Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine's Vignette

Stories of A to Z is having a Valentine Mantle Party but I just wasn't ready to dismantle my wintery mantles (upstairs and down).

Thankfully she allows Valentine vignettes.

Due to an unexpected snow day (I really don't trust the weather people-sorry if any of you are or know a meteorologist) and the fact that I left a ton of stuff I could be doing at school I have gotten a chance to complete some projects and start some more projects.

I used the opportunity I had while the kids were doing this:

and this:

to get a Valentine's foyer welcome ready for any guests.

You guys can be my first.

But first, is that not the cutest snowman?? I was pretty impressed with their creativity.

Here is the foyer hearted up:

If they keep playing outside like this I may have to break out the buttons and make some hearts!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chalk It Up!

I told you hubby gave me a decorating closet make-over for Christmas.
I'm going to show you all about it when I think it is at its cutest.
Step-by-step I'm getting there.
Here is one of those steps.

I am trying to utilize every possible inch of storage in this fairly decent sized closet.
If you are like me, you get ideas in the middle of the night, while stalking your favorite blogs and looking through magazines. Some of those ideas will actually see the light of day but, alas, many get forgotten about.
I also have lists and lists of things to do. Sometimes they get done, sometimes they get shoved into oblivion.

Here is the back of above mentioned closet door.
Perfect spot for something inspirational.
I thought about hanging cork, but I decided that would look really messy (have-to-make-it-cute-itis) and I had a better spot to put the cork for all my magazine inspiration pictures.
Then I remembered my chalkboard paint.

Door taped off.

Those are my front door decorations for spring hanging above. Remember every. possible. inch. Really no rocket science here.

I used a level and drew out a rectangle with just eyeballing for size.

I still have lots of chalkboard paint from this project and this project.

Here's a tip when painting on a vertical surface with this paint.

Use light coats.

I am impatient and thought one thick coat would be better than a bunch of thin ones, but after repainting over runs and drips, I learned my lesson-for now.

Just because this is the back of a door in my decorating closet doesn't mean it has to be utilitarian.

Of course a simple chalkboard rectangle wouldn't be enough for me.

When I was looking for the chalkboard paint in the garage I ran across a quart of Crabby Apple! (from my front door and Scarlett) It was begging for me to take it off the shelf and of course my Cricut was feeling loney and wanted to play so...

I found a branch I liked, used the fancy corner option and put one on each corner of the chalkboard.

Next I broke out the Crabby Apple and brushed it on using an artist's brush.

I waited an excrutiatingly long 5 minutes and removed the stencil.

Then I waited another excruciatingly long 10 minutes and then I added my To Do's and Ideas! Now maybe some of those ideas will actually make it to fruition!

Gotta go get cracking on that list!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh, Parson Me!!

I have always loved parsons chairs.
I cyber-window shop them on and Target.
I look at them in magazines.
But I have never found one that I really, really loved all on its own.
I would usually have to buy/make a slipcover in order for it to be EXACTLY what I wanted. Until...

A few days after Christmas I was walking into TJ Maxx and almost from the front door I spotted them.

My feet almost wouldn't carry me fast enough.

As I was walking toward them I kept telling myself:

"The color won't be right."
"It's impossible that they could be the right color."
"Don't get your hopes up, they will be the wrong color."

Then I got up on them. The color was right. And the pattern would be perfect.

Okay, maybe the color works, but I bet they will be incredibly expensive.

Let's just peek at the price tag.

Don't get your hopes up.

Whoa...really? I could pay that.

So I went home. Chairless.

(sound of screeching brakes. Went home? Chairless?)


#1 I needed to talk with hubby about it.

#2 I REALLY wanted to make sure the color was right.

#3 There wasn't enough room in the car for 2 parsons chairs.

Two days later HUBBY suggested we go to Paducah.

So I told him about the chairs and I grabbed my fabric swatches.

We bought something else on the way, which I will show you later.

Can't reveal ALL my rabbits in one post.
After confirming the blue would blend in my dining room, I hauled those babies up front.

I am pretty sure I saw some jealous faces as I carted those things out.

Aren't they gorgeous? See if you can figure out what else I bought. I'll talk about it next week, promise.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake!!

And maybe cupcakes...and cookies...and brownies.

I saw this in my local flea market:

and visions of polka dots started dancing in my head.

So I took it home (for $6) and then it sat in my decorating closet for months.
I got inspired and took it to the garage and there it sat...

for a few more weeks.

I still had visions of covering that 1950's metal and cream and orangey flowered mess with lovely blue polka dots. But I wasn't quite sure how to do it.

Hubby surprised me with #1 a decorating closet makeover (which I will share later).

