Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It's the Season….

For cooler temperatures…YAY! I thought they'd NEVER get here!!!!!  It's the season for Thanksgiving…we've got Eldy's son and his wife and children coming for the holiday…wish my girls could be here, but for various reasons they can't fly in….

It's the season for snowbirds to return…The traffic is heavy now, wherever you go around town….That's ok, that means people are returning to our neighborhood after avoiding the summer's heat. It's nice to see some people coming back on our street. It's been kinda lonely since June when we first moved in.

It's the season…for Christmas music already…geesh! Earlier and earlier every year…They used to wait till AFTER Thanksgiving before starting all the Christmas/holiday hoopla…Now it's on you before HALLOWEEN is over…geesh!

That's a good thing for me, in a way…it makes me work harder to get gifts made and mailed for my family…Working on a number of things as always….Made another's for sale in my Etsy shop, JeanBeanGifts….
My little Christmas sweater ornaments are selling on Etsy…well, two, anyway.   :-)  I love making them!  Sally, if you are reading this, I have one set aside for you! They are knitted from sock yarn and I made little wire coat hangers (free formed) so they are ready to hang on the tree.

I'm busy making little mini stocking ornaments, some from the same yarn as the sweaters.
As a matter of fact, making BUNCHES of little stockings, sweaters, and tiny hats….not only to sell in my shop, but to decorate our first tree, our first regular sized tree since our little one in the motorhome, which was three feet high. We've relegated that one to the guest bedroom. Time to decide REAL or ARTIFICIAL?

Down here in Florida, the trees seem to be coming from farther distances and have been sitting on the trucks for awhile. We were told today that the ones that they are currently stocking at one store were cut about two weeks ago. I want to get a tree and set it up the day after Thanksgiving but we are wondering if they've been cut that long if they'll last until Christmas?  So we keep looking at the real ones, and the artificial ones, back and forth, back and forth….We both love real ones, but just aren't sure at this point which way we'll go. There are definitely some great deals, those "50% off" ones at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Yuck…says Eldy. He really wants a real one. I think I do, too. But we're gonna need LOTS of ornaments, and I have this thing that many of the ornaments need to be handmade that go on a tree. It's just something I've done year after year, to add lots and lots of homemade ornaments of all different kinds---felt, sewn, knitted, etc. to my tree each year. Eldy says, "You better get going, you're going to need a lot of ornaments!" I'm going, I'm going! I'm on a roll, actually...  He wants a nine foot high tree…I might be getting fewer nights of sleep to get enough done, but it will be fun! And extra pretty, and possibly some heirlooms for my girls down the road…….

Bye for now…Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday wherever you are….Hope you get to have some wonderful family time and that you can be together with loved ones….

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pretty Boy Floyd

Got an order for three owls this week….I had two done, so for my third one, I decided to go with a yarn called "Amazing" by Lion Brand in the color of Mauna Loa…He/she is a Hawaiian owl! But then the name "Pretty Boy Floyd" just popped out at me, so that's the name I'm going to give him when I put another one just like him in my Etsy store…..
Here's another one I just finished…He's called "Woodsie"….I just think "forest" when I see him…He's made from another color way in that same "Amazing" yarn. It's a wool/acrylic yarn that is very soft. I probably should think about making some without buttons so they could be for little kids. These are more for older children and adults who might collect all things "owlie"….I'm trying to figure out how to add wire feet to a knit sculpture but haven't quite figured that one out yet.

Picasso red Tila beads
That's one thing I am not very good at is giving names to my projects..I think it helps to have catchy names for things you make….I like kitschy names anyway…Like "steampunk". Where did that name come? It came from references to things industrial looking, with lots of metal, and other cool stuff. Think brass, copper, etchings, glass, leather, gears, polished wood, and other types of metal and think of it as a cross between the vintage industrial steam engine age and a grungy look….So here's a headband I made this week that falls sort of in the category of the steampunk style because of the leather, metal, and tile beads. These beads are gorgeous! They are Japanese Tila beads and in the Picasso style, which means mottled color throughout the tiny bead, which is a dual hole bead. They aren't cheap! And they are tiny little suckers, 5 mm X 5 mm. The headband is made with leather, a purchased elastic headband, the beads and special beading thread. Hope to sell some in my little Etsy store.
It looks much better on, but I had to wait for my daughter to come for a visit to model it. She's got much more hair than I do!

Crocheted a wire beaded bracelet to sell at a craft show….
Making cowls…ended up giving this one to my daughter…It's chilly here in Bradenton right now…But I'm LOVIN' it!

