Thursday, December 20, 2012

Looking like Christmas!

A few years ago I bought a small artificial tree. I like it fine, but I miss the charm of a real tree. We always had a real tree while the kids were growing up. Next year if it fits in the budget, I will have a real tree. There are lots of lights on this little tree!
 Looking into the dining room. There is only one electrical outlet in the dining room..and that is it by the window. So I've been putting garland up with lights, otherwise it's kind of dark.
My tree has no theme other than "ornaments collected through the years." I especially love the ones made by my kids.
 The pictures on the mantle are of the kids and of my grandparents on the beach when they were young.
The mantle is a mix of lots of things. The little elf on the right is always decorating something every year...sometimes the mantle, sometimes the bathroom mirror, sometimes the tree...
The nativity set is usually the first thing set up, and almost always on this from year to year it doesn't look much different, but I still like it. Yes, found a way to run an extension cord around the corner for some lights on this too.
Here is the outside. I got that little Christmas tree at a friend's garage sale. It's rusty iron..I love it, and just threw a bunch of lights on it. I'm not crazy about the those blueish icicle lights...I like the warm white lights better. Next year I hope to figure out how to put the big colored lights along the roofline. I have all the lights on timers. I was so glad that this house has some outdoor outlets!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Art Studio

I have a little room off the living room that will be my art studio. It has French doors so I can close it off it need be. This might look like a mess to most, but to me, this looks like progress! Just a couple of hours ago, I couldn't even get the table in that room. I have a large easel that I want to put in there too. If it fits, it will be behind that door to the left. Little by little, I'm getting there.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bridal Dress Shopping

Today Colleen, and her maid of honor Tessa, and her future mother-in-law Denise, and I went to find her wedding dress. Of course I cannot show the dress she actually chose, but this is one of the ones that didn't make the cut...still very lovely!
I love this pic...I can still see the little girl she was, and the woman she is.
Here's Colleen and Tessa sharing the goofiness and fun that has made them lifelong friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Movember 19: thirty minute walk.
Movember 20: Put a rug down in my basement and moved my hula hoop in! 30 minutes of hooping!
Movember 21: 45 minutes of walking, 15 minutes stairs

Thanksgiving Eve...

Setting the table, making deviled eggs and looking forward to having the family over tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Movember 11: 15 min stairs, 15 min walking
Movember 12: 30 minute walk with Hawkeye
Movember 13: 2 hours washing windows at new house...up and down the ladder.
Movember 14: 15 minutes doing crunches, plank, pushups, squats...30 minutes walking with Hawkeye

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


 On Saturday, friends and family helped me move the furniture over, so it's starting to look like home. I'm using all the same curtains and rods from the rental. Yesterday my mom and dad hung some lamps and curtains, and we started hanging artwork. I even spent my first night there last night. I still have lots of things to get out of the old house, especially out of my basement there. Yuck. But it will get done. One thing at a time.
I like to buy artwork from artists I meet along the way. This quilt over the fireplace is by JoanE Lipinski, a Pontiac, IL artist. I saw it in Wallworks (local gallery) long ago, and Joe gave it to me for my birthday. The colors have faded a bit, but it's still one of my favorite pieces.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Movember 7,8,9,10...and progress on the bungalow

My workout the entire week has been at the house. Sanding and sealing woodwork, washing windows, moving day with all the hauling of boxes, moving furniture, loading and unloading trucks. I drop into bed exhausted each night.

I love it when I get to do a job where you really see a big difference like washing windows, or a couple of days ago, sealing woodwork. I'm using a wipe-on polyurethane. I gave it a light sanding with very fine paper first. The woodwork looked so dried out, and the poly makes such a difference!
 Here I've done the top of the buffet and the top two drawers.
The mantle is done except the bottom board only had poly wiped on half way across.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Movember 4, 5, 6...Moving!

So I was not going to count moving as exercise, but I've been painting and cleaning and packing for the last few days. Since I'm sore and exhausted (good signs of lots of activity), I'm going to count it as my exercise for the last 3 days.

Here are some pics of what is going on at the bungalow the last few days.

 Wright's came and installed the kitchen floor. I'd love to have done tile, but it doesn't fit in my budget right now. This is a high quality vinyl from Wright's in Pontiac. It's the same line (but a different pattern) that I had put in the back entry at the old house. Here you can see the old floor, under the new floor. It's perimeter glued. I also had them run the vinyl down the stairs to the basement.
 Here it is with the backsplash. The color is actually more like it is in the first photo.

Ron Ingram is painting 3 of the rooms. He and his helper stripped all the wallpaper off today, and painted the ceilings yesterday.
 Here is the dining room without all the wall paper.
 And my little studio minus the paper that covered its walls.
In the living room, Ron started painting the khaki color on the walls. This color is matched as closely as possible to the walls of my little rental house, because I enjoyed the color so much.

