Sunday, December 29, 2013

Brussel Spouts with Coconut Milk and Toasted Pecans

I've been searching for new healthy ways to cook vegetables so I don't get bored with my new eating plan.  This one was tasty and fairly easy.  It's a keeper.

I found the recipe on Pinterest.  It's posted on the Rachel Schultz blog.  It looks like I'll need to explore her recipes page.

I followed her recipe with no modifications.  Her post has great photos and step by step directions.  She gets the credit here, not me.  I just wanted the recipe on my blog so I can pull it up easily in the future.   Here's what I did -

I bought 1 pound bag of fresh Brussels sprouts.  I removed the ends and cut them in half.  I put them in a skillet (Rachel says medium-high heat).

Then I poured 1 cup of coconut milk over them.  I used organic  coconut milk that comes in a can.  There was a little left over for me to use making something else.

I also had a carton of coconut milk in the frig.  I wasn't sure which to use or if it even made a difference.  The canned version is thicker and probably contains a good bit more coconut oil.  I thought it would stick to the bottom of the pan, but nooooo.  That was no problem at all.

Fast Update:  I just came across this interesting post on The Sprouting Seed about making your own coconut milk.  I used to make my own almond milk and this looks almost as easy.  I need to get back to doing that.

The milk slowly disappears.   I needed to stir occasionally, but I didn't have to stand over them.  I probably watched them closer than necessary this first time since I wasn't sure what to expect.  I continued cooking ‘til I don’t see any more white from the milk.

Next I added 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ cup pecans and stirred those around and let them toast until golden brown.  Interestingly, the pan only started getting icky on the bottom after the olive oil was added.
When done Rachel says to remove them from the pan and season with salt and pepper.

If you put them in a really pretty dish, people will be even more impressed.  :-D  My Hubby was impressed even before I got them over to a pretty dish.  I looked like a gourmet cook!  Ha!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bobbi Brown's Secrets For A Kick-Ass Life

I just came across a very inspiring article about Bobbi Brown.  She's in her 50's, which she refers to as the "F*ck-It decade". (That's exactly how it was written in the article.)  I'm in my 50's and can totally relate. Her reasons for calling it that are more positive than mine would be.  She gave me lots to ponder about her take on it.  The article is actually made up of 30 slides.  The link will hopefully take you to slide one.  Just turn the pages and enjoy.

By the way, you don't have to be in your 50's to enjoy this article!

There's lots of eye candy.  Her style is very clean and simple.

There are some interesting thoughts on various things. Here's a wrote that caught my attention because even though I have no business, I am obsessed with marketing and the tricks businesses employ to promote their products.

There's even a tasty looking smoothie recipe.  I love smoothies and plan to try this one soon.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Salad Cheat Sheet

It's easy to get in a salad rut and end up with a boring salad. When I walk in the door starving, any food creativity I might have flies out the door.  To that end, I have made what I think of as my Salad Cheat Sheet.  I can quickly skim the list and see what all I have on hand to add.

Note:  This is a fair start, but I consider this list "under construction".  I am still in the process of trying to figure out what foods I truly need to eliminate to get myself back to good health. Plus, I feel sure I've left off some salad additions.  I'll update as I learn.

Greens - Base
lettuce (There are too many good lettuces to list.)

Greens - Xtra
dandelion greens

Pizazz - Fruit

Pizazz - Veggies

beef (grass fed only)

Dried Fruit
dried cranberries

Nuts & Seeds
Walnuts, pecans...
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
poppy seeds

Easy Dressings
I definitely hope to add to this list!
Blend oil and vinegar with a berry

Things I shouldn't have, but someone else might like
bell pepper
orange wedges

I am avoiding gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts .  

The verdict is still out on:
nightshades - Eggplants, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Butternut Squash - Baked Quarters

I'm still in the process of finding foods that my allergy over-loaded body can tolerate with punishing me.  I'm finding the need to keep things simple and make things that aren't made with recipes.  Mostly, I am preparing foods as they are with just a bit of seasoning.

