Deanna Cathcart

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Deanna CathcartWebsite
40 something, mother of two beautiful daughters, retired photographer, full time Crohn's patient.
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Make It Pretty #makeitpretty

I love this block party, because I love finding things and making them pretty. When I finely gave into doctors and my family and quit the job I loved, making things pretty helped me get through it.

       Dresser for Chloe’s room, she’s 13 and still loves it!

I was depressed, my job was my creative outlet, but I could no longer run a business or work with people. I was so angry at being sick and giving up my business that I no longer wanted to even pick up a camera. So I picked up a paintbrush.

As time went on the anger went away. Sometimes I would see things and they would hit a note with the photographer in me. I would know I could redo it make it into a beautiful photo prop, but not have a place for it in my home.

I started buying a few of these pieces and they inspired me to pick up the camera again. I usually sell these pieces to professional photographers when I’m done with them, using photos like the one below to advertise.

 (Maddie, my oldest who wants to be a general contractor)

Going from a full time job as an internationally published photographer – to being a chronically ill person forced onto disability was a huge hit to our income. I stopped bringing money in and the medical bills were/are insane! I still want to decorate my home, but I need to do it VERY inexpensively!  

(Maddie’s closet door is an old barn door, she wanted this small dresser as a bedside table, and wanted to look like her barn door. )

Making things pretty is the only way I can afford to do that. I don’t have ””extra”” income – so if I can flip two or three pieces a year it pays for itself, my supplies, and the pieces I flip to make my own home a home I love.

$5 garage sale buffet, now my basement entertainment center

 Most of these, and more are on my blog , although I’m not a very good blogger so I don’t always keep up with it. :)

First Impressions: Before & After, The Kitchen Becomes the Entry!

This is what my current entry way used to look like – because we never had an entry, you used to walk straight into my dining room/kitchen.

 I know it’s a mess! I’’m being brave and showing it to you anyway. Maddie started pulling cabinets out while I was still trying to box things up! Storm damage construction isn‘t like planned construction, with storm damage everything has to happen at once.

 BTW see the lower left hand corner, where the floor is missing? That‘s because there used to be a stairway there, then after we moved the steps it was a temporary pantry. The whole wall around on the kitchen side was a chalkboard wall. Can’t you totally imagine it through the mess.

Can’t you??

   Maddie is practicing for her dream job, for realz, she wants to be a general contractor. She‘s planning on attending UNI and taking their Construction Management program. She says she loves the work but doesn’t want to take guff from the guys, so she’ll be their boss. :)   She‘s only 16 and a sophomore for now, so there is still time to change her mind.

     This is what it looks like now… it’s a work in progress. We still need trim, but that will have to wait until taxes get back because I am out of money. :)  Redoing a home is so expensive! So I‘m trying to decorate with what I have.

Here‘s a couple of things I had on hand. Keep scrolling down, it’s there I promise!

That collage is on a white background and squared up for instagram – but on a website it looks like I hit the enter button a few to many times. Any who, this is my grandmothers old sewing cabinet, and a door my mother found for me, and this is what it looks like now.

 I have yet to find the perfect mirror, but this one was free so it will do for now. :)

 I have already redecorated the top of the piano, again. :) 

I like the way the piano looks open, but little visitors keep having to pound the keys and I’m getting to old for that kind of noise, so I may have to close it. The photo above the piano is one I took when my youngest was 4 and the dog was 3, they are 13 and 12 now. I’m not sure if the photo is as good as I think it is or if I just love it so much because of what happened right after I snapped the shot. My daughter broke down and crying because she had “dog germs“ and I started laughing hysterically, because I’m evil like that.  

My youngest is also the piano player in the family so technically the piano is hers.  We are currently in a disagreement about it being painted, and beings I didn’t buy it I can’t even use the old parent fall back of “I paid for it. ” A close family friend, had friends that had a piano at a job site, and they were told to throw it away. He found out about it, drove two hours to pick it up and two hours home again and surprised us with it, so it has some sentimental value to her – I just wish it didn’t extend to what it looked like.

 So that’s what I have so far, I’ll update as things progress.


A Tale of Two Lamps

I think I bought these gold candle stick lamp bases three years ago at a tag sale for $3. They have sat in the basement ever since. 

I knew I was going to paint them as I really disliked the gold color with the fly speckle looking splatter. But I was not sure where I was going to use them at. 

 Then came the storm damage and the whole house ended up  gutted and now I’m trying to put it back together. All my cash on hand is going into things like wood trim, doors, windows……. it doesn’t leave a whole lot left over for the decorating budget. So I have to use what I have.

 I spray painted the brass with oil rubbed bronze metallic paint, and purchased the small drum shades from Target. I decided they would look great on my daughters piano, so for now that’s where they are sitting. 
 I’m not supper happy with the top of the piano yet, but the room only just got floor in it over the weekend, and the trim still needs to go on the walls. Lots of moving back in left to do so I’m sure it will come together soon. I am super happy with the way the lamps turned out though! 

It took a storm!

 I love our homes location, but have never loved the house. When I was working this rarely bothered me, as I was hardly ever in it, but after being forced to quit working by my family and doctors the house has bothered me more, and more. 

 Last year after finding a floor plan that would fit our home I convinced my husband to start on a remodel. For part of the remodel we had to relocate stairs to the basement. The only place to put them was under the slab, that was supposed to be a front porch. Only it faced the back yard, because this house is an old prefab, and had been put on the lot backwards…. You can start to see why I have never loved the house. 🙂 

 We enclosed the concrete slab and incorporated it into the living room, and relocated the basement stairs. Beings the new addition went to the edge of the roof, leaving no overhang we had to redo the rood on that side of the house and input new eves. We waited until fall when we have the best weather. Usually. Labor day weekend we pulled the roof off and put tarps on it to protect it from the forecast rain. My husband then left the house to go buy his buddies dinner out as a thank you for helping, 15 minutes later the tornado sirens went off, 5 minutes later the entire west side of the interior of my house was soaking wet. 

 We had been remodeling the house very slowly over the last couple of years. Doing what we could as we could afford it. Slow going considering my loss of income and the mounting medical bills. After the “it’s raining IN my house” incident though we decided to go ahead and do a full gutting. Insurance paid to replace the west side of the house, part of which had already been remodeled. The photo above is looking in from what used to be the living room, into what used to be my master bedroom. Because the front door of my house walked into the kitchen – remember the whole backwards house thing I told you about – we were already planning on moving the kitchen onto the master bedroom area. Our electricians told us if we were going to do it we needed to do it now, so we gutted the east side of the house too. We had to take out a small loan to cover the kitchen cabinets, rest of the flooring, and additional drywall. Luckily my husband is handy and he did (is still doing) the work for anything not covered by insurance himself. Actually this is the 4th house we have lived in and done major remodel job on. We’re those worst house in the best neighborhood people. Anyway it was very weird to have workers in the house tearing things apart and putting them back together, when your used to doing everything yourself. 

 Now the kitchen is moved and this week my husband moved my bed from the basement into my new master bedroom area, and it’s starting to happen, I’m starting to love my home.