Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fun with Pond Scum

It's time to confess our little secret. Dr Doolittle and I suffer from the heartbreak of pond scum. It's pretty disgusting. I love our little pond, but it has issues.

Today, Doc invited me to come along on a little boat ride to help scatter fish fertilizer. The fertilizer apparently is good for the pond and bad for the scum. That's what we were told. We sure hope it's not something that turns out to be bad for the environment.

The boat ride turned out to be really, really pleasant. The day was on the cool side, but the wind was not bad, the sun was bright and the skies were incredibly blue. Doc did all the paddling after coming to the conclusion that I wasn't going exactly where he told me to go. I'll have to remember that for future excursions. I was able to sit back like Cleopatra and be chauffeured around.

Even with all the ick in the pond, the water was still clear enough to see in the water. It was hypnotic.

Partway through our boat ride, Miss Lulu decided to join us. She swam out to the boat, realized getting in would be a problem, went back to the bank, got out and ran like mad for a few minutes to dry off. OR maybe she was running to warm up. I know the water had to be awfully cold and Lulu definitely prefers to be warm. As an interesting side note, after she dried, her coat was incredibly soft. It's usually coarse and bristly. Hmmm... Maybe I should market our pond scum as some sort of exotic hair conditioner.

By the way, the boat was given to us by our sweet friends, Janie and Charles. The oar was made by Dr. Doolittle himself. Life is good. Days like this sure are sweet.

An Award!!!! and Time for a Change

From early early morning (sometimes hideously early) til around 7 o'clock, I am perky and energetic and happy. At 7pm, something happens. It's as if I am unplugged and totally deflate. I become a whimpering slug, unable to do anything but sit and periodically wander the house in an effort not to go to bed at an hour considered normal only if you are in your 90s.

It's time for a change!

I have just been back into the working world for 3 weeks. I really like my job. The people I work with are great. I am working at an accounting firm. That may not sound like fun, but if you ask me, any job is all about the people you work with. My job is great. The hours are long - longer than I was looking for, but that's just through tax season. I'll be part time after that. Meanwhile, I have to figure out a way to have at least a few hours of quality time at home Monday through Friday. Yesterday, I may have come close to a solution - at least a short term one. I having been taking a daily multivitamin every morning. Yesterday I took it at lunch. I was awake and joyful all evening. Dr. Doolittle was thrilled to have a wife who could actually carry on a conversation and laugh and have fun. I didn't accomplish anything tangible - I chose to have fun and spend time with the hubby - far more important than anything on my mile long to-do list. I am crossing my fingers that the mid-day vitamin will be life changing through tax season.

One example of how low energy my life has been lately is that I was honored to receive an award for my blog THREE DAYS AGO. Had I been myself, I would have posted about this the absolute minute I found out. Instead, I was thrilled and too tired to do a thing. Too tired to post. Too tired to call (or even email) my friends and tell them about it. Too tired to jump for joy or twirl in delight. FYI - twirling is truly a fun way to express delight. I highly recommend it.

Amber at A Small Peek into My World, passed this award to me. Amber is from Oklahoma. I haven't told her, but I used to live in Oklahoma. I lived there for a couple of years - third and fourth grade. I'm in my 50's now, so that was ages ago. Oklahoma has always remained dear to my heart - I loved it. Amber also has a craft blog - Dottles and an Etsy site where she sells some of the cute things she makes. I just love creative people!
Now, I am to pass this award along to 4 other blogs, thus, spreading the love. I have so many blogs I love. Many of them are pretty well known and have tons of awards already. I just don't know. It's so hard to choose. I think I'll just go with a few blogs I have just discovered and highly recommend.

I choose Simple Green Frugal Co-op because I love anything that promotes green living. A number of people work together to keep this blog going. It has some wonderful tips.

I choose The Happy Zombie, which I have just discovered. It's just fabulous. Right away the colors of the blog wowed me. I love fun, perky colors. The name appealed to me as well, since of late, I have been quite happy, but turn into a zombie in the evenings. And finally, all the posts I have read so far have been wonderful and inspiring.

