Archive for the ‘Decorating’ Category

I have no idea why the Sesame Street theme song is in my head.  It’s probably because it rained yesterday and the internet at work was spotty at best.  I spent much of yesterday removing the computer STD and putting on some passwords.  Hopefully, that will help keep my work computer more sunny as well. 


While I was playing with STDs, Paladin went down the street and bought a van from the neighbors.  I’ll try to get some pics of it up tomorrow, but it’s the quintessential van.  It’s a GMC Starquest circa 1996 and he got it for $1k because it needs a new radiator and is a gas guzzler.  That makes it a great deal for us since we’ll really use it only if we are taking the kids somewhere or are trying to move something bigger.  So now I can fulfill my lifelong dream of living in a van down by the river.  Sweet!


And finally, as promised, here are the pics of the nearly done living room:




The purple is Victorian Amethyst (Walmart brand Colorplace paint).  The rugs are my vain attempt at trying to cover up the masses of stains on the old carpet.  Yuck!  I’m trying to finagle new flooring but budget is an issue (Paladin likes to keep a couple of grand in the bank for peace of mind, but that’s probably not going to happen when you’re supporting 2 households and renovating one of them).  It still needs to be tweaked for sure.  The black table is a crappy tv stand that we had hanging around (it’s not staying there…Paladin stuck it there to fill up space) and the coffee table (and nearby matching end tables) is a Family Dollar store cheap-o set that is flimsy but liveable for the time being (coffee table and 2 end tables cost $40 altogether).  The accent chair is half of a pair of armless sectional chairs that I bought for $120 when I was in college; for being 15 yrs old, they still sit great, but they’re nasty underneath so I’m slipcovering them with that gold faux suede fabric which was in my fabric stash already (I think I was going to make a cape out of it at one point…oh well).  On the walls we have a $4 Walmart clock surrounded by Dollar Tree $1 frames filled with scrap fabric I already had.  In fact, I already had most of the decorative items and spent all of $50 on decortative stuff for the entire room.  The built-in tv stand cost us $6 not including paint (it is 2 shelves from a closet, some Ikea bed frame that we cut up, and shelf brackets).  The finish is…wait for it…Black Rose paint (Walmart Colorplace brand again…Colorplace paint is about $15 per gal, but we got this off the “oops paint” shelf as a returned item for only $8).  I am seriously IN LOVE with this paint!  It looks purple in the can and until it dries, but you streak it unevenly over a wood grain like this previously oak door  dscf1428

and you get a dark espresso finish with no staining and almost no trouble at all.  I am in love, I tell ya!  I’ve already bought a can of it in the full-on gloss finish to do the kitchen cabinets (I don’t hate oak, but the finish on those is a bit naft in person).  I even painted it on this old dresser I found in the out-building:




Apparently, no one ever told Mull that taking the veneer off a piece of furniture to refinish it is a bad idea (here’s a hint: if the wood had been nice they wouldn’t have put a veneer on it in the first place).  She gave up part way through and left it bare with lots of glue all over it.  I just sanded it a little and painted over it.  I don’t mind the rough finish.  The wall art is the back side of some extra oak paneling with a temple rubbing of Angkor Wat (Tina picked it up at a Goodwill in Indiana for $2 a couple of years ago…she gave me a second one too and it will probably end up in the bedroom as it’s a lighter stone color) and I put some Polycrylic stain/polyurethane I had sitting around over the entire thing.  The decorative items on the table were found around my house and around here except for the blue candles which cost $8 to put together.  I am also in love with the curtain fabric.  It inspired the color scheme and is awesomely crazy! 




The gold tone in it matched the sofa perfectly.  It’s so very Craftsman, to me at least, and was a steal at (you guessed it) Walmart for $2 per yard (I picked up 7 yards…the rest of the bolt).  I’ve got enough to make some throw pillows, and I’ll probably have some left over. 


That brings the grand total (SO FAR) to about $130 for decor in this room, thus far.  Not bad, but I still have things to pick up like pillow stuffing and I’m keen on upgrading the tables.  Paladin’s computer desk on the other wall is about to be painted a very manly shade of dark purple.  heh heh  I’m guessing that in the end the room will top out at under $200 which ain’t so bad compared to the before pics.


