Repurposing Old Hollywood Light Strip

In my “Before” picture of the bathroom, you’ll see the old Hollywood light strip. We removed it and updated it with something I like much better.


Little Bathroom Project 2

And After…

Bathroom Picture 1

And that left us with one old Hollywood light strip that no one wanted. I thought it would eventually end up in the landfill, but Mike saw it differently.

After his very low score on moving the bathroom along (see that post here), I believe he has redeemed himself. I’d give him a definite +1 for this idea.

Candles Burning Inside 1

Candles Burning Inside 2

Here’s the base looking more “mirror like” than “candle-base like”. He put pads on to keep it from scratching the table.

Old Mirror Base Back Side

Here it is with a quick pass of spray paint…waiting on tea candles. Those chairs in the yard are what I’m currently working on…cleaning the porch and working in the shrubbery. There is always something to do at this place.

Old Mirror Base Top Side

I thought this was one “Smokin’ Hot” idea!

Smoking Candles

As mentioned above, we’re starting to get the house ready for fall and winter. I worked in the yard yesterday for several hours, and next I’ll be cleaning windows. I searched on the internet for the easiest way to clean my outside windows. I’ll let you know how this works out in a day or two!


Little Bathroom Project Day 2

If you read my blog last night, I told you that my bathroom would be painted a “lovely blue gray” color called Eternity. Well, it is going to be an eternity before I get this monster painted.

I started with the commode. Mike mentioned taking it out, and I assured him it was not necessary as I’d read on the internet to simply wrap the commode in Saran Wrap and paint behind it. Of course that is true because I saw it on the internet. Here’s my wrapped commode. Fashionably wearing red.

Painting Behind the Commode

To wrap this little sucker I had to do gymnastics. I’ve never hugged a commode like I hugged this one as I scooted and pulled Saran wrap around it. If someone had entered my bathroom at just the right time, they would have seen me lying on my back with my head wedged between the wall and the commode painting with rollers, artist brushes and foam craft brushes. Anything I could find. And I can tell you…it just doesn’t seem right to be staring up at a commode. It’s weird.

But amazingly, the Saran Wrap deal worked. I’m that lovely gray blue, too, but the commode remained white and the wall was painted behind it. Probably not very well, but it’s painted.

This is going to take much longer than I thought. It will be days. Luckily, I learned I can wrap my paintbrush in Saran Wrap and place it in the refrigerator to keep it from drying out. Guess where I learned that?


Burlap and Red Trimmed Basket

I’m working on “refreshing” our guest bath. If I can ever get a decent picture, I’ll post it. The bathroom is small–tub, sink, potty and small linen closet and small window. There’s not room for a lot of decorative items, so anything in there is going to have to be decorative AND useful.

I thought this little Target basket would look nice holding wash cloths.

Little Black Basket

I’m using red in this room so I’m adding burlap ribbon trimmed in red-checked buttons to the basket. I like this ribbon as it already had the buttons on it.

Basket and Burlap

I hot glued it on…it looks askew in this picture and that is because the basket is not symmetrical. I’m okay with that. I realized…after looking at this picture…that this looks more like a little man’s upside down hat with a bunch of washcloths in it!

Black Basket With Ribbon Glued On

Oh well! I still like it!!


Garage Cleaning and Organization – Plywood and Yardstick Chalkboard

I’m back working on our Garage Cleaning and Organization Project. Since starting a few days ago (see that post), I’ve done a lot of sweeping, reorganizing, throwing away, cleaning behind the frig and freezer, cleaning out the frig and freezer, and cleaning the windows and doors. I wish I could paint, but that’s a project for next year.

I wanted to do something with chalkboard paint in the garage. I first thought I’d paint a big square on the wall and that would be it. However, I started thinking when I finally DO paint the garage, how I might need to paint over my chalkboard masterpiece. I decided that making a chalkboard piece to hang or mount in the garage was the best method. When I paint, I’ll remove it, paint under it, and then remount.

