Friday, April 25, 2008


Having children is the greatest accomplishment ever, right? hmm...I think passing elementary school the second or third time around is pretty high up there too.

School House

Never did I think I would be spending my friday nights in my 30's at home trying to smear paper mache' to a styrofoam ball to make the planet Mercury. Or trying to make a book report look like a pizza. Or even making a video book report? that's sort of an oxymoron right? But yep, here I am STRESSED OUT over science projects, required parent volunteering (explain that one to me..? thought Volunteering was well, voluntary!) and bringing in healthy snacks for the class party. Those always crack me up! For some reason I always get the hardest party dish to bring in. Do I ever get elected to bring in paper plates? Napkins? even juice boxes? No, I get 3 dozen deviled eggs and ham & cheese platter!

devilled eggs

I am among young Mom's (not that I am old, in my mid 30's mind you!) but Mom's who sport color coordinating sweat (ha!) outfits that match their shoes and their cute little baseball caps. Mom's who MUST wake up extra early to apply a full face of makeup and a quick run to Starbucks before dropping kids off to school. How do they do it?


My morning is usually spent frantically looking for shoes, school sweatshirts, last nights scattered homework, tossing together a somewhat healthy lunch and coaxing the three year old into his car seat without 6 trucks, 3 books and 2 stuffed animals! Apply makeup? Well, only at the stoplights enroute to school... and as for the cute color coordinated sweat outfits? I am lucky If I remembered to remove (or conceal) my pajama's before jumping in the car. I know, I know, I hear the voice in my head, Got To Get More Organized but at the end of the evening between juggling homework, dinner, kitchen duty & bath time, I am lucky I make it up the stairs. (Thank goodness for Tivo & DVR!)

woman asleep in chair.gif

I hear people who moan about the newborn stage. What?! are they crazy? That's easy street! it's when they start walking, talking and going to school that really battles with the whole ideal vision in your pre-children head. Here I am in my 30's trying to pass the 5th grade!

newborn baby

Little did I know when I signed up (okay, so there was some wine involved!) that I would be this exhausted, perplexed, scared & scarred (stretchmarks!) when raising offspring......

Sara's home made wine

But little did I know the pride, the joy and heart overflowing with LOVE when I look at my 3 beautiful, intelligent, caring kids. Granted - this feeling usually only overtakes me when the children are konked out, snoring in their beds :) but still the feeling is overwhelming. Those little beings are here because of me! oh and just a teeny bit of help from the husband....:)


So I am looking forward to some lazy days of summer when we haven't been up late the night before rewriting the history report or tying up Valentine goodie bags for 45 fellow students. Or making sure the family car is cleaned out enough to accomodate 5 rowdy boys on the class field trip along with a stressed out teacher asking you for advil. (Yes, those lovely young Room Moms I mentioned, always assign the teacher to ride along in my car). Those lazy days ahead of baking cookies and going for walks... playing in the park.....sigh...


After about two weeks of all this togetherness, reality sets in (and 18 hour days!)...and I start counting the days til school starts! aaahhh! Motherhood! :)


God Bless You & Your Families.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is Cinderella Still Cleaning The Castle?

I wonder, when the honeymoon was over, if Cinderella went back to mopping the floors and sweeping out the chimney?


I ask this because on Sunday afternoon I felt like Cinderella..the married version. I wasn't going to the ball looking for the handsome charming prince, he was at home with the three kids, but I was going out for an afternoon at the Opera with my Mother and then out to dinner with some friends.

Opera Singer

Oh, it was lovely to get dressed up and teeter around on highheels ( I don't get too many opportunities to wear them on the ranch) carry a tiny handbag that didn't store a juice cup, antibacterial wipes, matchbox cars or those freebie crayons from family friendly restaurants. To apply my makeup while not looking in the car visor mirror and to dust off the curling iron and use it without leaving a lasting mark on my forehead.


So on to the Opera to see Mozart's The Magic Flute. It was an interesting story line and very different from any other I had seen before. In this version the actors spoke in English but sang in German. Thankfully I was able to keep up with the story line via the screen overhead translating who was who and why they were weeping over this or that. Then on to a lovely dinner with cloth napkins (no rolls of papertowels for kid spills here!) and real menu's that weren't part of the table decor. No needless trips to the Potty.... Aaaah! It was all about me!! ...and of course the company I was with.


After a leisurely and much enjoyed dinner, we bid farewell to our friends and made our way home...all in all I was gone from my castle about 8 hours.


