Can You EVER have enough Storage Space?

One of the things WE love about our home is our main living area with it’s vaulted ceilings and odd shaped walls.  Something we didn’t like about this house was the limited storage as we have no basement.

One of the things I love in our home, is my talented husband!  I can just tell him about an idea I have and draw a little sketch.  He does a little measuring, draws a real plan . . . and makes it for me.

Now, everyone knows how I love to collect pottery, glass and BIG décor items and all kinds of other stuff; lots of pieces that are difficult to store, especially in a small home like ours.  I got really tired of shoving everything in bins under the beds.  In the first place, we only have two beds (and one is a twin), and secondly, there are things under there already.

I did design & Hubs built, a special size storage area attached to the bottom of the twin bed frame.  It’s just a simple attached drawer with a little hook to close it.

Artzzle Extra Storage Feature

Unlatch the hook, the door drops down and items are slid in.  This holds my large paper, matting and artwork.  The bed cover hides it, so we just left it raw.

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Another easy little idea provided extra coat storage.  In the laundry room, a simple strip of molding was attached to the wall and hooks were added.  The laundry room is a pass through to the garage and back door entrance, so is a perfect spot for hanging casual jackets, sweaters and the occasional dog leash.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

TIP:  Be sure to anchor the molding strip to a stud or two on your wall.  That will accommodate the weight of your hanging items, so the molding doesn’t pull away from the wall over time.  Our Projects List includes eventual cabinets for the laundry room as well.  For a temporary fix I added shelves, featured HERE.

We’ve made sure most of our occasional tables and furniture pieces have drawers and shelves, so that helps oodles.
TIP:
  DOUBLE DUTY furniture pieces provide extra storage for any size space.  A dresser could be used as a TV stand, with the drawers storage for equipment.  End tables with shelves and/or drawers can be used in many rooms.  Coffee tables with a shelf or open legs can house baskets for extra storage.

Your next question “Do we have enough storage space now?”

My question . . . “Does anyone EVER have enough storage space?”

This is our entry way.  At the top of the shot you can see some of our angled, fun colored walls.  I say “way” because it is simply a space between the front door and a closet; both which are an actual part of the living room.  There’s no separate foyer.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

We’re accustomed to this feature.  Our previous rambler was also designed with a little closet directly by the front room door.    That is the only commonality in the two homes.  Today’s market standards categorize this home as small at 1550 sq. ft., but our other rambler was only a 960 sq. ft. plan.  Now THAT was small, but that house had a basement.  Don’t worry though, it was fine.  And YES, we did a lot of changing, rearranging and customizing in that.  Had to with 5 kids between us.

We really enjoy this entry closet because of it’s angles and the fun walls around it, on the outside.  But, recently I was cleaning the closet, and getting frustrated with that jagged corner space inside, where all the less-important, rarely used junk  stuff gets shoved.  When the hanging rod is full, you can’t even get back in there.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

Plus, we store leftover paints in there, so they don’t freeze in the winter.  I hate seeing those every time I opened the door.

Soooooo,  I went to find Hubs.  I talked, he measured, he drew and then . . . began building.  From this . . .

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To this. Here a second upper full length shelf was also added.

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And finally, this.

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Nice, right?  Was I satisfied?

Well, no.  You could now see even more “stuff” when the doors were open.

Solution:  We had a fabric shower curtain in the donation bin.  So I had him adapt for a rod.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

And voila’, see no more evil!

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

Was that enough . . . uhhm . . . almost.

For that higher area, I took a simple tension rod and put up the valance to the old shower curtain.  Now . . . done!

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feaature

So Cheryl now has even more storage AND it’s pretty, well sort of.  At least stuff is stored and hidden!

TIP:  Don’t overlook small corners and odd spaces in your home that could be utilized for storage.  IMAGINE and EXPERIMENT with spaces, pieces and places.  Have fun!

Lots more going on around here, even other storage projects, so, we’ll talk again soon!

