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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Color Influence

February is nearing to a close and I can feel it~ spring welling up within my spirit and trying to burst forth.

Within my home I am eager to send my touches of red to the storage closet and bust out the brightness.

Such as: lots of lemon yellow.

Or a ton of turquoise.

Gallons of green ~ be it jade or emerald, March just seems to command it.


Is it just me or can anyone else spot shamrocks on the plaster ceiling?

As much as I fancy Ruth Guilding’s  delightful images and the it color that Pantone is so eager for us to adore I know full well what has brought about this full bodied longing for color.

The Arena Chapel in Padua, Italy.

I spent the weekend immersed in 14th century (late Gothic) art desperately willing the information to implant itself within my brain, breaking only to make my houseguests meals and to look for lovely pots for the patio.

“Lamentation” by Giotto di Bondone, begun in 1304 and completed in 1306 (Byzantine technique)

My test is tomorrow. I am trying to calm my nerves, as well as the terms and artwork swimming in my head, by sipping a bit of tea in my Charles and Diana mug while munching on a Little Debbie’s Swiss Roll.

I need a nap. But it’s not going to happen.

There was a trip to the airport early this morning. The next batch of houseguests arrive in under two weeks. Beds must be stripped, towels washed and food restocked.

As soon as the test is finished I need to start on another paper due next Tuesday and also begin shooting portraiture for my photography class.

Then there is the fact that Easter is early this year. I just HATE it when it is. Because I really love St. Patrick’s Day. (New readers can check out last years Irish Castles or Cottages.)

So I am thinking of decorating with lots of spring green as that will satisfy both. Oh but jade would be SO good. Especially paired with the blue and white ticking chairs.

So tell me, which do you prefer~ an early or late Easter?


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Climb

Yesterday was a gorgeous Arizona spring day~ clear and in the 70’s. It was also the 30th Annual Climb For Cancer on South Mountain.

Back in early January we asked if there was anyone we could climb for. We received several names.

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Two weeks ago I learned that my very, very good friend Marci has cancer. She is 38.

You met her last year in the post “A Rose Amongst the Thorns”.

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So the walk was made for Marci and many others.

All names were printed on a piece a paper and tucked into the water pack.

Ceekay ~ Ovarian Cancer

Marcie Cooper~ Breast Cancer


David Olson

Ann’s friend Alice

Emma ~ she just turned 13 and lives in Australia.

Mike Hottle ~throat cancer and leukemia

Jill Sullivan~ throat cancer

Mike Keyes ~ brain tumor

Ginger~ breast cancer

Munkh Erdene (Munhuush) from Mongolia ~brain tumor

Ruth~ breast cancer

Susan Smith ~ melanoma

Blake, 18, ~ Burkitt's lymphoma

Julie is a wife and mother of 5 children~ colon cancer.

In memory

My cousin Sweet T’s good friend Louise Feole~ ovarian cancer

Tracy Evans ~ a classmate of mine who lost her battle with breast cancer

My dear friend Tracy’s MIL Barbara Epperson

Karen Ingalls my mother

Roy Ingalls my grandfather

Janice Ray my aunt

With each step, a prayer for a cure.

As many longtime readers may know, in the past I have closed my Sunday posts to comments in personal observance of the Sabbath. Recently I was approved for BlogHer advertising. (Praise Jesus) One requirement they have is that all posts must remain open to comments. I ask for your understanding that I personally still choose not to get on my computer on Sunday’s.

Perhaps in lieu of a comment, you can leave a prayer or praise of thanksgiving (a blessing you’ve experienced).


“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” ~ Colossians 2:6

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Oh my sweet readers what lovely comments you left on Monday’s post. You have truly warmed my heart. Thank you SO much!


As for today let me share my scatterbrained thoughts:

I have houseguests arriving later today. Before that happens I need to finish cleaning the house, the car and stock the refrigerator. I have given up on the weeding and will hope that they don’t venture out into the backyard. :)

I also have to finish a comparative analysis paper which is due tomorrow and put the final touches on an entire design floor plan for a lovely couple I am meeting with tomorrow afternoon. We are in the midst of planning a smart downsizing from 2,400 to 1,300 square feet.

Mid terms are rapidly looming and bring with it several tests, papers and projects.

