This Monday Means Mayhem

The adjective Madness would also work today. This week will be a busy one around here. I’m hosting a little ladies’ lunch on Friday, for some of my favorite gals.  Yes, I know, this is only Monday. But today I have to make notes of all the chores to be done before and get going.

Before the big TA DAH … there’s a huge TO DO list to tackle.

How do you do it … plan and prepare for special events at your house?  There must be bazillions of approaches to this. Well, at least a dozen or two.  I’m sure we all have our particular MODUS OPERANDI (or not) of how we put together our get togethers.

Artzzle feature, Hubs and GracieHubs and Gracie aren’t too upset, but today begins a string of hectic days here.

At times like this, my heroes are my “Lists” and my “Helpers”. This time I have a big task list and two important helpers. We also have four days … and nights, to get it all set up. It should be FOOL PROOF.

Ooh! I probably just jinxed us. Never say NEVER, never say ALWAYS … or FOOL PROOF. Yikes.

1ST LIST: Scribbled notes start me off. I write down everything I wish could be done for the event. All kinds of things, whatever comes to mind, even the “it would be great if we could manage this too” stuff.

2ND LIST: Scribbles are now divided into MUST DO’s and WOULD LIKE TO’s. Next, in this instance, each of the four days are assigned MD tasks, in order of importance and time needed. The most worrisome tasks need to be done as soon as possible. The WLT chores are shown off to the side, to be done in any extra open time that pops up.

I type up a nice, fresh list to post on the fridge, with something handy to mark off as we go along.  Yep, we literally cross things off. This is a great ENERGY BOOSTER. Especially when things are getting tiresome … reminding yourself of what you’ve accomplished and also seeing the TD list diminish right before your eyes, can give great satisfaction.

My helpers are Hubs and Granddaughter, Ashley. The retirement thing means he is here 24/7 and WOW, will that be great for this. Ash is our baker extraordinare, and I’ve hired her to make a dozen luscious AND beautiful cupcakes. Her business manager, sister, Carmen will arrange for the proper charges and billing! Mom, Bri, is loaning some crucial kitchenware. MAWVELOUS Dawlings!

Here’s my NORMAL LIST for this week; regular chores that have to be done, event or not.

• Volunteer ½ day P.M. at our local thrift store
• Pay Bills
• Haircut
• Groceries
• Trip to Milaca (“3rd Thursday” -30% at Discovery Thrift & we always go)
• Wash Windows
• Laundry: Spreads, Throws and Toss Pillow Covers
• Regular vacumning, mopping and dusting

I plan to update you pf our progress, occasionally this week.  Some AFTER photos, as most B4’s would be too messy to share.

Meanwhile, stop over and check this post out at HOMETALK.  I talked with a very nice lady about some decor questions for a small bedroom.

Artzzle feature, small bedroom arrangement

Over and Out for today.

Later – Cheryl

Fun Finds for Friday Features

Okay, YES, I’m still on the “same letter” train.  Hey, I’m likin’ it.

Lately, I’ve needed to review my stash of fun finds. Somethings had to be removed, to clear out space for the upcoming sale season.  You know … all those important sales i.e. Garage, Yard, Barn and Funky Junk sales.  Although I’ve yet to buy a garage or barn.
I find cool stuff inside them!

This week I went metal … that’s metal NOT mental
Here are three obscure pieces I grabbed.

Artzzle Fun Finds Projects

Well, the basket is recognizable, but I have no idea
what those other things were for, originally.
I just liked em’ and knew what I wanted to do with them.
It involved cardboard, spray-paint, wood and mineral oil. (How’s that for a teaser?)

Artzzle Fun Finds Projects

Oh and also coming in to play, cookbooks, dishes and jewelry.  Just wait, you’ll see.    Must mention also, that the projects included Hubs.  Very important factor here.  Using his cardboard collection and a few clamps, Hubs set up a spray booth for me.

He included ventilation, hang wires and all necessary protective equipment.  Ceiling fans and air exchanger were activated, and as it was a warmer day, the back screen was opened a bit too, for added ventilation.

Artzzle Fun Finds Prjects Artzzle Fun Finds Prjojects

I did a quick cleanup on the bare metal pieces before starting to paint.

