Building It Our Way

The beginnings of a new kitchen island for Sloss Castle

The beginnings of a new kitchen island for Sloss Castle

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we will be chatting about how frustrating it is to be looking for that perfect piece of furniture, but you can’t find it anywhere–no matter how many stores you visit or online hunting you do…nothing is quite right for that awkward space.  So, go grab a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and sit a spell with me as I share my own furniture struggle + give a bit of a sneaky peek of what is happening right now at Hathorn Hall.

This is the before of the kitchen at Sloss Castle. The hubby and I spent over a year renovating a 1980 hot mess. We learned a lot about full renovation and ourselves during that adventure!

This is the before of the kitchen at Sloss Castle. The hubby and I spent over a year renovating a 1980 hot mess. We learned a lot about full renovation and ourselves during that adventure!

A little back story…In December 2012, the hubby and I bought a 1980 time capsule that was in desperate need of attention and love. The bones of the house were excellent. The house was charming with lots of potential + we had big plans for her. Now, long story short…we succeeded, but it almost killed our spirit.

The kitchen was not awful, but it was not so great either…light mauve counters, floating cabinets that blocked the view, white tiles with fruit impressions, and a large, awkward space where nothing existed.

The hubby and I knew that an island was the perfect solution for the space big enough to land a helicopter. We took off to find and buy an island. How hard could it be for really picky people to locate the perfect piece of furniture on an unreasonably low budget? NOTE: This budget was set by the hubby, who thinks everything is overpriced. And I do mean everything! Any who…after countless hours of shopping, our ideal island was not found. We had no choice. We had to make it ourselves.

The hubby designed the island and built the island. I was very specific about what I wanted from an island. He accomplished all my requests and more!

I was very specific about what I wanted from an island. The hubby was very sweet to design it with all my requests and more!

I absolutely hate looking at trash cans. They gross me out. Out of sight, out of mind. My number one request for my island was for it to house the trash bin. But, it had to be easy to get out--so I could scrub it..and disinfect it...often.

I absolutely hate looking at trash cans. They gross me out. Out of sight, out of mind. My number one request for my island was for it to house the trash bin. But, it had to be easy to get out–so I could scrub it..and disinfect it…often. P.S. I am currently begging the hubby to solve my kitchen trash can problem at the new house….

I wanted a place to chop veggies + I wanted to use a piece of vintage marble that I had bought many moons ago. The hubby accomplished that + added wine bottle storage. Truth be known...I used it to store my two-liter Diet Pepsi bottles.

I wanted a place to chop veggies + I wanted to use a piece of vintage marble that I had bought many moons ago. The hubby accomplished that + added wine bottle storage. Truth be known…I used it to store my two-liter Diet Pepsi bottles. P.S. the hubby just finished a fabulous piece of furniture for our new dining room that will only hold bottles the size of a typical wine bottle…Hmmmm…is he trying to tell me something?

We decided to paint the island a pretty cinnamon and mint green top. We glazed the top with the same espresso color we used on the cabinets.. The same glaze color used on the cabinets.

We painted the island a pretty cinnamon and mint green and glazed the top with the same espresso color we used on the cabinets.

The island turned out pretty fabulous + it became the gathering spot in the kitchen.

The island turned out pretty fabulous + it became the gathering spot in the kitchen.

Looking back, the sleepless nights...loud, creative discussions...and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S. the hubby painted the walls + we put a new top on the island. I cannot wait to tell y'all about it!

Looking back, the sleepless nights…loud, creative discussions…and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S.S. The hubby painted the kitchen walls + we put a new top on the island. Hathorn Hall is slowly coming together, and I cannot wait to tell y’all about it!

Whew! I am getting tired just looking at the before and after of the Sloss Castle kitchen. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that the hubby and I tackled such a project. The good news is we learned many lessons that will help us with our new house. One of those valuable lessons is to not waste countless hours shopping for a piece of furniture…we just sit down, discuss, design, buy materials, and build.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. I am off to help the hubby with a furniture project…I am so excited about this darling table that we are building for the dining room…Someone needs to duct tape my big, Southern mouth before I spill all the beans!

 

The Dining Room of Hathorn Hall–Pretty Much a Blank Slate

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Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about Hathorn Hall’s dining room–which is pretty much a blank slate. Now, grab a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and sit a spell with me as we take a look at what I’ve found so far that’s inspiring my dining room and what is still left to figure out.

