Sunday, April 19, 2009

Re-creating my entryway

Watching the sun rise and knowing Who to thank.

I love this reminder! No matter where you are on Earth, no matter how beautiful or ugly it may be around you, the sunrise is the one thing you can predict will happen each day to sustain us with light and heat. In 1993 I had the privilege of watching the sun rise as I sat in frozen (literally) anticipation atop Mt. Haleakalā in Maui, Hawaii. It was a glorious sight. A there-is-a-God moment. An unforgettable peace.

You may remember this frame when I picked it up at Goodwill in its former life:

Living Room 020

I primed and painted it with spray paint. Then I cut out the letters of the saying in fabric that I’d backed with iron-on adhesive. I ironed the yellow background fabric (also with iron-on adhesive) right onto the wood backing and then ironed the letters on top. Everything was easy peasy except for cutting out the letters, which I did while watching about 6 episodes of House!

Entryway 009

I couldn’t bring in a piece of the sun to complement my frame, so I brought in a piece of a living thing that grew because of it. This hangs near my doorway. I like it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I’ve hit a wall

I have come down with a bad case of Blog Reluctance!  I don’t know what has caused this terrible disease.  I recently took on a new job at the YMCA (at a time when we are moving into our new building…what was I thinkin’??…more about that later) and now find myself with less time at home to mess around.  I did finally finish my living room/entryway projects that I had started, which I hope to post this weekend.  Only one empty space remains…above my couch.  It’s “done” in my head – I can see it clearly – but now it needs to jump onto the wall!  Ha!  Stay tuned to see if this blogger illness goes away.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Window Treatments ~ Part Two

Here are 3 super simple valances that could be modified mistreated in a gazillion different ways. (There are more than a gazillion different fabrics, right?)

Come back next week for “Window Treatments: Part Three” for some simple curtain ideas!

Kimm @ Reinvented posted the How-to for this couldn't-be-simpler valance...something about folding and sewing involved. For her precise directions - in two whole sentences! - click on the picture. I'm going to keep this in mind for sure because sometimes I like to change my valances, and this technique allows you to reuse the fabric for other projects because it remains intact with no seams to rip out or glue to cut around. Thanks, Kimm!

This beauty from Make and Takes (I saw this on Nester’s site) is another simple project that could easily be done without sewing. Click on the pic to hop over to the tutorial.

Now, if you have a child who loves sports, this “mistreatment” might be for you! This adorable bedroom caught my eye on Rate My Space; click on the picture to bounce on over where she explains how she made this window topper with balls from her roof – what a hoot! Talk about recycling at its best!


It’s “A Beautiful Life” Friday at The Inspired Room. Fly over there for more beautiful inspirations from Melissa and her bloggy friends!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One thing I would never borrow from my husband

While waiting at son Steve’s orthodontist office, I flipped through the February 2009 issue of Hallmark Magazine to pass the time. 

(Last month I tried to sit and clear my mind without doing or thinking about anything – it was a relaxation exercise recommended in an article I read at the dentist’s office the day before.  After ten seconds, I wound up creating my menu for the week in my head.  And made a grocery list in my head.  And wrote an email to my mom.  And visually cleaned the back bathroom.  I think I am ADD because I cannot just sit and NOT think.)  Anyway, I digress – proving my ADD point….

Thumbing through the mag, I saw a title that caught my eye:  What Do You Steal From the Guys?  It was a list, I think based on a survey, of what women typically steal from their man to make their own.  I found most of the ideas to be kind of interesting, but then…whoa…got to the last idea and I just can’t shake the image in my head.  Here’s the list:

  • Moxie for Men 
  • Tree shoes
  • Men’s razor
  • Cologne for men
  • Using a combo of antiperspirant and Bold Bond Medicated Powder for working out


Do you have the same image in YOUR head??  My youngest was born 6 weeks early unexpectantly after frantically making plans to get to the hospital, and I can only imagine the shock and subsequent snickers of the nurses who would be helping me into my hospital clothes.  But I really can’t imagine the reaction from the real owner of the undies – he would have either killed me or, worse, never let me live it down.


So…I gotta know.  Have YOU or A LADY YOU KNOW ever worn MEN’S UNDERWEAR?  If so, WHY?  Were they comfortable?  Were you scared that you’d be in an accident and your secret would be revealed in the ER for all to discover?   Or, am I the silly one and it’s really not a big deal?  What do you think?

I dare you to leave a comment below.  If I get ten of you to reply, I’ll steal a pair of Hubby’s for a day and report back to you. 

