Friday, January 13, 2012

Kitchen Breakfast room

Let me begin by saying, I know that I am completely blessed to have this home. I love living here, but I do want to make the most of what I have and neaten and organize it.
My kitchen is the hub of all activity. So everything and everyone comes in here! This is about as neat as it gets, as a matter of fact,these photos are after I took all the junk out. This is pretty clean to me.
With that said, the pluses of this space are...An abundance of storage, an abundance of natural light, nice tall ceilings, and it is all relatively new. The negatives...I really wish that I would have painted all the cabinets cream. There is a lot of wood in my house. We built this house and have lived here almost 4 years, so they will be staying this way for much, much longer. They are cypress, which is very similiar in tone to pine. The color is a medium stain, that we had custom matched to an antique something or nother.
Once we moved in, I noticed that the furniture floors, and cabinets are pretty monotone. My bad....
Inspired by the popularity of all things gray, I painted the stained barstools a light grayish blue. Great color, wrong type of paint. They started peeling almost immediately. Next, I painted them a warm gray ,Rustoleum Pebble, another fab color and more neutral, hoping that the enamel spray paint would "seal the peel". Mind you, I did some sanding in between all this painting. It did not work, but I had arrived at the correct color. Third try, I found the amazing chalk paint by Annie Sloan. According to the website, you can paint over anything and it sticks. True dat. It has been fairly durable with the exception of greasy fingerprints. But the color I bought,Paris Grey, is just a little too cold. So my latest attempt was Old Linen by Annue Sloan. So far I have painted one, and it looks better. I have to finish the other three now.
I like the thought of varying shades yet still having a neutral palette, and adding pops of color with inexpensive, easy to change accessories.

This chair was rescued from Goodwill, repainted and re-upholstered. It can be moved to another room, it looks a little too 'bedroomy" to me but my kids do like to sit in it and read or play their i-pods. It also has the bonus of being covered in indoor/outdoor fabric.
I recently purchased this book caddy at a thrift store while at the hunting camp. It and the stool in another picture were my rewards for leaving the day after Christmas with decorations and trash everywhere, and agreeing to stay an extra day while suffering from a 3 day migraine I plan on painting both a fun color, probably blue.
This corner cabinet needs help. Normally, it is the catch all space for papers, electronics, meds, you name it. It ends up here.
This is the breakfast area. The table was originally black and the top was shiny,orangey, and gross. I like the weight off it, it has very substantial legs. I also didn't mind painting it. I can't hardly paint actual antiques that are in great condition, but junk or "vintage" stuff, no problem at all.
My plan for the fabrics here is to make some cushions for those uncomfortable antique chairs in the stripe fabric below. Use the trellis linen to make a shade for over my kitchen sink, and make a cute pillow out of the Thomas Paul bird print for the beige chair. I also plan to repaint the table again, this is the third time to work on that table top. It had a faux distressed look to begin with, complete with some kind of black marks that have been impossible to remove. Not sure if I just need to paint the whole thing or try to keep the stained top and painted bottom. I am open to suggestions...
This china cabinet is an example of an antique that I cannot paint. My husband would totally flip out! My plan is to cover the back with a light wallpaper or fabric. I may hang the antique Blue Ridge plates on the wall. They were given to me by my Mom. The other junk in there is a bunch of serving pieces from Pfaltzgraff. I like the colors but I do wish they were solid cream, it would be so much more versatile.
These last photos are of the two pantries. One is for food and the other is actually more of a butlers pantry, it has a stand up freezer and tons of awesome shelves.
I just cleaned out the food pantry and reorganized it. I plan on putting cream curtains on the back of each door, just in case my organizing efforts don't remain organized. That happens here... That rascal in the photo is one reason...he drags out everything.He sure is cute though.
This bookshelf is also desperate from some 'styling." The downfall to high ceilings is even a tall drink of water like myself has trouble reaching my cookbooks on these shelves. This is why I don't like to cook.
It has taken me forever to pull this together, as stated before I could use a lesson or two in blogging efficiency.
I am open to suggestions for lightening it up and making it not quite so "antiquey", it needs a little shot of youthfulness. I get stuck easily...I love buying fabric and putting together these new schemes, but I am so hesitant to pull the trigger sewing. I don't want to "waste" it by using it and then tiring of it like I seem to do so quickly. When actually it is much more wasteful to just let it sit.
Anyway, I am working now on those aforementioned cushions. One down, three to go. I will post the newly refreshed kitchen soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The end of my self

