Dreamy Schemes

Dreamy Schemes

Dreamy Schemes by artzzle-com

Playing with Polyvore today.  These are three schemes I thought would work for our master bedroom project . . . still very much in limbo!

What are your thoughts?  The spread isn’t my exact one but color is close.

We’ll talk again soon!

Later – Cheryl

P.S.  I chose these items strictly as examples, because of their colors, textures and designs.  Prices are of extreme range on Polyvore so expensive pieces would naturally be replaced by similar items within your budget.  Think of this as an illustrated lesson, not a catalog :D

Decisions, Decisions … Wah Wah

Hi readers.  I have a dilemma but I don’t know if opinions will help or confuse things more. Keep or sell … what should I do?  Do you recall our “married” dining room pieces?  The chairs and table aren’t a matched set, they were purchased separately.

Artzzle DECISION FeatureWell, while I’ve always liked it, Hubs doesn’t care for  the whole “dining room” idea … said we – just us two – never use it.  It’s true, he and I never shared one meal … or game … or coffee chat at that little dining table.  Adamant about getting rid of it, he continued with other valid points.

  1. Why even have a dining “room” at all?
  2. How many times, in eleven years, have we ever used the leaf and had a “family dinner” there?  ANSWER:  Only twice.
  3. Do we use it when people come over? ANSWER:  Very rarely.
  4. In this home, as in our past two, where do/did we always end up eating? ANSWER:  At the kitchen counter or in the TV room.

You now understand Hubs’ view on the issue.
Artzzle DECISION Feature

So … we posted the set on Craigslist, both in the Twin Cities and the St. Cloud areas.  For you non-Minnesota residents, we live in between St. Paul/Minneapolis and St. Cloud, so I always post in both listings.  And wow … I had interest right away.  Great, except  they only wanted the chairs.  Their offer was right on mark, but they lived much farther away (Wisconsin) and wondered if we could meet half way.

Wah Wah.  I really dislike having to make all these decisions!  So, I broke it down again.

  1. Price is right.
  2. I DID purchase the table separately from the chairs, so know it has sold that way.
  3. I DID have a temporary, alternative use for the table.
  4. We didn’t want to load and travel to sell anything.

SOLUTION:  They came to us, loved the chairs and bought them.  Very nice people.  They even sent us a picture of their set with their “new” chairs.

Artzzle DECISIONS Feature

NEXT STEP:  I changed my craigslist ad, to feature only the table; gave the dimensions both W/WO  the leaf, and noted it’s advantages at either size; great for a foyer, a game table or small apartment.

MEANTIME:  I started rearranging and Hubs quickly retreated to his workshop.  Minus his aid, I couldn’t move any big stuff, so this was my first try.

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I brought out the set of side chairs from the guest bedroom – which happened to fit just right pulled in to the table.  This was nice, looked good (I thought).  After all, there are just two of us living here, right?

Artzzle DECISIONS Feature

Well, guess what, Hubs still didn’t care for it.  He told me to try to come up with a totally different use for the dining room space, and thinking that would keep me occupied for quite a while, he smiled smugly and went back to his workshop.  Foolish man seriously how many years have we been together??!!

Ten minutes later, I called him back and said to bring the dolly with him.  Hey, he told me to come up with something different!  I just followed instructions.

You may not recall it, but we have a fireplace.  Nice thing for me is that it’s electric, hence movable, hence the dolly . . . hence, this . . .

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and a bit further to this final look.  Don’t worry – – that corner of the counter at the bottom left, just looks that close because of the angle of the shot.  There’s actually almost five feet between the corner of the chair and the island.

Artzzle DECISIONS Feature

Now, you’re wondering what I did with the table.  You are wondering, right?

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I put it in the living room (the front room).

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I even pulled out some of our old board games to have close by . . . just in case :)

Artzzle DECISIONS Feature

Okay now everyone, what would you do with the table?  Keep or Sell?  FYI, I presently have two different parties that are supposedly interested in buying it.  I’m waiting to hear back from either or both.

MEANTIME:  C’mon friends, let me know – stay or go?  What do you think?

