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Friday, January 29, 2010

Slow but Sure....Romantic French Living Room

I've been making progress. Really, I have. I'm not ready to reveal the whole room yet, but I'll give you some snippets of what I've got done.
Still haven't found the pillow insert for that cover laying across the chair, or figured out why it's missing in the first place.

I've been having issues blending our furnishings together. In the last house we had a living room and a family room, and here we only have one large room. One of our rooms there was in browns and greens, and the other was red, black, and golds, so now I have to figure out how to make everything look like it belongs together.

As you'll see, I love old floral paintings and lots of flowers. And color. I LOVE color.
I try to make our primary room as romantically french as possible, since that's the style that makes me feel cozy and yummy. I like being able to look around while I'm lounging on the couch and remember the stories behind every find in the room.

So for now, here's what I've gotten done in the living room.
I plan on making name plates for those clocks and setting them all for different times. Most everyone we know is in different time zones, and it'll make it easy to keep up with them.

I also want to find something to cover up that gray marble on the fireplace.
This isn't our 'forever house', so I whatever it is has to be easily removable. I think I'm going to check in to that Hallmark adhesive paper on the roll. We'll never use the fireplace since it's gas, and the smell gives me migraines, so I just want something for the look.

I've changed this mantle arrangement a zillion times, and I've decided I'm sticking with this.
It  may be too busy for some of you, but I like all of the color and texture, so it's here to stay.

And here's the table behind my loveseat.
I wanted to put all of my bird's nest collection on it, but it seems I can't find all of those yet either.
So, I put silver trays on there and filled them with candy instead.
(Click on it for a larger picture that shows more detail.)
And this is a card that a sweet friend sent me a long time ago.

This weekend I'm going to tackle this room. Wish me luck!
This is my Fabric Room!

See all those boxes? They're full of fabric that has to be color coordinated and put on the shelves.
Believe it or not, I sold 34 of the bigger boxes FULL of fabric before we moved, but I kept all the really good stuff!

Boy, I'm tired.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Duck, Duck, uh......Mallard? Finding joy in the Little Things

So last night I told you I'd tell you tonight what we happened upon yesterday that really was an unexpected treat. Well, everyday we drive down the road in front of our house and we pass this little lake that looks more like a big pond from the road. A few days ago we saw 2 boats on the water with people fishing, but we couldn't figure out how they got there.

Yesterday, we decided to drive down the road closest to it to see where the actual boat dock was.
Wow, what a surprise we got! There was a whole park back there, and that big pond was actually a winding lake. It was fabulous.There's a ball park, an amphitheatre, a wedding chapel, a fishing dock, a picnic area, and these, lots of these.

Literally, when we drove around the bend and came upon this, it took my breath away. I had to jump out of the car and take a few pictures.

Isn't it wonderful?

It was such a cold and dreary day, and the wind was blowing which made it even colder, and yet here were all of these ducks strutting around like they didn't have a care in the world. It truly did feel magical for a moment.

As I began to walk towards them I felt for sure they would quickly scatter and dart away from me. But instead they walked directly up to me, no doubt thinking I would feed them.

Here I was with nothing for them, only a Hershey bar for myself in my pocket. I felt so bad, and it didn't take them long to realize I came empty handed...........

That's right. They turned around and walked away.
My husband sat in the car laughing at me. It was a funny sight, seeing them run up to me, ponder a moment, and then turn around and leave.
Next time I'll know to stuff my pockets with bread.

As we were leaving the park, we spotted this, which perfectly thrilled my husband since he enjoys fishing. He was excited that we found this only two miles from the new house. So was I, but for different reasons.

I bet those people feel so peaceful out there.

And do you see that little red barn through the tree branches? As soon as I figure out how to get over there, I'll be taking some pictures of that as well.
I wanted to show you more pictures of this wonderful place, but it'll require a warmer day.

And just so you don't think I've stopped unpacking and started playing, here's a sneak peek of Friday's post:

I can't for the life of me figure out why the pillow was removed from it's cover, and I sure haven't found it yet.
BUT, I DID find those pesky brackets I've been looking for for days. If they had been a snake, they'd have bit me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sneak Peek of the New Dining Room

EDITED 1/30/2010: Ive just run upon this blog and discovered that she has a Silver Sunday party. Silver?! You know I'm there. Count me in. Run over there and see all of the other beautiful silver pieces everyone else is showcasing. I'm envious of her collection, and can't believe what she just found among her family treasures!
I've been working away at widdling down the boxes. I can finally see over them, which is a major accomplishment if I do say so myself.
There aren't any rooms fully finished, so I can't show you much right now, and I still haven't found my brackets for the drapery rods so I still don't have any window treatments hung. Where are those darned things? If you see them, will you please let me know.