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Recently, the hubby and I visited Corner Nest Antiques Mall in Elizabethton, Tennessee. It’s fabulous. It’s amazing. It’s a wonderland of treasures. Y’all must go see for yourselves! Anyway, we went in search of period furnishings for our 1920 home…but I’m so easily distracted by beautiful junk that our original reason was quickly lost by my begging for every single piece of rusty goodness.

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Now, please understand that I know my own junk addiction…and the hubby has learned the difference between my “I’ve got to have this.” and my “I’ve GOT to HAVE this!”. So, when I stumbled upon a big, green handmade tool box…he knew I had to have it because I had a vision for it…an exact place to put it where I could admire it and show it off.

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The colors of the tool box drew me in…the John Deere green and yellow with the slightest hint of lilac showing through…its bulkiness…its size…all its special compartments…as soon as I picked it up to examine it closer, I knew someone like my dad had built it because my dad builds everything sturdy and with detail.

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Before I found my giant tool box, I had wanted a big dough bowl for my dining room table. I had found lots of dough bowls that I liked, but none of them had spoken to me….

I love all the table displays at Z Gallerie, and I’ve thought many times about buying one…the tall vases, the sparkle, the glam…oh, my! But in my heart,  I knew the hubby’s table did not want anything new, sparkly, nor glam…this rugged table was handmade from a walnut tree from his family’s property many moons ago…it rested in the hallway in his family’s barn for many years before finding its way to us…for years, friends and family sat on it while drinking and enjoying the annual cow sales…it has had a rough, but good life. If you see the hubby, get him to share the story of his table because he tells it much better than I. *smile*

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No, this table did not want Z Gallerie. I did. It wanted something that represented its character–good,  hardworking folks. The tool box was perfect.

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To add a bit of pizzazz to the table, I’m going to fill the tool box with old bottles and vases…and then fill those with fresh flowers. For Christmas,  I can fill it with greenery and vintage ornaments. Oh, the possibilities are limitless!

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I’m not going to talk much about my art piece that’s in the dining room because her story is very interesting, so I will write a separate post dedicated to her…but I had to give y’all a little peek. *smile*

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Ugh! This wall has me all in a tizzy. Thermostat and the return air grille. What to do…what to do!

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Blank wall…and still debating on wall color…I’m leaning toward a rose color…not too pink…not mauve…I will know it when I see it *smile*

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I love the windows…I really don’t want to cover them with bulky curtains or ugly blinds…hmmmmm….

Well, that’s all the dining room news that I have. There is still much to be done, but one of these days…inspiration will hit and BAM! Dining room complete *smile*

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my dining room. Now, go out and find your own junky treasures! *smile*

Come Sit a Spell in the Parlor

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Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine.  Today on the blog, we are going to sit a spell in my parlor and chat about its character, old Southern charm,  and its potential. I’m thinking we should serve sweet, iced tea in the parlor *said with a Southern drawl*

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When you enter through the massive wood front door, turn to your left to see the gorgeous, restored pocket doors that lead to the hubby’s office.

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A little collage of crosses…I’d like to make a few more…find a few more…time will tell *smile*

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Another view of the pocket doors. I just love them! I wish I were a better photographer so I could capture better details of them for y’all.

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Once you step inside the house,  the fireplace greets you. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep the chair in that spot, but I needed somewhere to put it…and the basement didn’t seem like a good idea!

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Another perspective of the parlor and its layout.  It’s a big room…and it deserves attention…I’m just not sure how to decorate its awkward shape. But I’m trying *smile*

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This corner has me bumfuzzled…I like the Walter Anderson paintings on either side of the fireplace…but I’m not sure what to put on the blank wall….

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I love, love, love the curved walls…but with what do I adorn them…if anything? Suggestions are welcome, so please feel free to share ideas or your own curved wall challenges. *smile*

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A little close up of the curved baseboards. I love the dark, rich stain against the warm stain of the floors.

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Cute little wall sconces…they add just the right amount of light for evening sitting…with a good book.

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Ziva, our Giant Schnauzer and big baby, insisted on napping in the parlor while I snapped photos for y’all.  It was thundering outside, so she decided to stick close to her mom.

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I stacked up a couple of old trunks and added a Walter Anderson painting to the space by the front door.

