Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Study (Computer Room)

Usually when my son is home for holiday or summer break he will help me out with painting.  First let me say, I dislike painting, but I enjoy decorative painting. So, when he's home this is a big help.  The one room I wanted to paint but was never sure about the color was my Study (Computer Room).  My biggest dilemma for this room was that it's very small but I wanted to use a dark color on the walls.  My decor for this room was to be chocolate and green.  After toying with this color combination for a few months, yes it does take me that long to decide on paint colors, I decided to take the plunge.

I can't believe these walls were so boring


I wanted to texture the wall behind the sofa to look like concrete; I used a combination of joint compound and taupe color paint and then stippled it on the wall.  I then decided this was going to be my family wall, so I loaded the wall with family pictures (the large picture in the center is a picture my son painted in the 3rd or 4th grade).  I love that I have space for more pictures for my family.

Chocolate was added to the other two walls

This is a view of my Study leading to the Dining Room
This view leads to the Foyer

I like the contrast between the Foyer and my Study.

My biggest fear was thinking my Study would be too dark, but it had just the opposite affect, there appears to be more light and it's roomy.  Sometimes it's good to LET YOUR CREATIVITY FLOW!

My Sisters

Let me introduce you to my sisters.  Last year during the Thanksgiving Holiday we got together to play Mafia Wars ('MW').  Yeah, we're MW freaks.... well, we use to be.  Sharon doesn't play as often and I'm sometime-ish (is that a word?) Buy my older sister Teresa has become a veteran.  If you don't know anything about MW think about the Godfather, we go around robbing & fighting all day, it really helps to relieve the stress. We also gave ourselves fictitious names - Teresa is "Blast"; Sharon is "Boss Lady"; I'm "The Silencer".

Both videos were done at my sister Sharon's house - see if you can get a glimpse of her walls - not a white wall in sight.  She inspired me to get into painting. The other person I would like to introduce you to is my son Lamar he's the narrator for one of the videos.  He's been my headache for 21 years (lol).  



My older nephew doesn't understand why we play MW, this was my best explanation "Most older women sit around the table playing Bridge all day; we're mafia fanatics we prefer to wipe people out!"

Moments like this don't happen often so when they do we should cherish them.  My family is my treasure; my son is my jewel.  Don't forget to take a moment to hang with your family and LET YOUR CREATIVITY FLOW!

Computer Desk

Some years ago a very dear neighbor of mine "Fat Back" gave my son a computer desk.  It was one of those plain brown desks that you could find practically anywhere nothing fancy.  After a few years my son had gotten a laptop, the desk was moved into the guest bedroom, and eventually it got 'beat up' and became an eye sore.  I was on the verge of dumping the desk and then "Fat Back" fell ill and died.  I guess I'm a sentimentalist because after he passed I felt compelled to hold on to the desk; perhaps this is my way of holding on to memories?

I moved the desk from the guest bedroom, placed it in my study.  It sat there for about a month looking tattered and forlorn.  Finally I tackled the job of painting it.  


Somebody asked if I painted the TV (lol).  No, I didn't, it's a different TV, the blue definitely didn't match the decor.

The moral of this story.  "If you have trash, turn it into treasure!"

Video of Kitchen

In my earlier blogs, I talked about my kitchen hutch and how I made over my kitchen counter and added molding to the cabinets.  Other then some minor details, and that back splash I talked about here, I think my kitchen is complete..... nah let me retrace, when you're exploring with paint and learning to become a DIYer nothing is ever complete.  So, I guess what I should say, for right now, for this month, my kitchen is complete.  When I start browsing through magazines I'll come up something else.

  • If you want to see read how I did the hutch click here.  

  • If you want to see the kitchen make over from the beginning click here
Here's my kitchen - the video's a little shaky; I suggest you take an aspirin before viewing to avoid a headache.  :-) 


Monday, August 29, 2011

Foyer Makeover

In my earlier blog I talked about how I first got into painting click here.  This is my foyer that I first painted using the sponge technique.  I was so accustom to having white walls I felt this to be a big accomplishment during the time.  Since then I've done a lot of experimenting and makeovers throughout the house and decided it was time change the look of my foyer.


Viewed from computer room

I had to prime over the sponge painting, then paint.  I wanted to give it an old age look so I did a spot plastering in spaces and then stenciled.

