Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In Loving Memory

 I am heartbroken.  I lost my best friend today.
We said goodbye to our little sweet dog Roscoe.  I spent most of the day with her laying on my chest, listening to her breathing get more strained.  I didn't want to let her go.

We've had her longer than the kid's. 
 When I put my mind to something I make it happen.  I thought this would apply to getting pregnant too, but life doesn't always work out how you plan.  After four months of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant I decided I needed a puppy to love. 

She was my first baby. 
We got pregnant two months after we got her. 

She was always very curious and liked to be in the middle of what ever project I was working on.
Here's one of the painting projects she tried to help me with.

Here she is helping me make slip covers for the couch.

No living thing will ever love me as much as that little dog did.
Nothing against my family, they love me very much, but Roscoe was my dog and dogs love you unconditionally.  She would run around the house if she didn't know where I was until she found me.  She would be excited to see me if I came out the bathroom or came back from stepping out to get the mail.  She would lay at my feet while I worked on the computer and sleep on my lap when I watched TV.  She needed desperately to be close to me and I cherished that.

She was always happy. 
She always wagged her tail.  Even when she would bark at people that came to the house the tail was still wagging. 

The sweetest girl with a boy name.
 She never was in a bad mood and when she knew when I was feeling blue she would sit with me and try and make me feel better. She was the best listener.

We will miss you terribly.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The 3 Lives of 2 Lamps

We all know how spray paint can be the quickest, easiest, and most cost effective solution to updating our decor.  If you have a callous on your index finger from spray painting like I do, you know what I'm talking about.  Here is yet another example of how spray paint can do just that. 

I bought these two lamps at Marshals or TJ max (I can't remember?) when we moved into this house ten years ago.  They were brown like the one on the left.  I bought them when I was doing the "Tuscan Tango," as Amanda Carol refers to it over at Amanda Carol at Home.  She is really funny and her house and blog are amazing, so if you haven't checked it out you should go visit.

Life #1
Tuscan Tango
Don't look at the unfinished fireplace in the back ground, but if you do, you need to see how it looks finished so you don't think I left it like that.

Life #2
When in doubt spray it white.

I broke out the spray paint and sprayed them white.  Here's one with the original lampshade that came with it when I bought them.  You can see the style of the shade is a little dated, but you can't tell by the picture that the shade was also a little dingy.

Here they are together.  New white paint with the original shades and old fleur de lis finials. 

The fireplace is coming along, it just needs the tile surround, but I still have trouble taking straight pictures! 

I bought the new shades at Lowe's.  I think they were around $14 each?. 

Much better! 
So I thought?

Only one problem,  I kept finding the lamps shoved over to the far right of the buffet so the kids could watch TV while eating a snack at the kitchen table.  I finally got tired of fighting it and moved these lamps into my master bedroom. 

I replaced them with these taller see through glass lamps.
TV watching problem solved.
To see how I made these glass lamps go here.

I didn't need more lamps in my master bedroom. 
A good purger would have donated them or sold them on Craig's List. 
I'm not a good purger. I'm more of a pack rat/hoarder/repurposer.   
I saved them in a corner of our bedroom until I figured out what to do with them next?

Then Cami's room makeover started and she needed lamps.  Hoarding has it's advantages. 
What it takes up in space it saves in $$$.

Life #3
Tangerine Twist
I found a bamboo chair on Craig's List and covered the seat cushion and ottoman in a remnant of orange fabric.  I needed more orange accents in the room and I found the same exact orange in a spray paint can.

I spray painted the base of the lamps in glossy orange.  I kept the Lowe's shades and added an orange ribbon around the bottom of the shade.  I added a new circle shaped finial (Lowe's) to repeat the circle motif in the new chandelier that hangs from the center of the room.

Here's Cami's new chandelier.
To see how I made this out of metal hanging planters go here.

The lamps sit on either side of her bed on these Ikea bedside tables.  I already had them.  They were painted blue and on clearance.  I spray painted them white.  

Here is the after of the lamp and Ikea table.  I'm looking for cute knobs. 
The orange plastic bin is from Walmart. 

Before you get ready to throw something out do you ask yourself
can I spray paint it? 

I think it's wearing off on my kids,  Cami asked if I would spray paint her swim fins because she didn't like the color.

Why not?

Thanks for checking it out.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

Craig's List Wicker Chairs

While browsing my Craig's Pro app. on my iPhone I found this wicker chair.  It was originally posted for $40, but I got it for $10. 

What's better than a mint condition wicker chair bought on Craig's List for $10?

Two for $20! 
The story behind these chairs is that they were featured on the cover of San Diego Home and Garden Magazine.  I haven't been able to find that issue, so who knows if it's true?
I don't really care, I love them.

I just cleaned them because they had been sitting in a storage locker and they were dusty and dirty.  I washed the seat cushions in the washing machine and they came out perfect.  I washed the wicker with warm soapy water and an old tooth brush.
Just like I washed Cami's new bamboo chair.

They are really sturdy and comfortable. 
I moved them into my old living room/new office.
 I'll show you the changes going on in there in a later post.
I added one of my monogrammed pillows for extra comfort.  I made these pillows a couple years ago.  I made a stencil and painted the 'N' on duck cloth.  I used the stencil on all my out door pillows too.

When we entertain I pull the wicker chairs out the front door about 30 feet to our gazebo for extra cozy seating. 

Do you have any great finds from Craig's List that you just love?
I would love to hear about them!

