February 26, 2009

The Wonder of Paint: A series

I'm feeling a little frisky, waiting on spring, so I thought I'd walk on the wild side and do a series.  Care to join?  

Over the next week we will delve into the subject of paint.  If your knees begin to knock at the thought of choosing a paint color, then stick around.   You'll be dashing to the paint store with confidence by the end.

We will finish off the series with a Mr. Linky party where you can show off  a room that you've fallen in love with all over again because of a little paint.

Use paint to enhance your assets

Our example today is this beautiful study/office (which happens to be in my parents' home).
While red is a pretty typical color choice for a study, it is camouflaging the room's most beautiful feature: the rich wood cabinetry.   

I personally love red, but there were too many strong colors fighting for attention in this room, between the red walls, blue chairs, and gorgeous black fabric.  

My mom loves color, so we needed to find a color that would soften the room and highlight the wood.
She chose this beautiful, soft blue to match her existing chairs.  The black fabric plays off of it nicely too;  but most importantly, look how it reveals the cabinetry!
Thinking of a soft blue with a hint of grey?  The color is Sherwin William's "Aleution"
Next time:
Neutrals can be exciting

February 21, 2009

Sunday Rest

I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mortal men?
Did you forget the Lord your maker, 
who stretched out the heavens and laid 
the foundations of the earth?
Isaiah 51:12-13a

February 19, 2009

10 Minute Makeover

With a few days of spring-like weather, along came my desire to clean and feather my nest. The cleaning happened, but you'd never know it a week later. That's why I love to shop the house and do a little makeover here and there. It lasts a whole lot longer than my clean surfaces, which by the way, have a nice covering of dust... again.

This time I started with my mantel. I used the famous basket bowl that my BFF gave to me after I drooled over it at her house. Thanks, Les. I still love it.

I've been reading about having balance when decorating with multiple objects. Balance doesn't equal symmetry. Working with an odd number of objects helps with balance.
Another area in our family room that I just recently changed was this area around the 'snack table'.  This is actually a small kitchen table pushed up against the wall with two chairs. It gets used daily for snacks, homework, puzzles, you name it. While I love the Nester's idea about leaning a picture against the wall, it just wouldn't work here, because the table is so round.
But I've put her good advise to use elsewhere!

I didn't buy a single thing for either of these little makeovers. I just shopped the house.
Want more ideas for 10 minute makeovers? Check out the Nester's party.

Next time: my kitchen makeover pictures!

February 17, 2009

Can You Find Them?

When I was a little girl, the only thing I would enjoy about a trip to the doctor's office was getting to peruse the 'Highlights' magazine in the waiting room.  My favorite section was the picture search page.
Today we are going to have our own little picture search.  My sweet hubs gave me 3 things for Valentine's day.  Can you find them in the picture above?

If you guessed flowers, you are right.  My honey knows that I love simple, one-color bouquets, usually not of the rose variety.  Well done, sweetie!
Item #2 appealed to my humorous side.  A whole season of Psych!  He knows I love, love love this show.  The problem is that I am getting old; thus I have a very hard time staying up until 10pm on Friday nights.  I usually end up missing the last half of each episode as my body gives way to a week's worth of mommy exhaustion.  Now I get to enjoy a good laugh with Shawn and Gus any ole time.

Did you guess item #3 yet?  No, it's not the red pitcher that I like to use as a vase.

It is my tile backsplash!!!  After seven and a half years in our house, our kitchen is finally finished!  I have so much to say about this, I'm thinking it is better to just stop here and save it for another post in and of itself.

Come back.  I promise some great pictures and even a 'what were we thinking' before picture!

February 16, 2009

Decorating with the Everyday

This is our mudroom.  The hub of activity and the go-to place for when I hear, "Mom, can I have a snack?"  It's the first room that greets me when I arrive home, so I wanted it to be functional, yet welcoming.  The cabinets are our pantry.  The hooks are for purses, bags and coats.  The bench below the hooks (shown here ) is for bookbags and shoes.

I like to use the everyday to decorate.  The jute giraffe bag is a fun touch to the mood of the room, yet it is functional.  It collects junk that I might need on the way out the door: extra gloves, some pens, a warm hat.

While I don't use potatoes and onions everyday, the basket helps the airflow and prevents early rot.  I love it when practicality and design collide!

