Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In all it's glory!

While I was finishing up grading yesterday, Dale finished up taking all the old, dead ivy off the eucalyptus tree in front of the house.  It filled the trash cans, but it looks so great!

It actually has more leaves and healthier branches than I thought it would - I was afraid the ivy was really choking it out, but it looks great.  And no more 'Angelina Jolie's leg' look as I come down the road. 

We are also happy about the bamboo's progress in the back.  When we transplanted all the bamboo, a lot of it looked like it died right off - the leaves turned brown and it just sort of looked like a bunch of dead sticks stuck in the ground. 

But looking down the row at ground level, there are lots of new shoots coming up.  Or, as one of my friends told me, "don't worry, it'll look like Viet Nam back there in a couple of months."  And it does grow fast - we looked at one of these shoots about a week and a half ago, it was about 12" tall --

And when we went out there yesterday, it was taller than me (about 5'6").   A couple of the older canes are fine, it seems that if they hadn't turned black but were still green, they survived the transplant better, like this one.  We'll get the old canes cut down and let the green shoots go to town.

But....that will have to wait until next week - my daughter just arrived (she's at IHOP with Dale having breakfast - he picked her up from the airport because I had a doctor's appt. that I couldn't change) - and so the parade of summer visitors has officially begun!  

  (oh, and I got the quilt done yesterday, just in time)

It's going to be a fun summer - and probably lots of Disneyland for us!

Monday, May 21, 2012

My friend Doris

The two paintings over the bed are by a fabulous artist and dear friend named Doris Vlasek-Hails.  Doris passed away in 2004, and I am so glad that I own several pieces of her work.  The two over the bed are abstractions, and were gifted to me by another dear friend Eric!

I also have a pair of small paintings hanging in my kitchen:

And a gorgeous vase in my living room:

 It's nice to have these reminders of a wonderful friendship!


Sunday, May 20, 2012


Well, I was supposed to be busy this week working on a quilt.  Instead, I watched a "Chopped" marathon - and I don't even find food all that interesting!  So - our bedroom is not quite finished, but we did get furniture moved in:

Got some artwork hung, and I got new sheets and a blanket for our guests.  Although it is summer, here in California, it always cools down at night so a nice warm blanket will be welcome.  Apparently, the cats approve:

 Some people might be concerned that I let our cats lay on the guest bed, in case some of our visitors have cat allergies - but these cats are Oriental Shorthairs, and they have a single coat - no fluffy undercoat, which is what most people have an allergy to.  So they are pretty hypoallergenic.  And they don't shed like other cats.  So, while I don't let them live on the bed, having them jump up once in awhile isn't too bad.

One of the things we're doing in all our rooms as we go is to add some architectural interest.  I installed crown molding in this room, same as in the bathroom, and then added a picture frame rail about 3" below the crown molding.  I painted the picture frame molding, the crown molding and the space in between all white, which makes it appear to have a more substantial molding at top, since they all 'read' as one piece:

I really like the way that the new blinds go with the yellow walls.  Because this window is so long, we couldn't find a single blind that fit across - but a pair fits perfectly.  Hmm...this picture is kind of dark, but you can see the pretty beech wood.

So now I've got to get that bedspread finished - and get a shade for that bedside lamp!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ready to move furniture in!

After the earlier disaster of too-bright yellow, I went back and got another gallon of paint, this time a tint lighter and also changed from satin to flat.  So much happier! This color I love. 

I also finished out the trim work around the wardrobe.  The wardrobe pieces we bought  from IKEA are not as deep as our closet space.  We considered bringing them up to the front, but hated to waste any space in this little house!  We can always use that extra 6" to hang hooks for belts, etc.

So I built out the trim and finished off the edges.

Oh no!  The door hardware was hitting the top of the closet - just barely, but enough to drag and cause them to be difficult to open/close.  So we took the whole thing down - doors, trim, etc, and dropped the doors 3/4", which was the size of the wood I had that would fit.  Put everything back up, then...oh, dang, now they're dragging the bottom!  Just barely, so we took the whole thing apart again, and trimmed it by 1/4".  Needless to say, Dale was not thrilled to install the doors 3 times instead of once, but he knows 1) if I am not happy with it, I will be miserable and probably complain forever, and 2) he is a really good sport and as long as I feed him well and give him enough breaks, he's willing to go the extra mile or two.

So now the doors are perfect, and I rebuilt all the trim and repainted and I'm happy! They look beautiful, they slide along ever so nice.

Lots of storage and clothing space--

I think I'm going to add a shelf over the bar on the right, to store blankets and pillows for my visitors.

I also installed crown molding and new baseboards and installed nice beech wooden blinds.  This morning I scrubbed the floor - we'd love to refinish all the floors but there are so many things ahead of that in the line, but they're not too bad if I go over them with pine cleaner, water, a putty knife and steel wool - inch by inch! - and then polish them back up.  They'll do for now.

Next post will be the furniture and decorating.  I have an old iron bed that I've repainted to match different rooms - this time it'll be cheerful and red to match the decorating scheme I've come up with. I've also repainted an old record cabinet that I had installed mosaic fronts and sides to - it was originally dark green to match our bedroom years ago.  It looks much fresher with a coat of ivory paint.  It looks like we'll have everything ready for my daughter when she comes in a little more than a week!  Pictures to come.....

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

aarrgh...painting woes

We're making progress on our guest room - we've got to get it done because it's getting booked solid!  Our first visitor is coming in two more weeks, so time to pull it all together.

Last I mentioned, Dale had ripped out the closet, and it looked like this------------>

He had to cut more out -- then we assembled (and assembled! and assembled!) the IKEA wardrobe.

and then we slid it into place --

and I framed out around it.  So far, so good.

We tested out our color.  "Hail a Cab" by Valspar.  When I looked at the swatch, it had a nice buttery feel to it.  When I painted the test swatch onto the wall, I really, really liked it.

I was going to swipe the swatch from the website to put here - and this was my first moment of alarm.  The color looked like this:

Yikes!! that looks electric.  If you know me, you know I pretty much hate yellow - except nice, buttery yellows.  This is like fire alarm yellow.

But the swatch looked nice, right?

So I primed the walls.....

and tonight we painted.  Holey smokes.  WAYYYYYYYY too yellow for me!

What happened to that nice, buttery yellow swatch?  Oh yea, that was over the yucky tan paint in the room....when I primed the walls white, I guess I let the "true colors" come shining through.

So I am making a trip to the store for a totally different yellow.  I can't take this color!

In the meantime, I'm busy finishing out the year with my classes, so I won't get it painted until the weekend - I also have crown molding and baseboard to install and paint, but that's a quick job.  We should be able to hang the doors and window shades by the end of the weekend.  In the meantime, I've also painted the old iron bed, cut out fabric for a fun quilt, and I've got a table to paint for this room.  We want to make it welcoming for our summer visitors - not scare them awake with a blast of yellow!

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