Aug 29, 2010


Hah- got you to look!! I've been cutting in with Kilz all day, welllllll, not so much. It's hard to do with the 4 y.o. helping me. hehehe

This is what I'm working on.

Seriously?? UGH. Mint green walls. Brown wallpaper with big flowers all over it. Blech.

So I pulled the wallpaper off, and there's enough glue on there to... to.... I don't know what. But ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

I hate wallpaper. Really. Stay tuned.

Aug 24, 2010


Adam will go to pre-K today. Just a trial run, to get the feel of the place. It should be interesting. He's already told me he doesn't want to go. I guess he's forgotten how he's wanted to go to school for the past two years, when he watched Jason get on the bus in the morning.

It's hard, dropping off your child with people you don't know, in a place you don't know. Luckily, the daycare/preschool is one mile from here. When Jason went to pre-K, he attended a school that my niece and nephews had already attended. I had all sorts of information about it from my sister-in-law, so for some reason, it wasn't so hard. With Adam, it's a little different- we don't know any other families who have used this daycare. I hope he adjusts well. I want him to succeed.

I am amazed how quickly they have grown. Jason just turned 7. We made the agonizing decision to keep him back in first grade this year. The move really just caused him to shut down and stop learning. I feel that the school dropped the ball- no extra one-on-one time was give to him, nothing special to help him catch up. He jsut floated through the class, feeliing like a failure. That's what we've been trying to un-do all summer. I feel I missed the ball, not quite aware of how stalled out he was (even though there were multiple conferences and emails). Anyway, I can't imagine him struggling for the next 12 years, when an extra year in the early stages would do the job. It's weird to think of having to tutor your first grader, but that's what we've done all summer. It's been difficult.

I have to admit, I'll be glad for the break when both boys go to school. It's been a long time coming- quite solitude and "me" time. But it also signals the new chapter in our lives, the chapter with older children, school activities, sports, and all the rest of it. I hope I'm up for the challenge.

Aug 19, 2010

Before and After

OK, these pictures are a little boring, but some of my family and friends wanted to see them.

We get a lot of water in the basement, which apparently is common in Maine. We are, after all, only about 300 ft above sea level. The ground here tends to be very sandy. Luckily, our is pretty good soil.

I wanted to just have some grading done so that the water drained away from the house. I also wanted to do some planting, and the bamboo was too deep, so that needed to be dug out too.

Well, you know how the story goes... a little bit of grading turned into a lot of tearing out old trees and bushes, and laying pipe around the foundation that will be connected to the gutter.

Now if Icould only keep the chickens out of the new grass seed!

Aug 17, 2010

Yummy Birds- and then some...

Here are some recent creations I'm offering:
Did I mention they were inspired by KC Willis' Collage Camp?

And that she'll be holding a class at my house in October?

And a big PS- KC is offering her Collage Camp DVDs in a box for the last time. Now they will go in a cool bag instead. You'll still receive three workshops (Collage Camp, Altered Books, and Altered Shrines), and a signed collage in a cool little bag. But hurry, times awastin'!

Aug 15, 2010


Some of you out there know me personally, some of your only through the internet and this cool blogging world. I wanted to add a postscript to the last post, to explain how truly grateful I am.

I was married at 25 and divorced at 30. I was mentally abused, worn down, made to feel as if I had nothing worth giving. I wasn't this and I wasn't that. So much for not believing in divorce. Hey, when one partner wants out, the other is left holding the bag.

I went home to my parent's, depressed, unable to function, save go to work and come back. I went to lick my wounds, tail between my legs, feeling like failure. I had to find myself again. That was 1997.

I entered nursing school. I realized I was smart. I went to counseling every week during the school year- it's free at the university. I went for 2.5 years. Then, one day, I realized I didn't need to go anymore. I had worked out my demons. I smiled at my AMAZING counselor and said "I don't think I need to come anymore." He smiled. "I don't either." I graduated with a BSN and entered into critical care. That was 2000.

I met my amazing husband in 2001. It seemed like I had been single forever. He was the man I was waiting my whole life for. He loves me for who I am. He takes the good and the bad. He calms me. He makes me laugh. We were blessed to get pregnant right away, while one of my dearest friends struggled with infertility. It was a hard place to be, but instead of it coming between our friendship, she rejoiced with me. And a few years later she was blessed with a child too.

