Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Lately I feel that I am focused on making less go a long way.
Just a bit of Halloween here and there.Low key this year. Just touches of nature and a little creepiness for good measure.
I do bask in the month of October and all that surrounds it.
However this year instead of the usual boxes of Halloween decor I am cutting back. I think I will stick with the less is more decorating philosophy right through Christmas.
Less stress, more joy. Hmmm...sounds like a wonderful idea!
Have a decidedly spooky day, P.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ghost Busting

Just checking in. Still swamped. Had a little time to go ghost hunting though. We took a tour of Queen City haunted places with Teri Casper (love the name) and Dan Smith of Haunted Cincinnati Tours. Check out their website, they have a new book out and I bought a copy and had it signed. It was great fun. I want to do it again!Joe and I and our friends Sue and Tom took the tour, along with 6 other brave souls. We looked for ghosts at several locations. I have included several links to click if you are interested in learning more about any of our destinations. One of which was the Taft Museum. I was disappointed that no apparition waved to me from the window.
We did find some cold spots. We were provided with those ghost hunting EVPs and thermometers. I took a million pictures. Luckily I am not posting them all!
We started in the daylight but darkness fell quickly.
This gazebo in Eden Park is the site where George Remus, notorious bootlegger, murdered his cheating wife. He was acquitted of the crime and set free. She is said to be seen wearing the clothing she was murdered in, walking the park in the early morning hours.
I tried to take as many pics as I could without a flash, thinking perhaps I could sneak up on a spirit or two. Music Hall is creepy at night!!!

OK Tell me if you think I caught something. See the orb at the lower left corner of the photo? Whooooooooooo! (Ghostly moan) I am sending this on to Teri and Dan to see what they think.
We ended the evening at Bobby Mackey's in Wilder Kentucky. We explored the basement of the "Most haunted nightclub in the U.S.A." I have to say we definitely had the creeps after that. We were returned, safe and sound (mostly) to Fountain Square. We retired to Rock Bottom Brewery to calm our nerves and discuss our ghostly encounters.

Have a spooky Halloween week, P.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Too Busy for Blogging!!!

I have too much going on to be posting (or reading for that matter, but I must keep up with you all, even if I don't comment). Silver Bella is fast approaching. I am getting my Lia Sophia jewelry business off the ground. (Party here next Thursday and I have unfinished projects and a mess of a house!) Other business opportunities in the works. A mural to paint for a client (2 story foyer, on a ledge, yuck!!!). Son moving to his own apartment near school. (again) Gifts to finish for friends. Yada yada yada!So, I need some time to get my act together. No lounging about for me right now. Gotta get those slipcovers changed, finish the dining room, decorate for Fall-o-ween, memorize my jewelry catalog, finish the rest of my Silver Bella swaps.....
No time for reflection.
Naps are not on the schedule.
See you in a week or two.

Have an unhurried week, P.
P.S. Pet shots were all taken by my daughter, I don't have time for cameras either!
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wild Turkey Knowledge

We had some morning visitors. They were strolling along in the chilly mist. Did you know that turkeys can reach flight speed of 55 MPH for short distances? They can reach lengths of 4 feet from beak to tail. Thank goodness Hitchcock didn't use turkeys in his movie The Birds. Terrifying!Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to represent us as the national bird. Another sigh of relief. We have enough problems without being a bunch of turkeys.
Did you know a group of turkeys is called a rafter? They can also be called a gang of turkeys. I am sure they are thankful that gang and rafter are used instead of platter.
I hope you feel enlightened on this important subject.