Metal Basket Cleanup

My product of choice for the paint was Rustoleum in a Hammered Copper color.

Artzzle Fun Finds ProjectsI always begin with small, quick sprays to avoid drips.  But have to admit,
somewhere towards the end of the project, I’m usually just spraying away to get done.

Artzzle Fun Finds ProjectsFinal step, we let the painted pieces dry over night, so as not to be sticky.

Artzzle Fun Finds Projects

Next comes the wood … and in this case, some of those beautiful,
raw walnut pieces Hubs has stashed away. This piece would hang on the wall.

Artzzle Fun Finds Projects Artzzle Fun Finds ProjectsBecause of the awkward shape, it wouldn’t hang level.

Artzzle Fun Find ProjectsSo I chose the pretty walnut slab as a backer and this is the final result.

Artzzle Fun Finds ProjectsThe mineral oil is an economical, all natural way to finish wood.
It brings out all the beautiful details, flaws and colors.  It’s very inexpensive and you can find it easily in grocery, big box, pharmacy and dollar stores.

Project MaterialsUse a clean, lint-free cloth and apply it generously.
Don’t worry, it will be dry-to-the-touch in just a short time.

Artzzle Fun Finds Projects, Wooden MalletsAbove and Below are two wooden mallet projects, Hubs made from scratch

Artzzle Fun Finds Projects, Wooden Mallet

Finally, we took the items in and played.
Here are the final results.
Artzzle Fun Finds Project Basket Artzzle Fun Finds Project, Basket Artzzle Fun Finds Project, Plate Rack Artzzle Fun Finds Projects Plate Rack

With the jewelry item piece, I knew immediately what I wanted it for.

Artzzle Fun Find Projects, Jewelry Rack

Hubs hooked the rack to the wood on the front, with little screw straps.  Then he pre- drilled into the wood and attached the entire piece onto the wall using mollie pieces with two decorative screws.,

Artzzle Fun Finds Project, Jewelry Rack

The basket was just a no-brainer purchase, cheap and for so many uses.  The plate rack piece … well, I REALLY HAD TO THINK about what to do with that, but just knew I wanted to bring it home.

COSTS for everything:  Walnut wood free, from friends who had storm downed trees last summer.  Paint was $6 or less, as I rarely pay more than that.  The basket was $3 and the other two metal pieces were part of a $5 basket of fun junk at a barn sale.  The little bottle of mineral oil was under $2.  Hubs keeps that on hand in his wood shop.

PLEASED with the results:  Have to tell you, I’m over the moon happy with our results. The plate and jewelry storage items were essential storage items, but turned out double-duty pieces as they are pretty for decor too!  Baskets are ALWAYS a great accessory in decorating, but I usually find them in wicker or ceramic.  I freaked out when I saw this one, and HAD TO HAVE IT.  I mean $3 … c’mon!

Have a good weekend all and as always, don’t stress too much about that project, just start it and sometimes it’ll just take off on it’s own, using all of your talents!

Later – Cheryl

Monday has Mentionables

Monday seems a manageable day to mention magazines.
(Ooh, I just love all those “M’s”).
My “Drafts” files contain several notes and starts
regarding my appreciation of these printed papers.
Always wanting to give you great stuff on Artzzle,
I find magazines offer valuable material on varied décor topics.
Which is after all, primarily what Artzzle is all about.

Artzzle.com Magazine Mondays

Regular readers have been so patient with me … thanks guys :)
You all know I’ve tried various “themed days of the week” …
and you’re also aware that continuing those for any length of time,
hasn’t been a strong point for me.

Searching the blog will demonstrate that, to everyone.
Friday Features”, “Whatever Wednesdays” … “Fun Finds” and so on.
Good articles but I never got in the groove of a serial series.

Quite a bit earlier in my blog history, I considered Magazine Monday
… but wouldn’t ya’ know, my blogger buddy BLISS,
started a similar theme at that point.
Good bloggers like to communicate, share and feature fellow bloggers,
but not steal ideas … as some have done.
And YES … even some of the Big Names.
I didn’t want her to feel I was being improper
so I dropped it … until now.  I don’t think she’ll mind,
especially since only the titles are alike.
Our approaches and info are unique to each person.

