Thursday, June 2, 2011

House design

I live in a 1980s ranch-style house that needs a lot of work.  So far, we have changed the carpet, roof, windows, a/c and heating unit, fenced in the pool, draining and acid washing the pool - basically, all the big-ticket items.  We have been working on the backyard, getting it up and running for the summer and with the warmer weather, getting ready to move inside and start work there.

I thought I had my color palate chosen - mostly earth tones with lots of greens, tans, and rusts.  But, one afternoon while watching HGTV, I saw Sarah's House and found the most beautiful color palate. 

It uses cream and gray - something I would never have thought to use.  I love the marble backsplash!

The colors allow other colors to blend beautifully with them: a darker blue...

... a taupe....

... a mint green....


...and a lighter blue.

Even black accents have a place:

One of the decorating tools she uses is wallpaper.  Not sure if I can do that.  Wallpaper is a pain to remove and can look dated very quickly.

I'm not sure how all that white will look with a toddler's fingerprints all over them but he's getting older.  Perhaps I can teach *him* how to clean it up.  Yeah, right!  heheheheh.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Patio - on a budget

After doing so much yard work these past few weekends, I decided it was time to spruce up my patio a little.   We were spending so much time outside that we really had no where to sit. 

I had planned on re-purposing our old patio furniture but never got around to painting and replacing the cushions so we picked these chairs up for a song and with some pillows I had purchased months ago (on sale for $5 at Burlington Coat Factory), I put together a nice little seating area.

I used an old table we got years ago (and was going to be in our next garage sale) and put a placemat on it. 

The yellow pitcher was a frugal buy from Big Lots for $2 and the smaller garden pitchers, from Ross for $2.  Don't 'ya just love bargains!

Everything is coming up roses on my patio:

This - thing (sorry, but I have no idea how to spell it) belonged to Mr. Bam's mother and had been sitting neglected in her yard.  After some bright yellow paint, it has become a nice place for flowers and an herb garden.

A little paint on some old pots to really bring in spring.  I don't normally do so much color, preferring to stay to neutrals, but the warm spring days were beckoning and I've been inspired by so many bloggers who are unafraid of color that I just couldn't resist. 

Monday, May 9, 2011


Yesterday, I went to Barnes and Noble at lunch to look for the latest decorating magazines.  As I walked over to the interior design section, I saw Barbra Streisand's book,  My Passion for Design.  I had heard about the book and had seen a picture or two but didn't think about it beyond that.

Now, I may be a little late with this but I tell you, if you have the chance, pick up this book!  Her house is breathtakingly beautiful.  I gasped at every picture.  Of course, it was decorated with a million dollar budget but I was more in awe of her taste in art, color and form.  Her attention to detail is impeccable and her creativity show through in every room.

Here is a sampling....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Upholstery Fabric

JoAnn's is having a 50% off sale on home decorating fabrics this week so I took the opportunity to pick up some of the accent fabric I've been planning for my living room.

The red fabric is going for these stools

The mulit-colored fabric is going to be my drapes

The green will be used for pillows and I'm hoping to have enough for a window seat cushion.

We have to finish the backyard before it gets too hot to work out there so for the next few weekends, the backyard will take priority.  After that, I'm moving inside to begin work on the house but I'm not sure if I can wait that long.  I have something planned for each room and I'm so excited to begin - I just don't know which room to start in! Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's been a long time.

Hi Everyone!

I've been horribly absent the past few months.  Spring has certainly sprung here in the desert and I've been busy working in the yard, getting my vegetable garden up to snuff now that the frosts have gone.  Spring break vacations, family visiting from out of town, my own vacation, etc., etc.  Not a very good start for blogging.

Here are some pictures of our small vegetable plot. 

We have a huge yard that I just hate to see go to waste.  I've gotten into organic eating and urban gardening of late so my husband and I decided to begin our own urban vegetable garden. 

The birds however, had other ideas and decided that our vegetable garden was their buffet.