And that’s when my Plywood and Yardstick Chalkboard popped in my head! We had the plywood, and I thought that framing out the plywood with yardsticks (67 cents per piece) would make it more “garagey.” Chalkboard paint and Lowes — does it get any better than that? (Nahh…Lowes doesn’t compensate me…my love is innocent and true.)

Yardstick and Chalkboard 1

We’ll use the Plywood and Yardstick Chalkboard as a reminder board for auto maintenance, stuff we need from town, etc.

This is an easy project. Your materials will be:

36″ x 36″ piece of plywood — (plywood comes in 4′ x 8′ and we had some. However, most Lowe’s will cut your plywood for you)

4 36″ yardsticks (On my 36″ x 36″ board, I had to trim two of the yardsticks down by 1″. We could have mitered them but I was in a hurry.

Liquid chalkboard paint

Here’s when I first started toying with the idea..

Plywood and Yardsticks

I’m so happy with the the Plywood and Yardstock Chalkboard. (Notice I’m saying it in Initial Caps–as if it’s an event or a destination? Bahaha…)

Yardstock and Chalkboard 2

I have one more organization project to do on the garage, and I’ll be through. I’ll finish and post that later this week!

And, because I want someone to brag on me, even if it’s myself, just look at this clean garage refrigerator….I’m loving it!!

Clean Frig

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.


A Summer Sunflower Wreath…Evolving

Happy Sunday evening! This is about a wreath but before that…check out my daughter-in-law, Mary, and me taking a break from the Virginia Creeper Trail Saturday. This was so fun!!

Mary and Eva

Now..about that wreath! Candace Powers Bennett is a distant cousin on my father’s side, and she is the great granddaughter of my mother’s best friend. That is all a lead-in to say that I recently copied her idea for a summertime wreath. She is a busy mom of two boys, great wife, and a very crafty lady. She is also a daughter of the King. ūüôā I love her. She posted a wreath on Facebook that she whipped out last week. Shortly thereafter, a very similar wreath appeared on my backdoor.

Wreath Without A B

Such a sweet, simple summertime welcome at the¬†back door!¬† Thank you¬†Candace for letting me steal your idea.¬†¬†¬†BUT WAIT…I think Candace’s had something else. Didn’t she have a “B” dangling somewhere? I, of course, needed a “B” too! Nevermind that I now notice I wired mine on upside down.

Wreath With a B

I had this grapevine wreath. It’s got some miles on it.¬† It changes its look every little bit.¬† Kind of like Madonna.¬†¬†¬† Here it was in it’s “Snowman Phase.”

Mr. Snowman

I really liked it in its “Christmas Phase”, but the birds kept flying over and pooping on my window in this phase.

Grapevine Wreath

And…lest we forget, here it was during its “Fall Phase” or, if you look closely, its “Women’s Lib Phase” when it went braless.

Autumn Wreath

Other things this weekend…buying that 30 feet of wired burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby for $4.99 (1/2 price) made me literally dance with excitement. I’m thinking Christmas wreaths!


Changes In Mendota May 2013

I haven’t taken you¬†to the ¬†Barnrock Road project for a while.¬† ¬†It’s raining outside, and it’s a mess up there.¬†¬†¬† There is muddy water everywhere. I can’t leave the house and turn right in my new car because Snowball the Dog might bite my car again, and I¬†don’t want to¬†go on Barnrock because it is just a mess.¬† I’m going to park the car and start swimming the North Fork of the¬†Holston River¬†to go anywhere. If you see me floating by,¬†I’m headed to the Rally Mart in Hiltons for a BLT.

By the¬†way,¬†¬†if you don’t believe me when I tell you my new car suffered a dog bite that pulled a piece of it loose, read about it here.

Here’s some progress on the road….Granny Bott’s house earlier this year.

Granny Bott's House

The site today for the new road taken a few days ago when I was up that way. Hard to believe it’s the same place, isn’t it?

Barnrock May 23

Let’s look at something infinitely better! It quit raining for a few minutes and I went out and took some pictures! What is the name of this flower? Is it mandevilla?

Florida Vine

Here’s the border with the mandevilla or whatever it is called in it.¬†¬† Where the topiary thing stands is a “crossing” point for the cats, and every plant I put there is trampled and dies.¬† I’m hoping that this will not be the case this time. I was weeding while the ground was damp so if you look closely, you’ll see weeds thrown in the grass.¬†

Garden Border

I’ve never had luck with clematis, but I’m trying again in a new place.¬†¬† I’m hoping that this one doesn’t “wilt”.¬†¬†¬† I put this in just before it rained today.¬† Those are green pepper plants and flowers from plant class that I stuck in around the clematis.¬†¬† Hope they all do okay.¬†¬† ¬† I was hurrying because it was starting to sprinkle and I didn’t even bother to brush the dirt off the rock.


Oh yeah…how about those taters? A picture is worth a thousand words. Besides bragging isn’t polite.

Taterhead May 23

And 20+ rows of green beans that are in the garden are gettng extremely weedy. We’ll rototill them when it dries.

Weedy Green Beans

Ahh…writing about the garden made me feel better.


WARPED Gift Wrap Project

I always have gift wrap on hand, but the large rolls of gift wrap have been stashed in the attic. It’s a mess up there. Scary stuff.¬† Cleaning the attic is one of our long-term projects following a spring garage sale I’m going to have in Mike’s shop. That garage sale is yet another long-term project. It never ends.

I asked Mike to make me a box out of some leftover plywood he had on hand. My plan was to move the giftwrap out into the open as part of our home office reorganization/redo project. If your new to the blog, I’ve written about it here.

Here’s what he made which I spray painted. I’d meant it to be taller, like an umbrella stand, but he only had short pieces of plywood on hand.¬†

It’s a ¬†little plain.¬† ¬† I didn’t mention it to him as I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.¬†

Wrapping Paper Box

I decided to put the word “WRAP” on the box.¬† Liven it up.¬† I decided¬†this while we were making a¬†trip to Lowe’s last week in Kingsport. We don’t need much of a reason to go to Lowe’s (my True Love) ¬†but I was especially excited because the Kingsport Lowe’s is near Michael’s Craft Store¬†, and I had these letters spelling around in my head…”W.R.A.P” Here they are…I found them for $1 each. I had a 40% off coupon for one of them, and I saved a whopping 40 cents.

Wrap Wooden Letters from Michaels

I spraypainted the wooden letters red as well as made¬† patterns out of scrapbook paper.¬† This was the tricky part.¬† I used both scissors and an Exacto knife to get a¬†neat cut on the paper. Mike asked me if I was related to Michael Jordan when he saw me working–apparently I had my tongue stuck out.¬†¬† Whatever.¬†

Pattern and Red Letter A

Then I used Mod Podge so that the paper would adhere to the letter.

Red A With Mod Podge

Next I pressed the paper onto the letter and put a top coat of Mod Podge.

Red A Ready to Go

I could not wait to hot glue these to the black box.¬†¬†¬† Ideas of thousands of Pinterest pins were floating in my head.¬†¬† I flew up the stairs and then.. I could not find my glue gun!¬†¬† No where!¬† I looked and looked!¬†¬† ¬†When I was organizing last week, I saw my current glue gun as well as a brand new one I’d lost before. Now,¬†they are¬†both missing!¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m wondering…is the U.S. government really after our guns?…and they’ve started with my glue guns?¬† Is there a conspiracy? Or did I possibly throw them away when I was doing a mass throwaway last week? Hmmm…

So I taped the letters.¬†¬† I’m glad they are only taped because instead of spelling “WRAP”…I’ve spelled “WARP”. This project is going to wait until I find my glue gun and can adjust the letters.¬†¬† Also, there’s no natural light in the office right now for a decent picture even if I had my glue gun.¬† Here’s the awful, humilating picture.¬† The naked truth.