We Are That Family is an awesome blog. Kristen is young with kids and has great style. She has a love affair with her glue gun and can perform all sorts of magic with it. She has great style - all the while watching her pennies. Plus, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that her house is lived in and her photos don't try to hide the mess. Mess is not the right word to use. Toys and things showing signs of a family enjoying their home should never be referred to as mess.

For my fourth, award, I choose A Year of Crockpotting. Stephanie made a vow in 2008 to use her crock pot EVERY DAY. She posted about each of her recipes. She has mastered the crock pot and this blog is a treasure trove of advice. A Crock Pot is not usually considered fine cuisine. However, on a day when one has little time and is likely to be lacking in energy by evening, a crock pot meal is far, far better than, say... cereal.

And speaking of change...
We have change all over the house. Dr. Doolittle has been emptying his pockets every day into every spare container in the house for years. Every now and then, I go on a coin rolling rampage. We are always surprised at the amount. Some years we have donated the money to a worthy cause. I know one family who collects their change all year and every Christmas they give the total to a family in need.

This year, with the economy (and our budget) in a tight fix, we could use that change. I can't decide what to do. It would take ages to roll all the coins. Coin machines charge about 9 dollars for every 100 rolled. I really don't want to give away those 9 dollars. I could use the nine dollars towards a really fabulous dog bowl, like the one Tracy posted about on Notes From A Cottage Industry. OR you can get the coins rolled for free if you use the money towards an e-card to certain stores - Lowes, Overstock.com, Amazon.com, etc. I like those stores but I'm not sure if I want to be locked in.

For now, I am slowly taking coins out of the miscellaneous containers around the house, like this old cigar box...

and I am putting them into this Amish-made container near my hall tree and every time I leave the house with the possibility of spending money, I am taking along a bunch of coins. At the cash register I always ask if they mind if I give them extra change. I've never had anyone complain a bit.

This isn't a perfect solution. My purse is heavier than usual. It's likely to take ages to use up all the coins. But until I decide on a better course of action, at least I'm making some progress.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ode to Floss Spools

Under a Blue Moon is one of my favorite blogs to read. It is full of good ideas, wonderful inspiring photos AND as a bonus, the writing is really entertaining. This week I have been going back through Andrea's old posts - the ones before I discovered her - and came across her handmade floss spools. Now those spools are just floating through my head. I love them. Keep in mind that I haven't cross stitched or embroidered in years. It doesn't matter. If I had these spools I know I would pick it up again.
I emailed Andrea about them and asked permission to picture them on my blog. Here's what she said -

I did make them and they were super easy. I bought a dowel (I want to say it was a quarter inch in diameter or so) and cut it into four or five inch pieces. Then I slightly sharpened each end in a pencil sharpener (just to taper it slightly). I bought the little finial ends at JoAnns (a craft and fabric store - not sure how widespread they are). The finial ends have a little hole already drilled in them so I just put in a drop of glue and jammed them on the ends of the dowel pieces.

Then I painted them. I got the idea from Heather Bailey's website.
http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/

I can just see oodles of them in a vintage bowl. The bowl would sit on a table next to a cozy, cushy chair where I would sit to peacefully sew in the evenings. That's the dream scenario. In our house... the house of Dr. Doolittle who attracts stray animals like a Pied Piper... those floss spools would need to stay under cover most of the time. Otherwise a couple of bad, bad (but adorable) kitty cats would have a field day scattering them throughout the house.
This, by the way, is Cindy Lou (also known as Cindy Lou Who, Doodlebug or Sugarbug). The photo was taken over a year ago. She's bigger now and a bit pudgy, but still young enough to love trouble. She and her partner in crime, Sissy, would just love those floss spools!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spring Teaser

We've had more cold weather than we're used to in Georgia this winter. And it's been much wetter. Unfortunately the cold and wet don't come at the same time, so I haven't seen snow. After being dry as a bone for years, I felt sure I'd never complain again about too much rain. The muddy spots all around our house have changed my mind on that. And by the way, why is it that whenever I walk outside with Crocs on, I step right into a muddy sinkhole?

Back to the topic - all about our muddy front yard, daffodils are coming up. And I'd been too busy to notice. The picture above is the first one to bloom. After looking it over and becoming completely excited and delirious with the prelude to Spring Fever, I noticed that there are a bunch more all promising to bloom before too long. Naturalized! In my front yard! Making a sneak appearance in January! Woo-hoo!

