Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

One Step Forward….

November 8, 2014

…Two Steps Back.  That has been my week.

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BEFORE…. please stand by for AFTER.

The walls in our entry, living room, dining room and stairwell have been brown for 9.5 years. I realized I didn’t like the color the DAY we painted it on the blinkin’ walls. A re-do was definitely overdue times 10, so a misty mountain light turquoise color was chosen and has been applied to the x-brown walls…. in two layers, unfortunately. The only area not complete is the stairwell. It’s my nemesis at the moment. I am highly distracted by EVERY other thing possible so I don’t have to conquer the stairwell til I’m ready… like washing windows, shopping for new lamp shades, painting baskets, searching for treasures around the house to move to their new place in the misty mountain terrain.

Monday: Figured out we need DOUBLE the paint amount…bummer. Back to Lowe’s.

Tuesday: Sanded three layers of paint from my darling DIY end tables in an attempt to make them look rustic… and I hate it. Starting over. Need more paint… again. Back to Lowe’s.

Wednesday: Shopping for a bench, couch and ottoman…. came home with three velvet pillows, two turquoise and one orange.

Thursday: In trying to re-hang the curtains, 3 of 8 wall screws with supports were pulled from their resting places, leaving large holes…. filled the holes. Need larger supports and bigger screws. Back to Lowe’s.

Friday: Shopping for a bench, couch and ottoman… came home with two gorgeous lampshades.

Saturday: Climbed up the ladder to clean the dining room hanging light. All cleaned… then I screwed the gigantic light bulb back in and the glass bulb separated from the metal screwing part…. back to Lowe’s.

Some day, hopefully in November, I will share the after pictures of the misty mountain oasis in the Sonoran Desert. The real story would be the daily pictures of me wearing painting clothes and not swearing. Sheesh.

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Yesterday, 25 Years Ago….

May 10, 2012

I married the man of my dreams!  It hardly seems possible that we have made it to our silver anniversary.  That is for old people.  And after 25 long, memorable years, are you wondering how we celebrated?  Not only is Rick sick (with a fever and chills and cold) but he is also in Texas at SimCom, renewing his pilot training.  I’m at home with our four lovely children.  Big celebration, right?  Wrong.

However, we did throw a shindig last Saturday, that beat the band!  I’ve been dreaming of decorating for a party for a few years now…. all shabby chic, bird cages, vintage books, roses, old picture frames and lace.  Pinterest has held my interest in this avenue for quite some time now.  All my decorating dreams came true for our 25th celebration.  Here is my photo tribute to Rickey, my knight in shining armor, who tore up the dance floor and didn’t mind all the fru-fru in the house.

The Love Birds name tag table on the front porch.  I love birdies.

Here was our guest book table and my wedding dress…. 25 years later.

These were the thank you gift bags that my friend Ginny made.  They were darling.  We put nuts in the bags and the tags said “Still nuts about each other after 25 years!”  See, corny! But it made us laugh!

Another friend of mine, Darla, helped me assemble the largest collection of pink, white and brown edible delicacies this side of the Mississippi.  It was a sugar-loving haven.

We displayed the dress my mother wore to the wedding as well as my banana-yellow going-away suit.  :o)

The party was such fun!  Yes, I’m saving all the decorations for the next family wedding, or baby shower, or birthday, or retirement party, etc.

House Cleaning at MSJ

September 26, 2011

Just wanted to pass the word along that I finally got around to doing some house cleaning here at My Sister’s Jar!  I deleted the obsolete blog links and I added some of my new favorites that I have been reading for a while… and not sharing until now.  If you’re the creative type, check out Hostess with the Mostess, Tinker Verve and So This is Julie…………. over there —> in the links.  Other great family and/or homeschooling blogs are Jenny & Pearl, Life in a Shoe and Courtenay Momma.  Enjoy!

