Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Bring It

It seems the trend for New Years Resolutions is chosing one word that represents your focus for the coming twelve months. I thought that was actually a pretty powerful way to keep your focus. I have been trying to think of my word for 2011 and its been something of a struggle.

For 2010 I used the idea of Simplify which is a word that served me well over the last year. My husband and I purged a lot of the "stuff" we just don't need. We have not completed purging but it has become something we identify with more than it was a year ago. This is evidenced in the way I decorated for Christmas this year. A tree, simple stockings and a few other festive items around the house.

I am still working on my word for 2011 and hope to have it tomorrow. For now I leave you with something simple that brings me joy every day.

The CUTEST dog in the world! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sepia Christmas

Decorating for Christmas is pretty minamalist this year and I love it! A small tree, stockings and few things around the house.

I don't generally decorate in traditional Christmas red & green but in colors that coordinate with my home. Chocolate, grey & cream with accents of green & peacock blue. Lots of velvet, burlap, silver and feathers. My tree is about three feet tall and sitting on one of my pieces of vintage luggage. I didn't like the tree base so I wrapped it with burlap.

I have started wrapping my gifts with packing paper and a collection of ribbon and embellishments I have stashed in my craft cabinet.

This year I purchased a fake tree (the horror). It's white and prelit with white lights. All the decor are in tones of chocolate, cream, champagne, white & clear and I already had everything so I didn't need to purchase anything.

Chandy crystals make GREAT ornaments don't you think?

I love skeleton keys, this is one from my small collection.

I had four of these Chinese coins set aside for a project. I think they go great on the tree!

A few creamy peacock feathers placed in the tree. The sparkly balls above remind me of champagne. I made the ornaments below with some burlap and a small crystal embellishment.

I also have velvet chocolate colored hydrangeas, small silver balls, swirly & sparkly twigs tucked in the tree. I think this tree could use some silver spoons too.

I have been meaning to make new stockings for about three or four years now. I finally got around to it this year. I really love the green color of the velvet trim on these burlap stockings but am thinking I should have chosen chocolate brown. I do like this pop of green color.

In my hallway I have a shelf with a little bunch of branches, my Charlie Brown tree and a vase filled with cinnamon sticks. I have a small collection of silver and crystal pieces that I use for my candles.

Above my Charlie Brown Christmas tree and below cinnamon and candles.

I still have a few other things I would like to complete but it may not happen for Christmas. We are planning on keeping the decor up through the end of January when we have a small party. It's festive and fun and since I got it up so late this year I would like it to stay around for a while.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amazing Rehabed Building!

An article from the New York Times has me dreaming of finding a great old building I can make my own.

It has taken a total of $250,000 of the owners money to purchase and partially refurbish this old building in Selma. When can I move in?

Cool Finds

Even though I have been working a TON and haven't been posting much I still blog stalk. I came across a great little blog through Door Sixteen & Design Sponge (also great blogs) called Jersey IceCream Co.

Percy, the gentleman behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. rehabbed this 1915 house in just a little over 13 months. I absolutely LOVE the simplicity to his design style. The bedroom walls are personal favs of mine.

You can see photos of part 1 and part 2.

Not only that, his blog is dedicated to selling antiques. Go check him out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

13 Days....

Threre is 13 days until Christmas and I feel VERY far behind. I have been working at leat 50 + hours a week between my new and old jobs. That doesn't leave very much time for anything - not to mention blogging.

I have ordered a few gifts online which is nice, no waiting in line, no crowds, no parking hassles. I have not even gotten my Christmas decorating done. I did cut out our stockings Friday night. Might start sewing them tonight.

All this week after I get home from work I will be going through all of our Christmas decorations and decluttering down to what we need and will use. There are quite a few things that I just don't use anymore.

I am not traditional when it comes to Christmas decor. I tend to decorate to coordinate colors with my interior decor. Because of the lateness of the month I am probably going to be pretty minimal as well.

My big dilemma this year is to get a fake tree, a real one or a tree at all. Home Depot has great selections of 6 foot trees for $20. There is also a lot near my house that has reasonable prices. I am very tempted to buy a prelit fake tree so all I have to do is haul it out of it's bag and place some ornaments on it.

Then I think I should go really non traditional and get something small and set it on top of some old suitcases I have or just forgo a tree completely.

So many decisions, so little time.

