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Showing posts from January, 2010

Staging Bookcases

This past week I had the opportunity to stage a home for a local realtor. It was an older home that had been lovingly cared for by an elderly couple. Sadly, the mother died, the father had to be placed in a nursing home, and the children had to sell the home. It was my job to make the house look it's best. There was a lot of work to do, so the homeowner's daughter and the realtor helped me and my helper with the staging. 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. (before) 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 g

Window Seat Redo

Last week, for Monday Motivation , I listed my household to do list. Well, I've been working on my list and I'm almost done with my window seat redo. I recovered this seat 4 years ago when we moved into this house. I had to start with all new foam too, because the previous owner simply had too many cats. Enough said. 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

Wrensday: Warm touches for a cold winter

I love adding warm touches around my home when the weather outside is frightful. I usually start with the mailbox. 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. I love these plates with old fashioned snow scenes. A simple snowflake votive is a sweet touch. Plenty of warm blankets and pillows scattered around continue the warming touch.

Craft Room Purge

I've been wanting to get ahold of my craft room for several weeks now. After the flurry of Christmas crafting and sewing I wasn't a very good little organizer and I left the area a bit disheveled. Below is a picture of what it looked like. The two book shelves were from our previous house and they fit perfectly behind the door in this small room. When we moved in, this room had pink shag carpet, pink (broken) mini blinds and mottled paneling. We ripped out the carpet and blinds, installed natural roman shades and last year I finally painted over the paneling. Much, much better. 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 f

Monday Motivation: Identify Energy Drainers

Do you feel like you're dragging? Tired all of the time? Wish you could spend the day in your jammies, curled up on the couch? Yeh, me too. 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.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

A few days ago I showed you my guest bathroom that I painted and gussied up a bit. Well, one of the problems I had was what to do with the mirror. The previous owner left us the small mirror above the sink. It was charming in that it was hand made, stained glass with a nautical theme. Realistically, it was too small for the space and hung WAY too high (I could only see the top of my head in the reflection). 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

Wrensday: Bowled Over Snowman

Isn't this the sweetest little snowman? I found him in a thrift store and I couldn't leave him there. He was begging to come home with me. Since I decorate with my snowmen until Valentine's Day, I obliged. Someone very creative made him with an old wooden bowl and a piece of a wooden post. I just love his little boots! 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.

No longer singing the blues

I'm done painting my bathroom. Again. Here's how it started out. White walls, cold, boring, and uninviting. I know, I know, hard wood floors, cobalt blue tub, and lots of light. Who wouldn't love it? Well, me. I felt like it didn't match the rest of our home. It was just a little too . . . too. . . I don't really know. 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

Monday Motivation: My household list

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: Family Room 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. Kitc

Organizing Ribbon

I've been trying to organize my craft room/office. I guess organize isn't the right word. I've just been trying to put everything away where it belongs. I have a bad habit of pulling out supplies and not putting them away. I know, I know, I break my own rules! Well, anyway, this is a drawer unit the Hubs and I use as storage in the craft room/office. He has one drawer and I have the rest. 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 th

Sweet Gifts

I ran into a problem shortly before Christmas. I made batches of fudge and Martha Washington Creams (a yummy candy) to give as gifts to the teachers I work with. Well, neither the fudge nor the creams set up right. They were yummy, but not "gift worthy". Luckily my family is eager to devour anything chocolate, even if they have to do it with a spoon. I discovered the problem the night before I wanted to give the gifts so I had to come up with an emergency plan. 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

Wrensday: Warmed up mailbox

Remember these guys? They make me smile when ever I get the mail. But it's been cold around here and I was feeling bad for them. I knew my guy's head must be cold. So I gave him a nice warm hat and scarf. I know he feels better now. There ya go, little fella. Keep up the good work. I'll be back to see ya tomorrow.

Winter centerpiece

Remember I told you I was ready for a fresh, peaceful decorating scheme? Well, I'm still on a roll. I took my Christmas centerpiece off my dining table and added a simple display. 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. May God's love enfold you, may His light surround you, may His peace fill you and guide you on your way. "The Lord bless thee and keep thee." Numbers 6:24 I'm linking up with: Check out all of the great ideas!

Monday Motivation: A few winter chores

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. Kee

Why did I start this project?

I've started a project. It was supposed to be an easy peasy , quick as a wink project. But no. . . I had to make it a pain in my neck, 3 trips to Home Depot project. I've been a little bored with this bathroom's plain white walls. Sure, I've got great molding, an awesome cobalt blue claw foot tub, and beautiful wood floors. But, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I bought a quart of Misty Surf (pale blue) paint and desired to paint the farthest wall as an accent wall. Well, I painted the wall and liked it so much that I painted the other three walls. I forgot about the golden rule of paint. PAINT ALWAYS DRIES DARKER! So, then I was stuck with a "too blue" bathroom. I don't think it really shows in the photo, but when I walk into the bathroom, I think "Whoa, blue bathroom!". I don't like to think about a color when I walk into a room. I want to get a feeling. A feeling of freshness, of calm, or of coziness . Not color. S