By the way, we’ve played those board games about as frequently as we’ve used the table for dining.

Remember, staying positive helps to stay productive, so don’t stress too much, just start something :)

Later – Cheryl

 

Kitchens, Cousins and Cabinets

July has meant kitchens, cousins, cabinets and me . . . completely pooped!  It was a VERY busy month for me and Hubs. Regular readers know that my cousins come up each July to visit, as they did this year too!  As usual, we had a blast :)

Artzzle KITCHENS, COUSINS and CABINETS FeatureArtzzle KITCHENS, COUSINS and CABINETS Feature

 

 

 

 

 

And you’ll also probably remember we’ve been attacking our kitchen cabinet project in steps, and still had the lowers to finish.

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Remember how my timing is often a little off?  I didn’t get motivated about the cabinets till the week before our visitors’ scheduled stay.

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Hubs did his part, trimming everything out, and on one of our cooler days, I tackled the painting and sealing.

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You know our dishwasher died this past winter, and I may also have mentioned that its’ gaping absence has Hubs designing a wonderful pull-out drawer for pan storage – my back just loves that guy :) !  But it’s a “future” plan.  In the meantime, lazy me just left it naked and exposed to the world.   The ladies know we’re always in the middle of a project or two, and once they arrived, we had plenty to keep us busy, so nobody cared.

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Showing off some of their thrift finds, before departing.

Showing off some of their thrift finds, before departing.

After they headed home, we took a couple of days off, appreciating the AC.  It gave us lots of time to talk . . . about what else . . . projects.

In afterthought, I regretted the big black hole left open for our company.  I remembered some of the clever “disguise” ideas my blogger buddy Kim has done with fabric.  I had remnants left from our recent family room drapes makeover (haven’t posted it for you yet).  Since that area is directly behind the kitchen, those would work.  So, supplies yes, but still a problem.  C’mon, you all know how I just love to sew . . . NOT!  Covering the opening meant using two pieces.  Oh boy!

Speaking of boys, all these boy-toys around here tend to come in handy. Hubs has all sorts, including an upholstery stapler, and an air one at that.  So it was brought to the kitchen.

Keep calm . . . it wasn’t ME operating anything electric.  C’mon, an air compressor and an automatic stapling gun . . . seriously??  No no!  You know me!   I pleaded and begged Hubs away from his shop, for this quick and easy project.  I put a comfy, big ol’ pillow in there for his back.  Then as I gathered material, he stapled two little curtains in place, from behind the cabinet front.  No sewing.  The bottom was already nicely hemmed and the raw edges were just folded in and stapled.  Voila’ – done.  It’ll work until the practical pan drawer is done, don’t ya think?

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Remember my grumping about our broken rider mower last time?  Well . . . it’s still out of commission but sometimes good things rise from bad.  Hubs was out “push mowing” today with our noisy old hand mower, when a second roaring machine piped in.  I looked out to see our neighbor teen, Tyler, zipping along on their rider, finishing things off in no time.  He didn’t want pay and left without telling us.

So, Hubs and I leashed Gracie and went for a walk back to his house, delivering a card and a little monetary compensation.  And we got to know our newest neighbors even better.  Nice.  Great guy, that Tyler. I should’ve taken a picture.  Maybe our granddaughters would visit more often if they knew what a cute neighbor we have.  Hhmm.

So, kitchen is done, cousins are safely back home, and yard looks good, for now anyway. . But don’t worry, there’s so much more to report . . . next time because me, I’m pooped out!  Think there is a cat puppy nap in the near future.

Artzzle Feature: Gracie Mae

Hey, Gracie, ya started without me!

Meanwhile, I’m working at staying positive to stay productive.  See if it works for you!

Later – Cheryl

I Love Country Living … Most of the Time

Hi All.  I was working from an earlier draft for today’s article and somehow the first post registered as published on that date, so wouldn’t display on the home page under today’s date.  Sorry for the duplicate.  Have a great weekend.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

 

Everyone knows we love our little house and its’ rural setting.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

But you may not know that . . .

