Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Blessings: A Home Tour

WELCOME TO FALL AT OUR HOME.  I love this time of year. 

I have already taken all of my "faux" pumpkins to Church to decorate for our Harvest Home Celebration this weekend, so the front door area looks a little empty.  I can't put out real pumpkins.  It is already getting well below freezing at night and then heating up during the day. (That can make for a real pumpkiny mess!)  But, some fall décor is still in order.  A wreath, some hardy left-over flowers, and a new message on the chalkboard will let all guests know that we welcome them and  the Fall Season.

Inside, in the entry, I placed the dried stems from my daylilies in a black urn and added some gourds in their natural state.  The daylily stems look a little like leopard and I think they are really cool.  This look is earthy and organic and not what you might expect.

At our house Fall also means that the wood must all be neatly stacked.  We burn wood to heat our home so it takes a lot.  I actually love to just look at the stacks.  I think they're beautiful, but they do represent a lot of work.  As Hubby says, you get "heated up" several times when you burn wood.

Then there are all those leaves.  So lovely to look at, but once again, work.

And so it goes, to everything there is a season.
Fall Blessings from our Home to Yours,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Colorado Fall Foliage Drive

Last week Brent and I took a day off of work to spend time enjoying our beautiful state. This time of year, Colorado is full of color, perfect temperatures and wonderful outdoor activities. The month of September was a complete blur, so we figured we needed an escape.

We followed the Peak to Peak Highway from Estes Park to Blackhawk. God blessed us with an amazingly wonderful place to live. We never take these sights for granted.

Courtesy of CDOT

Before we started down the highway, we stopped at Oskar Blues in Lyons for a microbrew and a burger. I had their seasonal draft and a Trustafarian Burger: Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese (my favorite!), honey, bacon and arugula. WOW!


We took highway 36 up to Estes Park from Lyons and soaked up the majestic views of the mountains.

From Estes Park we headed south on the Peak to Peak highway on the hunt for color. Sadly, I think we were about one week too late for the vibrant aspens, but that didn't deter us from finding great stops for pictures.


We stopped in Nederland at a quirky little coffeeshop, where they had just pulled a tray of brownies out of the oven. We topped one with a scoop of Guinness Caramel Ice Cream. It hit the spot!

Then we stopped at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, where we finally found some color and panoramic views of several Colorado peaks.


Our drive back to Littleton took us through Blackhawk--a fun place to go play some blackjack or slots if that's your thing.

We had steak for dinner and then stopped at 38 State Brewery, a microbrewery near our house. I had a Rum Barrel Aged Smoked Ale (it really was smoky!) and Brent had a Sour Blonde with Palisades Peaches. (We really did soak up all things Colorado!)

We ended the night with a trip to the movies to see Gone Girl.

What a full, wonderful day of spending time together celebrating Colorado and all this season has to offer.

I hope you all can find time to escape reality and find somewhere beautiful to enjoy life!

Friday, October 3, 2014

5 Helpful Tips For Selecting New Carpet

I am so excited that I can hardly stand it! We are getting new carpet for our home.

When we moved into this house, we had 1970's shag carpet in each room: white in the living room, green in the den, blue in one bedroom, and red/orange in another. We replaced it all with a sculptured carpet in a dark tan throughout the house. My thought at the time was, "this will wear like iron and is the color of dirt.....perfect." ( You can see it fairly well in the photo below)

That was the Spring of 1983. After almost 32 years, I think I am ready for new carpet!!!!!

Karli has known for many years how badly I wanted new carpeting, so she mentioned to a friend that she should call me (that friend just happens to work at a Flooring Store).   Well, that was all it took...

I went to the Flooring Store prepared. I am no expert, but I do want to share some tips to help anyone who is considering a major purchase like carpeting. Here is what I did:

1.  Take your own samples to the store with you. I carry a ziplock baggy filled with paint samples from different rooms in my house. I also include any fabrics I have for pillows, bedding, etc. If you don't have a piece of the fabric from your sofa, match it as closely as you can to a paint color. I know this sounds crazy, but I even wore a vest that was similar to the taupe/gray color I was looking for.

