Sunday, October 4, 2015

More Workout Room News & A Milestone

Hi everyone!

For such a tiny room, our workout area sure has taken a long time.  I am here again with some small snippets of progress.  The beginnings of the art and lighting install took place yesterday and I am over the top happy with how it is shaping up.

Here's a glimpse of part of the wall.  As you may have guessed, I am doing a faux brick treatment using a piece of brick-look paneling.  A little doctoring with joint compound and five different colors of paint - and voila! The aged brick look I was dreaming of.  

I chose clip on work lights for accent lighting.  I love the industrial look of these guys annndddd they were less than $7.00 each!

Just for grins, I scribed in the year into one of the bricks while the compound was still wet.  It is very subtle and you really have to look for it, but I love it!

 Mr. Bluebird is cut loose from his DIY duties today to get in a game of golf, but in the meantime, I am staining and finishing the cedar trimming pieces that will go around the brick. There are two more steps to the finish that I still have to complete.

And now for the milestone promised in my post title:

A while back I shared with you my weight loss journey that I began almost a year ago.  When I first 'fessed up about my weight woes here, I was wearing a size 16 - down from the 24, sometimes 26 I was wearing in October 2014..  (Again, I can't believe I am sharing this with you all!).  Since then, I have lost another 25 pounds or so and the other day I dared to try on a size 12 pair of jeans.  First, before I get all peacock puffed up about my achievements, let me tell you that they are labeled "super stretchy."  But, a twelve is a twelve in my book and I will take it!  The label also claims to make the wearer look long and lean!  I doubt I am looking particularly lean and at 5' 3" I am certain I don't look long in them either, lol! But, nonetheless, they are a size 12 and I haven't had a pair of jeans that size (that acutally fit!) in my closet since Ronald Reagan was president.  Yikes!  I have more to share with you regarding my lymphedema issues that I told you about back in May was well.  I will save that for another post, but I think some progress is being made in that department, too!

Anyway, that's it for today.  I am off to work a little more on the never ending workout room and then I will be settling in by the fire with the Mr. to watch the Packer game and sip on some Pumpkin Spice coffee.  Enjoy your Sunday!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

October Faves

Hi everyone!

Here we are about to turn the page on another month and then presto change-o, we will have crossed the threshold into the busiest time of the year! 

The month of October brings shorter days and chilly nights in my neck of the woods. In Wisconsin, October also gives a beautiful show of autumnal color. It never disappoints!

As for some of my October faves, let's start with the classic Pendelton wool blanket. Love the charm of this vintage camp cover.  They are pricey, but last forever. I just love them folded at the end of the bed or to wrap up in at a bonfire.
Ah, the good old' Affy Tapple. Yum! Yum! YUM!  Need I say more?

 With the cooler temps comes dry and cracky hands. I recently picked up this little Burt' s Bees Almond Milk Hand Creme at Target. I am smitten and madly in love with this product!

 Can't do an October faves without a shout out to Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I love a toasty fire this time of year and, if I could, I would have a fireplace in every room! But, for many reasons, that is not to be. We do have a real fireplace in our living room. We also have three electric fireplaces in other rooms. My favorite is this little red number that is in our front entry. It's awesome! The best part is you can use it without the heater, and just have the flame effect. 

I am also a fan of this cute corduroy jacket from Christopher and Banks. It had me at yellow - my favorite color!

That's it for this month! I'd love to hear about some of your fall favorites.
Inspire Me Tuesday
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Love When A Plan Starts Coming Together

Hi everyone!

Just breezing in to share my extreme giddiness about the art project I am working on for our new workout room. I don't know about you, but sometimes my "vision"can turn into a fail when it comes to crafts, but this time things are truly working out even better than I'd hoped! Woot for that. 

Here's my set up for making a "test drive" of my project. A little paneling, a few craft paints and joint compound. My tool of choice - a plastic knife (in Virginia Tech colors - shout out to Baby Bluebird!).

I. Can't. Even.

That's how much I love the looks of this.

I will be working on the actual piece the rest of this week, between work, appointments and life in general. Mr. Bluebird needs to get involved in some of the carpentry and installation of this once I am done. Crossing my fingers for a Sunday completion!

I know I'll be busy this week, how about you? What's going on in your world?

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, September 28, 2015

Workout Room Early Details

Hi everyone!

I have been a bit missing in the blog world lately (how many times have I said that over the years?!), but with the start back to school and several projects on the burners....well, you know the rest of the story.

So, what to do, what to do?  I hate leaving my blog languishing in no man's land and decided to give you some early details on our guest room turning workout room.  I started this room in mid-August. Reality is, this room won't be done until the middle of October or so...but, I have made a bit of progress.

