Monday, January 30, 2012

Calm After the Storm

By the end of the day, when the little angels are finally asleep...
after the driving from here to there...
after the fights among siblings...
after the tears over homework...
the not-so-perfect dinner...
the PTA meeting...
the Scout meeting...
and whatever else might stir up your day...

A nice, calm, relaxing room just might do the trick to change your mood and relax your soul...

(unknown source)

...just a few of my Pinterest finds this week for inspiration...

If you would like to check out my "Calm After the Storm" click here!

Click here if you would like to follow me on Pinterest.

If you do not have a Pinterest account and would like an invitation just leave me a comment...

Linked up to...
White Wednesday

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Dry Sink

Last week, I got an e-mail from my sister-in-law and some pictures were attached.  You would think she might be sending me pictures of her two beautiful grandbabies.  But no...she sent me pictures of a piece of furniture that my brother built.

That's right...he built it...from scratch.

Now, don't get me wrong...I love getting photos of my great nieces.  But I was pretty excited about these photos, too!

My brother is pretty handy with the tools.  When I was in college, (not too long ago, wink,wink) he built me a hope chest.  I still have it and it is still full of all the same stuff that was in it back then (not too long ago, wink, wink).

I have to admit that I had no idea what a dry sink looked like.  Well, now I know.  My sister-in-law painted it to give it an aged look.  They make a great team don't you think?

I really love these hand made closures...

They remind me of my granny's pie safe.

I think it looks perfect in this big farm house dining room. 
I don't know about you but I've always wanted a dining room with a fireplace.

Thanks, Charles & Teresa, for sharing.
(Oh...and send pictures of the babies soon...)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Olive ASCP Waterfall Dresser

This dresser has been finished for quite some time. I teased you with a before picture a few weeks ago and promised to complete it within a few days. 

Well, I did complete it and I photographed it but I procrastinated on posting it because I didn't like my photos.  I kept thinking I would move the piece inside and take better pictures...

...but that never happened.

And now, it's too late.  I sold it.

These photos were taken late in the day, outside (obviously) so the true color may not be properly reflected.

This is really a beautiful color!   The dresser is sitting on a furniture mover and you can see it's wheel down there at the bottom. Not good.

But hopefully you can see some of the details that I tried to spotlight using finishing techniques.
I painted the entire piece with ASCP Olive then I waxed the drawers and the top (and a small portion down at the bottom) with dark wax.  The rest of the piece was waxed with clear. 

The hardware is new.  Someone had removed the original hardware which was most likely a bakelite pull of some sort.  So we replaced it with these black cup pull pieces.  Buying replacement bakelite hardware would not have been cost effective since we were hoping to sell it quickly which means pricing it fairly low.

You might remember the before shot...

I was never thrilled with this piece.  But if you can learn from each project, then it is not a total loss. is my lesson learned for buying junk furniture...

If the piece is missing the hardware and you are buying for resale...don't buy it!

Of course, you should apply this rule as you see fit, right?  Then I guess it really isn't really a rule.  Maybe a guideline..

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blue Monday?

I read on my Houzz Update yesterday that today (the 3rd Monday of January) is allegedly the most depressing day of the year.  You can read about it here if you want to know the contributing factors.

While Houzz goes on to provide some anecdotes, I thought I'd just send you all some visions of Florida sunshine to warm you up in case you need a ray of hope or just a virtual hug.

(You need at least 1 beach shot right?)

Hoping your day is blessed - not blue!
Happy "Blue" Monday.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monochromatic Winter Mantel

After Christmas, I - like everyone else who has a fireplace - had to figure out what I was going to put on my mantel after I took down the Christmas decor.

It's winter but I live in Florida so I came up with a Winter White theme with a beachy twist.

Just so you know, I don't believe starfish (at least not this species) are native to the Gulf of Mexico so it is highly unlikely that you'll be walking down the beach here and find one laying there waiting to be brought home and placed on your mantel.  No -  I bought mine just like most everyone else.

I simply like them so I've incorporated them into my decor here and there.

Having a mirror on my mantel is something I have not done in many years and there has always been a reason for that.

You can see it in the picture below...

Yep, there it is...the light fixture. 

You may think that it doesn't look that bad...but when I first put the mirror up years ago, you would not be able to NOT notice that the light fixture was simply not mounted flush to the ceiling.  For some reason, when Mr. 1101 first hung it, he just couldn't get it to straighten out.  But you could only see it if you were looking at it while standing in front of the fireplace OR via a reflection from a mirror over the fireplace.  So, it was easier to remove the mirror.