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Happy New Year! It has been a long while since I posted anything. I have been struggling with my priorities. Some days just getting everyone where they need to be makes me crazy. My goal for ,not just the new year,but for the rest of my life is to put God first and to turn to Him for the right priorities and balance and peace. I want Him to be real in my life, for this to happen I have to seek him. He is not in the sewing or washing machine either! He is in creation no doubt, but in His creation and in His Word. Can I get an amen! I have asked again, sincerely this time, to be made aware of sin in my life. And He's doing it! No surprise there, I am just a little surprised at my attitude about it. Trying not to make excuses and justifying is really hard.
So... I am making some changes, I changed the name of this blog. I don't want my life to be about chaos, God is not the author of confusion. I hope that I have stated clearly what I will be writing about. I love God, I love my family, and I really like to work on stuff, so I am going to share these things.
We all have struggles, I am hoping that by identifying the source of some of these battles, Satan. I can recognize my sin for what it is and turn from it. I have a long list of what I have identified in my life. Let me say for the longest time , I have been unable to see how sharing any sin I am currently struggling with or have in the past as beneficial to me or anyone else. I was wrong.
I am in the process of cleaning and organizing my house too, completing projects that I have had the materials for forever, just trying to get my act together in general.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summers Over and School is Here

It was a busy summer for this family. I have had lots to write about,but little time to do it...
We have had some birthdays, five to be exact, which I might fill you in on later ... We played lots of baseball, didn't swim nearly enough...It basically flew by and now that they are back in school, a craziness has taken over me. I don't know why, but I am ready for my house to be organized! So if anyone would like to come over here and do it while I take a nap with my baby boy, come on. I had hoped that I would be ahead of the game before school started, so that when the constant deluge of paper and forms came in, I would be ready. I haven't lost anything yet and I am kind of managing, but barely.
I have a LOT of plans but still little time. Because, guess what, we are still playing baseball! Three teams, two boys. Sam is on a travel ball team, playing Fall baseball and has pitching lessons twice a week. Bless his heart, his schedule alone is exhausting, not only does he have games, but he has practice for these teams also. My attitude greatly influences theirs about their schedules. If I am happy-go-lucky about running them everywhere, they are too, but if I get stressed trying to get from A to B, it affects us all. I have to remind them many times to do this or that and unfortunately with the constant reminding I either lose track of what we are doing or just get mad! Yesterday, it was a little of both, I asked Sam to put Drew in his seat, while telling John and Jack 20 times to get in the car. We arrive at the baseball lesson without a glove. Sam laid it down on the ground outside the car rather than take two steps to put it in the car. He is so quick to obey, I will give him that. I love him so much and I don't want to burden him with adult responsibility, but I do want him to help.

