finally some pictures


Finally some pictures. The picture above is a cone I made for covering with yarn.  We were at our cabin in the fall and my hubby was hunting so I got busy. I had the paper and had just been to a local mission store where I bought the green cord you will see. I had white yarn leftover from earlier project and as luck would have it, I had left it at the cabin.

I secured the edges with masking tape and then simply began winding yarn. I forgot to take pictures of the white tree in progress. Also, my husband had put up plastic film on our cabin windows and there was the leftover tape you use to secure the film. It’s double-sides and SO MUCH EASIER to use than the kind of double-faced tape you buy for scrapbook projects. I merely wrapped around the cone in a spiral pattern to adhere the yarn at various points. Didn’t matter if it didn’t lie flat because the yarn covered it.



Isn’t  this pretty? I also found some metallic ribbon at the same store and I separated the strands and just adhered it however I could. I forgot to mention I bought red cord as well. I paid a quarter for each skein. This church mission store is near our cabin and I shop there every chance it get. I found a lace tank top last summer that they wouldn’t even charge me for because it had a black stain. They told me to just take it. I did and would you believe the stain came out easily. The following pictures show the completed project. I love how they look in front of the window at “teeny, tiny, red cabin.” here and here.. There is also a wonderful bunk house called La Cabinette next door. Following this are the final pictures.  DSC00282


garage sale bonanza

Today was garage sales. Thought I’d share some treasures with you.

These are four heavy wood placemats I got for $1.00 for all four.


They were metallic gold abeit a little scratched so because I always have metallic spray paint sitting around, I gave them a very light coat. They are wonderful. After I took this picture I noticed the mat in the lower right hand corner still had some tape residue left over so I used my “Goof-off” and cleaned it off and repainted.

20130524-142532.jpgThis is a wonderful old crate I bought for fifty cents. I lightly sprayed it with whatever white paint I had laying around. Then I used a black marker to spruce up the wire handle.

20130524-142500.jpgThis is the only kind of dog I will ever have in my home. No pooping, no barking, no biting, no shedding, no chewing. He was $3.00 but I talked the lady into $2.00 because his right front leg was cracked. Wouldn’t you know I cracked it some more when I took it out of the trunk. So I took tissue paper and white glue and made a kind of “cast”. Then I painted over his leg and all is well. He goes great with my new shabby chic living room.

This next picture is perhaps my favorite “find” so far. The base is from a birdbath. Cost: $2.00. The tray is metal and has one missing leg so I replaced it’s spot on my craft hutch with the wood/wire carrier from 2nd picture. So I was thinking. What to do with this tray? Bingo. Went outside and stuck in on pedestal base. Cost? Free. I placed a rock on it for butterflies. Cost? Free.

I just love it when I have days like today when all the creative juices are a firin’. What do you think?

DSC00391 DSC00390

Spring. Yea!

garden 2008 august

Is everyone as excited about spring as I am?  In case you’ve forgotten, I live in Michigan. We have very long winters and this year was no exception. But the snow is melting and yesterday I saw a blue bird stuffing twigs into our faded birdhouse nailed to a tree directly in front of what we call our “sunroom”.

I like watching birds although I’m hardly a seasoned bird watcher. one   I especially like watching them build their nests. We have a number of gourd birdhouses in front of the house. I grew the gourds myself and  I’ve painted them bright colors. They will need painting again. While I love spring in Michigan, I don’t like what else spring means.  The yard work, the deck, the outdoor furniture. Ugh! There is so much to do I’m tired before I begin.

Then there’s the problem of my pulled” whatever” in back of my knee. A Zumba class gone dreadfully wrong. The fears that my gardening days are over. That wouldn’t be the end of the world except I have a huge garden. Actually, I have about three gardens. Maybe I’ll just scoot around among the flowers on my butt. Whatever works, right?


I think people in cold climates have a fondness for spring that few other states can. We’ve been pretty much holed up in our homes for months now with the occasional venturing out to get groceries, etc.  It’s fun living in Michigan in the spring. You don’t see any of your neighbors for months. It’s almost as if you don’t have neighbors. Then suddenly people seem to burst from their homes in one massive movement.  There’s a barrage of activity as they make use of every hour of daylight. People are friendly and exuberant in their long-overdue freedom.  It’s like we’ve been released from prison.

I can’t imagine this happening in warmer climates. Here, it’s exciting and energizing. Unlike the birds who are stuffing their nests, we’re cleaning out ours. Piles of stuff show up on the curbs and I get so excited I can’t stand it. The anticipation of all the “treasures” I might find. I’ve embarrassed my poor husband more than once by yelling “Stop!”, I have to have that”. My husband will ask, “What is it?”, when I throw “it” into the bed of the truck. I will respond, “I don’t have a clue, but it will be wonderful when I’m done with it.”

