Friday, August 30, 2013

I Don't Transition Well....

I don't. I accept it.
I do not transition well from Summer to colder weather.
And by colder I mean anything below about 70 degrees.
I'm a Summer-y beach girl
and, while I am all about 3 day weekends,
Labor Day is seen as the end of Summer.

So, while I like a cook out and the big art show on the square in town, the actual idea of the end of Summer being tied to this weekend makes it not my favorite. We have had cool, rainy weather and my friends are blowing up FB about pumpkin spice lattes and Fall and it makes me a tiny bit grumpy. Sorry. True story. ( I am a child of the South so, even though it's a bit contradictory, I am, however, completely jazzed about SEC football.)

So that everyone can understand my inability to transition well,
I am posting a salute to my porch.
 It is where we spend most of our time. We even use it in the cold- we have had Christmas, New Years and St. Patrick's Day parties on the porch. In the South it can be warm at those times or not. Just in case, we have heaters. In our family we go kicking and screaming if we have to vacate the porch. We sit out there in the rain and I will wrap up in a blanket to drink coffee and read blogs well into November, even December. People even call and say, "We're having a get together... on your porch!!"  LOL. Fine by me.

We call it the 'Jimmy Buffett Back Porch.' If you get within a mile on a hot, Summer day you can hear JB tunes blasting through the porch speakers. We think he'd be proud.

On the left you can just see the pool table covered with a blue tarp. It gets a lot of use. Challenges are made and games get intense.
When it's not being used it becomes my gigantic work table. Pretty handy spot to paint.

It just grew from an 8 x 8 basic builder deck tacked on to the back of the house. My husband is a contractor and he just kept bringing home lumber from completed jobs and we kept building, painting, and furnishing.
It is quirky but it is the scene of great times. 

This was a gift (he claims we stole it but who can run off with a 6 foot lobster??!!??) from a friend used to work for a seafood restaurant. This is a 6 foot tall wooden lobster. We changed the paint job from red to pink and he became our pink crustacean!

Many nights on the porch look like this.
The furniture was just accumulated and can't be hurt.
Every item has a bit of a story and we have used just about every "fun" color of spray paint revamping it. We just drag the furniture all over and get comfy.
BTW, Biscuit loves the porch and his foot is better. He's a cone head in this pic.

College Girl calls these three "the siblings she never had" :)  They are siblings.

And this is where the cooking happens. It is an addition on one side that we built just for grilling. It has a tin roof ( fabulous in the rain ) and holds multiple grills, including the mac daddy one behind them, and multiple chefs. The food they turn out - crazy good. We built this addition for College Girl's HS grad party because we had 200 plus in the yard and on the porch and serious grilling happened.

Here we are last December having a sit down meal at the big table on the porch -
room for 12. (It was probably a Low Country Boil- happens a lot!!)
We can squeeze in more, so come on.
Notice the lack of coats.

The porch gets its own Christmas d├ęcor.
Anyone have a gas insert they want to sell?? I want to kick that faux fireplace up a notch.


This is the opposite side with our hanging bed. I've shown you this before.

World's greatest nap spot.

So, Happy Labor Day Weekend!
If you need me .... I'll be on the porch.
and if I'm a little grumpy as it cools off, sorry, but at least now you get it :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not "Real" Real Estate but "Move In Ready"!!!

 I put a picture of this little chest on the made by mollie's mom FB page
a few weeks ago as a Throw Back Thursday post. I was in Virginia visiting my parents, sister and bro-in-law. We went out to my sister and BIL's farm and this was in their study. I had forgotten all about it. I painted it so long ago.

It sits between two comfy chairs and looks so fun in the study with all of their classic,
Williamsburg-y decor. Just the right touch of whimsy. I painted it all free hand when I was on a little kick painting chests to look like houses. I did a large one for College Girl's bedroom years ago. It was all inspired by an armoire that I saw in Traditional Home magazine when CG was about 2. It was a manufactured piece, cost a couple of thousand dollars and I thought, 'why not?' I cannot remember who made the one in the magazine - too long ago.

