Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hardwood & Beadboard :-)

So....I had to break a little promise. Perhaps I didn't share that little promise previously. I promised...after making the discovery I'm about to share with you....that I would not mess with the floor until the ceiling was done. Welll.......during the weekend scrapefest I had to move the oven out from the wall to clean up the dust behind it. Well....while I was back there a little piece of the vinyl floor just HAPPENED to be sticking up....inviting me to look underneath. Well....it just so happens that our kitchen floor IS NOT plywood, as I had previously, for the past six years, assumed. IT IS.....

Gorgeous....beautiful....wonderful hardwood. Covered by a layer of, what I'm going to assume is asbestos tile and a layer of leveling compound. Yay me. However, I'm happy to report that the tiles come right up. They do, however, leave behind a sticky residue.

Thank the universe for Google. Based on what I read my two options were mineral spirits or duct tape. (and a bunch of other options that I did not have on hand....so I had two options because I am not a patient person and live a jillion miles from a place that might sell the multitude of other options) I tried the duct tape first...it worked really well....but VERY slowly. I just rolled a bit of it back on itself and blotted all over the floor....like I said, it worked....but I would still be there unsticking the stick when my grandchildren come to visit. SO.....let's whip out the chemicals. The mineral spirits did a great job of getting the majority of the sticky off. Now there's a little sticky left...but nothing another treatment wouldn't take care of. Oh...and I also washed the areas I "spirited" with soap and water afterwards.

My little guy helped me install some beadboard today. I was almost giddy with delight.

A little section for your perusal. Still needs primer and paint....but WOOHOO it's up!!!!

Can you see my giddiness? So giddy I forgot to put down my dustmask before taking my selfportrait. Safety first folks. ;-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kitchen Progress

My projects start small....then they become bloated out of control beasts....and then they get finished. I've passed the small phase and am now standing on the belly of the bloated beast, ready to slide down the other side. Two days ago I got the kitchen itch again. I wish I had an organized plan....do you know my friend Kim? Check out her plan. This chick's got it together....and an empty house to boot. Oh, to have an empty kitchen. Instead, everytime I start a project I have to stop at the end of the day, clean everything up, then use the kitchen like a normal person (okay I use "normal" loosely to describe myself). Lesson for all of you future homeowners....do it Kim's way, not mine.

Anyway, the little blobs of woodfiller on the "closet project" were bothering me...so I sanded them. Then I thought, well heck....I should just paint a little on the trim.....so I did that for a while......

Then the floor in the closet intrigued me....yes, my home improvement unfurls like an episode of Scooby Doo. So I peeled off the sticky tile.

To reveal a piece of plywood. Hmm....I know what you're thinking....what must be UNDER the plywood? I'm so happy you asked. I thought the SAME thing! ;-) Let's find out! So I used my flyswatter specialized tool to pry up the plywood.

To reveal beautiful hardwood. Now I ask you people, why would a person go to the effort...in a CLOSET mind you, to cover the perfectly good hardwood with plywood, then with STICKY tile? This is the conundrum that is my kitchen.
You can probably guess where the plywood and sticky tile went. he he he.

Next I wanted to add some shelves to my closet....so I did this. Dad aren't you proud of me! I think they might even be level!!
So in the vein of my Scooby Doo DIY....we went off to find another clue instead of actually FINISHING the shelf. Yeah, that's how I roll. I'll get back to it.

Instead I painted more trim. And ate graham crackers.

Then the door to the back steps was aggravating me. This is what the door is used for.
A bag holder.

And it's a really snazzy door, see that delamination....yeah, we're uptown.

So I got rid of it. Now the door's gone, so I can freely work on the wall behind the door. I started with a little scrapey hole. This is the land of the frosting plaster finish. Unfortunately it wasn't over wall paper like that in the entry. It was slopped right onto the original plaster walls.

The little hole turned into this.

And then this. And I had a peanut butter sandwich.

