Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Patio-Oh!

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I was flipping through some photos of our patio from last summer and discovered the beginnings of a few things that I forgot were ever captured. It's warmed up enough now that its time to clean out this space that has largely gone dormant for a few months. And just like last year, I'll have to wait until the new wren family hatches in one of those wall planters before I plant my lantana! Pesky birds. There's a nest in the garage too. We're quite fertile around here.

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During the winter months we clear off and store a lot of the items that are on the patio and leave it pretty bare so that nothing gets more wear than necessary, cause its too cold to enjoy. In fact I think there might still be some cocoa mugs out there from the last snow a few weeks ago.

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I do the patio slightly different every year, but always try to make it kid-friendly since they spend the most amount of time out here. I will definitely be redoing our little art supply station made from flower pots of pens, pencils and paints and piles of paper. The picnic table is a great place to send them when I don't want to worry about paint spills. I mean if you can't clean it with a garden hose what use is it really?

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I even left my own drawing board out there, and only in looking at these photos did I notice that my first sketches for Drawing Room start on the patio. Fancy that! I had forgotten! (and btw way thanks all you Portland furniture owners for your help...I'll be making that decision this week, and thanks Amy, for spreading the word!)

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And when trying to decide how to make cheap, relatively weather resistant art for the patio, I dreamed up the painted silhouettes that went on to achieve Martha fame as we all know now. So funny how innocently some things begin. I can remember sitting at the picnic table with the little ones and making a list of all the different types of animals we see in our yard. This is how we decided which silhouettes to make. When looking online for animal silhouettes to use, we came across a bird identification chart, that I decided had to be on the patio too. So I just printed it out and freehanded the canvas, then painted it.

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I also now remember that when I shot the pictures that I had just finished reviewing my first samples of needlepoint pillows that I designed, and the launch of those goods seemed soooo far away. Now its just weeks away!

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The other variable on the patio each year is which plants survived through the winter. This year, I think about half of them did. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this is an astonishing accomplishment. Helped in large part by my dear Mom checking on them every time she visits. (Mom, the plants say thank you.)

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So that's the job for this weekend, return the patio to its fun and cosy splendor. Its quite encouraging to be able to review last summer, because I was otherwise uninspired to do all the cleaning it'll require. Now, I'm thinking how this space of ours may produce new sketches and ideas that might well blossom into..... who knows what!

xoxox,AM

59 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Beautiful patio, Anna! It was lovely talking with you yesterday!

    xo,
    Jennifer at MEHC

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  2. Anonymous10:59 AM

    What a bright and beautiful patio area, I love the kid art station! Hummm... is there more than a wee birdy expecting or is it that time of the year when thoughts turn to new life? :-)
    Anne
    annewashington@verizon.net
    PS I've been a blog reader for a long time so thought I'd say ~hello~

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  3. Your patio is so fun! You couldn't help but be inspired by it. What a great place to enjoy the Spring and Summer!

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  4. Anna! I'm adoring your patio...the animal silhouettes are so pretty, and I love the bird one, too.....how fun! Can I come over for tea and a drawing room party?!!! Love the blue trim around your darling windows....you have the touch!

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  5. Hi

    I think your patio is just lovely. I have been gazing longingly at my garden, wishing the colour to come. Rather than the mushy greenness on this very overcast English day! Thankyou for bringing some lovely colour into my life!

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  6. It is such a joy to look at these photos! I love seeing other people who aren't shy about colour, and your use of mixed prints is something I want to learn from. I don't shy away from colour, but mixing patterns is a little daunting for me.

    Thanks for posting them.

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  7. I am in love with your house! You do such a beautiful job! Fun and cheerful! I need a place like that in the midwest to help get through the long winters.

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  8. Terriaw11:39 AM

    What an awesome patio! I love how you decorated it, so inviting and playful. Such a cool outdoor room!

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  9. What a wonderful and beautiful space! I am jealous of the inspiration you have out there! I think I need to surround myself with more color. :)

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  10. gorgeous!! can i come live in it??

