Monday, May 25, 2009


Well girls I have some more before and
after pictures of my kitchen redo!

I know its going slow but after over a
year in the making its getting there!
Its still a work in progress and
I will eventually show
whole room pics after it is all done,
but for now ill just focus on areas that
Ive been working on.

So here we go.....
This first shot is of the dining area in my kitchen...
you can see the old pink
wallpaper in the background
and in this shot I have begun
adding the new wallpaper.

This shot is of the corner pretty much before I started...
I know what your thinking.....

your thinking that the fabric on
those settees is rather ugly!!!
and I have to agree!

I bought them like that with the
intentions of having them recovered.

I like the shape, style and size of
them for the corner,
and of course the price was right:))))

I bought them at Marshall's Home Goods
one of my favorite stores!!!

I had slipcovers made for them,
Changed the mirror above,
I am temporarily borrowing the mirror
below from my friend Ruthebelle,

It was down in her basement
not being used so I took it
home to try out, and then
I painted and hung it up
Im thinking she is going to have
a hard time getting it back from me...giggles...
Hope she isnt reading this :P
Here is a shot with the wallpaper done
mirror hung and slipcovers made
and on the settees.....

Here is a full version of the settee before...
If I lived in Florida it might be considered pretty....

But I'm sure you will agree the after
picture is soooo much more scrumptious!!

I had slipcovers made so that I can wash
them easily since these are in the
kitchen and we will use them alot.
I washed and dried the fabric
before I had them made.

Notice the beautiful lace and
chiffon ruffles I had made for the pillows.
Beautiful yet not practical at all!!! :((((((

If these settee's weren't going to be
used often then these would be fine,
but since we sit here every day
they are not going to work!!!!
So these will have to go in
my living room and Ill will have my
magnificent pillow lady Michelle
make smaller square throw pillows.
This will make it easier to sit
down and get in and out of the settees.
I had Michelle take this wonderful lace that looks
like vintage french net and stagger
the layers for a double ruffle.
Then I had her add a pink chiffon ruffle
behind it to give the lace some
color and a little more weight.

I'm very happy with the end results.

Now on to the other side of the kitchen
in particular my stove and
back splash area......
This is the before shot.....
Isn't it something how you get used to
seeing something every day
and you forget how ugly
it really is....giggles....

Now looking at these pictures I'm
thinking to myself....
'what was I thinking???
what took me so long to beautify that area????
In a second I'm going to show
you what I had made for the new back splash.
You've heard me speak about Nancy
the incredibly talented mosaic artist from
Well in my opinion she is the greatest
mosaic artist ever!!!!!

I love everything she does!!
I was thinking of what to do
for a back splash... at first I
was considering subway tile or bead board...
then I thought why not have Nancy
make a back splash like she would cover
one of her table tops but put it
on a board for me that I can hang.
I asked her if she could and
to my delight she agreed!!!

Here is Nancy on the right in the white
when we finally got to meet in person.
I'm on the left, then my friend Ruthebelle and
friend Trish whose home is the
current jewel of the month.
Trish had bought several pieces from
Nancy and she drove about 4 hours
to deliver them and so we could meet.
She is such a doll and we had such fun that day!!
When she brought in the furniture
we were deciding where to put the pieces
and the next thing you knew we were
all rearranging Trish's
family room pulling out accessories etc....
it was so funny we just met and
this was how we spent our time together
but we all enjoyed it so much...
To us it wasnt work it was entertainment!
Since we all love to do things like
that so it didn't seem odd to us.
anyway back to my back splash.......
here is another before shot of the area....
Now the after!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isn't it incredible!!!
Truly a work of art!
Some people spend there money on
artwork from Monet, Picasso or???
to me Id rather spend my money on this!
An original piece of artwork from Nancy.
She has such a way of arranging her
china that her work cant compare with many.
Everyday as I cook I can look at this beautiful piece full of the finest
antique china I could find for it.
You should really take a look at Nancy's website.
Perhaps you can own one of her pieces of art!
Now my last delima.....
Do you like the green tea kettle or the pink????
Let me know what you think,
and stay posted to my website, Ive been working on new treasures
and hope to list soon.
and of course will be working on the kitchen more so stay tuned for updates on that as well.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kitchen Before and afters

