Saturday, July 23, 2011

Up, Up and Away. . .

       Anybody remember why I felt the need to design and have a cabinet maker construct a double mantle? If not, when I say 18 foot ceilings, does that help jog your memory?  This all came about after realizing how tall the great room ceilings were going to be.  I had seen this photo of a double mantle in some design book and decided that was exactly what we needed to bring that ceiling down PLUS I loved the two urns pictured on each side of the book case. I thought this would  help to fill up those walls above it. Below is a photo I took of the mantle before some guests arrived so that it would look "kinda" organized.

      Each day when I sit, I find myself arranging and rearranging things for that very large "focal point" in my living room. One thing I quickly figured out is that I now have 40 feet of book shelves and not nearly enough hard back books! (Unless you count children's books and then I would need more book cases) That was quickly remedied last Tuesday when the VeeGee's had their monthly outing and we went to a very neat Flea Market called Prattville Pickers. As I was scouting the booths for tables (still need to fill in some spaces; one being on the landing going to the lower level), I spotted a John Grisham that I had not read. All of mine are paper back because I always bought them to read at the beach or on trips.  But seeing the hard back made me think that some of his books would work on my book shelves. In fact, for $2.00 each, I was able to buy 8 and would have bought more if I could have remembered which ones I needed. I now have a list of all his other books and am back on a quest for the remaining books. OK, that covered 3/4 of one shelf, what now? I know I have more books packed away but have not gotten them all unpacked yet. . .so I will just keep adding items to fill up the space and rearrange as I go along.  Another work in progress. (Note: I did find the perfect demilune table for the landing and will add the photo on another blog.)
      This photo below was taken after we borrowed a 10 foot ladder to hoist the urns to their place of honor about 12 feet up in our living room! Believe me, this was no small feat!  The urns are about 2 1/2 feet tall  and weight about 30 pounds each. It took both us, a 10 ft. ladder plus a bar stool on the bookcase, to get them up there.  After the urns were placed, I was able to start adding my books, special items and family heirlooms and of course, a few pictures (y'all knew that was coming) to make these bookcases look "put together".  NOTE:  Don't be surprised if I post another picture with everything changed around again. One thing for sure, those urns are not going anywhere!

     The screened porch is another work in progress. Unfortunately, this has been a kind of disappointment for us. We had visions and hopes of spending a LOT of time out there BUT when building it, we had not realized  where the weather would come from and since we are way out on the point, it has become more trouble than it is worth.  We are constantly bringing the cushions in and out as well as the "decor" (which the wind would take care of if we didn't). We also have to think about it when we are away in case an afternoon storm kicks up. BUMMER!  We have been considering having it glassed in to become a sun room, but that may have to wait.  In the meantime, we may need to find some blinds or shades to ward off wind and rain. Any ideas out there? Anyway, since we want to use it when we can, today I touched up all the scratches made from the move and started designing my Flamingo Lounge South coasters.

      Did I mention that my metal Flamingo with the flip flops and ankle bracelet was damaged in the move? If not, I may not have mentioned that I found someone to weld the legs back on....but before I picked it up, one of his sales people sold it! He offered me a new metal flamingo and the money he received for it but I really didn't want to replace it, so check out the urn on the hearth that he gave me in it's place! (see picture below) Could not believe the color was the same as my living room! Love it!

    With more company coming next week, it is about time to start thinking about picture hanging. As I have unpacked my pictures, I have been placing them in the rooms or leaning them on the wall where I think I want them to go.  I have been considering where the collages would go as well, i.e. wedding wall, family gallery and pen and ink collages.  That may take more thinking about. So I guess it's time to pull out the hammer and nails and make a decision.  Hopefully I can get it right the first time. . .if not, one can always change her mind  'cause we have spackle and lots of paint left over!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feeling Groovy. . .

