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Friday, September 30, 2011

Guten Tag~

I don’t have many professional photographs of Sweet Boy as a baby and small child. It’s not that I didn’t want any. Because believe me when I say, “Momma tried”. He just HATED having his picture taken. He could be smiling and happy, but if a camera was brought out ~ smiles would instantly turned to tears.

Luckily, he was unaware that the precious image of him below was captured by his Uncle A.J. (Old school scan = poor quality, my apologies.)


The other day I was cleaning his room when I came across the jaunty hat and little lederhosen we bought after his birth in Landstuhl, Germany. A few minutes later I also found a pair of small socks with two tiny acorns sewn onto the cuff.

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They made me thankful indeed that this Sweet Boy has left a footprint on my heart and soul.

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Glücklich 10. Geburtstag süßer junge! (Happy 10th Birthday Sweet Boy!)



I have turned the comments off today so I can try to catch up. Tip Junkie recently featured my Brass To Class lamp tutorial on her fabulous site.


Then gorgeous Jaimee Rose listed my Mum’s the Word felt wreath as one of her fall favorites. 


Thanks to these two lovely ladies I have been blessed with a slew of comments that I am so very appreciative of. I want to make sure I respond to each and every one. 

I also have to visit all of the fabulous Fall In Love projects that were linked up on Wednesday.

Then of course there is the matter of running cute cupcakes up to the school and turning a soccer ball piñata into a pokémon ball. Details soon to follow.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

F.I.L. ~ Up A Creek, But I Have A Paddle

Welcome to this week’s Fall In Love (F.I.L.) linky party!

I am currently up a creek. I have no fewer than five fabulous home improvement projects in various stages of completion. Did you get that? Various stages of completion versus completed

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First up, I am still in the midst of unpacking the 8 million boxes of stuff I brought home from my dear mom and dad’s home. One thing that I pulled out of my brother’s “to be trashed” pile was this awesome paddle from a long departed row boat.

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I knew instantly what I would do with it: fill in the horizontal space above Sweet Boy’s closet. Planes, trains, automobiles and now…boats. But how to hang the paddle in a cute and cheap manner has escaped me. I am still searching for a solution. Ideas? Anyone? Anybody? Bueller?

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I also began decorating my front porch for fall. Then I had to stop because the temperature in Phoenix decided to rise again and real pumpkins don’t like 105 degree weather. For the record, neither do I.

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Ditto for all the mum’s and zinnia’s I just planted that will now probably die. :(

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The slipcover project I told you about last Friday still looks the same as I wait for a special upholstery foot for my sewing machine. It’s back ordered 3 ~ 5 weeks. 

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While I was waiting I gave some dated tv trays a makeover. The finished trays cried out for a coat of wax. My search had me at Lowe’s, Home Depot and Wal Mart but I struck out. I could find “natural~ for light wood” and “dark ~ for dark wood” but not a single can of “clear wax  for painted furniture” could be found. Where is Mr. Miyagi when you need him?

Then there is all kinds of crazy organizational goodness lurking behind this seemingly average medicine cabinet mirror. But, I am having some issues that I don’t want to “label” at this time. (hee hee)

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So instead, let’s see what you’ve done this week.



Monday, September 26, 2011

A Light Fixture Goes From Brass To Class

I have been giving this brass light fixture, which hangs in my entry, the evil eye for seven years. I finally decided to do something about it.  The makeover budget was less than $20.

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A favorite blogger of mine, Julia from Hooked On Houses, wrote a post over two years ago in which she gave a similar light fixture a makeover with spray paint. I gave it serious thought. For two years.

I really wanted to try and turn my fixture into a French lantern. Like this:

Or this:

I was even willing to settle for something like this:

After two years, countess garage sales, visits to the HFH ReStore and a trip to France (which included the Paris flea market) the end result was that not a single lantern could be found in a reasonable price range.

I accepted that perhaps I needed to change my vision. I began to see more and more drum shade chandelier fixtures being used in home design.

Like this:

click to view full size

and this:

Walking around Homegoods I found a lampshade that was the right size and a color I could live with. It was also priced right at $12.99. On the way home I bought a can of Rust ~oleum Hammered Spray Paint in brown (but it looks like oil rubbed bronze) from Lowe’s. It was on sale for $4. The 8 foot ladder was brought in from the garage and into the house. I had to enlist the services of brave Mr. Décor, because even standing on the top rung (I know, I know) he could BARELY reach the lamp.

But we got it down.

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From there I took that baby apart. It was surprisingly quick. Mr. Décor asked if I couldn’t find a bigger wrench for the job. Yes ladies, I did let him live because I needed him to hang the lamp back up.

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The lamps construction was like a series of building blocks that you just kept taking apart and going on to the next level. Kind of like a video game for DIY’s. 

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To get the actual light fixture out of the glass I had to turn it sideways. It took me a few minutes to figure that little gem out before the light popped on in my head (pun intended) so I thought I would save you the trouble.

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I then tried on the new lampshade to see if

A. It would actually work.

B. The size was correct.

Please notice that the lamp shade itself is wrapped in plastic. This is an important detail.

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I stuffed wads of toilet paper (high class) inside where the light bulbs go and tapped it off for good measure.

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Now, even though the lampshade had temporary plastic wrap covering it, I was EXTRA careful and also wrapped the shade in newspaper since I had to spray paint the metal arms. Please also make note of this attention to detail.

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Tree huggers: don’t worry, the old glass fixture is being repurposed as well, but we’ll save that for a future post.

