1987 Called – It Wants its Bathroom Carpet Back

We LOVE our home, but it’s a rental, and with rentals come compromises.  For example, white walls, and, often times, carpeting.  I personally cannot stand carpet.  I just KNOW dust bunnies are constantly having a keg party in a carpet.  And while our entire upstairs is wall-to-wall berber carpet, I’ll give my awesome landlord credit where credit is due…it’s high quality.  That being said, however, the berber carpeting extends into the upstairs bathroom.

As evidenced by this post, https://janellerene.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/bathroom-before-n-after/, when we first looked at this place, my immediate reaction to the upstairs bathroom was “Meh, I can live with this…”  Several years, and a refinish of the built-ins later, I was able to “live with” the carpeting in the bathroom less and less.

Our landlord, undoubtedly slightly reluctantly, gave me permission to pull up the carpet.  Actually, I’d already pulled up a corner, (praying the whole time there was some old terrazzo, or even laminate under that carpet), only to find your typical plywood subflooring under there.  I came up with a pitch, approached my landlord in a detailed email, and waited.  I knew he was going to be apprehensive, but my pitch explained that the floor would be properly water sealed, and thoroughly prepped so that he could do anything he wanted to the floor in the future, OR I would recarpet the area in the event we moved out.  He contemplated it for seemingly months.  When he finally gave me the ok, I didn’t have any time to actually execute my plan.

With the thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the gift of time to refinish the floor.  My guy was like “how do you know how to do this?!” … I responded: “the interwebs of course.”

While there are a myriad of tutorials online, I’ll spare you the details.  It took longer for the paint to dry than it did to actually complete this project.  Subtracting out those wait times, I suspect it only took me about 4 hours of actual work time.  It’s not perfect, but perfectly imperfect and we are quite pleased with the results!!

Carpeted Floor

Carpeted Floor

Carpet Removed

Carpet Removed

Tack Strips

Tack Strips Removed

Filled seams with wood filler and sanded

Filled seams with wood filler and sanded

Primed - covering water stains and sealing the floor

Primed – covering water stains and sealing the floor

Sand colored base coat applied

Sand colored base coat applied

Stencil Bitches! The detailed stencil hides a multitude of sins (i.e., the imperfections that remain in the floor)

Stencil Bitches! The detailed stencil hides a multitude of sins (i.e., the imperfections that remain in the floor)

Back to Business (so to speak)


Facebook Etiquette

Just Enough:  Facebook, what can I say, I’m a slave to it just like apparently 1.06 billion other “active monthly users” – and that was an estimate in January, 2013 – I suspect the numbers have increased since then exponentially.  It’s really been a pleasure reconnecting with people I haven’t known a thing about in over 20 (25ish) years, establishing new connections with people I barely remember, and connecting with new people I meet in all walks of life every day.  I’ve found long lost friends that I’ve thought of over the years and couldn’t be happier to have reconnected with, and I’ve fostered all kinds of fantastic new friendships.

I know some of you have really embraced religion.  Some of you like to share your opinions on politics.  Others like to rant about conspiracy theories.  I know when you’ve had babies, shakeups in your relationships and when your loved ones have passed on.  I’ve shared plenty of those moments myself.

I spend countless total hours – (emphasis on “total” as I don’t even get on Facebook everyday – and I’m fucking proud of it – go outside – bask in the sunshine)  – scrolling through your status updates, vacation pics, checking out videos you’ve shared, listening to music you’ve written, reading your blog posts, etc.  I’m moved by your accomplishments, your triumphs, and your milestones.  I’m happy to be a part of my friends’ lives and my “friends’” lives.

Too Much: Facebook makes us voyeuristic and at times I see way too much.  Why?  Because you reveal way too much!  This is not a smackdown on anyone in particular but I suspect that a large percentage of 1.06 billion people could use a Facebook tutorial or just some common sense etiquette lessons.

