Rental Renovation: Done!


How was your weekend? After finishing up (finally) our townhome reno we looked forward to a relaxing weekend. It has taken us a long time, it was a major undertaking.  Out with the brown carpet, dark-stained wood, vinyl flooring. In with fresh paint, wood and stone floors, roof, windows, vinyl siding, doors. The list goes on. I’m proud that we did most of the demo and work ourselves. We got us some skills! :D Sadly, I don’t have a lot of before photos.





Small Upstairs Bedroom

Small Upstairs Bedroom

Small Upstairs Bedroom, After

Small Upstairs Bedroom, After





Living Room – Dining Area Combo & (yuck) Brown Carpet



(Imagine Dark Green Wallpaper, Vinyl and Brown Cabinets)

(Imagine Dark Green Wallpaper, Vinyl and Brown Cabinets)


Back to the weekend fun . . . Friday began my Easter break from school with a walk over to the boardwalk to see the Wave Daze 2014 set up. People come from all over the world to participate. On Friday alone, there were 300+ jet skis or seadoos arriving on the scene. Some of the jet skis cost over $40,000. These guys are serious. Think motocross trick riding, but on the water. This year’s event benefitted the Virginia Beach Water Rescue Team.


Sunday was a beautiful spring morning to visit Williamsburg.


Everything is Blooming!

Seems everyone was out enjoying the day. I mean EVERYONE. Never understood the bottlenecks occurring at our tunnels. Regardless, we had a wonderful day!


This is us, sitting in traffic


And . . . lastly, I hope to be able to share with you a project that I’ve been working on for quite some time. I’ll leave you with a Sneak Peek:


Have a good week! – - Joanne





My Humble Little Blog


Liebster Award? What’s that? After a little research, it’s an “internet” award to help discover and promote new blogs. Some bloggers refuse the award on the basis they think it a “chain letter” award. Others choose to accept because they feel it helps to support beginning bloggers. Hmmm? This seems awful nice to a novice.b4765-liebsteraward

Thank you to Erin from DIY Passion for nominating my humble little blog!

The rules for this award depend on where you look. The “official” rules are below.


“Official” Liebster Award Rules:  Once a blogger is nominated, and they choose to ACCEPT the award, they should:

1. Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you

2. Upload the Liebster award badge to your blog

3. Post 5 facts about yourself and answer the 5-10 questions from the person who nominated you

4. Nominate and add a link to 5-10 blogs with fewer than 500 followers

5. Notify the nominees by email or leave a comment on their blog, include 5-10 questions

So, here goes. Facts and Answers . . .


My Five Random Facts:

1. Both of my girls are cancer survivors. What are the odds in that? Should I play the lottery?


2. I live in a menagerie: two precocious, hyper Boston terriers. My mom, who lives with us, has a rescue beagle. I adopted my daughter’s loco krazy cat who we ridiculously flew from Spain. Don’t ask. Long story.

3. I have been a teacher for over 34 years – the first 20 as an art teacher, remainder and presently as an ITRT.

4. I am a local that lives nearby one of the world’s largest military areas.

5. I can arch both my eyebrows at opposite times in rapid succession. Talent!


My Answers to Erin’s questions:

1. What do you like most about blogging? Global contact. Making new friends, learning new things. It can be humbling to read other’s thoughts. I find humor, compassion, inspiration and respect in other’s posts.

2. What do you find to be the most challenging thing about blogging? Sometimes it is difficult to place emotion or put the right “feeling” in written word.

3. How do you explain your hobby to people when they ask what you do? The fine arts, crafting and using digital tools have always interested me. My family and friends know that there is always a project brewing in my head or in the works. My workspace -art -craft room is always available to family and friends. I don’t really have to explain my hobby to many.

4. What’s the worst DIY fail you’ve ever had? Ha! One of many: Spray painting 60 cardboard Christmas trees with a friend. The fumes were awful. The cardboard was soggy. I hated the color. But, the senior citizens we gave them to loved them. Go figure.

5. Who has been the biggest influence in your life in terms of your creativity? My mom is not only an influence, but my biggest supporter. I have many fond memories: oil paint and turpentine smells as her paintings dried in the pantry away from five prying, inquisitive kids; summertime picnic outings with neighborhood friends to museums; sewing sock puppets and plays . . . She has always encouraged me and my sisters and our passions. 


6. If you could have a dinner party with you and five other guests (dead or alive) who would they be and why? Only five? Let’s start with Renoir, Manet, Monet, Cassatt, Morisot . . . I l.o.v.e. the freedom and emotion of Impressionistic art.

7. What’s the one place in the world you haven’t visited but would love to see? I’d like to go back to Italy. But where I haven’t visited? I’d like to take my daughters to visit Ireland & Scotland.

8. Do you have a guilty pleasure? What is it? Kettle BBQ chips and Diet Coke.

9. Is white chocolate really chocolate? :) Even as a child, I didn’t particularly like chocolate. I can nip a little piece of dark now and then – if peanut butter is involved.

