Saturday, November 21, 2015

The End has Come

The end of our house hunting adventure has come - we found a house! As I mentioned in my last house-hunting post, we put an offer in on a house we found. This house is bank-owned, so the process was a little more time consuming than a regular home sale.

But, we persevered through a number of setbacks and glitches and learned last night that we got the house! We're excited! Here's the house:

The lot is 1/3 acre, so big enough to have a decent back yard (pictured below) and there's already a garden sectioned off in the side yard. 

You can see our agent and my husband in this shot.

This house has 7 bedrooms, but we will only be using 5 as bedrooms. 
One will become David's study and another will become my studio. 

The master bedroom is large:

The kitchen is small, but has room for expansion, which we're already talking about. I compromised on the kitchen since the rest of the house is so great. It's attached to a dining room, so we'll knock out a wall and build or buy a large island to expand the space.

The living room has a hardwood floor as well as a wood-burning fireplace:

My favorite room in the entire house is this massive sun room! (below) It covers one entire side of the house, is about 25' x 15' and, as you can see from this pic, has many windows. It overlooks the street on one side and the back yard on the other. For me, this makes the house. 
It is already designated as our family room.

So, the house hunt is over and we feel we found the perfect house for us! 
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
This will be our 4th move in a 3-year period of time......and should be our last for a very long time. We have never moved this much and it's exhausting. We are ready to stop moving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Harrowing House Hunting Experience

Last Saturday we went house hunting, meeting our agent at four different locations in our quest to find just the right home to buy. This house hunting excursion turned out to be quite the exciting time.

We went to the first house and the first thing I saw when we walked in was a huge - and I mean HUGE - black spider on the very cluttered kitchen counter. It was at least 3" across and stood up from the counter. I stopped dead in my tracks, pointed to the spider and said to my husband, "I can't go in there." He went up to the spider, determined that it was plastic and assured me he would not tease me with it, so I felt safe.


The kitchen was not the only thing cluttered in that house. The entire house was a complete mess. There were groceries, guitars, lots of clothing and a set of drums in the living room. The coffee table could not be seen for the clutter covering it. Each bedroom and bathroom was the same way. It was very hard to look at the house with that much clutter all around. It took us a while to assess whether or not the house would work for us.

The second house was the most adventurous of all the houses we saw. Whoever lives there was home. Whether it was the owner or tenants, I'm not sure, but a woman holding two very large onions greeted us at the door. She proceeded to "show" us through the house, balancing those big onions in her hands as she used those hands to point to different rooms, etc. At one point she dropped one onion, but it was too crowded for me to help her pick it up, so she had to bend over in front of my son and me to pick up her wayward onion.

Each bedroom was very cluttered, dirty and clearly unkempt. And the bananas. One bedroom was literally half full of nearly overripe bananas. They were everywhere, lying in their bunches, right in the bedroom. And the smell.....oh, my.

When we got to the kitchen, I tripped on what I thought was a rug and nearly fell down. It was not a rug, but rather a huge bump in the middle of the kitchen floor. It was about 3" high and had cracked through the linoleum. More than an eyesore, it showed something was terribly wrong with that floor. Also, there was a very large woman holding a 10" knife. She was cooking something in the kitchen, as well as outside, and proceeded to "show" us different features of the kitchen and attached sun room with the knife as a pointing stick. More than once, I thought she was going to accidentally slice into me with that knife. When a very large person wields a knife as a pointing stick to a small person, it's usually the small person who ends up getting hurt.

I was relieved when we left.


House #3 had no knife-wielding cooks or things bumping up the kitchen floor, but had an odor that made us all hold our noses while we were inside, including our agent. There was no power on in the house, so we couldn't see all the space, especially the basement. The filled refrigerator and chest freezer made us all very eager to leave. Yes, filled...with no power on in the house.


When we got in the car to go to house #4, I told my husband that I was shocked that agents allow their clients to have homes in those conditions and hope to sell. Our agent was embarrassed, not because these were his listings, they weren't, but because he would never want to show houses in these conditions and other agents had allowed him to walk into it. I felt discouraged because housing around here is pricey and I was appalled with the thought that this might be the best we get for this kind of money.


