Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kathleen's Point of View: Ocean City

I just had to share Kathleen's pictures from her camera with y'all. I had to crack up as I clicked through picture after picture of food (see the ham sandwich?!), self-portraits, and goofy toe pictures. (Those are Madeline's toes.) The kid is a crackpot. She came home all freckly and gorgeous today after her week in Ocean City, NJ with my sister . I missed her and her goofy self! I'm glad she had fun, though, even if it was without ME!
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Google's Sketch Up

Holy schmoly! Do you guys know about Google's free 3-D software download called Sketch Up? I just discovered it last night, and although the learning curve looks like it's going to be a bit steep, I managed to design an entertainment wall for one of my customers in it. I'm telling you, this thing is so cool I might have to do the next room challenge with it!! You can download furniture models from West Elm and tons of other places, too, if you don't want to create stuff from scratch. It's beyond cool. I think this may really come in handy for my work. I just emailed my model off to my customer. Too cool for school!!
Go check it out, and let me know if any of you start playing around with it. I'd love to know what you create!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Whose Tooth? Houndstooth!

Kathleen wanted a tote bag this year, instead of a backpack. And of course she wanted something that noone else was going to have! So....while she's been down in NJ soaking up the sun and sand, I've been slaving away on her bag. :) I know she's going to love it. I even found that matching notebook/binder in Target last night. Coolio! This bag is so cool I want one too! However, now that she's 13, the idea of Mom matching her doesn't hold the appeal it once did. No more "twinsies." *sigh* I wish she'd quit growing. Darn kid. I'm glad she'll be back on Saturday, though. I'm missing her. She's missing her cats. Hmmmf.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Teen Room Challenge--COMPLETE!

Thank you, Sandra, at Canyon Wren Cottage, for giving us this challenge. I had a lot of fun with it, and spent WAY too much time cyber-shopping for it. So let's not do it again sometime soon, ok? Hee!

Here's an overview, put together in the awesome Picasa.

First, the inspiration for the room: an Amy Butler fabric at $14.98 per yard from I'm assuming two windows, at 2 yds each for London Shades = 59.92, plus one yd for a sham and throw pillow on bed : $14.98

The big ticket item is the circle cutout bed from West Elm coming in at a big $429, which I would most certainly like to try cutting out of half inch birch ply myself, and attaching it to an existing twin bedframe. How difficult could it be? Hmm. And the price would be considerably lower, then, for about two sheets of plywood and some black paint (which I already have a gallon of, leftover from painting the stairs): $60 for wood

The painted floor cloth is perfect, and perfectly priced at $65 for a 28" x 6' rug. Too much taping and measuring involved for me to tackle that one on my own, although I know I could do it--just don't want to! It's from Ebay, and she'll make any size and color you want!

The IKEA Hemnes bedside table comes in at $129, which I'm thinking I could, of course, make myself out of one sheet of 1/2" birch plywood for about $29. But I'll go with the IKEA version, since them's the rules.

LewasDesigns at Etsy's Dandelion in the Wind wall decal set is a bargain at $60. My even bigger bargain alternative: paint that puppy on the wall myself! Cost: about $2.00 for craft paint

Every teen must have a desk, and storage, so I've chosen the Expedit desk in brown/black, with the Expedit shelving unit to go with it. The grand total for those two items is $209. Make it myself? What, are you nuts? You can't beat $209 for all that! And finally, the Forsytia bedspread from IKEA for the bed, in the green colorway, as a base for the Amy Butler fabric that I would make into a sham and throw pillow. Bedspread: $29.99

(not including tax and shipping, because it was too much trouble to figure that all out. I'll let the extra $200 Sandra gave us cover it. Deal?)


What I didn't include in this design tally was my paint for the walls. My palette (made it myself at Colour would be grabbed from the Amy Butler fabric, and I'd paint three of the walls the yummy green, and one wall a paler version of the turquiose. I'd put the dandelion decal (in white) on the blue wall, I think. Not sure.

