Sunday, September 30, 2007

Drumroll please.....

It is finally finished! The infamous porch project of 2007 has come to a end. I finished up the last bit of it today. The weather is turning and leaves are falling so it was now or never.

For those of you following directions-wise I will post the last few with this post regarding the small diamonds.

STEP 1: Decide how big you would like the smaller squares intersecting the larger ones. In my case I used 4". Using a blank stencil form cut out your 4x4" stencil(s), I also used a couple of cheap plastic place mats from the dollar store as stencil forms.

STEP 2: Tape the stencil down at the center of the intersecting points of your 2 square colors. As you look at the stencil it should break up the 2 square colors into 4 quadrants; the points of the square intersecting the quadrants.

Step 3: Hold down the stencil and carefully fill in square using sponge brush. Make sure you do not have a lot of paint on the sponge or it will seep under the stencil. You will come back and give it a second coat.

Step 4: You can use a blow dryer or heat gun to speed up the drying time.

Step 5: After a good 24 hours of drying time you need to put 2 coats of polyurethane on waiting at least 24 hours between coats.

...and VOILA! It's DONE! Boy I am so glad I was able to get this finished, for awhile I was wondering if it was going to happen.

Next I will be moving back inside to continue on with the kitchen project.


Saturday, September 29, 2007


Whew! What a roller coaster week this has been, one day there was a possibility that I would be able to keep my job then the next day not. The final outcome is that Friday I said goodbye to my co-workers and shut my office door for the last time. It was sad, I know I had been preparing to do this but I had wanted to do it in my own time not abruptly as it was.

My co-workers gave me a great going away party. Everyone wrote "5 things I will miss about Michelle" it was so touching to see what everyone wrote, lots of funny stuff especially since I'm know for my award winning burps! They gave me a wonderful present for my garden; I adore frogs and it's a perfect gift for me.

Speaking of gifts I came home and had a package in the mail from Phyllis over at Shabby In The City she had a little give away to celebrate her 1 year anniversary blogging. I was late for the party but I managed to get a cute little package with a sweet pillow, some vintage buttons and a Birthday card! It's funny because my birthday is in a few days so I felt like I was getting a birthday present. THANK YOU PHYLLIS! *MWAAAHS!*

Hubby and I did make it to the LCS comedy tour and I must say my sides were hurting from laughing so much. The runner up Lavelle was really funny. They obviously weren't as clean as they were for network television but it was so much fun to see them in person and to laugh for 2 1/2 hours. It was great to relieve the stress of the week.

Now for some more fun! I have been TAGGED! Jennifer over at Pear Street Studios tagged me to play the game of telling you 7 things no one knows. I assume that the "no one" would mean people here in blog land because I am pretty much a open book and I don't really have any secrets, except the time in Vegas.......

1. I am great at impressions I can do Rosie Perez like no body's business. Other's in my repertoire are: President Bush, Christopher Walken, Fran Drescher.
2. I was a competitive bodybuilder and fitness model. I did very well and was this close to becoming a professional.
3. I worked in law enforcement and I can and have taken down a male inmate myself and was nicknamed Xena because of it. I still go by that name.
4. I am a self proclaimed drama queen. I should be on a fainting couch most of the day. I do have a flair for the dramatics, as my mother would say, and always thought I would be an actress. FAME was my favorite movie when I was young, my friends and I used to go to the mall and we couldn't figure out why people didn't break out into song and dance around the fountain with us.
5. I don't believe in killing anything, not even a insect. I can't bear the thought of hurting another living thing. Seems weird to many especially because of #3
6. I don't not like all! No looking below sea level for me. Summer is a nightmare because I love to be barefoot, as long as no one is around. If I needed to be punished, don't give me jail time, make me give someone a pedicure.
7. I still try to hold my breath all the way through tunnels or over bridges.

Now I am supposed to tag 7 people to play, let's see...I will pick:
*Meggie; my fellow PA'er and red hat friend over at Meggie's Stuff
*Alexandra; writer, baker extraordinaire over at Silver Bell Cottage
*Manuela; gardener and toile queen from The Feathered Nest
*Penny; mosaic goddess, lavender lover and all around wonderful gal at Lavender Hill Studio
*Julie; I am just getting to know but she is a beautiful, sweet and wonderfully spiritual woman. She makes her home over at Nunnie's Attic
*Kathy; she has the most wonderful thought provoking posts I look forward to visiting Kathy's Cottage
*Rhonda; my farmhouse friend, after seeing her "Yellow Rose Day" post I knew I was in love ;) Plus she loves Harry Connick Jr. what's not to love? She lives at FarmHouse Style
Now I think I can start visiting all my favorite blogs again, I actually have a week off paid vacation while deciding on two different jobs. Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Laughter is the best medicine

I miss posting and I really miss visiting everyone's beautiful blogs but these last few days have really been torture with my job situation. I am hoping that by the end of today I will have some closure and can move forward with a plan. I hope to be able to visit everyone this weekend and finally get to visit everyone that was involved in Karla's party.

