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

Christmas TO DO list 2016



hard to keep a steady pace. . .

I finished the hallway project yesterday, I just have to restore the design books to their shelves.
Additionally, the living room is “mostly” painted—

let me explain.

*Yeah, I got knocked off track for a minute.

I ran off to lend some support & push (often needed) to launch a daunting project.  But, it was only 3 days, & I’m back to my own daunting check list!


     the living room.  Instead of a total room knock down, I decided to split the work into 3 sections, which actually kept things more orderly & in control. I left the “worst” for last—the floor to ceiling windows and bookcase areas, but, I probably won’t complete those until I’m ready to hit the bookcases.

REpainting one section at a time!

REpained one section at a time!

My projects took a bit of a zig-zag approach—

pre day 1- the upper hall walls were painted the night before

day 1- the living room was split into 3 sections and 2 are finished!

day 2- yes, the board & battens were cut-hung-prepped, BUT,

I started the morning with an accident.  I spilled chocolate milk ALL OVER the sofa and carpet in the freshly cleaned~painted living room.  Hello, Stanley Steemer?  I was going to have them come the week before Christmas, but, oh well.

A LOT of misc things were going on simultaneous to the above list, so there was even MORE zig-zaggin’—I don’t know how I get anything done this way! ; D

The hall~

adding board & batten to the guest hall~

Here’s the B&B installed and prepped—

adding board & batten to the guest hall~

and painted—

the hall freshened up!

I found I needed to modify the chair rail cap behind the bookcase because it stood too proud of the wall, so I cut out ONLY that portion to countersink the cabinet. Funny what difference ¾” can make.

the bookcase & the chair rail

And now I need to REload the hall bookcase with my aMAZing design books,

and check this off the list!


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Christmas TO DO list 2016

I seem to do this to myself every dang year—glutton for punishment.

26 days to Christmas and I’m taking on an ambitious project list.  What can I say, I’ve been SO busy

it’s NOW or –never-.

I added board & batten to both stairwells and always intended to run it down the guest bedroom/bath hall…
w e l l, guess what day it is!

Btw~  mom’s curio below is such a beast to clean every Christmas, but needs to be done (at least ONCE a year)!

It contains family treasures passed down from as far back as the early 1800’s. There’s also an 1860‘ish Top Hat in there that belonged to my G-G-grandmother’s brother.    Check THIS off the list now!!!

more tedious Holiday Cleaning

Anyway, getting back to the hall. . .

the BRUSHED SUEDE wallsMany years ago I faux painted a soft pallet marbleized treatment down the hall.  The intention was to conceal the handprints of numerous young grandchildren—it worked well!

The top glazing coat also made it super easy to clean any offending areas with a damp cloth.  But it really needed an update—NOW!


I had 3 fresh gallons of brushed suede made up for the living room and will use it in the upper hall too!  The “suede” gives a much softer feel than just using FLAT paint.  *It’s painted using a cross-hatch pattern, and depending on color, really looks more like a soft-worn velvet.

I don’t know~ can you see it in the photos?  It’s beautiful in person!

I’ve loved using this color over the past 15± years.  Every manufacturer seems to make some variation of “this” soft color choice, so if you want something “neutral”  -neither beige OR white-  THIS IS IT!  IMHO


I finished painting the hall last night and am heading to the living room shortly.  Then I’ll go back to install the board & batten!

Stay tuned!  ; D


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With that breakneck pace behind me & SOME much needed rest,

~though only a short time out from all things Christmas~

I am now busy-busy with my annual


before the holiday decorating begins (yay).

This DEEP CLEANING happens twice a year~ before decorating for Christmas and in later spring for the burgeoning GLORY of SUMMER!
The rest of the year is just a –perfunctory cleaning job.

a DEEP CLEANING for the Holidays

a DEEP CLEANING for the HolidaysWindows to silver are once again sparkling—

wood is gleaming, rugs are switched out,
(although the summer rugs are only rolled up, waiting for shrink wrap and storage)
the vacuum hose finds every nook & cranny and lamp shade, and there’s the purging of lots of “how did this get here?” -STUFF.

