And Then Again…

img_0639

I’ve had ups and downs in my teaching business. And with a few “downs” in a row, I had decided to stop offering classes.

Sometimes all it takes is a cleaning to give me perspective.

As you may remember, I run a cleaning biz. For a select few, I scrub toilets, wipe down countertops, and barrel through stranger’s houses with a vacuum and microfiber in hand.

img_0622

And as I scrubbed a particularly nasty toilet today, I thought, “Do I really want to add MORE cleaning clients to my schedule? Do I really want to, you know, scrub more toilets?”

And the answer was, predictably, “No, I really don’t.”

I make better money teaching classes.

“But it is more stress.” I tried to reason with myself. “I’m constantly having to reinvent new classes.”

creamy-italian-soup

For now, I’m simply thinking of doing one class a month. Hopefully, that won’t be too bad. Although, if I can woo one of my big hosts back into the fold, then I will have 20+ locations that would be interested in hosting my classes. That’s a lot of repeat customers. So we will see. It could work out.

Life is flux.

What would YOU like to see me teach a class on?

img_0649

Posted in Classes | Leave a comment

Hey, Let’s Build a Fence!

10th-st-property-border

I have dreamed of enclosing this property with a nice tall privacy fence ever since I moved here.

Having the last lot that wasn’t ours be used as a thoroughfare for folks taking a shortcut from one block to the other didn’t help.

Something like this...

Something like this…

Nor did the guy who preferred to stop in the middle of said lot and pee…in broad daylight.

Or the guy who my husband caught doing something a little more…stinky…in the pre-dawn hours.

Or possibly this...

Or possibly this…

And then there was the guy who walked his dogs straight through the middle of my property TWICE in one day. Both times the dogs were lunging and snapping at our chickens as they bulldozed through the yard. And yes, the second time earned him a rather loud and irate, “EXCUSE me, but could you please STOP walking your dogs through our yard?” from me.

And with our increased and contiguous property comes the ability to have our friends Jay and Michelle boondock their RV here. Staying here they will be close to The Cottage, and centrally located for more work opportunities in the area.

We aren’t going to enclose everything. Not yet. But we have come up with a strategy for putting in an inexpensive fence on the entire back border of the property. It will be a slight ‘L’ shape since we will need to connect into our dog fence on one side and then run it the entire south border length, connecting finally to our neighbor Dale’s fence on the west corner.

This should make him happy. He was complaining a couple of years ago about the folks walking through the properties and having the back sealed off will stop that once they realize there is no longer access off of the alleyway. I think he will feel safer too.

We are doing our best to get along with him. And with Jay here (I call her our Dale-whisperer), I have little doubt that we can swing him back over to the “good neighbor” side of looking at things.

It will be a simple fence. However, we can paint the boards in the spring. And then I plan on planting vining plants along the length of it – climbing roses, clematis, honeysuckle, morning glories, wisteria, trumpet vine, hardy kiwi, and more in areas where there won’t be any gates.

I think that a total of three gates – two sixteen feet wide and one four foot wide – will work perfectly. You can see them marked with thick black lines on the schematic along with the approximate placement of the RV, which will be nestled in the back of the property for optimum privacy. The green line is the fence (although it will be five feet in from the edge of the alley per code).

10th-st-property-border

We are planning on installing the fence the second weekend in December. What do you think?!

Posted in DIY, Garden Planning | Leave a comment

Drink This!

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

I woke up today at 6 a.m. and immediately headed to the kitchen to get the Caramel Pecan Cinnamon rolls ready and baking.

We have just a few minutes to go until we get to enjoy these scrumptious treats.

img_0651

I had recently been struck with the question, “What do those yummy flavored creamers consist of?”

I peered at the label of one through my glasses and stopped trying to read the ingredients after several multisyllable monstrosities: sodium caseinate, dipotassium sulphate, sodium stearoyl lactylate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a writer, I love multisyllable monstrosities. I just don’t like to drink them.

