Friday, October 17, 2014


The entry to 822 was probably 
the major change we made as far as structure goes

after we cleared the wild growth
you could see the charming front porch and door (which I promptly painted blue)
but it was just too small!
Personally I could have lived with this because I loved it 
but the mister wanted a grand entry and finally won me over to the idea
You can't really see them, but those old lead glass and brass porch lights have a wonderful patina and  turned the most lovely shade of lavender...they are spectacular!

  • took out the old sidewalk and poured a new larger one keeping the curve
  • took out the old front door and replaced with stain glass windows
  • put double doors where the dining room window was...the large peak was already there
  • added the round porch and heavy rough cedar detail
  • changed the windows on each side to include diamond bevel windows
  • there are 3 other rock homes on our block with very white stone...we chose to leave ours aged

  • lots of ideas on your blogs and pinterest for doors and windows
  • door catalogs
  • googling photos of homes in Normandy and Cotswolds
  • again..the home just lends itself to how it should be...bones are bones don't you agree?

The entry today

the old entry today

one of my neighbors told me the lead windows were the jewelry to this house
I have to agree 

The mahogany doors are from Borano
The windows were custom from Doors by Decora
The stain glass windows are from eBay
All the cedar has been left raw
The porch stain is from Lowes (and I don't like it)
The knock out roses are from Lowes and I love them

I'm not sure why I was so not for this re-do...I certainly wasn't the one up on that scaffold in the cold winter snow with my butt crack showing!

I can hardly believe this project has long been over and will last the rest of my life no matter how long I live.  
I can't wait to invite you in!

~Favorite Thing~
the diamond bevel windows and the symmetry 
~Biggest Challenge~~
living with a front door that was two pieces of plywood in the winter

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I have searched and searched to find if the 
One Room Challenge
is sanctioned, juried or a professional organization
 to make sure I'm not infringing on 
what I'm about to do over the next few months.  
Please let me know if you know this challenge is meant for anything other than 

This is the first week in many many many
that I find I'm kind of out of stuff to do

and it just so happens that we are about to celebrate 
October 19, 2014
the day we purchased 822 in 2010
which is also Mr. P.V.'s birthday...
I always tease him by telling him I bought him this house for his birthday that year!

Here's the challenge (to myself)

  • Post one room at a time, including outside rooms
  • Before photo
  • After photo of as nearly the same view as possible
  • A list of supplies/colors/ideas/inspiration
  • Naming my favorite thing or worst struggle about it and trying to keep that simple
Let's begin shall we?

This is what 822 looked like
October 19, 2010 the day we purchased it

Here it is today

The biggest challenge was to be able to see the house and keep as many trees as possible while  maintaining the integrity and charm of this 1921 Luder stone home.

It has been such a labor of love and the hardest thing I have ever done
but I would not trade one single splinter
  • Cut back trees
  • Relocated front door and sidewalk to center the house
  • Connected the old garage apartment to the house
  • Planted trees to replace the dead ones (we lost several due to drought)
  • Put in sod, roses, marigolds and spring bulbs

the house itself
I used to ride by this old house on my bicycle when I was 8 and wish I could live here
proof that because your dream doesn't come true right when you wish it
 doesn't mean it won't!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Listen...I know you guys are all busy...probably much more busy than I am
so away with the excuses...but I do have a plan

It seems impossible that I have been to wine country twice in the past 3 weeks
but it just worked out that way

Trip with our kiddos was planned for months and months and months

and then the banking industry offered a seminar that just so happened to be
two weeks after we'd already been...turn it down? NOT!
 travel weary?  zzzzzzzz!
I can sleep when  I'm 90

This weekend is our 3rd Annual Barkley Street Art Walk
oh man what a great event !!!  I so wish you could come!
If you could make it on Friday you could dust the inside of my piano or wash my champagne glasses

today I have 10 kids (for regular Tuesday art class)
we're studying color 

busy busy busy
but I just wouldn't trade how inspired I get 
to see other places
like the bathroom at Scribe

or the old truck at GunBun
(our short name for a German wine we couldn't say)

and to be with people you've loved for a very very long time
after this week
I have a blogging plan that I'm pretty excited about

but until I get this week behind me
I don't have much time for much
until then just gotta keep 
my guns up!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


To take us back
this used to be a window...that had ivy growing inside--into the house--
we removed that old cracked leaky window and replaced it with double french doors and poured the concrete to stop, so that a porch could be added later

That's the nice thing about living in your construction...3 years later....
after we had the concrete poured and after finding out that we would not be able to add the loggia on the other side of the room and after we had the window taken out and the doors installed
we changed our minds!

 this became...the door to nowhere

we gathered up cute carpenter man for his thoughts
and trust me...his thoughts equal his brawn!
We came up with a plan to turn the door to nowhere into a window bump-out

it was such a simple solution really
at least simple for him..
this is him without his knee braces after his double knee surgeries
and his trusty helper Mr. PV!
talent with a saw
this photo does not do justice to how great this looks...
it is completely in sync with the groove of the stone

talent with a level

I have yet to find one thing these two cannot do
and you would never know that they each have a real job
and cute carpenter man has a remodel project of his own
but I have found he kind of folds under the pressure of 

I will take the credit for extra fabric on the ceiling and how about that great light fixture from
Lowes?  $7.99!!

