And So I Did

Last Saturday I made a short list of tasks to complete and I’m happy to say the list is complete.

I finished covering all four dining room chair seats.
I finished covering all four dining room chair seats.

The morning was filled with stapling until all the chair seats were reupholstered. Chairs 1, Chairs 2.

The chair seats are very plain and will show stains if not protected.
The chair seats are very plain and will show stains if not protected.
I had 2 cans of ScotchGuard on hand which should be protective.
I had 2 cans of ScotchGuard on hand which should be protective.

I laid the four cushions outside and sprayed them heavily with ScotchGuard.

Exterior trim paint.
Exterior trim paint.
I don't have enough paint to finish all the shutters but I can use it as a base coat.
I don’t have enough paint to finish all the shutters but I can use it as a base coat.

I found the paint for the exterior window trim and shutters.

My dermatologist suggested Cerave for morning and night creams and Neutrogena for cosmetics.
My dermatologist suggested Cerave for morning and night creams and Neutrogena for cosmetics.

I treated myself to some skin products recommended by my dermatologist. The above brand seems to be scent-free and doesn’t irritate.

I like using liquid soap especially in the shower.
I like using liquid soap especially in the shower.

I had already been using Dove in the shower which is also recommended.

I cleared up a box and Charlie got rid of the pile in front of the dresser in the conservatory.
I cleared up a box and Charlie got rid of the pile in front of the dresser in the conservatory.
I added a standing lamp to the television side of the room so the book club could see to read.
I added a standing lamp to the television side of the room so the book club could see to read.

Finally I got rid of two boxes of clutter with Charlie’s help.

What have you been meaning to do?

Today I Will:

I have some lots of unfinished projects. In the past I’ve planned for the week or month. Now I’m planning for just today.

One down, 3 to go.
One down, 3 to go.

Today I will finish covering the dining room chairs.

Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel Exterior Paint is necessary for the exterior window trim.
Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel Exterior Paint is necessary for the exterior window trim.

Today I will find the paint for the exterior window trim and shutters.

Skin care moisturizers recommended by my dermatologist.
Skin care moisturizers recommended by my dermatologist.

Today I will treat myself to some skin products recommended by my dermatologist.

Box by box we're clearing the attic.
Box by box we’re clearing the attic.

Finally I will get rid of two boxes of clutter.

What’re ya doin?

A New Room Plan

I’m trying to convince a friend of mine to let me help her paint her living room.

A not-to-scale drawing of the living room I'd like to paint.
A not-to-scale drawing of the living room I’d like to paint.

The room probably measures about 9 feet by 12 feet.

My friend's room has faux white brick next to dark wood paneling similar to the picture above.
My friend’s room has faux white brick next to dark wood paneling similar to the picture above.

Now the walls are a mixture of textures and colors:

The wall on the right of the front door is faux white painted brick with black lines painted in the mortar section.
The wall on the right of the front door is faux white painted brick with black lines painted in the mortar section.
The adjacent wall behind the sofa is super dark wood paneling.
The adjacent wall behind the sofa is super dark wood paneling.

My first thought was to paint the walls white and put a beautiful rose pink (my friend’s favorite color) on the ceiling except that the ceiling flows through the rest of the first floor and into the kitchen without physical barrier so I nixed that idea.

White Dove for the walls and Simply White for the ceiling and trim.
White Dove for the walls and Simply White for the ceiling and trim.

Instead the ceiling also needs to be white.  I am thinking of suggesting Benjamin Moore’s Simply White on the ceiling and trim and White Dove on the walls.

An Ikea Ektorp in beige would also brighten the space.
An Ikea Ektorp in beige would also brighten the space.

I also have plans to replace the sofa and maybe the rug.

A new rug would mean pulling up the old wall-to-wall. I wonder what's underneath.
A new rug would mean pulling up the old wall-to-wall. I wonder what’s underneath.

I’ll really have to be sneaky persuasive to pull that off.

What line of logic would you use to convince a friend that she wants your help?

Rain and More Rain

I know April is supposed to be a rainy month — April showers and all — but I have projects to do. Outside.

I need the left section of fence to finish off the potage entrance.
I need the left section of fence to finish off the potage entrance.

I started painting the last piece of iron fence that goes at the front of the potager .

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

It needs at least another coat of navy spray paint.

A good base coat of Rustoleum's Rust Inhibitor (matte black) covered with navy blue enamel.
A good base coat of Rustoleum’s Rust Inhibitor (matte black) covered with navy blue enamel.

I reserve spray painting for outside.

We used an old piece of rebar cut into 2-foot lengths to support the fence.
We used an old piece of rebar cut into 2-foot lengths to support the fence.

Charlie needs to find the rebar that we had specially cut to secure this fence.  It must be around someplace.  I hope.

The iris blades are growing fast near the fence.
The iris blades are growing fast near the fence.

The irises are starting to break through the ground so I’d like to get this fence in place as soon as possible.

Purple iris flank the iron gate to the potager in May. (2015)
Purple iris flank the iron gate to the potager in May. (2015)

Won’t be long now until it looks like this again.

We're due for a bumper crop of lilacs this year.
We’re due for a bumper crop of lilacs this year.

Looking forward to lilacs this year also.

What’s growing in your garden?

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?

Goings On

First I’d like to respond to a comment from Hidden Hoarder about the solar frog on our side porch.

The frog needs absolute darkness in order to see its internal light.
The frog needs absolute darkness in order to see its internal light.
SolarFrog
The frog needs absolute darkness in order to see its internal light.

I wasn’t sure I could take a reasonable photo of it lit up in the dark.  But there it is.

We own a good variety of games.
We own a good variety of games.

I also started thinking about Game Night.  The antique wash stand in the living room is full of games.

There are even a couple of hand-cut puzzles in the game cupboard.
There are even a couple of hand-cut puzzles in the game cupboard.

I wanted to decide which games we would try to play on our first Game Night in a long time.

This is a fairly innocent game that gets people talking and reveals some unexpected information.
This is a fairly innocent game that gets people talking and reveals some unexpected information.

I narrowed it down to an ice breaker, Boxers and Briefs, and one of two other games.

Hoopla is a game in which everybody playing cooperates to finish the game.
Hoopla is a game in which everybody playing cooperates to finish the game.

We’re shooting for about a dozen people, more than that and we’ll play Hoopla, fewer, Team Trivial Pursuit. My first choice would be Trivial Pursuit.

We've been storing the shutters in the shed.
We’ve been storing the shutters in the shed — the ones in view are only about half the number we have.

Finally, we have a huge pile of exterior shutters that need to be painted.

Charlie prefers the triangle-shaped scraper.
Charlie prefers the triangle-shaped scraper.

Charlie began scraping the old paint this afternoon.

Charlie thought he was finished with this shutter until he looked at the groove full of chippy paint.
Charlie thought he was finished with this shutter until he looked at the groove full of chippy paint.

He estimates 20 minutes per side for scraping.  Then they need to be primed, painted and rehung.

Shutters are difficult to paint with a brush so I plan to use my paint sprayer.
Shutters are difficult to paint with a brush so I plan to use my paint sprayer.

This project might take a while, years even.

What’s going on at your place?

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?