(Insert exasperated eye roll here from me, deep in the heart of Traceyville.)
Can I interject here that I am wondering if I am the only girl in America who thought the stores (Grocery and big box craft stores like Michaels) would still have little white gourds or pumpkins in stock?
(The employee at my local Michael's yesterday looked at me like I was a slice of bread short of a sandwich when I asked her where any of the Thanksgiving merchandise was.)
In the end, it came together just fine, sharing our Thanksgiving meal in my dining room(As much as I whined, I couldn't get anyone on board to dine outdoors as I had envisioned in Traceyville.) with Robin's egg blue accents on white pumpkins I already had on my dining table. A good time was had by all.
I hope your Thanksgiving was spent with people you love.
....Oh, the pink booties in the photo? They were worn by both of my daughters, and I thought they were long gone, but were rediscovered this past week. I gave them to my daughter to use with grandbabe number nine. (A second grand daughter for me!)
Last night, (the night before the night before Thanksgiving...)I realized I had no actual game plan for my tablescape for the Thanksgiving dinner with my family that I am hosting this year.
Wanna know how that happened?
I have been in Traceyville, that's how.
You see, we had a record breaking dry and hot spring and summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and from the minute I announced I would be hosting Thanksgiving for the family, (Way back in August, I believe.) I started envisioning a perfect rustic harvest themed table, with little white pumpkins and candles in old canning jars lined up down the middle,flanked by bistro chairs with fleece throws draped casually over their backs, outdoors, on my freshly painted, firewood-stacked-and-lined covered patio.
I pictured two matching outdoor heaters on either end of the patio,(I know! Nice, am I right?) and perhaps a firepit that I just bought on an early Black Friday deal off to the side, adding the wonderful smell of cedar to the holiday air. (And for the grands to make s'mores after dinner. They love doing that!)
(Have you gotten the entire visual here?)
We had a cold snap that started a couple weeks ago, and I buried my head in Traceyville, where it is always warm enough to dine outside with six little men under the age of seven. I glanced at my iphone weather last weekend, and remained ever hopeful that the weather would somehow cooperate with my vision for this Norman-Rockwell-meets-Country-Living-Magazine event in my mind.
It would seem that this is not to be.
Last night I had to take the fast train from Traceyville to Vancouver, where we are expecting a high of 42 (if we are lucky.) and face the cold (no pun intended) hard facts that I had never bothered to come up with a "Plan B" for Thanksgiving twenty-fifteen.
I then spent several hours a fair amount of time perusing Pinterest for ideas. (After all, my own Autumn Entertaining board was of no use, as it is full of every outdoor harvest tablescape ever photographed, and not much else.) Finally I remembered what I already knew; that it is who is in the chairs that matters, and not what is on the table.
I felt a wave of peace wash over me when I remembered this, and I have no doubt that tonight after work I will set the table and something will come to me to foofy it up, and in the end, it will all work out just fine.
Finding a pan to hold that twenty one pound turkey is gonna be another story.
I know. I’ve been MIA.
Life has been crazy busy.
(Isn’t that true for all of us?)
Between trying to get all the rooms in my cottage painted, my busy season at my grown-up girl job, and the big etsy order I had, I’ve been spread a little thin.
The rooms are now all painted, (Yippee!) the etsy order has shipped (Yippee some more!) and work is…well, still crazy busy. (But that is a good thing.)
I had so much fun doing my etsy order that I was kinda sad to have it completed. Then…the shopper emailed me wanting to know if I might be able to create boutonnieres to coordinate. Hellooooo! Yes, I would love to! I sent her photo samples, and we shall see what she decides.(I will keep you posted, don'tchaknow.)
They were so fun to make that I will be adding them to my etsy shoppe later this week. (After Thanksgiving is out of the way…)
What do you think? Can you see these on a sharp dressed man’s lapel at a black tie affair, or better yet, a new year’s eve wedding party?
I’m swooning here.
(It's a treasure. It's shot with my iPhone, looking out the back window of my 52 pickup truck.)
As I shared just last week, I have always struggled with keeping my creative spaces neat and tidy.
