Archive for the ‘Decorating’ Category

Have Library Card?

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

I haven’t written a post about my love of the reStore yet, but I LOVE to shop there.  I have picked up lots of cool things for our house.  That could be a post in and of itself, but this is about my latest find.  Recently, I stopped by to look for windows for a friend and found these instead….

library 1They had just come in, were in the parking lot and being haled on.

We have a very long hallway that is begging for shelves so I had one of the guys measure them to see if they would even fit.  They were measured at ten feet long by eight feet high.  It is hard to tell, but there are two sets of lower, doored cabinets and two of shelves made of cherry.  The price was right, if I took them that day,  so I headed home to measure the hall.

This was the hallway before we bought the house, complete with painted paneling and carpet.  The windows look out over a deck and the front yard and flood the room with natural light.  The hallway leads to the boys rooms off of the kitchen.

library 2Here it is from the other direction with the boys sceptically looking around.  This is also about the time that they named our new home The Shack.   The original plans have  it labeled as the “Play Hall.”  Since the boys are a bit too old to play in the house much, the 25 x 8 foot space is currently used to store boxes housing items for the yet to be finished kitchen.

library 3Shortly after moving in we drywalled the space, removed a door frame turned shelving unit, added wider door trim, evened out the ceiling lights, painted it up and added hardwood flooring.  Unfortunately, I never took a picture of it empty but it is much improved.

But back to the shelves, they would definitely fit on the wall behind Marlin.   So like the Beverly Hillbillies, we loaded up the truck (trailer) and off we went to pick them up.  I will spare you the details of getting them up over the deck stairs, under the mini-arbor and through the sliders, in the dark and drizzle, all without ruining shelves or home.  Nor re-live the dead arm, breaking back, panting parents, or silent girlfriend.  At long last they were in and tahdah….

library 4They WERE ten feet long and fit on that wall perfectly, BUT can you see that the shelves are very close to the ceiling height BEFORE being put on top of the lower cabinets?  Kirk got out the measuring tape and sure enough (though I fought him on it mightily) we have at least an extra foot.  In layman’s terms, they are way too tall.  I am not popular around here because they had to remain in the hall to prevent being ruined by the first winter to ever transcend upon Santa Barbara.

library 5It doesn’t look so bad from this angle, until you take into account Marlin’s bedroom and the boys bathroom lie at the opposite end of the hall.  Did I mention I am VERY UNPOPULAR around here?!!?  All is not lost however, the carpenter is coming Saturday to take off a foot or so, fit them together, add back the base and crown molding and hopefully restore my reputation.  If not I may be banned from the reStore for life.  Stay tuned…and wish me luck.




Headboard for Spencer

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

My kids like to produce wish lists for birthdays and Christmas.  Spencer’s contained a surprising amount of room decor, including curtains, headboard, dresser and more.  His birthday was last October and I found an inspiration photo to fashion a headboard from.

headboard 1I probably found it on pinterest or Houzz.  Another one had less bulky sides and lacked the lighting.  I settled on a hybrid of the two.  He currently has a full-sized bed and wants a queen so it was to be 64 inches wide by about 60 inches high and to hang on the wall above the six-inch base board.  I picked up 2 x 3 lumber to make the frame.  Six inch tongue and groove pine for the face.  Clear 1 x 4 birch was chosen for the bottom and side framing for a more stream lined look and 1 x 6 for the top.  Scraps of 2 x 4 were used to make french cleats on the back.

Then the lumber was stacked in the game room with no progress until my father came for the holidays.  He thought it would be a piece of cake.  So with Spencer’s help we started construction on New Year’s Day.

headboard 2

First up was to cut all of the tongue and groove boards to determine the finished height.  Then the framing was cut to length.  We built it on the guest cottage floor for a clean, dry and flat surface to work upon.

headboard 3Spencer used his skills from junior high wood shop to help,

headboard 4dad measured everything expertly and I held the ends of the wood.

headboard 5After deciding to make the top a bit bigger, we finished, brought it inside and measured to add the french cleats.

headboard 6The other half was attached to the carefully located studs.  The blue tape was added to mark the outline of the headboard.  Notice Spencer’s signature orange wall.

headboard 7At last it was hung on the wall and could not look better.

headboard 8All that is left to decide is paint or stain, grey or black…

headboard 9Not bad for $100 worth of wood and a few hours of work.  Well,  having a very talented father helps tremendously and really couldn’t have been done otherwise.  Thanks Dad!










Birthday Wreath

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I was reading the latest issue of Sunset Magazine and was intrigued by the Wild Wreaths article in the Home & Garden section.

