simple is beautiful

The Grass is Always Greener

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some winters seem to last longer than others and this one seems to be taking its time.

Here in the south, we usually have a warm day or two inserted into each week, but this winter hasn't been a normal one.  We currently have at least 6 inches of snow on the ground...not a blade of grass in sight...outside that is.

Every winter I plant wheat grass.  It is a simple way to add a touch of spring to the winter months.  I just use any available containers that I can find around the house.


Do you see the snow outside?
This is an old container that was made in Italy.  Mom used to pick up neat little pieces when she was in the antiques business.  The wings are all chipped, but I still think it is pretty.

This pot was given to me by a friend who has since moved to Seattle.  I have made a few of these myself with old broken bits of china.  It took a lot longer than you would think.


I am planting wheat grass in a strawberry pot for the first time.  Not sure how it would turn out, but so far so good.  The biggest challenge is keeping it watered.  Hello kitchen sink.

Knowing that it is 13 degrees outside with 6 inches of snow on the ground does make the grass seem a little greener.

The Stenciled Chest

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hello sweeties!  This has been a crazy week with projects.  I have spread myself a little thin around here jumping from one thing to another.  The playroom has been an ongoing project that I look forward to sharing with you soon, but in the mean time, our downstairs bathroom needed a fresh coat of paint so I decided it was as easy to paint two bathrooms as it was to paint one, so off I went.  The two bathrooms were painted yesterday, but I am working out a few details that involve shower curtains and sink skirts before I share those pictures with you.

One project that I have been able to finish though is for my son's room.  I have been obsessed with this chest from Anthropologie.  Isn't it nice?

I recently discovered this free program called that is similar to photoshop.  Today I used it to make a stencil.  First I picked out the font and size that I wanted to use and then I taped freezer paper to the computer screen.  Freezer paper is great for making stencils because it is coated with plastic and doesn't slip around.

I cut the stencil out with an exacto, then went to work stenciling.   The dresser only has two drawers that could be stenciled, but the result is the same.





My Homegirl File

Monday, January 25, 2010

Caution: this may or may not change your life.

When I am out and about sniffing around in thrift stores or in fabric stores, I will always carry my little file with me starting now.

What does the file contain you ask? 
It contains the things that I have learned to take with me on my outings.

  For example, our living room/dining room is undergoing  some changes.  It is quite possible that I will need to refer to these colors when picking out say, the new fabric for the ottoman.

By the way, if you live in NC, I know where you can get fabrics and fringe for $3-4/yard.  Also, designers coming to the furniture market, stay tuned because I am going to put together some fun things to do in the area. 

OK so I got a little sidetracked. 

Our shutters are falling apart and often the RESTORE (love the RESTORE) has wooden shutters.  Well, I need to know what size correct?  Or what about the exterior color of the house, or the finish on the deck?  Or the size of the windows.  So many details.

Having information at my finger tips is efficient and prepares me to make a decision right then and there, saving me from running back and forth or worse, missing out on a pair of shutters at a steal. 

What I do is take a note card, write the name of the room, and paper clip the paint color for the room.  Then slip it into the file along with  any fabrics and trims that I might need.


Then, when I am out and about and see a pair of wooden shutters for $10/pair or the fabric of my life, I can refer to my "homegirl" file and make an educated decision.

Actually, I just made this book today.  Frustrated from being unprepared to make yet another decision because I didn't have my props with me, I picked this little folder up at Walmart and decided to organize our home evolution.

It all fits neatly in this file which is small enough to fit inside my purse which means that I always have it with me.

How do you keep it together?  The house stuff I mean?  Do you have a book, a folder, or do you just wing it?  Please share, because there is most likely a better way.

The Five Dollar Mirror

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Does anyone remember this mirror?  It's the one that I shared with you a few weeks ago.   Mom and I were out poking around in some thrift stores in the mountains when it presented itself and insisted on coming home with me.  Said that all it needed was a coat or two of spray paint.


I painted it white thinking that I would glaze it, but once I saw how fresh it looked as is, I had second thoughts about glazing it.  Oh well, it's just paint after all, it can always be tweaked later on when I change my mind.

Ha, ha, because we all do that don't we?

