Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Paint is GOOD

So this cute little sign came across my facebook page the other day.
Knowing what my next project at hand was going to be, I thought how appropriate!
When I last posted, I was about to embark on a journey.
A journey to a "new" kitchen, so to speak...
...and the dreaded, yet oh-so-exciting road ahead.
Let us first take a peek at what once was.

This was my kitchen about a year ago.
(please excuse that glaring light in the ceiling, if you will)

Actually, I had removed all of the fruity things and replaced them with a few roostery things
when I brought all of my chickens home to roost after selling Ray's Roost,
our beloved cabin in Virginia last September.
(Man, that was a lot of roosts in one sentence!)
So many of you have wondered how my cabinet painting has turned out.
Let me just say that this Nuvo Cabinet Paint by Giani has really impressed me so far.
It went on smoooooth like butta and dried (quite quickly I might add)
to a silky satin finish.

{It seems to be really hard to get good photos in here without a flash
so I apologize for the quality of some of these.}

By the time you paint your first coat on the area you are working on,
it's ready for the second coat...not even tacky.
My goal for last Friday was to get this part of the "L" completed of this L-shaped kitchen...

...and I reached that goal.
I removed all hinges, numbered them relating to the doors in the proper order,
and spray painted them along with the screw heads (I stuck them all down into cardboard)
with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.
I had already replaced the knobs when I painted the counter tops so no update needed there.

BUT...I had to have these new cup drawer pulls!
I really like them a lot and just had to try them on as soon as the paint was dry.
Now, please don't go looking at that ugly green tile floor.
It was already ugly and worn out and the new paint just made it scream...

Oh well, I'll only have to live with it for a couple more months... wood flooring will be a much welcomed replacement!
So now...........drumroll please............

I am a happy woman...
...tired...but happy.

I am amazed at the brightness.
It's like someone put a 300 watt light bulb in the ceiling fixture.

It also makes that old almond colored stove that came with this 30 year old house,
look pretty ratty too.
It's a great reason to go out and get that new black smooth top I've been wanting :)

Oh, and I do need to tell you that I hit one small road block on my journey.
I ran out of paint...right before I got to those final two little tiny cabinets above the fridge...
wouldn't you just know it?
I didn't realize until later that I didn't need to apply the paint so liberally...
...oh well, another quart is on the way to finish the job and have some to spare for touch-ups.
So there you have it.
I really do think change is good...
...and you can really change things with paint.
Therefore, paint is...yes...GOOD!

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Friday, May 22, 2015 goes nothing!

So the Memorial Day weekend is upon us.
It looks as if I won't be chickening out.

The cabinets have been scrubbed and prepared...

...the paint has been opened and stirred...

...and I am hoping that Coconut Espresso will look as good as it should taste.

Pray for me.
I'll need it.
I'll keep you posted :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



: something that happens by chance 
Sometimes, just when I think I don't have much of a green thumb,
I still don't.
But even though I don't put much stock in luck, I do believe in happenstance.
Many times, we don't have to do anything to make things grow...they just do.
Take clover for instance.
But as annoying as it can certainly be, especially for those allergic,
you must admit that when you get up close and personal, it's kinda pretty.
Yep, I was down on  my belly snapping these.

Sometimes we get a little help with our spring planting...
...from our furry and fine feathered friends.
Sunflowers started growing in my flower boxes.
The squirrels must have been hiding them there for safe keeping.
And the seeds that I actually planted on purpose, those little buggers dug up!
Every. Last. One.

So, I transplanted these into pots because the sunniest place is here on my deck...
...I don't think there is enough sun anywhere in my yard for them to grow that well.
I read on google that you could grow them in pots.
To this I say, convince me, Google!
And look! I have baby tomatoes!
I actually have been known to grow them successfully at times.
I am waiting with bated breath for a few green ones to get big enough to fry!
Do you like fried green tomatoes?

Saturday, some friends and I went to a wonderful farmer's market.
Among all of the lovely produce, they also had so many gorgeous flowers...
...too many to take photos of all...but I did snap a couple.
Of course these have nothing to do with my greenish thumb or the lack thereof...
...just thought I'd throw them in :)

The lovely orangey lantana took my eye right away but I had never seen this purple one before.
Look... it's got little white flowers within the flowers!
Isn't it pretty?
Now I had nothing to do with growing this fuchsia either...
...but...once you spend the money, it's kinda nice if it lives.
And speaking of spending money,
the day after I paid $13.99 for it at Lowe's, they went on sale for $9.99.
Oh, but I do love these stunning blooms!
They look like little ballerinas in tutus dancing around.

