Saturday, December 15, 2007

A little of this, and a little of that

I received a question from Suzy this week, which I'm just now getting around to answering (sorry). But first, Ta Da ... here is the $15 dollar rug (regular price $399). It was just the thing I was patiently waiting for to bring the room together. I also figured out what I'm going to use to slipcover the love seat. I finished the pattern, but have been waiting to find just the right fabric ~ has to meet the criteria of the right color, price and texture ... so I decided last night that I'm going to use Wal-mart burgundy velvet curtain panels. I think they will be nice and cozy, and the price is right (here's a tip: sometimes curtain panels are cheaper per yard than fabric if you have a tight budget. I've used them for pillos, too). I'll keep you posted on that project after the holidays.

Here are some pictures from my dining room. I bought this tassel at Wal-mart last year and couldn't find a place for it. I think it works on the chandelier.
Some Martha Stewart ornaments I found at K-mart thanks to Liz, and also just happened to find a robin's egg blue vase on the clearance aisle while I was there (I think I'm on a lucky streak - right when I'm NOT supposed to be spending money!)

I was sick of the gold paint on these angel candlestick holders, so I painted them cream. I stuck some shells in there too. The garland is actually a really nice one that I got at Michael's clearance last year. It was $30 marked down to about $1.50. You've got to check out their blow-out sales after the holiday.
Suzy asked the other day about what magazines I love. Here are a few of my favorites. As far as decorating goes, just a few years ago, my hubby was the only decorator in this family. When we moved into our new house, I went into overdrive. But I wouldn't come up with an original decorating idea if it walked up and slapped me across the face. That is why I am obsessed with seeing other peoples houses (thank heaven for blogs!), I memorize magazines and save any pages with good ideas in an "inspiration" folder, and if I come across a good idea on the internet, I double-click on the picture and save it to my computer. I also love catalogs like Ballard Design and Pottery Barn. Another thing about my decorating abilities is, I got over my fear of trying things. There are a lot of holes in my walls where I hung things in the wrong spot, and Mr. Jones has done a teeeny bit of re-painting for me. I also regularly move furniture around. The next 2 projects I have worked up the guts to do are tiling (taking a class thanks to Martha), and I'm going to rip the carpet off my stairs and paint the pine underneath. Oh yeah, you heard me right. My poor, patient husband is holding back on this idea, I know it. "Yeah, honey." Poor guy. I got this idea from Manuela.

I have been liking a lot of the special interest Better Homes and Gardens publications on decorating lately. Creative Home is my absolute favorite. They spell out how to do a lot of projects.
Here is another favorite of mine ... Romantic Homes.
And last, but not least, Country Living magazine. These are the 3 magazines I never throw out. Southern Living has some good ideas, too, but I stopped getting those. I love to look at the Southern Living At Home catalogs, and those consultants always have great ideas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I got the Underblogger Award! Wooohoooo!!

My good friend Martha tagged me with this, most special award the other day.

Isn't it lovely! I'm touched. No, really I am. Martha gave this to me for being a loyal reader, but how couldn't I be?!! She is so funny, I actually laugh out loud when I read her blog. And she gives really cool house tours, which I love because my favorite thing to do is to look inside people's homes.

Ok, so it is my understanding that this award goes to bloggers who deserve a little recognition for their blogs, even though they may not have a ton of traffic yet. Or maybe loyal, wonderful readers who faithfully read on a regular basis.

So here are my tags:

1. Martha, of course ... right back at ya' babe! I think Martha and I started blogging about the same time, and clicked right away. She has been reading the bologna I've been writing since the start, and that definitely deserves an award. Thanks girlfriend!

2. I know Martha already tagged her, but I've got to add her to the list. Linda is always stopping by to say "hi" and always has the most amazing design pictures on her blog. Always inspirational!

3. Liz at Mabel's House is deserving of this award. You need to see her cute dog (who happens to be in one of the most adorable banners I've seen) and her adorable house. This girl's got great style.

4. Penny, amazing Triathlon woman and loyal commenter. She has some great Thursday Thirteen posts you should check out. (Oh, and Penny, your new banner looks awesome!)