Do you remember my obsession with all things tarnished silver? In this move I decided to open all of my boxes of silver to see how much I really do have. I'll just tell ya that even I was surprised. I vowed to display as much of it as I could, and since I now have a formal dining room, I figure I'll start in there.
Not that my dining room is too formal by any means, as you'll see, but you know what I mean - a dining room that sets all by itself instead of being part of another room.

Here's a little peek at what I've been working on.
Hmmm, I see I'm also missing the globes and candles for those green candlestick holders.
No clue why they weren't together in the box. Now where could they be?

I LOVE my silver. This is just the beginning of putting it out, as I've noticed pieces of it seem to be migrating to all of the other rooms. I'm fighting putting some on the mantle, but I think I'll lose that battle in the end.

Just wanted to give you a peek.
Tomorrow night I'm going to tell you about what I found today, right down the road from the house.
It was such a pleasant surprise for both me and hubby.

I'm headed up to the workroom for the night to build my new worktable. I'll take good pics so I can do a tutorial on how to build one for yourself. I call it my 6 foot x 10 foot ironing board, because essentially, that's what it is.

Now, everybody all at once, stop what you're doing and repeat after me..................
"Please let Polly find her drapery rod brackets tonight, repeat, repeat................."

Update on the Move

Where's Polly? Here I am!
Whew! That was quite the absense from blogland and I am so sorry. Many of you know that I have been moving across the country - literally - and I have been very busy, not to mention just plain exhausted.
Thank you to all of you who sent me emails checking in on me. I so appreciate the friends I've made here on this little blog.

(Very long drama filled post. Read if you dare.)

As most moves go, ours was certainly eventful. When it takes you 3 1/2 days to get 1300 miles, you know you've got issues. So let me tell you about it.

On the leaving end, we were running behind from the get-go. We had a lot more things than I remember packing the last time around. Never fear, that's why we have great friends in our lives. I just happen to have a close friend who is a house mom at a fraternity who has guys at the ready at the drop of a hat.
One call of panic and she shows up with 4 guys. We packed and packed and packed, and loaded and loaded and loaded. The first group of guys (yes, I said first) took great pride in the fact that they packed the truck like a jig saw puzzle, and they did.
Here's the proof:

We'll get back to that in a little bit, but just wanted to show that first truck. The second truck was not packed quite so tight or pretty, and there was one casualty. My angel's head fell off. That's a post for antoher day.

So after packing and loading all night, we realized we weren't going to get finished AND we weren't going to have enough room. We talked with the guys and determined that we were going to need another truck, and another day.

Soooo the next day I thought we were going to have 2 of the guys back, but my friend being smarter than me and thinking with a clearer head knew we were going to need more than that, so she planned for 7 guys the second day. And she was right too because it took us another 12 hours just to finish packing. God bless her because I sure don't know what I would've done without her, or those guys. So with all of them, my husband, my friend and me, we had a total of 10 people working on getting us packed and out of there.

Now let me cut to the chase and tell you a few quick things since I can already tell this is going to be along post.
1. Teenage guys CAN be responsible.

2. When they are tired and under the gun for time, they begin to throw stuff in boxes that do not necessarily go together, evidenced by locating a sewing machine in the box of kitchen towels upon my arrival. And finding shoes in boxes of office supplies. And shampoo with dishes. And toiletries in boxes of spray paint.
I still haven't found any of my brackets to hang my drapes, but one thing's for sure, I know I'll have to open each box to look.

3. They do care about people. Those boys worked so hard for so many hours. Now let me tell you, every time we've ever had to use their help over the years, we've always payed them each $10 an hour. That adds up really fast. Well, these guys - I kid you not - came to us during the moving process and said they wanted to do this for us for free because they know what we're going thru financially right now. They only asked that we sign off on their required philanthropy hours so that this would count towards their goal.

Guess who cried like a little baby when they told us that? ME, that's who. (And for my friend, incase you read this, you KNOW what you mean to me and I will never forget how you came through for me during this time. Stop crying.)

Ok, back to the move.......

Anyhoo, well in to the packing, we decided to go ahead and get that other truck. Huge bummer this was since we thought we'd be driving only one and pulling a car. Now this meant I had to drive one too and follow hubby all the way to KY. The expense of another truck and double the gas - UGH. That hurt.

Off hubby went to get a 14 foot truck. The guys got it almost loaded and then all of a sudden, the guy in charge of packing the truck told me there was no way we were going to fit everything in this truck either. WHAT DID YOU SAY? That's right, not. gonna. fit! Even taking tons of stuff to Goodwill and tons of stuff to the dump, still, not. enough. room.

This my friends, is where I started to have a breakdown. I was so afraid to even tell hubby. I knew this wouldn't go over well. It had already been a very stressful day. I'll spare the details of the drama involved in the decision to get a bigger truck. Those poor guys had to unload the truck they had just loaded! And they weren't even upset about it.