I also painted over the ugly gray Breaker Box

Unfortunately, these photos don't capture the true beauty of the wall but I love it. The foyer is small but it took a few days to stencil both walls; it was well worth the time. Now,  

Friday, August 26, 2011


In my previous blog I mentioned Irene was coming to the Bahamas for a visit.  She came and she left and now I can breathe.  She was a cat 3 packing winds at 125 but thankfully we escaped her full impact.  Every year I rehearse how to prepare for a hurricane, having been through smaller hurricanes, but you always hope it won't come.  It's been about 3 years now and The Bahamas was blessed not to be affected by a hurricane.  Here's how I prepared for Irene.

Monday - A colleague telephoned to say Hurricane Irene was scheduled to hit the Bahamas on Thursday, this was later confirmed after listening to the news.

Tuesday - I checked my pantry and decided I had enough can goods to last for approx  1-2 weeks.  Called the plumber to see if he could come to fix my outside hand pump (this would come in handy if city water was shut down)

  • (morning) - Withdrew funds from ATM, filled car with gas, purchased snacks & paper supplies from grocery store. 
  • (afternoon) - Hurricane shutters went up, sand bags purchased to be placed by doors.  I forgot I didn't purchase drinking water, I have 3 five-gallon bottles, 1 was full the other two were empty.  The search was fruitless, every place was out of water.
  • (evening) - went through my purse took out important items to go in backpack, a backpack is easier to carry than a purse plus it can hold more.  Filled it with 1 change of under clothes, toiletries, wallet, credit card, keys, all of my jump drives, camera and of course lipstick & eyeliner....most went into baggies just in case of flooding and I dropped my backpack. 

  • Remembered to turn the refrigerator to 'coldest' and began filling empty containers and baggies with water.  I remembered some years ago when we experienced a small hurricane the electricity was off for two days.  We had water but we didn't have ice.  Besides I was hoping all of the ice would help to keep my freezer cold.
  • It was around 6pm and the plumber hadn't shown up which means I would have to result to filling up the bathtub with water.  Moved all of my pictures to high shelves and put some in plastic garbage bags, my house can be replaced but not pictures of my family.  At 7pm I check out the door and the plumber is working on my hand pump...Thank God!
  • (evening) Strong winds developed and the rain started.  Now, all I had to do was sit in wait.  Although I had sand bags placed by the door, I decided to spray insecticide around the doors to restrain insects from crawling in.  I had been told the electricity would be shut off just as the storm hit the island, something to do with safeguarding the generators, etc.
  • (early a.m.) 12:00 midnight electricity shuts off but comes back.  By this time the wind is banging against the house and it makes a whistling noise as it pass through the shutters.
  • 4:00am can't sleep because of the wind, I've heard stories of roofs being lifted and people having to run to a neighbors home for safety, my back pack, keys, shoes & hat are at the door just in case.
  • 6:00am electricity still on and I'm glued to the weather channel trying to figure out where the storm is.  How much longer do I have to listen to the pounding?  Thankfully the electricity is still on I feel safe.  My sister called and we talk for awhile.  I'm still nervous, so I warm up some leftover pizza and tea for breakfast.  It's light outside and I can see out the back windows that don't have shutters on them.  A few limbs are on the ground but everything seems to be okay.  There's no build up of water.  Decide I'll go on facebook to see what everybody is talking about.
  • 7:00am electricity goes off.  Hard rain falls, the wind is loud like a train.  I sit and wait.  The house is hot, I have a battery operated fan which also has a radio and light, but I know the fan & lights can drain the battery so I decide to use it for the radio only. 

  • Around approx 12 noon rain and strong winds beat the house, but based on the news Irene was headed to Abaco.  Finally, I can exhale.  I tried to open the door to get some air, but strong winds bang the door in my face faster than I could open it.  That meant stay inside! I was tired of waiting, but news on the radio reported trees and power lines down.  It still wasn't safe to go out.
Although I have a gas stove, the gas was turned off in wake of the hurricane.  I ate the remaining 2 slices of cold pizza for lunch.  I was happy I remembered to put small bottles of water in the freezer, I took out one, allowed it to thaw in the sink and drunk it down hungrily.  I wasn't too sure how long the electricity was going to be off so I had to be careful not to keep opening my refrigerator or freezer.

For dinner I made a bologna & cheese sandwich; when the wind died down I ran out and turned on the gas so I could make hot tea.  I realized no matter how prepared you are for a hurricane, you're never really prepared for it.   Anything, the unpredictable can happen.  I was constantly asking myself what if the roof blows off, what if there's flooding, what if....?  I then thought about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Japan.  The Bahamas is only about 8' - 10' above sea level.