I put my own "spin" on it and it was so much fun to paint these.
Another fun aspect of this project is that this little chest started out married life with our parents. They had two and one I just recently painted white, added legs to and changed the knobs to turquoise for CG's new bedroom in the townhouse.
Nothing like real, solidly built furniture to keep on using and re-using.
Oh yeah, and true confessions. It was 20 years ago but I remember that the 'comet' is a fix for a painting boo-boo :) But it works!

Linking up:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I got up verrrrry early (busy day) this morning and worked a little while on this before heading off to lunch with a couple of great friends :

Is it too early to start painting this guy???

Christmas "stuff" was out at Hobby Lobby before July 4th
so some might argue that this is a late start!

It's a 125 days until Christmas ... but who's counting??
(Pumpkin photo bomb in the corner !)
He's big... 24 x 24 inches. He may be a work in progress for a while!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Instant (?) Dining Room Makeover

Yesterday we gave College Girl's Dining Room some color and style!
 It seemed like an instant makeover  there
but really prep had been going on off-site for quite some time :)
I draped my kitchen in plastic and got to work week before last.
It is so rainy that tarping the kitchen is about the only option for getting anything done.

My parents bought CG a chest from IKEA. It matches two that we 'ombre-d" for her new bedroom. More on that later but there are pics on the FB page. This gives her 3 identical sturdy wood chests and a lot of versatility for future moves (6 already in her college career!!) They can be used together for a long wall of storage, as bedside tables, as a TV stand or in the Dining Room like we did here. And we are all about furniture that offers storage. She is missing the big walk in closet and home that we called "The Carrie Bradshaw closet" :)

Two super cute Pottery Barn brackets that were bought for $5.00 at a consignment sale a year ago got a coat of SW Anjou Pear. They were the same thing but in 2 different finishes so primer and paint unified them.

Three coats of SW Lagoon went on the chest after a coat of primer. This is the yummiest turquoise color ever. I'm painting something this color for myself ASAP. A sample of this color painted the chest with some to spare.
 Makes it very economical to purchase lots of colors.

Terrible iphone pic but I bought some nicer bronze-ish knobs for the top drawer and sprayed (oil rubbed bronze) the wooden IKEA knobs the same color for the other two drawers. jazzed it up a bit and the knobs were 50% off at Hob Lob. So two cool knobs for $5.00. You can find some great knobs there and at World market for good prices.

I took two canvases that I had and brushed on all the colors that we were using in the other elements of the gallery wall and created two contemporary artworks to mix in with other more traditional elements. The Dining Room set is a great antique set from an estate sale that one of the roommates mom bought. The unchangeable aspects of the rental tend to be more contemporary so we are trying to blend the two looks together. After a coat of varnish on top they didn't look half bad :)

After much painting and putting framed artwork together I loaded up my car and headed to College Girl's place.  I had a bag of tools, furniture and artwork.
 I joked on IG that my car had art and soul yesterday - sorry. Bad pun.
But my Kia Soul was full to the top!
 After years of driving much larger cars it still amazes me what I get in this car!!

And this was the sky on the way. Yikes.
We only move in the rain. (Monsoons, actually!)
 See previous posts on this subject :)

Let the install begin. BTW, you have to be very flexible to hang those PB brackets.
Cute but a pain.
We put all the components on the table and started holding up things, discussing it and then arranging. I had thought some things would work in certain places but we ended up tweaking things as they went up. If it's not a gallery wall you are going to add to over time then it's nice to have a few extra items to try and possibly eliminate or move. It looks a lot different on a wall than it does laid out on a table or the floor. Interesting but fun process.

In progress...

I gathered up frames I had and bought a few at Goodwill for less than  $2.00.
Some I painted.
I added quotes and scrapbook paper backing in the colors that we were pulling from the inspiration fabric

I printed clip art straight off the computer onto photo paper- gives it a crisper look of a better piece of "art"/ Of course owls had to be in there somewhere - all 3 girls are Chi O's.

Trendy glass dishes from the dollar bins at Michael's. Just add a Command Strip.

