3.30.2011

Blogging about blogging

I am not really going to blog about blogging but I am so enjoying be able to connect with people and share pictures and the goings on our of lives.  Lots of what I talk about is just ordinary stuff and especially about projects around the house.  The NEVER ENDING list of projects of things to fix, things that need sprucing up, things that don't exist that I've seen somewhere and want to create.  Lots of projects are always swirling around in that little brain of mine.  Just ask Mike.  He has quite a range of interests too but mostly with exploring and getting away from the house!!!  Ha ha!

So on my current list is:

Repainting (of course) but I'm taking it one day at a time and looking at the paint samples up on the wall before I actually paint.  There will be lots of priming involved since most of our colors now are intense.
Reorganizing the two large bookshelves in the Living Room
Cleaning my car
Making those burlap pillows
Creating my flower hanging baskets (when it starts to stay a little warmer)
Planting a new row of bushes/plants in front of our porch where we dug up three azaleas and some small holly bushes
Having lots of string toy parades with Mike and Mason around and around the kitchen
Jury Duty
Trip to Richmond to visit Annie (flea market and zoo - oh my!)

What's on your to-do list???  Maybe some spring cleaning or a new outside project?

Check out my Sis-in-law's latest blog entry at MCH Photography all about her latest to-do project!!

3.29.2011

Ah ha...

Welllll, I haven't had an Ah ha moment with my paint samples yet but I know it's coming!

Let's back track...two weeks ago we were invited over to eat dinner and hang out with some friends and their baby.  (Hi Brooke!)  She showed me her nook and I really got into the House Beautiful magazine that she subscribes to.  Geez.  It was the American Design issue.  Lots of white and lots of all-american goodness.  I was hooked and I did have a moment or realization.  While I love the dramatic color scheme in my house, I really LOVE seeing rooms done in neutral and earthy colors with bold/bright accessories.  So at that moment or a few moments after Mike and I decided that we were ready to update our look. 

Notice I didn't say we were ready to "re-paint".  Lots of work involved there but I vow that since I got us in to this predicament that I will learn to paint better and work hard!

I wish I could post a pic of what our color scheme is now and what I'm going for but how about a bunch of before and afters when we start painting?? 

I was also going to mention that I am loving keeping up with all about this couples DIY techniques and ideas at http://www.younghouselove.com/ .  Sheesh, they are really hard workers and sure know how to put a room together on a budget which is a great inspiration!  This is my favorite post right now and is really helping me pull together the new color scheme. 

Any Ah ha moments for you lately???  I love searching around the house for nick nacks or a piece of furniture that you already have but may not be using that might just go perfectly in another room and trying it only to find out that it works great in the space.  I also love creating elements of surprise in each room and using things like an old fruit crate to hold my cookbooks or to store toys. 

3.21.2011

I Think You're Gonna Like This

So Spring has sprung and this weekend we did all things Spring-y!  We made a beach trip, dug in the dirt, planted, potted, cut grass, sneezed, took lots of Claritin redi tabs, grilled and spring cleaned!  Here are some pics from our adventures in the yard.

New sign and new plant.  Old McCoy pot.


New sedum rock garden.  I highly recommend making one if you have limited space.  I'm a fan of any plant that is hard to kill and is pretty drought tolerant!  For this I used a low open terra cotta pot with a drain hole.  I filled the bottom with rocks and then layered in potting soil with a little peat moss and vermiculite.  Then I added the Agave plant on one side and dug up some sedums from around the yard.  I tried to plant plants with similar shapes together.  I have a hen and chick plant and two other types in there that you can't see since they are so small.  I then put rocks all around the top to keep the soil from drying out too quickly or blowing away!  These guys like full sun so my back deck was the best spot.  Can't wait for them to grow!


Grouping of plants that I potted with other garden additions.


I know, some sticks?!  Yep, we built a little trellis type thing for the morning glories out of old branches!


Front door with the new old planters.  I planted some Irish Moss in these.  It requires Shade!  Perfect, as my front porch gets no sun what so ever!  You can't really see it but the moss is just a small circle in the middle of these, hope it fills in quickly.  The plant produces small white flowers.  It's the best bright green color and quite spongy, great to mush with your fingers.  I love the contrast of colors in this picture.


Axl after a hard days work.


First signs of Salad Mix in the garden!


Mason loves his "tractors"!  And yes, there's a story behind his tiny pants...

3.17.2011

Thank you Daylight Savings

The longer days are sooo nice.  Even after work and a trip to the grocery store I get home and it's still light enough for Mason to play in the yard and for me to walk around and take a look at things! 


My new leaf garden art from the Raleigh Flea Market!


My climbing rose bush


A larger rose bush with super fragrant ivory colored blooms


This bush has pink blooms


Got this rose bush from Lowe's in the clearance area. 
Large hot pink blooms!


Minature rose bush with bright orange blooms - this was a Mother's Day present two years ago. 
Thinking I might transplant it back into a pot but it seems to do great in the ground. 
Just thinking it is a great small plant to showcase in a pot.