Until then, stay positive to stay productive :)

Later – Cheryl

 

Staying Positive . . . on Father’s Day

Apart from the obvious, my parents were two completely unique people, one from the other.  On Mother’s Day I had no shortage of loving memories of my mom, to share.  At only sixty two, she was gone in an instant, in a freak accident.  I’ve missed her always but the loss seems even more acute as I grow older.

Feelings are quite different for me regarding my father.  There was fear, uncertainty and there continues to be resentment and anger, although all have lessened as I’ve aged.  I wasn’t intending to write a specific Father’s Day post.  Instead I did a Project Issue.  In the present, it’s very important for me to stay positive and productive . . . in everything.  I felt that posting about my father might stir up too many negatives.

You know how fond I am of using angles.  Well, today I decided to consider my dad from a different angle.  Instead of simmering angrily, I tried to think of good things and began a list.

When I was very small, my dad would sometimes draw little cartoon-like characters for me, or make me those cut-out paper doll chains.  He would make the dolls and then I would draw and color them.  It was one of my first good memories of him.

Dad was musical.  He had a good singing voice in church and played several instruments by ear.  For a few years he put together a country style band and they would play for barn dances and events. At the dances, he put me in charge of “getting the floors ready”.  Floors in the old buildings were often in poor shape and the wood was very dried out.  So, you took a box of laundry soap flakes (not many liquids then) and sprinkled them over the floor, to make the dancing surface sort of slick; easier to dance on.  This was done once or twice during the evening.  Dad made that “my job”, and I thought I was really a big shot, given such an important responsibility.

In my senior year of high school, my mom had a lengthy hospitalization for a serious illness and surgery.  One evening in particular, my dad came home earlier than I had.  When I got there, the dining room table was nicely set (we always ate at the kitchen counter) and dad had cooked dinner for us.  Not just mac and cheese, but a steak and salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, with a little cheese and relish tray.  There was no alcohol, just cold Cokes.  He even held my chair for me.  It was really something.

That same spring, before she became so ill, mom had helped me pick out a prom dress.  By the time alterations were done, she wasn’t able to go along, so my dad went.  While I was trying the dress on, he and the clerk strolled through the little store, with him saying “Give me one of those” or “how about that”.  I came from the dressing room to find a little group of lovelies. A pair of beautiful earrings, an elegant beaded clutch, long white gloves and the most precious white faux fur stole.  That is my nicest and favorite good memory of my dad.

There.  My list does have a few pleasant memories.  And admittedly, it’s much more productive and positive, to remember those instead of their opposites.  I guess it was good for me to do an official “Father’s Day” post.

If your dad is still with you today, give him a hug or a call.  If not, blow him a kiss with a smile.

I’ll sign off with a new line this time.  Stay positive and you’ll stay productive.

Later – Cheryl

Thirty Two Days

July means the arrival of fun around here.  Two cousins from out-of-state, visit and stay for a few days.  There’s lots of laughing and talking, and eating – lots of eating!  But the best part is … shopping!  We’re all bargain hunters which means thrift stores, garage sales, Marshall’s, Homegoods, etc.  It’s always a blast.

Their visit also means that around this time in June, my panic attacks start.  We only see each other once a year, and I want the house to be all “ooh ahh” and special.  Hubs and I have been working on a few things to get ready.  We’ve both gone through our stashes of materials.

These four bright pots have been on my shelf for over a year. Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

At a Crafts Direct’s whopper sale, they went from $4.99 to $2.00 and finally another 75% off that.  Seriously … how could I pass up a deal like that. And look at all that color! Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

You know how I like to work with odd numbers, so a taller piece I already had, was added.  After explaining my idea to Hubs, he drew up a plan and with scrap wood from his workshop, he made this

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I chose a color from some left-over paint . . . Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

and did two coats, directly on the raw wood.

Since the pots have no drain plate, we bought plastic trays at WalMart ($0.35 ea) and some $3.33 plants.

