September 30, 2012

New friends, finds and funny things

Last weekend was oh so sweet.

Sweet because I locked my keys in my car on Friday and the Lord gave us, (the kids and me), the gift of freedom from our planned out schedule to stay home, play for hours outside, get completely filthy, enjoy a mid-day bath, eat lunch slow, and just enjoy one another.

Sweet because Matt and I kicked off  our weekend watching an old favorite movie from college, (Rounders), which inevitably brought back so many fond memories from that time in our life. Late into the night we were still quoting our favorite lines and laughing.

Sweet because we enjoyed time with some new friends Saturday evening. They have kids close to our kids age and the wife, another stay at home mom, and I clicked at a playground a few weeks ago. I don't know if other moms feel this way, but that's hard to do! No wonder there are so many organized groups for moms out there! It is pretty challenging for me to be very social when I am out with the kids. I have a hard enough time splitting myself three ways as my little ones run in all different directions, it's a miracle if I look up and notice anyone else around. I don't mean to be anti-social, and I absolutely LOVE being around people. It's therapy to me. But being around people, and interacting with people are two very different things. I have a pretty hard time carrying on adult conversation when I am out by myself with my kids. So, this unique connection was truly a God send.

{our kids, minus The Meatball (Mason), running free}
Sweet because I got a bit of time by myself to run a few quick errands and snuck in a trip to the thrift store for a little looksy :) Found 6 of these fun cubby size woven baskets, so I snagged the best 3. Also, these cool pillows, (tags say Pier 1), caught my eye with the unique dusty blue coral design. Not exactly sure yet how I will use my finds, but I know I can always use some decorative items for staging new pieces for photos - and that is by far my favorite part of refinishing a piece!
Sweet because I stepped out in an outfit that felt so seasonal and fun! A little secret I have been keeping from you, (if you don't know me personally), is that I really enjoy fashion. Not uber trendy fashion, but just mixing pieces in general and seeing how they'll work with this that and the other. Side note: between the ages of 8-16ish, I kept a file full of wedding gown designs that I drew. That was THE dream job. My fallback? Being a jockey at the Kentucky Derby. My two great loves as a child: wedding gowns and horses. Anyways, I am perfectly happy going the entire week wearing my exercise clothes from morning til night, (sometimes I change from my exercise clothes to my painting clothes which is not a step up, but rather a lateral move). But, when I get to pull open my 'regular clothes' drawers and put on something a little more interesting, you'd better believe I enjoy myself!

And sweet because we got to finish the weekend with my family, (parents, brother and sister), watching football, playing pool, eating good food, taking a walk in the rain, and just enjoying each other. Colin has progressed from calling his Uncle Caleb 'Ape' to 'Alep', (happy for Colin's verbal progress but I sure will miss hearing him call for Ape!). Shire thinks Noanie has purple hair, (it's RED). And Mason  had Aunt Casey imitating his arching back squirm which he does when he wants to get out of a lap. Laughed my head off.
Life is not always sweet. But sometimes it is. God has given us so much to be grateful for, through the sweet and the bitter.

September 28, 2012

~Fresh out of the Garage~

Happy Friday! I'm going to try to finish this post before my kids break out of their rooms, (do ALL kids tend to wake up earlier when they've gone to bed later the night before???), but wanted to show you a couple pieces that I just finished this week. One will stay with us and one will be available at the next Chelsea's Garage sale, (date TBD)!

I'll start with the one staying with us. This dingy old desk was covered in cobwebs and starting to fall apart. But it's small size and compartment for storage of books, paper, coloring supplies, etc instantly hooked my heart as a potential little spot for our Shire girl to sit and create.

