Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Not much today - I can't take looking at the screen long. As if having a migraine isn't enough, there is something wrong with my monitor - everything looks like it is smeared to the right. Which means I really can't tell if this picture is as bad as I think it is or if it just looks that way on my screen. (it is a picture of the ghosts hanging across the road three houses down - it looked better on the camera screen)

Anyway - hope you have a great time 'trick or treating' tonight. I'm taking my head for a nap.

The state of my monitor (and my head) may determine if there is a post tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just a little 'boo'

Thought I would pop in for a quick hello this morning.

This cabinet is in the entry, facing the dining room. I don't really have a lot of 'Halloween' decorations, I try to keep to 'fall' so I can leave them out until I pull out the Christmas decor. I tried to take a closer pic of the framed pieces but there was a glare and I never went back to try again. The framed pumpkin (Too Cute For Pie) stays out all year - so not my 'colors' but I love that piece!

I picked up this little gray and black pumpkin at Home Goods (I think) last year - after Halloween I'll turn it around since the other side is blank.

I've got a long list of things to do today and this weekend - I'm going to try and do the majority of the cleaning this weekend so I don't end up having to do it all Monday and Tuesday. How are you going to spend your weekend?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just another day

Yep - this is a typical day in the living room/family room/den - whatever you call it at your house.

I do actually clean up in here on occasion. Kinda like the bar - if I know you are coming . . . Most of the coffee table is my fault - magazines that need either need to be put away or tossed in the recycle bin, cross stitch project that I pile there because if I put it away I'm less likely to actually stitch if I sit down (my stitching chair is to the right in this picture). The sofa - well, that is another story. Wanna know who rules the sofa? That would be the dogs! There are two other pillows that are on the floor between the coffee table and the sofa - they push them off in the many circles around to find just the right spot to nap. Tennis balls - there are two you can see but I know there is another one in the right corner. Autumn is slacking - there are usually at least half a dozen on there.

Somewhere around Tuesday, I'll throw that blanket in the wash along with that pillow cover and give the sofa and pillows that aren't washable a good vacuum so it will be nice and fresh when the girlfriends come on Wednesday.

See, it cleans up well. (old pic, before I painted the end table - that coffee table is on the hit list as soon as the girlfriends leave!)

If I clean it before then, it will look like the first picture again before they get here and I'll just have to do it again.

Clouds are rolling in. We are supposed to have a cold front moving through this afternoon (hopefully it will take care of the killer skeeters!) and maybe a little rain.

For dinner tonight - 'tater soup!

Linking up with Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for Reality Shot Thursday. (Can't believe I'm actually posting these pictures)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We have been invaded

By killer skeeters! Well, according to the tv, they are 'harmless', meaning they aren't bringing West Nile Virus with them, but the suckers can (and do) bite right through your clothes! Nothing comes free and this is how we are paying for the rain we had two weeks ago. The temps are supposed to start down tomorrow - hopefully enough to kill the killer skeeters. They don't usually bother hubby but they have even driven him indoors the last few days.

Since I don't have any skeeter pictures (if I get close enough to one to snap a picture you can bet I'll be killing that sucker, not snapping a pic!) I'm showing the other closet I painted Friday (instead of pictures of skeeters).

This picture was right after we moved in. This is under the stairs - I should have measured how far that shelf is off the ground but I didn't and I'm too lazy to go do it now. I don't know if they intended it to be some kind of coat closet or what, but the only coats that would hang there are kids coats - small kids. My 'baby' will be 25 in a few weeks. 'nuff said?

I got it painted and we added shelving. I considered taking that wire shelf out completely but it wasn't going anywhere w/o having to do some major wall repair - I have no idea how they got that sucker in there, so I just painted around it. Hubby seemed a little concerned that I tagged the shelf under the wire shelf 'the chalk paint shelf'. I only have the one can of paint and one can of wax at the moment, but I guess he got the hint that I won't be stopping there. (there is room to move the other stuff around)

This completes the (boring) closet tour for the week. The only things left to paint (inside) are the master closet but I want to rebuild the racks/shelves in there first, and the kitchen cabinets but I'm still debating chalk paint or hiring that out so both of those projects will be put off until after the holidays.

Tomorrow is reality Thursday - there is a lot of reality going on around here right now!

Making a casserole (King Ranch Chicken) to freeze for next week. I will make a small pan for dinner tonight and freeze a larger pan for next week. Don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen when the girlfriends are here! Off to check on my chicken!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pink tools rock!

Well, I'm a bit behind!

I got the pantry and closet painted on Friday. On Saturday we went out and picked up a few things, of course going anywhere here takes forever and we stayed out just long enough that I really didn't want to get back to the pantry so I planned on putting it back together on Sunday - I did NOT count on being sick all day Sunday! I tried a couple of times but I just couldn't do it. (I actually slept most of Sunday) I was somewhat better yesterday so I got the pantry loaded back up. (I had to work in short spurts, but I got it done)

Nothing exciting. It was just the fugly builder beige and I just changed it to white. I just put the shelving back in as it was - eventually I may try to re-build the shelving, I think I can make it better.

Anyway - I had bought some lighting to put up but hubby didn't get around to it on Sunday. I mentioned it to him last night but they were still not installed today (football, baseball, etc. . . lights)

So I broke out the pink tools and did it myself!

Kinda hard to tell the difference in the middle of the day, but this is with the lights off

and with them on. They definitely put out more light than the 'tap lights' we had in there before.

Well - I'm behind and I have company coming next week so I should get busy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Painted pumpkins

I picked up these two little pumpkins at Wally World a couple of weeks ago for (I think) .97 each.

They were both orange but I knew I was going to paint them white. The problem came with the one on the left. It had little green stripes in each crease and no matter how many coats of paint I put on, the green kept bleeding through. (I was doing this while I was painting furniture last week, but I just used craft paint on these) I finally gave up and found some khaki paint and that seemed to cover it. I waited to see if it was going to bleed through but thankfully that color worked. I'm still debating - should I paint the stems? If I paint them, should they be green or brown?

While I'm pondering stems, I put them on top of the cabinet in the kitchen.

I'm once again waiting for paint to dry. I seem to do that a lot. I've got one coat of paint on both the pantry and the small closet under the stairs. I did not take before pictures - seriously, just two small cubbbie holes with flat beige paint and wire shelves. I can't say that there will be much to see after I paint either. (I'm just painting white and going back with the same shelving)

I would love to have a pantry where I could use one of those pretty glass doors or even an old fashioned screen door, but I use the racks that are on the inside of the door. :( While I was in there painting I kept trying to figure out a way to make better use of the space so I haven't given up totally! There really has to be a better way. I am adding some lighting - I have no idea why they did not put a light in the pantry. Seriously, it is the only closet in the house without a light. I tried some of those 'tap lights' and they were better than nothing, but the other day I found some small, battery operated strip lights (LED) at Sam's and figured they had to give off more light. They were not expensive and since they are LED, shouldn't run through batteries too quickly, especially since they won't really be on much.

Well, I'm going to try to read a few blogs, then get back to painting. Small space + large, claustrophobic woman = it ain't pretty but it is getting done!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So, the other day I showed you one of the bar stools I painted with ASCP.

Wanna see the reality shot?

If you just show up at my house, this is what you would likely see. Maybe not the exact same stuff, but as most flat surfaces in my house, this spot attracts clutter. You can see the corner of the table - it is covered with a sheet because that is where I was painting. It isn't often that I don't have some kind of project spread out there.

But - if I know you are coming, I can clean it up! Now, by this time tomorrow you probably won't be able to see either surface because I plan to paint the pantry and the closet under the stairs this weekend and that stuff has to go somewhere!

I'm linking up with Claudia for Reality Shot Thursday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trunk is finished!

We finally got the army trunk hauled upstairs last night. (I posted a before pic earlier)

This is what happened to my poly when I was coating the black parts of the trunk. The can on the right is the one I was using on the trunk, the one on the left is one I bought to go over the white parts after the other can turned gray. You can see why I needed to coat it with something before bringing it inside!

While it seemed to not transfer color after the first coat, I was still a little scared of putting the trunk directly on the carpet so we added some casters to the bottom.

Also makes it easier to move around! I'm waiting another day or so before putting anything on top even though it seems completely dry. The chairs are on the 'to be replaced' list. I'm hoping for a small sofa to go there (the hubby wants a recliner - we will see) I can't remember if I showed this room after I got all the stuff back on the walls, but you can see most of baby boy's play posters are on the wall behind the chairs.

I ended up putting his senior play poster and his 'movie' poster (he spent one day as an extra on the set of 'Mr. Brooks' so I framed a movie poster along with his pay stub, cost me more to frame it than he got paid!) in the corner along with some other stuff I couldn't figure out where to hang. This room is done except for replacing those chairs. (and eventually replacing the carpet with wood floors but that is way down the list since there is nothing wrong with the carpet!) Well, done until I think something needs to be changed and you never know when that will happen!

We are having some wonderful fall weather - love it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The side table

I've had this side table for years (ignore the dust)

and I've wanted to paint it almost since I got it!

I finally got around to getting it painted when I had the ASCP out last week. Got her all waxed up and ready to put back in service!

So much better.

I still have more pieces I want to get painted but I've put the ASCP away for now. I might get the pantry painted (not with chalk paint! the can says you an use it on walls but my, my, that would be expensive! I'll stick to the white latex for the pantry.) but other than that, I need to get some other things done before I get back to furniture painting.

The weather is changing - a cold front is blowing in! Finally some actual fall weather. I've got chili on the menu for dinner tonight!