Magazines AND catalogs, have always been present for me;
in my mother’s household, and through the years, in each of mine.
And take “present” very literally here.
Walking through our home, you’ll find them in almost every room

Artzzle.com Monday Magazines

  In the living room (at Mom’s it was always called the Front Room).

Artzzle.com Monday Magazines

There’s a pile or two in the family room …

Artzzle.com Monday Magazines

including some of Hubs’ subs too!
The tray pictured pictured, was a project you’ll find HERE

Artzzle.com Monday Magazines

 Tons are stacked  ahem … filed … in my office/studio.
The guest room is messy at the moment, so no show.
But yes, there is a nice rack of books AND magazines in there.

Finally, of course … I have to have
available reading in the master bedroom.
Great for those less sleepy evenings,
or the bright, sunny mornings in my chair
with that first cup of coffee … or two or three.
Ya know I gotta have my coffee!
Hey … isn’t that little orange giraffe a cutie. More about him at a later date.

Magazines, living room, workroom, family room, master bedroom

Now, neither Hubs or I require reading material with bathroom seating.

Funny story though.  My Uncle Bob was a favorite of mine.
He passed away last October at age 86, and we all miss him.
Uncle was an over-the-road truck driver for years,
which meant three things:
#1. Their family moved quite often as his employment changed.
#2. Bob detested public restrooms, and all those grubby,
closed in, gas station bathrooms.
#3. In every home they owned, Uncle Bob had a special,
second bathroom just for himself.

Oh, anyone could use it … in an emergency.
But each day, as regular as a sunrise,
he would retreat to his “room”.
Let’s just say for an extended period of time;
sometimes with a cigarette or cigar, and depending on the time of day,
possibly with a can of pop or beer.  (I know … gross, right!)

Point here is, these special spaces of his ALWAYS HAD a magazine rack.
Being a huge sports fan, one might have thought he’d include a TV as well,
but no, only the mags.  He had another special room for his own TV!
And, gotta tell ya, NOBODY INTERRUPTED Bob in either room!
When he wasn’t around and someone would ask his whereabouts,
we’d laugh and say “the King is on his throne”.

I am going to try … very hard, to see how long
I can keep the Monday Magazines a regular feature.
Meantime, our kitchen projects continue,
so look for more updates later this week.

As always, don’t stress too much about a project,
just start and it’ll take off from there!

Later – Cheryl

It’s February and It’s Fantastic to be back.


Kitchen Cabinet Uppers RedoYay!  Artzzle is up and running again and I’m glad to be back.

We’re happy, healthy and heavy into change. You regulars know that re-doing woodwork and cabinetry is an on-going process around here.

We started with our bathroom at the end of 2013 which you can see HERE.  Find the step by step process using Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation, HERE.  We were VERY satisfied with the ease of the project and the durability with use over time.

 So, when we headed to the kitchen, we went with that same procedure.

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation Kit

A two color, light/dark combination scheme was our goal in here.  There are enough possibilities to make this a rather time consuming project.  We have a separate island and then the normal upper/lower areas.  Which would be darker, where would the lighter color work best?  HOUZZ is one of the best sources for photo ideas, so I scoured it for hours, saving examples to show Hubs.  See some of my choices HERE.

To begin, we had to actually decide on what the two colors would be, and this took us a good two months.

The votes were leaning towards grays, or beige with browns, with all of the outer cabinets light (tops and bottoms) and only the island a darker shade.  Bold color doesn’t bother us, but our kitchen is right in the center of all the open living areas, so we wanted that space a bit neutral.  You know how changeable I am with wall colors.  That said, I didn’t want to have to repaint EVERYTHING, each time I needed wanted to redo an accent wall or two.

In grays, we chose three Glidden colors: Hope Chest BHG816 / Old Driftwood GLD811 / Partridge Gray BHG808.  These aren’t 2015 colors so I couldn’t find samples online but, if you go to your area TRUE VALUE site, you can look up the colors we finally chose which were Kayak and Cake Batter.

Then over at our local True Value – Marv’s TV – we found Kayak and Cake Batter.  I had Kayak in the family room already, and we both felt it would work to bring it out to the island. We had the wonderful paint counter crew at Marvs, mix a color as close to the Kayak as possible, with the Rustoleum products.

