Friday, October 10, 2014

It's ME, betsy!!!!!
Did you miss me????? Do you remember who I am?????
In honor of the fact that I am finally writing the next chapter of the adventure of redoing Kris's porch.....
take a deep whiff, and let's get to it!
(don't you wish this was one of those scratch and sniff thingies?????)

We left off at this point in the transformation.
Kris had a fantasy
 (that has now been fulfilled by the designer genie....Betsy)
 to spend lazy days on the porch spying on watching the people of the neighborhood walk by.
In order to do this,
So we went place putting tushy shopping, and chose outdoor wicker by Lloyd Flanders.
There's a convenient shop near where we live that sells all sorts of garden stuff.
It's called Seasons Four and is in Lexington Massachusetts.
Kris did a lot of in depth research.
Placing her tushy all over the store.
She's a reference librarian, so she's very good at research.
She be workin' hard!!!!!
We chose the Nantucket style as it was appropriate for the period of the house.
I was able to stuff in do a floorplan that accommodated plenty of seating for Kris's family and friends.
I placed a sofa and chair on one side of the porch, and three rockers on the other side. 
We used the dining chair for the seat perpendicular to the sofa, as the porch wasn't deep enough for the width of the lounge chair.
I also liked that the back pillow was small, allowing the open weave to show.
There was room for four rockers on the other side of the porch, but we were worried about it looking like an old folk's home.
(even though she and her hubby ain't the young chickens that they once were.....)

We then dove into eBay and Craig's List looking for old tables to finish the floorplan.
I have yet to take the final pictures, as I was waiting for the last table to arrive.....
and then Kris had to go on a trip to the southern tip of Africa.
She is very inconsiderate of my readers.

I just remembered that I told you guys that I would write about finding the antique carriage wall sconces in this post.
It was going to be a really go one too.....
I'll do it next time.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Next Phase of Kris's Porch Renovation

We were talkin' about what's up with Kris's front porch.
I had shown the house before we started.....
After we pulled off all the old vinyl siding on the front, any rotten wood that was found was repaired.
In New England there are two kinds of houses: 
Those that have termites, and those that will have termites.

But first.....another shot of my guy Nigel.
Once again, let me remind you that he's my contractor and you can't have him.
He be very cute!
Don't tell him I said so though, we don't want him getting a swelled head.
Now, look away, 'cuz you can't have him!!!!!
Isn't demoing the most satisfying part of construction???
Or is it just me, that I'm a warped pathetic old bag????
It was so great to see that horrible railing come down!!!!!
The porch felt better right away.
Why the old building inspector wanted such a high hand rail is a mystery that's right up there with the possibility that aliens built the pyramids!!!!
We didn't like the ceiling light, so we replaced it with sconces flanking the front door.
here she is with her front done.
I helped Kris choose a warm melon color, since who needs a white house with all the snow we get in New England????
The sides will be done next year.
This construction stuff ain't cheap ya know!
Notice how blurry this is?
My hands must have been shaking with glee.
We will be hanging some wonderful wood shutters in a dark green.
None of this screwing to the house, they will be properly hung, overlapping the window casings.
The porch ceiling was painted the classic sky blue.
I love when porch ceilings are this color.
We chose a soft dark mossy green for the doors, old storm window frames and floor.
The wall sconces are old carriage lights that we bought from Yankee Craftsman, a local antique light vendor in Wayland Massachusetts
We discovered them in their humongous barn, and they restored them and wired them for us.
I will show you guys our trip to this wonderful place in my next post.....maybe.....
Kris and her hubby, Keith, wanted ceiling fans, as they plan on sitting on the porch in all kinds of weather, spying watching the people go by.
They are big time porch sitters!!!!!

Here's the difference between the before and after!
I must say.....I am very good at what I do!!!!!
The house is very happy with Kris and me.
It likes it's new look.
We've found, bought and had delivered all the furniture for sitting on and stuff like that....
I'll be showing that off in the next few posts.....

On that note,
Latah Gatah

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All Right Already!!!!! I'll Write a Post!!!!!

My god, you people are pathetic!
It's so nice to be missed!!!!!
I thought I could slip away into the night and work on my fabric line without anyone noticing I wasn't writing my blog.
 it worked for a while.... 
but then you smarty pants started to realize that you weren't being annoyed by my banal ramblings,
 and started to send me winy, needy, get-a-life comments.
Begging, pleading, imploring, beseeching,  requesting me to not abandon you  continue with my pithy posts.
Not to be confused with pissy posts!!!!
Although.....I guess they could be both pithy and pissy.....

