Guest Post: Exterior

Wow! It has been a long time since I guest posted but it’s not been because we haven’t been working on our house! You’re going to see by the pictures that we accomplished these projects while the leaves were still on the trees and we were more in the mood for outside work! I’ll share some of our later projects at another time….

We found our house one day when we were staying with Jason and Kellie. Home for a time from Brazil but, literately, homeless! We went for a walk one morning with no intention to look for a house much less buy one and this is what we came across:

We didn’t buy this “beauty” for it’s looks!

I told told Warren “That’s what we should do. Buy this house in a great neighborhood. It looks like it’s been abandoned so we could fix it up and sell it or rent it out.” At that time we had no idea we were going to be going back and forth to Brazil. To make a short story even shorter, we bought the house! The owners had moved out about 15 months previously and he had since died. She was living in a nursing home. So, although it was not exactly abandoned, it was empty. And it needed some spiffing up. We still aren’t finished with all that is needed on the outside but we have a good start!

First we got busy tearing out all the bushes and shrubs that couldn’t be saved or made to look nice. I have definite ideas about what I eventually want to plant but that is for a later time!

Next my good friend, Deb, and I painted our front door with paint that Kellie had bought for herself and then didn’t like with her brick. Well, the house certainly needed a “pick me up” to it and I think the yellow does that! At first I thought that was just temporary but I have to admit it has grown on me! Someday we will get a new door and then I shall see….

I found these great blue pots that are on the step at Southeastern Salvage in Chattanooga and am working at training the boxwoods to be toparies. (I didn’t buy them that way because of the expense).We pressure washed the house and removed a LOT of ivy. We also added a new metal roof and gutters in a bronze color.

Next step was replacing the front windows. Now those things are big AND expensive! Two of them had gotten fogged up through the years so they had to be replaced but after checking into many different options (along with just replacing the glass) we knew we had to come up with a less expensive one. While in Brazil I came up with it. Doors.

Yep. Doors. We bought doors that Warren cut down to the size we needed (he didn’t have to cut very much off) and then he trimmed them out to look like windows. The glass is beveled which is an added touch for me. I LOVE THEM. It is just what we needed to bring some style to the outside… He also put grids on the solid window in the study (since it didn’t need to be replaced) and I painted the window frames in the garage. That’s better!

Remember the barn wood that we got for our dining room table? Well, when we were buying it I got the brainy idea that I wanted shutters for the front of the house made out of this rustic wood too. I am so thankful for a husband that is handy with a saw and sander! What a gift he has! You probably recognize by now that I like details so the shutters were put on hinges that work, made to actually fit the windows (or close!) and used a hook and eye to keep them open. (I liked that idea better than a shutter dog.) Aren’t they amazing?!

We still have so much we want to do out front. I would really love to paint the brick sometime, landscape, a new sidewalk, etc. but for now it is what it is…..

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Guest Post: Another Gallery Wall

Recently, I’ve tried several different things on my wall in the hallway upstairs and hadn’t been completely happy with any of them.  It meant for a lot of filling holes
and painting  (because of the previous holes from nails) until I finally got the right thing!
When I was going through boxes getting ready for the garage sale at Kellie’s house last weekend, I came across all of our family pictures.  Graduations pictures of the kids, wedding pictures of the kids, my grandparents wedding pictures, and older family pictures.  I’m still in need a lot of pictures – Brett’s graduation picture, our latest family picture (taken in Dec.) and lots of grand children pictures!  But I decided not to wait until I had all things together and go ahead and do a gallery wall.  Unlike Kellie, I don’t have the patience to cut out paper the size of each picture and tape it to the wall (although it would have been a good idea!)  I just went for it – late one night!  Here is the beginning of my gallery wall.  I love it.  It’s the right thing!

The above picture was taken from the entry way as you come in the front door. This space has changed a lot since we moved in. Here are some before pictures:

Warren took out the old stairway and built a completely new set that is open between each step (no riser).  We then cut a hole in the dining room on the lower level and put glass in it so that you can see into the dining room and through the lower windows.  It opened up the space so much and a person no longer feels that they are going into a dungeon when they go down to the dining and kitchen.  We also removed two closets (from the hallway) upstairs in order to open up that space.  We now have a larger, open landing at the top of the stairs and a more open feeling to the living room.  It is my favorite thing about the house now.  Once again, Warren’s done good!!!!

