Wednesday, February 26, 2014

CHERYL BUTTS IN: What We Collect

Please welcome Cheryl to my blog as she takes over for me during the final stages of my renovation craziness!   This is Cheryl..
I put the moon on her picture because that is always what appears when she makes a comment on my blog.  Take it away Cheryl....

Cheryl in Wisconsin here.  I am an expert blog lurker, gleaning inspiration and ideas from all of bloglandia, while I live the high life in leisure, occasionally leaving snarky comments.   I figured perhaps it was time for me to put forth some effort… and since I am too uncoordinated to start my own blog, Danni at Silo Hill Farm has agreed to let me blather on, here on hers.  Isn’t she special?  You don’t need me to tell you that.

Occasionally I feel the need to define my decorating style.   Why do I do that?   It is almost impossible for me to do so.    I believe, at the end of the day, most people’s home’s d├ęcor is dictated by what they like, what they buy when they’re shopping, what makes them happy.  Rarely can it all be pigeonholed into a particular ‘style’.

I will do three posts, each one about the three most prominent types of stuff I drag home.

Post # 1   HEAVY METAL

Friends avoid going to flea markets and garage sales with me due to my tendency to get attached to the heaviest piece of metal in the place.  

This is my living room wall, behind my couch.  It took me all day to arrange this, it had to be in such a way that the screws holding it all up went into studs.  Perhaps that is my excuse why some of this looks crooked.  Fascinating how much more a person can scrutinize in a photo vs. in person.  (I’m learning, bloggers!)  You do NOT want to piddle around with 112 year old plaster.

If you look past the dust and computer cables in this next photo, you can see the GINORMOUS iron gate that stands behind my computer desk in the dining room alcove.  This puppy is 7 feet tall and weighs one ton (I’m estimating).  I bought it on eBay and drove to Minnesota to pick it up.  The guy I was dating at the time had impressive muscle strength and a very convenient pickup truck. 

There is also a Hand of Fatima door knocker, also purchased from eBay when I was on a France kick.  It was too heavy to actually put on my door so I made it into a paper holder apparatus for my desk.

Miscellaneous metal stuff -  silver, ormolu, keys, your typical metal birds.  Please note the succulent planting in the background.  That was inspired by Miss Danni.

This is the top of my entertainment center .  There is a shelving piece on top one of my friends had made out of an old window.  It houses part of my silver collection.  I started collecting silver a number of years back before the melt value skyrocketed.  Nowadays I have to compete for it at garage sales with old men that see it for it’s salvage value.   Let me ask you this:  What could they possibly make out of the melted silver that would be as fabulous as what it is now?  I will continue my quest, and when I kick the bucket I’ll ask the team clearing my home to NOT allow this beautiful artwork to be melted.  I prefer the tarnished look of these pieces, which makes owning them much easier than if I were to use it all Downton Abbey-esque .

This unit is on my front porch.  It will be obvious to anyone on a similar latitude as Wisconsin that this photo was not taken this week.  I was at an adorable little shop in northern Wisconsin one day when I decided that this had to come home with me.  It didn’t fit in the trunk of the Oldsmobile well, but that did not stop me.

If you have an old iron stove on one side of your porch it must be balanced by another iron stove on the other side, doesn’t it?  This was given to me by a dear friend.

This was on Craigslist for $100.  It is an actual iron balcony removed from an old apartment house.  I had to have it.  Why?,I was asked.  I had no idea.  Fortunately for me, I was still dating the muscle man with the pickup at the time.  I have no idea how much it weighs, but I can tell you that I’m fairly strong and I cannot move this thing.  I have it up against my house in the back and covered it with an old door.  That is roofing rubber covering the top, with a terrible attachment job.  In my defense, it was around 100-degrees the day I decided to staple it to that door.  Do you know how hot black rubber gets in 100-degree weather?  I will reapproach that project some day when it’s nice out and I don’t have anything else to do.  It makes a wonderful potting bench.

My house does not have an actual fireplace.  This is what I put together to fake one.  It started with this gorgeous fireplace surround, taken out of an old mansion out east.  (Don’t you just mourn for the old homes that architectural salvage is obtained from?)  I build the rest of it out of bedposts and a piece of shelf.  The ‘background’ is just textured wallpaper that I painted grey then slopped stain on.

A closer view of the best part:

That is it for this post.  I hope I provided an iota of entertainment, like you all do for me.