I love butternut squash, but I hate peeling it.  There must be an easier way.  I did a quick search and came to a trio of butternut squash recipes on the Clean Cuisine website. By the way, I can't wait to explore that site more, especially the recipes page.  Anyway, one of her recipes just called for quartering the squash.  No peeling.  Wahoo!

I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of the finished product.  

I may be the only middle-aged person in the US who hasn't made butternut squash that way before, but I'm still posting about it!  After peeling and cubing it for years, this is a real break-through for me.  Sadly, it's one that should have occurred to me.  I've prepared other squashes this way.  I blame the gluten brain fog I've suffered with for ages.  That will be my excuse for everything stupid I've done in the past!  :-D

I followed the recipe for quartering the squash almost to the letter.  It took less than 5 minutes prep time. The only thing I did different from her recipe was that I omitted the brown sugar and substituted a dash of cinnamon instead.  Butternut squash is fairly sweet already.  Also, I'm avoiding refined sugar at the moment.  If you aren't, by all means add it - I'll bet it's yummy!

Here's the quick How-To -

CUT a butternut squash in quarters. -  Clean Cuisine recommended putting it on a towel while cutting it so it doesn't slip.

SCOOP out the seeds with a spoon.

SEASON - Place the four squash pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet, flesh side up. Rub a little extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil on top of the butternut squash.  I used the coconut oil.  Season with some or all of the following - unrefined sea salt, pepper, cinnamon and/or a little bit of brown sugar.

BAKE - Roast at 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until flesh is fork tender.

I don't think you're supposed to eat the skin, but it was quite tender.  I didn't taste the skin, but our dogs seemed to like it.  :-D    Maybe I should look into that.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What the Heck I CAN Eat

When people see the list of foods I've dropped with my elimination diet, they wonder what the heck I CAN eat.  No need for concern. I eat lots of good fruits, veggies, herbs and some meat (which I often consider dropping, but not right now).  I'm only deprived of what I now call junk.  No more concoctions and casserole-type recipes.

The elimination diet is actually quite similar to the Paleo eating style.  The Paleo premise is to eat like your ancestors... food that was available to them, but prepared with today's cooking methods.  You shop mostly from the perimeter of the grocery store.

Source???  Or did they borrow it from elsewhere???

This new way of eating is taking a little getting used to, but I'm up for the challenge.  I'm exploring simple, back-to-basics cooking and trying to include a variety of foods that I might not have cooked much (or at all) in the past.  I'm having pretty good luck finding good things to eat by searching Paleo sites.

There are some Paleo sites that are better than others.  Many who say they are going Paleo seem to be trying to continue cooking their favorite recipes and baked goods with food substitutions.  Others are still cooking with things that are not in the Paleo plan.  As if just a little isn't so bad. According to my body, just a little can keep me in the bathroom half the night.  No cheating for me!   If I don't stick to the elimination diet, my body eliminates the offending foods with great speed and efficiency.  :-D

Watch for upcoming posts with recipes for foods hubby and I are both enjoying.  Hubby is my tester.  We BOTH need to like it for it to be considered successful.

I created this picture.  Feel free to copy!  Hippocrates won't mind.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Elimination "Diet" - Feeling Beyond Great!!!

Apparently, my body has found a new technique to make me eat better.  I have to say, it's very motivational.  If I eat certain foods, I get swift and unpleasant reactions.  I'll spare the details.  Let's just say that this may be a diet plan I'll be able to stick to. :-D
Photo Source - Houzz

For now, I've dropped all my likely food suspects - wheat, dairy, corn, peanuts, eggs, and a few others.  I also can't tolerate onions and garlic (sigh).  I am trying to clean out and give my body a rest for bit  

Dropping all the common allergy suspects
is called the elimination diet.  
It should be named the
Holy Cow I Feel Great diet.

Couldn't find the exact source for this picture, but the source for the top
section is somewhere on this site (which I have NOT explored at all)

Down the road, I could test the waters again by introducing a few things.  Maybe I will or maybe I won't.  I might not want to because, truthfully, I am feeling pretty great right now.  I've had a couple of mild headaches as my body adjusts (mostly when I didn't drink enough water), but the stomach issues have all but ended (Hallelujah!).