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There were many varieties of plants and tray sizes to choose from.

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For Spring I went blue and green in the living room, so I chose the bluish green paint for the tray.  It works nicely with the bright pots, don’t you think?

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Below was the previous look

  • The purple plate and bowls were $3 @ garage sale.
  • The purple sphere was $2.50 @ local Discovery Thrift.
  • The bunnies were $1.00 at local ReUse Store.
  • The miscellaneous white pieces are from my collections.
  • Flowers were free from a garage sale.

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After the windows are washed, the living room will be guest ready.  Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

A different furniture arrangement and change out of accessories have given it a totally new look.

Great, right?

But what about thoset thirty two days? It’s all that’s left!

In thirty two days, I need things to be clean, comfortable, colorful and … different.  Those 3 C’s aren’t a problem, but that “different” is what drives the panic.  It’s not like this upcoming event is anything new.  Unfortunately, my unpreparedness isn’t new, either.  And I can’t blame it on the timing issues mentioned HERE.  I just keep thinking I have all this time and then suddenly … I don’t.

So I had better sign off for this time … and GET BUSY!

Hubs is already working on a shelf for my salt & pepper collection. My cousin always teases me about having oodles of shakers but never putting any out to use OR show.  Ha!  She’ll be surprised this time.

Meantime, I’ll try to take my own advice . . . to stress less and start more!

Later – Cheryl

Hey … Timing ISN’T Everything … is it?

How’s your timing?

Not the musical or early/late kind of timing . . . but just in everyday things . . . you know.

Ever just miss something great that happened because your timing was a little off?  Example:  You work in a popular metropolitan store where a major movie star is coming in before store opening to shop  AND she’ll sign autographs.  I get You come to work the usual time – and just miss her . . . how did I not you not know?

How about when everyone else – but you – always seems to know what day it is.  Bloggers mention all these special calendar days that I’ve never heard of. Hey, I love puppies, so how did I not know – until May, that National Puppy Day was in March?

(FYI:  Evidently there really is a Puppy Day.  Click the pic for a fun daily calendar.)

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Creativity doesn’t fit to a timetable.   For me, it strikes at any time of day or night.  I know a few people – besides myself – who keep pad and pen on the bed stand, for those occasional, great middle-of-the-night ideas, or the one that hits just as you’re falling asleep.  I’m also part of that group that takes pad, paper and a camera with them wherever they go.  Well, the camera gets forgotten a lot . . . thank gawd for my cell phone!

Studio Arts Classes in college, can get tough.  You’re given a week or so to complete a specific assignment . . . plenty of time, right? But more often than not, my best idea didn’t hit until a day or two before deadline. I spent many nights painting or drawing until 4:00 am of due day – and I had morning classes   :(   Other ideas developed earlier, but THE ONE  usually came down to the wire. A couple of times my oils were still wet at presentation.

J.O.'s Studio

Inspiration can’t be scheduled. It originates through life’s daily experiences. In a single moment, something fantastic can set the ideas flowing. My son is, and I was, in advertising. We both preferred NOT to be art directors and specifically chose other avenues. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to instantly produce. Schedules can be excruciating on the creative process (and the nerves), especially if you’re the person who has to come up with the campaign’s ideas.

My timing issues are possibly why I love decorating. Other than special displays for holiday themes, in your own home, you can decorate the way you want, and work on any room or project, any time of year.  AND you always have options for changes.  You don’t have to live by a schedule or calendar unless of course, you’re working with clients.  Even then though, it’s more of a fun process than ulcer producing.

Ideas and initiative for a master bedroom project, have been bombarding my brain big-time lately, so that’s what I’m working on. Previous versions were featured HERE

ARTZZLE.COM

and HERE.

Artzzle Timing Feature

Details for the re-do are coming together quickly, but all I’ll tell you today is, there are big changes afoot, especially with the colors.  I’m adding an accent color and the two top contenders are  LILAC  and  CORAL.  We’re also developing an architectural feature.