One idea I read about online to scare the birds was to put fake snakes in the garden.  It didn't work and we found many peaches on the ground with holes in them.  Next, I read that hanging old CDs in the trees scared the birds away.


We will be making a CD sculpture for our veggie plot.  Keeping our fingers crossed on that one.

I've joined the jeans sew-a-long at Male Pattern Boldness here.  Peter is wonderful!

I've also joined Debbie Doos chalk paint giveaway here.  I hear this paint is the best!

In addition, I've joined the Bella Inspirations giveaway here. at No Minimalist Here blog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Sorry, friends.  We've been battling colds and flu for the past week or so and its been extremely busy trying to keep everything up and running.  But, it looks like things are getting back to normal.

I've been working on my Kay Unger dress from Vogue Patterns and I will post picks of my muslin later and give you updates on my progress.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Sartorialist

One of my favorite fashion blogs is The Sartorialist which shows pictures of fashionable people around the world.  I used to think that all the pictures were of models because they were all young and skinny and this guy was a fashion photog but according to his profile, that isn't the case.  The more I visit the blog, the more pictures of older people I see. However, I've yet to see any overweight people.  Then, I had an awful thought - what if all the fat people are in America???  I've heard recently that the U.S. is now the fattest nation on the planet.  I keep having visions of the movie Wall-e.  For those of you who have seen it, you know what I'm talking about.

Egads!  I can either go drown my sorrows in a chocolate cake or I can spend a few minutes on the treadmill.  Hmmmmmm.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gunn's Golden Rules: Chapter 1 - Make It Work!

As we all know, Tim Gunn is a style aficionado well known from his show Project Runway. He has also been an instructor at the Parson's New School for Design for many decades. In 2007, he joined Liz Claiborne as Chief Creative Officer and has penned  Tim Gunn's Guide to Quality, Taste and Style and hosted a show on Bravo called Tim Gunn's Guide to Style.

Gunn's new book Golden Rules we learn a different aspect to what Gunn may consider style - manners and etiquette. Gunn's introduction stresses the importance of manners and civility toward others and in my personal opinion, considers etiquette just as important factor of style as clothing and makeup. Gunn's rules are therefore, are his "thoughts on what constitutes a life well lived".

Chapter 1 is titled Make It Work! For those of us who are familiar with Tim Gunn, we are well familiar with this saying. Gunn uses it constantly on Project Runway as he mentors the contestant. Simply put, Gunn has helped his students and contestants on his shows to use the tools at their disposal to the best of their abilities. This means that they have had to think outside the box. Rather than starting from scratch, Gunn says to diagnose the flaws of the situation and make it work! It is only through this can we "reach a new level of understanding about...abilities to successfully problem solve."

This chapter has some very interesting stories from Project Runway and his years teaching that illustrate his "make it work" mantra. I won't bog you down with all the stories - I'll stick to the really interesting ones in later chapters. However, I find this rule to be very significant for today's world. We must make it work in today's economy. Many people have had to retool their entire lives due to job loss, foreclosure, etc. It also forces us to look at what we have and think of new uses for it. I'm constantly looking at my wardrobe and figuring out new ways to wear something.

What have you had to do to Make It Work?

Next up Chapter 2: The World Owes You....Nothing

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tim Gunns' Golden Rules

Sorry, everyone.  I just discovered Ping and I accidentally added my blog to the list.  Hence, all the one line posting.  I canceled that so hopefully we can get started on something really cool.

Terri over at Rags Against the Machine suggested that I start a discussion about the golden rules and I thought that was an excellent idea!  Thanks Terri!

So, I will get to reading and begin discussion on Chapter 1 on Monday.  Please join me!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I just got Tim Gunn's new book 10 Golden Rules. It ought to be very good. Tim Gunn is the best!
I'm looking forward to the wekend. Dinner with friends

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Retro Clothing

I found this website through Twitter, of all places.  She has really cute retro-style clothing.

Can you tell that I'm jonesing to sew this weekend?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teacher Tom: Not In A Million Years

For those of you who have children, this guy is fantastic!!

