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Milestones

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Well this week will be a week of milestones for us here in the burbs.

It is my first “Back to School Week” in the new school district we have moved to.

I love it here. I am over the moon about my staff. They are awesome. But there are times I feel a little lost.

My textbooks and technology arrived! Yay! I was beginning to think we were going to start school with a stick of chalk and slab of wood!

My husband started his first week in his new job too. He is going to have a great year. He is an amazing teacher. I think he is feeling the same as I do.

There are also a few milestones in the blogging world too.

I started blogging two years ago. I blog because I enjoy sharing what I was already doing with others. I would never in a million years try to sell my work. it is my hobby, not my job. I never have gone outside of my friends on Facebook to tell people I was blogging because frankly I didn’t know what I was doing (I still don’t most of the time.) I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress, and survived…barely.

I didn’t know how to “link up” or even what that meant six months ago. (I still mess this up from time to time.)

I didn’t know that I could create a Facebook page or even why I would want to create one.

Heck. I was a blogging train wreck!

Roadkill Rescue featured my mudroom bench this past spring. Wow! I had 1042 views on one day. My highest view day before that event. Did any of you find me there?

About a month ago I was contacted by Remodelaholic and asked to do a feature. A blog that gets 100,000,000 (yes, 1 million) views a month found my little, itty, bitty blog and liked my husband and my work. This past Saturday the feature was published. Thank you to the folks at Remodelaholic.

Did you find me there?

The feature leads me to the blogging milestones:

This week I have had almost 100 new folks like my Facebook page. Wow. Before this week, I had 37 whole people who liked my page. I have found that I enjoy the page because I can post sneak peeks of projects I am working on, Craig’s List finds, and quick updates.
Welcome to this little glimpse of my world.

It looks like I will hit 30,000 page views on my blog today. It took 18 months to hit the 20,000 mark. Thank you all for taking the time to read my rambling thoughts and for looking at our work.

We have a lot planned as we continue to work on our homes. We have a few gifts to get done before Thanksgiving that I hope the recipients, and you, enjoy.

I discovered Pinterest…it changed my life:)

and… I have sort of learned to tweet.

We are also setting personal goals for ourselves.

We are also going to work on finding balance. Hubby has taken up golf again. I’m feeling the itch to paint…I mean really paint, again. I plan to take more photography classes.

Life is good. Thank you for stopping by!

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What Color Says About Me

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Color Moods – The Impact of Paint

According to the link above, I believe I have  color bipolarism.

Colouring pencils Français : Crayons de couleu...

I like a ton of colors. Reds, blues, and greens seem to pop up in my home no matter the other colors I choose. In some rooms I like soft colors, but there are spaces that just cry out for bright colors.  Our Skittle inspired back porch Is an example. It really is an explosion of bright colors. I wouldn’t want it in my whole house but it makes me smile every time I walk out  on the back porch to sit outside.  I just added the bright green chair to the porch this week.  It was a gift from  the man who sold me the sewing cabinet.  He said that the chair needed me.  I agree.

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apple green spray paint

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This cushion is going to go on a bench made from a queen headboard.  I want to get this done, but it keeps getting moved down the list.  Too many rooms, too little time.

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Bright back porch colors

The three bedrooms in our house are very different. The master will always be more neutral. Hubby loves wood, and nature colors.   I want this room to reflect his aesthetic as much as mine so this is the room of the house that will always be a calm retreat. The master bedroom in this house has burlap curtains, crystal lamps, vintage wood, fluffy pillows, and it is soon going to have a cushy bench at the end of the bed to put on shoes.  A reading chair is also under construction.  The chair is going to incorporate wood, paint and soft blue fabric.  It has a great story and will give me joy in the bedroom where I will be able to read and study in this restful spot.  According to the color mood folk we “nailed it” for sleep.

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The dresser still needs to be decorated.  I need help here.

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Yes.  We have a television in our bedroom.

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I love the night stands.  I so took them from the lake house for our master bedroom.  I just love the soft weathered color.

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The bedding is soft cotton.

