Monday, September 29, 2014

Is it crossing the line to share my bathroom?

Today, I'm sharing a few photos of my newly painted bathroom.
It's um.  A bathroom.  (So I'm sorry if this crosses the line of our friendship somehow.)

I'm not sure what blog etiquette states about sharing bathroom pics... but the truth is I had put this project off way too long and it took me a week to finish it (which is very unlike me) so I'm sharing it.  Because I feel that I need to celebrate this minor life accomplishment in some capacity.

Plus, it turned out very cute. All soothing and neutral. Not that a bathroom needs to be soothing.  But mine is.  The neutral colors make it appear very clean-looking (which I kind of need since I can't remember when that tub got a good scrubbing). Ha!

When it comes to bathrooms, here's what I believe in. 
1) Hooks.  Because no child in the history of ever has folded a towel nicely over a bar.  Ever.
2) White hotel towels from Costco bought in big packs.  They last forever.  We've used them for years.
3) Artwork with subliminal messages that I really hope my children will begin to absorb.  If you need one for yourself, I've listed a few in my shop here. (they are not watercolors- just digitally designed prints.)  They turned out very clean and sweet and I am hoping my children read and absorb the message.)
4) Changing out ugly, standard light fixtures and mirrors.  We bought this spec. house eleven years ago and everything was brass, builder grade, honey oak, cheap and ugly.  I have slowly but surely been changing out the ugly for cute.  (I changed this fixture out myself and if I can do it, you can do it- just make sure the switch is off, or better yet, cut the breaker.)  I had this old mirror and it's been rotated around to various rooms all over the house.  I have been considering it for this bathroom for several months and it was perfect!

We needed to paint because there were something called surfactants leeching through the old paint causing nasty yellow streaks on the walls. (You can read all about it here if you have the same issues.) I swear I scrubbed the walls once a week for years.  In order to get rid of those, we had to wash down the walls with something called TSP (ours was pretty bad and needed more than soap and water) and then wash it off, let it dry over night then paint.  It was a pain in the neck and we have to let the new paint cure for about a week before anyone can shower in here. (Which means one young hoodlums who shall remain nameless is having a hay-day with my bath products, razor and expensive shower goodies.  Her name starts with an "A" and ends with a "va".  She is stinker!)

Anyway, now this bathroom is the same color as the rest of the main house, which I like.  I don't enjoy a ton of differing paint colors in main house parts- bedrooms are an exception in my opinion.












Details: 
Wall color- Rice grain by Sherwin Williams.
Little shelves- Target
Mirror- TJ Maxx or Marshall's many years ago
Light fixture- Home Depot
Candle and little boxes- Marshall's
Feather artwork- my shop
Throw Kindness artwork- my shop
Towels- Costco
Curtain- made by me years ago
Shower curtain- Target, many years ago (still available.)
Shower curtain hooks- Target, many years ago
Soap dispenser- my grocery store
Wood initials above towel hooks- Pottery Barn Kids, many years ago (still available).

And now... I will never paint again. (Except for my closet, which is the final " interior house project" on my list from over the past ten years. Can you believe it? I'm sure I won't have issues dreaming up other house projects...Ha!) 

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pumpkin pie is my favorite...


 Last night, I was sitting at the dinner table and my kids were going nuts.  I kid you not, it was like they were two and four again.  I don't know what had gotten into them but nobody wanted to eat the chile relleno casserole (why not?  So good) and everyone had spazzy hyperness going on.  You know what I mean when I say spazzy hyperness right?  It was nearing 7:30 and Adrain and I were rolling our eyes covertly at one another over the extreme and loud silliness, so we resorted to that age old parenting mandate, "If you aren't finished eating in seven minutes everyone goes right to bed and you'll get this for breakfast in the morning."  Our patience might have been wearing a bit thin... Ha!

Anyway, as I was sitting there, I suddenly came up with an artwork idea for my kitchen area and figured I might as well make a little painting while the kids went crazy around me. So, I painted this darling illustrated recipe for pumpkin pie and immediately fell head over heels in love.  It shall grace my kitchen every autumn from now on.

I loved it so much I got it scanned and printed this morning just for you!  You can get yours here but it's only going to be available for the next two months so if you want it, don't wait. (Perfect little something to take to the hostess of your Thanksgiving dinner... or give yourself if you're cooking!)  (I'm not going to lie, the brown transferware plate is probably my very favorite water color part of any painting that I've ever done.  I just kept starting at it, it was so cute.)
 I was even inspired to buy my very first pumpkin of the season. It's a wee pumpkin and I love it.




 And... I baked my kids a pumpkin pie for after school treats today.  Or rather, Sara Lee baked it.  Ha! (Though I did add the cute little pie crust leaves on top.  Always keep your extra pie crust for just such an occasion.)
Finally, I wanted to share my sweet finished chalkboard. It turned out just exactly how I envisioned it! I used Annie Sloan duck egg blue and dark wax.  (The mirror that went here is getting a new home in my bedroom and an entire artwork rotation is in effect along with a bathroom painting project I've been putting off for a minimum of two years.  These things have a domino effect.  Anyway, my chalkboard...It pairs better with my warm weather pillow collection in blues, but I also totally love these Pottery Barn knock-off furry ones and they are perfect to cuddle up with at night. I am washing the blue ones as we speak right now and they will resurface sometime in February, most likely.  I constantly see my kids hugging and stroking the new furry ones.  Makes me giggle.


 Happy Fall dear friends. 
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Living in the land of "I'll get to it eventually"

I LOVED hearing all the responses and emails from my previous post about blogging and if it's dying, etc.  It reinforced my thoughts on finding balance and doing it when I feel it.  (Like today.) That felt good.  Because people, can I say that I am living in the land of "I'll get to it eventually?"

I have the feeling that you get this.  I say it constantly and then it goes on tomorrow's to-do list. Ha!  Well what can I say? It's the way it goes when you're only one person.

I've got bits of fall peeping out here and there, and I'm not going to say the words, "I decided to keep things simple this year," because I've read those words on just about every decorating blog I've seen over the past week (which admittedly was very few since I can't seem to get my today's to-do list crossed off until tomorrow and that leaves very little time for blog reading).  It just made me laugh.  I have no idea if a tray with candle-y things is simple to you.  It's a bit fancy for me to be honest, since I'm more of a single pumpkin on a table kind of girl...but I love it at night and we eat dinner by the glow of pretty so I plan to enjoy it.

(We can just lift the tray when the puzzle-mania takes over.  We can't seem to get enough of puzzles these days.)  I think it's helping our family work though conflict. Ha!  (But I kind of mean that.)

 I made this feather art.  It's available in my shop.  I love it. (More on that at the end of this post... eventually. Ha!)
 I'm keeping it real.  If one more person smears their fingerprints over the front of my microwave... bwahahaha!

Every time I pass this sign, the singer in my head busts out, "Don't push me.... cause I'm close to the edge... I'm tryin' not to lose my head... Uh huh huh..."  And then I laugh and laugh.  If you have any clue what I'm talking about I love you.  If you don't, it's just a song.  Kind of my theme song with the battle against fingerprints. 
 Yes. I have a Christmas sign hanging up.  It's from Tiffini, and when it came it was too pretty to keep in the box.  It won't stay here but I needed to see it.  I keep thinking maybe I should hang it better or center it or something. Yeah.  Maybe eventually. (Realistically, like when I move it for Christmas.)
 I will get to this eventually too.  I wanted the fur pillows from Pottery barn... but three Euro sized fur pillows at $60 per pillow wasn't happening so when I got a gift card from my mama for my birthday... I bought these throws from Marshall's and I plan to (eventually) sew my own covers.  These kind of sewing projects are messy and freak me out.  I'm procrastinating until the weather officially turns.
 I hung these.  We have zero counter space and I thought to myself, "Hey self... why not use your wall for storage!"  I have a gaping hole in the wall, laughing at my poor contracting skills.  I will eventually patch and paint it...
 Pretty sure this is the longest any project has taken me.  Took me weeks to assemble this huge chalkboard.  It's still not hung.  I'm hoping my man will do that this weekend.  Because I love it so much I want to marry it.
 
I have been laughing through this post, at my own schedule but my kids aren't even in sports right now.  The truth is, my heart is a little sad because I see my friends with such full schedules that there doesn't seem to be any room for well... friendship time with me. 

I know this is a busy season for most of my friends because their kids are doing things my kids aren't doing.  We pretty much have ballet and guitar outside of school and once wrestling season begins in the winter, we'll put guitar on hold because I'm not capable of doing more than one activity a week per kid.  I just can't.  For most of my friends, the people they find time to hang out with are the ones doing the same activities they are in.  It's understandable but it's also kind of sad when there's not a free hour to meet for coffee or a little walk with me, (Have friendship- will travel) and I guess I'm feeling a bit lonely watching them all scramble around, and missing their company!

I'm so afraid that admitting that all out loud makes me look like a freak and I don't want anyone to feel judged, I'm just kind of missing people is all. Can anyone out there relate?  If so, what do you do about it? Just make new friends that aren't too busy to fit you in, and hang out with the old ones when their schedules free up?  

On a lighter note, this feather print is my absolute heart right now.  The back story is of course, my son.  He loves birds.  He knows every fact there ever was to know about birds and he collects these feathers.  I don't talk much about his Asperger's out of respect to him, but it's been a real challenge for me in particular lately, and God gave me a little sweet piece of hope this morning about my son's heart after praying specifically about that for the past few days. I borrowed a few of his feathers and then painted them, and every time I see this print, I will think about the incredible boy I was blessed with and how his challenges aren't too much for a God who gives an exhausted, lonely, hurting mama refuge and HOPE when she needs it desperately.  Praise Him.  (You can get yours here.)

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." 
Psalm 91:4
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Has the blogger inside of me died?

I fear the blogger inside of me has died little by little as time has gone by and life has changed pace on me.

Did Instagram, with it's quick, of-the-moment-photo capability and tidbit of wordy accompaniment kill it?  Or is the season of life I find myself in- mother to a teen and almost teen, to blame?

There was a time when I had gobs of time.  (Ironically I didn't think that I did.) I had full days when my car never left the garage.  I chased small people around the house, kept them entertained, taught, loved, well fed and cared for.  I took breaks to my computer and fell in love with blogging.  It was 2008... a simpler time.  (grin)

Flash forward to this past weekend.  My man and I threw overnight gear for a few days into bags, told the kids to pack theirs, and with very little forethought, we piled into the car, crossed the border into Canada and spent three days adventuring, exploring, bike riding, cab hopping, and memory making in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Guess how many times I pulled out my camera.  Like.  Two times.  I considered it many other times because there were so many cool shots I could have gotten and so many freeze frame moments I would have loved to capture...but we were so busy doing things.  Things I didn't want to interrupt.  We took a trolley, hopped off in Gastown for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory then wandered around by the famous steam clock and watched a bride and groom get photographed in front of it.  I pulled out my camera for evening photos and the pure challenge of it, and came away with a few fun shots.  The next day we rented bikes and then rode the seawall all around Stanley park and beyond.  It was beautiful and the perfect September weather.  There were so many amazing sights I could have stopped and photographed but I just didn't feel like it.  After biking all day the hoodlums wanted to swim for almost three hours, then we had one of the most memorable dinners ever, at a fun restaurant.  They swam again the next day before we headed home and had a birthday party with my extended family. 

 




    


 
I would never have believed I could participate in all of that fun and not feel much like photographing it.

What?!

When I chat about blogging with some of my other blogger friends, I am finding they are saying the same kinds of things.  Our kids are getting older and (dare I admit it...) we're falling in love with Instagram, maybe just a little more than blogging these days.  Some of the similar comments I hear from them when we have this conversation are that "it seems there are fewer people reading blogs, fewer bloggers hitting publish with regularity, and even fewer leaving comments."   The connections made are wonderful and I have personally made a few life long friends that I would never have had the chance to meet if not for blogging.  But, I have noticed the decline in the blog world as well and it makes me wonder... is blogging kind of becoming old news "out there?

I blog a lot less and I don't feel bad about it in the least.  I do what works, when it works.  When it feels like pressure or work I back far away and once it becomes fun again I jump back in.  I don't think I'll ever quit completely but who knows.  I also see and hear things constantly about comparisons and I know some people can't stand reading about someone's (seemingly) "perfect" life, (which of course is false but photos can say anything we want them to say, can't they?)

Has the polish dulled somewhat on the shiny blog world we see served up all over our computers and phones?  I would love to know what your thoughts are on this topic.  

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