May 30, 2018

Boise Boys - The Best HGTV Flip Show Yet!

I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off while packing for a short vacation today, but when I realized the season finale of my favorite flip show is on HGTV tonight I wanted to take a few minutes to share it with you.

(I'm happy to share with you that Boise Boys was picked up for a second season on HGTV!)

Source: Boise Boys


You have to watch this show, friends! I was an avid viewer of Fixer Upper, and I hold my breath for each new season of Home Town, but Boise Boys is my new favorite HGTV show. And not just because I happen to live in beautiful Boise, the fastest growing town in America (for a very good reason.) It's because Boise Boys includes the aesthetic of Fixer Upper, Home Town, and Flip or Flop all rolled into one show - they tackle every kind of flip, from midcentury modern to contemporary to 1910 traditional to southwestern farmhouse style and give them all their own unique stamp of absolutely gorgeous design. And the decorating is to die for!

Source: Timber and Love

These guys are funny and entertaining, too. Two friends with completely different personalities, they will keep you chuckling. 

Here's a before and after sampling of their projects from the pilot and season one so far. All photos are from the Timber and Love website where you can view more photos of each home. And please remember to pin from the Timber and Love website, not from this blog post.


The Pilot

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love


Episode 1

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love


Episode 2

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love


Episode 3

Source: Timber and Love 

Source: Timber and Love
Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love


 Episode 4

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love


Episode 5

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

Source: Timber and Love

I know you're drooling for more, so go check out the Timber and Love website and then make sure you have your DVR set to record Boise Boys on HGTV tonight.

You're welcome! ;)


A note from The North End Loft about your comments: I deleted fifty comments from my most recent blog posts by mistake while cleaning up some spam comments one day. You should have seen my face when I realized there's no way to retrieve them! I had read every comment as it was received way before making my mistake, though. I just wanted you to know why your comment's not here anymore. Hopefully, I won't make that mistake again, and I hope you'll continue commenting if the mood strikes you. Thank you!

May 26, 2018

New Additions to our Cabin Bedroom

Welcome back to our little cabin!

Today I'm sharing our bedroom! Our one cabin bedroom is truly small, but we're fitting a lot into it to make our weekend visits as comfy and cozy as home sweet home.

The latest additions to our bedroom are a dresser, a round brass mirror, a darling glass table lamp, and a cute metal jewelry stand. Except for the dresser, I just realized everything is from Target. I'm not affiliated with Target; I just happen to find some great inexpensive things there and want to pass the information on in case you might like them, too. 


 This nine drawer pine dresser was in my parent's Saratoga, California home for as long as I can remember. My mother had painted it a beautiful deep blue with a dark antique glaze for her very elegant master bedroom. She loved unique finishes in her home and became a furniture painting DIY-er way before it was popular. When I inherited her dresser as a more casual young woman, I painted it white and changed the knobs to shiny brass for our guest bedroom. Later, it moved out of our house with my youngest daughter. When Annie got married and bought her own home and a mid-century modern dresser to match it, I took this one back. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint, toned down the knobs with a bit of antique gold rub 'n buff, and brought it up to the cabin. Because this sweet dresser is very narrow, it fit the space between our bed and the wall perfectly. No other dresser would have done. My mother would have been so tickled by her dresser's long journey to its latest home in our little mountain cabin!


 I found that if my jewelry stayed in its travel case when we came to the cabin, I forgot to wear it. When I saw this jewelry stand on a shopping trip to Target, the little squirrels reminded me of our cabin chipmunks. It's the Loft by Umbra Squirrela Jewelry tree. Now, I hang my jewelry here when I unpack and remember to put it on when I get dressed. I love how the earrings look like flowers hanging on the branches - so cute!

  
 I fell in love with this clear glass hobnail lamp when I came across it in a photo online and then hunted it down to, where else but... Target! This is the Canary Jane Table Lamp Clear from the Beekman 1802 Farmhouse collection. I bought it for our Boise house, then I couldn't find the right spot for it - so up to the cabin it came.