As I floated in the door, with the notes of Mozart in my head, a smile on my face as I replayed the events of the evening over in my mind.....I stopped and saw this:

And This:


My carefree night was over....the smile wiped from my face.... my happy balloon deflated as I turned to my no longer as Charming husband with the look of horror on my face and he had the audacity to ask innocently, "what...?"


So while my kitchen has been restored to it's former glory by someone other than me....

I have come to the conclusion that Cinderella wasn't cleaning up after her evil stepsisters....she was cleaning up after her children! and going to the ball wasn't to look for her prince Charming but was actually an appointment with a massage therapist! And as far as the fairy tale being told for all these years, it was just Cinderella's hallucinations while she was being treated with heavy antidepressant medication. Sorry to burst your bubble here ladies, but most fairy tales don't go into HOW they lived Happily Ever After. We just assume they do, and you know what they say about the word "Ass u me". Cinderella is still at her castle, sweeping, mopping and hallucinating! ; )


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trial & Error

Why is it that when you go looking for something in particular - you never find it...? But then after the idea has gone out of your head or you've found a replacement for said item, you find what you were originally looking for?

Such is the case of my deer head. Yep, I have a faux deer head mounted on the wall in our Study. Our Study is a mixture of masculine sorts. It has equestrian artwork, a leather sofa, my Dad's old roll top desk.... A Gentleman's Study. I figured the rest of the house is so...well, feminine, that this room deserved to be richly textured and ...Manly!

After much fussing, sewing & shopping for this room, I realized it needed something different, a little something unusual (like a peacock feather wreathe wasn't enough!) it needed a Deer Head.

I did some online browsing but I didn't want spend the $$$ they were charging. So, I came across these little brass deer head candlestick holders in an antique shop. On sale for $100...okay, I bought them. I know, I know...but I figured this was what I was meant to have!

Mounted them to the wall...hmmm...they were okay, I guess. So I lived with them for a while.

Then one day while shopping at Homegoods with my sister in-law I saw this:

My sister in-law tried to convince me to buy it but I already had the candlesticks so I put it back.

A few weeks later, on a whim I ran into Homegoods again, I saw it tucked away on the shelf. I grabbed it and paid for it before I could change my mind! I paid $49 for it.

So I sneak him on home but he was a sickly pinky cream. Our walls are golden yellow, see where I am going with this?

So I thought, I'll spray him black, make him an artistic interpretation of a deer so no one thinks I would actually mount a beautiful deer on my wall.

Oh boy... He wasn't looking so good... yep, he needed some dimension, so I'll add some brown to him.

hmm...better but still needed something else... dug through my paints again. I mixed brown and gold paint and got a copper color. That's it! He'll be a BRONZE interpretation of a deer head.

So here he is mounted over my Dad's old roll top desk....

Now alot of people are probably thinking what the heck? or why would you want that? but I had a vision stuck in my head and those just stay there until I can figure out a way to get it right...and if that means, I am outside in my pj's spray painting before the kids wake up then that's what I will do!... my projects are alot of trial and error but I perservere for the sake of interior decorating! And besides...he kind of grows on you...;)

***Please go visit Kim at Fluff Your Stuff to see a creative way to accessorize your husband's trophies!!***

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time Stood Still....While I faux finished like crazy!

I was thrilled when my husband gave me a clock for our Anniversary about 6 years ago. This was before we built our new home and moved in about 18 months ago. Anyway, my clock was having a hard time adjusting to it's new space, with the higher ceilings and more furniture, it just sort of blended in with the walls....

So after some thought and while the hubby was at work, I decided to give this little clock some character. Time stood still.... and so did every other household chore while I sanded, painted, glazed, stained, painted some more. I think I used every faux finishing technique I have ever read about!

So as the day turned into evening, my heart started to pound a bit and my stomach got a little twisted in knots. What would my dear husband think?He hasn't ever had a problem with my wild bursts of redecorating but this was different, this was a gift....from Him.

I grabbed his hand as he walked through the door and turned him in the right direction ( I sometimes have to do this, he doesn't notice a whole lot, including the blinds I hung in the dining room while he was on a trip about 6 months ago!) so I turned him to face the clock and I said"Look!"

thump, thump, thump..goes my heart....

And he said "Ohhhhh!"....and then asked where I got the stencil for the bottom since he knows I can't freehand anything to save my life :) But he truly did love it!

(please note - the paint isn't as GREEN as the photos show...a really nice aged sage green, I swear!)

So while this look might not work for everyone, it fits in really well (or should I say it stands out a bit more?) in our home. :)

Hope this inspires you to try a little heart pounding, what the heck am I doing?, project of your own. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results!

