Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let's Have a Collective Sigh of Relief

 Hell-ooo-beautiful.   The color is perfecto.  Light, airy, calm, does not in any way resemble a piece of candy....aaahhhhh.  I'm breathing a sigh of relief after my cotton candy fiasco.  And let me just add a brief advertisement for Behr Paint with primer.  It's just short of a miracle...actually I think there may be a little magic in each can.  ONE COAT covered DARK RED with easy breezy Natural Wicker.  (thank you thank you to my wonderful reader who suggested this color!!! and to ALL of you who offered advice!!!!)
AH-MAY-ZING.  I will give the cotton candy some credit definitely showed me how light and airy the room could be.  The red was beautiful (and still was beautiful) but it was time for change.  Heck, the last paint job lasted 7 another 7 years I'll be thinking about getting ready for a graduation...and we all know that moms go a special kind of decorating-crazy when a graduation is approaching. ;-)

The hutch on the left there will be making a departure.  It's a cute little thing...but just doesn't fit the dining's scale is too small, honey oak color....would be a good candidate for a pretty paint job...but too small for my dining room....and let's face it, I have A.LOT. of dishes.  Is there a support group for girls who collect too much vintage glassware?  THIS old gal will soon be making an appearance.  Rustic, lots of it.  Just as soon as a couple strong guys visit to help me get it out of the basement, if you remember it nearly broke me in half trying to lift it last time. 

The dresser peaking out over there on the right will also be finding a new home in my boys' room after a fancy paint job as well.  You will fall over when you see what I found at the ReStore to replace it, as my side table.  Rustic, character,'s wonderful. (my husband is rolling his eyes).  You'll'll love it too. 

I'm thinking some kind of light window coverings.....white cotton, muslin....we'll see. 
Then there is the artwork.....oh I cannot wait to show you what's been rattling around in my involves a cow and a Grant Wood quote.  Now YOU think I'm crazy too, right? :-)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Last Frontier

The floor and I have become one today.  To refresh your memories...on my neverending kitchen project...the floor and ceiling are my last two hurdles.  Do you remember WAY back in November when I went crazy and posted this?  Apparently the contractor I called wasn't feeling that my ceiling was as imminent as I was....since he never showed up.  Boo.  After getting through the holidays, procrastinating, giving up hope that ANYONE would EVER put up my ceiling I just happened to run into the wife of our local drywaller (who I hadn't called yet)....she gave me his cell number, which I called the instant I got through the backdoor....he's coming out next week to take a look.  Thank.You.Goodness.  Please cross all your fingers and toes for me. 

SOO...the floor is my last hurdle.  This is the last part that I can do myself....and I'm determined to get it done promptly.  I'm tired of looking at patches of sticky tile covered by mastik, covered by sheet vinyl.  It's ugly and icky....and I just want it DONE.

 Do you know where every crevice of your floor is?  Pray that you never have to find out. ;-)  This is SLOW work.  I peel back the vinyl, pry up the tiles (in as large of pieces as it will come up...usually the size of a dime...I'm not kidding)  When that is done I rub off the remaining adhesive with mineral spirits.  I try not to think about how much is left!!  It's an inch by inch process.

But for a reference point....this is how much is left.  I have an extra scraper....any takers?  ;-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hello Etsy! Welcome to my world.

Hello, my name is Jen and I'm a signpainter. ;-)  Somehow this little hobby I started some years ago has blossomed....and I think now is the time to start my very own little Etsy shop.  SOO....for all of you who have emailed to ask if you could purchase one of the signs that found their way to Miss Effie's Summer Kitchen.....guess what?!  You'll soon be able to find one in my little Etsy shop!  But if you're local....please go to Miss Effie''s WAY more fun than ordering online....and most of those signs are exclusive only to her shop. :-)  Most of the signs I have painted have been custom orders....and I love to do those....please keep those orders coming!  I'll let you all know when I roll out the red carpet on my shop.  As you might guess I'm a little crazy about fonts and logo it may be 2022 before I can decide on one for my little corner of the world!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Signs for the Summer Kitchen

Besides painting my dining room a wacky shade of cotton candy, I've been a busy girl lately.  Lots of signs to be painted.  I had the honor on Friday as being introduced as "This is Jen, she's a signpainter."  Huh?  I'm just a weird girl who paints signs.....a signpainter?   It was cool.  Thanks Cathy. She had commissioned a sign for her friend, Sheepie Neighbor, and I was delivering that, along with three other signs to be sold in her Summer Kitchen.