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I love this old dresser…I started to refinish it, but decided I loved it as is. It just needs gussin’ up with some pottery…Note to Self: look for a local pottery artist.

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Y’all know I love windows…big windows! This set of three overlooks the wraparound front porch.

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Warm meets cool…white ceilings would have been too stark for the room…I needed to cozy up the space…bring the height down a bit and highlight the mouldings.

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Thanks for sitting a spell with me today in my parlor. There’s still some work and decorating to be done, but I don’t want to rush it because this charming space deserves pretty things *smile*

Fence Weaving and Painting

The hubby used treated deck boards to create the basket-weave fence.

The hubby used treated deck boards to create the basket-weave fence. I helped a little, but he did most of the work *smile* I did enjoy using the nail gun…gotta love a girl that can handle the power tools *wink*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living! Today on the blog we are going to chat about the fence project at the new house and take a peek inside my mudroom, which is a work in progress…but then again…my entire house is a work in progress!

The hubby decided that the fenced area needed a little bit of lighting. It is just enough to light the perimeter and the gates. After we finish the deck, I am going to create some upcycled, fun lights for the fenced area and the deck.

The hubby decided that the fenced area needed a little bit of lighting. It is just enough to light the perimeter and the gates. After we finish the deck, I am going to create some upcycled, fun lights for the fenced area and the deck.

Once the fence had properly dried, we headed to Home Depot to pick up sample paints.

Once the fence had properly dried, we headed to Home Depot to pick up sample paints.

Sweet Sorghum Living Outdoor Painting Tips:

1.  Use leftover pieces of wood from your project to test the paint colors.

2.  Don’t be shy about getting several paint samples to test.

3.  Once you have your test pieces painted, live with them for a few days.

4.  Check them at different times of the day in order to get a feel of how the color will change throughout the day.

5. Poll your neighbors, friends, and family for their color picks.

6.  If you live in a historical home, check out colors that would have been used during the time period of your home.

6.  At the end of the day, pick a color that makes you happy and works well with the surroundings.

The hubby applying Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Weather Proofing All-In-One Wood Stain and Sealer in Chocolate. Whew! That was a mouthful *wink* I love this color...but I am thinking more deck than fence.

The hubby applying Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Weather Proofing All-In-One Wood Stain and Sealer in Chocolate. Whew! That was a mouthful *wink* I love this color…but I am thinking more deck than fence. *P.S. I think the hubby would make a nice hand model *smile*

Creating more test pieces because the first two sample paints we brought home just did not have the wow factor for which we were looking.

Creating more test pieces because the first two sample paints we brought home just did not have the wow factor for which we were looking.

The sample paints we picked out to test were all Behr Premium Weather Proofing All-In-One. We tested both the semi-tranparent and the solid color wood stains.

The sample paints we picked out to test were all Behr Premium Weather Proofing All-In-One. We tested both the semi-tranparent and the solid color wood stains.

From top to bottom: semi-tranparent in Chocolate, solid color in Woodland Green, solid color in Mountain Spruce, semi-transparent in Wedgewood, and semi-transparent in Mountain Spruce

From top to bottom: semi-transparent in Chocolate, solid color in Woodland Green, solid color in Mountain Spruce, semi-transparent in Wedgewood, and semi-transparent in Mountain Spruce

After several days of observing and moving the boards around, we had narrowed it down to two--Woodland Green and Mountain Spruce.

After several days of observing and moving the boards around, we narrowed it down to two–Woodland Green and Mountain Spruce.

And the winner is....Woodland Green! It was the perfect color to complement our house and its surroundings. There is still some touch-up painting left to do and some landscaping (which I am thinking dark greens, yellows, pinks)...and a deck to build...but we are getting there slowly, but surely *smile*

And the winner is….Woodland Green in the solid color stain! It is the perfect color to complement our house and its surroundings. There is still some touch-up painting left to do and some landscaping (which I am thinking dark greens, yellows, pinks)…and a deck to build…but we are getting there slowly, but surely *smile*

I am really loving the fence–the style and the color. The fur babies are also loving it–running around free from the leashes! I am so very thankful and blessed to have a handy hubby who truly enjoys creating and building. Most days, we make a pretty good duo *smile*

Sneak peek inside the mudroom

 

I am guessing by all the oddities of the mudroom that it used to be a porch. I love its quirkiness, and I want to bring color and spunk to the space.