I love Spring. I don't care that Georgia turns yellow from pollen. Winter is like the beginning of the Wizard of Oz where the movie is in black and white. Spring is in living color - where Dorothy meets the munchkins and Glenda the Good Witch. And in Georgia, all the roads turn yellow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Recipe Collection Books

Several years back, my eyes changed. I'm already nearsighted. When I was young I figured that as I aged and began to become farsighted my nearsightedness would gradually correct itself. By the time I was a bonafide senior citizen, I'd have perfect vision. It seemed fair and reasonable after years of being blind as a bat.

Unfortunately, things turned out UNfair and UNreasonable and I now have issues seeing close up AND far away. I wear trifocals and when at the computer, often put a second pair of glasses over my first. Attractive.

The most irritating sign of my vision loss was when reading my recipes. I had a grand collection, all on 3x5 index cards with tiny writing. Something had to be done. Problems often lead to great discoveries. My problem led to a fun creation which brings me joy every time I cook.

I spent a summer (I was a teacher, so summers were all about big projects) converting all my recipes to full size, large print recipe pages, organized into notebooks.
The large print was a big improvement, but I also wanted the notebooks to look happy. I took a trip to my favorite scrapbook store (sadly it's now closed) and bought happy paper. I used that to decorate the cover of each notebook.
I've always been drawn to cookbooks with photos. I decided my recipe pages should have photos or pictures. I didn't plan to cook and photograph everything that summer, so to start with I mostly used pictures or clip art of food.

Some of the recipes in my collection come from favorite blogs. They have photos and I love to put those on the pages. They are so pretty and it reminds me of my blog friends. The recipe on the right came from Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy. Her food photos always make me hungry.

Some of my pages don't have photos or clip art. I used fun border paper to print them on.

Now, why did this picture come up sideways? I redid it over and over.  
Please turn sideways to look at it! :-D

I usually have one of my books out on display. I have two display possibilities. One is a decorative iron stand. The other is an old wooden book stand which came from my grandmother. I usually keep the book open to a page with something I plan on making soon.

Another idea is to keep the page open to something seasonal. Hot chocolate pictures are fun to see in January. It makes me feel cozy when it's cold outside.

Over the years, I've fine tuned my recipes - especially the directions. I've made notes about substitutions, which pans are best, reworked the order of things to do for efficiency and more.

This is one project that has made a wonderful difference in my life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Wonderful Pantry

In my previous home, which we're still moving out of, I had a small kitchen. I love to buy in bulk when something is on sale so I had to come up creative storage solutions. Those solutions were in other rooms, so I had kitchen things spread throughout the house. After living in that house for 22 years, I had plenty of time to think about the kitchen of my dreams. And I'm not talking about looks (though I do love things to look pretty). I'm talking function. When designing the new house, I made my dreams come true in the kitchen. I have a fabulous pantry and I promise I will be grateful for it every day.

The pantry is about 12ft by 6 ft. The first thing you see is a pair of French doors. Those doors came out of my grandparent's first house - the house my grandmother's father built for them. We have had them quite a while, knowing that one day we'd be able to use them.

I spent a million hours looking at kitchens in books and on the internet. When looking at kitchen styles, I started noticing that the kitchens I liked best had something about them that was a little unexpected. Most of the room matched, but there was always some element that was a totally different color and style. Sometimes I'd cover that element with my finger and try to imagine the room without it. Without the fun element, the room seemed boring and a bit lifeless.

I knew I didn't want my grandmother's doors to fade into the background. They were going to be my fun element. These doors are now painted in a color that I love - a color that exactly matches some old turquoise Universal Ballerina bowls that came from her. Every time I see the doors, I feel happy just thinking of my grandmother. I really miss her.

We have some glass knobs that will be put on the doors as soon as my dear hubby (Dr. Doolittle) can get to it. Right now there are a zillion higher priority things on his to-do list.

When you open the pantry doors, the first thing you see, centered across from the doorway, is an old hoosier. I have two hoosiers. The other is in our laundry room. Hoosiers are so functional. When I bring in groceries, I can pull out the metal counter and put the bags there while I put things away. Plus, I have a ton of storage inside the doors. I should probably do a while post on my hoosier one day.

