Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Y'see, I spent the better part of Wednesday evening cuttin' patterns and gluin' fabric and fringy stuff to some chandy shades that came with the big ol' ten-armed brass chandy I scored off Craigslist a while back. (You may remember from another post that it was advertised as coming with ten smooth black silk shades, but it came with ten red pleated silk shades. Casa St. Michael is sporting more red day by day, but these particular red shades just weren't the look I wanted.) I had already tried painting these little darlin's black, but . . . well, that just doesn't work very well with pleated shades. Then I tried being creative with scrapbook-paper-covered half-a-toilet-paper roll cylinders in place of the actual shades. No go. (No pun intended.) Still, I couldn't bring myself to ditch 'em entirely, so I thought they might could be saved by some other equally creative redesign. Enter poster board, extra fabric, and fringy stuff.
The first problem I noticed was that as each "new" fluffed and poofed shade took its proper place, the dining room got darker . . . and darker . . . and darker. No problem, really -- I have two other accent lamps in there I can turn on, and besides, with a few candles lit, I'll rename the darkness ambiance and no one will be the wiser! NOT!
Despite St. Michael's enthusiastic declaration that the shades were "Great! Really great, baby!", I suspected there was a problem when Baby Daughter came home a little later and asked why I had a dead ostrich hanging from the dining room ceiling. Okay, not quite the look I was going for, either.
Baby Daughter suggested that perhaps they would look better if the chandy itself were painted black instead of showing its au natural brass. But I like the brass (I know I'm behind the times), and besides, this summer St. Michael and I are going to paint the dining room furniture black (its currently a flakey white), and I think the brass will look great with that. Anyways, I don't know that black would bring the ostrich back to life. (Not to mention that St. Michael just might have another heart attack if I asked him to take the chandy down after he spent a whole cussin' afternoon getting it up.)
What's a Trying-to-Reuse-Recycle-and-Redecorating Woman to do?
Well, this one's gonna let that dead ostrich swing a while longer under the guise of exotic ambiance. At least until I figure something else out (or notice the neighbors walking their kids to swim team practice stopping to point at my dining room window and laugh).
Friday, May 22, 2009
The mural above the cabinets has been done little by little over the years, and I'm going to add some more red to it over the summer. (There's already a little red school house just out of camera range, but maybe I'll add some little red cottages).
This little angel flaunting red guards the plates in my open-storage cabinet. There's an old fasioned style to her, but I don't think she's really vintage since I got her at an ornament exchange Christmas party just a few years back.
Have a fabulous weekend, sistas!
(And next week I'll post pics of any projects I get finished this weekend.)
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
For more great re-dos, go see Susan at
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Let me explain.
There are some of us who just aren't predisposed to cleaning on a regular schedule or even on an as-needed basis. I know. We're sluggards in many ways. (Why do you think I don't have my full face on this blog -- I know it's a shameful way to be.) Ironically, we love beautiful homes, and we love to decorate, and so we wish we were different in this matter, but alas, we are not.
Since we ECs rarely do anything by regular method, we've learned alternative routes to getting to where we need to be. We know that for us ECs to really get a room whipped into shape, we must tap into that emotional part of ourselves.
There are a number of ways to do this, the most common ones being, 1) We plan some kind of social event at our house (thus, the emotion of mortification -- we know we'll be mortified if we don't get it together in time for our guests). 2) We complete a major remodel in some part of our home. (Of course, because of budget constraints, this is only good for once every 10 - 20 years or so. It took me, personally, 23 years before I got wood put down at Casa St. Michael. You should've seen that old carpet! Ugh!) And my personal favorite, 3) We buy some new piece of junque that we transfer into a fabulous jewel to put in one of our rooms, and then we hire a bulldozer to clean up the entire surrounding area just so that one new piece of fluff will be shown in its very best light! (A newly sewn pillow or window mistreatment or other finally-completed-but-previously-put-off-and-procrastinated project will also work wonders for us if there is no new piece of junque to be had.)
Well, I am excited to announce my new inspiration for getting things sorted out, thrown out, organized, re-fluffed, re-freshed, and re-furbished: My Little Mama is coming to Casa St. Michael on the last day of school! And she is coming to help me make slip covers for my couch and St. Michael's recliner! Woo-hoo! (If you remembering reading about the Great Couch Caper, a.k.a The Sofa Saga, then you know why this is an awesome happening!)
(This is the fabric I'm using to re-fluff and bring the RED into my breakfast room.)
(This is the 5' x 8' braided rug I got for the breakfast room from Overstock.com.)
Did, I mention, though, that I am not a seamstress?
Still, I'm kinda mechanically-minded (at least that's what my ninth-grade aptitude test said), and I can generally figure out a way to put something together. However, my Little Mama can do ANYTHING with fabric and a sewing machine! So when she mentioned that she might be willing to leave God's Country -- North Carolina -- for a few days to head to the Great State of Texas to help me, I jumped at the offer.
This is exactly the kind of event that an Emotional Cleaner needs to get on track or to stay on track!
