Japanese Maple

I showed a simple cutting from my Japanese Maple yesterday, but I wanted to take a minute to show you the whole tree.

This is what it looks like with the morning sun (10:00ish) shining down through the brilliant red leaves. These photos are SOOC (straight out of the camera), so this is really what it looks like.

The red foliage blazes in the morning sunlight, and even though it’s a small tree at the back of our acre, I can easily see it from our mudroom every morning when I’m feeding the cats or letting the dog outside. Its brilliant color always catches my eye, and it makes me happy every time I see it.

The photo above isn’t great, but you can see the color of the lower leaves that aren’t lit up by the sun. Even without the back-lighting, it’s still pretty.

I mentioned yesterday that our zone (9A) is really too hot for Japanese Maple (ideal in zones 5-8), but it has survived for seven years under its pecan tree canopy. During really hot/dry summers, I have spot watered it, which hasn’t been too much of an inconvenience since I was already watering the hydrangeas in that bed. Besides the shady area, we also keep the flowerbed heavily mulched, so that’s another thing that prevents the soil temperature from getting too high or drying out quite as quickly.

My specimen is far from being a shining example of how a Japanese Maple should look, but considering our location, I’m fine with that. If I lived in a cooler climate, I would definitely invest in more of these.


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Azaleas and Painted Fern

I have a single white azalea bush that blooms the purest white. It also blooms more profusely and has prettier foliage than my pink azaleas. At some point, I need to remember to plant more of the white ones.

My bucket of Japanese Painted Fern has shared its reliable fronds once again. It’s one of my favorite ferns, and it returns every year, no matter how cold it gets or how dry. And it fits into that color combination I shared yesterday.

I had to steal a few stems for some photographic inspiration.

The Wandering Jew has the same colors as the fern, just in bolder strokes. I like the contrast in texture while the colors are the same.

So much loveliness in such a small vase. I just had to capture the azalea blooms before they’re gone. Their beauty is so fleeting!

My little Japanese Red Maple is also beautiful in the spring. Our climate is really too hot for this tree to thrive, but they’re so pretty, I had to try one. I planted ours about seven years ago, and it has survived some very harsh summers. It’s planted under a canopy of pecan trees, so it receives dappled light that provides it with a safer place to survive a Texas summer.

I hope you had a great weekend!


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Spring Planting

I’m trying to be patient in waiting for all the perennials to return, but the patio looks so bare! A lot of my potted plants from the last few years might have gotten too cold with our unusually harsh winter, so I’m stuck waiting for signs of life before I go on a spending spree at the garden centers.

Of course, I had to plant a few things. This orange chippy painted canister was the perfect container for some foliage in my favorite colors. I can’t get enough of the silver and purple combination.

The Dusty Miller and potato vine were transplants from containers; The Graptopetalum (aka Ghost Plant) and Wandering Jew were just cuttings from larger plants.

I have a box full of little cuttings from my late mother-in-law’s Graptopetalum, so I’ll be finding lots of little places to tuck these reminders of her. They are super easy to propagate–just break a piece off of the mother plant and place it in soil. It will eventually root itself in, and in the meantime, it doesn’t wilt or lose its beautiful color.

The Wandering Jew cuttings (and potato vine) are also super easy to propagate. The one pictured below rooted in a vase in just a couple of days. You can also put them directly in the soil without growing the roots first in water, but this just helps them to thrive a little quicker. You can see one of my previous posts about rooting potato vine here.

I think one of the reasons I love this combination so much is because it gives some color without relying on flowers. Since our yard is so shady, colorful foliage is probably more important than blooms.

What have you been planting this spring?


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Almost Time for Marburger Farm


Can you believe it’s almost time for spring Antiques Week in Round Top and Warrenton? Have you planned your road trip to Marburger Farm‘s show yet?

One of the few bonuses of our long winter this year is that it might give us a very pleasant spring antique show. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

If you’ve never experienced Round Top Antiques Week, Marburger Farm is a great place to start. Miles and miles of pastures full of tents and vendors can be intimidating, but Marburger has so much in one (large) location. The farm has really become a beautiful venue (they even host weddings and parties when it’s not Antique Week!). They have moved about a dozen historical buildings to the site. They also have a city of tents and permanent pavilions to house all the vendors and restaurants. And, yes, you must experience the food and drinks–so many tasty options to keep your energy up for shopping!) They also bring in air conditioned porta-potty trailers for the event. You definitely won’t find those in the other fields!