The rest of the Hoosier wall is filled with shelves. Right now the shelves are just the basic wire shelves, but one day, I hope to have built in wood ones. Dr. D is actually feels even more strongly about this than I do, so my chances of actually getting them built are high! I love open shelves. I love that I can glance about and quickly see what's there.

I love using baskets and bins to contain things. The fact that they look pretty on the shelves is a bonus.

We also have some appliances in the pantry. We have the freezer and microwave. As soon as I find the perfect shelf unit (or get one built), we'll have the microwave, dehydrator and breadmaker on the wall opposite the freezer.

Lately, Dr. D has been encroaching a bit in MY pantry. He has moved big bags of dog food and dog bowls in. At first they were on the freezer and I could ignore them. Now, he's starting to shove my stuff around to give him even more room. I know a minor hissy fit would not produce desired results, so I'm going to have to come up with a nice way to contain these things that we both will be happy with. Any ideas?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunny Window Garden

One thing I love about my house is that it's passive solar. The south side has windows galore - upstairs and down - and that's a golden opportunity for plants.

In the old house, I would put a few plants into our crawlspace every fall and let them go dormant. I have been able to keep geraniums and mandevillas alive for years that way. I'd put them away for the winter. No water, no sun. They'd look dead, but come spring, I'd put them outside and they'd come back to life. It would take a couple of months before they looked decent, but it worked.

As we were moving, I brought some of my plants inside the house. Since we were still working in the main rooms, I stuck the plants in the attic space. We have a large, well insulated attic just off the loft. There are windows on each end. By the time I moved the plants there, they were already looking pretty lousy - they'd put on their show for the year and were done.

The plants did well in the attic. They continued to grow even though I kept forgetting to water them. About a month ago, I moved a few of them to the south windows in the loft. They are really bouncing back.


The mandevilla has new growth. I'm probably going to prune it back soon. I read in an article about overwintering mandevilla's, that this should be done. As you can see from the photos above, it's pretty leggy and needs pruning. The tips section also says you can root this plant from cuttings. I've done that from a number of plants, but had no idea mandevillas would root. Yeah!
The geraniums LOVE the sunny windows. I've never been able to keep geraniums blooming like this.

And here's the biggest surprise - I have cherry tomatoes. This plant looked pitiful when I brought it in. I thought it would be ditched soon, but I just wanted to see how it would react - sort of an experiment. My goodness. I've already had 8 cherry tomatoes from this plant and it continues to flower. I wish I'd brought it in when it still looked pretty nice.
One of these days - maybe next year - I'd like to grow lettuce indoors. I read about it ages ago and the article intrigued me. This person kept 3 or 4 lettuce plants going all winter and tore a few leaves off every time she wanted a salad. We eat a lot of salads around here so that would be great!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Organizing the Bathroom Closet

First - The beautiful print I won from Mary at Little Red House came today! It's beautiful! So serene and peaceful - exactly what I need right now! Winning that print was such a gift in so many ways.

Moving to a new house is quite an ordeal. We were at our last house for a little over 22 years. We have most of our things "home" now, but they are necessarily where they should be. Organizing is something I both want and need to do. I love organizing - so you'll hear no complaining! I'm going to carve out time for that as often as I can.

My latest accomplishment was making sense of our bathroom things. We have less storage space in our bathroom in this house right now, which means my first task was to pare down. That was easy enough. I was surprised at the number of old things I still had on hand - for instance, sunscreen that had to have been way beyond its expiration date. Then I grouped all the things I needed to store in the closet. Most everything was pretty well grouped already so that didn't take too long. Next I gathered bins and baskets that would fit the space in the tiny closet. I had plenty to choose from. Next I decided which items were best suited for each bin. and put them there. The final step, my personal favorite - label! You can see the results of my efforts below.

I still consider this a work in progress. I would prefer that everything match a little better. I may have a touch of OCD. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the organization so far, but there is just something really nice about opening up a closet that's not only well organized, but pretty, too!

If you love organizing and are a bit of a neat freak, you'll LOVE this blog from Sweden - Chez Larsson. In fact, if you just wish you were neater, Benita's blog will inspire you. Be sure to go through lots of her old posts!

