Category Archives: Redecorating

A New Year

Is it safe to put my head above the parapet yet? Have all the Christmas decorations and cards come down? Is everything back to normal? Well, it is in our house, leaving me with just one thing to say:

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

What does the new year hold in store for me, I wonder. Certainly hope a better one than that just gone. It was a year of  change and adjustments mainly centred on the man in my life: Dave underwent major surgery last April, then cataract ops (the second eye being done next Monday) and back in July he finally retired from work so lots of adjustments needed there on both parts but it has been lovely having him home. He told me the other day he’s enjoyed every minute of it so we must be doing something right. And even though my health hadn’t been top form, it wasn’t all bad and I did manage to get away for a week abroad to visit my brother for his 70th birthday.

Talking of holidays and birthdays, Dave is 70 in February and it’s our 40th wedding anniversary later in the year so we are planning a holiday once he gets his passport. His retirement gift from his boss was a four-figure holiday voucher so we are discussing where to go whilst waiting for the holiday brochures to arrive. This will be his first holiday for 20 years. We’re not into big celebrations or parties but we’ll come up with something to mark both occasions in our own little way.

Also looming is my first public art exhibition scheduled for May. I took the plunge last summer and joined an art group. There is no tutor, we do our own thing in our own medium. Some are leisure painters, others qualified and skilful in their craft. I still feel a little like the new girl in school and yet to learn everyone’s name but the discipline and concentration of being in a dedicated art group for a couple of hours each week is proving beneficial. The advice and support both received and given is beyond value and I’ve learnt a lot. So I’m busy deciding which pieces to exhibit and the best way to frame them. I had the two works below lined up but they’ve sold, which is wonderful. Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide what to paint next.

Dave suggested I paint the walls in the lounge. I don’t think he’s got the hang of this art business yet! But yes, we do have redecorating to do downstairs this year. There’s a fireplace we want removed, wallpaper to strip, walls replastered (and painted), ceilings repaired and oh dear, I have to start sorting out cupboards and decluttering as all the furniture and bits in the lounge and dining room will need to go into commercial storage as we have no garage and no room upstairs.

What else…? Oh, did I tell you I have novel due out in the next month or so? No? Hopefully, yes. And maybe one or two more during the year. Depends on how well everything goes, that’s if I can find the time between the paintbrushes and the garden spade as there’s lots to do outside as soon as the weather warms up. Roll on Spring. I did notice this morning through the rain that the snowdrops on the front lawn are in bud along with several hellebores, the daffodils are poking through and for the past week we’ve noted we’re drawing the curtains later and later of an afternoon so perhaps Spring isn’t so far away after all.

Okay, there were two things I wanted to say. The other is:

I HOPE 2018 PROVES TO BE PEACEFUL, SUCCESSFUL AND EXCITING FOR YOU TOO!

Advertisements

What Happened to February?

Well, what happened to February? It’s gone by in a flashier flash than even January did! 20170226_111643Maybe it’s because Chez Jones has been inundated with workmen since the beginning of the year with a bathroom remodel and copious other little jobs that spun from that one big one. I’m sure you know the sort of thing I mean: the leak from the newly installed toilet that produced a waterfall through the kitchen ceiling which consequently required repainting, the drip from the mains water tap discovered when they turned off the water supply to start the work, and which had resulted in an annual water bill which was basically double the norm (since been sorted, thankfully – both the leak and the bill!), and the new bathroom spotlights and extractor fan which resulted in discovering that the whole house needing re-wiring!! Suffice to say, we are doing the re-wiring thing in stages. Our nerves (and bank account) need time to settle down 😉 But that said, we absolutely love the new bathroom and said workmen did a fab job with everything. Such a great group of chaps – artisans, all of them.

20170218_113500In other news, Vivvy is doing really well with her training. She now has her bronze and silver awards and we are currently working on her gold (although Daddy says she’s already his golden girl *eye roll*). She picks up things really fast, especially if there’s a treat at the end of it, and seems to love scent work and hide & seek games the best. I’m trying to teach her to put her toys back in the box at the moment, but that’s a work in progress. I think she wonders why her minions can’t do that sort of menial task, thank you very much. I’m also attempting to teach her the cup game, but she just knocks all the cups over until she finds the treat underneath. Something to keep working on, I think, and maybe one day she’ll be as good at the task as Snow the cat in the following video:

 

 

