Monday, May 30, 2011

The End of the Decorating

Here are the last of the decorating photos. This one shows the other tablecloth from my grandma Zimmermann. It goes perfectly in my green and blue kitchen. I just love this one. Happy thoughts of my grandma---such a good cook---great food---icy soda's from her "real" soda cooler like the stores had back then---reach down into the icy water and pick one---frozen Heath bars---every kind of flower---4 o'clocks---planting portulaca/rose moss on her terrace---praying the Angelus at noon---praying the rosary at 3 p.m.---her "stories (code for soap operas)---the "reading" room full of National Enquirer and True Confessions and True Romance---holy water fonts in each room---and last but not least, that awesome glider on the front porch covered with a chenille bedspread---I can even remember the smell. So sad it's all gone now. The house was torn down years ago. 

 I wanted to put glass fronts on all of my cabinets, but this is the only one that it would really work without looking awkward.
What better way to house my new wine glass collection?

And last, the new "old" table I got at an antique store for the sun room.

And there you have it. When you put it all together, it doesn't seem like that much to have taken 11 weeks! The very last thing is the window treatments for my office. They should be ready in the next week or so. Then, the outside renovation work will begin---and more painting...oh yeah, now the trash compactor and dishwasher are acting up. When will it end?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Some Things are Worth the Money

Okay, I stole that title from Jeanne. But there was nothing that said it better. Check out my new "baby"!
I'm so excited that Butch has decided to become a Mac user too. The Lapps family is the only hold out. Mindy and Steph have been Mac users for a few years now. Little by little, my friends are converting too. Anyway, Butch's computer has been having issues for awhile. He said that when he was ready to replace it, I could have the new one and he'd take my old one. Well, here it is. Isn't it slick? So cool---and does such cool things. Do I drink near my computer? Well, sometimes, but that's not why I put the wine glass there. I did it so you could get an idea of how cute and little my new computer is. It weighs 2 lbs. and has an 11" screen. The best part is that it has a full keyboard---completely what I'm used to. I'm lovin' it. I'm also looking forward to giving Butch some one-on-one training this week. I'm sure he's looking forward to that too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another Work Day Together

This time it went pretty well. 

We are going to be traveling a lot for the next 4 weeks---Kalamazoo next week, home a few days and then off on our Alaskan cruise. When we get back from that, there are exactly 5 days before a few of my friends and I host a shower here. Soooo, that means we need to pretty much get all the outside work done this weekend. Not really how we'd like to spend a holiday weekend, but ya' gotta' do what ya' gotta' do. At least we have fun planned for tomorrow night---barbecue and poker with the Potters and Blacks. And the patio, furniture, flowers and pond will be all spiffed up.

So Saturday starts off with us having to pick up Mindy's car at the airport. She left for New Orleans yesterday and nobody could take her. She flies straight from there to Orlando for business next week and then on to Kalamazoo for Mitchell's Confirmation. We go to drop off her car at her apartment and realize that if we put her keys inside, she has no way of getting in. We ended up having to drive her car to our house. When she gets home---a week from Sunday, late, she'll have to come here and pick it up. Not well thought out---and just to avoid a $35.00 cab ride.

When we got home, I realized that we missed a Fed Ex delivery that requires a signature. Bummer, it would have been nice if they'd let me know it was coming. Now I have to go all the way to their office this afternoon to pick it up. The call came at 10 a.m. saying that the delivery would be before noon---a little late now. Not starting the day off well.

Butch was ready to start working outside while I finished up a few things inside. Another of the things we needed to do was clean the rug from under the kitchen table. It wasn't a very good idea to have a light colored rug custom made for the kitchen. You'd think that with just the two of us it would be okay. But it turns out that it's not the two of us that are the problem. The very first week the rug was down, one of the grandkids flipped a plate of barbecue on it. That was just the beginning of the spills---not to mention the ground in brownie!

I rolled the rug up and hauled it out. Butch started with the pressure hose. It was really getting the dirt out. I was like a little kid---biting at the bit to do it---it looked like so much fun---I could hardly contain myself---"is it my turn", "can I do it", "please let me have a turn!"---were all going through my mind, but I resisted the urge to actually say anything out loud. Finally, I said, "Why don't you let me take a turn so you can have a break?" He handed it over, but not before giving me a demonstration---as if I hadn't already been watching for 10 minutes. "Here, you do it like this----bring it up and pull it back, bring it up and pull it back." He said it like 6 times in a row. I think he thought he was dealing with his daughters. I mean, hey, when it comes to cleaning, this girl knows what to do. So I take over. I'm not 30 seconds "in" to it when he tells me I'm doing it wrong. He takes the sprayer back and gives me another demonstration. I take over again. Another 30 seconds and he takes it away again---"why are you wiggling it around? Just do it like this." I take another shot---again it doesn't suit him. After the 4th time---and by now, I've only handled the thing a total of 3 or 4 minutes, but my back it starting to hurt and I'm starting to sweat---a cicada landed on me and I screamed. That was it, he took over for good. I was okay with that. It wasn't fun after all. Plus, this does qualify as "outside" work---which is his responsibility. Here he is working hard. Can't you just feel his back aching?