Well here it is....
Reveal day!!.....
Wellll partial reveal day.......
As you know Ive been planning on and talking about my kitchen redo for over a year now.
But because of various obstacles
It has been delayed, :(
The good news is that I have finally
started it and my kitchen is
getting there slow but sure.
I wanted to start showing you
some of the photos so that you can
see the transformation as it unfolds.

So Lets get started....
In this photo below you see the
original pink striped wallpaper,
I started to strip it already.
The china cabinet I had painted green with an
antique glaze a few years ago..
I liked it but I really wanted to have my
vintage china more open and displayed prettier.....
plus I desperately need more counter space
and since we cant do a major remodel at
this time I have to work with what I have.
So my brilliant brainstorm was to remove
the top of the cabinet to open up the top
of the buffet so that it could be used as counter space.

But my brilliant idea was not so brilliant because when we lifted it off we found a gaping hole!!!!

But it was hubbie to the rescue he filled the hole in with wood,
and for now I have the wood covered with a runner,
I'm hoping to get granite counter tops and also put a piece of granite on this piece to make it seem like part of the cabinetry.

I put up this scrumptious pink and cream
toile floral wallpaper from Grammercy.
I hung this shelving unit that someone
was throwing away on the wall.
I think it was part of some type of bedroom set.
I painted it white, and could now display
my china openly but still keep the counter space.

But the display part was a bit of a challenge!!
I can usually go into someones house and
tell them exactly what they need to
change, hang, rearrange...etc.....
but sometimes when it comes to your
own house you can get a block.
I didn't know where to start or what to do.
I stared anxiously at the wall for a long time.
Then decided just to start and let things start flowing....

Well things didn't flow too well.
Everything looked too blah..
too white on white....
I love that look when others do it,
Rachel Ashwell does a more neutral pallete with touches of color,
and Karla my new Jewel of the month does a more neutral color scheme,
Her home is beautiful!
but for some reason when I try to do the look I cant pull it off.:(
I realize along time ago that we can get inspiration
from different sources, we flip through magazines, go blogg hopping etc.. we see ideas that we love but the key is to take the
idea and make it our own,
Come up with our own interpetation of the look.
I dont consider my house shabby chic, or Victorian,
I have found the best way to describe my style is
.......English Cottage......
Its more embellished than shabby chic and has more color, it is full of china, roses and elegance but still very cottage and relaxed.
Not too overdone dark and heavy like Victorian sometimes can be.
I had some friends visiting last week from Paris and when they
saw my house they immediately said "oh your house is so English"
that is what I always thought but it was nice to have it confirmed.
I tend to need more color,
I like soft pastel color but I need more punches of it.
So I decided to paint the back of the shelving
unit a beautiful shade of green.
Its Martha Stewarts Index Card Green paint
that I had mixed at my Benjamin moore paint store.
Just so that the china stood out a bit and
not got so washed out against the white.

Immediately when I saw it I new I like it!

Now I had to arrange the china better,
At first I was arranging it and it looked like china soldiers all lined up.
too predictable and uninteresting.
I started adding other pretty display pieces in
with my limoge china to add interest and more color.

I cut up some pretty hankies into 4's and
used them as little shelf runners.

