Monday, September 28, 2015

Random Post (Great Views)

This post will be a random assortment of things.

I was looking through my photos from the last few days, and they will guide this post.

I like to have time to just play house. Last week, I finally stole a moment to play with a place setting for no reason other than I just wanted to play.

The plates on the bottom are from my daughter's closet. I was digging around in there looking for something else when I came across them. My mother had given them to her when she moved in her apartment at Auburn. They have been boxed up since her graduation in 2012. Oldies may recognize them from their younger days. They were purchased at grocery store. I think it may have been Piggly Wiggly or the A&P. They came in the green or gold. Anyway, they worked perfectly with my duck salad plates that I got from Tuesday Morning a while back.

We went to Auburn this past weekend. I will speak not of football scores, even though I love my Tigers win or lose. I am faithful.

Mama and I went up Friday to the cabin, and Hubby and Son came up Saturday morning. I took the dogs with me. This is what they did for most of the time. If not outside, they were looking out on the screened porch. I can not even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed my porch. 

My daughter turned 26 this weekend. Wow, I can't believe how time has flown. She will always be my little girl. She and her husband headed to Cape San Blas for the weekend. They had a great weekend. If you have never been there. It is amazing. Old Florida at its best. 

New Costa sunshades were her birthday present from Mom and Dad.

Game day attire.

A few photos from Auburn.

I have something new to share about soon, but here are a few hints.

It was a blustery day in the Fort today. It was quite windy on the bayou.

The water was up and quite choppy.
Well, that is a wrap on my randomness.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Downstairs Big Room

So, let's go downstairs to the big room for the remainder of the downstairs tour.

Down the stairs we go. The corner shelf was a left over from my mother-in-law. I love it. I consider it my last vestige of a woman's touch before you get to the bottom of the stairs. 

Now, I won't be able to help myself from stopping along the way and telling the stories of life, so here is the first one. You see this lovely cross stitch?

I didn't stitch it, but I can appreciate good stitching! My hubby's old girlfriend did this. It was framed poorly and had her initials and 2-14-19??. I simply pulled out those initials and framed it properly.... and here it hangs 31 years later. Her mother had a great spaghetti recipe that we use too:)

There are two other pieces of cross stitch at the bottom of the stairs. 

Now, at the bottom of the stairs you see three doors.

To the left is a door that leads to what we call the fishing room. It is a room that has a door that leads to the outside. It is not heated and cooled, but it is a wonderful room. It has a shower, the loud engine to the house vacuum, and holds what seems to be an infinite amount of fishing poles. I can't really say anything about the number of them, because Hubby would probably say that kind of thing about my sewing room. 

The door straight ahead leads to a storage closet that I wrote about here

To the right is the door that leads to the big room.

As you enter the big room, if you turn back to your right there is an unbelievable amount of storage. It contains a closet that holds Christmas decorations that I shared here, and then an "under the stairs" closet. My mother-in-law knew what she was doing on the closet thing.

Ok, if you are still with me, we enter the big room. You can see why anyone would want to be in this room. The view alone is amazing. 

Taken in the early morning light. The octagon shapes are in the same locations upstairs. 

I can't even tell you how many kids have spent time down here. Mostly boys, but not always. When my daughter was a senior, her IB (International Baccalaureate) class all came here after the prom. They had a blast. I had quite a few parents who helped out, and to say it was a success would be an understatement. Evenings like that with those kids will give you great hope.

The room looks quite a bit different now. The sofa and recliner are relatively new. There is no way they would have survived the boys.

I was able to locate an old picture with the white tile and the ping pong table.
This was probably the only time it was clean enough to photograph. I think this was right after we moved in.

Side story: I think it is funny that bloggers share their sweet little darlings bedrooms, but when they reach teenage years you see much less of that area of the home. It is real life and we would rather no one saw that. Teenage years are tough, but part of the whole package. I for one wouldn't trade it. Yes, it was messy and the amount of kids here drove me nuts at times, but it was the best way to be "in the know." I couldn't always say that at all homes.

The octagon alcove that is empty is for a Christmas tree downstairs. I always put one down here with ornaments that the kids picked out an ornament for each year. It also houses plants that need to come in when it is really cold outside.

