Thursday, June 30, 2011

E.T. Go Home!.....Update on the Water Damage Recovery

Many of you who have been reading my blog over the past two weeks are aware that I had severe water damage in my house.  I talked about it in my blog post Broken Pipes and Water Damage and Spielberg Movie Set or Disaster Zone .  I just wanted to give you updated images and tell you where we stand at this point.

I had my teenage son pull down the "E.T." containment rooms and we cleaned up.  I will explain after the images why we did this.  Here is what the three rooms look like now. 
Wall and partial ceiling miss in my
entrance/dining area.

Corner in the studio.  It is like this for about
15 feet.  Open clear to the kitchen on the other

There is damaged ceiling in every room from the blue tape.

Master bedroom.....where it all
So, you ask "Why did you pull the containment rooms down before the repair could be done?"  Well.....  I will tell you why...  The adjuster finally arrived yesterday and said that it would be a few weeks before we got a settlement.  Can you believe that?!  A few weeks?! at this point, I didn't blow my lid, but I wasn't happy in the least.  Living in the upheaval was really wearing on me.  No more Mrs. Cool Cucumber! 

I made the decision to try and put the house back together the best that we could.  It was the only alternative.  Leave it, and go insane.....or clean up and try to gain some normalcy back.  I know many of you already think that I might be insane, so what would it matter?!!  But, I chose order.  E.T. needed to Go Home!

In some places you can see from one
room to the next.  There is Sasha getting
into something.
 I know it isn't perfect, but it is going to have to do for now.  My drywall guy and painter, whom I love, are on their way over to give me estimates.  I am going ahead and doing the repairs before we settle with the insurance company.  Hopefully, it will all work out financially.  If it doesn't work out, well.....the world will keep spinning.  Whether I am still sane or not....well...that is left to be seen.  Besides, I don't think I would look my best in a straight jacket!

-The End-

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Last week, I visited the Hillsboro Antiques Mall with my sister.  I told you about the day in my blog post, Exploring for Treasures and Found Elvis.  Today, I wanted to quickly show you something else that I picked up. (Please excuse my images in this post.  My house is all torn up from the food damage and this was the best I could do right now.)  Here is what I picked up............

Can you guess what this object is?? Probably so, because everyone in my house knew immediately.  It is an old french fry basket from some restaurant.  Maybe too many trip to McDonald's made them experts?...who knows?  At any rate, I picked it up for $5 and knew that somehow I would re-purpose this fun little object. 

A few days later, my daughter was helping me clean and clear up my studio.  Boy can she organize!  She was arranging my art books and my boom box area, when she asked how I wanted my CDs to be collected. I immediately thought about that fry basket and grabbed it and gave it to her.  Yes, her face was priceless!  After getting over the initial confusion, she collected them up and got to work. After all, she does know the nut job that is me!  She added a little crocheted doily to the mix (born designer) and placed them on top of an apple crate filled with art books in my studio.  

I think it is pretty darn cute and efficient.  Just don't tell Josh Groban.  I doubt he would like to know his Illuminations CD is in an old fry basket.....well, until I cracked it back open to listen to his amazing voice bellow while I put paint brush to canvas.  Have a great day!  Find joy in the little things.....even if it's a little silly.

-The End-

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Only Money, Right?!

Did you ever get the feeling that you overpaid for something.....and the more you think about it, you just don't care?  I mean, what are 'things' worth and why?  How do they get to be worth what they cost?  I know, I know....there are some economic precepts involved here.  I learned about those back in college in some boring business class.  Let's not get all so economically analytical.  Oh! okay....You weren't getting that way?? My bad.  Sorry for the diversion. 

Anyway....I paid too much for something.  Even though I asked for and got a discount, I still paid more than what I should have.  It comes back to the supply and demand thing from college.  When supplies are down and demand is there.....well, so is the price.  Are you sick and tired of me rambling?? I am too.  So here is the deal.  Primitive, vintage stuff is hard to come by in my area of the country.  Ya gotta really search it out.  So imagine my surprise when I walked into a consignment store this past week and found a small pile of old offset letter press letters sitting all alone in a cubby space.  When I saw them, my heart almost jumped out of my chest!  I could not have run over quicker to take a look!!  I scooped all of them up and head toward the register, only to realize that they had a price tag of $10 each!!  Wow, even for the tiniest of block letters were $10 a piece. Darn.  

