January 28, 2014

Chalk it up to "Board"em.

       After perusing Pinterest and putting little of my new found loves and pins to work, I finally went through with one idea (just kidding, I've actually done a lot few others). But when I saw this pin...
                                                 Great idea to recycle old worn out mirror into a stylish, gorgeous, shabby chic chalkboard.

My first chalkboard attempt
at my cousin's wedding.
...I had to create my own. So I grabbed the only mirror I had on hand that had a frame that I liked. The little mirror was a move in present from a friend who decorated our first apartment for us. It has been with us for six years now and survived three moves. My sister painted it for me with some chalkboard paint. She even left a cute monogram in the corner for me.
      Through August and September the mirror had just a lame "Welcome!" written in crude block letters. (You can still see those block letters if you look real closely.) Yet, after doing lots of chalkboard lettering research on--where else?-- Pinterest, I was inspired to do some more chalkboard art. (I had done a little for a menu at my cousin's wedding and enjoyed it.) This has become a creative outlet that causes chills to run down my spine--mostly, because of that nails on chalkboard screech that inevitably happens when I'm drawing the letters.

Any way, here are the chalkboard designs so far:
August and September 2013

November 2013
December 2013 (Ok, this one isn't so great either.)
January 2014

*I found a tip that helped me out via Pinterest where you can sharpen chalk with a pencil sharpener to get a point. Going to give this a try for the next design.

January 27, 2014

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Since the new year began, it's been a cruel, cruel winter. Leaving me here home alone.

Ok, I'm not really complaining. I love winter. I love snow. I love snow days (teachers love them as much as students). Yet, the frigid temps (windchill of below zero, and occasional temperature drops below zero) have made it hard to do any work in a the rock house since there's no heat. So, I've been in the cottage for almost a month due, with the exception of four days. Perks of the job.

The first round of the "polar vortex" hit early January. We stocked up on lots of coffee, ingredients for homemade soups, chilis and stews, and, of course, junk food.

We had a great plan. Both of us were off; we would stay toasty and warm as we lounged around guilt free. (Except the eating part did cause us to carry a little guilt.) It was all going well, until our electricity went out. It only went out for a few minutes, but quickly caused our windows to freeze from the inside out. The temperature in our house dropped thirty degrees in twenty minutes. The brief discomfort made for some pretty photos though.


The ice on the inside of the window looked so much like abstract art, I had to capture it while I had a chance.

A view of the barn from our freezing interior.

While we've had a substantial amount of Arctic cold temps, we haven't had a substantial amount of snow. See for yourself.
Nov 2013
Jan 21, 2014-- Forecast 1"-3"
This is also a good example of what most of our 1"-3" forecasts turn out to look like.
That afternoon when the snow was over. 
Jan. 25th. Finally, most of the grass is covered!
Most of these snows were melted quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West even when our temps were well below freezing. Thank you solar radiation! :|

So, when the snow finally came to visit, we went out and played (and experimented with my new camera gear). Again, this snow was gone in a mere matter of hours thanks to our fifty degree weather today! It was nice while it lasted.

Snow ball fight!


We adopted our border collie, Ruth, our second Christmas together. We discovered that snowy, blistery winter that she has a passion for snow as much as we do! Whenever it snows or is going to snow, she has this uncanny ability to sense it. She walks through the house with an excited expression that seems to ask, "So are you planning to take me out to play or are we just gonna sit here all day?"

Walter trying out the new zoom lens (above).

Poor focus. Gotta learn.

Hopefully more work and less play will come soon. Ah, who am I kidding. Bring on the next snow storm! I want to build a snowman and go sledding. 

January 26, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

December brought little snow here in Kentucky. In fact, the weather was somewhat mild (compared to now). Much of the month was spent decorating inside our cottage, Christmas parties, shopping, and traveling. We said good bye to another year in a new home. 

1. Deck the Halls. After waiting out the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas decorating bug, we went to work on decorating our tiny place. I didn't get to do a lot of decorating (but isn't less really more sometimes?) in this little cottage, but I did decorate lavishly in the rock house (in my head). So, here are the decorations I did do. I arranged most of the decorations and put where I found the ornaments and such.

Putting up our Christmas tree (Lowes). Actually, plopping it into the stand.
We didn't do a much indoor decor at all, just strung some lights on the tree and around the house. That'll come in the next house. So here's a shot of the lights on the tree.

I decorated the porch instead of the inside. The lantern was on sale (60% off) at JoAnne fabrics, along with the pine cone garland.
Two red egg baskets come from a friend. They were stuffed with jingle bells (JoAnne fabric), pine cones (collected from my parent's yard and baked to dry them out), a spool (came from the burlap ribbon I used on the wreath), and a bird ornament (K-mart). The same decor was put into the lantern. This also shows a close up of the pine cone garland (JoAnne fabric).

New chalkboard message. Chalkboard paint was used on a mirror I found in a thrift store several years ago. It makes for a very pretty chalkboard, but erasing the previous drawings can sometimes be difficult. 

Chalkboard paint above the red door to welcome the holidays. The door is painted Fiery Red (Walmart).

The white bench is the perfect size for seating on the small cottage porch. The baskets and cushions were picked up by a friend from various yard sales.

This basket nestled pine branches picked from my parent's pines (somehow we have zero at our place), some holly I picked from our bushes, pine cones, an owl ornament (K-mart), and a bird nest (Jo-Ann). I was really into the bird ornaments this year.
This was an adorable present from Mom. She bought it at the Daniel Boone Festival this year from one of the craft booths.

The wreath was bought from Lowes. I decorated it with holly, pine cones, jingle bells (JoAnne), burlap ribbon (JoAnne), and two bird ornaments (K-mart). It was simple, but with a fire red door, simple is good.
2. Party Hoppin'. The Wednesday before Christmas kicked off the party season. It didn't end until, well, the day after Christmas, but if you consider a wedding a party, then, the party didn't stop until Dec. 28th.
An ugly sweater party kicked off the season.

Christmas with the family. Take 1. (Four family parties total!)

For Christmas I got a new tripod and zoom lens for my camera that I couldn't wait to try out. I also got a set of 1930's silverware and some other vintage finds! (My Etsy wish list/obsession paid off.) In addition, I got some great reads which came in very handy since I've been confined to my living quarters for so long now.

3. Traveling. Immediately following Christmas Day, I road tripped to Arkansas for my cousin's wedding. It was only  a 12 hour drive. She was married at Thorncrown Chapel-- a stunningly beautiful place.

The trip was a long one. There wasn't a lot to see on the way, but I did get to see St. Louis again. 

Walter decided not to go on the trip with me. But as a peace offering for backing out (just kidding), he made some great gains on the rock house. While I was away, he, along with my brother, tore out the rest of the rotten floor from the downstairs bath. Thanks, Bro.

The floor work from another angle.

Even though Walter and I had lofty high huge impossible plans to be in our newly remodeled home, we've found out that's just not the way it works when you decide to remodel with your own four hands (or more because we have wonderful friends and family) and work full time. Sometimes, you're just tired. Other times something happens in your life that demands your full attention. Yet, one thing this venture has shown me is you keep looking forward (although reminiscing is important too), and you're able to do that with friends and family and above all God. 

2013, you were a year that will never be forgotten. Here's to being able to show how I decorated the rock house this time next year. (Hey, I've also learned to keep dreaming big.)

Bringing in the new year with friends and family at EBC.

In memory of two wonderful men lost this year.
Love Always.
Jan. 18, 1940- Aug. 3, 2013

Duran Lundy
You were a light.
Nov. 21, 1967- Dec. 31, 2013