Best Laid Plans

HomeRenoR E N O V A T I O N !

Upheaval best describes the current condition of our home as well as the studio which is also greatly impacted. It is improving slowly however, creativity has been on the back burner for several weeks as a result of the chaos. I’m eagerly looking forward to regaining the creative retreat, although still weeks away. Our home sweet home is a fading memory, shown above on the first day of packing & moving EVERYTHING (nearly) into the garage. The ordeal continues to take a toll.

First, it was the floor. I decided to go with a natural maple, or so I thought. Here is the sample that I based my decision on and a couple of the boards that we received, laid diagonally across that same sample. How would a consumer know to expect these extreme dark and light boards to be the actual product from this sample? Somerset, character (grade), be warned.SampleFloorBelow, a before and after. After I stopped the job to wait for the back ordered replacement floor, approximately 3 more weeks. Life on the sub floor and no kitchen sink was a little rough. The good news, it gave us time to paint the walls. I understand fully why renovation jobs grow.FloorCompareThe staircase went in like a well thought out, giant puzzle. Watching the installation by a skilled carpenter was fascinating to watch. This job turned out beautiful with no glitches, although with today’s codes the rail is a bit tall than what we were use to. Aesthetically speaking, too tall for my visual taste but safe. At 40.5″ on the landing, no one is likely to fall over. And a long awaited rail, luxury or safety? All that is left on this task is the finish. A clear spayed lacquer has been recommended by the experts. Sprayed? Oh my! btw – I highly recommend In Step Designs.StaircaseRailTurnStaircaseRail

The next major dilemma, the kitchen cabinets. I just found out yesterday that the door I chose, from a sample, was not executed in quite the same color chosen. And 90% complete!!! Again, a manufacturer’s sample misrepresentation? We’ll see, meeting today with the cabinet distributor. I’ll let you know. Ahem, tired.Remodel2014B

We’ ve been doing our best under our circumstances, to keep up with new designs, Etsy orders and new subscriber freebies however, a few managed to get past us. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We plan to be back to business as usual, very soon.Humpty

Feeling a bit like Humpty lately with our home project, or better perhaps, all the king’s horses & all the king’s men.

Rock Church Picnic

StPPicnicChurch2Once a year the “Old Rock Church” (St Patrick’s of Armagh) near our house holds a picnic in a fundraising effort to maintain the church, cemetery and grounds. Yesterday our family attended the annual event for the first time. The day began with an 11:00 service which was uniquely inspiring, just to be sitting within the (rarely open) historic country church walls.StPPicnicChurchThe stations of the cross are depicted in these unusual antique framed prints which hang in typical fashion down both sides of the outside walls. Beautiful!StPPicnicChurch4StPPicnicChurch3A single bagpipe followed the service in memorial.StPPicninBagpipes

Best BLT

JoyStudioBLTsDThe homegrown tomatoes are finally ripe, which means, time for BLT’s! Everyone’s favorite summertime sandwich, right? On the new deck too, by the way. What made these taste even better . . .  we used Whole Food’s Seeduction bread. A present from my friend, thank you Annie.JoyStudioBLTsJoyStudioBLTsCLoaded with seeds, nuts and whole grains, a very yummy loaf!JoyStudioBLTsA5SonnyBoy

Favorite Summer Pick

Blackberries©jwfWe’re having a difficult time catching up with ourselves this summer due to a heavier than normal schedule. That’s why it was especially nice last week to take time out for some pure peaceful picking. Blackberry picking that is!Stainedfingers

My daughter found a quaint berry picking farm, Huckleberry Hollow, earlier this year, just thirty to forty minutes from us. It was a perfect morning, unseasonably cool and almost no other pickers. Although there were far more red berries than black, we still picked over 10 quarts of ripe berries. HHOfficeHHBlkBerryBushHHBlkBerryBush2

I washed and froze all of mine and look forward to blackberry cobbler, my favorite, this fall. Yum!HHBlackberries

God’s Glory

I never tire of a snowy view and I’m enjoying the one we have now, just out the (Joy) studio window. My photos do not do justice to the Palm Sunday surprise, that we woke up to yesterday morning. It’s very Dr. Zhivago, and I love it! JoyStudioView13

JoyStudioView13BAn unfinished trellis project is even pretty covered in God’s snow.JoyStudioView13C

The shots above were taken just outside the work area where I was trying to focus on work.

However, I couldn’t resist the beckoning wintery scene, from taking another snowy hike this morning, to capture more of our frozen (in) time.

JoyStudio13FJoyStudioView13DBelow is a, some things just have to be said passage, and comes (like the spring snow) at the appropriate time too, Luke 19:28-40

The Rocks (or snow) Would Cry Out

28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Office Mate

I had the pleasure of seeing my daughter’s new offices for the first time and helping to decorate her space over the weekend. The new building is great and half the distance she previously had to commute. And – She now has twice the space and two large walls of windows, a huge treat.

A little over three months ago, her work place experienced a fire and the building was not salvageable. So, after working three months from home, it was fun to see her get settled into the new digs. She works as a graphic artist and it was a relief to learn that her hard drive (containing the majority of the company’s design files) did survive. However, all other equipment, furniture and supplies including ruler, Pantone books, light box, stapler, nearly everything, etc. were purchased new. Nice! ThinkingMan©KateFrisch Above is one of her art pieces from a college assignment who is now keeping her company on the job. Decorating updates to follow.

Atlanta Or Bust?

The 2013 Amarica’s Gift Mart in Atlanta is scheduled for this week. I’ve gone back and forth seems like, a million times, on my decision to attend this year. I’m due to depart for there today. Still on the fence. I guess I won’t know until I’m out the door. God willing, is my guess. 😉


Two Weeks!

Comfort&JoyYikes, only two weeks until Christmas? What a relief this morning, to be able and take my list straight to the computer and begin clicking away. Now, on to a couple more projects. the wrapping, lots of wrapping, Christmas cards and oh yes, the cookies. Whew!JoyStudioWrapJoyStudioWrap2Oh what joy it is . . .