Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Caring Hearts .... Helping Hands


Our eyes were glued to the television set that day when the tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma.  A day that started out like any other.  Children dropped off at school .. sent on their way with a hug and a kiss.  Mothers rushing off to work or perhaps hitting the gym before starting their day of managing their home and family.  Fathers grabbing a cup of coffee on their way to work already thinking of that 11:00 meeting and are they prepared for it. Retired people going about their daily routine with their four-legged companions keeping them company. 

And then it hit. Midday, in the midst of our everyday routines.

It hit us, too.  The complete shock and helplessness. 

But in true American spirit we rallied around and started to dig in and dig out.  We found ways to help our fellow "neighbors" even though we are sprawled across this great country of ours.  A friend of mine has started Hope For Oklahoma
"A collection of online individuals coming together to raise funds to support our friends in Oklahoma."  Artists that have sent in their best work to be bid on in an online auction going on now and ending this Friday. Please visit this site and see everything available!

Another way to help is to visit 
 Central Oklahoma Humane Society
So many animals displaced due to the tornado.. so many animals in need of medical attention. This past Saturday, I held my second garage sale.. purging household items that I no longer need or can use in this much smaller home we are moving to.  It was a huge success, thankfully, and with half of the proceeds I am sending in a check in memory of my girl...

 ... Annie.  I always wanted to do something for other dogs in her honor.  My heart still misses her terribly. 

And what if the Hope For Oklahoma or the Central Oklahoma Humane Society aren't quite the right fit for you?  Then, my last suggestion is to put your two hands together and pray.  Pray for those in need.  There is so much power in that!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Powder Room Makeover

Before we move, I want to show you around the home we are leaving.  The one where I spent a lot of time and energy updating this beauty that was built in 1929!  Being passionate about decorating, this home afforded me the opportunity to utilize many of the ideas that had been floating around in my head for years!  I was in heaven!

First thing to do?  Update the powder room.  The original powder room was smaller in length by one foot affording only a tiny corner sink.. you know, one where you have to be very careful not to end up splashing water all over the floor!  A sink that was housed in a 1980's dark brown corner cabinet.  Unfortunately, I didn't take "before" pictures.  Too anxious to get moving on the project. A project that had good bones!  Like the curvature of the back wall and the darling little oak trimmed window.  The oak grate covering a radiator.  Oh, there was such potential!!

Step one was to move the entry wall back about a foot.  That was my husband's idea and it was genius!  Now we had more space for a proper sink.  But what to set it upon?  Something vintage, of course! In a salvage store, we spied a table.. one with character... one needing a bit of TLC.

The front of the antique table had these amazing turned legs with charming curved supports.  No need to worry about matching back legs as the powder room did not have enough room for them without bringing the sink into the doorway.  That's how small the space is! A new table top was constructed adding the simple detail of grooved trim at the top and bottom.

 With a coat of Swiss Almond paint, distressing and a finish of antiquing glaze, the base for the counter was complete and ready for a piece of granite!  Next was selecting a new sink and fixtures.  It was a vintage look all the way.

A white porcelain sink with flanged edges accompanied with a single faucet in oil rubbed bronze.  I love it!

For light fixtures, I used what the previous owner had in the family room.  They were too diminutive there but perfect for the powder room.  Saved money and I was a happy camper!  And resting in between the two sconces?  An antique mirror that belonged to my aunt.  It's simplicity fits in beautifully!

A simple cotton voile gathered curtain at the window....

... tone on tone floral wallpaper, with ceiling painted the same background color found in the paper, and the room was complete!  

A powder room with enough texture and pattern to make it feel updated... warm... and cozy!  One room done and more to come!!

Linking Up With...  Make It Pretty Monday
                     Amaze Me Monday 
                     Inspire Me Tuesday
                     Wow Us Wednesday 
                     What We Accomplished Wednesday
                     Tutorials Tips and Tidbits 
                     Share Your Cup Thursday
                     Show And Tell Friday
                     Be Inspired Friday

Friday, May 17, 2013

On A Personal Note...