I resolved to finish my current monstrosity and then buy no more. After all, I have plenty of milk and heavy cream in the fridge already, I figured I could learn how to whip up some creamer in no time.

I Googled some recipes – this one, in particular, was quite handy. It gave me a good base to go on, and, of course, immediately do my way.

I gathered my ingredients this morning after I popped the cinnamon rolls in the oven. It was time for coffee and I was out of creamer!

img_0649

As you can see, I shop at Aldis. This looks like a commercial for Aldi’s, but hey, if they provide good prices and good products, why not?!

This was my maiden voyage, so I still need to work out the kinks. I’ll tell you what I did and then I’ll tell you what I plan on doing in the future.

Chocolate Almond Creamer

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Mix everything together except the cream and shake well or mix with a whisk in a small mixing bowl. Mix until the cocoa has completely dissolved. Then add the cream, gently stirring.

img_0650

This creamer is so good! I will be trying other recipes out, but I have to say out of the gate for first time ever making this…YUM.

It took two minutes and I know every ingredient in it.

Changes I will make: Next time I will take a few minutes more to make a double batch and heat it gently over the stove to dissolve the sugar into the mixture. Make sure not to let it boil as that will affect the taste of the cream.

Enjoy your Turkey Day, everyone. I know I will!

Posted in Baking/Cooking, DIY, Recipes | Leave a comment

Land and Zentangle

10th-street-property

The Last Lot

I am excited to announce that today, Tuesday, right before Thanksgiving, we will finally purchase the last lot, a sliver of land that sits between the end of our five lots and The Cottage, making our property contiguous.

You can see it in green above.

It is approximately 25 feet wide, but it is such a relief to finally have it. Eventually, we plan on fencing the entire property with gates at intervals for easy access/egress.

I have a couple of other plans floating around in my brain – but details on those are still bouncing about, so I’ll just leave you wondering.

Meanwhile, I’m excited to be able to use the entire space without worrying about where our border ends and where someone else’s border begins. This also brings our total space up to over 1/2 acre.

Hmmm…what to do with all of this space?!

Zentangle Project Revisited

A few years ago when I first learned about Zentangle and explored the art form, I quickly fell in love with taking it off the page. I put it on wooden apples…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I put it on wooden eggs…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And then I discovered Permawriter pens and began experimenting with them on fabric. This project, in particular, took me a while to get up the courage to try, but I was so happy I did…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Knee-high Converse boots

It took over 40 hours to complete these, but I love them!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Soon after I finished these boots, I realized I could no longer find Permawriters. I had started a new project…

img_0622

This is a long-sleeved green cotton shirt in my size.

img_0624

And I needed more pens to continue working on it…

img_0638

I found more Permawriters after months of searching! These are 03 size instead of the 01 (a finer point) that I was working with originally.

img_0639

Despite it being a bigger size, I can still do most of the detail work.

img_0640

Last night I delved into Season 1 of Blindspot on Hulu and got to work increasing the size of the zendala above.

img_0641

I guess all of those tattoos inspired me!

Posted in DIY, Garden Planning, Historical Home, Zentangle and Doodle Art | Leave a comment

Necessity is the Mother of…

img_0599

Tomato soup.

Okay, to be honest, it wasn’t really necessity so much as I was in the mood for tomato soup and I had already promised it.

It went something like this.

Every day that my contractor and friend Jay works, I make sure to feed her lunch. Often it is leftovers, but we didn’t have anything except chicken salad, and so yesterday I suggested grilled cheese sandwiches and, thinking I had some, Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup from Trader Joe’s. Jay’s wife, Michelle was there, and she made sounds of approval at the mention of tomato soup.

I went through the pantry and fridge three times before giving up. There was no tomato soup.

“Why don’t I try and make some?” I thought to myself, “How hard could it be?”

I looked at a recipe in one of my cookbooks, got the general idea of it (tomatoes, cream, and spices), and started pulling out supplies. I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, but I figured diced canned tomatoes would work.