Last 2016 Project

I seem to do the same thing with time and accomplishments as I do with money. That is, at the end of the year I think where did it go. At one point when I was down about not getting anything done, Laurie suggested I do a ‘did it list’ to go along with my always ‘to do list’. Does it sound like I’m a list maker? Big time, sometimes I think I have lists for lists. 🙂

Okay I’m regressing here.   I do make daily lists, but a few years ago I put the major things down for the year. Looking back on 2016 I didn’t do so bad. I even got in 3 really great trips. Now, just to make it clear I’m not talking about ‘making this world a better place’ type of accomplishments though I hope I leave it a little better than if I hadn’t been here. This is secular type things, (ie. Trips, new furniture, etc. ).   So this fall I got the itch to do one last project for the year. As many of you know I moved into this place in January 2013 and it was pre-owned. Even though it had some nice upgrades I wanted to changes some things.

One thing was to re do the master bath. Take out the white, poorly laid tile shower, and put in granite or quartz bathroom counters. Now this is a small room so I thought hey how big a job can it be.   “Silly me.”

#1. It was expensive. I wanted a solid material to replace the tile and a pony type wall so I don’t need to clean water spots off glass. I settled on a material called Piedrafina. It pretty much is to marble what quartz is to granite. The main thing is the ease of maintenance (cleaning).

#2. It isn’t a fast job. They scheduled two weeks. At the end of three everything was still a mess.

#3. It was messy. They should have put up plastic for shields. They didn’t and I had a layer of dust over everything. They cut material in the garage, what a mess.

#4. There was missed communication.   The model shower in their showroom had a pony wall with wrap around Piedrafina. It turned out they designed mine with a sheetrock wall on the one side. And, they didn’t allow for it to be finished. When the job was done I had an exposed sheetrock wall open at the bottom showing the studs. I hadn’t intended to paint until next year but that changed. Thankfully I hired a separate painter who is fantastic. He not only painted the bath and bedroom he cleaned and painted the garage.    🙂 🙂

The last project of the year, that started out to be a medium sized one, turned into a major headache.   It will take a few months before I’m ready to even think of the next one. Well that is except for our trip to Jamaica that’s different.   Maybe I should just plan a year of travel and let house projects sit for awhile.

The pictures don’t do it justice. But it gives an idea of what it looks like.

 

img_0529

img_0526

 

img_0630

img_0627

 

Gallery

More Remodeling

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Maybe this time it’s more like redecorating. The good thing about purchasing a pre-owned house is that you can redecorate and remodel it to your taste. The bad thing about purchasing a pre-owned house is you might have to redecorate … Continue reading

To Tree Or Not To Tree, That is the Question by Valerie J. Patterson

To tree or not to tree.  That is the question.  Not quite Shakespearean, but close enough.

The holidays are a lot of work.  You’ve got the baking, the shopping, the wrapping, and the decorating.  And that’s just the preparation.  All of these things tie together to make the holidays festive, memorable, and delicious, but when it’s all over, have you ever wanted to just leave the decorations up a little longer than past New Years?  What’s acceptable?  When is it too long?

The norm in our neighborhood seems to be outside decorations need to come down–or at the very least no longer lit up–after New Years’ Day.  I was a rebel this year and not only left them up but also left them lit up until January 9th.  The weather that Saturday was a pure gift, and I spent the morning out in the front yard while the bubbly hubby was at work.  Removing all the decorations and lights was a bit of a bummer, reminding me how quickly the holidays pass.  When I finished and went inside, I stared at the tree standing proud in the center of my picture window, and I didn’t have the heart to tackle that as well.

One more week, is what I thought that evening as I turned down the lights and sat on the sofa with the bubbly hubby and watched the lights.  Just one more week, then I’ll take it down.

And then I talked with my sister-in-law, Tracy who told me she didn’t want to take down her tree, either.  Instead, she removed the Christmas decorations, replacing them with Valentine’s Day decorations.  She shared a photo and I was convinced.  This past Monday, Steve and I went and bought some Valentine’s Day decorations and this Saturday, I will change my Christmas tree into a Valentine’s tree.

And then–if I am still reluctant to take it down and put it in the closet–I will make it a St. Patrick’s Day tree!

So what about you?  To tree or not to tree?  What’s your choice?

Until next time, may the simplicity and beauty of tree lights bring color to your life!