I’m still in an inexplicably sunny mood.  Man, I hope it can withstand the relatives.  I have one more week of relative peace (heh…get it…relative…like you can’t be cheesy too 😛 ) before they arrive.  That’s a weekend filled with kids, a week at work, and another weekend with kids with the relatives arriving just before the kids leave.  And, Tina wants us to try to get an extra Friday with the kids so that we can all do the zoo and bowling as well.  I have the feeling that I’ll look like something out of the Blair Witch Project before its all over!  Hmmm…where did I put that hoodie and flashlight?


I’m afraid I actually have to *gasp* go do some work now.  But, I swear to try to get back online to visit ya’ll before the day is out!  Smooches!  🙂


P.S.- Oh, and that little green bottle of flowers that doesn’t match anything?  That’s part of Paladin’s weekly supermarket bouquet.  I love that he gives me flowers, but I do need to break him from it.  The budget will be getting tighter with his retirement.  And, I don’t need flowers to know that he loves me.  Wow…that was sappy…but, true.  🙂

Read Full Post »

Wow, I can’t believe that I haven’t posted in almost a week.  Life hasn’t exactly been pleasant, but my school has assured me that by the 26th all will be well.

Since I’m living in denial at the moment, I’ve been alternately moping (aka lurking online especially at Etsy) and trying to find things to do around the house that cost nothing.  Wednesday night M. was getting ready for school, and I was mulling over all the things I could do once things were straightened back out.   

On the short list was redecorating the bedroom (seen in M.’s pic on the About Me page).  The dark, Arabian Nights meets Vampire the Masquerade theme was great at the apartment, but in the GT (ghetto trailer) it made the room really dark which is good if you like to sleep in (and M. does).  But it just felt wrong.  Being a hillbilly by birth (eastern KY), I am very superstitious and a complete believer in Feng Shui (Feng Shui Hillbilly what a great country/karaoke band…I loved their single “Karaoke Pokey”).  Many moons ago (before M.), I had Feng Shui’d the trailer and it hadn’t occurred to me to change any of it.  Once I had started thinking about redecorating, an idea popped into my head, ‘Is there any way to increase your chances of getting pregnant with Feng Shui?’  To my surprise, I found some articles online that insisted, “Yes, it is possible.”  [I’ve listed the links to the articles below.]   

M. scoffed.  He does that a lot.  It seems to be a basic part of his DNA. 

I, however, will take any advice at this point (if you’ve got tips send ‘em my way ladies!).  So far the only thing I haven’t done is stand on my head after sex and chant the Third Reich’s favorite poems (I always sucked at that…the standing on my head part…ok, the poetry too).  And according to the Feng Shui articles, our bedroom could not have been less conducive to baby making than…well…someone standing there reciting poems about what a wonderful fella that Hitler guy was while the bow-chicka-bow-wow went down. EEEWWW.  The bed was opposite its ideal position.  The deep, Valentino red (Walmart Colorplace paint) was burning up all the chi.  M. was sleeping in the wrong spot.  And, although the room was designed for marital passions (and worked in that regard thank you very much), it was not designed with a family focus.   

Still M. sat staring at the tv and scoffing intermittently.  Little did he know (and really, by now he should know!) that a few feet away I was figuring out if I had any green paint or if I’d have to settle for the Orange Whip (which is actually a yellow-based cream color from Walmart) that’s on our ceilings.   

Oh how I hoped there would be some green.  I despise cream colored rooms.  The only way they look right to me is when the trim is painted in pure white or another high contrast trim color such as black.  Then the cream looks deliberate.  Otherwise, it just looks like rental properties.  Yuck.   

Uh…Ignore unintentional ranting due to military life flashback. 

Anyhow, M. woke me and Pas up at 6am on Thursday, and within an hour, he was gone and I had procured a nearly full gallon of white paint and a quart of Peapod (yeah…Walmart again…I know I am the downfall of small town life).  When M. returned at 1pm, I had just put the finishing touches on the second coat of the mint green paint (with a soft, dulled, country look…not counting the primer coat…and all thanks to a well-placed box fan).   

