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Showing posts from April, 2011

Can't Resist A Smiling Chicken

When I arrived home from the hospital last week, I was greeted by a smiling chicken next to the front door. My sweet daughter and son-in-law had picked up this cutie and brought him to The Wren. I put him on the back porch so I could enjoy looking at him more. After all, who can resist a smiling chicken? I hope you have a great weekend - and keep smiling!

Eating To Heal The Body

After my recent 6 day stay in the hospital, I was more than ready to return home and eat nutritious foods.  It seemed very weird to me that I was in a state of the art teaching hospital, having a miracle kidney transplant, but being fed inferior food to nourish my body. The first foods I was given were of course "clear liquids".  This consisted of chicken broth, Popsicles, and apple juice.  I have to admit that after not eating for 48 hours, the first few tastes of the artificially flavored, orange Popsicle were divine.  The chicken broth literally tasted like they had dipped a whole chicken in some water and added a spoon full of salt to it.  I couldn't choke it down.  Every day, a very pleasant young man would walk through my hospital room door and announce "Nutrition" as he slid a plastic tray of food onto the table next to my bed.  I would peer under the domed lid and wince at what I saw.  White bread french toast with maple flavored corn syrup, diet yog

Monday Motivation: Favorite Organizing Solutions For The Bedroom

Yes, this Monday Motivation is being posted on a Tuesday.  Better late than never, I say. We're just about finished with organizing the bedroom.  All of the big areas have been covered in previous weeks and now all that is left is figuring out what to do with those little accessories we have in our bedrooms.  I've discovered that if I don't have a place for my accessories to "live" they just pile up on any horizontal surface in the bedroom.  Here are some creative ideas that I've saved in my idea file.  I don't personally use all of them, but they are good solutions to check out if you have a particular need for storage. First, is jewelry storage solutions.  Here is a wall-hung necklace holder.  It looks like a wall hung mirror but you can open it and store your necklaces, tangle free.  Two of them, side by side, could replace a large mirror over your dresser. source Next, is an almost free solution.  Little bowls or dishes set inside a dre

A Little Bit of Easter Color

Easter will be a bit subdued this year as we won't be having a large celebration in our home.  But, thanks to a few decorations and lots of flowers from friends and family, we can still celebrate the holiday with a little bit of festiveness. Begonias and pollen African violets in three different colors. I love this color. My bunny Easter basket greets visitors on the front porch bench. This is the newest addition to my Easter tree this year (I didn't decorate with it this year).  It's a hand painted egg just for me with a little Wren on it.  It was a gift from a dear church where I was a guest speaker.  It was painted by one of their members who is 92 years old - a very special gift.  I'm displaying it on a napkin ring set on it's side.  I wish you all a very happy Easter. 

Always Keep Your Head Up!

Ever have days like this. . . ? This makes me giggle every time I look at it!

Tweaking The Spring Mantle

A few weeks ago I decided to "lighten up" the accessories on my mantle.  I added several fun things in lighter tones of aqua and off white.  But, something wasn't right.  The stars weren't right.  Too dark.   I like the string of barbed wire across the fireplace because it fills in the large expanse of bland colored brick but with the lighter scheme, I knew it had to go. Or did it? I found some little carved wooden birds at Michaels and brought them home.  I wired them onto the barbed wire and stood back.  Hmmm. . . . too light.  Not enough contrast. After staining them with some diluted craft paint and covering them with modge podge to seal them, I wired them back on and was happy with the look. They make me smile every time I pass by them.

Monday Motivation: Bedroom Storage Solutions

You only had a holiday from Monday Motivation last week because I was having a kidney transplant!  Now, let's get back to work! When we last got together , we were evaluating the bedroom to see what worked and didn't.  Hopefully you've decluttered, moved out unnecessary furniture, and made any necessary repairs to the room. Now, we need to make sure you're using the storage you have efficiently.  I find that a lot of my clients purchase extra storage containers, including furniture, when they don't really need it.  The problem is that they really have TOO MUCH STUFF.  I know, it's hard to hear.  But, I need to hear it, too. If you have not gone through your closets and drawers already, now is the time to do it.  I've already posted about how to do this, so just check out. . .   How to clean out your bedroom closet and dressers  A lot of master bedrooms hold a typical furniture set that was purchased all at the same time at a large furniture sh