I am guessing by all the oddities of the mudroom that it used to be a porch. I love its quirkiness, and I want to bring color and spunk to the space.

I am currently installing wall art and bringing in furniture pieces. Once I figure out what I want in the room and where I want it all to be, I will decide on paint color.  I am leaning toward the color I used in the shiny, happy basement at Sloss Castle–Lime Sorbet by Glidden. It will be a tough decision because the mudroom flows into the utility room which is directly off the kitchen. Bad news is there is no door between the kitchen and the utility room because the original door was damaged…keep in mind this is a 1920 home so the hubby and I will have to go on a hunt for a door–or build a swinging door…Whew! As stated earlier, the entire house is a work in progress!

Thanks for sitting a spell me today as we explored outside painting tips, the basket-weave style fence, and all the projects I have running around in my head! I will be on a road trip for several days–so I am going to attempt to mobile blog…just in case I fail at my attempt…follow all the road tripping excitement on my social media 🙂

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Sweet and Dirty’s Emporium of Good Stuff with a little Transformation Tuesday

 

It seems I had to fight my whole life through. Some gal would giggle and I'd get red. And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head. I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue."--Johnny Cash

It seems I had to fight my whole life through. Some gal would giggle and I’d get red. And some guy’d laugh, and I’d bust his head. I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named “Sue.”–Johnny Cash (handmade, cross-stitched lovely by Logan McClelland of Sweet & Dirty’s)

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living! Thanks so much for visiting us today. If your old friends, you know what to do–but if this is your first time with us–the rules are simple:

1. Grab a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine.

2. Sit a spell with us.

That’s it! We like to keep things simple around here. Speaking of simple, one of my favorite authors said it best–“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.” Thank you, Henry David Thoreau, for reminding us that we need to slow down and pare down.

Blue Plum Festival 2014

Blue Plum Festival 2014 in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee–entry to the food court area

My daughter, Abby Hathorn of the Vintage Inspired Passionista, posing for a fan photo.

My daughter, Abby Hathorn of the Vintage Inspired Passionista, posing for a fan photo.

My daughter and I had the best time at the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee. We spent hours checking out all the vendors and their goods–looking for handmade artisans and items that stood out from the rest. We attend so many arts and crafts festivals that sometimes all the booths and wares run together–or seem to all be the same. We found two adorable booths that grabbed our attention–and today, I am going to share one with y’all. Head over to the Vintage Inspired Passionista for the second vendor that wowed us. For second vendor that wowed us, click here.

Sweet & Dirty's Emporium of Good Stuff was one of the VIP and SSL Top Picks at the Blue Plum Festival.

Sweet & Dirty’s Emporium of Good Stuff was one of the VIP and SSL Top Picks at the Blue Plum Festival.

As we wandered the streets of downtown Johnson City looking for our favorite things, we spied the adorable Sweet & Dirty’s Emporium of Good Stuff. We were drawn inside by the rows of cross-stitched sayings…some funny, some sweet, and some just stating it like it is. Of course, the name was also intriguing–how could an adorable little shop be sweet & dirty? After chatting with Logan McClelland and her mom, we knew the answer–it was a combination of her being called “Sweet Logan” and her husband being known as “Dirty”–nicknames given to them by friends. I wonder what combo name the hubby and I would have? Hmmm…Anyway…back to this adorable shop of goodness. Logan is a proud stay-at-home mom, who makes the most darling things using vintage and recycled materials. Y’all must go check out her Etsy shop and her Facebook page for more of the lowdown on Sweet & Dirty’s.

Etsy Shop:  Click here.

Facebook: Click here.

Now, it is time for Transformation Tuesday! 

This week, I want to take a look back at the curb appeal transformation of Sloss Castle–which was the massive renovation project that the hubby and I took on back in December 2012 with it ending in January 2014…just in time for us to get the freshly renovated house on the market and move…again…but that is a story for another day! 

When we first spotted Sloss Castle, it was covered up by overgrown bushes and ivy. The mullions on the windows screamed outdated, and the steps were just blah. It needed love...and we were willing to give it.

When we first spotted Sloss Castle, it was covered up by overgrown bushes and ivy. The mullions on the windows screamed outdated, and the steps were just blah. It needed love…and we were willing to give it.