Have a day filled with knowledge, P.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Honest Scrap

I have been tagged for an award by Shellagh of Ticking and Toile. I have been coveting this one as I so admire all those do it yourself ladies out there. You know, the something from nothing types. My kind of girls!I am so honored that Shellagh chose me as I have been admiring all of her wonderful ideas and the fact that she says everything in her home including her dog, came from Craigslist. Love that! Now I must play by the rules and list 10 honest things about myself.
1. I would rather tackle any project myself rather than hire it out. I am cheap and I am always afraid it will not turn out the way I envision it otherwise.
2. My husband spoils me terribly and I encourage him.
3. We have 2 kids in college which always surprises me because they were just born yesterday and now they are almost my age! (At least the age I feel, tee hee)
4.I would like to spend most of my time making things. Art, home projects, crafts and the like.
5.I am a book and magazine addict. Home dec, arts and crafts and fiction mostly.
6. Like a lot of you out there my hubs has lost his job of 30 years due to downsizing so it is a good thing we are do it yourselfers because we are going to turn this bump in the road into a new phase of life, one in which we work for ourselves.
7. My other addiction is reading your blogs. I love them all. The creativity is endless.
8. I am constantly trying to lose weight. Any ideas? (What? I have to exercise and eat healthy? Darn!)
9.I have learned that as we grow older the important things really become clearer and what other's think really does not matter.
10. I laugh A LOT, sometimes inappropriately.
Now for the hard part. I have to choose 7 blogs to pass this one along too. Every one of you deserves this, for putting yourselves, your lives and your passions out there. I am going to choose 7 home and junk remodeling queens who have made vast improvements without vast expense.
Of course I also want to thank Shellagh and say "Back at ya, baby!"
Thanks to these inspiring junk remodelers and all the inspiration that they share.
These ladies have junk in the trunk in the best way possible. Check out there places and all the inspiring creativity! Make sure you have your tool belt on and your paintbrush ready!

Have a creative day, P.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Answering Questions and One of My Own.

Some of you had several questions on my last post that I thought I would answer briefly.
Please excuse the recycled photos but my hubs installed Snow Leopard on my Mac and I am ready to scream. I know he thought he was helping but he doesn't use the mac. My camera software as well as my scanner and several programs are not compatible with this new operating system...sooo, I am ready to blow my top each time I get on the computer!!!! Apparently, you can't uninstall Snow Leopard without wiping the computer and starting over. Holy S#*>!!! Do any of you have this problem? How about any easy solutions? I have been searching the forums for answers and was basically told shame on you for installing without backing up first. Gaaahhh! I didn't install it. Besides, why rush this stuff into the market when there are so many glitches???? Hhhhmmmm Apple???? I used to love my Mac, now I feel like chucking it in the trash. O.K. I am finished venting, at least here.
On to questions. The bead board wallpaper was purchased at Home Depot. Super easy to install, more so than regular wallpaper. I wouldn't recommend long pieces on a big ceiling. Small sections with molding between would be much simpler to handle after they are wet. The powder room was small and really a breeze. I think if a ceiling wasn't heavily textured it would stay put, mine happened to be smooth so no worries here.
As to the walls in my powder room, they have been stenciled dimensionally with plaster and the stencils were then silver leafed and glazed. I would like to get rid of the raised part now, as I feel it is a bit formal for the look I am going for, but that's a project for another time.
The round mirror in the powder room is a Home Goods purchase of several years. The square mirror hung over my grandma's laundry sink and the scroll mirror is a Good Will make over.
Now back to trying to figure out what to do about Snow Leopard, aaaarrrrgh! Hope I answered your questions. Thanks for all the input. It really makes my day.

Have a crisp fall afternoon, P.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Bead Board Wallpaper Ceiling

I am joining Kimba's DIY Party today with my new addiction, bead board wallpaper!
Someday I will post the many changes this room has gone through in the past year. Because it is small and easy to change I change it. A lot.
This little entry powder room now sports a bead board ceiling.
Not real bead board, the embossed wallpaper type that EVERYONE has been using. I used it as a backsplash in my kitchen and now on my powder room ceiling. It is addicting! Once it is painted it looks pretty good too.I trimmed out the edges with a bit of molding and it gives the whole room a fresher, more farm house look.
I took all the black and white framed pieces to use in my newly painted stairway. So I replaced the wall art with white painted mirrors. Now the powder room is much brighter and airier. Where have you been using bead board wallpaper?
If you haven't used any yet, where would you like too?

