Sunday, November 24, 2013

Girls Bedroom Partial Makeover

Who knows when I'll get around to repainting my girls' bedroom walls. Its only going to be a different neutral so I can live with what's there while I work on higher priorities. Plus, I still have lots of wallpaper glue to remove.

But in the meantime, I've been itching to roll out some makeover action in there. I've spent much of the last year collecting lots of vintage randomness at yard sales and thrift shops for their room. And I've since revamped lots of it to create a little gallery wall for each of my girls that will coordinate with their black carpet and these two fabrics that I fell in love with (and have yards of rolled up in their closet).

Their old iron headboards have been painted to match and in place for a little while but that's the only change I've made in the room since we moved. Well, besides starting to take down the wallpaper border and rearranging furniture.  I had scooped up bright pink bedspreads at Target for pretty cheap but still had them in storage. And I still have to sew up window treatments, pillow shams and bed skirts. ::SIGH::

A month of Sundays ago, hubby took the two older girls to church and I stayed home with my contagious toddler.  I suddenly decided it was the right moment to start putting something on the walls and beds in my older girls' room. Even just those changes would make a big enough impact to surprise the girls when they got home and give me hope that this vision will eventually become a reality.

There was no method to my madness. I just took my treasure stash out of their closet and started divvying things up into two groups. I rearranged potential layouts on their beds until each girl had a general layout that I liked for the walls above their beds. No measuring tapes were harmed in the making of these gallery walls. I just eyeballed everything as I nailed them up. Only after I posted a sneak peek photo on Facebook did I realize a couple things needed to be shuffled around a little bit. So of course my OCD took care of that right away.

After hanging my last frame, I just opened up the packages of bedding, threw them on, and placed their pillows on top.

Here are a few pics of the progress I made last month.

My oldest daughter's corner:
(Disclaimer: The cream colored stripe on the wall is wallpaper border backing I have yet to scrape off.)

Literally nothing but her bedding was bought new. Because that's how I roll. Here are links for my sources and projects for her corner:

My middle daughter's corner:

Here are links for my sources and projects on her wall that were not repeats already listed above:
The best part of this spur-of-the-moment partial makeover was finishing just as my girls were walking in the door. Their response was priceless.

Now, after taking a few weeks to evaluate my rush job, I'm starting to wonder if I should have grouped things more tightly together on the walls.  I also noticed that they each have a blank spot right above their bed. But I'm patient (so patient it took me a year to get this far) so I figured I'd come across some random thrift shop treasures this winter that would be a quirky fit.  But then an unexpected and perfect solution sort of dropped in my lap.  That's another post for another day.

And I cannot close out this post without a question...cuz I'm wondering... Is there a name for my style in my girls' bedroom? What do you call that? If you're thinking frumpy, cheesy, ugly and/or hodge-podge, go ahead and tell me.  I won't be offended. :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Fall Mantle

I'll complain about the T.V. above the mantle that limits my mantle-decorating inspirations. But I'm thankful to have a mantle.

And I'll complain about having to feed the pellet stove in our fireplace throughout the day. But I'm thankful for the efficient heat and ambiance it provides.

My mantle is in a LONG, LONG list of "to paint" projects. So for now, bear with the honey oak stain with me, okay? This is about what's on the mantle.

Stacks of vintage books at each end. All yard sale finds collected over years. Only ones that are pretty and have interesting titles. And never more than $1 each.

The little turquoise pots on top I found at a yard sale several years ago as part of this $5 stash below. Yes, $5 for all of them together! They're right up there near the top of my favorite scores of all times.

The little nest with the bird in it is all fake - a cheapo from a gift shop that no longer exists. But this little nest is real. The girls and I found it on a walk one day. I filled it with fake robin eggs. It's screams spring, not fall. Whatever.

The scrabble letters and trays are from one of the many games I've scooped up at yard sales for no more than $1 each.  This is what they read in October (because, I started this post a month ago).

Now this in November.

And did I say this post is only about what's on the mantle? I changed my mind. Here's the whole fireplace - honey oak stain, 90s brick and all. Its screaming for a makeover. In my humble opinion.

Since before we even moved in, I've been debating painting the mantle and brick all white, like these:

(Sorry no link/credit - the Pin was linked to the wrong site so I don't know the true source.)

Would you paint the brick or not? At this point, with a fire roaring in the pellet stove all winter long, I'm going to have to wait until spring to paint it. Not like I don't have a million other things to paint in the meantime.

