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Friday, August 28, 2015

Hanging a Mirror OVER Another Mirror

There is nothing like the impending arrival of a gaggle of guests to get you motivated to finish projects in your home. Some of you may remember our wine rack bathroom. I wrote a post about it last January. Since that post absolutely NOTHING has been done to the room. The problem is that the sink needs to be replaced. The thirty year old cultured marble sink and surround has yellowed beyond the point of repair. Like anything else I have hit the pause button because just that one task creates a possible domino affect.

When the sink is removed will it damage the mirror above that has been epoxied to the wall?

Will the sink removal damage the cabinet underneath?

So I have done nothing. But now feel I must do something.

Enter in the layered mirror.

Sounds so simple right?

It would be if perhaps I wanted to use a mirror with a long leather strap I could hang right above the existing mirror.

Or if I simply wanted to use a thin wire cable.

Layering is another great option but not when a sink and water are involved.

Trying to find a way to hang a mirror over a mirror or layer a mirror over a mirror has not resulted in an EASY button. Believe me I’ve googled every type of description you can think of.

The results have offered :

Suction cups with hooks.

Velcro strips.

3M command strips.

But of course I want to use an antique French mirror.

So, I don’t want to use a somewhat reliable method that might send my lovely mirror crashing to the tiled floor at 2 o’clock in the morning.

I found only ONE possible solution. This involves drilling a hole into the existing mirror to hang hardware.

Still not an easy fix.

I know you want to keep the large mirror in your powder lets hang a decorative one over the top.

But I CAN see it in my head. Once done I would go ahead and paint the base of the cabinet navy blue. When I do get around to pulling out the sink if it needs touchups so be it.

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In the meantime here is the mirror in question carefully propped up on the faucet. The faucet will be replaced when the sink is. The black spray paint job, done by a former occupant, is peeling rather badly.

Now it’s your turn to convince Mr. Décor that this is a good idea and to do it this weekend. :)

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Until next time I bid you happy weekend wishes. :)

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Would you do a layered look?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back To School Tablescape

Sunday evening we had our annual “Back to School” feast. For some reason I am usually the only one excited about this yearly event. :)

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I get such joy from creating tablescapes that the kids will love. Scrabble tiles are always fun.

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I started by creating a table runner of college ruled paper. I used double stick tape to hold it in place. Protractors, rulers and pencils also help to carry out the theme.

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The chalkboard placemats were an after Christmas find at Target, but I have also seen them at craft supply and dollar stores.

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The yearbooks belonged to my mother, Karen. The old globe usually hangs out in Sweet Guy’s room.

His favorite cherry limeade soda is made by a Texas bottling company. I find it at local grocery stores but Cost Plus also carries it.

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A red striped straw and bakers twine just seem to make everything cuter.

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Next to the table, in the bay window, I placed our antique wagon.

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I tucked in an old encyclopedia I recently found at the thrift store.

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Can you guess why I had to bring it home?

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The next morning as Sweet Guy sat down to breakfast he said, “Mom, you are completely crazy, but in a good way.” What can I say? I grew up in an era of “Weird Science.”

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The new 8th grader was already in the car when I remembered at the last moment that we hadn’t taken a back to school photo. Thank goodness for smart phones and accommodating sons.

8th grade

Wishing all students a great school year!


Monday, August 24, 2015

A Bit of Fall for the Front Door

Do you hear that? The silence? That’s right, all is quiet on the cottage front because today is BACK TO SCHOOL! The day all mothers half dread and half adore. We had a very busy weekend preparing for this auspicious day.

But I did sneak in one wee craft for the front door.

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My friend Marty from A Stroll Thru Life is hosting a Fall Home Tour and has graciously invited me to join in the fun. It is scheduled for September 7th through the 11th. With the way time flies I thought I’d better get started.

I wanted to create a welcoming arrangement for the front door. As I am not a big fan of the colors orange and rust fall décor can be a bit tricky. But I found some inspiration in the floral aisle of At Home (formerly Garden Ridge).

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My favorite finds were the faux oak leaf stems that featured tiny little acorns.

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I thought it might be fun to add a bit of sparkle so out came the glue and glitter.

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The pumpkin stems now have a bit of panache as well.

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One challenge I have is that our front door features a long oval window. Traditional round wreaths look rather out of place. So when I spied a metal basket with touches of a darker shade of our front door color I felt as though I had found a winner.

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I positioned a block of florist foam inside the metal basket and began adding in the faux flora and fauna until it was a truly bountiful harvest.

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As I stepped back I decided it needed a bit of ribbon so that it could hang a bit lower on the door. I didn’t have any on hand but I’ll make sure it’s done by the home tour.

The paint color can be found HERE.

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Because it’s Monday I thought I would give you a “Keepin’ it real” shot. While I was hanging up the fall basket Franz caught a frog and brought it to me in his mouth as a gift. Blah!

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Have you gotten any special gifts lately?


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Let’s All Plant Weeds…

Day after day we hear in the news about how one person can’t make a difference in our world.

Are you ready to make a huge difference by doing something very small?

The Monarch butterfly and other pollinators need our help. Desperately.

You can help by planting milkweed.

Milkweed has been virtually eliminated on America’s farms due to the over use of pesticides such as Roundup.

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The butterfly, and other important pollinators, feed on milkweed, lay their eggs on milkweed and go through their caterpillar metamorphous phase on milkweed.

You may recall that I am a huge proponent of buying local and organic. There are many reasons that I do this. First and foremost I do it for the health of my family. But other factors include that the aggressive use of pesticides in non organic farming are slowing killing our pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Pesticide is rampant in our soil and the run off pollutes our water.

