the never-ending project


For some reason this posted from my phone. So forgive me for posting again. Plus, it posted to the wrong blog. 

Anyway, this door is never going to get done. We’ve sanded and painted once already. But when we got to the scraping off the paint, it came off and revealed the white paint underneath. So-o-o-o-o-o-we had to do it all over again. The sanding, everything. So now, because it’s cold in the garage, it’s set up on saw horses in the back hallway. I applied the primer yesterday (we hadn’t done that before and felt that was the problem), which is the picture you are looking at. I’ve applied one coat of Sherwin-Williams black paint. I’m determined to have some black interior doors. They’re all over Pinterest.

So yesterday after I applied one coat of the black paint, I held my breath as I scraped away the black paint.  Yea!!!! It worked.  Of course, you probably realized before I did that I should have had the primer tinted black.  DUH!!!!!!! Bu how often do I need black primer?

So today I will apple coat number two. I hate to think that I’m going to have to paint a third coat, but I think I might have to and the fact that it’s a French Door with all those panes, ugh.. Guess what I’m going to do on the other side? I’m going to try to  paint the door without the primer. After all, we have it sanded down to the “raw” wood state so I’m thinking it should work. So what if the first coat sinks in? I’m going to have to apply two coats anyway.

Then last night my husband and I were talking and I asked, “Why didn’t we just spray paint it?” He responded that he’d thought of that, too but was concerned that we’d have a hard time covering the glass. But even if we had only covered the main areas, it would’ve worked because I’m not taping it off as it’s too hard to get the paint right down to the glass. So I’m scraping anyway. Wished it were warmer in the garage because spray painting is exactly what I’d do!

I blame Pinterest.

art is more than just talent


 art is more than just talent


I love art. Love looking at it, love making it. I wouldn’t call myself an artist although others might. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been to the Louvre in Paris a few times. The Musee de Orsay is wonderful, too. I actually like de Orsay better as it is strictly pictures. Plus, one can get through it in a day. The Louvre-not likely.

My preferences have definitely evolved over the years. I used to think a painting should look real. Now I prefer representational art-art where I can identify the objects but not as in a photograph. I also appreciate photography more than I used to.

I look at a painting and because Continue reading

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.


fresh eyes/fresh viewpoint


fresh eyes/fresh viewpoint

I think I mentioned a few days ago about how fresh coat of paint can really brighten our mood, not just our walls.  Well, my friend whose kitchen I helped paint is now putting everything back together. I had previously told her to fill in the nail holes so she would be forced to think with fresh eyes when it came to adding accessories, etc. I went over there today to help her with the final touches.

I had to practically twist her arm to get her to think with fresh eyes.  Getting her to remove the dark rug under her table was a major feat. Her kitchen, which is quite small, looks so much bigger and bright without one’s eye going to that dark rug that drew the room in too much.  Then I had to strong-arm her a little more to convince her to remove those outdated chair pads. But I convinced her. I cleared off her table and had her stand back and look at what those little changes had accomplished.  She was shocked and very pleased at the difference.

We need “fresh” eyes about so many things. About our homes.  About our circumstances. About our views surrounding various issues.  About our personal style. We might very well end up coming full circle in some areas. For example, we may decide that our views surrounding various issues are exactly how we believe and we are content with the logic behind those views.

But based on the people I know and my personal experience, it doesn’t happen as often as you’d think.  Most of us have the views we have, not based on sound thinking, but because various influences have invaded our thinking and influenced us without our conscious awareness. We offer our opinions and views and don’t even hear the words coming out of our mouths.  But this is getting a little complicated for where I’m headed so we’ll save this discussion for one of my more “cerebral” posts.

Back to my friend’s kitchen.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that when we are redecorating, we need to give our freshly painted walls an opportunity to stay “nekked” for a while. We need to look at accessories and paintings in other rooms and see if we can use them in our newly decorated space. It’s my belief that adopting a different perspective about something as visual as our living spaces can carry over to the not-so-transparent  issues of life-the ones that really matter. It’s kind of like a shot in the arm-a catalyst for changes in other areas.

It works especially for depression. Changing the living spaces that we look at every day somehow subtly short circuits that part of our brain that has gotten used to our familiar, though static, environment. It ever so gently reminds us that our moods are more in our control that we thought. That maybe we can change something here as well. We feel just a little empowered.

Action almost always prompts other actions.

What’s that commercial, “The body in motion stays in motion.  The body at rest stays at rest”? (Something like that.) The message (despite the fact that it’s trying to sell a product) is absolutely right-on.

I hope you’ve followed my thought processes and are grasping what I’m saying.  It’s one of those concepts that’s hard to explain but that if you try it you will intuitively feel the truth of it.

