Thursday, October 28, 2010

Orange Cross

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!?! I purchased this amazing wood and iron cross from Yucatan Trading Company at The Market hosted by the Junior League of Birmingham a few weekends ago. The minute I saw it I knew it was coming home with me and I knew exactly where I was gonna hang it. Don't you just love those kind of purchases? The cross lives in our front study just above a really neat orange cabinet we bought right after we moved into the house. I have struggled a bit with different pieces of artwork in that room because it's the room with "our family wall" of photographs. Because the photo wall has so much going on, I wanted the other wall to have something simplistic. At first, I was a bit worried the oranges would clash but the weathered effect on the cross makes it just perfect! Pin It

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh How I Love Them All-Must I Only Choose One

My mission for this holiday season is simple--make a list, devise a plan and act fast! So, in line with my mission I devised a plan for my first task of the season, holiday cards! I love holiday cards because I love stationary and all things related (quirky, I know)! Since I love stationary so much, one would think I was an eager beaver when it came to designing/ordering my holiday cards--not so much! I think it's because I never seem to get them finished and in the mail "on time". On time for me is mailed the day after Thanksgiving (quirky again, I know)! Because I always seem to feel rushed, I tend to get frustrated and end up "settling" on a design and then wish I'd done a better job. Well, not this season! What's different this holiday season you ask? This season I've planned ahead. We had fall/holiday family pictures taken earlier this month. Since I know I will have a great photo, or several, to work with, I decided to go ahead and pick a holiday card design, coordinate my address labels, compile my address list and be ready to order, label and mail them all before setting the Thanksgiving table. Ambitious you say--yes, I know. But, I must brag a bit as I am on track to complete all and with time to spare. How, you ask? Let me share some helpful information with you so that you can also be ahead of the holiday card rush and relax with me (go ahead, I dare ya)! Do you Shutterfly? If you do, pat yourself on the back--you deserve it! If you don't, it's time to start! Shutterfly has some of the most amazing products, fantastic quality and their price point is second to none. I have always loved everything I ordered from them and their holiday and Christmas selection is sure not to disappoint. Let me show you a few items I'm drooling over: Mod Snowflake Flurries Christmas Card Someone out there really DOES love me!! An orange and lime green Christmas card with the option of multiple photographs--how de-lish!!
Initially Chic Green Christmas Card
This one had me at chic! As you all know, I am a sucker for anything with initials and a neat design. I must say, this card is right up my alley. You can find both of these designs, and many others, in the Christmas Card section at Shutterfly or just click here.
As I was drooling over the first two cards, I noticed Shutterfly also offered Holiday Story Cards. I was immediately intrigued with this idea and had to explore further. How brilliant are these designs? Quit brilliant I say! What a wonderful (and cute) way to send an update to your family and friends this holiday season!!
At times I consider myself pretty crafty and creative. However, this one completely made me re-think just how creative I am. Shutterfly has a great selection of Thanksgiving cards! Why have I never thought of sending Thanksgiving cards? Why, oh why when there are so many cute one's here to choose from?!?!
Joyous and Blessed Religious Christmas Card Now this one warmed my heart! This is what the Christmas season is all about! The wonderful miracle of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! I can't think of a better way to celebrate such a miracle than with this beautiful Christmas card. This gorgeous design is in the religious collection and there are tons more beautiful designs-check them all out here.
Address Labels And please, do not, I repeat, do not forget to order some coordinating address labels--an absolute must in my book!! Check out the selection by going here. And not to worry because even though the prices are fantastic, Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards too! Now, that makes it even sweeter to be on task with holiday cards this season!!
Excited? I am. I can hardly wait to get my holiday cards!! Which one's am I ordering you ask? Well, you'll have to come back and see when they arrive. I can't wait to share them with you! Makes me think I should plan a viewing party--Christmas cocktail anyone? Should you need an invitation for that, Shutterfly has you covered there too--check these out!
Shake It Up Christmas Invitation This cute design is from the invitation collection and I think I may just have to throw that viewing party after all--hope to see y'all there!
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Missing Rutherford