I decided not to use the rose canisters on this wall after all,
I will use them somewhere else.
I put the pink lemonade canister on the top of the shelf.
That is one of my favorite pieces...
It came all the way from Australia,
Mandii one of my previous jewels of the month
found it for me and sent it.
Notice the mosaic shelf above the
buffet hanging in the shelving unit.
That was made by my friend Nancy who
is the greatest mosaic artist ever!!!!
I will be blogging about her more soon and
also showing another piece she has
custom made for me for the kitchen that
is to die for gorgeous!!
When I saw it I told her I had died and
gone to pink china heaven!!
wait until you see her work!
She is unbelievable!
for now you can look at her website found at
look at her gallery and you will see what I mean about her work.
I still have to get the top of the buffet decorated,
its still not right or the way I want it but stay posted
for more updates on the kitchen and I will
be showing other sections of it as they get finished.
Take a look at the new Jewel of the month for April,
Its Karla's Cottage, and it is beautiful!!
you can see it on my website, just go to jewel of the month.
Hope to post more soon,
things are starting to get better for me,
its been ruff but I'm getting there.
thanks for your support and patience!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mushinessss The 3 Stooges Way!

How can I explain to you my dynamics of my family,
When I say family I mean with my parents and especially my brother!
We are not an overly gushie, mushie, lovie type of family,
Though there is no doubt that we love we each other,
And There is nothing we wouldn't do for each other!
We just show our love in different ways.....
We tease all the time and there is not many subjects that isn't fair game!
I kinda think of our family as displaying our love the 3 Stooges Way!

We are just very goofie and show our love in a goofie way!
Especially my brother Ed!
He is the lead stooge!!!
But in the past years we have been faced with much family heartache
that has drawn us together in a way we never were before.
When your young you think nothing will ever happen to you,
but as life goes on you realize things do and will happen.

Life becomes more precious and
we value each other more.
So as a result We have started to
become more mushie with each other,
which I have to say is nice but also difficult to accept at times.
But my stoogie brother did something for me last month that I will truly always cherish,

Let me start from the beginning.....
In January when I had gone to California,
My brother had taken off from work after my father passed away,
One afternoon we drove down to Laguna Beach,
We drove down PCH which is a beautiful drive along the coast!
Its one of my favorite drives.
The California coast line is gorgeous!

We went with our cousinRoxanne,
who is really more like a sister.
We spent almost every day of our lives growing up together,
our moms are sooo close.
Together we make up the 3 stooges,
Her being Moe!
Which I suppose makes her the lead stooge...heehee....
Ooopppps sorry Ed youve been demoted!
we went had dinner,
walked around the town and shops
and came across this really pretty shabby style
store that had lots of things but one thing caught my eye.......
it was this pillow.....

It saids "Twinkle Twinkle little star what a gift from God you are"
I saw it and in a serious voice said to my brother......
"Ed I think you should buy this for me"
Rox and Ed walked over to see what
I was referring to and they both silently read the pillow
and then after a pause of silence burst out in laughter!!!
I have to admit I laughed too!!
As I said before we know we love each other we just don't express it in mushie terms.
and for my brother ever to say or refer to me as a gift!!
well that would be as the

saying goes....'when pigs fly!!!'
That was the end of that and of course we
teased each other for the rest of the day and week.
Then about a week after I arrived home from California I received
a box from my brother,
I had no idea what was in it and was surprised to receive it.
I opened it and I'm sure you can guess by now what was in it!
Yes the pillow,
but even more wonderful was this letter he included in it.

(Sorry about it being sideways for some reason that's the way blogger uploaded it and I have no idea how to correct it.)
So Ill just tell you what it saids.

"Sis, just wanted to let you know the pillow is right you are a gift and I'm very lucky to have you as a sister.
It was really nice being with you last week I couldn't have done what you did.
Please don't let that cow of a dog use this.
I love you
PS If you tell anyone I called you a gift ill kill you."

It was definitely a Kleenex moment and
I will always cherish this pillow and letter,
because it was for this moment that we stopped
being the stooges and became the Walton's!!
(ok now I'm laughing right now too!!
that is a bit to over the top the Walton's we
will never be but I think you know what I'm trying to say!)

And I promise Ed,
The pug will never get his slobberie tongue on this pillow!!!
I love you too my big bubble bass!!

Since its been such a long time since my last post this is going
to be a long one I have lots of things to share with you.
First Ive finally after over a year of planning and shopping started my kitchen redo.
and these are just a few of the before pictures...

