Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hell Freezes Over!

Well, it's finally happened!  Hell froze over:

For those of you who live in New York or other areas around the country with lots and lots of snow this winter, I thought you might enjoy this picture.  I have three boys attending West Point this year, and apparently, this picture is circulating around the cadets at West Point.

I wish all of you cozy, family time together, a refrigerator full of good food and electricity that continues to work.


Friday, January 28, 2011

School House Entry

So yesterday I featured my Thrifty Flag Stand

I know, by itself, this project is just not so exciting.  But I had an ulterior motive for doing it.

Here's how it went down.  Back in November I took an old white board from Goodwill and transformed it into a school house blackboard.  You can visit that post here

We've since moved and because the black board is three feet high and four feet wide, I needed a large place on which to hang it and it needed to be accessible so I could write on it on a whim. 

It turned out that the best spot in the house is in the entryway.  I hung the black board and it looked really awesome!

In the process of moving, our rolled up American flag was propped up in the corner of the entry way right next to the black board.  It just kind of struck a chord with me and got me thinking, "I could do a school house theme out here."

Another lucky accident happened when my favorite, old bookcase that houses our vintage and well-loved kid's books wasn't going to work in my craft room.  There was, like, no way I was going to let that bookcase go, so it needed a new home. 

Even with it's dings and old 'early American' maple finish, there are still several reasons why this old bookcase means so much to me.  Anyway, what's more school classroomy than an old bookcase filled with vintage kid's books I ask you?

So in there it went along with the flag on it's new stand.

I already had the bench and basket out there because it's always nice to have a place to sit and put on shoes and the basket holds gloves and scarves.

Because no school house is complete without one, I also added the obligatory world map;

Thumbtacked up there for now, but hopefully framed in the future.  The map is a 1981 National Geographic.  My how the world has changed in 30 years.

These books are such a treasure to me and the kids.  See that book over toward the right with the grey binding and blue lettering, "Days of Adventure"?  That's my 22 year old son's favorite book from his childhood.  He's read it so many times.  He's still pursuing adventures and will probably get to live a real one in the next couple of years if he deploys to Afghanistan.

These books were collected one and two at a time.  If you look real close, I'm still missing #1 and #7 from the older, smaller Junior Classics books.  I still hold out hope to find them someday.

The basket was a Goodwill find for $3.99.  It's in great shape and very sturdy.  I hope to paint the bench someday too. 

To the transom over the door, I added some turquoise Ball canning jars I picked up at Round Top last spring.  You can also see the new house being built across the street through the windows.

So there you have my school house entry.  What do you think?


I'm linking up to the following:

 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Tuesday's Treasures

Fingerprints on the Fridge's Feature Yourself Friday

The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday

A Little Knick Knack's  Everything But the Kitchen Sink

The Tattered Tag's Keep It Simple Sunday

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thrifty Flag Stand

I have a fabric flag on a wooden pole; it's the kind that you hang outside your house on Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Veterans Day.   Since we just moved, the flag was rolled up and propped in a corner of our house just waiting for a home.  For reasons which I will elaborate on in tomorrow's post, it called to me to remain in this part of our house but to be elevated to new heights and to become a focal point.

To become a focal point, this flag with a 4' pole needed to have a stand.  As I was contemplating where I could get a flag stand, I turned around and encountered the stuff I put aside to donate to Goodwill.  Amongst that stuff was a floor lamp with a broken switch.  It has been lately used as a hat stand in my husband's office. 

This floor lamp was constructed with several sections of metal tubing that screw together.  That's how they get a tall floor lamp in a short box.  Here is the floor lamp partially deconstructed:

I think there were four sections of metal tubing that make up the pole.  I chose to keep two sections. 

Now, the wooden flag pole is the same diameter as the lamp pole.  That meant I couldn't slide one inside the other.  After considering several options, I decided that I needed some PVC pipe with an inside diameter just a tad larger than the diameter of the flag and lamp poles.

This meant a quick trip to Home Depot!!  I love Home Depot!!  And I have a gift card to Home Depot!!

I decided to take along a small section of lamp pole to make sure I got the right thing.  In order to do that, I had to cut the cord that runs through the lamp:

Which I did.  Then I pulled the cord out from the plug end to get it out of the way and because my husband said he wants to keep it.

See that short length of metal pole?  That's what I took to Home Depot. 

I found the perfect size of PVC pipe and it was only just over a dollar for 10'.  I asked an orange-aproned gentleman to cut the pipe to 7' and 3' lengths.  I had already measured and determined that 7' would be the perfect length to slip over the lamp pole and to slip the flag pole into. 

On the way home I figured that I might need to paint the PVC pipe but that I would see if I could just turn the pipe so the writing was on the back side.

That's exactly what I did.  Here is the finished product!:

I now have a flag stand for my flag and can keep it on display year round.  Which is nice because I'm patriotic and because my three boys are all serving our country in the Army. 

God Bless our Troops!  (just had to add that because I'm proud of my boys)

So there is my really neat project that cost exactly $1.39 because I already had the flag and the old floor lamp.  How's that for thrifty?