We can become too comfortable with too many things.

a can of paint

Dried green paint

Dried green paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a can of paint

It’s amazing how painting a room can brighten our day. A dear friend of mine just repainted her kitchen. I did the edging and the trim because, frankly, she does a terrible job. :). She chose a wonderful yellow-green color. I’m encouraging her to paint her two interior doors in the kitchen white. The doors are just those ugly hollow core doors with no impressive trim so there’s no reason to leave them as they are. She’s being stubborn.

When she began this project I encouraged her to fill in all the nail holes so she wouldn’t automatically put everything back in the same place. Which brings me to the subject of this post.

Sometimes all it takes to jump-start our mood is to change something-anything. Move a picture. Paint a small piece of furniture, a knickknack, whatever. Or, like my friend, paint an entire room.  Just going through all the paint chips is mood-lightening- thumbing through all those beautiful colors. I love it.

As you know, we’ve been redecorating each room of our room for this past year. Sometimes it’s been a big “re-do”, like replacing ceilings and walls. Other times, it’s been new floors.  Come to think of it, no room as just had a touch-up.  No wonder we’re getting tired.  We have two rooms left that we’ll tackle next year and a couple of little rooms that I can’t give a name to because they serve no primary function. (Remember, our home is over one hundred years old so there are lots of issue.  And I thought I had issues.)

I haven’t mentioned depression for a while so where does it fit in this post?

Just that sometimes something small, like looking at paint chips, can help.  Depression is big, but the steps to recovery are usually small, very small. That’s because by the time we realize we’re depressed, all those little things that have piled up have already snowballed into one big problem. So now we have to backtrack, one small step at a time.

Whether you’re dealing with depression now or not, if you get a chance in the next few days, go get some paint chips. Color is always good if you’re experiencing some grey days.

God bless.




Yea, finally getting away for a few days. As you know, an earlier trip was cancelled due to my mom’s illness. But in two days we’re heading up north for a ski week. Meeting family up there and have rented a little cabin. I’m busy cooking and shopping as we’re all contributing to the meals.

I SO need this.

We are still in the middle of the renovation and I finally have pictures to post. Today I thought I’d begin by posting some pictures of accessory items I’ve redone. As I think about it, we’ve not only done the “big” renovation stuff, we’ve also revamped all the furniture. I’ve repainted pictures, lamps, tables, chairs-you name it. Anyway, I’m going to start with my new lamps. Apparently, I didn’t take “before” pictures so I’ll just tell you they were a rubbed on blackish finish. I’ve had the lamps for many years and they were one of my rare costly purchases. I bought them because they were very heavy which is the hallmark of a quality lamp. I knew they’d last for years. Anyway, I shopped for inexpensive new ones but nothing compared to these so of course I had to paint them.

Again, I didn’t think to take a picture of the can of spray paint because the DIY part of this blog is very new to me. I now take my camera with my when I start any project. Anyway–the paint color is the infamous Heirloom White spray paint by Rustoleum. I use this color everywhere. This first picture shows both lamps, one with the satin spray paint and the other with a metallic finish. I did take pictures of that.

004 (5)

The lamp on the right is spray painted with the Heirloom White. It was just too flat and I didn’t want to leave them that way. But I also just didn’t want to use plain old gloss paint. So I went to Home Depot and I found this Martha Stewart product.

009 (3)

I love this stuff.

008 (3)

I used a brush and “scrubbed into all the crevices. Then I wiped off the excess with a soft dry cloth. Took about five minutes! Here is finished lamp on finished table.


All I did was spray paint the table with Rustoleum Spray paint, Black Canyon.

Yea! I found a before picture of the lamp and the end table. I had just purchased the shade and I think that’s when it struck me to paint the lamp white. It was paint the lamp white or the table white. I chose to paint the lamps white. Notice the slip-covered sofa. Purchasing white slip covers for my dark burgundy colored sofas was one of the smartest things I’ve done. It inspired everything else plus not having to buy new sofas saved me a ton of money. I love that!

004 (3)

Anyway, I realize this wasn’t the best DIY project as far as photos or explanation. As I said, I’m much more comfortable with writing about life issues. They don’t need photographs taken at each step. Every time I started a project I’d get halfway through and realize I was supposed to be taking pictures from the beginning. I’m learning though. The upcoming pictures of the living room re-do are much more detailed. Maybe I’ll find that darn USB cable so I can use my camera. Stay with me. I learn more every day.

ps. WOW! Guess what? My hubby surprised me with an early Valentine’s present. A new camera! No more tiny little camera that doesn’t do anything. It’s not real expensive but if I can learn how to use this one, then we’re considering upgrading me in about a year. For right now, it’s the perfect size and not too complicated. Of course DIY pictures of finished projects will still be from my i-phone but future projects will be from my new camera. Again, YEA!!!