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!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Cottages

Today is a big day for us.  Our son, Eric, is buying his first home and closing on it this morning.  I can't wait to share photos of his new place.  It's the cutest little cottage and has the neatest butler's pantry.  We'll be over there today stripping wallpaper and lots of other fun things.  His home reminds me of something that I would put in one of my paintings like this one:

Paula realized, a little too late, that she had outgrown her bike from the previous summer and keeping her feet on the pedals was no longer possible. 

This is one of my favorite paintings because I, like Paula, would love to ride a bike down a hill with the wind blowing my hair straight back.  

Have a Paula kind of day!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

My dad, Tom, my hero!  Miss you so much!

Thanks to all our service men and women and for their dedication to our country.  You are all heroes to me!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day

So sorry I've been down and out, but I came down with a summer cold on Mother's Day and have just gotten back on my feet.  
I did have a fabulous Mother's Day though because my kids came out for the day.  Amber and I spent the day piecing our new "Friendship Braid Quilts" and the guys spent the day fixing a great meal on the grill.  Thanks Rick, Eric, and Amber for making it such a special day!

I'll keep you updated on the progress of our quilts.  
I promise that I'm still painting and I've been working on video taping a small segment for you to prove it!  Not sure how to edit video, so it may take a while.  Hope you had a fabulous Mother's Day too!

Friday, May 9, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow…..

I've been busy cleaning up the flower beds around the house since we finally have some good weather. The first day I went out and pruned back 10 rose bushes and had the blisters to prove it.  After waiting a few days for those to heal, I headed back out to prune the remaining two in the front yard.  This time I ended up with a very swollen hand near the joint of my right index finger.  A couple days later it was very red, swollen, and warm to the touch and I could hardly move my index finger.  I looked up rose thorn injuries on the internet and knew I didn't want "Rose Thorn Disease".  I headed to the doctor yesterday and they put me on antibiotics for a week.  Today it looks a lot better and hopefully will heal quickly.  If you work around roses a lot be sure to wear gauntlet gardening gloves.  I will be purchasing a pair real soon.

My lilac is blooming and sending it's wonderful aroma through the air as you open my back gate and enter to the back porch.  What a lovely greeting!

This morning I learned how to take out the power lines in this image using photoshop.

I put this clematis out last year and didn't get any blooms, but this year it is covered with buds and I'm so excited over the first appearance of the lovely flowers.  As I head down the stairs in the morning, I can see these two flowers through the landing window smiling up at me to greet the day.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day Desktop Calendar

I love the idea of May Day even though we have overcast skies and unusually cold weather.  To cheer me up I visited one of my favorite blogs, Going Home to Roost, to get my new May calendar for my computer desktop.  You can grab it for yourself too and tell Bonnie Christine I sent you.  It makes your screen look like a piece of art instead of a big box.

I can't wait to open the windows like I did a week ago and let those spring breezes blow through the house!  How about you?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Bathroom Off the Kitchen

Yes, we have one.  The dreaded bathroom off the kitchen.  You know the one that everyone complains about on HGTV's show, House Hunters.  "Who would put a bathroom so close to the kitchen or dining area", the young couple remark as they shiver and walk away.  Well we live in an old house and one of the prior owners put a small bath downstairs in the only location that would work and it has never been a problem or disgusting to us.  It's been a blessing for us to simply have a bathroom downstairs.  I also don't have granite countertops and yes mine are old pink laminate. If you want to see that shocking horror story, you can witness it by visiting a previous post, "Living With Pink Countertops".  

Now on to this past week's horror story:
I was busy cleaning and dusting right before Easter.  As usual, I was trying to hurry and get as much done as possible.  While dusting my old china tea cups I dropped one of the saucers and smashed it to pieces.  I remained calm and cleaned up the mess.  Being proud of the way I handled that situation, I continued on.  The tiny "bathroom off the kitchen"  needed clean hand towels and the only place to store them is on top of the metal medicine cabinet.  While reaching up to grab one,  I accidentally knocked off an old antique medicine bottle which of course landed right on top of the pedestal sink below.  Now we had two drains and one of them was plenty and I had broken two items within a very short amount of time and everyone knows that these things generally happen in threes.

In my defense, there has always been a hairline crack running through the sink since the day we bought the house and that bottle knew it's target.  There were only a couple days remaining before family arrived for Easter dinner and I knew we were in a pickle.

My husband, Rick, remained very calm and asked me to please stop for the day.  We ran to Lowe's the next evening and picked out a new sink and he spent several hours the next night (until 2:00am) with his body crammed in that tiny area between the sink and the wall hooking the new sink up.  It was a great lesson in "patience" for him and he earned a neck rub as his reward.

I like this one so much better than the old one.  Don't you?  
Wander if I can drop something on those pink countertops!  Remember it comes in threes and the third one hasn't happened yet.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A New Spring Apron

I finished my apron last week and completely forgot to photograph how I used grandma's old apron as a pattern.  Basically I just folded her apron along the seam lines and laid it on my new fabric and cut it out.  Her apron had darts, but mine doesn't and it really doesn't fit any differently.

I asked Amber to model it for me because I do dislike having my picture taken.  It's a little hard to wear an apron with a cowl.

I thought spring would never get here.  Yesterday I woke up to this weeping cherry tree in bloom when just the day before it was covered in buds.  It's always the first thing to bloom and reminds me of fireworks!  

Let's take a closer look.  See that nest in the center?  I'll be keeping my eyes on that.  

Spring is my favorite time of year in the garden.  I have so much to tend to and need to get out and get those leaves out of the beds.  How is your spring so far?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mother and Daughter Quilting Day

Last week my daughter, Amber, and I made trip up to Missouri Star Quilt CO. in Hamilton, MO.  This was her first trip there and she is now addicted to quilting.  We spent the day working our our quilts Sunday afternoon and she finished her quilt top all except for the borders.  We were doing this in the middle of our dining room since I don't have a sewing room.

This is the Jelly Roll Race 2 and you can find the link for the directions at the bottom of this post.

I spent the day binding my quilt with a black and white stripe that looks like checks after I sewed it on.

My next sewing project will be to replace this old worn out apron that was Grandma Edna's.  The last time I washed it, it had a big hole in the center.

I love this style of apron and the old retro fabric.

This is the fabric I'll be using:

I will also be trying to do a time lapse video of me working on a painting this week.  Wish me luck!