And that's the latest from Jeannie's (a.k.a. "Sparky") crafty genes…..Happy fall, y'all!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Crafty Creations...

Boy, it's hard trying to get traffic to go to Etsy...Not sure how people do it, but I'm working on it. Reading online stuff, checking in with the Etsy community. Etsy is a tough site to sell on. You post an item, then it almost immediately moves down in the search process as people post umpteen more items similar to yours. Something you are selling gets buried very quickly into the depths of more than fifty pages of photos of people selling the same thing. But I have not been able to find local craft shows with reasonable table rental costs, so I'm still working the Etsy angle for now...

A lady wrote me and asked if I could make flip flop luggage tags...I said sure, not knowing if I could find a pattern, but I did, and here they are....

These are not to identify who the luggage belongs to, like a traditional tag with your name and address on it, as much as they are a way to identify your black bag going round and round on the luggage carousel because it looks like everybody's else's black bag. They could be key rings, too, for that matter. Or an ornament for a Florida tree!

Wouldn't you know? I never heard back from the lady that requested this particular thing, but that's ok, I had fun making them, and I'm also going to make a colorful bunch for my Christmas tree this year. I've had several compliments on my things, but it turns out people are fishing for how and what you used to make things to turn around and make it themselves to sell! Phooey!

Next up, a little owl...because of the buttons, can't put it in my shop as a toy for kids or a little lovey, but maybe this will be an ornament as well. He just seems like he has a lot of personality. Maybe somebody who collects owls will like him! Might put some wire feet on him and he can perch wherever...

Brian's son is here for the weekend...the guys went out and played 18 holes of golf yesterday...Eldy's first full round since we moved here in June. Eldy had an absolutely wonderful time. He listens well to his son, who advised him on the finer points of the game, and Eldy had the best golf round of his life yesterday! He was so happy, it made me really happy that the two of them bonded over golf and had so much fun together. Wish we lived closer to them, (they live in northern IN) but it's just not possible right now...

We took Brian to our favorite place to have breakfast, the Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki Bar on Anna Maria Island....another beautiful day there and BIG dolphins swimming out in the ocean...He loved it......

The weekend came and went way too soon...back to quiet days of making things, waiting for the weather to cool down again. It got really hot and humid all of a sudden once again, so back indoors I go...sigh....I see it's in the fifties during the day up north and the low thirties at night..Winter is coming for them, but not for us...I'd settle for a cool down of some sorts down here.....Guess that comes in November.....

We have a plumbing problem with our shower head handle. It's starting to leak more and more. Brian and Eldy tried to get it off, but it's frozen in place. Time to call Angie's List for a plumber. We think it's going to be expensive... It looks like maybe a hole will have to be cut into the back of the plumbing wall to access the repair safely. UGH!  Time for Eldy to do what he does best--research!


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Tale of Bert Blevens

Sometimes I sit in my pretty house, content to rest upon my laurels of having painted and decorated three bedrooms, cleaned the grout in all the rooms with a toothbrush on my hands and knees, and I think to myself, time to get moving again and get some regular exercise. So I think about it, and then go help myself to a Gigi's cupcake, and think, maybe tomorrow....
Or, I go craft and make stuff....Here's my latest...for little boys--a tooth fairy pillow, up for sale in my little Etsy shop, JeanBeanGifts:
A fall mini pillow to hang on a doorknob:

After a couple of days of crafting, I wake up and think today's the day, I'm going to ride my bike, swim some laps, do my water exercises and I do...(but just ONE of those things, don't get too impressed!  :-)

Or I think about my aches and pains, commiserate with Eldy about getting older and slowing down because of those aches and pains, decide to do nothing but make stuff and then I read about Diana Nyad, 64 years old, the swimmer who swam from Cuba to the Florida shores in a 110 mile swim after 30 years of trying, four times previously, she didn't make it for a variety of very good reasons. If that's not enough to get me off my butt and get swimming or doing some kind of exercise, there's Bert Blevens.....

Bert is a 90 year old guy who decided to get from Louisville to Siesta Key this year not by flying, not by car, but on his recumbent bicycle. He made the trek on his TRIKE BIKE. He rode 930 miles on three wheels in 21 days...This was his SECOND time, he did it 10 years ago at the age of 80!
Blevens couldn't ride on interstate highways, so he rode the byways, the back roads, the side streets and  even some parking lots to get here! And, he plans to do it again, in 10 years when he is 100! His son and daughter accompanied him on different parts of his journey, so he had some support as he rode...But no sag! At one point, the only big problem he had was the love bugs were bothering him. At the end of his journey he said, he felt great, he felt relaxed, maybe a little tired, he might take a little rest. And then, he'll probably go ride some more to see some friends of his. Quite the guy, a Purple Heart, a Silver Star from WWII, and a great dad and granddad, it sounds like....Way to go, Bert!

