Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our floor continues

So, here are the pictures of our floors for today....
 Jose brings the floors....
 The refrig out of its space to do the floors....
 The dining room....
 At the end of day, looking into the kitchen...
 The hall, no more dirty carpet!
the new view from the kitchen to the front door (note the missing pony wall)...
so, far, it is amazing.....It is wonderful....
Nancy

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One thing leads to another

So, as the floor guys were working on tearing out old floors, and pre-planning the new baseboards, they noticed that our "pony walls" were just hollow wood and that the many moldings on them would be difficult and in actuality, ugly.....
Well, those that know me and have followed my blog, I have done all the painting techniques to try and make them, well, less noticeable. I especially hated the posts. They cramped the view.
Well, the discussion began about taking them out. I of course, was onboard with the idea. Mr. M, not as much....until Darrell our floor guy gave him a quote that was entertaining. "Do it," he said, so he did. Off they came......


Here they are before....



They were hollow thin wood structures, non-load bearing....and the space they took visually, wow. But, then there is the fixing and cleaning up before we put the floors down...
Oh, did you want to see the floors??
Here is where they are working, the family room, dining room ....



It is looking pretty good....lots different. By tomorrow, they will be into the kitchen and starting into the entry way, of course, they can't go into the livingroom until the wall is plastered from the pony wall....so they will be here a few more days.....
I will keep you posted.
Nancy

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And so it begins....

Yes, the day has finally come. We have spent two weeks preparing, as much as possible, for Darrell to do our floors. Yes, we are having new engineered wood go in. And they are starting with the family room, the room that started it all, because we wanted to put wood in instead of carpet. Our twenty year old carpet has most definitely seen better days, and now, it is time.

 Here is Jose, Darrell's right hand man, taking up these old linoleum tiles, that just starting popping off, so they had to go....so already we have an "uh-oh" in the plan. Let's hope and pray there aren't any more big surprises....
 Here is a shot of the old carpet, old padding and the old linoleum tiles....
 They just move furniture to one side to work...I offered that they could put it outside, but Darell said no, that this works and he didn't want to be responsible for bird poop, sunscald or any other issues that involves.....
This is just the family room. I will post more pictures later so you can see more befores and afters.....
Have a great day!
Nancy

Friday, May 24, 2013

Painting, again

Hi there. Did you wonder where I had gone?? Well, we have been busy getting ready for the floors, which means essentially packing up and moving out....
And, if you recall, I had the bookcases to paint out in the garage. They are done to my satisfaction, mostly...and they are curing because I used wax on the shelves after painting to keep as much paint on the shelves when the books go back.....
And then.....
I was looking at the wall in the family room that I painted....
See the white door??? It is an eyesore...it competes and draws your eye away from the room when you first come in....I want the eyes to see the windows first and then maybe the floor....
So.....



Yes, I did....It is restful, not competing with the other stuff. It is not a great door and when the bookcases come back it should be really great.
Have a great weekend....
Nancy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Following up

So, I promised I would follow up on the use of Hydrogen Peroxide in our fountain.
I am more than pleased with its results!
Here is the picture just a few hours after I put it in....

And here is the fountain two days later....

It is the clearest it has been since the day we put it in, really. Even the rocks are clear! It doesn't drive away the birds, in fact, there seem to be even more birds.
The article I read said it doesn't hurt birds, I can't account for fish or other creatures....
However, for the average fountain, this is wonderful! It works so much better than the expensive stuff that we bought and is far more natural! So, I give this tip an A+!
Following up with Favas....
our Favas were giving us a second growth and more favas. However, the old growth was looking nasty and there were many little flying bugs that liked them too. So, wanting to move on with crops in our tiny yard, the Favas have been pulled out. I needed to make room for the regular beans that I wanted to plant....so I collected the last crop, another pound or so of Favas. So, for never having grown Favas, I give them and A+ as a crop, and they will be planted again this Fall, in a different box.
Here is the box they came out of today....
Next year, I need to remember to plant the tall beans in the back box...so we don't lose our views....
Hope you have a great day!
Nancy

Monday, May 20, 2013

Odds and Ends

I am still working on the bookcases for the family room. It isn't as easy as I thought it would be, not at all. Turns out, I am painting over oil base. Yeah.
Basically, it is turning out okay, but now that I am on to the shelves themselves, well, it isn't as easy. Not at all.
I am rolling the paint on, as the texture from the roller seems to get better adhesion. But, when it is fully dry and I flip them, the side just painted sticks a bit to the sawhorses and lifts off. Grrrrr.
So, I had a revelation.
Why not apply a coat of Annie Sloan Wax when they are fully dry?
So, I did.
Know what? So, far so good! It looks like that might just be the answer...paint, dry, wax and flip and repeat.....I will let you know, but so far, so good.....

I also tried another little gem today, picked up from Pinterest, my front door gets very dirty, because the gardener blows into the house....double Grrrrrr. So, frustrated I am trying a tip that was originally used for baseboards....bounce dryer sheets. Yup, you heard (read) right. Apparently, dryer sheets when rubbed on woodwork, gives dirt the bounce off....Soooo, I cleaned the front door as much as I could and then rubbed the dryer sheets all over the door. I was amazed at the dirt that came off what I thought was a clean door! Seriously, and there was a luster to the door not there! If this works, I won't cringe as much when the gardener blows.
And yes, I have talked with him about it. He doesn't really get it, and frankly, I hate blowers. Might just make this a "blower free zone" in the future. But, if this helps, I am on a roll.
have a great day!
Nancy

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pinterest ideas

Ok, so I am officially into Pinterest...
Not just for pictures either....Pinterest gives a shot of fresh ideas that can help around the garden, home and patio.
For example, the aspirin idea is there....you know the one I mentioned recently about two aspirin dissolved in a quart of water and sprayed on roses to help with rust, black spot and powdery mildew....
Well, that one truly works, in fact we have applied it to the roots of a very sick with rust rose, and it is almost all better and happily growing new leaves....
We also have applied it to tomatoes for that yuck that gets them at this time of year....as well as applying it to a tree that had to be transplanted....the list for that goes on and on. Who knew that aspirin was so helpful??
Which brings me to the next find....
Fountains and what to use. No, not aspirin. Not this time.