As to how I'm doing on designing this line of fabric from hell....
let me just say that I don't know what the #$% I'm doing....but I have a year to figure it out.
We were discussing when we would launch it.
Next spring or next fall.....
I assured everybody that next fall was WAY BETTER!!!!!
That gives me six extra months to fake that fact that I know what I'm doing.
I am starting to get a handle on it.
My main goal in my designs is not to embarrass myself.....
Not to make a lot of moolah.....
Not to do stunning designs.....
just to not look like a total and complete moron.
I have high aspirations!!!!!! 

let me catch you guys up on some of the stuff I've been doing that doesn't involve sitting for hours at my computer manipulating graphics programs, 
or watching Don't Be Tardy on TV.
OK, confession time.....I love that show.....
Isn't AJ the cutest brat?????
Pure light hearted entertainment, without any nastiness.
Although....don't get me wrong.....The Real Housewives of New York City ROCKS!!
Shows like "Ray Donovan", "The Bridge", "The Good Wife", "Masters of Sex" are very entertaining.....
With shows like "Don't Be Tardy", if you miss something in the show, 
doesn't matter!!!!
you can just keep watching where you picked up!
My idea of TV nirvana self medication. 

I told you I was going to go over the floor plan of my little cottage on Cape Cod.
I wanted to show you guys how to manipulate tiny spaces into what felt like a larger area.
But that's not as much fun as showing what Kris and I have been up to on her front porch.
Because I'm a girl that's all about fun....
Here's what her porch looked like before we started the attack.
Because she lives  within a New England town, all the telephone and electric wires are strung from poles.
I've become spoiled, as both my houses are in neighborhoods that have them under ground.
But she lives  in a neighborhood that's over a hundred years old, and they didn't have shovels back then.
Some previous owner thought it was a good idea to clad the house in vinyl siding.
All that does is hide any water or termite damage from inquiring eyes.
To top off the insult to this lovely old home, when Kris had to replace the porch railing, the town building inspector made them install one that was 42 inches high.
This was not the town code, it was his own personal idea of safety.
  Not to cast aspersions on the man.....
but what the @#$?????
To finish off the assault to the appearance of the approach to Kris's home.
A previous owner thought that white shutters on a white house was a good idea.
Well it isn't!!!!!
No visual contrast.
Here's a view of the porch to the right.
Here's a view of the porch to the left.
Kris is attacking the exterior one side at a time, as it ain't cheap to replace and restore the look of original siding.
She chose Hardy Plank as a good solution to resisting the extremes of New England weather.
It's a composite board that looks like wood but is made from wood fibers as well as cement.
First we had to strip off the vinyl siding.
I would like to note at this juncture, that when I write "we", I mean Nigel, my fabuloso contractor.
If you think I'm hoisting a pry bar, you've lost your tiny minds.
The destruction continues!!!
As well as new siding, we were installing new, more energy efficient, prettier windows; as someone in the past had replaced the original ones with crappy vinyl, or aluminum, or something.
Here are the guys!!!!!
That's Nigel on the left.
He's mine, get your own stinkin' contractor.
This is what was under the siding.
Rotting in hidden glory,
This is Nigel's lunch.
This is a thoroughly documented story. 
So that's it for today.
Next post will show what we've done to make the house beeoutiful!
It's takes a long time to write this crap, you know.
So, you'll just have to wait.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Friday, August 29, 2014

An Epiphany of Mind Blowing Proportions!!!!!

This week I realized something that should have occurred to me  
years and years ago!!!!!
Although I love me my fake flowers.
(You guys who have been reading me for a while know this.)
I have no shame when it comes to using fakes.
I've repeatedly made the joke about how women love to fake things.......
(wink, wink)
I mean....
look at how lovely these look after 10 years and counting....
and these.....
and THESE!!!
And what I did for my niece Miriam......
this week I decided that I would take a vacation.
I admit,
I lied to you guys!!!!!
Yes I did, I have not shame, I'm a big fat fibber.
When I told you I was just lazing around, when I didn't post my blog for two weeks,
 I was actually working like a dog on my fabric line.
I'm still trying to figure out what programs to use.
I feel like I'm caught between the Scylla and the Charybdis!!!!
Photoshop or Gimp?????
Illustrator or Inkscape?????
OY VEY!!!!!
I am so out of my element.
I wish there was a graphic arts class for old farts who don't want to leave their home, and sit in a classroom with a bunch of younguns.
And while I'm talking about classes....
After 5:00, I don't feel like goin' nowhere, nohow.....