The front guest room is a fun get away. The walls are spa like soft turquoise, the bedding is a  mustard-y yellow paisley quilt, and the accents are greens, blues ,blue greens, and teals. My hope is that it is a vacation room for our guests.

yellow and blue retreat

Look at the chevron bench!  I really went out of my comfort zone here and mixed colors, patterns, and textures.  Scary stuff but I like it.

mustard yellow bedding

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My $1.00 curio cabinet holds shell angels I have collected for years.

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The yellow flowers are from Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda’s wedding.  They are a great reminder of a wonderful day.

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Painted Empty Frames

Empty frames can add bright touches to rooms.  I use them when I don’t know what else to do.  O.f.t.e.n.

The other guest room is a mix of soft greens, coral, black, soft grey, vintage silver, milk glass and white. There is a sense of history and a touch of whimsy. I enjoy this room. It makes me smile. I hope it says welcome to my guests.

Ornate Mirror6

My .50 frame turned into a fun piece for the room.

Green Bedroom

Coral legged tables with soft green walls.

Chalkboard

The pillow brings all the colors together in my opinion.

vintage mirrors

Vintage frames, mirrors and resale finds along with new stuff live together in the room.

French Provincial Dresser

Our main spaces, the family room, the kitchen, and the breakfast area are a mix of neutrals with shots of color based on this amazing fabric that I am finding ways to incorporate into each of these connected space.

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I love the breakfast room.  It feels like a farmhouse kitchen with the old pie safe, the weathered items and the bright colors.

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Fall is already creeping into my house.  I am going with teals, creams. and orange this year.

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The mantle is not done yet but it is coming together.

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I found one piece that will be a focal point as soon as she is painted. Teal. I can’t wait for you to see her, but she is under minor construction. I had to photograph around her because I want you to be surprised.  The armoire that will become the home technology and bill paying center (AKA all the ugly paper and electronics I do not want hanging out in the open!), is going to be painted my trademark oatmeal and revival mahogany.  It is my weekend project this week.  Pictures soon.  Check back here in a week or so.   I I had to paint something in the family room this color because I missed my credenza so much that i had to bring it back! What does color psychology say about a room that is brown, yellow, green, red, teal, orange, a touch of lavender, and turquoise?

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I think I may have a problem!

Is there a support group out there?

Herringbone Pattern Art

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Herringbone patterned art is showing up all over Pinterest. Of course I had to try my hand at it for the new house. The results were pretty good for a first try.

yellow and blue retreat

Here is the tutorial for what is really a simple, but time consuming, art project.

I bought this frame with a covered bridge print in it from my favorite thrift store for $2.00. The print was on super heavy cardboard that was in good shape. It became the base for the art project. The frame just needed to be painted when the art project was done.  It was a nice size for a first attempt.  The cardboard print was 18″X24″ with the frame adding four inches to each side.

thrift store art

I purchased three bottles of Plaid brand paints in the colors that coordinate with the room. I literally poured the paint in strips on the cardboard print then got a big brush and started mixing the edges together.

Here are the results:

herringbone base

While the paint was drying I rolled out two long sections of Frog painter’s tape. I cut one of them into 5 inch sections and the other into 3 inch sections because I wanted there to be a little more interest in the pattern. I modified the pattern you see below by making the alternating diagonal two inches shorter.

Once it was totally dry I started taping down wide green tape. I may or may not have gotten the blow dryer out to speed the process because I am impatient 🙂 The picture of this part did not come out at all. GRRR. Because I was impatient to get started painting over the tape, I did not check the picture before moving on to the next step. It was way too dark to show.   I frustrate myself when I mess up like this. Here is my inspiration:

English: A herringbone bond in bricklaying.

English: A herringbone bond in bricklaying. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I put down a section of 5″ tape at an angle on the cardboard canvas then put a 3″ section at the end of the 5″ piece to match the width, leaving a sort of grout line sized space between each piece. I went to Pinterest for Herringbone examples at this point to make sure that I was at least on track. Once I got a whole row done across the cardboard canvas, completing the taping went quickly because I just had to keep the spacing the same and follow the pattern.

