December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Monday, March 26, 2012

Inspiration to the Rescue!


Well, I've been picking away at this blasted wallpaper since Friday off and on; 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, blah blah blah.  I'm to the point where I need to move the bookshelves and entertainment center, and I am really really not ready to do that yet, mentally.


This wallpaper is fighting all the way.  It sure does not want to come off the wall; and in areas, it's taking parts of the wall with it.  Sigh.

I really cannot tackle a wet and scrape job during at night after work.  So, this will have to wait until next weekend.  Meanwhile, I'm picking away here and there trying to get at least the top vinyl part off and even that is proving problematic!

Yeah, I know I know I should have done the slash, spray and scrape thing but ya know - I took wallpaper off before and didn't have to do any of that jazz to get it off. Well, so this room re-do is going to come somewhat harder than I thought.

I am stoked, though, by having ordered my beautiful new area rug (I really shouldn't have spent the money, it's absolutely not in the budget, but I did it anyway), the chair rail and the paintable high relief patterned wallpaper!  The wallpaper has shipped! So has the rug!  That will keep me on track, because I sure won't want them stashed in the garage forever!

To further gird my figurative loins, I just love these rooms:

Suitable title, this photo from Inspiration for Decoration --

Love this room from A Touch of Luxe --

Oh my, and this incredible kitchen that I never expected to find at Decorpad --

I just didn't think of this color combination in connection with a kitchen!  Talk about being blind!

The dark dramatic wall color (described as grey taupe in all three images) -- well, mine isn't exactly "grey" taupe, it's probably got a hint of brown in it rather than grey.  But the white ceilings, white trim and in the top photo, the white lower walls -- exactly what I plan to do in a more modest way in my family room.  My lower walls won't be great built-in casegoods and paneling, but for the first time I'm going to have an honest-to-goddess chair rail that will divide the dark painted upper walls from pristine white lower textured papered walls.

And that glorious kitchen! I have a soffit above my white cabinets just like the one in the photo above -- I have white cabinets (not as fancy, mine are plain-faced melamine). That soffit and the area underneath my kitchen cabinets to the countertops will look fabulous painted the taupe color that I'm going to use in the family room!  I don't have white marble countertops -- mine are black faux granite builder's grade laminate.  Not having a greyish taupe will work to my benefit in the kitchen with those black speckled countertops, me thinks. 

Oooooh, can't wait to paint.  And the wonderful thing about doing the kitchen is -- no wallpaper to remove.  Maybe just a little bit of washing and touch-up priming.  And now I really have an incentive to repaint my cabinet and drawer pulls too...  Already got the paint - hammered oiled bronze.  It will look gorgeous with the taupe paint color I picked out. 

I just love it when a plan comes together - and the original plan didn't even include the kitchen! 


  1. Jan,
    Do you have one of those wallpaper removal tools that has little wheels and big teeth? I use this all the time. You roll it in every direction over the wall paper and sponge with a wet sponge. Let it stand for a few minutes and the paper usually just peels right off. This is what we used to remove the border in our Kitchen last summer and it worked like a charm...

    1. Hi Deb,

      I know the tool but I don't own one. I will check around at the office to see if I can my hands on one to use. I haven't had to use this kind of tool before and I've removed quite a bit of wallpaper in my time in this house! However, I believe I double-glued this wallpaper and that is what is causing the problems. The top border came off pretty easily, leaving behind only a small amount of backing paper and that will roll right off once it's wetted down. If I had done a better job putting this paper up I would have papered right over it; but in some places I had overlapping seams and a little sloppy in places along the wood at the bottom of the wall. At any rate, this will give me an opportunity to finally do the walls the right way -- repair them and give them a really good coat of primer. When I did the walls back in 1990 I was running out of primer and stretched it out as much as I possibly could. Thus, parts of the walls didn't get coated very well. Sigh. Well, live and learn. And I'll get some exercise out of this 'exercise.'