Sheepie was pleased with her sign....that makes me smile.

This little sign was fun....highlighted letters are the coolest, yes? And who doesn't like pie? 
 No one, of course. 

The more beat up the wood, the better.  I get the weird looks at the ReStore..."why would you want THAT wood?  No one else will want, just take it."  Thank you very much.  Yes, I'm the girl who wants the beat up, old, delaminating, dirty wood.  Dirtier the better I say.

This piece of wood really raised eyebrows.  "You realize it has a HOLE in it, right?"  Perfect I say. 

Sandhill School was a country school in Northern Scott County....thanks to Cathy I am getting some awesome inspiration in the way of "historic" place names....hopefully you are all inspired to run right over to her Summer Kitchen and snatch these up. ;-)

I will admit, the Rohlk sign I fell a little in love with.  To begin with it was an AWESOME piece of wood...scratched, splattered, dirty, warped...AWESOME.  Perfect for a lumberyard sign.  The lettering is in my favorite shade of green...highlighted letters (LUV)....highlighted detail on the divider...luvs. 

It was a little hard to let this one go...but I did...Cathy assured me someone would love it. (and maybe it will pay for my cotton candy mistake. he he he)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


 Is there anything a woman frets over more than choosing a paint color?  Perhaps the health of her children, the future of the planet, the crazed folks in charge of the House of Representatives right now?  Right now paint color is ranking very high in my life.  Why?  Because I screwed it up.  BIG. TIME.

Yesterday I was on top of the stars were aligned...everything was working out perfectly...just one of those days.  SO....I did what no DIY'er should ever do.  I bought full gallons of paint without sampling first.  Yep, I did it.  I should go to paint prison.  I thought I had chosen the perfect color.  I knew how I wanted it to look.

I started painting as soon as I got home....the paint color was....well...pretty.....but just didn't look right with my oak woodwork.  As a sidenote, apparently EVERYONE EVERYWHERE has white woodwork.  My inspiration photos all had white woodwork.  NEWS FLASH don't have white woodwork.  The colors that look so pretty against white DON'T look so pretty against dark oak.

 I stopped painting.  I slept on it. I prayed when I crept down the stairs that it would look completely different in the light of day.  It didn't.  It looks worse.  My husband has assured me this is not the catastrophe I am making it out to he pointed at the kitchen ceiling....THAT was a catastrophe, he says.  Touche. 
My husband told me to keep the mom said "the red is pretty, I like the red"....everyone who visits the house comments on the red....but I don't want the red anymore. stomping feet, pouty lip why couldnt someone have just painted the damn woodwork before me....

SO....I NEED HELP PEEPS!!!  Now I am a fish on the beach, floundering on the sand.  Ack.  I want light, airy, farmhouse by the sea....but that farmhouse has to keep oak woodwork.  What should I do?  Light neutral?  White?  Remember the kitchen has tall white beadboard, white woodwork (I took liberties in there because it had already been painted) how do I get the "look through" from room to room to look right?  Oh brother.  help

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine Kiddos

Happy Valentine's Day!  Okay okay, I know it was yesterday, but the boys didn't open their Valentine gifts until last night at our "fancy" dinner.  THANK YOU MEMA AND PAPA!  The boys loved their cards.  They were still lobbying right up until we took the first bites that you guys could just get in the car and head over for the party! (from four hours away ;-)  Yay for awesome grandparents. :-)

Our little muffin spent the day as a puppy....this was the costume I made for him a year ago for he just likes to wear least it's getting lots of use!

And he's just so darn cute in it.