Here’s a little taste of the fall 2013 Marburger Farm Antique Show

As always, I’ve tried to give credit to the vendors and, if possible, provide links for their beautiful work. Many vendors don’t have active websites, but Marburger Farm provides a map with all the vendors when you visit, so you can easily locate your favorites. Tell them you saw them on The Shady Acre!

The Old Red Lumber Yard

How beautiful is that organic shaped bamboo table!

Harmon Antiques

I have a thing for old wooden dollhouses. In the right setting, a collection of these would be sweet. I found a few more you’ll see later in this post. That’s one of the great things about Antiques Week–you can start a collection in a few hours that looks like it took years to procure.

John Petty Antiques

I also have a thing for metal tables, especially if they’ve been made from repurposed materials. Patina meets function.

Don and Marta Orwig

Don and Marta Orwig’s booth was wonderful–a great mix of industrial and architectural pieces.

Don made these tables using airplane pistons and parts from an industrial creamer.

I saw several tables wrapped in metal similar to the one above. Surely they are made by the same artist. I need to do some investigating, because one of those might be a future splurge. Gorgeous! The finish looks very similar to the galvanized metal that I acid-treated for our air conditioning ducts. If you know anything about the source, let me know!

The Garten

The Garten is based in Fredericksburg. (Many of the vendors have store fronts around the state and country, while some of them only sell at shows like Marburger.)

Leftovers Antiques

Leftovers has a huge store just outside Brenham, and they always have beautiful things. Lots of European furniture and smalls, and their vignettes are little masterpieces.

I fell in love with the gray cabinet above. I really like turned-wood furniture, and this is such a gorgeous piece.

Yesterday’s Treasures Antiques

The Vintage Round Top

It was the first time at Marburger for The Vintage Round Top, but they have landed on the Round Top map with a strong presence. Owners Paige and Smoot built their current venture around a farmhouse in Round Top that they discovered a few years ago on a weekend drive through the country. Now that farmhouse is a thriving B&B that has been featured in Country Living magazine. See more of their story here.

A. Tyner Antiques


Jerry Earnhardt Antiques

I love the cabinet above. I think I would paint the inside shelves white.

Parkhouse Antiques

Signs, architectural salvage, furniture–this vendor had so many yummy treasures. I can’t wait to see what they have for the spring show.

B Kelley Antiques

Suzanne Fox Antiques

TUSK Old World Antiques

Rebecca Looten’s Monsoon Imports

I blogged about Rebecca’s booth last year, and it’s still one of my favorites. I love her blend of American and imports.

The woven charpai beds were beautiful!

Kara Fogertey’s Studio F

There’s another one of those metal wrapped tables! That sure would look good in my living room… Kara’s booth was another one of my favorites. I think she sold over half of her wares on the first day–almost all of her larger pieces had “sold” signs by the time I got there! I’m looking forward to visiting her booth again.


House Wren


Selina Vaughan

Cottonseed Trading Company


5¢ Mercantile

I know I keep saying this, but this booth was one of my favorites! She had the same type of items that I pick for my booth, but she had a lot more inventory.

Carla Murphy

A Jenny Lind doll bed? How sweet is that! If I had a little girl, that would’ve been hard to resist! It would also make a cute dog bed…

Recycled Relics/Peter’s Lamps

If the cord on the fixture above had been long enough for our 12-foot ceiling height, it would’ve been perfect for our kitchen island. I love the mix of industrial and the rustic architectural piece. He had some beautiful and unique lighting, and I thought his prices were very reasonable–especially for one-of-a-kind pieces.

The Red Door Antiques

Those red chairs! Oh, how it hurt to not take them home. Chairs are like coats and tall boots, in my opinion. It’s very hard for me to resist them. And these were in excellent condition. But I graciously left them for someone who needed them more than me.

A wall clock was actually one of the things on my short list of specific things to look for. If this one (above) had been larger, it would have been perfect! I actually found one recently that I’ll have to share in another post.

Willow Nest

Lynda and Ludmil of Willow Nest are two of the most talented and interesting artists I’ve met. I actually wrote an article and photographed their home and studio when they lived in Burton. (They have since moved back to California). Lynda’s vignettes and layers of texture always draw me in. And Ludmil has all the knowledge of an engineer combined with the creativity of an artist. I think he could design and build anything. He’s very well known for his aviaries made from recycled materials. They have quite a following, so, of course, they had already sold most of their large pieces before I arrived.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about Lynda and Ludmil soon!