Teacher Tom: Not In A Million Years

Sewing this weekend

I will be completing a dress this weekend that I began about six months ago. I got held up by the darts. I hate darts!!! Perhaps Gertie can help me.....

Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing: Crepe Sew-Along #10: Sew Your Darts

By the way, I got a dress form for Christmas and I haven't named her yet. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Teacher Tom: What's Going On Here?

I love Teacher Tom. I wish my son went to his school. Having taken several master's level child development classes, I really appreciate how Tom allows his kids to develop their own play.

Teacher Tom: What's Going On Here?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mr. P90X, Tony Horton

I get to workout with him tonight!!!  He is on tour to promote his new book Bring It!  I'm very excited for this event.  I've been a fan of Tony's workouts for over a year now and I am thrilled to meet the man in person tonight.  If you want to get in shape, Tony can help you make it happen - no doubt.

Hopefully, they will let me bring my camera in.  I plan to take pictures and post them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Green Room

Well, I'm usually not on the computer over the weekends but I wanted to post pictures of my new room.

I'm linking this room to http://savvysouthernstyle/

The room was my older son's room.  He moved out so I had a place for my sewing room.  However, my husband reminded me that we often have family visiting and would need a guest room as well.  Hence, my sewing room has become a sewing/guest room.  Its a little snug (I didn't post pics of my sewing area - I'll get to that after I put a slipcover over my chair) but its functional.  I can't profess to be the most creative decorator but many of the things in the room were thrifted or on sale.

So, here we go.
Bedspread on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond

Bed stand garage sale find $5.  Tiffany-style lamp that matches the ceiling lamp, complete with dragonfly.   Birdhouse on sale from Michael's

A closer look

Another small vignette.  I've had this crystal vase for decades and have never used it or had a place for it.  Long-forgotten silk flowers that I found in my garage did the trick.  The little silver pour vase was found at a garage sale and I've had the little stand for years.  It was going to be garage saled but I found a place for it.  I might refinish/paint it in the future.

A nod, of course, to my fav Disney character, Jiminy Crickett.  The stand was a hand-made gift from a Christian Brother to my husband when he was in college at St. Mary's College  in the Bay Area.

These pictures belonged to my husband's mother.  They fit perfectly with the decor.

I wish there was a party to link to.  I haven't figured out when they all are.  Perhaps when I find one this week, I will link to it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 7, 2011

One of my fav decorators

Debbie over at Debbiedoos is one of the most creative and inspirational decorators I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Dare I say, the new Martha Stewart - only much, much better! She just posted something that I will have to copy in my gues bathroom. While at Hobby Lobby the other day, I fell in love with some French accents that I thought would look great in my guest bathroom - one room that desperately needs upgrading.

I think this idea would look fantastic as a chair rail, possibly along the top of the walls. Thoughts?

Debbiedoos Blogging and blabbing: It's DONE, Creative HIGH PART II

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011: Here we go again

I've set my goals for the year, both personal and professional.  Its the usual - lose weight, eat right, build Beachbody business, increase sewing skills, plan Disneyland trips better, etc., etc.  The difference is that this year, I actually wrote down my goals, something I've never done.  Let's hope it works. I need to lose  I don't know - that Nutella spread on graham crackers in the cupboard keeps beckoning to me.....grrrrrrr.


January is  a busy month. I'm having new windows installed.  We are trying to update our 1980s ranch house and the windows are one big thing to cross off our list.  Let's see - we've replaced the carpet, the roof, painted inside and out, replaced numerous lighting fixtures, replaced the a/c unit and put up a pool fence.  We've done a lot.  We still need to empty and acid wash the pool this winter.  After that, I think we will be done with the majority of the big/expensive projects.  That is, until we tackle the kitchen.

I have several Beachbody events to attend and I'm looking forward to working out with Tony Horton on Tuesday night.  He is on his book tour and stops in Phoenix for signing and exercise.  It should be fun and I will be posting pics.

I then have a home and garden show, a doll show, and a sewing show every other weekend.

For the first time in years, I pulled out a calendar to keep track of everything.