Archive for the ‘the Journey of a Stylish Renovation’ Category

working from my outdoor office!I. am. bORed. siLLy.

But I’m behaving and doing as the Dr. saidmostly.  You  -I- can only sit still for so long.  And the swelling is down enough you can almost see the knobby-bone of my ankle again—yAy!

So I’m working from the deck!


Because I forgot to get the Rit Dye COLOR STRIPPER to use when first washing the patio umbrella covers, they weren’t taking the dye very well.

*Really helps to cut through “finished” layers too-

REdying the umbrella covers-That water resistant “layer” in the outdoor fabric was worn down and sun faded enough—I didn’t think I would have too much trouble.  But 24hrs in, they were only marginally brighter.

So I just left them to soak all week.

And poked them around a lot.

I had over done some other things and my ankle was really painful and swelling again.  So I sat.  The umbrella covers sat. [Everything] sat.  Since last week Friday.

Yesterday I finally pulled the plug. Ran them back through the wash just to rinse them out –no soap.  Twice—to clean the dye residue out of the washer too..  Although the 2nd time was early this morning.

the REdyed the umbrella covers-I put each cover back on and opened them fully so they would stretch back out and dry without wrinkles.

Plus—it just looked good to see them back UP!

And they look bright and cheery once again!

What do you think?

Better, right?!

And -I think- worth the trouble.

Btw—the BEIGE umbrella cover from out in the yard did take a little tint of the yellow and doesn’t look so comPLETELY orphaned!


restoring the REdyed umbrella covers-

. . . might not look dramatically different in the BEFORE and AFTER pics, but you can really tell “LIVE!”

the REdyed umbrella covers- B & A

the REfreshed umbrella covers
. . . umbrellas drying everywhere!
The deck--getting REfreshed!
. . . my current OFFICE CHAIR! ; D
The deck--getting REfreshed!

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the oh-so sun-faded patio umbrellasOh, how sad-looking the patio umbrellas.

SO sun faded. . .by the Midwestern sun—?

I’m well versed

-even prepared for-

the harsh Arizona sun-damage… but the Midwest sun—huh?

You can see for yourself (at right) just how faded the umbrellas are—in ONE season!

So the umbrellas are getting a fresh washing &  DYE JOB !

Who says only Easter eggs get dyed—?

the very sun-faded patio umbrellas-

1st-  I removed the umbrella covers,

then, popped ’em in the washer to freshen them…

(I actually like to wash them fresh EACH season!)

freshening up the patio umbrellas-It’s very easy to remove the covers, pop the splines out of their pockets,

freshening up the patio umbrellas-
and then unscrew the top cap (or decorative finial on some umbrellas) to release the rest of the cover.  Market umbrellas generally have a nailed on top cap, so grab a hammer or pry bar to pop it off.

*I always screw/hammer the cap back on so not to lose (or damage) it.

freshening up the patio umbrellas-

freshening up the patio umbrellas-

While the umbrella covers were in the wash, I prepped a tub of fresh water and Rit DyeLemon Yellow– and stirred it in well.

freshening up the patio umbrellas-
freshening up the patio umbrellas-

This is where I left things for the night—

leaving all five covers tomarinate.

More tomorrow,


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Mom's house 1961My mother’s house has come a l o n g  way since it was built in 1961.

that's me!  -finding shade the 1st summer we moved here

the raised roof line-

~A small 1½ story they saw potential in.

Our family became the 2nd owners in the later 60’s.

The first big change was to raise the back-side roof creating a mUch bigger 2nd floor. . . a large concrete patio with stone bbq/fire place, and eventually, a kitchen window was replaced by a french door and a small deck!

the evolution of changes--

Next is a simpler back view—free of shutters, and the small deck railing sections removed for the addition of a huge 2nd level/step down deck.

continuing to change--

MY scope of work was to build an addition on the front -enlarging and squaring up the living room- renovating essentially every square inch of interior house, REworking the whole backside outdoor living space, and REworking the gardens.

the back of the house transformations--

The deck and backside of the house "now!"

antique theatre seat framesSo, all of this is to show you

the next cool addition!

I found two antique theatre seat frames on Craig’s list— $20!

They’re from the turn of the century.

They’re so AWEsome!

And here’s my plan—

Often enough, there will suddenly be extra people hanging around the dining table—sometimes pulling up extra chairs, usually leaning against the railings.  So I want to spread each seat frame apart to create a double seat, and affix them to the deck rails to the left & right sides of the large planter.

the dining deck--

adding extra seating--

I’ll use deck boards to fill the new seats and chair backs.

When someone extra is there—a seat can be flipped down!

antique theatre seat frames

antique theatre seat frames

I’m sO excited the weather is finally beginning to improve


and once the greenhouse comes down,

look for this cOOl project to take shape—I can’t wait!