It is something you have in your medicine cabinet, well probably. If you don't have it, it too has a multitude of uses.....Hydrogen Peroxide.
Turns out it can be used to help get rid of algae. I have tried everything, including expensive pond and fountain "cures", vinegar, bleach and others, which also when they splash out, kill the plants around them, so really, how safe are they for the "wildlife" they say they are safe for?
This picture shows you the fountain. Yes, there is algae. Technically speaking, I would have to totally take it apart and clean everything to get it squeaky clean....but, it is quite the task.
However, this picture was taken about 11 hours after I added 1/2 a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide to the water....it shows improvement already (trust me on that). It will be interesting to see just how it looks 24 to 36 hours later. According to a post on Pinterest, it will be nothing short of amazing! I will let you know. If you have tried this, let me know....
Just saying.....
Nancy

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It works!

Okay, so the internet is a wonderful source of info...as is Pinterest and blogging....
I found a recommendation to use one 325mg tablet of aspirin diluted in 1 qt of water and sprayed on roses to help fight rust, black spot and powdery mildew....
What the heck, I would give it a try...
So I started spraying the two roses at the front of the house that were very sick with rust. They were bad....I had used the Bayer 3in1 stuff to no avail, rust was still coming.....
So, I fixed up the aspirin and sprayed and sprayed and poured it on at the roots....
Guess what? It worked!

This is the new growth that has occurred in the last week...
From what I have read, it actually kills the rust on contact, but more importantly the aspirin is assimilated into the plants system when sprayed on and helps the plants immune system...hey, whatever...it really seems to work!
Just sayin......
Nancy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Styling the mantel

Yesterday, I took a break from painting...and went shopping.
I didn't buy much, but I did buy some "fake" spanish moss....
I had plans....

I bought the bird from a friend who didn't want it and the cast iron urn was already here, I just added the "moss" and placed it on the mantel....I think it looks pretty "store" like.....
And then yesterday evening, we had cocktails out on the patio....

It is sliced red pepper and goat cheese with Dukkah ( a nut and spice blend) sprinkled on it with a drizzle of olive oil....yummmm.
It was a lovely evening....
Nancy

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Paint, paint, and more paint

Well, remember the white section on the wall, behind where the bookcases sat (for 20 years I might add)?
Well, I painted, as promised, and now the wall is fresh and clean....before we put bookcases back....

However, while I was at it, I had an idea. The space is so wonderful without the bookcases, but I am not giving up on them, so why not paint the bookcases the color of the walls, to minimize them, make them almost seem like they are floating.....well, maybe.....

So, the main part of the bookcases are Cappuccino by Restoration Hardware and the backs are French Linen. I had started painting the backs before they came out, and decided that is a nice and subtle way to add gray without being in your face....afterall, the books cover a great deal of the color....
Yes, this is my very disorganized and messy garage....projects like new floors tend to fill the garage up....eventually, we will reorganize and "pretty" it up.....
So, the bookcases go from white to Cappuccino....and the floors to wood. Should be well, quite monochromatic....allowing the little touches here and there to add the splash....
What do you think??
Have a great day,
Nancy

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Mother's Day Project

Mother's Day turned out to be a beautiful and warm day. Gorgeous in fact, for relaxing outside....
However, before we could do that I had already asked the "kids" to help get the bookcases out to paint the wall, which had not been painted when we painted (about 7 years ago) in prep for the new floors....
So, after a delightful breakfast of chocolate croissants and espresso...

So, with my one daughter's help we moved all those books out to the garage, where they will live for about two weeks or so.....
Later our other daughter and her husband moved the bookcases out to the garage.....
And this is what the room looks like without bookcases....

It has me wondering if there is anywhere else that the books could live.....
I am painting this morning and I have decided the horse plaque is going to come down...that phase of our lives is over. I do love books, but really love the open space....hummmmm.
What do you think?
Nancy

Friday, May 10, 2013

Where I begin...

The task of getting new floors put in for much of the house is daunting. Thinking about it keeps me awake as I try to break down the time we have with the mountain of things that we need to move out....
So, I started today, moving books from the three bookcases that are in the family room. Even though I have pared the books down over the months of talking about floors and knowing this would be a task, there are lots and lots of books.
We decided that the books had to go into the garage, laid out where we could just take the pile in the end and put them back.
The bookcases are sitting on carpet, and the carpet is leaving. So, we need to move them. Behind the bookcases is the original white walls, they need paint too....oh my, how is it that one job creates another, and another?
So, I began.....
  I also cleared all the knickknacks that were on top of the bookcases and on the various shelves....


Then, I decided that the little cupboard next to the bookcases, (our vitamin cupboard), needed to come off as well, to make it easier for the installers....well, when I got it off, I decided it needed to be painted....so it got a two layer treatment of ASCP in French Linen and then a wash of Old White....and a new interior layer behind the screen as the fabric was looking a bit peeked....

So, the goal is to have all the books out by Mother's Day so I can get helpers to move the bookcases out. On Monday, I am hoping to start painting the wall behind the cases so everything is all fresh and clean. After that, I have the rest of the week and a half to clear other items from the areas....
If I do a little (or a lot) everyday, then I won't be taxing the old body so much...right?
Well, I would love to hear any hints that have made your jobs easier. Any tricks you know?
Happy Mother's Day!
Nancy