#2 a Cricut Expression!! Whooo HOO!!!

So after Christmas I finally got inspired enough to get to work. First I spray painted the entire thing blue. (no picture of that, sorry). Then I cut three different sizes of circles (2", 1", and 1/2") out of contact paper and placed them as randomly as possible. (Yes, I use contact paper more often than vinyl.) Then I painted the whole thing red.

Then it sat for a few more days because, well because I was just plain skeered of pulling the circles off. I was afraid it would pull part of the red paint off.

I finally got my nerve up and pulled them it!

Now I just need the cake...or cupcakes...or cookies...or brownies.

This was one of my favorite projects of 2011. I'm linking up with the CSI Challenge. Go visit and see all the great ideas!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another Mantle

I showed you the downstairs mantle, today let's go upstairs.

This post is going to be pretty much all photos. I will; however, give you the links to some of the other things I might refer to.

Here are a few close ups (cause I like keeping you in suspense as to how it all comes together).

I showed you all about these button snowflakes here.


All the snowflakes and snowballs are actually Christmas ornaments I got on sale at 50-75% off after Christmas and BEFORE the new year and the "resolution."

Which is actually going pretty good. I may even cut my spending budget next month (not follow the "no shopping" rule, just cutting back-or rather giving most of my budgeted spending money to a friend's son who is going on a mission trip over spring break.) But I digress and I promised more pictures than words. Total rule breaker...

You all know of my painting the fireplace dilemma. Now I have a "paint the mantle dilemma." The fireplace seems awfully, well, white. Do you think I should paint the mantle black? Or does someone know how to photoshop so I could see what a black one would look like?

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks to Debbie and her post on comments, I'm going to do a better job on the type of comments I leave as well as responding to the comments I receive. Come back soon-I want to show you something-the clue is "Parson me?"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stylish? Gee, Thanks!

Nana Diana offered me my first blogger award! She got my blog name from Debbiedoo. It is kind of like the seven degrees of separation. Anyway, I am thrilled to pieces to have found a new friend and to pass along the love.
It is an award, but there are strings attached.
#1 I have to list seven things about myself. I am more of a self-depricating kind of person, but I'll do my best.
#2 I have to pass along the award to 7 people who have inspired me.
This is going to be the hardest because I have a fear of rejection and I am afraid the people aren't going to want the award frome me. Most of the blogs that I follow have, like, THOUSANDS of followers so I can't help but think some award from me with my 73 followers would be like that annoying person at the movies who won't be quiet.
I have gone through my dashboard and picked out a few "big" names (people that I truly cannot wait to read and have felt some "connection" to) and other newbies who, like me, would appreciate some recognition and not feel so alone in this big ol' blogworld.
First about me:
1. I am the youngest child with 4 brothers. My youngest brother is 9 years older than me and my oldest brother is 18 years older than me. People ask if I was spoiled. I just stick my lip out at them, pout and ask "why would you ask that?"
2. I am older than hubby. Actually, hubby is the same age as my oldest nephew. (refer back to #1 to understand how that is possible)
3. I loathe crickets. BLEEECH! Sometimes we get disgusting spider crickets downstairs. If hubby or little man isn't home, I trap them under a glass until one of them can dispose of it. I refuse to step on it because I can't stand that "crunch" feeling under my feet, plus I'm afraid it will jump on me. Oldest daughter used to call them my "crooked (instead of cricket) zoos."
4. I am a total introvert. In fact, when people usually meet me for the first time,
I intimidate them. I am a woman of few words, but I am also very shy. I have thought about going to "Blissdom 2011" but I'm afraid I would be too much of a wallflower and wouldn't make any friends.
5. People ask how I get myself and 3 kids ready for school each day. Truth is, I don't. Hubby get the kids up then wakes me up. All I have to worry about is getting myself ready.
Spoiled I know, see #1.
6. I am very competitive, but not in the "I'm gonna run a marathon competitive." My competitive side is more subtle and harder to satisfy. I want to be the best at just about everything. I want people to think I am the best teacher, the best decorator, the best swizzle stick maker (I don't really make those, but I think you get the idea).
7. This was extremely hard for me. In fact hubby and I are talking about it right now. He is trying to give me suggestions, but I've already used them or I think they are not "good enough" (see #6--see now I want to be the best blog award receiver!) I wanted to list really "deep" things. I wouldn't be satisified with my favorite flower (hubby's idea) or what his occupation is (another one of his ideas) NOOOOOO I have to be all wordy (so unlike me-woman of few words that I REALLY am-promise, ask him.)
This could get ugly, let's move on the #2 requirement of the award: pay it forward...
The top 4 are blogs that I love and that inspire me daily, the last 3 are some new favs and new friends. I hope you find some things you like!
I LOVE Sasha. She is so the opposite of me. She is demonstrative and dramatic but she is funny and honest. She has a heart for Christ and is totally in love with her man. (she's only the opposite of me on the dramatic and demostrative part, don't get me wrong here) Go read her, you'll fall in love with her too.
She is creative and kind, loving and modest. She has a big family and they all work so well together. She has some amazing advice on raising kids and she is just a neat woman.
She is all about the transferware. I LOVE transferware so I have found a kindred spirit at Nancy's. She has the most amazing collection AND she sells it too! I am already planning on planting her etsy shop site in hubby's hands for the next birthday!
She really isn't mean, she's just plain funny. Oh, and she has a Ph.D! Yeah, I know. I think we are kindred spirits too, at least we have the same sense of humor. I see her being very "straight faced" kind of funny. I think they call it a "dry sense of humor." Anyway, she is another that I can't wait to read.
A girl who can combine sports and decorating-that takes some style! Seriously, she lives in the most adorable house complete with a white picket fence! Too cute!
She hasn't been blogging very long, but she I think she has some staying power. She makes the cutest hair clips-and she has some other mad skills too! Drop by for a visit.
She has only been blogging for 3 1/2 months and already has 200 followers! Aside from the fact that I'm a little jealous, she won't disappoint on the idea realm.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm going to be posting about the upstairs mantle soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wintery Mantle

