Truth and Chalk

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 

Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

I love these verses. They say so much about how to do life, and especially how to parent. Basically, talk of God’s truth and love should be oozing out of us in all that we do and all that we say. I am doing my best to take the part of writing God’s truths on the doorframes and gates literally, and I’m trying to surround ourselves in scripture as I add it to more and more places throughout our home. This is helping me to keep an eternal perspective, and it’s helping me to memorize more of God’s word.

My latest project involved a blank wall, an antique wooden picture frame that I found at a market, and some paint. I decided to make a chalkboard that I could use to write messages on, mainly scripture that we can learn. Here’s a picture of the frame when it’s almost done getting the first coat on (I forgot to take a before pic!):

A look at what the original frame looked like

It had a cool gold finish on it which shows through after I finished distressing it. Here is a pic of what the final product looks like. For the center, I purchased a piece of masonite which the nice man at the hardware store cut to size for us. I then primed it, and gave it two coats of black chalkboard paint.

A look at the finished chalkboard.

This chalkboard is right in a crucial hub of our home – it is the first wall that you see when you come down the stairs to the main floor, and it’s the first wall that you see when you enter our home from the outside. A great place to be reminded of truth!

What are some creative ways that you learn scripture?

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4 & 5

Break it Down, Build it Up – Part 1

It all started when I walked into the kitchen and saw my husband gazing intently at the kitchen ceiling. “This is strange”, I thought. But it was only when he continued gazing that I began to wonder what in the world he was looking at. “I think I see a shadow of a stain on the ceiling” he told me, which caused us both to get a closer look and realize that there was also a bit of paint peeling off of the ceiling in the center of this spot. I must add here that this ceiling is brand new. We had the entire ceiling down when redoing the electrical a couple of years ago. And where do you think this spot was? Right underneath of the toilet in our only full bathroom. Oh, crap. Literally. This was a couple of months ago, and now our bathroom problems are over, but I’ve decided to share this project that we did on our own in a 3 part series entitled “Break it Down, Build it Up”.

One week following the great stain on the ceiling discovery we taped up the cupboards in the kitchen, put up plastic to control the dust, and the kids and I evacuated the house to stay with my very hospitable in laws. Daryl got to work right away with the demo and this is what he found when he removed the toilet and cut the floor away:

Very broken sewage pipe

It’s a good thing we caught that one when we did! It’s pretty amazing that we only had a faint little stain on the ceiling when we look at that pipe! This was the original pipe in a house that is over 100 years old, so it was time to be replaced.

I’m going to backtrack here and say that I had been dreaming of redoing the bathroom for a couple of years already – it was quite desperately in need of a makeover, but it just wasn’t a priority until now. So although we hadn’t budgeted for this reno right away, I was really quite happy to be able to redecorate this little corner of the house. Here are some before pictures of the bathroom:

A before shot of the bathroom

Storage cupboards beside shower

Doesn’t look too bad from a distance right? But upon closer inspection you see otherwise…

The vanity looking pretty terrible

This vanity is in pretty sorry shape.

Cracked vinyl floor

And look at that cracked and brittle old vinyl floor.

Not only did the vanity and the floor look terrible, but the paint on the walls was peeling! One of our life lessons since being homeowners has been to spend the money and buy good paint. Paint from the liquidation store is there for a reason…

Hopefully those before pictures give you an idea of what we started with, and now a couple more demo pics:

Wall down to the studs

The green and brown is the what the plaster looked like under the tile panelling that was on the lower half of the walls – you can see the glue marks too. Right away we agreed that the pipes should be replaced from the basement right up to the roof, so this meant removing the old plaster from the main wall in the bathroom, as well as some lovely holes in the kitchen.

Holes in kitchen ceiling

Mess in the kitchen

These pictures already show the new black PVC pipes that my husband installed with some help from some skilled family members. The last picture is to highlight the mess that we had to clean up. Messy, but totally worth it.

This reno made me think of how when we go through trials in life that are sometimes messy and painful, that is often a time when we press in to God and when we experience growth as we make it out of that tough spot with the Lord’s help. First we need to break it down, then we can build it up.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25: 4 & 5

 

 

My Living Room Makeover.

We moved into our century old home 5 1/2 years ago, two and a half weeks before I birthed our second daughter in our new house. That was a busy couple of weeks! Our house was very clean when we moved in, but it needed a LOT of updating and I wanted our living room and dining room to be painted right away. In hindsight, I should have just lived with it for a while so that I got a feel for the room. The carpet was in good shape, and we weren’t prepared to put down new flooring if what was underneath was terrible so we opted to keep it in. We painted one wall a deep red, and the rest a neutral tan. Once the painting was done, the living room was clean and nice to be in, but it didn’t ever really feel like our living room. With the brown trim, the beige carpet, beige walls, and beige couch, I began to feel like I was in a sea of beige – I needed some color!!! I also realized that with the porch in front, although the room has lots of windows it doesn’t actually get a lot of natural light coming in. So after 5 1/2 years I finally got a clear vision for what I wanted the living room to look like, and this summer I worked away at it and wanted to share the finished product with you!

Here are the before shots of the very formal looking living room:

living room before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

living room before left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

living room before right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew right away that I wanted to change up the heavy curtains for a light roman blind, and that I wanted to paint out the trim white – this made such a huge difference! I also decided to paint the walls a creamy ivory. The room feels so much bigger AND I said goodbye to all that beige. I can’t forget the floor – I finally pulled up that carpet and the original wood floor is in fairly good shape.

Here are the after pictures:

living room after

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s SO much brighter!

living room barnboard mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our brother in law made us this amazing barnboard mirror.

living room pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We featured our own colorful art on the walls – this really personalized the space.

living room coffee table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I refinished the coffee table that we received as a wedding gift in a beautiful bright green and distressed it – this really added a punch of color to the space!

We love the finished product! It’s bright and fun, and it feels so comfortable to be in. I feel like it is a reflection of our creative personalities, and I finally feel like it’s my own living room that I’m sitting in. And that’s our living room makeover.