  1. Internet (REAL INTERNET . . . fast AND affordable) isn’t easy to come by out here.
  2. Septic systems can be costly.  Fixing them I mean.
  3. You GOTTA  HAVE a riding mower . . . and they’re expensive, to buy AND to repair.

About the internet; hhmm how to sum this up. Before: we had no land line, two cell phones and the internet was part of the cell contract. Net service was a set amount each month … unless your usage went over a certain figure and of course . . . it’s me here, little miss social butterfly, blogger, so I did . . . go over, way over! We consulted our fantastic computer tech, Jerome, for options. Gotta love that guy.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

Our (yet to be proven) solution was to go back to a landline with internet through that. We kept only one cell phone so the rate was to drop way back there, even with a load of talk minutes and unlimited text/pictures.The first bill for the LL and NET . . . was WAY OVER the quoted monthly amount.

  • installation (a guy was in the area anyway, and tweaked something in a box to hook us back up)
  • equipment shipping charges (a little box about 10″ square by 2″ deep) and finally a ton of miscellaneous fees and taxes.
  • extra charges for an online security package that was supposed to be included.

So, trying to be patient . . . you all know how patient I am NOT! I poured over all the misc crap, had the extra security removed (and credited back those charges)  … and we’re waiting for the first actual bill after all of that.

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As for the cell set-up, our first official bill after the switch . . . ready for this?  They never made any of the changes and still had us on the old plan.  He said all the new arrangements were written down BUT NEVER ACTIVATED.   So, supposedly all was corrected, and the next bill will reflect the changes AND we’ll be credited back all those extra charges.  PLEASE EVERYONE . . . let’s not hold our breath!

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On to the septic situation.Good news was (well sort of good) . . . the charges were under $200, this time. The tech we found was highly recommended. He patiently explained everything that was done. But he left us with an FYI, that the pumps on these systems usually have a 10 year life span. Evidently after that, it’s a “who knows how long” or “you might get lucky”  . . . yah, like that’ll ever happen.  Still, we seem to have been fortunate, because at the ripe (yes – pun intended) old age of 12 years, ours is still fixable.  BTW, cost estimate for a new pump (installation NOT included) $400 – $500 smackers.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

We have some very good neighbors.  Across the road, two brothers live in side-by-side farms.  Even when our mower works, we only mow about 25%  of our five acres.  At least two times a summer, the guys take turns mowing and baling the rest.  They get silage and we get a well kept acreage and less chances of fire, with the dry plantings gone.

Eleven years ago, when Hubs wanted to move out here, I made him a deal.  I would get trees and shrubs to plant AND a  new toy, a brand.new.riding.mower!  This summer, my toy bit the dust. Even lower priced new mowers are expensive … at least for us in retirement.  Next problem is, anyone we know who fixes motors lives too far away to make the trip worth our while.

Soooo . . . if some of my current exterior photos look a bit “shaggy” be forgiving.  Hubs and I are taking turns doing small sections – with our old push mower (and it’s not too healthy either).

And of course, living in the country means living with more bugs.  But look at this colorful fella.

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I didn’t stay around long enough to see if he bites :)

Over and above all the downfalls . . . Hubs and I LOVE living in the country.  Each day offers new adventures and beautiful sunsets.

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We’ll be here as long as we can afford it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Next week my “ladies” visit so I better get back to my house work.

Later – Cheryl

Just Lookin’ Around

. . . and here’s what I found!

HOUZZ is on my Tops List of “commercial” or “media” decor websites. APARTMENT THERAPY ties it for first place. Email updates and new articles arrive quite often and I always give them a big slot of time for viewing.

Not sure what search terms I used here, but was probably looking for background or displays for shelves.

Above reminded me of a paint card sample book. Fun, right?!

Here, note how they wisely used that alcove for great storage and display space, and then detailed it by continuing the pretty accent wall color just into that upper, open area.  Very nice.

We’re   I’m thinking about a new color for our three main accent walls, and was probably concentrating on colors when I found the room above.  I had a more bronze-ish green in mind, rather than the brighter acid color here . . . BUT . . . look at those beautiful steel doors and the mid-century furniture pieces.  Wow.

