Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DIY Dangers... + a small before/after

Hi friends!

Well we had quite the exciting interesting weekend...

Okay, so we have a freakishly large Bradford Pear tree in our front yard. When I say huge, I mean GIGANTIC. I have had people tell me that Bradford Pears are only supposed to live for twenty years - ours is almost 27... The slope of the land makes rain water pool around it - so it is LARGE AND IN CHARGE.

Some Arborists have told us that the tree is getting too big and since its so old, we should think about having it removed. BUT its soooo pretty and it definitely saves us on energy costs (it shades the entire front of our house) With that being said, It has caused some damage to ours and the neighbor's roof... SO something has to be done.
Someone came out and quoted us $500 to take the tree down and $300 to limb it up. Well that just didn't sit well with the hubs. He is so cheap thrifty that he decided we could do it ourselves... plus he could add a new chainsaw to his toy chest :)

Here he is, so happy about his new toy, but little did he know...

So we get up EARLY on Saturday morning to beat the heat - we start our limbing project at 7am and things are going great! We were on a roll and around 1:30 we were on the very last limb. This pesky limb was in a precarious spot, resting on top of the neighbor's roof! We rigged up a rope to the limb (we were so frightened of causing her house damage or knocking out one of her windows) and the hubs climbed up 10ft on the extension ladder and got to sawing...
Next thing you know - the limb snaps too early and the rope then snaps. I see the limb swing and knock the hubs off of the ladder and the chainsaw hits his wrist. He is lying on the ground when he sees the blood start flowing. In shock and pure terror, he starts yelling about how we have to get to the hospital. Luckily the neighbor heard all of the commotion and called 911... (this was a good thing because I swear I was running around in circles so frightened at all of the blood and hearing the fear in his voice... I had no idea what to do).

The EMS people got the bleeding to slow in minutes and I took him to the hospital. I was highly impressed with the ER we visited because they had us out of there in just under two hours! He got six stitches and will have a pretty bad ass scar (Sorry, Mom. Its the only word to describe).

He wanted me to show ya'll the pic taken at the hospital of the wound... but it is too graphic to show. Since the scar will be on his wrist, he is concerned that people will think he tried to do himself harm... yeah right!

So here is a much more tame pic for you guys.
Moral of the story? DON'T GET ON A LADDER WITH A CHAINSAW! Leave that to the professionals (do you hear me, hubs??)!!

Thanks so much to those of you that sent messages and called to check on us - as you can imagine, it was quite a scary day for us... but as you can see - he is totally fine. But I really appreciate all of your kind words!

So, as you can imagine - with the hubs out of commission, its hard for me to get many projects done. But I did manage to recover my MaMa's footstool! I know its a small project, but at least I can cross it off of my list!

As little girls, we used to sit on this footstool beside my grandmother and just chat away! I have always loved it and it definitely reminds me of many sweet memories of her. I am so happy to have it in my house now!

Now it sits next to my grandmothers chair in the corner of my living room! So happy to have given it a new home and a new life... but all the while remembering the memories that were made.

Sorry for another super long post. The hubs has promised me we can do some projects over the long weekend. Hope you guys enjoy the holiday!

As always, please send along any thoughts, comments, questions or suggestions! And if you have anything you want to share, please send it to me at

Talk soon, Friends!

Brandi Nell

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My new treasures!

Hi Friends!

I hope everyone is having a good week!

So we had a great weekend and brought home some great treasures from MaMa's house in Swainsboro. There was TONS of stuff for us to sift through - but I am really excited about the items that I got to bring back to Atlanta. Its so nice to have items in my home that once belonged to my grandmother... small treasures and items to remind me of her!

This is going to be another long post with tons of pictures... so bear with me!

The first items I wanted to show you are the portraits of my Dad and his two brothers. My grandmother had these done when her three boys were young. My Dad, Bill, is on the right (such a cutie!). These portraits will now each go to the corresponding brother, but I wanted to take a picture of where they hung - all together - ONE LAST TIME.

Here is a pic of the "fountain mural" she had in her Dining Room. As a child, I always thought this was soooo fancy and beautiful! The family has many wonderful memories sitting in that dining room... So I never want to forget it!

Okay - So here are a few of the items that I picked out to bring home! First, amber colored RETRO Drinking glasses. I am loving how fun they are!

My FAB "new" sitting chair! Its orange corduroy - LOVING IT!

Secondly, these AWESOME Table lamps! I have to find a LARGE drum shade for them in a fun color. These were in my grandmother's bedroom... I love the vintage look of them!

Some Milk Glass pieces - I always have loved the look of milk glass.

