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.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

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.
Artzzle Backsplash Feature

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.

Artzzle Backsplash Feature

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

As Time Goes By

At any age in life,
as time goes by,
we’ll each have moments,
when we must say goodbye,
but we’ll all . . . always remember.

Artzzle Remembrance FeatureArtzzle Remembrance Feature

JUDY

  • A dresser mirror surrounded with fan magazine covers
    and autographed, star photos
  • A beautiful, blue metal, powder-puff music box,
    sitting on the vanity.
  • Baby kittens … several batches …
    under the back, summer porch.
  • Your dad’s home-grown popcorn on Sunday evenings.
  • Your mom’s beautiful flower garden,
    her love of the color green,
    and her special bond with my mother
  • Me in my pretty, lavendar plaid dress,
    carrying the rings down the aisle to you and Irvin.

* * * * * * * *

scan037 Artzzle Remembrance Feature

BOB

  • Semi’s and BIG trucks.
  • Summers in Charles City
  • Screamer belly aches at the county fair
  • The King with his own thrown
  • Beers during TV Baseball (yours not mine)
  • Bikes and ponies with Mike & Kevin
  • Baby dolls and bunk-bed tents with Lori
  • NeeNee (about my Dad) “That man makes me nervous!” (Miss you Neal)

Cousin Judy and Uncle Bob,
THANK’s for all THE LOVE and all THE MEMORIES

Dear Readers & Followers:

I’ll be back soon with results on a few more completed projects and info on some new sites I’ve found to share.  Meanwhile, enjoy the Spring as it pops out … finally :)

Later – Cheryl

Quick Peeks Into Bedrooms

Hey . . . let’s peek into some bedrooms . . .

at some easy ideas for a new look in yours!

You knew that’s what I meant . . . right?

In the last couple of weeks,
several people have asked me about colors and
something different for bedrooms.
I saw this and wanted to share with you.
It was online, via BHG via HGTV sites and information.

Quick Changes for A Bedroom

With all this retirement time, I’ve been online … A LOT.
So if you have a minute or two … catch me at these spots and,
while there, check out the newbies who’ve signed on lately, too!

PINTEREST     HomeTalk         HOUZZ

Artzzle Feature

This is OUR Master Bedroom see the rest here and
and an earlier look here.

Hey Gracie … you’re slippin’ baby.

Artzzle FeatureAhh … ain’t she sweet!    Say “Goodnight” Gracie.

We’ll be back soon!

Later – Cheryl

P.S.
Two Important Things
1. WELCOME to all of you NEW FOLLOWERS at Artzzle.
2. To ALL MY WONDERFUL FOLLOWERS and READERS … remember
after you leave your comments, BE SURE TO
check the “Follow Comments” Box
SO you can see my answer to your message! :)

Have You Said the “S” Word Yet?

It’s another bright day.  Hope your’s was also.  Anyone else thinking the “S” word yet?

Well, not to jinx it, but with all this color thought of late, these warm days just naturally stirred up yearnings for a seasonal change.  I just couldn’t help myself … had to do a little Spring decorating.

This week I spruced up the living (front) room, changing out the door wreath, shelf unit and the mantel.

My “Wreath for All Seasons” was hanging, lonely and bare, after the reds of Christmas and Valentines were removed.

Enough spring stuff was found in the craft room, to liven it up quite a bit.

Artzzle Spring Feature

It seemed a little early for roses … so I didn’t include them.

Artzzle Spring Feature

I was happy with the results.  How about you?

Remember,  this wreath was specifically designed to be changed out for different occasions, so all pieces are attached lightly, with double sided tapes, or just wired in to the original frame; allowing for quick and easy change out.  You all know how changeable I am.

The fireplace … in its’ new location now, under the big clock, looked like this earlier.  I was never completely satisfied with this vignette.

Artzzle Spring Feature

I made a raid on my fabric remnants and found this pretty green piece to ground things.  From there a little house shopping and some experimenting produced this look.

Artzzle Spring Feature

It says “Spring” don’t ya think?