I got Rutherford for Christmas my junior year in high school and he was the absolute best present ever! He was the prettiest shade of red, super fuzzy, and spunky like most Toy Pomeranian's. He went with me everywhere--to work, to the store, on trips, you name it. I made the mistake of taking him on a trip to Birmingham to meet Ray and he never went back to my house--he had found his daddy and he wasn't afraid to let me know! I repeatedly tried to catch him so we could leave and he would run and get under the bed. Ray asked me to let him stay and he never came home. Ray and I joke all the time that I married him so I could get my dog back but Rutherford knew he was at home with Ray and that let me know Ray was definitely the ONE (corny, I know)! Rutherford would have turned 18 this month so he's been on my mind a lot. I really wish he was here to trick-or-treat with us this weekend. He would love riding in the wagon with the boys and would gladly sport any silly little costume I made him wear. Although you'd never know it from the picture, he really liked being in the middle of all the action--silly costumes and all! Missing you tons sweet Rutherford! Pin It

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Roundup

Typically, I have a long list of weekend activities and fun to blog about on Monday morning. However, this weekend was rather quiet and laid back for us and I must say, it was nice. We didn't have a bunch of projects, nor did we have multiple birthday parties or events to rush to--it was a fun, family weekend! Friday we enjoyed a nice family dinner at home. Jackson requested sloppy joe's and fruit and I was happy to comply with his request. Saturday morning we had a nice trip to the park, played with trains, made some chicken enchilada soup, and watched Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween specials. We rounded the day out with a little college football and were happy to see the Tide get a victory on the road against the Vols, 41-10. Sunday we made a visit to the Birmingham Zoo for some train rides (we always ride the train twice), a carousel ride and some animal observations. After nap-time, the boys had a blast making Halloween cupcakes. Check out their kitchen and baking skills (mommy was quiet impressed)....
Lining the baking pan with Halloween cupcake cups
Adding the oil and water
Getting ready to crack the eggs (this was their favorite step)
Mixing the ingredients
Watching Daddy use the electric mixer
Macklin protesting the use of the electric mixer
Jackson filling the cupcake cups
Eagerly awaiting their finished product
Mommy applied the icing but they did the sprinkles
Macklin enjoying a bite
Macklin offering mommy a cupcake kiss
Jackson didn't want to have any cupcakes but asked to take some to school to share with his teachers and friends--how sweet!! Pin It

Friday, October 22, 2010

Show Us Your Life Post--The Nursery

One of my favorite blogs is Kelly's Korner and you should definitely pay a visit to her blog here. She is the cutest mom with the most adorable little girl, Harper. Her post for today is "Show Us Your Life Nurseries and Kids Rooms" and I loved looking at some of the most adorable rooms ever! Since we are pretty close to growing out of a nursery and having a big boy room and playroom, I wanted to post about our nursery before it is no more! Since he was first, I'll start with sweet Jackson. He was born in March 2007 and at that time, we were living in apartment awaiting the completion of our house. We moved in when he was ten days old and the nursery was first on our list to set-up.
The color scheme I used was light yellow, light blue and chocolate. I decided on those colors after finding bedding I loved at a local boutique, Heir Apparent. To add some visual interest, I had two opposite walls painted with stripes and left the other two walls light yellow. The painter was awesome--he did the stripes freehand in half a day! The furniture came from a really cute store in Tuscaloosa. The crib is convertible which at the time, I thought was a must (oh, the things you learn on your own). I like that we have the option to convert it but when Macklin came along, we decided to move Jackson into a "big boy bed" and keep the crib just as it is--it was a good decision for us. This dresser was in my room when I was a little girl and it has lots of storage. We didn't really have a space for it in the new house so we opted to move it to the nursery for organizing all the new baby items we were trying to figure out! This is the sign that hung on our room door at the hospital. A dear friend of mine's dad made it for me and I love it! I painted it and added the ribbon from my baby shower gifts to it so I could hang it. It is very special to me and I will keep it forever! Macklin's nursery is similar but different in subtle ways. Since we had a toddler on our hands, we were worried about the transition and a new baby. We made a big deal out of Jackson becoming the big brother and him growing into big boy room. With that in mind, I didn't want the new baby to look back and pictures and think he just got his big brother's leftovers so I tried to change things up a bit through accessories and color. The nursery got a fresh coat of light blue paint on all four walls. It is a very calm and serene color that relaxes you the moment you enter the room. I opted to use the same bedding for Macklin but bought several new crib sheets for a subtle change. I made the cornice and covered it with a light blue fabric so it would blend in with the walls. To add interest, I hand-painted the crowns in chocolate brown. The white tiles are from Southern Living at Home and I had so many of them, I decided to add them here for some texture. I added some new artwork and a corner armorie we used in the living room at our old house. We painted it white and removed the bottom doors so we'd have some open storage. My old dresser moved next to the armorie and we moved the changing table to wall opposite the crib. We bought new Boppy pillow covers and I used one as a "C" (for our last name) on the floor next to the changing table. This nursery has been great and we will be sad to see it go now that Macklin is 18 months old and ready for the next step!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photo Dilemmas

