Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Momentary Pause

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a short blogging break to have a minor surgery.  I should be back sharing  in a week or so.  Just in time to share some Valentine's love with you all! In the meantime, I will try to keep up with all of you and comment when I can.

If you can spare a prayer or a positive thought I would appreciate it.

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Look! A Nook!

Hi everyone!

I am sooooooooo excited to share today's post with you all.  I have been working on this project for months now, with the help of Mr. Bluebird.  And ~hooray~ it is finally done!

Our upstairs hall has always been a nothing special area.  Kind of neglected actually.  It's small, dark, and really had little room for any kind of personality.  It has been a very sad space.  At the top of the stairs is a very large closet.  While spacious, over the years we never used it efficiently and it had turned into a harbinger of  clutter and "jamming in junk that had no home."  What a waste of space!

One day while cleaning out this junk heap - yet again - I got the idea of changing this closet into a cozy nook.  I threw this idea out to Mr. Bluebird - thinking he would nix the idea of losing a closet - and to my surprise, he was all in!  So I emptied the closet, took out all of the shelves, and began the process of patching and painting.

I knew I still needed some storage space and came up with the idea of black shelving filled with baskets and vintage crates to fill that need.

I also purchased three Pottery Barn Kellan Cubbies with hooks for underneath the shelves.  I also added a wall mounted lamp to amp up the cozy factor.  This is how it looked at Christmas. Not quite finished yet.
 Mr. Bluebird was kind of enough to add oak beadboard and chair rail.  We did this for the entire hallway and one wall of our stair case (that reveal coming soon!).
We decided on real beadboard because of the high traffic this area gets - the beadboard wallpaper, we felt, would be prone to scrapes, nicks, etc. that would be difficult and/or impossible to repair.  I do love beadboard wallpaper though!!! No, the lamp is not hardwired - I do plan on putting a cord cover on and painting it out to match the walls & beadboard.  (It's okay - cords are a fact of life, not going to hide them and pretend it's something it isn't! I am all for keeping it real!)


And voila! The finished nook.  Isn't it the cutest?  I placed a white washed bench and two cushy pillows in the sitting area.  I just love coming up the stairs at night and seeing this view!  It has taken our forlorn upstairs hall to a completely different level.  I don't regret giving up the closet at all.  I still have storage space with the crates and baskets!  I also think this could be a cute area for a desk, but for now, I am enjoying the little sitting nook.

I will post the cost breakdown of everything soon and give you the details on the items used to make this area so darned cute! (Yes, - I do say so myself!) I also have a few pics coming of the rest of the hallway and the staircase.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking with:
Amaze Me Monday
Masterpiece Monday
Monday Funday
Metamorphosis Monday
The DIY'ers
Masterpiece Monday
DIY Showoff Party
Make it Pretty Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
The Scoop Link Party
The Makers
Wow Us Wednesdays

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Planning: Master Bedroom Changes

Hi everyone!  This time of year I am always in major nesting mode - organizing, cleaning, re-doing, and improving around the house.  We have had a very harsh winter around here and I think my "nesting-it is"  has reached epic proportions! How about you - are you nesting the winter away?

We have finally finished our hallway project and I am excited to reveal that to you all in the next day or two.  With that project done, I am looking to the "what's next" and I think it will be our master bedroom.

I gave it a decorating re-do last year and to be honest, it just has left me cold.  I do not like it at all. I can only laugh because I revealed it to you in a post called January Nesting of all things! It is waaaayyyy too dark (even for me) and does not give the serene, cozy atmosphere I am looking to achieve.

So anyway.......I was browsing through Pottery Barn's clearance online and came across some items from their Chalet Paisley collection.

As you know, I am forever drawn to these colors - the burgundy's and gold's.  I picked up a few tablecloths that I will sew into curtain panels.  I also bought a table runner and had it monogrammed.  I will use part of the runner to stitch up a pillow and the remaining fabric will be used for a little window topper for our adjoining master bath. The fabric has a tiny bit of gray in it, so I think I envision some black toile plates on one of the walls.....

I also picked up a white matelassé coverlet for the bed.  A great deal from Home Goods at only $39.99!  I think it will keep the room from getting too heavy with the dark fabrics.  Mr. Bluebird will be enlisted to help me out with a little carpentry project I have in mind for one of the walls and I plan on painting them Benjamin Moore Subtle.

It reads a bit on the peachy side on-screen, but it is a beautiful creamy vanilla with just the slightest yellow undertone.  We used it to have our oak kitchen cabinets painted here.  It will be a refreshing touch after the dark gray I painted our room last year.  I think (but can't guarantee!) it will be a longer lasting change to our room.
I am so looking forward to a softer, yet color infused, master bedroom!  It will be a month or so before I can actually start putting this plan in place, but you can be sure I will be sharing it with you eventually!
Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Clean Slate Monday Week 3

Hi everyone!

My daily (well, almost - I'm trying!) organizing continued this week.

