Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Christmas Tree

I'm sure that everyone is busy shopping, decorating, and baking but I wanted to share my tree this year and show you the difference between last years tree and this years.

"2013 Tree"  
(this now belongs to our son)

"2014 Tree"
My sister gave us the beautiful desk on the left and this is where I fill my print orders.  When she sold her home she was getting rid of several pieces of furniture and I was the lucky recipient of this piece made by a friend of hers.  I didn't realize how skinny my old tree was for this area.


I hung the kids stockings on the coat rack this year because the shelf with the pegs is gone.


Jersey decided to photo bomb...


and once again without Jersey….


Rick keeps telling me I should clean the glass on the stove door before taking pictures, so please don't  judge me.  There's just too much to do around here.


I'm taking photos at my son's house today, so I'll be able to show you how our old skinny tree fits into his cozy cottage.
Off to make peanut butter fudge and wrap presents!

Check out the link to Kelly's blog The Lilypad Cottage.  This is where I got the inspiration for my tree this year because we bought the same flocked tree from Walmart.  Her home is lovely!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Folk Art Christmas Pillows

You may have noticed the new Pixel store in the shop links at the top of this blog.  Click on the link to go to my store where many of my paintings are now available as pillows.  Check out my "Caroling in Winterberry" pillow if you are looking for that special piece to finish off your Christmas decor or to give as a gift.  They even offer phone cases.




I have finally finished decking the halls throughout the house….








I do keep tweaking it though.  Do you tend to redo things or simply call it good?

It is the time of year for giving and if you are interested in giving to a good cause, I've put a link for a fundraiser for a dear friend of ours who is battling cancer at the top right column of my blog.  He is once again starting chemo this week and your prayers would be greatly appreciated.  Prayer can make a huge difference and his family would like for him to battle this cancer without having to worry about the bills.  



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Red and White Cheer My Heart

Thankfully I have photos from Christmas last year to help me decorate this week.  I loved the red and white theme last year and I'm so glad that I had photos to remind me where everything went.  Seeing these images from 2013 put a smile on my face and cheer in my heart and I knew I had to repeat it for this year.






I believe my garden man plaque is happy with the red cardinals too!  Now it's down to business and getting this done for 2014!

My plans for the New Year involve painting the walls in this room a different color and to get rid of the outdated grapevine stenciling.  Painting around the faux marble fireplace may prove to be a challenge!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kitchen Christmas Chalkboard Door

After a long break away from blogging, I'm refreshed and ready to roll once again.  This week I'm doing my Christmas decorating.  Click on the chalk board image for a closer view.  I love my Susan Branch calendar and can't wait to see what the 2015 calendar looks like.


This door in my kitchen leads down to the basement where I have all my Christmas goodies stashed. 
Last night I found my chalk and got to work on my door.  Chalk boards are such an inexpensive way to decorate for all the holidays.  


Last year I found some great burlap ribbon at Walmart and used it on the stairway along with some garland….


I used it on the tree as well as the old chair.  


This year we have a new tree and I'll share that with you as soon as I finish decorating it.  It's taking me longer every year to get everything decorated.  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Snowman Folk Art Puzzle

It's finally here!  I'm not sure if I even mentioned it, because I didn't want to jinx myself, but my puzzle has arrived in the mail.  My agent licensed my painting, "Chimney Smoke and Cheery Snow Folk", to  a puzzle company and it's now available at Bits and Pieces.  


They included a frame which is actually part of the puzzle, glue, sponge to apply the glue, hangers and hooks so you can put it on your wall.  I know what puzzle I'll be working on this winter!  Do you enjoy puzzles?





Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Eric's Cottage

I can't believe I've never shared a picture of Eric's little cottage from the outside.  This morning I ran drove over and took some photos.  I love the arched doorway!

I wanted to share his fireplace wall again because I love this area!  This is what it looks like now and Rick, my husband, used to be a brick mason and will be repairing the inside of the firebox soon.  Eric also has a great painting that he wants to hang over the fireplace and that's the reason the mirror had to go.  I had to re-texture the wall because it was cracked and painted it to match the rest of the walls.  


