Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A loaned pair of perfect eyes

The girls were bouncing off the walls. It has been a few days since I snapped this picture, so now I cannot even remember what they were doing. What I do remember is that I kicked them out of the house...now don't gasp at me, I did it in a nice way (kind of). I sent them out with a quilt and that was when Ella had the genius idea to take books with them. I kept an eye on them out my back window and suddenly they seemed different. I suppose it was because now there was glass in between us, it was like someone hit the mute button on the television. So I sat. I stopped bustling about the house and I tried to take it all in. I just sat and watched them. What a precious stage they are in right now, not too big, not too small...their ages seem to just suit them perfectly.

I sat watching for a few minutes, but they were soon up and off again. For the sake of keeping it real, please know that I was no more patient with the wild things when they came back inside then before they left. I am indeed a work in progress; but I was grateful for the moment that God allowed my eyes to be opened to see what He sees. His eyes are good eyes, I need to start praying that He will loan them to me more often.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Cornice boards for a few girly girls

There is a very small window of opportunity where you can make your girls' room 'princessy'. I am attempting to get every minute I can out of this phase of life, before they are too grown to want such things. As if the twinkle lights were not enough, I again enlisted the help of my craftsman husband to build cornice boards for the girls' room. The boards are made of MDF (fake wood, in case you are unfamiliar with the term) that we added trim to. Home Depot sells those little decorative things that I glued to the front to add a little more princess effect.

Next, I painted them with left over paint that I had from another project and then used gold craft paint to glaze the surface. To 'glaze', I simply brushed on the gold paint to all the cracks and crevices in the trim and then wiped it off before it dried. It added a nice "pop" to the boards.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bathroom inspiration from a necklace?

Everyone wears scarves in France, except I don't think they call them scarves. These were in a store in Montmartre and I could not help but take their picture. I didn't buy one though and I wish I had. I did however buy this necklace below and I love it. I wish I could wear it everyday but unfortunately Thomas loves it too, so I have to limit its wear. So now that I have this new obsession with French stuff, I can tell that the colors of my home are going to begin to change as well. So take this necklace for example. Can a necklace inspire a bathroom remodel? Hmmm..I think yes. My husband says I'm nuts, but I think I can win him over.

I haven't talked much about the fact that I am a pretend faux finisher...I guess you could say I am "faux, faux finisher" (I am laughing at my own joke right now...where are my sisters, they would think that was funny). I have taken a few classes from someone locally who is the real deal. She's awesome and fabulous and does everything right and makes like a million dollars a year, and she totally rolls her eyes every time I walk in her store. She knows I am pretend and I just learn about this stuff for the fun of it all. Anyways, I digress, I have been busy all weekend doing my sample boards trying to come up with the perfect finish for my 'currently under construction master bathroom'. After a lot of frustration and studying of my product manual, I think I've got it.

So please stay tuned...maybe in about a week I can do a reveal post. I love this necklace!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Team T

I have never thrown a birthday party for a little boy. Up until Thomas' arrival, we have been all about pink and tulle and princess crowns and glitter. All girl. Then this little bundle of boy arrived and threw us for a loop. Here are some pics from the little man's party...a "Team T" party. We all wore our "Team T' jerseys, and all of our numbers were the same, "1". I know, I'm weird. My sassy seamstress friend (who is a better friend than I am) stayed up with me until midnight sewing these awesome shirts...did I say that she is a good friend? She is a good friend!
Oh the curls!

We all had shirts.

Seriously, the tights!

How many mother's does one boy need?

One year down....

We love our little man!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The love affair with all things French continues...

If you recall from my previous post, I am loving all things French right now. Click here to see why. After purchasing the first piece of "French-like" furniture I could find from a local consignment store, I set out into the world of furniture refinishing. I was slightly nervous due to my complete lack of experience in this arena, but the beauty of it was that I was attempting to refinish a very inexpensive side table (not my most loved piece of furniture in our home). If I messed it up, the world would indeed keep on turning. Here is what I did:

  • Copied the Nester's blue paint color (I used oil based paint though)

  • Lightly hand sanded the entire piece to rough it up a little so the paint would adhere

  • Painted on a gray primer (this just happened to be the only color primer I had in the house, but it turned out to be a blessing during the "antiquing" stage of the process)

  • Lightly hand sanded and then applied the first coat of blue paint with a brush and let dry

  • Lightly hand sanded again and applied a second coat of the blue paint

  • After the second coat was dry I took out my husband's sander and started hitting the piece of furniture "here and there" scuffing it up as I went. I had intended to do this step by hand with steel wool, but I got lazy and plugged in the easy way out...it worked fine. The gray primer shows through in some places and really compliments the blue color.