Also, of note, my body is rewarding me for good behavior with a couple of extra bonuses.  First, I am feeling fully awake and energetic during the day.  It's very Rip-Van-Winkle-ish!!!   I've been sleeping-walking for years and now I'm waking up.  Secondly, (knock on wood) I am sleeping better.  That's huge.  I don't think I've slept well in years.  It's too soon to think my sleep issues are cured, but so far, I'm really, really happy!

When people see the list of things I've dropped, they wonder what the heck I CAN eat.  Stay tuned to my up-coming posts.  I plan to share my favorite finds as I come across them.  Maybe I can make it easier for someone else with similar issues down the road.

I hope all the recipes I post will be ones anyone could enjoy, regardless of whether they have food issues or not.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lipstick on a Donkey!

This is the first time in years I haven't put up my Christmas tree on Black Friday.  The minute Thanksgiving is over, I am always ready to pull out the glitz and glam that I can only use this time of year.  Why not this year?  What's up with that?

I pulled out a few things, but ended up spending most of the day cleaning in my craft room and attic. I had a good time doing it, too.   I gathered all sorts of things and put them in boxes for Goodwill.  I am so tempted to donate half the things in my house!  Not joking!

Then, this morning, while drinking coffee and browsing Facebook, after a series of clicks, I ended up on a 2011 post from Melissa at The Inspired Room.  In a nutshell, she said you need to give your house a good cleaning and de-cluttering before doing the decorating.

THEN... she said the phrase that I'm sure I must have heard before, but today it jumped out like never before -

“You don't want to put lipstick on a donkey.”

Photo Source (which I doctored up a bit)

That's IT!  That's why I don't want to put up my tree!  My house is a big ole mess.  For the last two months, my focus has been split between closing my booth and trying to learn how to cook without using anything with gluten (not as easy as you'd think).  My poor house is looking a bit neglected.  No offense to donkeys, but this is a phrase I plan to embrace til I can get my house in order!

Add to that, for the last 3+ years, having a booth has turned my house into a disaster area of heaps and piles.  I'm SOOOOOO ready to change all that.

Luckily, no Christmas get-togethers will be taking place at my house this year.  I may go real light on the decorating and try to spend more time cleaning up and clearing out.  Hubby could care less.  He's on board with whatever I want to do (as long as I don't drag him into it). :-D   He's a keeper.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cranberry Relish and A Great Wine

At Thanksgiving, we always have the tried and true recipes.  It just wouldn't be the same without those.  But each year, there are always a fe new things added to the mix.  This year, two new treats wowed me.

First, my niece, Denise is the family wine expert.  She has all sorts of connections who know their wines and she usually brings a bottle of her newest find for those of us who enjoy wine to sample.  This year, she brought a zinfandel - 7 Deadly Zins.  Wow.  Sometimes the first sip or two of wine can make you pucker up. This wine didn't do that.  And it wasn't overly sweet or weak either.  I don't know all the right language for wine, but I know what I like and I liked this.  It was quite tasty with our wonderful meal.

Last but not least, my niece, Carly, brought a cranberry relish that was fabulous.  She got the recipe from her mother-in-law to be, Lois.   Lois - thank you sooooo much for sharing.  It was wonderful!   You know how good cranberries are with turkey or ham?  Well, this relish is even better.  Just the right bit of tart and sweet.  I love great flavor combinations.  Just to be clear, it looks a bit like a salad, but it's a RELISH - a seasoned sauce that is used to add flavor to other foods.

Also, of note...  I've recently had to go gluten-free.  My niece clicked off quite a list of ingredients in this recipe that she could remember.  I was a little worried that there might be something in it that would have me up all night.  Not to worry.  No problems at all.

