Friday, January 29, 2010
I want to show you the "before and after" photos of the family room bookcases so you can see what a difference a few changes make.
Here in the before pics you can see a lot of books, many of them paperbacks. Because my helper and I were busy with the rest of the house, the homeowner's daughter and realtor actually did the physical work of staging the bookcases. I simply shouted orders from the front room and occasionally inspected.
First, I had them pack up all of the paperback books. Then I had them remove any items that did not go with the style or theme of the room (items like toys, old candles etc.) Then I asked them to line up similarly sized books, leaving some stacked on their sides. We made sure all book spines were lined up even with the edge of the shelves for a neater appearance. Lastly, I raided the rest of the house for simple items to fill in the empty spots.
Here is the final product. Of course we staged the rest of the room, decluttering as much as possible. So many people have plaid couches (including me) that are hard to decorate around. The best way to decorate around them is to simplify everything and use as little extra pattern as possible.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Red is my favorite color, especially deep cherry red. I've added it around my house but now I'm thinking I may have added too much. So. . . the redo.
Here's the before picture. Cherry red diamond pattern back pillows, camel colored seat cushions, and my favorite Waverly red check throw pillows. Did you notice that my back pillows are actually bed pillows that I covered? They are the perfect size. I actually have them on my sofa too. They are the MOST comfortable pillows to lean against.
Here's the after. I'm not THRILLED yet. I like the softer colors, but it's lacking something. I just need to look at it for a bit and then I'll figure it out. The seat cushions are the same. A nice neutral color. The back cushions are a muted red with a muted turquoise. I'm not happy with the green and red throw pillows. I grabbed them from another room in the house. I'd love to add some of the deep turquoise color but I haven't found the right color yet.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Adding shiny things and clear glass adds a nice sparkle. A few candles here and there are lovely too.
A touch of the great outdoors allows you to enjoy nature without the cold air.
Go ahead and celebrate your cold weather warmer uppers. My creamy white gloves and scarf take a place of honor in the front foyer.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
My sewing table consists of an old file cabinet that I spray painted topped with an old dining table leaf that we found in our barn. I painted it too, of course.
Over the years I've collected rectangular baskets and containers. I've been using all of these containers for several years now and I was up for paring down my inventory.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was from my daughter. She ordered this apron for me with my company's name on it. It has nice, roomy pockets in the front that I can load up with supplies when I am helping my clients organize and stage their homes.
One of my favorite organizing tools actually belonged to my Grandmother. After her first stroke she gave me her collection of DMC floss because she knew her many years of doing needlework had come to an end. I could cry right now just thinking about her. She went home to glory quite a few years ago, but her crafting legacy lives on.
In this fishing tackle box, she stored almost every color DMC made at the time. She wrapped each color around a special tag and labeled it with the DMC number.
- 2 extra boxes for other storage projects
All of the supplies on the left book shelf are stamping and scrap booking supplies. I have other stamps in a fun storage area. Supplies on the right are sewing supplies. The bottom right shelf holds gift wrapping supplies and two boxes of small items for future gifting. Please forgive the mess between the two shelves. It is a 20 year old cardboard wrapping paper storage container. I tried to cover it with contact paper which was a very unsuccessful and tearful project. I'm looking for a better solution. I'll keep you posted.
Monday, January 25, 2010
OK. Enough of that. Let's get down to some possible reasons behind the fatigue and some solutions for dealing with it. Ready?
1. Let's face it. The middle of winter is not the most pleasant time of the year. Daylight is hard to come by and the cold, wet weather chases us inside and away from the sunshine. Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as the Winter Blues. Symptoms include excessive sleeping, depression, and craving sweets and carbs. Treatments can be special lamps that imitate sunlight, taking Vitamin D, and talking with a therapist. I find that trying to take a walk outside everyday helps with the mild symptoms I experience.
2. One out of five premenopaual women don't get enough iron in their diets. Without enough iron, you'll feel tired and have trouble concentrating. Don't take extra iron, though, until you've had your doctor run a blood test (serum ferritin test). Too much iron can be harmful as well.
3. Sleep deprivation effects many women. Lack of sleep combined with stress leads to many a melt-down. We just can't handle it all. If you've gotten into the habit of staying up late, gradually train your body to go to sleep by going to bed 15 minutes earlier every few weeks. After a few months you will have trained your body to sleep longer. Sleep time is when our body fixes things that are broken. Cells are renewed and refreshed.
