Friday, July 30, 2010

California Here We Come!

Mr. Tennis and I will be winging our way out West today to spend a week with The Writer, Sammy, Stanley and The Maven.  My posts may be sporadic but I hope to capture some of the beauty and fun that California has to offer its visitors.

Of course, The Maven and I will begin our long drive back via her trusty car, The Sacred Cow, after the week in LA.  Our first stop will be Las Vegas.  So, you will hear from us.  Oh, yes.

And I hope most readers get the connection with the picture above, but I suspect some younger ones may not.  Google it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Maven's Room Re-Do is Done in Time!

Well, I did it.  I actually finished the one summer project I was determined to do.  Fixing up The Maven's room.  It needed a lot of TLC:

It was outdated, needed a good coat of paint, the dressers needed restoring and the room in general just needed a new look.

And so it began:

Emptied of contents, furniture pushed to the middle, holes patched and drop cloths in place.

And here are some of the end results:

I decided not to paint the dressers.  Used a wood restorative on them and it did a very good job of bringing back the original lustre and repairing marks and stains.

Downsized the bookcase with a thrift store find.  Plenty big enough for her Twilght, Harry Potter, Jane Austen, Little House collections and other favorites.

I found two of these nice baskety-drawers at the thrift for $4 each and I think they look nice and can store all the jewlery and keepsakes The Maven likes to collect.  She bought the Coke sign a few years ago and I think it makes a catchy tray liner.  Her panda bear holds many of her necklaces

My daugther loves purses and hats and has always had this hat stand in her room.  The other baskety-drawer provides more storage on the other dresser which also serves as a night stand on one side of her bed.

Gotta have a pic of your family and an old Beanie Baby friend.

A woven-seated chair from another room in the house provides a nightstand on the other side of The Maven's bed and holds her Aunt's old guitar.  Another sweet Beanie bear keeps watch.  Some of us never out grow our old stuffed friends.

The bed is from IKEA and used to be in The Writer's room.  Found a pretty duvet set at IKEA too with all the colors that go with the room and the sheets we bought last year.

Mr. Tennis helped me put up some blinds and I added a little green tulle for some color.  Just gathered with some ribbon and put up with detachable 3M stickers for posters.

The closet doors were greatly improved with three coats of spray paint.

My friend, CG, who helped me re-upholster a chair last fall, showed me how I could cover the reading lamp over The Maven's bed.  It was very easy and I used the same fabric from some scraps I had left over from the chair project. Spray painted the lamp hardware and I think it is another colorful addition to the room.

And of course, Sadie was there to provide wise dog-advice throughout the project.

Oh, and as for a lot of the other "stuff" that was in the room.  It sits in here with me while I blog in my "office/reading/guest" room.

A lot of this will go with her to her apartment and I'm sure she will add some to the "new" room too.  But first she and I have to make our drive home to Orlando from Los Angeles!  I hope to capture some of the fun of Mr. Tennis' and my week in the Los Angeles area on my blog and then the looooooooonnnnng drive back for The Maven and me. And The Sacred Cow - for those in the know...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spooning in a Florida Garden

My friend, CG's, Native Florida Garden is beginning to really go gang-busters now that we are in the throes of summer.  Her Native Salvia, above, is very well established as are most of her other plants.

I wanted to help her celebrate her success with her garden and stopped by last week with a little gift for her and her garden.


A fellow blogger, Linda at the wonderful Itsy Bits and Pieces, had a post about a talented artist, Brenda,  who makes plant stakes from old silverware.  When I saw them on her website I knew they would be perfect for CG's garden because she loves old silverware and dishes.  If you take a look at Brenda's website here,  you will see for yourself how creative she is not only with her silverware stakes, but with many other things, such as old typewriter keys.  I simply emailed Brenda my list of plant names I wanted on each stake and she took it from there, in record time!  Brenda, you were a delight to work with and I look forward to ordering more from you in the future.

Just take a peek at how nicely these plant stakes look in the garden:

I've discovered CG will need additional stakes in the future as she has added more plants such as this Coneflower:

(Hmmmm, birthday present idea!)

The garden is beginning to reflect all the hard work my friend has put into it over the past several months. 

As I headed out of the yard, I noticed another garden admirer had left his calling card:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm still feverishly putting the finishing touches on The Maven's room before Mr. Tennis and I take off for LA at the end of next week.  I was so tickled when I found this wooden sign at HomeGoods because LOL has become my daughter's signature sign-off with her text messages.  And believe me, she is the text messaging queen!

Last week I painted her room and it only took one coat to cover the lavendar colored walls and stamped flowers that used to outline the windows. I had bought a combination paint/primer at Lowe's by Valspar.  It was worth the little extra it cost.

Is there such a thing as "spray paint finger syndrome"?

You can see my black and white assistant in the background, but she wasn't much help.  The walls may have taken just one coat, but so far I have two coats of spray paint on these old metal bi-folds and they still aren't evenly covered.  I had to give up for the time being as my arm from my elbow down was sore from what seemed like hours spraying these things.  And yes, I saw this little gizmo when I bought the spray paint:

Why, oh why did I not spend the three dollars for this thing?  I will be purchasing one very soon as I still have two more sets of these old doors to paint in addition to one more coat on these ones.

