Sunday, December 31, 2017


Thirteen pictures of Dan and I in honor of our 13th anniversary.

Wedding (Dec 31, 2004)

Peach Pie Party (2005)

Trip to San Fran (2006)

Family Wedding (2007)

Chicago (2008)

Swaziland (2009)

Local Hike (2010)

(The only one of us together without kids) 2011

Another Wedding (2012)

Conference-turned-mini-adult-only-vacation (2013) 

Vacation (2014)

Off to a Christmas Party (2016)

Garden Visiting (2017)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Faithful Shoes

It is time to say goodbye to these shoes. I bought them about 18 years ago when I was a nanny, and I loved them. I was on my feet a lot, so I decided I needed some really good quality shoes. I also wanted shoes I could slip on and off easily.

These shoes were so comfortable. They convinced me that spending a chunk of money on really good shoes was a worthwhile investment.

I remember one day I had them off while making a bed in the little girl's room. She put them on and announced "I'm the nanny!"

After I no longer was a nanny, I wore them less and less, but I kept them because I liked them so much. When living in Baltimore and fixing up our house there, they became my go-to work shoe because I could slip them on and off when leaving the dirty areas and entering the clean. I continued to use them here as well for house projects and would slip them on when I needed to go outside briefly. But the soles have now cracked and moisture gets in if I wear them in wet grass, and they are no longer as comfortable. After not wearing them for most of this summer and fall, I finally decided I need to let them go. I think 18 years is a good life span for a well-worn shoe, don't you?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Adventures in Chair Reupholstery

Has it really been since mid-summer since I last posted?? Since it has been so long, it is high time for another project update.

This has been on my to-do list for almost two years, and I only recently started working on it. But since it's a big job and I like to break projects into chunks, I've been working on this for over two months. I found two matching chairs at our local Habitat Restore almost two years ago, and decided they would be good chairs for me to practice more involved upholstery skills.

Here it is before I took it apart. Sorry the picture is blurry. 

During...I had a lot of nail head trim to remove as well as upholstery tacks. I 
kept a plastic container nearby to put them in because I didn't want to accidentally 
step on any. 

I labeled each fabric piece and saved it to use as a pattern when cutting out the new fabric. I kept the padding and only added a little extra to the seat.

Before reupholstering, I painted the wooden parts of the chair.
Then I had Dan show me how to use the air compressor so I could use the staple gun
to apply the upholstery. No tacks for me, thank you! Staple guns with air compressors 
are a wonderful invention.

And here is the (mostly) finished chair. Nail head trim is really
hard to put on nicely - at least for me. I still need to put some around the arm rests. but
I am waiting for motivation to tackle that last bit. I also need to fix up
some parts of the paint where I messed it up while hammering in the 
nail head trim. And when I had to remove some because they got bent.

But, all challenges aside, I think I found a home for this chair:
in the sewing room. Facing the windows. It's a great spot
to sit with a book and hot tea in the afternoon

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mid Summer Gardens

Just a few glimpses of the flowers and vegetables around our place at this time of year.

The zinnia seeds I planted along the front of the garden didn't grow, so 
there is a lot less color at the vegetable garden than I had originally planned.
Next year!

And let me not forget the impatiens that are thriving in
their window boxes. The play house sits in a nice shady spot, 
so the soil doesn't dry out too quickly.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Faucet Luxuries

We've finally completed another phase in the kitchen. We held off on installing a tile backsplash for a couple of reasons. One was because we wanted to install a potfiller. Both are done! And it's one more thing to check of the list. We hired out the plumbing and the tile work. Part of me wishes I knew how to tile, but I have zero motivation to learn and even less to buy more specific tools.


Ungrouted Tile:

Tile Finished, Potfiller Installed

We chose a white arabesque tile (this brand came in 12x12 mats) and went with white grout because I really didn't want the tile to draw too much attention.  I'll be honest, I do like the look of arabesque tile when a contrasting grout color is used, but in this case, I just didn't 
want that to be too much of a focal point. 

I've found I also like the look of the curved tile with all the straight angles in the rest of the kitchen. My first thought was that we had "fancied up" our kitchen. We decided to only tile the wall where the stove and fridge are. The stainless steel countertop has a backsplash, so a tile one wasn't necessary behind the sink. Plus, I like the warmth the paint provides.

Splashes of Color

What do you do when you can't decide between two different colors for your doors? Well, if you're me, you use both colors and have multi-colored doors.

I painted the outside of our front (above) and side doors about a year ago, but the other exterior doors were untouched. Shortly before Susanna's birthday, I decided I was tired of looking at white primed doors. I painted the inside of the side door but still need to paint the inside of the front door.

The side door
(inside followed by outside)

The Back Door

The Garage Door

Monday, June 19, 2017

Thrifted Wall Art

 Sometimes I actually find quality artwork at thrift stores. There's a lot of faded, old, less-than-pretty artwork in old, outdated frames in thrift stores, but every now and again I find something that catches my eye. I prefer original artwork over prints, so I don't really care who painted it, but if I like the picture, and it's signed, I am much more likely to buy it.

Over the past year, I've been checking out the artwork in thrift stores and antique shops. Not too long ago, I found an old, rustic wooden frame. I didn't care for the print in the frame but decided to hang onto the frame and see if I could find something to replace it with. The other week I found a watercolor I liked in a frame I didn't like. And guess what! The painting I like fits in the frame (with the matting and all) I like. Just another fun coincidence - the kind that keeps me going back to the thrift stores and antique shops.

The rustic frame with a double matte inside...

The painting I like...

Better together...

I do think a darker matte would look better than the cream matte, but I'm happy that I didn't need to make this a bigger project. This is me practicing contentment with what I have on hand instead of feeling like I need to make something "perfect."