Oh, the ideas that are oozing out of every part of my overly energized brain as I plan all my DIY projects. Oh, the possibilities that await me. Sigh…………

Yea, it’s spring!

living room re-do

living room re-do

Finally, some remodeling pictures to post. The very day we started ripping up the tile, my mom came over to visit. I had stopped by her house earlier and asked her to come over and have a glass of iced-tea.

I saw her pull-up in my driveway and went out to meet her.  As she stepped up on the first step to come inside, she slipped on the concrete and hit her head hard on the sidewalk. She didn’t lose consciousness but was bleeding from her head.  Thank goodness she didn’t lose consciousness but she did suffer from verigo for about three months.

It is now six months later and she is well on her way to recovery but seeing as she was unsteady on her feet even before she fell, I don’t anticipate she will get any better than she was before the accident. 

Anyway, you can imagine what my next few weeks were like. My husband had a fishing trip planned with my son the next week and I insisted that he go ahead.  So after visits to the hospital, I would come home and rip up tile. I could only carry about ten tiles at once so there were countless trips to the garage. 

 In the meantime, we had already hired a contractor to begin doing some work on the second floor. To say I had a lot going on all at once is to put it mildly. Anyway, it’s done and it’s beautiful.  Here’s the pictures.

This first picture shows the tile that covered the hardwood floors. To the right you will see some carpet. There is also carpet next the staircase. The former owners had a wood burning stove in the fireplace and brought in the firewood from what we call our “sunroom”, a former porch. There are doors leading outside. Rather than drag firewood over the carpet, they essentially made a wide tile “path” from the door to the fireplace. It was kind of cool and certainly made our home unique. However, the tile was cracking and I broke a couple pieces checking out the floor underneath. So……….

IMG_1301The next few pictures show various stages of demolition.

IMG_13002013-Jan  I-phone 015If you look in front of the fireplace you will see that we uncovered a beautiful flagstone hearth. We had no idea it was there.  We were thrilled but it took us a total of forty hours to get off all the cement and mastic. I was on my knees so long, I suffered an injury to my knee that still isn’t healed. 

We contracted the refinishing of the floor. IMG_1590Here’s the floor with the beginning stages of the poly. The dark spot is the area the contractor stained to show me the color. I am in love!

IMG_1603These next pictures show the finished floor.  The floor is wet here but I chose a matte finish and so it is considerably less shiny than what shows here.

After the floors were done, we re-painted walls, trim and fireplace in both rooms. (They are  big rooms with ten foot ceilings.  Yikes!) We painted the same colors.  Reason?  I was too chicken to go white and the colors are very neutral. Trim is Behr’s Cottage White which is my favorite new white.IMG_1630 IMG_1629 IMG_1681The picture above was taken after we painted the living room. The staircase is not completely done yet. We are working on the upstiars and will be replacing carpet on stairs so am waiting for that to get done. The bannister and newel post is black.

These are pictures taken at Christmas and a couple after Christmas. I forogt to mention that the pillow below is made from a skirt I bought at Goodwill. Now the part about the waistband should make some sense.


more Christmas pictures

another section of shelfThese pictures are from areas in my living room.  Hopefully I’ve labeled them all.picture one secretary

This picture is fuzzy. Don’t know why.  Anyway, the snowman who’s skating ws made for me by a dear friend. You’ll see other things she’s made me as well.

The white birds are gourds I bought at a garage sale and when we remodeled, I painted them white.  They’re two of my favorite decorative objects.

skating snowman

This is a closer look at the paper maiche snowman. (Above) That’s me in the background taking the picture

paper maiche santas

I made these out of paper maiche over various types of bottles.  I’ve got some new ones under way.

atop of desk

More paper maiche figurines all hand-made by me. This is one end of the desk, the next picture is the other end.  The picture in the background is one of first and only oil’s I’ve ever painted.  I was taking out my little guys and thinking I wished I had some sort of backdrop when I remembered this painted that has been stored for years.  It was perfect.  The bright green tree is made by layering and crushing strips of aluminum foil, covering with paper maiche (I really like paper maiche, don’t I?) and then painting. 

top of desk close up

This is the other end of the scene. Next picture is a before and after of the tree I mentioned earlier.

aluminum tree

This next picture is a close up of one area of scene on top of desk.

another view of little snowman

Every year I looked forward to taking out my little guys and letting them hang around for awhile.

Next pictures will focus on the fireplace mantle.  You will see I love creating Christmas scenes.

firpelace mantle with text

Hmmm, nothing home made here. The squares in the background are mirrors.  By placing them in the back it reflects and “grows” the number ofobjects. I have plans to use some watercolor paper next year and cut them into trees and placing them at the back. That OR cutting them into house shapes. Should be really cool.  Think I saw something like this on Pinterest.


