Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yes, There's 5 of 'em...

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up with five kids. Five. It sounds like a lot, but when you're having them one at a time and they are all cute and little it doesn't seem bad. Then as they get big--I mean teen boy adult sized big--it suddenly seems like a lot. I love my kids--they are my life--luv 'em so much...but sometimes the number 5 can be overwhelming. For instance, dinner is chaos, bed times worse (I have just about given up on that one), and I won't even mention feeling like I've fought a war by the time 8:00 a.m. rolls around and they are all out of the house and in school---ha ha. But this is my life, and yes, there may be 5 of 'em....but I love each and every ONE. I am blessed.

Where did my Silk Curtains go?

I am in the process of making my new curtains for the living room...I actually have them hanging but am going to take them down and add some large grommets. A friend asked me, "where are your other curtains". Well...they worked perfectly in my bedroom. I have black solar blinds in there and hung these over them. They match the color scheme perfectly and make the room even more romantic. You can only see a portion of the room, unfortunately. They other half has a tall dresser, a love seat, side table and a few other things. The wall color seems washed out in this photo, it is much darker. The art was hand made for my husband while serving on his mission. I hand made the spread, the shams and throw earlier this year...the pillows were purchased. I made the wooden head board by taking a wooden door, painting it black and hanging it on the wall. I love making design work on a is a fun challenge for me...I am constantly trying to be innovative with design.

More Decorating....on the Sly....

My husband went away for five days to visit his grandfather. I am not so sure that was a great idea considering I am smack dab in the middle of trying to redecorate our living room. You never know what I can do when I am in this mode. It all started with an honest trip to Target. I promise. I went with the desire to get inspiration from their home decoration isles--because they carry a good amount of product and because turn over there is great they always have something new to see. I decided to take a look in the furniture isles. Well, typically if I am going to buy inexpensive furniture the store of my choice is IKEA Seattle. But while minding my own business, looking for inspiration, and fully intending NOT to buy anything a room divider jumped out at me. This is not your typical room divider, it is a tall shelf, six feet high, modern, black.....I loved the lines. I liked how it was different. Well, the innovated me started thinking. What if I turned it on it's side and flanked my fireplace wall with it? It would only work if it was long enough to look like a built in. mind started turning. Before I knew it instinct took over and I bought one in hopes it would work. When I came home I measured that space and guess what? Fit's perfectly. Looks like a built in. For a fraction of the cost. Luv it! The very day Doug was to return I had Jacob help me set it up. He came in, I showed him, he didn't disagree about anything (but didn't remark much either). So the following day I went back and bought a second, set that one up on the opposite side, and moved the piano a bit up into the space. I now have that layering affect that I love. Surprisingly it makes the room look much larger with more furniture. And best of all I now have a place to display all of my art pieces.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Urban meets Shabby Chic

I found this frame at T.J. Maxx. I love how it envelopes the very essence of what I want my house to be...something I am calling "urban chic". As you may know my husband is very modern and likes cutting edge design. I love old eclectic things--and modern design--but more importantly want to be able to display and have a home where I can enjoy my altered art creations and findings. The question is how can I do both and pull it off? This frame is two pieces of clear glass sandwiched together. Gilded frames on the inside which represent a different era. I added the scrapbook paper floating in the middle. Not shown is a brown ribbon from the upper edges so you can hang the frame like they used to back in the early 1900's. Wow, love this frame. Guess what? Doug does too!
I filled the frame with pictures of Doug's ancestors....which made a great personal touch to the living room space I am trying to create. Stay tuned for the unveiling of our much fought about living room space, one that has been five years in the making...

This Weekend - the Kitsap Harbor Festival

Make sure you all take part and come to the Kitsap Harbor Festival. Their will be intra-city ferries running from Bremerton to Port Orchard and tours of tall sailing ships! I am excited to attend...can't wait to see all of the little shops set up...look around...relax and enjoy the nice weather and great community we live in.

For a list of all their events visit

Handmade Embellished Birds

When I went on the hunt to choose fabric for my new curtains I collected several swatches of gorgeous fabrics. I didn't want to just throw them away, so came up with this idea...I drew a little template of a bird, cut a pattern, sewed front and back together, stuffed and embellished. Notice that I left the edges detail and made these birds very quick...I was able to throw all three together in about 45 mins.
Oh...sneak peak...that is the green/blue color I painted my walls!! I will post the completed room soon.
Bird made from fabric swatches, stuffed, crown detail added

Simple bird from fabric swatch, real feather for tail, metal embellishment & rhinestone. Adheared with hot glue gun.