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  11. I look at those pictures and I want to come live with you! I love all your bright, bold colour combinations. So brave and fun. Your home seems to truly reflect your personality.

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  12. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Aww.. I thought you were going to provide a picture of the CURRENT state of our patio. You know, compare and contrast.

    DH - xoj

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  13. DH! Are you crazy? Not pictures I want to remember. But if you mow the grass this weekend, I'll share pictures of that :)
    xoA

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  14. what a wonderful space,
    i am looking forward to seeing how it will look this year...

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  15. Oh now I'm so inspired!! I have a big screened in back patio and have yet to do anything with it except put some of my daughters toys out there (there's too many to keep them all inside). Wow now I want to go home and fix it up. No walls for art though :-(. And how sweet that your DH reads your blog, I don't think my husband even knows my url lol.

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  16. Can I come live in that patio? What a wonderful room to take advantage of! It's beautiful!

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  17. Thanks for the reminder to craft outdoors! Lovely patio.

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  18. Your patio is lovely...I wish someone would design a Blog photo book full of eye candy photos like these ...What a great book it would be!!!

    Till then, maybe we should all come have tea on your patio!!!!

    Well, I wanted to note that I'm having a great spring sale on my etsy store, just click on lisa and you can find out more about it!! Happy spring to everyone!!!

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  19. Such a lovely space! I love the blue door/window frames. I would never think to do that, yet it adds so much. Fun to see the evolution of your creations too!

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  20. Oh wow! I love that patio! Don't have one, but now I'm inspired to add a bit more (as in lots and lots) of colour to our bleak back-garden! (If only the rain would stop...)

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  21. Oh my, I'm in love with the color of your windows. It's gorgeous! The patio looks like a very relaxing place to be!

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  22. I just love your patio! Thanks for sharing the pics. I am so excited about this time of year... many happy days spent outside very soon!
    Ula

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  23. Paula Bogdan6:21 PM

    What a great post, and what an absolute treat to visit this online. The colors are fabulous. I could easily spend my summer on your patio!

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  24. Anonymous6:54 PM

    I love the bird id chart- where did you get it?

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  25. your house is beautiful! I wish I was that brave with color. somehow my attempts at bright colors always end up making my house look like a circus clown.

    thanks for sharing these pics!

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  26. I think all these bright colors are wonderful! You are going to inspire some brightness on my porch now! I love your pillows too. Okay-- I love everything. What a treat to grow up in this cheerful house!

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  27. you rock! awesome! i have a screened in porch and this is EXACTLY what I would LOVE to do! I LOVE COLOR! YOU ARE GREAT
    Kyley

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  28. I love your blue door and window frames- what a bright, beautiful color! The bird i.d. chart is also very cool, especially in those colors.

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  29. Your patio is so pretty and cozy! I love the art table idea outside! My husband and I are getting ready to move to a new house in Morocco which has a beautiful wrap around porch. I'm sure I'll be showing him your pics for inspiration! Thanks for sharing your home so openly with all of us!

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  30. Anonymous4:39 AM

    What a lovely space! I do have to ask, though - is this actually an outside area, or is there glass in these windows and it's more a kind of "conservatory"? I'm just asking because I'd love to do something like this, but you couldn't possibly expose all that lovely upholstery and art to the Scottish elements - even in summer!

    Hilary.

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  31. I could spend all summer on your patio. Beautiful!

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  32. Hillary, its actually an outside room. Only one wall, with the blue doors and windows is glass up against the house the other walls are all brick and screen. I'm perhaps slightly more willing to let fabric fade and wear, as more of it seems to keep showing up ;-)

    xo,Anna

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  33. You are definitely not afraid of color - which I love! Your blog always brightens my day! XOXO

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  34. I want to live in there! LOL you used all of my favorite colors!

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  35. Love the art station idea.

    The blue door and windows against the white brick remind me of Greece...but then maybe it is your subtle reminder of a place you love!

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  36. Anonymous12:00 PM

    I wanna live at your house, looks divine!

