Saturday, December 15, 2012

...I ask myself – is all hope gone?...

I don’t think so.  I hope not.  This business in Connecticut has me all bollixed up.  I don’t have children (a combination of inability to carry and a very quiet biological clock).  To be honest, most of the time I don’t even like small children (I don’t steal their candy or tell them the Easter bunny is a big fat lie or anything like that)  I just don’t have a lot of experience being around them for extended periods of time.

But I have a younger brother.  He’s going to be 50 (gah…it pains me to write that) in March.  When I heard about this horror in Connecticut yesterday, I immediately thought of him and this favorite photograph of the two of us:

I don’t know how old we were when it was taken, but we’re obviously very young.  The cabin in the background is where my grandfather and great grandfather were born and we were visiting there with my dad and grandfather.  We must have gotten distracted and wandered off; someone took this photo of us picking cotton.  I love it ~ it shows two children simply being children and enjoying the sun and family and just being alive…something those sweet little ones in Newtown will never be able to do.

Most people who know me think I’m a tie dye wearing, bleeding heart liberal, but I like to think of myself as a “nice”~ican or a “kind”~ocrat.  I hate knee jerkism on both sides of the aisle.  I think that people who need it should have assistance, but it shouldn’t be permanent enough to become a generational source of income.  I think people with eleventy billion dollars in assets should probably kick in more in taxes, but more importantly should strive to do good things with those blessings in their bank accounts.  I don’t think kindness and generosity and empathy and love and morality can be legislated.

I don’t have any answers.  I don’t think now, when the details of this monstrous event are changing by the minute, is the right time to start debates.  I guess the one stand I will take is that I don’t understand why anyone (military personnel, law enforcement, etc. excluded) needs assault weaponry.

If Nick Lowe hadn’t already written this, he would have surely written it yesterday:

"What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?"

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bedroom Progress Report

I've been doing a lot of work on my bedroom (I have two bedrooms) here at the little cottage, and I thought I'd post an update.

When I first saw the house, this is what the bedroom looked like:

Beautifully refinished floors and good sunlight

Two cedar lined closets

I wasn't thrilled with the paint color, but my landlords are really great people and I was assured I could paint it any color I wished.

This is how the bedroom looked for the first two years I lived here.  The linens were from my former color scheme:

At first, I thought I wanted to use the same color scheme.  But the more blogs I read and the more I thought about things, I decided I really wanted a change.  I wanted something Parisian and elegant.  After many months of plotzing about wall color, I took a sample of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Paris Grey” and had the nice folks at Home Depot dupe it in Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra.

Even though the Premium Plus Ultra has a built in primer, my OCD/paranoid self was concerned about going from a darker color to a lighter one.  I wanted to the Paris Grey to be true, and not adulterated by the existing wall color.  So, I Killz’d the room first.  

Here are the results so far:

That's the same bed; I primed it and then painted it
Paris Grey so it would kind of "float" in the room.  There are
floral motifs on the headboard; these I silver leafed along
with the ball finials on the head and footboard (I can see
the ones on the footboard are

The brocade stencil was purchased at  I mixed
Paris Grey and Valspar's "String of Pearls" 50/50 for the
stencils.  The mirror is the same from the "before" photos; I 
silver leafed it and painted the linen band that runs around 
the inside of the frame with Valspar's "Pale Violet"

The mirror is a $5.00 flea market find.  The rim is made of
metal roses; they were originally brassy gold.  I silver leafed
every other one, then painted the remaining ones in the Pale Violet
The angels are white china; they are from my childhood.

I have an ugly fuse box on the bedroom wall to the left of the bed.  
I picked up this frame, and the one below, at a flea market this summer for
$10.00 each.  I painted them with String of Pearls, Pale Violet, and some silver leaf
detail (this one needs to be finished).  I'm going to have mirror cut for each of them
I like this solution to the fugly fuse box, as it will give some added light to the room.

And because (as usual) my photos stink, it's
hard to tell I painted "Bonne Nuit"..