That’s probably more of the “necessity is the mother of invention” – don’t have fresh tomatoes? Use canned!

Here is the recipe I came up with:

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ounce sundried tomatoes (I used some stored in oil)
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp fresh-ground pepper

Put the ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree. Heat the puree in a saucepan on the stove just until it boils. Serve with fresh bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

I’m never buying pre-made again. This was so easy and stomach-filling good!

img_0600

Now Anyone Can Find It

In my bathing retreat on the main floor are some shelves my uncle once made. He passed away around seven or eight years ago, and I am lucky enough to have several handmade pieces of his. These are simple shelves, and I am sorely lacking for storage space in the main level bathroom, so I store things in baskets.

img_0601

The problem is, no one but me knows where to find anything.

EVER.

“Ask Mama where the hand towels are.”

“Christine, where are the light bulbs?”

“Mama, I didn’t know where my bath towel was, so I used yours.”

[sigh]

img_0602

I pulled out some of my old Encyclopedia Brittanica pages and used a little Mod Podge on some gift tags. After they dried overnight, I wrote the categories on the tags and tied them with a little twine onto the baskets.

And to my family I say, “Here’s your sign!”

img_0604

Posted in Baking/Cooking, Crafts and Creations, DIY, Recipes | Leave a comment

I Should Be Painting, But…

I woke up this morning with an IDEA.

This little hill is steep and it makes bringing items in or out of the back door a real pain in the patoot!

This little hill is steep and it makes bringing items in or out of the back door a real pain in the patoot!

 

You know the kind. It is the solution to a problem which has been swirling around in your head for the longest time.

I briefly toyed with stacking them two high, but it was a little too much of a step up. Better shallow steps than ones that will make my knees ache.

I briefly toyed with stacking them two high, but it was a little too much of a step up. Better shallow steps than ones that will make my knees ache.

In my case, it had to do with several things:

  • My neighbor reminding me to take some concrete blocks I had asked for to make pathways with.
  • The pesky problem of accessing the back door of The Cottage by climbing up or down a steep embankment.
  • My recent experience creating a walkway out of bricks.

All of these converged into the idea of using the concrete blocks to create steps instead of a pathway.

I will give these a few months to settle and then re-seat them on top of pea gravel for added stability

I will give these a few months to settle and then re-seat them on top of pea gravel for added stability

I walked the wheelbarrow over to the neighbor’s house and loaded it up with the concrete blocks. I will admit, I wasn’t sure whether to begin at the top or at the bottom. I had never done this before.

More paint progress!

More paint progress!

A trip back to the house to get the level, and I got to work moving dirt. Meanwhile, Dave got more painting done way up on the scary ladder. He’s slightly better than me with heights, but not much more. He could only handle it for a little while and made several trips up and down, stopping to help me move more of the concrete blocks.

I don't know how I managed it (pure luck, I imagine) but it ended perfectly at the concrete stairs down to the back door.

I don’t know how I managed it (pure luck, I imagine) but it ended perfectly at the concrete stairs down to the back door.

I had to jog around a concrete pillar, but I’m close to done now.

Another neighbor, Marcie, had given me these amazing re-blooming white irises a few years ago. They bloom in May and again in October. Amazing! I will fill the earth on the incline here with thick groups of iris and daylilies. That will curb the erosion and create a stunning display spring through fall.

Another neighbor, Marcie, had given me these amazing re-blooming white irises a few years ago. They bloom in May and again in October. Amazing! I will fill the earth on the incline here with thick groups of iris and daylilies. That will curb the erosion and create a stunning display spring through fall.

I will fill the holes with pea gravel and once the earth settles everything will look much better. Meanwhile, we have a stable path to walk on. No more slipping and sliding down the hill!

Posted in DIY, Frugality, The Cottage | Leave a comment

The Cottage Gets a Facelift

The Cottage this morning

The Cottage this morning

My wrists are aching and I am worn out!

Ladders in place, folks at the ready, time to get started!

