Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I vow to drink more wine...

There so many wines to choose, white, rose.  Wine is an alcoholic beverage usually made from grapes but can be made from other fruits, such as apples and berries.  Choosing a wine can be time consuming as to Red, White, or Rose... what country... what region, vintage and taste.  Most wine is sold in a glass bottles closed with a cork.  Although bottles are being increasingly closed by other means, 50% of the corks come from Portugal.

I love a nice cool glass or two of wine out side with my feet up enjoying the peacefulness here.  It wasn't until I decided to start using them for crafts and in the kitchen that I realized my pattern, even more so.  I drink wine depending on the bottle and/or the cork.   Since moving to Florida, I have given up some of my favorite Long Island Winery corks, especially Martha Clara Vineyard's cork with her dog and dog bone!!

Cork picture of Bernie

Bernie's Bone

Link for Bernie's Rose'

But I have found that I used my Barefoot Wine bottles and especially the corks too fast so....

and I really want to do a larger version of this:

and come up with some uses to show off my favorite bottles:
I'd love to do a whole wreath with just Barefoot corks and shells, so I'd better start drinking... Have a great evening!!  Cheers!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring has sprung...actually I think it's summer already!

After two rough and cold winters in Florida, this winter was extremely spring like.  Now as spring should be, the weather is getting summer like very early.  Everything is blooming and my allergies are ahead of schedule too.  I've been trying to do a lot of different things but my hip and leg are hurting so bad it is just hard to get around and stand too long.  That's my frustration.  As part of my journey, besides learning to live on a limited income, I am learning to live with a limiting disability.  My brain says GO and the body says STOP!

I wasn't going to and it wasn't on the list, but I did stop at my favorite thrift store this week.  It's North Brevard SPCA Thrift Store.  Their things are priced to sell, unlike others I have gone to and they do move their goods.  Things had been rearranged this time.  More goods in the same amount of space but easier to get around.  I was being good and just picked up what I could hold in my hands.  I got a few pieces and small baskets to help create a spring display.  Then I found a bright yellow and blue tablecloth that was made in France.  I thought it was $5 but was actually marked $2 and because I had a wooden nickel, I paid only $1!!!  I couldn't wait to set it up.

Well I'm off to see what I can get done today!  Enjoy your day!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another week... a growing list!

Got SOME things done but this old feeling lady is moving very slow. 

I did paint the cabinets and counter side of the living room.  I am loving the color and it goes nicely with the kitchen yellow.  AND I love the name, "Going My Way"!

I took the table that the printer was sitting on and gave it some spray of an aqua and a textured sand to the drawer.  I'm going to glue shells to the drawer and try yo do a compass rose on the knob.

I brought in my trimmed branches and put them in water.

one lone aloe planted
areca palm planted


I'm not moving that fast but off to see what I can accomplish!
Have a great Monday!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do you ever get ahead of yourself?

I started the week off with picking up pine cones that had dropped from the two pine trees left after the cutting down of six.  Then I got more involved with Home Talk.  First I posted my Kitchen Re-deco Pictures and got such positive responses.  After reading some posts from local people, I asked for suggestions for my yard.  I started with trying to un-pot my aloe and snake plants... what a chore!!

A suggestion was made to use areca palm as a screen along the patio... I had to make some returns so headed out.  I picked up one palm at Lowe's for $10.00.  Went to Target to pick up a blind for my bedroom.  And went to ACE Hardware for a home cleaner and got a quart of ACE flat paint in "Going My Way" a sea foam color for the living room.  I didn't realize ACE didn't have sample sizes, so that's why a quart.   It was just to try out the color on the living room side of the kitchen cabinets so that why flat paint and it was the cheapest.

So yesterday as I was having coffee, my list to-do's consisted of:
  • Replanting the aloe and snake plants;
  • Hanging the blind in my bedroom;
  • Painting a section of the cabinet so I could see it next to the yellow;
  • Wash down the exterior of the house;
  • and I wanted to unpack a box of my Grandmother's dishes...
Among the normal things to do:
  • dishes;
  • vacuum;
  • laundry;
  • straighten up and clean...
All I did was paint!  I started off just starting a section on the cabinet BUT it needed to be primed.  So after that spot dried, I primed as much as I could reach.  That dried and I painted and sat back admiring it as it dried.  One section lead to another and I finished that 'wall' by dinner time.  I love it and am so excited that I think the rest of the day will be painting.  That wall was still panelling and the wall behind the couch is panelled too.  The side walls are panelled but painted white.  I'm going to use the paint I have to paint the wall behind the couch. 