But anyways - there you go, my fall mantle, just in time to take it all down for Christmas decorating.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Be Fun

Leaf collecting is an annual tradition around here. Not as a planned event, its just what my girls do. I wonder why? At any given moment there are boxes and baskets of nature collections in our yard or garage. Usually its their rocks, sticks and flower dead heads. Those usually get dumped into the woods when they least expect it. Other times its my birch logs and winterberries.

(If those get dumped into the woods when I least expect it, there will be blood.)

A couple years ago I did save and press some of their leaves. We did the good old iron-leaves-and-crayon-shavings-between-wax-paper craft and hung them in the windows like stained glass.  But this year I was inspired to do something like the examples in this book my sister gave us last year:

So several weeks ago when there were still actually leaves on the trees, and colorful ones at that, we traipsed around our property to collect different shapes, sizes and colors. But it happened very briefly and with much fear and trembling. After a few bee and wasp incidents this fall, my kids are literally afraid to play outside. It's been a battle all fall just to have them get fresh air.

They were much happier pressing their loot in huge reference books. A few days later, we set to designing and gluing.  Here are our masterpieces:

Their mice:

My turkey:

Oh my word this is so fun. I declare this craft an annual tradition. You should too. It's not too late for this year - we still have a big bag full of colorful of pressed leaves. Any takers?

And speaking of fun...

Something convicted me a couple weeks ago to have more fun each day with my kids. Not just doing fun activities but to be a fun person to spend time with. To be goofy and silly and laid back and laugh a lot.

I'm home with them all day every day and sometimes I get into a rut where all I do is bark out orders from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. Mom is manager. Mom is drill sergeant. (Please tell me you identify!)

But mom should be fun too. So I literally put "Be Fun" at the top of my day planner that following Monday. My oldest daughter must have liked it because she took it upon herself to write "Be Fun" on Tuesday too.

She also added "Games." So then I just declared Wednesday as Fun Day altogether. The plan was no seatwork and no curriculum. Just playing educational games, reading and getting our craft on. (When you homeschool, you can do that.) Okay, I confess, we may have thrown in a game of Sorry too. And the weather may have dictated that I paint my front door Tropical Orange that day too.

Anyone else need a reminder to Be Fun?

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Card Catalog - Check Out My Books!

Last year in spring, I picked up this little wooden crayon box at a yard sale.

I used to keep our salt, pepper, vitamins, and honey in it on the table.

Then we moved in with my in-laws and there were too many people at the table to fit a clutter box too. Now that they are out and we are settling in, the light bulb went off one day while organizing stuff. My card catalog, that was previously tucked away in a boring container, would fit perfectly in that little box!

We've got thousands of books in this house. Lots of theology and novels.

A beautiful selection of the classics.

Business, leadership and sales books up the ying-yang (but all boxed up somewhere).

Parenting books coming out our ears.

Enough children's books to make your eyes bleed.

Not to mention curriculum.

Ours is a Memorial Library named in honor of my husband's late cat, Desmond. But at the moment the books are scattered in random shelves or boxes in just about every room. Our plan is to turn our master suite into a bedroom/library/office.  We've got cathedral ceilings. And a legit library does need a ladder.

Some inspiration from the world wide web:

My hubby has an Excel sheet catalog he's been tallying for years. It lists all his books, by author and subject, with fields marking whether he's read them or not, and a column for borrower's name. But I wanted something a little more old school for my catalog. So last year I asked my Santa brother for library cards and envelopes that I'd found online so I could start to catalog the books and CDs  (mostly amazing speakers from our local annual homeschool conference) that I would be most likely to lend. I must have been a good girl because I got my wish! Now I know exactly who still has what so I can hunt them down. :)

I put our return address stamp on the envelope and glue it in the back of the book.

On the checkout card, I don't mark a due date, because my patrons can take their time. I just mark the date it was borrowed. I don't have too many items out on loan at the moment, but I do have names like Becky, Kristine, Scott, Dilaine and Jen on my outstanding cards. How's the reading and listening going, friends?

So if you need a good book, I welcome you to borrow from the Desmond [insert our last name] Memorial Library. Might I recommend a few of these titles to my lady friends?

We've got something for everyone. I just can't guarantee we know where to find what you want just yet.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Brake for Winterberries

Good thing I always keep these in my car:

So when I'm out for a Sunday drive and my eagle eyes spy red berries on the side of the road, I can pull over, clip like a crazy woman, and come home with these:

I had a couple teenage girls from my Sunday School class with me as we were skipping church to do a not-so-random act of kindness. They claim to know where I can get more. Woot! Woot!

I will be ready for winter decorating. I'm not rushing it. But I'll be ready.
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