Saturday, September 12, 2009

We can see the light....

at the end of the renovation tunnel. It has been a long hard... sometimes very hard, summer. Our renovation began in April and we are waiting on some final cabinet pieces (which includes our bathroom vanity) which will then allow the painters to finish and that will pretty much be the conclusion of this adventure. We have gone from this:

which was the room in use as a nursery, later to be a jumbled craft/toy room.

to this:

you can see the frame for the tub in the bottom right.

to a fabulous master bathroom where I actually fit in the bathtub!!

I really can't believe it is almost done. I spent so much time worrying about my design choices, the tile colors, the fixture choices, paint colors.... there just were so many decisions and they had to all add up to a completed picture that at one point I wasn't even sure if I remembered what it was. I just look around now in amazement that it all worked out. To see my thoughts and ideas in real life and see they my choices were good and that it all works! What a load off!

The awesome graphics around my master tub are from LeenTheGraphicsQueen.

The master bath was added, we also renovated our original bath. I will post that next.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I LOVE Bugs!

I love taking pictures of flowers and especially flowers with bugs in them! Here is a picture I took in the dunes on my vacation to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

So, imagine my excitement when my mom pointed out an article in the Richmond Times about a bug photo class taught by renowned Wildlife Photographer Lynda Richardson at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens! I attended the class in August and had such a great time! Here is one of the shots I took at the butterfly house.

Lynda did point out that there was something seriously wrong with my viewfinder on my camera. I just thought it was my glasses but come to find out, my camera is sick, but my pictures still come out fine. That was a definite bummer but... life goes on... and at least it still works.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Abandoned Garden...

My poor neglected yard. With everything going on inside the house and the workers stomping through my borders, I have basically given up on my flowers this year. But, this little beauty popped up in one of my front yard borders and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I don't think I planted it, I am not sure how it got there, but it sure has been pretty to look at. It closes each evening and opens with more flowers each day. I especially love that a random one or two white blooms will pop out just to change things up. I think God sent this little plant to help me feel better about not having time for my flowers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Good Lord, Somethin's got a hold on me!!!

That is what I think was the thought running through kitty Jack's mind this morning. Let's start at the very beginning... and that is when my daughter woke me this morning, holding the clock beside her bed, which is now my bed, because my "real"bed is currently covered with parts of ceiling and wall due to the downstairs renovation. So... anyway, she is atnding there pointing out what time it is, and I am like, "that's great, 10 more minutes" until I realize that would only be true if the hour said 6 instead of 7... WE OVERSLEPT!!! Well, by this time the bus has gone and I have to take the kids to school anyway, so no need to kill ourselves rushing. So we all make our way downstairs. I am in the kitchen making breakfast and I can see to the back of the house from where I am. All of a sudden there is this amazing loud, and chaotic commotion from the back of the house. I am like "WTH!" thinking th plumbers have come in and started hurling stuff into the back room. Something is flying through that room with great speed and noise. It hurls by again and it is large and cream colored. It almost looks like something has come alive. Then it flies by again and I realize it is a Pottery Barn Bag, one of the large paper ones with handles, and my brain is unable to compute this.... why and how is a bag flying around the room? Then I realize the bag is attached to our black cat, Jack... mind you, all this is happening in seconds and the confusion and dismay is spreading like wildfire. Greta, has shot through the house like she is sure the devil has entered our house, Megan is screaming, Kaileigh is crying and the bag is still flying around the house with me in hot pursuit and of course Jack still attached and thinking his life is going to end any second. So, finally, through some merciful miracle, the bag releases Jack and he is free.

It took a good thirty minutes to calm the cats, console Kaileigh and return the house back to order... well, what little order can be found in a house under renovation. Ahhh, yes, life at my house.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by BackwoodSophisticate
Our Charlie Dog passed away last night. He was only 7 years old. He was diagnosed with lymphocarcinoma just a couple months ago. His only symptom at that time was enlarged lymph nodes. He stayed strong and healthy unil the last few weeks when he began losing weight. He was wagging his tail and enjoying watching us play ball yesterday afternoon. He definitely was quiet and taking it easy but his passing last night was unexpected, even though possibly a blessing in that he died on his own terms and still able to get around and enjoy his family. He will be missed. Rest in peace Charlie-Dog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Help! I am addicted to facebook!

