Thursday, December 21, 2017

Better late than never Christmas tour.

I'm incapable of getting my Christmas act together until all the holiday house tours
in Blogland have come and gone.  I don't make big changes in the way
I decorate for Christmas from year to year, but I felt the need to publish a post
 to pull my blog out of the toilet, so to speak.(I'm referring to my last post.)

Sunshine and days off rarely coincide, so here's our dining room
on a gray winter day.  I had to take dozens of photos just to get a few shots
 with all the chandelier lights shining. I got my workout going up and down
the chair to screw in one temperamental light bulb and then hightail it
back to my camera to quickly snap a shot before it flickered out.
   So there you have it.  All 250 watts burning bright.

Total calories burned during my chair stepper routine = 250 (I wish!)

The chandelier crystals take on a new persona at night
when they catch the rays of the 24/7 light show next door.
Red and green and flashing all over.  :o)

An old quilt is my table dressing for the season.

I added some glittery wood snowflakes to my autumn acorn garland.
Green trees in teacups and an angel in a birdcage?
There is no logic involved in Christmas decorating.

I retired my sheet music wreath and resurrected "swamp thing"
with a piece of pine garland and red berries. The Swedish candle holder
was a thrift store find.  Score!

Red white & blue brighten up this corner of the room.

I keep the buffet top simple so I can easily move everything
 to make way for Christmas goodies.  We need lots of room for goodies.

I made little gingerbread houses to decorate the kitchen shelves,
and as of today there have been no uninvited guests
nibbling on the walls.  Whew!

The red and white mugs were a World Market find this year.
I also found a cookie cutter at WM for mini gingerbread houses
that will make assembling the houses so much easier next year!

Since I still haven't replaced our living room furniture (no big surprise),
I spruced up the sofa with a fun new throw from TJMaxx.
A round red placemat from Target brightens the basket on the wall.

On my to do list for several years was to make a big chalkboard (3 ft. x 4 ft.)
 to hang over the sofa.  It only took a few hours and cost around $10 to make.
I wonder how long my chalk art will last when our grands arrive?

The only thing I've yet to do is assemble candles and votive cups
for the luminaries we line our sidewalk with on Christmas Eve.

Our son-in-law Jeremy has taken on the duty of lighting
 the luminaries each year, which is not an easy task when it's
cold and windy.  I'll be watching from the nice warm house.

It was a difficult year for us at 911, but as 2017 draws to an end,
I realize how truly blessed we are.

We love you Santa.
  It wouldn't be Christmas without you.

Thanks so much for visiting and Merry Christmas
from our house to yours!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another fine mess.

Please put all food and beverages aside for a moment.
We'll be visiting in the bathroom today.  :o)

After we spent countless hours on wallpaper removal and plaster repair
in our upstairs bathroom (8 months ago) was I any happier with the room?


After the wallpaper was gone and the upper walls were painted white
all I could focus on was the beige tile.  I looked at that wall tile
 month after month and wished it would magically transform itself
into white subway tile.  Not happening, I'm afraid.

I was so uninspired to continue with the room that last weekend I convinced
my partner in crime (who may have been slightly less enthusiastic
than I to embark on this quick fix) to help me remove the beige tiles.
Less than an hour later we were done!

  Woo hoo!

Then we stood back to survey the damage.

It gets worse.

You can see the many layers of paint over the faux plaster tiles
from days of yore.  It's even worse behind the toilet
which necessitated removing the tank.

After removing most of the tile to reveal the nightmare beneath,
I wisely decided to leave the tile around the tub.

I'm going to cut a few tiles I saved to finish off the edge
and then paint the remaining tile white.  My ever changing plan
is to install beadboard over the rest of the damaged walls.

*Update:  It seems the tiles have been transported to the landfill.
Hmmmm.  I guess we'll worry about that later.

First and foremost we need to smooth out the walls to create
a flat surface on which to adhere the beadboard.  No small feat!!
Worst Case Scenario is what we uncover
 every blankety-blank time we start a project.  You'd think just once
things would go our way!

As you can see, progress has been made, but I foresee nothing but problems
nailing base trim around the room (that slopes downhill)
 onto walls that are not remotely level or plumb.  There will be a lot of standing around
 and head scratching whilst we try to figure this out.

If you've visited the Cosmos Mystery Area in the Black Hills of
South Dakota, you have an idea of what we're dealing with in our bathroom.

 I'm trying to be more of a glass is half-full type of person,
so on the plus side:

1.  No black mold was found in the crumbling walls.

2.  No small rodents or insects crawled through the holes in the walls.
(I watch every episode of Infested.)

3.  We already have new plumbing, wiring, toilet, sink,
medicine cabinet, and window so this facelift should be fairly inexpensive.

*Estimated cost x 4 (or 10) = Actual cost.

4.  I'm not a participant in a blogger ORC.
(for those of you unfamiliar, ORC is a one room challenge
completed in a few short weeks.  I'd crack under the pressure.)

Now let's look at my timeline, shall we?
Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.
Six adults and 4 small children.

Is this not the perfect time
 to demo a bathroom?!

Timing is everything.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Wee woolies.