We knew the house had the potential to shine–so we revealed its hidden beauty by clearing out the shrubbery, repairing the steps, and having the outside painted. We chose a lighter shade than the original to showcase the natural elements surrounding the house, we removed the mullions from all the windows to give the house a fresh, updated look, and the hubby built planter boxes for the steps to add a bit of height and interest–something to draw friends and family inside.

The hubby built six wooden planters for the steps. They are not attached--just designed to sit perfectly pretty.

The hubby built six wooden planters for the steps. They are not attached–just designed to sit perfectly pretty.

We painted the planters bright white to match the trim of the house. These containers are a perfect way to add pops of color to the ordinary brown steps.

We painted the planters bright white to match the trim of the house. These containers are a lovely way to add pops of color to the ordinary brown steps.

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This photo was taken Fall 2013--just after we had added new shrubs...and the leaves were in full show.

This photo was taken Fall 2013–just after we had added new shrubs…and the leaves were in full show. It is amazing what a little bit of hard work and a lot of patience can produce!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. I hope that you enjoyed your rest, a look at the Sweet & Dirty, and a major Transformation Tuesday.

 

Transformation Tuesday: It’s All About Fireplaces

 

Today on the blog, we are going to sit a spell around the fireplace and chat about the Victorian era fireplace in my new home, which was built in 1920, and the transformation of the 1980 fireplace in the last house that the hubby and I renovated. Thank goodness, we do not have to renovate or restore in our current home like we did in our last one! That monster project took a toll on my nerves and my wallet *smile*

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I fell in love with the fireplace in the parlor as soon as I saw this late 19th or early 20th century Victorian era ornamental cast iron, deep relief summer cover with matching surround. Its days of burning coal are long gone, but its beauty still remains.

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One of my favorite types of molding is the Egg-and-Dart. I love sitting in the parlor imagining all the stories that were told around this fireplace. No interruptions from text messages, emails, or Facebook notifications.

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Before the hubby cleaned the tiles with baking soda and a razor blade–along with several other concoctions–the tiny ceramic pieces were dull black from many years of coal dust and neglect. Now, they are dazzling shades of greens.

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The parlor is coming along nicely. The hubby painted the walls a couple of weeks after we moved into our renovated 1920 home. Y’all know I love color so I had to punch up the room with “Aloe” in Satin by Sherwin Williams. We decided to use the “SuperPaint” Paint and Primer in One because the tall walls combined with the rough texture needed a superior one-coat coverage. Normally, I am a Behr or Valspar girl; however, I have to admit that Sherwin Williams impressed the hubby and me with this paint and its excellent coverage with little spatter. Two Thumbs Up and Five Stars, Sherwin Williams!

Now, let’s take a look at a transformation Tuesday fireplace from the last house the hubby and I renovated.

I took this photo the day we toured the house. The hubby and I knew that the fireplace and its built-ins had potential. After walking through the entire house, we decided to tackle the approximate 3,000 square feet renovation. It was a lot of hard work and interesting conversations, but we lived to tell the tale.

I took this photo the day we toured the house. The hubby and I knew that the fireplace and its built-ins had potential. After walking through the entire house, we decided to tackle the approximate 3,000 square foot renovation. It was a lot of hard work and interesting conversations, but we finished the monster project and lived to tell the tale.

All she needed was some love, paint, a new mantel, and few other odds and ends to be as good as new--well, better than new *smile*

All she needed was some love, paint, a new mantel, and few other odds and ends to be as good as new–well, better than new *smile*

The finished product--the fireplace turned out better than we had imagined it!

The finished product–the fireplace turned out better than we had imagined it!

I loved this living room! The windows framed the view, the fireplace anchored the room, and the subtle color on the walls enhanced the oak floors. Good News--my new living room also has large windows and a fabulous fireplace--so, stay tuned to the blog for all the details and photos!

I loved this living room! The windows framed the view, the fireplace anchored the room, and the subtle color on the walls enhanced the oak floors. Good News–my new living room also has large windows and a fabulous fireplace–so, stay tuned to the blog for all the details and photos!

Don’t y’all just love fireplaces–where stockings are hung, tales are told, and buns are toasted! I know I do because they remind me of days gone by…sitting in a rocking chair inside my Grandmother and Granddaddy Fulcher’s house, eating homemade cookies (my Grandmother made the best tea cake and molasses cookies), and listening to stories about cousin so-and-so….I can only hope that I will tell stories as well as my grandparents and Uncle Mackie did!

