Saturday, July 28, 2012

TGIF and Saturday and will be Sunday...

I had to double check but it really Friday!!  I've having a hard time getting my days straight this week since Tuesday.  One Tuesday, I thought it was Wednesday and yesterday I thought it was Friday.  So I am glad it is really Friday but don't know why.

I have so many "outside" things to do but our heat index is very high and any breeze is a hot one.  It takes your breathe away like when you open a hot oven.  But unlike the hot oven, there's nothing good cooking.

Thanksgiving dinner always smells good!

I was feeling very yucky yesterday and didn't finish this post.  I wound up trying to get a doctor's appointment; I have to call back Monday.  I went to pick  up my prescriptions, to the bank and food shopped.  By the time  got home I was miserable!  I couldn't get the groceries unpacked fast enough or drink a cold glass of iced tea fast enough too.  I tried to sit a while and chill and then decided on bean salad and pasta salad with shrimp for dinner.  I was starting to feel better but wiped out, so I called it an early night.  PJ's, a glass of milk, ice cream and a doggy treat and we went to bed to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

I woke early and feel better this morning.  I'm planning on cooking and freezing ahead some meals.  Hoping to finish my Mermaid sign, re-pot some herbs I picked up, and general clean up.  I am going to try not to over do it and stay inside during the heat of the day.

I hope you have a great weekend and hope I can stay I've accomplished something on Monday.  We'll see...

a little at a time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Wednesday!

Good morning!

It is Wednesday after thinking yesterday was for most of the day.  Go figure! It's hump day or Wines-day Wednesday, depending on your outlook.

I have many projects in the process and I'm going to try to figure out where I stand with each of them plus things that need to be done, just as a part of life.

  1. Mermaid Sign
  2. Weeding and lay out garden shells
  3. Do something with the 4 shutters
  4. Put my 'tropical' bedroom on hold
  5. Misc painting: ceilings, hallway...

Those are just some of the things still on my list and/or part of a more complete picture... so I'm going to concentrate on them.

Have a great day!!


crossing the loch


Crossing the Loch

Remember how we rowed toward the cottage
on the sickle-shaped bay,
that one night after the pub
loosed us through its swinging doors
and we pushed across the shingle
till water lipped the sides
as though the loch mouthed 'boat'?

I forgot who rowed. Our jokes hushed.
The oars' splash, creak, and the spill
of the loch reached long into the night.
Out in the race I was scared:
the cold shawl of breeze,
and hunched hills; what the water held
of deadheads, ticking nuclear hulls.

Who rowed, and who kept their peace?
Who hauled salt-air and stars
deep into their lungs, were not reassured;
and who first noticed the loch's
phosphorescence, so, like a twittering nest
washed from the rushes, an astonished
small boat of saints, we watched water shine
on our fingers and oars,
the magic dart of our bow wave?
It was surely foolhardy, such a broad loch, a tide,
but we live—and even have children
to women and men we had yet to meet
that night we set out, calling our own
the sky and salt-water, wounded hills
dark-starred by blaeberries, the glimmering anklets
we wore in the shallows
as we shipped oars and jumped,
to draw the boat safe, high at the cottage shore.

This poem is called "Crossing the Loch" by Kathleen Jamie from Waterlight: Selected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2007. 

Kathleen Jamie is a poet new to me.  I think she is already a favorite.  You can listen to Garrison Keillor do a fine reading of Crossing the Loch, here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Cuz...

Good Morning.  This is a totally unscheduled post and as I write it, I am not sure if I will post it or do one of those writings that you do to just get it out...

Today is one of those bitter-sweet days.  It is weird because since the weekend's shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, CO, my mind has been going back to 9-11, when you just couldn't wrap your head around what was happening...when you just knew somethings would never be the same.  You hear about the heroes, the loss, the resilience and you know they will never be the same.

Today is my cousin's birthday.  I have know her all my life and in so many ways she is my sister.  Although my family is the typical dysfunctional family with a capital "D".  She was the one that was always there to put the fun in dysFUNctional for me!  Sometimes for me and allot of times with me.