This is what it looked like before they removed the huge mirror over the fireplace.  Every time I came through the front door and saw my reflection in the mirror is scared me thinking someone was inside the house.   They taped the mirror and it didn't break when they took it down.  They also removed that old ceiling fan with the brass fixtures and wicker blades.



This is the new ceiling fan they installed.  


I just love his leather chair in this front room.  
I was in a hurry when I left my house and forgot to bring the tripod so the pictures aren't the best.  Nothing has been hung on the walls yet, but as soon as that happens and he finishes unpacking, I'll share some more.  




Friday, July 11, 2014

A Dusty Situation

Sorry about the eery green color of these photos, but I was using Rick's cell phone because I didn't want to ruin my camera.  These are the poor images of the guys sanding the floors.  They opened all the windows, covered all the air vents, taped over all the plugins and anything else that the dust might get into.  All the screens are covered in dust by the way.  

There is so much dust in the air!


I'm not sure if they are discussing whether that's dust on the hearth or a sandy beach.


This is what they were looking at.  It took several days to clean all this mess up and they are putting in new furnace filters pretty often as well.


Want to do this to your house?  Not me!  Thank goodness he did this before moving in.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Refinishing the Hardwood Floors

The past week has been quite an experience for us.  First I must admit that none of us have ever refinished floors.  I have always wanted to have my floors refinished so we thought, hey, we'll learn how to do this on Eric's floors.  This top photo is the shot of how the floors looked before we started.  Notice all the new fresh beige paint on the walls.  These rooms were previously all white.  Now the crown molding is much more noticeable.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and you will see the bad condition of the floors.


In this spot I should have shown you the sanding of the floors in progress.  However, I didn't want to ruin my camera with dust.  I did use Rick's phone to take some pictures of that mess, but he hasn't had the time to download them.  Even though the machine has a bagger don't think for one minute that it helps with the dust issue.  

I did manage to capture the floors in this image as the varnish was being applied on the first coat.  Rick cut the varnish in around the edges while I applied the remainder of the area with a lamb's wool applicator.  We were applying oil base polyurethane because we didn't want to stain and we knew we couldn't work fast enough with the water base varnish.  That evening we returned and were not happy with the looks of the floor after it had dried, but assumed the second coat would look better and we would be applying three coats total.  


Eric was able to come that evening after work and help us apply the second coat.  Here is my advice:
Never apply varnish at night because the lighting is not good enough.  In our defense though the can said that if we didn't apply the second coat within 12 hours we would have to sand again because it would raise the grain.  We did not finish until after midnight.  We had brushed the varnished on in the little office and the spare bedroom so they looked great the next morning.  The two large rooms however  did not.  I did not in anyway like the lambswool applicator.  Trying to find good videos on how to use this properly was next to impossible and when I did find a video it was not much help.  Rick and I decided to get down on our knees and apply the last coat of varnish with a brush.  It took approximately 5 hours for two "old" people to put the final coat on.  We are now very happy that this project is over and done with.

Here is my final tip:  If you want a professional job, call a professional.  Our son is very happy though with his new floors.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Proud American

The other night the sky was an eery shade of green which is not a good sign.  That generally means storms are on the way.  But, I looked out my front door and noticed the flag was framed by a heart shape of foliage and decided to grab my camera.  I'm not that great at photography, but really wanted this image to show my family.  When I was sharing it with my son, Eric, he said, "Mom it's not a heart but the shape of the United States of America."  He's correct!  He pointed out Alaska, Texas, Florida, and the upper east coast.  Do you see it?  What better frame for our beautiful flag!   


I'm a proud American who will be celebrating this 4th of July by working and then enjoying some fireworks.  Are you a proud American?  I know the polls show a sharp decline in the number of Americans who are proud and patriotic.  We may not like what goes on in politics but we can still stand tall and proud of our country!  I love getting up each morning and looking out at this beautiful symbol of our nation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dutch Door and Office Remodel

I apologize for the poor quality of these images and don't claim to be a photographer.  I did want to give you an update on Eric's house remodel so you didn't think I disappeared.  We've been very busy working because he now has a move date and we need to get this show on the road.  While the guys have been busy with this project, I've been painting and adding texture to the walls.

