Those Fall Touches

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to add a little of that fall flavor to our decor. Back in the day, Halloween pictures plastered the fridge, school art decorated the cabinets, and a few pumpkins would have been mouldering on the front porch.

We’re off the beaten path and the girls are on their own, so we don’t have that big push to decorate the house any more, but a little somethin’-somethin’ here and there makes me smile.

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Sweet Miss texted the other night, so I’ve packed up a few things for her, so she can decorate her classroom. I’m not ready to give up the little squishy ghost one of the girls made once upon a time. Those crafts always looked so cute in the magazines–before the age of Pinterest.

In other decorating news, I’ve been busy picking herbs and gathering sticks to make wreaths for the front doors. There’s no way on earth we can use all the sage we grow, so I thought it would make a great decoration. I thought about wires and bundles, but that would look so ugly from the backside. Remember we’re hanging them on windows.

Out in the yard with my scissors and basket, I picked lots of lavendar twigs and flowersto go with the other herbs. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick enough for two, and then it started raining, and then the foliage dried leaving some gaps. So I needed even more.

It’s all a learning process. Note to self: next time you want to hang wreaths pick double what you think you’ll need and make sure you have the 3M hooks before you get started. Nothing like getting part way through a project and having to put it on hold.

Looks like Cocoa gives it her stamp of approval.

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The goofy dog doesn’t trust me out in the front on my own. She is good company.

How’s your fall decorating?

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Big Plans

You know how you order something online, and you’re so excited, and then you get this email that it will arrive in November, and it’s only August? Well, that’s what happens at my house.

I bought a bed for the sewing room. Remember when we got new carpet in the bedrooms last winter? And in my sewing room, too? I had big plans on how cool, and chic, and classy my creative space was going to be. And then I put all my stuff back in, and it was chaos, and I lost my mojo.

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And then I saw this bed, and it would totally step up the game in the sewing room. I mean after all, my grandma’s quilt is bright and cheery and reminds me of family, but it doesn’t really qualify as polished.

So I ordered the daybed from Joss & Main, and decided I could wait if that’s what I had to do. Then Me and Baby Girl came home to find giant boxes on the doorstep. Apparently, someone didn’t get the memo and my bed arrived in weeks rather than months.

I put it together with a little help from the MR, and boy howdy is it polished.

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I mean just check out that nailhead trim–tres chic.

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And then I put the quilt back on and the pale pink jersey sheets Sweet Miss had picked out once upon a time. And stepped back and said “Ugh”. Sophisticated just doesn’t work with my grandma’s quilts.

I went to four different stores without a bit of luck. All I wanted was a plain, gray bedspread that wasn’t overstuffed. When buying local failed, I went back to the internet, and for under $100, Joss & Main came through once more with a new bedspread and more sedate sheets.

Now you’re just going to have to be patient for the big reveal. I have paintings to hang, shelves to set up, pillows to fluff, clutter to corral–you know the drill.

Do you have a favorite local or online store? 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving In To Quirky

I’ve always liked the unusual. You might say I march to the beat of a different drum. I simply try not to take things too seriously. This has carried over into my decorating style.

It’s fun to have things that are a little different or unexpected. My brother and his family were over for dinner this summer when my neice picked up something off the table saying she was intrigued and asking what it was.

Why they’re cow hide coasters—doesn’t everyone have a set? We’d put them out on the table and hadn’t given them a second thought. They were a gift from the MR’s folks when they were visiting. MeeMee has worked for a friend at Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas off and on and came across these in another booth.

With the holiday craft and bazaar season upon us, I want to encourage you to check out your local ones. You never know what you’ll find. People are amazingly creative, and it’s fun to support them.

At a little bazaar on the way to Chichen Itza, we picked up this black stone that shines like gold in the sunlight. I like decorative items that remind me of our travels.

Quirkiness helps keep our home from being too stuffy or predictable.

What inspires your decorating?

It Feels Like Fall

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning colors, and the nights are cool; it feels like fall.

