“Yeah…I still hate sheetrocking”

So my husband says after a couple hours of hanging drywall.  We both abhor hanging sheetrock, mudding and the whole nine yards.  Not that it is hard to do, we just don’t like it.  You may remember that we closed in the laundry room over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The room has not been touched since then.  Mostly because we have both been waiting on the wall to miraculously sheetrock itself.  Didn’t happen.  So, my dear husband decided to get up and sheetrock the outside wall this morning.  Yay!  I have just been hanging around taking pictures.  This is his progress thus far:

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Since it is a beautifully sunny day…in the 60s, my dogs have found a sunny spot in the house to hang out in.

The dogs sun bathing

Here is the start of the project in November, here is the update in December where we put the light fixtures up and we also put the floor down in the kitchen.  After we sheetrock, I will be able to put the baseboard down around the whole of the room, and I may paint our cabinets.  We also need to trim out the butler’s pantry.  It has been so cold lately, who is in the mood to work?  🙂  Also, in other news, if you are following our adoption, we almost finished with our home study.  We are very excited about that too!


I finally painted! Dining Room Evolution

I painted my dining room today…finally!  I have been talking about it for quite some time now.  Since April to be exact.  I guess the pressure of the summer ending and school about to start, finally motivated me to break out the rollers and wipe the gathering dust off of the paint cans bought back in May.  I think the other reason I was dragging my feet was because I worried about the color I picked and whether or not it would all come together in the end –how I envisioned it in my head.  I am happy to report that I am very pleased with the outcome and, without further ado, here are the pictures showing the evolution of my humble dining room.

The first pictures are from the realtor walkthrough in 2006.  Unfortunately, this dining room was stuck back in 1986.

My favorite things about these two pictures are: 1. the seafoam green topped by a border topped by a white wall.  Interesting.  2. You can see in the below picture what the kitchen used to look like.  It has red damask fabric stapled halfway up the walls and swaths of material, supposedly valances, also stapled to the windows.  I have already shared pictures of that in a previous post.  The kitchen redo pictures will be upcoming. 3. the curtains that do not even touch the floor.  They are just kinda floating there.

I did not care for the wall color, so I picked something bland (Bonjour Beige, Glidden) hoping it would go with whatever I decided to do later.  Unfortunately, it did not.  I fell in love with some red silk damask curtains, so I knew painting again would be inevitable.  Here are the “waiting-til-something-better-comes-along” pictures.

Here is Vivian’s contribution to the day. She always seems to take pictures of me working.

And, finally, (I really shouldn’t say finally…you know me, I might paint again in a couple years!), here is what it looks like now.  The turquoise paint color I picked out was vetoed.  So, I painted Anchor Gray, Benjamin Moore, and accented in turquoise.  I painted the two end chairs turquoise, put up the decal tree and turquoise birds and pressed a turquoise catchall back into service.  Instead of putting plates back on the rail (blah), I decided to use the rail to showcase our family portraits.  I am thinking about changing the shades on the chandelier from the frosted ones to clear glass to give the room more light and to allow the chandelier to match a little bit better.   I have a buffet or sideboard on my wishlist. I have lots of linens, candles and decor items I need to store. You also may notice that the mantel is different. We switched it for the one in the study. I hope to replace the slipcovered folding chairs with something more substantial one day.  That may be after I win the lottery.  Oh, wait, you have to buy tickets for that….darn.

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I know, I know.  Its not Victorian.  Even though the style of my house is Victorian, that particular style is not where I receive my decorating inspiration.  I tend to enjoy modern/country/eclectic…trying to marry all three is definitely fun here at our house!  It works for me.  I hope you are celebrating this completion of a project with me! 

Also, soon, I will post pictures of our bathroom remodel.  I am still waiting for my wonderful husband to install the vanity and hook up the plumbing to our new double sink.  Once that is done, I will post the before and afters of that.

In case you are interested, click here to see my inspiration pictures.

Good night all!


Living Room Curtains

Well guys, after living here for 2 1/2 years, I have finally put some curtains up in the Living Room.  Yay for me!  I brought some fabric home from my missions trip to Manila, Philippines last year and finally got around to turning it into curtain panels.  It was quite humorous trying to convince the sales people that I really wanted 35-40 yards of fabric.  When I told the lady who was going to take me shopping what I wanted, she showed me scarves.  I told her that I wanted to make curtains out of the fabric so then she brought me to the mall and showed me ready made curtains.  The ready made curtains were very small.  It was hard to explain to her and for her to understand that I had 13 foot ceilings and needed a LOT of fabric.  So, I ended up calling off the shopping trip and my husband and I found out that in the basement of the mega mall, they have several fabric stores.  So, off we go and here is the result:

Living room bay before

Living room bay, no curtains

Living room with curtains

I hope you all have a great evening!


Projects – 2008 in Review

I was sitting around trying to think about what we did all year.  It seems like 2008 was a slow year for us as far as the DIY scene was concerned.  In the early part of the year, around March, we spent a lot of time getting construction bids and filling out mountains of paperwork for our construction loan, only for the subprime mortgage crisis to hit and, in the end, we ended up scratching the whole deal.  I had to go back through my pictures to see what exactly we DID accomplish this year.  I was glad to find proof that our year was not wasted.  Here is a pictorial review of our year:


Finished the rent house (Hallelujah!) and took our three year old employee to Chuck-E-Cheese.  Hey, we had to pay her somehow for all that painting she did!

chuck e cheese

employee viv


We celebrated our five year anniversary

anniversary flowers


My birthday!  Ahem….anyway.  In 8 hours, I cleaned, primed and put two coats of paint on the living room walls.  It wouldn’t have taken me 8 hours normally except that I: 1) painted alone; 2) pushed a very heavy 10 foot ladder around the room 8 times while I painted the middle and top of the room …twice! I have 13 feet ceilings.  [is it 13 foot, or 13 feet?]

living room bay

fireplace living room

lr bay

lr fireplace


In April, I redid an ugly 80’s dresser for Vivian’s room and, for storage, we revamped an old shelf my brother made many years ago by adding crown moulding to it and painting it.

