Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a little less impossible

My plan for the Imagine the Impossibilities challenge was to draw more.  I talked about it here.  I'd love to say I've been drawing everyday but I haven't.  I expected it would be slow going to make this a priority in my day and that has proven to be true.  My goal is to start drawing again just to enjoy it.  I used to love to draw and somewhere along the line it became something I only did for a gift or a project but I never pick up a pencil just for the sheer enjoyment of it.

I started drawing my little guy while he reclined on the couch sucking his thumb and relaxing but then he got interested and picked up a red colored pencil to "help Mama"

 He was so happy to color with me and I found the end result kind of wonderful.

I said I would count every little doodle so this "drawing" I did on the placement at Friendly's counts too right?

I'm linking up to show that I'm working to make my impossible possible.  Baby steps people, I'm getting there!


Monday, January 30, 2012

chalk board doors

The doors in our basement looked like this.
I managed to get one coat of primer on the door to the left and never made it to the one on the right.  They have been in this state for roughly 5 months.  Awesome, I know.

Perhaps because I painted 5 of the doors upstairs before we admitted defeat and had them all replaced.  Or because I painted all the new doors with one coat before they were hung and still have to paint each one with another coat, well, I couldn't bring myself to paint these basement doors white.  Painting them with chalkboard paint however sounded kinda fun.  Chalkboard paint is thin and although it takes a few coats it feels quick and easy. 

So, after about three coats on each

So much nicer and I love the charcoal color of the paint against the white and soft grey!

I decided to get a little fancy and write laundry on this door since it leads to...  that's right, the laundry area!  The other door leads to the part of our basement where all all our random stuff lives and it is pretty much a horror show at all times in there.   I wasn't sure what to write on that door.  "Work room",  "Storage"  My husband wanted me to write "Snakes!  Keep out!"  Keep in mind this will all be scribbled over (at least the lower portion) by our little one.  So, I left it blank for now.   I'm going to make some sort of little felt pocket that will hang on the door to hold chalk so he can grab a piece and scribble anytime the mood hits him. 

 Two doors down, eleven to go!  Oh, that sentence makes me want to weep!  If you'd like to see more of our basement transformation you can check it out here.  Hope it was a nice weekend.  The northeast is having a seriously mild winter and I for one am a fan!!

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Not Just a Housewife
The Kurtz Corner
Savvy Southern Style
The Shady Porch
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Delightful Order

Friday, January 27, 2012

The NEW new rug

Mother Nature isn't cooperating with sunlight so I did my best with the living room lights on.
Here is the new and final rug!

From the beginning of my search I kept gravitating toward these lattice rugs I was seeing but I kept second guessing myself and I was having trouble finding one that I liked in a color that would work for us AND a reasonable price.  Of course we end up with what I really wanted from the beginning!  I tend to do this so it isn't a surprise really. 

The other rug was super reasonably priced, and natural fiber and I wanted it to work but as you know it didn't...

As soon as we decided Knotty McRug wouldn't be staying with us I got right back on the computer and found our new rug.  100% wool, a soft green that goes really nicely in the room and a pretty reasonable price.  Good old Overstock delivered it for their flat shipping fee which is less than $3.00, can't beat that!

I'm not going to lie to you.  100% wool means it is a bit itchy.  I'm getting used to it and our little one could care less.  He was playing with legos bare legged in a diaper the day we received it so it's safe to say he doesn't mind.  It is a flat weave so there isn't much cushion to speak of and we're waiting for a rug pad to arrive.  I bought a regular old rug pad from Home Depot and found the chemical scent so offensive I had to return it.  I figured it didn't make any sense to lay our natural rug on that stinky thing!  We found a company that makes natural rug pads.  I'll let you know what we think when it arrives. 

We are really happy with the look.  It changes the room in a good way.  Warms it up and adds more interest.  With each day I find I'm liking it more. 

So, there it is.  I'll take a break from rugs for a while and get back to other obsessive, I mean passionate pursuits around the house.  Have a happy weekend!

French Country Cottage
Its Overflowing
At the Picket Fence

Thursday, January 26, 2012

just a peek

Yesterday was one of those blah kinda days.  I've been wanting an orchid for a while but I'm pretty confident I'll manage to kill it.  Yesterday I decided I didn't care and it was time to spring for one anyway.
I'm so glad I did.  It's so pretty and is making me happy when I walk in the room.  I made a little vignette with my blue bird and this lovely book.  If you look close you'll see it's entitled "Birds and Flowers" and the orange makes it all pop!  Yeah, it will probably be dead in a month but hey sometimes it's worth a little splurge to brighten your day!

