Thursday, August 29, 2013

Change Your Wall Display: Empty Frames and Keepsakes

The truth is.....I love to rearrange and redecorate! I really miss that aspect of running the Antique Store. To me, constantly changing out the windows and displays was my idea of "fun". In my own home, though, I think sometimes I get a little lazy. It is time to change that and past time to freshen some areas.

Since the Master Bedroom is still a work in progress, I like to confuse myself by moving to another area for a different project. I moved into what I refer to as the "Daybed Room."

This room is very monochromatic, all whites, creams and khaki. It is dedicated to vintage décor, and oh yes, it does contain a daybed. 

Here is the area over that daybed.  It has looked like this for several years and it is hard to dust the stuff on the shelf. That is the problem with shelves over beds.
During...get it all out of sight while you start over.

After Here's the new wall display.

 A close-up of Cousin Jessie from the late 1800's.

A framed collection of vintage lace dress collars and old door knob back plates.

The large frame came from an estate sale. I love what's left of the chippy paint.
You can easily see how much I love old frames. I do have quite a collection of them. And the fact is, I have quite a lot of stuff! I can take a walk out to my shop and bring in a whole new assortment to use on any display. I realize that many of you do not have antique store inventory in a shed out back. But, you can still get a new look by just changing out what you have. Take something down, move it to another part of your home. Don't be afraid to put a hole in the wall. You can easily patch and repaint if you change your mind. Just do it!
The before again...

And the after!

Making small changes like this project make me take a second look at a room that I have perhaps ignored for a while. As I walk past, I actually look in. My husband even noticed and said, "I like what you did on the wall."  That is a huge comment for him.

I'll be moving on to other parts of this room next week.

Happy Changing,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY Canvas Art Project Using a Stencil

I decided to try a little DIY art project for my Master Bedroom Makeover.  Karli and I have worked on projects like this before (one of the most popular posts on our blog!) so I decided to tackle one by myself, with the help of a stencil. I had purchased a package of two art canvas at WalMart.

 A package of two.

I used a base coat of flat white ceiling paint.

I had purchased this stencil at Hobby Lobby.
I rolled the design on with the same gray paint I had used for the walls.

Quick and easy art project.
This is a classic design, yet modern.
This was a fun project for the bedroom, inexpensive and quick. Probably not what my artist friend would have created, but it works for me!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Packing for Vacation

Brent and I are going on a vacation! We haven't been on a "touristy" vacation since our honeymoon. We're so excited. We got a GREAT deal through TravelZoo for two nights in Sonoma and I booked another two nights through Expedia for San Francisco.
So here comes the challenge. The weather in Sonoma is warm/hot like it is in Colorado right now. Meanwhile, San Fran is cool with highs in the mid-60's. AND we'll be doing a mix of walking, sightseeing, hiking, wine tasting (duh!) and eating nice dinners. In my mind that equals a lot of clothes! But I was determined to streamline so we could pack both our clothes in one checked bag...I'm cheap like that.
Here's a look at what I ended up packing:
Day One: Travel. Once we arrive in San Fran, we'll get our rental car and drive north to Sonoma. I'm wearing my bulkiest item (jeans), comfy gray and white tanks, a black jersey cardigan, my new favorite flats, silver jewelry and my over-the-shoulder bag.
Day One: Afternoon Wineries and Evening Concert. Once we arrive and check in, we'll change and head to Healdsburg for a concert in the plaza. Such a fun night planned with food vendors, wine and live music. Same jeans, a lightweight tank, statement necklace and my go-to red flats.
Day Two: Wineries! We'll spend the morning/early afternoon visiting wineries and probably eating lunch at The Girl & The Fig. I'm planning to wear a black maxi dress, lace crochet vest, turquoise sandals and silver jewelry again.
Day Two: Dinner. This evening we have reservations at the Michelin-rated restaurant at our hotel. The dress code is business casual (no jeans) so I've planned to wear this new stretchy seersucker dress with orange belt and jewelry. I'll tie in my purple flats with a purple wrap.
Day Three: Hike. This morning we'll hike in the Armstrong Redwoods. I'm thinking layers may be necessary. Black tank and black workout pants topped with a half-zip pullover. I got those new Clarks Privo shoes and they are so comfortable! I think they'll be great for lots of walking.
Day Three: Mid Day Drive. We'll head back to San Fran this day. We're planning to drive alone the Coastal Highway and we'll stop along the way to eat at a seafood shack--fresh oysters!! When we arrive in San Fran we'll probably walk around Nob Hill near our hotel. Black skinnies, a striped tank and orange cardigan with silver necklace and new flats.
Day Three: Dinner. We'll walk down to Scoma's (my favorite Italian seafood location) for dinner. I'm going to wear my latest StitchFix top with jeans and my purple flats. I got this new clutch for LillStudios.It has purple piping!
Day Four: Sightseeing. This will be our busiest day. We have time in the morning to walk around/ride the trolley. At lunch time, we are taking a boat out to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Later we have a North Beach Food Tour. So lots of walking requires my favorite new shoes along with jeans, a striped tank and a cardigan. I might also pack my purple scarf in case it's chilly on the boat.
Day Five: Sightseeing and Travel Home. I wanted something comfortable for walking around and flying. Khaki linen pants, white t-shirt with statement turquoise necklace and turquoise sandals.
Practicing rolling my clothes like my Grandma taught me! Such a space/wrinkle saving idea!

