Sunday, September 8, 2013

So close to being complete.....

While this isn't the greatest picture, I like how it shows the embroidery on the curtains. We will have the same curtains on the closet doors. For now, we are waiting for a call from Boscov's because they only had one of the 84 inch panels. 

The sheer curtains were a bit too sheer for the closet door. I had hoped that two sets of sheers back-to-back would do the job, but alas... you could still see through them. So I headed out to find inexpensive twin size flat sheets. I tried Boscov's because I had to return the other set of sheers. Then I tried Target and Kohl's and none of them had simple, inexpensive white flat twin sheets. As much as I dreaded it, I had to go to Walmart and it was a terrible, terrible experience, but that is another blog completely.

Once I got the sheets home, it involved a total of six runs through the sewing machine and I have the perfect linings for the closet sheers. We used old clothesline props and hardware we already had in the basement for curtain rods. I wanted to mount the curtains inside the closet because I really like this wood work. 

No longer see through... just have to wait on that other panel from Boscov's to finish this door.

Time to put the bed together! Scott did an great job cleaning up the box springs.

 We covered them with a piece of scrap carpet and then put the dust ruffle over that before putting the mattress on the bed. 

Putting the linens on was a challenge with the bed against the wall like this so if we used this room regularly, the bed would have to be positioned differently for sure.

Quilts from people we love! I would like to get some white sheets and pillowcases for the bed but what we have works for now. It is a 3/4 size bed so I'll have to order the sheets online. I would also like some decorative pillows, perhaps I can do a little embroidery to tie in with the curtains.

Clara and Otter definitely enjoyed the room without the furniture. There was just so much room for activities! 

We have a few more details to complete but the room is definitely available for visitors now! You can step into the room and forget what year you are in. That was Scott's goal and we have accomplished it! I'll post more pictures of the absolute final project as soon as we tie up the loose ends. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Down to the details now!

The first part of today's guest room re-do is about a delightful surprise in my mailbox! Yesterday I received this beautiful dresser scarf from my Aunt Shirl. She found it in a vintage shop! Thank you! Having special pieces like this in a guest room helps fill the room with love!

This past week I also had a minor setback. The spots on the iron bed that were sanded down to the metal rusted. So... there will be more sanding today, then some priming and hopefully a successful end to the antique bed painting process. (The bed springs also need the rust tended to. That could be a time consuming project today.)

Last night for our date Scott and I went to the fabric store (after delicious wings at Arooga's) to look for curtain fabric for the closet and the window in the room. This provided yet another surprise! We really couldn't find a fabric that we felt was perfect. The fabric we did agree on -- didn't have enough on the bolt to complete the curtains. The cost of the fabric we liked the most made the project out of our reach. To add insult to injury, I was so excited about the closet space that I forgot to measure the window... arrgghhhh....

With Boscov's on the route home, we stopped in to see what they had for curtains. In the past I have been pleasantly surprised by their selection. Alas!  We found the perfect curtains! We came home to measure the window and ... we have a winner! I will be heading back in there this morning to make the purchase.

Scott removed the tape from the heating and woodwork and we rolled out the carpet to cut the carpet pad.

After the pad and rug were in place, there was time for one last round of wrestling.

Time to hang some clothes on the line, eat some homemade whole wheat banana nut pancakes and get busy!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Almost ready to paint the floor

We unrolled the rug in the room to be sure it would fit. Clara and Otter seemed to like it. In fact, we found them in there whenever the door was left open. We found this rug on It was made in the U.S.A., and shipped from a company called Colonial Mills, Inc., Of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 

After we were certain the rug would fit, we rolled it up and removed it and finished painting the walls and trim. 

The lack of carpet didn't seem to deter the dynamic duo. As long as we are in this room, that is where they want to be. 

The foot of the bed, before and after the first coat of paint. I had to paint in the basement and it is humid down there so it will be at least another day until I can put a second coat of paint on it. It was kind of sad to be painting over that bright, sunny yellow. That is the color Kate chose whens he had this bed in her room in elementary school. (She had the walls painted dark blue and there were suns and moons painted throughout the room.)

The head of the bed. I think it might take up to three coats of paint to get the coverage I am looking for on the bed. I am a little concerned about how rusty the casters are. They might have to be replaced.