I didn't go into too much description here of how it was done, but if anyone wants to know, just ask! :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

My First Time

I know that could be taken a multitude of ways....:) Just hoping it would pique your interest to have you reading a bit more! This is my First Post! I am a self described decorating fanatic....If it has something to do with decorating, I'm there!

Oh, I've tried HGTV's Rate My Space and while that was very exciting in the beginning, it leaves you a little deflated....that is, once you get hit with the haters, rate robbers and space trolls that come out at night to down rate your rooms! Anyone who has posted on there knows what I'm talking about, right? You log off with a smile on your face...hooray! 4 stars! You log back on in the morning to a whopping.....2.3!...huh? You scroll through your comments, looking for a reason why...a constructive critique that you hope you can accommodate, something of the person who despises your home that much. Sometimes, you get lucky, aha! ...You get a name, a snide remark which you can reply to...but alas, only on your own those evil raters ever come back to read your well thought out retort to their critique?...sigh...No. Do those people know or care that you spent many late nights sewing (and ripping out seams) on those curtains? Or that you've spent hours inhaling toxic vapors refinishing the family hand-me-downs? Sadly...No...All your hard efforts have been diminished to a 2.3 Fair rating that wounds your heart...sigh...Don't get me wrong, there are many more well wishers on there but once you get those negative posts, all those gracious, well meaning comments fade to the background.

So with that experience behind me, I started searching for something else...I found Blogs! So many wonderful, heartfelt, funny, touching pages of triumphs, recipes and beautiful vignettes that can make a heart soar! I thought ..hey! This is like RMS but only better...You get to share your decorating ideas, a personal story or two , you don't get rated or judged and you get to make new friends! Sold!! :)

So with that lengthy is my first post!

My First Real Upholstery Project

This was my most recent little project. I wanted to include a few photos and some how-to's in here to save you some trouble and flesh wounds. yes, I got a few... I had been wanting to make an ottoman for our home office or study as I like to call it...sounds more appealing that way. I was trying to think of a way to put one together with minimal use of power tools. A few days later, driving through our downtown, I spot this outside on the sidewalk of an antique-thrift store.

I park the car, run over and purchase this for $30! I load it up and place it in it's new home. Hmmm... a big white elephant! But I was not discouraged, for I had a vision. A few days later, as the older two kids were off at school and I had the whole day to mys....wait, forgot about our three year old...let me rephrase that..had the whole day based on my three year old's every whim, I decided to tackle my project. So I gather my gear: electric screwdriver, pliers, flathead screwdriver (to help pry up the old staples), fabric & button cover kit, super large upholstery needle & twine and some leftover decorative upholstery tacks.

I started by dismantling the ottoman. Flipping it over and removing the screws to separate the top & bottom pieces...not so bad...Don't forget to cut the old cords to remove the buttons.

Started ripping off the cording....okay....

Cut a new piece of fabric for the top...I casually stapled one staple on each side just to hold the fabric while I started my tufting...I wanted to be able to adjust the fabric.

Cover your buttons with some scraps...I swear the hardest part! And tuft your first button. Mine were easier since this had already been had holes drilled in the bottom for the needle to come through - although I had to use pliers to pull it completely through. I used a small scrap of fabric to brace my needle against the plier teeth. Caution! Keep your face clear ( I even closed my eyes! lol!) while pulling really hard on the pliers to pull the needle through all the layers.

can you see the needle coming through the wood..?

Okay, Pull Super TIGHT! pulling that needle all the way through. Remove the needle, tie a knot in the thread and staple the thread right in front of the knot ,down to the underside of the wood, staple, staple, staple along the string to keep this really tight. Can you see why there are no pictures for that step..? Gotta teach our 3 year old how to work the camera! :)

Three buttons down....four more to go! At this point I stop to work on the base....

I covered the base of the ottoman, cutting around the brackets that attaches the top.

Reused the old cording with new fabric, stapling that to the base of the ottoman.
At this point, I sort of stopped using the darn camera - sorry! But after you attach all your buttons (mine had 7 of them) wrap your top cushion like a present, pulling tautly and stapling, alternating sides...fold your corners in and staple everything underneath. Flip it over, lay the base on top of the cushion, reattach the screws and......

Taa Daa! You have a new ottoman!

I re stained the feet a bit darker, attached some nail head trim with the 3 year old sitting on my lap, "helping" me hammer and I was finished!

This is how it looks in the room.... Keep scrolling..... :)

What do you think..? Not bad for $30 and the cost of the material, button kit, new upholstery needle & heavy twine, gas, bandaids, advil...hmmm... but really "honey, I saved a TON of money!" :)