Saturday, July 14, 2012

Battle Of The Brush..Or Queen Of Color

Loved this sign in my local paint store!
The big guy and I have spent the past 2 years painting the house at the lake and it's seemed to be an endless job.  Right now I'm painting the baseboards and winding my way slowly around the house.  Muscle-soreness is now my middle name.  Really, hours on end, crouched down on the floor, sanding away and then painting away is geting old but, I have to say, when I step back at the end of the day and look at my (15 feet) of lovely, clean baseboard (in Benjamin Moore 'Marscapone') I'm a happy woman.  

The baseboard color is pretty much a no-brainer but the big guy and I have tangled over color a bit along the way.  He's not so much opposed the the color itself as he is to what he thinks is paint that's too pricey.  I just love Benjamin Moore paints, though, and I really like to use the Aura.  You can also get BM flat paint for the bath and spa (not that we have a spa) but I so much like the flat finish rather than the more glossy semi that I've had in every other bathroom I've ever had. At any rate, we have tangled over the paint so I really had to laugh at the sign in my local Benjamin Moore paint store.  The big guy just sort of gave it a half grin.  I think it worked, though, because we haven't gone to the mat over paint lately.

The other thing I really like about Benjamin Moore is that they make it so easy to pick out paint color. You can get so many different little sample jars - more than you would find at Home Depot, for instance.  They also have really large paint chip paper - in a 6" X 6" size so you can pin them up on the wall and get a better idea of where you're headed in selecting color.  I was in Orchard Supply Hardware the other day and a woman came in and looked over the teeny paint chips for a yellow she wanted - and yellow is a very hard color to pick out because it always comes out brighter or more canary yellow than you think it will.  There are yellows with a lot of green in them that come out looking bright and neon and then there are yellows that have more red in them and they have a warmer, Tuscan feel to them.  But, basically, yellow is hard to select. My preference is for soft, buttery yellows and, for that, I have to go to a color that looks almost white on the  paint chip.  Anyway, this woman in the OSH store, picked out what I thought was a really bright, canary yellow just off the chip and then proceed to spend $75 on the paint!  I was dying to say something but decided to keep my mouth shut.  It's not my house and, who knows, maybe it will look OK in her room.  But...another thing is that yellow is really hard to paint on the wall - it just doesn't cover very well and you always need more coats of paint than usual.  So, I just mentally wished her good luck and secretly wished I could follow her home and watch the show.

Now, however, I am intrigued with the new marketing push that Sherwin-Williams seems to be putting on in competition with Benjamin Moore.  Sherwin-Williams now has a new feature that I'm about to try called "Chip It".  You can download a "Chip It" button (similar to a 'Pin It" from Pintrest) and when you see an image online that has a color you like, you can just click on it and hit the chip it button and...Wow...up pops a screen with coordinating paint colors.  Now, that's cool.  I don't know how reliable it is as afar as paint color selection has to be better than spending 75 bucks on a hunch and a teeny paint chip in the store.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Room With A View

In the ongoing quest to improve our environment, we decided to bust out and get a view of the great outdoors!  So we went from this....


And then...this.   But of course, this was at night after hours of painting.

And now we have this...lovely view.  
We lost our second fireplace in the process, and a heating one at that, but we wouldn't trade our new window.  And the wine about to be poured in celebration was made by a family friend.  We knew we were saving it for something special. 

The project was a bit pricey because the chimney on the outside had to be removed and the pitch of the roof had to be changed as well.  It wasn't as simple as plugging a window into place but it was the best allocation of resources.  We've saved in other ways by doing most of the work around the house, making curtains, scavenging for good buys on furniture and re-purposing things.  It's all about stretching the dollar as far as it can go and that, in itself, has turned into a game for us.  We have definitely become advanced users of Craigslist!  It's amazing what and why people sell things but they do.   Actually someone is probably scratching their heads at us too because we sold the old fireplace on Craigslist and the buyer was ecstatic!  It's a great little heater - we just wanted a window!  So I guess we're all happy now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sorry I've Been Gone For So Long...

It's been "remodel city" around here for the past few months - on the lake house anyway.  Some triumphs and some real aggravation but I will be back shortly to post on the improvements we've been working on.

Here's a preview...anything that requires scaffolding can't get done without a hitch.  That sounds like it must be a law of nature.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sporty Santas

Here's Santa playing baseball in 1923 for the New York Giants.  Bet'cha didn't know he was an athlete.  Well, in my family he has to be because my kids were immersed in sports (and still are) all the years they were growing up.  so...I looked for every sporty Santa I could find.  Although, I have to say I eventually had enough so my collection ended. Just the same, we pull our sporty Santas out every year and here are a few:

Santa golfs and skis !!
More golf and baseball

OOps...more golf...and surfing... ??

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Christmas Couch...'s definitely red and green...

The only time I can love this couch is at Christmas.  "Someone" (an errant interior designer) talked me into it about 12 years ago and unfortunately...I've been putting kids through college ever since, so....the couch had to stay.  Very sad about that.  But, on the bright side, my house is pretty large and we never go in the living room - except at Christmas.  So...I actually do love this couch during Christmas celebrations because it's definitely red and green!

Someday I hope to miss it at Christmas...

But, tonight, I sat down in my red and green living room, in front of a warm and cheery fire, to finish my Christmas cards.

iIs all good!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Is....Getting Started....

Well, I'm working on it!  At least I have the foundation  of the banister decoration done.  I do plan on adding a few layers of decor...but...sometimes when I pass by, I think it looks elegant in it's simplicity - the "less is more" option.  I kind of like that visual but there's that nagging thought that it's just the easy way out.  Soooo....I've been scouting the stores for something else to add to it at a reasonable price and I guess if I don't find anything that pleases me enough, I'll go with the Less Is More.
Then theres' the dining room that I've been working on.  It sure would be quicker if I used the same materials the way I did last year but I can never do that - I always have to re-design things using the same parts.  This year the ornaments went into the dining room candle holders:

These holly sprigs were in the entry last year in a large vase but this year they're in the living room in an old green thing that was sitting in a cabinet.  It looks OK - better at night:

And, last of all is the entry hall...showcasing the basket of poinsettias I've had for ages - the ones I I keep moving around ever Christmas.  They look great at night under the lamps, though.  I didn't have these lamps here last year so it's a different look.  (If you can't buy something new, just move the other stuff around...that's my theory.  And if you have 3 kids whose college educations have drained your bank account, it's the only thing you can do!!)

The entry:

Friday, December 3, 2010

What To Do With Grown-up Lovies...

Lovie Bear
This is going to be the next project on my list!  How many of us have these treasured items that out grown kids have left behind!  These kinds of "lovies" have so many memories attached to them.  Even if the grown kids are blase' about leaving them behind, WE can recall many precious moments with them that our kids may have been too young to remember themselves.  Leaving these treasured lovies in the closet seems silly so when I saw this solution, I really loved it.  

So far, I only have 2 lovies to frame in a shadow box because my college daughter still brings hers back and forth to college...her little lovie should get air miles!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Christmas Table Setting Project

This was a centerpiece at a wedding we went to recently and I thought it was a very cool idea.  I told my darling husband that I would really like to have a candle-holder like this up at the lake and he was delighted because, it seems, it's pretty easy to make.  Get a log, drill a hole and insert a candle.  Of course, it has to have holly or poinsettias to compliment it but that part I can do.  We have a couple of trees he would like to trim so that works out well but I think he could make it work with some wood that we used to buy at the grocery store for our (old) wood-burning fireplace.  I got this idea from a California Ranch Wedding that we went to recently. It was a keeper idea.