Monday, July 21, 2014

Here we go again with Restoration #2

I've been kind of quiet around here because I've been preoccupied. Stressed out and preoccupied.  You may remember a little over a year ago, we went through a huge restoration when we had a tiny water leak that affected our entire first floor.  I blogged about it here, here, and here.

After the restoration was complete, everything looked great until about two months after we moved in.  I started noticing the floors weren't "right".  For a YEAR, I went back and forth with the the restoration company who kept telling me everything was fine and I kept insisting it wasn't. My gut told me things weren't right.  I'd wait a couple months and call them back again, over and over.  I finally got two outside opinions and each contractor told me at a minimum we needed to have the floors refinished.

We finally got the original contractor to agree to refinish the floors and were getting ready to schedule a date when I found the source of the problem.  The plumber who installed the toilet in the 1/2 bath didn't install it correctly and it had been leaking under the floors for the past year.  YEP.  Guess I was right.

So that means the ENTIRE job gets to be done again. Not only that, but since it is a 3rd party liability claim, I had to go round and round with everyone to get this project scheduled. I had to deal with the contractor, the adjuster, and the 3rd party insurer.  It took over a month and multiple, draining phone calls to finally get this project underway.

So, the mess gets bigger as they pack us up once again. How do you decide what you need for the next five weeks and what you can live without?

It makes my stomach turn to see our home be upended this way once again.  It's a violation for people to be pawing over our stuff. And the dogs were beside themselves with all these people in our home, packing up our things.

Ugh. So empty.

We really have to do this all again???  If you blow up the picture big enough, you will see the granite countertops on the back porch next to the toilet sitting out there too.  I'm sure the neighbors think we are total white trash.  I don't care.  I'm over it.

Today the demolition finally began and it's a mix of feeling sick to my stomach over what is happening to my home, and a mix of relief that we are finally moving forward and that much closer to getting it all back to normal.

I'm sure the neighbors like seeing all this crap in the garage along with the giant dumpster and pod parked in the driveway, and construction vehicles clogging our quiet little street.

It gets worse before it gets better, right?

Last renovation, we were stupid enough to live in the guest bedroom with the four dogs while all this went on.  This time, I couldn't face all that and started stressing out about going to a hotel with the dogs.  I kept praying about what we were going to do and stressing how I was going to handle it all.  God had a plan and I didn't need to worry about a thing!

We didn't end up in a hotel.  THIS is where we are staying:

 It's a 20 acre property that used to be a mini horse farm.  Our friends own this beautiful place and it has been sitting empty so they allowed us to rent it for the time we need AND it's  no problem to have the dogs here!

The grounds are beautiful!  We're calling it our country manor. ;)
Below is the barn where the mini horses used to sleep. It has cute living quarters on the second level.

The house itself is way bigger than what we need for a rental but we are enjoying our time here.  There is a large room at one end of the house that we think was at one time a home office.  When we saw the windows with this amazing view of the back yard, we decided to camp out in there.  So we wake up to this beautiful view. 

It's aggravating, stressful and just a big pain in the neck to be going through this for a second time but I just Thank God for all the wonderful things in our lives.  I really shouldn't complain because nobody is hurt, nobody is sick, we didn't lose anything, and the house is being repaired.  Plus, look at this place we get to stay! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

A few Birdsong 4 projects

Andrea Singarella taught this beautiful bracelet class and supplied all the vintage findings.

For those who finished early with their bracelets, Andrea generously offered additional beads and findings so we could make earrings.  I love mine!

 Karla taught a fun class of wool spun cotton fairies.  The dog lovers at our table used the additional images Karla provided to make ours into dog fairies.

 Lori Oles taught a sweet, nature inspired shadow box class.

The last class of the weekend was a beautiful mobile that was taught by Karla. It's going to be so pretty when it's done but I didn't quite finish mine before it was time to pack up.  If I get it done anytime soon, I'll be sure to post some photos.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Birdsong 4

Wow - it's been a while, hasn't it?  Let me get right to it then.  :)

A couple weeks ago, I traveled with my friend Terri up to Lawrence, Kansas for Birdsong 4 at Karla Nathan's home.  I've been every year since the first one and it's always a great weekend. Terri and I travel well together and it's always nice to hang out with her.

Karla recently had a new patio installed and everything was looking great for us.

Lots of plants, flowers and fresh herbs that Karla uses in her cooking.  Karla is a fantastic cook - everything is healthy and delicious and prepared with lots of love.

 How cute is this?  It's always fun to just take some time to look around.  Karla is always moving things around so we have new vignettes to look at and enjoy.

 Most of us traveled up a day early to shop at West Bottoms which is a warehouse area with lots of antique shops.  It's only open one weekend a month so this is where we got the weekend started. Here's Terry and Laurie:
It was a long hot day of shopping and walking and we were pretty exhausted at the end of the day.  But the fun didn't stop there - Karla's friend Angie invited us all to her shop for a lovely party.  Beth set up a make n take in the back room so we got to eat, shop, create, and socialize. Fun, fun, fun!

If you are a usual reader of my blog, you know that I love swaps!  This spring was so busy for me that I didn't have a chance to sign up for any this time.  I knew that I would be sorry when the time came for the swaps, but I didn't want to commit and then not be able to do my best work, or have to rush and stress out.  This years swaps were a banner swap, an altered bottle swap, and an altoid tin swap.  They did not disappoint!  The talent in this group is amazing. 