Newly Redone Kitchen Island

The island results were FANTASTIC.  So much so that we decided to use Kayak on ALL of the LOWER cabinets.Kitchen Project at Artzzle.com

NOW . . . by this time I was really tired of painting . . . anything.  So we rested a bit, actually a couple of weeks.  Then we began working on the upper cabinets (at least they would be a different color!).

Mid-Process of Redo On Kitchen Cabinets

Again, same process.  Hubs removes doors and added new trim to door fronts …

Redesigning cabinet fronts

while I degreased and cleaned the cabinet frames and boxes,
and finally the redesigned doors.

Kitchen Project Supplies

Two coats were applied on the backs of each door and when dry, they were turned and two coats put on the fronts.  While doors were drying, I applied the two coats to the hanging pieces.  The front frames and outer boxes of the cabinets were painted …

Redo Only the Wooden frames and outside boxes

… as well as the undersides of each.

We also painted the bare bottoms of the upper cabinets

We also included the woodwork around the window above the kitchen sink.

New Kitchen Window Look, in Cabinet Redo

Previously, there had been a decorative wood piece that connected the cabinets on each side of the sink.  Well … it was supposed to be decorative, but we NEVER CARED for it.  So in this process, Hubs removed it completely, and trimmed out the inside tops of the cabs.  We both really prefer this look.

New Window Cabinet Look

But ya know what always happens.  You redo something and now it makes something else look bad.  Such it is with the light above our sink.  It was never a favorite piece either, but that will have to do for a while.

Kitchen Cabinet Uppers Redo

Here’s another shot of the newly finished upper cabinets.  I’ve purposely cropped out the backsplash areas.  That’s another recent project  I’ll share with you next time.


NOTE:  Just want to remind everyone that the light sources are so varied in our house, and change even more so during the day as the sun comes from different windows.  The island and these cabinets are two distinctively different tints and shades in the same color family.  Uppers are much lighter than the island, but in these pictures that isn’t as obvious.

TIP:  The note above is a very good example of why you should always get the biggest paint samples you can find AND several different color ranges.  Then you’ll be able to better see what they look like in your home and lighting.

I’m pooped so will close for now.
As always, don’t stress about that project too much, just get it started :)

A BIG THANK YOU for all the well wishes from you when I was on break.
And HEY … let me hear what you think of our new kitchen. Next big project will be to redo the lower cabinets in the darker color. We’re also removing a dishwasher and adding new storage spaces. Can’t wait to see you then!

Later – Cheryl

SOMETHING REALLY DIFFERENT TODAY

On my little break, my back went out of whack.
So the break was no fun, and the problem isn’t done … yet.
But buggy to reappear, I’m sharing a FANTASTIC BLOG here
  Weekday Carnival
The author, Riikka, is on break too,
but there’s still a ton of stuff for you.
Click the picture for the link, and I should be back in a wink …
well, maybe two or three …
so Dear Readers, please … don’t forget me   :)
And as always, don’t stress … just start that project!
Later – Cheryl    

 

Bless Them, Every One

Artzzle.comWISHES TO ALL
FOR A WARM, SAFE,
WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON,
AND HAPPINESS THROUGH THE NEW YEAR

I’ll be back with you in mid-January

Cheryl

Getting That Holiday Mood

Has the Holiday Mood struck you yet?

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Around here, that spirit isn’t appearing as early as usual.

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Still in disbelief how Thanksgiving sneaked up us like that!Artzzle.com

And NOW, it’s barely two weeks until Christmas.

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 [ “How To” BOOK COVERS PROJECT here ]

Hubs is officially retired now … this is his first full week of “no work”.

Artzzle.com[ “How To” WINDOW VALANCE PROJECT here ]

He immediately began taking retirement very literally.
He’s spending lots of time on …
morning coffee, afternoon naps, evening news – with wine …
and hours in his workshop (sitting) in his comfy chair out there …
watching old movies … over and over and … well, you get the idea.

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Anyhoo.  We’ve just about decided (mainly I have) that …
the big ol’ fake tree is staying out in the garage rafters this year.

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Not a great tree booster any year, Hubs much prefers
a few nice Pointsettia plants.

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For 2014, I’m also aiming for simplicity so sounds good to me.

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Just don’t know what else to do yet, but I better get going.

