Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 31 of Getting It Done

This is an outside shot of the red screen door. The wood door still needs some love though.
The door is original to the house and the exterior of the door has never been painted. I specifically requested that the painters not paint the exterior of this door. It will get rubbed with a some Linseed Oil.
This morning I was thinking about this challenge and was a bit discouraged because everything was not absolutely completely finished. Then I remembered where I was on September 30. The back porch was nowhere near complete. However when you are dealing with someone else doing the work, you can find yourself at their mercy. The laundry room, kitchen and bath were in need of painting. My husband has painted the walls, ceiling and trim of the kitchen and laundry rooms now. We did not have a pantry area and there were incomplete projects that were bothering me. The porch is now in use again too.
October 31 is a different story. The bath has not gotten a fresh coat of paint and the cabinets in the kitchen and laundry room still need painting, but they will get done. Projects have been completed and I can see that there will be an end to some of these projects. My kitchen, laundry/pantry and back porch are now places that I can smile about. These projects are now in a place that I can see an end.
This is an old farmhouse and we both love that. I have worked to fill our home with items that we loved. The Hoosier cabinet and the chimney cabinet in the picture above are two of those loved things. My grandparents had things like this in their kitchen. It doesn't matter who these items once belonged to, they remind me of my grandparents and happy memories. This is what makes a house, a home to us.
This corner cabinet was once an 80's eyesore. You can read about it here. It was painted white and the inside of the shelf was painted the same color as the walls. There was once a door on the bottom with a heart cut out in the center. It was quite lovely in the 80's! Maybe it was never pretty, maybe my friend V and I just thought it was pretty.

My husband cut the center out and placed chicken wire in the center. This corner shelf has regained respectability now. The shelf was painted earlier this simmer. This challenge made me want to make sure that it was finished. We simply added the chicken wire and hung the door back on. It was not finished because I had misplaced the hardware. We purchased more, the door was rehung and later that afternoon I found the hardware. Isn't that the way it goes?
The table in my kitchen belonged to my Gran. There are many happy memories that were made around that table. It is a simple table with simple chairs. Gran taught us that happiness did not require loads of money, it was where and how you made it.
The pantry area did not exist at the start of this project. I used 2 shelves that my husband had built. They were painted white and lined with a pretty black and white contact paper. It is easy to wipe clean. We recycled an old microwave cart and used it for storage and hung a set of shelves over it. The bottom shelf holds cake decorating supplies. I used plastic containers from the dollar store to sort things and bring a bit of order to my supplies. Now I can easily find what I am looking for. The curtains hide grocery items and other items that I did not have room for in the kitchen.
The curtains were made with a black table cloth. I wanted to add something to it to keep it from looking so bland. I had picked up this material at the thrift store, it was waiting for an opportunity to be used. I sewed a border on the cloth and think that it does look better now.
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I had imagined that every project would be complete on October 31. That did not happen, but I am not discouraged one bit. This was a needed boost.

Life has a way of handing us things that we never would have wanted or asked for. We have to decide how we will choose to deal with those difficulties and recognize an opportunity when we see it. I am glad that I saw this opportunity.

Finishing some things was a benefit, but not the most important benefit I received. I made a new friend, that alone was worth the work. I was encouraged by the comments that were left here. I enjoyed the journey.

Thanks Pat from Corn in my Coffee Pot for posting about this challenge. Thanks to the nester at the nesting place for hosting this challenge. You are right, it doesn't have to be perfect in order to be beautiful.
Thank you Michelle from Shelstring blog for reminding me to enjoy the journey. I learned from each of you! You can read their stories by clicking the link provided, it was a pleasure to read about their challenge! Blogging has brought some amazing people into my life and I am grateful for these ladies.

I will continue to work and finish these projects, this was just what I needed to get some things done. Perhaps I didn't get it all done, but we got an enormous amount done. I hope that you will continue to read and follow me on this journey!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Completed Projects

It felt good to type that! We didn't finish every project, there are still a few things that we want to do. We wanted to paint the kitchen, that was completed, with the exception of giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint. That will come this weekend. The paint color for the walls is a soft yellow. The trim is white and the cabinets will be white again.

Yesterday afternoon when these pictures were taken, I looked at the wall above the stove and thought that a sign would look great up there. Wish that I had thought about that earlier this month! How boring would life be if there were no projects to look forward to?

Looking at the counters and above the cabinets, everything looks cluttered. It does not look that way when I am standing in the kitchen. Perhaps some editing should happen this weekend.
Last year my husband put up bead board above the counters. We were pleased with the look and it was amazingly inexpensive to do. He used a sheet of bead board that he cut to fit and put some molding at the top and bottom of the bead board. We may have $25 in that project if we have that much.
Handy Husband built a shelf to go over the top of the stove using some scrap lumber he had on hand last year. He always amazes me with the things that he has or learns to do!