I got all my Christmas stuff down in about 3 days.

It was completely gone by about the 28th of December.

Impressive huh?

Well, truth be told, I had an idea for my winter mantle(s) and I couldn't wait to get them going.

Disclosure: I am an external motivation kind of girl and whenever I need an extra kick in the pants to do something-like clean or redo something-I'll buy something new to encourage me to hurry along the process. Actually that is probably why I am making my 2011 resolution to "be content." I never said I wasn't a work in progress.

Anyway, I found an awesome snowflake for $8 at my fav flea market and an

idea was born.

If you remember, I have two fireplaces in my house.

Today's post is about the downstairs mantle.

I'm just going to give you a parade of pictures with little talking in between.

(I'm getting a little better at shorter posts!)

I got two of these snowflake buckets for 75% off and the little snowflake was 1/2 off.

(Yes, these were bought prior to 2011, prior to my "no shopping" vow of January 2011.)

I used touches of white with my "big-o" finials. You can read about my love of finials here.

Full mantle shots!

I'm linking at The CSI Project.

Come by with some hot chocolate...let it snow!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I love the idea of a fresh start.
A brand new year gives me the perfect opportunity to make some.

While I have several resolutions, the main one I want to discuss is my desire to

practice contentment.

I need to be content in many areas of my life, but I'm going to start with my home and, in essence, my wallet.

I have said many times that I am easy to satisfy, just hard to keep satisfied. When I say it it sounds more comical than true, but I had someone else (besides hubby) say it (about me) the other day and for some reason it really hit hard.

First, let me say that as a decorator, my house will never be "finished."

I enjoy moving things around, freshing up a room with a new piece of furniture that I have thrifted and redone.

In fact, I have decorated my house in stages so while it seems like I am constantly re-doing things, I am actually making due until I can get what I really want for a space. My dining room, which I will be showing later, and my master bedroom are two such examples.

However, I do recognize that I spend much of my "me" time browsing flea markets and local boutiques for things to put in my house.

I don't need more things.

I have a walk-in closet full of accessories as I type. Thus, I decided that I need to practice contentment with what I have already been given.

At least for the month of January, contentment is going to entail NO SHOPPING.

No new pretties, new birds, or new pillows (yikes, I just remembered I wanted to redo my couch pillows...). I already have PLENTY of projects to keep my busy. And all the materials for the projects have already been purchased.

Project #1: Create a canopy for youngest daughter's bedroom.

White and zebra fabric? Check. Rod to hang canopy? Check.

Project #2: Redo this princess table and chairs.

Scrapbook paper for table and fabric for chairs? Check.

Project #3: Organize decorating closet.

New shelves installed? Check. Stuff on shelves to organize? Checkity check check.

Project #4: Creation of a "mom cave."

Space determined? Check. Accessories for said cave? Checkity check. Inspiration? Check.

Project #5: Redo master bedroom.

Fabric for curtains and dustruffle? Check. Paint? No check, I'll have to wait and buy paint in February. But I can go ahead and sew the bedding!

See, I already have enough to do. I should be too busy to shop.

If I feel the need for some "me" time, perhaps I should spend sometime with the

One True God instead of the god of money.

I'm not saying this isn't going to be hard. But I'm going to try for one month. I've already survived 2 days, only 29 more to go!


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