Please come back tomorrow to see why I needed a flag stand and why it needed to be elevated to new heights . . .


I'm linking up to the following parties:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Tuesday's Treasures

The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday

Fingerprints on the Fridge's Feature Yourself Friday

The Tattered Tag's Keep It Simple Sunday

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pix for the Breakfast Room

My breakfast room is not in shape to show you pictures yet, but I did order this fabric for the windows:

It's Covington Wilmington Multi.  I have 5 windows and have made drapes for two of them so far.

I wanted to hang things on the walls that go with the fabric and are happy and kitcheny.  I have this book that I purchased at a library book sale years ago.

And it has pictures like this:

So I cut four of them out of the book and purchased four black frames from Target:

Then I searched through my stash of scrapbooking paper and found this:

This one was not working for me.  So I tried this:

Much better.  This is actually a beautiful butterscotchy, goldenrod color.  Next I tried this:

I'm really liking this one with the script.  So I tried this:

I think this one with the dictionary page is really great too.

I only had two each of the script and dictionary pages so in the end, I opted for the butterscotchy, goldenrod ones because I had four sheets of it.

I put them all together and hung them in the corner, next to a window with my silk geranium and Angus on the cabinet below.

I think they look great with the curtain fabric:

What do you think?


I'm linking to the following:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Tuesday's Treasures

A Beach Cottage's Good Life link party

Fingerprints on the Fridge's Feature Yourself Friday

The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New House

Today my computer is finally connected to the internet and I was able to download some pix of my new house so I can finally post pictures.  Just some important upfront info:

I chose all white for the walls and trim.  I’ve never had all white walls and I just love them.  I plan to add some color to the master bedroom and the kitchen in the future, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the white.

I only added pictures of the parts of the house that are public friendly.  More later as I get it in shape.

We plan to paint the kitchen cabinets white in the future.  It will wait until we recuperate from the move and finish all the other rooms.

I chose white subway tile for the backsplash and light grey grout.  I love it!

The granite on the counters is nice but not what I would have really liked.  Unfortunately, what I really wanted was not offered.  I love the granite that Heather Bullard has in her kitchen here.  Heather’s is imported Italian granite; certainly not offered by my builder.  The granite was standard though so I won’t complain too much.

I also plan to paint the family room oak bookcases and entertainment center the same white as the kitchen cabinets to replace the very outdated orangey color they are now.

For now, though, I’ll enjoy my books and knick knacks and will probably tweak the arrangement now and then.

This is another angle of the family room showing the sofa.  I had the slipcover made about 10 years ago and still haven't gotten tired of it. 

I made the red and white striped afghan two years ago and it's still my favorite.

Please ignore the mess out on the patio but do notice the door to the master bedroom.  All the interior doors have that beadboard detailing.  In case you didn't know, I love beadboard.

Here is another door close up; this one is the pantry door in the kitchen.  I hung my coffee filter wreath and the still unfinished 'Fresh Eggs' sign.  I plan to add dark walnut trim to it.

This is the one decent picture I was able to take in the master bedroom.  This is hanging on the wall over a navy blue wing chair and ottoman. 

The cups and saucers are from my Grandma, the blue plates are from our Christmas dishes and the Hummels are just some that I've collected.

The master bedroom has a blue and white color scheme; I plan to use light and dark blue.  I’ll do a separate post on this room.

We signed the closing papers on December 30th and with the help of my boys, we were able to move in enough furniture to sleep in the house on our own bed that night and had drapes hanging at the windows.  By the end of the next day, which was New Year’s Eve, I had all the kitchen boxes unloaded and in the cupboards.  I was a driven lady.  All that after driving into town on the 29th at 5 a.m. after driving 21 hours straight from San Diego.  Needless to say, I was exhausted.  I’m still recuperating.

As I get more rooms finished, I'll share pictures.  I have a small project I plan to share next.

It's so good to be back in blogland again!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New House Update

My kids all returned home on December 18! 

We drove from Austin, Texas to San Diego, California on December 20 and back on December 28/29.   One dog was kenneled and the other - Big Dog - came along.  While in California we visited with my parents and sister's family in San Diego, cousins in Burbank and also spent a whole day at Disneyland.  It was my husband's first visit ever! 

On December 30, after returning to Texas, we closed on our new house!

With the help of two of my soldier sons we moved half our household stuff (really neat stuff) into our new home and have been living there since.  Tomorrow professionals will come and move the rest of our really neat stuff.  After that, we need to clean the rental then will be done with the place.  Whew!

It's been a really busy week and a half.  Two of my boys returned to school on Sunday and my youngest leaves this morning on his 19th birthday.  Happy Birthday D!  He and I drove from Austin to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area yesterday for his flight back to school and to see my daughter's new apartment. 

I'm exhausted!  I haven't gotten a decent nights sleep for almost three weeks.  I hope to get back into regular blogging again once we get more settled into the new house.  As soon as possible, I'll get some pix up of the new place.  Wait'll you see the kitchen!  It was a big selling point for us building this house.

Until then, Happy New Year!