Progress on the door!!!

  I have started working on the door to the bonus room. I set it up in the kitchen by the slider so I get the glorious morning sun.  You can see the door leaning against the wall on the right. Whenever I'm too tired to be moving and lifting stuff or I have an odd hour I work on it,  All the time I was painting the kitchen island and pantry I worked in this spot with both magnifying lamps at hand.  I also wear a LED light on an elastic head band.
Once again I'm changing my style as my eyesight diminishes.  Here I have it pretty much blocked in now using big foam brushes from the dollar store.  I plan the painting by gathering my parts much like I did crazy quilting.  I know that I want a path, a fence, a pond, some sheep, a barn and a pond with ducks.  I am starting lower left with the path and work my way up the path adding bits here and there.... just like I was walking into the painting. 
Here I've starting working with smaller sponges and got in a lot of the landscape detail. You can see how much the tree on the left grew between photo sessions.  I'm thinking the trees on the right are going to turn into willows...  At the very last I will add smaller touches here and there with a brush.....like the sheep and barn in the distance.    Not quite clear how I'm handling the upper squares except there will be a bird nest.  I might just paint every door in the house

For now the kitchen is finished and the new sink and countertops are in... Not a lot of color here but there will be when I add the Mexican tiles and divider of vintage stained glass.  I can just visualize this early morning light filling the house with color from the glass.  But it has to wait until the weather gets warmer and I can work on the saw in the garage to build the frame.  I desperately need to replace the lights but that will wait too until I do a little more research.  I need the brightest light possible but would like it to be dimmable.  If I am going to buy lights and pay a electrician to install them I want to be doubly sure I am getting what I need and want before I go ahead.


Bird/Tassel/Valance! I can do this!!!!!!!

Ever since I posted the other day about combining little birds with tassels on a valance I have been mulling over options trying to come up with a way I can do this at my current ability level.  And I think I have it nailed...
First I had to find little wooden birds that I could paint and I found them on Etsy,  Not only did I find them, I ordered them last night and received an email that they had been shipped this morning....
I did see lots of birds already painted in other materials ....mostly when I searched for bird ornaments.  But I didn't want just any old birds, I wanted birds from my garden.  Several years ago I put together this picture collection of the colorful birds that visit us. 

Now I just have to whittle it down to my eight most favorite...  Probably goldfinch, chickadee, red winged blackbird, grosbeak, rufus-sided towhee, hummer, flicker and bluebird....this will be hard. Maybe  I should have ordered a bigger batch of birds.

Then I started thinking about the valance sections.  I know I could still gather enough fancy fabrics to crazy quilt the sections but I hesitate to set myself up for frustration and ultimate failure.

After   I work at the new house I come home to the farm  sometimes I just go through my closet again and try to get rid of more stuff. I have been through it several times already but each time through I get rid of more.  Sometimes I put something in the "donate" bag and take it out and sometimes more than once.  

So last night when I was going through my closet once again I came upon this jacket that has gone into the donate bag twice before and I've taken it out.   I was going to put it in there again when I  really looked at it with a new vision. It's all pieced velvet and brocade.  It has been my holiday jacket for years and years and I needed to let it go as it was showing wear and was too big anymore.  I realized it would make a beautiful valance when cut up and there's just about enough material.  It was a sign for sure. I will cut it up tonight before I can change my mind. I even found a piece of burgundy silk to line the sections.
Then I thought why not make my own tassels with all this thread I have acquired over the years. They would not take that long to do and I could mix the colors and blend them and by then my mind was just was just racing with possibilities and I know I can do all this..

So the bird/ tassel/valance project is a go.  What's more I know just where I'm going to put it.


workroom moved up the to-do list!!

 I had planned to do my workroom last but all the other rooms now are waiting until we can move furniture and I'm kind of at a standstill for them. So the workroom is at the head of my list now that the kitchen is done. The room that I'm going to use for my work room is good-sized and really a blank canvas. My room at the farm just sort of evolved over the years. There was never any coordination between any of the pieces or the colors. It just happened. Now that I have this new space I want to give it more thought but it too will probably just evolve.

First of all it has a gray carpet. Whoever lived there before us had a thing about gray. At first I was going to take the carpet up and replace it with some kind of laminate flooring but after thinking about  the cost and was it worth it, I decided  to go ahead with the gray carpet. The walls are the same color as the rest of the house. Before we moved in they painted the same color throughout.  They left part of a can and  it's called "porcelain skin". It not really a pink and it's not really a peach and definitely not beige. It's almost a non color. It's certainly not a color I would have picked but it is growing on me. It seems to go with just about everything and I'm not about to start painting walls that have just been freshly painted.