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Since I live in Phoenix I had to get up at the crack of dawn (before it was blistering hot) to spray paint the metal. One trick that I have learned is immediately after painting, take two fingertips on one hand and hold a thin bamboo skewer in the other and lift the pieces off of where you have just sprayed. Then they won’t stick to the paper. 

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At the end of the day everything was painted, dried and re hung. While I would have loved to put a fabric cord cover over the chain, my fireman brother had strongly advised me (and now all of you) not to.

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You would think I would have been be delighted. Nope.

Remember how the lampshade was wrapped in plastic AND covered in newspaper before I spray painted it? When I took off the paper let’s just say I felt like the gal who has just discovered that in spite of taking two separate precautionary measures she is somehow preggars. (No comment on how I know about that. :)

Two interior paint smudges. Grrrrr!

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It was even worse at night when I climbed up on the 8 foot ladder to take this shot.

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I lived with the shade for several days and then couldn’t stand it and went back to Homegoods to look for another lampshade. I saw a burlap shade with black trim that was so cute, but way too big. As I was standing there pouting, another light bulb popped on in my head. I remembered a lampshade that Anthropologie sold last year. I had wanted it SO bad!

Secret Silhouette Shade

When the lamp was turned on, a silhouette of my oh so lovely Rudi appeared.

Secret Silhouette Shade

I left the store empty handed and raced home. During the drive I thought about what silhouette to use. A doxie, my kids? Since the fixture was so high up I decided upon birds. I googled “bird silhouette” and found a lovely sparrow at Karen’s Whimsy. The image was printed out in various sizes. I considered using sheet music as homage to a bird’s song, but decided to use simple paperback book pages for a more airy feel.  My bird dog approved.

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A teeny tiny dab of hot glue was placed on the beak, wings and tail and then affixed to the interior of the lampshade over the spray painted boo boo’s. I then added a few extra birds to provide a balanced design.

Here’s the shade in the day with the light turned on …  

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If the light is turned off, then no birds appear.

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I really loved the shade when night began to fall. The birds really stood out. 

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Given that the light fixture does hang 20 feet into the air I kind of like the extra interest the birds add when you stand directly under it.

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I think it’s kind of a sweet tweet.

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Have you ever turned a decorating faux pas into something fabulous?


Hope to see you Wednesday!


 Linking to:

Shabby Nest, Romantic Home, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk, BNOTP, Today’s Creative Blog, Someday Crafts, Remodelaholic, Tip Junkie

Sunday, September 25, 2011

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

On a recent lovely day I sat on the front lawn as I worked on a project. The sky was a glorious blue.  My constant four footed companion sat beside me. I felt…at peace. I stopped to recognize the moment because the feeling of complete tranquility somehow seems to come by only so often.  

I continued cutting out small paper birds and began humming a favorite tune.

I realized that ordinary, everyday moments can bring us tremendous joy if we only open our hearts to them.

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Be blessed,


"Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" ~ Matthew 6:26

Friday, September 23, 2011

Decorating Around Drapes I Hate

Do you have a big ugly decorating elephant that lives in your house? For me it’s the drapes in our family room. Long mustard drapes. Ugh. Since I have to live with the horror awhile longer I decided to try and pull the focus away from the drapes to other, prettier things in the room.

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Now, there isn’t a big reveal at the moment. I am a one woman show and these things take time.

But,  I  am making progress on the room and thought I would share what I have done so far. I found my inspiration piece in a pillow and decided I loved the apple green shades featured in it. It pairs well with the mustard. Thank goodness that this room is rightnexttothekitchen (right next to the kitchen) with all the mustard and pickle shades going on. :)

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I began by swapping out the furniture with the Ikea Ektorp pieces I had in the living room. I then found two linen pillows at Homegoods in the clearance bin. The shape and size were perfect and I loved the pleated flange.  The color however was an awful shade of murky celery. Thank goodness for Rit dye in apple green.

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Ah, much better.

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The picture below shows that the kitchen is indeed rightnext to the family room. So of course this adds in an extra element that the drapes need to relate to the valances. You can also see a decorator table with a tablecloth that I picked up from Ballard last year. The cloth went into the dye bath too.

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The table looks so much better covered in an apple green cloth. I created a vignette with things I had stored in a bin marked “Fall”.

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You might ask “Why do you have the table placed so close to the entertainment  center?” Well, like most married women I have a “blind to attractive décor” husband. While some of you have to decorate around lazy boy chairs, or perhaps are like Joni who has a  fan loving, slipper sock wearing man, I have a hubby who loves surround sound. I’d rather not look at the huge speaker and Wii equipment.

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I am still working on decorating the shelf right above the tv. In my heart of hearts I would like two smaller confit pots (in green and a lighter yellow) to go with my larger pot. They would help hide, yep, you guessed it, another surround sound speaker.

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I would love to find two reasonably priced (HA!) antique French baskets to hide my design magazines in. Until then  I did locate these two baskets for $12 at Ross. I like the element of texture that they bring into the room.

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I have covered the dog’s bed in a antique linen slipcover, but still have a small ottoman to do. Rudi needs it to climb up on the cream couch.  Sigh, the things we do for love.

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I got rid of the big hulking Tuscan monster chair that used to sit in this room.

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It has been replaced with this chair that is a much better scale for the room.

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It too needs a slipcover made from antique French linen. As you can see I’ve gotten really far on that project.

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The little table beside it adds a bit of texture too and doubles as storage. I found it at Ross for $14.00.

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So for a recap, I’ve gone from this:

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and this:

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To this and stayed under my $100 budget.

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Hmmmm, I think I need an area rug too. Budget? What budget?


Linking to:

Tabletop Tuesday