decorating with dodi

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tweak, Tweak, Done....

,,,at least I think I am. Unless another new idea shows up in a blog or on Pinterest. Then, we will let "nature take its course"!

I don't really send out many cards any more, but I needed a few, so I made this adaptation of one I saw on Pinterest. I used only things that I already had so this was a free project!

And then, I saw this tag floating around somewhere and knew it was just what I needed to add the balance that was lacking from the vignette on the dining room table. Really a silly little thing, but things like that can bother me-I am a symmetrical kind of gal.

See, doesn't that look better? So much more balanced! I knew you were thinking it too!

And, what Valentine season is complete without the real deal? I love spring flowers and tulips for Valentine's Day are my favorite-no roses for me! The only bad thing is that they only last about a week if you are lucky. These pictures were taken when they were only about 2 days old. They were now bought about a week ago and are probably on their last day or so. Luckily, most markets now carry them so I just grab a bunch or two each time I shop!

O.K. I know you've heard this before, but I really am off to tackle my daughter's pillow covers. With the way I have been putting them off, I guess I have to admit that I am "just not into" sewing any more. I enjoy making the kids' Halloween costumes, but pillow cover making is a bit too precise for me. I need to measure! And, like I've said, I'm a measure once, throw away that fabric and measure again kind of girl. Then, bindings and fringes are involved not to mention that the fabric is pretty expensive to start with. Keeping my fingers crossed at least a few actually turn out square-hopefully the larger ones and we can hide all of the others behind them-ha-ha!

When I have completed that, I am on to the guest bath "fluff up" and plans for some Valentine fun with the 3 youngest grand kids. I will be sure and bring you along for the ride. Stay tuned. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Honey, I Shrunk the Nightstands"!

O.K. So when you last were here I was telling you how excited I was to finally see and feel my new mattress and box spring set that was delivered while I was out saving the world from air potatoes. Couldn't wait to get home! Couldn't wait to see it! Couldn't wait to feel it! Couldn't wait to sleep on it! COULDN'T GET UP ON IT! Yep, you heard me right! We have a high 4 poster bed but it is the same bed we have had forever and I have always had no trouble hopping up, so apparently something was different this time!

My kids will tell you that with me, there is ALWAYS a story. While that may not always be the truth, I will admit that many times it is....and this is one of those times. So, settle in and pour a cup of coffee-or wine if it is getting close to 5 P.M. when you're reading this-and hear my sad tale.

When we had settled on the bed we wanted and all that was left was the really sad part of paying for it, I remember the salesgirl asking us if we would want to special order a smaller box spring. Now mind you, my head was still reeling from the prices of these mattresses and when I heard "special order", I heard "more money". In her defense, I never did ask her if that was the case. What I did ask her was why she was asking this because in all of my years of mattress buying, this question had never come up before. She said something about the thickness of the mattress being so much more than older mattresses. I told her the mattress we were replacing was a relatively new one and she said then there was probably no need as the difference would be negligible. But then, she had us sign a statement saying that she had asked us about this and we had declined. I guess bells should have gone off right then, but I was tired and am getting old and I just don't over process things.

Fast forward 3 1/2 weeks and our long-awaited purchase has finally arrived. The first thing I noticed upon entering the room was that my dust ruffle still hit the ground just perfectly hence effectively hiding that black cashmere box spring as I had hoped. Then I noticed that I could not easily just hop up on the bed. But, that was O.K. too as I have seen many pictures of 4 poster beds with little step stools next to them and, since back in my country decorating days, I collected quite a few step stools and still haven't managed to get rid of them-in my defense, I do use them as risers quite often, but I digress-I figured I would just set one on each side of the bed.

So off I went to dress this new beauty. All I can say is thank goodness I had recently purchased some new, very, very deep sheets. They bearly made it on the mattress-don't think any of my beloved Ralph Lauren deep sets will fit. I noticed right away how much of the headboard was no longer visible and thought that might be an issue when we set up our pillows to prop ourselves for our nightly reading. But, later that night I found it wasn't a huge issue.