Where was I.....
I always go off on these tangents.....
Oh yeah, taking a vacation!!!!!
So this week I gave myself permission to just do whatever I wanted,
which meant sitting out on my back patio looking at the sky
 and reading my books.
Getting in my two mile walks every day so my hips don't freeze up on me,
 and playing stupid computer games.
If I don't take breaks from creativity periodically, 
I shut down.
I need to recharge my batteries.
This involves doing nothing long enough that I get bored, and then I'm glad to get back to work.
An indication of this, is that I'm writing this blog today!!!!!

I was talking about my epiphany......
I was looking out into my side yard where I have my grill and little table.
(below is a picture from a few years ago, before everything went to hell.....)
And it was a big fat mess!!!!
Everything was overgrown.
There were so many flowers that I could barely walk by.
Below is a picture AFTER I cut some off.
I have tons of white hostas too that get in my way when I grill.
I hate cutting pretty flowers. I like to leave them on their mother plants to keep looking gorgeous!
these were in the way.
for the first time in 10 years of living here, I made a bouquet of fresh hydrangea and hosta flowers.
They were really pretty.
And now it's easier to grill my dinners of healthy low fat stuff.
it hasn't even been a week.
And the bouquet of fresh flowers looks like @#$.
It's all drooping and dropping pollen and making a big fat mess.
I tried the natural, organic, local produce.
And I'm sticking to the polyester fakes!
But I just might try me some of my knock out roses.
They sure are purddy.....

what was the point of this blog?????
I was trying to make a point.
never mind.
Pretend you didn't just wast a minute reading this.
Have a nice weekend.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rant #547


Yeah, I know, it's been another couple of weeks with me playing hooky.......

I've been busy doing lots of nothin'.
This is something for which  I am eminently qualified.
I have had a LOT of training, so for those of you at home, it may not be safe to try this yourselves.

I have discovered the world of paranormal writing.
the list goes one and on.....

Sometimes it's just great to get away from anything that is remotely real.
The Newspaper is enough for me these days, and I read two.

But one thing I don't like in my books is lots of gratuitous sex.
I find it boring and jump ahead to when it's over.
After all, at my age.....
been there, done lots and lots of that.
It's not boring to the participants....
but it's very boring to me to read about it. 
The author just needs to write:
"the sexual tension built, and then things took their normal course of action....."
The dot, dot, dot, is where the reader can add all the juice she wants.
That's just my editorial opinion.
The thing is; 
if I'm reading a book for sex, then this stuff is great!
But if I'm reading a book for plot and character development; 
this stuff is just filler,
and uses up good pages that could be telling me more cool stuff, 
like there are all sorts of dimensions all around us with walls thinning in places where the inhabitants are sneaking through!!!!!
 They look just like us, but can't talk because in their universe they use telepathy!!!!!
Stuff like that.
That's good stuff!!!!! 

Although I'm Jewish, and not big into any religion.....
I find I LOVE the Mormon writers.
They love to write supernatural stuff, and they add a little romance, but leave the dirt at the door.
Now don't get me wrong!!!!!
I used to be a very dirty girl!!!!!
It's just that in my old age, 

It's like living a life of eating ice cream sundaes.
Loving ice cream sundaes.
Trying all  different kinds of ice cream sundaes,
By the time you're in your 60's, 
you really, really don't need to read any more about ice cream sundaes.
if you'er reading a book with a real fun plot, 
and the heroine is checking out an ice cream sundae.....
all the book needs to say is that she REALLY liked that particular flavor and felt great after eating a whole bowl of the damn stuff!!!!!

I don't know how I got to this.
I was going to write about creating a better floor plan for a really tiny house.
I'll write about that next time.
In the mean time,
If you have any authors you love that have aliens or supernatural characters within their pages, please let me know!!!!!

Another thing I need help with is.....
What to name my fabric line, if I ever get it off the ground.
I was thinking: Betsy.
'cuz that's my name.
Any ideas?????