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about fireplaces. Be sure to connect with me on all my social media for all kinds of randomness and happenings.

 

Chin Up Buttercup Because You Don’t Always Get What You Want

Chin Up Buttercup pillow from Stein Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee

Chin Up Buttercup pillow from Stein Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee

My goodness! It has been a long time since we have sat a spell and chatted. So much has happened since I put my running shoes on that I don’t even know where to start…Hmmmm…perhaps I should just make a brief list…and leave all the details and ins and outs for another day.

  • After I posted my last article “I’ve Got My Running Shoes On“–the little family and I kicked the renovation into high gear.
  • Lots of work, prayers, and breakdowns later–our house in Trussville, Alabama sold.
  • We were “homeless” for a few weeks because our house in Alabama sold before our house in Johnson City was ready–plus, there were several problems with paperwork–is my name really that hard to spell?
  • Moved into the new house–almost immediately painted the porch swing that my dad made me many moons ago bright pink.
  • Went to Stein Mart bought fun pillows–couldn’t resist the Chin Up Buttercup one because it was what I needed at that exact moment to remind me that God was right there with me–telling me that He had not left me…that I just needed to learn a few life lessons to make me a better, stronger person.
Paint Details--Valspar Duramax in Pantone Honeysuckle from Lowe's in Johnson City, Tennessee  Pillow Shams--Stein Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee   Decorative Pillow--Stien Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee

Paint Details–Valspar Duramax in Pantone Honeysuckle from Lowe’s

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This photo was taken just a couple of weeks after we moved into our home built in 1920.

The porch had me at "Hello" *smile*

The porch had me at “Hello” *smile*

Mattie and I taking a much needed rest on the front porch. We had been painting all day!

Mattie and I taking a much needed rest on the front porch. We had been painting all day! Well, I had been painting. Mattie had been playing and napping.

Well, I must be going because I have to decide which color to stain my new fence–decisions, decisions. Stay tuned to the blog and my social media for all the updates, projects, randomness, nonsense, and much more 🙂 Be sure to check out my weekly Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales at Real Media. 

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Thanks for sitting a spell with me today, and in the famous words of the Rolling Stones–“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find–you get what you need.” So, chin up my buttercups 🙂

 

Shiny, Happy Basement

969954_10200162162881463_1258206502_nIt has been too long since we visited.  My goodness, there needs to be two of me…more on some days!

The home renovation is coming along…slowly, but surely.  If there were more time in the day, we would probably be finished in a month or so..but since we are limited by the 24-hour boundary…I guess we will do the best we can.

Glidden Duo in Granny Smith Apple in Semi-Gloss from the Home Depot

Glidden Duo in Granny Smith Apple in Semi-Gloss from Home Depot

The basement is in the final stage…decorating…which to me is always the most challenging.  It is easy to tear it up…toss it out…and even put it back together…but deciding what to bring into the room…that part always gets me.  Whew!  I am getting stressed thinking about it….

Now, grab a cup of coffee…or a tropical fruit smoothie…and sit a spell with me as we explore the colors in the shiny, happy basement.

On the concrete block walls, we used Glidden Duo in a semi-gloss finish because I wanted to bounce a little light around that dark space.  To liven it up even more, we chose a bright and fun Granny Smith Apple color–it went from drab to fab in no time!

Wall color--Glidden Duo in Lime Sorbet in a subtle eggshell finish

Wall color–Glidden Duo in Lime Sorbet in a subtle eggshell finish from Home Depot

On the sheetrock walls, we painted a shade lighter in a soft eggshell finish.  Do not even get me started on the condition of those walls!  Thank you, previous homeowners, for doing it yourself without instructions.

Personally, I love semi-gloss paint because of its durability and clean-ability.  Let’s face it–when you live in a house with three dogs, a hubby, and a teenage fashionista…things are going to get touched…bumped…and dirty!  Despite my love affair with semi-gloss, I had to go with eggshell on the “sheetrocked” walls because of all of the imperfections.  Eggshell, satin, and flat finishes are perfect for hiding all kinds of wall sins.

