Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Sad Goodbye And A New Adventure

Last Friday, my husband Henry retired after twenty one years of serving our community and country.  He loved his job and more importantly, he loved the people and the relationships he had developed over the years.  His retirement was a standing room only event.  Unfortunately the room only accommodated 150 people.  There was a waiting list to get in.   It was a wonderful tribute to the camaraderie and respect his fellow agents had for him.  His friends and co-workers did such a wonderful job making this a memorable event.   It was funny, touching, and tearful all at the same time.  Cami, our youngest daughter, read a letter from her grandma (my husband's mom.)  When I say read, I really mean delivered because she memorized it.  She spoke like a pro with so much poise and maturity for an eleven year old.  We were so proud of her!  I was so nervous for her I forgot to take a picture!  Ugh!  There was a photographer there so hopefully they got pictures?

Alex, Henry, Dave

I overheard one person say they have never seen a retirement like this in their thirty one years as an agent.  He received a two minute standing ovation at the end of the two hour tribute.  Why retire from a job he loves?  An incredible opportunity came along that was too good to pass up.  Jobs like this seldom come around in San Diego.  Timing is everything and we feel so fortunate to have this opportunity.  One of the best things about this is we don't have to leave San Diego! 
On to the next adventure.
He starts his new career this coming Tuesday.

Our friend Danny.
 He's the one who introduced us nineteen years ago.

After the big day we spent the weekend in Lancaster for Cami's State Cup soccer tournament.  If you haven't been to Lancaster, you aren't missing much.  The city built a massive soccer complex to draw visitors.  Not much else to see or do there, unless you're into watching tumbleweeds roll by.  It was very cold and extremely windy, typical for Lancaster.  It's either blazing hot or freezing cold.  The wind made for some ugly soccer and was massive factor in what side of the field your team was on.  I've never seen so many kids kick and completely miss the ball.  I think the highlight of the trip for Cami was running up and down the halls of the hotel and playing hide-and-go seek with her teammates.  Before you go judging my lack of parenting disciplinary skills, just know the hotel was full of other soccer teams all doing the same thing!  There was chaos and mayhem everywhere.


We drove back to San Diego on Sunday night and then on Monday we dropped our girls off with my parents.  My husband and I spent two days celebrating his retirement at the Hotel Del Coronado.  We got married at the Del and haven't been back to stay since.
 It's one of the most romantic and beautiful hotels.
If you ever get the chance to stay here, jump on it.

I'll post more about the Hotel Del later.

 We came home for one night and then were off to our third hotel in one week. 
We had a party in downtown San Diego for Henry.  It was good to celebrate with old friends and colleagues.  Friends from Virginia and D.C. flew in for the party.

Henry's buddies
'Moon' and Jeff


Johnny, Don, and Mark

I haven't been home long enough to work on any projects lately. 
All the coming and going has left my house in a shambles, but it was fun! 

Thanks for checking it out.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Changing It Up Is Free

I've been meaning to show you some changes I made to my house right after Christmas,
but I'm just now getting around to doing this post. 
 I moved my Great Grandmother's buffet into our living room/office.
Some of my favorite changes to our house are FREE ones. 
Moving furniture gives me a fresh look and a great workout all at the same time!
It also is a great way to motivate me to do some deep cleaning and boy did my house need it after Christmas.
Here is the buffet's new resting spot under my gallery wall.

Here is the buffet decorated for Christmas this year. 
It used to be in our great room.  I've blogged before about how this buffet is the wrong scale, the wrong color, and the wrong style for the space, but I still managed to live with it like this for eleven years!  Ugh. 
Pictures are great for showing flaws but the camera won't fix them. 
 I just was in a rut as to what to do with it?  I'm not ready to part with it and painting it didn't solve the scale or style problem?  I couldn't find another spot to put it until now.  We moved the couch out of the living room/office and into the great room.  The extra seating was much needed, but I still need to slip cover it.  That will have to wait.

Here is the couch's old spot.

I think the buffet's scale is better in this room and the warm orange wood tones are balanced out against the cool blue wall color.   
It's working for me...for now.

In keeping with the free theme, I added stuff to the top that I already had.  I love the brass and enamel design of my Great Grandmother's lamp, but it could use an updated shade.  The large piece of faux coral was a find at Anthropology that I got on clearance for $19 many years ago.  I also picked up the Cabinet of Natural Curiosities book on clearance at Anthro. for steal at $25 around the same time.  I've seen this book in stores for $250.  I love this book and occasionally thumb through it and read it.  It's not just for looks.  I added some old crystal decanters, a cloche with one of my embellished shells, an old mirror, and my Great Aunt's school bell.  She was a teacher and this is how she called in her students from recess.  I love having my family history mixed into our decor.

I love/hate you Picnik

Free is good.

Not parting with family heirlooms is good too.

 Have you done any furniture change ups lately?
After many weeks of planning in my head I've started working on replacing the buffet with a new piece. 
If you follow me on Pinterest you might be able to guess the direction I'm going? 

Hopefully I'll be able to share it soon.
Thanks for checking it out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DIY Paper Art and Our Master Bedroom

I re-purposed an old picture to create some new art work for our old master bedroom. 

Here is the completed new piece that I created with Mod Podge and paper.

The original picture has been sitting in my closet since I re-did our master five years ago.

I used paper that I purchased from Anthropologie after Christmas. 
It was 50% off the sale price.

The picture was solidly glued to the back of the matte so I just Mod Podged right over it.

I cut the paper and started adding layers.  I brushed the Mod Podge over the paper.
Next a I added the circles.  I ran out of Mod Podge before I was done so I made my own out of watered down white glue.   It seemed to work fine.  I let the whole thing dry over night.

