Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Words "Accident" and "Paint" Don't Usually Go Together But...

We had a happy accident while trying to decide what to paint the dining room.

These were the colors we tested...and I was up for testing even more, but the hubster was growing pretty weary of my paint color indecision.  One evening in passing I mentioned I really liked how the top two colors {Valspar Woodrow Wilson Putty and Olympic Silver Dollar} looked next to each other, but didn't like either one of them on their own.

He wasn't too fond of the Silver Dollar {though he did retract his mental institution statement} but mentioned he thought the Woodrow Wilson Putty looked good with the existing paint.  We had about a half of a pint left of Woodrow Wilson Putty from when we painted our master bedroom.  I suggested we try out a big horizontal stripe...since we weren't happy with the color we already had I felt we had nothing to lose.  If the strip was horrible, we'd do something else.

So the hubster measured carefully and we chalk-lined and taped.

And painted two coats.

And we love it.


And while we were doing this painting, Bethany suggested we paint the walls blue like my blog header...which I also love!  So now, instead of painting the dining room blue I have my eyes on this china hutch...

...which I have always wanted to paint but have been afraid to since this was my grandmother's.  And even though it's not in the best condition, I would be tremendously sad if I painted it and it turned out awful.  Even though my mom gave her blessing on any alterations to the furniture a long time ago { years ago}, I'm not sure I have the guts to do this project.  I need to think on it some more before taking that leap.  But it's definitely on my "wish list" of projects for my home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thank God for Slipcovers

I set out on a mission to recover an old friend.

She's a lovely old lady isn't she?  She's covered in 1990's favorite fabric...dusty rose flame-stitch fabulousness.


And, she reclines.


Sounds like the perfect project for someone with no sewing skills to speak of, eh?  Yeah, I thought so too.

After reading about Pink and Polka Dot's success with slipping everything known to man and Miss Mustard Seed's success with using drop cloths, I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I started out with a premium drop cloth from Lowes.  The $18 kind, not the $30 kind.  I wanted one big enough to not have a seam down the middle, but inexpensive enough not to care if this went very badly.  I soaked the drop cloth in the bathtub with a cup of bleach.  If my fancy-schmancy front loading washing machine had a soak cycle that allowed the addition of bleach I would have LOVED to use that instead.  But alas, it did not.  I soaked it for a long time....about 5 hours or so.  When I got up in the middle of the night to feed my little one, I drained the tub and started the soak again with more bleach for about 5 more hours. 


Then when we got up the next morning I shoved the whole thing into a 5 gallon bucket and carted it off to my washing machine, where I ran it through every sanitize and steam cycle possible....along with  more bleach.  You get the picture.

Once I was happy with the bleached drop cloth the fun began.  I hemmed and hawed over how I should proceed.  Did I want to do a straight-forward slipcover and ignore that fact that this grand lady reclines?  Or should I take the difficult road of making an intricate slipcover that would allow full functionality of the chair?

I picked the hard road.

So I pinned {sometimes straight into the upholstery...which I highly recommend if you're having difficulty getting your fabric to hang just right}...


...and I cut...


...and I thought "I should never have taken this on...I should have just paid someone to reupholster this"...

...and I basted...


...and I sewed...and seam-ripped...

{and lest you think I have enough "spare time" on my hands to do this all in one day, let's just say it took me a week to get to the sewing part...and while I sewed it up in about 2 took a whole day to get 2 hours of sewing time}

And eventually...many, many moons after I began this whole slipcover affair...I finished.


And I stood back and decided...


...that the grand lady recliner needed a pretty pillow to accessorize {in lieu of fancy earrings or a cute purse}.  So I slipped one for her {post coming soon!}.


And while I would love to slipcover my living room furniture...I think the slipping bug has left me for now.  I think.

Monday, March 28, 2011

What I've Been Up To...

I know, I know....I've gone off the radar again.  But many more posts are in the works...I promise!

It's been a busy couple of weeks in our casa.  Filled with hours learning how to sew...

