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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring!




Easter vignette on my jelly cupboard, with a print from a Dear Lillie download.  I love Dear Lillie.  They have become my go to place for chalkboard art when I am too busy or maybe just too lazy to do my own chalkboard work.  Jennifer's beautiful work is much better than what I can do anyway!
Please excuse the quality of this photo. I shot this one with my camera phone. The walls in our kitchen are Tuscan gold and for some reason are difficult to photograph.


The daffodils were saved from the freeze we had a couple of days before Easter.
They always brighten up a room. I used my Pentax for this photo but I'm a bit out of practice. My settings were a bit off and it is a little grainy. Guess I will need to brush up on my photo skills.



I'm still busy unpacking here in Georgia but taking it slowly and allowing a little time to enjoy the beautiful weather. Hope you are having a beautiful Spring where you are.

Vicki

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter - He is Risen!




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Life Happens


Life keeps throwing us curve balls.  I haven't posted about what has been going on in our lives in the last two years. I think the last time I wrote about the farm was when we were trying to sell it, which we started doing in 2009 (yes, right when the real estate market crashed.) We continued to have it on the market off and on.. Well, we finally sold it! Actually, it will be a year next month.  That was good and bad news. The good news is we are no longer having to maintain 9 acres of land, two houses, a mortgage and the rent on another house. The bad news is we did not get what we wanted for it and what we believe it was worth. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do what you have to do to have a little peace in your life.

So, we were already living in a leased house because we had a contract on the farm about eight or nine months before we actually sold it. The contract called for an early move-in. So, we leased a house for a year so that the potential buyer could move in. There were very strict stipulations as to what could and could not be done to the house before the closing. Unfortunately, the potential buyer ignored those stipulations and I won't bore you with the details but we were stuck with a lease on a house and had our house back on the market. Never, ever, no matter what, allow an early move-in prior to closing on a house sale. I knew better. I even said so, but we were so very anxious to sell, we did not heed our own warning bells.  So we leased out both farm houses and waited for our lease to be up while we were still trying to sell the farm. Finally, we did sell it as I have already stated above (redundancy is fun) about this time last year. 

In April of last year after selling the farm, our lease was up on the house where we were living. We really like the little house we were leasing. It was very well built, had beautiful landscaping and all the room we needed. Unfortunately, it was a split level and there were fourteen steps to get to the main level, no matter how you entered the house. That got old very quickly for two mature people with bad knees and backs, carrying groceries up to the kitchen. So we decided to find another house. We weren't and still aren't, ready to buy again because we are not sure where we actually want to be when John retires in May. 

We found a really lovely, two story, three bedroom, two and one-half bath house with bonus room (art studio!) and with step-less entry to the main living area, including the master on the main floor. We decided we would like to stay here for two years at least...until April 2016, because frankly, the two moves in two years had taken its toll on this old gal and guy and we wanted to rest for awhile. I wanted to spend my time downsizing my art and craft supplies and other things. One can accumulate a lot of "stuff" when one lives in the same place for 22 years!  We had a massive yard sale when we left the farm and gave a ton of things away but still have way too much for our "golden" years. I want time to paint, read, garden, travel and basically have fun without having "stuff" to take care of and worry about. So, two years at least, we planned to stay. The other important reason we wanted to continue to lease is that we are not sure just where we want to have our home base during retirement. We are thinking of staying here but are also considering Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Equador  and even Pennsylvania.  I'm not sure we are serious about the last two, but you never know. The owner of this house is in the Navy.  When we moved in, we were told that she had four years left  before retirement. Perfect, right?

Then life happened. The owner decided to retire from the Navy early and will be wanting her house back at the end of our one year lease on March 31.  So, here we are again, hurrying to sort out what we want to keep and what we want to part with and packing and living life and also scouting to locate a house that can be "home" until we finally decide where we want to be for the rest of our lives. 

So now my blog is up to date, more or less. Hopefully, I can find a little time to keep it that way.

Wishing you graceful moments...


Vicki







Saturday, July 6, 2013

Painted Chest Reveal

This is the chest that I painted.  The before photo is below.


This is the BEFORE photo.  I had started testing my paint on one drawer when I realized I had not taken any photos of the original chest. You can see how the stained finish is badly in need of refinishing. This photo is before I lightly sanded the entire piece.


Notice the missing brass pull on the top left drawer. It disappeared while I was polishing the pulls. These are antique pulls and very difficult to replace. I have been searching online and have found a few items that might work but none that are an exact match. Makes me very sad. I will have to find a replacement or change all of the pulls. Like I said, it makes me sad.


This photo more accurately captures the actual color of the chest.  The latex paint was purchased at Lowe's.  I love their Valspar Signature© base paint. It is a paint and primer mix which saves a step and I am a big fan of saving steps. The color I chose is "Dill." It is from the Eddie Bauer© Lakeside Cottage collection. I used an unsanded grout,  mixed with the paint and a bit of water, to make a "chalk" type of paint.  The grout color is "magnolia" and is a very dark green. I was happily surprised that it didn't change the color too much.


This tray is painted with the chalk paint. Notice that it is a much brighter color than the chest. There are two reasons for that. When I lightly sanded the chest and wiped it down with a damp cloth, some of the stain dust must have remained on the chest. As I painted the chest, I picked up a bit of  the stain in each brush stroke. It toned down the brightness a bit and gave nice depth to the color. Happy accident!  I toned it down a bit more by using Valspar© "Mocha" translucent glaze on the dry paint. I brushed the glaze on and then took a cloth and wiped it off; similar to how I would use a stain.  



The next step was to lightly distress the piece with a fine grain sandpaper. The final step was hand waxing the entire piece with Minwax© Paste Finishing Wax. I used the Natural color.  This photo and the next one show the nice sheen from the wax and some of the lightly distressed areas. 





I was hesitant to do this. It was an antique piece and probably would have fetched a good price if refinished. However, since I love the chest and wanted to keep it and use it, painting was the best choice. I am really happy with how it turned out. 



Now, if I could just find that little piece of hardware....

Recipe for the paint:  For each cup of latex paint, add 1-2 tablespoons unsanded grout. I used a plastic paint bucket with measurement markers to mix the paint. The paint will continue to thicken while you are using it unless you work pretty quickly. Add water as needed to thin the mixture to the consistency you want.

Until next time....  Vicki

Update: I found the missing hardware in our move to another house! It was stuck inside one of the drawers!