Not According to the Plan

July 4, 2011

Yes, we were vacationing in Tahoe, when BAM! our plans took an unexpected turn.  Without clear warning I was thrust (happily, I might add) into a Curb Appeal mixed with Trading Places real life scenario.  A five bedroom home needed to be decorated so it could be a rental property… and I willingly signed up for the inexperienced decorator position.  This was like a dream come true for me…. shopping with someone else’s money and then setting up each room.  I have NEVER shopped until I’ve dropped until this last week.  We browsed, bought and brought home six Suburban loads … and let me just brag on my car packing abilities for a moment here.  When it looked like the car was full, NO!  I still squeezed in two bedside tables, two rugs and a giant lighthouse.  All my years of playing Tetris paid off big time!

Tomorrow we start our journey from California home to the sweltering heat of Arizona, and I’m sad for more than that reason alone.  I do not get the opportunity to see the finished product.  There are still two rooms to set up and carpets to unroll, but I’m hoping for pictures of the finished product.  Here are two sneak previews of rooms:

Several important concepts were learned through this decorating extravaganza that I feel compelled to share with you at this time.  #1. Buy an iPad and keep a list of what you need for each room and what you have purchased.  By the third day in the fourth TJ Maxx, we couldn’t remember how many single sheets we bought, or if we still needed neutral bath mats.  #2.  Pace yourself.  Five straight days of shopping is extremely tiring.  #3.  Always get two carts when you enter the store.  You will inevitably need them if you don’t.  #4.  An extra lamp can always be utilized.  #5.  Adding black or dark brown to each room gives it a grounded feeling.  #6.  Too much matchy matchy is too much matchy matchy. #7. Pick a color scheme for the whole house.  That way you can move items from room to room as you see fit. 

See how helpful this was for me to do this before you have to??!!??  Whew!  Now I need a vacation.

The Play Kitchen is DONE!

January 3, 2011

I discovered this great vanity bench at Goodwill back in the summer.  I don’t understand how Goodwill prices their furniture.  They are WAY too expensive for being in a second-hand store.  Thankfully I was there on 50% off day.  It was still too much, but I had visions of grandeur in my head for a play kitchen for Nora.

For several months I gathered the pieces as I found them…. kitchen sink… stove burners… flower hooks.  I sanded and painted and sanded and painted.  I added a shelf on the support bars underneath, perfect for dishes and cups.  Then I was browsing play kitchens on google and came across several kitchens that had ruffle curtains!  Oh my word.  How adorable.  So, back to the craft store for darling fabric.  I originally planned to put the curtains on dowels, but then I couldn’t figure out how to make them sturdy enough for a vigorous seven-year-old cook.  I ended up putting a strip of wood over the top edge of the fabric and hammering tiny nails all the way across.  Hopefully it will hold through many days of cooking and baking and washing dishes.

Nora loves it, but she did tell me that it is a little too short for her.  She seems to be managing just fine!

Mr. Clean, Eat Your Heart Out!

October 14, 2010

Two years into the adoption process I was told that we will need to send our girl a photo album of our house when we accept the referral.  Thinking I’d be on top of things, I made the album in 2008.  I did leave a few pages blank, like her room because it wasn’t decorated at the time.  I pulled the album off the shelf last night and realized that there is only one room that hasn’t changed in our WHOLE house in the last two years.  And that’s only partially true…. because we moved our bed and added my birthday chair to our room…. but I’m not retaking those pictures.  They turned out really good the first time! 

This Saturday is a scrapbooking day at my friend’s house, so I decided to re-take the photos of the house and update our girl’s album.  Which also means….. my house is TOTALLY clean!  So I’m just fine if the referral call comes tomorrow…. we plan to video our family watching her darling face come up on the computer screen… and I won’t have to scrape one area of the house clean to video!!!  Also, we’re supposed to send a video to her of a tour of our house… and it’s already clean!  It won’t stay this way very long… as there are several males who live here with me…. ’nuff said.

Here’s the clean view:

The previous picture is AMAZING because there are ALWAYS things piled on the stairs waiting to be taken upstairs!

The loft hasn’t been this tidy since 2008.

Note the new tea party shelf with the purses and boas!  A gift from my friend Jill to Zaza.

Larisa added this unattractive/comfortable chair to her room.

The boy’s beds are separated now with a shelving unit to provide privacy…. at least that’s what they tell me.

Yes, I took a picture of my birthday chair!