It is not necessary to post the minutiae of every single moment of your day, every meme you read so that a string of 40 of them show up in a row, everything you ate, and every weather or news update, and the minute-by-minute recap of the TV show you’re watching.  I only say this because, it’s not that I don’t enjoy what you share, it’s just that when you share TOO MUCH you run the risk of people hiding ALL your status updates which can only result in you getting mad when nobody knows what’s going on in your life…at which point you start posting passive aggressive “I know nobody cares, but” status updates.

We all hate Mondays and we’re all excited when Friday arrives (unless you have a job that has you working on the weekends then, who knows, maybe you hate Wednesdays).  We all hate when it’s too hot and equally hate it when it’s too cold.  We all hate to be bored.  We all hate to be sick (and sharing your surgery is one thing – I think many of us are genuinely concerned – but your common cold – c’mon).  We all share very similar opinions on a lot of mundane things.

And I have absolutely no problem with you sharing your beliefs on whatever you want to talk about.  Just because I don’t weigh in, doesn’t mean I’m not watching.  But essentially everyone is watching you.  Do you realize that?  Every friend you have (unless they’ve thrown their hands in the air and blocked you) is watching you.  When you actually end up with something important to share, you’ll be overlooked (unless you’ve already been hidden) because believe it or not, we’re tired of seeing your avatar in our feed and would sorta like to know what’s going on in other people’s lives.

Knock it off: Now all the aforementioned is just Facebook 101.  What I’m going to say next comes from a personal place.  You may agree, you may not agree.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m simply sharing it because it’s my blog and it’s what I feel like spewing at this very moment.  Charitable Causes.  I am all for them.  I applaud you for running the extra mile, walking the long walk and standing up for things that matter to you.  I do, I absolutely do – I commend you all.  I’ve voted on your various things, donated time, money and support to many of your causes, and I’ve shared your causes with others.  I’ve donated countless hours of my own personal time playing benefit concerts, feeding the homeless, and crisis counseling disaster victims.  But it is my right to choose who and what I support and you do not have the right to question that and/or be offended by it.  Your fights are your fights, your paths are yours to follow – and equally fair is I have a right to believe in and support whatever it is I choose to.

I may choose to share a cause someone else is interested in because maybe I know them personally or maybe I’ve been touched by something similar in my life.  Again, it doesn’t matter, it’s my choice and just like I don’t ask you to weigh in what I should have for dinner, I don’t need your opinion on what or who I choose to support.  And when it comes to my money, I definitely am the only one with the right to proportion my hard earned cash.

Don’t Stop:  Many of you reach out personally and I encourage you to continue to do so.  Again, it’s not that I don’t care or that I’m not concerned about your well being or that of your loved ones.  But please, please, please do not be offended if I don’t respond.  The bottom line is, if I had a dime for everybody that asked me to donate to their charitable causes,  … I’d have a lot more money to donate to charitable causes.


This Chair is Covered in Bees … Honey Badger Don’t Care …

I found this quaint little yellow chair at a Salvation Army for $10 a few years ago. I had initially purchased it for the kids’ room and while the sunny yellow fabric was cheerful, it wasn’t in the best shape, and eventually ended up in a corner in my bedroom.  When my friend Emily told me she’d found somebody that did reasonably priced reupholstery jobs, I finally decided to have it redone.

I scored some delightful quilted bumblebee fabric for 50% off at Michael Levines in downtown LA.  I only needed 3 yards, so I couldn’t have scored a better deal at $20 per yard for this reversible fabric that was originally $40 per yard (uh yeah, I know a little math, especially when it comes to $$).  I’m beside myself at how beautiful it came out … Check out the Before and Afters below!

Sunny Yellow Chair BEFORE

Bumblebee Chair AFTER

He used the white side of the fabric for the piping and masterfully lined up all the little bees…

He even covered the buttons with individual Bees!


Oh Fudge!

