Monday, March 20, 2017

spring, new pottery and rug, and knee update

Happy Spring - finally! 
Here in northern Illinois, the signs of spring are subtle at this time of year. Just a few buds on bushes and the green stalks of lilies and daffodils sticking out of the dirt. I took this photo just a few days ago when we still had some snow on the ground. Thank goodness, that's all gone now. I just took a look at our 10-day forecast and it looks like nothing but clouds and rain, which is also sucky. But that's the way March rolls around here - it's very fickle.

I know sunset photos are cliche, but I never get tired of seeing a gorgeous sunset. This was also taken a few days ago, when we were driving home one evening. I made Brian pull over by the lake that's just a few blocks from our house so that I could take this photo. I like how you can see some traces of snow on the shoreline.

This past weekend while out running some errands in a nearby town, we had the chance to pop in at Fox and Finch Antiques and say hello to Ginene. If you're a fan of antiques, check out her blog. And if you're ever in the Richmond, IL area, be sure to stop in and check out her beautiful store. While browsing, I found a piece of pottery to add to my collection. This one's made by Hall China. I think technically it's ceramic, not pottery ~ but I was still drawn to the fabulous colors and design. 

More shopping news...

I've been on the hunt for a new kitchen rug for our kitchen. The previous rug was a solid cream color. It served its purpose for a couple of years, but that's as long as it lasted because it started showing a lot of dirt spots. I really liked the solid, light, neutral color so that I could use whatever colors I wanted as far as tablecloths, napkins, runners and other kitchen decor. We don't have a separate dining room, so this is our only dining space. I looked on every homegoods website that I could think of, plus took a look at the rug section in every store I went to.

We were in Target yesterday, so we took a look at the rugs there. We were thrilled to find a neutral jute rug in the size we needed - and bonus - it was on sale. Once it was on my kitchen floor though, I wasn't too sure. Our floors and cabinets both have red undertones and this rug is definitely more taupe. I wasn't sure if this is too much of a contrast. Brian likes it, but I'm still a little dubious - though I admit, I think it's growing on me. I told Brian I'd post some pictures on my blog and see what you all think.

I left the tags on the rug in case I end up returning it.

My knee continues to improve a slight bit every few days as far as strength and range of motion. I can now walk any store unaided (no cane) - even a big grocery store - though I still have a limp and walk slow because of swelling and tightness. All this is normal. The first week of physical therapy went great - though it's a little brutal and tiring. I also do my exercises at home every day, plus elevate and ice several times a day to help with the swelling. For those of you who were concerned I'm doing too much, too worries. I talked to the physical therapist and she said as long as I'm not in any pain or having an increase in swelling, it's all good.

Happy Monday ~ have a beautiful week!


  1. Good news about your knee. I ice my ankle every night. I didn't know you lived so close to a lake. I wish I did. I'd be there taking photos! I think the rug looks great!

  2. I kind of like the rug, Melanie. It looks like it matches the chair pads you have? I think new things always look a bit awkward for a while until our eyes get used to seeing them. BUT--if you DON'T like it---don't 'settle' will never be happy with it. If you find a remnant on sale somewhere you can take it and have the rug 'bound' on the edges and here that cost about $1.00 - $1.50 a running foot. so an 8 x 10 rug would cost about $36 (at $1.00/foot-to $54.00 @1.50). I did that in two places in our house and found remnants that I loved that were cheap and then had them bound (that binding includes a backer here, too).
    Glad you are going to PT and doing well with your knee.
    Have a great night- xo Diana

  3. Glad to hear that the knee continues to improve and a beautiful sunset or sunrise is always appreciated. I like the rug.

  4. Melanie, I am laughing at the rug picture, because I do the EXACT same thing! I leave the tag on, think about it, take pictures and live with it. Usually it goes back if it's not love at first sight though. I think your first instinct is usually the best. That said, I like it. It's very neutral and like Diana said, it picks up the chair pads...but you have to love it. Glad to hear you're getting around! Yay!!

  5. I like the rug! I really think it looks great but you have to love it also. So glad you are healing so well. I love that planter! The shape, colors and texture are great! Good find! Hugs!

  6. Spring is busting out all over here and the weather has been so mild. However, we really are in need of some moisture, so it's a trade off. I like your rug! From the photos, the colors seem to all get along just fine. Glad you are on the mend!