10. If we were in a parallel universe, what would your job be? As in, what’s the one job you think you could have done, but didn’t pursue? Always wanted to own and operate a little antique -art -craft -tea shop with my girls. There’s a little boarded up train stop near my home that would make a great place to open shop. *sigh*


11. What’s your favorite knock-knock joke? Knock Knock. Who’s There? Dishes. Dishes Who? Dishes me, who is you?


My Liebster Award Nominations: Okay. Enough of me. Based upon twitter, facebook and blog follows; the nominations are:

Fox and Finch

Tales of Adventure, Big and Small

The Corner Farmhouse


For Those Who Love Dresses

Like this award implies, I am a fledgling and haven’t followed many blogs yet. I’m working on it! 

My 11 9 Questions for the Nominees:

1. Why did you start your blog?

2. Who has been the biggest influence in your life in terms of your creativity?

3. What was your favorite DIY home improvement?

4. What is your favorite post you have written {please provide a link}?

5. What is your favorite color to incorporate in home decor/design and why?

6. What’s the one place in the world you would love to visit or return to?

7. What is a favorite childhood memory?

8. What is one thing you’d put on your bucket list?

9. If money were no object, what renovation/design project would you tackle immediately?


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Check out these blogs, as they’ve got lot of knowledge and know-how to share!

Have a good week! – - Joanne


Signs of Spring . . .


Why, hello Spring!

Why, Hello Spring!

Why, Hello Spring!

Ginene, of Fox and Finch Antiques, held a recent Springtime Thank You give-away. I was the fortunate recipient of a Green Grass Yankee Candle! It couldn’t have arrived on a better day. It was cold, windy, rainy and I had indoor recess duty. :?


Ahhhh! The wondrous, light smell of green grass . . .


Ginene lives above her antique shop in a renovated 1929 bank building in the quaint Village of Richmond, Illinois just off the Wisconsin line. To follow her adventures as a historical building owner, or for a variety of tutorials, or to learn more about her antique shop; come pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea and visit

So . . . Thank you very much Ginene! You made my day!

Have a good week!! – - Joanne

A Bit ‘O Ireland For All


Even with high wind and high surf advisories, even with the pouring rain and a coastal flooding statement, you just can’t stop a happy St. Patrick’s Day at our school!

Hang in there . . . spring is just around the corner . . .

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to All! – - Joanne

Jeans & Sheet Extenders = Stirrups for Boots


While it is always chilly during the annual Polar Plunge; this year was excruciatingly cold. Can you imagine jumping into the ocean? What absolutely brave, generous souls!



This winter has been miserable for so many. I spend a lot of time just trying to keep warm — which translates to: jeans, thick socks, boots, sweaters.

El Señor Puff watching the snow fall

El Señor Puff watching the snow fall

It was an idea I saw on Pinterest, use bed sheet extenders to keep my jeans tucked inside boots. Like home-made stirrup pants. While it did the job, it was really difficult to snap them onto thick jean material and rather uncomfortable inside my boot.

Ouch. No. I could feel the knobby metal hooks.

Ouch. No. Nope.


Think. Think. Think. They’d be perfect if there just wasn’t a hook. Duh. By cutting off the hook part and sewing each end to the inside hem, the dilemma was solved. :D



Works like a charm! So here are the final images:



*Sigh* It was snowing. Again. So the lighting was a little too dark,sorry about that. But, I think you get the idea. ;)  Now I know that regular ol’ elastic would have worked but I already had these extenders left over from my daughter’s college days. It was either throw out or repurpose.

Have a good week! – - Joanne

Rental Renovation


We’re renovating our first home, now a 30-year-old rental in need of TLC. To save money Saw Man and myself (and at times our daughters, son in law and family), are doing as much as we can ourselves. We even laboriously painted popcorn ceilings throughout. Something I’ll never do again. Evenings after work, weekends and holidays.  Our hope is that a young family or retiree will find it desirable enough to purchase.

wp-tnhm-dining area-before

Favorite Experiences:
Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit

wp-transformationcabinet close

the hardwood floors & new doors


the downstairs laminate day with our daughter and son-in-law, Brianne Pink and Brian Blue.


To-Do List

Self Demolition
remove wall-to-wall carpeting & linoleum
remove 1980s window seat & various built-in shelves
paint walls & ceilings
paint 1980s stained woodwork
hardwood flooring upstairs hall and 3 bedrooms
new ceiling fans & lights in 3 bedrooms
laminate flooring living & dining rooms
replace interior doors
replace 2 toilets & sink faucets
paint bathroom cabinets & new hardware
paint kitchen cabinets & new hardware
tile kitchen backsplash
replace kitchen sink & faucet
hang dining chandelier
add laundry nook shelving

wire dining area ceiling for new chandelier
tile entry hall, kitchen & 2 bathrooms
granite tile kitchen counters

replace roof , windows & exterior doors
vinyl-clad bump-out kitchen window & soffit
vinyl-clad storage shed
carpet stairs

We have a long to-do list and happily we’re nearing the end. I can’t wait to share the final images of our renovation journey.

Have a good week! – - Joanne