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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Garden: Front Gate

I'm redoing many areas of this house inside and out, as I've mentioned before. One of them is the front gate.
When I pull up to the house, it does not say anything to me....after all, I'm the mistress of this house, the Gate should be welcoming to me !

Wish I could have something like this:

 or anything from here .......

But we make do with what we have and what we CAN do for the moment.
Well, I decided something must be done. I love great impact for little effort, little money, and little time. This may not always be the best way as some things do require more time for best results, but I have alot to do before summer humidity really hits here when I cannot do anything outside, so the short way is best.

I originally wanted to have a Mediterranean blue gate, or turquoise, with the striking magenta bougainvillea I have on one side arching over it, but alas, the blues were not going to be the easiest and there would be other things I'd have to paint to pull the entire house together with that color.....or maybe not necessary but.....this house already has white in the trimming, and "easiest" meant going with the white also because we had the paint left from the hallway. So I painted the gate white. I used a homemade chalk paint recipe I learned to make from here with baking soda, and I like it better than the plain paint. It was silkier and dried faster.
The white was shocking in the sun, even blinding, but it matched the rest of the house. I wasn't as thrilled as I wanted to be. It was cleaner looking but missing something. I also wanted some decorations on the gate. I originally wanted a beautiful rose decoupage center medallion with some corners done too, but then I thought stenciling would be beautiful too. I couldn't decide so I consulted with my housemate and showed him what I had in mind and he immediately wanted the stenciling. Fine. I went to Michaels and Martha Stewart had a beautiful stencil set I bought for around $13.00? or something like that. I already had the paint I'm in love with which is her Golden Pearl

 from Home Depot, and I stenciled the hallway inside with it too. I love it. I began stenciling with no plan in mind except to get the corners done first to frame the whole front, and make some kind of center medallion and add on the rest for whimsy. In the heat and bright sun facing a stark white gate and its reflecting the sun, I was beginning to have a hard time and my housemate came over to see how I was doing for some reason, and he helped out by holding up a patio umbrella to keep me shaded.....that uncharacteristic kindness almost knocked me out more than the sun and bougainvillea thorns! My entire mood changed to my usual playful attitude, but it was a huge blessing and I was able to finish in a creative and fun spirit.

Another bougainvillea to match the one on the right was planted as I eventually want to build an archway with the two of them over the gate door. Some extra flowers were planted too, and the colors really pop now.

The front gate is done for now, until I find some finials I like better than the angels. A new friend said she liked them that I should keep them, so I will until something else comes along.
Here are the pics.
This is before:

 This is after the painting and stenciling. I also did the hardware which was black, but its much better now :D

Details of the stenciling. This was the fun part, as I looked at the door and said ...."what if...."

Center medallion:

After planting the new bougainvillea, zinnias', and geraniums. The aloe were already there:

Full view:

It is definitely much improved, it is also attracting attention and positive comments from others, so its a good neighborhood upgrade......just some paint and flowers is all.....and alot of work in the sun :D

There's more to come. I'm planning on planting lots of flowers for color in the front....I'm loving color!

blessings to all.

sharing this with The Rosegarden in Malevik: Saturday Show Off


  1. Your fence is awesome! I would be thrilled if my neighbors did something like that. you are very creative!

    1. thank you Sandy. I would be thrilled too if MY neighbors did ANYTHING! LOL But just the other day, the housemates buddy came by and as they were speaking the brother called on his c-phone and relayed a message that every time he drives by this house, he sees more and more beautiful things. I loved hearing that coming from the fellas. blessings, Lady

  2. It looks greatl. You do such a great job beautifying your surroundings

    1. thank you very much. I try and try and try harder. I have much to go. I want to eventually make people stop in their tracks, stare at the beauty of a loved Home, and inspire them to wake up and do the same for their selves, their loved ones and the entire community. This is my hope.

  3. I love the gate...the stenciling is beautiful.....I never thought of doing stenciling on a gate!!! You have inspired me...!!! I especially love the swirls around the handle...I just may have to steal that idea for mine!!! LOL thanks for sharing this Lady...great job!!

    1. yeah Linda...oh please do 'steal' away, its why I post and share! The swirls around the handle were indeed the fun part as I kept adding and saying, what if I extend it? The possibilities are endless in stenciling, mind boggling. Now I saw an idea yesterday for doing iron work scrolling which I adore and paint it black to look like iron! Oh the choices!


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