Make a Statement

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love collections. 
Don't really have one, but I like them.  To see a grouping of similar items just looks good.  That's why when I go to a store, and see 25 boxes stacked together in like colors and I buy one, then come home and put it down on a table, the effect is lost.  Things look better when they are with items that are similar.

 Collections don't necessarily have to be intentional.  Maybe you just happen to have a lot of glass vases or cake stands.  Maybe they aren't all pretty by themselves, but I'll bet if you put them together, you might like what happens. 
Like this example here on top of the cabinet.

Image:  Martha Stewart

Or here.

Image:  Tricia Foley

What about baskets?
We all have lots of those around the house.  Baskets grouped together make a nice statement and provide useful storage.

Image: My Home Ideas

I love white dishes.  Let me rephrase that.  I love white dishes in mass.  This display is gorgeous.

Image: Country Living

A bazillion framed photos look so much better this way.

Image: My Home Ideas

Something I have always loved because of the guaranteed pop of color is globes.  When grouped together they add so much punch to a room, especially a playroom.

Image: My Home Ideas

Do you have a collection of plates or tiles?  I like that they aren't all the same, but that they share similar characteristics and work beautifully together in the arrangement.

Image: Martha Stewart

One of my favorite things is galvanized metal.  We have an old galvanized lunchbox that we use as a first aid kit and a couple of old pails and containers.  I love the way these are used to contain boxwood and then peaking out from under the table is more of the same.  Lovely.

I love the way Phoebe Howard uses groupings of prints, especially botanical prints to make a statement.

Come to think of it, maybe I do have a collection or two.  I'll bet you do too if you look around.  

What do you collect, better yet, how do you display it?  Does it make a statement?

Thrift Store Chair Reveal

Monday, January 18, 2010

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." ~ Coco Chanel

Having access to so many talented and creative people is one of the things that I enjoy most about blogging.  Whenever I need an opinion on a paint color, a fabric, or an arrangement, there you are ready and willing to provide input.  Thank you for holding my hand through all of this ~ having a sounding board certainly makes  some of those decisions  more bearable.

Last week I asked for advice on this chair.

Most of you responded that a white slipcover would look nice and yes, it would.  I still might make one just for the heck of it, but truthfully, we needed a little excitement around here so I went with something different.

A few years ago, an acquaintance  entered our home and began to grumble about blue and how she didn't like it, particularly blue with green.  My insecurities got in the way and so I began working to eliminate blue, particularly blue with green.  Ten years later and a lot more gray hair, I realize that it is important to do what you like and to feel good about it.  There, that feels good.

So, here we are with a blue chair.  You could say that this is a statement chair of sorts...or a mid-life crisis chair I suppose.  Anyway, blue is back.  Welcome home blue!  I've missed you.

Canvas Drop Cloth Curtains

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In an effort to lighten things up in our living room, I ventured down the path that many before me have gone ~ the drop cloth aisle at Lowes or Home Depot.   The other day, I picked up a couple of drop cloths in the paint department and went to work making panels.

It's really easy because all of the sides have been hemmed already.  The most time consuming part is bleaching the canvas, which in this case was three washes, and painting the wooden rods and rings.

Some minor sewing was involved with hemming and the addition of the pleat tape at the top, but overall, this was an extremely easy curtain project.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

 Pine-cones, in my opinion, are the symbol of winter.

I love bringing the outdoors into our home to use as decorations.  The texture, shape, and color of pine-cones easily fit into any decor and shopping the yard is easy, affordable, and simply pretty.

I wanted to show you different ways that I have used pine-cones around our home. 

I love to use glass domes and cloches to decorate.  They are easy to change out with seasonal items such as nests, seashells, or in this case, pine-cones.  Wouldn't this be pretty using a pewter plate?

Pine-cones are perfect for holding an arrangement in place, in this case, an arrangement of sticks from the garden.

Here I took a metal container, lined it with a sheet of moss, then added guess, pine-cones. 

I hung these cones with burlap ribbon in December to add a touch of Christmas to our sun-room.  They will probably remain here until spring.

Fill an old lantern with pine-cones.

One thing that is really pretty to me is combining rustic and fine elements such as this example of silver and you guessed it, pine-cones.

Pine-cones really don't require any container at all and can simply sit there.

What do you do with pine-cones?  Talk to me.

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