Tuesday, September 29, 2009

window dressings

As I alluded to earlier, I now have a pretty firm plan of how I want to treat the windows in the great room.

Here's what I started with:

these curtains came with our home, I'm so over them

The walls are now a yummy butter yellow, and I've kept the crisp white trim.
I have decided not to use shears, I can add them later if I feel we need more privacy, but I honestly don't think I will. I was also super happy to see those flimsy rods go away (note to self - list them on Craigslist!).

For now I have hung up one set of "drapes" - I used drop cloths like I keep seeing everywhere in blogland, what can I say? I loved the idea!

drapes in progress
(it's really hard to take a picture of a window!)

I really like the new rods I picked - I found them at Lowe's, so the price was right and they have the feeling I was looking for. At first I was going to just go for the dark, round finials, but I ended up with fluted amber glass balls. They go really nicely with the wood tones in the ceiling and mantle.

I had to hang up a set of the drop cloth panels because we needed drapes at least on the front of the house for privacy (the neighbors don't need to see me before I've had my coffee!), and because my husband was less than excited by the idea of drop cloths as drapes.

I'm pretty sure he was picturing clear plastic sheets on the windows.

I'm not sure if he really likes these, or was just really happy with the price (I've been brainwashing him into believing that Potter barn is the only place to buy drapes - hee hee!)

I'm very happy with the texture of the drop cloths. I'm going to sew on (green) ribbons to tie the drapes to the rings, because I love these drapes from Potter Barn:

Pottery Barn

And I'm also going to do something to the bottom of the drapes.

At first I was thinking of sewing a chunk of green and white fabric (maybe a trellis pattern?) to the bottom of each panel, but now I'm thinking of stenciling the panels instead - I figure if I don't like the stencil I can always go back and sew on some fabric later.

So that's the direction I'm headed with the drapes.
I'm excited for the change!

Monday, September 28, 2009

back to the grind: goal time

I like posting my goals for the week. I find it helps me to stay focused, and I love hearing your goals! If I started a Monday Goal Party, would you join?

I am planning on going out of town for a few days this week, so I have just a few goals for this week (a few are repeats):

1. Start decorating the tops of the kitchen cabinets.
There are basically three chunks of cabinets, I'd like to decorate one, and round up all of my decorations.

2. Finish my spray paint project.
I need to do this - I really want to join Kimba's DIY Party (it's moving to Tuesday starting this week!), and I think this is going to be really cute when it's done (of course, it could also be huge disaster). Regardless of the outcome I need to be able to mark this project done.

3. Clean out the linen closet.
It's become a black hole.
I can't find the toilet paper or kleenex without a huge pile of fabric falling out, and I can't smash my sewing machine back in there.
The great news is my little sister is still here (just until tonight), so I'm going to let her distract my little man while I get this bad boy under control.

What projects will you be working on this week?

goals: a recap

I was a little ambitious in my goals last week.

1. Start decorating the tops of the kitchen cabinets.
I didn't do a thing with the cabinet tops, although I did find a Longaberger basket for $3 at Goodwill that will be very nice above my cabinets.

2. Cozy up the guest room/office.
I dusted and vacuumed, swapped out the nightstand and lamp and edited the shelf that runs around the room. I really wanted to clean off my desk - but I didn't touch it.

3. Finish my spray painted masterpiece.
I ran out of primer. This project is never ending.

4. Plan new drapes for the great room.
I have a plan! And I will post about it later :)

5. Continue to work on the front porch.
It's not done (not that anything is ever truly done), but I picked up some pumpkins, and some fall decor and it's really starting to come together. I'm sure it'll be great in time for Amanda's next Design Dilemma Party!

How did you do last week?

Monday, September 21, 2009

goals for this week

It's good to have goals.
Follow through is also important....we'll see how I do on that end ;)

I have five little goals for this week:
1. Start decorating the tops of the kitchen cabinets.
We are done painting! Now comes the fun part :)

2. Cozy up the guest room/office.
My little sister is coming to visit this weekend, and the guest room/office has seen better days. it just needs a little refreshing, and I already have some ideas.

3. Finish my spray painted masterpiece.
This piece is taking so much more time than I thought it would - I hope I'm happy with the results.

4. Plan new drapes for the great room.
We took all of the old ones down, and they are NOT going back up (in fact I'm listing them all on Craigslist today). Right now our house is rather open, and I need some privacy!