Back went the 14 foot truck and in came the other 26 foot truck. The guys reloaded that one with all of the stuff they had set out on the yard from the one they had just unpacked. We decided that we may not have enough stuff to completely fill that big of a truck, so I told them they may want to pack this one a bit looser. Oh, huge mistake. Never tell teenage boys to "just get it all in there however you can". They will take you very literally. And by the way, we had plenty left to fill that truck to the brim too. On the other end, this truck was a complete mess. too twice the time to get it unpacked as the first one.

After all was said and done, with no sleep for almost 2 full days, we decided to hit the road. Let me correct myself there - hubby decided for us to hit the road. I told him I didn't think I could do it and suggested that we just go get some sleep in a hotel, but noooo, he thought we should get on the road and put a few hours behind us before the next day. So we drove about 6 hours and stopped for the night.

First night, all is well. We finally got some sleep.
Next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed, we hit the road thinking we'd drive about 10 hours or so.
About an hour into the drive we both realized how tired our bodies were, so we drove in a daze, fighting sleep the whole day. About midway through Kansas we started to hit heavy fog. Heavy. The 'I can't see a thing' kind of fog. After driving just about 6 hours, we had to stop for the night again.

We were still exhausted and just wanted to get to bed. But no, that just wasn't going to be part of the luck we were to have that night.
Right after pulling in to the hotel, this happened:
That's a gash in that tire about 4 inches long. You know what a 4 inch gash does to a tire? It lets the air out. Let's the air out of a tire on a truck with 12,000 pounds of boxes on it. Hmmm, how do ya jack that up to change it?
Oh yeah, and this. Did you know that the side of a Uhaul truck is pressboard? Me either until I saw this.
Now how did I get that gash in tire and the slash on the side of truck you ask? Apparently I had a little dance with the end of this truck.
Now in my defense, it was very foggy outside.
And he was parked on the end of the row, with his extended bed truck parked directly across from another extended bed truck (from the same company I might add). Now how do you expect a large truck to make that curve? And that extended length van on the end with them didn't help either.
See how his truck sticks out 3 feet further than all of the others?
NOT my fault I tell ya.
And then there were these illegally parked vehicles at the end of the lot at the start of my turn.
Don't be fooled, they are a lot closer than they appear. Look at the edge of the curb and the edge of the truck.

And last but not least, there was NO sign at the entrance to the hotel drive saying that large vehicles would not fit in the parking lot. Once you make that turn into the lot, you're stuck. There's no where to go and nowhere to turn around, and it doesn't look like it's going to be small.
(Those are not my tire marks in the grass in case you were wondering.)
One of the workers at the hotel told me this happens all the time. I asked him why they didn't have a sign and he said they used to but someone knocked it down and it was never put back up. He said an RV had done the same thing that morning! Well then fix the (@^*^$@$&@^ thing already!

To say the least, it was a long night of waiting on roadside assistance to come and change the tire, waiting on the police to finish their reports, etc. Not too much sleep again that night.

Skip ahead to when we finally arrived at the new house.
The moving company shorted us a person. That was an hourly argument that I won't get in to. Just know that the second day I let them go in the middle of unloading the truck. Yes I did. I warned him not to show up again with less than we had booked. I was able to get some guys to come right over and finish unloading us though.

For convenience, they pulled the truck up to the door as you saw in the first picture. Here it is again.

Look's innocent enough, right?
Well, it had been raining all day the previous day. Notice how those front tires are in the ditch.
After they were finished unloading, we had to get the first truck back to Uhaul and get started on the second truck.

We got ready and jumped in the truck to head back over to turn it in.
One problem. Uhh, the ground was wet.
Doesn't look so bad here, but remember I told you those front tires were in the ditch.
Spin, spin, spin. Digging deeper ruts the whole time.

See what I mean? Can I tell you how frustrated hubby was at this point. Trust me, you do not want to know.

So after trying everything we knew to try, including boxes and carpet under the wheels.......

We finally had to call in this guy.
Yet another expense we weren't planning on during this trip.

Things just never seem to look as bad in pictures as they actually are. Trust me, these ruts are bad.

He pulled the truck right out like it was nothing.

So the end result is this, and now I have to figure out how to fix it this week. If only it will stop raining long enough for me to get out in the yard.

14" deep at the worst point.

Are you a yard expert? If you are, please tell me how to repair this. Seriously.

I know this post has gotten too long, so I'll end here for the day.

Give me a few days and I'll come back and let you into my little world of lots of boxes.
I've gotten more accomplished in this room than any other so far, if that tells you anything!

Whew, I need another nap. Actually I need to go bed. It's 1 am here already.

