Wednesday, February 28, 2007

*Kitchen - More Ingredients

We decided not to demolish the soffit area, but still needed some way to deal with it. I put the embossed, analgypta paper up there before this redo, but painted it a bit differently and now added crown molding above the cabinets.
To make the ceiling appear taller in a really small area, I designed a canopy over the sink, a niche over the prep area and a new open display cabinet on the other side. All of these elements draw your eye up to the green ceiling and make the ceiling appear to be taller than the 8 feet it is.
Here is a close up of the canopy. It is made of wood and accented with small tumbled marble squares. The whole thing is painted flat white and antiqued with raw umber.
I used a grape vine stencil to do an embossed stencil and then added some sculpted grapes (air dry clay) for more dimension.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

*Kitchen - A Few Changes


There's a lot to be said for using new items sometimes. The kitchen is certainly one place where new might be better.
We installed a new faucet and sink. The tile we we put in ourselves, which is tumbled marble with bronze rope and "dot" accents, the same as the finish on the faucet.
The granite is New Venetian Gold, which is a great medium color and so easy to keep looking good.

Monday, February 26, 2007

*Favorite Things - the Kitchen


Can this kitchen be saved? Should we just gut it and take out a loan? I'm sure a lot of people would have done just that. But we saved some of the past.

Kitchens make me happy. They don't have to be big or expensive, they just need to be a place where you can create and enjoy it. If you don't cook, it's nice to have the kitchen to make coffee, I guess.

I like patina in the kitchen. It can have new things of course, but not everything new. For those who like to see a good challenge, come visit the next few posts about the kitchen.

We did spend what seemed like a good chunk of money to us, but it was certainly not over the top, or expensive by today's ideas you see on the web or TV. We tried to save as much as possible and didn't throw everything out. It's hard to believe it ever looked like this. We even kept the cabinets.

Here is a little preview of the before and after. I'll post a few pictures as I get them together.
No matter where you are starting from, you can create what will make you happy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

*Are We There Yet? - Light a Candle










Have you seen the outstanding, wonderful kitchen with red cabinets that are the work of Kim at One Woman's Cottage Life1? I stopped by for a visit this morning and Kim posted a hearfelt note about her house. This is my post in honor of Kim, and the light she brings to the world.
When you come by to visit here, you only see the really after, after shots. I make sure everything is just right, and it is very selective photography. There is most likely some stack of stuff waiting to be put away just out of the camera shot. It's been like more like that since last summer. And some of the house cannot be shown in show & tell time! It is still in need of tons of work.
We are certainly not done yet, even after 20 years!
I was positive so much would be done by the end of last year, and tore up lots of areas in the house during spring, even the whole backyard, so we would be ready for the work to done. Then I found out about a serious health issue, and all that stuff stopped since I had to mend after surgery.

You know what, it doesn't matter quite as much now. I'm not sure what lessons I needed to learn, but if I ever doubted there is no place like home, I certainly know it now as an absolute truth, for me. Home is with my loved ones, a space that I cherish and nuture, as it does me.
You might have guessed that "It's a Wonderful Life" is one of my all time favorite movies. When George starts kissing and hugging everything falling apart in his house, I have a good cry. I understand how he feels.


When I first started writing here, I was posting some lovely picture, which of course was only what I wanted to be seen. The family room was full of boxes and stuff as we were again in the middle of something. My sweet, darling daughter walked by and saw the picture and had a good laugh. She thought it would be good for me to take a picture of the mess and post it! Not today, I'm not as brave as Kim.
We could move to a newer house, with nothing to do. But it just doesn't feel right. One day there will be no more big projects to do around here. And it will be great, but for now, back to my list of things to do. Are we there yet? Not done, but we are there, home.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

*Dining Room - Rosey Glow


It looks like there is such beautiful light in this room, later in the day at least. This is the afternoon sun shining in from the living room, and flowers from Valentine's Day.

The dining room has no windows, and is located in a typical way for the houses built at this time, in a pathway to everywhere. If you have a room like that, the best thing to do is decorate in a way that you can love it anyway. The feeling is comfort, breakfast or holiday dinners, it isn't too fussy.

Things that changed in this room since the last redecorating adventure.
* Painted the ceiling green, we added the molding last time.
* New wall colors taken from the rug, purchased on Ebay. One of my favorites we have found.
* The walls were painted a medium, rich golden pumpkin and then glazed with two shades of lighter ochre golds.
* The living room silk drapes were moved in here and I changed the attached valance using the same green toile that is on the chairs.


* The chairs were reupholstered in the lime/light olivey green toile and a solid of the same green. The end chairs are skirted and are upholstered on the backs, front and back sides.
* The dining table and chairs are the same ones from Thomasville that I purchased over 20 years ago.
* We also installed new molding at the entry to the dining room, and the molding around the French doors mimics that. I haven't taken any new picutres of that side yet.

Still a couple of things to do in here, but mostly it is done!

Friday, February 16, 2007

~ Painted Rugs Details

Here is a close up of one of the painted rugs in the last post. I like using stamps when I am going to repeat something over and over again. You could also use stencils, which I have done as well. The leaves are done with an olive branch stamp that I just finished off so it looks more handpainted. You can see that I added some highlights and shadows and turned the "olives" reddish.
On the shade side of the stamped leaves, I added a dark brown line and on the light side, a white line to accent the shapes.

You can find paint pens over by the Patio Paints which they usually keep by the terracotta pots in the silk plants area at the craft store.

