Thursday, February 20, 2014

Burlap and a Dog

Hi everyone! I wanted to share a little corner of our living room with you all today.  We haven't traveled into this room on my blog much lately, so a post like this is long overdue!
I picked up the cutest, squishy burlap basket at Home Goods the other day - $4.99! Woo hoo!  They had a size smaller, and two or three sizes bigger, all stenciled with a different amount of pounds.  The five pounder was just right for me, so in the cart it went!
For now, I just placed a houseplant in it, and set it on my harp-based end table. It adds a nice contrast to the shiny lamp (an old Home Goods purchase) and although it looks a bit shiny in the pic, it is truly coarse, nubby, beautiful burlap.  It also goes well with the burlap shade on the lamp.

This area is pretty representative of the type of colors I am drawn to - golds, burgandys, greens.  The picture on the left is a handpainted oil that I picked up several years ago at Goodwill for super cheap - like $2.00 cheap. It's kind of crinkly and worn - I love it!  The other two pictures are so pretty, but are Kirkland cheapies.  Still, they work well here.

The yellow checked ottoman is a Target find, back when they first introduced their Threshold line.  It has storage and is great for extra seating, propping up your feet, or simply adding a pop of color and pattern, as it does here.  I painted and stained the old harp based table several years go, picked it up at a thrift store for - again - cheap!

The little collie on the old book is a favorite.  Just a sweet faced, little guy that adds some charm to the setting.

All these flower pictures and green plants have me longing for spring! We are having an ice, snow, rain, and thunderstorm event today - yes, that is our actual forecast! That's Wisconsin weather for ya - all the seasons wrapped up in one day! But sooner or later, I will be admiring the outside flowers and greenery!  (I hope so anyway!)

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking with:
Metamorphosis Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Les Chateau Des Fleurs
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Inspire Me Tuesday
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Will it Go 'Round in Circles?

Hi Everyone!

Well, we are bracing for another 4 to 6 inches of snow around here today - ugh! It has been quite the winter with the sub zero temps and the snow, snow, and more snow.  Hopefully spring is waiting around the corner.  Not so sure today though!  Lucky me, at least, today I am snug at home and don't have to be out in the elements.

I  have been lusting after this chandelier from Ballard's for at least the last  six months.

Our house, being a saltbox style, is very angular - lots of straight lines.  I thought the orb shape of this fixture would be the perfect foil to all the straightness and would look perfect in our front entry.  However, it was a bit pricey for my taste, so I waited and waited for it to "really" go on sale.  Sadly, because it is one of their featured products, their coupons can't be used on this item. Boo to that!
This is the fixture that I originally picked out when we built our home 12 or so years ago.  Loved it at the time, but in time I grew to realize it was actually one of the much maligned "boob" lights - just one that was all prettied up.  Still, a boob is a boob.  It had to go!  (I hate the word boob - don't know why, just do.  But in the case of this light, it is what is! A boob light!)
Then, a few weeks ago while I was recovering from surgery, Mr. Bluebird said I should just go ahead and order the light and that would be my Valentine's gift from him to me.  Well, I thought why not? But I hemmed and hawed for a few more days.  Thankfully!
Because low and behold Wayfair featured the same chandelier on one of their daily deals at a substantial price reduction, plus I found a 15% online coupon, and there was free shipping to boot! I couldn't place my order fast enough!  Thank goodness I procrastinated a bit, but I scored quite the deal!
So.......yesterday, Mr. Bluebird got out his trusty ladder and tools and installed the light in our foyer.
Here he is, looking all sorts of proud! He even has a "sunny" glow around him because he is the master of home improvement, lol!

This is the light up close, as you are coming down the stairs.  We added a ceiling medallion to accent the light a bit.  It is actually plastic and cost under $7.00!  (I still need to caulk, so forgive me!) I painted in Benjamin Moore Subtle, which is the color of our cabinets and eventually will be the trim color throughout our house.  I am over the moon about this combo!

So there you have it, in all of it's glory! I just love how it changed up this area and the circle shape has me swooning all over the place!

What's up in your house today?

Thanks for stopping by,

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Make it Pretty Monday
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hi everyone,

Hope you are having a happy Valentine's Day spent with those you love!

