Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dream In Color

Paint is one of the greatest ways to bring a facelift to any room. It is also one of the least costly ways. It is an enjoyable job for me to paint for people simply to bring a new look into one’s life. I know how it feels to walk into a room in my own house and experience happiness in loving what I see. I will share some pics of a few of the houses I’ve done. In the future,  I want to post some painting tips that I have learned along the way and hopefully get some of you painters to share too!
Following are some more before and afters:
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summer 2010 131
summer 2010 132
summer 2010 137
summer 2010 136
Like I said, these are only a few of paint jobs I’ve done and hopefully I can inspire you to think of giving your house a makeover!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Living Room Makeover


Finally I finished redoing the living room! It seems like I’ve been working on it forever because I had to work on it between paint jobs. (which is keeping me very busy right now!) I still have some things I want to work on but for now we are enjoying a new look. When I was growing up and this house was brand new the living room looked like this:

old kit.

A grainy picture but you can tell what the decorating trend was back then. And blue was in! After we moved into this house, we put in a floating floor that had an old look to it. I painted the walls a neutral tan and one wall I painted red.




This worked for about five years and then I got tired of all the drab darkish colors.




The old desk here was handed down from Jon’s dad. When we got it, it was literally yellow-orange! I instantly set about to painting it. (with Jon’s permission, of course- like he had a choice!) He really liked it then, after it got the facelift. I was also very bothered with the “orange” trim, as you can see. This was the last room in the house with the original stained trim. It had to go!



This is how it looked at one time. I ended up spray painting the window frames. It did take longer to do all the masking than the actual spraying! I also had a white layer of paint dust throughout the house but it was worth it and I’m so glad it’s done!

Now the after:






Let’s see, where to start… first I painted all the trim. Next I painted the walls. The brown color is Do it best brand called barley hops, which I love! It’s such a warm, inviting color, I think. The other two walls have a story to tell, which I won’t get into too much. Let’s just say the first color I applied (tradewind teal, it was called) resided here for about a week. A good thing I like to paint! I ended up with a color called totally teal which we all like.




I made slip covers for the sofa and recliner. The fabric I got at a local fabric store (Zincks). It was on sale for 80 cents a yard! It was a lot easier to make the covers than what I thought it would be. They are far from perfect but will do for now.




This “hook” board I made using an old piece of wood I found in the shop. The knobs came off of old doors I’ve collected over the years.




The hammock swing used to be on the front porch but was no longer in use since we have the other swing so I thought it would be neat in the living room for now. During the summer we use the back door more so it might be a little crowded with it there.




This cabinet I made using a little of every kind of wood in the shop. (some warped and some full of nails) The doors are a treasure that I found in someones field! I was told that I can go through any of the wood piles from an old house someone tore down and pick out anything I want.(dream come true for me-nightmarish for Jon) I needed the trailer to haul some of it and had to ask for Jon’s help. (Maybe someday I’ll gather the nerve to take it myself) I knew right away when I spotted the doors partially buried under weeds and wood that I would make some sort of a cabinet with them. Jon only remarked why I would want something that is half rotten? He does grudgingly admit now that they were worth saving.




I painted the cupboard a charcoal color and distressed it. I also applied a few coats of varnish. The little old fashioned latch was also a must!




This corner of the living room I had a hard time with and am still not completely pleased with it, though it’ll have to do for now. The rocker was also on the porch and is nicely weathered. The little stand is the first piece of furniture I ever worked with. It used to be a five drawer bureau and about ten years ago I took the skilsaw to it. (the first time I ever operated a power saw) I’ve been hooked since. I remember Jon came home that evening and couldn’t believe I still had all my fingers! Anyway, the picture I bought recently at Peter Graham Dunn on sale for $34.00.




I added beadboard to the back of the desk to give it a little character.




The coffee table is also a piece of furniture that experienced the wrath of the skilsaw. I cut off the legs to shorten. I also made covers for the cushions on the sofa using discount fabric. I’d still like to add more accents here and there that are the color of the teal walls. Jon came home from work one day with the white door behind the sofa. I only had to distress it a little and it was ready to display! The wire basket underneath the coffee table came out of our freezer, I think.




I’m always open to any ideas or tips to make something look it’s best so feel free to share any advice! Have a great day!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Laundry Room


Turning a drab basement room into a laundry room that looks half decent is not the easiest thing to do. With pipes, conduit and other unappealing things showing everywhere it will always look kinda like it needs a facelift. Maybe someday I’ll figure out a way to disguise it from what it really is. For now this will have to do…






We used the former kitchen countertops to provide a space to set things or fold clothes. They were cut down a couple of inches in width.




Note the clothes pins…I once bought a basket in a garage sale that contained these pins. I was definitely more impressed with the clothes pins than the basket!




I found these old looking soap boxes in Pat Catans and couldn’t resist.