So no more excuses for me! Time to go work off that cupcake! I shudder to think how many hours of exercise it's going to take to work off that mountain of frosting that was on the cupcake. It was half and half--half frosting and half cupcake! But boy, was it good!

Speaking of exercise, I went down to the clubhouse today to talk to the golf pro about signing up for once a week ladies' golf. I asked her if they had any beginner groups, and she said, "Oh, sure! There's one group called the 'Lites'. They pretty much play golf just to eat at the end."  So I said, "Sign me up!" So MAYBE I will be starting to play in a couple of weeks when the ladies start their Thursday golf group. First I better hit the course with Eldy a couple of times. I have no idea what club to use working my way to the hole!

This "Niners' Club"--Sounds like a win-win situation for me--play nine holes, get some exercise and then a reward at the end--lunch!  :-)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nothing Like a False Alarm to Scare the Pants Off You!

Went out to the garage this morning and smelled GAS.....We usually go through the questioning process first, so that's what we did...I called Eldy out to the garage...But first, I opened up the garage door (that was dumb, it's electrical and could cause a spark to ignite gas). I wanted it to air out....

"Eldy, I smell gas in the garage. C'mere...Do you smell something?"
"No, I don't smell anything."
"Are you sure???? You don't smell that?"
"Nope." He goes back inside. I shut the garage door..... If he doesn't smell anything it might just be my imagination or super sensitive nose to any kind of odors, or that the open garage door dissipated the smell... He goes back out in a few minutes...
"I do smell something now... Better call the gas company."

They came out within the hour...the guy said he smelled something, but it smelled like fertilizer, he said. He checked the in ground propane tank that our home USED to use for its fuel system but had been converted over to natural gas. There was a slight leak there. Apparently, the old tank buried in the ground was so old, it might be starting to rust. There was a little propane in it he said, enough to make his $5,000.00 sniff-a-meter go off. Nothing to alarm in the level, he said. But he didn't think that was causing the smell in the garage, the tank is not connected to the house and is quite a few yards from it. After lots more investigating, checking the pipes, the water heater, the lines, he said the smell is probably coming off the golf course! With all the rains we've been having, the golf course is having to adjust their fertilizing schedules, changing the PH of the greens, etc., and new applications of fertilizers are wafting through the neighborhood with the up tick of the winds blowing now that slightly cooler air has moved into the area. They've had five "smell gas" calls in the last two days from people living in homes on the golf courses in the area. So the fertilizer smell was the smell we were smelling! Whew!

It turns out that in our neighborhood, built in the 1990's, many of the homes still use propane. We are one of the lucky houses in the area that has already converted over to natural gas for heating. But the propane storage tank is still in the ground with a very small amount of propane in it. The gas company guy said to make it totally safe, we should call a propane company or heating company to come out and do a "burn off"....haven't had a campfire in so long, that might be kinda cool to see that!  :-) Have to find out the cost first.

What else is new? Finished my witch's hat to sell in my Etsy shop, JeanBeanGifts. Lots of hand embroidery on it and I had a lot of fun making it. If it doesn't sell, it's our hall table decoration for the month of October.
Made another item, but not to sell...This is a counted cross stitch pillow, and it's now hanging on the guest bedroom doorknob.

Found a lovely crocheted table runner or "dresser scarf" as my mom used to call these...for 3.00 at an estate sale. It looks just like my grandma's that she used to crochet! And, it fits the hall table we got at another estate sale (75.00) perfectly!

I'm running out of decorating and painting projects for inside the house! Time to make a tooth fairy pillow for my grandson and get back to working on my daughter's running tee shirts quilt. Bye for now...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finding a New Dentist and the Latest on the House

Between the two of us, we've been putting off finding a new dentist. I had not been since October of last year, and having inherited bad teeth from my dad, I'm supposed to be going every 4-6 months for cleaning. When you are on the road, it's hard to find a dentist and then you have to say well, we might be back in six months, but we might not. And of course, they all want to take a full mouth set of x-rays before they do anything! So I just kind of put it off....