Not too long ago I had covered up an air conditioning unit with a makeshit piece of wall art (shown HERE).  While simplifying our lives recently (shown HERE), I came across the letters I earned in junior high (a “C”) and high school (an “F”).  Apparently I was athletic back then … go figure.

In my typical fashion, I just thought I would use the letters to make some snarky wall art.  Using the “lettered” letters, and 2 similar fonts I found at “Michaels” (and having to paint a Union Jack on the “u” because it seemed necessary) – this is what I came up with…

DSCN0453 DSCN0456

This of course sparked a lengthy conversation in my household about the origins of the somewhat taboo word.  Quite frankly, I think my boyfriend was concerned with how were going to justify that I’d put “Fuck” on the wall, which promptly caused me to yell across the kitchen something like “stop trying to quash my artistic expression”  and “your kids have heard the word a gazillion times”.

Turns out, there is a lot of controversy as to just where this word originated.  He was convinced it originated in merry old England standing for “Fornication Under Command of the King” (or “Consent” as some believe).  This folk lore started circulating in the early 1960’s.  It was believed that unless a person was in the Royal Family, they were not permitted to have sex and would have to seek permission from the King in the event they wanted to have a baby.  If they were granted such permission, they were given a placard that read “F.U.C.K.” to hang on their door.  My boyfriend really wanted to believe it meant this … and that by painting the “u” with a Union Jack I’d somehow said “FU” to the King and subsequently “FU” to the government and by using the striped fabric in the back, I’d somehow simulated the American Flag.  I told him I thought he was really overthinking it.  Then he reminded me of THIS

Another story suggests that in colonial times when someone was punished for prostitution it was used as an acronym for the words “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and that this actually dated back to early the 1800’s in London when officers got tired of writing out “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and reduced it to “F.U.C.K.”

Seems both these theories have been debunked over the years and the word “Fuck” isn’t an acronym at all.  Turns out it may have originated around the 15th century from the Dutch and that very little actual evidence exists because the word was so taboo it wasn’t even written down.  The first time it was believed to have appeared in print was c.1500 where it was disguised as a Latin word AND encyrpted – gxddbov – which was later deciphered to mean “fuccant”, which was faux-Latin (think Spanglish) for “they fuck”.

Meh, it’s just a word … and it’s now hanging on my wall.



With the Holidays in full swing, it’s hard to get anything done. But what happens right after the Holidays?? Downtime…sometimes really boring downtime. I don’t always know what to do with myself when I have a few days off with nowhere to be and nothing really scheduled to do. And let’s face it, sometimes the less we have to do, the less we want to do. It can result in lying around mindlessly watching Law & Order SVU marathons. But why not take advantage of all that downtime to clear out the old and get ready for the new. My boyfriend and I did just that this past Thanksgiving weekend. And I suspect before the New Year is upon us, we’ll finish what we started.

We started to clear out the clutter in our environment in an effort to clear out the clutter in our minds. I’m always happy to purge things and this is by no means the first time I’ve done it this year alone (as seen HERE).  But, when my boyfriend started following suit and embracing my philosophies about “stuff” and a simplified life, things started to get awesome around my house.

He and I discussed at great length how our house is arranged. It’s very well curated with a lot of art and books and decor, but there’s no excess anything. There are small collections of things, but not a plethora of knick knacks. For example, we only have one set of towels for us, (with only one additional set for guests) and one set of sheets for each bed. There is no abundance of anything. We’re trying (together) to get rid of absolutely any excess anything. It clears up a lot of energy. It also gets rid of the old to allow for new things to come into your life – and not necessarily new stuff, but new opportunities.

After a major upheaval in his life, my boyfriend went through a period where he had a real attachment to things. He spent the last couple of years mostly accumulating books because he felt like he needed to own some stuff. Now he’s realized that he can get books at the library or on his Kindle so he pared down his books considerably and we’ve only kept the really nice ones. I think books are wonderful, but I don’t need my house to be a library.