I bought these placemats at a consignment shop.  When I saw these big stars at The Dollar Tree, I didn’t know what I was going to do with them. When I got home I sat them on the table and bingo-this is how I used them.  Next year I will probably hot glue them on the mats. 

The trees are my Anthropolgie knock off. I used my jars with lids up and lids down. They are on a red cake platter. This next picture is a close up of one of the jars.

forest in a jar

Finally, the trees on my antique cupboard. (Painted with chalk paint by the way.)

papertrees with border

These are my handmade “book” trees.  The snowman are felted wool. I wish I could find more.  The stars are wonderful glitter paper from Jo Ann’s. I glue them to a toothpick and then push it into the tree. Works like a charm.


Remember that friend I told you about. This is another paper maiche snowman she made me. He’s about two feet tall and adorable.

breezeway b

A grouping under one of my trees.

another section of shelf

First part of shelf above doorways in my kitchen.  Christmas tree lights as well.

Next and final picture is other end of the shelf. The twig houses were handmade from another dear friend.  Gosh, I have great friends, huh?

final section of shelf

There is a big section between these last two pictures but I can’t it.  Total of seven twig houses.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of my pictures.

a quite journey-part two

  a “quiet” journey-part two

Remember how my last post highlighted how far behind I was in preparing for this Christmas season? I shared how I’d hoped I’d travel my own quiet journey to Christmas. I’ve given some real thought as to how I’ve celebrated Christmas in the past. How this year I almost lost my joy. How Christmas almost became Christmiss.  How had that almost happened, I wondered. I LOVE Christmas! How had it deteriorated into only a list of things to do? In my contemplating I did discover a few things.

I’ve let other people and their “bah humbugness”damper  my enthusiasm. Just because some people feel that way doesn’t mean it has to contaminate me.

· Lesson # one: I will avoid exposure to the “scrooges”. (Thank goodness I can.) I will smile as much as I can to everyone I meet. “Smiling is my favorite.” (From the movie “Elf” just in case there’s someone on the planet who isn’t familiar with its origins.) I’ll say “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays” whenever I want because I have that choice and that freedom. However, my motives will not be political. I will respect other’s rights to say “Happy Holidays.” That is their choice and their freedom as well. Christmas shouldn’t be about making a point.

I admit I love the anticipation of Christmas. Mary and Joseph anticipated the birth of their first child. I want to experience that same anticipation.

· Lesson # two: I will allow myself to feel the excitement as the days count down, instead of the panic. (The anticipation of any event is half the fun anyway). I will anticipate the long hours in the kitchen baking cookies and making candy. I will gladly anticipate feeling tired and know I got that way doing the things I enjoy. I will look forward to the reading of the Christmas story on Christmas morning.

I will anticipate the looks on the faces of those for whom I’ve created some special gifts. I won’t pay heed to those who don’t get into the spirit of the event. I will focus on my own good time and those who are enjoying it as much as I do.

· Lesson # three: I will remember that Christmas isn’t just about the gifts I give but also the gifts I’ve received. No, it’s not what you think. I’m talking about the gifts I’ve already received. And I’ve received so many.

The gift of a loving husband, a wonderful family, good friends, shelter, and food. I recently saw a movie that centered on the genocide taking place in Africa. I’d seen it before but it didn’t impact me the way it did this time. One scene in particular featured a child whose condition I can’t begin to describe. Words fail because they are just words. As I sit here and write, my surroundings seem almost obscene. I’m not hungry or thirsty. I’m not sweltering in the heat or freezing from the cold. I have clothes on my back and shoes on my feet . I’m not worrying about whether I will eat today—or tomorrow. Whether I will have a glass of water to drink. As I sit here in my comfortable surroundings I wonder if I’m doing enough to relieve suffering in my own part of the world. I’m worried that maybe I’m not. I’ve been “gifted” way beyond what I deserve.

· Lesson # four: I will embrace my gifts as they are meant to be appreciated. I won’t cheapen what God has blessed me with anything less than heartfelt gratitude. It does no one any good. Besides grateful people are generous people. Unappreciative people are not.

Pile of gorgeous gifts

Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog is a gift-from me to you. Freedom from depression has been a gift I certainly never thoughtwould  open. Christmas can trigger depression for a lot of people…the stress, family complications, financial issues. The yearning for the perfect Christmas and the reality of anything but. We get tired. We obsess over unimportant details.

I live in Michigan and the days are getting shorter.  Tomorrow  will contain the fewest amount of daylight hours for the year. But the very next day, it stays lighter longer. Depression is like that. Our darkest day can be followed by a brighter one if we’ll just hang in there.