Then primer! And I ate some spicy garlic pickles.
This is for my Grandma Eula, who always tells me I need to eat more. I eat a LOT....PB, pickles, graham crackers....apparently DIY makes a gal hungry.....
I even ate THIS piece of pie heaven last week at Mill Creek Cafe. It was divine.
Today we're off to the lumberyard to buy beadboard....more updates soon.....I'm on a deadline now!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chicken Napoleon

My little chicken, AKA Chicken Napoleon, is raring to go for Halloween. This was big brother's costume several years ago. Twice actually. The first year I painstackinly sewed those feathers on the costume, ordered the yellow tights, made the chicken hat.....and he wouldn't wear it. Refused, absolutely. He was little...and had no desire to be consumed by a pile of white feathers. The next year he had a change of heart....and a lot of coaching. He made a HAUL in this costume. Ladies were swooning at the door, dumping candy into his little pumpkin. He shared this bit of info with his baby brother. Thus the heightened interest in the costume.
The boy likes his candy.
He flapped.

Checked out his chicken legs.

And roosted.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Uh Oh

Breathe. Keep breathing Jennifer. It will be ok. It's only 200 people touring through your entire house....looking in closets (I know from experience!)...asking why you did this....how you did this....seeing that one dust bunny you forgot about.

I've been asked to do my SECOND Holiday Home Tour this year. The first time I was young and insane and volunteered for it. This time I was "informed" I was going to be on it. He he he...just kidding Arlene...I'm happy to do it.

The first time I was a tornado of painting, sewing, cleaning, organizing.....for about two months. This time.....I'm going to start as soon as I stop typing. The kitchen is the first on the list.


Since the last time, Dad has built us a library, I've built us a "fireplace", we brought beautiful Euphona home, I remodeled our back entry, I've torn our kitchen to shreds.......it will look amazing, right? I just need to start. WISH ME LUCK!!!!!! The first time I did the tour I didn't even have the brains to take any photos of my spotless house!!!! Duh. Not this time....I'll be blogging til kingdom come. It may be the last time till my guys graduate from high school that my house will be this clean!!!

Oh, and if you live in Iowa, near Iowa, or have ready access to an airplane, train, boat or reliable automobile please come!!! The prelim info indicates the event will be Sunday, December 5 in the afternoon. The house will be decked out in its finest.....and I may or may not have any sanity left.

And cookies will be served.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fabric Flowers

Do you remember this project from WAY back? I just winged it with the bag....but I promised a tute on the fabric flowers. I know, I know....I make promises, then take thirty five years to follow through. ;-) BUT....here it is! With a felt backing they are easy to either pin or sew onto whatever you can imagine!!

These flowers are SUPER easy to make...mainly because there's no right or wrong. I love those kind of projects. Basically you will need some fabric and a little felt circle (or square or triangle....whatever floats your boat.)

Now I'm going to share my super spy secret. Do you know how to make a TINY piece of silk go A LONG WAY? I'll tell you. Cut back and forth lots of times...but don't cut all the way through each time. See above photo.

You'll end up with this. A LOOOOONG strand of silk (or whatever fabric you like)!

Next, plug in your glue gun and wait for it to heat up....and enjoy a nice chilly diet cherry 7-up. It's the best beverage for doing DIY. Oh and if my husband Santa is reading this.....I'd like some glue sticks (the mini kind) in my stocking. (hey it's never too early to give your husband Santa hints...he he he)

Back to the project at hand. Now glue the corner to the circle.

Here's the easy part. Twist, scrunch, glue. Twist, scrunch glue. Lots of times.

Keep going...we're almost done!

Ta da. Okay, you got me. This is my second flower. The first was....well...shall we say "not ready for its close up". It takes a bit of practice...and a light hand with the glue gun. I went crazy with the first one. I can't promise you won't have A TON a little glue stuck to your fingers. I mean, we are artists....artists suffer for their art. Look at van Gogh, he cut off his ear. I'm not asking you to do that. Well.....he was mentally ill, suffering from syphilis, and drank a quart of turpentine before doing so.....but hey, he suffered for his art.
A little glue on your fingers isn't looking so bad now, eh? ;-)
linking up to:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do You Have a Paddle For My Squash Boat?

I captured a photo of the elusive moonflower bloom...in the dusk of the evening...when they come out for all of about 4.5 milliseconds, then fall to the ground, exhausted from the sheer effort to unfurl those huge petals. Isn't it beautiful? And they really do only come out at night...strange.

