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Monday, June 29, 2015

Ideas for a Summertime Bedroom at Storybook Cottage

Light and bright, lots of white with touches of color. This is what I envision for our master bedroom here at Storybook Cottage.

Colorful Summer Bedroom Ideas To Steal

Our master bedroom looked like this upon moving in. Meaning no disrespect to the former owners, but the dark walls and even darker tray ceiling was an avocado nightmare to paint. Each wall and the ceiling took two coats of primer and two coats of paint to cover and I still find myself doing touchups from bleed through. 


After taking down the sheers I found some lovely plantation shutters.


You may recall what our master bedroom looked like in our previous home. Lovely custom bedding and curtains that we have had for the past 10 years.


I had everything dry cleaned before it was packed for the move. When it was all unpacked I found that our bed skirt had shrunk to the size of a full size bed frame. (We have a queen.) The curtains were also about a foot too short for the new windows.  I found that I just couldn’t bring myself to buy numerous yards of fabric and spend several days lengthening the curtains and sewing a new bed skirt when frankly, I was a bit tired of them. (Remember, we’ve had them for 10 Years.)


I really don’t know what direction I want to go in my room. So, I need a temporary fix that will probably last two years. (I know some of you are smiling at that and can relate. :)

So, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.

summer color | sfgirlbybay

White walls. Check. The room looks so much better!

A white bedroom with blue, orange and pink pops of color. This space is so comfortable and stylish! /ES

Lots of happy color grounded with a white bedcover. Check! The clearance aisles at HomeGoods and Target were my friends. Since this is a temporary fix I didn’t want to invest too much money.

Now I just need to put it all together, take a few photos and you’ll see the temporary solutions on Wednesday!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Bits of Bliss- Plentiful Projects

Thank you so very much for all your kind comments about Eleanor’s Aprons. If you haven’t entered the giveaway you should!


This past week in between listening to school lectures, writing papers and studying for tests I have been cleaning out numerous closets. It’s been a mindlessly delightful task which my overworked brain needed. I’m not sure it’s exciting blog fodder, but I did receive quite a bit of satisfaction when I took a large box to Goodwill and a nice stack of lovely clothes, that I never wear, to the resale shop.

Another area I worked on is the frothy supplies for the “new” aprons I am creating. This is how I have been “organizing” my antique lace and ribbon.

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Good stuff, but not a quick or easy way to find what I am looking for.

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This weekend will be filled with more projects. Last night Mr. Décor ripped the nasty 30 year old trash compactor out of the kitchen.

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I had the fun job of pulling up the old linoleum and cleaning the cupboard walls and floor. Yuck!

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A custom cabinet for the waste bin will be taking it’s place.

I’ll also be working in the garden. I am planting pink hydrangeas and white daylilies. A much nicer task.

Of course we always have a bit of fun too. Earlier this week the kids and I rode an air mattress down our stairs. I am NOT kidding!

You can view the videos HERE and HERE. Yes, I took a turn.

air mattress

Have a glorious weekend. I’ll see you Monday.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Celebrating the Last of Eleanor’s Aprons With a Giveaway

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I first shared “Eleanor’s Aprons” way back in April.

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Since that time I have continued sewing.

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Stitch by stitch my grieving heart has mended.

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As the stack of precious vintage fabric, laces and handkerchiefs grew smaller and smaller I felt better and better.

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All of the aprons shown here (plus a few others) were sent off last week to lovely friends who reserved an order for one of Eleanor’s Aprons. 

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I was able to give a lovely donation in my grandmother’s name to the American Heart Association.

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Thank you so very much dear friends for all your support.

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We have now come to the final four.

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Three of the the final four aprons have been put into my Etsy Shoppe.

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Now I don’t want to cause a panic. I won’t quit making aprons.

It’s just the next batch are going to be very different. I’ll share a sneak peek on Friday.

The remaining apron…well, it’s kinda special.

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You see it was the very first Eleanor’s Apron that I made. The prototype.

I’m warning you. I got all the glitches out in this one apron.

The pocket is not quite big enough, the upper row of lace is slightly crooked, and the quilt applique is slightly askew.

This apron made me decide that future apron strings needed to be longer.

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And well, despite all this I find this apron to be my favorite because it’s full of charm.

This apron is for those lovely hearts and kindred spirits who adore charm too.

I’ll also be tucking in a vintage rhinestone and lilac enamel brooch and some sweet smelling lavender soap into the giveaway package.

