Sunday, August 26, 2012

Water Hyacinth Trunks on a Rainy Day

Since the arrival of our new living room furniture, the cats have been banished from their usual cozy quarters and I have been feeling a *little* badly about that.  While browsing through the latest Ballard's catalog, I came across  water hyacinth trunks that seemed like a perfect solution.  The cats love laying in, on, and around baskets and I thought a set of two would look perfect in front of two of our windows.  Of course, the $129.99 price tag for a set of 3(plus shipping!) seemed a bit out of my range. Lucky me, I came across two for $34.99 each - yipsters! Gotta thank my local Home Goods for that!

The sofa table to the right is actually about two feet away, but it looks much closer in this pic! The chair to the left is just holding a spot until I find the right leather chair - it is a perfect reading corner.  This trunk is just begging for a furry friend to drape itself over the top.

Barker approves of this new lounge spot - now if only it will keep him off the new furniture!

 Had to try out a little rooster vignette - but in the end, I'm planning to keep both trunks clear so my two cat guys have a place to hang around.

On a completely random note, it's raining today and I couldn't be happier! Like so many other parts of the country, we have had a severe shortage of rain, along with scorching hot temperatures.
 We are feeling very grateful for this all day, gentle rain!

Wishing you happiness,

Partying with
Debbie Doos Newbie Party
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
A Stroll Trhough Life Tabletop Tuesday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Decisions & Indecisions


It has been a fun and stressful few weeks of making decisions about our first floor remodel.  While I am very excited and incredibly grateful to be able to do this, I spend alot of time second guessing my choices.  Ugh!  But, we have finally made the majority of choices and contracted for the work to start late next month. Whoopee!!!

Here is a pic of our kitchen cabinets as they look today. The cabinets themselves are well made and I am happy with the configuration and features.  (They are only ten years old!) So, we are keeping them and having them painted.  Therein lies my greatest indecison!!! I just don't know what color of white to choose.  I've purchased several colors and made sample boards etc., but just not sure.  Any suggestions? I am a warm color decorator, so anything that has gray or taupe in it just isn't going to work.

 We have chosen Black Pearl granite for the counters.  Have you ever been to a granite yard? Oh my gosh - granite overload! But so fun to actually see all the different types and colors of granite.  Mother nature is amazing in her artistry! We chose Black Pearl, first because we wanted black counters and second, it has a fairly uniform pattern and won't compete with other elements in the room - both now and in the future.
For the kitchen, powder room, laundry room, and foyer we chose Mannington Mojave Slate Laminate.  It is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for our family and our crazy pooch with long nails!!  You would be amazed at the strides laminate has made - and I am drawn to the looks as well as the durability. Yum! Love this floor!

In the living area we are installing Shaw Heron Bay Yadkin River Hickory.  This is also a laminate product and it is absolutely stunning.  It will look fantastic with our Wisconsin River Rock fireplace!!  I know you wood purists will shake your head, but I am sold on laminate.  Our current den was used for six years as a dance room for our daughter.  In middle & high school she was a competitive dancer & also danced on the Radiso Disney Dancer team and spent hours practicing her tap & other routines, and there is not so much as a scratch on it!! For my busy house, I'll go with laminate every time.

This is a shot of the foyer.  Here you can see our existing vinyl floor and a tiny peek at our old sofa. (I cannot find a picture of our living room with the old furniture in it - sorry! The new was delivered two weeks ago and I am waiting for the "big reveal" lol!) Our living area has beige builder grade berber carpet.  I can't wait to get rid of the carpet - bye bye ten years of dog & cat hair! So excited to have these upgrades made to our house - it will feel new all over again!

Big changes around here! So much to get done - I need to paint the kitchen and powder room, empty ALL my cabinets, install a new bank of cabinet drawers, etc.,  etc. Fun, but hectic!

I leave with this plea for HELP!!!!!:  Any suggestions on a white paint for my cabinets? Any suggestions welcomed!

Wishing you happiness,

Partying with
Inspiration Friday At the Picket Fence

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Little of Fall, Y'All

       Like so many of you, I have been itching to add a little fall to my home.  Not quite ready to go all out with pumpkins, mums, and leaves - just adding back in some of the cozy fall tones and textures.

