If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen that I’m doing a countdown to Spring.  I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with Spring getting here this year, it’s been the mildest winter on record (in my brain) and wasn’t exactly a struggle to get through.  I only made cocoa once.  I feel cheated.

But, for whatever reason, I’m still insanely looking forward to that season that brings blooming bulbs, greening grass and worming worms.

I have a pretty good *idea* of what I’m going to be doing for my Big Spring Project this year, but I’m not positive.  I have to test out a couple of things this weekend to see if what I have in mind is actually going to work or not.  Along with my Big Spring Project I also have to do a few other crappy projects like redo the waterfall in my pond, level out some flagstone in my backyard and build a couple of little things for the backyard.  I have no idea how to build a a 6’2″ farmer named Jake who’s also a part time award winning Architect but I’m gonna give it a shot.  Can’t take more than some spit, glue and hair.

One of the things I’m gonna do that I know for sure is CLEAR OUT SOME CRAP.  It’s Spring, and I need to make room for other crap.  Spring crap.  Crap that flowers.

That’s one of the great things about living in a place that has really distinct seasons.  It’s a chance to do a little mini-redecorating 4 times a year. 5 if you count Christmas. 6 if you count Pancake Tuesday.

I’ll put some of my sheepskins away and get rid of the big puffy blanket in the living room, replacing it with my antique linen blanket.  I’ll clean out the fireplace for the summer and fill it with candles.  And I’ll put away a lot of the accessories I have on display throughout the winter because I don’t need them so much in the Spring.  In winter when we’re cocooning we generally like to have lots of things around us.  I don’t much leave the house in the winter so many a night is spent curled up on the couch with my winter friends; candlestick, stack of books and round glass thing.

I’ll also be swapping out my  15 year old dark brown, plush housecoat for something a little lighter. Because it’s too warm in the morning to wear something like a bearskin rug, but too cold to wear no housecoat at all.  Solution?




 A LINEN HOUSE COAT.  One of my new favourite things from Rough Linen.



I know most people associate pink and yellow with spring, but neither one of those are my colours.

This light gray and white tile from Cement Tile shop actually screams clean and crisp and Spring to me!




Spring used to mean dancing around the May Pole.  Now it means Ecstatic Dance.

Don’t know what Ecstatic Dance is? Neither did Bali based Canadian blogger Daniela. Until she did it.


It’s Spring.  Time to let the animals outta the barn.

Haaayyyyy Girl card from Greymount Stationary.


O.K.  this tea towel from Diamond Dust has nothing to do with Spring, I just really like it.


THIS sconce … has something to do with my (possible) Big Spring Project!



Time to buy your Coop Plans and start building so those cute little things have somewhere to live!

If you’re going to buy plans for a chicken coop I’d say the plans from Heather Bullard, assistant editor at Country Living Magazine is a good place to start.


Spring also means Mother’s Day is coming!  Give her (or yourself) this big, honkin’ Swaroski Crystal ring.

It’s only $55 from Lab Consignment!


For real.  I didn’t even know WHAT to suggest for you here.

Spring is for my people.  The growers, the gardeners, the experimenters the eaters.


Then I did.

If you haven’t grown Ground Cherries before you have to buy the seeds.

They grow like a weed and produce these sweet little bursts of flavour that kind of taste like pineapple and kind of don’t.  They’re amazing.

Laura from Cubit’s is going to be at the One of a Kind Craft Show in Toronto and she’d like to give away a pair of tickets!  First one from the Toronto area to leave a comment asking for them gets the tickets AND a gift set of seeds from Laura!


Finally.  Spring means frisky.

And lavender!

Put them together and you have to buy lavender massage oil.  From Ellenoire.

Have a great weekend and remember … only 2 days until Spring.  Don’t worry.  If you forget, I’m going to remind you on Monday.

SO.  Any idea what your Big Spring Project is going to be?



  1. Becky says:

    Yup. I need to rebuild the tunnel that goes from the chicken coop to the compost bin, and I want to lay linoleum on the floor inside the coop to make it easier to clean.

    • Karen says:

      Linoleum in the coop?? Is that a thing? ~ karen!