Black cats may conjure up thoughts of Halloween for you,
but with snow already on the ground!!!  it's looking more like
Christmas up north.......

Evening view from under the shelter of our porch roof.
It looks as though winter is here to stay.

Anyhoo, it's time to start thinking of Christmas presents,
and I've got an idea for my knitting friends.

I wasn't feeling particularly creative over the past few months,
but when I spotted this book......

I couldn't wait to get knitting again!

Of course it appealed to my childish nature.  And talk about
instant gratification- I can whip up a sweater in no time that
somebody's actually going to wear!

I made a few changes to the cat pattern (stockinette stitch, color
variations, and pink inner ears) and I gave her a set of pretty
aquamarine glass eyes from my eyeball stash.  I've yet to hear a
 single complaint that her wool sweater is itchy or scratchy.

Each animal pattern in the book also includes a pattern for a....!!!!!

They're rather fiddly to knit and sew together,
but they're just so darn cute!

Kitty is a little fussy, but she quiets down when Mama keeps her close.

Little fingers need help to strap on the baby carrier.

Kitty's even got a Moses basket to snooze in when Mama's busy.

But kitty's in the baby carrier, so who's sleeping in the basket?

Why it's Baby Panda tucked under a pink blanket with her nonny in her mouth!
(A special request by Finley, a former nonny addict.)

If Panda looks a little top heavy, it's because I mistakenly knit her arms
with 6 stitches instead of 4, but that's our little secret.
Kung Fu Panda.

A happy blended family.

You know I didn't stop at one family.


Gotta love those puppy ears!

The dogs have a new home with Maggie,
but I've still got a few accessories to finish up for her....
and requests for more baby animals for both girls.
Maggie has an obsession with woobs (aka wolves), so maybe
the dog head with cat ears....I'll see what I can do.

If you're a knitter and have little ones to please,
this book's a winner!

Thanks for visiting!

Frozen pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Simply orange.

I've seen so many lovely rooms decorated in neutral tones for autumn,
but for me it's all about orange.  It's such a cheerful accent color
 that instantly warms and brightens our house as the days get shorter and cooler.

Peonies and olive bucket from Hobby Lobby 
liven up this corner of our living room.

I just plunked three bunches into the bucket.

It's been so long since I've bought any new autumn accents,
but this pretty throw was 75% off, so why not?

A few items from my dwindling stash top my pie safe.

Orange candles and twigs from our yard decorate the mantel.

Cinnamon scented pine cones are a must during fall and winter.

These days I don't make a lot of changes for the seasons.
I have very little left in my decorating stash - and I'm not at all sad about it.
In fact, I just dropped off another load of stuff today!

I cut back all my hydrangeas today, but I didn't bring any indoors to dry.
It's been an awful season for outdoor allergies, so I'm trying to keep
our house free of my allergy triggers.

I bought a very inexpensive Wally World off-white area rug
to keep my toes warm and tide me over until......pigs fly, I guess.
It's not as blindingly bright as it appears in this photo, and best of all,
unlike my old red rug, it doesn't clash with orange.  :o)

Thanks for visiting!

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Thrift store baskets.

Our grands won't be here for Easter, but if they were, I'd have no shortage of baskets.
  Should the Easter Bunny choose to fill my vintage baskets with yummy chocolates,
 who am I to argue?

  By the way, I did finish the Whole 30.  No sugar for 30 looooong days.
  I've found that I don't feel so exhausted all the time, so I'm trying my hardest
 to stay away from chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies, and bakery, and desserts,
and everything that tastes good.  It isn't easy.

I replaced my mannequin head on top of this old cupboard with baskets.
I think our visiting grands will sleep easier without her sinister eyes looking at them!
(If you haven't met her, she's up there in my blog header.)

Here she is dressed up for Halloween.

  The wood lamps I bought for our dining room migrated
up here to the master bedroom.  I like them a lot better on the white buffet
 than on our wood buffet in the dining room.

 All the women in my knitting group are knitting this shawl
 designed by the shop owner.  Wouldn't my dressmaker's form look
oh-so-chic with a lacy shawl draped over her shoulders?  I think I need to join
in and knit one in a soft gray and white yarn.

On the other side of the room.....

I don't buy many vintage items these days, with the exception of old baskets.
  These baskets are empty, but they'd provide extra storage space if my yarn stash
 outgrows my yarn cubby.

Do you notice a wood element that's missing in this corner?

Never say never.

This is the piece I said I'd never paint, but when I saw the same dresser
painted by Miss Mustard Seed, I had a change of heart.  I hope to someday find
two more drawer pulls to match for the top drawer.

It's so much brighter in this corner now that the dresser
isn't competing with the dark wood door.

Pretty spoon carved detail and keyhole.

Across from the dresser is another old cupboard I painted a few years ago.
It's the perfect size to store my sewing machine, quilt fabrics for my someday quilt,
and jars filled with buttons and trinkets.

On top is an old sewing basket.

The painted lamp belonged to my great-grandmother, and on the wall
is one of the many mirrors in my collection, but that's a story for another day.

Thanks so much for visiting and have a Happy Easter!

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