"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On The Market

The house is on the market! AAAAAAaaaaaaahhhhhh!

It's our first time ever to sell a house.
It's our first time ever to sell a house while trying to keep it walk-through ready with a two-year-old and eight-month-old living there.
Did I mention the dishes usually take about 2 days to be washed, the dirty laundry is usually overflowing, toys are usually strewn everywhere and I rarely get the chance to shower before the afternoon or evening?
Now I'm supposed to do all these things (I'm counting the shower because I will be forced to go out into public while a potential buyer looks at the house) every day and keep my kids alive and content without using the TV as the nanny. Um, wow. Crossing my fingers isn't going to be enough on this one, I have a feeling. Hiring an actual nanny would be an alternative, except that we'd have to pay her. Darn.

Here is the listing with my photos of the staged rooms. If I had known they would only be 1/3 of the size, I wouldn't have taken them vertically, but that's how I tend to photograph things. There's no pic of the den yet, because I'm waiting until the last second possible to put away the playpen and the exersaucer. One hour of playpen time a day for my two-year-old is my saving grace and it will be SORELY missed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Satisfyingly Easy

Ihave been waiting for an appropriate time to copy this idea.
Continuing to depersonalize our home meant one last picture grouping to remove. There were two more pictures of me and hubby from our engagement photo shoot hung in our bathroom. I was completely uninspired as to what to do with them and I made yet another trip to Hobby Lobby to find a spark of inspiration.
When I saw the canvases, I remembered this tutorial and I knew it would be PERFECT. I grabbed a set of two, some ivory spray paint, stopped by Kroger on the way home for the masking tape and went for it.

I agree with myself.  I IS perfect.  I will be making more, no doubt.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tutorials Galore!

Scouring blogs for tutorials and bookmarking them almost every day leads to so many things I want to make and I don't even remember half of what I've seen and saved.
This little compilation is such a find, such a gem, that I had to share. I found it on a blog that's no longer being added to, but I'm still so glad to have found it, if only to read the previous posts. In those previous posts is where I found this online book that you can download. There are so many beautiful easy tutorials that you'll enjoy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stuffed, Stacked and Staged

My fabric came! That beautiful, hard to find, discontinued, very precious 2 yards of Amy Butler Gothic Rose in blue came yesterday in the mail. So my color plans for the living room in the new house can stay on track. Phew!
It's pretty unusual for me to be ordering any fabric these days. I really do have a closet full already. (Opportunity for new organization ideas in the new house abound when it comes to having a tidy craft space. In other words, I never accomplished it in our current home and there's still not a whole room for my crafting in the new house, so I'll have to be very deliberate in planning to organize.) My husband banned me from buying any new fabric until I finish some of the projects I have left behind for the next, more exciting pattern or project. You know how it works, I bet. My goal for the day is packing up all the mountains of fabric strewn all over the guest room. Some of it made it from the bed to the couch so I could pack while baby napped. (She's also stuffed into the guest room.)
There it is, a part of it anyway. It's like looking at the different layers of earth over time to see the history behind that piece of land. Hidden in the fabric strata are an unfinished laptop case I was trying to make with no pattern, a baby dress made from a man's shirt that ended up being too small, some bloomers that somehow make my toddler look completely deformed...and more.
As we continue to get things out to pack them, I think I'm hitting that stage of just wanting to throw it all away instead of bothering to sort and pack. You don't even realize how much crap you gather until you have to pare down or pack. It's no wonder I can't keep things organized or clean! I wouldn't have ever called myself a hoarder or pack rat, but I'm beginning to wonder... This is the kind of craziness we end up with, a pile of cloth diaper inserts on the antique piece that holds my grandma's fine glassware.

Ok, on to a couple of completed items. I depersonalized some more. This time, in our bedroom. There are a series of very dear pictures that chronicle the time from engagement to honeymoon hung prominently between the doors to the hallway and the bathroom. I did not want to patch and paint that many nail holes, so something else needed to be created. I used our duvet cover as inspiration and here is the result.

Another almost completed project is staging the dining room table. I decided against leaving full place settings out all the time, as we would always be moving them to eat. I saw an inspirational picture somewhere of a staged home with a stack of dishes in the middle of the table and some fresh-cut flowers. I like it. Simple and easy, but still elegant and inviting. I didn't want to use our china... too formal. I didn't want to use our regular dishes... gray and white doesn't fit the dining room color scheme. Big Lots had the answer and I got $18 of understated elegance.

