Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cinnamon Quick Bread

Today I'm guest posting over at House Honeys for the lovely Doreen.  I'm making one of my favorite post-holiday treats....Cinnamon Quickbread.  Yummmm......Just click HERE to see the post.
While you're their, be sure to spend some time cruising around Doreen's blog, she has some wonderful things to share!

Monday, January 19, 2015


I'm making my second appearance as a Pink Lady over at The Thrifty Rebel today.  Head on over to Tuula's Think Pink Monday and get your pink on!  Just click the caption on the picture below and I'll take you there!

Monday, January 12, 2015


In my last post, I said my next one would be my bathroom renovation, so here we go....
I'm going to start by saying that it's really hard to get a good picture of a room that's long and narrow.  You may remember how this bathroom looked when we bought this house a year ago.... was longer and even more narrow then.  It had a huge mirror and a long vanity with dual sinks.  The toilet and tub/shower had it's own little room at the back.  Pay attention to that little window back there because it's going to disappear as this whole thing gets completely gutted.  Part of this little bathroom, along with a huge hall closet and another bedroom closet were all going to be renovated to make TWO bathrooms.  The first one, the main bath, which you are seeing today, and the master bath, of which their wasn't one and which I'll save for another day. 
Anyway,  I had a lot of ideas for this one main bathroom.....these from pinterest.....
and these from DesignDreams by Anne who has renovated her bathroom more than once and I loved them all!
I wanted lots of those pretty blues and bright whites.  I wanted to paint my ceiling a bold color.  I wanted tile and I wanted a really deep tub.  Mostly...I wanted that ugly bathroom GONE!

We started with getting rid of the tub.   
 If you look really closely, at the right of this picture where the tub used to be, you can see how we broke into the back wall of a really long hall closet and also the side wall of one of the two master bedroom closets.  You can also see that I still had a window in the bathroom at this point.  (Oh how I dreamed of glass block in that window!)
This is the opposite wall where a lovely, but way too big, linen closet was being torn out.
Gone is that huge mirror and the dual sink countertop.
Now we're starting with a clean slate, so let's reconfigure the walls and all of the plumbing because again, we are using part of this bathroom to make a master bathroom.

Now I made the above picture really big so you could see what I'm talking about when I say we're making two bathrooms.  (You can also see how awesomely deeeeeeeeeeep my new bathtub is. is not a jetted tub; I'm way too much of a germophobe for that.)  You can also see that this is exactly where I'm about to lose that window because the wall needs to be right smack in the middle of it.  There was no other choice and I can tell you that I tried everything to keep it, but no.
So if you look at the picture below, then the above diagram makes a little more sense......In other words, the toilet for the master bath is right behind the fish tank.
The toilet in this bathroom got moved to the back of the wall and that window was right in the middle.  *sigh*
Anyway, my awesomely deep tub got a pretty shower curtain with the exact colors I wanted, and a light above.
So this would be where the vanity/sinks were originally.  Check out my blue ceiling, it's probably my favorite part of this whole bathroom.  Weird, I know.
I went round and round with my guys over the fact that I did NOT want a built-in vanity.  Just a pair of sinks with a cabinet in between.  They said I would be sorry......I am not.  I cannot deal with clutter and I think the less surface space in there, the less chance I have of clutter.
Another thing I love about my bathroom is the ambient lighting.  It's normally so bright and white, but sometimes when I want to soak in a big, long, hot bubble bath in my deep tub, I don't want it to be quite so glaringly bright, so I hit the ambient lighting....
Kind of changes things dramatically.  Definitely more relaxing and I can't deny that the fish tank and the candle add to it.
Oh... and that pretty sail boat picture painted by Anne of DesignDreams by Anne?  It looks perfect in it's new crate/frame and if you missed it, you can read about it by clicking on the link below.
Milk Paint Frame Project
So there you have bathroom renovation.  I would like to add, that in our old house, we had one teeny, tiny bathroom.  In this house, I now have 2 and 1/2 baths.  Ahhhhhhhhh......