 The knobby glass reminds me of a vintage chenille bedspread.


 I think it gives off the prettiest light. I turn it on every evening at dusk to softly light our bedroom. Its glow makes our cabin look so cozy through the window from outside on snowy winter days, too.

Our cabin is so tiny, we like everything we bring into it to not only be special to us, but to also have a purpose. Little by little we're finding inexpensive things we love to keep it cozy and make it our own. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!


A note from The North End Loft about your comments: I deleted fifty comments from my most recent blog posts by mistake while cleaning up some spam comments one day. You should have seen my face when I realized there's no way to retrieve them! I had read every comment as it was received way before making my mistake, though. I just wanted you to know why your comment's not here anymore. Hopefully, I won't make that mistake again, and I hope you'll continue commenting if the mood strikes you. Thank you!

May 25, 2018

Landscaping Our Cabin Property Part 3


Some people spend the winter and early spring curled up with seed catalogs dreaming of spring planting in their gardens and yards. I dreamt about planting the blank slate that surrounds our cabin property once our big trees were taken care of. I love to play on Photoshop, and today I'm sharing some landscaping I added to photos of our bare yard using Photoshop. The "after" photos aren't real! Our cabin isn't even completely painted yet, and no planting around the foundation will be done until then. 

I once in a while get a comment that indicates a reader thinks a photoshopped picture is the real deal. I always explain when a photo is photoshopped. Sometimes I just look at photos on blogs and don't read the text below them, too, so I'm saying it here and now, these after photos are not real! They're my plans created on Photoshop. 

I've had so much fun learning about the unique requirements of high Rocky Mountain landscaping. Bulletin 862 about short season high altitude gardening by the University of Idaho Extension (available online in a .pdf file you can download) was invaluable, and I think most, if not all, the flowers, shrubs, and trees we plan to use came from their lists of plants native to Idaho. It was essential we chose plants that could survive our winter snow loads as well as plants needing no additional summer watering, since we have no automatic irrigation system and sometimes no one is at our cabin for weeks at a time. We also don't want to spend our vacation time weeding, dividing, and deadheading, so we're choosing simple care-free options. 

If you have a cabin or vacation home in a similar growing zone (3b) I hope our plans will give you some ideas, and as always, I'm still learning and welcome your comments.

When we bought our cabin in the fall of 2016, it was screened from the road by a solid line of tall evergreen trees. They had been topped by Idaho Power twice, and more than half of them were already well on their way to dying. Our tree care specialist recommended taking the dying trees out in phases so we could maintain some privacy while replanting. Eventually, every tree in this row will die and need to be cut down. Even though we were prepared to lose the trees, it was a shock to suddenly be so exposed to the road. 

These are some "before" photos on top followed by future planned and photoshopped "after" photos on the bottom.

Replanting this area is our highest landscaping priority. We like being able to see the forest across the street now, so we have chosen a hedge of Red Twig Dogwood shrubs that will grow to about ten feet tall. One white fir tree looks lonely now, but will eventually grow up to 20' wide. The split rail fence section will be added to protect our bushes from the city snowplow. No-care perennial wild flowers that die back in the winter will be sprinkled in front of the fence. As the rest of the topped trees die and are removed, we'll continue this landscaping all along the street.


During the winter the Red Twig Dogwoods will still maintain our privacy while adding beautiful color and interest.


The front of our cabin gets very little light because there are  three huge fir trees growing here. For along the foundation we will plant native ferns and in the whiskey barrels, drought tolerant fountain grasses. We'd love to grow colorful flowers here, but we just won't be around enough to keep them watered. We'll try succulents in the window boxes, but if they need more water than they'll get, we'll just fill them with pine cones and moss. We love to watch the bird feeder from our front window and will add a birdbath under the trees in the summer. We're also thinking about building a box around all the ugly electric cables. 