One wall done
next wall to do

So off I go to paint.... even though it is nice out and that's where I should be!  Have a great day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easy Inexpensive Kitchen Up-date Ideas

As I've said before, everything and everyone has a story.  While my kitchen is based around my trip to Prague and Czech heritage, it gave me the vision and inspiration to work with.  And while you don't have to do what I did but as I explain and show you my journey in decorating I hope you will think about what you love and perhaps some of my ideas can be altered for your taste.

I got this bird from The Graphics Fairy.
 I printed it out, cut and used it as a

And used it to add to the stencilled "Bakery"
above front window.  On the real bakery sign,
in Prague, there was only one bird.

I was saving these wine bottles for something else but the mouth of the bottles wound up being too small.  After scrubbing off the labels, I just put them on the table with artificial flowers.  One would be fine!

Have wicker baskets?  No?  The dollar stores are a great place to check.  I had a grouping on a previous dining room wall; some faced out, others the wall.  Some had 'something' on them and others didn't.  When I needed a bread basket or chip bowl, I'd grab them off the wall, put a clothe napkin in it and serve.  When I was done, the napkin went in the laundry and the basket back on the wall.  Easy and inexpensive!
I have been saving wine corks for years.  What is in the glass (I think Anchor Hocking) is just about what's left after doing some easy projects.  In the glass, a basket, or jar, they are part of the decor until the next project comes along.
The only true cost is the bottle of wine you buy and drink.  I am on a mission for drink more "Barefoot" wine for the cork with the foot imprint for some beach projects.



I picked up 2 wreaths and some ribbon at the dollar store and came home and glued wine corks to the wreaths.  Added the ribbon over the back of door, which had an up-side down hook.  Tied a bow and done!  I also replaced my knobs with cork.  I want to put cork boards on the inside of cabinets and hang my measuring cups and spoons too.

Replaced knobs on drawers (pictured)
and cabinets with wine corks.  I did it this way
to see the design on the cork.

wanted to judge coverage
without priming.  The up-side down hook
to hang wreaths.

I knew I wanted to do something with the "bakery" sign... it was a really good bakery.  But after looking and loving how sun-shiny bright the kitchen was, I starting thinking it was my sunshine...thus, You Are My Sunshine ... and looked it up on the Google Translator in Czech and stenciled it and a sun.
I starting thinking of 'Prague' or 'Cafe' or.... but you can stencil what ever you want... THE JONES FAMILY  est. 2010... you can see in the picture, it is not perfect but it's mine and I did it and it is personal to me.  Do something that is meaningful to you.  It will cost you around $5, if that... or do it feel hand!

Shop your closest.  Do you have a straw bag or tote?  I just found a recycle shopping bag with big flowers in Staples and I heard that Marshall's has 'Paris' recycled shopping bags.  I still have to check that out.  I have to get better at no plastic at the stores so I have been storing those bags in the straw bag.  (A gift, special to me, from my sister's trip to Thailand.) I do use them, especially for the dog clean-ups, so I am not just throwing them out.

I was going to run a shelf even with the fan on both sides of the stove but had these wood boxes and used them instead.  You could do the same idea with a decoupaged shoe box, a drawer that has no other use, use wood to make a square (Lowe's or Home Depot will cut). Clears my counter of salt and pepper and the timer and I think it looks cute.

I have 2 of these wall dish racks.  The top plate my son did in 1984 and the other 2 are my great-grandmother's and they are from Czechoslovakia.  I now what to unpack her dishes and do a display on the shelf of my pass through so stay tuned.

I displayed toys brought back from Prague... do you have souvenirs that spark wonderful memories or gifts that remind of a special time, place or person?  Display it and enjoy it everyday.

Storage space is of a premium here.  Rather than just pile up the extra cases of water, I used an out-side works and stays neat.  The decorative boxes hold 1) dish towels, 2) clothe napkins and the box on the bottom is medications and supplements not used daily.  These boxes came this way, I think from Party City, but you can use Mod Podge and decorate shoe boxes any way you like.

Hang YOUR pictures.  The top two pictures are pictures I took, matted and framed.  The one one the left is a picture from our hotel room over looking Prague and Prague Castle in the background.  The one to the right is a picture of the bakery!  The picture right above is 4 postcards of street lights and all have yellow in them.  You would think I knew what I was going to do in 2005!  Take your pictures out of those boxes, albums or hard drive and frame them so you can enjoy them.  Frames and mats can be found inexpensively at dollar stores or make your own mats for decorative papers, construction paper or draw your own.