She has a strong love for art and crafts and has been recorded sitting in the same seat, alone at a table, for nearly 3 hours just coloring or playing with play dough. She has such a fun and exciting imagination, (ONE of a very small list of things she shares with her twin brother, Colin), and I would love to give her the gift of space where she can sit and create whatever her heart desires. It's not a big desk and will probably not be sufficient for spreading out to do homework when she reaches school age. But, as she grows, perhaps the desk will serve new purposes for her, (wouldn't it be a cute writing desk placed by a front entrance and organizing keys and mail, or in a kitchen, or a bedroom?!) . It will always be hers, as long as she wants it. :)

I didn't sand this piece down very much. It has clearly seen years and years of use and I imagined another little one sitting here long ago and enjoying some creative time to themselves. All the little nicks and divots and scratches I let be rather than smooth over. This piece has a sweet history, (or it does in my imagination), and I really wanted to preserve that when I started working on it. After adding a few nails here and there for additional sturdiness, I painted both the desk and stool a saturated aqua. 
The seat I recovered in a tablecloth, (using the back side/inside out). It was a cheap find at an old thrift store a while back. And while sitting here to write this post I just remembered that it was actually a little date with Shire that I was on and she picked it out!!!! I'm pretty sure it's because this happened to be on a shelf right at her eye level, but she picked it up and showed it to me, pointing to the pretty flowers. Though I knew I had no use for a tablecloth, it's colors were pretty and the price was just a few dollars, so I let her carry it right up to the cashier. I used the back side for this seat because I thought the more muted, faded colors complimented the aged old desk well.

I cannot wait to see all the things she creates while sitting here.:)
The next item hot out of the garage this week is this cool coffee table! It's a World Market piece that I found used. What caught my eye first was the awesome black rod iron legs and accents. I love seeing  tiny touches of black in even the lightest and airiest of rooms. The woven surface in the middle I thought was unique as well. I painted it a custom blend of a bright aqua and a warm gray, (1 part aqua, 4 parts warm gray so that the final color had just a tiny hint of blue in it - nothing obvious, but very subtle). After light distressing I did a dark glaze along the sides and edges.

{Available at the next Chelsea's Garage sale}
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by!


September 26, 2012

Living room shuffle. Again.

An Autumn Greeting
"Come," said the Wind to the Leaves one day.
"Come over the meadow and we will play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold.
For summer is gone and the days grow cold."
author unknown              

This is my first official post in fall! For me fall has always brought a promise of new beginnings and a fresh start, more than any other time of year. And as we are pulling out our warmer clothes to dress more appropriately for the brisker days, our home, too, has been redressed.

The item that got the ball rolling was a large area rug that I have imagined in my dreams but didn't think I'd ever find at an affordable price. A few days ago I found a beautiful Kipling area rug at the Goodwill that is right up the street. This was a lucky find - I always take a peek at the rugs and before now there's been nothing even remotely appealing to me. It's roughly 6.5' x 9.5' and just the change I have been looking for to spruce up the living room. The $20 price tag sealed the deal and it took the place of our previous braided area rug, (smaller), just beautifully.
*To see pictures of our living room previously, please see the Our Home link to the left which will lead you to a photo album tour*
For giggles, I checked the price of Kipling area rugs in this size online, and they retail for roughly $750. $750!!!!! This gorgeous $20 thrift find is a wicked steal!
I love how the accents of olive green, dusty coral, navy blue and flecks of gold work to 'ground' my very light and neutral living room. The large allover pattern is also appealing as my slip covered sofa and chairs are solid white.

{I have an idea for rearranging the seating soon, but it requires large muscles, (Matt), to carry up a heavy chest I have down in the basement. I can't wait to see how it all comes together!)
Another fun little switcharoo was with my throw pillows! I feel like I read this all over the place, (and admittedly get tired of seeing it), but it's so true - changing out your decorative pillows is one of the easiest, cheapest, most satisfying updates you can make when you've got the 'itch' for something different.

 I am extremely lucky to have a super duper talented friend who was able to take some fun fabric finds and turn them into pillow covers! The king size pillow with the faded blue chevron pattern above was previously flour sac fabric that I found in Lititz, PA! The small allover floral 16x16 on the rocking chair below was a sheet I found at Goodwill. Cool, huh!?! I also replaced the thin light green throw blanket I had draped over the chair for a heavier navy wool. This is my morning spot and I definitely love wrapping up in my blanket while I read and drink my coffee. :)
*See the end of the post for the contact info of my handy friend, Megen!*