The plate holder by the front door, got a color change with the green plate, and a few butterflies came over to play.

Artzzle Spring Feature

On the standing shelf unit currently in that room, once again the reds of previous holidays were removed, and we went towards the blues and greens to liven up that corner.

Artzzle Spring Feature

The JAW takes top shelf here.

Greenery and the Easter Bunny are a bit springy.

Artzzle Spring Feature

What’s your reaction to the JAW?  I note that it’s a 50/50 swing … people either love it or detest the thing.  Such was the playout when I found it.  A friend and I were at a barn sale, and I immediately HAD.TO.HAVE.IT.  She, on the other hand, thought it was weird … but she’s used to me, and knew I would get it. It was just the jaw piece. I had HUBS use some gorgeous walnut for a base, cut two brass rods and drilled everything out for a perfect fit. The walnut block was left natural, but mineral oil was rubbed in for that beautiful dark dazzle.

Well, a pretty short set today.  Lots of articles in the works, so I’ll  be back soon.

Artzzle Feature Spring

Gracie loved the sun this day. Say goodnight, Gracie.

You know what happens now … I say “Don’t stress so much, just start something!”

Later – Cheryl

Color … Color … and MORE Color

Not intending to make any of you jealous, I have to share that, it’s been so sunny around here today, and for quite a few days back, too.

ELLE DECOR Magazine has a monthly article “SHORTLIST” which features a quick update on a celebrity, and then lists 12 Things they (supposedly) can’t live without.  My list would, for sure, have Sunny Days and Color on it … and probably close to the top!

Is there anyone out there, that isn’t energized and more positive on a bright, sunny day? That’s not unusual.  Bright, beautiful colors have a similar affect on me.  A classic room, a beautiful fabric, a big, bold painting.  Just thinking about color makes my eyes light up and I sigh with pleasure!  See if you’ll have as much fun as I did OVER HERE!

Spring is coming and that in itself says color; with early blossoms and
Artzzle Feature on Color

with seasonal decor and just brightening things up to phase out those winter blahs.

ARTZZLE.COM

Find this easy project here

Colors cause definite physical reactions for many people, including both Dugger and I.   Our former Princeton home was a multi-level.  The lowest area had two separate wall areas, because of a ledge around the entire space, so we chose two colors (blue-green tones) for the builders to paint. The colors were very nice … most everyone said so.  But the area was never comfortable to us.  It literally felt COLD and unwelcoming; not good for a family room, right!?  So we (I) repainted the entire area, again in bluish-green hues, but in warmer tones.  Some people just thought we were nuts.  A new house, freshly painted, why bother with all the extra cost and work?  It looked fine … BUT NOT TO US.  It didn’t feel right.   Afterwards, it became one of our favorite and most used parts of the home.

We both are very happy with the color used in our recent kitchen cabinet project.  So much so that we’ve decided to take it throughout the house, and change out all of our builder basic, orange oak woodwork.

Kitchen Cabinet Uppers Redo

See the entire project here.

No decision yet, if we’ll add extra trim details on all of our flat panel doors … as Hubs did on the inside of our bathroom door last year.

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See the whole project here

Concerning lists, topping our primary “to do” sheet is an update for the master bedroom. I’ve been pouring over color shots and paint chips. Hubs and I lean towards browns, taupes and beiges, especially in our open living areas.  We’re both comfortable with warm neutrals and these work great for all the changing and rearranging I do.

For inspiration AND a perk-up, I often use the IMAGES tag on-line.  Wondering about green tones, here’s what I pulled up in my research using GREEN BEDROOMS.  You could literally go on forever … different color rooms, two-color or multiple color rooms.  A nice time filler for a boring, in between time.

Our extra areas and bedrooms are done in brighter hues. We want these smaller, individual spaces to have a more personal look and feel, and as I said, I take “feel” quite literally.  My office/studio, pictured below, is a custom color, a peachy orange.  Even on cloudy days, the room is cheery.  It makes me smile every time I look in there.

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More on the office/studio and a PROJECT HERE.