They all try to help. I need to make a list of the things that would be a huge burden lifter. I firmly believe in addressing the people that you have issues with, I come from two people(aka my parents) who do NOT! I think if my boys realized how much it would help me and I could tell them in a clear, concise, non-crazy manner it might help. I don't know about every other Mama, but putting your dirty clothes in a particular spot is help! The floor is not the spot, your hamper is, as is the laundry room. Either, totally rocks in my book. Putting your dirty dish in the sink or by the sink is also awesome. All in all, it boils down to having a spot for everything. We do have this. But when the spot if full, tell Mama ( I do need reminders about the upstairs laundry) I will empty it and we can start all over. That is clear and concise isn't it?
So for the next few weeks, I may have some new bigger pics, I am also going to attempt to upload them differently. By the way, another reason I do not blog as often as I would like is because of pictures, I would like them, and I would like them to be my photos, but I still need to learn a thing or two about blogging efficiency, namely quickly loading pictures. I am open to suggestions, friends.
I have come across some killer fabrics lately and I am trying to freshen it up and clean it up around here. I am trying to define my style, which is difficult. I cannot start with a clean slate. I really like the look of a very neutral base, but I don't think the look of all white with some khaki linen thrown in for 'texture' is for me. I gravitate too much to pattern and color. So my thought is to get rid of some of this brown and use different neutrals, gray, khaki, etc.. with pops of color( evidently, I having been watching some designs shows on the internet)I am having trouble sorting it all out though.
I LOVE this,the bottom photo is the colorway I have. It is kind of slate-ish navy. But I am too chicken to use it as curtains, numero uno, I don't have enough and I cannot stomach paying the regular price for the rest!Numero Dos, I am afraid I may tire of it quickly. I don't love making drapes, but I am glad I can, because it is a deal breaker paying someone. I checked and it was $425 for a single wide pair. Anyway, this is the downside to finding fabulous desinger fabric at Old Time Pottery for 4.99 a yard.
I also bought this Thom Filicia fabric called City Square in Orange. Again, not enough yardage but too cool to pass up.
What to do? Most likely pillows, I am trying to make a buck or two to support my fabric addiction, maybe I need to open an Etsy store. Oh yeah, I don't have time, darn it. However, I am selling some Oriental rugs on Ebay if anyone is interested. You do not have to purchase them via Ebay, I just thought if you read this, you could conviently click over and check out the photos.
I am working on some lamps, the boy's homework hallway, and some other "stuff" so I may have more to come...Later!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sentimental old me

As I was going through my old posts and deleting some I never finished,I realized that I had not shared this one,so here goes...
As I cry over every Mother's Day post I have read, I am once again struck by how quickly my own babies are growing up. I keep thinking the upcoming arrival of the newest will be easier because they are big kids now. John will be starting kindergarten (sniff, sniff), Sam will be in the 3rd grade (sniff, sniff) and Jack will attend preschool for a couple of days a week. I have never been in a hurry to push them out of the nest and on to the next milestone because it just seems like I am never ready. I don't want them to grow up and leave me, ever. If I could freeze time I would. I also have to remind myself that I am not raising children, I am raising men. I have borrowed them from God for a short while and I know that he is already using them in so many ways. While I have been thinking of a name for our baby, I have been reminded of verses that I feel like apply to each of them.

In first Samuel, I read how Hannah prayed for Samuel and I think back to how I yearned to be a Mother and Andy was not quite ready. God took that decision out of our hands because our little Sammy was our first surprise.

I prayed for this child and the Lord granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1: 27,28.

In remembering those very early days of motherhood, I am again awed by the unbelievable love and devotion that I immediately felt for that baby boy. I read and re-read every book I could get my hands on about childrearing. I was so afraid of not doing it right. I timed how long he nursed and wrote it down in a little notebook, I counted all the wet diapers and tried to keep track of all the poopy ones. After a couple of months I guess I felt comfortable in the fact that he was getting enough to eat. It became like second nature to him and for two years it was his favorite thing to do. I cried and cried when he weaned and so did he. After that I knew they'd have to wean on their own. It just broke my heart to tell him no. I can still hear him wailing, "but I need it", when I told him the milk was gone.