{side note: first I had to learn where the power switch was...then how to make a bobbin and thread the machine...then I got to learn how to sew....only to realize days later I'd been sewing with the foot peddle backwards the whole time...maybe that's why the machine would suddenly jump from slow as molasses to speed racer fast??}

...a happy accident while picking paint...

...turning my grown-up guest bathroom into a more whimsical, kid-friendly bathroom...that still feels grown-up for when we have guests...

...reading...lots and lots of reading...{have I shared my bookworm tendencies with you yet?  I also have books on my phone I'm reading at the same time...because this stack on my nightstand just isn't quite enough...don't ask me how I keep track of them all}...

...and lots of baby cuddles and babbling conversations and all kinds of baby accomplishments as my little one nears the 4 month mark... soul has been fed, my cup runneth over, and I'm so excited to share it all with you!

{Just look at those chunk-a-monk baby thighs!!}

Stay tuned my friends!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quick Paint Update

So with encouragement from Kelley and Bethany I decided to dive in with painting the dining room.  We've been testing quite a few colors...

Here is how the samples look in the light of day with sunlight streaming in...

From top to bottom are Valspar's Woodrow Wilson Putty, Olympic's Silver Dollar, Valspar's Bird Song Blue and Valspar's Lyndhurst Duchess Blue {my original choice}.

Here is how the samples look at sunlight to lighten them up.

I was really leaning toward that bold Lyndhurst Duchess Blue until the hubster pointed this out...

Yep.  That is my son's Bumbo.  And that Lyndhurst Duchess Blue is eerily similar in color.  I think that's a no-go.  Now that I see this I'm also reminded of the Smurfs.  I love the Smurfs.  I have many fond memories of the Smurfs as a child.  If I were a Smurf, I would totally be Smurfette.  My dining room, however, is not destined to be a Smurf.

So now I'm leaning toward Silver Dollar.  But the hubster says that with all the gray I've introduced to our home, it's starting to look like a mental institution.  ?!?!?!  Wow....guess that nixes the Silver Dollar!

So...back to Lowe's we go....maybe Sandstorm has a lighter sister color that won't absorb so much light at night....

Again...we shall see!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why I Love Texas...and March...and My New Vocation

So I know I mentioned in my last post how much I love, miss, and pine for California {more specifically the Pacific Ocean}.  Lest you think I have no love for the Great State of Texas, I give you one of my favorite things that can only be found here...and only in March...and only for one week {two tops}.

Allow me to introduce you to the Texas Mountain Laurel.  He is fabulous and is in bloom {though he only graces us with his fabulous bloomy fragrance for a couple of weeks in March every year}.

Imagine flowery Grape Kool-aid.  Really a poor imitation of how good he smells...but it's the best I can do.  And right now my two Texas Mountain Laurels have scented my backyard with their wonderful goodness.  There is no other place I'd rather be than Texas in the spring.

Two years after planting, my yellow climbing roses have decided to bloom...and bloom a lot!

Oh the yellow rose of Texas...I'm going there to see... {my chives also wanted to be in the picture :) }

And this little cheerful window box planter makes me smile every time I see it...

Hello pink geranium!

And lest my sleepy pooch feel left out, here he is in all his cuteness....

Which brings me to why I love my new vocation...

Because every morning while my little one enjoys a morning nap...

I get to enjoy the comfort of pajamas...

And the sounds of this...

And this handsome view...

It's such a peaceful way to "begin" each day.  Granted my day has actually started many hours earlier with early morning feeds, first round of coffee, one more try at getting some more sleep, and then another round of feeding...but I choose to call this time my official start to my day.  It's lovely and restorative.

And to celebrate the once a year opportunity to smell the Mountain Laurel, I'm decking my house out in it....and some yellow rose blooms.  So while my paint scheme says "Pacific Coast", my home smells like "Texas".  :)

How do you welcome Spring into your home?  Any special traditions?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beating Paint Color Doubt

Do you ever get a fabulous idea, start on a project to make that idea happen, and then second guess yourself halfway through?

I do.  And I really wish i didn't.

When we moved into our beloved abode in 2009 the previous owner had obviously had a love affair with Valspar's Sand Storm paint.  Every single wall and ceiling {except for the bedrooms and master bath} were painted this color. 

