Suppose We Have Company

If we had overnight guests, even with 2 unused bedrooms and a guest cottage, we’d be hard-pressed to put them up.

once upon a time the Treetops Room with windows on 3 walls was a calm and welcoming space.
once upon a time the Treetops Room with windows on 3 walls was a calm and welcoming space.

My immediate goal is to get the Treetops bedroom back it shape. On 3 walls this bedroom has windows that look into the tops of the tree.

The only foreign items on the bed are photos destined for the wall in the hall.
The only foreign items on the bed are photos destined for the wall in the hall.

The room has a double bed and so could accommodate 1 or 2 people.

The bed is cluttered with mostly sheets and towels.
The bed is cluttered with mostly sheets and towels.

It also has a pile of junk everywhere: tools, papers, fabric, clothing, towels, etc.

So great to have the bed cleared.
So great to have the bed cleared.

I want it ready for action so first I organized the extra towels and sheets by giving some away and stashing the rest in our linen closet in the master bedroom.

We've been keeping these tools on the second floor just in case we needed them again.
We’ve been keeping these tools on the second floor just in case we needed them again.

Charlie told me he will consolidate and clean up the tools because he doesn’t like where I might store them. I say “OK”.  Clean the tools up. They really don’t need to be in here anymore.

This clutters ultimately goes in the attic.
This clutter ultimately goes in the attic.

I put the paper — tax returns, files, bank statements, etc. — back up in the attic.

Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.
Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.

I took all the clothing on the bed and floor and put it in the little pink bedroom until our master closet is built.

I love how light-filled this bedroom is.
I love how light-filled this bedroom is.

I’m only partly finished but the end is in sight.

Spring cleaning bug got you?

Sweet ’16: The First Quarter

After making long to-do lists last year I decided to keep this year simple with just a few goals each month.

We upgraded our mailbox.
We upgraded our mailbox.

Nevertheless not everything was completed in the allotted time.  Looking back over the last three months not much was ultimately accomplished.

We started refurbishing the last piece of iron fence for the potager.
We started refurbishing the last piece of iron fence for the potager.
  1. Shower glass. 

    The shower glass in the master bathroom goes from wall to wall.
    The shower glass in the master bathroom goes from wall to wall.
  2.  Finish vanities. Both vanities, conservatory and master bathrooms, are installed but remain unfinished.
    The conservatory vanity will be faced with more old wood and a shelf built on the bottom area.
    The conservatory vanity will be faced with more old wood and a shelf built on the bottom area.

    We are waiting for the master sinks to be installed.
    We are waiting for the master sinks to be installed.
  3.  Hang bathroom lighting fixtures. Hanging the fixtures happens after the sinks are installed.

    Can't wait to hang this lighting fixture (times 2) in the master bathroom.
    Can’t wait to hang this lighting fixture (times 2) in the master bathroom.

February:

  1. Lay new wood flooring. Haven’t looked at flooring yet.
  2. Sand and polyurethane new flooring. See #1.
  3. Install thresholds. All part of the flooring project.

 March:

  1. Paint shutters. Charlie has begun the scraping process.

    Scraping has started on the 10 pairs of shutter we need for the house.
    Scraping has started on the 10 pairs of shutter we need for the house.
  2. Install interior trim. We need to purchase more trim and won’t schedule the delivery until we have a comprehensive list.

    Our carpenter has been bugging me to get this done so he can install.
    Our carpenter has been bugging me to get this done so he can install.
  3. Fill holes and sand. A tedious job which Charlie may tackle when everything is installed.
  4. Paint interior trim. My job . . . in a holding pattern until nicer weather then look out!

So did we accomplish anything in the first quarter of 2016?

Parties, parties, parties.

Tea party times 2.
Tea party times 2.

Rearranging décor items. Mantel, kitchen, dining room.

The bunnies and ducks are put away but the teal eggs remain for a while longer.
The bunnies and ducks are put away but the teal eggs remain for a while longer.

And I made some decisions on upcoming trips.

Close to home or across the country, we're planning more adventures.
Close to home or across the country, we’re planning more adventures.

We’re still planning to get these things finished but we’re not letting it get in the way of family and friends.

Remember when the living room looked like this -- for months?
Remember when the living room looked like this — for months?

We had 2 (at least) hard years of renovation when we were fairly isolated due to the chaos.

The living room from approximately the same viewpoint as above.
The living room from approximately the same viewpoint as above.

Now projects will need to fit into our lifestyle instead of vice versa.

What’s you next party? Theme? How many?

Golden Duckies

I’ve been working on the ceramic ducks and bunnies I found here.

5 little ducklings and 3 pearlized bunnies
5 little ducklings and 3 pearlized bunnies
The easy part of the project although at one point they all fell on the floor.
The easy part of the project although at one point they all fell on the floor.

First I spray painted them satin white.

I was sure I could draw scallops on my little ducks.
I was sure I could draw scallops on my little ducks like on this Herend figurine.

Then I pulled up an inspiration photo from the internet.

Sharpie on porcelain is very slippery -- perhaps a lighter color would have been better.
Sharpie on porcelain is very slippery — perhaps a lighter color would have been better.

I tried to use a Sharpie to imitate the pattern on a Herend figurine but I could not be very precise and it looked pretty horrible. As you can see I should have at least looked more closely at the original — I got the pattern inside each scallop upside down.