Thanks for checking it out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Veggies Your Kid's Will Eat.

We all want are kids (and husbands) to eat more veggies and less junk?  This is how I make brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  They gobble it up like it was chocolate chip cookies!  OK, I might be exaggerating a tad, but my family loves veggies this way. 

Our meals have evolved into the veggies as a main course and the protein as the side.  This has been a process that my kids probably aren't even aware of?  Sometimes we moms have to be sneaky and stealth like.

Raw or lightly steamed is nutritionally preferable,
but if my kids won't eat them that way what good is it? 

I'm not sure where I got this from?  Sorry I can't credit the source.  I think I saw it on a cooking show, not sure, but we've been cooking veggies this way for years.

I use my pre-cut frozen garlic to speed up the prep. for the veggies on week nights when we have soccer or volleyball practice.

I thinly slice a head of Cauliflower and spread it out on a cookie sheet. 
I toss is with the chopped garlic (the more the better, but we are garlic freaks), and a couple tablespoons of grape seed or olive oil.  We have a family of four.  This always looks like way too much, but the cooking shrinks it.  Sprinkle with some sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and some red pepper flakes if you like it hot.

Roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Toss after ten minutes to roast evenly.  I have a convection oven, so if you don't you might have to cook these a little longer.

The edges should be lightly crisp and browned.

 The only bad thing about this is I love leftovers and we never have any! 
My family gobbles it up!

This works great for brussels sprouts too.
 I chop them in a food processor, cook them the same way as the cauliflower, and finish them off with some chopped pecans or walnuts.

Click to show "Brussels sprout" result 8

How do you get your family to eat more veggies?

Thanks for checking it out.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Mantle and Buffet Change Up

I am fairly new to mantle decorating.
I've only had one on my fireplace for about three months.
It's been decorated like this since I completed the fireplace makeover. I found the urns at Pottery Barn. They were on clearance and I had a gift card so they were almost free.

Here's how I changed up the decor.
 I get bored with my decor quickly and like to change it. 
The best part of this little makeover is it was free!  I already had everything I just rearranged it and collected it from different rooms and cupboards in the house.

For ten years I lived with a fireplace with no mantle.  I completed the fireplace makeover a few months ago.  To see how I did it go here.

This is the before.

I had a dinner party for my husband's work and I spruced up these glass candle center pieces for all the tables ( I already had these they just needed a little freshening up).  
Sand, rocks, driftwood, white candles, shells, and embellished starfish.
Basic and simple.

   They look great in groups.  It takes the simpleness to a new level when used in multiple numbers. We had a sit down dinner for 35 people in our outdoor room last weekend and I didn't take ANY pictures.  I'm a bad blogger!

  I picked up the glass bowls at places like Big Lots and Walmart for very little money.
Oh well, I'll have to take pictures next party.

Here's how the mantle looks now. 
With some of the party vases.

I've been doing the seashell,urn, faux coral thing forever, but not on a mantle.

For the mantle I added some faux coral, a small urn with shells, a David bust, and some candle sticks with embellished starfish in them instead of candles.  The hydrangea painting I did years ago kind of limits my color palette.   

I stuck with white, cream, red and green to coordinate with the painting.

 I picked up two of these columns for $10 at Big Lots.  They were unfinished white plaster that I faux finished to give it an aged look.  The small pedestals came from a floral supply and I think they were $7 a piece?  I use them to elevate anything from terrariums, to candles, to food platters for parties.  They were a great purchase I use over and over again.

This crystal decanter and two others on the buffet came with my husband when we got married 16 years ago.

This tall glass vase was a present from my Mother-In-Law.  The David bust was from my parents when they lived in Italy. 

After living with it for a day I took out the starfish candle sticks. 

The rule is odd numbers right? 
Now I have odd numbers on each side.

Or is it still even because I have three on each side?

I swear I don't have too much time on my hands! 
Maybe one side should have one starfish candlestick?  Are you one those people that just whips up a vignette and it's done in five minutes?  I'm not, it's always a process of starting with too much, stealing stuff from another room, adding, subtract, changing the heights, and editing.

I'll live with it this away and probably change it AGAIN.  I need mantle decorating lessons #101.  Oh well, on to the buffet on the opposite wall of the fireplace.  Here is how the buffet looked like before.  I decorated it this way right before Easter.

Here it is for summer, or until I get tired of it.
More party decor re-purposed.  I ran out of sand and used dried black eye peas for this one. 

 It's sitting on the mate to the other column on the fireplace.

More urns with shells.

The mantle and the fireplace are in my great room so they I think they need to relate to each other.

I started with a table runner I made with left over pillow fabric and added more shells, candles, an urn, and one of my cloches.

More crystal decanters with hanging starfish. 
 The starfish have rhinestones and crystal buttons glued on to them.
I made these many many years ago and they still are one of my favorite DIY easy projects.  I use them year round in all of my holiday decor.

Here's what I did to the buffet in the middle of the great room.  I moved one of my large clam shells on to it and elevated it with another pedestal.  I bought two of these faux clam shells years ago at Marshal's and fill this one with seasonal decor.  The other one has succulents in it.

I would love to hear how you switch up your decor for summer?
Also, what is the a good guide for mantle decor?  both side odd, one side odd? 
Thanks for checking it out.

Visit thecsiproject.com
I'm linking this the The CSI Project
Beachy Vignettes Challenge


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