Ok, now, since the proceeds from this dalmation painting go to a no-kill animal shelter, can't we call it a taxable deduction donation and not include it in the $1000 budget? Whatever. I'm buying it anyway for this imaginary room. As of right now, it's $50 on Ebay.

I also needed lighting, which didn't fit into the budget either. I figure, hey, if I make either that bed, or the table, or paint that dandelion-thing, I'd have plenty of money for lights, so here's what I'd get if I did that: This modern chrome light from eBay, for $59--it looks kind of like a dandelion, right?! Too much? Eh. I like it.

And then, since it's a teen room, and I'm always looking to repeat a "theme" if you will, I choose this floor lamp from Pier 1, because it picks up the circles in the bed, and the price wasn't bad at $125.

This pillow would be perfect on the bed with the Amy Butler sham. $30 from Pier 1.

I loved the mobile I had as a kid in my room. Just watching it slowly move would help me get to sleep at night. This one is from Denmark, and can be purchased for $56 from the Museum Store Company.

Finally, I would buy this Calder calendar for $14.95 from the Museum Store, and frame the artwork in simple black frames, and hang them in a grid on one of the walls.

Additional accessories: assorted clothes heaped on floor from daily try-ons and take-offs. :-/ (Hey, I'm just speaking from experience here), and a little cat hair for texture. ;)

Total cost of extras (because there really always needs to be wiggle room in a budget): $340
That's all, folks! I'll add live links if you want them. I'm BEAT!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Alex Pifer's The Seraph

My friend Kelly and I decided to blow off all important household duties yesterday, like mowing our lawns, etc, (which I should be doing RIGHT NOW, but instead I'm posting to my blog), and we drove out to Sturbridge, MA for a day of shopping and searching for the ever-elusive perfect gifts for Christmas.

Old Sturbridge Village is a living museum, built within the town of Sturbridge, MA, and is filled with period buildings from the late 1700's, to the mid-1800's. According to their website, Old Sturbridge Village is the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast. I took Kathleen and two of her friends there a couple of years ago and they loved it. Everyone who works at the museum is dressed in period garb, and it's just like stepping back in time. If you're up for a drive, it's definitely worth the trip. Especially for 5th graders, because their school curriculum corresponds with the time period.

The acual town of Sturbridge, MA, is chock full of fun colonial inspired shops and eateries. Country Curtains is out there, and they even have a big blowout sale once a year. (At least, I think they are still doing that). We didn't go into there, but we did eat at The Publick House Historic Inn, and had a lovely late lunch. I grabbed some yummy sticky buns from their bakery to bring home as well--you must do the same when you visit Sturbridge!
The big treat that Kelly and I found in town was a wonderful shop called Alex Pifer's HOME, which is part and parcel of The Seraph, which used to feature colonial reproduction furniture only. Now, along with an entire building of gorgeous period-style colonial vignettes, there is another whole building filled on one side with European inspired furnishings, and the other filled with what Alex is calling Eco-Chic--and let me tell you--it was chic all right!! From the inspired chandeliers to the linen slipcovered sofas, to the gorgeous original accessories, this place was a treat for the eyes! Actually, it was a treat for the senses, because there was some great music playing, and the place smelled divine. Seriously, this shop made not only my day, but my MONTH. I love finding a jewel like The Seraph in a sea of the "same ol', same ol' " which seems to be so prevalent around here.
I would like to thank Alex for letting me take pictures of the shop, and for letting me drool all over everything. It was great to sit and chat with her and one of her employees, Laura, as well. We learned a lot, and hope to come back in October for another visit.

Please visit The Seraph's website, where you can see pictures of the colonial parts of the place as well. And if you're ever within a couple of hours of Sturbridge, MA, definitely stop by and tell her I sent you!!

