Friday, July 13, 2018

It's been a LONG TIME!  I've missed blogging & my blog friends but, life is so different now.
We are loving our house that you saw all the remodel jobs on & it's hard to believe we've lived here 5 years now.

Hubby had a serious health scare in late 2015 but, he's doing well now.  He putters about & enjoy's his yard.

I've been having some teachers in to teach for my local peeps & even had some fly in from different places.  I'll show you a few of the classes.

We started out with the Coin Purse Necklace first.

Then it was the Bling Bracelet....

Marie in all her finery showed in 2017.

Bunnies were next...

And Art Aprons!

So all that excitement & work is what I've been up to.  We'll see how many of you are still in Blogland with how much response I get to this post.  What's up in your world?

HUGS!   Charlene

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Kitchen Reveal

I have been MIA (Missing in Action) due to the remodel of the house (& a few trips for sanity sake) that we bought last year!  We got a good deal on it but, it has been a TOTAL GUT JOB!  We started in the Master Suite before moving in but, the kitchen is what started 2014!    Above is the finished project & I LOVE IT!!!!  Below is the old original kitchen.  

HATED the honey gold shiny wood cabinets!

January 7th they came in & GUTTED the kitchen.  Took out everything to the floor except a few cabinets.  It was one of the coldest winters Texas has had in awhile & we had an 8 x10 foot hole cut in the wall with only a thin plastic sheet covering it.  

Eventually, we got sheet rock.  It was still COLD!!!! And dirty!  We had a band of "Merry Men" show up almost everyday.

Below was the way the breakfast room looked when we viewed the house for the first time.

And below is the same area during the demo phase...

I decided I didn't need a breakfast nook as we have a HUGE island with stools at the end so I created a sitting area where my friends & family can sit & visit with me while I prepare food.  We all really enjoy this area & those 3 windows look out into the back yard & flood the room with natural light.

Below is my old stove.  UGLY is the only word to describe it!!!! Down draft that had a horrible cold wind blowing up those vents for the whole 9 months before we ripped that sucker out.  And those TWO (yes you heard me right TWO) burners were not big enough for anything other than an 9" skillet.  Try cooking a family meal with TWO SMALL BURNERS!

But things improved dramatically!!!  I LOVE my new 5 burner gas stove top with the pot filler above!  

Just wasn't feeling the love of the old oven... But, do LOVE my new double lower convection oven & convection microwave.  And to add to the ease of Holidays I have a warming drawer in the center island for keeping rolls, casseroles, & other goodies warm.  I've never had one & can't wait to use it.

UGLY!!!!! That's the word for my old Formica countertops &  12" mauve builder grade tiles.  You can see those below but, to the right is my new granite.  My dark wood floors are beautiful but, it's a LOVE/HATE relationship as they show every spec of dirt, grass, dust....  And with having 2 acres right out that back door I can tell you Daddy Darling & little Ms Elle can really drag in the filth.

We kept the cabinets by the sink & refrigerator.  We had new cabinets made to match their style & then our painter (who is such a PRO) came in & painted old/new to match & I LOVE the clean look with the antique finish in all the nooks & crannies of the cabinets.

So, after 3 months of pure remodel HELL... I LOVE MY NEW KITCHEN!

It brings a smile to my face to flip on those under counter lights, fix a cup of coffee & ENJOY!!!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on my new kitchen & how I made all my changes.  HUGS!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


 I'm the mother of boys!  I don't know about girls other than my two adorable (now grown & married nieces) but, I'm getting a CRASH COURSE!    At the end of August my friend Ginger called in a panic.  She already had her Exchange Student Elma (this is her 5th student in 7 years) & there were two girls that had just arrived to the USA with the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program that needed new placement & they had 72 hours to make it happen.  I feared I just couldn't handle it with all the mess from just finishing the move & remodel.  As well as I thought my son & his family would be living here on weekends while their new home was being built (but, it ended up they rented a duplex in the new town they are building in).  We decided that we have been so blessed that we just couldn't say NO.   Anna is from the Kamchatka Peninsula  
which is a 780 mile peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of about 100,000 square miles.  It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the east & the Sea of Okhotsk to the west.  Anna's country is actually closer to Alaska than to Moscow (sitting above Japan).   So, our Anna was no longer homeless in the USA.  She came to spend the school year with us & life has changed for all of us.  She is such a blessing & joy! 

She was only here two days & then it was her 17th birthday.  We celebrated at our favorite little bistro & she had a coconut pie instead of cake but, you can see that she loved it!  Just look at that photo above & the happy glow as she is blowing out her candles.  

A couple of nights later we went to a rooftop restaurant where one of the other host Mom's was singing & we celebrated Anna's birthday again.   Below is a few shots of that fun filled evening. 

Next, it was getting school supplies, school clothes, tennis practice outfits, calling school buses for schedules, packing lunches, running car pool.   I WAS OUT OF PRACTICE!  But, we've got it now.  I can tell you BOYS ARE EASIER!!!!!

Elma & Anna both adore Marble Slab Ice Cream & NEVER miss a chance to try a new flavor!

And there are so many new restaurants to try...

Below is a picture of the girls dancing with a lot of other people the night we went to Main Event to go bowling.  They loved it!  They love music & dancing.

Bowling scores weren't high but, we had fun!!!! 

Halloween is not celebrated in Russia but, Anna has had so much fun in all the stores seeing all the many choices we have for such silly fun.  She came home to tell her "Pops" that she had a new skinny boy friend & a new cat....