Ladders in place, folks at the ready, time to get started!

But thanks to my amazing family, friends, neighbors and more – here is what we managed to get done today.

I tried out several paint colors before settling on the sage.

I tried out several paint colors before settling on the sage.

Nearly the entire house has its first coat of paint, and some of it already has the second coat.

If houses could talk, what would she be saying right now? "Paint me, oh please, PAINT ME!"

If houses could talk, what would she be saying right now? “Paint me, oh please, PAINT ME!”

Several people stopped by to tell us how gorgeous it was and I had to agree. The green looks phenomenal!

My eldest, Dee, diligently working on the white trim

My eldest, Dee, diligently working on the white trim

Painting the brick was challenging. Everything you see here had to be painted by hand – and getting the coverage on all the spots was difficult. We still have at least another day’s worth of painting ahead of us. I’ll probably try to do some tomorrow and then more later in the week.

Our neighbor, Kevin, was kind enough to tackle the scariest section of the painting. Thank you, Kevin!

Our neighbor, Kevin, was kind enough to tackle the scariest section of the painting. Thank you, Kevin!

Every time I look out of the window, I smile. The soft sage green combined with the white and the brand new roof just looks sharp. This house has taken a lot of work – and there is still a lot of work to go – but I think it is looking absolutely gorgeous!

Scraping the ceiling of the front porch had yielded a LOT of paint chips after repeated attacks. It was great to see a fresh coat of paint going back onto it.

Scraping the ceiling of the front porch had yielded a LOT of paint chips after repeated attacks. It was great to see a fresh coat of paint going back onto it.

A huge thanks to our neighbors, Kevin and Michelle. Kevin got up on some pretty tall ladders and Michelle watched over my youngest.

Just LOOK at that green going on!

Just LOOK at that green going on!

Also Stephanie Adams, my cleaning client and fellow Northeast resident who came over and spent hours painting away, you ROCK!

Michelle was knocking her section of painting out of the park!

Michelle was knocking her section of painting out of the park!

 

Also, Jay and Michelle who scraped, fixed some rotten spots, and painted like mad. Amazing work today!

Things are looking up for this old lady (and the house looks good too)!

Things are looking up for this old lady (and the house looks good too)!

A huge thanks to another couple in the community, Michael and Lisa Donnici, who brought by this super-tasty chicken curry salad (everybody LOVED it), croissants and crackers. How awesome was that?

As the sun slid lower in the sky, we had plenty of hard work to be proud of.

As the sun slid lower in the sky, we had plenty of hard work to be proud of.

Then there was Dee, my eldest, who painted and painted and painted – and was patient with me as I ran around like a maniac this morning, pointing at things that needed to be done and helped keep me relatively calm.

I love the new look!

I love the new look!

And of course, my husband Dave, who juggled running errands, hosting, painting and being on call for work with grace.

All of the windows will be installed by the end of the month.

All of the windows will be installed by the end of the month.

I had a great team of people to work with today. And I couldn’t have asked for better weather.

The front door will be painted a lovely red color.

The front door will be painted a lovely red color.

The work will continue tomorrow!

Tuckpointing some of this gapped brick is also on my list of "to-do's"

Tuckpointing some of this gapped brick is also on my list of “to-do’s”

Posted in Community, DIY, The Cottage | Leave a comment

Code Violation Painting (and more!) Party

Waiting to do the second coat was the worst part. It was like watching paint dry.

Some of the best advice I have ever gotten (and heeded) is this:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The worst that can happen is that someone says “no.”

So here is my latest “Oh my, I have to fix this NOW” issue. The city codes department is demanding we fix the peeling exterior paint in the front and back of the property NOW. We are in desperate need of help, and of course, it comes just at the moment when we are cash-strapped and under the gun to get it done.

Winter is looming, but this next week is promising good weather. Especially Saturday, November 5th.