My favorite bird...velvet fabric, peacock tail feather, his wing is fringe from a fabric, a flower folded in half, and a crystal. Carrying in his mouth is a rhinestone embellished heart and keys.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Modern Photo/Scrapbook Idea

I made this picture for my husband last Christmas.
I took the photo of he and our youngest at the Aquarium. When I had the image printed I fell in love with it---the photo was taken while the two of them were deep in conversation about the fish. I love how it is just their silhouettes and how they are holding hands.
Doug loves modern design so I knew I needed to do something cutting edge for him to appreciate the gift. I had the photo enlarged at Costco and then cut it up into even squares. I then picked an acid free scrapbook paper for the background (this one is from Basic Grey). The technique I used to lay out the picture was simple. I kept the squares close together where their bodies were and spread them out as if fading into the background where focal points were not.

Salad-Eats is a Delicious Success

Broccoli Salad

Apple & Snicker Salad (yes, you read right, snicker bars)
This was new to all of us--and a real treat!!

Salad Greens, Spinach, Cranberry Salad with Poppy seed Dressing

Carrots, Celery, Onion--cooked just right and chilled w/ dressing
I had never had this one before and it was a treat!!

Spinach, Strawberry & Walnut Salad (half way eaten)!!

Greens, Tomato, Feta Cheese

Beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, lime...delicious!
Every three months our Enrichment group gets together for a "Good-Eats" activity. Tonight I hosted it in my home. We assigned everyone to bring Salad's this month. The photos above are some of the salads shared tonight. The idea is to try something new, swap recipes, eat, and enjoy good company. Back in February we did Sweet-Eats and had wonderful desserts right before Valentines Day. I loved all of the different salads and was able to try some I had never heard of before...thanks to all that was a Delicious Success!

I'm not too good for the Dollar Store

My 19 1/2 year old son is back home, looking for a job, smack dab in the middle of this horrible economy. He was in the kitchen with his girlfriend when I came in one day and I announced that there was a new Dollar Store opening up and a sign was in the window stating they were doing walk in interviews the following week. When I announced this news he smirked, then laughed (as if I were ridiculous for even mentioning it), and then said, "Mom, I am not going to work at the dollar store". Okay, so if not then what is he going to do? Hummm, play more video games until his brain goes numb?? I explained how it would be a great job until he could move onto something he may feel would suit him better. I mentioned the interview a few more times that week and asked him if he was going to go in---but he always avoided answering me.

I feel that there is a problem with this generation of children...particularly my children...who feel entitled. Entitled to have the best of the best without working hard. It is down right upsetting to me. I am not sure how this has even come about. Doug and I have worked our buns off to be where we are today. So the more I thought about this job the more upset I became.

Thursday arrived...and his friend came over to our house with his television and XBox and there they sat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, not showered, playing video games, feeling entitled....and so I popped the question again, "are you going to the dollar store to apply?" No answer.

I was so mad at that time that I told Jordan I was not too good to work at the dollar store and I was going to apply myself. And I did just that. I drove over there, walked in, filled out an application, and was hired on the spot. It felt great, almost like sweet revenge. I was actually excited...Plus, I love the dollar store. I shop there often and find great treasures to transform into my altered art. On my way out I grabbed two more applications and went home.

When I got back home I put those applications in front of Thing1 and Thing 2 and told them to get their buns down there before 1:00 ore else. I was shocked to see that they actually listened. Was it because I had gotten a job? Well, I am not sure...but they finally got a clue...and guess what? Now we all three work at the dollar store!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Doug and Amylia Duke it out over Fabric

Okay, it isn't that I particularly enjoy doing things without my husbands blessing. It is just that if you know Doug and I when it comes to decorating (and living almost 17 years together) you know that we are like oil and water. That is why Davenport went up while he was working....and why the rug was bought as a present for myself (while he was working)...and why things magically appear when he comes home.

I was relieved when Doug didn't object to the white rug. Huge hurdle here. I wanted to go out and buy paint immediately. But fabric had to come next so I had something to spring from. We planned to meet at JoAnn Fabrics. I knew the fabric I wanted before I went because my friend Barbara and I looked earlier in the week. Including Doug in the "picking the fabric" choice was a bad idea. I knew it from experience. I was hoping for an open mind on his part...okay, PRAYING for an open mind.

He arrived to the store first. I was close behind. I saw him in the fabric isle with a grin on his face. He excitedly remarked, "I found the perfect fabric!" I followed him right past the row where my choice was and over to fabric that was brown, black and cream. No color. Same as we always have. He continued to explain how his choice will work for curtains, throws, pillows...and so on and so forth...the babbling went in one of my ears and out the other. I simply said, "We have done that, I want something different. I want color."

I could feel the tensions rise as I took him over to my fabric choice. A gorgeous smokey green/blue with white flowers and taupe stems. Something I normally would not choose because it is so feminine. I explained how the feminine fabric would soften the hard modern lines of our furniture. How I could paint two of the walls the green/blue and leave the other the it gives me a spring board for color.

