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Friday, March 27, 2015

Bits of Bliss

I can’t post as much now that I am in school full time. But my very wise friend Miss Marty recently said to me “Your posts don’t always have to be epic.”

Happiness, beauty and little bits of bliss all still occur during the week in small doses. So I thought I would start sharing what brings a smile to my face each Friday.

Pretty pastel pretzels.

(For local D/FW peeps~ Central Market.)

I am one step closer to completing the laundry room.

Following up on my kitchen curtain saga there are now delightful white smocked drapes.

Bits of bliss 047

Farmers markets are back!

Organic strawberries are red through and through and need nothing to sweeten them.

Bits of bliss 039

Lastly, my niece “Birdie”, who visited a few weeks ago, is a young member of the National Audubon Society. Her birding journal could rival any aviary loving adults. Wanting to connect with her I cleaned up an old bird feeder, filled it with seed and positioned it in front of the kitchen bay window. 

A gift for her has turned out to be a gift for me.

Since I have begun a routine of spending my mornings at the kitchen table studying art history I have also become enchanted with the colors occurring right outside my window.

Introducing…my blue jay mama Beatrice...

Bits of bliss 036

…Mr. Sidney O’Hara and his wife Scarlett…

Northern Cardinal male, Cardinalis cardinalis

and Rockwell the young robin.

What is making you smile this week?

Laura

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It’s Curtains

I think I finished the curtains for the kitchen back in January. I didn’t share them because…well, I wasn’t really happy with how they turned out.

Yet it seems somewhat shallow and dishonest for me to only show life’s perfections.

Because that isn’t real and I often learn more from mistakes than I do successes. How about you?

So, I bring you my kitchen curtains.

Design ADD 042

I think I should share the vision of what I was trying to create.

I wanted café curtains hung on oil rubbed bronze rods with rings clips.

cafe curtains

But of course there was an issue with two of the windows in the kitchen. The side windows of the bay window measure a wee 16” across.

Design ADD 054-001

I spent hours searching for interior mounted oil rubbed bronze rods that would fit.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

So I tried to alter my vision and use white interior mounted rods.

But it just wasn’t what I wanted.

Part of the problem lies in the windows themselves.

Design ADD 048

Much like everything else in this house, the previous DIY’s by the former owners were just done badly.

I just don’t want to look at shoddy workmanship. It makes me angry.

Life is too short to be angry at windows.

I have tried scrapping off the excess caulking but there are several issues I won’t bore you with.

There is also the teeny matter that I prefer white window casements to beige. But everything previously selected for this house was beige or brown.

Sigh. Boy do I sound ungrateful and spoilt.

Design ADD 045

We just don’t have it in our budget to replace perfectly good windows. So the best solution seemed to just hide the windows by taking the curtains all the way to the top. But that left the kitchen too dark.

I’m a light loving gal.

So I lowered the curtains.

But then of course I see the shoddy window workmanship.

A truly vicious circle.

Design ADD 062-001

I think too I would have liked to have seen more fullness in the curtain fabric but I was trying to work with fabric that I had.

So, I am on my second attempt at kitchen curtains.

I am thinking something really sheer that I can hang clear to the top that will still let the light shine through.

Like a white cotton voile or organdy.

It has to be pretty. Of course.

And about $20 a window.

White Organdy Smocked Curtains  These fabulous curtain panels of sheer white organdy are beautifully hand smocked across the top. They add a soft and dramatic flair to any room in addition to letting in natural light while maintaining privacy. I have them all through out my house, I simply adore seeing them blow in the breeze, magical.

Wish me luck.

Laura

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Homecoming

Yesterday I lost a friend I never met.

Kara, from the wonderful blog Mundane Faithfulness, went to meet Jesus. 

Kara was the devoted wife of pastor Jason Tippets.

Wonderful mother to Eleanor, Harper, Lake and Story Jane.

While so many screamed and shouted, trying to get their point across, Kara quietly and courageously taught us what it really means to die with dignity.

We are all given a finite number of days. The exact amount is never known.

It is a rare and beautiful person who can live each day fully, completely and

Ever inspiring.

 

Thank you Kara.

Laura

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Acceptance

I wonder after a caterpillar has spun its cocoon and wrapped itself in the dark chrysalis, just waiting for transformative beauty, does it ever second guess itself?

.1600, from Latin chrysallis, from Greek khrysallis (genitive khrysallidos) "golden colored pupa of the butterfly," from khrysos "gold," perhaps of Semitic origin (cf. Hebrew and Phoenician harutz "gold") + second element meaning something like "sheath."

Chrysalis of the Orange-spotted tiger clearwing.

I’ve been there. So many times. When it feels like eternity just waiting for transformation…or just some small bit of beauty to appear in life.

Even worse is when you are stuck in the caterpillar phase refusing to change or accept. 

Commander caterpillar

Recently I’ve been in the dark cocoon stage. Struggling, fighting, trying to break free. Wanting to force the beauty.

But growth and beauty take time.

It can’t be rushed.

And then there is that moment when acceptance takes over.

Acceptance to be content in the waiting.  

And somehow acceptance becomes even lovelier than the wondering and questioning of the end result.

 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Pachliopta aristolochiae Crimson Rose

The Crimson Rose butterfly (Pachliopta hector) of India.

The journey can be difficult, but there is peace in acceptance,

Laura

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What Color Should I Paint Our Front Door? Your Vote is Needed!

Oh that’s a dilemma uttered by many a homeowner.

Our current front door color is a sort of “Cherries in the Snow” red. It’s a nice enough color. But as you can see the door was not properly primed and the paint is flaking off.

Front Door Fun 003

There is also the area where you can see that we changed the locks upon moving in that needs to be sanded down.

Front Door Fun 004

In selecting potential paint colors I looked at the much larger surrounding colors that are found in the brickwork. The warm red tones of the brick clash with the cool red of the door. So while nice, the present color of the door is not quite right.

In looking at a color wheel the coppery pink brick house would look best with a soft green door. (Keeping in mind we will probably be painting the trim a softer cream later this summer.)

So I am thinking of these colors:

1. Celestial Blue (101) by Little Greene

wyethe blue[3]

2. Whipped Mint(MQ3-20) by Behr

DSC_2709

3. Kind Green (SW-6457) by Sherwin Williams

Take a peek into this fun Cape Cod-style house located on one of Manhattan Beach’s favorite walk streets.

 

4. Farrow and Ball Card Room Green

Farrow and Ball Card Room Green Front Door from Modern Country Style blog: My Top Ten Farrow and Ball Front Door Colours

If the weather is good the door will be transformed this weekend.

So cast your vote!

Laura