Friday, September 30, 2016

Living Through A Home Renovation Is Like...

Hey all,

As you can see by the meme to the right, renovation can often be quite an adventure. Surviving can even be a struggle.

For me, I think while I worked hard to get things done and learned to live in a "dust zone", it was easier than what some people deal with. Partly was because of the help I had, but I think the biggest reason was that I did most of it on my own.

Jonathon was there only for a few days, and while he gave me daily input when he was gone, the majority of the work and decisions were mine. And then I carried them out. No arguing, no worries for the most part. I'd ask his opinion, we'd make a decision and then I'd carry it out.

Not that I'd want to do it again. I MISSED him. Missed him being a part of the fun. If we ever do this again, we'll make sure he's part of the action.

But after two and a half months, I'd done all I could do before leaving. And I was happy...very happy with what we'd built. Last week I gave you the BEFORE and AFTER of the kitchen, bathroom and living room. Let's do a few more rooms!

The Upstairs Bedroom

One of the easiest rooms in the house mainly because I only did the basics in this one. Since my son and his lady were going to decorate it, all I did was give them a base to work with. But once you see the BEFORE, you'll see it was something that needed to be done. Badly.
Maybe they were going to use this room as a nursery. Only reason I could think of for a bedroom painted pale blues and pinks!



As you can see, pretty basic, but SOOOOOOOO much better than the pink and blue.

Let's move on down to the lower level of the house. This area was the part that had the water damage when they turned on the water and forgot to check to make sure the winterizing had been done correctly. Luckily, Jonathon is a wiz at plumbing, electrical and construction, and he taught his family when we renovated our tiny cabin in Idaho.

But this house was also a challenge. There wasn't a single room that didn't need work. Our bedroom (formerly an extra living space) was the best of the lot, so I left that for last. Let me show you two areas that needed a lot of work--two that IMHO, I changed into an area you can use and enjoy!

The Hallway. 
This was where MOST of the water damage was. Floor tile was destroyed, ceiling crumbled and paint was peeling. There was nothing we could do but pretty much start over.  Let me show you what I mean...


 I have to add, when the contractors "fixed" the water (Boy, did that not happen!), they pulled down the destroyed ceiling. And left the broken, moldy and disgusting pieces on the floor under the stairs.
Which destroyed all the tiles.  Bloody idiots!!!!!!!!


 Big difference, right???? I am really proud of myself. Especially the floor. That was my own personal HELL until I got in the groove.  LOL

Now the next room is one I'm REALLY proud of. This one was a joint effort. Jasiah, Jeramiah, Jonathon AND I together changed this room from the worst in the house one of the best. I'm talking about...
The Laundry Room it was called at the beginning.
The Hole of Death.


This is a little fuzzy, but it's the best of the worse pictures. This is what the room looked like when we first moved in.


I have to admit, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how this turned out. Talk about a before and after, right????

Anyway, that's all for this week. I'll be back next Friday with a special blog about some other things going on, then I'll be back the following Friday with the last of the renovation blogs!  

Have a great weekend! And please, let me know what you think!

CJ England

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Signage, the Australian Way

Hey guys,

Since I just did my latest upcoming story blog--see links at bottom for that information--I thought today I'd give you a bit of a giggle.

As you know I'm always on the look out for funny signage, statues and street art. I've been in Australia less than two weeks and I'm already finding lots of fun to share.  Ready???

Some of these I've shared of FB, so if you follow me there, think of it as a reminder treat. *grin*

Okay...not so much a funny sign, but one that made me think.  Who's Larry? Why is he happy? Why will eating pizza make us happy like Larry? Is that why Larry is happy? Because we're eating his pizza and making him money?  If we didn't eat pizza would the sign be changed to...
"Unhappy as Larry"?

And then there are these three pictures. I shared them on FB but they're totally worth another look. Who came up with such an awesome marketing plan? Talk about a creative name!!!

Saw this at the Fishmarket this weekend. I know WHY it was up. It is a predominantly Chinese area who do this a little differently than we do. But to have to put up a sign???  Really???? Cracked me up and made me look VERY closely at the toilet BEFORE I sat down!

In Chinatown pharmacy type place. Kangaroo?  Huh...just huh.

They have these "bird deterrents" all over Darling Harbor. Read it completely. The birds are REALLY aggressive and if they get too close you squirt them.  Has diluted vinegar in it. I did use it once.  LOL  Had to.

And finally... This sign is at the entrance to Hyde Park. It tickled us.  Tree failure. What a polite term for...
"dropping a branch on your head"

That's it for today! Don't forget to check out my latest release, Hide and Go Dragon. Links and information is below! And as always, please let me know what you think!

CJ England

Friday, September 23, 2016

Renovate They Said...It Will Be Easy They Said...

Hey all,

Today's blog is a big braggy, I must admit.  LOL  But I have to say the renovations on the house were pretty damn good. I *puffs out chest* was a bit of a miracle worker. With the aid of my sons and a quick visit between Chile and Australia from my sweet baboo, we totally changed what that house looked like. Let's start with the kitchen!

Some of you may remember the cat puke pink cupboards. Well, the next person may not like what I did, but I can honestly say, we did the happy dance when the last bit of puke pink disappeared.



All wood trim, shelves for my huge tin collection, painted and varnished where needed, and the countertops...  Hand done with decoupaged contractor's paper!  I'm very happy with the way it turned out and if the kitchen is the heart of a home, I can now say my heart is in VERY nice shape!
And if you think I've got a lot of magnets... *snort* I've got another banana box filled with them!!!

Now on to the upstairs bathroom. We did more than just paint this one, but they had (one of the few things we liked) this beautiful eastern coastal lighthouse wall trim, so rather than pulling it off, we worked around it. See what you think...



Sorry I don't have more from this room. Not the last when it was decorated. When I took my last set of pictures, my son and his lady were sleeping, so I didn't want to go into the bathroom (which connects to their room) and wake them. When I get more, I'll put them up.
But isn't the wallpaper cool? It was fun to decorate around it. Tell many people you know have real lobster and crab pots in THEIR bathrooms???? LOL

And one more room for this blog...the living room. It was the reason we bought the house, really. The big windows, gorgeous vaulted ceilings and the fireplace. Fell in love with it. But the colors were ugly and the rest boring. But I think I took care of that.  LOL  What do YOU think???



Again, more wood trim (it's in every room), paint that changes color with the light, more shelving and all the things we brought from other countries. As you can see, I'm an eclectic, busy decorator. I love seeing all my memories up. They spark so many fun conversations!

I did more than I thought I would, yet there was so much more needed. But I wanted to make it a home I would want to come home to AND one my sons (who are house sitting for us) could enjoy living in.

Anyway, that's all for today. I'll be back next week with more. I hope you like this peek into how I spent MY summer! LOL

Until Tuesday,

CJ England