I'll drink some wine for you! Happy end of summer!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Master Bedroom Progress (Part 3)

Since my Master Bedroom Makeover is taking so long, I decided to keep you abreast of my progress.  I posted about loving the paint color, see here.  Well the paint is all complete now and I still love it.  I used Valspar in a Flat Finish.  The color is Skyscraper Taupe. 

I'm showing you this glimpse of the bed area.                                     

The mirror over the bed is antique and had belonged to my parents.
I realize some decorators would nix putting a mirror over the bed area but rules are made to be broken!  I am really liking the white bedding, white lampshades, and the touches of brass with the gray paint.  Even the gold pillows give a great contrast.  I think some people think you should use nickel or chrome with gray, but I beg to differ.
Karli has found me what she described as the perfect pillow to put in front of the gold ones.  I haven't gotten it yet but can hardly wait to see what she bought me.  I'm waiting to see it before picking out fabric to make a bedskirt and recover the chair seat.  I also want to purchase new white drapes, but I hate ordering online.  I want panels just like Karli found at Ikea, so I'll wait till we take a trip to Denver.

Maybe all of the above reasons tell why my Makeover is not finished yet.  But, I'm taking my time and enjoying every minute of it.

Still decorating,

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Perennials Taking Hold

When we tore out all the old bushes and sidewalk in the front of our house, we knew we'd be left with lots of options for how to fill the space. I don't consider myself a green thumb, but after this year's garden and flower beds, I think I may be changing my mind.
I posted early in the spring about the flowers I was contemplating for the front beds. With a few minor tweaks and some fun new finds at the local garden store, I think it's shaping up quite nicely!

So you can see the layout of the beds.
Here are the only three annuals I planted for some immediate color and spread. I was afraid my perennials wouldn't be very showy this year...
Petunias...planted a mixed flat this year. Next year I'm going to go with
all dark purple or maybe orange. No light purple, white, pink or red.
Hot pink geraniums in boxed planters by the front door. I really like
geraniums in planters. But like I said above, next year no pink.
This was a really fun find at the local nursery. The common name is something like
"bat face" since the the Cuphea flower almost look like ears and a little nose.
And here are a few of the beautiful things happening right now with my perennials. I can't wait to see what next year has in store since this was just the first year of growth!
Foxgloves. I LOVE these!
Delphinium in a beautiful royal blue/purple. Brent picked this and planted it too!

We can't live in Colorado and not have the state flower. I also planted a
"lime green" columbine but it doesn't have flowers yet.
Another favorite for spread and showy flowers: Coreopsis.
We planted two of these since they look great and eat up space.
Salvia. Another Colorado staple. This is one of two we planted. The
first one almost died, but I'm nursing it back to health.

Coneflower: I was worried about these babies. They didn't look
great for much of their initial month. Now they're flowering!

Hens and chicks. I planted lots of these (along with ice plant) along the borders.
This is my very first Brown-Eyed Susan to flower. I notice them all over
Denver right now, so I imagine next year's plants will be much fuller.

Next year my poppies will likely bloom too, but they just weren't developed enough this summer.

I hope you're enjoying some color and flowers this summer!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Master Bedroom Paint (Part 2)

Well, it seems to be taking forever. In fact some of you may think I was only kidding when I said I was going to makeover my master bedroom, in the earlier post. I did finally make my color selection and I am proud to say I am started. I'm sharing my progress so you can see for yourself.

I always start with the ceiling. My logic is to work my way down. As in all the upstairs bedrooms, I'm using my go-to paint on the ceiling, Sherwin Williams, Extra White, in the flat finish.

Ceiling and trim gets a coat of new white.

Then I'm also painting the window trim and doors. They were that 1980's stained oak. This is another reason this project is taking so long. For this I had to lightly sand all the wood, wash, give one coat of primer, then two coats of Sherwin Williams, Extra White, in satin finish. The doors are actually taking three coats.