My new living room furniture was delivered last Thursday and I also hung new drapery panels.  They are all in the fall color spectrum that I return to again and again.  I flirted this year with neutralizing which is soooo popular right now and sooooo beautiful.  It just wasn't me.  So I have returned to my decorating roots!

(Oops! You can see the foil I've been using to keep our cats & dog off the furniture off to the left!)

We are installing new floors in the living room as part of an entire first floor remodel in the next month or so, which means I am only going to give you a glimpse of how things are for now. (I'm sneaky like that!)

Thanks for coming along on a little "just before fall" tour!

Wishing you happiness,

Partying with
Debbie-doosNewbie Party
Joy to Journey The Sunday Stop
The Dedicated House Make it Pretty Monday
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
A Stroll Through Life Tabletop Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesday

Friday, August 17, 2012


Just an uber-quickie post today my friends.  I've been talking about the complete re-do of our living room for awhile now, so although it is still in a state of disaster, I thought I show you a glimpse of my fabrics. I have once again fallen for fall color!
Definitely a fall color palette - opposite of what is popular right now. Tried to go that neutral direction, as I have said before, but it just isn't me!  I love it elsewhere (there are so many fabulous bloggers who totally rock that look!), but I need those cozy fall colors. Maybe it's the long winters in Wisconsin!! Hopefully I will do this old color scheme some justice and make it look fresh & new - not all cute and country. (Although, if you like that - I say go for it!)

*One little disclaimer - not sure why the burgandy-ish pillow is reading green, because the plaid is a definite burgandy & mustard combo!

Gotta run - off to a lovely outdoor wedding ceremony.

Wishing you happiness,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Living Room is a Disaster Area!

Oh my goodness! My beautiful new living room furniture was delivered today.  Totally and completely L.O.V.E. It is definitely off the blogland radar, but that's okay - the minute the delivery guys brought it in I just knew it was perfect for us.

With that being said, we are in the midst of a big ol' - spur of the moment -  remodel that seems to keep growing and growing!  Lots of zeros at the ends of the checks I've been writing lately. So, sadly, it has been impossible to play with my new stuff today! Boo! Too much other junque in the living room waiting for a new home.

I am also hoping to keep our dog and two cats OFF the new furniture. So.....I purchased two pet protector covers for the settee and the sofa.  I've also put foil on the chair, sofa, and settee.  So far, all three of the hairy crew seem rather afraid of the foil - either that, or they aren't crazy for the current state of the room! Who knows? We will see how the training goes.

Well, that's it for now.  No pictures or witty prose - just a messed up room right now - too icky for your eyes.  Hope to have it up to snuff and photo worthy soon!

Wishing you happiness,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where's the Silver?

The other day I shared with you my super GW deals on silver pieces here. I finally found a home for most of them.  

 This is a shot of the water closet area in our master bathroom.  Last fall, I found this old shelf that was stained a super dark walnut for $4.00 at the GW and painted it/distressed it to a pretty shade of aqua/blue.  I'm pretty sure it is a cup and saucer shelf from the 70's/80's when that sort of collecting was so popular.
 I think the little creamers look so cute on the shelves.  The beanie baby was a favorite of my daughter's when she was little, so while not very decorative, it is a sweet reminder of those days and I love having it there!

I used one of the footed silver bowls to hold some yummy scented soaps! The little ceramic dish next to it holds scented "spa beads" that I picked up at our State Fair last week - they smell FAB-u-lous!

The tiny blue willow platter is from a set of dishes I won at a school "trade with a friend day" when I was in third or fourth grade.  I remember I brought it home and my antique dealer parents didn't want me to play with it because it is quite valuable! I wasn't happy about the no play rule, but I am now!
This  framed picture is of my husband walking with a sheep on his grandparents farm when he was just a little guy.  It is beyond adorable and makes me smile every time I look at it!

 I picked up these tin bird hangings for $4.99 each at Stein's Garden Center two years ago.  I love them, but have yet to find the right spot for them in our house.Right now I am trying them out here by just resting them on the shelf, before I commit to three nail holes.  Do you ever fall in love with something only to find out it just doesn't "work" with your decor? I think that is where I am at with these. :(  Wah!