So you know, I began this article yesterday, with every intention of posting it then.  Honestly I did!

See, I found this.  “June 1st, by the way, is NATIONAL HAZELNUT CAKE DAY.”  I was going to include this crazy calendar day . . .

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and tell you a funny story about how I used to like hazelnuts, but one time ate way too many . . . moaned, groaned and threw up most of the next day.

That’s funny – right?  But, maybe it’s more of a time management issue, not timing, huh; not knowing when to stop!?

Hubs’ timing was lousy yesterday.  I was almost finished with this post when I got a “Need a little help out here”. Working in the shop, he somehow caught his finger in/under/between a caster ??? and, long story short . . . we made an unexpected trip to the ER for stitches.

Artzzle Timing Feature

Gracie and I got kinda freaked out with all the blood, yuk!

Artzzle Timing Feature

We’re all OK now – Hubs too.

Today is National Rotisserie Chicken Day though – no, seriously.  It also happens to be my grocery day so . . . it’s off to WalMart to buy one!

Don’t forget – stress less and you’ll start more!

Later – Cheryl

BIG P.S.    I love your comments.  BE SURE when you comment, that your address is set to receive my personal reply to you.  Otherwise, MARK THE FOLLOW-UP COMMENT BOX to get a reply from the post.

I’m still waiting  for some project updates and pictures from some of you (YOU know who you are! :)   Remember, you can find the email address when you click my profile pic on the home page.  Send pics, questions and concerns via that address!

Talk to you soon!

 

 

 

 

Whatever Weather

Whether wet or dry, weather has been the Big Boss around here all week, a 50/50 toss-up between rain and shine.  Good things are we need the moisture, but haven’t suffered severe flooding like many areas.  Another positive is, the rain holds off a while in between storms, and gives enough dry out time to mow.

Mow . . . and mow . . . and mow again! I swear the grass grows two inches a day, at least!

And those dandelions, ugh.  They seem to multiply by the thousands!

Artzzle Weather Feature

I love mowing on my rider . . .  but my back doesn’t like it so much.  Nice to have Hubs around now 24/7 to take an extra yard shift.

One of the damp days had just occasional sprinkles, which allowed me to clean out our little, front entry garden.  I forgot to take a B4, but below are Afters.

Artzzle Weather Feature

For a few years now, I’ve been planting only perennials; hardy plants that will tolerate our cold winters and continue to thrive the next summer.

Artzzle Weather Feature

As a natural course of things, over time, we’ve planted, and had to remove, various shrubs.  Unlike trees, shrubs have much shorter life-spans.

This corner below was emptied last summer, and we added a lilac.  This year, Hubs allowed a second stem to grow.   Lilacs can be fun to sculpt a bit as they grow. He’s going for a double trunk look here.  It’ll be fun to see if we like what develops . . . or not.

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A diablo ninebark had to go this year.  Hubs cut it way back earlier in the Spring.  We were waiting for help, to dig out the stump, but look at this.

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I like this spot of color and texture in the garden, so it’s staying . . . at least for this summer.

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Oldest daughter gave me a Mother’s Day gift card, which covered three bags of mulch for a quick cleanup and a few decorative annuals, for some instant interest and color.  (Thanks Breezer!)

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Farther out in the front yard, we have a particular variety of willow tree, not the standard weeper.  It tends to lean a bit rather than stand straight up.  We specifically picked it for that reason.  Hubs and I both love what we call “whonky” and found it perfect.  Drives our one perfectionist neighbor crazy, but no one else seems to mind  ;-)

Artzzle Weather Feature

Willows are often easily started from trimmings, so this time when pruning, we saved a few cuts and popped em’ into some good dirt.  We’ve tracked their progress.

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Surprisingly, most of them survived and thrived.  They’ll be transplanted in a few weeks, out back in one of the low spots, where they’ll have a bit more moisture.  Another area to watch grow.