I photoshopped some paint and metal stars on the garage where the ferns will be continued under the shady trees. Gosh, I can't wait until all the painting is finished!


The south side of our cabin gets some pretty intense sun in the summer afternoons, so we looked for a sun loving solution. In addition, this side gets an enormous snow load from the snow sliding off the roof in the winter that would break shrub branches. We also have a melting snow and rain drainage problem we have to address. So we'll be building up the soil here along the foundation and planting a rock garden that will direct the water away from the cabin. This low scale of landscaping suits the size of our small cabin where bigger bushes would make it look even smaller, and this natural mountain theme appeals to us. We've never had a rock garden before and are looking forward to playing with it.


The rock garden will continue around this sunny corner to the back of the cabin. 


Here I've photoshopped some more paint and shutters onto the back of our cabin. We have a small deck out here where we put a table and chairs in the summer for dining outside. We'll probably add a few more potted plants out here on the deck.


This smallish flat area surrounded by trees is just off the deck and the only area where we'll plant grass. It will be a native variety of grass that grows only about six inches tall and doesn't require mowing. Watering every few weeks in the summer should keep it green.


Our only neighbors have rarely visited their cabin in the summer so far, but planting a white fir tree to cover the gap in the trees between our places is a high priority. That is also the only spot I'm tempted to plant a flowering bush that requires a bit of attention; Limelight hydrangeas are rated for our growing zone, and I think one would be so pretty just in front of the new fir tree. In addition to adding some color, it would also draw our eyes down from the neighbor's roof until the tree gets tall enough to hide it completely. 
In the summer, looking out our side window, the shrub already here does a pretty good job of screening our neighbor's cabin, but we love Aspen trees and think this seldom used side yard of our cabin where no raking of leaves is needed, is the perfect spot for a few Aspens. They'll be beautiful in the fall when they turn bright yellow next to the red sumac that's already here. On the ground between our cabin and the Aspen trees we'll plant some easy care Blue Fescue.

That's it for our landscaping plans for right around our cabin. We would also like to add a few of our favorite deciduous trees from the native plants list sprinkled here and there around our little conifer forest away from the cabin where the leaves can fall naturally without needing to be raked up. 

Here are a few of our favorites. All of these trees would add color to an otherwise mostly green landscape, especially in the fall. 












1. Western Ash Tree
2. Quaking Aspen Trees
3. Rocky Mountain Maple Tree
4. Canadian Red Chokecherry Tree


 And there you have it. Our dreams and plans for landscaping our McCall, Idaho mountain property. It will not happen all at once, and the plans will probably be modified as we go along, but isn't that part of the fun of gardening? Now that the work of making our little forest healthy and safe has been completed, we hope to get started on our planting in places where it won't interfere with finishing up the painting of the cabin. We might even get some Red Twig Dogwood bushes planted this Memorial Day weekend. I'm excited! 

Thanks so much for coming along on our landscaping adventure the past few blog posts.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!


For updates right from the cabin, follow me on Instagram here.



A note from The North End Loft about your comments: I deleted fifty comments from my most recent blog posts by mistake while cleaning up some spam comments one day. You should have seen my face when I realized there's no way to retrieve them! I had read every comment as it was received way before making my mistake, though. I just wanted you to know why your comment's not here anymore. Hopefully, I won't make that mistake again, and I hope you'll continue commenting if the mood strikes you. Thank you!

May 23, 2018

Landscaping Our Cabin Property Part 2


When we purchased our Idaho mountain property there were about seventy large conifers growing on the quarter acre surrounding our small cabin. These beautiful tall evergreens were one of the reasons we decided to buy our cabin. During our inspection before purchasing, we could see a few stumps left from dead trees that had been removed by previous owners, but it appeared the others had been left to grow naturally. They were in various conditions; some looked healthy and strong, some had dead branches, and some appeared to have diseases and/or pests.