But, inspired by other bloggers who were using mirrors on the mantel,  I decided to drag mine back out.  This time when I saw the reflection, I immediately noticed that the fixture was practically dangling from it's wires!!! 

That prompted an immediate repair by Mr. 1101 and when he did, lots of plaster fell from around the hole in the ceiling.

But all turned out well because we found a lovely ceiling medallion to hide the hole and now, the light even hangs straight!

But -  I digress...  On to the mantel...

This mirror was gold...

(Just starting to decorate for Christmas...notice the missing light fixture!)

...But gold is out so I painted it antique white and aged it with a little glaze.

And viola!  A new look using all old or natural "stuff".

The antique bottles are part of my collection from my grandparents farm and the pine cones ARE native (picked them up from Ft. Desoto Park where we camped last week).

And there you have it...a Florida Winter Mantel.

And in case you are wondering...those are real ashes in the fireplace.  We actually do like to have a fire in the fireplace occasionally...even if we have to turn on the AC!

Linkin' Up Here:

Common Ground
Table Top Tuesday
Happy Hour Projects
Feathered Nest Projects
Faded Charm
House in the Roses
Between Naps on the Porch

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Box Office Sign

Well, I believe I have finally recovered from my little camping trip over the long weekend.  I know that you northerners are laughing at me and calling me a wimp for sleeping in my gloves but - hey -  I'm a Florida girl through and through!

And speaking of Florida, I wanted to share with you my new Box Office sign that I made to go with that movie reel that I bought at an estate sale last week.

I was inspired by Korrie's movie themed wall over at Red Hen Home.  She actually made her movie reels as well as everything else.

So can I just say...Korrie, I was inspired but...not inspired enough to go this far.  Making my own reels is just not within my motivation level.  But this setup is great! project is inferior and I DO want to add some more things to it but remember..."It's ALWAYS in Progress" so I decided to go ahead and show it to you anyway.

Can I just say, too, that I'm not a big movie fan or TV fan so this corner is very loosely themed around the world of  pictures and entertainment.  Notice my one little Brownie camera...I'm hoping to add to this and make it a collection.  

  I also wanted to make it sort of relevant to us as well as historical.  You see, not too far from our home is the St. Petersburg Coliseum which is actually an old Ballroom although they hold many different types of events there today.

Built in the 1920s, the Coliseum is best known as the setting for the movie Cocoon that was filmed in 1985 and directed by Ron Howard.

Anyway, I wanted something a little different than a movie ticket but wanted it to be related to the theater so I came up with the idea of "box office" then added the historic touch of "the Coliseum" just for fun.

I painted it the same color that is in my golden dresser which sits at the other end of my living room so that I could keep that color theme going in the room. 

The jury is still out on whether or not I actually like this sign in my living room.  It just seems odd to have something so commercial on the wall. 

Maybe I'll add the "Theater" sign, too.  I think I need a little more red in that corner.

OK.  I'm off to decide which room you get to see later this week. 

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Camping By Numbers

We camped out last night with my Cub Scout (soon to be Boy Scout) and his troop  at Ft. Desoto Park.  Thought I'd give you the camping scoop by numbers...

4 -  The approximate number of hours it took for us to gather and pack our gear for camping (Not counting the shopping).

20 -  The number of minutes it took us to travel to our our beach campsite.

2-  The number of hours it took for us to set up our camp.

1 - The number of trips that had to be made back to the house for things we forgot

3 -  The number of times our tent has ever been used.

9 - The age (in years) of our tent.

51 -  The high temperature yesterday.(Majorly low in my book...)

47 -  The low temperature last night.

10 -  The number of sleeping bags, blankets & quilts used to keep the four of  us warm.

115 -  The number of people that camped in the boy scout campground last night

75 -  The number of people I think were snoring.

4 -  The number of hours I think I slept.

1 -  The number of times I have ever slept wearing gloves!

5 -  The number of boys that received the Arrow of Light Badge/Certificate last night.

20 -  The number of pallets they brought in to use as fire wood.  (I was very sad.)

1 -  Absolutely beautiful sunrise this morning...

28 -  The number of photos I took of the sunrise while I watched it with my cub scout-soon-to-be-boy scout.

191 -  The vertical clearance in feet of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

1 -  The number of odd spooky trees we encountered on our hike this morning.

1 -  The number of trips to the Quickie Mart because I forgot to pack the eggs.  :(

3 -  The number of trys it took to perfect French toast on a Coleman stove.