It is then when he says, "Where is the black". I tell him that black is an element in our couch, piano and wall hangings. It doesn't need to be in the fabrics. I also mention something in a not so nice tone, "Don't you ever watch Candice Olsen?" He then in a smart tone starts spouting off his resume to me...I then in an even smarter tone and a higher pitched voice tell him I hate what we have had in the past and want to go completely opposite. I can tell by this time his blood pressure is raised and we are drawing a few eyes our way. He takes a few turns around the fabric isles to cool off. Then he says, "do what you want, you always do anyway!" And he leaves.

It crosses my mind that I could either leave and figure it out later (which means never get the fabric I fell in love with) or not back down and just buy it. It is a good thing I was more than a little ticked off because I took the fabric down, had it cut and paid for it.

When I got home I was glad to see he wasn't there yet. I ran in and hung it over the bare curtain rod to see what it would look like. Wow, it looked so good to me. I went out and did some weeding in the yard and saw him pull in and go into the house. A few hours later I came in and guess what he said?? "I actually like the fabric." I said, "are you kidding?" He replied, "no, I wouldn't kid about that". Wowzers. I won!!

Sneak Peak....

Doug and Amylia "duke" it out over this fabric choice in Jo Ann's. Stay tuned to see who wins!!

It all started with a New Rug...

"We need a focal point"...ugh, I had heard those words a million times. I don't want the brick fireplace to dictate the color of my walls! Five years ago Doug and I picked out a throw rug for the formal sitting room in swirls with multi colors. This rug accented the fireplace plus gave us a pallet of several colors to choose from. These were earth tones and dark colors, many colors, but again I repeat "dark colors". And so over the past five years that rug has been the spring board for what colors we could or could not paint the room. The problem wasn't that I completely hated the color Copper Penny. The problem was that it sucked all of the light out of that room, which is connected to both the dining area as well as the kitchen. Living in Seattle can be especially gloomy during the winter season. I refused to go another winter with dark walls.

The dilemma is that I love color. After painting Davenport I was still not happy. It, too, sucked all the light from the room. Feeling frustrated I gave up for a while. That is when I came up with a plan. If Doug was going to make me design color around a rug then I needed a new one. Something white. Something large. Something fluffy. I happened upon this very rug and knew at once I had to have it. So I bought it for myself and called it my Mother's Day gift. Doug couldn't make me take back a mother's day gift, now could he?

Later that night Doug and I went out and saw the new Star Trek movie. When we came home it was around 1:00 am. Guess what? The room was light. The carpet had made all the difference! Now all I needed was fabric...and paint...and convincing Doug. That was the hardest part.

Grandpa's 88th Birthday Present

This is Grandpa as a young boy. I used 5X7 Canvas Board, covered with paper, painted and inked for more of an antique look. My color choice for these three altered pictures were brown, creams and blues. The buttons are vintage, the toy ads are from G45 line, I pronounced his bow tie by making one out of ribbon. Text Reads:
"Inside every older person is a young person wondering, "What the hell happened?"

This is Grandpa when he was serving in WWII. He was a fly boy. My sister helped me come up with the quote:
"When I was younger I was a fly boy, But they have long since clipped my wings."

This is a photo of grandpa and grandma. Her corsage is embellished with rhinestones. I put the words to an old song, "Let me call you Sweetheart, I'm in Love with You."

Altered Birthday Card For Grandpa

Doug's Grandfather turned 88 last week and to help celebrate he flew out to visit him. I wanted to make something special for Doug to bring with him. I found this great picture of him---in his early teen years. The card reads
"Birthday's Are Good For You..."

"...Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest!"

The Life and Death of Copper Penny

Douglas and Amylia live happily together---except when it comes to color and d├ęcor. Battle will often erupt when speaking about either of these two. So their house often remains minimal, almost vacant, you can hear the echoes….About three years ago Douglas came home with two gallons of “copper penny”, one at each side, and as if guns drawn from a holster, the battle began. Out came the equipment and up went copper penny from floor to ceiling. Well, almost floor to ceiling. He left the trimming to his side kick Amylia. Bad choice because Amylia wasn't sure if she liked copper penny or even wanted to be friends with copper penny. Copper penny doesn't go very well with her most favorite thing in the world, Christmas. How was she to marry the two? So there sat the copper penny, floor to ceiling (or almost) for over a year. Then one day Amylia decided that she was tired of seeing "shipyard grey" hiding behind copper penny. Shipyard grey would slyly poke his nose around copper penny and laugh, “ha ha ha I’m still here!” Soooo the inevitable happened and Amylia finally gave into copper penny, accepting it with it's full grace. Besides, Copper Penny had some good looked beautiful when a spot light cast shadow up it’s wall. It was rich, but bright, dark, but at times light. Another two years went by and Amylia came home this time, two gallon’s of paint in her holster and while Douglas was gone….guess what? Hello Davenport.

I posted this story on Face Book and have now added a wonderful color to Davenport. I am making curtains today. Even though the room is not finished I will soon post new pictures as the saga continues...."Amylia and Doug Duke it out in JoAnn Fabrics"....