First of all it has a lovely large window and that is where I'll put my painting table.  I paint by a window now and I love watching the birds and weather when I'm working. My new little garden will be just outside the window and I will put up a couple wren houses.

There is a large closet part of which I'll use for my clothes but there'll still be space for some supplies and books and whatever.

I had ordered kits for those tall storage units in the picture.  (I ordered several storage-unit kits during the black Friday sale with free shipping as well...a real deal) I'm also going to move three other tall narrow pieces that I have already. I use them for larger beads and supplies for jewelry.   I also splurged and bought a wall-mounted ironing board that I can lower when needed.  I have always wanted one of those.

I measured and my desk  and it is going to fit. I got some more pull-out shelves so that I can have my printer and scanner off the top of my desk.  I will probably make a cover for my old desk chair...  The lift mechanism has broken and I sit too low but it rocks and I love it.  Right now I am using my old laptop on a card table...

My computer table will face a blank wall. Right now I look into the living room as my desk is behind the couch so I know right away I now  want to have a long narrow low shelf for pictures of grandchildren and then above that I want favorite pieces of needlework.  

I'm dividing up all my crazy quilting supplies to give to friends.  It's giving me a chance to sort through and say goodbye to all my stash.   I will keep all my favorite laces as I can use them on other projects.
Purging as part of the move makes it a little easier to let go of some things even though I know I will never be able to use them again.

As I said this was going to be last on the moving agenda.   but winter has interfered with my plans as we don't know from day to day whether we will be snowed in...and I am flexible so I am moving what I can fit into the SUV.


accidential or unintentional collections

Sometimes I buy something I like and then I see another similar and buy it and  then another and before I know it I have a "collection." That is what happens with my white pitchers, vintage tins and marble cutting boards.  But I didn't realize I had been  doing it with tassels until I started this move and finding them on windows, curtain rods, lamps, etc. around the house

As I came across them I began just hanging them in the laundry room at the new house and suddenly I had a bunch of them.  When did this happen?  I wasn't consciously doing it.  Just one here and there over the years at thrift stores and really never noticed how many I had hauled home.

But I realize I love tassels. Tassels are so elegant and opulent. I began thinking that after this move is all over that it would be fun to start embellishing them and looked at some on line...

There are a lot of really cool tassels online,

I love them all beaded and fitted with fancy braids and I certainly have a lot of that left over from CQ and I think I could do it...

And I absolutely fell in love with these  little tasseled birds.  I have to do this!!!!
And not all tassels have to be used on window treatments... Look at this cool use of them?
And I saved the best for last... How about this valance of crazy quilt squares combined with tassels.  What a great theme for a round robin.


My style is color and clutter......

 Years ago I had a friend whose style was definitely midcentury modern...very clean lines, simplistic with touches of raw wood or hand turned pottery and abstract paintings.  I  loved to quietly sit in her house and just feel the serenity, It was so soothing,  It reflected her personality as well.  She was elegant, unruffled,  quiet. organized, and straight forward.  As much as I loved being there I knew for certain that if I lived there it wouldn't last a week without being cluttered.  I really missed her when she moved away.

Another style I look longingly at in magazines and on the internet are the all white shabby chic rooms.  The shabby I can relate to and I also think  the white   would be very soothing...There's a simplicity to having just one color even though there is a LOT of clutter...  But if I lived there I would be adding just a touch of color here and there, here and there, and everywhere. 

If I had to choose between color and clutter I know for a fact I would choose clutter.  I love stuff... not just any stuff...my stuff...my memories and I want it all around me. Down sizing these memories is the biggest problem with this move.  I have actually had a  woman tell me that I had too much stuff in my house.  It made her uncomfortable.  Made a point to never invite her  again...  I am going to try using a lot of white in my office/studio thinking it would make the small room seem larger.   We'll see how long that lasts.

So I have to admit my inner self craves color and clutter. That defines my style... color and clutter..  And I am not using any restraint in the new house. I'm taking more stuff than the house can hold and hoping I can find a spot for everything. It may very well end up looking like this... I find color energizing and uplifting which I must need more than soothing.


3 near finishes

Had a good week but couldn't quite finish the three projects I had going.  Best and first is the kitchen island cart. This was a kit I got from Wayfair at a  great price on Black Friday.  I prepainted all the parts before I assembled it. I just love it and all went smoothly until I tried to secure the top and couldn't. 

The back side has the drop leaf.  I plan on keeping my kitchen aid mixer, bread machine, food processor and blender in here along with smaller electrical items. for the kitchen. So just stopped until I have help. It needs someone adjusting at both ends at the same time. Remember my goal is to fill this house with color, color, color.


So just stopped until I have help.  Then I moved on the console table on the entry wall.  It too was a win.  The metal supports and tiled top gave a whimsical touch and I even used old shutters for the ends.  Looks great but it needs another shelf so I had to stop until I could bring another piece of wood from the barn.. Cost was just the shelf supports.
Not only do I see this as storage for mail, keys, gloves, sunglasses etc.  but also storage for dog grooming supplies, games and playing cards, etc.  .  It is only 12" deep but 5' long.

 Then I tackled the old shutters to fill the gaping hole in that wall.... They come within 1/4" of a perfect fit and I need to trim the edge of one shutter.  I have to set up the table saw in the garage to do that but I just ran out of time and energy.  Next time ...a quick finish then.. Cost - $0

If you look closely at this picture of when we had a booth at flower shows, you will see part of one of these vinyl shutters behind DH's left shoulder.  They were part of the backdrop for our booths and have been languishing in the barn for 20 years.  Great to put them to a final use.

Now I' m moving on to the door to that bonus room and I did get it primed before I had to go home to the farm.

And I had to add a box under the old trunk but by golly Morris has a grand view of the neighborhood as it all passes by his perch and he loves it.  I think I will put a sign in the window that says  " If Morris is watching, give him a wave!!!"


The barn and Amazon - what a combo

Morris has his bench at the farm where he can see out the window and watch the birds . He keeps trying  to look out the window at the new house so one of my objectives today was to find something I could  put a cushion on  so he could see out the window in the new house.

I had to go out to the barn anyway to look for wood and I found this old trunk   in pretty bad shape. It is quite large and very heavy.  I had to pry the lock to even get in into it.  It was lined with paper that was a little yucky but under the paper the wood was fine. It is made of wood covered with metal that was quite rusty in spots. So with some steel wool, elbow grease, and bleach I should be able to make a perch for Morris with it. I believe it is an old metal military foot locker... probably from WWII.  I have no idea how long it has been in the barn or how it got there. But I really need it about 4 in higher so I went on Amazon and found some wooden legs for it.    It will fill the bill until we actually move in February and it's free.....free is good.
  And I liked the look of this piece on Pinterest  that had iron work on it  and filed it away.  I do have a piece of old wrought iron fencing that I could use but if you put the iron in the front you can't have a shelf and if you put the iron in the back you can't see it. Since this has to have storage value I have to have the shelf.  So I thought if I could find some decorative iron metal legs and some decorative metal shelf supports  I think I can come close to that look.  I love the old boards on top but I love my tiled board more.  So I once again went searching on Amazon.

The nice thing about Amazon is that they show you what other people bought or things that are similar and I always find things just about the same  but cheaper which appeals to my thrifty nature.  First I had just looked at one shelf support for $30 t and then I found four for the same price and then four for $15. I spent a little more than $30 for four legs and four supports and I think it's going to work.

I'm still cleaning the tiled board and I found some old boards for the ends and the shelf.  I may even be able to work in a shutter or two.  When it is all done it will definitely be a OOAK entry piece...



Many irons in the fire!!!!

I'm not all that keen on the open concept that is so popular now. In every home makeover show they knock down the wall between the kitchen and the main living area... In earlier days only the wealthy had separate dining rooms and everyone else just ate in their kitchen. Then when people became more affluent they had separate dining rooms like the wealthy.

 Now everyone wants to eat in the kitchen again. Personally I like having my eating area separated from my kitchen when I have company. Maybe it's only me but when I am doing serious cooking I make a big mess and I'm glad to sit someplace where my guests can't see the kitchen.  In the new house when you walk in the front door you have a clear sight line to the kitchen counter. I'm going to try to break this line of sight with a divider of some kind using all my stained glass I gathered together.
That old tiled shelf from the barn I hauled over the other day is going to work just fine near the entry area when I figure out how I'm going to add a shelf.  At least it is the right length and depth.   And the shutters that I was going to use in the big open hole in the bonus room wall  are also going to work nicely just as well.  They are just 1/2" from being a perfect fit... lucky me. I salvaged the shutters from a display unit we used when we did a booth at shows. I love to be able to repurpose something I already have.   So things are going along quite well on all projects. I really wanted a door on that bonus room but the opening is 36" wide and such a big door would be awkward.  I originally wanted to bring the bathroom door from farm but it is only 30" wide and using it requires some extensive framing.  So I have settled on using a bi-fold closet door and will paint on it....maybe a farm landscape with sheep!!!  It will be delivered next week.  Hopefully by then the kitchen island will be done.
 I finished  painting the drawer fronts of the island today and I'm happy with all the little bees. Since painting is difficult now I have to settle for a more rustic (folk art) look to my work. The end of painting on the kitchen island is in sight and I will soon be able to assemble all the parts.  It has turned into a much larger project than I envisioned....which  seems to be the norm as I get older. 
And today when I put up a white mirror in the bathroom the counter did not seem as gray. It actually looks more steely blue. After it was up I realize I put it at a comfortable height for me....5'1" so a really tall person is going to have to stoop to see themselves because I am not changing it.  "short person revenge".  I still haven't got the border up in the bathroom as I'm a little nervous about being there by myself on a ladder. I'm waiting for someone to come and hold the ends of the wet border for me and hand me what I need so I don't have to climb up and down so many times...... 

I have really done nothing in the one room that will be my workroom as I am waiting for the internet to be installed in there.  I did assemble two storage cabinets except for the doors as they are easier to move without the doors.  I have started to bring some stuff over but it is still in baskets in the closet.  CenturyLink has made two appointments to install the internet and did not show up for either.  So any real progress in that room is on hold for now.


It is my last chance and responsibility

When you read about downsizing they always recommend keeping what you "really" love.  Well I "really" love it all.  Now that the move is in progress I lay in bed thinking how can I use this or that at the new house.  A good example are two simple but very large benches in the gazebo (like 9 ft. long) I had them stacked and used them as shelves.  I must find a place for them.  They are 2"x 12"s  nine feet long and old growth lumber...worth their weight in gold.

I have a good-sized collection of old shutters and not to mention piles of fabulous well-weathered old wood. The largest set of old shutters I have found a use for and luckily I had four of them.

 I used to collect porcelain knobs and painted on them and had a box full left.  I have now been using them mix-and-match in the new kitchen.  I even have some clear antique cut glass ones that I must use somewhere.   I also had a large seed bag filled with funky stuff to donate to Habitat for Humanity  like brass and glass door knobs, old hinges, etc.  I may give it a second look....  It's amazing that now that I have the new house I am looking at all this old stuff with a renewed interest and thinking of new and different uses for it.... It is my last chance and responsibility to give these things a new life.
Several times lately I have walked by this old shelf in the gift shop from the nursery days.  I hand painted all these tiles 30 years ago and it would be a sin to just abandon them...right??? At first I was thinking of using the gazebo benches near the front entry in the new house until I measured them and knew they wouldn't fit.  I could never cut such rare old wood.... but now I think the tiled shelf could be used there.  Actually there are two tiled shelves.. maybe both. They're a bit grungy but should clean up easily enough.

  Our realtor was a bit worried about all the stuff I had to get rid of. ...solution...take it all with me.  Definitely taking ALL my garden angels...And OMG how can I leave my marble stepping stones.  I have been collecting marble cutting boards and cheese boards for years to use in my paths...................And all my hand held power tools - sanders, drills. saws, staplers, air brush compressor, nail guns. etc.  On second thought I really shouldn't be using skill saws or power sanders  any more.


the bathroom is coming along... now

I had a pretty clear image for how I wanted to do just about every room in the new house except for one bathroom that everyone will use. To begin with it had grey floor, grey countertops and a mirror with grey trim. Too grey.
I loved the wallpaper border that I had in the farmhouse bathroom. It was wide and die-cut and country but funky.   But they don't make it anymore.   I've searched and searched and I finally bought this die-cut border but it just wasn't quite what I wanted. Then my  granddaughter Leigha in Alaska sent me an email that she was sending me a thrift store shower curtain for my new house. I couldn't imagine a shower curtain worth shipping all the way to Spokane.
It came today and what a treasure!  It is beautifully  embellished with ribbon embroidery and old lace.  This photo does not do it justice. 
When I hung it today and put it next to the wallpaper border and   it was a match made in heaven. Once I get the curtain pressed, the wrought iron braces up and a few more finishing touches the bathroom is going to be just great.
 I took down the gray mirror and brought a white one from the barn but it's the wrong size so I  have another one I'll bring from the barn the next time I come and I think it will work. What would I do without my barn.  It is better than Lowes and Home Depot all rolled into one. 
  I just need a piece of artwork in place of the cupboard the wall .  I think maybe I will frame a piece of crazy quilting .
I brought the little gray angel  and with the pink flowers it livens up the grey  I think I'm going to have a winner here.  I do wish the bathroom had a window.  Maybe I need to put a faux window in there....

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