Thanks, Danni!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I have to say, I have made some wonderful friends in the blog world and have been lucky enough to meet some of them.  If you are a blogger, you know that comments can really make your day.  I try to respond to all of my comments.  Sometimes though, we get comments from people who are not bloggers and we can't respond to them.  Last March, I started getting some great comments (really funny comments) from someone called, "Cheryl in Wisconsin".  She looked like this on my comments....
I tracked her down.  It wasn't easy and I kind of felt like a reverse stalker, but it was so worth my time.  We have become good friends.  I have tried for almost a year to get her to start a blog.  She's very talented.  She's also pretty funny.  Although I have had no success in getting her to start her own blog, (YET), I did convince her to do some guest posts for me.  
So...while I am busy priming and painting and hopefully putting final touches on my renovation of the house we bought, Cheryl will be doing a little guest posting for me here.  She's going to show you a little bit of her decorating style and some of the fabulous finds she has made.  Seriously, some crush-worthy stuff is coming your way!
Cheryl needs a blog, but in the mean time, I'll be happy to have her butt in on mine. 
So....for the next 3 weeks or so, Wednesdays will be "Cheryl Butts In".  Hope you enjoy her as much as I do! Come back tomorrow and meet her!  I'm happy to share my friend with you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

RENOVATION UPDATE #3...Primer Overload

I have "primer brain".  Seriously...I have laid more than 15 gallons of primer in the house we are renovating.  But worse than that...I have "sheet rock dust head".  Oh yes...I wore a mask, but really, that stuff gets everywhere and you can't help but breathe some. of rooms that have primer are I'll just share a few that might show you some of the more interesting stuff.
I'm starting with the bathroom because well...I'm so sore from priming that I really want to soak in my new bathtub.  It needs grout, but the tile is there.  You can see in the bottom picture that this is where the crazy long vanity with one small sink in it was.
This is where the two single sinks will go with the built in medicine cabinet/mirrors above...
 I'll remind you that we took one big bathroom and two big closets and made two bathrooms out of it all.   There is tile on the floor..needs grout, but we're getting there.
Let's move to the kitchen because my new cabinets are finally up on the wall and waiting for paint.
You can see that I opted for some oversized drawers and less cabinets below.  This was suggested to me by the cabinet makers wife.  Those drawers are rated for 100lbs each, so my dishes will fit in them. more reaching up for the heavy stuff.  She's a smart woman.  Also, you can see that bump-out in my wall which is where the microwave will go so it doesn't take up counter space.  Who do I have to thank for that brilliant idea?....Suzan at Simply Suzan. You can see her post about it HERE.
See that hole in the top of my kitchen ceiling?  That's for the stainless steel hood vent.  When we gutted the kitchen, we moved the stove over about 4 inches.  Turns out when the hole was cut to place the vent hood pipe....yeah...there was a joist there.  So...a new joist had to be built and put in before we could cut through the old one.  Some swear words were said.
Here is the other side of my kitchen with the pass through that is still giving me fits...
Really...I wish I had just sheet rocked that thing in.  Because that used to be an exterior is a little low.  Because it is a little low, I had to have custom counter tops made in order to accommodate my tile design.  Turns out those custom countertops were a little more custom than I had planned as some of the material was special order.  Now, I'm behind schedule.  I do not love that pass through.  I still haven't figured out what to do with it.  More swears have been said.  On the bright side, that doorway goes to my laundry room and, at the suggestion of a worker, it will be a swinging door.   How cool is that???!!! Lets look at a before pic of this kitchen.
You can see that I took out the soffits and the crazy 1/2 wall paneling.  I also moved the dishwasher to the left of the sink and the fridge to the right.  I totally eliminated upper cabinets on this side and opted for open shelving.  Also, we removed the ugly wood on the pass through from hell and just sheet rocked it. 
Here is the shower in the new master bath....
It's still a little dark in there.  I love that you can sit in this shower.  A tip from my plumber...put at least one row of tile on the outside of your shower walls.  He said he has had to replace more sheet rock on showers because they get water just outside the shower.  Made sense to me!
Remember this crazy arched window that was stupid expensive to replace in my master bedroom?
It's gone.  All new windows and now it looks like this...
I promise you my pocket book is happier now.
I stole the bedroom that had two windows in it for my craft room.  Now I'm trying to decide whether or not to put a desk/office area in that closet or make it be a closet again.  What do you think?
I'm still daydreaming about this funky family room with the low ceiling on one end.  It's all primed and ready for some paint.  I really need to make up my mind.
That is my dishwasher and stove sitting in there covered with plastic.  You can see all of the sheet rock dust on the floor by looking at the edge of the wall under the window where my butt sat while trimming with primer.  I swept it up twice before that.  No wonder my head is stopped up.  You can also see the pass through from hell in the picture on the right, as well as the entryways on each side of my kitchen.  Just another thing that makes me crazy.  Seriously...when you walk in my front door, this is what you see...two big openings.  One into the kitchen and the next one into the family room.
I think it makes me so crazy because the opening into the family room is bigger than the one into the kitchen.  It would be more aesthetically pleasing if it were the opposite.  I'm not changing it.
Speaking of the living has become our current break area...
See that card table and chairs?  That's about the only place in the whole house to set anything down on except my bathtub and no one would dare set anything on that.  I'm looking forward to getting some counter tops so everything doesn't have to be set on the floor. We had to empty the whole house out to get rooms ready to prime and all of it got put in the garages.  This is garage #1.  You can see the wide opening to garage #2 on the right of the picture.  That big blue dumpster is going away this week. Yay!
This is garage #2.  See all of the junk in the middle?  That is the old heating ductwork.  It is dangerously close to my beautiful white couch which is undercover just beneath the window. 
Yes, the new heating system was an unbudgeted surprise.  Swear words.  The old heating system was so inefficient that the sheet rocker guys mud froze overnight.  More swear words.  But we got a good one and it's a Cadillac when it comes to heating systems, so I'm glad for it. 
See that switch on the upper right of the unit?  It shuts the power off to the furnace so if it ever needs repairs, the repair man can just flip that switch and work on it without cutting power to anything else in the house.  It's the little things. is the other end of garage #2, which will be Sam's workshop.  I'm excited for him to have it.  It's a big space and I know he will be building me wonderful things in it! LOL!
Okay...I'm tired of posting pictures and really all that's left is the laundry room, a half bath, Jacobs room and an office.  All primed and ready for paint.  Consider yourself updated.  
Now, while I'm gearing up for a couple of weeks of painting and then moving, I'm going to let someone else take over my blog.  Yep...I've got an intruder coming to my blog and I'll introduce you to her next week.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, so stay tuned! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014