And another gallery wall that I’ve just started.  I’m picking up oil canvases done by amateur painters.  It’s been so fun to see what I can come up with.  The guest room was the perfect place to display them.  And I’m still looking for more….!

I’m finding it hard to get my regular work done because I’m so into projects right now.  How can one clean when so much fun is just a paint brush, hammer, or sewing machine away?!

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Guest Post: Thrift Finds

Since Kellie showed you her new table I thought it might be fun to show you mine. Warren made it for me last fall and, although the table top is made exactly the same way as Kellie’s, you’ll notice that the end result is quite different.

We (Kellie and I) both appreciate each others taste and style and certainly enjoy treasure hunting together but the way our houses end up looking is quite different.  Really, that’s part of the joy of it – finding things that the other would fall in love with and playing around with a style that is different from our own.  Anyway, you’ll see the differences in our styles by viewing our tables!

We both had the same great craftsman to build them though!  A smart decision I made many years ago!

I Thought I would also show you some of my latest “great” finds.

Just yesterday, while Kellie and I were out and about, I found these chairs:

Perfect!  And the price was even better.  I offered the guy $80 for 8 chairs and he took it!

Four of them are still painted and four of them natural (with no finish) . Apparently someone started stripping them and got tired of it.  What do you think – paint them or finish stripping them and then lime them like the table top?  They are oak (like the top of the table).

Love the legs and the back detail.

I have also found some chairs that I could use at both ends of the table.  They have the same legs, with arms and upholstered backs and seats.  They are not oak and not as good of a price!  (Although a steal according to the prices at Scott’s last weekend!)  Should I do that or go with a fully upholstered chair like a wing back?  Give me some feedback!

And look at this great find:

7 double rolls of this wallpaper for $35!  I’m thinking  (possibly) the dining room.  We are drawing up some plans for our kitchen/dining room remodel right now.  It will be a while before it’s done but I love the dreaming process too….

We found this great range/oven on Craigslist for $300 last week.  It needs cleaning up but it’s in great shape.  Gas cook top with an electric/convection oven.  Now we have all the appliances except the microwave….  all from shopping around for good deals of course!

Kellie comes by her thriftiness naturally.

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Guest Post: Master Bedroom

Although I am still not back from Brazil I thought I could let Kellie take you on a tour of our Master bedroom (I remembered that she had taken pictures of it before we left).

Here are some before pictures:

There are still a lot of things that I want to do to it but the room has come a long ways from what it was to begin with. It had multiple layers of wallpaper and believe me they were on there to stay! Warren and I started the sanding and peeling process and then Jason finished it up. That poor guy! I really believe it has been the worst job so far on this house and I’m still not sure how he got roped into doing it! He sanded and sanded and sanded those walls AND it turned out wonderfully!

Once again, we did the floors, changed out the closet doors and hardware and painted the windows. I painted the room in the same color that I had done the grandkids room .

The chandelier is one that I had brought from Oregon. I had bought it to go over our master bathroom’s tub and we sold the house without ever taking it out of the box! I bought it at Lowes on clearance for $50. The majority of the stuff for this room I had bought in Oregon. We had done an addition on our house of a Master suite and I had just bought new linens and such for it and felt I needed to use them again.

The pillow shams were bought at Z Gallery and last time I checked they still have them available. The patterned comforter was bought here in Tennessee at Marshalls when we came for the first time to visit Jason and Kellie! The throw pillows and rug were bought from TJ Maxx and Ross.

You’ll be able to tell how much I love those two stores because as I list where things come from I realize most of the non-essentials in this room comes from one of those two stores!

The dresser was a fun find at one of the re-sale shops in Cleveland called The Store. I’m not really in to the Mid-century modern furniture like Kellie but I like a little bit of it and I was overjoyed to find this piece! It’s well made with pull-out drawers in the upper part and it was still in excellent condition. I paid $125 for it.

The mirror over the dresser was another item from TJ Maxx on clearance for $44. The vases were ones I had from Oregon that I grouped together in this house. The owl was from Ross and was $8. The wooden box is actually a tea box that I use for my earrings and rings. I love the sleekness of it.

The curtains were something that I had found for $10 each at Ross. I like the color in here but the curtains themselves are not my favorite. But I had them so they will do for now. The blinds came from Lowes.

