Saturday, August 11, 2018

Painting Changes Things

I traveled to Kansas City for two weeks to get started on the house remodeling.  It may not have been the first thing that should've been done, but I had the main floor painted.  My painter's week of availability was the last week of July/first of August.  I was anxious to get the wall colors changed.  So, up I went.  

First are some "before pictures" of the house.  This a screen shot off of Zillow and shows it partially furnished from the previous owners.  
Here is a tighter picture of it empty. I obviously don't have a wide angle lens.
Here is the painted version.  The walls are painted Sherwin Williams Creamy and the fireplace was painted SW Anchors Aweigh.  The floors will be wood and probably a chandelier will replace the ceiling fan.  

Same for the dining room.  
Sorry for the different angle.  The chandelier will be changed as well. 
Here is a different angle with the painter's tape yet to be removed. I didn't really want the trim to be a different color than the walls, but I had difficulty identifying the trim color and not enough time to figure it out before the painters arrived.  I went with Creamy on the main floor except for our bedroom. 
Here is the entry staircase "before". This first photo is very old.  
You can barely see a brass chandelier at the top of the photo.  
 This current chandelier is bronze.  But I recently noticed that the chain and cap are brass.  

"After" These aren't from the same angles, but you can see the color change. 
It is a very dark area and I think the SW Creamy white will help a lot.  

The door straight ahead leads to the Master Bedroom.  I will have the wallpaper removed and painted or re-wallpapered.  The room on the right is the library.  It is the same color as the other rooms.  It looks blue because of the northern exposure.  It was a gold color as shown in the Zillow photo below and is now also Creamy white. Evidently I never took an after photo. 
The Master Bedroom was dark brown, much like our bedroom in California.  I was very tired of that color and never picked it in the first place.  So this time we went with a gray/blue/green color.  It is SW Silver Strand.  
Again, I lack a wide angle lens. I think you can see the improvement though.  
Much better, don't you think? 
So, there you have some progress pictures.  I met with two contractors and am waiting on their bids then we will start making decisions and picking out surfaces and fixtures for the kitchen and the Master Bathroom.  I'll keep you posted! Any advice you can give to me since I'm new at renovations will be much appreciated.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Visit to the DMA

The Dallas Museum of Art that is.  A Dallasite (made that up) friend that had NEVER gone to the Dallas Museum of Art suggested we go for a visit this week.  Today was the day.  It's a good time of the year to do inside activities in Texas.  My car said the temperature was 108 degrees this afternoon.  Good grief that's ridiculous.  I took a few pictures, of course, some were just okay and I didn't get information on everything.  The museum is great and definitely a must see.  

We began our day at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

This piece depicts Jews as they were being shipped by train to concentration camps. 
Very sobering sculpture.  

We went into the DMA cafe for lunch.  There is a beautiful Dale Chihuly display in the café.  

There is a large display called the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection.  The Reves donated many pieces of their collection which had also been the collection of Coco Chanel.  They had purchased the home, La Pausa, including the furniture and art from Coco.  Emery collected art and had several collections confiscated by the Nazi's during WWII.  This collection had so many originals from famous artists that it was unbelievable.  The display is constructed much like the French house.  The furniture was beautiful.  
This is Bougival by de Vlaminck
It is in the Fauvism style.  Here's a little more information about this piece.
A section of the above painting.

 These are the paints of Winston Churchill and below is one of five paintings that he gave the Reves.  
 Vase of Red Tulips
Winston Churchill
Incredible carving on a gilt frame. 
 a portion of 
River Bank in Springtime by Vincent van Gogh 
This one really reminded me of Sakura season in Japan.
 A small portion of Apple Harvest by Camille Pissarro
These two above are just portions of paintings using Pointillism.  
 Fishing Boats at L'Estaque by André Derain

If you are ever visiting, take the time to see the Dallas Museum of Art. It is located in the Dallas Arts District which also holds the Symphony Center, Opera House, and theaters.  When is the last time you went to an art museum?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Delicious Summer Recipes

I've recently been searching for some new recipes for the summer.  You know, all the wonderful produce that's in season has had me wanting some good salads.  I've posted a couple on Instagram recently, but I thought I'd share the links to them here.  

This first one is Ravioli with Sautéed Asparagus and Walnuts from Green Valley Kitchen.  I could only find cheese ravioli in my store, which I thought was ridiculous, but it was still delicious.  These are my photos, so you can see how they really turn out.  
The second one is 10-Minute Zucchini Noodles with Garlic, Lemon and Parmesan.  I asked for and received a Spiralizer for Christmas and I finally tried it out.  It worked perfectly on zucchini and this recipe was very good too.  You can find it at Instant Pot Eats.  
I loved all of these recipes or I wouldn't be passing them on to you.  I've just hit the jackpot lately.  This one was my favorite combination.  Pasta, tomato, basil what can be wrong with that? This recipe is from Alexandra Cooks and was a favorite with my husband too.  
And lastly, I decided to make my own hummus. In Japan, we couldn't buy hummus or decent crackers.  I craved hummus and Triscuits. I had friends that would make their own. I even brought cans of chick peas to Japan for them and myself.  I never did it. Yesterday I did and I added "Everything but the Bagel" sesame seasoning to the top with some olive oil. It was amazing with some Triscuits.  I made this Classic Hummus recipe from Gimme Some Oven.  
Do you have some new summery recipes you'd like to share with me? I'm on the hunt! 

Happy eating. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Crafting in Texas

Hello everyone!  You read that right.  I'm in Texas these days.  Crazy turn of events, isn't it?  We are still missing Japan very much.  I do miss all of my crafty adventures while living there.  I really hadn't planned on blogging again anytime soon.  Most of what I do I share on Instagram.  You can follow me @ksueb.  

Recently I have been playing with a process called Cyanotype.  You may remember doing it as a child or with your children.  I've seen some artists trying it on Instagram and asked for a kit for Christmas.  It had quite the trip getting to me, but eventually I received it.  I didn't really try it until recently when I had more time and the sun was strong.  It is a chemical process that was invented in the 1800's and was eventually used to catalog botanicals.  I'll leave you some links for more information.  This is the Wikipedia explanation.  The kit is no longer available at, but this DVD gives instruction and some resources. 

Here is what I've done so far.

These were wild grasses. 
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus Carota)
Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

What are you going to do with them, you ask?  That, my friends, is TBD.  I might frame them or sew them into something.  I'm just having fun at the moment, playing.  Hope you are all well and enjoying your summer.  We have big things on the horizon and I'll maybe keep you updated here.  If there is still anyone out there.  


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