      • Becky says:

        It’s not for aesthetics, my floor boards have shifted over time so there are cracks, and this will add a layer of insulation, and make it easier to clean. I hope.
        Its definitely not to make it pretty.

        • Karen says:

          I figured that, lol. I just thought it would make it slippery for the chickens and make it harder for the poop and straw/shavings to compost. Maybe you could just pull the boards up entirely and have a dirt floor. They’d love that. ~ karen!

        • Becky says:

          My coop is elevated like yours. The run is dirt, but not the “house”

    • tracij says:

      That reminds me of how zoo animals used to have concrete floors because it was easier to clean and it really messed up their feet and ended up shortening lifespans. I think the original thought was a cleaner environment would be healthier for the animals. Obviously, linoleum isn’t as harsh as concrete, but I wonder what effect linoleum would have on their health? Just something to ponder. It’s certainly an interesting idea.

      • Becky says:

        It gets covered by a few inches of wood shavings. Unless they scratch through to the floor, they would never come in contact with it.

        • tracij says:

          I wondered about that. I was thinking the floors usually have something on them, but I’m too tired to make sense of anything! That’s actually a pretty smart idea.

  2. Paula says:

    Damn, I usually get your post right away but I know I will be late for the request 🙁

  3. Sandi says:

    You have a tunnel that goes from the chicken coop to the compost bin!!! How forward thinking!!
    My spring project is to clean up ALL the doggee doo doo from the side and back garden. Also my white ash is going to be cut down (Emerald Borer, sob) and I need to rethink the front garden, no longer deep shade.

    • Becky says:

      Yes, I do. I love it. They scratch it around and pick through it, and then I rake it back into a pile, effectively turning the pile every week or so.
      I saw it on a Geoff Lawton video and made it work for me.

  4. Kate says:

    Would you please post plans and specs for building a 6’2″ farmer named Jake. ; )

    Happy Spring!

  5. Mary W says:

    Bathroom reno – grey and white and gold. It will be gorgeous. What do you do with ground cherries except eat them? Just wondered.

    • brenda says:

      On my ToPlantList I have hibiscus … so I was thinking maybe add add ground cherries to the list and then maybe dry them to put in hibiscus tea and round up the flavour even more (I’m hooked on elderberry hibiscus tea at the moment)

  6. Lindsay H says:

    98% of the time I skip bloggers’ sponsored posts. But, you suck me in and then suddenly I’m busting out my debit card. Greymount Stationary should pay you double. Haha. Can’t wait to get my llama card!!!!!

    • brenda says:

      I’ve been a sucker for the rough linen … have now rationalized getting pinafores in all colours to save my clothing from further wear and tear

  7. Sandra Blackwell says:

    My Spring project…moving from the house I grew up in, living with my BFF ( she has room for me, a basset hound named Rascal Flaps and 8 chickens) while we look for my forever home. THEN the madness begins.

    • Dagmar says:

      Oh pleaseeeease do write more about how that goes. That sounds like a blog in progress. Or maybe you just don’t wish to run one, since you will be so busy and all – maybe keep a diary. And let us snoop.


  8. Kristina says:

    I sent my kid to the grocery store with a list, and instead of change, she came home with an insanely expensive basket of something called “golden berries” which look suspiciously like your “ground cherries”. They look a lot like a tomatillo. Any relation? I wonder if they’ll grow in the blasting summer heat of central CA? Because they sure were tasty, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay that much for them again.

    • Karen says:

      If they were sweet they were probably ground cherries Kristina. 🙂 I’m not sure if they’ll grow in central California but I would bet yes because they do well in the heat here in Southern Ontario. ~ karen!

  9. Cred says:

    Mmmmm! Ground cherries- love ’em.
    Spring projects, hadn’t thought about but this is a great kick in the arse to start thinking.
    Finish the conversion from stupid, teeny powder room to useful pantry space; start the deluxe duck run (they range all over the property but we need a space with auto door when we go away for a full day or two); build a kitchen island with concrete waterfall countertop; and refinish dining table. Thats probably enough for spring, otherwise I won’t have anything to do this summer.
    Would also love the plans for building farmer Jake.

  10. Judith says:

    New bathroom – as in: turning the old, windowless one into a walk-in closet and creating a new one from scratch in an extra room with big, gorgeous windows. There will be a sauna, people. You might say I’m looking forward to it a bit.

