Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Adventures With Annie - Bench

      So I got busy a couple of mornings ago with Annie Sloan chalk paint (color: old white) and this old bench. I met a lady named Cindy who had a lot of stuff she wanted to get rid of in her three story house. I actually met her a couple years ago. Now I wish I had taken even more of her stuff off her hands. At that time, however, my husband had declared no more desks/tables were allowed to come home with me. You can see the 'before' here sitting atop another little bench I got from Cindy. Except for the tiny bit of after peeking out from the back- I forgot to take the picture until I already had her upside down on her counterpart, being painted.

After much paining, sanding, and waxing,  I have this shabby little lovely:

     She's not done yet. I think I am going to have to stop at Funky Junk Boutique in Seville to get a can of Annie Sloan's dark wax to finish the job.  I really loved working with the paint on this project. When I sanded with 320 grit sandpaper the paint was smooth like a baby's bottom. As sort of a bonus the Annie Sloan soft wax had a really faint smell of babies mixed with sugar cookies. Hey, I don't make the news, I just report it!

 A little close-up of the sheen added by the lovely wax:

I know, I know... someone needs to teach me how to take pictures. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

While Wandering Around, We Found...


     We took an accidental trip to Amish Country last week. We do lots of accidental things! This time we found ourselves at Heini's Cheese Chalet. We took the tour and learned lots of interesting things about how they do it at Heini's. We loved our tour guide, who was willing to answer all of our questions. Great hospitality!

We also met these guys:

We think if we ever have to move again they can help.

     This week I went to a barn sale and met a really nice lady. I didn't get a great photo of Beth, but here is the barn floor: 

They had an awesome old tool bench for sale. It was big and sturdy and had holes for some dangly tools. I had an unreasonable desire to buy it and bring it home with me. I managed to control myself. Mostly.

Photo on the left was as my lovely iPhone camera captured it. On the right edited for clarity and HDR. Do not ask me what HDR is. You will hear crickets because I have no idea. 


I picked up a stranger from the side of the road last night. I can't wait to show you those pictures!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Did You Give Up? What Are You Going To Do About It?

     I studied so much for so many years that I knew what houses were newly listed, which ones had changed price, which ones had been dropped for a while then listed again so they showed as a 'new listing', etc. I had a bunch of wishes floating around in my head. Some of them we were able to meet or exceed, but some of those wishes fell by the wayside, even in building our dream house. What things did you give up during the process? What are you going to do about it?

Big front porch or wrap around porch: The builder only offered a porch like mine is now (miniscule) with a roof over it or a sort of half a porch. I want something much bigger and deeper. I am also more than a little nuts meticulous and I needed my roof line to be the way it is. Then my husband insisted on stone and the way they lay out the stone on different options left this elevation as the only one I could live with. Maybe later I will petition the HOA to allow me to build a gorgeous front porch. In the meantime, we plan on doing some great landscaping in the back to make it a great sit.

Maximum privacy: We have a small conservation area on one side of the house and pastures in the back. I guess we'll all find out once the leaves are full on the trees how much privacy the green-space allows. We can definitely see everything other people do in their backyard. We'll try to adjust, I guess.

Big mudroom: Nothing to be done about this one but whine constantly get over it. We have a garage, so in some ways I guess we have a giant mudroom.

Architectural character: I wanted interesting doorways, pocket doors, full hardwood floors downstairs and in the upstairs hall, hardwood stairs, crown molding, chair rail, board and batten, built in bookshelves, etc. We got hardwoods everywhere except the bedrooms, full bathrooms, and basement. I insisted on the hardwood stairs during the building process. Everything else will be a series of DIY projects. I will turn this house into something lovely and interesting. Thank God for bloggers who are willing to share their expertise.

Great Big Kitchen Island: The builder refused my reasonable request to have a big kitchen island with cabinets on both sides. They offered me three foot square islands for my great big kitchen. I will be doing this myself and loving it!

No HOA: I always swore I would never live in a neighborhood with cookie cutter houses and an HOA where the space between houses wasn't even as large as the houses themselves. I mis-swore. (Wouldn't be the first time) It was a smart sacrifice to get the house of our dreams. I'll get over it until we can buy land and build our family compound. No, seriously.

Fence for the little dog: Nope. Have to ask the HOA.  Insert eye roll. I hate asking permission for every little thing on property I own. Somehow it makes me feel like less of a homeowner. I'll petition the HOA for it and hope for the best.

Giant walk-in pantry: I got one of those tiny pantries which are sort of wasted space. I would have preferred extended cabinets in that spot. I might change it at some point, but it's not as terrible as I thought it would be. I still maintain a large food store room in the basement. I would have had to do this anyway,  unless the giant walk-in pantry was a ten by ten foot room. I'm over it.

I know there were other things I wanted, but honestly, I can't remember most of them. It's kind of funny, because at the time they seemed so critical. After living here a few weeks I am so satisfied those little items, whatever they were, are forgotten. So I didn't get architectural charm - I got full hardwoods and beautiful, fantastic bathrooms and a laundry room on the floor with five of the bedrooms. (Goooooooooal!) I got a big kitchen with gorgeous cabinets and a beautiful fireplace and a warm and inviting dining room. My husband has a nice home office and the guys have a very comfortable man cave. We have a guest suite. If we need to one day, the basement can easily be a separate area for someone to have a lot of fairly private space. (Large bedroom, full bath, stove, fridge, already in place.I got my cousin and her wonderful little family across the street.

What about you? What did you give up and what did you get?

I'm already planning our next house. When the kids all leave and have families of their own I plan on having a grandma house - much different than this one. That one will have a door at the bottom of the stairs to block the noise, and a giant room with lots of bunks for grandkids!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Scattered Showers

Scattered Showers

     Tuesday I was driving down a long country road (are there any other kind around this place?) and thought it was too amazing to just keep driving. I pulled to off into the wide mouth of a farmer's driveway and snapped this photo. Of course, while I was sitting there with my flashers on, the lady of the house drove in, stopped at the end of the drive to get her mail, and asked me If there was anything she could help me with. I told her I was just taking a picture of the scenery. She looked at me like I had two heads.

     I never take this for granted.