Ta Da!  Once Zaza is home she’s probably going to wonder why the house never looks like this ever again! 

A Windfall of Thoughts

August 2, 2010

The email last week announcing our forthcoming adoption referral has sent me into a tizzy of excitement. It is a rare night when I’m not asleep within nano-seconds of my head resting on the pillow…. but now I lie there in the dark with questions running amuck in my mind. I got out of bed last night at midnight and sent an email full of questions to our case worker. It’s nice, because they are two hours ahead of us, so I awake to answers!

In two weeks, one of my college roommates (and bridesmaid) is coming for a five-day visit with her hubby and three kids all the way from Manitoba. We have not seen them since their wedding day…. it must be about 21 years ago now. We are bosom friends and a fabulous time will be had by all. But I looked around my very lived-in and loved house and thought to myself, “These walls were white just five years ago!” So, with that bit of inspiration, and company coming, decorating and redecorating has commenced.

Our family room is not large and we have had a very large oak computer desk in there for the same five years when my white walls changed colors. A friend came up with the brilliant idea to cut the back off. Duh! Why didn’t we think of that five years ago? So, with skill saw in hand, my husband cut 15 inches off the back of the desk and added over a foot to our living space. YAY! (Really, I know it sounds ghetto, but even Larisa thought it turned out great!)

Then I noticed these dated lamps and too many end tables, and too many chairs…. and a garage sale was born, organized, conducted and finished in two days. $280 raised for paint and valance fabric! Yes! I’ve decided to break out of the white all mode and ….. brace yourself…. pale lime green will go up on these walls on Wednesday. I hope I don’t regret the bold move.  Of course, pictures will follow.

And Keeve, …. Keeve, Keeve, Keeve.  My 11-year-old son has been living in Zaza’s yellow room with a purple bed and lime green accents for over two years.  There are bunk beds in the boy’s room, but he gravitates to solitude.  So, today is the day!  He is moving out for good!  I have little wooden butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, bird houses and the smiling sunshine to hang up around the border of the room.  There are shelves to hang and the hand painted tea-table and chairs to move in there.  The antique gold trim on the dresser needs to be painted purple.  The legos and foam swords need to BE GONE!  I have two weeks until company comes, and then school starts the next week.  Then our referral comes… then we travel to Colombia.  So today is the day!  Wish me luck!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

November 30, 2009

So, I’ve been coughing for four days.  On day #3 my wonderful husband located and purchased the famously horrible Canadian cough syrup, Buckley’s.  It’s been at least 6 years since I’ve tasted that putrid concoction.  Man, is that creamy white liquid potent.  It’s a cross between drinking Pinesol and Vick’s vapor rub.  It certainly cleans you out.  But sadly, I’m still coughing.  Enough about me.

Then new ICBF waitlist for adopted children just came out!  It is the Colombian government’s official list of the ages of those kids who went to their forever homes.  It does my heart good to see movement and know those 10+ kids will be home for Christmas.  However, it is truly sad how long these families have waited.  The shortest was 4 months.  That’s just a plain fluke.  Most were between 40 and 52 months.  And that is from the time of their accepted referral.  So add on all of their paperwork, homestudy and fingerprint time!  Wow!  We are at 23 months currently. For the last 5 and 6 year olds that went home, the families waited 12 and 30 months.  So we should be sooner, rather than later.  Whatever that means.  I’m hopeful.

Last night we did the family thing and put up the Christmas tree together while Christmas music serenaded us LOUDLY.  I had not been out of the house for three days and was donning my pink fuzzy jammies and wild bed-head, so I made many threats to those who insisted on videotaping the occasion.  I know they got me when I wasn’t looking… and they’ll pay for it.  Not that I’m into retaliation, but a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do.  We put up the slender Jenny Craig tree in the living room with all the blue and silver ornaments, ribbon, lights and beads.  It’s quick and easy, doesn’t take up much room and looks festive through the front window. 