Once the whole painting was covered, I painted white plaid paint over the grout-ish lines that I created by leaving space between the tape. As soon as the paint covered everything, I gently started peeling tape up.

paint over herringbone pattern

I painted the white paint on fairly light so that it would minimize the drippy edges.

A coat of white spray paint on the frame and I was done. Easy. Ta Dah!

I love it above the bed.  It really helps to tie the room together.

herringbone pattern

herringbone art finished herringbone

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Here are some of the blogs that I visited for inspiration:

http://whiletheysnooze.blogspot.de/2013/01/diy-herringbone-metallic-artwork-easy.html

http://www.craftaspell.com/2013/06/diy-herringbone-canvas-art.html

How to Find Treasures at Garage Sales

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I hear from friends all the time that they don’t find anything at garage sales so they have stopped going. REALLY? Here are a few of the finds I have made at garage sales over the last year.

Ornate side table

Giant Mirror

chalkboard frames

yellow chairs

Going to garage sales is a lot like fishing. You have to know what you are doing to be successful. Sure, there are people who have walked into a garage sale first time and scored a $20,000 painting for a buck. I see them on Antiques Roadshow too. There have also been cases of kids catching a shark on a cane pole with a hook and minnow, but that is the exception…not the rule.

Here are the basics of garage sale shopping.

Get on websites that let you know garage sales are happening.
http://gsalr.com/ is a great site.

Get the local paper and check the classified section. There is usually a garage sale section.

Get up early and go the first day of the sale. I do not waste my time on Saturday morning going to a Friday-Saturday garage sale. If I go early and the person is not willing to bargain, I may go back a couple of hours later to ask if the prices are still firm. More time than not, they are ready to sell.

Bring cash. Small bills and at least a dollar in quarters. Cash is all that most garage sales will take…smart folks.

My personal favorites are the days that a whole neighborhood holds a garage sale on one day.

At the sale, look  past the ugly paint job, the finish or even the dirt. Is the shape good? Is the item solid? Is it something you could work with?

This past Saturday morning I went “free styling” on my way into town up in the country. That means that I just stopped at any sign that said garage sale. It was 8:00 am and I had a little time to kill on the way to Huntsville, Texas. Even though I was just stopping as I found the sales, I had a list in my head.

Tall candlesticks, 2 night stands/side tables, shelf brackets, stuff for fall mantle, sewing machine cabinets, curio cabinet or fun shelving for milk glass.

When you stop, walk quickly around the whole thing. Does it look like there is anything you are interested in looking at? Does the place give you the creeps? (NEVER GO INSIDE A HOME IF YOU ARE SHOPPING ALONE AND THE ONLY SHOPPER THERE!)

If it seems like you might find treasures there, take time to look around. Things are not generally very organized, so be patient.

Ask questions. ” I am looking for sewing machine cabinets, you wouldn’t happen to have one would you.” You will be surprised from time to time. Look at these beauties I got for $25.00 each when I asked. They were under a tarp at the back of the garage. Not what I was looking for, but wow.

Make decisions quickly. If it is good it will be gone before you know it.

Don’t act too excited. You will not be able to bargain if the seller knows you are excited.

Be willing to walk away. I do all the time. If it is too much money or you are not sure about your ability to fix the piece…leave it.

Open drawers, look underneath, wiggle it. I get in trouble for skipping this step from time to time. (Two Dollar Chair)

Here is what I found this past Saturday:

Tall brass candlestick $1.50

brass candle stick
Two treadle sewing machines $50.00

treadle sewing machine

singer treadle sewing machine
Two pairs of binoculars-one set for the boat and a vintage set with a leather case for the top of the pie safe décor $3.00

vintage binoculars IMG_3354
1960’s faux bamboo small shelving unit- $1.00

ornate curio

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Plaque- here it is painted for the front guest room .50

painted wooden plaque
Two small plates that will go on either side of the single dinner plate in the large single frame on the wall in the front bedroom .20

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Four brown snuff jars $2.00, They are going to look great on the fall mantle.

snuff bottles

Not too bad a haul for a thirty minute run through three garage sales.