Eldy had a crown pop off on one of his molars, so now we were forced to make a decision and pick a local dentist. Time to get out the computer and start looking. We talked to a couple of people that live in our neighborhood and they threw out a couple of names. Eldy chose a dental office from one of the suggestions. It turned out to be a disappointing choice. He was treated for an infection with antibiotics and then had a root canal that was 1100.00 They did the root canal the very same day he came in! What was weird, he had ZERO pain from that tooth. But they showed him the infection on the x-ray, did the root canal and cemented the crown back on. Two days later, the crown popped off again. Back he went to get it glued on. It popped off later that same day. Three times it was glued on and wouldn't stay on. Time to get a second opinion and I definitely wasn't going to go to the same dentist after all that happening!

I told Eldy he needed a second opinion. So he did a lot more research on finding a dentist. He checked the background and schooling of quite a few, and we ended up choosing Bradenton's Dental Smiles just down the street. They gave him a discounted rate for a second opinion, and their recommendation was that he never should have had the crown put back on, there wasn't enough tooth to hold it. They recommended pulling the bad tooth, putting in a new crown and told him there might be some problems attaching it to an old partial plate that he has. The price was going to be about the same as what he had just spent or perhaps less, depending on the outcome. He explained that he had just spent over a thousand dollars for the root canal and didn't want to proceed with yet another thousand plus expenditure. The new dentist said if it was her office, she would refund his money. She explained that sometimes new dentists work so hard at saving a tooth, when it's really not the best solution to the problem. She told Eldy she would call the office and help him get a refund. She then called the dentist that performed the root canal, explained her stance on this tooth, and worked to get the first office to agree to a refund! He is going to get a full refund from having a root canal done that was probably a waste of time and money. The tooth should have been pulled. We were amazed that she would do that!

My turn....Bad idea to wait to get my teeth cleaned...Had some pockets in the back molars that are starting to cause bone loss....I'm going to have to have antibiotics packed into those pockets to reduce bacteria that is causing the bone to shrink, then I will have to have periodontal maintenance that is more frequent. I brush and floss every single day and I HATE it that I'm having periodontal disease! But I really want to try and keep my original teeth as long as possible, so I'm going to do what I can to keep them! My mom, at age 95, had all her original teeth...Not sure I will be able to do that, but I'm gonna try....

In the meantime, I finished the master bedroom---whoopee! Got all that paper stripped off, washed the walls, and it's painted, a very light milk chocolate, kinda like the inside of a 3 Muskateers bar, only a little darker. Mm-m-m-m-m...that sounds good. Think I will go get one!

The guest room is almost done...Even though the paint color turned out much brighter and stronger in color than what we expected, we've toned it down with some furniture...Wasn't sure about the lamp, but this is going to be the one "fun" colored room in the house, the "Florida" room, so think it will work. There's yellow in the bedspread, so this punches up the room with a little bit of color. It has a seashell motif on the front and a little seashell on top for the finial..Just have to add a couple more pillows to the bedding, and find a couple of prints to hang on the wall, outfit the room with a TV console table and TV and that will do it! Oh, and replace the cheapy vinyl shade in there that doesn't work right with a white plantation shutter shade..And MAYBE, some kind of valance. There used to be one over the window. I like the "clean look" myself, but Eldy says the room needs something over the window...We'll see.....We both have such different opinions on furniture, accessories, etc., that it's hard to come to an agreement on things some times!

About done with all the rooms that can be painted. The only room left is the craft room and it is filling up so rapidly with "STUFF" as Eldy calls it, that right now I don't feel like painting it just yet. Don't have all the storage in place like shelving yet to take care of having my craft supplies neatly in order. That will be the last room to work on...Time to let the budget recover for awhile!

Monday, September 23, 2013

She Broka Da Bed!

Wait a minute, it's not what you think.....heheheheh...I decided to tackle stripping the walls in the master bedroom to get them ready to paint. So-o-o-o-o....gotta move the big king bed with headboard and all....Did I think about the bottom frame of the bed and how it might be constructed? A little, but hey--I just went and bought some of those furniture sliders, lifted up the corners and slid the bed forward...Only there was a problem....the slats of the bed were cheap wood, and in the center of the bed, the center supports only had little blocks screwed in the middle of the slats.

