decorating with dodi

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Friday, January 31, 2014

"Let's Play Musical......"! Yep, that's right. I am still moving things around. The good news is I am starting to like love it more and more each hour!

One of the things I was the most distressed about with the "loss" of the hutch was the loss of space for holiday decor. I have had to be inventive but I have found homes for much of it. Of course, with this being Valentine decor time, I had to take down the crocheted, glittered heart garland that I made out of the hearts my mom made for me many years ago. That made me sad because I am always happy when I can look at things she made for me and have them close at hand. The point was to not add the "clutter" back into the mix to make even MORE clutter. But then I had one of those "ah-ha" moments. I had removed a garland from the family room mantle because it looked too busy to me but this one would be a PERFECT replacement. The glittered hearts would mimic the large glitter heart on the mirror as well as the glittered X & O. It was MEANT TO BE. What do you think?

Next, I decorated the baker's rack that we moved to the sun room. It went from this in the dining room:

to this:

I really love it here! And "what", you say, happened to the baker's rack that used to be here?
I am almost embarrassed to show you this but here is where it is currently sitting:

My old potting bench in the background has really taken a hit from the weather in the last year and was going to have to be replaced. I will some day build a new one but until that day, I am going to stack my pots up on the rack. Once the new bench is built, I can move this over to the new patio area and pile it high with potted plants for pops of color!

And, last but not least, there is no going back now:

This is the first step in getting the niche ready for the floating shelves. I grabbed whatever white paint I had to get a primer coat going - and even though it is splotchy and needs another coat, I already love the way this is going. Can't decide yet whether I want just one or two shelves. I want them tall enough to accommodate some of my larger things, so I am leaning toward just adding one about in the middle but before we really get into it, I will measure some things and make the plunge.

So, change is in the works around here. It is funny how one thing always spurs another. Don't know where we will end up but it should be a fun ride. Stay tuned. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Proving the Point!

I remember telling you that it would get worse before it got better!!! What do you think?

O.K. So let's keep it real! I started this post yesterday and this is how far I had gotten when I received a text from my youngest - more on that in a minute. I was going to tell you how much fun I was having finishing up the alphabet book for Presley and show you a few of my pages so far. And, I was going to show you the huge mess I make when I do a project like this. It just can't be helped! You need everything out at once because as sure as you put a file away, you will think of another word that starts with that letter. But, I digress....

So, my youngest daughter has recently officially opened her own design business. She has always had wonderful taste...and she loves to shop. I have always marveled at how she and I can both walk into the same place and she will find all of the "good stuff" while I just find more STUFF!

Anyhow, I have been chomping at the bit to make some changes around here but the older I get, the harder time I seem to have making decisions - on color, furniture placement, improvements, etc. I knew I needed a gentle nudge and I have been asking begging her to give me some of her design advice. Each time I saw what she had done for another client (and I loved it), I asked begged even more.

And so, in came the text. All 3 of her kids were home with sniffles yesterday and everyone was needing to "get out of the house" - except that it was cold and rainy here - so out of "their" house and into mine.

We started in the dining room where change would not necessitate major renovation. We started slowly with her just asking questions and then beginning to offer suggestions. Once she knew that I was not going to be offended by anything she said, she became a little more forthright and a list was started. And, I am a list kind of gal - BUT, I also do not over think things and I like to do things "yesterday". And so at some point, I just jumped up and began emptying the hutch so we could move it out and see how the room looked without it. And, before you knew it, we had moved two major pieces of furniture out and moved one to another place in the room. Then, mirrors, pictures, knick knacks - you name it - were flying around. We ended up having her husband come over after work & putting a few pizzas in the oven so we could finish as much as we could. It was fun and probably something I wouldn't have done if I had had the time to think about it. I must say, I am missing all of my "merchandising" space (Christopher Lowell's word for it) but, as my daughter reminded me, I live in a house not a general store!

In any case, we are not done. We are now more zoned in on what color we will use and know that we are going to add wainscoting on the one long wall, larger crown molding all the way around and floating shelves in the niche. I am hoping those shelves give me a bit more space for my seasonal things because I am definitely having withdrawal! 

So we went from this... this. Jen felt the hutch was just too big for this wall but it is the piece I am missing the most, so we shall see. She is looking for something to hang over the jelly cupboard so I may feel better about it then.

Next, from this... this. I am going to paint the wall white and then we are going to "float" in two (one?) shelves. I think I will really like that better than always having to have something tall in this spot. We shall see.

From this... this. We put the picture low on the wall where the jelly cupboard used to be, but it may have to go as well when we finally decide on the new color. Right now we are leaning towards a very light version of the cinnamon that is currently here. And, hopefully, everything will look better when the dining room table is once again clear - although at the rate I am going, that may be awhile!

And lastly, from this... this.

Everything definitely looks visually less cluttered - heck, it is LITERALLY less cluttered as well. I guess maybe that makes everything look cleaner also and that is always a good thing around here, but I am just not sure. I am a symmetrical kind of gal and right now it still feels a bit off. But, I am going to be a good client and wait to see the whole picture before I make judgement - hope that won't be too late - ha-ha! Oh yeah, and what happened to my "think big, start SMALL"!! Best laid plans and all that. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Yeah Right!!!

What was he thinking???

My husband never fails to surprise me. Just when I thought we had gotten pretty comfortable in our "golden years" routine, he decides maybe we should go back to playing some games or doing puzzles instead of hunkering down for our favorite TV programs just ready for watching on one of our 3 TiVos!!!

So not wanting to dismiss his input, I headed out to find a puzzle we would like - and that Golden Retriever 1000 piece challenge looked just like one of  our favorite dogs, so it was a no-brainer!