The slideshow below is pictures that I took yesterday. I took so many, I couldn't post them all individually. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Find of the Day

So, when you see this necklace, are you thinking (like BF) that I've strapped some dinner plates around my neck, or are you thinking "Hey, that Turkish necklace is SO stylin' that I'd LOVE to see the awesome HOME DECOR place she bought it from today over in Sturbridge, Massachusetts?" If you are in the latter group, be patient. I'm going to post pics from the shop, with the enthusiastic approval of the owner. As I'm going through my pictures, I'm realizing that she is right in telling me that pictures don't quite capture the place, but they'll have to do, until you can get there in person yourselves. I was gobsmacked, and you shall be too. If you are in the former group: go away. ;)
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Friday, August 22, 2008

We Have a Winner!! A NEW one! Ha!

Update: I'm an idiot! Oh wait, that's not an update, is it? Hee! Anyway, the wonderful Fabulous Fifi responded to my prize-winner notification email with a "Hunh?! I didn't enter any contest!!" So I clicked on the Fifi that posted on my blog, and it's Fifi FLOWERS! She paints fabulous fun paintings from photos! It's a case of mistaken identity, people! I had assumed it was the other Fifi, because I had forgotten there was another Fifi out there! What's that they say about never ASS U ME? *sigh* My apologies to BOTH Fifis. But Fifi Flowers, you will be receiving something really great from me as soon as I get your address! Count on it! And let that be a lesson to all you cheaters. You don't even have to ENTER my contests to win stuff! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!
See that up there? That's a screen shot of my It's a 16, and so, the winner is.....FIFI of Chez Fifi! Congratulations, Fifi. Thanks for playing! I'll be gathering some things together for you tomorrow. Now that I know who the winner is, I can tailor the gifting accordingly! I have JUST the thing for you! I'll post pics tomorrow. (P.S. Lest some of you start counting the posts, I eliminated all double-posts, 'cause y'all are the worst . cheaters. ever.)

As for the rest of you cheaters and non-cheaters, there are no losers here, because of course, you still have the extreme pleasure of visiting me here daily and hanging on my every word. Which I know is what makes your day go 'round. (God, I'm even making MYSELF barf a little...hee!)

Seriously, though, I've got so much stuff that I could give away, I may even choose a runner up tomorrow, after I get done digging for Fifi's stuff out in my unpacked-as-of-yet boxes in the garage. So keep tuning in! You never know! (Yeah, I know--it's bribery--but whatever. You're still here, aren't you?! See??)

Thank you ALL for playing. I appreciate the enthusistic comments, as always. ((((All y'all))))

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mission Impossible!

My friend Sandra, over at Canyon Wren Cottage, has decided to have a little fun this week! And we get to join in! This is the deal (from her website):
This week's mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a teen/pre-teen room, using only furniture and decor from catalogs and the internet. Your budget is $1000, including shipping. (We won't count tax, since that varies from state to state). If you're in, send me [meaning Sandra] your link by Monday, August 25th to be included. Posts must include pics of your chosen items, as well as prices, including what the shipping would be.Feel free to share the idea with fellow bloggers. It'll be fun to see what everyone comes up with, and exciting to find out about some internet decor sources we might not already be familiar with!

So I've been shopping and planning for the last few days, and have a really good head start on y'all, but if you're game, run over to Canyon Wren and let her know you're interested. I'll be posting my finished room concept here on Monday. I've shown my virtual purchases to my daughter, and she has informed me that I'm losing my mind. So I know it's good. It has to be. Kids don't know diddly. Do they? ;-)
P.S. Don't forget to scroll down and enter my 100th post giveaway! Only one more day to comment, or you lose for sure! Come on, now, quit lurking and get on that list! You KNOW you want to!!! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Red Bamboo?! Crazy Town Part Deux

Puff says: "I don't know. I haven't decided if I like it yet."
Tess says: "Why YES! The fabric matches ME! I think I'll pose with it!"

Gratuitous caladium and maidenhair fern garden porn.

I found my 3/4 yd piece of zebra ultrasuede! I could only do two of the chairs with it, so I need to hunt some more down on ebay. Or somewhere.

I love my new eating area! The table under there is an old painted drop-leaf that was on our back porch when I was growing up in New Baltimore. I "called it" from Mom's house. (My sister and I actually didn't fight over much stuff, surprisingly enough!) I need to paint it, so it can be used without a tablecloth, even though I really like eating on a tablecloth. Lord knows I have enough of 'em!