2.  Do some research before you go.  Check out info online or in magazines. Have some ideas as to what you are looking for. There are thousands of carpets out there. You can easily be overwhelmed if you look at everything. Don't waste your time looking at gray shag if that is not what you want. I already knew that I wanted a textured look, not plush, so I did not confuse myself by looking at every carpet sample in the store.

3.  Ask questions.  You are probably not going to be an expert on carpet. That is what your salesperson is for. Don't be afraid to ask about the fabric content, the warranty, the pricing, the pad, the tear-out and removal, the furniture moving, etc. The more you know, the better decision you can make. I might also mention that having faith in your salesperson is beneficial. You may not want to buy a carpet just because it is on sale that week and they have 30,000 square feet!  (Or you might!)

4.  Take home some samples.  Narrow it down to several and ask to take them home for a day or two. You need to see that carpet in each of your rooms (if using it throughout your home) and look at it in different light (daylight and evening with lamps on). Lay it on the floor next to your furniture or under the edge of the bed. Stand back and study your choices. Then start scrapping those you absolutely don't like!

5.  Take your samples back and don't be afraid to get more and try again.  Maybe, like me, you didn't exactly like anything you brought home the first time. I only get to make these choices every 30 years or so. I wanted to be sure that I would love my selection.

In my second round of bringing home samples, I found a carpet I love. Now comes the challenging part...getting ready to put carpet throughout my home, that same house that I have lived in for the last almost 32 years.

I will continue to post our progress as we clean out stuff, move stuff, toss stuff, burn stuff, and give stuff to Karli as we get ready to tear out the old and bring in the new.

I can hardly wait!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

White Christmas (Repainting a Christmas Village)

Sorry it has been so very long since I've had anything interesting to share.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.  I have been working on projects for people, but not really anything that I felt was worthy of a post......enough about that.

Today while in the midst of other work, I decided to tackle one fun thing.  Last year Karli mentioned that she would love to have her Christmas Village painted white........Then she would perhaps want to display it at her home for the Holidays.  That meant she was interested in taking all those boxes that Mom had stored all these years.

Say what..........She'd had these since she was just a little girl.  People started getting them for her as gifts.  She does have a few pieces that are Dept. 56, but many of them were purchased for her at the Grocery Store or Drug Store.  Some are not of the highest quality.  That is why I am willing to paint them.....and also the fact that they are hers, even though I've been storing them for the last 25 years.  She can do with them what she wishes.  So......white they will be.

I found this picture of how she set them all up one year.  She spent hours working with the snow to hide the cords and also to get the trees just right.  And then, there were all those little village people who had to "stand up" in that snow.  Oh, the memories.

This was the last year she set them all up.  She put them on the shelves above the buffet in the dining room here at home.  I had made the "sky" on the top shelf out of painted plywood.  If you look closely you'll see Santa riding across the moon.

But.....that was a long time ago.  She is over that now.  The Christmas Village needed a fresh new look so here is the one house that I started with.

The colors were a little bright and "perhaps gawdy" so I decided if it turned out terrible it would only be a small loss.  This particular ceramic house was also extremely shiny, maybe even more than a little bit cheap looking.  It did not even have a brand name on the bottom.


I used the Krylon Dual Spray Paint in Flat White.  It has the built in primer so I didn't sand the house or anything.  Just sprayed on three light coats.  (Easy Peasy!)

                  Here are the befores:

                  Here are the afters:

I think Karli is going to love these. They have a fresh new look and will be beautiful at her home this Christmas season.  I think she had a great idea for making these into something that she will love again.  I'm betting they will give her almost as much enjoyment now as they did when she was only 8.  And, if I hadn't painted them, they would still be stored in boxes at my house. 

Look for a post later when she displays this "White Christmas Village" at her house.

Happy Holidays,