While he was going through his books, I went through a lifetime of photos which I reduced to a small pile which I’m having scanned and digitized. Do you have any idea how many photos you probably have of people you don’t even remember?? I also went through gigantic files of old paperwork from properties I had recently sold and we had a little bonfire and set all the old documents on fire … which was really lovely … until the fire department showed up. NOT the worst thing in the world to have 3 firemen show up at your door.

By the end of the weekend, I had cleaned out a storage closet by about 70% and we had boxed up dozens of books.

With the New Year right around the corner, why not clear your stuff out? Simplify your life a little! You’d be amazed at how much clearing the clutter can clear your mind!

Here are some simple tips:

• If you receive paper bills, shred them immediately after they are paid, but consider transferring all your accounts and paying your bills online.

• Go through your mail immediately and discard anything unwanted immediately. Don’t put it in a pile that will just accumulate more mail that you’ll have to spend an entire afternoon sorting through.

• I use an APP called “Paper Karma” – when a catalog comes in the mail, I immediately scan it to the APP and they unsubscribe me from the mailing list. Let’s face it, isn’t your phone always at arm’s length away?

• Gather up all your important paperwork – deeds, wills, insurance policies etc. and scan them all to a jump drive – that way they are separate from your computer – then put the original documents in a safe deposit box.

• Purge your closet. Let’s face it, don’t you only wear about 14 things in there anyway?

• Purge your kitchen cupboards…how many glasses do you really need?

• Go through those old boxes of pictures and either put them into albums, or digitize them.

• What’s in your garage?  It’s already out of sight out of mind … do you really NEED it?  Why not get rid of some of that nonsense!  If you do you might be surprised that you can actually park a car in there.

• And while you’re on a tear, why not clean out your Inbox – unsubscribing from unwanted emails only takes about 5 seconds more than it does to delete them. Then when you open your daily email, you’ll have considerably less junk to filter through.

• Clean out that old paperwork … but maybe consider shredding it instead of burning it … unless you want some cute firemen to show up at your door.

Thrill of the Thrift – Hookers

I found this gem at a yard sale in Miami around 2002. I paid $10 for it. Despite its name and subject matter – “Hookers” – it had a child like quality to it.  My research revealed that the artist, James Rizzi, came up with the idea of 3D multiples by creating an etching, printing it twice, hand coloring it and mounting parts of the print on top of the other.

It’s like a serigraph or a lithograph – it’s signed by the Artist and it was a limited edition with the artist producing only 300 of them.  The only one I was able to find sold for about $700.  I need to eventually re-frame it as the matte has some water damage – which I imagine contributed to why I scored it for $10.  James Rizzi passed away in 2011, leaving me to wonder how much it’s worth now?

Thrill of theThrift – Antique Wardrobe

Every few years or so Warner Bros. has a “Lot Sale” to benefit a local charity and every year that comes and goes and they don’t have one leaves me praying that next year will be the year. It’s been about 4 years since the last one. It’s full of clothing worn by celebrities, all kinds of props, lighting, and tons of furniture.  Really amazing, awesome furniture too … and all at a price point that would make Ikea shudder.

I bought this beauty back in 2007.  There was buzz around the hallways about it, and it was reasonably priced at $200.  I, however, waited until the last day when everything went to 50% off and scored this bad boy for a mere $100.00.

It’s a fabulous antique.  But it served as a prop and was painted an ICKY flat brown.  I originally purchased it thinking I’d use it for it’s intended purpose – a wardrobe – but it’s shallow inside and a regular sized hanger didn’t fit.  So I repurposed it to use as a supply closet and it now houses all my craft supplies.

Using my go-to method for furniture upcycles (seen HERE for example), I refinished the whole thing.  It didn’t have any handles on it, so I used to curtain tiebacks and created my own.  I think they give it the gothic look it deserves.

