Monday, July 29, 2013

Vermont Mountain Gazebo

Hokay Kampers.
Let's return to my friend Connie's Vermont retreat.
I'm going to take a break from showing off the inside, 
to reveal a little of the outside.
By the house are a couple of small ponds.
One has a little dock for fishing.
Connie's hubby, Chris, has it stocked every spring.
and the minks,
and all the other fish lovers....
and eat all the fish.
Poor Chris; guy can't catch a break.
For a special present, years ago, Connie had me get my decorative artist to paint a portrait of Chris as a surprise.
We presented him as a gentleman farmer from the 18th century.
She wanted the artist to paint in Chris's nemesis.....
If you look closely, you can see the dead heron at his feet.
We also put in a mink.....
The painting is pretty good, it really looks like him.

I'm such a dork, I have to show you a side by side....
But, this wasn't what I meant to write about today.....
I wanted to show you guys their gazebo that sits out on the other pond.
Traditional Home 2004
This is the shot from the magazine article.
The pond is right by the house.
There's a pretty stream that flows down from it.
Inside the gazebo, I set up four wicker rocking chairs that create a cozy conversation area for coffee or cocktails.
I had my drapery workroom, Drape It, make the cabana curtains, to soften the overall effect.
All the views from inside this outdoor room are pretty.
That's the little guest house in the background.
This is the Traditional Home shot from 2004.
The first few shots were before we got the little tables that go between the chairs.
They are from Maine Cottage Furniture.
The wicker is from Lloyd Flanders.
I wish I had had a digital camera in the olden days, when I first started working on this house, so I could show you the before shot of this structure.
It wasn't very aesthetically pleasing.
I put my stamp on it and made it FABULOSO!!!!!
(I am so modest.....)
We added the metal roof.
We added the lattice around the base.
We painted it a nice soft color.
And then we added the curtains.
It's become a favorite hang out for the family.
Even if the heron has gotten all the fish.

On that note.....
Latah, Gatah

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gallery Wall in a Powder Room

On my birthday, 
I thought I would have a really good time with my buddy Kris!!!!!
lots of folks would do something like go to the movies.....
go to a party.....
go shopping.....
not me!!!!!
NO, NO, NO!!!!!
For fun on my big day, I wanted to hang pictures in Kris's powder room.
I know,
I know.
I'm a little strange.
But you must be too, 'cuz you're reading this.....
This is the way the room looked before I attacked it with my hammer and nails.
If you want to read how we got this far in this here.
Kris and I have been looking for something to hang on the walls for the past year.
We found some wonderful ship prints, but got to the auction too late to bid on them.
The auctioneer that day was going really fast, and we timed it wrong.
It really fried our goats.
But not to worry,
there's always something else just around the corner, when you deal with old stuff.
There was an auction of military things.
Old guns.
Old instruments.
Old uniforms.
(no old guys, though)
There were also some old military prints.
Since most of the people at the auction were guys, they were there for the manly stuff.....
no one bid against us for the decorating stuff, like these prints.
So we lucked out, and I think they're really unusual, and work well with the map wallpaper.
The guys in the prints are British solders, 
and the maps are of Great Britain,
so they actually make sense, sort of, in this room!!!!!
I will now show you in excruciating detail, how I hung every one of these suckers.
I started with two in the middle of the wall on the right.....
some people would think that that was enough......
That the job was done.....
I was just getting started.
I made really light marks with a pencil, to note where I wanted the next picture to hang.....
And then I couldn't find the mark.
Kris came up with the brilliant idea of using post it notes to help!!!!!
I stuck the tab on the wall, and marked with pen on the tab, 
I continued on with my bad self, and hung some more of these guys.
Three down, a million to go.....
I worked out from the center.
I was starting to get hungry.....but I kept going....
NOT BAD!!!!! NOT BAD!!!!!
One across from the toilet.
It's a little larger than the others, so we hung it by itself.
At this point, I was faint from lack of food, so Kris took me out for my birthday lunch.
I had a hankering for nachos.
I normally don't allow myself to eat this kind of thing,
so I went hog wild, and stuffed my face.
I must have told the waitress 3 or 4 times that it was my birthday.....
(I'm so grown up.....)
so, after I couldn't eat another bite, she brought over complementary fried ice cream.
I was absolutely stuffed.
I had some anyway.
Later that afternoon, I became comatose, and vowed never to do this again.
Let's see how long I remember this lesson......
before I lost all use of my arms and legs....
we returned to Kris's house, and finished the bathroom.

I added  one over the toilet.....
and then another.....
It was starting to really come together.
Across from the six prints I had hung, I planned to hang six more.
I couldn't fit any along side the sconce, so I had to settle for just four on that wall.
They balanced the six opposite just fine,
when I look into this powder room.....
the walls don't look bare to me anymore!!!!!
Kris says she likes the fact that the frames are so beat up.....
but I may just touch them up with some black paint.
You know how I love me some paint.