  7. I'm glad your knee is getting back to normal.
    I like your rug but it would never work in my home, can you imagine it after 8 kiddos had eaten or played with playdough. 😱

  8. I read in a decorating article recently that the new thing for this year is combining warm and cool colors in a room, so your taupe works. They said gray is still the main color, but can have both warm and cool grays in the room. The only suggestion I will make is about the size of the rug. It should be large enough that when seated on the chairs, that all legs be on the rug. It can get a little uncomfortable if the front is on the rug and the back on the hard floor. That is something to consider if you do take it back, but I understand it depends on the space you have. I do agree that the rug matches the chair seats so it seems you haven't actually brought in a new color. Whatever you decide I know you will enjoy it! Since you got such a good bargain, the rug is not permanent, so if you find something you like better later, try selling this one. My niece has done that with success.

  9. The rug looks good to me in the photos, but photos aren't the same as being there. Go with your gut on this one.

  10. Hi Melanie, I am so happy to hear that your knee is improving all the time. I was concerned that you might be doing to much, but it sounds like you are in good hands and healing well. I think that the rug looks lovely, my only concern with a rug under a dining table is that it resists stains.

  11. Hi Melanie :)

    I'm so glad you're doing better! Just in time for Spring to arrive ;)

    As far as the rug... if you don't like it then you shouldn't keep it. Trust your judgment. Life is too short to live with an unloved rug. Personally, I like the color though.


  12. I thought the rug looked great until I read the comment about the size. I think it should be larger, too, because the rug actually denotes the dining room. I love your house and I award you with the Cleanest Floor in Blogdom Award. That sunset was incredible. Thank you, my friend, for the shout out to Fox and Finch Antiques. I've been worrying about your buffet. Last night, I had to remove the finish on the Mahogany server I showed you because the New Life Furniture Masque wasn't enough. There were too many scratches in the finish itself. I used Lacquer Thinner and a terry cloth towel, cut into smaller pieces to remove the finish and that worked beautifully. Then I spent an hour in Menards reading the back of cans as there are so many new products out.

  13. I am so glad to hear that your knee is better.

    I love the new look in the house with the cutout.

  14. So glad you are making improvements with your knee. Ice is your friend especially after therapy or when you have been on it a lot. I like the rug, I think it looks wonderful.

  15. I never get tired of sunset views, these works of art that only last a few minutes deserve to be preserved and savored and shared. I'm so glad that you got confirmation that you are correct in doing as much as you feel comfortable doing, or at least as long as it doesn't add pain. Perhaps the weeks ahead of rain might keep you from overdoing in the garden yet? The new rug is a very crisp look and does give a finished look to the space. I love an eat in kitchen! This is my first kitchen, since newlywed days, not to have room for that.

  16. Buds on your trees is a sure sign of spring! I'm glad you're feeling better and your recovery is well underway, Melanie. I love a gorgeous sunset, especially over the water. Pretty!

    Rugs!!! I thought I found the perfect rug for our living room, but when I rolled it out at home, it was too turquoise. It's now rolled up and awaiting its 4 hour trip back to the store. AND the discount jute rug I ordered from Overstock came today and I'm not sure about it either. I'll keep it a few days, but I'm seeing lots of jute fibers on our navy furniture, my clothes, my yarn.....

    So, in response to your question, I don't feel at all qualified to give an opinion one way or another. I hope you don't find yourself with a surplus of area rugs rolled up in your guest bedroom. :o)

  17. I really like the rug. I need to think about getting some for the living room. They warm a room up so nicely.

  18. Hi Melanie,

    So glad your knee is doing even better!

    I like the rug and I think that it complements the red undertones just fine since you also have a bit of turquoise going on and these two colours contrast beautifully. But, I'm concerned about the size, and to me, it looks a little too small. While I was furnishing my home, I will never forget something I read in Canadian House and Home Magazine about rugs, and that is that if they are too small, they also minimize the overall effect of that space. This rug needs to be wider, in my opinion.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  19. Mel, have to agree here with Poppy. A rug under a dining table should be large enough so guests can pull out the chairs without catching the legs on the edges and perhaps tripping on the rug. You can Google 'rug sizes under table' where there are many tips. So, if you're not falling head over heels in love with this one you may want to change it up to another larger size, and at the same time look at different colors which you will love more! Personally I do like that color with your chairs.

    Glad to hear you are coming along well dear.
    Mary -


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