So I asked cute carpenter man about window facts for you
These vinyl casement windows are about 2 x more expensive than the double glass windows we had custom made to fit our project.

He told me the windows we have used almost entirely at 822 are considered more industrial.  They don't open so you must adhere to fire codes and have an escape 
There are so many outside doors to 822, we were able to use this much cheaper window solution 
and I believe a much prettier window solution
(a window that contains two pieces of thermal glass injected with a gas to form a seal)
it's a matter of choice he told me 
because it also takes about half the time to install the vinyl windows 
so if you are not a DIY-er it could be cheaper in the long run to have real windows installed
(these 3x6 thermal glass cost about $80 each and a window about $200)
(there's that darn ivy!)
We are planning on copper for the roof

Job Done! 
It looks like the door to nowhere has always been
this window
I found the cutest little chess table that will fit just right in here for
some real fun and a great view
and those wonderful diamond bevel windows which prompted this whole project...
a great find on 6th Street in Amarillo...$135 for them!!!
They are removable for easy cleaning if you like to clean one pane at a time

As it all turned out...I'm pretty happy that this ended up being a window rather than a door 
I can just imagine Coach Been and Mr. PV pondering their chess plays...cozy as two guys can be!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I always say
All work and no play is just

So me and the mister and the baby sister and our new son in love
took a few days out of our very busy work lives to
taste the vine

We all left very busy professional lives
(except me...mine's not so busy)
and headed west to wine country

Scribe is where we met up with our old friend and his new girl
and sat out in the warm California sun 
and tasted

My gosh that state is gorgeous and we just love the laid back vibe
there were so many fun moments (and vineyards!)
my favorite being the evening we sat out on the porch of our "home", having a glass of wine before dinner in Healdsburg

 being tested on the 
Periodic Table of Elements
by our very own in house chemist Coach Been does

Sunday, September 7, 2014


makes the heart grow fonder

during the sweet baby girl shower yesterday I was able to use my 
Bon Bon  spoon for the first time

this Bon Bon spoon was a real lesson for me

on a trip to New Orleans a few years back
we went on a haunted pub crawl and were introduced to

Absinthe is an anise flavored spirit (as opposed to a liqueur)
 derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium

oh what fun and what fun is that Absinthe spoon?

so I was on the lookout for one and found one in one of my favorite
6th Street haunts...only she called it a Bon Bon spoon
( I knew immediately that I would use a Bon Bon spoon about as often as an Absinthe spoon 
so I bought it anyway)

the youtube above shows the ritual to prepare and drink Absinthe

Who drank Absinthe?
Ernest Hemingway, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde
{{not me}}

It is rumored that Napoleon died from a licorice overdose
Licorice is anise (arsenic) not to be confused with, but similar in flavor to, absinthe (wormwood)

if you like licorice you might consider the drink of Greece

we brought some back from our trip there, and as my grandmother might say
{{although she never had a drop to drink her whole life}}
knowing that Absinthe might invite
a visit from the 
and possibly cause you to cut off your ear

what in this world would possess you to drink it at all????

if I remember correctly,
what possessed us on that pub crawl a few years back
was not only the mood set in New Orleans but it also could have been

one too many of these!

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder!

and on a side note about the bon bon spoon baby shower
how very special and sentimental that
first there are four grands that grew up together 
(two of which were in my wedding)
we had babies together
and now they are having babies together

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


With Honey's 80th Birthday Pow Wow written in the history books...I move on to the next fun thing on my agenda!

I will be hosting a baby shower for my sweet life-long  friend Denise and her sweet daughter and new baby granddaughter!

Wedding and baby showers are big stuff  around here
well attended and well gifted
we love to love our peeps in all their happy moments!

so what's the big deal about having a major remodel project 3 days before the shower?
Listen...with the scarcity of good carpenters around here...I take it any way I can
and often find myself using a shower as an excuse to get lots of things done that need doing!
by the end of today...these windows will be in this space

{{more about this project later}}

but one can't deny that my couch  looks very good with my new tiger pillow!

all prompted by the image below

from one of my favorite blogs
Cote de Texas

And here is the AFTER of her living room – it has a double height ceiling.  And here is the famous Lee Radziwill sofa.  Now – think about this, Lee moved into the Fifth Avenue duplex around 1964 – this makes the sofa around 50 years old!!!  Amazing!  It is faded, which only adds to its charm.  There were some torn pieces on the arms – but it looks like her interior designer bought new fabric and added it over the two arms.  Smart!   In the throw-away society we live in today – to have a 50 year old sofa still look this good, is amazing! 