Labor Day usually marks the beginning of the school year for kids around here. While back to school isn’t quite the same with the last one in college, I do enjoy all those sales the weekend boasts. With the internet, I don’t even have leave home to get some great deals.

To mark the change of seasons, I picked up this lovely pillow.

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Me and the MR do love our trees. I saw some beautiful wreaths at HomeGoods last week. At $60 a piece, I may have to wait for another sale. That’s the beauty of life; it doesn’t all have to happen in a day.

Are you adding a little of the season to your home? 

The Handyman Can…

That silly old song from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been running through my head.

Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it with dew
Cover it with choc’late and a miracle or two
The Candy Man can…

I’ve changed the words a little:

Who can fix a broken faucet
Hang up all the shelves
Grab a few tools and make everything look swell
The Handyman can.

You see, the MR’s folks have been visiting, and we’ve been keeping Papa Larry busy. The MR has been hogging his services this year with dripping faucets, broken vacuum cleaners, and riding lawn mower maintenance. Doesn’t he know I have little jobs that need done, too?

So the other day, I was happy to see Papa with time on his hands, the MR at work, and me with a list of thing to keep him occupied. When I shuffle the trays on the worm bin,  I always hose out the base in the flower beds to remove the sludge and fertilize the plants. Well, the spicket I use is near the ground under some bushes, and the valve always falls off, so when I’m done, you’ll find me crawling on the ground looking for it. All it needs is a screw.  All it’s needed for the last five-and-a-half years is a screw, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to it. But the Handyman can.

And then I had some great honeycomb-shaped shelves that I oohed and aahed over for ages. And then they were on sale, and I bought them. And then they just sat around for a couple of years. Uggh, I don’t know why I’m so indecisive. They needed to be in a place where we wouldn’t bump into them. Did we really have anything decorative to showcase? Would they look good next to the art we bought or just weird? Would the screws and fasteners they came with really work? Sometimes I am filled with angst over nothing.

I remember when I told Baby Girl that I’d bought three different bedspreads and returned them all, because they just were’nt the right color of gray. She honestly told me that was ridiculous. At first I thought yeah, why don’t manufacturers make a better shade of gray? And then I realized she was talking about me. Hmm, sometimes you just have to go for it.

So I said Papa, we have these shelves, and the handyman took it from there.

Once they were up, I shopped my house and found bits and pieces to add here and there. A book art flower, some shell balls from Hawaii, vases from my mom. It all just seems to work.

With the change of seasons, I can swap out shells for more fall or wintery decor. And this will be a great place to display Christmas goodies.

With the MR busy spraying blackberries, mowing meadows, maintaining the driveway, and keeping the house in one piece, it’s nice to have the handyman visit.

Thanks Papa Larry!

We have a few other posts featuring Papa Larry for your reading pleasure: The Handyman Is Back and My Own Personal Handyman.

 

 

 

 

That Trickle Down Effect

The MR was telling me about some friends who are redoing their bedroom. It all started with new throw pillows that made the built-ins look too dark, and before you know it they were in full remodel mode.

I know the feeling. Sometimes one little change leads to another, and then another, and then another. You get the idea.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the new coverlet for the bed arrived. After five years of sunshine and dog drool, I thought something with pattern might hide fading and tufts of fur.


I didn’t factor in that little dog paws can snag a loosely-woven fabric. That my mild compulsiveness would make me very concerned about keeping all those stripes straight. And that the shams with all that texture—that I made using dinner plates and gathers—might look washed out against the new coverlet.

I get all foolish and sentimental. I made those silly shams, and Adding Some Softness was one of my top blog posts ever. Oh well, I have new decorative shams on order.

And now let’s move on to sheets. A new bedspread deserves nice sheets, but all our sets are tearing. Don’t sheets last forever? These are barely five years old; they should be fine. I still have sheets from our wedding…

I was in denial, and then another bottom sheet would rip. We’re clean, we bath, we stay well-groomed, we don’t sleep with knives. I was perplexed until I read up on hard water. All those minerals from our well can make fabric brittle and tear. A-ha, things are starting to fall into place. Maybe inexpensive cotton sheets from TJ Maax aren’t my best option.