[My comments are low and I’m so desperate to raise them, I’m willing to contradict this blog post title. Ha!] 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I discovered a new way to blog!

Windows Live Writer is my new BFF

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time right now to play with my new toy, but you know I will make the time very soon! I’ve been feeling a little envious when I see what others are doing on their blogs—using really cool fonts, an endless array of colors, and eye-catching layouts. Now I know their secret! USE SOMETHING ELSE BESIDES BLOGGER – LIKE WLW!! I can even do this. It seems to be a lot like using Word. I’ll be back soon. Yea!



Friday, March 13, 2009

A meal planning survey

Many of us are having to cut back on our eating-out habits and fix more of our meals at home. If you enjoy cooking for your family and want to make changes in how you plan your meals, do yourself a big favor and check out My First Kitchen. Kendra has posted a survey so she can learn more about our eating and cooking habits. Then, armed with our information, she's going to come up with ways to help us be more efficient in our meal planning. Yippee!!
To encourage us to complete the survey, she is offering a giveaway contest! One of us lucky winners will receive a set of her spices. Yummy!

For us bloggers, she is offering a chance to quadruple our entries! Just post her survey link on your blog - but do it NOW because she's ending it at the Cinderella hour of midnight on Monday, March 16.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I {heart} my newest Goodwill find

Look what I found at the Goodwill!

I glanced at my friend sitting on the floor as I first walked over to the home goods wall but didn't give it much thought. So I kept on walking to peruse the baskets, glassware, vases, etc. displayed on the shelving which spans a good forty feet. But each time I stopped to take a closer look at something, I felt a pull to glance back at my lonely friend on the floor. I think it was calling my name!

Finally, after finding a couple of lonely baskets, I headed toward the registers. One last time, I looked down at my friend, it looked up at me, and it was love at tenth sight! In an instant, I imagined it cleaned up with a new coat of white paint. I {heart} lattice work and am in the planning stages of decorating my living room and entry way with an outdoorsy feel (see my March 3rd post). So I adopted my $6 friend!
I believe it's homemade, which really makes it a unique piece.

On Sunday I'll post the "after" picture!

I really want to thank Kimm @ Reinvented for inspiring me. I already bought four cans of Heirloom White, as recommended by this very crafty lady. Yippee!!

[Oh, yikes, I just realized upon looking at my picture that this is red primer! What am I thinking? You know where I'll be tomorrow.....]

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Nester's profound question

The Nester @ Nesting Place posted a serious question this evening: How Is The Economy Affecting You? She is asking people to share their personal experiences. You'll find some mighty thoughtful responses. Thank you, Nester, for asking the question we should all be asking. Those who are fortunate to have stable jobs are still being affected in important ways and we need to remember to support our neighbors who are not so fortunate.

Window dressings that catch my eye~ Part One

I enjoy looking at unique window treatments that I might be able to recreate myself. I am usually attracted to the fabric and other materials that make up the treatment, as well as the architecture of the window itself and its surroundings. Big, foo-foo treatments -professional dressings or amateur "mistreatments" (as Nester calls them - love that term!) can look gorgeous as the main attraction in the right environment. But since my home is neither big nor foo-foo, I prefer simple. I plan my window treatments to complement my decor and often find they pull everything together to create a finished, cohesive look.
Here are a few professionally designed window dressings that I find to be pretty, practical, fun, and unique. (Don't forget to click to enlarge.) Enjoy!

Country Living
Boy, there's a lot going on here. But I'm a sucker for plaid (leftover from my 70s upbringing??). I never thought to use pom poms with plaid, but I'm thinking about it now!

Country Living
More pom poms. A simple swag will never go out of style for me.

Country Living
I wish I could see more of this knotted treatment. How easy is that?! I've been contemplating what to do with our home office windows for a long I know!

Country Living
This is medium weight paper hung on a rod. Bunnies were made by tracing around a cookie cutter. You could let your imagination flow with this one. How about changing it with the seasons?

Country Living
I really, really love this idea! They painted and installed these wood trim pieces on the outside of the windows. I'm thinking it would be more practical to somehow hang them from the inside so they could be removed for easy window cleaning. Neat, huh?

The End.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A new perspective in working with color

Melissa from The Inspired Room posted this lovely dresser from Country Living in her Feb. 2 post Inspiration: Decorating With Red

Melissa suggests that when we use red, we can BE the adjectives this color evokes:

Bold... Romantic... Dramatic... Sweet and Subtle... Brave... Cozy... Unique...