As I pulled the bed forward, the little blocks dragged across the thick carpet and got bent in the process. Some of the screws pulled away from the wood, enlarging the holes they were in. The four slats with their little blocks of wood in the center all ended up bent at a 45 degree angle under the bed. Eldy noticed one of them peeking out at the end of the bed, and said, "Jeannie, we have a problem." Now this is the sweetheart of a guy I picked to be my partner for the rest of my life.....Did he yell in disgust? Nope...Did he say, "I can't believe you tried to drag the bed without asking me to help!" Nope....He knows I just go ahead and do dumb stuff like that on my own anyway, and never ask for help. Some day I'll have a hernia because I am so stubborn that way. Why, the bed slid so nicely with those furniture slides under the bed post legs, I had no idea that the mid center section support "sticks" didn't slide as smoothly right along with the rest of the bed! So, off to Lowe's we went...wood filler to fill in the newly expanded screw holes, and while we were at it, might as well get the paint for the master bedroom. I've been dragging my feet to finish the job in there, now I have to get going as once we get the bed put back together, we're not gonna move that sucker again!

I got to work on the wall behind the bed to hurry up and paint it and get it ready for the bed to get back in place by this evening. It only took about an hour and a half to peel the brown paper backing off with a TON of water spraying from my trusty little water bottle. Then I washed the wall down to get that gooey wallpaper paste off. (I had already gotten the wallpaper off earlier this week) By the end of the afternoon, the first coat was on and the fans were a blowin'. The color is "Milk Toast", a Valspar Signature paint, which is supposed to be primer plus color. I'm not impressed with the coverage, but that could be the painter's technique, (that would be moi) not the fault of the paint.

And then, while working around the windows to get the wood ready for the new paint, I noticed that the drywall was moist as in CRUMBLY, which suggested to me that there had been or is a LEAK around the windows. Out we go to the outside, only to find out the window had been badly caulked and repainted at some point, which said AHA! There WAS a leak. YUCK....Can't afford new windows at this point, so we recaulked and carefully worked at filling in the gaps on the outside and inside....That will be a future house expenditure...We'll need to replace the two master bedroom windows at some point. The current ones aren't hurricane proof anyway, so that will be a good place for our money to go...right out the window....HAHAHAHAHA.....Couldn't resist...sorry....  :-)

What else have I been doing?   Getting ready for fall decorating.....Haven't quite finished this, but it's going to be a little pillow with hanging ties to hang from the oar hook over the hall table...Waiting for some special thread to finish Mr. Frankenstein on the left, there.

Went to a sewing class to learn how to make a fancy, schmanzy witch's hat...It's got LOTS of hand embroidery on it...Had a lot of fun in the class meeting new people, talking shop with two teachers who are still teaching....Here are some gals who are almost finished with their hats...
And here is some of the detail on the hat...

I'm still finishing up my hat here at home with some embroidering still left to do. Then I'm going to make a second hat to put in my little Etsy shop, JeanBeanGifts. Then, I've got to get started on a tee shirt quilt for my oldest daughter...and then, gotta make some fall ornaments for a little tree for my daughter's office. Then, going to make a little naptime quilt for my grandson. After that, going to start making ornaments for a tall Christmas tree we're going to have this year. No more little itty bitty 3 foot tree like the one in the motorhome, Eldy wants a really tall one because we have a really tall great room ceiling. He's never been able to have a nice tall Christmas tree so it looks like we're gonna have one this year.  We've got Eldy's kids coming for two different visits this next month, Kristi in the first part of the month, Brian in the middle of the month.

Think I'd better stop talking and go get busy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Furnish a House on a Budget

ESTATE SALES!  That's the ticket! Well, for some people wanting to furnish a house. It's one way to get some nice furnishings or accessories at reasonable prices. There's such a HUGE markup on furniture in the stores, and these days even the big brand names are overseas.

There's something sad to me, about going into a person's house and seeing everything that has been left behind, clothes, personal care items, almost always a walker and/or a toilet assist seat. It makes me a little depressed. Sometimes the belongings and household items are haphazardly laid out, the person's whole life on display. It almost seems disrespectful with such personal stuff laying out for all to see. There are rusty old tools, little gadgets, old silverware, badly tarnished, clothes, hairbrushes, perfume. Sometimes the atmosphere inside the home is very very depressing...We don't stay long at those, it's a sad part of life that some have to leave it so suddenly, only for strangers to paw through personal belongings looking for bargains. Guilty as charged..Sometimes just the best stuff is put out for sale and it's a little more like going to a store and seeing the different departments. It's a little more depersonalized... We find those estate sales in high end neighborhoods like the one we went to today...