This is one of the walls I have this green china cabinet but because I need more counter space I am removing the top of it and doing something different as you will soon be seeing.
the pink stripe wall paper is the old, Ive started to strip it here.

We took off the top which revealed a whole in the top which is throwing a wrench in my idea to use it as a counter top,
but hubbie came to the rescue!!
he put some wood to fill in the hole for now and later we will cover it with tile or perhaps a mosaic??????

Now don't look at my hubbies little bald spot in the back of his head!
He isn't going bald its just the angle and lighting...hee hee...
You know how a camera makes you look 10 pounds heavier,
well it also causes bald spots to appear when there are none!!
I am in soooo much trouble right now!!!!!:P

Ill be putting some after pictures in my next post, I am sooo excited as to the turn out!!
and I think you will to!

We have had a couple good snow storms lately so I wanted to show some pics I took the day after,

It looks like a winter wonderland!

Now last but not least I will close with the pug!
In this picture Pugsie is very upset because my brother
referred to him as a cow in his letter to me!!
Don't worry Pug, I set Ed straight!!!!
Your not a cow!
your a piggie boy!!!

This shot below was the Pugs response to Ed....
He was trying to blow raspberries to him.....

Which made him tired so
Then he took a nap!

Here he is below striking a pose....
looks like he is trying to be a fashion model or something!!

We will close with this,
thanks for all your care and concern and emails,
It really has meant so much to me.
I have been working on new projects for the website,
and hope to list soon.
thanks for your patience and remember Good things come to those who wait!
hugs and smiles,

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Looking Back

James E. Bowling


Husband, Father,Grandfather,Brother, Uncle and Loved Friend,

Jim died on January 16th 2009 after a lengthy illness.Jim is survived by his wife Pat, who was his faithful companion for over 48 years of marriage, his son James Edwin, daughter Sandra fay Lujan,
grandchildren Brandon, Derrick, Darah and Zachary
Sisters; Christine,Joan, Gail, Ruby and Brother Rex.
Jim was preceded in death by his grandson, Devon.
Jim was a hardworking good hearted man who loved his family and was a dedicated and loyal servant of God.
Jim or Jimmy, as he loved to be called because it made him feel young, was proud of his humble beginnings as a country boy raised on a farm in Kentucky.
Jim will be forever remembered for the many humorous stories he told and funny anecdotes.
We will always love and remember him and look forward to the day we see him again in Paradise.
As many of you know already My father passed away a few weeks ago.
I wanted to go and see him one last time while he remembered me to tell him I love him.
His Dementia, Parkinson's and Diabetes getting worse by the day.
I arrived on Wednesday evening in Los Angeles about 9 pm and went straight to the hospital to see him.
To my delight He remembered me!!!
I wasn't sure if he would, I was so happy!
He was very weak but seemed pretty stable at that point.
My brother and I were with him....when the paramedics came in to move him back to the convelesant hospital my father thought they were policeman taking him to jail.

He got very upset and didn't know why they were doing this to him.
That broke my heart and I left the room in tears.
The dementia had his mind very confused, he didn't no what was happening to him.
My brother asked if he could ride in the ambulance with him to be with him.
Thankfully they said yes!
The ride went smooth and my father settled in that evening.

Friday came and my mother and I were with him,
He was very agitated and thought he was working under a semi truck.
He kept trying to get out of bed saying he had to get up and go home.
We had to fight to keep him in bed. We were surprised at the strength
he showed after being so weak the day before.
He didn't realize he was in the hospital. He thought he was at work and wanted to go home.
after several hours of this battle, my mother sat with him stroking his hair trying to get him to relax.
It seemed to work he started to fall asleep.
As we were walking down the hall to leave we heard the alarm go off and saw the nurses go running to his room.
They had an alarm on him if he tried to get out of bed it would go off so they would know and could stop him,, He had no strength to support himself and he would fall.

Anyway, we heard the alarm but we just kept going because at that point we knew there was nothing else we could do to try and keep him in bed.