He almost fainted.  Did I mention that M. hates green?  ::evil snickering::    Feng Shui Fertility Links- 

About.com’s page on Feng Shui tips/cures for fertility

The Red Lotus Letter’s article “Fertility Feng Shui”

Another more in-depth article at Lending Expo

Read Full Post »



Ok, so it’s the day after the big Christmas holiday.  And my nerdy husband (and not in the hip way) has left the Gilmore Girls on the tv.  There’s this scene playing where the heroine is walking past a beautiful choir of bell ringers reveling in the joy of the season when abruptly the bell people begin talking about how one of them is out of time thereby ruining the loveliness of it all for our heroine.  That’s what I’ve been thinking about for two days now… the logistics of the holidays.  As I sit here with my husband washing dishes (ok he’s a little hip) and with the puppy at my feet acting like he’s on crack, I can’t help but echo my mother’s lament of the last few days, “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas.”  Maybe she expects elves to start dancing on the lawn?  I don’t know.  But dang if she ain’t right! 

Now, we live in the deep South; so we’re a little Christmas weather challenged.  In fact, if it snowed on Christmas day, we’d probably lobby to have it declared a national holiday…oh wait…  At any rate, the weather is out as a contributor to the Christmasyness of the holiday unless you count a good amount of frost that’s gone by 8am.  Also out is going to church, what with all the lapsed Catholics and lapsed Baptists and a couple of pagans.  None of us have kids, yet.  So the joy of the holidays through a child’s eyes is found mostly in the wonder of our mini-poodle, Pascal, who was really stoked when everybody started throwing wrapping paper on the floor (talk about an embarrassment of riches!). 

That leaves three things: food, decorating, and presents.  My sister and I are in charge of all of the above.  The last time one of the men-folk actually bought a present Clinton was in the White House which means that Tina and I are only really surprised by the gifts we get each other.  That’s not very Christmasy.  As for the food, there’s a rather large population in the area which relies on our Great-Grandmother Sarah’s chocolate peanut butter fudge to make it through another year, and this keeps us pretty busy for a couple of days.  I’m pretty sure if Tina was unable to make it; I’d get stoned because the best I can do is fudge soup which tastes better than it sounds or looks.  The problem is that even the food isn’t so very Christmasy for us because…well…we’re a couple of lazy bums.  By the time we do everything else, we’re not about to wash more dishes.  Therefore we take the aluminum, throw-away pan route.  And, as I stood mixing the homemade cornbread stuffing in a giant aluminum, institutional pan, I couldn’t help but feel like a prison matron trying to make the holiday bright.  Again, that’s not very Christmasy. 

The décor is a different story (check out our contribution to Absolutely Beautiful Things’s Christmas Competition in Week 2 link).  We love decorating and I’m usually the first one out dragging Tina kicking and screaming along.  Yes, she and I do that part of the festivities too.  It is my joy and utter happiness.   Just looking at the beauty of our fake trees doused in glitter and doodads makes me melt.  I’d leave them up all year if it weren’t for the whispers from the neighbors as I pass.  (There are a fair amount of Southerners who are trying to outgrow the redneck factor and look down upon those of us who’d like to celebrate all year by leaving up the lights through July.  Party poopers!)  Yes, we do that too, but it’s the one part I don’t complain about.

I’m sure there are a lot of moms out there who feel the way we do.  Surely somewhere there is a support group!  But how do we fix this without killing ourselves with our scalloped-edged aprons and pearls!?!

I’m seriously considering making a New Year’s resolution (my first ever) concerning creating more craftiness and togetherness in my life.  This blog is the first step.  So I’m putting out the call to the rest of you oh-so-hip crafter/bloggers in hopes that the spirit of St. Nicholas will soon be here and follow us throughout the rest of the year (wow that totally rhymed and was very sentimental…must get patent soon).  The idea is to try to do between one and three sentimental (if not Christmasy) short projects each month and post them here.  So please email me (or post a comment) your ideas and/or links.  I’m ready to get started!  J  Thanks!


Spike just showed a commercial with men lamenting women’s menstrual cycles on national television in the middle of the day.  And he fiddled as Rome burned…


Read Full Post »