Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dining Room Before and Almost After & Kitchen Before...or...Maybe the Realtor was right!!!

Hi Y'all - It's me!

Have some dining room photos before, during and after the painting.  They aren't blog quality compared to the beautiful photography seen on other blogs, so bear with me.  We just shoved the furniture in the room and then shut down for the night.  Tomorrow we'll fluff and add the jewelry.  A few items will have to be painted to match the new, softer colors.  We started a few items in the kitchen, so will post those before photos as well. 

Dining Room Photos, Color and my need for it, Paint Colors for DR
Dining room before - and Runt.
You can surely tell from the first photo that I love color.  When I was growing up, most of the time our walls were white.  When I was young though, I had bubble gum pink walls and I loved them!  That room just seemed to surround me and take me in.  Not sure if I could live in a house with all white.  I think my emotions would shrivel and die.  I need color.

 I. Love. Red.  It may not be in style, or with the times, but I can't help it, I just love red!  This room took 2 coats of pink primer and 5 coats of red.  Only one person could paint, because two people don't paint the same and the different roller marks showed.  Even though R & J tried to help, I finally just gave in to the rollers and painted all five coats myself.  And I loved those red walls.  I think I'll miss them a little.  But it was time to move on. 

Dining Room Before East side

Dining Room Before West side,  Yum - this red is a cherry blue red - nothing orange about it.
When we moved in the room had wallpaper and a tile chair rail - all from the 80s. I had never seen a tiled chair rail before.  Peaches and creams.  For me, the red was a huge improvement!

One last before photo!  Love that red!  =)
I'm having the worst time with my photos.  They are all not staying rotated.  I've tried adjusting them in Picnik & Microsoft.  So maddening!

I'm going to skip the photos of the two coats of primer chaos and see if I can get one of the best after shots to load. Remember, it was dark out!

 So here is our more calm, more quiet dining room.  The colors aren't really true.  The floor is much lighter and the paint below is much more blue.  A smidge of the new paint can be seen in the entry hallway (replacing yellow) and that's really the correct color. 

The lower color is called "Light French Gray" by Behr.  But it looks really blue to me.  That's OK for me because I love blue!  I probably should have looked at the fan deck to see what colors were near it and selected a more gray color so that it would be more neutral for potential buyers but we love it! 

The top is a white called "Soft Pillow" by Behr.  On the sample that is put on the top of the can, Soft Pillow looks a bit pink.  But it looks white on the wall.  The sample dot of the Light French Gray looks gray on the can, so there you go.  You just really don't know until the paint is on the wall, do you?

Silly photo won't load properly!  Imaginations required!  Chaos during painting today! 
Plus, the gray color shows more blue here.  It's that natural light, I suppose.

I tried every which way to get the photo above to load properly.  The is how we worked - around furniture, around Noble darting in and out, around cats moseying by and swishing their tails in the paint.  But we got it done. 

Last night we painted what we call the sun room and that's where we live, watch TV and where Noble plays.  The bottom has white bead board so we got rid of the yellow above and painted it with the Light French Gray.  The bead board was left alone. 

If we finish the kitchen tomorrow, that will be three rooms in three days.  Our glutes are sore from going up and down the ladders! 


Ugly green tiles behind the cook top that I have lived with for 8 years. 

Why in the world didn't I do something about these tiles before now?  I guess that after seeing something day after day, I learned to over look them.  Maybe the realtor was right!  Maybe our home is/was a museum from the past.  This may be the proof!

A little hammer and a chisel and poof - the tiles are gone!  Pretty easy!  And I only gouged a couple of holes in the wall.  Drywall compound is next.

This is a kitchen before photo.  Who doesn't have a trash bag hanging off of a drawer knob?  If you will squint your eyes real tight, and look at the very back of the blurry photo, you can almost, sorta see what will be replacing the green tile and covering the wall between the counter tops and cabinets.  This area didn't have a back splash when we moved in, it was covered with wall paper.  Eeewww. 

For us, updating the bathrooms was the first necessity.  They were old, dreary, dark and depressing and had carpet.  Carpet in a bathroom does not work for us.  We are too messy!  I'm not sure if the next item on our "to do" list would have been the kitchen or new windows.  If it had been the kitchen,  I would have loved to have had travertine and granite.  But alas and alack, that was not meant to be.  So, the plastic panels are plan b.

