Monthly Archives: February 2011

Checking One off the To-Do List

Guess what I did this weekend?  Besides supervise a sleep over and take a trip to the ER.  And, no, the two events were not related.  No, I did something much more fun.  I finished the entry way bench! 

Remember this?

I scored this bench on Craigslist from a family that had been using it at their breakfast table.  The back was no longer upholstered but other than that it was in great shape.  A week ago my niece came over to work on a project of her own so I dragged out my bench and sanded along side of her.  My sanding project was much easier.  All those flat surfaces made for easy sanding.  Once it was sanded and wiped down I busted out the paint. 

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this step.  The paint I was using hadn’t been mixed correctly and it came out as a dark grey.  If the bench was going to live in my bedroom it would’ve been perfect but since the family room furniture is either red or black the grey wasn’t going to cut it.  At least it worked as a nice primer.  My darling hubby picked up some black spray paint and gave it all a good coat of paint.  Once that dried I took some sandpaper to it and roughed up the edges and lightly distressed the flat surfaces – letting the grey peek out.  Then my hubby sealed it all up with a clear coat. 

Then the real fun started.  I had my Ty Pennington fabric ready to go.  Not only did I have to center the design… I had to do it twice!  My hubby had also picked up some thin plywood and cut it down to size.  I used a thin batton and then wrapped that fabric up and around and stapled it down. 

I am smitten!

Isn’t she lovely?  Sigh…

Next up… custom fitting the slip cover on the couch.  I’ve lived with the stripes for a few weeks and I love them almost as much as my bench but I hate the sloppy look of a slip cover.  In the next week or two I’ll pin it, trim it, and sew it to create a custom fit for my couch.  Wish me luck!


My Snapshots

It’s been a little while since I’ve written about my “snapshots” and my depression. 

Thanks to a great counselor and her doctor my snapshots are getting much brighter.  My mind used to have a constant ticker tape – some of it negative, some of it positive, some of it dreaming of the future, and some of it lamenting the past – but it was constant and it contributed to the ups and downs of my moods.  I’ve learned to turn that off and now my mind is kind of… empty-ish.  I explained it to my hubby like this.  Imagine that you’ve been to a rock concert.  When you get in your car to leave you find that your ears are ringing – you can still hear but it’s kind of dull sounding.  I no longer have the rock music blaring in my head and it’s left a kind of absence of sound.  Or giving a child a piggy back ride and after you put them down you have that absence of weight. 

I still have things to work through with my counselor.  But now when I get up in the morning I don’t feel like I’m pushing myself through the day and collapsing, exhausted, into bed each night.  I’m still waiting for the lure of my hobbies to return.  I see my books stacked up, my camera sitting to the side, scrapbooking supplies sitting idle, lonely little beads….  I want to have that itch to create again.  But for now, I’m happy in the “absence of”.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Whether you believe Valentine’s is a Hallmark holiday or if you’re a hopeless romantic…. I wish you a day filled with love!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Girly Girl

Ah!  I just want to kiss her neck!  She is so stinkin’ cute!
She has been requesting this new ‘do quite frequently because when she takes her hair down it’s all curly.  I just love how cute she looks with her hair all pinned up.

A Quick Peek

The fabric I ordered for the entryway bench (see previous post) is due to arrive on Valentine’s Day.  I cannot wait!  I suppose in the meantime I should actually paint the bench and get it ready for the fabric inlay.  I actually remembered to snap some pictures this morning to give ya’ll some idea of what the new space looks like.  We’ll start with the bench….  Those two white squares in the back are where the fabric will go.

The black finish that I want to do on the bench will match the two black end tables that I have in the room.

My inspiration for the entryway came from Centsational Girl:

We’re copying the board and batton, the hooks, the bench, and even the giant pictures.  Love, love, love it!!

Our color scheme is obviously different.  Here is the wall color that will be above the b&b:

I don’t think the picture accurately portrays the color.  You’ll just have to trust me that it’s the perfect blue grey.  I had been searching and search for just the right shade.  And then… it hit me.  The perfect color had been in front of me the entire time.  Where did I find such a delicious blue?  On Monk!  The USA Network was even so kind as to post the Benjamin Moore color online so I could match it exactly.  So now we call our color “Monk Blue”.

Here are the textiles that we are using:

This is on the wing back chairs and this picture does nothing for the color.  They are a very light grey blue and with the blue walls they look even more grey than blue.  And of course the flash made the tone on tone seashells pop.  They aren’t really that bright.  The seashells are a slight nod to the Nantucket style that I am drawn to.

This is the slipcover on our sofa.  This was a big leap for me.  Stripes?  Oooookay I’ll try it.  And I love it!  It’s funny that the green stripe appears to match the wingback chairs but in reality they are nothing alike.  The blue stripe perfectly matches the wall color and the red pulls in our accent.  The slipcover is slightly sloppy which drives me nuts.  I’m going to beg my mother to come over and help me pin it up and sew it into a tighter fit.  The texture has a natural feel and matches the curtains.

I made these curtains for our living room and they work perfectly in the new family room.  They are made out of drop cloths.  Cheap and simple!

Finally I’ll give you some snapshots of the furniture and lighting.

This is our t.v. cabinet.  I’ve thought about painting it and roughing it up a bit.  But since I don’t plan on keeping it in that room I decided not to paint it.  Someday the plan is to get a flatscreen t.v. for that wall and then the cabinet will go.

I still have my coffee table made from a door.  This is the main reason why we wanted to keep the accent color red.  I love this table!  Not only does the red match, the blue that peeks through matches too.