As I was digging through the ornament box looking for white, blue or silver ornaments, I vaguely remember leaving 60% of the ornaments in the box last year… the red ones… brown ones… green ones.  So, I made an official decision, followed by an announcement that we would have two trees this year.  A fake, skinny blue and silver Jenny Craig tree in the living room and a real, fresh, full pine tree grown in Oregon with all the other colored ornaments in the family room.  My relations were elated.  They begged to head off to Home Depot RIGHT NOW!   Alas, it was too late.  And they don’t have vivid memories of dead pine needles in the shag carpet…. I know the value of waiting until Dec. 19th to buy the real tree!  Freshness is where it’s at, baby.  Plus Rick and I are going away for 5 days, and who would water the tree???

There is much more decorating to be done.  The opened boxes are all over the downstairs staring at me.  But I coughed too much and needed a nap.  They can wait until tomorrow.

 

Painting Again

August 8, 2009

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Today I got ambitious and sanded and started painting Zaza’s bedside table.  As some of you know, I painted her canopy bed purple… it’s darling.  So I did the bedside table white with purple drawers.  I’ll post a photo when it’s done.  Zaza’s room is slowly but surely coming together.  It seems like it’s taken forever because IT HAS!  I painted the walls yellow over two years ago.  They already need to be touched up from the boys playing in there.  (sheesh)  A clear and empty room is so tempting for boys with a car mat and a million Hot Wheels.

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Another family who has worked with the same agency as us, Gladney, returned from Colombia yesterday with their two little bambinos.  I have enjoyed following their blog because it’s the most current information from Colombia… with pictures to ease my curious heart.  Here is their link if you want to have a peak:  http://colombiantortoise.wordpress.com/  Their daughter could be my niece, Katelyn’s, Colombian twin sister.  It’s amazing how much these two little girls look alike!  Anyway, enjoy, you know, if you have time to spend reading blogs. 

Enjoy your weekend!

My Holiday Planner

November 17, 2008

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Aaahhhh.  Organization at its BEST!  Now don’t go thinking I’m taking credit for this fabulous planner idea.  I attended a conference and took a class on building a website.  The gal that taught the course has a website ALL about organizational tips for the holidays.  Well, this is right up my alley, baby.  Not only did I make myself a binder/planner, I gave them as gifts last year too.  Scrapbooking + organizing = priceless.  Here’s Kris Ann’s website: http://christmasorganizing.com/

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The book is pure organizational genius.  It starts with monthly calendar pages and moves through every area of holidaying: gifts, decorating, letters, cleaning, favorites, where you hid stuff for next Christmas, etc.  Of course I decorated mine in wintry blues… my favorite colors that remind me of cold Canadian nights in the snow. 

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Last year was my first chance using the planner for the months of November and December and it was the first year in 20 years of marriage that we shipped Christmas gifts to the Canadian relatives ON TIME!  No extra postage because of procrastinating!  Wooo Hooo!

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The Deep Cleaning page strikes fear in the hearts of my children.  But, boy howdy, does the house look better during Jesus’ birthday.  It lists every cleaning job possible and then every single room and hallway in the house.  Sweet sanitary music to my ears.  You only do one or two rooms per week and it doesn’t even seem that bad, especially when an energetic mother and her three willing assistants attack the room simultaneously.  Ten to fifteen minutes per room… and the disgusting horizontal blinds even shine.

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The meal and baking planning sheets were a Godsend come grocery shopping time.  You just can’t put a price on the value of preparing ahead.  It also adds peace of mind to the season that can be so stressful. I used a plain white binder and slid in the cutesy covers with silver glitter.

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For those industrious fellow crafters and planners, here is the complete list of tabs: calendar, planner (weekly countdown of to-do lists), Thanksgiving (meal plans and recipes), cleaning, cards (sent/received lists and copies of past family letters), budget, decorating (magazine pictures, ideas from websites, lists of per-room decorations), gifts (planner with immediate family, extended family, friends, Wish lists, Gift Wrap Center, Gift Closet Stocking Stuffers, After Christmas Purchases and where I put them), food (meal plans, Baking planner, recipes), crafts (gifts to make, magazine ideas), wardrobe (A slot for each family members’ outfits: Sunday, Family Photo and Casual), Shopping Lists, and extras (lists of Christmas Favorite movies, books, music and Traveling checklists).

Join me in Christmas bliss.  :o)