Monday, January 12, 2009

One Idea Leads to Another

Sitting down to catch up on my favorite blogs is seldom a straight path. I constantly get off track. The rewards for wandering are great, so this is one habit I don't plan on breaking.

This morning, I was reading the latest from Jane's Apron. What is it about old sewing patterns that evoke such wonderful feelings? Anyway, Miss Jane found a great source for seam binding - not in the little bitty packs - 100 yard spools! Its a shop on Ebay, called Zipperstop. So I had to go take a look there.

Back to Jane - she went on to tell about what she did with the binding she bought - she edged her dressed up clipboards. She sells them at her shop on Lollishops. I know about Etsy. What is Lollishops? I stopped over to peek at Jane's Lollishop. Then I checked out her clipboards where she used the seam binding and then her collages.
The collage is wonderful and it comes hanging from a french laundry hanger. Next I became obsessed with the hanger... a French Laundry Hanger. Anytime something is labeled French, it somehow sounds better. If these little cuties were just called Laundry Hangers, would they sound so special? No. Well I digress. I had to find these little gems. A quick Google search led me to Red Lead Paperworks. The hangers are only $4 each. Here's the description:

a French Laundry Hanger - The French Laundry Hanger is 5" long with 2 spring clips.Clip your favorite photos, artwork, atc's, scrap-pages, anything you can think of for instant home decor!

I have a ton of ideas for how to use these, starting with my office. I know they'd be naturally suited for my sewing area, but it's my office that begs for them.

Now, time to get back to Jane's Apron to catch up on another post! And then, I have a bunch more favorite blogs to check out.

Ooohhh. I can't blog long - I have to go to work. (I've come out of retirement, as of today.) How will I ever be able to do all the things I want to do? I don't know, but Tracy at Notes from a Cottage Industry will be my inspiration. I'd better go read up on her blog!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Day Scott's Antique Market

On Saturday, Nancy (my sister-in-law) and I went to Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta. It's open once a month. I haven't been in years. It was full of eye candy. Unfortunately, I am on a tight, tight budget, so I came home empty handed, but full of dreams.

That morning, I carefully packed fruit, water, camera, a lightweight purse, measurements of things I could really use and more. I took off and walked right out without the fruit, water, and camera. Ugh! A mind is a terrible thing to lose! Oh, well. I knew I could get food there and my cell phone has a camera. But unfortunately, the cell phone battery was low. I only got a few photos and they weren't all that great.

Still, I'll share a couple.

A pillow is the first thing I saw that passed my "fabulous test". The photo below just doesn't capture the look and feel. The design of it first caught my attention. Angela (www.classic-cottage.com) designed them and the one I loved most was made with a special toile from France and stuffed with down. It was so soft and cushy - I could have spent the rest of the day with that pillow! And it was incredibly well made. I wish I had taken a photo of Angela - she was really nice! Her entire booth was filled with things I would have loved in my home.

I recognize a number of the things I saw in the booth listed on her web site. Plus, one of her photos shows a set of "my" pillows being used as back and seat cushions on a garden settee. Ooohhhhh... if only I were rich!

Now, if any of you purchase something from her store, be sure to tell her you found her through my blog. She was nice enough to give me permission to take the photo and use it here.
Obviously, I am wild about toile. I spotted this jacket at another booth. It came from a booth ran by Market on Main, in Tucker, GA. Unfortunately, they don't have a web site listed on their card. They also had a fabulous kitchen island. I took a photo of it as well, but it came out dark and no amount of retouching would make it worth showing.

At another booth, I fell in love with the furniture made and designed by Don & Kathy Gross. They came all the way from Austin, Texas. They only come to Atlanta twice a year - January and June. (Maybe by June I can afford to make a purchase.) Don was really nice, but reluctant for me to take photos, so I didn't. He was worried that having them on a blog would make them easy for someone to copy. He does however have a web site - http://austinwoodhenge.com. The web site has photos. I hope somebody reads this blog and then goes to their site and makes a purchase. Again, if you do, please let them know how you found them. I sure would love to convince Don that even though the internet may give some an opportunity to copy, it also can bring in business. And for anyone thinking they'd like to copy Don's designs, let me tell you, his stuff is sooooo well made and fabulous, you'd be better off purchasing from him!