So I started researching soft, sturdy sheets that will also keep you cool. Bamboo and linen were my top candidates, and I bought a set of each.

Cariloha bamboo sheets were the first to arrive. These sheets are silky smooth and actually slide around on the bed. While I like the feel, I also like my bed to look neat and tidy, so I’m not 100-percent sold on these. They are a lovely bright white, and feel cool against the skin, but I need to see how they hold up under normal wear-and-tear.

Next came a set of linen sheets from Pottery Barn. This set of bedding feels much more substantial—shall I say sturdy? The sheets just have a lot more body and weight. Pottery Barn made it easy to add an extra pair of king pillowcases, and I do like it when everything matches. While I was tempted to buy a linen set on Etsy, I decided to buy from a national chain in case I wanted to return them.

Both linen and bamboo are advertised as fibers that will keep you cool. With the summer months upon us that seemed like a bonus especially in the absence of air conditioning. I’ve been hesitant to write about the new sheets until we’ve had a little more time with them. I imagine the linen will get softer with each washing—like a favorite t-shirt—but we’ll have to wait and see.

With the holiday weekend just a few days out, I’ve been getting lots of sale emails. Who wouldn’t want to save 20-percent on new sheets? So I thought I’d go ahead and share some of my recent purchase with you just in case you’re in the market.

I’m curious. Where do you buy your sheets? Any favorite brands or fiber content? Inquiring minds want to know.

And That Was April

Maybe I’ve lost my mojo. I just don’t seem to be blogging like I used to. Lately, not that much has been happening. We moved into this crazy house, fixed it up, bought a bunch of furniture, the end.

The MR received a bid the other day to fix the deck. Do we want to fix the problem bits? Do we want to fix the whole thing so it’s seamless? Do we want to pull out the hot tub that’s not working and make it into a sun deck? We still have a lot of work to do on the grounds I type as the MR is out on the John Deere mowing the fields for the first time this year.

Yesterday was a spectacularly sunny day in the midst of our rainy spring. Earlier this week, I was back down in the garden planting seedlings from the FFA sale. Cocoa didn’t seem as Carrot Crazy this time. Instead she rolled in onions. There’s a reason she’s not allowed in the garden.

They’ve filled in quite a bit in the last few weeks. I’ll have to take some garden update photos. The asparagus I was worried hadn’t survived last year’s move is recovering. But what do you do with one gargantuan piece of asparagus?

Maybe all the traveling is what throws off my schedule. One of my favorite trips this year was to The Other WA. It was a first-time for me, the MR, and his folks. And while politics may drive you crazy, the history and beauty of Washington, DC is so inspiring.

Another highlight of the month was spending time with my sweet girlies and getting some Book Love at Powell’s in Portland. I was reading about Amazon opening another brick-and-mortar store in Bellevue this fall, and the MR didn’t understand the draw for them as a company. There’s just something about a bookstore with authors speaking and stacks and stacks of books just calling you to read that promotes people’s loyalty. This could make them more relateable.

During my trip to Oregon, I was also able to meet lots of Baby Girl’s friends and tour Sweet Miss’ new apartment in the city.

BG is looking for summer travel clothes, so we did a lot of shopping mostly for her but a little for me. That worked out for the house,too, since I was into Making My Own Sunshine with some lovely fake flowers.

It’s May now; I know the real ones are coming. Blossoms cover the apple trees, and my garden is calling between rain squalls. At least when it’s raining, I don’t feel guilty staying inside and knitting or crocheting. I designed these flowers for Quintessential Knits here in town, and kits will be available soon in case you’re needing a dose of sunshine.

Hope your May Day was filled with peace and joy and flowers.

And the best news of all may not have made it into the blog.  Sweet Miss is marrying The Fella, and we’re pleased as punch. God is good. Life is good. Hug someone you love. 


 

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