Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Renovation Ride

Hi everyone! Hop on board my renovation ride and let me take you around to some of the projects that have been keeping me busy. I’m pretty excited to show you what we’ve done so far. These are not “afters” – they’re more like the midway point.
First, my husband is concerned that the house is too yellow. We love yellow walls and have had them in every house we’ve owned.  But to appease the yellow haters that will be contemplating buying this house (nobody on HGTV seems to like yellow walls) – I added a chair rail in the dining room. I love how it looks and it’s something I had always planned on doing anyway :)
I’m going to paint the bottom half of the wall white and keep the yellow on top (my husband wants me to paint ALL the walls in the house white – not going to happen). Or maybe I should keep the yellow on the bottom and do white on the top? What do you think? Of course I’ll show you when it’s all done as I also have some new lithographed trays to hang!
Since I had to empty my petite china cabinet to move it so we could put up the molding – I had to fiddle with it when I put it back (of course)! Here are a few pictures:
A few white pitchers and two old silver coffee pots.
Let’s move on to the bathroom reno. We removed the old tile baseboard and installed beadboard paneling with a nice wide molding on the bottom and chair rail on the top.
I’m just priming it now. We also installed a new vanity & taps. Took out the old medicine cabinet – I’m just going to hang a mirror (which I haven’t picked out yet). We also need to pick out a new light fixture and of course accessories.
The walls above the beadboard are in bad shape mainly because whoever originally put wallpaper in here didn’t prime the walls. So I’m going to use a Venetian Plaster on the top. It leaves a fairly smooth surface but covers imperfections (used it in another bathroom that’s how I know). So the beadboard will be a semi-gloss white and the wall above will be a light taupe in Venetian Plaster. Trying to keep it light in there as there's no natural light.
Last stop on the reno ride.  The darn family room paneling is back up!!!  Everybody say it with me…woo-hoo!!  The concrete walls were sealed with Dry Lock (by me…with a brush I might add - that whole long wall...did I mention I used a brush) and the paneling and baseboard are up. We just have to re-attach the molding on the top. I then have to prime the new panels and paint them. Also touch up the paint on the other panels where needed and then hopefully this pain in my neck  saga will be over!

We’ve made good progress on the inside projects. We also have quite a few outside projects we’re going to tackle now that it’s cooler.
All the deck stuff is in the porch because I pressure washed the deck, steps and concrete patio today. This weekend we’re starting the staining of the deck and patio. Nothing fancy – just one color for it all. I’m too tired to try to do anything else!

My goal is to have the majority of things finished by Thanksgiving so we can enjoy the holidays and then finish up after New Year’s. We would like to list the house in March (basically spring here in Georgia) and hopefully be in a new home by the summer! Wouldn't that be great!
Well, that’s my update! I've missed not being able to devote more time to my blog and also to visiting your blogs. I have thought about just shutting this one down but every week I get at least one  email from some nice person that tells me how much they like and enjoy this blog and that keeps me going! Thank you to all of you that are still sticking around even though I post so infrequently!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cozying Up For Fall

Hello everyone! Long time no see :)


We have some very early mornings as our daughter has some 8 am classes. So that means she has to leave at 7 am for her drive into Atlanta, which means we’re up before the crack of dawn. Let me just say…we are not early morning people - dog included!


On those mornings my husband and I enjoy our coffee by candlelight. It’s a gentle way of waking up on those "it's waaaay too early I should still be sleeping" days! We don't like to rush in the mornings. I once worked with a woman who made time to take a bath every morning. She'd have her coffee in the tub - I always thought that was so great that she would start her day in such a relaxing way!

I know a lot of people don’t like to burn their “pretty” candles but I don’t have that problem. Use and enjoy what you have is my philosophy because otherwise what's the point of having nice things.


I really love finding unusual candles to mix in with my regular ones.  I buy them here and there, now and then. I'm not one to go out and just buy a whole set/collection of anything. To me that takes all the fun out of shopping!

I also took all our throws out of storage (ottoman with a lid in the living room). I like to have them handy so you can throw one over your lap if you want one.

It’s pretty cozy on those early mornings with the candles flickering, a throw on my lap and hot cup of coffee in my hand. Makes getting up in the dark almost bearable!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkins In the Bookcase

Hi everyone! I’ve been selling my books on Amazon for the past month or so and the result is that I have lots of empty space on my bookshelves (and some extra fun money)!

I, of course, have to fill up all that empty space! Anyway, I wanted to make something that  I could put on one of the shelves that wasn’t scary or halloweeney (you won't find any halloween projects here) and came across a tutorial for a paperback book pumpkin @ Craftberry Bush. This is a new to me blog which seems to have lots of lovely craft ideas. So please do visit her and have a look.
It’s such an easy & inexpensive project and I think it’s the perfect type of pumpkin for a bookshelf -don’t you? That’s a real pumpkin stem on it by the way.
On the bottom shelf I used a pumpkin I made last year. It’s a white one with black polka dots.

I just used those stick on dot things you get at the office supply store. They don’t come in black so I just went over them with a black sharpie. Then you just peel and stick them on the pumpkin. Easy, easy! Of course, you can do whatever color suits you – it’s a fantasy pumpkin so it doesn’t matter. Just coordinate it with your decor.
Surrounded by a few other pumpkins and a little Pottery Barn vase I got at the thrift store
On the top shelf I put a red and yellow pumpkin that I got at some store last year – Hobby Lobby/Michaels – one of those. I like that pumpkins don’t have to be orange anymore – I keep those for decorating my front porch area.

