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October Decor

8 Nov

I almost hate to post such awful photography (especially when I read blogs like Miss Mustard Seed and The Lettered Cottage) but I personally want an archive of my decor from October. I was pleased with how the house turned out and want a record for next year.

I love breaking out the fall colors. I found that little black chair in the corner for $6 at Goodwill recently. It’s a solid Nichols and Stone Co. and makes for convenient extra seating that doesn’t fall apart (much unlike the spindle Windsor reproductions that go around the table that my husband told me not to buy because we have young children and young children like to hang on spindles but I bought anyway because they LOOK awesome but I get embarrassed whenever we have people over and try to strategically make sure that only family members sit in the chairs that are falling apart. Whew!)

There’s that 1950s-style fireplace that I loathe! I did like the way my mini pumpkins turned out. Notice the white one (pretty clever, eh?–“one of these things is not like the other . . . “).

A closer look.

One of my recent purchases (the dress form–$68 at an antiques shop) again looks dark but gets a shot of color with a favorite orange scarf. And she (her name is Asabelle, btw) helps to break up the long, long living room wall that continues to be a challenge for me.

A long shot of the long living room.

My favorite part of this year’s decor was my piano top. Again I wish it was lit better for a better photo but I was proud of the candle chandelier ($2 at an estate sale) that I  hung from hemp twine from the ceiling, the use of my chalkboard, a candy bowl full of eyeballs, a plateful of fingers and no color orange in this spooky vignette.

A tighter shot . . . do you like the duck feet (a candle holder) on the skull? OK, and the fingers are actually tubes of bubbles. Next year I will look for something more authentic, but the kids sure liked these.

Some of this stuff will translate well right into Thanksgiving decor, which is nice.

One step forward . . . and then another trip to Joanns

6 Oct

Not sure if it’s fair to get two posts out of my painting but it has taken me two days. I truly thought that two cans of the Ivy Leaf would cover the chair but it didn’t.

So I had to go back to Joann’s, this time with no coupon (Boo!) and get one more can. And it makes me sad that they lock the spray paint in a glass cabinet and you have to get someone with a key to get it out. And two different Joann’s gals asked me if I was 18, which they definitely knew I was btw because of the Crow’s Feet, but it was their policy. And is it snide and uncaring that I don’t understand how a teenager could sniff spray paint and it not be written (literally) all over his face? It’s funny to envision (in a sick sort of way) and God-forbid if my kids ever sniff anything!

But anyway, that’s how life rolls with a job and two littles . . . you get one free hour to paint and MAYBE one free 30 minutes to run to the store. Thank God I work part-time. I’m discovering my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are precious for productivity.

Hubby got inspired

5 Oct

I don’t know what got into him, but MM started sanding the other day. Well, first he and the neighbor helped me tackle the rusted old screws that were holding onto the dowels that were holding onto the fabric.

It was literally a two-man job and still they couldn’t remove one of the screws.

But then he started sanding (without being asked) . . .

So I just stepped away, grabbed my phone to take another good quality iPhone pic, and shut my mouth. He’s the best husband but he’s not so much for the hands-on work or the honey-do list or the taking over these little projects that I take on. That all said, when he does get involved, things are always better. He’s got a surprisingly (especially for a straight guy) eye for color when I need an opinion. And he’s a good painter. When he did the armoire/pantry, it looked professionally done. And so I really appreciated the sanding.

So this bit of progress is brought to you by Mike . . .

The “before” . . . duh!

4 Oct

So I’m a bad blogger. There’s nothing better than a good “before” photo and I forgot to take one. Here is a mocked-up one taken before we started painting. Although the chair is sanded, you get the idea . . .

It was pretty rough (ps – My little assistant is helping me in this one. We spend Tuesday and Thursday afternoons together and he’s getting quite good at thrifting and painting and being patient with my little projects).

I liked the fabric . . . at one time, it was definitely pretty but it was mildewy and completely faded.

The green is going to work well, I think, as the background of the new Ivy Leaf. I’m hoping it will take a few less coats.

Here’s to small bits of PROGRESS at a time.

A Wild Hammock Chair

3 Oct

So I’ve had an old hammock chair sitting in the garage for the past three or four years. I have another one that is in decent condition that has sat on my front porch throughout the summer.  I love the look of these chairs (fully expect them to come back in fashion soon). They are comfortable, compatible and cute.

