Friday, September 30, 2011

A Sunny Gathering Place

This is the back of the house to the French Country post.  Pryor to beginning the project (can't find the before pictures)  the floors were carpet and tile.  There was a half-wall dividing the kitchen and family room.  Cabinets were pine and counter tops were formica.  The only things that stayed put were the light fixtures and the stove and fridge.  Her colors were hunter green and burgundy...bye-bye!!!
The new chosen color scheme yellow, lime, and crimson.  Painted furniture and cabinets.  New hardwood floors throughout the entire space.  We widen the wall between the kitchen and family room and took out the half wall too.  With this palette the room is bright and cheery. 
The television armoire was the focal point in the room and we chose a light yellow finish with a soft glaze.  Beautiful crown molding was added throughout the space.  I love the yellow panels trimmed in our green gingham fabric.
Dragonfly fabric on the chairs and ottoman that surround the fireplace.  Choosing the green paint was a challenge.  Because of the nature of paint + lighting it can cast different shades depending on the time of day and the amount of light cast on that particular wall.
I love the baskets under the table lined with the sweet yellow floral stripe.  Custom throw pillows bring in a third fabric and compliments the sofa beautifully.
We designed this chair a'la french flare.  It beckons you to sit and stay awhile!
It's hard to get a good photo of a huge picture window.  The mantel was decorated with a large flower pot of geraniums and some round picture frames on easels and candles and book.  This was the arrangement we put on her coffee table.  A green picket fence tray with some pretties.
A sweet little nook in the kitchen is filled with a half-round table, an antique pitcher with ivy, petite round mirrors on the wall hung on ivory ribbons complete this ensemble.
Somewhere I will find the original kitchen pictures.  But this is the cru de gras of the first floor.  Ivory cabinetry that extends to the ceiling, warm colored granite, and oil-rubbed bronze hardware.  What a great place to gather around!

A large hurricane votive, ivy pot and a little hidden bird on a pretty buttery placemat don her island..
An oval kitchen table with a wood stain surface and painted pedestal bottom.

This was a new kitchen window design we used.  Very soft and delicate pattern.

We made the french door window treatments similar to the kitchen window except we took out the soft gather and made a pleat instead.
This french bistro baker's rack is a great piece of furniture to tuck away wine bottles and this one has drawer's to hold placemats.  The oil rubbed bronze metal adds some depth to the ivory cabinets everywhere else in the kitchen.  What a sunny gathering place!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Murder Mystery Dinner Party

 It's my main squeeze's birthday tomorrow.  Sometimes I come up with clever ideas for a party.  For instance, one year we had an ice-cream tasting party.  I covered all the pints with paper and wrote numbers on them.  Everyone had a taste and had to write down what flavor they thought it tasted like.  Did the surprise party for his 40th.  When the big 5-0 came, I threw a murder mystery dinner party with our dearest of friends.  It was an absolute hoot of an evening.  We laughed until our checks hurt and ate until our buttons were popping!

 The theme was a beauty pagaent gone south.  Who done it quest of an evening.  All the girls wore tiara's and evening gowns and the gents dressed up in their smoking jackets (some were non-smoking!)

I am plum out of ideas at the moment for tomorrow.  I asked several times for it stands right now, we are rading the cuisine at the new Wegman's and having a get together Friday night.
Happy Birthday Love!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A True Fairy Tale..., some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do.  The Bible certainly does have some rules in it.  They show you how life works best.  But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing.  It's about God and what he has done.  Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy.  The Bible does have some heroes in it, but...most of the people in the Bible aren't heroes at all.  They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose), they get afraid and run away.  At times they are downright mean.  No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes.  The Bible is most of all a Story.  It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure.  It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne-everything-to rescue to the ones he loves.  It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life.

Coram Deo,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Harvest Arrangements

 We get all different kinds of clients and job requests.  Sometimes it's a one time deal where we have a consultation and brain storm with someone who wants to decorated themselves but needs a jump off point.  Depending on a client's budget will dictate what can actually be accomplished.  This gal wanted her dining room pulled together.  She entertained a lot but could not seem to get the room to flow.  This dining room was graced with a fireplace and was rather spacious.  All the furniture, curtains, and lighting was existing so we just came in for the accesories and some rearranging.  Pulling two chairs away from the table and placing them along the fireplace made for an intimate sitting area.  These photos were of the fall decorations. 
 Harvest time is such a welcoming motif to stylize any room.  Her colors were a warm gold and blue.  We mixed things she had plus what we brought to the space, some pumpkins, a berry twig, some decorative stackable suitcases (which give height and interest) and candles.
A custom wreath was made for her space because the fireplace was tall it did not leave a lot of wall space above the mantel.  A pretty lamp (some forward thinking arcitect put in an outlet...thank you very much!), some gourds and wheat bundles with harvest corn.
Enjoy all the pretty pieces that come straight from the handy-work of God's creation...He makes the best stuff afterall!
Coram Deo,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Bums

 God answers prayer in the most unexpected ways sometimes.  I have been praying all year about our finances and how we were going to meet this tuition payment for private school.  Months went by.  Over the years of homeschooling I would sell my educational materials online and replace them with the next batch of necessary curriculum.  BUT I am not homeschooling anymore.  This is my first time to have all three children in school for a full day after 16 years...WOWZERS, definitely a new chapter in my life.  One day as I was posting all this material online I started to go through our own bookshelves to get rid of books we had outgrown mentally or spiritually.  And the books sold and sold and sold.  Light-bulb moment!  This selling books gig was a breeze for me.  First of all, I love books!  I want to be a librarian when I grow up!  Second, my graduate work in college was literature-based so I have a bit a background knowledge on authors and materials.  My prayer was answered!  Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

I started scouting yard sales and the local library for used books.  It has spawned new bookshelves, another gift from the Lord.  My sister emailed me about her office getting a new filing system and they needed to get rid of their old cabinets...ding ding ding!!!  I have enjoyed pouring through all kinds of material.  I found a gal selling over 500 books she needed to unload after cleaning out her fathers house.  That was quite an undertaking, but I was up for the challenge.  That is just how God works, when we seek Him first and wait (sigh) for His direction He comes up with the best fitting plan imaginable!

