Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

taking some time off....The pace was very steady AND very busy leading into the holidays.

Things did settle down in January and February, but sort of accelerated soon after that, and then took off like a runaway train.

12, even 14 hour days became the norm, and I was just trying to hang in there.  Posting projects got pushed off the loooong lists—in favor of sleep. You know?  SOMEthing had to give.

When I found a couple short, surprise lulls~ trying to edit what pictures I DID have and gather my thoughts to write something felt daunting.

And I was exhausted.  So I passed.

Part of that exhaustion came from tough, early morning workouts AND cutting carbs.  CARBS.

* I’ll have to share some of my bragging rights on the workout progress soon!

But the sheer  –physicality–  of the tree damage-repair-moving plants-clean up of this big property was -d r a i n i n g.  There were  m a n y  “zombie” days.

that which doesn't -- what?

OMGosh the changes without the tree and its shade!

The project scope grew exponentially and I wore a LOT of hats!  Landscape designer, landscaper, crew foreman, laborer, the buyer & deliveryman–and the watergirl so no one fainted on me from dehydration in the heat and humidity.


The tough, laborious work continues, but is not so all-consuming anymore. And I’m back to tell you all about it!

The landscape changes, a bench, a dresser, the antique mall(s), a kid’s cubby, the pergola porch swing, new grapevines and trellis—

and a vacation!



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I know, I knowI’ve been horribly absent.

"out of stock"

Like everyone else, I’ve had a thousand and one things going on.

Blogging, heck  -just opening my laptop-  has taken a total backseat.

One weekend after another I’ve had— a bridal shower, a big pop-up show, the outdoor wedding of my niece/Goddaughter, the twins’ huge birthday party, a graduation & party, a surprise 70th birthday party. . . and all the work and prep associated with [a few of] the events.

Plot Twist!*Add to that  -in the vain of my standard klutziness–  I took a little tumble at my niece’s outdoor wedding, spraining my left ankle and right knee.  Suffice it to say that even a low heel and undulating, soft ground don’t mix.  AND, before the night ended I also got a fat-split lip in a hugging accident with a VERY tall nephew.  (Murphy’s Law’s got nothin’ on me.)

I generally just consider it all “Catherine’s World”

but I believe this could be my new mantra  and  a sign for my studio!   Do I hear you laughing…?

I’m also weeding and working on the gardens.  Losing our huge BoxElder means a LOT of plants need to be moved, so I’m taking advantage to REarrange and REcreate some of the garden vignettes!  This will launch a couple of architectural-construction summer projects too!  ♠ the Domino effect!

I have been squeezing in some actual projects here and there, and have several post-drafts in the works to share with you so

c’mon back!


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barn board accident- yikes!Don’t want to gross anyone out, but—here’s where I’m at

To recap—crushed hand under some barn boards,

needed surgery~had surgery, lots of pain and seriously watching clock for next pain pill.

4 days in, figured out bandages were too tight~got loosened and things were markedly improved.

9 days post surgery, necessary flight out East,

1st TSA agent encountered accidentally hit finger trying to help me~ couldn’t breathe, almost cried, more pain, and now nauseous.

injury and post-op...Saw Dr upon return~ screw held, sutures held, a little bleeding, but—okay.

VERY interesting to travel. . . . .just function– ONE HANDED.

Stitches come out this Friday on schedule, then move to a soft splint and therapy soon after.

SO nice to have FRESH bandages,

AND to get to see healing, progress—

and a straight finger again!

*hope the pictures don’t gross you out.

Maybe just EXIT now!

I’ll totally understand. . .

not too late to turn back-

not too late to turn back-

post-op....and a 1st look

12 days post-op...

Look, my hand will look NORMAL again—YaY!

Sure can’t wait to get back to work!


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I’m currently a 1·armed bandit- huntin’ & a peckin’- to say HI!

I made it through my (1st) surgery

the Dr broke it, cut it open to cut out/cut away the damage, and put a screw down the tip to hold it all straight.

If you’re thinking  O W E,

then you know how I’m feeling. . . I’m in a lot of pain, but coping.  And can’t wait for this all to be just a memory and I‘m back to work~

Catherine .

*The above bouquette & proxy hug are from 2nd big brother away on business 

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the Lord will fight for you-. . . to render ANY bit of kindness, compassion, and help to my bf -my surrogate sister, whose big brother is very ill—cancer.  It’s bad.  It took a lot to even absorb and comprehend this news.