The beautiful spirea below is presently all by himself in the back yard.  We’ll be moving him to the front area before Fall.

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Nothing has been cleaned out in the little back garden yet, this year.

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It’s a little big jungle out there.

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But this week is peak bloom time for our big old crown wegelia.  The blooms are so full and beautiful. You would expect a wonderful fragrance too, but not so with this shrub.

Artzzle Weather FeatureThis size of bush can easily afford to gift a few branch cuttings.

Artzzle Weather Feature

TIP:  Continue to keep fresh water up to the top of your vase, and these will open fully and be gorgeous for about a week.

FUN FINDS: Pictured here are some of my recent fun finds.

  1. Tall glass vase $3
  2. Decorative Scarf $0.75
  3. Three Tier (Pier One) display piece $2.50

They hold a few loose blossoms & leaves here, but the little sectioned holder is also great filled with candies when company comes.

Artzzle Weather Feature

TIP:  Keep water levels up in small holders too.  Holding very little, they evaporate quickly.

That’s what we’ve been up to this week . . . Hubs and I.  What’s new with you?

Remember . . . stress less, start more!

Later – Cheryl

Lots of WOW for $0 and 15 minutes

Got company coming this weekend?
Need to spruce up your place … quickly, cheaply, easily?
Round up some of your treasures and have a little fun.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Start with 3 items of different heights and textures (add more later if you want).  You can go “theme-y” with similar pieces, or pure random just showing off things you love.

Purely random here . . . 1. Rusty star, 2. Silver ceramic figurine, 3. Jawbone, naturally bleached. OK, I KNOW . . . you don’t have (or may not want) an animal’s jawbone.  I’m just goin’ for the process here.  You’ll be using your own great stuff!
Artzzle Display Feature

The jaw isn’t for everyone, but have to say . . . it’s the most talked-about arrangement in our house; a real eye-catcher and a great conversation piece.

TIP: Group your pieces, let them touch.  You want them to connect.  Sometimes a straight line works . . . but not too often.

Got books? Show em off.  Below, several big books are placed under artwork and dressed up with three decorative pieces.  1-2-3 you’re done!

Artzzle Display Feature

It’s easy to jazz up a shelf.  All we did here was line up three nice, but different vases to give things a little shine.  (YES, a line works fine here.)  NOTE: Use varied heights and patterns, and don’t put too much space between the items.  Pull them closer together.

Everyone has dishes and I’ve never met anyone who hates candy or flowers.
Dress up a convenient spot with 1. Bowl, 2. Plate, 3. Mug.  Add some flowers & greens from your yard. Throw in some goodies and you’ve got a great look on a kitchen table or the end of a counter. Just make sure it’s easy access for your guests.

Artzzle Display Feature

Don’t have or want the matchy-matchy look? No garden flowers? Use what you’ve got and like. 1. Paint can, 2. Tin, 3. Odd plate.

Artzzle Display Feature Clip some evergreens or shrub branches. YES, evergreens work all year round (but maybe use something besides peppermints and red candies when it’s not Christmas :) OR, pick up a cheap assorted flower bunch at the local box store – around $5 or less.

Artzzle Display Feature

Maybe you don’t have a yard at all.  Above, we just put root clippings from two houseplants into water.  EZ PZ.  (These stems will be planted after they root).

How about plants and books?  1. Houseplant, 2. Books, 3. Handmade wooden mallet.  You’ll have personal pieces of your own.

TIP:  Notice the little angle to the books.  EXPERIMENT, don’t always just line things up, or pull everything evenly to the front..

Artzzle Display Feature

You GUYS can use these tips too.  Just work what you have and follow the same 1-2-3’s.  Below are more masculine displays.  Again, really easy, just use things you already have.

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Natural wood pieces and beautiful rocks make great accents. On top, we used the paint can and house plant cuttings again, along with a little handmade fishing pole, a found rock and a VICTORY cycle gas cap.  (these all have meaning for a special fella of mine)

Artzzle Display Feature

TIP: The fishing plaque was simply positioned on the wall with putty (big box stores). It holds light weight things, can be as temporary or permanent as you want.  Doesn’t hurt the wall upon removal.