Then we went to house #4 and immediately fell in love with it. It's in pristine condition, has very large rooms, 7 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a huge back yard and a good, central location to where we need to be.

We put in our offer.
So did someone else.
It's bank-owned, so the bank invited us all to put in our "best" offer by noon today.
We did that, along with a letter I wrote explaining why this house would be so great for us. I pulled at the heart strings of Fannie Mae.
Now we wait.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

House Hunting - House #3,4,5,6

Today we are going to view 4 houses on our house hunting tour. A couple of these houses are potential short sales, which we know means lots of waiting but could also mean a bargain. 

The house we saw this past Tuesday night will not work for us without a lot of work, so we are looking at others....with that one in the back of our minds. (We liked it a lot.)

Here are the 4 we are seeing this afternoon:

House hunting is fun, but can be a roller coaster of ups and downs. One of these houses has 7 bedrooms! I already like that one....

It should be a fun afternoon. 
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 9, 2015

House Hunting - House #2

Our house hunt officially began this past weekend with the touring of the first home on our list. We quickly realized how it would not work for us at all, so we are moving on to see a second home tomorrow night.

This second home is in a good location, just where we need to be, but has only four bedrooms. We need five. But, there is a full, finished basement and since we can't see all of it in the pictures online, we think it's worth taking a look at because it might have room to create a fifth bedroom. We love the lot - it's large - and it has a sunroom, one my favorite things to have!

Take a look at these pics for a close up view of some of this home's best features:

View from the street. It's on a hill.

Kitchen....fully updated:

Living room has a fireplace at the opposite end:

Basement family room:

Nice stairs!

Sun room off the back of the house:

The back yard and garage:

So, there you have it! I'll keep you posted on whether or not this one works for us. 
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 6, 2015

I Quit!

I know I promised to take you through the process of making our new rental house a home.
I know I promised to post pictures and videos of how I decorate and set up our new home.

But, I quit. I quit decorating. I quit unpacking. I quit setting things up.

Two weeks ago, we had an electrical fire. Upon closer inspection and a visit from a county inspector, it was discovered that the aluminum wiring in this house (built in 1972 when aluminum wiring was still widespread (it was banned in 1974)), was not properly done. The fire was the result of a faulty outlet. The inspector is recommending our landlord replace the entire circuit. An electrician improperly pigtailed the aluminum wires from the outlet to the main line with copper, without using the proper fittings, allowing electricity to jump between wires inside the wall, causing the fire.

In light of this, we have decided enough is enough and we're done with the rental world. We are actively looking to buy a house and actually touring our first one tomorrow.

So, I have quit putting any more energy into decorating and setting up this house.

I could have posted more pictures and updates on what I did do, but with my husband's cancer battle going on all summer, my energy was spent.

His cancer battle is over, but he's still battling the side effects of the chemo, including pneumonia one week and a dangerous blood clot the next. He's on the mend from those now and getting settled into a fabulous new job he was recruited for.

So, instead of updates on this rental house, I'll do updates on our house hunt for now. In light of that, here are a few pictures of a house we're touring tomorrow. It has the 5 bedrooms we need.

Exterior front (above)

Sun room (my favorite) with deck off the back

Basement family room

Living room

Stay tuned! I'm only quitting on this rental house and the rental world.
Happy Creating!

Monday, July 27, 2015

My First Pocket Letter

Just this past weekend, as I was browsing YouTube for ideas, I stumbled upon pocket letters. After watching several videos on pocket letters, I just had to make my own! So, here's my very first pocket letter and I have plans to make many more. This first one is for my 9-year-old grandson. I'm mailing it tomorrow.

Pocket letters are made from trading card pages, which contain 9 pockets per page.

You can meet the gal who came up with the idea and watch her very first pocket letter video here.

I can see myself adapting pocket letters for all kinds of occasions! This was so much fun to make.

Here's what I did:

Here's the front of my pocket letter:
I used Close To My Heart's Picture My Life cards to create all my inserts.

Here's the back of the pocket letter:

I cut the inserts to fit the pocket, which is 2.5 x 3.5". 
I learned to make the little book inserts in this video.