And last, but not least, I'm also a sucker for faux flowers. I have them on every floor of my home. Some faux flowers are more obvious than others so I look with a careful eye when I need something specific. I brought down these deep maroon flowers from our bedroom and switched them with the little white and cream ones we had in this spot by the mirror facing our front entrance.
I love the reflection of everyone's hoodies in the mirror. Hoodie weather is my favorite!
This is so fun for me - changing things out and getting ready for a new season, (literally and figuratively). I'm not so sure my kids will appreciate the new, larger rug which has swallowed up the cool painters tape car/train track I made for them last weekend.;)

Oopsie. When they wake up from their naps today we will be learning about rerouting.:)

My beautiful pillow cover maker, Megen, is as talented with her sewing machine as she is at putting together fabrics and patterns. She has an interior design degree from James Madison University and can help you decide on just the perfect fabrics to spruce up your space - then make you some gorgeous pillows that are as unique as they are affordable!

These are actually for Shire's room, but they'll hang out in the living room for now. Megen used the sheet fabric for the back of the king size pillow. Her work is amazing and the covers will surely endure the wear of active little ones :)

Megen Minter
Thank you for stopping by!

September 19, 2012

Birthday swag

My sweetheart's birthday was last week and as is our custom, we did it up.:) Celebrating birthdays has always been a big deal to me. I love to fuss over those I love on their day of birth, whether they like it or not! Since having kids our birthday celebrations have changed quite a bit! For my birthday earlier this summer we went to the National was actually a blast, though I would have never thought of going there if we didn't have 3 tots in toe.

So for Matt's birthday I tried to think of what he would enjoy doing, but that the kids could enjoy with us, too....GOLF! So, to Woody's putt-putt we went!
 Impressive multi-tasking!
 Woody's is in Sterling and is the best putt-putt course we've ever played - though scary as all get out, especially if you're a toddler with a wild imagination! So, the twins played with Noanie, (my Mom!), by the driving range...or behind it, rather...where it's safe ;)
Noanie to the rescue!
Meanwhile this guy hardly noticed the the dead monkies hanging from the trees or the pig-monster jumping out of the brush with loud snarls, or the crazy realistic looking crockodile coming out of the water towards the putting green....
...he just had a good ol' time, in true Mason form.

The face of true innocence and total mischief. He's complex ;)
Birthday boy with my Dad; must have had another ***lucky*** shot.
The boys, analyzing a tricky hole
Post game birthday meal!
Complete with chocolate-chocolate, (chocolate, chocolate, chocolate) cake.

And no birthday in our home is complete without the honorary 'birthday' banner that I made a few years ago. I love pulling this out for all family birthdays...I'm sure they will grow tired of it eventually, but it's fun hanging it up to mark each person's birthday week. And as always, birthday cards become part of our decor for a little while, which I cherish.
Thanks, Dad, for your Bud Light addition to my glass vase display. Didn't think I'd notice, did you :)

Do you have any birthday traditions? What is your favorite way to celebrate?


September 17, 2012

Finish landscaping: CHECK

We made another huge check off our to-do list this weekend. The landscaping! Earlier this summer I posted that we would be tearing out all our old overgrown bushes and replacing them with fresh, current ones. Well, it only took about a month and a half longer than we had predicted. HAH! We were definitely over ambitious! It didn't help that I broke my foot and was essentially useless for quite some time over this process. But, my husband is The Man and got most of it done with his own two hands.

You may remember these pictures from a while back, after my Dad and Matt pulled all our old bushes out:

Almost 6 weeks later, we've got this to come home to:

Everything is so young that our plants are still a bit small and spaced apart, but we look forward to watching our garden fill in and bloom with color and fragrance! It feels wonderful to finally have the outside and the inside of our home mesh together and reflect our style and personality. And I have to give my Matt all the credit. His were the hands behind this makeover and I am so, so grateful for his work on this!

And after a very hard working weekend on both our parts, I am happy to report that we were all still in our pjs as of 11am on Sunday.:)
Oh. Yeah. That's good stuff right there.:) 
This kid was hard at work, too, apparently. Found 3 brand new teeth that completely cut through over the week, and we didn't even know it! No wonder last week was misery!
In the coming weeks I will be working on a larger project than I have ever done before, and I am so excited to share the details with you....soon! ;)
Thank you for stopping by!