Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas decorating

I loved the tea towel with the crocheted candy canes and had to buy it 2 years ago, but just couldn't figure what to do with it. I think it works to "top" the chair and reminds me of my great-grandparents' house with the doilies on the chair backs and arms. I don't remember where I picked up the poinsettia needlepoint pillow, but I know it would have been on sale after Christmas one year.
The new entertainment wall unit has made for some great decorating options. I'm not so happy about the singing Elvis Hound Dog, but making the hubby happy. (Also, see leg lamp in coming pictures...)

I made the paper poinsettia wreath from Paper Source after painting the mdf form green since it would be reflected in the mirror. The vinyl applique says "may peace be your gift at Christmas". The tree is refected in the mirror. It's in the breakfast nook because there's no room in the den. It works though.

Here's the new dining room decked out for Christmas. I didn't have the ability to put up all of my crystal and porcelain ornaments because one of my topiary trees has no lights and without the mirror and garland to hang some off, well, no space. I did find the ornament stand at Ikea for $1.95, the votive holders were $1 each at Target, and I had the candle rings. You can see the leg lamp on the bookcase in the background and the sliver of the office on the left shows the white tree that holds all of the USC Gamecock ornaments. Looks great with the blue walls!

This is my favorite grouping. I added the silver and gold "fluff" in the ironstone pitcher and the footed votive holder was half-off at Michael's this year. Really, really like all the ivory, silver and gold in the dining room. It looks so lovely.
A roundup: Silver, gold, and ivory in the dining room. Garnet, red, black and silver in the adjoining office. Red, green, and white in the kitchen/den/breakfast room.
Decorations I've made this year: I added bright green to the painting I did over the mantel, the poinsettia wreath, another wreath with red, green, and white ornaments..it hangs on the curtain rod in the breakfast room. I added 12 poinsettia stems to the pickling crock that hangs by the fireplace, and bought 3 pillows on sale at Target.
So far, that's it.
Thought I should post before Christmas. Now off to do more baking, shopping, cleaning, and wrapping!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Asher's Quilt

The finished quilt. A few months overdue, but he came a few weeks early, which made the time I was going to work on the quilt turn into time to spend holding my new nephew.

The process started with the valances Asher's mom, Kristen, found at PB outlet. They had giraffe and sheep appliqued on them. She bought 2 for the windows, and I bought one to cut up for a quilt. She also bought coordinating valances in a stripe that we cut up and made into a dust ruffle for the crib. I drew out some similar animals, then used carbon paper to trace individual shapes and cut them out of fabric scraps that I'd fused to two sided fusible. then fused to the backing material and then zig-zaged around to applique.

The right side pile of fabrics were the animals and the left made up the quilt.The top dot material came from the valance with the animals and the stripe material was left over from making the dust ruffle. The rest I bought for this project.

The giraffe was much larger than the sheep, so figuring out cutting and placement was tricky, but I finally came up with this.

The animals in the corners got a surround of strips of the 4 materials. I used ribbon that I had on hand that matched one of the original fabrics from the valance to make a 3-d lion's mane. This was so fun to work on. I hope Asher enjoys it! It looks great in his room.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ack! I missed November.

Really, where did it go? One day it was Halloween, the next it's already December. In my defense, I was really busy. Lots going on at church, girl scouts met here 2x, a fun hike on Veteran's Day, finishing up a quilt for my new nephew, prepping for Thanksgiving, and getting the Christmas wrapping started. A few pictures from the month:

The view from Crowder's Mountain looking west toward the Smokies.

The family after our hike to King's Pinnacle. Megan whined and complained the.whole.way. Not that she shows it here.
The new lamps on the dining room buffet. They are a bit shorter than I'd like, but they are beautiful and just the right shades.
I'll share the quilt soon, and Christmas decor.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Ta da.... The new office(which was the dining room). The color I ended up going with is Clothesline Fresh from Lowe's. While I was painting, my hubby said it looked like toothpaste. Not true. Next to the olive green dining room, it's certainly blue. I lucked out with tonal silk curtains from PB outlet. I think the red chair looks great in the blue room. It just needs a blue pillow.