I had purchased this fabric for yet another clever project on my list.

I love it and thought it would be adorable on the chair sitting on my porch throughout the fall. I think I was subconsciously inspired by my favorite flip-flops.

They are the most comfortable, versatile shoes that I wear all summer. They seriously go with everything and I’ve looked for replacements and they don’t make this pattern anymore. 😦

So what frame color? I thought a true Kelly green would be cute. I had something specific in mind but finding the right spray paint can be difficult. I picked up this at Home Depot.

The color is too Christmasy and not what I was looking for. I started to think about just getting some canned paint and tracking down our paint-sprayer from one of the neighbors. That would certainly make for two or three days of posts–me working with the paint sprayer and extend this one project throughout the month of October . . . but then I found this color at Joann’s.

It’s definitely more expected and trendier than I was originally thinking, but I think it’s going to work perfectly. It’s called Ivy Leaf but it definitely reads good old-fashioned Pea Green to me (not a name a marketer is going to use on a can).

Thankfully we’ve been having beautiful weather, so this is the week to get the sanding and spraying done. Stay tuned.

31 Days of . . .

1 Oct

So it’s October 1 and I’ve got an experiment. The Nester introduced the 31 Days concept and I thought “it’s either now or never.” I’m committed to writing for 31 days, and at the end of it, I’m going to decide whether to keep this blog going or hang it up for another day.

I won’t be mad at myself or disappointed either if the answer is “hang it up.” But I think I need the 31 days to decide.

So my 31 days? Thirty-one days of progress. I have a list I started of house projects. Clever little things I intend to get done–ideas that are good but are going to take some effort to get accomplished. And with two littles at home, work every day, and other commitments, I make very small, sporadic dents in my little list. And I think I’m very scattered when it comes to the things needed to get the things done. I’ll go to the fabric store and start thinking of my curtains that I want for the living room, then I’ll see some other fabric and think that would work great to recover that chair, then I’ll see some other that I like and think “what can I do with that?” And I leave with more ideas to add to the list and very little accomplished.

So I’m going to just going to pick a project (not necessarily the top of the list) but just one and work on that and get that accomplished so I can mark it off and move on to the next.

So here’s to progress . . . and blogging. 🙂

Reunion Centerpieces – On the Cheap

15 Sep

This summer I helped to organize my 20-year high school reunion. As the Marketing Director-type on the three-person committee, I was charged with the visual and promotional side of things. I designed the invitations, set us up on Facebook, and thought through the decorations.

To say our budget was tight was an understatement. My two dear friends and I were footing the bill for this thing and praying that our classmates would make their reservations. My goal for the decorations was to spend as little as possible but still have a nice, thoughtful vibe for the event.


And we don't look 20 years out of high school, do we? DO WE?!?










I was inspired by by Miss Mustard Seed, who even gives a tutorial on letter-glittering but first of all, I couldn’t afford the German glass and secondly, I couldn’t find chipboard numbers ANYWHERE! I was fine doing my own gluing and glittering—I have a first-grade daughter for goodness sake, I knew I would have assistance. I checked everywhere (meaning online and at every hobby store in town) and I could find a lot of chipboard letters but no numbers. I could find thick wooden numbers and sticker numbers but no chipboard numbers.

OK, so nobody mentioned the centerpieces but look how much they add. 🙂











What I did find was the number style I was looking for in a stencil and foam core board in our colors, blue and red. (You could just get white foam core and use the color glitter that you want but it’s a lot more difficult. The backs of these numbers were just not as nice. The white showed through.)











So I took out the Exacto Knife, cut me a bunch o’ 9s and 1s, and got to gluing and glittering. This was tedious work, so I just set up a glitter station on my dining table and went to it every day for 30 minutes or so.

I bought small dowels but realized that Bamboo Skewers worked a lot better than anything. They were the right size and weight plus their sharp ends poked into both the foam core and the floral foam I used at the bottom of the bucket

I owned the buckets already (from some past party) but found some additional ones at Garden Ridge for $4.99. Those along with some red and blue cellophane (about $5 per roll) and I think they turned out pretty good.











Glitter’s a bitch. It gets everywhere. Kids want to play in it and they track it everywhere on their shoes. And sometimes I had just worked out when I was working on it so it was sticking to my sweaty neck and stuff. In general I made a mess, but I was proud of the centerpieces.

I did them in blue and red.