Here it is over our bed. 
Not sure it's going to stay there? 
The whole project cost me $6, so for six bucks I'll live with it for now.
I think a gallery of pictures might look better? 
That might take another five years to change.

We purchased the bedroom set when we moved in eleven years ago.  We had a couple mismatched dressers and a bed frame prior to moving here.  I didn't know any better back then so I purchased a whole matching set, bed, armoire, dresser, mirror, and nightstand.   I won't make that mistake again.

I still like the five year old paint job. 
The paint looks more gray in real life.  In the pictures it's reading more blue than it really is.
 I painted the walls BM 1563 Quiet Moments and the ceiling is one shade lighter than the walls,
 BM 1562 Healing Aloe.  Speaking of Benjamin Moore paint, what's going on with their pricing?  The price has gone up three times in the past year.  A gallon cost about $50 now.  I love their paint, but I'm wavering on my customer loyalty at these prices.
What's up Ben?

This is where Piper likes to sleep when I'm working in this room or getting ready in the adjacent master bathroom
The ottoman originally went with our couch. 
I slip covered it in animal print many, many years ago and moved it in here.

Piper as a poster. 
Thanks Picnik, wish you weren't closing down.

My dad helped my husband and I do the molding in this room when we first moved in.  We have ten foot ceilings and the puny crown molding we started with was too small for the ceiling height.  We added chair rail below the crown and smoothed joint compound between the two pieces to make it look like one large piece.  Painted all the same color, you can't tell it's two separate pieces.

Directly across from the bed on either side of the entry into our master bath, I placed two matching bookcases to flank the doorway.  These bookcases used to be in my daughter's rooms.  I just moved this one in our room because I found bamboo shelves for Casey at a thrift store and she didn't need this any more.  I took possession of Cami's bookshelf after I re-did her room last year.  These were a garage sale find that I picked up for $50.  They are solid oak and very well made.  I painted them distressed white and added the legs to the bottom to add height.
I'm still playing with the arrangement and not quite set on the whole arrangement.
Those picture might become part of the gallery over the bed.

This lamp needs some help, at least a new shade. 
 I've decided I definitely need some more pattern in the room. 

On either side of the bed I hung H4H brass chandeliers from the ceiling.  I painted them pale silver and let just a hint of the brass finish peak through.  I drilled each bobeche before painting and hung a single crystal from each arm.  My magnetic crystal drops don't work on brass.  The chandeliers have been re-wired so they plug into the wall and they are on dimmer switches for light control. 

The bedding is simple grays, silver, and black.  I picked up the separates from Home Goods.  Since chandeliers are more feminine I balanced them out with more masculine bedding.  I figured I could go girlie with the chandeliers because the large dark furniture is more manly.

I know I hung the drapes too low. I've been lazy and haven't gotten around to adding extra length to the bottom of the panels and raising the rods to the bottom of the crown molding.
Maybe posting this will motivate me to finally fix them.
Come on, I've only lived with them like this for five years!
Nothing like a picture to highlight what's glaringly wrong with a room.

Maybe I should take pictures of my outfits to figure out where I'm committing fashion faux pas?

More fun with Picnik.

Have you committed any decorating faux pas you'd like to share?

Thanks for checking it out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thrift Store Bamboo Shelving

Casey is over the black and white room and would like an Anythingology makeover. 
I'm dying to get started! 
She is lacking storage and here's one solution I came up with.
Bamboo shelves, compliments of our local thrift store.

Priced at $45 it fit right into my budget. 
I was a little nervous about buying it on the spot without Casey's seal of approval.  Thrift stores don't take back returns.  I was afraid it wouldn't be there for long at the price and the condition it was in.  I wasn't sure it was the look she was going for, but she loved it right away and could see it would be perfect once painted a crisp white.

These shelves were in pristine condition, well made, and VERY HEAVY.
I got started painting right away.

Twelve cans of spray paint later, I completed the paint job. 
I WAY underestimated how much paint I needed and had to go back to buy more paint twice! 
In hindsight, I should have rolled primer on all the flat shelves and spray painted the lattice work. 
The paint ended up costing more than the furniture, ugh.

Oh well, I like the finished result and it's still cheaper than if I had bought a new piece of furniture.  It's also way better quality than a newer piece of furniture. 
This thing is so solid, you could throw a mattress on top of it and make it a platform bed or use it as a jungle gym.  They just don't make furniture like this anymore.
Here it is ready for the haul into Casey's room.

I love it against the black walls, but those are going soon.
Casey rearranged her room herself and wanted the shelves on the far wall where her bed used to be. 
Rearranging furniture as a kid is one of the first signs of a future addiction to decorating.

To see the original post I did about Casey's room click here
I must warn you that the pictures on this post of her room are really bad. 
 It was from my old, old camera and I didn't know how to edit photos back then.
What am I going to do without Picnik?
Black rooms are difficult to photograph and I have several of them in my house. 
The photos always need major help with editing.
Have you found a good alternative to Picnik for editing your photos?
Please share it with me.

Along with Picnik closing I won't have access to the Nikon D90 I have been lucky enough to be using for the past couple months. 
At least I know what to save up for now. 
I love that camera. 

Here are some last parting shots of the room before it gets a transformation.
I still love the black and white, but it's not my room.

The rug is from Target.  I made the window treatment from drapery panels from Target.  I did the crown molding and window casing trim myself, The bedding is from Kohl's. 
The bulletin boards are from Marshall's.  The dresser was mine when I was a kid.  The side table is from Marshall's.

Say good bye to the black and white, this teenager wants something softer and lighter.

Working on any storage projects or room transformations lately?
Found a new photo editing program you like as well as Picnik?

Thanks for checking it out.

To see other black and white rooms and bamboo projects check out the posts below.

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