Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On Christmas Decorating


     Well folks, BizzyLizzy has been real busy decorating for Christmas and giving the bedroom a well- deserved makeover. 

     First off, here’s some pics of my Christmas tree.  I had painted the milk can blue back a few months ago, and really liked the color, so when it came time for the Christmas tree, I decided to put it in the milk can.  Last year the tree sat on a small table, and it just looked so forlorn, not happy at all.  I wanted something different this year and when I saw a pic on Pinterest, I thought it would be just the thing.

     I guess you could call it a Redneck Christmas tree because it’s sort of shabby and country and it is SITTING IN A MILK CAN!!!! 

     Then there’s my wreaths.  I made two.  One for outside and one for inside.  For the outside one I wanted something different from the usual ribbon, bows, Christmas balls, etc.  When I retrieved my Dollies from their resting place, this little snowman caught my eye.  He had on a pair of skis and had ski poles in his hands. This would not do, so off come the poles and skis and on he goes to the wreath. 

    His arms are wired, so I could arrange them so it would look like he was waving.  I had two burlap flowers left over from another project and thought they were just different enough to be interesting, then I just added a little greenery, and here he is.  And because the entire wreath is not so Christmassy, I can use it all Winter, at least until Valentine’s Day.  So cute.  And no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the glare from my neighbor’s house to go away. 

     And yes, the sign on the window says “Caution” oxygen in use – no open flames.  I do have COPD and am on oxygen 24/7, so I have to be extra careful around open fires.  That’s why you may see candles in my decorating, but they will never be lighted.

     For the inside one, I saw another pic on Pinterest of an angel wreath.  This angel sat atop our very large Christmas tree for years, but she is just too large for our small tree.  She spent the last couple of years tucked carefully away, but this year she’s out and about and looking very pretty in her new home.

     The balls have been around for years, the hot pink ones have been around for at least 60 years.  I remember them from when I was a child.  The others aren’t that old, they’re only around 25 years old.  And I love the “pearls” with the burlap.   I think she’s just elegant.

     And then there’s my dollies.  Every year I buy a new doll for Christmas.  This year it was this adorable little reindeer.  Isn’t he cute?  I’m not sure where his permanent Christmas home will be, I’ll just move him around until he looks at home. 

     I mean, just look at that face.  Who could resist that face? Adorable.

     And here’s some pics of some of my other Christmas dollies. 

     This Nativity was painted by Hub’s aunt in 1951.  It has been around the block several times and was looking worn out and tired. 

     This is a representation of what the entire Nativity looked like.  The paint was flaking and some parts were missing.  Notice the ears. 

     After brushing with a toothbrush to get all the loose paint off, I sprayed it with primer, then two coats of Americana Décor chalk paint, and when it was good and dry I sprayed it with ModPodge Hi-Shine super acrylic sealer.  I wanted it to look like porcelain, not the chalk ware that it is.  It is a complete set, with the wise men, the camels, a shepherd with sheep, a cow, a donkey and of course, Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the Angel.  I choose to use only Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the Angel, the wise men and the shepherd.  The animals actually took up too much room and needed a little more work than I had time to devote.  Maybe next year I’ll tackle the animals and use all of them.

     This next picture I added just to show some weird photographic effects.  I was playing around with lighting when I got this.  I had turned off all the lights and used the flash.  The clear marbles actually glowed under the flash.  As I’ve said many times before, I am not a photographer and anything can happen.  I think this was one of those lucky things.

     Not to call this little guy an afterthought, but actually he is.  When Hubs got all the stuff out, this little guy was left over, I just couldn’t figure out what to do with him.  He really was ugly.  Grey, and it was a dirty looking grey, not a nice grey, and the antlers were brown, yes, I know, in real life that’s the color, but you know me and BROWN!  Spray paint to the rescue.

     But where to put him?  On the dining room table, of course!  I cleared away the original arrangement I had and made this one with this little guy.  I like it much better.  And if you look very closely, just in the background you can see the angel candleholder that I inherited from Hubs Mother.  She has been around as long as Hubs.   

     And that’s about all I’ve done for Christmas decorating.  With a torn rotator cuff it’s a miracle I accomplished this much.