I love this perspective! So...on my quest to spread cheer around my house, I'll be thinking of the ways I want my family, my guests, and myself to BE when they are in my home!

Please check out this and her other posts for additional lovely ideas.Thanks for the inspiration, Melissa!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Goodbye, Backyard Living

I'm sad. The crummy economy has taken away one of my favorite magazines, Backyard Living. Anybody else disappointed over losing their favorite mag? I love their colorful pictures, ideas, and NO ADs. I'm sure it's hard in this age of instant gratification (aka Internet) for media like magazines to compete for readers. I know so many people are losing their jobs, and subsequently their homes, and the loss of a magazine subscription does not in any way compare to that kind of devastation. I am so lucky to be living a stable life full of hope for the future. At least, so far. But still, I'm a little sad. What else is this economy going to kill?

A new weekly series is headed our way!!

Kimm @ Reinvented has started a new series called Trash to Treasure Tuesday!!! I am so excited because I just know she's gonna give us all kinds of cool and fun ideas! She's really good at giving new life to Goodwill, garage sale, and thrift store finds. And she's funny to boot!

This will take you to her blog, too.

Hop over to her first Tuesday post to see what it's all about. She's got a GIVEAWAY going on, too!!

(If I used too many exclamation points, it's because I really am excited. {smile!!!!!!!!} )

This former "beauty" was given new life by Kimm @ Reinvented. Go there now to see its metamorphosis. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Tiny Bit of Cheer to Jumpstart Spring

It's coming!!
Praise God!!

New Challenge: Decorating my living room & entryway

Ok, we painted the living room/entry way last October and I STILL have bare walls! I think I think too much about what I want to go where. I plan it in my head, draw it on paper, make lists, and then when something new or unique comes along, I think "Hey, I can incorporate that if I just tweak this and change that..." and the next thing I know my original plans get so twisted that I wind up confused and excited at the same time. Am I normal or am I weird? I've lived with me all these years, and I should know by now that I'm not really going to change! Ha!
********************************************************** is my new challenge for the week...

How can I tie the living room and entry way together on a shoestring budget?

I want to finish decorating my living room and entry way walls with a natural outdoorsy kind of feel. Three of the living room walls are Pittsburgh Paint Whippet and the fireplace wall is one shade down the paint chip called Earl Gray. During the day, it looks like shades of stone. At night, it has a hint of mossy green. That was a surprise and has really grown on me!

Pretty non-descriptive mantle. I'd like to dress it up a bit. I can shop around my house.

This shows the two shades. The ceiling is the same as the wall on the right.

Borrrring! But I have an idea. Actually about 8, so I HAVE to narrow it down to one if I'm going to meet my challenge!

Ugh. That's all I can say. Ugh! Our old TV used to sit on this corner unit, which completely blocked the window. Now the TV hangs/swivels/tilts from the wall, but we need to tame those cords and video game! The corner piece doesn't work there anymore, but funds are limited right now. (Good thing my imagination is free!!) My pots, which I moved from the dining room (left) sit on the corner thing, waiting for new friends to fill them.

I have never known what to do with these windows. I recently made these valances...I wanted something simple. The red/orange-ish fabric is actually a swag from Penney's. It was pricey, but the color was perfect. I still have about 4 1/2 yards of it, but I have not decided what to do with it. Yet. Any ideas?

In the entry way, I mixed the two colors and came up with a color for below the chair rail that is only slightly darker than the color above it. The space is small with no natural light except for the door when it is open, so I try to keep it as light as possible.

I have fantasized about painting this door for about 5 years. (What the heck has been stopping me?) This bench has quite a story ~ I bought it several years ago at a huge craft show at a festival. It is an old church pew that sat in a man's barn for about 50 years! His wife started throwing them away, and he dug them out of the garbage heap, which she was going to set fire to! He agreed to clean, sand, and stain them if she would recover them. They had about 5 on display and after they told me the story, I asked if she would cover one with my own fabric. (They had another 40 of them!) She was delighted, and so was I. This fabric no longer works for me, so I am anxious to recover it and give it new life once again. Maybe the leftover swag fabric? Hmmm....

Well, wish me luck. Stay tuned...I'll post as I complete each space. Yippee! HEY, if you have any ideas, PLEASE leave me a comment!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

20 Little Things to Look Forward to in Spring

Melissa at The Inspired Room has challenged us to create our list of 20 things we are looking forward to this Spring. Hop over to her blog here to see what other posters are anticipating. I hope you enjoy Spring wherever you are!