  • I chose to seal and finish the furniture with 'Helmsman Spar Urethane' in a satin sheen (which I bought at Home Depot). This was a very quick last step (it only took about 10 minutes to brush on) but one that will help protect the furniture from the inevitable later abuse. This last step is totally optional, just personal preference.

Here was the before:

So my next project are these two lovelies that I found at another consignment store....hmmm, should I change the fabric?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Who needs tile?

When we finished remodeling our kitchen, my husband wanted to install tile as our back splash. Though I do love the look of tile, I wanted to try something a little different. Royal Designs Studios offers many beautiful stencils that can add a lot of elegance to a room, for a lot less money than the cost of tile. I chose this damask pattern stencil and simply repeated it twice. These stencils come with instructions and recommendations for how to apply paint or product with the stencil. The process from start to finish took about an hour for me to apply the pattern to the wall. I later sealed the finish with a wax (so that the surface would be washable) though this is not a necessary step.

I love the look and my husband loved the price!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

One year into an adventure

How can one year go by so fast? Ella told our carpool this morning that Thomas was the most expensive birthday present her daddy had ever gotten; and it's true, he was. Thomas' birthday is one day after his dad's birthday. What a gift he has been. I can't think of a better word that describes him. A gift. A precious gift. Don't get me wrong, he is rotten as can be... into everything, often slapping at someone to get out of his face, usually stinky, frequently climbing, restless in my arms, but edible in every way all at the same time. A gift wrapped up in blue. And oh the curls, did I mention curls, we've got lots of blond locks. Dimples too. All the things that make a mother's heart go pitter pat (and his sister's hearts). Our boy is one year old now. Though there are no more infant gowns and bottles, there are lots of little boy toys like trucks and tools, things that I can already tell he is naturally drawn to. I watched him sit on the floor with his sister yesterday and push a matchbox car across the kitchen floor. How does he know how to do that? Just instinct I guess.

Instead of wishing that baby boy back into my arms, I am choosing to be excited about the future of a big boy. Excited about dirt, trucks, baseball caps, lizards and frogs...all the things that make a little boy, a little boy. It doesn't matter how big he gets, he still will always be my baby.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Go buy yourself a can of glossy black spray paint!

Until this past weekend, my front porch had not been given any autumn love. I always feel a little guilty if I neglect the fall season because my mom is the queen of autumn. It is her favorite time of year, and that cool weather loving soul puts up a fall wreath September 1st!

So in honor of mom, I finally ventured out to get my mums. I kept seeing these shiny black pots with white mums all throughout the nursery and I just loved the look. Needless to say, those containers were not cheap. So instead I headed to Home Depot to buy a can of glossy black spray paint. Please note the pots below...clearly I have a green thumb. They needed a makeover, so the girls and I went to work spraying. We covered up the dirt with plastic bags, because we were too lazy to remove it before painting. It worked like a charm.

It was the best can of spray paint I have ever bought, they really look sharp. The pumpkins on the two smaller pots were an afterthought, but it adds a festive, fun look to the porch.

I love it when a project comes together without any heartache.

PS- My fussy furniture is getting fussier by the day, can't wait to show it to you!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The French are so Fussy

Balconies Billowing with Flowers

I have this friend that I adore. She is the kind of girlfriend that all girls should have. She loves all things fussy. When she walks into a clothing store and the salesperson asks if they can help her, she says, "I like ruffles and pink and ribbon and bows, do you have anything like that"? The furniture in her home is fussy and dainty and she loves it enough to name a few of the pieces. So it should be no surprise that she has also named her home. She loves nothing more than fresh cut roses and tea parties, but only if she can enjoy them curled up on the sofa with a good friend. You would love Cambre, and that girl should live in France!

French Blue Cafes

Flowers in every window

Florists on every corner

Chateau De Villiers-Le-Mahieu
Brownstone in Montramarte

Just another home is the French Country-side

I have over 500 pictures from our time in France, but I could linger on these 7 forever. So after all this inspiration, I bought the first piece of French furniture I could find at my favorite consignment store. This weekend my fussy friend is going to help me make this fussy French piece just a little more fussy with a fussy paint color...I can't wait! What do you think, is there potential?


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Inspiration Found

I am starting to miss Paris a bit. We were so ready and grateful to come home, we missed our little ones terribly, but now with real life back in full swing I miss this cup of heaven photographed above. My sister and I sipped on this jewel while sitting on the side of a cobblestone paved road in Montmartre. It was a sweet moment for the taste buds as well as the soul.