Glass containers are a great way to decorate with the everyday.  Yes, we do use the doggie treat one twice daily.  That's why it has a metal (non-breakable) lid.  It's a little more kid friendly.
The other glass container holds our extra rice.  I like the texture and how it doesn't fight with the rest of the room.
As always, decorating doesn't have to cost a lot.  Be creative.  I have a friend that doesn't have a lot of storage room in the master bath, so she uses a glass container to store unwrapped bars of body soap.  The blue bars look so refreshing on the side of her tub.

What kind of everyday items do you decorate with?  Share your ideas!

Jeanne Winters is having a wonderful giveaway.  Check her out!

February 10, 2009

I Didn't Know You Were That Good!

I was having one of those days. 
You know the kind: when you want to run out in the middle of the yard and scream at the top of your lungs, pitch a hissy fit and announce "I can't take it anymore!!!"
If you are nodding your head and smiling in acknowledgement, then I like you.  Keep reading.  If you are judging me and thinking you've never had one of those days, then let me know when you write your book.  I'll buy it.

Anyways, as I was saying, it was one of those mommy days that I just couldn't win.  Know why?
I do believe that the preteen hormone tornado has attacked our house.  Leaving a path of unpredictable outbursts, funky attitudes, and a very wigged out mommy.
Combine that with 30-something pms hormones and you've got an all out war abrewin'.

As we stru-gggled through homework the pressure was building.  I was reeeely trying to keep my own attitude in check.    After showing some grace (albeit through clenched teeth) twice, on the third offense, I had to give a consequence.  Broken hearted over the fact that she would have to go to bed before her siblings, the tears started flowing.  She apologized and I told her I forgave her.  Which I did.  Then she said it again.
 And again. 
And again.  

This is the point that I truly thought I would blow my top.  I was looking for my nearest escape route.  I really wanted to handle this situation well,  but I needed help.  I prayed for guidance and acknowledged that this was beyond my expertise.  

After yet another round of apologies and I-forgive-yous the truth came out.  She thought that if I forgave her, then the consequence didn't have to be carried out.  
Nice try.
I explained to her how I had already shown grace; that I was sad that she would have to go to bed early but I was on her side.  We talked about how I acted when I was that age and about the yucky, strange emotions that she is having.
About that time I was feeling pretty good.
Great conversation!  Way to go, mom!  
She didn't say that, but I  was sure she was thinking it.

Then she said (in a whiny preteen voice) 'but I'm soo sorry.'
I know!!!!  We've already discussed that!!!

We needed space. 

From each other.

Like right now. 
I encouraged (read: commanded) her to go outside with her siblings.

As I stood in the quiet kitchen I had a little conversation with God:
Um... where were you?  I asked for your help and we are still battling.
I don't think you understand.  I've reached my limit.
I'd really rather stay in here and fume.  (I get a lot done when I'm fuming)
But I have on these cute Mary Jane shoes.
Oh alright.

She had a basketball in her hands when I walked out to the driveway.  I took a deep breath and said, "Hey, can I play?"
Her eyes grew wide and she smiled a smile that makes a mother's heart swell.
At first we just shot a few baskets.  Then we progressed to an all out game.  As we laughed and sweated and bonded, I realized why the Lord was whispering to me to GO OUTSIDE.  If I had stayed inside and fumed/pouted I would have missed out on hearing my darling girl, with eyes wide in wonderment say, "Wow, Mom, I didn't know you were that good at basketball."

Oh ye-yah, who's your mama?
Shootin' hoops in her mary-janes!

As I beamed I whispered to the Lord: I didn't know where you were going with this one, but I sure am glad I listened.  'Cause I knew you were that good!

Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18

Check out Melissa's Beautiful Life Linky Party

Disney for Decorators

Isn't this lobby beautiful?  When I walked in to Hotel Minerva, Florence Italy, I caught my breath.  Not just because the lobby was beautiful in all of its hot orange with black and white. But the chairs.  THE CHAIRS!  There they sat, beckoning me to like a long lost dream.
As I walked over to enjoy (read: covet), what to my wondering eye should appear?

A zipper.  A glorious zipper.
Do you know what that means?
Slipcovers from Ikea.
Ikeas that I drooled over (but didn't visit) in Germany and Italy.

I had seen these in an advertisement for Ikea in a magazine and knew they would be perfect for my room makeover.  Now to see them in real life was almost more than I could bear.

The problem?  There isn't an Ikea within 400 miles of my home.

Until now.  Today, I was just minding my own business, checking my email when a pop-up add appeared.  Normally I completely ignore these.  But it said: New Ikea in N.C.

All I can say is: ROAD TRIP!!!!
Oh, to have an Ikea so close.  It's like having Disney World move next door!

I'm really trying to not get my hopes up, as I have heard Ikea can be a hit-or-miss kind of place. But those slipcovers!  I'm salivating.

PS: If any of you have been to Ikea lately, and know the price on these slipcovers, or have any suggestions do tell!

February 8, 2009

R is for...

My sweet bloggy friend Lacy tagged me with the letter R.
Here are a few things I RELISH:

I never thought about how much I love red until I realized that I have 
a red cell phone, a red kitchen, a red leather recliner, a red car, a red purse... 
oh, and I love red gerber daisies!

Rothenburg, Germany

Reliable Friends
(Not just the furry version.)



Retail Therapy

Rearranging Furniture


I also love:
restful afternoons
river kayaking
room makeovers
reuben sandwiches
rice pudding
rolling views
riding horses
refreshing people

Need an idea for your blog today?  Consider yourself tagged!
In the spirit of Heart day, we will make the letter H.

Sunday Rest

Be still and know that I am God.

February 3, 2009

Timeless Silhouettes

I love, love, love a silhouette. Especially if it happens to belong to the 3 most darlin children in the world. We really tried to scale back on the Christmas gift $$ this year, so we had to get creative, which turned out to be pretty fun. This was a gift I made for my parents. It was actually very easy!

1. I took a profile shot of each child in the same position, distance and height. The hardest part (aside from trying to keep them from smiling) was keeping 3 pictures equal in distance.
2. Printed each photo onto regular (not photo) paper, in the size I wanted the silhouette to be.
3. Cut the profile out, very carefully.
4. Trace the profile onto black cardstock.
5. Cut the black paper with very good scissors.

My original thought was for these to be Christmas ornaments, so I found some lightweight pressed wood rectangles at the craft store, painted them white, and added tiny eye screws to the top. With a little black sheer ribbon, they were done.
Obviously Mimi loved them too much to put them away with her Christmas decorations.
Hmm... I wish I had made myself a set. Maybe that will be my own mother's day gift.

February 2, 2009

Getting It Together

January is the month of organizing, right?  Well, let's just say that travel, snowdays, sickness, and life came first.  So now it is February and I'm ready to get it together!

Nothing says organized like labels.  My mom gave me a label maker last Christmas and I started labeling everything.  Did you know that labels don't stick to kids once they get in the bathtub? Oh well.  I tried.  

Another way to label is to print stuff off of the computer.  I adore fun fonts (like 'trubble' above).  They just add some whimsy.

This is a shelf in my bonus room.  My father-in-law ran across this stainless steel restaurant style shelving unit a couple of years ago.  This thing weighs a ton, so once it went up to the bonus room, I knew it was a permanent fixture.  While the open shelves hold a ton, they tend to look cluttered.  I took this idea from a friend:  It's amazing how much more organized it looks when sticking with a color scheme.  I chose black photo boxes to hold various supplies and 3-ring binders to organize ideas from magazines that I want to hold onto.  Unfortunately the whole shelf doesn't look this neat, but it's a start.

Here is another example of using a cute font (tinker toy) for labeling.  I just used clear packing tape to attach these labels.  

Baskets can be a girl's best friend (assuming diamonds aren't available).  They don't even have to be pretty; just functional.  I keep these under my kitchen sink.  I know I'm breaking all kinds of keeping-kids-safe rules, but it works for us.

Speaking of kids...
These over-the-door shoe organizers are the BEST!   This is the new Hall of Justice... a great place for superheroes to come together!

We also use them for doll accessories.  One can never have too many accessories!  When the girls were younger and had hairbows to match every outfit, we used one of these to keep them visible and within reach.

This is a closet under our stairs.  When we were building the house, this area was originally on the plans as a butler's pantry.  Since we don't have a butler, I thought the area would be better used as a craft closet.  To maximize the space, we hung peg board on each of the side walls.  As you can see, we use it for all kinds of things.  See at that battery organizer at the top?  One of the best purchases ever!

Okay, I've shared some organizing tips, but here is the question of the day:

I have a terrible problem with soap scum on my glass shower doors.  It seems like I've tried everything.  Have you discovered anything that cuts through the film?  Any other awesome cleaning tips?  Do share!

February 1, 2009

Sunday Rest

The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving to all he has made.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
Psalm 145:13-14