Risers are in Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel in Japanese Kimono and the steps are in Behr Concrete and Garage Floor Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid

Risers are in Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel in Japanese Kimono and the steps are in Behr Concrete and Garage Floor Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid–both from Home Depot

Deciding on the color of the stairs was not an easy task.  Compromise and a wee bit of loud discussion between the mister and me helped make the final color selection.  I had visions of rainbow stairs…or shades of blue and green…each step and riser a different color…Stan envisioned more of one solid color…or khaki and white…

Finally, we played the “Go to Home Depot and Pick Out What Colors You Like” game.  Stan had cool shades of gray and blue…Abby had brighter shades of blue–yes, we sometimes let Abby play the home renovation games–I picked lime greens and corals.  Several hours later…we decided on lime greens and a deep coral (Japanese Kimono).  Was it a victory for me?  For the most part…but I still would have loved to have had rainbow stairs.

Floor color--Behr Concrete and Garage Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid

Floor color–Behr Concrete and Garage Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid

Stan did get his khaki wish.  With all the shiny, happy on the walls and risers, we decided to tone down the floor.  The Pyramid color was perfect!

Stan is happy–I am happy…the loud discussions about the basement are over.  We have even made a couple of upcycled projects for the room.  I will save those for another day…so stay tuned for a little upcycling fun!

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today.  Be sure to check out my latest article at This Is Real Media–“Basement: Plan B and Working On Plan C” at http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/06/14/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-basement-plan-b-and-working-on-plan-c/

Have a Blessed and Beautiful Day!

Chasidy

One Blonde and a Stan: The Genesis of the Basement Renovation

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The basement project is in full swing even though we are short one blonde. Abby has been a bit under the weather and has been really busy being the VIP…so it has just been Stan and myself.

The plan to renovate the basement started innocently. I thought that it would be a simple project.  There was really no other choice because the room was dark, dingy, and scary.  I have shed many a tear walking down the carpeted stairs into the pit of carpeted filth.  Our bad weather safe zone was not really “safe”…it was frightening.  Something had to be done.

I thought, “How hard could it possibly be?”  Get in.  Get out.  Done.  No, I am afraid that is not how it went.

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Apparently, we love living in a mess and on a prayer…thank you, Bon Jovi, for your musical inspiration…

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Now, grab a cup of coffee (iced coffee is pretty delicious), and sit a spell with me, as we take a look at the genesis of the basement transformation…Note:  it is not finished yet…but one blonde and a Stan are getting close!

First, we had to get the disgusting carpet out and the dried glue removed…it was so gross…and that is all I want to say about it.  To read more about this ordeal, check out my article “Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales:  Thoughts While Scraping Glue” at This is Real Media http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/05/31/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-thoughts-while-scraping-glue/

My plan was to start painting immediately after the last inch of glue was scraped, but that is not what happened.  The original basement renovator did not tape the sheetrock joints…and probably did not use or even own a tape measure.  So…we had to do a little sheetrock repair.  Then we had to do a little “drylocking” on the concrete blocks…

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Carpet gone from the stars, glue removed from the floor, and sheetrock repaired

Carpet gone from the stars, glue removed from the floor, and sheetrock repaired

Stan doing a little sanding...notice that I put a little art on the wall...it was serving as inspiration.

Stan showing off his mad sheetrocking skills…notice the wall art…it was serving as inspiration…and hope….

While we were waiting for the sheetrock mud and drylock paint to dry, we started priming and painting the tribute to Roll Tide doors and trim.  I have never encountered such…but we persevered…and the crimson became Ultra White (Behr–Home Depot).

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We replaced ceiling tiles and the lights.  I am so glad that Stan replaced the original two light kits with four light ones.  The room is so much brighter.

We replaced ceiling tiles and the lights. I am so glad that Stan replaced the original two light kits with four light ones.  Good call, Stan!

IMG_9603My goodness!  I must be getting back to my basement.  There is still work left to be done.  Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me, and be sure to join me next time for all the details about wall colors, floor color, how we hid the plumbing, and much more.

Also, check out my latest article at This Is Real Media, “Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales:  How to Eat and Paint an Elephant”…guaranteed to make you smile…and it has a few tips about choosing paint sheen http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/06/07/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-how-to-eat-and-paint-an-elephant/

Be sure to “Like” Sweet Sorghum Living and Lolly Molly Art on Facebook to keep up with the latest randomness and blog information! www.facebook.com/lollymollyart

For sneak peeks and cute photos of our precious dogs, follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thelollymolly

Big Hugs xx,

Chasidy