Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hunt Club Beach

I want to share with you my current summer-inspired mantel....a little number I call Hunt Club Beach, lol!

You might notice the little copper pail filled with birch logs....hubby thought adding that back in would send cooler temps our way! So...why not?  With the scorchingly hot summer we've had, I am willing to try most anything!

This was my summer mantel before.  Basically the same as now, but with a flowery print and aqua grapevine wreath.  I liked it 'ok,' but it always seemed a little too busy to me.  The wreath just looked kinda plunked on there and well, it just was a no go.

But I kept the sweet dog statue, and aqua goblets filled with seashell orbs and netting.  The seashell orbs are my nod to the summer!

I also kept my porcelain orb in the pedestal cloche, along with a few old books and potted ivy plant.

On the left side, I kept the cheapy, melamine Target plate stacked on some old books, and accented with a potted green plant, laid on its side.

The only change was the artwork! I took away the floral print and grapevine wreath, and replaced it with my hunt scene oil painting. This painting had been displaced since I made & hung my mirror turned chalkboard a few weeks ago.  It is a favorite!  Now, hunt scenes and seashells really have nothing to do with each other, but nonetheless, I really liked how this mantel turned out.  I think the little bronze doggie brought it all together!

I have new furniture coming for this room in a few weeks, along with new wood floors (yay!), so things will be a-changing for sure!  But in the meantime, I am enjoying my end of summer "Hunt Club Beach" mantel.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you happiness,

Partying with

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Cloche Confession

Thanks to Marty at a Stroll Through Life for hosting her awesome summer cloche par-tay! The inspiration at these cloche parties never disappoints.

But......I have a confession to make: I am terrible at cloches.  Like downright awful.  I can't put together a cute looking cloche arrangement to save my soul.  I want to......but I am an utter failure at it.   So bad, so sad.

This is kind of a lame excuse for a cute cloche - oh, the container itself is adorable, but I just plunked a greenery ball in it and called 'er done!  Nice enough, I guess, but no "wow!" factor! Truth be told, it is my only filled cloche right now.  I have several others, packed away due to my cloche ineptitude! Ha!

This is kind of a lame excuse for a cute cloche - oh, the container itself is adorable, but I just plunked a greenery ball in it and called 'er done!  Nice enough, I guess, but no "wow!" factor! Truth be told, it is my only filled cloche right now.  I have several others, packed away due to my cloche ineptitude! Ha!

However! I love a good party and I don't want to be left out! So, I looked around and I did find a cloche of sorts that I can contribute.

Let's venture out to the garden shall we?  Maybe the plants and comfy chair will deflect my cloche incompetance!

This is a little corner of our backyard where I have some herbs and veggies planted in pots and things.  This photo was taken early in the summer before the excessive heat and devastating draught took hold.  Our grass is literally a golden color (we have been on watering restriction for the past 6 weeks) and the plants are looking none too pretty due to lack of rain.  And this is where you will find the one cloche that I feel is halfway respectable at my house!

This wire topper over my whiskey barrel is an old street light cover from the city of Milwaukee.  My dad - who was an "American Picker" long before it became a tv show - found this for me in the late 1980's.  I've had it indoors and outdoors over the years.  I decided it would be a good trellis for my potted tomatoes.  My tomato plant has gotten a little feisty these past few weeks and has pushed the topper distinctly to the right - so it looks a bit out of whack in the pic.  Not so bad in person, but photographically! Normally, the flowers and the tomato fill out beautifully and it looks pretty cute.  This darned draught though has raised havoc with the plants and they are pretty skimpy. So my party entry is kind of wonky and looks bad in photos! Oh dear!
You can see in this pic that the grass is long in some spots and dead in others - my goodness it looks horrible.  We don't dare mow, because the longer grass helps shade what has managed to live.  Thankfully we did not have any major outdoor parties planned this year....our yard is in shambles. Of course, this is nothing compared to the plight of the area farmers....many who have lost their entire crops.  We have been declared a disaster area by the state, so hopefully the farmers can get some assistance.
So there you have one, somewhat sad attempt at a cloche! I am off to Marty's party to get some ideas I can copy!!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and being witness to this cloche debacle!

Wishing you happiness,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

On My Own

I am striking out on my own into un-charted territory.  At least I feel like am.  Don't tell anyone, but I am striking out into the land of color.......

Don't get me wrong: I love all the homes that have the neutral tones - the cool blues, the off whites.  So on trend.  So serene.  So not me!

Oh, I have tried to embrace it....tried to talk myself into getting with the times, etc.  In fact, for the past four years or so I have had a fairly neutral, gold sofa.  I like it's a high quality, easy to change up colors for the seasons or my whims.  But, my room has become so blah.  The neutrals work for others, but they just have not been working for me! At least not a full on neutral palette.