Okay, I struggle with keeping most any place neat and tidy, but in my craft room, the struggle has always seemed to be outta control.
I spent a good portion of this past weekend addressing this problem, (When I wasn't making a huge untidy mess working on the big etsy order...)
....and while I don't want to sound overly confident here about my organizing and tidying skills, I think I may be on to something this time.
You see, I have had this idea percolating in my head for some time now, that old school entertainment centers would make perfect a storage center in a craft room, or an antique mall booth space.(circa 1980, when TVs were big and deep, and we liked several cubbie holes to hold our VCR and wide assortment of VHS tapes.) I'm talking about the solid oak, five-hundred-million-pound-multiple-cubbies-and-one-big square to hold your television entertainment centers.
And I found one on craigslist, just a couple of miles from my home.
(Inset wild cheer here.)
For twenty five dollars.
(Repeat wild cheer here.)
And I offered the guy twenty and he said okay.
(Who could pass up that sweet deal? Not me.)
I whined begged pleaded convinced my Rock n' Roll Buddy to go with me in my old blue truck to pick it up.
(This is where things got a little dicey.)
It turned out that the entertainment center five feet wide and six feet tall, and it was made of thick, solid oak.
(Remember the 80's? Oak was the thing. Heavier than anyone could imagine, but cool looking.How had I forgotten that?)
It took three of us to get this ridiculous thing into the back of the truck, and once it was there, my rocker buddy informed me that he would not be moving anywhere again.
Undaunted, and basking in the confidence that this was going to be too perfect for words, I let it go for the evening, and figured we could find an easy solution on Saturday.
Saturday came, and I called around for back-up support but struck out. We finally ended up getting a kindhearted-and-available neighbor to help out, since he didn't have any plans until the Duck game on TV at 4:30.
It was touch and go, with a few frightening moments where I couldn't decide if my neighbor was going to have a full on heart attack, (Seriously, I have never seen a person sweat that much.) or my Rock n' Roll buddy was going to have an asthma attack, and then there was the part where the entertainment center got wedged real good between the hallway and the office doorway, but I prayed hard, and held my breath, and in the end, other than a three foot long scratch in the hardwood floor that I had to sand a bit and seal, it was all good.
Actually, it was better than good. It was fabulous.
It holds and organized a lot of my crafting supplies, and holds my printer perfectly. Now all that is left to do is add one more shelf above the printer, and paint it all white.(Update to follow when I get to that point.)
It turns out that rock n' roll and big hair weren't the only cool things in the 80's.
My craft room is now freshly painted in the same fabulous shade of clean and cozy white that I have painted the rest of my cottage in, (with the exception of the laundry room and bathroom, which are my signature Robin's egg blue...) and the clipboards I ordered arrived in just two days, so there was nothing stopping me.
(Please ignore the very sad 1950's door with peeling paint. Installing cottage style interior doors is on my long wish list of things to come.)
I have big plans for my craft business (and my craft room) and I am doing all I can to guarantee that twenty sixteen will be the year I become organized and focused!
(I know it's only November, but working on all of these New Year's Eve hats and horns and such has me all inspired for the year to come.)
I'm working on getting my craft room dialed in, once and for all. (Okay, if you know me in person, you know that I have never had a craft room, big or small, that has been "dialed in".)I am getting it dialed in so that I can be organized and ready for crafting and creating things for my easy shop.
(Oh! The plans I have for my easy shops!)
(Yes! I said shops, with an "s".)
In preparation for organizing things, I bought myself twelve clipboards.
One for each month.
I made a calendar sheet for each month, and I am going to hang them on the wall, so that I can plan and plot out all of my easy items well in advance of their respective holiday/seasonal times.
Oh yeah, watch out, people. 2016 is gonna be my Etsy year.
(And...if that is true, I am apparently very creative.)
So, I am still working on this order for an etsy shopper.
(I am having so much fun!)
And, I making an epic mess of my cottage.
I won't go into details because I might actually die of embarrassment, but trust me when I say that my little office is so messy that I work on the dining room table.
(I tell myself it is so that I can see the TV while I am working, and I simply cannot miss The Voice.)
