Friday, January 29, 2010

A Light Transformation

A few months back my heart skipped a beat when I found this gorgeous chandelier for ten dollars at the thrift store. It looks right at home in our foyer.There was just one problem with updating the foyer light.
The dining room light now looked a little tired and dated.
I love the fixture itself and knew that with just a little transformation it could look fresh and new.
These socket covers can be found where light fixtures are sold. I am drawn to the warm color and the details that resemble a burning candle.
I've used them before on our master bedroom chandelier. It's a simple fix. Simply pull off the old socket cover and replace it with the new---but first measure the length of the existing covers to be sure they'll fit.
The new covers and some pretty crystal (that are actually Christmas ornaments) are all this chandelier needed to give it new life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moving Music

Do you remember months ago when I wallpapered the odd nook at the end of my downstairs hallway with aged sheet music? Every time I see it it makes me smile. The only problem is that I don't see it that often since it's downstairs at the end of the hallway.
So I decided to combine that idea with this idea
to make this.Now I can display an aged sheet music collage wherever I'd like. And for now I'd like it in my dining room surrounded by mercury glass and real and electric candles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Served on a Silver Platter

Simple
Simply Elegant

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Occasional Glimpses

The other night I walked through our darkened home. I walked into the family room and turned on the lights. Their glow brought enough light that I needn't turn on any others. As I finished up in the kitchen I turned and looked into lit the family room.
At that moment I got a glimpse, a still shot, like a photo in a magazine. The room was far from magazine perfect. Pillows and toys were strewn across the floor, which needed a good vacuuming. All of the surfaces needed to be dusted, but still I got that glimpse that happens on occasion.
I stood to take it all in.
Along with the glimpse came a feeling of reverence.
This is our home. Ours.
We are the ones responsible for making it a place of comfort. It is a place where laughter abounds,
where friends are welcome.
A haven for memories.
A shelter from the storms of life.
A sanctuary for our family.
I stood in awe as I thought of how
our hands have created many of it's contents.
This is the same room I pass through dozens of times each day
but at that moment it felt different.
It seems that I get so busy with the day to day that
I lose sight of the wonderful details that are my life
. So when those occasional glimpses occur I try to take it all in,
cherish
the moment,
appreciate
what has been revealed to my soul
and express gratitude for the blessings I have been given.

For I am truly blessed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Process

I truly enjoyed your comments on yesterdays post! You made me laugh, and you motivated me to keep cleaning. You are awesome. Thank you! I would show you the finished closet. . .if it were finished. I only cleaned my side. Hubby's side still is a crazy mess. Which brings me to question, am I the only wife who's husband owns at least twice as many clothes and about five times as many shoes as she does?!?!
Since I won't show you our closet, I thought I'd at least include you in the process I go through while trying to change up an area that's a bit more visible in our home.
Not too long ago I showed you the top of the vintage dresser that sits in my living room. Even
though I am a gal who loves her layers, I'm ready to lighten things up a bit.I start the process by removing almost everything, keeping only a few items that I love and I'm not tired of. Then I think about the feeling that I want to have when I see this area. Right now I would enjoy light colors with a tiny hint of spring. Although I'm not ready for nests, eggs, and frilly flowers. Those can wait a month or two.
I grab a few things that are close by to see if a small change is all I need.Nope, I'm craving a little more. It's time to search in the storage room! I noticed beautiful orchids in the store the other day so when I discovered three faux orchids in my basement (yes, I do tend to forget what I have down there) I knew I was on the right track. I added the big book for layers but when I stood back to take it all in, it still seemed a bit too heavy visually.I love the lighter look of the silver tray and the way it contains the orchids so they have more importance. You know I can't stop there though.I added these elegant candle holders for height. It's almost there, but do you see what's wrong? The balance is off. I make a few minor adjustments so it isn't lopsided. Then add the small decorative ball and a ceiling tin replica to incorporate yet another layer and a few more touches of green.
Now, it's perfect!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nothing Interesting

I have nothing interesting to post about today. I'm sorting through my closet, organizing and finding better places to store some of the things that got stashed there over the holidays.
Yes, I really did have a rubber chicken stashed in my closet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Right Timing

People often comment to me that they can never find great items at the thrift store. It really is a matter of timing, and by that I mean that you need to invest a little time and you need to be lucky enough to be there at the right time. One cannot just run in and out of a thrift store and hope to find something wonderful. Take your time! Treasures need to be hunted. I will often go up and down each aisle at least twice searching for that special something.If you're lucky enough to be there at the right time when that treasure is there, you might need to accept it in less than perfect condition. I was fortunate to be there at the right time to find this pretty little chair. I love the style and colors and it is really comfy too. It doesn't matter that there's a little bit of a tear on the arm. For now I just cover it with a throw. Later I might take a needle and thread to it, or a little hot glue.

