Christine's put together a really great kit for March. Colors that challenge me a little bit, but sometimes it's good to be challenged. Rich reds and browns, with touches of cream and black. Here are the layouts I've done so far.
On that last one, I used a picture and journaling from a blog post I wrote last month. So quick and easy.
Thanks for checking out my layouts. Stop over to the site and see the rest of the DT gallery. Really great work in there.
Getting curtains up on some windows was one of the goals I had for this vacation. Curtains are problematic for me for a few reasons. Firstly, I'm not a huge fan of capital W capital T Window Treatments. I'm very fussy about fabric, so often I just end up going for basic, plain white. Also, curtains can be pretty expensive. Even if you choose to make them yourself, the fabric can cost a lot. So I got really lucky when I found these...
Two awesome vintage floral prints that I totally love. The one on the left, I found at the antique store in Putnam a couple days ago. Over 5 yards of it for $30. If you have tried to purchase home decor fabric recently, you know what a good deal this was! $6/yard is crazy. The one on the right, I purchased at Brimfield last year and forgot about until I was digging through my fabric stash yesterday. Again, there were at least 5 yards and I think I paid $10 for the entire length. $2/yard is even better!
Last night I made curtains for my office...
I'm cropping these pictures carefully because the rest of the room isn't ready to be seen yet, but at least I have curtains now. To make curtains for two windows, I had to do the kind that end at the window sill. And for now, they are tied back with lace hem tape. Which isn't really how one does windows, but whatever.
At some point, I'd like to hang them from nicer poles and replace the blinds with something different - wood or bamboo maybe, but for now the room looks a lot more finished than it did before. I love the pattern and color. Gray and yellow. So perfect and pretty!
Now, downstairs I have just one big room - a living and dining area all together, with three windows and some sliding doors leading to a deck. And since I didn't have enough fabric to do all of it, I decided to make curtains for the dining area for now.
The dining area only has one window. I'll do the living room area in a coordinating but different fabric when I find the right one. I need to make some proper ties for this window as well. For now, hem tape will have to do. Since I was only doing one window, I made floor to ceiling curtains so it would look more dramatic. So far, I've only hung Margot and Richie in the downstairs area. They are my favorite pieces of wall art, at the moment. The china closet in the corner is really exciting to me. It's not mine, it belongs to my landlords, but I'm pretty sure it's from the thirties or forties. It holds all my wine and cocktail glasses, and I'm using the top for my bar, at the moment. And the portrait up there is my Pepere in his Navy uniform. It seems to fit.
I'll re-cover the dining chairs with a better fabric at some point, I think. I took this picture standing in the living room area, looking towards the dining area. I can't show you the living room yet because the couch is too horrible and either needs to be slip-covered or replaced entirely. I shouldn't exaggerate. It is a comfortable and well-built couch with upholstery that is not at all to my taste. And it will have to do for a while.
And just for comparison, here are these two areas before...
Of course, these are the ugliest pictures imaginable, so the contrast should be quite remarkable.
I love having all this time to work on my house. Too bad it's back to work on Monday.
Cocoa Daisy's March kit is called Coffee House. It's full of rich browns and reds and light cream, and Basic Grey and Cosmo Cricket circa 1934. I've done four so far. It's been really fun to work with. Here are some peeks.
Though this first one is misleading because pink is not a main theme in this kit. I used pink paint for the background, with red as an accent color. I like that Christine has included more of those craft paper envelopes. I love using them for hidden journaling!
These two give a better idea of what the kit is like...
I love the custom coffee ring stamp that comes with this kit. These Basic Grey canvas tags are pretty cool!
The DT gallery, kit, and add-ons will be revealed on February 28th. Be sure to stop by and check it out!
It took me quite a while to figure out what to do with all the art and "art" I have collected for decorating the walls. I'm never really certain about how things will look until I go ahead and hammer a bunch of nails into the wall and try things out. I tend to like the collage-y art gallery look, but sometimes it's hard to get it right. For the bedroom, I shuffled things around on the floor for a long time before I decided on an arrangement I was willing to take a risk on.
This is what I came up with.
I definitely like the wall above my bed. The other one, I'm not sure about.
Above the bed: a hedgehog print from Chipmunk Cheeks, embroidered daisies from Goodwill, my dad on a mountain in the sixties, a collage made of butterfly wings from an antique store, twee rabbits in a ridiculously ornate frame, ferns from Groundwork (Danna Ray) (I want her fungi print next).
Side of the bed: mirror I got as a gift from my friend's mom for college graduation, vintage flower print from an antique store, unicorn plaque from eBay (why?), oil painting of Amsterdam from an antique store, two little oil paintings by Ruth Kole Cargill from an art festival in Norwalk, CT.
It would probably look a lot better in here if I made the bed.
By the way, some day I might even polish the bed, but I kind of like the tarnish so it's not at the top of my list.
I'm getting a fair amount of stuff done around the house this week. I have reduced the number of piles significantly. Tonight I'm going to try my hand at making curtains. It should be very easy, if what I've read is correct. Wish me luck!
