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, February 22, 2011

Before and After Pink Dining Room

Oh so tired of my outdated faux dining room walls.
Looking for the perfect palest shade of pink. 
Found that perfect shade.
Need to cheer up this too formal room while still keeping the furniture.
Need to do it before I start working full time.
Need to keep existing furniture while making the room more playful.
Pink should really do it!
Ah, full moon, perfect time for painting the palest hush of pink.
A night for possibilities.
My dining room will be whimsical by Saturday evening.
Or not. Maybe painting on the weekend of a full moon wasn't the best choice. Maybe painting the Saturday before starting a full time job wasn't the best choice.
Maybe putting the leg of the ladder on the floor vent in my rush to complete one more makeover wasn't the best choice.
I said this would be a before and after...How about after the ER?

I also promised pink!
Yes I have started my first full time job in 23 years on crutches, with a broken ankle and sprained ligaments.
The dining room "after" will be a while...
Between the new job and the ankle I may be scarce for a bit.

I am off in search of pain meds and my laptop. My canine protectors and the blogs are wonderful company.
When I am not working I will probably be on the couch drooling.
Did I say this is my right foot? No driving either.

"Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal."  Mario Andretti

Yours in search of the perfect color, (right now I'm in a pink fog, tee hee), P.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

One World One Heart Winner

Oh my.
Serendipity comes in many ways.
I have found so many new friends on this journey through Blogland.
Serendipitous event #1...
As I pulled the winning number from my mixing bowl I found the corresponding blog to be 
Bellamere Cottage. A blog I had not visited before OWOH but one that will be on my favorites list from now on.
Spencer and I share many things in common, I am so happy that my angel will reside in her home!
What fun this has been.
Serendipitous event #2...
As I propped my angel painting in the dining room (remember my dilemma from last post about the too serious feel of the room?)...
I found that my camera batteries were dead. As I stepped away to find more...none to be found BTW ...hence the old photo...
Smack my face and call me a genius!
The answer was right before my eyes.
Pale pink.
Yep, my new dining room color will be pale pink!
With all of the serious and stodgy brown and gold accessories and furniture, pink should perk things right up!
I just wasn't feeling the yellow, not with everything that had to stay in the room.
I can only hope my angel brings serendipity to Spencer and Bellamere Cottage just like she has for me.
Kind of a little going away present I do believe.

"We're all kissed by angels but some of us never think to pucker."  ~Terri Guillemets

Yours in serendipity, P.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adjusting My Perspective

Do you ever feel that you have defined life into such a focused view that you have difficulty accepting change? Not that you don't see the necessity, you just can't visualize the good that can come from doing things differently.

So you take a step back and try to view things from a different angle. Perhaps like Alice, seeing the looking glass world.
Trying your best to see things more clearly.
Still, things seem off kilter, not the way you are used to seeing them.
Then it hits you.
Stop trying to see the way things ought to be, by the way they have always been. Life is not black and white, rules laid out and unchanging.
This finally hit me last week as I was searching for tips on photography from all you wonderful bloggers. I had been bemoaning the many changes in my family's lives in the past few years. 
Job loss, almost empty nest, going back to work after raising children all these years, things around here that need doing but just can't be managed right now... I want to stay "mommy",  keeping the home fires burning, not letting go of the things that are flying out of my grasp, yada get the picture.
Living just didn't seem as bright and colorful as it had in the past. As I was touting my list of if only's and thinking of all the things I had planned and all of the things I thought I needed, it hit me. Like a stop sign right in the kisser.
At the top of my wish list for the past several years has been a digital SLR. Oh if I just had that camera all of my photos would magically be transformed. Poor me. 
We can't even think of anything like that right now. Boo hoo.
So as I was reading all of those wonderful photo tips, the one that jumped out at me was...READ YOUR MANUAL!!!
 Really? Well, gee whiz...seriously?...I never gave it a shot. My vision was so blurred by what I thought I needed that I never gave a thought to seeing things differently.
 Come to find out, my camera can do all kinds of things I never paid attention to.
I have a great camera, capable of helping me capture lovely images. Not the one I thought I wanted. But the one that will work for me. The only one I need at this point.
Don't expect unbelievable photos any time soon, but, they may be a bit more creative...or at least clearer and brighter...I am learning new things...
Maybe I need to start thinking this way about my own life. There are so many vantage points from which to see the road ahead.
I will take more time to explore, change perspective, see in a different light.