4. Many women suffer from an undiagnosed under active thyroid. I struggled for years with a thyroid function that was within the low limits of normal. I finally found a doctor who understood the effects it was having on my body. After 6 months of being on a small dose supplement, I had lost 20 pounds and felt like I was back among the living.
5. I hope you don't think I'm meddling, but weight has a lot to do with your energy level. Carrying around extra weight puts strain on all of your body and makes you tired. Also, foods that contain sugar, white flour, caffeine etc. are messing with your metabolism. Diets that are too strict also sap your energy. The best route is a healthy diet that nourishes your body. When it's fed properly your body will most likely respond with a healthy weight.
6. Water, water, water. Sometimes I forget to drink during the day, especially in the winter. Dehydration can sap your strength and make you feel "foggy". Many times we think we feel hunger when really it is thirst. Try to drink a glass of water every few hours. Soda, coffee, and even my favorite "sweet tea" are not the best things for keeping you hydrated. Stick to water.
7. Every afternoon I start to slow down a bit. In fact if I sit down I will probably fall asleep. To remedy this, I often eat or drink something that contains mint. Peppermint has an uplifting quality. Even if I suck on a mint it helps me to perk up a bit. When I taught full time, I would put peppermint extract in a spray bottle with water and spray it around my classroom to help the children focus. They loved the smell of the "perky peppermint" spray.
8. A few of my friends suffer from auto immune diseases that effect their energy level. Research is being done to help alleviate the symptoms of these draining diseases. If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, MS, or other diseases you should keep up to date with the most current meds, supplements, and treatments to address your fatigue.
I know this post is a little "heavy" but I hope it will motivate you to check into any symptoms of fatigue you are experiencing. You have too much life to live to be dragged down by a sleepy body and mind. So now get a glass of water, two peppermint patties and call me in the morning.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
After a few days of checking out every store in the area, I finally found a mirror that was the right size. I needed a narrow mirror because the window trim invades the space above sink. I bought the mirror you see below. I found it at T.J. Maxx for around $20.00.
(The green plastic plate is the palate I use for my painting. )
Nice size - wrong color. But I wasn't worried because I have an arsenal of craft paint. I took my acrylic craft paint in silver and brushed it lightly over the gold areas. I let some of the gold peek through because I didn't want it to look too matchy-matchy with the other silver in the room. I didn't mind if it looked a little antique.
Because I wanted the dark background to still show through, I took a Q-tip and rubbed it into each groove around the mirror while the paint was still wet.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
This is his new home. He likes to check things out on top of the pantry in the kitchen. I think those are his cousins next to him.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
So I bought some paint. A lovely light blue paint. I was only going to paint one wall. The farthest wall. It looked good. I liked it. I liked it so much that I painted the rest of the walls and then I hated it. So I bought some more paint. A faint, almost blue, blue. I painted all of the walls except the accent wall. I still hated it. I didn't like the feeling I got when I walked into the room.
I decided to wait for a few days and maybe I would "grow" to love it. I didn't. I then realized that I was going in the wrong direction. I was not reading my home correctly. My home likes to be warm - not cool. It only likes warm tones. My blue was too cool, especially for the northwest side of the house.
So I bought some paint. I painted the walls a warm, almond color. I'm no longer singing the blues. Color me HAPPY!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
My daily planner is being put to good use. Being stuck in the house has made me a little stir crazy and my creative juices are going bonkers. I'm making lists of all of the things I want to do around my house this next year.
My daughter is getting married in our yard in October and I am eager to get the house projects done before then. My biggest project, remodeling the kitchen, won't be happening for a few more years so I'll just have to settle for what I can afford to do right now.
This week, as I was cleaning the house, I kept a notepad and pencil with me. As I came across different areas of my home that needed some help, I wrote it down. Then, I divided up the projects and WROTE them in my planner. Writing them down makes them a little more serious. Here are some of the tasks I wrote down:
1. Make new pillows for window seat.
2. Organize CD's and videos.
3. Paint back surface of wall unit a lighter color.
4. Find side table for reading chair.
1. Rearrange space above cabinets.
2. Paint island and refinish top.
3. Put finish on brick floor.
4. Organize recipe binder (again).
1. Paint walls.
2. Buy new soap dispenser.
3. Organize sink cabinet.
4. Re frame artwork.
I've already made new pillows for the window seat and I found an adorable table to go next to my reading chair. It feels great to check off my list and I know I'm making progress in my home. As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I'll walk around the yard and make a scheduled list for what to do outside.