   Things are finally starting to come together. . .at least in one or two rooms. The great room is beginning to look like the room I was seeing, in my mind's eye anyway.  But even with the addition of the newly upholstered sofa, there seemed to be something missing. So once again, I set down at my machine, (thank you Mama for teaching me to sew) and started making pillows for the sofa. I had only planned to make two, one for each end using the brown paisley shown in my last post. . .BUT since I had leftover fabric from my sofa,  I decided to add a couple more.  It only seemed fitting to make two pillows to match the sofa. First, there had to be a decision about trim. Fringe or cording? Couldn't decide. But the decision was made for me when I went to buy the fringe in question and they had none! It was priced at $6.99 a yard and I need almost 4 yards per pillow. As most of you know, I taught Pre-K and we don't do 2-diget Math, but I figured out (by rounding up) that it was almost $25 per pillow. So I quickly told the lady to cut me 10 yards of the $.29 a yard cording and my decision was made! Love the results and am a firm believer that some things happen for a reason. Today we took the two wingbacks chairs to Mr. Davis! He has done a great job on all my  fabric pieces and can't wait until these two come back in a couple of weeks and then the entire great room will be furnished. . .just need to add the accessories and arrange the bookcases.


     After making 5 pillows (I made a smaller one for the stripped chair not to be left out),  I decided it was time to try my hand at re-covering  and refurbishing chairs.  So I pulled out the old chairs I had found  at a local antique shop. I lightly sanded them with steel wool and applied a coat of "refinishing stain" to enhance their look and then covered the old seats with a new fabric that I also plan on making roman shades with, and they turned out pretty decent. I had previously purchased a pedestal table from a new antique dealer friend of mine, to set between them, so I added a little elbow-grease to it at well and voila` a cute little sitting area off the kitchen! There is an "all girl" trip planned in the fall to a go to a large Flea Market in Atlanta where one can find all sorts of treasures. . .I will be looking for a rug and lamp to complete this little spot. BUT I just remembered, my new VeeGee's (Verbena Girls) and I are going on our monthly outing next week and we are going to a large flea market in Prattville (just this side of Montgomery) and who knows? Maybe I won't need to wait til fall. (Note: For a future post, show the last treasures found on an outing to Alexander City PLUS the house warming gift these ladies found and gave to me.)
This is my chair. . .before

Anyone for tea? 

After these projects, I was on a roll. I am still trying to "stage" my dining room table but not sure what I want to "feature" in the center.  It definitely needed a runner to soften the wood, so I made what is called a table topper since it doesn't actually "run" the length of the table. The photo doesn't do the fabric justice but here's it is anyway.

      Can you tell I and getting my "Crafting Groove" back on?
      I feel I must tell you that this blog may now turn into sharing my little projects for the house as well as some of my usual crafting stuff. The house is built and now you will be viewing the details of making this house a home. I have really enjoyed sharing this adventure with y'all and have had so many positive comments that I felt I wanted to continue writing this electronic journal. So for all of you who know me, and want to see what I'm up to, I would love for you to join me as I continue retired life doing all the things a retired person does. . .absolutely anything I want to do!
     At this point I will share my little project I have been dying to make for all my new neighbors on The Ridge to thank them for their warm welcome. These are called boat fenders for all my non-boating friends and I personalized them to hang in their boat houses rather than to be used as a fender. Since I am a crafter and not a photographer, you won't be able to see all the embellishments on each fender since I couldn't photograph in the round, but you get the "picture".

Roll Tide with the Masons
Enjoy a Dip at the Fosters

It's Toddy Time at the Phillips
It's Anchors Aweigh at "guess who?"

     Don't worry, it won't be all about crafts, I still need to design and decorate the "croft" but I need to live with it a little longer to see what I want to do. First thing first, organize and re-purpose is the buzz words for this room. It's a great space but now I have to make it work for me by organizing what I have and I think it will be fun to re-purpose items that I already have here first before having cabinets and counters made. I've lots of ideas already but may be early Fall before I get started. . .too much going on now to think about it now. My next guests are due to arrive next week!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrate Good Times . . .Come On !!!