We had another surprise when Sam was only six months old. I was pregnant again. Unfortunately, this pregnancy ended in miscarriage after ten weeks. I felt so guilty , thinking it was somehow my fault because I wasn't ready to be pregnant again. It took us a year of trying to finally get pregnant with Johnny. We prayed and prayed. I hoped that God had planned for us a big family. He answered our prayers with a big healthy boy. We really had to rely on God during my pregnancy with John(as we should always). My doctor discovered I had an antibody called anti-Kidd. it's pretty uncommon and he was uncomfortable with just he treating me, so over to Mobile I went to the high risk pregnancy clinic. The anitbody is measured in titres and if I remember correctly it first registered at 1:1. We went to the clinic in Mobile every two weeks after 26 weeks. They tested my blood and at 30 weeks started detailed ultrasounds to make sure he was thriving. They called it a biophysical profile and they had to make sure that he had sufficent blood flow to his heart and brain. It was very scary. Just about every time I went for a visit they also asked if I had been tested for gestational diabetes because the baby appeared to be so large. They also requested that I not carry him past 38 weeks. So on August 2, 2004 , I was induced. I was fearful of this process after hearing rumors of how hard pitocin contractions could be. Sam was born very quickly without the aid of an epidural. I couldn't imagine contractions being harder and I had plenty of time to think about it this time. I had a nice easy delivery with him and unlike the high risk clinic's predictions he did not weigh 10 pounds, just 8lbs and 13 oz. He did look huge even at birth. Truly, he looked about three months old in the hospital. He was a dream nurser and immediately latched on like a vaccuum cleaner. He had such an easy going temperament, we called him low maintenance. He weaned without any heartbreak for his Mother when he was 20 months old, due to the upcoming arrival of his baby brother Jack.

We were doing a bible study on John during my pregnancy with him and I feel like this verse applies to him...

John 1:6 There came a man who was sent from God: his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light:he came only as a witness to the light

Jack was and is the total opposite baby of low maintenance, John. He was born at 37 weeks after a grueling labor for his Momma. He was born sunny side up and either his lungs weren't quite ready or he inhaled some fluids coming through thebirth canal . Either case, he had a scary start. He had to be in an oxygen tent for a couple of days. After we left the hospital, my emotions were very raw for months it seemed. He was very sleepy and I think I tried to feed him way too much. At 7lbs and 3 ounces, he looked tiny compared to robust Johnny. He cried so much in the beginning, I felt so helpless and very stressed. Johnny would escape to go outside all the time and Jack could not be put down. and Sam was in pre-K half a day. Those days were very hard for me and I don't think I appreciated them as much as I should have. My nerves were always on the edge. Jack eventually stopped crying so much. He was such a beautiful little thing though.

Ok, that's where I ended...
At the time I was stumped to finish. Since I seem to be over my blogging block, Drew and I will finish it.
Jack's verse
But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Psalm 22:18
As I recant those struggles, I think of how much I needed God's help. I am not nearly as overwhelmed now but I will always need God, regardless of the circumstances.
Baby Drew is so very sweet and is extremely easy going. He gets dragged around quite a bit, as I pick up children from here or there. He takes it all in stride. He smiles alot and cries a little. I praise God for his precious, gentle nature.
Drew's verse
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-5

I am so thankful for these little boys and fearful at the same time.
1 John 4:18 (New International Version)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I can't control their futures only pray for them.

baby shower for Ann

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A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a baby shower for my cousin. She is having a baby girl in August! I do not like to wait until it is impossible for the honoree to bend over to have these things(parties that is). Yes, I use these tired old paper lanterns every time I have a shindig, I did buy and borrow a few pink ones. I like paper products almost as much as fabric. I thought I took pictures of the food table as well, evidently not. This obviously shows my lack of interest in this area of entertaining.
This shower has started full party mode at my house, we will have two baseball parties this Saturday for Sam's and John's teams. Afterwards, begins the summer birthdays, Jack in July, then John and Drew in August. Drew really isn't asking for much, except for Mamamamama and Dadadada. It should be a no-brainer!
I can spend embarassing amounts of time checking out party blogs. They are all soooo cute. The common element in most of these adorable parties is co-ordinating printables and lots of candy. Of course, the decorations are to die for too. These folks have more money than sense
But if you are looking for some cute birthday ideas go to Hostess with the Mostess or the Party Dress.
Both have killer ideas and lists of the blogs they like too, so you can spend all day looking at cute stuff.
When I grow up, after I become an interior decorator, I am going to be a party planner. My S-I-L is going to be my partner in crime, she can cook, praise the Lord.
The last group of photos is of the African special snack (party to me) for John's class. I love the bright colors with the animal prints. I tried to talk one of them into a birthday party with this theme. I could not really get too much into it just for a snack. It was really adorable though, since it was just supposed to be a snack I HAD to make food. I made lion cookies and zebra cakes. Both were just jazzed up pre-made stuff. They ate them up though!