I am looking for some folks who are willing to come out on Saturday, help us paint a house, and be fed amazing barbecued bratwurst, fresh-baked bread, beer (after you come down from that ladder!), soda and more.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with scraping off the old paint. Then we will move on to slapping a coat of white onto this old girl and making her shine again. I will have plenty of paintbrushes and paint ready to go. We will be power washing the house the day before to prepare for the event.

The city codes department are breathing down our necks and we desperately need your help. So come on over, roll up your sleeves and grab a paintbrush. Climb a ladder, have some fun with paint and then take a break to nibble some excellent food and wander the grounds. Your presence will help us cross that final hurdle before winter sets in.

If time or enough bodies allow, we also have a couple of areas that also need work – work on the front porch, a chimney that needs tuckpointing, a spot under the back porch to clear of items that need to go to the dump) and even some wiring and plumbing to tackle.

Whatever you might be willing to help with – it is probably needed! More than anything we need the city off of our backs and the house prepped for winter.

paint-meme-2

This Can Go Further

A few years back, I was chatting with one of the attendees at the end of teaching a class. She told me she had a group of friends who got together on a once monthly basis to do fix-it work parties for each other. It was a rotational thing. Perhaps one month you went to a friend’s house and painted a bedroom, or helped another do some demo work, or clear brush, or install some flooring.

Sometimes home repair projects are daunting because of the hours involved, something that could be remedied if you had a handful of folks working on it at once.

I remember thinking that what she was a part of was so powerful. How cool it was that she had friends she could depend on, and who could depend on her!

Fast forward three years and I have some amazing friends. When we moved from Belton to our house here in Historic Northeast, around ten people showed up to help us move. It was uplifting and humbling at the same time.

Working together, spending our time helping others, and helping ourselves, can make such a difference. I would love to see this one painting party turn into something so much more. Just think of what we could all get done!

If you have the time and energy to spare, I hope you will consider coming by. I would love to see you, put you to work, and most of all, FEED you! Let me know if you can make it by sending me an email. Hope to see you there!

p.s. The early birds get homemade Pecan Caramel Cinnamon rolls. Those alone are worth showing up for!

Posted in Challenges, Community | Leave a comment

Mmmm…Swedish Meatballs

Before I share my newest yummy recipe with you, let me show you what’s floating around in my brain and distracting me from editing my sixth book…

In Line With The Penny Floor

My brain keeps on turning on what I will need to go with that pretty penny floor I’m planning. I have decided I also need a copper light of some kind for The Cottage bathroom. And I keep looking at my dining room chandelier…

img_0406

And I’m considering painting the white with a copper paint and then hanging it in bathroom of The Cottage.

Go ahead, tell me I’m insane. It won’t be the first time I’ve heard it.

Then I would replace the chandelier with newly rewired original light fixture from the living room.

What do you think? Or should I reverse these, and put the fixture below in the bathroom of The Cottage. Weigh in, I need to hear some other opinions.

parlor-1

Did You Say Copper Bathtub?

With the idea of a penny floor, and that cute toilet paper roll made out of copper pipe, our thoughts turned to bathtubs.

My husband has a knack for finding fiendishly overpriced items that make me drool. Take this copper bathtub for example:

copper-tub-nickel-interior-claw-feet

It’s ONLY $2,800.

And then I saw this tub…

clawfoot-tub

And thought, “You know what? I think I can make it into something that looks like this…

57-cast-iron-slipper-tub-copper-bronze-finish-lg

Because I know I’ve got some mad skills when I put my mind to it.

So I’m going to try it and see how it goes. Wait for it…WAIT FOR IT!!!!

 

A Few More Cleanings

I am working on getting a loan from Kiva (click on the link to see how you can help) – but with just 20 days left and another $9,275 to go, it isn’t looking so good. My backup plan (and yes, I always have a backup plan!) is to up my cleanings again.

So it’s a win-win. More money coming in from client cleanings will mean that I’ve got more funds for The Cottage rehab.

I’m looking specifically for clients here in Historic Northeast, but I will travel elsewhere. Please keep me in mind if you know someone who needs a cleaning done!

