Sunday, January 5, 2020

Freshly painted entry

Freshly painted entry and campfire dinner!

Yesterday was a busy day!  We had our hot Cream of Wheat cereal and hot tea
for breakfast and got to work getting things done!

My first project yesterday was to get my post on here about the big painting job we are doing in our home.  I have happy news...the painting in the entry and upstairs hallway is complete!  This photograph is of the entry and the old stair railings.  It will be coming down and replaced with the red oak railings.

I love the new color, Benjamin Moore Thunder AF-685!  It is a fresh gray color with an ever so slight warm undertone.  It is so beautiful!  My decorating style is modern farmhouse, traditional...oh, let's face it, I am just trying to redecorate for the new decade and I haven't a clue what to call the style I love!  I will send photos and perhaps soon I will figure out what to call my style...other than messy with magazines and books and toys everywhere!

The living room is underway also.  So far we have half of it painted with intention of leaving one wall Hale Navy HC-154.  

The three new Anderson Low-E windows that still did not bring in enough light.  In that window I hang my wreaths back to back so I don't have to look at the frames from inside.  

Yes, we painted around the Christmas decor.  I could not take it all down because I will still have company.  Notice the Hale Navy on the fireplace wall?  That is the wall I am leaving navy at least until the cabinets go up on either side of the fireplace and the new mantle is installed.  I might change my mind but most likely I will leave this wall navy and use some of my old decor.

I have loved this color and hated to paint over it but I needed more light.  When we did the big remodel after Hurricane Ivan we replaced our Anderson windows with new Anderson Low-E glass windows which I love!  I have three windows in the front of the living room with a full glass door in the entry which opens into the living room, but there still was not enough sunlight.  It was beautiful and cozy but I wanted more light.  The color I chose for this room is Benjamin Moore Wish-680.  It is a lighter shade similar to Thunder.  So far I like it...and am thinking of using it in the dining room which also needs more light.  When I have my beloved solid brass Steifl chandelier turned on the light is lovely in that room and the light color floor helps too.  But the large window is actually at the end where we added a small family room during Hurricane Ivan reconstruction.  It will be perfect for Papa and the boys to watch television and play board games.  I have a beautiful light wood Ethan Allen square coffee table with huge drawers for puzzles and games.  The matching television cabinet is so convenient and I LOVE it.  There are doors to shut to make the room look less messy and storage for all our dvd's underneath.  The equipment for Comcast is all on shelves below the television.  I am sad to move it from my living room but who knows...I might watch Hallmark movies in the new family room when the boys are not using that space!  I love Ethan Allen furniture!

The second project some of my family worked on yesterday was the spring call layouts for Scrapbook and Cards Today magazine.  

We did not get as many finished as we had hoped but we are photographing all of them today except two that I set aside as they are more summer than spring.  So, with my daughter and granddaughters help I did very well considering I only had about a week to do them after Christmas.  They are being photographed right now and then they will be sent off to the magazine to check for publication.  

I have never been published in this magazine even though I have submitted over 100 photos in the past year.  So I am praying that this group of layouts contains one that they love for their magazine!  Here is a photo of the latest edition.  They sell it at Barnes and Noble.

We had a great dinner made totally by my 16 year old grandson, Jackson.  He is becoming quite a good cook!  He made Campfire Packets over the grill.  It was cold outside and a few flakes were coming down but he had a great time cooking and they were so delicious!  He had meatballs, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots and corn in foil...the whole family loved his recipe and I must add it to the children's recipe books.  He basked in the praises from all of us!

After we ate, my youngest daughter and granddaughters and I went to Hobby Lobby.  I am looking for a periwinkle paper but so far have not found the color I need.  We got a few Valentine decorations in the store.  They have a handful of Christmas things left at 90% off but they are mostly broken and a mess.  We love that they have their spring and summer and Valentine's day decor out already, although they still have a lot of shelves to fill.  I love their sales and yesterday all spring was 40% off everything and The Paper Studio which is their brand of scrapbook supplies was all 50% off.  I found a few things that I had to bring home.  Ha!  My scrapbook room is way too full of my impulse purchases.
After we got home we popped popcorn and watched one of our recorded Hallmark movies, Time For You To Come Home For Christmas.  It was excellent.  It was sad to look at our list on Comcast DVR recordings.  We don't have many left to watch.  We are watching two of the new winter series tonight.  It is our favorite thing to do in the evenings!