Most of the tape has been removed. Unfortunately the angle of the sun makes taking pictures difficult at this time of day. I am still seeking peace about the blueness of the walls, but the fact is ... it is finished and I am ready to get this room put back together so we can get the rest of the house back to normal. 

This wall was just finished this morning so the trim tape will need to stay up until tomorrow. 

We will replace the electrical components today and the lights will go up. I am excited about seeing the lights installed with the painting finished. 

Maybe we will have a finished product in the next three or four weeks. I still need to clean up the box springs for the bed. They are very rusty. I also want to get some wooden slats for the bed frame for added support. The weather looks better for painting beginning next week with much lower humidity and temperatures. After the floor is finished we will decide if we need to seal it. 

The final piece of the project will be the curtains for the closet door and the window. With all the colors in there now, I am leaning toward white curtains and perhaps I can embroider some small blue flowers on brown vines/branches to tie it all together with the other colors in the room.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Holding my breath...

Scott started painting the walls today. They are blue... very light blue... I am not getting good vibes from it...

My thoughts are that there will be too much blue in there....

Scott said if we turn the quilt over to the printed side, it won't be too much blue.

If we turn the quilt over to the printed side, I think the rug will look ridiculous.

Not really feeling the excitement for the end result all of a sudden....

I should have stood my ground on either the wall color or the rug...  giving up both of them is changing the look I wanted to achieve completely.

Using a different quilt (a plain white one) on the bed as the primary bedspread might be an option, with the blue quilt as an accessory.

There is hope.

I am upset that I am being selfish about this project. I need to let it go. It is just a bedroom.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Remodel update...

The tedious prep work is nearly finished. Scott did an amazing job stripping the window frame woodwork. I almost hate to cover it with paint but the rest of the trim in the room isn't nearly as beautiful and it would look bizarre with everything painted but that window.

Today we will finish washing down the ceiling, walls and floor.

We could certainly be painting before the day is over.

The rug arrived yesterday so we can start considering colors for the floor paint.

I'll soon have pictures to post.

In the meantime, I am searching for vintage dresser scarves and maybe even some pretty embroidered pillows. We haven't found a suitable "nightstand" for beside the bed yet. I am still leaning toward an industrial stool or an old small ladder. We hope to get to Refindings again soon. We are also looking for interior shutters for the window, although I am not going to hold off on finishing the room if I don't find them. I can make curtains instead.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The rainy weather changed my chore plans for today. I decided it would be a great day to do some baking and decided on a carrot whole wheat coffee cake. 

The recipe comes from  Whole Wheat Carrot Coffee Cake

As you can see, I had a little too much "sprinkling" of the topping mixture on the side of the cake but we'll just consider it extra icing. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Looking for the rug....

Most of yesterday's remodeling project time was spent shopping. UGH...  We are on the hunt for an area rug. We looked at Ollie's in West York and at Lowe's. There are two possibilities at Lowe's.

In the meantime, we bought two wall lights and the new receptacles, light switch and covers (white).

These lights are marketed as outdoor lights but I knew when I saw them in the store, I had to have them in my house somewhere. There will be one above the desk and one above the bed. 

We decided on a paint color for the walls. It is a very light blue, called "Crystalline".

We also have a solution for the closet doors. By putting the curtain rod inside the closet, we will save ourselves at least $50.00.

Until we find a rug, our other purchases/decisions (floor paint color and curtain colors) are on hold.

The bed is sanded and as soon as weather permits, I will paint it. Scott finished removing the staples from the floor, countersunk the screws in the floor and started filling the holes and cracks with putty.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Guest Bedroom Project

Yesterday, a bit unexpectedly, we began the guest bedroom remodeling project. It was in the back of my mind for a few months, but that's essentially all the farther it went until Scott stepped up as the project foreman. Because of the rapid commencement of the remodel, I don't have any of the before pictures with the room in its original condition with furnishings.

The first picture (above) is of a dresser we got at the local used furniture store (Dixie's in Emigsville). Scott's dad made the blanket chest.

I will attempt to document the transformation on my blog.

These are the doors that were removed from the closet. They were covered in wallpaper many years ago. There was also a wallpaper border with this same print throughout the room. I took that down several months ago.