It's somebody's birthday today.  I had a plan.  I had planned to go visit her and surprise her with these......

Now this person is not a big drinker.  In fact I can probably count the times I've seen her drink on one hand.  (Although I'm sure it's probably happened a little bit more than that, but get the idea.)
Anyway, as I said yesterday, the weather is not my friend lately and next week I hope to be working hard over at the new house, so, I will not be making that trip any time soon.  I'm sorry for that. I know we would have enjoyed our visit and maybe even a little of this gift.  Just a little.  I kind of love this stuff and I'm not a big whisky drinker either.  But...toasted caramel?  I'm there. 
Now before you go thinking I've misspelled whisky, let me school you a little on that.  Black Velvet is Canadian whisky.  Canadians spell it W-H-I-S-K-Y.  As do the Scotts and the Japanese.  Other countries use the familiar W-H-I-S-K-E-Y.  My humble opinion is that I should give these distillers the respect of spelling it they way they named it.  
But...let's just say you've had a little too much of this wonderfulness and now you can't remember which way which brand is spelled.  Well, I can help you out with a little bit of mnemonics (which I could not spell on my own, even in a sober state)...
There ya go....makes the perfect birthday card don't ya think??
 But I digress....this is a post about some awesome whisky as a birthday gift.  Now you might think I should just craft up a cute, clever little package and mail it.  Well, I could certainly do that if  I thought I would look all cute in an orange jumpsuit or thought that prison chefs get their recipes from pinterest, but I know the first is not true, (I look hideous in orange) and I'm just gonna guess that the second is also not true, but if any of you have any first hand experience with eating prison food and want to dispute that claim, well, keep it to yourself.  It is illegal to ship alcohol via the United States Postal Service.  In fact, if you are shipping something that is not alcohol, but are using a box that was manufactured to contain alcohol, then you are supposed to "completely remove all logos and labels".  Okay, I know I'm guilty of NOT doing that. 
Again, I'm off point here.  
Black Velvet Toasted Caramel Whisky is the bomb.....even to a person who doesn't drink much (such as the person I purchased this for)  so getyasum.
I'm going to hope this wonderful person doesn't count the number of bottles in this picture too carefully because one may be missing soon.  I'm pretty sure I look just like Alannah Myles when I drink Black Velvet.  Check it out below...

Or I look like this....

As for the recipient of this awesomeness...hang'll get there! (most of it anyway)  I love you and you know who you are.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I would love to have a renovation update for you, but I don't.  Not because things aren't getting done, because they are, but slowly.  The weather is not my friend.  It's beyond frustrating.  Suzan at Simply Suzan was giving me a little grief about not making a ton of Valentine crafts like I usually do, so I decided to make something yesterday instead of being all frustrated.  Suzan loves hearts, so ....
A couple of years ago I found some ugly wooden hearts.  Somewhere in my computer there is a picture of them, but I'm too lazy to search for it.  I primed them with white spray primer and then they sat around for a year.  I outlined the heart with black marker.
Some black and white washi tape was the perfect width for covering the edges.

Since I don't have a silhouette and because I wanted to finish this craft in like 20 minutes, I opted for some "rub on" words.  Too easy.
"Thick and Thin"....yep, that pretty much describes our 20 plus years of marriage for sure.
I found a cute little stick on dot just to give it some 3-D-ness.  Gave about 30 seconds thought to adding some more bling and voted no.  
I stuck it up on a little shelf in my black and white bedroom.  Which reminds me...I never posted more about my black and white bedroom.  Oh well.  Now it has a black and white heart that reminds me that Valentines Day is really all about loving someone through thick and thin.