We also got the bedroom painted, and moved the furniture into my bedroom and the guest room. We scrubbed the kitchen floor when we realized that it was staying under the new floor, and moved the old appliances out. I had lots of help from family and friends on these projects, which helped sooo much! Today I painted inside the linen closet and the bedroom closet and lined most of the kitchen cabinets with shelf paper.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Movember 3

Hawkeye got his face trimmed to start his Movember mustache. I still need to neaten it up a bit, but it's a good start.

The only moving I did on the 3rd was moving my bedrooms from the old house to the new one, and I had plenty of help from friends and family, thank goodness! Maybe Hawkeye and I can go for long walk tonight to catch up.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Movember 2

Hawkeye and I went on an hour long walk. Very nice!
I decided that there is a way I can grow a mustache....I can have Hawkeye grow one! It's a look he has never sported. So tonight I'll shave down his face and leave him the beginning of a mustache. Remember, if you'd like to donate to fight cancer you may do so here. And if you'd like to see how the money is spent, it is all in plain sight right here.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Movember 1

Today I needed to get my 30 minutes in before I went home, so I walked around the building and 15 minutes of stairs in the building. The stairs lead to the Livingston County War my workout buddies were armed. This guy looks like he has a good one day's growth on his mustache!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cozy Bungalow

I bought a house! It's in my old neighborhood and I love that...I already know lots of the neighbors! Here are some pics we took the day I got the keys:
 I'm going to love this. It's a nice big south facing front porch...and it's shaded by trees...ahhhh.
The dining room has a pretty buffet with little mirrors across the back. The living room has a fireplace! All the windows on this side of the house are original, and I'm glad because they have lots of character. The windows in the other side of the house have been replaced and they are mostly in the bedrooms.

This is the other end of the living room. The little room through the French doors will be my art studio. The stairs lead to finished attic space.
The fireplace. I'm thinking built in book cases on either side of it. I've seen that in lots of craftsman style houses, and I could use the book storage space.
Here is the kitchen. The sliding door leads to a nice deck.
More of the kitchen. Wright's is coming to replace the kitchen floor soon, with something that matches the back splash better than blue plaid.
Not a big kitchen, but I think I can make it work.

Living Room
Living room looking towards the front door.

I'm excited to work on this. It's just right for me: not to big, and not too small. Most of the work are things I can do like painting and gardening, because the former owner kept the house in good shape. Hawkeye and I are looking forward to having fires in the evening...we have both missed that in our rental house.


Over the summer I biked more days than not and lost 15 pounds without even really trying. I've noticed a few of those creeping back since it's gotten windy and cold here. So, I'm going to participate in Movemeber, when lots of men grow their mustache to raise awareness about men's cancer.
So you might ask, "What does that have to do with losing weight?"  Well, Barbara at Running Strong for Hope has turned it into a fitness challenge as well. Just move for 30 minutes every day during the month of November. Anything counts as long as you keep moving for at least 30 minutes: raking leaves, playing tag with the kids, jogging, walking, dancing, etc.
I can't grow a mustache, but I can move.  Want to join me? Move every day, and if you want to make a donation you may do so on my page.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I made 2 more bags tonight. I'm starting to get this down so it's easier. Figuring out all the little tricks! I managed to match the patterns on the tops of these. The picky part of me loves that :D

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I'm the bag lady....

A few years ago I bought some Route 66 fabric. I decided to make bags and aprons and such to sell at the shop. The supply will be limited by my time and materials, so there will be a limited number of them. I've been searching and there is not much selection of Route 66 fabrics out there at the moment.

It's been a while since I've done any real sewing, so I started simple with a little wristlet. We've been getting requests for them at the shop and I sold one today. I figured out how to line them so that there's no raw edges on the inside.
Then I decided to try this boxie bag from a tutorial at So Chick Handbags. It was more complicated but I just trusted her instructions and went step by step and voila!

 A cute bag perfect for make up or medicines or snacks or whatever you are packing on your trip!
It's all lined with no raw edges on the inside. Raw edges are a pet peeve of I have to do away with them.  Melissa's tutorial is written so that you end up with a beautifully lined bag. Now, that I've done one, maybe the next ones will go a little quicker. It's fun to be sewing again!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Giving Aspertame the boot...

I've been working on several things lately. The first one is trying to give up Diet Coke and drink more water. I don't know that I believe all the horror stories you read about aspertame, but I also know that I was drinking entirely too much diet pop, and that can't be good. And drinking more water has to be a good idea anyway.

So, I started by cutting down on the number of bottles (told you I drank too much!) of Diet Coke a day. I got a good start while I was on vacation in March, because I didn't drink near as much pop during that month. A couple of weeks ago, I had one pop a day and the rest water...then last week and this week I've been just drinking water. When I want something sweet to drink, I've been having a lemonade with good old fashioned sugar, and just remembering that it's part of my calories for the day. I don't actually "count" calories, but I keep the idea in the back of my mind and watch my portions. It works for me. A few years ago I lost 55 pounds that way, and kept it off. In the last month I've lost another 10.

I think sometimes I'll still have a diet and pop go so great together, but it will be more of an occasional treat.

The other thing I've been working on is my yard, and I'll tell you more about that soon!