Tuesday, July 12, 2011


 I realized that I never shared the BEFORE + AFTER from our Master Bath makeover.  Could I get you to trust me that it was very similar to the before guest bath here  I explained in that post why there are no pics of this one.  Trust me....never use the word "demo" lightly around my husband unless you are ready to roll.  He has no problem working around make-up or anything else left out.  Here's the updated version.

We did this job on a budget, but you'd never know it.  Found 2 cabinets on an endcap at Lowe's marked way down.  We bucked them up to each other and they became one large base. The countertop is honed cultured marble we custom ordered from Home Depot.  The hinged mirrors and window blind were from Lowe's and the faucet's and lights were from Menard's.  Glass knobs from Anthropologie. Then what really pulled it together was the backsplash...again, from Lowe's.  Please tell me they have Lowe's in San Diego!!!  We just played around with the different Carrara marble options and Tim did the installation.  We did have to rent a tile cutter to make the corners and ends work.  Walls are painted a soft grey that picks up the veins in the marble.   What a difference!  The new owners love it and that makes me happy.  I'm apparently a Love It and Leave It kinda gal. 

I took all the photos for the sale of the house, but took most of them after the Open House and since the house sold immediately they never got used.  So I figure I can share a couple of them with you.  I previously showed you the BEFORE + AFTER of my design studio here and my kitchen here and dispersed other completed projects here and there.  How about I add some SHOW + TELL of a couple more areas?  I don't have time to dig through old photos to find any befores (aren't digital cameras the best?)  Just think country blues, mauves, dark wood trim, paneling and LOTS of primitive country wallpaper with duck borders in almost every room applied without sizing on bare drywall.  Here goes:

But alas, most of the rooms are now housing stacked boxes and  I am actually giving myself  permission to get excited about my next fixer upper.  You know, I take huge satisfaction from turning a blank slate into a home infused with  personality.   I did that for a living for years and I'm realizing it still runs through my veins.  Hmm.

Hey, don't forget about the giveaway going on in the last post.  Just leave a message and I'd still appreciate anything I should know about San Diego...great shops, restaurants, art, french cottage antiques.  Otherwise, just saying hello works for me.

Monday, July 11, 2011


You have to admit I do have good excuses for why I haven't blogged.  When I last posted I promised gifts and giveaways galore once things settled down after Quilt Market.  Ready?  Here comes my latest. 

Things have been on-again, off-again for the last year as to whether we were really moving to San Diego. Tim has been working there the majority of the time and I haven't felt comfortable announcing that I have been here by myself.  Well, it was definately on-again when I got home from Quilt Market and a Pod was in the driveway to make sure it sunk in.   

Next thing I knew we were racing to get our house ready to sell.  Finishing up all those odds and ends that we always intended to tackle ourselves.  Tim flew home and we quickly had a mega yard sale...literally opened the garage door, stuck out a couple signs on Thursday and Friday while painters, carpet installers, roofers and landscapers (I'm sure I've left out a few workers) were here doing touch ups and repairs.  On Thursday early evening our real estate agent came by with the paperwork and a For Sale sign for the yard.  By Friday morning we already had people wanting to view the house.  I had made it clear that I intended to get the workers out and the house cleaned before it could be seen.  Sunday morning we planned to do some finishing touches, but a couple from Chicago wanted to see it first thing and stayed for 2 hours!   We barely put the finishing touches in place and had to quickly  find someplace to hide out (we ran out of time to even take showers).  My real estate agent happens to also be an incredible friend and neighbor.  Her house was just up the street and is currently vacant, so we took our very old and sick dog over there to sit for 3 1/2 hours. 

I was so stinkin bored.  Did I mention her house was totally vacant?  I sat on the floor and cleaned out all the old emails on my iPhone, tried to learn to use apps I previously ignored and threw out old gum wrappers from my purse.  All I could think about was how the Open House was going.  Tashi and Tim were layed out on the living room floor snoozing so I decided to put on my baseball cap and sunglasses and go for a little walk.  As I turned the bend there were cars up and down both sides of the street and up the side street next to our house.  I seriously thought someone was having a graduation party, but as I got closer it appeared the party was at my house.  My next door neighbor was out working in the yard so I snuck up on him.  Startled, he said he didn't recognize me with the hat and glasses, to which I told him, "Shhh, I'm incognito!"  He verified that all those cars were at my Open House.  I skipped back to the hideout and waited until 5:15 when we thought the coast was clear.  As we pulled up our drive we realized people were still walking around in the yard and one couple was visiting with the next door neighbors. 