For now I leave you with the link to the Holiday Home Link Party for inspiration and perusal. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Have a wonderfula holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Velvet Morning Giveaway

Click on over to La Maison Boheme for a lovely giveaway from Velvet Morning! could make a great Christmas gift for you or a friend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday Give Away

Click on over the Mrs. Limestone for a chance to win the new Holiday with Matthew Mead. Which she just so happens to have contributed to!

Go - go now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Planning for a new Home

C and I have been doing a little home window shopping. We have popped in to a few open houses to see what is out there, what we like and what we definately do not like. After living in our condo for the past nine years (C for 16) we have fully developed our want list.
  • No angled walls
  • No shared walls (with other units)

  • No HOA's

  • Open floor plan for family living spaces (great room - kitchen/living/dining)

  • One and a half bathrooms
  • One floor (no stairs)

  • Character

  • Garage

  • Fenced back yard

  • Storage
  • Lots of natural light
Things we thought we needed are not as important like a fireplace (we wouldn't complain if we had one though) or more formal spaces. Where some people are looking for more square footage, we are looking for the square footage we buy to be efficient with small luxuries.
As long as the footprint is something we can work with, I aspire to have an aesthetic that is a combination of vintage/old world/industrial/minimalist. Ultimately we want an open great room with a half bath. This will be connected to a small master suite by a den/library/craft room as the pass through.

A tall order - but we are pretty certain what we want does not exist so we will have to tweak whatever we find with the right bones.

In our journey towards minimalism some people might wonder why we are buying a house in the first place. Owning a home is definately on our minimalist list but no too much house.

It's no wonder then that a lot of the photos I see at greige really represent what I am looking for in a home - decor and space wise.

The inspiration for the master bath is a combination of the two bathroom images below. I love the sky light, tall ceiling height, steel beam, walls and open shower area (look above the little bench for the shower head and on the floor for the drain) of the first photo.

The only thing I would change about the above photo is add the tub from the next photo and possibly paint the outside. I do love the shutters on the window too.

Or a nice copper whirlpool tub.

I would really like an open concept "great room" for my living, dining and kitchen areas. Kind of like these photos from Gerard Butler's New York loft.

Some inspiration for the great room and kitchen (again Greige and Gerard Butler).

Inspiration for the bedroom and den/craft area (Gerard Butler and Cher's LA pad).

I think a minimalist environment can be acheived with using only furniture pieces you need and getting that luxuriousness from things like paneled walls, velvet fabrics and copper ornamentation.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Inspiration - Mad Scientist Lab

Click on over to Brooklyn Limestone for GREAT Halloween inspiration.

Friday, October 22, 2010

BOO! - Pay It Forward

Here is a fun Halloween prank to play on your friends and neighbors. I found this idea over at Anders Ruff and just HAD to do it!

This little treat didn't even cost me that much. I purchased three Chinese takeout containers (.99 cents each) in orange and a bag of black Shredz ($1.99) at the Paper Zone and a bag of mixed candy from my local grocery store ($3.00).

Total cost was $8.00 but I have half the bag of candy and shredz left over. I didn't use all the print outs from Anders Ruff. Just the instructions, door tag and little circular label. The label I cut out and ran through my Xyron machine to make in to a sticker.
The instructions are really simple. You make two (I chose to make three) and deliver them in secret to a neighbors or friends house. The recipient has two days to make copies of the instructions, door tag & labels and deliver them in scret to a friend or neighbor. If there is a door tag on the door, they have already been Boo'ed and you have to deliver to someone else.
Since I took a few days off work between my jobs I snuck up to their doors and hung them on the knobs. The neighbors I left these for sometimes read my blog. So hopefully they discover them on their front door before that happens. :)
This is as fun as pulling up to your local Starbucks and having them tell you the person in the car paid for your drink!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Art & Inspirtion

First of all, did you check out the CSI Project yesterday for amazing Halloween ideas? This is how I got three items for my Halloween art project below.

So far the only decor in my living room is my mantle. I felt like I needed a little more. I have a blank wall that was just begging for something to be hung on it. The best part? It was totally free!

I already had the three picture frames and burlap. All I needed to do was print out the free wall art, place it in the frame, back with burlap, close it all up and hang it.

I found BOO at Anders Ruff and the Subway Art and Eat, Drink and be Scary at Craftily Ever After.

Thanks to these two lovely ladies, I have great Halloween wall art for the cost of ink. There are soome GREAT inpirations out there in blog land too.