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Hope you enjoy the “CHRISTMAS PAST” photos  I rounded up for today

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Hoping they’ll light my holiday fires too!
Lets all come back soon to see what develops.

Later – Cheryl

It’s Thanksgiving … already?

With so many “Thanksgivings Past”,
you’d think I’d have an overload of turkey tales to tell.

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 Well … let’s see.
Around here, we’ve had some terrifically. tasty. turkeys!
That’s probably because “thankfully” (no pun intended) …
Hubs is the bird cooker at our place … not me.

ARTZZLE.comHey now … I do make a mean green bean casserole though,
and I’m expert at finding great deli side salads!

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I read once where someone well known
said “I don’t cook … I buy pretty food”.
It was probably Erma Bombeck or maybe Mary Engelbreit ?!?

I say “I don’t cook … I buy great food and serve it beautifully”!

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I remember my mom worried about how her food would turn out.
Funny, no matter how much my dad grumbled about things …
he always chowed everything down quick enough.

Mom was a good cook. She needn’t have worried.
Things were always tasty.

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I do remember one holiday meal.
My cousin June and I were squished together in a chair,
in the front room, plates on our laps … laughing and being silly.

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Okay, I know some most of you are thinking I was goofin’ off
and dumped my plate or some stupid thing.

Nope, fooled ya! I took one big bite of mom’s mashed potatoes
with all that great gravy …
and I passed out!

NOW, there was absolutely NOTHING WRONG with ma’s potatoes …
except, I tried to eat them when they were too hot and it made me faint.

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Here’s what I blogged around this time last year.
Thanksgiving for the Kids
Sometimes the little kids get lost in all the holiday hoopla.
Maybe these could help.

And This Project works for any occasion.
I used mine last year for Thanksgiving.

So there you have it. Some Thanksgiving throwbacks.

I wish for all
a Safe, Warm, Wonderful and
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Later – Cheryl

Magnolias in The Snow

The national weather reports were on this morning,
as I sat catching up on emails.
Minnesota is often featured in the worst winter weather areas.
Last week yes . . . but not today!

Things look heavenly in Minnesota compared to the snow hell out east.

Source NBCnew.com

Source  Don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.

Source  NBCnew.comSource  And what’s this poor pup gonna’ do?

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Gracie Mae DOES NOT favor winter!
She DOES have a cleared outdoor spot for her “jobs”,
but has given up her many daily walks,
content to remain inside, staying warm!

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Although, she does still get her exercise

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roaming the halls in search of every bit of sunshine!
She moves from room to room in the house,
as the sun repositions throughout the day.

BEFORE our snow arrived here, we had very up-and-down temperatures.

You may remember that we have a magnolia tree,
even though we live in Minnesota … some sort of hybrid.
During our first “pre-snow” cold snap, the tree lost all of its’ leaves.

But we then had an odd few days of very warm temps,
that totally confused our poor magnolia …
and she budded out again, as if it were Spring.

Now you know I love all sorts of branches and such,
especially pussy willows.
Well Mags’ buds look like giant pussy willows,
so naturally I had to cut a bunch and bring em’ in for decor!

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I filled one of my big ole’ crocks with water
and put them on top of the kitchen cabinets …
where they stayed for a week or two, all cute and fuzzy.

Making coffee last Sunday morning,
I happened to look up and was elated by what I saw!

Those little fuzzies were

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BLOOMING !?!

Hubs took one look,
and said they had to come down to the table!

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So the upper display was altered …
(think I’ll have to do some tweaking and raise that terra cotta piece up)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAARTZZLE.com

 the table display was moved to the credenza

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and the crock of buds took center stage on the table.

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Each day they offer more wonderful surprises.

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Even the finale blooms are beautiful.

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But Mags wasn’t out of surprises yet!
Her flowers have also contributed that wonderful magnolia fragrance.
Love It!

Well … this IS Wednesday, so technically I didn’t miss a Whatever Wednesday.

Stay safe and warm as we gear up for the holidays, and remember
don’t stress too much about anything, just start something
and see where it goes!

Later – Cheryl

VETERAN’S DAY

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Source

Many thanks to
ALL of our VETERANS
and ACTIVE Military members.

Just a thought:

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our politicians wouldn’t fight
but instead … unite for right,
just as our Service People do everyday.