 

I’m Considering Stripping

No, not as a profession.

Although I hear it can be profitable.

If only I could learn to twerk…

twerk

Nah…

I think I’ll just stick to stripping wood. It might not be glamorous, but there you go.

I started my first wood stripping project with these doors from the built-in cabinet at The Cottage.

054

Can you believe someone not only painted the wood, but the glass as well?!

Only the top doors have glass, but still. WHY????

One of the cabinet doors before it has been stripped

One of the cabinet doors before it has been stripped

I know, folks probably didn’t have nice dishes to show off, with limited storage space, and didn’t want their boxes of food displayed to the world. However, I plan to re-do the insides of the cabinets as well. We will put in LED lights from IKEA inside the cabinets, allowing plenty of lighting and this will be a great place for dishes and china to be displayed. Below there is plenty of room to hold food behind the solid wood doors.

In any case, I had my husband remove the top two doors for me and I brought them back to our house to give stripping a whirl.

img_0396

And the cabinet door once it had been mostly stripped (still a few little spots to get)

Can you believe I’ve lived 46 years and never stripped?

Hard to believe, but it’s true!

Eventually, I will tire of this word play…

At Lowe’s the other day, this stripper stood out and got my notice. I’m a “green” inclined sort of gal, so something that didn’t sound horrible and deadly was right up my alley.

img_0400

It is easy to use and a heck of a sight safer than any stripper I’ve ever heard of.

No, really, I’m talking about paint remover now, you can stop giggling.

In any case, brush it on, let it sit for 2-4 hours, and then scrape it off. Soapy water clean up for the brush and the wood after it has been stripped (just make sure to dry it really well).

Here are some great tips from another blogger.

After I finish the cabinet doors I will start on all of the molding we took off in The Cottage before we demo’d the walls. All of it will go back to its original wood finish!

These Are the Best Swedish Meatballs!

For years, cooking in general seemed this big mystical thing. And the grocery stores had trained me well. You didn’t make Swedish Meatballs in Gravy, you bought it.

And that was true of so many other foods as well.

I’m still working on mastering Tikka Masala sauce to feed my addiction, but I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed this recipe for Swedish Meatballs.

img_0403

Here are the meatballs in the sauce.

 

img_0404

I didn’t have any egg noodles, but this pasta worked fine.

 

img_0405

Mmmmm!

This recipe makes a LOT, so you may want to cut it in half if you are cooking for just a couple people…

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 onion, finely chopped, sauteed, then added to hamburger mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestshire sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, sauteed onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and eggs. Mix well until combined.

Roll into small (1-2 inch) meatballs. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches, turning until brown on all sides and cooked throughout. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add 6 Tbsp butter and 5 Tbsp flour to the skillet and whisk until it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream. Add worcestshire sauce and Dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add meatballs into sauce and turn the heat down to Low.

Boil the noodles or prep some rice. Add 1 cup of frozen peas to sauce at last minute. Pour meatballs and sauce over noodles/rice.

Enjoy!!!!

 

Posted in Crowdfunding/Fundraising, DIY, Recipes | Leave a comment

Penny Floor Obsessed

Someone save me from myself, because I’m about to walk off a cliff and dive into the land of pennies.

I’m serious.

But before I tell you about my latest obsession, I will update you on the Homes Tour.

The 5th Annual Northeast Kansas City Historical Homes Tour

It was WONDERFUL and I’m so glad I did it!

14612568_10210967517526343_5051197126085385820_o

By the end of it, we were all smiling and exhausted. Participating in a Homes Tour is no small thing. But knowing what I know now will help make the next one we are on (years from now) much easier.

Our "drink station" was a big hit.

Our “drink station” was a big hit.

I will declutter each room, and keep things as clutter free as possible in the month leading up to the tour. And I’ll only do one major deep cleaning in the week before the tour.

And so was the youngest docent on the tour.

And so was the youngest docent on the tour.