Good Intentions

I can’t believe we are in February already! Where has the time gone? I don’t make New Year resolutions but at the start of every year, I resolve to carry out those tasks I have for one reason or another put off. And already, some of this year’s good intentions have slipped by the wayside. The first was to go out every day for a walk. I need the exercise as I do sit for long periods either at the desk or whilst painting. So far I’ve not managed one day; the weather has been far too cold and windy here for me to risk going out, and the past two weeks I have been laid very low with an awful chest infection and cough which doesn’t want to go away. But I do intend, once I feel fit enough, to venture out daily, even if only for 5 minutes. I hate this time of year as invariably I fall ill, I miss not being able to potter outside in the garden, and I sorely miss the warmth of the sun on my face. Roll on spring, I say.

What I find even harder to believe is that today sees the commencement of my fifth year being at home after having been made redundant and deciding to retire, of sorts. Those last few months working out my notice were filled with all the tasks and plans for things I wanted, nay needed, to do at home and I was itching to get started on them: things like cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, decluttering, and getting rid of the all the pots and dishes I never use.

The same with my cabinets in the dining room – why on earth was I hanging on to what must be a dozen rectangular table cloths when my dining table is round? These cupboards seem to breed junk, cookery books never used, dishes and all sorts given as gifts yet rarely removed from their boxes. Why was I holding on to a drawer full of cutlery, when we use the canteen we treated ourselves to for our 25th wedding anniversary? Miss-matched sets of crockery, a shelf full of drinking glasses we don’t use, empty biscuits tins that would one day come in handy. What other little treasures would I to find in the deep recesses of the shelves, I wondered? And, yes, you’ve guessed… I still haven’t sorted them out.

Then there’s the stash of recipes carefully torn from magazines – cake recipes and baking ideas and hints that need to be filed in a ring-binder instead of shoved down the side of the microwave. Which brings me onto the breadbin. No, don’t panic, it’s not full of breadcrumbs and mouldy bits of crust! We use our wooden breadbin as a storage box; it’s our medicine cabinet, but things in there I know are so out of date and old, it really must be sorted out. And soon.

And I won’t even mention the huge box full of photographs. Oh, all right then, I will. My husband and I love taking photographs; they do provide a lovely memory of people, places, times etc. But we even keep the bad photos, the blurred and not so good ones. Why, I ask myself. Why? Why? Why? They were all stored in one of the drawers in the base of our bed. When last year we refurbished our bedroom the packets of photos were consigned to a large plastic box in my dressing room, the divan drawers now used to store the bed linen. I really must sort them through and be ruthless, along with the overflowing wardrobes, groaning bookshelves in the office and, not least, the creepy dark cupboard under the stairs. Heaven only knows what’s lurking in there.

And yet, here I am several years down the line and not a thing done. It’s not that I’m lazy, far from it, but other things have somehow gotten in the way. I haven’t dawdled away four years. I set up a small publishing house helping other authors get published for the first time, got my first novel published, edited novels, painted, sold paintings, helped fund raise for my nephew (news of little George to come soon, I promise). All things as well as gardening, writing – not that I’ve done a lot of that lately – housework, holidays etc etc.

So, maybe the intentions were there and still are, but at least they are good intentions and somehow, this year, they are going to be done. I’m determined. But first, I’m going for that little walk. Not far, it’s freezing out there this morning, but I have to start somewhere. Small steps. And who knows, by this time next year I might have achieved something: a tidy, clutter-free house along with a feeling of a job well done.

I Love My New Painting

PART_1420147115191_20150101_121947My cousin is an artist that does beautiful creations. She came up to help me when I was looking at paint and floors for the house. One of the rooms I had painted was the kitchen. The color is harvest but more of a harvest yellow then a harvest gold. I was mentioning that I needed a picture that would compliment the color and… I love it.

To make it even more special the teapot–gravy bowl was taken from a teapot that was our grandmothers. It’s sat in a promenent place in my kitchen for years. When Barb painted it she said it wasn’t a teapot like I thought but a gravy bowl. I said, “I don’t think so it looks like a teapot.” “No.” She says. “I did research and its definitely a gravy bowl.” When we hung the picture it was perfect in every way but she did paint a gravy bowl and Nana’s is a tea pot. We laughed and thought about how much Nana would have laughed with us.

Tea pot – gravy bowl– the picture is absolutely perfect. Do I feel special, oh yes it isn’t everyone that has a cousin like I do and I treasure the time we spend together.

A great way to start a new year. Thank you Barb.