     This will be my last post for the year.  But BizzyLizzy will be back in January 2016.   OMG!!!!! 2016.  When I was in second grade (1952) we were talking about the turn of the century 20th to 21st and I thought that was such a long way off and I would never live to see it, well I have and then some.  Hoping for lots more.

     So here’s wishing all of you a very, very Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year.  May all your dreams come true, and may you get all your wishes granted.  But if you don’t, it’s for a good reason.

     And always remember – Never give in, Never surrender, and God bless.

Victoria a/k/a BizzyLizzy

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


This title may be a little misleading as I didn’t really makeover the entire bedroom, only parts of it. 

If you’ve been following me, you know I have this love/hate relationship with BROWN.  Look at the before pics, the standing mirror (cheval glass) was a mahogany color, and the picture frames were the same ugly brown.  (I had already removed the mirror when I remembered to take pictures.)

I have been looking at this mirror and those picture frames for 14 years and decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!   I can’t take it another day, so Christmas decorating was postponed while I finished this project.

Hubs helped me disassemble the mirror, it’s easier to paint that way.  I decided I wanted it two-tone, so out comes my favorite color, PINK, although I did add a bit of white to soften it up a bit.  The frame was painted white, it’s Americana Décor in Everlasting.  It’s a chalk paint and covers so easily.  I did use two coats on everything, then sprayed it with a colorless semi-gloss sealer. 

Once it was painted it still didn’t look especially happy, and was just screaming out to me for some bling.  So it got it!!!!!  I rummaged around in my stash to see what I could find, and most of it’s on the mirror.  The sea shells came from my daughter’s trip to Miami several years ago, the jewelry was in my stash, broken pieces, missing earrings mates, rhinestone pieces that were missing stones, etc.  I had the burlap rose left over from another project and thought it would look good, sort of 1950ish.  If you look real close you can see where I added one rhinestone to a rose petal to mimic a dew drop.

When I wake up each morning this is the first thing I see and it makes me smile.  Just starts my day off on a happy note.

And although I don’t see the pictures when I wake up in the morning, I see them every time I walk into my bedroom.  You can’t miss them, the door is across from the bed.  They look like brand spanking new.  The prints even look brighter and happier.  

All I did was paint the frames with the same chalk paint, added a little pink accent close to the glass and painted those gold dots a very soft grey.  I think grey and pink go together well and plan on using this combination on some other things. To save some money (you know how expensive mats are?), I just flipped the ones I had around.  They were white on the back side; I did go over them with a very light coat of the white paint.  If you look closely you can see the grey dots around the edges of the frame.  As I said before, I'm not a photographer and I don't see too well, but I am working on producing better pictures.  

And then there was the waste paper basket.  I didn’t get a before pic because I hated it so much I just wanted it to disappear.  Originally I loved it, it was sort of a beigy color with huge cabbage roses in a rosy pink color.  But with age the beigy color became closer to a light brown and the rosy pink faded and it was just dirty looking.  I actually considered just throwing it away and buying something else, but the thrifty gene kicked in and I decided I could just cover it up.

I love garage sales, thrift store, estate sales, etc.  I bought several old tablecloths at an estate sale months ago, not knowing what I was going to do with them.  I certainly wasn’t going to use them as tablecloths (they were square and my table is round), so I just stashed them away for future projects.  The pink check one was perfect for my waste paper basket because I didn’t have to measure anything.  I could just use the checks as a guide and glue it on.  The tablecloth actually has/had a sort of macramé edge all around and I used this as a decoration on top.  Just glued the back edge down, flipped it over and glued the top edge over and there it is.

Now the question is, should I paint my bed?  It's really dark, but with all the other white and pink (and eventually I'll have white curtains), I'm thinking that leaving it dark will ground the room. When I get that dresser I've been looking for, then I'll decide.  If the dresser is natural wood, then I'll probably lighten up the bed a bit, I'm thinking not paint, but something like a stain, except in a very pale color.  Well, we'll handle that when that time comes.  

Yes, this is a short post, but believe me, I am working on several projects that’s going to be mind-blowing when I finish.  It may just take a month or two, but I’ll have something to post between now and then.

So, until next time, keep those paint brushes busy and keep making those castoffs happy.