Such a helpless feeling not being sure just how to truly help out, but I’ve traveled to her house to do –anything-   until further notice—or I’m in the way more than helpful. . . 


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Christmas TO DO list

15 days to Christmasyikes!

And I still have a big

TO DO list.

I’ve checked it twice, even thrice!

Again, yikes!

How’s YOUR project list?

Mary Beth Abruzzo  –Is there anything that you can’t do? As always, I love watching your progress and can’t wait to see the finished project!
Nancy –How did you first learn carpentry? You are so skilled.
Lisa –I agree with Nancy, You are very skilled. I would love to take a class from you!!

Thank You for all the compliments to my carpentry skills. . . . . . so you want to know where it all comes from. . . ?

I LUV CONSTRUCTION.  Kind of obvious, huh?

build it yourself!As a little girl, my dad would teach me simple things and send me off to do whatever-the-task to get me out of his hair and focus on his project.  –I would complete whatever it was and return to being under foot until the next “lesson.”

The first project I remember building, I was about 6.  Our family made a last move at the end of my dad’s time in the Air Force.  The new neighbor-girl had all this cOOl doll furniture to play with–I had none.  BUT–I saw a scrap block of wood (from a 2×4) and some (4″) nails in the garage, and swiped some fabric from my mom’s stash.  I hammered the nails in at each corner of the block and wrapped the fabric around it making a canopy bed for my Wishie doll (remember those?).  

I was a Realtor for many years before moving to Phoenix in ’92, where I crossed over to the construction side of Real Estate.  I managed and renovated several large apartment complexes before getting a position in the Warranty dept of a major home builder.  It didn’t take me long to land an Asst. Superintendent role with another major builder where I took charge at Frame-to-Finish and Closing.  And -longer story short- I was later persuaded to make another switch to work for our cabinet designers.

be fearless!I tease of how I am the ultimate domestic— I can design it, build it, decorate it, AND sell it! At every stage I learned A LOT–but my furniture building/re-building skills really came out of learning the construction of cabinetry.

I was sO lucky to be surrounded by some very skilled trades along the way who shared generously, and I absorbed everything I could! And- I LUV to pay it all forward with anyone interested, especially women, ’cause. . .

power tools are—Power!


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the old pencil sharpener--So, I have been busy-busy with this closet.  And some squirrels, but more on that later.

After gutting the closet of its contents, I needed to gut the closet of the old “reconfiguration” and make a lot of wall repairs.

You can see the raw/unfinished plywood sides and wAy too thin shelveswhich is why this setup never really worked.

~But, check out that very old pencil sharpener!  I’ll put that back!

The old closet being re-worked!Gutted and repaired, I repainted the old walls a pale blue’ish gray that I had on hand.  You can really see how small this space is— 2′ w  x  2’4″ d.  Next, I ripped and cut scrap wood for cleats to support the shelves.

countertop endcuts---The shelves were a surprise material.

I planned to use melamine and have adjustable shelves -but- when I was perusing the size options to make the most cost-effective and efficient cuts I happened to notice these counter top end cuts.

12″ D  x  4ft L and $2 each.  Huh-??  There were lots of finish options including some that looked like leather, and most had an ogee edge!!

Cut in half, I could get 2 shelves from each board!

6 shelves for $6!!

Downloads4The melamine was going to run roughly $60 ~because I would have bought the full length pegged sides for the adjustable shelves.

So I changed my plan!

And I changed a few other things too.  I decided to reorganize things and make the closet’s focus all about snacks, extra supplies, then cleaning “stuff.”  *There was a lot of “junk” in there that got cleaned out.  Maybe it’ll change down the line, but for now, this is working much better.

the reorganized closet--

 new flloring and base moldingThe final thing I did was to cover over the very last of the hideous original 1961 faux cork floor.  It took 4½ 50¢ tiles to change the look and clean it up~ nice.  And I added base molding.

To summarize

3 pieces of counter top   $6

1 wire hanging basket   $5

2 hanging grippers   $5

5 12″ x 12″ floor tiles   $1.25

base molding   $6


A fresh, clean, NEW look for   $23.25!

. . . Next. . . !


hall closet BEFORE & AFTERI’m sharing this project with one of my favorite bloggers—-


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