*organized my grocery coupons by type and expiration date
*tossed out unused or empty (!) products under the powder room sink
*put all of our vacation 2014 info into an electronic and also a hard copy file
*purchased Valentine's treats for some special little people in my life
*tossed out old magazines and reading material

Nothing much, but slow and steady wins the race!  No pictures this week - I think you all know what a stack of coupons look like.

Hope you have a terrific week - are you organizing or doing any "extra" cleaning this week?

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Galvanizing Moment at Wal-Mart

Hi Everyone!  I had to pick up a few things from Wal-Mart this morning, and while in the dog food aisle, I noticed this huge galvanized dish.  It is meant to be a dog food bowl, but my goodness - I think the possibilities for this are endless.  At only $2.87 (no, your eyes are not deceiving you - this was quite the deal for under $3.00!), I couldn't put this in my cart fast enough!
I set it on a full size, round placemat so you could get an idea of the scale for this dish. It is food safe, so you could serve in it.  The tag says not to bake in it, but for serving cold food it would be wonderful.

Just for fun, I put our cat's water & food bowls inside.  We keep them on the dryer so the dog doesn't get after it. Could be a fun way to corral those dishes in one spot and make for easy cleanup of spills, etc.

I actually am thinking of picking up a few  more and painting the insides with chalkboard or black magnetic paint and hanging them as a trio or maybe even five.. They would be cute with a 5X7 picture frame in them, too - or letters/numbers from Hobby Lobby.

Lots to consider!  All in all, I think it is a really cool little (big) thing for such a low price.  It is a regular item too, not clearance or sale.

You never know what turns up at Wal-Mart.  Today was my lucky day!

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking with:
Metamorphosis Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Amaze Me Monday
The DIYers
Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesdays

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Long & Winding Road of Home Projects

Hi Everyone!  Sharing a few snapshots of a project I have been working on since November. Yes.  November.  The area I am working on is really rather small, but there have been so many little details to work on.
(The vintage crates I blogged about yesterday will be used in part of this area.)
I pulled down the turquoise painted faux beadboard wallpaper, which revealed the once-lovely spruce green paint.  (Not so attractive any more!) One of my supervisors was on the job inspecting to make sure everything was going just right......

Mr. Bluebird has been on the scene also (it looks like he's smoking in this pic, but he actually has a pencil in his mouth!).

This is another part of the area being re-done. You will not recognize it when this project is finished! 
It all looks pretty hopeless right now, doesn't it?  This "weekend" project has spiraled into something much longer, but I am confident it will be done soon.
Can't wait to share it with you!
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Vintage Crates & A Sneak Peek

Hi Everyone! Here it is Monday already - hope you all have plans to make it a great week.  I have quite a few projects on the burner along with the fun of having a crown put on later this afternoon (and not the pretty kind with diamonds and such! I wish!).
But, onward and upward to some fun finds.  Mr. Bluebird and our Sweet Daughter took me to Fox Lake Country Antique Mall in Occonomowoc last month for my birthday. I had never been to this mall before, but oh my goodness I will be going there regularly!  It is beyond awesome.  It's huge and their selection cannot be topped.  Needless to say, it was the perfect way to spend my birthday!
I have a project going on that I needed three old wooden boxes for.  After searching for a few months, I just wasn't having any luck.  They were either wayyyyy too pricy or were labeled "Embalming Fluid" (what???!) or "Explosives" or the color/size/shape wasn't quite right.
I was so happy to find two of the boxes I wanted at Fox Lake.  I especially liked the Wisconsin connection and graphics on each of the boxes.  I remember having Graf's sodas at all of our family parties when I was growing up.


When I got them home, they were quite dry.  Out came my Parker & Bailey Orange Oil Polish - gosh, I love this stuff.

I found mine at Marshall's/Home Goods and it's only $4.99 a bottle. It smells heavenly!

 These boxes were so dry that I simply poured a generous amount of oil directly onto the boxes.  Then I rubbed it in with a paper towel and finally a soft, lint-free cloth.

You can really see the transformation in the picture above.  What a contrast.

Here they are - all oiled up and looking their best!


And for a little sneak peak into where these boxes will be going, I leave you with a view of our upstairs hall closet.  However, things are not as they appear.............stay tuned.  It's going to be awesome! Really, it is.  But, I have to make you wait because Mr. Bluebird has a few finishing touches he needs to help me with before it can all come together.

Check out my Clean Slate Monday post here to read about my somewhat of a fail week at organizing in the new year!

What's on your planner for this week?

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking to these fun parties:
Metamorphosis Monday
Monday Funday
Amaze Me Monday
Masterpiece Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday

Clean Slate Monday Week 2

Hi everyone!  Whew! What a week! I've been busy with a big project this past week, along with working, and all those day to day things that need doing.

That brings me to Clean Slate Monday Week 2, which was a bit of a fail. Not much organizing going on here....certainly not everyday like I hope to do. But I did get a few things done.

I cleaned out my make up much easier to get out what I need without the clutter of old or unused products.