Mr. Bluebird and I are hanging out at home, having a dinner of crab cakes, salad, and wild rice. Yum!
I set the table using the bouquet Mr. Bluebird gave me. So pretty!

Just a simple table.  Still tired out from my recent surgery, so this was about as extravagant as I got.  Check out the kitty photo bomb!

Kitty needs to excuse himself from the table, because seriously - he does not belong on the chair! As cute as he may!

I will be back soon to share with you a super, awesome Valentine gift from Mr. Bluebird. 

Have a lovely evening everyone,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monogrammed Chair Backs (An Easy DIY)

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Hi Everyone! I wanted to share with you a fun, afternoon project I completed long ago at the bank breaking price of under  $10.00! Let me set the scene for you:  this past Christmas I had purchased some really cute holiday kitchen towels.  When I was unpacking them, I randomly hung them on the back rail of our kitchen chairs.  Oh my gosh, they were super, super cute!! So I left them there for the holiday season, but they did a lot of slipping and sliding around and ended up  not being very practical.  But, undaunted, I knew this was the dawn of the nifty idea for future "towel/chair" décor and I set out in January to perfect this idea.  First, let me show you the finished product:  can you see cute? Well, I sure as heck can!!! Love them!!!!

And without further ado, here is what I did to accomplish this under $10.00 (total, for all five of our chairs)  awesomeness!

First, I hit up the sewing section at my local WalMart for these amazing Aunt Martha's Stitch 'Em Up "Retro Stripe" towels.  They come in a package of three and are 100% cotton, and 100% faux grainsack awesome! $2.97 for a package of three. (on Aunt Martha's website they are substantially more expensive, so I am not sure if these were mismarked at WalMart or not. However, if you are looking for other colors and designs, check out their website for a nice variety) These are great even if you don't embellish them and my mom has always sworn by cotton dishtowels for um....drying dishes!

Next, I went to my computer and picked out a font, sized it up to what I needed, and printed out the
"W" I needed. Easy so far, eh?

The towels are sheer enough that you can see the bold font through the fabric and I copied it on to the towels with my trusty No.2 pencil.

After the tracing was done, I took a good old Sharpie marker and traced over the pencil lines.  Let me also add that the folds from packaging made centering my monogram easy peasy.

After I had finished "monogramming" the towels, I ironed them thoroughly (which also helps to "set" the marker if you should ever need to wash the towels). I also folded the towels in thirds to get the width I need for my chairs.  I did not cut them to size because a) that would mean I would have some hemming to do and b) I wanted to be able to use them for another purpose someday. (But mostly, didn't want to hem!)

Are you still with me folks? We are heading down the home stretch.  I then took a 97 cent package of buttons and a $2.97 package of sticky back Velcro rounds and went about the last two steps of this super simple project.

*cover your eyes, my glue gun is not very pretty!*

As I mentioned, when I used the Christmas towels on my chairs during the holidays, they slipped and slid out of place.  To remedy that problem, I simply took a pair of Velcro rounds and attached them to the inside of the towels. This way, after the towels are placed on the chairs, I can secure them with the Velcro and they will stay in place. Also, since they are not heat fused onto the fabric, I can always peel them off if ever I should decide to use the towels for a different purpose.

Lastly, I took three buttons and simply hot glued them on the back side of the towel to give a finished look.  I also think it would be adorable to have the buttons facing the other side and the monogram facing out.

Here is one final look at the finished product.  Super fun - especially for Valentine's and even Fourth of July and of course, Christmas. The best part is that if I change my mind, I can remove the Velcro and buttons and I will still have five cute, monogrammed tea towels.

What do you think? I just love how they turned out and as far as time to make five of these cuties - under two hours.  The ironing took the longest!

Thanks for stopping by,

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Metamorphosis Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
The DIYers
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Monday Funday
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting Smashed After Surgery

Oh dear, perhaps I should re-think the title of this post, lest you think I am hitting the bottle after my gallbladder surgery a few days ago! Fear not, dear readers - I am tea-totaling it all the way, but I still have spent some time getting "smashed" - oh yes, I have!

While preparing for the downtime after my surgery, I was shopping around for something creative to do while lounging around and came across K&Company Smash Books at the near by Target store.  I am a little late getting to the Smash Book party, but I had been intrigued by the concept of just kind of "smashing" ideas, clippings, photos, what not into a scrapbook of sorts.