    I've been up to some fancy silhouettes myself, aren't they fun?

    Kay Snyder
    gwsnyder4719@yahoo.com

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  37. good luck with those final edits...and the lawn mowing. :)

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  38. so i came across you blog a little while ago and have become more and more in love with it and you and all that you do every day. its now my absolute favorite! i always check it second (next to my sister-in-laws) and finally decided a few days ago to start posting, and i was so excited when i got on today to see the very bird identification poster that i downloaded earlier this morning for a project im planning on doing soon (you can see it on my blog if you like), but anyway your patio is fantastic... especially the art corner!

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  39. Andrea5:34 PM

    Hey! It must be the day for patios, porches, 3 season rooms, you name it. I was just out on ours today, cleaning away and trying to envision what plants I want to put out there this year. Your room is just beautiful and I love the silhouettes.
    Thanks for sharing the photos :)

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  40. What a colorful porch/patio. I love your artwork on the walls that you did to the plant pottery you stick your watercolor paints in. So sweet. Of course your curtains have to be made by you, right? Which fabric (name?) is on the top part? The blue one?

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  41. What a magnificent, inspirational area. Where did you find the large picnic table? I need one! (seriously, nothing is sitting on my back patio at the moment)

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  42. Terrific post!!!
    I love your patio, beautiful and a place to be happy and creative

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  43. Water Works9:02 AM

    Would you please come design and arrange my patio???? My husband and I need such help for ours and I am idealess. I love the table that can be hosed! What do you do about the pollen and dust from the open walls? I am always fearful of putting fabric/wall hangings out there since it'll inevitably be covered in dust/pollen/small people dirt...

    Love the space and the inspiration.

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  44. Oh this is so vibrant and happy. I love the table. I can almost feel the breeze. Lots of great ideas. I have alittle wren family too... see my last post on my blog. ;)

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  45. What a wonderful, bright patio. I love all the colors. The bright blue doors are my favorite.

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  46. You patio is amazing! It's always nice to have sunny spot like that to dream on!
    Jen R

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  47. Hello!

    Just wanted to drop by and let you know I've given you an E for Excellence award. You can visit this post to pick it up:
    http://abeautifulabode.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/inspiration-friday-awarding-excellence/

    xoxo,
    Shauntelle

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  48. I love the color on your patio. It's wonderful
    Cookie

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  49. I do have to agree with the while "if you can't clean it with a garden hose" philosophy. Oh how I wish I had a place to make an outside room like yours!

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  50. oooh...i love it. you gave me some great ideas as i'm about to build a patio and outdoor space...great pics and it is lovely...

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  51. WOW! What an amazing space. Thanks for sharing. I'm working on the idea of an outdoor space for my family as well - summers get so hot here in ATL i's really hard to manage, but you've given me new-found hope. I hope your weekend was lovely!

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  52. I know I've already posted on this post once...but really HOW did I just find you in quilts ans more magazine?? I love that magazine and I was SO happy to see your face when I opened the page. GREAT pincushion pattern! I know many many many of us have been waiting for that for a while now. ANyway- it was a nice surprise.

    Stef

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  53. I just love the outdoor art station! Especially the painted pots for supplies - we're relocating and re-doing our kids art room to make room for the nursery Shauntelle over at A Beautiful Abode and I are designing across the blogosphere. I think I'm definitely going to have to borrow the idea for those painted flower pots - except that I'll have to anchor them to the shelves somehow or I'm going to end up with broken terra cotta on the floor.

    Thanks for the burst of inspiration this morning!

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  54. oh how i love your patio!!!the blue shutters remind me of santorini!

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  55. You have a beautiful patio. Love the blue colors.

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  56. I just found your blog. It is great. I absolutely LOVE your patio. All the fun colors! I'm linking you to my favorites and will be back often.

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  57. OMG, a colorful patio! It has almost every color which gives it a refreshing ambiance. Kid art station is a good idea, especially during summer when the little tots will be hanging around the house.

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