Now, someone with a brain would have put them back and walked on.  No, not me.  I kept on to the register and pleaded my case.  After all....who the heck would want these more than me?  They cut the price in half. At $5 each, I  picked out my favorites.  (I was hoping that I would get all of them for $20.  No such luck.)  I plucked $25 down.  They wrapped them up and I was out of that store faster than Ben Franklin printed the Pennsylvania Gazette. 

Yes....I know.  I paid too much. But oh how I love love love these little letters!  They just bring a smile to my face.  I have not yet found the perfect spot for them.  My house is still all torn up from the flood damage.  But they do make me oh so very happy......even if I paid too much.

-The End-

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gettin' Diggy in The Tropics

Oh the Heat!  South Florida during the summertime can be a heat locker of unrelenting hot air.  I usually need to move my plants around in different parts of my yard because of the changing direction of the burning rays of the sun when the season changes.  Most people think that we do not have seasonal changes.  But anyone who is into gardening and landscape will tell you that there are definite changes.  If you are not attune to such things, gardening in a tropical climate will be frustrating. 

My hubby and I call gardening and landscaping, "Gettin' Diggy in the Yard."  It's a fun catch phrase because true gardening requires digging, not just buying plants in pots and placing them around.   If you aren't aren't gardening.  You might be digging a hole to plant something, or digging something out.  It's a gettin' diggy thing......

Just like other areas of the country, we plant annuals and perennials.  The difference is when those in the northern states are planting their Impatiens, our Impatiens are done, leggy and ready to be removed.  Our seasons are kinda reverse.  The heat of the summer can be like the freezing temps of the winter for the north....inhospitable for many plants.   

 I have this large pot that sits to the left of my front door.  I change out what is in the pot about 4 times a year.  As you can see....the pot is not happy. (image left) I didn't water it for a day and this is what I got.  Yep.  The plants in the pot are root bound and without more soil around the plants, the water runs through with no where to cling for supplying water at a later time to the plant.  I could struggle with this and make sure to water everyday, but why?  It won't cost much to replace and it's only getting hotter.  No need to frustrate myself.  This is suppose to be fun!  You gotta know when to fold 'em. Right?!

During the summer months, I usually pare down in my gardens and replace some pots with more drought tolerant annuals, like Purslane.  After the Purslane is established, it almost likes being ignored.  With a 12 day vacation looming in August, I don't need the added stress of wondering if my plants survived my absence.  So I stopped off at Lowes and bought a hanging pot of Purslane that was on sale for $4.99 along with a 10 quart bag of Jungle Growth Water Wise potting soil.  Whenever I add or replace plants in a pot, I make sure and add fresh potting soil. The soil stay moist longer. 

So this image to the right is what the pot looked like yesterday after planting the Purslane.  Not that great, but I knew it would take a few days to spring into action. I left the Liriope in the pot because it was in great condition and is drought tolerant because it is a grass plant.  The plants that I removed had been covering it for a few months.  It was nice to see it back out enjoying the sunlight and creating a little visual texture in the pot.

Then today, I walked out front and saw this.....

Already an improvement.  Don't you think? 

Just to the right of this area, are my friends the Florida Kitsch Flamingo couple, Fred and Flo.  My sweet potato ground cover is coming alive, as well as, the succulent that I crammed down in there about 2 months ago. I do that a lot of times.....put half dead plants into the ground where I think they might come back.  I love it when it works!  This sweet potato vine loves when it rains. We had a few afternoon showers and it is going crazy. 

This week is a busy one for me.  My two teenagers are in two different summer programs in two separate areas of the county.  I will be doing a ton of driving.  I am going to bring you short 'snippets' this week because my time is going to be limited.  Hope you don't mind.  I will try and keep it interesting.  Enjoy the day!  Go out and get diggy in your gardens.  For most of you, it's a great time of the year to enjoy it!

-The End-

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fun Stuff from the Blogs and A Feature!

From time to time, I like to show you some of the neat things that I am seeing out on the blogs.  I follow quite a few blogs and also enter my projects in weekly linky parties.  I visit around the linky parties and sometimes I see projects done by other bloggers that really catch my eye.  Some of those projects rock my world.  Some just make me smile.  Here are my favorites from the past week. (All the images have quick links that will take you to the projects) 

Michele over at The Scrape Shoppe, made this wreath out of burlap and jeans.  It is  is super cute and looks relatively easy to do.  If you are looking for a little pick me up for your front door for the upcoming 4TH of July, click on the highlighted named above to get a complete and well documented tutorial.   For some reason the link on the image isn't working.