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For those of you who need an apron right now you can head over to the Etsy Shoppe.

You can also find some bejeweled treasures there as well.

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This giveaway is open to everyone including treasured readers living abroad.

Please leave ONE comment.

If you would like a second entry you can follow my Instagram page and leave another comment.

I’ll pick a winner next Monday, June 29th.


A Closer Look at the Kitchen Renovation - Subway Tile Backsplash

When we first decided to replace the countertops we had a thought to keep the existing backsplash. The variegated square stone tiles weren’t too bad. However, once we decided to go with Corian countertops the bottom tiles needed to be removed for the countertop installation. Upon closer inspection we knew there would be no way to salvage the stone tile as they had been applied directly to the sheetrock. There were also a host of other issues.

It took about half a second for me to answer when Mr. Décor asked what type of backsplash I wanted to replace it with.

Subway tile.

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If you have ever visited my Pinterest Kitchen Board it’s quite evident that I have had an ongoing love affair with subway tile for several years now.

Lauren Conrad’s Chic Beverly Hills Home

There are several ways you can install subway tile. There is the classic “running bond” pattern shown in the above photo. Or you can do a “stack tile” layout, shown below, which is quite modern in feel.

Beaded board and simple subway tile gives a kitchen cottage style. More kitchen island inspiration:

My favorite is the “herringbone pattern”. This pattern is VERY labor intensive. Which is why you usually find it done in small doses.

Transitional and Traditional Interior Design Ideas - Home Bunch - An Interior Design & Luxury Homes Blog

Then there is the question of what color grout to use. The hot trend right now is to use various shades of gray for contrast.

Via Lonny

Given that the brick wall in our kitchen is laid in a running bond pattern we decided it was best to keep the same pattern for the subway tile.

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The mortar used to set the bricks is gray so I probably could have used a gray grout.

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But I wanted a really clean look so I selected “bright white” unsanded grout. We used “unsanded” verses “sanded” grout because the subway tile we chose was made of ceramic and had a sheen to it. Sanded grout could have possibly scratched or dulled the finish.

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A traditional subway tile is 3” x 6”. As our kitchen is on the small side I thought a tile smaller in scale would look better. We found sheets of subway tile, at Home Depot, that individually measured 2” x 4” which was perfect.

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Once again here’s a “before” photo taken right before we moved in last fall.


Budget details: With our military discount we paid around $2.00 a sheet. $40 for a backsplash treatment? I’ll take it.


To close a few of you had asked to see the smocked curtains in the kitchen nook area. My wish is your command.

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This is an window covering option that I am really happy with right now.

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All in all we are very happy with our kitchen renovation.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Ice Cream, Kabobs and a Wee Bit of Gardening

Did you have a lovely weekend? We were mainly at home trying to stay cool while dealing with a broken A/C unit.

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Ice cream bars helped out tremendously and the dogs love to lick the sticks clean.

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Sweet Guy made a lovely dinner on Saturday. Chicken and vegetable kebobs/kabobs and macaroni salad. We were both laughing because he said “Mom don’t take my picture of me in an undershirt!”

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I think it’s important for both boys and girls to learn how to cook. The Fashionista also knows how to change a tire and can carry a mean hammer.

As our kebobs are extra long our secret to evenly marinating the ingredients is to move from pan to pan every 30 minutes or so.

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I also worked in the garden. After such tremendous flooding it is frankly just a big mess. I probably should share the “BEFORE” pictures. Our goal is to have a decent yard by the end of September when we are to host a large family reunion. For inspiration we made a recent trip to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It’s truly one of my very favorite places and the Fashionista and I try to visit every season.

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I tried to take some visual notes as to what might work in our own yard.

Lovely urns and other containers seem to be quite popular here in Texas.

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Walkways lined with both floral and fauna are pleasing to the eye. I also like the white and green color palette. It feels cool in summer.

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Water features are also a nice touch. We found a small bubbling fountain in our attic. We just have to hook it up to see if it works.

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Up close the stone water feature shown above had small pockets filled with succulents, coleus and other small plants.

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Ferns seem to work well in shady areas. I have plenty of that due to our 16 mature oak trees.

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We actually had red begonias just sprout up in our yard on their own. It’s always a surprise when you first move into an established home isn’t it?

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Lastly, does anyone know what this plant is? Is it “Baby Tears?” We have a flagstone path that needs….something, but I don’t want it to be too invasive. #kudzu

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What are you planting this summer?