Tuesday, March 30, 2010

keep calm and carry a bucket

Well, my bedroom project is being postponed this weekend for another: removing contents from my very flooded basement. It's not pretty. We've had a few puddles in the basement before but this time we have at least 4-5 inches of water throughout. Not being fully prepared, I've been on the phone all morning adding my name to long call-back lists for flood control places while my husband attempts to remove some of the water. Meanwhile, the rain continues to pour.

I am trying to Keep Calm and Carry On even telling my husband that we should think of all this as a blessing in disguise. We will finally have to address the basement issues that we had been delaying and some choices about the things we hang on to and store in the basement have been made for us. We have rented a dumpster and that will be the big project this weekend. I do hope to paint our bedroom the following weekend. Still feels a little like April Fools a bit early.

Well, as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans," right?


Friday, March 26, 2010

gathering ideas and chairs

Photo source: Pottery Barn

I was smitten when I first saw these miniature wire chairs in my Pottery Barn catalog but they sell as a set and I only wanted one. There is so much that I like in the new PB catalog right now that recently I visited the store to see everything in-person and happily found the chairs for sale individually.

At first I placed a potted plant on the little ice cream parlor-style chair and had it in the living room but somehow it found its way upstairs to my bedroom to display jewelry in a teacup. {Isn't that always the way? LOL}

I am actually in the process of gearing-up to paint this room and have been gathering ideas. Of course my inspiration always springs from a magazine photo that makes me GASP. That's how I know ... my heart races and I think: that's it!

I love the feel of the room shown above. My room won't be quite the same but I like the wall color, faded red florals, and bistro chair. This room also has the typical slanted upstairs walls of a Cape Cod style home, just like mine.

I am thinking about clear glass hardware on the furniture, which I will keep finished as-is. What do you think?

I found this metal bistro chair at Target on sale for $30.

Weather-permitting, I may begin priming next weekend. The paint front-runner is Benjamin Moore's Navajo White. I think the off-white will look very beachy on the planked (?) ceilings and really brighten up the room.

I really don't enjoy painting but it sure makes a huge impact. I can't remember from which magazine I actually tore this page. Anyone know?

[I still need to write an update post on the boys' room. I'll save that for another time so this one doesn't go on too long!]

Happy weekend


I think this is my 200th post!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

sew there

First, thank you so much for your happy cheers on isn't it romantic. Your warm wishes and encouragement mean the world to me. I'd never received so many comments on a post* and if I didn't enjoy writing so much, I would probably leave that post there for weeks!

My sewing struggles have been documented here and there. I shouldn't complain because I haven't really put much time into learning or taking lessons. I do admire those who sew.

I am borrowing this book from the library and every project looks amazing but somehow complicated ... to me.

100 decorating ideas under $100, Winter 2006

While swooning over Christina Strutt's projects, my mind jumped to the photo above (from a saved magazine) because it never fails to make me sigh and ponder: If only I could really sew.

The caption begins: Slipcover designer Carrie Raphael used her daughter's old sheets for the dining room's chair covers.

I imagine Carrie Raphael just whipping beautifully faded floral sheets off of her daughter's bed and transforming them, very Sound-of-Music-Maria-like into these perfectly pleated, soft coverings.

"Bring it on!"

I love fabric but at this point, I'm mostly thumbs and have come to realize that ...

Yep. At this point, scissors, glue and tape are my sewing machine.

So while I have yet to conquer sewing a valance, I can back my bookcase with paper to add pretty florals to a room.


or adhere paper to transform jars ...

even cover matchboxes.

I haven't given up on my Janome though.

I just bought these tea towels on sale (!) to turn into something for my bedroom.

Maybe a pillow, maybe a valance. An affordable way to bring some Cabbages and Roses into my home. Maybe no-sew? We'll see!

My computer mouse keeps freezing-up. Please hang in there, little iMac! There's blogging to do!


*except a giveaway post

Friday, March 19, 2010

isn't it romantic

I am dancing on air . . .

I am thrilled to have my blog included in the May issue of Romantic Homes at their we love / site seeing section.

One week ago today my sweet blogging friend Sharon called to let me know she had just received the new issue and that we were both in it! Sharon's shop Pansy Cottage & Garden is featured on page 29.

Day after day I have been anxiously checking my mail and the local bookstore for the May issue: NOTHING!