Yep, i have become a hostage of facebook. So, if you were wondering, that is where I am, catching up with old classmates and long lost friends. It is a fun site! Also, the home renovation is in full swing. We are living in a completely altered state of existence which involves constant moving of our belongings. I have found it is a lot easier to just send stuff to Goodwill than find a place to stash it. I am wondering what I will be missing when it is time to resume our normally scheduled life ;) And don't even get me started on the absurdities of home loans/refinancing/equity... blah!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More bathroom absurdity

So, this find makes me giggle. And also makes me ask, "Really?". I am thinking it is probably not nice to pick on these designs, because obviously, some find them to be fabulous... but sometimes a little laughter at the expense of high-design is just what you need to get through something as trying as a renovation. See the whole story here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

While researching for the bathroom addition...

I come across some very interesting ideas for the bathroom. I try to be open-minded, seeing as everybody's perspective is different, but I have to say I think I found the UGLIEST bathroom ever! I think one of the things that makes it so ridiculous is the lack of practicality. Really, people? Really?

Obviously, this bathroom is not meant for somebody who will ever allow a child to use it, but from my mom perspective, what a nightmare!! Here is the link for the article,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Such a sweet shop

Have you seen this shop on etsy? It is called Tangerine Studio and I am so taken with her artwork. Her paintings do a phenomenal job of capturing the spirit of animals. She does commissioned pieces, you can find the pricing info on her blog The Bee Charmer. Here is one of her paintings.

Bernese mountain dog art by Maggie Crawford

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some Woodsy Picks

I have been shopping on etsy for quite some time now. I actually started under the user name boogiesgalore... and, holy cow, I just looked it up and I joined in November of 2006. I had no idea it had been over two years. But my 85 pages of favorites makes more sense. I have no idea how I managed to accumalate over 800 favorite shops, but they all are important to me. I go through them and I honestly "know" each of them. I sometimes am a tad frightened at how many etsy shops I "know".
So, I picked these gorgeous woodsy finds from page 84 of my 85 pages of sellers. I have bought from two of these sellers and just haven't been able to make up my mind on a favorite to purchase from the other two shops, they have so many wonderful things.

Grassy Hill - Original Fabric on Wood Art by shellieartist

The Artful Raccoon Print 8.5 in x 11 in by johnwgolden

Squat orb ground sphere - an ikebana style vase by Earth N Elements Pottery

Earthy Pine Cone wrap scarf by circularaccessories


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Enamel Me Please

I am loving the look of enamel on metal. And it does not take long to find some gorgeous enamel pieces on Etsy. Check these out:

Red-Hot-Enamel-Poppies-Hook-Earrings by jewelrybynatsuko

teeming (necklace) new by smashing

Jack & New Camera

Originally uploaded by BackwoodSophisticate
Our little kitty is growing like a weed. When we first got him, he immediately came down with a bug that sent us back to the vets for an antibiotic, but looking at him now, you could never guess he was the lethargic, bony, homely creature he was 4 weeks ago. All of his energy is back, he runs around here like his tail is on fire. He can run up the steps like speed racer. I adore him!!
My new camera is going to be so much fun. Ii can not believe how wonderful it is to finally take a picutre without a delay. I always missed the good shots with my Kodak, every time I take a picture with my new Canon and it happens when I touch the button, it makes me want to do a happy dance. Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a day! Guess what I saw this morning...

So, today is such a momentous day in our history, I was excited about it anyway. But then driving to drop my daughter off at the babysitters, I saw something so cool, it made the day even better.
Above our town office building, in the sky, I saw two large birds, they were flying erratically and I soon realized they were fighting. Then I saw something fall from where they were in the sky and land in a parking lot adjacent to the town offices. That was when I put it all together, they were two Bald Eagles, one had a kill and the other was trying to take it. I was so tempted to pull in the parking lot to get a close look at what they were fighting over but I was in quite a rush. As I drove by I got a pretty good look and from driving by three more times today, (always running, to work, from work, to home) I was able to determine it was an adult duck!!! Crazy huh? Sad that they would not come back to get it, I guess the area was too busy for them.
Anyway, I thought that was so cool. Living near the river, we get some awesome views of our nation's bird. They are so majestic and impressive.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I did it!

