Thursday, November 29, 2012

red and white in the china cabinet

Keeping it simple in the kitchen...

Using  the red and white theme in the china cabinet
and accenting with just a few Christmas pieces.

Easy to switch out after Christmas to keep the red and white 
 going all winter!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

making it merry and bright

 I caved to the Christmas decorating pressure.

Said I wasn't going to start decorating for the holidays until the calendar 
said December.
It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right?

I don't decorate half as much as what I did in years past.
When your child is almost 22-years old (and your other child has passed away),
decorating for Christmas isn't as much fun anymore.

We don't put up a Christmas tree, but I do decorate shelves and
make tabletop vignettes with Christmas decor.
Here's what I've come up with so far (you know how I like to change things around)
for the ladder bookshelf in my living room.

The photo frame in the background holds pictures of the boys from
when they were wee ones. Tim made the Christmas tree when
he was in Kindergarten. :-)
The ornaments in the glass jar are just cheap ones from Target ~
found them in the $1 section this past weekend.

Some vintage finds from years the sleigh, pine cone ornaments,
and the three little mice.

I tend to decorate just the living room and kitchen,
and sometimes put a couple of Christmas whimsies in the bathroom.
How about you decorate bedrooms, too?


Friday, November 23, 2012


for my mom - who came over early to help me with Thanksgiving Day preparations
(even though she froze because I had the window open)...

for a cool breeze while having hot flashes from cooking and mentalpause...

for my handsome, helpful hubby in carving the bird (my first one! - preparing and cooking, that is)...

for a small, intimate dinner setting in anticipation of a delicious dinner...

indeed, for the loves of my life...

for the bounty of food that God provides to nourish and sustain us...

for cute fur babies (my mom's dog, LuLu and Zippo)...

for my wonderful second-born son whom I love with all my heart...

and for the 21 years that I had my oldest son, even though it wasn't enough...

 I'm also thankful for you - my blogging friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

pretty pictures for the bathroom

 Sometimes, it takes me forever to find exactly what I have in mind for decorating purposes.

My main bathroom has dark gray walls with a black-framed mirror,
white floating shelves above the toilet and a white shower curtain.
I always loved the colorful towel that I found for this bathroom, and knew
I wanted to base the accent colors in this room from the towel.

 While browsing at Hobby Lobby, I found these two colorful flower prints.

 Can't wait until this bathroom is completely remodeled ~ which will be coming soon.
Everything in our two bathrooms is the original of the house, which is almost 25 years old!
The only things we're not replacing are the bathtub in this main bathroom and the shower
stall in the master bathroom, as we can only afford to do a little bit at a time.
But, I'm excited to have new sinks and vanities, new toilets, new lighting fixtures,
new doors and trim, and porcelain tiles ~ instead of disgusting, old vinyl!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

living room re-do

 My OCD rearranging bug bit me again.

This time, I dragged up my grandma's beautiful Lane coffee table from the basement.
I have always loved the woodwork of this piece, as well as the scrolled legs.
I would love to re-paint the wood on this piece someday...
white with some distressing?
(That's Monkey on the rug, checking things out.)

I also took the turquoise wicker chair from the bookcase wall and
 placed it to the side of the coffee table.

 To fill in the empty space where the turquoise chair was, I
put a little side table (another piece of furniture that belonged to my grandma)
with a plant in its place.

As far as the two round, leather ottomans that used to be in front of the sofa,
I moved those in front of the window.
(Another kitty - Zippo - mugging for the camera. And speaking of kitties,
they love to use the ottoman as their perch to look out the window at the birds and squirrels!)
This space has always been so hard to decorate.
 Doesn't help that there's a vent in the floor right in front of the windows.
I've been imagining a little table and two chairs in front of this space...
like a bistro table.
I also desperately need curtains!
I've found plenty I like, but they're always the wrong size.
Ever notice that the standard curtain length is only 84"?
Well, I need about a 92" length. So hard to find. And I don't sew, so that blows that notion.
Any ideas?

Moving on the buffet area...
I was tired of the bowl of gourds and the typical fall colors that used to be there.
Since turquoise and bright blue are the general accent colors of my living room,
I brightened up this area with a couple of glass blue birds ~ and added two
white candlesticks and a white bird, too.

No space was left untouched. I then moved on to the console table that's right by the front door.
Shopping again in my basement, I found these two vintage pictures
and hung them up on the wall using 3M strips.
I think they fill in the gap between the table and the mirror quite nicely ~
and the colors in the pictures are perfect!

I used a framed leaf picture as a tray for a couple of little glass pitchers.