This is the letter I wrote my daughters and sisters about this wonderful tiger velvet fabric...including a little swatch for them

Dear Sisters:

I must be getting sentimental in my old age or maybe it’s all the planning I’ve been doing for Honey’s 80th birthday….anyway wanted to share this sweet story with you.

I asked Mother the other day if Granny B and her sisters loved each other and she said very quickly…”YES….they really really loved each other” and I asked her where they lived and how they kept in touch…”

She told me they were all very close and they would write letters to each other all the time and in those letters would be recipes, details of their home life and children and even sometimes they would send swatches of fabrics or wallpaper they might be using in decorating their home or maybe sewing baby clothes.    I thought it was so sweet and while I am so glad to have the ability for us all to stay connected and wouldn’t trade it for the world, I can’t help but think how fun it would have been to wait on a letter from someone you cared so much about…wondering what in the world was going on with husbands, kids, and home.

The blog above is one of my favorites and not too long ago she wrote about a famous tiger couch in which the fabric back then cost about $2500.00 a yard…and this couch is still famous today.  She is Jackie Kennedy’s sister and the blogger included a link to purchase the look alike fabric…and of course I bought one yard to make a pillow.

Most girls buy designer purse knockoffs…I buy fabrics  so just for fun I am sending you across the miles, via the mail…a letter to let you know what’s up at 822 and most of all how much I love you!

since I can't sew (or weld)
I just hand stitched this yard of fabric into a pillow
to make it seem like I was accomplishing something besides
swatting all the flies entering into the space where the windows will be
**at the end of the day**

Monday, August 25, 2014


This year my mother turns 80
I can hardly believe it, she seems like she's 50 to me
full of life and zest and still the most interesting person I have ever met

Here are 10 interesting facts about her:
1.  She is a Registered Choctaw Indian..her grandfather was a boy on the Trail of Tears
2.  She skipped 2nd grade...her genius was recognized early on and continues today
3.  She is an inventor  Patent #4724468
4.  She was a flight attendant for Central Airlines
5.  She was the first woman Spearman Little League president...blazing the trail for many today
6.  She was appointed by Texas Governor Bill Clements to serve on the Bureau of Indian Affairs
7.  She owned a company that created items sold in Spiegel, Neiman's and Frost Brothers
8.  She was represented in a permanent showroom at every market...NY, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and LA
9.  She is a rated power seller on eBay
10.  She has a lucky rescue dog named Jet

She was  born in Bokchita, Oklahoma in my grandmother's house
I have the ashes of this bonnet in a Calumet Baking Soda container...her house burned shortly after this photo and her mother scooped up the ashes...stitches still intact.  Her rattle was a few pebbles, also in a Calumet can...that I cherish from my grandmother's belongings

she grew up in Amarillo, Texas
she was and still is a beauty!
inside and out!

I'm pretty sure here--she's wishing for 5 kids

This is my favorite photo of my parents...they were so Camelot!

Together they purchased and renovated 2 historical buildings in Spearman
this old hotel was moved by mules from Old Hansford in 1917

she was always full of ideas...this is her 
Mop Wig Idea
that's me in the her model
I made her this card when we went to a convention and there was a woman there promoting and selling 
Kitty Wigs
....not sure what else to say about that....

She and her husband Clay did re-inactments
this is her full regalia which will belong to me is a treasure made by her own hands
At any given holiday she might serve her famous beans and weenies in her backyard in that life-size teepee

She calls this her Baku Dress
She was contacted by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright to exhibit this dress that went to the Embassy at Baku, Azerbaijan for 3 years. It then sold to an Indian woman who wore it to the grand opening of the American Indian Museum in Washington, D.C.

If you stop at the rest stop on either side in Quanah, Texas, the displays she created were commissioned by the State of Texas

She is considered an expert in many fields
today she still uses her patent in her eBay store
and as an 80 year old knows more about computers than any one person I know, although I can never get how she types so fast with her long orange fingernails!

she loves a great joke...usually very elaborate ones and usually ones that team her and my older brother against the rest of us.  Just recently he sold his company and they sent us all a photo of his check for $3 million plus with a long list of things that would have to happen in order for her to sell her business and buy a house in Taos to live with them when they moved...they really had us going and today I have no idea what's the truth.  

he's the cowboy to her Indian!

It reminds me of the time she used her patent in a trick where she took a dollar bill, scrubbed off the front and photo copied a hundred dollar bill...taking special care to leave the other side so she wouldn't be doing anything too illegal...she loved to leave it laying on her shop floor for people to pick up with excitement!  Funny!

So you ask?...why am I telling you all of this today when her birthday is not until December?
well...for the longest time she did not even believe she was turning 80...she thought she was turning 79 and she wanted to have her party at the Choctaw Nation...

....and it might snow in December....


this weekend we will celebrate all the wonderful things she is 
many will receive their Indian names and be smudged/blessed by her
and we will have cake


another party in December...and I have reason to believe