Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tweaking the Apartment

I'll always be trying something new!

I love blues and greens.  No matter what I do in my homes, I'll always incorporate different shades of those two basic colors in at least some of the rooms.  I typically lean towards lighter, softer shades of blue.  However, recently I have been interested in bringing some stronger color touches into the room.

Before, our large sofa area looked like this.

I still like this a lot, but since the spring I've wanted to bring in more blues with the summer season.  There are a couple of different pillows in the room--I love the stronger blue lines around the border.  It's a little more geometric in design than I typically use.

I changed out the large black Ikea frame from a vintage bird poster to these Natural History vintage shell printouts (Graphics Fairy blog).  I painted some cardboard roughly for an edge and used Mod Podge to adhere four printouts to the center of the cardboard.  I love the colors and the way it turned out overall.

Our TV stand used to look like this.

You can't tell from the above photo, but there is an open back under the top surface which allows a few cords to be visible.  This always drove me nuts!  So I did a new version, shown below.

The back is now finished with a cardboard shape I cut out to fit the space and covered with sale fabric. No more cords, and I like the beach vintage vibe of the fabric!  You can also see that I tried to create a grouping of pictures.  I've always loved that look but have never really done a random group of frames and photos.  Some of the frames display printouts are from the Graphics Fairy blog.  GREAT resource!

The bottom piece is a ceiling medallion from Home Depot.  I made a background with a botanical print from Graphics Fairy and put a picture of my dad and my son in the middle.  I am going to experiment more with different ways to use the ceiling medallions in the future, next time using paint to accentuate the designs around the border.

Our living and dining rooms are connected by a wide doorway with a nice flow.  I don't like too many things out in both rooms, it makes me feel overwhelmed.  It takes away from the beauty of a few items when there are so many to look at all at once.  So I removed some items from the dining room to keep it simple.

In the photo below, I covered a piece of cardboard with a burlap remnant I found and used upholstery tacks I had left over from another project to update our dining room photo board.  I used a couple of black and white photos my son and I took recently for Father's Day.  I slipped it inside a garage sale frame that I got for about 50 cents and had already painted earlier. The burlap coordinates with the khaki sofa fabric from the living room.


A few tweaks and a few dollars and we're soaking in the beach vintage vibe I enjoy so much.   My taste is still evolving and I can't change everything at once, but it's a lot of fun to experiment!  Now...the craft projects and tweaking MUST be done as we have guests coming this weekend to stay for a week.  The fun part of preparations is done and the grunt work begins...CLEANING.  I have a wonderful friend who is going to take my son for a day while I do my best to get our apartment ready for nine people to live together.  Whew.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cruisin' thru June

Summertime...and the livin' is easy.
Fish are jumpin'
and the cotton is high.

George Gershwin's tune was one of my favorite songs in college when I was working with a voice teacher.  The melody perfectly complements the lyrics, in my opinion.  It feels a little lazy, a little slow, and invites you to let out a long exhale, lean back in your chaise lounge, and sip cool lemonade.

June has started off with some changes, a trip to TN, a new class, and some new summer goals for me.  This past week we went to Tennessee to visit family and attend a wedding of friends.  The wedding--although brutally hot--was a beautiful traditional Tennessee affair.  The wedding was outdoors by a wonderfully aged barn.  The women had gorgeous dresses paired with flip-flops!   We strolled across the lawn to the tent with ice-cold drinks and a BBQ feast. As the evening wore on, the patio turned into a dance floor, the strung lights swaying back and forth with the hum of celebration.  My son had a fantastic time visiting family.  He had the absolute luxury of running outside to a huge lawn every morning, (swim trunks on right away), and played in the wading pool every possible minute.  He loved it!

We've got some personal changes as a family to address.  As I learn to adjust to the challenges, I'm looking for ways to maintain peace in my heart and patience with the situation.  I created a sanctuary spot for myself, where I keep important tasks at my fingertips, quotes and encouraging scripture or passages, journals, and a few items that help me take a deep breath when I'm feeling frustrated.  The peonies from the farmer's market are wonderful!

I'm reading The Happiness Project.  It's an interesting approach to creating a more peaceful, positive attitude in your life.  While I know my true source of joy is from Christ, I must admit I do think the same way as the author, Gretchen Rubin.  I'm inspired to try making some more intentional choices about my attitude and how I spend my time.

Many months ago, back when winter was still blowing with its full force in January, I started an online class called Soul Restoration through Brave Girls Club.  I'm beginning the second class in the series and it will be fun to see what great projects and instruction we get this time around!

This week I'm heading to the local running store to pick up my Mother's Day running shoes!  Running is so peaceful for me.  It's particularly beneficial to de-stress when facing some of the personal changes in our family I mentioned above.  I put these on...
grab this...

and head out here...

for a refreshing, invigorating boost.  Trekkin' on and lovin' it.