My desk area. Haven't replaced it yet, but will when I find the right one...cheap. I love using the new office. So nice to be out of the breakfast/kitchen/den room.
The view into the 'new' dining room. For now, I'm leaving the walls painted the Olive color they are. I will paint the space between the crown and picture moulding white and repaint it all to be a more solid moulding like the office is now and the foyer is.

The view from the dining room into the office. The furniture all stayed in those 2 rooms, just switched rooms, and my desk moved in.

The view from the dining room into the foyer. So far no one has noticed there's no light above the table. Once I get a couple of buffet lamps on the credenza to the left, I'm not sure we'll even need one. To get one, electrician, drywall person, painters are all going to be required. There are 6 windows in that room, so daytime lighting is not required.

The large blank space above the sofa has been filled with the large mirror from the old dining room. I think it works great in the den. Now to replace the sofas....It will look sooooooo much better with white slipcovered ones. Not to mention being much more comfortable.
So that's the big switcheroo completed. Of course, I still have artwork and photos to put up in the office, and a desk to find and replace mine with, which is why I haven't moved my calendar and bulletin board in yet. The room is, however, functional. We all love it and truly can't believe how much larger our home feels now.
For only around $300 for new light fixture, paint, curtains and new rod we have a house that feels larger and works so much better for us. I'm sure I could have shopped around longer to find things on sale/clearance a bit cheaper, but the savings would not have made up for the weeks/months of hearing my husband ask how much longer until it was done. I did actually find cheaper curtains, but they were cheaper curtains. Not as nice, ie, not lined, did not have drapery hooks included/sewn in. And they weren't this color.
I've learned that sometimes it's just not worth it to buy something because it's cheap if I don't LOVE it. Because I will replace it sooner and end up spending more money. BIG plus of these is that they will work well in the den, and the ones in the den I think will work well in the office if we find the white slipcovered sofas with the french ivory curtains don't jell too well.
That's the tour for now.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


These are the current colors of our den/kitchen/breakfast area, office, dining room/half bath, clockwise.

This is what I think I want to go to. The blue would be the office though and the Maine Shore green, the dining room. Just a bit brighter. I'm going to do the blue first, and see how it looks contrasted with the current olive green.

This is how I "play". I have my rooms drawn out on graph paper and cut out paper for my furniture. And I move furniture. It's much better for my back this way. It has helped me to figure out I can do a big switcheroo with the office and dining room. It's my plan to make it happen within the next week. The drawing to the right is of our den area. It's not huge, so picking appropriatly sized furniture is key. It helps my husband visualize what I see in my head. This helps to get the $ for new things approved. The list? new sofas, new accent chairs, new coffee table, new rug, new fireplace surround. The tv cabinet is new as of this spring. The sofas we have are about worn out. Not comfy anymore and the leather is cracking. The rug is 7 years old and not a quality piece. Cheap, but attractive, and easily cleanable are requirements in a home with kids and a dog. Plus visiting dogs. The other things are wants, things to make the room more attractive. I really, really want a limestone fireplace mantel. Not sure that will ever be in the budget though. Especially with expenses on the horizon like new windows, new ac, new roof. Home ownership is so fun.

I'm playing with this rug in the entry/foyer. Not sure how I feel about the asymetrical placement...the stairs and all. It fills the rest of the space well though. The wall color in here is called New England yellow. I want to go to the Pale Sunshine of the rest of the house eventually, but that requires a lot of uncomfortable ladder work, or paying someone $$ to do the stairwell. I'm voting for $$. We shall see which wins.