The panels are actually plastic that look like tin and come from Lowe's. I think they will give the kitchen a little pizaaz and personality, because I admit, it is rather hum drum.  Lowe's has some panels in the store and with several different kinds available for special order.  One type is paintable.  (Fasade Kitchen Back Splash - Lowe's)  Hoping to get them up tomorrow.  The panels can be cut with scissors and can be attached with double sided tape or adhesive.  Lowe's also has end and corner pieces.  I can't wait to see the transformation.  The kitchen will also be painted Light French Gray. 

Rick will be home around eight.  He won't recognize the place! 

Have any of you used the panels from Lowe's before?  Did you like them?  Were they easy to install?  I'd love to have them on a ceiling.  Gorgeous!

Share your projects with us - you might give us an idea that we can use to spruce up this house so it will sell!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Changes are Happening on Croston Drive...

Hi Y'all - It's Paula - again! 

Poor Jennifer has a sore throat.  This is usually the time of year she gets strep.  Praying she is better soon.  I said all of that to say that it's really her turn to post, for now you are stuck with me!  She is working anyway, bless her little heart.  She's using sign language - her own brand - so that she doesn't have to speak.  And she did write me one note on her phone in a text message.  =(

We are changing paint colors, touching up trim and having the best time.  NOT!  Painting is not one of our favorite activities.  But afterwards there is always a huge difference.  And we will have a huge difference!

If the sky doesn't get too cloudy, we'll have after shots to go with the befores. 

Gotta demo some tile!  Hoping I can do this.  I mean, how hard can it be?

Rick's out of town...while the cat's away....!  We are working lickety-split to be finished before he gets back on Thursday night.  Whew!  See y'all later!

We also need help & advice on how to spruce up several areas for no money and not much changing.  (Yes, the dreaded "brown" rooms and the humongous fireplace.  Dun, dun, dun.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Weekend

Hi Y'all - this is Paula~

What a great weekend we have had so far!  Picking out and planting flowers filled our day.  We enjoyed each other and the beautiful weather in the Dallas area.  No paint, no sandpaper, no power tools, no photos - black and white or color!  We did nothing to make us have to think, we just were.  That was nice.

Today was a day for having our hands in the dirt, potting soil and Moomanure, watching Noble play.  He was so tired he konked out on the sofa - almost never happens that way! 

I love flowers - they make me smile all over.  It was such fun to ooooo and ahhhhh over every imaginable flower and color combination!  We actually found one variety of plant that I'd never heard of and another that I've only seen in magazines.  Watching one of them grow and flower will be quite an experience, because now it's just strange looking!  How exciting is that?  The other one is already beautiful.  (Plant names and photos to be shared another day.)

God really speaks to me through His creation of Nature.  It's amazing to me that He even thought of the smallest details and provided us with things to enjoy.  I mean Eternal Life is enough, isn't it?  But we have so much more.  He has made so many beautiful, breathtaking things for us to see, hear, taste, smell and touch.  I am humbled by these little gifts that are all around us.  And sometimes, I don't take the time to really see them and take them in. 

At the end of our block, three houses down or up, depending on your perspective I guess (!) is a pasture with cows.  We have had such fun looking at the new little calves every day!  They are the cutest things, trying to stand up, then walk and then run.  Sometimes I think we spend our lives running, never slowing down to walk and take notice. 

Tomorrow will be church with wonderful, inspiring music - something else in God's creation that speaks to me - a thoughtful Easter sermon and then more time with family. 

We'll throw in a little Easter candy, some egg hunting and call it a day.  Teaching Noble about what Easter really means is the icing on the cake.  It's amazing what their little minds can grasp, even at three.  Hearing him sing "Jesus Loves Me" tonight just melted my heart.  What sweetness God wrapped up in his ornery little body! 

Hoping that each of you has done something this weekend to make you smile, enjoy those around you and notice and appreciate His creation. 

Happy Easter!  He is Risen indeed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mistake #3 - Another Before & After with B & W Photos! I know, I know... but the project is good!

Hi Y'all - me again! 

Well, I did finally figure out how to put my little point and shoot Pentax back on color. That happened last night while taking a photo of the drop leaf table.  Just hoping that I don't push a button, without knowing what I did to alter the state of things.  I'm always doing that on my computer!  It's so annoying, especially when I cannot fix it.

My second before and after project is a shelf.  The neighbors trash provided me with a perfect base for a shelf that Jennifer and I can use to store our crafting, sewing & machine embroidery supplies.  This is the project where the power tools were whipped out to make my work easier!