The zebra area is just freehand, but the spots next to it are done with a stamp. Also notice how I used the paint pens to make nice straight lines in between each different area. Please let me know if you try one for yourself, I'd love to see it!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

*A Sunny Spot

It sounds like a lot of people are longing for spring. Me too, even though it has not been a mean winter here. The sunporch is a mess right now. I've been moving things around and nothing is in its right place lately. I look at this picture, which all of my old friends have seen before, and I think I need to get out there and get it looking good again. Not today or in the next few days, it's going to chilly here, too!


 Since my area is covered, I used waterbased poly after it was done. For an outside deck you can use either a marine varnish, or a solvent base poly.




Update 2012:

This was done maybe in  2006 or 2007. Colors change. The first "rug" was painted over,  and the second one needs some updating if it is going to stay on the porch. But both held up extremely well for years on a covered porch.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

*Happy Valentine's Day!

1920's Valentine Card

A special Thank You!
to each of you who have taken the time to leave such nice notes.
Hope you are having a fantastic
Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

*A Little Red for Valentine's Day ~Transferware




We have been fortunate that my husband's family has saved a few things from the past, on his dad's side mostly. We always get whatever no one else wants, but it is often the best to us, even though it may not have any great dollar value.

The women on that side of the family all had good china, so no one had any interest in the old red transferware which belong to my husband's grandparents. They were married in 1921 and some of the cups look like they are about that old. The set was offered to me, but I didn't know what it looked like from the description, and I didn't think I had room for it. A few years later, my mother-in-law asked our daughter if she wanted it, and she said yes without thinking twice. Out came these wonderful old pieces of red transferware!

Since I only have the dishes for safe keeping right now, I like to bring them out especially at Valentine's Day and Christmas because of the reds. I missed keeping them, but they found their way into the future with someone who accepted them immediately. I hope they have many more years of holidays and every day meals to come.

Friday, February 9, 2007

*Paint Color & Medallion Details

The medallion in the DR was once an oval frame. I really don't remember why I used it instead of buying a ready made one, but I think it was because I had seen some really old plaster ones and wanted something more like those. This one is wood, I think.
The inside of it is embossed paper to cover the ceiling area and a few embellishments that I might not add today, not quite so fussy, although I do still like the clay bees I made for it.

The whole area was primed, then antiqued with watered down raw umber paint to bring out the carving and make it look aged. Then I dry-brushed over the whole thing with a flat, slightly off-white paint.


The color of the walls in the post about built-in shelves is Laura Ashley Gold 4 which you can get at Lowe's.

The LA paints have been used by a few zillion people, but for good reason, they are nice colors. A very close color family can be found at Sherwin Williams on the Blonde strip of paints. They too, have been used a lot for the same reason.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

*We Have a Winner! So Have a Brownie!

Congratulations Andi!
Thank you ALL for playing the HeArts game! It was such great fun and I appreciated each of you for coming by and leaving your notes.

I baked a yummy batch of brownies to celebrate. Wish I could share one with each of you.

** I'll be back tomorrow to answer some questions.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 5, 2007

*Favorite things #2

White Built-In Shelves
When it's a bit chilly or rainy out it seems the perfect time to catch up with some reading. Like a lot of women artists, "Where Women Create" is a favorite book of mine. They seem kind of organzied in comparison to my crazy ways, but I'm sure they get a tiny bit more messy, too.
Today I wandered back to this site, http://diana-serendipity.blogspot.com/ and loved seeing Diana's studio. It is really a great space. But what caught my attention was her bookshelves.

When we first moved in we started building shelves for all the books and stuff we had accumulated. The built-in's that are now in my daughter's bedroom were once in different rooms. We took them out and re-vamped them a couple of years ago, adding moldings and fresh paint.

Diana's pictures reminded me how much I love that gorgeous combination of medium golden yellow and white built-ins. It's nice to have a reminder of the good things we already have. I went back and looked for a picture to show you.

I'm wondering if it might have some changes coming.
*Disclaimer* The room is a mess right now! Big mess. Old selective photography.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

*Valentine Giveaway Part 2!


Part 2, Valentine Giveaway, Thurs. Feb 8th, 8 pm

When I first posted about doing a little giveaway, it was because I won a gift on Pam's site. I just wanted to do something nice because of it, and I had no idea that a lot of artists were doing a whole chain of heARTs giveaway! But I found myself a part of the wonderful thing anyway. It was so much fun doing the first one and meeting so many people, I'm doing another just for that reason.

Here is #2 Valentine. It is patterned after one from the late 1920's that I found at a little shop. I hope you all like it, too.

If you already posted on the other Valentine thread, your name is in for the
next drawing. If you post again, you get your name in again. It's just easier to print out all the names and not have to look to see who is new. This also gives a chance to win for anyone just finding out about the giveaways.
All comments from now until Thurs. at 8pm. will go in the drawing.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

*The Winner Is..............


Janet!

Thank you to each of you who stopped by and left a post. We all love to get a little note.
There will be a drawing for another Valentine. I'll be posting it soon and all the names in the "hat" will stay there for the next drawing.
It was so much fun meeting new people and hearing from old friends, and seeing the generosity of all the artists.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

*Valentine Giveaway

In the spirit of other artists being so generous making gifts for Valentine's Day, I am joining in as well, in a small way!

Even though I've only been posting on my site for one short month, it has amazed me how many places there are to visit and how many nice people come by to visit me, too.
Here is the Valentine that I will be giving away.
All you need to do is post a little note so I will know you would like your name "put in the hat" for a drawing. Make sure that I can see your email by clicking on your name, so I can contact you. You have until Sat. night, 8pm to be in the hat. I will draw a name out and post shortly afterwards.