Tonight I am going to the "Last Comic Standing" tour, I really need some good laughs. Like Olivia's reminder says: "A day without laughter is a day wasted".

Hope you all get a good belly laugh in today.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What Do You Love About Your Home?

Today is Karla's over at Karla's Cottage "What do you love about your home" party. I can't wait to get some time to go and see every one's beautiful homes. I was again torn about doing this. I am in the middle of a mess with my house. The kitchen is torn apart, we are starting to take down very low ceilings in the living room, the bathroom upstairs has plumbing off for a leak to be fixed and is being torn apart. With all that I really don't feel like I'm playing in the same league with many of the other beautiful homes that I see on so many blogs.

But I have a old farmhouse, yes it's old, the ceilings are old, the floors aren't
perfect, the walls have original plaster that needs upkeep, heck there is always something that needs upkeep but I love my house quirks and all. I love the tin roof with it's bit of rusty spots.

....I love my porch that I am in the process of painting. When I am finished I will be able to sit out in my wicker furniture or rocking chair again

....I love my bathroom ceiling that I did a faux treatment on. I used wallpaper and metallic paint to achieve a coppered look

....I love my studio, it's not huge or fancy, it's not even exactly how I want it yet but it's mine and it's where my artistic side has been waking up.

....and I love my bedroom, it's not perfect; we have a tub in it, it's not how I want it yet, it hasn't even been painted and the floors need to be sanded but it's
my sanctuary and it is kind of nice to soak in a bath and when you're finished hop right into bed.

Even though I haven't been able to do everything I have envisioned to the house, whether lack of time or funds. I am grateful I have a home, a roof over my head and I have the ability to even do these things. I may not have the home of most people's dreams but it's my favorite place in the world, my dream and it's what I love.

Thanks so much for stopping by my porch.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Putterings and mutterings......

I was puttering around outside today and noticed how much closer we are to settling down for a long Winter's nap. The leaves have started to change here in Northeast Pennsylvania, and even started to fall because I raked a bit from my garden. I said goodbye to my spent annuals in my front garden like my Cleomes, Sweet William and Cosmos, although some are still hanging in there. Everything is green again, I have grown to love the foliage almost as much as I love the blooms but it is sad to see everything go by. See you next season garden :)

Some plants that I have that scream Fall are my Chinese Lanterns, they are glowing. I have always loved these invasive little plants, but I have to be careful they don't take over everything. Oh I love orange.

When I was visiting blogs the other day I saw the Bren over at Bren's Coneflower Cottage had done the most lovely things with what could be a eyesore for most people. She made a bottle tree out of a electric pole and blue creative! I told Bren I would share what I've done with our unsightly pole that sits right in the center of our parking spaces. I stood a old wrought iron porch column upright and anchored it to the pole then planted a trumpet vine. That was a couple of years ago and you can see that it has gone up and over the iron.

How about you? Do you have a creative way you covered a "eyesore" inside or outside of your home? Let's see your best camouflage job.

Finally, I want to mention I was in contact with Brigitte of Posh Girl Vintage, what a sweeheart and a busy girl. If you get a chance run over and check out her vintage items, not only does she offer a mouth watering array of vintage dresses, but she carries vintage handbags, shoes, lingerie, and even men's vintage. She also has a blog and guess what? My favorite little yellow rose dress is the page's backdrop! :) I am showcasing Brigitte in my "Beautiful Things" display this week. Stop by her place and let her know how much you love her vintage flair.

Puttering and muttering....


Friday, September 21, 2007


Boy am I ever late for my Yellow Rose Day post for today. Polly at Count Your Blessings and Michelle at Back Through Time had a great challenge today; to have your post filled with yellow roses. It all started because she has this scrumptious yellow rose umbrella that so many of us were coveting that she decided to give it away to the best yellow rose post for today. Of course I jumped at the chance but was a bit nervous as today got closer because I thought "I don't own a thing with yellow roses on it", not that I wouldn't like to or I haven't in the past I just thought I didn't have anything in my possession now.

So I began thinking what would I want, if I could shop for yellow roses? I had visions of a beautiful vintage, Lucille Ball kind of dress. I managed to find Posh Girl Vintage and saw these two cuties........
........and imagine if there really were these shoes to go with them? our feet would smell fresh all day!!

