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!


Black Friday buy and what I did with it

Well, on my way out to spend my 50% off Michael’s coupon, I got talked into stopping by Harbor Freight by my husband and bored brother.  I thought it was a fair trade.  They go with me to Michael’s and I go with them to the tool shop.  I thought that I would not find much to look at, but I surprised myself.  I bought a 6 piece carpentry carving tool set for $5.00.  I was looking for old dental tools to start work on stripping the paint out of the fine details of my spare room mantel so coming across these was a Godsend.  I decided to try them out today.  After I removed some of the paint from the wainscoting in the hall, I talked my brother into helping me drag the mantel out to the porch.  I really didn’t have to twist his arm, after I mentioned it, I found him in the spare room with a drill unbolting it from the wall. 

The paint came off pretty easily.  I am not an expert in wood grains, but I think the mantel is some type of walnut.  Maybe someone can tell me.  The face and details are, of course, plaster.  I was not able to work on it very long because the paint stripper was making the plaster a little soft.  My four year old daughter even caught a picture of me. Here are a few pictures:

All in all, I am happy with my purchase.  I think I have found a new favorite store (Harbor Freight).

Don’t ask me what my outfit is doing.  It is a combination of clothing that has gotten paint or other gook on them over the years.  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.Me

Black Friday Shopping List

When most people are putting things like: “New set of pots and pans, Christmas gift for Susie” on their shopping list for this Friday, I am listing things like: “New set of light sconces for the Living Room, faucet for the kitchen sink, and scaffolding”. Hahaha….sounds like more work!  Our local hardware store has a great sale on Black Friday and you get 20% off your entire purchase.

So, I need to figure out what kind of light sconces will look good in the living room.  Here is a picture of the current sconces (For some reason, they are just not talking to me.  I think they are ok, but they just don’t seem to blend in).  What kind of sconce do I need?  I was leaning towards something a little darker.  Like oil rubbed bronze, or even black.  I also need to find some piece of art to go on top the mantel to.  I put a empty frame up there a while back to see how it looks and it just got stuck there.  I have not gotten around to climbing back up there and taking it down.

So, what are your suggestions?

I was thinking about something like this:

sconce suggestion

While I’m at it, I am going to post pics of the shelves my brother helped make while he was here waiting out Hurricane Gustav.  He cut the boards for me.  I sanded them and rounded the edges and corners, beat them up a little with a chain and some other things to make it look like it was old and had been walked on for a hundred years, stained them and voila!  Then he put up the brackets and hung the shelves.  Thanks Jonathan! 

LR Shelves