Some accessories are already certainties for the room. My grandmother's button box and my other grandmother's perfume atomizer, as well as a functional frog we bought on our honeymoon. A wedding gift quilt from Scott's grandmother will be on the bed. Speaking of the bed.....

This was my grandmother's bed. I remember sleeping on it at the cabin along Penn's Creek. I can still hear the katydids chirping when I think about it....  For many years it was Katie's bed. We will paint it white this week.

The mauve carpet was removed and will be at the curb tonight for trash pick up tomorrow.

This is where we left it yesterday. 

To be continued...  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wondering what you think...

This is not an iPad or a tablet. 

This is a 27" table PC. It weighs about 17 pounds.  Retail price is approximately $1,700. The article implies that it will bring people together... they can sit together and work, look at pictures or play a game, on the same device.  (

Years ago I saw this concept advertised as "coming soon to a restaurant near you". The tabletop computer was demonstrated as essentially replacing the waitress. Customers would order from the menu on the computer and then entertain themselves with games and computerized distractions while waiting for their food. The computerized ordering menu is not a new concept. Sheetz and Rutters have had them for years. But at a sit down restaurant, a few more questions are raised in my mind...

Off the top of my head, at 0630 in the morning, these are the questions that come to mind instantly. What kind of controls/limitations should be required for internet access? Will you be forced to watch commercials for the restaurant while you interact with the technology? If internet access is an option, where will the filters be established? Can more than one web page/site be accessed at one time so each person at the table can be entertained? How will volume be controlled? What happens when it is hacked and all of a sudden naked people start popping up while you are enjoying a basket of crinkle fries with your kids?

I also wonder, how did we go from wanting to make the desktop PC into something small yet powerful, like the iPad, Kindle, etc., and now we are going in the opposite direction again? In this economy where many people are unemployed, college costs are skyrocketing and homes sit on the real estate market for months and even years, where is there room for this piece of electronic bling? It isn't like the $400 Starbucks gift card that you can whip out in local coffee shop so everyone can see how rich you are and how important your coffee is to you. 

One positive result may be...   if these are available as restaurant tables, perhaps they will replace the multitude of televisions that currently surround the interior perimeters of so many eateries. I won't have to be accosted from all angles by every sporting event, news headline and/or game show while I try to eat. I can choose not to participate in the distractions and maybe.. just maybe ... have a conversation with my dinner companions.

The best use I can see for this right now.... if I can Skype or Facetime, I can have dinner with Katie!

What do you think? Would you want one of these in your home? What do you think about it at a restaurant? 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Otter's Story

Two months before Scott and I got married, we decided we wanted a dog after much discussion. I had owned dogs on and off all my life so I was fully aware of the commitment. We adopted River. He was a rescue at a shelter a few miles from our home. The gentleman at the kennel acted as though he was almost sad to see him leave.  We learned he had been tied outside in a barn most of his life and that his sister had already been adopted. On the way home he got car sick, but there was so much excitement, we were not alarmed.

He had a few accidents in the house when we got him home but again, we were not concerned. He had taken a liking to the big blue reading chair and loved being curled up in it to sleep. He was learning how to walk on a leash with good manners when the pivotal moment occurred...  someone set off fireworks and River took off like a missile, Scott in tow. From there, the downward spiral was rapid. His fear aggression was so bad that my daughter could not leave her bedroom unless River was crated. A friend who has large dogs and is a huge animal lover came over to visit and he tried to go through the window after her when she was leaving. Never did he show any signs of aggression toward Scott or I. 

We called the shelter for help and the response was devastating. The lady I spoke with on the phone was very nice but she didn't want the staff at the shelter to see River come back there. I sensed she left out the word "again". The only recommendation she had was to take him to the local vet the following morning. They would have someone meet us there. I had to work so my husband took him. I knew ...  I knew how this story was going to end and I still cry about it... two and a half  years later. The shelter staff never met us there but the vet was expecting River. River was euthanized. A few weeks later we received a refund of our adoption fee. We never asked for it... in fact - we signed a paper saying we wouldn't be given a refund as part of the adoption contract. 