  11. Jenny W says:

    I will be staining the patio, and putting in a larger pond, whenever it decides to stop snowing here, and act like “True Spring”, not Fake Calendar Spring 😛
    (p.s I loved the movie Room)

  12. Barb says:

    I am currently converting my woodshed into a coop for my chickens that arrive in early April. Actually I am currently thinking about a nice hot pack to ease the sore shoulder muscles from stapling chicken wire to a roof! That and seed starting, cold frame building, low tunnel building (I call mine “pup tents”) and waiting for the soil to warm up and drain enough to make raised beds for the new garden, and expand my current garden. All this to start up a gardening business to sell weekly veggie shares and eggs. How’s that for a big spring project? Wish me luck!

  13. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    I can’t imagine that at 7 in the morning I would be the first asking for the tickets for One of a Kind…but here I am…if I read to see who got in before me…I’ll lose out on precious minutes !!

  14. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Congrats Paula…just read through the posts!

  15. Sandra Lea says:

    My spring project is painting; foyer, hall, kitchen, dining room, living room and up the stairs into the 2nd floor hall. I don’t mind painting really, I’m stuck right now on choosing a color. Any suggestions on how to approach choosing a point color?

    • Karen says:

      Well go with white now and I probably always will, but if you aren’t good at picking paint colours and you’re going for an actual “colour” like yellow or green or whatever, I absolutely recommend using the help of someone at a real paint store like Benjamin Moore. To the uneducated eye yellow just looks like yellow on the paint chip, but once you paint the entire wall in it it might end up looking green, for instance. Also the paint can look one colour during the day and a completely different colour at night. So use their help. 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Amber says:

      I used to go to people’s houses and help them choose colors! If there’s a guy involved, make him go get his favorite sweater: the one you always tell him looks good on him. Use the sweater colour as an accent color. Saves loads of argument. When you find a base color you like, get a whole bunch of the paper swatches, and make the biggest color swatch that you can (without getting thrown out of the store). Tape it up and see what you think.
      If you want to get funky, then paint a dark colour on the ceiling of a narrow space; it makes the ceiling recede and look higher. But mostly, look at the colour of things you love: you already have a palate that speaks to you, in your clothes, in the flowers you buy or the pink tool belt you own. Choose from them and you’ll feel more at home.

  16. Thera says:

    I need to strip and refinish some wood furniture I sadly painted a few years ago and I too am too late, grats Paula.

  17. mbaker says:

    It’s not your imagination; February was the month that had the most discrepancy between it’s average and high in the history of weather record keeping. It was over 4 degrees warmer this February than the historical average.

  18. Sweet jeebus, Karen!! Do you have to post the pic of the linen robe when just this morning I lamented the fact that my ONLY robe is made from skin of polar bears and is way too hot to wear in Texas when springummer (that’s a word squiggly line, it means we go straight from 40 to 1,000 degrees here) is upon us?

    My credit card was just starting to recover, too.

    Thanks Karen, thanks a lot.

  19. Oh, and forgot to mention my big spring projects…because LINEN!!

    Ahem, anyway, we are going to replant the herb garden, clean up all the crap (literal) in the yard and fallen leaves, etc. Also, lost a slash pine last year – no idea why – so we have to take that out, trim some trees, clean gutters…basic stuff we do every year. This might also be the year of the roof. It’s 20 yrs. old now, and is starting to shed pretty good. Oh, and speaking sheds, we will also probably repaint our old utility shed.

  20. danni says:

    oooohhhh so many projects. Biggest one I’m tackling myself is replacing all the deck, everything must be replaced except the frame. And the cob oven needs her spring tune up. I’d be interested to hear how your cob oven is holding up. I know they aren’t permanent constructions, but my Ida does get the crap knocked out of her over the winters!

  21. Carolyn says:

    Funny you should recommend the “ground cherry”, I have chinese lanterns that grow here naturally. I have too many…they take over. I leave them as ornamentals for a bit of color come fall.