The list. I've never had to take up three sheets to fit everything on the list......well, okay....I won't lie. Usually I stop keeping track after the first onslaught of green beans. I forget to record a batch, then think "oh whatever." Not this year folks. I've recorded every last morsel. You know, the list I would REALLY like to see belongs to Miss Effie....do you follow her on Facebook? You should. She makes her own mustard....enough said.

FINALLY....FINALLY.....FINALLY a squash is turning color. That means they're almost ready to be harvested. Then, apparently, you're supposed to lay them out in the sun to "cure" for 10-14 days. Who knew? Can you see the metal grid in the vines? That's a six inch grid....I could float to China in this squash.

Update on the whole Ironman craziness coming soon.......

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thank You

First, I would like to say thank you to all my friends and family for the messages...emails...texts...comments and prayers during the last week!! I feel very loved. That helped me get through Wednesday. Wednesday was not a good day. Possibly one of my worst. You can read about it here....but I wouldn't advise it. It was bad.
I've felt pretty bad for a couple days....but better today. Then, our family doctor (who I'm PRETTY sure has a halo that he keeps in his office) called to tell me the word I so desperately wanted to hear.
End of story.
Life can now resume.
SOOOOO....I'm in Madison with my courageous, strong, insane husband to cheer him on to his SECOND Ironman Triathlon finish!!! More about that tomorrow.
Love you all,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day of Paint

A while ago....okay a WHILE ago, I offered to paint the little wood sign on the edge of Clarence. It was announced at the City Council meeting that I was going to do this little project. Darn....that means everyone knows how long it took me to get it done. ;-) Do you see the little sign down there? It says...A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE. I drive past this sign all the time....and it bothered me that it looked kinda shabby.

And.....the after! I think it looks nice. But...now I'm going to say something controversial....I think it makes the other signs look a little downtrodden. Hmm....I may offer my services further perhaps.


Now I'm not sure if you notice there on the right hand side of the photo.....the railroad tracks? I'm not a huge fan of trains. It goes back to childhood....just one of those irrational fears. However, we do live in a community that is visited by a train....oh every 20-30 minutes....ALL DAY LONG. So...you know you've lived in a "train town" A LONG TIME when you are standing 15 feet from the tracks and it takes halfway through the second train to really even notice the train is going by!
Oh, and I should alert the media....I've discovered a GREAT way to slow down traffic coming into Clarence. ;-)

Before I was the roadside entertainment I ran over to Lowden to do a little touch up on the Little Home sign. I think maybe the two panels were installed a teensy bit too close to each other....the letters didn't quite line up. Easily fixed with a ladder and a bit of paint.

Looks pretty neat I think! I'm always shocked at how small signs look outdoors.
This puppy is SIXTEEN feet long....and looks like it would fit in my back pocket from the ground!

On my way home I took the gravel back to Clarence (it's only 6 miles....and I thought it would be an interesting detour from the usual highway route.) There were lots of neat farmsteads...including this one....the house is empty. This one's for you Kim! There was a pretty red barn....and lots of space to plant a big garden....and even a cow!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Friend Foley

I'd like to introduce my newest favoritest kitchen helper. The Foley Food Mill. Who knew this wonderful creation existed? I didn't until a few years ago....when I started canning. I was too cheap to buy one...so I always, sadly, bipassed the recipes that called for this particular utensil. THEN, one fine day at Goodwill there she was. Looking brand new. I snatched her up before anyone could grab it first. Sometimes you have to use your elbows at Goodwill. Just sayin'.

Fourteen pints of tomato sauce later....I'm in Loooooovvveee with the Foley. Don't ask how many tomatoes it takes to make fourteen pints of tomato sauce. A. LOT. But it was totally worth it.

Then my master chefs made pizza. Darn good pizza.
And tonight I'd like to add a little moment of prayer and solitude for my dear friend Lynn and her husband Ross as they near the end of a very difficult battle.

Treasures From Sandy

In the box of jars I found the treasures. Sandy had assured me, when I picked them up, that there were some neat jars at the bottom. Besides the approximately 40 pint jars, there were lots of neat things hiding in there!! Now really, who doesn't love a mason jar with a zinc lid?

There were seven zinc lids in the box....with lots of neat old mason jars. The one with the handle is really neat.....and blue mason.....oh how i love you blue mason.
Thanks Sandy!! Now I'm thinking these would look A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. as storage jars in the Hoosier....what do you think?

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