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Again, have fun and EXPERIMENT.   Here, three decorative boxes, more books, some natural elements and yes . . . even magazines.  This display was easy, and tells a story about the  person who lives here.

TIP:  Play!  Books can be upright but try leaning or stacking a few.   Magazines laying around?  Gather them up in a nice bunch and show em’ off.

Baskets are great in lots of places.  The one below stores (and displays) books and magazines.  NOTE:  Three pottery pieces on table top also hold books and treats.

Artzzle Display Feature

TIP:  For anyone . . . a quick dress-up for a couch: 1. Throw, 2. Toss Pillows.  Use a throw, small colorful blanket – toss it over the corner (or middle) of the couch, pull it together in the middle, then throw a couple toss pillows over the corner (or middle).

It’s also quick and easy, to pop flowers or a plant into a nice basket.

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Accent with favorite items.  Add a colorful placemat or scarf underneath and you’ve got a great table look.

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So just as the title promised . . .

  • $0 money spent using what you already have
  • Quick Spruce Up
  • Easy tips that anyone can do

Wishes to all for a safe, happy Memorial Day Weekend.

And remember, stress less . . . start more.

Later – Cheryl

Hey Ma . . . It’s Me

Hey Ma . . . it’s me, Cheryl Ann.  With Mother’s Day coming up, not our usual chat this time.  It’s got me thinking of all sorts of things.  Remember the way you would let me lay my head in your lap on Sundays, when the sermon got too long?  Both Pastor Braun and “Rev” M. had their  talents, but we both know that public speaking wasn’t top on the list, right.  I always loved the way you would smooth my hair as I laid there. Artzzle Mother's Day Featur

I liked to play with those cardboard fans on the sticks too.  And then we had our secret “Church” language. One of us would silently tap to the other . . . 3 taps was “I-Love-You”; 4 taps back was “I-Love-You-Too” . . . then a squeeze or rub, to say . . . “So Much”.  A shared smile or quite giggle ended the conversation.  So, of course, I had to do that with my kids too.  My step daughter, Cindra, still signs off cards with a “Tap Tap Tap”.

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Ooh, an old B&W of us when your Donnelley friends came to visit.

The weather is finally  warming up here in Minnesota.  Of course, in Iowa, all those beautiful peony bushes are already bursting with giant blooms.  Mine are only about two feet tall, so far.  That long row of peonies you planted at the front of the garden was so beautiful in full bloom. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature PHOTO SOURCE:  Barb Rosen . . . Our Fairfield Home and Garden

And your glads in the summer.  I still have the picture of you standing among them; that year they were taller than you, remember?  And you didn’t want me to take the picture because you had shorts on!  Of course, I did anyway and we laughed and laughed.   Peonies and gladiolus are still your favorite flowers right?  Mine too . . . always. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature PHOTO SOURCE:  SL . . . Stephanie Lynn . . . under the table & dreaming

And I so enjoy, making flower arrangements just like you.  Remember when I worked for Bachman’s at the airport?  Then too, at the small floral shop here, in our local store.  You were there, I know

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One of my Autumn dried arrangements.  Recognize the watercolor in the background?  It’s the one I did for you in college. ARTZZLE.COM

What about all those summer nights when we’d sit on the front step, playing Simon Says and Captain May I ?  Oh, and then after dark, we’d go hand-in-hand, for long walks around the neighborhood, just the two of us.  Well, Brownie went along sometimes too, though, didn’t he?  Crazy old dog.  Remember how he’d run away for days, sometimes weeks at a time and then sure enough, one day, you’d see him running home, across German’s field into our yard.  Our Gracie is definitely a house dog, but no one allows pets to run anymore.  Long time ago in small towns.