Sedum in a great container from Tierra Fina


Another sedum that I transplanted from a pot.  I love sedums, they come back with such vigor each year and I love the beautiful shapes and variations of the foliage.  This is a great "how to" type article from Country Living Magazine about creating Container Gardens.  Some areas of my yard are really shaded and I am trying to think of ways to introduce more color and varying heights.  I'm going to try more potted plants in those areas and on my deck this year.


This is an old tray I got at a junk sale.  I love the shape and it's been hanging around in the garage for awhile and I just can't think of anything to do with it.  Yesterday I thought well maybe I can make a sign out of it.  Mike and Mason were playing with sidewalk chalk on the driveway so I just wrote on the tray and I think it turned out cute.  Maybe as the seasons change I can draw or write a new saying on it. 


My new patio addition!


Thought I'd throw in a picture of Mason scrambling to get his ball


3.15.2011

It Makes a Difference

The Man and the Starfish

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.  As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Help out where you can!

I was in a thrift shop in Swansboro over a year ago and this old tattered piece of paper was framed with a story on it.  I took the time to read it and every once in a while I remember it and go what was that story again???  I kept thinking it was about jellyfish.  I often get to the beach and do find jellyfish washed ashore and try and try to thrown them back in.  I always think they are such helpless little creatures that everyone hates.  I'm torn, I don't want them to die but I also don't want to fling them on some unsuspected tourist who might get hurt!  What to do?  I guess let nature take its course...or help out.  Every situation in life is different, some are easier to handle so you just never know.  Just making a decision you can live with is what works best for me. 

3.14.2011

Trip to the City...Raleigh NC that is!

I can't even begin to relay my excitement about our Raleigh trip, pre and post trip!  I had high hopes for some great spring weather and that we would get to explore a little while we were there.  First order of business was digging up plants all over my Mom's yard!  Thanks Mom!  She gave me some Forsythia, Nandina, Daffodils, and Iris all in this nifty old coal bucket that used to be my granddad's!  She also transplanted some things on the spot so that I could have two old, chipped concrete planters, similar to the ones on the left in this picture.  I had so many things that I wanted to find this weekend and I was almost done before I got started!


Coal bucket and planters with my new plants!


Mike cruising around the Flea Market at the NC State Fairgrounds


Best find of the day!  Here's Mason on his new slide!  Weeee


Mom found this great iron patio bench, I'm thinking I might like to get one too!!


Me and my find, some old burlap coffee sacks. 

I know, you're thinking huh?  But wait, hear me out.  At first I was thinking of using them on my wall in the living room.  I was going to attach them to the wall and put a frame around them, I'm talking 4 x 6' and then hang lots of black and white framed pictures within the large framed area.  But after thinking about it I just wasn't convinced that that's what these were meant for.  You know how you buy something and you just don't know what you're going to do with it and then BAM!  So here's the deal.  See that writing on them?  I really like the large texture of the weave and the graphic quality of the print.  So I'm going to make a pillow with the fronts of the bags.  It will have a burlap front and then I will get some red or orange fabric for the back.  Very rustic.  Then, here's the super exciting part!!!  Remember how I found those hanging wire baskets?  Well I will line those with a piece of burlap and then a piece of plastic to support my plants.  The burlap is much easier to cut into to add more plants!  Voila!  I love it when that happens!  Also notice the metal leaf sculptures on the ground by that woman's foot?  I got a 6 foot one for the yard.  So cool.  Once I get it nestled in I'll post a picture!


This was a neat cottage at the NC Aboretum.  They had a wonderful Winter garden.


Wow, what a photo op!


More garden fun.  Isn't he so cute!!


Last but not least, Hummingbird Cake!  Yum, my fav! 

All in all it was a great weekend and really sparked my creativity.  I'm already ready to go back for more fun and adventure!  The weather was great and it really made me ready for summer time.  Although I didn't get to work in my yard this weekend Mike, who had the day off today, planted my transplants and tilled the soil in my garden.  He also planted the carrots, potatoes, onions and salad mix!!  On a side note, we bought green onions to cook with last week and Mike planted one in that cool herb planter and it took, there are 4" shoots coming up from it!  That was a neat surprise!

The trip back was also pretty exciting.  I was reading through Southern Living Magazine and came across an article about three women who redesign furniture and sell it for a living.  After reading their stories and seeing all the pictures of their cute stuff it really made me want to do something like that.  Mike and I are always finding stuff and thrifting and repurposing things.  Could we eventually turn it into a living?  I've always wanted a shop of my own, whether it be clothing, decor, whatever, just lots of cool stuff!  My dream is to have a shop or store front with a workspace in the back.  I'd love to have some fine antiques and some fine art but my main focus would be on finding older pieces and giving them a new look with the addition of paint, texture and fabric.  So there I said it and I hope it comes true!  We live in a great town now but I don't know if this is the place yet...or the time...