Today I found three copies at a different bookstore and so I bought all of them! I was so giddy and wished the cashier would ask why I was buying three issues. I really wanted an excuse to blather on in my excitement and jump around but I held it together.
(I have jumping tendencies)

Fortunately when I stopped by the library to pick up some requested books, my pals, including Bethany gave me that excuse! I truly appreciate the opportunity to be giddy here on my blog, too.

If you are visiting for the first time and are interested in seeing the photos featured in their original context, provided below are links to their blog posts:

Thank you so much blogging friends for making "Gee, I think I'll give blogging a try," into a special part of my life.

Happy Spring!



The elusive French knot captured in a photo!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

polka dots + flowers = spring

This morning I needed to stop by Target for some basics like oatmeal and a green shirt for my oldest son to wear tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day. Somehow it turned into one of those trance-like wanderings throughout the entire store. Ever have that happen?

At just 99 cents each, how could I resist these small polka-dotted plates? I couldn't.

I knew they would mix nicely with pieces I already have (some also from Target a few years ago).

And besides, it's the first sunny day in the Ocean State since last week.

I even wandered over to the jewelry section where I spied these pretty earrings

which will go nicely with this dress, which when paired with a cardigan and flats should be very Kathleen Kelly, right girlies?

Last night I embroidered two more squares.

I watched a how-to video and I look forward to attempting new stitches!

Dear blog friends, thank you so much for your encouragement on this new craft for me. I am finding it very enjoyable -- kind of like drawing with thread -- and at 35 cents for embroidery floss, it's a pretty low-risk craft venture. Give it a try!


I think this post just helped me decide on the white with red polka dots oilcloth!

Monday, March 15, 2010

joining in: squares 1 - 4

I have been following some very adorable posts by bloggers participating in the 39 squares project. The challenge is to join Amy Powers as she celebrates her 39th birthday by stitching your own sampler made of 39 1x1 embroidered squares. Even though I haven't embroidered since I was eleven years old, after viewing post after cute post I headed to Michaels to buy supplies and get started. My dear friend Claudia is already on square 15 so I have a little bit of catching up to do.

At "press time" I still don't know any fancy stitches but decided that if my first square was distinguishable as roses, I would join in. I apologize for dark photos -- even iPhoto isn't much help at brightening up pictures on this dark and rainy, flooded basement kind of day.

My 2nd square

My third. My plan is that even though my stitches are simple, if I add enough tones to my pictures they will appear full.

My entire fourth square was an attempt at a French knot, which as you can see did not happen! They are supposed to be wildflowers. Hmmm?

I thought the instructions made sense. (I've always loved this type of illustration.)

I refer to images of Cath Kidston flowers for ideas. I love how her roses are very simple and use varying shades of the same color, almost like a paint-by-numbers picture.

Paul Lynde

Now, how could I write a post about squares without mentioning the most famous Square? A little flashback for all of us children of the '60s and '70s! To see a list of participating not-so-secret squares, please visit Amy's 39 squares blog for the list at her sidebar.

I also have some exciting news to share. Let's just say I am anxiously awaiting the new issue of Romantic Homes magazine where my blog appears! Details to follow.

And, one more thing: Thank you so much for your input on my oilcloth decision. I have narrowed the choice down to two:

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

coffee talk: shopping & advice


Today I went to Anthropologie to have fun with my gift card from Janet.

It was only my second time at an "Anthro." There are none in RI so thanks to some terrible online directions, almost getting lost but then finding my way, I arrived safely with gift card and camera in hand.

Groovy window painter

Could this store be any cooler?

I chose some unique things like these pretty earrings, to add some sparkle to my usual ensembles from Target. I bought just 1 glass knob for my dining room table (since you can't see the other side!). I can't thank Janet enough for enabling this pre-spring splurge!

• • •

Now here is the part where I could use a little advice from some of the most creative minds I know.

The idea to wrap my dining table with oil cloth has been rekindled by bloggers Jen and Serena.

The question is, what pattern?

I have been bringing many colors into the kitchen/dining room and want to make sure it's all cohesive. There are pale green walls, smoke blue chairs, the framed red and green wallpaper, stacks of dishes in pink, yellow, green and blue.

Oilcloth seems wise because this is where we eat all of our meals and the boys do their homework; it would protect the table and be easy to wipe clean. There are many adorable oilcloth choices at the Etsy shop, Oilcloth Addict. Some ideas:

Any preference or links to other oilcloths?

Of course Cath Kidston has oilcloth and it's positively dreamy but a little pricey.

Thanks so much for listening to this coffee-fueled, ramble of a post!