I think I was pretty lucky to have such a relationship with most of my cousins as a kid.  But life happens... divorce, moves, re-locations, marriage, jobs, kids... you know all those things in life that just happens, while you're busy making other plans.

Crossing Loch

One weekend I  went camping with my Uncle and cousins.  My Uncle owed a piece of property on the canal in Center Moriches, NY.  It was always fun to camp with them.  We'd have a little camp fire and Uncle would tell us those stories that would scare us out of  our minds!  We didn't have a bathroom and if you were a girl that had to go at an unscheduled time, you had to row across the canal to their Grampa's house.  My cousin and I set out for seemed like "a three hour tour"!  It was darker than dark.  We laughed till we cried.  I don't remember if we made to Grampa's house or how we got back but we rowed in circles and then just she rowed and we made it back to camp safe and sound. She tells it so funny!

We went to Jones Beach one summer day by bus and spent our return money on refreshments.  I got so burnt that day after falling asleep in the sun.  What choice did we have but to hitch hike to get over the bridge.  Big mistake!!  One of the guys pulled a knife out of the glove compartment and was taping it on the dashboard.  Scared doesn't even begin to tell.  We screamed till they pulled over and we got out.  Just as we did, someone else's mother pulled over and yelled at us to get in.  She lectured us all the way to our grandmother's house where she dropped us off.  Neither one of us ever hitched a ride again!

There were many times together that are still very special to me...the Long Island Rail Road to New York City, Broadway plays, haircuts, just walking around...  And when ever we see each other, which is never enough, it's like we saw each other the other day ... like an old glove that fits just right.  I really love that girl!

She grew up to become a New York City Police Officer.  No wonder I have always felt safe with her!  She met a wonderful, fantastic man and got married.  She had 2 great boys that they can be so proud of.  They both were among those that responded to 9-11.  We had not been in direct contact at that time.  They both, along with their duties, were on the bucket brigade and then her husband was transfered over to the landfill to sort and identify.  Shortly after, a plane went down in a New York neighborhood that they spent off time in and her husband's family and friends lived.  It was a horrific time for everyone but once again, it was a time I still not can not wrap my head around.  They were on the job week after week after week....  The boys slept on the couches of  friends and neighbors (which I only found out much later.  And that is another story...).

My cousin's husband passed away in December (2011) after years of battling 9-11 cancers.  This morning she woke up remembering all her previous birthdays with the boys and their father sneaking around to surprise her with flowers and hugs in bed and wound up in sobs.  Her son came in, thinking the same thing, and they hugged and cried together.  My heart hurts for her.

There is nothing I know that I can possibly say or do to ease her pain or their pain.  I can only pray that she gets a moment today that she is still and at peace knowing he is not far away.  I believe he will always be close by.  He lives in her heart, in her boys... I am hoping that he will send her a sign today... a bird, a butterfly, a song, a seagull, a smell, a memory, a touch... some sign of his love that he is not far away and bring her some comfort.

I am not that happy today that I am so far away from family, especially on days like today.

I love ya Cuz... hang in there.

Jupiter Lighthouse, Florida

I love this paint!

I love this paint!  I keep looking for anything I might be able to spray! It comes in other colors but this one looks like beach sand!

cap color!

I recently used it for these remakes:

I first used it on the bottom shelf of this table.

It was the perfect background for the shells on this drawer.

Worked well on the plastic jar lid for a shell top.
I also want to spray and piece of cement to see if it sticks and makes it look like a pile of sand; spray some bottles and add shells for flowers... who knows.

What would you use it for?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tweaking my delivery from Ocean Styles...

I can't express how happy I am with my latest delivery from Ocean Styles!  I didn't even get to track the delivery and it was here!!  Talk about fast!!??!  I was so excited when the delivery came.  Everything was packed so carefully and nicely.  Holding my breathe as I unwrapped the lamps, just because they were glass, I was thrilled with each one being in perfect condition.  Everything was exactly as I expected.