I know myself well enough to know that if I don't write it down - it won't get done. What kind of projects can you write down and start to tackle?
Here's one of my favorite quotes:
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of
getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks
into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one." Mark Twain
Thrifty Decor Chick
Friday, January 15, 2010
I want to show you how I store all of my ribbon. This, by no means, is the "best" way to store something as valuable as ribbon/string/trim. It is what works for me right now.
In the bottom of one of the biggest baskets, I have a plastic container that holds all of Oma Miller's vintage ric-rac and trims. I LOVE these vintage trims.
Then I sort all of the ribbons, by color, into ziploc bags. Because I have lot, I have to make sure to smoosh all of the air out of the bags so they will fit in the basket! The large bag on the right contains all of the trims that don't fit in a category. The bag on the bottom, second from the right, holds elastic. I keep any "glittery/sparkly" trim in their own separate bag.
I then put all of the bags into the basket and slide it into the unit. I don't store Christmas ribbon in this. I keep it with the Christmas wrappings.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I quickly made a cute, stamped cocoa mug (out of paper) and put a package of hot chocolate mix in it. It was more of a card - less of a gift. I was disappointed because I had purchased some cute baskets from The Christmas Tree Shop in New England when I was helping out with my newest grandson. My daughter was eager to get out of the house, and what's a mother to do, but go along?!
Fast forward to the second week in January. I'm staring at the cute baskets in the craft room/office. I want to give them to the girls, but what to do? I scrounged around my supplies and found some snowflake fabric and my snowflake paper punch. This is what I came up with.
I started out by making a tag. I cut white and black paper into tag shapes, the white being a little smaller than the black. I punched a snowflake into the top of the white and a small hole in the top of the black.
I stamped "just for you" on the white tag and glued it to the black tag. I added some silver string through the snowflake so I can tie it to the basket.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
There ya go, little fella. Keep up the good work. I'll be back to see ya tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
First, I started with a silver tray I got as a wedding present 29 years ago.
I topped it with a new lantern my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. It has a battery operated candle in it. So cute! I added a pewter candle stick with a grapevine napkin ring, a small clear glass votive holder, and a special framed picture. I love the framed picture. Up on a shelf, it can't be appreciated for it's beauty. It is a photo of the sun shining through the woods. Below the photo is a blessing and a verse. I've listed them below.
Check out all of the great ideas!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sometimes I'm so busy working on big projects that I forget about all of the little, mundane things that need to be done around my house. Trouble is, if you never get around to the little things - they become BIG things. And BIG things can be expensive. Yikes.
I've come up with a list of several things you might want to check on around your house before they become bigger problems.
1. Check your heating filters if you have them. They should be cleaned regularly so your heater runs efficiently.
2. Check your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors. Make sure they have fresh batteries and that they are plugged in. Fire fighters have made the sad discovery of people perishing in home fires because the batteries in the smoke detectors were unplugged.
3. Make sure that your outdoor faucets have covers on them. Most of us are experiencing extremely cold weather. That prolonged freezing weather can cause pipes to burst. These covers will keep your outside faucets from freezing.
4. Keep emergency supplies in your car. Pack a bag or a bin and keep it in your vehicle. It should contain: extra blankets, water, food, flashlight, flares. The evening news has been showing that some people have been trapped in their cars due to bad weather. God forbid you were ever caught in a blizzard, but at least you would have some supplies to help you survive. Better to have it and not need it.
5. Stock up for bad weather. Keep extra canned food, batteries, water, and medicine. If a bad storm hits and you can't leave your home or your power is out for a few days, you'll be glad you have supplies on hand.
Too much doom and gloom, you say? O.K. here's a few "fluff" ideas for winter tasks.
1. Go through your magazines and take out articles and pictures you would like to save. Recycle the rest.
2. Take a look at your coat closet. What items do you really wear? Remove any you aren't using and donate to charity.
3. Clean the inside of your kitchen window. If you have to look out at the frigid yard, at least you won't be looking through water drops and fingerprints.
4. Remove all items from the outside of your fridge and only replace half. (after wiping down the exterior with Sparkle Cleaner)
5. Add a doormat inside and outside every door in your home. It will help to keep down the drips and drops that come in with every visitor.