Gracie on Artzzle Website scan041

GRACIE  MAE                          &         BROWNIE So many memories, and even the “not so good” ones can be funny.  Like the time you got the new pressure cooker, and we were going to stew tomatoes! Good thing we went outside to take that break.  Those were some hot tomatoes flyin’ around when that thing blew up all over the kitchen.  Weird how the madder Dad got about it, the harder it was for us to keep from laughing.  Hhmm, Dad and my ex were a lot alike.  We were the ones who cleaned it up, so don’t know why Dad was so angry!

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Us when baby Brad & I stayed with you while his dad was overseas. Do you recall this photo.  Wish I had more of us together. Well, we could talk forever, but I’ll save the rest of this remembering for another night. Hey Ma, can you believe it’s been thirty two years, already?  I was going to say it doesn’t seem possible that so much time and memories have gone by so quickly; I know you haven’t missed too much though, because you’re always with me. And then, we always have our little talks. But for tonight . . . it’s me, signing off. Luv ya, Mom . . . Always. ALWAYS ALWAYS by artzzle-com  2014

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My Mom, Marguerite 1920 – 1983
Rest in peace, Ma

Great News You Need to Read

I’ve been so busy, I didn’t realize that Friday, it’s MAY . . . already!
Yikes!  I still have LOTS of great April news to tell you about.

Last week I received an invitation from the team over at HomeTalk.  They asked me to curate a board about flower arranging and of course . . . I said “No”

C’mon, you know I said “Yes”.  :)  I know that with a little help, anyone can put together an arrangement, so I specifically searched HT articles for basic but beautiful looks, with some great tips and how to’s for you.  Their group designed this pretty graphic for the board.  Click to link over  BUT Don’t leave yet  . . . there’s so much more news.

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ARTZZLE celebrated it’s 2nd Anniversary in mid-April.  Progress was turtle’s pace slow at first.  But I continued to learn and kept on writing . . . and learning.  The first big thrill came when one of my projects was Featured at The Graphics Fairy.  I walked on air for a week or two with that.  Plus, got lots of traffic and more followers.  Yay, somebody likes me :)  My next boost came from a project I shared over at HOUZZ when we re-did our bathroom cabinets.  That was one of my most popular posts – more traffic, more followers.

Meantime, I contribute to discussions and questions on several social medias, which continues to gain followers for ARTZZLE.  And last week our Back Splash Project shared on Home Talk generated . . .

you might want to sit down . . . I had to!

SERIOUSLY . . .

That post generated over 11,000 . . . yes that was THOUSAND views in the first three hours, and nearly 14,000 within the next few days.  And yep, more followers both on Home Talk and the website.  So, faithful followers and readers, I’m going to keep on “keepin’ on”.

YOU CAN DO THIS.  If you’re a new or newer blogger, hang in there.  Try not to get too discouraged if when things are slow.  Most of my blogger buddies feel it takes at least 3-4 years to build.  What is best for me is . . . to just be myself.  YES, I know I’m not THERE yet and I’m not a prize winning author.  I can get a little corny, and sometimes probably too serious, but it’s always just me.  I wouldn’t be comfortable or have any chance at success otherwise.

I’ve learned so much from other bloggers.  Lots of people say they make friends with their blogs.  Well . . . I believe it.  I have my favorites and some of us are developing a connection, a friendship.  There is support, advice, and a lot of behind the scenes humor.

Meantime, whatever you choose to do, remember . . .

Don’t stress too much, just start something.

Later – Cheryl

Duck … 3-2-1- Backsplash

Hi guys. It’s a bright, sunny day, finally! Lot’s of gloomy, doomy, chilly days this past week. Bad for energy and ambition, but we managed to crank things up anyway. Had to force ourselves because all the inside days were great for projects, and as usual we have plenty of those available.  Today’s feature wasn’t really too difficult OR expensive. The biggest requirements were some elbow grease, a little time and a LOT of patience.