Before Photo
This is what I dragged from the alley curb to the garage!  And it's my first alley find too!
The shelf was in great shape.  In my mind it belonged to the our previous neighbors.  That man had every tool imaginable and this looks like something he would have whipped together.  He and his sweet wife died within 18 months of each other.  Mr. Neighbor kept an eye on the neighborhood and knew what was going on.  That made me feel safe and secure when Rick was out of town and he was/is out of town a-lot.  We miss our Mister and Missus neighbors and it's fun for me to have something that belonged to them and that the Mister made.   

The two shelves were knocked off with a hammer.  Closet shelving from HD was measured and cut to go on all three shelves.  The shelving had been used to put between two sawhorses for painting things, so it was free too!  WhooHoo - not only my first alley find, but my first free project too.  Just realized that!  Makes the whole thing even better, if that's possible!

The top shelf was the easiest and most straightforward.  The boards that were already in place just had to be covered.  Easy to measure and cut.  The third shelf board had to be cut to go between the existing boards and not on top of them like the first.  A little more thinking for me here.  Math is not my strong suit!  The second shelf was the most difficult.  Talk about no math skills!  This shelf had a little cut-out at the back of the sides so that the shelf would go beside the 2x4 and then jut out to cover the remaining side boards.  Well, I messed up the first cut on the shelf.  For some strange reason which I cannot explain, I cut into the board three inches in, instead of just the width of the side of the 2x4.  But the second time I got a good fit.  Not perfect, but good.  I was so proud!

This is the second shelf.  You can almost see my cut-out on the shelf.  
"Aren't these B&W photos great?!?", she said with just a touch of sarcasm.
Here is the shelf with all three new shelves attached.
Not wanting to waste any of the wood, the yucky stuff on the two small shelves that were removed was scraped off.  The scraped off yucky side was faced toward the back and then attached to the back of the top two new shelves to keep stuff from falling or being knocked off.  The bottom shelf already had a back board, I'm guessing it was added to make the unit more sturdy.  Oh, BTW, I didn't use screws, I used finishing nails.  I haven't mastered the screw sinking yet.  So it was nails and a hammer for me.  I did have to make an effort to think about where I was putting in the nails so that I wouldn't miss a board completely.  Almost made that mistake.

Everything received a good sanding with my handy-dandy palm sander.  Then I applied a coat of my beloved Annie Sloan Louis Blue Chalk Paint, followed by a coat of dark Minwax and some buffing, then a coat of natural Minwax with more buffing.  I just love the feel of the wax on the wood - it's almost soft!  I was so stingy with the chalk paint that I would dip my brush in water after dipping it in the paint and it worked great!

Well, I can't take a color photo of the shelf from my bedroom.  That will happen tomorrow so you can really see the after.  I'm eventually going to get all of this figured out!

What's next? 
  1. The repainting of a French coffee table, from white to Light French Gray.  Yum!
  2. A redo of Noble's room - new arrangement, bedding, curtains and "theme".
  3. Art work for his room - Jennifer has some great ideas and we'll try to implement what she sees in her head! 
  4. Chest of drawers makeover.  One of the drawers was stuck in the chest.  One side was waaaay back.  It was greased good with WD40 and finally I could pull it out.  (It's the new muscles from using the power tools and the big trimmers for the rose bushes!)  Just one little downside - the drawer front came off.  The dovetails of the drawer were caught behind the front of the chest.  That's an easy fix and I've actually done that repair once on the buffet that we took to Round Top.  We're excited about all of our projects - so stay tuned!
  5. Give-A-Way - The Followers number hasn't changed in a few days, but we're ready for the give-a-way!  Maybe we'll get there next week!  Keep watching! 
Wishing all of you a Blessed Easter as we celebrate the Risen Lord! 
He is Risen!

Mistake #1, Your Imaginations, Mistake #2 & a House Showing

Hi Y'all - I'm baaack - It's Paula!

Well, I've been so excited to show you my projects!  I just couldn't wait for you to see that I have been using an electric saw and sander and painting with the Annie Sloan Louis Blue Chalk Paint.


Apparently, when a person uses their Pentax SR and sees only black & white through the view finder, the photos turn out to be black and white too!  So, all of my photos are black & white.  Ugh, Grrrrr, and all of those nasty (Noble says, "Natny"!) things ya just wanna say!  My words aren't "swear" words - they are crud, and shoot and stuff like that, which is bad enough.  And Noble is picking up on all of those, so I must stop my brain from sending those words to my mouth!