Like many of you, I love the idea of scrapbooking. I want to be good at scrapbooking. I want to keep up with scrapbooking.  But. I. Just. Can't. Do. It.  So the Smash book concept is perfect for me!

I paid about $20.00 for a Smash Book Kit. It came with a beautifully bound scrapbook with lots of pretty pages, a pen/gluestick combo, and a large assortment of "extras" to add in here and there.

It has been about five days since my surgery, and today was the first day I really had an extra energy. So, I gathered up a few magazines and catalogs, and started clipping away at some images I wanted to put into my book.

Don't you just LOVE that pink typewriter? It was spray painted pink! That is definitely on my radar to try. I'm thinking turquoise or a pretty cream.

Another image that I loved.  It has all the colors in my living room, but has a much lighter feel.  Look at the shells in the bookshelf.

I glued in a cute little "adore" label to this page.

A glue stick is attached to the opposite end of the pen that comes with the kit.  You can get a ton of different colored pens to use in the Smash Book.

I made a page of vintage things I will be searching out this year to add to my own home.

There are no shortage of "extras" you can purchase to beautify and personalize your book - washi tapes, stickers, medals, and so much more.

Now, you can go on Pinterest and there are tons and tons of ideas to make your Smash Book a work of art.  I am currently staying away - because I am happy with the no pressure, no rules of just randomly "smashing" in  bits and pieces of things I like. It reminds of the scrapbooks I used to make as a kid, filled with Partridge Family clippings and birthday party invitations.

It has been a fun distraction during my recovery for me and a wonderful creative outlet too. about you? Have you started a Smash Book?

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Clean Slate Monday: Crash & Burn

Oh the best of intentions! That is what I started 2014 with.  The entire premise of Clean Slate Monday seemed such a simple, easy to do concept:  organize/clean something (in addition to basic household cleaning) every day and by the end of the year my house would be in marvelous condition.  Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?

Well, it is, and I plan to return to it soooooon, but until then life got a bit in the way of this venture.  I had to have my gallbladder removed last week, and the pain leading up to the actual surgery really limited what I could get done around the house.  I barely kept up with laundry and a clean (somewhat!) floor.

Now I am in recovery, but it is a process and it will be awhile before I am back to my usual self.  I do plan on bringing back Clean Slate Monday in the future because I think it is a great and more importantly, realistic idea.

Have a terrific Monday - time for a nap!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Going Up!

Hi everyone! Today I am sharing the rest of my upstairs hallway re-do.  Last week I shared the cozy nook that we made out of the linen closet here. In addition to that, we added beadboard wainscot on the hallway walls and a full beadboard wall as you turn to go up the stairs.

I have tried numerous times over the years to get the staircase area "right" - with wallpaper, paint, stenciling, even beadboard wallpaper, which you can see here. It was always too dark, too much of a statement, or the treatment did not hold up to the wear and tear of a staircase used daily.

As I've said before, I am a big fan of beadboard wallpaper and in fact, I used it on this very stairway wall. Truthfully, it did not hold up in this area at all. Boo! But, I knew that I wanted the beadboard look here so we went with the real deal - pine beadboard - and I am so pleased with the results. I re-hung an assortment of our daughter's candid childhood pictures, along with her birth certificate. I printed everything in black and white sepia for a cohesive, peaceful feel.  

I just picked up the Matilda Rolling Market Cart from World Market with a gift card I received for Christmas. I love the texture it adds to this area. I plan on putting a plant inside, but it has been too cold to buy one and bring it home! Ah, Wisconsin winters.....

This is a view of the hall from our master. You can see the new nook to the right.

Here you see it from our daughter's room. This is a small area, but I think the beadboard and the pet silhouettes bring a touch of personality to the space. I think the beadboard and molding, in the slightly contrasting, creamy hue brings a sense of importance to this small area without overdoing it.

I can't get over the change - we actually enjoy this little pass through so much now.  It took a few weekends of painting, prepping, and elbow grease, but it was well worth it in the end.  Later this week I will be posting the entire cost of the hallway reno, including the nook.  I think you will be surprised at the small price tag!

Thanks for stopping by,
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