Thursday, March 23, 2017

Think Before You Downsize

In 2015, my husband and I retired, sold our house in Georgia, packed up everything we owned and moved to Alabama.  We wanted to be closer to our grandchildren. There was one request to our realtor; the new house had to be on water.  We had previously owned a little weekend place on Lake Sinclair but this time we wanted to live full time on the water.  We were perfectly content with "downsizing" too.  We looked at so many brand new beautiful homes but each had the same problem:  Bad water!  Shallow water off the dock and in some cases not even navigable during the winter months. It seemed that the best lots with good deep water were already occupied by older homes. This is why we bought a "fixer upper". 

Now after downsizing and living in our "new" house for 18 months, we have decided that we need more room!  Yes, you are reading this correctly.  We need more room! After promising that I would never ever again live in a house while remodeling, (drumroll) we are at it again. 

Here is the plan: We are adding a new garage with plenty of storage for my husband's tools and converting the current garage to a family room. 

This is a computer generated picture of how the new family room will look.  Kudos to my son for designing this using TapGlance.

This will be the view from the kitchen. 

The work has begun and I cringed when I saw the driveway being broken apart.

Seeing the chain saw attack the brick sidewalk hurt too!

I wish we had done this during the original remodel so my piece of advice is:  Think before you downsize!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Farmer's Market Makeover

One day while browsing around Hobby Lobby, I found this decor item on a kiosk in the center of the store. What actually caught my eye was the metal wire top.  It wasn't on sale and after looking at the price, I passed, hoping that it might eventually go on sale.  If you have the Hobby Lobby app, you can check each week to see what is on sale so when I found that all metal/home decor was on sale at 50%, I made a trip back to see if this little gem was still there.  It was!

I did not like the wood tray.  It was too dark and the lettering was too big.  My husband even told me that he thought it was ugly.  I really liked the wire though and I knew I could "fix" it.
When you are a DIYer, you have plenty of paint on hand so I didn't have to purchase a thing.
The color I used was Slate by Sherwin Williams. After it dried, I dry brushed it with Antique White. Then I sanded it just a little with a fine grit paper. You can see that the letters are very faint now.

I then brushed on a dark antique glaze.  Once the glaze was applied, I wiped some of it off.  You can get the look you want by just brushing on more or wiping off more. In this picture you can see the difference after the glazed is applied. The right side of this picture is before the glaze.

The glaze that I used is from a business in Woodstock, Georgia named Rethunk Junk. The owner makes all of her paints. The great thing about her products is that they can be applied directly over any item without sanding it first.  No it is not a chalk paint.  That is why I like it so much.
Here is the link to her website:

These Hyacinths were on sale at Walmart for $1.00 so I couldn't pass on that!  I placed them in these teacups and added some moss. 

I really like how it turned out. It looks more, as they say, "French Country Chic" instead of "Farmhouse Country"! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A "Busy" Kind of Project

Development of fine motor skills is important for toddlers and preschool children. Hands on activities stimulate a child's senses and encourage critical thinking.  Do I sound like a teacher?  During my 30 years of teaching school, I observed that children learn from "hands on" activities because it promotes application skills.  Have you seen "busy boards" or "sensory boards"?  Pinterest has so many ideas for them but they all looked like boards for boys.


We decided to make a girl's version for our granddaughter for her 2nd birthday.  We refer to it as our girl prototype. My husband built the base and then I sanded and painted it white. It needed some "girl" color so I taped it and painted pink stripes. 

Behind each door we placed a picture of each side of the family.

My husband then added all the goodies: latches, wheels, bolts, springs, etc.  All the little things that will promote tactile learning and dexterity of those little fingers. 

I painted the back with chalkboard paint. 

Then we had the real test of this little busy board prototype. 

I think it passed the test!  Now we have to make one for our other little granddaughter.  Our oldest even asked if we would make one for her without "baby" things.  Hmmm.  What would we put on one for a seven year old girl?  I need to do some research on that one.  Sounds like another prototype is coming soon!