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Natural Wood Handrail

Our new old stone cottage has some fun features outside, but one unique detail is a blend of outside on the inside ... a custom natural wood stair handrail. 



The stairs wrap around the original wood stove brick chimney and separates our dining room from our kitchen.  

Truth be told, when I first saw the listing photos, I absolutely positively did NOT like it at all.  Was prepared to have it ripped out and replaced with a conventional boring railing and spindles.  But, when we stepped foot inside and saw the handrail along with all the other elements that surround it, it just works!  Take my word for it - it does.  The mix of black granite tile on the risers, warm stained wood on the stair treads and the original brick chimney give the space a unique style that we had not yet discovered.  

The fact that we love it surprises even us - our former home was totally safe neutral with no surprise elements.  The move to our new old stone cottage has been a fun journey - and quite an exploratio…
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Our Cozy Stone Cottage

It's been a while since we've updated our little blog but now is a great time to revive it!  We've had an exciting lifestyle change in the works the past several months as we prepared to sell our country home to relocate to this sweet stone cottage in the "city" about 10 miles away.  Well, not exactly a city - more like a small adorable country hamlet - population around 4,000.  


We're told our little stone cottage was built in 1900.  We've yet to discover the full history of our home and hope to research it soon.  We do know that an addition was added and it contains the kitchen.  And we've learned that the stone was not original to the home - originally it was typical wood sided farmhouse.  The photo above is an older one from a few years ago we found online that shows our home in all its well maintained glory.  Isn't it charming?


In a nutshell, a few of the features we immediately fell in love with are .... original wood floors throughout most of…

Sleek Stainless Kitchen Backsplash

When we built our little home years ago, we were undecided on what to do with our kitchen backsplash.  So, we put that project on the back burner and settled in with a coat of paint ... until now. 




This was our boring but clean slate:




To narrow down our backsplash material choices, we knew we wanted a clean, sleek look without grout lines.  That's when we found these sheets of stainless tiles at Lowes:



They come in 12" square mosaic sheets and are self-adhesive.  

To prep our wall, we lightly hand sanded and wiped to remove dust.  



We chose to leave the 4" vertical countertop backsplash along our wall, but could have removed it to have the backsplash meet the horizontal countertop.  This was just our personal preference to leave it in place.

We also decided to replace our fluorescent undercabinet lighting with LED lighting.  Best decision ever!  The LED lighting is so much brighter and whiter.   

These were the light fixtures we chose at Home Depot:




To install the steel mosaic …

DIY Weathered Wood Jar Sconces

Yesterday as Mia (our pup) and I took a walk across our property, I glanced at the small stash of scrap wood I set aside for projects.  A few short hours later, these were casting a warm glow above our fireplace ...





Materials:

6 boards 30" long
4 boards 7" long
4 hooks (for hanging mason jars)
1" brad nails
1-1/2" wood screws
8 wood shims (as spacers)
2 D-ring hangers with screws
2 picture hangers with screws
4 jars
Wire
Jute string
Salt
Candles

Tools Used:

Ryobi Cordless Mitre Saw
Ryobi Cordless Drill
Ryobi Cordless Brad Nailer
Ryobi Cordless Screwdriver 

What can I say? .. We like Ryobi! 





The weather was gorgeous - sunny and slightly cool - a perfect day for an outdoor project.  



I began by cutting all the boards to length.  Thanks to the cordless mitre saw, this part of the process was quick and easy. 





I laid the boards out to determine spacing and our driveway made a great work surface.





The thickest ends of the wood shims served as spacers.






To help find the correct placement of the sh…

Our Shelby

Since my little blog is about "all things home," I wanted to share a recent and heartbreaking event that took place within our abode.  We noticed our super sweet 10 year old greyhound, Shelby, began limping and not putting much weight on her front right leg.  Being a retired racer, it wasn't unusual through the years for her to come away with a minor sprain while running circles in our back lawn, so we weren't alarmed.  
She had just turned 10 in October ... we had adopted her from Greyhound Pets of America - Houston (GPA) in 2009 when she was only 3. 
She never yelped in pain but her limp didn't appear to be getting better, so we took her to our amazing vet, Dr. Helen Philips
What we suspected was a pulled muscle, torn ligament, or at the very worst a fracture, was far worse than we could have imagined. 
Shelby was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in her right shoulder.  
We were stunned and shocked even though we were fully aware of the high occu…