The biggest reason for me to be on the tour? I want others to see that there are some amazing neighborhoods in Historic Northeast. And also…

  • Affordable homes
  • Great neighbors
  • Rich history

I hope that of the nearly 300 people who attended the tour – at least one of them thought, “This street is amazing! I want to move to the Northeast!”

What a fun time we all had!

Color Me Penny OBSESSED

And now, PENNIES.

0f64d46cfc2c97e5c1509d10900f7b5e

For a while now, I had been tossing the idea of installing a penny floor into the bathroom of The Cottage. And while Jay, my friend and contractor, had almost talked me out of it, I decided I really, REALLY wanted to do it.

1e1ee4acb853e4d139f0e4899f1e23e5

So I sat down and started researching penny floors. How to do it, whether to create a pattern or not, and various designs and tips.

2f8dd3ee0cbb44f7bbb6060dab5d0d8c

Our neighbors, Kevin and Michelle, had recently installed a penny countertop in their upstairs kitchen. Michelle came over to pick her daughter and I told her, just as Dave came down the stairs, that I was now penny-obsessed and planned on installing penny walls, ceilings, and floors. “No need to paint, everything will be pennies!”

bc6ccaa464ae2d04c269669af4defd3f

The look on Dave’s face…

vzpmsgj-600x450

I was joking. Well…sort of…

Here is the design I’m strongly leaning towards:

56486eaca79d9a5749d45600c99203c2

I especially enjoy the way they took it up onto the wall (although I’m not a fan of this color of tile)…

15044407431_264d4e39bf_z

And then I saw this toilet paper roll idea…

cbf9988cdb375c6eae582eb187048c08

I’ve already asked Dave to make it for me. I will need to find some kind of copper bowl or pot for the light I want in the ceiling.

Pennies, Pennies, PENNIES!

And then there is this gem…

impressive-skills-6

Not for The Cottage. For our house. Specifically, for the damaged wood floor areas.

Our main level hardwood floors are in decent shape, except for some areas of the hallway. So I’m trying to visualize an interesting pattern that I could create on the floor, cutting the damaged wood away and possibly cutting into the good wood for the design, and then laying in pennies.

I would turn a damaged floor into an artistic statement!

Upstairs, under that carpet, are floors that are in pretty terrible shape. This could be an affordable way for us to “fix” the floors without having to pull them up and replace them. With an added bonus of being phenomenally cool and artsy at the same time.

The penny ideas don’t stop there. I could do it as a backsplash in the kitchen as well…

570d5a456ef77ed9acbdc3f282b28a97

And include this little sign…

lifebuzz-011d9f3a29d3995b210dbd1308b76d5d-limit_2000

And I can’t even tell you how much I want to do THIS on some random wall…

2c2db0cf841b22c48a807a3e0bb9a285

And if I get tired of pennies. I could always start collecting bottle caps in the hopes that someday we could create a man cave/bar in our basement and line the bathroom floors…

4a5c5afe95ac52bcdf61bbf194b83785

Pinterest is seriously addictive…and dangerous…

Kiva Loan

Where do I begin?

With just 21 days left, I’m only 7% funded. And this is a make it or bust kind of thing. If I don’t get to the $10,000 mark, Kiva immediately returns all funds to the lenders and I get nothing.

In a nutshell, Kiva is a LOAN not a handout. You will get your money back incrementally over 36 months. It’s crowdfunding at its best. It’s easy for you, and really helps me, the borrower avoid costly interest fees.

I need this to keep going on The Cottage. If I don’t get the loan, work will have to pretty much stop. We can only do so much ourselves, and we are also already paying back some credit debt incurred putting in the roof, supplies and more.

If we don’t get the Kiva loan, we will do what we can on our own and it will be a far slower process. One way or the other, The Cottage project will go forward, but anything you can do on your end to help means a lot.

Please consider contributing to my Kiva loan and share my loan (or this post) with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. I really appreciate your help!

Posted in DIY, Frugality, Home Decorating, The Cottage | Leave a comment