The search topic for this final pick was “window seats”.  While it isn’t exactly that — look closely, those are under-lighted shelves above that seat, not windows — it presents an interesting idea for a small, enclosed room, gives extra storage . . . AND was certainly an unexpected find.

No matter the search term or article title, you always find so much more than you asked for on HOUZZ and APARTMENT THERAPY.  That’s what makes it such fun and why I enjoy spending time there (Hubs says too much time).  But you never know what new inspiration will hit!  My HOUZZ BOARDS are here if you’d like to see them.  So if you’re having a rainy or killer-heat day like we’ve had here lately, settle in, grab the device of choice and go exploring.

Until next time, try to stress less so you can accomplish more.  It always helps me.

Later – Cheryl

We Didn’t Go to the Animal Fair

Hubs and I enjoy art crawls and craft fairs and now that he’s fully retired, we’re able to catch more of them.  So we jumped at the invitation from my son and his wife, when they wanted to take us to their local art fair, as part of my Mom’s Day and Birthday celebrations.  With a gift of my choice and dinner out, who could turn that down.

I was pretty excited during the drive down to their place.  It’s an hour and a half drive, and on the freeway, we passed an “older” couple on their Sunday Drive.  This triggered thoughts of my Grandma, and I remembered “Animal Fair” . . . one of the little songs she sang to me as a child.

Do you know it?  “I went to the animal fair . . . the birds and the beasts were there”.  For you who are closer to my age group, gotta tell ya, public opinion has changed the lyrics a couple of times over the years.  Here’s a current version from the internet.

The monkey no longer gets drunk . . .  he gets bumped by a skunk.

Hhmm.  Anyhoo . . . my day gave me my own lyrics to that melody.

I went to a country art fair
So much to see and buy there

Artzzle ART FAIR FeatureFrom shiny steel to an old metal feel,
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and beautiful pottery ware.

Artzzle ART FAIR Feature

The Chinese dinner was great.
I ate and ate . . . and ate.
And on the way home, I rested and zoned,
and dreamed of my beautiful date . . . the date, the date!

A perfect “memory” day!  And the LeAnne Chin’s did double duty . . .

lunch and take-home for dinner.  Yum.

Hey, remember the mulch and plants gift from my daughter on Mom’s Day?Artzzle Weather Feature

It’s really filled in.

Artzzle ART FAIR Feature

Meanwhile . . . the countdown to more fun is on!
My crazy cousins will be here in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!
Holy Hannah!

So we’re fixin’ and buildin’ and cleanin’ . . . lots and lots of cleanin’.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
Until then, stay positive and it’ll help you be productive.

Later – Cheryl

July 4th

Artzzle 4th of July 2015Today, be Loud and Proud
and Thankful to be living in the great U.S.A.

Everyday, be Appreciate and Recognize
the many who have made and keep it this way.

THANKS TO THEM FOR THEIR DEDICATION AND SERVICE

Artzzle 4th of July 2015

Have a SAFE and HAPPY 4th of July.

Can You EVER have enough Storage Space?

One of the things WE love about our home is our main living area with it’s vaulted ceilings and odd shaped walls.  Something we didn’t like about this house was the limited storage as we have no basement.

One of the things I love in our home, is my talented husband!  I can just tell him about an idea I have and draw a little sketch.  He does a little measuring, draws a real plan . . . and makes it for me.

Now, everyone knows how I love to collect pottery, glass and BIG décor items and all kinds of other stuff; lots of pieces that are difficult to store, especially in a small home like ours.  I got really tired of shoving everything in bins under the beds.  In the first place, we only have two beds (and one is a twin), and secondly, there are things under there already.

I did design & Hubs built, a special size storage area attached to the bottom of the twin bed frame.  It’s just a simple attached drawer with a little hook to close it.

Artzzle Extra Storage Feature

Unlatch the hook, the door drops down and items are slid in.  This holds my large paper, matting and artwork.  The bed cover hides it, so we just left it raw.

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Another easy little idea provided extra coat storage.  In the laundry room, a simple strip of molding was attached to the wall and hooks were added.  The laundry room is a pass through to the garage and back door entrance, so is a perfect spot for hanging casual jackets, sweaters and the occasional dog leash.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

TIP:  Be sure to anchor the molding strip to a stud or two on your wall.  That will accommodate the weight of your hanging items, so the molding doesn’t pull away from the wall over time.  Our Projects List includes eventual cabinets for the laundry room as well.  For a temporary fix I added shelves, featured HERE.

We’ve made sure most of our occasional tables and furniture pieces have drawers and shelves, so that helps oodles.
TIP:
  DOUBLE DUTY furniture pieces provide extra storage for any size space.  A dresser could be used as a TV stand, with the drawers storage for equipment.  End tables with shelves and/or drawers can be used in many rooms.  Coffee tables with a shelf or open legs can house baskets for extra storage.

Your next question “Do we have enough storage space now?”

My question . . . “Does anyone EVER have enough storage space?”

This is our entry way.  At the top of the shot you can see some of our angled, fun colored walls.  I say “way” because it is simply a space between the front door and a closet; both which are an actual part of the living room.  There’s no separate foyer.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

We’re accustomed to this feature.  Our previous rambler was also designed with a little closet directly by the front room door.    That is the only commonality in the two homes.  Today’s market standards categorize this home as small at 1550 sq. ft., but our other rambler was only a 960 sq. ft. plan.  Now THAT was small, but that house had a basement.  Don’t worry though, it was fine.  And YES, we did a lot of changing, rearranging and customizing in that.  Had to with 5 kids between us.

We really enjoy this entry closet because of it’s angles and the fun walls around it, on the outside.  But, recently I was cleaning the closet, and getting frustrated with that jagged corner space inside, where all the less-important, rarely used junk  stuff gets shoved.  When the hanging rod is full, you can’t even get back in there.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

Plus, we store leftover paints in there, so they don’t freeze in the winter.  I hate seeing those every time I opened the door.

Soooooo,  I went to find Hubs.  I talked, he measured, he drew and then . . . began building.  From this . . .

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

To this. Here a second upper full length shelf was also added.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

And finally, this.

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Nice, right?  Was I satisfied?

Well, no.  You could now see even more “stuff” when the doors were open.

Solution:  We had a fabric shower curtain in the donation bin.  So I had him adapt for a rod.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

And voila’, see no more evil!

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

Was that enough . . . uhhm . . . almost.

For that higher area, I took a simple tension rod and put up the valance to the old shower curtain.  Now . . . done!

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feaature

So Cheryl now has even more storage AND it’s pretty, well sort of.  At least stuff is stored and hidden!

TIP:  Don’t overlook small corners and odd spaces in your home that could be utilized for storage.  IMAGINE and EXPERIMENT with spaces, pieces and places.  Have fun!

Lots more going on around here, even other storage projects, so, we’ll talk again soon!

Until then, stay positive to stay productive :)

Later – Cheryl

 

Staying Positive . . . on Father’s Day

Apart from the obvious, my parents were two completely unique people, one from the other.  On Mother’s Day I had no shortage of loving memories of my mom, to share.  At only sixty two, she was gone in an instant, in a freak accident.  I’ve missed her always but the loss seems even more acute as I grow older.

Feelings are quite different for me regarding my father.  There was fear, uncertainty and there continues to be resentment and anger, although all have lessened as I’ve aged.  I wasn’t intending to write a specific Father’s Day post.  Instead I did a Project Issue.  In the present, it’s very important for me to stay positive and productive . . . in everything.  I felt that posting about my father might stir up too many negatives.

You know how fond I am of using angles.  Well, today I decided to consider my dad from a different angle.  Instead of simmering angrily, I tried to think of good things and began a list.

When I was very small, my dad would sometimes draw little cartoon-like characters for me, or make me those cut-out paper doll chains.  He would make the dolls and then I would draw and color them.  It was one of my first good memories of him.