Here’s how I made the paperback book pumpkin:

1. Take the cover off your paperback and draw the shape of your pumpkin on an appropriately sized piece of cardboard.
2. Place your cardboard stencil on your book and use an exacto knife to cut around it. It’ll take several passes.
3. I did stain the edges of the pages with a tea bag as suggested in the Craftberry Bush tutorial.
4. I used a stem from one of my real pumpkins but the tutorial uses a stick (from your yard) hot glued to the spine of the book (with the top sticking up over the book).
5.Then glue a few pages around the stick and hold the pages together with a clip. I glued a few of the back pages together and glued my stem on top.

6. I found that I did have to fuss with the pages a bit to get it fan out properly. I had to make the spine more flexible so that I could get it to fan all around.
Although, my daughter says mine is more like a paperback pear than pumpkin! I guess I should have made it squatter :)

Thanks for the kind comments and emails on my last post! I had been feeling a bit weepy about taking my plates out of the garden and all.

Also, saw the doctor yesterday and he said I can do 45 min of non/low impact aerobics 4 x's a week since my knee is doing so much better. So today I biked for 45 min and I feel so much better! When I don’t exercise regularly things bother me so much more than when I do exercise. So I’m glad I’m able to get back at it!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


That’s what it feel like I’m doing right now. Erasing the things that make this home and garden me. It’s a bit sad when I let myself think about it – on the other hand I’m anxious to get on to other things and can’t wait for March when we list the house. How’s that for contradiction :)
Anyway, I thought I’d update you all on the goings on around here. One thing I did was to remove my plate border that went around the cottage garden. Apparently, young families and single men/women are who are buying homes in our neighborhood. Plates in the ground aren’t practical for either group especially the families with small children.
I haven’t decided what to use instead. I saw some metal edging that I might use since it looks like it would give a finished edge and keep the grass out of the bed.
I also disassembled my fruit garden that I made this summer. I’m hoping whoever buys this house will be happy to have the vegetable garden but I knew a second space was pushing it!
Fortunately the potted trees will be able to come with me where ever we go. I’m going to move them into the vegetable garden for the time being and put out some grass seed in this spot and hope it fills in! The trellis I’m thinking of using in my front yard but have to measure the space. Not sure what to do with the raspberries.

I realized that I’m just not going to be able to do everything myself. I had three pages of indoor projects and two pages of outdoor projects! Plus I’m sure other things will pop up. My husband is in retail so once we hit November he’s not going to be any help to me until after New Years!
So I hired someone to do some of the reno of our family room bathroom. That’s the original 1960’s vanity with a light brown sink (I painted it when we moved in 11 years ago).

He’s supposed to get started next week. I’ll do all the finish work in there. Hopefully I’ll have photos to post of my budget renovated bathroom in a few weeks!

In my last post I hinted that there was news about the family room. Well here it is.
Yep, have to take ALL the paneling off AGAIN! Can you believe it!

About two weeks after we had fixed the termite damage and put up/painted the new paneling, we noticed the far end piece beginning to get wavy. Then the piece next that and the piece next to that...all the way down the wall. We took this part off in the above photo and found mold on the backs of the panels! Apparently the cement block was weeping moisture. So we used a product called Dry Lock and filled in any noticeable cracks with some cement filler stuff, put the old panels up and then waited a very anxious three weeks.

Took them down and they seemed fine – no mold but they were too wavy to reuse so we bought some more panels. Which we tied to the top of our CRV and which promptly broke (even though we were driving super slow) and almost flew into the windshield of a car behind us! Fortunately no one was hurt. But we then had to rent a truck and go back for more panels. By now you know I needed either a drink (and I’m not a drinker) or some medication! Deep Breath.

Anyway, long story short, we have to take the remaining panels down and Dry Lock the rest of that wall and replace the panels and paint AGAIN! That’s next weeks project. Hopefully that will do it! If it doesn’t, I may just blast the wall out and tell people it’s a patio!

So all of this plus decluttering and just day to day stuff is what’s keeping me busy! I do try to make time to do some relaxing/fun stuff – so not to worry. I’m pretty good about keeping things balanced in my life.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Painting An Old TV Cabinet

Hi everyone! A while back I showed you half of our family room and I said that I was planning on painting our old laminate TV armoire (which we bought for $75 ten years ago at a moving sale).


Well I finally finished it!

I originally thought I’d paint it white because I have so much white paint leftover from other paint projects but I just didn’t like it. The ottoman inbetween this piece and the sofa is gray so I decided on gray with white trim.  I bought a quart of Natural Gray in the Behr Premium Plus line (the one that’s paint and primer).

This is the second time I’ve used this paint and I’m not impressed. It costs as much as Benjamin Moore but I still had to do three coats to get good coverage. So might as well buy the cheaper regular Behr or go with the Benjamin Moore which I think covers better. I used an oil-based primer so hopefully the knots won’t bleed through, the body is latex satin and the trim is latex semi-gloss. You can put latex on top of an oil primer but not the reverse.
We have a very different feel going on in our family room than we do upstairs – it’s more modern. Not a speck of toile to be found :)

I would have liked to buy one of the sleek modern TV cabinet systems that we saw at IKEA  a few months ago, but it’s just not in the budget since we have so many projects we need to do to the house to sell it. But I knew I could at least give it a new updated look just by painting it!

The inside isn’t painted. I only painted the inside of the doors since those are open most of the time and lay flat against the other painted part. I also painted the hinges and knobs just to make it easy on myself. I’ll change out the knobs if I find some fun ones but they look good painted.

Most of you know that the easiest way to get a new look is to reinvent your furniture with paint. Especially if your budget doesn’t allow buying new or if you’re just tired of what you have. Don't be afraid to paint! Start small and work your way up to bigger projects. You'll be amazed at what paint can do!

I have more news about this room which I'll post next time!