5. Continue to work on the front porch.
All of the ideas you gave me during the Decorating Dilemma's Party were great, and I've been working on a few of them, I just need to kick this project into overdrive so i can share my progress with you :)

What are some of your goals for this week?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

i'm inspired

As I mentioned before, I'm participating in the Scavenger Hunt at The DIY Show Off - as part of my entry for the giveaway I needed to find a post that most inspires me.

It wasn't easy folks.

There was this.

And this.

Have you seen this?

I know. I need a drink.

So I figured it out! I am most inspired by Debra's Kitchen Island Transformation.

Right now we are redecorating our Great Room, a big part of that is our 5' x 5' kitchen island. The previous owners had stools around two sides of the island, we only have them at one side and I have been trying to decide what to do with the other, empty and boring, side. I think I would like to put bookshelves under the overhang to store my cookbooks. But that would probably require measuring. Plus, I have a very busy 1.5 year old - there's no way cookbooks would last 4 minutes placed within his reach.

But I still want something to pretty up the empty expanse of cabinets (have I mentioned that the cabinets are from Ikea? The sides are not pretty). I think the wallpaper that Debra used might be my solution!

So now I'm trying to imagine my kitchen with bead board wallpaper on the island.

And I think I like it :)

Want to be inspired?
Head over to The DIY Show Off.
There's so much goodness going on over there, it's crazy!


Big news in a small town:

"A High School student, 16, was cited on West Foulke Avenue for wearing a Taco Bell window promotional sign as a cape. He had taken the sign from the store Tuesday."

famous little pig

Zippy, my beloved guinea pig, passed away last Fri.

When I heard that Roeshel at The DIY Showoff was having a Pet Parade, I knew it would be the perfect way to honor her.

Check out all of the cute pets!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

still spraying

My spray paint project isn't ready yet :(

I jumped into the project a little unprepared, so nothing went right and I had to start over tonight. Bummer.

I'm sad because I was excited to finally have a post for Kimba's DIY Day.

I guess there's always next week!

And I get to enjoy the paint fumes for a few more days ;)

For now I'll leave you with a sneak peek.

delicious fabric

i'm hunting...

I'm participating in the Scavenger Hunt over st The DIY Showoff.

It's fun!

You should join in, too :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

paint fumes

I've been spray painting today, so forgive me if this comes out wonky. I blame the fumes.

The delicious fumes. Hee hee!

I've been working on a project for our dining area in my great room. I mentioned that I was not happy with the three dining areas that dominated my great room before, so I've whittle it down to two. Which has caused a great deal of furniture shuffling throughout the house (surprisingly everything seems to be falling into place - almost like I had a plan). And with the shuffling I am also reworking a few pieces.

Anyway. Stay tuned for a tale of intrigue, (white) lies (No honey - I have no idea why there are white over spray stains on our freshly sealed driveway.).

if you need me I'll be painting.

something new!

I've been blogging here.

You'll find pictures of my house, and my projects, a few recipes, some thrift store finds. No stories about JJ, although he is mentioned a few times. It's mostly just a log of what I do around the house (kind of - no one wants to read about laundry and dirty diapers).

debbie downer

I haven't updated in a while, we've been super busy getting ready for Adrienne and Sam's wedding (last weekend, and lovely). I've also been busy because a new year of Service League has begun, and I *might* have over committed myself a little, or a lot.

Here's where life becomes sad.

Last week my sweet guinea pig, Zippy, died.

If you'd rather not read an account of the last few minutes of Zippy's long (7.5 years is really long for a GP) life, then I suggest you stop reading.

J changed Zippy's bedding on Thurs evening around 11 - we were rushing around getting things ready for our trip to Louisville (for the wedding) - he came and let me know that she was laying on her side with her leg sticking out at a funny angle. While this wasn't normal, I figured she was developing arthritis, as she had started to limp a little when she'd run around. I checked to see if she needed some baby Tylenol.

She was really lethargic, but she perked right up when I came to her cage, and she thouroughly enjoyed being pet and adored. I knew she was fading, so I had J take a few pictures of me holding her, and then I tried to feed her some cucumber and hay, but she wouldn't eat.