Here is Linda with her bottle swap.  She is always so colorful and happy.  :)

Here are Suzanne and Tami showing off one of the beautiful banner creations.

 Hope, Karla and Randy:

This is an altoid tin that was decorated by Terry Frias for Pam.  I want it!

My crafty tablemates seated clockwise from the left are Terri, Laurie, Tammy, and Terry. Laurie is a four timer to Birdsong - just like me.  It was Terry's first time, but I bet it won't be her last!

Just down the table is Hope and Linda.

It's so fun to see old friends every year and of course, to meet a few new ones too.

Rhonda, Linda, Gail and Nora checking out one of the swaps.

In the next post, I'll share pictures of our projects.  :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bobbie's Vintage Bunny Class

The Saturday before Easter, Bobbie taught this Vintage Bunny Class at Paper Crown.  Isn't she the cutest?

Just check out this adorable class kit!  

 And of course, this sweet little name tag!    I save them all and have them on a bulletin board in my craft room.  Maybe I'll do a blog post on that.  Hmmm....

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Glittered Retreat

Oh my gosh ~ I can't believe I have neglected my blog this long.  I've been thinking about blogging but just haven't had a block of time to do it.  So sorry!  

Well anyway.  This post will be loaded with pictures so hopefully you enjoy!

Earlier in the month my favorite store in Oklahoma City, Paper Crown, hosted an amazing Glittered Retreat.  You know I love a good retreat and I knew this wasn't to be missed.  I signed up long before the projects were announced because at Paper Crown, there is NEVER a class I want to miss.

For the first Glittered Retreat all the teachers were our local favorites.  We have incredible talent right here in Oklahoma and to get to take a class with each of these ladies in one weekend was a real treat!  The weekend lineup included Jackie Peters, Medeah, Holly Abston, and Bobbie Sanders.  I've added links to their blogs and definitely check them out!

Below are the pictures of the projects scheduled for the weekend.  (note: I didn't take the project pictures, I got them from the Paper Crown blog)

Jackie's Project:

The class kit's for Jackie's class.  I know - it's okay to be jealous.  ;)

 Bobbie's Project:

And Bobbie always outdoes herself:  (the outside)

 The inside of Bobbie's kit.  We had a little laugh because Bobbie said she created the inside of the kits with me in mind.  She wrapped all the individual trims on a card because somehow when I'm in a class with Bobbie my embellishments end up everywhere but my work space!  This way, I can keep track of everything.  ;)

 Holly's Project:

I didn't get a picture of Holly's kits but we were able to select our favorite vintage wallpaper and seam binding from her amazing stash!  :)

 Medeah's Project:

Medeah's kit.  We were lucky because she prepared the boards for us ahead of time to speed things along.  

Bobbie made these fabulous programs for our weekend.  Every little detail was taken into consideration to make this such a fun time for all of us.

While we each were to make our own name tags for a contest, this sweet little name tag and pencil awaited me prior to Jackie's class.

 And OH YES! Don't we all love a sweet swag bag filled with lovely treats???

The ladies worked for WEEKS transforming the upstairs room into this fun and beautiful space for our meals.  Each time we entered this room, the decor and tablescapes were different and new.  
 See ~ I told you!  Such attention to detail.
 Just lovely.  And although I didn't get pictures of the food, it was amazing too.  Everything lovingly prepared and served.  The Paper Crown ladies know how to spoil us!
How sweet.

 These ladies worked their tail feathers off  for us.  I don't think words can convey the appreciation I know we all had for all the hard work, attention to detail, and creation of such a special weekend we all had.

On Friday afternoon, we took a shopping field trip to The Rink which is an antique mall.  When we were finished shopping we were surprised with all this goodness waiting for us at the front of the mall.  Inside the pink box was a delicious cupcake.  A nice drink of water in adorably decorated bottles and a copy of a favorite magazine. What more could we ask for???

I'm sure I've forgotten to mention some of the details but go on over to the other blogs with links and I'm sure you'll see plenty more!  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

St. Patty's Swap

When Vivian announced a Secret Leprechaun swap I knew I had to be in, so I signed up first thing.  Then, I began to panic because I don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day and I certainly don't have any decorations for it.

Once I settled down and started thinking about what I would make for this swap, I really had fun.  The person I'm sending this to doesn't know yet that I'm her Secret Leprechaun.  Here is a tag I made to send along with a couple goodies.

This little hanging ornament  turned out kind of sweet.  It measures approximately 5x7 and is a burlap "pillow" with a decoupaged sheet of music, an Irish girl, and some other embellishments on the front.

I'm happy with the way this banner turned out, and I hope I have time to make myself one just like it.  It was hard to photograph so in the picture below, I took a closeup of the letter L.

My Secret Leprechaun was Kim K.  Kim and I had swapped Valentine's a year or so ago.  She's a speedy Leprechaun and my package of St. Patty's goodness arrived over the weekend.  It was all so festively wrapped which is part of the fun!

This frame with the 3d Leprechaun is just the sweetest thing!  What a great idea.

She also made this cute Leprechaun in a cloche.  Don't you just love this?

Kim also included a fun shamrock necklace, some St. Patty's napkins and some gold coins.  Thanks Kim!  And thanks to Viv for hosting this fun little swap.  :)