Then, my husband kept hitting his head on the pediment hanging above the bed. Knew this would be a pain to move because of the crazy hanging system it used. One of those where you have to have the 4 brackets in the EXACT spots or they don't couple. Another one of those measure twice, cut once kind of things where I tend to be just the opposite-all of the extra nail holes in my home will attest to that. I figured I could live with this the way it was until....

But then, I reached over to my night stands to pick up my book and nearly fell out of bed. Oh my goodness were they low-or I was high I guess. Showing you some pictures to see what you think. Should we get a new, lower bed and headboard. Would kind of hate to do that as this is a Habersham Plantation bed and it goes with our gorgeous armoire. Should we get new nightstands? Really would hate to do that as these are relatively new and match our large dresser. Should I live with it the way it is and see if we get used to it? That is kind of where we are leaning as we have both now figured out how to get up into it without the stools. Not very graceful but at our ages, not much of anything about us is graceful these days! And, I bit the bullet and raised the pediment just now. Here is what the bed looks like as we speak.



When looking at these pictures, I remembered that the pediment has always been just a bit off center. This would have been the perfect time to fix that, but that would have required even more precise measuring, etc. and like I said.....

This picture kind of makes me think of a giant living in my house. It just looks really funny to me.

I would love to tell you that I have had the 2 best nights of sleep that I have ever had but that would not be the truth. I think the first night I just tossed and turned because it felt like I was sleeping somewhere strange and then last night I was just tossing around all sorts of new decorating ideas in case I decide to change any of the above problems.  Maybe tonight will do the trick. The mattress is fabulous to be on when I am awake. Hopefully it will soon be the same when I am ASLEEP!

Off to meet my husband and daughter for lunch. Be back soon. Stay tuned. And I warned you it was a loonnngggg story! Next time I do that, run while you still can!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Spring, Spring, Beautiful Spring"

I am having a hard time believing it is really winter! Our weather here in central Florida has been amazing. Highs of 75 degrees and tolerable lows. It is the kind of weather where you just want to be outdoors all day long and begin putting down all of your new spring plants. Fortunately, I have lived in this area for so many years, I know not to be fooled by Mother Nature. The minute those new plants hit the ground, we WILL get a hard freeze. Ask me how I know!

So, I look for other ways to be outdoors. I do love being in the garden and there are ALWAYS weeds (why don't the weeds seem to die out in the winter the way that the plants and grass do) to pull but this weekend, I used the beautiful weather to join hundreds of other people in the city of Gainesville at the "Great Air Potato Round-up". This year I was part of the team at daughter #2's school. She is the STEM magnet team leader as well as the 5th grade magnet teacher at Stephen Foster Elementary School. We were assigned the large, wooded area at the boundary of the campus. The kids love this place as it includes a large,deep sink hole type area filled with a creek-did I say LARGE and DEEP? Since I am no longer quite so nimble of foot, I left that area to the young ones for fear I would start my dissent and end up falling the rest of the way. And, everyone would spend the rest of the day trying to rescue "Nana" instead of air potatoes-but, I digress.

In any case, I think by now you must know that I am pretty tenacious when I want to be. I am not a wuss and things like scraps, scratches, vines twisting around my ankles and 8 foot tall brambles can not deter me when I put my mind to it. I headed in an opposite direction of most of the others and found the largest concentration of air potatoes of the day. Could be because this area was so thick with growth that no one had ventured there for several years. In any case, word soon spread and we collected a lot of air potatoes. And, as my grand daughter said, "it is very rewarding when you finally find a stash". Kind of like eating potato chips-no one can eat just one. We found ourselves not wanting to stop and kept going for just a few more....and more.... and more! We took a few pictures right at the beginning-my daughter was still signing people in, so we missed her-then decided that it was much easier to snag the potatoes without having to worry about that camera. Have a few to share of my grand daughter, son-in-law, me, our loot and the logo for this year on our shirts.

After everything was collected, we were all off to Morningside Park where all of the volunteers were thanked for their efforts with entertainment, t-shirts, snacks and raffle prizes. Because none of our group had eaten breakfast, we wanted a bit more than just snacks and were soon on our way to B.J.s for a "real" thank you. Nothing quite like a glass of wine with lunch-got to watch out-this could become habit forming.