And I have decided that this cactus just cannot make up it's mind what kind of cactus it truly is.
In previous years it bloomed around Halloween or Thanksgiving...
...and then it started getting buds on it back around Easter that never opened up.
So, this year, I am calling it my Memorial Day Cactus...
...and it's blooming right on time!

This cactus and the African violet below are plants in my work office.
I inherited them when a lady who used to work here moved.
I basically ignore them and water them only when I remember to...
...which isn't very often.

It's probably been about five years since these plants have been in my custody.
The violet goes through it's cycle of blooming pretty regularly.
Not with any help from me, that's for sure!
And lastly, this is one of those tiny little dwarf rose bushes from the grocery store.
Jim had given it me for Valentine's Day and it was so pretty.
Well, after all of the blooms died off, the whole plant started looking really bad...
...I never have had any luck getting one of these to bloom again.
So thinking I would probably be throwing it out, I just sat it out on the deck this spring.
And look what happened.
Now, that's what I call happenstance!
What kind of happenstance do you experience in your life??

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Mosaic Monday
Roses of Inspiration

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Painted Counter Tops

Well, here it is May of 2015 and I am just now...finally...getting this post published!
This is an old DIY project from way back in 2009...or was it 2010?
 Let me check my Facebook was actually back in 2010,
I got to where I just couldn't stand these ugly butcher block-ish laminate counter tops.
Not. One. More. Day.

The bathrooms were just as ugly with a boring white laminate.
Here is the main bath in the hallway.

I had heard of products that you could use to paint counter tops but was always skeptical. After checking out our local Lowe's I saw they had a few products but was not impressed...with the price or the sample of the end results they supplied. So I started checking the internet and that's where I found GianiGranite. (And just so you know, I am doing this post totally on my own...Giani did not pay me anything or ask me to advertise for them. They have no idea who Debby Ray is as far as I know!)
 I can't tell you how many testimonials I read on several different websites that were so favorable along with photos of the finished product.  I decided this would be the product for me and I ordered 2 in Bombay Black and one in Chocolate Brown. If you click on the link to the website, you will see that there is a wide array of colors to choose from.

The price was also right...each kit was $49.95 and I needed two. New counter tops for a hundred bucks? You bet! I will say that due to the popularity of this product, the price has gone up a bit. I just checked on Amazon and the price for a kit is now around $70. I ordered this from the Giani website five years ago, quite possibly when they were first marketing this product. Oh's still a reasonable price to pay for new counter tops!

Preparation is key!
I purchased a heavy duty cleaner and scrubbed the heck out of those old ugly counter tops.
Masking everything off is always the most time consuming step, but oh so necessary.
The kits contain elements for 3 basic steps:
1. Roll on the black primer coat with the little roller that is provided. You will need to let this dry several hours, preferably overnight. One coat does the job.

2. Next you decide on the look you want to achieve. Each kit contains 3 colors of mineral paints that you sponge on, sponge included. The three colors included were silver, copper and white. A black piece of poster board is also included in each kit for you to experiment on first! Once you decide on the look you want, let the fun begin. The lighter color is generally sponged on first, then adding the other two to enhance it. You are the artist here. Work on about a 24" area at a time, blending each area as you go so as not to see lines of demarcation anywhere. Most of us have probably done a sponge painting technique on something or other so just have fun with your design.

3. The last step is applying the shiny acrylic finish. This is also applied with the roller that is provided and a smaller brush to get into the corners and detailed areas. It has been so long that I don't remember if it is just one coat or two (very good directions and a DVD are included) but I do know that you do not want to use too much or it will dry with a milky appearance...especially on the very dark colored kits.

I also did the hall bathroom's vanity using the Chocolate Brown kit.
 I was very impressed with these color combinations...
...the three colors of the mineral paints included were gold, copper and dark bown.
 The base of all both of these kits were the flat back, pictured above.

As you can see, it has a brilliant shine! It's probably a good thing that I postponed publishing this to be able to tell you how it has held up. It has now been five years and let me just say, I have been amazed! Now, the kitchen counter gets more wear and tear of course and you will not want to set hot pans or dishes directly on it...nor will you want to leave standing water or moisture it on it for long. It will create a temporary milky spot but nothing more than wiping it dry is needed and it will disappear in a matter of a minute or two.

Here are photos showing more detail of the granite look on both countops.
I do apologize for the qualityof the you can see, it was dark outside...
...but notice the shine still?
Five years later, it's still there!

Below is the counter top after I gave the back splash a faux "punched tin" makeover,
also an older project from a couple of years ago.
You can read about it here.

I am just so glad to finally get this post published!