And, as I said before, I get so excited and inspired while working, and when I get going...well, I seem to make a bigger mess.
One side benefit of getting so inspired is that I come up with new ideas while creating. Last night was no exception.
The person I am creating all of the party items for ordered some favor bags, and I told her I would be happy to provide a sign to place on the table next to the favor bags, so guests would know that they were free to take them home.
Of course I knew I could use a picture frame, but that was a way-on-the-back-burner-plan-B idea for me. I kept thinking there must be something clever that could go with the vintage look...and then I found an old book, with pages folded, from my old booth days at Camas Antiques.
I designed a sign, and sure enough, the book held it upright just fine, thankyouverymuch.
(I blurred the names, because the party is a surprise and I do not know if the guest of honor reads my blog.)
Of course, as my luck would have it, I ran out of ink in my printer at the exact moment I wanted to print my latest creation, (Does that happen to you?) and so the photo shows only a rough idea of what will be like in the end, so you need to imagine that the page will be nicely colored and all foofied up with some sheet music and netting and such.
I think she will love it.
You know, crispy cold, with some alternating drizzle-drenching downpours rain. Mmm hmm, comfort food weather. There are lots of meals that make my comfort food list for lunch or dinner, but for breakfast there is really nothing like oatmeal, preferably with cinnamon and apples, (And maybe some raisins and nuts if I have them on hand) and a cuppa cocoa or hot tea.
(Preferably eaten while covered up in my little down throw on the sofa, by the fire.)
(Add to this scenario that it is a weekend when I have no urgent time schedule to watch the clock for, and I am officially in heaven.)
Do you have any favorite breakfast comfort foods?
So, in between my grown up girl job, and my house renovations, I have been madly crafting a whole slew of New Year’s Eve party items for a large etsy order.It's hats, and horns, and midnight snack bags, and oh! It's all so cute, and the more I craft, the more giddy I become. ( True confession here- Sometimes I even leave the room and come back in just to marvel at the glittery eye candy.)
I work on this pretty much each evening, and I get myself so excited about the details that I then have trouble falling asleep.
Isn’t that funny how inspiration and using your creative side of your brain can do that? (Please tell me I’m not alone in this.)
Yeah, so the living room and dining room are now pristinely covered in a fresh milk-white shade of satin paint, and you would think I'd be just squealing with delight each time I enter my cottage, but...what happened was that now all of the dingy, tired, chipped up molding that we left unpainted are screaming louder than ever to be replaced.
Instead of noticing the disappearance of various paint color splashes that had previously been on the wall, I see how desperately I need to (at the bare minimum) paint the mantle.
It's the old "If you give a moose a muffin" thing all over again.
Mind you, this is not a bad thing. No, not at all. What it has done is get me motivated to tackle the trim work right away.
(It doesn't really show in the photos, but trust me, in broad daylight, it's quite visible.)
If you live in the area, you just might see me driving over the I-5 bridge in my old blue truck friday night after work, heading to Home Depot for 36 pieces of trim.
Updates coming your way!
Now, I love Christmas time as much as the next girl, but I am not quite ready for tinsel, jingle bells, and Christmas throws just yet.
I want to enjoy November a bit, along with all the crisp fall weather, and look forward to Thanksgiving for a week or so first.
I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, after a number of years of not actually hosting (hostessing?) any holidays, and so I am pretty danged over-the-moon excited about it.
So excited that I made invitations, even though my family knows I am hosting, and where I live.
(I am all about those kinds of details, you know.)
I am even more excited about my theme for the table scape, (A rustic harvest look, with possible alfresco dining, weather permitting!) and all of the little details for the actual day.
More on my Thanksgiving table scape to come. I'm off to drop my invites in the mail now.
As I begin the eleventh month of living in my cottage, I am at last, beginning to see real progress. Two weeks ago I had my bedroom, the guest room, and the hallway painted, including the ceilings, thankyouverymuch.
Yes, I could have painted them myself. Two reasons that never happened:
1. It seemed daunting to paint the ceilings and walls of so many rooms. (Shall we just say that I am not the neatest painter? Even when I lay drop cloths down, somehow a fine mist of paint speckles and splatters manages to find it's way to my furniture and floors.)