The mirrored nightstand was a gift from Warren for my 50th birthday. I had found it months before and he remembered that I wanted it! It came from Z Gallery. I still love it although I don’t think that it’s the best place for it as it’s hidden away back in the corner!!! The lamp is an antique that I have had for many years. The hour glasses came from TJ Maxx and Kohls. The little statues are collectables that I picked up for $2 each at an antique store that Warren and I happened upon one day when we were out buying a tool for Warren’s shop.

The green chair was bought many years ago in Boise when I was shopping with one of my sisters. She brought it out to Oregon with her on her next trip riding on the passenger front seat! I don’t remember exactly what I paid for it but I did think it was too much at the time! I still love it though so I’m thinking whatever it cost, it was worth it!

The stand beside it was also something that I already owned. The lamp was one I found at a discount store in Cleveland for 2.99! And the shade was found at another discount store for $2! Not bad!!!

I have more things I want to do for this room. I already have the fabric (that Kellie found at a thrift store while I was in Brazil last time) to recover a headboard that I picked up at Habitat for Humanity thrift store for $25. Maybe that will be one of my projects when I get back….

Anyway, that’s our room and it makes me a little bit anxious to get back to it……

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Guest Post: Brazil And Beyond

Most of you have probably figured out that I am back in Brazil. So though it is impossible to guest post all the time, I am going to try and put my two cents in now and then!

Earlier this week we were with some good friends in Foz do Iguacu which is on the border of both Argentina and Paraguay. And, yes, we made it to both!!!!

I thought it may be interesting to some of you so see what shopping in Paraguay might be like.
We went with our host family and met another family there that we know. It is crowded, crazy, nerve-wracking, loud, dirty, annoying, tiring, and cheap. And that last reason is why it is so popular! (and for some odd reason it’s fun!)

We loaded on the bus (two buses, actually, as we had to switch to go across the border and headed on in. We went on a Monday and, thankfully, that is a calm, slower day there. We had gone a different day on one other trip and it was beyond crazy…..

We met up with our other friends and went looking for a particular Chinese Restaurant. It was maxed out. Onto some stores.

The streets are narrow and people drive crazy. No kidding, one of the people we were with came very close to being taken down by a car because the road was too narrow at one point for her and the car AND the car didn’t want to wait…. They don’t give pedestrians favor.

The streets are also lined with booth after booth of people selling their wares. Kind of like a huge flea market. Sadly, this is a daily thing for most of these people and they are the poor. Children literally spend a good portion of their days either under the table out of the way of people and/or the sun or they are walking the streets themselves selling things. It is heart-breaking. I looked at the whole situation often and wondered how people could live this way day in and day out. They know nothing else. How blessed I am.

We finally headed back to the restaurant and we were able to get a table that seated all of us (11). The food was wonderful. Not the american type of chinese! And our meal (with drinks) for all of us came to approximately $50!!!

Back to shopping. Warren needed a new backpack because his had torn already and since we carry the computer in it (you wouldn’t dare use a computer case in Brazil or you risk it being stolen) we didn’t want to risk it completely tearing open. If you know how to shop in Paraguay you can find great deals as they have no or little import taxes put on their goods. They have great stuff and they have cheaply made stuff. You have to have your eyes open. And they have stores for EVERYTHING!

After shopping we decided we all needed ice cream. Off to McDonald’s. This is even much cheaper here than in Brazil. I was told (warned) that I was not to take a picture of anything with prices on it! I’m not sure of the reason for that but I complied!

We picked up the last few things that were needed by our group and headed for our transportation home. Along the way you will see many booths full of packing supplies. You can now only take $300 worth of stuff into Brazil without paying duty so they have many “carriers” that run things illegally into Brazil. Things are taken out of the original packages and re-packaged together. The “carriers” they take them under the bridges or use other means to get them into Brazil so that duty doesn’t have to be paid on them. Styrofoam fills the streets at the end of the day as things are re-packed.

This time we walked over the bridge to the other side of the border and caught a taxi with the couple we had met in Paraguay. It was a long, hot walk.

All in all it was a great day. Maybe you can get some real bargains there but I’ll take TJMaxx and Ross any day!

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Hello, and welcome to my little blog! What started out as a blog to show some of my scrapbook pages ended up being a blog that shows all of my projects, ranging from scrapbooking to decorating to sewing to photography. I also run a little online shop called every jot & tittle where I sell handmade paper products. Take a look and leave me a comment to say hi! (Photo by Heather Smith.)

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