...and "Beaux Reves" around the mirror frames

There's even a wreath for Christmas

The only remaining things to do are drapes (plain white linen panels on clip rings) and a slipcover for the chair.  I'm going to use these:

So...that's a (not very) brief update on my bedroom

I am linking to:

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Transformation Thursdays The Shabby Creek Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Keep Your Elf On A Shelf...

...I have a Dog By A Log  : )

It's a cold, damp day here in Bugtussle, so a fire is just the thing:

(the match holder was the victim of an unfortunate encounter
between a German shepherd and a Murphy's Oil Soap'd floor)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How To Keep Those Pots...Hot!?

I have my mother's Birmingham Silver tea and coffee service.  It has a teapot, a coffee pot, a sugar bowl and a cream pitcher, along with a large tray.

I am unsure of the actual pattern name; I've seen it called "pumpkin" or "lily of the valley" from the little floral decorations.  You can see the detail better in this stolen borrowed photo:

My predicament is how to keep the contents of the teapot and the coffee pot...well, hot.  I have seen the "samovar" versions, but it appears the pots have to be configured specially for that set up (knobs on the pots to fit into the samovar brackets).

I thought this item would work, but I am concerned that the legs of the pots will interfere with them balancing on the warmer base:

Does anyone have any ideas?  Do they make (did they make?) a spirit lamp setup or a tea candle thing that would work with that style of pot?

Any and all answers are appreciated it; I wanted to serve tea and hot chocolate at my January open house and no matter how beautiful the service, cold ain't gonna cut it.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

first snow of 2012

We had the our first snow of the year yesterday; it was just enough to make everything look pretty.  I think Cody, The World's Least Scary German Shepherd is having none of it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

I've been pretty busy lately; painting my living room and other personal stuff.  I decorated for Christmas over the past Thanksgiving weekend and here are the results.

I have so many people to thank for letting me steal their ideas inspiring me:  Amy Chalmers at Maison Decor for her wall paint color suggestion, Life Is a Party for the inspiration for the coffee table greenery arrangement, Rosemary at Villa Barnes for the beautiful sewing drawer in which I made the arrangement, many sites for the roses made from book pages (they really are easy and are so effective), One Girl In Pink for inspiring my "Joyeux Noel" sign, Shelley at Sow and Dipity for the Mason jar luminaries (these are simple and incredibly beautiful), Marian at Miss Mustard Seed for the glittery pine cone reminder, and my mom, for choosing such beautiful furniture and crystal and made the perfect backdrop.  There are so many others ... I am always so amazed at the talent out there in blogland...I hope to come close to that some day.

I don't know that I had a "theme" ... I guess it would be silver and white (original, huh?)  I tried to have elements (the book flowers, the natural pieces, the lumiaries) flow from area to area for some attempt at cohesion.

My tree is pink.  I wanted a pink tree, dammit.  Most of the ornaments are vintage Shiny Brites that I either had or collected over the past year via eBay auctions.

Some notes:

95% of the things I already owned.  The other 4% came from the Dollar Store (for reals), and the remaining 1% was from Michaels or Home Depot.  All the silver and crystal and things belonged to my mother. The "tree skirt" is a $14.99 silver lame tablecloth from TJMaxx.

I also lucked out on the greenery; because of the big storm here a few weeks ago, a neighbor lost an enormous evergreen.  He was kind enough to let me have as many cuttings as I wanted.  This saved me beaucoup bucks.

Things I learned:

  • White and grey spray paint can turn a hideously cheap looking wreath into something pretty nice.  
  • That spray "snow" is straight from the inner rings of Hell.  I did much better with Ivory Satin and Winter Gray spray paint and some spray glitter
  • Decorating will always take longer than you thought it would.  Always.
  • There's a certain bittersweet feeling about doing all of this when you know you'll be alone at Christmas.

Standard Disclaimer:  my photos always stink.

Living Room

Coffee Table

End Tables

Bar Area


Dining Room

Tea Table

I am linking to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Newbie w/a Twist Party @ Debbiedoo's 
Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Countdown To Christmas @ Dixie n Dottie
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence
A Homespun Christmas/Vignettes and Mantels Party @  Savvy Southern Style
Fall Into Fall @ DIY by Design
Show Off Your Christmas Tree @ DIY Showoff