First, let's reminisce:

This is what our guest room looked like in 2012.  Looking back, it was pretty cute!  (and ~sigh~ my sweet buddy was still with us at that time). This picture is from my most viewed post of all time. We later added in the twin bed my daughter used in her college apartment, giving us two beds in this tiny room.

In 2013, I switched my color scheme over to cream, gray and gold.  Mr. Bluebird hung up this cool Mason jar lamp in the window, where the desk was moved. I am keeping that light  in the workout room. I have more lighting to have installed - three fixtures to be exact, with a price tag of under $7.00 each! 

Onward we go to 2015!  I am going for an industrial farmhouse vibe in this room.  I chose Gibraltar Gray for....the ceiling! Yeppers, the ceiling.  And boy, oh boy, do I love it. LOVE. IT.  I originally was going to  paint it one shade darker, Phantom Mist.  At the paint counter, I made a quick change and chose the GG.  It's perfect - even Mr. Bluebird was wowed by it, and honestly folks, he usually doesn't notice the paint color.

Milk Paint went up on the walls.  The creamy color really softens the gray and keeps it from being too stark.

Look at that crisp paint line! Oh my gosh - it is gorge.  Want to know my secret?  I will be sharing it soon and although I sadly was not the originator of this incredible trick, it is simple and easy to do. Works like a charm!

Mr. Bluebird likes to keep a tally sheet of his workout times, so I thought it would be fun to paint our cheapy bi fold closet doors with chalk paint so he can do just that.  They turned out beautifully and really add to the room.  These doors are a dime a dozen (well, practically!), so I had no qualms about painting them.  If they ever need replacing for re-sale, they are an easy, inexpensive fix. In the meantime, chalk it up!

I have another project planned for this room that I am crossing my fingers will be the "wow factor." It involves a $26.00 sheet of faux brick paneling and a few other things.  I am working on the details as we speak!

We removed one of the single beds, but decided to keep the other in the room for guests.  A few pillows gathered from my stash and a trip to Marshalls, and now we are using it daybed style in front of the window.  A Pottery Barn daybed cover and daybed skirt dress the bed, but they are in such a wrinkled state that you will have to wait to see them.  They are in smoke gray matelesse and are perfect! Palmer already has been snoozing away and enjoying this cozy spot.

The beginnings of a gallery wall.  The large mirror is black iron - picked that beauty up at Marshall's today. The little mirrors looks like gears and are just cheap plastic, $10 for the trio.  I also found the vintage steam pressure gauge, sprinkler escutcheon and watchman's box at a flea market yesterday. The barn star is one I have had for years - just gave it a coat of silver spray and sanded it up. Still looking for a few more items before I start playing with the arrangement.

On one wall, I have a large Stickley cabinet I found at an estate sale about 33 years ago.  I had considered painting it, but now I am kind of enjoying the contrast of the wood.  Stained it stays.  On top, three WalMart party buckets that I will be filling with two additional snake plants,  These are perfect for a north facing room that gets very little sunshine. Those big, honkin' paws belong to five month old Palmer - who weighed in at a svelte (?) 56 pounds this morning at the vet!

And there it is....the thing that started this whole guest room re-do.  I think it needs a name, don't you?  I will tell you that I have had quite the workout just working on the workout room! Yikes. But, I am looking forward to using this room, getting fit and being healthy - so it has been worth the blood, sweat and tears.  

Stay tuned for more updates on this room.  I also haven't forgotten to share our master all styled and pretty - I am still enjoying the bare walls for a bit longer.  I am also hoping to find something wonderful to hang on the wall when I go to the Route 66 Antique Mall in October.

I hope September has been good to you.  Please check back for my painting tip later this week - it will be so worth it, because it is easy and amazing! A true, "why didn't I think of that"  kind of tip.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wee Bit of Fall

Hi Everyone!

You would think it was St. Patrick's Day around here, as I have only done a "wee bit o'fall" around here.  It was sizzlin' hot last week, and while it has cooled off, the weather folks are calling for more summer like temperatures in the next days.  All that hot weather makes my pumpkin decor just look a bit limp. 

But alas, it is nearly the middle of September and I decided to at least give a little nod to the glories of fall!  I know now that I have started the ball rolling, there will be much more to come. For the moment, I just spruced up a shelf in my kitchen.  

Decided to sneak my Virginia Tech gnome into the vignette.  Not only is he the perfect color combo, but he is a sweet reminder of Baby Bluebird who is studying for her grad degree  at VT as we speak (at least, I hope she's studying, lol!).  We are now a "Hokie" family and proud of it!

That's my tiny, tiny bit of autumn decor here at the Bluebird house. Any fall decor going on in your neck of the woods?

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Monday, September 7, 2015

A Peek Inside the Master

Hi everyone!  I have a few more shots of our master bedroom.  It is dangerously close to being done, but I am kind of enjoying the peaceful, clean, undecorated look for now and am taking a short breather before I add in too much decor.  