The stain goes away and on goes the white.

As for the main wall color I have certainly given this a lot of thought. When you love doing room makeovers as much as I do, you need to spread the deliberations out as much as possible! I really do love the planning stages.

My paint selection is Valspar Skyscraper Taupe. I made this choice for several reasons: 

1. I really like the color, a taupey gray, a tinge of green, no blue.
2. The price (very reasonable, $25 gallon)
3. It has built-in primer...(good and bad) tell you about that later!

Going gray
Loving this color!
I did like this paint. The coverage was great in just one coat. The only problem I had was painting near the ceiling trim. I really hate to tape off. I just use an angle brush to paint that area. However, this paint was really thick (built-in primer) so it didn't really glide along for a crisp line. I ended up having to thin a little with water in a small cup. Then I could paint next to the trim. (Remember, if you do this, your paint brush may drip and it will require extra coats.)

I'm still working on this project. I've had several other things going on this summer so the bedroom has taken a back seat. My husband says he doesn't really mind having our bed in the middle of the floor, no drapes, no doorknobs, and a general mess in our bedroom. He's such a good guy and a good sport. I should know because we are about to celebrate our 41st year of wedded bliss this weekend.

I'll keep you posted on master bedroom progress. Hopefully it will be completed before we celebrate our 42nd!

Lone Ranger Party

Little girls have Tea Parties, but what do you do for boys? You can still have a Tea Party, you just have to change it up a bit. What about.....(wait for it)........a Lone Ranger Party!

My dear friend, Kathy, had given Tea Parties and etiquette classes for her granddaughters. She wanted to do the same for her grandson and his friends but needed to make it more boy friendly. I volunteered to help her put the party together, along with my neighbor, Pat. We had all just seen the new movie, "The Lone Ranger," and thought it would be the perfect theme for the boy's party. After all, part of the movie was filmed in our area.

As I've mentioned before, I have a lot of "stuff" from my Antique Store days (numerous displays and window décor). It was fun to pull together our Western themed party. If you've seen "The Lone Ranger" (the past TV episodes or the new movie) there are many related items that can be incorporated...horses, mining, silver, trains, Tonto, Cowboys, Indians, bandanas, masks. Here is what I came up for our décor.
This wooden shutter served as the backdrop for our Lone Ranger décor. I included some fun cowboy
stuff, hat, horse halter, rope, even long underwear.
A framed photo of the Lone Ranger and Tonto
The old chair holds a real cow skull and an old wood box filled with old railroad spikes.
The tables were covered with wide brown paper. An old boot filled with pine branches and feathers was set atop a red checked cloth. Old rope was coiled along the edge and then, of course, we had silver.  
Silver spray-painted rocks. The boys asked to take some of these valuable rocks home!

Each boy got a black mask and a red bandana in keeping with our theme. Dressing the part seemed to make it more fun. We noticed that the bandanas were worn in a variety of ways. Ha!
An old wood box filled with antique horseshoes, the black masks and red bandanas.
Kathy ordered these masks online.

We had the boys make their own scones. They actually had fun in the kitchen. Evidently they do a little cooking at home. We used these two recipes:

Pumpkin Scones     
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Combine dry ingredients then add with pastry blender:
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (cut in pieces)
  • Then fold in the wet ingredients:
  • 1/2 buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Combine all, do not overmix.  Knead dough.  Pat into circle 7" round on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut into triangles when cool.

Chocolate Chip Scones  
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tblsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all together. Pat into 8" circle on greased baking sheet. Brush with additional whipping cream and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Cut into triangles.

We served both scones with Devonshire Cream and jelly. The boys especially loved the jelly. We served their tea two and cold. They really liked it best cold and they loved the sugar cubes!

We used Kathy's enamel cowboy plates and cups. We served the cold tea in the fun coffee pot.
The red checked napkins matched the square cloths on the tables.
Kathy gave the boys some information about tea history and etiquette. Then a lady from the southern part of the state gave the boys a program on natural herbs and plants that can be used for teas.
 She brought samples of herbs and plants and shared a wealth of knowledge.

Before the boys went home, we had several "Kodak" moments. 
 Clowning around and getting ready!
Lone Ranger Party Official Photo

Kathy is sending copies of the pictures to each of the boys. They got to go home with a black mask, some knowledge about tea, natural herbs and plants, some tea etiquette, and (oh yeah) silver rocks! A fun day and we hope a memorable one for Kathy's grandson and his friends!

Hi Yo Silver and Later Tonto,