  22. NinaMargoJune says:

    Spring project? Replacing all 20 (mismatched) lights in the courtyards with LED spotlights. The old owners “accidentally” put in an assortment that gave erratic results at best. Will be happy when with the flip of a switch ALL lights come on and actual illuminate the jasmine and saguaro! And I don’t have to buy light bulbs ever again!

    Ongoing ALL season project: de cluttering, especially sentimental old-boyfriend baggage… Physical and emotional!

  23. Linda in Illinois says:

    I built 5 raised beds this past fall, I’m starting my veg. seeds indoors this weekend, hoping to have great crop this year, very excited to try at least. Want to find those ground cherry seeds and try them as well. Plans and Specs for a 6’2 farmer named Jake, oh my gosh yes, I want those plans.. forward them on when you find them. Happy Spring Karen!

  24. Jennifer says:

    I’m on day 14 of incubating chicken eggs! I got a super deal on an incubator during 1/2 off day at the local thrift shop. None of my hens want to go broody so this is the cheapest way to increase the flock and also to get 2nd generation chickens. My roo, Buddy Love is a handsome dude so I excited to see my frankenchicks! It’s incredibly exciting and I’ve got a new strange addiction of candling eggs. It’s so amazing to see the chick moving inside the eggs! They grow so fast but 21 days seems like an eternity to me lately!

  25. Eileen says:

    Did a walk around the yard the other day that resulted in a 3-page list…which doesn’t even include the really obvious things like: replace rotted picket fence, prep veg. beds, plant tree to screen neighbor’s new deck that lords it over my back yard….(I think I’ll go back to bed/winter hibernation now)

  26. Safetydog says:

    Spring plans: We’ll be building a new raised veggie bed – in a new location due to yard flooding. I’m anxious about how the veggies will do this year, with different sun/shade pattern. We’ll probably take down a red maple that lost its crown in a storm last year – it’s not looking too stable. Hate to see it go, but it’s the tree or the house. Watching our boy play high school soccer- very exciting. Clear/replant front garden. Move/plant some baby trees. Not a spring project, but planning now for when the boys are away this summer – the girl and I will paint kitchen cabinets, possibly revamp pantry, and binge on chick flicks and horror films (the boys can’t handle either one).

  27. Lauren says:

    What a lovely way to start the day was this post Karen! Imbued me with the spirit of spring (which was ready to pop on account of the sunshine we’ve had for the last two days here on the Oregon coast).

    I also would love to see a photo of that ‘tunnel from the chicken coop to the compost pile’.

  28. Karin says:

    TREE FORT! The boy is 5 now and it’s time to start swinging from the branches! On the more mundane side, we will be replacing our decrepit sliding glass door and some old windows. Which means we will probably be replacing some siding and taking care of wood rot as a result of the decrepit old windows. But TREE FORT! Yay!

  29. Pat says:

    My big spring project is a major redo of my shed/workshop (probably built in the 1950s). I am a collector of all things vintage western (I am a cowgirl and native Texan/former rancher, farmer’s daughter, so what else would you expect??), so naturally, that is the theme. It’s going to be great to have a vintage western themed girl hangout/party barn….to have poker parties, card games, play darts, drink beer and wine, cuss, spit, talk about guys….you know the things you and your girlfriends love to do when you gather and a friends house for some down time together (but only if they are cool though, and that’s the only kind of friends I have) . I painted the inside, my handyman has installed new windows. It’s got open beams to the top of the roof. I will hang old saddles, old saddle blankets, deer head mounts, etc., old spurs (I have all of this already just waiting to put in the redone space). Handyman is making me some cool barn doors that open at the top and at the bottom like a horse stall door, out of reclaimed wood, should be ready to hang the in a few weeks, then I can fully decorate. And, I forgot, it’ll be a workshop again, too…but not dirty crappy like I have kept it since I bought the house in ’08. Cowgirl power!!!

  30. Luba Gallinger says:

    Our cottage was finished being built this winter (Manitoba, Canada) and planning to landscape with natural prairie grasses and shrubs. So opposite of my city perrenial plantings and lawn. Of course it’s all mud right now and you’re right, spring is a few days away and panic is setting in. But pretty exciting and one step at a time, like paths to walk on first, but what kind, Yada. Funny, how planting a natural, Eco-friendly garden is a ‘novel’ idea, but I am so excited. By the way, looked up, Ground cherry, which sounds like a great one, but seeding can take over the garden…so FYI. Trying go low maintenance. Great blog!