5. Trish at Harmony Hill Music, another loyal reader and just about the sweetest person I know!

6. Dawn at The Feathered Nest is a sweetheart who visits me. She always says the nicest things, like you've known her your whole life. And you're going to drool over her blog, folks.

7. Elzie all the way over there in Sweden, who has an adorable blog, and got me hooked on Swedish blogs. There are all kinds of fun things over there!

8. I also have to give this award to every single person who reads or has posted on this blog. It gives me great joy to know that you have stopped by, and if I haven't made it back to your blog to say "hi", please forgive me. I have the best of intentions, but my kids keep me so busy, my head is spinning, miscellaneous words come out of my mouth when I think I'm speaking clearly, and, well, I completely forgot that last thing I was going to write. Well, anyway, consider yourselves tagged because you are all awesome.

A couple people have asked me questions this week, and I will try to post on Friday to answer them. Also, I have to share this with you now but I will post a picture tomorrow: I have wanted a natural fiber rug for my living room for quite a while now. On my budget of $20, I haven't found one yet ... until now. Oh, yes, I pulled up to the thrift store today, and rolled up, folded up, sitting in the drizzle was a lonely pottery barn bound sisal rug (7' x 9') just waiting to go home with someone for the price of $15. Oh, yes, I snatched that baby up and paid for it without even unrolling it and looking at it. It is hands-down, the best thrifting find *ever* in my life!

Friday, December 7, 2007

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth!

Well, my baby lost his first tooth a couple nights ago. It had gotten so loose that when he spoke, it went back and forth with his breath. So he decided to hit a basketball on his face, and it popped out! The Tooth Fairy actually remembered to visit our house this time ... you know, sometimes she gets to watching Oprah and Everest and *completely* forgets about her most important job. Then, in the morning, she has to crawl across the upstairs hallway and sneak into the room in broad daylight. "Oh, Hey honey, did you check behind the bed? Maybe it just fell while you were sleeping? Oh, yeah, see ... here it is." See what a stellar mother I am?!!

Here is a little chair I picked up for a couple bucks. It wasn't sturdy enough to use because the bar at the bottom is missing. I painted it red for Christmas and put the Grinch on it. It's like his little time out chair.

This is a picture of what is on top of our entertainment center. I had flying reindeer up their last year, but I think Santa looks better.
This is the advent calendar I picked up at Costco last year. I love it!

These are some vintage-looking ornaments I bought at Joanne Fabrics and the pine cone ornaments I bought at the dollar store.
And this one's for Elzie, who couldn't quite figure out what I put on the top of my tree. It is an angel, and I draped some of the sheer ribbon I used on the banister over her because she was just a little too gold for me.
I'm almost done with the curtains and I think they are looking good. I made one small change to the way I hung them that made a HUGE difference. I'll show you more pictures Monday. Thanks to everyone for your help with this project!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You have got to do this ...

Ok, I'm back people. It's been a busy week, so I'm having no time to post or visit my bbf's (best-blogging-friends). And no bad jokes about my lame acronym.

Anyway, the kids had a 2 hour snow delay this morning, so I used my extra time wisely and played around on the internet. Hadn't planned on it, but a got an e-mail from Photojojo, and in this e-mail was a link to the most hilarious websites. You upload photos of yourself (in my case, Mr. Jones was the victim), and it makes a dancing scrooge video or a dancing elf video. Since Mr. Jones would not appreciate a scrooge video of himself on the internet, I have made new ones with dog pictures to share with you. Check them both out, and then for the love of all things good, put a picture of your spouse in the video and send it to his whole family (yes, folks, that's what I did).