The back splash is new and is another inexpensive completed project.
The curtains are semi-new. I did want something different and found these the weekend of the Peanut Pickin Yard Sale. They looked and smelled brand new. Yes, I smelled them. My kitchen has been blue and yellow for so long, I wanted a bit of a change. Slowly the blue is leaving and the soft greens are taking their place.
My kitchen island is simply an old found sewing machine base that was topped with a piece of wood that Daddy had in the barn. It did get a coat of black spray paint. The bowl that sits on top holds potholders and recipe books are in the basket below. The floors are original to the house. I love the time worn imperfections that are there.
The screen door was painted red. If you look in the bottom left hand corner, there is a peeping tomette looking in! It is just Lucy.
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The cabinets will not get painted before this month ends, but we plan to do that this weekend. The kitchen did get a good cleaning, every piece of furniture and appliance was moved. The walls, ceiling and trim were painted and the back porch has been painted and the floor replaced. There is always plenty more that I will want to do to any room. What is finished?

Almost one month ago I decided to take on this challenge and I am very glad that I did. There were times that it was hard and it seems as if the moment you make a plan to do something, anything that can go wrong will definitely go wrong! Unexpected problems happen at the most inconvenient times. Is that some kind of law? A window was broken and we are working on how to replace it. There was a plumbing issue that has been taken care of and we had a scare that required a visit from the electrician. Fortunately it was only a scare and everything was fine. The porch was not completed as quickly as I wanted, but it is done now. We stuck to it and kept working. I have written every day this month, in spite of unexpected events and people in our home. The results were worth it to us.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Back Splash

Blog reading has become a favorite past time of mine. I love looking at homes and gathering ideas that I may want to use in my own home. One day while visiting Holly at Down to Earth Style, I took notice of her lovely kitchen. You can read about it here. Look around, she has lots of fabulous ideas.
Last year we put bead board up in the kitchen. I had wanted a back splash and liked the idea of using a copper ceiling tile. The tiles that I found were not the same width as the stove, which meant that it would have to be pieced together. I imagined that grease would find its way between the tiles and there would be a huge mess to clean up. I never considered using 1 piece, that is until I saw Holly's kitchen. It made perfect sense then.
This project was so simple and inexpensive that I can't understand why we waited to do it. We purchased 1 tile from Home Depot, it cost around $20. It is a faux tin ceiling tile and is made of a material that should be easy to clean. There are so many possibilities for this material.

My husband cut the piece to fit behind the stove and used liquid nails to attach it to the wall. It was quick, simple and inexpensive.
My only regret is that we waited to do this project, I could have been enjoying the look of this tile. We are so pleased with how this came out. It fits perfectly in this old farmhouse kitchen.
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This may have been an inexpensive project, but it does not look cheap. When I saw Holly's back splash, I knew this was the way to go for us. She has some great ideas and I plan to copy a couple or more. That is one of the many great things about blogging, the ability to share and customize ideas for your own home. The inspiration is unlimited!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Musing - The Cycle of Life

When my brothers and I were children, Daddy shared stories of his childhood with us. We begged for the stories. There were times that it was a way to prevent going to bed and we believed that we were so smart to come up with this plan. We also believed that our parents did not realize what we were doing.
Telling stories was not a new thing to do with children. Parents have been telling stories to their children for generations. Family history was handed down this way. Would today’s children want to hear the stories, or were we just easily satisfied.
Parents have always faced difficulty raising children and current times have always brought change. The parents that raised my generation had a difficult job in my opinion. They had to prepare us for a world that they may not have always understood. They were preparing us to live in world where Internet access and instant communication are commonplace.
Think about the changes that have occurred in your lifetime, could you explain this to your grandparents? That is a rather scary thought. There will come a time when we are in the shoes of our grandparents and find that the world has changed too fast. Those changes will be hard for us to comprehend.
This makes me very grateful for my upbringing and the knowledge of what doesn’t change. It is the foundation that I cling to as I grow older. We can’t control the changes around us, but it is more important than ever for our children to have this foundation in their young lives.
My parents had no idea that this level of technology would exist. I guess we never really know what kind of world we are preparing our children for.
There is however a certain amount of poetic justice that occurs. Each generation believes that their parents were outdated and out of touch dinosaurs, until they have their own children. Then they become the dinosaurs. I take comfort in the idea that if my own offspring has a child, she will become one of us. Outdated and behind the times, perhaps some things never change.  The saying is true, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Does this mean that I am now old enough to tell the stories too? Whether or not we realize it, we are taking our place in the cycle of life.
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back Porch Lighting

This afternoon, I was right there, in that chair! It was a lovely warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, so I spent some time there. If you look in the bottom right hand corner, you will notice that I was not alone!
My handy husband hung the back porch light fixture back up.
The lights are simply battery operated tea lights placed in an empty pimento jar. The jar hangs by some florist wire. There are 3 lights there and it gives off a soft light.
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Hope that you enjoyed a warm sunny afternoon too!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Keeping a Secret