If you’re not tired of internet articles yet, try one more here.   REAL SIMPLE TIPS

We’re tackling that master bedroom very soon, so follow along for all the updates.  In the meantime, don’t stress about your project, just get it started and see where it goes!

Later – Cheryl

Golden Years? … Huh … Really?

You all know how constantly ga-ga I am about design and decorating.  Well lately, now that I’m in my “Golden Years”, my mind does occasionally go off topic.  I hate to say it wanders; wouldn’t want you to think I’m senile already. Hopefully, I’ve got a couple of years yet, before that.   Today though, I was thinking about something else; to be exact, about that phrase “Golden Years”.

Who in the hahem … world, do you suppose, ever came up with that!  I don’t know about you, but I’m thinkin’ maybe the author of “Golden Years” just figured gold rhymes with old, and that was close enough for whatever piece they were writing.  Now that I’ve arrived here, I see few other connections.

Artzzle Feature Golden Years

Then there are the “Wonder Years”.  Now that makes sense because, you’re constantly wondering.  How will you learn enough in grade school … will you live through Jr. High … to actually survive high school.   And your parents are wondering … will you make it to 21 … where you’ll be able to drink legally.

Have you given your kids any of those grownup speeches yet?  You know, the ones about tough “between times” everyone has to go through; those “Life’s Not a Bed of Roses” speeches. We can’t expect perfect because of all the in between times.  Just exactly what are those?

Are they the years, between someone saying “get out, get married, I’m not supporting you the rest of your life” and the point where you finally find enough courage to leave that person they deman … suggested you marry?  Or maybe it’s the times “between” jobs (or would it mean the times between lengthy periods of unemployment).

Nah, I’m pretty sure between times is that extended period from those rose colored glasses, through the tinted contacts, onto the readers, and finally to bi tri-focals, when you get to enjoy the golden years.

Artzzle Feature Golden Years

Hubs and I have lived through a couple months of retirement, and things are less worrisome now.  We’re more comfortable … realizing there’s enough $$ to make the bills … and still be able to eat a little!  Gracie loves us both being here round the clock.  We love not worrying about clocks.  No alarms … and are we saving money on gasoline with no more 100+ miles, trips to work.  Gracie is enjoying more time with Dad now.

Gracie LOVES having more time with Dad now

Yet, this Golden bit is still confusing.  Example, at this age you need the most help for problems with eyes, teeth and hearing.  But in the Golden Years, you’re on Medicare and … GUESS WHAT … non of that’s covered!  Oh, and you’re not only gold but gray.  That’s a problem because nobody likes to hire “gray”.  Lots of other (younger?) people just dislike gray all together.  So lots of bumps in this road too.  No smooth ride to paradise here.

Artzzle Feature Golden Years

I’ve always rambled, so that can’t be credited to age, but it’s time to end my rambling today.     One factor these days, is just that … the days.  Often we catch ourselves saying “What day is it!” as they all blend together so seamlessly.

Anyhoo … next post I’ll be back on topic with some colorful decorating info.  Until then, don’t stress too much about that task, just start it, and see where things lead you.

Later – Cheryl

 

With a Little Time and a Little Space

You’ve got a nice little update for your place.
And don’t worry … NO SEWING today.

Lately, I’ve been talking “decorating” with lots of lovely ladies in lots of age groups.  Nothing too unusual, but it interesting to hear two commonalities across the board.  The first, and most discussed area was Color; how to choose it, where/when to use it.  This is such a key part in décor, but clearly one that’s a huge cause of concern for many.  It’s a topic that could consume thousands of posts and today we’re talking “time” so we’ll visit Color another day.

The other issue popping up often was Space.  Funny, but not one gal complained about TOO MUCH SPACE.  No one said “My place is just too big to do anything with!”  You may agree with the real problem though, which of course, was not enough space … for furniture, for storage, to show off all our stuff.

Let’s tackle an easy tip today, on using extra spaces that people often overlook.

Now … you’ve been bad … so I’m making you sit in the Corner!
Seriously, corners are the most available, yet ignored, wasted spaces.  We all have em’ but few of us use them effectively.  And there is so much more we can do with corners, besides send the bad kid there!  No dunce hats now!

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

Here’s our corner; pretty tiny with the longest wall at 49 inches from corner to window, and the smallest at 34 inches .  The smaller section is on the primary wall, the one you see directly when viewing or entering this room.

I began with house shopping, to find a few possible things to use.  Then we considered the furniture pieces presently in the room, along with others in different rooms. Let’s try three different items.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

Doesn’t work. Much too small.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

Better but still not right.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

For a change, we decided to try the clock … something different.  This is fine.  Nice scale and balance

Included this next photo (below) to demonstrate what I call “The Dance Hall Effect”.  When I was little, my dad had a band that played for Saturday night dances throughout the county.  Many times we would either find them, or move them ourselves … chairs pushed up against the walls, way off the center floor, to open up enough space to dance.  It’s a must for dance halls but a big No-No for homes.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

Don’t you agree that the angle works better, at least in this instance?

This cute little barrel was in a workroom but we needed a side table here.  A copper tray in the kitchen cabinets, fit perfectly on top.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

In most instances, I feel a side table AND lamp, are needed for each seating area.  Here the lamp was not necessary and wasn’t working with the table, so it was removed. Add a little pretty and a little texture … that’s my mantra … well at least one of them.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

Still not quite right. Let’s add a little texture and more height for interest.

Artzzle Feature: Little Time & Little Space

This is our final look for the corner.

All told, this project really took very little time, and uses space that had been had been empty.

I’m often speaking about my collections and favorite items.  Since there’s Time in the title of this post, before I go, thought I’d share with you some of the clocks hanging around our place.

Just a teaser for next time …

Well, guys and gals, as always, don’t stress too much about it, just start that project.

Gracie says Good Night.

Artzzle Feature: Gracie Mae

 

 

Later – Cheryl

Life this Monday


Life often has a way of getting in the way.

Know what I mean?  Ever feel like that?

We can make our lists and calendar notations, and
plan, plan, plan.

But in the end Life. Happens.

When you were a kid, did you ever stomp your feet and
loudly declare “You’re not the boss of me!” Oh, c’mon, admit it.
I’m sure I told that to plenty of babysitters in my day.

Well, Life is the BOSS, I mean of us all. So we better have some empty lines on those lists, for changes and unexpected little adjustments it throws us.

The last Monday Post had me whizzing around, preparing for my “ladies’ lunch”. It was happily exciting but there was a lot to be done (in my opinion). As the week progressed, life took over and punched the poop out of my lists. I did manage to pull off a nice luncheon, but the following week proved just as hectic, for reasons of its’ own so no update posts for you. Apologies but hey, we all survived.

Ladies Lunch feature on Artzzle.com

POSITIVES

  • Weather was freezing BUT clear for safe driving.
  • The house looked pretty.darn.good.
  • Menu was a hit … tasted good and no one needed TUMS.
  • We all had a nice visit.

NEGATIVES

  • Weather was FREEZING
  • Table setting looked fantastic (if I do say so myself) BUT I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES!
  • Didn’t finish the look I wanted on the guest favors (gave them anyway, but not prettied up)
  • Left out an item on the menu … totally forgot to prepare it (but there was enough other stuff)
  • Oh yes, and did I say … I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES

WHAT I LEARNED (or was reminded of)

  • Lists are good, but leave room for write-in’s and changes.
  • Be more flexible and less frazzled
  • Asking granddaughter to contribute was great. It was encouraging for her and something for me … to brag about & good eatin’ too. (don’t worry, I paid her)

Back to the present Monday.  I’m working on a couple of good (can I say very good?) future posts, but this is IT for today.

The only (two) pictures I did manage to remember, are featured.  One of my guests – as they were leaving, and  a shot of the yummy cupcakes my GD Ashley made. They were sooooo good!

Granddaughters cupcakes

And now   “Say Good Night Gracie!”

Gracie on Artzzle Website

Good Girl!

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