Vivian's dresser

old shelf

shelf finished


We took down the ugly drop ceiling in the attic.   We also painted the Master Bedroom.

drop ceiling

master bedroom before

master bedroom in progress


I sanded, repainted and recovered an old chair I bought for $5.00 at a junk store.  I also managed to tick off the entire Ratcliff family and get called a potstirrer.   Hahaha….that’s definitely a new one for me!

old chair

chair finished


I started this blog. Yay!  I pulled a metal tray on wheels out of the garbage and remade it into a plant stand for my porch.  Click here for the details and pictures.  Even my husband could not believe I wanted something this ugly.  But it turned out well.

My new plant stand

My new plant stand


We went to the Philippines.  What a life changing experience!  Click here to see more photos of the trip.  In case you cannot figure out who I am, I am the very white girl in the middle!




Vivian’s Birthday.   Hurricane Gustav hit Cenla.  That was very interesting.  It took us about a month to recover and get all of the debris cleared and everything back to normal.  I can’t complain though, we did not endure anything like New Orleans did.  Click the link above to see pictures of that fun.


Was definitely not a project month.  I was caught up watching the media and reading the news regarding  local and national politics.  I did get a call from the Louisiana Historic Preservation Office in Baton Rouge telling me that they want to put my street on the National Register.  Which reminds me…..I need to give her a call.  That nomination is supposed to be sent to Washington in April.  I am definitely going to help make sure that happens!




I repainted and reappointed the guest room and stripped a fireplace mantel.

Spare room before

Spare room - almost done


We worked on the attic/loft area so we can add another bathroom upstairs.  Steven put up two porch lights in the back.  Steven stripped a door and a transom down to the bare wood.  We also stripped some paint in the hall that was caked on to the wainscoting.  Click here for December’s project pictures.

I guess all in all it was not a bad year.  We did not get as much as we wanted accomplished.  We didn’t nearly come close to the amount of work we did in 2007.  Oh well, put it on the list!  It will get done eventually!


Dining Room Curtains Are Up!!!

YAY!  I could almost do cartwheels!  Lord knows I have enough space in the hall!  Steven put up the dining room bay window hardware and I just finished putting up the last curtain panel!  I snatched up some red damask silk curtains on clearance at Tuesday Morning almost two years ago .  The only problem was, they were only 108 inches long and I needed them to be 119 inches, so I recently added a charcoal colored panel to the bottom.  The curtains have been sitting on the table, waiting patiently for the day they would get pressed into service.  Today was the day!  Here is the BEFORE picture of the bay window.

To start, I had a hard time finding a bay window curtain rod that I liked.  There are only a handful of manufacturers who make bay window hardware.  Most of them are made to work on a track system.  Almost all of the bay window curtain rods that I could find were made so that the panels go on the rod and then you cover the mechanics with a valance.   I HATE valances and I wanted to use clip rings.  I also wanted the flexibility of opening and closing the curtains at will, as well as letting the sun filter in without all the elaborate curtain trappings.  The windows in the bay are beautiful and I did not want to suffocate them with material.  Last year, I ordered some other corner connectors through the mail, but when they arrived, they were very small. You could only use them with a half inch up to a one inch metal rod and the rod had to be hollow so you could insert the corner connector.  I needed a  large rod to hold up all of the curtains and I wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing.  I think it would look ridiculous to put a little skinny rod up on such a large window.    So, with a little creativity, I took this:

bay window hardware

and made this:

bay window after

bay window close up

The lucky find was the corner connectors by roth+allen I found at Lowes yesterday.  I was at Lowes for a different reason and was glad I puttered down the window hardware aisle.    Anyway… Here is the final product!  Now we only have the living room bay window hardware to hang up.

The only thing left for the dining room is: 1) Refinishing the floor; 2) Our dining room table  Our table is being made by a local craftsman out of 180 year old boards salvaged from an old building here in Central Louisiana.  I AM SOOO EXCITED ABOUT THAT!

Dilemma of the Day

I decided to sit down and finish sewing the last curtain panel for my dining room.  I have been trying to get it done for about six months now.  I don’t know why I stopped with only one to go.  I must have been really tired!  I put the finishing touches on the very last one and then pulled out the hardware that I am going to make into a bay window curtain rod.  I have searched high and low for a bay window curtain rod to my liking.  There are only few choices out there for bay windows and the few available on the internet and at JCPenney either cost way too much or was not suitable for my needs.  I did not want a double curtain rod and I wanted to be able to open and close the curtains, so the rod had to be nice to look at with the drapes tied back or pulled close.  So…I took a trip to Lowes and bought several pieces and parts and made my own bay window rod.  Right now it looks like this:

bay window rods

Overlook the rug.  It is temporary until I get new dining furniture.  Right now it is serving its purpose by protecting the wood floors.  Anyway… I am two curtain brackets short and need to run to Lowes to see if I can find two more.  Hopefully I can talk Steven in to cutting the rods down to size so I can paint them, assemble it all and get it put up on the windows before next week.  We have been in our house two years without any curtains….sigh….

Here are the dining room curtains that will be going up (hopefully) sometime this week.

dining room curtains

Off to finish the curtain rods……