Let me take you back here.  I did a re-do of our room last year, staying with the old wall color because I had neither the time nor the energy to re-paint.  So,  in an effort to "re-do" with out actually "re-doing," below is the result.  It was so awful that I couldn't even print it in color!  It didn't look so bad in black and white, lol. But to me, it looked dirty, cluttered and depressing.  (Brace your eyes, a color photo is at the end of this post - for those of you brave enough to look!)

Enter a new year and a new day.  I have lots of energy (still short on time, lol!) and this was one of the rooms I wanted to tackle before summer vacation got away from me.  My inspiration was the blue and floral bedding from the Chaps line at Kohls.  It just spoke to me. And in the cart it went.

I found the Mr. & Mrs. ticking stripe, down filled pillows at Marshall's and again - it had "me" written all over it. (and you thought it had Mr. &  Mrs. written all over it, ha!)

The first order of business was to paint over the dreadful dark gray green paint I thought was the answer to my prayers here.  It wasn't long before I hated it. Hated. It.  HATED. IT!!!!!   Those are strong words, I know, but "intense dislike" is not enough!

I chose a pretty green called Canary Grass.  It is one of those colors that is hard to come by.  During the day, with the sun shining in through the windows, it looks like a creamy white, with just the slightest hint of green.  At night, the green seems to intensify and gives the room a cozy feel.  Perfect! I really lucked out on this paint color.  It is very hard to find a "warm" green that doesn't have a lot of yellow in it.

I did have a painting buddy who had a bit of a mishap the first day of painting.  As you can see, Palmer managed to get a bit of paint on both ears!  After that, he was a champ and patiently watched me finish up without so much as another drop of paint on his fur coat.  Not bad for a four month old pup!

I hung new matchstick blinds with privacy liners.  Previously, we had roller shades - which I really liked for  many years.  However, I needed to move some of the dark color of our furniture around the room and these work quite nicely. Yep. Those are valances you see.  Yep.  I know they are not considered fashionable. Yep. I like them anyway. Nope. I am not going to be in a home decor magazine any time.  I am also not going to be in Glamour magazine either and that doesn't stop me from using mascara or nail polish! :)

I am pretty stoked about how my burgandy wing back took to chalk painting! This picture was taken before the final coat was completed on my wing back chair.  I will show you the true "after" picture soon - it turned out far better than I imagined!  There is a big flea market coming up in my area, along with a scheduled trip to the Route 66 Antique Mall, where I will be on the lookout for a mantel/surround for my little fireplace.

Not very stylin' and yet, one of the best accessories our room could have, is our new puppy's crate.  He won't need it forever, but for now it is a necessity! The dog bed is super cute and goes with the room perfectly.  It was an Amazon purchase and details will be coming soon in another Pawsin' With Palmer post.

Another little ongoing project for the master redo that involve our pup is the updating of this little aqua stool.  Our bed sits pretty high and Palmer has difficulty jumping up to take a relaxing snooze.  He needs a little help!  Right now, he is using an old tool box/step stool - not old as in cute, vintage, rustic.  Old as in Rubbermaid plastic.  The wooden stool has been painted blue and is awaiting some distressing and wax.

And now.....for the first time in living color....look if you dare....

This is the incredibly awful look of our master bedroom a month ago.  Even with a pricy camera, I simply could not get a good picture of this area, but no matter.  It was not the least bit attractive - even my Canon Rebel knew! I think horrible would be an appropriate adjective. There are parts that are cute, but thank you.

Fast forward to today, and while not completely finished, let us bask in a much calmer, cleaner vibe, shall we?  Ah....peace has been restored. This shot is later in the afternoon and you can see the "green-ness" coming out of the wall color.

For now, I am enjoying this space with nothing but this sign hanging on the wall and no other decor in the room.  I am spending some time really thinking about what to add in and really don't want to rush it. I will be back one of these days with it all styled up and looking "done."  You will get a full look of the room then. Stay tuned for the chalk painted chair & stool post, though - those will be coming at ya soon!

Lastly, good bless all of the workers of this country - no matter your job, you make the U.S. great!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Song

Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December But the days grow short when you reach September When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame One hasn't got time for the waiting game Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few September, November And these few precious days I'll spend with you These precious days I'll spend with you

- September Song

Hi everyone! Well, here we are - September 1st! It's going to be close to 99 in my neck of the woods, but you
can't deny Autumn knocking at our door.

I don't know about you, but I absolutely adore fall and all the glories of this season - sweaters, crimson and
golden leaves, hot apple cider, pumpkins,bonfires, football and glorious mums - just to name a few. Wishing you a joyful start to this harvest season.

Thanks for stopping by,