Cranberry Relish

  • 2 bags fresh cranberries
  • 1 pkg (small) Jello-strawberry, cherry or cranberry 
  • 1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 orange
  • 1 medium red apple, chopped-No need to peel. (I use red delicious.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (optional)

  1. Using food processor, coarsely chop cranberries. Set aside. 
  2. Mix Jello with ½ cup hot water in a large bowl. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. 
  3. Drain pineapple and add to mixture in bowl. Zest orange into mixture. OR, if you don't have a zester, you can grate the peel off carefully or do the same with a peeler. Try to avoid the white portion of the peel. Just make sure the pieces are very small before adding to the mixture. 
  4. Add chopped apple and chopped pecans. (Add celery, if desired) Mix in cranberries. 
  5. Chill several hours before serving. You can make this a day ahead if you want.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Zuppa Toscana - Best Soup EVER

When I have lots going on, I always sink into a rut when it comes to meals.  I've been in a serious rut.  Even though I still have too much going on, I'm trying new recipes.  This soup recipe is one of my most successful, rut-demolishing experiments ever.

I have meals that I like to cook often - my Go-To meals.  I have meals that I cook once in a while.  This soup went straight to the GO-TO group.  Hubby and I were both "bowled" over!

CREDIT - I'd love to give credit to whoever originated the recipe.  I'd love to give credit to whoever took this beautiful photo.  I can't find the sources.  The recipe is all over the web and so is the photo.  If anyone knows the true source, please let me know.  I'd love to give them credit.

I modified this soup a bit to work around my food issues.  All notes about that are at the end of this post.

Zuppa Toscana

  • 1 lb. Italian sausages (use spicy to get that signature Olive Garden flavor) - I reduced this by half.
  • 4-6 russet potatoes, chopped 
  • ¼ c. REAL bacon pieces  - I reduced this by half.
  • 32 oz. chicken broth  - I used a little chicken broth and a little vegetable broth.
  • 1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped 
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream  - Looking for a dairy-free alternative.
  • 2 Tbsp flour 
  • chopped 1 onion, 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)  - I omitted this!

  1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan. 
  2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices. 
  3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat. Note: Be very careful about liquids - too much and the soup will turn out too thin.
  4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft. 
  5. 30 minutes before serving:    Mix flour into cream removing lumps. 
  6. Add cream and kale to the crock pot, stir. 
  7. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly. 8. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. BEST. SOUP. EVER!!!!


I have all sorts of food issues so I made some changes.  It was still awesome!  I'm sure that the soup with no modifications would be even tastier.  I can't even imagine.

I love onions and garlic but they don't like me.  I omitted these and still the recipe was out of this world.

I can't handle gluten, so I used gluten-free flour.

Dairy and I have a love-hate relationship as well.  I can tolerate some hard cheeses, but I generally avoid dairy.    However, I happened to have a carton of whipping cream on hand that I had planned to use to make real whipped cream for a special occasion.  I threw caution to the wind and used it just like the recipe called for.  I paid for it!  The next time I make this, I plan to try plain, unsweetened almond milk.  I know the soup will lose some creaminess so I may have to do a little more tweaking to compensate.  Anyone have any ideas?  Butter, in moderation, doesn't keep me walking the floors, but I'd love to find a lactose-friendlier alternative for this soup.

Also, I didn't use as much meat as this recipe called for.  I prefer to use meat like a condiment - enough for flavor.  I pretty much halved it and it still had plenty of flavor.I cooked a whole package of bacon - baked it in the oven.  It was my first time trying that method and it was great!  I cooked the entire package of sausage - a slightly healthier, natural, uncured brand.  I used a little of each in this recipe and froze the rest.

Hubby was very suspicious of the kale.  I am known for modifying recipes to make them healthier. Sometimes, that doesn't turn out so well.  I assured him it was in the original recipe and he ended up loving it. Don't leave out the greens! Sadly, it's about the only healthy thing in this soup.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Closing My Booth

Most of my house projects have been put on the back burner.  My "extra" time now is spent focusing on closing my booth at Rockin' B.  My last day will be Dec 31st.  The booth needs to be EMPTY by then.  That's just 47 days away.  Really less, because of holidays.  Oh dear.

This is less than a month ago and lots of it has already sold.

I have loved having a booth.  I also love promoting Rockin' B Antiques online.  Doing both no longer makes sense for me.  I was unwilling to spend as much time and energy as it requires to be financially worthwhile.

I am yearning to spend more time on home and family.  I had originally thought I'd have a booth for 5 years and transform my house along the way.  It will end up being just shy of 3-1/2 years and my house is not how I envision it.  I think I'll be able to do more house transforming while promoting.  We'll see.

One thing I'm really looking forward to is not having messy "stations" all over the house.  A place to price, a place to store, a place to paint, piles of this and that all over.  I'm not a clean freak, but the mess has gotten to me.

Promoting, on the other hand, is something I really enjoy.  Bonus - it's not messy at all.  It's mostly digital. And I have become pretty darned good at it.  It's easy to become good at something you enjoy doing.

The booth hasn't started looking empty yet because I keep bringing more in.

Closing the booth is an interesting and somewhat fun process.  I continue to bring in more, slowly emptying my stash of treasures from home.  There are so many things I want to keep, but I'm forcing myself to let them go.  Every week my house feels a little lighter.  It's such a great feeling.

I spend a few hours in my booth each week marking things down.  I plan to keep marking things down until they are all gone.

The scary part is that time seems to be going really fast.  Will it all sell?  If you look at these pictures, taken over a space of just about 3 or 4 weeks, you'll see plenty of changes.  Things are selling fast, but my booth is staying full.  Still, I keep finding things at home to bring in.  The booth will never empty out if I don't stop adding to it!

If you want to see more about my booth sale, you can check out my First a Dream Facebook page.  And if you live anywhere near Newnan, GA, stop by and see it for yourself!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Kitchen Painting is Complete!

I finished the last wall in the kitchen.  Woo-Hoo!

The color is Silver Coffee Pot by Sherwin Williams.  I posted about the color here.

I ended up doing all the painting.  My husband kept saying he wanted to do it.  He was adamant and I didn't push the issue til I couldn't stand it anymore.  It worked out great.  He's relieved to not have it on his honey-do list.  He's thrilled with how good it looks (I cut in all but one wall without painters tape, thank you very much).  And as for me - look out!  I have some interesting paint plans for the future.  Next up - our side entry.

I focused on one wall/area at a time.  That turned out great.  I cleaned like crazy as I went.  OMG.  I don't fry food, but you'd never know that from the build-up on my teapot/pitcher collection that was over this counter.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My White Cupboard AND Paint Plans

I have a white cupboard for sale in my booth.   It was made to look like this one my hubby made for me a few years back. It's one of my favorite pieces in my house. It's also one of the most useful things I own.  I use it every single day.

I've actually posted about this cabinet in the past, after hubby and I re-furbished it.  BUT... I didn't have the sunflower painting at the time.  I love that extra bit of color.  

BY THE WAY - the splotchy looking wall to the left of the cabinet shows several paint colors we were considering. We're getting ready to paint the kitchen/family room/dining room and I painted test colors all over the place. 

It looks a little too greenish on my computer.  It's a nice greige.

Neither of the colors on the wall are the one we chose.  We decided on Silver Coffee Pot. I would have loved stark white walls - love that look - but several items we have, including our creamy colored kitchen cabinets, didn't support the look.  I also thought about a pale ocean-y blue-green.  I found a number of inspiration photos that I loved.  In the end, I decided to stay neutral in the big rooms.  

We'll have the blue I love (SW-6478 Watery) in the side entry room.    

Silver Coffee Pot (DMV-104) is apparently an obscure Sherwin Williams color.  I found it an an old color brochure I had - George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate of Colours.  When I took it to the paint store, the clerk said the brochure was collectable and worth some money now.  Who knew?  I won't be selling it.  It has some fabulous colors.  I have the big fold up brochure.  It's really BIG.

I tried to find a chip online to copy and use in this post. Apparently, Fine Paints of Europe took over this collection.  The colors (with the same names) can now be found here.

I hope all the rooms get painted soon. My hubby promises SOON. We've had the paint since April. In his defense, he's been really busy. On the other hand, I'm PERFECTLY capable of painting walls. ^%$#@! But, he's insisting on doing it himself. One day. I love that man like crazy, but he does have quirks that drive me insane. Anybody else married to a man with quirks? I feel confident I'm not alone.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farm Tables!!!!