The Scrape Shop
I see my fair share of vintage spoon projects, but this one caught my eye.  It is just a cut above all the others.  Click on the image to see more.

The Artsy Vava

Now this one made my "Crazy and Adorable" list.  First off.....just finding something like this is pretty darn amazing.  So cute.

Originate and Renovate

I see thousands of chair redo projects every week.  Blogland is full of chairs using Annie Sloans' Chalk Paint.  I have grown somewhat weary of the same shades of paint on every chair.  So, imagine my excitement when I found this colorful, creative chair over at Wise Designs.  

Wise Designs

Another exciting project is this desk redo by a relatively new blogger, I Know The Plans I Have For You.  (I'm new, so we are talking newer.)  Super coolio.

I Know the Plans I Have For You

Okay. So.  I always gotta show you something outrageous.  So here we have the most outrageous cupcakes I think I have ever seen.  If you are planning a summer barbecue, you gotta get a load of these!!  Adorable and unexpected. Neato.
Cooking for My Captain

I also wanted to let you guys know that Jackie over at Simple Home Life featured my Master Bedroom 4 Poster Bed project this past week! Yeah!  If you are wanting to see the feature, click on the button to the left to take a peek.  Thanks Jackie! 

The Perpetrators!

Update on the Water Damage Disaster:  Yesterday, one of the blower machines that the emergency company had running in my studio blew out the electricity in that part of the house.  They came right out to assess it last night but couldn't address it completely until today.  I just stayed out of that area and pretended that it really wasn't happening!!  Sometime, ya just gotta ignore the problem in order to maintain your sanity!!! Luckily it didn't take out the electric to the air conditioning!  As I write this post, an electrician is here fixing it.
Cords wrapped up and ready to leave!

We did make a few steps forward.  They removed most of the machines this morning because the meters were telling them that most of the dampness was gone!  Now we just wait for the adjuster to come out, so that we can start to put the house back together.

Have a great Sunday.... Hope you enjoyed these projects I shared with you.  I'm getting out of here for the day.  Need a break.

-The End-

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Place for Toilet Paper. Yes Toilet Paper....

Earlier in the week, I showed you in my post It's All About Toilet Paper, this little stand and thinga ma bob that I was wanting to transform into a toilet paper holder/personal products center.  If you want the back story you are going to have to click on the link I provided.   Here are the basic 'before' images.
Stand "before" with
Thinga ma bob
Thinga ma bob

So I set out to transform this.  I painted the stand with Annie Sloans Chalk Paint in Old White.  It took three coats of the paint to cover this piece.  Once again, I just didn't experience the time saving aspects of this paint that so many other people out there are experiencing.  At any rate, I took the little drawer pull off the stand and looked through some stuff over at The Graphics Fairy and found this little graphic of an invitation.  I copied off many more pieces, but landed on this one. 

I also used another graphic on the top.....and get ready for a bit of honesty.....I placed it on off center and it was permanent before I knew it.  Here is what it looked like.
Off center....I am bummed.
Between the flood in my house and this little mishap, I tabled (no pun intended) this part of the project.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and my creativity was somewhat dampened. (pun intended) 

I turned my attention to making a wire basket for my personal products (aka tampons....can we say that word on a blog?!)  The basket was pretty easy to construct, but I did cut up my hands a little.  I found a totally cool old muslin sugar sack the other day at the antiques mall. I had planned on using the sack as the liner.  I pinned the sack onto the one side of the basket to get an idea of what it would look like.  It all stopped there.  I wasn't one hundred percent that I wanted to go this route because the basket was kinda cute, but just wasn't doing it for me.

Yesterday, I stopped into my local Home Goods store and was strolling around with nothing in mind, when I found a banana leaf basket that I thought could work.  For only $3.99 I scooped it up.  Heck, the wire for the handmade basket cost me more than that!  Once I got it home, I tried it out and liked what I saw, except I am thinking it needs a lid.

Finding the basket gave me the little lift that I needed to tackle fixing my mistake on the top of the stand.  I took the misplaced label off the top and sanded it all down with my trusty Black and Decker Mouse. 

At this point I decided that I wanted to cover the entire top.  With the top measuring about an inch wider than standard printer paper, I knew that I needed to think of some other avenue to achieve this.  I rummaged through my decorative paper stash and came up with a paper that I love and thought would pair well with the invitation in terms of overall color and tone.  I cut it to size and used my Modge Podge to attach it firmly to the top making sure that all the edges were tight.