2. I'm crazy busy at my grown up girl job all day, and coming home to try and muster the energy to paint in the evenings wasn't happening.
Never mind the reasons.
(See the paint splotches? See the plaster repair that I did actually tackle myself?)
I know I could have done the inside paint job. (God knows I've done it before, plant of times.) The simple fact is stated up above, where I state that I am entering my eleventh month in my cottage, folks.
That would be ten months since I slathered some blue, grey, and off white paint on various areas of the living room walls to finally decide I was going with an all white interior.
My painter-guy was cheaper than I imagined, which made this all (finally) doable.
Tonight I will mop the hardwood floors, wash my sofa slipcovers, and curtains, dust and oil my wood furniture and admire the serene atmosphere in my sweet living and dining room of my cottage.
I will then repeatedly step in and out of the room, admiring it from both the hallway and the kitchen doorway, pinching myself.
Next step will be new baseboards and trim. (Yippeeeeee!)
That being said, I thought I'd share a bit of my specific office's Halloween display. (I didn't do anything too over the top, just one area of our room.)
My grown up girl company goes a little crazy for Halloween, (and that is putting it mildly!)and we all wear costumes, (You really look like a non-team player if you don't...)so, for today, I am a cupcake fairy.
I cracked myself up this morning, driving to work.
I think it's a combination of being a bit more...ehem..mature... with more life experiences, (I know that it's just not worth it to sweat the small stuff, and if I have the chance to be making a memory instead of working on something, that will take precidence.) or the fact that spare time to work on things is at a commodity these days. At any rate, I am on closing in on month eleven of living in my cottage, (I know, crazy, right?!) and I still do not have the vinyl-square flooring completely installed, my door trim replaced, nor my curtains hung in there.
Today, the curtains are sewn (Thank you, Mom!) and hung, creating a whole new look from the kitchen, the laundry room and from out front.
I am loving it!
I'm so inspired I just might tackle completing the flooring in here this Saturday.
I spent the afternoon Saturday starting the bigger-than-I-had-hoped project of staining my new picket fence.
The sewing queen joined me, and worked tirelessly doing the detail work.
By 5:00 we had a vision of what the finished project will look like.
It then proceeded to rain buckets all day Sunday, and the forecast for the week is continued rain. (Which we need desperately, so I am not complaining.)
Looking at our work so far also sealed the deal in my mind that the bricks will absolutely be painted the soft gray house color, once the picket fence staining project is complete.
Apparently there will be lots more weekends spent with a roller and paintbrush in my hand.
The comment that brought the biggest smile to my face was Marie's: In your August posts there were no wide, white California type shutters in your front windows. No mention of them since then that I can find, but I am noticing them in your windows now. Would you please share more information, including where you got them?
Honestly, I chuckled out loud as I read your comment, Marie, as I was so surprised that anyone had actually noticed what was inside the windows while we were all discussing fine tuning the outside of my home.
Well, Marie, this post is for you. (Because I am just so tickled that you noticed!)
I did get new plantation shutters installed in my living room, dining room, and kitchen.
And I love them!
I've always been a huge fan of plantation shutters. I ordered them locally from a business named Comfort Shutters, but I am sure you can find companies that make them where you live. (Just google "Plantation Shutters".)
I love them because they are timeless. They look good plain, or combined with a window treatment, like I have chosen to do. They are great for insulating from the hot sun in warm weather, and the cold in the cooler months. They block the sun from coming in when needed, and they add privacy too.
They go with any style decor.
They are a classic.
The living room is far from finished, as I am going to get the walls painted in the next couple weeks, and I want to add all new baseboards and trim work. Oh, and my mantle is gonna be re-done (but I am still trying to design that in my head) as well as painting the bricks on the fireplace.
(I am apparently all about painted bricks these days.)
Also, there is a little sort of built in bookcase in the room that I am reinventing too.
(More on that later.)
Anyway, if you wondered about the shutter s in the window, you can thank Marie for this post. (Marie, you made my day!)
Thanks so much for all the input on yesterday's post! So many great ideas, and I feel like my gut instinct (About the brick) was right all along. My daughter called me, midmorning, and said, "Well, I guess we will be painting the brick!"
