I'm heading out.

Making my way across the vast, empty expanse of wasteland that is northern Indiana to my deluxe accomodations in the city that never sleeps.  Crown Point, IN.

I will be visiting with the girls:

Sleeping in the Squirrel:
 And drinking giggling lots with the Infamous Coop Keeper:

I will present a full report upon my return from Nirvana on Monday.  If you've not yet met Jayme, I introduced her to everyone HERE.  I can't tell you how much I need the time away, and I can't think of a more perfect place to do so than with the wanna be farmgirl from Crown Point.



I have been contemplating whether or not to start my Monday Link party again.  I even removed my button from the sidebar.  It's been several months since I stopped doing it because life was just so ding dang crazy.  Since Mi4M went on sabbatical, though, it seems there are gillions of new (and old) link parties to join.  It kinda feels redundant, though I love seeing all the great stuff y'all link up.  Saves me the trouble of visiting all the other link parties.....I just wonder if it's past it's prime.  But I'm open to firing up the old engine again. What say you, my faithful followers?  

And thanks, by the way, for hanging with me thru the spring when I couldn't post as much.  It makes my day to read your comments.....I still enjoy sharing my decorating schizophrenia, mishaps and adventures with you all.  It's nice to have community with other like-minded folks just as decor-crazed as I am.  Knowing there are tons of other women laying awake at night, same as me, wondering what color to paint that dresser, or where to move the couch,  how many dropclothes it takes to slip a couch, or what the next blog post will be.....well, it just makes me smile.  I like you's guys.



 One of my favorite blogs is House of Turquoise.  I need not tell you why.  Today these stunning pictures made me giddy.  Absolutely giddy.  I'm just out of words.  If I could have a house in these colors, I'd shut down this blog and just sit and breath in the perfection day after day.  sigh



Lending a hand to friend's cottage.....

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at

Over the course of a 20+ year friendship, I've offered decorating help to my dear friend Ingrid.  We've raised our kids together, and her hubs is the CEO of the company my hubs works for.  I've known her since they lived in a wee 2 bedroom apartment (with three kids), but started lending a hand in decorating when they bought their first house, then built their 2nd house, and now built their 3rd home....I got to see all the samples of siding, roof, shutters, etc before they built.  What fun to help put it all together with them!  Isn't it gorgeous?

Each house has offered challenges opportunities for me to stretch my wings into other 'genres' of decorating.  Her style is full of wonderful warm, deep tones, Ballard Design-esque, with some Pottery Barn thrown in.  She's a pro at using what she's got, and though she won't admit it, she's really learned what she loves and does a great job incorporating it into her decor.  Here she is with her hubs....ain't she a peach?

Anyway, I come in to help pick paint colors, shop (lots of fun to spend other people's money!), sew stuff, paint stuff, arrange furniture and frou-frous, and hang stuff.  Over the course of several months, we've been tackling her 13 year old Julia's bedroom, her kitchen and great room in their new home.   Here's a tour with a few before and afters.....

 Looking in from the kitchen to the great room BEFORE:

Same view AFTER.  We decided to paint just the one fireplace wall in a deep olive.  We used the same color in her dining room (not shown), which we're still finishing up. She was getting ready for company, hense the stuff here and there.  The wall with the plates was a challenge, as she wanted the kitchen olive green, but as you can see, the wall extends up into the stairwell....so we went with a deep taupe, just a tad darker than the other great room walls, and the same color we used in the entry.  Here downstairs is all open, so the colors need to compliment each other.
Here's another view of the great room BEFORE:
AFTER painting and adding/arranging some practical, but pretty decorating items

 Here's the view into her kitchen BEFFORE:

And the (kinda blurry) AFTER with a coordinating, but even deeper olive on the walls.  They had their table refinished and purchased new upholstered chairs.  Got some iron pieces to hang in the bulkhead area, and some freaking awesome drapes for the sliding door....eventually made a 'bishop's sleeve' with them:

Moving upstairs, here's a finished view of her kids' bathroom in lovely neutrals:

Ok, and now for Julia's room!  They were inspired by a Pottery Barn picture.  Here's the BEFORE as they had begun collecting decor (they bought that desk from me):
Here's AFTER with Julia herself!
'Nother BEFORE:
And AFTER...bedding was from Target online.
Study corner BEFORE:
AFTER (those cute lanterns were from the Dollar Store and hung with fishing wire:

Some details: I reupolstered the desk chair with a matching sheet from her bedding set.  I also made the bulletin board out of an old frame and foam board covered with some batting and linen, then spray painted the frame. I gave the dresser, desk, chair and side table a fresh coat of white paint, and Julia decorated the knobs.

My favorite part, her bed wall:

I painted the the black chalkboard plaques and added ribbon, then she decorated them with colorful words...I also sprayed the 'love' letters and added ribbon, then Julia hand painted those as well:

They already had the shelves, we just took the backs off to show the green wall behind, then purchased an MDF board to fit across the top. 

The sheers and pillows were purchased, but I made the cushion for the window seat....something Julia has always wanted in her bedroom:
She added the balloon :)

So much character can be added to rooms, especially bedrooms, with simple and cheap details....like adding ribbon to pictures or spray painting frames you already have:

This chandy was given to me and was a brushed nickel...I sprayed it heirloom white, then picked up the shades at Goodwill.  I sprayed them too...they look fushia (which would also be cute), but they're actually orange.  Would love to find some orange crystals to add in the future:

Julia loves her room, and I'm tickled how it all came together.

So, Ingrid's dining room is next.  I'll be sure to take some pics of that when we finish up.  It's such a good exercise to work in other folk's homes....it makes you get out of your comfort zone, see the world thru another's eyes.  It's broadened my perspective on styles that 'speak' to others. It's also helped me articulate to others how to define their spaces, not just copy a magazine picture.  Ingrid has moved from a gold/deep red scheme to deep greens and burgundies...lots of saturated colors and classic design elements.  Formal, traditional, yet warm and welcoming. 

So, there ya go.  Up next, I'm painting my daughter's queen four poster and dresser for her cousin's new bedroom!  I'm also hacking away at my back porch in the 90+ heat.  Just have some chair covers to sew up and hang some cute stuff on the walls.  Painting the floor will need to wait until cooler temps in the fall when we're not going in and out to the pool a zillion times each day :)


You'll remember my friend Clara.

She had that swooney dinner party last winter.....Yeah, I knew you'd remember.  Well, we went over for some grilling goodness this afternoon.  Thought I'd give you a tour of her gardens because, well, I don't grow things not having to do with babies.  So I live vicariously thru The Coop Keeper and my friend Clara.  I took entirely too many pictures, but since this is my blog, you'll oblige me, eh?  Or not.

A garden path along the side of the house....

A little wrought iron loveliness....

.....under the apple tree yummy-ness.

Ok, I'll shut up now and let you ooo and ahhh over the pretties....


'nother snicker..

Storm rollin' in...

And just 'cause Clara is also an expert organizer, I must show you her pantry ROOM.  Perhaps I'll learn to do this in my next life.....I think even Leanne over at Organize and Decorate Everything might be impressed!

Darn tootin'.  Who wants to go play at Clara's?  Yes, she homeschooled her boys.  Yes, she homeschooled her grandkids for a bit too.  Yes, I want to be her when I grow up.  As I said, darn tootin'.


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