And then, because I was in Gainesville, I hit a few of my favorite haunts before heading home. It really was a wonderful way to enjoy the gorgeous day we were given and help the environment and community as well. What could be better?

When I got home, my new mattress and box spring were awaiting-but that will be for another post. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Day of Love

Yep!. That is what today was-a day of love. I love crafting! I don't think I actually realize how much until I haven't been able to do it for awhile! Then, I somehow "feel" the need. I have to do something. Lucky for me, there are so many holidays throughout the year that seem to appear right when the mood strikes me most.

I have been thinking about Valentine's Day for some time now. I went through my Pinterest boards and pulled a few idea, but it wasn't until I read the blog "Confessions of a Plate Addict" that I knew I had found what I was going to do.

The first idea is a PB knock off of one of the pillows I just bought. Because this lady likes all things French, she created her own design using the PB pillow as inspiration. And then, like a sweet gift dropped in my lap, she made a download and even reversed the image for any of us who might want to try her idea. I jumped on that one real quick although I actually DO know how to reverse an image for printing on a transfer.

It was amazing how quickly I went from this:

to this:

Instead of making pillows, I actually just made the covers. Now that I have found that idea, I don't think I'll ever make or buy a full pillow again.

And then, somehow from this:

came this:

I actually made 6 all together but daughter #3 came by as I was finishing up and decided she needed to take her presents home with her today. This idea also came from "Confessions of a Plate Addict" and once again, she made it very easy by supplying the download. I changed it up a bit by printing on velum. I thought the candle would give off a prettier glow through the velum and I was right. All I did was wrap the clear container-and that was actually the hardest part. Somehow it was difficult to begin the wrapping process perfectly straight and once you were off even a little, the whole thing went on crooked. After I finally had them all wrapped to my satisfaction, I tied on some twine and glitter ribbon and embellished with a heart and dangling key.

When I ran one piece through my Xyron machine, it got wrinkled. While I didn't want to use it on one of the tall cylinders, I cut a short strip of the download and used it on a shorter holder. I simply tied it with glitter ribbon and added a glittered heart. It looks cute on top of the pie safe nestled amongst the other decor.

I loved that I got to spend today doing something I get so much pleasure from. Tomorrow it is back to routine-have tons of errands to run. I am striking out on finding the accessories I was looking for for the bathroom, so I will try again. Then, on Saturday, I am off to the "Great Air Potato Roundup" in Gainesville. We have done this for a number of years. Air Potatoes are an invasive plant that displace native species of plants and disrupt water flow. They can grow 8" in one day and new plants shoot off of the bulbs that look pretty much like potatoes. Every year Gainesville does a massive clean-up using volunteer groups to help out. After several hours of pulling potatoes-sometimes in very remote areas-everyone heads to a beautiful park where the total weight of everything collected is tallied and contests for smallest, largest, ugliest, funniest, etc. potato are awarded. There are drawings for many prizes, t-shirt give-away and foods provided by community restaurants. There is usually live music as well and it makes for a really fun day-and even better, we are helping the community and environment as well. It is a win-win situation.

While I am off "picking potatoes", my husband will be home FINALLY welcoming our new mattress and box spring. And none too soon I might add as the hole on my side of our Sleep Number mattress seems to be getting deeper and deeper no matter how much I attemt to "pump it up". Can't wait!

After sewing my daughter's pillows, I am moving forward to the small re-do of the guest bath. Stay tuned. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Starting Small...

...or maybe not!

I thought I would show you the front of the house with my Valentine decorations and then the guest bath as it currently looks. Then, I was going to make my Valentine gifts and sew a bunch of pillows for daughter #3-not really sure how that happened because this story all started with her asking me to bring my sewing machine to her house so she could make some pillows-but, I digress.

