Friday, March 25, 2011

Busy Little Bee

I realized I haven't posted in a few days.  I have been a busy little bee. (I think Hubby has whiplash)  

Instead of showing you bits and pieces of projects, I'm trying to save the full before and after posts till I'm done.  In the meantime, here are a couple of hints of one project I am working on.  I'm already in over my head, so say a little prayer for me.  Have a great weekend!  I'll be in the garage if you need me.

Minwax 26060 Stain Gel Walnut 8oz

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Design Guide-Quick Fix

A few weeks ago I gave you a tour of our den/living room (whatever you want to call it).  Ya'll gave me great feedback and ideas.  Just for giggles, I submitted the den for a Free Quick Fix at My Design Guide.

Here is their feedback:

Your Stylefinder Profile is Traditional with an appreciation for Asian, Romantic and Rustic styles, and your preferred color palette is earth tones. Our recommendations will help you achieve your unique design style and solve the problems you shared with us.

This is our MyDesignGuide quick fix. It gives you great answers to small design problems at a great price. For a more comprehensive solution, order the the My Design Guide Standard Custom Room Design. 

We love the vaulted ceilings, and the fireplace is a much sought after feature in a home. The challenges of this room are to create a cozy, comfortable, and welcoming space using color, pattern, art and accessories. To address these problems we are recommending:

•Paint is an inexpensive way to transform the appearance of a room and create a fresh, new look. We've chosen a light green color that will coordinate with the green accessories you have throughout the room.

Spring Hill by Behr

(hmmm...will have to see how this looks in person.  I'm going for more of a beigey neutral, with brown undertones)

•We love the shelving unit/china cabinet you have in the room. Consider removing about half of the accessories to help give the room the calm, cozy look you are seeking. Less is more. Your room will feel more cozy and complete with a fewer number of large d├ęcor items rather than lots of little pieces.

(Yes, this I know.  I'm an accessory addict (it's hereditary), and will be going through re-hab soon.  The bookcases are currently listed on Craigslist)

•Every room needs at least three sources of light. You have 2 that we can see in the pictures. In addition, lights must be large enough to shine on the space at hand, but not too large for the table they sit on. Think about adding some table lamps to your end tables and possibly a ceiling fixture if you don't already have one.

(I have added a lamp to the tv dresser, and will add a lamp(s) on the table/sideboard that will replace the bookcases)

•Area rugs are the fastest way to change the mood or character of a room whether you are looking for a way to add those finishing touches to a new room or revitalize a not so new room. They also provide warmth and pattern to a room. We've selected a new rug that will coordinate nicely with the new paint color and is very much of the european/collected over time genre.

(I'm scouting a new rug.  Our current black is weighing me down.  The rug above is $550.  My budget is about $500 less than that.)

•Art and accessories are important in making a room feel finished and complete. Not only do they make the room interesting to look at, but they help to reflect the design style you are trying to achieve. Consider the My Design Guide Art and Accessory Plan. This plan will identify all the art, lighting and accessories you need to complete the room.
Consider accent pillows and accessories that are a more orange-red color rather than red to incorporate the fireplace brick color with the rest of the room creating that has been created over time, but is cohesive.
(I'm actually going with navy accent pillows.  I want to incorporate more blues and browns.  I've had red throw pillows for so long, I'm a little tired of it.  But I've got PLENTY of red accessories.)

In this room molding boxes below the chair rail will not add as much style as they would in another room with less furniture. Much of the chair rail and walls is covered in this particular room. While we love molding boxes - very Thrifty Decor Chick - squeezziieeessss....consider them in a dining room or stairway perhaps for more visual impact.

(After this suggestion, I've thought about it.  I may add molding boxes in the entry way only, then up the stairwell.)

So that's the extent of the free quick fix.  I didn't expect a lot of input for free!  But a few nuggets to go on.  If you haven't been to My Style Guide, go check them out.  They offer a lot of services for reasonable price points.

On a related subject, I did buy some new window treatments from World Market

Azra Floral Curtain Panel | World Market

Our World Market closed, so we'll have to see how they look in person.  Hopefully I'll get them this weekend.

We've been working on the Teenager's room this week.  Hope to show you the before and after soon.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was a Guest Judge!

Tracy from Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures asked me to be a guest judge at her Portrait Party this week. 

Talk about pressure!  I'm such a people  pleaser I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings!!  It was a hard choice.  All the photos were awesome--I couldn't choose one winner.

Hop on over and visit Tracy and see my top picks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Couch update {good news & bad news}

First the bad news:

A couple of weeks ago I shared my possible plan to change the couch up with a slipcover.  I listened to you, and bought the brown.  I purchased a sofa and a loveseat cover.

(There are no pictures to show you this process.  Me and hubby are sharing a camera right now because the Moose has hidden my memory stick.  He took it out of the computer and now it's gone.  So hubby took the camera when he went metal detecting on Saturday. You'll just have to use your imagination.)

The loveseat cover worked good on the chair 1/2.  Nice change.  Wished it was twill, but it was ok.

On to the couch.  Here is a visual about the slipcover on the beast couch: imagine 3 pigs wrestling in a slipcover. 

Yep, it wasn't pretty.  The back of the couch is 3 cushions.  And to describe it as lumpy under the slipcover is an understatement. 

