Monday, December 31, 2012

Another One for the History Books!

2012 is ending--another one for the history (and the photo) books!  And it went too fast.  I'm packing up my good memories to hold onto them.  

Here are a few recent ones:

This year has been a blur of activity for me--not only have I been driving to Savannah to work on The Coral Cottage but there are two other beach cottages that I have been working on.  They are each at different stages of readiness--I can't wait to share them 
with you!

But just now, today, I am focusing on other treasures:

One of my favorite things to do each year is make a photo book to help me remember all the good things that happened.  I usually use a company called Shutterfly because
  • They never delete your photos so it is a good place to back up your photos for free.
  • There is no limit to the number of photos you can upload.
  • It is easy to use their software.
  • The only supplies needed are my computer and the photos I have saved on it.  I can create for a while, then save my work until later--clean up is a breeze!
  • If anything bad ever happens to my photo books I can order new ones. I can also share them with family online.
  • I like their photo books--especially the ones with a photo cover.  I also enjoy making photo calendars for my kids--now that they are living apart from one another it is nice for them to see pictures of each other's families and think of them.  (I was too busy to get that done this year.)
Most people like to save their pictures--do you file yours in a box?  Do you have an online photo book company that you use? or do you like to scrapbook with all the fun papers and stickers?  However you do it,  I hope you will hang onto the good memories and 
let the rest go.

I love the old saying, "I don't know what the future holds but I know Who holds the future." It is such a comfort to me to know He is worthy of my trust.  Good-bye 2012!  
And hello 2013!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry, Merry Christmas y'all!  I hope you are spending this day loving on your family and remembering the love of God that gave us the His Son, the reason for the season

Merry Christmas from me, my husband Henry and our grandchildren: Madeline, Josey, Violet, Ella, Charlotte, Tyler, and Anna Kate!

If you were too busy to read along last week then catch up with some of these links:
 I'll be back in a few days with more about the Coral Cottage!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Jane Coslick Holiday Tour Pictures

Just wanted to post a few pictures and thank all the patrons who attended the Jane Coslick Holiday Cottage Tour.  We raised over $12,000 for the Humane Society of Greater Savannah to aid in funding a low cost spay/neuter clinic!

The Coral Cottage was all dressed up for Christmas to meet her public :) and we had a great time making new friends!  I'd like to show you all the decorations but I am going to be selective so I don't spoil the surprise when I reveal the other rooms in later posts.

Our very first guest was Terry, the man on the right.  His family previously owned the Coral Cottage (see this post for more of the story).  I was so happy and relieved that he seemed to love the way the cottage looks as much as I do.  In fact, he called Jim Heflin at and made the very first booking to stay one week in the spring!

L to R:  Vicky, Jane, and Terry chatting on the patio

Jane Coslick came by to greet Terry--she and his sister Rosemary were close friends as young girls and she has fond memories of staying in the cottage years ago.

The color scheme on our little tree in the living room was silver and turquoise.  I found some aqua-colored tulle at Michael's and used it with white wrapping paper for the gifts under the tree.

 There were some extra unbreakable ornament balls and I decided to hang them on the coral chandelier!  They made quite a statement and Jane thinks we should consider leaving them up permanently--take a look and tell me what you think about this.  All of my Facebook friends, please leave your comments here on the blog!

To cap off the day, some floats from the Tybee Christmas parade made their way in front of the cottage.  You've gotta love a Santa wearing shorts, flip flops and sunglasses!

 I hope that your Christmas is merry and bright and full of love--and that you remember the reason for the season!   Merry Christmas y'all!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fine Dining Finale!

The Coral Cottage had a nice long table that was made out of a door with legs attached.  It was long and skinny and a perfect fit for the narrow room but unfortunately 
it was damaged.

No problem.  I thought I had it worked out.  I remembered seeing a long, narrow white table at IKEA.  But IKEA discontinued it just before I needed it and there were none in stock in any of the stores.  Boo hoo!  

So I searched and this is what I found from Overstock:

Not as long as I'd wanted but it was narrow--a necessity in this narrow space.

The blue chairs came in a outdoor bistro set--three sets actually.  I drove around to several Target stores to round them up in an end-of-season clearance sale.

My sister Crystal is an online retailer and she sent me some beautiful cork placemats from her store, Crystal Griffin Home.  They are made by Rockflowerpaper and not only are they beautiful, but they are practical since they protect the table from hot dishes.  