 He didn't seem to care when the cicadas landed on him. I kept saying---"ooooh, there's one on you." He ignored me---and them.

This is me sitting down watching. He's doing ALL the hard work. Then I decided to go inside and get him a cold drink and wet towel to mop his sweaty brow---you know---trying to be all supportive-like. I came out with the drink and was waiting nearby to give it to him. It was hot and I was starting to sweat again. So I took a swig of his drink and mopped my own brow. Then I went inside and wrote this.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Decorating Continues...

Here's the "before" shot---been this way for 16 years. Not bad, I was just  ready for a change.
The view upon entering the room from the family room.


My cousin, Julie gave me this tablecloth that belonged to my grandma Zimmermann. I was so thrilled to get it as I had nothing from her. She gave me another that goes perfectly in my kitchen. Also, the cardinal music box belonged to mom. I have to say, that even though this room is brand new, this has already changed. I replaced this table with an antique round wicker table. I'll have to take another picture.

Here's the old window table I won at the Trivia night raffle. I put about $30 worth of raffle tickets in the bag---remember---when I was being so "flashy" with my raffle tickets? What a bargain---I'd have easily paid $100 for this. I just plain love it---at least until the first person spills their drink by not paying attention when they put their glass down on top of one of the slats. That will either be Connie or one of the Zimmermann's.

This spice cabinet came from an antique shop---it's not old---a reproduction. I had planned to store all of my candles in it, but the tapers won't fit. I'm still thinking about it. I have so darn many candles---they take up two full cabinets in the kitchen.

This time, I was smart. When buying the furniture and re-upholstering the chairs, I picked more neutral fabrics. Next time---in another 16 years---when I want to change colors, it will be much simpler---paint, new windows, done.

I am planning on getting a new rug. I like the one here, but am getting a blue one to give the room a little punch of color and pull out the blue in the fabric.

Just a few more photos to come...

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The Scrap Room Challenge Club met yesterday. The challenge this month was to use distressing on a layout or card. I have to say, I was "distressed" to have to do this. But, of course, that is what this club is all about---trying different things and being open to new possibilities. Personally, I've always thought distressing just looks dirty and messy. I like clean. Everyone rose to the challenge. Here are the results.

My distressing techniques included: crumpling, ripping, stapling, torn corrugated cardboard and journaling on masking tape. I'm happy with the results only because I used "old" pictures. Somehow, I don't think it works with "new", colorful pictures.

This was Kathy's layout from last month. The challenge then was stamping. She stamped the flowers.

This is Kathy's distressed page---stamped title---all inked up.

Karolyn did this title page for her sister's album. She inked and tore the edges.

Pam used an old kit from one of my Quickutz classes for a vintage look. Again, I think it looks great with the old photos.

Another of Kathy's layouts.

This is the "other" Barbara's layout. She is brand new to scrapbooking and does a fabulous job. I've been very impressed with her work! Besides the tearing, she inked the fabric flower. These were such cool pictures, but I didn't know what they were about. I suggested that she add the journaling which she plans to do by our next meeting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I didn't change anything in the library except having another bookshelf made. Now that I'm not hauling shopping bags full of books to mom's (that ended up not being acceptable by her standards anyway---they couldn't be more than 2 or 3 years old), I needed more space. It's hard for me to get rid of books.
This picture didn't come out so well. The finish is definitely lighter, but not quite this bad. The guy came to pick up a shelf so he could match the stain. The shelf was light on one side and dark on the other. Butch suggested I give him a drawer. The finisher matched it perfectly. The only problem is in the scheme of things, the drawer didn't look so light when it was in line with the rest. The sun has bleached out the wood the lower you go. The upper shelves are dark and the lower are light.

At least now, I have a section of "must reads." Oftentimes, someone will ask me for a good book. Now I can say, "pick anything from these 4 shelves."

Bedroom before---red for 16 years. I did change the bedding and window treatments about 5 years ago, breaking my own rule---when re-decorating, change the color---you might think you still like it, but you'll get sick of it really soon---and I did. I have no idea what those spots on the photo are.
 Now the room is blue---such a drastic change, but I love it. I can live with this for the next 16 years.
 Waiting on the club chair and ottoman---arriving mid-June.

I swapped the paintings from here to the entry.

I'm still sick about the carpeting. There's nothing I can do about it---what an expensive mistake! There should be somewhere that shows what carpeting looks like AFTER it's been walked on. 

The master bath. I found those bird prints at an antique shop---long before I decided to do anything with my bedroom. I tried to get Nancy to buy them when I was decorating her bedroom. She was afraid it would be too much bird stuff and they were a little pricey. I just had to have them. The mat part is blue velvet. I guess you could say that those pictures are what I based the entire room around.

I love the trim on the window, but that was a scrap, so there wasn't enough to use it anywhere else. The small mirrors have been here for 16 years. 