I decided to set it up in the sun room where there is lots of light because gosh, those pieces are WAY smaller than I remember them being! I thought enough ahead to get out a piece of mat board so that, just in case this puzzle didn't get put together in a day or two, I could lift the whole thing - at whatever point it had gotten to - so that the kids and I could use this favorite area for our Valentine crafting - heck, maybe even our Easter, 4th of July or Christmas crafting depending on......

So here is the "new" sun room decor. We did actually sit there yesterday and got a few more pieces separated before he suggested we go watch something on TV - ha-ha! We shall see how long we persevere. If I remember correctly, I think I still have a few 100 piece children's' puzzles in the cabinet - or better yet, a 6 piece wooden shape puzzle from many years ago - baby steps where necessary! Stay tuned.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Here We Go Again...

...or better late than never as I like to say!

So this is what my office looks like right now and it will get WAY worse before it gets better. I just remembered that I am LONG overdue on making an alphabet photo book for my youngest grandchild. I have made six of these books usually to be given no later than a 4th birthday but somehow, this one just never got done.

I made the first one for Hannah as a way of using up some of the MANY, MANY photos that I take. I  start by putting a letter in the corner of the page and then fill the double-spread pages with pictures of things that start with that letter. I also write the word under the picture so it becomes sight word recognition. The kids love them and I love doing them. Since Presley will probably be reading very soon, I NEED to get this done. My goal is to have it ready for Valentine's Day. We shall see.

And, speaking of Valentine's Day, we have a bit more decor to see. Here is the sun room:

And here is the front of the house:

Guess that pretty much gets you around the main parts of the house. I am still tweaking little things and always looking for new treasures. I will let you know what I find. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Getting My Ducks in a Row...

...or should I say "hearts"?

I am finally getting into the swing of this thing called a new year. I can't say that I am truly caught up yet, but I am functioning. With that in mind, I headed out yesterday to run a few errands and along the way, I found some things that I know I will be needing very soon. I have actually gotten my ideas for Valentine gifts and treats and crafts with the grand kids lined up and I love it when I actually remember to buy things when I see them.

I love the products by Tim Holtz and knew I wanted to use them in some way for my Valentine gifts so I have been picking them up wherever I could find them. Then, Michaels had their canvases on sale and I knew where I was heading. I love how the vintage canvases turned out.

I also remembered how hard it was to find Red Hots last year for the Valentine popcorn the kids and I make so score another point for me when I remembered that I could find them at $ Tree. Also grabbed Rolos and cherry M & Ms at Target as I will be needing them soon as well. I was feeling really good about myself thinking I had remembered lots of things I would be needing in a few weeks when I realized I had forgotten 2 of the things I need for dinner tonight - oh well....

Oh well, maybe that is why I buy these things! They make me feel better - ha-ha. The stocks are from Trader Joes and I wish you could smell the sweet, spicy fragrance from them. And for some reason, red tulips say "Valentine" to me even more than roses. I love them and will pick them up any time I find them! And, the French milled soaps from Barnes & Nobles are the best smelling things ever. I bought some for Christmas and was so happy when I found these for Valentine's Day! Some times I go in the guest bathroom just to stand and sniff!

So that is what I have been up to these days - as well as a few movies (Saving Mr. Banks and August: Osage County - loved them both) and lots of eating out - don't know why - just seems like the thing to do.

This week is almost over and I still haven't done my mini-makeover - perhaps tomorrow. But, with all of the other things I am getting excited about, it will have to be very MINI! Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Think Big....

....but start small! Now I know that everyone who knows me will wonder if I have lost my mind with that statement! I have always taught my children/ grand children/ students to aim high - and I usually found that they would try very hard to live up to those expectations. And I always did the same. BUT, in recent years - honestly think it comes with age as so many of my friends are echoing the same thing - I have found myself setting myself up for failure. I have the loftiest of goals - the best of intentions - but, somewhere along the way, something derails me.

This IS going to be my year to organize and de-clutter. I am ready. But, as I started making my list, I realized that I was biting off chunks much too large - whole rooms that will take many, many days in and of themselves instead of just a portion of said room to begin.

I am sure I don't have to tell anyone who knows me (even those who don't if you are a frequent reader of this blog) that I have a LOT of STUFF! And, I am not going to get rid of all of it but I am going to revert back to that old adage of if you haven't used it in __ years, you probably never will. We shall see. I will be starting next week. I will pick a day and tackle one thing that day!

Let's end with a quick peek at the guest bathroom Valentine's Day decor.

Can't believe how quickly 2014 is going already. I must get a move on! The phone rang the other night and it was my 4 year old grand daughter asking me when she could come over for a tea party. That sounds like fun and we decided we would do a Valentine's theme. She wants decorations too. Figure I might have that one in the bag! Anyhow, I am off to make some lists and go buy some supplies so we can get working on that right away. And don't forget - cookies - pink chocolate chips - with LOTS of sprinkles!! Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Love is in the Air

Lots on my to-do list today, so let's just take a quick look at the kitchen before I get going.

Remember the Bingo card fad? I think I made one of these for every holiday. I still like the ones I did for Valentine's Day as they have a very vintage feel and that is how I always think of this holiday.

I still "love" this little sign. The kids and I made them several years ago by decorating inexpensive letters from HL and hooking them together. I think we did a new word for each holiday that year (LUCK, JULY, BOO, THANKS, JOY) so kid crafting became kind of a no-brainer. Wish I could come up with an idea like that again. We each decorated our letters and word in our own unique way so that they all turned out very differently.

The kitchen is much the same as last year. Sorry, no new brainstorm ideas have hit as yet. But, I did realize that I have not yet pulled out my Valentine file. Since the advent of Pinterest, I really don't use my files much any more but, you never know. There just may be a timeless treasure waiting to be unearthed once again. I will be sure to let you know what I find. Stay tuned.