I just bought a new Canon Rebel XS with two lenses. I waited 'til the last minute and when I went to purchase it, many of the sites I had been watching had removed the deal I had my eye on but I was able to grab it at so check it out here. That really made me realize how much I had really wanted it. Yay, now I am excited!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hmming & Hawing

I am thinking about purchasing a new camera. I am just not sure if I want to commit that much money to that purchase. It is a hard decision for me to make because that is money I could commit to one of my other hobbies. I have so many hobbies, sometimes I feel like I am the ultimate Jane of All Trades. I was just discussing with my hubby how hard it is not to have one stand out natural gift. I would love to be a stand out artist/photographer/seamstress/fiber artist/cook/builder.... something... if I could just find that thing I excel at. I can sew a pillow, I can install a new doorbell, I can knit a scarf, I can take a really good photo, I can cook good spaghetti, I can build a document in any Windows Office Application.... I can do it all, and I can do it well, but I am not a star. I think it is my lack of ability to commit, or possibly I can say it is my ability to easily pick up new things. And my love of variety and all things interesting.
So, that leads me to the camera purchase. It is a big decision to spend $500 on a camera, quite a commitment, but it is my favorite hobby, and taking pictures of the family is a good thing. I think I am going to go for it.

Our family is crazy

Honestly, our family is whacky. For example:
Yesterday, my son comes home from kindergarten all excited about movie night at his school. I figure it would be fun to take the whole family so we decide to eat quick and get to the school a little early to get good seats. They are showing Kung Fu Panda. So, I grab his bookbag to double-check the flyer for the start time, yep, it is 7:00pm so we order dominos pizza and chow down. We did good with the time and were all piled in the truck by 6:42, blankets for the kids to sit on, all wrapped up in our big jackets (it is cold outside). The school is about a mile from our house. We are all like "whoohoo, movie night! this will be fun!".... about half way there, my 10 year old daughter pipes up "I sure hope we have the right night" and it hits me, I never checked the date on the flyer, I was just riding on the planning ability of a 6 year old. Well, we come in view of the school and, wow, it sure looks empty. My hubby pulls around to shine the lights on the sign out front "Movie Night 7pm Jan 16th". Hmmm, well, we called the movie dry run a flying success and decided we will be well prepared for the real thing on Friday, LOL! Since we were all out we decided to go to the grocery store and actually accomplish something. Our family is so crazy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our new baby

Our new baby
Originally uploaded by BackwoodSophisticate
Here is our new resident. My daughter has been asking for a kitten forever so we decided to get her one for Christmas. I went to the local animal shelter the Saturday before Christmas. There were about 12 kitties in the cat room. There were some real beauties in there. One was a gorgeous white and grey long hair who looked like he was about to bust with personality. His cage was a mess, food everywhere, paper all tore up and when I took him out to see, he clawed his way right up to my shoulder and behind my head. I figured he might have a little too much personality for our house and knew he would have no problem getting adopted so back in the cage he went. Well, when I had walked in there, there were a few plain jane kittens, two black ones and I think two grey ones. I decided to hold this pitiful looking black one. Well, he laid out in my crossed arms and slinked his way from one elbow to the other, finally rolling over on his back to get me to pet his belly. He was a ugly little thing, fur all dry, filled with white flakes, nose all icky, dirty.... pitiful. So I put him back. My plan was to ride to Richmond to check out the kittens at the PetSmart so I left the shelter but it was not long before I was back asking if I could get the little black kitty tested for Feline Leukemia to make sure he was healthy. They took him across the street and tested him. I waited for the results and it was negative, yay! So that was the decision maker, he was going to be ours. I filled out the paper work and asked if they could hold him until Wednesday. It was a LONG three days and I was excited to go pick him up. I met my mom at the shelter and she took him to the vet to get his shots and deworming. I met her after his appointment and took him home and put him in my daughter's room in with a bow on his carrier, a bow on a litter box and a bow on his food dishes. Them mom went and got the kids. When Megan walked in, I fussed at her to pick up her bookbag and take it to her room. She walked up stairs and there was a long pause.... then a giant gasp and she came running down the stairs asking if it was for real. She took him out of his carrier, with tears in her eyes and told me how he was the best present ever! Since being home with us, he has gotten all those icky parasites out of his system, his fur has gotten shinier and he is beginning to put on weight. I don't think he had much more time left if he had stayed in the shelter. He literally was being starved by the parasites. He did catch a cold when he got here, but with antibiotics, that cleared up quickly. He still is bony but he has so much more energy and is now acting like a lively, active little kitten. Greta has finally accepted him and they are playing like best buds.