Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Is the Wood Wall still standing?


Bonjour mes amis!

Today, I'm going to have to take a break from showing you the city of Caen, France to reveal a big project I worked on that I haven't told you about.

My daughter, Ms. Sapphire, moved to Colorado some three years ago.  As sad as it is to have her living away, it has sure given us a fun place to visit!  Ms. Sapphire is a hard worker and a good saver, and she recently purchased a new home all on her own.  We are so proud of her!

3 Story Townhome!
I really wanted to go see her new home and help with the Decorating!  But...we made a plan for a project or two as well.

Ms. Sapphire's builder wanted about $3,000 to put molding around all of her windows.  I found that ridiculous, and told her not to have them do it, that I would help get it done.  (Wait!  What did I just get myself into?)

Then, in another moment of insanity, I gave Ms. Sapphire a recommendation for obtaining hardware for her kitchen and bathroom cabinets (build.com...which, by the way, did not disappoint!  Wonderful, heavy, good quality hardware at a good price)!  I  told her I would bring my guides for installing the hardware.  (What?  Another big project!  45 pieces of hardware!?!)

What was I thinking?
She's a working girl!  (Though she did take time off!)
Heading up there with so many projects meant I really had to work,
and work hard,
and, by the way,
do it all in one week!

So, what do I do next?  I see Ms. Sapphire's great new home, and I tell her that she needs a feature wall in her livingroom, like a big reclaimed wood wall!  (Did I just say that?  That's another huge project!)  Oh!  You can bet your bottom dollar that Ms. Sapphire was all about that.

So, what did we do?

We headed to Home Depot, of course, to buy wood...
To build a wall!
An 8 foot wide, by 10 foot tall wall!

Mind you, at this point, we were so excited and eager to get started...

After purchasing the wood, we cut the wood down so we could make it resemble a pieced wood floor (after very careful calculations), and then we beat on the wood to give it some character with whatever tools we could find!  Following that, we stained the wood using strong tea, and followed up with the Vinegar and Steel Wool concoction that you can find instructions for all over the Internet!  We loved the varying shades of the browns and greys!

Construction began in the afternoon in the livingroom.  Ms Sapphire did not want lots of holes in her walls, so we chose to put up two boards, screwing them into the studs, and then, we would screw the wall into those boards.  We put four black screws in each board, two on each end.  Of course, we had to pre-drill the holes.  Even with two of us, the work took hours!

We got pretty far along, and then realized we better make sure we could lift this thing.  We may or may not have removed a few boards!

We moved right along though, with barely a stop for dinner.  And then, as it got later and later, I begged Ms. Sapphire to stop for the night and finish in the morning.  No!  She was determined that we complete the wall that night.

So, we did!

And Ms. Sapphire even vacuumed up afterward!  (You will note that we did not bring the wall boards all the way to the floor.  We figured a new sofa would cover this area, and this way, Ms. Sapphire has access to the electricity for some cool lighting)!

At 1:04 AM, the work was done, and we headed to bed to veg in front of a little Downton Abby (since Ms. Sapphire hasn't watched the whole series yet)!

That was a hard days work, but the payoff was big!  Even Ms. Sapphire's neighbor (who is a handyman) came to inspect our work, and was super impressed!

And when I say the payoff was big, look at the space now that Ms. Sapphire got her new sofa and has done some decorating!  Wow!  (I'm pretty sure Ms. Sapphire's Pup, Luka, loves his new home too)!

And here's a few closeups, just after the new sofa arrived!

Don't you just love the texture of all that wood?

Quite a Statement!

And, I love all the selections that Ms. Sapphire has made for her new Home!

And yes, the morning after we constructed this wood wall, I came down the stairs, and asked Ms. Sapphire...

"Is the Wood Wall still standing?"

Yeah!  We did good work together, and it was so nice having the time with my daughter.

As a reward for all our hard work, we took a little trip to Steamboat Springs together even though she had to go there for work anyway!  We had a great time!

Come back next time when I will reveal our other projects!
Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Red and White and Toile all Over!


Bonjour mes amis!

I have a couple of very dear friends who I hang out with a lot.  The three of us each have our "colors"!  One likes LOVES Pink, and the other friend likes LOVES Yellow.  They both know that I like LOVE Green, but they also know that when a POP of color is required, I LOVE Red as well!

Many homes in France are very neutral in color.  The facade is white stone, and there may be some black railing, but in general, everything looks clean and pretty, because it is so neutral, and nature pops beautifully against neutral.

Yesterday, I showed you the courtyard and breakfast room at a home we stayed in in Caen, France in 2011.  Here is the outside of the home, and right behind our rented vehicle there is the lovely courtyard I showed you yesterday!

Ah...the Roses behind us!

Let's head up to our room using the stairway with stone steps!

Everything is so tastefully decorated!

As we enter the room we discover the lovely dark beams on the ceiling, and a huge closet space!

We are greeted across the room to a typed out Welcome, which is thoughtfully placed in an old typewriter!  So ingenius!  And there's the address of the place, Le Clos Saint Martin, should any of you like to visit the city of Caen and enjoy an overnight stay!

Here's some views of the rest of the room...

Have you noticed a bit of a color scheme yet?

Imagine my surprise when I came in and saw...
Red and White and Toile all over!
What a nice POP!  The room spoke to me...

I love the stone wall and writing desk.  See the typewriter greeting?

Here's my favorite shot of the room!

The room was quite huge, and there was an ensuite bathroom, too!

This lovely little dress in the corner added so much charm!

And you can't beat this View!

Ah!  Thanks for taking this little trip with me down memory lane.  I'm guessing you would have liked to see a little bit of the city, too, but that's for another day.  I'm very picky about where we stay when we are in France, and at Le Clos Saint Martin, these people know how to do it right...

And it didn't hurt...
that they threw a little red in there for me either!

Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

Monday, April 20, 2015

This is what I'm doing on my Birthday!


Bonjour mes amis!

It has been a while.  And I have sure missed being here.  I think of this blog often, and how I'd love to get back to it, and continue to document my love of France, and Decorating, and sharing my Family Life here.

It's my birthday today.  Not a big one.  Not one to write down in the books, because as we all know...the older you get, the more you want to have those birthdays pass by unnoticed.

However, I do always enjoy my birthday, because it seems to last more than one day.  I have already celebrated with two dear friends, and I have lunch plans this week and a dinner outing next week, and I know that Dr. J is planning on taking me out for dinner tonight.  I already have had phone calls and numerous text messages today, and it's so nice to be remembered.

Dr. J gave me some very nice gifts this morning, but one I'd like to share here...

I had requested this book.  It's just beautiful.  It's full of beautiful pictures, and recipes, and tidbits about France and the French, and I was thrilled to sit down for a few minutes this morning with my coffee to enjoy it.

As I was looking through the book, I was reminiscing about not only our year in France, but also previous trips.  In 2011, Dr. J and I spent some time in Caen, France, and I'll share a few beauties from a place we stayed there today...just for some "eye candy".

Isn't this place just beautiful?  This is the courtyard at a Chambre d'hôtes where we stayed.  This was one of my favorites over all the years we have visited France.

I don't know why I never thought to share these photos before.

 And here is an interior view out to the courtyard...

Right in the room where Dr. J and I enjoyed our breakfast each morning...

Isn't it all so beautiful?

Perhaps next time, you would like to see the room we stayed in?  And more of the city of Caen?

I'll close off my Post today with this sweet quote from the new book I received!

Count on me to keep sharing the beauty of France with you!

Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

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