Then big brother came home from school with all his Valentine party treats....and experienced his first FunDip....lovely. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Name is Jen and I Am a Pinterest Addict

Holy lordy.  Have you all joined Pinterest?  I insist that at this VERY instant you go and sign up.  When I discovered the world of blogs out in internetland I nearly fell over.  There was SO much inspiration and SO many talented, creative people....and there are only so many minutes of awake time I can muster after my kiddos are in much to read, so little time.   THEN, I was introduced to Pinterest (by my sweetiepie friend Kim).  It's like crack for bloggers....or for anyone for that matter.  Not that I would know about crack really, but it appears to be addictive....and so is Pinterest.  It's inspiration overload.  Bascially Pinterest is "a social catalog service. Think of it as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by people with great taste." 
You will get lost...for hours...days....weeks...maybe all the pins.

 I've included a few favorites I've discovered here.....

DIY felt much more beautiful can felt get?

 Mint chip icebox dessert....yummo.

 potrack inspiration....I need this.

 Love this.

Genius.  If I had a table I could drill a hole in I would totally do this. 
May have to figure out another use for it anyway.

Interest peaked?  I told ya....crack.
Feel free to check out my pins....I dare ya.  Go here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From the Beginning....

circa 2003

In the beginning....many moons ago....we moved into a very white house.  EVERY room (except for one baby blue one upstairs) was painted HIGH GLOSS WHITE or was textured with a disastorously pointy finish.  We had a teeny babe...who we knew would someday walk and may fall into the wall, and be severly injured by the very strange plaster finish. 
Seriously, we were scared to walk near the wall for fear of tetanus or severly snagged sweaters.

We scraped and sanded all the pointy walls....and was that a job.  Yes it was. 

THEN came the fun part....PAINT.  COLOR.  VARIETY. We'd lived in apartments through college and they were all some shade of white or blah.  Years in that environment make a girl crave color.  LOTS of color.

This much color.  I loved it.  I still love it.  But it's time for a change. I think.  I don't know.  What do you think?  NO NO, it's time for a change.  A beautiful, restful, calm, change.

OOhh...might that be the change there on the wall?  It might.
Look how pretty it looks with the family rules signs back there.....
and yes, I know that window needs something...I'm workin' on it.

 Oh and it looks pretty with the bookcases back there....

Curse you Martha and all your pretty colors....

To give a little perspective....the night I painted our dining room red my first little guy, Marshall, learned to walk.  It was quite a night.....walking baby and red dining room.  Good thing we scraped those walls, huh?

See, he still has all his beautiful skin intact. ;-)  Seven years later.

And in case you're wondering, no, the kitchen is not done.  This is how I a scattery scatterbrain. I mean, really, ten projects is WAY better than one. ;-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


 It's over.  THE BIG ONE is over.  Now we all have to dig out.  I've heard stories...oh boy have I heard stories.  One friend's husband was in a crash in his semi....another's husband got stranded on the highway...couldn't even see where the road was, then they decided to SHUT IT DOWN, so there he sat...MY husband is still trapped in Illinois...everything is shut down...and we got a TRUCK LOAD of snow....that is placed in some rather inconvenient drifts ALL OVER THE DRIVEWAY.  Now this may not seem like a huge deal...except that our driveway is VERY LONG and we own NO SNOWBLOWER. :-(  So, when I finally acknowledged that no knights in shining armor were coming to my rescue I hiked up my snowpants and headed out.  OOH...WE WANT TO GO TOO, said the children.  The little one made it as far as the door, then turned back.  That's him in the Snoopy hat. 

The older was a little more excited about the whole deal.  We traversed the first drift right outside the door, then another in front of the car....then tried to get down the driveway.  We didn't make it far.  It was VERY deep, "I was afraid I'd lose my kid" deep.  So we turned warm....tried again later.

 Take two.  After I shoveled the door drift the two munchkins braved the cold again.

Kids are good measuring tools....yes, that's how deep the flippin' door drift was. 
Miracle we even got outside to begin with.

Marshall hiked to the end of the driveway...don't worry I kept an eye on him....he didn't disappear.  I made the hike too...just to cuss marvel at the MOUNTAIN the plow made at the end of our driveway.  Who needs a clean alley when you have no prayer of actually getting out of your driveway?  It was six feet least.

Clancey shoveled like a trooper.

 The snow attacked Marshall.

Then we gave up.

We made it about halfway down the driveway.

Then Clancey declared it was time to go inside.


Time to go in NOW big brother.
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