Even dotting the eye was tricky.
Even dotting the eye was tricky.

So I decided to just put a dot in the eye like the inspiration.

The gold paint pen worked well.
The gold paint pen worked well.

What did work however was a gold paint pen.

I'll respray the little blue failure and have a bevy of white and gold ducks. Next year they might be a totally different color altogether.
I’ll respray the little blue failure and have a bevy of white and gold ducks. Next year they might be a totally different color altogether.

I gave the tail, the feet, the wings, and the bill a shot of gold.

Everyone is a different color combination.
Everyone is a different color combination.
These newly painted white and gold duckies look improved to me.
These newly painted white and gold duckies look improved to me.

Have you wasted time this week on something ridiculous?

I’m Upgraded

Today I traded in my LG Expressions phone for an iPhone.

I thought I was up-to-date because I didn't have a flip phone -- but my red phone was not smart.
I thought I was up-to-date because I didn’t have a flip phone — but my red phone was not smart.

My old phone was so old that I could not use a transfer app to move my contacts.

Calvin spent about half an hour setting up my new phone and teaching me how to use it.
Calvin spent about half an hour setting up my new phone and teaching me how to use it.

Instead I had to stop into an AT&T store and let them have at it.

I never asked for nor used any of the 3 accessories which cluttered my phone.
I never asked for nor used any of the 3 accessories which cluttered my phone.

One of the items that let me know my old phone’s out-datedness was that new icons kept popping up on the home screen which I could not delete.

iPhone 6s in Space Gray
iPhone 6s in Space Gray

I knew the end was near.

I hope I get accustomed to the larger size.
I hope I get accustomed to the larger size.

Now that I’m living in the 21st century I feel more connected.

Coach wristlet is the perfect size to hold the iPhone 6s.
Coach wristlet is the perfect size to hold the iPhone 6s.

And a bonus is that it fits perfectly in a Coach wristlet my sister gave me.

Sidebar: I was not perked nor paid in any way for this post.

Can you give me a smart-phone tip that will be helpful to this newby?

Living Room at The Glade — 2011 vs. 2016

The living room is on the ground floor of The Glade. There’s no entrance hall (which I would really love).  The original floorplan is open so the living room just flows into the dining room.


The Glade floorplan from 2011 — before the renovation.

 

The new floor plan includes an enlarged kitchen and a conservatory with a full bathroom.
The new floor plan includes an enlarged kitchen and a conservatory with a full bathroom.

The living room has a working fireplace and lots of windows and doorways. The paint color back in 2011 was a warm yellow/tan color that I still liked even after 14 years. (We painted the new kitchen something similar.)


In 2011 the living room was in dire need of painting but we held off until after the renovation.
The living room is now painted "Revere Pewter".
The living room is now painted “Revere Pewter”.

A wall has replaced the doorway on the right of the fireplace that used to go into the kitchen.


We removed the window on the left which will give us more wall space.
The window has been closed on the left hand wall and now a very large oil painting takes its place.
The window has been removed on the left hand wall and now a very large oil painting takes its place.

The two photos directly above are of the living room taken from the same orientation. Everything was a little more crowded when all the furniture was in the living room.  Now the matching loveseats are in the conservatory and an Ikea sofa has taken their place.  The chairs are the same ones. The antique oak chest of drawers between the loveseats is also in the conservatory.

Looking into the living room from the dining room.
Looking into the living room from the dining room.
The window on the right used to be the front door.
The window on the right used to be the front door.

In the opposite corner there used to be a secretary desk and Windsor chair which were tucked next to the front door.

Secretary and Windsor chair inherited from my grandmother.
Secretary and Windsor chair inherited from my grandmother.
The window on the right used to be the front door.
The window on the right used to be the front door.

Now the door has been exchanged with the center window and opens in the other direction.

Time to change up the tablescape here for something cozier.
The window behind the coffee table has not changed but the sofa has.
We used to have a lot of furniture stuffed into the living room.
We used to have a lot of furniture stuffed into the living room.

We love all the changes made to The Glade now that we’ve got most of the rubble cleaned up.

The front door and central window in the living room have exchanged places.
The front door and central window in the living room have exchanged places.
We no longer have to walk all the way through the living room to answer the front door.
We no longer have to walk all the way through the living room to answer the front door.

We especially like the new placement of the front door.

Sidebar: Over the past 5 years I think I’ve become a better photographer.

Are you planning any radical changes?

Getting the White Towels White

Now that we have a new master bathroom with ice white tile walls our white towels look distinctly grey.

In the ice white shower our white towels look discolored.
In the ice white shower our white towels look discolored.

So I did a little research on the internet only to find I’m not the only one with this problem.

I use vinegar for a lot of cleaning dilemmas.
I use vinegar for a lot of cleaning dilemmas.

And there are numerous suggestions for its alleviation.  I decided to try the two-step method of first washing the towels in hot water with a cup of vinegar added, no laundry detergent.

I ran the towels through a regular cycle twice.
I ran the towels through a regular cycle twice.

The second step is to again wash the towels in hot water this time adding half a cup of Borax and half a cup of baking soda, also no detergent.  I put these additives in the detergent dispenser of the washing machine.

The white towels are still looking dingy.
The white towels are still looking dingy.

The towels look about the same to me so I’m on to the next suggestion.

Do you have a secret recipe for keeping whites white?