We have the normal countertop areas, the kitchen and bathroom. Our house is a standard build, and our tops were flat formica, edged with wood trim. Instead of one piece with a raised lid against the wall, there is a separate wood/formica strip thingy that was applied on top, against the walls. This is used quite often in our area up here, but not much when I worked with builders in the Twin Cities areas.

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When new, it looks fine and is livable. But after not too much time at all, the caulking discolors and comes loose, and shortly after that, because of moisture I guess, the entire wooden piece begins pulling away from the wall. All in all, an unattractive, non-functional piece of . . . (I’ll be nice here) work.

Hubs and I plan to install a pretty tile backsplash at some point. Presently, the dream look isn’t affordable, so I was on the search for other options.  As a former military wife, I had numerous quick and easy ways of sprucing up the many rentals we occupied. One product used frequently was contact paper. It was a newer product then, and I fell in love with it’s bright, colorful designs and wipe-able surface. AND it was affordable. What’s not to love.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

I began resourcing in stores and online. Today’s CONTACT brand wasn’t offering what I needed. Our plan was to run the paper in two, long strips, horizontally, rather than a series of short, vertical pieces (as you would with wallpaper).  I needed a roll width of about 20” and contact rolls were only 18”. Also, I found no pattern in stores that was modern enough for the look we wanted.  Online, the selection was only a tad better, more expensive too, and added shipping costs. I considered going with a fabric/starch technique … but that’s lots more work and time consuming, AND I would have had to do several layers of sealer to have it work effectively on a backsplash.

AND THEN … I found a vinyl adhesive made by DUCK Brand. There were only two or three patterns at Wal-Mart. None, in a perfect situation, would have been my first choice. One design was more than tolerable, affordable at $9.89 a roll and I only needed one. More importantly, it was approx. a 22” height, which was perfect.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

We began the prep work by removing the already loosened wooden back trim pieces. Perhaps these are so popular because their nearly two inch depth hides a lot of mistakes and builder sins. Below shows the huge bowed gap we found between the wall and counter, under our kitchen window.

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That cruddy strip in the middle is actually the gap.  You could stick all four fingers into it.  A problem we would have to deal with later.

Now, I used Goo Gone to loosen the adhesive marks left on the counter top, then carefully scraped it away.
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Next, the walls were sanded to remove layered paint buildup.  The walls were washed down well, with a touch of dish soap on a dampened rag.

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That was followed by a patch to any bad spots on the walls, and when dried, a final good sanding and wipe down.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

Next we painted the area previously behind the trim piece. It had remained the builder white, but the walls were darker now. This would have shown through the contact paper so needed to be one color.  Looking closely at the photo below, you can see how the white lower part of the wall shows through when the contact paper is held up.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

We began on the less visable wall, our hopes being that by the time we got to the primary wall, we’d know better what the heck we were doing.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

Once the paper was up, Hubs worked on a way to hide that big old gap. We simply bought quarter-round, primed pine cove at our True Value. He cut it to size. I painted it to match our upper cabinets and he installed the pieces. Below you can better see the cove trim.  Hubs used his brad nailer and adhesive to adhere the wood to the wall.   

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

We’re happy with the results and . . . very happy . . . that the project is done!

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

So, there you have it. Our next project is much bigger. We’ll be finishing our lower level kitchen cabinets. As you can see in the pictures, our uppers and island are done, but the bottom cabinets are still in the builder’s basic orange oak.

Meantime, don’t stress about a project, just start one!

I’ll be back soon.

Later – Cheryl

A Season Of Celebration

It’s Spring. Everyone’s happy about that.
I know many of you are sighing in relief,
and probably thinking “It’s about time!”

This welcomed season is a time of many celebrations.
Simply, joy for the weather changes and Spring breaks.
Seriously, the observances of Easter and Passover.

Artzzle Spring Feature

This photo lifts my spirits with each view.
I’m hoping it’s as uplifting for you.
Have a wonderful holiday.
I’ll be back this way . . . soon.

Later – Cheryl