Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stools and rugs: revolving door, part 2

Let's get serious for like a sec. I want to be a good steward of finances and this green earth, so there's a slight crisis of belief that sails through my thoughts sometimes as I look to tweak things to perfection in our home. Patience and confidence are the top character qualities I hope to draw from in making decor decisions. A room is not going to come together over night, and often when I push it to, the design falls flat because it lacks the collected/cultured look that makes it feel genuine. So I rearrange and remove and add until there's an actual feeling cultivated. Like, "Hey, I want to spend time in this room. I want to look around and learn from the books and the art and the sunshine. I want the people I love to be able to enjoy this too." And then I sell the old rug and feel even better. ;) Anyway, the thing is there's definitely something to be said about surrounding yourself with beautiful things and people. Keep your head on straight- don't obsess, but recognize and appreciate it. And I'm also saying don't settle. God is the maker of creativity and we're made in his image, so art and beauty should move us. Mediocrity has rarely made a difference. In anything.

So you guys. I've had 4 rugs in my 5 Mile Rd. living room in the 7 years we've lived here. Is that normal? Every time I see a rug at a flea market, I check the price. ANY rug. Size, color, pile. None of this matters. I love rugs. And have we talked about lamps lately?...mama likes a good lamp. But reign it in, this is about rugs. Here is the last post showing the LR (rug from West Elm, sold it. Loved, but just too big for my micro living room. And golly professional photos are clutch..ee), and the first rug (from Ikea, still have it and love it). Then there's this ivory Moroccan wanna-be. I still have it, but it got so mangy so fast...what am I gonna do with a mangy rug? Just having a hard time saying goodbye.

{West Elm}

And now. My friends at Ecarpetgallery (they don't know we're friends) sold me this one. I wanted the age and the texture and the imperfection of a vintage handmade rug. This is it. It's a new antique, if that makes sense. Like made one million years ago, but never used. Maybe it's not quite that old..unless God made it..?


I mean, I love sun, but what the heck? Trying to take pictures here! Mr. Sun, you're throwing off my iPhotography groove.

I've also gotten a vintage kitchen rug this year, and for the girls' bedroom, and the upstairs bathroom...I'm on a roll. A rug roll. Rollin' out the red carpet... 

Okay, here's the kitchen rug, older than these very hills and bought at a flea market in Massachusetts..or New Hampshire. Those pint-sized eastern states have me confused. 
{East coast flea}
The girlfriends are getting book shelves in their bedroom soon. I'll take pictures and you'll see the rug I got for them from a different seller at the same flea market.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Stools and rugs: a revolving door, part 1

I've been working on the boys' bedroom, which is nearly ready for a photo sesh with my iPhone. It's getting pretty fun, y'all. 

Chairs. More specifically stools. These 3 beauties below came via Craigslist.  A couple years ago, my friend Tabetha and I were feeling clever without our combined number of 9 (NINE!) children, when we went on the adventure that is fetching a Craigslist find. So even though the stools were less 'petite Windsor' than I expected and more generic 'bigger is better,' my adrenaline said buy them, so I did. They were light maple, totally factory grade blah. I was inspired by this olive color and needed to introduce it to my house. Once painted, they were pretty.. but they were always a little too big for the space, and since they spun I was on constant spin patrol in an effort to preserve them and the counter tops. Alas, they went out as they came in- Craigslist.

[The giant chalkboard sitting behind them is waiting to play a role in an upcoming wedding that I'm styling}
If Andrew can't build something I want, my search starts in the 'used' market (thrift stores, flea markets, Craigslist), but after stalking the stools category on Craigslist for many months and not finding what I wanted, I decided to check target.com. I knew I wanted metal, and I found these nice little guys at a very reasonable price. They came in pairs, and since I needed 3, I'm selling one. Check the Brainerd, MN Craigslist! ;)

{The old stools were so big I had to climb on them to get beyond their backs and wash the counter tops..I'm not even being dramatic.}
{Yeah, my favorite part about these stools is they're short enough to tuck under the peninsula and not obstruct the view through the house from the kitchen to the LR. #smallhouseproblems}
The first stools we had (before the olive loves) were of the classic $10 backless maple, fall apart if you look at them variety. Three sets of stools in the 7 years we've lived here, and I think we finally got a keeper.

Next up- rugs.