I cannot believe how time is flying.  I have been meaning to add posts for ages.  I'm still here - just been spending too much time posting on Facebook for the store where I have a booth - Rockin' B Antiques.  I do their blog and Facebook page and other stuff, too.  It uses up so much of my computer time that I haven't had time for this blog, which is very dear to my heart.  Let me see if I can get back to it.

I've been working on projects one after the other and my sweet hubby has, too.

In this post, I'll show you some of my hubby's work - his Farm Tables.  After two years of non-stop busy work for his company, there was FINALLY a slight slowdown.  It slowed down enough that he decided to build a few things.  And he had such fun doing it that he hopes to continue.  WAHOOOOO!!!!!  

He started by making this big farm table.  I painted it all white after seeing a white table on Pinterest that I fell in love with.  This sold in no time.

Next he built a smaller table, just perfect to use as an island or console.  It, too, sold in no time.

We liked the wood top with the green one, so we decided to do a white and wood combo next.  It sold in no time.  This is ridiculous.  When they sell so fast, it makes you wonder if your prices are way too low or if you have just hit on the perfect thing.  I think it may be a little of both.  His tables are super well made.  Everything he builds has extra details and is sturdy enough that I always think they'll withstand a tornado! :-D  With this table he changed the bottom a bit.  The shelf is a bit narrower so people can sit around it comfortably.

It was hard to sell these.  I wanted to keep them all.  I probably will keep one of the tables he makes in the future. Or maybe I'll keep two - a console size for our TV and an big eating size for our dining area.  Maybe a third -  a table for our bathroom - we actually have a great spot for one in there.  If I keep thinking I'm sure I could come up with more spots.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Landscape Advice for Lazy People

Some of us love to spend lots of time gardening.  Some of us don't.  I LOVE a pretty garden, but have not been willing to tend to it like I should.  I've spread myself too thin with all my projects.  I'm on a mission to simplify my life (I should drop things like Facebook and Blogging and Pinterest, but that ain't happ'nin').  Anyway, I came across this landscape advice and it may be perfect advice for me.  The book goes into much better detail.

By the way, I have finished the book and it will soon be in my booth for $5. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Over-Propped with Pillows

The next time you look at a pretty picture showing a sofa (or bench or loveseat or chair) with a lovely grouping of pillows, ask yourself, "Where would you sit?"   What I am finding is that most of these sofas have so many pillows on them that the message seems to be don't sit here at all.

It looks pretty in the photo.  But it's not real life.  The only reason I can think of to put that many pillows on a sofa is if you truly didn't want anyone to sit on it.  Maybe to try to keep the kids or dogs off...  That wouldn't work at my house.  The dogs know how to push the pillows off.

The funny thing is, many of these pretty photos are not from magazines.  They are from the homes of bloggers.  We all seem to be showing off our homes.  Don't get me wrong, I love reading blogs.  I spend way too much time looking at home photos on Pinterest.  But lately, I've been taking a closer look at these beautiful spaces and NOT liking what they say about us.

We are OVER-PROPPING our homes.  That's my new favorite term.  I came across it here in a New York Times article.  Another great term they use in this article was design porn.  I've heard that one before, but had forgotten it.    Mr. Andersen likened the flood of online design porn to that of actual porn in its potential to influence behavior: “People see pictures of stylishness and say, ‘Oh, I’m going to try that.’ ”

Back to pillows.  Pillows are just one way many of us are over-propping.   I am just as guilty as the next person.  I can give many examples of over-propping right in my own home.  I can even point to examples using pillows.  I plan to start taking a look at that.  Starting with pillows.   

Think about over-propping as you look at these photos.  And, for the record, I LOVE these photos.  They are beautiful.  They are saved on my Pinterest page.  But, when I think about actually being in these rooms, I know the pillows would end up on the floor.

This room wouldn't be nearly as pretty and colorful without those pillows, but really... Where would you sit?  I couldn't get comfortable without major pillow re-arranging.  

Perhaps this one is a display in a shop selling pillows?

Are you kidding me?  Those two front pillows might as well have an embroidered sign saying, "Don't Sit Here!"