The journey of going through 500+ books from another persons life was a thoughtful experience.  I learned a lot about someone I will never meet.  His interests, hobbies, and beliefs were all right there before me.  He must of had an aquarium, was interested in martial arts, coins, cocktails, and wars.  He liked poetry and lottery tickets (lots of those shoved between the pages of random books).  He had lots of bibles, books on the saints, and other spiritual seeking books.  Our home libraries reveal a lot about who we are.  It got me looking at my own shelves of books to see what different genres line them. 
Revelation 20:12 NIV
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books."

There are books that are life giving and challenge you to grow.  There are books that teach you how to do something.  There are books that tell a story, some with a moral some with questionable themes. There are books that tell the story of someone's life and there are books that reveal things about you!  

What's story do your bookshelves tell?
Coram Deo,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Navy Knights

 Go Team Navy Knights!

 Cute spectators
 Inspector Spectator
 The Players

Love, love, love these guys!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Gram

Missing my Gram.  It would have been her birthday this of my favorite people in the whole world!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Thinking Pond

Bathe my soul in rich consolations of thy resurrection life...
(From Valley of Vision Victory prayer)

This is where I go to sit with the Lord.  This peaceful little isle is the perfect place to be still and know that He is.  I came here the other day to have a good cry.  My little heart has been very troubled over a broken relationship for some time now and mix in some added pressures of life and well, I need a place to go and sit and think.  No phones, no dogs, no interuptions, just the sound of the waterfall coaxing me to lean on the everlasting arms of the Living Water.  Scripture is written on the benches, Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah speaks deeply to my soul.  Earlier in the chapter he says, "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength."  Something supernatural happens when we get alone with the Lord.  After pouring out my heart and reflecting on His truth, I sing.  Out loud.  The bible says to praise Him!  Later in Isaiah he states, "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old, behold, I will do a new thing."  That is a promise.  That is our hope.  I believe God will do a new thing like only He can.  Jesus was resurrected from the dead.  He lives!  May His glory shine itself on my concerns and be not in vain.  Our risen Lord can surely do a new thing with my yoke.

I like it here at the pondering pond.  I like the visual of the rocks that are rough and jagged everywhere EXCEPT for where the water is running over it.  And it didn't happen instantly.  Time plus moving water created those graceful lines in those old stones.  That same Living Water smooths out my rough edges, it washes over me, cooling me, refreshing me.  That is the power of the Living God.  I came teary and weary.  I left renewed and calmed.  So I sing to the King!

Coram Deo,

Friday, September 9, 2011

French Country

My favorite word from any client is "YES".  Yes to trim, beads, and tassels...that means fun to me!  We have been working on this clients house for 2 years.  We did the front rooms last year and we are just finishing up the back of the house.  I finally took some pictures of her rooms.
 This is the nook in the foyer.  It has high ceilings and a turned staircase.  Lighting is important in all spaces and this demilune is perfect for holding a lamp and some sweet photos!
 The landing on the stairs needed a topiary and a clock for keeping on time!
 Since the foyer was open there is a very large empty wall to contend with.  We filled the space with a french bistro picture and 2 ivy sconces.  The chandelier la la, it framed the window beautifully!
 The powder room is right off the foyer.  We found a lovely vanity that looks like a piece of furniture with a granite top.  It is hard to get a good shot of a powder room, one of the client's friends came over and said, "It looks like a museum in here."  I love the bay leaf topiary on the side of the sink.
 The formal living room is ultra plush.  The curved sofa has a soft chenille fabric in deep russet and gold colors.  The double padded chairs picked up the olive green and red motif.  The walls had been painted when they moved in so we did not change the color, we simply worked with the existing choice.  She refinished her oak floors but we deepened the stain to give it a more updated look.
 One of our favorite things to do is to make a reading corner.  A chair and some soft lighting beckons the reader.  We like to use personal photos of the family so to put the clients finger print on what we are putting together.  Photos are copied in a sepia tone as to not pull from the color scheme of the room. 
 The panels were ready-mades that we found to keep the budget intact.  We bought an extra panel to make faux shades and of course added some pretty beads.  This is a very elegant room but not to the point where you don't feel comfortable sitting in it, in fact,  it invites you to relax and enjoy the oasis.
 The dining room adjoins the the living room.  Here we added a rug with a pattern and fringe.  The existing furniture stayed put and we added a beautiful chandelier and lots of accessories.
Filling in the hutch was one of the many requests on our to-do list.  Complimentory plates and some other pretties filled the shelves.  Pictures and greenery on the walls as well as the buffet table that you can't see in this photo swept everything together.  This project turned out really sweet!

Coram Deo,