And we actually thought we might be making him more agitated struggling with him, we were thinking perhaps they could deal with it better as we were not having any luck.
Then about 45 minutes later we got a phone call saying that my father'sheart had stopped and they were taking him back to Hoag Hospital.
By the time we arrived it was too late, my father had passed away.
We were in disbelief......
it happened so quickly!!!!!!

We were actually thinking he was going to maybe recover we saw such a change in him.

But They said he had a massive heart attack.
I am trying to think that this is probably the best thing in the long run.
His quality of life was non existent, being bed ridden, not able to get up,
not knowing where he was at times, being in pain all the time.
Its hard to think of death as a blessing but I suppose in times like this it is.
He is no longer suffering, He is in peace.

The hard part of course is now for us and especially for my mother.They have been together since she was 14 years old.

She has really been his caregiver over these past few years and it hasreally taken its toll on her.
My worry now is for her.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story

I know its not the most upbeat post but I really appreciate so much all the emails you have sent me with your care and concern I just felt the need to let you know what happened during these past weeks.

I also want to share with you a few photos from the trip and of course end with some funny pugsie pictures to leave you with a smile, so please indulge me a bit longer.....

This was me and my father years and years ago..... (we wont say how many years ago!!!!)
I think he kinda looks James Deanish.....
In some ways I was closer to my father than my mother,
What I mean is I was more like him, we thought alike so I understood him and understood where he was coming from and why he did what he did at times,
I usually was the one who came to his defense when mom and dad had their arguments as all parents do.
Though mom was really more my friend and mothers and daughters just have a bond in ways a father and daughter dont but I just understood him so that made me feel close to him.
I remember this picture below like it was yesterday.
I remember the day and it being took, I remember looking at my mom and thinking how beautiful she was and that I had the prettiest mom in the world.
And of course that's my bro glasses and all.
remember the urckle post a while ago. well here is one more to embarrass him!!! sorry Ed!

But wait let me show one more embarrassing picture of Ed!!!!!!
this one of him crying on this FAKE HORSE!!

My brother bless his heart was always crying when we were growing up!
I was always the good child....hee hee......

This is a picture of some of my fathers sisters who flew in from
Kentucky to attend the funeral.
My mother is standing in the back with the green shirt.

This is my nephew Derrick who is in the Army,
They allowed him leave to attend the funeral.
It was a complete surprise, we didn't think he was coming, but
my brother surprised us and just walked in with him!
It was a great moment!

The picture below is of Roxanne on the right and on the left one of my childhood best friends growing up together.
Her name is Kristin and she was my next door neighbor.
Our lives have taken different directions she still lives on the West Coast and I on the East but its nice to know and see friends when you need them. She came to the funeral and over to my mothers after the service.
The picture below is of Kristin and I at one of our home coming dances.
We both had dates but we wanted to have pictures taken together.
Notice our dresses, they are both vintage wedding dresses that we wore.
We were quite different from most of the girls in school at that time.
This was in the year 1979-1980 and the disco era and polyester was strong, but we wore vintage dresses.
Even at that time my love for vintage was developing.

This is a picture of my mom her mother (who is sitting down) she is 78
and 2 of my moms sisters and one of her brothers and of course me.
My mom is so tiny and frail, I'm so worried about her......

I'm sure you recognize my aunt and Niece Whitney, This is a day we had lunch together...

And of course me and my big brother Ed....

He is such a sweetie and I love him to death even though I tease him!!!

This is my other niece Darah, she is my brothers daughter. She just got engaged!

And now since you've been so patient and listen to my story and looked at my pictures I will reward you with some pug pictures!!!
I want to leave you with a smile,

In the picture below Pugsie got upset with us when we told him he was starting to resemble Jaba the Hut!!!!!

But you have to admit its true!!!

and the truth hurts!!!!!

One last photo is of him sleeping........

Notice his tongue folded underneath his chin!!!!!
That tounge is tooo much!!!

So I will close with this picture of the pug!
I think its all been said for now!
Thank you again for your emails and comments of care and concern!
sweet dreams!