The high end sales seem to make the person's presence less palpably felt, so it's easier to go looking through closets, checking out the expensive silver going for very little these days, tables and tables of crystal glassware, bowls and knickknacks. Can't believe the AMOUNT of glassware many of these people what seems to be HUNDREDS of glasses. That kind of estate sale is much more formal, yet still interesting. You get to see another side of a person(s) successful in life, having the finest of everything. We walk through in awe, still looking for that elusive bargain, but these days, smart estate sales appraisers have already checked out prices online. So we go look, just because it's fun to see a beautifully decorated home with beautiful artwork and other fine things...and usually beautiful furniture at incredible prices, sometimes it's sky high, sometimes not.

We've seen beautiful bedroom sets that we SHOULD have waited to see what was out there at estate sales before buying one at a store. But we were ready to move in and the bedroom was the first thing to get settled.

To find some beautiful furniture and accessories, it helps to be in a good area (read $) to get some great deals. There are a LOT of gated communities in Sarasota and Bradenton. And, there's no shortage of old people in the area, so there are LOTS of estate sales every weekend. It's the highlight of our weekend other than visiting music venues now and then. We sit down and plot out the addresses and look at the photos of the estate sales online at And then we go and battle the dealers to find something affordable to purchase that we need, or in my case, think is pretty, or I might be able to sell it on Ebay, but I don't really need it. Last week I bought a Tommy Bahama shirt for 4.00 and sold it for 34.00.

We are still looking for a way to furnish the guest bedroom, add some wall accents and home decor stuff, and have some pretty glassware or bowls to use when company comes. Both of us had complete china sets we got when we married our spouses years and years ago. Did we ever use them? Nope...maybe I did a couple of times...a nice set of Noritake china stored for years, ended up moving to a new home and a new owner. We were always saving it for a "special occasion". That special occasion never seemed to come around when we should have been using it daily for the specialness of having pretty dishes to eat from! Wonder if any brides-to-be register for china patterns any more? Between the two of us, we didn't have anything really pretty or nice to use for company since we spent the last three years living in a motorhome.

After all that time on the road using paper plates more often than not, coming into a home with some pretty serving dishes to use for company, or what the heck, for us would be nice! So I'm keeping my eyes open for some pretty things for a bargain. Here's what we got today.....

A Bagman push golf cart for Eldy for 22.00...Okay, that doesn't qualify as a pretty dish, but Eldy's happy to have a quality golf push cart for when he walks the course...(this I gotta see!) He got a putter at a great price, too, 18 bucks. That man better start playing golf soon. We've been in the new house since June, and he has only played once on the course!

How about a pretty violet glass bowl with a silver plated edge on the inside?  4.00...showing a little wear and tear, but still very pretty to hold a salad...

A wine bottle carrier...Gonna set that outside at the bistro table when company comes, or just when we might decide to go sit out there ourselves and have a glass of wine...3.00

A cool wrought iron hanger...Thought we'd put that outside, mounted on the stucco wall of the pool deck. Great for hanging towels...10.00
A beautiful hurricane glass candle holder with silver plated trim, 5.00

A pretty framed shell art print.....20.00...That was at the upper end of my budget, but after pricing a tiny little frame for a punch needle craft design I made (4" X 5") came out at an estimate of 63.00 to frame and mat it, twenty bucks sounded like a bargain! I'm going to learn how to mat and frame my own craft designs, I think! This picture is going in the guest bedroom, the one where the walls are TOO bright turquoise!

It says, "Write troubles in sand, and blessings in stone."

A successful shopping day today....Something for Eldy, something for me! I always find something! :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Where's the Time Going?!

I've been busying working on replacing the chair cushions on the dining room chairs in between other projects..Eldy is helping me with getting the staples out. We finally bought an Osborne upholstery staple remover/puller which is making it a lot easier than using a slotted screwdriver.

This was a dining set that came with the house. Six chairs and a nice big dining room table. The beige cushions were badly stained on some of the chairs, and they just seemed too blah for me.
So here is what all six are going to look like AFTER I get done with them.....Four down, two to go!
The in between project is peeling all the paper off the master bedroom wall....DONE! The brown stuff is the paper backing that stayed behind after the wallpaper came off. Now the messy job of wetting it with a spray bottle and shaving it off with a putty knife.....If anybody has any ideas on how to get this paper off more easily than wetting down the whole wall one section at a time, I'm all ears!
Got the oar/paddle that I bought at the local Red Barn Flea Market last week hung over the hall table....Thinking of using the paddle for a place to hang a hat or two if I put some more hooks on it....Purposely hung the paddle at an angle, just to be different!