Also, iPhone photography is in my wheel house..what does that even mean?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Melissa (Mike) Moren

See this beautiful woman? She is my grandma (mom's mother). She died when mom was 12, so I never had the privilege of knowing her- but I like to think this picture tells so much of who she was. She's in a boat reading a book. She's giving us a smirk over her shoulder as if to say golly this is the life. 

Grandma Mike had a rough go of it. She lost her house to a fire, she lost her husband to an aneurysm when mom was 2, she lost her son to an auto accident when he was 16. She was left to raise her 6 surviving children on her own in an era when working women were not anyone's ideal. She fought hard and gave my mom some pretty colorful memories- like potato chip/mayo sandwiches and swimming in flooded alleys. Mom was the youngest, with her next sister being a couple years older, so it was just the 3 of them for a while. Though Mom doesn't talk about her growing up years much, when she does it's with a surprised grin over the life they lived. Surviving and making the most of every situation- just like grandma in this picture improving a day on the lake with a book. 

My circumstances don't compare to Grandma's, but I pray that with every bit of bad news I hear, every crisis I face I would face it with tenacity- and a determined smirk to carry on her loving legacy.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Master bedroom one year later...

It has literally been over a year since I used the internet for blogging. I've had blogger's block, okay? Well usually my head is filled with so much jumbled up content, I get overwhelmed and just mentally hit the 'delete' button in my brain, followed by 'yes, delete all'. I've been living in the easier realm of Instagram with quick blurbs about my kids and house. But I recently became inspired to write.  Like really write.  About my kids and house. ;)

While reminiscing over Moxie, I saw my bedroom from last year. OMGoodgrief. It wasn't the worst, but it has changed a. lot. Andrew finished the bed (that we've talked about since buying the house 7 years ago!) and wired new sconces from this Etsy shop. I painted the walls and wardrobe BM Moonshine and picked a few new textiles for the room.

Hand- painted drop cloth curtain is standing in as a summertime coverlet for the bed.
The bed and built ins are BM Simply White.

Killer handmade sconces from SazarecStitches
Andrew has a collection of pipes, so I included the most ornate ones in the shelf styling. Classy?..can't tell..

I picked up this giant oil painting for my sister at an antique sale, and somehow it jumped up onto my bedroom wall. Sneaky art..
If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this little painting sitting in the TV cabinet. The only time we really need (yes need) a TV in our bedroom is at Christmastime, when we want to end each day with a nostalgic movie. So hopefully we'll get a telly in the next 6 mos.- though I'd love to fall asleep to the summer Olympics in A FEW WEEKS!

We changed out the hardware on the wardrobe for these glass beauties.
I ordered these West Elm curtains for Winston's bedroom, but they looked so cozy in my bedroom... I think I might be klepto when it comes to housewares/my bedroom.
Settle in for a pillow story. I had gotten this fabric remnant a long time ago when looking for upholstery to use on a different project- there was only a small scrap of it, but it was so pretty I had to have it. After stashing it a while, I brought it out to use on a 'make your own Roman shade with a mini blind' tutorial, but that ended up being a little hoky with my burgundy mini blind (fresh out of the free box at a garage sale) being visible from outside so I took it down shortly after its debut. Then when I wanted to add depth to the the bedding color scheme, I searched it out and found it folded up in the cabinet, still attached to its burgundy friend. *pause* I bought an awkwardly ugly, long decorative pillow for 25 cents at a garage sale a couple years ago, just to reuse the stuffing. I had that gem in my hands last week, ready to rip it apart to marry it to my dear old fabric scrap, when I thought it'd be nice to have some piping for this new pillow. I was going to set it aside until I'd gone to Walmart to get some, but the heavens parted and I noticed the gold velvet piping on that doggone awkward thing I was holding and thought, "I'm 'bout to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse." It worked. 

Most of old pillow= most of new pillow. And trip to Walmart avoided. 
I guess sometimes it's worth buying and hoarding garbage. Sometimes.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Celebrating 5 years

On years: this little lady is happy to be 5.  Her mother, however, is not pleased.  How?!  It does seem strange that we moms are always lamenting the speed of time.  Could we ever just get used to the fact that time is not slow, it's fast?  Maybe the confusion lies in the irony of days dragging...but years racing.