We went to the local SPCA and filled out an application for a dog we saw online but the staff were a bit discouraging, almost seeming like they wanted to talk us out of this dog. It turned out someone else also had an application for "Cookie" so the SPCA would call us the following day to let us know how that had worked out. Before they called us, I called them and said, that perhaps they were right, "Cookie" might not be the dog for us. She didn't travel well in the car and we wanted to take our dog with us as much as possible. She also required frequent grooming and our schedules were packed tight. Daily grooming was going to be a burden. But -- at this point, the SPCA staff tried to talk me into changing my mind and reconsidering this dog. It turned out the first family did indeed adopt her and I have no idea how that turned out. During this process we also had a less than friendly interaction with a staff member at the local SPCA who was angry that another staff member  had allowed us access to the dog area while the dog runs were being cleaned. At this point our adoption process was more than a little discouraging.

The wedding was just a few weeks away so we were busy and extremely excited about our two week honeymoon where we would be camping, hiking, kayaking and biking through New Hampshire and Maine. Conversation about getting another dog was common and often one of us would think of a name that would be cool for a dog. While we tramped around the White Mountains we would see trail and town names that caught our eyes. We were fortunate to meet many hikers with dogs on the trails in New England and would always strike up a conversation with them. One of our favorite days in Maine was spent at Otter Cliffs. I thought "Otter" would be a great dog name and my husband laughed and said, "that's kinda yuppie"...  Everywhere we went there were fun dog names...

I have a few friends who volunteer for the local SPCA and one of them came to work in mid-July and said there was a dog there we just had to see. Scott agreed, albeit we were both a bit reluctant. But ... at 3:30 in the afternoon we went to look at this dog. 

Oh boy... she was one hyper little canine and not a challenge we were sure we were up to since we were a bit gun shy about this process anyhow. However -- there were a few other dogs we really wanted to get to know. We went back to the front desk and the line was long -- very, very long. My husband had to be at work at 5:00 so we couldn't stay but decided we would come back the following morning when they opened.

At 10:00 the next morning we were there to meet the dogs we were interested in. Our first choice had already found a home. So they recommended we go back and look again. We saw three we wanted to take out to the play yard and, as the process goes, headed out to get back in line for another turn. 

There were people picking up and dropping off dogs and cats at the spay/neuter clinic. Adoptions going out the door and surrenders coming in the door. To say it was very busy with lots of commotion would be an understatement. We were in line behind a pleasant lady with a friendly dog. The lines move slow so I chatted with and petted the dog to pass the time while my husband and I decided which dog we wanted the most from the adoption area. 

The lady in front of us was finally at the desk and I heard her say, "I am here to surrender my dog. I am going back to work full-time and don't have the time to take care of him." The clerk was getting the paperwork out and she asked for the dog's name. Here is where it still gets me choked up...  the lady responded.  "His name is Otter." 

The next clerk addressed me...  "Can I help you?"

I said, "This is awkward, but we would like to adopt this lady's dog." 

And from there it is a blur of activity...  it got very quiet in our little space for just a second and they said it had never really been done like that before but it would be fine. The kennels were overcrowded and this lucky guy would never have to spend the night there. The vet happened to be there that day so she could check him out. We could have him in an hour or two. The lady paid the surrender fee. We paid the adoption fee and the deal was sealed. 

His previous owner was kind and explained that he loved to play ball and loved kids and came from a home with other dogs. She handed us the leash and drove away. 

She asked the SPCA to please have us call her so she knew he was okay. I was hesitant to do that because she had made the choice to surrender him. She never shed a tear when she said goodbye. She didn't even say goodbye - just walked away. But -- I did call her to let her know he was fine and she touched on the possibility of her children visiting him. At that point I decided to end all further contact. No - they could not visit. I did make Otter a Facebook page and they can follow his adventures that way and they do.

Otter does have separation anxiety -- not destructive, but he cries and howls like his toenails are being ripped out so we added another dog and it seems to help... Clara Dory Birddog and Otter Waterdog are the dynamic duo known throughout town and beyond because of Otter's Facebook page. My husband has people yelling out their car windows at him in town, "Hey Otter! I'm your friend on Facebook!" It is all good. 

That is Otter's story. Did we choose him? I don't really think so. He was given to us. I have never had a bond with a dog like I do Otter. My husband teases that he is a momma's dog... yeah... I guess he is...  and I wouldn't want it any other way.