The photo has nothing to do with this post. I found it today on the Better Homes and Gardens site while doing some research for a sweet friend that asked me for some suggestions on door colors. Isn't it magnificent? Now, my dilemma. I have been trying to put together a slide-show of photographs of my design ideas, rooms and projects and I just cannot seem to get photos I like. I come across lots of beautiful design photos on other blogs and I'm a tad bit jealous, how do they get such good photos I ask? So, I decided to take to the web and start searching for tips. I've read lots of different posts, sites and articles but I really like this one by Apartment Therapy. Here are their tips: Lighting • Lighting is so important to the quality of an image. For interiors, it is usually best to shoot in daylight and avoid flash — which can sometimes lend a blown-out and artificial appearance to a scene. It's nice to turn on lights in a room just for a little point of brightness. If you do use a flash, be sure not to reflect the light off of glass or mirrors, because you'll get a bright streak in the image that you won't like.

• If you are able to, position yourself so the primary light source is behind you. This will offer the most balanced lighting and will prevent the shots of windows that are blown out and "hot" in an otherwise dark room.

• Sometimes we want to focus on a lighting feature, such as a chandelier or a candle. In these cases, bright natural light won't provide the biggest visual impact for the scene. Dusk allows daylight to give some sense of detail in a photo, but the light will be low enough to contrast with that coming from your own lighting feature, making it pop.

• Dusk is also a better time to photograph windows — low natural light will allow you to take pictures that aren't blown out by midday sunlight.

Composition • You're not just taking a picture of a thing here, you're capturing a scene. When you look through the lens, don't see just what's in the middle of the frame. Pay attention to all the borders of a composition. Don't cut anything off at awkward angles, and try to make your photos straight and level.

• This doesn't mean you should take elevation-style pictures of everything. Definitely experiment with angles. Get up on a chair or down on your knees to find the most dynamic shot. For interiors especially, you will find that getting on your knees often offers the best angle. If you are photographing a tight area, use a wide angle lens to capture more space. Vary your angles and take some time to do close-up details as well. In a set, if all the images are made the same distance away from the camera and directly at eye level, it'll become boring to click through very quickly. Fill your lens only with things that you think are attractive. If you're getting a lot of tangled computer wires or other eyesores in your frame, move your camera until you don't see them anymore.

Staging A home looks like a home not when it's perfectly clean and all the dishes are put away, but when there's a sense of vitality about the place. It's okay, you can leave your bedsheets rumpled and food on the table. We are not suggesting showing clutter here, just attractive signs of life. Sometimes things look different through the lens of a camera than they do in real life. Maybe you're crazy about the functionality of your countertop appliances, but for your kitchen's glamour shot perhaps you want to show off more of that marble slab and hide the blender away. Go ahead, put flowers in your vases. Move paintings around on the wall. Experiment by filling your space with the things you like in a way that seems effortless and natural.

Photoshop Take too many photos. You never know which ones are going to look great on your computer screen. Sometimes shots that seem unimpressive during a shoot turn out beautifully. Photoshop can help us make images even better by adjusting color temperature, contrast, brightness, and a million other things. If your horizon line is a little bit crooked, rotate the image. If there is superfluous information in a photo that isn't adding to its quality, crop it out. A tight composition can sometimes get the point across better.

I think they make some great points and offer some good information. Another article I read suggested shooting into the corner of the room to make it appear larger. I made a few notes for reference and I hope to get some good shots this weekend. Let's see if I can implement their instructions and teach myself how to really use Photoshop--it's a booger of a program that I've only used to convert color shots to black-and-white. Wish me luck!!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Crafty Space

