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.

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Favorite Experiences:
Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit

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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

2013 Favorites

::<>::      Looking back on 2013      ::<>::

Another quick year gone. Is it because I am growing older that the years are flying? 😉

All the same, 2013 was a decent year. I dipped my toes, left my comfort zone. I was encouraged and I learned. I was inspired by some very clever folks, homegrown and professional. Here are just a few. Hats off and thanks to all of you (check them out!):

Old Pearly Jenkins


Hello Scarlet


For Those Who Love Dresses

Pretty Handy Girl


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. . .And then, some of my own personal DIY favs that made me happy:

DIY Vintage Rustic Outdoor Wedding
DIY Blended-Family Outdoor Wedding


Doggie Biscuits
Doggie Biscuits in a Jar Gift


Dream Art Workspace aka Craft Room
Dream Art Workspace aka Craft Room


What a year, right?  Thank you for visiting my humble blog. I look forward to another fantastic 365 days of sharing with you. 

May you have a happy and healthy 2014!

— Joanne

Ming Mamma’s Secretary

School starts tomorrow . . . and I didn’t get my summer to-do list done! It’s going to be so-o-o hard looking out of the class window watching tourists toting chairs, towels and boards to the beach.


Oh well.

How about some photos of Ming Mamma’s secretary cabinet?

Sorry, but they’re a little grainy.


“Ming Mamma’s” moniker was born out her very young grandchildren’s mispronunciation of “Big Momma” – and it stuck. She was the oldest daughter in her family and had a much prettier name, Lola Mae. As a newlywed, Lola proudly polished her 1930s secretary cabinet each week. When it was time, her oldest, Lillian Mae (my awesome Grandmother) kept the secretary in her living room filled with the very odd knick-knacks. As children we were fascinated by the hidden compartments in the hide-away desk. Now, it sits as an honored guest in my living room. It is filled with heirlooms passed down by Lola, Lillian and my mom, Joan.


Lola Mae liked to place vignettes under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. For some weird reason, this mechanical rickshaw with a seated geisha girl made (I think) in the 1940s was part of that tradition. Hmmm.  This guy doesn’t look too happy.


My Grandfather was stationed in Alaska in the early 1940s. Lonely, he sent for his wife, Lillian, my mom (12) and aunt (10). There was one other child, but no school there. (Every kid’s dream). A cargo ship carrying their belongings sank on the way home. An ivory bullet pencil carved by Alaskan Eskimos was one saved memento from their years in Alaska.


I keep my other Great-grandmother, Ella Mae’s Lusterware salt and pepper cellars with Lola’s berry bowl set here.  I’ve never used either. Afraid to.

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The sterling match safe belonged to my Great-grandfather, Thomas (Ella’s hubby). The photo is of Lillian at her daily pastime: the beach. The other is of her pushing her little cousin taken around 1915.

Lillian had a fascination with anything “royal.” LOL.

Hence, the tiny 1950s coronation coach.


It may seem like a lot of tchotchke to some,

but every piece has a story and is priceless to me.

Have a good week! – – Joanne


Lovely Vintage Tablecloths

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There’s something lovely about old linen, cotton and lace. 

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These vintage tablecloths were recent proud participants at my daughter and son-in-law’s Continue reading “Lovely Vintage Tablecloths”

Breakfront Desk/Cabinet Renewed

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A friend thought I had lost my marbles when I purchased this Craigslist very dark and very ugly hunk of cabinet. (See This Breakfront Desk/Cabinet Needs TLC). I only paid $25 USD and I thought I had found a diamond in the rough.

Continue reading “Breakfront Desk/Cabinet Renewed”

This Breakfront Desk/Cabinet Needs TLC

Sometimes I troll Craigslist to look for interesting treasures. Well, I found a doozy: a 1940’s mahogany breakfront secretary desk/china cabinet with four lattice fretwork doors and four drawers (one being the desk). It was offered at an unbelievable price. The owner was very upfront: the veneer was warped along the bottom edges, had scratches and it was missing two drawer pulls. It def needed some TLC. But, I can’t pass up a bargain.


When my friend and I arrived to pick it up, the owner cut the sale price in half. Awesome!


I plan to remedy the veneer issues and replace the missing drawer pulls. I’ll prob have to paint the piece. If you have any other ideas – PLEASE pass them along! Right now it is sitting in my dining room taking up a LOT of space. Can’t wait for my guy to return from his business trip to see what I’ve been up to!

Have a good week! – Joanne