What a nice little yellow rose fantasy and that yellow rose umbrella would look perfect with either of those dresses! ;)

Then I got home and thought I really should take actual pictures of things I had around my home. Thinking I had nothing I felt I was in a pickle committing to doing this challenge and then "A-HA!" I remembered the cute little dish I picked up at a lawn sale, I keep some of my clear jewels in it for my art work......

OK, maybe I do have some yellow rose things. I glance over and had completely forgot about one of my inspirational paintings that I have in my art studio, I adore it and it has many flowers in it, including yellow roses. There's even a bumblebee on one of the flowers, can you see it??

Now I have some confidence! On my way downstairs I realize one of the little framed pictures I have, that I pass everyday has yellow roses in it! (Don't mind the dust on the angel, I think it gives it "flair")

Checking the clock, which happens quite frequently, I say "are those yellow roses?" LOL!! By crikey I think they are!

I even checked out eBay and found this Biscuit jar offered by Winnielynn1

I realized in searching for yellow roses I certainly do not have enough. I think that I am going to make it a point to starting bringing more yellow roses into my life. :)

Thank you Polly and Michelle for the challenge and helping me to see the roses I already have.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ever so close....

I'm one more step closer to being finished! Yayyyy! I know it seems like it's taking me forever, maybe it is but I just can't seem to squeeze out any more time out of the days than I am now, not to mention the days are getting shorter.

Some days I'm in my office and I just wish I could be in my studio working or in my house sanding or painting. So many days I wished for that and have been planning my move to ease myself into my own business of decorative painting full time and, well, yesterday whether I liked it or not, my wish came true. I found out my grant monies had run their course and the new direction it is taking does not include myself or my county. It has given me a week to find a new job or get my business off the ground, *huge gulp* I guess it's sink or swim right? :) I have faith that this was meant to be, this is my path for whatever reason and it is going to lead me somewhere great whether it be my painting or something else. :)

Alright, so the reason I was posting was to show you that I am ever so close to finishing what will go down in my books as the "Infamous Porch Project of '07"

Thanks for stopping by and watching the progress. I really appreciated everyone's comments and encouragement.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Porch Painting Diamond Pattern 101

I was finally able to finish snapping and taping off my porch yesterday for the diamond pattern I am going to be painting. Between the weather and feeling sick from the spider bite it had held my progress up. The painting will now go very quick. I thought I would post a "tutorial" (if you will) for those that are interested in doing something similar to their floors; inside or out.

LEVEL: Intermediate

STEP 1: Clean your surface. Make sure you are working with the cleanest surface you can possibly have. Remove any loose paint by scraping, sweeping, scrubbing. Clean surface using cleaner such as TSP (this is the BEST for removing and grime and giving you the best surface to start with) power washing is also a good idea.

STEP 2: You will be using 2 colors for the diamond pattern so you want to roll your lighter base color down first over the entire surface area. I find it best if you first use a paintbrush to "cut in" or paint along the edges like walls and corners first before rolling so you do not have to bring the roller close to your walls.

STEP 3: After letting the base coat dry for at least 24 hours we are ready to start marking and snapping lines for the diamond (or checkerboard) pattern. Start at one corner of the room, using a speed square, mark a line at a 45 degree angle.

STEP 4: Using that 45 degree angle take your chalk line and bring it across the room at that 45 degree angle and snap your line. (you will need 2 people for this)

STEP 5: Measure the length of that line, in the middle at a 90 degree angle to your snapped line, snap another line, intersecting the first. These will be the lines that you measure and snap the rest of your lines off of.
STEP 6: Decide what size your squares will be (mine were 22") and using a square mark lines at 22" along your snapped lines, first vertically then horizontally or vise versa. As you move along and snap your lines you may want to check and make sure your squares are all 22" (in my case) many times you can be a hair off in the beginning and by the time you are in the middle you could be 1/2" off, so it's always best to check and compensate in the beginning if necessary.

Once you finish snapping lines, you can stand back and admire your pattern.


I don't know WHY but I didn't take pictures of the taping progress. D'OH! Let's see if I can explain it anyway.

First you need to decide where you would like to start. I chose to start against the siding. Then you need to decide what color you want against the siding. I decided to start with the sage green which is also the same color as the house, the cream is my base coat and is already on the floor so I need to protect that color while painting on the green.

The square I chose that would be green, I taped the outside portion of the square, so that way the cream or the base color will be protected as the green is painted. Using that green square, alternate every other square taping the outside. When you are finished you will see that you will have large squares and small squares taped off. When tape is removed all squares will be the same size.

Next I will be painting the squares and you will see the finished project. :)

Have a wonderful day :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Taking time to smell the flowers.....