I'm about to get started on Cocoa Daisy's March kit, but I wanted to do one more with the adorable February kit, Frayed Canvas. This one is for Lisa's challenge to tell a story, so the focus was supposed to be on the journaling. I'm not always good at that, but I did manage to write down the things I remember about this day.
OK, so it's mainly a catalog of details. I'm not good at sharing feelings. But this challenge gave me a chance to use more of the Sassafras Lass papers from the kit. That floral one is an all time favorite, I think.
And more birds. One for each of us - Aaron, Ryan, and me.
That's the best I can do at telling a story, at the moment. I'll have sneak peeks of my March layouts soon. :)
It's sort of hard to believe it's February vacation already. We've had so many snow days this year that it feels like we just got back from Christmas break. Other schools in the area have lost their February breaks to try to make up some of the snow days. We got lucky. My school district didn't have to resort to that. So I have a week off and I need to try to get more settled in. I have a bunch of projects I need to work on around the house this week.
Like hanging up wall art and placing knick knacks. Don't laugh at my knick knacks. They have sentimental value. I'd like to get the office finished...
...which means I need to make some curtains this week.
By the way, my plant is on the top shelf of the bookcase and looking lopsided because Gretchen eats it. I wish I could have houseplants but it just doesn't work around here.
I'd like to get rid of all the little piles I've got all over the place. This pile at the top of my stairs is an especially bad one...
Other things to do this week...
bring stuff to Salvation Army (and maybe take a peek inside to see if they have anything good)
mend a ruined chair
March Cocoa Daisy layouts
finish gathering stuff for taxes
maybe a little baking
start a new workout regimen before I gain a bunch of weight back for godsake
By the end of this week, I hope to be able to show pictures of these same spots in the house looking MUCH better. What are your goals for the week?
Settling into a new house takes me forever. I still have so many random things lying around waiting to be put somewhere permanent. And some days I'm really tired and don't feel like working on it. I wrote a long goal list this morning, but I only accomplished a couple of items. I managed to hang up a few things in the bathroom. I might be about done with that room, but I always fiddle with things so you never know. Renting means you don't have total control, but I actually kind of like the wainscoting in the bathroom. And that ledge means I've got a lot of room for little decorative items and pictures.
I seem to have a theme going on with the wall art in here. I started with her...
My parents had this drawing in the bathroom of our house when I was little, so it seems like it belongs there. I can't really picture it in any other room, even though I suppose it could go anywhere. She kind of inspired my other choices for the room.
I put up a print from My Folk Lover and a plaque I found at Goodwill. I was pleased to discover that my stapler will go through both particle board and ribbon, so it was really easy to attach the striped ribbon to hang her up. I think she's supposed to be snuggling the kitten, but it kind of looks like a disembodied kitten head. I don't know. It's a little weird but I like it.
And I'm not quite sure why my mom's high school portrait ended up in here, except that it seems to fit in well with the other ladies and it goes with the colors in here perfectly. Plus, I get to look at it every morning and every evening.
I should add that this is the "people" bathroom. There is a half-bath downstairs that I'm really only using as a broom closet and cat bathroom.
There's still so much more to do, but I have a lot of ideas.
There's a fashion blog I read called Kendi Everyday, written by a girl from Texas with cute, quirky style. She's pretty daring in the way she puts outfits together - lots of combinations that would never occur to me. It's a fun blog to read, and she did a series a while back on putting together a working closet. Basically that means a closet that works for you and she goes through the process stepwise with a lot of good tips. You should check it out, actually, if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, the idea of a working closet was in the back of my mind when I got my hands on this awesome walk-in a few weeks ago. I've been tweaking things here and there for a couple weeks now, trying to organize things in the most convenient possible way, and it's almost done (I think). One of my little projects for the weekend was to hang some pretty Anthropologie hooks for my jewelry.
Well, actually H did it for me, but I told him where to hang them. I like things to be pretty, even if it's just the inside of a closet. The bird is my favorite. Put a bird on it! I know, I know. Whatever. I like them. Having the necklaces right there where I can see them helps me remember what I have, for one thing. And the hooks keep them untangled and easy to access.
I decided to hang this old frame here, too. I can't remember where I got those fabric flowers. I've had them forever and I really like them.
I'm also pretty fond of this old postcard. I found it ages ago in an antique store. I think it's funny.
I plan to add magazine clippings and switch them up once in a while. Because sometimes I need to be reminded to make an effort, for crying out loud. Especially in the winter.
The other little thing I did in here was polish my mom's silver platter. Have you ever polished silver? What a messy and disgusting job. But it looks much better now. It holds my perfume and my Nana's old prayer book.
I got this little rug at Urban Outfitters a while ago and it's a good size for the closet. Also, having a little stool in here is great for putting on and taking off shoes.
So, here's what I do. In the evening, I choose all the pieces of my outfit and hang them all together near the mirror. I also lay out underwear, jewelry, and shoes. That way, I can just go right into the closet in the morning and get dressed from head to toe without even having to think about it. It's nerdy, but it's also a real time saver. I can sleep later that way.
Only four more school days until vacation - then I'm going to go to town on this place! I can't wait.