I held her in a rowel and she was taking really ragged breaths, and they were really spaced out. I was crying, it seemed like she was fighting to hold on for some reason, like she just couldn't let go. I asked if she wanted to see JJ, and my lethargic piggy lifted her head up and looked at me. So I took her into his room and held her up to JJ's crib. She sniffed him and nosed the side of his head, it was so sweet - I knew she was saying goodbye to her buddy. Then we went back out to the living room and sat down. Almost immediately she picked her head up from the towel and managed to lay it on my chest, and then she was gone.

I cried.
She was a good pig.

We buried her in the backyard in the morning before we left for Louisville. I wrapped her in a corner of the towel we used to cover her cage at night, she always chewed on that corner, so I figured it was her favorite. I also tucked in a chunk of cucumber and some hay.

sweet little pig
2002 - 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Guess what I found!


That might seem a bit steep for a bag of random toys, but I was too excited to care!

Let's look closer:

plastic goodness

There were 107 little figures in the bag (!), everything from a cow to what I can only assume is a Sasquatch.

I cannot wait to craft with these, it's going to be so fun!

I'm joining the party over at Homebody!
Stop by for more Thrift Store Thursday finds!

the "great" project

Last weekend we started painting the great room. We are not quite done, but it should be finished soon (we're headed to a wedding this weekend!). After we finish painting I can really get into redesigning and decorating this space.

I love change!

I figured it would be nice to include a few before shots of the room.
So here it is, in all of it's former glory, moving in a (kind of) circle to the right:

formal dining area (complete with guinea pig)
This is how we live in the space - we have an 18 month old who loves to climb on everything, so all non-essential dining chairs have been banished, and the guinea pig landed in the only safe place we could find. I never intended for my pet to become my centerpiece, but that's how it is.

Like the "antler" on the wall up by the ceiling? (it was a hook for hanging surround sound)

Neither did I.

It's gone!

a glimpse into the kitchen (far right)
I bet you want an "arrangement" just like the one in that flower basket - don't you? That was a project that I never really finished, but I have let it sit (just like that) for more than two years.

Now it's gone!

the kitchen (well, a chunk of it)

the kitchen dining area
I took this picture while were prepping for paint, the drapes for the sliding glass door had already been removed - they were the same as the drapes pictured here.

the living room
We have a lot of toys.
And books.
And a big empty area to play in.

more living room
You can see the fireplace iin this picture, there is a large bank of windows to the right of the fireplace. I took this picture from the formal dining area (notice the GP cage in the corner?).

I don't have any good before pictures of my kitchen, but there is a large (roughly 5' x 5') granite island in the center of the space, which is an absolute magnet for all of the clutter in my house. It also makes it feel like there are three large tables in the space - which is totally not working (I have a plan!). Some of the pictures I have hanging up were hung there, by me, with a plan in place - others were hung on nails that were left by the previous owners. This bothered me, big time. I'm so excited to fix it!

I think I'm just, generally, excited!

Monday, September 07, 2009

sprucing up the front porch - a decorating dilemma

I have a confession.

I didn't do a thing to my front porch all summer. I bought plants for the planter box and never planted them (I also never watered them. Oops!).

boring and dirty

I needed to remedy the situation for the fall.

I spent $10 on some mums, swapped my wreath, and cleaned everything up.

still boring

The walkway leading up to my porch is adorable - I have a rock wall that is covered in lichen and moss (you can see it along the bottom of the last picture), and there are planting beds on both sides (one is full of pachysandra, and one has a variety of perennials and some pots of annuals). But then you get up to the house and it's awful.

I need help!
Do you have any suggestions for my super-boring, super-tiny front porch?

I'm linking this to the Fall Nesting Party at The Inspired Room, even though I doubt it will inspire anyone. I'm hoping to get some ideas and inspiration from everyone else there. Hopefully you can all help me make my front porch inspiring for fall!

*Edit - I'm also linking this to the Decorating Dilemmas Party at Serenity Now, your ideas so far have been great, and I'd just love to get more!

painting psa

We spent our weekend painting the great room.
It's been great.

Not really, it's sort of been a pain. Especially because we can only paint after the little man has gone to sleep for the night (luckily one of my friends kidnapped him on Sat. so we could paint for the entire afternoon). We have three walls left.

I LOVE the areas that are finished; they were a drab green - nothing obnoxious, just not me. Now they are a sunny yellow (the paint color is actually "Butter," so it's got to be awesome), and they are invigorating and fresh. LOVE.

And the one thing that I am most excited about?
(okay, I'm excited for a lot of things, but this ranks pretty high on the list)

I am painting the air-return vents to match the walls.