I had just thrown a drop clothe over my couch as a slipcover and the pillows go really nicely.

You can find these and so many more here!
My NAUTILUS  lamp on....surrounded by love of the beach!

My Flip-Flop Trinket Dishes hold more shells.  You can find them here.
I think this STARFISH lamp looks so darn cute on this table!!

To see more information about my table, click here.
Heidi building sandcastles in her dreams!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Home Decorating Ideas:

Elaine Griffin
Photo: Rachel Been
I saw this article and wanted to share it with you.  You can also click the links below to see more.  As I read this list fast, I was coming up with my own suggestions and thought I'd comment as we go along.
1. Search the Web for auctions and yard sales in your area. I've found that the best deals happen on rainy days, when everyone would rather be indoors and you'll face less competition.

Pat says:  While this is a good idea, don't forget your area thrift stores.  You will find wonderful things that with a little TLC can look and serve you better than new.  As much as I love all the chalk paints out there, I have used interior paint, exterior paint and acrylic paint to repaint furniture.  I shop at least once a month at my local SPCA Thrift Store because I know it goes to supporting the local SPCA Animal Adoption and Veterinary Clinic, and it my way of getting a great deal and supporting a cause I care about.

2. Create a perfectly sized area rug without breaking the bank. Any carpet dealer can cut and bind regular broadloom carpet to a custom size.

Pat says:  Great idea but I can't tell you what it would cost.  One idea again would be a thrift store.  I personally would spray for bugs (although I have never had problems with the things I have gotten from the SPCA) and shampoo it and dry before bring in.  Shop dollar stores and my local ACE Hardware had some reversible indoor/outdoor rugs very reasonable.  Paint a rug you already have.  I bought a couple of rag rugs for the kitchen and used duct tape on the underside to keep together and put it under my kitchen table.  Rip the tape of to throw in the laundry and tape up when dry.

3. Reglaze a worn-out bathtub instead of replacing it. Replacing a tub can cost more than $1,000, but a pro can reglaze your old one for a third the cost.

Pat says:  good idea but I  have no experience with it.
4. Go with simple lines when purchasing cheap furniture. Inexpensive pieces look tacky when they're overembellished.
Pat says:  I'm not sure what she means here.  It all depends on the style and what you love.  I have both styles of furniture and the more detail to distress, usually, the better it looks.  I'm sure you've seen beautiful pieces with curves and ornamental detail that have made you drool.

5. Invest in a leather club chair. It's classic, durable and cheaper than you might think. I've bought several on
Pat says:  OK.  I am kicking myself for passing up a butter soft leather chair and a half and matching ottoman!  Next time, ask for delivery.  SPCA delivers and there is no charge if they are also picking up.

6. Choose curtain rods no bigger than one inch in diameter. The goal is to showcase the curtains, not the rod. The Allen + Roth Sienna rod ($45; has the right dimensions, an antiqued finish and cute brackets.
Pat says:  OK but don't limit yourself to just a decorative "rod".  Nautical design?  what about rope?  Tropical?  Bamboo stakes?  Modern?  plumbing pipes and fitting??  Or a tension rod so you don't see it at all?

7. Splurge on a lampshade, skimp on the lamp. A $10 base is fine, but buy a $50 shade to dress it up—that's the part people notice. 
Pat says:  This is the one that got me!!  How many times have you seen made over or embellished shades that  did not cost anywhere near $50?  I guess it depends on your clientele and/or audience!

8. Bargain-shop for glassware. You'll find glasses almost identical to the Ikea stemware collection that other retailers sell for up to ten times more.
Pat says:   Great idea, however, I don't have an Ikea store close by.  I have found some great glasses that are heavy enough for everyday use at the Dollar Tree and the thrift store.  To dress them up, you can paint them and if you goof or break, you don't have to cry!!   I even got green cactus style margarita glasses that I use for shells and candles outside. 