I am keeping a secret. The idea was not mine. It came from Jane over at Cottage at the Crossroads. She is keeping a secret in her laundry room too. Read about it here.
Jane is one of those people that has a knack for doing many things well. Visiting her blog is like visiting a friend, and if you have ever corresponded with her, then you know that it is true. Hop over and pay her a visit if you have never visited her.
Jane did hers a little bit differently than I did. I liked her way better but could not find the type of Velcro that I needed. I had to improvise, so I used a tension rod and made a simple rod pocket for this piece of material.
There is a peek at my secret below.
Actually it isn't my secret, it's Maizie's secret! Her litter box and a container that holds fresh litter and other necessities is kept underneath. 
The table top was found and my handy husband just added some legs. It was intended to be used as a laundry folding table. It would be handy if I actually used it, admittedly I fold laundry when I watch the news at night.
You can see that the table top had seen better days, but I liked it just like it was. I sat an old washboard on top and bucket for those socks that have gotten separated from their mates. An old jar holds some clothes pins and the other jar holds a bar of my homemade laundry soap.
This washboard reminds me that it really isn't work to load the washing machine and let it do the work for me!
Another project completed! Thanks Jane, your idea was awesome!
The porch floor was dry and I couldn't help myself. I had to put my stuff back up there. There are a few things that need repainting, but I just couldn't wait! I have missed my porch! Abigail enjoyed the sunshine this afternoon, she missed the porch too.
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Come join me for a glass of iced tea. I promise that it tastes better on a warm sunny afternoon, sitting in one of those chairs!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

A Screened Back Porch

Today they finished screening in the back porch!!!!!!!!!!
Can you tell that I am happy about it? The screen had to be down for 3 weeks. Now anxiously waiting for everything to dry and decorate it again. This porch was a favorite place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings. I missed my porch!
The colors are the same as the other 2 porches.
The ceiling is haint blue on this porch too. Can't have those haints coming in the back door. LOL!!
My handicapped Abigail enjoys sitting in the sun on pleasant days. She will be happy that she can go on her porch again too!
Sadly not everyone was happy to have the screen up. Jackie, Boll Weevil and where did that other cat come from? Whoever it is, none of them are terribly happy about the new screen.
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Now the furniture must be repainted and replaced. I bought some new cushions this year and they were hardly used. Guess that it will be like having new cushions too! This is almost like having a brand new back porch that we have never used!

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The Dedicated House for Anything Blue and Pink Friday

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Found Goodies

There are things that you notice when you sit down and go through the pictures that you took. I was so excited because these tins were in storage and I thought that it would be great to use them in the pantry. Excitedly I arranged the tins and took the picture. Do you see what is on the bottom shelf? I had to go in pantry and look at it. It's a rock. Wondering how and why that rock made it's way to the shelf.
These tins had not been used in awhile, surprised that I still have them!
I carried some things to the thrift store, so of course since I was there, just had to look around! These lovely doilies were there. No guilt though because I carried a couple of boxes and came out with a small bag.
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Found and inexpensive goodies are the best kind of goodies to me!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Confession, Curtains and a Question

My Confession - I am not organized. Ouch that hurt! Really I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl most of the time. There are other bloggers that are participating in this 31 Day challenge and they knew exactly which post would go up on each day. That isn't me. I tell you this because yesterday I said that I would show you some more of my sewing projects. The truth is that I can't because I haven't finished them yet. My only option was to admit that I am unorganized and haven't gotten them finished yet. Or work until the wee hours and put my post up late. It really isn't my fault, the sun is shining and it is pretty outside, a little windy, but pretty. So there it is, now you know the truth.
I decided to show you a couple of things that I picked up at the Peanut Pickin Yard Sale. The Curtains below called out to me, I was powerless to resist. My kitchen was yellow and blue. These curtains are not yellow and blue. Maybe it was time for a change.
The curtain rod is no longer straight. That is because the previous curtains were longer and a certain cat (I won't tell you his name, but it starts with an A and ends with tticus) decided to try climbing when he was younger. Guess that it is time to buy new ones.

The pictures below were at the same yard sale. I loved the soft green mat and the picture inside. It is a change. I always seem to return to my blue things and that is fine. This is a change for now. There is something different to look at in the kitchen.
Now for the Question - We moved the chimney cabinet beside the refrigerator. Originally we thought that it would be a great idea to put a cabinet beside and over the refrigerator. You can read about the chimney cabinet here.
Now we really notice this space that looks very blank over the refrigerator. What would you do? Should super handy dandy husband build a cabinet over the refrigerator? Should I simply place something large on top? Ugh, what to do? Remember that this is an old farm house. Wood floors and everything.

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I am stuck and can't decide which way to go. Tell me what you think.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Meet Elise, like everything around here she has a story. Elise belonged to a family friend's mother. Sadly the mother was no longer able to use Elise. This very special family friend called me to ask if I would like to have this sewing machine. I jumped at the opportunity. It is in perfect condition!
The family friend's name is "Miss" Beth, so I named the sewing machine Elise. If you are new here, then you may not know that I name everything. I suppose it is a habit or perhaps a sickness or maybe my imagination thinks that everything needs a name.
Elise and I have big plans together! We have worked on a few projects, but it was time that you were introduced to her.
This morning, we added some trim to the pantry curtains.
There were a couple of projects that I worked on this morning. My sewing may not be professional by any means, but it is something I enjoy. Sewing allows me to be more creative with the projects around my home.
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Please forgive the poor picture quality, on days like today it is difficult to get a good shot.

There is still more sewing to be done, come back tomorrow and I plan to show more!

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