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

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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The snow started last night~

and this is what we woke to.

January '16 snow storm

another snow fall-

another snow fall-









another snow fall-




I’ll admit it’s pretty~

but it’s SO·MUCH·WORK!

5″ of work…and no snowblower.



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a setback and a special splint--Sorry I’m so –sporadic– in posting anything anymore,

the finger is giving me a true run for the money.

You’d be surprised at how difficult the simplest and most innocuous things have been to do!  Plus~ a setback has me sporting a special splint now (that is painful at times).  All I want for Christmas is a healed & straight fingerpretty please!

But, in the meantime…

…and because I’m feeling SO project-deprived…

I showed you THIS picture last time~

making some changes-

And THIS is what I’ve been up to!

It’s not a BIG change—but it has some BIG impact!

changes are afoot!

1st- My mother has ONLY agreed to let me COVER OVER her beloved mural BECAUSE- I had a fun idea for her to focus on.  A 4ft x 10ft chalkboard to draw out our family tree!  Our British and German maternal families!

She’s traced us back to the 1600’s so far, and this should make it easier and more fun to share it all with us!

2nd- I had the j-box moved so the chandelier will hang centered over the table for the first time  E V E R.  AND, I hung a “new” chandelier!

3rd- I deleted the old wall phone.  It was a fun thing back in the 70’s, but time has moved on.  It held the phone books in the side and had a chalkboard front for messages.  It’s now for sale at the antique mall should you be interested.

I got some help hanging the hardboard and wasted no time painting.  But the color was mis-mixed!  A purple-y periwinkle…NoNoNo! Then it was too bright and “yellow-y” a blue, so I had a gray’ish color mixed and played with the two till I got the lighter blue-gray I actually wanted!

Uh Oh!

Here’s the new look!

mom's kitchen "makeover!"

The banquette-bench and table are moved to the left to clear the deck door swing when it’s open (which is a LOT).  You can kind of see that MOST of the chalkboard is primed—THAT’s an exhausting exercise!  I love how the color is faded just a bit more by the priming!

The chandelier is vintage metal with a great patina, and yes, I added white doves to each arm for Christmas!

The "new" chandelier!

The "new" chandelier!









The other thing I took liberties with was changing out the decorative switch plate cover –although– the new cover is DECORATIVE too!  This is what it will say just above the door bell-button when finished—I‘m just sharing prematurely.  It makes me giggle every time I walk by.  *If only a butler WOULD actually respond!  When no one comes I guess I’ll just say it’s his day off!  ; D

My humorist twist!

My UNfinished as yet extra touch!
— I have to frame the whole chalkboard.  
I have the wood and crown molding for the top, but, operating a saw is still iffy with my finger.  I bang the poor thing into just about everything….dah!

doesn't everyone have a beauty salon chair in their kitchen !?!Oh yes— one more thing to share!

Many years ago I bought an old beauty salon chair at auction for $5.

I reupholstered it and used it in my master bath while I was getting myself together for the day! Yes—felt a little bougie!

I’ve put it in mom’s kitchen.  I’ve seemingly become her hairdresser and it’s inCREDibly handy to raise/lower as needed  -AND-  it becomes a booster chair when little ones come over!  Truth be told- the bigger ones fight over it too!

Whew!  That was a loooooong post—sorry!

Can you tell I’ve missed you—


on a daily basis-

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making some changes-

See this?

Changes are afoot!

Well~until a REAL remodel can be done.


Just give me
~see the

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