       I don't know how many of you are familiar with the movie "Field of Dreams", but the famous line that came from that movie was, "if you build it, they will come" and I am here to tell you, it holds true if you build a house also. . . and we couldn't be happier!
      We have just said good-bye to our fourth set of guests in the last two weeks and we have loved every minute of their visits. Our first visitors were Paul and Rosanne. They stayed four days and we celebrated their 37th Anniversay here with some of our new lake friends that we wanted to share with them. Then came Liz and Jarrett to celebrate her birthday. . .and she invited her "party" to come along. That would be Johnny and Nina and their 1 year old son, John Harold. The next day, Lauren and Clifton came and the party was on! We celebrated a birthday and then rolled right into the Fourth of July. We had already invited the Masons and their family to help us celebrate our first Fourth on the lake. That made 8 more! We had 17 people , 1 baby and 2-3 dogs celebrating like crazy around here. We are expecting a special couple from Virginia next week as they are bringing their grandson to Huntsville to go to Space Camp. I can't wait to "celebrate" with them! 
        Just to recap, we moved in the house on May 18th. Since then we have celebrated Memorial Day, an anniversary, a birthday, and the 4th of July!
      Our second shipment of furniture, that was in storage  in Virginia for a year, arrived less than a week after we moved in and I have been unpacking boxes ever since. Even though company was coming, our builder was here just about everyday working on the "punch list" and finishing up second coats of paint on the outside. During our first visit with Paul and Rosanne, every day H had to meet with, work with or call a contractor for one thing or another to finish up all the projects not quiet finished. One day H met with 5 different contractors! Mind you, all the boxes are NOT unpacked, nor are their contents in their final resting place, but we at least had beds for them,  PLUS we couldn't wait to have family come and see us. The weather didn't exactly cooperate  and Baby Boat was not quiet ready for her maiden voyage on the lake, but that didn't put a damper on our celebrating with our first visitors. (Sorry Andersons! Oh, well guess you'll just have to come back :)
     Since our first guests, we now have a new sofa and a 'fridge for the lower level. I can not tell you how much I love the way the sofa turned out and the fabric I chose. Lest you not forget the 80's fabric that has been on the sofa for about 20+ years. . .here is a before picture:

        And now it has a more up to date color and look. The color is a soft blue green with a herrinbone texture which may or may not not show up in the photo. The fabric you see on the corner will be pillows for the sofa. It is a paisley print and I think it will go well with the other fabric pieces in the room as well as
 "tying " in the brown leather chair.

         The club chair we bought just for me, we had upholstered  in this stripped fabric to match the sofa and carpet. . .  and is sooooooooo comfy. Funny thing thought, I find myself in the leather chair more often than the club chair and I am not sure why. If you double click you may be able to enlarge photo and see the carpet. Remember, we picked out the carpet and then chose the border to be added. We really like the way it turned out.

                                      Below is an up close and personal view of the club chair.

We have delayed sending the wingback chairs for a recover until after our next guests arrive. Until then, they will literally be the "pink elephants" in the room. I love love  love the fabric I chose for these chairs and will wait to show you the before and after photos when they are done.
      I am adding a photo of the dining room and foyer but keep in mind, a few more pictures and/or accent pieces will make these room more complete. I still haven't decided on window treatments for the dining room yet. I think the windows need softening but I really like the look of the windows as they are. Right now, there is no need for anything but as the sun changes its direction, I may need to reconsider my options.

      I also have plans for this Martha Washington chair but that is not a priority yet. (The Williamsburg blue just won't hold its own with the new blue color scheme).
     I realize this post has gotten a little wordy even though there are pictures to go with it, so I'll shorten it here and add the rest of the pictures of the Flamingo Lounge, Rocking Chair Lane as well as the Lower level bedrooms (or Motel 6 as I found myself calling it as I was making beds, cleaning baths and vacuuming today :) But don't you worry, I loved every minute of it and will keep that light burning, so Y'all Come Back, ya hear!