All in all, this project was enjoyable.  I don't think that I anticipated the challenges, but sometimes that happens.  You cannot anticipate everything.  I do like how it seems to have merged several of my interests.  First, re-purposing a found object.  Now the thinga ma bob is a toilet roll dispenser.  Second, saving something I intended on getting rid of ....the stand.  Third, mixing different media onto a piece to give it personality and new life.  It all came together to solve a problem (Not being able to hang a toilet roll dispenser on the wall.) in an out of the box, more creative way.  Here are the final images.

Can't figure out whether I like the basket on the top or the bottom.  I also think it needs some sort of lid.  What do you think?  Up, down? Lid, no lid?  Am I being too picky about wanting to cover up my tampons?  Must be my old fashioned upbringing.....

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my project.  If you are new to The Homeless Finch, stay a while and look around.  I have a myriad of stuff for you to see from yard sale and thrift store finds to fun furniture projects and a few little crafty projects for home and friends too.  Below is a list with links to some of my more favorite projects.
and a few little crafty projects like 

Have a great weekend!

-The End-

I'm Linking this post to:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Exploring For Treasures and Found Elvis

Earlier in the week, before the flood came to my ark, my sister and I spent a few hours at the Hillsboro Antique Mall.  She was looking for a chandy for her kitchen and I was looking for.....well, all the usual subjects...stained glass windows, a chippy barn wood bench for my master bathroom, primitive tools, vintage Florida collectibles and whatever grabs my attention. Oh! and I needed a crocheted or knitted runner for atop my Mother's Chest of Drawers, as well as, a basket of some sort to hold dried hydrangeas atop that said Chest of Drawers. 

Upon arrival, I was stunned at the lack of shoppers.  Look at this image above.  Terrible.   How are these vendors expected to make any money?  Very sparse were the shoppers, but that did not deter us from our quests.  I saw a few interesting things like this little table and chairs.

They are cute and little, but my kids are big teenagers now and I can't use the set.  There was a day not that long ago that I really would have been all over this.  (If you are reading this and still have tiny ones, give them a little person hug and enjoy every fleeting moment.)   I guess I could have bought it, set it up on the patio, made grilled cheese sandwiches and demanded that they sit at it, but, is what it is........

These malls are always such a menagerie of crazy surprises around every corner and I love strolling though them to see just about anything and everything you could ever imagine.  Some of the finest antiques and highly priced collectibles along side rusty farm equipment, collections of postcards, vintage clip on earrings and things like......well.....this......
What the heck?!  Now let me just say that if you like Elvis and you think this lamp is neat, I apologize for what I am about to say.  Who in the world wanted this, owned this at some point and still might want to pay money and live with this in their home?  It's just creepy.  Don't you agree??  In the same booth, just below the Elvis lamp on the ground sits this....
Look at that face!! I guess that I'd look like that too if I had to sit near the Elvis lamp!  Yikes!  What the heck is this thing??  Would you buy this...and what is that rock on the stand behind it?  The booth next to this was selling mahogany bedroom furniture and Tibetan rugs.  Do these relate?  So much fun and games under one roof, it is a miracle that anyone finds the treasure they seek. 

In the end, my sister didn't find the chandy and would later order one from someone on Ebay.  I did find several things, including the basket for the hydrangeas.  Here is a few of my more favorite finds.
Love, love love the vintage case with the stickers from Old Florida tourist attractions and the vintage Zombie Cookie Can.  They were a cookie made back in the 60's down in Miami.  A couple of huge finds for me! Yeah!  Makes me smile just showing you these things.  The handmade, aged runner was just $8. A nice find for a runner to go on my Mother's Chest of Drawers. 

The new containment room in the
studio. Notice the door to the left.
That is the one in my dining room
area.  Also, notice Sasha.  She is
not amused either.  My doggies are
very confused.

On an update regarding the water damage in my house...They re-inspected and found more water damage and had to cut open an entire wall in my studio and put in yet another containment room today.  Yep. More. (Insert frown) That makes three full walls gone, 11 dryer units going 24 hours at a time, tubes draining water into three different sinks, 3 confused doggies and another night out to dinner with the kitchen down.  Wings tonight....hubby's choice.

I have had several people ask me why I have remained so positive through all of this.  It has given me pause to think about that question.  Perhaps blogging about it has helped me sort through it all.  Perhaps, at the age of 47, I have learned not to ruin my days fretting over what I have no control over?  I have had much worse happen to me and those around me.  This too shall pass.  Thanks for the well wishes and support.  It has helped. 

-The End-