I've been slowly adding The Maven's things back into her room including this old guitar that used to belong to her Aunt Diane.  The Maven is heavy-duty into guitars and I think it looks kind of nice propped up next to her bed.  She had it hanging up on her apartment wall last year and I suspect she may want to do that again, hence the casual leaning against the wall, no nails.

Mr. Tennis is going to help me put up the blinds this weekend and tomorrow I go on a hunt for a bookcase at a church rummage sale and various thrift stores.  I hope to have some final pictures over the weekend of The Maven's "Welcome Back Home Room Make-Over".

I will sign off with a peek at this cute rug that now lays on one side of her bed.

TBL, out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sneak Peak

I've been pretty busy painting, restoring and restructuring The Maven's room the past two weeks, but finally finished the heavy-duty stuff such as painting.  It is far from done and I'm on the hunt for a new "old" bookcase, but thought I would post a sneak peak of a portion of her room.

Not the best lighting in the night shot, but that lamp gives such a nice relaxing light.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Deal of the Week

I was at Lowe's this week to pick up paint and related supplies since I have finally gotten The Maven's room ready to paint.  Which will be happening tomorrow.

As I was scouring the aisles, I came across the clearance rack for rugs and spotted one I felt would look nice in my dining area.  It was a done deal when I spied the price:

Loaded her up into the car and brought her home, nervous that there was probably a huge hole or stain in the middle.

I had to wait for Mr. Tennis to come home to help me move the table and unfurl what I was hoping was a deal.  You can see from the old rug that many of our flooring choices used to be based on how resistant they were to dropped food, and dog or cat vomit.  Those days seem to be behind us so I am taking the chance with a lighter colored, less industrial look.  And there were no horrible surprises lurking in the rolled up rug!

I think it looks quite nice and goes very well with my thrift shop chairs (the Potter chairs would have never survived the rug change!) and the colors I have through the house.

Uh Oh, there goes one of those animal culprits as we speak!

Tomorrow. Painting. Next week. Hopefully, putting the room back into order with some fun new finds and window treatments.  Wish me luck!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Toy Story

I've still found myself thinking about the wonderful movie, Toy Story 3 that I saw last weekend with Mr. Tennis.  I passed by this guy today as I walked through the bedroom:

He has no name that I know of.  Obviously some vicious child chewed his ears and nose and the poor guy doesn't even have eyes anymore, but yet he is still smiling.  Probably because he knows EVERYTHING about me.  You see, my father rushed from work to the hospital where I was born and placed this fella in my bassinet when I was three hours old. Three hours old!  And I still have him.  As a young child I must have asked my dad countless times about the story of this bear, the only thing I remember is that I was 3! Hours! Old! 

I may not remember the early days, but this bear has been everywhere with me. Every move I made, he obviously followed me - I recall that he may even have come to college with me.  As I said, he has seen my whole life and obviously approved of Mr. Tennis. If this bear could talk, well, most of you would be quite bored.  I may not recall my father giving me that bear, but I remember towards the end of my dad's life carting that bear over to the nursing home where he lived to see if he would remember. "I gave that to you when you were three hours old", he said.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Rain

Our 4th of July weekend was a wet one.  Mr. Tennis, The Bostons and I headed to the St. Pete/Tampa area for the long weekend, intending to get in lots of beach time, relaxation, fun and fireworks.

When we woke up Saturday to rain we knew we would have to re-invent our beach day and decided to take in a movie.  Which was a total delight and treat.

And surprisingly, a tearjerker.  Most people our age with kids have travelled the Toy Story adventure from the beginning and this final chapter is so nostalgic and poignant, that even the most stoic will shed a small tear.  And yes, Woody is still my hero...

We knew we would be hitting the fireworks on Sunday night, so we decided to have some different kind of fun Saturday night at:

Oh yes, I know it's shocking to some that we get a kick out of going there once in awhile, but it's an inexpensive night out (if you don't gamble big time).  Free parking. We each take $20 to spend as we wish. Since the tables mostly have minimum $25 bets, we stick to the machines.  Sometimes we break even, sometimes we come out ahead, sometimes we each lose $20.  Then, we head over to the DJ section and listen to Joey Jamz.  I don't know what is more fun, listening to his play mix or watching the various characters who take their turn on the dance floor. And no I don't count us as any of those "characters".

The rain took a break Sunday morning and we headed to one of our favorite dog beaches at Fort DeSoto State Park near St. Petersburg, Florida.  It was overcast which made the temperature actually pleasant and kept the crowds at bay.  Panda and Sadie had a great time. (I'm still an amateur at this video stuff so please excuse the rough "director's" cut - and I won't be hurt if you can't stand to watch the whole thing - next skill, editing videos)

And, it did rain the rest of the day on the 4th, so I got to start in on a new Jodi Picoult novel:

which I am enjoying immensely. 

As for fireworks, well, we did watch them.  Several displays in fact. From Washinton DC, Boston and NYC.  The beauty of television when your 4th of July has been rained out. A good weekend was had by all.  Hope yours was great!!