Bluebonnet Interiors

Bluebonnet Interiors had some great vintage kids’ decor.

J Hill Designs

Fields Antiques

I love all the colors and vintage patina!

Well, that’s a wrap! Just looking at the pictures makes me giddy that the spring show is less than two weeks away! April 1-5

Here are some tips I’ve shared before…

-I highly recommend wearing comfortable boots or some type of close-toed shoes. Remember–for most of the year this is a pasture. If it’s dry, your feet will be covered in dust; if it’s been rainy, you’ll have mud. These are not conditions suited for flip-flops!

-Dress in layers. The mornings might be cool, but it will probably be warm by lunch time.

-Come early. If you’ve ever been stuck on Highway 237 in traffic, you already know the benefit of arriving early in the day. And you’re going to want to spend the entire day at Marburger!

-Don’t leave without eating at Legal Tender Saloon.  Their pimento cheese sandwich is worth almost getting a ticket from the grumpy DPS officer. (Their original location is right on the highway near Zapp Hall in Warrenton. Sadly, they are only open during the antique festival.)

-If you’re going to take pictures for your blog, try to ask for permission and give credit to the vendors. These vendors work so hard to bring their wares and create beautiful displays–they deserve the credit!

Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. Most sellers expect it to a certain degree.

-Bring a cart or a large tote to carry your treasures.

-If you love it, don’t wait to buy it. It will be gone. You will be sad.

For more info, visit Marburger Farm’s website.

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Living Room in Progress

When I started this blog, it was all about our home and garden renovation. It has definitely evolved to encompass my other interests–so much that the original home project posts are few and far between. Honestly, our home projects have been put on the back burner in the last few years. We don’t have the same energy for it that we did in our twenties. Harper works almost every Saturday, so weekends don’t last long. And, of course, adding parenting to the mix made extensive DIY projects even less appealing.

But our poor living room has long been in need of an update. Since we did the hard part of knocking out walls, sanding and removing old cheese cloth wall paper, installing ceilings and molding years ago (you can see before pics here), I really just needed to re-paint and accessorize. Easy, right? It should be! I don’t know why it’s so hard to get it done. I have lots of ideas, but committing and actually DOing aren’t as much fun as coming up with the ideas.

I loved my SW Papaya walls, but it was starting to look dated paired with my green couch and red curtains. I wanted to go light and neutral so I could bring in color with my accessories.

Living room & kitchen in 2012. SW Papaya on the walls

(January 2011) You can see some of the green couch here. The red curtains and pillows are pretty, but they make the room darker. Time to update.

The first step of choosing a paint color was anything but painless.  If I hadn’t already painted samples all over the walls, I think I would have just given up. Finding the right gray was so much more difficult than choosing a real color. The grays can look drastically different on the wall than they do on the swatch at the paint store. After countless swatches, many trips to the paint stores, and six sample containers, I ended up with Sherwin Williams Modern Gray at 50%, which looks much warmer on the swatch than it does on my walls.

Again, it was the darn green couch that made things difficult. Since buying a new couch or re-upholstering this one are no where near the top of my list of things to spend money on, I had to work with (around?) the green. I’m trusting that I’ll be able to tie in the green  with the other colors by using a few accessories and fabric. The real colors that I love and want to highlight with are yellow, aqua, and a touch of red.

I picked up this still life oil painting at an estate sale last year, and I love how the greens, aquas, and reds work together.

I’m choosing fabric for spring/summer pillows. All the red pillows will have to go, for now. I’m loving the black/white/yellow ikat print. It’s trendy, but it also ties in with my little Texas and African treasures. The fabric is less than $10/yard, so it’s not a big investment in case I get tired of it.

I thought about using the gray and yellow diamond pattern for curtains, but I’ve decided to go with a solid light neutral instead. Since the curtains are over 10 feet tall, I’d rather not have to buy fabric for more than one set. (Right now the sheers are the only thing that’s hanging.) I am, however, going to use the diamond print on cafe curtains in the kitchen. It’s a perfect little pop of color and pattern for that window.

The room is far from complete, but I like where it’s going.

Next up, I need to decide what to do with the wall on the right. The skis were fine for winter, but now it’s time for spring. I’m thinking maybe a picture collage using some of the antique and vintage frames I’ve collected.

Oh, and I left the toys in the picture for a touch of reality. We really do live in this room, so there are always toys in here.  I keep telling myself that some day I’ll miss all the toys. I know it’s true, so now I live with them.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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