The baskets in the area contain rocks. To say my son loved rocks as a kid would definitely be an understatement. I wish I had somehow labeled them from all the places he collected them from, but we were living life.

The green one is painted and came from Metropolis, Illinois, home of Superman. We went there once when Hubby was coaching basketball for a tournament.

The decal above the couch is new. I rearranged some pictures down here. The fish up high are from a positioning of furniture a very long time ago. I just didn't want to move them, so they will be there forever. I needed something to tie it altogether. I found an Etsy store that sold decals.

To the left in the big area is a table, bookcase, and my new arrangement of furniture to give me a reading corner. The ping pong table was here at one time.  It had seen better days, so I ditched it a few years ago. I think everyone kind of misses that!!!!, so that may have not been my best decision ever.

Yes, those are dirty screens on the windows. Pollen just hugs those windows for some reason. Cleaning them is on my list as soon as it cools down. 

More rocks and trophies. The only one he cares about is the one where they actually one the district or area in All-Stars baseball. I hate that we give them all a trophy for everything. A post for another day.
Oh, and more baseball caps...

The bookcase has a story to it. When we married and moved in our first home which was a townhouse, I showed Hubby what we REALLY needed.... a bookcase that would hold the TV, stereo, and that I could decorate. He made this. I was so proud of it. It held its purpose well for many years. Just recently I moved it over to this area, and now it no longer holds the TV.

Guess what is behind those doors?

Did you guess right? Yes, the album collection that I can't force myself to get rid of. My 45's collection is in the closet. I don't even have a turntable anymore. I know...I have a problem with holding onto things. 

Oh, and the palm tree was in my classroom for almost my whole career. I showed a picture to Hubby and he made it for me.

When we moved in to the home in 2002, we really struggled with which kid would get downstairs. It really worked itself out in the best way possible. The door right next to the sofa leads to the bathroom, and then the bedroom is past the TV table. I just couldn't wrap my mind around Lindsay having to come out of her bathroom when the kids got older to teenage boys. She agreed. It was the best decision ever, because she is so disciplined. She likes to go to bed at the same time every night whether kids spent the night or not. If she had been in that bedroom, they would have fought ALL the time.

IT just worked out for the best.

I am not sure what the purpose of this room will be going forward, but for now, I guess it will be a quiet location for me to go read and for Hubby to clean guns or get ready for a fishing trip and put line on his fishing pole.

The table has a rubber mat covering the whole table. I didn't move it off for the pictures. It is used when Hubby is cleaning  a gun or repairing line of a fishing rod to protect the table.

I think my mom will want to spend time down here when she visits. It is clean enough now! 

Did you notice the end tables?

They have been with us a long time. A few years after we married, Jeff's granddad died. We got those end tables from his grandparents' house. Jeff says he could remember them for as long as memory goes back being in their home. We used them in our family room until we moved in this house and used some that his parents had. These moved downstairs. They are very old and are definitely showing their age. I really like them because of the story and uniqueness. The top lifts up for great storage. I have thought about refinishing them. That is my very far into the future to do list. They match the table and adjoining bedroom furniture really well. I could maybe paint them to match the table, but I have a really hard time covering wood with paint. I am a stained wood kind of girl.

The last wall is the TV wall. The bookcases were on this wall when we had a ping pong table in here and actually for even longer. Paul Allen took the TV that went here with him, so for now, it holds the TV that we won't get rid of because it has a VHS player in it:) I suppose if Mama ends up liking it down here that Jeff will buy her a TV for down here. For now, it will be TVless.

My to do list in this area includes:
1. touch up painting
2. cleaning the windows on the outside when it cools down. They are simply nasty with pollen.
3. Hang the curtain over the closet door that you saw in the bedroom tour.

Time does fly! I miss those ping pong days.

Monday, September 21, 2015

September Cottage Cross Stitch

After discovering Priscilla's blog and the very cool way she displays some of her cross stitching without professional framing, I was motivated to give it a whirl. She briefly describes her framing formula, but I haven't been able to discover a photo of it, so I set out to experiment with it.

I will tell you how it worked and my thoughts for next month's cottage project.