Wait, what is that?

The new rug came!  It's a keeper.  Even Olive approves.

I'll be back with more photos of the room overall.  It is a nice change.  More color and pattern but it layers nicely with our color palate and I think the second time's the charm for us. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ambrosia salad two ways

I got a major hankering for ambrosia salad over the weekend.  Strange?  It just sounded really good all of the sudden so on Sunday I made a classic Ambrosia salad with a recipe I found at Taste of Home


  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream


  • In a large bowl, combine the oranges, pineapple, marshmallows and coconut. Add sour cream and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. Yield: 4 servings.

Taste of Home
I have no photo of mine because I ate it all before I thought to take a photo.  You mean you AND your family ate it before you got to take a photo right?  Um yeah.

So, it was gone and I thought it would be nice to have more but I didn't have all of the ingredients anymore.  I mixed up a newfangled, I don't want to go to the store and get more ingredients ambrosia salad with what I had on hand which happened to be:

  • 8 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 4 clementines segmented and cut in half
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of mini marshmallows (depending on your fondness for them)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

Mix it all up and refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.

It isn't a huge departure from the original but it is a smidge different and very tasty.

chopped fruits
All mixed up and ready to chill
Admittedly it isn't the most photogenic of desserts but it is awfully yummy, easy and sorta good for you if you don't count the marshmallows and sour cream right?  Try either or both!

Not Just a Housewife
The Kurtz Corner
Its Overflowing

Monday, January 23, 2012

cutting the rug

Thank you for the nice comments on the new rug
It was growing on me.  I was digging all the texture and the knots.  The thing about those knots was that you could feel them.  When you walked across the rug it was sorta like you had thrown a rug over a bunch of pebbles.  It was an odd sensation.  We are a lay on the floor to play and watch a movie kinda family.  That was not happening with knotty McRug.  So on Friday evening after the little one went to bed my husband and I did a lot of ...

" I like it"
"yeah, I like it" (walk into the other room and walk back to stare absently at the rug again)

This went on for a while.  Clearly neither of us were sold and we were both trying awfully hard to make it work because the thought of rolling it up and sending it back sounding far too annoying.  Well, the rug lasted to the following morning when I admitted defeat and rolled it up.  It is currently in the back of the car awaiting it's haul over to UPS.

We've already ordered another rug but I'm far too nervous to share my selection yet.  You'll have to wait and be delighted or disappointed right along with me.  Rugs are so darn tricky.  I wish I was a fancy decorator and I could have a bunch sent over and figure out what works.  Ah well, keep your fingers crossed number two does the charm and is a little more comfy to lay on while I watch Downton Abbey.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

a little blog love

Cate over at domestiCate gave me the Liebster award! 
Liebster means beloved, favorite, dearest in German.  It is a great way to spread the love among the blog world and I'm honored to receive it from Cate! 

She too has a little white ranch house and a love of all that is decorating and crafts!  I've had so much fun looking around her blog.  Look at her lovely foyer.
I've been lurking around the blog world for a year or so but I'm a real newbie blogger.  I have to admit that I'm a little shocked at just how much I've been enjoying it.  It is a creative outlet and a huge source of inspiration.   I'm giddy every time I get a new follower or someone leaves a comment and I'm amazed at all the talent and ingenuity out there.  So, I'm so happy to get a shout out from Cate and spread the joy to some bloggers I've been admiring.
The Liebster  award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers, to promote and encourage new friendships among the blog community.  When you receive it you:

1.  Post the award on your blog.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them. 
3. Reveal your 5 picks for the award and let them know. 
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogosphere... other bloggers.
5. Finally, the best rule of all, have fun and spread the love!

Here are my 5 picks!

1.  Dee Dee at ddzine
     Her family downsized to a smaller home and the transformations they have made 
     are amazing!
2.  Lindsay at Me Ed and Pea  
      It is so fun to watch how she is decorating and their kitchen is a wow!
3.  Anna at A Warm Home
      She is already a pal of mine but the girl can sew, she can cook, she can craft, she 
      should be a pal of yours too!
4.  Kacey at Refreshed Decor
      She and her husband do some seriously stunning furniture transformations!
5.  Leslie at My Old Country House
     She is an artist with a spectacularly bright country house you will love!