Sunday, May 1, 2011

Deadbeat blogger



The title refers to me... in my last post the photos did not show up and I have had no interest since in the blog world. Well, blogging myself actually, I still look at others. I have been busy... I bought Photohop Elements and figured out quickly that it doesn't do what I want it to. It is the beginner of the Photoshop products and of course, the cheapest. Anyway, I probably don't how to use it correctly, but I did manage to load some actions into it from the Pioneer Woman. They were free! So I feel better about having purchased the software now. I have been using Picasa and was pretty happy with it. I have to rein myself in with this photography stuff or I will be just as obsessed as I am with sewing. I may have to switch back hobbies.
I actually thought I would be a photographer one day. I took classes in college prior to digital. Worked as one for about a year, maybe six months after college. My first "real" job was for this dude in Birmingham. It was brutal. If you have ever had any studio photos done, then you know photographers can have a few props and backgrounds. Well, roll the studio up and throw it into a Dodge Colt hatchback! My territory was Mobile and Baldwin, so I traveled around to daycares in both counties taking photos.
I had just moved to the area and was a bit unfamiliar with street names in Mobile, but alot of my clients were in Pritchard. Did I mention it was commission only? That kind of killed my dream...
Anyway, now I have all of these beautiful subjects(my kids)and decent props and I don't have to leave the house. You get immediate gratification with photography AND you can delete what is awful. Win/Win. My assistant Sam took the ones of me and Pooey, the others I have been working on with different action in PS. I still have to use Picasa to upload them to Blogger. I am probably eating up my hard drive. If anyone has any suggestions or tips on PSE, I am all ears.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Easily Discouraged

I admit, I am easily discouraged. I really "think" that I enjoy creating things... tiny outfits for the baby, appliqued t-shirts for my friend's kids, pillows, curtains, etc.. for my home. I am not so sure anymore. I never have the time to do these things alone, so I am working as fast as I can. I wind up pissed off stressed out with half-assed looking results. Nothing bugs me more than to spend the day trying to applique a t-shirt, nurse a baby, referee the two middle ones-in between baseball practices and my machine messes it up, at like 2 minutes left on the design. I am so frustrated at this point I think I am about to shut down the embroidery all together. I entertain the idea of selling all of it, daily. Not just the embroidery machine, but all of it, sewing machines, fabric, notions,basically, the whole shooting match. I think, if I did, I would save myself alot of time, frustration and money. Even quarter yards of fabric can add up quickly. I am not the type that just concentrates on one area of creating either, if it is made of cloth, I think I can make it and of course, do it cheaper. Whatever! I could buy Drew nothing but Mela Wilson outfits and probably come out ahead (her offerings are not that plentiful for boys anyway).
I find myself so aggravated, mainly with the monogramming, yet I am always looking at fabric and applique designs. Why I choose the most difficult path to take, I do not know. I think, for now, the best thing to do is, stop the monogramming madness, stop looking at fabric, and just finish the summer outfits I cut out for the baby. I am really wrestling with the idea that I really don't have time for such frivolity as a hobby, I may have too many kids. Their needs are more important that my desire to feel good at something, maybe I could try to be a good housekeeper and cook. That's a fanciful notion, I will let you know how it goes. I did finally finish the mudroom, it is nothing majorly exciting. I think I should just let it be purely functional. It just might be that my whole house is like that. I have had to let go of my pride and get help with the house months ago. I still have this ideal of how it should look in my head, hence the numerous projects. The verse in 1 Timothy 6:6 godliness with contentment is great gain comes to mind, I may need to chant this to myself or perhaps put it to music.