Here's a closeup:

 And here they are on the table--you can see the curtains hung (they needed hemming in this photo) in the background.

A bowl of shells as a centerpiece makes it complete.

Want to come over for dinner?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time For Fine Dining!

It's time for a little fine dining and I am here to show you part one of the dining room transformation at the Coral Cottage!  

Remember the little mid-century modern dresser that was being used as a sideboard in the cottage "before"?

Well here it is now!  We painted it with Sherwin Williams 6606 Coral Reef and doesn't it look cheery?  My friend Loretta also polished up the metal on the handles.

Next it was time for some art work.  I found some coral prints on Etsy by an artist named Tessyla.  She customized the prints for me with the color I wanted.   FYI she has lots of different designs in different sizes and colors and they are reasonably priced.

Jane Coslick and I wanted to avoid the room becoming too matchy-matchy so we chose to use a color for the mats that was different from the blues and corals found in the rest of the room.  I bought ready-made, matted frames from Target and, using a small rubber roller to give a smooth look, I painted the white mats with a small sample can of Benjamin Moore HC-1.  The framing looks custom and expensive but it's not!

Peter is hanging the pictures in a grouping above the sideboard.

Last, but not least, we added some pretties to the top of the sideboard.  My lamp has already been shown--it was the first lamp I ever owned, given to me as a wedding shower present by my mom.  I bought a new shade for it at Wal-Mart and it looks very happy.

One day in the summer I stumbled across this find at CostPlus World Market:

The coral serving pieces mixed with a simple clear plastic bowl from Target just make me happy!

Finally, we added a few flowers....

....and there you have it!

We will finish this up tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Doing Up" the Dining Room!

Yaaay!  It is finally time to "do up" the dining room!  If you need to catch up here are some other posts:

At this point I brought a big U-Haul truck to Tybee full of goods for the house and the fun part began.  At first it just looked like a big tag sale with bags of accessories and some furniture that didn't even belong in the room:

But with a lot of elbow grease..... began to look like a dining space!

Time to hang the curtains and pictures and make things homey! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let There Be Light (and Paint and Floors)

The Coral Cottage sunroom housing the dining area and a seating area is what sold me the house.  To see the "Before" pictures and the beginnings of the restoration, please click here.  

After gutting, reinforcing the wall, adding HVAC, drywall and then priming (whew!) it was time to paint.  I had already bought some curtains to frame the windows from Tuesday Morning so Jane Coslick and I selected a color that would go with them.   

We used Sherwin-Williams 6483 called Buoyant Blue in an eggshell finish to improve durability:

It is very soft and almost serves as a neutral throughout the house--very beachy, very peaceful, very calming.

As you can see from the picture above the electrician came before we finished painting and hung my beloved coral chandelier that gave the house its name--see this post for details.  Then came flooring--Allure vinyl plank flooring in Oak.

All we need now are the furnishings!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Whine, uhh Wine and Dine

Without a doubt the sunroom at the Coral Cottage is my favorite space.  It houses a seating space and a dining space.  It totally sold me on the house but Dolly Parton's old saying rings true here"There's no such thing as natural beauty. 

Here it is before:

The light is fantastic due to all the windows--the porch used to be screened but was later enclosed.  We replaced all of the windows so they would operate properly and stand up to high winds.  The window unit came out because we put in a central heating and air system and we saved the sideboard but the water heater in the corner had to go!

After the room was made secure and the HVAC system was installed it was time for drywall! 

The old wood ceiling was to die for--I was sooo disappointed that I couldn't keep it (remember the 50% Rule?) but we couldn't crunch the numbers to make it happen and comply with the FEMA guidelines.

Next came primer--it looks nice already, doesn't it?  I'm almost consoled that I had to give up my wooden porch ceiling and beams.  Almost.

How do you handle the tough decisions about budgeting?  Are you resolute and accepting or do you grieve and whine (like me)?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jing-a-ling on Over for a Great Idea!

It's a wonderful time of year full of beautiful decorations, parties, Christmas trees and yes, presents!  It's hard to keep secrets even from adults--especially when you have the perfect present for someone special...and it's especially hard for the littlest family members to resist the impulse to have a peek just a little early!