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The very last Christmas decor was all brought down to the https://freddyandpetunia.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/what-i-was-supposed-to-be-doing/lower level to be sorted and packed away. Uhyep.

But I put a movie on for distraction and I’ll bet you can guess the rest. Uh huh.

*Recognize WHAT movie?

CLEAR plastic tubs are the perfect storage solution -they let us see what we’ve got and what we’re looking for- but they’re NOT cheap!  So I’ve been adding a few more each year as I sort things and put away (& what else goes to donation).

sorting Holiday decor--

It’s really pretty pleasant to hang out down here—in the lower level.  Sure doesn’t feel like a –basement-.

Does it look like one?

Maybe the low ceiling gives it away, huh?

the Lower Level--as of Jan '15

the beginning of a new vignette--

You can see (above) some of my UNfinished projects—this year, this year.

Now, I can begin to

create some new vignettes

(like this vignette-foundation)

all around the house!


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5ft column lamps

-No one

seemed to “get”

-to understand- my

5ft columns

made into Floor Lamps w/skeletonized shades for sale at the antique mall.


Well you know what?

I brought them back to my mom’s house and used them in the Holiday Decor!

Even though It’s time to take down all the Christmas decor

(end of vacation and everyone’s heading back to school and work), I’ll strip them down to “winter decor” and leave them a bit longer ’cause I lov’m!  But the rest of the room needs to be restored now —so it’s a “working” day.




I’m sad to dismantle some of these pretty things, but, I’ll always have the pictures. . . .



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good bye to 2014Reading so many of the

Year in Review

blog posts made me think about my own once again so I went scrolling through from my first project January 11th — Christmas!

Apparently, I was S L O W getting back to work last year too.  : /

As much as I traveled throughout the year–it totaled 46 projects.

That really surprised me.  Sure, some were small and minor, but many were quite involved and lengthy.

bigger surprise came from my WordPress Year in Review ~5 OLD projects & posts were in my list of Top Viewed Posts for the year–STILL!

These are my bigger projects for 2014

The upstairs hall built-in bookshelves and bench,

the UPSTAIRS HALL project--

the ALCOVE project--modifying the alcove,

and re-building the hall linen closet.

the HALL LINEN CLOSET project--


a CL dresser totally REmade

A ’60’s styled dresser and bench


screen doors for the closet

SCREEN DOORS for closet doors--

our Great Aunties' dresserOur Great Aunties’ dresser

Lily’s birthday rockers

Lily's birthday rockers


Mom’s old vanity    &     The bow-fronted cabinet

Mom's old vanity--The Bow-fronted cabinet--

The old Record Cabinet

An old record cabinet




My 90¢ dish hutch

Dish Hutch Collage

"Plain Jane"

desk conversion--A Plain-Jane dresser



From a desk to a bookcase






Under the Stairs Storage  ~which is not yet finished, so watch for more on that!

extra storage UNDER the STAIRS

Still super popular and always high in my daily stats are these–

The Former Dresser

I had a dresser, but I needed a bookcase

The Craig’s List dresser #1

The Lingerie Chest

The Deck Rug

continued all-time favorites!

There were some awesome smaller projects too

a few I had a hard time letting go of.   :’ (

Wishing us All  an




New Year!


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Dear Lord

I can’t seem to get back in gear.


be ridiculous!


An over sized chicken wire picture frame to display cards!

I have just a few more holiday things to share—while try to find my motivation.

Mom had wAy more Christmas cards this year than the pretty zinc card wreath I got her would hold -so- Christmas eve morn’, I grabbed some picture frame molding (a cousin gave me lots of!) to create a large frame of chicken wire to display them.  *And sprayed it w/gold foil paint.

17″w x 6ft h  —  problem solved!

But me and the chicken wire—my hands looked like I was in a cat fight…and I lost!

Mom busily arranged her cards–we happened to find an old (from ’94) card that came addressed to mom’s late, zany cat Marvin! Stamps were only 29 cents?  -wOw!

Marvin's Christmas card--!



btw–this was the theme of family pics 2014!  Thought you might get a kick out of a few of them. . .

2014 Christmas theme for family pics!Christmas decor--2014

Christmas is the one time of year I find a passion for RED & Glitter!Christmas decor--2014

Christmas decor--2014

the granite urn at the entrance to my work studio--

above ◊  This granite urn sits at the entrance to my work studio (aka–the garage).  I love the red ruckus but it’s worse than rose thorns!

below ◊  This year’s Christmas tree was set in an enormous garden urn!  I had planned to use a tempered glass round with a big “donut” hole in it to become a “table tree” (hee hee!), but the urn was too tall and it all looked odd so the idea got scrapped.  booooo

I just couldn’t get this year’s tree trimmings “right,” but I do like the urn and big, sheer bow!  And the fresh tree smells sO good. . .


*Now~  if I could just find my work-groove again. . .

Christmas decor--2014

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