Mirror from IKEA. They are less than 3 dollars - frame, mirror and all ready to hang. I already had that. Another quote in a frame I had, a copper pineapple mold from Goodwill that I sprayed coral, a basket I sprayed green, a paper mache ampersand I sprayed gold, and I printed all 3 of their monograms and put in frames to add to the wall. It is the South and they are sorority girls. And when they move on they can take the monogram picture with them as a keepsake.
My favorite candles come from Bath and Body Works in those great glass containers. I save them and reuse as votive holders so we put those on the PB shelves.
We recovered the chair seats in this trendy multi colored medallion fabric. It really updated the set and tied everything together. The fabric is an outdoor fabric so it should hold up well in a college household with lots of people in and out. It was on sale for $7.99 a yard. Two yards did the trick with some left over for another project. This is not a good picture. I need to try again with a real camera :) On a sunny day.

We shopped the Grands basement when we visited a couple of weeks ago
and chose this very nice brass lamp for the makeover. I bought the shade at World Market last week for 75% off. The inside was metallic silver embossed paper and I hit it with a coat of Krylon Metallic gold and it is one classy looking lamp. Added a tray, napkin holder and an owl to the top of the chest and it is finished!
Great improvement. College Girl did a great job deciding what and where to hang items on the gallery wall. We had fun working on this and then finished off the day with some pizza with our fav Kappa Sig and a sorority sister. College towns have the best pizza.

College Girl said it looks "homey now" and she was "obsessed" with the SW Lagoon
paint color that I chose.
Can't do anything about the light fixture  #rentalprobs

And we need some curtains on the adjacent wall.
 Another day.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Feeling A Teensy Bit.....

... Famous!!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the blogger who writes and manages All Free Kids Crafts. She wanted to know if she could feature some of my recycle crafts.
Of course, I said "Of Course!" 
Today I was scrolling through FB and there was a picture of my bottle cap rainbow project on her post!!
Amazing Cap Rainbow
She has a bazillion followers so it was exciting to see my project on her page!
And a few weeks ago I was contacted by the owner of the  Kipling House , which is the cutest little art studio/crafting cottage ever.
The Kipling House - Marietta, GA
See. Yellow front door love.
 They invited me to teach some classes for adults and we are starting off with an owl painting project and I ended up on their FB page yesterday, too.
This is pretty exciting for someone who usually just hangs out in paint spattered clothes!!
Check out both sites... they are fun!
So, "famous" being relative ... I was feeling a teensy bit famous
 in my little world today!
PS. I have been verrrry busy pulling together a few things for College Girl's new place so it can be finished before classes start in a few weeks.
 I've put some pics on mollie's mom FB page and Instagram.
I love Instagram. I check it more than FB. More pictures. Less opinions. Ha!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Talk, Talk, Talk!

I've been all over the place this summer and I have talked and talked.
With a lot of energetic, dedicated teachers. Both paid and volunteer.

I was invited to present at quite a few Preschool Training Conferences this Summer.
I spoke about creativity in the classroom the most often -
creative practices for both teachers and learners.

I was in the Scout Hut at a beautiful Catholic School in Dunwoody on Friday. What a great group of ladies. I take all my goodies and info with me and we get excited about the upcoming school year.

They were good sports - we talk but we do some silly things, too.

I was also at a conference in Griffin, Georgia talking about creativity in education as well.

The sessions at this conference were 2 hours long so a little different set up. That's a long time to talk.

So we did silly stuff at that conference too.
Gives the ladies a break from all my talk, talk, talk.

Then I jumped in the car and took off for Greenville, SC to present at my first national conference - cue butterflies :) It was for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church ( I'll never type that again - what a title!) and it was about creativity in Christian Education.  There were paid staff members and volunteers at this conference. It was a ton of fun and we had a blast in downtown Greenville. What a great place to visit and explore.
We ate dinner at a place called Tupelo Honey Cafe - worth the drive back to G'ville just to eat there.
They have several locations - I highly recommend it!

This was the room I was in - one of the art classrooms at the Methodist Church they held the conference in - huge and old and beautiful. I loved their art tables and stools.

And look what was painted on the walls. Fun.

I also presented in Marietta at another Preschool Training event in conjunction with the Georgia Preschool Association and SAUMC.
This was all about multicultural studies and sensitivity and is incorporated with travel themed units for the classroom. Made me want to go someplace exotic.

This was all about multicultural studies and sensitivity and is incorporated with travel themed units for the classroom. Made me want to go someplace exotic.
 I'm off to a couple more in the near future and
then I have been invited to a conference at the beach in October!!! Woo Hoo!