My next project will be HUGE and I keep putting it off!
Giani now makes a cabinet paint that I have researched and finally purchased.
The kit has been sitting in the closet for a few months now as I work up my nerve.
The paint is a soft white...
...and with the new hard woods floors I will be gettiing soon, it should look really good!
I have a four-day weekend coming soon on Memorial Day weekend.
The hubby will be working the whole time...
...will I be able to fianlly get my nerve up??
If I do and it turns out good, you'll certainly know about it, won't you?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

When I Think of Mom

I wanted to write a Mother's Day post but wasn't sure what it would say.
 After reading a couple of posts here in Blogland,
I was quite touched and inspired by what they had to say about their mother.
Both of these ladies share the same one...
 ...and you can read them here and here if you like.
I realize this post might be somewhat random...please bear with me...
...feelin' just a bit little nostalgic today.

When I think of mom... 

...I think about the fact that I never called her mother...
...she was always mom to her brood of eight.

I'm pretty sure I was calling her Mommy when this was taken :)
When I think of Mom... many images come to my mind.

I can't look at an apron without thinking of her... some of you already know.

I can't pass by a lilac bush without a getting a vision of her cutting a fresh bouquet
as a centerpiece for the kitchen table in springtime.

When I see a batch of freshly laundered sheets flapping wildly on a clothesline,
sweet images and memories from days gone by bless my soul.

When I think of Mom...

...I think about what it would have been like to have had a grandma.
My dad's mom passed when he was a boy and Mom's mom, shortly after I was born.
My own sweet mom was actually old enough to be my grandma,
giving birth to me, her baby, when she was forty-two.

I was only three years older than that when I became a grandma for the first time!
Some of your Grandma memories have actually reminded me of some of my Mom memories...
...if that makes any sense to you.

When I think of Mom...

I remember how I always thought it was so cool that she was a twin.
She was born Mary Elma Davis along side of Edna Mae...
As you can see, they look nothing alike...never did.

Below, Mom is on the right, Edna on the left, with older sis Clara in the middle.
I'm guessing it was about 1920 or thereabouts...
...the twins were born in 1912 .

Here they are at their 90th birthday party.

When I think of Mom...

...I think about sometimes wishing time travel was possible...
...wondering what was she like as a young woman.

I love looking at these old photos...
 ...imagining what it would have been like living during the Great Depression.
Here she is with Dad shortly after they were married...
...before she was ever a mom.

When I think of Mom...

I remember considering her to be an old fashioned woman.
I use that term with the utmost love and respect for her.
Because of her strict upbringing in the Old German Baptist Church,
also referred to as Dunkards, there was nothing very "worldly" about her.
She never finished high school, as was the case with many of that era,
she never went to prom,
she never had a boyfriend other than my dad (at least not that I know of),
she never got her driver's license,
 although I did hear a few tales about her driving her dad's old jalopy around on the farm,
she never had a job outside of the home yet she worked harder than I've ever had to,
she never went to see a movie,
she never went out to lunch with her girlfriends...
...that is, until her girls got old enough to be her girlfriends!
 There were many other things that she would never do...
...nor did she have the desire to be anything more than who and what she was...
...a loving wife and helpmate to my dad, Joe...
 ...mother, nurse, cook, keeper of the home,
and the spiritual glue that held our family of ten together.

And I don't think for one minute that she felt deprived of anything.
She had babies for twenty years...can you just imagine?
Do you think you might recognize this adorable, precious, and most beautiful baby?

That would be me with oldest sibling, Bob, six days shy of twenty years apart!

When I think of Mom...

I think of her unfathomable grace.
I am reminded about how she loved me without conditions...
...even when I wasn't very lovable at all...yes, even then.
I am reminded that the word forgiveness didn't necessarily even have to be spoken... it was just something that she lived out in her kind and gentle ways.
Last Thursday, April 30th, marked five years since she has been with Jesus.
This photo was taken during our last visit.

Sometimes it seems like forever ago that I looked upon that sweet face.
Other times I can almost hear her voice and swear she's sitting right next to me.

When I think of Mom...

...I am so very thankful for the lessons learned from her about being a mom, myself.

Oh my goodness, I have been the farthest thing from a perfect mom...
...and I know that perfection can't be achieved here on earth, no matter what we strive for.
And sometimes, I wonder how I can even be her daughter.
I didn't inherit her patience, her meek and mild temperament or her soft-spoken voice.

Just ask these two.

They usually don't look quite so dapper as they do here.
It was Adam's (right) wedding day and one of the few times you'd find Aaron in a suit.

This is more true to form :)
And lastly...when I think of Mom...

I am aware of how very blessed I am to have been given such a gift from God.
Although she hasn't walked this earth for five years,
the power of her presence in my life is still so very strong.
When I see, touch and taste these things that remind me of her,
it soothes this "little girl's" soul like nothing or no one but God, Himself.
I want to wish you all
A Very Happy Mother's Day!

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