On that note.....
Latah, Gatah

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Ongoing Escapades of Kris and Betsy

Let me tell you about the adventures of Kris and Betsy
as they try to repair a little, inexpensive auction score,
in what they thought would be a walk in the park,
and take almost no time at all!!!!!
Remember her little table that stands between the twin beds in her guest room that we are working on and having a really good time doing all this cool stuff and decorating and playing together and writing run on sentences??????
The stone on the top of the table was broken.
We knew this when we bid on the table.
We figured.....
how hard could it be to replace the top with a 12" X 12" piece of stone?????
We figured....
easy peasy!!!!!
We figured.....
walk in the park!!!!!
We figured.....

The table had really nice lines.
It was delicate and girly and was going to look great in my Kris's guest room.
 The top was onyx.
A beautiful and expensive stone.
But we figured.....
silly girls that we are....
that we only needed a 12X12 piece, so.....
 I pulled the frame off the stone by pulling out the little brads on the sides that held it in place.
They were nailed to the wood subfloor that was under the stone,
Last week,
we had a little time on Friday afternoon, and thought this would be a fun errand to tackle together,
spend some quality buddy time on an absolutely sweltering July day.
Much more fun than going to a swimming hole.
DIYers are sick, sick. sick, I tell ya
first we went to United Marble, in Watertown.
They are fabricators, and I've been doing business with them for over 30 years.
I thought that they might have a small piece of marble left over from a larger job that we could buy, and have them cut to fit.
I hadn't been there in a while,
seeing as I'm retired,
but I remembered exactly where it was!!!!!
Boy was I confused when we drove down the ally, and nothing was there.
Kris is giving me sideways glances.....
trying to be nice.....
but I could tell she thought I had just started the slippery slope to loosing my tiny brain box.
this excursion was a bust at this point....
But I am not one to give up!
Next we went to the retail store that was associated with the stone fabricator.
It was just around a mile away.
We lucked out and found a parking spot on the street,
and trooped into the store, lugging the table with us,
hope in our hearts and smiles on our faces.
The business was under new ownership.....
Just recently bought by some very nice guys.....
but they did't have what we wanted.
The young gentleman behind the counter knew where United Marble was!!!!!
And he gave us directions!!!!!
So, back we drove.
I had remembered it being down an ally off of Arlington Street in Watertown.
He directed us to a parallel road, one block over.
Sure enough, it was down the alley on the left, looking just the same as in my old memories.
I couda sworn....
the mind is a strange and mysterious place. 
Kris and I go trouping in,
lugging the table,
happy to have finally found the business.
We met a very nice young woman name Kristen.
Kris, my buddy, thought her name was beeoutiful, since that be her real name toooooo.
We showed young Kristen the table we were trying to fix and a piece of the broken stone so she could see how thick we wanted the replacement to be.
she informed us that they only carried 3/4" or thicker slabs.
Our piece was a quarter of an inch thick.
This was not working out.
At all.
She told us to go back to the place we had just come from, or any other stone and tile retail store in the area,and see if they had a stone tile that we could then bring back to her, and she would cut if to fit for us.

Before we left, 
I turned at the door,
and laughing told her about my first attempt to drive to their business,
only to end up down a dead end ally.
Where upon she comments!!!!!
"'ve been doing business with us for a
(Yeah, I got the memo, I'm older now.....jeesh)
They used to be over where Kris and I first looked.
The building they moved into is the exact same layout and style as their old one.
They must have been built by the same guy, and the same time.
I thought I had lost it.
Turns out I be Hay O Kay!!!!!