I also gave my pantry a good scrubbing and reorganizing, always nice to have this tidied up.

Yikes! The holiday season hit the pantry hard this year.  What a mess!

Ah.......peace has been restored.

I wish I had gotten my goal of seven things done, but life got in the way. Maybe I can make up for it this coming week!

How have your 2014 goals been coming along?

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Clean Slate Monday

Hi everyone! As I told you here, one of my home ambitions for 2014 is to organize something every single day.  My theory is this will lead me to quite a tidy space by the end of the year and keep things from getting out of control!  Five or ten or twenty minutes a day spent on a drawer, a shelf, or whatever is do-able no matter how hectic the schedule.

I've also made myself accountable by promising you lovelies that I will chronicle my progress via pictures each and every Monday. So, with the fear of facing public shaming if I don't follow through, I present to you week one of my "clean slate" program!

January 1, 2014 - put away the Christmas décor! (Except for the tree - keeping that up through the 6th!)


January 2, 2014 - filled out the important dates on my new calendar

January 3, 2014 - addressed next Christmas' cards. We live near the Lang Company, so we have an amazing outlet store. My cards were only $3.00 a box and they are so pretty.

 January 4, 2014 - I sorted through the junk at our "landing station" in the kitchen and tamed it! We can always close the door on it, but in reality we usually leave the door up and all of our clutter is proudly (?) on display!  After a good clean-up, only the essentials remain!

January 5, 2014  -  This next "accomplishment" was in the micro-mini category.  I have a drawer in my desk where I keep any greeting cards I plan to send out in the near future.  A little bit of silly clutter I had gotten in there, so "swoosh!" Got rid of that and even found a $10 Starbucks gift card at the bottom of the pile! Woot!  That is about it for organizing today because I am helping Mr. Bluebird work on one of the projects I've cooked up for him!
So there you have it, the first week of January and I have tackled some of the annoying clutter.  I am figure these baby steps will become giant leaps in the months to come! How about you guys? Have any clutter that needs tackling?
See you next week with my continuing organizational progress.
Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pet Silhouettes

Well, the new year is under way and the creative juices are flowing around here! I have been working on refreshing our upstairs hallway and actually, have many fun projects and additions to show you.
Today, though, I wanted to share the silhouettes of our family pets that I made to hang in the hallway.  I think they turned out so cute and will be a long lasting tribute to our trio of furballs!

The three amigos (well, not exactly amigos, maybe I should call them the three "tolerators!" - as in they tolerate each other, but that's about it).

This was such a fun & easy project to do.  I wish I had "how-to" pics, but I am sure the instructions are easy enough to follow without visuals. The hardest part was getting a side profile picture of each of them - I took tons before I found three that would work!
Then, I enlarged them to the size I wanted on my computer and printed them out on copy paper.  I cut them out, and traced them onto black scrapbooking paper.  I cut those out, glued them onto white cardstock, and placed them into $3.97 black frames from WalMart - talk about thrifty!  How fun to do this with your kids, also? Classic.
I am sure there are other, more "correct" methods of making silhouettes, but this one worked just fine for me! I will show you how they look in the hallway soon.
Thanks for stopping by,
Linking with these fun parties:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Time for a Clean Slate

Hi everyone!
This morning I was kind of wandering around the house just sort of pondering the condition of my house.  As I passed from area to area, I came to one and ONLY  one possible conclusion.
My house is in desperate need of a:


(I can't believe I am showing you this closet - ugh! An embarrassment and a disaster all rolled into one!)

And then there's my baking after Christmas crash! I am thinking that opened bag of mini marshmallows will be approaching the rock hard stage very soon.

 Oh, there are many other hidey-holes of disaster lurking behind closed doors, drawers, and cubbies in my house that I will spare you from!  Good grief! I don't have that many readers as it is, I don't want to scare the few followers away now do I? No. No. I do not.
My mission in 2014 is to tame the messies and clutters away.  It actually is a daunting task because once you are done with some organizing, you aren't really done.  You're never really done.  Keeping it organized is the true battle!!!
So, join me on my de-cluttering and re-organizing war (yes, this is WAR!!!).  My goal is to clean or organize something every day. It doesn't mean the basement will be done in a day, or the garage, or the master closet.  But, I am will attempting to take care of something I am think 365 of de-junking will look impressive come Dec. 31st.
I will share pics of my accomplishments here every Monday!!! I am sure you will be anxiously awaiting those posts!
Anyway, here I go!
Thanks for stopping by,



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Mr. Bluebird and I spent a nice evening at home.  We made dinner together - chicken kiev, baked potato, and a salad. Yummo!!!  It was nice to just relax for a bit, enjoying the last moments of the tree, a cozy fire, and a glass of wine. 

We are needing this re-charge time because we are hosting a Wisconsin Badger bowl watching game at noon today.  A great way to end the holiday season (even better if they win!).

Thank you again, for your stops at my blog - can't wait to share 2014 with you all! 

Happy New Year to you & yours,