Read more:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just FYI: my shell drawer table

I think my Starfish lamp  (from Ocean Styles) is the perfect finishing touch to this little table!  I wanted to tell you how easy it was to do a presto-change up of this table I've had for years!

painting end table

Now this is before I was smarter and paid attention to what I was doing so I'll tell you my recommendations rather than what I think I did. 
  1. Clean the entire table well and let dry;
  2. Give it a light sanding and wipe with damp cloth to get any sand dust.
  3. Prime and let dry;
  4. Paint; I used sand textured spray paint on the drawer after taping paper around so not to spray anything else but the drawer front.
  5. Paint the table; I used the same ACE Paint- Going My Way, as I used on the living room walls;
  6. I used the primer in spots and then sanded to distress;
  7. I gave it a few days to dry before I added shells to the drawer on top of the sand paint and topped it off with a LandShark beer bottle cap on top of the knob.  FINS UP!
  8. Last, you really should, at least, coat or seal the top!
Let it sit for a few days to really dry.

shell drawer
I used it for my printer before moving everything around.

fins up!, shell drawer


I think I may have to just add some of my starfish here and it is complete!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sofa almost Up-dated!


 As I told you here 
that is just a big drop cloth throw cover (slipcover).  So I got a drop cloth that measured 12x15, from my new home away from home, Titusville ACE Hardware.  Let me just tell you, it is bigger and heavier than I imagined and even more clumsy to work with too!  I still have to pull the sofa out from the wall again and straighten it out.

I tried to do it around the dog but she wasn't cooperating. and 15 feet just seemed to go on and on.

Heidi got down and as soon as I started she was comfy again!

drop cloth slip cover
drop cloth slipcover

It does look sloppy right now but it will do for today.  But I think it goes nicely with my new living room and the relaxed, kick off your flip flops attitude! I didn't wash it and I want to get it straightened out before I start ironing!  Heidi is back up on there where she belongs.  I think she likes it too.   

Then UPS came!  Sorry no picture of the big brown truck but don't my new pillows look good on the sofa now?  I am really happy with my delivery from Ocean Styles!!

drop cloth slipcover, ocean style toss pillows

Both Pillows

Before and after
There will be more as I move lamps and tweak the sofa cover.  And still more tweaking!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Upcoming to do's!!

Home town fishing on Mosquito Lagoon in Titusville, Florida!  I have driven along Mosquito Lagoon just looking at the wildlife, especially alligators.  Who knew there was good fishing too.  I need to get out more often.  

Just to keep you up to date:
I got 5 bags of the medium shells and 1 bag of the small.  Right now, it feels like 103* outside which is above my work outside temperature.  

On my shopping spree, I also got:
  • a 12x15 drop cloth to cover the sofa; Last night I read that it should be washed to make it softer and it gets softer with each washing.  Sounds easy enough.  Right now I am get going to throw it over the whole sofa and pillows.
  • I got 2 sets of louver doors, 1 set has hinges, the other 2 do not; they look like big shutters.  Right now I'm thinking of painting them and using in the bedroom. 
  • I got those 'eye' hooks (?) thingies to put the tabs through to hang tab top curtains from the ceiling.
  • I  got a Caribbean Blue spray paint for outside and a Coral for the shutters.
  • I got wood for a sign and to possibly make my bathroom door look like old driftwood-ish either pickled white or a blue green.
  • I did pick up a couple of wood grain drawer liner to see if I can get it to stick to the door.
  • I picked up gate hinges for my faux barn door when I figure out how I am doing it.
I am sure there is something else in my bag of tricks that I don't remember but I have plenty now to do and work on.  You know how it goes, start something that leads to another.

So, stay tuned because there's lots of work to do and lots of pictures too!  Have a great day!

follow the seashell path!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Landscaping with sea shells...

I am so darn excited, I can't contain myself!!   I asked my local  ACE Hardware Titusville if they would consider selling bags of sea shells for landscaping and they said YES!!!  They are hoping for delivery today (on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.)

small Coquina shells
ACE Hardware Titusville's photo 

My first project is the front of my home.  I have wanted to do this forever.  The only reason I haven't done it yet is:
  • I now have difficulty walking the beach to collect shells;
  • Our local beach does not have the same shelling as Sanibel and Captiva;
  • Purchasing available bags of shells are too small and would be costly;
  • And if I went the other way, it was just too much shell for me to manage at one time.
I learned the hard way years ago when I had a load of stone dropped for my driveway, so having shells delivered was completely out of the question!  Thirty pound bags are good enough for me!

ACE Hardware Titusville's photo

Mobile home landscaping
When I first moved in, the front was just plain:  sand and weeds.  I found that fence post while cleaning up and scraps of  wood to make the directional post and had the wood gull for the top.  I found kids beach pails made great flower pots for my beach decor.  I have hated that black chippy hitch since I moved in and been trying since to come up with an idea (that works) to camouflage it.

mobile home landscaping

I tried dressing it up with plants and tried to grow something that I could hind it with but the man that was taking care of my yard would hit everything with the weed whacker as soon as something would grow.  I decided to add block to the front and this is where the shells came to mind... but I did mulch instead.

landscaping with sea shells

I tried painting the hitch but that wasn't enough for me.  But added more of this and that and remade my directional pole. 

directional pole

I was originally going to use this fencing for a head board in my bedroom but decided to see if one section was enough to go around the front and hitch and it was!  I want to paint the trailer exterior in the fall and trying to come up with an idea of colors and want to paint the skirt before I use tie wraps to secure the fence to the skirt. 

The front has totally over grown with weeds!  There are some vines and Morning Glories that I  want to try to get around the fence and hitch... and try again to kill some fire ants.  So it is finally time to get out there and go to town, figuratively and literally!

dune fence
Do you want more ideas?  Check out this link What would you do with a 30# bag of sea shells?

Monday, July 16, 2012

What would you do with a 30# bag of Coquina shells?

Hi!  What would you do with a 30 pound bag of small Coquina shells?  ACE Hardware in Titusville is waiting for delivery!!  They are on Facebook for more information.  They have the best store!!

The limits are only limited to your imagination.  If you like and want to add to your vacation finds, create your own beach feeling whether inside or outside, create your own stay-cation oasis,  landscaping, around ponds, DIY, crafts.... I wanted to put together some ideas for you just in case you were wondering.

My first project will be cleaning out my front area and putting down the shells instead of using  mulch.  I live in Florida.  I love everything about it.  Although I do not live on the water, I can get that feel by landscaping with shells.  I can't wait to show you how it comes out!

ACE Hardware Titusville

Next,  some things I have done are below, just to give you an idea:

shell framed mirror
shell framed mirror in the Bath Room

I never quite finished but you get the idea.  It is actually my medicine cabinet doors and I used some shells from North Capitva Island, rocks and some beach glass.

shells in containers, just on top of my map covered dresser in my Bath Room

And that is a NASA ash tray!  

I love this drawer!

I repaint a small table, spray painted the drawer with a sand textured paint, glued on shells and topped the knob with a LandShark beer bottle cap!

Just some shells on my coffee table and more in the basket.

I did a window with fish nets and there are shells tied to the netting with jute...starfish bundle, sand dollar, small shells and some drift wood sit on top of the air conditioner.

I recently used shells glued to cover "Marie's" on the jar lids and 2 are in the bathroom with q-tips and cotton balls.

I'm big on glass jars, vases... with shells.  Such an easy way to display a natural element to your home.  See this:
I did that for fun with a Landshark and Corona bottle in it.

That's just a sample but there are so many more ideas that I want to try.  Shell wreaths, shell encrusted little treasure chest, shells glued on sheers, shell wind chimes... I have a palm tree with lights outside on the patio that I want to refill the pot with shells. 

 So that's what I'm thinking about for a 30# bag, or two or three.... allot!  So what do you think?  What would you do??  What did I miss???