Inside this little booklet, I wrote my grandson notes, one on each page.
I thought it was just enough that he wouldn't be bored with a long note from his gramma.

Inside other little booklets, I left out the pages and inserted a small envelope with a couple dollars in it, then called it money for ice cream.

He can lift up the flap and get the money.....and hopefully catch that ice cream truck in time!

On one page, I glued a snack sized chocolate bar.

In another insert booklet, I wrote out 10 things I love about him, one on each page.
I actually ended up doing 11 things!

In this booklet, I inserted another snack sized chocolate bar. Sorry this pic is so fuzzy:

I stamped a bit:

I sure hope my grandson loves his pocket letter! 
He does not know it's coming as I wanted it to be a complete surprise. 

Have you heard about pocket letters? 
What a great idea! 
I encourage you to watch the attached videos, search and watch some that you find, then make your very own pocket letters to send to those you love!
Happy Paper Crafting!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Craft Room, I Miss You!

I am definitely having some withdrawal and sadness over having already packed up my craft room for our move.

I had to get it packed up, that's not really up for debate, but I have so many projects in my head that I long to get busy crafting!

But I can't because it's all packed up.

I think, once the kitchen is workable, my 2nd priority will definitely have to be my craft room once we move to the new house.

I will like my new craft space better, no doubt. It will be in the basement of our new home and while the basement is not completely finished, it is clean, dry and painted. We will be setting our home office and my craft room up in the same space, giving my hubby and me the opportunity to work together at times. Bonus!

For now, these pictures show what my craft space looks like. In one week (from tomorrow) we will start moving boxes to the new house. I can't wait to get crafting in my new space! In the meantime, Pinterest will help!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Join Me on YouTube!

I have finally ventured deeper into the world of YouTube and I'd like you to join me! I'm currently making videos about packing up for our move. I've included some packing tips I'm learning along the way. Some of these things have really helped me as I've been packing up this big house. I also make videos about food.

So, join me on YouTube! I'd love to see your comments, questions, suggestions and for you to share your YouTube channel with me.

I'm not seen on my videos yet. I'm hoping that will change, but currently, I hold my camera in my hand to shoot my videos and my arms are too short to take a video of myself. Believe me, I've tried, and all you can see is my teeth or a close-up of my nose. I won't put you through that! So, until I can upgrade to a camera that can be mounted on my tripod, I'll have to keep holding my camera, which is my phone, and shooting all things except myself.

See my videos here.
Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Walk Through My New House with Me!

I have decided that, since we're moving yet again (our landlords are selling the house we rent, so we have to move) I thought it would be fun to take you on the moving journey with me. Besides already uploading a video showing some of the move, I plan to upload more videos as I go through the packing and organizing process of this move. I have the help of one daughter and 2 teenage sons, but not my husband.

My husband has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. If any of you have had chemo, you know why he can't help. For those of you who have not, let me tell you, there is no way he can help. It's all he can do to go to work and get through the day.

Now, on to the move and our new house. You can watch my starting video here.
Below are pictures of our new house, labeled accordingly. As we move in, I'll show you how I decorate and change things up, making this new rental house a home.

The exterior front:

The den, which sits right off the kitchen and has a working fire place:

The dining room, looking into the kitchen. The doors on the left open up to a deck outside:

The dining room from the kitchen door, with a view into the living room:

The front entry. There is a closet and half bath to the right, beyond the window you see:

Kitchen, view one....a gas stove! YaY!

The kitchen, view two, toward the dining room. The refrigerator will be replaced with our 
water-and-ice-in-door side-by-side. This refrigerator will be moved to the basement as a back-up frig:

Living room with a view to the dining room on the left and the front entry on the right:

Master Bedroom, view one:

Master Bedroom, view two, showing walk-in closet and behind the open door is the master bath:

Basement, which will be transformed into a home office, craft space and spare bedroom. The laundry area is to the left, behind the stair wall:

And, finally, this is the back of the house:

So, there you have it! I did not post pics of the kids' rooms for privacy reasons. 
I'm excited to get to decorate a new house!
Come along on this ride and even feel free to share your ideas with me.