On school: last Sunday in church we had a gal visit who's moving to SE Asia to help develop an alphabet for a people group (population 1,000,000), that doesn't have a written language.  Did you know there are people like that in 2015?!  It's changing my perspective as I add George to my classroom of little homeschool nerds this fall (Oliver has been the only official student, though we always have a few in the background giving us their opinions, pretending to be astute).  In the past I thought of the basics of kindergarten as just that.  Basic.  Important, but not as clutch as the later years when knowledge comes in deep layers of life learning and book study.  But knowing there are so many in the world who don't have the opportunity or means, I'm realizing reading is a gift.  So to kindergarten teachers like my dear cousin Jill- thank you for your patience and perseverance in positively impacting the lives of the next generation.    

Anyway, my sweet Georgianna Lynn is helpful, hope-filled, and always eager to wear 'wed' (red) lipstick.

She wanted a queen birthday party, so her majesty got just that.

Oh hi, caught me going old school with a flip phone and a wink.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Love Seats

We'd been living with a larger-than-life red couch in our basement for a while (first new furniture purchase of our marriage back in 2003), which was not ideal since our house is smaller-than-life.  I was trolling good ol' Craig's List for two matching love seats/settees for the living room, thinking we'd shuffle the main floor furniture to the basement, sending Big Red to happier hunting grounds.  I was super excited to find these quirky mid century guys in Minneapolis, and after a rigmarole trying to arrange for pick up, we finally got them the day before G's birthday party (I'll do a feature of her party some time..).  With so much extra manpower sitting around, Andrew had party guests help rearrange the furniture.  Resourceful, that's my man.  The pink sofa and chair from the living room went to live in the family room, and the red couch got a spot on the lawn for a good week (where it was rained on, dried out, and rained on several times), before making its way to a more permanent storage facility.  

Right now I have a piano bench draped in a wool camp blanket sitting in for a coffee table (the old table went downstairs).  Not ideal.  But I want to have a 3'x3' ottoman made and upholstered with the blanket.  I think the ivory wool would be a good bridge between the gap of natural jute in the rug and the simplicity of the furniture/color palette.   Plus I love the touch of bright blue, yellow, and poppy.

Have we talked about the chair?  There's a story here too, but it might be boring so I'll use as few words as possible.  Had a rocker ordered when pregnant with Oliver 9 years ago, found out it couldn't be upholstered in the fabric we chose so canceled the order, used this baby from my dear grandmother for all 4 kids, either keeping clothed in its natural brown faux velvet, or draping with with a quilt..or dropcloth..or sheet (keeping it generally pretty classy), after Winston was born decided enough was enough, let's get something nice, found this fun spool glider on Craig's List that was also clothed in some pretty rough fabric, picked some new (painfully expensive..but awesome) metallic ivory linen and had it reupholstered.  Whew.

I also hadn't realized how many transformations our living room has had in the 6 years we've been here.  I may have a problem.  It's evolution.
Photos by Photograph Social.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ode to Old Oliver

Since Oliver's half birthday is looming, I thought I should finish and share the piece I had started for him in January.  I enjoy writing, but get caught between my head and the keys when the subject matter is as deeply meaningful as my kids.  I'm not good with feelings.  I'd rather stay dry than start the waterworks that come at the realization of tender reality.  My oldest child, my first born son, turning 8.  I guess that's why I didn't finish his birthday rant 6 months ago... but here:

Dude!  I can't believe you're 8.  You weigh 40 lbs.  I remember when I was that size.  There are so many things I want to tell you and I want you to know and believe... these are the things I usually bombard you with on the daily.  But my deepest desire is that you would come to truth on your own, through discoveries you've made while being inquisitive, conclusions you arrive at after weighing the options.  You've given your life to Jesus, which is all I could ever ask...and yet there's more.  Believing and obeying Christ's calling for your life will fill your sweet little heart and mind with love and truth until you radiate His light.  I know it's sometimes difficult for you to love your sisters (girls are tricky), but when I see you lead them and love them my heart bursts with joy.  God put you at the front of our little pack for a reason.  I pray that you would understand and find joy in your purpose.  I love you, Wubs.

Here's my quick flip-book style pictures of birthday morning.  (His nana and papa had taken him on a pre-birthday day adventure to the western store and gotten him leather chaps and cowboy boots, so January and February mornings started with the full gettyup.)

Not so Pinteresting cake...but it was delish.
Post-hockey pizza party with the cousins.

Be on guard.
Stand true to what you believe.
Be courageous.
Be strong.
And everything you do must be done with love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14