My dining room from the formal living room we use as the office. In reality, we don't use the dining room but 4 times a year. Birthday party for each kid, thanksgiving, christmas dinner(not even every year). Other uses include: school project landing pads, dust collecting.
The office. It's pretty. But the only 2 living beings that use it regularly are the dog(see chair above) and my husband. On Fridays. When he works from home. It's the first room you see when you enter our house. I don't want it all messy like my desk/office is. (You'll see the evidence below)

Another picture of the dining room, this time from the kitchen. The reality of the russet colored walls is that I'm tired of them. I love red. Always will. But the walls just look tired. And I don't like the curtains, especially the valance part. I made them all, but just have gotten tired of them. Another reality is that the table is just too big for the room with the extentions in. I wanted a table that could comfortably seat 10, and I have it. I just need a room that can comfortably hold that table. And I think it's next to the dining room. (A hint of things to come!)

This is my reality. My desk is a complete mess. And I have spread out to the breakfast room table. The desk closes up, but who can ever do that? School papers come home every day. Not to mention all my stuff. When the desk is down, there's not but 6 inches between tops of table and desk. Not ideal. Not practical. I need a desk that is just a desk top. That stacks of papers can sit on.

You can see that I've spread out to the den tables too. That large blank wall is begging for help.
The reality of our lives is saying to make some changes for our home to be more. More useful, more organized, more comfortable, more beautiful.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September is almost over?

How? I think I've just been drugged for most of it. Allergies. Have. Kicked. My. Butt. Really.

The temperatures have finally fallen below 90 degrees and we've finally, finally been getting some rain. It's actually looking like we might get a fall after all.

I have been working on some things. A new painting, a quilt, laundry, cleaning the house, checking off items on the list of things to fix/do to the house. But mostly, trying to get life in order with a seventh grader. Hopefully all is on track now.

I did get to spend time with this wonderful woman in September.

My mom. She had a big birthday this year, as did one of her oldest and dearest friends. So we all met up in Texas for a long girls weekend. We stayed at a B&B in Llano on the river. Nothing surrounding us but longhorns, bugs, and high temperatures. Some shopping in Fredericksburg, and picture taking with painted deer sculpture complemented our tubing experience on the river. (Let's just say that 6 inches of water + deflating innertubes does not =best experience ever) We also went to the Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg for a show that was covers of oldies by Texans. Mom loved it. I loved tubing better. I think the oldies from the tour bus loved it too. It was really too bad that I was flying, or too good, depending on who you asked. I found some awesome iron gates and a great mail sorting cabinet, fairly priced at an antiques shop. Just not fairly priced to ship as well. Or fit on an overhead compartment of a plane. Husband happy. Me, well, I'm still thinking about them.

Maybe I can get into decorating for fall now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I don't like doing chores. No one really does, do they? I know my kids aren't happy about them. In order to help remind my kids(and honestly, myself) what they need to do everyday and what chores are theirs this week, I needed a better system. The old one, obviously, wasn't working.

Enter the Chore Chart. This was made with my new, very cool Cricut. Chore Chart is one of the cartridges for it. I got mine at good old Wal-Mart. Each part is multiple layers, so it took some time to cut, glue and put together each chore "sticker" (for lack of a better term). The M and C are my kids initials and the chores that follow are specific to them for the week. The ones in the middle are things they are expected to do daily. The weekly chores can change, ie, one walks the dog, and one feeds the dog every day, the next week, they switch. As to how well it works, well, we're just on week 2. So far, not perfect, but better than before. It's certainly cute!

The Cricut was my birthday gift to myself. My husband bought himself some golf clubs. I think that was a fair deal. I've also made some decorations for my Sunday School classroom. I'm having fun playing with the Cricut. I just need to put it away for a little while though. I have a quilt to make for a new nephew. He was due 3 weeks from now, which would have been plenty of time to put a quilt together. He chose, instead, to grace us with his presence yesterday. He, Mom and Dad are doing well, but Aunt Misty needs to get moving on this quilt. Hopefully, you'll get to see that soon!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Summer is wrapping up. Just 2 days until school starts. We've just returned from Megan's open house at school. Her teacher seems nice and there are familiar faces in her class. It was fun to look for her name written in cursive on the desk for the first time. I'm optimistic this will be a good year for her, even if there's a bit more work involved. I'm hoping and praying that it will be a good year for Craig. We've already had to have changes made to his schedule, and things are still not great. There have been conversations between the school and us that have left us feeling this isn't the best system for our child. Naturally, that leads us to conversations about finding a better situation. Change is always hard, especially no knowing if it will be good in the long run, or not.