People say they cannot afford organic. Not to be Dolly Doomsday, but medical treatment for various diseases is far more expensive versus buying a $5 bag of organic produce over a $2 bag. Not to mention the organic tastes so much better because its growing cycle is not forced. Flavor develops naturally.

Organic strawberries, which are currently in season,  need no sugar. They are red right through. 

If we lose the pollinators we also lose the ground nesting birds and small mammals that also share the butterflies habitat. In turn if we lose those creatures we then lose the predators that feed on them and the downward cycle continues. Simply put, if we lose plant integrity the ecosystem suffers.

There is an excellent video that covers the migration area of the Monarch butterflies, why they are in danger and how you can easily help. It is worth the watch.

My garden is taking forever to get under control because we are killing off aggressive monkey grass and vines the old fashioned way… by pulling/digging it all out by hand. I hope by next spring to plant a variety of milkweed that matches the color palette of my garden.

Antelope Horns milkweed is native to Texas. It is a soft green and white.

Milkweed reminds me a bit of hydrangea. I love swamp milkweed that does well in moist environments like in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Here is an excellent site than can aide you in your search for milkweed that is native to the area in which you live.

If you can’t get on board with growing milkweed our pollinators and butterflies also need lilies and other nectar flowers which is their food source. You can simply google “How to plant a butterfly garden” and many sites are available. The National Wildlife Federation is the site I read.

So will you plant weeds to help make a huge difference?


“And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” ~ Genesis 1:30

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bits of Bliss-Wiser

Yesterday I turned another year older.

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As a whole birthdays can be a traumatic experience for a woman. It’s no secret that our society values YOUTH.

But a few years ago I decided to be really HAPPY about birthdays.

I don’t just enjoy one day. I revel in a birthday WEEK.

I do this because there are people who would give anything for just one more.

My own dad had just 21 birthdays. My mom saw only 26 years. Together that is just 47 birthdays.

This year I turned 47.

I feel so….incredibly blessed and thankful.

Happy Birthday – Cupcakes with Candles, Cute Images | Amazing Photos

This past Friday I went to Metrocon, an interior design-related regional expo and conference.

I specifically had signed up for a ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) student network hiring event.

It was an opportunity to have my portfolio reviewed, résumé assessed and meet with prospective employers.

There is a certain fear…lack of confidence…hesitation… that can sneak in when you KNOW you are going to be the OLDEST student in the room.

I made sure to get a good nights sleep and tried to swallow a bit of breakfast.

I then treated myself to a softly scented bath.

After toweling off I smoothed on a bit of dōTERRA facial “tightening serum”. I smiled as I remembered the story of a women who used Preparation H as her eye cream of choice due to its shrinking properties.


As I began styling my hair, fighting against the cowlicks and thinness, I decided to be thankful that I don’t have to color my hair. My gray hairs are very few in number.

There was also a bit of a tussle with the zipper of my dress as it tried to close over the extra 10 pounds I’ve been carrying around lately. But then I remembered that when I started this blog back in 2008, and had a Marie Antoinette themed birthday, that I had wished I was thinner then. Boy! What I wouldn’t give to look like that again.

So, it stands to reason that in another few years I will be wishing for my 47 year old figure so I’ve just decided to enjoy it now. :)

Of course once I got to Metrocon it took forever to find a parking space. I ended up having to walk a quarter of a mile in 100 degree heat to get to the event.

Two words people:

Of course once in the building, even though I had preregistered and had printed out my reservation, they couldn’t find me in the system. I kept watching the clock race towards the appointed hour. Maximum stress. I hate to be late. That feeling of entering a room and having an entire crowd of people turn to look at you. Blah!

I considered just throwing in the towel, returning home, putting on a pair of really big pants and eating an entire tub of artichoke dip.

Yammie's Noshery: The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip Ever

But I stayed because obviously I like to torture myself.

Plus, there were several design booths catching my design eye.

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So, I lined up with all of the other students to be interviewed by three prospective employers.

I looked around and confirmed I was indeed the oldest student there.

I also saw that the majority of the others waiting to be interviewed were looking at their electronic portfolios.

While in essence I do have an online portfolio (it’s this blog) I had brought an old school portfolio filled with photographs of previous projects, hand renderings and CAD drawings.

My only thoughts were “Well, aren’t I showing my AGE?!!” and “Ugh, why can’t the floor just open up and swallow me???”

So here’s what happened.

I met some very nice people.

It turns out old school portfolios are still VERY desired. Interiors designers are visual  and tactile people. (They like to see and touch.) Score one for moi!

But all three said I needed to improve my résumé.

It appears I don’t toot my own horn enough. It seems that is now a necessity. I was told I was toooooo modest and reserved about my accomplishments, which they learned about because they met me face to face, but what if I was only sending it in alone and it joined a fat stack of other résumés?

I also learned that they would actually be thrilled to hire a person my age.

They said they considered my age a bonus. That I possessed maturity and lacked the self entitlement that the younger generation seemed to now have in spades. They knew that in a year or two I would not turn into brideszilla or need 800 months of maternity leave.

I was entirely, pleasantly surprised.

I found truly lovely people willing to help me.

Of course, I am sure it didn’t hurt that I also took an active interest in them.

For instance, Charlotte’s lovely necklace had been made from two antique French tiebacks. Clever!

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I also learned that the president of the local chapter of ASID lives in my same town. We will begin working on a project together in October.

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So, I’m older and wiser.

Which turns out is exactly what the world (and dachshunds) want.

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“In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln