Monday, October 26, 2009

Choosing Paint - Not for Sissy's!

My family and friends can tell you how I agonize over paint choices, it can literally take me a year to decide on a color. I know it's said that paint is cheap, but really, it's not! Okay, relatively speaking, paint is an inexpensive way to improve the look of your home. However, when the paint for one room of my home costs more than $100, I can't say that it's cheap. Not to mention the time it takes to actually paint the room! We've painted 3 rooms of our home since June of this year and I've gained some confidence in choosing paint, still it isn't a job for sissy's!

Last week we had our 'roofing system replaced'. We thought we were having our house re-roofed, but it turned out to be more of a renovation. Our roof is new from the rafters up - oh wait! Some of the rafters are even new! The fascia boards are new and some of the siding was replaced as well. This means we need to paint!

Here's a "Before" shot of our roof -

I know, it's not the greatest picture, but I didn't think to take an actual "Before" of my ugly old roof!

Here's an "After" -
We had thought once the roof was finished, we'd have a landscaper come in and help us with the front yard. We'll still do that, but after we paint. Which brings us back to choosing paint. We live in an historic district, and while they don't have strict guidelines, or any at all really, most of the homes are painted colors that blend into nature. I've been walking the neighborhood, looking at houses and the colors they are painted. I noticed there are A LOT of soft yellows and creams, and decided I wanted something different. I've never been a fan of green, but I found a house with a paint scheme that I really like and headed to Home Depot for samples and paint related reading material.
Much of yesterday was spent with the ott light on the table as we looked at different colors together, trying to narrow down the choices so we could buy samples to try on the house. These are the first two selections we'll try.
Kind of a greenish blue with an antique white trim and red doors. I really like red doors. I am also influenced by paint color names - the darker greenish blue is called 'dragonfly' and I like that!

The white across the top is for the fascia and soffits, which we are going to do in vinyl. (Note: Until last week, I didn't even know what fascia and soffits were! Now I know what they are and that it's a good idea to do them in vinyl.)

If these turn out to be the paint colors we use on the house, I'll have made a HUGE break through! Stay tuned. . . .

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I have been enjoying's newsletter since they were a part of the AOL community. Every Saturday morning I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee and spend an hour or two with their weekly newsletter. I started out making my reading wish list in a small notepad I could carry with me when I went to the bookstore. After a year or so, I graduated to a PDA. Today, I head to Amazon and send a sample to my Kindle. How times have changed!

No matter how I make my list, Bookreporter has pointed me in the direction of many wonderful authors I may never have found on my own, Lisa Tucker being one of them. Imagine my surprise to learn that I had won a copy of her latest in their monthly drawing! Also included in my package were:

have a little faith, by Mitch Albom

The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks

Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger

The Promised World, by Lisa Tucker

An Echo in the Bone, by Diana Gabaldon

I'm looking forward to reading all of these, but especially Her Fearful Symmetry, as I loved her first novel, The Time Traveler's Wife. I've only read the first two of Diana Gabaldon's series, but now that I have the latest one in hand, I think it's probably time to catch up!

I hope you all have a great weekend - if you need me, you'll find me curled up on the couch with Jake and Gracie reading!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is anyone still here?

It's been forever since I've posted, I know. I wasn't sure I would come back to blogging - the longer I was away from it, the harder it seemed to get back into it. I didn't intend to take such a long break, or any break at all really. Things just seemed to get busier than I'd expected. Murph went back to work and Bryn came home from Afghanistan (safe and sound). Then we decided to do a little remodeling/redecorating, that turned into a lot of remodeling/redecorating - it just got away from me!

Things are rather back to normal again, at least for a while! Brutus has moved to NC with Bryn.

Murph drove a U-Haul up with all his furniture, the pool table, things for his kitchen we'd found him, his surf board - all his goodies, a week or so earlier. Once he was settled he came back for Brutus and his bike.He looks pretty happy in the passenger seat next to his buddy, doesn't he? Bryn said he was good for the entire trip - about 7 hours. He's settling in nicely.
This little guy was dropped off in our front yard at the end of June. He had a note on his collar, "I am a good boy. I need a home and love." I wonder how long they watched my house before they realized what a sucker for dogs I am! LOL! We've named him Jake and after a few rough patches he's fitting in nicely and getting along with the girls.
This is the only piece of artwork I've managed since April! I can't believe it myself. I collaged two chipboard pages from a chipboard book by Maya Road. It's the first time I've tried some of the layering techniques here. Since I made it in early September, I went with kind of a school theme.

Yeah, the theme becomes more apparent on the insides!
And the back - I love that little girl with the HUGE bow in her hair!

Thanks for checking back - I'm sure I can do better at posting on a more regular basis!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Of Birds and Books

I've been working on this for a while now, and while it wasn't hard, I kept getting distracted by one thing or another. It's a short children's story about sparrows - in a bird shaped book.
From the side. (The little bird cage is a candle holder I found at Michael's.)
Close up - don't you love vintage millinery flowers? And tulle - I'm a big fan of tulle!
Flower frogs are pretty cool, too. (Did I not give this guy an eye? Oh my!)
Vintage rhinestone buttons.
And a photo of Bryn when he was a little guy.
Little birdies on a wire.
Love that pink button. (That's Murph in his high school football days!) ETA: See the small silver frame on the left, sort of behind the cage - that's Murph!
Gotta have a little bling.
All babies fly the nest sooner or later!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Thinking of you today and wishing you a wonderful Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Spring Garland

I really haven't spent much time in my studio since Murph's surgeries. When he went back to work this month - after 4 months of being home - I had a lot of catching up to do! I decided to start easy, with this eclectic garland. The mantle is a piece Murph and I found at one of the antique shops we frequent. We looked at it for weeks before we finally brought it home. This vintage looking garland is a nice touch.
That's an old photo of Bryn, he's maybe 9 or 10 there. We went to Disney World and had our pictures taken in old time western wear. Yes, I still need to decide what to write on the scalloped tag - any ideas?
The M is for our last name, Murphy. You know I had to have a bird, right?
Love the old key!
You can click on the photos if you want a better look. It felt good to be back in my studio, working on something. I've got another project on my desk now!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bunnies for Kathy

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of the bunnies and goodies I sent to Kathy. Instead of a basket, I found an Easter box for her, lined it with a couple vintage napkins and filled it with candy, including chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies.
And of course the Easter box had a bunny on the top! This is also a better picture of the journal I made for Kathy and the bunny pitcher I gave you a sneak peek of earlier.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Look!! I have an Easter basket!!

This is the first Easter basket I've had in so many years, I can't remember and I'm so excited! This basket and all the goodies were sent to me by Kathy of Kat Collects, my partner in Heidi's Very Vintage Easter Basket Swap. Such a lovely package with so many of my favorite things! Click on the picture so you can see what's in the pretty blue basket.
One of my favorite things in the basket are these chocolate flowers and candy tulips. I think they may be too pretty eat! I love how they look in my little silver vase. Also included is the pretty yellow candle pictured here, as well as a light blue one. So pretty!
Another of my favorite things is this beautiful vintage Easter card set between glass framed with silver. Kathy also sent the hand made doily it sits on.

Kathy, thank you so much for such a lovely package, I smile whenever I see it! Mostly though, I thank you for your friendship, I've truly enjoyed getting to know you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Sneak Peek!

This time I'm sharing a peek of the "Very Vintage Easter Basket" package that I put together for Kat of Kat Collects. All of my recent swaps have been such fun to put together, but I especially enjoyed this one. Maybe it's Kat's bunnies or maybe it's that Kat and I have really gotten to know each other. Either way, I'm happy to count Kat among my friends.

Remember I said that I'd bought another Gerbera Daisy at the Farmer's Market this Saturday? I have a couple of these copper planters I thought looked nice on the front porch, but one plant just looked lost in it. Someone with a green thumb could help it grow into the pot and would enjoy it for months or maybe even years to come. I'll be happy if it looks lovely for a month - anything longer than that is certainly a bonus!

I'm really going to try again this year to help my plants live a long and healthy life!
If you clicked on the photos in my previous front porch post you probably noticed the hydrangea in this pail wasn't doing too well. I replaced it Saturday with fresh plants, all of them on sale for .99 cents! I'm going to repot the hydrangea and see if I can find a spot where it will be happy.

Kat, your swap goodies are on the way!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birds of a Feather

Thursday afternoon the mailman brought me a package from Kim, my "For the Love of Birds" swap partner. Everything was wrapped in such pretty paper! I thought I'd show you how I displayed my new goodies in my house this time.
I recently went through all the books on this bookcase and took huge bags to the used bookstore, so I had plenty of room for all the pretty things Kim sent my way. I just love the nest above, I've not seen one like it before and am so pleased with it!
Now, not only did I see this little bitty nest, which is metal and holds a candle, I actually had it in my hand at Michael's and carried it around for a while before deciding I probably didn't need it. So thank you, Kim for knowing how much I loved that little nest! The sweet little bird next to it was also part of my package.
You can click on this picture to get a better look at the little bird in the frame - it's perfect right there, don't you think? Don't miss the blue beaded bracelet with the tiny silver bird charm - it's so lovely! I wore it this weekend.
This is an old ironing board Bryn and I bought years ago - I think he was in 3rd grade, maybe 4th, either way as he'll be 22 in May, we've had it a long time! The old birdhouse has sat there for a while now with no bird! This little one Kim sent is perfect. Click on the picture to get a better look!

Kim, thank you so much for a wonderful swap! Each piece goes so well tucked here and there around my house!

And yes we did go to the Farmer's Market Saturday! I don't know why I haven't taken pictures of the actual market. I'm going to try and remember to do that next Saturday. I bought another Daisy, too. I'll show you that tomorrow.
Remember that sneak peek I posted of Kim's swap? This is the photo I cropped to share with you. (Gracie sent Emma a little something.)
And inside the front cover. The book is an old ledger I bought in a lot of old ledgers on eBay. I don't know why (other than I'm an accountant maybe) but I like using ledger paper! I hope Kim will, too.And here's the rest of the package I sent to Kim.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Sping Sweetness Package

Have you ever been in a swap where the package you receive is so perfectly put together, and so well suited to you that you wish you'd done a better job with what you sent? It's pretty rare that I feel that way, as I do try to send a package my partner will enjoy. The package I received from Susie today is so perfectly sweet, well here, let me share some pictures with you.
Everything about this package is sweet, from the handmade notebook, the delicate cup and saucer, the beautifully detailed silver spoon - a sugar spoon maybe - and a vintage cookbook!
The detail on the cup and saucer shows up a little better here. I've always loved pink glass, but it's not so easy to find here.
Another one of the spoon - the lace bow is just too cute!
To go along with my lovely cup, saucer and spoon is a package of Chai Tea Mix - one of my favorites. For Easter, Susi made me Easter Eggs with vintage chenille - so cute!

Susie, I can't think you enough for this wonder packaged.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For the Love of Birds

I do love all things birds! When I saw the announcement for "The Love of Birds Swap", I signed right up! My partner is Kim and I've truly enjoyed getting to know her and her sweet puppy Emma. The only thing I love more than birds is a puppy! Kim's package goes out this morning, I've scheduled a pickup with my mailman. The photo above is just a little sneak peek of what's inside.
Yesterday Bryn had some time off, we chatted via AIM for a few hours. I sat on my front porch with my laptop, enjoying the weather and my new bench. We had planned on painting it black, but when I really looked I thought a rustic brown would better match the metal that's already there.
My bougainvillea survived the winter - over 19 freezes here in Florida and I can't remember how many hard freezes - lots of them! I kept it covered with an old quilt. It's blooming like crazy right now. The gargoyles are my husbands, he loves them and has a couple more here and there.
This is Bailey, who is very hard to photograph, because he doesn't hold still! He's rubbing up against you, wanting attention. Isn't he pretty!

This is his brother, Ezra. He couldn't care less if you pet him or not, it's more about if he thinks you are worthy to pet him!

Bryn and I were talking about when these guys were kittens. We got them from the shelter and brought them home the weekend of Hurricane Floyd! Not the best time to bring home new kitties, especially when you have two dogs. The spent a lot of time in my bathroom that weekend! Hurricane Floyd came through in September of 1999, which means these guys are almost 10 years old.