I still need to finish three wonderful, well researched articles for Rêve by the end of the month.

Mr. Décor is once again traveling so all duties and child rearing are mine alone.

Have I mentioned I am in week two of battling a horrific cold? Achoooo!

So sadly I have to put the blog on hold for a few days. It’s not that I don’t have projects to share~ I do. I just need another me to photograph and write the posts.

But I am happy and managing joy amidst the whirl and twirl. I appreciate your understanding.


Monday, February 18, 2013

A New Slipcover For My Office Chair

For the past two months I have been desperate to find time to make a slipcover for my office chair. It finally happened last week.

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The new linen upholstery had sadly not worn very well and several holes had developed on the edge of the seat.

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Now knowing better I selected an antique French linen/cotton dishtowel from my collection to use as the seat fabric. This I know will absolutely wear well! I love the checkerboard pattern.

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I did not use a pattern. I just sort of laid out the towel and cut. I arranged it so that the striped edges were angled on the corners.

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It’s not perfect. But it seems to suit the old chair.

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The ruffle and ties are made from a lighter weight linen.

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The back was tricky to configure but it ended up being my favorite detail. This is good since this is what you see the most of.

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A sweet seat indeed!

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Happy Monday!


Linking to:

Funky Junk, Common Ground, StoneGable, Tatertots and Jello, Positively Splendid,The 36th Avenue,Jennifer Rizzo, BNOTP, Someday Crafts, French Country Cottage

Savvy Southern Style

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two Questions

On Tuesday evening our family celebrated Fat Tuesday with a large heart shaped pizza, a yummy salad and chocolate ice cream cones for dessert. It was delicious.

On Ash Wednesday I shot a roll of film for my photography class. My subject matter was a beautiful church built in 1936. As I set up each frame I thought about Lent. Lent in short order is the time a Christian prepares their heart for Easter. Many observers fast or give up certain luxuries (or vices) as a form of penitence (remorse for their sins/faults).

Every year I struggle with what I will give up for Lent. The top three choices that a large percentage of people abstain from are:
Giving up cigarettes.
Giving up alcohol.
Giving up morning coffee.
I don’t smoke.
I rarely drink.
I don’t drink coffee.
My biggest vice truly is blogging. It hogs my time. But I also consider it a marketing tool for my “real job”. Most of my design clients come to me via my blog site. I need to work so I can’t really afford not to market my business for an entire six weeks.
Hmmmm. What to do?
Later that evening I was flipping through the tv channels. One of my favorite movies (The Bucket List) was on and it was right before this soul searching scene:
Two questions I sat on my couch pondering.
Have you found joy in your life?
Has your life brought joy to others?
I think the first is easy enough. It is in essence about being grateful and finding beauty in the everyday. But the second, well that’s a bit harder. Even for this people pleaser.
Then I thought “What if I strive everyday during Lent to bring true unselfish joy to others?”
Because again the essence of Lent is to prepare one’s heart for Easter.
My mind flashed back to vacation bible school. I was about 8 and I can remember my teacher saying
JOY is easy.
J stands for Jesus
O is for others
the Y is last…it is for yourself.
If you put Jesus first, others second and yourself third you will have joy forever.”
Perhaps we don’t necessarily have to give up something during Lent but merely GIVE of ourselves.
I know my human nature. I knew there might be days I would forget. So I placed reminders all over.
On my bathroom mirror.
In the car.
Within my school binder.
Bringing someone JOY often only requires a kind comment or a small act of goodwill and that's good for all.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Matthew 22: 36-38

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be My Valentine Linky Party

Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you have any special plans? I am making a delicious steak dinner followed by molten lava cakes. I’m seriously considering eating dessert first.

We sent out Valentine’s to those we love earlier in the week. I couldn’t resist the make your own offerings from Target.

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To kick off the party I thought I would share a few Valentine crafts I have made in the past.

Beginning with way back in 2010 ~ a Repurposed candy box. (This post also shows a video of how to wrap up a pretty bottled beverage.)

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Other styled chocolate boxes.

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From 2011 the much pinned “Wood You Be My Valentine” and “I Pine For You” tp candy containers.

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From 2012 Cookie Pops
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If you happened to have missed any 2013 offerings we have the “Let My Love Open The Door” wreath.

