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Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Good Morning Dear Readers,

I've been busy with my wall art project and have made significant progress.  I wanted to re-purpose and reuse as much as I could for this project because I did not want it to be an expensive project, so I went in search around the house for things that could possibly fit the words/lettering theme.  As I rummaged through the attic for usable frames (I have so many) I came across a project I had done for my husband shortly after his father died.  I had found letters his dad had written to his mother (my husband's grandmother) from Europe where he was stationed during WWII.  I had framed the letter and a picture of the young Donald in uniform.  I thought this would be a perfect choice of picture to include in my current project.  Here is the picture I had done.

As I recall I had purchased this vintage frame from a local antique shop.  It had a black and white photograph of an aerial view of some factory site.  I remember thinking that would be a perfect backdrop for the war-era ephemera.  Resurrecting this picture lead me to search for other letters or primary documents from deceased loved ones.  The wall would then take on an even deeper meaning than the glorification of the word which I initially had intended.  I thought about framing some of my husband's love letters that he had written to me in the early 70"s ( I've got them all safely stored in a box that is stashed in the spare bedroom's closet), but that might be just a bit too personal and not to mention embarrassing.  So, I searched even further.  Two weeks ago, I had surprised Bob by making him crepes from his mother's recipe.  As I searched for the recipe, I realized it was one of the few things we had with her actual handwriting.  A ha! Perfect subject to be framed.  The recipe was written on a lined sheet of notebook paper and in pencil; the text needed to be darker for anyone to see it from a distance.  First, I photocopied the recipe so it would not be lost if I messed up in tracing her handwriting in black ink. Then I reused one of the photo frames from my girls' pictures, placed the recipe against a solid black backdrop and Presto! Another item for the wall.  This one only cost $.79 for the black paper.

The recipe idea spurred me to search  through my own mother's recipe cards.  I was rewarded with a great find, not only did I find several written in my mother's handwriting, but I also discovered one written in my grandmother's hand.  I decided I would do a generational picture of 3 recipe cards one written by my gram, one by Mom, and one by me.  Again I reused a photo frame from my girls.  The result is seen below:

I was on a roll now, so I dug through some of the rememberances my husband had received when his grandmother died.  She was the sweetest old lady I had ever met.  She was 107 or maybe even older when she died.  Nice longevity in his family. I found two letters that were written to her.  I decided the envelopes themselves were more interesting than the letters.  One had a post mark of 1907, this was before she was even married, but was I believe either when she was a teenager or early 20's.  The letter was from a friend who recounted all the fun they had flirting with a group of boys.  I guess no matter what the era, life follows certain patterns.  Anyway, the postmark was intriguing. Guess how much stamps were in 1907?  2 cents! The second letter was postmarked 1947 and came from England.  During the war, my father-in-law had been stationed in England and married a war bride.  Her family became friends with Bob's grandmother and corresponded with her.  I put both letters in their respective envelopes and framed them together.They will make nice conversation pieces as well as lovely art.  See them below:
I have a few more ideas for things to frame, single ABC letters for example.  I'll let you know how the search turns out.  I'm hoping to complete this project by the end of the week.  Unfortunately, I do have to include Bob in the project.  He insists on nailing things up on his newly painted walls himself.  I guess I don't mind the help, but it will be a challenge.  He's not the most patient person when it comes to making changes and especially in taking directions!  This could be fun.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Picture Perfect

Hi Viewers and Readers,

I'm starting a new house project that I wanted to share with you.  My husband and I are currently painting and repairing and refreshing just about every room in our house...LONG OVERDUE.  The first room to be painted is the family room.  While Bob really does all of the painting (he thinks I am too messy...when really he just has a control problem !) I am the organizer and decorator.  I must say, that I am good at organizing and kind of have a knack for decorating. At least I enjoy those activities.  I chose Benjamin Moore's Cameo white for the walls.  It is my favorite white, nice and creamy, and it has a soft texture not harsh at all.  I thought this would make a nice neutral background for any wall art I will do.

The main wall of the family room is now a blank canvas and I will be decorating it.  Right now the wall is home to two bookcases and a console table that supports the TV.  Before painting, the wall was covered in black-framed photographs of my two girls.  They were lovely pictures, but my youngest, Alli, was in middle school when those pics were taken and now she is 26!  I think it's time to move forward, don't you?  Of course I will miss the pictures, but I am putting them in a lovely separate album that I can flip through whenever I want.