{from Colorbuzz}

Contrary to how the sample looks on the screen, it's really not a bad shade in person…but in such a large quantity it was extremely overwhelming.  Not to mention that I tend to love cool tones.  Blues, greens, blue-greens, and grays  {generally colors of the Pacific} all speak to me.  When we lived in California I ate lunch at the beach every. single. day. {I know…it was a rough life.}  It didn't matter if I parallel parked off the PCH and just stared at the water below or if I got out and kicked off my hot pink heels {my favorite at the time} to hike down to the sand, having lunch at the beach was like therapy every day.  Free therapy.

So, not surprising, I have spent the last four years trying to bring the Pacific Ocean to the middle of Texas.  And even though this house screamed of the color of sand…I needed a little more "water" in the mix.

So we painted over the sand colored ceilings with Valspar's Seashore Fog.

The study is Valspar's Frappe {a gorgeous gray that reminds me of cloudy skies and "angry" waves}.

The master bedroom is Valspar's Woodrow Wilson Putty…

…and the master bath is Olympic's April Sky.

Our breakfast nook is Valspar's Gossamer Sky.

The laundry room is Valspar's Window Box.

And here's where I started doubting myself.  The entry and main hallway were supposed to be Valspar's Stonecastle.  Then the dining room was supposed to be Valspar's Lyndhurst Duchess Blue and then I would re-evaluate the living room and guest bath and decide what to do there.  So we painted the entry…

And then stopped.  I got nervous.  I started to second guess.

So for the last 3 years I've been living with Sand Storm.  I got busy with work and life and tried not to think about how much I hated how the hallway felt closed in...

...or the guest bath walls blended with the tile or how the living room is hard to live in at night because it absorbs so much light.

Then I got put on bed rest near the end of my pregnancy, got stir-crazy, and my sweet hubby started painting to easy my nesting tendencies.

The guest bath is now Valspar's Cathedral Stone {which was a living room reject color}.

And this week the painting continued.  We finally finished the hallway project and it is now Stonecastle.  And for the life of me I don't know why I doubted the color choice.  I love it!  It's so much more open and airy.

Now I'm trying to decide if I want to go ahead with the bold Lyndhurst Duchess Blue in the dining room…or I may decide to go with the more reserved Frappe.

And the living room is still undecided.  I have tried Frappe, Artichoke, Cathedral Stone {all Valspar} and Olympic's Silver Dollar and I still haven't found a gray I like in here.  Maybe the living room is destined to be Sand Storm after all.

We shall see...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Three Months and an Exciting Discovery {for me, that is}

I cannot believe my little one is already three months old.

I have absolutely no clue where time is flying off to.

I know he wasn't the littlest of newborns…

…but he has gotten so big so fast.

If only he would just stay little.

So I can cradle him up and snuggle with him forever.

AND…the exciting news I know you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting for….

…drumroll please….

3 months and 4 days after the birth of my son….

…{no we're not preggers again}…

...I have FINALLY found that box of non-maternity clothes I misplaced!

You know, the one with all my really cute and comfy long sleeved shirts that I boxed up last year to get out of my closet so I could fill it with clothes that expand.  I have been searching all over the place for these clothes since the day we got home from the hospital.

I was convinced that they had all fallen behind my shelves in my closet {mostly because I DID have some clothes stacked up there that my hubbster confessed to accidentally shoving down the "hole".  But he did plastic surgery on my shelves and swore that he got them all out.  And I still couldn't find my pink long sleeve tee that is so comfy and cozy.

Tada!  They were under the bed the whole time.  Under my hubster's side of the bed.  And every time I looked, I kept checking under my side of the bed.  I'm blaming this on sleep deprivation and new mommy brain {very similar to preggo brain…however it will conveniently last as long as I need an excuse for forgetting anything and everything}.

HELLO comfy clothes.  It is now March.  In South Texas.  I do not think we will be seeing much of each other for another…oh, say, nine months or so.

Let's hope I don't "loose" my mountain of maternity clothes…now it's their turn to go underground.  Ha!  :)