  31. Jody says:

    I’m itching to get going on the garden. My plan for Easter weekend is to get the garden beds cleaned out of winter debris and spread the compost. Then all the perennials can jump up. After that I can concentrate on my new community garden plot. I’ve already got my seeds from Cubits.

  32. Trisha says:

    For years we have neglected the inside so that we can get our yard and garden sorted. Now, it’s time for an inside spring project that can hopefully be done before summer makes me want to abandon all things indoors. We’re redoing our fireplace. There is cracked moulding with an inset area and a terrible browny pink colour from the 1999 build. The ceiling in the living room goes up all the way to the second story so it’s a huge eyesore. Grey-washed wood, new tile, built in wiring and shelving for tv and we will have something spectacular!

  33. Amber says:

    It turns out that I do have a 6’2″ farmer. Names Jim though. Hes got most of it though: walrus mustache, junk yard dog, steer and a soft spot under the crust of his curmudgeonly manner. He’s my neighbor and I plan to seduce him with chicken and leek pot pies to bring his tractor over and haul rocks for my impending rock garden. It’s a steep bit of slope and the weeds are mangling my reputation. I don’t mind being seen as a hippie, but those damn weeds have reclassified me as a hill-billy. And not the sweet Dolly Parton kind. The kind with more truck parts than truck.

  34. mia pratt says:

    So far, I’ll be sitting on a lawn chair every morning in my back yard. In actual sunshine. With coffee and vanilla almond milk. And maybe a muffin or a croissant, depending upon my mood. Sooner or later the spring projects will bubble up to the surface, but for right now, after spending my first winter in Portland after six years in sunny Mexico…I’m just looking for some sunshine. Warm, runny, caramel-sweet morning sunshine. And dry. Mold-less, damp-less dry. Yep. That’s all.

  35. Ronda says:

    coming at this a day closer to spring, but our to-do list is make a guest room out of our old computer room and totally revamp the back yard. The dog has done his best to destroy any sod or lawn I’ve put in over the years, so we’re going patio all the way. And the raspberry canes have pretty much taken over and shoved the peonies and day lilies out of the flower bed, so there’s that to do too. Too bad the temperature has taken a dive!

  36. Ann Brookens says:

    Darn it, Karen! You keep posting those wonderful Rough Linen products! They all look so fabulous and, from the samples they sent me, feel fabulous and they are SO out of my price range! You’re going to drive me to SAVING UP for them!
    P. S. Ditto on the request for plans and specs for farmer Jake.

  37. Cindy says:

    I really do not have a big project this year other than re-staining the cedar around our flower and vegetable raised beds. The first day of Spring does force me to commit to my final choice…the winner…of my New Year Resolution for 2016. I’ve been waffling (clearly) over a few contenders. But one continues to float to the top: I resolve to plant every single flower, herb, vegetable, shrub, and green living thing in general that I buy.
    Whew! That will be quite a project. 🙂

  38. leslie says:

    Did you pick “Jake” because it rhymes with “rake” (but not “rake” as in “scoundrel)?

    I too need a Farmer Jake. I am digging 10 new postholes to expand my chicken yard and I’d like to put an East-facing window in my adobe coop. Depends on how sore I am from putting up the yard fence. This will be my first time putting in posts by myself and I’m bound to get myself in trouble but I’m researching as much as I can.
    That and waiting for a call from Farmer Whoever…

  39. Amie says:

    I am making more vegetable beds! And boiling off my syrup. It’s in the freezer waiting for a full of boiling over a roaring fire.

  40. Seadee says:

    My project(s): building gliding pantry drawers and raised self-watering (SIP) garden beds.

    That’s the plan anyway… :-p

  41. Julie says:

    My Spring project is raised garden beds I have been talking to my husband about for a few years. He suggested we go ahead with it this year. He made plans to go get the wood. He decided we didn’t plan for enough and bought wood for two more beds. He thought it would be nice to make one into a cold frame with 1/2 inch PVC pipe and plastic.

    I’d like to go outside and help him build, but right now I’m busy checking closets for the pod he came out of…

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