Hope to get the hubby to help me bring the trunk in tonight and I'll show it tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chalk paint

With all the posts about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint going around blog land I knew that eventually I would get around to giving it a try.

I held out until I could buy it close enough to me to not have to pay shipping, plus I just wanted to see it in person before I put out the $$ for it. So, weekend before last I found The Restored Home in an antique mall in Alvin and asked the hubby if we could drive over. (my 'Houston' driving is limited to right here around the house, which for the most part is just fine) I lucked out that Rhonda happened to be there when we stopped in so it was nice to actually talk to her. She has some really beautiful pieces in her booth. (she also has a blog where she shares tips)

So, I had my paint and my wax, I just needed to pick my first victim(s).

I decided I would paint the bar stools

and this plant stand.

One of the things that really caught my attention is that you don't have to sand before you paint and yes, it does work. The three pieces I started with were all dark and it took me three coats to get decent coverage. I've seen people say they don't have brush marks but I will have to say I had lots of brush marks. That said, it is super easy to sand to a smooth finish, and the paint dries really fast so you don't have to wait long to paint another coat or to sand. I don't know how to explain the 'it sticks but it is easy to sand/distress' part, I just know it works!

At the last minute I decided I would take my projects outside to sand them. Good decision.

As you can see, the sanding makes a huge mess! (think banging erasers together at school, if you are old enough that there were actually chalk boards in the classroom!) I did read later that you could wax before sanding so I tried that with the next project (which is almost done!) but I couldn't tell it was really any less messy. :( I was really hoping to use the chalk paint on a big project that I didn't want to have to take out side and was (still am) considering it for my kitchen cabinets, but the sanding dust might be an issue. Time will tell.

Anywho - here is what my projects look like painted, sanded and waxed.

The plant stand is right as you come in the front door.

And the bar stools are at the breakfast bar. Okay - only one in this picture because if I back up far enough to take a picture of both, you see the bar too - that might be my 'reality Thursday' pic.

Close-up of the distressing on the bar stool. You can't really see in the pic, but the seat is extremely smooth!

I have another project almost finished and I still have about half the quart of paint and well over half the wax. Next I want to try layering different colors but that means a trip back to The Restored Home.

So, just like most things, there are pros and cons to the chalk paint. I love the finish and will absolutely use it again (I only have another half-dozen, more or less, projects in mind) but I'm sure I'll also use latex paint too. It all depends on the project and the look you are going for.

I was hoping to be finished with the trunk but we had to make an unexpected trip out of town yesterday so I've still got a coat of poly to finish up and then will give it time to dry before we bring it in. (I'll have to have the hubby's help with that since it is coming upstairs!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

So many projects

So little time!

I'm still working on the projects I showed yesterday. I hope to finish those and the one in the garage over the weekend. Will I have started another before I get back here on Monday?

Here are a couple of pics of the 'garage project'

I have no idea where this trunk spent the last 60+ years. (it belonged to hubby's dad, we found it when cleaning out the garage after his mother sold her house) We have had it for the past 3 and it has been in our garage since we moved here. In the past it was likely stored in a basement or barn.

I'm not sure if I took this pic of the inside before or after I started sanding - you really can't tell much difference just by looking anyway, but you can feel the difference! I would have sanded it more but I was out of sandpaper so I called it good enough. It was pretty smelly (musty?) too so I sprayed it with some odor removing stuff I found at Lowe's before and after I sanded then coated the inside with 3 coats of Polycrylic. Hopefully that keep it from starting to smell again when it comes inside and is closed. I'm working on getting the poly on the outside - I'm really glad I did the inside first since the black is coming off when I put the first coat on and my once 'milky white' poly is now a nasty gray color. (doesn't matter on the black part but might not have looked so good on the inside!)

What will go in it remains in debate, but it will be going in the game room to be used as a coffee table. (I just hope it doesn't 'grow' between the garage and game room. You know how things look so much larger when you get them inside and that room is about full now)

Well, now you know what I will be up to for the weekend, what will you be up to? We are supposed to have nice weather so that's a good thing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Told ya

Remember the pic of my breakfast room table (from the last post)? I told ya it wouldn't stay that way long!

This is also why I never got around to posting yesterday (I never even made it upstairs!) I also have a project going in the garage. I think I have project A.D.D.

I'm linking up with Claudia @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage for her Reality Shot Thursday, then I'm off to play with sandpaper.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the table

Last week I made a little table topper for fall.

Thought I would show it to you while it is actually on the table - this table is usually over-run with projects or sometimes just with crap that has made into the house, sometimes both.

It won't stay this way - I have projects to get too!
(those are Honey Crisp apples - yumm!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Super Sunday!

Yesterday was great! It rained most of the day - can't even remember the last time we had this much rain!

Hopefully some of it actually soaked into the ground instead of just running off - the ground is so hard right now!

So, what did you do this weekend? Saturday we were out and about - I picked up a little something for some projects - I can't wait to use it but I have a few things I need to do first. :(

I did finish my rocker project.
This little rocker was mine - I think I got it for my first birthday so it ain't young. It is, however, a bit dusty!

It has been recovered once before, (not by me) I think it was originally orange. (I have a picture somewhere, but since it is a black and white photo it wouldn't be a lot of help) The vinyl had become sticky for some reason - no idea why, but no matter what I cleaned it with, the sticky always came back. It also had a tear in the back so I thought it was time for a make-over.

I'm not sure I'm crazy about the fabric I used but I just couldn't find anything I really liked that didn't look totally girly - this was on sale so I don't have a lot of $$ in it. I almost used drop cloth but was afraid it would show dirt too quickly. Not sure why it matters since there are no little kids around to sit in it! (I don't know why the back looks crooked in the photo - it isn't in real life. Camera angle I guess) It will stay this way for awhile anyway - I have decided you need eight arms to upholster!

I've spent most of the day outside working on one of those projects that I have been putting off - working on FIL's Army trunk. Sanded and cleaned on the outside and was pretty optimistic, then I opened it. Smelly - yuck. I sanded on it a bit (no telling what I was inhaling) then wiped it down and left it open to air out. (suggestions welcome!) I'm going to wash the whole thing down with some bleach/water but I'm out of bleach so that will have to wait for another day. Once I get it cleaned well (and not smelly) I will seal it with some poly and it will be used in the game room as a coffee table. I'm not planning to paint it since it has his name painted on it.

I was asked to share info on the cross stitch pieces in the post from Friday, I have edited that post to include that info.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A little here

Been putting out a little Halloween/Fall decor here and there. Had a couple of nice 'closer to fall' days but it is warm and muggy again. :(

Hope to get my little rocker back together this weekend (hope I can remember how it goes together!)

Have a great weekend!

edited to add project info:
Left - Pumpkin Time Heart, The Sweetheart Tree
Center (back) - Grins of Delight, Shepherd's Bush
Center (front) - Eek, Lizzie Kate, limited edition kit
Right - My Other Car is a Broom, Lizzie Kate

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On the left

I"m going to try linking to Claudia's Reality Shot Thursday party. I've never participated in a linky party so who knows if I can figure it out or not!

This is the left side of my stitching chair. The big 'book' is where all my junk is supposed to be put away - it rarely happens. Lets see what we have - a ring of floss (for the stocking I showed the other day) my phone, chapstick, hand lotion, needles, thread (I sewed binding on a table topper this morning) a gum container I have been using as a snippet jar, glasses case, nail file, highlighter, scissors (only one pair - interesting) letter opener (it is a little clear plastic jobbie hiding under the scissors and highlighter), Romantic Homes magazine, more needles and 3 (yes, count 'em, three) remotes.

And yes - the project from yesterday is a small rocker. Other side has been painted and I am not-so-patiently waiting for the paint to dry before I take the sanding block to it!

Now let me see if I can figure out this linky party stuff.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pieces, parts and waiting for paint to dry

The mornings here are still really nice (though the weather man warns tomorrow won't be as nice) so I spent a bit of time outside working on this.

Some of the parts of my current project. Finally got them sanded this morning. Know what it is?

Didn't have any primer (how did that happen?) and wasn't really in the mood to change out of my painting clothes and go to the store, so I just went ahead with the (spray) paint. I plan on distressing anyway so I figured skipping the primer step couldn't hurt too much. :) Now I am waiting on paint to dry so I can turn them over and paint the other side (patience is not really something I'm good at) I would really like to get back out there today but I am going to wait. Can you hear my toes tapping while I wait? Not like I don't have anything else to do.

Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Looked out my sewing room window a little while ago and saw this

The neighbors down the street really like decorating for Halloween.

Zoomed in a bit. Sometime before the end of the month I will walk down and take pics of their yard (this is across the street from their house - we don't have any houses on the other side of the street)

Monday, October 3, 2011

A great weekend!

We had a great weekend, I hope you did too! Our weather was really nice (still is, though it is sure not to last).

We got out on Friday and did some running around - which included a trip to 3 Stitches so I could pick up some thread I needed to work on a (long-time WIP) stocking. I have 6 of these things to do and this is number 2. I started them at least 10+ years ago.

I snapped a pic so I would have one to post. It's not a great pic since I didn't take it off the scrolls - just unrolled enough to get the pic.

I have another 'project' going - it will take me awhile to finish since it includes sanding and painting. Not a lot of painting or sanding, but I haven't started that part yet!

Lots of catching up to do since I kinda ignored laundry and all other house stuff while Brian was here. We won't even get into how far behind I am in all things bloggy. :)

Have a great day!