Warped Project 

I think I can fix it tomorrow and maybe I can find the glue gun if I look again.

Here’s something that turned out better. After Mike accidentally destroyed my pretty Target ¬†lampshade, I went back to Target, and yes! There was one more!! I bought it and then, even though I hate buying things I already have, I bought the lamps that were with it.¬†¬† I love the clean way the look.¬† This room is going to look good once I get the funny red sofa (that I’m not picturing if you notice) slipcovered in a nice, crisp denim.¬†¬† Easy to care for.

Target Lamp

Mike and my brother-in-law, Gerald, made this little table.   I love it.  Would you pay $225 for it?  I thought not.   Drat!

Are you sure?¬†¬† Here’s another picture of it?¬†¬†

End Table With Lamp

Finally, this is in my kitchen now. I posted it on my Facebook page so it’s really old news. Everyone has times in their life that they don’t fit in. It still happens to me, and I still have that awkward moment when I wish I’m someone else. But it’s okay because Dr. Seuss said so!¬†

Dr Seuss Chalkboard Paint Picture


Before and After Home Office Reorganization

First of all, thank you to those who viewed RiverCliff Cottage in January. My little blog¬†had 1300 views for the month according to Google Analytics. Do you know how good you have made me feel? I am no one, but you took the time to look me up.¬†¬†¬† I am so thankful.¬†¬† Basically, you’re like a piece of chocolate!¬† Yum! You are delicious!

On Saturday it snowed, and then it continued to snow until the early afternoon on Sunday — a day to stay at home.¬† I know I’m repeating myself, but let me say it again…I love snow.¬†¬† We did not have church.¬† My worship experience occurred outside this morning with the camera following a breath of clean mountain air. Thank you Lord for showing us this once again!!! ¬†¬†¬†

Midday, I went upstairs and surveyed the office reorganization mess. I orginally talked about our home office reorganization here. Determined not to continue talking about it yet not doing anything, I decided to get the “Office” part of the home office at least 90% complete today.

I think I’m at 90%. Here’s what it looks like as I write this post…

After Office Area

Here’s the before of Michael’s side of the room…

Mike's side of office

Here is the after of his side of the room…

His Side

I’m happy with the results.¬†¬† Most of¬†it was pretty straight forward — cleaning, sorting, discarding and¬†organizing what was left.¬†¬† The printer and old desktop computer and monitor have gone to Office Depot. When we made the purchase of the scanner (here),¬†¬†Office Depot accepted them for recycling. Mike is a “keeper” and he had about 100 woodworking magazines which I happily discarded!¬†¬†¬†¬†It freed up space for notebooks on¬†our house maintenance, health care, etc. ¬†to be put out of sight.¬†¬†

Now that I’ve cleaned and organized the area, you can see the nice desk¬†as our¬†shared workspace. I love this desk!


Mike made the desk for the two of us. I have my side and my drawers, and he has his side and his drawers.¬† (Whoops…that all just sounds risque, doesn’t it?) It’s made of walnut, white oak, red oak and sassafras.¬†¬†¬† We don’t really share it well as he encroaches on my side of the desk.¬†¬†Still, there is the thought!

I used a full can of black spray paint on this redo.¬† Don’t those chairs look¬†better black?¬† I have no problem¬†mixing woods but this room has so much wood…floors,¬†desk,¬†file cabinets, bookshelves…even the blinds are wooden!¬†¬†¬† By spraying the chairs black, it¬†gave them an opportunity to show off.¬†

Black Chair With Red Pillow

I took a¬†look at the picture frames around the room and gave them a bit of spray, too.¬†¬† I didn’t want them all to be one color, but if they were brassy, they got a new life in red, black or silver.¬†¬† Here’s a couple that were brassy gold…now they are more cohesive with this busy room!

