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Thursday, December 29, 2011


Hello dear friends!  First, I want to thank all that sent me cards, e-mails, and warm wishes via the comments.  It really did my heart  good.  Bloggers are some of the kindest and sweetest people on Earth.  Hope you are enjoying your holidays.

 Which me leads me to the subject of how we spent the last few days after Christmas, laying new vinyl flooring in the dining room and adjacent kitchen.  Isn't that what normal people do during their holidays?  They do if their names happen to be Ran and Jane!  After all, relaxing is so passe (yawn).  But of course, why stop at just laying flooring?  While we have the opportunity to splatter paint, might as well paint the walls, using a colourwash technique that is very messy.  We like the slightly decrepit look of imperfect walls  (and good thing too, since there's not a smooth  surface in the entire house) and beside it ekes out the paint we have left over from other projects.  When we were finished, we discovered that the paint dried to a more bluer hue than we had anticipated (we were looking for more of a pale teal), so the curtains didn't match.  So we had to exchange them with some curtains in another part of the house.  Hanging curtains is on of my least favorite jobs. With the new colour and curtains the room was starting to look more tea-roomish  than colonial, so the electric sconce had to be switched out to a white one that I've carried with me from all of my past houses.

The second biggest job, was moving the china cupboard from the kitchen to the dining room.  Yes, I really do use all that china!  Just not all at the same time.  Lots of good memories tied up in that frippery.

Today will be picture hanging day. The walls look so empty.  Then maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to put our feet up and read some of the books Santa brought us.  But it's doubtful, as I write this Ran is out chopping wood.  We never sit for long!


  1. And that is why you have such an amazing view of life - because you don't sit around wasting time, but embrace those moments to make your humble abode prettier :-D

    Like you, there is always something than can be improved either my home or my life!

    Great post! and the color wash is just so is all that Blue Willow china :)


  2. Ahh, Maria! That was so sweet of you to say! Can't believe that I collect all that china one piece at a time, a quarter here, a dollar here. Over a lifetime, it really accumulates. And this is what's left after, I culled my collection and gave a bunch to charity!

  3. Dear Jane,
    Love the curtains in the photo above.
    I think that blue is a lovely color. That's thing about painting though, it always looks different once it's on the wall! Love Blue Willow china, it was my Mom's favorite and I now have a few of her teacups:)
    We are alwasy fixing up our home. We rebuilt the whole thing from the ground up after Hurricane Katrina destroyed our old home. There is still lots of things to do or add ~ right now my husband is building a new bathroom vanity for our kids bathroom out of an old sideboard.
    Happy New Year!

  4. Both pictures are so pretty. I love your china (and cabinet) and your curtains! My husband is trying to think of what big chore he can do today. He normally picks holidays for that too! Personally, I miss my time when I'm home alone! love,andrea

  5. I love new paint! Your rooms look great, and that china cabinet is wonderful, I love all of the pitchers on top, what a fun collection of dishes to have! Me and my hubby also love DIY work, we are always looking to one project or another- so fun to switch things up! Sounds like you are having a nice holiday season, Happy New Year!

  6. One thing does lead to another, doesn't it? :o) Your room looks great and as the others have commented, your china is beautiful.

    I hope you do get a chance to put your feet up for a little break and read some of those new books.

  7. Hi Jane, everything looks so fresh and beautiful! I love the cozy tea room -look and your white cabinet with the blue and white china. I think it is great that you were able to trade around the curtains and get a completely new look! My mother always told me to "save your curtains, because you never know when you might be able to use them again". I don't mind hanging curtains, I just really dislike shopping for them! :) I hope you and Ran have a nice rest after all that hard work and enjoy your beautiful new dining room! Delisa :)

  8. Oh dear! Sorry about that awful hurricane, Rosebud! But at least you can be grateful that you and your husband were skilled enough to rebuild. Lots of memories are shared when you triumph over tragedy. We made a vanity from an old dresser in an old Italianate home we once owned. It really gave the room character!

    The new floor was my birthday present, Andrea. Ah romance! Who need Tiffanys when you have Home Depot! Ha!

    Hi April! We've always enjoyed DIY projects. Once we bought a newly constructed house and it drove us both crazy! It's good for a couple to do activities together.

    Hi Sandra! It sure does! Now I'm thinking I either need to sew new curtains or reupholster the loveseat since that's a lot of pattern going on over there! Or maybe switch out that loveseat with the one on the landing that needs to be reupholstered? Oh boy!

    I know what you mean Delisa! Never can find the color that you want, or the size that you need. And then you look at them and they seem so poorly made. And the costs! Definitely save your curtains! Especially if your a fan of pinch-pleated ones, because I don't think the make them anymore. Probably takes to much skill. And when was the last time you saw a traverse rod in the hardware store? Good thing my mother isn't keeping house any longer, because she thought the only way to dress a window was with old fashioned pinch pleats with sheers!

  9. Lovely! Paint and a little rearranging makes such a difference.

    P.S. This is completely, totally, 100% normal, by the way (at least in my book ;)

  10. When you are done, could you come to the warm sunny South for a few days and help me with a dining room redo and laying the bathroom floor... and refinishing the kitchen floor?? LOL

    How wonderful the living room is! Looks just as I would have thought! My mother collects dishes; yours is under control when compared with hers! I change my dishes with the seasons, do you?? It somehow makes the table brighter and my mood warmer!

    Have a joyous and wonderful New Year! And rest!

  11. I always enjoy the peek inside of your home, Jane. There is always so many interesting things to see. Your projects make me want to make some changes too. I have lots of ideas! (Just wish my handyman was still available!)

  12. Thanks for letting me know Jaime! It's nice to know that there are others out there that think a good time is building shelves or painting!

    Actually Matty, I consider it great fun to paint walls, lay flooring, hang wallpaper, strip paint etc., so I'd be glad to help. Just don't like stripping the old wallpaper, removing all the furniture, rehanging the curtains and all the chaos from having the house in a turmoil that it causes.

    Wish your handyman was available too, Sandy. Thought about you often this Christmas season.

  13. Dear Jane,

    Sounds pretty normal to me! I feel like tearing everything apart after Christmas, too (hubby doesn't understand, but that's okay).

    I love, love, love blue walls, and think that your Colonial/Tea Room is perfectly lovely! I've been adding lots of dishes to my collection from being so often at the thrift store (besides, you have to have extras in case some breaks, right?).



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  15. We are putting cabinets in during the Christmas celebrating time, so things have not been "normal" for us. I still have no kitchen water or sink. It's OK though. Your place looks so cozy and pretty. The frippery is is my favorite.

  16. Oh yes, the dreaded kitchen redo, Seriously! Having gone through four, I have no desire to ever do that again. You have my sympathy. Because it's the only time my husband ever has an extended time off from work, the holidays always mean climbing over stacks of furniture as we work on the new project. Ah well, who needs to go on a vacation to scale the Matterhorn when we can climb the great mound of Duncan Phyfe and Queen Anne at home for free?

  17. We take on building/refurbishing/moving house/etc without much regard to holidays and seasons. Its all about when time/funds/energy come together!
    Your photos show a very homey place as a reward for your hard work.

  18. I love the baskets hanging from the ceiling !
    Blessings from France

  19. I'm beginning to believe that it's not normal to relax during the holidays, Morning!

    Thank you Christiane! I have quite a collection and use them quite often in the garden. A basket is a very useful thing indeed. Now I know what our ancestors saw in them.