I fell in love with their coat rack shelves. Here's the description from their web site-
Our shelves and wallhangers are made with crown molding (wallhangers) and handmade brackets (shelves), and are 38" long. We use old doorplates, antique brass cowtags, spools, and any other cool antique parts we can find. They have pegs to hang your hats, umbrellas, coats and backpacks. He also had some large benches that were amazing - I didn't see them pictured anywhere on the web site.

Now back at home, I am left to dream of toile jackets and down pillows and unique furniture, all hand made with love. Why buy (or give) handmade? Click here to find out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Love This Bathroom But I Don't Know Why

I found this bathroom on Coastal Living's Design Assistant. You can read more about it here.

The thing is, if you had shown me most of the things in this room individually, I would have turned up my nose. I would have looked for a better mirror. I most certainly never would have chosen the cabinet. I would have been skeptical of painting the window trim blue. In fact, where did that come from - do you see any other bits of blue in the room?

Nothing in this room would have made my heart race. But, the first time I saw the photo, I nearly swooned (Don't you love that word? - It's so dramatic!). Even now, I love to study the photo and try to get to the bottom of why it works. I don't know if I'll ever figure it out. But it does give me hope. I have so many things in my house that don't look just right and don't go with other things in the house. But maybe.... once I get all the way moved in and play around some more with what goes where, just maybe it will make me swoon.

Now, I'm getting tickled. What if it's so bad it makes me pass out?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Slipcovers

Slipcovers protect furniture from kids, pets, husbands, pizza, and life. - Wolfcrik (You Tube)

Slipcovers will keep me from being featured on an episode of "Snapped" after looking at really ugly furniture for one day longer than I could stand. - Denise (First a Dream)

If you've think you might one day be tempted to make a slipcover, you really should take a look at the tutorial on Pink and Polka Dot! She calls it The Laziest Slipcover Tutorial Ever, but I call it the best slipcover tutorial ever! I've made a few slipcovers and I know it would have been easier if I'd had her tutorial. I really NEED to make some slipcovers for the hodgepodge of furniture now sitting in my den.



Karla's Cottage posted an idea for slipcovers with a twist. It involves the "crazy quilt layering of fabrics" inspired by the Magnolia Pearl book.

Here are some other lovely slipcover photos from the web. Unfortunately, I don't know where these photos originated, so I can give credit.







Swirly Floors and Another Try at a Hairstyle

First, some news I forgot to tell yesterday - I won a print from Little Red House! I love Mary's blog. Her house is amazing and the photos she takes are fabulous! If you haven't seen her blog before, go back through her archive - you'll love it. Do you want to see the photo I won? Click here. It's so pretty - tranquil, ethereal... just wonderful. I will always treasure it. Be sure to take a look at the quote under the photo, too. That quote really spoke to me the day I read Mary's blog. I have some dreams and am trying to take the steps to make them happen. I think winning the photo is another sign that I am on the right track. My photo win resulted in something else that's amazing. Mary mentioned me and my new blog on her blog. And just like that, I had people I've never met stopping here to visit. And some of them emailed me! Blogging is so much fun. Why did I wait to start?

On with the FLOOR show - Here's the last of the painted floor designs I used in my house. Most people ask if I used a stencil to do this. No. It's sooooo easy. Take a look. It's just a bunch of -S-'s with some swirls and leaves and curly-q things attached. The hardest part was deciding which paintbrush to use. I really enjoyed this technique. It was almost meditative. I used the same technique in my coat closet and loft closet.

HAIR-BRAINED --- Just yesterday, I posted about my new simple and natural haircut (that nobody liked). Now I'm experimenting with un-natural - the usual styling methods involving tools and concoctions which takes years to master. Here it is. So far, the reactions seem far more favorable. And speaking of simple and natural, I think it might be time to set up a brow waxing appointment. And to think, I like to think of myself as some kind of bohemian, free-spirited, hippie chick. What a fake! At least I have a sense of humor.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Guest Room Painted Rug

I wanted to make our guest room a little bit girl-y to encourage two sweet girls to come and stay - Sarah and Eiligh. I wanted a faux rug that would allow me to change the decor whenever I was in the mood. I have a number of quilts with completely different looks. They all have a bit of yellow in them, so the rug would be yellow and white.