For we "northerners" who have dealt with a harsher-than-usual pounding of winter, we are especially delighted to look toward the delights of warmer weather, bright sunshine, and longer days!! Here is my Top 20.

*green grass

*the sound of lawn mowers

*the honking of geese flying to our neighborhood pond

*sunshiny days

*watching daffodils and tulips go from peeking bits of green life to waiting buds to full-blown showy flowers

*no more winter coats, gloves, hats, boots

*stepping outside, throwing my arms wide open, and sighing "Ahh"

*cleaning/straightening my garage with just a sweater on




*laughter of kids playing outside & riding bikes

*flowering trees

*drooling over outdoor goods in Sunday newspaper ads

*window shopping the outdoor goods at Target, Meijer, Walmart, Home Depot, Menards

*planning my flower beds

*shopping for my flower beds

*spending time with my college boys on their Spring break - if they spend time at home, that is!

*watching baseball with my husband on his new widescreen T.V.

*the opening of our brand spanking new YMCA on May 4th!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Red sure makes my plants pop

Flaunt your Red Party
re is my submission to southernlady-nancy's Flaunt Your Red party. I had posted her Mr. Linky button earlier today, but here it is again. It will take you to her party. Scroll down and enjoy what other participants are doing. Have fun!

I'm done with my little project - yea!

Here are before photos. Too dark.

Pretty plants that got lost on the black cabinet top.

Last Fall, I painted this cabinet, which is a basic Sauder, black and switched it with a desk that is now in our office. I love plants and as I bought them over the past year I just set them in pots and put them up here for lack of a better place. The pots were too dark and they really belonged in my living room (where they now sit waiting for new plants ~ guess what I'm doing next!)

So I scouted around my house, garage, Meijer, Walmart, and Goodwill for a mix of pots and baskets that would work better. The first thing I did was add the red placemats to create a contrast between the black cabinet top and the pots. Then I added more splashes of red by painting the bands of the bushel basket (middle, from Meijer, less than $4) and the other basket (at the left, sitting in my garage for 5+ yrs.). I added pictures of my kids when they were little that were already in these red frames. I love shopping in my own house!

I love how the red makes everything pop!

I splurged on this pretty red thing @ Walmart for $25.

I am like a hummingbird and a butterfly

What makes red and all its hues so attractive?

Love this tall Cardinal flower, a type of Lobelia, found here.

A precious picture found here.

I'd love to see this in my backyard this summer.
(from Wikipedia)

This picture found here leaves me singin' for summer!

This is what happens while I wait for paint to dry. I mess around on the Internet. Of course, it's not like I don't have anything else to do! Bathrooms could be cleaned, floors could be mopped, but somehow my computer shouts my name the loudest.

...For what it's worth, I have done 2 1/2 loads of laundry today in addition to my affair with the computer. That's for Hubbie in case he reads this. {grin}

.........20 minutes later............ok, paint should be dry, the dryer just yelled at me, and my son has a friend coming here in an hour. Gotta go!

Flaunt Your Red ~ I found a party!!!!

Wow, since challenging myself to spread red around my home, I've been seeing nothing but red!!! I was pretty busy with work stuff this week, so today is my Git 'Er Done day. I've bought a few things, shopped my house, and grabbed the spray paint. Will post soon!!!

In the meantime, look what I just found! Today is Flaunt Your Red day at southerlady-nancy's place! It's a party with Mr. Linky. Click on the button to take you there. Have fun!! I know I will....I'll have to tear myself away to get my own stuff DONE, 'cause today IS the day!! I'll join the party and post here when I finish. Woo hoo! Go there. Now!

Flaunt your Red Party

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The power of a new skill

Today I learned how to turn anything into a jpeg picture!!

(See my new blog header?!) Wow, this is quite exciting for me. I know so many of you will think I'm really slow, even backwards maybe. ("You're just NOW learning how to do that?" "Where have YOU been?" "Geez, everybody knows THAT." "Ugh, Mom, get with it." I hear you, I hear you.) Seriously, though. I am so excited that I can now do so many new things on my blog and other things I'm involved in. Just about all of my computer skills - and life skills, really - are self taught. I believe in trial-and-error because that's how I learn best. It's a productive day.

If you are in the dark ages like me - surely I'm not the only one - and would like to know how to make something a jpeg, comment here and I will share it in a post.

(CORRECTION: I can't actually turn just anything into a jpeg. My husband is still my silly, goofy husband.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Challenge: How can I incorporate more RED without it being overwhelming?