If you are struggling with depression right now, open the gift that is waiting for you. The miracle of Christmas is much more than a physical birth-it is spiritual re-birth. It is a gift to the world to be unwrapped by each of us. It is a gift unique for each of us. It is a gift we don’t even have to take. I used to think we all had to unwrap this gift the same way. That we all had to use it the same way. I don’t believe that anymore. That’s the miracle of Christmas….

 That LOVE reached down to each of us, collectively yes, but individually as well.

I truly hope each of you reading this post finds what you need in the miracle that is Christmas. Life can be tragic as we all know from recent events. Where’s the miracle in a tragedy?

But despite what goes on in the world, I believe we can find a degree of healing through the gift of love awaiting each of us.

God bless you today and from my heart I wish you all, “Merry Christmas.”



English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


There are no options to pick from for the letter “P”. I’ve had this one settled on since the beginning. It’s PINTEREST-YEA!!!!!

Here’s how my descent into the Pinterest “abyss” began. It was October, 2011, when my daughter remarked, “Hey, mom.  I’ve found this neat website I think you might enjoy. It’s called Pinterest. Here, let me show you.” She pulled up the site and showed me how it worked.

“Hmmm”, I said. “I don’t know if it’s something I would like but I’ll give it a try”.

It was downhill after that. I plunged into the Pinterest “hell” almost immediately.  I was hooked. I pinned non-stop for days. I needed an intervention but none was forthcoming. I had to go cold turkey. It was hard but after a few days, I was back to normal.  I have slowed down since then but I’m still somewhat obsessed.

Why do I like Pinterest?  For one thing, by paying close attention to what I was pinning, I realized that my true decorating style was not reflected in my home. I learned that I love white with touches of black. I love yellow-green paired with pale sea foam blue. When it came time to redecorate some bedrooms, I didn’t have to think at all.  When it came to the living room and dining room, it was also easy. Lots of black and white.

I like the people. They’re interested in life as evidenced by their pins.  I like that. I like people who are excited about their lives. I like artistic people. I don’t like that fact that some people have made it more like Facebook where they feel free to voice controversial opinions. I don’t think that’s what Pinterest is supposed to be. I have also run across some very foul language but that has been rare.  Also, the site itself has some quirks but oh well, it’s free.

Pinterest has brought me back to the things I love. I love DIY projects but had gotten away from it for awhile.  I’m b-a-a-a—a-ck. I’ve yet to try a recipe that hasn’t been successful. I love the photographs and the art work. I love the inspirational sayings. There really isn’t anything about Pinterest that I don’t like except of course, it’s addicting lure.

I ask everyone I meet, “Are you on Pinterest?” If they say no, I explain it to them and tell them they really MUST pin.  Oh, no, I’m sending someone else over the edge.  I should be ashamed.



 English: Goodwill Industries thrift shop, 4193...


Today is another easy pick. I’m picking Goodwill. Not the attribute, the store.  I LOVE Goodwill stores!

Except for a few pieces, almost all my furniture comes from thrift stores or second-hand shops. Other countries have them as well. They just have different names. Probably ninety percent of my clothes do, too.  From what others tell me, I do a pretty good job with putting my wardrobe together. And I’ve never had anyone dislike my decorating style and am often asked to help others make decisions regarding furnishings, accessories and how to put it all together. (You will soon be able to judge for yourself as I’ll be posting lots of pictures of my projects.) I’ll also post pictures of the remodeling we’ve been doing. I should probably say “decorating” not “remodeling” because “no walls were injured in the making of this remodel”.

When my husband and I were moving furniture and accessories out of the living room, I realized how much I liked my Goodwill pieces. It isn’t just that I’m cheap (which I am), but there’s something so rewarding knowing I put it all together myself. I didn’t just buy a whole room of furniture that someone else put together for a display. I realize it’s not everybody’s “thing” but it sure is mine. I love the creative process, whether it’s redoing furniture, repurposing items, putting together my wardrobe, writing, or painting. Creativity brings out the best in me.  When I have a challenge, every creative spark in my body comes alive.

That’s why I love decorating blogs as well. There are such creative people out in blog land.  And of course there’s Pinterest. Surely, anyone reading this blog knows about Pinterest.  If you don’t, you really need to check it out. “So many projects, so little time.” I get so geeked about all the possibilities; I hardly know where to begin.  

I will start a new category on my blog (called Goodwill, of course) and highlight some of my favorite finds whenever I figure out how to add categories. This blog still is not right but I’m trying.

Right now there are some naked windows asking to be dressed so I have to sign off for now. We can finally see the light at the end of the remodeling tunnel so I have to keep at it.  Everything is looking great and the furniture warehoused in our garage for weeks now will be moved back in next week.  I just hope no mice have taken up residence in the sofas.  J

See you tomorrow for H.