Sunday, February 20, 2011

I cried...

It was bound to happen and in fact had already happened before.  When you take on a project the size of my cottage, you are going to shed some tears.  Yesterday was horrible.  Let me update everyone a little.  Here is a picture of what my kitchen used to look like.

Here is what the kitchen looks like now:

Dramatic change, right?  But truly that is not the reason I cried.  See all the braces going across where the floor should be?  That is why I cried.  Dad and me spent hours upon hours leveling this floor.  We even had to purchase a new level because dad's poor level that he has had for probably over 20 years finally warped.  Do you know what good a warped level is?  Not a whole lot.  So we have a new level and everything is good, right?  We think so.  Until dad gets his new toy......a laser level.

To understand my understanding of a laser level, you have to remember one thing, I am definitely a creative mind.  Mathematical though and logistics passed right over me and landed directly in my dad's and sister's lap.  That being said, dad sets up his new toy and guess what it says.  That's right, basically all that we had done levelling prior to yesterday was all for naught.  Nothing seemed to be level.  Well, there were a few areas that were level.  But then when you moved the level to another spot in the cottage, the area that was level was not anymore and a new area was level.  Hence, I cried.  And I cried, and I cried some more. 

Me and dad came home so he could work it out and mom was standing at the door with our new cat, Bobby Jo, and I just burst into tears.  It was all me, and it was.  I was feeling very  frustrated and didn't know if it would ever be right.  Dad came in and explained some more.  --Let me break in at this point and say that dad was wonderful.  Never once yesterday did he yell.  I think more than anything I was upset that we had done all that work for nothing. 

The night passed and I was resigned that we would have to rip out everything and start over.  This morning dad tells me that even though he read the directions on the laser level, he calibrated it wrong.  Good news for me!!!!  However, we didn't make it over there today to see how on-target we are.  I am remaining ever so hopeful....

Now on a brighter note, I got 3 things out of layaway from Witherspoon's Antique Mall and am so excited.  The first is a shabby chic antique wardrobe that I am going to use as a linen closet in the space at the bottom of my stairs.

It has a working lock with a skeleton key.  Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE skeleton keys and that I own something that requires one is the greatest thing next to mac-n-cheese!  I just think there is such a Romantacism to skeleton keys.

With the purchase, I also bought 2 little nightstands.

They are super cute as is, but of course, I have to do something to them.  I want to strip the night stands as much as possible and then either antique them or crackle them.  Not sure which yet.  Since I'm doing a sea cottage look, I am thinking about choosing plain hardware and hot gluing seashells to them for something different.

I have also made some design changes.  I had planned on using an antique dry washstand that I had purchased at Montgomery St. Antique Mall in Fort Worth as a sink.  The more I thought about it though, the more worried I became.  You see, it has this beautiful granite top that I could just see crumbling into a million little pieces when we tried to drill a hole in it for the plumbing.  And I didn't even consider drilling a hole into the tile in the back of it because it was original tile.  So, Home Depot, one of my favorite stores ever was running a sale on bathroom sinks.  This one had caught my eye ages ago, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $170.00 for it.  Thanks to HD, I didn't, I only paid $69.00!!!!  I was so excited & it will fit in the little guest bath just perfectly!

Now I'm just tossing around how big to make the guest bath.  The footprint for it is already set, what I keep tossing back and forth in my mind is whether to make it a 1/2 bath or 3/4 bath.  I keep telling myself a 3/4 bath is much more practical, but a 1/2 bath is cheaper.  Lowe's has several shower stalls that I'm interested in and they also have a new shower stall I'm looking at for the master bath.  Decisions, decisions....

My refrigerator was almond color with lots of rusty spots on the outside.  The inside was still in good shape after a lot of elbow grease from the previous owner.  I wanted to do something different.  My house is going to be unique, to say the very least.  I saw where a woman in one of the magazines had painted her refrigerator with chalkboard paint.  I thought that was super clever.  So, here is the final product of my re-purposed refrigerator:

I'm going to cover the handles in jute to tie-in with the burlap that I'm going to use for the window treatments.  That's right - burlap.  I want everything to look very homey and welcoming.  My walls, I have decided, are going to be 1"x8" boards that run horizontally, and are going to be white-washed.  The ceiling is going to be tongue and groove siding that is going to stay natural.  The trim, I'm thinking about a blue-gray color with the same color showing through the crackle paint that I'm thinking about doing to the kitchen cabinets.

It is funny how in my mind everything is coming together, even to the point of completion, but when I go over there it is still in stage one.  There are not any little elves that take care of everything, dang it.  Oh, but how I wish there were.  I would give each of the little buggers a big ol' kiss right now!

Mom and dad have been wanting to do raised plant beds.  Well, 24 cinder blocks, 24 bags of top soil (40 lbs. each), and 12 bags of cow manure later, we have 1 raised plant bed.  That's right, one.  I was sore for 3 days carrying that stuff (I'm sure mom and dad were too, but this is my blog, so I get to be the one to complain!)  I'm really excited about the raised garden, because in the cinder block holes we are going to plant herbs.  In the first garden we have lettuce, onions, asparagus, strawberries, and potatoes.  It is going to be great!

We have harvested our first crop of lettuce and it tastes yummy!

Enjoy the spring weather that has come to visit us.  Get outside and breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine.  Until next time....

Tammy Jo


  1. you are VERY creative! i can't wait to see the finished product.

  2. I could visualize each room and each piece you described. This is going to be an amazing home! What a dynamo you are!