On that note,
latah, gatah

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Extra Storage in a Bedroom

Alright! Alright! I'll write my blog.....
a person takes a couple of weeks off from the grind of pushing out blog after blog after blog.....
and all she gets is grief!!!!!
now I'm back
So there.
Let's continue with my good buddy Kris's youngest child's (Kieran's) bedroom.
Which is hardly ever used because he is now a big fancy schmancy college graduate.
And has flown the nest.
Which means that we will soon be tweaking this room.
We just wait to be sure that they (the chillin's) are
not coming back...... 
before we rip apart change their bedrooms.
Since it's been two weeks, I will show a couple of pictures of the room so far, to refresh your memories.
Not that I'm dissing your mental faculties....
some of us aren't as young as YOU used to be!!!!!
As you guys can see,
to the right of the desk is a wall of cabinetry.
When I started working on this room.....
It's like magic!
I just wielded my little pencil, drew a few lines and presto chango, 
This is what happened.
There was a small crappy closet in this room.
Since this house was built at the turn of the last century,
people must not have had as much shit stuff as they do now!
So they just had small, tiny, teeny, little, cramped closets.
I was going to tell you how I incorporated the depth of the closet into the new built-ins.....
but I can't remember what I did.
It has been over 10 years.
Give me a break, I be old.
I designed this wall of storage so that Kris could use some of the cabinets for her stuff too!
The units were so large, that the cabinet maker had to hoist them through the bedroom windows.
Lots of drama ensued!!!!
I wanted these cabinets to look original to the house, so I had the crown molding wrap around the top, and the baseboard wrap around the bottom.
I designed a simple recessed panel, as that would have been a more likely design at that time.
I had the problem of what to do with the heating vent.
I designed the cabinets as if it wasn't there, and then created a false drawer and framed the vent with the molding of the baseboard.
To have it work with the boyish overtones of the rooms decoration, Kris and I chose large wooden knobs.
Now that Kieran is a college grad, with a job and an apartment.....
Kris's stuff is migrating into these cabinets.
It's a wondrous and mysterious phenomenon that is experienced across the nation!!!!!  
The movement of Mom's stuff into grown children's rooms.
I'll never forget the first time I came home to visit my parents after I had moved to my first apartment down in Georgia.....
Not such a subtle statement.
 But I understood the memo.
At 22 my childhood was over.
I would always be welcome in my parent's home.....
but it was time to create a place of my own.
But Kris is old school, and it's happening in her house.
We be soul mates.
Kris and Me!

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Monday, July 28, 2014

Denim For a Teenager's Bedroom

Oy Vey!!!!
Kris has been giving me a hard time about not writing my blog.
I know you guys don't care, but I am under a deadline on getting my first couple of fabric designs completed,
so I can have strike offs printed,
so I can have something for Traditional Home to photograph when they come here next month.
If I'm lucky, they will push back the photoshoot till September, so I have a little more time.
Since I am not a graphic artist,
and I am having to learn two different graphics programs.....
plus figure out how to design fabric,
which I know nothing about.....
It's taking me a leetle bit of time.

I figure this is good for my brain box,
learning a new skill.
Please tell me this is good for me.

back to my blog.

We left off in Kris's son's bedroom.
We tucked a small upholstered arm chair in the other corner of the room.
We found it in a junk store and had Drape It recover it in a blue denim that matched the Pottery Barn curtains we had hung.
I had them do a baseball stitch at the boxing of the seat in red thread to go with the feeling of a true jean.
But since I didn't think to shoot this detail when I was in the room, I blew up the picture, and the detail blurred.
Just another wonderful blog post by your's truly.
Kris had a pillow made out of pennants she found on eBay.
The girl can be very clever!!!!! 
The yellow throw is from the 2011 Bruins Stanley Cup!
Go Boston!!!!
(The Bruins are a Boston team, right?????)
The stuffed dog (AKA floppy ears) he's had since the dawn of time.
Along side the chair we hung a trio of 1930's football etchings that Kris found in her hunting and gathering OCD.
They were drawn by Rosamond Tudor, daughter of Tasha Tudor.
If you have never heard of them, don't feel bad, neither had I, and Kris made fun of me.
I did what I always do, and googled it!!!!!
click here to read  Wikipedia Tasha Tudor

I know this is short, 
and you probably all are mad at me.....
BUT I have to go grocery shopping as I have no food in the house.
How can I have my glass of milk at night, if I have no milk????????
On a different note,
how can I have dinner if I have NOTHING IN THE HOUSE?????

I am truly excited about my fabric collection,
but I absolutely haven't a clue what I'm doing.
Reinventing myself after I closed my design business has been a blast!

P.S. next post I will discuss the wall of cabinetry we added for extra storage.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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