So, if you'd asked me, way back after I was divorced, if I'd ever be married or have children, I would have said no. But, luckily for me, God said YES.

Aug 14, 2010

Seven is a Magic Number

Seven years ago, Chris and I were blessed with the birth of this lovely child. Thank you God.

Aug 10, 2010

I need a table- a really loooooooooooong one.

I have this side enclosed porch on my house, just waiting for something to fill it. The possibilites are endless... It is big, about 8 x 27, yeah, that big. Like my other small side porch, the windows are repurposed, old storm windows. They slide open and closed in two areas. I found one screen the fits, the other is a makeshift one that fits no where in this house... but it must have at some point, as I found it in the barn with a million other ones.

The strange thing about the porch is that is is only accessible by ONE door, off the dining room (or what they called the dining room, and I'm still using for storage). There is not staircase leading to the outside of the house, like a traditional porch. It does, however, have window into my studio, which could be interesting. hehehe
The window on the right goes into my studio.
The two windows on the left are in the dining room. Neext to it is the only door into the porch. The little window looks into my kitchen.

My friend Angela thinks I should set an amazing table here, and then add all kids of ephemera, art and other goodies, and use it as a kind of show room. I like this idea. Except for one. small. detail. The room is not completely waterproof/weatherproof. We've had one instance where the rain came in in all kinds of weird places- down the siding in two places, running behind the window that leads into the kitchen. The snow blows between the cracks in the windows. Probably relatively easy fixes- just not being down now.
Elle decor

pink house home office
My mom likes the idea of putting my old daybed in there. I like that idea too. I even bought some heavenly blue chenille pillow covers for the bed, which is still in the house at the moment... Again, the weather thing could be an issue, but I just need to buy a waterproof mattress cover.

both images from Coastal Living
OK- so back to the table thing. I need table, because I think I may have the art retreat in this room, if the weather is warm enough. It gets amazing light all day, and has easy access to the kitchen and bathroom. I have a barn full of crap wood things- doors, windows, pallets, etc. We also have a ton of old railroad ties that need to be pulled away from the swing set. Did anyone see the installment of Color Splash in Miami, with the table made from old ties? AMAZING. David is cute too, but I digress....

My sister Christine sent me a link to a shop that sells legs and things for tables, so that you can put whatever you want on the top. That could be cool- very cool. Which brings me to the mention of Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors- she's in the middle of a table project too. She's using pallet wood- which I happen to have plenty of. Hmmmmm.

 So, what kind of table would you like? And send me some interesting links, if you have any!

Aug 7, 2010

Aprons for me and the boys

Aprons, they seem to be the rage these days. Stampington even puts out a publiction call "Apronology." Who knew that such a humble piece of fabric could become so popular?

I have a few, picked up for practically nothing at a local thrift store back in Pa. I haven't made any since I was in middle school. Why bother, they can be picked up anywhere? Although, I have to say there are some really amazing fabrics out there that would be fun to make aprons out of. Tammy made us some cool ones last year for the Girls Weekend.

this is Tammy's mother, Ruth Canfield, modeling her apron. I can't find a picture of me in mine.

I tend to wipe my hands on my aprons- isn't that what they're for? But I mean, with stuff like paint and ink that doesn't come out. It's a fine line between function and not wanting to ruin them.

I had this little apron on the other day. It's soft and worn, and probably handmade. The fabric is definitely from another era! But it hides dirt well.

I was working in my studio, with both boys at my feet. Jason, my oldest, asked me if he could wear one of my aprons. Hmmmm. I said no, but that we would go to Home Depot and get him one. I took two of their .77 cent, two pocket aprons and sewed them together, one for each boy. Viola. Easy apron, perfect from crafting, with plenty of pockets for hidden goodies.

 So now they can wipe their hands on their aprons, like I do.

hugs- Lee

Aug 5, 2010

Some Country Charm

There is a front porch and 2 side porches on my home. The front porch is seldom used, and is just about 6x6, I'm guessing. In the house I grew up in, the original porch had a sky blue ceiling. It was slightly more turquoise than blue. I wish I had a picture of it. The blue is often referred to haint blue, and it varies by region. It's more turquoise in Ohio, and gets more powdery blue as you travel south. I'm not sure if it is a custom up here in Maine, but it is on my house, anyway!