Today was also estate sale day.....We found a practically brand new bistro set for 75.00, powder coated bronze aluminum, two chairs and a table with the rattan look. Cha-Ching! It now sets on the lanai in a corner. Not much room out there, it's a small lanai, but the bistro set just fits...Now all I have to worry about is someone having too many beers and falling into the pool which is right at your feet in that corner!
And the days just keep flying by......

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's Gone...But Not Forgotten

Well, the motorhome sold...not under the best circumstances, it was sold as a trade at the dealership where we left it up in Indiana. We are disappointed in the price, but after weighing the pros and cons of  bringing it  to Red Bay for some fixes, then back down here to Florida in November to plop it on another dealer's lot, while watching the price drop a LOT as the new models came out this fall, we decided to take the only offer we had in four months and go with it. Thanks to everyone who was helping pass the word along. Wouldn't you know, after it was a done deal, interested parties started to come out of the woodwork! Hate that feeling of "What if?...." and second guessing ourselves. Oh, well....It's done! We will never forget the thrill of our travels. The fantastic purchase price we got for it in the beginning kind balances out the disappointing selling price at the end, I tell myself....Over and over....  :-)

I decided to keep a little piece of the Tiffin Phaeton in our new house, and here it is...

Our hallway/entry rug is the living room rug from the Tiffin....

We won't forget our travels, thank goodness it's all in the blog, and little by little, I will have books made for each of the three years that we traveled. I'd better do that before something goes wrong with Blogger. I've heard of people's blogs disappearing, so I'd better start ordering from one of those online make-your-blog-into-a-book sites.

Before I get too morose, missing our travels and the cooler weather SOME people are having, it's time to think about more happy stuff! Like decorating the house..We went to the Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton this week on an off day for them, but I still found what I was looking for---
A paddle! Actually, I was looking for an oar, but the real oars were too long for the wall, so I settled for a canoe paddle. Going to put it horizontally on the wall right over the hall table and then have several bronze metal hooks hanging over it to hang caps from as we come in the door. The flea market has a very limited number of stores open in the summer during midweek, so the best time to go to Red Barn is Fri-Sat-Sun during the summer. I got some seashells for a wreath I'm making, too.

That wasn't quite enough to cheer me up, so I ended up working on a little thing I thought was going to whip up pretty fast, but it ended up taking several hours....A cupcake pin cushion. A lot of fiddly little tight sewing circles involved in this little jobby. But it turned out cute. Going to put it on Etsy in my little shop, JeanBeanGifts.
Went to a couple of estate sales today...always fun to see what's out there, and depending on what neighborhood you are in, how the other half lives..We were over by Sarasota Bay, near the Ringling Museum, where the OTHER half lives, on the water. WOW! This is a mansion next door to the house we were at.
I say house, because it was a one story ranch level, with "u" shaped floor plan..It seemed to have a BUNCH of bedrooms, and one of the bedroom suites had a kitchenette. I thought, how nice, to have a bedroom/living room suite in your house for guests on one half of the U-shaped house. We didn't buy anything at the estate sale, but the views were fantastic of the bay. The outdoor pool and Sarasota Bay were in view right outside more than one bedroom window. Not till after we came out of the house, did we understand that the estate sale house was in the GUEST HOUSE of a bigger mansion on the premises, similar to the one pictured above. Our jaws dropped as we took in the whole scene from the driveway heading out to the car....Amazing!...Bet the main house was in the multiple millions and the guest house at least a couple million. Boggles my mind....

Back home to get out of the HEAT......

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Well, a couple of things sold...The motorhome--That was a BIG one! But, we didn't get what we wanted out of it. As a matter of fact, it sold at a loss because of coming in on a trade at the dealership. But after weighing everything we would have to have done to get it back done here to FL and put it on a lot with the prices dropping with the 2014 models coming out, we took the offer. It was dicey, gambling on whether or not to hang on through the fall season and into December, and carrying double payments. Best for us to get out from under that, so we did! Kind of a relief, actually....

Another sale on the opposite end of the scale, a tiny little sale, a little breast cancer support people pin I was making bunches of about two months ago. Things slowed down for that for awhile with Relay for Life in Indiana and Kristi, my step daughter raising funds efforts done for the moment...Put one up on Etsy for sale in my little shop that I am just getting started posting in, JeanBeanGifts, and TADA! One sold after renewing the listing for about the third time. On Etsy, you have to keep throwing your items back to the top of the list by renewing and paying to have that happen (it's very inexpensive) and that helps keep your item near the top of the search list. It's up to you how often you do that. Third time's the charm---Yay!
This has inspired me to get crafting again....I've got my daughter's hat almost finished. Here's the one I saw on Etsy selling for 90.00 and couldn't afford to buy.