Mr. and Mrs. Pillows

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The Southern Belle came to visit! YAY! Yippee! Woo Hoo! Is it possible to tell that we were excited to have our girl here for a visit? The only problem was that our son in law, Big Cat, stayed home. More on him later, but he was missed. My newly wed daughter really missed her husband.

Before TSB came home she sent a photo of Mr. and Mrs. pillows asking if we could work on a set of those for her. Heck yeah. Of course. While at Hancock’s Fabric I picked up a $5.99 burlap fabric with a fairly tight weave. I got enough fabric for about 12 pillows, but only got 9 pillows sewn while Shahana was over visiting. I sewed all of the pillows by myself except two because the time ran out. Shahana whipped up the last two in a matter of minutes. Hubby and I were beyond thrilled that Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda came to spend the weekend too. My quiver was full. I love my kids. I made an & sign pillow because I thought I had enough burlap in my bedroom and wanted to make one for the guest room.

The kids came, my parents came, my friends came, and my sister in law and twin nephews came over. Love it.

Even with all the family, we did manage to get the pillows knocked out. Well all but one set. We got 3 sets of Mr. and Mrs. pillows done along with one & sign pillow for me because I already have enough wordy pillows.

Here is how we painted the pillows:

Materials

Fabric paint- dark brown- get the soft variety not textured or slick

Paint brushes

chalk

Burlap pillows- 16 inch square finished

overhead projector

stuffing ( we bought loose stuffing in large bags it took a little less than 3 bags for 4 pillows)

thread and needle to finish the pillows

My friend and I used a borrowed overhead projector to trace out a set of Mr. and Mrs. letters onto the pillows with chalk. The chalk will brush off after the paint dries and will not show up.

using chalk to write on burlap

The girls painted the chalked letters with artist brushes. We custom mixed the paint by mixing the light brown with black to get the dark brown color we wanted. We put plastic bags inside the pillow to keep the paint from bleeding through. Just stuff then into the hole and spread them out.

fabric paint for burlap

Mr. Burlap

The chalk lines just dust off once the pillows are finished.

I painted the & sign a little roughly. I was trying for the well worn look. Not sure I achieved my goal.
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Mr. burplap painted

Once they were finished painting, I stuffed the pillows and stitched up the edge. This was a super easy project and the pillows look amazing. Great idea, Belle. We now have something to remember our weekend.

Here is the set done by The Southern Belle

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Here is the set done by Sweet Amanda. I need to go over and photograph all her projects soon!

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While TSB was here visiting, her sweet husband was home working on a surprise. The week before she left my closet junker daughter spotted a buffet, probably from the 20’s, sitting by the side of the road. It was rough and missing a drawer, but she ( and I) liked the curvy lines and legs. Her husband, Big Cat picked it up off the roadside and took it home. During her weekend visit he worked on the piece. He removed the top and repaired it, sanded it down, replaced the hardware with brushed nickel and gave it a nice coat of black spray paint. The piece is going to be an entertainment center in their study/TV room. The missing drawer spot will work great for the components. I got a sneak peek before she left for the airport from her husband via email. Good job!

Roadside Find Buffet

Roadside Find Buffet 2 Roadside Find Buffet 3

The finished product! Great job.

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The Guest Room Part 1

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When we moved into our burb house, I did not plan on painting the walls right away, except the front guest room. Here is how the room looked when we purchased the house.

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I am not going to talk about the paint job in the front bedroom except to say it was not my style and the color scheme wouldn’t work.  I know that the former owner worked really hard on the faux painting.