Remember here when I told you I was working on a craft room redo. Well, I feel like I have made enough progress to be able to show you the beginnings of my new craft room. I'm still working on the curtains, the finished cushion for the window seat, a rug, and some crafty touches but the room is presentable. Let's take a quick tour:
Sewing Station As you enter the room, the first thing to your left is my sewing station. The antique sewing machine is from my great aunt in Tennessee. The old machine is still inside, along with some of my great aunts sewing supplies--they are pretty neat. I decided to use it as a table for my first sewing machine and I've organized a few sewing essentials above on the wall-mounted shelf.
Window Seat Ray built this window seat for me and I love it! He gave me some open storage space and used a decorative trim for the facing. I made a quick seat cushion out of an old bedspread and a piece of mattress foam. I plan to dress it up a bit with some trim but I'm still working out the details. The open storage space will house large wicker baskets for lampshades, wrapping paper, ribbon, and other project materials. Doesn't it look like a nice place to sit and relax with a design book?
Desk, Computer Station & Monogram Station In the center of the room is my desk, the computer station and my new monogramming station. To say that I'm super pumped about this area is an understatement! You may remember the desk from this post. Well, it got a new coat of beautiful red paint and a dainty medallion on the front. The computer station was a gift from Ray's office. We removed the brass drawer pulls and painted it the same beautiful red as the desk. As for the new monogram station, well, it deserves a close-up: Monogram Station This has been my best find to date. If you don't remember the story behind this great dresser, read about it here. After some sanding and painting, it has finally become my monogram station. There is plenty of work surface and I couldn't be happier. The door handles and two-prong draw pulls will eventually be replaced with some "girly" one's but for now, a little spray paint did the trick. The drawers are full of patterns, fabric, design magazines and accessories. I LOVE this station and already have some projects lined up--I'll share those with you later!
Crafting Armoire This little piece of furniture has certainly been worth it's weight in gold. I think it has every crafting supply known to man inside (or at least if not, pretty close to it)! To work on a project, all I have to do is open it up and go to it. If I don't finish, I can close the doors up and wa-la, the room is clean again!
Scentsy Storage This dresser was a thrift store find. We desperately needed an extra dresser for our guest room and did not want to spend a lot of money on it. I got this one for $22 and we gave it a fresh coat of paint. Since the guest room is now the craft room, I decided to house my Scentsy business products here for easy access. What is Scentsy you ask? Visit here for more details. Again, the plan is to replace these drawer pulls a bit later. And, see those pieces of wood on the right-hand side? Those are another project I'll be sharing with you soon. I promise, you'll want one of your very own! This is just some fabric rolls, sparkle picks and a stash of Martha Stewart magazines. Gotta have some inspiration! And, the "DESIGN" letters on the wall. Those came from Hobby Lobby and were $1.99 each. I painted them the same color of red and glued them to the wall with Elmer's glue.
I must say, I'm happy with my new space and can't wait to get started on some new projects. Hope you enjoyed the tour and that you come back to see some of my new creations!
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stitches Part II

I'm happy to report that Jackson's boo-boo is healing quiet nicely. Monday, his pediatrician removed the stitches and it was a walk in the park compared to having them in! Although he was a bit apprehensive about her getting near his boo-boo with the scissors, once he realized there were no needles, no nurses holding his arms down, and no mommy & daddy assisting in the hold-down, he was good to go. Here's a little close-up of his battle scar. It is very clean and looks to be healing very well. Dr. Darby was pleased and assured me that it would be almost unnoticeable with time. YEAH!! Pin It

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Roundup

For us, the weekends tend to evolve around the boys and lots of child friendly activities and let me just say, this weekend was no exception! We managed to do some trick-or-treating, a little holiday shopping, some gameday cooking, had a visit with Grammy & Poppy and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the park! Friday we picked the boys up from school and headed straight to the Birmingham Zoo for "Boo at the Zoo". We do this event every year and the boys were very excited! Jackson could hardly wait to be a dinosaur and mommy could hardly wait for Macklin to dawn his bat costume. The boys (all 3 of them) enjoyed the scary train ride (twice), the spooky carousel and lots for Halloween fun! Saturday, Macklin and I met my good friend Becky and her son Leo for some holiday shopping at The Market. Are we crazy for attempting such with an 18 month old and a 2 year old, you ask? Why, not at all. Surprisingly, the boys were really great and we had a wonderful time checking out all the merchandise. We even scored an AWESOME pair of cowboy boots for $33. Yes, you read that right, $33. I can't wait to introduce you to them! Saturday night we cooked a amazing meal of pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables, potato pancakes and margaritas as we watched the Tide take on Ole Miss for homecoming. We marinated the tenderloin with a product I got at The Market called "Hot Squeeze" and it was absolutely yummy! The game was good and although it was not a glamorous win but we did manage to pull it out, 23-10! We topped the weekend off on Sunday with a visit from Grammy & Poppy. The boys enjoyed riding on the "race-car" (that's Jackson's term for the golf cart) and an afternoon trip to the park. The swings and the slide were a big hit until the ice-cream truck arrived--I've never seen a playground clear so quickly! They enjoyed their ice-cream and we headed home for dinner, bath-time, story-time and prepared for the school week ahead--it was a great weekend! Pin It