Sitting on top are the Vegas Showgirls shown HERE

Día de los Muertos

I didn’t know much about Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) till I moved to Southern California. Primarily a Mexican tradition, (although celebrated around the world in other cultures), the holiday focuses on family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

Sugar skulls are one of the most popular figures in the Día de los Muertos celebrations. I was always rather fond of them, but I didn’t really know why. I was hired by a gal through my Etsy shop to make plates for her annual party.  I think the 12″ chargers I created for her adorned her table quite nicely!!   She and I are already working together to create something for her party next year!

Interested in something Sugar Skull(esque) … visit my ETSY shop!

Merry Christmas!

Yes premature … I know … but let’s face it – it’s November 1 and there has been Xmas decor in the stores seemingly since like mid-September. I start to get a little panicky this time of year with all the holiday prep … making travel plans, buying a myriad of gifts for family all over the country, wrapping, shipping, making copious amounts of THESE … and that just complicates my already completely erratic, hectic lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hollydayz, but let’s face it – it’s a lot of work.  I also tend to like to make my Xmas presents like THESE and THESE … you know, cuz I really like to jack up my free time.

I’m asked every year by my family to put together a “Wish List”. This is mayhaps one of the most difficult assignments I have all year.  I don’t want for much … I already have a tremendous amount of everything … do you have any idea how many vintage neckties I have?!  …that’s a story for another day…  I’m also very different in that I don’t want the same things that most people (more particularly women at Xmas) want.  Which is why I receive “Dexter” bobble heads instead of designer handbags as gifts.  In fact I had someone buy me a designer handbag once.  I still have it because I know it was expensive.  I carried it (obligatorily) literally once.  When I opened it, no doubt the look on my face was “do you not know me at all?!”  I wonder if this makes me super easy to shop for – or impossible?!!

So perhaps you wonder what to get your friends and loved ones for Xmas?  In that regard I thought I’d compile a list of places to shop.  These are all my friend’s shops and various other places I like to procure my gifts.


Check out My artistic friends from the interwebs for many years…

Paul Moschell’s new skins:


and my friend Jason Driscoll’s amazeball creations:

Kill Taupe


My friend Dharia has recently opened a delightful Etsy shop:



Something special:

Dizzy Little Dottie

Something silly:

Howards Home


My virtual friend Zaidat’s shop:



My Brother Jamie’s Zazzle Shop

For your gal friends, mom, or co-workers:

My friend Shannon’s shop: um it’s awesomely called “ScentsNtheCity” – ScentsNtheCity

For the music lover:

My friend Amy’s amazing bluegrass band:

Dead Men’s Hollow


Chateau Three Fork

The Doll City Rocker

Your Organ Grinder


In the Southeastern Connecticut area and want to get rid of all the
Xmas junk of years past??????

Call my old pal Tony Lowe at Lowe Carting & Recycling – 860-442-LOWE

Not All Business

My home is full of nonsense around every corner. I’m also of the strong opinion that the bathroom need not be all business, which is why my whimsy carries into my bathrooms as well.

I was recently asked by a dear friend of mine who also lived in the Florida Keys for many years if I incorporate any “fish” into my decor (which was a common decor theme in the Keys). As an homage to my wonderful life living on an island, I do, in fact, have my spare bathroom decorated in a decidedly fishy theme.

One of my favorite prints…acquired by an artist at ComiCon a few years ago

A large painting I did myself

Crocheted Jellyfish hang suspended in mason jars

I purchased this painting at the Mystic Arts Festival in 2005 … I think the fish look like olives…

A perfectly nautical shower curtain

…there’s dirty magazines in that basket … shhhhhhhh

My brother insists this is the “face of evil” … I think it’s hilarious! It was made by some gals in Key West.

The sun should shine anywhere it can … even where the sun don’t shine 😉

I think the rug looks like seaweed.

While I had my own custom made shower curtain for many years in my main bathroom (shown HERE), I recently couldn’t resist a new shower curtain … for obvious reasons

It’s awesome and gives a well needed pop of color.