One last look!

Wishing you happiness,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Subway Art for the Classroom

I've been saving this super easy project- on the cheap - that I did over the summer until "back to school got a little closer."  For some of you, school has already started, but in my neck of the woods, I don't report to my classroom until the end of the month.

Working with high school students, we are always looking for ways to motivate them in a way they can relate. Classroom supplies are always pricey, so we were on the hunt for an inexpensive bulletin board idea that packed a lot of punch! With subway art being soooooo popular these days - with kids and adults alike - the teacher in my room found a fabulous motivational saying on the web that was perfect for our room.

I was able to print the text and then had it blown up on a jumbo copier (I think you can get this done for a mere $2.00 or $3.00).  Next, I found a large piece of cardboard and cut it to size (about 40 X 18 for my purposes), which I then sprayed with chalkboard paint.

After that, I used yellow tracing paper (you could use any pastel color) to transfer the wording on to the board. You can find the pastel tracing paper at any store that sells sewing supplies, such as Hancock or JoAnn - I did not have any luck at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, though.

Once that was complete, I got out a white paint pen and carefully went over the lettering.  I needed to do this in two coats to get the coverage I wanted.  Lastly, I took a clean paint brush and brushed away any of the chalky residue from the tracing paper.

In all, the project took about an hour and a half from start to finish.  My only cost was the copy blow up and tracing paper (already had the paint pen) - bringing it to  a whopping total of under $5.00!

Isn't it cute?  I can't wait to build a bulletin board theme around it!  It also would be a great home decor project, especially if you used wood or a canvas.  So easy!

Wishing you happiness,

Partying with Kim Wow Us Wednesday
Heather & Vannessa Inspiration Friday

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Slivers of Silver

While out Goodwilling last week, I came across a few cute silver things.

Each piece was only 99 cents - can you believe it?!  The two stands are perfect for holding a potted plant, a glass ball, or who knows?! So many things look good when elevated on stands like these.  Love them! 

 I also found these two sweet little creamers.  I can't even express how much I adore the patina on the one to the right!
Crusty and rusty....just the way I like it! Now I wouldn't want all my pieces like this, but a few here and there add just the right character, don't you think?

Can't wait to show you where I have placed a few of these "beautes!"

Wishing you happiness,

Partying over at Debbie-doos for the Newbie Party
Southern Hospitality's Thrifty Treasures

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Glass of Milk or English Cream?

Hi all!  Mr. Bluebird and I have begun the process of having our kitchen re-done.

Bye Bye Golden Oak!

 A fairly major reno actually.  Granite counters, wood floors, lighting, etc.  We aren't getting new cabinetry for a number of reasons:  I like our current kitchen configuration and I've been wanting white cabinetry for years and  years.  So.....we are hiring a painting contractor to do just that.

In the meantime, I have been living in a sea of white paint samples, trying to figure out which is "the one!"
This is quite the process! I've been stalking looking at other blogs to see what color they have used, since this is such a popular thing to do these days.  The samples all look so similar, yet I can see differernces in them all.  I am currently leaning toward one called Bone Folder by Martha Stewart. But there is also English Cream, Glass of Milk, Magnolia Blossom, and on and on....... Oh well, I have a few weeks to decide! I am still on the fence on having them glazed, too, so we will have to see.....

Although we are not putting is new cabinetry, I am adding a few cabinets to our kitchen during this project.  We currently have a little built in desk that I am replacing with a three drawer cabinet.  We put the desk in when we built our house ten years ago so our then 11 year old daughter could use the computer and do her homework while I made dinner, etc.  Obviously, the computer has been replaced by laptops and tablets, and the little girl is now a soon to be senior in college.  The drawered cabinet will be such a storage booster and provide us with more usable counter space.

I am also having a 36" appliance garage installed to hide away the cluttered "of the everyday" - cellphones, keys, mail, etc.  That stuff drives me nuts - but where else do you put it! So, poof! Appliance garage to the rescue - yay! I am also planning on having a few doors fitted with glass & interior lighting. Fun!

When all is said & done, the project should be done sometime in October.  It will be fun to blog about the progress. Hope you will join me!