Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Gardening

We've been having some pretty crazy thunder storms the last couple days, so I'm glad I was able to get some gardening in before it hit.  I was also able to get some photos of my backyard before the storm.  

The sad thing is that the gazebo has seen better days.  It looks great from this side, but to my neighbors behind us, it looks like it's about to fall over.  We are having a new deck put on soon minus the gazebo.  Hopefully I won't be sorry.



Looks like I'm going to have a lot of cleanup after the wind and rain brought down all those messy dropping from the oak trees.  It almost looks like moss because there is so much of it.
When you enter through the back gate the aroma of lilac and dianthus is heavenly, or so I'm told.  I don't get to enjoy the wonderful scent due to allergies.  Anyone else have this problem?





Thursday, April 21, 2016

Remodeling the Staircase

I just spent hours trying to figure out where my blog disappeared to.  I learned a big lesson from a major mistake on my part.  When I purchased my google domain name last year and dropped the "blogspot", I never thought any more about it until recently when I tryed to get on my blog and it was no longer there.  Finally I realized that I hadn't gotten my yearly renewal reminder for my domain name.  I checked my email again and several hours later remembered that I had to set up a gmail account when I registered my name. Having never used this email account for anything else, there the reminders were sitting in my gmail account waiting to be paid.  It was due the middle of March and after 30 days they dropped my blog from view.  Luckily I found out what was wrong before 60 days when it would have been deleted.  It only costs $12 to renew each year and I now had to pay $112 to restore my blog.  That was a whopping $100 mistake on my part.  Lesson learned!    



In case you were wondering, this is where we are at on the staircase remodel.  The stairs are all in, I filled all the nail holes, and sanded.  They are now ready to be stained and varnished.  I'm waiting for a string of nice weather for at least 3-4 days so I can open the windows for ventilation.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our Old Home Remodeling Continues

In a previous post I alluded to further remodeling that would be going on in our home soon.  This project actually started several years ago and we simply lived with it for a while.  Our stairs are the first thing you see when you enter the front door and the old berber carpet on the stairs had seen better days.  I have terrible allergies and getting the pet hair out of the carpet was driving me crazy.


One day, while Rick was out of town on business I decided to remove the carpet.  I do these things while he's away and I'm sure he's afraid each time he returns to see what I've done.  Needless to say I was very disappointed to see plywood on the landing and a staircase that was meant to be covered with carpet.  The two stairs at the top were the only two oak treads.


The wood wainscot didn't meet the stairs in severals places and there were lots of gaps.


I filled all the holes the stapes left in the stairs and cleaned these up the best I could and removed the paint spills that were all over them.  


After all this work, I was not going to recarpet these though.  I knew that someday we would get these replaced.  I have no idea what year this was done but we moved here in 2001 and I lived with the old carpet for 2 or three years.


Rick was more than a little shocked when he came home.  But, thank goodness he is good natured about my remodeling efforts.  



They were at least clean and easy to dust away the pet hair.  The lighting in the above picture is deceiving.  They did not look this good.


I generally avoided taking photographs of this area of our home.  I painted the risers white thinking they would look nicer.  Sorry about the Christmas picture it's the only time I took pictures of the railing.



Let's get up close and see how bad these really were.  Nice!


But, there is hope!  New stairs in progress as you can see here.


I was so excited to watch as each new tread was placed into position!  Our carpenter and friend, Patrick Grass did a beautiful job.


This is what it looked like by the end of the first day.  
The stairs are now completely in and I will be painting the risers white one again because I had them faced with wood that I could paint to save a little.  I've been sampling stains on some scrap wood and hope to start staining soon.  I will share more pictures of these as I go along and when they are finished.  My knees will be killing me by then I'm sure!

In the mean time we are still finishing up Rick's listening room on the third floor and my paint room once Rick gets the rest of his office moved upstairs.












Thursday, March 17, 2016

Top of the Morning to You!


Happy St. Patrick's day!  
I learned this morning that the saying, "Top of the morning", is not an old saying from Ireland.  It orginated in America among the Irish living here and may have come from an old movie and some say a book.

The common response to this greeting would have been, "And the rest of the day to you."  
If you google it you will find differences of opinion on where it originates.  

"And the rest of the day to you my friends!"


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Beginning of a New Autumn Folk Art Village Scene

My husband and I have been busy working on his office which will be on the third floor of our home.  It originally was an attic and the family we bought the house from turned it into a play room for their children.  Our son, Eric, used it as his bedroom through high school and college.  He now owns his own home so we took a while to decide what to do with this space.  It had become a junk room where we stored things instead of getting rid of them.

Rick has quite a collection of albums and will be turning it into his "listening room and office".  We are still busy working on "his room" so I haven't had much time for creativity, but I have managed to work a little on this new autumn painting.   I will be working on rearranging, painting, and decorating my room hopefully soon so that I can get back to painting every day.  I'm really missing it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chalk Art and Chalkboard Markers

Recently I was contacted by the company Chalkola asking if I would be interested in trying their chalk markers and give them a review.  Just to let you know up front, Chalkola provided the markers but my opinions are my own.    Guess what?  I loved them!

The colors are bright, including some neon chalkboard markers and they are easy to clean off.  I used them on a surface that I painted with chalkboard paint and was concerned that they would be hard to remove.  I've had trouble with other brands cleaning off.  I tested them in a tiny area and washed it off the next day with a damp cloth.  I had a cheap chalkboard that I bought at the craft section of a local shop and didn't have as much luck with it.  They do tell you to test it first though.  


Chalkola provided me with two different size markers and a nice set of chalk labels.  I prefer the smaller size markers, but children will love the fat ones I'm sure.  Teachers and moms will love using these with their children for art projects.  


These labels were perfect for my glass jars, but I could also use the chalk pens right on the glass.  


What I love about these labels is that they peel right back off.  You can take them off when  you need to wash the jars.


My favorite is the dog bone label!


All the markers can be used on non porous surfaces, glass, whiteboards, mirrors, plastics, chalkboards, and ceramics according to the information on the box of chalk markers.  

My handwriting with the large markers on the mirror isn't the greatest but I think Rick will get the idea anyway!


Try these on your next DIY project.  All the chalkboard markers are available on Amazon and Chalkola is giving my readers a 20% discount.  Use the links and discount codes provided:

20% Off on Amazon - Use Code -> CHK20OFF

20% Off on Amazon - Use Code -> CHALK20A

Monday, February 15, 2016

Layer Cake Quilt


Today was a dreary cold day, so I decided to drag out my sewing machine and add the final 4" border around the edges of this quilt. 

When I first bought this layer cake of 10" squares I couldn't figure out what kind of quilt I wanted to make.  The designs on this fabric, Bumble by Free Spirit, were a bit large and cutting it up into small pieces for a quilt just didn't set right with me.  I loved the bumble bees in various shades of aqua, light green, and coral.  But, my favorite from this fabric line are the tall striped trees.


I really wasn't comfortable with cutting it up.  As you can see, I chickened out and simply sewed the 10" squares together.  Now I have to decide how I want to quilt it.  I could just go with yarn ties in the corners of each square,  free motion quilt it on my machine (which I've never tried by the way), or take it to my local quilt shop to have it machine quilted.   It measures 71" x 80" and will make a great throw for the bottom of the bed or over a chair.


I will be backing it with the green and gray tree fabric that's in the plastic bag.  This whimsical fabric on the reverse side may be my favorite part of this quilt when it's finished!
What are your ideas about how I should quilt it?  Yarn ties might mess up the symmetry of the trees on the the back.  What do you think?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Be My Valentine




Wishing you all a very "sweet" Valentine's Day!  

Check out our Etsy store for 25% off for the remainder of this month.  Be sure to enter the code BEMINE at checkout.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

New Industrial Light



Today my husband, Rick, will be helping our son put in an over the stove microwave and will be putting in a new sink and faucet for our daughter.  Before he heads out he decides to hang my industrial light that I purchased from  Decor Steals.  

Rick used an antique pulley to wrap the long cord around and attached it to our barn wood ceiling.  I love it!






Thanks Rick!  He's a keeper!



Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Know You're Getting Old When.....

Before I start on the subject in the title, won't you join me for a cup of tea?  I got this sampler of Tea     Forte Chocola (not misspelled) Teas for Christmas and have been using them sparingly because they are just too pretty.


Five of them came in a pretty heart shaped box:
Chocolate Rose
Coconut Chocolate Truffle
Hazelnut Truffle
Belgian Mint (the one in this photo)
Swiss Apple

The tiny green leaf and the silk bags are so pretty that I hate to use them and toss them.   Which one would you like to try?  They all have a hint of chocolate in them.

Now that I have my tea in hand, I'll get on with the subject of this blog post:

You Know You're Getting Old When....
1.  You mom calls your daughter, your daughter calls your son, and your son who is sick with a bad cold walks over from his house in a snow storm to make sure you haven't fallen into harms way.

Before all this happened I was busy painting my kitchen and had taken everything down including unplugging the phone from the wall where I was painting so that I didn't paint the cord.  I completely forgot about it and of course my mom had tried off and on all day to call me.  My husband was out of town on a business trip and she assumed I had fallen off my ladder and was lying on the floor injured.  As day turned to early evening, I realized the phone had never been plugged back in so I plugged in the phone jack.  The phone kept saying "connecting" but never did.  I figured I'd better call my husband on my cell phone to let him know I was o.k. before he got nervous and tried to call.  While I was on the phone with Rick, our son came through the back door to check on me.  He was covered with snow and coughing his head off.  
  He looked at my house phone and proceeded to plug it into the outlet since I had only plugged the cord into the phone jack.  Finally I had a connection and had to call everyone to let them know I was ok. Poor guy said it was too slick to drive but was happy that his mom wasn't injured. 

The paint color I used in the kitchen is another story all together and will share some other time.

2  I'm sure you're wondering why no one called me on my cell phone when they couldn't get me on the house phone.  I truly dislike cell phones and only have mine for emergencies.  I had plugged it into the charger because it's always dead.  Thank goodness I thought to do that because everyone definitely thought there was an emergency.  It of course was plugged in but not turned on.  

3.  While at T.J. Maxx  the other day I found some red and black buffalo plaid slippers in the clearance aisle for $15.00.  I adore buffalo plaid and bought them straight away.  Sunday evening while coming down the two stairs above the landing I slipped and fell (I'm blaming it on the new slippers) spraining my ankle.  It's amazing I didn't go flying through the window on the landing except for the fact that it was closed due to inclement weather.  
I'm trying to figure out how I could have been climbing up and down a ladder for two days painting and not hurt myself, but simply walking fall and injure my ankle.  I've been sitting for the last few with days with my leg iced and elevated in the recliner.   In case you wondered where I was, that's my story.  Please don't call me on my cell phone it won't do you any good.  




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Puzzle Giveaway Winners!


Yeah!  We have a winner!  Rah, rah, rah!  I was a cheerleader back in the day and as you can tell from all the gray hair that it was way back in the day.  So I'm doing a little cheer for my two puzzle winners:
Vee and Eileen

They are both very talented ladies so please stop by and check out their blogs and tell them I sent you!

The Christmas decorations are now down and one undecorated tree remains.  I'm getting there!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Folk Art Snowman Puzzle Giveaway


Just before Christmas puzzles arrived of my design "Chimney Smoke and Cheery Snowfolk".  
They've made the design round and it's available in 500 piece or 300 pieces.  I'm giving away one of each.  One lucky person will get the 500 piece puzzle and the other will get the 300 piece puzzle.

To be eligible for the drawing just leave a comment on my blog and I will be drawing the name on Sunday evening January10th.  Due to the cost of shipping overseas this "giveaway" is only available in the US and Canada.  Please put your name in your comment along with your email address if you are commenting anonymously so I can contact the winner.


This was a little difficult to photograph because of the plastic shrink wrap.  They are sold at Bits and Pieces.




The puzzle is 20" in diameter.   
I know I'm a little crazy, but I absolutely love snow!   What is your opinion of winter or do you live where it's nice and warm all year long?

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year New Checked Curtains

We have another remodel coming up soon and we decided after the mess of having new floors put in before Christmas that we'd take a break until after the first of the year.  I don't want to mention what it is in case I jinx it.  I've waited a few years for this.

Below are the new curtains that I recently put up in our "lodge"room.  This room is now finished unless we find a ceiling light fixture that we like.   Due to a low ceiling, most of the fixtures that we've liked hang too low.  I found these beige checked curtains at Plow and Hearth. They are insulated to keep the room warm and they are on sale!


I decided to leave the shutters for a little more privacy from the street.   


The tree is still up!  It's real so it's got to come down soon.  I'm crossing my fingers that the next remodeling goes smoothly.





Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sweet Quiet Mornings

I love getting up early in the morning almost like a child rising early on Christmas morning.  Walking quietly down the stairs trying not to trip over our dog, Lady, who insists on sleeping at the top, I start turning on lamps and the Christmas lights.  Taking my coffee, devotional, and diary to my favorite seat I plop myself down.  I need this quiet time with the Lord each morning before I start the day.  


This is the view from where I sit with legs curled up under me, knowing full well I won't be able to walk properly once I untangle them.  Sitting in the dark, the lights from the Christmas tree reflect in the black t.v. screen and the white lights of the flocked tree dance across the varnished wood floors.


Even the idea of taking down all this "Joy" is a little disheartening.  Rick prefers I leave it up until his birthday is over and that's always been just fine with me.   

Do you rush to take down your Christmas decorations or like a child, want to hang on to the magic just a little longer?



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Chalk Art

I can't believe I'm still posting about Christmas after it has passed.  In my last minute forgetfulness I got my chalk board done on my door.  I did get it done before Christmas but just forgot to mention it along with this wonderful new book on chalk lettering that I wanted to share with everyone.  If you got an Amazon gift card this year for Christmas, you might want to consider purchasing The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering.


You can check out my chalkboard the year before on last year's Christmas post.


I made a few changes with the help of this book:


You can find The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering on Valerie's blog or
on Amazon.  I suggest you check out her blog if you love chalk art like I do and then you should also check out her Etsy shop.  This book is so unique because there is a place on the inside covers of the book to practice your lettering.

I'm much happier with this years chalk lettering on my door.  What do you think?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas From Our Crazy Family

My Crazy family:

Sorry I didn't get this posted sooner, but things are a little crazy around here.  Our family had a great Christmas and I hope you all did as well.  



A dear customer and friend sent us this sweet ornament and I received it right before Christmas.  Thanks so much again Joyce!  It really touched our hearts.  Have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Memories Pillow


Last Christmas I took an old family photo of my brothers and sister with Santa and had it put on a pillow for my mom and sister for Christmas.  I loved them so much that I ordered one for myself!


It's taken from this old photo:

It's too late to order for this year I'm sure, but you can get one by submitting the image you want to use at fineartamerica.com.  
They print the design on both sides.  This makes a very special gift for a loved one any time of the year!