And remember – Never give in, Never surrender and God bless.

Victoria a/k/a BusyLizzy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I finally got my spoon hooks done.  We out to the old homeplace and found this weathered board in the old garage.  It is exactly what I was looking for.

Hubs bent the spoons and flattened the bowls and screwed them to the board.  Then he sort of skewed the two on the end so he could screw the board to the wall, put the spoons back in place, and you cannot see where the wall screws are.  He is really smart.  I never would have thought of that!!!!

So here's the pics.  Now my Coffee Bar is almost finished.  I just need a few more  tchotchkes and I'll be all done.  

And until next time, remember - Never Give In, Never Surrender, and may God always bless.

Victoria a/k/a BizzyLizzy

Sunday, November 15, 2015


As most of you know I have some serious health issues and cannot do what I used to do, but I do try to do one thing a day.

Each night before I go to bed I try to think of a project I can do the next day that won’t tax my breathing or make me nauseated or just make me feel bad in general.

While pondering all the pretty pictures on Pinterest the other day I came across a bunch of Milk Cans.  Now, I have two in my storage shed.  They were from the 1970s.  Yes, Milk Can decorating was really big back then, but they fell out of favor, hence, they were relegated to the storage shed.

AH HA!!!  I can do this.  The first thing was to get Hubs to dig one of them out.  UGH!!! It was really rusted and just plain dirty, and the original paint job I did in 1979 was gone.

Just bare metal and rust.  This called for a good cleaning and a really thorough sanding.  Yep, it took me most of Day One.  But I got it done, and it didn’t tire me out too badly. 

Day Two:  A really good wipe down and two coats of paint.  I used Americana Decor Chalky Paint in a color called Everlasting.  It is actually white, but not a bright white.

When it was thoroughly dry I went over it with very fine sandpaper to give it an aged look.  I wanted it to look like it had been sitting in a barn for a while, but not too much of a while.

I had bought some Lazertran transfer paper to make my own decals for the lettering.  After 6 hours on the computer getting just the right fonts and sizing, printing on the transfer paper, sealing the paper with spray sealant, soaking in warm water and putting on the Milk Can, I was sorely disappointed.  The edges insisted on curling.  Nothing I did would stop it.  When it dried it was worse.  So a warning:  Do Not Buy This Stuff – It’s Not Worth It!!!!!  An entire day wasted.  And I was exhausted.     End of Day 3.                         

Day 4:  Decided to go back to the way we did things in grade school.  Printed off the wording, got a pencil and rubbed it on the back, taped it right side out to the Can, and traced the lettering with another very sharp pencil.

End of Day 4.

Day 5:  Scrounged around in my stash and found a Sharpie exactly the color blue I wanted.  Outlined the letters, then filled them in.

It looks hand lettered, not perfect, but it looks good.  I added the fleur d’lis to the bottom just because Hubs is French ancestry.  After it dried for several hours, I sanded the letters lightly and rubbed chalk over it.  Yes, just plain chalkboard chalk.  Then I sprayed it with a clear, matte Sealant.  Let it sit overnight.

Day 6:  Made the bow, put in the plant and VOILA!!   I think it looks magnificent.  Just like I pictured. 

And because Hubs is of French ancestry the saying is in French – Bienvenue a la chateau duPree.  Loosely translated it means Welcome to the home of the duPrees.             

Friday, November 13, 2015


I have been trying really hard to not get upset and rant about anything.  Oh, I could rant about politics, religion, Obama, health insurance, no cost of living raise for retirees, etc. but it just takes too much energy that I could put toward something actually productive.  Like food.  And re-decorating. 

I have been doing some re-decorating as you will know if you’ve been reading me at all, and I just finished another round, pics and explanation following. 
I also have been doing a bit of cooking.  Yes, I know, Hubs usually does the cooking, he says he’s faster and better, but he’s not too creative.  I like to experiment and that’s what I’ve been doing.

And about the Raves.  Well, I have discovered Pinterest.  I love this place.  I’ve gotten a lot of very good, cheap ideas and have implemented several of them.  Also I have to Rave about Amazon.  You can find almost anything you are looking for on Amazon.  I just discovered transfer paper.  It’s actually decal paper so you can make your own decals.  I’ve ordered a package from Amazon and am waiting for it to arrive so I can finish my milk can.  See the pic.  I also ordered some flames to put on my coffee maker.  The pics were taken before the flames arrived, but I’ve added one with the flames.