Then, I was planning the beginning of my next "blog series". I was going to finally do what I have been talking about for oh so long-update and tweak each room of the house in small ways. I'm not talking about the big projects here-just the things that I could control and do all by myself without a huge monetary expenditure. You know, just enough to make my heart smile when I entered each room and give me that "first day of the rest of my life" feel.

Yep! That was the plan. And, I was starting small-the guest bathroom that I just showed you. I like this room. It really doesn't need much-repaint the woodwork, de-clutter the linen closet and vanity areas, swap out a few accessories, possibly new wall color and a frame around that huge mirror. Yep, that was my plan and I was going to start this week.

But, the day before Christmas when I was cleaning for the next day, I noticed that some of the wood floor in my kitchen area had risen. This has happened before when the A/C unit on the other side of that wall has frozen. I immediately began my visual search for the point of origin of the water and found all of the usual culprits bone dry. I put some Loctite glue under the wood and let it go.

Fast forward these few weeks and I am now noticing the same thing on my living room floor and far away from any sensible water source. So, we called a client of my husbands who is a general contractor and he came out.

Long story short, we will need to have a company come out with "sonar" (I think that is what he said-I was kind of in a daze) equipment to determine the water source. Seems like it might be a leak in the slab and might involve replacing ALL of the floors in the house. We shall see.

So much for my starting small in the new year idea. On the bright side, I might get all new floors! On the other side, I will have to come to some decisions. As much as I adore my wood floors, do I really want to face this happening again? And, if I don't go with wood, do I want stone everywhere? And, will our home owners insurance help with any of it or will I need to get a job to finance this fiasco? Right now, it is too much to think about and really not necessary until we have an answer. We shall just have to wait and see. I guess in the mean time, I will start the guest bath-just keep my fingers crossed that the water leak doesn't extend that far. Should be a fun couple of weeks (months?). Stay tuned!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm "Loving" It!

So, we've been through the living room, family room and kitchen so far. Today we will see what the dining room and sunroom are looking like this year. I guess when it comes down to it, it is pretty much lots of hearts and anything that is red, pink or white. It's looking like I am pretty much a traditionalist where Valentines is concerned as well as Christmas-can't quite buy those hearts done up in turquoise or chartreuse! Don't really know why I can't jump on that band wagon occasionally but, as I like to say, "I am a purist" and any color other than red, pink or white (or variations thereof) does not "read" as Valentines to me! So, come along.

Like I said, lots of hearts and red, pink and white. That's just "how I roll". As you first enter the dining room, you will see the over flow of photos from the family room. It is a good thing that my grand children are getting older and we don't have quite as many holiday photo-ops as we used to or we would have to move out to make room for all of the frames. I do plan on having the 3 youngest over soon for some Valentine crafting so I know there will be at least a few more frames before the holiday is over!

The hutch is pretty much as it was last year when I added the glittered hearts that my mom had made-I still LOVE them!

Still have my old water bottle here in the dining room on the tea cart. I saw where someone had the EXACT water bottle and holder and they were using it on their hearth next to their fireplace, I am thinking of moving it to my family room when I decorate for spring and possibly moving the cart out of this room all together. I think it will make the room appear a lot less cluttered but that is a bit of "merchandising space" to give up, so we will see.

A step down from the dining room is the sunroom. I usually keep it pretty simple in there because I am pooped by the time I work myself to this end of the house. This is where the kids tend to nestle, so I want to make sure it has at least the feel of the current holiday, but, I must admit, sometimes it just gets the leftovers that I decide not to use anywhere else. That is what I am NOT showing you today-mostly Valentine candles, signs and wall hangings. They don't look bad, they just don't photograph well because they are scattered.

I do like the centerpiece in the middle of the round table but when I look at this picture, I am thinking that I may go back and add a red placemat under the vignette. I am planning on buying faux red flowers for the holder tubes-just haven't seen any that aren't down right ugly yet!

And, speaking of ugly, I think I really need to re-think that empty frame hanging on the wall in the dining room. Just not working for me any more!

Next we will take a quick peek at the guest bath and the front porch and then hopefully I will be able to show you what gifts I have decided to make this year. I bought all of the supplies the other day, so I think I am good to go! Stay tuned.