This one went from gold to bright red…

Jack's Pix

I even spray painted the cardboard boxes where loose pictures or CDs are kept!¬† This box had been a hideous mauve and green…I had it hidden in the bottom unit of the bookshelf. If you look down in the “before” picture of my side of the room, you’ll see it. Ugly! Now, it’s back living the good life on the upper shelves.


The world is a better place with a full can of Krylon or Rustoleum (or chalkboard spray paint).

Here’s my side of the room before…I took this picture right when I started cleaning out the bookcase so I have the trashbag in the floor! Basically, this looks like a wreck.

Office Before Right Side

And here’s the after…ahhh…I feel better just looking at this! This is a place I can work!

Her Side

Here’s the whole office area again…

After Office Area

There are blocks in the top of the window…they’ll say “Organize” when I get the letters on them. That’s all part of my plan!

Plan Blocks

But now…it’s time for a….

Nap Blocks

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage. Do you like the office redo? I bought the pillows, the lampshades, one decorative box and spraypaint to give this room new life. Beyond that…it was just elbow grease. I’m just wondering why I let it go so long?


Life Unscripted

Isn’t this a pretty church? It’s over 100 years old.

Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church

Joey led this morning’s prayer. He said, “Thank you for staying with us during the snow and ice and power outages. Thank you for riding shotgun with us Father.” Our worship is not scripted.

Here’s some more to be thankful for…it’s our friend Helene and her two house daughters, Ashley and Jenna. Ashley and Jenna have been hanging out with Mike in the shop a lot this week. Like Joey’s prayer today, these three independent women are living life unscripted. They delight everyone they touch.

Helene Jenna and Ashley

And…Jenna and Ashley installed a new, tiled entry in our guest house apartment! Mike had removed the old vinyl and had the ceramic tiles cut and laid out, but his knee surgery is on the near horizon and kneeling isn’t working well for him right now. Jenna and Ashley had never laid or grouted ceramic tile, but they did an awesome job.

Ceramic Floor

It looks like wood, but it’s ceramic tile. I love it!


After the January 2013 Snow

Hi!¬† Baby it’s cold outside!¬†¬† It’s been a wild week.¬† I had no internet on the onset of last week due to¬† a transmitter being replaced up at the Mendota Fire Tower by my pals at IGO Technologies.¬† They did the replacement while our area received 6.5 inches of rainfall!

Here’s where my internet comes from…on top of Clinch Mountain!

Mendota Firetower

Twenty four hours after the repair, we received 6-7 inches of wet (and beautiful) snow resulting in no phone service, no electricity and no internet. The phone service returned in 48 hours, the electricity in about 72 hours, and the internet, FINALLY, today!  

The wet snow had trees down everywhere. Here’s a few on the side of the road going up Nordyke Road leaving Mendota. The scenes below¬†repeated over and over on all of the Mendota roads. Thank goodness some folks had chainsaws as the road crews had too much other stuff on their hands.

Tree 2

And another…

Tree 3

And another…yawn!

Tree 5

We are so fortunate that we have a generator (check out this post). However, to keep from using so much propane, we are careful about our electrical usage during outages. I didn’t spend a lot of time working on my home office organization project because it’s in a different “zone” in terms of the heating system. However, I tried to do a few things…

I have all kinds of photo albums from the time when we didn’t have digital photography.¬† Look at them!¬†¬† (If you can get past the trash I have on the floor in this picture…sometimes you have to drag it out before you can clean it up!)

Office Before Right Side

I am putting most of the albums in the lower part of the bookshelf behind doors.¬† However, there were a few that I could not get in there.¬† I went back in time to the era when I had to “wrap” my rented school books.¬† Do students still rent textbooks?¬†¬† I don’t know!

Took some ordinary mailing paper and a very ugly pink album..

Covering Albums

Using my skills developed during my years as a textbook renter!

Covering Albums 2

Taped down the sides here…

Covering Albums 3

Here ya go! Still a work in doesn’t look like it will look with a bit more tweaking…but you can see where I’m headed.

Bookcase Redo

While slow as molasses, this is a good winter project!


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