As for the recipes, I wasn’t feeling too well a couple of weeks ago and needed some chicken soup.  Unfortunately, all commercial soups have ingredients that I just do not want to consume, like MSG, soy protein, wheat, monodiglycerides, etc.  I had to make my own. 

This turned out way better than I had hoped.  Hubs grilled me a chicken breast and I had some left over rice, so just added some red peppers, celery, onions, and yes there is actually a carrot in there, to some chicken stock, heated through and VOILA!!! instant chicken soup.  Of course, there’s also salt and pepper.  Add some orange slices and a few almond crackers (there is no wheat or dairy in them) and was feeling better almost at once.

Hubs didn’t want soup, he wanted chicken fingers, so here’s his version:

He made a batter of egg, milk, salt and pepper.  First he dipped the chicken in the batter, then in the flour, then back in the batter and fried in a Fry Daddy.  I tasted one and it was really good.  And so easy.  If you have a Fry Daddy with a basket, the Fingers turn out almost grease free.  Way better than any you can buy.


I can’t believe it has been almost two months since I did a post.  I have been “under the weather” and was in hospital for a few days last month, but am much better now.  As a matter of fact, I am so much better I re-arranged my kitchen.  Well, parts of it anyway. 

I had all my small appliances on the “back counter”, you’ll have to see the pics to understand this.  I have a really weird shaped kitchen.  There’s actually only one wall, and that’s where the “back counter” is.  I hated the way it looked, it was crowded and always messy.

THEN, enter Pinterest.  I found this picture and it inspired me to create a Coffee Bar of my own.  Initially my coffee maker (a big commercial Bunn) was in the pantry because it was just too big to sit on the counter.  And it took up way too much space in the pantry.  (Sorry – no before pics – I just got ahead of myself).

This is my inspiration I found on Pinterest.  

But I did get pics of the space where I wanted to put the Coffee Bar.  This is an angled wall that leads into the “living room”.  Actually the area is just one great big space, with a TV area, a kitchen area, and a dining area.  As you can see, it’s rather dull.  I like the table and the plant, but it just didn’t excite me.  It was okay, but that was all. 

Now here’s the after pic.  I really love the way it turned out.  And all my small appliances are now in the pantry and the “back counter” is a clean space that I can enjoy looking at.  And I can actually use it when I need to. 

Pantry – appliance garage

Back counter – the only real wall in the kitchen

Notice the Bunn coffee maker.  Here’s some pics of it being prepped for painting.  I could not stand that fake wood on the side, so convinced Hubs to paint it for me. He used a high-heat appliance paint.  He did a great job.  And I added the flames just for fun!!!!!  HOT COFFEE – YAY!!!!

Enter Pinterest again.  This time milk cans.  I have two that I’ve had since the 70s.  They were just sitting in the storage shed rusting.  Got one out, sanded it and painted it white.  Here’s my inspiration.

 The transfer paper finally arrived and now I can make my sign for the front.  Because we live in the city and not the country or a farm, I decided to go with a Welcome.  In French, of course, with a name like duPree, what do you expect?  I'll be working on it this weekend and hopefully have some pics for next week.  

Well, that about catches me up with what's been going on over here, and next week, if all goes according to plans, I will have some more pics of past decorating projects I just haven't posted yet.  

You know, with all the conditions a lot of us have, it's best to keep busy, and that's what I try to do.  Even accomplishing just one little thing a day can make a huge difference in our mental outlook.  Instead of sitting in that recliner whining about what you can't do, think of something you can do.  Clean off that coffee table and put something different on it.  Put all that bathroom clutter in a box and put it in the closet or under the sink.  Just little things.  No Biggie.  You will be surprised how good it will make you feel.  If all else fails, call a friend you haven't heard from in a while.  It will make their day, too.

So, until next time, as I always say, Never give in, Never surrender, and God bless.

And if I don't get another post before Thanksgiving Day, have a happy and fulfilling Turkey Day.  gobble gobble........

Victoria a/k/a BizzyLizzy