Thank you, Misti at Studio M Design and Decorating, for inspiring this week's challenge! In honor of Valentine's Day, Misti posted lovely pictures and ideas about balancing your space with red.

Credit: Southern Living

Isn't it yummy? I, too, enjoy red. To me it says, "Come on in and make yourself comfortable." I especially love the idea of mixing in a little orange with the red. I'm trying to do that in my Living Room, but Hubby doesn't get it. Yet.

So......I'll spend some time this week pondering, trying things out, and looking for additional ways to spread some red cheer around my home.

JOIN ME! I'd love to hear your ideas!!

So many ideas, so little time

My Busy Brain

Oh, my, it's been five whole days since my last post. Where has the TIME gone this week? I will tell you. I've been busy thinkin' and thinkin', could you tell? Thinking about why I have a desire to share my thoughts and why anyone would want to read them. Thinking about where I want this blog to take me. At the same time, I am doing quite a bit of soul searching about where I am in this period of my life. I am not currently teaching due mostly to circumstances beyond my control (I won't get into THAT here.) So...I am trying to take advantage of the time I have to settle myself into a comfortable life that is rapidly changing with kids growing up and out of our house {grin, grin} er, I mean {sniff sniff}.

So the big question is, what do I want from my life from this point forward? I do pray about it A LOT because my future is not entirely in MY hands. After five days of THINKING, I have concluded that my desire to blog and share my ideas is very RELATED to my state of soul searching. Very simply, I am taking time to set GOALS. Things I want to accomplish NOW. And, things I want to set the stage for for the future. I hope it doesn't sound like I am rambling, BUT here is what I am going to try with this blog thing. Each week, I am going to set a GOAL. This goal will actually be disguised in the form of a question. I'll post it and then spend the next several days researching the Internet, looking at what others are doing, and trying some things out myself. My plan is to post the things I find and try. To share with you because I love to share. And to keep me on my path of goal-setting and making my home a more comfortable place to be.

DISCLAIMER: You probably won't see expensive, it's-nice-but-I-would-never-be-able-to-afford-it stuff here! I am mostly a down-to-earth and frugal person who enjoys simple, pretty, fun, and practical things in life. While I love to visit expensive homes and look at fancy things, I am much more comfortable in a space that is casual and fun. Maybe after living in an all male household for the past 22 years, I feel pretty settled in spaces where "boys can be boys"!

With that said, the teacher in me knows you can LEARN a lot from what other people have done, even when it isn't your cup of tea. I am a firm BELIEVER that you can use your IMAGINATION to adapt most anything to fit your needs and desires. I love CHALLENGES that get my creative juices flowing. Stay tuned for my first one!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I scored a deal for my kitchen at Goodwill

The Nester is doing a series featuring quick fixes you can do to spruce up a space in your home. She's given lots of ideas that require only ten minutes and little or no money.
Here’s mine that I added to Mr. Linky on her site:

I've been so inspired by my new blogger friends and their finds at Goodwill that I couldn't wait to go myself to see what kind of treasure I might find. Today was the day. With a couple of trays in my hands, I headed towards the cashier when I spotted a huge box of framed pictures. I am a sucker for frames - maybe it's an addiction? - and told myself, No, don't even look. But, I looked. In that box was exactly what I have been looking at for my kitchen, but didn't want to pay the $25 price. Even on Ebay, it would wind up being that much after shipping.

As you can see, I got my sweet treat for five bucks!!

The former owner took the protective cardboard off the back - see part of it still tacked on? Maybe she got it as a gift and didn't care for it. Now, it's become my gift for me!

Are you curious about what it is?

Ta da!

Here is how it fits with my kitchen.

For you IKEA lovers out there, you may recognize the rails hanging under the cabinets. I can hear some of you cringing because I have so much out in view. When I cook, I love to have my tools and spices within arms reach. When things are out of sight, for me they are out of mind! (A flaw that I am working on. {smile} )

My kitchen consists of standard oak cabinets, almond appliances, laminate countertop, and white tiles. This, to me, spells D-A-T-E-D and B-O-R-I-N-G! I feel there is nothing like cooking for my family in a kitchen that says ME. So, I found these small Chef tiles at Kohl's. And last summer, Mom, Sis, and Niece had a Girls Day Out at a place called Naked Clay. With my Chef tiles in mind, I painted these smaller tiles to enhance the boring white backsplash. With a little creativity, a lot of fun with my girls, and some heavy duty Velcro, I went to town above my stove.

Now you can see why I am so excited about my newest Chef. I think I will have to name him because I will probably wind up talking to him as I cook in front of him!
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