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Today, I'm going to be sharing a really great experience I had and a really less-than-wonderful one that turned out better than I thought.
You may recognize the name in the corner of this lovely sail boat painting.  Anne.  Yep, that would be the lovely Anne from DesignDreams by Anne. We go way back, at least in blogland terms.  One day, I went to her blog and she posted that she had begun painting.  Her first painting was beautiful!  I was a little envious, because I always wanted to try painting but am still way too chicken.  But I watched her as she posted several paintings and really admired her work.  I knew I would buy one of her paintings someday, but trying to decide which one became more difficult as each one seemed to be better than the last.  When we bought this house and began to renovate it, I began thinking about her paintings while I was doing my own kind of painting...walls...lots of walls.
The main inspiration for my bathroom makeover came from Anne, (I loved all of the blues) and one picture I found on pinterest. (You can click on her name below any of the pictures to read her posts.)
DesignDreams by Anne
DesignDreams by Anne
DesignDreams by Anne
Yeah....that last one right there...that sailboat picture had all of the colors I wanted in my bathroom.  Not to mention that little vanity/sink...I wanted a pair of them.
I browsed Annes "My Art" page and asked if one of the sailboat pictures was still available.  It was.  I asked her to hold it for me and then months went by while I was painting, scraping, and doing all the unpleasant things that renovation involves.  Every time I went in that bathroom, I didn't see the huge reno mess...I saw the bathroom inspired by Anne's picture.  She has no idea how much that helped me keep my calm. (Thank you Anne.)
Finally, I mailed Anne a check and shortly after, this came in my mail, all the way from Canada.

I could hardly wait to open it.  I ripped into it and found this...
Seriously, a pretty package, so pretty I grabbed my camera and took a picture.  Then I opened it very carefully because I loved that flowery paper and wanted to save it.  Glad I did...look at this huge circle of floral tissue paper with wonderful scalloped edges.  The silver box the picture was in was awesome in it's own right.  If you know me and you know my'll be seeing some of that later. LOL! 
So I hung the picture, frame-less, right on my bathroom wall and it was perfect.  I figured I'd know the right frame when I saw it and in the meantime, I'd enjoy it as is.  Wrong.  I could never decide on a frame.  Then my friend Donna, at Distressed Donna Down Home, posted about some crates that she painted.
Caddies and Crates of Mustard
It reminded me that I had a small crate or two that some cheese/meat stuff came in a hundred Christmas's ago and I couldn't throw it out.  Donna challenged me to paint one. 

As I looked at it, I thought this might make a cool background for Anne's beautiful picture.  Because the wall it hangs on is white, I wanted some shade of blue.  Now here is where this story turns ugly.  The only blue paint I had was a sample of milk paint.  I have never used milk paint before and I was worried.  I watched several videos about using and mixing milk paint.  I became even more worried.  The videos told me that milk paint will not give me a precise finish and that mixing milk paint was not a precise thing, more like a "do it until it looks right" thing.  Right.  It also said that milk paint can "flake off" for that special chippy look.  WTH???  I didn't want a chippy look.  Even with all of these alarms ringing in my head, I proceeded.  I mixed the milk paint in a mason-type jar.
Right away, the swear jar began filling up.  I never felt like I got it to "look just right".  I couldn't get the lumps out, which the video said would be okay, but it was not okay with me.  It made me crazy and more swears were said.  Finally, I just decided to paint it on.  The video said I did not need to prime or prep my crate.  I wished I had.  The paint did not go on evenly or smoothly..... but the swears did flow off of my tongue pretty smoothly.  I let it dry.  I did not like the way it looked.  More swears.  I gave it a second coat.  I got out a new swear jar.  I let the second coat dry.  I was not thrilled with it, but I decided that the picture itself covered most of the crate, so I called it good.  I threw the paint, jar, and brush right in the trash and vowed never to use milk paint again.  I wanted to wax the crate when I was finished, to give it a smoother look, but I was terrified it would "flake off" and I did not want that.  I'm sure milk paint is fine if you are not an anal person like me who thinks things need to look perfect and work smoothly.  In fact, I know this is true because I see plenty of lovely milk-painted projects out there.  However, for my personality and my DIY style, milk paint is not for me.  (Also, I can't afford to keep filling my swear jar.)
The good thing is, that crate was the perfect way to display Anne's beautiful picture....
Of course just looking at this picture, I had a great idea to embellish that crate a little, but I'll save that for another day.  In my next post...I'll share my finished bathroom renovation.  In the meantime, head over to DesignDreams by Anne and check out some of her art and see if there isn't something in there that inspires you or might look perfect in your home.  You can get there by clicking HERE.  If you're not inspired by her art, I know you'll be inspired by some of the many awesome DIY projects she does.  
Thank you Anne!  You inspire me constantly.
Thank you Donna, you challenge me on a regular basis.  
Thank you Swear Jar, you'll be paying for a nice vacation next year!  (I should probably cute up my swear jar and post about it sometime.)