Some linens - Lace tablecloth, doilies, handkerchiefs...

The mess in my living room floor... I am so excited about the glass serving dishes and the silver items... but I have a TON of cleaning and polishing to do! YIKES!

Brass Candlesticks and pheasants??

A can of spray paint and five minutes? ... NEW CANDLESTICKS!

CUTE new birds!

I also got a wooden rocking chair that needs to be spruced up, as well as some childrens' books, and a baby sweater... While I am NOT expecting - I am happy to have these items for when the time comes.

As always, your thoughts, comments and suggestions are appreciated. And if you have something you would like to share, please send it to me at


Brandi Nell

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Martha Nell the Grand Belle

Hi Friends -

Sorry for the lack of posts - but just wanted to update you!

Four (almost five) years after her passing, we have sold my Grandmother's house in Swainsboro, Georgia.

Martha Nell -I am her namesake - was a beautiful woman who surrounded herself with beautiful things (she had a flair for fashion and design). With a heart of gold and caring disposition - she was loved by many. It has been hard for my family to even begin to think about going through all of her belongings. Now, four and a half years later, we are forcing ourselves to.

While I am looking forward to bringing home some of my grandmother's treasured items - its bittersweet. That home built many memories for our family. This will be the closing of a chapter.

Martha Nell was the epitome of a Southern Belle - I only hope that I can live up to her name.

I will post more pics of the house and of her pretty treasures... some of which will become my most treasured possessions.

Talk soon, friends!


Brandi Nell

Monday, June 14, 2010

Manic Monday (and past few days)

Hi Friends!

I am so ashamed for being such a bad blogger! Its been almost two weeks since my last post!

We have been so super busy with weddings and weekend trips, that we haven't done anything new on the house. I have tons to catch up on!

Hopefully some time this week, I will be able to start my cornice boards for the bedroom!

If you have any projects you are working on, please share them with me at

Stay tuned, friends! Talk Soon!

Brandi Nell

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ugly Doors... NO MORE!

Hi Friends!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! While everyone was off vacationing at the lake or the beach (very jealous)... the hubs and I used the long weekend to take on a project that has been at the top of my list since we moved in (second only to the carpet in the master bathroom... thank goodness we took care of that one a few months back).

Okay - Brace yourselves... this is a long post. Sorry! I just have so much to share!

I have hated/loathed/despised the 8 ft tall mirrored closet doors in our bedroom. These four huge sliding (barely) doors spanned one ENTIRE side of my bedroom... talk about an eyesore! I really don't know what people were thinking in the 80's... were they practicing jazzersize in the bedroom??? These monstrosities have been a thorn in my side since moving in. WELL NO MORE!

Terribly ugly, am I right?? BTW - We have been in the house since September of 2008... Can yo imagine looking at these hideous things every night and every morning???

So, I have to confess to ya'll that when the hubs told me that he could tear them down, build a new wall, and then install new doors, I was a little nervous. Could he actually do this??? AND IT LOOK GOOD??? Well, one lesson I have had to learn over and over again is to not doubt the hubs - or at least don't verbalize these thoughts... unless I want to eat crow for dinner.

Please excuse the grainy-ness (sp?) My camera was dead and I only had my Blackberry to work with. Here you can see the hubs has taken all of the doors out and is building the framing for the wall. Ummmm... and just excuse the mess INSIDE of the closet :)

Once he finished the framing (I am amazed at how sturdy it is), he hung the drywall and patched the seams and screws.

Then, he built the frames for the doors and then hung them! At this point, I was getting really excited!

Just an FYI - I don't just sit around and take pics the whole time... I actually (well, when I'm not in the way) helped! I am kind of embarrassed to show you guys a pic of me with my hair a mess and no makeup... but this is a part of the journey -so here I am. Paint is even in my hair! It took TWO days to get it all out.

So after three long days of hard work, we finished! And I couldn't be happier! Once again, I am super proud of the hubs! Where this may not seem like that big of a project to you guys - Its a huge victory for us!

We opted to not use the wooden knobs that were provided, instead I went and found some glass knobs. I have a weakness for anything glass - especially glass hardware.

As a side note - My mini chihuahua, Parker, hated the fact that our (HIS) bed was being taken up by clothes that were displaced during the reno.

Then he was embarrassed by the fact that I was taking pics of him... I can't help it. I love my furbabies!

I am continuing to work on the bedroom little by little. Hopefully it will be finished one day soon. I am hoping we will have the platform for the bed built soon.

I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think - or even offer up suggestions! And as always, if you have a project you would like to share, please email me at Hope you guys have a great rest of the week!

Talk Soon!

Brandi Nell