December 6, 2017:


It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Faux Brick!

I've seen some projects recently that involve the use of trompe d'oeil (fool the eye) -- in the cases I've selected, by creating the look of real brick!

To me, brick conjures up feelings of security and reassurance.  I still want to own a brick house -- in fact, I expect when I sell this place (well, at least I hope the market will be recovered by then) in 5 and 1/2 years when I retire, my vision is a small single story brick bungalow or perhaps a two-bedroom faux-Tudor style or Cape Cod.  Milwaukee is loaded with them -- evidently because people felt the same way I do about these sturdy, timeless homes.

I find it very interesting that while many people are intent upon erasing brick mantels with paint, wallboard, panelling, stone resurfacing, etc., many other people are equally busy creating the look of brick where it doesn't exist by using wallcoverings, paint, stencils, brick veneer and even real brick!

The first project I want to show was done by my blogging buddy,  Debbie at Debbie-Dabble.  It is an exercise in utter simplicity, ingenuity, patience, and turned out fabulously!  Every time I look at her post (and see her "new" patio in photographs at her fabulous blog), I still cannot believe that these are not real bricks!

Faux Brick on Concrete Patio Floor
June 21, 2012 (Debbie-Dabble)

From the enterprising and seemingly endlessly endowed with energy couple at Decorate With a Little Bit, check out this dining room redo from the "little brick cottage" the couple bought and totally rehabbed.  Would you believe this is WALLPAPER covering, appropriately enough, the chimney piece in a corner of the room?  I didn't believe it, and I still have a hard time believing it:

Little Brick Cottage: Dining Room, My Favorite… No… One of My Favorites!
April 17, 2012 (Decorate With a Little Bit)

Erin at Lavender and Lemon Drops created a stunning wall using faux brick panels purchased from Lowes, which she then specially treated to give it an aged/rehabbed look (you know, like the mellow brick walls that you often see in rehab projects in city dwellings on This Old House).  It looks amazing:

Faux Brick Wall
May, 2012 (Lavender and Lemon Drops)

Erin's inspiration came from Brooke and Dan's blog, All Things Thrifty:

I chose this photo with Brooke wielding paint brush just to show that yep, it's actually real people who are doing these incredible things. She's cute! 

Tutorial: How to paint brick to make it look old
March 5, 2012 (all Things Thrifty)

I hope you've enjoyed this little mini-tour of amazing creativity!  Geez, I really feel like a slacker now...


  1. Jan,
    I am playing catch up....Seems I am doing a lot of that lately! AND I just saw this post! Thanks so very much for mentioning me and my faux brick patio! This post was a big hit in Blogland , featured at 6 different blog parties and i am so very flattered! I think it was such a big hit because it is so simple. All you need is a sponge , paint , a paint brush and a strong back and good knees! LOL!
    Now my pavers were looking a bit too aged for me so my latest project was to spray paint them!! And this I did on a whim when spray painting something else!
    Thanks again for giving me a shout out!


    1. Hi Debbie,

      Your blog is so popular it's hard to keep up with who's posting what where, and with a full-time job -- hey, as Bill Clinton used to say "I feel your pain." Well, I actually do cuz I work full-time too outside the home and at this stage of my life, I am not too happy about that time spent away from things I really want to do. I DID see your painted pavers spruce-up and honestly, where do you get that energy, woman? Wish I knew your secret! Your back patio and secret garden area are so beautiful. Isn't it wonderful having your own little slice of Heaven on Earth to camp out in every now and then? If I didn't have my slightly falling-apart deck and nice green yard to escape to, I would REALLY be a Big Wreck! Thanks for stopping by. I'll be visiting you again soon.

  2. I love love love the brick look and stone. I really wanted to do a Faux Brick on the wall our bed is on. Instead we went a different route (which will be a future post) But I still love it and maybe later on down the road when we have less projects going on, lol! I can make time to do such a project! :) Great post and all these different brick looks are lovely!

    1. Hi Erika,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. You have so much on your plate right now and so much to do to make your new homestead into the home of your dreams! That stone fireplace in your living room is fabulous, BTW, and am so glad you didn't stick your TV screen above it! Just think, in the winter flipping the sofa around and sliding it down to parallel and be opposite the fireplace wall and adding a sidechair or two, and one can then choose to schmmooze before the fireplace or use the other part of your in-place seating arrangement to watch t.v. on that drop-dead gorgeous wood dresser (bureau?) you have it on. The tone of that wood piece is simply incredibly gorgeous. Total envy here. Large rooms give one so much freedom to exercise one's furniture-arranging imagination!

      So, I'm going to be downsizing, and you've got this large home you're dealing with for the next several years. Parallel lines going in opposite directions :)