More to come....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The House is Finished!

Well, at least everything inside is finished. The outside work hasn't even begun. That's going to be another 6 weeks. Anyway, I'm going to show you room by room what I've done. I'm starting with the family room since you've seen some of it already. Here goes:

This was the only picture I had where you could see what the bar looked like for 16 years. Mahogany cabinetry---it's a "built in" made to look like a piece of furniture.
Here it is now. Butch had his doubts when I decided to paint it white. He thought there would be too much white in the room---but I just love white woodwork---so clean and crisp looking. Plus, this room can seem pretty dark at times. No more! Light and bright. It was Butch's idea to "re-do" the bar. We had the center doors on top removed and shelves put in their place. We took the doors completely off the middle section to open up the bar. I should have thought to take before and after photos.
The new sink and faucet. The granite was hard to pick out---I don't usually have trouble with that sort of thing, but seeing it all dirty and trying to visualize it was hard. I'm really happy with it but realize that I don't want it in my kitchen. I didn't see a single color that I would like in there---all dark and busy. I'll stick with my Corian for the kitchen.
 New couch and rug. Mom's afghan goes perfect with the rug. By changing the rug and adding a few new pillows, the red is gone.
 My wall of mirrors---I still need a few more. Love the bead board.
 Now this reminds me of a realtor photo. I just have a regular camera---no fancy lenses, yet, this view makes the room look huge. I wish the room was this big! The new portrait is over the fireplace. It was the kids idea to re-create the exact same scene from 10 years ago. I was hoping to put the old picture over the television so you could really see them side-by-side, but the old picture was too big.
So I had to put it on this side of the room. I like it here.

Next will be the library.


 These first few are from my day group. This one is Kim's purse page---great title.
 The challenge this month was to journal about your home or a particular spot in your home that is a favorite. Suzanne documented all of their homes. I love how she took the die cut houses, expanded them and added the journaling cards to them.
 This is Kim's house layout. The title is "Porch Sittin' "---she tells about how they love their screened porch and use it year round. She was having the bishop over for dinner the day we met, so decided to get a picture of him sitting on the porch which will be added to the right side of the page.
 This is Sally's layout---pure coincidence that she and Suzanne picked the same title: "Home Sweet Homes." If you look closely, you can see that she made some of the houses on her own.
 Kim was in the Holy Land when we met to discuss our pages about an important relationship. She went with her husband as the focus of this layout.

Now on to the guys. A few months ago, Mindy came up with this topic idea. She was so excited and kept asking me each month if I was using her idea. This month I finally did. The topic is:
"Boo Boos, Bangs, Breaks and Bruises." I loved this unusual color scheme---grey, orange, yellow. That's one of the things I get out of this club---I try different things and challenge myself.
 Pam (or maybe Hugh---I'm not sure) came up with the title: "I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell." His story was about a football injury when he was in high school.
 Karolyn's title is "Bruce's Bumps & Bangs." She found the band aids on her Cricut, by using the Gypsy. It's on the Indie Art cartridge. She had Bruce put on his black long underwear for the picture. Then, using a picture of the human body, she drew the skeleton with a white gel pen---really cool. Bruce is such a good sport---not only about the picture, but also for the ribbing he took about his story. In trying to "dodge" a train, the volkswagon he was driving (although it wasn't his car) stalled on the tracks. The car was hit by the train. Bruce and the other front seat passenger escaped while the 2 in the back seat were thrown (along with the car) about 30 yards and were unharmed. All we could think of was what if one of our teenagers came home and said the car had been hit by a train. Bruce insisted he wasn't trying to dodge the train---that he was trapped between the "arms." Yeah, we bought that!
 This is the page I did for Jack. I titled it: "All this happened, more or less." He did all the journaling, but the biggest story is about his 2 triple and quadruple by-pass surgeries. He's out of body parts to do anymore. He's had every artery to his heart by-passed. All this started in his 40's. I did quite a bit of stitching on this page. I changed the pictures to black and white---except for the scar photo.
 For Butch's page, the stories lead to the title: "That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It." In high school, while sitting in the locker room, a window fell on his head. The school's official report was that he was messing around, trying to open the window when it fell. Even with witnesses, they wouldn't change the report. The other story is about him riding a scooter when he was 5. He rode it all day. The next day, he couldn't walk. Since it was the time of polio, everyone assumed the worst. The doctor made him stay in bed for 2 days to determine what the problem was. Due to the scooter-ing---he had just tied all his muscles into knots.

I used real band aids on the page. I did some stitching too.
"Crash and Burn" is Jeanne's title for Jim's page. It's a miracle that he is still alive---and still thinks motorcycles are okay! I would think once in a coma would be enough. I love how she did the paper weaving. The buttons mimic the wheels on the motorcycle. She also used her Gypsy to fine the flames on her Cricut cartridges. I don't remember which one it was on.

The topic for next month is "Sibling Rivalry." That should lead to some good stories.