Vacations were fun though. We went to Fripp Island, SC again this summer. A week at a lovely beach that is quiet and uncrowded does wonders for my soul. And this year we went with one of my brother-in-laws and his family. The kids had such fun together, especially the 3 closest in age. Nice to have kids not whining about not having someone to play with!

Fun in Maine in August. We stayed on Mt. Desert Isle and spent lots of time hiking, biking, and kayaking in Acadia National Park and around the island. It is such a beautiful, unspoiled natural playground. Yes, I'm wearing a sweater in August. Just fantastic and such a treat compared to our relentless heat and humidity. It's so hard to go on vacation somewhere you love so much, knowing you have to leave.

I have not managed to do much crafting this summer, but did finish Megan's dress. I'll share pics after day 1 of school. I'm also helping my sis-in-law to make/alter the bedding for their nursery. One bedskirt done, 2 valances to alter, and 1 quilt to put together before my newest nephew arrives--in September! We've also been rearranging things around the house, giving Megan a twin bed and moving her double to the bonus room. A bit more to do to get the bonus room shipshape again, but we are making the house work for us better.

I do hope to post more often, primarily for myself, just to keep reminding myself that I do accomplish some things, every now and then.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I have been away for a while. Just from this blog. And my crafting/decorating goals. I have been busy with all the things that keep us moms busy. In reverse order, time-wise, cause I'm lazy:

End of year party attending(I did NOT sign up to be room mom this year!) for the 2nd grader and their Circus themed party.

Field day helper for the 6th grade field day. I was not the mom who tie-dyed each shirt. All classes had their own pattern/color. Pretty neat.

An anniversary trip with my husband back to place we got engaged, Charleston, SC. We stayed at Wild Dunes resort and enjoyed a whole day at the beach, walking in Charleston, visiting a plantation, and lots of eating and sleeping in.

Making fairies for a now 8 year old's birthday party. I believe I damaged my fingertips permanently with all the hot glueing.

Disney trip over spring break. I can't do the heat of summer, but the crowds were attrocious. I think year round school would be the solution to that problem. It was a lot of fun, but we really, truly wore ourselves out between fighting crowds and forging ahead to get in most of what we wanted to do, and the drive home. All the snowbirds and springbreakers. ugh.
I've been really, really insanely busy with church stuff too. I did our Wed. night program this year, and am co-director for VBS. It starts in 3 weeks. We started a bit late on the whole thing, as no one had agreed to do it after last year's, so it's a mad rush to the finish. Great people helping me, but it's a lot to learn and fast.
I've done a lot of work in the yard, getting the garden ready, replanting due to animal damage, planting new landscape plants, and all the weeding. I also refinished our front door, which was in dire need of maintenance.
Add in a few trips to home to visit family, attend a funeral, see a new niece, and having family here, and friends, and it's been a jam-packed spring.
I am looking forward to our trip to the beach later this month. Then VBS will be upon us, as well as getting the son off to boy scout camp, and a baby shower for sis-in-law, family reunions, a milestone birthday, and hopefully, a end of summer trip to Maine. Not a lot of slowing down during the summer here. I still need to arrange swim lessons, golf lessons, and school sports physicals, dentist appointments, you know...all those mom things.
I hope to be back soon with some fun stuff to show. Maybe a finished project! I've started a new one...hoping it turns out as neat as I think it will. Several things on needles and hooks (knit and crochet) waiting their turn to get worked on more, a dress 3/4 done, 2 more to be started, and baby gifts to make. argh.
Can you tell I'm stressed with all there is to do and all I want to do? Writing it all down here is theraputic though and I feel I can accomplish more when I've set it all out before me. I hope your summers are filled too, but just with fun!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blustery Day