Friday, November 30, 2007

Decorating Dilemma and Inspiration Friday

First, the dilemma ... I recently bought this fabric to make curtain panels for my living room (there is only enough fabric to make one panel per window and there are 2 windows right next to each other). I brought it in while decorating the tree, so I could see how it looks. I also had put this huge wooden chest by the tree. It wasn't working all by itself, but I think it looks kinda' cool with the fabric draped over it. My dilemma is that the window looks naked, and I want to put the curtains up, but it also looks good at the bottom of the tree. Do I just put the curtains up and forget having fabric at the bottom of the tree? (I'm going to hang one curtain and post a picture later.) Does anyone have any other ideas for this big chest, or should I get rid of that too? Or do I have pretty fabric at the bottom of the tree, and a naked window? Even if I do leave the fabric off the window, the arrangement still needs some tweaking. Any ideas from all of you wonderfully creative ladies?

**Update** Here is a picture of the curtain panel on the window (I think I put the tie-back too high).
Here is the trunk moved away from the tree. I've kept it because I know I will use it for something cool someday, but so far it has only been used to hold kid costumes.
Now, I must tell you one *very* important thing: I GOT THE FABRIC ON THE $1.00 RACK AT WALL-MART! Oh, sorry to shout. I was just so excited! I got 21 feet of this fabric for $7.00, my friends. Yes, and I was unsure about whether it would work when I was at the store, but now I LOVE IT. If they had more, I would buy more.

Next is Inspiration Friday, and I thought I would show you my banister garland. It is so simple and easy. Every year, I purchase cheap little frame ornaments and put pictures of my kids from that year, and then wire them to the garland. I tie a few bows, stick some flowers in here and there, and this year I added an organza ribbon I got from Martha Stewart at K-Mart. The other new addition this year is 4 tassels I found at the thrift store, tied around the posts. Woohooo, I was so excited when I found those!

These are the ornaments I added from this year's pictures. I will add some more to my Flickr photos some time this weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Works For Me Wednesday

Do you have any vinyl flooring in your house? Is it looking a little dull, not shiny, scratched up or stained? My laundry room and my garden room have this wonderful flooring product (teeny bit of sarcasm here), and this is what I have discovered to keep it beautiful, clean and shiny:
Use this Armstrong Floor Stripper and Cleaner. This gets dirt out that you didn't think was *ever* going to come out. Wipe it on, let it sit a couple minutes, then lightly scrub with a brush and wipe off with a clean rag. Then . . .

get the Armstrong floor polish. Wipe it on, let it dry. Then your floor is amazingly shiny. You'll keep going back into the room just to look at how beautiful your vinyl floor is. Now, did you ever think you would love your vinyl floor?

I buy both of these products at The Home Depot. And, here is a link to get a $2 rebate.

Stop by Rocks in My Dryer to see more What Works For Me Wednesday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lest you think my house is tidy (this one's for you, Martha) ...

. . . here is what my beautiful children did on Friday. Mr. Jones brought in all the boxes of Christmas decorations, and the kids were setting up the miniature village in the family room. I had been busy picking up and cleaning each room, and I decided to sit down and rest for 5 minutes. Then, what I call the "Wack-a-Mole Phenomenon" occurred: I'm housecleaning, and as I clean a room, my children (namely the VERY energetic youngest) zips to a different spot (usually one that I have already cleaned) and destroys it. In this case, there were so many packing peanuts in my family room, that it honestly took us hours to get it all out. It's not easy to pick those things up. You get a handful and try to dump them in a bag, but they stick to your hands. They find every little crevice of the room and hide there. They are too big to be vacuumed up. Corgis run through the house, disbursing them everywhere. I snapped off the photo of the peanuts to share with you, and then I read about the packing peanut incident at Elizabeth Hill Cottage and just about died with laughter.
Here are a couple pictures I took on Thanksgiving. I was playing with the camera to take better pictures with backlighting, but I really, really, really want to take a photography class, especially one like this one.

Now I need to get some ideas for the Christmas card picture.

Friday, November 23, 2007

What I Know About Silver . . .

. . . nothing really. Except I absolutely despise polishing it. And I dislike tarnished silver even more than I dislike polishing it. I have no idea what is good silver and what manufacturers are good. I don't know much about silver plating vs. the good stuff. I buy what I love and what I will use.