The Tidy Brown Wren Is Back - And She's Bionic

I feel like a new woman, and in a very real sense, I am. Last Monday, April 11th, I had a living donor kidney transplant. My donor and I arrived at The Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond, VA at 5:30 AM for an appointment that would change both of our lives forever. This hospital is a 2 hour drive from our home.  We left Hampton Roads after dinner and stayed overnight at a Hotel to be closer to the hospital.  My donor, Cathy, delayed the trip as she was walking in the National Kidney Foundation "Kidney Walk " on Sunday to raise money for that foundation.   (She's amazing). Here is a picture of Cathy visiting me in my hospital room 48 hours after the transplant (they wouldn't let us room together - bummer).  She had to trek down the hallway, dragging her IV pole with her.  Her Hubs calls this photo "the kidney reunion".  LOL    Alert:  This is the ONLY time you will ever see me without makeup on.  You must burn this blog post

How To Beef Up Small Artwork

Whenever I polish my floors, I always rearrange furniture and accessories. One of the areas that needed a bit of tweaking was this corner.  I moved the wall unit over to the right and the corner was looking a little bit "off". The artwork seemed too high, off center, and too small. I snooped around my accessory closet and found this old framed art made by Hub's grandmother.  It's dated 1977. I didn't want to remove the artwork from the frame so I just layered the small art piece over the larger artwork to beef it up.  Then I hung it a little lower and and centered it. To hang it, I hammered a small nail through the burlap and into the wooden backing of the larger artwork.  Then I hung the smaller artwork on the nail.  I can easily separate the two pieces and use them separately whenever I want to.  I moved an upholstered chair away from the fireplace and into the corner.  When the weather turns cold again, I'll move the chair back to it's righ

A Sweet Arrival At The Wren

We got a phone call from the United States Postal Service.  A package had arrived at the post office and needed to be picked up immediately. Twelve thousand buzzing bees came through the postal service in nothing but a screened in wooden box.  Yikes!  The postal workers were very happy to see my husband and get rid of the special delivery. To be continued. . .

Wrensday: Daily Bread

This is the pantry in my kitchen. I painted the door interiors with chalkboard paint so I could write my menu or grocery list in chalk. But, I've found something better to showcase than menus and groceries. . . Our family has witnessed the truth of these verses over and over again during the past year and I thought it fitting to keep the words printed where we see them several times a day.   Every time we grab something to feed our physical bodies from the pantry, we see the words that nourish our souls. I'm linking to:

Darling Dahlia Custom Aprons

I just finished a custom apron order for a mother and her two little daughters. The mom has a small floral business and a friend of hers wanted her to have a cheery apron to wear when she sells her arrangements at the farmer's market. We picked out an adorable pink and white dahlia fabric from an upcycled sheet. I made the two daughters' aprons from the coordinating pillow cases. I really like how the hems on the pillowcase and sheet work well as hems on the aprons.  This new pattern I've developed is great because it is adjustable.  That way, when the mom needs to wear a sweater or jacket at the farmer's market, the apron will still fit over the added clothing. 

Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bedroom

So far this year we've organized the entrance, kitchen, and bathrooms.  Now we're ready to work on the bedroom.  It's the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we see when before we close our eyes to sleep.  What we should be looking at is something like this. . . But, in reality, this is what it usually looks like. . .                                                                                                                                           Most of the time, when I'm called in to help stage a home, I encounter an overstuffed master bedroom.  What I mean by overstuffed is too much furniture, too many clothes, and too many items that don't belong in a bedroom. A lot of people, including myself, tend to put stuff in the bedroom that doesn't belong because we don't know what else to do with it. It becomes a staging area for projects, laundry, exercise equipment, and "stuff".  So

How I Polish My Brick Floors So They Look Like New

One of the jobs I've completed in my flurry of nesting is polishing my brick and wood floors.  My floors are finished with  polyurethane and send to look dull after awhile. I polish them every 6 months or so.  First, I remove all the furniture from the area, vacuum the floor, and mop it with Sparkle Cleaner. Then, I polish it with Holloway House polish. Here, you can see my brick floor with the left side polished and the right side is only cleaned. After the floor is dry (about 30 minutes), I replace the rug and furniture and move onto the next section.  I  feel like I have a new floor.  *Holloway House has not compensated me for my opinion.