I finished my September cottage in the middle of September. I then proceeded to locate a frame to work with. After looking around town and on the Internet for a square frame, I was coming up empty handed. I headed to the new Hobby Lobby in Destin on Friday. I ended up thinking that some of those decorative saying frames was actually cheaper than actual square frames that were empty. With a 40% off coupon, I came away with this.

The size was good and it was about a half inch deep which was good. I plan to put it on a display stand, but it would easily be hung up too, because it was made to hang up. No extra costs for that.

I then bought some of the sticky board that you mount stitching on for framing.

It was very thin, which I wanted. I wasn't too sure how my magnets would work if it were too thick.

Sorry for the poor photography. I am just an iPhone user. Hubby's camera is too complicated for me.

I decided to use my tailor's chalk to label on the cross stitch where I wanted it to show and fold back and then where I would cut it off to make the square.
The tailor's chalk was perfect, because it is easily visibly, but easy to remove if it shows.

Next, I took the mounting board and cut a square for the cross stitch to go on. I used my quilting ruler to mark it and then pencil the cutting lines.

I tried my rotary scissors to cut it since it was so thin, but it would not go all the way through, so I finished it up with scissors. The rotary scissors did help score it, and that kept it from bending.

I then pulled off the brown stuff to expose the sticky side.

I am showing lots of pictures, but that is because I think that is helpful to me.

Lay the cross stitch on top and smooth out. You can see it behind the thin linen of the cross stitch.

*** Now, here is where I will have to think about changes for October. I wonder if I should have made the margin less for the cross stitch. We talk about this again at the end.

I glued the corners first. I used Elmer's glue, because I didn't have anything else. I normally always have a bottle of Tacky glue that comes in the brown bottle. I would suggest that. The Elmer's worked, but I am concerned about long term.

I then pinned them down with some craft size clothes pins. These pins are mini versions. I let them work on that while I began the cloth portion for the backing of red gingham.

When that had set, I then put glue down the sides and used clothes pins again to hold it until it dried.

I followed the same procedures for the gingham. I mounted it on the sticky board. I had intended to use just tag board, but I didn't have any the right size, so I just used the other. I don't think it would be necessary to use the sticky mounting board for the cloth. I think a thin cardboard would be fine.

I alternated working with the stitching and this to let each dry.

Then, it was time to think about the magnets to hold it all together.

Now, this was the mystery part of Priscilla's work. She spoke of using sheet metal behind the stitching with a magnet on the frame. 

I headed off to my little Ace Hardware. I love me some Lowe's, but when I have these little projects, my little guys at Ace are just always so helpful. I headed in and shared with the gentleman what I was trying to do.  Well, we first thought about using some galvanized stripping you put around metal pipes. We could snip off a strip to glue down and that would work with the magnet and not be heavy and would be tons cheaper. A pack of that was $1.99 and would be way more than I would need.

But...wait, he had another idea. Washers! I left with a few washers for 16 cents a piece.

Those Ace guys have helped me many times even when I walked in with no clue what I was talking about.

I glued one to the center of the frame. I measured to get the center.

One interesting thing I discovered with this. I used a glue gun and it was an amazing thing happened. The glue cooled instantly, like too instantly when it hit the washer. I had to peel it off and start over. I was ready to plop it down fast. Must be something about the metal in the washers that caused that. It was wild.

Moving on. I told you I was being very detailed with lots of pictures.

It was time for the magnet on the back of the stitching. I hot glued it to the center. 

Time to put it all together.

Houston we have a problem.... 

It wasn't enough to hold it when I stood it up. It needed two of them.
Maybe sheet metal is stronger???

Either way, I went back and added another washer and magnet. Next time, I would just put one high and one low.

I did have to be a bit more careful to make sure the placement would match up for the magnet and washer.

So, all in all, it was successful. 

My concern was that maybe I would like less margin around the cottage and more fabric showing. I will toy with that idea before I actually mount the October one. I will use the same frame for all of the months. I may change out the fabric for months. I know for October that I am going to use this black with candy corns that I have in my stash of fabric. (I have a problem. I am a fabric hoarder. It is not pretty, people.)

IF I like the less margin, I will redo September when I finish all of them.

Here is the finished project. I plan to put a bow with some cute school days ribbon either on the frame or display stand holding the frame. I was away from home all day today, so I had no time to work on it.

I will share that later.