Speaking of cool designs and furniture you've got to check out the article about designer Amy Meier in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.  I love, love, love the way she decorates!

Oh!  And check out The Old Lucketts Store in VA!  Can we go??

  


3.09.2011

what a ride!

Soooo, let me just tell you in pictures what my weekend was like.  It was funky, it was long and I'm glad it's over.  OH yes, so glad. 


I spent a lot of time in one of these.  Although this bathroom is much nicer and looks so inviting!


I felt like I had been on one of these....for days...and days.  Whew!


Wow, sleep deprivation and lack of food made me feel like I was in this.  And still do!
(Alice in Wonderland won an Oscar for best costume design!!!) 


 
And now I would really love to fall into one of these.  I love the muted walls with the washed out accents in this room. 

So there you have it!  My weekend made much more beautiful with pictures. 

NOTE:  I had a terrible stomach virus (so did my husband, son and our houseguest!!  Aw!)

3.04.2011

Happy Friday

Morning!  Thought I would share a bit of my outside space today.  Here are a few of my favorite elements.  We have a small deck that Mike built with my dad a couple of years ago and then we laid large pavers down below.  We enjoy grilling out and relaxing during the warmer months.  So I braved the cold 40 degree weather this morning and took some pics!


Recycled wood Herb Planter on Back Patio by Trista of THR Pottery


Detail of Planter

In the first section I have Chocolate Mint, second section has Chives and Lemongrass, the third has Oregano, and the fourth has a Mum and a Green Onion experiment for now but I usually plant Sweet Basil in there.  I like keeping the herbs close to the house so that while we're cooking the kitchen we can just run out and get some!  Another one of my favorites is Rosemary and Sage which I have in other parts of the yard. 


Patio seating and seashells.  Blue table by Mike at Hold Fast!


Spanish Lavendar - check this site out for more info on one of my favorite plants!!!
Very aromatic!!

This weekend we are going to check out the Home and Garden Show in town!  Did I mention that I scored four metal hanging flower baskets from a trash pile last weekend!!  Now I'll have to figure out what to plant in there that will survive our hot, dry summers.


Love the variety of colors and textures in this one, so cheery!


3.03.2011

A Welcome Design

It's day two of room redo pics!  I thought I'd show you my entryway area.  A little background about what we were going for when we started this whole decorating process.  We had already painted every room in the house so we had a bright color palette to work with.  We wanted an overall feel of something cottage chic, ecclectic, worldly, inviting, warm, tropical - like indonesia or the bahamas.  We also had a tiny budget so Judy suggested using things we already had to create the looks.  We are huge yard salers and love flea market finds which she strongly encouraged for finding unique pieces  to fit in.  She also helped us find some inexpensive versions of things she thought would work.  The round wooden mirror mimicks a porthole on a ship and this ties in to the whole theme, which you will see as we move throughout the rest of this area! 

The living room, entryway, and dining room are all painted Valspar 2009-5 Fall Leaf. 


So here's the entryway now!

We scored this table for $20 at a yardsale.  The lamp was $30 from TJ Maxx.  One crate was a gift for my husband from his sister and the other we found.  These work great for storing my son's toys and keeps things organized.  I'd really like to find a big, fat old planter so I can put a plant on this table but the books and things will do for now.

Close up!

Visit these links for some super chic and fun decorating ideas:
Judy Cook Interiors

Check back for more to come. 

3.02.2011

Yeeeeee HAW!

As you can see I've got a brand spanking new background that I think is fabulous!  I am still tweeking things a bit but overall I'm super excited! 

The temperature has dropped outside and so has my motivation to be outside for any length of time!  So with that I'd like to show a series of pictures of my house, inside and out.  Usually I am the one that takes 50 pictures to get one good one.  Well, I have been working with my aunt Judy, of Judy Cook Interiors, to redecorate some of the rooms in our 1985 ranch style house over the last six months.  She has been most helpful and fun!  So I'll start with a picture of our guest room, where all the blogging magic happens!

This is the yellow guest room

We painted this room yellow when we moved in three years ago and Judy helped me tone down the yellow-ness by adding lots of white and some subtle yellow accents. 

We also created a seating area in this room

On a side note, I think we have a raccoon visitor in the yard that keeps eating all the bird seed in our trough feeder!!!  What a rascal!

Check back for another room redo pic tomorrow!

3.01.2011

Can you believe it's March!?



This weekend we spent lots of time outdoors. The weather was nice,
still a little windy and chilly but sunny! Sunday morning we went to
the beach with friends and played in the sand and collected shells.
When we got home my husband and I worked on the garden a tad. He dug
up the grass and we doubled the garden area! We put down new borders.
Next I will mix in some Black Cow and the vermiculite and peat moss
and get to planting. I'm about to pop to start getting stuff in the
ground!!!
Mike also cleaned up the garage. He's been working on his Volkswagen
Beetle and had stuff everywhere. But now everything is organized and
my little potting area is ready to go! He even hung up some old farm
tools for me!
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