Anna loves dressing up so she & Elma are always doing photo shoots.  Below are two of my favorite shots.  So I hope you'll join me as Anna has her "American Dream" come true.  It is so amazing to see this happen & know that our government has such great programs for kids to come & experience our wonderful country & all she has to offer.  It may not be perfect but, I think it's the best thing out there & it seems many other countries feel the same way.

Monday, September 1, 2014


Birthdays... IF a girl has to have one nothing takes the sting out of it like sharing it with a
 BEST Friend!  
While at Joy's Sandy & I shared our BDays (mine at the first of the month & hers at the end).  
AND presents of course really help!

A MERMAID Necklace from Joy & Laurie (found while they were at Round Top I believe).  Joy put the pretty turquoise necklace part together.  LOVE HER!!!!!

That AMAZING Necklace of bling was made by none other than Ms Sandy!  And I adore the cabinet card of the little girl that she used to  display it on.  Presentation, Presentation, Presentation!   

And the beautiful burgundy flower was made by Vickie Orlando as well a string of Miriam Haskle pearls (so she said).  And that darling little mermaid on the left is a chocolate lollipop made by the infamous Cynthia V.  She does such detailed, beautiful, yummy creations.  She also made me a sand castle cake but, darn NO ONE got a photo of that.  Loved it Cynthia.

These beauties were made by Diana Salvucci Smith.  She & Vickie took a class from Arlene Baker & hand made/formed those flowers from velvet.  Hours I'm sure.  While out in California last summer Vickie took me to Arlene's house & I got to see students working in a class as well as being able to shop among all the velvet, patterns, molds, buttons, & findings.  HEAVENLY!!!!!  And that mirror... a vintage hand mirror that Diana use the "Laurie Mika clay technique" on.  I would sooooooooooo love to learn to do this! Below you can see the crown she made for each of us using clay & the same technique.

 How can I thank you girls for spoiling me this weekend & helping me celebrate my birthday?  Now that it's September I can't believe it was so long ago.  But, soon I'll share a post of the BDay celebration we had for Sandy in San Jose at the end of June... Never enough time for friends!  Come back soon!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Visit to Andrea's AMAZING Home

I bet that EYE CANDY caught your attention!!!!  This is the studio of my friend Andrea of Freckled Star Blog. Be sure to click on the blue links to go visit the girls & see their blogs as you will be hooked on all the goodies you find there.  Andrea is an AMAZING, TALENTED, FUN friend that I have been blessed to know for years. We first met through Kim Caldwell & her fun filled EVENTS but, through time we have been together in many classes, Antique Fairs & this June I was invited to a class by Robin Dudley Howes which was held in Andrea's AMAZING home.  I didn't even take many photos of the project or any of our finished work because I was so OVERWHELMED at the beauty of Andrea's home/studio.  Maybe I have studio lust since I STILL don't have a studio.  But, what beauty... Let's go peek.

 Andrea LOVES Dollies & has MANY different one to look at.  Here are just a few.

The ones below were made in a class by my talented friend Diana Frey.  Nice job Andrea!

And I think the bird necklace is a Sally Jean class.  I need to try that one as it's really pretty!

She has such a knack of display.  Don't you love the garland of gloves?

A Ruth Rae piece to show off...  I think I was with her at a class in Kim's home when she bought this beauty.  It was the first time Andrea had used a sewing machine & I will tell you that girl made that machine FLY!!!! Finished her piece in class!  I was impressed.

How sweet is the window covering below... vintage baby slips?

 More views of "STUFF" in her room.  Like me, I think she has enough paper.  My friend Jo Ann & I always end up buying paper but, do we use it?  NO!
We live by the belief that the one with the most paper wins!

In her guest bathroom her displays of perfume bottles, soaps, goodies abound.  And MOUSE TRAPS anyone?  Have you ever seen cuter ones?

 Let's move on to a few more rooms in the house.  Each one cuter than the next.  Now anyone who knows me knows I am a beach girl & so is Andrea.  Her displays speak to my heart!  LOVE the starfish tree.

The "P A R I S" bottles are 2 Die 4!

The mantle in the family room.  

The jewlery nook in the corner of her bedroom... Oh she had some treasures there!!!!

This little beauty above was sitting on her dresser.  A suitcase with the side cut out, a mermaid scene & fish inside.  BE STILL MY HEART!!!! Angela I MUST have one!  And last but, not least look at her little reading nook in her room.  LOVE the saying... You have my whole heart for my whole life... SWEET!

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into Andrea's special world.  I feel blessed to have been invited & thank her for her hospitality & sharing.  

I have been away from Blogland for such a long while with the move/remodel & last week I posted for the first time in months.  I hope that you will come back & make it a habit to visit as I want to visit many blogs each week because I have missed Blogging.  Andrea did a post a few weeks back about blogging & Face Book.  I think each have their own special place & I would hate to see Blogs disappear altogether because FB is eaiser! What do you think?  IF you stop to visit please comment & let me know you were here.  But, even if the comments are few I keep reminding myself that my blog is a place for ME!  A place for me  to share but, most of all it's my journal of my life & I will keep it up no matter what until I decide it's time to stop.  If you're here... thank you for stopping & visiting.  I hope you enjoy what I have to share.  Have a beautiful week!  HUGS!

Related Posts with Thumbnails