Here are two such little folk, two of my granddaughters:

Charlotte, 5 mo old and Ella, 2

Just like all self-respecting kids, they are curious and excited.  Even Charlotte who cannot crawl yet has been found inching her way toward the tree with a little hand reaching toward the colorful boxes!

Kristen, their mom, came up with a great solution--she had some extra jingle bells left over from another project and she tied them on the gifts! Simple but ingenious!

Now when Ella takes a notion to rearrange the presents or little Charlotte wriggles her way off the tummy-time mat, a jingle bell rings to notify the powers that be.  Then a gentle reminder helps to preserve the surprises until the right time--after all, half the fun is in the anticipation!

Did you ever open your presents early or hunt around the house for hidden Christmas treasure before Christmas?  If so, how did it affect Christmas morning under the 
tree for you?

I'm sharing this idea over at the link party at  Home Stories A to Z!  Have a look at all the other great projects being featured!

Home Stories A2Z

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shopping in a Flash!

Do you ever shop with the flash sale retailers?  You know, the online stores that offer new, deeply-discounted deals every day--deals that only are available for a short period of time or until they sell out, whichever comes first!  

The only downside is that you have to sign up and agree to receive their daily email announcing what is being offered for sale--but the upside is you can find some very unique items that are offered for super low prices--stuff that is hard to find in brick and mortar stores--did I mention deeply-discounted?

I'm a member of several flash sale websites.  One of them is called Decor Steals and recently I scored a wonderful, quirky art piece that I knew I wanted to use at the Coral Cottage. This is how the teaser email ad looked.  It's sort of like a chandelier with crystals but instead of light bulbs it has clear bottles--everybody on the holiday tour last 
weekend loved it!

I bought a little bouquet of gerbera daisies from the grocery store and look how pretty they look in the jars! 

One more!


To see the chandelier in its setting, click here for yesterday's post where I showed the full kitchen reveal..  If you would like to check out Decor Steals then click here.  If you click through my link and join, then you will receive a $5 credit that will be applied when you make your first purchase! (Fyi--I have not been compensated for blogging about Decor Steals today.)

 I love to shop online!  It is so nice to click around on your computer screen, compare prices, and make selections while sitting in your own home. What about you?  Do you have any favorite online shopping sites?  If you do, then please leave a comment and share with all of us here on the blog!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Furnishing and Fluffing

It is time to furnish and fluff the Coral Cottage--can't wait to show you the kitchen!  I have had lots of help with this--my sister-in-law Eleanor helped me shop for the cottage and lined the kitchen cabinets.  She was such fun to work with!

Eleanor, cutting shelf liner--a not-so-glamorous job done cheerfully

One day Nancy Milligan, a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cottage Style magazine, came by to help.  She was looking for some new material to write about and she loved the Coral Cottage!  Who knows--maybe one day we will see The Coral Cottage featured in a magazine?  Wouldn't that be amazing?!

Nancy Milligan

My daughter Kristen helped me shop at Target for the many small appliances, tools, casserole dishes, etc. every kitchen needs.  Do you know how hard it is to shop Target and only buy what is on the list?  There was so much cool stuff to look at during this holiday season.  

And of course, Jane Coslick has given lots of advice throughout the whole process--a thank you to her for sharing some of her photos for this post.

Wanna see how it looks so far?

How do you like my sink that is not centered under the window--it's perfectly imperfect!

I love the bar stool but it is on loan from Jane Coslick.  My Craigslist stools are on the way!

Source: Jane Coslick

Source: Jane Coslick

Source: Jane Coslick

Check out the flower chandelier--more on it coming up soon!

Things are starting to come together!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweetheart of a Kitchen

It is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home and the Coral Cottage has a very sweet little heart. Yes, it has a tiny kitchen and it has been a challenge to make every inch count--as beautifully as possible--as inexpensively as possible.  In this post I showed you the "before" picture of the kitchen and then the process of painting and adding cabinets.  Now thanks to Lowes 10% off sale we have appliances!  Here's a quick recap:

Before--I'm peeking around the corner as we consider buying the cottage.


Rewiring and preparing the wall for sheetrock

Drywall is up

Paint and cabinets

Our "new" old range

Now we are ready to furnish and fluff the kitchen!  I was at Tybee recently working hard to do just that and I am looking forward to showing you what we did...coming up next!