I laughed, because originally I was planning to paint the brick and the paint contractor didn't add it into the bid, and we ended up deciding to see how it looked unpainted.
(Just goes to show that you should listen to that little voice when making these kinds of decisions.)
I added another detail, my umbrella full of sunflowers, to the door last night, and I am on pins and needles, wanting to get the picket fence and adirondack chairs painted, so that I can get the full visual to make the final, final decision on painting the brick, and possibly the pillars. (as we are calling them.)I see painting the brick as no-brainer. It needs to be the soft gray, I think.
It's funny, but looking at these two pictures, the door looks like different shades of green, depending on which photo you look at. The further away shot is the green I was after, yet the close up looks to washed out and milky to me. (Do you see that too?) Let's look again, just one more time, shall we?
After our long, hot, dry summer, we are finally having rain this week, so things will remain as they are our front for the next few days, at least.
I'm bad about that. (Second guessing myself.)
I'm an over over-thinker.
I am thrilled with the new paint on my cottage, but I am not sure I made the right choice on my door color.
Or maybe it is the fact that I am thinking I should have painted the bricks.
(Which I can still do.)
(And changing the door color is an afternoon project, if I do decide to change it.)
And I haven't re-hung my umbrella full of sunflowers yet, which are very yellow, and may make the door seem more green.)
I think I thought the green was going to be more granny smith apple green than it seems to be. (A teensy bit more vivid maybe, without being Seahawk lime green, if you can picture that.) Then again, certain times of the day, when the sun hits it, I love it.
(Should I have chosen a burnt red? I love red doors, and I know they are some sort of Fueng shui thing for brining wealth into your home, which I wouldn't mind, but.... I just feel like red doors are so...expected.)
(Add another happy-but-undecided sigh here.)
Okay, I'm not making any rash changes until I paint my adirondack chairs and picket fence. Then I'll share the finished-as-it's-gonna-be project and see how I feel.
Remember my front door dilemma?
Here is the door I eventually settled on.
(Is that the one you thought I would choose?)
The Handyman installing the door ended up being a day late, and then hit a road block, needing to get a piece of trim, and a different drill bit and so he is supposedly coming back to finish up today. (I am loosing hope though, as he was supposed to be here at noon, and I have called and left him a message and it is now after 1:30.)
This held up my painters from painting the fabulous door, (It was originally set to be hung the day before yesterday originally, as I said before.)and they are here, doing the last of the touch ups,and painting my new front door now!
Oh, the anticipation of seeing my new door, hung in place, painted up in it's glorious new color, is just about killing me!
...and I love it!
(Did you pick the gray for my cottage, when you read this post?)
The old school-circla-1960 TV antenna was gone.
Some charcoal (actually named "Peppercorn") accents, like the garage doors were in the works too.
I'm one happy girl.
Today, the trim, and details like the doors.
(No new front door hung yet. I got busy and put off running to Home Depot to buy it, and then scheduling a door guy to hang it. I finally did that last Tuesday, and now it will be going in today or shortly there after. Stay tuned!)
Following that, the picket fence will be painted..er...stained..white.
I can hardly stand the anticipation and excitement of seeing it all done!!
After more than ten months in my little cottage, weeks of debating over color combos,and front door choices, the outside paint job is finally beginning, and I am fairly confident that my entire neighborhood is watching through their windows as the magic unfolds.
The painter dudes arrived the day before yesterday and began the lead paint abatement, which is a fancy name for water blasting your home, and then scraping off all of the peeling areas of paint. It's apparently a big deal, because you have to be licensed to do this, and it is done with a lot of prep work, and plastic drop cloths.
And, as is true of so many other projects, the outside of my little cottage now looks even worse than before we started.
(I am okay with that.)
They finished the abatement portion of the job yesterday, and will begin with the paint job today.
(Can I get an Amen?!)
My new front door is set to be installed this afternoon, if it works out for the door guy to not be in the painter guys way, and then the painters can work their magic on it too. I can only hope it will all look as charming as it does in my mind right now.
Oh, this is just like waiting for Christmas!