There you have it!  Check them out and enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

New rug

The new rug is here...
It's much different than our last.  It's a chenille jute.  Very nubby, knotty and natural looking.

At first I wasn't sure but I think its growing on me.  How about you?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Day "mantle"

I still have more burlap and I thought a Valentine's wreath would be nice.  I wanted to set up a little "mantle" on top of our china cabinet since we don't have a real one. 

Dee Dee did over at ddzine made a lovely burlap wreath in a classic shape.  So pretty!
dee dee's burlap wreath

  I followed the same steps as she did but formed my hanger into a heart!
Then I cut strips of burlap in random widths.

I stuck them through the hanger

and formed "ruffles"
I just kept going until the wreath looked fluffy enough then closed it up with tape.    

  and her close up...

I tied a little piece of red and white twine on to hang it from the front of the china cabinet.

I took an extra frame, laid some burlap in, cut out a heart with white felt and voila!  With our wedding photo, some pretty candle sticks and the little owl pitcher it's looking sweet up there I think.
Makes me want chocolate....

Its Overflowing
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Delightful Order
French Country Cottage
  Home Stories A to Z

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

backsplash complete!

Here it is all grouted.
It's been hard to get great pictures.  We enjoy lots of afternoon sun in the kitchen in the summer but the winter has the sun falling behind the trees before I can snap a decent picture!  We are so happy with the finished look!  The grey grout is a very soft grey so while there is contrast it isn't extreme.
It is the finishing touch that the kitchen has been needing!  I'll be working on getting some nice photos of the whole kitchen when the sun will cooperate!

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

shelf upgrade

I talked a bit about this eyesore in my homegoals

It isn't awful but it certainly isn't anything special.  We need a piece of furniture for this space.  A buffet would be nice but it has to be open on the bottom because there is an air vent behind.  We'd ideally like to find something second hand and give it a makeover.  This takes time as you know!  In the meantime I wanted to do something to improve the look of this rinky dink folding bookshelf that has been in three apartments and finally got a "distressed" paint job and was tossed in this corner of the dining room months ago.  I've seen "mantles" for folding bookshelves.
home decorators
The mantles help to fancy these bookshelves up a bit.  I figured we could make our own.  So, I went to Home depot and got a piece of wood cut to 28"x12" to fit the top.  I brought it home and put it on top to make sure it would work. 
Yup, that will do!  I also picked up a little trim to dress it up.

We just cut the trim to size for the front and sides of the top piece and tacked it on.  I caulked around the trim a little to clean it up and painted the whole thing white.

I put another coat of paint on the shelf.  Then I ran a line of wood glue around the top.
 Then I stuck the top on and waited for it to dry.  Someone had a good time with all the books on the floor in the meantime.
And then....

Some more shots...

A much better look I think.  It will do the job and look a little more snazzy until we find something else.  Not bad for a $7.00 piece of wood and $2.00 worth of trim right?

linking up to Not Just A Housewife 
and My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Coastal Charm
Reasons to skip the Housework
The Kurtz Corner
Savvy Southern Style
Creating a house of grace
Its Overflowing
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Delightful Order
French Country Cottage
Miss Mustard Seed

Monday, January 16, 2012

Card making

I took a card making class at Rock Paper Scissors on Saturday.  I had never been to the store before and it was full of lovely fabrics, trims, papers and craft supplies.  I could have easily wandered around for a very long time and spent a pretty penny.
rock paper scissors
I'm an artsy craftsy gal.  I went to art school and I know my way around a project generally but I don't have any scrap booking or card making skills.  I took the cards and coffee class with Heidi.  She showed us samples of some of her work which was a great starting point and we all got to work with the kits of paper and embellishments they provided as well as a table full of more fun like glitter, flock (did you know flock is sort of like glitter but instead made of tiny bits of fiber and will give a fuzzy texture when applied to glue?  Yeah me neither!), buttons, flowers, you name it!  So we cut and glued, tied and glittered and Heidi helped guide and direct us.  I ended up with three cards.
I really love the hounds tooth one on the right and the banner one as well.  The bird and flower card in the back (no coincidence it is in the second row) was a bit less successful but I really had fun making all three.  I picked up some techniques and tips, got to come home with the leftover papers and embellishments I didn't use from my kit and I picked up some fabric in the store after class.
I was hoping they might work in the bedroom for some pillows.  I'm not sure they are a great fit for that room but that is no matter.  I'm always happy to add more fabric to my stash and it will get used someway somehow!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Taking a class like this is new to me but I think I'll be doing it again : )