I had the day to stop at one of my regular haunts to check out what the many vendors had on display. I wasn't supposed to take pictures but a snuck a few in of one of the vendors that had some beautiful quilts. Look at all those pillows, I just wanted to lay down and take a nap.

There was also this wonderful iron patio dinette set and the linens were just great .

I love this chandelier it is so cute, and I didn't think the price was too bad at $75.00

There were a few other places I went to and one of my especially favorite places is "Oui Three", I always manage to find lace, ribbons, buttons and old photos for my art work. I got so carried away with shopping I forgot to take pictures. I gave me the idea that maybe I will take a little trip here and there and introduce you to some of the places that I like to shop here in NE PA.

And for your viewing pleasure; my princess Olivia. I brought a dahlia in from the garden and it was so cute how she sniffed it. Of course we had to re-enact the scene in order to get a good shot. A reminder to take time to smell the flowers.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Inspiration from spider bites

I have had a interesting couple of days, the spider bite that I photographed for my 12 of 12's, did not heal this week and I ended up getting cellulitis and severe infection in the area. I am on a strong antibiotic now so hopefully I will be feeling better soon. Consequently my deal with the insects in the house are off! They are all being promptly evicted.

Because of the fever and general flu like symptoms I was unable to get anything done yesterday so I enjoyed the latest Home Companion and Country Victorian magazines. I was specifically looking to find our friend Penny over at Lavender Hill's items that were featured (In case you are like me and not patient enough, they are on pages 45 and 76) Congratulations Penny!

The new Home Companion is filled with wonderful Fall decorating inspiration. I just love this time of year, maybe because I was born in October a Fall baby but the nesting instinct comes out full force. Just seeing the pictures made me drool *or maybe it was the fever, I'm not sure* but I thought I would share some of the pictures that inspired me:

Isn't this furniture great! I love Carol Hicks Bolton's style, her furniture and fabrics. Mary seems to have featured her quite often throughout the years.

This table and setting is gorgeous and it makes me want to set up outside and invite everyone over *after I get rid of the spiders*

I just LOVE this picture because my Winston is a Jack Russell and I would love for him to pose for a picture like this, he'd be running up the street. I love the pavers.

The colors in this pictures here are just fabulous, so warm and rich and the simplicity of the wooden bistro chairs are beautiful.

I am actually grateful that I had the spider bite, it forced me to slow down a bit and I was able to sit and relax for one evening and enjoy my magazines, something I haven't been able to do in quite awhile. It was a perfect night to get inspired.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I want to mention a special little angel: AVA GRACE, you might notice her picture and link up on the left under "Beautiful Things". Please click on the link and visit the site and read about Ava Grace. There will be a SILENT AUCTION benefiting this precious little girl September 16-22 and all proceeds go towards Ava's medical expenses. I love this quote on Ava's angel page:

"Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help your angel has given you."
-Eileen Elias Freeman

I have finally been able to get my porch painting project underway. Last night I painted the base coat on, and tonight I was able to get some of the lines snapped to paint the diamonds. It's a tedious process when you don't have a good full day to devote to it. This is a picture of the progress as of tonight, but I am going to post directions on how to paint a diamond or checkerboard pattern on your floor. I was out working by the porch light, it seems like the days just slip away now don't they?

Hope everyone had a lovely day today. :)


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

12 OF 12 September....

It's time for 12 OF 12 again! I have so much fun doing this project that is the brain child of Chad Darnell. Twelve pictures on the twelfth day of each month, it's a snapshot of a day in your life. If you get a chance pop over to Chad's blog and check out the 12 from all over the World and maybe give it a try next month.

First up; my princess Olivia, NOT wanting to get out of bed this morning as usual

This is the spider bite I got on Saturday, it has finally gotten smaller, my whole forearm was red and swollen. OUCH!

This is hanging on my bulletin board at work AND IT'S TRUE!!

Relaxing at my desk and NOT working! I like shoes :)

On my walk at lunch I saw these BEAUTIFUL hydrangeas, they happen to be my most favorite flower in the whole world. These things were HUGE

Where I live we have "THE STAIRS" which is our version of Santa Monica's stairs. There are 127 *I counted* there are two sets that take you across two streets. Here's the first set.

Here is me walking up the steps, note the shoes. ORANGE, my favorite color!

And here is the second set of stairs

Here's the view from the top of the stairs

Basket of affirmations

A rogue vegetable plant that got mixed in with some perennials that were given to me. It's monstrous!

Winston wondering what I was doing and Marley caught mid-lick

Chad usually has a bonus picture related to a word. This month the word was "unexpected". My bonus picture is of Marley who unexpectedly put her nose into the camera.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my 12.