Well, more like 3 of them in a row now. I finally figured out the door banging I've been hearing all morning. The door to the crawl space. It's now got a stick stuck in the clasp to latch it. I've had the pleasure of catching up on blogs I read and trying to keep the dog from licking to death the ac/heat guy and the garage door opener repair guy. We have heat, just it's 2x yearly check-up. The garage door opener broke. The part would be $190 to replace or just $300 for a new one. As it is 15 years old, I'm going with the new one and adding one of those nifty keypads on the outside. One of the veritable joys of home ownership. I have no fun projects to share, I'm working on something that will be a present and 2 others are done and the same. So, no sharing yet.
Now, I need to walk the dog. Let's hope we both withstand the wind.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I have lots of plans. Plans to make things for my daughter, my niece to be, a friend's birthday, another niece, and even for myself. First, I have to find my work table top. It is there, you can see a couple of inches peeking out. It actually is cleaned off now. Thanks to a friend visiting and needing to stay in that room. Here's what my immediate plans are for sewing:

Making a short sleeve version in 3 month size for a niece-to-be.

A dress for same niece to come home in, a plain batiste fabric.

This for my daughter for spring/summer. I really love this fabric...part of the Swell by URBAN CHICKS for moda.

And an apron...for someone...from the same fabric line. It may not end up being the same pattern. I may wing it on the design.
That's what I have immediate plans for, meaning to do within the next month or so. I have several other things I'd like to make and a few things in process with the knitting/crocheting. I'll share those another time. The good news is it's cold and rainy out which keeps me in. I might just get to all these projects!
I hope to be better at finishing projects this year and start fewer. I have enough yarn for a year's worth of knitting/crocheting. I hope not to buy much of that this year. I do know myself well enough to say it won't happen at all. You never know what kind of incredible deal you'll find somewhere. I'd also like to work down the fabric stash a bit. The moda fabrics above are from the stash, almost 2 years old now. The others, I bought recently. It's not the kind of fabric I buy to stash. I buy with a particular project in mind, because it isn't cheap and rarely goes on sale. These are, hopefully, going to be heirloom garments.
Then there are all the house/yard projects that have long been on a to do list. Sometimes we dream about moving, but really, we wouldn't escape a to do list. We have good schools, close to shopping, decent commute for the husband, our church is close, and we have good neighbors and great friends here. There is much to be thankful for. And that is the biggest plan of all: Remember to be thankful for what we have been blessed with and do the best we can with what we are given.

Monday, January 11, 2010

December 2009

I'm always behind blogging about things. I thought I'd get to a decorating post about Christmas. nope. About Christmas itself. nope. Here's some of what we did in December:

We made lots of sugar cookies and decorated them over the break. You can see a bit of the oj carton manger that was made at another girl's craft day.

Christmas Eve in their new jammie pants made by me. (my gift to them)

Craig and I at his Junior cotillion parent dance night. Such a neat time. Probably the last time I see him dancing. ever.

School winter party craft. She's wearing the Christmas dress I made last year, knowing it was big and would fit at least throught this year too. It's a modified Children's Corner Lucy pattern. It has a pleated skirt bottom and giant rick rack ribbon trim.

We had a Cocoa, Cookies, and Craft party the week before Christmas. The girls decorated cookies, made reindeer felt wreaths(turned out awful because they would not glue together), and decorated cardstock mittens from PaperSource.

The girls handiwork. The tiles are trying(vainly) to make the felt wreaths glue to themselves.

So there it is. December in a nutshell. Cold, lots of rain, plenty of time spent with family, and lots and lots of sweets eaten. All ready for 2010.