I taped the sections. The photo below is a closeup of a taping trick we discovered while taping the loft floor. Putting a putty knife right where you want to cut the tape, makes for a perfect cut. Nancy, my fabulous sister-in-law, soon discovered that the knife wasn't even necessary - the tape tears perfectly straight against the putty knife!


I mixed the yellow paint with glaze - about half and half and painted all the sections. Then I used a stencil to randomly add flowers to the squares.
The rug seemed a bit too bright, so I whitewashed the whole thing. I mixed white paint with glaze and used a rag to wipe the paint across the whole rug. It toned it down and looked so much better.

I added the binding edge to give it a more 3 dimensional edge. I probably should have added some shadowing as well.


Here's the room today. It's still not just right - we are STILL moving stuff from the old house. I didn't know I had that much clutter. I'm thinking I should sign myself up for an HGTV intervention.
On a side note... I got my hair cut two days ago and everyone seems to be going out of their way NOT to comment. That can only mean one thing - it must be really bad. The photo below was taken indoors, immediately after styling, before going outside into the impossibly humid and windy conditions that seem to have taken over in Georgia for the last month. Naturally, no one sees me looking like that. As soon as I step out of the car to open our gate, my hair takes on a life of its own. You know those fabulous curls that some people have when their hair gets damp? Well, I don't have them. Do you remember Rosanne Rosanna Danna's frizzy hairstyle on Saturday Night Live? That should give you an idea of how my hair responds to humidity. When I was younger, a bad hair style would absolutely send me into the depths of depression. Now? No big deal. I like that with this "style" I don't have to try so hard. It stays out of my eyes and out of my way. The long hair was taking way too much time. I like simple and natural. I don't dye my hair. I actually like the gray. Now don't take all this to mean that I don't care how I look. I do. But I don't want to go to great lengths to try to look like somebody I'm not.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Faux Rug Nightmare

In previous posts I have explained how I painted our sub-floors to look like linoleum or a wood floor. At this point in the floor painting process, I was feeling pretty cocky. Everything was turning out better than expected and I was clearly an artistic genius. The round faux rug in the office would bring me right back down to earth with a thud.

Our finances are really tight at this point. The economy is awful. My husband's business had slowed down. Our office needed to be very conducive to bringing in money. I read in a fung shui decorating book that an office with 2 doors should have a round rug, preferably blue or black, to keep the energy from flowing in one door and right out the other. Our money had been going out faster than coming in, so I wasn't going to take any chances. Our office would have a round rug with both blue and black!

Before I painted the wood in the office, I taped off a large circle for the rug.

I painted the circle black, for the background. I decided to make the rug look like a braided rug and the "yarn" would be made of a lot of blues. I began painting and up close it looked pretty similar to the braids in a rug. I was feeling smug. Then I stood up to get a better look at the whole thing. It looked like a giant boob. That should have been my first clue that things weren't going to go well.
Ignoring my doubts, I kept plugging along. I added more and more blues and it wasn't looking good. Well maybe I needed more color. I added reds, then yellows and greens. Oh (insert your favorite cuss word here). It was horrible.

I decided that my luck was so bad for the day that I should just go home. We were still living in the old house at this point. We can't move into the new house until the floors are complete, so a setback like this was quite disheartening.

The next day I came back, retaped the circle, and happily painted over the awful rug. I looked at lots of design ideas. Plates are great inspiration for designs that are circular. There were many designs that would have been nicer, but I needed something fast - plaid fit the bill.
In the days that followed, I added lines.

I added fringe.
I added a black border to look like a bound edge and it really made a difference. It made the rug seem more 3-dimensional. The photo above does not have that border.

Here's a view of the office rug looking towards the coat room. It's not a great photo, but you can see that I also added black squares to tie it in with the coat room floor.

Even after the redo, this rug is my absolute least favorite faux floor treatment. It's not terrible. People often reach down and touch it to see if it's a real rug. I just know I could have done so much better if time hadn't been an issue.

My next post will show my other faux rug, which, thankfully, turned out much better.

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