I found this flower pot in the dollar store and using it for my cooking utensils but it's a little too short.  I'm going to try spray painting my next coffee can.

And last, but not least, soap containers!  The orange top is a plastic bottle that looks like those bar-b-q ketchup bottles.  The cut glass bottle is actually an oil bottle that I am going to try putting dish soap in.  They do just look nicer than the plastic bottles they come in and now I can just buy the big refill bottles.

So I think I gave you 16 ideas here that can be incorporated into most any decor but don't forget the obvious:
  1. Do a good cleaning;
  2. Paint the walls...cabinets...refrigerator (if old but working) ... just paint the trim... the ceiling... or all of the above.  I painted the walls and ceiling a pale yellow and the cabinet doors a yellow one shade darker.  The trim around the side window and stencilled in a coral-orange.  I want to use black board paint on the refrigerator.
  3. Change the curtains... and wash the windows.
  4. Re-arrange the furniture or move the table or both.
So that's 20 and I am sure we can come up with another 20 but I hope you find some inspiration for your kitchen.  Remember, it's a journey, not a race.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Sprung Ahead Monday!

I did it again!  Yes, again.  After my post of springing ahead and how I was looking forward to it, I set my clocks BACK!  I did this once before about 10 or more years ago.  I had woke up in a panic and rushed to work.  When I got to the parking lot, I started to coast....where is everyone?  After a while, I realized I was there 2 hours early.  So yesterday I didn't have to be anywhere but I did set the clocks back instead of ahead...and yes, I know "spring ahead, fall back"!

I went dumpster diving a couple of weeks ago and found a's not sturdy enough for sitting on but I thought I would just paint, decorate and put a flower pot on it...I'd love some suggestions if you have any.

I hope you'll post any ideas.  Meanwhile, I am going out to clean up the patio and yard.  Have a great day!
via Pinterest

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I am so excited and so looking forward to springing ahead!  Something happens to me when we fall back.  I think I just fall down and can't get up!  It has been this way for years.  I remember driving to work in the dark and getting home after dark and not seeing much of day light except through a window.  I'd drag myself out of bed in the morning and couldn't wait to get back in bed after dark.  I'm no longer working out side the house but now I think I am worse because I really don't have a schedule.  On top of it, I am going through an insomnia phase. 

Once the time changes and the days get longer, I seem to wake up earlier and enjoy my coffee outside.  That is the time to be outside before the heat of the day.  I can do a few things on the patio and/or around the yard before the temperature and humidity get unbearable.   At the end of the day, when it's still light, when the sun is over in the west, it's great to bar-b-q and enjoy a glass of wine on the patio and just relax in a breeze as the sun sets.  I can now take my wireless laptop out for when I can't drag myself away and get back to reading some great books calling me.  On my journey for enjoying my home and life, I am going to work on this as part of my day. 

But I have to confess.  I am missing the north for some plants blooming, even though everything is blooming here.  I miss daffodils, tulips, crocus, and mostly the sea of yellow forthysia.  I started going through different gardening sites looking for flowers that may look like them but able to grow in Zone 9 instead of Zone 6 and without having to dug up and put in the freezer... I am more of a perennial person right now.  I have spent so much money on "potted" plants that wither and die during our dry season or our rainy season without any rain that I want to re-plant and plant in the ground those things that are natural to the area and will thrive in the conditions.  I guess, I am learning over again what will grow and how.  I like going through the different sites to find what I like such as:  Spring Hill Nursery Zone 9  .

Completely-Coastal  has a great post for DIY coastal garden ideas.  The wonderful thing about so much of the inspiration I get is you don't have to live on the water but anywhere to use and enjoy a coastal living.  She also has a great post Completely-Coastal outdoor garden decor with succulents.

I just love the idea of the above picture for my front.  I'm thinking the succulents would hold up during raining and dry seasons, which they have and I have them already.  Some rocks, which I am thinking... there's a pile of busted cement by the dumpsters that I could paint to look like "faux" stones!  I'd like to get some crushed shells as a base but might have to settle for pea stones or river rock...I've got the shells and just need a gazing ball. And this:  Completely-Coastal garden mix.  (up-dated)

There are many ideas out there, it's just a matter of looking and then doing!  I am so energized just waiting for the time change and back into the sun-up, sun-down routine! 

Hope you have a great week end!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On

Fox Hollow Cottage: Sprinkles of Spring in the Kitchen

Fox Hollow Cottage: Sprinkles of Spring in the Kitchen:

I stopped by Shannon's blog and saw what she did on her break through between the kitchen.  I am so inspired!!  Somewhere I read about using your china just because... well I decided to pull out more of my great-grandmother's dishes and wine glasses and display them on that counter with my bamboo plant and some Easter decorations.  I have to go through the box and see what else is there but now I have a reason to unpack that box and somewhere to put them.  And I just might start to use them!

Remember to shop YOUR house!  I have moved furniture around from one room to the other and everything else in between.  My living room, bathroom, bedroom and patio are and will be beach themed, so it is easy enough to move things around as necessary.  I recently moved my lit palm tree to the patio with all my large shells.  I now have to remember to shop my shed!  My list grows but my energy doesn't.

It's actually a nice day today; 72 degrees and windy.  I'm out to run some errands.  Catch you later.

Beach Memories ~ My Bath Room

This is MY beach!  This has been as far as you can walk. 
If you look in the distance, there is a shuttle on the launch pad.

I have yet to live more than a half hour away from an ocean, with a brief year in Orlando, Florida, on a lake.  Cocoa Beach is Orlando's beach.  I grew up and lived my life on the south shore of Long Island, New York, and could walk most of the time to a beach.

Bar on the pier
at Cocoa Beach

Besides the local town beaches there were a few favorites with great memories.  I don't know why I remember, but I do.  I used to go to Hot Dog Beach, which is on Dune Road in Hampton Bays, NY, with my Grandmother. (It is now Tiana Beach.) She was a swimmer in her day and by today's standards she would have been an Olympic swimmer.  She loved the beach.  For a while as I grow up I thought maybe I just called it Hot Dog Beach because we got hot dogs for lunch and ice cream too.  It was a fun time to build sand castles with Gramma.

Hot Dog Beach, NY

And of course the Hampton's are now known
for ABC's "Revenge"!

My Dad's mom lived in Port Washington, NY.  It's located on the north shore of Long Island.  If you drove through the gates into Sands Point, you could get a good look of the New York skyline.  Sands Point is know for the 1920's Gold Coast Era (Great Gatsby).  Every summer the Park would close for a town family beach party.  All kinds of food and drink, music and races and just general beachy fun!

Beach at Sands Point

When I was young, we were in Sayville visiting my aunt, uncle and cousins.  It was winter and we were out in the snow when my cousin decided he could walk on water!  He fell through the ice on the Great South Bay and somehow I managed to carry his limp-ish body back.  He was fine.

Great South Bay

There is Jones Beach.  My cousin and I decided to take the bus there.  We had bus fare for there and back, but we spent the "back" money at the refreshment stand.  We decided to walk back until this car pulled over and offered a ride.  Like two inexperienced young girls, we accepted.  Dumb move.  We got into the back seat of a two door car, with two older boys blasting heavier rock than we listened to.  One pulled out a pretty large knife and started keeping the beat and drumming the knife on the dash board.  That was it.  After we got over the draw bridge we started yelling to pull over, let us out!!  We finally got out and started walking.  With that another car pulled over.  The window came down and a woman told us, in no uncertain terms, to get in.  Just as we did, those boys came back.  She wound up driving us back to our grandmother's house (because we were too afraid to go back to her house).  The woman had seen us walking and then getting out of the car when she was dropping her daughter and friends at the beach and came back for us.  As I remember it, she told us all the reasons why we should never do that again...I never did!  I did get one heck of a sun burn that day.

Dunes at Jones Beach
(taken by my aunt)

Then there's North Captiva Island, Florida.  This is where I knew and decided I was moving back to Florida.  It was 2005 and I spent my sister and her husband's 25th wedding anniversary with them and their family there for a week right on the beach.  It was absolutely peaceful and beautiful.  Sunrise and sunset was beautiful but the very best was at those times the dolphins and their babies were at the beach eating and playing.  Of course we went to Sanibel too and learned the Sanibel Shuffle!  We carried on (the airplane) more shells home then luggage.

via North Captiva Island FB page
My poster size North Captiva photo in living room.

Beach Memories is actually the name of the bath accessories by Croscill, that I bought when I knew I was moving.  I have some beach pictures in there, but I realized I have more of the dogs in the bathroom.  I'll have to work on that.





right side
left side

and the top...with my NASA ash tray.

the "Beach Memories" have
photos of children on the beach.
Nate Berkus Candle Stick filled
with shells.

a North Captiva photo
taken by my brother-in-law
I love the bathroom however after posting some of these pictures, I've decided to print some and frame for the "memories".  Hope you enjoyed.  Have a great day! ~ pat