now that I was no longer freaking out about developing early onset dementia,
we resumed our quest.
There were several tile and stone places along Arsenal Street in Watertown that we could check out.
We went into the first one we passed,
hauling the table with us.
I had never been to this store before.
The woman behind the counter was snooty.
I told here we wanted to buy a 12 X 12 piece of onyx tile.
She looked me up and down....
from my paint spattered t-shirt to my baggy jean shorts and informed me that it would be a special order and that we would need to purchase 10 sq. feet.
Which would be over 200 bucks.
We only paid 60 for this little table, and weren't about to blow that on the top.
I don't like to give money to stuck up bitches.
I mean.....
The hag works in a tile store for Pete's sake.
Can't she just tell who I am?????: the wonderful troll who lives down in a basement creating fabulous treasures with paint?????
Needless to say....
Kris and I took our high class @$$es out of there and moved on to the next business establishment that peddles stone and tile.
Now, this place I knew.
Tile Showcase.
I've been using them since.....
That's right campers.
That long!!!!!
Kris and I grab the table and go into their overstock warehouse section and talk to a very nice young man who faked being was pleased for our large order!!!!
We showed him our table, and he told us to look around for something we liked.
We could buy just one tile of something if we wanted too.
I started poking around through boxes and boxes of stone tile.
Talking the poor guys head off.....
when Kris comes nonchalantly walking up and says....
"What about  this?????"
She had found a wonderful piece of porcelain tile that looked so much like stone that I thought it was.
We had been looking for a warm tone stone to work with the colors of Kris's guest room.
This tile was absolutely perfect.
It was 16 dollars.
Much better than 200 and something.
Kris whipped out her wallet and paid with cash!!!!!
Then we hopped back in her trusty Honda and sped back to United Tile.
They were happy to see us because this was going to be a big job for them, and there was a lot of profit involved.
They charged a whopping $5.00 to cut it for us and it was ready yesterday for pickup.
Kris ran over to get it and brought the tile with the table to my house so I could put it together for her.
And here it is.....
Ta Daaaa!!!!!
I think it looks pretty damn good.
Her 20 something daughter (whose room this used to be) wont hurt it when she leaves drink glasses or coffee cups on it when she's visiting.
Porcelain tile can really stand up to a lot of abuse.
So, here's a before and after.
I think it looks like an old piece of stone.
That might just be because I'm an old piece of something.....
Not sure.....

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Floral Artwork for a Cottage Bedroom

Hokay, Kampers.....
Let's resume looking at my buddy, Kris's guest room.
I like to hang a lot of art on walls with patterned wallpaper.
It cuts into the pattern, softening the overall effect.
Kris found this oil painting at an auction we attended.
We felt it would be perfect for the largest wall in the guest room.
Here's the wall with just the wallpaper.
That's a lot of uninterrupted pattern.....
Before I hung the painting, we balanced it on the little table, to make sure we liked how it was going to work.
Can you tell the theme of the room?????
Kris has been collecting flower paintings for the last year.
I showed you the watercolor I fixed for her.....
This replaced the needlepoint we had originally planned on using.
Kris scored another wonderful oil at auction of a young girl.
We are going to hang it on the wall, across from the bedroom door, so It's the first thing you see when you come into the room.
We can't hang it until the frou frou chair is painted and reupholstered, since the painting will be hanging over it.
The wall with the chest of drawers, 
(that was fabulously painted by moi.....)
will have a collection of floral prints and oils around it.

We should get these hung this week.
But for right now.......
I am slaving away on the frou frou chair.
Remember how I told you guys that I was going to make you suffer along with me?????
So let me show you what I've done in the past week and two days.....
I started with this.
Pulled out my trusty tools....
And started taking off the upholstery.
First, I pulled off the trim that was glued over the staples.
I saved it, so I would know how much double welting I was going to need to make,
when I reupholstered the chair.
I was just sailing along at this point, thinking this was going to be a walk in the park!!!!!
Whoever upholstered this chair last, wasn't kidding around.
He did it to last forever!!!!!
I started on the back.
I thought it would be a snap to pull the back off.....
I started with the outside arm.
So far, it wasn't too bad!!!
I got to the back and came to a screeching halt.
Not exactly a halt...
more like just going really, really, really slowly.
It was done in three pieces.
All stapled all over the place and then sewn together.
By this point I was...
not having a good time.
I finally got the back off and started on the inside.
I thought I would be able to save the inside foam, and just plug the tufting holes.
I swear, 
this chair was not meant to ever get redone.
It was put together to last for #$% ever!!!
In the middle of all this torture....
I found some money in the seat!!!!
55 cents!
Now Kris's husband can retire.
I finally got the inside back foam off,
and started on the last part.
Finally getting it stripped down to where I wanted it.
I am leaving some of it still on, as I will reuse this part.
I left the seat deck on, as this will be recovered.
While working on the inside back....
I found some more money!!!!!
2 nickles a dime and a penny!!!!!
I was feeling tres rich!!!

Boy was I glad to get this part done.
Kris offered to strip the upholstery off it for me
(as it is her chair)....
but I want to do it all!!!!!
So when it's done, I can brag!!!
After it was denuded,
I painted two coats of Old White Chalk Paint on the frame.
What an improvement!!!!!
Today, I started painting the green details.
I am using the color Versailles on all the do dads.
I've only done the legs so far, this is taking for @#$ ever!!!
some close ups!!!

Up to yesterday, it went like this....
And as of right now....this very I am typing this blog!!!!!
It's like this here....
So, now, 
I only need to....
finish painting the details.
wax it.
distress it.
wax it a little more.
and then...
oy, oy, oy, oy
On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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