They were white.
The same color as the trim.
They were really noticeable.
I noticed them everyday.
Not anymore!

Can we agree on this? Can I make you all converts to the "air return vents are not a focal point in the room club." It would really make my day :) To me, vents should be like visible panty lines - non-existent. And it's so easy! Just take down the vent and slap a few coats of paint on it.
And now your room has lost its VPL's and you won't find it in the pages of Marie Claire with a black bar over its eyes.

Friday, September 04, 2009

bumpa dip

This is Bumpa, he is the hubs grandfather and was an amazing man.

We miss him.
A lot.

Bumpa left one very important legacy (ok, so there are a ton of awesome things (and people) you could claim as Bumpa's greatest legacy, but trust me, this is good)...

Bumpa Dip

1 brick of cream cheese
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. diced white onion
garlic salt
giant bag of chips

In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and milk until well combined (if you want your dip thinner - add more milk, thicker - add less).
Then start shaking in some garlic salt, shake blend and taste - in our family we add the garlic salt until the garlic overpowers the cream cheese, you might want a little less.
Mix in the onion.
Try not to eat it all by yourself!

You can make this dip with 1/3 less fat cream cheese, but it gets sort of gross with the fat free stuff.
Also tastes fantastic with pretzels and veggies.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

for the love of tupperware

As I walked through the door of our Goodwill I had one item in mind: Tupperware.

My little man is going to "day care" next week (he's really going to Mom's Day Out at a local church, one day a week 9-2 playtime - I'm excited!). And he needs something for me to pack his lunch in. I thought about just using a bunch of little containers, but that's awfully cumbersome for the teachers to deal with. I was ideally hoping to find one container with three or four spots; something perfect for grapes, crackers and cheese (he's 1.5, that's lunch).

I found not one, but two of the same old-school Tupperware relish trays (one even had the old "seal" logo on the lid). Score! And the $1 price tag sealed the deal. Both of the trays seemed brand new, but one was less dusty and had no odor, so that's the one I went with. It has a nifty little handle that screws in to use it as a tray - I can see myself making an olive tray (kalamata - yum!) for future picnics with this, but for right now it's some one's lunch box :)

I found three other items:
a brand new architectural thingy - $5, but it had a 50% off blue tag, so really $2.50
a flowery shadow box - $4
a wool pumpkin - $5

The pumpkin reeked of smoke, plus, I felt that $5 was sort of spendy for used decor (I can get one cheaper new at Hobby Lobby). So I passed.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the architectural thingy, but I'm pretty sure it will involve spray paint. I like the shape, I'm sure I can use it somewhere.

I already have a plan for the flowery shadow box...

I spent a grand total of $8.01 after tax.
I love thrift-store shopping therapy!

I've added this post to Holly's Thrift Store Thursday, check her out and see what everyone else has been thrifting!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

new drapes :)

When we moved into our current house (Jan '07), there was one thing I absolutely couldn't stand.

These drapes. Blechhh.

They matched the former wall color exactly (because it was such and awesome color! - kind of a greenish, putty) - and they made me feel like my life force was being sucked out. After we painted the room (Sept '07) we just hung them back up because I didn't know what I wanted.

For the longest time I thought I wanted these drapes from Pottery Barn, but I just couldn't justify the expense, especially because I would need to guess on color and ship them back if they weren't fabulous.

I was stuck, and I still hated the drapes.

Last week I made a pilgrimage to Target (1.5 hour round trip) and thought I found the perfect drapes ($20 per panel and a muted blue faux silk). The color didn't work, so they are waiting to be returned. I was now determined to find new drapes so I went to Lowes, and I found some that work.

They have that cheap sheen, but at $25 per panel I can live with it. Plus they are blackout curtains, and since I am super sensitive to light when I am sleeping, they are my new best friends.

We've had them hung up for two nights, and I have slept like a rock. I feel awesome.

Of course the project turned into 4 trips to Lowes (buy drapes, buy rings, exchange rings, buy one more panel) and I had to move the drapery rod up 3 inches, split one panel in half and sew it to the other two panels. But it was worth it, because I am very happy with the results :)

Here's the cost break down:
3 drapery panels @ $25 = $75
2 sets of rings @ $8 = $16

total cost = $81 ($38 less than one panel from PB)

And here's the bonus! I already sold the old drapes on Craigslist :) They are out of my house forever and I have $12 to add to my fix-the-car fund :)