Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deck The Halls

Hi Chumps.
Feeling a little more chipper (and a little more chiseled since I posted the other night).  :)
Thought I'd share with you some holiday decorating ideas that once again I spotted on one of my favorite 'spam sites'. "This Old House-Home Ideas". No time for small talk tonight. Hope you're well.

dark party stockings hung on mantel
Console table ready for Christmas party with wreath in window
The exposed brick wall and fireplace in this Sag Harbor, New York, dining room was once red brick.Holiday Doorway

Coastal Sunporch

wreath made of red carnationsA white lacquer magnolia wreath hangs from built-in bookshelves

I've been having fun here decking the halls as well:

Jingle all the way....


Sunday, November 25, 2012

gIvE ThAnKs.

"Remember that wealth lies not in the extent of possesions but in the fewness of wants."

can't remember where i read it, or who said it, but i want to believe it!

(now, more than ever after celebrating thanksgiving with my wonderful family and giving thanks to God who continues to amaze me with his grace and generosity, both of which i don't deserve)!

i am embarressed, even ashamed to admit that i get the 'gimmie's' far too often-even at thanksgiving!!! 

just today, i needed a pep talk after comparing my little bungalow to yet another beautiful new house that i walked through....one that was cleaner, newer, brighter, fancier, and just much better than mine. (sorry, kw, i loved it that much)!

i hated feeling the way i did. i wished i could make it stop. but i couldn't. at least for a couple of hours i couldn't. so i did what i do best.

i pouted a little. (maybe a lot).

and i lived a little in the regret of past choices, purchases and mistakes.

and then i got a pep talk from these two:

and i'd like to report to you that my comparisons, competitiveness, and 'crusty' attitude went away immediately, but it took another hour or so of walking through my own little abode singing an old sunday school favorite, "count my blessings....name them one by one....count my blessings.....see what God has done". 

it didn't help that on our family getway this week up north where this picture was snapped, i made ken slow the van down so i could snap pics of these beautiful houses along the lake michigan shoreline in charlevoix.  here's a sample of the torture i put myself through:

(Wasn't sure if this was a house or a hotel)? :)

Check out the front door that is framed by vintage doors on a barnstyle track. drool.

Cool garage and transom windows:

and then just to cheer myself up a little, i took a picture of this little bungalow that reminded me of my often 'picked on baby'.

we truly weren't being materialistic the whole time. we enjoyed the sights of charlevoix and were able to appreciate spending time together.
but sometimes my gut and my heart just hurt when i act this way. unappreciative. envious. bitter.

it's unbecoming on me and i must stop. but it's not easy.  job hazard i guess.

we had a great message at church this morning (ironic?) that addressed the issue of God 'chiseling' us into His own image.

it's a painful process-one that i'm somewhat familiar with and i cried through the entire video that was shown referencing the chiseling.

i feel that today. the slow and tedious chipping away of all the unimportant things that i deem so important. the things that i think define me.

i'm an approval addict, so this task of chiseling is especially brutal for someone like me.

i've earned my nickname from ken, "shallow gal". :) (said in the most loving way).

chumps....didn't mean to unload on you tonight. just wanted to confess to you that sometimes i get a little jealous of your beautiful spaces. your storage rooms. your new kitchen flooring.

and i need to step back and remind myself that even when i had all those things and more....i'd never been sadder.

i have what i need. and it is enough. and it so much more than some. (how come that doesn't cheer me up in the moment)? :)

i know you can relate chumps.  maybe not about houses. or pretty lamps. or new furniture. but other stuff. you've told me so.  and it makes me feel connected to you... job perk i guess. :)
thank you for allowing me to be imperfect. and real. 
i will try to always do the same for you. we chumps have to stick together, you know.

i've got my work cut out for me ...  Chisel. Chisel. Scrape. Scrape.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Memories Made Here

Happy Thanksgiving Chumps!  Sorry it's been a while since I've posted.  Days continue to fly by and I can hardly believe 'tis the season already!  I vowed this year not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all but I can already feel the blood thickening in my veins and my pulse racing to think of all the shopping that I've put off until now.  Why I don't shop ahead is beyond me.  Oh well, one holiday at a time and I will make an effort to enjoy Thanksgiving Day/weekend with my family and live in THIS moment.
"Pull and breathe, kick and blow"-(our grade school swim coach's advice) is the mantra that Ken and I repeat to each other when things get a little dicey.
I've been chanting that phrase a lot lately.

Said it a few times tonight in fact making the 195th trip up and down our garage attic steps to dig out Christmas totes for decorating. As I was complaining about the lack of storage in our compact but precious bungalow and how much my aching back hurt, he reminded me that  Thanksgiving is upon us and to focus on the things for which I am thankful. I guess A#1 is thankfulness for a partner in life that helps remind me to stay centered and grateful for the blessings that I have.

Hoping that Thursday finds you hunkered down around a dining table with family and friends that you love.  I am looking forward to spending time with our extended family around my mom's table underneath a sign in her dining room that I painted years ago for her that says "Memories Made Here".
Looking foward to another year of Thanksgiving memories.

Thought I'd share some photos I swiped from a site that finds it's way to my email inbox every couple of weeks.  It's a link from "This Old House" magazine called "My Home Ideas" and I have so much fun scrolling through different sections .  Today, it was fitting that  the focus was dining rooms in honor of Thanksgiving.  I chose my favorites and wanted to share them with you...
Love everything about this look.

You know most of these are going to be devoid of color. LoVe, LOve, LOVE  texture!

Can you see a common theme? Slipcovered parsons chairs rock my world!
Not sure if I'm a fan of the light fixture above, but I do suprisingly like the plant!

I'm a huge fan of wreaths (above) hanging from interior windows. So pretty!

The bamboo drapery rods are a neat touch in the pic. above.

Are you thinking you might want your old dining chairs recovered? :)
Love this beefy looking table. Sisal rug underneath is classic and practical.

Again...wreaths on the windows....Love the patina on this dining set in an all white room. So clean and crisp. 

I'm not usually drawn to patterned rugs but this adds some drama to the room.  Of course my favorite part of the room is the ceiling!

Okay, here's some color for you.  How fun to use small settees as your bench seating!

Had to get some grey in here somewhere. Unique idea to stop the wall color 3/4 of the way up without a trim piece.  I think I like it!

Quirky, modern, but still warm.
Outdoor rooms as dining areas as well.  Not in Michigan this time of year, but we can still dream and drool.

I always love a good window nook or banquet.  Make sure to use "Sunbrella"-indoor/outdoor fabric on pillows and cushions  to prevent fading. 

Simple but beautiful!!

Simple pillowcase slipcovers on the chairs.  Love that the dog print ties all the colors in the room together. 

Chumps, I'll leave you with another 'sign' that I gave my mom several years ago at Christmas.  May we all remember this when we gather on Thursday.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Projects, Product, Progress

A couple garage/workshop projects that we completed this week.  We used to do a bunch of these but haven't in a while. My friend Kim ordered one our 'door headboards' for her new house they just built.  We had this red door in storage for years and dug it out for the transformation. 
Ken cut down the sides to make it symmetrical and added crown molding to the top. 

Legs were added and eventually cut down to accomodate the specs of her bed frame and transom windows that would be above it.

I primed and painted the entire thing "Ivory White" by Ben Moore, my 'go-to' soft white.

A little distressing and you have an inexpensive king-sized headboard with character!

Another fun project was this farm style natural maple dining table that my friend and fellow Chump, Renee had in her basement.  This past year we have been working together on finishing her lower level and I discovered this piece and told her not to get rid of it, that we could bring it back to life.

It was being used by her husband as a work/prep table for all his projects down there and it also had a good run as their kids' craft table so it had it's fair share of scars.

I sanded the whole table down with my orbital power sander. A girl's best friend in situations like this.
I was happy that it cleaned up pretty well!
Gone are the scratches, drywall mud and crayon marks.
I painted the apron of the table my 'go-to' black..."Benjamin Moore's metal/wood latex enamel".
Couldn't live without that paint.

I wanted a rustic and casual look so I stained the top walnut using a min-wax stain from Ace Hardware.

I normally don't stain for other people, but we had nothing to lose on this one. I love how the stain took unevenly to give it even more of a farmhouse planked look.

I finished it off with four coats of satin polyurthane. I'll have to take a pic of the whole thing put together with the black farmstyle legs in place.
Fun and rewarding project.

Also, wanted to show you my staged booth at Not So Shabby during our Holiday Open House/ Grand re-Opening this weekend.
I was there for a couple of hours on Friday night and saw so many Chumps I haven't seen in a while. Thank you for following us to our new location!
I am loving the venue in spite of a longer drive for me. We are getting great exposure and positive feedback.
Weird to not be doing my annual tag sale, but my decision has been confirmed in many different ways these past few months. You Chumps are keeping me plenty busy which I love!

Make sure to stop in often over the next few weeks. New Christmas items will be added weekly. Enjoy your weekend Chumps!