This one breaks my heart, because I really LOVE it.  But truly, only a cat could get comfortable with all those pillows.
Here's another room I love.  And if you took away the pillows, the room wouldn't look nearly as pretty.  Can't we figure out a better way to get color in the room without all those pillows?
I'm thinking for most sofas, two pillows is all that's needed.

And if you think you need more color, add a throw...
- or a quilt.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dear Car-makers

Dear Car Truck-makers, I would like a truck something like this, in a nice girly, not-too-crazy turquoise, with up-to-date safety features.

Don't carmakers realize that lots of women have things to haul - furniture, plants, garden supplies, large vintage treasures... - and we need trucks!?!?!

We don't want one of those big honkin' high-testosterone pick-ups.  We want a picturesque vintage look to go with our vintage style.

If you do this and make a fortune, I think it would only be fair to give me one. Like I said, turquoise, please. And I would like those wood rails, too, if it's not too much trouble.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Grandmother's Side Table Gets a Re-Do

I adored my grandmother.  We were really close.  She's gone now, but to tell the truth, it feels like shes still with me.  I generally know what she'd say about things, but I have no idea what she'd say about seeing her side table painted.  She took a paintbrush to many of her things over the years, so hopefully she'd like it.

The table was one that she had in her den as long as I can remember.  I used to love to dust at her house and this table was a fun spot for that.  Thinking back, I don't actually remember anything being dusty.  I just loved moved her treasures around and hearing her talk about them.  Unfortunately, that love of dusting didn't last into my adult years.

Anyway, back to the table.  It had seen better days.  I am in a phase where I'm looking at everything I own and thinking, "Use it or lose it".  This table was not being used.  I was NOT letting it go.  In order to keep it, I needed to make it pretty and put it in a spot where it would make sense.  I'm proud to say, I did just that.

I love color and thought about all sorts of colors I could use.  In the end, I went with white.  It just seemed right for this table.  When my grandmother had this table, the bottom shelves were always filled with books and magazines.  At our house, they are holding the sofa pillows.  Hubby always tosses them off to give our dogs more room on the couch.  That's the sad situation at our house.  Dogs trump wife.  I put the pillows back on.  Now, they are stored on this table and I can access them when I want.

I put a piece of glass on top of the table.  This was a piece that I had in the attic.  It almost fit.  Hubby got a new piece for me that fits perfectly.  I don't have a photo of that and I'm just too lazy to take another.

This project was completed a couple of months ago.  I have been really bad about posting lately.  I'm playing catchup.  Looking at this photo reminds me of things that have changed and are changing.  My current project is making a slipcover for the loveseat.  The worst of that is finished.  I just need to finish the cushion covers.  I need a day where energy and motivation combine.  :-D

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Organized Paint Hoarder

I organized my paint by color the other day and realized, I am a paint hoarder.  I obviously have a problem.  I've been painting lots of signs over the last year or so and there's always another color I need.  My first thought was to ban myself from buying any paint for at least 6 months.  I panicked just thinking about it.  What if I ran out of my favorite blue?  So now, I'm making deals with myself.  I can restock tired and true colors, but seriously, I need to use what I have.  A whole wall of paints???  It's ridiculous!  Sigh.  Maybe organizing is the first step to getting a handle on my addiction.

This paint wall is in my attic storage room.  I have attic access right off of my loft craft room, so this is very convenient.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Chippy Red Chest

I was able to breathe new life into a red chest with just a little sandpaper and some new knobs.  Quick and easy!  The result is a very quirky little chest that we are using as a coffee table.

Before it was more of a solid red.  I didn't take good before photos.  I got going before even thinking about photos.  I remembered after I had already started sanding.  I hadn't done much on the drawers yet, so you can sort of get an idea of the red before look.

The black knobs wouldn't do.  I found these red ones at Hobby Lobby.  They weren't my first choice.  They didn't have 6 of the ones I liked best.  Sigh.

The photo above shows some of the old knobs and some of the new.  I did replace all the knobs.  What didn't I do?  Take a good photo of the chest all set up in the room.


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