The description said it would fit up to 96".  My couch is 93".  Um, no.

For giggles I tried to put the seat cushions in the separate separate seat cover.  Negative.  Zipper broke.

Sigh.  I'm glad I can return to JC Penay.

The good part about this trial is that it was an excuse to vacuum the couch under the seat cushions. (I found a dollar!)  And an excuse to go ahead and wash the seat cushion covers.  (I also found where someone has been wiping their cheeto fingers between the cushions!)

Here is the good news:   I think I just might be ok on this couch color situation.  Here is why...

I've been planning to re-paint the den Latte from SW.  (I used Latte in the Kitchen and Dining Room)  I painted the fireplace wall last night just to make sure.  And guess what?  The couch changed colors.  Yep.  Up against the wall, it doesn't look like a weird taupey sage.  It looks like a normal beige/taupe. 

Hallelujah!  I've been fighting this battle for years.  I've known that the couch and the current Asian Jute did not compliment each other.  I've tried to make it work.  Do I still want a new couch?  Well, yes, of course.  But hopefully I won't have to fight the beast too much going forward. they make 20 foot ladders for my 20' walls??  Time to get to paintin'... 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Portrait Party

Tracey's Trinkets and Treasures is having another photo party!!  Last week was the Black & White photo party.  This week--a Portrait Party.

Portrait Linky Party
Here are a few portraits I have taken.  (of course with the help of Picasa!) 


With some tuning

And B&W


with some tuning

Then adjusted the color temperature


Tuning + Color Temperature + Film Grain + Soft Focus

You can even make a portrait out of random photos...not just head shots.  Here is the one I showed you last week when I linked up to the Black & White Photo party.

Cropped + Straighted + B&W + Soft Focus

Do you see my profile picture on the top right?  Here is the original taken in December, by the princess herself.  We were having a tea party in the kitchen floor.

After a crop and B&W--
Who would have thought a 4 year old took this?

Here is a picture of the Moose from the pumpkin patch one year.


(A Professional tip I heard:  Use the rule of 1/3 when you can.  Gives the photo more interest)

B&W + Soft Focus

For the portrait party, you can enter a portrait of a subject, or a self-portrait.  Read Tracey's Self Portrait post here. 

I've never used the self-timer setting for a self-portrait.  And unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to try before this party.  So I'll show you my spin on self-portaits.

If you know me pretty well, you know that I have no shame in taking a self-portrait.  I think it started way back when during the 35mm camera days.  I would put my film in, close the cover, then wind the film until your setting said you were on picture number 1.  Remember that?  But just for good measure, I would always take the first picture of myself.  I don't know why...I just did. 

Please know that I did not save these for vain purposes.  When I would get my film developed, I always tossed the first pic of me in my dresser, and I still use that dresser now.  It's almost like a time capsule.  I can put a time stamp on each of these different hair styles--high school through college.  Please don't be intimidated by my rare beauty.  It's a curse.  (um, that's a joke)

Ok.  So maybe I'm a little vain.  Who isn't?  This one is my favorite.  Senior prom.  Man I wish my arms looked like that now!!!  Where did those indentions go??

I still take self portraits for fun...especially if I'm having a good hair day!

I love taking self portraits with other people.  Those are the most fun.  I try to crop out my arm as much as I can, so it looks like someone else took it.  Sometimes successful.  Sometimes not.  But here are just a few to show you. 

Obviously, I'm no professional, but I know the key to great portraits (whether it's a self portrait, or a portrait of someone else) is to be OUTSIDE.  And snap away.  You might have to take 20 shots just to get one good one.  Then use whatever photo editing software you like ( I like Picasa because it's FREE) to edit. 

Don't be afraid to crop and play around with the tuning features.  Most of the time, I don't tune, I just crop and change it to black and white.  You can never go wrong with B&W. 

I hope you jump over to the Portait Party.  Be sure and enter by Wednesday night.  I know one of the judges.  She is a pretty cool chick.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Life for a Mirror

I showed you the mirror that was in our dining room before I redecorated.  I had picked it out from a furniture showroom after we first bought our house.  But the decorator I had consulted said no. (another story in itself)  But I was in love with it anyway, so my parents bought it for me as a housewarming gift. 

It has hung in our dining room since we moved in. 
This past year, I painted the green leaves blue when I changed up the color scheme. 

Then I changed the color scheme again, and bought an oval mirror.  

It's been in the attic for a few months.  I have been planning to put it on our mantle, but wanted to paint it first.

Hubby and I had a date night Friday night.  So where did we go after dinner and drinks??  Wal-Mart, of course!  Where else can you get paint at 11:00 at night?  I haven't bought paint at Wal-Fart in a while.  I kinda like the fact that they don't have a huge selection of colors.  It's better for my a.d.d.  It's not so overwhelming.

I grabbed a quart of Glidden Sea Spray.

I painted a couple of thin coats on the mirror, then grabbed my black glaze.

Check her out now.

I love how all the details pop with the glaze.

I like how some of the paint rubbed off and the red and gold came through. 

It was already 'crackled'.  I'm not a huge fan of crackle...but I like it here.

And just for giggles...before and after
One more time..

I've got a couple more projects I'm working on with the Sea Spray color. 
Stay tuned...

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