I sell this place (well, at least I hope the market will be recovered by then) in 5 and 1/2 years when I retire, my vision is a small single story brick bungalow or perhaps a two-bedroom faux-Tudor style or Cape Cod.  Milwaukee is loaded with them -- evidently because people felt the same way I do about these sturdy, timeless homes.

I find it very interesting that while many people are intent upon erasing brick mantels with paint, wallboard, panelling, stone resurfacing, etc., many other people are equally busy creating the look of brick where it doesn't exist by using wallcoverings, paint, stencils, brick veneer and even real brick!

The first project I want to show was done by my blogging buddy,  Debbie at Debbie-Dabble.  It is an exercise in utter simplicity, ingenuity, patience, and turned out fabulously!  Every time I look at her post (and see her "new" patio in photographs at her fabulous blog), I still cannot believe that these are not real bricks!

Faux Brick on Concrete Patio Floor
June 21, 2012 (Debbie-Dabble)

From the enterprising and seemingly endlessly endowed with energy couple at Decorate With a Little Bit, check out this dining room redo from the "little brick cottage" the couple bought and totally rehabbed.  Would you believe this is WALLPAPER covering, appropriately enough, the chimney piece in a corner of the room?  I didn't believe it, and I still have a hard time believing it:

Little Brick Cottage: Dining Room, My Favorite… No… One of My Favorites!
April 17, 2012 (Decorate With a Little Bit)

Erin at Lavender and Lemon Drops created a stunning wall using faux brick panels purchased from Lowes, which she then specially treated to give it an aged/rehabbed look (you know, like the mellow brick walls that you often see in rehab projects in city dwellings on This Old House).  It looks amazing:

Faux Brick Wall
May, 2012 (Lavender and Lemon Drops)

Erin's inspiration came from Brooke and Dan's blog, All Things Thrifty:

I chose this photo with Brooke wielding paint brush just to show that yep, it's actually real people who are doing these incredible things. She's cute! 

Tutorial: How to paint brick to make it look old
March 5, 2012 (all Things Thrifty)

I hope you've enjoyed this little mini-tour of amazing creativity!  Geez, I really feel like a slacker now...


  1. Jan,
    I am playing catch up....Seems I am doing a lot of that lately! AND I just saw this post! Thanks so very much for mentioning me and my faux brick patio! This post was a big hit in Blogland , featured at 6 different blog parties and i am so very flattered! I think it was such a big hit because it is so simple. All you need is a sponge , paint , a paint brush and a strong back and good knees! LOL!
    Now my pavers were looking a bit too aged for me so my latest project was to spray paint them!! And this I did on a whim when spray painting something else!
    Thanks again for giving me a shout out!


    1. Hi Debbie,

      Your blog is so popular it's hard to keep up with who's posting what where, and with a full-time job -- hey, as Bill Clinton used to say "I feel your pain." Well, I actually do cuz I work full-time too outside the home and at this stage of my life, I am not too happy about that time spent away from things I really want to do. I DID see your painted pavers spruce-up and honestly, where do you get that energy, woman? Wish I knew your secret! Your back patio and secret garden area are so beautiful. Isn't it wonderful having your own little slice of Heaven on Earth to camp out in every now and then? If I didn't have my slightly falling-apart deck and nice green yard to escape to, I would REALLY be a Big Wreck! Thanks for stopping by. I'll be visiting you again soon.

  2. I love love love the brick look and stone. I really wanted to do a Faux Brick on the wall our bed is on. Instead we went a different route (which will be a future post) But I still love it and maybe later on down the road when we have less projects going on, lol! I can make time to do such a project! :) Great post and all these different brick looks are lovely!

    1. Hi Erika,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. You have so much on your plate right now and so much to do to make your new homestead into the home of your dreams! That stone fireplace in your living room is fabulous, BTW, and am so glad you didn't stick your TV screen above it! Just think, in the winter flipping the sofa around and sliding it down to parallel and be opposite the fireplace wall and adding a sidechair or two, and one can then choose to schmmooze before the fireplace or use the other part of your in-place seating arrangement to watch t.v. on that drop-dead gorgeous wood dresser (bureau?) you have it on. The tone of that wood piece is simply incredibly gorgeous. Total envy here. Large rooms give one so much freedom to exercise one's furniture-arranging imagination!

      So, I'm going to be downsizing, and you've got this large home you're dealing with for the next several years. Parallel lines going in opposite directions :)