Not too convincing SpyWear
 I wish I had a picture of our agent Teresa when we walked into our kitchen.  She had thrown  her torso and arms out  on the island pretending she had collapsed from exhaustion.  That was only temporary because she started talking 90+ MPH, telling us she couldn't keep up after 80 people but she was sure there were at least 100 that came through.  I wouldn't have believed her if I hadn't seen it for myself.   No sooner did she leave when she called on her cell to say she just received an offer.  By bedtime we had two offers over the asking price and more promised for the next day. 

Next morning we had people and realtors lined back to back starting at 8 a.m. with appointments to see the house.  Our heads were spinning.  We really had no place to go so we hung out at a couple restaurants until  Tim needed to pack and get to the airport.  We also needed to get our Tashi in to the vets.  After lunch we intruded on a showing at our house and felt obligated to say excuse me to the strangers looking in our closets.  We quickly packed Tim's bag and rescued Tashi from his indoor kennel.  He was not well and this added stress was taking it's toll on him.  When we got to the vets, it wasn't good news.  Long story short, we left without our Tashi.  He has been our friend and companion for 16 1/2 years; our other son.  One minute we are on a mountaintop with all the interest in our house and the next minute down in a valley as Tashi is being put to sleep.  Tim and Tashi were very close and Tim had to walk away from that to catch a flight for San Diego.  It was heartbreaking.

Our Tashi Bear as a pup

My Three Teenagers

As I said my goodbye's to Tashi I whispered in his ear to go find Jonathan.  

 By that afternoon we had two more offers and appts. booked out the rest of the week from morning to night.  When Teresa stopped over I suggested that while this was crazy good, I wasn't sure why I'd want to keep this up. So I chose an above the asking price offer (surprised?) and by the time Tim landed in San Diego the house was sold.  I think that's a good sign, even a record, don't you? 

Wherever you want us to go Lord.  Where?  San Diego?  Oh, if you insist!! 

All kidding aside, moving across the country after just losing our son and leaving the only other family we have here was a huge decision and one we did not make on our own. 

Next task was to quick find a house in San Diego.  I had been looking almost daily since last August on the internet, flew out there previously to house hunt and always disliked the choices.  So many of our options were short sales, foreclosures, houses left vacant, bank-owned or just plain ugly. I flew out again with a list of potentials, most of which were quickly crossed off the list once I saw them in person, or saw the neighborhood, etc.  One of our "must-have's" was some private outdoor living space to make up for the much smaller interiors we were accustomed to in the South and Midwest. There were other things we hoped for, but this one thing was non-negotiable.  I am excited to say that the last place we viewed was "the one".   And it wasn't because I was blurry eyed and everything started to run together (which it did), but because we couldn't see inside the neighbors houses or even their yards, and likewise.  We put an offer on it, did a bit of countering and by the time I got off the plane back in Indianapolis I had a contract to sign.  That, my friends, is amazing. 

I had workers inside and out doing repairs and touch-ups and in some cases they actually made things worse.  For instance, a young guy was up in the attic and poked his foot through a bedroom ceiling.  It was much more humorous when the hole was open and the insulation was falling out.  But they made it much less conspicuous once they taped it with royal blue and black masking tape.

The guy that came to repair the hole didn't do a good job, got ceiling paint on the walls and after returning 3 more times the repair patch kept getting larger. When the owner of the company came to inspect the patch I told him the new homeowners would need to sign off on the job and I didn't think they would be happy with the workmanship. He walked over and closed the blinds in the bedroom and suggested I leave them closed as to not draw attention to the ceiling. Are you freakin serious??  Bye-bye Mr. Ceiling Man.

I've already closed on this house and packing has started!!!  Our friends  didn't want us to leave, but still had a Farewell Fling for us which will make us miss them even more than we thought possible.  I think I only know a couple people in San Diego, and one of them is our real estate agent.  Skype and unlimited calling will make the transition easier. 

I am so, so very excited about my next decor line with Demdaco.  In the midst of all this moving madness, I have been receiving both images and some boxes of product for approval for the 2012 Paula Prass Collection.  I was squealing over the images, but when the boxes arrived I was screaming and doing back flips...okay, just screaming.  I can't talk about the new products for another 6 months, but I am beside myself delighted.  The new line coordinates so nicely with my current line. 

So, since I can't share with you next year's line right now, I certainly can share my current line for Demdaco.  How about I share one of my pillow designs with you? This one is a 16" square in pinky coral, greens, creams and brown accents.  The saying: It is not only fine FEATHERS that make fine birds, it's also how those birds DECORATE their nests.  Just leave a message.  If you happen to know some highly creative artists, sewers or places I should know about in San Diego, I'd appreciate passing that along, but it's not necessary.  I'll be picking a winner around Thursday or Friday before the moving truck pulls down the driveway.  Ready.  Set.  Go.


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