Dad was musical.  He had a good singing voice in church and played several instruments by ear.  For a few years he put together a country style band and they would play for barn dances and events. At the dances, he put me in charge of “getting the floors ready”.  Floors in the old buildings were often in poor shape and the wood was very dried out.  So, you took a box of laundry soap flakes (not many liquids then) and sprinkled them over the floor, to make the dancing surface sort of slick; easier to dance on.  This was done once or twice during the evening.  Dad made that “my job”, and I thought I was really a big shot, given such an important responsibility.

In my senior year of high school, my mom had a lengthy hospitalization for a serious illness and surgery.  One evening in particular, my dad came home earlier than I had.  When I got there, the dining room table was nicely set (we always ate at the kitchen counter) and dad had cooked dinner for us.  Not just mac and cheese, but a steak and salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, with a little cheese and relish tray.  There was no alcohol, just cold Cokes.  He even held my chair for me.  It was really something.

That same spring, before she became so ill, mom had helped me pick out a prom dress.  By the time alterations were done, she wasn’t able to go along, so my dad went.  While I was trying the dress on, he and the clerk strolled through the little store, with him saying “Give me one of those” or “how about that”.  I came from the dressing room to find a little group of lovelies. A pair of beautiful earrings, an elegant beaded clutch, long white gloves and the most precious white faux fur stole.  That is my nicest and favorite good memory of my dad.

There.  My list does have a few pleasant memories.  And admittedly, it’s much more productive and positive, to remember those instead of their opposites.  I guess it was good for me to do an official “Father’s Day” post.

If your dad is still with you today, give him a hug or a call.  If not, blow him a kiss with a smile.

I’ll sign off with a new line this time.  Stay positive and you’ll stay productive.

Later – Cheryl

Thirty Two Days

July means the arrival of fun around here.  Two cousins from out-of-state, visit and stay for a few days.  There’s lots of laughing and talking, and eating – lots of eating!  But the best part is … shopping!  We’re all bargain hunters which means thrift stores, garage sales, Marshall’s, Homegoods, etc.  It’s always a blast.

Their visit also means that around this time in June, my panic attacks start.  We only see each other once a year, and I want the house to be all “ooh ahh” and special.  Hubs and I have been working on a few things to get ready.  We’ve both gone through our stashes of materials.

These four bright pots have been on my shelf for over a year. Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

At a Crafts Direct’s whopper sale, they went from $4.99 to $2.00 and finally another 75% off that.  Seriously … how could I pass up a deal like that. And look at all that color! Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

You know how I like to work with odd numbers, so a taller piece I already had, was added.  After explaining my idea to Hubs, he drew up a plan and with scrap wood from his workshop, he made this

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I chose a color from some left-over paint . . . Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

and did two coats, directly on the raw wood.

Since the pots have no drain plate, we bought plastic trays at WalMart ($0.35 ea) and some $3.33 plants.

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There were many varieties of plants and tray sizes to choose from.

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For Spring I went blue and green in the living room, so I chose the bluish green paint for the tray.  It works nicely with the bright pots, don’t you think?

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Below was the previous look

  • The purple plate and bowls were $3 @ garage sale.
  • The purple sphere was $2.50 @ local Discovery Thrift.
  • The bunnies were $1.00 at local ReUse Store.
  • The miscellaneous white pieces are from my collections.
  • Flowers were free from a garage sale.

Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

After the windows are washed, the living room will be guest ready.  Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

A different furniture arrangement and change out of accessories have given it a totally new look.

Great, right?

But what about thoset thirty two days? It’s all that’s left!

In thirty two days, I need things to be clean, comfortable, colorful and … different.  Those 3 C’s aren’t a problem, but that “different” is what drives the panic.  It’s not like this upcoming event is anything new.  Unfortunately, my unpreparedness isn’t new, either.  And I can’t blame it on the timing issues mentioned HERE.  I just keep thinking I have all this time and then suddenly … I don’t.

So I had better sign off for this time … and GET BUSY!

Hubs is already working on a shelf for my salt & pepper collection. My cousin always teases me about having oodles of shakers but never putting any out to use OR show.  Ha!  She’ll be surprised this time.

Meantime, I’ll try to take my own advice . . . to stress less and start more!

Later – Cheryl