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 I can’t wait to see your creations, view your décor, read your recipes or hear your love story. Anything Valentine related is welcome!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pretty Red Pillows

Let’s start out with something funny. In hindsight I should have clarified on Mondays post what all the keys were for. So many of you were shocked at the amount of keys we had. Here’s the breakdown:

We have an extra key for each of our cars as well as our house/the Fashionista’s condo and our mailboxes.

We have extra keys for several of our friends and neighbors houses. (I guess we’re trustworthy. :)

We also kept one key from each of the houses we have lived in as a memento. Being retired military we have lived in  A LOT of places! Someday I might make a shadowbox…. So yes, we have a lot of keys. :)

Ok, moving on to pillows!

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Back in December I decided I wanted to incorporate a bit of red into the front room décor since so much of our vintage Christmas décor was red.  I loved the “Villa Martine” fabric by Ralph Lauren. It had a bit of blue and cream in the print which  worked so well with my blue and cream ticking slipcovered chairs. By the yard it was a bit beyond my budget but enter in a king sized sham found on clearance at HomeGoods.

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I just took the sham apart and reused the fabric and trim to create two pillow. Since I already had the down inserts the pillows cost a whopping $2.50 each.

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Everyone who has come to visit seems to like the two pillows that I made out of an old cutwork tablecloth and two doilies. Vintage linen enthusiasts don’t faint: both the cutwork tablecloth and the doilies were stained and had holes in several areas. It was time for a makeover. The tablecloth received a color update with Rit dye in cherry red.

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I literally cut the tablecloth and the doilies in half so I could have two pillow fronts.

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I centered the doily at the top of the cutwork and pinned it in placed. It was then sewn on. The bit of white peeking through the cutwork is the down insert.

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A simple envelope closure was created on the back.

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I felt like I still needed one more printed pillow for the couch. I remembered that my dear friend Jill had made a Union Jack pillow way back in July that I just loved. Longtime readers know I am 1/2 Francophile and 1/2 Anglophile and love England like nobody’s business. I had to have it!

It arrived last week and is perfection! Every time I walk into the room this gorgeous pillow just makes me smile. I love how the jute trim works with the trim on the Ralph Lauren pillows.

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Jill has a darling Etsy shop that is loaded down with sweet sewn treasures. Like the Union Jack pillow in yellow. Spring is coming and boy would that yellow look good with the blue ticking chairs too! :)

Tomorrow is the Valentine linky party. I hope you join in and share what you love, have created, favorite treats or who your sweetheart is!

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Do you like decorating with red?


Monday, February 11, 2013

The Key To My Heart

I used to have keys scattered all over my house.

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Now they are all in one safe place hanging in my laundry/utility room.

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Way back in September I found this gem at Goodwill. It was stained, chipped….well, a complete mess.

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After I peeled off all the decoration and sanded it down it received two coats of Annie Sloan white chalk paint.

It stayed in this state for months. (As ever I am a go getter. :)

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I wanted a bit of decoration on the front panel and I thought about stenciling on a vintage image but everything I found was horizontal and I needed vertical. Don’t you just hate that?



This image came closer to what I was thinking. But for some reason the box remained as is.

Then last week I was digging through my Valentine stash and found some plain wooden hearts I had purchased at Joann’s last year. Hmmmm.

I was also in the midst of going through some French treasures that I was ready to part with. (I will soon be leaving for Paris to work on Rêve  and am hoping to bring home a few new French treasures ~ so room must be made. :) As I was placing a small stack of antique French skeleton keys in the “sell” pile I had another light bulb moment. Two of the keys were removed from the “sell” pile.

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The wooden hearts were painted white. Vintage pearls were then attached with craft glue. The keys were hot glued on so that they can easily be popped off in the future.

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This is SO much better than keys scattered everywhere.

(My apologies for the bad lighting, the utility room has no natural light and bad overhead lighting.)

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Yes, this wee cupboard indeed holds the key to my heart.

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You can find a key to your heart in my Etsy shop.


I hope you’ll join me on Thursday, February 14th

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Linking to:

 Funky Junk, Common Ground, StoneGable, Tatertots and Jello, Positively Splendid,The 36th Avenue,Jennifer Rizzo, BNOTPASTL, Someday Crafts, French Country Cottage, Bargain Hunting With Laurie

Savvy Southern Style