Around 6pm it was over, yes we still had the winds and rain but Irene was attacking Abaco.  I survived Hurricane Irene, and I was scared during the whole ordeal and needed sleep.  My electricity didn't come back on until around 12 midnight.

Thankfully there was no structural damage to my  house neither was there any damage to my outside wall that the contractors had just repaired.  I'm happy I delayed the painter coming to paint until next week.

If you believe in prayers, pray for those in the path of Irene, Nassau was lucky.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It may another day or two before I post again.  A visitor will be arriving to the Bahamas early tomorrow morning, an unwelcome visitor, Hurricane Irene.  The last watch showed her at almost a cat 4.  So, I'll be battening up my windows and praying for the safety of us all.


 Nassau is so small you can seldom depict it on a map, one of those tiny dots north east of Cuba.

So, with a storm this size and us a tiny little dot, you can imagine the anxiety right now.  Once the hurricane hit the island our electricity will be shut down.  Hopefully, I'll be communicating again.  So until then, LET YOUR CREATIVITY FLOW!

Paint a Box

Here's something interesting I would like to share.

First let me explain I'm not a rack pack.  My home is small with very little storage space, so I generally throw away everything.  But one day a package came in a box, and when I looked at the box I just knew I had to keep it.  It was a plain, ordinary, brown box.  But I didn't want to throw it away so I held on to it for a month or two.
Finally, when I thought I would have to throw it away because it was taking up space, I realized what to do with it.

I grabbed some paint and a stencil and went to work on it.
I wanted it to look aged so I took some stain and dry brushed it in areas, especially on the edges.

Then I stuffed it and added my collection of low cal sweetener and cider beverage 

I took the bird from another floral arrangement I had sitting in the house
This is the completed project
Not bad for a cardboard box!
Now, let me see you go out there and LET YOUR CREATIVITY FLOW!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jewelry Bag

Periodically when I shop at a jewelry or perfume store, and I purchase a small item, they place it in one of those mini/small tote bags.

Generally I throw these bags away because their too small to carry my lunch in.  But one day I bought a bunch of big clunky costume jewelry and they were too large for my jewelry box so I threw them in a draw.  But of course this created a big problem every time I had to look for jewelry especially if I was rushing.

Then one day I came across two of those mini bags that I hadn't thrown away and I thought of the perfect solution for my jewelry.  I stenciled the bags.  What do you think?

The larger bag is for necklaces and the smaller for earrings.  What's extra neat is when I'm rushing I just grab the bag and take it with me... :-) So, instead of a jewelry box  you can have a Jewelry Bag.

And then I keep them stacked nicely in my Armour.  This eliminates me rummaging around in a draw or box looking for the 'right' accessory.
The best part is when you're in a rush and can't decide what jewelry to wear, just grab the bag(s) and carry with you, their small and easy to carry and you can decide in the car or at the office!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kitchen Hutch

In my blog Kitchen Redo under $300 you'll see I put a lot of work into fixing it up.  One thing I had difficulty finding was a Hutch.  I didn't want anything fancy with a lot of glass, just something to hold my microwave and dishes.  Browsing the stores I saw a few hutches but nothing that took my fancy, they were either too small or the color didn't blend with my decor - Hey, when you're spending money you want to make sure "it's just right".  I wanted something similar to the below, and the color had to match my kitchen.  During that time my kitchen was yellow & white.

At the time my microwave was sitting on this: -
Here's a closer view
Well, you're probably asking, "what the heck is that?"  It's styrofoam!  I had gotten it from a nursery where I had purchased plants from some years ago, I just stacked 5 on top of each other went to Nassau Gass and had a glass cut, and then sprayed painted it black.  A instant glass table!  That was about 11 years ago, so you can understand a need for change.  Like I mentioned in my bio I'm not naturally creative it takes a while to come up with something so after fruitless visits to the store I was sitting in my computer room when it hit me.

My computer desk

Are you ready????

  IT WAS PERFECT!  Plus there's lots of storage space...
calendar adhered to door on far left
I saved $$$ and got more.

I sand & then primed it.  Then I painted it the same color as my cabinets (click here to see kitchen cabinets).  I thought about an antiquish blue or green but because my kitchen is small I felt uniformity would give the illusion of more space.  To reduce scratches due to constant use I used polyurethane on the top shelf & on the shelf holding the microwave.

There you have it.  I bet you're asking,"What is she using for a computer desk?"  Well, that's another story!