Monday, January 5, 2015


It's a new year. I haven't really made any serious resolutions.  I got a fitbit.  It's monitoring me and I'm monitoring it.  That's our relationship thus far, but I imagine it will grow into something more intimate as we become less weary of each other.
I didn't do a round-up of all of my popular posts for last year (although I've been inspired by some good ones already).  
I didn't pick a "word" for the year (although I've seen some inspiring ones out there).
The blog police are probably coming for me even as I post this.
Christmas has all been packed away and my house is barren of much of any decor.  *sigh*
I suppose the lack of personal touch is the most noticeable in my living room, so I thought I would begin post-holiday resuscitation there.
Since I moved from the country into town last May, I've been missing my woods and creek the most.  I decided to go with a woodland kind of theme to my living room, at least through the spring or until I'm tired of it or until actual moss grows in there.
I made this moss-covered frame as a holder for my little tillandsia, or airplant as they are more commonly called.  I started seeing them all over pinterest last year and found one for $4 on clearance.  It came in a glass ball, similar to this...
I had other plans for it.  It also came hot glued to some reindeer moss that had been spray painted bright red and glued to the glass ball with some of the most wickedly aggressive adhesive I have ever come upon.  I figured I would either kill the plant or break the glass ball getting that out of there, or both, but 24 hours and a half a bottle of "goo gone" later, it was free of it's ugly moss and the ball remained in tact. (I will admit to post holiday egg nog to calm my frustration.)
This project was a no-brainer.  It kind of went like this...
Ugly picture frame
Remove those metal things that hold the picture in from the back
Trace frame onto back of sheet moss
Cut it out and glue it onto the frame
Glue on some reindeer moss
Glue on some smooth river rocks to make a corner pocket for plant

That's about it.  Took about 45 minutes.
I hung it on my pallet shelf in the living room along with a birch vase full of faux pussy willows, an antler I found on the farm and a little candle that smells like cedar.  (Candles that smell like cedar are always an inexpensive score right after Christmas.)
You may recognize some of the components of this project from when I made this.....
Pallet Board Candlescape
If you want to know how to dismantle a pallet to make a cool shelf, you can see this post...
Pallet Shelf
......little bit creepy to see Halloween right now, isn't it? I should take a better picture of that shelf to use.
I'm kind of excited to be back to blogging because it's a great motivator and most of the inspiration for my house reno has come from all of the wonderful blogs out there.  (This means YOU.)  Thank you.  
I'm happy to say that as soon as the weather gets just a little better, I'll be picking up the back yard and patio projects. (This is going to make my fitbit very happy.)  We did get almost all of the landscaping block and gravel finished with the exception of the final layer of gravel and the capstone...which is just waiting for me.
I'm even happier to say that my dear friend Judy is coming from Arizona to visit me towards the end of this month.  She's nothing short of awesome and I can't wait.  I haven't seen her since August. 
Finally...I should mention that I realized that I have a lot of guest posts that I've done which have never published on my old blog.  I'm going to post them every now and then, so if you see something you think you've seen probably have.
Now I need to go do something so that my fitbit doesn't think I'm sleeping.

Linking up:

The Enchanting Rose

The Dedicated House