A dear friend’s birthday was coming up and she is very insistent about NOT wanting gifts.  She, however, likes giving gifts for everything.  I found that presenting her with disposable or edible gifts was an acceptable way of circumventing the guilty feeling of showing up empty handed.  I may or may not have mentioned that I am addicted to succulents…this seemed the perfect solution to my gift giving dilemma.

It seemed like an easy enough wreath to create, succulents plus moss, perfect.  I set out to Micheal’s, then Joanne’s, then to the same stores in two more towns before I settled on a metal wreath frame, sheet moss and floral picks with wire to attach the succulents.  The selection of wreath frames was bleak, most were way too small for my liking and bags of moss seemed a bit messy.

I gathered my supplies and set to work.  I cut the sheet moss into a square, then removed a circle from the center, and rounded the corners to just fit the wire frame.  Quickly I realized that the wire frame needed heft, so out came the bags of moss I had attempted to avoid.  The article, I now note, does offer a tip to use a “firm wreath base, such as one made of straw or foam.”

The rounded edges were clipped to be pulled over the frame and secured with lots of hot glue.

Remember the mess I was trying to avoid…this proves that went out the window.  You can see some of the supplies used:  scissors, wire cutters, clippers, floral wire, floral picks, glue gun and moss.

It became clear that another sheet of moss was going to be necessary to hold the wreath together, so the entire process was repeated.  For extra security the entire wreath was wrapped with very thin floral wire.  Succulents scavenged from my ever-growing collection were attached to floral picks and hot glued into the wreath.  Sadly, the succulents were more green than red and I added a few more than the inspiration photo.  A bow to hang it and voila…

Not quite as soft and loose as the article depicts, but nice none-the-less.  A gift tag created using more moss and a tiny succulent was the finishing touch.

Lovingly delivered with a caution to keep it out of direct sun lest all that glue melt.  That could be a disaster.














Friday, December 7th, 2012

The word is in…GREEN is the color for 2013.  I am SOOO in on this color trend!  They are calling it the color of rejuvenation and renewal.  I call it the color used most in my house.

Well,  color me renewed, beginning this morning with my third (yes third) cup of tea.  Olive, Kelly, Mint, Apple, I really don’t mind the shade.  I will take it!

My old kitchen had lots of green.  The new is meant to have darker green lower cabinets and white uppers…coming soon and on trend.  Not that it would have mattered.  Now I can justify my obsession!


Holiday Preparations

Friday, November 30th, 2012

There was a time when every inch of our house in Ojai was decorated for Christmas. Over the years I picked up items to add to any unadorned surface.  Usually by Christmas day it began to feel a bit claustrophobic.

A few years we took vacations and I chose to do quick tree decorating since we would be gone for the week after Christmas and hate having so much to put away when returning to work and school straight from the flight.

The year we went to Aruba I only adorned the tree with pinecones, berries and big white poinsettias from Ben Franklin.  This picture reminds me that I have to look for Santa.

The year we went to Whistler it looks like we put up a few ornaments but used  white snow flakes from Macy’s to fill up the tree.  The packages don’t even have bows.  Oh the humiliation.

Last year we moved into the Shack two weeks before Christmas.  Every room of the house was being painted or worked on in some way.  On Christmas Eve the boys brought in the artificial tree and shamed me into taking a moment and throwing on those pinecones, berries and some burlap ribbon.  The close up hides the drywall dust and bare wood floors.

This year Spencer has a basketball tournament over break and we probably won’t get away during the holidays until after he graduates.  The boys decided it is time to do up the house, big time.  Well really, they get out the boxes and I do up the house.

They got every box out of the barn and stacked them on the back porch.  Pressure!   We even bought a live, much bigger tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually we travel at Thanksgiving to my parents ranch.  We didn’t this year since the cousins were returning from college.  No excuses this year for slim trimmings.

Out came seven of those boxes with just ornaments.  I barely managed to cram them onto the much bigger tree.  I had to spread the red ribbon a bit thin, might need to rethink that next year.  I had to buy four more strings of lights and sort of threw them onto the branches.   One year I tried wrapping the branches and could hardly get them off of the dead tree after Christmas.  It did look good.  Honestly though,  maybe I never unloaded all the boxes before.  How could they barely fit with at least two extra feet of tree?   Not even a pine cone, poinsettia or snowflake in sight.  That is another three boxes still as yet untouched.

Then it actually rained in California and is expected to continue through Sunday.  Are you kidding me?  I covered the boxes with a tarp and haven’t touched them since.  Now I can’t decide how much more decorating to tackle since there are still so many undone projects around the Shack.  But then again, it isn’t even December yet…that leaves lots of time for embellishing before the big day.  Plus I will be in big trouble if the boys have to take all of those boxes back to the barn still full.  BIG TROUBLE!!!