Yes, this has been spraypainted bright orange.  My parents rescued it for us and it’s another piece that I just love.  Those are all drawers with little brass label holders/handles.  We’ll have to take them all off and refinish the wood.  Right now this is sitting next to the t.v. cabinet and someday it will sit under the flatscreen t.v. to hold the dvd player and Wii.

This is the chandelier that’s over the dining room table.  My hubby found it at the Goodwill and he gave it a new coat of paint.  We just need to get replacement glass.  I’m thinking about going with these.

The final piece will be the flooring.  I cannot wait to rip out this gross disgusting carpet.  It’s a dark chocolate brown and it is so matted that vacuuming it doesn’t almost nothing.  Luckily it’s only in the family room and hallway.  We haven’t completely decided what we’re going to do but I’ve been leaning towards a walnut wood flooring.  Something like this:

I like the rich tone.  Plus I also like that I wouldn’t have to worry about the kids or animals dinging it up.  We currently have a neutral area rug that will continue to work on top of the wood floor.  Eventually I’d like to replace it with something more stylish but as you’ve seen, I have plenty of other projects to finish up before I worry about the rug.

So that’s it.  A quick peek into our living space.  As it starts to come together more I’ll take more pictures to share.

UPDATED:  I just scored a FREE set of french doors from Craigslist.  Yee-haw!!!  Part of our future renovations include plans to incorporate the exterior laundry room into the house.  Part of that requires we move an exterior door from the dining room (currently goes out to the laundry room) to make a hallway to connect the two rooms.  We still need a door to get into the backyard and rather than use the existing solid door we’ll use the french door.  Not only is it prettier – it will let in more natural light.


I sat in my family room last night and just looked around and smiled.  This is the first time that I have truly decorated my space in a style that I LOVE.  Seeing everything just come together has been so fun.  The wall is down!  (the wall between the dining room and family room)  My hubby hung the chandelier and moved the light switches.  One wall is painted and ready for the board and batten that we will eventually line all the walls with.  We have two new (to us anyway) wingback chairs, a new bench, new slipcover for the couch, new curtains and an old funky storage piece with a zillion little drawers. 

The bench that we picked up for a steal  on Craigslist is parked in the entry way.  It’s going to serve as a drop point for the kids.  They can store their backpacks underneath and the seat lifts up for storage of smaller items.  Right now it’s a typical wood color.  I have plans to spray paint it black and sand the edges down.  The back of the bench has two open spots that are supposed to be upholstered.  I was reading another blog last night and they linked to a Ty Pennington fabric on  I clicked through and found the perfect fabric for our bench.  I cannot wait for it to arrive!  Want a peek?

I absolutely love it!  I needed something that tied the red and blue together without being patriotic and I didn’t want stripes.  The best part is that it’s a part of a coordinating set of fabrics so when I’m ready to re-upholster a set of dining room chairs we rescued I’ll be able to find something that coorinates without being too matchy-matchy.

Just a few little projects left to finish up and then I’ll post pictures of the space.  What about you?  Do you have a favorite space in your home?


Hey did you know that I like to read?  Yeah, just a little bit.  But lately I haven’t had anything good to read.  I need some suggestions from you peeps.  So this is what I’m going to do.  I’ll share a bit about some of my favorite books and you can share a bit about some of your favorite books and hopefully we can all add a few new ones to our bookshelves.  Okay?  Alrighty then, let’s get started.

Crazy Love – Francis Chan
Forgotten God – Francis Chan
Generally I’m not a huge fan on Non-Fiction but these two books really hit home for me.  I’ve talked about them both here on this blog before so I won’t go into great detail about them.  Crazy Love talks about how much God loves us and how things we do should be in response to that Love.  Forgotten God is about the Holy Spirit and how He moves in our lives.

Currently I’m reading 1984 – George Orwell.  I’ve never read it before and thought it was probably about time I did.  Gotta say that I’m not that crazy about it.  The overall story line is fine but being stuck in Winston’s mind is rather boring.
Next up on my reading list is Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy.  Again, it’s another one I haven’t read and I think it’s about time that I did.

I used to be a HUGE fan of Stephen King – as my bookshelf can attest to – but I haven’t read any of his recent works.  I have a new (to me anyway) book sitting on my shelf that I haven’t even cracked open yet.  My favorite SK book(s) is the Dark Tower series.  The overall story line is intriguing but even more fun is the fact that he ties in characters and plots from many of his other books.  He even incorporates himself as the author into the story. 
I also really like Ted Dekker.  He’s kind of the Christian version of Stephen King.  I like the suspense and the mystery of his stories.  I think my fave from him is probably the Circle Trilogy: Black, Red, and White.  There’s also Green now but I haven’t read that one yet.
My mom started loaning me books from Sue Grafton’s alphabet series featuring Kinsey Millhone.  They’re mystery books and a rather easy read.  Kind of like brain candy.  Good for zoning out for a bit but not very filling.

Have you caught on yet that I really enjoy books that are part of a series? 

Of course we can’t forget Harry Potter and Twilight (yes, Twilight).  Again, series.  Not that I don’t enjoy stand alone books.  The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger and her second book (but not a series) Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger.  Time Rep – Peter Ward (eBook) was another brain candy book.   I actually have read quite a few eBooks that were interesting.  Unfortunately I don’t keep copies of them and I don’t recall their titles.

So there you have it.  A quick review of some of the books that I have enjoyed.  What’s on your shelf?