I have quite a large head size, too bad the brain capacity doesn't match it, or I'm just losing some of my mental faculties as I get older. At any rate, Eldy's head size is smaller, probably about the same size as my daughters. So I asked him to model the hat and he struck a pose. He'd kill me if he sees this, but I don't think he's check Millie's Girls, so SHH-H-H-h-h-h-h-h.....Mum's the word....Cute, hunh?  :-)
Got to add a braided yarn trim, and some fabric and crocheted flowers to it, and it will be pretty darn close to the original, for about 30.00.

Also working on a hand knit dishcloth.....

After using one of mine to scrub tile, and do a bunch of household chores, using it constantly the last couple of days,  I remembered how great these are for just general, all around cleaning. So back to making dishcloths! Won't be long before I think about holiday to make something every year for our tree. It will be hard this year because fall and dropping temperatures, and those cold, rainy days are what USED to fuel my creativity. Gonna be hard to think like that with sunshine and eighties every day! I know, I know, quit whining.....More beautiful weather is coming, a tiny bit cooler temperatures in October...Guess I will have to get creative on rainy days, which we have plenty of in the afternoons this summer....I'll have to pretend a snowstorm is coming.....  :-)

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Bowling Ball, A Coat Rack and Me

One of my favorite things to do now that we've settled down is to go check out garage and estate sales on the weekends. Being directionally challenged like I am, I have to have Eldy navigate. Well, I COULD do the GPS thing, but Eldy really is getting to know his way around, and he has a built in directional system in his genes, so it's just easier if he drives. Besides, I really need someone to say, sometimes, "What are you going to do with THAT?" Notice, he DOESN'T say, "What do you need THAT for?" or "Why do you keep buying all this junk?" If he DID say those things, he'd be staying home!

He likes to check these sales out almost as much as I do. He never buys anything, but I sure do! Never spend very much, but week after week, I guess it adds up! So far, I've bought things like an assortment of silver flatware, tiny forks, spoons...gonna make a wind chime with beads and odds and ends of metal and least that's what I think I"m going to do!

Bought a bowling ball, shoes and a bag for five bucks. Not to go bowling, but to make the bowling ball into a mosaic address ball or just a mosaic gazing ball to plunk down in the yard. Here's some similar ideas behind that one....
Then I saw this coat rack for 15.00. I'd been eyeing similar ones for more than that price, but they were damaged and this one was perfect! Going to refinish it eventually. For now, I put it in the master bathroom for hanging towels and clothing...

We don't have any place next to the shower to hang a towel, except for a towel rack INSIDE the shower! Isn't that crazy? What were they thinking? I know, we need some kind of shelf where the shampoo sits. Haven't decided yet how to handle that without it looking tacky. The other two sides of the shower stall are glass so whatever we decide to do, it will show as soon as you walk into the bathroom. I'm thinking you can't get the towel bar off the tile without ripping the tiles out?
The next project is the MASTER BEDROOM. I say that in caps, because it's a BIG bedroom! Starting peeling the wallpaper off just to see if it's going to come off any easier than the bathroom paper. Once I got started, I couldn't help myself! I started peeling the paper off in sheets. Yee-hah! It comes off a LOT easier. So now I have just the brown paper to spray with water and shave off with a putty knife. Oh, boy....Might as well get some paint chips to see what color family I want to go with. Kinda went overboard, ya think?
Choices, choices...I'm thinking a nice teal color...OR a nice bronzy, tan color...Yet we have a lot of tan and copper and butterscotch in the house leaning towards the teal family. Bedroom furniture is sort of a pecan color, rug is a very neutral cream color, bedspread colors are olive, khaki, tan, teal and the bathroom leading off the bedroom is a deep butterscotch......We'll see...Eldy has to weigh in first.....He'll be overwhelmed with all the color choices, and I bet he says, "Um-m-mm...I don't know, what are you thinking?" and I'll say...."Oh, probably one of the teal colors"...And maybe it will be as easy as that!  HA! Didn't think so...he says he likes the pinkish brown family of colors. Guess I will be painting the walls in sample colors, the neutral color on one wall, and the teal color on another, and then we'll take another vote...

Gotta get working'...It's Labor Day!