Monday, November 28, 2011 3 comments

Having Fun with Holiday Decorating...

It's so easy to get caught up in all of the craziness that comes with the holidays but I'm one of those people that refuses to let it stress me out.  After all, this is supposed to be a time of celebrating and coming together right?  I always put my Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving and this year, I decided to buy a flocked tree.   I remember having a flocked tree when I was younger and we used to decorate it with colorful kitschy ornaments and multicolor lights.  That's the mood I'm in this year.  I wanted something that was fun, colorful and cheery.  I wanted to do something that was NOT traditional and not serious but more festive.  It all started on a trip to the Salvation Army last month.  I came across a beautiful black velvet skirt that had this gorgeous and colorful beading and detailing on it.  It was a full skirt that had this Mayan theme all around it.  It included the Mayan calendar, Mayan ruins, Mayan Indians, and an Eagle with a snake in it's mouth.  The pictures were a combination of hand painting and hand sewn sequins of every color.  It was beautiful and truly a piece of art.  I tried it on thinking this would be fun for a Christmas party but it was a little small.  I couldn't leave this so I decided to make it my Christmas Tree skirt.  This was the inspiration for my colorful tree.  I used this along with a few boxes of very colorful vintage decorations I got from my Grandmother who used to throw awesome parties back in the day.  These decorations I've had for a long time and most of them were never opened.  I'm so glad that I finally got to use these and although this tree is unlike any other tree I've ever done, it's colorful and festive and that's just the way I want it this year.  My girls love it and HH says it's a nice change. I wound up buying a few of those large shatterproof ornaments to fill in a few spots but that's it. However you decide to decorate for the Holidays, I hope it makes you feel festive and puts a smile on your face.  If you're tired of doing the same thing every year, consider changing it up by adding some over sized decorations or incorporate some non traditional items like old necklaces or scarves and tie them on the tree...  It's time to celebrate.  Have fun with it. 




Thursday, November 10, 2011 1 comments

Before and After........ Gabriella's Room

Well, it's finally complete.  The project we started many weeks ago (but who's counting???) is finally finished and she l o v e s it. This project involved more work for me since I made the cushion and pillows but I love the way it turned out too.  Let me give you the breakdown of what we have.  The Roman Shade for the window works well here because it's clean looking and looks good rolled up which is how it is most of the time.  I've decided I'm going to add a colorful bad to the shade but I haven't decided if that's going to be ribbon or fabric.  As for the cushion and pillows, I deconstructed and used an Anthropologie quilt I bought at a resale shop for $30. I separated the layers and took out the cotton middle (saved it for another use), lined the fabric with muslin for added strength and then made the pillows and cushion cover.  I used snap tape for a closure so everything can be removed and washed.  The patterns are different on the other side of the pillows and cushion so there's a whole other look if she gets tired of it.  The mirrors I've had in the attic (they are vintage) and I like the way it looks against the bookcase.  It's one nail hole so if Gabriella gets tired of it, off they go.  The little ikat bowl is from Anthropologie, and the blue numbers are gas station numbers that I bought from a local dealer.  That blue color is really pretty and looks great with the touches of red, orange and yellow. The vintage set of Children's Encyclopedias have beautiful gold detailing that go well with the Mum knobs I found in the clearance bin at Anthropologie.  The pictures above her bed are postcards that I put in Ikea frames that I've had for a long time. The hand painted bird dishes in the cool plate holders came from a thrift store.  The bed, night stands, french desk and chair are all resale finds that I've gotten over time very inexpensively.  I tell Gabriella that her desk is probably one of the nicest pieces of furniture in our house. It's a solid, well made and beautiful piece of furniture.   The little metal tulip looking tables I think are from Ikea but I got them at a thrift store.  They are easy to move and they make a great footrest when you're sitting on the window seat.  The lamps by her bed are from Marshall's Homegoods and the desk lamp is from Target.   That should about cover it.  Thanks again to my fabulous HH for all of his hard work and dedication to making our home beautiful.  We both agree that our children should have a beautiful and comfortable space to call their own.  A place just like we have where they can retreat, get a goods night's sleep, do homework or hang out with friends. We feel that children appreciate a nice space just like any older person and with that nice space comes the responsibility of respecting their "house" by keeping it neat and clean.  This is something that our girls understand and honor not because we tell them to (OK sometimes we do...) but because they want their space to stay nice.  Of course, it's the creative process, the search for items and making it all come together that drives me.  The finished rooms are a story of happenstance, hard work, attention to detail and a thoughtfulness that hopefully translates into a comfortable and creative space.  So, let's see what we came up with.  Here's the space before.....

And here it is now........










So, what do you think?  I still think we need some additional pieces for her bookcase but the fun will be in finding them.  Of course one day I would love to get rid of this wood floor and replace it with something nicer.  Hopefully that will come sooner than later. For the rest of this year, we are going to do some small things around the house and I am going to finish the office.  We are hoping to start demo in the Master Bathroom in January.  I'll keep you posted as always.

What kinds of projects are you working on?  Is there any one project you'd like to finish before the holidays?  I'd love to hear about them. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011 1 comments

Vanity Reveal!

I'm just about finished with Gabriella's room and I thought I would give you a quick update on that first.  Today, HH will finish putting in the recessed lights and I will finish making the pillows for her bench. I'm still filling her bookshelves and I found some cute knobs in the sale bin at Anthro last weekend that will look great (and they got the "thumbs up" from Gabriella) on the cabinet doors. Can't wait to show you the finished room!  Now, on to the vanity.  I finally found a stool for my vanity.  I thought initially that I wanted a round stool but then decided on this one when I saw it.  If fills in the opening in the vanity better and it has an art deco feel which I like.  After I painted the stool, I went over to High Fashion Home and found this beautiful animal print fabric.  The fabric is heavy and lush and I love how it blends with the rest of the room.  The lamp shades are covered in fabric that I cut from some lounge pants I bought at the Salvation Army. I loved the print and it works perfect for lamp shades. Can I just say one thing about the Salvation Army?  After speaking with my 95 year old grandmother a few weeks ago, I learned something about the Salvation Army that I want to share with you (Forgive me in advance if I ramble.  I don't want to leave anything out).  She was telling me that one of her friends passed away and she was reading her obituary and the card from her service.  She was a wealthier woman and it was noted that she was donating everything she had to the Salvation Army.  It was also requested that donations be made to the Salvation Army in lieu of flowers.  My grandma told me that when this woman was young, her husband had left her and her children with nothing and that the Salvation Army basically provided for her and her family until she was able to get on her feet. This woman had been forever grateful and felt like the Salvation Army saved her life and her family.  My grandma also mentioned to me that when my grandpa was in Iwo Jima (he was a decorated Marine), they didn't have any cigarettes and were asking around to see where they could get some.  He told her the Red Cross was charging them money for cigarettes but the Salvation Army came out to them and gave them out for free.  This clearly earned the Salvation Army a heightened respect among the Marines at that time and place.  After hearing that, it created a new level of respect and appreciation for me too. I'll be sure to put some extra money in the "kettle" this year at Christmas and shake the hand and thank the bell ringer for all of their charitable work.  Another reason to feel good about shopping at the Salvation Army.  Now, back to the vanity...  Want to see it?  Here's the vanity before:

and here's the stool before:

and here's what it looks like now:



I really do love having this special place to get ready.  I wonder if the woman that had this before me loved it as much as I do?