Details: Spray paint Rustoleum American Accents, Colonial Red, Smooth Satin Finish (Lowes)
Wall Paint: Olympic Premium, Satin Latex, Color: Morning Fog (Lowes)
All of the trim and wainscotting paint is Olympic exterior satin finish white off the shelf.
Don't forget to scroll down and enter my 100th post giveaway! Drawing is Friday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

100th Post Giveaway!

I had to hop on the bandwagon, right? All of you have had givaways for your 100th post, so I figured I should celebrate too! I should have planned ahead, but I didn't. AND I can't decide what to give away! I have some paintings that I've done, a lime and chocolate tote bag that I made, earrings, perhaps?! Hmmm....I'll have to think on it. In the mean time, I'm going to randomly select one of you from the comments on this, my 100th post thread (or is that thread tomorrow? no matter...I'm using this thread for the comment count) on Friday evening. If you'd like, you can express what you might like for the giveaway. I may have to do a smorgasbord of sorts. We'll see!! Let's call it a surprise package, shall we? Tell all your friends! Send 'em over here! This is BIG, people! Hee! I'm going to be around for another 100 too, so get ready! (I know, you can't WAIT to see what I'll say next! LOL)
ATTN: All you lurkers, y'all can join up too! I don't discriminate! :-D

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Crazy Town

I'll tell you about Crazy Town in a minute. But first, look at the pillows I made today! I just loved this fabric and had to have it. I bought three quarters of a yard at a designer fabric outlet in Kinderhook, NY about a month ago for $35. It's a heavyweight tapestry, and I considered making a small rug out of it for my bathroom (for about a minute) before I decided to make pillows instead. I LOVE 'em!
I put a yummy green velvet on the back, that I bought at the same place.

OK, so below is what my friend Kelly is referring to as "Crazy Town." She just "doesn't get" why I want to use raspberry red with my blue walls in my kitchen. What's to get? I think it's cool! Opinions, anyone out there? Am I crazy? I want to paint my built-in a raspberry red too. Seriously, tell me if you think I'm nutso.

I love this toile so much I can hardly stand it. It's my favorite fabric at Bolt, and has been since we opened. I can't believe someone hasn't snatched it up by now! Maybe it's just me!
And as promised, my awesome stainless bar cart, bought for $35 at a garage sale the other day.
Party on, Garth!
The bottom is actually perfectly fine stainless...that debris you see there is from the rain pelting all over it last night.
And last but most certainly not least, my too-cool-for-school faux bamboo chairs, picked up at a nearby flea market on Sunday. Guess how much I paid? You won't believe it when I tell you! I got four of them, and I'm painting them red, and puttin' 'em in my kitchen. CRAZY town!
Oh, P.S., they came with seats, if that factors into your monetary calculations. I just took them off to paint.
Tomorrow we're headed to Six Flags Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom. Funny-fun-fun! I may bring my camera to get pics of Kathleen on crazy roller coasters. Scary!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Summer Daze

On a nice sunny summer afternoon in NY, don't you just want to curl up with a good book? I bought a new magazine last night at Borders, called Southern New England Home. I love looking at "local" homes and decor. I can't wait to crack it open. The pages are nice and thick--it feels like a book, and will probably end up in my decor book collection.
Lost in thought, gazing at the river.

Random river shot.

Kathleen made this fruit pizza last week for a dinner party. Didn't she do a great job?
I just love these in the summer, with all the fresh fruit that's available to us. Yummmy!

A little proud? Hee!
I managed to putty up all the holes in the beadboard and molding in the kitchen today, and got a coat of paint on it all. I'm probably going to need two more coats. Ugh. I weeded my gardens, too, since the humidy has finally broken. It's been pretty nasty here of late. Today and yesterday were gorgeous days. Oh, and I bought a VERY cool stainless steel buffet cart thingie for next to my outdoor grill. I'll take a pic to show y'all later. I got it at a garage sale today! Cheap!

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