And so much more. I urge you to go to the CSI Project, there are over 200 entires/ideas just waiting to be discovered!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkins & Feathers

Reposting this today to link up with the CSI project.



Over the weekend we got our dining table sanded and painted with a few coats of glossy black paint. Once I get the final coats on I will show you how it turned out. I am loving it!

In my travels to Micahels for craft supplies for my black and white pumpkins, I spied this great wreath with peacock feathers. Peacock blue is one of my accent colors. I even had a 50% off coupon and I love it against my grey walls. It's hanging over the bar.

I did one more black and white pumpkin in preparation for Halloween. A small white pumpkin with a black fleur di lis.

Here is my black and white pumpkin trio sitting on the sideboard. The first two listed below were inspired by a magazine. All of the craft (fake) pumpkins were orange to begin with and I simply added about three coats of white craft paint and the stems got a coat of my grey wall color.
  • Off With Your Head - Black velvet ribbon held in place with pearl topped push pins. The lettering are glitter stickers.
  • Paisley - Most of the design is puffy paint as I could just not afford little sticky crystals to do the entire design. Grey and black sticky crystals do add a little sparkle though.
  • Fleur di Lis - I just took black craft paint on a Fleur di Lis stamp and stamped it on and then filled in with paint. I think this might need a little bling and I have some sticky crystals left over to may place a few on here.
I would like to add some color in the form of ribbon on the stems. We shall see...

I also bought a bolt of burlap at the fabric store. Several projects to come from that. Today after work I plan to hunt for some twigs to put it in a vase on my bar. I have a few clip on ravens and some sparkly bits I want to tuck in to them.
How are you preparing your house for the fall?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween Decorating

We actually got most of our Halloween decorations up the last weekend of September. I finished my last minute stuff yesterday before my girly candle party. Not all of our decorations were brought out as we decided on a slightly new direction to go this year. Our goal? Slightly tattered and some what Victorian. We didn't even buy too much new stuff this year which was nice. We have a few ideas in mind for year to build on our theme.

Remember how we used to have a lot more bookshelves in the hallway? In our decluttering efforts we are down to just the books on this shelf. The only thing here that is new is the skull with the brain peeking out. C and a friend were out looking for a skull he could use for this and happened upon this one already cracked. Perfect!

Here is some detail of the some of the items sitting on the shelf. C made me a casket case filled with potion bottles and some very scary looking wine selections. Like Vampire wine. Truly a good red!
I found the label for the Graveyard Spirits here. I just printed it out on paper and used my Xyron to make it in to a sticker. And hey, that brain isn't going to get any fresher!

The pictures hanging over the shelf change as you walk by them. Who knew Great Uncle George had a Beastly side?

Moanin Lisa

The mantle this year has all the same stuff from last year. Don't you think that one bust on the left looks like Vincent Price?

In the dining room you can see my new grey walls too. LOVE! Just ignore the printer in this photo. It's going to live in the credenza below, I just need to get a hole drilled in the back to accomodate the cord. These are the pumpkins I slaved over last month. The photo is actually my grandmother when she was around 3 circa 1920. The lampshade I covered in burlap and added a black gross grain ribbon.

This gentleman visitor just doesn't like my cooking apparently.

The shelf over the garden window in the dining room. A combination of critters, books and other items. I didn't get around to writing up creepy book titles for my books so just took the dust jackets off of books I had that were black. I have seen a trend recently to take book covers off and just have the yellowed pages of several books stacked on each other. Could be a fun way to add to the look. I have more of the flame lights like over the mantle here too. Because of the light it's hard to see they are on.

There used to be this great shop called the Salvage Studio in Edmonds. That is where I bought the Scrabble letters that spell out Halloween. Two of the previous owners have their own blogs, check out Beth and Lisa.

The top shelf of the bar houses the Dan Aykroyd Crystal Head vodka.

Wich apparently this creepy crawley is interestded in tasting.

Knock and enter...if you dare.

We weren't too savvy when we shopped for our condo. Who knew it would be located IN a graveyard?

Conveniently located near a Morgue.

Vampire bats are known to inhabit graveyards. So far we have only found one - but it's BIG!

An inspiration of mine in blog land. If I could only channel Mrs. Limestone. Her blog started out telling the story of their renovation on their early 1900's Brooklyn Limestone. I highly recommend ready the entire thing. She's hugs in to Halloween so check her out. Her decorations for the last couple years have been great and I can't wait to see what she comes up with this year!

If you like the effects on my photos. Check out a free site called Picnik.