I saw this beauty of a lamp at closing time.
I didn't buy it because I have a supply of lamps and this one needed a bit of work. But I couldn't stop thinking about it so the next day I ran to the store as soon as it opened and snatched it up. Hubby made the repairs and luckily I already had the perfect shade.
These two additions were just what I needed to finish off my little corner. With the exception of the flowers, photo, tin shelves (purchased from a neighborhood boutique),
dropcloth curtains, and the computer, everything you see came from thrift stores.I like the way the lamp and faux plant hide the computer from clear view from the doorway. And the comfy chair serves as a nice place to read, put on your shoes, as well as work at the computer. Finding incredible treasures at the thrift store really is just a matter of timing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not Just One

My husband decided that our home needed another computer. He was tired of sharing with the kids so he bought them an inexpensive used one. I thought it was a great idea until I had to figure out where to put "our" computer. We already have a room in the house designated as "the computer room" where computer usage is easily monitored. The room also contains all of the game systems so it gets quite a bit of use, especially on the weekends. It was decided that the other computer would find a home in the master bedroom---not the ideal place, but again, a place where it's usage can be monitored. However, I didn't want the computer, sitting on a big ol' desk, to be the main focus of the room.
I showed you this petite vintage dressing table that I started working on a few months ago.
It was a thrift store find. Unfortunately I deleted the "before" photo of it looking quite sad covered in pastel green and pink sponge paint. I stripped all the paint, gave it a good sanding, and painted it a creamy white. I replaced the hardware with these pretties. And now it sits quite proudly beneath the vintage tin shelves in the corner of the room.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's the Little Things

Yesterday morning I reminded a friend and later another friend reminded me, we determine our own happiness---it's our CHOICE (thanks "grandma"!). So I counted my change and went thrifting. There is something about walking down the aisles of the thrift store that
soothes my soul. Perhaps it's because I can let my mind wander and be creative and occasionally I can find a pretty little something, like a vintage vase for $1.50, that makes me smile. Add some tulips that are on sale and
life feels good again. thrifting+nature=smiles

Months ago I made the choice to finally make my master bedroom feel more relaxing and pretty. T
he task seemed overwhelming because there was so much to do and so little money. I started with a little corner of the room---taking one bite out of the elephant. I liked the look, but I didn't love it. I decided to break down the design elements to determine what was wrong.
*I loved having a comfortable chair.
*I liked the accessories
*I adored the authentic antique tin shelves but,
*I hated the color of the shelves!
They were a part of my spray-paint-everything-black phase. Black is a classic look, but it was too visually heavy for me in this room. I wanted something classic and clean, something that blended well with the rest of the room. I achieved that look with the magic of paint, of course.
Now I love to wake up and see this little corner. Isn't it amazing how
one simple change
can make a big difference!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

Do you remember the lyrics of the old song sung by the Carpenters, Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down? Well I think that I could very easily substitute those words with Stressful Days and Januarys Always Get Me Down.
Our family has experienced a bit of stress over the past few months. With the downturn in the economy, my husband was forced to close his business and find new employment. Our #3 son broke both of his legs. Fortunately he is healing well. But in a mere three weeks he will leave home to learn the Chinese language so that he can serve the Chinese people in New Zealand. Two weeks later our #2 son will leave for China to teach English there. I am excited for both of my sons. They will be experiencing things that I can only dream of. They will have adventures and their encounters will ad layers of character to their already wonderful personalities. But as a mother, their leaving tugs strongly at my heartstrings. Between the stress of lost and new jobs, broken bones, and leaving sons, I am more emotional than usual. Add to that the stress of the holidays, the heartache of dear friends who are having their share of hardships in life and the dreary, smoggy, ugly days of January and I find myself a bit downhearted. Which brings me to my last post.
I find that the older I get, the more I question the value of where I choose to spend my time and talents. I realize that while I asked you what direction I should go with my blog, the better question is, does my blog have value and purpose? After reading all of your beautifully uplifting comments I now know that my blog does have value and purpose, not only to me but also to you.
Thank you for not judging me. I did not write these last posts because I want your sympathy. Nor did I write because I have a goal of gaining more readers or receiving more comments. On the contrary. I wrote because I feel a sense of obligation, to myself and to you. I want my blog to serve a useful purpose. I do not want to be writing posts that leave you feeling inadequate or make you want to spend money on things you can't afford. I want my blog to be an instrument for good in your life and mine; a place for inspiration, motivation, beauty and fun.
I am humbled and honored and grateful to know that it serves this purpose. Thank you for your love and kindness, support and understanding. I am so happy that I can be here to serve you. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement and inspiration when I was letting those stressful days and January get me down.
I will be back tomorrow and for days to come with more to share.
Thank you again for your love and for taking the time to express your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pondering and Pleading

After reviewing the 2009 year of my blog
I began to ponder. . .
Am I happy with my blog?
Is my blog going in the right direction?
Is it worth my time?
Is it worth the time of those who read my blog?
When I began my blog my purpose was to motivate myself to get some projects done and document the process. I never thought that I would have over a thousand people interested in what I did.
But now I do.
And I feel a sense of obligation to you all.
I want my blog to be not only worth your time, but also be helpful---for entertainment, inspiration, distraction, relaxation, encouragement, motivation, WHATEVER!
I've taken a few days off
to figure out a direction for my blog.
The only trouble is, I'm still directionless. So here's where you come in.
Why do you come here? What would you like to see more of? What can I do to help you?
If you feel so inclined, leave me a comment.
I Really Appreciate Your
Help and Support.

THANK YOU!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chilly Scenes

I'm so happy that you're here!
I hope you feel welcome.
Please enjoy a few more winter vignettes from around my home.
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