Before I start decorating this room though, I  MAY take on 1 or 2 ambitious projects…???

Maybe.  I don’t know yet. Hmmmstay tuned!


I need a REWARD!

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the BoxElder tree in the 90'sA tree was determined.

It grew out of, and killed off the almond bush that WAS planted there.

It thrived AND dropped jaws for 48 years.

It was commonly called


And was an AWESOME climbing tree!

loosing the BoxElder tree...


But Mother Nature has been brutal to it & struck yet ANOTHER blow June 7th.  The last sort-of-center branch came down in a severe thunder storm with 50 mile an hour winds.

And it came down on my concrete/iron table and garden sculpture.  My heart is broken.

For ALL of it.

--I'm gonna cry here.....

. . . awwwww. . .

In their glory days. . . .

...in the glory days...

--the right tools for the job--a crane.The tree guy said he couldn’t get to us for about 3 weeks, then promptly shifted his schedule to come Monday after seeing the new situation.  Clearly, it was not good.


3 days before our scheduled “rescue,” another severe storm came calling.  Producing a very short-lived tornado about 10 miles from us—WE were spared.

The tree guys came  -with a monster crane-  to take it down in really the only safe way left now.  What an event.

The man in charge rode the ball and chains up into the tree to secure each part before cutting—it was ALL aMAZing.  AND down in less than 2 hours and 9 sections.

Taking down the BoxElder tree

Taking down the BoxElder tree

Taking down the BoxElder tree

Each of the 4 leafy branch ends were lowered almost standing straight up and looked like large trees in their own right!  The 1st (& smallest branch cut) was announced to weigh in at 1,600 lbs—the total tree came in over 10 tons (about 25,000 lbs). . .


--a new project is on the horizon

The garden has gone from shade to shade-sun, to sun-shade, and NOW full out sun.  The always sunny kitchen practically requires sunglasses!

Our “new normal” is going to take some getting used to.  As you can imagine~ I’ve got several ideas whirling around in my headstay tuned!


PS~ we’re in the midst of another severe storm.
With no more tree to worry about—BRING IT ON!

Mother Nature-

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winter storm Feb '16
They are warning this is

“Heart Attack” snow!

It’s that wet and heavy to shovel!
Let me testify.


~the armilary sphere an hour into the storm yesterday, and then at noon today.

winter storm Feb '16

winter storm Feb '16winter storm Feb '16

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I  joined a gym.
I don’t know why.

Mother Nature has been working me over for free.

6+   ·    more   ·   inches.


These pictures are only an hour into the storm!

It came with a fury—

and is expected to quit early afternoon –tomorrow– !

February snow storm- February snow storm- February snow storm-

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I’m SO happy to be working on projects again, but there’s an odd process to finding my “voice” again since I can’t hold anything  -normally- . Example—

I just needed to renew my passport.  A lot of paperwork to fill out and it’s really tough to write—my mother obliged me, I just needed to sign my name. But my signature LOOKS LIKE A FORGERY.  An extra form needed to be sent to explain why it IS legit.

router profile~My mind is whirling with project ideas,

but I find it’s like trying to work without the right tools.  You might be able to do it, but it’s  w·a·y  harder!

So I’ll be working my way back to the “big ideas.”

I thought I’d tackle framing out the new kitchen chalkboard.  Ordinarily the simplest of jobs.  Now an awkward task AND keep safe!

◊ I wanted to router a picture frame profile to the inside, and just soften/round over the outside edge.

◊ I also needed to run the boards through the table saw creating a thin rabbet enough to lay over the chalk board, with the rest to lay flat on the wall.

Hopefully this helps make sense of things—

the rabbet-

the routered profile-

putting the pieces together to create the frame

mom's kitchen "makeover!"

framing the Kitchen chalkboard

the leg and header connection-

~I pre-primed and it’s up—now I just need to lightly sand, putty any little gaps, then paint.

What’s next is to hang coved molding across the top for that extra finish, and create a chair rail for the bottom (over the brick). And THAT will actually tie into another project to come.

I know it all seems pretty fussy for such a simple finish, but, the devil is in the details!


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