We have barely any snow on the ground.  I will be shocked if we ever get a real snowfall this year.  If you are lucky enough to be in an area where you have snow I hope you have a fun activity to do today!  The kids wish they could sled ride...but they would have to ride their scooters in the grass today!  Brrr...cold so I am staying inside!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

January 2...Time to choose our new paint colors!

Benjamin Moore's Colorize of Pittsburgh

This morning I got out my paint decks and books and looked over the colors one last time.  I have been checking out Benjamin Moore's Color Trends 2020 book.  The color of the year 2020 is First Light 2102-70, a refreshing alternative to white or beige.  I try to incorporate their color of the year some where in my house every year.  This year I will be using this color in my master bath.  I am so excited.  Pink is my favorite color!  Last year it was Metropolitan, a beautiful gray with green undertones.  I added this color in pillows and cute sayings for my kitchen.  My favorite is IN THIS KITCHEN WE DANCE.

It hangs above the sink on a window we salvaged after hurricane Ivan struck our home and took most of it down.  Having the window frame there reminds me of the weather related issues that we survived.  I thank God that we did not lose our photos or most of the things we treasured.  By the end of 2005 we had just installed new pipes for the bathrooms and they burst on Black Friday.  What else to do after cleaning up the second mess in a little over a year?  We painted the entire house including the addition we had been working on.  It was then that I discovered Benjamin Moore paint.  We use Regal Select which is their trusted premium brand that delivers dependable performance and is also washable!  I love that paint!  Since it is time to change all the beautiful colors I have had for the past five years or so, I have decided to go with a fresh palette.  You can view the new colors here.  I am certain you will choose one to freshen an area of your home or maybe even several to brighten your home for spring!  Check out their Facebook page here for decorating ideas.

Since we are installing the railings for our new staircase to the second floor (stained Old Masters American Walnut also available at Colorize of Pittsburgh), I decided to paint first.  It took no time at all to look at the new 2020 colors and realize that I have been needing a fresh look for my home.  I chose 2020 color Thunder AF-685 for my entry, staircase and upstairs hallway.  I have been wanting to change three walls of my living room to a light color because I have been cross stitching in that area while we watch our Hallmark movies.  The gorgeous Hale Navy HC-154 will remain on the fireplace wall and the rest of the walls will be painted Wish AF-680.  It is a dual purpose choice!  We are huge Disney fans and our favorite song is When You Wish Upon A Star.  The name has us singing our song of course!  It will brighten the living room and make my needlework so much easier.  We have so few days of sunshine in southwestern Pennsylvania.  I know this new color will brighten those cloudy days and our dreams will come true!  *smile*  Work has begun with the entry and staircase and hallway upstairs first...just a bit more patching and sanding with drywall compound from Lowes and let the painting begin!  I can't wait until it is done and hope to have photos to show by Monday!

The colors have been the same for my entry, dining room and Tennessee room for for close to ten years.  The color is Shelburne Buff HC-28.  Thunder is a totally different look.  I am so happy with the clean modern traditional look it will bring to the first floor of our home.  I am not certain of the color for the dining room but as it flows into the smaller family room area I am certain I will use Thunder in that area to remind me of my beloved mountains of Tennessee.  I will paint it after the entry to see if I can more easily choose for the dining room which is between the entry and Tennessee room.  I have been looking at the 2020 Colors booklet this morning and love the blues and greens they have chosen for this year's palette.  Since the Tennessee room has accents of Hale Navy in pillows and also a red and Shelburne Buff windowpane check sofa from Ethan Allen, I want to be sure the color I choose for the dining room blends there.  I have set aside my paint chips and books for another day.  I will choose the dining room paint last for the first floor.  In fact I think I will paint my master bathroom on the second floor next...after all this hard work I deserve a beautiful new color for my relaxing evening bath with a cup of tea and a good book!

Have fun looking at all Colorize of Pittsburgh has to offer!  You can pick up your paint chips and color booklets at any of their four stores.  The closest one to me is the Canonsburg store on Route 19.  Erin works there and will be happy to help you with any of your painting questions and help with color choices!  Be sure to click on the name to get to their website and check out the great sales and discounts!    

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Last day of 2019.  The end of another decade.  

The beginning of fresh new things...learning to be a better photographer, continuing to scrapbook and hopefully be published again, working on my counted cross stitch, finishing some quilts and getting rid of fabrics I won't be using again and writing.  I enjoy all these things but want more of them in my life.