And that was that, and I have to get busy and finish October,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Downstairs Bedroom / Bathroom Reveal

I am mostly finished with the bedroom, so I thought I would go ahead and share it before the big room. I am waiting on something for that reveal.

Upon entering the bathroom, you will see very outdated lights above. At least, that is what I think you will notice first. IT is what I notice first. I would very much like to change them out, so maybe one day.

I am not sure if others think they look like lilies, but that is what I see.

You may have noticed I have changed out the hardware on the cabinets. All but the 2 fake drawers. I have the hardware, but needed to climb back upstairs to get a short screwdriver, so it is actually on my list to do tomorrow. They match the newer faucets better. The faucets have actually been changed out for a couple of years, and I purchased the hardware, but never followed through.

Not too exciting and lots of painting that needs to be done. I so wished we could have redone the tile when we did the tile out in the big room. Can you imagine that the big room had this white tile too? (You can see it in the corner of one of the vanity pictures.) Oh my word...I nearly lost my mind with it. I will say one of the times all those boys that were regular visitors were useful is when we took it up. Yes, we gave them sledge hammers and they were cheap labor. The big room now has a wonderful blue/gray tile.

The reason we didn't pull it up at the time, was the floor tiles are under the wall tiles in the bathroom. It was too risky and we didn't want to undertake that cost. We did order enough tiles to store if we ever decided to redo the bathroom tiles. That is a one day also.

Now, around to the bedroom. The area leading into it.

There is a closet right before entering the bedroom that actually had a door at one time. A glass door. Yep, you can imagine how that went down. So, it has been doorless for a very long time. I have purchased a curtain that will be a temporary fix or at least I hope. The closet is the games closet and cleaning supplies.

Paul Allen loves baseball caps like I love purses.

There are caps all over the place. See if you can spot all of them in the bedroom and then tomorrow in the big room.

Now, onto the bedroom, I almost ditched the desk, but I have decided to think on that for awhile. It is one of those Sauder things you have to put together yourself. Actually, it has been quite study and held up well over the years. It was a perfect fit for the octagon area. You may remember that there are three of those on the back of the house upstairs and downstairs. I may get rid of the middle section and just place the two ends together. I added some of his stuffed animals that were in the top of his closet to make me happy.

The blinds are new. There were very old white mini blinds on the windows. They were so nasty that I cringed every time I walked near his room. It just became to much of a struggle to fight them, plus they really needed to go a long time ago. Paul Allen was a little sad that I had waited to change them out when he saw these. He really like these new blinds.

Before you go thinking how mean I am about the blinds...I helped the guys fix up their place and bought quite a few things for them.

The gallery wall turned out fair. Paul Allen took some of the items in it to his new location, so I had to dig into the closet for some older pieces.  I am loving the new comforter. He took his with him. He has it worn in according to him. The bedroom furniture was a purchase a few years ago from Haverty's. They are in the same line as the table out in the big room. He had a set, but it had seen better days. When he started college way back when, we purchased this set and I have to say he took good care of it. 

A side story is the trunk at the end of the bed. Hubby built this for me the first Christmas we were engaged. It is lined with cedar. Love that man.

I love the picture above the bed. We had only two tickets for a while to go to the Auburn/Alabama game. We have always gone to at least two games a year while the kids were growing up. At one time Jeff was able to get two tickets for the Alabama game each year. We alternated years that the kids would go to the game during this time period. I think Paul Allen was in 8th grade when it was his turn, so off to Auburn we went. If you have ever been to that game, you know it is not the day to do your shopping, but this painting stopped us in our tracks. We purchased it and had to go all the way back to the car to put it away. I told him he could have it one day when he was married and had a home and not a bachelor pad.

Many of the Auburn hats have autographs. 

Now, the double doors lead outside and yes, he used them to sneak out at least twice or at least those times we got word of it. I plan to put some new sheers on them this week. 

I don't there has ever been an adult that went down there who would say, "why do you have doors leading outside for a teenager." Remember we inherited it as is. Just makes you keep on your toes all the more.

Really, he wasn't that bad. Messy as a kid and a late bloomer, but a good kid.

More stitches.

I think Mama will start using this bedroom when she visits rather than upstairs, but we will see. She is coming Thursday night to watch her grandson coach:)

The big room tomorrow or the next day.