It is time to shake things up a bit. Expect the best, or at least stop expecting everything to remain the same. Change the narrow view to allow other possibilities...
for gosh sakes at least pick up the MANUAL and learn a new trick or two...whatever your manual may be. Clear vision is just a change in perspective.

Taking a step back and looking with a new view in mind.
That said, I am feeling much better about new paths.
Oh, one more thing...Seeing the dining room "through the looking glass" so to speak...
Don't you think it looks too serious? In my new vision of home as a candy colored dream...
How about lemon cream?
I will always have the weekends, right?

One World One Heart give away winners will be chosen tomorrow!!!
I can't wait to see who will win my angel.

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning."  ~Ivy Baker Priest

Yours in clear sight, P.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Those Bloggers

One of the cutest bloggers I have ever seen sent me a sweet award.
Lauren, of West Furniture Revival, sent this my way. She has the most amusing graphics on her blog and she is an amazing furniture re-vamper to boot.
Painted furniture, something to giggle about and personality galore, what's not to love? Go say hi from me.

**There are some rules that go along with this. 

1. You have to thank the person who awarded you & Link them back in your post

2. Tell everyone 7 random facts about yourself

3. Pass the award on to 10 new found bloggers

4. Contact each blogger and let them know you've passed the award on to them, & let the "giver" know you accept the award.

The hard part...10 bloggers...there is so much joy and inspiration out there...
I will gather a bundle of sweeties that I have discovered in the past few weeks.
You know there are hundreds more just as lovely so if I didn't list you here it isn't because I don't love you too...but just 10...that's the rule.
1.Andrea of The Opulent Cottage, colorful, cozy, delish.
2.Michael at Inspired by Charm, How have I gone so long without this one! The house, the food, the decorating...
3. Chris at Just Beachy Pretty pretty pretty!!!
4.Kelly and Olive at Ideas You Should Steal 
Oh yes you should!
5.Teresa at Meadow Brook Farm 
Just go there, you will see color, style, beauty, fun and love.

Five more...really? This is sooooo hard. Cheaty McCheaterson is telling me that if you go to my favorites you won't be disappointed.
No hurt feelings either.
How about commenting with some new to you blogs?
I know you have good taste.
Comment with a link and we will call them winners too.
Oh, and I know some of you don't do awards. I totally get it. No pressure.
Just know we are out here reading what your putting out.
Oh yes, we are watching.
(Couldn't resist. I took this photo yesterday while having lunch with my son. Creepy yet cool.)

Now, seven facts...hmmm... scattered brain...OK, here goes:

1. I have been a SAHM for the last 23 years and am starting a full time temp job next Monday. I will be gone from home close to 10 hours a day!

2. I am freaking out about working full time again, housework, blogging, exercise, reading, crafting, art...I will never keep up.

3. I am a wimpy whiner, it is only until May!

4. I have a dream to move from the country to a loft in downtown Cincinnati, or another urban area, although I know this would be impractical with 3 dogs and 3 cats.

5. I am planning on buying some chickens this spring, again, impractical in a loft.

6. I cannot stand the feel of raw chicken skin when cooking, so
my chickens will be safe. Just egg laying pets.

7. I am trying to stop drinking coffee but I just bought a handy little milk frother at Ikea. Talk about self sabotage.

Thanks again Lauren!

When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.  ~William James

Nuff said?
Yours in indecision, P.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inspired by Martha

I was looking for a bit of inspiration in my quest for all things pastel and found the photo below on Martha Stewart's website.
 Just the candy colored look I had in mind!

I had a practically full gallon of soft blue that I had used for our basement ceilings.
Behr "Ocean Kiss". Pretty name.
I only spent about  $10 for the quart of Behr paint tinted to match Martha Stewarts's "Punch" for my existing mirror.

