Hey y’all! Over a week into my self imposed 30 day challenge and I’m surprised and happy to say things are going well. Surprisingly, (especially to Mr B) I have not shopped. at all. Except for school clothes for the Grands, but that kind of shopping was exempt…. and only happens once a year. Maybe twice…. or for special events….or holidays…. and birthdays. OK, I spoil my Grands, what can I say?

But once I made the decision to stay away from my favorite haunts, it was as if a weight I didn’t even know I carried had been lifted. I felt, and still do feel, a certain amount of peace. I’m no longer in a fever to buy new things, add to my collections or show off the latest “great buy.” Projects are being completed, albeit slowly since Mr B is leaving for a week. But small projects are getting done. I’m no longer a power tool kind of woman, nor can I lift much over about 15 pounds so I need Mr B. Physical limitations aside, I’ve been able to enjoy this summer in a way I haven’t for a couple of years.

I’ve focused on my Granddaughter without the hurry, hurry, let’s go somewhere attitude. Sleeping late, pool, and sun time and watching movies and The 100 together in the evenings have been the routine. Eating dinner together each evening without electronic devices. Reading. I’ve finished several books, even discovered a new author to add to my rotation. And of course, listening to music, she is exposing me to new artists, just like her father did while he was growing up

Part of a load of books waiting to be read

I’ve taken the time to add some information to one branch of my family tree and did some searching for a long lost Grandfather who hailed from Scotland. That’s becoming a slog. John Ross was a very common name. I tracked him back to Plum Township in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s, but can find no information on his parents, nor do any of his children, or grandchildren have any. It’s maddening. I know his parents were more than likely the emigres from Scotland and that John was born in Pennsylvania but their are no records to be found except a Ross line that isn’t mine. GAH! The search continues!

This is “Pennsylvania John’s” Grandson and namesake, one John William Ross with his mother, Elmeda Bowser Ross

Projects completed were simple but impactful. The new light was installed in my “office.” I’ve had it for over a year and now I’m not even sure I like it anymore! That’s a major bummer.  And with the help of Shayla, my middle Granddaughter I was able to finish updating my cheap bookcases. I’d been saving an old gardening book with pen and ink drawings, as well as an old dictionary just for this purpose. We’d planned on doing this project last summer but never got around to it. So, I’m really happy to have that checked off the list.

The new light in my office

It was a simple update to add interest to the backs of the bookcases. I didn’t want to do my usual beadboard or beadboard wallpaper. So I removed the pages in the book, took the dictionary apart and we simply applied the pages to the back of the bookcases with wallpaper paste. Easy peasy. You know by now that I’m not into the whole measure and make sure everything’s level process, so this was a very forgiving project. Just eyeball the pages as you apply them to get some semblance of level. Smooth air bubbles out with a damp sponge as you go, rinsing it often and overlap your pages a bit. That’s it. This is a simple beginner project, no experience necessary. I’m really happy with the outcome. The finishing touch was adding some tiny enameled number plates on the face of the shelves. I found them in the scrapbooking section at Joannes. Mr B pre-drilled the holes for me and the plates were just tacked on with tiny nails.



Shay doing the hard part, the bottom… while Lily keeps her company


These little enamel number plates were the finishing touch


Showing off favorite mementos and photos

Last but probably the most fun was making a mess “learning” a new paint technique for getting that chippy look we all love. I tried Amy Howard’s paint for the first time and will post my thoughts in a future post. I had a cheap 1980’s clock. You know how I feel about 80’s oak and I am systematically getting rid of any of that horrendous oak finish in my home. If you love it, please accept my apologies. To each her own. For me, it’s outdated and ugly. It.must.go. So I decided to experiment with the paint and crackle to see if I could get the chippy worn look.

Trying a new technique to get a more authentic faux

I’ve used crackle finish in the past but was never really happy with it, it looked like a “faux” finish and not authentic. I would like my “fauxs” to look authentic. I’ll let you decide if I accomplished an authentic chippy finish. The clock is still ugly. I may not keep it. But I’m pretty pleased with my first attempt at the chippy.

some pretty good chippy crackle goodness right there

That’s the update, my friends. I’ll post more in the weeks to come. For now, I’ll leave you with my usual advice. Love where you live, no matter where that is. Create a sanctuary, one room at a time, one project at a time. Create the home you see in your heart.

  • Trine says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I loved reading your update. You are inspiring me to do that purge project that I have been wanting to do all summer 🙂 Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Trine, thank you so much. As I sort through boxes of stored things and take a critical look at my accessories, I realize that I have a lot of stuff that no longer supports the look I want. It’s been difficult at times because I’ve spent lots of money and time getting these things and still have some emotional ties. BUT, it’s also been a release and I find that I’m now looking at old projects with a new perspective. Thank you for sharing this journey! It means a lot.

Tell me what ya think!


Wife, Mother and Grandmother, lover of junking and vintage stuff, photography, music, books, and critters. I heart Hersheys, Barqs Rootbeer and Keds. Join me as I create my own suburban sanctuary and help you create one too.

Get each blog post delivered to your inbox! I promise I won't spam you.

Photos from Instagram