Well, I've squandered some precious time with this post and now the baby's awake. Maybe I can manage to get a couple more boxes packed while they're eating lunch.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Of Course

Dreaming up decorating ideas for our new house is taking up any extra brain space or free time I have as of late.  I LOVE design and decorating and at one time, wanted to study interior design in college.  As an aside, I might have except my parents and I were both so homophobic at the time that it was marked off the list as a major that would attract too many gay people.
So I chose dance.   hmmmmm.

I've been considering kind-of a comfy cottage chic feel for the living room.  Color scheme: light neutrals with a pop of color.  Yesterday, on the way home from visiting family over the 4th, my hubby turns and says he would like the living room to be mid-century modern.  He loves Mad Men and really got turned on to the style represented in that show.  Our new house was built in the 50's so it certainly wouldn't feel out of place to consider furnishings from or inspired by that era.
I can still do neutrals with a pop of color.  Comfortable, but not overstuffed.
I've been looking around for some color inspiration and I finally found it in a dress I recently bought my daughter from a local boutique.  I immediately recognized the fabric as Amy Butler's and knew I wanted some accent pillows covered in it.
I searched and searched online for the pattern and couldn't see it anywhere.  I despaired, realizing that if it, in fact, wasn't Amy Butler, then I would have no earthly idea how to go about finding it.  I tried one more thing.  I went on her site to look through all her fabrics there, just in case the stores I had checked online happened not to carry the print I was hunting.  Sure enough!  I found it!  Amy Butler Belle Gothic Rose in blue.
Back to my search for some yardage.  Then, do my dismay and with renewed despair, I discovered that this print had been discontinued and was very hard to find.  I went to Etsy.  I went to Ebay.  No good.  I found one store that listed it in their inventory, but when I went to purchase, they revealed that, of course, they were out of stock.
I found another store that listed it.  I typed 3 yards in and headed to checkout.  Despair doubles.  Two little red stars appear signaling that my item is either out of stock or they do not have the yardage to fill my order.  I went back just to check and see if, beyond all hope, the stars might indicate the latter.  I typed in 0.5 yards.  Success!  I tried 1 yard.  Success!  1.5. Again, hope springs eternal.  I tried for 2.5 and was denied.

I have, just previous to this blog post, purchased the last 2 yards of Gothic Rose in blue on the face of the earth.  Hope you didn't want any.

This dress is suddenly worth more to me than the $20 I paid for it..

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anonymity Sells

If you happen to read my other blog, Sterling and Topaz, you know that we're moving. Or at least we're going to attempt to. We don't have a contract on another house and we don't even have ours on the market. We're trying to speed toward listing ours and today, my task was making the decorations less personal and more attractive to Mr. and Mrs. Anyman. I'd like to show you what I did so you can get some ideas of your own and see how easy it is.

Here's the thing I was most eager to change. I went to Hobby Lobby this morning and bought some clearance home decor items to create a new look for our mantle. We had a large picture of my husband and I hanging there previously, the candles, and the glass LOVE plaque. I bought the star for $8 and the mirror for $10, reused the candles and the plaque and added a photograph of a calla lily I already owned. Still fantastic, but impersonal now. :)

The second change.... A vignette in our living room that includes two photos from our engagement shoot. I love them, but they gotta go.

And the "after" with my own design from scrapbook paper, scissors and glue. Cost: $3

Close up of the one on the right:

Another family photo, covered with the leftovers from the scrapbook paper. It sits atop our piano, so it was easy to decide what to make. :)

This was just an issue of decorating gone wrong that needed fixing. In this case an oversized pillow that was comfy, but the wrong scale for the chair and the small den the chair sits in. Solution, an outdoor pillow on clearance at Target that will join our outdoor furniture, once we get some.

Much more inviting, don't you think?

I read in one of my online "how to sell your house" searches to buy a new doormat. Hobby Lobby had theirs half off, so $10 got me this beautiful, clean, new welcome mat that we'll bring to our new home with us after it welcomes buyers into our current home.

You may notice the wreath above the doormat. That's new too. I only do wreaths at Christmas typically, but since we're trying to look extra welcoming and festive, I decided to look into making one. Total cost: about $12. Every item I bought was half off and then I filled in with some magnolia tree greenery fresh cut from our tree out front. This idea of cutting your own greenery, as well as the idea of unraveling the grapevines a bit to give the wreath more character are not my own. Thank you Mrs. speaker who came to the MOPS meeting last year and taught us decorating tips!

I'm having too good of a time doing this. There's still a lot of not-so-fun things to be done, like putting things in storage and packing and whisking away a two-year old and seven month old during showings, but at least there's some part of this process that's enjoyable.
Similar posts to follow as more changes take place.