This is an interesting and very strange little part of the house.  Eric will be using this narrow room as his office.  I know it looks like an optical illusion, but this room is diagonal to the house.  I love this dutch door!  See that dropped ceiling?  It's gone now.  That thing on the right is a radiator cover.  When they replaced the furnace a few years ago, they left all the radiators.

That English tudor house that you see out this door may have been connected by a tunnel that ran under this room at one time.  That is one story we've been told.  Both houses were built by the same family. This is a prohibition house where liquor was stored in several hiding places that are still there today.  There also is a little room in the basement that is behind a hidden opening in the wall that locks from the inside.  I guess they would hide there if the police showed up.  If these walls could talk I'm sure there would be some great stories to tell!


After tearing out the old ceiling we realized it was going to have to be replaced with something because 
the original ceiling was damaged beyond repair.  Eric decided to go with a plank ceiling.  Here they are white washing it before it goes up.


That last board was pretty tricky because of the angle.  


This is what it looks like now.  They also got the floors sanded and ready to be varnished.
I love seeing my guys working together!


While the guys were busy sanding all the floors I could no longer paint because of the dust.  I decided to remove all the little maple trees that were growing in the hostas and realized on the first tug that it was a vine.  Yes, poison ivy!  I now have what is called a rare form of "black spot poison ivy."  If it's rare, I'll get it.  Lucky for you I won't be sharing pictures of that!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Retro Bathroom Before Images

Thought I would share all the before pictures of each room of Eric's house that he recently bought and then I will show you the "during stages" before I share the "after" images.  My sister and I recently removed the old wallpaper from this room and I got all the paste scrubbed off yesterday.  The tile is in great condition and we love the old retro look of this bathroom.  Thank goodness Eric does too because it would cost quite a bit more than he'd want to spend to redo this whole bathroom.  He did insist that the pink wallpaper had to go.  


Remember the coral glass doorknob I shared in a previous post?  I love this green one!  


He would like to replace those facets to something more retro.  But for now they work.  Is it hard to find individual facets, because I haven't seen any at Lowe's or Home Depot?


I love built in cabinets!  The house has a new furnace and AC but they left all the old heat grates and radiators.


I know retro bathrooms don't suit everyone but we thought this was a treasure especially since it's in great shape!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kitchen Before Pictures

This is what Eric's kitchen looked like before we started working on it this week:
  
On the table below is the light fixture that we took down in the butler's pantry.


The guys have removed the ceiling tile and then we removed all the wallpaper.


I've been busy all week cleaning wallpaper paste from the walls.  That was quite a chore.  I'm so glad they didn't use wallpaper in every room.  

I'll share photos of the stage we are at now soon.
Keep in mind that this house is 101 years old and I promise to share some stories about this prohibition home and all the hiding places. 


Friday, May 30, 2014

Butler's Pantry Before Photos

Yesterday we got started on the butler's pantry at Eric's house.  I love these built in cabinets!  This is the view through his office doors.

A view from the office with the doors open.  How about that 70's light fixture.  Our daughter, Amber, is taking that.  It really doesn't go in this period of home.  I'll have to share the history of this house sometime.  It's very interesting!


I think this home was really meant for Eric.  See his ghost in the doorway.  


There are great glass doorknobs throughout the house.  Love this color.


The swinging door you pass through to the kitchen:


Don't you just love the detail in these cabinets?


Rick and Eric removed the ceiling tile in this room.  Did you notice that light fixture is gone too?


Eric looks a little doubtful.


They've got a lot of patching to do.


Eric and I got that wallpaper removed and the walls are in need of lots of repair.  It will be a labor of love though. 

I'll try to remember to take a photo of the outside of the house today.  Back to work!