Saturday, December 3, 2016

Basement Repointing

Our basement is finished! I am blown away by how much better it looks! Here are some before and afters.
That high pipe in the photo above was a mystery pipe to us until the concrete guy explained to us it had been an old gutter pipe that led to the sump pump. Well the house no longer has gutters so we were able to remove it and he filled in the holes left behind!
Our curved bump out wall is nice and smooth now.
No more ugly, crumbling yuck! The upper part of the wall is the exposed brick that shows on the outside of the house.
Our new basement windows now look showcased.
The walls look funny because I took these photos before they were completely dry. They will ultimately be a consistent light grey color. We had planned on painting the walls white but that will not be necessary after seeing how this came out!

The floors need a serious cleaning now. After that we will be painting them grey. It is well on its way to being bright with no basement smell. Worth every penny!

We are definitely calling this guy back in the spring to do a couple of outdoor walkways with stones pressed in concrete (his specialty).

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what can be done with an old 1900 basement. I had no idea it was such a simple fix. 2 guys did this in 2 days.

Have a great week! Thank you for stopping by. ~Val

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Wear Hardware

Wear Hardware is a jewelry shop of cool handmade pieces using, you guessed it, hardware!

I had the treat of testing out one of the jewelry kits for these neat dangles.
The kit comes with a detailed instruction sheet and all the components needed.
I loved that there was some wiggle room for creativity, not having to create them a specific way.
After laying out how I wanted them to piece together, it was time to attached everything using pliers.
Once the unique chains were put together they were affixed to the ear wires provided.
Here is how they look on. It is not easy to show how the dangles look but you get the idea of length and width here.
If are you looking to try your hand at making some jewelry, stop by Wear Hardware to shop for kits. Or if you just want to buy some finished jewelry for yourself or as a gift, this is a great shop to browse!

Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy your week! ~Val

Saturday, November 12, 2016

House Update

Foundation Work
Here is a boring job but our foundation needed a touch up in areas. This process is called repointing.
As you can see it looked nasty! There were parts that had been messily touched up in the past. The concrete abutting the brick was gross too. So we decided to have everything redone!
This corner had been our biggest concern. The mortar was gone in parts which allowed drafts to come into the basement. We expect it to be warmer down there this winter.

First the bricks were ground down to clean them up.
Then the mortar was redone using what looked like a large pastry bag! 
The old concrete skirt around the foundation was removed and new concrete was repoured. This is angled away from the foundation eliminating the need for gutters.
We are very happy with the results! This will not need to be touched again for decades which will be a nice selling point when we sell the house in the future.

Besides the obvious of keeping the draft and water out, we will no longer see weeds growing up between the concrete and brick. Woohoo!

Next the guys will be moving into our basement to work on the field stone foundation which is under ground.

I hope you enjoyed this peak at foundation work. I had no idea how they were going to fix the brick so it turned out to be interesting. Now I am curious to see the process that will happen inside!

Thank you for stopping by! Happy week to you. ~Val

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cemetery in Autumn

Before the leaves really started falling, I took a stroll through the local cemetery.
A peaceful place to take in fall foliage.
There was plenty of color.
I simply adore this tall evergreen.
Maples are always gorgeous!
I hope you enjoyed my stroll!
Thank you for stopping by. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. ~Val

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I received a darling package from the paper artist of the Sentimentalist
This shop has beautifully crafted greeting cards.
Greetings to have on hand in case you need a card immediately.
The embossing is impeccable.
This shop also offers the sweetest gift tags.

The holidays are coming!
I adore these little clothespins used to attach the tags to a gift.
Here are some adorable note cards (with envelopes) that have room for your own words.
I hope you have enjoyed these pretties! Stop by the Sentimentalist for your next greeting/gift needs.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Autumn on Lake Pentucket

When we moved into our new home I thought I would be strolling down the street regularly to enjoy lovely Lake Pentucket (AKA Round Pond).
Do I? Of course not!
This autumn stroll was a reminder that I need to take more breaks!
It is so much more beautiful in the Fall than I imagined it would be.
The peaceful trail goes around the entire lake.
Looking up is a treat.
The colors are perfection.
Sideways trees!
I hope you enjoyed this autumn stroll as much as I did.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Upcycled Beads

I found these fun beads at a second hand store and made a lanyard for my shop!
Then made a couple necklaces for myself.
This can also be doubled up and worn short. I received a compliment from a stranger my first time wearing this necklace due to the color!
The red is very festive for the holidays but will be fun in the summer too!
I am in love with how these huge beads lay around the neck when doubled. 
 The rare, dreaded selfie of me.

This is a hair update too. I am a bit salt and pepper but am still more pepper than I thought I would be after transitioning to my 100% natural hair.

I hope you enjoyed my new pieces. I intend on playing around with some of the red beads for holiday crafting too.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week! ~Val

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Autumn Around The Yard

We still have plenty of flowers to enjoy in the Fall here like hydrangea.
A sedum that has become quite vibrant with color!
One of our clearance buys, echinacea, is still budding. I love the look of its buds before flowering.
Another $4 clearance purchase was lobelia (aka Fan Scarlet). This was supposed to be all red but much to our surprise after we planted it we are seeing pink on the same plant!
Its flowers can be a little messy looking but when they are perfect, they remind me of an orchid.
Our azaleas are ancient shrubs with flowers hanging on. I have given them a little TLC cleaning them up and will prune them some in the spring in hopes of making them flower well!
Here is one of the hostas we moved to the back from the front of the house. Its leaves were cut before moving and this is all new growth. It looks like complete success in giving them a happier home!
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of our fall pretties! Thank you for stopping by. ~Val