Remember when I said I was stressed out a while back?  I alluded to it here.  Well, with only two and one-half weeks to go I'd better let you in on what's happening to me. 

We are moving!  And not only moving to one location, but three!  Hey... go big or go home, right??  The good news is that our home sold in three days.  No having to keep the house pristine waiting for phone calls from realtors wanting to show the home at a moment's notice.  Yes, that's the good news.  And I really don't have bad news attached to that.  Just the stressful reality of having to split our possessions between three different locations.  

First, our son just graduated from college so he needs furnishings for his new apartment... in another state... requiring a rental truck and loading it up.  Thinking of all those big and little items required to start this new phase in his life.  "Picking" from our home.

Way to go!
Second, we need to pack up for our little cottage for two that will replace the home we live in now. I have named it "Chateau Amour" which makes my son wince at the thought!  Knowing that, I say "Chateau Amour" as often as I can just to get a reaction..  I love the role reversal!!  So, since we are truly downsizing I need to go through every big and little thing I own to decide what I need and, more importantly, what will fit.  When I say "cottage", I am not kidding!

My garage sale
 And third?  I need to set aside furnishings I want for our home in Charleston.  Have we bought it yet? No, but we will.  For sure.  For real. Decisions to be made as to what set of dishes I want there.  What glasses?  Which armoire will look best in that home? The list is long and permanent as it will leave me with no opportunity to change my mind once it's stored. 

And who is packing everything up?  ME!  The cottage is only three miles away.  It makes no sense to pay someone else to do this. And it has been suggested to get a POD to store the things we need for Charleston.  More self-packing.  And as for my son? My "mom" duties are few except for the suggestions of how to set up a home and what he needs to take with him... and the trip to Ikea with checkbook in hand!! 

So, with only two and one-half weeks to go, let the frenzy begin!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

All Wrapped Up!

Mother's Day is just days away ... graduation ceremonies are commencing! Each an occasion where you like to offer a thoughtful gift.  A remembrance to mark the day and the special person you are honoring.  And I have always felt that when giving a gift, presentation is as equally as important as what lies underneath the wrapping.  Need a suggestion?

With a little time and creativity you can create your own custom gift wrap!  This was how I presented a picture frame to my son's girlfriend.. of course, with his handsome picture inside!!

Kraft paper, paint, paint pen, buttons and twine.  Simple and fun!
However, let me give you some hints on wrapping.. a few touches in the details makes a world of difference.

Creasing gives a sharp edge, creating the look of a  professionally wrapped package.  To do this, run your fingers on the edge of the box using your thumb and index finger.  Extend that crease all the way to the very edge of the paper and place a small bit of tape in the center of the box to hold down this one side.

Wrap around the rest the paper.  You have made sure to cut the sheet of paper long enough so that it extends one inch over the edge. Fold under this one inch, giving a sharp crease, of course.  What you are accomplishing is to have the fold be on the edge of the box, not in the center.  Use double-sided tape or a tape runner and press both pieces together.

Finish wrapping the ends of the box the way you normally would making sure that the flaps do not extend up and over the package. Voila!  Now you have a flat surface with all edges having been  crisply creased.

Now onto the fun part!  For this present, I used the following....

And to outline the circles, I used a paint pen.

Circles painted in green.... outlined in white.. and a bright, vintage button in the center!  Wrapped in brown twine and there you have it.  A present from the heart... made with love!

 Linking With...... Make It Pretty Monday
                Amaze Me Monday
                Inspire Me Tuesday 
                Centerpiece Wednesday
                Be Inspired Tuesday  
                Efforts and Assets
                What We Accomplished Wednesday  
                Tutorials Tips and Tidbits
                Share Your Cup Thursday 

Friday, May 3, 2013

And The Winner Is .....