Thanks for tuning in.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Funky Junk's 1000 Follower Giveaway Party - See What I'm Giving!

Funky Junk Interiors' 1000 Followers Event
Welcome to those of you coming over from the Follower's Party at Funky Junk Interiors!
If it's your first time here, please kick off your shoes and stay a while. Scan the categories on the sidebar to see what's here that might interest you. Whether you're new here or returning, I'm pleased as punch to have you.

If you know Donna at Funky Junk, you already know that her blog is growing by leaps and bounds, and you're probably already following her every move. I know I am. If you don't know Donna, then she's a friend you're gonna wanna make. She's a true DIY gal's gal.

Donna started her blog to talk about a home renovation that she was gifted by a local church. Little did she know that her style of detailing her projects would cause her to develop a following of folks hungry for more how-to help. This demand prompted Donna to start another blog detailing her activities in the shop and in her home. You HAVE to see her home! Talk about turning trash into treasure
- she is the QUEEN!
Read a bit of her blog to see what she's all about, and be sure to read about her new Workshop Series.

I am an interior designer by trade, but have recently chosen to take a step back from that part of my career to focus on building a business centered on work solutions for the DIY gal. While working in my design business, and particularly in my drapery business, I discovered that it was hard to find some of the working tools that would make my life a bit easier. So, I decided since I was a creative gal and knew how to sew, I could certainly figure out something to make that would put everything I needed during my work day right on my body. This is how my women's work aprons were born.

I made several styles of aprons with many kinds of pockets, loops, accessories, etc, trying to create the right design. I wanted these to be perfect since I knew I wanted to market them to other women in my position. I've finally got it.

I've got my Etsy apron store open for reatil business now. Please take a few minutes and see what's there.

I'm giving you a great prize in honor of Donna's 1000 Follower Giveaway.

I'm offering you a choice of the following items in this giveaway. You'll need to go over to Funky Junk and leave a comment on her post starting Friday at 10:00 pm Pacific time. You do not have to be a follower to enter, but you do have to leave a comment.
NOTE: The winner will  be chosen from comments left over there - NOT here, but I certainly welcome your comments here.

(Click on Pictures to enlarge so you can see details.)
First up is the Workroom Apron. The pockets hold many items, and the loops hold your pliers, chalk markers, tape measure, hammer, etc. For those of you like me who need even more pockets than the apron allows, we have accessory pockets that slide on the waistband.
(Note: The accessory pockets are not a part of the giveaway - only the apron.
For more of the details on this apron, read the post following this one, or go see the description on Etsy.

Here are your fabric options for the Workroom Apron:
(Selected specifically for this giveaway.) The second is denimn and burlap in case you can't tell.


Next up is our very popular Farmer's Market Apron. This apron is perfect for the flea market or tag sale gal or the serious shopper that doesn't want to be bothered with a purse. There is a zippered pocket for safely storing valuables, and a small pocket for your business cards when you need them at the ready. This is a really cute fitting apron. Looks like a skirt when it's on.

Here are your fabric options for the Farmer's Market Apron:


For those of you who need a full body apron, we have The Everyday Crafter. This apron has 3 large pockets, lined, and an adjustable neck line. This apron also has a name badge that is embellished with the cutest buttons I can find.

These are the fabric options for The Everyday Crafter Apron:


And finally, if you already have your own craft apron and you just really don't need another - which I can't imagine! - then I'm offering one for the little gal in your life. This is our wildly popular Kid's Craft Apron. It has several pockets to stash all of their goodies, a few slots for markers, and a removable wash cloth for them to clean up their messy spills.

And here are the fabric choices for the Kid's Craft Apron:

Now to clarify:
1. You have a choice of 4 different aprons.
2. You have specific fabric selections for each apron style.
3. You must go to Funky Junk and leave a comment on her post to be eligible to enter. You do NOT have to have a blog, but you must leave her a way to get in touch with you should you win.
4. You MUST let her know in your comment which apron style you would like to have, and which fabric combination for that style you prefer. If you choose The Everyday Crafter or the Kid's Craft Apron, let her know the name you'd like to be put on the apron.
5. Winners of her contest will be announced on January 30th.

I'd really appreciate it if you'd help me spread the word about my work aprons. I'm fairly new to blogland and could use the word of mouth. You can see most of my aprons here as well as all of the current fabric combinations available. All aprons are made sturdy for continuous use. If you just have to have one now, go ahead and buy one for yourself, and if you happen to win the giveaway, I'll refund your money. How's that for a good deal?

If you like them and share my passion about being able to work smarter, pick up my new button to post to your blog. I'll thank you fo-ev-va!

Now run back over and check out all the projects the folks are posting over at Funky Junk's weekly Saturday Night Special.


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