I've taken several days to plan and mull over what I want to do to the wall.  I've finally, decided on a word or lettering theme.  The family room also contains a corner where the computer table sits, along with another corner built-in bookcase.  Lots of books in this room I thought, why not focus on emphasizing them and go with a complimentary theme like words and letters.  I had purchased vintage word flashcards from a local antique shop in town this past summer, and decided they would be the perfect thing to frame and at least be a start for the theme. The cards came in two sizes and I had picked out some great words like pretty, jam and meow. I'll reuse the frames from my daughters' photos in order to economize and will be on the lookout for various other items that might be frame-able and fit the theme.

I keep you posted with the progress.  Below is the freshly painted wall sans photos.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Let It Snow

SNOW!!!!!!!  So it has been snowing since midnight, it is now nearly 11:00 AM.  There is so much snow on my patio, I'm having trouble closing the sliding door when I let my dog out.  The bird bath has disappeared under a mound of snow, And, I just saw a country cross skier ski past the front of the house .... should I start to worry?  I must say that is a first.  Skiing in the middle of the street!

The forecast is 12-24 inches and we already have at least 12 inches.  It is suppose to snow through the day and night all the way to midnight.  Nice.

Meanwhile, I will try to accomplish something useful, or maybe curl up under a nice warm blankie and read.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let's Try Again

Well, who knew that being retired wouldn't give you any more time to write a blog?   But, I promised myself to at least give it one more shot so here goes:

So, I have been keeping very busy with house projects, part time tutoring and fun times with Bob.

House projects completed so far since last update:

1) had gutters fixed and windows replaced
2(Washed every window in the house inside and out
3) Completed biggest job of organizing and cleaning out garage.  This adventure took over a week of solid work.  Sorted into save, sell, and toss piles.  Had a garage sale ( made a cool $150) Bought some pegboard and assorted hooks and plastic bins.  Put everything back in garage in logical places.  My husband can now find a tool if and when he ever wants to use one (still hoping on this front).  We also decided to display on a separate pegboard his collection of fresh and saltwater fishing rods which includes his very first ever rod and several bamboo fly rods inherited from his dad.  We are hoping to go fishing together come the spring.  This was an activity we did as newlyweds BK.
4) I've cleaned and organized the kitchen pantry, all kitchen drawers, and organized cupboards
5) Linen closet:  tossed older towels into doggie bin, threw out all unessential stuff.  Now there's lots of space and it makes it easier to see what's needed
6) Coat closet: done!

Next on list is:
  • spice cupboard (nervous to find out how old some of that stuff is :(
  • PAINTING - this is our winter project. hope to paint all of the woodwork, including doors so they are all the same color! also need to paint family room, laundry room and sunroom. Might need some marriage counseling after this project
Wish list of projects:
  • remove brick patio and re-level ground and replace with new brick!  Thought this might be a nice family project...have dropped a few hints but so far only groaning in response
  • new flooring (wood laminate) in sunroom which sports indoor outdoor carpeting that is at least 21 years old!  Think it's time to replace don't you?  Could be another little DIY family project
Professional work:
I have been employed part time at Silver Oaks Learning center for the past year, however when I took a  break in December to help my oldest daughter in her recovery from surgery, I decided I really didn't want or need to tutor any more so I have resigned :) Very content with this decision.  I thought I would miss teaching but I do much more to be doing.  I do still private tutor a student and that seems to be enough for me, at least for now.

I am enjoying discussing lesson planning with my yougest...nice not to have to write them myself though!

Personal Projects:
  • Health improvement still number one on my list.  Recently bought a Fitbit electronic pedometer to help me keep track of steps and calories burned...still have a long way to go with this but am feeling motivated at the moment so am going with it
  • Creative Writing:  I've started a novel  working title is A Penney For Your Thoughts... still need to get more disciplined about devoting regular writing time to this project
Probably the best thing about being retired is that I can spend every day with my husband...I am loving all of our time together (we have our stress moments of course) but over all we are having a blast...we have been to Boston, Florida (drive that started on Christmas day) for a family wedding, and next month plan to go to Phili for 3 days.

Of course, I get to see my girls more too although both are involved in their own personal and work lives as it should be.

OK.  Did more attempt at blogging ...hopefully won't be the last.