I have neutral walls, neutral kitchen them!  But......lately I've been feeling the need for just a tad bit more color.

Let me share with you how my colorful journey began. Mr. Bluebird and I were out mattress shopping yesterday afternoon at one my favorite furniture stores.  As you know, he is recovering from back surgery and our old mattress is just not comfortable for him.  He tested and tested and did the Goldilocks bit (too firm, too soft, -too expensive!-, just right) and we have a new one being delivered soon.

Of course, I don't know about you, but I can't walk into a furniture showroom and only look at mattresses - no sir-ee-bob!  We toured the showroom - oh, the pretty neutral sofas, the grays, the taupes, the greiges, the whites - lovely, I tell you, lovely.  But, like an island in the middle of the ocean, there was this cute, colorful, French Country sofa.  Not the French Country filled with whites, grays, and taupes.  No, this is French Country at it's most colorful!

Not grooving on the pillows, but I normally don't use the ones that come with my sofas. But yes, it is plaid! Gasp!!!!! And now take a look at the coordinating settee.....

It is so pretty and cute, I almost can't stand it!Love it because it is not from the same line, so it is not too matchy matchy. I am also getting a chair/ottoman combo in the plaid to complete the room.  I would say that is quite a shot of color, wouldn't you?

Am I alone out here in this sea of color?  I truly love all my neutral friends - your homes are stunning!  But I am working on being more true to myself when it comes to home decor, and this purchase just feels right!  Hopefully I won't regret it!

Delivery won't be for a few weeks, but I promise I will keep you updated on my color injection journey! Any secret color lovers out there?

Wishing you happiness,

Partying at:

Friday, July 20, 2012

And the winner is............

Congratulations and hurrah for Francine at Ethereal Plus What I Love!  She is the lucky winner of the $15.00 HomeGoods gift card giveaway!  Thanks for all who entered and became new followers - you guys are the best!!!!

Be sure to check out Francine's Blog, too - it is really great!

Wishing you happiness,

*winner selected by

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You Got Some 'Splaining to Do Lucy (The Great Doorknob Debacle of 2012!)

Oh my! Such an I Love Lucy moment at my house today!

Okay, there isn't a horse in my living room - but something funny did happen!

It all started with this....
I decided to save myself some $$$ and spray paint all the doorknobs in my house.  The antique brass that I picked out when we built our home in 2001 just wasn't cutting it anymore.  I was out of ORB spray paint, so I made a little ORB "cocktail" of an assortment of paints I had and I must say it turned out wonderfully.

I painted most of them yesterday and re-installed them.  Easy peasy.  But I had three of them left for today.  One was my daughter's bathroom doorknob.
She awoke this a.m. to no doorknob on her bathroom door.  She wondered how she would be able to open and close said door.  I replied now, honey, if there isn't a doorknob, but there is a  big hole in your just pull it open & push it shut.  Why on earth are we sending you to college when you ask such silly questions! Getting locked in the room only happens on shows like I Love Lucy! So off to shower she went and I took off into town to run several errands.

Halfway into my trip, I get a frantic call from daughter......she is trapped in her bathroom and can't get out!!!! At this point I am sitting in line at the bank drive thru.  "WHAT????" (I am already laughing hysterically at this point!)

So home I go.  Grab the exterior part of the doorknob on my way up the stairs and set her free.

Oh dear....we aren't looking too happy! "Mom, you said I couldn't get locked in!"  Oops - my bad! Apparently I was wrong about that.

I think I laughed for a good ten minutes...until I cried actually!  Just seemed like a Lucy & Ethel moment to me!

After being "rescued," she installed a security measure so she wouldn't get locked in again!

But what happened with the doorknobs you ask?

Oh my, they turned out smashingly!  They cost me absolutely nothing because I had all the paint.  I also handpainted all the door hinges to match just using a mix of flat black and some brown craft paint. All the exterior doors got a fresh coat of paint yesterday....a custom color to match our trim, which is Musket Brown by PAC. I noticed in this picture however that there is a little brass trim strip on our storm door that needs a little ORB!

So like an episode of Lucy, all's well that ends well!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you happiness,


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Be True to Your School! Home Goods Giveaway!

To quote an old Beach Boy's song, "be true to your school" - old school that is! As in, "stuff" on shelves. Lots of stuff. On shelves.

 I totally get that this is not necessarily a look of "today," but here's the thing: I have never been a slave to the latest style. I tried it a few times..changed my entire house to whatever was the latest style.  I hated it. every. time. Oh yes I did.

Here's what I have a learned: I have acquired a style of my own over the years. BUT! I like to incorporate new vitality into that style, so I change yet somewhat, stay "true" to what I love.