So here is a brand new year to plan activities and holidays, change my home decor to match the seasons, and watch new Hallmark movies of course! I love Hallmark and I have since I was a child shopping with my Mama for cards and stationery.  I can't wait to get my Valentine cards!  I think they are already in the stores so I better make a trip to get first choice of the cards for those I love.  Be sure to get your stationery for thank you notes for Christmas gifts and stock up on cards for birthdays and Valentine's Day.  I love to look at the cards and read all the sayings inside before I choose.  I can spend a long time getting just the right cards!  

I still have all the trees up!  Yes, all of them are still dressed in their Christmas best.  I know the Coke tree is staying up through Valentine's Day because we are in love with Coke!  And well let's face it the colors are perfect-red and white.  I know we will leave the gingerbread tree up as well as those two flank the large white hutch.  It makes a beautiful backdrop for the sweet candy bar.

Well, a new decade is beginning!  What a fabulous time to make things new and go after bigger goals and dreams.  We are learning life is too short and health is unpredictable and family is all we have in the end.  We want to spend as much time together as possible!  We will be watching the Waterford crystal ball drop in New York City while we cozy up on the sofa.  At midnight we will bang the pots outside and shout happy new year to our neighbors.  We hope your family is blessed with good health, good times and love in this new year!

Related image

Be sure to check my Pinterest page for great Valentine's Day cards, scrapbook layouts, and decorating ideas!

Have a wonderful day and Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Staining our new staircase!

New Oak Staircase!

We finally found the staircase we love.  We purchased the staircase components at Lowe's of Washington.  The brand is RetroTread by Young and is made from solid red oak.  

The hand rails and baluster and newel post came from Keim Lumber in Charm, Ohio.  They are custom made from solid red oak.  It is the staircase of my dreams!  We have been staining them for days now...three coats of Old Masters gel stain in American Walnut #81808 from Colorize of Pittsburgh.  We are finishing with three coats of Old Masters Interior Water Based Masters Armor in Satin finish #72104.  It is designed for floors but can be used on furniture, cabinets, etc. and is for use on interior wood surfaces.  

We have been working on this project since October 29, 2019.  We started outside as it was warm but we had a rain shower and had to run with all the pieces to the garage to protect them.  The next day we took them to my Daddy's home to finish the staining and finish coat.  

I'm taking a tea break!

Buster enjoyed being outside with us.

It has taken a week to sand and stain the stairs.  Then it took more than another week to apply the three coats of the clear finish.  In between, we had the Hallmark event, shopping, the Martha Washington Quilt Show, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Deep breath is closer to being done now.  We have the stairs complete and down...and are working on the handrails and balusters and newel post after the wall is painted.  By the time we are finished a job that could have taken possibly three weeks will have taken three months.  But the result is worth the effort.  I can say that if I ever decide to do a home remodel project in autumn again I hope someone stops me!  If you are in the market for wood parts for your staircase I recommend the two stores that helped us find exactly what we needed.  

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Day After Shopping

Shopping the Day After!

We don't shop on Black Friday anymore.  Well, let me qualify that...we don't shop at brick and mortar stores.  We did do a lot of shopping online from Black Friday until Christmas Eve.  It was fun to get all the boxes on our front porch at first but after awhile they just became a pain to check for rain damage and haul them inside.  We got to the point that we were not even opening them.  About a week before the big day we finally got them all opened, reordered damaged things and wrong sizes and put into piles to be wrapped for Christmas.  We added our in-store purchases at Kohl's, Macy's, Dollar Tree and Walmart and we worked in the loft at my Grandma's kitchen table that my Daddy refinished.  My daughters and I and sometimes my granddaughters wrapped all our presents in our pretty Christmastime in the City themed paper and curling ribbons along with matching tags.  Some days it was fun and some days we felt like we would never get done! 

However...we DO shop on the day after Christmas!  I choose 3 stores that i definitely want to get to as soon as they open.  This year my first choice was Marshall's at Washington Crown Center Mall.  Since we were there the day before Christmas right before closing I got to see all the goodies that would be half price the day after Christmas.  So we arrived there shortly after opening.  I grabbed all the goodies I wanted.  

We raced across town to Target in Washington next.  I bought gift wrap for my Christmas theme next year which is Christmas in Evergreen (LOL!), bows, curling ribbon, tags, ceramic house, two outdoor timers and who knows what else!  Ha!  We stopped at Eat n Park for lunch in Peters Township.  

We went to Target at South Hills after lunch and they didn't have a lot to pick from but it was fun with the girls!  Oh wait they did have my Chobani yogurt in flavors I've never seen before!  I stocked up!

Barnes and Noble was our next stop of the day.  We found quite a few books to look at and some new authors to keep in mind.  We ordered cookbooks from Martha Stewart and Paula Deen.

We forgot to stop at Starbucks to use our gift cards for a holiday drink.  We'll do that another day though.

Our last stop of the day was Market District.  We love walking around in this grocery store.  They have so many different items than our regular store.  We found some needed groceries and candy.  

It was a very busy day that ended with a great Hallmark movie snuggled on the couch in our jam-mays!

We had lots of laughs and good times being all together.  The grandchildren were so excited to help find the bargains.  I hope your shopping trips were as successful and enjoyable as ours were!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

He came! Santa really came!

Christmas day was wonderful with the children opening all their gifts and laughing with one another.  My big surprise was my table pad for the dining room table.  It was 2012 when I bought the table and I never got the pad for it.  John surprised me with an envelope that said it was ordered and would be in for pick-up in January.  I also got a huge box of Echo Park scrapbook kits and papers and an Amish fiction book from Lauren and new rubbed bronze register covers for all my register vents from Karina!  The girls and I all got new telephones and new long cords for our Apple devices, 2 Lands End tote bags and 2 pairs of slippers, and diamond cocktail rings.  Our entire family spent Christmas Day in our new Land's End jam-may pants and shirts from Southern Style On Fifth Avenue!  We had our traditional Cracker Barrel ham along with Papa's mashed potatoes, Ham gravy, creamed lima beans, corn, green bean casserole, a relish tray, stuffing balls, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and cherry and pumpkin pie for dessert. Our chef Isabella enlisted the help of her cousin Caroline and Nana and baked 40 dozen cookies!  Her favorite is Lady Locks and we had many dozens of them!  You can see the lady locks recipe here.  They are delicious.  My favorite is the candy cane cookies sprinkled with crushed candy canes and sanding sugars.  Yum!  She also baked the cupcakes on the front of the December issue of Food Network Magazine.  Look at how beautiful they were!  We divided them in half and froze them without icing and enjoyed the other dozen on New Year's Day.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December Daily 2017

December Daily Album from 2017

I wanted to share a passion of mine on my blog so you will all be able to see more of the celebrations we share during the month of December.  

Please enjoy the photos and memories I have captured in the album. 

The album is from Ali Edwards HSN collection.  A lot of the decorations in the album are from my scrapbook stash. 

Created the calendar page with my Cricut, using Cricut pens and fonts.  Each day lifts up and shows what we did that day.

I get all my photos printed from Shutterfly.  I also buy all my Christmas cards and special 6x8 cards made from Shutterfly.  I like their website the best.  Their quality of prints is phenomenal.  I partnered with Shutterfly for this album!  These Christmas cards are fabulous with our Walt Disney World photos on them.  

More Disney photos in the album, I just love making the 6x8 cards on Shutterfly.  I can add text and get the back printed as well. 

Bradford House tree donation from our company Southern Style on Fifth Avenue.

JFK Catholic School Cabaret

Walt Disney World photo cards from Shutterfly.  I used the Cricut to make the Mickey head and the journaling card.

Hallmark Countdown to Christmas movie guide and a bag from Starbucks!

My favorite Christmas drink is the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha!

Watching Hallmark Christmas movies all winter long!

A not so merry day when I ran into the rack at Kohls.  UGH!

Had to spend the day in Pittsburgh because I was diagnosed with kidney disease the night before.  But I did get to see this tree at PPG Place and the house with the big red bow.

Lunch with Mary Lou at Cracker Barrel and a great journaling card handmade by Lauren and Karina, they used the Cricut for the writing and and some AC foam dots to pop it up.

Jolees accents on the back.  My parents tree!  I hope they loved it from Heaven.  I miss them so much at this time of year.  We still decorate their house.

Snuggling watching Christmas movies in our jammies.
I got to meet the author who wrote the book about Kaufmann's at Barnes and Noble South Hills.

Believe in the magic of Macy's at Christmastime.

All the trees in Sugar Hill (our home) for Christmas in 2017.  JW with his Frosty Friends spiral tree in his room and Isabella with her Princess Dreams tree in her room, all the signature Sketchbook ornaments from Walt Disney World, she loves them!

Home Depot donated a tree and ornaments to a needy family in Washington.  Southern Style on Fifth Avenue facilitated the donation with Home Depot of Bethel Park, PA. 

Snow day!

My Mama's birthday complete with the poinsettias like she always liked.  We took the sleds to the cemetery.  Yes, even I went down the small hill a few times.