I chose Artic Blue by Glidden. It turned out lovely!

After spying this over at French Larkspur, I had to give my little side porch a makeover.  Tracey mentioned in her blog that it was a vendor booth, made up of old windows.

My side porch is about 6x6, and is made up of old storm windows. The larger windows on the side still show the indentations from the hinges, and the smaller ones in the front still have their hinges. If you look in the upper corner, you can see them.

 I think the narrower windows may have opened up at the bottom, but there is a single nail holding them closed. My sister and I couldn't find the nail head, and hubby had already gone out of town (think reciprocating saw, which I wasn't sure about using).

I added some teal plaid valences from my former laundry- think they're too short? I want to make some banners too.

I bought white paint to do the railings (coming down someday, but not yet), and red paint for the floor (to match the trim on the barn). But then when I was scraping off the chippy paint, I found significant rot and dry rot. UGH.

So, I'm waiting for hubby to come before wasting paint. I hope we can repair it, because I want it to look good for the ART RETREAT!!

Let me know if you have any suggestions for this little gem-in-the-rough.

hugs- Lee

Aug 2, 2010

Random things

So, it's been a few weeks. What have I been doing? Oh, everything and nothing.

I still mourn my cat. I look for her in her usual places, out of habit. But less and less. I found a clump of her fur and put it in a baggy. It made me cry. I looked online at all of the cats on a local shelters pages, but decided it was too soon. However, I miss having a lap cat. Someday.

The kids are being kids. Jason goes to his grandmother's for tutoring, trying to get ready for second grade. The move really put him behind in school, and although we knew he was struggling a little, we didn't realize how much. Which made me angry at the school and angry at myself, feeling like a failure as a mom. The very hard truth is, I don't like teaching my son. The mother-son dynamic makes it very hard for me to be patient. So, the job is better left to a teacher, for now anyway.

And I have enough on my plate- trust me. I have been working per diem, which is basically on an as needed basis. Well, God finally answered my prayers, and I will convert to a part-time position in about 2 weeks- read benefits!!- but that changes my work schedule. I will work 2 twelve hour shifts a week, whether or not hubby is in town or not. Which begs the question- what about daycare??? Well, of course, that is for me to figure out. It means before and after care for Jason, all day care for Adam. And then there's the problem of the hours- NOTHING is open at 6 in the morning, when I need to leave. And the same for the evening. I won't pick them up until about 7:30-8. The stress is killing me. it's no wonder my IBS is so bad right now.

And work- love the job, but the assignments are heavy. And, being new, I am still constantly asking how to do things, you know, the 6 month curve.. Oh, and one of my patients coded and died the other day. Yeah, my third or fourth shift off orientation.... I had lots of help, and that the nature of the business, but seriously... can I just catch a break?

Don't even get me started on the myriad of other things- the hen that quit laying, the rotted boards of the porch, including a footer, husband out of town for two weeks at a time, the lawn mower broke down for the third time this summer...

BUT, there have been good things. My mom, sister Christine, her boys and my niece just came for a nice visit. We cleaned up, took boxes to the attic, and painted the laundry room. We spend a glorious day at my in-laws place on Taylor Pond, parked on the dock.

We have been spending time with our new friends the Hill's. Hanging out, bbq-ing, roasting marshmallows. J. took Jason out fishing and swimming all day yesterday. Both boys got to ride their bikes a lot- they have pavement over there. LOL.

My brother-in-law J was just here from Detroit. We had a great time, good dinner, fun. His sister, also a J, just blew in from NYC with her BF in tow. We had a nice evening with them yesterday.

We picked and ate all of our fresh peas- note to self, plant A LOT more next time. The zucchini plants have huge blooms. The tomato plants are full of green tomatoes- or apples, as Adam calls them. Our apple trees are full of apples, more than we'll ever need, which is a blessing.

My friend Angela took amazing pictures of the kids the other day= priceless.

So, that's my past couple of weeks in a nutshell. It's been both good and bad. But, isn't that what life is about? I hope you come back to visit often, and I'll be posting some reno pictures soon!

hugs- Lee