For example, gone are the days of baskets and bears and clutter everywhere ~ I do like a sparer look, with tighter displays. But, an old scale and grouping of plates (and yes, the occasional basket!) are still part of my decorating go-tos. (I picked up this tiny little scale at the antique mall on Thursday....$11.00! Hemmed & hawed over this scale for a month - so glad I took the plunge and brought it home.)

But, it's all ok.  There's room for everyone to do what they like in their much more interesting that way, don't you think? Plus, we all can learn from each other!

And now, I am happy to announce my first giveway to celebrate over 5,000 pageviews! Woo hoo!  I remember thinking it was cool when I made it to 25...ha ha! I have no aspirations of being a powerhouse blog...just a little , humble heartfelt I am honored that anyone has stopped by!
So, here's the thing: I have a $15.00 Marshalls/HomeGoods gift card for one lucky winner.

Giveaway Rules:

1) Follow my blog and leave a comment letting me know you are a follower

You can earn a second entry by:

2) Blog about me and post a link back to this giveway and leave a second comment letting me know you blogged

Winner will be announced on Friday!  Good luck and thanks again for stopping by!

Wishing you happiness,

Linking up with

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Muy Delicioso!

That's what I have to say about tonight's dinner! 

Such a great all-around meal....flavors that everyone in my family loves, made with pantry staples, and you can throw the whole works together in ten minutes! Can I get a woo hoo to that??!! Slide into the oven for 30 minutes and bam! Let's call it dinner.

But, let's break this down...shall we?
Start with half a bag of shredded cheddar, a few cans of cream of mushroom (I use the light to save on some calories!), a can of green chilies for some zip, light sour cream....

Mix up half the soup/sour cream, chilies, cheese with the cubed chicken.  Spoon into 8 tortillas, rolling them as you go and place in a 9X13 pan.  Top with remaining soup mixture and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.
Set a pretty table.......

Relax and enjoy with your family!

Thanks for stopping by! Check back soon for a giveaway to celebrate over 5,000 pageviews!

Wishing you happiness,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I'm Gel'in!

Happy Sunday all! What a scorchy scorcher it has been around here...walking on our grass is like walking on pins & needles (ouch!) and if you like yellow & brown, this is the place to be because anything green has turned that color.  To make matters worse, we are on indefinite water restriction and can only water our potted plants (and other things) every other day, for only a few hours.  Needless to say, I won't be posting any gardening pics unless it is a "don't let this happen to you theme!"

But...anyhoo, on to happier topics!  Awhile back, I picked up this little side table for $14.00 at a thrift store.  I liked its sort of harp style base and the kind of chunkiness it had.  However, it was a combo of two pieces and although sturdy, it was a bit on the shabby, but not chic!, side.
As you can see, the top was marred and dried out, and generally pretty bad! I got a bit ahead of myself and already had put a coat of creamy paint on the base....aaahhh! Forgot to take a "before" of that!  But again, back to the top.....after sanding, I took out my trusty gel stain in dark walnut and brushed it on.

You just kind of brush the pudding-like gel onto the surface and after three minutes or so, buff it off with a soft cloth.  And look.......

What a change! It turned out beautifully!  Here you see the base - isn't the shape wonderful?  I love. There are several deep gouges and holes in the base, making it a perfect candidate for a little antiquing and distressing.

My oh my....what a beautiful girl now!  When I started this project, I wasn't sure where this table would end up, but for now I think it has found a home in our den.

Such a cozy little spot now, in front of the desk where I can take a break, watch a little tv, and sip a little somethin' somethin' .....heavenly!

This room tends to run a bit dark, but it is a den, and I was going for a library look.  I love it. It is also mainly used by Mr. Bluebird and he requested a manly man room. The walls do not photograph accurately, but they are painted in Grand Distinction Boston Tea Party. The panels are from Pier One last year and the chair...oh the chair!  I searched high, low, and every where in between and finally stumbled upon this one at Steinhafels. It was made by the Best Chair Company. The print is a little out of my comfort zone, but I am thrilled with it. 

The tabletop holds a little vignette of books, a collie figurine, my traveling galvanized pot of ivy, and a fleur de lis lamp from Home Goods with a burlap shade.

(Sorry about the cords - this is the first picture I took and I was a little over-eager!) Above the tablescape, is a vintage print of  four sweet little kittens.....can you say too adorable?  I received this picture from my sister many, many years ago and I have never tired of it.

So there you have it folks....another cheapo re-do!  Gotta love gel stain - it's any easy rescue to damaged wood that you don't want to completely refinish.  For $14.00 dollars and a few dollars in gel stain, I am enjoying this little table.  I am sure it will make the rounds in many of the rooms in our house!

Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you happiness,

Partying with
Debbie-Doos Newbie Party
/Southern Hospitality's Thrifty Treasures
Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated Houses's Make it Pretty Monday
A Stroll Through Life's Tabletop Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday