30 January 2012

Lighten Up In The Bedroom!

I just got back from visiting relatives in the great potato state of Idaho.  It's burr cold there.  Going from 34 degrees and raining/snowing to 75 degrees and sunny was a big change shock to my system.  No photos though, sorry, I like to travel light and didn't bring my camera or my computer.  I did take my daughter and her camera but, getting the actual photos out of her camera and on to my computer has proven futile so far.  I'm still trying to get photos from her outta there that she took in college, so you can see it may take a while.  See as in: never.  I have a better chance of contacting Batachophagous.  You'll just have to look that up, it's too scary to talk about.

Instead, I decided to show you the make-over of my bedroom at the cottage.  It's nothing drastic, just a few DIY projects while I wait for little changes, like the whole economy getting out of the tank, and my kids getting through college so all my money doesn't go to supporting the art of  beer pong paying tuition. I'd love to purchase new bedcovers. The duvet I have is pretty, but it is about 8 years old and growing a bit thread bare.  I'd love to update them with lighter, softer colored duvet and shams someday but, for now I'm kind of attached to these and because they're old, they are worry free and keep me from having to make any life altering decisions right now.  I like to do things a little bit at a time.

My bedroom started off looking like this.  Bedcovers, by Ralph Lauren, bought at Macy's.  Lest you think that buying bedcovers by Ralph guarantees plush, perfect bedding, it doesn't.  The European pillow shams have one sham that has the ruffle sewed inside the seam thereby giving it a ruffle on only three sides.  If I want to see that one ruffle on the other side I have to turn the sham inside out.  I hardly ever do that, unless I'm really bored.  I lost the receipt and never took it back so, I live with it as a reminder that Ralph Lauren gets his designer stuff made in China and it's no better or worse than anybody who's nobody and that's that.

The end tables were black and painting them was an easy fix to lighten up the room.  Also notice the bedside table lamps.  They were my favorite back in the day but way to heavy for the look I want in the cottage.  I replaced them with wall sconces which we prewired for during the remodel.  I love them, as they leave way more room for me to pile books up on my side, and I can adjust them so I have the light right where I need it.

The painting displayed over the bed is by one of my favorite artists, Guy Buffet.  My hubby and I bought it on our honeymoon in Maui 30 million years ago.  I wanted the Cows On Roller Skates one, but we settled on Maui The Old Days because that's where hubby took all his family vacations growing up, and it was nostalgic for him.  It's very heavy and I've since moved it to the side wall because, living in earthquake country, I lived in fear that it would fall off the wall someday, completely severing my head from my body which would scare my husband to death in the morning.  Much saner safer just to move it.

This is my bedside table.  You'll notice it's a bit different from my husbands.  That's because I don't like everything to match perfectly.  I usually prefer to blend style with color so as to give the piece continuity but retain more individual style. Didn't I sound so HGTV right there?  I've actually been painting furniture for over 35 years, even before HGTV was invented I was painting furniture in this chippy manner they talk about today.  It worked well with all the other time/kid worn furniture I've collected over the years making it worry free and I'm all about worry free.

This is hubby's table. "A little more plain, yet manly," his words, but he'll deny it if you ask him.  Do you like the new color?

This one is on my side.  Leaded glass and an old brass knob adorn it. Not too fancy just, a little more ornate and girly, which I have no qualms admitting.  Like.

This color is, ARTESIAN WELL.  I love the color but actually when it comes down to it I always get as close as I can to my preferred color, and then choose my paint by its name. I bet on horses in the same manner. You know, like I would definitely put a wager on MOMMA'S BABY or something like that. What's in a name? Writes Shakespeare.  Everything, says I.  This drives my sister, my husband, and most everybody who knows this about me absolutely crazy.  And if that in itself isn't reason enough, (because lets face it, we all know how much fun it is to drive people you love crazy), I know I'm not the only one who does this.  How about you?  Come on, fess up, you know you do it too.  How much more would you be swayed to buy this same paint color if it were called, say, MURKY WATER?  Huh?

I used Martha Stewart paint.  No special reason, she just had the colors I wanted.  This one is called RIVER MIST.  Oh yeah, I will be dreaming of RIVER MIST instead of FOGGY WEATHER when I sleep beside my waterside tables!  I primed the tables by sanding the old paint almost off.  Then I painted over the RIVER MIST using the ARTESIAN WELL.  I sanded again because if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times PREPARING YOUR PIECE IS KEY.  Seriously, don't believe the cans of paint that say you don't have to prime before painting. Or if the painter guy you hire to paint your walls tells you there is no need to patch, putty, remove old nails, sand, wash down, tape off, or any other such atrocities, get him/her out of your space.  Now! You will truly be sorry in the end if you just start painting all willy-nilly.  The way you prime will make or break your project, even if it's an old chippy side table. This way it's up to you, what and how much old color comes through. Prime and Prepare 1st!  I even removed the handles and taped over the glass first.  If you do it right the first time, you won't be doing it over again.  I painted one color over the other but used a very light, whispy touch on the second color. This gave me the variety I was going for and made the piece look old and as if its been painted over and over by all those who have loved it throughout the years.
So, what do you think?  Painting my side tables lightened up the room a bajillion, wouldn't you agree?

I then moved my Guy Buffet painting to the side wall and added a headboard to the bed.  I used two doors and added some molding around the edges to make it. My head severing nightmares are now replaced by the security of a headboard which is screwed into the wall lest it try to topple. I didn't get any photos of this process because I was too busy using power tools baby.  Have I ever told you how much I love power tools?  I painted the headboard a warm shade of white called, FROSTING CREAM:)  Sweet dreams...  

I bought the bedskirt at a shop in Del Mar, CA called Beach Bungalow.  I adore it because it's a wrinkly light linen, informal, not fussy at all and you never have to iron it!

Here you have my new wall sconces replacing the table lamps.  These photos are not staged with pretty little knickknacks and all, so please don't judge. I had a cold at the time this pic was taken so the best I could do was a pretty little box of Kleenex. If I waited until I get those tables all cute with decor and staged for a photo you'd never get to see them.  I'm not really a DIY blog, I'm just faking it in order to share with you, K?

Okay, so we've got the newly painted headboard replacing the head severing Guy Buffet painting, the side tables lightened up with some sea/sky colors, and the heavy table lamps replaced by sconces with white linen shades.

How utterly sad and pathetic is this?  Poor puppy had to lay on a hard, cold wooden bench with nowhere to go for comfort. The comfort of my dogs is prime for me, so I made him a giant, 6 foot long doggy bed!

He's much happier and more comfy now and of course he is thankful as well because, he knows I did it all just for him.  You can also see here, that we added lots of built-in's during the remodel. I keep all my linens, clothes, and doggy toys in those drawers.  Oh, and Kieran is a good sharer and he lets me snuggle up next to him on the window seat with a good book once in a while.

Although I designed it, I didn't actually sew this doggy bed myself.  A talented seamstress over at my local fabric store sewed it for me.  I can sew a straight line but I can't measure or make box edges or any of that fancy stuff.  I also can't sew a zipper and I wanted to be able to take the cover off easily so it's wash and wear which is, A MUST in a beach cottage.

I did however, choose the fabric.  It was a painstaking task which took months.  I'm not kidding here guys.  Since doing the remodel and having to make so many daily decisions, I have the dreaded disease of not being able to make a decision to save my soul.  I'm so tired of making decisions, that I just don't wanna anymore. (Stamps foot.) It's a good thing I'm already married and have kids or who knows?  I may have never decided to take the plunge and right now I might be the owner of the San Diego Chargers and be at a power lunch discussing our latest trade right now.  My laundry would be done by a dry cleaner and a decorator would be making these decisions for me while I conquer the world and watch the money roll in.  Psst - as if.

The decision finally got made however, and this fabric was the winner.  I decided to go with shades of blue/green and white because it's light and goes with my other colors and the color of my future duvet and shams which at this time live only in my imagination.  I loved the stripped pattern because it's fun and the it has some tucked texture to it that has a really organic feel.  There I go getting all HGTV on you again!  I wanted the piping to match and blend in, instead of being a solid color that would separate cushion from piping.  I chose the cushion inside the cover to be firm with a soft batting wrapped around it so it is soft but not squishy.  In other words, I wanted it to be comfortable but stay in place. Do you now see how many decisions go into cushion making?  It's unfathomable and taken for granted way to often. I will never again look at a window seat and not appreciate all the decision making that went into it and step back people because, I might just hug and kiss all over, the person who made it in appreciation for their creative decision making skills.

All the pillows are from Marshall's.  As you know, 10x cheaper than the more trendy shops yet these are Down with removable, washable covers and the colors matched perfectly.  You can see they also have lots of texture which I love.  Have I mentioned that I'm extremely tactile?  I'm extremely tactile.

This is the coffered ceiling of my bedroom.  It is also a good example of why I am bitter about painters and do all my own painting once again.  It was a big job and an expensive one to build this ceiling just the way we imagined it.  Then one day we came over to the building site and the painters had painted, what was supposed to be hand rubbed with a light wood stain,  a high gloss white.  Arghhhhhh!  What the?  We couldn't believe it.  They even chose the white themselves.  Probably from a can of whatever they painted the trim on the outside of the house with, which they also never consulted us about.  It would have been way too expensive and time consuming to have it sanded off and redone, so we just shot the painter and chose to live with it.  I like to look up there from my bed and pretend it's what I always wanted.  I have a good imagination like that.  

Above the armoire there are all the old hand sewn quilts I have collected over the years.  They soften up the space and are treasures of mine that I can look at every day.  You can see that I have my next big project in painting that armoire a nice shade of BLESSING WHITE or WHISPER ROSE.  Let me know what you think of my room so far (but only if it's nice).  My feelers get hurt easy.

Blessings and another beautiful sunset,


08 January 2012

Here Comes The Bride

I'm baaaaaaack.  With an apology for being MIA for so long.  I've been visiting your blogs but neglecting mine.  I usually don't make New Years resolutions but, this year I did; and it's to post here more often.  I love to take photos and share them and I love to write but, I'm way behind. I got so behind that I didn't know where to start so I just avoided posting and got more behind.   Life has been happening at a frantic pace and I have barely been keeping up.  Lets see, what to post about first?  How about love?  My favorite subject.  There was a lot of it around our place in 2011.  My daughter Kate got engaged in February to her college sweetheart Justin.

It started off with a lot of this.

And this.
Which led to this.

They both graduated University in Texas then moved back to their respective homes, his in Albuquerque, New Mexico and hers in San Diego, California.  Then they burned up the phone lines and spent all their money on plane fare.  Last February Justin planned a sweet and romantic proposal and this November they sealed the deal with a beautiful Nuptial Mass where they were united in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony at our home parish.

They say it never rains in Southern California but, when it rains on your wedding day we Irish believe it's good luck.  It rained from early AM to late PM.  The sunroof in my car leaked. I stepped in a deep puddle in the parking lot and spent the entire evening soaking wet. But, this couple is going to be VERY lucky because my Kate took it all in stride.  She was the consummate mello bride and set the tone for all of us.

My sons Cooper and Dylan escorted me to my seat. No tears yet.

My handsome and proud hubby walking his precious daughter down the aisle.  Isn't her dress beautiful?  And her bouquet?  And her beaming smile?

This beautiful sapphire and pearl neckless has been worn by every bride in my husbands family since his great grandmother.  I remember how honored I felt to wear it when we were married, and now two of my daughters have worn it as well.  It also covers the something old and something blue adage.

Do you remember Honey Heart? While trying to describe how much he loves his new baby sister to me, my youngest grandson who was four at the time said, "Grammy, I just love my new baby so much, sometimes I call her Honey Heart."  This is Abigail Rose all dressed up for her Auntie's wedding.  Her handsome escort is her daddy.

 In my last post  "It All Started With A Recycled Wedding Dress"  I shared about how I made the ring bearer pillow out of my old wedding dress.  Here it is, and here are the hooligans very reverent, aHem; hooligans full of shenanigans, who had the very important responsibility of carrying the rings.  Really, who are we kidding here, just take a look at those faces.  Who wouldn't trust them with their cherished jewelry?

 These are my daughters, Tara, Kate and Maggie.  All as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

Ya'll would have been proud of me.  I didn't cry all day.  (But, as my husband has pointed out, I've made up for it since.) On my daughters wedding day though, I was so sleep deprived from 9 months of wedding planning, terrified because I had to leave my cocoon, and hysterical because my baby was leaving me for good, cool, calm, and collected.  And in case you were wondering, since I've spoken about the fact that 99 percent of my shoe wardrobe is flip flops, I am proud to announce my friends, I kept my big girl heels on and danced my heart out in them all night long!

Why oh why do women do this to themselves?

Baby sister Maggie.  I loved the bridesmaids bouquets, so cheery!

Our little Emma was her Auntie's flower girl and she did an impeccable job.

These are Kate's new sisters-in-law.  They are sweet and adorable and also served as bridesmaids.  Not only that, they know how to tear up the dance floor!

They were a huge help with wedding planning, choosing the dresses and making sure that all five girls got one in their size. On sale too! I hate shopping so they're were my heros.

We got lucky in the in-law department.  Justin's family is so much fun, extremely generous and they love our daughter.  What more could you ask for when you join families?

This is my family with my five originals and our two sons-in-law.  I can only hope that my last three find spouses as spectacular as my first two have. They've set the bar pretty high!

With Gods Grace and through the sacrament of their marriage may these two give me many grand babies live happily ever after... Give me many grand babies.

Now, your sunset photo for the night to top off the jump into my New Years resolution to post more often.  Because you know I love ya, and life is good.