This cute little dish was calling out to me the other day. It was didn't cost very much, nobody wanted it. I rescued it and with a little bit of work, it sure is pretty. I know I had to have it when I saw the fleur de lis around the rim! Get out! I couldn't believe my eyes. For a while I had no idea what I would use it for. Then I realized, I NEVER put my keys on the key rack because I am always dumping them on the table. Why not make this a key dish? Of course, my keys weren't worthy of being in a pretty dish like this, so I had to find a big skeleton key and add it to my key ring. (Yes, I am that anal-retentive ... although you would never know this if you walked through my house. The thing about ARs is that we never have enough time to be AR about everything, unless I sent my family to live in a motel. Add being a creative-distracted person, and WOW -- my house can fall apart really fast. I digress . . . )
Now again, I know nothing about silver, but when I saw these salt and pepper shakers for $2.00/set, I had, had, had to have them. They are really heavy and solid. The pepper shaker is a pepper mill (I have been wanting to get one of those). They actually have a home right on my kitchen table so we can use them every day. I use everything I have on a regular basis, with one exception: My china. I use my nice china for a cup of tea every night, but I don't want the kiddos to break the dishes so I don't use them for dinner.
The other items in this picture, left to write: a cream urn (which has shells in it) and a creamer, again - 2 things nobody wanted and I snatched up immediately. I have a thing for cream dishes lately. They are beautiful and simple. The mossy urn I recently picked up at The Old Lucketts Store. I haven't been able to go buy a topiary for it, so instead I filled it with packing peanuts and topped it off with moss. If you try this, wet the moss and then squeeze it out first. This will help you to shape it better. It doesn't smell very good, but it dries out and the smell goes away.

I recently found one more REALLY COOL silver piece, but I'm not ready to show it to you just yet. It is a very tricky one to polish and is going to take me a few days to clean up. It has a very unique shape. Curious? You're just going to have to wait.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have you ever wondered what to do with . . .

. . . old Christmas cards? I have saved mine for years, and have never used them for anything. I have the best of intentions. Well, this morning I found a cute, easy project on You can make monogram tags with their Free Template, and you can adhere them to old holiday cards or scrap paper, so the back is cute, too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hi everyone. Stop by Amy's blog, at Raz Pizzaz Boutique. She is an amazing paper artist, and is having a fun giveaway!

As for me, I have been way too busy lately. Last week was American Education Week, and I was at the school every single day (couldn't we have American Education Day??). The kids are in school 2 days this week, because my county gives them Wednesday off (who thought of that?!!), and I have 2 days to get ready for Thanksgiving. Oh, wait, my husband and son are home sick today. Scratch that. Anyway, sorry I haven't been posting or visiting your blogs. I'll try to get with the program soon.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Vintage Baby Shower

... buy baby shower decorations at Party City. I just could not do it, friends.

There is a sweet lady at our bunco group who is having a baby girl next month, and we surprised her at bunco last night with a baby shower instead. I was in charge of decorations! My favorite. The baby shower decorations at Party City looked just like the ones that were for sale back when I had my first baby (12 years ago!). Come on people, we can't do better than this!?

I am also on a budget, so mostly using what I already had (which was probably too much because I am a craft/scrapbook supply hoarder), I did a vintage baby and sunflower theme. I will post a few pictures and the rest you can see on my Flickr page.

Anyway, a few years ago I bought a cd of vintage baby images from The Vintage Workshop. They have awesome images you can download into your computer. I printed images of those on file folders because I was too lazy to go upstairs and get card stock. I put sunflowers from the grocery store, and moss from WalMart into floral oasis in metal buckets I took out of my sewing room (got those from Home Depot). I used shish kabob sticks to stick the images into the flower arrangements. I used baby bottles for place cards/buffet cards. I had some vintage milk bottles from a previous baby shower I did, and used those for some more flowers. I ironed a vintage image onto a little onesie and found some tiny clothes pins at WalMart to hang them up. I took a feather boa from my daughter's room and some silk sunflowers to put on the gift table. And last, I found 3 cute wine glasses at the thrift store that I used for candles. I think it worked!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Creative Blogs

Creative Blogs

Awwwwww shucks . . . me? . . . really? . . . featured on Creative Blogs? . . . yep, that made my day! I just *love* Kim's blog, and stop by every day to see what cool new blog she has featured. So to say that I feel special today is an understatement. And wow, I think I was actually blushing after reading her post. Thanks Kim!