These last few days have been a needed burst of fun for me to play with all of your ideas in my family room. I have loved getting to know each of you a little better through your blogs...thank you for taking the time. Melissa over at A Familiar Path was the first to tell me to focus on pillows and fabric and then tackle the wall color later. Now why didn't I think of that?!?! As soon as I read your words Melissa, I thought, "oh, well of course that is where I should start". Sometimes it takes someone else to look at something with fresh eyes to point out the obvious...thank you Melissa for being my fresh eyes! On behalf of my gratefulness, may I send you a lovely fall candle?

I hope to play with fabric and paint over the weekend. I am so very excited! Thanks for inspiring a room that needed a little love.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Abundant Blessings to You!

The bribe continues, as does the ridiculousness of it all. My carpenter husband asked me last night, "who are you painting this candle for"? I told him what I had proposed on my blog and he just stared at me...he is so confused...are you confused? If so, click here to see why I want to give you this candle. Thanks for humoring me, I laughed the whole time I was painting it.

PS- The candle scent is 'pumpkin spice', one of my most popular this time of year. I promise you will love it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

A bribe...don't tell David Letterman

The nester has me all worked up this morning and I think it is time I make a confession... I am afraid of color. There, I said it, this will delight my husband to finally hear me admit this. It has been a problem during this house remodeling phase of our life and I think it is time to deal with it...actually I am planning on trying to make you deal with it.

Since I have been having so much fun over the last few days playing around with things that in the big picture really do not matter (like decorating), I had an idea. Here is our family room. Please notice the tan sofas, the tan carpet, the cream walls, the brownish floors, the neutral trim, and the occasional black accent. Isn't the dictionary definition of the color black something like the absence of all color? Oh and yes, that is a dirty diaper sitting on my coffee table, but I am refusing to take this picture again. Anyways, even our kitchen cabinets I painted cream and the walls in there are creamy tones as well. Things are getting boring around here.

So here is where you come in (I realize like four people read this blog...but you four better get thinking)! What color should I paint this room? Keep in mind, these hardwood floors are cherry (VERY red)...this has proven to be difficult to work around. I painted this family room the first time in an afternoon with my kids running all around under my feet; I am not afraid to do it again, just clueless what to choose! If you have a blog link that you think I might could use, please share that too!

Now even though David Letterman is teaching us right now that bribery is illegal, maybe I can do it and somehow avoid arrest. I promise to make a lovely candle to whomever is the most helpful in this madness I am venturing into. I will try to whip up something seasonal and fun and post it if I actually get any interest. I suppose only my friends or family would be willing to do this, since the recipient would have to supply their address for mailing...but so be it. Okay friends and family, please get thinking! This nesting series is moving quickly!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

In obedience to The Nester

Okay, so after reading The Nester's blog, I have decided I have been taking myself entirely too seriously lately...you know, with the whole Normandy, being away from the kids too long, Caroline drama, etc. So today I will post about the random ways I often decorate, and as a result reveal a little bit of the insanity I've got going on.

These are two pictures I painted on craft paper, with my daughter's paints, and then stuck in two frames that I already had and hung them above the toilet in the girl's bathroom. Yes, I free handed the pictures, they were the easiest things in the world to draw, and yes I totally saw them somewhere else for like a million dollars and copied it. I will also tell you that one of my best investments has been a $25 overhead projector I bought on ebay...for all those projects I do not want to freehand! Please also notice the stripes behind the pictures. I painted those beauties one afternoon with my 1 year old on my hip, I was determined! If you ever come to my house, don't measure them, they are not even. To make it even more embarrassing, I used the sample paints from Sherwin Williams because they were so cheap (I thought I was beating the system), and found out later it is pretend paint and will eventually peel off the walls...oh well, 2 years later it is still there.

This is the focal point in Thomas' room, a picture that Ella colored. I LOVE this picture! Please notice the baby in my stomach, I will keep this framed picture somewhere in my house as long as I live!

This was a canvas painting of something ugly, so I painted the whole thing white and then let the girls put their hand prints all over it. This is GREAT playroom decor!

Here is my solution to the overwhelming amount of artwork that comes home from school everyday. It spends a few days or weeks on this board (which I made with leftover fabric) before heading upstairs to a hidden box that is underneath the girl's beds. This board hangs in our laundry room/mudroom.

There you have it, a few ideas of whimsical decorating, that I have copied from someone else along the way. I must admit it is some of my favorite stuff. I am loving this series that The Nester is doing, if you don't know what I am talking about, buzz on over to her world. She will make you want to start nesting too!