Thanks Really Isn’t Enough

My pal Melanie of Hand on Hip got me the most beautiful, adorable little accessories that will be placed immediately in my office inspiration lair so that I can stare at them always. I’m just going to make this post just to thank her and stare at these little lovelies:


Mercury Glass


Heaven...I'm in Heaven

Go check out her Etsy shop Rare Bird Boutique and see about finding your own vintage lovelies.

Thanks Mel!


Lonely Lamps No More

I have been desperately searching for the perfect lampshades for my office, and feel like it has been years of exhausting searches!  The main reason I haven’t been able to find something, is probably due to the fact that I have such a hard time dropping more than $20 for a shade. Seems pretty ridiculous right? Now you know the real depth of my frugality.  I have identical cream, wood bases on each end of my ‘spruced’ buffet just waiting to be topped off.


Sad and Lonely Lamps

I started shopping on-line and was able to find some great patterns and shapes, but I wanted to SEE and TOUCH them. I was searching for something in black or black/white in a large drum shape.  Here were some of the initial contenders:

Black & White Shades


There finally came a time when I could stand bare bases no longer and spent $16 a piece on plain, black shades from Target.  When I got them home, unwrapped and added to the bases I just didn’t like them at all.  Too plain, just black and white, and the fabric was somewhat cheap with a bit of a swirl embedded.  Didn’t even unwrap the second one, they went back to Target.  Woe is me! I give up, why can’t I find exactly what I want without spending an arm and a leg!



Do you love it?  I love it! I got it at Ross! I was wandering around one night, looking for decorations for my best pal’s baby shower and this shade popped right off the shelf and hit my square in the head.  Not really, but that’s how it felt. My heart went pitter-patter as I picked it up, and turned in over to find the price…$12.99! And this baby is at least 16″ tall. But wait…is there another?!? At the very, very bottom of the back pile of shades was the beautiful match made in heaven.  Yes, I’ll admit that I did still hesitate on the way to the register, thinking should I really spend $26 on a pair of lampshades? They are just too perfect to send back, and in my office they will stay.  Though, a small change had to be made regarding the bases, and I needed to rearrange the whole office..but that will have to be another post all together.  Let’s just enjoy these beauties shall we?

Felted Filigree


Perfect Pair of Shades


Smile and Say Cheese!

Last weekend we finally got around to creating a picture wall along our staircase in the front entry.  It took an entire day. Granted, I wasn’t in any rush, but I really didn’t think it would be that time-consuming.  Not for me, but the man who has to measure every single detail 3 times. I have hung many pictures in my day, and my method is usually to ‘eyeball’ a distance, and only use a ruler if I want a grouping to be symmetrical.  And even then I only measure the distance from side to side and just use a level for the distance from top to bottom.  Not really cheating, but I just wanted it done fast! The pictures I had printed last February yes, that long ago in Sepia tones, ranged in sizes from 8×10, 12×14, and 18×20.  I know there were also a couple more uncommon sizes in there too, and for the life of me I can’t remember why.  I had the pictures printed at Costco, and the total was maybe around $30, but the frames are what really digs into your pocketbook.  We bought a total of 12 frames (still need one more) in 3 sizes from Michael’s, when they were 50% off and we had an additional 25% off coupon from the paper.  Our total was just about $180.  Ouch! You probably want to see what all that gets you right?



Staircase Wall Before


Nothing exciting here, but you can see that the entry is open up to the second level, so the wall is quite tall.  We decided to span up 5 feet at the lowest point and 8 feet along the distance going upstairs.  I have seen many methods to get the ‘perfect picture’ wall when hanging your photos in a gallery style.  There is no right or wrong way, because it depends on what makes you most comfortable.  I am perfectly okay with hanging up one picture at a time, and figuring out the layout as you go.  Some gallery frames come with kits that help you with space planning.  I know some kits are really helpful in that they indicate where the nails should be placed as well!  Some find it easier to use craft or butcher paper, cut in the sizes of the frames, temporarily up on the wall with tape to create a layout.  I have developed a pretty good sense of proportion and how to weight a grouping in a style I like.  However my man who was hanging them wanted to lay all the frames out on the floor in the living and move them around until we were happy, then start transferring them one by one to the wall.  Fine, I can be flexible. 2 hours later, I finally said, “Just hang this first one already and we’ll work from there!”.  I was nice about it of course, because I didn’t want to cease progress! And the transformation began…


Almost Halfway There...


As usual the peanut gallery was there, but thankfully no comments!


Project Foreman keeping a watchful eye


So finally after what seemed like 10 hours, we had a complete picture gallery that could withstand an earthquake.  Part of the long process was making sure to use both hooks on the pictures, so that they stayed level…and on the wall.


View from the Top


Still one picture missing, that was one of the odd sizes, and that will go at the top of the second row over from the bottom.  The overall look I wanted was a steep slope along the bottom going up the stairs, and a more gradual stop along top to draw your eye upward.  Just a few last touches to keep it balanced.  So don’t be afraid to get your pictures and artwork up on the walls.  Makes me happy every time I go up and down the stairs, which makes me hate having stairs a little less.


Gallery Collection




Starting Fresh and Clean

Let’s all just pretend that it hasn’t been almost 2 months since my last update.  Holidays are just my favorite time of year, and it’s hard not to get swept up in the merriment and celebration.  Now it is a new year, and that means new motivation.  I don’t usually make resolutions because I feel like you shouldn’t have to wait a year to decide you want to finally commit to something, or resolve to be better in something.  You should be able to do that any time of the year, when the feeling strikes a chord and you are truly ready to go.  But after Christmas and around New Year’s, it is easy to feel the energy of those who are becoming resolute and want to do something. For me, it was a good house cleaning.  Which led to furniture rearrangement, which created more room to clean out the closets, which helped me find all my interior design notebooks, which motivated me to hop back on the ole blogger.   So maybe good things are to come in the new year.

If you recall just before Halloween, my Little Sister moved into her new place and was working on decorating her first house.  I am reminded that we were working on dressing up a guest bathroom before the move, and we had worked on an accessory board (**click on image to enlarge).


Guest Bath Accessory Ideas

The Waffle Weave Shower Curtain (from Target, I think) was a starting point and inspirational photos from Restoration Hardware.  Idea photos are from Pottery Barn (Towels and Glass Accessories) and Pier One (Coral, Lights, Hook and Shelf) but that in no way means you have to buy them there.  I created the collage simply to put ideas in to the head of LS, and let her find her own pieces using these as a jumping off point.  I will admit, sometimes it’s hard to look outside the box when you have a specific piece already pictured in your head. Been there, thought this many times! Then just maybe it is just right for you, but try to remember to not limit yourself.  New Year means new creative ideas and influences.  Start Fresh!

Laundry List – Accessorize

A trip to Goodwill resulted in some great finds for the laundry room.  Now just a coat of spray paint, to coordinate with the folding station and I’m set!


Jars & Paint


I also managed to get some hard-core jigsaw work done to cut out this witch and these tombstones for yard decorations.  I couldn’t find the 2″ foam, so I am working with 4×8 sheets of plywood. They too just need a bit of painting, spraying and detail work to complete the project.  Finished pictures to follow!