Bye bye brown, hello sunshine!
Funny thing is, I think my powder room was a slightly darker version of this color several years ago. Huh. 
Now to do something about the vanity top.
Any suggestions?
"It's a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn't consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors."
Sam Levenson  

Yours in living color, P.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

True Colors, Paint Colors That Is

My inspiration. 
Candy coated pastels.
 I will never be over vintage treasures.
Why buy new? 
What I am so over.
Gloomy dark chocolate brown.
It sucks the sunshine right out of the rooms.
Dramatic, yes, but no more drama for me.
How to change my surroundings and not spend a mint?
 Ah that is looking much better. 
A breath of freshness.
Reminds me of the colors I grew up with.
Happy, cheerful, Leave It To Beaver colors.
Just what is needed to lift the spirits these days.
 Words of encouragement
on vintage flash cards.
 "Please make a wish right now."
Robins chirping in a painted black frame with craft paper matte.
Bits from a blogging pal to hold the words together.
Thanks Lorraine!
 A shelf refreshed with color and a new display.
A $3 frame, painted, and free cows in a pasture from The Vintage Moth in the perfect colors.
 I am still tweeking my way through the house. 
Flipped the vintage doors in the dining room from the black side to the white.
Ahhh, so much brighter in here!
 I can't believe there are no before pictures anywhere on the blog of the base of my dining table!
It was the same oak brown as the top.
No more. Anyone for a touch of blue skies?
The cost for all of this so far has been a gallon of paint and a couple of samples.
The entry walls are Behr Cucumber Crush 440C-2.
The yellow frame is a sample of Caribbean Sunrise UL180-19.
Love the color but haven't decided if it will be my new kitchen color or not. I may just keep the soft vanilla it is already painted.
As always, the trim is Behr Swiss Coffee right off the shelf in semi gloss.
The table and shelf are some paint that had been sitting in the garage and I can no longer
read the name. It is Behr though...did you have to ask?
The table has been drybrushed and glazed as well.

 How do you like it so far?
Oh my, I have to get to these floors too. My early 90's bleached oak will be totally back in style before I get to them!
BTW... should I leave the table top, sand it down for a weathered finish, ala Pottery Barn  or Restoration Hardware, or maybe paint it?
I also want to add faux panels to the bottom of the entry walls. 
I love the board and batten everyone is doing. 
Not sure about that part yet.
Oh, and those black chairs...not loving them with the lighter look...hmmmm.
Slipcovers perhaps?
One thing leads to another.
On to the powder room.
Not bad for a few days of work.
I look at projects and put them off and then when I finally do them, they go so quickly I wonder why I ever hesitated.

"All things are difficult before they are easy."
Yours in working towards joy, P.

Today I am linking to...

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making Improvements

 The quest for grace and beauty in all things has been relatively easy this winter. Mother Nature has given a lot to work with around here.
Piles of fluffy white to keep away the winter blues.
Now a coating of glassy ice sparkling in the sun.
I do love the many changes each season brings. To combat the gloomy poor me's I sometimes get in the dead of winter I have been making some changes inside.
Not just in my attitude, health, and thoughts,
but also my environment.
I have switched out all cleaning supplies to non toxic and fragrance free, mix it yourself.
penny's per use cleaners.
I am slowly unloading much that is not useful or functional. Those otiose items that need to be set free for someone else to love.
The biggest change however, is my change back to a bit of color. I am finished with the neutrals and chocolate brown. It is beautiful in the homes I see in blogland, but it was dragging us down.
We are more candy store color people.
So I have been anything but idle.
As you can see I do have help. Or is that disdain? A flick of the tail meaning here she goes again with the paintbrush.
Or maybe, why are you doing that instead of showering me with affection?
While the weather outside may be brown and grey and neutral...albeit lovely down to the last detail...
Inside Frippery Farmhouse, things are beginning to look like spring.
Lots of work ahead, so I am not sure when I will post (Yeah right, she never shuts up!)
Meantime, I was paid a lovely compliment by Linda at Coastal Charm. She chose my Winter Tablescape as one of her favorite links in last week's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday post. Thanks so much Linda, I am honored!
Go see what everyone has posted this week.
Oh the inspiration!!!

"You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club."
Jack London

Yours in the pursuit of Charm, P.

Speaking of Charm don't forget to visit all of the OWOH give aways.
You might win a treasure. At least you will have made a new friend!
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