2 -  The number of hours it took to pack it all back into the car.

24 -  The total number of hours we were away from home for this camping trip.

Countless -  The number of great memories we have of this very short camping trip.

Yes, I'd do it all again...despite the cold!  It was ABSOLUTELY wonderful.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Before Is Better Than After?

It is a really sad day when your "before" pictures look better than your "after" pictures.

But that is the case in this sad story as you will see in just a moment.

Now, if you read my last couple of posts, you'll remember that I promised to show you the dresser that I had been working on AND I also said I would show you what I was doing with that movie reel that I bought last weekend.  But, as fate would have it there were things beyond my control that prevented me from completing those goals.

So rather than sit around doing nothing, I decided to paint my fence AND in the spirit of "It's Always In Progress", I thought I'd go ahead and show it to you even though it just isn't pretty.

Yes, this fence has been bugging me for a while.  We put this portion of the fence up last April.  Mr. 1101 painted the front of the fence right away so that from the street, it looked OK.  But for all those months, the back has looked like this:

These pictures are of part of my back yard and this picture is actually just the "before" picture. 

THIS picture below is the "before-before" picture:

(The above picture was taken from my front porch looking into my back yard)

Quite lovely don't you think?  Do you see what is missing now?
Yes, it's the pretty picket fence and the big beautiful oak tree way over there next to the 6 foot fence.  Also, the green grass is missing.

That's right, that big old oak tree was rather sick so we had to have it taken out so it wouldn't fall on the neighbors house or our children playing in the yard.

They used this big huge crane to cut it down one big branch at a time until it was gone.

And then, so was all of our shade.

And there was a big gap in the fence.

It was a VERY sad day.

We decided to just go ahead and put up a 6 foot privacy fence which helped me feel better about the kids playing in the back yard.  BUT without that tree, most of  our greenery and grass that depended on that shade died in our 100 degree afternoon summer sun.

But I digress. 

Finally, after all these months, I just pulled out the paint (stain actually) and started painting.  Now any day I have a paint brush in my hand is a good day.  BUT I'm not so excited about using a paint roller.

And, when you look at it from this's alot of rollin'.  I still have to finish the gate.  All of the hardware must be removed before it is painted. 

But I do think it looks better now and now that it is painted, I can actually plant a few things that can take full sun.  That's a few weeks down the road I think thus...the first "in progress" photos I've shared.

Certainly, my "before-before" pictures look much better than my after pictures.  It will look better when I have "after-after" pictures.  But I'm looking at this as an opportunity...not a problem.  Soon, I'll dress up the back yard and it will simply be different.  And hopefully, in about 50 years, the yard will be shaded again when that ugly little oak tree we planted grows up.  But...I won't be around to see that.

In the mean time, we'll work on making least presentable.

Tomorrow, I'm off to camp with the boy scouts but Mr. 1101 has promised to get the hardware on my dresser so I can show you soon. 

So, assuming I survive the camping trip...the dresser is next!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's ALWAYS in Progress

Are you one of those people that decides NOT to entertain because your house isn't perfect yet?  You tell yourself that you'll wait until after you get those new drapes up or you get rid of that sofa with the stain or  replace the lawn that died when the sprinkler system broke.

I am.  I'll admit it.   Worried, I guess, that my perfect friends will judge me for my imperfect home.

I've used the same logic for NOT showing you my house here in blogland.  Sure, if you dig around, you can see snippets of it here and there.  But I think I've only shown you the new bathroom (still not perfect in my mind because I haven't bought new window treatments)

 and I've shown you our "mudroom" which never really looks as neat as the photos because - hey -  we live here OK?  

But you haven't seen much else because  it's all in progress!

It dawned on me today that it will always be IN PROGRESS.  So, if I keep waiting to show you, you'll never see it.  OR if I keep waiting to entertain, I won't have any friends left.

So, I made two decisions today.  Before January is over, I will show you at least one more room in my house AND, I will invite my perfect-best-friend-from-high-school-who-doesn't-have-two-messy-little-boys and her retired-over-achiever-husband-with-the-perfect-yard to our house for dinner.  (Usually, we get together and go out to dinner...or go to their perfect house-on-the-water-with-a-big-boat-out-back).

There, I have said it and told everyone in the world who reads my blog so now I must do it.
(Luckily, my best friend doesn't know I blog so she won't know an invitation is coming.)
(and if I change my mind, she'll never know :) )

I hope you'll hold me to it. 

So, what room do you want to see first?