This little counter section comes in handy beside the laundry tub. A place to hang mops & brooms is also a must. I just painted a board and put some nails in.




John picked up the cupboards at a remodel job. They were going to pitch them and thankfully once again he thought of me! I painted them white and added “knobs.”





I got the fabric for this curtain at a local outlet store for cents. The little chair served as a booster seat for the boys and now I use it to sit on all forenoon as I wait on my wash. ( just kidding )

The sign I hand painted. I crackled it first, using dark red and white paint. (red first, then crackling glue and white on top ) I used stencils for the letters.




I make my own laundry soap which I really like. For heavily soiled clothes I do add Biz or Arm & Hammer with Oxi clean to the load. Here is the recipe:

1 bar Fels Naptha soap melted in 1 gallon of water


1 1/2 cup Borax

2 cups Washing soda (arm & hammer)

2 1/2 cups laundry detergent ( I use liquid )

Put in a 5 gallon bucket & fill with water

I tried to figure out how much this costs and it’s not more than five dollars! You can get everything at Walmart.

Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My entryway bench


I created this entryway bench spending nearly nothing! The two old doors I got for free and the seat came from an old bench that my parents left here when we got this place. I cut out a section of the bench and took off the legs. From a piece of scrap plywood I sawed out sides and tried to curve them using the jigsaw like some old deacon’s bench. (not perfect, believe me!) This bench has really served it’s purpose though,in our entrance. A much needed place to hang coats & sweaters and it provides a space to store baskets to keep backpacks, books, etc. in. And, of course, a place to sit down for a spell!






Looking closer you can see that the finish is crackled. At one time I had it painted a solid black and this summer I decided to go with white. I thought it would give the entrance area a lighter, more welcoming feeling. Before painting the bench white, I applied a crackle glue to some areas. I didn’t spread it evenly over everything so it would look more naturally worn.




How I love old knobs and hinges!!






I use an antique chamber pot as a candle holder for the Swan Creek candles I buy. ( the only kind!!) Gingerbread is my favorite scent. I get them at a local store in Berlin called Olde Thyme Homespun.








I think these baskets could stand to be painted another color. Especially if they continue to turn  orangish.




Just recently I added the wording above the hooks. I’m not quite sure they look right to me but I spent some time on them so I should leave then there for a while. At least I know I can always hang something over it or - who knows, maybe just paint the whole bench another color…? I’m kidding, I think!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Garden Music

When we moved here I started dreaming about water gardens and the musical sound of water trickling. We live in a very rocky area which has its pros and cons. It’s nice having endless stones to landscape with but not so nice when it comes to planting trees or doing any digging. We are also blessed with natural springs in this area. Our water supply is all spring water. ( the best drinking water! ) The pond pictured below is the over flow of our cistern. It has created a habitat for numerous frogs, including a few pickerel frogs. ( cute, spotty little critters )

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The pond in the backyard I made a few years ago. It took a lot of digging, a little stonescaping, and is now home also to numerous frogs, a couple of gold fish, a water lily and some baby blue gill the boys brought up from the big pond. Starting out it looked like this:

before pond 1 

Not a good picture but this is where I wanted the pond to be.

before pond2


Now it’s dug out and the liner put in. The water that flows through this pond comes from a spring on up the hill in the woods. I had a hard time convincing Jon that this would work. I had remembered as a child that there was always a decent spring up there. In fact, we would drink from it all the time while playing in the woods as children. ( my sister and I ) Finally, a few years ago, I dug a trench where the spring came out of the ground and laid a pipe in it. Sure enough water collected and hubby was convinced! He helped me to haul gravel up to the ditch and the rest was pretty well up to me. I stuck some pipes together and guided them down the hill to an old steel pipe that I had sticking out of a pile of rocks. ( it’s supposed to look like it comes right there out of the ground )



You can’t tell very well in the photo but the water runs into a stone that we carved out and turned into a little basin of sorts. From there I dug a shallow ditch to get the pipe under the walking path and from there it flows off a rock into the pond – making that beautiful music that can be heard throughout our house… what a blessing!






The little red shed Jon made for the boys to use as a play house and after a year or so of getting no attention ( guess boys don’t play with little houses ) I decided to store my gardening pots and tools in. Don’t know how I ever did without!

John also made a green house shed for me a few years ago. I still haven’t gotten around to decorating it like I want to eventually but I’ve had great success in starting some of my annuals in it. It sure saves money when you can start your own plants.

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More blooms…









We found this little cutie hanging on the screen door one evening this summer. How beautiful all those little critters sound singing together in harmony!


How awesome is it that we can bring those sweet outdoor scents inside to enjoy!

I hope all you garden lovers enjoy the rest of our fall season as the leaves turn brilliant colors of orange, red and yellow, the fresh smell of autumn is in the air and jack frost paints our landscape with sparkles of white now and then…