OK.  So indulge me here and let's play "Pretend".  OK?  OK.  Hoping that you remember how.  Pretend that these before photos are in color.  And pretend that you can see that the drop leaf table is red with a stained wooden top - which I did 7 years ago, by the way!  Who knew I was ahead of the curve?!?   I will take new after photos tomorrow, I am just too tired to do it now.  Wait!  I might be able to photograph the drop leaf table from where I am, which is propped up in bed typing to y'all!  LOL!  I'll try it and see what happens!  =)


This mistake was a big one - but who knew? Here is the drop leaf table. Pretend time! Remember that the bottom part is deep cherry red with a stained top.

Oh Yikes!  Not only is this  B&W, which is insulting enough, but my shadow is in the corner.  Ugh. Drat...
The original plan was to put the chalk paint directly over the red.  I'm so glad that I didn't.  You'll see why in a bit.  Instead, I decided to spray paint with Heirloom White and then put the chalk paint over that so that I could distress it a bit and have some white showing through.  After using 3.5 cans of paint, there was little bubble on the side of the table.  I reached down to rub it away, thinking it was the white, but no!  It was the red.  The paint was peeling - in huge sheets.  Just peeling right off of that table.  A good cry came to mind, but instead, I found my handy dandy scraper and began scraping it all off...  And that brings us to pretend photo #2.

Yes sirree, all of big dark blobs are red paint with a nice coat of Heirloom White!

More blobs of paint, but she's coming pretty clean.  Sanding is next!
After sanding, getting ready for a hose bath.  I know - but it was the best way.
This little project was only supposed to take me about 30 minutes and then I was movin' on to something else.  Well, this "little" project turned out to be a huge three day project - and it's not over yet!  The top is no longer my favorite feature like it was before all of this began.  It should have been stripped.  My instincts told me, but I ignored myself and the stain went on unevenly.  Next week, I'll bite the bullet and strip and re-stain the tops of the leaves. 

See how uneven the top is?  Shoulda known better.  Trying to skip a step never, ever works!

I can take a  photo from the bed!  Hahahahaha!  Here is the drop leaf table.  The colors aren't quite true.  But I'll do a "real after" tomorrow in the daylight.  The table was waxed twice - once with Minwax dark and the second with Minwax natural and buffed between waxes.  I love the chalk blue and how the dark wax got into the nicks and crannies of the layers of paint.  Can't wait for you to see that.  There is no way that I wanted to strip the whole thing, I wanted the unevenness to be there on the bottom part.  This table had/has about 5 different colors on it.  Amazing!  I am learning a lot about re-doing furniture.  The more you do, the more you learn. 


Jennifer and I worked so hard to prepare for this showing.  Cleaned the garage.  Trimmed roses on the East side of the house.  We cleared the West side yesterday and it was a jungle of tangled, growing, overtaking rose bushes, I tell you!  Mowed and "blew" the front yard and sidewalks.  Cleaned the inside - you know, all of those things we should do regularly, say we are going to, but don't. 

We have three skylights in our home and one is in the master bath.  The finish on the wall part was peeling and looked awful.  I decided that we'd paint it.  Jennifer scraped away all of the peely pieces.  I'm so silly.  It never dawned on me that I'd have to do something about the missing finish.  Out to the garage to find the drywall compound.  There is a brush that has been flattened that was used to put the finish on most of our walls - it's a 1980's thing in Texas I guess, since I've never seen it anywhere else.  Well, I didn't have the brush - it's in Little Rock is storage!  (Isn't everything?!?)  So I mixed up the compound, put it in a paper plate, climbed up on the ladder and used my fingers and patted them all over the wall space in the skylight.  We put a box fan on top of the ladder flat on it's back to dry the compound and then painted it with ceiling paint!  Good as new!  Why we hadn't done that a year ago, I don't know. 

Don't know if the lookers liked our home.  But the house is clean, the ceiling is fixed and tomorrow is a new day! 

Y'all be good and let me know what you've been working on!  I'm certain that your photos were NOT in black & white!  =)  Who knew there was an app for that? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Hi Y'All - this is Paula!


Miss Mustard Seed introduced all of us in blogland to chalk paint.  Well, at least she introduced me to chalk paint!  Perhaps some of you already use and love it! 