As soon as we settled in I started looking for inspiration. Here are some of the inspiration pictures I found. I hope that clicking on them allows you to go site I found it at.
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http://cultureofstyle.com/tag/white-bedroom-furniture/

http://www.houzz.com/photos/171192/Turquoise-and-Green-Bedroom-eclectic-bedroom-san-Francisco

http://serbagunamarine.com/bedroom-color-schemes-blue-girls-ideas.html

green and turqoise

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/color/colors/decorating-with-color-expert-tips/#page=28

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http://www.bhg.com/decorating/decorating-photos/bedroom/blue/

I wanted the bedroom to be cheery but restful.
Here is what we have finished to date:
Walls painted. I love the light blue walls. They almost feel like a spa.
Empty frames painted. I found the frames at a resale shop. I spent $4.00 total on all the frames you see on this wall. The paint on the frames is all left overs from other projects. The white plates were 10 cents each at the resale shop. I glued metal soda can tabs to the back of the plates with E6000. I love that stuff.

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Painted Empty Frames
My bedding arrived. I am crazy about this yellowish paisley print. Target. Over budget. $90.00.

Yellow bedding in blue room
The throw pillows on the bed are all outdoor pillows that were on clearance at Home Depot, Lowes, and Marshall’s.
Curtains hung. Hubby and I went shopping at Ikea recently. I was thrilled to find off the shelf curtains that were 110 inches long for $34.00 a pair.

white curtains

The herringbone art project done.

herringbone art

I will be writing a DIY on this project. It was a fun evening project that cost less than $10.00 even factoring in the cost of the green tape.  ( I have plenty of tape to do several more projects.)$2.00 for the frame and the print that I painted over, Frog tape was $6.00 and I had to get one can of flat white spray paint for the frame. (I need to spray the frame again.) I had the other paint on hand.

The green lamp is in place. I think it is the best $2.00 I have spent in this room.

painted lamp4 painted lamp3

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New art work. Target. Over budget. $20.00

New lamp from Target.  $23.00.  I know, I know but the colors in the shade go perfectly with the color scheme.  Over  budget.

teal yellow and green lamp shade

I am not a huge fan of the bed frame as is and it will get painted and the posts are going to get trimmed down. I found this funky curio cabinet at a garage sale for a dollar.  Here is the before.

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Dirt Dobber nests and spiders were included for free.  A quick wash down, spray painted the frame and painted the back that amazing Laguna color I love.  I am not sure how long it will stay but I think it is a fun piece for now.  For a buck investment, It will not kill me to let it go down the road.

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I was able to incorporate the old dresser that once belonged to my grandparents, saved by my husband and completely restored.

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We have ceiling fans in our bedrooms thanks to a friend of Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda.  Don’t judge us for the fans.  I think they look ok,  It is going to be over a 100 again today here in the burbs.  In South East Texas it is miserable without air moving.

What do you think of the sort of finished room?

yellow and blue retreat mustard yellow bedding mixing blues, yellows and greens

Getting on the Succulent Bandwagon

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Unidentified hens and chicks

Unidentified hens and chicks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Crassula ovata, Jade plant.

English: Crassula ovata, Jade plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known...

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known as Aloe vera var. chinensis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have loved succulents for years.  I just didn’t know they were called succulents.  My mom has raised a plant she calls hen with chickens for years. According to EHow the real name is Sempervivum, derived from the Latin “semper” meaning “always” and “vivo” meaning  “to live,” the presence of a large mother plant surrounded by smaller offshoots  characterize the hens and chick plant.

My father in law raised aloe vera  for years at his shop.  Even when he was ill he would drive over to the shop to water the plant occasionally just to keep it alive.

My husband was able to keep a jade plant alive for his college years in his apartment, in spite of the mistreatment it got.

All of these plants are succulents.  Who knew?  I just thought they were super hardy plants that could survive being ignored, dry soil, and heat or cold.

I decided after being shamed into it on Pinterest to  make my own succulent planter.  I already knew how easy it would be. I had seen others abuse them for years.

I purchased an inexpensive bowl at Walmart, some cactus potting soil,  and several succulents at Ikea.  I purchased sentimental succulents; a hen with chicks, a jade plant, and an aloe vera.  Here are the “easy peasy” results.  I added rocks on top of the soil that I already had on hand to complete the project. They look great on the back porch. I hope I don’t manage to kill them.   My family would be so disappointed.

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