Have a light hearted day, P.
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Stairway Makeover

Happy Met Monday thanks to Susan.
Remember the ooogly builder stairs I was working on?I am finished! They are caulked and molded and painted white. When we built our house we wanted an old house feel. Our builder didn't get it. (Not his only problem but that is a whole other story best left in the past) Slowly we have "aged" our house for more of the farm house feel we wanted. Our staircase is enclosed on both sides as many older farm homes were. I sometimes think of opening one side but the work involved would probably not be worth it.
I have also changed my taste a bit in 15 years. I love adding a bit of modern to the vintage. Like the Ikea chandy in the stairway. We also beefed up the railing while redoing the stairs. Our builder simply attached the rails to the drywall with anchors, they were always wobbly. We took some 1 by 8 poplar and attached the railing to the poplar and the poplar to the studs. Now we can actually lean on the railing without a tumble down the stairs with the railing on top of us. (never really happened but what a visual) Loving the whole project so far. I am ready to paint the walls now. I am a bit tired of the parchment faux. The first floor has gone neutral in the past year, but I am thinking a hint of color in the hall would be fun.
Any suggestions?
Have a marvelous Monday, P.
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Just Because They Are Sweet

I am posting a few gratuitous pet photos. Just because. Miss Yin has turned the inbox on my desk into a cat mean cat BED.Chloe prefers a window seat for a bit of warmth.
Karma says, make it the couch for me, after all I am human aren't I? No creature has learned the art of relaxation better than pets. I mean, what do they have to worry about?
Have a relaxing day, P.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Bummed, Depression, and a Thrifty Make Over!

Bummed because this man...
Who wrote this book, below, that I absolutely adore, was in Cincinnati last night and I had reservations to see him. But (it's a BIG ONE) college freshman daughter needed to go to the opening of one of her art professor's exhibits at the same time. Since hubs no longer has a company car and we haven't gotten around to purchasing another car... You get the picture.

Therefore I am at home instead of meeting Stan, live and in person!
Now you may not know this but I am a TCM geek. I love classic movies and it just so happens they were having a Great Depression movie night. Well, I could have slapped myself for whining because we don't have a third car so I could run my spoiled self across town. Started watching the Woody Guthrie movie and melted in tears. We have no idea what it means to deprive ourselves.
Still sorry that I didn't get to meet Stan because he has such a fabulous design sense and love for salvage and vintage treasures, but perhaps I will head to the East coast one day and visit all the great sales he blogs about!
In the mean time, lets talk about resin and Goodwill. Resin has been prolific in the past 15 or 20 years. Now what do we do with it? Much of it ends up at the thrift stores. I have been passing it up forever. Now I am looking at it with new eyes. (Pardon my photo mix up) Mr. Squirrel here (umm, 50 cents, thank you very much) is in the midst of a spray paint make over.
He started life in a semi-yucky "natural" color way. Then a bit of off white paint made him all one color.
A bit too plain, he lost some detail, so I took a bit of gel stain and antiqued him up.
Doesn't he look a bit more squirrelly now? (Gaaah, I love me some squirrels)
A dollar store candle and he is looking quite autumnal. Who needs riches to be happy? A few bucks or a trip to the curb and new treasures abound.
Sorry I missed you Stan, but you are still such an inspiration. Really, check out the Elegant Thrifter. He is all that and more!
I am linking to Hooked on Houses blog party today because I am hooked on The Find and repurposed resin too.

Have a thrifty Friday, P.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monochrome Light Play

Happy October all! I have to finish up some projects before I can decorate for my favorite month. So instead I am goofing off.
I received a lot of comments on my black and white image a few posts ago. So I decided to play a bit. Forms are more sculptural without the distraction of color.The glow of sunlight becomes the main subject in sepia tones.
Destinations seem more magical in black and white.
Do you play with your photos?

Have a playful day, P.
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