So, since I love to have a picture with every post, I thought I would share Rascal and his Halloween costume I made at the last minute. Because my dogs have 2 inch legs, I had to do a little cropping on the necktie. You know, when I see dogs who actually have legs, it almost looks weird to me. Anyway, more on where I got the idea for the necktie later in the week when I post pix of the kiddos in their costumes.
Have a great day everyone!

(oh, and p.s., can anyone hear the music on my blog? My music player is on there, but it isn't playing music when I view the blog. Thanks)

Friday, November 2, 2007

What to do with my can of chalkboard paint . . .

I bought a can of chalkboard paint the other day for a different project, and now I have this urge to turn everything into a chalkboard. It's so much fun. So I thought it would be fun to make a charger that doubles as a seating card. I took one of those chargers from Target, you know the gold ones that aren't really metal (a scratched up version I found at the thrift store is what I used) and I spray painted it with the chalkboard paint. I put a coat of primer on it first, and 2 coats of the chalkboard paint. It isn't the fanciest charger in the world, but it's kinda fun. I'll let you be the judge . . . does it work?

*Update . . . I found this website that shows you how to make your own chalkboard paint. This way you can pick prettier colors. You can also check out the recipe from Cottage Living on the blog Rowhouse.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Look at what I found . . .

at Target Dollar Spot. They were putting their Christmas stuff out yesterday, and I snagged these cute rolls of wrapping paper for $1.00 each. That's 40 feet of paper in each roll, ladies. They are narrow, though, maybe just the perfect width to wrap a shirt box which is just fine with me because I'm always chopping off the sides and throwing the extra away. And I just love polka dots, don't you?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Please tell me what you think about . . .


I have 2 upstairs bathrooms with tile issues. When I moved into my house, it was 2 years old and the tile was already cracking.

It is much worse now, and I believe it to be a subfloor issue. Of course, my self-described "luxury" home builder denies that they put in a bad subfloor. But the bottom line for me is, I need a new floor because any water that spills out of the bath leaks down into the ceiling of the room below. I think the cheap, quick temporary answer to my problems (at least in the kids' bathroom) is vinyl tiles. This one caught my eye as I was speeding through Home Depot the other day. It is tan and blue, actually very pretty and to me it doesn't look vinyl. Another issue . . . do you see all that grout on the current floor. Yep, that is a *real* pain in the butt to clean. I'm thinking the vinyl tiles will be much easier. At $0.99 per tile, I think it is a good plan. What do you think? Does it look like cheap vinyl, or just a little better?

**On a side note, Blogger has been driving me absolutely nuts this week. It is having issues with uploading photos, which stretches something that should take 5 minutes into 30 minutes. I have been seriously considering whether to continue blogging lately because it wastes time I should be spending on family/home, so this extra waste of time is absolutely frustrating to me!!!! Does anyone else have a free web hosting service that they like?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Go Boo Your Neighbors

We have "Boo'd" our neighbors for a few years now, and this year my neighbor Boo'd me first. She made a cute little witch's broom out of lunch sacks and a stick. This is a replica, because my kids tore up the one we received before I even got to see it. It was very easy to copy, so this is also what we made for our other neighbors.

If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, you make a little package of candy and a sign that says "Boo" on it. Then you print out a different sheet explaining that the recipient has been Boo'd, and that they need to put the Boo sign on their door, and in turn, Boo 2 more people. It is so much fun to load the kids up in the car and attempt to secretly leave a package on a doorstep. We ring the doorbell and run. I'm sure every single person we have Boo'd has seen us, but it is fun anyway. It's really cool to see Boo signs start to show up on different houses in the neighborhood.

Click on this link to get a Boo sign and instruction sheet if you want to have a little fun. Also, here is a little website that explains in more detail what this is. If you want to get fancy, check out Skip to My Lou. She even has a cute poem to download. It is worth looking through her entire blog, because she has great Halloween Decorations, and clever ideas like this one
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