Since we had never cared for large conifers before, we decided to consult a professional to guide us. We had noticed some tree care equipment kept at a neighboring property and after googling the company, we gave Randy Acker at Acker Tree Service a call. We walked around the property together, and he tied orange ribbons around the trunks of the trees he thought should be cut down and also on the branches of the ones he thought should be pruned.

He also recommended we call the McCall city arborist, Kurt Wolf, for a tree care consultation. In Boise, the city won't give any advice about trees on private property, so we were pleasantly surprised to get a free consultation from the city of McCall. Kurt is such a nice person, and he spent about an hour walking around our property with me as I took notes. He identified the trees and explained their particular pests and diseases. He also explained the benefits of proper pruning and agreed with Randy Acker about which trees should be cut down because they either couldn't be saved from heavy pest infestations or because they posed a safety hazard.

After our consultation we called Acker Tree Service back and got on Randy's October calendar. The area tree services have more tree work than they can do in McCall, so I felt lucky to have found Randy and his business right around the corner. He's also a great guy and a wonderful neighbor!



This is a google photo of (Rocky Mountain) subalpine fir trees killed by a pest called the Balsam Woolly Adelgid. This pest from Europe worked its way down to our property from Northern Idaho, where it was first identified in 1983.



Kurt Wolf taught us how to identify our subalpine fir trees by the smooth bark. The tree on the right with the big crack is a subalpine fir.  



This was one of our Balsam Woolly Adelgid-infested subalpine fir trees. The arborist told us it would be dead and bare of needles within a year and recommended its removal. Unfortunately, all of our subalpine fir trees are infested and will eventually die. There is nothing that can stop it. We are treating the still relatively healthy ones with Bayer systemic tree care to try and lengthen their lives by keeping them stronger. Some of the trees are huge and still beautiful, so we'd like to keep them as long as possible.


before
These trees are next to our driveway between our cabin and the street. They are dying from a combination of being topped by the Idaho Electric Company and the Balsam Whoolly Adelgid infestation. A google map image shows these trees were strong, healthy and full to the ground in 2007. 


during 
Randy recommended we take these trees along the street out in phases so we can replant half before the other half is gone. 


after
before
The next three trees to be cut down were large subalpine firs that were crowding large healthier, more desirable trees.

during


after
 The McCall city arborist explained to us the importance of allowing plenty of room for growth and air circulation around our big trees. Crowded trees are more susceptible to decline from pests and disease.


before
This subalpine fir tree was crowded in next to three other trees behind our cabin.


during
 After it was cut down, you can see the damage on the tree behind it from overcrowding. When it had more room, that tree dropped its dead needles and now looks healthy again (below.)


after
Acker Tree Service also removed the bottom limbs on all our trees to leave about one foot between the ground and the bottom branches. They removed the big piles of woody debris that were lying all around our property, too. They were able to chip all of it, saving us hours of loading it into the pick up and taking it to be composted at the dump. 

  
before
 We had nine big trees cut down and many others severely pruned of dead branches. The last tree to be cut down was one of our tallest trees, and we were so sad to see it go! As you can see, it had major structural damage from a previous ant infestation, making it a danger to both us and our neighbors. 


during


after

The stump is now all that's left of that majestic towering tree! Since we've learned about the care of our trees, we walk all around our property regularly to check the health and condition of every one, so this will hopefully never happen again.

Making the forest around our cabin healthy again by cutting out damaged trees and branches and reducing overcrowding was a huge job, but one we didn't hesitate to have done. When we bought our property we felt like we took on a sacred responsibility for the health and future of these gentle giants. In return they give us the immeasurable pleasure of their beauty and the music of the wind blowing through their pine needles.

We plan to leave most of our property natural as you see it here, but next time I'll share our plans for replanting where some trees were removed and for adding some plants and flowers right around our little cabin.

See you then!


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