Next thing you know, it'll be time to drag out the Christmas decorations...
and I'll have to play with decor once again! ;-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

always tweaking - more kitchen updates

One of my latest Goodwill finds was a small wine rack.

Perfect size for a kitchen counter.

The wine rack was a dark rust color, so I simply spray-painted it white.

I was getting tired of my table centerpiece with squash and pumpkins,
so I traded it for wine corks and candles.

And then my fridge was looking way too cluttered...

So I cleaned it up by finding a new home for the cat food and my son's
protein powder that were stashed on top of the fridge ~ and added some cookbooks
and a white rooster. I also removed
unnecessary papers and magnets for a cleaner look.

Linking up to ~


Friday, November 9, 2012

changes in the kitchen

 Remember this black table that I painted and put in my kitchen - the one I wasn't sure about?

Jane, from Blondie's Journals suggested that I try a burlap or tan runner to
soften the look and tie-in with the rest of the kitchen.

 I was using a light tan table topper in another room. I borrowed it to
see how it'd look on the black table. 
I like it! Thanks, Jane!
(Sorry for the grainy pictures - it's a cloudy day so my kitchen didn't have
a lot of light. If I turn the kitchen light on, it casts weird shadows.)

I had found a burlap runner at HomeGoods, but it was way too long
for that little black table. Fit my kitchen table perfectly though, so it's a keeper.

 Speaking of HomeGoods, I was in the tablecloth aisle looking at the runners, and 
I felt a hand on my shoulder. A woman said, "Excuse me! Could I get your opinion
 on some things that I picked out?"
She led me over to her nearby cart and showed me a couple of tablecloths, some
pillows, and a few accessories. She told me how her kitchen and family room were
an open space and how she was trying to coordinate the pillows for the couch
with the tablecloth, placemats, and candles for the table. She asked me which tablecloth
I liked better and if all the things "flowed together". I gave her my opinion, she thanked me,
and we parted ways. Now what was so funny about this situation is that things like this
happen to me all the time when I'm in public. Strangers either strike up a conversation
with me, or ask me for my help. And I was NOT the only one in the tablecloth aisle.
Go figure (shrug). My husband says I have "talk to me" tattooed on my forehead.

 I digress. Back to the little black table...
Found these cute, little turkey tea light holders at World Market.
(I baked chocolate chip cookies last night and now there's only one lonely cookie left.)

 I rearranged some things on one of my kitchen counters. It might look a little
crowded, but this counter space is not my food prep space.

Isn't this teapot adorable? It's a Paul Cardew (England) teapot.
My husband bought me a Paul Cardew teapot with cats on it years ago
and it's one of my favorites. I was browsing other Paul Cardew teapots on
eBay a couple of weeks ago and found this tea-for-one teapot. I love the design
and the colors.

A big change (well, to me) that I experimented with today was removing the door fronts
 off the cabinets above the stove to see if the "open cabinet look" would be doable. 
 In the 22+ years that we've lived here, this has always been our snack cabinet. 
I've been crushing on the open cabinet look that I see on blogs and Pinterest.
Even better, I love open shelving instead of cabinets.
But - one thing at a time.

It still needs a lot of work if I'm to keep it this way.
I'll paper the backs of the cabinets and maybe paint the shelves white.
I don't like that post in the middle either, but Brian reminded me that we'd
have to saw it off - and that I ever want to put the cabinet fronts back on -
we'd somehow have to install a new post. And we're not exactly, ummm...
Mr. and Mrs. Fix-it.

If I decide to keep this look and finish it up, I'll be sure to post
the final results sometime next week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My mom rented booth space in an antique/resale store and wanted my help in setting it up.
We worked all day yesterday, hauling in furniture and boxes and bags of vintage 
and household items. We arranged - and did plenty of rearranging - 
and here's what we came up with for starters.

Some of the things are mine, most of which I originally purchased
from Goodwill. Hope they sell! It'd be nice to make a little bit of money.

The picture of the baby is VERY old.
We were helping an elderly woman from church pack her things for moving
a couple of weeks ago. She said we could take whatever we wanted.
She said her mother made this baby picture from real baby hair and
a baby blanket - that this was a popular thing to do way back when.

An assortment of designer purses (all authentic), a "nursing chair",
dolls, vintage bedding and sewing box, and even a Raggedy Ann and Andy quilt.

I arranged everything green on this stand.
I like the way it turned out - and it looks much prettier in person.

Teapots, teacups, plates, and a few other pretties...

 If you're in the area, come and visit booth #39 at
The Resale Connection in Lisle, Illinois!