Ok...  I don't want to keep you in suspense any further!  Today is the day I announce the winner of my giveaway for the picture frame I created!  Using my trusty Luck Dog jar....

.. I stirred all the numbers around, had my husband reach in to pick out a number and ....

.. he pulled out No. 49!  That is you, Linda, at Coastal Charm!

Congratulations!  Please email me your address so that I can get this out to you right away.  I know you'll love it!!

And for the rest of you I am sending y'all (maybe if I start talking like a true southerner I will find that home in Charleston sooner rather than later!!) a virtual bouquet to thank you for entering!

This is not the gratuitous "thank you" to all my readers and followers.  Not in the least!  You should know me by now to understand that when I say "I appreciate your loyalty and your comments", it comes from the very bottom of my heart!  The comments you left touched me so as my scenario seemed to have struck a cord for many of you.  And as I said to some of you, the lesson to be learned is to not pass it on to our children.  Enough said!

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!  I will be having a moving sale on Saturday~ Part I.  Yes, I said "Part I"!  Downsizing really makes you think about how many boxes you want to pack up and move.  Ughhh!!!  Thought I had really narrowed things down until I looked in the crawl space.  Nearly fainted!!!  So Moving Sale ~ Part II will have to happen.  There's no way this girl is going to write monthly checks for a storage unit .. been there, done that!!!!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Brake For Anthropologie

There should be a bumper sticker for that, don't you think?

                    "I Brake for Anthropologie"

After all, they have built their brand on creativity, with products that exude a feeling of handmade, one-of-a-kind items.  Descriptive of what takes hold of my soul!  Ok... reality is they're massed produced but it doesn't feel like it.  They've captivated their audience with independent thinking and marketing.  And that is what I've come to expect walking into their stores no matter where I am in the country.  The pull starts with their window dressing...

... I die!!  This was two years ago at one of their stores in Manhattan Beach, CA.  A gown created out of ruffled and pleated paper.

Clothespins methodically attached to accentuate the undulating lines.  Here is a closer look at the construction.

A couture gown created with simple materials.  Don't you love it?

So, when Charleston boasted the grand opening of Anthropologie on King Street, I made it a point to check it out. 

Touches of spring surrounded me as I walked in with this being the overture to their new store.  Chalkboard? check.  Distressed wall unit? check.  The look of handmade pottery? check.  Yup... all the things we creative sorts gravitate to. It just felt like home to me!
Curious, I stepped closer to see how they attached the flowers and cornucopias to the wall to give it such dimension.

Cutouts of flowers from magazines (that's the way they appeared) were attached to the head of a nail creating a 3-D feel.  Now, see what I mean?  That handmade look as if a bunch of your best girlfriends got together on a lazy, summer afternoon to cut out pretty pictures of flowers from the latest gardening catalog.  Ooohing and ahhhing over their favorite ones.  So excited to take a pair of scissors to the page, cutting them out and pasting them in a scrapbook.

Display tables continued the spring theme with potted plants and cloches covering pastel colored macaroons.  I spent a lot of time wandering around going from the front of the store and rounding the bend to the back.  It was there that I found a gorgeous queen sized bed layered with a bright colored duvet, masses of pillows and......

... a BABY???  They now have added beautiful Gerber babies to their inventory???  I'm kidding, of course, but it did take me by surprise to see this sweet little thing plunked down in the middle of the bed not making a peep.  Just as content as could be!  Seriously, picture perfect!  

I asked the proud dad, who was standing nearby, if I could snap a photo.  He, and the beaming grandmother next to him, couldn't have been more pleased to have someone else recognize what a precious baby they have.  How can you resist such a sweet-as-pie thing??! Ok, Anthropologie... you have now taken the experience of shopping here to a whole new level!!!!  Keep up the good work!

LINKING UP TO:  Share Your Cup Thursday
                   Tutorials Tips and Tidbits 
                   Oh! The Places I've Been!