Of course, I was pretty excited and ready to get back into the nesting groove when I got my first taste of freedom from my cast and crutches. But there's nothing for the EC like also receiving a firm deadline -- preferably one that's not so distant that we fool ourselves into thinking we can afford to procrastinate a little (yeah, right -- a "little," my foot) but also one that's not so up-close and personal that we feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
My Little Mama will be here in about four weeks, so if I work diligently in the evenings and on the weekends, I should be able to get lots done before she gets here. (And actually, this is a necessity unless she's going to share a bedroom with me and St. Michael. Yup, it's time to pack away all those Santas that have been leisurely lounging around on the bed in the guest room. Make room for Nanny Franny, as my girls call my Little Mama!)
I'll be keeping you posted on my progress, but meanwhile, just enjoy the peek!
I have BUNNIES!
I have to admit that I was kinda jealous when I started seeing all of those cute pretend-moss-covered bunnies that so many of you got at Pier One just before Easter. I was right in the middle of my crippledness at that time (my cast was such a pretty shade of pink, though!) and couldn't even make it up the stairs at Casa St. Michael for the Easter decor I already own, so there was definitely no going to PO for moi. (And as wonderful as the man is, I knew better than to ask St Michael to haul me over there. Some things a woman just has to do on her own, and setting out in search of pretend-moss-covered bunnies is one of them.)
Well, yesterday, after I had given out all the education I thought my little chil'ren could suck up for one day, I made my way over to the nearest PO, and low-and-behold! There were the bunnies: 75% OFF! That translates to 50 cents a piece!
Woo-hoo! I was so excited! And the girl behind the counter must've given me a senior discount or somethin', 'cause when I checked out with all TEN of my little critters, the total only came to $4.68! See, there are times when a mispent youth that has one looking much older than one really is can be a good thing! At least, that's how I choose to look at it. (Or maybe she was just giving me the happiness discount; I know she thought I was a little over the top the way I kept going on and on about how excited I was to find my bunnies.)
Now, let's just hope that I can find a place to put these cuties where I'll be able to find them next year! (I may just have to leave one or two out year-round, or at least through the rest of spring and maybe summer!)
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I discovered a fabulous recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread at Tina's Cherry Hill Cottage. (Yes, she had me at "chocolate chip"!) But since St. Michael and I are both diabetic, I decided to play with it a little bit to make it a little healthier for us. Here's the Casa St. Michael's version:
(Makes l full-sized loaf)
In one bowl, combine:
1/4 stick of butter, softened (to be totaly accurate, when I first made this, I put in the originally called for 1/2 stick of butter in the microwave to soften it, and I totally forgot about it and NEVER did add it in, and my bread was still FANTASTIC. Still, next time I make some, I am going to put in this little bit of butter.)
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup Splenda
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
(And now here's the best part!) Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts) and 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Okay, there IS a limit to how healthy I can stand to be). Pour the dough into a greased baking pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 - 60 minutes.
Now go check in with Jen of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam at http://inpassionatepursuit.blogspot.com/, and read her ideas for bringing not only yummy food to the table but some declicious atmosphere, as well!
Monday, May 4, 2009
A few of you have already seen this baby, but since The Fall (not Adam and Eve, but the demise of my original blog, sadly, at my own hands) resulted in the loss of all of the pitiful not-in-the-right-spot-anyways pics I'd posted, I decided to put this one out there again. I snagged this lamp at a garage sale the Friday afternoon I got my cast off. (I told St. Michael that morning that if the Ortho Dude said I could finally drive after eight weeks, I was going home and getting in my little car and not returning 'til nightfall, and that was just about the truth of it!)
I thought this was the cutest lamp, but it was wearing a tired old yellowed and water-stained lampshade with a big mauve heart surrounded by country blue squiggly, scroll-y thingies stenciled on it. Well, you know how we nesters love our craft paint -- and as I'm learning from my fellow bloggin' sistas, our spray paint -- so I rescued this sweet thing, took it home, and hit up that ugly ol' lampshade with some black spray paint, and VOILA! I popped it on the by-now-cleaned-up lamp base, and I think it looks adorable! I put it on the dryer in the laundry room, and I love it! I added some scrabble letters that spell out LAUNDRY (I never pass up a Scrabble game at a garage sale or thrift store 'cause I LOVE those letters!) and a cute 80-cent basket from Value Village (my favorite local thrift store). I put an empty Cool Whip container in the bottom of the basket, so that when Baby Daughter and St. Michael clean out the lint trap, they can drop the lint into the basket, without it sticking to the sides of the basket and make it all fuzzy and gross. (More about the "Mmmmmm!"-lettered cabinet door another time, but suffice to say that those are brown-paper-bag drops of "coffee" adding oomph! to the coffee pot-shaped knob on the door.)
Even though I didn't do a whole post on her, I also snapped up this fabulous frilly girl a couple of days ago at Ross for $5.24. (Yes, I know that's probably more than I should've spent, but though the picture doesn't really have anything in it to compare her with, take my word for it, she's HUGE! And wonderfully fluffy! AND she matches two smaller tassels that are hanging on my bedroom closet doors.) I'll probably add something to her, but even if I don't, she's already gorgeous, and I love her!