In Round Top there was a venue at the Carmine Y that had chalk paint, were doing demos with chalk paint and were selling chalk paint.  When one has a space and responsibilities, getting to other venues during the day is quite a challenge.  So, we missed the demos and we were quite sad.  On our way home, as we passed the Carmine Y, I saw The Tent and the Chalk Paint sign.  It was all I could do to hold the car on the road.  I so wanted to veer to the left and see if anyone was still there who would sell me some of that liquid gold - because that's just about how much it costs when a person is accustomed to getting a quart of paint for waaaay under $20.  Fortunately, Jennifer was behind me and her urge was stronger than mine and veer away she did!

Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint - Louis Blue
We have one quart of this wonderful paint.  There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe this paint.  It is amazing.  If it were not so expensive, I would order enough to paint my two wooden rooms!  I'd cover up that wooden paneling with all of those little rectangles of wood that are nailed all over it for decorative purposes, which I have to dust regularly.  I'd paint that humoungous, ugly fireplace that is the bane of my existance.  Finally I would be able to enter the living room and the game room and feel at peace.  The brown would be gone and I would finally be happy.  But alas and alack, the chalk paint is just too much for me to do that and be able to live with myself.  And I just don't have it in me to prime and sand, and prime and then paint.  Plus, our home is for sale, so that would be quite an investment in money and time.

MMS was right - when this paint is sanded, it's like Johnson's Baby Powder, well except it's a color.  It's absolutely amazing.  Jennifer only got one quart of that beautiful, magical Louis Blue and it's dreamy.  But I want more!  =)  Can't wait to order.  If only Houston were a bit closer to Dallas, I'd drive and pick it up.  Can you believe that Dallas does not have this paint?!?  I can't!  I thought Dallas had everything.  I'm an Arkansas girl and that's what the Texans say - that Dallas has everything.  Well, they have everything but chalk paint!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

43 Down 7 to go - More Spring Cleaning & a Project Almost Finished!

 Hi Y'all - this is Paula!

Coming soon to Lulu's Blog!

We now have 43 followers!  WhoooHooo!  Remember that when we hit the big 5-oh  we will have a Give-A-Way!  Jennifer and I scoured the area last weekend to search for just the perfect goodies to send to someone on our list.  We can't wait!  =)


Jennifer and I forgot that when we were Spring cleaning last week we didn't clean the bedroom side of the house.  So today we tackled that job and loved every minute of it!  I mean, who doesn't enjoy cleaning out closets and saying to self, "Why in the world did I ever buy that?; throwing out junk that has been accumulated; sneezing like mad because of all the dust; and finding dead bugs that have crawled under the bed or dresser.  Yuck!  Jennifer only spent four, count them 4, hours in her bathroom alone!  What does that tell us?!?  =)   I sure know what it tells me!!!  LOL!

I was so hoping to have photos to show you of the project that I did today, but it was too dark to take photos when I finished,  I'll photograph and show you tomorrow.  Here's a hint: the new neighbors who just moved in next door put out a shelf-like-thingy on the curb.  I saw it late one afternoon and thought, "I could surely do something with that."  So, when darkness covered the earth, I went out into the alley and took it!  Really, lugged is a better descriptive term because it was quite cumbersome.  Today I worked it over.  Removed shelves, added shelves, used the power saw!!!  I'm so proud of myself for measuring and cutting - and I only messed up one board.  Not bad for me.  I may be better at this wood stuff then I am at sewing.  When I sew I am forever ripping out.  Very impatient, I am.  Kind of difficult to be impatient when working with power tools - impatience could cause accidents!  More tomorrow!

Hope that all of you are having a good week - nothing too exciting and nothing too boring.  Just the perfect mix of weekday niceness.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Old Henry Farms Spring 2011 - Our Space - 3rd Edition

Hi Y'all - this is Paula again...

Take a look at these last photos from Round Top.   Sorry for the fuzzy ones - I was playing with the Big Girl Camera and apparently I'm not a big enough girl to use it yet!  I'm going to keep trying and learning.  You know the drill!  We love comments to know that you were here!  =)

This Brocante sign didn't sell.  I repainted it and will post it soon.  That chalk paint is something else!


This is the hutch that the wind blew onto Jennifer!  And it was inside the tent!

These are the last of the Round Top photos.  I just found this post in the drafts.  Apparently I forgot all about it - so here you go.  Just a few final photos of our space.  It already seems like ages ago, until I look in the garage.  But we are making progress.  Several items have sold on CL and that's a good thing!